Idyll #303: Groundhogs declare 'Early Spring'

Monique z6a CT(6a CT)February 3, 2007

Spring is right around the corner...

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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

I'm finally getting around to posting this-sorry it's so late Taryn

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 12:08AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Brrrrr, 19 F and windy here this morning and not expected to get much warmer. We're sitting here discussing the project list for the upcoming garden season. As usual, to get all this stuff done we're going to have to get cracking as soon as the weather breaks. It's going to take a while just to move all the plants I want to swap around. Tom will be building a new arch for the end of the side entrance walkway. Last season I noticed when people came down the driveway they were having a tough time finding where the walkway starts to get to the door. The arch should solve this and give me a new place to grow vines. I've got so many poorly grown Clematis buried in shady spots out there. Monique help me!

Tom ended up joining me for my walk yesterday. Footing was a challenge in alot of spots. If the wind picks up like they say it will and with these temps I may be treadmilling it this afternoon. Tonight we're going to our friend's house for dinner and to watch the Superbowl. No Pats or Giants this year so the commercials will be the highlight for me.

OK, I have a hankering to go out to breakfast. If I can make myself reasonably presentable in a short amount of time then off we'll go.



    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 9:31AM
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It was 18F when I got up this morning, and I wasn't up until 8AM. Too cold for morning walks, and in light of the dogs' quick race to the yard and back I think they were in agreement with the decision. Brrr.

I sorted through years of old seeds last night just looking to see what caught my interest. Set 6 pots to soak so that I can start a few things under lights today. I looked through all of the spring photos in GB's thread again this morning. As enjoyable as the spring preview, are all the different styles of gardens! I love them all :-)

I made chocolate chip cookies last night and had them for breakfast with coffee. The humidifier is running upstairs and if I can get the humidity up to at least 30, I'll have a fire downstairs and dry it all out again. One sign of a relatively mild winter (until the last few weeks) is that my skin doesn't hurt from the dryness. I do use Aveeno bath/shower oil, but even that isn't a complete 'cure' in the really cold years. I looked at the 3 big jars of handcream (Aquaphor, Aveeno and pure vaseline) on the bathroom sink this morning and decided I needed to start using them, or clean out under the sink so that they aren't on constant display.

45 days until Spring!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 9:52AM
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When I got up at 7:30 my weatherstation read -8F. Now we're up to a balmy -1. Yes I do believe MI is still z5. Bella will be here today, which is unusual for a Sunday, but Megan's working today. Brad will continue the work on the shelves and I'm hoping they'll be finished by the end of the day. I'm thinking I may start some baby begonias from leaf cuttings this week to use in the container gardens so maybe I'll get the materials together to do that too. I'm not doing anything in the seed starting department for a couple of months and I need to play in the dirt. I'd like to make a run to Home Goods this afternoon while Bella's napping but I don't know if it's worth braving the cold temps. I'm such a wimp with the cold weather. I do know this day will involve cooking and baking just to keep the house warm. I think I NEED a fireplace! Hurry spring!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 10:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

45 days. That sounds pretty good!

DH plans on going skating the INDOOR arena. I'm like Eden, think I'll stick close to the wood stove with my knitting! The plow passed by early this morning. High of 3.2F is expected today and bitter winds (-23.8F). Who needs it???? Well, Charlotte actually enjoys it and sits in the snow watching for activity- whether from birds, squirrels or whatever.

Trying to plan our trips out west to Alberta. Easy enough to schedule the house move expedition in March, but how to plan on the baby's arrival? Somehow we'll deal with that one...later.

Stay warm folks!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 10:27AM
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It was a bracing 10 degrees when I arose (6AM, just starting to get light above the trees) and it's windy (out of the northwest). The chill Eden is experiencing is what's heading our way for the coming week. Anyway, it's a perfect day to air out the down comforters, pillows, and dry laundry.

Rex has been all about gettin' the job done when he's gone outdoors, too. Later today, when it's warmer we'll get out for some run 'n' fun. Mining operations in the catbox have been in full force for some time now. We're good to go for the coming week with a fresh 30lb. bucket of TidyCats.

We looked at the lot map with the garage placed on it this morning and made a list of the things we would like to have done. Next step is to afix pricetags to them and reassess the plan. We have discussed relocating the driveway entrance and that adds several costs to the overall plan. I will be interested to see the price change in materials compared to the last estimate from the lumberyard.

I have noted a slowdown in the building trades in our area, too. There are a couple of houses under construction in my "neighborhood" and some others I pass routinely, but it's nothing compared to past years. I see a lot of renovation work (new rooves, porches, kitchen rehabs.). I'm not sure what that says about the economy.

I'm enjoying the spring preview, too. Is there anything finer than a well grown specimen in full bloom? Spring, for me, is about seeing the native plants JUST emerging from their winter naps.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 11:05AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I could have the winner here with a -9.5 F first thing this morning. The temp has now surged up to -5.4. Tomorrow is going to be even colder. :) We've had some moderate amounts of snow but plenty of wind, so there's been a lot of drifting. It does look odd to see fields that are barely covered with snow, but piles along the roadsides that are approaching 3 - 4 feet high. Last night I hit an unexpected drift in the road at dusk and did a nice little 270 degree spin in the car. The frightening thing was that the snow created a huge cloud around me as the car was spinning, so I couldn't tell what was happening. The lucky thing is that I was on a back road with no other cars to be seen, so I didn't have to worry about other cars. I came out of it just fine but drove r-e-a-l-l-y slow after that! I was headed by myself to the Groundhog Dinner and at the end of the night convinced another friend that she needed a ride home with me!

All is well here but I've been feeling a little overwhelmed at work lately, which has put me into a sort of gridlock mode. I need to get past that feeling of "I just can't do it" and start plowing through things.

So I think I shall go turn on the oven and start baking for later today. At least the oven will help warm up the house!

Stay warm,


    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 11:24AM
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We had an early dinner of salmon, salad, and a vegetable/pasta medly. The helpmeet and Rex are next door, watching the Superbowl with BIL. He has what we refer to as the "lonely guy" cable package... FULL BOAT and a 60+" high definition TV.

I went to the bookstore this afternoon, returning with a book, and 2 CDs ("Off The Wall", Michael Jackson and a compilation of Maria Muldaur), and a 6 pack of "long necks" for the boys.

I loathe football, so I'm about to retire to comfort of the bedroom (and a thoroughly aired down comforter) with my book.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 7:16PM
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Hello everyone

We are having Spring today here in Northern Calif; It got up to 71 on one of my outdoor weather stations this afternoon. Yet another weekend when indoor chores remain undone. Ive poured myself a glass of cheap white wine and I have the Super Bowl on with no volume-IÂm in three pools so I am keeping track of the scoring. Got some chicken marinating and will BBQ later. The house is opened up,The kitties are all stretched out in the sunshine , the roses are officially pruned , and the Sunday paper remains unread !
When I went to the garden center yesterday I got two more six-packs of pansies- IÂve lost several to crown rot and and the Biggest Pansy Display on the Planet looks like the Most Pathetic Pansy Display on the Planet.

So do any of you grow Helleborus foetidus , and if so do you find that it re-seeds ? I found some seedlings coming up near mine that I donÂt recognize .

Sue, I am sooo envious of your beautiful Hostas in the pics you posted over on the Spring thread. I have discarded all of mine till I figure out a way to keep the snails off of them. They look beautiful in spring but by mid-summer they are just skelatonized completely. I am thinking of growing them in pots placed in strategic locations, because I feel pretty confident I can keep the snails out of the containers.

Cynthia Âchoc chip cookies for breakfast ?? I guess homemade cookies are appropriate any time of day !

Chelone, commodity lumber prices are very low right now, and have been for several months. This should be good for you if the lumber company you are dealing with will hold the prices on your quote. I will be getting a couple of quotes this week for a concrete project i.e. the reduction of the RV parking area . This also involves new fence sections, but fencing prices are pretty stable . If I can get this done this year I will have space for a
Small veggie garden area and also a fairly good sized (30x10) area to plant in the front. Already have the rose list going for that area !

Okay, time to go lite the barbie---nite all !

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 8:03PM
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Oh Kathy I could easily greatly dislike you about now (just kidding). You are a very smart woman to live in such a warm place IMO. It's -8 here right now and will only get colder through the night. And we've been having snow showers on and off all day. Remember when you asked why we were so happy when it was in the 40s and 50s in Dec.? Now you know.

Megan just picked up Bella. I've had her for the last 5 days straight, which is a little too much. I'm tired and grumpy between running after the baby, working on THE ROOM and this miserable weather. I'm going to bed now to dream of living where Kathy does, lol.

Michelle, where are you? We haven't heard from you in a while....

Talk to you all tomorrow, Eden

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 8:35PM
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Overcome with Maria Muldaur and nostalgia I offer the following:

We moved to a teeny-tiny town (where we had a summer cottage and my great-grandparents had carved out a living) when I was 14. I said good-bye to public transportation, "hip" radio stations, and all manner of "amenities". It was like being moved to the moon. Or back in time about 20 years.

I had a horse. And every week/10days we made the trek to the lumber mill to fill grainbags with sawdust for bedding. We usually went on Thursdays because sawdust would be plentiful and easily shovelled. I grew up in a place where temperatures were routinely below zero at night and highs in the mid-teens were commonplace (V., Eden, Michelle, 'bug, and others understand). Anyway...

My father and I were making the trek. The radio was on in the cab of the truck and we were talking. I heard the opening notes of "Midnight At The Oasis" and said, "Dad, I really like this song and want to listen to it.". He clammed up and drove. When the song ended he turned to me and said, "You like that song?", "Yeah, I like it a lot". He smiled at me and said, "You like Big Band music and you have a good ear. That's a nice song.".

Silly, I know... but I wanted to share a moment indelibly graven in my memory.

The moon is rising behind me, clear and sharp. My calender doesn't note the lunar phases, but it looks pretty "round". It's beautiful; clear and sharp the way only a cold front can define it. It was very cold when I brought in tomorrow morning's wood a half an hour ago. All cats in comfortable places, none interested in "out". :)

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 8:41PM
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Eden, I'm afraid I can't take any credit for living in California-born here, raised here...however , I can take credit for living in the Napa Valley as that was a choice ! These warm temps today though could be a problem beleive it or not. This is supposed to last a couple more days, and if things (fruit trees , grape vines) start to break dormancy, and then it freezes, that is not a good thing.

Chelone, what a wonderful compliment your Father paid you. No wonder you remember it so clearly. Music has always been very important to me ; it is one of my greatest regrets that I have never learned to read music , and can't play an instrument. But, DS can play , and can sing , so I can live vicariously through him. I think that memories that have a soundtrack are the strongest of all...

Wooo-hah! I won 40 bucks on one of my Superbowl pools !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 9:47PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The weather station says it is -15.8 right now. Before I let Mystic out, I told him he's never seen it this cold and to hurry up! He came right back to the door without being called once - a very rare event, especially in "poopsicle" season.

OK, Some of you were probably trying to eat breakfast. Sorry about that.

I just made the mistake of checking my work email and found out my assistant will not be in today. She has emailed because she lost her voice and can't call. It will be a long day at work.



    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 6:52AM
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Good Monday Morning!

Won't reiterate temps ... we'll leave it at bone chilling and cold enough that the kids kept their hats and gloves ON yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday was spent luxurating in all of your gardens on the other thread. Rich reminded me that this year I won't be quite as envious. Funny that so many made lists yesterday -- Us, Too!!! When it got to the point of us realizing that we would need a small army to get everything "pre-May 1" done, we put on another potta and just laughed.

Chelone: Congrats!! Sounds like your plans are taking shape. Good advice from Kathy to Reserve Your Lumber Now!! Yesterday was also spent faxing orders to suppliers to beat the February 15 price increases, even for what's needed in July. Kinda like nursery pre-order discounts -- "How Much Will Be Needed and How Can We Intice Folks to Help Out our Buyers???"

The biggest price jolt of yesterday was siding. We're tossing around the idea of ordering ours for our own house that probably won't be installed until mid-Autumn. Finances will finally dictate, but it makes all the sense in the world.

Let us now forget the catalogs. "Well, if we put in some extra stepping stones here, we'll need [fill in the blank]." We have stepping stones going in a lot of places ;-) LOL

Eden: Hope you have some time for You in the next few days. Can imagine that Bella feels a bit caged at this point, just like the rest of us. Given her age, she can get away with it. Lucky Her!

Thoughts of going north to where it's even colder hold no illusions for me. I'll be layered to the max and, of all things, have to meet a developer at an in-progress condo development (a really nice one with LOTS of open space and a landscaping budget of $100K!!!!!!). Hope something, Anything, is enclosed so the paperwork doesn't fly away into the Berkshires.

Kathy: With all due friendship, I can't talk to you right now. LOLOLOL


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 7:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Still blustery and cold here too.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 8:05AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh wow ! Marie, I LOVE your frosty windows pics. The first is a combo of birds, snow flakes and sea The second is ferns.

Chelone, I love your "Midnight on the Oasis" and father memory. Mine is not a happy one. I loved to sing while milking the cows. I would do it while daddy wasn't around. If he came in and heard me he'd say,"What's the matter? You sick?" :-(
Do any of your cats say "Out" ? Our Trubby sounds like "Ouwwwt". Tommy just meows...:-), or says nothing. He prefers silent messages, or jumping on and off of things until you get the message.
Thank goodness, no football fans here! I am with you, Chelone, I loathe it ! I don't even like the news reports on sports !

Kathy, I could be envious of your climate, but I wouldn't want it year around. I like the winter 'break', espacially from the biting insects. I wouldn't even mind the cold, if I had controlled heating during the night.

No shopping for garden supplies from catalogs here. I will stick to the local markets, then bring my plant purchases home and run circles around the place trying to find a spot to put them ! LOL

Eden, I would be at my wit's end if I had a small child here day after day. But then, I am a bit older than you! We sure do get used to our peace and quiet when the house has been empty for some time. Even the TV is more than I can stand a lot of the time.

V, our route to town looks like you discribed after we have had a few inches of snow. The deep drifts along the fence rows last and last. I am so thankful you had no deep ditch or hillside to slide into, and that you came out of that spin unscathed !

I keep thinking about all the "Gobal warming theories. This winter has become one of the consistantly coldest that we have had in several years. It is lasting longer than most all of the records that I kept over the past 28 years. I cannot help but wonder who kept records of the warming following the "Ice Age" ? If the contnent wasn't warming, we would still have glaciers well down into the States! No wonder our youth are so 'wound up', with all the hogwash blasted at them from the News media ! All "Gloom and Doom" ! Ninety percent of it is nothing more than theories, and will eventually be replaced by new theories...just as it has been since mankind started noticing what was going on around him ! Sorry, this is definitely one of my pet peeves !
An awful lot of disasterous things are happening all over the globe, but there is a totally different reason for it, than what the 'scientists' say, and it was prophesied 2000 years ago, and even much farther back than that !

Our lows have remained just above 10F for the past 3 mornings. Yesterday the sun was warm enough to clear the snow off where it was unhindered by shade, but the shaded areas are still covered.Even the hoods of the 2 vehicles that are shaded are still snow-covered. Our hill is a skating rink...if you are into skating down hill ! LOL. It would be too treacherous to sled !

I hope the missing posters are okay. Woody ? Deanne ? Norma ? and many others. ( Some posted on the last thread, but I haven't reviewed it. )


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:16AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Very nasty cold here the past few days! If the forecast is right, it should let up on Thursday. Lows have been around -15C (4.5F) but wind chills are in the range of -20 -25C (-4 -13F) Misty has been doing her business very quickly out there these days! I have been deeply lethargic; hibernation definitely seems an appropriate way to spend the winter. Im not optimistic that either the wisteria or the Clematis montana is going to flower this spring! Weve only got an inch or so of snow cover so theres virtually no protection for any of the plants in the garden. After the unusually mild early winter temperatures, the plants probably werent fully dormant when this cold spell struck. Im hoping the shed siding arrives soon but in these temperatures, it wouldnt get put up way too cold to work out there!

Last week I bought the wood to make a cedar coffee table to match the planter bench we made last winter. The green painted coffee table I used last summer looks OK when the bench has the cushions on it but, most of the time, the cushions arent out. Im using the green one as a template to make the cedar one. I need to get someone with a table saw to cut two pieces of the wood into narrower strips for me. The neighbour across the street is usually willing to do that sort of thing for me but Ill wait until it warms up to ask him the saw is in the garage and its too cold to expect him to do it now. If the shed guy shows up with the siding before I have chance to ask the neighbour, Ill get the shed guy to cut the wood for me.

Im having trouble getting motivated to plan this years garden. I think its partly because of the current weather and partly because I got a bit gardened out last year with the garden tour and the prep. for it. The garden will be a bit of a let-down this year I think - last year everything did so well but, given this weather, Im expecting a fair bit of damage to start the spring! I did start my first batch of seeds delphiniums last week though; there are 5 amaryllis getting ready to bloom on the living room windowsill; and there are 5 pots of elephant ears getting a start on windowsills. I want to have two big pots of EEs on the patio this year because we really liked the big pot of them we had out there last summer.

I think this weather calls for some comfort food for supper tonight so Im off to make some chicken pot pie

Hi Marian!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 11:35AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Woody ! We had comfort food for dinner today. I called it my February Thanksgiving Dinner. I roasted a turkey yesterday and cooked more goodies to go with it for this noon. I 'love' turkey gravy on my mashed potatoes, stuffing, and turkey. YUM ! I failed to get cranberry sauce.( We both like it with turkey.) I haven't baked a pumpkin pie, but may before the day is over. :-)
I understand the lethargia. You may be like me ... the winter weather agravates your condition. I may have a good day, and think all is well, then all the crud sets in again and zaps my spirit.
The good news is that the weatherman has completely revized the long range forecast, and taken out almost all the teen lows! Tomorrow is even predicted to get up to 50F ! ( I'll believe that when I see it.)


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 1:26PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Marian the xfather in my life was of the same cloth. At least you don't avoid real people, like I do, so I'm assuming every word out of your father's mouth wasn't negative. I enjoy singing too, but don't know how well or badly I do as I've never sung around others. I'd love to play an instrument, like guitar or piano, too. I sometimes wonder if it's too late to take singing and piano lessons. If I had the money, and or Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, I'd do it. It's too bad people don't know that it's okay to sing badly, if the singing brings joy and is fun to the person.

It was my sister Dorthe's 47th birthday on Groundhog Day. I love that her birthday falls on a special day. I've never forgotten it, knock on wood. I have forgotten other family member's birthdays.

Yeona, looking forward to spring, and wishing the SADness were over with!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 3:25PM
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Hi everyone

Cold and snowy here too - the children will be wearing their PJs inside out and back to front tonight hoping for a snow day tomorrow. I agree - chicken pot pie sounds perfect Woody!

Today I had a looooong meeting from 8AM - 3PM, the highlight of which were the soups brought in for lunch. I had the most delicious spicey cabbage soup - a yummy break in a long day adn hot enough to clear the sinus's.

Yesterday, despite the cold, we headed for the ski slopes. It was stunningly beautiful in the morning with clear blue skies and fresh white snow everywhere. It was mighty cold however, 2F at the top of the mountain without adding in any of the wind chill. Bundled in layers with hand and toe warmers, Annie and David still had a great time skiing. The combination of cold and being Super Bowl Sunday left the slopes nicely empty with no wait at all for the lifts. There were three other families we knew there so I had plenty of people to chat with in the lodge and lots of hot cocoa to drink.

Saturday was spent at the "show off" day for Odyssey of the mind. All the teams had a chance to run through their performance and try a "spontaneous" problem under competition conditions. David's team did a nice job, though keeping track of them and getting to where we needed to be with over 300 kids in the building was rather like herding cats. I was certainly ready for a glass of wine when I got home that night!

Marie - I love your frosty window photos so beautifully captured.

V - "Poopsicles" are too funny!

Chelone and Marian - we sing out loud a lot in our house: in the shower, in the car, on our own or sometimes together! You should come join us.

Yeona - hope your sister enjoyed her birthday.

Eden - rest up after your time with Bella!

Martie - stay warm and Kathy - enjoy your 71F!

Cynthia - I love Blue Horizon Ageratum too, though I've become very fond of "Red Sea" too. The only tall ageratum I don't care for is the white one which turned brown as the blooms faded.

Sue - its hard to imagine improving your lovely garden;0)

Is Deanne still in the bird blind?

Time to check on homework progress and think about supper.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 4:48PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Yeona! Actually, I think my dad was just meaning to be funny, but I was a teenager, and didn't take it that way. He was a nice father, although so much older than mama that he was more like a grandfather.
I walked up to view the hill, and saw that the road is clear enough for us to go in tomorrow for groceries and hair cuts.
While out I checked the farm pond :

I don't know what made the tracks. I don't think the ice is/was thick enough to hold up a deer. I always worry about our cats when there is ice on the pond. We lost one of my favorites that way.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 7:07PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Well, at least we're all in good company with what seems like an endlessly cold week ahead. It's not horrible here-14 F as I speak and high in the low 20s for the next 5 days, but this kind of weather usually strikes in mid January. Let's have an IU3.5 at Kathy's this week.

This afternoon I went to the dentist for my first temporary crown. Not so bad as dental procedures go. The residual effects of novacaine are the worst part. It's pretty much wearing off now but you should have seen me try to take my first sip of bottled water just The trick will be getting through dinner without taking a chunk out of the inside of my mouth. Geez, I feel like I'm falling apart lately. Friday it's back to the interventional radiologist for what I hope will be a pre procedure consult. Time to zap the fibroids.

Mary, we used to routinely ski on cold winter days. The only time I ever had a problem was when it was overcast and/or exceptionally windy. It's good to get out and get fresh air all year round, IMO. Cabin fever got the best of me and I did end up going for my usual walk yesterday. It wasn't that bad. I dressed for it, overdressed actually and had to unzip a few times between wind gusts.

Woody, I got gardened out the year IU2 was here. After that weekend I think all I did was water pots for the rest of the season. As soon as you see signs of spring you'll get back into the swing again.

Hi to Yeona and Marian out of lurkdom.

Time to eat!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 8:12PM
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Halloo everyone, Monday again.
I was just not on my game today, I think the nice weather was making me feel uninclined to spend the day at a desk looking at a computer screen and putting out fires.
OK well maybe it was a bit insensitive of me to mention out temps here over the weekend ,lol ! We are however expecting rain to come in Wednesday (finally) .

Marian, loved your interpretaion of 'bugs frosty windows. They are so pretty-that is something I will never see here. That turkey dinner is the ultimate comfort food isn't it ? I could eat stuffing all day !

Martie, you are so right- it is difficult for some sales staffs to feel comfortable forcasting useage - they would rather you buy a whole bunch of everything just in case !

Woody, I should try growing delphiniums from seed, since that snails eat half of what I plant! Do they have to be cold stratified ?

Speaking of eating, I'm going to whip up some dinner...
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:29PM
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Good pre-sunrise morning. It's expected to be a balmy 10deg today!! Bring on the swimsuits!!

Quick fly by to thank Marie for those frosty pics. I grew up in a house built in the early 1700's and it brought back the memory of putting socks on the heat vents before getting out of bed.

Coyotes are all over the place this winter. No doubt in search of the rabbits that have set up a city in the woods. Tracks all over and warnings for neighbors to keep their usually safe pets inside. They are beautiful animals, though.

Off to the rain locker. Kyle has started an AOL IM account for me and the name he gave me is "CarIsMyOffice." Don't look for me there as it bogs my 'puter down, but i thought it was kinda funny.

To all skiers -- Don't quite "get" the thrill, but enjoy it anyway!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 6:15AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Martie you ought to move south. The high here today is supposed to be 22 F.

Happy Tuesday!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 7:54AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Not as cold this AM as they were predicting so maybe this cold snap will moderate? I hope. Yesterday AM was 4F when we got up at 6:00 and today is 14 so we are having a heat wave. The very worst thing about this cold after that very warm January is half of my hellebores were beginning to bloom and now the flowers are all blackened and frozen. What a bummer! Im still dealing with insects on the indoor plants and Im about ready to pitch the whole lot of them in the compost bin. Im sick of dealing with it. Where on earth they came from is beyond me. I was meticulous bringing things in, stripped all leaves and sprayed. I didnt have any insects until January so where on earth did they come from? I repotted everything as well to make sure I didnt bring in any bugs in the soil. Im completely baffled by it.

Things here are a bit tense as we are dealing with a couple hideous situations, one regarding family and one regarding a neighbor and between the two Im feeling like Im going to have a melt down. Hasnt happened yet so I imagine Ill survive.

Mary, thanks for asking, and yes Im still spending time in my blind. I was some surprised the other day to realize that Ive taken more than 15,000 photographs since I got the new camera last fall!!!!!Incredible(NO I didn't keep them all, most of them got deleted) The good news is that Im really feeling comfortable with the camera now I guess its time to sell the Olympus E20N I used prior to this. Its still a fantastic camera at 5mpx, the sensors are pretty large and the images are almost as good as the new Canon 10mpx. If I could have used interchangeable lenses with it Id probably not have upgraded the camera but the DSLR is the way to go for me now. Cant beat the versatility of being able to chose a lens.

Doug and I went down to Plum Island last weekend hoping to see one of the Snow Owls that are wintering over there but no such luck, we did see quite a few Northern Harriers though and that was quite a treat. All the fresh water ponds and some of the tidal areas were frozen over so there were no shore birds to enjoy. We are still getting a wonderful assortment of birds here in the feeders and see Hairy, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers every day as well as Cardinals, Blue Jays (of course) Juncos, Song Sparrows, American Tree Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows (both tan crowned and white crowned morphs) and we also have a new sparrow in there this year, a lovely Field Sparrow, Carolina Wren, Goldfinches and House Finches, Mourning Doves, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice and unfortunately we now have a flock of European Starlings and House Sparrows. Occasionally a Coopers Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk will make an appearance so its very birdy here and Im enjoying my time with the birds. Here is a pic of one of the Harriers from Plum Island on Sunday, not the best photograph but I was shooting this from a moving car. LOL

Also thought youd enjoy this funny pic from the other day. I was taking a photo of these Mourning Doves and all of a sudden they both snapped their heads up. They were only like that for a second and I was fortunate to catch this. I ROTFLOL when I opened up the photo file.

OK I guess Ive talked myself out for now. Have a great day everyone,


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 7:56AM
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Good morning

Woo Hoo - Snow day today!! Actually its about 5F with little recent snow fall but we were told the environmentally friendly fuel mix the busses use couldn't perform at these low temps and the busses were stalling. Sue can verify if thats true, but either way I'm not complaining. I'm hoping to clean the inside of the fridge, run laundry, empty the bathroom cupboards and a few other mundane tasks. As a reward if I get those done I'm looking forward to starting a few seeds. Annie and David were on the phone last night as soon as the announcemnet was made rounding up their play dates for the day so we'll have a house full as usual. Fortunately DH doesn't have any conference calls till 6 PM (he conferences on speaker phone or video conferences so we need to keep the volume down at those times.)

Deanne - what a treat to see some more birds - the Mourning Doves are the neatest thing and the Harrier magnificent. Wow, 15000 photos - you've certainly been busy. Can you imagine how much that would have cost in the days of developing film? Hope the unpleasant situations with neighbors and family soon resolve, likewise the buggy problems on the plants. Spring will soon be here!

Martie - I'm not a thrill seeker either when it comes to skiing - I do't know where the kids get it from. Love your IM account! Will you get a Myspace page too LOL!

Kathy - talk all about the temperatures you like, we can enjoy them vicariously!!

Off to start on my tasks, coffee in hand. I like this! Happy Tuesday to all


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 9:54AM
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Yahooo - anyone out there? The one day I've had in weeks with time to Idyll and there is nobody to talk to (unless they are keeping their heads down to avoid me LOL)

We've just returned from a rather brisk walk in the woods. The 10 year old boys are having wild fun throwing snowballs at the 13 year old girls in the hot tub.

back to my chores


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 2:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Getting ready for a trip to Toronto tomorrow. A bunch of old friends will gather for tea with me which will be so nice. Sunny and cold here Mary and I am just as glad to not be the object of the ten year old boys' attention!

Ordered a few roses yesterday, took more photos of the icy windows, knit a bit, enjoyed Deanne's birds, did laundry,...nothing amazing as you can see, but it is about survival these frigid days!

And Yeona, SING! Anywhere!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 3:26PM
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Before I forget:

Hi Yeona! wondered what rock you were hunkered under. Nice to see you appear. :)

Deanne, good that you've come in from the blind (FINALLY). Your shots are wonderful. I showed them to the helpmeet and we both agreed that having had a bird for so many years we are more familiar with their shape, structure, and mannerisms than most people are. I miss Larry. :(

'bug, the shots of the frost on the windows rate as some of the best photography I've seen in a long time. There is something about the ordinary, everyday things that can be amazing when time is made to really "see it". I like Marian's interpretations, too!

Like Kathy, I regret the lack of musical education, too. I know it's never too late, but as the years roll by and responsibilities are racked up musical education becomes less likely to occur... unless, of course, you're Norma! (Where is she?). There was a lot of concern about the apple trees breaking dormancy too early too, in December. I'm concerned that I didn't insulate the Hydrangeas enough, but it went from warm to cold so fast.

My father and I shared a love of music, in spite of the fact that neither of us could read a note or play a tune on anything. He was thrilled when the helpmeet and I began ballroom dancing; it was only after his death I learned he was a marvelous dancer. He brooked no adolescent BS, but he had a wonderful sense of humor (very droll) and was infinitely practical about selecting the hill on which he was "willing to die"; "backtalk" from his kids was shrugged off unless it was obscenity laced. He was always big on "roadtrips" to museums, fairs, anything "educational", and took me to many fascinating places (did you know that one of the finest collections of armor resides in Worcester, MA? or how clapboards are made?). I have a very fond memory of going in to work with him on a Saturday morning when I was about 10. I was told to wear a pretty dress and my "party shoes". When he was finished at the office we went to Ritz Carleton for brunch. I'd never encountered a doorman before and Dad was quick to compliment me for smiling and saying, "thank you" to him. He was big on teaching HOW to do things rather saying, "DON'T!". I can't believe he's been dead for nearly 13 years.

Marian, none of our cats stay out at night, at least not with our blessing! We like knowing they're in and contained. For cats allowed outdoors it reduces the associated risks for predatory attacks. It can be a struggle to round 'em up on warm evenings, but shutting off the food by noontime tends to make them more receptive to "kitty-kitty". On the rare occasions when they don't "fall for it" we're rewarded with several dead rodents by sunrise; small consolation for fitful nights with little sleep. ;)

It's COLD here, but I'm fine with it. Sure, time outdoors with Rex is limited, but he hasn't exactly cast many "long looks" my way when I've called him to me and headed for the door. I laughed at poopsicles, V.. But my sophomoric sense of humor renders me "borderline" for proper occasions... ;) To my mind, "bathroom humor" is funny pretty nearly any time. (pack up the fart machine, Sue, I'll bring my straw).

Just heard the 3/4 moon is rising! It's been gorgeous the past few nights, but I've not been able to see if it was "full" through the tree boughs. And watching the fishing boats leave port, I'm mightly glad I'm not on one of them.

Boring work at work... one cushion after another, all in uninspiring colors. My boss is still crabby; acts as if she's perpetually pissed off at me (maybe she IS). If she is, I wish she'd just say so, who has time for this petty garbage? Or maybe I'm just feeling little bit guilty and hypersensitive. Whatever, I'm into bobbing along like a cork on the surf, right now.

Hi to Woody and Mary and anyone else I overlooked... and the "long lost".

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 6:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, would you believe I'm getting audited for Mom's 2003 NYS tax return? Now? ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Thanks for the kind words on the frost pics.

Later 'gators,

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 7:42PM
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15,000 pictures and Deanne shares two with us? They are terrific and different, but a few a day (every day) would really be a kindness.

GB, I love your frost pics too. Something odd about Maryland is that I never have to scrape the car windshield, and I never have frost on the windows in the house.

It is another devil of a week here. Work and cold, the only bright spot are the seeds I started Sunday. I look at them daily even though nothing is happening. But in a week something will be visible to me. As nearsighted as I am, I can spot the little bit of green or the point of a radicle with ease :-) Doggie walks remain short, it just hurts to be outside for long. I'm not speaking to that California girl over there. :)

Mary, I'm dieing to talk seeds!!! What are you starting this year? GB, are you taking a year off from seeds and focusing on grandkids and knitting instead? I started Asphodeline this week-end and thought of you.

I think I'll start the Erodium pelargoniflorum (sp) tonight. That's a slow grower, and maybe I'll poke through for more things to start this early. Actually, it's good it's so cold otherwise I'd be mourning lost outdoor time while working too late. Katie trotted up to my desk at 7PM and roo'd at me. That's a happy noise, and it cracked me up, because it usually happens only when we are headed for walkies or there's a meal being prepared. It was a hint! I can generally break before the sun goes down to walk them and then back to finish work.

Days are getting longer! 43 days until spring, 33 days until DST.

Hi to all! Cynthia

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 8:35PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Deanne, I love the bird pics. I think the hawk is excellent ! And the doves are really really neat !
There are several that visit the feed I throw out in our yard. I have pretty much the same species of birds that you named, but (thankfully) no starlings or house sparrows.
There are lots of starlings in more open areas nearby. Nasty birds !

Marie...the frost pics are outstanding. Since we usually put plastic on the outside of many of our windows, we seldom see frost like that, but I well remember it from my youth. I would invision all sorts of scenes in it. Your first one in this series reminds me of my deceased hemlock's limbs. The second is more ferns, with a pebble base. I haven't quite deciphered the third...:-) , but it is lovely.
I am shocked by the tax auditing! So sorry!

Chelone, it does cause me some concern when our house cats are out at night, but it concerned me when my teen-age son was out also. If I'd had daughter, it would have even worried me more! Our Callie-cat has never been an indoor cat and she will be 16 in April. Nolon's aunt had one live to be 22, and it was always put out at night.

Nolon and I took our hair-cutting trip this afternoon. We both look better. :-)

Kathy, we may have competed with you temperature-wise today. It got well into the 60s! Tomorrow is to be 30 degrees colder! Yargh !


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 9:28PM
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Tuesday and the clouds are rolling inI didnt get home from work till nearly 6:30 today ..6.30 am to 6:30 pm makes a nice round twelve hours , most of it spent in the conference room in meetings. We did have a vendor take a group of us out to lunch today so that a a nice respite. My boss asked me if I wanted to go to a trade show in Ft Lauderdale next month and I said no ! If I lived at bugs house I would have been all over it , believe me. Just too many projects on the agenda right now though

Deanne, nice to see you and your wonderful bird photos ! Sorry to hear that you are going over some rough roads right now. Heres hoping that all is resolved for you soon. I have to admit that I love watching those d**nm flocks of starlings even though they are unwelcome in many ways.

Martie---skiing ! I grew up in LA and skiing was something you did on water ..Our recreation was going to the beach and surfing or body surfing. When I moved to Northern Calif 20 years ago I was a bit of a fish out of water because people up here are really into skiing and snowboarding (we are only a three hour drive from Lake Tahoe) I just couldnt relate to a sport that required lots of expensive equipment and special clothes.! Furthermore, one does not swim in the ocean up here-the water is too cold , the seas are too rough and the shore is too rocky. Love to watch Olympic Skiing though . I admire those who can do it.

Chelone, my next door neighbor is a retired school teacher, in her mid-sixties I would guess and decided to take piano lessons. She knew nothing at all and just wants to be able to play a little for her own enjoyment.

bug, you better tell us which roses you ordered..! My last backorder was sitting on my front porch when I got home today ("Happy Child" , David Austin yellow) which I will plant this weekend. I have two more spots open so I will leave them for an impulse buy . If I am able to get my RV parking space reduction project done this year I think I will have space for about 8 more roses.

Marian, my cats would far prefer to be in at night, but in the summer a different story ! DS works nights so he stays up extremely late and in summer the house is opened up most of the night since he is up and about cooking his dinner or doing laundry or playing one of his musical instruments and the kitties come and go as they wish.
I am sure that both you and Nolon are ravishingly attractive after your haircuts !
Must be hard to figure out what to wear every day with those dramatic temp swings !

Think Ill go read the paper---later everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 11:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning...before my R&R trip, a fly by posting.

Roses that I ordered: Rose Marie (a sport of Heritage), Celsiana, and some musks which are risky here I know, but I ordered them anyway. Let's see, Penelope, Lavender Lassie, and ???

Cynthia, I'm sure I'll start seeds later on but since I'll be away at the end of March and early April, there's no point beginning things now. It's an unusual year for me, so perhaps I'll do annuals like sunflowers for near the barn.

Wind chill this morning is minus 15F. Off for some intimate time with the treadmill... ;-)

Bye for a couple of days, keep the home fires burning!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 7:06AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

12 degrees out this AM. Not as cold as it is out Marys way. Doug took the club airplane out to Rochester yesterday and said its much colder there than here. He had to call the people at the general aviation terminal there and ask if they had a tie-down with an electrical outlet. Have to keep the engine block heated or some such or the thing wont start in this weather. Hell be coming home Thursday night.

Cynthia, so nice to see you regularly again. So youve started a bunch of seeds? Neat. Have you ever had a problem with fungus gnats? Or aphids? (I know the rest of you are tired of hearing about my bug issues but I havent bothered Cynthia with it yet so deal) Anyway, neat that youre starting your seeds. OH yes, I really noticed the longer days yesterday when I realized that it was 5:00 and still light out. I absolutely cant wait for spring!!! ~ So happy you liked the birdie pics. Im thinking of seeing if I can find a publisher. Id like to do a year in the garden with the birds. Make it a photo journal of the gardening year with garden as well as the garden bird photos.

Marian, thanks! Glad to hear you dont get any Starlings. They really are aggressive birds and chase out my sweet sparrows. It really is too bad people imported them here. Incredible that their numbers have gotten this out of hand in a little over a hundred years.

Marie, love, love, love the frost in the window photographs. Reminds me of the old house where I grew up. Lovely! ~ Have a great trip!
So Chelone, you mentioned that you were going to bring a straw if Sue brought the fart machine??? Does that mean you are going to be able to come to our Thumb Our Noses at Winter party? First Saturday in March..

Kathy, it has been a very long time since I put in a 12 hour work day at the office! You have more stamina than I. I can work 14 hours or so out in the gardens in the summer though! LOL ~~ I really envy your climate for growing roses. One of the things I love about CA is that there are fabulous rose bushes around every corner. And the size of the trunks on the hybrid tea roses is amazing.

This sweet little American Tree Sparrow has been hanging about the feeders all winter and lately there are seven in the flock. At first there was only one. He must have spread the work that the eatings good here. This is one of my many perches Ive set up within good photo range of the blind. In the afternoons on clear days it gives me this lovely blue background.

And this Chickadee stopped by on that perch yesterday. Im thinking of printing these two and framing as they make a nice pair.

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 7:32AM
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Good morning

Wow, I've been able to post two days in a row, I'm on roll. Just hope I don't shut down the Idylls again.

Cynthia - after a few years of growing unusual and sometimes hard to germinate perennials I'm going back to basics and starting colorful annuals I know will perform well. My perennials are filling in nicely so I'm color coordinating favorites for the gaps this year.

In the purple/magenta theme I'll be starting Heliotrope, Ageratum Red Seas, Salvia Splendens Plum, Nicotiana Deep Purple and frilly purple ornamental kale.

For the blues; Salvia Patens, Salvia Farinacea and Lisianthus Blue Rim.

For the bright colors around the pool; Tithonia, nasturtian Carribean Cocktail and Zinnia Zowie yellow - yep it could be garish ;0)

For texture: Stipa Pony Tails, for early: color pansy psychadelic blue butterfly, for fragrance: my usual sweet peas and to climb; purple hyacinth bean and heavenly blue.

I'm sure some perennials will work their way in too but those are the short list.

I also want to build some of the self watering containers to try with veggies (good instructions on the container forum). My tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers were a total bust last year so I'm trying something new. However, I do plan to build wooden sides to make the containers more attractive - I can't see sipping wine on the patio staring at a grouping of rubbermaid totes LOL!

Marie - enjoy your trip!

Hi to everyone else - I was wondering where Michelle was?

The weather has warmed so I'm heading off for work. Have a good Wednesday


    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 7:40AM
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Deanne - Doug must have picked the coldest day in the year to fly in brrrr. It is warming though. I just love the birds, especially the way the American Sparrow is cocking his head. The blue background is perfect. They would make a wonderful book and one I certainly would buy! I'm afraid I couldn't make it this year to your "Thumb your Nose" party as it is the weekend before Odyssey of the Mind and I'm sure we will be in the midst of practices. It sure sounds fun and a perfect way to see off winter.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 7:48AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Fart machine? Did somebody say fart machine? Tomorrow is the boss's BD and we were just talking about resurrecting it. One of the partners in our outside accounting firm got such a kick out of that the year I used it during physical inventory that he went out and bought one. Monique has the best one-better and more sound effects and an expanded range on the remote. lol

Deanne, love the bird shots. Keep 'em coming!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 8:03AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

The fart machine has a remote?!!! I'm there!!!!!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 10:09AM
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Happy morning to all! At home today trying to get my brother's records in order and call everyone involved about his review next week. Do we think he's ready to leave the hospital???? Only if you give him your cell phone number, Honorable Judge. LOL

Well, Sue, you're right. It was warmer on the MA/VT border than at our house yesterday. High here was 17deg. In Greenfield, MA it was 22deg. The wind whipping around really hurt and I went and bought a pair of slacks mid-day as my thick wool skirt with boots wasn't doing the trick. And we talk about the kids?? LOL

Chelone: I emphathize with you about the Hibiscus. They have some leaf mold protecting the crowns and about 1/2way up, but I'm concerned about the tops. We'll see ...

Seeds Awaiting Soil So Far: Mixed Coleus, Campanula carpatica 'White Chips', three kinds of Viola, Hellebores (yes!! found seeds yesterday and a lady at the place said "hope you're patient" -- it's the old challenge thing), Mixed Lupine, Mixed Passiflora, Dianthus 'Ichnery' and some interesting looking lettuce. Alpine Strawberries, a few Shasta Daisies, Mullein (it's becoming a fav in any color), English Lavender and, of course, Zinnias. More to come!

Going to luxuriate in a hot bath and be grateful there are no ten year olds in the house with snowballs in tow.

Best!! - Martie

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 11:12AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Ive cut back my seed starting plans substantially this year. The delphiniums are the only perennials Im starting. I start some each year because the seedling bloom in late summer while the existing plants bloom in early summer as long as there are always seedling in the garden, I get two periods of bloom! Also, since delphiniums are reputed to be short lived, if any of the older ones die, its not so much of a problem because there are new ones coming along to replace them. And one can never have too many delphiniums! :- ) I always grow the Magic Fountains, usually the mid to dark blues. This year Im also trying some called Clear Springs which the catalog said were also supposed to be sturdy. Kathy yes, the seeds need cold treatment. The package says to put them in the freezer for 24 hours. I never do that as a freezers cold is dry and a uniform temperature, which is not natural. Instead, I put the packages in the crisper as soon as I get them in late fall and then a day or two before Im going to plant them, I put them out on the back porch, which exposes them to moist, fluctuating, freezing temperatures. I never have any problem with germination.

Other than the Delphiniums, the only other seeds Ill be starting indoors are a few annuals heliotrope, Tidal Wave Silver and Blue Wave petunias. I use those in pots by the front steps. The Blue Wave petunias have a nice, spicy fragrance and the heliotrope is also there for fragrance. The Tidal Wave Silver just produces lots of flowers!

I will start a few tomato plants indoors too as I couldnt find Sweet Million cherry tomatoes in the garden centers last year for some reason only the Sweet 100 and they seem to be more disease-prone for me.

The rest of my seed plans are veggies I grow in pots on the driveway. I grow 5 or 6 different types of peas I chose varieties that mature a few days apart so we get a long harvest season. I also grow pole beans, baby carrots and lettuce and will try some cucumbers this year too.

For the long-term care facility Ive got some more of the Cutie Pops ornamental popcorn, and some cosmos to scatter in the garden beds.

Im running out of space in the garden so wont be buying as much as I usually do I think although I have three areas that will need new plantings. We had to clear out around the shed to build the new one, so I need to replant there. We had to empty the compost heap behind the shed to make room as well. The compost largely got dumped on top of the wet corner bed that area was in need of a re-think so I wasnt worried if I smothered a few things! And the third area is a small bed I want to create on the north corner of the lawn. It needs something there to hold your eyes on our property instead of seeing the long view up the street (Im not explaining that well) Plus, adding a bed there will complete the process of turning the grass on what used to be the front lawn into just a grassy path winding through the flower beds! But it will be a tricky bed to make as the sump pump drains into the ditch there so I need to be careful not to disrupt that

Im still in the winter doldrums here and having trouble getting focused enough to start coming up with a plant shopping list for the spring spring still seems too far away

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 12:44PM
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The big pot holds roses from your seeds. This was taken in December, thus the holiday light cord :-) They're holding on well, even through this cold, and I think of you every time I see them.

Deanne: Do you have a coffee pot in your blind, yet? This made me think of you:

Where the pot of Impomea and Petunia was last year, is where your daylilies are going to be blooming this year. They are a bit frightened of the cold, but are tough like you and will survive :-)

Have spent the best day in a long time. Went through Territorial Seeds, Select Seeds, Pinetree Seads, Seeds of Change. Guess What???? Select Seeds is in Union, CT just about a great 1/2hour drive from me. Yes, I can go pick up my stuff instead of having it shipped. Sue!! Monique!! Deanne!! Wendy!! Anyone Else!! What to go on a field trip?

Ei: Sorry, but I miss your !!!!!! so had to provide a fix.

Marian: What's new about Idaho?

Mary: How many kids did you end up with for dinner?

Do I remember seeing a pic of Rose 'Queen of Sweden' lately? She looks like a Wow and I can't go backward into the thread :-(

Many raised beds has now turned into the biggest, baddest raised bed ever. Sited wide to the sun, it will be 4' x 16' x 1' with 10 inches of good topsoil and our own compost. Looking for any leads on good vegetable supports (cukes, tomatoes, melon and patty-pan squash) that are made of wood.

Rich is drumming so here I am. Good to have all of you to visit today!

Yeona, this one's for you (from last summer):

Hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 5:27PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Martie, you are going to think I am a complete nut, but I am in the process of looking up, and bookmarking, every plant indigenous or introduced into the Idaho wilds. ( I use the USDA site to find them. ) Then I look up more info, and bookmark it ! I rename them to keep them organized. I wish I had had more interest in such things while living there. I know much more about the plants in this area, than I ever knew there.
I already have the fauna bookmarked, but plan on doing more research on them when/if I finish this project !
What I am doing is of no earthly worth, but it sure helps pass the time, and I have more 'time' than anything else !

Woody, I hope you are okay other than the doldrums. I had a bad forenoon, but am better this PM. The bright sunshine certainly helps. :-)
Also, the forecast keeps getting updated to warmer temps.
Generally the elm and red maples start blooming this month. In another month we are usually surrounded with blooms and new leaves ! I hope my ambition 'blooms' also !
I sure haven't had any desire to do any type of gardening so far. I do manage to keep the indoor plants watered and groomed.

I probably shouldn't comment on the 'fart machines'. Suffice it to say, you don't want me at one of those get-togethers. I find no pleasure in other people's embarrassment, including my own.

Deanne, my "MY Pictures" folder is overflowing with your bird pics !
I have added some of Marie's frosty window pics, too.
They all come on my screen as a screen saver.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 6:21PM
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Norma, Yeona, Babs., Taryn, Michelle... wonderin' about you. Others more recently absent are not yet causing concern. Yet.

Deanne, my favorite is the Chickadee... I love the perspective and the way the shot clearly shows the overlapping of the feathers, punctuating the different tasks the feathers are required to perform to create the whole. Beautiful! Dunno about the "pahty". A definite maybe.

I am eager to see Eden's newly painted room. But now feel sort of guilty about nagging as she's probably nursing a Bella hang-over. ;) I sympathize with feeling "overworked".

I was thinking about V.'s spin on the highway the other day. I was driving down the road, passing the golf course and there were little drifts across the road. I was doing the speed limit, but could still feel the rear end of the car sort of sashay toward the side of the road. Skids are pretty scarey.

There was a message form my brother this afternoon. I returned the call and left a message. I have a suspicion it's about LTC for Mum. I'll keep you posted. Nope, a few more legal questions about the home insurance policy and the establishment of an account to maintain the property. My sympathies to 'bug with respect to an audit.

I haven't really given the gardens a thought so far. If we go ahead with the garage, there will be a good deal of transplanting, enriched soil relocation for future use, and far more mundane things to address. Rock on, kiddy-os... I'll enjoy from afar.

We've settled in to the cold seige. To be honest I'm used to it, already. The gutter, sagging under the weight of ice, however is not making me happy. But if it comes crashing down... so be it. We'll deal with it. Interesting that you don't have to scrape the windshield, Cynthia. I wonder why? surely the humidity is adequate to form frost... maybe it doesn't get QUITE cold enough? hmmm...

Tomorrow is my "Friday". I had my first mammogram yesterday, and have an appointment with the optometrist on Friday morning. I'm checking things off the list left and right!

Later, 'gators.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 6:48PM
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Hehehe... faHt machines... :)

My father would be older than you, Marian, if he still lived. I cannot deny my genetics; I'm the "spittin' image" physically of Mum in her youth (save my father's nose). I have the old man's sense of humor; something Mum could never quite stamp out or accept. ;) My old man would have HOWLED at a fart machine and the remote control, lol. The helpmeet and I were "living in sin" in Va. when Mum and Dad came to visit. We had a great time. And enjoyed a sultry evening on the patio with Gin and Tonics. Dad turned to the helpmeet and said, "Pull my thumb". I was stunned that he FELL FOR IT, but he did. Dad ripped off a truly noteworthy fart, the helpmeet was dumbfounded for a moment. Then nodded approvingly and said, "Good one, John!". We had a fart machine in the shop for some time, too. It provided many good laughs. The funniest episodes were when it would "go off on its own", triggered by a remote control garage door opener next door. There is a warning on the back of the thing about that very liklihood.

Get this: when I spoke with my brother about Mum I mentioned I was going to go down for a "visit". He told me not to "torture" myself, since she wouldn't know who I was! (Like, "DUH"!). I replied, "That's not news, I've known it for over a year now and I'm OK with it. All that matters is that I'm kind to her, and we have a few laughs". Interesting that he's had her for a month and he still can't quite fathom that only the "here and now" matter to her... all the rest is lost. I actually felt sort of sorry for him... he's still struggling with the very thing I accepted over a year ago.

I know Babs. has some very important things to share with respect to this topic. And I know how very painful and private much of it can be. But, Babs., if you ever chose to share it with others, I would be a sympathetic and interested "ear". And it may well benefit many lurkers struggling with the same tough burden.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 8:12PM
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A quick one from me today, it's raining so I think I'm going to watch a movie while doing neglected laundry from the weekend...
Marian ! I would gently dissagree that your Idaho plant research is of no earthly use ! So important I think to excercise your mind, I don't beleive that one can ever have too much enriches your life in so may ways.
Woody, thanks for the Delph info..though I can't replicate the freezing back porch, I think I will give it a try. I am right with you-you can't have too many Delphiniums, especially if you have to grow some for the snails !

Deanne, LOL, I prefer 14 hours in the garden too! I'm so used to 10 hour days after doing it for so many years that it feels odd to leave work after 8hrs. I try to take a half day off once in a while to make up for it.

Mary , Salvia patens is borderline perennial here-it dies back to nothing every winter , but comes back. I am thinking this winter may have done it in though, we'll see.

Where has T been ? The pacific time zone has been under-represented...

see y'all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 8:50PM
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Hmmmm - an updated model of the fart machine - I wonder if DH knows. He too is the proud owner of a machine. He first saw one on a photo shoot for Gap Kids where the machine was being used to get a smile from the children in the photos. But it was the photographer and DH for whom it provided endless amusement.

Pretty flowers Martie!

Woody - hope the winter doldrums lift soon.

Chelone - I agree about skids being scary. I was fishtailing on the way to work Monday where snow had blown on the road. It was quite a white knuckle ride. Today, thank goodness was much better.

Stay warm everyone


    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 8:57PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

In case anyone is interested LOL

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 9:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Trying to stay warm has been the theme of the last several days. We continue to have bone-chilling cold; as Sue said, this is the weather we usually have in January. It's 1 measly degree right now, but at least it's above zero!

Yesterday we got about three inches of fresh snow. A coworker called it "hollywood snow" because the flakes were so big and shiny they looked fake. Today it sounded like crunching styrofoam under foot. An odd side effect of the bad weather is that, besides havign a salt-crusted car, I have a salt-crusted recycling bin. The garbage folks actuallygo a day behind schedule, so my bin sat at the side of the road for an extra day. It will be several weeks before that puppy can be hosed off!

I had a discussion with my boss today and we came to an agreement that my workload is too much. Tomorrow we talk about what needs to change. I've put in a lot of hours but I'm not keeping up with all that's been put on my plate. I'm looking forward to a little relief tomorrow!

Sometimes I feel like every couple of years my life does a little "realignment". That seems to be happening now. I am stepping off the board of the local environmental group, am shifting job duties somewhat again, and am taking on new responsibilities at church. On the home front, things are relatively stable. My MIL had double knee replacement surgery last month and is recovering fairly well. We are sending lots of extra food and attention her way until she is back on her feet again.

Okay, I'm feeling like I am babbling. I must go check on my Palm, because it would not turn on all day. If it's broken, I could be in big trouble as I won't show up for a bunch of things! Cross your fingers!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 10:05PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Fingers crossed V..

Yes, where is T?

Marian, I WISH not believing the global warming stuff would negate the reams of empirical evidence that says we're messing up this planet--but unfortunately, wishing it away doesn't work. Prayers can't hurt though. :)

Thank you Monique--lovely! (but I'm still 29 years old!)

Fart machines???. I have a very gaseous DH and 3 sons with half his genetic material. No need to spend money on farts in this household. Chelone you crack me up!

Very, very cold here too. We just got our oil tank filled for the 4th time, which is insane since we keep the thermostat at 64F and it was WARM until after new years. So we've just borrowed another exorbitant amount of money for a fireplace insert which is supposed to be 80% efficient, but thus far can not get the family room over 66F. I am livid, and 3 phone calls to the place have only resulted in them saying it must be our wood. Our wood is great, dry, burns fantastic. They are coming Saturday, under protest, 9 days after installation. I fear we made a big (very expensive) mistake.

Ei, I'm totally commiserating on the job hunt too, and taking in everyone's advice with much gratitude. My headhunter friend says my resume is great, though the past 12 years I've been self-employed at various things. But many filed applications later I'm beginning to wonder. Demoralizing doesn't begin to cover it. Last week I applied for a job online and their spam filter refused me! Now I'm being rejected before anyone ever sees my credentials! Actually the 'puter techie and I now are quite familiar and he wished me luck as he UN-blacklisted me, so maybe that's a good omen. I'm applying for a server position tomorrow, at a private professional club. I always enjoyed waiting tables through university (and lets face it, have been doing it WITHOUT PAY since marrying and having 3 kiddoes anyway). But this place would be the ultimate networking hotspot in the meantime. My orthotics come in next week, so I'm hoping the timing works.

Looking forward to seedstarting, after taking last year off with our move. Perused Gardens North's website the last couple of days and have these on my "probably" list:

ANGELICA atropurpurea
CAMASSIA cusickii
LATHYRUS vernus 'alboroseus'
NICOTIANA mutabilis

Bunch of my own seeds to start too. Very happy to see baby purple muhly grass seedlings in one of my houseplant pots in the sunroom! 2 are 8 leaves big now so I'll have blooming specimens this summer.

Ei, thanks so much for the rose pic and link. Huge drifts from blowing snow over our driveway prompted DH to ask "Could you plant some kind of shrub there that would stop the wind?". Uh, yeah, think I could find SOMETHING that might work, lol! Still not sure about roses though, even rugosas. I had clay-based soil before, but this is pretty much pure clay. Spade makes a slurping sound as you pull it out...

Okay, bed for me. Hi all!


    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 11:56PM
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I've been bumped off twice this morning -- a first for me. Anyone else getting a popup that Looks like it's from GardenWeb about a survey? Anything that can get through my blockers has gotta be strong. Hmm.

It's 10 deg with 30mph sustained winds and every bit of skin will be covered before I head out.

Marian: I, too, think it's wonderful for you to know so much about a particular state. I wonder if the State has things as organized as you do? Have fun with it, and share the good stuff with us.

Mary: Are you buried, yet?

Sliding around is not my favorite thing and I give all thanks to my dad for taking me to large parking lots and learning how to drive out of a skid. Moments shared ....

Some "treasure" finds from the catalogs yesterday:

Arctosis 'South African Pearl' (white with blue center)
Brachycome 'Swan River Daisy' (compact for containers)
Dicondra 'Emerald Falls' (longer version of the original)
Strawberry 'Sarian' (normal-sized fruits on alpine sized plant)
Phlox 'Isabellina'
Hibiscus 'Red Shield' (are the blooms significant?)
French Brocade Marigold (sometimes simple is best!)

Parceled out light space and will have a few of about 20 varieties starting.

Short and sweet (third time's the charm?????) and wishing everyone a good, WARM, day!


    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 7:09AM
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Good morning

Nothing like a little bathroom humor for a few chuckles. Still laughing at Monique's "Goundhogs Declare I've got Gas" title.

Taryn - bummer on the fireplace and heating bills - do hope they can get the insert working adn you can start saving some $$$$. I keep our thermostat at 63F when DH is gone, preferring to dress in layers but its nudged up to 64 when he's home. Its surprising what a difference that one degree can make. I'm sure the right job is out there so hang in till the timing works out. Great idea to get paid to network! Do you have a seed starting room in your new house?

V - good luck on your talk with the boss and other realignments.

Kathy - I envy you many of the tender Salvias which were my favorites when we lived in San Diego. Do you grow others?

I talked to my sister Ruth yesterday and they are coming up over President's Day weekend for some fun in the snow. The little ones want to sled on our slope and Ruth is hoping to ski with Annie and David. We can also celebrate her birthday together - I can't wait.

hvae a good day everyone


    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 7:33AM
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Hi Martie - some neat finds. I've grown Hibiscus Red Shield and it is definiately a foliage plant but a great one at that. Your other seeds look intriguing.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 8:03AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

A swearing machine? LOLOL No need for that...I'll just go into

Looks like a relatively gorgeous day here on tap for today-sunny and a high predicted close to 30 F. Not a speck of wind (Martie you really have to move south).

The bad news here today is all early indications are pointing to Zoe in the early stages of canine dementia. I won't go into the whole story but in the past week she's developed some strange behaviors like wandering aimlessly around the house, the other night she got stuck behind the couch upstairs. She's been having trouble negotiating stairs and has become obsessed beyond belief with food. I couldn't get an appointment at the vet until March 2nd but did some internet research and she definitely fits the profile. At the vet appointment they will do blood work and rule out any possible health issues. She just turned 9 and seems to be in perfect health so this is quite distressing for us. If it's not the dementia, it may be something simple like an infection or something awful like a brain tumor. Let's hope it's something simple.

I'm sure T is reading and will be back with us soon.

Happy Thursday!


    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 8:14AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Quick check in -- been to PA and back & then a couple of days of intestinal bug had me off from work ... only to return to running frantically yesterday to make up... aargh... sometimes one doesnt want to be missed.

Cynthia - that is indeed weird re no scraping of windshields in your area... it's a daily event at my place unless the sun comes up early enough to defrost it -- I feel blessed when it does that & that my exposure is such that I have sun hitting the windshield - a few cars down & they're totally in the shade for most of the day... on occasion, my house windows fog or get ice but I put down to crappy old windows....

No seed starting here (as mentioned before, no space & no luck w/ it)... I fear I over ordered on the woodies & perennials -- but a lot of stuff died last year from the heavy torrential rains in June & I suspect some more stuff will be goners this winter from little snow cover before the horrible winds.

Im getting my monies' worth out of the down coat - good thing I didnt decide to wait too long for a "bargain" -- it's come in very handy the last couple of weeks. We had about 2 inches of snow yesterday & there are rumbles of something next week.

Confession -- I did order that Prospero rose, Kathy, and impulsively ordered the Mdme Alfred Carriere also -- gonna move that Sombreuil & let the MAC loose (I hope she doesnt take over the whole side of the house....)along with "Little White Pet" that I'd ben looking for a few years - will be interesting to see if MAC makes it here. Also ordered 17 clems -- nutso....

Deanne - I am so amazed at the 'tude you get from those birds! They must know you're there to take their portraits - simply stunning. Thanks for sharing - hope the personal crapola gets resolved -- we're glad you checked in though. Hope the others will too - just to let us know they're alive and kicking!

Well, I've got a ton on the plate again at ofc - it almost makes it a pleasure to be in the ofc though rather than on the stinking metro each day -- the trains do not handle cold weather well - they either get offloaded when they break or run far, far apart (yesterday I was offloaded on 2 trains & then stood for 20 mins for another; today it was 2 trains ahead of mine that got offloaded & all those people ended up on mine - but at least mine ran the whole way without trouble -- & I even had a seat for the trip - one counts one's blessings how they can, LOL).

I wonder how many machines Monique will manage to sell today, heehee, from our lurkers? Bathroom humor is soooo popular -- remote control -- now how could they possibly improve on that product? What a hoot!!

Brrr, counting the days to Spring - surely we're in the home stretch?


    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 9:20AM
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Sue, You must be so worried about poor little Zoe! I don't understand you not being able to get her in to the vet for so long. That's over 3 weeks. If it is an infection shouldn't it be taken care of ASAP?

Deanne, spectacular shots! Especially love the doves and the chicadee. My sympathies on the buggy plants. I've been through it. Remember last year I had to toss all my coleus because they got mealy bugs?

Cindy, 17 clematis huh? A clematis to grow through every shrub and rose bush?

Well, you guys have influenced me with all of this seed starting talk. I stopped in and got a few packs this morning, half off. Mostly annuals. Has anyone here tried the lemon cucumbers. A friend of mine grew them last year and they were really good. I got some of those. And some basil, parsley, and chives to let Bella plant up in pots and grow under a light I have on the kitchen counter. I think she'll have fun playing in the dirt and keeping them watered. Got to get her started early, right Cynthia?

Chelone, my camera's broken but we're almost done with the room. I hope we can finish it this weekend and then I'll have a friend take pictures with her camera so I can post them.

Lots to do so keeping this short...Eden

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 12:03PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi. My name is Honey and Im a packrat. I keep shopping bags, newspaper articles, catalogs, papers, receipts and all stuff that I might need someday. You might not know that about me b/c I shove it in boxes, drawers, cabinets and closets. Dont open a closet or youll be caught in an avalanche! So in keeping with my new years resolution to de-clutter and organize, the Great Purge is on. Im going to tackle at least one area a week, hopefully something every day.

Over the weekend, we got our tax stuff together and shredded tons. I also started organizing photos. I have boxes and boxes and more boxes. After 2 days of sorting on the DR table, Ive at least got them in a rough sort. I also spent hours on the puter last week on digitals. Both are not done but are in much better shape.

Monday, I tackled the dreaded bathroom vanity and got rid of 2 trash bags of junk. The good thing about having a 6 vanity is all the storage. The bad thing is that Ive filled it with makeup samples, cleaning supplies, giveaways, extra buttons, etc. I found specialty buttons Ive been looking for and mended stuff along the way. Sheesh! I tackled a few dresser drawers, trashed the old, washed the goodwill and keep pile. Ive set aside all those beautiful wool and angora sweaters for my niece. I cant wear the wool anymore. Oh, and T-shirts! I have tons. Theyre still TBD.

Yesterday, I went thru the sweaters and shopping bags. I had enough shopping bags to equip a small dept. store. Most bags are going to a local charity store.

DH and I took down the old cornice board and window treatments in the MB. Habitat for Humanity picked them and the old headboard, comforter and decorative pillows up this morning. We also donated a bunch of old light fixtures.

In between, Ive been babysitting for my DGN. Boy, does she ever keep me hopping. And Ive been searching and booking flights for our vacation in July, checking availability for my nephews wedding in Sept. at Emerald Beach, NC, and a visit to my friend in Fla. in a new weeks. Life seems to be on fast-forward these days.

Love all the photos, Deanne. Thinking about and saying Hi to everyone. I'm off to donate a couple boxes of stuff. I'll be back idylling regularly soon. TTYL.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 12:06PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Thanks so much all for your kind comments re: birdie pics. I've been trying lately to get some in flight shots of the little birds but those guys are sooooo... fast you need shutter speeds of 2,000 or more to stop the action which requires lots of sunlight. Not much success yet.

Eden, yes I do remember the mealy bug thing last year. That was awful! I'm beginning to think I need to do the same thing and just toss everything and start out with new plants. I've stripped all the leaves off all the coleus and sprayed with a Safer houseplant thing so all I have now is a bunch of sticks,we'll see if this works. If I get any bugs back it's into the bin with the lot of them.

Sue, that's just awful about Zoe! when did that start? She seemed fine at Christmas. Crossing my fingers that it is something simple and curable.

V, sounds like you've been stretched a bit too thin for a while now. I'm glad you are realigning things. Any chance we'll see you in March???? I can't believe it was a whole year ago you were out here.

Mary, how neat Ruth is going to come up for a visit. Hope you get some warmer temperatures to enjoy some winter sports. Doug says it's been mighty cold out there this week. I think you are running about ten degrees colder there than it is here.

Wendy, are you going to be able to make the party????? I think I read something about your coming???

Speaking of which, anyone else care to join the fun???? Hmmmmm????? I have two guest bedrooms that are on a first come first serve basis.

OKie dokie, must run. I have to go and cut some mats for a class I'm teaching. Have a great day all, stay warm...


    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 12:24PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Sue -- I didnt see the msg re Zoe before (other than earlier post re her acting so spry) -- I hope it's not what you fear -- altho I wanted to post a bit of encouragement that I do have a friend whose Corgie had this issue (altho I think she was diagnosed about 12) and they gave her some meds (similar to stuff given for human early Alzheimer's I think) and my friend said it really did make a difference to Tina's cognitive wellbeing - I think it was a bit pricey but they were happy they did it -- she only last autmn passed on at the ripe age of 17.... however, I will hope that it is something more generic like her eyesight and a touch of Winter Cabin Fever or something like that.... I tell you, some days I wish I could go hide behind the sofa myself.....

Honey -- do you think the Pack Rat problem goes hand in hand w/ plant-aholics? We have some OCD thing to just collect and doesnt matter what it is? Sometimes I wonder -- I did however recently throw out a bunch of makeup that was under the vanity and Im sure more than 5 years old - even assuming the "look" might some time come back into fashion, I suspect it would not be so healthy to wear by then, uh?

Taryn -- brrrr and groan - Im hearing that major jingle of $$$ outgoing w/ all that oil & inserts....

Kathy - only someone in California would turn down a paid trip to go to the warm climate of Florida at this time of the year!!!! We can live vicariously w/ you tho exalting in those temps of 70 -- (Marian, I hope you're sending the 60s in our direction too, but that's not what Im hearing from the forecasters.....).

With all this talk of indoor bugs, how do ya'll who are seed starting manage to fend those little "buggers" off til April when you put the seedlings outside perhaps? Inquiring minds want to know....


    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 1:29PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Cindy it's Anipryl they prescribe for the dog alzheimers. It's a Pfizer drug also used for human alzheimers and Parkinsons. The condition actually has a name-CDS-Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (link below). Before I agree to any prescription drug though I'll need to research the side effects. As with humans, side effects can be worse than the actual problem you're trying to fix. One of the women in my rescue group swears by a holistic vet she uses. Depending on the outcome I may end up there.

Deanne, she started showing the real noticeable symptoms about a week ago. She started refusing to go upstairs months ago but we thought it was the bad knee. She's always been somewhat of a spaceshot but lately I have noticed her sitting and just staring into space more often. The constant walking around the house is driving me nuts. It's not pacing in a frantic sort of way-just walking around and around the rooms. She also has developed this compulsive behavior with her water bowl where she runs over to it, takes a couple of quick sips, trots around the kitchen then runs back over to the bowl for a couple of quick sips. Last night the kitchen floor was soaked.

Eden, I am a bit perturbed with my vet but she's very good and obviously very popular so appointments can be tough to get. If things seem to deteriorate I'll call and an appointment sooner. As it stands right now I really don't think it's and emergency or anything health related.

Thanks for all your concerns. I lost my Zak prematurely to kidney disease at age 8 so I'm beginning to wonder if there's a black cloud hanging over our heads when it comes to healthy dogs.

Gotta run-auditors are here and we took the boss out to a long birthday lunch so I'm running behind.



    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 3:26PM
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Too tired to type, but sending good thoughts to Sue that Zoe's condition can be improved with or without drugs. I'm a big fan of the miracles of medicine, but think a lot of the issues we have with our pets are inflicted by the processed foods we give then. A consult with a holistic vet might be helpful. Sue, do you get Whole Dog Journal? That's opened my eyes to a lot of things. I call Dannie (my newest dog) manic depressive. But on a raw diet and supplements (not drugs, her first owners tried drugs on her and it made her worse), she is vibrant and coherent 95% of the time. I have pictures of her when she came here as my foster. Laying on the floor shaking and dripping onto bath towels I put under her. She was a mess. She still has 'days' like that, and it scares me that the 'real' Dannie won't be back the next day. But I didn't mean to digress. I just hope you can figure out how to help your little girl Sue, and I know you'll learn a lot in the process and hopefully share it with us.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 9:29PM
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Glad that Friday is just around the corner. What a hellish day today ! Had to take a couple employees out to a nice lunch including a glass of wine to get us the rest of the way through it. (we rarely have wine at lunch-maybe twice a year on special occasions-dont want you guys to think Im one of those two martini people !!)

Still raining here which is good, we needed it . It will last through the weekend on and off, so maybe Ill have no excuse not to finish painting the home office. Maybe Ill buy the bookcases too -gonna do Office Cheap-o RTA stuff. That and a couple of cheap lamps from Target and a chair and Im good to go. Also have another several orange crate labels to get framed for that room.

Sue, my dog is diabetic and her first symptom was frequent water drinking . The vet told me to keep an eye out for confusion or dopiness as a possible blood sugar issue. I give her insulin shots twice a day which has worked well to maintain her health and appetite.
However she did develop cataracts and is now blind. She gets around really well as long as I dont move the furniture ! Shes now starting to have some other issues and I can see a time in the not too distant future when I will have to make a decision- I always try to be mindful of her quality of life. I wish you and your Zoe the best

Mary ! I too am a recovered San Diegan ! Lived there for 10 years in the mid-70s to mid 80s. Both my kids were born in Pomerado Hospital in Poway . Worked at Nurseryland in Escondido and Rancho Bernardo.and I do have quite a few tender salvias. Black and Blue , Argentinian Skys , Limelight (gets HUGE) S. Ugilinosa (think maybe this one only goes to zone 8 ?) S. Greggii Argentinian Skys might be a tad invasive so it may have to go this year.

Cindy , hope Prospero does well for you..and I have always had Madame Alfred on my short list (which is actually a long list ) . 17 Clematis- wow! I ordered 17 Dahlias!
Our 70 degree temps are gone for now. We are in our normal dingy gray wet winter mode.

Eden I have grown lemon cukes , they are really easy and prolific, but what I really like best are the Armenian cukes. I dont have room to grow them right now so I buy tem at the farmers market. Lemon cukes I find are "seedier" than the Armenian.

Honey I am truly impressed at your 12- step pack rat abatement program. I did the bathroom vanity thing last year. God, what a bunch of crapola I had under there !! I did all three bathrooms on the same weekend. My DD had recently moved out and I could not believe the inventory of shampoo and conditioner she had stashed under the counter in her bathroom. We could have opened a roadside beauty supply stand. I called her up and told her she had a problem with hair products. It was pretty funny; I still tease her about it.

Well , time to read the paper and eat some dinner hello to all I missed

Kathy in Napa

PS how about a pic ? This is the HT Romantica "Michealangelo" from last summer

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 9:57PM
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Good morning

Sue - I'm so sorry to hear about Zoe and know you will be doing everything possible to help her.

Honey - you are too funny. We are pack rats too, but no where near as neat as you are. You'll inspire me to declutter a few closets:)

Cindy - my indoor starting rarely produces any bugs, perhaps a few fungus gnats if that. Maybe I've just been lucky so far.

Hey Kathy - we were San Deigan neighbors separated by a decade. Annie went to Kindergarten at Adobe Bluffs School in Poway - we lived in Rancho Penisquitos. Now talking about winter temperatures doen't make me jealous but telling me Argentinian Skys is too invasive leaves me green with envy LOL! Beautiful rose!

Yesterday evening the 7 kids doing Odyssey of the Mind were wild. They came up with all sorts of great ideas and were hilarious, but keeping them on track took some doing. It has been too cold to go outside at recess - what a difference that makes to the children's energy level. Had we had more time I'd have bundled them off outside to play in the snow but we are only a month from the competition so time is precious.

This week has gone at lightening speed - is it really Friday already?

have a good one


    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 7:24AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Yes, Mary, it's Friday already.


Last season Salvia Black and Blue seeded all over the place in a couple of parts of my garden. It will be interesting to see if it happens again this year. With this extended cold snap I'm thinking no. The one plant of Argentine Skies I planted in 2005 in the patio garden spread by runners and formed a large floppy clump that will be coming out this season. I've also had Salvia coccinea seed around.

Cynthia I have heard of Whole Dog Journal. The commercial kibble I feed now, Wellness, is on their top 10 list-or at least it used to be. Lots of mini schnauzer people feed natural diets and swear by them. The raw thing would take some getting used to on my part. Monique feeds some raw diet that she buys pre-made in bulk. I should look into that. Some woman on my mini schnauzer list recently lost a dog because a raw bone (supposedly an "approved" bone) sliver got lodged in it's intestine. I realize that may be an isolated incident but it made me think twice about considering a weekly raw bone for dental health reasons.

Kathy, I do keep a fairly close watch on water consumption because diabetes is somewhat common in my breed and I don't believe Zoe is drinking excessively. She seems to be playing in the water more than drinking it. Oddly enough, Zak never drank alot of water even when he was in final stage renal failure.

Allrighty then, I'm a couple of days behind in my work and have to leave around two to go to the doctor so I'd best get cracking. Tom will be checking into a local hospital tonight for a sleep study. The snoring has just gotten to a point where I can't stand it anymore. I don't think he has sleep apnea but they want to rule that out. He does have a deviated septum. Something tells me the only cure for the snoring would be to cut off his head but lets let the doctors get richer in the


    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 8:34AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good balmy morning! I think this is the first morning that we are out of single digits for the early school run - I didn't even wear my "goony" hat! The days are definitely getting longer, I almost don't need headlights when leaving work at 5pm!

I am getting sick of winter too, but we have been lucky so far in terms of snow. I saw on the news that part of upstate NY has 6 feet of snow, and more on the way. The kids got really cool snow tubes for Christmas 2005, and have only used them once or twice. DD is happy, she has not had to wear the new boots I insisted on buying for her. Can you imagine, we stood in the middle of the shoe section, and she says to me "I don't need boots, I'll be fine in my sneakers". This after I said to her and DS, "Let's go to Target to shop for boots." I think her pre-teen brain only heard "shop" and "Target", because when we got there, she immediately headed for the CD section! Needless to say, none of the boots at Target were acceptable to her (too shiny, too colorful, too furry). We finally found some plain, dark boots at Kohl's, and she hasn't even had to wear them!

Monique, thanks for the link - I had no idea that a fart machine was such a subtle and elegant device - I pictured something more like a whoopie cushion. Good idea to use it to get smiles out of kids for pics - we could have used it recently! We had a grandchild family portrait done with a professional photographer at my SIL's house. There were 6 kids ranging in age from 18 down to 9 months, and it was tough to get them all to smile. Towards the end of the session we were desperate for smiles; the older kids were quite tired of hearing the 4-year-olds droning "cheese", and the puppet that cracked the younger kids up was making the older ones roll their eyes too much. The fart machine would have been just the thing.

Mary, how nice that you had a snow day with no snow! Sounds like you and your kids made the most of it.

'bug, my sympathies on the tax audit. I am loving those frost pictures, you are making me take a second look at the frost on my windows!

Deanne, your birds really are amazing. The pic of the doves looks like they are back-up singers. You really do have birds with attitude. Sorry about the bugs, I know how careful you are when bringing things in. I think the warm weather in December and January are a factor; I had small infestations of mites and aphids, but managed to get rid of them (I hope) by rinsing the plants and spraying with Safer. RE: the party, I only saw the date this week, I'm sure you posted it before but I am guilty of skimming at times. I am trying to make arrangements for my kids so that I can come, and maybe DH too. I'll let you know when I'm definite.

Sue, I hope that you figure out Zoe's troubles soon and are able to help her.

Kathy, that Michealangelo rose is gorgeus, I caught myself trying to lean into the monitor to give it a sniff!

Waving hello to everyone!

Have to run off to work now, see you later!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 8:49AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Dont have time to say much but Happy Friday and thinking good thoughts for all here and just lurking.

FYI, David has posted some fantastic pics of his garden in the regular forum -- wow.....if anyone wants some daytime dreaming & has not yet noticed them.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 8:50AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Sue, you crack me up - "the only cure for the snoring would be to cut off his head". I can picture it now; his head would probably just go on snoring...

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 8:53AM
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Nothing too major at the optometrist; leave the distance prescription as it is since the change is minor, and add some reading glasses. They should be ready in about a week. Other than that, everything is AOK. But my eyes are still trying to recover from the drop they used to dilate your pupils for the glaucoma and macular degeneration exams.

I retuned home to find my 58 yr. old helpmeet scooting down the eastern plane of the roof to assess the sagging gutter, plugged with ice. "Umm, honey, I don't think that's a great thing for you to be doing", I called up to him (there is still frozen snow on the roof). "Yeah, I was thinkin' the same thing, I'll be right down". The sag in the gutter is right over the front door (convenient) and there is an icicle that is akin to the sword of Damocles. Very welcoming. The cats were having a sensational time racing around on their roof with their Daddy there to watch!

It is nice to have a bit of break from the intense cold. I cracked up at Wendy's mention of "shop" and "Target" and the adolscent ear pricking it elicited. :)

Not much going on at work; am presently working on the padded "bumbers" that line the aft deck of a power cruiser. The foam is glued to a board that is mounted to the boat, and the vinyl is stretched over the foam and stapled on. Pretty boring; except I'm using a tricky fabric (called roll and pleat) that is pretty stretchy and can be fiddly. I'll be glad when the project is finished. Not rewarding aesthetically.

My sympathies on chilly homes. The shop is always chilly, the thermostat is in the sunniest part of the shop and there is so much crap piled in front of the baseboard that what little heat is called for rarely makes it to the cold spots. Our home is warm; because of its relative youth and the woodstove. I'll be interested to find out what the insert guys have to say about your new purchase, Taryn.

I've got to gather some bills together, balance my checkbook, and see if that doesn't help reveal the desktop once more. Go for it, Honey! I've been doing a similar exercise around here in the past few weeks. It's part of what V. calls the realignment. Feels good, doesn't it?

Sue, I hope Zoe is OK; a title to add to your reading list: "Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats" by Pichard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., Ph.D., and Susan Hubble Pitcairn. c. 1982, Rodale Press. Interesting and fun read with some recipes they'll actually eat! :)

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 11:28AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Sue, I posted the link to the BARF diet I feed the dogs called Bravo-the company is located in Manchester/Vernon, CT. We get 2 lb tubes of raw chicken, turkey and lamb that are mixed with veggies, ground bones, and organ meat; they are fed portions of this for dinner but we add supplements like Canine complete, fish oil, Fastrack, yogurt, etc. They get chicken necks in the morn. The meat is antibiotic/hormone free and is USDA approved. There is a list of retailers on the website.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 12:31PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Well, one step forward, one back. DH said he didnt like the comforter and said that it made the room look dreary. He was right so I returned the set. Im going to search for something brighter as soon as the credit hits my acct.

Im feeling sooooooo proud of myself. Yesterday I dropped off two more bags of clothing to good will, and gave my SIL and niece a carload full. I still need to go thru my closet again, but I can actually move things around in there! Chelone, LOL re realigning. Yes, it really feels good to pare down. I still need to tackle the worst part -- piles and piles of paperwork. Im going to try to do a little every day b/c its just so darn tedious.

Chelone, your cats actually run around on the roof? Oh my. Seriously, keep DH off the roof. No gutter is worth a serious injury or worse. I know exactly what padded bumpers are. Theyre a pain in the neck to clean, too, especially the crevices around the seaming lace. I was elated that our Chris didnt have them. They had a better idea in 67.

Sue, Im so sorry to hear about Zoes problems. Im wondering, too, if it could be sugar or cataracts. Im sure your vet will want to do a full work-up to get to the root cause. Shes such a sweet thing and Im sure youre as distressed as she is.

Hmm, Mary, San Diego to upstate NY? That first winter you must have felt like you landed on another planet!

Wendy, good thinking to use a fart machine to make kids smile for photos. You guys crack me up!

Kathy, keep those fabulous pix coming. Love that yummy yellow.

OK, Ill have to check out Davids photos. Thanks. Cindy.

Wendy, those doves DO look like back-up singers, lolololol.

Deanne, you werent serious about tearing out some of your garden? Its perfect.

Hi to anyone I missed. TTYL.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 2:11PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Chelone I ordered the Pitcairn book on Amazon this afternoon. To qualify for free shipping I tossed in "Palms Won't Grow Here and Other Myths". Maybe I'll be able to find some new tender plants for my increasing collection. Good weather to think about it anyway.

Where has Michelle been lately?

The doctor's office called this morning to confirm my 2:30 appointment for Monday. I thought it was odd when I didn't get a reminder call yesterday and did plan to call before leaving this afternoon. I know I wrote down the date right when I made the appointment so it must have been an office error. No problem, Monday is better for me anyway.

Honey, Emerald Isle is where we're going in NC the last week of April. Have you been there before? I don't think Zoe's problem is vision but nothing would surprise me and until the vet does her thing I'll rule nothing out. How has Bullet been feeling?


    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 2:43PM
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Hi everyone

Wendy - we have snow here but nothing like an hour away where Oswego is buried under 8 feet of snow with more on its way.

Sue - perhaps Tom and my DH are related - DH is checked into the sleep clinic next month. His snoring has become so bad I can hear him from the guest room one floor away. We can compare notes LOL!

Speaking of DH - here is an article about him with a link to his photos. Unfortunately he has never been moved to photograph gardens and there is nary a flower amongst his pics which are all the same rather cool. (I might be biased :0)


    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 5:27PM
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We have a ladder set up on the deck that allows easy access to the roof, which is not very steep (5:12), the ladder is braced under the deck railing shown below and provides an easy climb to the roof:

It was set up to facilitate gutter cleaning and the cats got the biggest kick out of running up and down it, so we simply left it in place for them. ;) They go out on the deck, go up the ladder and run around on the roof and then come down. They look pretty cute stretched out on the dark shingles, soakin' up the rays on not so cold days. But I didn't much cotton to the helpmeet up there this morning! But the problem remains... how to clean out the gutter, replace the hangers, and get it back to a semblance of straight so melt doesn't pool, freeze, and create an ice dam? Not very simple with 24" soffits! Ahh... the joys of home ownership.

My brother had to take Mum to the doctor for a routine visit. He administered the tests for dimentia, predictably, she flunked every one of them. She announced that she "didn't like" the doctor and that she knew "he'd do whatever he wanted, anyway". Poor thing; we're sympathetic, but the reality is that SOMEONE has to do for her what she is no longer able to do for herself. I told my brother not to waste too much angst on it; she's forgotten she's been to the doctor at all by now! He laughed; I hope I'm able to offer him more support than he did me, by virtue of my time "in the trenches". No good will come of being "pissy" because he was of little support to me. He didn't "get it" then, but now he's gettin' it now, loud and clear. And I will help him any way I'm able. He's my brother and I love and respect him. He would have stopped IMMEDIATELY if he saw Michelle pull over with a broken windshield. Or happened upon V., had she spun off into a ditch. We were raised to be kind and decent to other people.

I've been wondering about Michelle and Norma, too! I figure Nurse Ratchet is torturing the kids, and Yeona will bob to the surface when she's good and ready... wonder about Ei., too... and what's up with the job hunt. Good to hear an update from Taryn, too.

I was thinking about heating costs and using a woodstove to defray them. We have a nice stove, very efficient and a "tight" house... to rekindle a fire from a small bed of coals we generally crack the slider to the deck. You can really feel the rush of cold, fresh air into the house, the established draft being in direct line to the woodstove (provided the stove's door vents have been opened and the catalytic combuster disengaged). We cut and split our own wood, using 1-1 1/2 cord/yr.. People tell us all the time that wood is "messy" and a "pain". They do have a point, but it's nice to be cozy when it's cold outside, and the whole cut/split/stack thing is only as odious as you make it. I like knowing we will be OK if the juice goes out for an extended period of time. Bein' cold is a drag.

I have done zippo with respect to uncluttering my desk, Honey. But as Mum used to say, "the mess will be there when you want to address it". I have to address the books in the library, too... lots of crummy old paperbacks and stuff we never use... . What do you guys do with old books?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 5:51PM
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Friday is a wonderful gift for which we should all be grateful.It's 5pm an the SF radio station I listen to always plays "Smoke Two Joints" at 5 every Friday to start what they refer to the "Attitude Adjustment Hour." Brings me back to the olden days !

Mary, I absolutely loved your DH's pics. Talented photographers see things that rest of us don't..I especially liked the mop, the O'hare pic, and the homeless man. Really wonderful-thanks for posting the link. I actually lived in Poway, way down at the east end where the road turned up to go to Ramona and the back way to Lakeside.My favorite thing about San Diego was the fact that it only took 15 minutes to get to the ballpark, and the Padres were so bad back then you could always get good seats!

Sue-yep, those floppy stems and runners on Argentinian Skies is just what I'm dealing with. Too bad , because that is a color you just don't see in Salvias. I'm going to give it one more season and will dig it out this fall if it doesn't behave.

I am really interested in the dicussion about natural foods for our doggies-I wouldn't be surprised if the
canine diabetes issue is similar to the adult onset diabetes issue in humans- bad food, not enough excercise etc.

Chelone, our library has a fundraiser booksale about 3 times a year and there is always a bin in the lobby for donations. That is what I do with my old books , though I keep most of my books because I like to re-read .

OK ,todays rose pic is "Paul Bocuse",a Generosa.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 8:28PM
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Greetings, Idylls. time for me to stop by so you will know I didn't fall off the face of the earth.

Several things led to my being to involved to get here, and then most of you know it is sometimes hard to get started again.
We had a little incident that involved the fire department but resulted in only minor damage thanks to my deciding to stay home instead of going with DH to pick up the new tv.
He had only been gone 15 to 20 minutes when I smelled smoke unlike the usual smoke smell if a little escaped the stove door. I started checking things out but couldn't find anything inside or out. After checking a round the second time and seeing visible smoke in the living room but nowhere else I decided it was time to call 911. Then I started to get what I considered the most important things out of the house. I had what I thought was absolutley nessecary out by the time they arrived in less than 20 minutes. After checking the flue which DH cleans regulary and finding nothing they were hanging around checking to see that the stove cooled down. (it did have a pretty hot fire in it) They sent a couple of guys up to check the upstairs wall above it with the heat detection light. They said"I think you better come up here". I was one of the first up the stairs. I had totally forgotten that there was a sealed off tee in the flue pipe because we had thought we might want a stove upstairs sometime in the future. I had a picture hanging over it. The picture was scorched and broken and a spot in the wall was heavily scorched. The picture was the only one I have ever paid much money for and was my favorite. But was nothing compared to what we could have lost had I not stayed home that day. Needless to say they chopped a good sized hole in my wall and found that creosote had collected in the tee and caught fire.
So between all the repair work on the wall and hooking up the new electronics (that I do because DH doesn't have a clue) I have been staying busy. The last coat of mud went on the wall today so now I get to paint. Oh yeah! It is a rather large and tall wall and I'm sure I will have to do the whole thing as paint never matches up exactly.

We have been really cold here like so many others. GB I am fascinated by your ice crystal pictures. I hope you are staying warm enough.

Mary thanks for sharing the link about your DH. I have always wondered about his job and the connection to photography. He is very talented in both aspects of his job. You must be proud. And yet your family is very grounded in all you do. You can be proud of that as well.

Sue sending good vibes for Zoe.

I will try to catch up with everyone a little at a time.

A tired Norma.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 8:40PM
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LOL, Kathy. The optometrist asked me how my eyes felt after he put in the drops to dilate them for the glaucoma/macular degeneration exams. I replied that they felt the way they've felt when I've been "one toke over the line". He cracked up and said, "Good, that's what we're lookin' for!".

Wonderful picture, I'm jealous. I'm biased against roses and the whole, "I'll get fungus" thing associated with them. I'm too lazy to deal with them; convince me I'm being unfair and I'll try again. I won't "mollycoddle"!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 8:51PM
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As one with a woodstove I understand the attendant risks. I'm glad to see your name again, and SO GLAD that things turned out the way they did.

It serves as a reminder of how lucky we all can be... even as we enjoy good fortune.

SO nice to see you again, Norma. REALLY.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 9:00PM
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Chelone, I hate having my eyes dilated.I'm very nearsighted and have worn glasses since 10 yrs old, but when they want to dilate, I say no thanks !
As for the roses, no molly-coddleing here. I am organic and don't spray at all. They get a dose of alfalfa meal in spring when they start to leaf out and and organic rose food (Dr Earth)after the first flush and thats it. My garden is heavily composted and that keeps the weeds down. One thing I do spend time on is "grooming" i.e. deadheading etc., but I find this activity very pleasant and soothing after a day at the office. It can also be done while drinking wine and/or beer.

Norma, as one who has experienced two house fires-one as a child and one as an adult, it's great to hear that fate was on your side with this one. There is nothing scarier-though earthquakes can be a bit off-putting...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 9:20PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Who would have thunk it? Mary's husband has an entire page of bum shots!


    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 9:30PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Oh Sue, I am so sorry for you and Zoe. So hard to see a pet go through any illness.

This article talks about using antibiotics for Alzheimers.Antibiotics, doxycycline and rifampin slow down Alzheimers Disease in people. "Fifty-one of the participants were prescribed a daily regimen of 200 milligrams of doxycycline and 300 mg of rifampin." Maybe something like this can help with Canine Dementia. I've read that a combo of regular and holistic meds, coupled with a good diet, and extra vitamins works best if just diet and vitamins don't help. I'm sure the Dr will help you to choose the right treatment.

Thanks for the his everyone. Its sunny for the moment but that wont last, and not too cold. The winter has been weird, but right now were in typical Vancouver winter mode. Rainy with pouring rain breaks, followed by more liquid sunshine, ie rain. Did you know it rains lots here, lol?

Chelone I think the rock I hide under starts out as a pebble, and grows as big as the world. I admire that you're not letting your work situation turn into a huge boulder. I hear that playing nice works for some situations but not all. :( Sometimes you have to stay and work it out, and sometimes you have to get out. I know youll decide on the right thing to do.

Cindy, I think youre right about the makeup going bad after 5 years. :) I dont know how true it is, but my daughter says that mascara lasts only 3 months. According to the article I found, other stuff, like lip liner, can last up to three years. I didnt know that.

Cynthia having been very ill, much like your dog, I'm a definite advocate of healthy living. I'm glad you were able to find an answer for her that worked. I wish diet alone would cure all illnesses. My sister wouldn't be where she is now. I do think healthy eating and extra nutrients help some though, if not all the way.

Deanne are you saying you need new neighbors? That you'd prefer gardening Idyllers? Pick me, Pick me. :) I hope the neighbor and family things are quickly and smoothly resolved. Sending good dharma your way.

I hate the deep dark evil clouds of starlings, but accept that theyre here to stay. Apparently a disease is leveling their numbers somewhat, but I dont know if its enough to give our native birds a chance to reign once more. Nature will decide, not I. I do miss seeing the Robin Red Breast the most. Hey maybe kudzu will catch the disease next and loosen its hold on the South.

Thanks for the bird photos. All the photos are simply outstanding, as usual! I love that feeling of freedom the soaring bird photo evokes in me. Those mourning doves probably heard me sing, and wonder, why does she even try? The Tree Sparrow and chickadee are precious. Im glad they pose for you. It looks like the Tree Sparrow is listening to you too. Do you talk to the birdies, too, like Doolittle? :)

Eden glad the rooms almost done. Cant wait to see the pics. The room that were fixing up is taking forever, and Alena is very impatient with us as she wants to Ikea it when its painted. It will be the room she uses when she stays over.

GB your photos make me sing! :) I love that your eye recognizes the art and that your camera ensnares the art for us. Even cold creates art where you live. Not much pattern in our frost, and we don't really get it on the house windows. Richea is a heat lover. The heat goes on and stays on when he's home and up. The minute he goes to sleep I turn it down again.

Hope the audit is over quickly. Been there done that. Hate it, but what can you do?

Honey I used to be a packrat. Then one day, out of the blue. I decided to get rid of anything I hadnt used in three years. I found three year mark to be best for me. I never miss things I havent used for three years, but many times have missed things, and replaced them, after a year or two. Now the only thing I seem to collect and not dispose of in a timely fashion is recyclables. :( I scan newspaper articles that I want to keep and only keep a few shopping bags for doggy doo cleanups. I also scan family pics, but keep them, anyway. Sentimental things are fine to keep, to me, as long as theyre in order, and not overwhelming.

Kathy I dont get the balminess of your area, but I do get green, green, green. We have milder temps usually, when were not having a greenhouse effect winter.

Martie thanks for the pink, and for the rose. Both are faves of mine.

Are you a member of the Polar Bear Club? You must be if youre swimming in a "balmy" 10degrees. If you wore a Shark proof suit, like the one my DD, Alena saw being tested on the telly, you could be one, and not have to worry about being bit.

Mary do you have time to send those recipes we talked about before. In between being wife, mother, mom's taxi service, cleaner, cook, nurse, gardener, or garden dreamer, right now anyway, and last but not least, Idyller. ;) You know when your kids grow up you'll still be doing some driving and care giving. It doesn't seem to stop. Oh well, I signed up and so did you. I'm not sure I read all the fine point, though. ;)

Glad youll soon be getting some sleigh days in with your DS, Ruth. Sounds like it will be a Happy Birthday day for her.

Your comment a while back on the difficulty of integrating a husband and father back into your lives, reminded me of a childhood story of Richeas. He used to live in a very rural part of BC, as a small child, where his fathers family had made their mark in the logging industry. Theres even a road with their name on it. Anyway his father worked away in the bush, logging, year round, and only came home on Sundays. So when Richea was three he saw his, one day a week, father, coming down the road toward him and ran into the house and shouted to everyone, here comes that man in his truck, again. He was always very impressed with the trucks his father owned as a child. Now theres the epitome of the absent father. He never stays home long enough to be called dad in the real sense.

Moniques contribution makes me lol. Although I do have a degree of bathroom humor discomfort, like Marian, I think if done to everyone at one time or another in a family or close-knit group situation, it can be done in the right vein.

Sue if a die hard gardener like you gets "gardened out", then its no wonder that someone like me, who has the staying power of a gnat, has a midseason stall. I just took a tour around the garden and was gratified to see many plants have their spring heads on. Thats what gets me gardening in the first place, the spring thing.

Taryn sorry about the money drain. Too bad solar power wasnt cheap and easy. I hope the job hunt turns up what you want to do. Not easy working for others, and not easy making money, when self employed. Ive done both and still prefer the latter.

Re the homemade fart machines, Ive read that eating slowly, and chewing well, helps to cut down on the air we swallow, which cuts down on the gas that builds up. Too bad its not methane and cant be used for free fuel. :) ;) :)

I hope stopping the pics helped with the downloading of Idylls. I've missed your writing. What's Idylling without its Idyllers. It's always interesting to hear about your life and to share about how the road to better health is going and also how the family and home are doing.

V glad there was no repercussions from your spinning top car. I dont know if chains would have helped. I think the new winter tires with the plastic studs work well and dont eat up the roads, so are okay to drive everywhere with. Hope the work worry smoothes out soon. I feel that way at every tax time for a bit, until I start. I hate the feeling.

Wendy now theres another scenario where the fart machine might work, with a bunch of kids of different ages, lol.

I know that most boys really love that kind of humor, but do most girls. I dont remember the other girls' humor from my childhood, so do you, yourself enjoy bathroom humor, or you with girls observe them giggling at that kind of stuff. Of course on the Simpsons, there is some of that, and I remember Alena laughing at it, although I didnt particularly care for it. I think my upbringing has made it difficult to see humor in things that might potentially hurt another. I dont clearly see the distinction between funning and hurting I think. Again it comes from the approach of the jokesters, and the jokesters I knew growing seemed cruel. So the humor seems cruel to me. We are all sensitive to different things and our sensibilities seem linked to how safe we felt or actually were in our childhoods. Thats my theory anyway, and Im sticking with it.

Woody the cedar table project sounds nice. I dont have a nice garden set, but have been on the lookout for one. I love the look of wood and turned wrought iron together, but love the comfort of deep cushions. So far I havent found both together in a style I like.

About music, I wish that, like Chelone and Kathy, Id done the learning thing as a youngster. I played the clarinet for a micro second, and wished Id just kept it up. I never did pay enough attention to learning to read the music though. Im still deluding myself that I could learn to read music and play an instrument, and learn to sing properly. I really am delusional, arent I? Lol.

Again with the singing thing, I like this article about singing. Now to find a nice teacher like this.


"Usually, singing out of tune follows a certain pattern:

The person has no confidence, as he's been told he "can't sing", "has a tin ear", is "tone deaf". (I really hate that one, implying a physical condition, and is a nonsensical term, as anyone who can hear at all can distinguish pitch to some degree, such as a squeak vs. a growl.)

The keys typically chosen when theyve sung are not in a comfortable part of their vocal range. They take a wild swing at singing a few notes, they don't connect (and they know it), and then they lose their nerve and pretty much quit. A few experiences like that in front of other people usually get enough negative response so that the person assumes they somehow "can't" sing in pitch, and they should stop trying. So they do, and I see that as a small tragedy."

There's some Tuning voice gizmo gadgets, here, lol. I don't know the company, so am not sure if the products work. Just found the concept interesting.

I also found this idea of learning how to sing as easily as you speak interesting, but I am verrrry skeptical. There are lessons on disc by some apparently well known Hollywood Voice coaches, Seth somebody, the teacher, and Brett, somebody else, the former student of Seth, lol. I wonder if any of it helps the untrained ear and voice, or if anything does. According to some psychiatrists, Biofeedback and performance imaging, like the athletes use, are supposed to improve the singing voice by a million percent. Would that make some of the voices on American Idols acceptable by the judges, or just make them not horrible, I dont know.

Hi Jerri, Michelle, Drema, Ei, T, pm2, Norma, Babs, Brenda, and everyone else I missed, and miss hearing from. Hi to Saucy, Jain and other occasionally visiting Idylls. Hi to the many Idyllurkers, too.


PS I know nothing about the Sharksuits or any other company I linked here, so if you try the sharksuit and it fails, don't come looking for me. ;) It's just for fun and interest. :)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 3:07AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 8:19AM
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Happy Birthday Chelone!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 8:47AM
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~~~Happy Birthday Chelone~~~

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:10AM
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    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:30AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Chelone!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:34AM
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Hi Yeona, an insightful post as usual from you. Stay dry. LOL Norma

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:34AM
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I have (the other) Chelone all over the place here, but only one picture to be found, and not a good one but how could I resist? :-)

Norma, what a frightening story! And it could have been a disaster for you. I hope this doesn't make you paranoid about using the woodstove, though it does sound like everything has been fixed. Huge sigh of relief here for you!

Deanne, I love that chickadee turning his back on us, and I will buy your book! Actually, I'll buy more than one copy and give as gifts, so go for it.

Honey, thank you for your confession! I too am a pack rat, and never would have guessed that you are. I've have been working at solving the problem for years. I try to remember that even a thing of value may have more value if I get rid of it, lol. Intrinsics like free space and fewer boxes of 'things' have value too, but I have trouble with the calculation sometimes. So have to work to keep it under control. Who asked where old books go? I take those to Goodwill too.

Oh I'm gushing over the Generosa Kathy. I forgive you for being in a much warmer place!

I hear you on the bones Sue. A lot of people feed weight bearing bones like chicken quarters, and consider them 'safe.' Those are the ones that can cause trouble. You can always grind the bones. Raw bones are soft. I feed only whole backs and wings, rabbit when I can get it. Fish once a week. Sometimes bone-in chicken breast but then have to add extra calcium. That's a rare meal. They have baked beans, salmon, veggies, eggs, turkey necks, green tripe, a mix that's mostly veggies for one meal and supplements, yogurt, apple cider vinegar (tons of good stuff in acv). I go to the oriental grocery and most of what I buy is for them. It's become a hobby, so even though it's work I enjoy it, and the results have been amazing, expecially with Dannie. Between exercise and diet and structure she's a whole different creature. Monty is a confirmed kibble man, and his teeth prove it. He has to have dental twice a year, while Katie has never had a dental.

Hi Yeona! I agree, it's not just diet of course, and Dannie still has bad days, but fewer of them. Monty was on Deramaxx for arthritis when I adopted him. I don't think he's had one in a year, and that's just the glucosamine chondroiton doing the work naturally, so there's no pain to treat anymore. I just ordered $200 worth of supplements, which will last 4 months. But it's cheaper than vet bills!

Mary! Your husband's photos kept me up very late last night. I went to both sites linked in the article and looked at everything. He is an incredibly talented artist! Please share his amazing photos with us often!

I have tons of seedlings and am happy to inspect them all twice a day :-) Thanks for all of the seed talk, it does get me through winter. Marty, hellebore seed needs to be fresh, so if yours don't germinate, I can let you know where to get fresh. Give them at least a year though. They need moist cold and moist warm.

I have to get cleaned up and outta here. Home Visit in the city at 11:30, and need to leave by 10:30. I don't know what the temp is out there, I've stopped looking, but it seemed kinder this morning. Maybe low 20s?

By all and have a good week-end!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:51AM
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Happy Birthday Chelone!!!! Looked and looked for the one pick of turtleheads I have somewhere but couldn't find it. Know the thought was there!! Do something wonderful and frivilous today.

Sue: I'd move south in a heartbeat but it'd be about 500 miles south of you! I was far north yesterday, but Rich said it got to 22 on the northeast thermometer at our house. Where I was, two zones away, it was 12.

Looking forward to a predicted 32 deg with no wind today. Am hopeful to get some of the grasses hacked down.

When my mom raised Collies and Beagles "back in the day" she made her own dog food. Some of it was dry and smelled worse than dirt while cooking. Other was a mix much like Monique suggested. All I know is that the one chore we never were asked to do was feed the dogs. That was her to do because "they are what they eat." Hope Zoe gets back to her normal self, soon. Do mini-Schnauzers have a long life span?

Good to hear from the too-absent Idyllers! Glad houses are relatively intact and people, too. I've had fires and it still sends shivers through my spine when I recall the "moment" I realized what was going on. Isn't it amazing what becomes "most important?" Beyond the typical papers, etc., I always grabbed my grandmother's cookbook.

More seed packages mysteriously ended up in my hands and then my car yesterday. Simple stuff mostly -- Sweet Peas, Spinach, more Zinnias. What I consider a find is Primula acaulis 'Gold Lace'. I know I'll regret it in five or so years, but I have a perfect spot for them. Also got some mixed Geraniums (regular kind) and I've not done those before. Any suggestions?

Also got a brand new pad of graph paper. Is there anything more heartening to a gardener with lots of placement to do out of nursery???? Rich LOL when he saw it, shook his head, and suggested that if the gardens actually ended up looking like the plans he'd take me out for a special dinner :-)

Need to run for errands. Have enjoyed reading everyone's everything and am so thrilled for all with great kids, DH's, bosses who will listen, and animals to love.

The links have all provided amusement and insight. Mary -- where did you find him???

Best to everyone! I'll post a pic of the thermometer later for Kathy to print out and paste on an outside wall for commiseration.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 10:04AM
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Marty, the pelargoniums need to be started around the holidays. The Christmas holidays! Ok, i'm gone :-)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 10:25AM
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Happy Birthday Chelone !!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 11:49AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone your down east voice always reminds me of home, so heres a nostalgic picture for your birthday:

(DH - then boyfriend - took that one at my grandparents place when I first took him home in 1979)

Mary your DHs photos are wonderful! I showed them to DH last night and this morning he asked me where that web site was so he could look at them again!

Sue poor Zoe; poor you Like Kathy, when you described her behavior, diabetes was the first thing that came to mind. I think you should be pushing to get an earlier vet appointment and get the blood work underway. Regardless of what it turns out to be, earlier diagnosis is likely better.

Norma that was a close call re the fire! Im glad youre safe.

Kathy the delphinium discussion in combination with all the roses you grow vividly brings to mind the loveliest rose garden Ive ever seen. Back in early July, 1988 DH and I were visiting his parents who were living in BC at the time. We took a trip to Vancouver Island and visited Butchart Gardens. The rose garden was in full bloom when we were there and all the roses were planted with delphiniums it was a breath-taking combination of color, shapes and fragrance! Ive never forgotten it and, if I ever had a rose garden, Id plant it with delphiniums. I dont know if they still use that plant combination or rot maybe Yeona can tell us? - but here is an entirely inadequate picture of part of one bed:

Its still way too cold here and no relief in the 5-day forecast so Im still in sulky hibernation here!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 1:17PM
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What little snow we have is melting!!!! Rich handed me a piece of paper and pen with the instruction to "make a list" of things he could get for me at Agway on Monday!!!!! Kyle voluntarily offered to chaparone 40 kids to the monster trucks with a few of his education-major friends!!!! Too much good stuff for one morning. LOL

But the amazingly best of all: Got a registered package this morning from an unknown address. Inside was a copy of "The New Garden Encyclopedia" published in 1946 (fourth printing). "Written by a Group of Horticultural Experts and Edited by E.L.D. Seymour, BSA." Along with it, a note: "Dear Martha, You have no idea who I am but when you were in college you helped my mother with her garden one day after she had been ill. The kindness was never forgotten, and in her will she left this book to you. It had been given to her by an Aunt who shared a love of gardening. Enjoy it, share it, and laugh along with some of the 'modern' suggestions. All the best ...."

A telephone number was given, and it turns out that this woman tracked me down through my college's alumni office. While I don't specifically remember the day, I do remember the house and the multitude of gardens surrounding it. You just never know .......

Love the idea of Bella starting herbs, Eden! Another suggestion would be Sensitive Plant (Latin is flying out the window today). Easy from seed.

Deanne: If I haven't added my Wow's to the comments about your pics, consider them included. I would never have the patience, nor the talent, to "see" them the way you do. If Yeona for some reason can't be your neighbor, I'll get in line and never complain about the Wisteria.

Taryn: Don't know about in Canada, but here there are specific laws about energy saving claims made by manufacturers. If the insert is only jacking up the heat by 2deg, I think you have a reasonable complaint. Good luck in the effort! Do you miss seed counting for EBay ;-)

GB: One of the frost pics you posted is now my work screen saver. When I come back frozen I look at it and realize that being in a warm office isn't half bad. Good luck with all your trip planning to Alberta. What wonderful reasons to travel!

Sue: I'm jealous of your NC trip. My fav place along the eastern coast is the Outer Banks. Have you been in Woodland Gardens/Manchester in awhile? It's rumored they have Impatiens repens if you're looking for it. Less expensive than Logees.

Wendy: Your poke in comments crack me up.

Kathy: Would Michaelangelo be hardy in a strong Z6 spot? I'm looking for something to replace 'Golden Showers.'

Monique: Thought of you today when I ordered a 'New Dawn.' Now all I need is the shed :-)

Cynthia: Okay. I'm way late to start the Pelargonium. Maybe I can edit out the summer colors and use them for Thanksgiving centerpieces??? It'll be more of a "can I do it" start (sounds like a good excuse, anyway) LOL.

Mary: What is the O. of the M. theme this year? The whole program fascinates me and I've gone with my sister several times when she's coached. I always liked the "impromptu" best, when the kids have just a few minutes to come up with something. Let'em loose!! Thank You, too, for being involved with this!! I'll bet Annie and David are looking forward to a ski visit with Ruth than you are :-)

I'll probably be back later when I remember what I forgot.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 2:07PM
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Hi everyone, The room is mostly done but now that I've started painting I can't seem to stop, lol. I'm moving on to another room this week.

Cynthia, did you get your hellebore seeds from the place in Tasmania? I've been thinking about trying some but need to decide soon since I think they only ship until March.

Sue, I know you'll find the best solution to help Zoe but you must be so worried about her. I laughed when I read your post about Tom's snoring and Brad asked what was so funny so I read it to him. His response was 'poor Tom'. I guess all of the snorers must stick together.

Martie, your dh and son both sound like sweet guys. You're a lucky girl! Have fun with all of your seeds!

Woody, delphiniums amongst the roses! I love that idea. Maybe I'll have to run out for some delph seeds tomorrow. I usually start some every year or so too but wasn't going to this year. But now I just may!

Mary, what talent your dh has! I really enjoyed his photos. You must be so proud of him.

Norma, wow, close call. I can't tell you how relieved I was to hear that you had minimal damage. Thank goodness for that!

I'm going to keep this short. I just put Bella down for a nap and am not feeling quite up to snuff today so I think I'm going to grab a nap for myself too. It's a little warmer here, not in the subzeros anymore, and the sun's shining brightly so that's a good thing.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 2:44PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Spring must be closeby. Earlier this afternoon a huge flock of Grackles and Red Wing Blackbirds descended on my backyard. There goes the birdfood budget. Usually I don't start seeing Grackles until early March. Then they hang around for a few months and make nests in the tall trees around my house. Every so often a red tailed hawk will raid one of the nests and they all go crazy and cause quite the commotion as they chase and harass it. I can always tell when the hawks are around.

It's fairly pleasant here today. I'll probably extend my walk to an hour and a half. Tomorrow we're going to head up to VT for the day and do some skiing.

Hey Martie what a neat surprise to get that book.

Woody, Misty got adopted last Sunday to a woman in her 20s who saw her picture on our website and fell in love with her. I think we're down to 4 dogs 10 or older now-one with diabetes that the owners tossed when they found out she had it. That story actually made the local news. Her adoption is pending.

Tom got home from his sleep study at 6 AM, got into bed and was snoring by 6:30. So much for a good night of sleep for me. Nick got up at 2:15 for a tour of the house and again at 4:30 to stare at me until I got up to feed them at 4:50. At least Zoe settles down and sleeps soundly through the night. I can't remember the last time I did.

So Chelone, anything special on BD celebration agenda?

Cynthia, I'm certainly impressed with your efforts to feed the dogs so well but I would be afraid to get involved in something that time consuming this early in the process. That Bravo diet Monique uses would be more up my alley as far as convenience and balance. Last night my friend actually gave me a tube and a half of it she had in her freezer from when they were trying different things on her son's rottie that has all the food allergies. As it turns out she can only have duck based food. If the natural diet cured the bad breath alone around here I'd be happy. Nick just had a dental last month and his breath reeks (of course he's my poop eater, yuck, yuck, yuck). Zoe is due for hers now.

Hmmm, only an hour til walktime. Where did this day go?


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 3:05PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Chelone, Happy Birthday.

Since you HATE dogs! ;) That's my Juliette, whom I'm sure you've seen before. I hope you have a lovely day. No dancing on icy roofs now! ;)

Norma, thank goodness that you stayed home that day. I'm also glad that there was little damage and that everyone's all right! Fires scare me so much that I never can sleep when we have one in the fireplace, until it's completely out. I'm glad I don't have to heat my home with it. I know I'd have to have a complete system put in to offset any chance of fire.

Kathy two fires, how scary! You must healthy respect for fire's power. I'm with you on the diabetes diet connection, for humans and animals.

Mary your DH is so talented! I don't think you're biased at all. Those photos are stunning. I agree with Cynthia, keep the pics coming.

I hope I don't have to wait until I'm 60 or whatever age Grandma Moses was to paint with music, at least for myself. I have a guitar and my voice, so maybe I'll wait until I'm sixty to start on the piano. :)

Cynthia I always am buying vits and herbs for one thing and another. I find the glucosamine and chondroitin work well for my osteo arthritic knee. I think I'm going to be giving it to my golden, Leah, soon. Goldens get hip problems, due to a genetic weakness. She's a little stiff on rising in the morning, but no pain yet.

Sue my Ds Dorthe has to take sleeping pills, and is closely monitered for problems by the Dr, or she doesn't sleep. I wonder if you could use something once in a while to get enough sleep, with some earplugs, lol. Lack of sleep is one of the reasons cited for depression, so it's that important. Maybe you need an automatic dogfood dispenser for Nick and Zoe, too, lol. The things we do for our pets. Of course it won't work for a raw diet, unless there's a raw dogfood dispenser, like an ice dispenser, on fridges. Someone should invent one I think. ;)

I hope I didn't go too far with any of my comments in my previous post. It's hard to know if one's comments or jokes are taken in the vein meant, without a face to measure with. I know I have a skewed sense of humor, and don't know if others get my humor at all.

It's sunny here, for the moment anyway. I'm off to de-doo the lawn. I just pretend I'm mucking out the stables, for some royal horses, or something, and feel less of the yuck factor when I do so. Shrug. It works for me. I use the rake and roll method of de dooing. :)

Hope everyone's having a grand day.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 4:42PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So is it finally time for a chatty post from V.? First of all, I am totally done with this cold spell. Now if only Mother Nature would go along with me. My morning routine consists of getting armloads of cloths out of the closet, donning most of them and dashing out to start the car (which starts with a deep shudder), then thawing the frozen hair with a hair dryer before driving to the office. Many nights I climb into bed with my socks still on. Well, at least it hasnt slipped below zero yet tonight!

I thoroughly enjoyed the article about Marys DH as well as his photos (including bum shots). I liked his comments about using both sides of his brain in his work.

Norma, Im glad you found the fire before things got out of hand. What a frightening experience!

Chelone, I despise having my eyes dilated! Last time I had it done, I stopped at the grocery store afterwards and I had to wear sunglasses throughout the store because the lights hurt my eye.

Thats how far I got last night when DD arrived home for the weekend. I stopped and visited with her until bedtime. This morning it was seven below zero again, but it rose to a whopping 11 degrees this afternoon, so we went cross country skiing, over to the prairie area, across the pond, around the back field and back to the house. About a 45 minute trek, and I only fell once, when I slid downhill backwards. DH is in the doghouse for laughing uproariously!

I had a nice chat with my boss Thursday afternoon. We agreed that, although there had been a lot to handle and some things got a bit behind, overall we have the worst behind us. There were a lot of things that had been neglected for far too long that are getting cleaned up, and we both had to take a step back and recognize what had been accomplished. So I think my work frustrations have been "realigned" and we are re-focused on where we are going.

I will be able to get the first Friday in March off, and I am making plans to head to New Hampshire that weekend. When we discussed the day off in our Friday planning meeting, someone asked why I was headed to NH. I replied that I was going to become an Obama groupie and I would be following him to NH for the campaign. I think for a brief moment one coworker thought I was serious!

I am attempting to make olive loaf from scratch, so I will have to run shortly. I think I will post this and then read some more later. Stay warm!


    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 4:48PM
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SighIve been tormenting myself looking at garden mags and books as the rain comes down and spring fever strikes. I noticed when I was painting upstairs today that a neighbor across the street has daffodils blooming. I also was surprised to see my Clematis armandii is budded out and ready to open .. I was going to take a pic but its too dark out today with the rain . It is comforting to know that the rain has arrived and we are descending into a normal (albeit depressing) wet winter weather pattern.

I am nearly finished painting the home office at long last. I need to do the trim and a few touch up areas, should complete that tomorrow . And I left my Felcos out last weekend, so I had to spend some quality time today with 3 in 1 oil, a sharpening stone and steel wool. The company I work for is on of the largest Felco dealers in Nor Calif, and we stock lots of parts so I could have taken the easy way out an just got new blades (mine are #2s) but I needed to do penance. Must be the Catholic upbringing !

Yeonathink that the storm leaves your neighborhood and then stops by mine! I think were having a similar weekend, rain here is expected through Tuesday. How interesting those links were on singing in tune. I think Im in tune all right, but I have no range and no vibrato. My BIL loves to sing along and he gets grief all the time from the family because he is so flat.
How bittersweet the story of Richeas dad. And to think of a life when you can only see your family on Sundays..

Cynthia, my doggie only has 8 teeth left. I am going to really read up on dog diets before I ever get another one. For awhile I was cooking rice, barley , peas and chicken for her .My parents raise Irish Setters when I was a child and they used to get raw horsemeat.

Woody , I visited Butchart Gardens in 2003, and was really blown away. I s was Sept though , so the big attraction was the Dahlias, there were some roses blooming in that awesome rose garden.. The combo of delphs and roses cant be beat IMHO. I like to throw in some lilys too..

Martie, I know there are Z5 folks who grow Michelangelo , so I would think you would be okay in 6. However he is a hybrid tea, not a climber, so if you are replacing Golden Showers with another climber M. would not be the best choice.

V, I just cant find those bum shots you were talking about re: Marys DH. I better go back and view the site again. How did the olive loaf turn out ?

OK time to gosee yall on the morrow

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:36PM
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I hope you had a good day Chelone.

I thought I could stretch the leftover paint I had by thinning it a little. Still wasn't enough so had to make a trip to get more. Will have to do another whole wall coat tomorrow. Did I say, "I hate to paint". Can't wait to finish this repair job. Although like Eden I think I will move on to another room. Might as well "get er done" while I'm stuck in the house.

V, I used to cross country ski. Thats a good workout. Bet DD enjoyed it too.

The seed starting talk is stirring me up. But I am barely keeping the cuttings watered. The plants have become to big for the small amount of dirt they are in and they dry out in a days time. Time to take new cuttings and repot the old ones.

Deanne, keep those bird shots coming. I would be one of the first to buy your book also.

Hey T, we need you to check in just to say hi is enough.

Later everyone. Norma

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 9:46PM
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Happy Birthday Chelone

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:12AM
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Good morning

Chelone - hope you had a great day yesterday. Birthdays here are the best as we all get to enjoy the cards.

Thank you everyone for the comments about DH's photos. I must admit I am enormously proud of him. The great thing to see right now is his enjoying photography again. There was a decade when DH stopped shooting his own work - overload from his job and starting a family left him without time or motivation. But the photography muse has returned and I love seeing the results.

Kathy - the Bum Shots (of which DH is a specialist) are in the digital railroad site linked in the article, tastefully titled "rear ends".

Yeona - nice to hear from you. Here is a recipe I've had success with:

Almond Flour Bread (Gluten-Free)
Dry Ingredients:
1 cup of brown rice flour
1 cup almond flour
¾ cup white rice flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
2 ½ teaspoons guar gum or xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast

Wet Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice
1 - 1 ¼ cups warm water

Mix dry ingredients in food processor. Add the wet ingredients. Process until it is thick like a cake mix. Add more water as needed. Pour into pan and rise as high as ¾ of the pan. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

For cinnamon raisin or date loaf, add ½ cup of soaked raisins - (5 min in boiling water) and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. For pizza, spread the dough onto a cookie sheet using lots of olive oil to press it down. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Add toppings and cook another 10 minutes.

For others check out the link below - anything on her site has been great and it has become my best source for recipes. Good luck - let us know waht you try and how things turn out.

have a great Sunday everyone


    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:32AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

Hi Yeona! You certainly could learn to read music - it isn't too hard. My kids are learning in school, they have a great music program. They start them out with the recorder in 3rd grade. Just remember, "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge!" or as DS would say, "Ernie Gives Bert Dead Fish" (memory devices to remember which line represents which note). There is also "Frogs Act Crazy Everywhere" for the spaces.

Mary, I love your DH's photos. The silhouettes are my favorites. Kathy, to get to the bum shots follow the small link in the middle of the article, and click on "rear ends" on the list on the right.

Kathy, a Boston radio station has "Attitude Adjustment Hour" too, and one of the Friday songs of choice is Jonathan Edwards' "Shanty". Certainly does bring back memories! When I was in college, a CT station used to have "Psychedelic Sunday" - a great accompaniment to breakfast in bed. They don't have it any more, I checked when I went to see Sue on a Sunday last fall.

Martie, how neat to receive that book and know that the woman remembered you. A great example of how the small things that you do can really mean a lot to someone else.

Deanne, I am cleared to come to your party, and DH will be coming with me. I'll e-mail you for details. V, good to see you will be there too! Is Obama bringing his wife?

I think I'll go our looking for some new outdoor pots later, can never have too many! Maybe I'll stop by a greenhouse to see some color and smell the dirt.

Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:37AM
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