Idyll #498 ..Back and Forth

dodgerdudetteFebruary 16, 2011

In my garden February features wild temperature swings-winter on Monday, spring on Tuesday.

I'm ready for the 'real' spring , how about you ?

Kathy in Napa

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

There's a huge moon here and the coyotes are howling.

Lots going on but I need to try to sleep before the sun rises.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 3:58AM
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Here too Bug, I awoke at 2:15 thinking it must be morning already.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 5:03AM
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And Yes Kathy I am ready for the real spring. We should see the last of the snow melt today. There is a warm wind blowing that I hope will help to dry things up a bit. But rain is predicted in a couple of days.

Have a Good day everyone. Norma

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 5:10AM
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Having seen far too many mid-April snowstorms leaving 12+' in their wake I am not deceived. Spring will arrive soon enough and in good time. Personally, I look for smaller, subtler signs... a general "pinkening" of tree bark, rays of sunshine that are increasingly strong in spite of cold temperatures, and increased bird activity with different songs. I'm fine with the present arrangement.

Although I was not fine upon my return yesterday when I discovered that Mr. Busy Fingers had pinched the geraniums yet again... along with all the nice fat buds that would have yielded some flowers this weekend. In fact, I was really irritated!

And I'm on day two of a sore throat. (which probably explains a certain amount of crabbiness).

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 6:04AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

I'm with you, Chelone, re the snow. We usually get hit at least once with a good one in March. No grass visible here yet either. Mr. Busy Fingers *LOL*.

For your edification, here are some tips on stencilling:

-have a small can of the wall colour and a mini roller at the ready.
-try out the stencil in an inconspicous place like behind the door to see if you like it. If you don't, roll over it with wall paint.
-lock the door if you are up on the ladder behind it rolling over your stencil.
-if you have to move the ladder away from the door to let someone in, take the can of paint off the ladder first.
-make sure you don't accidentally do one panel of the stencil upside down. If you do, roll over it with the wall paint.
-when you are attaching the stencil to the wall with painter's tape, hold your painty brush in your mouth, not with the hands you are using to put up the stencil. If you need to, roll over the accidental brush mark on the wall.
-if a large (or small) spider runs out from behind a picture frame while you are on the ladder stencilling, do not smack it with the stencil brush. If you do, roll over the mark with the wall paint.
-always start and end with dry, wait, that's baking. Sorry.

The stencils look great. I told DH that I love them, they look beautiful. I told him he was supposed to say that too. He said "I love you, you look beautiful".



    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 10:17AM
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LOL Julie. Though it probably wasn't funny to you.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 3:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

LOL Julie!

It has felt like spring here for the past two days. As is the case elsewhere, there will undoubtedly be another snowfall or two, but the back of winter has clearly been broken! I noticed, when walking the dogs this morning, that there are clearly visible 'flowering wood' stubs on the Japanese wisteria, so I've got my fingers firmly crossed that they are mature enough to flower this year...

I decided not to do any seed starting this winter so I never gave any thought to the basement plant store. Today I finally gave thought to elephant ears. Usually I start them in January. The poor things had attempted to come out of dormancy - there were foot-long shoots on some of them (all dried up again!) I potted them up, gave them lots of water and fertilizer and put them in the living room window. Hopefully i didn't kill them with my neglect! :-(

A couple of very doggy days here... Liam and Blue are good buddies but Liam is largely a day-visitor in winter so doesn't usually overlap with Blue at night. There was some friendly competition for prime close-to-people real estate :-) Barb was here today and she's a favorite person for all of them:

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 4:29PM
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The voice of experience, eh, Julie? :) I'm sure we'd all like to see some shots of the results.

A smile for Woody's shot (even though I hate dogs).

A beautiful day today and the helpmeet is clearly on the mend as he was working in the bahn when I returned from work. Rex was contentedly sprawled just in front of the closed bahn door soaking up the sun and warmth reflecting off it. Accumulated ice in the driveway is retreating slowly... no doubt to be replaced by more snow in the not-too-distant future. The pride spent a great deal of time broadside to the sun in safely elevated locations.

The sore throat will either worsen overnight or will be contained by my immune system. I'm hoping for the latter as we're slated to have fun people over for dinner on Sunday.

I arrived in the living room to discover the several of yesterday's pinched geraniums neatly arrayed in a bed of potting soil. Not sure if the cuttings will take (tough going in a home with wood heat), but I was genuinely touched by the gesture.

(and said so)

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 5:42PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

For a touch of spring, check out the link below. It was featured in an article in The Garden - the Royal Hoorticultural Society's magazine that came today. A neighbour across the street found one snowdrop in bloom in her garden today - this place has an estimated 10 million!

Here is a link that might be useful: Welford Park snowdrops

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 8:56PM
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I had a nice post written last night but tempted fate by writing in the box. It is now floating somewhere in cyberspace. I haven't installed Word on my laptop and really don't like WordPad. I've gotten lazy and like the way Word capitalizes and corrects my spelling.

On the gardening front I've been collecting seeds from various local stores. I just can't help myself. I'm still working on the orders that I plan on placing for seeds. The tropical garden will have a new look this year. Since its mostly annuals this will be easy. I've decided on a red garden. Rick is a Case IH man and this will be a nod to that. He was pleased with the idea. I'm planning on adding some orange annuals to the Welcome Garden to give it a fresh look also. Last weekend Kenzie and I made a terrarium which was fun and we were able to get some dirt under our fingernails.

I worked 3 nights this week on getting the books ready for the tax man. I'm glad to have that accomplished. Now I can return to my cleaning upstairs. Last night we picked up some totes of various sizes for the organization part. I finally finished painting around the windows that Rick replaced last spring. I got a little nervous when I couldn't find the paint for one of the rooms. I had just painted it 2 years ago and really didn't want to do it again. I need to figure out some window treatments for the 2 guest rooms. They face the road and I think its nice for guests to have the option of privacy. We don't really like much over our windows here. That's the nice part of living in the country.

The weather here has been wonderful and much of our snow has left us. I ran around with my camera yesterday afternoon and snapped some shots of evergreen plants. Its always fun to find something green emerge from the snow.

I have sattelite radio in my car and with that account you can listen online also. I've been messing around with setting up my favorite stations. Its nice to be able to listen and select various types of music with the controls right at my fingertips. Who would have thought back in the days of large furniture types of stereos.

Woody, that's an amazing patch of snowdrops.

I really need to get moving its 8:15 and I have much I would like to accomplish today. Spring will be here soon and I'd like to have my to do list finished.

Have a great Saturday!


    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 9:19AM
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I agree, that patch of snowdrops puts the pathetic 4-5 that survive in my garden to shame. :)

I was out with Rex about 5 AM and it was still quite mild, the wind picking up at about that time. It's gusting pretty good now and the temperature is falling.

I spent the bulk of yesterday in the Salon and lit the stove before the sun was up. It cooked along, and the soapstone radiated warmth all day long. When I left the Salon last night it was still 70 degrees and the fire had been out for a few hours. I came out this morning (5ish) and the space was still 60 degrees. I lit a fire and it's very nice in here... 71, with sunshine streaming through the (dirty) windows.

No green outside these windows unless you count the evergreens, although we've not had any snow for over a week and the recent warm days have encouraged a lot of melting. The snow on the rooves is nearly melted now and the driveway is sporting the soggy, recently thawed look. Consequently, the staircases and rugs are sporting that very same look! ;)

Colds linger, nothing too debilitating, just enough to remind you that you're not quite up to par. and fill waste baskets with tissue.

That shot of Kenzie and the terrarium was wonderful, Michelle. I'm right there with you on the organizing and general interior "punch list", but lately have found time in the Salon a good deal more enticing. The helpmeet struggles on with the boardroom. I'd like to see him wrap it up, but figure "pushing it" could prove counter-productive. I have given no thought, whatsoever to any gardening, aside from getting a few shrubs moved and some tree work done as early as possible.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 9:53AM
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Good morning friends,

And a cold , wet one here . I�ve been lolly-gagging around trying to decide what to do today, and regrettably have chosen bathroom cleaning. It�s only going too be in the high 40�s today I�m told- our normal lows for daytimes in the winter run more to the 50�s, so I�m feeling the wimp factor. I tweaked my back this week too, so I have to be cautious with the manual labor for the next few days.

Lol Julie, I will be sure to reference this post if I ever decide to do any stencil work !

Ok, I need to get going , waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 12:15PM
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Outside the Salon windows:

(um, yeah... that's a feline guard house)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 4:36PM
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I was awakened around 6:15 this morning by thunder and lightning. It appears to be rain and freezing rain - yuck!

Kathy, we were in the 40's yesterday too! The sun was shining too.

I nearly finished my cleaning project yesterday. We have lots of stuff that will be donated. I also bought myself a label machine and labeled boxes and totes like crazy. I think we will put in new carpet. I'm not sure how much. There are 2 rooms, the hallway and stairs that have very old and worn carpet. The room I'm working on has brown, orange and gold carpet! I'm thinking it would be good to do it all. Then that room desparatly needs paint but first lots of wall repair. It was a teenager's room after all. Lots of nail holes and dings.

Chelone, I really like all the trees on your property. Where does the path lead? I can see why you are lured to the salon. It has become a lovely spot. The seating area around the stove is so inviting. Great job on the chairs. I'm sure you are quite productive when you are out there.

That's all I have for this early in the morning.

Enjoy your day.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 8:16AM
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The path leads around Sanitary Ridge to the back driveway and composting area. We snowblow it so we'll have a place to walk with the dog when the snow is deep. We have a series of paths that allow good access to our massive, 2.65 acre estate.

I need to pick up the cleaning pace, Michelle. I've been pretty lax about it in the past few weeks and if I don't get on it shortly, it's unlikely much will be done when the weather breaks. Same old story. I can't imagine wanting to tear out carpet in the brown/orange/gold family... . Talk about a time capsule, huh?

I meant to mention that we saw "The King's Speech". I loved it. It's beautifully written, acted, and the sets and costumes are first rate. Very entertaining and very thoughtful. I highly recommend it.

Well, I'm not getting too much done right now, so I'd best get to it before I slip into a sloth-like existence for the remainder of the day! (it wouldn't be hard; it's cold outside and the stove is pretty inviting!).

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 8:39AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's a good day here for sloth-like existence. We've got rain interspersed with freezing rain. Outside conditions range from sloppy to gross.

But yesterday was a different matter entirely. I believe that temps topped out around 40 and it was sunny all day long. DH and I did "fall cleanup" on the front garden beds. I had to hold him back from raking everything off the beds altogether. "Dear, it's only February!" I always enjoy it when you can get in a day of garden work during February.

I also took advantage of the nice weather to really clean the inside of my car. Having transported a bale of straw, the inside was in bad shape. And I may or may not have used an ice scraper to loosen the layer of mud on the inside of the door frame. Gotta love those gravel driveways!

Other than a bad weather day, all is well here. We're getting ready to order more chicks for spring, I'm prepping for another season of beekeeping and discussions for vegetable gardening are underway. And we continue to work on cleaning up our storage area in the basement.

Oops! DS and wife are on their way out - I'd better get out of my pj's!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:51AM
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V. you're quite the pioneer woman. I like hearing of your plans for the upcoming season.

I promise myself that I am going to do paths like Chelone's next winter season. Zeus and I would appreciate it. We clear quite a large area for vehicles and access to the wood pile, but not for the dog. Jake did hand shovel a place for Zeus to walk around a tree (the tree helps to get him to "go").

Julie, I enjoyed your stenciling instructions, lol. I have been cleaning out my closet this morning. I switched to huggable hangers and I have to say that they were worth the money. Matching hangers are certainly pleasing to the eye. I donated so much stuff that I've been holding on to for no reason...well maybe sentimental reasons, but who needs the clothes? I have the pictures.

Wow Woody, I wonder how long the snow drop naturalization took?

Michelle, we're gonna need pictures of this room. It's going to be so fabulous when you're done! I just know it.

Hello to everyone. I read here every day, but just haven't been feeling like posting lately. SunnyD is having a "I'm Pretending I'm In Mexico Party" today. She normally goes on a trip during this week, but is saving her money this year for a trip to Spain instead. I'm gonna wear some capris and flip flops and bring fish tacos. It'll be fun :)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 11:09AM
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I have embraced slothdom today. I just can't seem to get it out of first gear today. I am not alone:

I'm even too lazy to go up to the attic and bring down the frame for the footstool I want to cover to go with that chair. Or begin ripping down the oak office chair I'm presently sitting on so it can be repaired and redone. They both seem like worthy undertakings but somehow the energy just ain't there.

It's lovely today, bright blue sky, not a cloud in sight, and chilly. But we sat in front of the bahn door (which faces due south) and it was really very pleasant, though nowhere near Mexico. Rex kept guard atop a snowbank and the cats milled around and then opted to climb the pergola and the ramp up to the Salon window.

V., I am mightily impressed at the pioneer spirit you embody these days. With the addition of springtime chicks how large will your flock be? The helpmeet and I have chatted about chickens but I'm not sure either one of us is really ready to "pull the trigger" just yet. Some of your inclement weather is due in tomorrow, some snow will freshen things up a bit.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 1:18PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

We currently have 22 laying hens in the flock. We have ordered 10 more and plan to get on a three year rotation - 10 new layers every three years. This spring, we also are adding 20 meat birds. They'll be short-term additions to the flock and will be making their trek to Wisconsin in mid-June.
So far we only have had rain today. I hope we miss the ice! I'll take snow but spare me the in-between stage!


    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 3:36PM
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I don't believe that I've ever shown these pictures from last years bathroom project. Its really hard to photograph since it is somewhat L shaped because its a smaller box with in the larger room that holds the bathtub and stool. There's a pocket door between them. This type of bathroom worked well with a family especially on a dairy farm. Someone can be showering while others use the vanity area. It still works well for the 2 of us.


I really need to find an end to put on the shade cord.

This one shows the cabinet that we added. We debated on double sinks but decided that the storage would be a better route.

Here is the room that I'm working on. I just know you all will have carpet envy.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 5:17PM
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I definitely have carpet envy, Michelle. There's nothing I like more than a "good neutral". ;)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 5:37PM
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I woke to heavy frost but no rain this rain ! My back felt way better (probably due to sitting on my a** all day yesterday) so I was longing to get out of the house-too muddy to garden . I decided to take a road trip to UC Davis Arboretum..I think I missed some areas, but it was fun anyway. I may go back next weekend if the weather holds .

Chelone I see The Pride wasted no time in claiming squatting rights to the newly decked out chairs in the Salon. I hope you have a lint roller handy ! So have you pondered that fabulous chair I admired in your computer desk area in the 'main house' ?? I would love to see a photo of it in it's present state-so beautiful. Would you indulge me ?

Lol Saucy, you'll need security retinue if you're going to Mexico.

Michelle, love your b-room transformation, the simplicity looks really nice.Spa-like !

My car is a mess V, but I keep putting off the cleaning since it won't stop raining . I'm driving down to Santa Barbra in April and I hope I can get it cleaned up before that ..remarkably April is not that far off..

Here are some pics from my trip to Davis today. From UC Davis Arboretum 2011 From UC Davis Arboretum 2011 From UC Davis Arboretum 2011 From UC Davis Arboretum 2011 From UC Davis Arboretum 2011

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 10:03PM
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Fluffy snow drifts down as I type, so it's fun to see pictures of faraway places and things that are different than what grows here.

"Your" chair, Kathy, is a bit advanced for me at this juncture. It requires a complete reupholstery job, ripped down to the frame and then patiently rebuilt. I suspect, though am not certain, that it's built on a metal frame. That complicates things as all supporting features (webbing) must be either stitched or hog ringed in place as you can't tack/staple into metal. Add to that the diamond tufting and buttoning and it's no beginner project. I think, therefore, that it's in my best interests to cut my teeth on more straight forward projects before plunging into the deep end of the pool, as it were. I will try to locate a shot of it for you, however. I showed a shot of t to an upholsterer locally and he told me the labor on the piece would be in the range of $1200-1500, to duplicate what presently exists. It is a very cool chair.

Yeah... The Pride has definitely staked their claim to the Salon and I'm fine with that. They're good company. I am familiar with the lint brush, the upholstery vacuum attachment and lately, The Furminator, handy serrated rake that is a wonder at removing loose fur and undercoats. They're not quite sure they really like it but I find that if I "don't push it" they get right into being groomed and the duration of the sessions has increased as the removed fur has decreased. They're downright silky when we're finished! And very, very pretty.

If the sun remains behind cloud cover today it will be cold in Dirtyland. Lesigh.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 6:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


Today is Family Day holiday in Canada. We expect DS to arrive and spend the week with us and DD and the little ones. DD's crew arrives tomorrow early in the dawning. And so today I will be locating the baby seat for Leo, making a bed for DS, etc. A friend is building a stepping stool for Ivy so that she can access the toilet.

This is Study Week at the university (also known as Ski Week) so DH will be at home preparing an exam and lessons for the rest of the term. He also has a meeting to prepare for. Saturday night we celebrated his 70th birthday with many friends in Toronto and it was a wonderful gathering of former students and good friends (and good food!) Of course there were good stories and memories shared...and many laughs! He was very touched. DS arrived at our friends' place the following morning (yesterday) and conducted business meetings there all day.

There is a small layer of white white snow all about...covering the dirty accumulation of the past weeks. Phoebe will certainly enjoy running about after being 'dog sat' in town on Saturday and Sunday.

I've certainly been enjoying the photos on this thread!!!!

Here's my contribution. Imagine bath day in Haiti amongst some 12 year olds! That could be Skyler....

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 8:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, I had a rug too. Purple variegated shag on the stairs and two third floor bedrooms. DH was required to remove it before I would move in. I was thrilled to see it go! It could not even be vacuumed, not that I wanted to save it....

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 8:20AM
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Woody's dog pile �.Chelone"s snowpiles �.. And V's chicken pile (on facebook)�. All interesting.
Chelone I like seeing your pathways and areial views. Looking forward to seeing some other season ones too. I see the cats have claimed the chairs. Bob has never liked the animals on the furniture,but since Niki wheedled her way into his heart he has made an exception and if something is in her way he removes it.

Michelle I remember that type of carpet well. I like that shade in the bathroom makeover and noticed you did artwork with it too. If I had a farm house with plenty of bedrooms I would love a whole big room bathroom.

Kathy, Love the spring pictures from your excursion. I was surprised to see crocus blooming here yesterday. Wyatt picked one and brought it to me lol I would have rather seen it blooming where it was but the gesture was appreciated. We have had some really warm days off an on , but none in succession.
We lucked out with a nice day yesterday,( near 70 I think) as we have begun clearing to build a" bahn". Just a metal pole barn for storage ,but it will have a spot for a horse stall if I decide to pursue that again. Anyway the guys got a lot accomplished.

Exciting times at Your place Bug. Have a wonderful week with the family.

Wyatt spent the night and is ready for breakfast, so I am off to do that.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 8:44AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Odd... I posted on both this and the 'This moment' thread last night, but neither of them are here...

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 8:47AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

About to shoot out the door again, but I wanted to tell Chelone that this afternoon the thought in my grousy brain was, "Is it unreasonable to expect an indoor workplace to be warm in the winter?" No one checks to see that the doors shut behind them, other open windows to "disguise" their smoking.

Grump, grump, grump - off to yoga class to realign my brain!


    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 6:06PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy belated Family Day Bug! Your house will be full today!



    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 6:56AM
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I would like to wish George Washington a happy birthday today. Cold and clear here although the driveway is wet from melting... the sun's rays simply will not be denied at this time of year.

I bet 'bug is having a grand day today. :)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 2:47PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Sunny, but cold here today - -20C windchill this morning. Fortunately, it's supposed to warm up again starting tomorrow.

The cold put me in a cooking mood.

Barb was here today so we cooked up a storm :-) I had some phyllo pastry in the freezer that I had got to make something, but never got around to making the recipe that prompted me to buy it. I went looking for a nice dinner recipe that would use the phyllo. (I have never actually cooked with it before...) I found two recipes, one which looked interesting but got so-so reviews from other cooks and one that got good reviews but I was less keen on how it was put together. So I merged the two recipes and did some fiddling about with them. It turned out delicious!

We had lots of phyllo pastry left over so we made two tart thingys with fruit that I had on hand - one was bueberry/strawberry and the other apple. We had also made a blueberry/pineapple crisp, so added some of the crisp topping to the apple tart thingy. They all turned out very tasty - we couldn't resist sampling when the tart things came out of the oven...!

I can't believe I've never used phyllo before. In was SO easy. The curried chicken was a vaguely quiche-like thing. I think the next time I make quiche, I'll make the phyllo crust.

Curried chicken pie and blueberry/pineapple crisps:

Fruit tart thingys:

Getting ready to sample:

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 7:08PM
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MMMmm, those look yummy Woody!

It was supposed to get up to 47 here today but it sure didn't feel like it with the wind chill. We built a bonfire with the smaller limbs of the trees we are removing to build the barn/shed, so I got a bit of a workout today. I hadn't worn my coveralls at all yet this winter. I could barely get them zipped up before. Now I kinda of swim in them. Bob's are really baggy too.
We will be back out there in the morning. Rain is headed our way tomorrow night.

Waving to all. Norma

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 7:50PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Waving hi back to the wavers. You know who you are. :)

Hi everyone. I haven't been writing here as much as I'd like, because I've been struggling a bit with family, work, and myself, even more than usual. I'm always battling things, but still am keeping up on most of my personal goals. This week I'm working on the 20 minute a day cleaning the hot spots. That doesn't include the usual cleaning, laundering, and cooking that I do. Plus I've been slipping on the reading of the accounting a bit, so I'm putting myself on report about that too. I have been doing everything else daily, but hope I can keep it all up when the work I've been advertising to do picks up.

Nice day here. I went to the park with Leah, and did my exercises there. Sunny at about 6 celcius and a bit windy. It was a cold wind when I started out, but turned refreshing after my tai chi, yoga balancing poses, squats, and lunges. Funny how it works that way. People look at me funny, but it's a park. I remember when they were full of people. Where are all the little ones, and their moms, anyway? Indoors, and warm, I guess.

So sorry Woody about your post loss. I always love to read about your day.

That beautiful snowdrop field makes me want to make a snowdrop angel. Not that I would. Honest. Just kidding around.

Fun to see Barb with that group of woman's best friend.

I wanted to call your little bark of dogs a pack. But when looking it up found that's only for wild dogs. Kennel is the name for unrelated domestic dogs. I've found myself referring to a kennel of dogs as a bark of dogs, which is of course totally made up. :)

Link to What is a group of dogs called?

A happy Family day to you from me as well, Marie. I miss my big family days.

So fun to see a bath day with a group of 12 year olds. They need to watch for the soap in the eyes, though, I think. That stings.

Michelle too bad about the lost post, from you too. I never had much use for WordPad, either. I do feel guilty when I try to use shortcuts, though, so I can't quite embrace word's correction mode. It's ridiculous I know, but I'm afraid to let the old way of things go, a lot, lest it becomes the slippery slope. Like punctuation. The new school is to not use punctuation at all if you don't want to. But I can't do that. I have to use commas etc, even though they're not required any more.

I enjoyed the peaceful bathroom pic. Very calm and quiet. I like that.

Oh no. I have red bed envy again. I love red flowers. So beautiful. Did you see the red garden, from gottagarden?

Here's the link.

You were one of the ones who asked about my necklaces. Did you see the one I linked?

I'll link my Picasa page again. Would someone let me know whether it works? You should see pics of my DD's wedding and Leah, my golden and some of my necklaces.

Julie, you must be the epitome of patience. I would have really gotten angry with that paint. LOL.

Chelone, hope that sore throat is a memory by now. I use a gargle of a well strained sage herb tea, and that usually does the sore throat part of the cold in.

The giant bud thief resides in many North American homes. It is usually the male and it usually waits until it is alone. It sometimes uses the tools of the home, which means it is evolved, but not enough to recognize that the beautiful flower follows a bud. It is difficult to cull these pests from the garden, as they seem to be at most homes, indeed wherever there is a garden. Sigh. I lost my lilac buds last May to this pest, which have burst open around my birthday every year since I moved here. Of course there seems to be the rare bud thief who has good motives. Lucky you, Chelone.

Enjoyed the view from the Salon. And enjoyed seeing the Cat Pride Day parade, as well.

Gardening, hmmm. It's tough to not feel like what's the point. The garden. I love it. It's not so sure how it feels about me. I'm broke. It needs money. More than I can give it. So we sit and stare at each other. Oh well, maybe next year our relationship will improve. If it stays that long. I'm sure more gardens and their people break up over money than anything else. We need garden therapy.

Kathy glad the back is better. I fear injury. I don't want to slow down, now that I can exercise as much as I want with no fear of migraine, for the most part.

Thanks for sharing the Davis pics. I really want to go buy and plant things everytime I see such beauty. Sigh.

V, did you make it out of your pj's by the time your DS and wife arrived? I've never remotely been a farm woman, but if I were I bet I'd hop into my coat and boots right over my pj's for morning chores. Why not? If I had chickens I wouldn't be able to wait to see them in the morning. And bees! Oh my, throw in five cats, a goat and sheep, or two and a horse or two, and a few more dogs and I'd be in heaven. I'd never want to leave the farm. But alas it's just like the garden. It would want most of my money. Richea would love the farm life, too. He dreams of having a place to practice his dirt biking on. Maybe some day.

For your cold smokey work place, may I suggest a breathing mask, an electric heater and longjohns. Jumping jacks work well, for warming up, though I don't know how that would work in a breathing mask. LOL. It would make an interesting picture, though. Hope you can resolve this. I hate being cold.

Norma, a bahn, and horse stall. Sounds nice. If I could afford it, I'd get one. As you can see from what I wrote, above.

Saucy I'm eating nachos and salsa right now. Viva la Mexico! Oh lay. I hope you had a good time on Mexico Day. I read every day, too but it seems to take a while to get the old letter writing juices flowing. I guess with the other stuff I'm trying to do, it's not surprising.

Re the picasa web, I finally have linked a pic, hurray hurray. Thanks Kathy and everyone else who helped.

My DD Alena and her DH Brodie on their wedding day.

Leah and Sophie our Christmas visitor

The necklace I made my niece, Lindsey.

Off to see a computer about a book.

Happy Idylling,


Here is a link that might be useful: Pics on picasa

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 2:13AM
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Yeona, I got to your Picasa page, but then there was nothing there. Are there pictures there? If so, I cannot see them.

Not much to say. I've taken a temporary job in a vintage motorcycle shop. He needs help getting his inventory on a legible document and then online. It's a lot of painful reading and writing of spreadsheets, but I'm enjoying the little bit of money. It's good to get out of the house, too.

I have a phone interview for a job I'd really like on Thursday morning. It's an inventory arborist. I'd identify trees and inspect them for damage (insect or otherwise) and then catalog them on a system similar to Google Earth. Sounds interesting to me.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:14AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Here is a wayward idyller - I'm relieved to see I have not missed #500 thread at least.... I only quickly read thru this thread -- can I say Happy new Year? and looking forward to an early Spring?

Things are fine here - it was a tough winter but I've decided it surely must wane now and I have pulled my head out of hibernation....

It's so nice to see things are still as always -- lovely peeks of spring from Kathy, food and recipes that make my tummy hungry and lovely thoughts and family that make me feel warm.... now I cannnot figure out why I havent been able to pop in here from time to time... darn it!

Is it too late for a New Year's Resolution? I will attempt to look in at least 3 times a week!

Grandbaby Isla is doing fine - a wee thing but cheery and smiley. Pup Stella is about 9 months now and Finally figured out how to go down the stairs by herself last weekend so I look forward to no more lugging her around up/and down (the old 8 lb oinker that she is - not sure that's what she weighs, but she feels a bit tubbier than her predecessor)... she's keeping me hoppin tho.

Greetings to all.

--Cindy (lost in DC....)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 9:10AM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Thanks Saucy. I'll try to publicize my picasa web page. Hopefully that will do the trick. Good luck in your endeavors. I like working a different jobs best. I never want to stick to one field.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pics on picasa

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:49PM
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Lol, Cindy. Your 8lb. oinker is smaller than our smallest cat, who weighs in at just under 10 lbs.. Spencer is the "wide body" at 14lbs.10oz.! a strapping boy if ever there was one. I think of you whenever I refer to Dirtyland as the "awfice"... . I'll be glad to see "quittin' time" tomorrow.

Beautiful necklace, Yeona.

I could use an organized gal like you, Saucy. :) (my computer struggles continue unabated, lol).

I would have liked to taste some of Woody's tart thingys, too.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 6:22PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I do hope my sudden re-appearance has not totally shocked and killed this thread, LOL -- I'm hoping we're all getting busy starting to think about Spring and garden projects.

I managed to look at one full thread at lunch yesterday and was so pleasantly surprised to see Yeona back and Mary too -- we just all can't keep away. I recall you Yeona in the early years and how you always had neat info about conifers and photos on them as well. I love your jewelry you're beading - how gorgeous. Glad that Mary has been busy -- you've got a puppy as well and what an adorable name. My nieces have a pug and love her (they also have a bulldog named Lily who is quite a bit larger than the pug!).

I fear if I list others and what I managed to recall, I'll be sure to leave out one person and hurt their feelings -- it's just nice to now how idyllers spend their winter months keeping busy til the last snow goes away and we can get back to our passion for gardening.

I will say that it's amazing how quickly the kiddies are growing (oddly our pets dont seem to age once they attain adulthood) -- I can't get over how big Ivy, Kenzie, Bella and Wyatt have gotten in just the last few months!

Chelone -- I love what you've done in the Salon - it would indeed be hard to leave there I fear looking as great as it does. I think we just have to try to separate our daily professional jobs and our abodes - that's the only way to get out the door in the morning!

Woody - you've really been keeping busy with the new course -- so impressive -- and all that dog visiting and food festivities going on. You have the best recipes!

Okay, now I'm hungry and better get back to eating lunch.

Have a pleasant day wherever you are idylling today.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 1:09PM
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Hey Cindy, It's so good to have you popping in. The threads are moving pretty slow theses days, so don't get discouraged. I would like to see how Stella is growing when you get a chance. Are your DD and family enjoying there new place?

We are getting some rain and more heavy stuff on the way. It may turn in to ice later. It's definetly going to drown our bonfire. Good thing we were almost done. They are talking more snow likely in a couple of days. Oh yay! :(

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 1:25PM
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Howdy-do Idylls ! I've been delinquent this week, though I read the latest installment at the awfice every morning with the first cup of 'swill' ..our expense cutting measures have segued us from French-press dark roast ( the good old days) to Folgers. My Peets French Roast tastes mighty fine on Saturday morning !

Our weather forecast here for the next couple of days is pretty wild-a cold front from Alaska has married up with a rainstorm and the weather dudes are predicting possible snow here on Friday night. The handful of snow events we've had here rarely result in any accumulation- though the hillsides will look pretty in their white shawls. It's going to be cold (by my standards) all weekend too, so I am plotting indoor tasks. I am going to re-do the wall decor in the dining room. The gold-ish colored picture frames are going to be painted very dark brown (espresso)..I have all botanical art there, and have several that are not yet framed. I really want to paint the room too; it's small and I could easily do it in a weekend. I look to Yeona and Julies discipline as inspiration, not to mention Chelones fabu Salon.

Cindy, so happy to see you back ! Norma is right, the threads are slower at the moment . We ebb and flow. I try to post every day , but Feb was a crowded month for me. We'd love a photo of the lovely Stella !

Woody those food pics are drool worthy ! Phyllo is a very tasty ingredient in just about anything .

Yeona, what beautiful DD ! Thanks for posting these photos for us..isn't money a drag sometimes ? I have purposely not bought single plant since October. I have a lot of renovation plans and want to use my funds in the most efficient way. I've been known to make foolish 'impulse' pant purchases. Most foolish of all is when pay full retail for a plant I could get at 10% above wholesale at my company. Annies Annuals is a perfect example-they are one of out vendors, yet I don't think twice about going to their nursery in Richmond and filling up a cart. All I need to do is ask the plant buyer to order what I want and I would pay significantly less. But I love going to Annies ! sigh-it's hopeless.

Saucy, that tree gig sounds really interesting, and I bet you'd be really good at it too ! Good vibes out to you !

Ok, gotta go make some dinner.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 10:13PM
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Thanks for the good vibes...I got the job and the best part? I was floored by how good it pays. My offer is in the mail with training to start the second week in March.

I am very happy to have been offered this opportunity.

We do need to see Stella, and Isla too :)

Norma, I like hearing about your bonfires/clearing. I wish we could get outside a bit. The snow cover is hanging on. Funny though, as the snow recedes we're noticing lots of plow damage that has been hidden. Signs are down and even curbing from the roadside is pushed into yard. Seems some were overly aggressive this year ;)

Nice to see the salon getting such good use. Maybe I could come up and visit you soon. I'd like to help you out, though I think you give me too much credit.

I had better get to bed. I've been on a cleaning kick and am feeling tired at the end of each day.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 10:35PM
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Well here I am in the Salon and I hear the telltale roar of the fire in the stove, the draft is strong and the door is making that jingling sound that tells me we're nicely on the way to a good burn. Once the stovetop thermometer reaches 250-300 degrees I can engage the catalytic combustor and begin shutting down the air intake so the smoke produced is burned along with the wood. After that it is accomplished the temperature will increase dramatically and particulate emissions will be virtually eliminated. I find that a single burn will keep the Salon cozy for the entire day unless it's brutally cold and very windy. (I know how fascinated you are by my wood stove stories, lol).

I was outside with the Hugest of Dogs about 5AM and it was raining, it has since turned to snow and the clean driveway is now rapidly disappearing under snow. It's beautiful, mostly because I don't have to go anywhere today and I have some fun and interesting things planned for my time in the Salon. :)

Yes, things have slowed to a trickle here with the wholesale defection of so many valued Idyllettes. But times do change, we know where they are and it makes the occasional visit here all the more memorable and more treasured.

Mr. Busy Fingers' cuttings seem to be taking hold nicely. He's been very diligent about spritzing them at every opportunity and I think they will be ready for the window boxes by Memorial Day. He has exercised great restraint and there are now 3 fat buds on the "mother plants", although the restraint may well be the result of threats to his person involving pinching...

Excellent news from Norma with respect to the easy zipping of coveralls. I hope you and your beloved made time to haul out some hot dogs while the bonfire was flaming away. The yearly Compound brush burn is coming right up and we always roast some "dogs" as part of the process.

It's good to know that Bob has finally learned that it is pointless to deny kitties access to anything. Life is definitely better when they decorate the furniture.

'Bug must be fully immersed in the world of rugrats. :)

Nice to see Cindy resurface, too. I am envious of your southerly locale and the fact that winter has likely "broken" for you. I still can't quite get over the notion of a dog that weighs in at 8 lbs., lol.

That's it for now, but the day is still young.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 7:25AM
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Lol Chelone I have never thought of using the pitchfork for roasting hot dogs before. That's clever. We do have stainless roasting forks now though, so we don't have to use sticks.

Kathy your weather is headed our way when you are done with it. You could have kept it as far as I am concerned. It will be much worse by the time it gets here I'm sure.

Congratulations on the job Saucy! I hope it turns out to be all you want it to be. Sounds good.

I don't blame Bug for devoting every moment to her family right now. I hope she is documenting with pictures for us.

Sugar frosting on the ground and cold this morning so I guess it's back to the basement after a run to town.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:24AM
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I have no doubt we will all soon suffer the deluge of photographs from 'bug. ;) Lol.

They're playing a Bach piece on the radio (don't know which one) but Bach always reminds me of Mary and her violin. I like to listen to classical music while I work.

Norma, I have no kitty out here with me right now. When the weather is fair they can and do come over any time by using their ramp system. But when the weather is crummy they don't like to go outdoors. I may just scoop up Vera and bring her out after lunch. I like having a cat around and they really like "being around". I recall the helpmeet commenting that he was "multi-tasking" as he put the dogs and the rolls on the pitchfork. ;)

I'm working on some cushions today. They've been cut out for a long time and assembling them seems like an entertaining way to while away a snowy day.

I want to hear more about Saucy's job, too. I am quite certain I do not underestimate any of your manifest abilities. :)

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:41AM
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It's a job funded by the USDA. I walk around in the woods, or along residential streets, the wetlands, etc. all throughout the county and look for signs of the Asian Longhorned Beetle. I have a handheld device that allows us to upload the trees to a geographical information system. Someone else comes along and climbs the tree and determines if it is indeed infected and arranges the removal. We work in groups and start early and knock off early. Two weeks of training. Binoculars are the method of seeing into the canopy. I think it sounds like an awesome job. I don't know why everyone wouldn't want to walk around outside and look into the treetops, lol.

There's no work on rainy days (yay) and I'm working on pulling together my foul weather gear and appropriate footwear.

I'm excited. I'm a little worried about a 40 hour work week, but I've done it before, and I'll bet if you added up all my odd jobs last year, it would be pretty close. I'm excited to hang out with adults during the day, too. Let's hope they're like minded ;)

It's raining here today and the kids are at the museum. It's a perfect day to fill out the offer packet that arrived this morning.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 1:08PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy TGIF everyone!

Quiet snowy day today, although little accumulation.

Saucy your new job will be great! I once spent a day as a volunteer identifying trees and "issues" - rot, hanging limbs etc. - in the village where I used to live. An hour of training and off we went. It sounds as if your job will be as much fun although far more detailed and interesting. Good for you!

Chelone, I want to come and sit by the stove in the salon! It looks absolutely great! No wonder you feel a certain reluctance, shall we say, to go to the awfice. I was telling someone about your soapstone stoves the other day. I will add the information about the smoke being burned up. This might be just what these friends need.

Haha, Yeona's doing Juliejobs (that's the twenty minutes of "extra" stuff tacked on to the regular cleaning stuff).

Kathy I am glad that my bedroom make-over, which is uncompleted, inspired you. Maybe next week that last coat will go on the baseboards. I have the paint for the side table, and no excuse to not have it done, except that I don't feel like it :)

I see that Marie is having a great week too, immersed in the world of rugrats~lol)! What a treat in the middle of winter.

Mmmmm, Woody, I love warm baked treats in the middle of winter. Heck, I love warm baked treats anytime. Look delicious. I MADE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES TODAY BUT SUBSTITUTED ALMOND BUTTER FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER. tURNED OUT VERY WELL. nOT AS SWEET AS THE pb ONES USUALLY ARE, BECAUSE i USED PURE ALMOND BUTTER. oUR pb IS THE kRAFT kind with added salt and sugar. Soory about the caps, but I am not going to retype it properly and I don't want to mess around and lose my post, which has been known to happen.

Hi Cindy and Norma - nice to "see" you here. And a wave to anyone that I might have missed.

Two things have occupied me lately. First, I was in desperate need of a new pair of boots to replace the three old pair, none of which are really wearable any more. Looked and looked, finally asked someone on the street where they got their boots: Bogs, sold at Sports type stores. Went to Ottawa last week, went to the appropriate store, asked for size 7, was given the last box, which contained one size 7 and one size 9. Lucky me. Finally searched on line and found them in Toronto. Ordered at 10 p.m. Saturday night, Monday was a holiday in Canada, and the box arrived by Fedex on Tuesday morning. I am so pleased. However, no charge to my credit card, and no bill. I may have to hunt this place down in order to pay!

Second, I finally caved in and bought some of those jiffy pot things and planted some seeds - tomatoes, peppers, lupins (colour unknown) and salvia (blue). I brought some shelves up from the basement and put them in front of my floor to ceiling windows in the kitchen to take advanage of the sun and light. It feels like we're eating in a greenhouse, as I moved many houseplants there too. I will probably regret this in about a month when I need to start repotting, but just now I am happy. I will continue with herbs and stuff next week. Maybe I will reward myself if I finish the bedroom!

Now that I have bored you all to tears with my truly exciting life, I will head off for the wine rack!



    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 4:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A good (though early) start to the day. Sarah is making French toast with her friend, DH is out walking Ivy and Phoebe, and I am slowly waking up and checking emails... :)

It is snowy, but not too cold.

I'm excited by Saucy's activities! Also nice to see Barb and Woody in baking mode. Glad you enjoy almond butter as much as I do too.
Off to start the day! DS may be leaving for Boston, but we'll see if he's up to it in these weather conditions.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:26AM
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I learned many years ago that making winter more comfortable is the first step in getting through it without succumbing to "cabin fever". Warm boots and good outdoor gear are definitely "where it's at", Julie, nothing is worse than cold/wet feet! I grumble about having "to suit up" but that's more about the added time than anything else. I am rarely cold when the dog and I go outdoors.

Yesterday, I began the redesign and recover of the cushions for the patio dining chairs. I made the originals as an anniversary gift in '93, I think, and they are definitely showing signs of age and fatigue. I'm going to reuse the foam even though it's a bit "long in the tooth" and showing some signs of degradation on the back side. I think the addition of some firm polyester batting will flesh it out enough to yield a good fit and milk a few more years out of it. It was a fun way to spend a snowy/rainy day. I'm not sure if I'll finish them today, but ought to be well on my way at any rate.

The driveway is a disaster. The snow turned to rain and the helpmeet failed to deal with the snow before the changeover. It is now nicely hardened and I'm not sure the snowblower will be able to deal with it, and we're supposed to get more tonight before more rain on Monday. This is an irritation because I warned him that it was changing to rain and was "blown off". Oh well, it'll melt in due course. ;)

Saucy, your job sounds like a perfect fit for you. I watched a rather in-depth program on the invasion and discovery of the Asian Longhorn Beetle in the Worcester area and it was heartbreaking to see the loss of so many trees. I am very familiar with the ban on moving firewood, but if you lose a tree on your property to ALB are you permitted to buck/split/stack the downed wood for future use? or must it be utterly destroyed to ensure the destruction of the insect in it?

I saw a cool idea in a magazine while I was waiting for my haircut. Instead of using peat pots or those little net things to start seeds they were using eggshells. I would never have thought about using them, but it seems like a good way to recycle them. I see yet another cottage industry for V. and Mary. ;)

OK, time to get busy on those cushions.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 7:33AM
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I made splitpea soup , dusted and vacuumed and am otherwise hiding from the temps. And I have a cold ! Whine. One of my office mates must be the culprit, he was laid low this week. I can't be accusatory about employees that don't stay home when they have a cold because I never do. At least I can hole up in my own private office and people can come in if they dare !

We are expected to get into the 20's tonight.DS went into the city this afternoon to see a play and I can only imagine the views he saw on the way-it's a gorgeous crystalline day here in Norcal, and SF must have been at it's glorious best- the weather there is pretty much cold and miserable year-round.

Julie I have a pair of Bogs just given to me last week by our sales rep- we carry them in our stores. The sample he sent me is blue paisley. Very stylish !

Saucy your job sounds awesome, I bet you'll enjoy it !

Chelone, will the chairs be covered in a different fabric ? They were wide grey and white stripes before , right ? I can't imagine what the various components of 'suiting up'might be in your climate. I wear long-johns all winter here -and of course we have almost balmy winter temperatures compared with those in your area.

I have ordered my tickets for the SF Garden Show next month. There are so many great speakers this year I decided to do 2 days, so I got a hotel room . It will be a mini vaca of sorts, I haven't taken any days off work since December. The room rates were el cheap-o when booked at the garden show special rate.

All right friends, time to go drug-up and read seed catalogs..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 8:28PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello, hello, a delinquent Idyller checking in. Things here on the Idylls look like they are humming along nicely. We've had a very busy winter with more snow and cold that I recall in a very long time, in fact it snowed on Friday and is again today... Sooo ready for spring to come so I can get these plants outside. I thought you'd all enjoy some pics from the Hartford CT flower show yesterday. Doug and I took the plane down and Sue picked us up and provided ground transportation. Great time at the show and it was a lot of fun to see flowers and green!

I'll try to check in again before another three months have gone by! LOL


Here is a link that might be useful: Hartford Flower Show

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 8:20AM
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More snow this morning, looks like 4"/thereabouts and cold. Tomorrow it's supposed to get really warm and rain like hell. "Suiting up" involves a pullover over the base top layer, the coat, the gloves, the hat (I prefer knitted pea caps), and boots (+/- Yaktrax). It takes more time than it does in the summer, but it's time well spent if you're going to be outside. The dog and I were out at 5 AM and spent 15 minutes rambling around the paths. The snow was just starting and it was pretty windy but it was beautiful.

The chairs in question are the iron ones that go with the round table. They had taupe cushions on them that were curved to fit the shaped mesh of the chairs. I've removed the old covers, harvested the zippers, and recut the foam, so the new "look" will involve 2 cushions/chair instead of simply one. I completed the seat cushions yesterday and am roughly half way finished with the backs. The fabric is a pleasing, tweedy affair in greens and taupes from the Sunbrella furniture collection. I have redone the cushions for the faux wicker sofa in the same fabric. It works up nicely and I like the effect very much.

Activity at the bird feeder has been frenzied the last few days and watching the action always reminds me of you, Deanne. I am going to need a good pair of binoculars if I'm going to spend any appreciable amount of time out here.

I'm not thinking about spring yet... too early just yet. Rather, I'm more focused on getting some tree work done before the little spring ephemerals and the ferns begin to emerge. It would be nice to do some thinning and get moving on the firewood supply for 2013 (no kidding). As usual, there seems to be more focus on the the important site work and less on the "pretty". Oh well, c'est la vie.

Back to my cushions.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 12:15PM
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We went to Mpls. for the weekend. Charlie was baptised. It snowed on the way up just enough to make the trip a bit more slow. We had a nice weekend with family but its good to be back. I'm really a homebody. I returned to find my aloe which I've been watching the buds for weeks really starting to bloom. So I thought I'd share.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 9:34PM
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Good evening Idylls. We've warmed up a bit there, rain is coming in again . I tried to pull some weeds this afternoon, but was only partially successful; the ground is still pretty muddy . It was nice to get out even though I was blowing my nose to a fare-thee-well. I'm going to go to bed early and dose myself up with Nyquil -that stuff puts me out like a light.

Hi Deanne ! I was thinking of you today when I was outside ;my bird activity was high-mostly gold finches. I sure enjoy watching them.

Chelone, your suit-up doesn't sound much different than mine on winter mornings, but I expect the R-factor of your ensemble is a tad higher than mine. And of course there are no Yaktrax involved. I have 2 polar fleece bucket hats from Lands End that get lots of wear over the winter- I always feel better with my head covered.

Michelle, your Aloe is you know what variety it is ? I lost a couple small ones to the freezes this winter . I his my new spiral aloe under a table-it handles the frost okay but the constant rain not so much.

All for me, waves to all.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:19PM
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Michelle, what a pretty vignette. There is no substitute for flowers in the midst of deepest, darkest winter, is there? How much snow do you have on the ground now. We're still in the 1 1/2-2' range, though it's hard to be accurate with drifts and the like.

More inclemency today with warming temperatures turning it to rain. And the dreaded refreeze tonight. We could wind up with a skating rink instead of a driveway.

To the helpmeet's chagrin I mentioned (again) the unfinished covers for the staircase surround in the Salon and the need for plugs to cover the countersunk bolts on the former as well as 3 of the work tables. As if that wasn't enough I repeated my request for 3 window boxes and brackets to go under them. These items have remained unaddressed for the best part of 3 yrs. now and I want to check them off the "Julie Job" list. I can't apply the finish to anything without the cut pieces.

It will be cold in Dirtyland today. No sun.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:13AM
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It was indeed a cold day in Dirtyland. But I'm home now and have been fortified with a vegetarian burrito and am prepared to continue working on my cushion project.

The driveway is a disaster waiting to happen. The snow left behind by the snowblower has melted and been saturated with rain. And it will freeze solid tonight. The result will be a solid and rough surface that will also be also slippery. It will melt away but in the interim it will be a drag. Lesigh.

I forgot to return my library book by the due date and am in arrears. I didn't finish it, either. Two time loser.

Geranium buds continue to fatten but deprived of sunshine they have yet to open. Cuttings look stout and vigorous, though.

That's all.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 5:17PM
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Hello Everyone!

I can't tell you what a delight it is to pop in after one of my absences and see everyones friendly posts and conversation. It reassures me that things are right in the world and makes me determined to carve out a sliver of time to participate.

We just returned to work/school after a week's break during which I installed a glass mosaic tile backsplash in the kitchen. It was fun to do and I'm loving the results. As usual, it was way more work/ time consuming than I could ever have imagined before I started. In writing this, I'm struck by the thought that I'll be able to show some of you in person this summer - I can't begin to tell you how excited that makes me. DH was gone while I did the work and I was a little worried he might not like the colors (brown, taupe and sandstone). He had assured me he would love it even if he didn't like it, and in actual fact was genuinely taken with the overall effect.

The week off was also the beginning of my seed starting season, with sweet peas soaked and awaiting germination, and leeks, eggplants and pepper seeds in pots. Every morning I eagerly peek under their covers to see if there are any specks of green. Time to haul out the shop lights.

I've been hunkering down at night with a couple of good books, having just finished the biography of Isabel Allende, "The Sum of our Days" which was fabulous, and Barbara Kingsolver's latest book "The Lacuna" which is also a great read. Inbetween I'm rereading my favorite gardening books (mainly Margery Fish) and dreaming of spring.

Little pug Zu-Zu continues to delight us. Today she was spayed and the poor thing is tired and groggy and just wants to be held. Annie and David are as busy as ever with school, music, activities and friends. Annie flew out to CA on her own to stay with SIL and is on her way home as I write. She was delayed 3 days due to the weekends storms, fortunately finding out in advance that she would not make it home and re-ticketing for today rather than being stranded at an airport which happend to DH. I will be relieved when she is back in the fold and will sleep again. When do mothers stop worrying?

Chickens are still laying well and amusing us and I am looking forward to using their manure on the gardens this spring. It takes a while to compost down so this will be the first time I reap the rewards of their by-products. Their eggs are as delicious as ever and a bowl of blue and brown eggs on the counter never fails to please me.

A big wave to one and all,


    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:15PM
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Chelone, we don't have much snow but because of the freezing rain last weekend there is an icy covering to it.

Mary, I hate to tell you but a mother never quits worrying and then the g'kids come along and there are more to worry over. I'd love to see your backsplash. We debated over adding one a couple of years ago, but to date I've been too chicken.

Kathy, the aloe is unnamed. It started out as a tiny one. Its been fun to watch the flower stalk mature.

Over the weekend I found a new magazine called Flea Market Gardens that I've been enjoying. It's right up my alley - incorporating junk into the garden.

I suppose I should warm up the left over spaghetti that will be tonight's dinner. I think I'll add a veggie and call it good. I tried a couple of new things last week to try to get out of my cooking rut. Crash hot potatoes were a hit along with the spinach, chicken and mushroom quesadillas. Rick has found some whole wheat tortillas that are extra high in fiber and has been eating them lately, so I decided to find a way to incorporate them into a meal.


    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:54PM
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Go for the back splash, Michelle. Tile is fun and not hard as long as you take the time to plan the project. You can definitely pull it off. Here's how I see it: the key to doing it successfully is to follow the directions and give yourself permission to screw it up royally! Odds are, you won't... but if you have "permission" it's not so bad IF you do! :)

No kids necessary to be a worry-wort. Ask me how I know. I am the designated worrier here on the Compound. Makes the helpmeet's life a good deal easier, methinks.

Minimizing mealtime waste had become a focus here, too. Fuel and food prices continue to increase and require more ingenuity, right?

Time to shut down the reactor here in the Salon and head on in to bed. Nighty-night.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 7:28PM
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Lol Chelone, 'designated worrier'-my DH was that here, and after he passed away I think he channeled some of it my way. I really try to be reasonable, but sometimes it's just futile. I guess we need to embrace our inner worriers, right ? And it feels great when all is well.

I have a lot of music here in my house Mary, mostly singing though, last night when I was on the couch reading I had a serenade of 'One Song-Glory' from 'Rent' (several times mind you ) and when I woke up for my 3am flash , I was treated to 'My Boy Bill' aka Billy Bigelows' 'Soliloquy' from 'Carousel' .. and does anyone else have a 3am flash ? Every night like clockwork, between 2:30 and 3:30 am . Throw off the covers, 5 minutes, suddenly it's freezing, cover back up. How sweet the comment from your DH ! I bet your triumph of home improvement success back in the powder room reno days gave him a whole new perspective.

All for me tonight -waves !

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Slushy and mushy here. Sun tomorrow they say. The snowperson is no more. :(

I was thinking of Mary on Sunday evening when DS emailed DH from Batavia NY saying that this was in fact the last trip for his vehicle. The car was VERY hot and had no gears left and he was driving between 30-50 mph homewards. Oh great says I!!! Yes, I am the designated worrier of the household. I imagine the car catching fire (gas leaks etc...of course) and honestly!, I was glad he came but why not take the bus or train or even splurge on a plane ticket???? All that is against his religion. So kids at age (almost) 40, and Mom still worries big time. Today at 4pm he emailed DH once more to say that he had arrived at the wreckers and was being paid $250 for his car's remains. Good grief! I am happy he is home and back at work. This post is worthy of Ei in the !!!!! department.

Tomorrow we take The Gang to the airport. Things will be extremely quiet around here in days to come.

Mary reminds me that I want to plant vegetable seeds soon. There is knitting to complete before garden weather begins too. I need to organize slides of Nigeria for our next book club meeting to discuss Half of a Yellow Sun.

I NEVER want to look at food again after all the company.. Phoebe thought it was great to sit near Ivy and is reluctant to eat her kibble. Won't take long to convince her once the little devil leaves.

Michelle, I love the dragonfly lampshade!

Cindy, glad to get your canine update (as well as granddaughter's of course!)

Oh! Today Skyler reported that he got to hold a baby alligator in Florida.

Later 'gators!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:47PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

More days passed than I planned -- fridays and mondays seem interchangeable and good reasons why the awfice has its name.... aargh.... then I whipped up to PA to pay a long overdue visit to the pater who seems to be doing fairly well - altho he'd be better if he were in a smaller one story but we know that story all too well here, right?

Poor Stella still gets car sick -- man o it wasnt a wonderful weekend for her altho she got to meet two new furry cousins -- Sam the faux Chihauhua and Lily the English Wild Bulldog...sorry no pics as I was busy ensuring Stella survived the meet-up, LOL.

I havent taken any photos since Xmas but will try to amend that lack and get some of Stella; I get periodic little daily iphone camera shots of Isla with her first cereal face or pursuing a new toy - it's amazing how technology can bring as all close -- and it brings a great smile on my face on bad bad awful no good woik daze.

Saucy - congrats on the job -- I bet you get to see lots of interesting sites and boy, you'll get a great workout walking about (and no work on rainy days - perfect!).

Sounds like lot of nesting going on around here. I too have the urge and need to do a lot of reno/refurbishing around here -- desperately need to get a ceiling leak fixed, roof inspected, exterior painted, new fence and more urgently a tree trimmer to fix or repair the poor crepe myrtle that hangs on the patio broken into pieces from the heavy snow/ice we had again this year -- not sure what its outcome will be.

I've got some cute little half Bogs in blck print I really like, Julie; altho I confess I still prefer my garden muck shoes.

Kathy, sounds like some great reno you've got in mind too.

I'm afraid the car may be on the replace list too this year - I keep getting an engine lite coming on on long road trips and have poured numerous amounts of moola into it in the last year.... le sigh - always something right? More things on the list than the moola -- the way of reality.

Not sure Chelone the weather has really broken -- it's terribly windy and chilly - lots of extreme temps -- I was however shocked to see a few hellebores blooming under a bush this a.m. on my way out the door -- didnt have time to stop and admire it but now I need to take a walk in the daylite to check it out.

Soooo, spring must be on its way somehow....

Norma - love the tales of the bonfires.

Okay - all for me folks tonite - it took me half hour to get this dang laptop rebooted and a screen that didnt show target or netflix ads, even tho I had a blocker up -- very frustrating. Add laptop to that Buy List! Better buy a lottery ticket too!


    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:55PM
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Hi Everyone!

Wish me luck tommorrow. I have a job interview with a large garden center. Skip found a job, he will be on the road nonstop for quite awhile. He will keep looking and in the meantime are thankful for this one.

Bug, I am so glad you have been able to visit with your family, and that your son arrived home safely.

Michelle, I picked up that same magazine, and it has some very cool ideas in it. I was inspired by the mosaic in there, and Skip and I took a drive to a stained glass store and we picked up some glass scraps with the plan of making a design for the greenhouse on the peak in front and inside I have some opaque that I am going to try to do a mosaic on the wall.

Mary, I would love to see your backsplash, I am sure you did a great job. The mosaic I am planning is going to be pretty free form I think. I am using scrap glass and other ceramic pieces I have around the house.

Kathy, I didn't wake up too often in the night, but every morning like clockwork at 9:30 was my moment. Could have set a clock by it. Done now. BTW, could you possibly remember the name of that bright red succulent you picked up last year at IU? I wrote it down somewhere, but can't find my note.

Sean had a friend visiting from Texas last weekend. She loves everything cupcake, so he asked me to paint her a picture. Thought you might like to see it. I changed the background so many times, I made it into a collage by putting some fabric on it. And I found a quote I liked "You can't look at a cupcake without smiling".

Hope you all have a good evening!


    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:58PM
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Drema, link below, is this the one ?

Here is a link that might be useful: Crassula Campfire from Annies

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:54PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Thanks for the compliments on DD and my necklaces, everyone. I think my DD's beautiful, and smart, too. I'm the quintesential proud mama.

Was anyone able to see my Picassa page. Boy am I slow at the technical stuff.

Marie nice that you could enjoy the family and food. It's always nice to get the house back after the crowd leaves, too. Of course family is never a crowd, right. :)

I've owned too many clunkers to drive in them long distance, as your son did. I'm glad he didn't get stranded and got some money. That makes it a happy ending kind of story.

Lol Ivy feeding Phoebe. No one really feeds Leah, she gets sick from human food.

Holding that gator baby must have thrilled Skyler. I hope there's pictures.

Cindy, Glad you're not lost anymore. :) Good to hear that Isla is doing well. Lucky Stella, getting to meet wildy and fauxy, ;) her cousins.

Thanks for the kind words re my posts from yesteryear, and about my necklaces. I live in constant fear of saying the wrong thing. Then my err, unusual sense of humour kicks in and sometimes, well lots of times, I have to erase what I say. I of course obviously fear being a thread killer, so you can't be that, as well. :)

Hope Norma's snow is on its way out and spring is springing there, and everywhere. It's been cold with a couple of days of snow. I want spring, soon.

Kathy, yup money, or not having it, and having expensive tastes for tempting luscious plants, is the epitome of a Drag.

Saucy, I'm so happy that you got the job. I hope you get good co workers and that you have enough time and energy to visit here.

Lol Chelone love the hot dog holder, and fire stove story. I do actually enjoy hearing "meaty details" like how the stove burns up the smoke, I'm not just saying that.

Drema, good luck on your job interview! I'm glad for both you and Skip, re his job. I've been thinking of you and hoping that things worked out.

Love the cupcake. DD had cupcakes for her wedding. She almost didn't though, as the baker forgot about us until we phoned her! and dropped half of them when we finally came. Yours looks better than hers too.

Julie, so far doing Juliejobs cleaned one of my biggest hot spots, so thanks. :0)

I'm always substituting everything in recipes, but they don't always work, like the apples as a sweetener in the pumpkin pie. That was a flop. Dates worked though and no one could even tell the difference. :) I can eat pies and cookies with no blood sugar problems. I a happy sweets eater, for the first time in 30 years!

Deanne, lovely seeing you here. I enjoyed the Flower show. I love sedums and have been looking at building a living sedum wreath but like the idea of a sedum fence as well.

Yup I'm with Chelone, whenever I see birds feeding especially, I think of you. Actually I have many pleasant Idyll time memories, of your planters and your art, as well. It's a big reason I braved the big bad and came back. That and all the lovely people here, even if they're fewer in numbers, and frequency of visits, than before.

Michelle, pretty aloe. I've never been able to get my aloes to bloom. I'll have to try again. I did a necklace in that yellow, with white, and really enjoy how it worked out.

Mary hope to see pictures of that backsplash too. I take it that it went more smoothly than Julie's stenciling, ;) Glad Zu-Zu is keeping the family happy. I know that a pug or a puddle or some variation is in my future, as DD loves pugs. I hope she's recovering well from her operation.

Glad that Annie being delayed didn't cause her great problems. Alena called me today to say she's got a cold, and the mom in me wanted to scoop my married 27 year old up and carry her home and feed her soup. It's hopeless, once a worrying mom, always a worrying mom. I'm looking forward to being a grandparent, but not looking forward to double the worry.

Woody loved the pictured food. Wish I could have some, now. For some reason, I have a huge appetitite tonight. I don't know why. Maybe not enought protein.

I hope you don't mind if I share a little bit of a children's story I just finished writing. It's a story about fairies, who find things for children.

Fairy Goode, Master Finder. Finder Fairies Inc.

Goode immediately forgot about firing Flibberty and settled into to her seat again, after signalling Flibb to read the note. She didn't even notice her skirts and shirts dancing in happily behind Flibb. When the hats came in all proud and happy, and presented their bounty of fruits and veggies to her, she absently waved them to her kitchen counter. After the fruit and veggies were deposited on the counter, she then pointed to her closet and waved her fingers which had her clothes and hats instantly cleaned and hanging on their hooks. All this was done absentmindedly as she listened to the request that Flibb read.

I have some more writing to do, so I'm off.

Waving night, night, in fine Idyller fashion,


Here is a link that might be useful: pug mixes

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 2:41AM
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Our driveway is a rutted, frozen disaster although the helpmeet's hard work has uncovered the area immediately in front of the bahn doors and March's strong sun is nibbling away at the ice steadily. I will not be sorry to see the end of the Yaktrax and the requisite changes of shoes whenever I move between buildings! But, the inconvenience pales to that of a fractured limb.

Drema, excellent news on Skip's job! must be a huge relief even if it isn't the position he ultimately wants. And I will send my good thoughts to the cosmos for you and your interview at the garden centre. Your painting made me smile... I could send you enough cloth scraps to keep you in fabric collages until the end of your days, lol. Anybody want some??

I thought of 'bug yesterday wondering if the blues have set in after the departure of Ivy, Leo, and the rest of the famdamily. The adventure with the automobile cracked me up, too. I have deep admiration for someone who is fearless enough to undertake a longish trip in wheels that could only be described as, "unreliable". Talk about "refusing to live in fear", lol. Kudos. I smiled at the image of Phoebe following Ivy around. We had a similar experience here when a friend visited with ther toddler daughter... it too the mongrel horde about 2 nanoseconds to realize that even if there wasn't any food there was still stickiness to be cleaned off fingers and faces. :)

Yeona, you are still leagues ahead of me when it comes to technology (which perhaps isn't saying much). Every step of that voyage is painful for me and nothing about it is easy or "intuitive".

Dirtyland may not be cold if the sun remains shining, but with the wind my goose will be cooked if it becomes overcast. I am so tired of that stupid, cheap scene. But until technology is tamed it remains prudent to continue "shutting up and putting up". You know?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 6:29AM
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Thanks for the well wishes everyone! Much appreciated. One good thing about being older is that I have realized things work out one way or another and as long as I keep trying my best, there is nothing more I can do and I have to leave it to a higher power, who sees the whole picture.

I have been trying to figure out what to wear to the interview. I have two "interview" suits that are very professional. A friend said business casual, but that is the hardest look to achieve, in my opinion. The plaid Pendelton skirt I got at the thrift shop didn't work for the other interview, so I am definitely not wearing that :).

Kathy- that was the very one! Thank you so much for posting. So nice to have friends who are on top of it in the plant world.

Yeona, I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed the pic of your daughter. She is a beautiful bride, and it looks like they had a lovely wedding. I used to worry about what I posted, but I finally figured out that if I kept second guessing myself, nothing would get up here.

Chelone, you are heading in the right direction, and kudos to you for having the patience to be prudent.

Well, I am going to go clean the kitchen, wash my car, and prepare my possible questions and answers for the interview.

Hope you have a good day!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 8:09AM
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My "business casual" outfit is a cordouroy blazer and a very dark pair of jeans. I hope you like the job, and then I hope you get it! I think garden center jobs are fun because you can talk to people about plants and share your experiences. You'll probably get an employee discount, too ;)

Sarah's been sick for 4 days with the flu. Not fun. She's off to school today because she couldn't stand to stay home one more day, but she's weak. Her dad had it last week. I hope I don't get the flu.

I had to cancel the Master Gardener classes I had signed up for to take this new job, but I can always sign up again when the time arises.

I'm beginning to dream about Idyllunion and all the other things I want to do this summer. A quick check of the plants in the basement revealed (what I think is) a dead musa. I've been trying to figure out what will big my big anchor plant (and I have been considering vines for a big wow!).

I'm going to get to work. I'm doing a little side job, still, and I have to disinfect the house for potential visitors, and then I've got this big filing cabinet project going...what was I thinking?

Fingers crossed for Drema


    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 9:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wiped out here from all the company....and amazed by the energy of Drema and Saucy...before job interviews no less.

Much cleaning up needed here, but not much will get done today. Maybe tomorrow. It will all be there still, waiting for me! So far I've put away the baby swing and potty seat, a sleeping bag that a guest used, a bag of knitting DD hopes I will finish for her, and done a load of dishes. I only found one forgotten item so far.

Tonight I think I'll head out to knitting class. It is a pleasant sunny minus 3C (27F) which is balmy stuff when compared to yesterday's -47C (-53F!) in Edmonton which is the family's destination.

Phoebe is adjusting to calm and quiet once again and enjoyed her morning kibble without extra toppings from Ivy.

I'll post some scenes from my past week on another thread.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 11:16AM
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Brr! cold this morning and to remain so for the next day/so. Oh well, bundle up and keep moving forward to warmer temperatures, eh?

Not very much to report from my wintery location. But I am checking in to say how much I hope the interviewers have decided Drema is all they've hoped for and she starts next week for far too much money. I'm also interested in her "business casual" attire. :)

Today my mission includes: a trip to the computer guy to work out the details of an external hard drive to back up files and some questions on printers and how to hook up the very nice speakers in the Salon to the computer so I may stream radio stations "from away". Can't wait... not! Then on to the copy center and the post office and lastly to the library to pay my fine. :( How's that for exciting?

And now it's time to do some piddly work before heading off to Dirtyland.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 6:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here it is cold still,(-11C or 12F) but tomorrow and Saturday are supposed to be quite warm (39F and 46F) and rainy they say. The signs of winter's decline are everywhere with it being light still at dinnertime and with snow buntings in flocks along the roadsides. Under the main road bridge there are ice dams and this means that one day in the future there will be flooding. By then perhaps bulbs will be popping through the ground in places?

Chelone, I love trips to the copy center because that usually means an exciting project! Things like the books I make for Skyler that need to be bound. We have a printer at home and do most things from home. (recipes, meeting announcements for the neighbors, handouts for our organization, travel itineraries...) Having a home printer is great! The photos come out well. The only problem is the expense of the cartridges and the frequency of changing them. In the past I made the brochures for the gardenclub's winter event. They were beautiful (I'm bragging) with fancy paper and artwork!

While Sarah was here we made trips to the fabric stores because she was looking for some pieces for a quilt for Skyler's new bedroom. He is delighted (I praise her power of swaying him!) with the new downstairs suite even though it is smaller than his previous room. She bought several lovely designs in interesting shades of blue with some brown too. I of course came home with fabrics for little girls....

Last night I went to knitting class. I think there will be one more next week and then she too heads into gardening mode. I began a hat to go with Ivy's new green knit jacket. Other people are working on scarves, hats and socks.

My sister in France is dealing with the decline of her partner and it is very difficult for them both. She is in her 70s, he in his 90s. She has been hospitalized with bronchitis, he is aging, in diapers and filled with anger at his fate. He is used to being in control. (He was mayor for years and years) As my friend says, "the wheel is still turning but the hamster is dead"...which would be funnier if it weren't so true.

DH has another long day at work today and a busy weekend in sight as well.

I hope to hear good news from Drema soon!

Saucy, are you still doing motorcycle jobs?

The sun is rising above the tall old cedars now...very pretty!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:24AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

That's such exciting news to hear of Skip's good fortune - and I will continue to hope something even better or more to what he'd really likes comes along soon. Crossing my fingers on the interviews for you, Drema -- I bet you'd learn a lot and they'd learn a lot from you too!

Chelone - every time I scroll quickly thru this thread I see those dawgs -- yum - one of my favorite things -- and I like them simple and ungarnished. Gosh cant recall the last time I had one.

'bug - you had a lot of visitors but I know you loved each minute -- I dont sew any more but I do find myself looking at the most magnificent little girls clothes and spending money many times over in my head.

It was so chilly and windy here this morning after a pleasant day yesterday, that I had to drag out the pink marshmallow suit again -- it's a horrible down full length coat - ugly as sin but warm -- the long commutes have taught me I dont care how I look but I'm warm -- and I didn't get lost in the blizzard over the winter or in a snow drift, LOL, during our "Carmaddegon" Snow... March has definitely roared in.

Deanne - LOVE those garden show shots - and your bird photos - wowser on FB -- like following invisibly behind the birds and seeing thru their eyes. Amazing.

I hope Kathy is feeling better as is Saucy's family -- Kathy, can't agree with you re going to work sick -- you surely give folks papers or touch a door knob or two in your wandering around the awfice? I'm sure I've picked up at least 2 of my "fun" germs this past winter from a boss who was suffering from a horrible flu/cold but came to work and gave me papers to handle.... I'm such a germaphobe anymore, but one becomes that way when you realize how easy you get 'em and can give 'em!

Starting to think about plant or tree lists - just a "few" purchases this year as some major re-shuffling is needed. I'd like a cornus alternafolia argentea or the cultivar Golden Shadows I think to replace the Cercis Lavender Twist I've got in a corner -- I really am not feeling "the love" for the redbud -- its leader broke and after it blooms, it's just ugly green leaves.... hmmmm.... decisions, decisions.

Hope everyone is enjoying a spring thaw somehow.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 1:28PM
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Yeona I read your fairy story and can tell you have some real talent! I could see the scene in my mind. You definitely have the gift of words. Share more when you feel comfortable :)

A number of you expressed interest in the interview, so thought I would give an update. I wore a black mock turtleneck, black slacks. I bought a black and brown nubby tweed jacket on clearance at Macy's. It has some cute big buttons and a little detail in the back, but not fancy. I thought it struck a good note. I can't tell if they liked me or not. I am not a good interviewee. That is why it is important to network. I was talking to a friend from high school about it, and she doesn't work outside the home. She said" I have no idea what to wear to an interview, the last time I had a job was when we were 18 and worked at the pickle works (an olive factory in our small hometown, since closed). We just walked in, filled out the application and they told us to start the next day," LOL. Anyway, they said that they would have me come back next week for a second interview with a couple of dept managers. Either way, the lady at the school board said that my fingerprints should be back in 2 weeks.

On a garden note, tonight I picked up some succulents at Home Depot. I actually found some aeoniums for $2.98, and a cute little aloe, same price. A little plant purchase always puts things in perspective :). Sean got me the Debra Baldwin book on succulent planting. It came in the mail today, LOVE IT!!

Hope all is well with you, my virtual friends. Thanks for the well wishes.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:41PM
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Thinking of IU tonight, and all the possibilities ! It's hard to imagine it being summer at the moment though..we continue to have squalls, fog , frost etc, yet the spring bulbs are out in force and oblivious to the highs and lows of the weather.

Interviews..I have not had to go on a job interview for 25 years. I think I am probably a good-interview-ee..back in those days I was almost always offered what ever job I interviewed for , and sometimes had the luxury of choosing. I wonder how I would do now ? Drema, plant knowledgeable people are very hard to find in the retail garden center industry in our area. Even with the job market as it is, the manager of the garden center at my company has been really challenged in seeking out individuals who can connect with customers and also have some sort of rudimentary plant skills.
Cindy , you're right about 'mutual paper touching' etc., and I have a mental barrier too; I called in sick when DS was 1-1/2 and had pneumonia (1987) , called in sick in 1999 when I twisted a ligament breaking up a cat fight (don't ask) and those are my 2 sick days since 1986. I'm not exaggerating. So , it's kind of like Cal Ripken just can't bring yourself to miss a day with this kind of record. Most of the people in my dept are the same way, so we at least force each other to work only 7 or 8 hours instead of 9 or 10 when we are ailing. I think if I were a 'flu' person I'd have to reconsider my stand , people do get laid low by that malady. I don't get the flu so it's moot for me.

Chelone, my DS talked me into an external hard drive few years ago, and that was the best thing I ever did for this computer. I have over 10,000 photo files , and having that thing has been a god-send.

Yeona, I will look at your story tonight, as always I admire your discipline!

Need to clean up the kitchen , so waves and sweet dreams !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:33PM
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It was a lovely day with sunshine, little wind and temps in the 50 degrees area.

I'm working on repairing the walls in the upstairs room. I'm nearly done with that step. The paint color is something that I can't quite put my finger on yet.

Drema, good luck on the interviews. I think your outfit sounds perfect. Having done some interviewing, I'm shocked at the apparel that people wear for an interview for an office job. Of course this comes from the woman who made her son wear khakis and a nice shirt to apply at a fast food joint. We have a job opening once again, so the interview process will begin again once we get some decent resumes.

Yeona, how fun that you are writing a fairy story. Kenzie loves the idea of fairies.

Which reminds me I'm not sure if I told you all this or not, but she sees brussel sprouts as lettuce that is grown by fairies. Of course that was enough for her to take a liking to it. I am enjoying introducing her to new veggies. This weekend it will be butternut squash. I think I'll make some crash hot potatoes at some point too.

My dad had knee replacement on Tuesday. We went for the surgery. I went after work yesterday as well. He will be dismissed tomorrow.

Saucy, congratulations on the job and how great that you are pleased with the pay.

'bug, you will have to fill us in on the happenings of the visit.

So Cindy likes Muck shoes for the garden. Any other opinions? I'm in the market for new garden shoes this year. Cindy do you have the clog style or the ones with backs?


    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 10:50PM
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I am always in need of garden shoes. I garden with my neighbor and she goes barefoot, and I wear last year's athletic shoes. I look at clogs, but it seems to me that they wouldn't stay on. I hope whatever you get, Michelle, you give a proper review here ;)

Knock on wood, Kathy, I'm not a flu person, either. I tend to think that keeping the immune system healthy is just about all we can do in our defense of colds. Eat healthy, exercise, and cross your fingers! That's quite an impressive record you've got there.

Drema, I think a second interview is a good sign. They could've just said they'd call you. Good thoughts coming your way.

Cindy, I always like hearing your choices for small trees and shrubs. Redbuds are a tough tree to love unless they're that exceptional rare tree. I see one near here that shines in early spring, but otherwise, I think people eventually give up. Of course Sue's are gorgeous (I think there are two in the front garden).

Yeona, I enjoyed the pug mixes link. Some of those dogs look like their head was photo shopped onto another body! I think I would laugh all the time if I had such a comical dog. Zeus makes me wince more often than laugh. He's getting up there in age and it is close to time to make some tough decisions. He is the pet that my children will always remember. I even found a letter I had written to Jake at summer camp explaining how well the (new) Zeus was doing. He came to us in May of 2003 at the age of 5 - I think that makes him 13 now.

I'm going to go get the kids up and ready for school. Have a good day, friends!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 5:55AM
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I've managed to put several piddly morning chores behind me and the stove is up to efficient operating temperature so the Salon will be cozy for the remainder of the day. And, the boiler will be off and heating oil conserved!

I, too, laud the exploration of creative writing, Yeona. Always a good thing to tap into one's imagination regularly and compose one's ideas. I'll have to check out the Pug mixes... I've never really gone for animals that have been overbred to attain a "look", esp. one that tends to compromise important things like eyes, teeth, and respiration; I love cats but have the same feeling about the "modern" Persians.

I am surprised that no one mentioned the necessity of frequent handwashing and keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose, mouth... the facial area in general, in the sickness avoidance hints. We have a running joke around the Compound that our level of untidiness (call it sanitation, if you will) is what keeps our immune systems functioning at peak level. ;) We get the occasional cold, but for the most part seem to steam through the season relatively unscathed. It's hard to justify staying home when you have a cold, no paid sick days and the usual financial obligations. Lol, about Cal Ripkin, Kathy. :)

I have muck shoes and rather like them, but find them to be quite hot. If I have a long day in the garden I'll usually change my socks at least once. I've looked at those clogs, too, but have never tried them... had the same notion about them that you did, Saucy.

OK, so Drema, what are you going to wear to your second interview?? (the first choice sounds just perfect). I, too, think being called back is a good sign. Something tells me you that you pack a lot more knowledge of all things horticultural than a lot of people; don't sell yourself short, girlfriend.

I've toyed with the idea of a Redbud, too, but have never pulled the trigger on it. Still too much tree work to do in that area. I recall how breathtaking a grove of them can be from my days in ol' Virginny, and I rather like the heart shaped leaves, but like the restayas always wonder if maybe there aren't better choices, offering more interest throughout the year. d

Ageing pets... always a worry. But, every summer has its autumn, and every autumn its winter. :( I tend to be more proactive on that call than the helpmeet, preferring to say the final good bye before it's crisis time. Mercifully, he's come around to that opinion, too. Lesigh.

Cindy, I love hot dogs, too. Doesn't matter if they're steamed in steamed rolls (gas stations are good for those!) or grilled with a grilled roll. Nice and simple... just some spicy mustard for me; I'm good for at least 2!

Do those of you who use an external hard drive use multiple storage thingys (I'm gettin' technical here) for different things you want to save or do you just shove it all onto one? e.g. banking stuff and picture files on one or one for each of those functions?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 7:05AM
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For some reason I was wide awake at 5:15 this morning.

Saucy, I've had Ladybugs before. They are a rather cheap garden clog and actually really like them. I've also worn athletic shoes but I like clogs since you can remove them so easily when you go inside.

Check out the FG picture of the day. A beautiful cedar wax wing from Deanne.

Off to the pool.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 7:06AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday - altho I suspect it may turn into an awful friday like the last one -- got to cover 10 attys today - it's gonna be so much fun; I've been working on trying not to think about it and just see what happens, but I'm a planner so that's hard not to "plan"....

Michelle I like my the muck shoes full backs - I dont like clogs or backless work shoes -- i dont like the flipflop of 'em and it makes me wonder about the dirt getting in and oozing around one's feet, lol. I do try to wear socks w/ them (but I personally hate socks so sometimes...) - I find the muck shoes less hot than the Bogs (that seem to be all plastic and no breatheable stuff going on) - Chelone, I find the pull out soles in the Muck shoes are great for drying 'em out quickly. well, that's my take on the little assortment I've had.

Job interviews -- eeek - too many over the years to count -- in my part of the world the "30 second decision" is quite comment -- the interviewer can mentally make up their mind about you in the first 30 seconds. I am old fashioned enough to think one's resume should be proper and correct (no stupid spelling/grammar mistakes), and good dress sense definitely. Learn something about the company/org you've interviewing for and ask a couple of questions that show you've researched them - it shows an interest on your part about the job and the company - that is usually a big hit. Do ask some intelligent questions, even if they're simple ones....

Gee, Drema, I have hard time believing you dont interview well - you're so sociable and friendly! Good luck on it all - you may well have 2 offers at the same time and can take your pick! I'd love to see that happen to you.

Kathy that is definitely an impressive attendance record -- it may well be that a lot of the contamination stuff is due to the high concentrations of people I have to deal with - the metro is just a giant germ exhaust system - it's turned me into a creepy germophobe - I've gotten some nasty "cold"/flu germs in recent years despite taking the flu shot that make me think the folks in Japan who wear hospital masks have the right idea about public courtesy, LOL.

Ok, i'm hearing from folks here re work so gotta forget about any other comments right now....

Happy Friday all!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, you asked! You may be sorry. I'll try to keep it short.

DS arrived first, after DH's 70th birthday event in Toronto. He had various business meetings to attend to first. Once here, he tends to work night & day, often missing meals. Once his sister arrived he tried harder to participate. He is great with kids, but doesn't see many these days. It was wonderful to watch him interact with Ivy. I think he's afraid of babies though.(Leo, your day will come soon!) Building a snowperson was fun for all. DS also went with DH and Phoebe for a walk in the icy gorge.

DD had many friends coming and going and even went out to lunch once with kids in tow. It was a tough trip for her because the kids have short sleep periods, especially in new circumstances. That meant that she had about 1-2 hours rest, then toilet duty, then nursing, then repeated that about 4 times each night. I couldn't help with that...but did take Ivy for a morning while she and a friend went to the farmer's market together.

DD and I shopped together for food and fabric and yarn. We went out to lunch once too. She usually made breakfasts. DS usually washes dishes before I've even finished a meal!

Ivy's charms are hard to describe. Let me just say that she loves to discover things! She learned the layout of the house quickly and studied the photos and paintings on the walls. She learned about magnets (uh-oh!) and binoculars (produced laughs of delight). Phoebe was frightening for about 30 seconds and then she loved running after her. Both enjoy being outside. If ever she is upset by something, going outdoors or splashing in the bath solves things right away. She is only grumpy when she has a case of "I can do it myself!" She has a sense of humor and brings great joy. Her ability to concentrate amazes me. She's 22 months old and can spend ages at a task, even without a companion. She can do puzzles that flummox Skyler because she is patient and understands about rotating pieces. Her vocabulary grows by the minute. She is very agile and has taught herself to do a forward somersault. She'll twirl until she is dizzy and even sings a bit. Loves the piano, reading, eating, hiding, finger painting, drawing, birds, hugs..everything! She found odd shaped kindling and decided it was a telephone. Her imagination is great. (She used two pieces simultaneously.) She loves Leo so much...also goes to bed well too.

Two hands...

I'm sure others of this age delight their Nanas too...but I find her very special indeed.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 10:08AM
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I love that first shot... look at that studied concentration. The world is definitely an exciting place and there's so much to learn every day.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 11:58AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Holy Cow! It's been a whole week since I posted! Where does the time go? Although this year I have found that winter has really dragged...

Interesting about BOGS shoes and boots - I had never heard of them before. The ones I wanted (and got) are the high ones with pull handles, insulated for the cold, plain black. So far I really like them. I already have good rain boots so won't be shopping for the paisly ones, Kathy! For garden shoes, I need to be able to kick them on and off easily as I tend to be in and out all day. I have worn Crocs in the past but dirt and wet does get in the holes. Also I find I go through sox like crazy when I wear them with Crocs. So I usually wear old sneakers - not last year's though, Saucy - those would be too new!! I wear really old ones, five or more years old, and take the laces out. Looks very charming, especially in a neighbourhood of fairly well-off retirees.

Our weather is still Bogs weather and our lane is, like Chelone's, a rutted icy mess right now. DH thinks green - why bother to snowblow when nature will take care of it? By June it will all be gone.....

Nice to see yellow Aloe blooms. I have one that threw out two stalks this year, similar to the yellow only orange. This stiff spikey plant has never bloomed before, very interesting. The flowers didn't last long though. I also have orchids and geraniums in bloom now, a nice bright touch of colour.

Ha, I laughed at the notion of a designated worrier. That would be me. It does free up everybody else though, as I take care of that for them. Name a subject, I can dream up a worry about it. Don't even mention kids, adult or otherwise.

Drema, Saucy, Skip - sounds good on the job front. Want me to worry for ya?

I have escaped the flu so far this year. I nearly died with an Asian flu many years ago, and have had a flu shot every year since. It was positively scary for both me and my family. I wish I could have been paid for unused sick credits when I retired. Would have been a tidy sum. I really don't get sick very often, and when I feel something heading my way, I hit the bed. I never want to be that sick again!

Ah, the story of aging pets. We have a cat of unknown years now, she came to us when TCS arrived, from the streets of the city. TCS is now nine, so the cat must be at least eleven, as she was adult when she came to us. She is having serious digestive issues now. She was seeking water everywhere, peeing in inappropriate places, vomiting and whatever. The vet did all the requisite testing and found nothing wrong. We have switched her to canned food and the water issue seems to be resolved. In order for her to keep her food, I have to feed her a little bit about four times a day. If she can't keep her food down, she cries for food because she isn't getting enough nutition. Sad really, hungry but not benefitting from large feedings, and not understanding why I don't feed her more at one time. Not ready to let her go, but she is a difficult pet right now.

Seeds are starting to sprout, and I am planting a few more each day. I recently planted Starfruit seeds from a fruit I bought for TCS. The seeds are viable for less than a week after removal from the fruit so I had to be right on top of this to ge them planted. So far no sprouts though.

TODAY'S JJob was cleaning and organizing the spice drawer after a resealable bage of powdered cinnamon exploded in the drawer because the bag didn't reseal. Pet peeve: resealable bags that don't. And of course the fine powder sifted it's way through all of the kitchen drawers in the course of the week, requiring a whole morning of clean up. Place smelled great though!! Now all are in nice little jars, labelled on the top so I can see at a glance what is where, and presentloy in alphabetical order. I expect this wonder organization to last about three days. At least I know what's in there now!

I was then motivated to make brownies from scratch, first time for that for me. Mmmm, delicious. I'll do that again.

That's all from this corner of the world. Have a great week-end all!



    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 4:21PM
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Going to post a pic of my paisley BOGS this weekend Julie !

I agree with Chelone, the feet do get hot in Muck shoes; I wear them year round though. In summer I wear them in the morning and switch to the Crocs-knock off for the afternoon. Like Michelle, I like to get them on and off quick, because I'm in and out a lot. I try to do digging chores in the morning when I have the mucks on -you can't manipulate the shovel with Crocs. I do get way too much debris inside the Crocs though, but they are extremely comfortable otherwise. I might try some Sloggers clogs this year. I also have a pair of Muck boots .

More tomorrow..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 11:28PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

O.K. so who's still up? Anybody see Charlie Sheen on Dateline? Wowsie, I'd be worried if he was my kid.

DD is here for the first time in a month. When she works her 12 hour shifts she stays here over night because we are 20 mins. away from her office and she actually lives two hours away. It's been a long while it seems. A glass of wine, discussion of relationship issues, then laughs about a variety of is nice when your daughter is also your friend.

Nite all.



    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 12:49AM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Thanks for the compliments about my writing. I really am enjoying doing this series. Hopefully someone will want to buy it and won't rip me off. It's a common fear. Not being able to keep your writing in your name.

I agree pets getting old is a real concern. I just hope when the time comes for extra care for Leah that I'm in a better financial state.

Love the Nana stuff. I really think its great to see the little ones in every day stuff. So adorable. I'm sure your DD appreciates any help. She sure has her hands full.

I wear rubber clogs for muddy days, and crocs for summer days. I do wash my feet more in the summer, like every time I garden, but my feet get too hot in covered shoes.

I think it's very sad when children get into the hollywood life. It must be hard to be normal and even harder for second and third generation children. Hopefully the guy will get help.

JJob here was washing and organizing kitchen cupboards. I have one more cupboard to do. Next goal is to finish going through hall closet. I like that job least. There are lots of things I use only once in a while in there, but I do use them, so I can't get rid of most of the stuff. :( I need more storage.

My DD and I have found a variety of friendship, but she likes to remind me that I'm mom first. Still we made it through the teen years, so that counts for lots.

Some more Finder Fairies Inc.
"I've seen some humans get help from a few moments of deep breathing." Flibb said, too loudly in the quiet room. She reddened slightly and quivered a bit in embarrassment, sloughing off some fairy dust, which magiced her long tresses to fly up and make a halo of orangish twists of curls around her head. Aryonie giggled, which brought a smile to Goode's mouth. Grinning at herself, Flibb shrugged and looked to Goode for what to do next, as her hair settled down around her face again, all except one piece at the very back. Aryonie giggled again. Goode did not smile though.

"Enough silliness! Flibberty, fix your hair!" Goode waited, shaking her head, as Flibb turned round several times, like a dog, and finally smoothed the curl in place. Aryonie stifled more giggles in her fist.

Off to sleep. I've been writing for hours and hours, so I'm fried,


    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 4:14AM
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I have not caught any of the Charlie Sheen interviews, so I guess that shades my point of view. I don't see what's wrong with Charlie being Charlie? He's an adult. He seemed to show up to work on time - enough to make lots of money to pay for this lifestyle. I don't like the idea that he was provoked by Chuck Lorre's vanity cards, either. Of course Chuck isn't as fun to spread all over the news.

The funny thing is that I make it a point not to watch the news because I don't like this kind of thing. This sort of story creeps into my life from all directions - even Idyll :) I always have to look up and figure out what people are talking about....

Today I'm going to Tower Hill to hear Margaret Roach (of A Way to Garden fame) speak. A few New England Idylls are going to meet me there for lunch and a tour of the new Lemonaia before we hear her speak. I'm excited.

I've started a new project, too - I'm transferring all those home movies to dvd. I hope this is a fun project. Sometimes technology can be so irritating with all the pieces that you have to keep returning to the store to buy.

Have a great day, all! I'll try to get some photos today as we all need a little green.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 5:52AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I don't know many big names since I've lived a life without TV and movies. So Charlie Sheen is nobody to me. Now Margaret Roach is a very fine SOMEBODY in my books. I loved A Way to Garden (beautiful photos!) and would enjoy being with the idyll gang to hear her.

Today is a soggy one...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 9:34AM
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I'm being charmed by my granddaughter this weekend. She has a very loose top tooth which would be her first one out. She's a bit excited and thinks the tooth fairy will bring her $99. Not if it comes out here for sure. We spent some time hiking outside since its a warm and sunny day. She likes to look for "clues" to what I'm not sure. She was quite excited to find a secret key. The girl has quite an imagination. We had our first experience in the Arts & Crafts room. She made a get well card to bring to her Great Grampa tomorrow. She also wrapped a couple of videos for him. We found a new use for old stencils. She made a undersea picture with some fish/seashell stencils that I was going to get rid of. She just colored inside the stencil instead of paint.

I've worn the same pair of Crocs for the last 4 years. They are the ones without the holes. I usually wear low cotton socks with them which helps the hot part.

Tower Hill sounds like a wonderful place to be today - especially with some Idylls. Actually, I've already seen a picture of the gang under a huge banana over on FB.

'bug, it sounds like you had a fun week. The picture at the piano is wonderful and reminds me of one of Kenzie playing ours at that age.

Kathy, paisley garden shoes sound very fun.

I must go now, we need to paint jewelry. Her fairy book which is full of ideas had some cute jewelry made from salt dough.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 5:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Would Kenzie enjoy watching this sort of thing?

Good luck with the tooth Michelle! Perhaps Monopoly money would do? ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: sand art

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 6:18PM
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I chose not to bring my camera, but Monique took this great shot of the rest of us ;)


    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 8:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

How very nice to see your smiling faces. Wish I could have been there too. Looks warmer than here. Thanks Monique!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 9:52PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yeah, it's Monday - on the way in as I was shivering and freezing this a.m., I was trying to recall whether it was real or a dream that I think I worked in the yard on Saturday for several hours -- it was in the uppper 50s and wonderful.. today it's 30ish and bad winds - the 2 inches of rain were icy and frozen in spots today. Guess it was a good thing I did not pull the leaves off the beds -- I basically just cut down debris from the fall and made it look less derelict -- now I can not be so embarrassed by the front.

Sunday was penance day and I spent 4 hours workon on my taxes and inputting for online filing - and figuring stuff that was missing.... a very tedious job.

Stella had a wonderful Saturday tho really working on learning garden worker jobs -- pulling plants out by the roots - thinking she was helping to take to the trash heaps, eating dirt and running thru leaves and beds and muck - she made a fine looking figure at the end of the the day -- and went to bed early from all that exercise, LOL. Yep, some education is due on proper garden etiquette. The only spoiling part was looking at the terrible mess the crepe myrtle is in - from the heavy snow/ice it has broken several main trunks and the next door renter ripped and tore branches on his side of the fence rather than pruning or cutting - he sat outside while we were cleaning up too and smoked a horrible stinky cigar that made me gag... man, I hate those things.

Michelle and 'bug - it's lovely to hear about the minds of young ones - they are so full of life and curiosity -- I sure hope that tooth doesnt come out at Grandma's house for your sake, Michelle -- wonder who gave her the $99 idea? Inflation has not yet gotten that bad I dont think, LOL.

Great photo of the NE idyll visit -- we're all envious - of all the fun and excitement you had. A great way to break up the winter doldrums.

Okay - off to start the work week.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 9:04AM
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We went to see friends on Saturday and came home on Sunday. The road was brutal, the seasonal crop of frost heaves being clearly evident. It rained the whole way up and the entire way home, too. "Downeast" is a long GD ride, you guys, even under ideal circumstances. Wrecks was a perfect gentleman however, well behaved and perfectly content to just hang out with us. Their cat would likely present a different opinion, he vanished like a fart in the wind within moments of sighting the dog. :) I felt terribly bad about that, but know that that's the way of felines when their territory is "invaded". Ours do the very same thing.

The steady rain ushered in a tremendous amount of snow melt. The driveway is nearly clear, save the most sun starved section, the snow blown path has green showing along the entire route, the snowpack is decreased by at least 6". Everything has that tired, dirty look to it and the snow is decidedly granular... "coHn snow". I forgot to put on my Black Diamond head lamp this morning when I took the dog outside. I knew the path, right? WRONG. I failed to see the huge puddle but instantly realized my error as the water closed over my ankles, soaking my socks, Muck shoes, and the lower 6" of my dungarees. Lol. And I was so proud of myself for transferring my cleats to the Muck shoes... ;)

I have a rather large cushion layout on the table right now. The Salon smells like vinyl... that weird plastic-y smell. I have the welting cut and joined and need to get the tops cut from the vinyl and the bottoms cut from the supplied mesh. There are 10 of them.

I bet Tower Hill was a blast and I'm sorry I was otherwise engaged. It would have been great to see you guys.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 5:15PM
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Sounds like a big job you have going Chelone. We were on the road in heavy rain this weekend too. Not fun.

I just finished eating blackberry cobbler that was probably the best I have ever made. I think maybe because I stubbed my toe on the cinnamon. I hope my neighbor has a big crop again this year. He always offers me first pick after they get all they want and they are such nice berries. I didn't make jelly this year as I had some left. I just froze them, but I will need to make more jelly this year too.

Michelle did Kenzie lose her tooth yet? Funny she thinks $99 is a good price. Nice to hear she enjoys the craft room too. Wyatt has some major gaps in his teeth since a couple of the new teeth never came down. The dentist says to give them another year. It's already been a long time since he lost the others.

Cindy I really need to be getting tax stuff ready too. I imagine Stella needs a good brushing or a bath after a day in the garden. The really warm days here spoiled me. I even worked in short sleeves one day. Now we are cold again.
They are supposed to start on our pole barn tomorrow and we are supossed to get storms tomorrow night so I don't know if they will get much done.

The crocus really popped on those warm days and I saw a couple of johnny jump ups as well as an Iris reticula sp? The daffodil buds are swelling too. The pee frogs (thats what I call them anyway) were hollering a coulpe of nights as well.

Yeona, I wanted to say what a pretty lady your daughter is too.

Boy that is a huge Banana the Idylls are under. Glad you all had a fun day.

I would like to read A Way To Garden also. I did view some of her blog.

I'm off to do some research. Take care everyone.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 7:56PM
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Monday greeting Idylls, hope your weather is tolerable wherever you may be ! Cold and windy here today, with a rainstorm coming in. My Dahlia order from Swan Island has arrived, but will not be planted til April when the soil (hopefully) warms up a bit. I'm pondering what I will plant in with them , as I am not fixing to create a Dahlia ghetto, but merely a gaudy display . There are a few existing 'May Night' Salvias , but not much else.

Norma, I'm interested in your 'Pole Barn' ..I may need to do some research tonight as I am not in the know as to what exactly a Pole Barn is. I pat myself on the back for getting my tax stuff ready this past weekend, and I have my appt with my tax lady this week. I have nothing complicated this year thank goodness, but I'm afraid the days of getting money back may be over for me.

Chelone, there is nothing I despise more than wet socks, wet pants or wet sleeve cuffs. I use my Muck boots that go up maybe 12 inches when I have to go out in high wet grasses or weeds. I've been known to change my shirt if cuffs get wet when going the dishes.

Cindy, so sorry to hear about the state of your Crepe Myrtle, but glad you were able to get some clean-up done. Mine seems to be taking forever trying to fit it in between rainstorms!

All for me tonight !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 9:14PM
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Kathy a pole barn is just a building constructed around poles sunk into the ground rather than being built on a foundation.
I dislike wet sleeves while doing dishes too.

Julie, We having an aging cat too. She is 17 years old. I tell her she is senile and that she just ate. She comes to the kitchen every time she hears the fridge or microwave door open. She does better with canned food too.
I am not even started on garden cleanup. To many other things going on. I may have to hire grandson Jake to help me out a couple of days. He could cut back the grasses rake the leaves and acorns and such. He needs to earn some spending money and hasn't had any luck finding part time work. His school band is going to play at Disney the end of May. We are planning to go down to watch, combined with a visit to DD and family. Bad time to leave the garden but some things are more important to me.
I've been up since 2:30 and Niki didn't wake me this time. She usually wakes me or Bob anywhere between 3 and 4. If it weren't for the cute way she does it we would probaly kill her. LOl Talk about spoiled.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 5:18AM
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We have accomplished the dreaded tax thing. We have a new accountant and he's right on top of it, bless his heart. We drop the stuff off early, he e-mails us if there is something missing, and when everything is ready he e-files it. Presto! I maintain that the money we pay the accountant is the best money we spend all year, right up there with our theatre tickets. :)

All shed teeth in our family were stored in a banjo clock that hung at the head of the stairs. It now resides with my brother in his home... complete with our teeth. Will this be the first tooth Kenzie has lost? (her valuation cracks me up).

The helpmeet drained the puddled area yesterday and overnight it refroze. No wet feet this morning! I was just thinking about crocuses and it's going to be a solid month before we have a prayer of seeing one, I suspect. There are, however, 3 blooms on the geraniums, thanks to the level headed restraint displayed by Mr. Busy Fingers. And just yesterday I heard him making noises about making the window boxes for the southern Salon windows... dare I hope?

I'll let you stew on that notion and get to my cushions. Later!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 6:25AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Been sick for three days. On the plus side: lost ten pounds. While I was lying in my bed with two pups and one cat, I reflected on my five days in the hospital at about this time last year. Read all you want. No dietary restrictions. Food arrives, was pretty good, didn't have to make it myself or do the dishes. Watch whatever on your own little t.v. Go to take a shower and someone makes your bed for you and tidies up your space. Bring you your meds with a little cup of juice and tucks you in. The last three days were almost the same except no food, no t.v., but did have the pups and cat. I do not want to spend time in the hospital unless it is really necessary when I get such kind care at home. Last year it was necessary, but this time only the flu!

Just started feeling better when DH came in looking very serious. Guess what: wet basement. Finished and carpeted basement of course. Called in the specialist; he came quickly, told DH and DS where he thought the problem was. Rip out the drywall and insulation, tear up the carpet, he will come back and fix it. Of course DH and DS didn't accept the location the the guy indicated so they tore out drywall etc. about five feet away. Nope, the leak was right where the man (the EXPERT) said it was likely to be. Waiting now for the repair. For few hours I thought IU8 was fading from my future, now not so much. We saved the carpet, we still have half a can of the wall paint, so when the repair is completed and new drywall installed and painted. it is likely that you would never know there was a problem. Expert said he'd had 18 calls in the last 24 hours due to a huge rainfall on the weekend. With the ground frozen and unable to absorb the water, it had nowhere to go but inside if there was any tiny crack or opening anywhere. Le sigh. One more project....Expecting huge snowfall today and tomorrow. Better than rain this time.

We had a flock of about 50 Redpolls this morning at the wine deck birdfeeder, and one stunningly luminescent male Cardinal. Sure sign of spring, when you see little birds you have not seen all winter.

Hopefully all of you are seeing more spring-like weather than I am *LOL* But we always get wallopped in March. The last hurrah of winter.



    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 9:31AM
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Raw and chilly here today. I was delighted to return home and find the stove cooking along courtesy of the helpmeet's presence. Nothin' like a wood stove to ward off the chill, I say. :)

Work was frustrating today. I had a good assignment, all the materials, but my machine has been cranky for months now. My twice monthly requests that it go to the mechanic have fallen on deaf ears, sadly. The poor thing is barely "in time"; this means that the needle and the hook that catches the thread loop and allows the top thread and bobbin thread to interlock are not fully in synch.. Telltale signs of trouble include: dropped stitches at pivot points, frayed top thread, esp. in reverse or when traversing multiple layers (think seams). I had to rethread about thousand times today and long about quitting time my patience was as frayed as the top thread! I thought of my own walking foot machine and all the wonderfully convenient presser feet in the drawer next to it. So near, yet so far... ;)

Here's hopin' you're on the mend, Julie. No one brought you any soup or appealing nibbles in your down period? The menfolk need their hindquarters lifted a little bit, methinks. I chuckled at the area included in the expanded "exploratory" search... if they keep pickin' the scab how do they expect the wound to heal?? :) the heavy rain is headed our way for the weekend. I'm OK with it, I have a lot to work on and it will be nice to be inside, dry, and making some money.

The window box pieces are cut! I have to set up a painting station soon and get busy on that so they may be assembled and ready for the '11 season. I'm really very excited about it and it has also got me thinking about the awnings for the bahn. I'm looking forward to that, too!

That's about it, though.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 4:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DD has been frustrated by Skyler who wears only pants with holes in them when he comes to their house, but then leaves with the new ones she and his Dad buy. So all the new stuff is at Mom's house. Well, DD decided to hand him a needle and thread and make him sew the holes himself. (He's almost 12) He spent 45 minutes trying to thread a needle (IN VAIN) and crying...but he has only worn decent clothing since that experience.

Now his Mom wants her to support a two month "grounding" because he lost one of his hearing aids. DD says no, and I agree. "Since when does grounding teach responsibility?" Besides, his mother would never stick to anything for 2 weeks, no less 2 months. The loss of the hearing aid IS serious business and must be addressed. He has no notion how to think about such things. He assumes things simply resolve themselves. Sigh.....

So Chelone, if a kid contacts you and asks for help mending his trousers, tell him how but don't do it for him!

It is white rain here and hail as well. YUCK! But the heater on my car was repaired. Hurray!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 5:39PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

*LOL Chelone! The menfolk were more than willing to bring me anything my little heart desired, however, my poor ole body was not accepting anything by mouth and was, ahem, expelling anything it could by any means possible. I will add that after a day of not even maintianing a teaspoon of water, DH was pressuring me to drop into Emerg. But all is well now, back to normal.

Marie, responsibility and independence are not TCS's star qualities yet either. At present we are still working on the eating thing. Or rather, not eating. It is very frustrating. We as a family have decided to work on one thing at a time with him. We've got the sleeping thing beat, the bath/shower thing done, the homework under control, behavior at school is now excellent. We have the right meds for him now too I think - no issues in that department for almost three months. But the road is long and there are a lot of uphills....

We are experiencing nasty weather now. There is a heavy snowfall warning here for tonight and a heavy rainfall warning for tomorrow. At least we can keep an eye on the water coming in the basement crack so that damage will be minimal or nothing. Just waiting for the contractor to come on Friday. Weather permitting of course. We always get wallopped in March.

We had invited friends to drop in for wine and cookies this evening, but, as they live "out in the boonies" they have called to beg off. I don't blame them one bit - better safe than sorry! But it means that my house is sparkling, my cookies are baked, and the wine resides in the fridge while we speculate weather (weather) or not to celebrate Ash Wednesday. I think we will.



    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 6:53PM
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