Idyll #307- Hoping for a fresh start.

lmcilhargieMarch 2, 2007

OK here it is. Carry on Idylls!

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Now where is Martie with one of her cheery morning posts? Perhaps I missed that she would be gone.

We have my least favorite form of precipitation here - freezing rain - yuk! I need to leave a little extra time to slip and slide my way into work.

Have a good day everyone


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 7:26AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idylls,

Well we are in the midst of a winter storm today but it is supposed to be winding down by later afternoon so Im crossing my fingers that V. isnÂt going to have any troubles getting in. I think ÂWinter heard that we were planning this party and has thrown this our way the beginning of March. Originally we were supposed to get six to eight inches of snow but theyÂve lowered that down to two to four so only time will tell.

I absolutely cannot wait to see everyone tomorrow!!!! . For our appetizers weÂll be starting with Les famous guacamole, Sue is bringing shrimp cocktail and DougÂs smoked salmon. For dinner weÂll be having potato, taboule, (great choice Chelone!) and tossed salad, Lemon Garlic Chicken, Mesquite and Caribbean Jerk Sirloin Tips. IÂm going to marinate the chicken and steak tips today. For dessert Monique is making her fabulous decadent raspberry cake and Wendy is bringing a fruit salad. Yummy!!!! I guess IÂd better get myself to the gym! LOL IÂve just got to polish off the rest of the house and pick up V tonight and we are ready to rock and roll. IÂve de-catified the guest room and the boys are a bit put out with me because IÂve moved their beds out of there but theyÂll probably survive the experience.

So now that IÂm perusing the Rosy Dawn site again I thought IÂd post a few pics of some of my favorite coleus from last year. (I know Bug, you hate coleus, just cover your eyes when you get to this part ROTFLOL)


This container had ÂChocolate DropÂ, ÂFilagree and ÂInky FingersÂ


ÂLemon Meringue and ÂGayÂs Delight this container is in the house at this moment and actually looks better now than it did then. That ÂLemon Meringue is a real show stopper and IÂm going to start a bunch of cuttings from it.

OK speaking of the gym and finishing party preparations time for me to get off this computer and start the day.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 7:56AM
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Good Morning, Sounds like our weather from yesterday has moved eastward. It's peaceful and calm here today though the skies are gray. Jennifer is taking Bella today so it will be a housecleaning day for me. Then I'll take Bella off Megan's hands again over the weekend. She really will have to go back to work on Tuesday. She has been off for a week today. Monday and Tuesday are her regular days off and after that she just won't be able to afford to take any more time. Her boss has been really great and gotten all of her shifts covered so at least she hasn't had any worries about losing her job.

Deanne, those coleus are beautiful. Chocolate Drop is one of my favorites too. I don't know if I'm placing a Rosy Dawn order this year. Between Goldner Walsh and another nursery we have called Telly's there were so many choices locally last year.

You will all have so much fun at the party tomorrow. I'm thinking good thoughts for you all that the weather cooperates. The food all sounds so good and it's so great that Chelone will be joining in this year.

Brad has the coffee ready. Time for the morning game of backgammon so off I go.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:28AM
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Good drenched morning! I'm still here, hadn't gone away (no one missed anything) but have been tremendously busy at work, redoing the bathroom, tending seeds, preparing college financial forms, finishing taxes (UGH!!!) and trying not to slide off icy roads. And, sometimes it's just better for me to lurk ....

The bathroom has fresh coats of paint and all new brushed pewter fixtures. We decided to go "all the way" with the update and will have the bathtub reglazed next week. Anyone ever had this done? The contractor was a client of mine when I worked in CT and is doing it for next to nothing. Yeah!! I can get more really good towels!!!

Had some awesome news this week on the family front: For a few years my dad has had a small shadow show up on his yearly chest xray. This week he [finally] agreed to a PET scan and it is just a knot of tissue that somehow formed but is Nothing!!!!

Glad you have some answers about Zoe, Sue. Thought of you and all other dog rescuers this week when I drove by the Franklin County (MA) "pound" and there was a sign outside saying it was closed. Seems that there wasn't enough money to keep it clean and licensed. A number of rescue groups came in and all animals are safe and sound. Probably safer and sounder than before. I couldn't take an animal, but did go to the store and get a few humungo bags of food.

Okay, guys. I managed to ignore the Home Goods container shipment intelligence and stay away until I saw Wendy's score. Then more container pics. Then a few rounds with the plastic. Now I Need to go to Home Goods. They have a large (4') tall urn made out of resin that I'm coveting.

Cynthia, you are my plant hero of the pre-spring season. Agave it is and if I can get them to overwinter, good!! If not, I'll find the biggest and baddest so that they'll look good from day one.

That said, I did plant some Muscari in a few other pots and have started blanching onions in another. Sitting here looking at the ice and rain pelt down and thinking about the lion/lamb thing is heartening.

I've missed Idylling and -ers. So wish I could get to Deanne's this weekend but business obligations beckon for both Rich and me. On purpose, got a fresh pineapple for dessert tomorrow to keep in the Spirit of the Group!! :-)

Best to everyone --


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:30AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Allrighty then...


All rain here but fairly heavy and supposed to continue all day. Water is pooling on my patio and some of my walkways because piles of icy snow are keeping it from draining. This morning at 5 AM I went down the two steps from the house in bare feet to get Zoe, who was refusing to come in and went up to my ankles in ice cold water. Good morning! She's no fool, she wasn't going to step in that icy

OK, here's a gardening question for you all. I want to plant a small tree on the east side of my patio. It will basically be off the northeast corner of my house but will get at least a half day of sun-probably more during the growing season. The plan is to provide some late morning shade for the patio on hot summer days and privacy from the upstairs windows of my neighbor's house. I don't want dense shade. Four seasons of interest would be ideal. Here are some I'm considering...

Acer griseum...I see this tree recommended alot. Supposedly it will stay in my 15-20' width requirement. The reason why I keep tossing it out is because it seems like summer is it's lowest season of interest and I would prefer summer to be one of the highest seasons.

Stewartia psuedocamellia...I have one that needs to be moved so this could be a frontrunner. Downside, it's messy when in bloom.

Emperor I japanese maple...I have a nice specimen in a pot in my garage. Purple foliage is what I really want in this spot but based on my research this particular cultivar will exceed my size requirement. I already have a Forest Pansy redbud in the front garden and it hasn't held up well so that one is off the list for this spot. Maybe another trip to Mary's to that awesome maple nursery should be planned for a couple of months from now. Deanne, gas up the

A variegated Cornus kousa of some sort like 'Gold Star'. The problem here and with any other hard to find variegated tree will be finding one taller than a foot or two but I do like the kousa dogwoods for their multi season appeal.

Albizia 'Summer Chocolate'...a mimosa hybrid with dark foliage. It's hard to get good information on this one because they are invasive and considered a weed in many parts of the country. Here they are marginally hardy. Last summer I saw a small one for sale in a nursery for $150. Maybe if I can find a deal on one I'll pick it up.

Any other ideas will be most appreciated.

Time to dash. Later folks,


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:41AM
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Martie, great to see you back. Sounds like you've gotten much accomplished. Just wanted to let you know that I haven't found the agaves hard to overwinter at all. They do fine in my east facing window.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:58AM
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Good morning!

How nice to see a brand new Idyll thread this morning! A fresh, clean and kind way to begin the day. I took my photos off of the other thread....520 hits in that short span of time. Amazing.

The twins had a nasty cold which they shared with me. I suggested to their mother that she put it in their baby books as one of their *firsts* (like first words, first steps, first tooth lost) "first germs spread to others". I was suppose to have them, here, for the day but that has been changed to me watching them at their house for the first 3.5 hours of the day and then one of their aunts will take over for the remainder of the day. I am fine with that and appreciate the break. I should be back to having a voice and feeling better by the next time I'm suppose to watch them. Yeah, I snivel when I'm feeling especially puny. LOL

Eden, glad that Megan knows what she is battling and I hope she feels much better in the next few days. I admire her for how hard she works at supporting herself and Bella. I also admire you and the rest of your family for how you help each other out. You have shared stories of what your children do for each other....and it impresses me. You and Brad have done a wonderful job of raising some caring, thoughtful and kind children. Wish there were lots more parents such as you two.

Mary, you and your friendship mean a lot to me. I'm still furious over how you were recently treated and hope you weren't hurt by it. It was unnecessary, uncalled for and totally inappropriate. My best to you.

It is good to see that Martie is okay and I love having morning posts by Deanne, once again. The containers are gorgeous. I do have two coleus starts in my kitchen windowsill from last summer (I pinched them off and have been praying they'll live). I know they should have been planted in soil long ago..but am thankful they are still alive.

I hope Michelle is okay......and V also. I'm trying to think of who lives where and what type of weather they are getting, but I'm afraid I'm lacking in knowing where everyone is (I know it's been mentioned which states, but I've never looked at a map to 'see' it).

I've loved seeing Babs back. Girl, I love your posts. It would be great to have Ei pop in -- I enjoy her immensely, too.

Where is Honey? Yooo HOOOOO HONEY???? ;o) There, maybe she heard that......

Well, I'm sipping on a hot cup of tastes heavenly and is soothing my throat. I slept on the couch last night so that DH wouldn't be bothered by my icky 'cold noises'. ;o) Aren't I thoughtful? LOL I need to go fold up my blankets and put everything away.

I hope it is a great day for my Idyll friends!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:59AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday all --

Sue -- that Emperor I JM sounds like a great move in that area, altho Im sure more of our experts here could offer some other ideas -- funny, I was just going to ask if any of you had Fagus Black Swan... have you considered any of the small growing beeches? I ended up ordering one of those guys becuase I really do need something that will stay really small -- i.e., 3-6' wide but handle sun... I just lust after that tri-color beech we saw at Foxwillow Pines but it ends up getting way too large - and as you all may remember, Im lazy and hate moving things. I also really want an oxydendron but think it would eventually be too wide for most of the areas I could put it. There seem to be a few of fagus that do stay smaller (like Black Swan and Purple Fountain)-- I think they have everything but Spring blossoms to rave about.

I do seem to recall reading that the albizias decline after about 15 or so years and tend to die out.... I've personally always loved their look - but they are very, very messy after they bloom (my parents had one for years in PA) and I remember the mess. That might present a problem if it's close to the patio? Just some of my own silly thoughts on what you mentioned, but you guys are way more knowledgeable about trees. I have seen some lovely Acer griseums in my area -- they're quite popular and when they attain some age, the bark is wonderful - they seem to get quite larger here however eventually.

Well, our rain is over here and luckily we only seem to have gotten under an inch which suits me just fine.

Eden - I hope Meg recovers quickly & it's not too bad a case of mono - my own DD had it in college -- and I know it can be really tough to get well again. It can sap one's strength for months. PS. - I think that's really cool you play backgammon w/ your spouse in the a.m. - what a delightful "couples" thing to do.

I'll be thinking of all you Idyllers making it to Deanne's - she's got me hungry already and it's only 9 a.m.! [to say nothing of hearing non-stop garden talk....]


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 9:11AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I have decided that the theme of our winter has been blowing snow. As I sit here, I can hardly see the road because of the blowing snow. The front sidewalk once again has a little drift across it. It's not a lot of snow, it's just blowing everywhere like crazy.

In about two hours I will blow this pop stand and head to O'Hare. I'm watching the flight status constantly. I should be "refreshing" the house rather than the airline screen, huh?

DH is at the Atlanta airport and has had his first flight cancelled.

T, I hope the cold is a mild one and passes quickly.

Hmm, maybe I can have Deanne help me place a Rosy Dawn order this weekend?

Time to go pack a suitcase...


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 9:11AM
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Good morning again! I just received a phone call from the twins' mom saying they have babysitting covered for the day (daddy is taking the day off to watch the boys) so I don't have to leave the house this morning! Hooray! Although I just realized that I do need to drive to a mail drop box (5 miles away) to get some bill payments sent out. :oP Oh well......that is an easy one and I could put it off until tomorrow when DH is home.

V, hope your flight is on time and uneventful. I keep thinking that some day I'm going to surprise you guys and just show up for one of these Idyll gatherings. ;o) Of course, I would let the hostess know (ask permission) to crash the party....but the idea is a fun one to imagine.

We've still got some remnants of snow on the ground, but the majority of it has melted. It is suppose to be rainy all day today and tonight. A good day to build a fire and find a good book.

Cindy, hope your work day breezes by and that your weekend is a restful one (hey, that goes for everyone who works during the week!!).

C'ya later!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 9:31AM
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T, what a nice thing to say. Thank you! Big sister Jennifer has taken charge and called last night with plans for stocking Meg with groceries for her sore throat and who would watch Bella when. She'll be taking over transporting Bella too so Megan won't have to go out at all. Hope you kick the nasty cold soon T!

V, wishing you a safe trip! Have fun!

Cindy, Brad and I have played backgammon in the mornings for years. In the summer we usually switch over to cribbage and play outside in the mornings. He beats me more than I beat him at both games.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 9:32AM
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OK, OK! I defer. :) . I had some interesting morsels to share first thing this morning and don't know how to move posts (if you even can), so you're gonna have to go "over there" to read it. I'm esp. puffed up about the electric bill.

The sausage was really good. I almost never eat it and I absolutely LOVE it, the helpmeet is certain I'd gobble up "Sausage rolls" with great relish (you think, Mary?). Rex was lovin' the pan it was fried in, too. The kitchen is all cleaned up and all I have to do today is get the chicken stuffed and in the oven by 1-1:30 and make Tabouli. ;) How much should I make, Deanne?

I have gotten mental chuckles out of the visual conjured up by Cynthia about hosing down the dish. That's tickled me several times. Also Sue outdoors barefoot (are you nuts?). And "hairplanes" and Kenzie's first plane trip.

At present, the snow is beginning to change over to rain. We only have 2", but the wind is really shifty today and depending on the direction it's blowing we can get bursts of heavy snow. None of the animals are greatly interested in the great outdoors, though all but Flo have ventured over the threshold.

I hope Megan is perking up soon. And I'll bet she's glad she has some money to cushion the sick time. And someone like you to look after Bellatheball.

Is Martie going to share before and after shots with us? I'm waiting... . I just love the interior decoration stuff; when's Michelle going to "show us her's"? I'll be looking for scorch marks (couldn't resist).

I think I'd go for the Japanese maple or a Kousa. My boss has a Kousa that's lovely and there are a couple of beauties around town. If memory serves me correctly, they flower well into July here. We have a Bloodgood JM, and I really love it; I've seen some handsome varieties with really yellow-green leaves, too. Still, my innate Yankee side would consider relocating the Stewartia, too. Big help, huh?

There was another question "onayouseguys" asked and now I can't remember it. I'll send this off and then go back and dig for it, I think it was decorating oriented.

Busy morning.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 9:59AM
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We are totally socked in. There are 4 drifts everywhere. Rick will need to get the tractor and the snowblower that goes on it out. It doesnt seem too bad now but they say the wind is supposed to blow again today and maybe tomorrow. I called in to work. We had auditors at our office on Wed. they were staying at a motel in a town 8 mi. away. They didnt make it to their motel last night so the boss brought them an air bed and sleeping bags. They decided they would keep working thru the evening. Iowa has been declared a disaster area. I think there are around 100,000 still without electricity after last weekends storm. We are fortunate here so far.

After seeing Deannes pictures, who could hate coleus??? Actually, Im so out of the gardening mood this winter and I dont really know why.

Speaking of coleus, I have a huge amount under lights that are growing like crazy.

T, LOL about the babies firsts.

Eden, I feel so sorry for Megan. Mono is miserable. Its so great that you all pitch in and help her.

Martie, what a relief that must be to hear your dads news.

Chelone, things are still smoldering here, but seriously we have a ways to go. Countertops wont be installed until sometime in April and Im waiting for the flooring to go on sale. (Im frugal) The fabric for the curtains has been ordered over the internet. A first for me. It hasnt arrived and my sewing machine needs some attention before I can start. The painting is done though.

I need to help DH get the snowblower on so, but Ill check in later.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:10AM
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Lauren_StL(z5/6 Mo)

Hello from a long time ago! School started last fall and I just couldn't keep up with my 3 little ones and you all! But I still peek in every now and then. Glad to see how everyone is doing and some new names that I hadn't seen before. I just wanted to let Deanne know that I am planting coleus (sorry Gbug) for the first time this year because of her collection. Such an inspiration!

However ('bug), I also planted two clematis last year because of you! I'm getting anxious to see how they do this year not that they've had a year to get their roots established. Also, Gardenbug, you were the one who first invited me over and I am just so thankful to have found such a neat group of gardeners to spur me on in my own garden.

Michelle - rough time with the snow. We have a good friend who's stuck in Cedar Rapids right now because of it--sounds like a lot to take this late in the season when we all get anxious for Spring.

To the rest, you all are some wonderfully gifted gardeners whom I enjoy reading about when I get the chance. I'll go back to peeking in everynow and again, but wanted to let you know that my garden is better because you all are willing to share.

Happy Friday!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:57AM
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Wow Michelle; I've barely kept an eye on the weather, but was amazed at the size of this storm system when I watched it swirl across the TV screen this morning.

I've never ordered fabric over the internet, either. Did you find a good site and were you satisfied with what arrived? It's a good day to fiddle around with a sewing machine. But here's what I really want to know about: tell me about the tractor and the snowblower attachment, please. Historically, we have used a nice, self-propelled snowblower to clear our driveway. We don't generally receive a lot of snow, but the helpmeet isn't getting any younger and if we pull off a garage it may be time to get a tractor of some sort. Help?

I have not put up any shots of containers because I'm so disorganized with photographs it isn't easy to find one. But I could easily be overcome with containers... I love pretty statuary and all that "traditional", "neo-classical" stuff. If I spent too much time with either Deanne, Wendy, Cynthia, or Sue I could be very big trouble. :) I'm not nuts about coleus, either, but I'm softening. I meant to tell Deanne that Fuschia is unbelievable, and tell 'bug how much I like the planter with the fern, Heuchera, and something else. I love the silvery and varigated foliage.

It's raining now (out of the east). The snow outside is the consistency of a Sno Cone, and the rain isn't freezing on contact. I'll be interested to know what other New England Idyllettes are experiencing now.

I saw the mailman and think it's time to venture out to see how it "feels" and listen for the sound of heavy surf. Will need "foul weather gear"!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:05AM
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I just got my picturetrail stats for the last week and my account had 3370 hits. That's high! Anybody else have such high numbers this week?

Hi Lauren, What a nice post from you. It would be so great if you could find time to pop in more!

Michelle, you've really been socked by winter this year. I'm so glad that you're just able to stay put for the weekend. Your kitchen project sounds like it's progressing at a good pace.

Chelone, I sense we may have another convert to OCG, obsessive container gardening. We'll be happy to enable you any way we can, lol.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:25AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Chelone it's raining and 37 F here right now. It sounds like we're getting off easy compared to what others are reporting. Tomorrow the forecast is for sunny and 50 F. Spring is springing.

Cindy, I did read the Albizias are messy and would not make a good patio tree. However, that Summer Chocolate may find a spot in my garden somewhere. I know I've told you before but Oxydendron is a very slow growing tree. It will not outgrow it's spot in your lifetime.

Hey Lauren, welcome back!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:34AM
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Lauren, thats what happens when you hang out here, next thing you know you are planting all kinds of new things. God to hear from you. When you lurk, just a quick hi would be nice.

Chelone, the fabrics are Waverly. They sent nice 9" x 9" samples and I had seen a little larger swatches in a local store, but it would have been special order there at $35 a yard. These are from Denver Fabrics at 1/2 that price. I haven't received it yet. I did ask about Denver Fabrics on the decorating forum and got good comments.

I'll try to get a picture of the snowblower. It goes on a large tractor, but I know at work they have a snowblower that mounts on the riding lawn mower.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:38AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good wet afternoon!

We had some snow last night, then sleet this AM. When I stepped onto the deck (wearing shoes!) it felt like I was walking on rice crispies. The temps are warming and it is pouring out now. The side street next the office is flooding, it looks like a river.

Deanne, I already ate lunch but I am getting hungry again reading the menu for tomorrow. Everything sounds so good! Looking forward to trying Doug's salmon that I've heard so much about. DH is even getting into the spirit of the day, he asked if he had any shorts that are not packed away in the attic so he could wear them tomorrow!

V, I like 'bug's container too. I grow those plants, but I never thought of grouping them in a container - they look great.

Eden, poor Megan. She is so lucky to have her family close by to pitch in and help her. I hope she can plenty of rest this weekend so she can face returning to work.

Suzy, hello! Sorry about your kitties. Hope you get a pic of the new one for us.

Lauren, glad you could stop by. The Idylls certainly are an inspiration. I have learned so much here.

Michelle, good thing you are safe at home. You would not want to be stuck at work with auditors!

Sue, I was thinking of planting a Japanese Maple or maybe a Stewartia this year as well. I had DH cut down a small tree in one corner of the front yard near the street because it was an invasive buckthorne, and I miss it. What color flowers does the Albizia have - I'm assuming they are not pink...

Have to run, duty calls.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 1:42PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Yikes!!!! Pouring, pouring rain here but so far there are no delays at the local airport because it warmed up and is raining so Im not complaining. Ive got a couple lakes in the back yard and one on the patio where Doug will do his magic with the grill tomorrow. The temps are supposed to be high thirties or lower forties thank goodness or wed be getting on the ice skates in order to do the grilling. LOL Im a bit on the tired side as I did my hour of cardio at the gym and then shoveled three inches of slush off the driveway, and that pile at the end left by the snow plows was the consistency and weight of wet cement.

Yea Chelone is going to be a convert to exotic coleus. I didnt used to like them either until I saw some of these newer cultivars which are out of this world. ~~ So happy you like that Beacon Rosa fuchsia. She really is a beauty and if you want some cuttings Ive got scads of them here. I plant them out in the borders like annuals but just dig them up, toss them in pots and throw them in the basement for the winter. That particular variety is one tough plant. ~~ RE taboule, we are supposed to have 12 here for the party but only make enough for six? Im making a couple potato salads(one with onions, and olives and one without) so we dont need serving for 12 as there will be so much other food. (well be sending people home with doggie bags) RE that marvelous statuary etc for the gardens, hey, hey, hey Well have your garden filled with stuff before too longte he.

Welcome back Lauren! Nice to hear from you!

Eden, LOL OCG!!! That is another Idyll affliction. I have no idea how many have looked at my pics because I dont use picturetrail. Thats amazing though! ~~ Ill tell you Eden, your daughters are a couple gems! That Jennifer is a marvelous sister. What a sweetheart.

So Michelle, how many coleus do you have under lights??? Inquiring minds would like to know. I wasnt much in garden mode all winter either, hence spending the winter outside in a duck blind, but Im feeling like growing things again so I should be all set when the season starts in another month or so.

T, bummer about the cold, hope you feel better soon. Glad you didnt have to go out today. ~~ BTW, its perfectly OK to grow the coleus in water all winter if they are doing fine. It keeps them from getting too large on the windowsill or under the lights. I have a few things that I kept in water all winter this year too and it has been easier all the way around to keep them going. Im just hoping that I dont lose them when I finally do pot them up.

Cindy, one of these times you really need to come to one of our get-togethers. You wouldnt believe how much fun the non-stop garden talk is. I surely wish I did have a transporter so everyone could zip in for our gathering.

OK just checked Vs flight and it is delayed but should be departing soon crossing my fingers that shell be in the air any moment now winging her way to NH. Cant wait!

Hi Martie, great to hear from you! Well miss you tomorrow and if ANYTHING changes at all in your schedules, please feel free to drop in. There will be way too much food as always.

OKie Dokie, must run, need to finish up a few last things here

Later all

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 2:03PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Lots of action again today were all trying to distract ourselves by obsessing about Spring, right?

Sue thanks for that reinforcing tidbit re the oxydendron; its definitely high on my impulse list Ive been so bad ordering this Spring, Im going to have to train voles to dig all the holes (and weed) for me Ive decided!

Its nice to hear from lurkers and "fresh faces" Hi, Lauren, Suzy, Norma!

Suzy, Im sorry to hear about your favorite cats passing you know all of us are such animal lovers and take each death to heart. Im glad to hear your DS managed to find a cuddly something to help you grieve and go on.

Normasorry Wyatt is under the weather do they do tonsillitis much anymore? He must have really be suffering for them to decide to do that op. Hope he rebounds quickly as children often do.

Lauren, youll have to share some photos of the new additions to your garden of the clems and other things the Idylls have enabled... Im into the clem addiction myself and probably going to growing them into my neighbors yards & trees, LOL...

Kathy, dont wait too long about that tooth as Im sure youve probably heard on the news, tooth abscesses are nothing to ignore; they can be fatal, unfortunately.

Chelone I started to read your post about the electric bill I feel bound to try to make some conservation changes myself but continue to be thwarted by the weather I turned my thermostat down a lot this past winter but wore a sweater a lot of time I just hate feeling like having to be a pioneer woman in my own home, though. . . .

Michelle 4 drifts o my... definitely a snow day! be safe. I bet youre not into "gardening" because youre into decorating the interior/kitchen its hard to find time to obsess about more than one thing!

A passing wave to all others Ill try to pop in on the weekend to see the doings of the Nose-Thumbers Crowd.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 2:04PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wendy, ROTFLOL!!! I love it! I was trying to decide if I was going to do the shorts thing again this year and now I definitely will. I'll just have to turn up the thermostat a bit. Can't wait so visit with you and meet your DH.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 2:06PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I know purple leaf plums can be problematic and wrought with disease, but be still my heart...

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 2:09PM
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Well I'm don't seem to be very motivated today or to be getting much accomplished. We have some snow flurrying around outside but the sun's trying to break through and it's so good to see. I hate to admit it but I just woke up from an hour nap. I never nap for more that 15-20 minutes and it's left me feeling groggy.

I have a little oxydendron that's not more than a 6' tall stick. I wonder if it will survive the winter and ever grow any branches? Sue I do like that plum, both the purple foliage and the columnar shape. I vote for that one!

Deanne, I think I still have about 40 varieties of coleus overwintering. That is if I get myself downstairs and get them watered today, lol.

I have to get off here and get something done. I'll be kicking myself when Bella's here for the weekend that I didn't get my work accomplished beforehand.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 2:40PM
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What a great day!! Decided to work from home until the ice melted, and got going on a big proposal. Worked and worked, and then decided I really should get on the road. Showered, dressed, primped (as much as I do) then went to start the car. The key wouldn't turn. 45 minutes later, it still wouldn't after trying every car starting trick I know other than hotwiring (wasn't sure I would get arrested for stealing my own car and restarting it at a client's may have raised some eyebrows).

So, stayed home, finished the proposal in record time, emailed everything to everyone who needed it, and can now enjoy some time Idyll time.

Sue -- Why not a Chionanthus retusus? (Just to add to the fodder ...) Great suggestions so far but I would definitely stay away from anything that will drop anything major on the patio. Had a wonderful Kousa that wasn't so wonderful after droppage on a wood deck. Petals stick. Chionanthus not only blooms and doesn't make a mess, but it smells really nice and has good waxy leaves for the summer. Part-shade is AOK -- mine only gets true direct sun in the morning and then after 3p.

Eden: Love Bella's b=day pics! The girl looks like she knows how to party :-)

Everyone's Coleus has gotten me thinking. I'm not a big fan of coleus but somehow Rich became enchanted so it's going to be a big player from here on. Do the newer "designer" varieties really take full sun or is that marketing hype?

The pics of the Baby Bobbly Heads (said with absolute love) are wonderful and boy are they growing! I've often wondered how twins feel when they're that little and need to be separated for a time. Do they get completely confused? I would.

'bug -- LOL about your DGS questions. Isn't amazing how the most progressive parents shirk that answer?? I "knew" really early on being the oldest of five and it just all seems natural to me. Kyle "discovered" his dad and I one evening (I Swear He Was Asleep!!!! Kyle, that is) and that opened the door to the concept of love and baby creation in the physical sense. While his teenaged friends were all gaga over s*x, he was just cool. I'm a true believer that every young woman should get a copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" for her 12th birthday.

Need to pop back and read more before any more individual addressing. What a treat to "be here" today!

Hopping out to kiss Ky goodbye, and Rich hello!!

Best to everyone.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 3:34PM
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I can't seem to get motivated either. I counted, I have 25 coleus under the lights. Although, not all different varieties. There are also some pelargoniums and a few other misc. plants.

I hope V makes it to NH OK without delays.

Martie, I grew quite a few coleus in full sun last summer. They seem to grow to monster proportions in full sun.

Here's a few pictures of the weather.

These little guys hang look like they don't care for the weather either.

This is Rick blowing snow. You can see the drift in front of the car is pretty high. There are many like it.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 4:17PM
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I would have gotten here earlier but it's been a 'full moon' kind of day and I'm not talking about the one I'm sitting on if you know what I mean lolololol!

Deanne I want to come to your party-I need fun,laughing people and no kids with nosebleeds,asthma attacks,cracked lips,fainting spells,fevers,belly aches,'s been a whacky day indeed. To put a positive spin on it though,no pukers!!!; ) definitely a plus.

Thank you everyone for being who you are-I mean that.

I will admit I haven't done more than a light skim but these are the pressing things I've been thinking about. I have been worrying about Michelle-all that snow and blizzard stuff sounds scary on the news. I assume V got it too? I'm sure I will figure that out when I have time to read. Well I've been thinking of you each time the news comes on and they say how dangerous it is.

Hi Lauren-nice to see your name here and I hope you stay!Hi to Suzy too!Stick around.

I loved all the container pics posted these last few days-it's so refreshing to see them and realize it's not that far away from when we get to do containers for real.I can dream-hey three months is much shorter than six,no? lol.

Norma I saw your name but didn't get to read-is Wyatt feeling better?

I better get a move on. Tonight I think I will need a box of wine and a straw...make that two; )


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 4:50PM
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LOL with You, Babs. Between the no pukers and three month vs. 6 it's a good day, indeed. Did you know they'll be an Eclipse (caps on purpose) tomorrow night?? Hope it's clear.

So Babs' 3 vs. 6 got me remembering and wanted to share this for 'bug's DD: When I was about 8 months with Ky I needed something to be grateful about right that minute. A friend suggested that I might be glad I wasn't an elephant, who have 22 month gestations.

I can see Chelone's face right now :-)



    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 5:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Caught up with the reading! Hurray.

Have a new surge protector. We lost TWO of them last night, almost lost my monitor too. Lost the phone system (4 phones) and will check into that on Monday. Loads of fallen branches on top of snow drifts here. The university was closed today because of the weather.

I always love reading Eden's posts because they are so family oriented. The morning games, the pets, the gorgeous daughters, the caring, the renovating and decorating and imagination, Brad's music...OK, the plants too! LOL

Michelle, you've been another lovely example of a family working together in a wonderful way. The road is not always smooth and easy, but you make it seem so. Rick is a real sweetheart IMHO!

Yes Lauren, I do wish you'd show up more often. I too hope that clematis will put on a great show this summer. I did not have a chance to put them to bed properly in the Fall and see that the rabbits have been doing a number on them as well as on the roses and a Japanese maple. Grrr.

Deanne, the excitement builds by the minute. That menu is sinful! Is everyone wearing sarongs and shorts and sandals?? (Doug in a sarong? naaaw.)

Sue, I'm thrilled with my Chionanthus virginicus, but it sure was small when it began here. I adore Cornus Kousa, but the variegated ones that I saw in Portland on a visit there were kind of weird when in bloom, hard to notice the blooms. I have a small Cornus Gold Star in its 4th year...still very small and slow growing. Pretty though!

I heard from Ei and it was a treat to hear from her. She is ever so busy and concerned for her Mom.

Of course all conversation about the twins and other small people keeps me going here. The 'birds and bees' talk between DD and DGS has both had me enchanted and in stitches. Certainly the bond between us has strengthened now that she has her own family. You'll never know how dreadful the path leading up to this was however. This is a beautiful stage.

And so, wishing you all a joyous weekend, however you choose to spend it.
Oh no! Coleus! ;-)

Vita Sackville Pest


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 5:56PM
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Well, it's really looking like March in New England today! it's raining (not hard) and the snow is completely waterlogged. The pavement is clear, but the snow in the driveway is going to be a nightmare. It's too wet to snowblow and if we drive over it a few times and pack it down it will take longer to melt (better not try for Deanne's... NOT). Add to that the cold snap that's due in next week and... well, it will melt eventually. It's NOTHIN' like Michelle's dooryard. The juncos on the snow laden bough are precious, and I'm really interested in the snowblower for a tractor. Helpmeet has wanted one larger than the lawn variety for many years now. (I'd like it, too!).

Eden, the helpmeet is proponentof napping. Any day off involves a leisurely snooze. I tease him about it, but it's something he enjoys. The only time it poses a problem is when I have to mow the lawn. ;) How can napping not be a great thing? jeez, cats do it for fully 18-20 hrs./day.

The most perfect cleaning tool in the world is a dog's tongue. I'm serious. I gave Rex the roasting pan from the chicken. I used a knife to loosen the most baked on skin, but when I picked it up from the floor he'd managed remove virtually everything that had been baked on. AMAZING. The stuffed and roasted chicken was hit, just as I suspected.

Many contributors here are very different from me, with very different beliefs. Like Babs., I genuinely enjoy that aspect of the Idylls. Perfect and complete agreement between every esteemed member is unimportant. What IS important is our ability to find common ground and reaffirm our humanity. I believe it's what keeps this forum vibrant and interesting. It's why I keep returning! So, here's another heartfelt thanks for bein' who you are in your own special way. My own life has been immeasurably enriched and enlightened by your "pearls of wisdom", insight, and good humor.

I managed to forget the mint for the tabouli... duh. Uh... and there's more than enough for 6-8, lol. I'm thinking maybe I ought to pack up some plastic containers for easy transport to faraway homes. I would rather not cart it all back home ;) . I don't think you have any idea just how excited I am.

Martie, I have a revised copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves". I bought the original as soon as I had the money and was able to get to a bookstore that had it (it wasn't easily located in rural NH the mid-70s). I gave my original copy to a dear friend, younger than I by 2 years, because she needed it (taught her about tampons, too). Had Mum been my only source of information, I would have wandered the wilderness dangerously ill-equipped. Let's hear it for the "sisterhood" (big brothers and 4-H), lol! My brother, bless his heart, filled in some, uh... noteworthy gaps in my knowledge when I was about 12. ;)

Suzy and Lauren... I tend to purge names when not in regular rotation here. I hope you aren't offended and will humor me with a "refresher" every so often? It IS hard to keep up here. You probably don't know me from Eve, either!

I still haven't located the question I wanted to answer, so I'll go back again and see if it doesn't "pop up". Man, that bugs me!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 5:59PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi Idyll's! I'm out from lurkdom.
It's very good to see the other lurkers back and the new folks too. I have to catch up reading now. Never mind - that will never happen, it's too busy here!

The pix are just wonderful to see too. My garden is still not fit to post here but I'm always good for foster critter photos. :)

Happy weekend!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:14PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh my, tonight is Deanne's Idyll party?! I'm so jealous.
Please take photos and fill us in later, It all sounds
scrumptious ~ and fun.
Boy, I could use some fun right now too! My big Friday night is bathing two 'teenage' Shepherd pups and a heeler mix for the adoption event tomorrow. ;)

Splish Splash

splish splash
I was taking a bath
All about a staurday night

Rubbed up
Just relaxin in the tub
Thinkin everything was alright

Well I got out the tub
Put my feet on the floor
I wrapped the towel around me
Then I opened up the door
and then
Splish Splash
I got back in the bath
well how was I to know there
was a party goin on?

There was a splishin and splashin
realin with the feelin
moving and a groovin
rockin and a rollin

Bing bang
I saw the whole gang
Dancin on my livin room floor
Well a flip fop
They were doin the bop
All the teens had the dancin bug
There was lollipop, peggy sue,
Golly miss molly was even there too
So Splish splash
I forgot about the bath
I went and put my dancin shoes on

Lord knows I was
Rollin and a strollin
realing with the feelin
Movin and a groovin
Rockin and a rollin

I was splishin and a splashin
I was rollin and a strollin
I was movin and a groovin
I was realin with the feelin
I was rollin and a strollin
movin with the groovin
Splish splash

I was splishin and a splashin oh e
I was rollin and a strollin
I was movin and a groovin
I was movin and a groovin
I was realin with the feelin
Rollin and a strollin


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:27PM
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How can anyone NOT love Bobby Darin?

Or shepherd puppies, IF you like dogs. Which, of course is not the case with me...

I hate dogs.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:39PM
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Hi Jerri, good to see you back. And Lauren too. I remember those 3 little ones! Nice to see old friends coming back. Maybe it's going to be friendly and happy here once more.

You all don't want to know the temperature here today. But I was overdressed with a turtleneck and sweater. Cindy is probably out moving things around in her garden. I stuck with my winter Friday night 'snack' Bailey's Irish Cream and left over coffee.

Martie, just trot yourself up to VFN and pick your agaves. My variegated one is from there. I snagged it when I made a special trip up there for 2 'Wolf eyes' Kousa. The excuse was to visit my sister, and we went to Logees and VFN directly from the airport!

Sue, I thought you had all of those trees already. How about Parrotia persica. Too tall? It's one of those trees that looks great from above (looking out bedroom window). Nice fall color, nice winter form, interesting bark. My sourwood was hit by a tree sized branch from a tulip poplar a couple of years ago. Now it has three leaders. I need to make a decision, but thinking it could be hit again so perhaps having a spare leader...

I'm glad that the Zoe scan was at least worth her time and your money :-) Not good that there's a problem, but good to have found the possible source of the problem, so that your vets can determine how to help her.

Mary, It would be knife if you hear back from the violin teacher soon. (Oops. That's the Bailey's.)

GB, you lost surge protectors! Yikes. Maybe you need to plug the surge protectors into surge protectors. Hi Vita! You are a cutie.

Michelle, I hope this is your last spring storm. Looks like a doozie but that you are well prepared. I thought that was a humongous tree behind the plow but now think maybe silo? Hope you haven't lost electric yet, though knowing you there's probably back-up generator.

Eden, good thoughts to Meg for a quick recovery.

And Deanne & Eden & GB, loved your pots on the last thread!

Best to all, especially those I've missed.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:44PM
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How fun to have Suzy, Lauren in St. Louis and Jerri all pop in to say hello!

Suzy, looking forward to seeing photos of your new kitty, they are such fun to watch when they are still so playful and young. Our old boy (17 years old) spends 95% of his time snoozing, not much in the way of antics going on in his life. ;o)

Lauren, it is good to have you pop in! I imagine you are quite busy with 3 little ones....but still nice to have you come by and say hello.

Jerri, you've given rescue work your heart. The animals are very fortunate to have people such as you, Sue and Cynthia as their advocates to find good homes.

I spent the day lazing around. Not much energy or ambition to do much more that cuddle with a blanket and book in my chair. I'm not speedy Gonzales on my best day, but right now I'd probably place second in a race with a snail. ;o)

I was impressed with Michelle's hubby's tractor (an enclosed cab!!!).

Well, I'm going to go do that chair sitting some more. :oD I need to milk this cold as long as possible! LOL


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 8:53PM
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Hi Jerri!! What else is new with you? Psst there's some suds on your chin; )

Marti-I'm telling you every single day this week I was sure it was's just been one of those weeks. I really do hope it's clear tomorrow night-we had a nice blue sky this afternoon. I posted a link that tells you when and where the eclipse will be seen. Deanne get out your digiscope: )-Oh wait are they partying that night? At least toast the moon!
It's cool because my sister's bday is tomorrow-maybe an eclipse brings good luck for a new birth year? I'll Google it.

Cynthia I love leftover coffee! I have to drink mine in the afternoon though or I'll be up howling at the moon. Is Dannie doing better?

Sue I missed what is going on with Zoe-I'll have to backtrack. So they do know what is wrong then?

That Mary is such a cut up.

To the wine...

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

Jerri, the party isn't until tomorrow so you still have time to jump on a plane. Speaking of the party...Deanne, add whoopie pies to the dessert menu. Usually I crash on Friday night but tonight I'm in a baking mood. As soon as Tom finishes cleaning up the dinner dishes I'll get started.

Back to the tree thing...I've basically eliminated Chionanthus. I have a small Chionanthus virginicus and all it really offers is a couple of weeks of cool flowers in June and maybe some yellowish fall color. The rest of the time it's just another green leaved plant. Cynthia, yes, I think Parrotia would get too tall. A couple of other small variegated trees that have blipped onto my radar screen are Cornus mas 'Variegata' and Zelkova serrata 'Goshiki' but both would be hard to find in any size. Decisions, decisions...

OK, off to the kitchen I go.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 9:11PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

T- you deserve all the down time you can get -- w/ all those g'mom responsibilities and sharing "firsts" with the little ones, you deserve it -- enjoy! and hope you recover slow and easy.

Hmmm, yes, I wont tell ya'll what it was supposed to be here temp wise -- I did see the sun and even saw it when I left the ofc at 5:30 tonite - what a pleasure.... Im supposed to go w/ a friend to a flea market tomorrow but it's supposed to be another Fine day & I do hear some things calling me in the yard - esp. all those shrubs & things that have yet to be cut back & the poppy seeds that should be sown....

Great to hear from you Jerri -- what a good week it is after all -- all these folks poppin up -- just like Spring flowers! hope you stick around and share - when you can.

Yes, one of these "events" I am definitely gonna hop on a plane & try to experience an NE event in person -- altho I suspect it would not have been a good nite at the airport goning north -- and my SIL in VT would have been heartbroken to hear I was in her neck of hte woods & didn't pop in. (Altho she's got her hands full w/ a very ill hubby in hospital at Dartmouth -- I do wish I were closer to hold her hands)..

Its a weekend of hard decisions - not enuf time to do the things I should (haircut, oil change, groceries, de-louse the house) versus want -- HomeGoods callin again, the shrubs longing for their hair cuts, etc... decisions, decisions - well, at least the weather offers decisions this weekend!

'bug - love your coleus (even tho we know you dont...) -- it's so wonderful when we are at peace w/our children -- I noticed how wonderful it was w/my DD; once she was married, it has become so great -- the only thing I miss is trying to keep some distance - I'd be a naggy, nosy Mom every chance I could, but figure it's healthier for all if I try to chat once a week or when they want to hear from me -- Im always delighted when they call & want to go out to dinner (like last weekend). I guess it's seeing "lite at the end of the tunnel" or something - a peaceful feeling.

Poor Miss Chloe is still pretty rambunctious -- she had her first long walk last nite & again tonite -- but is still feeling housebound I can tell (as she is harrassing me as I type) - hopefully she'll get her fill of some good outdoors air tomorrow.

And it's nice to hear you, Babs -- I hope you sincerely had the worse Friday for your March -- and the rest of 'em will be quiet -- no pukers, etc.!

Martie - sorry for your car woe but it turned out to be a great day for home it sounds - probably just what you needed.

Sue -- decisions, decisions - Parrotia, Prunus, Chionanthus (I thought you had that...?) - they all sound fine ideas - well, you'll get a chance to talk seriously tomorrow nite in between dips in the hot tub!

Im glad to see this thread back on top & hope we continue with the Spring Forward Mentality.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 9:18PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

At the very top of my Lust List - if I could plant any tree in my garden (disregarding size, etc.) I would plant Cornus controversa variegata.... I think it's the most elegant tree [it's definitely not purple though]. What's the one tree ya'll would want?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 9:26PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

We're all drying off. Thanks for the tip about the suds Babs! ;)

All you dog lovers (and Chelone too) check out this link. It's adorable.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 9:44PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Cindy, I have Cornus Controversa 'Janine' and it's a great tree. Both C. controversa and C. alternifolia branch horizontally and take up alot of real estate. In this particular spot I need a canopy tree-one I can limb up and walk by or under.

First tray of whoopie pies is frosted and on the platter. Naturally I had to test one of them to make sure they were Ooops, timer is going off-gotta run.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:12PM
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Yeah, OK...

I'm certain all the rest of the RATIONAL Idylettes will now understand why I hate dogs... like DUH!


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:14PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello, hello everyone, V. arrived safely and we have enjoyed a lovely evening of good food, discussion and wine.

Sue, Whoopie Pies!!!!! Be still my heart!

Ok I'm going to log out so you can hear from the globe trotter V....

Nitey nite

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:15PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Well that was just special. I had a nice long post with lots of newsy stuff and chatting with everyone and punched the wrong button and LOST the WHOLE thing! I'm just too disgusted to repost it all now, so I'll work on it tomorrow after shopping with my Mom.

I will say this, I got one really good thing accomplished today. I lost some boxes for particular lighted ornaments that go on my Christmas tree every year. After looking for two weeks I finally found them, right where I'd been looking for the two weeks, and I know I had my hands on them at least twice. The end of the story is that since I found them, the last of the ornaments are off the tree, the extra lights are off, the storage area rearranged, the bins returned to the basement storage, and the tree can now come down and be removed from the living room. YES, I still have the tree up. I'm a Christmas fanatic and it's usually up until late February (or later) every year, anyway. So when Nick comes back from college next weekend, he can help me drag it to the basement (it's a huge tree, even in three parts). Mystique gave us fits with it, since she found it fun to bat at and climb in. We've never had a tree climbing cat before, so it was quite interesting this season.

Off to stitch. Hope you all meeting at Deanne's have a lovely time! Wish I were there, I could use a break.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:18PM
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Hello Idylls, Happy Friday !

Ive popped my penicillin, popped my Advils and will enjoy a nice bowl of beans and rice for dinnernot much chewing involved ! Ive loved reading all these upbeat posts in this thread. Sort of a catharsis I think.

I know that Deanne will be very responsible about providing us with a detailed photo essay of the festivities. And as Babs pointed out there is a lunar eclipse to contend with ! The lunar eclipse is absolutely my favorite astonomical event, unfortunately we west coast folk will not be able to view it, it will be pretty much over when the moon rises here.
We had an earthquake last evening, but it was only a 4.2 and the epicenter was about 40miles east of here. My kitties all freaked out though.

So Michelle, you are just going to have to explain "out of the gardening mood this winter" and "coleus, I have a huge amount under lights that are growing like crazy" . This just does not add up. I think you are suffering from some sort of denial, lol.
Boy, would I not like the auditors camping out at my office !

Lauren, hello ! Im relatively new here , out on the west coast. Pleased to meet ya..

Sue, how about a Cotinus ? Love the way the sun shines through the red foliage. That columnar plum is certainly tempting , but what issues those trees have ! Most every one I see is just covered with scale, and are only fruitless in your dreams. I think one could make a Sambucus nigra into a small tree as well.

Cindy, I think my tooth is responding nicely to the anti-biotics, Im feeling much better.

Havent said hello to everyone, but have some chores that I need to do-mostly involving taxes.Will try to catch up better tomorrow..

Night all..
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yes, I made it to Deanne's! Only a relatively minor flight delay. After we boarded the plane, I started reading my book and thought from all the bumping and shaking that we had taken off. Imagine my surprise when I looked out the window and saw that we were still at the gate; it was the wind that was shaking the plane like that!

Had a lovely dinner with Deanne and Doug and we are now ready to hit the sack. I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow, especially Sue's legendary whoopie pies!

And if Chelone changes her mind at the last minute, I may drive to Maine and drag her here myself!

Ditto on the nitey-nite,


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:27PM
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Lauren_StL(z5/6 Mo)

Wow! I'd forgotten how fast you guys move! What a hoppin bunch of gardeners! Thanks for the lovely greetings and welcomes.

Kathy, a west coaster is a little out of the ordinary! So nice to "meet" you! It seems most everyone is from the north/northeast. It's great to see your beautiful gardens right now--since I have none. Gets me excited about spring. You live in one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. Unfortunately I've always been pregnant while there :( Thankfully, my DH has always been so nice to describe the great wines (thoughtful fellow-ha!)

We had a textbook early March day here today--in like a lion. The windows were rattling! V. - good for you to be able to read a book while getting ready to take off on a windy day. I'm jealous of your fun get together this weekend. What a wonderful time--good food, good conversation, great weekend...

I'm sitting here dreaming of trellises. My bday present this year was that my DH would make me whatever trellises I wanted to design (he's a great hobby carpenter - so the skies the limit, as long as it can actually structurally stand!). Unfortunatey, I'm not sure what I want. So he tells me to dream away on what I want...and I have NO DREAMS! If any of you have any thoughts on color/shape/material I'd love to hear (see) it. I'm going to attach a link to the area where the trellises are going. You can skim down the pictures and see how it looked two years ago and then this last year. I'm a little embarrassed for all of you to see the garden, but it's evolving - like my entire garden! LOL.

I hope everyone enjoys the weekend. I just got a $25 gift certificate to Bluestone, so I'm off to peruse their catalog, oh, for the 1000th time. Love the possibilities. I think that's why gardening is so much fun - everything is possible this time of year!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:15PM
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Babs, thanks for the concern, but we are fine. As long as you stay home youll be ok. We havent lost electricity, but Cynthias right, we do have a generator. Now a week of "is it Friday" hmmm that would be a long one.

I tell you, you guys are such cut-ups.

LOL, Cindy, the trees I want usually arent hardy to my zone.

Kathy, glad to hear that the drugs are helping. About those coleus, I put them in the basement under lights last fall and they barely get watered, but they seem to be thriving. I havent ordered anything yet, not one plant or one packet of seeds.

V has arrived, so the Idyll fun has begun. Enjoy!

I took a walk out on the road and the snow is pretty deep. The plow has been by, but it keeps blowing in. They say maybe by tomorrow afternoon. I need more supplies for my kitchen project.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:17PM
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Lauren_StL(z5/6 Mo)

Oh! One more thing. I may not completely understand the site you're wanting to fill Sue, but have you thought about a columnar redbud? I forget the actual cultivar name, but it's weeping and absolutely beautiful (but then I'm a redbud fanatic - we planted 20 of them (saplings) in our backyard when we first moved in - so I'm most definitely biased.

OK I went and googled it - Lavender Twist and attached the link. Don't know if it would work or not, but just an idea.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:34PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Good morning all. I couldn't sleep so I'm up and around early. I popped in a CD series that I haven't 'found time' to listen to. It's about self esteem and self respect. It has already made me look at some very difficult things. I feel challenged and a little scared, all in 30 minutes!

Today is going to be a good day. I just noticed the Idyll tdyll ~ A FRESH START ~ How exciting that we can wake up one day and start fresh! :)

Have a great Saturday. That's for being the kind and unique group that you are and for sharing yourselves here.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 7:38AM
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Good Morning, I'm going to join in with those at the Idyll party today and thumb my nose at winter today. I don't really have a thing of interest to tell you all. Brad will be scraping, patching and sanding this morning and Jen should be here with Bella within the hour. When I talked to Meg last night her throat was feeling a little less sore but Bella's was running a fever, a toddler cold or teething I suspect. The congo bars are gone now, so I think it may be a good day to bake cookies.

Hi Jerri, good to hear from you. I haven't had a change to look at your link yet but will. Your CD series sounds interesting. It's good to take a step back and examine ourselves from time to time I think. And challenge is always good to make us grow even if it doesn't feel good at the time.

Cynthia, how is Dannie? Is she healed up yet? You and those triplets should get to try out the new fences today with the nice weather you're forecast. I'm jealous and would give about anything for some time in the garden about now.

You all are bad to tease Mary. It's good she's sharp enough to take it all in good fun.

Lauren, I can picture beautiful trellises in your picture. It will be fun to design them too. How are those cute little children of yours doing?

Cindy, favorite tree huh? I put in a few last year and don't have anything on my want list at the moment. My yard is so small that I don't have room for many but I'd love to be able to have a big collection of japanese maples or lots of unusual conifers if I had space. I do love my little stewartia most of the ones I do have. I was lucky to get one with a beautiful shape and am looking forward to seeing it mature. Now for trees I don't like it's the junk maples and other weed trees around my property. Your weekend sounds like it will be busy, hope you get some garden time in too.

Kathy, good to hear your tooth problem is improving.

Babs, I'm so happy for you that there were no puking issues at least. That would be a downside to your job now that I think of it, lol.

I've run out of time. I know the party will be great fun this afternoon and can't wait to hear all about it.

Later Idyll friends, Eden

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 8:48AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! The sky is blue, the sun is out, the grackles are back, and steam is coming off the garage roof from the warm sun hitting the's beginning to feel like spring. What a perfect day for Deanne's party. V, glad to see you made it in OK. Lately air travel just seems to be a hit or miss proposition when it comes to causing you grief.

Deanne, is it one o'clock for the party?

Keep those tree suggestions coming. Kathy, I really like the Cotinus idea-a cultivar like 'Royal Purple' would be perfect but I've never seen one sold in tree form around here. I coppice the one I have every so often to control size otherwise it would become a large shrub. A couple of years ago I started training a purple leaf sand cherry (Prunus x cistena) into a small tree and have been pleased with the result.

Lauren, when it comes to trellises lately I've been leaning towards a more retro look. I'm having my husband build one for me this year that will have a wooden frame but the crosspieces will be wire of some sort. We'll paint the wood part some sort of funky color. Weeping and columnar trees have always caught my attention but I can't seem to find the right spot. I have a very unique redbud called 'Silver Cloud', a green and white variegated variety but the leaves burn easily so it needs to be keep in alot of shade. Here is a picture of it taken last summer.

The new patio spot will be fairly tight. I have some room in the air but not at ground level. Heptacodium would probably work but I already have one. It's starting to look like I may be playing musical trees in the next couple of weeks...along with musical else is new.

OK, time to get this show on the road. Since the sun is coming up earlier I'm waking up earlier so I'm already showered and dressed. No shorts on me but I did haul out a pair of summer jeans and I did find a bright floral top. Off to thumb our noses at winter!


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 9:04AM
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Cynthia - I must admit to feeling rather cut up that as yet I've had no response from the violin teacher.

I'm so glad you guys get my humor:0)

Have fun today North Easterners and a warm welcome back to Suzy, Jerri and Lauren!!

Onwards and upwards

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 9:26AM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Thought I would love to thumb my nose at winter, I woke up to SNOW this morning again! Yuck! I don't think it's supposed to amount to much, and I shouldn't complain, but it was 52 degrees yesterday. It's really only supposed to amount to snow showers, but I'm tired of it. I'm ready for warming temperatures and plants sticking their new leaves out of the ground.

At any rate I'm off to get showered for a shopping trip. Doubt that I'll buy much of anything, but it will be fun to look at any rate.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 9:41AM
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Good morning Idylls!

Mary, I'm so glad you're attempting to take a stab at getting back to playing your violin more frequently.


The day began far too early (4:38--don'tcha just love digital clocks and the need to be exact when relating a story?) with a fit of coughing. By the time I was done, I needed a hot drink to soothe the raw throat...thus the day had begun. Blech! (Yep, still getting mileage out of whining about this cold, lol).

It is gray and foggy but we're suppose to be dry and about 55 by this afternoon! I don't have much energy, but might try to go out and work some more on edging the new beds. I've not been back out to work on that since that day when waiting for the tow truck to appear and I really would love to get it done soon.

After Eden & Cynthia mentioned the Congo bars last week, I looked up the recipe online. They sound good but I'm, once again, dieting so won't be doing anything with the recipe for awhile. Sue's whoopie pies always sound yummy so those are another 'treat' for a baking day in the future.

I hope the party is a lot of fun (it will be!). Glad V made it there safely and looking forward to any photos that may be shared.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 10:00AM
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I'm still waiting for Bella and I've been sitting here going through books I have with trellises. I found one I love that has the wood and wire like Sue's talking about. I'd like to put a couple of wooden ones on the front of my house on each side of a high bedroom window. More for architectural interest than to grow much on though. They'd be under an roof overhang and on the north side of the house. Linked is a picture of some that caught my eye and I have saved in my favorites.

Sue, be still me heart, that redbud is so pretty. Actually I just love the whole setting in the picture. I never tire of seeing pictures of your garden.

Suzy, a shopping trip sounds like great fun, maybe with lunch out, but I'd like to have lots of money to spend. I'm not a very good window shopper. Yes, that would be just the ticket for me today.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 10:07AM
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Here's another, a 4 sided trellis that I'd like to get Brad to build for me.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 10:22AM
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Hello, hello, hello. Car has been delivered to the dealership and my loaner is a huge sedan. The guy had to raise the seat up all the way so I can see over the steering wheel and going around the first turn I slid sideways. Get outta My Way!!!

Rich is getting ready for a prospective addition appt and I have a client event to host. Nothing exciting unless you think that Nickelodeon characters entertaining 400 or so kids under the age of 12 is a good time. My client is a wonderful nut and has gone all out to make his roller skating rink "the" place to be for the younger crowd today. Parents will be entertained by reruns of Discovery Channel specials. I'll make it out alive, I'm sure, but someone at Deanne's please have a strong one for me :-)

Thank you for the trellis ideas! Mine have disintegrated and need replacing. You'd think that having a contractor for a husband would mean unique wood ornaments everywhere, right? Wrong. The arbor is still on paper. LOL

Mary, I must say you are a cut above the rest these days.

In the spirit of congo bars, made some UC's this morning. Basically oatmeal cookie recipe with some of the flour out, some coconut in, some of the oatmeal out and fine-chopped walnuts in, and, of course, chocolate chips. Ky's first little baseball team gave them their moniker: Ultimate Cookies. They're half gone so I'll need to make another batch. Shucks.

Good to see/meet the delurked members! Don't exactly remember everyone, but I'm sure I'll get to know you soon enough. I'm in north-central CT, about 20 miles north of Sue, in the Connecticut River Valley. My park (it's too much to be called a garden) is in it's third year from scratch and this year it's placement for plants time!! I may even feel confident enough to post some pics :-)

I'll do the bathroom finished pics when it's done. No befores -- I want to have absolutely no memory of orangish pink two tone walls with rose border and flaking gold metal fixtures. Last room in the house to be touched but the first to have us say "we've gotta do something, here" when we moved in. Why is that always the way?

Wishing I could skip work and head north to Deanne's. I would've really liked to check out her topiary Rugosa sans foliage.

Sue -- if you have a pic of your pruned sand cherry I'd love to see it. They are my all-time fav shrubs, plain and ordinary or not.

Time to fly!

Best to everyone - Martie

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 11:04AM
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A pair of the second one would look good against Lauren's house too. Maybe in dark green to match the shutters she doesn't have yet? :-)

I'm late for an open house. Katie gets to go, and I just trimmed her nails and got her 'good' pearls out. Would rather spend day outdoors, but it's good to have 'obligations' to work around too. Gets me up and going early on the week-ends to fit everything in. (Need to get my eyebrows threaded too. I've decided I like the results better than waxing, for those who still haven't tried it.)

53F already here. And yes it was 60+ yesterday. I am so sorry to say that to those socked in with snow, but usually the midwest gets an earlier spring than the east so everything balances out.

No time to comment, just wanted to say good morning! Hope the New England Idyllers have a wonderful pahty, makes me wish I was still in Goffstown so that I could hop right over to Deanne's!

Mary, thanks for sharing your little slice of life.

Have a good one, Cynthia

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 11:07AM
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Oh, forgot to ask, Jerri? Any new foster pics for us?


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 11:11AM
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Suzy-you are JUST taking down your tree? lol. If we had an artificial one who knows, I'd probably leave it up all year; ) At least you are leaving it up so long because you love the holiday-in my case it would be due to laziness even though I do love Christmas too. Falling pine needles(& stepping on them)are a great motivator!

Don't worry Kath(do you mind if I call you Kath? I have a sister names Kathy[Ann] and I always call her Kath) ANYWAY,don't fret about not being able to see the eclipse,we most likely will not see it due to clouds predicted for tonight. There's supposed to be another one I believe, on Aug. 28.
I've been forgetting to ask you about your tooth-I feel for you as I had a root canal done last year-BUT it wasn't anything as bad as I expected. YOurs sounds pretty bad since you are on so many meds/eating soft foods. With mine they just injected antibiotics into the canal and plugged it till the final filling. Is yours a molar?

Thanks goodness V-you are safe! The image of a grounded plane shaking as if in the air sounds kinda freaky(!)
DO drag Chelone please: ) IS Chelone coming?

Michelle I heard that you got 17 inches but the drifts were as high as ten feet! I feel much better knowing you have a generator though.

Mary you do know that if a small blade doesn't succeed you need to step it up to something larger...chainsaw?

I'm enjoying the tree talk as I have a diseased Cornus(old variety) that I have been thinking of replacing with Cottinus but the shrubby issue had me hedging a bit(hmmm that was a pun!). I want to say that somewhere I saw a variety that was more vertical/less shrubby??? Stewartia has been another one I have been eyeing.

I'm just enjoying the slices of humor around here; )

I HAVE to embarrass Chris right now-he is belting out a Belinda Carlyle song right now(Heaven is a place on Earth).I think he's trying to be funny but I think my ears are bleeding. I just yelled at him to please STOP it and the kids are doing belly laughs....I LOVE Saturdays.

Eden I hope Bella's fever is only due to her teeth-she and Megan are sure having a rough time of it!

Sue that pic of your walk is gorgeous! I am SOOO jealous that your areas are so warm! It's just 31 here.

The snow is melted and I see the job waiting for me is stick collecting. It'll have to wait since we have MIL patrol today and I also have mounds of laundry that won't go away.

I will check those trellis links after I post-with my luck I'd lose this post!

HAVE A GREAT ONE-Here's to thumbing winter! Have fun you guys!!


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 11:28AM
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Just breezing through here as it is shaping up to be an absolutely beautiful day here- bet it almost hits the big 7-0 judgeing from the way it feels out there right now. There won't be a weed left in sight by cocktail hour.
Bab, lots of people call me Kath ! I think you are right about another lunar eclipse, in fact I think there are supposed to actually be 2 more this year.

Love all the trellis pics !

Martie , 400 kids ! better you than me that's all I can say , LOL.

Waving to the nose thumbers, have a great great time !

Be back later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 12:20PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

We had a celebration this morning! Our rescue lost a dog at an adoption event downtown on Feb. 16th. Sophie was a Shepherd mix who had been abused in the past. She got spooked on the way to the event and wriggled out of her collar. We've been searching for her ever since.
The Pet Detective (from Animal Planet) came with her tracking dogs and helped but to no avail.
I got the call this morning that she had been found and turned in to the OKC shelter. I was able to rescue her and bring her home this morning. WAH HOO!!!!!!!!!
Pix of Sophie and 2 of her babies will follow. Right now she needs a BATH. ::


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 12:49PM
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I had to make a grocery run...but I'm back and did you all know that yesterday was the birthday of Dr. Suess. All Dr. Suess books at Meijer were 50% off. I picked up a new copy of the classic Cat In The Hat. Our old one was pretty tattered.

Martie, 400 children. OH MY!

Cynthia, I love the image of Katie in her pearls. She needs a Jackie O pill box hat. See link at bottom...

Babs, your description of Chris singing made me laugh too. I've caught Brad singing along to "I Feel Like A Woman" by Shania Twain before.

I too have a sister, Kathleen Marie, that I call Kath.

T, a sore throat and cough now?? Rest and lots of fluids for you today.

Bella's fever seems to be under control with tylenol but boy is she crying at the drop of a hat today. Yogurt made her cry but raspberries were "otay" in her words. I think it's going to be a long weekend...


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 1:31PM
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Jerri, wonderful news that you found her. The rescue animals are so lucky to have you to take care of them!


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 1:33PM
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Jerri, how great that the dog was found! She must have been really frightened to run and then while running must have also been afraid. I hope she finds a safe and loving home.

Eden, I 'love' the pill box (Jackie O) hat!!! Katie would look so wonderful in that whenever she is wearing her pearls! How in the world did you find it?

We've been working on the new shelter for the goats & the horse this morning. They are going to think they've really moved up in the world to have a much nicer, drier and more wind-proof place to lay & eat. For years we've planned on building a small barn but the funds were never set aside for doing it. We finally made it a priority and I think it is going to be a huge improvement--both for their comfort and for us to look out and see.

The TYNAW party must be in full swing by now...I hope they are having a drink and toasting all of us who are thinking of them. Enjoy yourselves!!!! :oD

(Michelle....what is the weather like for you today?)

My best,

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 2:27PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Afternnoon Idylls!

First let me say Im sorry that I havent been keeping up with the Idylls. I havent even been reading at the Idylls either because I figured that reading would only make me want to join in, all the while knowing that I would never be able to keep up. My tutoring and mom seem to be taking up all of my time these days. Combined with the fact that I have also been doing some transcribing work on the side.

I am so uncomfortable right now, saying what I am about to say because I hate talking about someone as if they arent here. It feels *such a personal thing* to be saying it in a public forum like this and I feel doubly uncomfortable since I have not been an active member, but anyway here goes. Last week I had written Marian. Even though we havent communicated in a long time (other than our conversations at the Idylls) she still holds a special place in my heart and I was concerned about the tornados in her area and wanted to make sure that she was alright. She wrote me back to ask me if I had had read what she had said at the Idylls... that she felt what she had posted might have made others upset with her. Well I hadnt in fact, read her post. I havent, in fact, been to the Idyll website in awhile. I dont defend Marians remarks, in fact it upset me that she would be so unkind to Mary especially, someone who has always gone out of her way to be kind to *everyone* and always including Marian in her posts.

It is all terribly sad to me. Maybe I am overly sensitive at this point, since in the last few months my mother has made a rapid descent - hearing voices; imagining people that arent there; paranoid; believing people are talking about her; being mean to her; telling me that my sister "yells at her"; "is mad at her"; etc., when in fact, *I* know that none of this is true. My mother has always been the sweetest, most soft spoken, most giving person I have ever known. The change is *shocking*, heartbreaking...devastating actually. This is worse than watching my father wither away from his cancer because I know that my mother is hurting, confused, scared and I must reassure her over and over and over again. The doctors are trying to find a way to help, but unfortunately they think the type of dementia my mom has does not respond to normal medications, such as aerosept. We are getting brain scans, blood work, oxygen level testing - most likely all will be for naught...but I hold out hope. I thank goodness I am not in this all alone, at least I have my sister and I am especially thankful that my mother is not alone in this.

Babs is right that Marian needs help (Marian has said so herself). Babs is also correct that Marian wont be able to get the type of help she needs here in a public forum. I want to help, wish I could help, and if I lived nearby I certainly *would* help in any way I could. Marian, if you are reading this right now, I hope you can hear what I am saying. I am *not* saying that you have what my mom has, just that something isnt right. I know you have no family that you can turn to right now, so you must be strong and seek the help on your own. Talk to a counselor, a doctor, your pastor. I will be here (at my email) and at the phone anytime you want to talk...anytime. I just dont think it is appropriate to continue talking about this in a public form, even though I know you are unhappy with me because I have not spoke out in your defense and believe that I am not being a true friend. I am a friend Marian. I do care about you. I am worried about you.

The only reason I am even posting this right now is that I would like to ask, not for myself, but for Marian...please, stop with the knife jokes. What Marian posted was totally inappropriate, I know that - and in her heart I know Marian knows that too. I dont believe that any of you are trying to be mean but it comes off as playground bullying to me. I know that all of you are just trying to show your camaraderie and support of Mary...someone I care for very much too. But, it is hurtful to another human being who is suffering. You must know that she is reading here. I fully understand that something had to be said. No one should have to put up with anger and mean spirited statements on a public forum. Marian hurt and angered a lot of people. I understand that. I am not justifying her comments (sorry Marian) only saying that surely you can see that Marian is a human being in distress. I know that you guys cant help her (going back to Babs comment about public forums). Marian may even be more upset with me for saying this, but I believe that it is probably for the best that she is no longer posting here, even though I know Marian regrets most of what she said. But *I* believe she cant help herself and that likely something like this would come up again. There is no room for anger, mean-spiritedness, or ugly words at the Idylls. This is a special place filled with friendship and kindness I *still* believe that. But, its just not kind to joke at her expense, especially because you know that she is reading here. I was taught by my mother that "if you dont have anything nice to say, then dont say anything at all." And yes, I know that works both ways. Personally, I have taped a photo of a toothpaste tube on my monitor! Great analogy Michelle!:-)

Okay, having said all of that I hope that you arent angry with me for speaking my piece. I truly believe you are *all* kind, decent, caring, compassionate, understanding, wonderful *fun* people. And, if you are upset with me for posting this, I will understand and feel badly about it, but I want you to know that I hold nothing but positive thoughts about all of you and I treasure the time we have spent together, both here at the Idylls and at my home when you all came to visit at IU4.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 2:46PM
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Ei, I'm so sorry to read of the troubles your mother is experiencing. What a heart rendering time for those who love her. I do hope there is something that will be found that can help her during this time.

I doubt that anyone would think you anything but a kind, compassionate and caring individual.

You are often in my thoughts.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 3:07PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Ei, I am sorry your family is having to go through this.
I can't add anything to what T has already stated so well.
God bless you and yours.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 3:13PM
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Didja know that after the eighth round of Hokey-Pokey in the background your body will just start doing it on its own???

Ei: Your words are taken to heart.

Eden: Bought an exra share of stock in Kleenex today in honor of Megan and Bella.

Quick first official garden walk of pre-Spring. Though 1/2 of the stuff is covered in snow and the ground is frozen, things are perking up. There is going to be a minor battle about veggie raised bed exact location, but 4" standing water is a good reason not to go Rich's way. Ya think???

Anyhoo -- I'm ready for some New Hampshire pics and Chelone-inspired roast chicken for dinner. Ky is coming in from Boston with a "few???" friends so figured it was a quick and easy dinner for ???? people.

Best to everyone --


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 5:31PM
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We couldnt stand it, we went to town this a.m. We had a sandwich and got some groceries. If we didnt have a 4 wheel drive, we wouldnt have made it down the 2 miles of gravel road to the highway.

I have pea soup cooking now for supper from the big ham I made the other day, hmm what day was that?

T, I hope you feel better quickly.

I just love the Jackie O hat and think it would be perfect for Katie.

Sue, I think you could find a good cotinus with a straight middle branch that could be trained as a tree. I remember the first time I recall seeing one. It was on a garden tour and in full bloom. She had it trained as a tree.

Poor Bella and mommy, I hope both feel better soon.
The trellis trio remind me of 3 or is it 4 that DH came home with last fall. He found them on clearance. Hes so sweet and always on the look out for me. The square one is pretty cool too.

Babs, Id love to spend a Saturday at your house ;o)

What fun to picture Brad singing "I Feel Like a Woman"!

Ei, thanks for your post. As for the whole incident on the other thread, I just want you to know that it saddens me that it happened and escalated. Im sorry to hear of the difficulties with your mom. Things have been so tough for your family. My thoughts are with you.

So Martie, just how many friends did you end up with?

I did take a few pics on my walk with Jaden that I will probably put on a separate thread after we have soup.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 6:56PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Very quickly because I'm exhausted for some reason and about to head off to bed...hope I'm not catching what Monique and Les have. At any rate, a great time was had by all at Deanne's today. As usual we had an abundance of delicious food, and hours of lively and entertaining conversation. I believe Chelone is now hooked on idyll get Pictures were taken and will no doubt be posted soon.

Ei, nice to hear from you. So sorry your mom is failing so quickly. We were just talking about that today as one of Deanne's friends is going through it with her dad and of course Chelone has had her share of it too. My uncle improved dramatically when he started taking Aricept but I know it doesn't work for everyone. Take care of yourself.

Sorry but I just can't seem to keep my eyes open. Nite all!


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 9:36PM
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Bedtime here too. Just wanted to say to Ei, that I'm so sorry to hear that your mom's not doing well. I too hope the Drs find something to help.

Martie, I didn't know that about the Hokey Pokey but will keep it in mind for future reference, lol.

I also wanted to say if I'm not around for the next few days don't worry. Bella's keeping me busy now and my mom and dad are coming down Tuesday and staying for a few days so there won't be much free time for Idylling. I'll be sure to check in to see pictures posted from the party though. Glad to hear Chelone made it!

Goodnight, Eden

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 9:52PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all, well we've all decided to head off to bed early tonight. We are all tired! I must be getting old or something I used to be able to party all night long and get up the next day and do it all over again. LOL

Anyway, what a fantastic day we all had. Good food and great conversation with the best of friends. I was so happy to finally meet Chelone in person! She is just as warm, witty and insightful in person as you'd think from her posts. We finally got to meet Wendy's DH and he is right at the top of the terrific husband list along with all the other DH's of the Idyllettes I've met.

V. is busted, her DH called during the party and she said something about the DH's and he said "I didn't know husbands were invited"? Whoops! I guess he'll have to come next year. LOL

I'm fading fast and haven't uploaded the photos yet but I promise I'll get to that first thing in the morning. Wait until you all see the dessert buffet!!! Incredible. Monique made the most fantastic raspberry, chocolate cake I've ever eaten in my life. Accompanying it was a fresh raspberry sauce that she made with berries from her own bushes. Amazing and delicious. Anyway, more on the menu with accompanying photos tomorrow.

Thanks everyone for such a special day!!!!

Nite all

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 10:06PM
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OK so Chelone did make it to Deanne'S? Good job Chelone! I had been hoping that the reason we hadn't heard from you here was because you were on the road. That is so cool! I know you all had fun even without hearing the details. I am imagining the initial reaction to first impressions in person as compared to being online-I know Chelone will tell's a weird feeling to suddenly know you are with the people you've chatted online with for YEARS!And to hear real voices! Did she keep saying I can't believe I'm really with you guys?

Aaaw Michelle!-you guys can spend any Saturday with us that you choose...just don't look at the dust and clutter-but I'm sure we can make you smile & laugh....we'll just ask Chris to sing something.
And EDEN BTW-there is a monumental difference between Brad's singing and Chris'...Brad actually CAN sing: ) Still, very cute to catch a guy singing a girly song lol.
HAve fun with Bella and your parents. Is your mom doing well?

Good to hear from you Ei! I am very sad to hear about your mom especially since I went through that with my dad and it's really hard when you see them regress quickly. If you need an ear you know where I am.((Ei))

I just got back from a confrontational evening with my SIL at MIL's house. (as you know)Every Sat. we go to MIL's to do errends/laundry/chores well, SIL finally decided she could make it the same day we did. All I can say is she's very high strung and jumps on MIL every chance she can. I had it. I told her it's enough-you need to be there for your mom. She didn't like the truth so she booked...This is a woman who plans to ditch her stable college professor's job to become a family counselor....yeah...right. Sorry but the last couple days have been a rush of strong emotions.

HEY how about that eclipse! Had I not been busy telling SIL what she should already know...I'd have been outside viewing the eclipse. We did see it as we drove home but just the tail end so the moon only looked slightly full-I think we needed to be standing in Africa to get a good show: )
Kath I hope in Aug we can eclipse notes to compare: ) I am SOOO jealous of your warm temps! It's snowing here boo hoo.

Ok well I better get moving I have a movie to watch.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 10:38PM
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I returned to the compound 8:30-9ish, heard the huge-dog barking and then saw the door open; Mr. Mohawk began circling as soon as he recognized me. I had forgotten to close of the kitchen before leaving for Deanne's and wondered if he'd make a move for the trash in my absence, but he didn't. When Daddy returned home at 4 he was contentedly sacked out, keeping an eye out for home invaders.

What a fun time I had yesterday! definitely a treat. (Like Dunkin' Donuts, "it's worth the trip"). I'm looking forward to Philly, the ride share for the trip down should be worth the price of admission. :) Deanne did, of course send me home with a Fuschia skeleton, which she assures me I won't destroy with my routine of benign neglect. It is next to the "germamiums" in the south window. You wouldn't believe her "cellar"... holy Moses... a Coleus and Fuschia experimental station. ;)

Ei., it's nice to hear from you and I rather suspected that things were getting rough with your Mom. Aricept does not help everyone; we tried it for Mum, but it didn't seem to do much, so it was discontinued; the suspicion was that her dementia was more stroke related than anything else. I found that routines were important for Mum (make the bed with me, get washed up and dressed, and then have breakfast with us). I'm sre the trauma of your Dad's illness and death really changed your Mom's "routine", as well as overwhelmed her with grief. Those two life changing things constitute a tremendous change. Some are never able to really recover from it. The "ripple effects" touch everyone, too. Watching it and living it leaves a mark on you, that branding process imbues you with a certain empathy and compassion for people who struggle with it, too. Have you ever checked out the Caregivers forum on THS? there are some great people over there, many of whom were esp. supportive and helpful to me when I needed help. It's a wonderful forum although it's been slow for a bit now.

I wondered about Kathy yesterday as I was greedily chewing the abundant and delicious chow... . When will the infection be under control enough to address the tooth/teeth?

I FINALLY remembered the decorating question I wanted to answer! I think it was Martie's, and it was about re-enamelling a bathtub. No, I've never had it done. But a very good friend of mine (a decorator for YEARS on the South Shore in MA) used to recommend it for many of her clients. The results were wonderful; her portfolio had several before/afters of things like that. She was also a proponent of having major appliances redone, too. I don't know anything about the actual process or the cost, however. And Martie, I'm bummed there will be no "befores". Hope you and Rich were both successful yesterday; ummm... he's a builder?

I was thinking about how awful it must've been for Jerri to see the dog "escape". I can only imagine the relief at finding her. I don't imagine an abused dog would be all that keen on "coming" to anyone, who could blame her? She's a lucky dog.

The helpmeet made all the trellises here. We used roughcut hemlock and stained them all to match the siding on the house. He made our's because we weren't able to find any that were tall enough for our purposes. We used them to break up the monotony of an architecturally dull home, and wanted them to be level with the front door. They're supported on the bottom by a pressure treated post, sunk into the ground. The trellis is hinged to that and fastened to the house. That way, we may unfasten it and drop it away from the side if we want to restain the siding. These shots aren't great, but will give you an idea:

And here's a corner shot of the pergola on the north side of the house, with it's trellises:

I've gotta fold some laundry and put some of it INSIDE the drawers.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 8:44AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone, Just a quick post for now, V and I are sitting here in the dining room enjoying a post-breakfast cup of coffee. I've got my laptop and she is using Doug's laptop, our feet are up on the ottoman it's a beautiful sunny day outside. Great way to spend a day! LOL The only downside I can see to this day is that I've got to take V. back to the airport this afternoon. Sometime before then we're going to go to the Rosy Dawn site and I'm going to 'help' here order a bunch of coleus. Te he... picture me rubbing my hands in anticipation here.

I'll be back to comment and add a few more pics of the festivities later but for now I wanted to get this group photo up on the thread. We had six Idylls in attendance this year!!! How cool is that???

Later all,

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 8:54AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Good morning. How fun to wake up to the smiling faces of Idyllers! I'm waiting for all the details. :)
I'm off to do some much needed cleaning. Hmm... maybe laundry so we have clothes for work too! LOL
At least DH is good about helping so it'll be a good day.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 9:32AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! The sun is shining, the coffee is wonderfully strong and last night was a great time.

Our food was absolutely delish! Doug's legendary smoked salmon, Sue's whoopie pies, Monique's amazing raspberry cake, Chelone's tabouleh, Wendy's Swedish bars - I could go on and on. Everything was yummy. But even better was the company of so many idyllers and friends. Yes, next year I may have to bring my DH!

Ei, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's decline. I have a close friend whose mother is having similar problems with a non-Alzheimer's dementia and I know how hard it is on that family. You are missed here and are welcome back whenever you have a moment or two to spend with us.

Babs, it was cloudy here all night so no eclipse for us.

Say, when we all meet in Philly, we will have to have Sue do her King Tut dance.

Nice to see Jerri and Lauren back also! The idylls have been busy lately.

Michelle, you really got walloped with snow! I am so ready for this winter to end. Most years, I've been able to do a little tidying in February but this year it hasn't been possible. Now I'm dreading spring since I will have tons to do and not a lot of time to do it!

But I will make time to plant some coleus. Just because I know Marie hates coleus as much as Chelone hates dogs.

If you have a really good monitor, you may be able to read Monique's t-shirt, "Lobstercrombie & Pinch". Loved it.

Have a great day, all!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 9:53AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Just look at all those smiling faces! Just think how much wider the smiles will be in another month or so when we can start getting back into the garden. I'm actually hoping to do some early spring garden chores today-whatever I can reach from pathways and patios since the ground is very soggy and still semi frozen.

Jerri, so glad everything turned out well for poor Sophie.

So now that Deanne's thumb your nose at winter party has come and gone we find ourselves looking for the next idyll social. Perhaps something with a "Welcome Spring" theme? How about next weekend? lol Can you tell I enjoy these gatherings?

Martie, I've had bathtubs refinished although not recently. It works and holds up well but you do have to take some special precautions-or you did-it's possible the process has improved in the 15 years or so since I had it done last. No abrasive cleansers and I think they even tell you not to leave items like shampoo bottles sitting on the edge. We've actually been discussing doing that here. The sixty five year old finish on my tub is just impossible to get looking clean anymore-even on the rare occasion when it is clean.

Well I guess I should motivate and get something done today.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 10:14AM
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Good morning! I love seeing those Idyll Smiles (Smylls? groan!). I also noticed the size of the goblets that everyone has their juice in. It looks like a wonderful time was being had. I showed the photo to DH as he was walking by.....explained what the gathering was about and he said 'that's what we need around here'. LOL I wasn't sure if it was the particular people, the goblets of juices or if it was the idea of summer. I think it was the people & summertime thoughts.

Yesterday turned out to be relatively nice. A bit damp but it also warmed up enough to have some steam rising from the roofs of the house & shop. I even think I saw a fleeting patch of sunshine on the floor in the family room!! Yep, Sunshine!!! ;o)

I sure hope Megan and Bella are feeling better today.

Well, yep, the coffee cup needs refilling and the day needs to get moving if I'm going to be ready to get out the door soon.

V, safe journey home!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 10:20AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello again,

Well here are a few more pics from the party yesterday. This first one we are enjoying the appetizer buffet.

As mentioned Doug did his smoked salmon with your choice of garnishes, sour cream/dill, chopped red onion, capers or pickled ginger. (My personal favorite is a combination of the sour cream/dill plus a bit of the pickled ginger) Then Sue and Tom brought some beautiful shrimp cocktail and Les made his fabulous guacamole. Yummy!!! This year they brought this fun, fun serving dish for the guac...

I was too busy eating to grab a photograph of the dinner buffet but the garlic chicken and marinated steak tips were a big hit. We had a choice of tossed salad and that summer staple of potato and egg salad. Chelone made a delicious Tabouleh, my friend Deb brought a whole wheat pasta salad. (I'm full thinking of it again)

Then, drum roll here, the dessert buffet of Monique's fabu-fabu Raspberry Chocolate Torte

Sue's World-famous Whoopie Pies

Wendy made some lovely Sweedish Almond Bars and delicious, refreshing Fruit Salad

Here are the Idyllettes 'hovering' around the dessert buffet

and here are the guys enjoying their dessert

OK I guess that is all from here for now. I've got to go and enjoy the rest of my time with V. Have a great day everyone!!!

I sure hope next year we can get even more Idylls and spouses to join in on the fun.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 10:35AM
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Lauren_StL(z5/6 Mo)

What a great time you all had! So, I'm just curious, when you all get you mainly talk about gardens or is it a more "normal" conversation, say like you might have with a friend from work? Just trying to picture how it all plays out when you finally get to meet someone in person that you've met only on the "screen". I would think that it is a little odd feeling at first - like how someone looks/ sounds when you might have imagined it a different way? Just thoughts crossing through my mind this Sunday morning! My littlest guy is sick with a cold so he and I are home this morning. He's currently sacked out on the couch watching Thomas the Train on video. I'm not a big fan of TV, but oh how thankful I am for videos at times like this!

Several of you asked how my kiddos are doing. They're now 8, 6, and soon to be 3. Getting bigger every day and they keep me hopping. This year I'm going to use the 8 and 6 year olds as garden helpers - weeding, planting and such. The 8 year old was really interested in it last year, but I hesitated to relinquish control! LOL. But I keep expanding the garden, so I think I need the help.

Eden, Thanks for the trellis ideas - I really like the trio and have printed it out to show to DH. Glad you got to enjoy Dr. Seuss's birthday too. I took the kids to a celebration at our local library and they made those red and white striped hats at the end of the story time--so cute. Do you know (according to our local librarian) that Dr. Seuss didn't write his first book until after the age 50? Amazing!!

And Cynthia, you must be a details person! Did you read through that entire old post I linked to?/? You're a faster reader than I must be :) Luckily, I managed to get my hands on some shutters this winter--so we'll be adding the shutters also this spring. We live in one of those subdivisions that were built 20 years ago - 400 houses with only 5 different floor plans!! Sooo, when my neighbors decide to update their shutters, I managed to snag some and sure enough, they were the right size! I guess that's one benefit to living in a cookie cutter neighborhood.

And Chelone, what a beautiful trellis on your house. And thanks for sharing about the hinges at the bottom. That's a great idea and I'm sure we wouldn't have thought of it until it was already done.

Sue, I love your silver cloud redbud (beautiful placement in your garden). We planted one of those at our last house, although it's more of a tree form now. It's about 15 feet tall now and looks very much like a tree. (I don't like keep tabs on our old house - it's just that we moved next door, so I see it all the time.) However, that shape could be because the owner after us cut it into a LOLLIPOP SHAPE with hedge trimmers. I drove home one days, shortly after we had moved and just started crying when I saw what she had done. It was a beutiful redud and she had totally maulled it. I called my husband at work crying - he thought something had happened to the kids... Maybe I overreacted a bit. Thankfully the people who live there now have lovingly pruned it and it looks so much better now - but not anything like yours, Sue.

OK, the little guy want to now go play Thomas with this train set. Do you see a theme to his days?

:) Lauren

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 11:07AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

G-morning all -- how nice to see all those smiling faces (I like the last one where the "guys" seem to be satiated and ready for naps).....

Ei -- Im so sorry about your Mom's decline - my MIL suffered a similar situation w/ non-A dementia that was diagnosed; she in fact was helped a bit w/ various meds for a few years; routine is definitely a huge key, as Chelone mentioned. You're lucky enough that you're close in distance to be of real assistance and comfort. I took your note re other subjects to heart as well. I hope people who need help will find the right route for themselves to find it whether it's church, relatives, professionals. You are such a caring person.

Well, it should surprise no one that the chance to work outside topped all other chores yesterday - what a glorious choice - it was in high 50s, sunny, and managed to work several hours outside pruning things back (still have roses to go), removing debris, and wow -- weeding - there's chickweed or vetch that has taken over every bed - it's scary - great "groundcover" but I suspect I wont like it in another 2 months. In fact, Im not sure HOW Im really going to get rid of it -- & I did this all without "bending the knee" [much] -- the stupid instruction the orthopedic guy gave me; I dont even want to talk about that visit... The ground was incredibly soggy & muddy; w/ ice & small patches of snow still around; but I also discovered a few snowdrops and one lone pansy blooming - a harbinger of weeks warming I hope!! Yes, Cynthia - I managed to restrain myself from moving things.

Feeling a wee bit stiff today but pretty good. But it turned back into March today -- very windy, maybe 30s outside -- definitely a little too brisk for me. The Lion is out today.

Guess I'll have to return to the rest of the "list" and see what I can accomplish. Thanks for sharing the great pics - Im hungry again; esp. with those actual real life presentations! Yum!!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 11:14AM
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Awwww! All the New England idylls with cabin fever in the same place. Looks like the right tonic and torte was found for temporary cure. You all look so happy! Is that extra raspberry sauce? Yum, everything looks and sounds so good. Thanks for sharing pictures of the fun.

So while you were all partying, I was actually outdoors chopping most of the remaining grasses in the front yard and picking up the litter that drifts in over winter. I think I tried the hedge trimmer on the grasses one year and it didn't work, so I clipped til my fingers were numb. There's one humongous grass still standing that's on today's agenda. Surprised to see so much green in the protected centers of the grasses.

I found someone's credit card in a collection of litter in the brush across the street and thought about calling the police so they could be charged with littering.

It was a nice day here, and I topped it off with an hour at Home Goods and must have been in Trader Joe's parking lot when the moon was eclipsing. Met some friends for dinner in Little Italy and came home to find the dogs all over the house. I had gated them in my office and they were all asleep when I left. Dannie is the engineer and I didn't have to latch the gates before she moved in. Now I latch them, and it seems she's now figured out the latch. (Her tube was removed last week-end and her stitches look good. She's recovering nicely thanks.) So yes Chelone, I can imagine your delight in finding the garbage untouched when you returned home last night. Good boy Rex!

Jerri, that must have been awful for the poor volunteers that lost Sophie. Wonderful that she was found and she's in your capable hands now.

Ei, Sending good wishes and warm thoughts to you in this tough time. I hope your mom's illness can be managed so that she is less anxious and can have some more special times with her family.

Eden, the pink pillbox is adorable! Do you know how many bully sticks or how many pounds of green tripe I could buy for that price? :-) Which would Katie prefer, hmmm.

Hello to all, hope no one is in pain today. Kathy tooth? Cindy knee?

Best, Cynthia

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 11:16AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

No problem on the King Tut performance, V. Philly will be quite appropriate since the King Tut exhibit is on display there now. If anyone wants to join me, I've included practice material in the link below. OK, who plays sax?


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 11:16AM
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Oh! Attention you shoppers and surfers. I need a metal arch 8 to 10 or even 12 feet wide. I actually did something smart a few years ago, but didn't realize it at the time. I planted a Cecile Brunner rose to climb a deformed Kousa on the tree line in the side yard, and planted another directly opposite to climb the little gh roof (attached to house). Now they're getting fairly large and starting to throw canes into the side yard. Easy enough to direct them back to the existing supports, but if I could find a metal arch to center in the side yard they'd have something to climb and this spot is at back corner of house, so would make a nice visual entrance to back side yard. Most arches are 5 to 6 feet wide, but I know there are larger ones out there, I just can't find them.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 11:38AM
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Good morning

What a wonderful greeting to see the smiling faces at Deannes and what a fun, festive get together it must have been. My mouth is watering at the sight of the incredible food - what a feast!!

Glad Dannie is making such a nice recovery Cynthia.

Hope Eden's family, Kathy's tooth and the sore knees are likewise giving their owner's some relief.

Babs - good for you for being so direct with SIL. I too have felt my emotions run way too high these past couple of days and combined with PMS I don't think I've been the best company here at home. I'm so glad things are returning to normal.

Ei - I'm not sure if I posted this so forgive me everyone if it's a repeat. I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear of your mother's decline and can only imgaine how hard it must be after all you have been through. Your kindness and gernerosity are an example to us all. Please know we are here for you whether it helps to share things to the group or individually, or simply to come and talk about something completely different.

Jerri - what great news that your rescue dog was found. Happy endings are the best.

Lauren - David is 10 now but I remember so fondly the days of Thomas the Tank Engine. Enjoy those precious moments!

This afternoon the team are coming over for a dress rehearsal for their skit for Odyssey of the Mind, we then have one more run through as school and are off to the competition. I need to do the pre-company run about with mop and vaccum for which I'm feelings remarkably unmotivated. I want to be sitting in the sunny room with Deanne and V choosing colous!!

I must admit to being totlly bummed that I had no response about violin lessons. It was actually Annie's new teacher I approached as I know another Mom who is studying with her. She is a fabulous teacher and a lovely person. I had asked her the week before about the possibility of taking lessons and she told me she would look at her schedule. At Annie's next lesson there was no mention, but given the focus should be on Annie at that time I didn't read too much into it. Instead I emailed the next day discussing my reasons for wanting to play and how much this meant to me, what I hoped to accomplish, and also that if this were not possible, asking for other suggestions for someone else I might approach. When I emailed once before about Annie the teacher bounced right back so I got the impression email was an efficient means of communciation. So I'm left utterly perplexed, and feeling more embarrased and foolish by the hour for putting so much of myself out there. I didn't expect to have teachers falling over themselves to take me on as a student, but nor did I expect to feel quite so rejected. I think I need Chelone to come and tell me to get up off my pity potty and come up with another plan!

The kitchen floor calls - have a great Sunday everyone


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 12:15PM
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Lovely,lovely! to see you idyll thumbers! Lol at the guys...did they need to escape the talking-a-mile-a-minute ladies? WOW that food looks fabulous!
Deanne-is that cardinal on the wall behind Sue at the dessert buffet one that you painted-oh maybe it is a photo? You certainly could have a complete bird gallery with all the great pics you have...will you paint some of them?

Lauren I think you'd be surprised at how comfortable it really is to meet the idylls in person-it's actually amazing how you feel like you've known them all your life. As you can see from Sue's comment about when the next get together is,it gets addicting. I have played alto sax in the past and even used to play King Tut with my band friends during marching band...OK that was over 20 yrs ago and my sax got handed on to my unfortunate? lol. I had actually hoped that video clip was of you!...I'm sure somebody's camera lastnight had video clip capability? : )

It's an eye opener to see how many of us have some connection to a person with dementia of one type or another,you know?

Oh Cindy, how tough to see the work before you and not be able to get down in the dirt. Would a hoe be doable?
It sounds so foreign to hear of you guys being able to even do yardwork since we just got another blanket of snow lastnight. Eden did MI get it too?

Chelone you might appreciate my experience last night putting SIL on the spot for her meanness and irresponsibility toward her mom. Chris said I did quite well because I didn't yell or start a screaming match. SIL started gettting snippy with her mom and kept saying she couldn't deal with the discussion of mom's funeral/burial plans,etc. Finally I said,"STOP."I held her hand and calmly said,you might not be comfortable talking about mom dying but mom NEEDS to be heard so she can get her plans in order and know that we know where everything is. Put your anger aside for your mom, it's about her,not YOU. YOU aren't here when she needs you and your nephews don't feel like they have an aunt because you are never here when they are....long story short she didn't know what to do because I didn't freak when she tried to fight dirty with yelling at me and saying hurtful things-but now she knows where I stand so hopefully something will sink in. We'll see. I just don't get how she can let anger continually motivate her-it must be so exhausting.

Lol Cynthia nice wishes for no pain today...I have a headache and cramps: )...I love Motrin! Kath, you have any good pain meds for me? lol. I hope your mouth is better today.

Lauren I hope your little guy is better quick. I remember when our days and weeks consisted of Thomas. AJ, who is now 11 loved Thomas to death. Funny,Ryan never really cared and I thought how great,Ryan has so much Thomas stuff...he rarely touched it!
I look forward to hearing about the little gardeners in training. My boys will be planting peas on St. Pat's day.

I recall someone asking about buying fabric online...(I'm slow) I bought gorgeous Waverly fabric from Fashion Fabrics when I made that futon cover a few years ago. I joined the club and then they would send me swatches every month or so. It was funny when the post office recieved the roll and we went to pick it up. They asked what it was because the employees were trying to guess-I don't think they guessed fabric though.

OK I need to clean out the fridge...must find a gas mask and elbow length rubber gloves to remove the penicillin lab in there....OK it's probably not THAT bad.

First, more coffee

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 12:32PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Nice photos Deanne! The women definitely look like we were enjoying the desserts more than the sleepy men LOL. Was great seeing old friends again as well as meeting new Idyllers and the spouses. As others have said, the food was fantastic and the meat grilled perfectly (Deanne swooned a bit everytime Doug passed by with the 'Ode to BBQ' cologne he was wearing). Once we were miles away, I realized that I forgot to take the leftover smoked salmon and some of Chelone's tabouleh :o( Chelone, I want the recipe!

Chelone, love the photos of your house. I know what you mean about the trellises; I always have a hard time finding trellises and obelisks big and tall enough for my purposes. We have 3 copper trellises that we had made custom for us-they took their original plan and made it taller by a couple of feet. Don't the suppliers know how tall Clematis, honeysuckle and roses get? I love cedar sided houses-how long has it been since you've stained yours? The gray color is fantastic.

Eden, I hope your daughter feels back to normal soon. Your containers photos were lovely. I hope to see your yard someday-I guess whenever the next Idyllunion is back in Michigan. What a fun cake for Bella!

Martie, which Homegoods do you frequent? I try to go to the ones that Sue doesn't so I can find decent stock LOL. I love that Wendy is a container enabler now.

T, hope the cold doesn't last long. Hubby and I went to a banquet last w/end with a large bunch of college fraternity friends (we were both brothers in a co-ed service fraternity that was celebrating its 60th anniversary with a banquet). We both came down with colds by Tuesday. We never get sick at the same time, so my theory is that someone infected the tongs in the buffet line. Sorry to hear about the goat :-(

Ei, so sorry about your Mom.

I haven't been good about posting, but I do skim over the posts and photos at least once daily. I don't enjoy constant negativity. Here's hoping for a fresh start also!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 12:55PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Babs, you can borrow my Haz-Mat suit and gloves. I use it to clean out the puppy pen. ;)
Just got back from Lowes. DH was fixing a leak in the toilet and broke the water connection. We should be on one of those home improvement nightmare shows! LOL

Back to work.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 1:14PM
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Biggie and I have been outdoors. It was gorgeous this morning, but the wind has really picked up and it's supposed to get cold on Monday, REALLY cold on Tuesday (highs below 20F!). I performed some ice removal work in the area where we park our cars, and did some work on the front stoop, where the leaking gutter has created a glacier. :/ .

I removed the Christmas lights from the evergreens in the windowboxes, I removed the greens from the second floor ones, and one on the first floor, but the two others are still frozen solid. I don't see them thawing out any time soon. The pediments are still in place as I can't get the tall step ladder near enough to reach them, and the extension ladder is too heavy to move alone. But it's a start and provided "quality time" with the pets. See Suzy? you're not alone! ;) The sun's rays were very warm and even the coming cold snap can't keep spring away forever!

Babs., I meant to comment on the difficulty with your SIL this morning, but "just plum fergot". It's so difficult to address something like that; it takes a great deal of resolve to maintain a level head and stay "on topic" without indulging the desire to "get personal". Clearly, your SIL is totally freaked out by her mother's circumstances, who could blame her? But it's reality time and being freaked out isn't going to help get MIL's affairs in order. You were right to point out that it's not about her; perhaps after some time your husband can speak to his sister about the necessity of some family unity. My own experience with my brother and Mum was tense for awhile, but he is a practical man and has an innate sense of "fairness" and "what's right and proper". In the end, he realized how much I'd done and was still willing to do, if not in a "hands on" capacity. If you keep "on topic" and don't get sucked into nastiness she may well "come around". If she doesn't, then go ahead and get things in order without her. One way or the other, the debris and fallout will have to be addressed. Be proud of yourself; and borrow back the Sax. for the Philly trip, willya? :)

Mary, you don't strike me as the pity-potty type. I'll give you a few more days before I "drop the hammer". ;) Don't waste your energy being embarrassed, I don't THINK anyone's died from it recently, but I could be wrong. Most likely, the teacher is reviewing the schedule (figuring out what "deadwood" to prune, p'raps?) or is thinking about other instructors to refer to you if she has no time. Hang tight!

Cynthia, I was going to suggest you have something made for the span you have. Having had a piece of furniture made when I was unable to find anything remotely close to what I wanted, I can tell you I've been most pleasantly surprised with "custom work", including its price. I think you ought to look into it.

Monique, the Tabouli recipe is from "The Moosewood Cookbook" by Mollie Katzen c.1977, Ten Speed Press. Here it is:

You should begin to soak the bulghar at least 3 hrs. before serving time. It needs to thoroughly marinate and chill.

1 cup dry bulghar wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon and/or lime juice
1 heaping tsp. crushed, fresh garlic
1/2 cup chopped scallions (include greens)
1/2 tsp. dried mint
1/4 cup good olive oil
fresh black pepper
2 md. tomatoes, diced
1 cup (packed)freshly chopped parsley

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 chopped green pepper
1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot
1 chopped cucumber or summer squash

1.) Combine bulghar, boiling water, and salt in a bowl. Cover and let stand 15-20 minutes, or until bulghar is chewable.
2.) Add lemon juice, garlic, oil, and mint. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.
3.) Just efore serving add the vegetables and mix gently. Correct seasonings. Garnish with feta cheese and olives. Seves 6-8.

I prefer to buy the bulghar at the whole foods market, I like the whole grain variety more than the more refined type. I also like to put it in pita pockets for an easy sandwich. Typically, we keep the vegetables that can get mushy in seperate containers and add them as we eat the tabouli. I don't like limp, super soaked cole slaw or tabouli! BTW, your cake was greedily consumed by the helpmeet... no sign of whoopie pies, either. :)

The siding is stained with a 50/50 mix of Bleaching oil, and Ben. Moore's "Silver grey". It was done in 1991 and needs another coat badly. We've been dragging our feet on it, waiting to see if the garage will come to fruition. Then we'll have them both done at the same time.

How's Michelle holding up? is the house still on its foundation?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 2:02PM
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Yes, I took my glasses off and leaned in to look at the cardinal on Sue's shoulder too! It has to be a Deanne original.

So the King Tut thing is new to me. I loved it and I want to be a back-up dancer! Perhaps we can all practice and have a performance at the PA idyllunion. I can see Babs as King Toot and Sue as King Tut.

It's cold here today, so haven't done anything outdoors except hustle the dogs on a walk. I'm not taking any new fosters until end of March, because double shifts of dog walking in the cold is more than I can stand.

Mary, the violin teacher may have read your note and set it aside to think about it. Perhaps how she could shuffle things to fit you in, or who she could recommend for you. Then she may have gotten busy and simply forgotten! Maybe the next time you pick up Annie from a lesson you could jog her memory by asking her who she would recommend for you.

Jerri, I have the same kind of house :-) I bought a metal wall rack at Home Goods last night for hanging coats/leashes at top of cellar stairs. I must have spent an hour trying to hang the thing today! Rifling through drawers for just the right size of screw and then modifying the back of the rack with pliers so the hangey things were in proper position. And screw number 1 was too short to hit the recessed stud. Who knows. I had to find a longer one with same size head as shorter one. Managed to get it hung without a trip to Home Depot, but it will probably be on the floor next time I look, or I screwed it into a water pipe and will find out when I flush the toilet.

In my family I'll probably be the relative with dementia.

Lauren, I looked at your photos on the linked thread and saw someone else mentioned shutters. I had to agree! The window is boring shape and shutters will help bigtime. You'll have to share new photos when the shutters are installed. I'm a white house/green shutters/red door kind of person. But love Chelone's teal door. Yummy. I remember you describing the trellises years ago Chelone, and thought it was a smart idea.

Ok, back to do more little projects. That's what Sunday's are for!

Hope Eden is having a good visit with her mom & dad.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 2:14PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Babs, just put my face on Steve Martin's

Allrighty then...suffice it to say I've got gardening out of my system for the time being. It's overcast, windy and raw. There is still too much ice and snow on the ground to clean up any perennials or leaves but I did cut back a couple of grasses and a few taller things before retreating back inside. Better bundle up for my walk this afternoon. Brrrrr...I was going to start coppicing shrubs but as Chelone mentioned, the high here for Tuesday is only supposed to be around 20 F with a dip to almost 0 F at night. Best to wait another week and see how things look then.

Why can't I ever be happy with the status quo? In less than an hour outside I decided my side garden needed to be totally redesigned. Now that the hot tub and patio are over there I need more privacy and the current arch, low shrubs and perennials just don't do it. The good news for Tom is I think we can move that arch over to the side walkway so he won't have to build one.

Monique, you can have all the Homegoods stuff you want just stay away from Broken Arrow, Quacking Grass and all the other good nurseries this spring until I've had a chance to get Hope you and Les feel better soon.

Mary, could the violin teacher be away? Maybe she doesn't have room on her schedule and has inquired to others and they haven't gotten back to her. It would be rude of her not to respond and based on your description she doesn't sound like that sort of person. At any rate, a plan B is always good to have but certainly don't feel embarrassed or foolish-that's not like you.

Darn, Chelone, I thought your Tabouli had onions...onions make me gag, scallions I don't mind. Pooh, I should have tried some.

Cynthia, I saw the perfect arch for you at Trudi Temple's garden on one of our IU3 stops this past July. Custom may be the way you'll have to go.

Boy Zoe is driving me nuts today. She just can't lay down and relax. She walks aimlessly around the house-in and out of the rooms over and over. Right now she's looking at her bed but can't seem to get herself to step onto it or lie down. Oh, she just walked away. None of this is frantic at all-just strolling with frequent stops to sniff this, that or the other thing or look out a window. When she does go down she goes out like a light-probably from exhaustion.

Oh goody, here comes Tom with my afternoon caramel macchiato from Starbucks.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 2:41PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good cloudy afternoon! It was sunny here earlier, but the clouds are rolling in now.

We had a wonderful time at Deanne's yesterday; good food, great company - a perfect day! Monique, that cake was a masterpiece. I've only attempted cakes with 2 layers, I'm not brave enough to try 4! What you didn't see in the photos was the lovely presentation of the cake; served with a swirl of the raspberry sauce underneath, and a garnish of fresh raspberries. So yummy! Hope you and Les are feeling better soon.

Sue, DH enjoyed the King Tut link - did you hear him singing along with you yesterday? He is a fan of vintage Saturday Night Live.

V, have a good flight back. Let us know what coleus you chose.

Speaking of garden get-togethers, I just listened to the latest Ken Druse podcast and he spoke about a new garden guidebook for the Philly area. I'll post the link below.

Lauren, my DS is almost 10 now, but he loved Thomas the Tank Engine when he was younger. It made me sad when he told me a few years ago that he is too old for it now. He lovingly packed up the train set and gave it to his younger cousin. Hope your little guy is feeling better soon.

Cynthia, I can just picture your doggies planning their big break-out. They were only pretending to be asleep, waiting for their opportunity...

Babs, sorry to hear of your difficulties with your SIL. Sounds like you handled it well.

Waving hi to everyone else!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 2:46PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Second trip to Lowes.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 3:16PM
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Jumping in to see the party pictures. Looks like lots of fun and good food.

Sue, loved the King Tut clip. I do remember it. I would like to add to the memory by seeing you doing it, especially with Babs and Cynthia on backup, lol.

Chelone, that's the same tabouli recipe I've used for years from Moosewood. I like it in pitas too.

Mary, Don't be embarrassed. When I took lessons as a child, my teacher, who was a wonderful violinist and concert master of the local symphony, had quite a few adult students. They would play their pieces at recital just like the rest of the students too. Keep persuing it, don't give up!

Update, Brad's almost done repairing the walls. He says it'll just be one more day and then we can paint! That's good news to me. I'm thinking of using a color the hue of coffee with cream.

I wonder if Honey got her bedroom finished?

OK for a quick check in for pictures this is getting long so I'll stop now. See you in a few...


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My insightful, witty, thoughtful and caring response to all individuals above was just deleted by Firefox. Grump.
Later friends!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:05PM
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Jerri, your crack about the home disaster show broke me up. The visual of you in a Haz. Mat. suit really iced it for me. LOL

You guys oughtta see Sue doin' the King Tut dance. ;) This is shaping up nicely... Cynthia as a backup dancer with maybe V. or Deanne?, Babs. emerging from the sarcophagus with the Sax. ; oh... I think we've got potential :) . Like Wendy's husband, I grew up on SNL, the National Lampoon, and Monty Python's Flying Circus. Probably explains my lack of "political correctness" and why I was frequently told I had a "poor attitude" (whatever that is). Also explains my lack of fitness for parenthood. ;) . Wendy, have you or the husband shared the straw trick yet?

Lauren, I wasn't the least bit nervous about meeting the gang. And that's unusual for me, I'm actually very retiring. But over the years we've shared such a lot of ourselves here. Sure, we've probably all said things we wished we hadn't, but you can't edit everything in your life. It's the OVERALL average that really matters. Hope the kiddy-o is perking up; nothin' wrong with TV, as long as you know how to control it. We dumped cable over a year ago and now get 4 stations. Internet, radio, and books are better entertainment.

Sue, I had no idea your palette was so discriminating. I've burned the "onion free" thing into my brain; does it matter if they're cooked? would you eat a grilled onion wedge or is the whole prospect too overwhelming?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:05PM
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So delay dinner and do it again, what's the big deal?


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:10PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Or better yet, start a new idyll-it looks like we put this one to bed in no short order.

Off to walk.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:21PM
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About the onions, missy?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 4:36PM
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Mary-it occurred to me since I did get to hear that little snippet of you playing once that could it possibly be that the teacher knows how well you already play that she could feel not as qualified to give you the advanced instruction you'd benefit from? Is there a university nearby that could refer you to a suitable instructor? I feel frustrated for you since I can sense how serious you are about this. Don't give up. Try not to think of this as an embarrassment because nothing you've done merits it. I too would simply ask her at Annie's next lesson what she reccomends-and I wouldn't feel even slightly embarrassed either.

"In my family I'll probably be the relative with dementia." Cynthia, I think the same thing-it's a thought that comes up often after going through it with my father-even though his dementia was extemely rare(Pick's disease). You can't help wondering. I also don't buy the research suggestions that exercising your brain can possibly slow down the development of dementias. My dad was highly educated,enjoyed reading,was physically active and involved in the community with his dance band-that just makes me think I'll get it anyway since I do much less. I guess you try to live a full life regardless of what will get you in the end, huh.

OK back to the penicillin lab...Thanks for the Haz-Mat suit Jeri! : )


    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 9:18PM
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