Idyll #499 - A Hint of Spring

saucydog(z5MA)March 10, 2011

I can see signs here and there - Robins have appeared in the hedgerow, fat buds are showing up on the branch tips, and the sun is showing it's face just a little longer each day!

100 more posts and surely we'll be closer!


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Good morning. I've finally settled into a routine of my eyes popping open at exactly 5:30 each morning. I wonder what Daylight Savings will do to that? This happens every year :)

I finally finished the little motorcycle shop job - I'll turn it over to him today. He needed some adminstrative help on his catalog and website, and I muddled through. Oh my, I hated the work. I know I never want to do that again as a full time job. He has been pleased up to this point and said he'd call me in the future. It is nice to have that as an option.

I am wrapping up my 10 week welding course and I'm bummed for it to be over. I've been commuting by train on Monday's to a little art studio in Boston. The 32 y.o. instructor is really interesting - he's from Louisiana, has a degree from MIT, and has had some interesting jobs as a musician and welder. He makes furniture as his art. Every week I come home thinking "what hasn't this guy done?" I am creating a welded flower sculpture that may or may not be an armature for a concrete sculpture. :) I'm having fun.

Anyway, he's giving us an extra class this month, just for the fun of it, and I am happy about that. I'm going to be sad to see class end. Luckily, you can use the studio for $25/hour. I'm looking at my own equipment too, since the class gave me a sense of what I like to use.

When the snow melted here the other day, I was picking up my meat shares from the CSA rendevous, and I noticed how muddy it was. This year I am looking forward to mud season :) I am going to embrace anything that is not frozen.

My coffe's ready and the laptop needs a charge! Have a great day, all!


    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 6:04AM
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Oh 'bug, I certainly sympathize with the loss of the hearing aid. Mum's were high end, digital, and programmable. All hearing aids are custom fitted to each ear and her's cost in excess of 4K. Nothing was more infuriating that receiving a casual call from the rehab. centre or the nursing home that the "hearing aids are broken". Batteries improperly inserted, doors broken, aid put in the wrong ears... you name it. The "best" one was when they put them through the washing machine. I went ballistic over that. Perhaps the cost of replacement should be made manifest to a careless 12 yr. old by garnishing a small part of his allowance so he can see (and feel) the cost incurred.

I don't want to go to work today. It will be chilly, I'll be under heavy supervision all day, and I don't want to deal with it today. Oh well.

It's fun to watch the snow recede, there will be a lot of it over the next 48 hrs., I suspect. But I'm not deceived nor will I be lulled into a false sense of security. ;) I am particularly interested to see if the drainage we installed last summer will help with the inevitable excess of water along the Fertile Crescent.

Time to sign off and do a little work on my cushion job before blasting off for Dirtyland.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 6:32AM
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Gloomy day outside my windows this morning. it's misty and foggy. I have the stove up to temperature and have a nice day of work planned for myself. :) I should be able to put a nice dent in the cushion job.

I may reward myself with some work on the pieces for the windowboxes. I have to apply sealing shellac to the interior faces of the components before they are assembled. The exteriors of them will be stained to blend in with the building facade.

Other than that, I can't think of much else. Later on I'll see if anyone has had anything interesting to share.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 7:03AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I am hoping somehow to hear from friends in Japan today...or at least soon. :(

Phoebe is patiently looking for squirrels.

From our windows...


    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 8:43AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Keeping watch on the west coast. Brother in law/sister in law on Pacific coast, Kathy in Cal., Denise, friends on Vanouver Island from another site....frightening stuff.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 10:06AM
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You know, I was slogging my way through a rather large layout this morning and listening to NPR's coverage of the tsunami in Japan and then the expanded coverage courtesy of the magnificent BBC and it was just the "dope slap" needed. I was working in a warm, snug, clean, well appointed shop and it was good reminder that in the blink of an eyelash it can all change. And everything you know and cherish can be overturned. Good thing to ponder on a dreary late winter's day.

I've cut all but 4 cushions and I need to e-mail my supervisor for a few more details. I'm pretty sure I have the complete picture, but "pretty sure" isn't good enough. Were I at work I'd cringe at having to ask "again" but I don't feel that way about these questions. I know I won't be made "to feel stupid" for asking... rather, I know requested clarification will be regarded as attention to detail. This is the first time I've worked with patterns from a someone "new" and it's inevitable that questions will arise. I have taken some pictures of the patterns and thought carefully about wording my questions. What I've come to detest most of all about my job is receiving the very same reply to a posed question (in ever increasing volume with more pause between the very same words) over and over again. OK, I heard it the first time... but didn't understand, why do you now think that turning up the volume and slowing down the speed is going to change the message received?? (and you think I'm the "thick" one?!).

OK, time to sashay into the "house" for linner. I'll have to tuck Vera under my arm. It's raining and she's been curled up in the slipcovered armchair since early morning. (note to self: need a litter pan, water bowl, and some cat chow out here).

I love the shot of Phoebe in the snow.

Corbels for windowboxes are are designed, cut out, and partially assembled. I'll be a paintin' fool in the not too distant future. ;)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 2:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

"in the blink of an eyelash it can all change"

Yes, in so many ways too. I know that.
And now a knitting friend, a mother of three, has just discovered that her oldest son has an aggressive cancer. Out of the blue. It is so rare that there are only 2 cases ever written up for children. He is six. They have tremendous support, but at some level, only they will work it out. Two years ago they had a stillborn son. It was crushing. Now this.

I never before thought about it until I read a book review yesterday that said that as you get older and have more experiences under your belt, you feel things harder. I wonder about this, for what it is worth.

Knitting is therapy sometimes.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 4:27PM
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'bug, I work in a skilled trade. My work is accomplished with my head and my hands and is elevated to more than just a "hobby" because (in part) of the repeated motions and the fluidity that brings. When I'm at my machine and am plowing through a seeming mountain of work I mentally shift gears. My hands become independent of my mind and that allows me to "go to a different place" in my head. For me, it's a form of meditation, much the same way swimming laps used to be and the way "hitting my stride" does when walking with the dog. I suspect knitting is much the same. Mum was very accomplished with the "knatting noodles" and she was easily able to chatter away while her hands where otherwise occupied. It amazed me!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 5:33PM
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After a cold windy day yesterday it was sunny and in the sixties today. I actually reached down to pull a couple of weeds today while touring the disaster area my beds are.
The guys set poles and started the framing on our building yesterday. Today they almost finished the framing. They will put the metal on the roof Monday weather fitting.

Bug, a five year old boy that my grandaughter in Florida babysits has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer too. I don't know what it is but find it so sad that these things happen.

I stayed outside as much as posible today, and coming in to the warm and toasty house has me wanting a nap. To late for that now.

Have a good weekend! Norma
It took thirteen minutes for the earthquake In Japan to travel to St Louis and the ground was raised only 3/8ths of an inch according to earthquake center in St. Louis.
God Bless the people being affected.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 6:39PM
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Hi Everyone. I thought I would stop in and give you an update on my little corner of the world, but everything happening to me seems so trivial in comparison to what is going on across our world. These events definitely put things into perspective.

Bug and Norma, my heart goes out to your friends and their children. Can't say the right words.

Chelone, I wish we could talk so I can ask all the questions I have about your current situation. It sounds like the lady in dirtyland is very abusive. Even though you are a very intelligent woman, and realize it is her issue, the constant belittling must have an effect. I know when I worked at the university the profs were so unkind in their fiefdoms, I had to get my mind around the fact that it was their issue and somehow a part of the requirement to be a scientist. It was an experience I don't want to repeat, but it did make me stronger, I think.

Well, here goes: Had my second interview today. Yippee!!! I think it went well, I'll keep you posted on that. For the inquiring minds, I wore black tweed pants, black mock turtle neck and a cream colored ridged cardigan that is dressy and has a couple of different size ridges, plus it has a little interest at the bottom in the fact that it kind of drapes/flows. It has been a challenging week here. Skip got a job that will require him to be gone for about 18-20 weeks. He will be able to come home some weekends, but right now he is 10 hours away. Later it will be 4 hours, so that will be more manageable. And he is still sending out resumes, so something may come from that, and he is gainfully employed. The bad part is that the day he had to leave, the car he was going to drive sprang a radiator leak, he couldn't plug it, so he got a new radiator, but now needs a part that couldn't be ordered till Monday. So, he took the Jeep and I am carless. First time since I was 19. The only thing that bothered me was the fact that I had no time to prepare. Bike doesn't have spring maintenance, etc. But, it worked out okay. Actually it was sort of freeing. I have cleaned my house top to bottom, laundry done, kitchen spotless. It feels great! Tonight I am going to rent a chick flick, Morning Glory with Harrison Ford, that will be fun. Today for the job interview I rented a car for the weekend, only $30. So I think this will be okay. Skip couldn't come home and fix the car because of the snow storm we got overnight. He will come home next weekend and hopefully fix the car. These are all small things in the big picture, and I am learning something...

It seems like it has been awhile since Woody posted something. Hope all is well with her...

Happy Weekend!!


    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 7:11PM
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Hello friends.. what news to wake up to this morning, and how dreadful for out Japanese friends. The president of my company was in Japan en route to China when this quake hit, we have heard that he is ok , but unable to reach his hotel, or anywhere else for that matter I suppose. I've lived through my share of quakes, but this tsunami issue sure puts another spin on. Oddly, this morning I looked at the Nat weather service Tsunami alert map and there was Napa, in the orange zone, I guess because the Napa river is tidal and flows out to the delta and the bay. The worst of the surges here were north of me, all minor compared to the goings on in Japan.

So on a more positive note, opening night tonight for DS's latest play, 'Gypsy. in which he has a supporting role, as Tulsa , for those of you who may be familiar. The really exciting news though is that he has been given the title role in a local regional theater groups production of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'.. he's very excited about it as you can imagine. It certainly will give his voice a workout. I think he may have some schedule conflicts with the choir he is in; they are performing Beethovens 9th about 10 days before JC Superstar opens and it may be impossible for him to do both.

Drema, fingers crossed for you in your job search ! Lol the freeing feeling of being carless. I like to try to not drive one day a week, and this year I'm going to try for two once the rainy season ids over. I live 1 mile form my office so I can easily walk to work, and if I organize my weekend well I can stay home for a full day.

The weather forecast is ambiguous for this weekend, maybe rain, maybe sun or combination's thereof ..I did something stupid last weekend and hurt my back so I have to pick garden chores that will allow me to continue to rest it. My most comfortable position is standing. It gets better every day , so I just have to be patient and not attempt more than is prudent. Sigh.

All for tonight, a little spring training baseball to view before bedtime...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 11:29PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Been tearing up and 'praying'/meditating pretty heavy here today. I blinked all my lashes, and it all changed. I just couldn't believe the pics of the tsunami wave swallowing Japan. It looked fake. I do so wish it were. My plan to help. I'm going to donate any tips and plus five dollars to the Japan from every job I get. Boy do I wish I could DO more. Money is just too tight and bills are too piled up.

My thoughts are also with the little boys with rare cancer. Why does such a thing strike little ones? Still anything can happen so I tell my kids and DH I love them as often as possible just 'in case' something does. I want them to know they're loved, because you never know. My credo is be emotionally available, to listen, help and love. I know this is corny and off topic, but it's what I think of every time something happens. I love you is what I want them to hear when they hear my voice in their heads.

A big Idyll wave hi to everyone, even those tuned in but not writing.

The usual is happening here. I'm still exercising and doing all my studying and working on my fears. It's 2 steps forward and 1 step back. I'm also still trying to get more work. I haven't been getting many calls throught my ads, but hopefully if I try different things, I'll get calls like I did before Christmas and start building my clientelle again. Richea is getting some work so that has taken some pressure off.

Yesterday I got an emergency call and went and did cleaning job, for a nice young woman who had guests coming, and who worked and went to school full time, so no cleaning time for her. It went well but I want to step up my pace a bit more. I do look scary, though, with my pale skin which reddens easily. I look very flushed after even the lightest workout. Always have. I'll have to warn people that I get red faced at the drop of a hat, or they'll think that I'm having a heart attack. I see me after my walks and runs with the dogs so I'm used to it. I didn't have time to eat lunch, and supper was very late, so woke up with a migraine today, and had to take a pill.

I've been struggling with my beading a bit. Supplies are dwindling again. I just wish I could sell things, without the self doubt derailing me. I came close to getting a table at a craft fair, but the money isn't there just now. Maybe when the money comes it won't be too late for the Fall crafts fairs, and I'll find the courage. I need the Wizard of Oz.

The writing is going well. The fairy series are fun, and yet meet my other criterion of being about magic and adventure, with a little love thrown in. Again I'm ready to share, but not sure about being good enough to sell. Still I'm not going to let a little thing like fear stop me. After all I've been writing, if even only in my head for most of my life.

Saucy, wow, 5:30 am. I have trouble sleeping, so as a consequence have been having trouble rising with the sun. Congrats on finishing your admin job. My DD loves admin work, but I'm not great at it, so I know what you mean. DD took welding in school and loved it. She's the type to learn about how the car works and how to repair things anyway, so not surprising.

I don't have a real problem with Charlie being Charlie. Well, I guess in a way I do. Charlie's not just an actor, he's a parent, and I always get upset when parents end up in the spotlight and their kids get dragged there too. Maybe it's avoidable for a well known actor and maybe not. I don't know. Yup I avoid this sort of news, too, but I watch the show, gritting my teeth at times, at the content, but laughing at other stuff said, so when I heard about a Charlie interview gone awry I tuned in for a change. I find bad news depressing when I can't do anything about it, at that moment.

Lol, lovely pic of Monique. The rest of you look great too.

Cindy every day feels like Monday this week. It's still cold here, hovering around 1 c to 5 c, so I'm doing lots of shivering, too. I finally put on yet another layer, and my hands are starting to warm up.

It's taxes that have got me down. I have a load of work to do, and can't afford the accountant this year. Last year when the business was doing okay, my daughter did the paperwork and I double checked everything. The accountant found everything in order.

Sounds like Stella's going to be a great gardener. Nothing like a little dirt in the blood, genetically and physically.

Sorry about the garden inept neighbor. Hopefully the crepe myrtle will grow back beautifully and the neighbor will move, and a new gardening neighbor will move in.

Chelone, sorry about the ongoing equipment malfunction. It doesn't sound very supportive of your employees, plus it sounds like a waste of talent. I do wish they'd see you as the hard attentive well trained worker you are. Familiarity breeds rudeness, and lack of consideration, I guess. That's why I intend to move around lots, instead of having one employer. They don't have time to treat you badly.

My cats have cat visitors all the time. They love to sun themselves on my wood patios. My dog sniffs and whines a little and then leaves them alone. She's too used to the cats and they're too used to her to put up a fuss. Maybe Rex will become less of a threat to the cat over time.

There are times for shoes, muck or otherwise, and then there are times for the farmer's best friend, rubber boots. Too bad I always think of them after getting soaked. I love my ice cleats too, but my hiking boots work in a pinch.

Norma, thanks for the compliment re my daughter. I'd love the cobbler recipe, complete with the secret ingredient. Exactly how much stubbed toe cinnamon do you need, anyway? ;)

Hope you got pics of the pole barn raising. Glad the process is quick.

Kathy I love Dahlias, but hate removing them every year. I really have to committ myself to doing more gardening jobs, so I get more out of my garden. There's a lot I didn't do in the past because I was migrainy or depressed. I still have emotionally rainy days, but I don't get the migraines from just bending over, so I can add more to my gardening jobs.

Julie, I think they've downgraded to alert statis. I hope so. Watching the news about Japan was very hard. Please no more, I'm praying. My heart hurts for everyone.

Sorry to read that you've been sick. Did you react to the shot, or is it the newest strain of flu? I hate hospitals and having to go to the doctor in general. I'm your basic chicken. Plus it makes me sad for days when I'm around really sick or hurt people.

Too bad about the nasty weather. I hope the warm cookies and cold wine helped. I'm going to have some cocoa, which I can handle with no sugar, once a week, on Wednesdays, usually.

Marie, I agree! Two months' grounding has no learning value. I don't how I would handle the hearing aid loss. Too bad you couldn't put them on a string, like one does with little ones' mittens. Or possibly put a locator device on them, like the ones to find your keys. Teaching Skyler responsibility for his things might be more difficult. Maybe he needs an easy threading needle to learn to sew with. ;)

Love the Phoebe in the snow and long view from the window pics. Good view for a nice meditative think.

Drema congrats on the second interview. Best of luck on getting the job. I love the sound of your outfit. Tweed has always been a favourite of mine.

Sorry that Skip's job will keep him away, so much. I'm carless all the time, now, with Richea using the pickup truck every day for work. I walk or bus. It means more exercise, which is good for me, so I don't mind.

Kathy congrats to your son! I bet he'll choose the play over the choir. What a choice part. It's a favourite of mine. Is he on youtube, where we can hear him?

I hope your back gets better. Do you ever go to a chiropractor? Richea uses the chiropractor when he gets a sore back, and it gets better very quickly

I love to sing but my voice isn't great. Still I'm not going to let that stop me. I've been keeping up my voice exercises a bit, but need to step them up, because I decided quite a while ago, that in my twilight years I'm going to do theatre and have a band, so I'll revisit my youth then.

There's a couple of greyhound dogs in the neighborhood and whenever I see them I think of Cynthia. I hope she and her dogs and sister and family are doing well. then I think of Sue and her dog rescuing. Best to all of the past and present Idyllers out there

Off to slay another necklace dragon.

Night all,

Or should I say Morning all,


PS Here's that web page address for the easy sewing needle.

Spiral Eye Needles

Here is a link that might be useful: Pacific Ring of Fire

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 1:38AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Drema - I'm reading along but am up to my eyeballs in this course I'm taking. It's a HUGE amount of work. I've been thinking seriously about dropping it because I'm now at the stage that I know what I need to know to use the software for what I want to do for myself, and am not particularly interested in a lot of the details that would only apply to someone using it for business reasons. I haven't made up my mind yet whether to finish the course or not. The closer spring gets, the less interest I have in sitting at the computer for hours every day! It sounds like you and Skip have some challenging times with the employment situation - I hope it all settles down/works out to something more reasonable!

While I've been chained to my computer, Randy has been busy cleaning up the basement. I went down earlier this week to check it out - it's amazingly neat and clean down there now!

Chelone - I've been thinking of you - we're about to have the loveseat and office chairs recovered. I've been picking out fabric and the guy will come pick up the funiture on Monday. The loveseat is Misty's spot to hang out when I on the computer. After 12 years, the pastel loveseat is in desperate need of new fabric! I've picked a dark blue that, hopefully, will hide the dirt a bit better :-)

Back to the computer/course slog here - an assignment due tomorrow....

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 10:55AM
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Woody, thanks for the pop in! Glad you guys are doing well and that you are learning lots from your course. It's nice to get a basement organized isn't it? I have made quite a bit of headway with the upper part of the house this week, and am moving into the basement area next week. If I do get the job, the house will be in order.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 7:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today DH got an especially nice snowmobile ride around the area from our dentist/neighbor. He was thrilled. Otherwise it was a soggy, mushy and gloomy day. We are told to expect more sun this week though.

There have been lots of different birds showing up: redpolls, hawks and the first, very fat robin. In the house, Vita the cat continues to bring us mice at 2 & 3 am.

I continue to work on a striped dress for Ivy that DD asked me to finish. Also got several loads of laundry done. (exciting, right?)

This morning I went through my ancient slides to prepare for showing some of Nigeria in the mid 60s. Unfortunately, our old projector is in hiding. We have looked (almost) everywhere! I guess I need to search out a friend with antique equipment...

A bunch of meetings take place tomorrow and there's lots of work on the agenda. I wonder how my friends vacationing in Hawaii are doing with tsunami activity?

Bonne nuit!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 8:10PM
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It's hinting at spring just slightly here. The snow is melting after some very warm days last week. Then it got colder and windy this weekend. It's all much more tolerable than a March snowstorm for sure. Next week's temps are predicted to hit the high 50's. I've not seen a robin yet but hear that they are around.

I spent the day manning a booth at the local Farm & Home Show yesterday. Since it's not considered as part of my salaried duties I earned a nice sum that will be designated for the garden budget.

The chicken is on the grill but its still really icy by the grilling area since its on the north side of the house. Mashed cheddar garlic potatoes and steamed green beans completes the menu for lunch.

I'd best go retrieve the chicken. I'll try to stop back later. It's been such a busy week that I will need to do some catch up reading.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 1:53PM
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Well I am exhausted. I ran the skid loader all day for Bob while he drove the dumptruck. We hauled twenty loads of fill dirt/rock from down by the creek to put around the new building. I will probably know where all the muscles are that I haven't used for awhile tomorrow.

I think I will have a couple of dafodils blooming tomorrow or the next day. They are so close. I need to put some of the large purple crocus I have out front near those daffs. That would be pretty.

Bug I'm glad your DH got to take the four wheeler ride. I have ridden them and they are fun. I bet he enjoyed the tour.

Michelle , glad you made some garden money for your time at the booth. I have a gift certificate at the nursery I need to use before the end of the month. I usually wind up buying pansies with it. They are starting to have those and dianthus out here now.

The cornbread I made is done and we are having polish sausage and cabbage. Sounds good after a chilly day outside. So away I go.

Later. Norma

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 7:04PM
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Hola amigas..

I managed to eke out 1 day and a couple of hours in the garden this morning before it started raining again. So hard to pull weeds in this mud ! And they are growing to a fare-thee-well. I'm just going to have to smother mulch heavily this year..not a bad thing. I'd start now but I'm afraid it would float away.

DD will come next weekend so we can go see DS in 'Gypsy'..I like to wait for a week or so after his plays open to let them get the bugs out, lol. Yeona no you-tube I'm afraid. Because of theatrical copyrights and royalty issues there are no films of any of his performances. Such is the way of live theater. I am usually able to get a few stills from the shows.

Here we have no need to dig up Dahlias because of cold, but some people do it anyway because of standing water. If I loose any it's always because of rot.

It is absolutely spring here ( between rain events) spring bulbs are blooming-my freesias are just starting to open up. It looks like my Daffodils are not going to bloom-I must have gotten impatient with the foliage last year and cut it too soon. I'm starting to see tiny leaves on the Japanese maples too.

Good for you Michelle- a little extra cash for the garden is always welcome ! I'm going to try and be as frugal as possible and order plants through the garden center at work this year. One of our vendors is Annies , so if I want something I can have the plant buyer order and my employee discount is huge. I'll still make at least one trek to Annies to buy the more oddball stuff that we aren't as likely to carry. And to take pictures of here fabu display gardens !

Woody, sounds like you've really been challenged by this course. Even if you decide to chuck the rest of it I imagine you've learned a tremendous amount-hopefully it has been time well spent..

All for me today, now that I've been chased inside I have no choice but to address the laundry and the kitchen-

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 7:24PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Enjoyed receiving this today. Frederick Eugene Ives was my Mother's grandfather. (See the old photos and read more of this story at I think it funny that they talk about him not being a savvy businessman. People forget that not everyone is in search of the almighty dollar. My mother's father was also an inventor and loved the research but was not interested so much in income. He preferred painting, old coins and his men's club.

Here is a link that might be useful: 1906 San Francisco quake

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 8:46PM
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My goodness 'bug, what a wonderful family history. Funny how seeing the color tinted photos makes it all seem more 'real'..I bought a couch at Breuners in the 80's !

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 11:11PM
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And he's listed as a 2011 inductee to the Hall of Fame for color photography.

What a fun family history, GB!

I am up early this morning for welding class. I have to drive into Boston today as I might get to bring my project home. I am sad class is over, but he has classes titled "Friday Night Ladies Only Welding" so I know I can go back anytime. I think there is a $25 shop fee, which sounds reasonable to me to have access to so much equipment.

Yesterday I tried to resurrect the old door chime system in this old house. I had to run some new wire and then I broke a wire off in the wall, making the job much harder. I finally decided to wash the cobwebs out of my hair (most of the work was in the basement) and finish another day (Tuesday?). Zeus doesn't bark at the doorbell, but goes nuts over knocking. I'm guessing that everyone is so used to knocking that I'll have to put up a sign to get them to ring the bell, ha ha.

I see warmer weather is headed our way this week and I am hoping to lose the snow cover for good. I would like to see my garden even if nothing is happening :) I do see crocus foliage here and there where the snow has melted.

I am going to have my coffee and get ready for class. Have a great day, all!


    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 5:38AM
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I want to read Bugs link.

Just want to say I woke up to pouring rain that switched to heavy wet snow that has the trees and shrubs bending dangerously. No barn roof being put on today and those daffs aren't about to open.

Guess I'll do this pile of dirty dishes and go pick up the windows we need.

Hi Woody, Good to see you pop in. How is Your DH liking his new guitar?

I will be happy when we are all back to gardening.
Need to get busy here. Later gals. Norma

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 10:15AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I thought you might like to see what's kept me crazy-busy the last little while....

The assignment that was due yesterday drove me insane - but I found out once other people had posted theirs that I was doing over-kill! I used our property/garden and most seemed to have used 'imaginary' properties supplied by the instuctor. Those were all small properties where the house covered about 50% of the ground! I need to talk to the teacher for the next phase (which is the labelling) because I need to restrict the size of what's required or I'll never finish for my garden!

The software uses layers - different things go in different layers, so you can produce multiple drawings/versions by turning on or off various layers. In this assignment we had to show the starting point and then the new garden in concept. So I 'rolled back the clock' to what this garden looked like when we moved in:

And then the layout of the new garden:

And with trees and shrubs added:

Based on the number of people who have posted their assignments, either half the class has dropped out or are late in submitting the work :-) Another assignment due this Sunday - so back to work....

Norma - Randy has been playing the new guitar a lot - he really likes it.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 6:01PM
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Woody, it's great to see you resurface. You referenced your class and in my periodic absences I've missed the class you were taking. Holy Moses! I am blown away by the complexity of it and am rightly impressed. I think about my own (lame) shortcoming with respect to basic computer control and blanche at the prospect that you face daily. YOU ROCK, GF. I hope, in your busy-ness you manage to snap a "before" and "after" shot of the pieces in question. I have every confidence you will come up with a fabric that is perfect. I hate that that the foulest of dogs has adopted the nicest antique in the house as his "viewing platform". But I didn't know that when I selected the lovely pale tourquoise velveteen and now that it's trashed... I'll wait until we have him gassed before dealing with the fall-out. ;)

Drema, you're so dead on about the boss. I gasped when I read, "fiefdom" because that's the exact word I selected when I described the atmosphere to the helpmeet! NO kidding! It's definitely "dysfunctional", lol. And it's definitely demoralizing on one hand. On the other, however, I know that when I leave and go home all will be right with the world... my family will greet me excitedly and remind me of how great I am. :) I can "do" 6 crummy hours because I know it's not a "me" thing that's goin' on. But, yeah, sometimes I feel pretty low in those 6 hrs.. I've also done a ton of work to make "moving on" a whole lot less painful when it becomes necessary. I learned early on how to "shut up and put up" and I also learned how failure to do so could make your life a major drag. I'm on a good track and could easily indulge a fit a temper, but I'm at a point where a fit of pique would be less satisfying than a carefully composed letter of resignation and cordial cessation will be. Jeez, I'm gettin' old!! (and you are brilliant)

Speaking of which, I think your interview attire was great. I have every confidence in your ability to make a "good impression". You definitely know your "stuff", you're more than capable, and you are so affable and well equipped with an "easy" demeanor I think anyone who'd "pass you over" would be a total fool. So there!

Snow recedes hourly. Not unhappy about that, but the aftermath is pretty grubby looking and I'm loath to "clean it up" at this early date. As is the case with my job, I'm opting for a patient, cautious approach.

Hangin' tough. (and thrilled about Kathy's excellent theatre news). Fabu-fabu.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 7:56PM
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The first 'daylight savings' Monday is always a bear, but I'll inch along and all will be well by the weekend. But the rain ! It comes and comes. None today but a cold storm will arrive just in time for the weekend.

What Chelone said Drema, I hope you get the job, and if not I expect you will be able to move on - attitude is everything, right ?

Today DS went to audition for the Marin County theater company-this is an open audition to be in the 'company' not in a specific production. He felt like it was a good experience to go, but has no hopes of being selected on this go-round. Apparently this particular theater group is very respected , and they occasionally have 'name' actors in their plays. He tells me that that he will still be able to sing in the Beethoven's 9th performance with the choir he is in, there is a little rehearsal overlap with the JC Superstar stuff, but not enough to exclude him.

Woody, how cool to see your renderings of your garden-because of the photos you've shared over the years, I could actually look at the plans and visualize the reality of the areas-the garden shed and the rectangular lawn, the area with the bench in front etc..I'm reminded of Randys roof shots.

Well Chelone, you will prevail my friend ! Only a matter of time if you ask me.

OK folks, early bed tonight as I continue to regulate the spring forward.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 11:04PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Working on adjusting to DST this week and it's a challenge -- this is Stella's "first" and she's duly confused - but she (& I) are liking that I get home and it's still light out when we go out for the walkie.

Kathy -- I jinxed myself - talking about germs -- Mr. UnClean here at the awfice brought another one in and transmitted it to yours truly - another cold down for the count -- I think my record for good health this winter was the recent 3 weeks of no-sickies -- AM I ready for Spring??????

Sounds like everyone else is too, LOL. I couldnt chance a day in the garden last weekend (too busy conquering the germs) but did manage to see crocus and iris reticulata and hellebores starting to really gear up. Hoping to get a couple folks in this weekend for estimates on saving the crepe myrtle and some other pruning and maybe shrub moving for me if possible. I feel like I'm already behind the 8-ball in spring chores - how can that be? But I am.

Yeona - I think getting off one's property for whatever excuse sometimes helps in the mood level to elevate -- it's tough to force oneself to do, but feels better later - hmmm, that sounds kind of like exercising doesnt it? LOL - I Hate exercising....

Kathy - hope your back heals quickly - that's a bummer to have it happen right off the bat -- which I think is often when it happens, right? Julie I hope is recovering too from that nasty intestinal bug (had that one a month ago - it was a doozy; horrible no account good thing -- I called it "simul-tasking" in the bathroom).

Saucy - had to laugh about your doorbell - I have one of those plug-in electric ones/wireless and it has gone bad so that whenever a neighbor shuts his door it goes off - I finally replaced it last week - it was driving me and Stella crazy running to the door and no one there.

Michelle - I'm envious of the little extra you managed so you can feed your garden budget! Neat. I've tried to do better this year on refraining from mail order but that may limit what new small tree I get to replace the Redbud Covey I'm removing.... it seems most nurseries locally are not carrying the trees I've been eyeing for replacement other than the one that Sue has in her garden, Cercis Silver Cloud -- it is a magnificent, variegated tree - likely too big for my garden, but a slower grower, and I likely wont be here in 20 years so I've reconsidered and am now tempted to get one - especially since sun is no longer a problem in most of my back yard....I'll check them out this weekend - the one place just got some in and they may be the right size.

Wow, Woody - no wonder so many folks dropped outta that class -- you should be proud of yourself no matter what grade you get!

Drema -- keeping the fingers crossed on the job front for you and Skip - it's hard to have no car but sounds like you're managing it really great. Cant believe you and Norma got more snow!! No early spring for you guys, eh?

Well, gotta get on with the plod. I know I promised some Stella pics but I havent gotten any good ones - she's a blur whenever I try to get her to look at me and grab the shot - I really want to get one of her playing "soccer" -- it's with a medicine bottle she punts and throws around and races around inside -- pretty funny when you see her in action.

The events in Japan are terrible and frightening to all of us - how easily things change as you say.... we should enjoy our precious moments with family and friends and the little things in life we enjoy.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 9:31AM
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I purchased the external hard drive and tosay have put it to use. My BIL graciously sat with me and we hooked it up. I'm such a ninny that I didn't want to do it by myself because my computer was so disorganized and I didn't want to back up the confusion! OK, so things are cleaned up to a large extent and I'm still gettin' used to the "new" arrangement. But it's now "backed up"... esp. the pictures of Mum and now departed pets and friends. A good thing. But I am still reeling from the staggering amount of stuff I don't understand at all. For me, it's rather like trying to staple Jell-O to a bulletin board... with predictable results and frustration. I keep telling myself to not sweat the small stuff and keep plugging away, but everything seems so friggin' hard. Will I ever experience the vaunted "lightbulb moment"? stay tuned, if you dare.

And I've been introduced to Pandora radio now that the appropriate cable connects the computer to the nice speakers in the Salon. I am presently enjoying the vast Cole Porter songbook courtesy of multiple artists. I have smiled several times because I recognize most of the voices... a legacy of my father, who is smiling if the dead are allowed to do such things. I see that I will have to set up other "stations" in other favorite genres. A good thing. (I'm writing to you and listening to what I want to, how's that for some fancy multi-tasking? lol).

Snowpack and ice in the pond is receding before my very eyes, it seems. A steady rain and warm temperatures will do that. A good thing. It's gratifying to watch the lawn once more revealed, although walking on it is more like walking on a giant sponge. A new chainsaw arrived here yesterday. And just in time, too. We have a lot of "down wood" that needs to be cleaned up and relocated to the vicinity of the splitter and then on to new stack of firewood. Mr. Macho Pants is pretty pleased with his new toy, too. Yet another good thing.

Cindy, I read your post about the tragedy unfolding in Japan and then watched the news over lunch. Maybe you ought to begin wearing one of those masks? the image of your pint-sized fleabag fluff ball playing hockey made me smile. Who says animals don't have a sense of humor? Frankly, I think their senses of humor are frequently better developed than those of their supposed "masters".

On the Japan theme, I am mightily impressed by the patience and grace the affected population has exhibited. And my worries about nuclear power are again brought to the surface. I wonder what the "specs" were when the now 40 yr. old plant was built. In an area that routinely experienced 'quakes what scale of 'quake was considered unlikely? And in the wake of this event what scale would be considered were they to build a brand new one? Of late there has been renewed interest in nukes and what will this mean for future construction and the nearly infinite "long term storage" the spent fuel will require? I have yet to hear this discussed at length and it certainly won't be on "network" news... what with Charlie Sheen 'n' all. But it makes me wonder. And quake.

And given the present legislative battles over budgets/spending/austerity measures I applaud the native creativity of Michelle and her approach to a gardening budget. :) When are we going to see you stumpin' at the Iowa caucus, girlfriend? ;) Our "budget" will be consumed with costly tree removal and then more site work. But them's da breaks when you carve your personal estate from a wooded lot. Lesigh. (I now regret the failure, yet again, to put bulbs in last fall... but at least they won't be in the dreaded, "wrong place"! ;) ).

OK, back to some meaningful work.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 4:15PM
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The snow is gone, It was a shirtsleeve afternoon, the roof got put on the barn and those few daffs opened up today.
Also Rebel got a bath. I had to give him one so I could put some dip on him. He is losing a patch of hair on his side and I suspect mange is the cause. The hunters in the area say that the coyotes had mange bad this year. I hope I caught it in time to keep it from spreading very far.

Did I mention that we are going to be great grandparents again? I heard through the grapevine that DGD had a craving for my zucchini bread so I made some and took it by her work yesterday. It was still warm and she was thrilled. Our son is thrilled. He has been wanting a grandbaby for awhile.
We have been enjoying the other loaf of zucchini bread here. Rebel and I took a long walk today trying to work off the excess calories.

The budget here is being consumed by all the little extra things that go into building something. But thats okay, we will just tighten up somewhere else so we can get the job done right.

The guys plan to be here extra early tomorrow so I better get to bed.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 10:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Made progress on my knitting at our group in town this evening. I'll never knit stripes again!!! OYYY.

Big patches of snow melted today and I see signs of snowdrops in one sunny area. The creek is high now though. Tomorrow we expect rain in the afternoon.

Take a look at the striking photos below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Where children sleep

    Bookmark   March 16, 2011 at 10:09PM
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Wow, 'bug, there is plenty of, umm... "contrast" in those sleeping quarters, huh? That whole kiddie "beauty queen" scene really creeps me right out. And reminds me of "Little Miss Sunshine", lol. ;)

Norma, good progress on the pole baHn! I am envious of your daffodils and "shirt sleeve" weather. We may get a freak day with those temperatures in the next few weeks, but realistically it's still a long way out for us. Mange is caused by microscoptic mites, isn't it? I vaguely recall seeing on horses every so often, but I don't think I've ever seen it on dogs. Anyway, it must be an absolutely miserable affliction for the poor things and I would imagine that a serious case could lead to to an agonizing death from infection or inability to focus on hunting. Rebel is lucky he has you to oversee his welfare. :)

I have forgotten to share my latest "Julie Job". We have a chandelier that hangs over the stair well in the house. It has been festooned with cobwebs and the "crystals" have been sporting fuzzy shawls in "earth tones" for many moons now. Last Sunday I decided it was time to clean it. It looks much nicer now. But in the process, I broke a light bulb and have forgotten to buy some replacements for it. You will appreciate the fact that the accumulated dust has managed to penetrate the frosted coating on the remaining bulbs, lol. So, it's probably time to replace them all, huh?

Shine of today, my friends.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 5:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, there seems to be plenty of news out there on the reactor front.

To think that they have known about these deficiencies for 40 years and done nothing about it does not surprise me, but it does disgust and anger me.

Here is yet more:

The radio tells us that these reactors are supposed withstand up to 6.5 quakes. That does not cover tsunamis or hurricanes. The New Jersey ones are susceptible to hurricane damage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mark 1 reactors

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 11:09AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I am astonished to see a patch of winter aconites and snowdrops too. I pruned a few clematis and filled some holes with top soil where critters dug for bulbs. My nails are "spring dirty" and it feels good! There's also plenty of snow about.

Skyler got an 82 on a math test (word problems) the day after he returned to school. Sarah is pleased...and so is he, but he doesn't understand why he did so well. He doesn't make the connection with all the workbooks Sarah has been working on with him or how she prepared him for returning to work after a Disney filled week. He got a 37 on his science test and doesn't know why either. This has been a VERY VERY tough week with him. At least there was one thing they could praise him for. This morning his radio was taken away from him...again. So many punishments. He'll make the connection some day I hope!

Phoebe has left me treasures outdoors all winter long...and that needs attention. Maybe tomorrow.....sigh.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 3:04PM
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What sorts of things are part of a 12 year old's science curriculum in Canada, 'bug? A 37 sounds pretty dismal, but if it was out of 38 it's not so bad... ;). I used to love word problems... once I knew what the "key" words meant in terms of arithmetic (and later algebraic symbols) it was like detective work. Good for Skyler for knuckling down and working hard on those work books, and special praise for Sarah to insist on his involvement... it can't have been easy after the distractions offered at Disney. If you think of it, please share with her that "work books" were always part of any vacation when I was a kid. I recall working on them with Mum or Dad and I have no bad memories of them, whatsoever. They were a perfect way to while away an hour on a rainy summer day. (good memories!)

Doggie land mines, another reason I hate dogs. 'Tis the season, though.

It has to be nearly 70 degrees right now, but it's windy. Really windy (we've been given the heads up for power outtages). If you know anything about the weather you can tell there are two warring fronts and the forecast is for a surge of renewed cold weather later today. It's OK, a day like today is a much needed hint at what's to come with greater regularity in the coming weeks. The cats have been in and out of the house all day long.

Network news does a very poor job covering stories like the nuclear plant failure in Japan in any great depth. Yesterday, I was gratified to listen to NPR's magnificent Diane Rehm and the entire program was devoted to nuclear power. Fascinating and pretty sobering. I am disappointed by the Japanese failure to request help on a more timely basis, but no single nation has a corner on the market for hubris, right? ;)

I have crocus and daffodils breaking the soil near the house, but nothing so early as winter aconites. Think I'll get some planted next fall??

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 3:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

In grade 6, science at the moment involves flight. He has a very good teacher too (though his Mom calls her The B**ch which is unhelpful). They are supposed to understand a bit about the Montgolfier, and a few terms as well. Skyler is expected to know what makes a hot air balloon rise and descend. Read below for some chuckles about the Montgolfier brothers.

They discuss airplanes as well and are asked to describe how they work in words as well as with gestures. If the right wing is raised, which direction will it turn? In other words, really understand what they have read and discussed in class.

This exercise has really helped Sarah and me understand what some of his problems in learning are. I had similar problems growing up and they were easy to solve. One of these is being a very fast reader. Teachers assume that means a good reader, when in fact NO. Some of us have to slow down and learn that we are expected to think and retain material. It takes 6-8 weeks of work to conquer the bad habit. It is always disappointing that people don't recognize a problem early on.

Another issue for him is explaining the meaning of words. He thinks parroting his teacher or Sarah is good enough...and it is not. He must use his brain and choose different words in his explanations. This can be solved quite well, if he gets time with Sarah. The problem is that today he goes to his Mom's for 2 weeks. Then later on, she is taking him on a trip where he'll miss 3 more days of school. Giant sigh...

The harder part of teaching Skyler is getting him absorbed by something. He'll say "Oh neat" and then drop the subject entirely. We would desperately like to get him excited about almost have him involved in learning about something. He is a clever kid in many ways with a fantastic memory. Unfortunately, that can make one lazy. (I had that problem with music. I could repeat a tune or phrase easily on the violin so never learned to read music.)

Looking out the window there are vast expanses of mole hills. Discouraging, but eventually things should perk up!

Here is a link that might be useful: On Joseph, Edouard, laundry, sheep and more

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 4:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I love this guy...
Watch the video too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Teacher Tom

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 6:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Don't forget to look at the moon tonight!!! It's supposed to be quite spectacular.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 5:11PM
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Rain , rain rain. Bah !! All weekend and well into next week. I'm taking Wed and Thur off to go to the SF Garden Show. There are so many speakers I want to see I decided to go 2 days and spend the night down there. The 'show rate' hotel room isn't much more expense than gas and bridge tolls down and back would be 2 days in a row. I have my shopping list all ready ! Digging Dog usually has a booth there and I want to get 3 more Teucrium 'Purple Tails' and they are the only source I know of -what a great plant that turned out to be, so it gets the 'honor' of being a repeated element.

I was eligible for an upgrade on my cell phone plan, so I bought a reconditioned iphone for 49 bucks. I'm a firm believer in reconditioned stuff, both my cameras and my zoom lens were all bought that way and I saved bundle . Anyway, I�ll now be able to send updates to our FB Idyll friends from remote locations.

I'm afraid there isn't much chance of the moon appearing around here 'bug ! Rain clouds are lined up out to sea. Thanks for that link 'bug, I will send the info to DD who is a pre-school teacher..

All for now

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 7:46PM
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I watched a glorious Reed moon rise over the ocean last night. Naturally, I thought of all my far flung Idyll friends and wondered if their eyes were beholding the very same sight and if the color was different for them. It was huge and orange as it seemed to rise out of the sea. And now the sun is doing precised the same thing. :)

Cold again yesterday, with leaden overcast skies and intermittant snow flurries over most of the day. I was beginning to lose hope that the clouds would clear out in time for the moonrise, but they did. Today will be cold and clear and the stove has been lit to ward off the chill as I soldier on with a few projects in the Salon.

I have seen other links to Teacher Tom that you've posted, 'bug. He sounds like an imminently practical kinda guy, precisely the sort of person so seemingly in short supply these days. ;)

I hope we'll be treated to a few shots from the SF GaHden Show, Kathy. I love your take on reconditioned things... couldn't agree more. I think just about everything here is reconditioned, from pets to furniture.

OK, well time to "get at it".

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 6:56AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Spent a really fine morning yesterday with my friend who is riddled with cancer. What can I say? Some people are wonderful and amazing. Took her a pot of snowdrops. She's an ad for morphine though. Can't sit for long with her aching body and bones. I hope she'll let me take her photo. Somehow with no hair she is beautiful. Wrapped with a shawl to warm herself, she looks Buddhist and spiritual. She plans on participating in book club next week.

More meetings today on environmental things. Although it will be sunny, I hope to find time to knit before garden season begins. There's groceries to collect too today.

Chelone, I confess, there's lots to admire in Teacher Tom, although of course I don't buy EVERYTHING he says. I think you'd like the article below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Confessions Of A Middle Class Bag Lady

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 7:59AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Morning, idyllers -- I'm sitting here waiting for a roofer to arrive to look at and estimate a new roof if needed... so many repair things on the to-do list that I've been putting off and getting more serious each year. I find I'm having a really hard time focusing and deciding on priorites of those items any more -- to say nothing of scheduling. If you make 6 calls to possible services, you're lucky to get 3 to respond, and 2 to maybe schedule. Then they dont understand that it may be I am not always home and available to see them..... it's just easier to ignore it all, frankly -- now I remember why I ignore it, LOL.

But signs of spring are definitely out in my area - Friday brought 80s temps! and then it dropped way back down and it's a brrr 40s with winds right now. We had a great day doing cleanup tho - me aching back - and Stella and I were definitely tuckered!

A surprise visit from DD and the monkey Isla finished off a busy day yesterday.... She's 6 months and doing the things Leo is doing.... sitting up, working on crawling, spitting spit bubbles and making odd baby noises and squeals. Stella was entranced, befuddled, excited and exhausted by the time she left.

Kathy, I'm so sorry you're beset with rain -- maybe it's someone's way of enforcing no labor for your ailing back.... enjoy the garden show - o what fun! I think they're so inspiring - and of course the SF one seems to be amazing in that area. I know you're be one of the idyll roving reporters who gives steady updates -- one can post photos to gardenweb too thru some of the apps fairly easily (the text is harder to do but still... photos speak a thousand words).

Norma, hope your dawgs resist the mange - I guess when they're in areas where wildlife is common, it would be easier to pick up? Stella had odd bright red, sappy spots where her sutures were and after a $70 vet visit, they told me it was an allergic reaction to her sutures from spaying -- how weird is that? 4 months later? Bizarre - but hopefully they'll mend on their own w/ some neosporin applications...

Chelone - dont you hate when you do a JJ job and then run into issues like broken lites or something that should have been "simple" ends up complicated, LOL? I've certainly thought about wearing a mask at the job lately I tell ya....

Ok, think I hear the roofer - egad, someone on time and shows up!

Happy Sunday.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 11:57AM
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I still haven't gotten around to changing the light bulbs on the chandelier, but I did buy the replacements last week! (always gotta have a project, right?).

Our hint of spring has filled us with a renewed desire to get outdoors. Like Cindy, Norma, and Kathy we've begun the spring clean up. But on a really "gross" scale. We're going to take down a very large, multi-trunked clump of red maple and a tall, rather nondescript pine. The maple is right next to the utility pole and the price increases when wires are involved, the fact that one of the trunks towers over the roof of BIL's garage further complicates the issue and necessitates timely action. We are going to have a -hitload of firewood to process when the bucket truck and chipper pull away. So, we've begun cleaning up the general area, taking down the the small scrub trees and picking up all manner of "down" wood. We have scrounged rather a lot that can be processed into firewood and the entire area looks cleaner already.

I hear you on the maintenance thing, Cindy. We need to replace the railing on the deck, but tentative forays to that subject have been summarily rebuffed, so I've let the matter drop for the time being. Lol, about remembering why you don't jump right on these sorts of things. :)

I remember when a friend of mine brought her 6 mo. old here for a week's visit. It really was amazing to watch the pace of motor coordination in that short time. She went from pulling herself up on her arms to attaining "all fours" and was just about to add locomotion to the mix by the time they left. Amazing how quickly it "clicks" and how deep the drive to do it is ingrained in each of us.

I don't want to "go" to work tomorrow. I want to work right here. But I can't just yet. So I continue to focus on getting the work I have on the bench right now done. And I do other little piddly things, too. Like finishing the newel post caps for the staircase railings, and adding personal touches. Like this:

This rug was in my brother's room and then was transferred to mine. It needs a proper cleaning and a pad. But I smile at the memories of all the happy time I spent using its design elements to define paddocks for my collection of Breyer model horses.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 6:21PM
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Aw schucks! I lost my post. Not going to try again right now, dang it. Norma

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 8:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Norma! Sorry to miss it. Some time soon!

Chelone, your latest post is a help to me. I have been urgently asked for guidance with they just visited his class this week, received his report card... as well as criticism from his mother about Sarah being involved in his upbringing. Sigh. So in addition to some of my own thoughts, your mention of "always gotta have a project" and "my collection of Breyer model horses" help me solidify ways of helping. Projects and collections start the mind working. (Perhaps???)

As usual, one small item makes a huge impact in the salon. The rug with those particular chairs make a wonderful area! The sunbeam is stunning as well. I too have a small rug from my grandmother which has been carried from house to house as our lives have changed.

I am jealous of your tree work and hope to get some of that done here as well. We have willows and they are the messiest of trees... Do you save the ground up chips for your gardens? I use them up quickly on paths as well as in garden beds.

That's all she wrote...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 9:15PM
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'bug, I feel so badly for your DD's issues with Skylar -and your inevitable 'taking-on' of the pain and frustration. One hopes that as Skylar gets older and has better ability to discern between quality and quantity her will give your DD the appreciation she deserves. Most certainly she isn't in this for allocades..she is trying to rescue a troubled soul from those that should know better. Hugs to you all. I have had challenges with my children but at least I never had to consult another party with whom I was at odds.

This afternoon I went to the theater to see DS's performance in "Gypsy" fun that was, and what memories it prompted. I'm thinking I was 10 or 11 years old when the Broadway cast of Gypsy came to LA , with the iconic Ethel Merman as Mama Rose. I was pretty excited as I knew the libretto by heart and was in awe of Ethel. However I was not allowed to go(and I was an experienced theater-goer by this time) ; the content was considered too 'adult' . I was so disappointed. So today, I sat in a theater and watched my own son perform one of my favorite numbers from the show (All I Need is The Girl). I guess that makes up for it. A couple years later I saw Ethel Merman in a road show of 'Call Me Madam' , so I am grateful to have seen her live eventually. Man, she had some pipes.

Chelone, those chairs and the rug ! ooo-la-la !

Cindy I hear you on the whole infrastructure thing. I have tended to use the discretionary funds on garden projects, but I have some looming issues dealing with bathrooms and the plumbing there-in . Expensive stuff I fear. Also more windows needed. I can relate to the pitfalls of trying to prioritize this stuff. And I need a new mattress. Sigh.

Time to sign off, waves to all.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 11:34PM
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I was hoping for some shots of Rebel with/w/o his mange. ;) I was thinking about your handsome woodland gahden while we were tidying up the area where the trees will come down.

Kathy, buy the mattress. Don't put it off any longer. I waited about 5 yrs. too long and can attest to the benefit derived by timely replacement. You will not regret it.

I have never seen "Gyspy" but it really is quite a story. And Mama Rose was a rather domineering character. And Ethyl Merman did indeed have quite a set of pipes... I recall seeing an old movie with her in a sailor suit (with Fred Astaire?) and was surprised at the size of the voice coming from the body. You must be very proud of your son, clearly you have imbued him with an appreciation of the theatre. :)

Gotta get some polyacrylic on the woodwork pieces. Seeya.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 6:08AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I echo Kathy's comments to you, 'bug -- it is indeed difficult to be in the listening end of things one wishes one could help with, but are really on the outskirts of any control. The idea of developing hobbies or interest for Skyler is a good one tho -- as I kid I recall myself being a collector of everything - from shells, rocks, model horses (me, too, Chelone), foreign dolls, stamps, geez - when I think of it I was a hoarder and went thru collecting hobbies with the speed of light. Perhaps you could get him to focus on something from his Disney trip (like shells or learnign the names of the fish he saw) or bird watching - and he could parlay that into some of his school studies for projects he has to complete for science or English, etc.?

I've been informed I'm a crazy gram -- by my DD -- because I make silly sounds and noises with Isla and roll around on the floor with her - can't imagine being any other way -- I jabber along with her when she babbles too. There's this constant urge to smooch her to death -- I didnt realize this was certifiable behavior, but apparently it is. Well, they just have to accept me as I am - but I guess DSIL will have to get used to crazy gram behavior.

Chelone -- what a gorgeous, refreshing vignette -- the rug just brings it all together -- and what great memories every time you relax there.

I got another Metro Road Warrior Commuter notch in my belt today -- 3 hours to get to the awfice -- had to disembark and take a train in reverse back to my starting piont and start all over again - I vowed if I couldnt get on a train going in the right direction there I'd just go home but they managed to fix the switch track Finally -- it should be really adventurous the next few weeks as the height of the Tourista season kicks in with the Cherry Blossom Festival week, Marathons, etc., going on...back to contemplating driving in - might shave 30 mins off the 3 hr metro commute, LOL. (Last week I had to take 3 trains for a morning commute, but it only took 2 hours... they keep off-loading completely full trains - bizarre management style going on in Metro Management)

Kathy - that's so neat that you could watch the same show with your DS in it -- I too was always amazed by Merman - a truly incredible voice that should ahve been in opera, dont you think? I second the idea re prioritizing the mattress to the top of your to-do list -- you'll be amazed and likely it will feel a lot better than a new window; altho a new toilet may come in a close second (having done that last year....). Simple pleasures!

Made some more headway in the yard cleanup - felt great - but I'm creaking today; wish I'd had the thought to grab a camera for Isla, Stella or the garden blooms.... ok, back to catch up and recess is over...


    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 1:38PM
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Cindy,The way you act with Isla sounds perfectly normal to me. I have always done the same things. A three hour commute is terrible. Must be like working a double shift.

I don't remember what I even said in the lost post. I do remember saying to Chelone that I enjoy seeing the personal touches to the salon. It looks like such a great space to be in.

Two whole days working in the front beds has things looking a little neater. Things are putting on growth fast after a couple of near 80 degree days. Rain and cooler temps on the way now. I'm spending all my time outdoors because I know the weather will shift again.

Here are pictures of the barn for those of you that haven't seen them on facebook. Bob needs to build the big doors yet, and do some more grade work. I think it turned out pretty good. Looks a lot nicer than I expected it too.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 9:37PM
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Kathy I meant to say how neat it is that your DS is getting to do theater stuff he loves. Sounds like he is doing well with it.
I've also been wondering if the company person that was in Japan has made it back yet.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 9:44PM
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Monday evening greetings.. the spammer dude did me a favor, it was fun to read Idyll 312 this evening , as we move ever closer to 500 ! I still haven't figured out what his goal was , though lots of these folks seem to have questionable English skills and I think they do a search on one word that relates to whatever it is they are attempting to sell. I guess the fact that this thread is circa 2007 must have escaped them, lol.

Crikey Cindy, I continue to be in awe of your commute fortitude. I hope you don't have to fork out too much $$ to travel so many hours per diem. I imagine Ethel could have done opera , but she was not a classically trained vocalist . A couple of my DS's friends from his chamber choir in high school have gone on to operatic training-it's really different from normal singing. If you hear someone like Beverly Sills try to sing show tunes or big band era standards, it sounds not quite right somehow. Their voices are so powerful , in a different way than someone like EM or Patty LuPone , or even Babs.

Norma, DS is starting rehearsals for JC Superstar, and if tonight is any indication, I'm going to get a daily private concert for a few weeks . Tonight he was singing "Gethsemene" in the shower. The president of our company was the one who was in Japan for the EQ; he was en route to China (we have an export division at my company) and I think he got out of Japan within a day or 2 of the quake. He is in China now.

The rain continues here , and the worst day this week will be when I am in San Mateo for the SF Garden show. Good thing it takes place inside, lol.

Nite all !

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 10:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

How exciting and handsome Norma. I was considering a similar roof for our old farmhouse. Someone said they were dangerous because snow slides off of them. Then someone else said there's a solution. Then I forgot about it all. Yes, I need a mattress too!

I came across this list and it reminded me of Julie:
Here are thirty things you can do that take one minute or less:
1. hang up a garment that is lying about

2. turn on upbeat music

3. wipe crumbs off the table

4. take something to another room where it goes

5. reply to an email (one email, don't get lost in your email inbox)

6. water a plant

7. file a paper

8. empty a trash can

9. check the toilet paper supply

10. wipe spots off a mirror

11. bring empty glasses back to the kitchen

12. put your plate in the dishwasher

13. start the dishwasher

14. cut a loose string off your clothing

15. swish a brush around the toilet bowl

16. hang the towels up off the floor

17. shake out the welcome mat

18. sweep the entryway to your home

19. check your calendar

20. toss the junk mail

21. put your bag by the door so it's ready to go

22. toss old vegetables from the fridge

23. stack magazines and remove the old ones

24. throw dirty clothes in the laundry basket

25. rinse off the soap dish

26. add a couple things to your grocery list

27. plug in your cell phone to charge it

28. take receipts out of your wallet

29. close drawers and cabinet doors

30. put your shoes away

31. give someone a hug

Consider yourselves hugged!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 10:44PM
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By the way, did you guys look a the Sues photo album from her garage project ?? Double wow , what a transformation !


    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 10:53PM
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Norma, the pole bahn looks great! and if the doors don't get put on quickly I can easily picture birds moving right in and making nests! Bats, too (I like bats). I recall Sue's project, she very graciously linked to it when we were building our bahn. It really was a smashing addition to her handsome home.

As for rolling around on the floor with a baby... it wouldn't make my short list, but I do the very same thing with the cats and (occasionally) that fool dog... ;)

Cindy, there is no way I could deal with a 3 hr. commute. My hat is doffed in your direction, what a colossal waste of your precious time; you possess the patience of a saint. I can't imagine there is much "gas" left in your personal tank after a day of that length. Can you say, "whipped"? I have never seen the cherry blossoms but recall being transfixed by a picture of them when I was a kid. One day, perhaps, I'll get to see them. They must be glorious!

Back to chilly and raw here, but it's March, afterall, and to be expected. It won't last forever. Not much to say except that I don't want to make my own commute to the awfice today and will think of Cindy the whole way there. :) But until then it's time to pick away at some meaningful and rewarding work.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 6:09AM
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The pheobes are already checking it out Chelone. Those fool birds build their nest every year around the back porch and the cats get to them everytime. You would think they would learn. The only safe place they have been able to build is on top of the security light.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 7:26AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I believe it was Spring of 1968 when I was teaching in DC and DH and I rented bikes and rode around the capitol. There were daffodils and white (and lavender) wisteria and cherry blossoms. Now i may be remembering wrong...could they all have been in bloom at the same time? It was magical though, especially because I remember the ride being down hill in both directions! That was a month before we were married, so likely my head was full of nonsense at the time...

Are we speaking of Sue's new garage or a new makeover that she shared on Facebook? Certainly the original was a masterpiece with fun plantings and color play. Yes, doors will make a difference Norma. We have plenty of bird and raccoon activity in ours when the doors are not closed. I like the colors you have chosen. Do they match the house or other small buildings?

The ability to get down to infant level and goof around is the measure of a quality grandparent in my estimation. Mine sat upright in chairs, spoke "adult talk" and ignored us if they visited at all. There certainly was no physical affection. Post cards and the rare telephone call were our connection. I recall 3 or 4 visits only and plenty of lecturing on being quiet at the table and reminders to send thank you notes.

Yesterday DH was collecting firewood and noticed that Phoebe had discovered a bone with a sharp in something a butcher would have cut. Since there is no garbage at all near our home, this is a mystery. The best we can come up with is that the creek flooding brought it to our place. DH was worried that it might also have been air dropped in order to poison the local coyotes. Then last night Phoebe showed strange signs...of choking attempts and minor throwing up. (which she never does) This morning she seems fine but I am glad we go to the vet's for her shots and grooming today so that she can be checked.

This is also Debbie Day!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 7:48AM
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'bug , yes Sues garage project from many moons ago, the link to her photo-album of the project is in the Idyll 312 thread that the spammer bumped up yesterday. I'd had not looked at those pics since visiting her garden 'in person'

back to awfice stuff..

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 10:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Duh! I get it now Kathy, just slow to catch on.

Just received some photos of DSIL on Paternity Leave:
New bedroom setup:

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 11:11AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

But where's Leo, 'bug? he of the paternity leave need, LOL? I bet he was catching a quick catnap while Dad and big sister got to romp, right?

I was rewarded with a "normal" commute today -- I hate to mention the long ones but sometimes they are just so amazingly atrocious that one has to share in wonder. How public transit can be so problematic for the Nation's Capital sometimes makes my head hurt -- and the "innovative solutions" they come up with to "cure" the immediate issue is mind-boggling. I'm glad they dont work for Homeland Security, is all I can say.... Kathy, the per diem is quite high in $ and I suspect would be shocking to folks, but the rewards are a job and one that's decent paying that I can perhaps dream of living to retire...? Dunno sometimes tho. It's a no-win thingie.

I'm glad to hear you dont think a grandparent must be staid - I was never a staid Mom and couldnt do that as a gram either -- I think I must be a contrast to the other set of g-parents - altho they LOVE babies, and hug and cuddle and have an amazing patience from what I can tell for some things that would try my limits, I'm just naturally silly with animals and kids..... I dont recall my own Mom being that way with my DD, and perhaps that's why there was a reserved relationship they had. I dont recall my own G-mom and her behavior, but I did have a close one with her and would be happy to emulate it with Isla; fingers crossed.

'bug I like that list, but I think part of the problem is - who has only one piece of paper to file? one sees the other 200 sitting next to the one one files, LOL and gets easily distracted....

Picking up clothing makes me laugh - I was telling my DD about having to straighten up for the "magic" to get done by the cleaning service I've been shelling out for, and she said a friend of hers came home one day to find a sheet placed by the cleaners over a chair that apparently held a huge pile of clothing her friend had not put away....was it a hint to do so or they thought it would hide the elephant in the room more elegantly w/ a tidy sheet???? Me - I throw it all in the closet and slam the door til the evening....

I do recall Sue's garage before/after shots as amazing -- it's kind of cool to see these old threads resurrected, spammer or not. Speaking of which, it seems I can now only access GW at on my home laptop if I accept pop-ups -- otherwise the entire site gets blocke by my P.C. - I dont know if it's the security filter or what - I'm sooo ready to throw the durn laptop out - it takes over 10 minutes to boot up these days.... add to the list.

I tried to take some photos of the gorgeous Metallic Lady hellebores that are blooming and some hyacincths, but no luck -- all blur this a.m.

Here's a photo of Stella from last month tho... not her best - but she was stationary for the moment at least:

I sure hope Phoebe is okay, 'bug - how scary!!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 1:36PM
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Ah there is Stella. She is a cutie. Does she ever sit still long enough to cuddle?

Bug I hope Pheobe is all better too.
The barn does not match the house because our house is light gray and we have a problem with mold here in the woods. It has to be scrubbed down every year. I chose charcoal and burgandy for the barn thinking it wouldn't show up as much if it gets mold. The house has vynal siding and the barn is metal. I can only hope it won't be as prone to get it. The good thing is I don't have to paint. There are drawbacks to everything I guess.

I love that last picture of Ivy.

I enjoyed seeing Sue's garage project too.

I did some cutting back this morning and burned the grass off by the big pond. It has rained off and on the rest of the day. Speaking of the big pond I was sitting on the front porch yesterday and happen to glance down that way. What a surprise when I saw the big fantail gold fish that we haven't seen since the middle of last summer. I thought he was a goner for sure. He is huge.
Another surprise today when I walked to the pantry to get something and stepped on something cool and lumpy (in my sock feet) when I looked to see what it was I couldn't believe it. A little ring neck snake no bigger than a nightcrawler worm. I have found them near the basement door before but never upstairs, and I know the cats didn't bring it in. Yuck!

Gotta get up to let Niki out so I'm gonna post before I lose it. Norma

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 8:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

WOW! It's really winter here with cars in the ditch etc..

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 3:00PM
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There is talk of that here tomorrow. Lesigh. But it will be pretty to watch the flakes drift earthward.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 3:37PM
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Crappy weather continues, though we have had a respite this afternoon in the form of intermittent cloudbursts instead of steady rain. Another storm comes in tomorrow, and I will drive (slowly) for an hour an a quarter to the garden show. If Denise braves the interstate we will rendezvous on Friday.

Cindy that Stella is just too cute, and what a pile of toys ! You aren't spoiling her are you?

Ivy the Happy Child !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes Kathy, Ivy is a very happy girl, but remember, she is TWO and that has its difficulties as well as charms! LOL! Last night I'm told that she and her Daddy were busy building a giant circular puzzle. She and Leo both enjoyed fish and rice for dinner, but less so the frozen vegetables. Can't say that I blame them. Now fresh veggies would be a different story.

Speaking of contrasts, the sun is shining already, but the snowplow also made a visit.

DD has a new wide angle camera but has problems loading photos onto her ancient computer. Hope that gets solved soon somehow.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 7:47AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Spring all! Even though it is still kinda cold here, we have no snow.

I have had fun reading this thread, but between seed starting, basement repair, flu, family stuff, sitting an extra Boston, things have been pretty frantic here, so I have been negligent towards you my friends! Mea culpa!

I have been sorry to read about lousy weather, endless commutes, lost hearing aids, infrastructure needs/repairs (did I mention my basement????) kid issues (we have them too), and of course, the tragedy in Japan.

But there was happy stuff too. Chelone's description of peace descending when hands are busy, job interviews, Woody's garden plan, Kathy's DS and musical theatre.

And photos: Phebes looking for squirrels, Ivy (especially that last sweet shot!), Norma's great barn, Chelone's attractive and cozy salon, baby Stella, and Sue's garage reprised.

Love the list 'Bug - sounds like my average morning, except I don't file one paper at a time and I don't water one plant at a time! Takes me a whole morning to do those things *LOL*

Recently I bought a Starfruit to try to get some variety into TCS's diet. He didn't eat the fruit, but I planted the seeds and sure enough, I think I have three tiny trees starting.

Today is transplant day for my little herbs. I am going to put these wee seedlings into great huge pots that will hopefully go onto the wine deck in about 6 weeks. I have actually planned these pots, a la Deanne, although they won't look nearly as spiffy! The plant area in the sunroom/kitchen is a real mess: the mandevilla that I tried to keep going all winter has dropped most of its leaves, the hibiscus has whitefly, the amaryllis is done and is just long green leaves, and I also have managed to kill off my favourite orchid. The men are going to Golf Town today, so I think I will pull everything out of there and see what I can salvage. Bright, sunny and warm there with floor to ceiling windows facing south east. One of the big bonuses of this house!

So I am off!



    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 8:44AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Sounds as tho not even flu and basement woes keeps you down, Julie - onward to more JJ jobs!

Anxiously awaiting Kathy's roving reporter news and photos from her garden show visit - and waving hi to Denise!!! neat for idyll meet-ups.

'bug, I think you and Chelone are the smarter of us - I get lulled into the early Spring mode and am devastated by the return of winter -- you two knew better than to be taken in by those sly and cruel hints. Hoping not to see any cars in ditches again this winter, tho -- our one storm called "Car-mageddon" was enuf abandoned vehicles for me to last a life-time - it was a most bizarre experience and vision.

So, I guess I'm going to have to think of things to occupy myself this weekend (o no, cleaning?) and bring the agapanthus pots back inside tonite (or cover them up w/ sheets I think.... then they're on their own).

Still having difficulties with service folks either (1) showing up for estimates; (2) writing estimates or 3) even returning calls. It's depressing. I just am not sure I'm up to buying and using a chain saw on a ladder -- somehow I dont see this as a new skill I could develop safely.... I guess I can live with the other stuff undone for now - but gotta get that poor crepe myrtle taken care of!

Heard that with this cold spell it will shorten the Cherry Blossom display this year - and they'll reach "peak" and go over early next week.... with the early heat and now frost expected, it's going to be a short time -- it's rare it ever lasts as long as they hope.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 9:02AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We had our biggest snowfall of the winter yesterday! We got 8-10 inches here - Randy is still outside snow-blowing. We had planned to go into Toronto to see an exhibit at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). Maybe tomorrow...

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 10:19AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Egad, Woody! (altho I think the folks in NE would likely say 8 inches - piffle) - I think CT has gotten over 164 inches or some bizarre amount this year. I will hope for cold temps but NO snow this weekend here.

I'm primarily writing here because we have the dubious honor of being Spammed Alot again. and much as it's nice to go down memory lane on the idyll threads, this is ridiculous!

(P.S. - Kathy -- Stella inherited some of those things and they need to be culled since many she's uninterested in.... and I confess there are other baskets on each floor - and her favs continue to be one's her predecessor did not like or things like medicine bottles and kleenex... go figure)


    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 12:53PM
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Little Stella in her pile of toys made me laugh. I can't quite wrap my head around how tiny she is! I exited the house at 4:45 AM with the Hugest of Dogs and was greeted by the sight of a snow dusting on things. Nothing like Woody's "dumpage", but just enough to privide some sparkle in the moonlight.

It's going to be a big day here on the Compound. The tree guy is coming to take down the big maple and a weedy, tall pine. So it will also be a loud day. :( I can hardly wait for the chipper to be fired up. Not. We contacted him a couple of days ago and he called yesterday to see if he could come today... no time like the present, right. I wish some of his enthusiasm could be sent your way, Cindy.

I discovered my lone group of Snowdrops the other day, I think there are 4 of them. Talk about a "garden statement", lol. There are also some signs of crocus and narcissus activity in warmer, foundation locations, and the indomitable phlox is gleaming neon green, too. Amazing! To add a more sober note to the fleeting thoughts of spring I fired up the stove in the Salon at 5:30AM and am enjoying the warmth it casts.

OH! the helpmeet's "germamyum" cuttings have been potted on and are looking great. He's been threatening to set up the grow lights to help them along with "full spectrum" light. And all this serves as a reminder to me to get working on the window boxes and the corbels that will go under them. They are destined for the big southerly window in the Salon (where Saucy sleeps). ;)

Gotta get to work, so see y'all later.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 7:12AM
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Hi Everyone! Seems like we are all waiting anxiously for the weather to abate. It is cold here, but sunny. I haven't been following because I have been taking care of my mother this week while my sister is in Georgia for some classes. They live together and my mom can't be left alone anymore. Yesterday they removed s suspicious spot from her face. The doctor is pretty sure it is skin cancer, but we will not know until the pathology comes back in 6 - 10 days.

I went to the succulent show and sale at the Cleveland Botanical Garden last weekend and got a few interesting plants. I was looking for a graptopetalum because I can't find any around here. I had a beautiful one a couple of years ago but I killed it. Now I know what they are and how to take care of them. I also got a really cool kalanachoe. It looks like it is frosted. I will try to take some pics next week after my sister gets back.

I have another job interview today, not with the same place. I decided that I can't wait for the first place to call me, because they might not. I think I may have offended some people in the second interview. It was with 3 the managers for customer service, perennials, and annuals. I was talking about my garden, mentioned my potager. They didn't know what that was. Sooo, I know now to be careful about what I say. But it was the largest place around here, and they have about 7 or 8 branches. I thought for sure I should let them know about my plant experience. Today I will be on the down low. And did I mention I hate job interviews??? Especially when I am under the gun to find a job?

Chelone, how cool that your geraniums rooted! Very exciting.

Woody, that is a lot of snow this late in the season. Hope we are done for the year. Yesterday we had scattered flakes, but nothing stuck.

Cindy, Stella is too cute! Hope you find some good people to do your work. It is hard, especially at this time of the year when they all start getting busy.

Bug, Ivy is so adorable!!! And big. They grow so fast. Hope Phoebe is fine today.

Norma your barn is awesome!!! So pretty, and useful too!

Well, I better go run the vacuum, put the dogs out so they can run a little, and get myself ready for this interview. So stressful! Forgot to mention that my fingerprint check came back, so far I am not a criminal and now just have to wait two weeks for my password to get into the computer system so I can start trying to be a sub. Crossed fingers. I won't get much in this year, but will be all set for next fall, and I have a window appt tommorrow, so that should start getting busier too now that the weather has broken.

Hope you all have a great day!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:13AM
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Drema, reading your comments about your Mom brought back so many memories. Some fun, some not so fun. All I can say is that I have a pretty good idea what you're feeling now and want to you know you're in my thoughts. It ain't easy.

And, I don't think you offended anyone at your interview, at all! In fact, I think the fact that you mentioned your potager and none of them knew what it was makes you look pretty terrific and very knowledgeable. :) They'll really miss the boat if they don't snatch you up immediately! But good move on continuing to interview. It's always wise to keep your eggs in multiple baskets, my friend. I'm pullin' for you from my own little angst filled "coHnuh".

It isn't nearly as loud as I expected it would be, but they have yet to fire up the chipper. ;)

(Back to my cushions. Boring off-white vinyl with forest green welting. Enhh... )

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 9:51AM
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A day off here. I recently realized that I need to take 19 days off before July 1. This is great except that one of the full-time CSR's quit. So we are short staffed and I'm interviewing again. I'm not going to lose those days though so they'll have to get by without me. This means lots of time in my garden hopefully. Not today though. We got a light dusting of snow overnight and the temp is 32 degrees.

I'm wiped out these days when I get home from work. I started experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath. So I had several tests to make sure its not heart related. At this point its still unexplained which is very frustrating to me. So I've not even felt like doing much including reading here.

I plan on picking up Kenzie after school and stopping at a nursery or 2. Maybe I can find some pansies or something to put in the pillar planters. A week or so ago I removed the lanterns with the Christmas greenery. It's spring after all!

My sister and family are here from Wisconsin so we will spend some time at my parents house also this weekend.

I've not even walated this week with temps barely reaching 40. Last week was so nice and once again I lamented about not planting snowdrops.

Drema, I'm thinking of you as you help your mom. How nice though that your sister can live with her. Right now I'm hating interviews also. I wish I could hire you!

'bug, I'm amazed at the pictures of Ivy how much they remind me of my DD when she was that age. She is certainly adorable.

Cindy, I'm sure you will have a very special relationship with Isla. Just get her in the garden and give her a "mud kitchen" like Eden's grandkids have.

Chelone, the rug is a nice touch for the seating area.

After reading 'bug's list of 1 minute things I decided to figure out the music selections on the dish tv receiver. It just seems somewhat foreign to think of listening to music through the TV.

Even though I don't have a "Debbie" I'm trying to make it a Debbie Day here. So I'd best get going if I'm going to leave in 2 1/2 hours to get the Princess.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 1:06PM
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Michelle I hate to hear you are not feeling up to par. I hope you get some answers soon. Nineteen days off sounds good. That should make for some short work weeks and good days in the garden. Have fun with Kenzie and enjoy your family this weekend.

I think I have had three naps today. I must be making up for lost sleep. A blustery day after several nice ones just called for curling up too.

Wyatt and Jakes other grandpa passed away today. He had not been well for sometime now and it was expected but still hard. He and Jake were especially close.

Drema How did the interview go? I love succulents but can't seem to keep them through the winter.

Chelone I guess you can't be mad at the helpmeet anymore now that you will have additional geraniums for the window boxes. I would like to put hayracks under the barn windows. I have one already so I would only have to buy one more. We need to be building the doors but the weather is holding us up. I would like to paint the various parts before assembly, so we need warmer drier weather.

Not much else for now.

Have a good weekend all. Norma

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 8:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 10:24PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Michelle sorry you're feeling ill. I did notice when you didn't chime in here for a while. I wondered, but life gets busy, so I try not to worry. My sister has lots of problems, but the latest included shortness of breath. She was diagnosed with Asthma. So she now has to use an inhaler. Apparently there are a lot things that can cause chest pains. I've linked a list, although I'm sure your Doctors will/have tested for lots of stuff.

March 21 was our 30th anniversary. We didn't do anything, but we did remark several times on the sheer number of married years. Since I've regained much of my health, I feel so young most days. I feel a sense of disbelief that I've been married that long, and have kids in their late 20's! How did that happen?

I haven't had much work, but it comes in waves. Hopefully I'll get enough work to pay bills, and buy extras. I keep wondering what else I could do to earn money, but seem limited by skill and mindset.

I really skim over spammers so barely notice them, but I did enjoy rereading and seeing all the pics, too.

Chelone, love the chair and rug setup. It looks picked for the chairs, or vice versa.

Cindy, the commute from hell to the awfice of hell. Doesn't sound fair at all. My sister puts on a taped book, and listens to a story to help while away the miles. She likes it even more than music. Maybe it would help to ease the pain of such a commute.

Stella's a cutie all right. She looks like she has good taste in bows and toys, too.

Kathy lucky you seeing your DS perform, and hearing him at home. The shower is good for the voice if I remember right.

New bed or new plumbing, I'd really be torn. I love a new mattress, but I love the water saving features on a new toilet nowadays. Sounds like you're getting both anyway.

You sound like a great gram. You're supposed to be totally in love with your grandkids. It's in the rule books.

Norma, love the barn. It looks like its built by a pro and the colours are just right, too.

Marie I love the list. I just did 4 9 and 12. It only took a couple of minutes too. Just as written. :)

Hope Phoebe's completely over the chokes. Hate when pets get sick. Leah is terrible on her walks, but is learning to not eat things, when I catch her about to, and say 'Leave it', in a firm voice. she gets as sick as a dog when she finds food. Did I say I hate it when she gets sick?

Love the Ivy pics, especially her braving the snow, no problem. She must be Canadian. ;)

Julie I've been noticing your absence, too. I can't seem to help it. I wonder where people are when they're not here. I hope you stay healthy. I've been neglecting certain JJobs so your presence serves as a reminder to get right on it.

(((Drema))), so sorry about your mom. How scary for her, and you.

Good luck on the job hunting. I'm rooting for you. I'm glad the subbing is coming together for you. Who knows where that will lead.

I just wanted to thank you for your kind words re my writing when I showed an excerpt. Those words truly warmed my heart. I am so shaky on all of my abilities because in most things I am such a clutz, and a chicken. I don't want to stay that way, so I fight it. Words like that help me to move forward.

Woody did you see those commercials about how Canada doesn't let cold weather stop us. Yeah right. I don't blame you for avoiding going out in the snow, one bit.
Hope you get to go to AGO, today.

Marie, cute pic. Watch out, it might attack.

Off to sleepy land,

Morning all,


Here is a link that might be useful: CHEST PAIN

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 4:22AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Yeona - we did go to the AGO yesterday to see the show linked below. It was very interesting. The jewellery on display was unbelievable, as was the custom Star of India Rolls Royce! (I wonder how much insurance cost to cover the show?!) You can read about the Rolls Royce here:

Here is a link that might be useful: AGO exhibition

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 10:39AM
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We are having Thunder Snow. Big Flakes too. If it keeps this up as it is suppose too. The dafodils will be smashed in no time at all.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Absolutely beautiful today, although a bit colder than it ought to be for the last week of March. Low-mid 30s and very stiff northeast breeze, definitely a "hat day". But crystal clear and the strong sun reminds that once the cold breaks it will be springtime. I'm good with that.

We consolidated the newly felled trees' rounds, gathered up remaining brush and put in the burn pile. We dropped two very elderly apple trees and bucked those up, too. I trimmed up the Viburnums we planted last fall, moving on to the Grey dogwoods and then we cut down the grasses. All the brush has been hauled off to the site of the future pyre and the tools have been put away. I'm tired! Thoughts on it all:
1.) We have a -hitload of firewood to split and stack. And the site will look great when it's cleaned up. I'm looking forward to it, actually.
2.) The newly opened space will provide a much better location for the Picea "Ommorika", as it's mature size will be accommodated more graciously that the other site that was under consideration. It doesn't matter to me that I'll never see its full potential, I only hope the next owner here admires it. It's a handsome tree with a lovely, graceful "droop" to the branches.
3.) I'm not pleased about the unparalleled view of the road and the passing minions, but I can see that the Great Drainage Caper and another year of growth on the plantings is helping us "gain ground" on the more privacy. So, I have renewed hope.

Yeah, Norma, it's pretty hard to stay angry with the helpmeet for very long. Charming, debonair, and without a mean bone in his body, who could? Any residual irritation is quickly dissipated with one of his "heat seeking" humorous comments. It's not possible to remain pissed off and laugh at the same time. :)

So here's a toast for Yeona and Richea and 30 yrs. worth of compromise, "inside jokes", and commitment. A "quality person" makes it all so much easier, doesn't it?

The helpmeet is due to return with sandwiches from a favorite shop, BIN shellac, and some ammonia for the clean up and a couple of laundry loads (pet bedding). I'm hungry, too. Oops, he's here!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 2:42PM
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Evenin Idylls ! The sun has come out this afternoon-a brief visit as another storm will be rolling in. Rumor has it that we will start to dry up next week. One can dream !

Enjoyed my visit to the SF Garden Show, but was a failure at updates ! And as is usually the case , my photos came out crappy ..the lighting at these events is no bueno for photography. Saw some great speakers, bought some plants, and the weather was miserable !

This was one of my favorite outdoor chandelier , using battery operated Christmas candles. From SF Garden Show

How simple is this ? This olive tree was festooned with several of these, wide mouth mason jars , with some moss in the bottom and tea lights From SF Garden Show

Another chandelier From SF Garden Show

Denise ponders at the Succulent Garden booth From SF Garden Show

later friends !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 7:49PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Just thought I'd show you my hint of spring. As you can see, not much going on garden wise, but still it's nice to see some colour.

Woody, glad you got to AGO, after all. Maybe they're right about Canadians in that ad, after all. :) Thanks for the link. Loved the Rolls Royce. DD would love a ride in that.

Norma sorry about the Thunder Snow. Hope my only daff helps to ease the pain.

Chelone thanks for the anniversary toast. Yes, he is quality and does the heat seeking joke thing too. I seldom spend time in anger.

Glad someone's getting the trees trimmed up. The camelias are reaching the sky as we speak. And an unknown tree is eating the side of the house. Hopefully DH will get up on the ladder and start chopping as soon as the blooms are done.

Kathy cool plant-o-liers. I especially love the succulent chandelier. Whenever I see a bunch of living plants that can be suspended or hung, I want to go out right away and do that. Too bad it takes money.

I've got walk Leah, so I'm off.

Evening all,


This is my next planned purchase. I just love Abies Koreana, for the neat cones.

Abies koreana 'Luminetta

Here is a link that might be useful: Abies koreana 'Luminetta'

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 8:42PM
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I think the shots of the SF GaHden Show were just fine, Kathy. Better than I'd've supplied. ;)

I love the indigo cones on Abies koreana "Luminetta", Yeona. So pretty. And what is the pretty pink confection in the first shot?

The Salon is downright toxic this morning. Yesterday I applied the first coat of sealer to the inside of the window box pieces and this morning I've finished the second. I have the stove cooking along and the windows cracked so there should be some improvement in time. Next step will be assembly and then the application of the stain to the exteriors. It's my hope that the installation will coincide with that of the awning hardware. I'm behind on the awnings and need to get cracking on them.

We pooled our efforts yesterday and took down the pediments over the windows... do you think it was time?? Lol. I will try to get the frames stripped to day and the spent greens out to the "burn pile", but it's going to be cold to day and I don't relish the job with bare fingers. May just save that for another day.

Rumor has it that some friends will be stopping by later today and we'll share a meal before they head off to their final destination. I've heard rumors of shish kabobs on the grill; I hope that is fulfilled. Yum-yum.

And there is the question of the wireless printer, too. I may just call in the BIL to do that for me today. I have come to the conclusion that enlisting the assistance of those capable and interested in that stuff beats the hell out of self-inflicted frustration. There's too much frustration involved in dealing with Dirtyland to heap on more when I'm at home, you know?

OK,time to head into the house and take care of a few more piddly chores while the sealer sets up and the influx of fresh, cold air and the stove do battle. Later!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 7:56AM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

I agree Chelone. Hire help if you can.

I like unusual plants. I've linked a site with some unusuals. Habla espaniol? I don't understand what they say but we both speak plant.

This one looks like an alien.


Here is a link that might be useful: Re: plantas y flores curiosas

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 3:48PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Just a fly-by to say hi to everyone. I am hoping to be back in the spring Idyll swing by mid-April. Putting in 10-hour days at school (thank goodness I don't have your commute, Cindy-you are a stronger woman than I) and going in on Saturdays, too. Ugh. Home is wearing as well right now, so I check in here and on FB, but no energy for long comments.

Smiling at the pictures and looking forward to reconnecting.

See you all in about four weeks.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 4:06PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Sunday everyone! Bright and beautiful-looking out there today but is cold. Really really ready for some nice Spring temps.

On the plus side, I have managed two JulieJobs that I hate: cleaning up the dog treasures, and cleaning out the fridge. DH did a big grocery shop so the food had a decent place to go.

TCS had a disappointing day yesterday. He belongs to a Cub troop and they had a large district car rally yesterday. The kids make their own cars out of little kits supplied by the troop, and they hold a race day once a year. TCS had the fastest car in his troop, and was really looking forward to the big day. There were 80 plus racers there. TCS did great in his preliminary races, came first in the semi finals, went on to the finals and tied for first. They had a run-off and he came second. Just as he was about to collect his much-desired trophy, a parent from another troop came forward to say that her child had missed a race and should be allowed to compete again. They did a check of the preliminary results and TCS had one fewer first place than the other child, so they removed him from the finals and allowed the new racer in. Her car came second, and the first and third place children were the same ones as before. The upshot is that the boy who won the third place trophy had just been beaten by TCS's car not ten minutes before, and TCS got nothing. We brought home a very sad little boy. However, as we told him, life's lessons are hard. The result did not seem fair to us, but life isn't always fair. There are many disappointments, you might not get that job, you might not get into the college you hoped to, you might not make the team, for whatever reasons, you have to deal with it as best you can and get on with things. After all the prizes were not large and he is no better or worse off than he was the day before. I am proud of his acceptance, and of his statements such as, "well, I was still in the top six, and my car was still the best in my troop, and Paul (Scout leader) said he was proud of my behaviour". Paul will acknowledge the situation at the Cub meeting on Wednesday. Oh the drama in my life!!

Although I did have some more serious issues to deal with last week resulting in several sleepless nights and not much appetite. When I get stressed, I clean, so my house looks great. I also transplanted my little seedlings from the peat pots to larger pots and rearranged all the plants so that adequate light is available for them. I discovered an old Amaryllis bulb in the basement, potted it up and put it in a window, and I will be rewarded with a large bloom in the near future. Little things can do a lot to brighten a day.

Time for me to toddle off to prepare hot hors d'oeuvres (sp), a Sunday night tradition here. DD and BF will join us as they are picking up their dog after a week vacation. It will be nice to see them, haven't had a chance to sit and gab for a while.



    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 4:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wonders will never cease! The return of Cyn to anticipate, clematis in Yeona's gardens already, snowthunder at Norma's, Rolls Royce talk at Woody's...

Here we have had a guest speaker at out environmental group this morning, followed by a nice lunch at the Aberfoyle Mill with friends from 30+ years ago. I guess we are all grayer and more entrenched in our ways...

It is sunny and cold and very beautiful outside! I REALLY REALLY want to phone the tree man to come do his magic here...but DH is hemming and hawing and I need his financial input!

My garden friends have made that is very nice news. I hope to see them in April!

Phoebe had a wonderful haircut and received a poor report card on bathtub behavior. Dogs, it seems, are not supposed to lunge out of tubs 3-4 times before getting shampooed. But she was an angel for grooming and is poofy and fluffy and looks huge. At least she smells good!

Tomorrow I entertain for Book Club with dinner, Nigerian slides and discussion of the Biafran War. Then I can move on at last to other fun. One of those fun things is making dresses for Ivy. I'll share about that when I know more. I am a bit more relaxed about Skyler and his schooling since I heard that his teachers, father and DD are all on the same page. It is his Mom who is on her own page. To have DSIL more confident means a lot to me. DD is also planning on being a soccer coach for Skyler's team. (I'm sure he'll love it but that his mother will be furious...which is not the intent at all.) DD is a natural for it and needs to get out and do things she enjoys now that she's back at work.

On the latest front, DS & DH will be off together in Montevideo Uruguay in early May and DS may move to Haiti for the whole year. I'm not enchanted by that thought at all, but we will see what actually occurs over time.

Have you heard all the new bird sounds? Today we are still seeing snow buntings and I just love them!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Cold here, too, you guys! Strong winds that are now out of the northwest. A northeast wind (off the water) can be cold but it's also humid. Out of the northwest is usually dry and just plain cold. We barely cracekd 32F even with strong sunshine. A hat day!

Cynthia, I have thought about you every time the Wisconsin wrestling match was shown on TV! and I think of you now that questions about a 4 day school week and other ways of scheduling the "school year" are coming up in my state. I'm no fan of unions but neither do I think "busting" them is an answer. The only "good" business deal is the one where both parties are agreed. Only through compromise is that accomplished. "Good thoughts to the cosmos" (a Mum-ism) for peace on the home front.

TCS has learned an important lesson, Julie. Not without good help and good humor, either! Kids are the bell weathers of "life". They're the ones who are smart enough to see injustice the minute it starts. And they're the ones who are able to deal with it and move on most swiftly. Another reason I hate kids. (And dogs). I watch kids and I marvel that anyone is able to deal with them for a day, let alone a week. But I know that finding a way to accommodate their need to learn is the swiftest way to get through a day. It's a S L O W DOWN thing. And it's about enjoying the scenery along the way, isn't it?

Trees that respired in the morning and are vanished by evening make me sort of sad. It took a long time to grow 4 trunks upwards of 40' an now the bounty lies on the ground waiting to be recycled into heat. Broken pieces on the ground don't have the cache of swaying branches. There is a "science" to taking something that massive down... and I would really like to go up the bucket, the view must be gorgeous! I may ask next time since I want my "money's worth"!

We heard the first Redwing Blackbird yesterday. It's still cold, but the next time the weather breaks it will be for good. The Pride has been scorin' heavy with voles and other equally foolhardy rodents. Polly had a bird the other day, but when she saw the helpmeet and "talked" to him she dropped it and it flew off. Did it survive the night? dunno.

Rex had a meltdown yesterday, 'bug. He's been a real dink with "walkers" lately and I have gone on the rampage for a strict obedience approach to things. He was put on leash when our neighbor came over with his 7 mo. puppy. I am unwilling to tolerate a dog that charges over to people and other dogs and insists on being "large and in charge". He continually broke command (down/stay) and there was a lot of whining. He wasn't happy when he was "corrected", either. But I kept putting him back on command and reinforcing the command. I like the "down/stay" for him because it reinforces lower status and the necessity to wait for "further orders"; he's also a big, strong dog and the "down/stay" gives me a little more control. I was surprised, embarrassed, and irritated that he had a notion challenging me might be OK. and it reinforces my resolve to ralley the helpmeet to the obedience cause. I could tell the guy with the puppy was uncomfortable, but I explained to him why I was so insistant and he understood. He wants to hunt his puppy and obedience work is a huge part of that training, too. So I think Phoebe gets the nod for "most tractable". :) (more beatings, I say!)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 6:52PM
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Raining. There were JJ's done however; I expect that by next weekend we will see warm temps and explosive growth. No time for indoors at that point. The National Weather Service has presented me with a forecast that includes daytime temps that start with a seven, nighttime temps that start with a 5. At last ! My poor garden is a veritable swamp.

Julie your fortitude and patience with TCS is admirable. That young man would be in a bad way if he had been in the hand I was dealt. I just don't have what you have. It seems encouraging that he stood tall in the car race issue.

Yeona, there was a book published , maybe last year on bizarre plants. I loved your link.

Hi Cyn ! I've seen you swoop in over on FB upon occasion, we look forward to having you back here on a more regular basis.

�bug, very nice indeed that DD will coach Skylars soccer team. And he'll learn about avoiding nepotism too I'll bet.

Ok , all for now, I need to cook some dinner and read awhile. It's closing night for Gypsy tonight, and the JC Superstar rehearsals are going full tilt. After that we have the the summer production of As You Like It. Theater is alive and well at the Kathy house.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:45PM
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Another cold one on tap today. And it looks like more of the same for the rest of the week. I have a couple of patches of crocus that are attempting to open but have thusfar refused. I think they're shivering!

I keep reminding myself how nice the next really warm day is going to feel. Hope springs eternal.

Yesterday I clipped some of the crossed and useless interior branches on the Viburnums. I trimmed up the Grey Dogwoods, nipped the longest tips of the Nootkatensis, and gave the disappointing Clethra "Ruby Spice" a major haircut. The grasses were cut back and I discovered the first evidence that the Korean Rhodo. has been broken by careless snow removal. :(

We've set some plans for the continued development of the Fertile Crescent and have called the guy who was in charge of the Great Drainage Caper to come over and walk through the laundry list with us.

Killing time until I can get to Dirtyland. (this is getting really old).

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 6:39AM
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I'm up and ready for my first day of work - well first day of training. Two weeks of training and then I'll be ready. I'm so excited. I hope that I like it as much as I have dreamed that I'll like it. I have all the appropriate comfort gear pulled together: hats, gloves, boots, comfy warm socks, flannel lined pants, and a nice red barn jacket over the top. I feel a bit like Paula Bunyan.

DD will be great as a soccer coach! Right up her alley. Sometimes I feel sorry for Skylar's mom because she just can't get on board. Life could be so much easier - even for her ;) and especially for Skylar. He naturally must defend his mother which must cause problems, too. My best thoughts are always with your little family, GB (that is not so little anymore!).

Cyn, I enjoy it when I see you pop in here and there and know you must be busy. I hope I will be able to keep up here as I begin this new job. Pretty soon it will be summer!

Chelone, you've made so many changes to the compound since I've known you - it's amazing! Maybe you're not as in tune to the changes because you live there, but when I see the new road screen and all the changes you've made to pathways and beds, I'm truly amazed! I am always struck with how much I need to get on the ball and start taking the steps that you take! I get stuck in the overwhelming aspect of it seems to know that you need to take logical steps.

So chandeliers, huh? That could be a fun project. I see those little battery tea lights on sale all the time. I wonder how they'd do floating in a glass of rainwater, though? He he...I know I'd never bring them in. If only I could drill a drain hole in the bottom of the jar - wonder if that is possible?

Deanne needed a chandelier for her upper "room" in her garden too, remember?

I hope that you feel better soon, Michelle. 19 days will be fun to use for gardening! Did you find your pansies? I'm sure they're here, too, but tucked away inside. I keep seeing primrose at the home stores.

My neighbor that I do so much work for is sad to see me go to work at another job, but she has devised a plan so that I can help with our annual "Plantapalooza" and make some extra money. I'm always rewarded with plants, too, at a time of the year when I really enjoy them. She and I took a little trip to Logee's the other day just to talk and enjoy the greenhouses. We both came home with a little something ;)

I'm going to go and get ready, pack my lunch. It feels like the first day of school!


    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 6:41AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

REALLY busy here as always. The weather continues cold so I'm not feeling motivated to get outside today. I've gotten a good deal of the back gardens cleaned out for the spring but haven't touched the front yet. The city plows did a number on the front lawn last winter so I've got to get that fixed before our Conservancy tour in July.

One of my winter projects is helping to keep track of a pair of Peregrine Falcons that look like they are planning to move into Nashua. We haven't had a breeding pair here in my lifetime so this is a wonderful thing. Here's a pic of the male

Wanted to thank Kathy for posting those great shots of the living chandeliers! Fabulous ideas for me and as Saucy said I�d like to put a chandelier up in my outdoor room on the hill. Must give this some thought.

OK I've got to run and start the daily watering chores. Can't wait to get these plants outside! Waving hello to one and all. Have a great day

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 7:02AM
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That Peregrine is just beautiful. We have hawks hereabouts, but I'm not sure what sort... usually don't have my glasses on, let alone a pair of binoculars! I love the verdigris background. And I really love that they evidently don't care a fig about moving into metropolitan areas.

The window boxes have been assembled and they're huge. Yikes. I think I'll postpone the staining until we have a break in the weather and I can set them up outside in the sunshine. The bleaching oil stain is pretty strong and I've no desire to fill the Salon with it.

It is such a nice time of year. I am sure Saucy is going to enjoy her time out and about. It's hard to remain gloomy when you're out in the sunshine. I hope you've had the good sense to slather on the sunscreen. And I hope this job turns out to be all you hope.

Saucy, you're not the only one who gets overwhelmed by the immensity of a project. Happens to me all the time. And it's frustrating to have to focus on site work, tree work, materials acquisition, and all the back-breaking work to get the area ready. It always feels as though the results are so puny in comparison with the work. I'm "an ant" and I always have been. I am genetically programmed to make a list, pick away at things, keep my head down, and focus on the job at hand. It often seems that what I have as a vision in my mind takes so long to achieve. And for the most part I rarely take the time consider how much has been accomplished because I'm busy keeping my head down and plugging along. I'd have made a great ox. ;)

19 days of leisure, Michelle?! Lucky duck, so I'm hoping you're feeling better very soon. A bit too early for pansies here, I think. Though the remaining snow is receding steadily and Rex is running out of places to do "rolie-polies" close to the house.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 5:40PM
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I'm tired, but it was fun! Actually fun. We walked around and identified host trees of the Asian Longhorned beetle. 12 species of trees that we must know how to identify with NO LEAVES :) I was surprised at how quickly we all picked it up.

I do need to study, though, as we need to break out the maple into the different varieties....and the Hackberry is hard to spot, too ;)

Wow Deanne!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 6:22PM
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Colder than normal here although the end of the week is suppose to be around 55.

I'm waiting on dinner of baked fish and crash hot potatoes. Watching American Pickers, that show is right up my alley. I come from a family of junkers after all.

The reason I have 19 days is that I finally convenienced the company to do PTO instead of vacation and sick leave. I rarely stay home because I'm sick and I gained an extra week off also.

Wow, Deanne that's an amazing shot. I love the verdigris.

The chandliers remind me of the store that I took Kenzie to recently. Its a non-profit for Habitat for Humanity. People donate all kinds of building stuff. I perused the hanging lights but didn't see anything that would was neat enough. We had fun though.

Saucy, your job sounds interesting. I hope its a good fit for you. No pansies, I'd even settle for primroses but haven't seen those either. I really need something in the pillar pots. I'm jealous of your trip to Logees. I got their catalog this year and enjoyed looking at all the really cool and unusual plants.

Yeona, the Abies Koreana 'Luminetta' is very cool. Thanks for the link.


    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 8:27PM
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Deanne that picture is a wowser!

As I was scrolling down Bug's picture of the cat tail caught my eye too. LOL thats typical and cute.

Sounds like everyone is gearing up for the busy season.

Saucy, I have learned to identify more trees by their bark since we have lived here, but still could learn a lot more. The young trees are sometimes harder for me.
So happy you like the work.

Julie that had to be heartbreaking for TCS. I'm glad he was able to deal with it as good as he did. I hope whatever is causing your sleepless nights passes quickly.

Kathy I like the chandoliers too. And Michelle I was just reading about the Habitat for Humanity store deal. We like American Pickers here too.

I had running to do this morning so not much got accomplished around here today. I had paint mixed to match the barn so I can paint the doors Bob is building. He is coming down with a cold though so it may get put on hold for a few days.
I also stopped by the nursery. I was going to use my coupon towards another hayrack planter, but couldn't decide if the ones they had matched the one I have. So I browsed the greenhouse and enjoyed the blooms and the smell was heavenly. There were lime trees in bloom in there among other things.

I took soome pictures this morning. Things didn't look to bad after having six inches of snow on them. I wonder about tonight though since most of the snow is gone and it's to be pretty cold. I put them on a seperate thread.

Yeona I still want to visit the unusal plant link you posted.

Hi Cyn.

This thread is nearing the end and we will hit the five hundred mark. Amazing.

goodnight all. N

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 9:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Fun time with book club tonight...I even forgot dessert! Oh my!

WOW Deanne. Super shot! Good to have you here!

Saucy, love seeing you here too. Hope this job is even better than you hoped. I too sometimes feel sorry for Skyler's mom because she just can't get on board. But I get over it fast because she makes zero effort and is so full of anger. I wish she'd work on that and her "poor me" attitude. Anger is a waste of time.(Last week she couldn't attend Skyler's ski day. When DSIL asked about it she deliberately gave him the wrong location. How dumb is that? Anyway, they are wise to her and went to the right location and enjoyed the day together)

Thursday I get to work with a really good seamstress who has started making things for little Miss Ivy. I'm eager to see what she's been up to. I go there on Thursday. She's from Holland.

I got email from DD. It seems DSIL is now teaching Ivy the Latin names of animals. OYYYYYYYYYY!

DH wants to dig into dessert maybe I'll help him!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 9:52PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

It was warmer here today at 11 C, but that's due to a thick rain cloud, holding all the heat in. It's supposed to drop to the cool single digits again tomorrow.

Gardening is a great anti depressant. I pulled down old stocks and tidied up a few shrubs. I want to move a caryopteris that impedes the path, so that's my big project for this week.

Chelone sorry about Rex. It is very hard to watch people not caring about their more aggressive, barky dogs. When I see a dog go into an aggressive mode, I act immediately, use my interruption techniques. It's just a sound I make, really. I learned about that from the controversial Dog Whisperer. So far it has worked in many instances and people thank me; though I feel foolish, as it is not a whisper, but in fact the opposite. I am alpha, hear me roar?

Julie, glad TCS was able to turn lemons into lemonade. That's a very important talent. My DS was told not to race at all when he won first place at his cub group, many years ago, as most kids were never even placed, but we decided to go anyway, and Evan came in second. His scout leader said maybe it was a good idea to try. Duhhhh. If you don't try, you'll never know. It says right on the pendant to 'Do your best'.

Sorry about the more serious issues. I hope you come out the other side quickly.

Deanne gorgeous pic of that Peregrine Falcon. I love the claws. Just a subtle reminder of it's predator status.

Saucy I love that good kind of tired. The one that comes with satisfyingly hard, but fun, work.

Cyn, have a good month. Look forward to seeing you when you're able.

Kathy which do you like better, Gypsy or JC songs?

Norma glad the garden didn't suffer too much from the snow. I sometimes think we suffer far more than our gardens in the winter. You'd think we'd find it easier to go through winters, given how long we've been doing it for.

Marie, bookclub night must have been good, for you to forget dessert. If I could eat dessert I don't think I'd ever forget it. Ivy is getting an ivy league education I see. Lucky girl!

Evan's challenge. He was asked to go down a ladder and his fear of heights stopped him cold. He's going to have to practice going up to higher and higher heights before he can do it on the job. I get dizzy when I have to look down from a height, but have never let that stop me. For years I went twice a year at least, to Lynn Canyon and walked the suspension bridge, to thumb my nose at my fear of heights. People would stop and ask me if I were all right all the time, because I'd be white as a sheet with pinprick irises.

I've got to go walk Leah.



Here's a couple of pics of Evan's car and wolf pendant.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 3:05AM
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Yeona I'm afraid of hieghts too. Love that picture though.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 7:35AM
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Doesn't feel like spring today. Bob was down for the count this morning and since we were out of seasoned firewood Rebel and I went to the woods looking for downed limbs and small dead trees. I managed to cut up two tractor bucket loads so the fire is cooking right along again. I hope the rain snow mix we are supposed to get blows on around us. We need to dry out a bit.
I made chilli and cornbread for lunch. A good day for it.
I really need to go down and finish the work in the basement. Might be able to get to that since I feel more alert today. I quit taking my alergy meds to see if that was what was making me so groggy. I kind of think it was that.
I was really begining to think Our old cat Jasmine wasn't going to wake up today. I called to her twice before she moved at all and it was late. She roused a bit but didn't get up. I later took her food in to her and she ate a little but wasn't really interested. I've never been around an older declineing cat so don't really know what to expect. She is almost eighteen. Is that really old for a cat?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 2:24PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I just submitted the last assignment for my course. What a relief - I now have my life back...! It'll be interesting to see how I do on the course. Up to this point, my average for the assignments submitted is 89, but I skimped on this last one so it's hard to say what my final grade will be.

Norma - you've certainly been active today - wow! Your talk of wood gathering made me think of Marian and Nolon - I wonder how they're doing...? 18 is old for a cat so, sadly, it sounds like she's in her final days.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 2:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Congratulations Woody!

Jasmine, take it easy old girl and stay warm in a sunny window.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 3:48PM
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I have been thinking about how best to display my collection of Breyer model horses. I have a lot of them and I have a lot of interesting things to do with horse racing.

It was on this day, March 29, 1917 that the incomparable Man O' Was foaled.

Another fun and useless fact to know and tell.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 6:37PM
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Welcome back Woody! I'm sure your grade will be good.

I'm going to give this thread a final push in hopes Spring really will get here. Bye.....................

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 7:24PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Only since being on the web (which I consider a short time) have I observed people who have collections. I have a friend who has collected rabbits over the years. I think it has been a fine thing as she travels extensively and it gives a focus to all those trips to exotic markets around the world. But soon it reached the point where she was forced to collect only particularly good/interesting/quality/exotic ..whatever rabbits. Space was an issue! There were filled china cabinets, tops of bookshelves and more furniture laden with bunnies. There were china plates, rabbit teapots, rabbit pot holders, bunny sweaters... they were everywhere! I'm not sure that she has entirely stopped her collecting days, but people have certainly been told that they are not accepting rabbit gifts any longer.

Needless to say, a display of Breyer horses is beyond me. I wish I had a good idea for you Chelone. The people I know have allowed the collecting thing to get WAAAAY out of hand as I see it, but I think having a deep love of something in particular is a wonderful thing. Keeping treasures in boxes is rather silly. They should be viewed. So I guess I'll stick to clematis (and of course grand children) while I still can. Do share your solution as it evolves!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 7:43PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Wow, everyone got a burst of chattiness - neat to see more folks come out of the wood work and I will surely miss most of all the important items to hit.

Michelle - egad, I do hope they figure out your chest pain, etc., symptoms -- a lot of stress in life lately of some sort? I sure hope you can take some of that extra time off and relax and enjoy and maybe figure out how to get you back up to snuff.

Yeona - love love that abies - I've lusted after the abies Silberlocke ever since seeing Monique's photos of hers and in person (the abies that is)...

Yea, on a few more idyller sightings (hi Cyn -- you're having tough work time too, uh?) and nothing like those mini-meet-ups. (Kathy I checked out "garden porns" blog photos of the show, LOL, so I feel suitably informed. It's tough to look, take photos and report ... it's a lot of skill I think.

Keeping my fingers crossed on Drema's success re job interviews and new opportunities - persist, persist, is all one can do. Saucy's new job sounds challenging tooo.

Love that chandelier idea and I think Deanne is the perfect garden to do that!!! Can't wait to see what your artistry turns up. I smell a new trend coming....

Cold, terribly windy and gloom coming - this month is the Longest month - how did that happen? There was sun but that was the last of it - now rain, etc.

Norma, I hope your cat enjoys her days in peace. Woody, glad to hear you survived that course. Congrats.

O, I know I've missed all other important things... will try to get back on a new thread (i'm dancing dangerously tagging all this on the end of this thread, teehee)....


    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 8:10PM
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lol, no one wants to start 500 should be Saucy's job though ! The foundress...

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 11:14PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all, many thanks for the comments re the Peregrine photograph. They are such magnificent birds. I�m really enjoying observing their behavior.

So the Idylls have hit 500!!! Wow! There is a lot of our lives in the annals of the Idylls.

Norma, yes, 18 is pretty old for a kitty� We�ve said it often, they just don�t have long enough lives and it doesn�t seem fair. Poor Jasmine, poor Norma�.

Yea, Woody, glad you�re done your course, just in time for spring gardening�

Cindy, how is miss Stella? And that lovely Isla? Hope all is well in your world. Don�t let that commuting get you down.

We are supposed to get yet another snow storm on Friday. I can hardly believe but the weather persons are predicting 6" to 12"� Good grief� I�m so ready to be done with that.

OK time to get off the computer and get downstairs to my paint brushes. Several classes coming up I have to get projects finished for. Waving hello to one and all�.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 2:04PM
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