Idyll #357.5 - Still Marching to a New Beet

saucydog(z5MA)March 4, 2008

PM and I discussed and thought this would be a good solution.

Somehow the first one I posted ended up in Discussions.


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Eden the bread was so much fun and so tasty that we had to give a loaf away (we ate 2!). Next time I am going to add some "goodies" into the dry ingredients before mixing. I will try to let the flavor develop next time :) I would like to use flours that are higher in fiber, though. Maybe I should buy the book.....

I have a fun filled day that involves insurance papers to fill out :)

Trisha, your enthusiasm reminds me of my own when I moved into this house. It's fun to see all the new plant material! Good call on the arborist. Plant a new Japanese Maple now for the future!

Babs, nice to see you turnip your lips and smile....I hear V. wincing from here :)

I've decided to do brain teasers everyday...thought you'd like to join in. How do you answer this question? There is no "right" answer, only creative ones :)

The grass was mowed yesterday, but it's already 5 inches high.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 8:31AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...I think? [g]

Very sorry for the disturbance on the other thread this morning. I have always used tinypic to resize photos but some time ago they changed their interface. Before they didn't offer a choice of sizes, now they have this drop down menu that allows you to choose. I didn't notice it until recently when I was on my daughter's computer. I am still going back and forth between the two computers. I was in a hurry this morning and it went through as default size. I still am puzzled why default size is so large on 'tinypic'. [g] It occurred to me that the resolution on my screen is 1600x1200. Maybe that is the reason the photos didn't cause my browser to have to scroll to the right?

At any rate...the photos are now off the thread for anyone that wants to go back to reading it. I apologize for the inconvenience this morning and wish I could have gotten it straightened out before another thread had to be started, but cest le vie..

Thanks Saucy for starting the new thread...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Grass? What's that? I can only relate to:

The snow was shovelled yesterday, but it's already 5 inches high:)

How nice to see Ry and Kenzie's sweet faces this morning. Both those children have the most beautiful eyes. And I just love the toothless grin.

Saucy, you should order the book. Lots of good recipes. I did hear that Costco has it at a good price too if you go there. What I really like is that I can keep the dough in the frig and make a fresh loaf whenever I want.

I have Bella today. It's an extra day that I don't usually have her because my sister's sick. She had to spend the weekend in the hospital. Low hemoglobin and they can't figure out why.

I hope to get back here and Idyll more later. There's so much more I want to chat with you all about.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 8:55AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks...that is a better solution than mine....:-) BTW, Saucy, I like your title. :-)

Trisha, when we bought this land I was always so thrilled to find special trees and shrubs and flowers growing in the woods , so I understand how you feel. There was no house and yard. We started from scratch....
I will put the link to my PT albums so you can get an idea as to what I am about. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:00AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

My best wishes to Edens mom, CynthiaÂs sister, and Woody. I know the waiting is unbearable at times and IÂm so glad that EdenÂs mom, CynthiaÂs sister & Woody have such a wonderful support system in their families and their friends. IÂm keeping positive thoughts that everyone will get good news.

I agree Michelle, Babs takes the greatest snaps and Ryan is a very adorable subject. Sorry Babs to hear all the sad news going on at your school. The loss of a parent is just the worst thing for a kid to go through. I can only imagine the pain those poor kids are going through and can imagine the stress at school for *all* the little ones, especially with the youngest of the bunch, who, along with the sadness they feel for their friends, are also worrying that this could happen to their parents too. Is there counseling offered at your school, someone the kids can talk to?

Michelle...Kenzie is a beautiful little girl. How wonderful that she shares her grandmaÂs love of flowers.

Saucy, how cool about bee school! I didnÂt even know they offered something like that. Did you see the piece they did on 60 minutes -"Where Have All The Bees Gone."? It really was so sad to me it actually made me cry. They believe it is either caused by a special pesticide: "most beekeepers believe the culprit is a relatively new type of pesticide called "neonicotinoids," a synthetic chemical based on nicotine. They are now used almost everywhere, from cornfields to golf courses, and on anything from the front lawn to the family pet. They are thought to be much safer for humans and animals than other pesticides, yet still toxic enough to kill insects." The other theory is that it is a virus they are suffering from, and/or a combination of both of these things. IÂve been making the effort to try to garden as naturally as possible for several years now (ever since I became fascinated by butterflies - who are very sensitive to any pesticides, herbicides, etc.). Well, I *do* still use fertilizers (though IÂm trying to minimize that too) so IÂm not a *true* natural gardener. In any case, I do hope they find out for sure what is causing this and that they can rectify it before itÂs too late. Do you have to have a license to keep bees? Is there a minimum sized lot that you must have in order to have bees use your property for their home?

PM2... I see you and Saucy have fixed the problem. I just wanted to mention, have you ever looked at your post before actually hitting submit? It may not be that your pictures are too large, but that they are too close together. Hard for me to explain, but when I post pictures, I always hit the return key a few times after each picture so that the pics wonÂt be on the same line. I can tell when they are on the same line when I do a preview because the page looks so I making any sense? Anyway, I think that may be your problem, although itÂs weird that you donÂt have to scroll. DonÂt feel bad, stuff like that happens and youÂll figure out what the problem is.

Well, off for the day with mom...have a good one all!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:20AM
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Saucy, the European Peasant Bread recipe is

3 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 T yeast
1 1/2 T salt
1/2 c rye flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
5 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour

I used 1 c whole wheat and 5 1/2 c all-purpose flour when I made it this time.

There's an oatmeal bread recipe that I'm going to try. Let me know if your interested in that one and I'll send you the recipe. It has wheat bran, oat bran, rolled oats and wheat flour in it.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:26AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Ei...yes, I always look at my posts before I submit and edit them. I don't always remember to refresh and I may miss the post before me, but I do review before submitting. On the two photos I posted this morning, in my view they appeared to have two spaces between them in the message window, but when they posted, they appeared to be one right on top of the other. But I will keep that in mind and make sure there is enough space between them. What you said made sense.

I did want to ask, if there have been issues with other photos I have posted or just those two this morning? Doesn't matter, I will be posting smaller anyway.

I put a longer post to the old thread and will just leave it at that this morning...

Hope everyone has a nice day...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:42AM
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Boo-hoo, woe is me, still pouting here , as the Wells Fargo wagon has not yet arrived with my new wireless client.Ds and I rushed to the front of the house yesterday evening every time we heard something that sounded like a UPS truck.
Maybe today..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:45AM
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LOL, Kathy...not sure what to do for those withdrawel symptoms you're having :)

Eden, I had forgot that I like to bake bread....Sarah and Jake were fascinated by the Science experiment going on in my kitchen. Of course I want the recipe :)

As you can tell, I am spending too much time here instead of doing what I NEED TO DO.

Ei, I will be able to answer all your questions after I go to school, but I think you'd be surprised how small your lot can be and who has bees :) I did see the 60 minutes you're referring to....told Nick I needed to borrow the truck - I had no idea I could drive my bees and collect money :)

Off to work, really.....


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 9:53AM
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Did someone mention Peeps?

Today I unwound after work with some peeps in the kitchen.

Anyone for a Peepsachino?

Or Peeps in a blanket? Actually there is some Nutella in there too Marian.

Love the idea of felting a beet - perhaps a whole veggie basket but I might try a Peeps first.

Great pictures everyone - Tricia your photos are so clear and detailed. You are in good company here with some talented photographers (not my forte I'm afraid).

PM - you come up wit the neatest images to share.

Michelle - Kenzie is looking adorable. As is Bab's Ryan.

Saucy - looking forward to hearing about bee school and you have me wondering if our lot would sustain a hive.

Cindy - I meant to say ages ago that the next time we're in DC I'll definitely give you a call. Are you anywhere near Aleandria - David is taking a guitar class there this summer and we'll spent a week with Ruth then.

I know I'm missing some peeps but Book group is tonight and I need to make something savory for dinner.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 5:39PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

keeping things in order

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 6:26PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA gave me a good laugh with your 'Peep-capades'. I was just showing your 'Peep-tures' to my DH and he also got a good laugh from them. I know, I am not funny, but you certainly

We are getting ready for an appointment with replacement window salesperson in about 30 minutes...but just wanted to thank you for the good laugh.

pm2...who is taking a break from posting fascinating photos. [g]

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 6:36PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Just peeping in to see if the beet goes on.

I would wait around to see what turnips, but I have to take a leek...

Lettuce carry on!


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 7:33PM
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I so enjoy corn :)

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 7:51PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I don't cotton to this....I going to give you all the raspberries!!!! lol

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 7:58PM
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The hummers have crossed the border...they're on their way.

Mary, I want to eat at your house. Yes, do a felted peep. In the treat bags for Bella's birthday party we put in little stuffed peeps. They were cute.

Tricia, what a pretty birdbath! You mentioned changing the color of you hydrangea blooms. I got my catalog from Hydrangeas Plus the other day and this is what they say about it...

The color of hydrangeas will vary considerably due to the pH of the soil they are growing in. The blue hues are best in acid soil and the degree of blueness is controlled by the amount of available aluminum and the capacity of a particular variety to draw it up. The reds and pinks enjoy an alkaline or neutral soil where aluminum is not actively absorbed. The whites stay white but usually enjoy the same conditions as the reds and pinks.

To encourage "bluing" of the flowers, you need to raise the acidity of the soil. Acidity levels need to be around 5.5 - 6.0 on the pH scale. To lower the pH and increase the amount of aluminum in the soil, apply around the hydrangea aluminum sulfate several times at intervals in the spring and again in the fall if the desired color is not achieved. The amount of aluminum sulfate really depends on the concentration. You dont want to over do it because aluminum is toxic in large doses.

Aluminum occurs naturally in most soil. If you can get the pH lower, the plant may absorb some on its own. Testing your soil for trace elements (including aluminum) is highly recommended. There are many tests available on the market for pH, too. Increase the pH of your soil by applying sulfur, rusty aluminum nails or pennies, citrus fruit peels, coffee grounds, evergreen tree needles or bark. Fertilize with a product that is very low in phosphate. Phosphate limits the absorption of aluminum.

For a powder form of aluminum sulfate, my general rule is ¼ cup per foot of hydrangea. This means that for an established 4-foot hydrangea, 1 cup of aluminum sulfate spread around the base of the plant should be adequate. This assumes a 15% concentration mixture of aluminum sulfate, the most commonly sold concentration. You may mix the aluminum sulfate in water and dissolve or apply straight to the plant then water in well. Be sure that the plant has established itself before application. We dont recommend aluminum sulfate for new plants because of toxicity.

Apply in the early spring when you see the first leaf. Apply again six weeks later. If color isnt as desired, add a fall application too.

To encourage pink to red blooms on plants in high acid soil, apply lime to the soil. The lime should be applied at the rate of one pound to every ten square feet of surface area once or twice a year until the desired bloom color is obtained. You may also use a fertilizer high in phosphate, as that will also limit the absorption of aluminum.

Note color correction takes some weeks or even months for the desirable changes to take affect. Some varieties will not get darker.

Babs, You asked what I was going to do in the empty space where the garden shed was. I want to put up a small greenhouse there but I don't know if it'll be this year. We'll be working on pergolas for shade this summer. Between the power company trimming trees and losing the one in the storm last year it's too hot to be out there in the afternoon now and we need to remedy that! Also a good excuse for more vertical plantings.

Saucy, I'll be interested to hear about your adventures in beekeeping. What I'd love to have in my garden is chickens. We can't have them here in the city though.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 8:25PM
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How about raspberry sorbet, Marian? I guess I'll have to admit I was eating Haagen-Dazs raspberry sorbet right out of the carton, because in doing so, carefully keeping a nice flat raspberry surface by rotating the carton between spoonfuls, I noticed their plea to "Help the honey bee." Nice website. Send a beemail to your friends.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2008 at 11:25PM
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What a thoughtful solution to the right scroll dilemma! humorous, too. Now, when I looked at PM2's pictures on the first "Beet" they appeared right next to each other, not one above the other. Sometimes I have to do a "baby right scroll" to view the text when Deanne posts her bird pictures, too, but only for a word or two (and I deal with that). Why does that happen? is is connected to newer, larger flat monitors or the software these machines run?

Very, very sad about the loss of parents at your school, Babs.. Since there is no changeing the reality the next best option is to simply allow the kids to work through the painful process that follows any death of someone we love and miss desperately. A nice bright note about the custodian, though, huh? There were some funny bits on "America's Funniest whatever" some weeks ago that dealt with the removal of a loose tooth. The helpmeet and I get a kick out of that program. Missing teeth are definitely milestones, and the grins are priceless.

The Bee School sounds fascinating. I saw that program on colony collapse, too. Pretty scarey stuff, actually. It's up to you to save us from catastrophe, Saucy.

It seems a terribly long way away from bees and flowers about now, at least from where I'm sitting now. Windy, raw, but just rain this morning. Up country it's snowed and has now turned to freezing rain and roof collapses are often the lead stories on the news. It will be bit before I'm treated the sites that greet Tricia these days. Pretty bird bath, BTW.

We had several trees with "girdling" roots, none of which were any worse the wear for them. Our lot has large quantities of ledge not far under the soil and often the roots meander a great deal before finding the way down through it. One of the trees was a very large oak (long since removed to allow more light into the side yard).

More I'd like to say, but time has again managed to get away from me.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 6:17AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

LOL! Mary, thanks for a much needed laugh this morning!


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 7:16AM
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Loufaing along with everyone!

Tricia -- The green little plants are Chives. Looks like yours might be daffs and crocus and/or grape hyacinth? Good planting lesson to be learned with the girdled plants -- Ten gallon hole for one gallon plant :-)

Lots of other stuff just starting to crown, here. Snow is gone -- standing water all other. Not in the gardens for the most part. YIPPEE Serious cut back of winter deadness starts this weekend.

Thinking of everyone who hurts in any way, and hoping for good news about all.

Yet another weird New York trip yesterday. On the train to come home and we got stopped cold on the tracks. Building collapse about 15 blocks in front of us. Trains can't get through. Train backs up 60 blocks to Grand Central. Five minutes later get going again. Stop. Back up again with announcement that trains are suspended "indefinitely" but that ours would be the first out when tracks open. I opted to stay with the train while others were careening around for bus/other train/taxi transport. 97 minutes (exactly) later we take off after a 45 second long warning that "we're leaving". Almost empty train leaves very full and chaotic terminal. Very glad I got home. Love that I don't have to do that every day.

Gratefully waving to everyone from HOME!

Martie, who has already been through a bunny bag of peanut M&Ms :-)

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 7:17AM
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The peepsachino looks like he's enjoying a soak in the hot tub Mary! LOL...they have a stoic little face!

I'm a Cadbury egg person circus peanuts.

Eden, there were ferral chickens in St. John. You'd be sitting in an open air restaurant and a hen with 3 chicks trailing would strut right through :)

Denise, that was a really cool site. Sarah enjoyed it, too.

It's raining cats and dogs here...I'm sure I'll have a duck pond out back when it's all said and done.

It's time to get this show on the road and get Sarah off to the bus. I have a meeting at Jake's school today to discuss his educational plan and his application to the local trade school.

Oh....I'm guessing the grass looked as if it grew five inches because I mowed it without the mower blade (Nick must've been sharpening it!).

That or acid rain is now fertilizer :)



    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 7:18AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Just peeping in here.... to see what peeps, LOL....
Mary, you're onto a new hobby! Yes, Im somewhat near Alexandria -- we will definitely have to connect for some garden lurking somewhere!

We had an inch of rain here last nite -- no snow -- and I saw some very droopy iris reticulata trying to "peep" out too -- color is on its way! But also a jump back to cold/winter temps on the weekend -- what a bummer. I so want to repeet last Sunday's fun of garden cleenup -- 30 degrees is not the right temp for that for me, garden weenie that I am.

Martie - that is one weird ride -- it's always an "adventure" commuting in the big city -- I find there's usually some unusual happening on mine.

Yesterday, in front of the ofc we had a big pop and then the lites/power surged -- everyone's computers went out, etc. -- turns out a manhole cover had exploded in the middle of the intersection on Pennsylvania Ave -- this has been happening in Georgetown area - gets it's migrating down to Penna Ave - maybe working its way to the Capitol?! --

Easter candy -- Im a chocolate marshmallow guy myself -- some of my fondest memories are of the special ones my Grandmother used to present to us every Easter time - along w/ some Silver Dollars -- I actually still have a few of the coins -- but can't find good candies that are equal to the ones my Grandmom gave us (I think she went to some local candy maker and got them each year).

Saucy - that sounds like my grass! probably someone else mowed the wrong grass! I cant get more inventive than Suduku -- working w/ finite numbers and solving those is challenge enuf.

Woody -- glad to hear you peep in too -- I hope your headache goes away soonest.

Thinking good thoughts for all those expecting health news shortly.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 8:54AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Why do I keep on singing in my head..."All I am saaaaaaaying is Give Peas A Chance..."
LOL! You guys are too funny. are a riot! I too was thinking hot tub, until I saw the coffee handle. :-) I envy you your book club...what a pleasant way to spend an evening. Speaking of which, Mary you had recommended a book with Elephants? in the title? I meant to write it down when you posted and then forgot. I tried searching recent postings, but cant seem to find it. Would you mind telling me the name of the book again?

Speaking of books - has anyone read The Kite Flyer? Did you enjoy it? It was recommended to me, but it doesnt seem like the typical kind of thing I would read.

Denisez thanks for that link! Ive just spent a pleasant hour perusing their site and their links. Lots of good information. I even watched a couple of bee videos. Will be sure to pick up some Hagen Daaz Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream on shopping day. :-)

The pergola sounds neat Eden. For several years we talked about building a pergola because it was so *hot* on our south facing deck, but just never got around to it. There always seemed to be other projects that needed our attention. Our trees have *finally* become large enough to shade our deck, but I'm sorry we never built the pergola. Hope you'll share pictures when you're done. Have you decided on any particular vines?

Cindy...I meant to tell you the other day...thanks for the information regarding "head hunting". Ive been out of the loop for awhile and didnt realize that that kind of thing goes on. How nice to have a week-end of gardening exercise! :-) Very therapeutic; isnt it? Are 60s normal for Virginia at this time of year?

Jerri thanks for the heads up on the dog bowls. Right now Im using stainless ones that came with his raised feeder, but Scout has several ceramic ones too and I will pick up one of those lead testing kits. Didnt I hear somewhere that toys may also be at issue?

PM2 - I hope you won't give up on sharing pictures. I really enjoy all the neat things you share with us.

Woody, thanks for letting us know about Bug. I hope she solves her computer problems soon...I miss her!

Have a great day all....

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 8:57AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oops! You're a mind reader Cindy! :-) I was just thinking about you (as you see in my post)...we must have been posting at the same time. Peeps use to be my favorite Easter candy when I was younger, but are too sweet for my teeth now. I do still love the malted milk ball eggs though and of course, Fannie Mae foil covered chocolate bunnies...but those were always a "special" gift in the basket - one to a child. :-) Does anybody remember the cute little tiny chick toys at Easter with the little feathers and tiny little flowered bonnets on their heads? I *loved* those! I wished I would have saved mine from when I was a kid. They don't make them like that anymore.

Okay...gonna go now for sure...

Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 9:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...Glad to see everyone this morning. :-)

Glad you made it back Chelone. :-) It sounds like Ei might have been correct to say GW was trying to put the photos next to each other. If so, then being careful to keep enough space between them should help. I asked around yesterday, why my computer wasn't scrolling while a few people were, and not much of an answer. My screen is a high resolution screen and that makes everything smaller for me, so that's all I can come up with.

Ei..I will post more photos, but right now I am distracted with my computer research/order and will wait until I have the new one up and running. Glad you enjoy the photos I find. Happy to share them. I hope to have spring garden photos to share soon too and to see everyone else's spring gardens too. Where are the puppy photos..Phoebe?

Saucy...such a clever answer to the riddle!

Loved the Bee Meadow..!

Haven't read the Kite Flyer.

Thanks Eden, for the hummer migration map. Hoping to attract some this year too.

Speaking of chickens in the garden, has anyone seen Elliot Coleman's use of ducks in the garden? He keeps them in a portable house that he rolls around the grass and he gave them the cutest names..which I can't remember. They are supposed to be great pest patrols without hurting your plants as much as chickens do. Especially snails.

Chocolate marshmallows, solid chocolate bunnies, peeps. Not really a jellybean fan. Martie..M+M peanuts..yum. What about hot cross buns, ham dinner with pineapple gravy? Is it lunchtime yet? Adding peeps to the shopping list. [g]

Well, I could keep posting but it is time to get back to work. Middle of the week already! Have a nice day. :-)


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 11:11AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

With all this talk about Cadbury cream eggs, I have to admit I haven't been a fan since I ate Fannie May cream eggs that my BF Phyllis sent me years ago. These cream eggs come in different flavors and coating and are fantastic! I posted the link. I haven't had them in years, but they look so good...

Love the peeps photos Mary LOL. Plus I love Nutella crepes. One of my fave crepes is stuffed with cream cheese and apricot jelly and covered with real maple syrup. Yum.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 12:08PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

For those interested in some vicarious pleasures, check out this link for Daily photos from the Phila Flower Show -- you can access the photos from each day and including days of set-up. I find them a pleasure to view from the ole armchair, since I can't be there in person.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 1:05PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

YEAH!!!!!!!! I got a new computer last night. DH and I have been 'sharing' his since November. Let me just say it's not working.
I picked up a new desktop last night so I hope to get it installed tonight. No more begging for internet time. I can't wait!


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 2:26PM
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Guilty pleasures for Chelone:
1.) Peeps! I like them fresh and I like them stale, too. Frozen is fine, too. My favorites are the "classic" yellow chicks. And they DO have stoic faces.
2.) Chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies, ova, etc..
3.) Malted milk ova... esp. the larger ones with the white coating and pastel speckles all over them.
4.) Hot Cross buns and HAM. But I like my ham with horseradish, not pineapple. ("pressed" up against the window panes is a particular favorite, lol. ;-) ).
5.) Barry White's Greatest hits. Can't get enough of his love.

I love the picture of Kenzie with the Geranium blossom in her hand. So sweet, do you think she was dreaming of the TYNAW paHty?

Hooray for Jerri! I'm due for a new model, too (like it would matter a lot).

Hope Woody's head feels better and she found Mary's Idyll Peep Show as funny as I did. LOL

Another who is deeply appreciative of coHn. Serve me up a "double helpin'", willya?

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 3:13PM
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Lots of snow came, lots of snow went. There is still plenty around though. I'm hoping for another sunny day tomorrow to make the rest of it disapear.

Mary, How creative you are. I bet you are the mom every one wants to be around. You do so many fun things. By the way I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your family photos.
Has there been any progress in finding the responsible party of the threat?

Sure hope Kathy , Bug and Jerri get computer glitches cleared up soon.

Tricia, I do hope your Japanese maple will give you several years of pleasure yet. I'm hoping mine will improve this year. Last year it had leafed out then we had some severe cold weather that lasted awhile. It was pitiful all year. I trimmed a lot of the dead stuff out.
I was looking at pics the other day from another year and it was so pretty. I will truly miss it if it dies out.

Dh is cooking supper for a change, and it is smelling good. Think I'll go check it out. N

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 7:14PM
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yeeee-hah !!! I can Idyll again ! It may take me all night to read all the threads and look at the photos. Going to do that right now...all chores are hereby cancelled..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 7:26PM
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Welcome back Kathy! We missed you!


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 7:30PM
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Hello everyone

Ei - Water for Elephants was the book I enjoyed by Sarah Gruen. The Kite Runner is an amazing book. There are some scenes in it that are brutal to read so it might not be for everyone. However my book group were all in agreement as to what a wonderful book it is and my mother loved it so much after she finished it she went straight back to the beginning and read it again.

Norma - the student responsible has been found and removed from school. There will still be a Police presence in the building on the day of the threat but things are getting back to normal, thank goodness. Hope you enjoy your DH's supper.

Kathy - glad you can Idyll again! Enjoy getting caught up:0)

Just thought I'd share the link below of Annie's music school as there is a nice picture of her and her BFF on the faculty page (Annie's on the right). Actually, if anyone wants to play Where's Waldo I'm in one of the photos on another page but rather well hidden.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 8:13PM
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Tried to read every word of every Idyll , but Im sure that I am guilty of some skimming behavior. I do recall that Denise was considering Ouzo for breakfast ,and cigars for dessert, took note of our new friend Tricias wedding pics ,perused Edens gardenBee school for Saucy , and Woody visits feeling better. And Marian ! I especially enjoyed viewing your evolution pics. I will go back this weekend at look at some of your other gallerieswhat a lot of activity in just a few days

Running fast to catch up

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 9:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Mary, are you hiding in a black pants, black shirt and a purple-ish sweater?

Ei, are you sure you're not hearing "give PEEPS a chance?"

Long day today, and now DH is sick. OK, must share a story from this morning. I had a meeting out of the office that started a little later this morning, so I got to sleep in a whole thirty minutes. But DH had to drive somewhere and got up at my usual time. I was just about ready to get out of bed when he finished his shower and left the bedroom with the dogs in tow. But of course, he didn't feed the dogs, so Sunrise commenced to knocking on the bedroom door every thirty seconds (she "knocks" by banging her head into the door - very effective). I finally gave up and got out of bed. As soon as I walked out of the bedroom, I said, "DH! Mystic is eating a mouse!!!" DH is sitting on the couch, and Mystic is five feet in front of him. He looks at me, quite puzzled, and says, "How do you know that?"

How did I know that? Here's the dog in plain sight, with a mouse between his paws, and the little mousie is screaming for his life! How did I know that?

DH was good enough to take charge of the mouse removal job.

Clue #1 - when you hear a squeaky toy, but you own none...


    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 10:28PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Ive been super busy here between caring for the billions of plants (they are needing more and more attention as the days are getting longer and they are getting larger) helping Deb and family, wake for her Dad is today and funeral tomorrow, also, work is rearing its ugly head with orders to fill and three seminars in the next six weeks to prep for. And on and on.

Im getting so ready for garden season to begin! These longer days are so invigorating! Even though the temps are still in the freezing range you know this is winters last hurrah and spring is ON THE WAY. Id like to know how the plants under lights know the days are getting longer? They somehow do and they are putting on growth at a rate they just dont do in winter. The dormant fuchsias are dormant no longer and Doug will be helping me set up yet one more light fixture (yes Chelone, I know Im insane) to get them started. It really is still too cold to put them in the garage yet. Another few weeks and Ill get them upstairs. Most of the snow melted off the Terrace Garden with that last rain we had and Im itching to get it cleaned off but it really is still too muddy. Soon, soon!

OK Ive got to run and order some flowers for Deb and get the orchids watered, get to the gym etc. etc.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 9:38AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So did I miss the idyll memo that there would be no posting on March 6th? Where is everyone?

I saw the first red winged blackbirds of spring here today. They were looking at each other across my driveway, asking each other whose bright idea it was to come back now...


    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 8:46PM
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So nice to visit the Idylls after spending almost the entire day in the conference room in a marathon meeting. Since we have been rain-free for a week, my painters have started on the exterior trim. Onward and upward !
I like mustard with my ham. Love mustard. Extra horseradish in the Bloody Marys. Although the peeps look endearing, I do not care to ingest one. Im certain they have a Twinkie-esque shelf life. Give me chocolate any day !

Nice orchid set-up you have there Tricia-you might be giving Deanne a run for her money ,lol!

Speaking of which Deanne, maybe we need photos of all these steroidal fuchsias and coleus..I was excited to see basal growth on my fuchsias this week. We had so many freezing nights this winter (including last night) that many of them have died back to the ground. I expect that I lost a few as well.

Ok, pics taken today...we have spring

Clematis armandii

My first container planting-pansies, stipa and nemesia..and oh yeah, the freesias are blooming too..

Lavender--one of many, but the only one blooming thus far

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 8:49PM
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More snow forecast for tomorrow and Sat, 3-6 inches. 20s during the days and teens at night through the weekend. There is a warmup into the 40s forecast for a few days next week though. Could that be the beginning of spring? It's gotta get here soon, doesn't it??? I vacuumed all day. My sister was in the hospital overnight Sat. and ended up with cellulitis in her arm where they put in the IV.

Thanks for the spring pictures Kathy. And we have the first container of the season too. Pretty!

Yes Deanne, we need pictures of your babies. I need to see green! And show Tricia your orchids!

I wonder when Marie will be back online? We need puppy pics too.

I do have a funny Bella story. Last evening I was on the computer and Bella was nearby looking at books. She got up and came over to me and said 'I need to calm my nerves. I'm going in the livingroom to be alone.' I don't have any idea where she heard that or why she said it. I just said OK.

Good night...


    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 9:44PM
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Michelle's taking reservations for her guest room over on the repurposed container thread, in case you haven't stopped by...

Having both threads open is kinda like going out on the porch with just a few partygoers, while the party still rages inside. Maybe rages is a bit strong. My whereabouts the past few days have been confined to slogging through an impossible deadline, immersed in the transcript of a case about a noirish life insurance scam, but I made some nice side trips to Arkansas via Marian's link. What beautiful land. And that "pour-off" is fabulous. Looks like an old quarry, yes? In the cat photos, Muttonhead in the bird feeder is a stand-out. Looking forward to Cindy's Philly link next. Grabbed a late afternoon nap to catch up on sleep and had a dream which had a soundtrack of a French voice, male, huskily singing Phoebe's Snow's Poetry Man to a samba rhythm. Curse of the Idylls! Wandered out of the bedroom to see Marty home from work, whose first words are, Your eyes look like two pool balls, red stripes.

I thought Kathy was going to slip into a Dr. Seus recitation on peeps and ham. Nice to read you again! Talking about scent on porches, that C. armandii must be heaven. Is it a vanilla scent?

Deanne, the excitement is getting unbearable! Will spring come before the roof is blown off your house from your unstoppable potted menagerie?

What a little Garbo Bella is turning into!

V, re the poor mouse, I'd leave your DH with the impression that you possess awesome, unfathomable powers, V. the Beastmaster.

Might be time for more sleep. G'night all

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 11:20PM
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OK Denise, I'm down with the Zuess thing. Went back and read my post - no rhymes but a few Zuess language moments.

C. armandii does have a vanilla overtone. Planted it at the front door on purpose. There are numerous roses in that area too, so when clem is out of bloom(and it is all too brief) the roses take over.

I can't do afternoon naps. I think it's a Catholic thing.

K in N

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 12:03AM
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Hey Kathy! It wasn't actually a late afternoon nap, though I've got nothing against siestas. More of a pass-out-at-5 p.m., sleep-deprived affair. I sure hope the new owners appreciate the kind of planting you've done. I've got clems to discuss with 'bug, and she's nowhere to be found. C. recta may just possibly put on a show this year, the dark one 'Seriously Black' or whatever it's being called. And a C. sieboldii in a 12-inch clay pot is bursting at the seams, something clems never do for me. Must be the alfalfa pellets! I don't dare pot it on but keeping it watered will be a challenge now that it's so big. This summer I may experiment with polymers again for pots to retain moisture.

The house next-door is up for sale. Former owner a reclusive bachelor who lived six months of the year elsewhere. Neighbors like that are hard to come by.

Love Norma's seen-it-all take on winter: "Lots of snow came, lots of snow went." Good to hear that green nubbins are poking up through the snow for some too.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 1:43AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning ... :-)

Well nice to see Kathy back..and with photos! Just love your front entryway. The door, pretty brass light fixture, that hanging trellis with the clematis on it. Lovely. :-) Amazing how much growth is on the lavender. Mine takes until into June to look that

Not a drop of snow left on the ground here. Everything has that drab and dreary look to it at the moment.

Congratulations Jerri, on the new computer! I hope this means we will see more of you. :-) We finally ordered a new computer yesterday! Now I just have to wait for delivery and make the switch. So relieved, I can put away the computer research. Having my first 'garden thoughts' this morning for a change of pace.

Very quiet here yesterday. All the action is over on the container thread, I see, and for good reason. Love some of the creations you all have produced. Lots of inspiration for sure.

V....that is a funny story about DH and the mouse. I also noticed that you imagine conversations that animals have. I have always done that and my mother did it as well. I do seem to be the only one in my house that thinks it is normal. [g] Everyone here rolls their eyes at me. I thought it was something everyone did, but maybe

Eden...are you sure you can't have chickens where you are? I live in a semi urban area and I thought the same thing, but last year I called our town hall and asked and they said I can have chickens as long as I don't have a rooster. I have been seriously thinking of getting some kind of year. We don't have a dog and can't have a cat...hamsters, we have done and have some really funny memories of hamster escapades. I would think about getting some type of birds for the backyard, but not sure what I would do with them come the winter.

Chelone...we used to watch Funniest Home Videos a lot. Did you ever see the one where the mockingbird dive bombs the cat from behind and the cat is so startled, he does a forward summersault? I never laughed so

Monique...those cream eggs have to be the best I have ever seen.

Eden...You are so lucky to have Bella! I just love that age, when you never know what is going to come out of their mouth next. Something very magical about it. :-)

denise....What interesting dreams you I also loved your description of Deanne's burgeoning collection. I have a vision of large holes blown out of her roof and green plant material shooting out in every direction. Or, maybe a Jiffy Pop effect would be more fitting. [g]

Seems to be brightening up outside my window, so I am off. I have to go through library books this morning and finish a few and get them back later today.

Woody, I hope you are starting to feel better. I think we are all going to be amazed at how big Phoebe is by the time we see more photos. Hello to everyone... :-)


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 6:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Im so glad to see some posts this morning, I thought I broke the thread yesterday. Yikes,

Eden I LOL when I read that Bella told you she had to go and calm her nerves!!! That is just way tooooo funny. They do say the darnedest things at this age dont they? ~~~ Ill try to get pics of the fuchsia, coleus, etc. etc. later on. I dont have any new photos right now and I dont have time this AM to do it. Debs Dads funeral is this morning and I just have time to post this, get some exercise, get ready and get to the church. Hopefully tomorrow Ill have time to snap a few photos for you. You should see the abutilons! They are blooming their heads off right now and are so lovely. I dont remember if I told you but Ive been turning one of my Abutilon megatapodium into a standard for the last couple years and its really taking shape now. Its throwing some buds that will be dangling beneath the growth. Too cute!

Kathy, Im so JEALOUS! Spring has arrived in your neck of the woods and your photos are wonderful! Love the container and that clematis is gorgeous! ~~ Bummer that you think you lost some of your fuchsias. I did too, it doesnt matter how carefully I prepare them I seem to always lose a few. This year I sprayed everything with an anti-transpirant and that seemed to bring more through in good shape, especially the hangers in the coco-fiber pots. Have you ever grown Galadriel? It has the loveliest tiny flowers and robust upright growth. Im working on making standards out of that variety.

V. I hear Red-winged Blackbirds here yesterday but didnt see any but that call is unmistakable.

Denise, you are too funny, 'blow the roof off'. However, the banana seems to be trying. LOL

PM2 LOL 'Jiffy Pop'

OK Ive got to get in gear and get ready. Poor Deb, her birthday is tomorrow. What an odd thing to lay your Dad to rest the day before your Birthday. She is going to need big hugs.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, Ive been working on a project for the bird forum I participate on. They were looking for pair photos where there is dimorphism in the species so Ive been morphing some images together like I did for the cardinals. Thought youd like to see these. All of these photos are two separate images that have been Photoshopped together.

House Sparrow

Downy Woodpecker

Red-breasted Nuthatch

American Goldfinch

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 7:15AM
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Wazoo!! Blooming lavender to start my day!

On a mission here to find a good place for C. montana rupens. Had one in my last big garden that literally ate a three season porch but smelled like a vanilla candy factory when in bloom. Wonder if I could sneak on the property to grab a cutting .... Wonder if Rich would bail me out. LOL

Eden's snow will be rain by the time it arrives here tomorrow. Flood warnings all over the place and sandbags installed by the basement garage door. The lake in the back yard has been absorbed, but clay can take just so much.

Have been following the container thread and continue to be amazed at the talent of this group.

Not much else from here (thankfully!!!!!).

Thinking of Sue in particular during these next few weeks.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 7:17AM
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'morning all!

It turns out that Beekeepers are as long winded about bees as gardeners are about plants - and that's a good thing, right?

There was a record turnout at last night's meeting, over 140 people, alot of them families. I am now a proud member of the oldest bee club in the country :) There are as many bee supply catalogs as there are plant calalogs and they were giving them away! I will have lots to peruse in the hours before bed each night :) Nick asked if I intended to get a hive (I wasn't sure about my interest/cost) and I my answer is yes :)

Woody, thank you for the book recommendation - I plan to read it. I thought Secret Life of Bees was good (but it would've been better if I were 13 when I read it!)....her follow up with The Mermaid Chair wasn't bad, either :)

Wow, Kathy and Denise! It's so exciting to see spring bursting open! That clematis is wonderful, and I too hope you get someone in there who appreciates its siting.

Phoebe Snow will be full grown!

Out of the mouths of babes! Bella's too cute :)

Speaking of kids, Mary, your daughter is gorgeous, and if V. is correct, then I found you, too :)

Babs, I agree that you take adorable pictures of your boys. Those black and whites need to be framed! I'll bet you already did that, didn't you, Martha?

I am too chatty this morning, time to get off to the bus stop and then to the gym. Have a great day, all! I might play outside a bit since I can see the ground now! Green things are poking up here, too!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 7:32AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! Well the sun is shining but apparently not for long. As Martie mentioned, rain and flood warnings in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. With temps around 50 I was hoping to do some garden cleanup over the weekend but it will probably be too wet. Spring is in the air though unlike at Kathy's where it appears to have already arrived.

This week I splurged and bought drapes for the dining room. The room was painted last fall but I've never been thrilled with the color. Tom is taking the current chandelier because it was his grandmother's so what better time to change it all up. I saw the drapes on line at JC Penney and figured what the heck. They looked like they might work with the wall color and add some texture and pattern to the room. If I didn't like them it would be an easy return. Well they arrived yesterday and I love them. The wall color will still need to be tweaked but that was on the hit list anyway. Change is good.

Deanne, love the birdy shots. Goldfinches are one of my favorites. They make such sweet little sounds. Your pictures always make them glow. The Grackles have returned to my neighborhood. It's like someone throws a switch on March 1st every year. Time to stock up on the bird food or just give up feeding for the season.

OK, it's month end around here again so I need to dash. They sure come around quick these days. Where does time go?



    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 8:31AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

I started this post yesterday, but never got here to post it...just a busy day.

What fun to wake up in the morning and peek (I mean Peep) into here! :-) Now I want Mary to create little long haired hippie peeps in their little volkswagon beetle or bus! :-) I suppose the peep show would be a little too risque for here...LOL Chelone!

Thanks Mary for the book title...this time I made sure to write it down.

Chelone the ones with the speckled coating are my favorite. I like to let the coating melt in my mouth, then the chocolate layer and finally I like to suck on the malted part until it disappears in my mouth...more information than anyone needed...anyway....

Monique...I *knew* I shouldn't have looked at your link! Do you know there is a Fannie Mae only minutes from my house? I *try* to forget that! Actually, they were bought out by another company a couple of years ago. The new company supposedly kept all the recipes the same as the original. I have bought a few things since then and the things I bought *did* still taste the way I remember them. BTW, the eggs *are* delicious! :-)

Cindy thanks for the Phillie link! That's a show I have *always* wanted to go to.

Speaking of which, V, did you know the Chicago Garden Show is now at Rosemont? When did that happen and why? Do you know?

Welcome back Kathy you were missed, as was your humor! :-)

Yea for Jerri!

Okay, heres todays post....

Another pleasant morning at the Idylls...such gorgeous pics - spring flowers, the first flower pot combo, beautiful birds....color, color, color...I want *more*! :-)

Eden Bella cracked me up this morning! I think Ill save her quote for the next time Paul frustrates me...LOL!

So its the red-winged blackbird that signals spring for you V? For me its spotting the first robin. I love Robins, there is just something so sweet about them. I think they have very animated faces! :-)

Deanne that goldfinch pic took my breath away and I cracked up at the Woodpeckers lining up.

I envy Kathy & Martie their fragrant clematis. When I was a beginning gardener I bought C. armandii, not knowing it wasnt hardy here. The plant I bought at Franks was full of buds and when they opened - Oh My, what a lovely fragrance! I was so disapppointed when it didnt come back. :-(

I do have Sweet Autumn, but no spring blooming fragrant ones. I hope GB gets back soon and I can ask her if there are any fragrant spring blooming ones for cold zones.

I love your toadflax too Kathy. I think it is the prettiest little flower, but they fizzle out here once the heat of summer begins. Do they last all season long for you?

Saucy cant wait to hear more about your bee class. Now that you will be the keeper of the bees, will you also bee the keeper of the bats? I heard a little bit about their decline on the news last night. I dont know what I could do personally, to help, but Ill be watching for more news....

On a cheerier note Ill leave you with this...

No matter how long the winter...spring is sure to follow. - Proverb-

Autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day.
Elizabeth Bowen -

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart
Victor Hugo -

I dont know what smell of wet earth or rotting leaves brought back my childhood with a rush and all the happy days I had spent in a garden. Shall I ever forget that day? It was the beginning of my real life, my coming of age as it were, and entering into my kingdom. Early March, gray, quiet skies, and brown, quiet earth; leafless and sad and lonely enough out there in the damp and the silence, yet there I stood feeling the same rapture of pure delight in the first breath of spring that I used as a child, and the five wasted years fell from me like a cloak, and the world full of hope, and I vowed myself then and there to nature and have been happy ever since.
Elizabeth Von Arnim -

That passage is from an antique book I have called Elizabeth and Her German Garden. I love the way she writes.


March in the garden
my hostess shows me brown sticks
and speaks of flowers.
Sister Benedicta

Ha that hit a little too close for me...LOL! How many times have I pointed out a little nothing of twig and green and extolled all its virtues to a non-gardening friend...they probably thought I was a little goofy too. :-)

Okay off to find Mary and then to take mom to the doc to see if there is any point in continuing the aricept. Hope you all have a great day!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 8:39AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, Kathy, beat me to it.... I was going to say, it's on its way, but it's already arrived at Kathy's door! o, that clematis and container!!! wow o wow...

cooling my heels waiting for a return of mold inspector; the house failed the air sample tests; more remediation to follow.. such is life. so I stole a chance to roam the muddy yard and discovered signs of life:


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 8:41AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I guess I'll steal this chance to chatter more while waiting, instead of worrying about getting a parking spot at metro after 10 a.m., LOL...

Eden -- love that story re Bella -- it is such a mystery where they pick these things up and then apply them correctly, isnt? What a hoot.... Im sorry your sister is still ailing; yikes, hospitals are definitely places one doesnt want to linger at for the add'l woes added on. I hope she gets out a.s.ap.

PM2 -- I love your illusions -- Deanne and her Jiffy Pop house, LOL! It must surely be a wonder in person.

Deanne, those are wonderful pair photos and I never would guess they've been photoshopped. Amazing. Amazing even more you got each pair type.

Sue - I like to hear about change being a good thing, because I do not do it well; I used to be so much more flexible about life and stuff, my old age is tightening me up though....

Congrats on the new computer purchases, Jerri, and PM2 -- once you get used to it it offers more excuses to hang out here, LOL.

Denise -- sorry you're having such tough deadlines -- I can sooo understand what you go thru as we share the same work community of "sharks"

Kathy, that's great the painters are at work for you at last -- that clem pic shows some pretty paint on the front - are you keeping that? it looks pretty clean to me.

I will think of that clematis armandii all day now; dreaming how I'd love to put somewhere; in this area it really needs a lot of protection to survive (warm brick wall somewhere).

Cant wait to see your photos Denise of your clems - sounds like they're gonna be loverly this year too.

O, Saucy, that's amazing so many folks turned out for the beekeepers class. Neat -- a whole new group of folks to share an interest with. I look forward to hearing more of this new hobby.

Well, I know I missed a lot; it's test to my poor memory as I dont have another window open.

Happy Friday, all. Even w/ more snow, Spring is coming soon.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 9:05AM
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Good Morning,

Looks like the snow storm is going to barely miss us here and we'll just get an inch or two. I'm jealous of all of your spring pictures. We have at least a foot of snow on the ground.

Deanne, those bird photos are just wonderful! Can't wait to see that abutilon. My a. megapotamicum is the only one I kept over winter. Which reminds me I need go down and water today. I've been so neglectful of those poor plants this winter.

Mary, what a great picture of Annie. She's looking so grown up and just beautiful! I spotted you too (I think).

PM, nope, no chickens allowed here. I'm right in the city.

Sue, a decorating project huh?. Can we see pictures of the drapes? I love that kind of stuff you know.

Ei, thanks for the spring quotes.

Saucy, so you're really going to become a beekeeper! Can't wait to learn more about it through your experiences.

Kathy, how's Mr. B doing?

Cindy, so you're not finished with the mold issues after all. At least you have flowers blooming in the garden!

Martie, Food TV has a show on Sunday night at 8pm where they'll be creating Dr. Seuss cakes.

Kids do say the funniest things. Here's one more for you. Bella was watching Ratatouille, one of the newer Disney movies, while I was making dinner the other night. She came into the kitchen and informed me she wants to go to Paris.

Speaking of Bella, she'll be on my doorstep soon so I have to end this for now.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 9:18AM
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The only signs of life around here (aside from fattening maple, blueberry, Magnolia buds) is Rex's renewed interest in the sand next to the garage foundation... where he will mine the "tuberous" cat begonias... ewww. LOL

Snow is melting away steadily but I'm nowhere near gaHden clean up and it's too soon to look for the emergence of bulbs just yet. Thanks, Cindy... your reality is more attainable than what Kathy shared! I hope the "air quality" is attained soon. Hang tough.

Cigars, Denise?! I would've thrown up for certain had they followed Ouzo. I can tell you are definitely, "big league". "Michael Clayton" is a very good movie, BTW. We have adopted several lines from it in our daily life... the truest mark of a film we enjoyed. How is Tuna Joe these days? and is Evie the "tripod" kitty? Ocean temperature is 37 degrees here and I've thought regularly of my mid-Western friends as I watch the salt freighters come up river and then return to sea considerably higher in the water than they were upon arrival...

Pictures, Sue?! You know I have a thing for drapeRIES and interior decoration. Don't be such a tease, not a "becoming" trait, afterall. ;)

Heard of "hive heists" this very morning, Saucy! Thought of you instantly... also pricked up my ears at the going rate for a hive "rental". "You bee a busy gal"! How's PopcoHn?

I "slept in" today, 5:30! I worked Monday so I'm home today (4 day weekend). I've dealt with the kitchenklutter, and am on the final load of laundry. Enjoying Stevie Wonder's "Songs in the Key of Life" as I type. Good tunage for the peepings of Spring. Love the Nuthatches, Deanne, they are so darling. I just love the resolute way they march up and down tree trunks.

I have ZIPPO to offer on the other active thread... but have enjoyed it, too.

The jewel of the read so far has been Bella's admission that she had to "calm her nerves". Followed quickly by Eden's, "OK".

Michelle, is there any bridge over the Mississippi that allows pedestrian traffic so you can just stand and look at the river? When I was little kid, Dad paid the toll and asked the collector if he could stop the car so we could look at the Mystic River. The toll guy said, "Sure, use the flashers". I recall standing with Dad atop the Tobin Bridge watching the sun rise over Boston HaHbor, looking down on the USS Constitution in Charlestown. I remember him reminding me to imagine pier after pier with ships like Old Ironsides tied up... . You'd be welcome here, too... if you could stand the cat hair, lol.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 9:32AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

She's not as cute as Phoebe undoubtedly is but maybe she's doo as the morning doggie interest... the big Copper beast is back!

She'll be here until the 16th. She's as avid a herder of Misty as she was last summer, although she's mellower now so the chasing around is not quite so frenetic as last summer - thank goodness!

We were able to go for a walk this morning but, from the looks of the forecast, it'll be the last walk for a while here :-( I've been enjoying the pictures of spring arriving in some of your gardens. It's far from happening here! I noticed this morning that the snow is only about a foot below the 4' chainlink fence on the north side. Copper - and Misty too - could easily hop over into the neighbour's yard - and that yard is open to the street so they could go anywhere from there! Backyard visits will require supervision from now on. And it'll be worse if we get the big dump of snow that's in the forecast (grrrr...)

I'm more-or-less starting to feel better; some days are better than others. Yesterday I started the day with two Ibuprofen and a Gravol but have needed none today so far. My lips are still numb though and that is a bit worrisome.

I've been enjoying the spring picture, the word play, the Bella-speak, Mary's creations (wouldn't they make great Christmas tree ornaments?!), etc. If we don't see any posts from gb by Saturday, I'm going to call her and find out what's up...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 10:26AM
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greenfreak(Z7 NY)

Whoa, lots to catch up on. I started a list on a post-it note to keep up!

Thanks for my bud/foliage ID's... Ctlavluvr, I do have chives in my lawn in other spots and they are more upright and taller that these little guys. I never liked the way chives looked. My husband keeps asking if we can pull them up and eat them. I said until I'm sure this yard has been organic for at least one season, we're not eating anything from the ground!

Babs, I'm so sorry about your students losing their parents. I am always painfully aware that those are the moments that can define a child's life. That it's history in the making - something that will hurt them for the rest of their lives. It's so sad when innocence is lost at such an early age.

PM2 - I considered boat shoes but I have this weird thing about my feet being exposed at all. I am not a barefoot kind of person, although I've tried. I feel like I *should* be, I *should* enjoy the feeling of grass under my feet. But alas, I garden in socks and sneakers... I think those plastic looking clogs with the holes are cute, but I'd never wear them.

Saucy - I do plan on planting another Japanese Maple actually. I have a long line of saplings along the corner of my property that I need to thin out first. There are a couple of JM saplings in there but since they were crowded, the trunks are tilted toward the sun and not very stable. Hopefully I can do something with what I have once I clean that area up.

Is the grass already 5 inches high because I mowed my neighbor's lawn by mistake? ;)

I am liking the bread recipes being posted, although I haven't been brave enough to try yeast breads yet. I don't know what's stopping me. I usually stick to banana bread instead.

Marian, I look forward to browsing your photo albums this weekend. I would love to have a thread strictly dedicated to everyone's albums. We could bump them periodically when we add new photos or sections. I do love looking at pictures!

Eden - thank you for the hydrangea information! I signed up for a day of gardening classes at our local Cornell Cooperative Extension school and there will be a plant sale and free soil testing also. But that isn't until the end of April. I have to call around and see who sells soil testing kits, so I can figure out what the pH is.

On that note - one of the things to change pH is coffee grounds. I'm not sure if you all have any in your neck of the woods but did you know that Starbucks gives away their spent coffee grinds? Some of them have bins with little baggies for self-serve. One by me will hand them over upon request. I thought that was a good thing to know, for when I start my compost pile also. :)

Chelone - it's great to hear that your girdles haven't caused damage! It gives me hope. I really hope that my tree can fare as well, and that it isn't some other hidden problem. Like verticilium wilt (sp?) that I keep hearing about.

Ei - I have read the Kite Flyer and enjoyed it. It is a serious book, but still has a childlike wonder to it. I learned a lot from it, and I'm looking forward to seeing the film adaptation.

Chloehoover - It seems I've missed the Phila Flower Show again, have I? When I was in high school, I had a school trip down to PA. We saw a lot of things, as you can imagine, but the one thing that we didn't get to do was tour the US Mint. Years ago, I saw a documentary type show about the mint and was amazed and interested to take a tour, see it in action. Then 9/11 happened and they were closed to tours for a long time. Just recently, within the past year I think, they opened the tours to the public again. Previously, you needed to be part of a group and get approval prior to visiting. As you can see, I've been waiting a long time. I had an idea last year to make it a dual trip - go to the Mint and to the flower show. But with all that's happened since, I've forgotten! This summer's long weekend trip will most likely be spent up in Newport Rhode Island instead. Maybe next year for Philly!

Chelone - you mentioned malt... One of my favorite things. I used to live closeby to a TCBY and they had something called a "Moo Milk". It was basically a chocolate malted. But each time I would order one, the younger employees would look at me funny. I felt sad for them, not knowing the joy of malteds. I haven't had one in years, my hips do not agree with them. Maybe I'll treat myself now. :)

Kathy - nice to meet you! I'm sorry you had computer problems. I have a wireless network at home also and although we had problems with my husband's computer in the beginning, it has since sorted itself out. I hope this is the last of your worries.

Deanne - what kind of orchids do you grow? I have a few Cattleyas, a Neofinetia Falcata, Epidendrum, and the rest are Bulbophyllum or Cirrhopetalum. Even with my orchidarium and fluorescent lights on 14 hours a day, I find I get more blooms out of the low-light orchids.

I see you're a coleus lover too! My potted coleus were never as nice as yours but my first foray into mixed containers many years ago resulted in a nice transformation:

Before ... upon potting in May, a sad looking specimen:

After ... in August:

And then there was "The Beast" you can see on the bottom of this pic - this was an indoor plant that went wild over the summer. I couldn't even keep up with pinching off the flowers after a while:

I will most likely make some pots for my deck this summer, your photos of your pots are inspirational. May I ask if you solely garden in pots, and if you find that much more daunting than in the ground?

Dodgerdudette - your pics are wonderful! It's so nice to see this time of year. I too cannot nap. I wind up waking up more tired and disoriented than before. I also feel like I'm 'missing out'. I'd rather just go to sleep 2 hours early for the night.

Ei - thank you for your quotes! I have a few on my website, and I'm always looking for good garden quotes.

WHEW, finally caught up! That only took a few hours. I suppose I should do some work now? Too bad. This was enjoyable. :)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 10:28AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Mary, I forgot to tell you I also thought your daughter is so beautiful! It is so nice that you both play. Did you teach her yourself?

Deanne...gorgeous bird photos again! :-) Enjoying them even more, since not much in the way of birds here right now.

Too bad about the chickens, Eden.

Does anyone remember Art Linkletter and the show he had titled....'Kid's Say the Darndest Thing!' One of the best shows ever. Wish they still had something like that on TV. There is so little worth watching.

Chelone, no sign of life here either. I should really take a nice dull, dreary, brown/gray photo to contrast with all the spring pics. Nah! DH also likes large ships. Did you ever get to Boston when they had the Big Clipper Ships in the harbor? Or the aircraft carriers? Quite a wait to see them but entirely worth it at least once. I must have some old photos somewhere, but not digital.

Would also like to see Sue's drapes. :-)

Malted Milk Balls...enjoy those too. Wasn't there a drink mix that was malted. Was it Ovaltine?

Thanks for the quotes Ei ..and the bat link. My DH loves to catch bats flying around just about dusk here in the warm months.

Cindy, you are so far ahead of us! I love your iris. Hope they get your mold situation under control soon. You must be so tired of it by now.

Woody, is Copper a boarder? Such a pretty color! I am glad things are improving and as time goes by I hope that every day brings more improvement.

Tricia...I don't enjoy barefeet in the garden either. This is the garden shoe I use..I guess it is called a rubber moc, not boat shoes. I don't know where I picked up that term..[g] I wear with socks too. What I like about them is I can walk through standing water and stay dry, All the mud etc. washes off with a hose, and I can slip in and out of them when I am going in and out to the garden a half dozen times a morning, and keep the floors in the house semi clean. [g]


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 11:17AM
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greenfreak(Z7 NY)

Oooh those aren't bad! And they come in green... bonus. I have to get new sneakers in general, I should check these out while I'm at the mall. I think we do have an LL Bean store there. This could be shoe shopping weekend. We are expecting 2 to 3 inches of rain between tonight and tomorrow. What better to do when it's pouring than shop?

Sit with a hot cup of coffee and post in the latest Idyll, of course. But I can do that too. :)

I have a question for all of you... Do you tend to your garden when it's dark or when it's raining? I've read here and there of people who do. I never think to, and always feel like it's the wrong time. I'm really not a water person, never have been.

I could imagine the pretty pictures I could take with drops of water on the flowers and leaves. But I could just as easily cheat and walk around with a spray bottle. Hah!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 11:33AM
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Wow! I don't know what's going on with my computer, but I didn't see any of these posts earlier! Those shots of the birds are better than any I've seen in the bird books laying around here, Deanne! Bravo to you!

I too am enjoying Red-Winged Blackbirds and eagerly await peepers :)

Greenfreak, your pictures are great, too, I look forward to seeing what you'll do with your new garden!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Just another peek in before I'm off on another errand.

Woody, glad to hear you are feeling better. Hope GB posts before Saturday and that all is well. Let's us know; okay?

PM2 I don't garden in barefeet, but I do *water* in the feel of soft grass under my feet.

Tricia -as far as gardening in the rain...I don't do maintenance in the rain, but I will say that a gentle rain (or one expected soon)is the perfect time to plant and transplant! :-)


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 12:02PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oh, and meant to say I'm missing Marian too and hope she is feeling okay?

Also Tricia, thanks for reminding me...I did peek at a link you gave to your website and love that Georgia O'Keefe quote, it's one of my favorites. I want to check your website when I have more time. I looks very special and I can see you put a lot of work into it.

PM2 - We have bats here in summer too. I always was a little freaked out by them swarming over head while taking Scout out for walks. They have the freakiest way of flying. Anyway, after seeing that video, I actually think they are kind of cute! :-) And now I empathize and appreciate more. BTW, when I was reading Eden's "Bella Quotes" I was thinking of the old Art Linkletter show too. That was the *cutest* show. fun to have things blooming! Are the blue flowers Iris reticulata 'Harmony'? They are gorgeous...what a lovely color!

Well off to Paris...I wish! No, it's just the grocery store on my list....
Have a great day all...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 12:26PM
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Im so jealous of the spring some of you are already enjoying. We had a ground blizzard last night. We were home before it though. There were several cars in the ditch this a.m.

Eden, did you have a hard time keeping a straight face after Bellas declaration of needing to "calm her nerves" ? Everything they say is just so cute at that age.

Mary, what a nice picture of Annie.

Babs, how awful about the deaths affecting the school.

Tricia, you will find several coleus fanatics here and lots of fabulous container plantings.

Deanne, the feathered couples are FF!

Kathy, your spring pictures are sure uplifting in my white world. Keeping my fingers crossed that the next picture we see from you is of Mr. B. for some reason I get visions of Mr. T (remember him?), so I need so see a face to put with the name.

Cindy, sorry to hear you are still dealing with the mold issues, but at least spring is arriving there.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 1:27PM
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Ooohhh... I would be a terrible parent, Michelle. I've been thinking of Mr. T., too whenever Mr. B has been mentioned. I think ringing the little squirmer's neck with gold chains would make a dandy "photo op.".

Killin' time until I'm due to show up at the beauty paHlaH.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 1:39PM
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Is Deanne opening a bird dating service?? LOL That's what I get for looking without reading, first.

Tricia -- The great thing about chives is you can leave them up, enjoy the ball-shaped blooms at a time when not much else looks like it in soft purple, and then hack'em back to keep'em from getting droopy. Your plants will always be taller since you're a full zone (or two) ahead of me :-) If chives are growing in your lawn, there's a momma somewhere that reseeded.


Ei: Try C. montana rupens. Was hardy for me in true Z5 on an east-facing wall. Get loppers ready after year 3.

Thanks for the TV tip Eden! (admitting here that I'm a salwart yet closet Ace of Cakes fan). If Bella needs a chaperone and Marie isn't available ....... LOL

Cindy: The blooms are so beautiful and welcome, but is that a pineapple hose guard in your garden?!?! Gotta have one of those!!!

Oh, Michelle, I'm so glad you got home. There's nothing worse than getting buried on a road. Meant to tell you that Miss Kenzie is quite the darling.

PM - I'm starting the Digitalis tomorrow. Do you want a bunch of them? If yes, I'll just do a whole flat. Also wanted to let you know that there MIGHT be some spinach poking up outside under the light sconce wintersowing setup. Could it be?

I have next Wednesday off from work for a DB thing, but rain, snow, sleet or hail will NOT stop me from cutting back the dead stuff in the gardens the rest of the time. Through trial and more error, last night I discovered that tree pruners work really well to reach unsteppingstoned areas. (Ballast on the end helps to keep the blade from crashing into the tender crowns.)

Hello everyone I missed!

Martie, off to a long meeting with visions of color in my head :-)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 1:54PM
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One Halloween back in '86 the girls were getting ready to go out Trick or Treating and my mom and I decided last minute to dress up David who was 7 months old at the time and bald. We put a strip of black fake fur on top of his head, brushed some dark foundation makeup on his face and for jewelry some clamp on gold earrings and a gold chain around his neck. Voila, he was Mr. T. (Just long enough to take pictures though.)


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 2:00PM
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Nice to see the photos rolling in. Great pots, Tricia! Here in So.Calif a lot of stuff I grow in pots is to restrain growth or to give a better soil mix, such as with clematis. And then for specimen, sculptural stuff like agaves and succulents. Pure plant greed falls in there somewhere too, lol. I've never grown indoor orchids but have a couple pots of epidendrums outside and this little Australian terrestrial orchid that's just about to bloom, very epi-like violet flwrs, unnamed when I bought it.

Hi Woody, glad to hear you're feeling a bit better. Our newf Toby used to flop on the floor just like Copper, taking up nearly the entire kitchen floor, like a boulder in a river, and we'd all just wade around him.

I must be skimming a little too quick and can't figure out who brought up the bats, but as card-carrying members of Bat Conservation Int'l we're sick about this new die-off in the Northeast. Bats were an early enthusiasm of Duncan's, less so after puberty, but he came around and rejoined BCI at about 18 yrs old. Funny how embarrassing those youthful enthusiasms get at puberty. Another casualty was his lighthouse enthusiam, which at its height prompted trips up the West Coast to visit all the lighthouses, and I still find his drawings of them here and there. No bats here tho we tried tempting them with a homemade bat house.

Barefoot is a mode I love but then I get rhino feet. Since I have a tiny garden, any ground that's not growing plants is hardscaped, so there's no mud issues.

Cindy, sympathy right back at ya for not passing that mold air test! That's such an aggravation, and here you're being all stoic about it and not dishing details!

Great to hear the bee class whetted your enthusiasm even more, Saucy. You go, they need you!

Chelone, tripod cat/Newt is fine, as is Joe. Since Joe's last fight injury, Duncan has him on "lockdown," in the house by 4 p.m., much longer time indoors, and living with a litter box is a new experience, yuck! Taking Dune to middle school about 9 yrs ago, waiting at a stop sign, a gaggle of kids was crossing, laughing at the tiny, tiny kitten following them into the crosswalk. Horrified, I leaped out of the car (in my robe) snatched the kitten, put her in my lap and drove her home. Which is how Newt came to live with us. Loved the story of you and your dad on the bridge.

A very, very nice movie maybe some of the idyll kids would like is the Peter Pan with Lynne Redgrave. Lovely production of this story. Might appeal more to adults, not sure.

Time to get busy but wanted to mention to Mary this store linked below a few blocks away from us. One day I'm going to walk in and plunk down some cash for...don't know yet, but something stringed.

Gosh, Michelle, that ground blizzard sounds sinister. It is indeed spring here, which is my favorite season, much more so than summer. About 70 deg in the garden, before 11 a.m.

Deanne, the birds are superb, dynamite dymorphism!

Hi Martie, good luck next Wed.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 2:03PM
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Tricia, from one coleus fanatic to another...Deanne and I keep this place in business, lol.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 2:07PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


No computer efforts needed today, so I am just getting around to attempting to plan where I am moving things this spring. An hour later, I am already discouraged. I have too many things to move and too much indecision about where to move it. Plus the logistics have me flustered. I can only put in short bursts of work out there, so I can't just dig it all out and then position and replant in a couple of long days.

For instance, I know two shrubs have to come out of Bed A, but they are going into Bed B, but first there are plants in Bed B that have to go into Bed H, etc. etc. My head is spinning. In the fall I picked up this project and put it away a half a dozen times. *sigh*. I swear I must be planning on relocating half of everything in the garden.

It would feel more comfortable to just concentrate on one bed, take out what is coming out, pot them up, then add what is going in. Then I would end up with a lot of potted plants and then just move them until they are in the right place and then plant. It seems like a lot more work to do that though. Anyone have any other suggestions? I am probably making this more difficult than it is.

Thanks... :-)

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Drive by post. I'm in big trouble folks.
I just agreed to foster a large 1YO Pit mix for 2 weeks. He's named Tank (not a good sign!) and very sweet. He's in a kill shelter and they found a rescue to take him but they can't get him transported for 2 weeks. The trouble is I haven't told DH yet. Maybe I'll just show up with him on Sunday afternoon? LOL

Jerri -> SUCKER!!!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 4:54PM
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Wow, Jerri, your DH must love you a lot!! Good Luck ....

PM2 - Try something like this. You know your gardens. Put it in logical order. Then hire a 21yo who knows what they're doing in a garden and three local just-teenage boys to be muscle. Serve a good lunch, and everyone is happy at the end of the day.

If Bella starts singing "I Just Dropped in to See What Condition My Condition is In", don't be surprised.

Off for a weekend of exhaling . . .


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 7:23PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We were just talking to gb... Her Internet connection is a satellite one. Apparently there is some problem with it and they hope to have it fixed by Tuesday next week at the earliest. Marie said to say 'Hi' to everybody and that she feels cut off from the world! (For those of you who may be wondering how I talk to Marie on the phone - it's a three way call with me on a portable phone watching Randy; Randy translating what Marie is saying...)

PM2 - Copper belongs to a friend and is staying with us while her 'parents' are off to Prague for a hockey tournament her son is playing in. I'm a sucker for dogs and we regularly baby-sit (doggy-sit) for friends. Copper (she's a Briard) is here until the 16th and then Liam (Border Collie) arrives on the 27th for a week. Our little Misty loves it when her big buddies come to keep her company! We're hoping to add Phoebe to our visiting dog pack at some point...

Denise - a boulder in a stream is a good description of Copper! :-) She has mellowed a lot since she was last here. She'll be 2 in a month so she's just about all grown up now.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 8:53PM
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Friday is a welcome visitor. The sun went away this afternoon so my plans for a few more spring pics went awry. Its a bit gloomy out-a marine layer I guess since no rain is in the forecast till Monday.

What a lot of posts todayIm digging in with the comments..

PM, thanks for the kind remarks on my entry garden. That C armandii has been moved twice and this seems to suit it. When I took the pics yesterday all the white trim you see had been primed and thus looked clean all was painted today. And no, I dont garden when it rains. One of the attributes of living in winter-rain country is that you are totally justified in staying indoors and reading garden books. It gets way too muddy outside to do much that is productive. Not to mention standing water .
When I move plants (a frequent occupation I admit) I either dig them up ( not gently I might add) and then plop them down on top of the soil in the new location . Then I ponder. Maybe I place them 6 inches to the left or a foot to the right. Then I make an executive decision and dig the hole. They either sink or swim.

LOL, Martie, Deannes bird-dating service ! You mentioned the winter-sowing that you an PM do ---is it pre-spring that you start to see signs of life ? Spinach here is considered a winter crop.

Deanne, its so cool what Photoshop can do with images. They look totally like un-altered pics to me. My fave is the Nuthatches. I hope things went ok for you today with your friend and her dads service. I will always remember how kind people were when my DH passed away, and what fun we had in his memory.

Saucy, re :long winded beekeepers-my Master Gardener group had a bee-dude speak to us a few years ago-he was actually a spouse of one of the MGs, a retired commercial airline pilot. He was nervous as hell when he started his talk but his enthusiasm won and to this day I remember it as one of one of my fave seminars. Im very fond of bees, and have tons of them in may garden since I dont spray. Have not been stung since I was in high school .

Ei, we call Linaria "toadflax out here, not Nemesia. Its always interesting how regional the common names can be. Nemesia has always been considered a cool season plant out here, but there are just boatloads of new cultivars that seem to do well all the way into mid summer for me. Linaria on the other hand, definitely poops out in summertime.

Eden, Mr Baby is doing well, and get this: my BILS went for a visitation last weekend. Did it occur to them to take their camera and them E-mail me and DS some pics.? Nope. We still are only camera phone viewers. We will be driving up within the next month so we will have pics then.

Well Cindy, maybe I beat you to it, but I surely dont have any Iris yet ! Is that a hose guide in pic 2 ? I just cant seem to find good ones locally.

Chelone, I heard the hive-heist story this am tooso how comes the Salon ?

Denise, how reassuring to know that you passed out due to sleep deprivation ! I hope the Ouzo and cigars were not a factor?

Woody, I do remember the pics you posted of Copper before. He looks quite content this go-round. Have my fingers crossed that you will continue to feel better, and functional !

Tricia, I love the Crocs-(the holey plastic clogs) for summer because I hate my feet getting hot the Crocs seem to be a bit more practical for gardening than flip-flops !
It would take large quantities of coffee grounds to affect the PH in our soils here. I always dump them in the garden though. The earth worms love them . When I make home compost I put them in filters and all.

Time to get some dinner and read the paper

Marian? Yoo hoo to Marie if she can read this ! Hi to Honey, T, Wendy, Drema , Brenda (wherever you are)
And those who remain ungreeted.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 9:18PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Thanks for the update on GB, Woody. And for the details on how you call her. You "talk" so well here that I tend to forget about your hearing impairment.

Ei, here's the story on the flower show. Two years ago, Mayor Daley decided he wanted an outdoor show in Chicago along the lines of the Chelsea Flower Show. So the City created the "Garden in the City" show in Grant Park in early May and gently twisted a few arms. A couple of significant show sponsors as well as an exhibitor or two jumped to the new show. The designated dates in May rolled around, and it was COLD and very rainy, and the show attendance reflected the truly lousy weather.

In the meantime, the Navy Pier show had been highly underwritten by the Tribune, and the Trib was really suffering financially. After the 2006 show, the Trib announced that they had to pull the plug on thier financial support, and the show was canceled. Late in 2006, a new management company decided to revive the show and move it to Rosemont. I didn't make it last year, but the reports I heard was that it was a very small show - but then again, they only had three months or so to get it together.

My main gripe is that I truly despise the traffic and parking situation at Rosemont. I haven't been to anything over there in seven or eight years and am not eager to go back...

Saucy, I think it's mega-cool that you will be keeping bees! I used to be very afraid of bees as a kid, and I have gotten over that now, but don't think that I could go so far as to tend a hive. So good for you!

Deanne, I can't believe those photos are "cut and paste".

Can you believe our low temp tonight is supposed to be 2? Good thing DH has a fever; it's like sleeping with an electric blanket, LOL. I am starting to notice some bud swelling on a few shrubs and trees, and I certainly am giving them an A for effort! There will be no outside work yet again this weekend, and spring clean up is now well behind schedule. Drat! I hate losing early March, because then "seminar season" starts up and I have few free Saturdays until late April.

Mary, did you ever submit a Peeps diorama?

If anyone has not had enough of our ongoing Peeps show, you may want to view the Peeps gallery at the link below. Warning! there are almost 150 photos here, and some involve explicit Peeps nudity and violence...

Have a good evening,


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 9:45PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

YES! I'm posting from my brand new HP Pavilion. All hooked up and online. Unfortunately the setup and 'look' are all wrong. The fonts are too small - you name it and it's different. I'll have lots of tweeking to do tomorrow.
Time to read for a bit and go to bed. Goodnight all!


    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 9:56PM
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I am reporting the first Chippie of the season. I called to Polly and up through the hole popped Spencer with a plump chippie in his mouth. I quickly closed the slider and when he opened his mouth to beg entry, Chippie made a break for it (looked pretty lively). Spencer is inside and Chippie is somewhere on the deck (10' above the ground), so I suspect there is some rescue duty in my immediate future. But he'll keep until I finish my coffee. :)

I have a pair of those muck shoes and I love them. They're perfect for the mucky winter/spring times. I find they can be too hot in the summer, though; like gardening with sealed plastic bags on your feet. I have a pair of stout leather lace up shoes that I use for much of the grunt work. They're now nicely decorated with paint spatters. I love going barefoot, but for leisure purposes only. I don't like to really work the soil when it's wet, but transplanting before a rain or during a gentle one is fine with me.

I know how you feel, PM2, about the quantity of things that need relocating. The logistics CAN be daunting; I think Martie has given you good advice. We're facing the reality of hardscaping before we can really get down to the business of rearranging and planting. I've put the notion aside several times, too. But can no longer postpone it; at least not if we hope to get the contractors lined up to finish realigning the driveway before August.

Salon has been stalled; sick helpmeet means the ductwork to complete the heating system is as yet incomplete. I have simply not felt like rolling up my sleeves and doing what must be done to get the face of the cinderblock chimney surfaced for a smooth effect. I have not yet done the pickling samples, either. But need to "get crackin'"; I see the window of opportunity to complete it closing inexorably as spring action picks up for both of at work. I am, frankly, still very annoyed about the needless delays of last fall. Think I need to "get over it"? lol.

I have to deal with the striped rodent. Back later.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 7:04AM
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What model Pavilion Jerry? Not really familiar with consumer products, just curious. Congrats to all who are back on line, and thank you for doing your part to stimulate the economy. PM, what did you end up with?

I'll never catch up, so scrolled for pics and highlights and got all hung up on Deanne having azaleas blooming in NH in march. Now I get it! Amazing work Deanne :)

We had some 70F days at beginning of week but as the week aged things changed to chilly and wet. Now 45F and raining. I'll just be grateful for that considering the options most of you have right now.

Jerri, just tell your husband the new guy is a 'domestic shorthair'. He'll never know. I took in a return couple of week's ago. He'd been in a home for a year and the woman had expected (in spite of all the required reading and interviews) that she was getting a giant IG. (Can you imagine a 70 pound IG? Now that would be a reason for return.) So Jack (formerly Vincent) turns out to be a perfectly normal perfectly wonderful greyhound. Just a little nervous, and that's probably from a year of no stimulation. Dannie thinks I got her a new toy. She's going to cycle into a depressive phase when he leaves.

PM, Just make a list of everything you want to do. Then go outside and just start. Some things are easier to 'do' than to think about. I make a list in summer - as I spot things- of what I want to change in fall or spring and just print it and take it ouside when the mood hits and ground is diggable. You could also just designate one area to heal things in until their spot opens up, instead of potting.

We're up to almost 12 hours of light a day, and DST starts this week-end! Did William Willett know he was inventing such an attitude enhancer?


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 7:22AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Martie...a bird dating You are so on the ball...already have spinach coming up and sowing digitalis! My few winter sown containers haven't sprouted a thing yet. On the Digitalis, Martie, I would be thrilled with whatever extra you have! Thanks Martie...maybe I can swap you for something you have been looking for? Thanks very much for going to the trouble of scanning in your hand notes to show me how you work out moving and dividing. I love to see other people's methods. Yes, I will have to hire someone. My problem is I have at last count 75 plants to move, a dozen of those are shrubs. Clearly, I am very bad at plant placement. [g]

Woody and Denise...we have never had a dog that large, but always wanted one. Great Danes, Newfoundland, Saint Bernards. Just never felt we could accommodate one and the drooling is a big drawback for us. [g] The older we get, the smaller the dog we think we can accomodate. All of our dogs have ended up sleeping on our beds and I can't imagine sharing the bed with a

Eden...another coleus fan here...thanks for the link. :-)

Woody...thanks for the update on Marie. How close are the two of you to each other? Your friend's son must be on some really great team to be going to Prague for a game. :-) I have often thought of fostering or dog sitting as a way of enjoying dogs again without actually taking the responsibility for them, but so far, we haven't had the opportunity to. Glad you have the enjoyment of it! Have you posted a photo of Misty?

Hello again Kathy! So nice to see you back in business and posting again. :-) You are really doing one bang up job in getting your house ready for the market. I would hire you any time to head a project! :-) As for moving plants, I have tried it both ways...planning it in depth, and on the fly and I don't seem to be finding success either I don't think there is a plant in my yard that hasn't been moved a couple of times. [g]

V...I am still getting a kick out of the Peep far, the funniest one to me, was the circle of Peeps surrounding a dish with a baby duck on it. lol I also like Peep Art and Field of Peeps...runners up...Jiffy Peeps and Port of Peeps. lol Oh...and the witch from the WofOz...'I'm melting, I'm melting!' computer won't be shipped until Monday...I am taking a break from all things computer until it arrives. My DD is predicting I will spend the next two months tweaking the new computer. [g] She is exaggerating, but ..resting while I have the chance. Enjoy your new computer! Hope this means we will see plenty of long posts and lots of photos! :-)

Chelone..... Another early riser on a Saturday. :-) Yes, hardscaping blues was last year at our house...still could do more, but not in the cards at the moment. I hope your HMeet is feeling better. The news accounts of the flu this year are worrisome. I hope you manage to stay in the 'well zone'. Understandable that you are not jumping for joy at the idea of preparing the chimney surface. After all the painting, I would expect a little break might be expected. Your cat actually catches chipmunks? Pretty amazing. Do you get a lot?

Well...that is about it for me...not sure what is on the schedule for the day. Supposed to rain in torrents today, so not going too far from home. No gardening work expected to get done either.

Hello to Marian, Marie, T, ..and where has Wendy been? Hello to all. Have a great weekend!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 7:33AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cynthia...didn't see you there. :-) Yes, definitely doing our part to stimulate the economy. lol I went back and forth quite a bit between the lenovo/IBM and the Apple. Very happy that we decided to go with the Apple. It helped that I had my DD's MacBook to play around with before deciding. We finally got some good advice about how to work out the problem of my DH connecting to his office on the Apple, so I hope we will be all set. I'm relieved and excited!

Cynthia...'some things are easier to do, than to think about..' LOL I completely understand what you mean. Although I think shrinking brain cells are the problem. Either I think about it indoors in front of the computer screen, or I stand out in the garden staring at the beds for an hour. [g] I actually think I have moved things less often than most people. This next move seems to be my best shot yet, at getting things where I need them. I am pretty sure if I can just get the shrubs in the right place this time, I will be all set. I don't mind moving perennials at all. I decided to take my list of 75 plants and winnow it down to the top priorities to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed. My desire to have it all moved and in place at the start of the growing season, is an unreasonable expectation. So I am going to concentrate on getting the 12 shrubs in the right place and worry about the rest later. I can always move any of the perennials during a cloudy rainy week any time in May and not cause myself too many problems. And there is always next fall...and next

Isn't DST early this year? We are going to LOVE that!! can hear a few birds this morning! I have been pointing out to the household how quiet it is in the morning and how soon we are going to be waking up to the sound of birds again. Have to get some birdseed this weekend I guess and time to clean out the feeders and birdbaths again!

Ok...really going this time.. :-)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 7:54AM
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Chelone, Marcy seems to be in semi retirement, LOL....I haven't seen a rodent in a long time :) Good luck catching that little rascal!

V., I don't remember ever being afraid of bees. We went barefoot everywhere and I remember my mom showing us how to "sweep" our feet across the clover covered lawns instead of stomping right through :) I do remember thinking that kids who were afraid of insects were silly :) Now spiders and snakes....

Anyway, you got me thinking about my entrance into the hive last summer....those are my bare hands holding a bee covered frame :)

Here's a picture of what my hive will look like:

And when are we going to decide on an Idyllunion locale? Is it NY this year?

Pm, you've gotten some good advice about moving plants from some plant moving experts :)

Eden, I've got my bread making supplies ready. I'm going to make a cracked black pepper and parmesan batch and a calamata olive batch. I might even go for 3 and make a roasted garlic batch :) My friend liked my bread....hope she's ready for more :)

Greenfreak, I used to be a good composter and would collect things for the pile. I mostly stick to lasagna gardening now. If you have a starbucks nearby, though, I'd grab some grounds! I, like Denise, just work them into the soil. The worms do the work :)

I have big plans for my garden this year. I want to start a hive and make lots of new beds! I'm working on a plan to work in the office during the hottest part of the day and work in the garden during the morning hours....that'll be fine for summer, but I'll have to work the opposite for spring weather :) I hope I can balance it....

I'll check in later. I had more to say to everyone....


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 8:24AM
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I agree Saucy, we're starting to make summer plans and I'd love to make sure I've left an Idyll weekend open. Was New York the most popular Idyll destination?

Denise - that looks a neat shop. I wish I lived closer and we could go shopping together. I hope you go for it!!

V - our Peeps dioramas weren't completed in time but we had a blast playing with them. Annie was working on her Tribal Council Peeps Island and my Peepsicution of Anne Boelyn was making progress. I'm left with an array of beheaded Peeps smeared in ketchup. I loved perusing this year's entries - the Van Gogh is one of my favorites. I seem to be drawn to missing body parts LOL!

There are many Idylls with sharp eyes as you all correctly spotted me in the purple sweater:0)

Tricia - have you read 1000 Splendid Suns? I enjoyed it just as much as the first and found his writing about womens perspective fascinating.

We're having a foot of snow today and I have to drive almost an hour for Annie's All County Orchestra concert. I think we'll set out very early (she left before 8 AM for rehearsals). I promised Annie and David we'd have our last down hill ski of the season tomorrow and that should be stupendous as long as we can get there.

Good luck Jerri!! Have a great Saturday everyone.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 9:01AM
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Mr. Chippy-chip either decided to climb down or launched himself into the abyss because the last I saw of him he was hightailin' it across the snow toward the oak tree. Complaining all the way! The relative success of the pride's hunting depends entirely upon supply, PM2. It's actually been a pretty moderate winter and I suspect there will be a bumper crop of rodents (good snow cover boosts their numbers) this spring. On average, at the height of the season, we find between 1-3 rodents daily. I feel sort of bad about the chipmunks because they're awfully cute, but their numbers are vastly outstripped by other rodents. I have no pity whatsoever for voles and mice.

I will be interested to hear your review on the Apple, too. I am due for a new machine and I'm leaning in that direction myself. My brother loves his, so does my BIL (teaches computer science), and the helpmeet's music buddy swears by them.

Cynthia, I absolutely don't "get" how someone could adopt an animal and then return it a year later! absolutely infuriates me, frankly. It's a living BEING, not simply a "consumer good" to be cast aside when you tire of it. I was raised to believe that a pet is a lifetime commitment, just the same as a child. The fact that we've unflinchingly cradled each pet at the moment of their deaths bespeaks our commitment to them. We discussed Wrecks for nearly a week after we'd both met him before making the commitment to adopt him. We talked about it endlessly... pros and cons, the work that we'd have to do to make it work, etc.. The day we "bailed him out" we caught sight of our application for his adoption. A notation in the upper corner of it said, "awesome home for Rex if they decide yes". I can't imagine how hard it must be for the staff to watch an animal leave with a new owner only to be returned weeks/months later because it didn't work out. Rex was surrendered at least 2 times before we adopted him, and he was only a year and a half old. I can only wonder at the untold damage done to the psyche of such loyal, devoted animals when they are abandonned to a shelter. I believe it's even worse for cats. Maybe you should consider adding one more... Dannie will benefit greatly, so will Jack. (and I hate dogs).

I howled looking at the Peep Dioramas, V.. I have several favorites (#s 46,52,73,77,89,107,116). There are a lot of people out there will too much time on their hands, but I am clearly an appreciative beneficiary. :) I do hope your husband is perking up; seems the helpmeet was afflicted with a more localized (lower intestine, eewww) bug. He's well over it, I paid particular attention to regular, thorough hand washing, and have (thusfar?) managed to dodge the bullet. 2 degrees is about as cold as it ever gets here, and that's unusual. Things are sort of dreary looking here, patches of bare ground, mud that increases at the days warm but refreezes at night. It's definitely sugarin' weather. And being as tuned in to the natural changes is what makes me contemptuous of man's tinkering with the natural clock. How are Dianthus and your other charming SIL (shamefully, I've forgotten her name... yikes)? Saucy's picture brought up fond memories of the Idyllunion. Remember me to them, if you think of it.

Laundry is folded and "stowed". Not sure about the rest of the day... rainstorm has yet to arrive and clearly I'm not particularly motivated.

I cracked up at the description of large dogs as rocks in a stream, Denise. PERFECT... ditto cats in front of a woodstove. How was Newt relieved of one of her legs? and you have one more kitty (a total of 4, yes?).

Missing 'bug., grateful to Woody for the update. And chiming in that I, too, "forget" your hearing loss. How great is the printed word; removes any "preconceptions". Wondering about numb lips, though. How do you test the relative heat of food and drink? never considered the perils such affliction might present... . Copper is lovely (how big?), though the potential for "sticky" around the mouth would preclude the breed from my consideration (sorry Sue and 'bug.). "Sticky" at the entry point or the exit point are warning flags for someone who hates dogs...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 9:16AM
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It's a grateful day as we are east of the storm front, and while 2-3" of rain isn't the most welcome thing, that equates to 12-18" of snow, so I'll take it!!

Must admit, PM2 and other dividers, that the list is just a start. That one list amounts to who knows how plants/holes/moves by the end of the day. Many fourth year plants that were started as just babies haven't been touched yet, so who the heck knows how many divisions there will be?? When you hear a wail coming from CT about a plant giveaway in my front yard, come running LOL

Kyle is actually psyched to do this, and told me he feels "honored" that I would let him lead the physical digging/planting charge.

My GBFF (gardening....) will be here to help actually cut the divisions. She and I will start at her house where about 15 Hosta varieties from my "old" garden have been nurseried -- for seven years. LOL It'll be good to have them home!

During the look out for great tag sale containers, also look for old serrated knives -- perfect for the cutting job.

Can you tell I'm excited at the prospect of having the gardens look like I've envisioned for the past several seasons?

And THANK YOU ALL for your patience with "hearing" me all that time :-)

Woody -- You "sound" like you're feeling a bit better and thanks for the Marie update.

"Short-haired domestic" -- good idea, Cynthia!

Good luck to Annie at her concert and to Mary to get there.

Okay, Jerri, out with it. Two requests for hose holder info. LOL

Saucy - You are a brave woman to handle those bees that way. I'm with you on snakes -- even little good garden ones. Rich and Ky know "the scream" ......

Great to spend a few minutes here while waiting for the right timing -- food shopping then drugstore for pickup that won't be ready yet if I left earlier. LOL

Oh, Chelone!! Finally another "go barefoot whenever possible" person! Thought I was the one and only :-O


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 9:19AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning. Cold but sunny here this morning. DH had a terrible night with his fever, and finally about 3:00 am he asked me if I would drive him to the doctor today. So that's on the agenda for this morning, along with the usual laundry and the shoveling of the house (inside, not outside).

I agree that we need to get serious about an idyllunion location. Summer dates are starting to book up. And that photo tells me that losing 20 pounds by July would be a great goal! (New idyllers - I'm the midriff bulge on the far right with my head turned away.)

Time for more coffee, and then off to the doctor's office. TTYL,


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 9:32AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Thanks, Chelone for the reminder. Both SIL's are doing great. Ellen is building a new house and has offered to provide endless food and drink if the idyllers want to come and design perennial beds for her new yard.

And I forgot to mention the status of my science project. So far I have not gotten sick. The last couple of days, I've had a little bit of a cough, but it's far from anything that I would call "sick". I think I'm a believer in boosting your immune system.

V. (who still hasn't gotten that cup of joe)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 10:04AM
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Oh my! a "helpmeet" asking for a visit to the doctor indicates grievous malady. And untold days of misery before the ultimate capitulation. Oh, V.!

I was not able to convince my machine to reguritate Eden's link about bats. "Out of memory". OK (the Duracell ad. was fine, though!). But we are huge fans of bats here, too! I watched an NHPTV show and they discussed the colonies of bats around the state. And how the greater the size of colonies the greater the success of them. Featured, were some towns with colonies in the attics of aged buildings... and how the town has worked with the bats to find them new, acceptable homes that kept them from frightening town employees, lol. We know it's spring when the bats appear in the dusk sky. We love sitting outdoors (lathered in bug repellant) watching the aeronautic displays in the fading light. I have a theory that people fear things they cannot easily SEE. Bats are really very beautiful creatures, but how many actually get to see one? I used to be freaked out by snakes. But in New England the chances are the snakes you encounter are NOT venomous. They may be big and they may be scarey, but they are pretty much harmless. I don't waste much time backin' away from the big daddies (4'+), but Garter snakes? no way. They aren't going to hurt me. People creep me out way more than animals ever will, lol!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 10:09AM
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Home alone, DH is off on a day trip to check out some farm equipment. I decided to stay home and continue to work on the laundry room. Much prep work is taking place on the walls. I picked up some paint chips last night and some toile fabric for the window treatments. Yes, Chelone I will attempt another sewing project. Im trying to add a little class to that room. Maybe laundry will be a little more enjoyable.

Odd weather here with 15 yesterday morning and 7 this morning. Whats with that? It is March after all.

Ive been wearing a pair of the Crocs without the holes in the garden with a pair of low cotton socks. Without the socks my feet seemed to sweat but not with. They sure are comfy.

Kathy, great to have you back. I dont know how you stay so calm about the baby pictures. Id be making some threatening phone calls by now ;o)

We have 3 options for internet here, dialup, satellite or the wireless service that we have. The service we have just upped their monthly charge by $10.00. It really ticks me, but the other 2 options dont seem to be real great either. Hopefully, we get bug back soon. Our wireless is at least reliable.

Ive given little thought to the gardens yet this year. Although, Kenzie gave me a lot of ideas of what she wants in her garden this summer. We were watching the video tape of my gardens and she would point to all the yellow flowers (her favorite color) and tell me that she wanted those in her garden. She did mention a few purple ones as well. She also mentioned she wants to have a tea party in her playhouse. Hopefully, shes around for part of the summer.

All you Idyllers who have spring have a responsibility to post pictures to keep the rest of us going until it arrives here.

Have a great Saturday!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 10:38AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im a muck shoe person myself; Im thinking of becoming a multiple owner of them.

Re the hose guard, I believe I got them several years ago at Walmart, would you believe? they usually have some interesting designs if you can get to them early; they're not something they seem to carry all season.

Ei, the iris is Clairette - a new one I planted last Fall that I'd seen at the Phila Garden Show the year before... I do have Harmony but it's much darker blue and hasnt yet bloomed; Clairette seems to be a bit earlier than the others including Harmony I've got. For some reason, I just adore these bulbs.

It's pouring rain here so no work outside nor photo ops. I did do a quick run around this a.m. amongst the rain drops (does that qualify as work in the garden, greenfreak?) to see a few more snowdrops starting to burst open, some crocus tommasinus (sp?), and more hellebores. Can you hear my itching and stomping to get outside? Altho the once grass path is no more; houseguest dog started it on its demise and the workers in the last month have completed its transition to total mud, and the rains are pouring down its route. Hmm, me thinks some drainage issues are goiung to raise their ugly heads... water, the bane of my existence.

I so agree with you, Chelone, re the incomprehensibility of someone returning a pet.. I have never gotten it and refuse to understand... Jack/Vincent is fortunate to have foster Mom like Cynthia who accepts returns!

This may be a sloth day; not much energy left - Chloe is off getting her 'do; I thought I should move some more things into the back bedroom but find I dont have much energy to do; too much stress from ofc and house issues. The mold thing has become a bigger problem - too unpleasant a subject to bore ya with..... it's certainly made me rethink the desirability of having neighbors who live in their house....

Hey, Michelle - yes, after pics of your laundry room project are requested!

Glad to see Woody posting - hope the rest of the side effects disappear soon!

Well,maybe I should turn my attention to the investment club meeting tomorrow; we are all "watching" and reporting on a stock we picked last month; Im waaay behind on that task!

oooo -- no to bats for me -- I had a close encounter in another house w/ one -- who flew into the hosue and I had to chase him around w/ a broom and capture in a powder room... No, I didnt kill him and set him free - but they are ugly, ugly things close up - NOOOO, thank you. They can keep company with mice and rats as far as Im concerned -- not in My house!!!!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 11:04AM
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So you're a "bat weenie", eh, Cindy? ;) You don't have to "chase" bats outdoors, really! All you have to do is open all the windows in that room, and turn off the lights in it, then close the door to it. Turn ON the outside lights on your home. Leave them ALONE. They will find their way outdoors using their echo-location capabilities, and they'll do it in no time flat. Bats are WAY COOL, and sadly, very much misunderstood. Nothing to fear, REALLY. :)

Rex and I went to the store to buy red wine for tonight's dinner. I bought a box of "chicken tenders"... one for me... two for him. And the remaining to be used as training "bait" later on. I've noted the temperature has begun to rise; I no longer have to wear a hat and gloves when we go out in the car. I always open the two rear windows for him, and when it's REALLY cold the influx of cold air overwhelms the anemic capability of my car's heater. I hate dogs. ;)

Who "needs a life" today?! lol

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 11:38AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Kathy - I forgot to say earlier how much I envy you that clematis just now! The only ornamental white stuff outside here is what is falling from the sky - endlessly! And it's not scented either... Copper is actually a 'she' not a 'he' - but she's not exactly lady-like and I do often refer to her as he/him! She and Misty were having a rowdy play session this morning, reminiscent of this picture from last summer that you may be remembering:

The funny thing about it this morning was that Misty started it and every time Copper looked like she was going to stop, Misty would pounce on her head again to keep it going! She clearly enjoys her rowdy play time with her big buddies.

PM2 - Marie is about 90 minutes north and a bit west of where I live - close enough for visiting but not exactly next-door-neighbours... Dog-sitting is a great way to have more dogs without actually having more dogs :-) After our old Golden died, we were feeling dog-deprived but unsure of whether to get another one. We now have enough regular doggie visitors that we haven't felt the need for another dog of our own. Here's Misty with three of her favorite buddies last May:

She may be only 20lbs or less, but she's the one in control! I was just checking comparative sizes - Copper stands about 28" tall at the shoulder and weights somewhere around 60 lbs. (most of her size is hair!) Misty stands about 10" and weighs less than 20 lbs. - but she thinks she's at least as big as Copper is!

Saucy - I like the idea of bees and a hive - but I don't think I have the necessary calmness of temperament required! Better you than me holding that bee-covered frame... I'm looking forward to hearing/seeing more about your venture into hives :-)

Cynthia/Chelone - based on my experience with 'pre-owned' dogs (Chelsea and Misty), I think it's probably better when the owner recognizes early that it's not going to work out and return them/find a better owner before too much damage is done! I gather young dogs make the transition between owners without too much difficulty as, in the wild, it is fairly normal for young dogs to move between packs. The older they are, the harder it is to make the transition.

Chelone - yeah, the hairy mouth on Copper is a bit of an issue - but not too much. Misty has a beard too so I'm used to a bit of face washing and cutting out tangles that happen. Actually, Charlotte was the messiest one in that regard - I was paranoid about that raw food diet so scrubbed her face after every meal! Charlotte was not too impressed but got used to it.

Cindy - I hope your mold issues get resolved soon. We had a problem in the attic space a few years ago. I should get Randy to stick his head up there again soon to make sure things are still clear. He usually checks a couple of times a year.

V/Chelone - because I'm 'late-deafened' (at age 40), I talk fine - it's the listening part that doesn't work :-) I very much agree that these sorts of forums are great at making this 'invisible disability' even more invisible!

V - I hope your DH gets better soon. A DH who asks to go to the doctor is definitely a sick puppy! Keep on top of that science project and I hope he (and Chelone's helpmeet) get better soon...

Chelone - the lip numbness is mostly gone on the right this morning; still some numbness on the tongue. I assume swelling from the radiated area was putting pressure on part of the facial nerve and that the swelling is now subsiding. The left side has been numb since 1998 so I've mostly adjusted to that. Paying attention to where the food is in your mouth is the most important issue to avoid issues with aspiration. I haven't managed to choke myself yet...!

Marian - yoohoo - are you and Nolon OK out there?

As you've probably figured out by now, I'm feeling a fair bit better today. I have a bit of a headache but I'm pretty sure it's just a normal 'weather' headache. And I managed to do most of my exercises for the first time in almost two weeks. Now, if the snow would just stop and it all melt away quickly.....

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 12:46PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Good morning all! As you can tell I'm NOT an early riser. I wish I was but I need 10-11 hours of sleep to feel 'rested' and I can only indulge on the weekend. I expect the sleep apnea/CPAP will help that.
There are so many things I want to comment on but have to get busy preparing for Tank. I also have to get my email moved to my PC from DH's. I'll post more tonight.
It will be interesting being back in my 'office'. Since my father died I've been using that room to house and socialize Callie, his semi-feral cat. She's very friendly as long as it's totally quiet and she knows you. When I was setting up my PC last night the noise of Windows coming up and the television had her hiding in the closet. :( I think in the long run it will be good for her. She will broaden her little world slowly.

Have a good day all.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 1:00PM
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Jerri, you will appreciate this: my brother has nice house in a little neighborhood that is pretty "working class". Not sure if that is directly related to "stray animals" or not, but he's found his address has attracted several feral cats.

A large, solid grey "Tom" was a regular vistor. After nearly ONE year he was able to actually pat him. In a year and a half the cat came INDOORS. Three years hence the big grey Tom has been neutered, he's in great condition and while he's wary of strangers he "warms up" quickly to anyone who likes cats. The latest resident is a lovely, "Maine Coon" sort of cat... she's beautiful. But the fact that she is always at my brother's door speaks to the fact that she has no sense of "home" anywhere else. How sad.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 1:18PM
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Saucy, I have proven my deep affection for you by going through the last four years of entries on Mitch's livejournal site to bring you this photo:

They swarmed and made this impromptu al fresco hive (not sure of bee terminology!) temporarily under the now defunct rose pergola in 2004, which is right outside my office door. When they left later that night, I hosed the spot to cover up any "bread crumb" pheromones they left, in case they were thinking of finding their way back for a permanent hive. I still feel slightly guilty over my panicked reaction -- but I was thinking it was the wrong time of year for them to be moving around (June) so assumed they were killer bees! (which have arrived here BTW) who move several times a year.

Chelone, I could tell cat stories all day, so don't encourage me ;) But about Newt's leg, she came home, much like Joe recently did, with a lame leg. Vet said she "fell," since there was no visible sign of injury. Took about six months living with her dragging the useless limb, hoping it would heal somehow (like Joe's did) rebandaging the pressure ulcer on the dragged "knuckle" every day, before we had the leg removed. Must say I envy your living with bats!

Woody, have you learned to sign? I must confess, whenever I see people sign to each other, it is the most incredible, balletic thing to watch that my interest borders on rudeness. As an alternative to legal work, lots of court reporters are assisting the hearing-impaired, writing and sending live feeds of university lectures to laptop screens for the HOH students. Love seeing photos of your menageries, "borrowed" or otherwise.

Marty and I had a serious planning session for the side gate this morning and if the momentum holds, it may be built this spring!

Somewhere in Mitch's livejournal June 2006 I found this conversation Mitch recorded of us, I'm M and Marty is P. Marty feels about cats the way Chelone feels about dogs, and he is an amazing pantomimist with his hands. Mitch, the "I" at the end of conversation, was building some light box contraption in the living room. Seems we were a little looser with table scraps for Ein back then...Cynthia will be horrified:

"[dog leaps up]
P: He's had plenty of turkey so don't give him any more.
M: [eating turkey sandwich] I won't. Did I tell you I fed him this morning?
P: You did.
M: And he had bacon later.
P: It's true.
[dog leaps up]
M: But it's never enough.
P: He's a dog. Dogs don't know. They'll eat until they puke.
M: Until he explodes. And then he'll bark at the cat food bowl
until I fill it for him, which I won't do anymore. Not that I ever did.
P: Ha.
M: It's true-- I put the cat food in the shed and close the doors and I tell him N-O.
P: Why don't we just put the cats in the shed? And then --
[pantomimes closing the shed, locking the doors, throwing the key over left shoulder]
M: Well then we'd need a lot more sheds around here. [goes around the room]
One for you-- and one for you--
I: Hey I'm going back to my shed right now. It's 3x3x4 and I'm building it in the living room.
M: Well get it out of there, will you? I want to watch X-files tonight."

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I need help. We are replacing our old light beige carpet and putting in something more 'animal friendly'. We have tile in the kitchen and foyer. I'm looking for options for the living room and bedroom. It took some convincing to get DH to agree with something other than carpet in the bedrooms.

I've read that wood and laminate can soak up urine smells if there are accidents. With fostering there WILL be accidents! I'm wondering about Bamboo?

What do you think is the best option? What are your experiences?

Thanks all. Back to the kennel spruce-up!


P.S. Where is everyone? Am I the only one without a social life? ;)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 2:46PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi Chelone an Denise. :)
I love cat stories. I don't talk about cats much since I don't foster them. I don't foster them because every one I've 'fostered' is still here! My number of cats is up there with Jain's! LOL I love cats.
I hate dogs (yeah right!)

Back to work. Poor Tank is coming to a muddy mess. I'm having to put down plywood to make it livable. Thank goodness its only a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 2:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I don't want Jerri to feel lonely...

We're back from the doctor's office. DH had the flu early on, but now is dealing with bronchitis. I warmed up the car for him, drove in an ungodly hot vehicle, dropped him at the door, went to the grocery store to get chicken noodle soup and brought him home. I'm hoping he recalls some of this the next time I'm sick. I can't recall the last time I was driven to the doctor when I was sick.

When I stopped at the grocery store, I ran into a coworker who had been at work today. He said another one of coworkers was dreadfully sick today.

Speaking of the grocery store, I was there a few days ago and had an interesting little incident. You could almost see the little angel on one shoulder and the little devil on the other. It was quite busy at the store, and I was headed to the self checkouts. There was a man just ahead of me starting to enter the last empty lane, when he abruptly turned, looked at me and said, "I don't know how to work those things!" and headed to the regular checkouts. My subconscience said, "But didn't he see the money in the tray?" Yes, someone had left some cash in the change return. It was a $10 bill. So then the internal debate started - do I just take it, or turn it in? I had serious doubts that the real owner would ever get it even if I turned it in. I continued to scan my groceries while the shoulder dudes duked it out. When I was finished, I took the $10 and left.

On my way out of the store, there was a rather dejected looking high school kid slumping against one of the pillars. When I passed him, he straightened up and asked if I would like to buy a discount card for the baseball team fundraiser. I politely declined and headed to my car, where both of the shoulder dudes smacked me up both sides of the head, and said, "whaddya think the $10 was for?"

I went back and bought the discount card. The kid had the biggest smile and said he was having a really hard time selling the cards because there were so many other fundraisers. I got to go home, knowing that $10 had helped someone have a better day.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 4:00PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What a busy place here this morning. Very enjoyable reading. This Idyll thread sometimes feels as though I am reading about ten books at once a little bit at a time. [g]

Didn't want Jerri to feel lonely either..[g].

Woody...thanks for posting those pics of Misty and Copper. Misty is so cute! She reminds me of a dog in the movies, but I can't think of it's name. You know the first photo you showed of Copper, with nothing else in the photo, he didn't look that large. Next to the love seat and Misty...he looks huge! lol I always loved to see dogs play together. Especially a small dog with a larger dog. It is amazing that the large dog knows to be gentle most of the time and that the small dog is usually not too frightened. So when you say you foster, you have more than one dog in the house at one time. See when I heard of fostering, I thought you would take one dog at a time until they found a home and then another. It sounds like there are more dogs than foster homes and that they keep you busy! That is nice that you and Marie are near each other, but I can see it would take a special effort to get together. So GLAD you are feeling better! :-)

Jerri...... flooring that is pet friendly...well...if accidents are expected, I am not really sure which is the best solution. Our last dog had epilepsy the last three years of his life and that caused a lot of accidents. I never had a lingering odor from dog accidents. I would get to them right away with lots of paper towels, blot as much as possible, then scrub with a mix of water, dish soap, and white vinegar, then rinse and then blot. Always took care of it. We have hardwood floors with area rugs here. The Living Room has a small 6x9 rug, even the kitchen is hardwood. I have been considering redoing the upstairs floors and if I had to choose, I was thinking of bamboo, just for it's environmental factors, and I really like the look of it too. I just bought a bamboo cutting board and I love it! It is so hard and smooth and pretty.

denise...what a great shot of the bee swam. As a kid,I was not really afraid of bees, but not totally comfortable around them either. I have only been stung once or twice and no big deal. It has been over 30 years since I was stung and I am pretty comfortable around bees, although wasps still give me a little hesitation. A swarm or a hive, I would not be comfortable enough for though. Cute conversation with your DH about the cats. I could just picture it. I really got a kick out of him pointing at the cats that would all have their own shed. lol

'Returnable dogs'...I have to agree with Woody. Ideally, you hope that people think long and hard before taking home a pet, and knowing what lengths shelters go to, to assure a dog goes to a good home, I can't help but think that dogs that are returned are a minor occurence, would that be right? If a family can actually have a pet in their home for more than two weeks and not bond with it enough to want to keep it, then the dog is probably better off making the change. After a year? That seems like it must be really unusual and maybe something significant changed for that family? Hopefully he will be luckier the second time around.

Cindy, why are you thinking of having more than one pair of muck shoes? sorry you didn't finish the peeps dioramas in time. [g] Maybe next year?! I would suggest saving it for next year, but with ketchup? guess

Martie, sounds like you will also have a lot to move this year, but you already have help lined up?! How lucky are you! So, I keep reading little bits referring to a previous move. Someday when you have time, you could tell me the story of how long have you lived where you are, what were your gardens like in your last house and the story of the move..etc. :-)

One of my computer order boxes came today. Just a few cables and one piece of software. The machine won't ship until Monday. Definitely will let you know how it goes Chelone...sounds like you are ready for a new one, if your memory is that low!

Loved that garden you all are looking at in the old Idyll reunion pics!

Ok...time to go...enjoy the rest of the weekend.. :-)


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 4:37PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

PM2 - just to clarify - I don't foster; I just dog-sit for friends on vacation. That's a much easier thing to do! I greatly admire people like Cynthia and Jerri who do foster - that's a far more difficult thing to do and very tough on emotions.

I forget who commented on the hockey playing expertise of the son in Copper's family... I thought a tournament in Prague sounded pretty semi-professional at least, especially since a couple of weeks ago I was on stand-by for Copper-sitting in case he had to go to Pittsburgh to fill in for a goalie who was on the injured list. It all sounded like NHL farm team at the very least! But my friend assures me that he just plays for some unimportant minor league. Sure sounds fancy to me though - but I know zip about hockey and am not too interested in knowing more about it....:-) (My friend says she's the same but the trip to Prague is worth it!)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 5:33PM
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Greetings from zone 9 , where spring continues ! I did some touch-up painting around the exterior today- things I chose not to hire out. I also viewed helplessly the wasteland that is my garage. What a mess. I quickly left the area. Beware of messy garage syndrome Chelone ! I also drove to three different garden centers looking for snapdragons to no avail. They had them in gallons of all things at Home Cheapo for 3.97 . Who wants to pay 4 bucks for 1 annual ? I need about 20 of the things. Its kind of surprising not to see them around since they persist over winter here without freezing.

Wow V, where did you find a Dr that works on Saturday ?? Very impressive . That peeps link was hysterical. Wonder how the Good Shoulder Dude knew that the baseball kid was out there having a slow sales day ?

Muck shoes, I have both the shoe and the boot the boot navigates flooded streets , deep puddles and high wet grass just dandy. Chelone is right about the hot sweaty feet in the summer , that is when I change to the Crocs which are nicely air conditioned. I gave up bare feet when I had small children that spilled sticky substances on the floor.

Cindy, Wal-Mart for the hose guides?? Well, I admit to being WalMart phobic, but I could probably do a quick targeted swoop of their garden center area to see if they have them this spring. I havent been in there for a couple of years so I guess Im due for a visit. Clearly a bummer that your mold and flood issues are still fermenting. I hope you get a suitable resolution soon.. Im here to tell you that the muddy path will dry out one day ! I always put micro-bark down on paths that are not lawn or hardscape in my garden, but find if I do it too early the rains float it away.

Hoping that Mary had a safe journey through the snow today.

Michelle, I guess my anti-children bias has protected me from the heartache of photo-deprivation ! I like toile, and in fact the afore-mentioned Mr Baby has black and white toile as the fabric in his swing, stroller, car seat and all those other pieces of equipment that Graco makes .

Woody, yes indeed the pic of Copper and Misty is very close to what I remember. Its nice that Misty tolerates so many dog visitors. So glad that you are feeling better today

Jeri, our Boo-Boo kitty who passed away last fall was feral. My DH brought him home in shirt pocket after finding him in the vineyard of the winery where he was working at the time. He lived to be 17, and loved people, tolerated dogs, and had no interest in the other cats here at home. Im down to 2 cats now, which is okay for the present. For many years we always had an inventory of 3. Its knid of nice right now to have lower vet bill exposure !

Denise, I had colony of bees in my Pittosporum eugeniodes last year. DS took a bunch of photos. I think they stayed for about a week.

Things are growing

Tuscan Blue Rosemary is in full glory right now.

The view from the adirondack chair..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 7:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Kathy, you would spit wine all over your monitor if you saw the size of my prostrate rosemary, which has flourished indoors this winter and has doubled in size. It's now about six inches high and maybe seven inches long... I think rosemary is the one plant that I most regret I cannot overwinter outdoors.

I made another trip to the grocery store for DH. His legs are really aching, so I'm making him eat bananas. Also, he turned down cough syrup at the doctor's office and then decided he needed some.

We didn't go to the "regular" doctor's office, we went to the urgent care, which is open all day Saturday and Sunday. I had to laugh as they have the ever-present TV in the waiting area. You would think someone with a fraction of a brain would monitor what is playing on the TV - we came in on the tail end of an infomercial touting an options trading course (having taken a graduate level class in options trading, I shudder to think of someone trying to make their fortune after a half-day infomercial course...) and then the next show was "Dead Like Me". Cheerful programming for a medical waiting room, eh?


    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 8:57PM
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V, you need a greenhouse.

K in N

    Bookmark   March 8, 2008 at 9:22PM
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Good morning....I'm gonna try to get in on this Idyll before I get stuck with naming another :)

Wow Denise, I'm flattered! Thanks for digging :) What started this whole thing is while working for my neighbor (dig your own perennial business) I got to witness a swarm! I learned that the bees are really calm because they gorge on honey before moving. Long story short....they're waiting in that branch while scout bees find them a suitable new home! If you're a beekeeper, then you want people to call you when there's a can just go over and collect the bees for yourself, and start a new hive.

That little bit of knowlege will probably be depicted as myth in next week's class :)

I can't shake the feeling that I'm late. Who asked about DST?....turns out somebody in Congress thinks it'll be good for something to start it a little earlier....that's why you think it's ocurring earlier in the year! I don't like people messing with my time/head. That bit of information is probably something I dreamt last night.

V., I hate the urgent care clinic. Good place to put the Airborne experiment to the test :)

Kathy, I'm green with envy. I want to come and sit with you! I love snapdragons - hope you find some. Your brain will begin to say, "you know, $4 is not that much, and I really do need them...."

Cindy, I hope you stayed nice and dry through last night's deluge of rain! Nick was sent to 2 homes in town for flooding. Chloe's going right for the mud in her new 'do, I'll bet :)

I live right on the wetlands, and as I look out this morning, it's like I have a new lake :) The water is sparkling in the sun. Canoe season will be here soon :)

Time to go see what's up for today. Yesterday was very dark and is already looking up!


    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 9:00AM
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Thank you for helping the environment Saucy. I'm reading scary things about different types of bee populations declining.

Kathy, your gardens are such a surprise, spring really is creeping up on us and maybe in another month we'll all have something to photograph. Keep those photos coming! (Foot shots optional, we don't want to attrack the wrong kind of lurkers.)

Here's my the poor unloved Jack. His only problem is that he has an anxious streak. Actually, I'd been working with this woman since November and have wanted her to return him ever since she admitted she didn't love him. They are always better off coming back than living in that kind of environment. I prefer the returns to the off the truck dogs, they're more interesting and usually have some behavioral training needs. But all Jack needs is confidence and someone to love him. RX: More training and socialization.

Dannie loves him! I can't take a photo of him without her in the picture. (Took his muzzle off for the outdoor shots and she was supposed to stay out of frame, but I ended up with 20 shots of Dannie & Jack. Maybe I'll send her home with him :)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 10:17AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Waiting for DH to get home from visiting his Mom, to go for a walk at the Pond. Sunny and very windy here this morning...LOVING DST being earlier this year! Sorry Chelone..[g]

Great pics Kathy! Nice to see spring, somewhere. :-) Love your rosemary and notice those neat gardening shoes you have on.

Woody, thanks for the clarification, gee, you have a lot of friends with dogs! lol Yes, I mentioned the hockey player. I was a Boston Bruins fan for a period of time when Bobby Orr was playing but not much since then. Sports are lower on my list then a few things, gardening being one of them. :-)

Cynthia...Jack has such pretty coloring! How wonderful he has made a friend already.. :-)

OK, since this is 101 posts...let this be the last and I will start a new one...


    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 10:27AM
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