# 429 ...Idyllversery

dodgerdudetteMarch 8, 2009

Happy Idyllversery to my Fabu Fabu Friends !

Kathy in Napa

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On March 8, 2003, 6 years ago today, our favorite southern bell, Ms Saucydog, stared the first Idyll thread. Sorry to say the posts there are not archived, but for your reading pleasure, I have attached a link to Idle Chatter number 2 , complete with posts.
In the 3rd post, Chelone does the wordplay gig to change Idle to Idyll .

 Idle Chatter
o Posted by: saucydog z5MA on Sat, Mar 8, 03 at 12:17
o 101 follow-ups, last one posted on Tue, Mar 18, 03 at 16:

 Idle Chatter III (idyll?)
o Posted by: Chelone z6 so. Maine on Sat, Mar 29, 03 at 12:15
o 100 follow-ups, last one posted on Tue, Apr 8, 03 at 17:12

Enjoy !

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 11:27AM
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Good morning

How fun to read such an early Idyll. It was before my time, but I recognized all but one poster. Seeing some of the old names and their comments was a walk down memory lane.

We started the day with an early guitar lesson where David played beautifully and has some new assignments. He is zipping through the repertoire. I spent the rest of the morning cleaning the kitchen. DH has been in charge of dishes the last couple of nights but his method of putting away seems to be rather haphazard and peculiar things are left out or not washed. Others are put away in even stranger places. I haven't yet figured out his system and I guess nor he, mine. Le sigh.

Gb - how nice to hear of DD and DSIL's new friends. Both DH and I are from "far away" and having friends with similar interests is really important. We fully realized the depth of these friendships over the last few weeks. To find a couple where both husband and wife have so much in common is often harder but such a delight.

We have possible flooding here too and heavy mists this morning. It's very squishy under foot otherwise I'd be tempted to do a little yard clean up. Instead I think I'll visit a nursery :0)

Have a good day everyone


    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 12:08PM
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I believe I may need to mow my eeny-weeny lawn today, as it begins to obscure the edges of the planting beds- suddenly its growing very fast, and if I wait its going to be a job for the weed-wacker as my reel mower will be impossible to push. Part of the fun of spring is that things seem to change every day, and the after-awfice WALAT becomes an opportunity for discovery.

I took Latin for three years in high school, and though I failed to appreciate it at the time, it has served me well all my life since then, as it is a solid base for discerning the meaning of words in our own language, not to mention pronouncing plant names ! For some reason the nuns that taught latin seemed to be a bit eccentric and dotty. There is not a single HS here in Napa County as far as I know that offers either Latin or classical Greek (including the Catholic HS) both of which were standard fare at mine. Lest we forget, all Gaulia is divisa in tres partes.

Dare I ask what a peeper is ?

Julie , what charming little poems you posted for us yesterday- and Im sure we can all relate to the sentiments in "My Garden" if felt much like that as I finally gave up on the Salpiglossis seeds and dumped the soil back into my trusty tidy-tray , lol.

I better get a move on here if I expect to do anything productive today

Waving to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 12:23PM
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So Marian is my honorary grandmother - I love it! I'm sure I'd feel right at home in Arkansas :) Wish I really could come poke around your plants for a day or two....

I have a mealy bug infestation in the agapanthus I wintered over in the window sill....I'm doing the good battle in hopes of Aggie making it back outdoors.

We have all the appropriate windows and doors open and we're enjoying the weather. The bees are out testing their wings and cleaning hive, and I'm straightening out my hive, too.

Kathy, I've linked the peepers....make sure to listen to their song. I love to open the skylight above my head while lying in bed and listening to their song. They peep until each and every one has found a mate - the saddest thing is the one lone peep at the end of the season :)

I've been working on pulling my materials together for 'tufa class - I'm teaching on Wednesday. I'm hoping they like the class and will be willing to take another in leaf casts and maybe small statuary. Getting materials for 20 is a bear, though, so I'm feeling tired lately.

I'm going to find some time to just sit in a chair on the deck today, too :)

Talk to you later...


    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 1:05PM
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Cake decorator I'm not but I hope Bella likes it. Hello Kitty....

Be back later to catch up on what's going on with all of you. Time to get ready for the par-tay!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 1:39PM
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I began a second language in 7th. grade. I was automatically put into a foreign language program and it turned out to be French. When we moved there was no Latin offered in the high school. I continued with French. My parents had at least 4 yrs. of Latin in the respective public high schools (the late '30s-early '40s). They both took French, and Mum took Spanish in college, too.

Sanitary Ridge has been divested of the downed pine boughs and we've begun the burn pile. It's beautiful outdoors, the sun is incredibly warm and all the animals have had a great time "being with us" in their territory. The Christmas decorations are down and when I finish the pudding I'll strip the greens from them and put away the "falsies" and frames. ;)

There was an interesting story on NPR this morning about the electric guitar. I thought of David. Does he listen to any of the jazz guitarists, Mary? I'm quite partial to Earl Klugh, George Benson, Lee Rittenour, Larry Carlton, among others.

March of '03 predates Mum's arrival here. I knew things were getting bad then but they'd not yet attained critical mass. 6 years is a long time, isn't it?

OK, gotta get the pudding finished.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 1:50PM
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Kathy how sweet of you to bring up the beginning of the idylls! Except did you have to bring up the thread where I spelled perennials wrong and in caps to boot? Oy vey: ) I was a garden newbie? Yeah it's true.
A nice surprise was to see EP's post-I just always appreciated her kindness & wisdom.

GB-AJ has taken French since 3rd grade. In the last couple years he's become more interested in where words are derived from since studying Greek & Roman history. He had two wonderful teachers who have made that subject area fascinating to him. Before that, reading Harry Potter and the book's use of Latin spells first introduced him to the language. Who knows,maybe he'll have an occupation in the sciences,mathematics or law...or own a garden nursery : ) Honestly,though I live a simple life that doesn't require the use of my limited knowledge of Spanish,but Latin would have been really helpful in recent years. I agree that learning any language is good for the mind.

I thought I heard two peepers yesterday too but later I realized it also could have been my neighbors windmill needing oil on a windy day lol.

Eden, Hello Kitty will turn out great! If I lived just down the road from you I would definitely help you out.
Ryan has decided his bday theme will be Mexican. I'm making him a saguaro cactus cake-not a cake made of cactus,but a chocolate cake shaped like a cactus; ) He specified no sharp spines would be used though.

The boys were a great help with cleaning grime yesterday. It's raining today because I washed my kitchen windows.

Brenda love the newlywed shot-how fun!

OK I need to go drink a bottle of vinegar..see ya!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 1:56PM
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Babs - were you the one to spell it perineal?


    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 2:09PM
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Conversation overheard in garden:
M: (Marty) You don't respect borders.
Me: Of course, I do.
M: No, you don't. Look at this plant. I hate walkways so overgrown with plants I have to contort myself to get by.
Me: All right, all right. Where's the loppers?
(much pruning ensues of plant that grows like The Blob, sweeping up, with lots of admonishing over proper posture for back protection)
Me&M: (satisfied at job, surveying the result)

Me: But what about this fountain? Should we move it?
M: Why'd you turn it off?
Me: It stopped pumping water. Maybe it will work better in spring weather.
M: (snorts in derision at foolish theory, plugs in fountain, fountain bubbles to life)
Can't believe it still works!
Me: It's like the Mars Rover (discussion detours over Mars Rover as we stare at top of fountain covered in rocks, marbles, other cool stuff)
Me: It needs more water (fills it with several watering cans. Cat's eye marble rolls over the jet of water.)
M: Look, the marble is spinning!
(silence as we stare in wonder)

We are so easily amused...

Eden, that cake is fantastic!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 2:11PM
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Shaking the sillies out, hundreds of transcript pages still to go so haven't caught up with idylls. Lovely script, Kathy. And hello, Babs! Sounds like you and the family are doing wonderfully.

Saucy, I once read of a garden that posted a sign with the terrifying words "Beware the Agapanthus!" and have always wanted to duplicate that.

Kudos to those with a second language under their belt and/or encouraging their kids to attain one. I was greeted by an atty last week with a cheery "Bonjour," to which I enthusiastically responded "Bonjour!" in reply, at which point he began rattling off in French, assuming I was conversant. Not!

Grindstone beckons...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 3:15PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Denise, I was once sitting at my desk while a Hispanic man was cleaning the next office and I let out a startled squeak. He looked questioningly at me and I said, "Un raton!" because a mouse had just run out from behind my computer monitor. He laughed and responded with a long stream of Spanish. Alas, he did not realize I had exhausted my Spanish vocabulary for the day. Someday in my spare time (hah!) I will take an immersion class and become conversant in another language.

We enjoyed the soap-making workshop yesterday. Although it was raining, it was a pleasant drive to the farm. Well, not counting the last three miles on a bad gravel road. The website directions took you a slightly longer way around that avoids the gravel road, but DH swears by his GPS. As we approached the address, we were distracted by a very cool old house built of limestone, a lovely valley off behind it it and a flock of wild turkeys in the field. So we had to backtrack to find the more mundane driveway...

As we walked from the car to the learning center, I was quite impressed by the sight of a massive Scottish bull in the pasture, and very disappointed that I had forgotten my camera. The learning center was a straw-bale building that was well-equipped for the class. We went through all the steps of the soap-making process, learned how to work safely with lye, got to make three bars each of soap for ourselves and got to visit the goats. We didn't get to milk the goats as they are pregnant right now and due later this month.

DH and I both enjoyed the class and I think this is something I will try at home. And I think we will try to take some other classes at this farm. It was a great excursion for a dreary Saturday afternoon.

Kathy, how fun to see the idyll history! I skimmed through the old idyll. I think I jumped in on number 3 or 4? Funny, I can remember when I first chimed in that I was having a hard time making sense of it all, but now it all makes sense.

And did anyone notice that six years ago, it was Ms. Saucy who was painting a floor? The more things change...

Speaking of painting, I need to arm myself with the roller and finish the last little section. The job is 85% done, and DH, the king of the unfinished project, will only say to others that "it's coming along nicely". Oh yes, part of what I need to (re)paint today is a section of wall that he spattered last week...

le sigh!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 4:16PM
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Eden the cake is terrific. I'll bet Bella will be right out of her mind when she sees it. What color Kool Aid will you be serving? ;) (I could definitely go for some of that cake right now).

I believe the magnificent Sony Trinitron in our living room has just cashed in its chips. Unbelieving, the helpmeet has repeatedly hit the on/off button. I wonder what this augers for the future?

I've enjoyed the above Sunday tales. Now it's time for a shower, my book, and an early bedtime to recoup that "gained" hour. ;)

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 5:14PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I put up a fence around the front flowerbed, then came in and have spent most of the rest of the afternoon reading the link that Kathy posted. So very interesting. That was about 2 months before I became a member of Garden Web, and longer than that when I became a poster on the Idylls. I espacially enjoyed reading jain's posts. I sure do miss her. It was because of her generosity that I becaome a poster of pics. She sent me her retired digital camera, and taught me how to post pics. The only one that I did not 'recognise' was Andrea, and I think I vaguely remember her. I miss Rara Avis also. She was espacially interested in my wildflower research.

Here is my Amaryllis as of today:

And a few of the Crocus that I have fenced from the thieves!

I remembered that my potted trees and shrubs needed watered, and while doing that I discovered that the tulips in the large tub on the deck have lots of leaves sprouting! YEY! I will not have to worry about the rodents eating them...neither the hooved ones, or the ones with the cotton tail. :-)

The hyacinths are well budded, and will be in full bloom in a few days. From now on there will be something new to see, until late fall. Hopefully it will be sufficient to dull the pain of the devastated trees and shrubs. I am getting excited about planting new things. :-)


    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 5:30PM
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Mary-no Mary I wasn't *that* pathetic!: )

Eden you did a fantastic job on Hello Kitty. She's perfect! And that is french silk fondant you used to make the realistic bow,right? (just jokin'!)

Pretty croci? crocuses?[remember,I have a spelling deficit]

V-are you going to buy a goat? I hear they make utterly fantastic pets. Utterly. Get it?

I better go before cat's eye marbles start zinging my way.
Hi Denise!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 9:39PM
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I have the BBQ fired up this evening , and upon reflection I didnt do much today ! However, now that pacific daylight time has arrived I have started my walking regimen, as it will be light for long enough after the awfice now to get 2 or 3 miles in . I only did 2.5 today Im a little rusty. The goal is 20 to 25 miles per week. I can usually walk to work two or three days a week too , which adds another 2 miles a day. I like walking since it requires no equipment, its free and I can look at plants while Im doing it.

Saucy, I do find the urge to over-winter Agapanthus to be a bit exotic ! They are everywhere here, and a known refuge for snails . Though the snails dont eat them they find the foliage an excellent hiding place. Well, I foolishly assumed peepers were birds , lol! I read the text of your link and was interested to see how small they are do you ever actually ever see them , or are they like crickets and cicadas-invisible orchestras so to speak. ?

Eden the cake turned out great ! I was thinking it would be humorous to whip up something like that for the next awfice birthday (since I am opposed to attending b-day parties of children ) especially if its a guy.

Ive often wished that I had taken a non-dead language as well Chelone. Its very advantageous to speak Spanish out here, and about the best I can do it ask for a beer and say please and thank you. I listened to that solid wood electric guitar story this morning too. Its fun to think of how many Idylls might be tuning into Weekend Edition and listening to the same stuffHow goes the floor ?

Babs, well just assume it was a typo and not a mis-spelling.

Denise, I fear Marty would be appalled by my borders as well. I am trying to figure out how it appears you have a two acre garden since every photo you post seems to be in a new destination. My BIL and I made one of those cool urn bubble fountains when he lived in Ft Bragg. I was very fond of it, as were his dogs. I imagine its out of Eins orbit.

V, I think the newbie Idyller has many people and personalities to juggle I suppose the length of the lurking experience is a factor in how long it takes one to get oriented. Im surely glad I took the plunge. We may need a photo documentation of the soap-making at the V house.

Marian, I love your Amaryllis , a very nice color. Jain seemed to be from Northern California I wonder what became of her. I noticed this weekend that my tulips have buds. I took pics of some other stuff but will probably not get a chance to post them for a couple of days..right now I need to have dinner and read the Sunday paper ..

Ta Ta Idylls

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 9:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I know that Jain was on a different forum for a while, was very interested in cooking and recipes, departed from that forum as well and began her own blog .

I miss Da and others too. Le sigh.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 10:21PM
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The floor cures, even as I type this morning:

A detail of on repeat and you can see the uneven texture of the Advantec sub-floor in this shot, as well as the filled space between the sheets and the filled nail holes:

While the floor cured there was much activity on the Compound all of it overseen by the Hugest of Canids:

Redirecting and hastening snow melt is a peculiar spring behavior exhibited by New Englanders:

So is relocating items to longer term storage:

I think I'll look into procuring a cargo net for this purpose. This is not an activity for a windy day, either.

I do not wish to work today, but must. I have a very large tender cover coming up this week and it's of a very rugged vinyl and will weigh a ton. Better eat more than just my Wheaties. Talkatcha later.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 5:28AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Wow, - Chelone -- the room is magnificent!!!!!!!!! (was that enuf !!!!!!?????) truly you have outdone yourself -- I almost hate to see any furniture go in there...

As Kathy relates, it was a fabu 75 degrees for both days of the weekend and so I immersed myself and my old body in gardening; despite having a 4 hr stock mtg to go to yesterday that I resented for the gardening time I lost, LOL (would have bailed but I had "responsibilities" for the mtg). Im already feeling overwhelmed by the clean-up needed and the 3 arbors I bought over the winter on clearance that need installation after the old ones come down... thought I'd take a garden day at the end of the week but they're now predicting we'll be back at 30 and 40.... le sigh.

How neat to see Babs and hear the updates and the old idyll thread --

O, almost forgot -- but I was too tired after the gardening -- I walked outside Sat a.m. to find in my front garden -- a very very large dead wild turkey..... go figure - in the midst of suburbia -- apparently according to neighbors (who saw the body and gossiped about it - but no one picked it up!) it was there sometime on Friday -- but since I came home after dark I never noticed. No, no photos -- I had to get the snow shovel and deliver it off to the woods after no kind soul bothered to remove it -- have no idea what did the thing in; whether it was sick or was attacked -- hope I dont find other wildlife keeling over in my yard this year!).

Ta - ta -- gotta do the work thing too.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 9:15AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Drat! I had a post well started and the power blinked!
I was telling you all about the first tick of 2009 that was embeded on my back...and about how beautiful Chelone's new floor is..and talking about the lift of stuff into the bahn's loft, and commenting on the depth of the snow where the Huge one is laying.
Now I feel like I am 'chewing my tobacco twice'. :-(

I commented about Eden's cute kitty cake, and Bab's peepers. BTW, it is "crocuses", not "croci:

Denise, your conversation is cute. :-) I espacially like the part about the spinning marble.

I commented on the 2 years of Spanish I took in high school, and how I have forgotten most of it.

Speaking of goats...we were shocked to see a dead one in the cousin's goat pasture. It had apparently been killed by some varmint! The guard dog was still holding vigil over it....better late than never. :-( There were no other goats in sight. We are wondering if preditors have gotten them all?? The dead one had had a kid earlier. I think before the ice storm. It was crippled and could not stand on it's front legs. It eventually disappeared. I think it may have been put down. Maybe they have gone out of the goat business.

Kathy, I never thought of you not knowing what peepers are, but I see they are only in the eastern part of the U.S.
Yes, Jain lives in north Calif, east of San Francisco. She left the Idylls quite some time ago.

Our night temps were weird. It got down to 39 sometime after midnight, but was 48 when I got up at 6:30.
It was still very dark when I got up, and didn't start lightening up until about 7. I have always wished this area was more like Idaho in that respect. The dawnng comes much earlier there and the dusks last much longer. I am sure the farther north one goes, the earlier and later both become. The length of daylight in Alaska is much differant than in the 48.

Hmmm, at 9:15 it is 55 out! Guess it will be another good day for working outside.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 10:17AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cindy - is it West Nile Virus country around your area? Here, dead birds are red flags and there's a number to call to report them - and procedures for disposing of they carefully. I'm not sure if wild turkeys are a vulnerable species or not; members of the blackbird family are, I gather, particularly vulnerable and there is noticeably fewer of them around here now. It might be worth doing some checking on what the situation is in your area.

Chelone - drop-dead gorgeous floor there! Furniture is definitely going to be an anti-climax!

We are still feeling rather zombie-like and anti-social at the moment....

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 11:25AM
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(raises hand as left coaster who displayed peeper ignorance last year. Your turn, Kathy!)

Chelone, you've gotta bust some moves on that floor, in your best party dress, before moving anything back onto it, with helpmeet at the video helm (don't have a party dress? neither do I...) You must be bursting with pride, and rightfully so! I see Rex knows how to keep his toolbox cool on that snow ;)

Duncan was born 21 years ago today. He's getting over a horrible head cold at the moment so festivities will be kept to a minimum for now, nothing like Miss Bella's 4th party! 21 yrs ago my mom packed Marty a tuna sandwich for the hospital, which he opened and ate right after the birth, sitting at my bedside. The man has a stomach like a leather bucket!

Nice to see you, Woody, anti-social or not. Must be nice to be sliding into the home stretch on your class.

Last night I made pasta with swiss chard from the garden, a very smallish patch, but the Italian parsley and lettuce have been a boon and now the chard is huge. A joy to grow in winter when getting enough moisture is not a constant battle. Marty knows full well he has to stand his ground over my not respecting boundaries/borders, because I've been eyeing that driveway longingly -- what a veg garden it'd make with all that concrete gone! Aren't we done with cars yet?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 1:13PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Back to post more since it is an extremely odd work day of no bosses around and it's Quiet (shush.... no outloud confessions)....

Denise -- I chuckled at your gardener/spousal conversations -- I dont recall seeing that fantastic mask (is it by the same CA artist whose work is at Chanticleer? I adore her mysterious (and also humorous) stuff.... very very cool -- and dramatic.

--Woody -- I certainly hope not West Nile -- for one thing; it's way too early for mosquitos to carry it; I dont think it made it into my county last year; but the bizarre carcass landing on my doorstep will certainly keep me watching closely this spring for other sightings. Sorry you're in lurker mode; but we all understand.

I looked at Chelone's mag floor again and it reminds me of the old ballrooms for a federal upscale mansion! Ya done Real good, woman.

I had 7 years of Latin in school (it has stood me in good stead for learning other languages -- all of which I've mostly forgotten now; but in the legal field they're still using that dead language so that works for me); French was 9 years; Italian 3; but ya use it or lose it... and that's mostly what's happened w/ my linguistic skills Im sad to report -- I do understand a bit of things better than attempting a conversation in any of them, LOL.

That is an adorable, adorable cake, Eden -- the ribbon is the most wonderful touch to it! It rates an A plus as far as Im concerned.

I see that V has reported a goat death as well... I hope we dont end up with other carcasses on this idyll, LOL... okay, I've never heard of goat soap - how is it different than regular? I do think it's neat your DH got the urge to learn with you -- I bet it ends up being humorous and fun for u both.

Im so glad to hear that things are well and thriving in Babs-land -- waving to you especially... Im getting the urge to drink vinegar too -- but not sure I am not crazy...

Well, you can tell I cheated and skimmed... there's lots of chat here and I need to go back and refresh to read. But first Im off to the bookstore to glomb onto the FG mag w/ Deanne in it.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 1:16PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Chelone, the floor is beautiful! All of your hard work has certainly paid off. I can picture some serious ballroom dancing in that space...

Babs, how nice to see you! Glad your boys are doing well. Latin, huh? Good for him. My DD is getting ready for high school next year too. She wants to take some honors classes and is waiting to see if she qualifies. She has been taking French since 7th grade.

Cindy, it is oddly quiet here too. The snow has turned to rain at least. Weird about the turkey. I knew someone who hit and killed one on the highway in Rhode Island, and she had to pull over because it smashed her windshield. While she was waiting for a tow truck, someone else pulled over in a pick-up truck and took the turkey carcass! Maybe they saw dinner...

Denise, your exchange with Marty had me chuckling.

Eden, love the cake!

Marian, what a pretty amaryllis! No crocus here yet. I did have snowdrops over the weekend, but they are probably covered with slush now. Hopefully it will melt this week and they'll pop back up.

Must run, duty calls! Waving to all!!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 2:37PM
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Sneaking in to state I hope I'm not the first one to spill a Bloody Mary or a glass of Pinot on that floor !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 3:25PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Wow! Look at all the cool posts!

Nothing from me this week-end - dreadful virus in our computer. Had to do the scan etc., then reset all passwords - and there are at least four of us with accounts - so lots of time wasted. If any of you get an e-mail from me (Chelone and Bug at least) maybe don't open it - I'll resend with a "clean" bill of health!

6 years for the Idylls? How did I miss this all that time? Read the linked posts - lots of familiar names from here and also for me from other forums. I especially noted Taryn - who I met briefly at Canada Blooms a few years ago -my first meeting with Bug as well!

And Sue, I saw your kitchen renovation pictures from then, and I was renovating a kitchen in our old home at the same time!

Many of you were suffering (?) growing pains at that time -lots of new homes,relocatiions, renovatons ...I really identify with the moving of a zillion pots of special plants from an old home to the new. I brought at least 75 pots when I came here....

Mary, it is good to hear that David is back into the thick of things...at school, at home, and with his music!

I must stop here to brag a bit: Adrian played in a recital this week-end, and played very well. But the teachers and another professional especially mentioned his presentation: he was well turned out (I take credit for that, clean and neat hair, dress pants and shoes, freshly ironed dress shirt); well spoken (each performer had to announce their selection) and very nice bow both before and after his selection. As the other pro said: "That kid is a good performer: half of the performance is the presentation, and he also played very well with good technique. Many kids think about themselves instead of the music, and get nervous in case they make a mistake. That boy was involved with the music". We were (are) proud of him...he is only seven years old.

Kathy, thanks for the credit for the poems...but I must admit, it wasn't me!! I will have to check back to see who really deserves the cxredit.

The language thing is a big deal for us right now. Living in an offically bilingual country has caused us some difficulties. Right now, it has been decreed by our school board that the primary student's exposure to French will increase by 20 minutes a day. This, in my opinion, will not do much for the kids. If you want your child to learn another language, 40 minutes a day won't do it for them unless there is a relevant exposure outside of the classroom. For most Canadian kids, that relevance isn't there. If you really want your child to become proficient in the second language, you should choose the immersion programme. For our little guy, the increase of 20 minutes a day will be done at the expense of the music programme in his school. That is, he will get 20 more minutes of French and no music at the elementary level. The kids in the immersion programme already meet the new requirement for at least 40 minutes a day, so they will continue with their usual French instruction and will keep their music programme. I don't believe that another 20 minutes a day will give my child a better facility in the language, and I am bothered by the fact that he will lose his music in school. He is not eligible for an immersion programme until grade 5; he is currently in Grade 2. In our board you have to choose at the kindergarten level or at Grade 5. Fortunately for him and us, we have enough cash and desire for him to have exposure to music outside of the school. But he will miss things like the annual musical that his school presents (not being done next year as there will not be a music specialist in the school any more) and the instrumental programme will also be sacrificed at this level. We will consider the immersion programme when he gets to grade 4, but not every child is accepted: it depends on how he does in the earlier grades....what a mess! One parent who was extremely vocal in her desire for increased French is totally dismayed. "I wanted the extra language but not at the expense of the music programme!". Well, where are the extra minutes and teaching expertise to come from? She asked me what I would be doing, and I told her that we would be continuing with a music programme outside of school and would consider immersion when the time came. She told me that she could not afford private music: I suggested that a church might have a junior choir, or perhaps there would be community programmes available for her child. I did not tell her that I am doubtful that the extra language instruction would result in a child with expertise in French. Le Sigh indeed......I, however, am officially bilingual in English and French as a result of an experimental government immersion programme at work and my choice of employment in a French environment. Unfortunaely, my expertise has dwindled since my retirement.....

Anyway, off the "political" topic and on to the Idylls....

Thanks for the "peepers" link, Saucy. Having listened to the recordings and read the article, I now know that we have an abundance of peepers, just not quite yet. I hope that you and yours are coming to terms with your situation, and that you will be back in full force soon...I miss you!

I loved the "Hello Kitty" cake! DD worked for a while at at ski resort in Japan and their mascot was the "Hello Kitty" thing. Everything had that little kitty thing on it - she has brought home lot of stuff with that theme. Very popular in Japan, apparently! I really admire your espertise with the cake decorating! I am usually reduced to the icing-in-a-tin thing. I should have expected this after the shower pics!!

Babs. I don't know you (I am a relative newbie here) but I really sympathise with the spelling thing of perennials. I am still not sure that I have spelled it right!

OMG Chelone's floor! It is wonderful! Great job! Pat yourself on the back for sure! Can hardly wait to see it!

Denise: no party dress here either. Can dance just as well (or, more aptly, just as badly) in jeans....

Cindy, I bet that turkey was huge! We see great flocks of them here, but I have never been up close and personal with one. Don't really wannabe either. I would be just like your neighbours: chatting but not doing a whole lot about a dead behemoth on someone else's lawn *LOL*

o.k., so I've touched on a lot and done the soapbox thing(wish it was goat milk soap by the way - just wonderful!)So I'm off for a bit.

Waving to all that I've missed!



    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 5:57PM
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Hello Idylls

Babs - I do remember someone using that spelling LOL! but I think it was on the main forum. Annie is studing French but wants to add Latin in her senior year. It would be so much fun if you came with your tent to IU6. I am "camping out" in Chelone's barn with a few other roomies. I already know how much fun we wil have.

Chelone - that floor is a work of art. It looks fantastic!! I love everything about the room and can't wait to see it up close and personal at IU6.

Eden - the Hello Kitty was so sweet. I bet Bella just loved it.

Julie - congratulations to TCS on his recital. It sounds as though he did a wonderful job - Bravo! Having those opportunities to build confidence early are so important. Hearing about eliminating music from elementary school is incredibly sad and misguided.

We just returned from a follow up appointment with David's surgeon. He was extremely pleased to see David zipping about with his walker - movement is good and to be encouraged. David can now put 30% of his weight on his broken hip which is also good news. We have a physical therapy visit tomorrow to help figure out what that means. The sensations in his foot and a possible flicker of movement were also encouraging.

The down side of the visit was hearing it would probably be another 3 months before the hip is fully weight bearing, and summer sports like golf will be out of the question this year. I could see David blinking back tears.

The Dr voiced his concerns again about the possible necrosis. This time I asked him specifically what would happen in the worse case scenario (ie does it mean the leg would be lost). He said no to that, but I still don't have a very clear picture. The Dr described an option of grafting living tissue from the ankle, a procedure which has a rather low success rate but would be the first approach. Hopefully we don't have to cross that bridge. I'll arm myself with more information as time progresses.

Time to rustle up some supper - DH has taken Annie to her violin lessson so I have a rare night off. I just need to think of soemthing to cheer David.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:05PM
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Sun is shining brightly but it never warmed up much today, dont think it broke 60, not even sure it got over 55. My T&M seed order greeted me in the mailbox when I came home , forgot that I had ordered Zinnia "Green Envy" pretty sure I was copying either Eden or Michelle. More seeds to start , I am having such fun with it this year. One hopes that I dont have to endure genocide by snails or other maladies once they leave the safe haven of the light set up in the garage.

Im still in awe of Chelones floor and how great the baHn looks inside and out. Do I detect the pediments at rest on the left ?

Cindy, perhaps a graduated approach is called for the new arbors . Timing on that stuff is such a bear, wait too long and youve missed the boat as plants inevitably start to grow , and all of a sudden the former support is enveloped.

Julie, it was Michelle who posted the photo of the poems. A momentary lapse on my part, brain cell related Im sure. What a shame that TCSs music program will be cut. Its fortunate that you have the resources to continue privately. Children that young that show an aptitude for music should be encouraged.

Must go do the dinner thingwave to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 9:31PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I think a record high for the date was set today at our place. It was 83 briefly. It is still 66 at 9 P.M. ! There is a possibility of severe weather tonight. The wind is already rather strong. I got most of the rest of the raking of debris done today. I hope it will not have to be redone.

Nolon spent most of the day working on his 'sawhorse' It is unlike any sawhorse you all would be thinking about. At one time today I went out to his shop to see what he was doing in there for so long. He made the comment, " I don't think you know how much work I have put into this." It struck me wrong...since I have worked my backside off cleaning up the yard, and he is totally oblivious to that!

I ailed all the rest of the day. I think it was a combination of disgust, and of the incoming bad weather, and of the tick bite. I spent a lot of the afternoon laying on the couch.

Deanne, I am wondering if you have large limbs waiting to be removed from your ice storm? I haven't been thinking of how you cannot do the clean-up until your snow goes off. I sure hope you do not have as much debris as we had/have.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 10:19PM
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Marian, perhaps Nolons sawhorse is a form of 'artistic' expression and enjoyment that he needs to feel productive within himself. I think about many projects that my late DH and I were doing independently , and sometimes went unappreciated by one or the other.My DH was much nicer about praising my efforts in the garden than I was about his tasks. He was also capable of being very self-absorbed, but I don't think he ever meant to actively and purposely demean my activities; it was only that his seemed more important to him at the time. I hope you will rest well this evening and feel better tommorow !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 11:34PM
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Ohh Marian, don't you just hate it when they say things like that? The helpmeet is pretty good about not saying things of that nature, but usually because he says nothing at all, lol. Boss Lady, OTOH, seems incapable of anything but remarks like that lately... "backhanded compliments" are another of her strong suits. ;) It can be very hard work to remain cheerful in those circumstances, huh?

Mary, it's nice to read some good news on the hip front. I'm sure the spectre of necrosis weighs heavily on everyone involved, too, but it's not really time to push the panic button yet. I guess if weight bearing activity is largely out for the summer then swimming will definitely be in? I can't think of better therapy to build muscle and flexibility after so long an enforced idleness. Bet David will be look like a shrivelled old apple by August. I'll continue to think positively for a great outcome. Hang tough!

Denise certainly put in a full day's work on March 9th. 21 yrs. ago. I love the story of the tuna fish sandwich, priceless and just having finished a slightly scorched egg myself, I can relate to the leather stomach comment (do not "multi-task" while reading the Idyll). And the weekend conversation about gardens, fountains, et al has really struck me, too. We have several of those on a weekly basis, too.

Thanks for the the compliments on the floor, seems sort of strange to have that huge space just sitting idle while the acrylic hardens. And funny dancing was mentioned, too. The helpmeet brought up that topic himself, asking how long before we could use it for that purpose. When asked what I wanted for my birthday a couple of private dancing lessons was one of my suggestions. No party dress, I'm afraid, but I DO have proper dancing shoes (known in theatre lingo as "character shoes") and will likely purchase a new pair, increasing the heel height somewhat, methinks. Perhaps I'll wear my Idyll shorts in place of a dress... .

We received another 5" of snow yesterday. After the warmth of Sunday it was not what I wanted to see. HOWEVER, this is New England and having witnessed many an April snowstorm I feel quite confident the solid precipitation is not yet finished for the year! This afternoon's activities involve the recycling centre and then some deck shovelling. Wrecks certainly enjoys the snow... gotta keep the toolbox coolled, you know! :)

I do not wish to work today. I'm already weary of the running criticism that awaits, so I'll fasten the chinstrap and pack my wiseass attitude. Maybe I'll be fired today?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 5:27AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

60 out, and 66 in! I even left the utilityroom door open most of the night. It is predicted to be 30 tomorrow morning. If you don't like the weather...just wait!

Kathy, I totally agree with his need to be creative, and do do something that he enjoys, but that does not excuse not giving honor when honor is due.
Chelone's boss lady fits the description very closely. At my house, this is not something new. It has been ongoing for at least 35 years out of our 52. I realize his great need for praise, but other people need recognition also...

Sorry to start my post on such a sour note. I DO feel better this morning. The predicted storms have not arrived,yet, but maybe the barometer has come back up some ?

When I arose this morning, the moon was just disappearing behind the west hills. It was overcast, so stayed very dark. When I finished cooking breakfast there was no sign of Nolon, so I went into his bedroom and bumped his bed. He raised up, and I said I was wondering if he was still amongst the living.

The dafodils are blooming all around our yard. I went out at dusk and took several pics. Had to delete a couple that I blurred. I'll try again today.

I had tied one end of my fencing to the ginkgo. It is a piece of woven carpet that I used. I tied it with a bow tie, and two long ends hung down. Tommy found them. He tugged at an end until he got it loose, and down. He 'killed' it, then picked it up and came running to the front porch with it. Sooo funny. He was so proud of his accomplishment. ( He is also proud and appreciative when I feed him.) ;-)

Fortunately, I went out to the little red barn the day I was cleaning out the storage space on the end of the woodshed. I discovered a good-sized pot with 8 healthy shoots emerging from it. It is the pot of Peruvian Daffodils! I had forgotten that I put them in there. :-(
Luckily I found them when I did. It appears mice had nibbled on a couple of the ends. The pot is in the utilityroom now, where it gets lots more light. There is only one small window in the little red barn...on the northeast end.

I keep hearing about the woman with the octuplets. What is you take on her? Frankly, I consider her very weird.

Hoping all have a good day.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 8:44AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi all!

Although I generally see the glass as half full, yesterday it was half empty, so I do what I always do when a little blue: Clean! I often feel better when I can sit down at the end of the day in a clean and orderly place...

That means that today there is very little to be done on the home front and I can work on garden things, YaY! I opened up my package of 12 City of Portland cannas that I bought from Costco. Costco bulbs are not the most reliable ones - but these were plump and sprouting and all had developing roots! So a large selection of larger pots is currently marinating in bleach in my kitchen sinks, waiting to be put to use later today.

And my Giant Cactus zinnias are up, happily growing under the lights. Likewise the two flats of Lobelia, and Adrian's 6 pots of four o'clocks. Nothing from the peppers yet, I am getting antsy. Also, I decided to toss a pot of bark with a dead as a doornail orchid stalk in it, only to find a cheery little orchid sprout hiding under the bark...so roots have been trimmed and a new potting mix has been put to use...

On Sunday we were able to christen the wine deck for the first time in 2009, how pleasant to sit with friends and get some natural Vitmin D. However, yesterday it was once again coated in ice and snow, probably the reason for my funk.

Mary, it sounds like David is coming along well, but so sorry that his summer fun will be curtailed. Chelone makes very good point about swimming. The two kids in our school who are suffering from necrosis of the hip are doing well - one will be resuming her normal summer activities this year, after a very quiet time last year. The other is now walking without crutches for short distances and it is predicted that she too will completely recover. Still a dreadful worry, I am sure, but hang in there - we are all pulling for you (and him!). How nice it must be to have two young musicians in the house. Is Annie a little older than David? Violin is a very difficult instrument to master, I am told by DH, who had to take "fiddle lessons" as a country farm boy (hehe).

Ah yes, the men and their projects. DH is now into fish, not the kind you eat, and recently acquired a mammoth tank, but without lid or lights. So is now buying flourescent fixtures, plywood, special paints, and heaven only knows what else, and his days are almost completely occupied with drawing plans and cutting wood. Every once in a while he surfaces (haha, pun intended) to see what I am up to. I showed him my new seedlings yesterday and, totally amazed, he asked "when did you do this?". We are lucky, however, in that we pretty much enjoy each other's hobbies - I like to sit in the family room with a glass of wine and look at the fish - he likes to sit out with a glass of wine and look at the flowers!

I love Peruvian daffodils, Marian! I don't have any now, they freeze to death here and I keep forgetting to bring them in...lost all of the callas this year too for the same reason...

DD had a great weekend playing the role of "Tony the Toque" at the ski patrol Safety Day. I will try for photos...

All for now - those cannas are waiting...



    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 10:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today it is -30C (-22F) in Alberta. DD saw a Sun Dog through her office window and marveled at how beautiful it was with rainbows on each side. See below if you don't know about Sun Dogs.

Lots of things producing anxiety around here...but we'll all make it. One silly thing is the electric garage door is stuck on one side. What a pain with freezing rain.

Amaryllis are starting to emerge from their bulbs. They're in their 2nd-3rd year here. Wonder if they'll bloom.
I think knitting sounds like good therapy for the moment!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 2:02PM
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I wanted to say that I noticed the beautiful Reed moon this morning as I was leaving for work. It was overcast last night and this morning everything in the yard was washed in moonlight.

I immediately thought that I won't think of it as "daylight savings" anymore; rather, it's Moonlight Savings!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 3:12PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi all! I have a couple of very busy days so I'm sneaking in a work post. Shh! don't tell anyone.

Chelone, OUTSTANDING! The salon looks gorgeous. I love the look of the floor and can only appreciate the work the it entailed.

Mary, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed for David and a full recovery.

Julie, congrats on TCS's piano recital. DD's music teachers always emphasized presentation and it adds so much to the performance. You appreciate it when you see a group that has not had the same discipline. How sad that they are cutting music. DD started trumpet when she was in 3rd grade and hasn't looked back.

Denise, is Duncan your youngest? My youngest (DD) turns 21 on tax day. How did that happen?

Yesterday I was a judge for a design charette that was a part of the Perennials class at the local community college. The instructor may post some photos on Facebook. Tonight, DH and I are going to the couples cooking class (Indian) that was my Christmas gift. If you have a sense of deja vu, we were supposed to do this a couple of times before but it has been cancelled. Looks like we are a go for tonight.

Tomorrow I'm absenting the office to attend a program on farmland preservation. It includes a tour of an organic farm. Add on a breakfast meeting, an environmental commission meeting and a church service and I don't think I'll be on line until Thursday!

DD comes home Friday for spring break. I haven't seen her for two months! Looking forward to the weekend with her.

There's rather mundane tax stuff on my desk to be dealt with, so it's sayanora time for me. TTYT (T for Thursday)


    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 3:19PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

So...today I managed to pot up 14 cannas in largish pots. Or Margerine tubs or ice cream tubs or whatever. I made a run to CTC to get more vermiculite, peat, earth, slow release fertilizer. The lady asked me if I had bought the same stuff yesterday. Um...yes but I used it all up...

Anyway, here is DD, aka Tony the Tuque - a mute ski patrol mascot who patrols the hills on safety day handing out stickers and crests to kids caught being safe...also giving out safety questionnaires, checking them when a kid gives one back, and explaining non-verbally what is incorrect. DD is quite an...um...energetic and crazy person who adores kids. She also is a magnificent skier, loves being a patroller, and there is no one I would rather have by my side in an emergency. So here she is:

Tony the Toque!

Off to the Horticultural Society tonight...the topic? Seed Starting. But you can always learn something...



    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 4:32PM
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Julie - what fun your DD looks as if she is having. David said the ski patrol were marvellous getting him off the mountain after his ski accident. I'm sure your DD would be the same. I feel sad looking at the beautiful slopes behind her knowing that David has sworn he will never ski again. I mourn the loss for him as he loved skiing more than anyone I've ever met. Once on the slopes nothing would bring him and he would talk about it for days before and after.

I think you asked how old Annie is - she is 15. She has persevered with the violin since 3rd grade and now plays very competently. She loves her teacher (and therefore her lessons), and has a small chamber ensemble she plays with that she describes as the perfect social group. It has not always come easily for as you say, the violin is a very hard instrument. The early days are pretty tortuous so to hear Annie play in tune with a nice tone now is a real pleasure. We've even enjoyed some duets together but I think now she prefers playing music with her friends rather than me. I will always be glad David picked the guitar and bass instead of the same instrument as his sister. With such different instruments their music complements rather than competes with each others.

I'm heading to bed for an early night and to finish up my book before tomorrow's book club.

Nite all!


    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 9:48PM
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Im reading the user guide to my new SLR camera which arrived today- in fact I happened to be home for lunch when the UPS driver (also know as the Wells Fargo Wagon around here) arrived , so I hurriedly ripped open the package and put the battery on the charger so all would be in readiness when my awfice day ended. Below is a pic of Doobie , dozing in the lowering sun- which I was able to take when I figured out what I was doing. (sort of) . Amusingly , I seemed to have had a stealth interloper between lunch hour and days end-the battery was mysteriously in the camera when I got home from work. I expect DS could not resist.

Chelone, tap shoes are really the best fit with the Lucky IU Shorts, but I fear tap-dancing would not be a good activity for your wonderful floor. I also noticed the moon this morning and particularly how much it has moved west in the setting mode since our last full moon. Clear full moon in early spring here invariably means frost and there was lots of it this morning. It wont be long before the wind machines and smudge pots are set to work in the vineyards.

Point taken Marian on giving honor where honor is due. Some folks are just better at that than others. Lol on Tommys trophy carpet ! Sometimes you just cant predict what cats might find to be interesting. I had one once that would rather play with a rubber band than all the cat toys in the world.

Julie, I guess the trick to Costco bulb purchases is to get them when theyre fresh, and I think thats the case with all the big-box stores. Even if you loose a couple you might come out ahead. I gave up my Costco membership many years ago ; its a half day ordeal to drive there and shop and get home, and for me time is money and precious to boot. Fortunately I have the good ole employee discount for garden items !

Mary, a child like David who had the discipline to master an instrument will likely also have the discipline to do what is needed to get his strength back. Chelone is right, what a great option swimming would be, if its a recommended therapy and since you have a pool its a natural choice. Its hard for children who dont have a zoom lens across the decades to see how insignificant 6 months or a year can be relative to a life of 70 /80 years. David is lucky to have a wonderful supportive family , and I know youll find a way to keep his attitude positive.

A big wave, and calling out to Norma and Honey yoo hoo ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 10:10PM
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V, the January Gardens Illustrated has a article on conserving prairies, and reference was made to a group "Citizens for Conservation" based out of Illinois. I'm wondering if you're involved in that group and hoping it's not impertinent to ask in the off chance it requires divulging a secret alias (aka Prairie Woman!) You never know..

Ah, yes, the parallel tracks of a couple, married or otherwise. I've found Marty needs a lot more recognition for accomplishments than I do. I like to just knock stuff out and move on to the next thing...it took me a while to figure out that because I don't need a lot of praise doesn't mean he doesn't need to hear some appreciation now and then. Live and learn, eh?

About the ogress that Chelone works with, you guys are my only work crew! And one couldn't ask for a nicer bunch to check in with throughout the day. Marty has two deckhands that he absolutely cannot abide. Both are lazy do-nothings and one is downright dishonest, and whatever isn't nailed down he figures is up for grabs. I'm continually amazed how working with one or the other completely ruins his day, day after day, year after year, a situation that won't resolve until one or the other retires. So I feel for you, Chelone, because I see first-hand how dispiriting it can be.

Cindy, gosh, how impressive, the latin and French! (That turkey can't possibly have any symbolism, flung in your yard by somebody you PO'd now, could it? -- kidding...)

Mary, what a grinding worry to have. Bravo to you for working so hard to bring the gift of music to your kids. What a comfort it will be to David until he's on his feet again. Swimming would be excellent therapy too. Hope your throat is better by now.

Julie, that's a painful trade-off, losing music instruction to focus on foreign languages. It is so frustrating as a parent/grandparent to butt heads against the economics of public education. TCS sounds like he performed beautifully, in every aspect, in large part thanks to you, so brag away.
And shouldn't that be "Toni" the Toque? She sounds like a charming girl.

Glad you're feeling better today, Marian. I can't abide thinking of the octomom. I make it a practice to duck and run from the bizarro world!

Little blessings today are cutting sweet peas for vases, fiery colored freesias opening and wafting scent. I've got a fair representation of the mallow family in the garden this year, with anisodontea just starting to bloom a cranberry red and some lavateras thickening up, which I haven't grown in years, this time smaller cultivars Barnsley Baby and Red Rum. Behind on the zinnia seeds tho....

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 10:16PM
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I just heard the territorial cry of Foxy Loxy somewhere out in the inky darkness that envelopes the Compound. One cat is working over the catnip mouse, one is still "in bed" (like Doobie), the other is on full alert in the window over my shoulder. Most of the 5" we received on Monday melted yesterday, that's the thing about late season snows.

Stress takes a lot out of anyone and it can turn even the most even-tempered soul into a grouch (ask me how I know this). I suspect it is precisely that which can make Boss Lady crabby, she was a lot of fun yesterday. Go figure. At any rate, I come home and beat the dog, talk to the helpmeet and that usually fortifies me for the next day's encounter. I suppose being a competent worker-bee who actually cares about doing a good job makes dismissive or demeaning treatment chafe me more than someone who didn't care as much. And I have no trouble standing up for myself when things go too far. The helpmeet offers a wonderful perspective when I arrive home thoroughly irritated, "Hey honey, look at it this way: she's been put here for YOUR amusement". And in fact she has because the more positive or light-hearted things I say the funnier her pissy replies become! The way I see it, losing my job won't diminish my skill level one iota and I'm bright and industrious enough to figure something out. Odds are I'll "land on my feet". But most of all, we genuinely like and respect each other and sometimes we vent frustration on those we like the most.

Turkeys are indeed impressive birds, aren't they Cindy? We have a flock in the vicinity and occasionally they meander through the backyard. When they do they definitely get the cats' attention, lol. Perhaps they represent the wing of devine retribution for our fur-suited assassins. Rex basically goes mental, too. :) Too bad you didn't take a picture for us, it would have appealed to my forensic sensibilities. I thought of you the other day as I contemplated stencil ideas. I have been looking carefully at the castings on the woodstove in the Salon and have thought I may try to keep the motif in the same general style, which is actually later than the Federal Period by about 25-30 yrs.. The stove is modelled after a NH antique c. 1850, so the Acanthus leaf is prominently used on the legs, so too the Egg and Dart is used on vertical castings, but the scrolls are more Victorian and there is a hint of Arabic influence on the shape of the open work. I daydream about it when I'm tuning out the awfice. ;)

I thought of Marian, Nolon, and the daffodils as I contemplated the weather map last night. We remain in a chilly March bubble but the sun's rays are more potent and warm days are arriving with greater regularity. Lots of oozing and dripping going on out there these days. And sugaring season is once more upon us... warm days and cold nights induces the sap to "run". And a good deal of feline silliness, too! :)

I'll bet the skiing is terrific now. Julie, I got such a kick out of Ton(y/i) the Toque. Your DD is a very good egg to don that silly costume and spread the good word on the slopes. Nice that she enjoys her work so much. Working outdoors or at least outside regularly really makes the seasons more fun. I owe you an e-mail and will try to remember to crack one off to you today.

Hi to everyone else, and want to hear about the cooking class!

Enough of this, I have to gather up some foodstuffs and prepare to delve into the exciting world of machinery and fabric.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 5:26AM
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Happy Ink Blue Wednesday! In five minutes the color will be gone from the eastern sky but wish I could duplicate it right now in my bathroom :-)

Great Cake!! I want one!!

Hearing about/seeing blooms in the ground is enough to make me start looking around Realtor.com for some Zone 8 abode. We barely have daffs above the ground, no sign of robins, and....

No Peepers, yet. I remember as a little girl calling my grandfather with the "today's the day!!" announcement. In the lore of New England, it's said that many sap gatherers (to make maple syrup) don't run the trees until the peepers start singing. Nature knows.....

Mary, I feel for David at this point because I'm sure he can't see several months down the road for any reason at his age. If he can't golf, can he cart drive at least? My guess is he will ski again, but won't look at it as being totally free and easy quite as much.

Languages: One semester of Spanish convinced me that I'd never be bilingual. Sign language, on the other hand, supported me through my third year of college and I still find myself signing things when saying what I'm thinking wouldn't be, ummmmmmmm, right :-)

Go TCS!! Speaks to him being comfortable in his own skin.

That Floor!! "Glide, two, three, four!!" Nets are a good idea for such activities as are comealongs. Watch yourselves!

Marian -- Well jeepers, Nolon! I understand that men are like that but will never "get it."

Hi Babs, Kathy, Woody, Marie and everyone else out there. Keep expecting to run into Sue at Woodland Gardens :-)


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 7:20AM
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Good morning

Today I have a mandatory meeting for everyone in our program at the central office where benefits will be discussed. In all the years I've worked in this position nothing like this has ever been called. I know it won't be good news. If we loose health care it will be a total bummer as I provide that for the family. Groan:0(

I will not have time to drive back to my school in teh afternoon before having to turn around to pick David up so I'm taking a couple of hours of personal time and heading to a nursery. This is a favortie remedy when things are really bad.

David has the first rehearsal for the All County orchestra he got into at the solo competition. There are 3 or 4 kids from his school going and a bus is provided, unfortunately it cannot accomodate his wheelchair so I'm driving him. I will also have his double bass, stool, foot rest for his dropped foot, backpack and music. We did this on Saturday and it felt like a minor miliatry operation getting everything packed and in and out of the car. At times like this I think the piccolo might have been a good choice of instrument, especially as today it will be pouring with rain. I know David will have fun playing so it will be well worth the effort.

Yesterday at physical therapy David was able to ride an exercise bike for the first time. It was a thrill for him after having been so limited in motion for so long. We're going to look for one second hand as it will be great for exercising until our pool opens up.

Thinking about the need for acknowledgement, DH and I are very similar in that we both tend to just buckle down and get things done. Sometimes I wonder if we are too independent for our own good. Annie has inherited the gene though I always try to praise her efforts. I think the greatest recognition and encouragment I get comes from my Mum and you guys here at the Idylls, and for that I am forever grateful.

Off to see what the day holds,


By teh way, I'm amazed at how constantly I spell the as teh. Does anyone else have that happen? Perhaps I should try to write "teh" and then I might get a few correct.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 7:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thinking about David here. When our son had a serious accident to his left hand (a close encounter with broken glass resulting in nerve damage) he was in his early twenties. I think it was also his first encounter with the fact that he was not invincible. Perhaps David is experiencing much the same, but earlier in life. Our daughter on the other hand, had many accidents (barbed wire fencing, figure skate blade in thigh, dog attack, etc...) but did not attack life with quite the foolishness of the male species.

DD (and hence me too) is going through much anxiety about the new baby. I think she will forever too, as a result of Reed's accident. DSIL finally confessed to being nervous as well, especially after the midwife explained that he might very likely be the one to catch the baby this time. Of course there is nothing I can do to protect them. Je respire. Le tres grand sigh....

Today we have gigantic winds. It was the noise that woke me this morning, not the cats! Amazing clouds and noisy trees.

When people speak of need for affirmation, I do feel that often this is lacking in the male. Maybe connected to the listening gene? In any case, over the years I have frequently reminded DH to TELL his students, not me, the interesting things they present or the ideas they come up with. This simply doesn't occur to him. Yet, he needs compliments, so why???

On a more ugly front, I have been reading about "Parent Alienation Syndrome". This falls into the "what is the world coming to?" category. Do you suppose life is a huge soap opera, a tabloid? In any case, below is a recent unusual court decision in Ontario. Unfortunately, there are many others.

When I was in Toronto a few weeks ago I bought (with some pressure from my friend) a bottle of expensive perfume. To my surprise it has been a bit of therapy for me these days. I really enjoy it. It is 'Red currant and basil', but to me smells of neither!

Here's to scent...and a happy Wednesday to all!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 9:20AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Gee, when I read 'Bug's post and saw a link about parental alienation, I wondered: "How does she know?". I was, of course, only thinking of myself and my stupid son who drove me to tears this morning. Sometimes he is just not a nice man and I wonder at the fact that I still have him in my house. Enough said.

Oh Mary, I hope you don't lose your health care benefits, especially as you have dependent children still. I guess it is possible to buy private health care? Can I assume it costs big? Hopefully belt-tightening at work will take some other form...

DS broke his arm the very first time he tried snowboarding, and I confess he never went near it again. Still skis though, and very well.

Mary, just reading about the packing up and getting to rehearsal makes me tired! You are a saint!

Denise, I am actually pleased that TCS will get the extra attention in French. It is his only grade that is lower than a B+. I just wish that the curriculum would still have room for music. His school, which is JK to Grade 8 - has put on a full musical every year. Every child who wishes to particpate is found a role of some kind to play. They do a full-blown production with the band, singers, dancers, actors, lighting, sets, costumes, props, the whole nine yards. Practices and rehearsals are held twice a week at lunch time. The whole school is completely caught up in it and the excitment is palpable. Wherever possible, the production is worked into the regular curriculum - reading "Charlie and the Cocolate Factory" in guided reading class, learning the music in music class, learning some of the dance and drama routines in maybe one Phys ed. class a week (out of 5). The kids love it; and the whole thing is managed by the music specialist, which we won't have next year. I think I am most upset at losing this wonderful opportunity of being part of something big than I am about the two hours of actual music class. However, for those kids whose families can manage it, we do have excellent children's dance/music/drama programs here in town. But they do cost in time and money. TCS's best friend will not be able to take any such activities on a regular basis. That's what bothers me. The friend's brother is in late immersion - he will be transferred to another school (all immersion programs will be centralized) and will keep some form of music. Little brother isn't happy and cannot go into the immersion program till grade 5. I know, too much information....Comme Marie, je respire; je sigh.

Kathy, what a sweet photo of the kitty. Just captures the essence of catdom for me...We still do the Costco thing once a month because DH's meds cost about $100 a month less than they would anywhere esle. This means that if we get the executive membership, we have earned the cost back with one trip! However, I believe that if we're gonna do it, we're gonna really do it, so we have a budget to spend there and we buy absolutely everything we can within that limit. We have gotten some good deals, too: TCS's piano came to us at about half the MSLP as I had a special coupon that week...It also gives DH and I an excuse to be in the city all day, go out for a nice lunch, maybe shop elsewhere a bit if we have time and $, whatever. It is a good hour's drive each way for us.

Mmmm, red current and basil! Send me an old fashioned letter scented with your perfume Marie *hehe* Would probably drive DH crazy! *LOL*

Well, now getting over my snit enough that I can get my housework and JJob done and plant more seeds. A miracle in the making!

Thanks, guys.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 10:31AM
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I just have to pop in and make a couple of comments. Ive got another cold and we are extremely busy at work so I havent felt up to posting lately.

Yesterday was a nasty drive both to and from work. Freezing rain in the morning and then blowing snow in the afternoon. We didnt get much more than ½" but it was all blowing around. Im so ready for winter to end. Ive been thinking I need to look through all the inspiration pictures that Ive taken for new ideas for the garden.

Chelone, I am wowed by your floor. It is just so impressive! I was glad that you had some outside pictures of the bahn so when I showed DH the floor he could see the rest. He was impressed and couldnt imagine how you could do such a neat job.

Mary, I hope your benefits don't get cut. My job provides our insurance as well and its part of why I work here. My DH has taken up emptying our dishwasher this winter and I do find things in odd places too, but Im glad hes doing it.

My son recently lost his job and I feel so bad for him because it was like a dream job for him and he was so good at it. It actually had its assets frozen because of bad business decisions by the owner in his main business. The business Jeremy worked in was doing well financially. He was actually able to get right back on with his former employer. At this point he is out 2 weeks pay.

The old Idle was fun to read. I started here right after IU1. I think I had lurked just a little but when I saw that a bunch of you had gotten together it just looked like such a fun group. I think that was summer of 2004.

Julie, sorry to hear that your DS gives you such fits. Im sure its challenging living with 3 generations under one roof.

Martie, interesting that you have no robins yet. I saw the first ones here on Feb. 17.

Kathy, great shot, the whiskers are crystal clear. I noticed the moon in the west this morning as I ate breakfast and it was still dark out.

bug, we had the most brilliant sun dogs a couple of weeks ago. The only problem is when you have them its bitterly cold. I prefer rainbows in warm weather ;o)

I really must get back to work, the 15 minutes are up.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 12:09PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Would someone please admonish me to take my pain pills in the wee hours of the morning, every morning, so I can get up feeling like a human??? I took them at least 2 hours ago and still can hardly move. :-(

I have put a pot of pinto beans and ham hocks to cook, in preparation for the "several inches of snow" that are forecast! Such a forecast here can mean a foot or more of snow in March!

Chelone, the comments here are the main reason I do little speaking unless it is something very innocuous, but even then it sometimes stirs up trouble. :-( Most of the time the silence is deafening, but I hate most of what is on TV.
Ah, well, this too shall pass.
I kind of like " Moonlight savings". :-) No Foxy Loxy here anymore, but I sure dread the howl of the coyotes!
I so agree with you on stress. If that is your boss lady's problem, I really feel for her, but she still should not take it out on you.
Nolon tells of 'sugaring' in Arkansas in his youth. Says it was quite a job.

Martie, I like your, " Today's the day", but here we hear peepers even well before sap season because of extremely warm days in the middle of the winter!

Wow, Julie...all those cannas! We will need a pic when they are in their prime out in your yard. And I love Lobelias. What variety are you growing? I love the cute hanging down types, espacially the blue with a white throat.
Fish are very fun to watch, but I am not into cleaning out the tank. It has been many a year since I had indoor fish. Now the only ones we have are in the farm pond. :-)
My Peruvian dafs had only a couple of bloom stalks last year. I don't think there were nearly as many shoots either. They must be multiplying.
I am wondering why such a clumsy costume for your DD? It is good that she loves that.

Oh my, Marie...22F ! That is colder than the temps that I have seen for my childhood hometown. A minus was predicted for last night there, but not nearly that low. Our 29F this morning seems like warm compared to what you put up with.
Some years ago I was coming home from town and saw a lovely sundog. I was so thrilled by it that I stopped at a relative's house and called their attention to it. It is not that unusual here, but I do not see them very often.
Sorry about your garage door, and even sorrier about the other causes of anxiety at your home. Life gets tedious, don't it! :-(

I checked on some pics of my Amaryllis in previous years. I have some lovely colors. I sure wish more would bloom. I don't know what I am doing wrong with them.

Mary, I am so impressed by you children's talents. Our Tim was never interested in music, arts or sports! And I was not the type of mother to try getting him interested. ( I was not all that well even then.)
Don't worry about your "teh's" I would have lots of them also it I didn't go back and proofread over and over. I still miss a lot.

Kathy, I hope you are better with camera instructions that I am. I prefer just to point and click. :-)
My digital and my film camera both have lots of features that I have never tried figuring out.
Cute kitty. :-)

Re: the moon. Our preacher called it a "children's moon" sunday evening, because it was visible before their bedtime. (Of course he is thinking of the time children used to go to bed. He is my age.) I had never heard of it being called that.

Denise, I do not need praise, but I would appreciate acknowledgement and appreciation! How fortunate that you have Freesias. I have tried growing them, but with no success. I used to have reseeding Lavaterias, but they finally disappeared.

Oops..time for me to get some dinner! TTYAL.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 12:12PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, I meant minus 22F ! See what happens when I get in a hurry and post without proofreading!!!

And Chelone, when I said "here" I meant at my house, not at the Idylls.

I hope the rest of my mistakes are more understandable.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 12:31PM
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Good day everyone!

I have been busy as a bee getting ready for my class and keeping busy with the company.

Nick is starting up a residential side to the business (says we're not participating in the recession) and there is lots to do with that....the outlook on the commercial side is still good.

My class will have 20 paying students, and I am excited about that :) I hope that everyone has fun and signs up for another class as I'd like to teach leaf casting next, and perhaps a small statue-type piece, like a lantern or sphere...dunno....ideas are filling my head though, and that's good :)

Toni does have an outfit that looks cumbersome to ski in....LOL....I just imagined myself rolling down the hill if I tried to ski in it. Too bad about music, Julie....luckily our school system has hung on to both music and art. Sarah does not seem interested in music, though, only the art classes. She's in chorus, though, I guess that is musical :)

Mary, it sounds like David needs a crew to get him anywhere! Make sure you take care of you when you can....though I think I "hear" you doing that in your posts :)

The Salon is fabulous!

GB, I bought some Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar and am doing shots with you on a daily basis....I like the sounds of your perfume. I smiled at the notion that you might send Julie a letter that would make her husband raise a brow!

Kathy, have fun with the camera! Great shot of your kitty!

I know I'm missing lots. I thought about Nick and I today and how we work together. I think we do projects together alot, and I know I like a lot of recognition that I bring something to the table, too, you know, besides manly-man things like muscles and such. Nick seems to do okay on little ego boosters such as "you smell nice." LOL. He's too easy.

Problem is we never have time to do any of those projects together anymore. Well, unless you count running a company, I guess.

I've gotta go pack up my truck and make sure I've got all my marbles in my mason jar so that I can teach this class :)

TTYL (Probably on Thursday, Like V!)


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 2:20PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

No catch up today, but thinking of all of you. I did see Babs posting, how great! Another returnee. :-) Not looking too promising for peas on St Pats Day, Babs. Darn again. Love the idea of celebrating Idyllversary, looking forward to at some point reviewing those old threads. Amazed and awed at Chelone's floor!! Wishing for days when I can say hi to all... :-)

This Month in Photo of the Day: Your Photos

The piglet is one day old and crippled. The mother had more babies than nipples to feed them. The farmer talked about putting this one out of its misery but decided to let some Swazi orphan children take care of it and feed it with a bottle instead. Now the little pig has grown big and strong!
Caption by Amanda Kopp/Photograph by Amanda Kopp

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 7:14PM
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Hello, PM (and piglet!)

Marian, here are my freesias, which I grow in pots to keep the scent up close:

I keep them with other "eye & nose candy" on a little table under the pergola. I just took these photos late so forgive the flash effects:

The freesias are standing tall in the pot, without support, but often flop over when grown in the ground, in my experience. I let Ein sniff them yesterday, which he did very delicately..then proceeded to try to eat them!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 9:20PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Lol, Denise.That is funny about Ein.
Thank you for the lovely pics. If I ever get a greenhouse I will attempt to grow Freesias in it.
BTW, is Ein's name for the German word for 'one' ?

Pm2, although I was raised on a farm, and we had pigs, I am not too fond of them. :-)
I do remember a litter of them that did not live, and I, ( or we), played with the carcusses as though they were dolls! Gross wasn't it!


    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 10:47PM
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I have mastered camera strap installation along with kitty photos and took some experimental plant pics today. DS took possession for a couple of hours . an then proceeded to sell me a 4GB memory card with an attractive carrying pouch and a little thumb-drive doo-dad. Evidently he has three of them already.4GBS should be pretty dandy for IU6 !

I would say that Denises Freesias are about 10 days more advanced than mine. Only one flower per stalk barely open. Interesting Denise that your container plants have resisted Freesia-Flop syndrome. I have sticks poked in all over the place to support mine. I am making a note to copy you and try some in pots.

Julie, some good vibes coming your way. So what might be the euphemism for Adult Stupid Son ? Follow my drift ? My hope (and maybe yours) is that his not-so-niceness is a result of finding himself in a position that is so dependent on the good will of others , perhaps a blow to the manliness thing, requiring periodic lashing out. Hopefully this is only temporary. Bring on the wine deck ! I have more seeds to plant too, but it will have to wait till the weekend.

Hi PM ! Please continue to check in when you can , your posts are missed.

Mary, my company has gradually increased the employees contribution required for health benefits. I definitely have a negative cash flow in this area, and would have been better off financially with no insurance the last few years, as I rarely need the services of a doctor and would be cheaper for me to just pay to go get a check up once a year. The fear of something bad happening though keeps me paying for services I never use.

Marie, Im sorry to hear of the anxiety of DD re the new baby, though it is certainly understandable. I hope they are able to overcome and maintain the wonderful joy of life and interest in getting out there, seeing, doing; the whole joie de vivre thing.

Saucy, Im plodding through the instruction manual for my camera, determined to graduate from point-and-shoot mode at some future time. I hope you will share with us some pics of the leaf castings when you get that up and running

Michelle, when I was looking for the first Idyll I came across a thread that seemed to be the prep for the first IU, but now I cant find it again, and was never able to find photos. I hit many dead ends, but it was a fun diversion that I did while recuperating from one of my many dental procedures- the 'take it easy and don't do anything' for a couple of days leaves you no alternative but the internet and movies -hard to read books on drugs , lol.

Marian, your weather sure seems to flip-flop ! Looks like we are headed for some near 70 temps into the weekend. Fortunately the camera I selected has both point and click settings and manual settings. I know it will take me a month to figure out all the functions and settings.I watch practically no TV at all , its pretty much off all winter except for an occasional viewing of the MacNeill- Lehrer Newshour . In April I start to watch baseball games , but have a satellite package that allows me to see nothing but baseball if I so choose-and I do !

Ta ta my friends, time for me to wind down and think about dreamland

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 11:31PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Oh Kathy, I cracked right up at your euphemism for InterPhil! I beleive that you hve hit the nail on the head in describing his sitution. He has been bored silly all winter, although able to collect Employment Insurance, and is looking forward to getting back to work very soon. Next winter he has decided to go back to school. You are a very perceptive person!

I looked at the beautiful freesias and thought "Where the heck does Denise live?" - of course, in a climate much much warmer than mine! I bet I could grow those in the house though. I might try to find some - those are beautiful! What kind of pup is Ein? I am sure you have posted photos somewhere along the line - do you have one handy?

PM2, pigs photo is cute but I must confess, not my favourites either. The is someone in town here though who has a Vietnamese Pot Bellied pig and she walks her pet on a leash...It does look very cute and the owner says it is a wonderful pet.

Marie, I bet the anxiety is mounting steadily - what a difficult time for all. I hope that worries are all for naught. Very hard for you being so far away also...hugs to all.

Gonna run now and browse to see if I can find some old Idyll threads - I really enjoyed reading the linked one!

Sleep tight all!



    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 1:52AM
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Sending out good thoughts to Mary in hopes the insurance coverage is not eliminated. My disgust for the whole medical machine mounts daily. It seems every part of it is built on fear and money; keep people afraid and then charge just as much as you're able for "call in the cavalry" treatments... . I know there are many in the profession that are dedicated and genuinely compassionate but there are just as many who are in it because milking the cash cow is lucrative. We're in the same position as Kathy and are not foolish enough to call it "health" insurance" because what it really is is "poor health/protect your house if you're lucky" insurance. Finest health care in the world, indeed... yeah, if you can afford to access it. Frankly, I'm not sure we've made greater inroads since Margaret Sanger, appalled by squalor and over-population in urban ghettos, lobbied for birth control for poor women or nurses fanned out across the countryside in an effort to stem the rising tide of tuberculosis at the turn of the century. We're certainly a helluva lot less active (read FAT), eat a crummier diet, and are looking for "lifestyle drugs" instead of behavior modification as the solution. But I certainly hope the "benefits talk" is more general, Mary. You sure don't need more stress and worry at this point in time, but know many share your deep worry, too.

I watched the local news and the unemployment figures were released, typically unemployment rises in the winter as so much of my state's economy is tied to tourism, but it's increased 3% in a year. I sure hope InterPhil has mastered budgetting, Julie! "Make hay while the sun shines" and all that old-fashioned stuff. It would drive me crazy to be basically stuck in the house all winter long so I can understand things boiling over every so often. I am reminded of Michelle's comment about retirement, "half the money and twice the husband" which made me lol at the time.

TCS is a fortunate little boy to have music available to him outside the realm of public education. I hadn't really considered the importance of good grooming and polished presentation at a recital, but it's the same thing as being polished and prepared before you enter the ring at a horse show. The ribbons I cherish most are those I received for excellence in "Fitting and Showmanship" which is a class that involves no riding, at all. You are judged on how you prepare and show your animal. Things like a glistening coat and bridle, excellent posture, and making sure there is no manure on your boots matter! In the same vein, I smiled at the preparation required to get David and the requisite equipment to the orchestra... certainly can't be easy but it oh-so-necessary at this juncture. I'm certain his performance did not disappoint. :)

I eagerly await news on the 'tufa class as the preparation seems to rival that of getting David to the concert. And I have little doubt the leaf casting idea is going to be a winner, too, Saucy!

We had stir-fried vegetables over brown rice last night and we both expressed a level of boredom with the bill of fare. I longingly thought of V. and husband and Indian cuisine, so it will be fun to hear about that, too. Maybe they'll be using home-made soap to clean up the trail? ;)

One of my brother's friends has a pig. She's roughly the size of a picnic table and is very friendly, but definitely gets people's attention when she saunters out from her preferred wallow behind the garage to greet them. Her owner has her grunts and a squeal as the ring tone on his cell 'phone. He was a farm boy from way back and he and my brother have been friends since Jr. High. Great guy.

I have to go now, can't recall if there is a trip to the beauty parlor in my future this afternoon, so I'll have to call and check today. I rather hope it's next week, actually. OK, I'm outta here and will contemplate Freesias and Marian playing with dead piglets all day long (nice visual, BTW).

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 5:37AM
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Good morning!

There are many aches and pains this morning - 'tufa class is not easy on the instructor. I explained to my class that the hardest part of this medium is schlepping home the 94lb bag of portland cement (and the 80 lb bale of peat isn't light, either!)....but that is behind me now!

The freesias are gorgeous, and I liked to hear Ein's experience :) I really like how the lavendar looks in front of the agave :)

Kathy, you're inspiring me to break out my camera.....for some reason I haven't really wanted to take pictures lately, but I noticed that the morning light is really pretty right now. Everything looks gold, which reminds me of The Outsiders (not the original poem, lol). Have fun snapping away. I still have not had much luck venturing past point and shoot - I need to take a class!

V., I really liked hearing about your soap making adventure! The straw bale building sounds really cool! I wonder how many seasons it lasts?

PM, nice to see your post today. I have a friend in TN who had a potbellied pig named Oscar. His last name was Mayer. My friend lived on a farm, and when they got Oscar he was just a baby, and we had to rub lotion on his dry skin, lol! He was charcoal gray with big whiskery hairs all over his body! Later in life, he was HUGE with giant tusks! But still a sweet soul inside :)

I hope you feel better soon - I'll bet Spring will be just the thing!

Well, my ham and swiss omelet awaits! Tonight the kids are going to see the Peking Acrobats with their grandparents, so Nick and I are going to use one of those Christmas gift certificates to Ted's Montana Grille. Date night on a Thursday - gotta get em where you can :)


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:17AM
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Good morning

Yesterday's news was as bad as I thought - no benefits at all as of July 1st as a way to save our program. That means healthcare, sick days, paid holidays all disappear. It leaves me in a quandary as I love my job and being involved in something that really helps children. But in the past the poor pay was compensated for by excellent benefits and hours that allows me to care for the family while DH travels.

Looking at David's bills for the past 5 weeks we certainly got our money's worth this year, and the thought of that disappearing puts me in a cold sweat. We're not out of the woods yet - there might need to be more surgery to remove the screws in David's leg and necrosis of the bone will entail years of intense medical care. There are options we're investigating including Cobra and my transferring to another postion within the educational system that comes with health care. But the jobs available would be a big step down from my current responsibilities, far less interesting and eve less pay. Much to ponder.

After such discouraging news bookclub was a welcome relief yesterday evening and I totally enjoyed having something else to think about, some wine and some much needed laughs.

PM - I can't wait to show the photo and piglet story to David who adores pigs!!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A beautiful sunrise here...late though as it must climb up and above our barn. There are horizontal clouds with blue sky stripes between them. No pigs now, but there used to be pigs wallowing in the muck where our pond is now situated. There are snapping turtles there though...DH is walking Ms Phoebe there toward our bridge at the moment.

I'm concerned about the boredom of Chelone's stir fried dinner last evening. With my present attention to food (small small portions!) taste is very important to me. I wonder if spices were neglected? Did you need curry or crunchy snow peas and water chestnuts? I love nuts added to my veggie dishes, also dried apricots or cranberries.

I've been following Julie's French/music difficulties with interest. I was presented with this business years ago as a French teacher. French and music were dicey areas to be in as they were the "un-necessaries", the first to go in tough financial times. (In the US) Those children would NEVER hear a real Frenchman speak. They never went farther than 10 miles from their homes in a lifetime. So the motivation was not there for language learning. But music? I simply don't get it. Everyone benefits from that!

When our two kids went to school they attended an all French school and earned their French Baccalaureates. The school taught every subject (except English) in French. The school was good at academic things! This meant that as parents we had to tend to extra-curricular activities and in our case that meant carpentry, art, sports, music etc. We never expected school to excel at everything. Over time the school did improve and there were school drama activities and better sports. Being a parent is such a big job and it never ends! This is not all bad either. :)

I am late out of the gate this morning, so must go tend to DH who needs nourishment before driving off to class.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:41AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Not much time here today --

Michelle I do hope you feel better soon -- having a cold at the end of the winter can be very depressing.

Mary -- that's awful -- how can they end your healthcare if you belong to the school system? are you a contractor or something? That's just awful. It underscores the reason for having it thought doesnt it, just in those times when something like David's accident happens -- one really needs it -- Keeping my fingers crossed that something creative happens for you -- Im sure COBRA will be expensive (& only last a couple years at most; altho I think it may have been extended as part of the stimulus package?) or can you geet thru DH's company now? Im keeping my fingers crossed.

Lisa - so glad you had a great class -- I bet you're a terrific teacher and have lots of creative ideas -- I would so love to learn this -- have been looking around locally but so far no success for some weekend seminar. I bet it's got you enthused for spring now too and you'll pick up your camera again.

Okay, back to biz and being gainfully employed.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary and Saucy! Somehow your postings weren't there when I last posted! I guess Saucy has taken up weight lifting. I'm so glad the class was a success. Please do take photos, no matter the quality. (Practice makes adequate...)

Mary, thirty eight years ago when we moved to Canada I recall a big sigh of relief as we crossed the border in our U-Haul truck. It was all about relief over the medical system. Coming from UK, you must really be on pins and needles over this recent news. Big decisions need to be made on your home front and I don't envy you that one bit. Book Club sounds like a far better topic! Our meeting is next week.

Later gators,

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:43AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Oh Mary! What rotten news! It sounds as if your work was the perfect fit for your life, and now, just when you need it least, you get a kick in the head! That is very sad.

Saucy, I would love to take a Tufa class. I keep discussing this with gardening friends and we have thought about getting a "recipe" from the 'net and spending an afternoon trying to do it ourselves....Makes for fun talk but...no action!

Does anybody know if I can grow a Japanese Maple in the house all winter, and put it outdoors for Spring, Summer and Fall? Or do they require a period of cold? I have a large hibiscus that I hardly even like that gets this treatment, and I was thinking I would rather a Japanese Maple. They do sell them here, but I doubt I could keep one alive - risky at best. Now DD, who lives only an hour away from here, next to the mighty St. Lawrence River, says they are growing all over Brockville. Just middle-of-the-night thinking last night...

Freezing cold again today, but bright. Pork roast and all the trimmings for dinner tonight. One thing I hate to do is make dinner. I like to cook, mind you, but it's the timing - by late afternoon I want to enjoy the rest of the day and spending an hour or more making dinner that will be eaten in about 20 minutes does not turn my crank. So I very often make dinner in the morning, or do something like a roast that can go in to the oven at lunch time and be ready for dinner....just aimless idyll chat!!

Now that InterPhil has been a grump for two days we find out that a very kind older man who owns the local pub bought him a beer on Thursday evening and then went home and dropped dead of a heart attack an hour later. Find this out as DS trots out his "good" clothes for the funeral today. *sigh* Now of course I feel like a jerk for being snarly in return. Well, what's done is done...I offered to iron his shirt to make amends...

Has anybody here seen that Train game that you have to move the cars around to make trains all of one colour? There is a link on The Kitchen Table, I think....I find it very addicting....just one more time before I vacuum....maybe just two more times....



    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 11:15AM
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I didn't expect to be musing over Margaret Sanger this morning, but there's just no telling what crops up on the idylls. I'm in complete agreement over the healthcare comments and find it appalling that you're put in this quandary, Mary. I hope better options fall into place as you sift through these issues. Can we please have a moratorium of lightning bolts being thrown at Mary's household for a spell?

Speaking of healthcare, my dad's heart valve surgery is on hold, as a second cardiologist doesn't think the valve is leaking that much, direct contradiction of the main cardiolgist. Dad's thrilled, mom not so much...since he can only sit in a chair and pant these days. oy...Their full healthcare is courtesy of my dad's union, as is his amazing pension, which I continually point out to them, especially during election cycles (they vote "the other way," double oy)

Wait, did Julie say she needed to see a picture of Ein? Oh, what do you know, I happen to have one right here:

Great job, Saucy, and I hope it's the first of many paying gigs. There's gold in them thar tufa hills!

I'm kind of a "Big Sister" to the pit bull mix next door, who doesn't get a lot of attention from her owners these days. She gets treats regularly in late afternoon, when Ein does, handed to her over the fence, plus lots of affection. Picking up the mail yesterday, I heard Ginger vociferously guarding her mail box as the mail man approached her house, which is quite close to Ginger's fence. As I walked back down our driveway, there was that awful sound of an injured dog, that pathetic whimpering. She came up to me at the fence on our driveway side, lookiing completely devastated, and I examined her for injuries, thinking maybe she hurt herself on a fence spike jumping up at the mailman. No visible signs of injury. I made her walk the length of her fence, me leading her from the sidewalk next to her fence, but could see no sign of injury, no limp. Conclusion: the mailman must have either maced her or tasered her, right? I did notice it was a new mailman. I gave her a dog bone which she did take, but I noticed her resting on her porch bed afterwards. I'm not blaming the mail carrier, and she is fearsome indeed, but it was an odd chain of events to piece together. She's fine this morning...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 11:24AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The sun is shining, it's up to a balmy 19 degrees F, and I have lots to report here!

Denise, I am quite familiar with Citizens for Conservation, but it is not a group that I am directly involved with. They operate a little southeast of where I live, but I usually patronize their native plant sale every spring, as they accept preorders and the local sale does not. When I first became involved in prairie restoration work, one of the training sessions I attended was hosted by CFC, and I had the pleasure of meeting one of their dedicated volunteers and supporters, Wendy Paulson. Her husband Hank went on to become the last treasury secretary under George Bush.

Tuesday when I was heading home from work, I came across a dog running down the middle of the road. I hate to see a dog in danger, so I pulled over and rolled down the passenger window to see if he had a collar. The goofy dog jumped in the window! He was very (too?) friendly, clean despite the presence of a lot of mud and had no collar at all. I had seen some dogs in the yard of a house just down the road, so I gambled that he might have escaped from there. Long story short, he had indeed escaped from that house. He was digging under the fence so the owner strung electric fencing at the bottom of the fence, he then started jumping over the five foot fence (I can attest to his jumping abilities!) so he was put in the yard on a chain. So of course he slipped his collar.

Before all was settled, I was drooled on by a very friendly Rottweiler, had the runaway dog in and out of the car three times and had another of their dogs in my car. Needless to say, my dogs had a field day sniffing my colthes when I got home. But I was glad to get the dog returned to his owner, and glad to know for sure where he lives since he sounds like a chronic runaway.

Our Indian cooking class was very interesting and delicious. The chef hosts these classes in his home kitchen so everything feels do-able. He started with an overview of the spices most commonly used, then we started on the cooking. First thing we fixed was the Indian rice pudding with pistachios and golden raisins (started first so it would be cooled by the end of our meal). First course was cod filets breaded in a chickpea flour, deep fried and served with a mint cilantro chutney. Quite tasty, and remember that I don't like fish. The main course was chicken tikkam misala, an eggplant and potato dish and chappati bread. Everything was cooked from scratch, quite spicy and very good. It was great to be walked through the different steps with a good sense of what to start first so that a complex dinner all came together in the right order. The chef has traveled extensively in Asia, so our dinner conversation was interesting as well.

Wednesday I scored an unusual triple play - three back-to-back-to-back meetings, each of which included the appropriate meal of the day. Breakfast board meeting, day-long ag preservation meeting with an amazing lunch, and pizza ordered in for the four hour long environmental commission meeting. My dogs now think I have abandoned them for greener pastures.

Mary, your insurance news is quite upsetting. Be sure that you get very straight answers on COBRA coverage, because there are cases where it does not apply if coverage is being discontinued. I know I don't know all the details of your employment, and of course there are law changes that just occurred, but if you are going to go the COBRA route, be very, very careful to get assurance that you are eligible for the coverage. I hope some positive news comes your way soon!

Denise, I love the photo of Ein and the agave/lavender combo. I may steal that idea.

Saucy, congrats on a successful class!

DD called yesterday morning to say that the health service thinks she has pneumonia! Her spring break starts tomorrow but I wish she was home right now so I could hug her and make her some soup.

Lunch is over and my desk is calling, so I'd better close.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 1:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Time for some smiles from my corner....

A funny story from DD:

Last time Skyler was with us, we sent him to clean up his room. He had a big pile of clothes on his floor (all clean), and was told to put them away (not thrown on the bottom of the closet or left on top of his bunk bed, or left on the floor). He said that he had no room left in his drawers, and he didnt want to hang them up. Then he said "I know", and closed his door.

DH was sure Skylers solution was to put everything in the laundry basket

Then we all burst out laughing when 15 minutes later he came downstairs and was wearing EVERY piece of clothing in the pile. That included:

-1 tank top,
-9 T-shirts,
-2 long-sleeve shirts,
-his pyjama top
-his rain jacket
-a bathing suit
-2 pairs shorts
-pyjama bottoms

Never a dull moment!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 4:40PM
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A gracious good evening to all, I detect Friday just around the corner. Its looking like an outdoor weekend will be on the agenda for me, as pleasant weather is predicted. The weekend of the 21st Im going to skedaddle down to the SF garden show- (in San Mateo this its allegedly final year ) where the lily bulb selection knows no bounds. I would prefer to attend on a weekday but that just isnt in the cards at this point,and perhaps the economy will keep the crowds down. Did I read somewhere that Denise is coming up for this ?

Mary , your news is so upsetting to me-economy aside it is clearly back-asswards when one has to choose between just a job and a job you love because of health care, particularly when one is actually making a difference in peoples lives. I hope you are able to resolve this somehow. (((Mary)))

Saucy, it has certainly crossed my mind (after about 5 minutes with the users manual) that a photo class would be very helpful. We have them at our community college . I note that your comment on friends pig was followed closely by news of a ham omelet.

V , what an adventurous few days youve had , making soap, Indian food and rescuing a runaway dog .Arent you going to New Mexico pretty soon? Or did I dream that ?

Time for dinner prep-catch yall later.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:58PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good evening all...I haven't been in a posting mood today. The cold dreary weather got to me. We ended up only getting a dusting of snow, and it melted as it fell, but the high was only 35, briefly. After 83 last friday it is a shock to my aging system! There was a pretty good breeze all day too, and the house was not warming to my comfort zone. Tomorrow is to be a better day.

Mary, I am so angry at what is happening to you. As if you did not have more than your share already! I wish I were rich, I would bail you out. Unless SS and Medicare are cut, we will continue to do okay. Our home and vehicle are payed for, and we have no outstanding debts. We certainly do not live as high on the hog as the majority of people, but have more than we need.

Julie, I can certainly identify with your anger at your DS. I have been there, done that, and yet I love him dearly. I do not think I could live with him any length of time. We do not see things the same at all.

The weather prompted me to cook up another pot of beans and ham hocks.( Did I already tell you that? ) Then today, I got to looking in my cupboard and found that I had boxes of cake mix and fruit bars that were past their expiration date. So I killed two birds with one stone...I cooked all three, and the heat from the oven helped heat up the cold kitchen. :-)

Interesting dog stories, Denise and V. I was espacially entrigued by V's rescue. A big dog jumping in my car window would have been rather disturbing to me! Glad it turned out okay.

Marie, I am thinking that was a strange way Skyler had of "putting his clothes away" !!! What happened after you all quit laughing?


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:49PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Kathy, the New Mexico trip is in eight days. I can't wait!

DD called this evening, quite upset that her car wouldn't start. It sounds like it could be the starter. Since she was supposed to drive home tomorrow and she's still feeling lousy, she was quite undone when she called. But now she has managed to make other arrangements to get home, she'll get the car towed in the morning, and she's a bit more positive. (And her mom's a little more settled now.)

Marian, I should have mentioned that the dog looked like it had some labrador retriever in its background and it was easy to see right off the bat that it was very good-natured. I would have been right out of my door had it been a threatening-looking dog. And I've also learned that I should not roll the window all the way down. This is the fourth runaway dog that I have "captured" and returned to the owner, but before I get close to the dog I always make sure it's a friendly dog.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 10:30PM
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Marian, I can certainly relate to how you felt after an 80+ degree day followed by a 35 degree day. I felt that way last Sunday when it was beautiful and it snowed on Monday. Good thinkin' to warm the kitchen up with some cooking. I've actually been thinking I should surprise the helpmeet with some sort of confection when he gets home this evening. I meant to comment on that jughead octo-mom, too. I am frankly appalled by it all. She is clearly little more than a spoiled child herself and the notion that she's brought 8 more kids she clearly cannot afford into the world for the rest of us to pay for is beyond the pale. One would think that the monies she will derive from public appearances should be put into a trust overseen by others so that the hospital bills and the attendant costs the children will accrue over the course of their minority will be met and the taxpayer spared. She has demonstrated no ability whatsoever to make anything close to a calculated and intelligent decision. And the good doctor who clearly flouted all professional protocol surrounding the implantation of 8 embryos should be investigated fully and roundly punished for such gross incompetence. I put more thought into adopting someone else's cast off pet than she put into bringing 8 more mouths into the world, for Pete's sake. I was awakened by animal noises last night and happened to snap on the TV in time to catch a brutally funny parody of that foolish woman with the rest of her clutch running around the house doing all sorts of dangerous and inappropriate things in the background. I couldn't find it this morning, but it cracked me up. I think it was on the Jimmy Kimmel program, perhaps it will be available later today.

Nothing of great interest on the docket today, just some quality time in the Lab. with some sewing and maybe I'll move some lighter pieces of furniture back into the Salon later today. I could also do some cleaning... the boiler room (my dryer), perhaps?

The super-sized TV in the living room has definitely crapped out on us and since it weighs the best part of 300 lbs. I'm not quite sure how to get rid of it. But it needs to go away SOON. I've loathed it since it arrived from BIL's home (without my knowledge, lol) and I like it even less now that it serves less function than it did before. The devastated helpmeet has done nothing whatsoever in that regard... hehehe.

Eden will be gratified to know that there has been considerable "night shift" activity in the yard, a sure sign of spring's imminent arrival. Foxy Loxy has been quite vocal and last night it was likely racoons making the ruckus that awakened me (and set Rex and the cats fleeing for window vantage points). Even with yesterday's cold the sun's rays are banishing the snow daily. The cats are thrilled to be outdoors more now and have been doing a lot of excavating the thawed soil next to the house...

Very exciting news about cameras and renewed interest in photography. Maybe I'll catch the bug some day, too. I should probably add a tripod for my camera; seems to me it's useful when taking pictures in lower light?

Mary, I don't know what to say to you about the impending loss of "health" insurance. It's probably time to have a very frank pow-wow with the good doctors on David's case and then do all the in-depth research V. suggested with respect to Cobra coverage. I agree with Denise, it's time the lightening bolts were directed elsewhere... maybe toward someone more deserving, like Bernie Madoff, maybe? (he has few worries now, guaranteed 3 hots and cot for the rest of his natural life).

On that cheery not I'm off to do some meaningful work now. :)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 7:13AM
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Good morning

Thanks for your support everyone regarding the health care. I am setting up all sorts of meetings including with the head of HR for our organization. At the announcement she said she would keep us up to date with details of Cobra. Apparently some of the stimulus money in NY state will be directed to pay 65% of Cobra for people who have lost health care, for which we would be eligible. But as V says, we need to be very, very careful. I still totally bummed that for all I've put into my job amf the responsibilites it holds, I'll be reduced to an hourly timesheet employee. Plus I'm loosing 40 sick days I'd accrued which I always felt was there as a little cushion. #$@#$%&

My solace throughout this week has been seed starting. With all the questions about moving last year I didn't plant anything indoors and I can't tell you how much I missed it, both during the spring and throughout the growing season. For me, things I have nurtured from seed provide the backbone of the garden and keep me connected to it as a whole. Something grown from seed gives me more pleasure than even the rarest specimen grown by another.

On a frugal note, I have done what I always promised I would try - restrained from over ordering new seeds and delved into my box of treasures instead. A little procastrination has also helped as I never got orders in as planned, and now it is a little late. I am eyeing some unusual salvia seed on ebay though. I went through every seed packet I own, discarding those that are no longer of interest or likely to germinate and am growing a combination of old favorites and new things. So far under lights I have:
lettuce mix
mini red peppers
Ichiban eggplant
Pansies (electric blue carma or something)
Black Magic geraniums
Blood red wallflowers
Linum perenne
Bishops Children Dahlias
Salvia Azurea

I'm about to plant tons of sweet peas I picked up at HD and will start more annuals and tomatoes in a week or so, and a big slew of Zinnias and sunflowers in May. I can think of no better therapy:0)

V - your Indian cooking sounds fabulous, I bet Woody would have enjoyed it too:0) We had a similar experience with a dog rescue one day on a very busy street. The dog was wandering on the road, causing havoc with the traffic. I opened a window, assessed by his wagging tail and demeanor he was extremely friendly and let him in through the door. The children were younger then and delighted to have a squirming companion trying to lick them. Fortunately he was wearing his nametag and we drove him home. Nobody was in so we let him though the fence door to his back yardm where hopefully he stayed safe.

Denise - Ein is adorable. He looks so much sweeter than the ill tempered Corgis our monarch keeps LOL!

Waving to everyone else. I've become terrible about commenting to others - bear with me, its not lack of interest, just time.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 7:58AM
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Kathy, yes, after I finish this transcript that is ruining my life we're heading "Norte," stopping at Lotusland in Santa Barbara then to San Mateo/San Fran for the garden show. Did you know The Sir Francis Drake keeps a Friday night bloody mary bar? ;) I want to get out to the salvage yard & Flora Grubbs too...we'll see. Will you go Sat or Sun?

My seeds have yet to arrive, just a few packets, but I need only a few seeds from each. After I get some seedlings started, It'd be fun to throw the rest into a communal idyll seed pool.

I just sowed some spinach seeds from a couple yrs past expiration which germinated, and I've read the bigger the seeds, the longer they keep, so theoretically something like a bean seed will stay fresh longer. Does T&M still do those little green germination info booklets from years gone by? What a goldmine of info.

V, so glad DD is sorted out. I wonder if Hank Paulson is completely indifferent to his wife's enthusiasm for prairie restoration? And leaping canines! what an adventure you had!

Nice to hear you're baking up a storm, Marian. Sounds like a plan for the weekend...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 10:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Last night's moon was glorious between branches by the barn....It was bitter cold though.

Today is sunny and cold, the ice having reformed on the pond and creek both.

I spent the morning getting flowers for a funeral (yellow tulips, mini white asters and blue iris) for a friend of mine who is unable to leave her home these days. I did other errands, returned home, then remembered about the book I need to return TODAY at the library. Hrumph!

I am sowing no seeds until I return from my trip west. This weekend DH and & need to sort out travel ($$$$)plans as trips have mounted up! There's a memorial service in OK for his nephew, a 50th class reunion later on, Idyllunion in Maine, a wedding in August in NH, and of course BABY! We never did make it to DS's place in Boston for the past few years and that is totally wrong. Fortunately he has visited here. We really cannot afford all of those trips and the carbon footprint distresses us too.

I haven't had lunch yet, so off I go.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 2:01PM
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Drat. Ryan's bday celebration was supposed to be tomorrow. It wasn't until after I had baked the mexican spoon bread casserole and the cake that I noticed how quiet he was...100.8 fever will do that to you : ( I even had the base of my guacomole marrying it's flavors so tomorrow I'd just add teh [that one's for you,Mary] avocado chunks. I even have some chicken marinating in lime, garlic & honey with some fresh cilantro for some nice quesadillas. We'll just have to party next Sat. instead and I'm freezing the prepped items. I'll cook and freeze the chicken too-might as well.
The irony is that on Wed he had a well kid check up and he was fine--then.

One cool thing is that Chris had a day today so he's taking AJ to track so I can tend Ryan.

Poor David about never wanting to ski again-but each time he reaches and passes a milestone things might change. I'm sure everything is so fresh in his mind too. He's got a lot of healing to do both physically and mentally I'd bet. I agree about the swimming as a great start for P.T.

So Mary is your employer the school system or a private contract? That's such devastating news about your coverage.

Hi Cindy! Very strange-the same day you saw the croaked turkey I saw a dead deer just 200 ft. down the road from my home-first time that's happened here, tho I've been expecting it since our one neighbor feeds them. It's been an accident waiting to happen-I wonder how the car is that did it. I guess we have good road crews here because two hours later when I drove by it was gone.

Hi Martie!
And Wendy! Is your DD excited about starting high school?

Must go check patient~I have to say, Ry's one of those kids that's just as pleasant sick as he is when well.Can't believe he's 8yrs old in just two days.

I just realized not only do we have all this fun party food but there's margarita mix as well ; ) Get out your sombreros ole'


    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 6:19PM
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Happy Friday everyone ! The sun is out and spring continues to unfold. Looks like indoor housework might be on the back burner this weekend. More seeds to plant too ! And weed abatement continues.

Denise, 98 percent I will go Sat the 22nd, Ill e-mail you my cell in the event we are in the building on the same day. Stopping in Santa Barbra on the way up at least gives you an excuse to do 101 instead of 5 . Even though it takes longer Ive done 101 the last few times Ive ventured down that did not involve an airplane.

Chelone, if you go out and buy a new boob tube, most of those places will haul the old one out for you. Our garbage service has e-waste recycling; you can haul the stuff down yourself , or they will pick it up for a fee. There must be something like that in your area?

Mary, what a nice list of seed starts you have.. Isnt is nice to have something like that to turn to in times of stress ? I am very partial to the Bishops Children series of Dahlias, I might try some of those from seed myself. WALATing this evening I noted that my volunteer Nasturtiums are up , and Cosmos too.

Hi Babs..sorry the Fiesta got postponed, but you did make me decide on Mexican food this weekend. Fajitas I think.

Thats all I have for this evening , but a wave to all , and hoping to see Martie, PM , Norma and Brenda check in this weekendand where did Honey go ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 8:46PM
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Rotten news that Ryan is going to be sick on party day, Babs.. I have to say, the chow sounds wonderful and I sure hope you'll post a picture of the cake, too. Roadkill in the area seems to consist largely of squirrels, nothing as exciting as a deer for which I'm grateful. I'll bet the crew was all over it as something that large puts out a powerful stink with time (ask me how I know). On a brighter note, what's the hot birthday gift for an 8 yr. old these days?

I've chuckled over dog rescue stories, too. My own was a few weeks ago when I rounded a corner on the road and saw a Great Dane loping down the yellow line. I stopped, called him over to me and quickly looked for tags (none). Another woman stopped and pointed to a house indicating that's where he lived. His name is Luther and we walked to the house together where his Mummy was relieved to see him. I pleasantly pointed out that he really needed to be registered in case he wandered farther than the immediate neighborhood (he is an intact male), but she didn't seem terribly concerned about that. Beautiful dog and very friendly, it would take a really big window to accomodate him, V.!

I've been thinking about the loss of 40 days of accrued sick time, Mary. Will they cut you any sort of deal on them, perhaps allowing you some compensation albeit at a "cut rate"? I'm also certain it must really hurt to see a program that you've poured your heart and soul into evaporate, but budget constraints are harsh taskmasters and if the tax base is hurting, so too will certain programs however deserving they may be. I suspect it's going to get worse before it begins to get better, too. It must be very discouraging for you as well as all the others it touches. I can assire you, though, that being "an hourly timesheet employee" does have a certain honest dignity to it and beats the hell out of being an unemployed salaried one. Hang in there, Vulcan must be running out of lightening bolts or at the least losing interest in your household. ;)

Everyone's efforts with respect to seed starting really reminds me that spring will be here before I know it. Mary has shown remarkable restraint in the seed department. The helpmeet has been poring over the vegetable seed selection lately and the familiar brown package should be on the front stoop in no time. Yikes! I have too much left to do indoors. I can't wait to see the results of the Idyll Zinnia Effort, no doubt coupled with new cameras we'll be dazzled for months.

I wondered if Honey was beamed up by aliens, too.

Not to fear, 'bug, our lack of enthusiasm over stir-fried vegetables is only because it's a regular in the menu rotation and has been for over 25 yrs. now. Ditto Pasta Prima Vera and a series of other items. We had a lovely brown rice and bean "slop" last night and a plank of salmon which was delicious and a nice treat. I've been thinking about the Indian cuisine since V. described the menu but not enough to entice me into the galley, thank you.

We are in a bit of a stalemate over the issue of a television. The helpmeet and BIL hauled the big Sony into my home without my knowledge, let alone my consent. I was not happy about it because we had one that worked just fine and the Sony is truly a behemoth. Its arrival essentially dashed my faint hope and drowned out my repeated pleas that the that the TV could be housed in some sort of cabinet when not in use. Now, the Sony has given up the ghost and has been effectively lying in state in my living room for the past 5 days. No action with respect to its removal has been undertaken despite my repeated requests. It can be taken to the transfer station on the first Saturday of the month (April). We have not one, but two perfectly serviceable televisions that can fill the void, but naturally the helpmeet has designs on a new flat screen and has used the "free" disposal as a carrot. I can't say I blame him, BUT its low on my list of priorities since we already OWN 2 ready replacements and he did slightly more than nothing about dealing with the conversion and antennae issues. Frankly, I would rather have a front loading washing machine (the present toploader is pushing 20 yrs. old), or a new gas stove and effective grease abatement system for the galley. My stance on this topic was not well received over dinner. :)

I made multiple trips up and down the stairs to the Salon yesterday, carrying various pieces of furniture and gently placing them on the floor. The cats had a grand time following me up the stairs and then exiting the Salon via the window and their system of switchback ramps. Rex surveyed all from his bed by the south windows.

Today I plan to spend some quality time vacuuming and applying little soft pads to the feet of some of the pieces that will likely remain there (Cynthia's love seat is one). I have to get on the stick and locate a source for study metal legs on nice casters to support 4x8' sheets of melamine covered plywood, to construct a series of moveable work tables. Again, I am faced with the frustration of googling. I clearly do not know how to refine searches adequately to focus in on what I want (a steady driving rain might make the learning curve more enticing).

It's time to fold some laundry and contemplate the day's activities. Later!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 6:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yesterday was my first opportunity for WALATing. There are signs of emerging bulbs in a few areas, those not still covered in snow. This morning mallards are swimming in the pond.

So much to DO around here these days! Both indoors and out. Today I hope to get exercised, clean cat boxes, get to the recycling centre, prune some more clematis, do more recipe organizing, walk the dog and insist on some manners, cook, stitch together the almost completed baby sweater, and on and on. Tonight I'm to attend a ladies only birthday event. I should also begin packing a travel bag...

And so I'm off, but thinking of others and their busy lives as well. (Not to mention the odd lurkers and posters on antiquated Idyll threads.)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 7:57AM
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Babs, Jake had a cold on his birthday for many years in a row...it's a joke in our house now, "you feeling sick? It's almost your birthday!" Hope Ryan feels better and I'll bet everything will fall right into place just as the universe wills it!

I want to go to Lotusland and spent quite a bit of time poking around the virtual gardens on the website. Please bring us along through the camera!

And how great if our west coasters met up and thumbed their noses as something (pick whatever you like, ladies!)...

Mary, I don't know what to say. I hope some good news comes your way, soon.

Today we're burning the brush and limbs leftover from my clean up last Fall. The kids invited friends to help (it's always fun to poke around the fire) and I imagine we'll all be tired come night time.

Well, I'd better go...everyone's asking things of me and they won't be put off any longer....


    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:01AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The resurrected thread from April 2006 is an interesting read, but pretty annoying that it was brought up in order to tack an advertisement on the bottom! Isn't that against the rules?

Now...back to our regularly scheduled program. :-)

Chelone, your take on the octo-mom is almost indentical with mine. I will add...her botoxed lips almost make me nauseous. :-(
Oh my, I would be so afraid to introduce furniture to that gorgeous floor! I would think you will be sick when there is scratches or stains found on it.
I can certainly feel for your putting up with the dead TV, but 4 days is not so bad. I have had a dead one in our livingroom for several months! It is not nearly as large as yours, but it is heavier that we can work with. At least it is not all that visible, but it hinders my getting to the corner bookcase, and my dad's writing desk. I managed to 'walk' it into that corner when it died.( Struck by lightening)

Marie, how fortunate that you have been able to enjoy the moon. It has been overcast here most every night since it has been at it's fullest.
It is good that you have so much to plan for. I am focusing on just surviving from day to day. :-(

Babs, so sorry that Ryan has become down with a virus right when he is to celebrate his birthday. I hope all that you had prepared can be successfully frozen.

Re: road kill....deer are a common sight along the highway here, as are raccoons, oppossums, squirrels, skunks, and in warmer weather....snakes and box turtles. I espacially hate seeing the turtles being killed. The scavengers get plenty to feed on. ( I hate to mention all the dogs and cats that are victims also.)

Back to the April 06 thread...Some of what I read got me to wondering about the outcome....One was T's fight with the woodpeckers. I miss the very interesting way she had of telling about the activities on her place.

I reread Honey's account of the '66 tornado that destroyed her DH's folk's home. What a terrible experience for all that survived! Such amazing things that happen in tornados!

I am wondering if I am the only one who lost the start of Ei's Molly Peony? I lost the lupine, and (I think) the for-get-me-nots also. Bummer. Thank goodness the orchids are doing well.

I loved seeing posts from Taryn, and wish she was still with us.

I guess, from Deanne's post about addresses, that 06 was the year she srnt the coleus to me. I still have most of them, caried over.

It was good to read reports from Marie about EP. She was a very special lady.

Mary was suffering from a sacroiliac pain...now it is David who is suffering from (sort of) the same location on his body!

It was the year for the first blooms on my Coral Dafs, from Tim's lady friend. They are growing and spreading nicely, but a ways from blooming this year, but then, it is only the middle of March!

V 'fired' her dematologist for having a bad attitude, I have, since then, 'dropped' the Derm. who treated both of us for several years. He was vey slack with his treatment of a pre-cancerous spot on my nose.

Taryn was bitten, again, by a Brown Recluse Spider! Just about 3 weeks ago a young man in our congregation had the same experience. His bite was on his right thumb. It was treated right away, but was very painful and swollen for a couple of weeks.

Babs had damage to her plantings by tree people. I am wondering if all recovered?

Bella was learning to feed herself. :-)

It is fun to go back and compare the time span from when we first 'met' the children on here, and how they have progressed over the years.

My post of all the 'woodsy' plants that were in bloom at that time gives me added hope....:-)

Lots more of interest, but I suspect that is enough for now. :-)

It is another dark dreary day here. I sure do feel better when the sun shines! I won't complain if we do get a good rain. It is needed, but not desperately.

I hope all are having a pleasant weekend.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:09AM
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DH is off to another BB game this morning. I'm chose to sleep in and get a little rest to aid in recovery of the latest cold. I need to de-chunk the house as well. We are meeting up with his brother who will be in our area today and we will probably end up here. I have plans for an apple cake as well. I still have frozen apples from our tree last fall.

Today promises to be lovely with a predicted high of 52 and sunshine. I think I need to walat.

I should really walk today since I wasn't able to swim all week. Crazy, huh? Monday and Tuesday we had bad weather so going straight home was imperative. Wednesday and Friday we had somewhere to go in the early evening and Thursday I felt miserable with this cold. Then another week is done.

I'm looking up all the gardening shows on Create and will try to plan my treadmill time around something interesting.

Mary, thats just rotten! I can see discontinuing to offer a benefit like the insurance, but I think if you have earned those sick days they shouldnt be able to take them away.

Chelone, it sounds like everyone is settling at the salon. I like the idea of movable work tables.

I too have a dog story. I had noticed a sign in the post office of the town I work in that someone had found a siberian husky, then I saw a lost ad in the paper of the town near where I live. I was sure it would be the same dog and thought Id hook the two up, but when I went to the post office the found sign was gone. I hope they found the owner. I was so bummed.

Babs, thats a real bummer about the birthday party. How disappointing when you are just turning 8.

Kenzie is going to a Hannah Montana birthday party today and DD said she was so excited. Its at a dance studio and they do their hair and makeup and learn a dance routine. Since she is in "princess mode" these days Im sure she will just eat this up.

Im wondering if Eden received her Queen Red Lime zinnia seeds. I read occassionally over on the cutting garden forum and it sounds like they are hard to get. The hot new item. They were gone by the time I got around to ordering. I did order some Cherry and Ivory Swizzle from Pinetree that look quite pretty.

bug, I enjoyed Skylars take on picking up his clothes. It reminded me of a little 5 year old granddaughter of a friend who put on all the underwear that she owned over her clothes. I dont remember the number of pair, but they were on so tight that the mom had a hard time getting them off.

Denise, I meant to mention how much I enjoyed your agave/lavendar picture. Shots from your garden are always such a treat. The picture of Ein should be framed. Does anyone do that, frame shots of their pets?

Id best get moving have a wonderful Saturday.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:46AM
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Hi Everyone- I haven't had a chance to read the idylls for awhile, but i stopped in this morning for a quick look, and wanted to say hi!

Chelone, your floor is amazing! I am so impressed with your ability to even lay it out, let alone paint it. I am still trying to get my kitchen painted. I put the first coat on the cabinets Tuesday. Skip is going to Philly this week, so I have hopes of getting something accomplished while he is gone.

Mary, so sorry to hear of your health care news. I hope something turns out for you. I am able to get healthcare for myself for $200 per month. It has a high deductible, something like 3,000. But office calls are 50, and it is nice to have in case of catastrophic illness. When I lost my job that was my biggest worry. When Mikey was hit by a car, he was afraid to walk across the street for the longest time. We just sort of slowly worked through it, and didn't make a big deal out of it. He didn't get his license until he was past 18. He was afraid to drive. He is 23 now, driving and no long term affects in any way. You guys are such good parents, David is a lucky guy!

Deanne, I loved the pictures from your garden show. Philly had a much more creative set up than the one here. Ours was sort of boring.

Bug, you have lots of things to look forward to this year. Does your daughter know if she is having a boy or girl?

Denisez, I loved your picture of the Freesia and Agave. Scrolling down the page looking at the pics, I told Skip, that has to be one of the CA gals pics. Sure enough:) Hard to believe some parts of the world are not frozen tundra. I long for warmth. When I see a little patch of sun in a window, I stand in it and pretend I am somewhere tropical.

I bought a Furminator for my dog Maggie. She is a Golden Retriever. It came today and I quickly took a couple of swipes on her. Amazing how much fur it took off. I am beginning to wonder if it is going to make her bald:) Definitely something I will have to do outside. Do any of you have one of these? I also started taking a pottery class last week. I made a cup, a dip bowl with a larger bowl to go underneath for ice. Also some cool slabs which I guess we turn into things later. I took some classes years ago and it was very theraputic. I love playing in the clay. There is new organic restaurant in a neighboring town that I visited last week. While speaking to the proprietor, I mentioned the organic soap we have been making and she said she was very interested to see it, also said that she wants to sell soap in the store. I was excited about that and am going to take her some samples this weekend. That is about it for me. Skip is calling me to help him with a project so I have to run. Hi to everyone I didn't mention, and I hope you all have a great weekend!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 11:14AM
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Happy Weekend! JJobs are complete so now get to spend some time here. Growing Freesia outside in March is so foreign to me that I've printed the picture and am hanging it on my window right next to the Lady Banks rose. One can always dream :-)

(((Mary))) Is there any way that you could get insurance through DH's company? Only helpful hint I can give is document everything that is currently being treated in your family and Be Sure that whatever type of insurance you get doesn't disallow preexisting conditions. ie., if someone in your family has asthma and they received medication through your old insurance, the new insurance company doesn't necessarily have to cover that medication since it is for a pre-existing condition -- before the new insurance kicked in.

And Mary -- I still have some of the seeds you sent last year and just this morning went through them for viability. Thanks, again, for the gift that will keep giving for years!

Poor Ryan! Maybe he can take solace in celebrating his birthday twice? Once on the day and once next week?

V: Your life sounds a tad too interesting lately. Will you be able to see the Seeds of Change facility while in New Mexico? With no idea of how far away it is from Albuquerque, it might be a "take the car for a long drive in the desert" trip but it's one commercial grower I'd really like to see up close and personally.

Marie: I can't begin to imagine the emotions DD and DSiL are having right now. Feels to me like guilt no matter what will come into play -- guilt for being happy there's a new baby without feeling like they're dishonoring Reed. Guilt about remembering Reed when looking at the new baby and surely seeing familiar mannerisms and not wanting to compare..... I'm hopeful that they're still reaching out for help. Sure sounds like they have a lot of friends right there with them and that can only be good.

LOL about Skyler. Betcha DD made him do the laundry again?

Well, Teacher Saucy!! Those 15 folks are so lucky to be able to tap into your talent. Perhaps you could do the leaf casting in your back yard and at the same time get help with the Garden of the Goddesses?

Chelone: Your dog beating stories surely helped me from toppling over when my friend's 120 lb golden retriever decided that jumping on me in delight would work. DOWN!!!!! said me in my most authoritive voice. DOWN when the dog all the way to lying. Humans are in Command!! Yes, my friend, you saved me. LOL

I've now so many packs of zinnia seeds that the entire cul-de-sac may join the cross-continental Zinnia planting party this year. How did I ever miss those lovelies before?

Signs of Spring at the Park with daffs just poking up and most herbaceous perennials crowning (except for the Hostas that just take forever and I always think I lost them). Will wait a few more weeks to bring out della robia and terra cotta containers, but they are ready to roll.

Speaking of March weather, I was told emphatically today by the Iranian refugee who works at the local convenience store (know there's all kinds of preconceptions in that statement but it's the truth ;-) that it was Sheep Time. Huh? A few weeks back during a snowstorm I stopped in and told him that as a fellow New Englander, he needed to understand that March comes In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb. You can take the thought process from there. LOL

Brother news so skip if this is uncomfortable at all..... A State Legislator actually kept is word and visited my DB's hospital on Thursday. He had been there for about an hour and a half when I saw him. To say he was shell-shocked and puzzled would be an understatement, but he made it through the swarm to meet my brother and talked with him for about 15 minutes. I give the Rep every credit in the world for not making a cursory appearance and calling his promise kept. He wanted to know everything about everything, and by the time he left truly understood that $$ saved up front will be spend many times over if folks from the Hospital were displaced into the community. Now we just need to convince the other 100's of people involved in making the decision. He said he would do his "level best" to bring a better understanding and would be glad to advocate for money to be returned to the proposed budget.

So if nothing comes from any of this and the Hospital does close, at least there's one truly good guy in State government and that's more than I could say a month ago. And the beat goes on....

WALATing is definitely on the agenda today, along with a pie (Michelle and I have the same thought -- get rid of the cold weather reminders and clean out the freezer!!!) and then will attempt to get the seed starting area into a semblance of order. Cleaning the grow lights will take a loooooong time since last Spring I convinced myself that this year they could be replaced. Alas, not, but gentle beyond gentle cleaning should bring them up to par.

Wishing everyone well!!


    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 12:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I misread your posting Martie! "I convinced myself that this year they could be replaced". I read it as "I convinced myself that this year could be replaced" and was totally agreeing.

But the sun is still shining, the cat boxes are cleaned, the dishes and laundry are running through their cycles, a phone call was made, half the treadmill bit is accomplished...Now lunch and then some more stuff to do!

Good to see you Drema, Michelle and Martie!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 12:47PM
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A quick howdy before I venture out doors, grocery shopping and TJ's run is done , and in a burst of Zinna solidarity I will sow the Green Envy seeds later this morning.

Martie, Lady Banks has started to bloom, and I have spotted a bud on Reinne des Violettes as well.

Hi to Drema , and greetings to all-time to put on the garden hat and head out

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 1:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

When getting my firewood I heard and saw one of my favorite birds searching for food on the otherside of the woodshed. I was able to get several pics of him. Here is one of the best ( the best my camera can do).

It is a male Towhee.

And here is a patch of some of my favorite Dafs back of the house:

I just walked in the rain up to our mailbox to mail a card and gift check to our middle GD, Brianna. She will be 14 Monday. Now she can legally drive, with a licensed driver with her. Ever since they were big enough to see over the dash, while setting on his lap, Tim has let each of them drive on the dirt county road coming to our house. Naturally that is not advisable...but what can a mother say???

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 1:43PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Marian, lovely Towhee. I saw one here the first year or two we lived here, but none since.

As to the girls driving with Dad up your dirt road...well I'm all for it! DH would practice with the kids in parking lots at parks sometimes. I'd rather that than learning from classmates or boyfriends. DH learned when he was 13 in OK, but that was on their own property. 14 does seem very young though to me. Of course even 20 year olds look 13 to me!

Your daffodils are so pretty! :)

DH and I managed to fill two large garbage bags with give-away clothes from the back closet. We also found the floor after getting rid of old boots and things. I scrubbed it a bit too.

Phoebe was out with DH on her gentle leader while I returned my library book. She was given a HUGE doggie treat at the recycling centre too.

Hope you don't mind me popping in so often. I need a break after each accomplishment today it seems. Wish I could be outside, but more duties are calling my name.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 3:04PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon ... :-)

I wonder how much I can type and keep it under 10 minutes? [g]
Well...I am still in the process of tests and doctor appointments. Trying to get back into shape for gardening season has brought to light the latest problem.....cardiac in nature and kept me overnight at the hospital for a workup. There is now discussion of having a stress test done. *Le grand soupir exaspéré*. On a brighter note, two of our children's birthdays are coming up. We are expecting middle son to be home for a few days with Noodles. Such a treat!

Lots of discussion that I would love to participate in. Very interested in your diet choices since your trip to the naturopath, Gardenbug. I saw you post you are having small small portions and wondering how small and what you are eating these days? I thought it might be fun to start a thread of photos of everyone's breakfasts or lunches for a week. I also wondered how old your son is that lives in Boston, gardenbug? If I were feeling well, I would offer to visit him for you. [g] Our DD is now living in Boston.

Marian that was a nice summary of what the old thread was all about, since I haven't been able to read it. :-) Beau-ti-full daffs!

Mary, I agree that they should not be able to take away accrued days from you that you have already earned. If they are making changes, they should apply to future days only.

No seeds started here, boo-hoo. But I did have someone out to give me an estimate on some pruning and attempts to get the lawn mower blade sharpened are being made.

Wishing to see more pics of West Coast Spring. :-) Especially with that new camera, Kathy. Here is the wallpaper on my desktop these days.....waiting for my own spring photos soon I hope.

Hellos all around!! :-) pm2

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 5:00PM
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I like the activity, 'bug. I always think it's fun to read the little, mundane things people are up to at their homes. I'll bet getting rid of unused clothing and footwear makes you feel 10 lbs. lighter. I can tell you without hesitation that the JulieJob really saved my bacon over the winter, here's hopin' the curative effect works on you, too. Speaking of Julie, where is she?

I've cleaned up after making banana bread and have the butter and eggs coming to room temperature for the creation of a yellow cake later on. I plan to put raspberry preserves between the layers and probably simply dust the top with sifted confectionary sugar (what Mum always called at "Washington Pie"), though I may cave and make just enough buttercream frosting to give it a "hat". I have just finished the chocolate tapioca and it's time to get the B-bread outta the furnace. I have an ulterior motive for this baking crap, you know. If I want to justify a new stove and the longed for grease abatement system I'd best show my mettle in that loathesome little corner of the house. :) Besides there will be hungry little mouths to feed on a certain weekend in July...

There actually was a time in my life when I was a rather good baker. I suppose it appealed to my methodical and precise nature but was quickly abandonned when I began keeping time with accomplished male cooks. Here, I've found the standard tasks of sifting, measuring and sifting again are tedious because there are not adequate mixing bowls. And the Hamilton Beach Skovill "Mixette" is sounding pretty tired as it moans through the "creaming" step. Beating egg whites until "stiff" is an exercise in frustration so my plan is to flesh out the stable of necessary equipment and gradually ease into back into it. If any of you can offer some practical suggestions I'd be interested in them.

Drema, you will get that kitchen painted one of these days. If you lived down the street I'd come over and give you a hand. I really get a kick out of painting (obviously). How long ago was Mikey hit by the car? what were the extent of his injuries (if you don't mind my asking; if you do tell me to MMOB, mind my own business)? My close encounter with an automobile resulted in some truly spectacular bruises and a broken tailbone. OW! I'm envious of the ceramics class, sounds like a lot of fun and I've always thought about it but never done it.

I hope the cold is on the run, Michelle. My boss likes to use the eliptical machine (?) at the gym and she watches some television as a way to get in a good workout. I like the idea of gardening shows while you pedal. I was thinking about you and the mosaics the other day. I keep eyeing the space on the chimney over the stove and wondering what I could fashion to decorate it a bit. I've toyed with a mirror cut in an interesting shape (if they can do that) and then fooling around with etching cream or something along those lines. Rolling work tables have been on my mind for some time now. I'm shooting for a series of them that can reconfigured in a variety of ways to meet different needs from cutting to supporting the work around the machine to be used for a the task at hand. Good, sturdy metal legs with good wheels are going to be key and probably rather expensive. Lesigh. Chuckled too about Kenzie is full princess mode... I always smile when I see a little kid mincing around with a crown on her head. Too funny.

OK, I think the pall bearers have arrived for the Sony. I can't believe it! The visiting hours are over and now it's time "wake" the thing with appropriate zeal.

Lovely daffodils, Marian. And I had to really look for the Towhee in your picture. What a sensational looking bird, he's beautiful.

I have to get some baking powder and some waxed paper, so I'm outta here. I'll leave the menfolk to their task with the TV. Hi Martie!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 5:05PM
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RIP Mr Sony, your're going to a better place.

Have you ever noticed that when shovel edgeing the beds for the first time in spring they mysteriously get bigger ???

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 5:58PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, the Towhee is rather camouflaged in my pic. Below is a very good link that you may be interested in. I wish Deanne had been here with her camera to get a professional pic of him.

Normally they arrive in the spring, but he has been here all winter. If there is a female also, I haven't seen her yet.

I am using the name "Towhee" as my posting name on the other forum that I post on. I have a pic of the male on my member page. He is a lot prettier than the female. ;-)

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 6:23PM
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We dont have Towhees here in Napa Marian, at least Ive never seen one when my BILs lived at the coast they were in a forested area (this was about 3 hours drive NW of here) they had many of them. I always enjoyed seeing them , such pretty birds. Our daffodils here are just about done for- but the tulips are budding up now -I only have a few . 14 year old drivers ?? yikes.

I finally dug up the Moonbean Coreopsis, which I have not been happy with for several years, its just so floppy ! Its spread too, so it was taking up valuable real estate that could be put to much better use Zinnias perhaps ? I repaired one of my wood planter boxes today that usually sports a couple of Coleus and Ipomea , and moved some stuff around on the patio. Things are in readiness, but a bit of caution prevails as frost is still common in March , a month that is either cold and sunny or grey and damp.

I m not accustomed to reading of complex kitchen tasks performed by Chelone. I have no doubt that you are up to the challenge ! Are there perhaps implements packed away somewhere at THTTF ? My kitchen is very small and Ive had to be creative with storage solutions, and number one was getting rid of all the crapola I never use. I like to use stainless steel bowls ;they come in many sizes, theyre lightweight, they dont break and are easy to clean. Those that I have were very inexpensive, and have lasted for years .

bug youve had a very productive day ! The old clothes purge can be quite gratifying.

Good for Mr. Legislator Martie ! One always wants to hope there are at least a decent percentage of public servants that actually give a damn, and have not let power corrupt their judgment.

And Michelle, what is presently the décor on the columns flanking your front entry ?

As per PM and others request, a spring preview from today, practice shots with the new camera, taken in the safety of the point and shoot mode !

A flower bud peeks out of the new growth on Reine des Violettes

Clematis 'Ramona' who was pruned to a fare-thee-well this winter and still lives to tell of it.

Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet'

Autumn Joy

The roses are all leafed out-I just love this stage even though flowerless, they are full of promise.This is Sun Flare with Just Joey in the background.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 8:09PM
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Well, I am stopping back in:)
Chelone-I don't mind talking about Mike's accident. Mikey was hit by a car while walking home from school when he was in 8th grade. I guess that would make it 9 or 10 years ago. He was out of school the rest of the year. It was the first day of nice weather and a high school senior girl was the driver. He was life flighted to a trauma center.There were a number of accidents that day and the doctor told me that it happens every spring. The Ortho surgeon was there all night working on other kids. Mike had a compound fracture of his lower leg that eventually had to have a number of surgeries over a period of time. It wasn't fused after a year and they finally had to put in a rod. Now he is fine, but he has a huge lump on his leg where the bone calcified. He had a smaller injury to his arm and elbow which required pins at the time and healed fine. I was always thankful that he didn't have spinal injuries. You are baking up a storm at your house. What kind of stove are you thinking of? What is a grease abatement system? I have been dreaming of granite counter tops and an open kitchen forever. But there is something to be said about my old grandma cabinets, too.

Marian your daffodils are beautiful! Towhee is not bad either:)

PM2 I love your desktop wallpaper. Do you know the name of the plant?

Hi Babs! Hope your little guy is feeling better. If you want to get together sometime, just let me know. I am out and about a lot. We could meet for lunch or wander through some garden centers when the weather warms up if you like.

Skip is watching Clash of the Titans and I am trying to stay awake. Previously he watched a science fiction channel movie about crocodiles. He has been working hard the past month, and I think the mindless TV is helping him recharge his battery. He had left over roast beef and mashed potatoes, I am going to make some popcorn, black bean and corn salsa along with blue corn tortilla chips that have sesame seeds. I love the sesame seeds. Nice dinner:)

Nite to all!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 8:38PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, I sure hope the cardiac problems are easily fixed! I had a stress test a few years ago. Passed it in flying colors. Apparently my chest pain was, and still is, from the fibromyalgia, and from acid reflux.
There is a lot more of interest in that old thread than what I mentioned, but I understand your not being up to reading it all.

Marie, I sure would be happy if I could scare up enough ambition to weed out my clothes closets. I would have bags and bags of stuff, including shoes, to donate to a thrift shop.

Chelone, your raspberry filled cake is slightly like the fruit bars that I cooked,. They are raspberry filled. Nolon seems to prefer them over the cakes ( both unfrosted) . One is a Devil's Food, the other is Butter Pecan. I am enjoying the second one, with Butter Pecan Ice Cream on it.:-)
BTW, I agree that you need a new washing machine. Mine is over 15 years old, and needs replaced, mostly because the agitator no longer agitates. :-(
LOL...."pall bearers for the Sony". My old and new TVs are both Sonys.

WOW! Kathy. Your pics are great! And a Viburnun yet...they are my favorite shrubs, and I have several differant species/varieties. My Autumn Joy seems to be fizzling out. Maybe last year was too wet??

Marie, it isn't just our driveway Tim lets the girls drive on. It is the entire 2 miles of county road before getting to our driveway, and it is not a straight road. I have seen very bad accidents of such county roads. The one setting on his lap is not strapped in either. Yes, 14 is very young, but not as bad as the practice of allowing 6 year olds to hunt! That is very common here. Every year there are page after page in the local newspaper of the children with their deer or turkey.
Okay, I will get off my soap box on that issue....


    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 8:57PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A quick good morning from me. Yesterday was quite the long day yet again, and I'm afraid that I "crashed and burned" at the end of the day. I left early in the morning to drive to Dixon, IL where I did two hour-long presentations. I did take the scenic route home and this year remembered the camera. I'll post a few photos from the side trip later. I got home to find all the kids home. I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies (Chelone, I strongly recommend dropping the dollars on a Kitchen Aid mixer, it will be at your wake and not vice versa) and then helped DD2B assemble wedding invitations until dinner time. In between, I stressed about DD's continuing fever, DD2B's knee injury (she's on crutches and wearing a knee brace), my unwashed laundry (kids have taken over the washer and dryer) and the need to shop for various and sundry items to keep this household humming. Oy! It will all get done, but I'm not sure how or when.

Time to hit the shower, but I do have to post just one photo for Mary. When I pulled into the parking lot of the state park, this was the first thing I saw. It's a tree stump that has been carved, but I could not help laughing out loud at the sight.

Enjoy your Sunday!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 7:32AM
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The galley (a nautical term for a kitchen, bathrooms are called "heads". BTW) in our home is very small. And I like it that way. I'm all for containment since I'm the one who does the lion's share of the cleaning. That's only fair since the helpmeet takes care of the marketting and the cooking. There is a Kenmore refrigerator that's pushing 15 yrs. old and the stove is an apartment sized gas model (24") by Premier that is 25 yrs. old. The "grease abatement system" is the range hood, Drema. And I used that term loosely, lol. It has one of those removeable filters (that never gets removed) a two speed fan and a defunct light, that piece of equipment is probably from the early '70s and was salvaged by my late FIL from one of his architectural rehabs.. The 2 bay stainless steel sink was a freebie from my father. There is no cabinetry, only open shelves that were one of the helpmeet's first woodworking projects. And that is the extent of our kitchen appliances and amenities, unless of course you count the "microwave", a Black Angus toaster oven/broiler that was acquired with S&H Greenstamps in the mid-60s. No kidding.

We moved into this house on an absolute shoestring budget. The walls were sheetrocked and we had doors on the one operable bathroom but that was the extent of it. We have done every bit of the finish work by ourselves, learning and paying as we went. The kitchen is the last vestige of that time and it is perfectly serviceable, no doubt about it. But it's time to give it some attention and I've been lobbying for it for a couple of years now. The range hood is ineffective and consequently coooking smells linger and the inevitable film of mung produced adheres to everything. This bothers me more than it does the helpmeet since it tends to fall to me to keep it under a modicum of control. The scope of projects tends to overwhelm him more than they do me, probably because my work involves looking at a project, organizing it, then breaking it down into manageable portions. And this is where his latent MCP rears its ugly head (male chauvinist pig); he balks, takes on a knowing, slightly condescending, paternalistic tone and generally makes a mountain out of what really is nothing more than a molehill. I do not have designs on very high end appliances, nor do I care that much about expensive cabinetry or countertops. My goal is to have an effective, smoothly functioning range hood and a new, full size gas stove. So, I'm making my move on his "territory" and have begun patiently putting together a plan one that can be implemented in stages. I had to "shut up and put up" for the years Mum was here and that part of my life is all finished now. The status quo is no longer working for me with respect to household amenities. I have decided it's time for action on this front and have spoken with my brother about enlisting his services for some of this and he seems receptive. We think similarly about projects and work well together. He will take the time to go over my plan, asking questions about things I may've overlooked, and will assign me work that is within my skill set and will make his part of it easier. We will have a lot of laughs in the process, I'll learn something new and something that has been a burr under my saddle for years now will be eliminated. Time to "quit wishin' and start doin'"!

The Sony has been borne to its bier in the bahn where it awaits the final journey to the transfer station in April. I went to the storage locker yesterday and returned with the Toshiba that has replaced it in the living room. There was some initial panic from the helpmeet about the necessity of a remote control for it, but I produced not only that, but the owner's manual, as well. He voluntarily cleaned the tv, the dvd player, and the dreadful stand that houses them, too. Even the helpmeet proclaimed that the size of the Toshiba is "less intimidating"... looks like we're makin' progress you guys. :)

The layers of the cake came out lopsided and that disappointed me because clearly one side will be drier than the other. The stove is not level evidently, as the helpmeet commented that his brownies are always thinner on one end than the other. I requested that that be corrected either this evening or tomorrow when he's not working. I'm fine with "makin' do" but the equipment needs to at least be properly adjusted and in good working order.

OK, I have to get crackin' on household chores now as I have company coming later on this morning and the place has taken on the grey tone a coating of pet fur lends everything. I need to invest in a good mixer, you guys. I'd prefer a hand model, I think, mostly because counter space is at a premium here, but would entertain a larger model if you think it's warranted. Can you give me manufacturer recommendations and an idea of price points?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 7:38AM
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Magnificent V!!!

Back later to chat.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:28AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - I second the recommendation for a KitchenAid stand mixer. Expensive, but worth the price! The dough hook is particularly valuable - makes making dog cookies easy :-) And the wire wisk makes whipping egg whites much easier than with a hand mixer (but the important thing in both cases is making sure the bowl has no trace of either grease or detergent...)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:37AM
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Your lakeside carving got a good laugh out of me, V. Sounds like you have a house full! I hope your daughter starts to perk up soon....I've had walking pneumonia and it's not something I bounced right back from! Glad you got her home safe and sound :)

I want a Kitchen Aid! I think I could get really creative with cooking :) Chelone, check out your local scratch n' dent for a new stove - I always look there first :) It's nice to have a 3rd opinion in your brother.

Kathy, I'm insanely jealous of your spring greenery! and a rose bud to boot! Poking around here yesterday, signs of life were there, but you had to go rooting around for them :)

GB, the vinegar shot is not half bad....problem is I can't remember what I read that made me think I wanted to take a shot of vinegar. Does it help with lost thoughts, lol?

I grabbed some Zinnia seeds yesterday, I'm going to sow them today. I couldn't pass up the thought of Green Envy planted with an annual blue/purple salvia....I think in the bee garden! Hopefully I can grow something under lights :)

Well, I'm off....don't know what I'm going to do, but I'll be doing it outdoors :)


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 9:37AM
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Good Morning, Spring has decided to arrive a few days early for a preview at our house! It felt great yesterday afternoon to get outside and get the front gardens all tidied up. And more great weather through Tuesday to look forward to.

V, your photo gave me a good laugh. And it brought back good memories of IU3 in Eileen's garden.

Michelle, I did get the Red Lime seeds. I'm going to split the package and send some to you. You'll do a much better job of growing them than me.

Chelone, I have a standmixer and a handheld one and use both depending on what I'm mixing. My standmixer is a Sunbeam Mixmaster that I chose just because I like the vintage look of it. If I were serious about it I would have gotten a KitchenAide though. Jennifer has the KA and absolutely loves it. On the tv front, as much as I fought getting the flat screen, I've got to say that having the tv hanging on the wall instead of taking up floorspace is really nice. Brad's a new technology kinda guy so, wasteful as it is, I have to admit that we've replace 3 perfectly good tvs in the last year with flat screens. We gave the old ones away to people who were happy to get them though so I guess it's all good :) I don't think I've told you how much I like your finished floor. Can't wait to see the salon all put back together and finished now.

Brad doesn't drink his vinegar as a shot but mixed into a bottle of water. Drinking a shot would definitely clear your sinuses I would think. And your brain it would seem according to Saucy :)

Babs, bummer that Ryan got sick for his birthday. Loved hearing your menu though. It made me want Mexican food too. And with a margarita or two of course!

Drema, good to see lots of news from you. Your pottery class sounds like such fun. I love to do stuff like that too. I've done the ceramics thing but never pottery. Maybe I'll have to look into that.

Mary, so sorry to hear about the cuts to your job. I get really frustrated about the health care thing too. Megan has to pay for her own insurance for her and Bella which is a big chunk of her income since she's a single mom. She called to make an appointment for Bella's yearly physical and they said she would have to wait a couple of months for her insurance to cover it. Now if she didn't work so hard and got government assistance I'm sure she would have had a free visit with no questions asked. Not fair!

I enjoyed reading the list of the seeds you've started Mary. I have a couple of boxes of seeds that I need to go through. And I guess I should get going on those zinnia seeds this week too. Hope things are steadily improving for David!

Kathy, I'm jealous of all that spring green in your photos. I did see lots of little green things poking up yesterday in my garden too though which makes me very happy!

This morning is flying by so I need to go get some household chores out of the way and get out in the garden.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 10:31AM
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Coffee at the ready and I await a bit more light to head downtown with CNC (Cool New Camera) to take some more pics of buildings. It's a bit overcast this morning so light will be subdued and its not freezing out.

Chelone, Kitchen Aids website offers factory reconditioned stand mixers , at less $$ than the newbies.

Yay, Saucys planting Zinnias ! I'm going to start another batch of the Cactus flowered today, I have an idea for the 'hell strip' that with accomodate more of them.

back later !....

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 10:43AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Drema...no, I didn't know the name of that plant and was hoping someone here might know. It looks a little aggressive to me, I wonder. Very cute.

Kathy...I am as envious as Saucy of your spring greens. I always think how healthy everything looks and wonder if you have some special secret. I know you are organic, but...still, you must have something up your sleeve. :-) Thinking the bud on the rose is early, no?

Chelone...we had an old Sunbeam from MIL but it conked out quite soon after we got it. We don't do a lot of baking so an inexpensive hand mixer has always seemed to do for us. We also use one of those submersible hand blenders that I scoffed at when our DS brought it home, but later had to change my tune. It replaces a blender quite nicely for us. The only other piece of equipment we have is a small junior food processor that works great for certain things and takes up less space, cleans up in a snap. If I were planning on baking a lot, I would definitely go with the professional KitchenAid mixers with the dough hook etc.

Marian, glad you were able to pass your stress test. A wonderful reassurance. You must be doing something right. :-)

DH and I went out briefly and he started some of the garden clean up this morning, while I sat in the sun. Not a bad deal. [g]

Happy Sunday...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 11:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Waiting for things to warm up so I can prune more clematis. Our first robin has appeared and Phoebe is barking furiously at birds. What a goof.

PM, here's the deal with food. I get 5 "meals" per day. I have a shot of cider vinegar 15 minutes before the 3 main ones. I have loads of supplements for my gut as well as a very expensive meal replacement which I take once a day (around 4pm) So that leaves me with breakfast (berries, almonds and 1 protein, usually 4% cheese)- at 11am I take a couple of tablespoons of fiber, then lunch (soup or salad)- then dinner which is whatever remains from my list, such as legumes, vegetables, possibly a protein. What with exercising 3 times a day there's hardly time to LIVE!

Martie, you are right about the conflicting emotions surrounding the baby's birth. It is that and more. With a raging ex-wife in the mix, life is stressful (hence the smoker) and DD does her best to be calm, happy sensible. She makes a great effort to stand back from the negative and enjoy friends and family life. Indy dog is glued to her side these days which is a big comfort.

Last night a friend was celebrating her 49th birthday. I never would have guessed, though her oldest child is 19...It's been ages since I've been out with "The Girls" except for book club. I think that women together are amazing and have a very special humor and emotional bond.

In the kitchen I am an antique Chelone. I use an egg beater- hand held! This is really funny because all the boyfriends and girlfriends who have trotted through our kitchen in the last 10+ years have had to ask me what the heck it is! Occasionally I use a blender. I also have a cocoa maker thanks to Eden's raves, but it isn't getting used because of the diet. I also have a bread machine but really don't enjoy the bread it produces. (And with the diet, I am eating no bread.)Oh, and we have a neat waffle maker thanks to DSIL and I guess that's what I use the most, especially when company is here. Our stove top and ovens were here when we moved in, and are of 80s vintage. This means we live in terror....In former homes we had the 24" range and found it just fine...even cooked 25lb turkeys in it. I do prefer having the two ovens I have now so I can prepare things at different temperatures simultaneously.

I've signed up for a 2 hour photo class later this month, with a friend who teaches at the Center for the Arts in town. It is called "People and Portraits" and I'm hoping for some hints on using my camera and on taking indoor baby shots.

Knitting the neck to the tiny sweater still, then I'll just have to whip up the seams.

Spring is coming...there are flies and ladybugs on our window sills!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 11:51AM
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Speaking of "the Girls," I was recounting some idyll detail probably related to healthcare to Marty, and he was asking for context, like "Who are you talking about? Where did you hear this?" In frustration, I blurted out, "You know, the girlfriend channel!" Immediate recognition (and a smile) spread over his face...

I fall into the camp (and sometimes it feels like camping!) of the less-is-more kitchen gadgetry. Do have the ginormous Kitchen Aid mixer tho and pull it out from deep storage for the holiday baking mostly. Marty woke up yesterday and said he dreamt the kitchen ceiling fell in while a neighbor was visiting. When home renovation projects are haunting your dreams, it might be time to step up. Nasty cracks criss-cross the ceiling (possibly earthquake of '33?), but we are loathe to dry wall the old plaster ceiling so mainly keep our heads down ;) I was thinking of the faux antique tin tiles to cover it up...or we could repair the old plaster...or just throw a sheet of dry wall up, which is probably what will happen. There are very few original plaster walls left, and all other ceilings have been dry-walled. I have a shocking tolerance for decreptitude and get overly sentimental about this house as far as updating it.

Finished the transcipt last night, made a black bean/chicken quesadilla, grabbed a Harps lager and the movie Synecdoche (sp) and tucked in the bedroom. Marty on night shift so Ein was my date (too bad I can't smuggle him into movie theaters!). Syned. directed by Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) is unrelentingly, shockingly dark...but I totally "click" with Kaufman's ruminations which mainly concern identity, the fleetingness of existence, with lots of hypochondria thrown in, all wrapped up in a theater/playacting metaphor, lol. Doesn't get an idyll thumb's up, and I wouldn't even want Duncan to see it, but apart from the hypochondria, there is some angst kinship there for me. I'm probably one of the few people that actually liked his movie Adaptation based on The Orchid Thief.

Chelone's baking marathon brought a smile. Had me thinking that actions are the best communicator, and how often when we aim to convey a big point, we find such ways to get them across rather than use words...

That's one "potent" sculpture, V!

Martie, appreciate the update on your bro. It's so exciting to hear spring stirring for everyone. Hopefully we can bury some woe in the garden this spring. Works for me! I was weeding nutgrass out of the front garden earlier today, where rupifragum poppies and erodium seed rampantly into the gravel. In a weak, garden-starved moment around December/Jan, I thought it'd be great to let all the multitudes of seedlings grow rather than thin them...of course, now it's a madhouse. Once the erodium gets a sheet of bloom going, I'm grabbing the camera for a photo then yanking the lot of them, but I've been getting error messages when uploading new pix to photobucket lately. Here's the seedlings from back in Dec. Stay tuned...

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 2:26PM
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Im in the Kitchen Aid camp even though I dont bake a lot anymore. I have the cheapest one they make and DH got an employee discount on it at the time we got it. I do love it though. One of my favorite things to do with it is make real whip cream and not have to stand and hold the mixer.

Denise, have you considered a beadboard ceiling? The 4 x 8 sheets would be easy to put up.

Eden, that is so sweet.

Chelone, I find it interesting that the helpmeet being the cook doesnt want an upgraded kitchen. I dont relish cooking but find it more pleasant with an adequately outfitted kitchen with an nice amount of space to work on.

As for flat screen TVs we now own 3 and I could have done without them.

Marian, your daffs are so cheerful.

Drema, the pottery class sounds like so much fun. So does Saucys tuffa class.

Kathy, I still have the Christmas lanterns and greenery on the columns for lack of something better for winter. Im searching for the perfect containers and having problems. Everything seems too tall. Id like something short and squat. Im enjoying your spring and hoping for ours to arrive soon.

Im thinking I need to talk a walk outside and enjoy the warm air and sunshine.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 3:36PM
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