Idyll #369 - Growin' of the Green

ctlavluvrMarch 16, 2008

In celebration of the Emereld Isle plants ..... :-)

Carry on .....


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Which is not to be confused with "spahkin' the green", I presume? ;)

'bug., clearly you know better than to hold your breath waiting for pictures of still nascent stencils. I will make an effort to post pictures when there is something worth posting. If the truth be told, I'm still sorting through pictures taken, unnamed, and overwhelming the capacity of this machine. Bad me!

It's snowing now, but the pretty flakes drifting toward the ground aren't sticking. It's chilly and raw, but I fired up the stove and it's cozy inside. Polly is grooming her paddy-paws (she caught a very fat vole this mornining and I think Rex ate it). Daddy is home from work and the market, groceries are stowed, and peace has descended the compound...

We will probably begin splitting wood tomorrow. A morning's worth of work for the next few weeks should pretty much set us up for the next 2-3 winters. It's a nice time to be outdoors, too. Important to keep a nice, snug, "pea cap" at the ready... right, Saucy? :)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 2:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

In March the wind blows down the door
and spills my soup upon the floor.
It laps it up
and roars for more.
Blowing once
blowing twice
blowing chicken soup
with rice.
Maurice Sendak

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 2:55PM
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"Are you wearing your bissies?" ("bissies" was the family term for slippers and Mum and Dad always asked us that question if we were sick and appeared without them).

Feeling better? or on your way to "the can, man"?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 3:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just dizzy and head achy today. Think we'll take Phoebe for a drive in a few minutes. She needs social experiences! She's quite the wild number though. Teaching with OFF and OUCH is a slow process....At least when you're feeling fragile.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 3:20PM
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Send her to the compound, 'bug. We'll beat it into her in a day/two.

Take care of YOU. Bein' sick sucks, huh? (are you wearing your "bissies"?).

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 3:36PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, I am dizzy and headachy today also, but am blaming it on my new med. Maybe it isn't?? My tummy is a wee bit yucky also.:-(

I have got so many laughs and chuckles from the latest posts...mostly Chelone's. What a card! Even Nolon chuckled at some that I read to him.

My computer would not even open Google yesterday afternoon or early this afternoon...then the last thread ( with 104 posts and all those pics) opened in record speed awhile ago. If that is not the internet connection I don't know what it is? ( Denise ?)

I am going to call the phone company tomorrow and have a separate line put in for the computer, and a new phone box on the side of our house, I hope that will cure the problem.

LOL, Marie, I love your poem.

Mary, I feel for your discomfort on the prospect of moving so far. When we moved from Idaho to Arkansas our only child was an adult, and married. It 'was' hard on me moving so far from all I'd ever known. ( It was 1600 miles by road.) ( I am trying to figure out the 1000 miles you mentioned. Apparently it will not be all the way West...
But it wasn't nearly as hard as it would be to uproot your children. (As you all know, Tim ended up moving back here too.That is a long story...)

Marie and is my Amaryllis' bloom...


    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 4:15PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello again... :-)

Gray out there today, BUT...made it to the Pond, two days in a row...AND...I saw little red buds sprouting on the roses we planted last year! AND...saw all manner of birds at the feeder earlier in the week. Red winged blackbird, tufted titmice, woodpeckers, 3 robins among the regulars...first of the spring! No Cadbury bars being eaten here, BUT....due to undue influence, quite a few Peeps. :-)

Does anyone listen to Eric Clapton? Importing the Unplugged album, I heard the song Malted Milk for the first time...

I keep drinking malted milk, trying to drive my blues away.
I keep drinking malted milk, trying to drive my blues away.
Baby, you're just as welcome to my loving as the flowers are in May.

Malted milk, malted milk, keep rushing to my head.
Malted milk, malted milk, keep rushing to my head.
And I have a funny, funny feeling and I'm talking all out my head.

Baby, fix me one more drink and hug your daddy one more time.
Baby, fix me one more drink and hug your daddy one more time.
Keep on stirring my malted milk, mama, until I change my mind.

Maybe it was Easter time when he was writing this song? [g] Anyone remember Ovaltine? Wasn't that Malted Milk?

Still feeling the need for a little humor after wrestling with the new and old computer for the past five days, and it sounds like a few of you could use some too..... :-)

Hope you are feeling better G'bug!

How did I miss Mr Baby's name?! Wow, the important stuff you miss when you scan. lol Such a nice name, and different too!

LTC insurance...none here, wish our parents had it. :-) Probably out of our price range at this point.

Michelle that photo with everyone in chairs from IU3 is so funny. Great idea for a shot. I can see one of the backs of the chairs, does seem to be one of those retro metal chairs. lol

Pet medical costs...does anyone have pet medical insurance? If we got another pet, it would only be with pet insurance. Our last pet required meds for the last three years due to Epilepsy then a very expensive experimental medicine for the last 6 months of his life. Out of pocket really adds up.

Looking forward to Decorated Dining Room photos from you, Sue! We are also loving being able to walk after work again...really missed the Pond and daylight! Chelone, Love stencils!

Kathy, you must be so phsyched about finally getting to 'showing' the house! Boy, all the organization, and renovations, and cleaning!! You are going to be in the best shape of your I haven't even gotten around to the sorting and throwing out phase, let alone cleaning. Waiting to hear that you have your first appointment to show it.

You are re-listening to all the Beatles songs? I don't know if you ever catch American Idol but last week's show, all the contestants were singing Beatle songs. This week they will be doing it again, after a LOT of email asking for more.

Mary...can I move to your house? [g] Sincerely hope there will be more to buy than your initial investigation revealed.

Martie...Wow, on your parents hitting 51 years too this year! I can understand not wanting a big bash. They are so lucky to have been together so long. Great that you have your seeds started. I still have some winter sown containers in the yard, but never got around to what I would have liked to have sown, had I been able to continue. I hope I will get a chance in the next month to add more.

Wonderful that Ky is about done with school. DD just graduated last year. Still have one in sophmore year. Don't you just love those 'working things out' conversations? Not my idea of fun. They make me feel like a limp dishrag. :-) Hope it resolves for you soon. DD is home with us for the time being but starting to think about her own place soon. We are enjoying having her here. She can be a ray of sunshine sometimes and she is a great cook too! lol

There's a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, getting the new computer up and running. Still have a ways to go and not even thinking about when I will get the printer connected, since I am not sure where it is going, but I do have my priorities and had to spend a few hours importing some tunes. [g]

Ok, I am as caught up as I am going to be. I am running so long, I don't dare even refresh. Hello to everyone...


    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 5:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Chelone, so unromantic to say, but I need my arches under my I wear my sandals around the house. But they have been WET because I run out periodically to walk Phoebe. This afternoon she met Sky, a young teen who loved her. Then she met two Bichon neighbours and their owner, as well as got to watch busy traffic and a parking lot by the grocery store. So an eventful afternoon and she is now napping. She responded well to everything.

I thought I posted this before. I guess I am going crazy...

Here is a link that might be useful: vet costs

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Back from taking Bella to see Horton Sees A Who. It was her first theatre movie, she'd been to a couple of plays though. My favorite line from the movie was "They eat rainbows and poop butterflies".

Kathy, forgot to mention how much I like Aiden's name. I still think of him as Mr. B though.

Marie, hope you're feeling up to snuff soon! Sounds like Miss Phoebe is more of a handful than Charlotte was? That's how I feel about Bella compared to raising my kids, lol. Then I think that maybe it's just me and I don't have the energy I had back in the day.

Chelone, can't wait to see the finished salon. I used to do alot of stenciling on walls and furniture. I think all I have left is the border in the kitchen.

Sue, I knew someone years ago who's husband still lived with her for years after their divorce even though they were both in new relationships. Be careful:)

Cynthia, I don't think I told you how sorry I am to hear that Katie's not continuing to improve. Loved the pictures of her and her crew of guards.

Time to crack open a bottle of wine. It's was a long week. I haven't quite felt spring in the air here yet. Soon I hope!


    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 7:07PM
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Well, I got about 90% of what I wanted to do done, but no more for today ! Still a few windows left to do , and the dining room floor . Im pooped ! It was a beautiful day today too, but I was stuck upstairs cleaning , gazing longingly out the window upon occasion. :- (

Marian, I have no luck with Amaryllis for some reason, but havenÂt tried one in a few years. Yours is mighty pretty.I used to have a dedicated phone line for my computer but I switched over to wireless DSL a few years ago. I never regretted and donÂt think IÂm paying much more now than I used to.

PM, I Âve been re- watching the Beatles Anthology . I hadnÂt seen it since it ran on TV ÂI think its been at least 6 years. I donÂt see American Idol as I rarely if ever watch TV now, except for baseball during the season. IÂve been getting the Anthology discs from Netflix. I was a major Beatle-maniac type kid, though I was not into screaming and fainting !

Eden I still think of him as Mr Baby tooÂspeaking of which Â

And heres a couple of spring shots I snuck out and took yesterday when I was supposed to be cleaning

Buds on the sweetpeas..

Festive Feesias

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 8:38PM
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Mr Baby Aiden is very handsome Kathy.

Just waving hi to all. I'm hopelessly behind.

Thinking of your plight Mary. It sounds very unsettling.

Sending good vibes for Katie Cynthia.

I'll try to catch up another day. I am nodding to all when I get a chance to read. I'm immersed in the depths of the basement storage area. What a mess.

Hope everyone not feeling well perks up soon. I have had some yucky days too. Later norma

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 9:33PM
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Mr baby is a beauty - you've been holding out on us Kathy! I went to At Aidan's College at Durham University and visited the Isle of Lindisfarne from whence he came. I love the name.

Marian - I too have an Amaryllis in bloom and it is lifting my spirits. Hope yours is too and you and Bug are soon feeling better, and that the new meds help.

PM - Ovalatine is still popular in England. I adore the kissing monkeys:0)

To lift myself out of my funk I spent the afternoon making a batch of my favorite Oxford English marmalade. I like to chop the orange peel into the thinnest slivers, add molasses for a dark flavor and snuck a little of DH's Single Malt for smokyness and extra kick. Mmmm - I'm looking forward to breakfast tomorrow.

I'm also moving through all the emotions regarding our possible change to the point where I can confront the situation calmly and assess how to make the best of it. I'm sure there will be a lot of limbo time until anything is finalized, but being part of the decision making process helps (as does the chocolate).

Nite all,


    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 10:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Orange peel dipped in chocolate is pretty wonderful too Mary.

I hope I sleep as soundly as Mr B tonight. To think Reed was that size just 9 months ago...

Eden, I think Phoebe is quite the energetic pup. Charlotte was much easier...and I was 10 years younger. Hmmmm.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 10:32PM
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Well, we finally get to meet the young lad hes sweet as can be.

On the way home from church this a.m. we spotted a bald eagle. Ive never seen one around here, although after reading in my bird book, I believe I have seen some juveniles, which I thought, were hawks of some kind. I didnt realize that they dont get their white head and tail until they are 4-5 years old.

Mary, my heart goes out to you and your family as you make this difficult decision. We moved when my DD was going into 5th grade and DS was going to be a freshman. It wasnt nearly as far, but still a new area and new schools. They adjusted well.

I stenciled my kids rooms back in the 80s when they were young.

bug, I hope you are feeling much better soon.

My amaryllis is long done and the paper whites never did a thing. The hyacinth is just beginning to send up a shoot, maybe it will do something for me.

I went shopping yesterday. I bought a pedestal sink for our laundry. There really isnt room for a true laundry sink. It should be interesting to install. I also went to Hobby Lobby and got some cool garden stuff 50% off. Most of it is for the childrens garden. I had wanted to find a bell for the playhouse and found a cool one with a tractor on it. It rings nice and loud. What kid doesnt like to ring a bell? I figure I will go ahead with the garden even if Kenzie wont be around. Hopefully, she will be able to visit and maybe move back one day.

The guestroom is finished except a new window treatment. Im thinking of a fabric roman shade. Im not fond of anything more than valances normally, as I love to see out to the countryside. I figure the roman shade gives privacy if needed. I looked at fabric yesterday but decided at the moment I have too many projects going on. Here are a few pictures of the room just waiting for guests. The dresser and side table were maple furniture I bought in college.

I wanted some cheap artwork so I blew up a favorite of Kenzie in the garden and changed it to black and white.

I started painting in the laundry room and Im not sure I like the color. Ill let it grow on me a bit.

A little disaster tonight, I heard some hissing from the refrigerator. It was the pipe for the ice maker leaking. Im glad we caught it quickly.

I think Ill go have a Cadbury and commiserate with Mary.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 11:42PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oooohh....Mr Baby finally showed up! Kathy, he is just so sweet and looking so peaceful! Someone certainly wrapped him in coziness plus. How is your daughter doing? Is she feeling well and getting any sleep? I imagine you will be seeing him soon and that should be a once in a lifetime experience! :-)

So, you are 'watching' the Beatles. I don't think I have seen a Beatles Anthology on film. I must have missed that. I keep hearing you mention Netflix and I am starting to think I need to check that out. Lately, we find ourselves looking for a movie on PPView and not caring for the selection. The photo of your tulips and sweet peas really look like spring. I haven't grown either, but certainly think I am missing out! :-) I tried sweet pea in a container but they didn't look that fat and happy. I don't have a lot of full sun but I will have to give them another try. Thanks for the spring green!

Speaking of green...Happy St Patrick's Day to all!

Some Irish green to start your day off...

Norma...nice to see you, but sorry to hear you are under the weather. April will be here soon and maybe a few chances to open some windows and get rid of the winter germs. My mother used to tell us stories of what her Mom would do when they were small. When anyone was sick, they would cover them with lots of goose down quilts and open all the windows for a half hour every day to air the room out. Then in the spring, they did amazingly thorough spring cleaning. They even took apart the mattresses that were filled with goose down and washed the covers and put them back together again after they dried on the line in the sun. Germs didn't have a I'm waiting for the first chance to open all the windows and turn on the attic fan. I should be in the basement or the garage too Norma, that is next on my list. :-)

Mary, I didn't realize Ovaltine was still around. I will have to see if I see it at the store. Glad you liked the monkeys, we do monkeys on greeting cards around here a lot. One of my all time favorite commercial was of the Red Rose tea ad of the monkey band playing the Red Rose Tea jingle. [g] Your marmalade recipe sounds amazing. I am a marmalade fan. How large a batch do you make?

Michelle...bald eagles in! I would love to see that. Glad to hear they are increasing in numbers.

It is just dawning on me that Kenzie is actually already in Florida and the move seems to be a done deal, is that right Michelle? I'm so sorry, you must be missing her like crazy! Plans for a garden for her not quite the same, BUT, maybe it will do you both good to go ahead and finish it. You can also send her lots of photos of it as you go along. I just LOVE that photo of Kenzie!

Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be sunny today and warm enough to get some pruning done!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 6:33AM
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Wow, now Michelle's advertising the Idyll B&B! I want to come stay, too! The picture of Kenzie was a great idea!

Happy St. Patrick's day....hope my kids don't get pinched, though I don't think they do that here :) I remember the horror of showing up to school wearing no green!

GB, I don't envy your morning rushes to the frigid's cold here this morning! The winds are howling, too.

Well, as I sat here typing work got started early....gotta go start the day.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:20AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good morning to everyone! A lovely sunny day here but brrrr woke up to low 20s and a brisk wind.

Michelle, sorry but I missed the mildew question. I had a problem with it on some of my outside plants in the late summer but have never had a problem on the indoors plants. I used a Garden Safe product for mildew, insects and mites for the mildew when it showed up in summer. It does a great job and its also safe for houseplants. ~~ Your guest room looks mighty inviting. I really need to see if we can swing a trip out your way this summer. Id love to see your gardens.

Kathy, your house must be squeaky clean by now! I sure hope that wherever you move to will have had as much attention as youve given your home. ~~~ Just love the spring shots and great pic of Mr. B. ~~ I thought of you last night, Doug and I opened an 03 Spring Mountain Cabernet. Oooo la la! Was that ever fabu! It was a Christmas gift and I didnt have a clue as to what it was until I took my first sip then almost swooned. I just love good red!

Marian, lovely amaryllis! Yes, I still have my orchids. I did lose two or three in the last year but I still have a window full. Ill get some pics for you the next time I get the camera out. They didnt bloom too well for me this year but I never got the humidifier set up.

OK Im out of time and have to get going here. Have a great day. Waving hello to everyone!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:44AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yea, Michelle -- what dates are open in May for your guestroom for Idylls, LOL? It looks great -- and you are so creative -- w/ the Kenzie photo in B&W - I remember how wonderful I thought that was when you posted it once. Terrific.

Mary, I just dropped in to see your news; Im so sorry -- boy, Im totally bummed for you... altho I guess if it's not yet a done deal, anything could happen. It certainly will be sticker shock re the R.E. thing from NY upstate to CA; Im sure you'll help everyone transition well though -- I hope you had a bit of wine while making that marmalade!

Kathy -- Aiden is a dear looking wee one -- I hope you get to see him in person soon. It's lovely to see those freesias; I keep saying every year Im going to try them and see if I can overwinter them in a warm spot in my garden - I just love their scent. Sounds like the house is looking pretty spiffy -- and the yard is definitely topnotch!

Sending good vibes to those who are not feeling well -- that fickle Spring turned her nose up and gave us some cold blasts here -- I think it's 30 this a.m. -- I worked hard on Sat in the garden doing cleanup & some potting of pansies and decluttering yesterday inside -- it's hard to work up enthusiasm any time inside (need that pressure washer action probably to clean it out); w/ things still in a turmoil re the basement it's harder yet to feel like cleaning -- but of course that's when it needs it most. PM2, I need to do that serious Spring cleaning!

Chelone -- it sounds as though you're going to be doing some wonderful things w/ those stencils and painted floors -- I can't wait to see.

Well, I best start my work day here as well.

Happy St. Pat's to all --


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:49AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Morning all.....

No, I don't make it in the coffee pot. I just sat it there for the pic. I used to get it in a jar. I don't know if it is still available that way. Many years ago a doctor 'prescribed' it for me (in me youth), to build me up. It was consider very healthful.The pic is the chocolate variety. There is a regular 'old fashioned' type also.

I am okay this morning. I guess it was just a glitch in my system?

Great to see Aiden/ He is a handsome fellow.

Okay...I can't seem to type this morning without numerous mistakes...So ttyl..


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:00AM
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Top o' the morning to ya!

Kathy, little Aiden is precious! No way will you be able to resist spoiling him.

Michelle, love the finished guest room. Does it look like the kids will be moving for sure? That's a beautiful picture of Kenzie.

Marian, good that you're feeling a little better today.

I've never had Ovaltine. The name just never sounds appetizing to me, lol. We make chocolate milk at our house with Hershey's syrup.

PM2, great photo for St. Pat's Day. Wish we were seeing just a little green around here. We're still working on the melting of the ice and snow. It's diminishing slowly.

I'm home alone today and have much homekeeping to do so until later,


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:49AM
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Winter has returned here with 3" of wet snow and more predicted. I agree with Deanne on the fickleness of March. I toured the garden yesterday and found lots of green. I even found some early tulips and the fern leaf peonies peeking out of the ground.

Saucy, since we had to wear uniforms to school, we always said we had green underwear. Hmmm, I wonder if Mary has the lime green ones on today :-)

Seriously all Idylls are welcome, sorry lurkers but I don't think I can include you though.

PM2, now that's green! The move hasn't taken place. They need to sell their house first, so who knows. She did call on Sat. that they were having someone back for a 2nd look. My DD was excited so I guess I should work up some excitement for them.

Happy St. Patrick's day
Michelle (who is 1/8 Irish)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:05AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls

Boy things do move quickly around here....I won't be able to catch up.

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy St. Paddy's Day! :-)

Yesterday was the first day I really felt good, so I decided to celebrate by doing some garden clean up. This year I'm determined to have all the old foliage and tree leaves removed from the garden so it makes a clean canvas for the daffs and tulips when they come up. Kind of interesting raking leaves that won't come up because they are frozen to the ground...LOL!

Anyway, didn't get a lot accomplished, although I did cut all the grasses down, removed the old hellebore foliage and cleaned up the river bed out front and the driveway where all the daffs will come up. It was so exciting to see green things popping up...thinking of Martie & Cindy. The sad news is that it looks like Ms. New Dawn is nothing but a ghost. Did not find a speck of green on her...not a good sign. Remember last year with the freaky freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw spring when I thought N.D. was a goner...well I guess I was right. I will have to think of something to replace her. I'm so sad to see her leave that it's hard for me to even think about replacing her. I'll have to start doing my research. Would like another long blooming, cold hardy, disease resistant climbing rose...but I don't think *anybody* will reach the heights of Miss New Dawn, nor ever be the same in my eyes...sniff,sniff! Already have William Baffin out front. Have Penny Lane and Awakenings on the arbor out back, but so far they don't seem to be the most vigorous of roses. Well, Awakenings has potential, but I need something different and special in N.D.'s place of honor.

Mary I was so surprised to read the news! I can imagine how you are torn. On the one hand it's a wonderful opportunity for DH. On the other, you are so settled in your life where you are now and the kids too and your garden! I'm sure it will all work out, but can imagine the anxiety it causes.

If it wasn't for my mom & sis being so close to me now, I would be so ready for a move myself. But I am in a different place than you. My son is grown up, married and creating a new life for he & his DW (as it should be). And I have never lived *anywhere* except for Illinois and have lived in this house for over 20 years. I think I'm ready for change and a new view. Doesn't look like that is possible with the economy the way it is and the housing market. Most likely we will wait now until DH retires. By then I'll probably have grandkids and won't want to move...LOL!

Speaking of kids...Kathy, Mr. Baby is adorable. It's so hard to imagine my son was that tiny once. :-) My gardening girlfriend Donce had her first baby on Superbowl Sunday. He's a joy. I love to go over and get in a little baby the smell of his head and his warmth on my chest. He's such a good fact, I don't think I've ever heard him cry yet. LOL! Maybe that's because *one* of us garden girls is *always* holding him whenever we are over there. :-)

Michelle the bedroom looks lovely! I really like the way you created a headboard affect with the grillwork on the wall. Love the color of the room too and I agree with Mary that the Kenzie picture was the perfect touch.

Can't wait to see Sue's colors and the new drapery too. was so good to hear from you and Congratulations on the new babies! :-) I caught Charlie's pics the other day...what a cutie patutie! Funny about the "Daddys Boy". Well, dont worry, Im sure hell become a "Grandmas Boy" soon enough....he wont be able to resist! :-) They *are* a lot of fun; arent they? And now it looks like there will be a baby girl too! :-) How exciting!

Sorry for the mix up Marian...looks like it may have been Marie? who posted the poem. Anyway, I found it in my files....

The North Wind Doth Blow / The Robin

The North wind doth blow and we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn and keep himself warm
and hide his head under his wing, poor thing

Lovely poem, but my head is in Ill leave you with this:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Spring drew on...she was indeed already come...

A greenness grew over those brown beds

which freshening daily, suggested the thought of Hope had traversed them at night and left each morning brighter traces of her steps...

Have a great day all! Ei

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:13AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Well, I guess I wanted to cover all "M's"...LOL! It was Saucy I was referring to about Michelle's new room, but I said Mary...LOL! And it was Martie that I was referring to regarding the poem, but I said Marie...

I tell you, I scare *myself* sometimes...LOL!

Anyway...have a great day!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:21AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woke up feeling a bit green still, for St Pat's day I guess. Hope I'm feeling 100% tomorrow as we have an overnight trip. DH is on a phone-in TV program up north in the evening. Our friend, who also has a Bouvier, is cooking us matzo ball chicken soup for dinner.

And some shots of homo sapiens, age 9 months today:

Mmmmmmmmm, dog food!

Look Ma, no hands!

Swimming is the greatest!

Story time with Mr Mom.

That's all for now, I'm off and running.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I'll try again....

The Cornelian Cherry this morning....

It's not's yellow!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 12:00PM
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Aiden is gorgeous, and looks very content in his new world.

Reed is just as cute as ever. Noticed that diaper is on when sitting on touching absorbable material, but not on tile. Smart!! :-) Love Sky's stick-up morning hair.

I can feel your heart from here, Michelle, at the thought of Kenzie and fam being so far away. She's a perfect decoration, though....

Everyone's pics are great and I did a doubletake when I saw Freesias in the ground LOL. To think I'm thrilled with inch tall daffs!!

Good kind of crazy today, so waving to all and will catch up later.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 12:27PM
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I came home from work today and did more cleaning, my realtor came over to drop off the brochures and Im officially in the MLS. Of course the economic news gets worse daily, but at least I have some flexibility so will ride the storm whatever it brings. Tomorrow is the caravan, Thursday is another caravan, and Saturday an open house. So, here we go, its happening.

Thanks everyone for the nice comments on Mr BabyIm trying to work out the schedule for the in person viewing in early April. I have my fantasy baseball leagues annual draft day on the 29th, and I have open houses here every weekend up to that point. DD seems to be holding her own (I think PM asked) and she is still on maternity leave so she pretty much sleeps when opportunity strikes. She works at a daycare so when it is time to go back, Mr Baby will go along. A nice set up-no day care costs and no separation anxiety.

Michelle, I must say your guest room is way nicer than mine ! Its way bigger for one thing and very attractively decked out. I love doing black and whites- I sent DD a framed photo of her dog that I manipulated to B&W and it turned out so nice ! I want to do a few pics for her of Aiden too. Weve always had a B&W gallery in our house.

Deanne, I must confess I dont recall ever having a wine from Spring Mtn ! But Spring Mtn Rd is a beautiful back-roads drive and the winery is spectacularly located. Very scenic..

Marian , when I was a kid Ovaltine was around but we always had Bosco at my house. Im pretty sure Bosco is long gone.

OK , I need to do a little clean-up ..I was hoping comment more but its getting late for me and I cant have brooms mops and cleaning supplies layin about for tomorrow

Nite all.and a link in case you need a house in Napa


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:57PM
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The sunrise is giving it's best Spring colors this morning -- deep purples and pinks and an almost-orange band of clouds. Soothing ....

Have to admit, Kathy, that I've been "looking" for your house online and am thrilled that you gave us the link! Your property looks very different than others in your area and the fact that so much is blooming is certainly a plus. Good Luck!

Michelle -- I just realized that your bedroom color is our living room color. Perhaps Idylls should buy paint in bulk?? LOL

Not much else happening which is a relief in a lot of ways :-) Really wish I could capture this sunrise for everyone but it'll be gone before I get out there...


    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 6:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Eden! LOL I didn't even think of looking for that old commercial! Youtube...I never think of them. Thank you so much for finding that for me! I called my husband at work and played it over the phone and he didn't know what it was until they got to the chorus and the one monkey started singing 'red rose tea', then he just cracked up laughing..[g]. Made his day. We both have told our kids about that commercial a number of times, so now I can show them what we were talking about. Strange, how I remember it as funnier than it is now. lol At the time it was the funniest commercial going. :-)

Eden, did you like Horton Sees A Who? Did Bella? I saw Jim Carey promoting it the other night.

G'bug....Love those Sendak verses! DD and Mr Mom certainly giving those darlings a wonderful time. Lovely to see. :-)

Very pretty Amaryllis blooms Marian and Marie...nice this time of year to see something blooming. So that is what a Cornelian Cherry looks like, Marian. Very cheerful. :-)

Ovaltine....thanks for the photo, Marian. They used to have it in a glass jar in the old days. We drank Bosco too Kathy and Nestle's Quick and even Nestle's Strawberry Milk.

Kathy your house looks so great and of course, the garden just makes it! Spring is a great time to get photos for showing. Will be interesting to see what will happen next. Gee, DayCare will really work out for your daughter. I hope she is getting a LOT of rest before she goes back

Michelle....Well, at least if the move is dependent upon selling the house, there is always the chance the economy will put the nix on it. Do you HAVE to be excited for them? [g] 1/8th Irish is not very, you must get to celebrate just about everything then, with the other 7/8ths. lol

Hi Ei...nice to see you. :-) Sorry about New Dawn. Any chance it is just late? Still no snow on the ground here...pruned two large shrubs yesterday with help from my son. Gardening season has officially begun. I would also love to move, but getting our house in shape to sell is next on the list. Will have to do a lot of what Kathy just went through. What is that greenery in photo #2? Bleeding Heart? Nice angle on the crocus shot.

Cynthia, I must have missed that Katie is not doing so well. Sorry to hear it. Is there something more to be done for her?

Martie, you are so subdued this morning. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

Couldn't resist one more photo of Ireland....Hope the size of my photo is not a problem for anyone. This would be the size I would like to use from now on, if it presents a problem for anyone, please let me know.

Have a Happy Tuesday! pm2

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 7:18AM
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Lol Martie and PM ! Those 2 pics with all the blooming stuff were taken by me last summer -and probably were seen by the Idylls before the home buying public ! I may be ahead of you with the spring thing but not that far
ahead !!!

Thats a great photo size for me PM..

Back to work
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 9:58AM
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As if I needed any further confirmation that we are in spring here (along with aphids, tulips, leaves on the Japanese maples and snails) today I spied my first spittle bug. Do you NE and parts east have those ?? The only thing they seem to damage much is the Columbine . I have a squirt bottle of water to deal with them.
I refuse to clean a damn thing today ! I dont think this place has ever been as clean as it is right now why not spend one evening enjoying the ambiance. I have more hoards of realtors descending on Thursday so Ill just do bit of touch up tomorrow night.

So where is everyone today ?

I await more posts.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 8:48PM
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LOL with you, Kathy. Looked hard and now see that we were a few months off. Well, the pics will certainly bring the gardening househunters swarming!

We have spittle bugs but don't do much about them. When I was little my grandmother referred to it as "snake spit" in an attempt to get me to like snakes in the garden. No go.

Got some more seeds started last night and the basement is beginning to look like a proper garden center back room. I've been scrounging around looking for materials to construct a good cold frame.

Deanne: Found amongst my box of "old" garden books: "Movable Harvests" by the Crandalls. It speaks to planting all things edible in containers. If you can't find it and want to take a look, let me know and I'll send you up my copy.

Does anyone here maintain any fruit trees? I miss having fresh cherries and a local nursery pal called to say "we have some incredible Stellas ...." Oh, temptation!! They are so easy in good soil, but I'm a bit concerned about the amount of clay we have. Any comments???????

Almost 2" of rain expected today, so might be boating work.

Later, everyone!


    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 7:07AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well we are starting this day out with more of that nasty white stuff falling down from the sky, just when my lawn was getting dried enough to start raking. Oh well, it wont last. Ive been doing a lot of bird photography lately and have gotten some neat detailed pics. Lots of fun. ~~ The plants under lights continue to eat up large blocks of my time, I swear, next year not so many. Remind me of that in September when I cant get set stuff die! Im so happy that I saved all my Abutilon and Acalyphas though. They are all looking pretty perky and if their size now is any indication they will be enormous this season.

Has anyone ever tried to pre-warm up the spring soil using black plastic in order to get the dahlias in the ground earlier? I know folks do it for veggies so it should work for the dahlias as well. Id love for them to get a head start as I cant get them going indoors like I used to.

Martie, thanks for the info about that book. Im going to look it up. Sounds interesting. I was thinking of including eggplants in my containers this year.

Kathy, yes we get spittle bugs here but I just rinse them off with the hose. ~~ If you ever get a chance to try a Spring Mountain Cabernet do it. It was one of the best Cabs Ive ever had, a superbly crafted wine. ~~ So you want to come and clean my house now that yours is done???? LOL I really need to get some of your cleaning energy. ~~ The listing looks terrific! I cant get over real estate prices in your area.

Marian, that cherry is beautiful! I surely hope you didnt get any bad storms yesterday. I saw on the Weather Channel that most of AK was in for some bad storms and was thinking of you. Hope all is well.

OK Ive got to go and water something, I dont know what but there surely is something here that needs watering. LOL

Have a great day,

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:41AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Kathy -- you deserve several days of rest and enjoyment before the hoardes descend -- that home is so adorable I can't imagine it not being snatched up quickly -- altho I do understand the heebyjeebies of the market - it's in a sad state in my area -- there are a couple townhomes in my development that are now being marketed below their assessed value -- a terrible thing for those of us still living in them - I imagine they have some serious flaws; but w/ all the remodelling, etc., you did I can't imagine people not being anxious to snatch it up.

I do get spittle bugs here but frankly just ignore them; it's still too early in Spring to see much along the lines of those types of pests; right now Im more worried about the insulation that seems to be dropping off the roof "mysteriously" -- dont know if the squirrels found their way in the attic or what. I paid a lot of $$ a number of years ago to have everything sealed off, but it may be time to have it redone...

Ei - Im sorry your New Dawn is deadsville; it was a lovely sight from the photos you showed us; I've often admired it -- Kathy has recommended MAC (Mme Alfred Carriere) - have you given some thought to trying that one?

I've been a bit caught up in the remediation dilemmas; have a bit of controvery of the company that did the initial work that failed the air quality test, now contending they want to do way more serious work (tearing out the fire wall) and things but w/ little substantiation or information -- as the insurance adjuster says, "probably overkill" -- I just want it finished and finished properly.... Im hoping all of these "experts" will get on the same page, figure out the proper course of action, do it and get it finished so I can get onto the more positive thoughts of seeing new drywall, carpet, etc.

It's going to be in the 60s today before a dive back into the 30s -- rain, etc., -- March is definitely entrenched. I really need to turn my head to thinking of where Im putting some of the mailorders I placed in the winter; usually by now I've got it all plotted out but am way behind on that.

I hope others are having fun w/ Spring thoughts -- it's pretty much what drags me out of bed in the morning - just to see what might be cropping up its head in the yard.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:51AM
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No heads cropping up in my garden yet! We're forecast more snow today. I have been doing some spring cleaning indoors. Rearranged the kitchen cupboards yesterday but what I really need to do is wash the windows (if the weather ever cooperates).

PM, yes, Bella did enjoy her first big screen movie. I liked it too. Amazing how far they've come with animation since we were children or even my kids.

Martie, I have a few dwarf fruit trees out towards the back of my garden. A peach, a pear and a Northstar Cherry. I call it my Mary Engelbreit tree. The squirrels eat the peaches and pears before they ripen and the birds love the cherries, which are too tart for me anyway. What I like most about them are the beautiful blossoms in spring.

Kathy, you're house looks great. The monthly house payment for the new owner took me aback though. Relaxing in my nice clean house or well manicured garden is one of my favorite things to do. Too bad it doesn't occur too often.

On todays agenda, baking banana bread, playing with Bella, spaghetti for dinner and maybe a little organizing and vacuuming thrown in for good measure. I'd much rather be cleaning up the gardens!

Have a good day everyone, Eden

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 9:19AM
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Good morning,
I see spittle bugs very rarely here. I did see the first robin this morning though, which brings hope.

Ei, I was the "M" that posted the North Wind poem. I think it was last spring and Deanne posted a wonderful robin picture to go with it. Hopefully, the robins wont experience it this spring. One of my New Dawns bit the dust last year. I have 3 others, but they usually have a lot of die back, so never attain the height and beauty yours did.

I was in the garden a little while yesterday but it is much too muddy to do anything more than look.

Kathy, your house looks great, fingers crossed here for a quick sale. My DD works at a daycare after staying home for the first couple of years. She is in the infant room and Kenzie is in the 3 year old room, so they arent together all the time, but she can pop in and check on her periodically throughout the day.

Martie, we have one unknown apple tree that makes good crisp and sauce. Last year I planted a Honey Crisp apple tree.

Funny but Reeds little bare butt is so cute compared to the man I saw bending over a drinking fountain the other day LOL Are you feeling better bug? DD called last night and said that someone needed some love from her grandma. Kenzie was running a fever. Im surprised how perky she sounded, although shes never been a whiny child when shes sick.

Have a great day


    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 10:26AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Little bit of snow today...just barely. Very little going on here today. Blah. lol Still working on moving and organizing files on the new computer. Music and photo files today and yesterday. The documents are what are giving me a headache. I had MS Works on the old Dell and moving those into iWorks on the Mac is probably easier than the couple of ways I have tried it so far. Hoping tomorrow will be able to concentrate on calling Apple to get it straightened out once and for all. The photos have been really easy and iPhoto organizes really really easy. What a difference from the old software I was using.

Kathy....Photos from last summer makes more sense. [g] Glad you are enjoying your clean, updated, well organized new environment. I vaguely remember that wonderful feeling..somewhere in the very distant past. :-) No spittle bugs here that I noticed. fruit trees here at all. Will be interested to see what you decide to add. I would love to add something, but something easy and that doesn't need spraying as I am organic. Cherries would be lovely, but have never tried them.

Deanne....have had success with black plastic to warm up for squashes and tomatoes. Haven't thought of doing it for Dahlias. Good idea! There are some pretty eggplants, Deanne.

Cindy...I don't envy you the continued controversy with the mold work. They have to get it worked out eventually!

Eden...DH and I enjoy some of the new animated films, with or without kids. lol I remember when Toy Story first came out, how amazing that was. Dreamworks, I think was the beginning of that? You are a Mary Engelbreit fan? So am I. I really like a lot of what she does. Such cute little detailed designs. Much of it garden related too. You grow those tart cherries, Eden? Have you ever tried making jam from them?

Well...getting a little antsy to be out in the garden. Thought Martie might enjoy this photo of a lavender field to tide her over... :-)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 4:39PM
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Well, well, well... I see Mr. Baby has debuted. Since everyone else has gushed about how incredibly beautiful he is I feel OK about saying he looks likes every other healthy baby I've seen. Sorry, Kathy. He looks "fine" to me. :/ I think Aiden is "fine", too. Not the sort of name I'd select, but it doesn't matter much to me, anyway. I'm a "traditionalist", personally... Thomas, William, Richard, Matthew, Peter, Roderick, Stephen, Philip, etc. ... Aiden, Liam, and Ian are names in the second tier... acceptable, but not immediate favorites. Mum always joked privately to me about the "fashion" of certain names. She wrinkled her nose at names that did not readily denote gender... . But had a distinct loathing for names like: Tiffany, Crystal, Amber, Tuesday, etc.. What can I say? she was an old woman with clearly defined images. ("'Tiffany' sounds like the name of stripper, for heaven's sake! anyone hearing it will know automatically that the poor child was born between... (thusandsuch) a date". The old bag was a complete battle axe (I'm following in august footsteps, aren't I?). NO apologies. I have to go back and scope out the link to your "digs". Wishing you the best of luck for a speedy sale in troubled times, my friend!

Marian, your Cornelian Cherry looked yellow enough to me. I figure we have a solid 2-3 weeks before we get to REALLY see any "color" around here. I took a few shots of the witch hazel (Hammemalis intermedia X "Diane"), the blooms are orange/red and I HOPE I spelled it correctly. It's pretty, but nothing I think is particularly great. Personally? I'd rather wait and see something more showy in such proximity to our home. But I DO want to add red twig dogwood and its cousin, the lemon/lime stemmed variety to our yarHd.

'bug, you are probably the only person I know who requires orthotics in their, "bissies". But as long as you WEAR THEM when you're sick, that's all that matters. Clearly, you need to purchase a "house" pair and you must remember to swap pairs when you venture out with "Phoebes". Keep at the training, puppies are impressionable and your efforts will not go unheeded.

Denise will like this one. I've spent the past 2 days in the shop with a Corgi. He's a nice little dog, but he DEFINITELY needs to have his attitude adjusted. Little buster is WAY TOO FRIGGIN' BIG for his dwarf britches. I've known him for 5 yrs. and when he was a "regular" in the shop (in '03) he and I reached an "agreement". He was a jerk to a visiting dog and I got right on his ass about being "agressive", correcting him strongly and following up by squelching any attempt to repeat the behavior; I had no trouble with him afterwards. I was appalled at what territorial gains the little tyrant has achieved under the permissive eye(s) of his "owners" in the years hence. I gave him an easy command on Monday and he "backtalked" me. I got right on his case and he immediately rolled over for me; obeyed the command and then stuck to me like glue for the remainder of the day. It's kind of funny on the surface, but I came home feeling very, very sad. Clearly, the delightfully strong, independent Corgi personality is given no outlet aside from being aggressive toward other dogs. No one in his life gives him a "job" and his personality has become taciturn and crabby as a result. I wish he could come home to herd Wrecks at doggie "boot camp" here on the compound. Little the Corgi may be, but the heart, courage, and drive consume 95% of the body cavity. :( Small wonder I hate dogs, huh?

Michelle, I think your guest room is looking too inviting for your own good, m'dear. Excellent caveat with respect to "lurkers", lol. Kenzie's "headshot" in B&W is great. Simple and elegant speaks volumes.

The third week in March is poignant for me. Dad entered the hospital for the last time on March 15th.. St. Patrick's day would have been his 83rd. birthday. And the 18th. of March was the 14th. anniversary of his death.

We celebrated his birthday with a morning spent outdoors with the wood splitter. It was a beautiful morning, and while we shed our coats and worked in sweatshirts we kept our hats on! Tuesday, the helpmeet began the woodwork for the Salon (the mopboards along the staircase) and I am now "on the ropes" to deal with pickling, lol.

Out of steam, knowing I've missed too, too many important details, but... sometimes that's how things shake out, y'know?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 7:17PM
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WHEEEEEEE. What a great pic, PM2. I can smell the field from here...

Chelone: I got my driver's license for the first time, at age 16, on March 15th. Need I say more about why I drive around in a dinged up car????? Good to know someone else understands The Ides. Spring comes faster afterwards, though.

Cindy: Hope you're fixed up soon ..

Eden and Michelle: Thank you! Inspiration :-)

Kathy: What wine will be in the rack for the caravan?? (Enjoy it as soon as they go :-)

Running ... Martie

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 7:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

March 11, 2005. Mom passed away then and she is very much in my thoughts at this time...even though she deserved to pass sooner.

We returned from a trip to Owen Sound, 2 hour drive from our home. DH was on a TV talk show and a radio phone-in show as well. We visited with friends. Saw a wild turkey in front of our driving shed when we returned.

Phoebe got to meet a mature Bouvier who was a bit intimidated by Phoebe's enthusiasm and energy, but was a lovely "hostess".

I'm declaring an early least indoors!


    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 8:56PM
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Funny that you mentioned wine MartieMy realtor will have a raffle for a bottle of sparkling wine(Domaine Chandon Brut perhaps ?) to entice the realtors to come, and or a brunch. She told me it depends on what some of the other homes on the caravan are providing in the way of freebies. We also have a showing to a potential buyer tommorow .
Today when I got home from work I did a bit of spider web suck-up . The webs at the top of the cathedral ceiling was the only negative comment that my agent got after the Tuesday caravan. This was something I missed in my frenzy of cleaning ! My method is to get my 1 gallon shop vac, my 8 ft ladder and then put every single extension piece that I own on the vac. I ended up with 6 today, which created about a 12 ft long wand. Up on the ladder and I can hit the most of the ceiling. Webs have been duly eliminated. The house is still clean !

Cindy ,now insulation woes ?? You may have more stuff going on around your house than I do !

Fruit trees I have only citrus right now, but would like have a plum tree too. (not here though !) I would only do dwarf rootstock and would do some of the canopy management techniques that help keep the fruit within easy reach for harvest .

Eden, that monthly payment is exactly why certain cities in California are out of reach for many prospective home buyers. Oh , and dont forget property taxes, another 4 to 5k a year, insurance etc etc. Had I sold my house two years ago I probably would have listed at 679. Scary.

PM, you do come up with some wonderful photos I must saydo you think that Lav field is in France ? We have a very similar climate here, and there are a number of Lavender growing operations in Northern Cal . You are certainly working diligently on getting you new computer up and running. After spending all day in front of a computer at work, that would be trying to me ! Of course I exclude Idylling , which is decidedly enjoyable computer time !

Chelone, you are too funny- I am a traditionalist name type person too. I would be looking long and hard for a suitable nickname if my name were Crystal ! Did I ever tell yall that my given is Mary Kathleen ? Cant get much more traditional than that ! M. Baby does look far less like a little old man than he did in the first pic DD sent me on her camera phone, and Im certain he will continue to improve. My BILs are carrying the gushing torch, which gets me off the hook !

Well, I m out of steam for tonight, have some paperwork to do , and then some time with a book..

Later all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 9:37PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Warning - grumpy post ahead.

So it was a busy evening tonight and I made a quick dinner of quesadillas. Flour tortillas, refried beans, cheese. And what happens? I chip a freaking tooth. Which is now scraping on my lower lip. And I was just at the dentist last week. Arggh.

The last several days have been extremely busy with the kids home, an extra dog, lots of food to cook, extra clean up, et cetera, et cetera. Not to mention some serious wedding planning activities. With apologies for my grumpy mood, I will provide more details later. I'm going off to sulk...


    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 9:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

At least you can't go off to the garden to eat worms yet V!

How 'bout a glass of something and a good book? Soon it will be TGIF!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 9:49PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I also really enjoyed that lavender field. I had to keep looking at it to decide did it look like a drawing or was it really a photo. It seemed too perfect to be a photo. So the caption of the photo...

"Enchantment blooms in orderly rows on the Plateau de Valensole in Provence, where fragrant fields of lavandin, a lavender hybrid, lure passersby. Heart of traditional perfumery, France has lost much of its flower production to developing nations with less costly land and labor."

By Robb Kendrick

Be back in the morning.. :-) Yawn. :-)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 10:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


    Bookmark   March 19, 2008 at 10:59PM
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Happy Vernal Equinox!! We must be darn close to the calendar this year if 'bug's Robins appeared yesterday :-)

Lots of mulling going on about fruit trees. It wasn't something I'd planned since I'm fortunate enough to live in a part of CT with abundant fruited farm stands. That said, fruit is just fun to have and eating it becomes secondary to actually producing sweet food. Since I don't know what else exactly is around, pollinators become a factor and Rich is cringing at the thought of a small orchard in the back yard. Less lawn ..... LOL Time will tell.

Mary and/or anyone else who can help: You sent some seeds labeled Salvia birkinstanica. Can't find this anywhere under the Latin. Either it's incredibly unusual or these old eyes aren't reading right :-) Anyway, what is this? Need to know because THEY'RE SPROUTING on heat with cover. First official basement green of the season. YIPEE

'bug: The Bouvier certainly is keeping her eye on Phoebe! Because of the dinosaur from North Dakota, I looked at her and immediately thought: mini woolly mammouth LOL. Good for your DH to make it through a live broadcast!!

V: I feel for you on Spring Break. There's been a steady stream of familiar faces in grown-up bodies through our house as well. No wedding plans, though! International crew is all meeting in Boston this weekend and I'll miss the frivolity this gang brings, but will also be grateful to have my house back :-)

Cirque d'Soleil has nothing on you, Kathy! Good luck ....

"Horton Hears a Who" is claiming incredible reviews, Eden. Can I borrow Bella when I go for the full kid effect?

PM2: Knew it had to be France. In person someday :-)

Sky is a Robin's Egg blue at the moment ......


    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 7:10AM
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Good morning

Martie - my hand writing can be a little hard to decipher - it's Salvia Turkistanica.

Marian - that tree is gorgeous. What a cheerful welcome to spring.

Kathy - your house looks fabulous and I'm sure will be snapped up in an instant.

How fun to see Bouviers big and small.

V - you have every right to feel grumpy. Did you chomp really hard?

Another good book alert - I just finished People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, a fictional history of the Sarajevo Haggadah - an important Jewish book that originated in fifteenth-century Spain. For me it was like a well written DaVinci Code. I found the historical details fascinating and was completely caught up in the story. Some of the coincidences and drama were a little over the top but I simply loved reading every page.

I have today at work then a wonderful three day weekend. I jsut wish the weather would listen to the fact that it is now spring - I'm ready to put our skis and snow shovel away.

Have a good one everybody


    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 7:46AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Another gray day out there...supposed to stop raining soon and become windy later on, so that should dry things out a little faster. Getting out in the garden later and I am going to put some pea seeds in since I have a lot and can afford to waste them. Try to do a little more pruning. Is it too early here in MA to cut the rose bushes back yet? I usually wait longer, but while I have the pruning shears in my hands...

Since there will be plenty of garden photos soon, I thought I would keep posting something fun to look at until then. Loving the decorating, house for sale, puppy, grandbabe pics but since we have none of those [g] meet Yang Yang with a 3yr old in China....

Mary...hope your three day weekend will include some gardening weather. :-) sorry about your tooth! Been there, done that. Plus, my DH just did the same thing two weeks ago. Had to have the tooth crowned. Definitely puts one in a crabby mood.

Martie...I am pea green with envy that you have a basement full of sprouting seeds! I love growing from seed, far, not looking like this will be as good a year as some have been in the past. Will check my containers when I go out later, but no sprouts the last few times I checked.

Kathy...I enjoy computer time when it is 'fun' time. :-) I don't even mind some of the organizing and maintenance chores. My body starts complaining though, when I have to spend this much time on it. Although my DD is catching up with me, I remain the most computer literate user in the house, so if I don't figure it out, it doesn't get figured out. [g] It is taking me a long time because I really don't know enough and have to learn as I go and have no computer knowledgeable friends to fall back on. So I always get as much tech support as I can when I get a new computer. So far, this Apple is the easiest computer I have ever had to change over to.

BTW Kathy, if your house were in my market, I would be very happy to find a house with so much work done for me! I hope they have priced your house fairly, considering the work you put in. I have a feeling you are going to be packing soon. :-)

Wow G'bug....your DH is a celebrity!? So was it a computer expert interview? Owens Sound is only 11 hours from us. I didn't realize you were that close.

March anniversaries...Chelone and Gardenbug....sorry about sad reminders at this time of year. Spring always seems the time for birthdays instead, doesn't it? We have a few coming up in the next couple of months too. I seem to remember Babs' Dad passed around St Patrick's Day too?

Chelone...enjoyed your story of the Corgi. [g]

Who is celebrating Easter this weekend? Dinner menus? Plans?

Speaking of Baby names...Nahla Ariela about that one? See link below.

Off to see what's doing in the garden... pm2

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 8:54AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Yippee! Winter sown sprouts!! One milk jug of Dianthus Ipswich Pinks and two containers of lupine coming up. How exciting! They have been sitting out there since January, unattended. Haven't had to water them, check them, nothing. I'll try to take some pics when they come up a little more, they are just peeking out of the soil. :-) Little muddy out there this morning.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 12:13PM
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I think excessive poetic license is taken with baby names because parents will probably never have to shout the name through the neighborhood anymore: "Nahla Ar-eee-ell-ah, time for dinner!" We had a neighbor in my childhood cul de sac, a former Texan, that always added after the string of names called for dinner, "Where's mah offspring?" Did those kids get teased! The moms were mostly unseen as the calls for feeding their respective broods went out through the 'hood. Ah, the sixties in a 'burb in So. Calif -- couldn't wait to leave, lol. Eden, I'd wager that's partly why you're so tired watching Bella as opposed to your own. Kids are so...omnipresent nowadays, and necessarily so, of course. Different times. We disappeared for hours on end, the whole gaggle of us, for fort building, capture the flag, etc in the empty fields...that now are filled with condos.

Sounds like March is a stinker of a month for most cold-weather gardeners -- tantalizingly close to spring but still enough winter to throw wind, rain & snow around. Can't wait for the spring photos, and 'bug better wear her camera around her neck for lots of clematis photos in addition to Ms. Phoebe. I did bring back Betty Corning from a nursery up north and I'm following the lead of my C. florida sieboldii -- plant in about 10 inch pot on the brick on sand patio, neglect to pot on to larger size, roots creep through the weep hole, vine flourishes in the cool root run.

The one thing I wanted to bring back from the SF garden show was some tumbled recycled glass to mulch the potted big blue agave I rustled recently. Sure enough, lots of designs featured the recycled glass in many different ways, but after intensive scouring of the booths, none was to be found for sale. Back to the exhibit to ask the nice gentleman where the glass for sale was hidden. He didn't bring any, but gave the address for his recycle yard in SF. So off on a treasure hunt. If I'd skipped the show and went straight to this recycle/junk yard the trip would've still been worth it. Brought back 40 pounds of glasss, blue, olive, gold, some mixed color, and a rectangle of stone for a table top (5 bucks!) The young kid running the place even showed us the glass tumbler and how they get the various sizes of mulch. Brought back too many plants from the show, of course, mostly succulents and geraniums/pelargoniums from Robin Parer of Geraniacaea one of the nicest nursery owners I've dealt with. Last year I ordered from her and forgot that she expects payment after shipping is received. Called me about eight months later to ask about said payment which I had forgot to send upon receipt of plants. Did make it out to Flora Grubbs too to have a look around. She's very close to the recycle yard, both in the Mission district I think.

Gosh, I haven't even got to the belly dancer story yet, lol, or another highlight, the chocolate shop that stays open to 11 p.m. with chocolate creations including an extensive list of drinkable concotions like the movie Chocolat and the chocolate shops in Paris. Clearly, more of these type of shops are needed rather than more Starbucks. Marian, I've tried to post how to make those hyperlinks, but the instructions always turn into a hyperlink and can't be read. But I will work on instructions, I promise, or link to a page. Chelone, if you're missing a shoe, you might want to check that corgie's backside! Good on ya for making him behave. Congrats to all the seed sprouters. Still waiting on various angelica here, crambe maritima, buplureum and euphorbs, but just potted up about 10 Hellebore argutifolius, self-sowing around the mother plants. Must have been that frost last year responsible for this year's bumper crop. Wave to all and I will try to post in smaller increments, promise!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 1:44PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello Denise...I am back and forth today. Running into snags trying to get all my files moved and having to take constant breaks from it before I pull my hair out. Then someone just bit my head off on the phone and I was ready for something funny. [g] Sounds like we had similar very 'free' childhoods. :-) We were constantly out in the neighborhood most of the day from early until late in the good weather and even in the winter, if there was snow for sledding etc. We would come in for refueling and that was it. There were no scheduled activities, except a brief stint of piano lessons once a week. No organized sports for girls. Even my younger brother had very little participation. We grew up in a neighborhood of three deckers with large families in each apartment it seemed. Tons of kids in the neighborhood and for the most part we all got along and had fun. My parents were busy renovating property, selling it, moving, then they started a business trying to make a living. I can't imagine allowing kids that kind of freedom today.

March is okay with me. We have a lot of birthdays in our family that month, so we are busy with that. Plus, I see March as hopefully a garden work month. Plenty of things you can get done, inside or out, if you have the free time.

I love that tumbled glass as a mulch. Are you planning a project with it? I have seen it done in a few magazine spreads. Oh boy, you bought pelargoniums from Geraniacea! I almost ordered from Robin last year. Really nice selection she has and yes, she is so very helpful. Need to see some pics of what you dragged home.. :-)

What happened to the bely dancer story? [g]

Your post was long? Then what does that make mine? lol


    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 2:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Betty Corning is HUGE compared to C.Florida S! It requires STRONG staking as it can topple over an ordinary 8-9 foot obelisk. I'd not risk it in a container after year one.

Busy with stuff around the home. Wish I could hire a team to conquer the clean-up!

Still below freezing which is good as there's not as much flooding as otherwise. But it is a white vista out there and i'm sick of it.

When selecting dog names one is always advised to practice calling it across a baseball field. If embarrassed, select a different name! This would be wise for children too. As in "Latrina" which was the name of a girl my brother met. Having spent time on a pregnancy forum with DD, I can tell you all the "in" names.

Off to beat the dog now. ;)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 2:45PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A happier V. for you all tonight! A call to the dentist's office when they opened this afternoon got an offer of an appointment next Friday. A little polite whining got the offer changed to "come in, be prepared to sit and wait, and we'll try to squeeze you in." So I gathered reading material at the office and hightailed it over there. Walked in the office and was greeted with, "We're ready for you; we have a no-show!" Tooth is all better, my lip is no longer being rubbed raw and I can close my teeth together again. Amazing how annoying such a little chip can be!

My father's funeral was on St. Patty's Day well over 25 years ago. He was half Irish and had to wear a uniform at work, but always wore green underwear on March 17th. When we realized what day the funeral would be, we made sure he was buried in his green underwear. His coworkers sent an arrangement of green carnations as their nod to his roots.

Easter plans - we are going to the MIL's, but I will make a couple of dishes to honor family traditions. My mom always made a lamb cake, and I inherited her pan, so we will have a chocolate lamb this year (I've told my MIL it's chocolate in honor of Obama.) My maternal grandmother always made hrutka, a Slovak egg cheese, for Easter, and I've decided to try my hand at it. Not sure how it will turn out, as my grandmother always hung it from the bathtub spout to drain, and I only have a shower...

The preliminary wedding planning was lots of fun. They found some incredibly gorgeous invitations at a local paper store, and a good possibility for a wedding cake. The baker suggested a smaller cake and then a sweet table, and she offers an amazing array of small tarts, etc. The bride to be found a strong candidate for her own dress. And we had a very productive meeting with an event planner that I have worked with on other events. She would do a wonderful job; now we are waiting on her quote to see if we can afford her!

Last week was totally bonkers at work. I had to do three different presentations, two of which I had to create from scratch. But all went very well, and one attendee at my Sunday session was kind enough to send an email to my boss, telling him what a nice job I did. Those types of things never hurt!

Chelone, add me to the list of those who would like to see the stenciling when it's done. I stenciled teddy bears in the nursery before my son was born. Both the kids were sad to see the bears painted over before the house went on the market.

Kathy, good luck with the house. Mr. B is a hunk-in-training, for sure!

Mary, heads up! Don't let that Cadbury egg hit you on the noggin! Sending lots of virtual chocolate your way. I know that you and your family will flourish no matter what, but it's not an easy transition to go through if that's what is to be.

Last night we had several hundred geese spend the night here. About one hundred took offense when I went down the driveway to go to work - quite the sight and quite the racket. But our weather is still the pits. We have a winter storm warning for up to 8 inches of wet snow by tomorrow night. Yuk - and another weekend down the tubes for garden clean-up. As Ei said, it's darn hard to rake frozen leaves.

That's probably enough catch up for now. I have enjoyed all the photos and have made lots of other comments in my head to all the rest of you.

Happy spring?


    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 8:58PM
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Couldn't let today go by without noting...


    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 8:59PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I needed to buzz back here and leave this for Saucy.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 9:59PM
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I did planting tonight after work as my house chores .. I bought some color when I was up in St Helena today to add a little more spring ambience to the back garden. Then I paid bills. Now Im Idylling..

Denise welcome back ..though it seems upside down to welcome you back to 500 miles away as opposed to 60. I make a point to buy something from Robins booth every year. DS and I love the one we got last year ..Pelargonium schizopetalum. It has yet to bloom, but the leaves are very cool. Ill have to post a pic. No garden show for me this year though. Did you visit the succulent dudes that were just inside the entrance to the plant marketplace ?

V, I live along the Napa River and though the geese dont stroll about the neighborhood they are frequent fly-overs.I always like seeing them in formation.

My Easter plans consist of not cleaning the house, and spending a few pleasant hours preparing for my fantasy baseball leagues draft day on the 29th. Easter has never been a major holiday here. I traded in my "Easter Bonnet" for a wide brimmed garden hat long ago !

So last month I was given a bag of books to take what I wanted and give the rest to the library or Salvation Army Most were given away, but included was The Da Vinci Code, which I have never read. Unchallenging popular fiction is just what I need right now, so this week I started reading it. Wow. I am absolutely shocked by how poorly written this book is (hope none of you are related to the author , lol !) and unchallenging is surely what I got. Is this just me ? I mean there is no character development, stilted dialog and about the only thing I can say that is even minutely positive is that he has mastered the tecnique of short chapters with a hook at the very end to get you to turn the page. But if you use that in every single chapter it becomes pretty predictable, and dilutes the impact. So Im going to finish it if for no other reason than to see if it can get much worse.

Ok, soapbox and book review over ! Hi to all, and see ya later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 20, 2008 at 11:11PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Forgotten comments coming back to me...

Denise, if the recycle yard was the same one I saw featured in an environmental magazine several months ago, I am extremely jealous. The recycled glass mulch has been used in displays but I have not found it available anywhere around here. The coolest use I saw was a walkway that was laid with regular bricks, but the bricks were staggered so that there were square open spots every so often. These openings were then filled with the blue glass mulch. Very cool!

As for explaining how to do a hyper link, use ( ) to illustrate, and then tell us to replace those brackets with the . (I could use a reminder lesson on the hyperlinks)


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 6:57AM
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Hello all!

The house wren has gotten started before the sun has had a chance to emerge! She's been busy at the suet feeder.

I suspect Chelone is being insubordinate as I don't see any posts around 6:30 a.m. leading me to believe she's leaving the house in the middle of the night again :)

GB, I'm glad you explained the Abominable Snowman lumbering over our Phoebe! I'd stay on top of my training for sure knowing what's coming down the pike!

V., the wedding plans sound good! I vote for the sweets table as I like to choose :) When you first said "lamb cake" I envisioned something like a mince meat pie :) I think it should be red velvet cake so that the effect (affect) is like that of a lamb to .....well, you know.

Speaking of meat....Jake decided to be Vegan for a week on a dare from friends. What a great experiment this has been for Jake. I have to say I'm proud of his vigilance! I know he has been seriously hungry a couple of times while searching for appropriate food. He did slip up once this week....he didn't realize "broth" contained chicken :) I had to explain the concept.

Thanks for the link on ferral bees....that's a very interesting read. I feel just like I did when I first started gardening and all the Latin names felt so overwhelming. Last night's speaker was phenomenal! Really inspiring. The great part is that he's our County Bee inspector, so I'll get to meet him first had and hopefully soak up some wisdom :)

Kathy, I hear rumblings around here about baseball, too.

Denise, sounds like a good haul and I'm looking forward to the recycled glass creativity! I've always wanted to find a source because I think it'd be cool embedded in my 'tufa pots.

Yeah PM on the Apple trial! You are paving the road for some of us, I suspect :) My husband has been tossing the idea around.

Cindy, I hope that your air quality woes are cleared up soon! I am glad that garden season is around the corner - you deserve some peaceful time with the earth :)

I've gotta get Sarah sleepy-head out of bed. She's getting her hair cut for Locks of Love today after school. I think she looks cute with the "dutch boy" bob and can't wait! LOL, her hair is so fine that it'll take 3 donations to make anything....I've been trying to get red headed Jake to do it - now he has some thick locks :)

Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 7:05AM
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We had bells for dinner calling. Very big bells that I swear could be heard a mile away. Each family had a different sounding one and even the littlest knew "theirs." If kids weren't back to respective homes within 15 minutes, the posse would be sent out but little angst other than "what injury occurred??"

On bad weather days when we could only stay out for hours rather than the whole day, there would be a call: "How many are here for dinner?" Then calling to other parents to make arrangements and ultimately plastic tablecloths on the floor with myriad small bodies eating there.

Easter this year with my Mom and Dad, DS and DBiL, niece, nephew, Rich and Ky. There were several raised eyebrows from the usual holiday Mart's house attendees. Seems we've become a tradition!! I'm really looking forward to spending a holiday with my parents for wholly obvious reasons given their ages.

PM2 -- Hooray for your seeds!

Mary -- Clary Sage!!! Of course!! The little buggers are ignoring all instruction and sprouted in 3 days. If they ar e an indication of seed-pace this year I won't start much else until a week before frost-free:-)

Denise - Sounds like your trip was amazing in it's own way. I always love meeting folks in the biz and finding most to be really "real" people. So different from most business folks these days.

Kathy - How was the caravan? What color? We need proof LOL

Suddenly very busy at work (grateful doesn't describe it) and I really think the longer days have a lot to do with it. Coming out of hibernation....

Waving and smiling at all....


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 7:21AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good Friday morning to you all! Judging by the light traffic I encountered on my way to work I suspect most people have today off. I'm from the Boston area where Good Friday was never a holiday. Here in central CT, where manufacturing used to be king, most companies shut down. Lots of coworkers have taken the day off. Usually they cut us loose around two-a half day for I'm toying with the idea of heading up to ski in VT on Easter. Unfortunately it's one of the few things I don't enjoy doing alone so if I decide to go it will be a real stretch out of my comfort zone. It might be easier to just work on garden cleanup.

Not much to report this week. Nick got his teeth cleaned on Tuesday. Luckily I have a vet who doesn't gouge for this type of service. The total bill was about $370 and that included the full blood work, 6 extractions and the antibiotic and pain meds. This is the second year in a row he's lost teeth. Bad teeth are common in the breed. I should get on Cynthia's chicken neck program but man what a mess that would be on dogs with beards and leg furnishings. Yuck!

The other news, for those I haven't already told, Tom bought a house last weekend! Yay! Closing date is on or before April 25th. Party on the Alot of the furniture is going with him so I'll be living sparse for a while but it will be nice to eventually have some new stuff.

Mary, I've been thinking about you. Life changing decisions are tough but they usually work out for the best.

Here is a picture of a two week old litter of puppies born to our rescue group. Mom is a mini schnauzer and we were told dad was a poodle. Foster mom, Shelly is a nut with the camera. Cute little buggers, aren't they?



    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 7:53AM
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I want one....

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 8:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

There's a party at Sue's on the 26th of April!!! I'd love to come...but Phoebe won't let me. :(

Saucy, I used to agree with you that training Charlotte was necessary because she would develop into a huge dog. (75lbs) Now I feel entirely differently about things. I believe that no matter the size, the training is vital. And training the owners is the biggest thing! I mean, just look at what happened to Jerrie's foster pooch through no fault of his own!Grrrr.

The sun is out, DH is home, and who knows what the day will offer?


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 8:47AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What a bunch of dolls those pups are, Sue! Yeah, you have some fun news to report -- you get to redecorate too. It will be nice to get the chapter over with and onto your own world wont it? I can relate to the comfort zone of solo things -- I can still say it's hard to take a vacation by oneself - I just have a hard time doing that.

V -- sounds like you're having a great start to the wedding preps and all are being reasonable -- sure to have glitches but hopefully it will be a lot of fun for all - including you.

I second the glass much being such a cool accent -- I've only ever seen one or two places on the 'net that sell it -- & think they're both West Coast; I played w/ the idea but was concerned the cost of shipping would be prohibitive.

Denise - that's neat you got some good loot at the show -- I love the geraniacae website; have often thought of ordering from there - I confess I ordered a few things from Digging Dog on the west coast this year - it will be interesting to see how they fare across the country.

Kathy - I will second the poorly written Davinci Code - but I did find the plot so sufficiently intriguing that I read it all in one sitting.... but I think popular novelists that make the best seller lists often are terrible writers these days -- John Grisham, Michael Crichton, to name just a few -- they usually have a neat if outlandish plot idea but forget the old fashioned concepts of character development or compound sentences... the world it is a changing.... one wonders where "books" will be in 25 years from now.

O, too funny -- the Washington Post has a squib about a Peeps Ad that's been written for our local Metro -- I'll have to try to find a spot & link it here....

Yes, cold here again and cramping the early gardening style -- they even threaten a few flakes tomorrow, altho I doubt that -- I traded in my Easter hat for the gardener hat too a few years ago -- same for Mother's Day. They're two days I love to just play in the yard - but Im not sure I will get to do that this Easter. So instead, I loaded up (again) from the book store w/ mags on decorating, and the latest garden specials -- Inta's garden is the front page of the special Fine Gardening publication -- altho frankly I thought the photos did not do justice to the garden -- it's interesting to reflect on what our IU4 photos showed versus the garden mag/photographer -- I thought the front yard was one of the most stunning features of the place and there didnt seem to be a really good shot of it at all, among other things. Nor does all the garden art show up well I thought. Still, all too inspiring.

Okay, just got handed beaucoup work -- I hope all have a terrific Friday -- Im sure I'll be working to the closing bell rings here at the regular hour -- lawyers are not ones to close the shop early!


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 8:57AM
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V, of course, is a genius. Type everything inside the parens exactly as shown, typing in the web address for the linked site inside the quotes. Use instead of parens:

(a href="web address")

now type in the name of link then (/a) to end hyperlink, using instead of parens

The tumbled glass comes from Building Resources and follow the links along the left-hand side to Tumbled Glass. Shipping would be prohibitive. Cost is $1.50 a pound. I've been like a pig in sh**, prowling through recycled architectural stuff yesterday and found an old Dutch door for the side fence/gate/pergola project. A Mr. Ed door!

Great news from everyone, and now we have to get busy and find a ski buddy for Sue.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 10:55AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well I might just get blown away by this wind today, its gusting up to 40 to 50MPH!!!! Yikes! At least the gardens and lawn will be dried out by the time this is done and maybe tomorrow I can work on garden cleanup. What a mess we have out there this year. The freaking snow plows took out about two feet of my front lawnd and I've got gobs of sods all over the place, not to mention the neighbors garden light fixture, curbing etc. etc. AS I said a real mess. I'm itching to get on it and get stuff cleaned up.

So Sue, Would you like that furniture in my basement until you can buy new? So party on the 26th??? Shall we bring salmon? LOL

I'm over the moon as I finally broke down and bought a gizmo for my spotting scope that connects my DSLR camera to my scope and essentially gives me a 1000MM lens. Woohoo... A great tool until I can afford the telephoto I want.

Have you all gotten your WFF catalog??? Have you seen the prices of the annuals??? The coleus etc are selling for $7.95. If that's the case I've got a king's randsome of plants in this house. Yikes! I know they are usually expensive but that's unreal. I sure hope the nursery prices haven't gone up likewise.

OK guess what??? Its time to water the plants. ROTFLOL!

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 11:00AM
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Good morning

I think instead of Cadburys eggs I need one of those puppies.

Sue - I can't offer to ski with you but David and Annie would join you in a heartbeat LOL! It sounds as if your life changes are resolving. Have you determined where Nick and Zoe will go?

Kathy and Cindy - I was totally absorbed by the DaVinci code but at at the same time did my best to ignore how poorly it was written. For me it didn't diminish the entertainment factor - I knew from my book group what to expect. It was a perfect beach or travel read and one I really coudln't put down. That's why People of the Book was such a pleasure - to have history woven into a compelling story but with well crafted language was a treat. At the moment I'm stuck into "The Speckled Monster" about smallpox which I think Kathy(?) has read and has me totally fascinated.

Right now I am really, really craving spring but it is still cold and snowy and the ground is frozen solid. I think a nice brisk walk would be good - Clousseau agrees.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 11:13AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Of course V is a genius. This morning, though, she is a genius with ADD. I've bounced from task to task and have accomplished nothing. Sue woould understand what I mean when I grumble about our tax accountant, who does not send me adjusting entries in debit-credit format, but instead provides pencil scribblings on a trial balance. Now I have to reconstruct said entries...

Saucy, I love your idea of red velvet cake! You know, a college girl who is a friend of the family and is Jewish is spending Easter with our gang. It will be her first Easter dinner. Her father has a great sense of humor and we have joked about coming up with some bizarre fake Easter tradition just to pull her leg. A blood-red lamb, hmm? I'm tempted, but the chocolate fans would crucify me.

We've got about an inch of snow on the ground and it is snowing heavily at the moment. Plows are few and far between - I think all the budgets are shot.

Denise, yes, that is the place I've heard of. I'm immensely jealous.

Sue, glad to hear that things are progressing. I would vote for stepping out of the comfort zone unless it's awesome gardening weather. Having had zero opportunity to do anything outside since late fall, I would be hard pressed to pass up a good garden day.

The wedding plans did hit a minor glitch, as the bride to be confessed how well she does NOT get along with her mother. I now am aware that this is a potential mine field and I will be treading very, very carefully!

Perhaps I should work, in case we get to leave early (due to weather, not holiday).


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 11:16AM
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How large will those pups get, Sue? How could Rich possibly resist?

V - a blood red lamb cake would be right up her alley; ie., Passover. He'd probably think you were making her more comfortable!! LOL I think the "each person takes home a live chick" (not really, of course) would be good, though. We did that to an absolute diva/cosmo friend of Ky's (told her they were in the basement waiting because they got loose so often that we were afraid to bring them upstairs). It was only after she Demanded that she be brought back to the school empty handed that we broke down ....

Deanne: So the city made you a new border along the road? WWF's other stuff is just as pricey this year. The store people are reportedly nervous about losing sales....

Feeling for all in the country's middle who are dealing with waaaaaay too much water.

Sue - Crossing your comfort zone boundaries is going to be one of the greatest things in your upcoming months. Go for it!!

No early day here, either, but enough Cadbury to keep everyone happy for a few months. LOL


    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 12:22PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Just in case someone needs another peep at peeps. The local metro ad --

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 1:09PM
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The weekend looms , but I will spend part of tomorrow in my office retreat during the open house. It works out okay because I am working on a project and have my first open house tomorrow, so I have to be out for 3 hours. A perfect chance to be in my office when no one knows Im there, thus no interruptions.

Im feeling vindicated that others had the same thoughts when reading the DaVinci Code. You are all correct, it is suspenseful and you just have to think entertainment and get beyond plot holes etc. Not surprised that Cindy read in one sitting ! Still,it is the perfect book for me to be reading right now with all the stuff I have going on.

Sue , after my DH passed away I was surprised by how short a time it took me to get used to the solitary life., and I was married for 25 years. Maybe some people are just hard wired to be comfortable with it.

Have not gotten a WFF catalog this spring, but since I never order from them I usually have to re-ask for the catalog every few years. The prices are extremely unrealistic for west coast gardeners. The faux Amos Pettingills golden prose notwithstanding, there is no excuse for a 7.95 coleus. I must say that the catalog has been very educational for me over the years, especially in the early 80s when many of the plants they offered were never seen in garden centers out here. I would still love to visit their display gardens though .

Ok , time to go, hello to everyone, and I hope to post a pic of a real live Sweetpea flower this weekend!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 9:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A Nana's Tale

DD is now 31, but many years ago she received a pair of Chinese pajamas as a gift, I believe from my MIL. Sarah was very fond of her "Gam" and enjoyed special trips to visit her and shopping and camping trips together when she visited us.
Over the years we kept various things that DD was fond of, among them the red Chinese PJs. And so I gave them to her recently and the day came when she wanted DGS to have them. (Partly a scheme I believe to put the Spiderman PJ's in the background) In any case I thought it was sweet to receive this photo of the PJ's the other day. :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 10:46PM
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Peaceful Saturday to all .... Sunny and winds only at about 20mph. Wind has been heading in the right direction and all loose leaves are deposited in the woods. Raking is Rich's baliwick and I think he's a bit disappointed :-)

Kathy -- WFF's display gardens are worth a drive from anywhere, but the ONLY time I'll get material from them is during their end-of-season sale. The deal is to bring a non-gardener with you to guard selections as they can easily disappear if one is not careful. The other hint is to be willing to inconspicuously dumpster dive for things that the workers don't think are worthy of sale. No one cares. I agree with you that they've become somewhat mundane in their selections, but aside from Antonelli's I still think they're one of the best mail order tuberous begonia suppliers in the U.S. You should see the begonia house in bloom!!

Anyway ...

Thought of Michelle when I was poking around a garden center and found the darn cutest little planter shaped like a house -- perfect for a children's garden. The idea is to plant tiny plants into the windows a la' strawberry pot and have it look like window boxes. Probably could easily be built.

Your kids sound wonderfully cool, Saucy, and I bet if they got together with Mary's and Wendy's and Marian's DGD's, etc. we could all go nursery shopping and they'd be sad to leave each other when we get back:-) Maybe we could leave them in someone's kitchen and enjoy the fruits of their labors???? LOL

I'm supposed to be food shopping but starting some more seeds sounds like much more fun ....

Does anyone ever hear from Taryn?



    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 9:53AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's a beautiful, sunny morning here but it's only 27 degrees and there is 6 inches of snow on the ground. Hmm, why do I feel like I have posted that before? Deja vu all over again, I guess! We've sent the snow on to Babs and Drema for their Easter pleasure.

I'd like to hear from Norma and find out if she;s been affected by the flooding in her region.

We have the saddest-looking congregation of geese here. There's probably a couple of hundred clustered in any spot with open water. They're all huddled together trying to stay warm.

Time to get a couple of things accomplished today. TTYL!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 10:56AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I'm way behind again...

Sue - those pups should go fast once they're old enough! I'd bet that mix of breeds would produce a cute and feisty little dog - hybrid vigor too...

Kathy - good luck on the house sale process. I'm amazed at all the work you did! Is that because in a 'down' market you have to do a little more or is that what is usually required to sell a house there?

gb - very cute Pheobe and mammoth picture... (DGS picture/story was cute too.)

Mary - The potential move situation certainly must be difficult to weigh and evaluate. I'm not sure if I'm confusing you with someone else or not, but didn't you live out there once before? If so, does that make it easier to contemplate the move, since it wouldn't be completely unfamiliar territory?

V - more snow?! ICK! 'I'm dreaming of a white Easter...' just doesn't have the right ring to it, does it?! There' been a little bit om melting going on here but it's still 5-10C below average here, especially in overnight temperatures. It must be playing havoc with maple syrup harvest!

Marian seems to have disappeared agin. I wonder if her newly repaired computer has bit the dust again? I hope she's not absent due to weather or health problems.

Yesterday was the first day in over a month that I didn't have a headache! Most of the past week I seemed to be battling a bug of some sort. Some spring weather would make all of us around here feel a lot better I'm sure!

The big Copper beast went home on Sunday evening last weekend. My friend came down with a bug at the end of their trip so went straght to bed when she got home. Her husband came for Copper. I was expecting Copper, now that she is almost 2 years old, to have got over the strange reaction she had last year when my friend's DH picked her up. But no... When he arrived, we opened the door, expecting Copper to run out to greet him joyously. Nope! Misty ran out to greet him; Copper stood squarely in the open door, blocking the entrance and barking big 'Friend or Foe?' challenges at him! Randy hadn't been here for last year's pick-up and I don't think he really believed me when I told him how Copper had reacted then but he got to see it first-hand this time! I said 'oh-oh, I hope she doesn't do the submissive pee thing on the floor again!' Randy hauled her out and onto the driveway - where she did the pee thing... While Randy and my friend's husband took Copper's stuff (food, toys, food bowls, etc.) out to the car, Copper came back in and plastered herself up against me. When it was time to go, Randy took her down to the car. She seemed to be OK about getting into the car. My friend e-mailed on Tuesday afternoon to say she was finally out of bed and feeling better and that Copper had slept on the floor by her bed ever since Copper got home. All of our other doggie guests are always happy to be here but estatic when their people return. Copper is the only one who reacts like that. It's surprising because she's a breed that, like a German Shepherd, normally bonds very closely to their family. It always looks to me like Copper has not bonded to them well for some reason. She's always happier to see my friend when it is her who picks Copper up but, even in that case, Copper is often reluctant to leave. Very strange dog!

Liam (Border Collie) arrives on Thursday for 10 days. He's a much mellower dog (although a high energy one too!) There's no question with him that we're the doggie resort but heaven is when his 'parents'return.

Hi to everyone else; I'm reading along but not retaining a lot of details!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 1:08PM
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Im taking a coffee break from the seemingly endless house cleaning to drink some of my now cold French roast and read a few Idyll posts..

Nice to see you Woodyand yes, in a down market extras are necessary. Also in the type of typical California tract housing that I live in, one may be competing with homes that have the same floor plan and exterior elevation. My agent had gotten some very gratifying comments about curb appeal because of my front garden..hopefully its a selling point !

Tuberous BegoniasMartie I must confess that I can grow just about anything but for some reason I have have one h**l of a time with TBs. Last year in fact I bit the bullet anf bought several tubers from Antonellis (they had a booth at the SF garden show) and followed their instructions to a tee, and still got no flowers till almost Sept and only one or two puny ones on a couple of them. This happens to me every year ! Grrr. My speculation is that the micro climate in my back yard is just not conducive. Perhaps Ill have better luck in Oregon ! What is your regimen ?

Ok, better get back to workIll be back later for a longer visit ..

Kathy the Cleaning Lady

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 1:30PM
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Hideously behind, haven't really read anything since my last post. But am mightily discouraged, you guys, for a few reasons.

I know what stencil supplies I WANT, but can't find them locally. I want "mylar" stencil material (5-7mil) in something greater than sheets 12"x18". I would like to buy a yard of it 24-36"wide.

I am an ineffective "searcher". I manage to turn up some useful sites, but they never seem to carry the sorts of supplies I need for MY project.

I don't want pre-packaged CRAP for the the "do-it-in-a-day" crowd. I want the TOOLS the professionals use and I don't know how to refine my searches to get to the sites I need to find.

I'm going to sit in the corner and scowl until a kitty comes to roust me from my black mood...

:( :( :(

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Chelone, try the link below. It was recommeded on a painting Web site.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 4:14PM
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Chelone, I called my local arts supplies shop (Lyon's, bless their independent hearts) and asked for Mylar sheets for stenciling, and she said we carry Dura-lar, which when googled brings up lots of hits for sheeting in various sizes and thicknesses. One site is linked below. I'm not sure if its the thickness you need or not.

Dura-lar the Acetate Alternative
Dura-Lar is an optimal performing film that combines the best features of acetate and mylar. Each sheet is of archival quality and lies flat. Non-yellowing consistent color clarity, dimensional stability and non-tearing. The .003 thickness is ideal for protection of original artwork. The .005 thickness works great as an airbrush stencil or for color overlay work. Dura-Lar wet media is specially coated on both sides to accept markers, brushes, pens, and airbrush work without beading, crawling or chipping. Excellent for watercolor graphics, AV art, charts, maps, layouts, etc.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 4:23PM
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Chelone, have you thought of having your stencil custom cut? Depending on the intricacy of your design, that'd be another way to go. What's your vision for the stencil? Have you drawn up a design yet? You've definitely caught my interest as to what you're planning.

Explore the site below. They also carry ez cut plastic in just about any size your want. I don't know much about it but it'd be worth researching. Sounds good by what they describe. Look at the custom cut gallery too!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 9:02PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A quiet weekend day on the idylls. I have my hrutka hanging from a fridge shelf and draining, and the lamb is in the oven. The chocolate batter was quite delish - can't wait for the finished product. Making the hrutka brought back memories of my grandma doing the same, and then I realized it had been at least forty years since I had sat in her kitchen watching her prepare all the Easter foods.

Chelone, you sent me on a quest. Several years ago, the Stencil Artisans League, Inc. (SALI) had their convention a couple of miles away from my house, and their expo was open to the general public. I tracked down their website at, and from there found a couple of places that might head you in the right direction. offers custom cut stencils, but it seems like they handle larger sizes and perhaps could get you the blank material. And seems to have a wide range of materials. While the website does not offer the blank matte that large, it could be worth an email to the store.

The SALI expo was an awful lot of fun, and had me wishing I had known about the convention earlier to sign up for some of the classes. I took a rather young DD with me on a blistering hot July day, and came out to find that my car battery had died of heat exhaustion while I was inside. A memorable day!

This was a "postus interruptus" and the lamb has finished baking and cooling, so I need to go make frosting. Happy Easter all!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 9:23PM
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Today is a great one to Celebrate the Promise of the Season!

Everyone but me is sicker than sick here. Seems that the second round of the flu has hit so Rich is encamped on the couch (for the last 24 hours) and Ky hasn't emerged from his lair downstairs since 6p last night. Looks like a solo trip to my parents. Oh, well ...... I know it's all "for real" since Rich canceled a coveted appt yesterday and Ky declined dinner with an absolute old-friend beauty who was inexplicably dateless.

Woody: Your story got me thinking that if Copper was a child, eyebrows would raise ...... Reports are that seeds from the roses you sent as seed are sprouting. Passing the joy along as requested :-)

Kathy: Here in CT TB's really are great some years and some years they absolutely poop out. Don't give up. It all has to do with the material and there was some kind of blight a few years back. Antonellis directions work well for me, but I have a tendancy to plant a bit deeper (about 1/2" into the crater so the edges are just barely covered) and I mix in some rooting hormone to the medium.

One of my biggest gardening coups was getting a TB to bloom from seed (Antonellis, of course). That tuber never did anything again, but who cares??? LOL

V: Took me a moment to realize that the lamb of which you are speaking was the cake. "Lamb is done so must start frosting..." stopped me cold for a moment. How wonderful to have those memories. I need help knowing what hrutka is. Google is way too slow this morning.

Chelone: As one who can't draw a straight line with a ruler, your stenciling project has me in awe. No, I can't even do the "one-dayer" kits. I tried :-( Have you been on the receiving end of this wind????? Can't imagine what it's like near the ocean at this point.

'bug - A perfect fit! Read an article via local radio website about the 4000 parents who are undiapering their infants and using signals to get them appropriately situated to do their thing. My first thought: I "know" one of them!! When Mr. Mom goes back to work, where will Reed be?

So glad to Idyll this morning, best to all!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 8:27AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Happy Easter morning everyone!

I decided not to go the skiing route today. Alone I don't mind but skiing alone is just no fun and the trip was becoming more about proving I could do it than enjoying myself. On the bright side, it looks like a great day for some spring garden cleanup. So I'll work on that and maybe find a friendly bar to go have some dinner at some point later this afternoon or tonight.

On the furniture front, I found an antique oak dining set for the kitchen on Craig's list this morning. Sent an e-mail-now let's see if anyone gets back to me. I'm also looking for a patio set. The table I have is 54" round. Since day one I it's been too small and I find the style of the chairs to be uncomfortable. So Tom is taking that and I'm going to get something oval or rectangular-72" or 84" long. My local patio store has a good deal on a Woodard wrought iron set with six chairs and an 84" table that I so far have not been able to match on-line. Woodard is the brand I have now. It's left out, uncovered all year and has held up beautifully. The set I'm looking at is a different style with deeper seating chairs that are much more comfortable. Tomorrow I'll call some places in NC and do some price shopping. The livingroom furniture can wait til it gets cold

Allrighty then...time to rustle up some breakfast and get moving. Enjoy your day!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 9:04AM
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Happy Easter! Bella just called all excited about her Easter basket. We're painting today and tomorrow. Trying to finish up. Brad has a 4 day weekend from work, a benefit left over from the old generous days in the auto industry, lol. Everyone's so busy that none of us wanted to be in charge of Easter dinner this year so we're meeting the kids for Chinese later. Maybe a new tradition will be born.

Latest news here is that Jenni and Randy got married Friday. Then they got a puppy yesterday. His name is Magglio. Kathy may know where they got that name. I talked to Jen this morning and he kept them up all night.

Brad's trying to shove a paintbrush into my hand so gotta run. Have a great day!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 9:30AM
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I have spent the better part of an hour reading and chuckling over many posts. I feel reasonably well prepared to dive into the Idyll pool once more.

Our home is a rectangle. And, Kathy, I'm thankin' my lucky staHs that I don't have to haul out a step ladder and the shop vac. to remove what Mum always referred to as, "Irish Lace". Your home is lovely and knowing how much time and effort you've put into getting it "ship shape" I so hope your sale of it is speedy.

I cracked up at Reed makin' his move on the dog food, bare backside proudly displayed. LOL. One of the things that softens my general dislike of children (and dogs) is the complete lack of self-consciousness. So fun and refreshing. And the practical assessment of keep a diaperless baby on tile conjured a chuckle, too. Phoebe must keep older dogs at bay with her rambunctiousness. I like the comparison to the mature Bouvier to a woolly mammoth, too. And the chinese pyjamas are considerably more interesting than a Spiderman suit. ;) Spring is definitely heading your way... but as you know too well it will be a solid month before you will be certain. Hang in there.

Martie, we had a trio of dwarf fruit trees that were removed when we built the garage. I was not sad to see them go, personally. I had ZERO interest in the amount of work required to maintain them (let alone get fruit from them) and while the helpmeet professed a desire to do it the reality was very different. He has one full size apple tree left in his garden and a dwarf peach tree. He pays scant attention to those, too. Don't waste your time, is my advice.

Congratulations to Sue, as well. While the event is sad, it must feel good to know the finish line is in sight. Like you, I enjoy doing things by myself. But I think the "proving it" comment says it all. Have fun in the sunshine, puttering in your garden. Like Mary, I wonder about Nick and Zoe, too. As for the puppies... they should "go fast", being a good, "kickable" size. :)

My sympathy on the chipped tooth, V.. Things like that are so inconvenient, but weren't you lucky to be ushered into the chair so quickly? I am interested in hrutka... tell me some more about it. The green underwear story is one of those touching family stories that can be too readily forgotten; a loving, affectionate remembrance of your father. :) There are a lot of Canada Geese in my area; their "turf" is the golf course and when I take Rex there for a walkie I have to watch that he doesn't vacuum up too much goose dung. He thinks it's considerably more appetizing than I do. We often hear the nocturnal fly overs in the fall... it's a bit eerie to hear the honking in the wee hours of the morning, but very cool.

I grew up in a "neighborhood", too. I can still hear Mrs. Patrick hollering out her back door: "MAR-IIII-LYN, CAR-OO-LYN, MATTHEEEW!", lol.. The kids in our 'hood roamed in packs with the family dogs in hot pursuit. If there were 6-7 kids, there were at least 3-4 dogs, too. Little idiots marauding the neighborhood... . Mum never yelled for me; she always said when Mrs. Patrick called for her kids I shoudl come home. I nearly blew coffee on the monitor at the thought of bellowing, "LAAA-TRINA!" from the back doorstep. Too funny. Which brings me to a funny I saw on "America's Funniest Videos". It was the home stretch run of a horse race and drive to the wire was particularly exciting. A horse named, Hoof Hearted was driving and closing fast... you can, I'm sure, imagine the caller's voice repeating over and over, Hoof Hearted... . Cracked me right up. (still does)

Peeps stumpin' for public transportation killed me, Cindy. I've shared that nugget with several friends. Priceless. How're things going in the petrie dish?

I enjoyed "The Da Vinci Code", too, but agree it won't be remembered as a literary classic. Another favorite, that I thought was decently written was Michael Crighton's, "Jurassic Park". I think that's one of the creepiest science fiction stories I've read. Add my voice to the chorus with respect to John Grisham. But sometimes reading should be "pulpy"... they don't call 'em "beach reads" for nothing.

The latest issue of Garden Design has tumbled glass mulch used in several ads. VERY COOL, I agree.

Thanks for the help on "mylar", you guys. I get so frustrated trying to track down things on the internet. I don't know if I'm just dull-witted but I am rarely able to quickly locate a source for anything using Google. The local art supply store folded their tent some time ago and the two chain craft stores are into selling "kits", not tools. I understand that my personality is not the sort that buys "kits", that's why it's so frustrating for me. The last time I cut my own stencils I used the oiled stencil board and I bought it at the art supply store.

This time, I'm opting for a rather conplicated stencil and would like to use the hot pen to cut it. I would like to do 3 overlays (3 colors) and I want to do it myself. I like losing myself in projects for small amounts of time in a day and then seeing it all come together in the end. I still have to find a decent store to look carefully at the Liquitex paint colors... do you have a favorite in your area, Deanne?

Factoid: Mr. Ed was an American Saddlebred; a handsome horse. Palominos were traditionally the horses used by the queens of Spain.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 10:08AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - a puppy sounds to me like a good way to start a marriage! :-) What kind of puppy?

Martie - I don't for a minute think Copper is not well treated at home. I do think, though, that she's too much dog for them and that results in a bit of reserve on both sides. My friend has a milder form of what I have so she has a balance problem although not to the extent of needing a walker like I do. However, she falls easily and has had a few falls while walking Copper. Since my friend also has osteoporosis, falls are not good things! Their previous dog was a smaller, quieter breed that was quite elderly when she died. Replacing her with a larger, rowdier, younger dog was not such a good idea. I suspect her husband is not really a dog person - he seems very bewildered and a bit embarrassed by Copper's strange greetings. A dog person would likely have said, in an amused tone, 'oh, don't be a silly dog!' crouched down to make himself look smaller and less intimidating (he's a big guy!) and called her over and give her a treat. Instead, he just stood there, clearly not knowing what to do. I should have thought to tell him what to do! Randy's brother and wife dropped by when Copper was here. They got the 'Friend or Foe?' challenge too but did what I just described and Copper was a big, friendly goof immediately. Copper has a lot of fun here - she has her little buddy to play with; she gets 2 or 3 good walks a day with her buddy, me and one of Randy/Barb/Arlene; we have a big, dog-friendly yard to run around in (her yard at home is small and most of it is taken up with a swmming pool...); on our walks, we usually run into one or more neighbouring dogs to socialize with; she's included in all our activities and a little good-natured rowdiness and silliness is allowed; there's lots of pampering and indulgence but basic good manners are expected. I suspect we're just more relaxed and more fun than her home environment :-)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 10:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So nice to hear about Jenni and Randy! Did you know in advance? I'd like a photo of the threesome Eden, if they don't mind.

HOOF HEARTED type story:

Took Charlotte to puppy kindergarten many years ago. (Actually, took her to 3-4 semesters!) In the first session we were teaching the command "SIT". The pattern goes this way. Owner says "Charlotte, SIT" in a firm voice. One does NOT repeat the command, but being new at the game, I repeated several times: "Harlot, SH*T!" Of course this became a permanent command at our house.

Sue, it is great to hear how you are progressing. Your skiing decision sounds very wise. Wish I could be gardening today...but that is a long way off still. High of 26F predicted today. I'll probably concentrate on food prep and dog play. Phoebe has been enjoying "Fetch", a game Bouviers are not normally fond of. I'm not up to housework, something which is sorely needed here. With the sun shining it becomes very obvious too.

Last night was a noisy night of raccoon activity. If you've ever heard baby raccoons scream...well then you know what it was like. The cats certainly were alert to it. Loads of wild turkeys about this year. More than ever before.

I hope the silent ones are enjoying their holidays too. That means YOU Honey, Ei, Brenda and quite a few others!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Easter greetings to the IdyllsHaving coffee in my extremely clean house and plotting the chores for the day-hoping I can justify mostly outdoor activities, since we are supposed to hit 70 today. I do have a section of my siding that was repaired and primed but not painted---that might be just the ticket. Open house went well yesterday, we had 11 visitors which I thought was pretty good for the day before Easter. We will open both days next weekend.

Woody, there is a columnist for the SF Chronicle that periodically writes about his travails with the family dog Como" who has always inexplicably been very lukewarm towards this writer . He worked diligently for a couple of years just to get Como to tolerate him. The columns are quite amusing . He and his family tried many different strategies at one point he was the exclusive food and treat provider .

Loverly TB Martie. Someday I will prevail ! One year I planted the tubers on the surface of the soil, uncovered after reading instructions from somewhere-I dont even recall who at this point. They were as always unimpressive !

Sue, my patio dining set is scheduled to be put curbside with a free sign on it at some point. I have always found the chairs to be uncomfortablethe arms are too low and one has to either lean or slump to use them.

Well Eden I must say I have never (yet) named a pet after a baseball playerbut what a great idea for the future ! What manner of puppy is Magglio ?

Chelone, I guess now when you want the kids home you call them on their cell phone ! No need to holler down the street, lol.

I wonder if Marians computer is down again ?

I wonder if our Mary wore *her* green undies on St Paddys day?

Enjoy your day everyone-

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 11:48AM
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Woody, the pup is a lab/terrier mix, 6 months old. Jen found him on the Humane Society website. He's been living with a foster family. I've only seen a picture of his face so far. He's black with white marking, very cute.

Marie, they've been mulling over what they wanted to do for a while. They were going to go on a tropical vacation and get married there but decided they'd rather put the money towards an addition they're planning for the house. She didn't want a big wedding, so they just did something very small. He'd had her engagement ring specially designed so they had to have the wedding rings done and that took a few weeks. Once they had those they made an appointment at the courthouse. Megan and David were their witnesses and had a limo pick them up at the house as a surprise. Megan took care of the something old, new, etc., and ordered her a bridal bouquet and wedding cake. There was champagne and a celebration at a favorite restaurant afterwards .

We're going over later to met Mags so I'll try to get pictures.

Sue, I think a day of working in the garden is always good for the soul. Good decision.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 12:07PM
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I think some people just relate to animals better than others. I confess to a certain ambivilence toward the sort of dog whose muzzle would invade your most private area if you stopped short in your tracks. I felt that way about the Springer we had. She was a very loving animal, but so dependent... (can you say "cling on"?). The hardest part of it was that she SNORED... and it drove me nuts when she'd follow me everwhere, sack out and then shatter the peace with the snoring. No matter how much attention she received it was never satisfactory... very unlike Sally and Rex. Interesting.

I meant to comment on the Locks of Love gift, Saucy. Very nice idea (when I cut my hair I donated 14" to them). How do you thnk Jacob would look with red dreadlocks? hehehe...

I wondered about Marian's absence, too. I hope the computer woes are ironed out soon.

Also hoping this another headache-free day for Woody.

I presented the helpmeet with his easter basket last night. Mine consisted of grocery bag with some Peeps and cheapie chocolate bunny. His caused rather a stir... a real basket, complete with fake grass, and a truly arresting assortment of chocolate and Jordan almonds from a very nice, local candy store. "Wow, hon., your's looks a lot nicer than mine... " (No kidding!).

I've fired up the furnace to bring the Salon up to a comfy temperature for the first leg of pickling. I've mixed the primer 50/50 with water, have rags ready, and an assortment of brushes. There are a couple of boards for "practice", but it can't be that tough.

The wind was absolutely ferocious on Friday, Martie. Gusts in the 45-50mph range. I noted a lot of downed branches when I went out yesterday morning. It's still breezy (and chilly!) today but nothing like Friday. There has been a great deal of feline capering in the yard... many leaves to be subdued, you know. :)

Wondering also about the "silent ones", looking forward to news from their homes.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 12:12PM
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Glad to see you "up", Sue. For the first few months of unmarriedness I tested the waters about what was fun alone and what wasn't. The only thing that never, ever clicked was eating out at a table. It's pure freedom to do what you want when you want, though, including ice cream cones for dinner and midnight food shopping. Breathe, my friend!! I'm confused about the concern for Nick and Zoe???

Eden: What great news about Jen and Randy!! I remember Bella being infatuated with him and glad that "Uncle Randy" is officially "Uncle." Was this spur of the moment or you just held out on us?? LOL

For Eden, PM2, and other seed starters who aren't this year:

From my "what works best in what" notes over the years, a motley assortment but it works! Egg cartons and styrofoam come later, LOL.

I'll try and remember to post weeklies of these babies for others' vicarious growing pleasure.

Off to outside for Sweet Pea and Spinach planting!! Had a small handful of spinach pluckings for dinner last night but left their cover on too long and toasted the rest. No more wintersowing this year :-)


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 12:13PM
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Ah seeds! Does my heart good to see them sprouting. I do want to do a few with Bella. Easy ones that sprout quickly. Martie, I'd love to see a week by week chronicle of how they're progressing.

Kathy, they are big Tiger fans, season ticket holders. I knew you'd get it! I wish my house was neat and tidy like yours.

Chelone, so today's the beginning of the pickling adventure! I like to put together Easter baskets. I did Bella's this year and had such fun choosing lots of little treasures for it. Let's see, there was a Dove chocolate bunny, three cute plastic eggs disguised as chicks with chocolate eggs inside, of course PEEPS, a play watch, sunglasses, bunny finger puppets, a coloring book, 101 Dalmations dvd, 3 schleich dinosaurs and a stuffed bunny. (I think that's it). I used pink paper grass instead of the cellophane type this year and liked it much better. I had to search high and low for pink cellophane to wrap it in this year and finally found some at Walgreens. It just doesn't look like an Easter basket to me without that finishing touch.

I've been here too long, best get back to my paintbrush before Brad realizes I'm Idylling.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 12:39PM
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The Ultimate Peep Show...

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 12:54PM
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Thanks, 'bug, for the warning re Betty Corning and instructions re training harlots, lol, cmm (cackling maniacally to myself, more like). I dare only hope Betty C. overwhelms that pot. She looks off to a good start. I noticed in a previous photo of Reed that he and I share the exact same "bed" hair. I've got a maelstrom of cowlicks in the same spot as Reed's.

Martie, that's some seed production operation. Sowed in situ in a few gaps this morning 'Triple Purple' orach, 'Gold' orach, and 'Magenta' orach. Love that orach! ornamentally speaking. Temps were up to 87 yesterday. Wish I could send about 17 of those degrees to those in need. Both my mom and dad are battling a flu that refuses to let go...and with the spring cruise coming the end of April. Spent most of Sat. morning trying to decide the best use of nine hours in each port of call, a nice problem to have but feels a bit like The Great Race, dashing through Athens in a day, weighing seeing Florence vs. Pisa vs. the Cinque Terra (voted for the latter). Frankly, a cruise is not my first choice for a vacation, but I am beginning to get a bit excited as it draws near. Perverse that I am, I just wish the ship wasn't so darn lux. A tramp steamer would suit me fine! But this is for my parents, since seeing Greece has been my dad's big dream. Now this flu is threatening to seriously decondition both of them. And my mom has been on V's Airborne...

All this cleaning is making me ever more grateful for staying in a thousand sq feet of bungalow with one bathroom. During the day I'm mainly found in the garage-converted office and/or garden anyway. Good to hear Deanne purchased whatever camera equipment she needs since we will all benefit, lol. The Easter basket descriptions sound wonderful. I deposited a small bag of Ghiradelli chocolate caramels on Mitch's desk yesterday, the only real chocolate lover besides me. That was the extent of Easter prep here. Congrats on the happy couple, Eden.

Sue, have a marvelous day. Pickle away, Chelone! I hope you have another headache-free day, Woody, that's great news. Yoo-hoo, Brad! Eden's not painting but posting Peep porn! Happy Easter to all.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 1:12PM
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Shhhhhhhhhhhh Denise! He's in the basement painting shelves and I'm supposed to be doing trim upstairs. Yesterday I skipped out on him and went shopping. I'm not a very good worker. Little secret, but when I say WE're doing a project around here, it's mostly HIM. I'm good at thinkin em up though.

I'm with you on the small house and one bathroom. As much as I hate cleaning the bathroom, I can't imagine having to do 3 or 4. No thanks!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 1:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

(OK, Reed is the almost bald one, Skyler is the bed hair one.)

As to Mr Mom, he returns to work July 1st. Last week they interviewed at a day care place. It sounds great! First of all, it seems that in Edmonton one needs to get on a THREE YEAR waiting list. So the fact that there were available spots was astonishing. Second, it is situated across the street from DD's office. Third, the lady who runs the place has been there since 1986 and has some of the same staff she started with. Four, she has sent her staff to hand signing classes. Five, she has worked with no diapering babies a few times and is open to the concept. The bad news is that the opening starts in January. I told DD to put her $50 down and we'll work on the first six months some way or another in the meantime. We'll see what they decide. The fact that the woman is competent and actually listens to the parents is wonderful. She insists on a 15 minute talk with a parent at the start of each day to see how things are going.

Easter, so far...


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 1:38PM
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Taxes or gardening? Taxes or gardening? Taxes or Gardening?

I'm so late with the first, may as well stay on top of the second choice. Right. I think Daylight Saving Time created this problem.... beautiful day in Maryland.

Congrats to Jenni & Randy! Was he the 'big and tall' guy Bella was leaning on in a Christmas time photo? Or do I misremember?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 2:04PM
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The trees can't leaf out fast enough for me to mitigate some of this heat. Silly transposition of me 'bug. I'm Skyler and Marty's Reed ;) Easter dinner canceled due to flu. Marty on day shift. Taxes done. Eden's painting by now. Can't face working on transcripts. Think I'll grab some books on Greece and Turkey and head for the shade. I'm sure Sue's up on ski clubs in her area but link provided just in case.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 3:59PM
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Well! I'm fresh in from my very first venture into the realm of pickling. I used a Vlasic jar (what else?) to mix a 50/50 ratio of white latex primer and water. I shook it thoroughly and advanced on the sample boards, brushes and rags at the ready.

I'm not sure what this knucklehead was thinkin', but I've never in my painting career ever done anything SO EASY. LOL. We've selected a grade of white pine that has some knots in it for the trimwork. I filled the nailholes, gave them a quick sand, removed any remaining pencil marks and then went for it. I really like the effect so far. The yellowy cast to the wood is gone, the knots have taken on a different character, but add some very nice interest to the run of the wood. I have given my sample boards a second coating and will be interested to see the final effect next to the single coat. The final finish will be a coat/two? of a satin finish latex clearcoat (no yellowing with time, unlike oil-based polyurethane). I have taken a couple of pictures, too.

I'm actually looking forward to coming up with an interesting window trim; it will be easier to see the effect of the pickling next to the wall color on the windows.

Taxes. The bill for the accountant is one bill I actually enjoy paying. I know the forms are properly handled and should there ever be an audit we will have the sort of documentation expected.

I think a cruise on a steamer would be very interesting, too. Some years ago we invited the crew of a freighter to the company Christmas party. They had a blast and were only too happy to cart all the leftover holiday food back to the ship for their comrades on watch. :) They saluted us on their way outbound for sea.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 4:30PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Congrats, Eden - how wonderful and economical of Jen and Randy - a couple w/ their feet on the ground. And we know you've got Brad trained perfectly, LOL -- that's my kind of "joint projects."

Peep porn to the max, what a hoot.

Neat, Chelone that you're making headway on pickling tests, and isnt amazing what internet detectives came up for you re the mylar -- I love detecting/researching on the net -- but some folks are frustrated by it.

I did a copycat re Sue's tasks - yard cleanup for several hours today -- gorgeous day altho a tad chilly; but my stamina is definitely not up to par yet -- I think Im suffering some of that March melancholy like Chelone and others -- the family histrionics/exile have gotten to me a bit -- not much I can do about it unless I turn back into a doormat; but it's hard to stand tough; I need to reinforce that kevlar garbage shield. Such is life. Luckily garden therapy is free and works pretty well; much much better than housecleaning!

Gardenbug -- that's terrific DD has found a good daycare spot for Reed - maybe another opening will pop up unexpectedly; you never know.

Denise - hope the folks get better quickly - that sounds like a fun cruise -- I loved Greece; one of my favorite places; I'd love to go back. Never really done a cruise tho as w/ severe motion sickness woes, that's my idea of a nightmare -- spend lots of $$ on a cruise and spend most of it w/ my head hanging over the side; the scopalomine patches are a miracle for me but Im still afraid -- it would be a tough way to test it out for a few weeks! I've often thought that was such a special way for families to create great memories - a trip/cruise together.

Kathy, sounds like you had a nice respite re the open house; hope it goes quickly and successfully.

Well, Im indulging in a pizza and pilsner tonite -- a treat for the hard work the muscles are feeling. Not very Easter like, but indulgent nevertheless.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 5:26PM
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Happy Easter everyone

Still chuckling over the ultimate peep show and enjoyed Cindy's link too.

Easter was fun here. I made brunch and we enjoyed catching up with some dear friends. Their daughter is off to college next year but still wanted to join the egg hunt so I was out in the snow searching for hiding spots. I guess you're never too old for a good egg hunt (or Peeps). DH reminded me that he spends the rest of the summer mowing over the unclaimed eggs with the ride on lawn mower. We had guitar, violin and fiddle music after our meal as we lingered with coffee.

After our friends left I joined a neighbor on a bird watching walk and I'm now catching up on laundry. Annie and David's schools are off tomorrow but I have a full day at work:0( A 4 day weekend sounds a much better idea.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 5:36PM
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