Idyll # 312 - The Plants on Wheels Idyll

wendy2(zone 6 MA)March 31, 2007

Spring has sprung, the sun is shining - let the games begin!

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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

Well, I did it - I actually started an Idyll. A first for me!

The sun is out, the winds seem to have died down, and I have the whole day ahead of me. DH reminded me again last night not to fill up all the barrels with yard waste since the dump doesn't open until next weekend. He was kind enough to get me some of those big paper leaf bags, but they irritate me endlessly - they seem to collapse when you dump anything into them.

During a quick inspection on Wednesday, I noticed some sprouts of sedum, pulmonaria (I love that plant too Cynthia), daylilies and a few others. Most of the hellebores look like they'll still bloom, except the Sunmarble which had buds in January. The buds on that one are still there, but they look like they got zapped by the cold. I have some early crocus blooming, but the wascally wabbit beat me to some of them, they are all chomped down. I sprinkled the rabbit repellent to prevent further damage but I ran out - I'll go and get more at the nursery today, and maybe some pansies too.

Deanne, I loved the pair of finches doing their courtship thing - how charming! So glad you didn't lose as many rose bushes as you first thought.

Cindy, I can't believe you actually have pulmonaria blooming, I only have tiny leaves. You have had warmer weather than we have had here.

Honey, your vacation sounded (and looked) wonderful. I agree, there is nothing like going someplace warm in winter, they you really know you have been away. DH's parents started going to Florida a few years ago, staying first for six weeks, then 3 months. They finally bought a place and the last few years they have gone down in October and stayed until late May. If it was up to FIL, he'd probably stay all year - he loves it down there. MIL likes to come up here for the summer, she loves the beach in Maine most of all. MIL is a certified beach bum, we kid her and tell her that is her job. She is literally on the beach from 9am to 5pm daily, weather permitting. FIL, aka The Silver Fox, likes to walk the beach, but he doesn't spend all day there. He'll often bring her some lunch, or a cocktail at the end of the day. What a life!

Chelone, your story about the bicyclist and the bridge cracked me up. I hope he meets others along the way that are as accommodating as you were; he'll surely encounter many more bridges.

Well, have to get moving. I am debating whether I should do a load of laundry before I head out to the nursery...nah, the laundry will be there later.

Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 8:57AM
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Great tydll, Wendy! I laughed out loud.

What a beautiful morning here in Maine. It was hovering just below freezing and the sun was just cresting the trees across the street. What had been thawed yesterday refroze over night and those places felt sort of crumbly underfoot. There isn't much traffic early in the morning and it's easier to really listen to the calls of the resident avians. The helpmeet is much more tuned into that than am I, and it was fun to walk around the yard with him and have him point out songs. The young cats were all out with us and Rex seemed to wait until they were rolling to chase them. :) Straight up the arbor or the pergola, lol.

I have dispatched the dishes and one load of laundry and after that I have the option of some alteration work or some outside work. Hmmm... which will win out?

It was sort of disheartening to look a the wild area that will be eliminated for a garage. I like having places that are ungroomed and "wild", and at present it provides a nice buffer from the road traffic. I fear its loss and need to really think about what to introduce to maintain the private feel to that side of the house. I am not well informed on woody shrubs and will need lots of help...

I really miss hearing from Martie, Taryn, Woody, several others, too.

Have you ever noticed that when you dig bulbs to relocate them you NEVER get them all? I was surprised at the number of stragglers popping up under the holly. Dagnabbit!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 8:58AM
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Another wet one here. The temps are mild though. I need to shovel out this place before guests this evening. I do believe I will head out and look for some tassels and trim for the table runner Im making. It just so happens that will be the town Kenzie lives in so I must stop there and the nursery as well. Maybe IÂll be able to find something for my front door pot.

No plants on wheels here until things dry up. Nothing blooming here. I do have a few crocus but they come up under the ivy and always seem to be late. I imagine the ground stays cooler. The iris reticulata appear to almost there. I do actually have buds on the fern leaf peony.

Chelone, there are several here who are experts on woody shrubs.

Hopefully, the valances go up today.

Later, I must run.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 9:36AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi all - a very quick note. I'm having major laptop issues with lots of random crashes. No long posts until I get this resolved.

Enjoy your weekend,


    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 10:03AM
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Wow, this place is the equivilent of Dead Man's Gulch today. I wonder why?

I went outdoors after the helpmeet headed off to work and I hung the final load of laundry. I began cleaning out the terrace beds; pulling out old foliage and leaves. I cut back "Polish Spirit" and made the decision to shovel prune the Honeysuckle that has been languishing for several years now. I will replace it with another "Polish Spirit". The effect should be pretty ("massing"!) and I like the "whack it back to 18" every spring" philosophy. I pruned the PeeGee standards, and have to get busy with strips of nylon hosiery and get the Climbing Hydrangea trussed in the direction I want it to grow over the arbor. I am still giving the New Dawn rose the "hairy eyeball"... where should I move the Eupatorium that topped 9' last summer? what am I going to add between a mature Peony and the Hydrangea standard that will provide mid/late summer interest in a site that become increasingly shady as the season progresses? So much to consider.

But I did consider this: today was the sort of day Mum would have loved. She'd have bundled into her parka, put on her hat and gloves ("in case") and followed me around as I worked in the yard. It made me wistful. She loved croci and snowdrops.

I was thinking about the plants that I really love to look for every spring. I'm with Cynthia and Wendy, I love Pulmonaria, too. And I love seeing Dicentra brave the cold and often snowy surroundings. My favorites are the white ones. I adore Solomon's Seal, too (I have the all green variety). I have very moist soil and a fair amount of shade, so I tend to gravitate to plants that favor that sort of thing.

I would enjoy tassel shopping with Michelle. Tassels make me smile, so does fringe. :)

Well, my break is over, I've applied the sunscreen I overlooked this morning (I have a sunburn) and it's time to put the garden debris in the gardencart. And look at the menacing canes of the rose AGAIN.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 3:05PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, an unusual event - a Saturday visit from me here -- I imagine it's quiet because there's some serious spring cleanup going on in gardens even if there's not much up in them - or in my case, lots and lots of weeds competing w/ perennials popping up.

I spent most of the day doing more clean up and weeding; moving a couple of things (but want to wait a bit on others til more things have come up). I didnt plant a lot of new tulips last year as I was curious to see how many of the prior year came back and today's inspection seems to indicate almost nada.... very weird; I've had some good return in other years.

Here in the neighborhood, the cherries and (stinky) Bradford pears are blooming; i've got buds on all the cornus; most of the clematis have jumped up about a foot altho others are just peeping up; for some reason I even have mertensia virginica starting to bloom while in other spots it has yet to show itself at all -- very curious how the same things stagger growth around!

I love pulmonarias too; I think I ordered a couple more types this year; I also love omphaloides which is similar. I see one Brunnera showing itself - but I swear the 2nd Brunnera Jack Frost I planted seems a gonner -- I can only guess a critter is taking these off; I noticed outside my fence that some tulips and daylily growth also have a definite "munched" look; I guess deer have discovered them. Things in bloom are ipheion, grape hyacinths coloring up, some of the Thalia daffodils have started, and the Jan Bos & Woodstock hyacinths; bergenia has buds and the pyrus salicifolia pendula should be in bloom in a couple days as well. It is definitely Spring!!!

In general, it was a glorious mid-60s day and I felt like I finished some things that had been bugging me; hoping next weekend will offer similar weather to let me move things around & throw some fertilizers and compost around.

Gotta go back to the trench in the office tomorrow to work on some trial prep happening; I've tried to forget the aggravation of the other travel problems. [Cynthia - that's the nature of an attorney and his/her ego - they can have a laptop with them but they're still on the phone asking you to check on the weather at the airport where they are -- it seems some twisted thinking of that is a waste of their important time to check themselves (gotta worry about billable hours, ya know?) and have 5 different airline reservations ("just in case") - so they're rather bug a lower-paid person to find this info out, despite it being inefficient, time-consuming, unproductive and stupid!!! o the stories I could tell .....]

Hope Spring comes to every one despite wet or cold -- and enjoy the weekend.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 8:10PM
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Hello everyone

Wendy - LOVE the title! Makes me want to nip outside and move a few plants myself.

Whew - a busy week and hectic Saturday are drawing to an end and I'm looking forward to a more restful day tomorrow. As I sit down for a quick Idyll Annie is out babysitting, David has a friend over for a sleepover and they are watching "Back to the Future", and DH has gone to buy ice cream for the boys. David's friend is just the nicest, most polite boy. He is one of the few 10 year olds I know who shakes hands when he meets you. His Dad is something very high up in the army and Mum is from Germany. From what I've seen they run their household with military efficiency and German cleanliness. Yikes, I wonder if I can whip this place into some sort of shape before pick-up tomorrow?

DH and I are doing our best to reconnect after a long absense. His first morning back was particularly crazed as I scurried about finding socks, library books, making lunches and arranging after school plans. DH got up just as I was racing to the finish and pronounced that the coffee tasted awful. I reminded him he was no longer staying in a full service Marriott. (Well, I was a little piqued so my reply was rather zestier). I stomped off to work but it didn't take me long to realize being told the coffee sucks was really not worth a fight, especially if (truth be told) it did taste pretty bad that morning. By the time I called DH he had cleaned out the coffee machine, run vinegar through and reminded me that he had actually stayed in a Best Westin. This morning when he got up DH asked me if there was any of my fabulous coffee available LOL! We're trying:0)

Well, I need to check on the guys but hope to be back to post tomorrow.

Have a good Saturday night - is anyone doing anything fun?


PS Sue and Deanne - I drive past the Japanese maple nursery every day on my way to and from work and think of you. It's still knee deep in mud but the last couple of days the hoop houses have had their sides open. What a daily temptation.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 8:20PM
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Wendy, I love the title too. It's a constant reminder to shuffle things now when they won't even notice they've been relocated.

More like Pets on Wheels here today though! Not a moment in the garden, which makes me grateful I snuck that afternoon off in this week. With the extra long days I've been getting an hour in just before sunset each night. I have more than 30 humongous trash bags of sticks and weeds and debris and leaves to go out when the county starts yardwaste pick up in April. Compost bin and pile are more than full, so the detritus gets shipped out.

Monty couldn't go to the dog park this morning, as I found a cut on his toe when I was doing his nails at 5AM. So he stayed home with Katie. (I lied and told him we were going to the vet.) We got there before 8 and were all alone, so I left Dannie unmuzzled and she ran the 3 acres like the winner she never was :-) She was soooo happy. The second dog to show up was a mellow golden and by the time we left at 9, there were 20 other well socialized dogs and 5 greyhounds. It's so cool when greys outnumber the other dogs because they're still a minority in this trackless area. Back home to walk Katie and Monty and serve breaky, and then off to Dannie's new obedience class. I don't agree with some of this trainer's methods and she didn't seem particularly knowledgeable of dog behaviour. As a cat person very late to dogs, I'm so often surprised at how little many dog owners know about dog behaviour. This trainer tapped her dog on the head up and down, tap tap tap when she praised it. The dog was clearly annoyed but she can't see his face so doesn't know. I cringed every time she did it. Give me the strength to keep my mouth shut about it for 7 weeks, or figure out a way to suggest nicely that the dog isn't happy when she does this. If she taps my dog on the head, I may have to demonstrate the discomfort of it on her. I hope to pick up something new from the classes but if not, at least it's good socialization and confidence building for Dannie. And the classes are outdoors in a beautiful location.

Dannie had a bath when we got home and now she's asleep on the couch with her head on Patricia McConnell's new dog book. Too bad my camera has yet to be replaced, it would make a cute shot :-)

And to end the day I headed to Sam's club for critter food basics. Chickie and beef and romaine lettuce and also picked up a Hepa air filter that has washable filters so hopefully they never need to be replaced.

Mary, loved the coffee story! It made me laugh out loud.

Cindy you were 10 degrees warmer than here today. So maybe your nicer weather will be here tomorrow. Overcast and low 50s here.

Chelone, my first thought on the plant to go between the peonies and the hydrangea for fall interest was.....Chelone(!) if it's shaded by fall. The next thought was Aster 'Raydon's Favorite' if there's more sun. Don't know if this will help, but I use my sunscreen as moisturizer so that it goes on every day and I don't have to think about it. It's pricey, but a really nice one - Skinceuticals.

Here's Raydon's favorite in late September:

Hi to all, hope you're all outside this week-end and finding surprises (nice ones) in the gardens.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 9:16PM
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Hidey-ho Idylls...plants on wheels indeed ! Man, have I moved lots of them this year. Today I moved Euphorbia "Portuguese Velvet" ..he was not in an area that made the best of his features.
What a pleasant day I had in the garden today- the weather was perfect . Im working on tagging my dahlias and lilies. I acquired a very large Plumeria yesterday courtesy of a VP at my company who was given 4 . It has actually cracked its pot its so root bound, so next weekend Ill get it a new pot.
I love pulmonarias too- the only downside is that they tend to mildew here in the summer. I used to have an area in my garden that was all different varieties of pulmonarias but I had to disperse them because the removal of a tree put them in too much sun.

Okay, so this afternoon I was sitting at the computer looking up some info to put on a tag I was making for one of my roses and suddenly two absolutely gigantic German Shepards came strolling into the room. I mean GIGANTIC. One of them was just wagging her tail and happy as could be , and the other looked a little confused (where the hell am I ?) I always have my house open on nice days and they just walked up my path and right into the house. Thank God they didnt see my 10 pound blind diabetic mini dachshund .I got up and greeted them as though they had come over for cocktails and escorted them out the door. Jeesh. My cats were totally freaked out.

CindyI also dislike the fragrance of Bradford pears. Because of our cold winter this year they were blooming much more heavily than usual. DS and I were out in my back garden one day and he asked me "what is that smell" ? It was wafting from two of the neighbors behind me..

Ok , time to go-sorry I cant say hi to everyonemaybe tomorrow..

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   March 31, 2007 at 10:17PM
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I'm pooped, entertaining does that to me. Some people seem to make it look so easy.

pulmonarias - I have only one, 'Majeste' that I picked up last year. I did see several different ones at the nursery today. Up until not so long ago I mostly gardened in the sunny areas.

I resisted all the plants at the nursery and just made mental notes and will stop back later.

Of course I stopped and played with Kenzie. They had gotten new patio furniture and Kenzie had a "house" made out of one of the large boxes. I had to sit in it with her. She really didn' want me to get out. It was fun to watch her feed Mo Mo the bearded dragon (lizard) It eats lettuce and Kenzie gets such a kick out of feeding him.

Cindy, I have had poor luck with 'Jack Frost' as well.

Chelone, tassle shopping around here sucks. No good places. I did locate some that will do. I also got some bullion fringe.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 12:12AM
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Top of the morning to my far flung Idyll friends. It's supposed to be nice again today, with clouds and inclemency rolling in for the work week. I'm OK with that!

Mary, I laughed at your description of domestic life. The helpmeet and I tend to parry like that, it's our way of poking fun at our own self-importance. I was unable to locate the loppers yesterday and was told rather tartly they were "right where they should be". After he returned from work he appeared with them, sheepishly informing me that they were in the "special lopper place", tucked in between two cartons in a dark corner of the board room. ;) There are several kids in the 8-12 yr. old range that come to the shop; an boy! isn't it a breath of fresh air to meet the confident and polite ones?! (I don't have much patience for the "mouthbreathers").

I think a good obedience instructor is one of the finest things in the world, Cynthia. And methods do vary greatly. We've had 2 and both were great. John was particularly good at imparting the importance of tailoring techniques to fit the dog's individual personality. What we do routinely with Rex would probably pyschologically damage for life a more retiring, timid animal. Is the tap, tap, tap thing on the head accompanied by a reactionary blink, blink, blink by the dog? :) Rex is of convenient stature to receive the gentle pat on the outside shoulder/neck and scratch/ear rub. I hope Monty's toe recovers sufficiently so he may go to the dogpark soon. It must be great to see them really run, doing what they've been selectively bred to do.

Michelle, I would love to see pictures of Kenzie in the furniture boxes! remember how exciting it was to score a washing machine, dryer, or refrigerator box?! And building "forts"... Sarah Susanka (an architect who advocates smaller homes that are more energy efficient and don't overwhelm older neighborhoods) calls that "a spacial experience". She must have loved having you get inside with her. I agree, it's hard to find nice tassels and fringe... you probably like the expensive stuff, too?

I chuckled at the Shepherds coming for cocktails, Kathy. That would be just Rex's speed, too... he's a total party dog. Do you know where they live when they're not out visiting the neighbors? I watched "Sideways" again, too. it cracked me right up. And I found myself looking at the background scenery and marvelling at open spaces so large (a rarity in New England). It's a good film.

I planted tulips several years ago and was underwhelmed. As they petered out, I've added more Narcissus. It's interesting that you have experience good success with them, Cindy. My former boss has great luck getting them to come back year after year, too. I wonder if it has anything to do with how refined the breeding is. My rescued Hyacinths (over 10 yrs. old) have finally petered out, I think there may be one or two this year. Thalia doesn't bloom for me until June.

I'm liking the idea of the Aster, Cynthia, how tall does it get? I have had a tough time with that spot over the years. The peonies like it, so does the PeeGee, but I've never been able to find the right plant for the strong spring/early summer sun and the decreasing amounts of it as August melts into September. I failed with Physostegia (really!) and Dictamnus and the past few years haven't seen me at my gardening peak. I had, actually, thought of Chelone; was thinking about the tall, white one (Glabra, I think, NOT the "alba" so readily found), but can't find it anywhere. I had also thought about a grass (I love them), but don't want one of those really tall varieties. I'm looking forward to this gardening season more than I have in many, many moons. To celebrate my liberation I purchased Fine Gardening's, "Plant Combinations" while at the grocery store yesterday.

Time to haul on the gardening raiment and get out to the terrace before the high cirrus clouds take away the sun and warmth. Thanks for the tip on sunscreen moisturizers, Cynthia. It's a good one.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 9:07AM
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Rex and I are in for a break. I've finished up the terrace clean up! I hacked away at New Dawn and gingerly carted the prunings off to the burn pile out back. I will tackle the out of reach stuff later on when I haul out the ladder and address the training of the climbing hydrangea. I then turned my attention to a clematis (Daniel Durondo) that's been much overlooked in the past few years. It had managed to grow into a Gordeon Knot and wasn't climbing, at all. I began trimming the dead stuff and was gradually able to disentangle the canes. I've got it pretty nicely arranged on the trellis now and loosely tied in place. Now I have to get busy with the fertilizer.

It was like bein' on the Serengeti, though. The cats were cruising around, there was a lot of rolling, trellis climbing, clawing of landscape timbers, etc.. Poor Vera even had a big, fat vole. But then Rex moved right in and stole it from her. He flipped it into the air a few times and then ate it. In about 2 chomps. Couldn't be worse than what Menu Foods puts into cans for them, I guess.

Back out to deal with the Hydrangea and the New Dawn. And then it's time to start doing some general contractor stuff. Oh boy!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 1:25PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Before I forget, I just had to pop in and say congrats to our published Idyller, Michelle -- I noticed your tip in the mag and it even got its own illustration -- how neat is that? Plus it's quite a clever idea. Good goin, Michelle! Hope you liked the gift they sent you too. Now, you need to enter some of your fantastic pot combos in this year's contest.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 3:17PM
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Skimming while eating lunch so back later, and hope I find the answer to the question: What is Michelle's published tip!?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 4:12PM
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Finally a solution for those of you still on dial up. Be sure to click on 'how it works.' It uses a special AFD line.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 4:19PM
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Cynthia, though I haven't gotten my copy yet I believe Michelle is published in the tips section of FG mag. Congratulations Michelle!

Busy here painting (I think I finally found the color I've been seeing it in my mind's eye, it looks like melted chocolate), cleaning and gardening, all somewhat simultaneously, lol. I just did a quick skim and will try to get back here soon (we have 2 more days of warm weather to take advantage of and then the bottom falls out).

Oh I have to tell you about my dream last night. I dreamed that I kept opening dresser drawers and they were all full of cuttings that I'd taken last fall and stored, mostly coleus. They would pop out of the drawers and were just beautiful and full, too large to stuff back in. In the dream I said to Brad that I wondered how many other places I had stashed plants last fall that I'd forgotten about. I wonder what the interpretation of that dream would be, lol?


    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 4:26PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Chelone, just had to pop in and tell you that the straw trick was trotted out in honor of April Fool's Day after dinner at SIL's house this afternoon, and was a huge hit. DH's nephew is a senior in high school, graduating next month - he has plans for straws in math class. this same sweet nephew also put an elastic around the handle of the sink sprayer so that when SIL turned on the sink to rinse the dishes, she got soaked!

Cynthia, Michelle had a gardening tip published in Fine Gardening magazine. I don't have it in front of me now, but I'm sure she can fill us in later. Congrats Michelle!

Have to run, DH wants me to come food shopping with him so we can divide and conquer the store. He usually goes on Mondays, which are not so busy there, but his work schedule is changed this week.

Waving hi to all!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 4:27PM
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Of course my issue of FG isn't here yet, you know it takes longer to get to the midwest ;o) For the inquiring minds, last fall I was trying to hose the soil off all the many cannas that I wanted to keep and didn't want the soil in the grass so I got to thinking that the rectangluar compost sifter that Rick had made me would work good propped up on 2 pails and all the loose soil would wash back into the garden and the cannas were wonderfully clean. Cindy, the gift was about the best you could get - $35.00 cash. Actually, I have a container that Backyard Living is considering for publication. I haven't seen what FG container contest is this year, but it usually involves "rules" as to what plants to use. Somehow I can never get that together.

Eden, what are you painting now? LOL on the dream. I had one the other night that our newest DIL won one of those fabulous coleus standards and I was very worried about the fate of it.

Crummy weather here. It rained like crazy last evening. 40 degrees and windy today, but Jaden and I still took our walk. We sat by the pond for a bit after Jaden chased all the ducks away. We are a stopping over spot for many ducks and geese on their way further north. I checked the gardens and am please that things seem to be showing up daily. I usually only worry about the plants that were new the last season. I figure if they make one winter, they probably are here to stay. No sign of the Gentiana scabra. Anyone know if it is a later riser? I'm hoping it is since it is a fall bloomer.

I love the emerging foliage on these tulips:

Our overlook of the pond this afternoon. The willows in the foreground are where the creek runs.

Something a little silly I thought I'd share, a double banana:


    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 6:28PM
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So I guess one definition of a gardener is someone who lets household chores go to hell due to the desire to be outside. I had really good intentions of cleaning bathrooms, dusting, putting away the cds etc etc. Being inside was just not an option today ! (or yesterday) . I did some clean-up of some previously neglected areas and finished planting lilies and assorted bedding color. I scheduled myself for a 4 day weekend the end of this month, so maybe Ill spend one day inside.
Also placed an order yesterday with Forest Farm. I got tired of waiting for local nurseries to have Geranium "Rozanne". I need 5 for the front garden and paid a little too much but at least Ill have them.

Mary, I must say, I have never had decent coffee in hotel room, in any city. Wowee, if your DH thinks " Mary-coffee" is worse than hotel room coffee I must question his taste lol.

Cynthia , I cooked my doggie some hamburger (ground sirloin) in desperation because she had not eaten in 24 hrs. My vet has told me that she needs to eat b-4 she gets her insulin shot. I gave her two units anyway she was quite lethargic , and sometimes the appetite thing is a vicious circle. So your pups get romaine ? Do you mix it in with their other food ?

Michelle, you and Cindy have one up on me that you can kill Brunnera "Jack Frost." , I cant find it anywhere. I have the plain old variegated Brunnera , but it has reverted to green foliage thus year. I havent gotten my FG yet either.

Chelone, the dog visitors live about 10 doors down on my block. Once I escorted them out I went around to all the open doors to securitize the building, and then went back out front to case the joint and make sure they had not wandered further away from their home. Their "parents" are very responsible pet owners and do not let them off leash in the neighborhood; they had wandered out through an open gate.
Hey, I bought the "Plant Combinations" FG publication yesterday too ! I always scope out the magazine section when I do my grocery shopping on Sat morning. There it was-how could I resist ?

Eden, there is only one possible interpretation for your dream perhaps a 12-step program is available in your community ?

Ok time to go watch some baseball (opening day)

And a pickinda blurry...
Archduke Charles, a China Rose, with Goldmound Spirea.
Charles is the first rose to bloom in my garden.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 10:54PM
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Quick fly in and out -- still a bit spooked but so miss you all and just wanted you to know the main highlights of life of late:

- DS left the house to go back to school with clothes on hangers -- a first and I'm sure there is a female involved.

- Weather has been so fickle that I'm holding off on more seed starting until things calm down. Do have heirloom petunia, Dichondra, Lavender 'Hidcote', Hellebores!!!!, and a few weird things that may or may not ever get used going strong.

- Work has been nutso but in a good way. Recently signed two new plant-based businesses and without sounding like a commercial, must say that the only place I'll ever get strawberries or any berry plants for that matter is in South Deerfield, MA and the family has been there for 40 years. The matriarch is just like you'd want her to be and I'm getting an elderberry education like no other.

- No work actually in the gardens yet. Was reminded by our local Agway guy that clay takes a bit longer to settle in spring. Shucks. Am enjoying nature take its course and have used the time to plan containers. Took a test step and immediately regretted it, so perhaps next weekend?

- Have read along and have loved the pics and anecdotes and fun.

Am sure I'll be popping in and out but am absolutely respecting the negative power of the internet and how easy it is to take small bits of personal info and put together puzzles.

Everyone stay safe, warm and with dirty fingernails!!!


    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 7:13AM
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Rainy and quite raw here, today. And to continue for the rest of the week, if the weatherman is to be believed. Oh well, it won't last forever.

Michelle, I don't believe I've ever seen a "twofer" in a banana peel. What a fun shot. Your pond is so pretty, do you have "spring peepers" around this time of year? and snapping turtles? I will have to pick up the issue of the magazine and look for your tip (a good one!). It's all very exciting. :)

Wendy, I really like the elastic around the sprayer on the sink. It's perfectly brilliant. Perfect practical joke for April Fool's day.

Eden, I friend of mine painted her living room a chocolate brown and it is just lovely! it's beautiful in the evening with low light and is equally inviting in the sunniest part of the day. Not "gloomy", at all. (camera?... sorry, I had to ask). And the notion of coleus cuttings in bureau drawers brought a grin to my face. Kathy is right, you need to find a 12 step program, lol. (you, too Michelle).

Wondering aloud about Taryn, Woody, and Miss Martie. And also about 'bug, who is probably busy as a bee and will doubtless return with the usual amusing assortment of photographs.

Yesterday afternoon we tagged some trees that will have to be professionally removed in preparation for a garage. We also tagged several that are growing up under the powerlines and need to be removed. Doing so ought to "clean up" the the front of the lot, improving the sight line when pulling out of the driveway. I think we'll be spending some time today on more general contractor duties; including more detailed drawings/specs. for the inside of the building.

And I have to spend some quality time this morning with some alteration work. At least it's not sunny outdoors!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 7:40AM
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Hey, it's SO nice to see you again. Your droll sense of humor has been sorely missed. Please don't be a stranger.

Did you report that clown to the authorities, Martie?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 7:44AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Boy, I am dragging today I had to put my foot down to leave the office at 7 pm last nite, so I could get home by 8; now Im back here to do it all over again aaargh. Got about 4 hours sleep I hate starting off the week like that. I try to be accommodating (its nice to feel "wanted" but then he always drags it out. . . . ..)

But I had to laugh at your dream, Eden, what a riot Im sure we could interpret it for you without need of the shrink hiding cuttings in drawers, hehehe.

Michelle hey, $35 in cash is not bad (only thing better would have been discounted plants of your choice, I think). Like you, Im hoping there are a number of things that are "late risers" since at present I have little sign of them. And frankly, they better stay napping with the weather thats expected.

Say, what is with the weather theyre predicting 20s this Easter weekend thats what I get for giving up a perfectly okay day yesterday thinking (stupidly) next weekend would be decent. . . . cant win. Mother Nature seems to be giving us a real ride for our money this year.

Uh, mutant bananas Im afraid what this is going to set off, LOL. . . . .

Ive been thinking of getting FGs "Great Gardens" pub theyre touting anyone here looked at it or bitten for it? I figure a lot of their "plant combinations" are simply repeats of what they feature in the mag every year & since Ive had been a faithful subscriber, I should just revisit the old mags. . . .

Kathy, - isnt that weird that you cant locate Geranium Rozanne locally Ive seen it here a number of spots, but think Ive ordered mine from a VA mail order place thats pretty decent in prices frankly, I find most of my local decent nurseries here are pretty pricey so theyre often more expensive than a mail order go figure. Only if you can score at Home Cheapo or Lowes might you get a "deal" but I figure I should support them all I certainly want to keep them all in business, LOL.

Chelone looking forward to hearing about the progress of your garage quite an undertaking but it will be worth it next winter, right?

Funny, how Spring (or hopes of) seems to make us all feel a bit perkier and sound livelier, doesnt it?

Its going to hit 80 here in the nations capitol the kiddies and touristas are out in DROVES, standing on street-corners, looking lost but happy its the peak of the Cherry Blossoms (altho a few showers of lasts nite probably made for a white carpet this a.m.). For once, they were actually "on time" for the Festival that started this past weekend. 80s to 20s for the 2nd week in a row pretty bizarre.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 8:47AM
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Chelone, I had to Google spring peepers as I hadnt heard of them before. It appears they take up residence in the eastern US. We do occasionally see snapping turtles in the pond. We also have a swampy area that seems to really attract the critters. You will love having a garage. Around here 99.9% of the homes have them and most are attached.

Cindy, I saw footage on TV this a.m. of the cherry blossoms. It looks lovely. Our local nurseries are overpriced in my opinion for fairly common plants.

Hi Martie weve missed you.

Kathy, your first sentence is so true. Thats why I do enjoy some down time in the winter. Wed be living in a pigsty otherwise. Its also good for getting a little home maintenance and redecorating done as well.

Strong straight line winds in the area on Saturday. A large cattle farm that I drive by daily was completely destroyed. I understand that 1500 cattle were running loose after it happened, Ill bet that was some roundup.

Eden, beware of those "melted chocolate" colored rooms you might get cravings when you are in there.

It seems quiet here, everyone must be moving plants. I made a mental note yesterday that the rose Carefree Beauty needs to be moved.

Have a great Monday

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 11:23AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi, yall. Lots of muscles protesting what was done to them these last few days. Weve been taking advantage of the nice weather, although we know were in for another winter blast later this week. It has been wonderful just being outside again. We split a huge load of wood chips with Ruth next door about 10 yds. and got them spread so my drive is clean and ready for the next load -- compost. DH moved the clematis trellis by our front door up about 18". Untangling the vines was like working with a fine jewelry chain so some runners got pruned more than I liked. I havent tackled the back garden so there is lots of pruning and fertilizing still to do. And we have maple seedlings coming up everywhere! Ive been pulling them out but need to get the whirligigs up off the soil.

Great tydll to this idyll, Wendy! Yep, plants on wheels and rabbit damage here, too. I like your in-laws retirement style! Hmm. I could do that. Beach all day, cocktails at 5. Funds permitting, DH and I would like to blow this pop stand for the 3 worst winter months and rent a place where its warm. We like our summers here. Well see how things unfold.

Suzy, too funny that Mystique sneaks down the basement. What is it about an off-limits area that intrigues cats so much? When I cant find Bullet, its the first area I check and usually find him sitting behind the door waiting patiently for us to find him. He never cries just sits there sometimes for hours till we miss him.

Sue, so great to hear Zoe is doing well and acting like a puppy and zooming thru the house. Does Nick get grouchy when she does that?

Chelone, your posts always make me smile. Youre so right about marriage and compromise. Let me add, too, that sometimes its best to ignore or not hear things. I have some of those straggler bulbs popping up here, too. Just when you think you got them all, another pops up. Your garage sounds like quite a project. Will your look somewhat like Sues? I really love the New England feel that hers evokes. Ill be following along on any advice on woody shrubs. I need them, too.

Cindy, I second Cynthias angst about what that atty put you through re the flights. I suspect, tho, that there might not be internet service in WY and I remember what a nightmare it was getting one of my retiree drivers in and out of Jackson Hole. Hope that fiasco is behind you. I know what you mean about the self-important attitude. Its funny that I found those with reason to be self-important usually dont act that way. One family member of the company I worked for was such a soft-spoken gentleman. He would always say, "If its not too much trouble..." or "Only if its not against policy..." or "Oh, please dont go out of your way" And meant it. It was a joy to do anything for him.

Oh Mary, ROTFLMAO! "Not a Marriott. How terrific, tho, that DH took it in stride and cleaned the coffee maker out for you. Im so enviousof you having that JM nursery nearby. Hmmm, youre 6 hrs. away. I might have to take a drive out. Maybe Eden and I could make a field trip.

Cynthia, Bullet says Hey back to George. Im so glad George is doing well. I hear what youre saying about throwing $ at the vet. Bullet has his very own cardiologist!

Eden, I second the praise for your Moms sewing talent. I love Bellas outfit. Ill bet she had a ball making it. At this age, theyre so fun. I always loved making DD outfits from various scraps of matl.. Speaking of living dolls, heres a pic of my DGN in her fur trimmed winter coat and muff. She was 2 in Dec.

Your dream made me smile. Before you went to sleep, you must have been thinking about Deannes coleus cuttings. Yee gads, she has a lot of plants.

Interesting, Cynthia, that the term "doorwall" is a Michigan term. I began my career in the land development division of my company and the term is so common, I never realized it was specific to this locale.

Congratulations, Michelle! I love those sections of FG and Garden Gate. Sorry to hear your neighbor had damage from straight line winds yesterday. We were supposed to have severe weather yesterday but it petered out before it got here. We didnt even get the rain that was predicted.

I agree with you and Kathy. If it wasnt for winter, this place would never get cleaned or decorated inside.

Hi Martie. Thats too funny about DS taking clothes on hangers. Im sure youre right about why, too.

Gotta get busy around here. This is probably the last of warmer weather for awhile. Have a great day, everyone.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 12:18PM
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I received the confirmation from my brother that Mum is now in a nursing home. :/ . He dropped her off this morning. Apparently, she turned to him and said, "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph... what is this place?". He turned to her and said, "it will be fine, Mum. You will be safer here and I won't worry so much about you". He was a wreck on the telephone... covering it well, but at the same "place" I was in January. Sigh.

I hope everyone's muscles are OK by the weekend, lol. No stiffness here, but most of what I did was raking, cutting back, and fiddling around with rose and clematis canes. I have a few scratches from the thorns, but not many.

Where are Sue and Deanne, anyway? If you read this, Sue, any chance you could post a shot of your garage, I don't think I can picture it... is it sort of "carriage house'y"?

Our plan will be more in line with the basic, NE barn only with a full second floor. Two garage doors on the gable end of the building, and a work space behind the cars. We've toyed with dimensions: 28'w x 32/36/40'l. We will not be able to do the traditional 12/12 roof, but available trusses will allow an 8/12 pitch and give a wide open 2nd. floor. We have a guy coming by today to give an estimate on the "slash and burn" part of the site work, and another coming tomorrow to give a price on the excavation, drainage, and driveway work. We have a lot of GC work ahead of us before we can go to the bank. I'll see what I can do about sharing some drawings as we refine them.

Were you able to hear the song of the peepers when you googled them, Michelle? they are such dear little creatures, the first sound of them is really what tells me spring has sprung around here.

Honey, Suzy anyone else with "cat free" spaces, our's have a fascination with the little attic area. As soon as they hear the pull down stairs they're "johnny on the spot" just waitin' to go exploring, but they're too hard on the blown in insulation. They also love the "lab." and the suspended ceiling... hangin' out up in that space is very cool. :)

How cute are all the little ladies in their new spring finery?! I love the pocketbook above (gotta have a good way to carry crayons!).

Cindy, are you a paralegal or a legal secretary (I can't remember)? I'll bet it can be pretty tough to deal with the "personality" issues in law office. IYou must have the patience of a saint... I'm reasonably sure I wouldn't be able to put up with crap nearly as politely.

Cleaning here runs in cycles, too. I do it when I feel like it or when it overwhelms me and I am shamed into it. Most of the time I try to keep the mess picked up; less clutter makes it feel less messy nd makes it easier to get the dust kitties. ;)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 1:56PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Chelone, below is a link to the album with alot of pictures of our garage from start to finish. The size is 24' x 24'.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 2:32PM
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Good afternoon

I'm doing my best not to make any jokes about the double banana LOL! By the way, congratulations on your publication Michelle!

Chelone - I hope knowing your mother is in good hands bring some peace and closure. Still tough stuff.

Honey - lovely to hear from you. GN is adorable!! You and Eden would have a field day at the Japanese maple nursery. Sue, who has to be one of the most discriminating woody ornamental shoppers I know, was greatly impressed and hopes for a return visit this spring. Anytime you're up for a road trip let me know - we have a couple of rooms to put guests up in (and I might even clean). The offer is open to y'all:0)

Cindy - I agree that your calmness and patience must be a huge asset in your work.

Babs - are you out there? How is your back doing?

Can't spend long here as Annie has been home all day with a fever and sore throat and I want to spend some time with her. I'll wait till tomorrow to see if we should run a strep test (too early and it doen't show up). My grandmother's hot honey, lemon and glycerine drink seems to be helping for the moment. Hopefully we can get everyone well by the weekend before company arrives.

It's also going to be a busy night as David has a big Science test to study for including a lot of work on electricity and circuits. I don't remember learning this stuff so young, nor am I convinced there is any real advantage pushing material before kids are ready. Sigh.

Hope all are well and GB is having fun on her trip.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 3:30PM
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Eden, I too had to laugh about your dream of cuttings. Hope your paint color turns out well. I painted the master bedroom Favorite Tan but it is more like Khaki. It has a slight greenish cast. But I actually like it anyway.

Michelle to funny the double banana. Company wears me out too. I would love to be a more relaxed hostess. Congrats on the published hint. Sounds like a neat trick.

Cynthia, I imagine watching the dogs run free is pretty cool. I tell Rebel he is one lucky dog to have the freedom he has. He is so happy that we are spending more time outdoors with him now.

I felt like Rambo gardner this last week. I cleaned both ponds. And a bit of advice to water gardners. Don't ever let your water lillies overgrow their pots. My bigger pond where the lillies were gets some silt washed into it and hadn't been cleaned good for a couple of years. The lilly roots were so matted together on the bottom I had to hack them all apart and it was a heavy backbreaking job.

I'm still cleaning up leaves and working on the chickweed. I think of EP when I'm pulling the weeds. I also thought of her the other day when browsing some pictures I saw her Zephrine Douhrin Rose climbing up the rail and house. I wonder if her DH has moved from there.

I was getting really frustrated today as I raked leaves from one of my beds. The voles have eaten the roots off several nice hostas and other plants. Grrrr.
A few of the hostas have leafed out as has my Japaneese Maple and we are predicted freezing weather again. It happens every year. The dogwoods are almost fully opened, but last years drought has lessened the amount of blooms I think.

It got way to warm today to suit me. what ever happened to light Jacket weather for all these hard chores. Although I must say it helped to be warm while cleaning the ponds.

Honey, your DGN is adorable in that coat. I'm so glad Bullet is doing better. How is your front landscaping looking?

Chelone, How exciting to be getting to start your garage. It sounds nice with that full second story. I'm thinking of your DB. And I hope your Mum will become comfortable with her new surroundings. Thats a tough one.

Mary, I imagine it is tricky at times with DH gone so much to get back into a routine when he is home. My DH is retiring in two months and I am going to miss my alone time.
I hope Annie is feeling better.

Hi to Babs,Cindy, Wendy, Kathy, Deanne and Sue. Good to hear Martie is still out there.
Taryn, Just T,Jerri time to check in.
If I missed you sorry. Just shoot me. LOL
Time to go dream about the cuttings I need to take from my overgrown lightbank coleus. Ta, Norma

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 9:49PM
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Happy Monday
How nice to see a post from Martie! Glad to hear you are reading along and keeping up with developments. Im sure we all look forward to you jumping back in when you feel readyand definitely have dirty fingernails !

I decided this morning that I would do one household chore that I did not do this last weekend each day this week after work. Today I cleaned one bathroom . I need to catch up because Saturday is my annual fantasy baseball league draft day so I will be gone most of the day ergo one less day in the garden, and one less day to clean the house. Do not want to spend Sunday inside !

Cindy, I think if I waited another month I could find Rozanne locally, but Im impatient!
Back in my 20s I worked in a travel agency ;we were on an upper floor of a high-rise in Southern Calif and so our clientele was primarily business travelers. I can really relate to your experiences ! Things have certainly changed.I travel a fair amount on business but I make all my own arrangements on the internet and for my staff as well. I think I have a control thing ! I really ought to delegate this stuff .

Honey, there is no way I could have ever gotten my DD into an ensemble like that when she was 2 ! To this day (now 26) she hates wearing hats.
Im impressed with how careful you and Chelone administered your untangling of the Clematis. Im afraid I do the merciless pruning technique, with no regard to the A B C classifications. My General Sikorski had some serious die-back this year but I think it was unrelated to my "tough love" maintenance.

Chelone, I hope you are feeling ok. What hard choices we have to make ! The important issue is Mums comfort and safety- will you go visit to feel reassured ? I hope all turns out well and that she will be comfortable.

Jeesh Sue, you posted that damn garage link and I ended up spending an hour looking at your garden pics and IU pics ! It was pretty fun.

Time to go ! wave to everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 12:15AM
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A quick hi-ho from me. Another gloomy, raw day today (we have the rest of the week for the gloomies). I don't want to go to work.

Not much sleep for me last night, I'm afraid. I kept thinking about Mum. She always slept through the night very well unless she was sick. But I kept wondering if she was waking up confused and feeling alone. I don't know if there's enough of her mind left to feel "homesick"... but I worry there is.

I'll bet the water lily roots are akin to a brillo pad, Norma. Good goin' and I'll bet you'll not allow that to happen again.

Hope Annie is feeling better and Megan is peppier, too.

Hi to everyone on Kathy's list (great recap, Kathy).

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 6:10AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Wow, Norma - you've got 2 ponds to keep up with? Im impressed! I can't even go thru the effort of one because I have a hard time keeping up w/ weeds let alone another maintenance issue -- from time to time I consider one of those little plug-in fountains but even that makes me think I'd have to drain or store or something -- Im such a lazy gardener!

Im soooo wishing I had taken today off as it appears to be the last nice Spring day for a while to really do anything; but I took off too much time while Dad was in the hospital so I've got to wait patiently til the end of the month when I've scheduled a week off - but it sure would be nice to grab a day here or there to start on tasks Im already behind on.

Re housecleaning -hmmm, I think I just noticed a film of dust that's got to be quite thick and has made me consider that Im not sure when it was the last time I really dusted and vacuumed -- o dear. Well, maybe that's what I'll have to resort to this weekend if I can't make myself garden in 30 degree temps.... 'course when it all gets hit w/ nite temps of 20s, I guess there wont be much to worry about, uh?

Chelone - I empathize w/ you re your Mom's new situation -- it is all too near my own parents' situation; w/ Dad's declining health, they really need to move into a combo assisted living/nursing facility of some sort but I havent had any success w/ talking Dad into doing so. So many issues to confront, but we keep letting them slide until some crisis will force us to decide on the next steps. The only comfort you can take is to check out the place where she is -- and it does help to have people visiting continually so that the employees knows there are relatives who care about the residents.

Kathy, beside being a lazy gardener, Im also an impatient one -- I have all too often ordered plants mail order because I figure I dont have the time to keep hunting locally w/ the little spare time I get. Im much more into that "I own it now" mentality, LOL... I've been looking for ajuga black scallop locally for 2 years now; I finally ordered it to get this month and Im sure paid an exhorbitant amount. That's probably a guarantee that I will now see it locally, right?

Okay, some fires to start putting out. At least today I feel like I can do that -- I went to bed at 8 pm last nite -- but slept a lot & feel much better. Poor Chloe was not a happy camper about early lites out, though.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 9:02AM
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Hello! What is it about spring sunshine that shows how very dirty the windows have gotten since last spring sunshine shone through them?? I also do not understand how rain hitting the windows for the last 6 months could have not cleaned them. Yep, life's puzzlements just continue.

I've been doing the spring cleaning and enjoying it a lot. I need to mow the lawns but just it has just been a bit too wet to tackle the job. Pretty soon it will be time to call in the big guns......yep, tractor and baler. ;o) No, not quite that bad, but I did wonder the other day about bringing the horse into the backyard and letting him graze.............. ;o) Yep, needs to be mowed soon....

I was just outside bringing more firewood down to the house and noticed the heat pump unit is covered/dusted with a layer of yellow pollen. This is the time of the year that I'm most thankful that I don't have spring time allergies. I really feel for those that do......the pollen is laying thick everywhere.

I have some rhodedendron blooms opening up and my lilac has a few first tulip showed it's pretty bloom and the daffodils are still looking okay. My irises are showing a fair amount of is looking a lot like spring!! :oD

Well, this is a fly by post and doesn't have a bit of substance to it. I am waving to all and hoping that spring time is also showing itself to you (not that I wish dirty windows on anyone...............). ;o)


    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 7:19PM
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Todays household chore was paying the bills, which took all of about 5 minutes ! I have a baseball game on though so (Dodger vs Brewers) I am having a beer in honor of baseball season (no hot dog though !) so the bills will be it for tonight. Must resolve to do another bathroom tomorrow.

DS and DD flew down to So Cal to visit grandpa for a couple of days . Right now with gas prices such as they are its actually cheaper to fly than to drive. I paid 3.29 for gas today. The air fare was 49 bucks each way.

Hi T, sounds like youve been more productive on the cleaning patrol than me ! Im putting off the windows till I think the rain is really over.

Cindy, lol the ajuga. Youll probably see it everywhere ! Maybe you arent really lazy, but instead "laid back" ..this could be seen as laziness turned into a positive trait .

Well, I need to prepare some dinner and watch this baseball game with a bit more attention
Took these pics hastily this evening , so they are quality challenged.

Lady Banks.

My one and only tree peony opened today. So brief but so pretty !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 9:34PM
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Hey, where is everyone? it's nearly 5AM and I'm the first one up? :)

It's nice to hear reports of spring moving in the general direction of my yard. Like you, T., I don't suffer from allergies of any sort. My brother gets "hay fever" and has a reaction to cats, too (however, he still has 3 of them and the constant exposure to them has lessened his symptoms markedly). The windows on our home are equally dirty. I wash them before the evergreens go into the windowboxes for the Christmas season and again before I plant them for the summer season. So, I'm holding off for another month, or so... if I can stand it. :)

It's another cold, raw rainy day here. Yesterday, the ocean was slate grey and there were a lot of whitecaps; tonight is supposed to be particularly nice, more inland areas could get 4-6" of snow, depending on how much stock you put in forecasts. We're presently finishing an entrance awning that HAS to go up on Thursday... rain or shine. And the first of the restaurant canopies is slated to go up on Friday, I think.

Kathy, Lady Banks is huge... um, do you ever prune them or do you hire someone to come in and do it with a crane? Gotta be that California sunshine, they sure don't look like that around here. I started out with 2 tree peonies. One was an unpleasant mucus yellow and when its root stock took over I let it go... then gave that part away. The other is deep magenta and it's quite pretty, but it doesn't bloom very long. Personally, I prefer the herbaceous peonies. More bang for the buck, methinks.

I never order plants through the mail (bulbs don't count). I don't know why, I just never do. There are several places in a reasonable radius that have interesting material. But, I've never been one to jump at the "latest and the greatest", anyway.

I wanted to thank Sue for the link to her garage pictures. I thought it was in the carriage house style! What a nice job you did with all the finishing details.

Cindy, Mum refused to talk about the grim realities of ageing, too. It drove me nuts that it never seemed to occur to her that SOMEONE ELSE would have to deal with everything when she was no longer able to. It was only when her health crashed in '03 that my brother and I decided enough was enough and we were going to get things done. She fussed and stewed about it, but at that point she was too sick to put up much of a fight. The present reality for her and for my brother and I is painful, but to tell you the truth, it's not nearly as fraught with daily worry as knowing she was living alone and worrying about her constantly. Once her home is cleared out and rented I'll feel much more at ease with whole situation; that has hung over my head for years now and caused me untold worry.

Time to refill the coffee and then make like a horse turd, and hit the trail. Which reminds me! T., do you have to gradually introduce your horse to fresh grass? i remember doing that every day for a month/so so he wouldn't founder when turned out full time. I'd forgotten that until you mentioned grazing your horse in the back yard.

Ta ta.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 5:20AM
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No spring-like weather here. Cold, windy and snow flurries. Nasty! Although, the grass is amazingly green after all the rain we received recently. I was so hoping for a lovely Easter Sunday so that I could have an egg hunt for Kenzie outdoors.

Mary, how did I know you would want to crack jokes about the banana? Especially after the fun you had with the mushroom at Eis. Hows Annie doing?

Chelone, since I sort of skim read I thought you were going to make a horse turd. I did think that was getting a little personal LOL I hope your mum adjusts well to her new home. How far is it from your house? What a long road youve traveled. Ill have to remember to listen to the peepers at home. People at work look at you a little funny if they hear peepers coming from your computer.

Kathy, I like the way the leaves of your tree peony blend so well with the flower and that rose is a monster.

Cleaning windows! Dont even bring it up. I only clean the ones that I look out of with any regularity.

Cindy, Im with you on the pond thing. I would love it, but just dont see how I would keep it up. I do think I will get a fountain someday.

Honey, what a precious little doll that DGN is in her snazzy attire. Those maple seeds are the pits, I dont miss the 2 huge maples that I had at my other house with all those seedlings.

Norma, bummer about the voles. Good luck on hubbys retirement, it can be an adjustment for both of you. Maybe its a good thing it will be summer so that you can have gardening as an outlet while you adjust :o)

Where is everyone lately?

I hope your day is spring-like


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 10:39AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It would appear that everyone has gone back into hibernation in anticipation of the return of winter! Im feeling quite bear-ish myself & thinking I should go back to the cave - not even Rambo would want to garden in 20 degree weather w/ snow flurries this weekend.

Kathy, thank you for trying to keep our spirits up with the great shots of real spring -- I love that tree peony - its foliage is terrific echo to its pink. I love peonies; have a bunch of the herbaceous but havent ever gotten around to getting one of those; just no space (LOL, of course, that's never stopped me before...). I noticed a couple of my peonies have buds forming on them; but w/ a 4-day burst of below freezing temps, they will be toast along with a lot of other stuff....

ok. back to my cave.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 4:56PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

If Cindy is feeling bearish, I'm feeling like a grizzly. Life is quite technologically challenged at the moment. The home laptop is subject to random crashes; I have a replacement on order that is due to arrive tomorrow. Meantime, we took a major lightning hit at work and have been out of commission for two days. Too many headaches, too many people who think I can wave my hand and make it all better. I want to run away...

And then there's the weather. It snowed today. What more can I say?

^ (that's V who is upside down with all the problems)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 7:58PM
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Can you hear the screeching tires of my brain/body?'s just me stopping by to say I miss you guys and have been thinking of you more than you know! I don't have time to comment-though Chelone I feel terrible that your mom has taken the next step and I wasn't here to cheer up/encourage you in what had to be a tough thing to realize-*even* though you saw it coming way back.((Chelone))

I cannot believe my life this year...I may have another career change-if I say what, I could jinx my lips are sealed. Stay tuned!

Hunting up resume gosh, it's been ages since I needed to hunt up & cough out a resume.Found a bunch of elementary school report cards of mine....I have decided I am WAY too hard on AJ for good grades--TOO funny. I'll explain later: )

Mary you would be LOLROTFL about Ryan's declaration about Can I say that? It involves mushrooms: ) Sorry to the rest but you'd laugh too.

Nephew now knows the finer functions of bendy straws : )

HI Norma!!!!

Plants are sprouting-snow is falling: (


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 8:49PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi, all. I took advantage of the unexpected nice weather yesterday and worked all day outside on cleanup. I need another uninterrupted week to finish! My cheeks hurt, whaaaaaaa, among other things. What a change in temps today plus 30 mph winds. And it was snowing an hr. ago. Grrrrr.

Why, oh, why, do I open my big mouth with an opinion?! I got myself roped into the rehab of our subdivision signs on the commons, relandscaping the 2 entrance sign areas and improving the landscaping on the islands. The wood signs on our commons area are in sorry shape. They needed paint 5 years ago! Theyre a light/dull green with cream lettering. So "Big Mouth" suggested we paint them black with bright white lettering shadowed in gold. But despite several hints that "Mrs. So and So" painted them last, Im NOT volunteering to be the painter. Ill direct whoever we hire, but Im not washing, caulking and painting. I may do the shadowing on the lettering and Ill help decide how to rehab the plantings and may plant the annuals but thats it! How do I get myself into this *&!@#$.

Chelone, Im so sorry to hear your DB had to put your Mom in a nursing home. What a gut wrenching decision that had to be for both of you. No wonder you cant sleep. However, it has to be a relief knowing shes safe there even though I know your heart is hurting. Will you be able to visit her soon?

Re my DGN, thats not a purse she is carrying, its a fur muff to keep her little hands warm. DS found that outfit on clearance last yr. at 75% off. It is just darling. And she is just so sweet and polite, thanks to my DN.

I liked Sues garage b/c of the roof design. How great youll have a second story on yours. Will that be your new at-home work space? Tell us. Inquiring minds, you know.

Sue, thanks for posting the link to your garage project. I enjoyed seeing it again. Im still green with envy over your stone wall. It is just gorgeous. Of course, your bluestone patio is to die for, too. It is truly amazing that your entire house and yard look like they have been that way always. Good job, kiddo.

Mary, thanks for the invite. Who knows, we just might land on your doorstep one day! With the down economy here, more and more nurseries are going out of business. It is just so sad. Of course, I miss Franks, too. Soon well only have the big box stores and mail order.

Norma, thanks for asking about the front landscape. Its too early here to tell what made it and what didnt. I think 7 azaleas and Daphne Carol Mackie are toast. Im not sure about the 5 Weigelia "Wine and Roses". Also, one Knockout rose may not have made it either. But the good news is the huge "Jane" Magnolia, JPM "Fireglow", "Montgomery" Spruce and Weeping Norway Spruce (the real expensive stuff) all look pretty good so far.

Warning, warning. Your DH is retiring? Oh dear. I hope he has an engrossing hobby or outside interest to transition to. That didnt happen here. I retired on Jan. 1. DH retired on April 1 and turned-in his co. car. After 3 weeks of him underfoot and following me around saying, "Whatcha doin?", wanting me to COOK (!) 3 meals a day, taking the only car when I needed it, and/or hogging the computer, I told him: "Youre in my space. Go get a job!" And I promptly got on the computer, redid his resume and found him one! I hope it goes better for you. Heaven help us when he finally hangs up his spurs.

Michelle, I wish I was a more relaxed hostess, too. Im usually exhausted after entertaining b/c Im such a fussbudget. Lately, Im trying to make simpler meals with less last minute fixin before I put it on the table. Thats helped. BTW, I put the "Denim" iris you gave me in the front, next to the red JM and Brunnera "Looking Glass". Can't wait to see it bloom. Once again, thank you.

Kathy, my usual Clematis pruning technique would best be characterized as the "hack away" method. Thats due to my not putting my glasses on to read up on what I should be doing! Mine are type II which should be pruned back 8-12" or so to a bud. In years past, I must have misread that and thot they should be pruned 8-12" from the ground! No wonder they dont look vigorous! They looked much better last yr. after I pruned them correctly. Oh, and what a gorgeous tree peony! Looks like one I have (I hope it survived last fall's move). Ours wont bloom until mid or end of May.

Cindy, I agree w/you, especially after hearing about cleaning out TWO PONDS. I decided on the dry river bed b/c of the maintenance issue. That said, I would love to turn it into a water feature some day or NOT. There truly is enough to do otherwise.

Hey, T, can ya come do my windows? Oh what a pretty site that must be Rhodos, tulips, daffys all in bloom. I have a couple daffodils and Primulas, but thats about it. Re the pollen, Ive decided that must be what Im reacting to outside. Sometimes its all I can do to keep my eyes open!

Oh, V. The weather AND the computer gremlins. How awful. While youre waving your magic wand, would you send some of that magic here? The weather knocked out our power/cable for awhile today, too. Hope tomorrow is a better day for you.

Babs, you are really toooooo funny! So good to see you post and cant wait to hear about the possible job change. You go girl!

Ok, time for some TV and then beddy-bye for me. Hi to all!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 10:23PM
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Hi there-just a quickie from me tonight, I had a meeting after work and didnt get home till 7.

Chelone, I prune Lady Banks back mercilessly after she blooms shes a once bloomer so that is the best time. If I dont give her a haircut its to dark inside the house. I try to create a dappled effect. I use a ladder and prune her from underneath. I usually have to do a little maintenance pruning again in summer. If I do a good job it works out really well because it shades the west exposure on the house during the hottest part of the day.

V, hope your various home-front and workplace computer issues resolve themselves. Having one or the other is bad enough but both at once truly un-cool. Im watching the ballgame right now which is in Milwaukee, but even though they are in a dome everyone is bundled up like snowmen!

Hiya Babs-I was wondering where youd gone off too. We await further developments

Honey, how true that we get roped into action when we make suggestions for change. Glad you didnt get stuck being the painter! But the planting stuff-now that would be right up my alleyI noticed that my Clematis Niobe had a flower open toniteone of my faves . I did no pruning on that one this year-

Okay, thats all for now ..

Wheres Deanne anyway ?

Hi to everyone ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 11:13PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Where is everyone? I thought I was the only MIA. I've been reading but too tired or lazy (laid back) to post.

DH and I were at Lowe's Sunday to look at pavers. We have a grassy area out front between the sidewalk and driveway that turns to a mud pit each and every winter. The driveway is not wide enough to walk on with cars in it! We finally decided the best solution is to take out the grass and put in pavers/step stones/something that we can actually walk on and not squish and slide and track in. Of course while there I had to look to see what perennials they had in. I was surprised to find Ivory Prince Hellebores! They also had another variety but I already have one of that type, so I brought the Ivory Prince home along with two red and white columbines.

Of course tonight said plants are residing in the bedroom (away from a VERY interested Mystique) because of the freeze warning. I also spent time outside with many sheets covering the perennials that are too far along for this cold snap. Hostas, ferns, brunerras, pulmonarias, many others that emerge usually later are covered up with sheets or plastic tubs or even old pots lined with pine needles. One clematis which is growing madly and in bud on the trellis even is covered with a sheet to try to protect it. This is the clematis I experimented with last year and gave it rose food around its base - it seems to have loved that. I'll be doing the same to the rest of my clems at some point since it works so well. I covered the bleeding hearts that I divided and moved (which are looking wonderful and putting out baby blooms) to protect them, I hope it works. I felt a bit silly with all these sheets and pots around the yard but during a trip to town noticed that several others have done the same, including a master gardener that lives down the street from my Mom.

Funny you should mention Frank's. Just a couple of days ago I was thinking of something I needed and the thought crossed my mind that I could get it at Frank's....then I remembered that they are gone. I really miss them, they always had a good selection of plant material to look at. Never a season went by without a few trips to Frank's, and I usually left there with several garden additions.

Hope everyone makes it through this cold snap with a minimum of damage. It's just cruel to tease us with 80 degrees one day and 30 the next.

Honey, what a cutie you have in that sweet little outfit - right out of the fashion parade! How adorable.

It was an early morning, so I'm off.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 11:26PM
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The snow started yesterday afternoon and it's been drifting down from the heavens all night long. As usual, we along the immediate coast have not gotten very much, but the report on the news indicates that my boss's town is under 7" of it right now. Not exactly great weather to put up awnings... .

Mum is in a nursing home about 5 minutes from my brother's home. I will go down for a visit, but probably not this weekend as I have some heavy alteration obligations. And, I have to meet with a builder sometime on Saturday. And the excavator/site work guy on Sunday. We're meeting with another site work guy tonight (maybe!). I'm freaked out by what I'll see when I go for a visit. She has declined markedly since leaving my home; I'm not sure if that's just part of "the slide" or if I was just more insistant that she do things for herself, no matter how long it took her. Doesn't matter, I suppose. Babs., did your father have to go into a NH? I don't allow myself to dwell on this unhappy turn of events for very long. :(

My condolences to V. and the computer woes. Bad enough that it's your own, but to be faced with baleful employee faces and the "make it go away" moans must be very trying. Certainly there must be some funny whining involved that you could share with the rest of us?

Babs., I have to wonder how you manage to keep a straight face with some of things your kids say! (or do you?!). Mushrooms... lol. Bendy straws... this is quite a group, all right. Can't wait to hear about the new direction...

Honey, lol about "get a job!". I hear that so often from my older friends who're dealing with the same thing. Garage will have lots of windows on the 2nd. floor. For now it may simply be storage space, but the idea is that it could house a shop for me or perhaps be converted to an apartment should the town decide to extend sewer lines (there's been talk of it). I'm a bit daunted by the scope of the project, but getting all the "numbers" together will eliminate some of it (and probably add to it, too!). You're a good doobie to volunteer for the sign and island rehab.. Maybe you get your DH to help out? ;)

I was thinking about Suzy's yard, covered in sheets. Yeah, the mark of a dedicated gardener who refuses to be denied by the likes of Mother Nature. :)

I can't forestall the inevitable any longer. Time to clean off the car and creep along to work for what I hope will be the last inclement "commute" of the spring season.

Where are Deanne, Sue, Wendy, etc., etc., etc.?

Thinking of 'bug in the land of snow and babies to be. :)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 5:42AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well we now have a fresh six inches of very heavy wet snow here. EEEuuuuu!!!!! This weekend was so beautiful, what the heck happened??? Doug and I cleaned almost the entire back yard. I just need to finish up cleaning up the pond and I cant wait because then I can get the fish outside. I need to be done dealing with the aquarium. The best thing was getting the trailer park cleaned out because that is where we are going to set up my cold frames. I bought these temp gizmos last year on sale at the end of the season and they are ten feet long, four feet deep and twenty four inches tall. Lots of room for the plants and Im at that point where Im itching to get the plants outside!!! Good thing we never got them set up as planned over the weekend because I dont think they would have stood up to this snow. My blind is keeling over at the moment. (Yes it is still set up but I moved it to an area behind the dogwood, near the shed where it isnt very noticeable. Im still taking cuttings if you can believe it and have lots and lots of coleus to play with.

I was so thrilled the other day, we had another new yard bird, a Fox Sparrow. They only are here during migration so that was a great bird to get the camera on.

Doug was in Rochester, NY this week again so I was a bachelorette for the week. Im getting used to it again as weve had several phases in Dougs career where he worked out of town including one memorable year he spent in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Mary, Ill have him give you a call next time he is out that way. He said hes probably going to be in NY again soon.

Chelone, you should try to join us the next time we have a CT get together so you can see Sue and Monques gardens in person. They really are fabulous.

Kathy, I could weep looking at your spring photos especially the Tree Peony, all is white here again. Im now officially sick and tired of this winter.

Hi T, dirty windows here also. I cant imagine how dirty the air we breathe is considering just how quickly those windows pick up grime. I wish I could afford to have them done this year as I dont have any incentive to do that this spring. Id rather be taking pictures and playing with my plants. ~~ Incredible youve got rhododendron and lilacs already.

Honey. That pic of DGN is just too sweet!!!!

Michelle, congratulations on the tip in FG!!!! Thats terrific. What are those tulips with the white margins on the leaves. I scanned the thread but didnt see the variety name. ~~ RE container contest, looks like the requirements are pretty loose this year and I think we all could enter something. Sounds like fun to me.

Hello to everyone, have a great day Im off to the gym. MJ is planning on making rack-of-lamb for dinner on Easter so I must get in all the gym time I can this week in preparation for the lamb and scalloped potatoes! LOL


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 8:08AM
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Very raw morning here, coupled with a killer head/chest cold. So what does Martie do? Go outside to take some pics of the very first garden color of the season:

In ten years or so I'll be posting pics of these full grown, but I'm really happy to report that all 27 of my nurseried shrubs have come through another winter and are ready for placement!!

I'm sure that Chelone and others are related in some way since I share a love of fringe and tassels. Found these towels for $1.50!!!!! each on TJ Maxx closeout and they're great in the newly redone bathroom.

And yes, Chelone, the "clowns" were reported and dealt with. Another life lesson in "not everyone is as nice as they first seem" but ONWARD, PLEASE :-)

Deanne and Sue need to know that the gifted daylilys are huge and thriving!

Thinking of you all and your ups, downs, lefts and rights.

Back to bed.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 9:17AM
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Cindy You are way right. The ponds are a lot of work. I didn't really need two. It's just that the second one can be seen from inside sitting down and the flow of water is so relaxing for me. Now if I would just get the waterfall part finished out the way I want it. I'm hoping to get more things finished up this year. Since DH is retiring and I need to get used to the new budget I will try to buy less things and concentrate on dividing , moving and regrouping. I certainly have enough stuff to do that.

T, the pollen is starting to fly here too, I have to take meds to get through it. And it is so messy. Have to keep the house closed up when I would rather have it open.

Right now though I should be building a fire. It is so cold out and going down into the teens at night before the week is out. Goodbye to all the things that have been growing for the last three weeks. it will be devastating to watch. Especially my Japaneese Maple.

Chelone, you are right , I will not let that happen again with the water lillies.

awww, V I feel for you.

Babs , LOL about the grades and good luck on the new endevor. To funny, Ryans thoughts. LOL

Honey, unfortunately DH has no hobbies other than reading and watching tv. Occasionally going fishing. He has always ask me "Whatcha doing now?" way more than I want to hear it. He does deserve to retire though as he has worked hard all his life. I hope he will stay healthy enough to enjoy it.

Suzy, I hope your efforts with the sheets and pots are successful. I didn't even try. I figured with the prolonged cold we are predicted it wouldn't do any good. So I am just going to take my lumps.

Kathy , I like the laid back theory.

Martie,very pretty bathroom. My favorite color.

Deanne and Chelone , bummer about the snow.

Later gang. Norma

Guess I better get going on some indoor projects since it is way to blustery to be outside. Later gang

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 10:25AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hey Suzy, that cold snap has hit here, too. I didnt cover anything up tho, but I think your season is farther along. My plants are on their own this yr. However, heres what it looked like when we got a late freeze the year of the garden tour:

Chelone, DH might pound in a few nails to rehab the sub signs, but he is already doing the lions share of the work on the board. He keeps the books and spends a couple hrs. every weekend on it, particularly now b/c of taxes.

About retirement, we took early retirement pkgs. much sooner than planned b/c we saw what was coming. I got into gardening then and found I enjoyed it. But then again, I never seem to be at a loss for a project or two. I think women are more creative that way. DH is not a golfer, thot hed like woodworking but has no patience for finish work so thats out, will help plant but has no interest in gardening and has no other hobbies. He just has to discover what he likes to do.

I heard an interesting thing from retired friends. They told us that each has to do something apart from the other. If you both do the same thing, see the same people, you then dont have anything to talk about! I never thot of it that way. Another friend said (tongue in cheek) that in retirement you have to set goals. His goal is to be showered and shaved by noon!

Martie, get well soon! So sorry to hear youre under the weather. Love, love, love the towels and your renovated bathroom. No sewed on tassels here tho:

Deanne, so sorry to hear that you, too, have another cold snap. Seems were all in it. I wish I was as far along in garden cleanup.

Norma, youre right. Our DHs deserve to enjoy a healthy retirement and downtime from hectic jobs. At least you can send yours fishing, lol.

I gabbed enough. Im off to the vet for Bullet meds, grocery and misc. other stops. Then its on to indoor projects. Stay warm, friends.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 10:45AM
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I've had the babies for a couple days so my free/computer time has been limited. They spent the night with us last night but will go home in a few hours, then will come back tomorrow morning, for the day. They are napping right now so I took advantage of that and combed my hair (LOL), washed & sterilized their bottles & paraphernalia, now enjoying a quiet and leisurely cup of coffee. Once they awaken it will be busy again.

We're suppose to have 3 nice days coming up so I know I'll be spending a lot of time outdoors....thus, laundry is being done and I dusted.

I didn't wash the windows (yet!), LOL.....I was just pointing out, that while doing my spring cleaning, it is obvious that it needs to be done. ;o) We have a lot of windows and I dread starting that job.....I, too, would love to hire someone to come do it---and also have them clean the skylights---they need it! We have a steep roof, I don't do heights well and DH's not interested in they just stay 'needing to be cleaned' (sounds better than staying dirty, LOL.....same thing).

Well, I finished my cup of coffee and now should go through here with the dust mop and make up a list for town errands.

Hope it is a great day for everyone!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 1:31PM
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Good afternoon Idylls

No work today for me so I've been zipping about trying to get errands done efficiently. So far the dog license has been paid, my violin re-aprraised and insured, Annie signed up for summer camp and grocery shopping done. As I've also completely cleaned the fridge (living on the wild side I did so without the Hazmat suit) I thought I'd earned a few minutes Idylling.

Annie is recovered - thank you all who asked. And best of all, no one else caught what appeared to be a nasty flu. The afternoon she really started feeling better she washed all her bedding, sterilized her toothbrush and even tidied her room - all independntly. For a household of messies perhaps there is hope that one day we will be neat and organized.....

Honey and Martie - what beautiful bathrooms. Our kids bathroom would be at the other end of the scale, ie downright ugly. It still has 60's gold flecked formica surfaces, a "Motel 6 " plastic tub enclosure and mismatched mustard colored sinks. No tassles, but plenty of toothpaste splats. One day, when we're all grown up perhaps we'll have something elegant and stylish like yours. In the meantime, keep the photos coming.

Babs - great to hear from you and tantalizing to hear mention of another job. Fingers crossed that it pans out. We'll have to swap kids sayings at IU4.

Norma - I hear you on the ponds. However, despite the work and disappointment of losing fish, mine gives as much pleasure as anything in the yard. This year I'm thinking of adding a small Lotus pond just for water lotus.

Kathy - did I mention how absolutely gorgeous your Lady Banks rose is? I think I've only seen it in catalogs and now your photos. Tree peonies are fantastic too aren't they?

Deanne - we have your snow here too, though not as much as 6 inches. Its going to be a chilly Easter egg hunt this year.

This afternoon we have a make-up violin lesson for Annie, then another friend of David's is coming for a sleepover. As the boys have already decided they'll be watching "Ernest Goes to Camp" I'll probably have a little more Idylling time. On Friday we have some very good friends for dinner, then Saturday SIL arrives for 4 days. I'm planning on lamb for Easter too, probably a butterflied leg, marinated and cooked on the grill (one of our favorites). We leave for Washington Wednesday morning. It will no doubt be a hectic but fun few days.

Back to make the most of my quiet time before the kids arrive home. I could either clean the bathrooms or play the violin - I think I know what I'll be doing for the next couple of hours.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 1:48PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Well, I have a story to tell. I was on the freeway going with traffic and happily listening to my Disney Millineum CD. Truthfully, I had it cranking. There's this great part at the end of the overture with strings, horns, cymbols, etc., and I was moving my head around ditty-bopping to the music, "conducting" with my right hand and driving with my left. I was having a gay old time of it. That is, until a state trooper pulled up next to me and looooooked. Bet he didn't expect to see 'granny' behind the wheel. Oh well. Guess I better behave myself.

Mary, thanks for the kind words on the lav with the tassles. But you didnt see the ugly vanity, sink and counters in there. The other 2 baths in this house are worse. I have a plan, just not enough bucks to rehab them yet.

The bath in the basement is the best of all b/c we had to do something w/it after the flood of 04 down there. Im so glad Annie is feeling better and that she didnt share the bug with you guys. What do you marinate your leg of lamb in, Mary? Id love to try it on the grill. Sounds mouth watering.

Hope you're enjoying the violin during your quiet time. Well, speaking of food, guess I better get dinner going. TTYL,


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 5:38PM
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You guys crack me up. It's not so much what you say, but how you say it. The choice of words is, well... choice. :) No matter how low I feel, how pissed off at the world I am, I can come here and read. And find a chuckle/two or something more important to take my mind off my own worries.

Honey, your shot of the pre-freeze garden is priceless! esp. the leaf bag with the frown... lol. What are the pretty flowering (white) shrubs in the background? When I was about your grandniece's age (did I get the relationship right?) I routinely took my great aunt's grey Persian Lamb muff to school. It was was so warm and cozy and was pushing 50 yrs. old! (we still have it). Talk about a fun accessory and a real throwback to a bygone age. Funny story about "groovin'" and Mr. Policeman. I hope you smiled and waved at him.

I have a bathroom story, too. Though, predictably, it is more scatlogical. ;) First, some background. We have a raised septic system; this means the tank and leach field are above the finished grade of the house. However, we live primarily on the second floor so the waste is still able to flow DOWNHILL into the system. Only the ground floor bathroom waste requires pumping to reach the septic system. Waste is flows into a tank, where an internal float rises as the waste water level increases and activates the impellor and the pump that forces the waste up and out the waste pipe into the septic tank. Got that? Well, I arrived home yesterday to find the following note on the kitchen counter: Hi honey, the sewer ejector is not working. In fact, it may be f---ed. How glad am I that I made stinky in there this very morning? :( Your loving husband. I cracked up totally. He was going to check it out this evening, but I told him if he wanted to skip that step altogether and call the plumber... then he should go for it. Eeewwww! (my father was a plumber and I know just how nasty a sewer ejector can get when plugged/broken). Here is everything you will ever need to know about plumbing: Hot is on the left, Cold is on the right, payday is on Friday, and -hit don't flow uphill.

Needless to say, our bathroom is not nearly as nicely appointed as those pictured. I can only dream, right along with Mary. ;) Martie, I sure hope you'll be back in the "regular rotation" now (you crack me up).

I would love to do the CT cruise! send up a flare when/if something is in the works and "I'll check my schedule, daHlink". I really need some "visuals" with respect to woody shrubs; esp. size/scale and adaptation to seasonal light.

We received about 4-5" of heavy, wet snow. My boss received 3" more, and many areas in our community and environs are without power. There is, apparently, a lot of tree damage. Downed trees/boughs=no juice. The contractor who was going to meet us tonight called to say he would be late because he just hooked up a generator to get his refrigerator going and he'd be late. I asked if he'd like to do it tomorrow... you don't mind?! "Nope", I said, "we're married, we don't do anything on Friday night". He laughed, thanked me, and we'll try it again tomorrow. -hit happens, you roll with it.

I'm not disappointed that it will be cold this WE; I have alterations and the lure of sun and warmth will be eliminated. ;)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 6:49PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Potatoes cooking, roast in the crock pot. Wheel of Fortune is on (isn't that what all of us with grown children watch in the evening? LOL). The cat is sleeping on her condo and Cinders is rolling on a pizza bone before he eats it. That's a quick snapshot of life here at this moment.

I never uncovered the plants today. It didn't warm up and the sun didn't come out, so no harm I'd say. It's cold out there! At least the wind has died down, it was ferocious yesterday. I had to use rocks and edging stones to hold down the edges of the sheets. I'm glad we haven't had the snow some of you have had, though. Just the occasional flurry.

I finally managed going to the post office, a chore I've been avoiding for about a week. I had several small packages to mail, but at least that's done now. Then went with my Mom to the grocery. We already have our ham for Easter but they were on sale so another one came home for the freezer. I did U-scan for the checkout, I've come to prefer doing it myself. I don't have to wait in line, usually, and can get it done and out of there. Do any of you have that option at your grocery stores? I told the young man monitoring the U-Scan registers that this was how older people played store. Of course that was probably lost on him, he grew up in the video game generation. I remember having Mom save things like egg cartons and oatmeal boxes and spice cans for our "store".

Honey, love the shot of your garden and the bag with the face. OMG what a look that policeman must have given you! Too funny.

Chelone, funny about the plumber things to know. All too true! We were on a septic system when we moved here and all was well until one year with extreme amounts of rain. The ground got way too saturated and the tank filled and wouldn't drain into the leach field. Had the tank pumped but it was full again in about a week, as I recall. So we called the plumber, bit the bullet and had the water/sewer connect done. Best thing we ever did.

I won't show you all pictures of either of my bathrooms. Both are in need of work and I'll be the one to have to get it done. I just need to get busy and make it happen I guess, but I'd rather be stitching or gardening.

Gotta finish up the dinner.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 7:28PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

OMG, Chelone, I was ROTFLMAO and could hardly breathe. Your DH actually left that note! That's something my DH would do. BTW, at IU4 I'll make sure DH retells the TP story for you.

Yep, it doesn't flow uphill. We live at the bottom of a hill in our sub. The nite before the Idyllers came to my house for IU1, the sewer backed up b/c the twp. didn't keep up with cleanout. We had 4" in our finished basement. Our house smelled like clorox when they arrived which was far better than the alternative! What a fiasco that was. Hope your DH called the plumber or you get a 'pump out' real soon. Yee gads. That'll get your attention.

The white flowering shrubs/trees in the background are Serviceberry. They were planted before I had any clue about cultivars, etc. The bag is covering a tree peony about to leaf out and I did it to make my neighbor laugh. We were on our local garden tour together that year as well as IU1. Talk about pressure. She sometimes posts here on the discussions side. Hi, Ruth, if you're lurking. Chelone, you'd love her as the rest of the group did. The problem is, tho, we enable each other.

Re "We're married, we don't do anything on Friday night!" I can relate. When DH and I dated, it was only on Fri and Sat. nite. He's from Toledo, where they only date on weekends. I think they roll up the grass at 9 pm every nite! Talk about conservative midwest. Sheesh.

Re the muff, I had a muff, too, when I was little and again when I was a teen. Weren't they the greatest? They kept your hands warm, yet you could free them easily. I don't know if my DGN has a little purse compartment. I seem to remember that mine did. Mine wasn't persian lamb, tho. I hope they bring that back. It has such an interesting texture. I think both my muffs were rabbit's fur -- white and black respectively. Anyone else here have a muff for dress-up when you were little?

Sorry there's so much tree damage from the wet snow. But if you have to have cold weather, better you have a job to do inside. I don't envy you the alteration job this WE.

Time to watch some telly w/DH. Ta-ta for now.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 7:51PM
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Just a quick good morning before I blast off for work. It's COLD outside and I'm glad the helpmeet used the snowblower yesterday. We were talking last night and it seems every single snow "event" we've had this year has been heavy, wet, and downright hard to deal with.

I should finish up the dreadful interior I've been slaving over for the past week today. And none too soon... my wrists are sore and I'm getting crabbier with every passing day.

There are many people in our community still without power. Many have been told not expect the power to be on before Saturday/Sunday. And I heard the barest hint of another possible storm next week? I'm hoping for cold rain... snow at this time of the year is a real drag when it comes to putting up restaurant canopies.

OK, can't dawdle anymore. (even though I'd like to!). Have a brilliant day everyone.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 6:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good Friday morning everyone,

OK now Ive really, really had it! My patience is at its end with this lousy, nasty weather. So this morning it is 25 degrees out. Unlike Chelone, I took the attitude that the powers that be put the snow there and Id wait until the powers that be removed it. So now I have about four inches of hardened cement in the driveway and the Great Wall of China at the end of the driveway. Its a good thing I decided to flatten the snow bank in front of the mail box with the 4 wheel drive on my Suburban so I could get my mail delivered. Im sure the neighbors now really and truly think Im out of my mind. Not only do garden non-stop all season with hundreds of containers to water, I now have a camo tent (blind) set up in the back yard and instead of shoveling or snow blowing I flatten the snow banks with my SUV. Hmmm perhaps Im getting old and eccentric?

Lovely tassels ladies! I love them too! Ive got some huge tassels as tie backs for my curtains in the upstairs master bedroom and on either end of a tapestry over the bed.

Norma and Mary, we really love our little pond also but in the last couple years its turned into a leaking problem. I cant seem to find out where in the waterfall system the leaks are happening. Grrrrr.. I was hoping to get it cleaned out and fixed this weekend but that is not a happening event because they are covered in snow and ice again.

So Sue, do you have a time in mind for road trip to Marys??? If there is something you really need and trust Mary to pick it out Doug can take it home for you as hes been going out that way every other week.

Honey I remember that pic with all the buckets and stuff over your tender plants. LOL! You know, Id love to get back out your way to see your and Ruths gardens again as well as Edens and Davids. ~~ LOL about the statie giving you the hairy eyeball te he

T. I dont know how on earth you deal with taking care of two babies! Id lose my mind LOL ~~~ And here I thought your windows were all done! Now I dont feel so bad.

Mary, glad to hear Annie is feeling better, LOL about here sterilizing her toothbrush. I like the idea of a lotus pond Hmmmm. ~~ Sounds like you are going to have a busy Easter weekend. ~~ Hanging my head in shame here, I still havent picked up my guitar.

Chelone, Oh my! Bummer about the plumbing woes! Id love to meet your Helpmeet. He sounds like a card. ~~ Yes, if you are looking for visuals for woody shrubs etc. you definitely would enjoy a visit to Sue and Monique and Les. They are masters at mixed borders that include the woody stuff.

Eden, I forgot to tell you that your dream of coleus in the dresser drawers is way too funny. Wouldnt it be the best thing if we could store things that way?

Okie dokie, time to get a move on here. Must get to the gym, water the three billion or so plants I have under lights then fill a couple orders. Have a great Friday everyone!

Later all

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 7:58AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good morning all! Just a quick post...I've got alot of things going on right now and some extra distractions to boot. My bum is dragging today though because I went to our annual trade show yesterday down at one of the famous CT Indian casinos and didn't get home til 3:30 AM. Man, it's been years since I've stayed out that late. Took a quick two and a half hour nap and came back to work. I've got an appointment with my surgeon today at 2:15 for pre-op debriefing then I'll probably go home and crash.



    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 8:22AM
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Good morning!

Another too busy morning here....from what I'm reading this seems to be a national trend. ;o)

After the babies left, yesterday afternoon, I drove into town and took care of some bills, bought groceries and then came home and made up Easter baskets for everyone so I could deliver some of them this morning... James did get candy in his basket (he isn't allowed to eat much candy yet, thankfully---but I think I made some good choices so his parents won't be grumpy at me) and the twins' baskets have a soft rattle/teething toy along with one of those teething things you can freeze. Their little baskets look pretty blah compared to everyone else's (lack of candy, LOL) but at least they each have their own.

I've got an appointment to have my teeth cleaned at 8 and after that nasty dental hygienist finishes with me, then I'll drive to her house and pick up her babies to bring home for the day. I'll drop off the Easter baskets then (and get some of that luscious smelling chocolate out of this house). Dang but I love the smell of chocolates and Reece's peanut butter cups.........not having any of it though!!

DH worked until almost midnight so he is still snoozing. He will head back to work when he awakens.....poor man's bum is dragging (I noticed that Sue also had a very, very late night/early morning and she is also having a bum dragging morning). I stayed up until DH got home, but I value my quiet (and dark) mornings too much to stay in bed any longer this morning---so I'm enjoying a cup of coffee in the quiet.

Deanne, there was just one time (and it was recent) when the babies both had a melt down at the same time. Screaming, upset (oh howdy were they upset), tired and just no end to the crying. I knew they were tired because they'd been rubbing their eyes for awhile. I laid them down and the screamfest began. I'd get one to stop crying and then go to the other one, the first one would start screaming the second one quieted, went back to the first one to stop his screaming and the second one started up again. I was just right at the cusp of joining them. ;o) I finally walked away (they are rubbing their eyes while screaming so I know they are just overtired), sat in the family room and plugged my ears with my fingers. Yep, it was a pretty horrible time. Within about 3 or 4 minutes (seemed like two eternities to me), they settled down to the 'big cry snuffles' and went to sleep. I didn't have a thing in the house to drink (kidding---was too frazzled to consider taking a drink, LOL). When they awoke from their nap they were in the best spirits and played, jabbered and laughed for the rest of their time here. It was brutal while it happened though and I hope it doesn't happen again. It is just too hard to try to lay them down when I pick both up at the same time---so the option wasn't there to hold both of them and rock them to sleep. Plus, their parents have worked consistently to get them to realize that nap time and bed time are things they can do without being rocked to sleep. They watch for the tired clues and then, timing it right, lay them down and they usually go to sleep without the drama we had here. We're guessing that I didn't time it right, LOL, and laid them down before they were ready.

Anyway, all that long story is for is to say "it isn't easy and some days it is downright awful". LOL But is it worth it? Oh yeah! Big time worth it.

Well, I hope all of you have a great day. We hit 76 or so here yesterday and I drove home from town with the windows of the car down. Amazing change in weather (it was 28 a.m. and never got out of the 40's p.m a few days ago). The maple and alder trees are leafed out and the daffodils are pretty much finished. My lilac bush is getting more leaves, I don't see any blossoms yet...truly is spring in the northwest.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 9:05AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

The "cold snap" for this area is resulting in temps that are predicted to be a 10-year low for Easter Sunday morning Honey, love that pic (I remember it now) but I have decided like you that the plants are on their own this year and I guess Ill be without peonies in bloom (the formed buds will be blasted), the clems that are 3 feet high hopefully will regrow for later bloom, etc., but dont really know I have used sheets in years past in late April for 1 nite frosts, but this is for so long and the winds are so bad that Im sure theyd be ghosted away to someone elses yard and I have no wish to chase sheets. . . . its very depressing though.

Neat tassels everyone Honey, as usual you went the extra "creative" route I never would have thought of simply tieing them onto a towel bar but how creative and wonderful and movable!! I am always marveling how all you creative geniuses in the garden are equally creative and fantastic designers inside the home as well.

Ive got those 3 roses sitting inside languishing to be planted which looks likes its going to be a couple weeks now; and o joy, I will probably find the first package of plants on my door step when I get home tonite (had email notice they were shipped earlier in the wee) I guess theyll become houseplants for a couple of weeks!

Yum, on marinated grilled lamb one of my favorites!!

Honey re your GN and her lovely pic w/ the muff I have a funny story re my own DD w/ a muff Yes, I had one when I was little (have a pic of it) & thought it would be fun to have an Easter pic w/ her w/ a white rabbit one I bought when she was about 6 got a special outfit to go with it, dressed her all up, and then -- it totally freaked her out when I told her it was rabbit fur and she refused to touch or put it on her hands my early veggie girl was so upset I had to take the muff away and hide it she never did put it on her hands and I never got the pic, LOL... kids can be very strange I dont recall it ever bothering me; but my tender DD was very upset by the whole concept.

Chelone the things to learn from a plumber! What a hoot.

T you are one good grandma!

Deanne -- I dont think that's eccentric - I think it was creative and productive -- combat gardening again (Rambo style).

Off to the salt mines now.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 9:20AM
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Good morning

Deanne - send Doug our way next time he is in town. We'd love to see him again and he might enjoy a homemade supper. So you guys spent a year apart too? We did, only 2 years after we were married. DH had close to a year of training in Rochester, NY. We were living in Chicago at the time and I had a fellowship at the Art Institute. There was no way I could give that up to move to what seemed like the middle of nowhere. Little did I know how much I'd love living here 2 decades later. I guess our marriage has been characterized by long separations - perhaps the secret to it's success.

Sue - I love the idea of plant shopping for you - that would be so much fun. Not nearly as much so as having you visit but I'd enjoy selecting a few choice specimens. Hope your pre-op visit goes well.

Chelone - great plumming story LOL! especially the note. I imagine plummers have to maintain a good (if not scatalogical) sense of humor to survive their work.

Grandma T - enjoy Easter with all the little ones. David was a screamer when he was a baby - I thought at times I'd loose my mind. He would scream for hours on end for no apparent reason. My mother, who has raised 4 kids and has 9 grandchildren, agreed she had never encountered anything like it. Had he been the first I would NEVER have had another, but he's grown into the happiest, healthiest kid you could imagine.

Hi Honey - could you say Hi to Ruth could you next time you see her. By the way - I'm very much looking forward to Tom's TP story again - and I KNOW Chelone will enjoy it.

Well, sleepover guest has departed and I'm heading out with Annie and David to shop. And we'll be driving over the snow on teh driveway, not shovelling. David has been saving his money to buy an MP3 player. I'm clueless when it comes to such things - fortunately Annie is a little more savvy.

have a Good Friday everyone


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 10:31AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Deanne, I'm with you - I am done with this cold weather. When it was snowing the other day I complained so much that DH had to tell me to stop looking out the window! Now the soil in the pansy pots I planted is frozen, waaahhhh! Hopefully they'll bounce back. On a positive note, it has been colder than normal so not much is breaking ground that shouldn't be. Good alternative use for the SUV, LOL! If I tried that with my wagon it would probably still be stuck there.

In other news the credit union across the street got robbed again this AM - there are police speeding everywhere right now. I guess I may be getting jaded since this does not make me too nervous any more. I used to worry about it because our building used to be a bank, and the ATM is still outside. Every so often people come in mistaking our office for a bank. We joke that we should tell them "cash deposits only".

Sue, hope you had a good time! I haven't seen that hour of the night since college, unless one of the kids was sick.

Chelone, LOL on the Friday night thing. When DH and I were dating, he worked nights and I worked days, and we only saw each other on Friday nights and Saturdays. Friday used to be the much-anticipated date night, now we doze on the couch or one or the other of us is going to bed before the kids do! BTW, I agree that you should see Monique's and Sue's gardens for lovely examples of incorporating shrubs and trees.

Honey, your story about your singing while driving cracked me up. I do the same thing, except for the conducting! I have seen people doing all kinds of things behind the wheel in stop-and-go traffic, but the strangest had to be a woman actually painting her nails. She held the wheel with her palms, and the bottle and brush in her fingers. Needless to say I gave her plenty of room!

Well, have to go back to work I guess. Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 10:44AM
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I want Spring! Monday we are actually supposed to get up to 49! What happened to the 79 we had a couple of weeks ago? At least we dont have snow on the ground although it was snowing lightly on the way to work.

Deanne, the tulip is China Town it has white and pink edges and is different looking in bloom than a lot of tulips.

Cindy, what a cute story about your DD. Mine would have done the same thing. I vaguely remember having a muff with a matching fur hats that were like a bonnet and had a fur ball on the end of the strings. I believe it was fake fur and made by my mom as all our clothing was handmade.

I dont cover for cold either except for containers in the fall. Theres just too much and it takes too much effort.

T, I will put just a little candy in Kenzies basket. She loves candy. I can imagine how stressful it would be with 2 babies that are worked up.

Suzy, we do have some of those U scans but I get a little frazzled when I use them.

DH and I have only ever been separated for a few days at a time. Occasionally he thinks we should start some sort of business together I tell him no way. That would be too much togetherness.

Martie, your bathroom looks great! I love the mirrors and the pretty wall color.

Stay warm


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 11:11AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Well, it got down to 16 degrees here last night!!! We only had flurries the last few days, no accumulation, so the plants are really getting whacked without snow as insulation. Ive never seen tulips and daffodils lay down on the ground before. And my primulas and pansies are blackened and drooping. Just a big YUK. The forecast for tonite isnt much better. I uncovered my "Lady in Red" Hydrangea but left the mulch piled up around it. It had a few leaves starting to open up before it got hit by this cold. Im hoping it survives.

Today, DH and I recovered the headboard for our bedroom in a dusty terracotta ultrasuede. I got the fabric at JoAnns yesterday on sale for $9/yd. Its the closest color match/coordinate I could find. Once the room is painted, Im sure it will be fine. So thats one more spring chore off the list.

Deanne, Im so glad you have tassles. It just wouldnt do for the garden diva not to have some BLING inside the house, too. Sorry youre having this awful weather like so many of us.

Sue, hope you get some zzzzzs after your nite on the town. Its a rare thing if we stay out beyond 11 pm.

T, I did the same thing with my DGNs Easter Basket. Hers is filled with a white Lamb puppet, a mini bubble machine and bucket, Playdoh, some mini-packets of M&Ms and some green and purple peeps. Shes over the moon for "marsh" so she should love the peeps. Gosh, I cant imagine dealing with twins! Id be a basket case.

Cindy, how awful DD didnt get to enjoy her muff. I dont think we ever asked what the fur was or would have connected it to a live wabbitt. Speaking of which, wish I had a beebee gun. Something is eating my iris and daylilies. Grrrrr. It shouds like your season is much farther along than ours. We usually have 1 nite frosts, too, but nothing like this. Where is global warming when you need it?

Mary, I will say Hi to Ruth for you. Shes still her sweet self and I know will enjoy the fact that you thot of her. Am I lucky or what to have her for a neighbor?! Ill be sure to have DH brush up his TP story for you again.

Wendy, I, too, have seen folks doing incredible things while driving. What are they thinking? One day coming home from work, I was behind a guy who would suddenly speed up then take his foot off the gas and slow down, all the while weaving in his lane while going 70 mph and talking on a cell, cradled on his shoulder. He really scared me so when the opportunity arose, I passed him. As I went by I saw why he was weaving. Not only was he talking on his cell, he was typing on his laptop and steering in traffic with his knees!!

Michelle, I want spring, too. Please, please, pretty pleeeease. Im tired of this stuff already. I agree with you on being in business w/DH. It is a lot of togetherness. DH and I did it part-time and even that was too much. Besides, your own business is very stressful. Long hours and little pay for too long to get it going. Nope, let me work for someone else and let them have the headaches.

Well it's time for me to see about dinner. Hi to anyone I missed. Stay warm everyone.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 7:09PM
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Hi everyone !

So much to catch up on tonite- Ill try to catch up as best I can!

I recd my order of gall mite resistant fuchsias yesterday. I will pot them up this weekend , but I bought an assortment so I need to look up al the cultivars I got and see what their eventual size is.

Jeesh, I m pretty bummed about the nice bathroom pics-lol I have yet to finish mine .i guess Ill have to be sure and post a pic when I get it done. Mine is blus too, but more of a seafoam type shade so a bit greenish.

Honey, love the frost protection pics. !

Mary, Glad you enjoyed Lady Banks. She continues to open more and more flowers. One of my fellow Master Gardeners retired from Microsoft ( $$$$$ !) and bought an old estate about 15 miles north of me that has a 120 year old Lady Banks on the property. She is just huge-the trunk looks like an oak tree and it covers an entire outbuilding. Pretty cool.
Pretty jealous here of your fellowship the Art Institute .. Ive traveled to Chicago many many times on business over the last 20 years and always make it a point to visit the Art Institute even if I only have an hour or two to spare I will never forget the first time I walked into the room with Sunday on La Grande Jatte. , I was totally blown away..

T, the Left Coast is in a spring mode for sure ! Dont you think our NE friends need to do the CT cruise in the PNW ?

So Cindy, we need the names of your languishing 3 roses

Sue-impressive that you stayed up till 3. I can barely make it till 10 !

kay all gotta go..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 6, 2007 at 11:07PM
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Good morning, it's time to get up and watch the snow fall!

If I wanted this kind of a spring I could have stayed in NH. The cherry and crab trees in my yard were just starting to bloom. Hauled in all the seedlings Thursday night because temps predicted in 20s at night well into next week. Cindy, I can't get over that you had buds on your peonies. Mine are only up a couple of inches.

So that Chelone wouldn't be lonely, I had my sewer line cleaned out this week. The sign was slow draining water and gurgling noises throughout the house and the discovery of water coming out the sink in the cellar bathroom. Checked the first outdoor cleanout and that's where the problem was. I had to make a decision on whether to call my regular plumbers or Roto-Rooter and went with the regular one. When they came out, I asked whether I might need Roto-Rooter and they told me RR had bought them a year ago. How convenient!

Honey, I do remember your 'frost defense' photos from a few years ago. The pics of your Amelanchiers that spring were responsible for me putting 3 in here in 2005 :-)

I had to pick up some Monty meds at vet one night this week and since I was dog free I stopped at Home Goods on the way home. They had 'my' arch there for $99. I have two just like it already. Black iron, simple (Sue, you bought one shortly after I got the first I think), and sturdy. I don't know where I'll put it, maybe mod the side yard path so it can fit there where I have the two Cecile Brunners.

I'm wondering if Dannie's obedience class will be canceled this morning. We are wimps here in Maryland. And not just the driving, it's an outdoor class. She is laying on the couch with her feet stuck straight up in the air. Way different than the dog who had her head under the night stand drooling and shaking a few nights ago for a thunder storm. Dannie was returned because her T-phobia had generalized to 24/7 fear of everything. She's doing better, but still freaks when it's going to rain and has flat out panic attacks for a T-storm. Snow and cold is much easier on her.

I picked up the flexi straws for IU4 :-)

Hi to all, just too much to catch up on here. Hope you are all well and grandbabies are sleeping. Deanne, great attitude. Keep driving over those snowbanks! Spring will prevail.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 6:12AM
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Oh yeah! The largest rose in the world is a Lady Banks in Arizona. Something like 8600 square feet. There used to be a photo of it on the web but I can't find it anymore. Be careful Kathy, it will eat your house.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 6:15AM
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OK so who else has a heap of snow upon them???? It's been snowing straight for two days now-the road out the window is white and cars are crawling....unbelievable in April-except this is Cleveland so I should know better. Deanne are you still buried? I wonder what GB has--when does she get back? She must have at least four more knit projects done lol.
Mary I've missed somewhere that Annie was under the weather? I hope she's fine by now....sheesh I keep missing so much. Art intitute! Do you have an art degree? That must have been great to be there!

Honey I have been hoping for two years now that I'll get to hear Tom's TP story...maybe this year? You think I'm funny-but having a mental image of you and the trooper watching you cracks me up--I hope you gave him one of those gorgeous smiles!

Ok I can't keep it inside-there's a possibility that I could possibly get a part time teaching job for next year. Only two days a week but more pay and about the same number of hours I have now. Our art teacher who is leaving recommended me! My teaching has been centered around pre-K children so I'm not sure if they'd ask me to teach K-8..I do hope though. I won't say more....that jinx thing. Time to cross the appendages; )

Lady Banks,eh? Maybe if I planted her I wouldn't have to reside my house! It was cute the other day, AJ asked when I was going to plant viney plants to cover the whole outside of the house(I guess he figured since I've planted so much at the ground level). Funny though when he said that I did stand there for a while imagining the possibilities.

Cynthia I'm afraid to check but my peonies are almost 1-1/2 ft. tall-I hope there aren't buds yet! It took three almost record breaking warm days to get everything growing here. My star Mag burst into bloom only to get thwacked by snow-white blooms are now brown hanging gunk. My peas also sprouted-I guess I can replant.

Honey-so you aren't getting Lake effect snow? I think that's why we are getting pummeled. I guess I need to be thankful that at least the plants are getting insulation...lots of it!

Off to color eggs-then to MIL's to celebrate Easter. Tomorrow we go to my mom's. Then on Wed. we're off to Hocking Hills for a few days: ) : )!!!

If I don't get back here have a warm happy rest of the weekend!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 10:29AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi! The new home laptop has arrived and is working. At least one thing is going right. The issues at work continue, although they are sorting themselves out. Guess what? I just realized I'm getting a spell check function as I type in the little box. How cool!

The weather still stinks. I'm really afraid to take a walk and see what all this cold has done to things. Work has been so stressful that I don't want to add to my frustrations.

Time to go hunt up the lamb cake pan so I can get that rolling. I'm planning a quiet evening to catch up on reading. TTYL!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 11:11AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

No time to read. Just a drive-by to tickle your funny bone:

After starting a new diet I altered my drive to work to avoid passing my favorite bakery. I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning, and as I approached, there in the window were a host of goodies. I felt this was no accident, so I prayed ... "Lord, it ' s up to you, if you want me to have any of those delicious goodies, create a parking place for me directly in front of the bakery." And sure enough, on the eighth time around the block, there it was!

Have a great day! Happy Easter everyone.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 11:12AM
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Honey, I laughed when I looked up Serviceberry... Amelanchier. Get this: we planted one last fall (duh), lol! (Amelanchier arborea, "Robin Hill", 2" caliper). It was a real pain to find a place with enough depth to accomodate the root ball (lots of ledge here), but we did and it seems to be alive... it will be fun to see what it looks like (if it ever warms up).

I'm appalled at how large Lady Banks can get. Too much for this reactionary rosarian. 8600 sq. ft., Cynthia?! Yikes.

Babs., not to jinx anything, but I sure hope that would work out for you. Sounds perfect.

I smiled at the image of Deanne powering over the snowbanks. I can relate to the ice pack in the driveway... seems as though every single storm this season has left a legacy of packed ice. I'm thoroughly sick of it all, too. One of the nicer aspects of our location is that spring arrives later here than just a half mile inland. Only the peony nearest the foundation has broken the ground yet, and the bulbs are only up a little bit. The star magnolia is still sporting the fuzzy jackets and while they're swelling it's not ready to open yet. No sign of Forsythia, either.

I would probably be in prison now had I ever pushed fruit forthe from my loins. I'd have likely followed the example of the native Americans... strap the kid to a cradle board and hang it out in the woods until it cried itself out... . Power to you, T., a screaming/pooping/puking machine was never much of a draw for me, although we did contemplate it in the mid-90s. We were too able to find reasons "why not" and realized that was the answer. You're a brick. :)

I sometimes see 3 AM, too, Sue. But usually I'm thinking about getting up! There is every possibility that if you called here looking for me at 7:45-8PM, I'd be in bed and dozing off . You must have been dragging! Make sure you treat yourself well before your surgery. If you go in rested you'll recover more quickly. Nothing to look forward to, but it'll be over and done with soon enough. Hang tough.

We met with the excavator/site work guy yesterday. Nice guy. He looked at the site, asked a few questions and had a plan in mind. It will take a lot of fill. Gulp. I met with a prospective framer this morning. Very chatty, asked some important questions I couldn't answer, so I wrote them down and with have the helpmeet call him tonight to discuss the particulars. We meet with another site guy and another framer on Monday, also the electrician. My feet are getting colder by the minute. :) We still have to call the mason and figure out some heat for the workrooms. I'm beginning to appreciate just how important it is to have a good rapport with contractors; we were "spoiled" by the guy who built our home. Today, the guy mentioned we "could get by with 2x10s", rather than the spec'd 2x12s for floor joists and the carrying stick. I told him I appreciated his desire to provide cost saving options but we wanted the beefier 2x12 stick and joists. He smiled and said, "my home is 'over-built', too.". I fear I will vomit explosively when I see the final estimate.

I meant to comment on Michelle's pink-trimmed tulips. Beautiful foliage... does the varigation last or fade out? And I'm thinking about easter baskets and candy. Mum loved Easter and the basket was always an eagerly anticipated thing. I made a trip to the very posh candy store for the helpmeet's chocolate bunny and added a hand decorated milk chocolate egg filled with caramel, too.

I was thinking about the "fur thing". We had a lot of that stuff in house (collars, cuffs, accessories) inherited from dead family members. I remember asking Mum about them and she was pretty blunt, "they kill the animal and skin it, dear". I never lost any sleep over it. From a purely professional standpoint, a furrier's work is technically very involved and very skilled (I found it fascinating, esp. the restyling aspect of it). But there is a very dark side to the industry, no doubt about that (just like horse and dog racing, and the meat industry)! I wouldn't buy a fur, but if I inherited one I'd probably use it. My favorite fur is beaver with mink in second place.

Did Dannie go to school today? what are you learning? are you doing Basic with hand signals? (are you patting her on the head, ;) ). Obedience classes are a great way to boost a dog's confidence. Poor Dannie sounds as though she has many "issues", I understand, so does Rex. And while his issues are different from Dannie's, they're still rooted in confidence and it is something to work on every single day. None of our dogs were ever particularly bothered by thunderstorms (if they were really close and severe they'd get a bit tense), but my uncle's Golden was terrified of them (she behaved similarly to what you've described in Dannie). I wonder what it is that triggers that sort of fear/anxiety in one dog and not in another. I used to wonder the same thing about different horses, too, why is one "bomb-proof" but another turns inside out at the site of a bedsheet flapping on a clothesline or a chicken scratching around near the barn? Go figure.

Here's a shot showing why we left the ladder up. Vera especially likes to hang out on the roof:

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 2:44PM
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Babs, for once I am without snow. I actually did spend a couple hours outdoors today. Its only got to about 35 and is windy. I mostly straightened up in the garden shed. Sorry you are buried. Good luck on the possible job.

Honey, LOL your bakery story! I treated myself to a Panera cinnamon crunch bagel this a.m. When I get there I pick up the bakers dozen and freeze them.

I did finally order a few plants yesterday. I went to a local nursery last weekend and realized that I need to order plants to get anything different. I have planted no seeds this year. I did pot up 2 grapevines that I bought the other day. Im thinking of a grape arbor in the potager. I really thought Id make an arbor out of copper like the tuteur that I made last year, but time is slipping away from me so badly this year.

We are having my kids and parents over for Easter dinner so much of today was spent preparing food.

Chelone, I have never experienced any kind of construction but I can appreciate the anxiety of the unknown. DH did major reconstruction of this house and built the majority of the buildings on this farm before we were married.

I will leave you with a picture from last year of China Town It loses the pink to white edges. I must go and make my final food item strawberry pie.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 7:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Been home only a short time so this will be a photo drive by mainly. In short, the move was a big success. The house is finer than I would have imagined for them. They've been very busy painting and fixing and getting organized. It was a happy time!
Grandpa helps DGS learn to use a hammer and build a bird house:

Gifts arrive. Here a baby backpack for hiking:

New crib set up, new dresser too. Changing table arrives later and I'll make matching curtains.

Couldn't live with the aqua living room so painting began after much analysis of paint chips.

Many other rooms had instant make-overs. Two in particular were a deep raspberry red with a saran wrap textured effect and black trim. UGH! One is now an off white study, another a pale green bathroom.

Here DD and DSIL clown about yet another trip to Home Depot. Truth be told, DD hates shopping and it is DSIL who loves to buy buy buy. Today he was going to buy a dining table. I think we looked at 3-4 possibilities while he debated their pros and cons. Since he's the one who loves to entertain and cook, he gets to make the decision.

DH leaves for Vienna tomorrow, so I must go do laundry now. Later friends!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 9:42PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Everybody must be busy with holiday preparations.

Chelone, we built 2 homes. The first we nearly got a divorce over and the second went smoothly. DH swears hell never build again and dreads some remodel jobs we have to do here. The only thing I can suggest is that you thoroughly research your builder and check references and insurance, think everything you want done through first and put every detail in writing. Even then there can be delays and problems and youll need lots and lots of patience. I wish you luck and cant wait to hear and see progress.

Love Vera! Shes sooo cute. Its amazing that she likes to get on the roof!

Re the fur thing, I have a DH story. First of all, I avoid taking him shopping w/me b/c he usually causes a scene. But one day in May, we were shopping for swimming trunks and boating shoes for him. On the way back to the car thru a big dept store, there was a "Clearance sale" sign with an arrow to the fur salon. So I detoured there. The sales person got a chair out for DH to wait comfortably for me. I spotted this exquisite full length crystal fox trimmed in mink and I just HAD to try it on. I was playing not buying. As I was preening in it, just enjoying the moment, the sales mgr. came over and complimented me on how nice the coat favored my coloring. Then she turned to DH (big mistake) and said, "Doesnt that coat look gorgeous on her?

Thoughtfully, he replied, "Well, it makes her look a whole lot older and heavier, but if she really wants it." After his comment registered and the sales mgr. recovered, she momentarily looked like she was going to strangle him. I just cant take him anywhere!

Michelle, I love that China Town tulip. Have fun with Kenzie and your family tomorrow.

Oh Cynthia, so Im responsible for your buying Amelanchier? I didnt know that. Youre so knowledgeable and have so many different varieties of trees and shrubs, I never guessed that me of all people could tempt you! So glad you got your plumbing problem fixed w/o a disaster. Do you have to do the RR thingy b/c of tree roots in the sewer lines? SILs Mom had an older home with that problem and they told her she should either remove the trees or have the lines snaked out every yr. Hope thats not the case with yours.

Babs, were really hoping to make it to IU4 this yr. We have a couple loose ends to tie up here before we can commit for sure. Were so excited about seeing everyone again and Im so glad youll be there, too!

Sorry I couldnt comment on everything. Time to make my contribution to tomorrow's dinner at DS's house. Hope everyone has a great Easter. Night all.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 9:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Been home only a short time so this will be a photo drive by mainly. In short, the move was a big success. The house is finer than I would have imagined for them. They've been very busy painting and fixing and getting organized. It was a happy time!
Grandpa helps DGS learn to use a hammer and build a bird house:

Gifts arrive. Here a baby backpack for hiking:

New crib set up, new dresser too. Changing table arrives later and I'll make matching curtains.

Couldn't live with the aqua living room so painting began after much analysis of paint chips.

Many other rooms had instant make-overs. Two in particular were a deep raspberry red with a saran wrap textured effect and black trim. UGH! One is now an off white study, another a pale green bathroom.

Here DD and DSIL clown about yet another trip to Home Depot. Truth be told, DD hates shopping and it is DSIL who loves to buy buy buy. Today he was going to buy a dining table. I think we looked at 3-4 possibilities while he debated their pros and cons. Since he's the one who loves to entertain and cook, he gets to make the decision.

DH leaves for Vienna tomorrow, so I must go do laundry now. Later friends!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 10:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sorry about the stuttering above...

This is for Cynthia and other cat lovers.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2007 at 11:00PM
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Happy Easter! Dogs have been out looking for the Easter bunny (I'm thawing a whole rabbit for their dinner). Off to open the piano and see if any of my cats are talented like Nora in GB's link.

Love everyone's photos. Thanks for sharing the trip GB - you do great candid shots. The sky is so blue in Maine! And love Michelle's tulips... Honey it took me a minute to realize the cartoon caption was Maxine and not you!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 9:34AM
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Happy Easter! It sure doesn't look or feel like Easter here, more like New Years at 28F. I'm waiting for Bella to arrive for her Easter basket. I had such fun filling it, only a small amount of candy though. It's too cold and snowy out for the Easter egg hunt I had planned.

Marie, great pictures! What a great house, love the crib too and dd looks great!

I'm appreciating seeing any and all garden pictures. Michelle, pretty tulips! And Kathy, that rose is really something!

Honey, dgn is just adorable. I had a white rabbit muff. We need Easter muffs here this year!

Chelone, nice to see Vera and hear about the garage planning progress.

Cynthia, I haven't found any good prizes at our Homegoods in ages. Did you decorate Easter hats for Monty, Dannie and Katie to wear on their walks today? Wouldn't that be the cutest? They would look like an Easter parade!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 10:07AM
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Happy Easter everyone!

Welcome home GB! I enjoyed your photos.

Michelle, that is a very pretty tulip and Kathy's rose bush is impressive (and then impressive again).

We've had steady rain for a couple days (so much for our projected nice weather and plans for working outside) but today, so far, looks nice (and dry). The cold spell hitting so many of you is amazing. I'm sorry that you are having to deal with these cold of temps at this time of year.

Well, off to get ready for church....Blessings to all on this most special of all holidays!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 11:26AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

An Old Italian man lived alone in the country.
He wanted to dig his tomato garden, but it was very hard work as the ground was hard.
His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.

The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,
I am feeling pretty badly because it looks like I won't be
Able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting
Too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you
Were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be
Happy to dig the plot for me.
Love, Dad

A few days later he received a letter from his son:

Dear Dad,
Don't dig up that garden. That is where I buried the bodies.
Love, Vinnie

At 4 a.m. The next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and
Dug up the entire area without finding any
Bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.

That same day, the old man received another letter from his son:

Dear Dad,
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I
Could do under the circumstances.
Love you, Vinnie

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 4:52PM
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Well Easter dinner's over, Bella loved her basket. I think her favorite thing in it was the Hello Kitty pez dispenser. Brad and Dave are watching a movie now and I'm taking a break from painting my bedroom door. Six panel doors are such fun to paint! I just checked the weather and the forecast for April 22nd, two weeks from today is snow. When is it going to end???

I wanted to tell Babs that I have my fingers crossed for the new job! It sounds just perfect for you!

Cute joke, Marie. LOL!

Hi T!

Tomorrow's David's 21st birthday. We're all taking him out to lunch and I'll be baking a cake in the morning to take along.

Back to painting...Eden

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 6:28PM
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The temps were in the mid-40's but it was sunny and Kenzie wanted to go outside, so the egg hunt was outdoors. This is so much more fun than in the house.

Eden, my DS birthday is this week too on Thurs. He will be 25. Rick has a Dr. appointment that day in Sioux Falls so we will see him.

It looks like 'bug's trip was lots of fun.

Happy Easter

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 7:00PM
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Michelle, I'm jealous. Kenzie looks like she's having so much fun hunting eggs. I love the hat on her too! I so wanted to do an egg hunt here. Bella and I even decorated a special bucket for her to use. But we had grey skies and snow on the ground and it was cold! Maybe next year. Thanks for sharing your hunt. I loved seeing it :) So we both have birthday boys this week. Happy Birthday to your ds!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 7:30PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I hope all had a Happy Easter. I rang bells at church this morning - missed all the rehearsals and they put me on different bells, so I quickly highlighted my music AND my wrists and did just fine. We had only eight for dinner and it was very nice. Still a lot of dirty dishes in the kitchen, but I will post this, take my contraband Cadbury egg into the kitchen and finish cleaning.

The new laptop is a dream and the computer tech responded to my late Friday SOS, so hopefully we will come to an end of the computer woes.

Did I mention that the weather still stinks? A lot of my daffs have given up the fight, the hyacinths are only half-bloomed, and my columbines have lots of dead foliage. I know most things will recover, but I did think a couple of weeks ago that things would look nice on Easter.

It's the week for idyll-child birthdays - my DD has hers next Sunday.

Mary, I can relate to the story of your DH and the coffee. Would you believe my DH bawled me out today because I didn't have the kids wait for him to open their Easter baskets? The "kids" who are 22 to 19? as Da used to say.

Okay, change the laundry, empty the dishwasher and off to bed. Hello to all!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 9:23PM
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Hello Idylls

A very nice Easter here despite the snow and grey skies YUK! We had a leasurely start to the morning, made all the more pleasant by the fact that Clousseau did not throw up in the night. He had raided my Easter basket shopping and ate eight (yes 8!) Cadburys Caramel eggs. The dog apparently has a cast iron stomach and no remorse.

We had friends over at noon and the 5 children donned winter coats, boots and gloves for the egg hunt. I had earlier frozen my tushie off hiding 200 plastic eggs in teh yard but it was worth it to see how much fun they had finding them, even the two teenagers! We had hot chocolate and home-made bubka afterwards.

SIL took Annie and David to the movies while DH and I enjoyed a quiet afternoon together, walked the delinquent pooch, lit a huge fire and grilled lamb for dinner. The kids went to see "Blades of Glory" (everything is funnier in spandex) which Annie described as being "very wrong but hilarious", David announced it his new favorite movie but SIL felt it was far too crude. Oh dear, perhaps not the best choice for family viewing. I'm afraid their descriptions of some of the funnier moments had me in stiches - I must have turned into a poor parent.

We finished the evening with some wholesome game playing (Scattergories and Crazy Eights) and I'm about to turn in for the night.

GB - what fun pictures from your trip - you can almost feel the joy and anticipation. I particularly love the frog crib!

Michelle - Kenzie is so cute!

Babs - that is fabulously exciting about the teaching possibility. Fingers crossed as I write this!

best wishes to all those celebrating birthdays

Nite-nite all


PS I was voted down on my entry for "a pair of something" beginning with the letter N in Scattegories. Apparently a pair of neighbors did not count LOL! Would you guys have allowed it?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2007 at 10:59PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter. The little ones in the egg hunts - so cute! We used to plan an egg treasure hunt with clues and prizes and one large prize every year. Ours are a bit old for that now, but still get some Easter candy.

Today was the coldest Easter here since 1975. That's before my boys were born! Had flurries most of the day. I must admit - yesterday I took a peek under the sheets out on the flower beds and it didn't look too promising. In a couple of days it will warm enough to remove them, and that's going to be pretty sad. I don't know if the plants with pots filled with pine needles fared any better - haven't had the heart to look. I, too, was thinking Easter this year would be pretty with flowers and such, but not to be.

We had excitement before dinner - Mom had sweet potatoes cooking in the oven (they had been in for about an hour) and her casserole dish shattered. A big bang and a great whoosh of steam from the hot syrupy juices hitting the oven floor! Thankfully the door was closed and we were in the adjoining room. If she had been taking the potatoes out or had the door open when that happened - well, I just don't want to think about that. She turned off the oven and I rushed home to put on more sweet potatoes and cook rolls. The ham had already been removed from the oven so no harm there! By the time I returned with cooked sweet potatoes and hot rolls, she and dad had the oven pretty well cleaned up. She waited until it was cool, but wanted to get the syrup out of there before it hardened. The syrup also ran down into the drawer below the oven and everything had to be washed. The rest of the dinner was uneventful, LOL.

Sounds like Clousseau and Cinders have something in common. Cinders stole a half dozen small peanut butter cups this morning, taking each one under the sofa in the living room to munch. I'd have never known if I hadn't found the one wrapper he left in the middle of the floor. There was a pile of them under the sofa, though. I asked him about it and he gave me the "guilty eyes" and hung his head. And licked his lips.

Almost lost this post, so I'm gonna post it before that happens again!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 2:21AM
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Those pictures of Kenzie are great. I'm not sure quite what it is, but kids that age always have a look of such rapt concentration when they're on a "mission". Did Bella get to do any "hunting" indoors? And V., I laughed at the your husband's dismay at missing the Easter baskets. That's pretty funny.

I was careful to stash the helpmeet's bunny in the "lab.". Rex is pretty good about not filching food, but he IS, after all, a dog and they do that sort of thing. We do our level best to "save him from himself"; cat food is the biggie with Biggie.

I have been thinking of Babs. as I've watched the snowstorm in Cleveland... maybe the Indians could play baseball in snowshoes? And Suzy, your yard is still under bedsheets??? It's still cold here, but as previously mentioned there isn't vey much that's so far along I fear for its long range survival. The wind has been just brutal the past few day... really makes it feel colder than it is. (but it dries the laundry quickly!)

Eden, my sympathies on the doors. There are 21 of them in this house and 5 are still unpainted. I used alkyd paint, high gloss... they DO take a long time.

'bug, the pictures are great. Looks as though it was a very busy and productive visit. Can't wait to get some more details from you. Is Charlotte glad to have her Mummy and Daddy home?

I have to get dressed, heat up the "lab." for some alteration work. Electrician at 8, a trip to meet a builder between 10-11, and another site work guy around lunch time.

The helpmeet brought home and Easter lily yesterday. The whole living room/library smells great this morning. Talk atcha later.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 7:08AM
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A day late but nonetheless heartfelt: CELEBRATE THE PROMISE OF THE SEASON!!!

Semi-Recovered from what I now know was the official flu. Back to work today.

No plant damage, yet, but everything has come to a screeching halt. Snow anticipated for Thursday and nothing near 50degF all week. Trying not to fret or complain but SHEEEEEEESH!!

I'm so impressed that Kenzie walks on paths! The stories of baskets and finery made me wistful. Did get potted bulbs for every woman I saw yesterday and the car smelled wonderful. Hope!!!

Cracked up with the jokes. Good belly laughs in the morning are never bad.

Okay, Chelone. You know I need to chime in about contractors :-) One of DH's huge contract points is that he is responsible for everything. "Full Service, One Job at a Time." Sub-contracting your own project is frightening, and DH points out that since timing is everything, getting everyone in sinc can be a job in and of itself. Especially when there's no "future" relationship involved. All that said, he said (yes, I actually asked him) that if you need help, scream and give us a way to get in touch. He also said that 2x12's are not "over-built" but probably code :-) You're on the right track.

Marie - I'm so happy for your entire family.

Everyone Else -- Stay warm, do what you need to do for your own personal comfort, and keep on painting :-)


    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 7:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

WHY at 9:30 in the morning is there a 1 second power outage that wipes out my lengthy post? Well, I'll see what I can do to recap.

I've missed a lot in one week's absence. Babs, a NEW JOB?!!Best wishes on that! V is bell ringing without rehearsing! Kenzie is adorable, as usual. Lady Banks put in an impressive appearance and Honey is back in good form with HRH Bullet.

Chelone, I'll try to reconstruct our visit. We arrived at Edmonton airport with lots of baggage, including DD's baby wicker rocking chair. Much honking and silliness as they drove up to collect us.
That evening we packed and packed boxes. Indy dog has been practicing saying "HEWOOOO". Good grief! Next morning we were off to sign papers at the lawyer's, where I pointed out an error where it was written "eight" rather than "eighty" thousand dollars. I was not popular for that! It would have created problems down the road anyway I guess. Then DD was off to work again and DSIL continued packing and coordinating help for the next day.
Moving day was tricky but well planned. In the morning the rental truck was collected, new furniture packed in it, then the old stuff loaded in front of that. Trip #1. Then DD went to collect DGS from the airport (He was visiting a grandfather for March break in B.C.) At noon the keys to the new place were delivered to me on site, and load #2 arrived. A sharp 16 year old nephew of DSIL's was there to build their new bed as well as the bunkbed for DGS.
By 3:30 the gang was GONE! We puttered as much as we could stand, trying to organize boxes and the kitchen, put sheets on beds, etc. DD was wiped out, so she was sent to BED.
The next week is a blur of shopping, boxes, cleaning, painting, trips to the dump and good food. DSIL bought himself tools with his birthday money and also a fancy Belgian waffle maker which we tested several times for breakfasts. DH and I bought them lots of "little" things which really added up! ;-) It is fun to do once in a while when possible: 4 stools for the kitchen island, the crib and dresser, paint and good brushes for edging, scissors, etc etc.
DSIL is the energizer bunny and hardly sleeps, working on house projects most nights til 2am. DD gets discouraged because she can't keep up these days. So DH made a point of having her help him build the crib and kitchen stools. I helped her sort baby clothes and fill the dresser, and we chose crib bedding too.
We visited in-laws and a Somalian friend came over with super food too. So, it was a busy joyous time! DGS met 5 year old Amanda across the street within 3 seconds of moving in, before he even saw his room. That is a good thing for both kids longterm as it turns out, and so made moving day easier.
That's all she wrote for now!
Finding a place for everything.

Bum shot: How does this fireplace work?

Entertainment. DH learning a new song: Gunga Din (Rudyard Kipling set to music)

DGS's room. The ceiling fan must go so he doesn't decapitate himself!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 10:28AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

One evening DD sat with DGS and explained the entire poem to him. He adores figuring out poetry and song and knows words to more songs than I do. Normally I'd say this is not child material, but it works in this situation.

Poem lyrics of Gunga Din by Rudyard Kipling.

You may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
But when it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
He was "Din! Din! Din!
You limpin' lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! slippery "hitherao"!
Water, get it! "Panee lao"! [Bring water swiftly.]
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din."

The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
An' a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some "juldee" in it [Be quick.]
Or I'll "marrow" you this minute [Hit you.]
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

'E would dot an' carry one
Till the longest day was done;
An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut,
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
With 'is "mussick" on 'is back, [Water-skin.]
'E would skip with our attack,
An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
An' for all 'is dirty 'ide
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front-files shout,
"Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

I shan't forgit the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
An' the man that spied me first
Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my 'ead,
An' he plugged me where I bled,
An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water-green:
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen;
'E's chawin' up the ground,
An' 'e's kickin' all around:
For Gawd's sake git the water, Gunga Din!"

'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
An' just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink", sez Gunga Din.
So I'll meet 'im later on
At the place where 'e is gone --
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
An' I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
Yes, Din! Din! Din!
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' Gawd that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 10:34AM
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Hoppy Easter = :o] (does that look like a bunny?)
April sure IS a big BIRTHDAY month...hiny,hint.
Happy bday to all those idyll children with bdays. My sister's is Thurs. we celebrated ours together yesterday.

Our Easter was snowy to say the least-we didn't get stuck anywhere but it just continually snowed! I think we have about a foot by now. It kind of changed our plans for an egg hunt....I suppose if we supplied shovels, hmm..

I'm very happy that I had enough forethought to bring forsythia branches and cuttings of purple hyacinth indoors before all the blusteriness. I keep wonderings how this will affect the hydrangeas that started leafing out...

Gb nice to see your DD/family being so think she's begun nesting yet?; )

Michelle I'm so glad you had bare ground for Kenzie to egg hunt on-she's a gal on a mission in those pics! So cute! That is such a beautiful tulip!! If I didn't have so many deer that would slurp those things up I'd definitely have to find China Town-I really do like the variegation of the leaves.

Eden-any pics of Bella?

I don't mean to run but we are leaving for our trip in a couple days so I need to do laundry and stuff...hopefully I can sneak by again before we go...

Hi to the rest of the idyll gang!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:11AM
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    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:37AM
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Babs - I'm SOOOO sorry to have missed your birthday (the birthday oracle must have been distracted by the Easter bunny). Picturetrail is doing something wierd right now and I can't get into my photos but come back later if you can for a card!

Hope you did something special to celebrate.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:41AM
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Oh my gosh, we're bad, bad Idyllers. We didn't miss one but two birthdays!

Happy Birthday Drema!

and Happy Birthday Babs!

Hope you both had great days!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:42AM
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On the run this morning but just saw the birthday greetings by Mary.

Happy Birthday to Drema and Babs!!!!!

I'm such a louse.....can't remember the HTML code for making the cool fonts. Imagine the greetings in big scrolly Victoria font-----and you can choose the color-I chose blue, but it can be changed for whatever colors you prefer, ;o)

My best to you both!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 11:54AM
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Happy Birthday Drema!

Happy Birthday Babs!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 1:01PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hoppy belated Birthday, Babs!!

Happy Birthday, Drema!!

From the Great Frozen New South...


    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 1:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

All the best to Babs!

Yo Drema! To you too!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 1:46PM
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Something tropical to warm us on this cold day.

warmest regards

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 4:55PM
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(a rose for the birthday gals)


    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 5:06PM
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Oh man! I don't who is the "keeper" of birthdays (it ain't me)... I so suck at that sort of thing. HOWEVER, in honor of the birthday girls I've actually patrolled the uncharted depths of the picture files for things I know you've never seen before!

For our snowbound Babs., a pretty Geranium whose name has been lost to the vagaries of New England's winters:

And for Drema, a close up of Kalmia... (who suffered mightily last winter and may well succumb utterly to mortal damage):

And for both of you, just because I always like this combination:

I've forgotten how pretty aspects of my garden can be... thanks for the reminder. :)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 6:22PM
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ccsuzy(z6 IN)

Happy Birthday Drema!

Happy Birthday Babs!

Of course nothing in my garden looks like this right now. We're due a bit of a warm up, low temps in the 30s and highs in the 50s. Tomorrow I will uncover the poor plants. I peeked under the pots today and it looks like the pine needle nests actually protected more than the sheets. A reason to keep those loose pots! I have a huge stack of them I was going to toss, I think I'll set them inside the garage for use another time.

I'm looking out the window at a very yellow goldfinch, looking for food at my feeder. I"m going to have to get more finch food, it seems. I've also heard the hummers are back, but I can't imagine how they have taken the cold the last few nights.

Chelone, that geranium might be Splish Splash. I have one that reseeded itself into the rose bed and gave me two more. I wonder how often I rip out seedlings, thinking they are a weed. I happened to notice these leaves looked familiar and left them to see what developed. A happy choice!

Great pictures Bug. Looks like you had a busy and fun time with your DD and family.

Off to consider dinner.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 6:36PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 7:48PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Birthday Babs & Drema!

After way too many tries, this is as close as I can get to flowing script! Hope you both enjoyed your days!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2007 at 8:27PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

Another early one, so I can make a quick post.

I hear you V...I *live* for's my season. Oh well, I guess this year I'll live for June! :-)

Now I'm wondering about when Sue's surgery is too Cynthia. I *thought* it was for Monday the 16th. I wrote it down in my calendar awhile back, so I wouldn't miss wishing Sue my best the night before, but from what I'm reading here now, I may have written down the wrong wouldn't surprise me. You & Bug have Clivias?!? Oh I'm green! I am not a houseplant person, houseplants don't like me. But, if there was ever a houseplant I *wished* I could grow, *that* would be the one.

Speaking of which...I just drooled over all your beautiful plant choices Bug. Your purple hellebore looks a lot like one I planted last spring. To my relief, it lived through the winter, looks to have maybe one bloom or two, but not open yet. I'm just thrilled that it made it. One of my "no-name" hellebores has made about 20 babies from my last count (that is if they didn't die from yesterday's snow). I'll check on them once the snow melts. I want to pot them up and bring them to the next place. LOL about my posting, Bug. You are probably right, but I have *so* much *fun* making them! :-)

Eden - I *love* that bedroom you posted...that is sooo just the kind of style I *love*, the soft hint of colors, the lamps, the little chest (armoire?), the curtains, the vase of fresh flowers, well *everything* and that *headboard*! That is the sweetest thing! Hope you find just the right gate/trellis and will post your creation when it is all completed. I can see that being Cynthia's style fact it reminds me a lot of some of the restful, beautiful home pics Cynthia has posted. BTW Eden...I *love* that pic of your GT and SS together...what a beautiful combo!

Chelone So sorry about the headache with Lamee? Did I spell that right?...You know...that *sparkly* cloth! :-)
Can't help it but hearing about *sparkly* things gets my blood going. Paul tells me I'm a lot like a crow...attracted to bright, shiny things...LOL!

BTW Mary...what is that *gorgeous* flower in your BD pic to Kathy? YumMm!

Oh before I forget...I wanted to share this with Deanne & Drema:

Up on the top shelf to the left is Deanne's Fuchsia and next to it is a pot of about 6 of Drema's coleus. On the bottom shelf to the right is a glass of Drema's cuttings! :-)

I know the pics are poor, but can you tell which Fuchsia this is Deanne? It's been a blooming wonder and a real joy.

A close up of some of Drema's coleus cuttings.

I don't want anyone to be misled. I'm *not* a houseplant person. The only reason these plants are still alive is because they only have to be in the house for the winter....LOL! Actually the poor begonias are crying to get out of my hands and into a container outside...hope spring comes soon!

Okay...gotta has an appointment at 08:30 and I'm not even dressed yet.

Hi to anyone I missed.

Hope you all have a great day!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 8:58AM
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