Idyll # 371 Aaah- CHOO! Sign of spring?

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)March 29, 2008

Tree pollen in the air this past week....

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today is a lovely day here with sun and robins and melting snow. We have a new puppy nearby, so that makes Phoebe very happy too. Not warm, but seeing the old unraked leaves and mud is certainly an improvement over a steady diet of white white white! DH got out the ladder and chopped off a branch which the squirrels were using to access the bird feeder. Almost seemed like the start of spring chores. I also saw some daffs trying to poke up through the snow. Now that is a welcome sign!!!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 4:37PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - definitely a Scandanavian vibe going on there! It's all going to look very stunning I think. The stencil looks complicated and time consuming - and beautiful. Clearly, you have a LOT more patience than I do :-)

Eden - Bella's developing good habits. Substitute dogs for dolls and you can frequently find me in a similar pose...:-)

gb - more Phoebe pictures please....

We 'borrowed' Blue for a play-date with Liam this afternoon. Liam has gained weight and is clearly looking for more exercise. Blue seems to be slowing down a bit though; Liam was running rings around him at times. Copper would probably have been a better energy match but she wasn't available today.

Here's a few pictures from Wednesday's samosa-making session:

and stuffing:

and the finished product:

My friend's filling recipe makes the best samosas I've ever had. We were using pastry her aunt made and she has promised me the ricipe for that too. It makes a much better wrapper than the commercial won ton/samosa wrappers you can buy.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 4:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Barb must just adore working for you! That's work? Yum Yum! You always travel about and do fun things together. I notice your hair has grown longer...and that you are working in your friend's kitchen...not yours.

I'll try for puppy pictures tomorrow when Phoebe and I visit Nora. Cecylia was frightened today when a huge falcon-like bird circled above her when she was out playing with the puppy. Seems the bird had thoughts of making a puppy its lunch! Cecylia ran onto the road where the snow had melted and the bird could not see them so clearly. Eventually it flew off.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 4:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yum! I am not famliar with samosas but the finished product looks very yummy. And that is a great pic of you, Susan. You look like you were feeling good....I sure hope so.

The itching continued last night, and antihistamine did little to alleviate it. So there goes the use of another pain med!

It was just plain cold here today. I even had a problem getting the house warmed up. The temps went from a high of mid-70s thursday, to a high of about 40 the past two days.And it is cloudy and rainy...and foggy. At least it isn't single digits like it is in the area where I was born and raised.

The sight and sound that uplifted my spirits was a Towhee in the White Azalea by the deck this afternoon. They are another of my favorite birds. The fiesty wrens have been hollering at me while I am at the dinningroom table 'puzzling'. Nolon says they are nesting in his 'shop' in an old telephone box.

I spent a while yesterday viewing last year's March garden pics. Most everything bloomed at least two weeks earlier than this March...then was froze to death the 7th of April! Many of those plants look pretty sad this spring. I think the pink Azalea is a goner. Maybe if I prune it back it will recover.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 6:51PM
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I remember the very sad photographs of last spring's freeze, Marian. "Before and after" were quite sobering. Interesting how the effects linger on until the next season, huh? Even with the snow the springtime songs of the resident avians are still there. Whenever any of the family was sick it was always, "the grippe" or "the crud". And the medication was "cherry elixir". Sooo... take your cherry elixir and hope the grippe or the crud is quickly vanquished!

I don't believe I've ever seen the "Princess Bride", is it a Ron Howard film?This is another home that frequently recycles movie dialogue into family use. A favorite is "The Terminator" (clearly, we don't have kids): "Sarah Connor?" (my imitation is pretty scarey). And, "Get out.". and the predictable reply, "-uck you, ---hole!". Other favorites are: "Well! I almost had to wait." ("Overboard"), "I'll rest easier knowin' that." ("Heartbreak Ridge"), "... close that hole under your nose." (ditto HR). I would like to know more about "Judgement at Nuremberg", Denise. And thought of the now late director of "The English Patient" (have no lasting memory of it, at all... unlike Seinfeld's Elaine).

Norma, I think you're wise to keep your nose to the grindstone and slog through the basement reorganization, giving your yard some time to dry out. We don't have a basement here... that's why we need a garage/baHn so much. I think you're on a great, "kick". ;) Like everyone else I look at newlyweds and think, "they're really young!". Younger than I was (32), but commitment and some luck is all it takes to make it work.

Drema, the shot of Charlie in his bunny suit is pretty cute. You guys need to move quick if you want one of him blissfully naked on a bear rug. Don't pass up the chance; exceptional "blackmail" quality in a shot like that... . I'm in complete agreement with Saucy... you look terrific, Jen.! And I slogged along today in dogged pursuit of the window goal. Don't be impressed with my progress until it's DONE.

I have a dim recollection that our TGIF girl was planning a trip to Florida? At any rate, she's slippin'.

Oh how great the Phoebe has a new friend. They'll be best pals in no time flat! I can't wait to see pictures.

I put in a long day today. Put up pictures for you guys. Cleaned the kitchen. Three loads of laundry. Pickled remaining two windows and cleaned the brush. Paid bills, put envelopes in the mail. Filled out deposit slips, ralleyed Rex and went to the bank, then picked up Satin finish clearcoat for recently pickled window sashes. Proceeded to apply one coat of clear finish to 10 (count 'em!) doublehung windows. Cleaned brush and then relaxed by reading the Idyll more carfully.

Which brings me to this. I thought of Eden and Michelle and their mothers. I thought about the years Mum was here and how it all boiled down to her living here. And I've come to the conclusion that you never really know how anything is going to shake out. You just have to take your best shot, do your level best, and hope for the best.

Today is the 81st. birthday of Man O' War, considered by many to be greatest racehorse foaled in the USA. His racing career was brilliant. His stud career influenced Thoroughbred racing for decades. He could sprint, he could go a distance, and he could carry weight. Don't speak to me of Barbaro...

Here is a link that might be useful: March 29, 1917

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 7:36PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It was a reasonably lovely day here, so of course I was at a conference for most of the day. But the conference went well and I'm told I will be asked back for next year.

Since it was a lovely, sunny day, I bagged the interstate route and drove back on the state road that hugs the Rock River. I cursed myself many times for not thinking to bring the camera with. The river is running high, so at times the river is less than two feet from the edge of the road. At other times you drive next to soaring limestone bluffs. When you get to the town of Oregon, you see all these amazing sculptures by Lorado Taft about town, since it was his summer retreat. There is a massive statue called The Eternal Indian that stands on the opposite bluff of the river. Since I couldn't take a photo, you can enjoy someone else's at the link below.

So that's how I made lemonade out of the lemon of losing a day in the garden. When I did get home, I grabbed a garbage bag and filled it with all the trash that the various contractors had left throughout the winter. If the rains hold off tomorrow, I may be able to clean up some of the beds.

Woody, what a great photo of you! And not too bad of the samosas either. I've only had them once and want to try an Indian restaurant not too far away from here.

Chelone, I enjoyed the photos of the salon. The stencil will be wonderful.

DH and I are planning to observe Earth Hour with a candlelight dinner. But I gave him grief when I got home - we both arrived home from separate destinations about the same time - he had left the house about lunchtime with three lights burning and the radio playing! So we are not even making up for what was wasted earlier today. :(

Time to feed the puppies! and start the potatoes.


Here is a link that might be useful: Taft Sculpture

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 8:01PM
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It's been a busy day here as well. At 7;15 Kenzie announced "Gramma the sun is awake" I peeped an eye open and said "where? climb in Gramma's bed" We made playdough and made a bunch of playdough cookies, made a few puzzles, played piano and sang, fished with a toy fishing rod and fishes, played hide and seek, colored a butterfly and made a card with it, sorted thru my jewelry for necklaces for her to wear, feed the birds, took a peek into the playhouse, fixed 3 meals, I took a long walk after she left and continued to work on projects in the laundry room including washing clothes. What do you think of that Chelone?

Seriously though Chelone, your project is shaping up nicely. The stencil should be beautiful. The witch hazel picture is stunning.

The samosas look yummy, what's the filling?

Denise, no definate plans for my shed, but I do plan on working on Kenzie's. Her and I decided today to paint it yellow with periwinkle trim. She wants birdhouses and a finch feeder as well. She likes yellow alot. I'm not a big fan of elevators, I started getting hot as I read.

I have a pair of Lands End boots that I love for winter walking, warm but not too klunky. The zipper broke, I like them so much I decided to have them repaired. We actually have a local man who does shoe repairs inexpensively.

Eden, Bella looks adorable on the flowery fabric and your new wall color is lovely.

Cynthia, our lawn is full of robins too, but thats where the similarities end.

I do enjoy the plants that stay evergreen for the winter with sedum 'Angelina' being the best of all. It has such a pretty orange color early in the spring. At least most the the snow is gone again.

That's all for now


    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 8:26PM
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Just a brief visit here this evening, enjoying a glass of wine and some tapenade on crackers. Man o man do I LOVE tapenade ! The challenge is finding one you like at a reasonable price.
Open house went well today, but not a large turnout- Sunday is usually busier here. Tommorow I will depart at 8:30 for the wilds of Danville for my fantasy baseball league annual draft day- tonite I need to finish my research and make sure I have a winning strategy. Furthermore, my Dodgers are on the tube tonight playing an exhibition game with the RedSox at the LA Coliseum, their home before Dodger Stadium was built after they moved out here from Brooklyn. (note to Denise, they expect 120k , and I would really not want to be in that traffic jam ! )

Chelone, I love your pickling and that stencil pattern is way Fabu-fabu.

Sorry for the brief post, but duty calls, and Hi to all, hoping spring comes your way soon .

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 8:37PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Back again, as the sun is down but not out...just a sliver of orange along the horizon. Imagine at 7:20pm. Ended up not being too bad a day despite the fact I never did get back to sleep. I made sure I had chocolate about 6pm. No more falling asleep that early. [g] DH helped one of the kids with their very confusing tax return today and they were both pulling their hair out and had to table it after 3 hrs to return to tomorrow, I imagine.

We managed to get out to the library and a book I reserved was waiting for me...'Mac OS X Leopard, the Missing Manual' It is as thick as a telephone book! Oh well. That was after spending some time pruning more shrubs with earmuffs and gloves..sunny but chill-y out there ! One over grown boxwood that was crowding onto a walkway and the driveway. When will I ever learn to place plants right the first time? Plus I am tip pruning a Blue Holly this year that is just not thick enough.

Watched a John Wayne western that I hadn't seen before. From 1944, my, did he look Finally have 90% of my music files converted and moved over to the new Mac. Driving everyone crazy playing all these tracks I forgot I

Eden, Midnight Train To Georgia is one of my favorites too. That back memories of when my kids were little enough to read stories together. She is so sweet!

I'm behind again. I started to do a quick scan and I went by a photo so quickly I thought I was seeing a bear, but it was Kathy's

Drema...Charlie is so adorable in the bunny outfit! :-) Everyone looks so happy at your house. The peeling wallpaper looked like a yellow stripe in it to me, until you pointed it out. [g]

Gardenbug....glad I posted the link re: computer distribution...I almost didn't, thinking you probably knew about it, but wasn't that swell to see NPR take an interest? G'bug, we were 27/28 yrs old when we got married. Reed is looking pleased as punch with himself and Skylar is 9! We had 14 yrs difference between Son #1 and Son #2. Son#1 was very happy to finally have a brother! :-) Really Sorry to hear about your Uncle's passing...93 is a wonderful age to live to. He sounds like he was a character and nice he will be remembered in such a positive way. :-)

Pet names....I love Petunia too! I knew someone who named their large dog, Basil..and I thought that was really cute. Norma, Jasmine is cute...too.

Deanne...even though you are too busy to post much, I find I do think of you every time I start looking at my poor pathetic houseplants dying to go outside or start considering what I should be doing to get ready for the season... and I have to smile to myself at how busy you are, in the vision in my

V....never did pick up on what type of seminars you do? As for Heucheras...I was loving them for a few years and still do, but not quite performing as well as I would like still. I am moving them around to see what happens. Love that Caramel. Speaking of going green...has anyone seen the NPR podcasts on recycling and cleaning out your basement, etc? have a LadyBanks Rose? Aren't they huge? The second photo of Ted definitely has to go together with the first one. :-) I imagine open house tomorrow...hope you get a lot of interested visitors.

Michelle, what a relief about your Mom. DH has high cholesterol too. It runs in his family. We have an appointment with an alternative med doc soon, to see what he can recommend, as the PCP keeps pushing the meds that I keep reading horror stories about.

Chelone...I don't know what I LOVE more, that Witch Hazel or that pickling! DH and I both find horses so fascinating and mentioned to him your comment about Man'O'War. We do remember him...impressive. Secretariat has always been our all time favorite and we gave our kids a book on the greatest athletes of all time and Secretariat was the only animal in it! :-) I find them so inspiring.

Cynthia...I agree the Turbo Tax seems to make it easier, but what is even easier is when my DH does them instead of I am very thankful! We seem to have similar wake up times, Cynthia. I am up just about every morning by 5am and too often earlier than that. I used to have the rule that if I am still awake after 30 minutes I get up, but I take the risk of waking up DH who can hear a pin drop.

Woody...yummy looking samosas!

Thanks for the mention of Land's End...time to start looking.

Denise...such an interesting story about Judgment at Nuremberg dictation...quite a memorable movie. But your elevator story and the 'phobia commiseration' just made me laugh. This photo is for you, next time you are thinking of jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge...LOL

I feel caught up but I am sure I had to have missed someone and apologies in that case. Hello to everyone and gardening season is coming! Warming up next week!


    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 8:42PM
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Hi! My Name is Babs.

Hope you all are doing well! I miss you all.

It's weird how life changes-do you think about that? I do.

Hmm highlights of what's up here? Nothing big. I just got back from Hocking Hills-it just never gets old for us. I think I'm just meant to live in a log cabin in the wild-despite that there's running water,and a hot tub-shhh. I know you all would LOVE it there. It's complete nature. Night skies that would wow-wow you if you normally live by a city where the Big Dipper is normally as good as it gets. Campfires each night,fishing off the dock,hiking the upper rim of a gorge 200 ft. deep and seeing a breathtaking sea of wilderness below and blue sky high above. Drinking ice cold water from a stream that I really do hope came from a spring so I don't have to worry that in two weeks I'll come down with an intestinal malady....ha ha! that made me laugh! So far I am still alive: ) We even got to hear a symphony of spring peepers!!Be still my heart!Spring.

But also in the real world,I'm excited about making a mother-of-the-bride dress for a friend who is tickled to death that I can make her a custom fit dress-she's got no waist and is maybe five feet tall-I will try to help her look spectacular.
My yard is an utter mess of pine cones and sticks and deer destruction-I feel a clash with my deer feeding neighbor coming on(It' probably good for you that I haven't been idylling).
Took a moment today to help my kids plant tomato seeds in egg shells they filled with potting soil that will eventually be planted into outdoor pots when it's safe from frost. Funny, Aj doesn't like/eat tomatoes but he was the most excited to participate: ) We'll do peas for him once our soggy soil dries a little more.

My baby Ryan is now 7....that just doesn't sound right but I know it is!

I hope you are all well-I have a few threads to read first before I know what's up.

Happy Spring!


    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 11:01PM
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I actually do know that Man O' War was foaled 91 yrs. ago... numbers next to each other can be dangerous.

I have another rather full day on the docket again today. I've addressed the laundry harvest, KP duty, and an assortment of other silly little chores.

Overall, Michelle, I think you had a very productive day yesterday, as well. Any day spent encouraging a child to play, create, and communicate is time very well spent. (and I hate kids). What was the final verdict on your Mom? just to get her cholesterol level down and more under control?

Hey, how nice to see Nurse Ratchett drop by! hard to believe Ry. is now 7. And yeah, I think about how our lives change a lot, Babs.. What strikes me is how incremental the changes seem in the immediate term, but how large and profound they become with the perspective of more time! I would be quite angry if any of my neighbors deliberately fed deer. I think you've shown a great amount of restraint... considerably more than I would! It's going to be a few weeks before the spring peepers begin their chorus in my area. I love their little trills, too.

I love tapenade. We buy a commercially produced variety that is not terribly expensive (Cantare), slurgeing every so often and buying some of the higher end offerings at local "gourmet" shops. I like it on Triscuit "Deli Rye" or Carr's water crackers. We use it atop salads a lot, too. I've lobbied for its use on pasta, but the helpmeet has thusfar proved resistant. I don't cook. ;)

The stencil is going to be complicated. I have a stencil burner that should make the actually cutting easier. I'm planning 3 overlays (finished stencil will have 3 colors), and that should make the cutting simpler, but puts greater emphasis on the registration marks that will ensure each overlay is placed in correct alignment with the others! I've still not found the source for larger pcs. of Mylar, but haven't exactly had my hindquarters to coals on the seach, either. I'm focussing on the window sashes and the mopboard right now. So you guys can actually "see" the Scandinavian thing shapin' up? Yay.

V., my father was the original explorer. He knew every major road in I don't know how many towns. He thought the interstates were great, but whenever we went anywhere we usually "took the backroads". He was a staunch advocate of "scenery" and figured as long as you were burning gasoline, you should use it to take in the local sights. My brother and I saw some very cool things because of it, and my brother has inherited the "Magellan" title. How was your "talk"?

I have a funny about cats and pet access to homes. We live primarily on the second floor of our home. Only Wrecks must be let out the front door. The cats have a series of "switchbacks" that lead from the deck to the ground and allow them to present themselves at the slider to entrance and egress. Well, clearly, the Salon has presented a difficulty. The cats have no way to tell me they want to come in and watch me work aside from howling piteously ouside the door. We have determined that we will add switchbacks so they may present themselves at the windows of the Salon. I hope well be able to come up with something stylish and effective.

Gotta finish some chores and then get motivatin' on the window sashes. Thanks for the kind comments, you guys!

I count myself among the fortunate, no allergies. At least so far, or that I've identified.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 8:52AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, we once rented the second floor of a farmhouse, while DH was studying and I was teaching in town. Our cat (Sammy) climbed a tall ladder that had been left leaning against the house and yowled at the window whenever she wanted to come inside. The first time really was quite a surprise!

Last night was Swiss fondue by candle light with our French Club. It was a particularly nice evening, but I was agitated leaving Phoebe so long. I tried to leave 4 different times but was told I had to watch a video, or try a dessert, or listen to a song, or...before I simply said au revoir. Four and a half hours was the longest Phoebe has been away from us, and evening hours are usually rough play hours too. She was thrilled to see us!

Today I think I see some snowdrops in the distance. There are still mounds of snow between them and me...but they are there! There is lots of rain in our forecast, so I imagine the snow will be mostly gone by Wednesday. The temperatures are expected to be around 50F...a heat wave! I read that it is time for dormant oil on the fruit trees.

As to roads traveled, we go by the theory that you must never return the same way you arrived. We have several drives that visitors can share with us, one of which is a tour of interesting local bridges. Around here there are few tarred roads, so the drives may be a bit bumpy. I suppose we could do a tour of gravel pits too, but that would just be too too depressing. Some interesting barns are fun to visit, but many are simply falling from neglect. It is far too expensive to repair them, but it breaks my heart.

This morning it was waffles with fresh strawberries and blueberries. I'm stuffed. Time for a "garden" inspection now.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 9:31AM
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Boy, did Babs nail it about things changing. In a Hurry!!!!

Last week at exactly this time I was lamenting about how Rich was really sick and I'd be going to my parents' for Easter with just Ky.

Halfway to their house, a phone call from Rich saying he was too sick to be home and was going to the emergency department. This from a man who hadn't seen a doctor in 35 years. Knew it was serious.

Easter Day spent in the ED learning about full torso CT Scans and barium-enabled intestinal/appendix tests and chest xrays. Only thing unusual was "thickened walls" of his gall bladder.

Interjection, here, for a moment: The ED doc is a guy I've known for 20 years (I worked for the corp for 9 years) and he absolutely respected Rich's anxiety (15m of Valium IV and the man was still walking and talking!!!!!). If one ever wants an example of treating the "whole patient" they need look no further than John Garbarino, MD at Johnson Memorial Hospital.

Anyway, they let Rich come home Sunday night with the understanding that he'd return Monday morning for a Hida scan (gall bladder ultrasound).

Ultrasound diagnosis is Acute gall bladder disease including stones. Huge amount of infection in the abdomen. Rich needs to stay in hospital. Rich doesn't want to stay in hospital. Again, they let him go home (by this time he's had 10m of valium and still is pretty cranked up) as long as he sees surgeon that day to get his gall bladder out.

Surgeon's office won't give us an appt until early next week since "gall bladders that serious are admitted" "I know, but there are extenuating circumstances with some mental health issues and if he was in the hospital the surgeon would be seeing him" "No, you don't know what you're talking about and it will be too much work to get him in this week" "Since when do office managers make that decision?????? I was one and I know it's not your call." Can feel my BP going through the roof.

If the surgeon wasn't the absolute best I would've bailed and tried somewhere else, but I want this guy working on Rich no matter how his office handles things.

I kick in to full advocate gear, make a few well-placed phone calls and an hour later we have our appt and a surgical time for Wednesday. We see the surgeon that afternoon. Rich is really, really sick but as long as he continued antibiotics for way-high white count and can tolerate the pain, he can stay home 'til the surgery.

Tuesday 4am Rich wakes up and can barely move and has NO color at all. Back to the ED. The entire way up there I told him there was no way I was taking him back home again and he would just have to stay no matter what. He was sick enough that he did.

Lots of IV antibiotics and pain killers on Tuesday.

Wednesday, the 1.5Hr surgery took 4 hours as Rich's intestines and organs were all in the wrong place. Surgeon is like a little kid telling me about it. I explain that since Rich is now related to my family "normal" will never be the case (LOL at a moment when I needed it!!!!) Surgeon Still was able to do whole thing laparoscopically (a truly amazing feat given the complications).

Thursday at 7:30p, after belching and farting enough to make everyone happy, Rich comes home. Followup with the surgeon next Friday and complete physical appt required after that, though I have no idea what that doc could do that hasn't been done.

Family comes through during the whole thing, and we firmly explained to Rich that waiting until there's a critical problem isn't a good healthcare plan. He now agrees. There will also be some major adjustments to the way he takes his anxiety/panic disorder meds that should really help him a lot.

Sorry to blather on, but it feels good to get it off my chest!!!! Whew!!

So, Happy Easter everyone!! Took time for ME this morning and read the Idylls. Up, down, left, right, Huh???? The most amazing children always bring a smile....

Hi to everyone!!


    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:05AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello Babs... :-) Hocking Hills sounds wonderful! I have been in the woods of Maine, camping, away from the city lights and it is amazing how different the sky looks then. I also can remember the smell of the pine trees and the woodsy floor. Log cabins are great too! I watch every program on pioneer life. It just fascinates me. Sounds like your trip was very refreshing for you.

Chelone, I got to read that link on Man O'War and found it quite fascinating. I didn't know there were websites that would actually give an account of each race a horse has had. Amazing that his owner had to retire him because of the fact that he had won 20 of 21 starts and noone wanted to bet against him any I will have to pass that link along to my DH.

G'bug, your breakfast sounds so yummy! We are having a lamb dinner later, so breakfast is light today.

More pruning with jacket, gloves and earmuffs this morning. Water in the bird baths are frozen. First crocus of the season and not quite open...

And some of the winter sown seedlings popping up. Think these are lupine. All snug in their containers despite high 20s at night.

Here is garlic coming up in a whiskey barrel. I finally remembered to plant some last fall. [g]

That's it from here this morning...

Oops! Just refreshed. MARTIE, that is awful! Poor Rich! Gallbladder pain is no fun at all. I am glad he had you for an advocate and got it taken care of as well as he did! Good wishes for a speedy recovery. :-)


    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:33AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Martie, the line that hit me most from your post was this: "major adjustments to the way he takes his anxiety/panic disorder meds that should really help him a lot." That is the case for so many. Very maddening too...but sounds very hopeful in Rich's case! Thank you Dr Garbarino for 'whole patient' attention!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:35AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Wow! Martie that's quite the saga! I'm glad Rich - and the rest of you - came through it all fine. I've never understood why guys are so resistant to dealing with health issues in the early stages of things. It's not sensible. Women are much more proactive on that front and you have to wonder if it's a good part of the reason why women tend to outlive men!

Marian - I hope your itching has eased. I was looking at pictures from last March here too - very depressing when compared to this year!

gb - I always grow my hair out in the winter and chop it off in the summer when it starts getting in the way when I'm working in the garden. I'm waiting for you to post Phoebe and friend pictures....:-) Barb has worked for me for 5 years or so now. She's a friend as much as an employee. She only works here one day a week now. As a single mother with one kid in university and a second ready to go in a year or so, she needs more hours of work than I can afford to provide. I have another helper three days a week but she's not nearly as much fun - and hasn't really got the hang of signing so that's a limitation. Randy is planning to retire next year. When he does, I'll let the other helper go but Barb will still come as long as she can fit me into her schedule. She says working here is like visiting a friend for the day - except she gets paid for it too!

Chelone - when we were living in Toronto, we had an apartment on the top floor of an old 3 story house. We 'adopted' an alley cat and her kittens - we gave away the larger two and kept the runt (they became Mama Puss and Baby Oui - we had just moved from Montreal...:-) The house had a mansard roof. When Mama Puss was out ant night and wanted back in, she would go up the fire escape, jump over onto the roof of the deck on the second floor, go up onto the main roof, over the roof and down onto the windowsill of our bedroom - where she'd scratch at the screen and meow until we got up and opened the window for her. Cats are very clever - and agile with great balance!

For anyone interested in trying samosas, here is the recipe my friend uses:

2 lb. extra lean ground beef
1T crushed ginger
1T crushed garlic
1 T chili garlic sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garam masala
2 medium onions, diced small
1 lime juice of
1 green chili
1-2T chopped coriander leaves
Samosa wrapper pastry (~35-40 sheets)

Cook ground beef, ginger, garlic, Chili garlic sauce, salt and garam masala until beef is browned and all moisture has evaporated. Let cool. When cool, add chopped onions, seeded, chopped green chili, chopped coriander leaves and juice of the lime. Mix together. Fold and fill samosa wrappers. Deep fry in batches until golden.

You can buy won ton/samosa wrappers at an Asian grocery store. I won't attempt to explain how to fold the pastry to make the triangles! Until my friend showed me how, I used to just stuff circles or squares of pastry. That doesn't look right of course but it's easier to do and tastes fine! Make a flour and water paste to 'glue' the edges of the pastry when you fold it. You can find folding instructions on the Internet but it's a heck of a lot easier to interpret them after you've seen someone actually do it...

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:59AM
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Babs! Please do come back before Ryan is in college. Hocking Hill's sounds like a true escape, any pictures to share?

Martie, what a stressful week for you, you probably need the same amount (or more) of rest and rehap that Rich will need :) Is 'ED' different that 'ER' - Emergency Room? Just trying to keep up with changes in nomenclature or availability of emergency services. So glad things worked out, but exhausting just to read about it.

Chelone, my dad added a one story bathroom to the first floor of the house I grew up in. The cats quickly figured out that if they climbed any nearby tree they could hop on that roof and scratch the screen of my 2nd floor bedroom to sneak in at night. Perhapa a balacony or small deck off of the second floor of the salon is in order?

Michelle, thanks for sharing a wonderful day with Kenzie. I enjoyed every minute of it vicariously.

GB, I order Clematis Huldine yesterday and thought of you. I always admire your pictures of it, and have found the perfect spot so that sun will shine through ir and make the dark back stripes more visible.

Kathy, hope you enjoy your open house. Your home is lovely, so market permitting, it shouldn't be too long before the bidding war starts.

PM, love your seedling pics. Great idea to start garlic in a barrel.

I'm looking at doggie 'wheel chairs' to give Katie some support so that she can take walks and build muscle. I'm going to ask her PT about it next week, but what I've read is that the support can help them to get more exercise. She's begging for walks but rear end doesn't hold up past the driveway. Thinking this would give her more security and prevent falls which can do more damage.

Ok, I need to be productive, later! Cynthia

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 11:30AM
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Oops. PM, greyhound racing records are all on the web too. Well most of them, Monty's listed, but he wasn't added until a few years ago and his races were never added for some reason. He was a pretty good racer too.

Here are Katie's stats:

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 11:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A beginning bunch of photos- (assuming I get some of Norah and Phoebe later) Don't watch Katie, I don't want you to feel badly!

Sit/Stay release:

Pheobe, Jump!

OK Dad!

Nice stick here Dad...

OK, go fetch it Phoebe!

And again!

And again and again and again....

Later folks....Mom made me a peanut butter and kibble Kong toy to chew now.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 12:32PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It looks like there's no shortage of sticks to play with.... :-) What a cutie Phoebe is!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 12:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

With willow trees there are always plenty of sticks around. It makes mowing difficult.

So we went to visit Nora after lunch. We thought there was an improvement initially, but once outdoors, Nora turned into a nervous barking machine! I hope things improve quickly on that front because Pheobe is really eager to play! We kept a bit of distance so that Nora would be more comfortable. We'll get together again on Wednesday when the weather should be better.

Then as we were about to cross the bridge on our return home, this is what we saw: (taken through the windshield)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 3:52PM
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So those two puppies didn't get to rough-house with each other outside?! Don't let Nora turn into a milktoast barking machine... they'll be fine, like "Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots"... anyone remember those? (Aww... you knocked my block off!").

I love the action shots. She is OK for a puppy. Reminds me that Rex gets all silly outdoors, too, and he pounces on any available stick whenever we say, "weee'rrree gonna GETCHA!" and stealthily slink towards him. One of the things Rex has really rammed into my head is that dogs are ALL about having FUN. If it's "fun", man, they're IN... no ifsandsorbuts. Like kids, too.

I have coat number two of the satin acrylic finish applied you guys! I also noticed a few "important" places where I was too generous in the application and there are "sag" marks. Uhh...Ohhh. Not quite sure what to do, will reassess under strong light tonight and decide. Toss the sanding sponge in the air and say, "-uck it! Looks fine and you're obsessing." or give a quick sand and slap on another coat? I'll let you know what I decide.

Woody, if you keep postin' shots like those I may just have to venture into the realm of cooking again. I also love that you baby-sit dogs and coordinate play-dates. I am worried about Rex. Tomorrow, I am taking him to the clinic where his surgery was performed. The vet is going to manipulate his affected leg to determine if indeed the ACL is the problem. Can't wait. To add to the overall festivity of the occasion I get to swing by the accountant's office, too. ;)

Martie, the helpmeet is rather like your Rich. And so am I. We just sort of "soldier on" waiting for things to become intolerable. I am almost too accustomed to the gross mismanagement of healthcare in our country to express any reaction at all to your recent experience. Except that last week the statement for healthcare for two adults arrived... $2100/quarter for two adults who've never made a claim and have a $5K deductible. No drug coverage. Do you know I'm STILL receiving Medicare statements for Mum? (she died nearly 6 mos. ago!). Good for you! keeping Rich home until he HAD to go in protected him from infections you GET in the hospital. "Why would I WANT to go voluntarily to the place where all the germs are?!" .... like, uh... DUH Until we begin asking about PRICES and germ infection rates (MRSA) we are always going to be at the mercy of insurance companies.

The nascent access system is probably going to involve at least one switchback and will likely occupy the west wall of the bahn. We're thinking in terms of a catwalk that would run a few inches below the window, perhaps 6-8" wide for the length of the building and perhaps turning the cohnuh in the future.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 6:29PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Today has been a gray and drizzly Sunday. Instead of a little garden clean-up, we ended up reading the Sunday paper and napping. I did get some laundry done and even flipped the mattress. Woo-hoo...

Martie, what a week you've had! I'm glad Rich is doing well after all that happened.

pm, I do seminars on perennial gardening. I keep kind of quiet about my job on the forum, because I know some customers and vendors have been active on the forum in the past and I like my anonymity.

Love the puppy pics! My-stick would have a field day at 'bug's place. He loves to find a stick about four or five feet long and then strike terror into my heart by dashing around the yard with it.

The latest escapade of Mystic the Wonder Dog is that he decided to go through the ice on our pond yesterday. I'm not sure why he decided to walk out there. I wasn't worried until about his fifth crash through the ice - he kept going further from the side and closer to the truly deep water. Finally he had a revelation, turned to the side and was out.

I guess that's all I have to say this evening. TTYL,


    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 7:44PM
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This weekend surely zipped by fast- at least I actually had some social interaction today , cutting into the cleaning time. My fantasy baseball league draft day is always fun , and my fellow team owners are always very courtly as I am , and have always been , the only female in our league.

There was a decent turnout for the open house today, but only a couple of folks who are serious buyers. I know that this is going to be a long process, and have pretty low expectations at this point. Since I have no deadline , and time on my hands, Ill wait it out and hope for the best !

bug, that Phoebe is just way too cute ! I wonder how she will feel about a world without snow ?

Martie, what a week you had ! I think its great that you had a Dr you can trust and feel comfortable with. I felt that way about the OB/GYN I had in San Diego that delivered my babies. Ive never established a relationship with a Dr since then I guess because use their services so rarely. However my dentist is a different matter ! Best wishes to Rich for a speedy and complication free recovery.

PM , Lady Banks does indeed get huge. I cut mine back by about 30% this winter to enable me to do some painting touch up on the patio cover she lives on. Ill have to get a pic and post it this week. She is just coming into bloom right now.

Babs ! good to see a post from you and your trip to Hocking Hills sounds F-F ! Similar to how I feel about journeys into the redwood forests.

My BILs family had a doggie that lived in a wheelchair for many years-his rear legs were in an auto accident. He was called Lucky-Dog in view of his survival.

OK, I think Ive typed myself out tonight, paltry though it may bewave to all,

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 30, 2008 at 10:07PM
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Happy Monday! Back to work today in the office. Was able to keep up somewhat last week and thanks to VPN access am in good shape. The diversion was nice at many points :-)

Rich is feeling better. It'll be a process, for sure, as there are some other "issues" that will need to be addressed for quality of life down the road. It'll all be his decision, but I feel as if I get somewhat of a vote since I have just a bit of energy invested, here.

Seeds are popping all over and pics will be forthcoming. Also took a VERY long stroll around the gardens yesterday and took great pleasure in knowing pretty much what everything is that's showing green. Soil is still pretty winterish so will wait a bit before serious rake/weedpull/clean.

I think PM2 asked about pruning roses? For what its worth I wait until new cane budding is about 1/4" out and then cut back the hybrid teas by about 1/3 to an outward bud. For the floribundas, rugosas and other bushier types, I cut back to the crown/soil line any old and very discolored canes and then tip off any canes that are way outside of the general shape. Hope this helps! Climbers are just generally spruced up but also have canes eliminated as needed.

In terms of timing, I'll probably wait a week or two and take down the first 3" of mulch at the same time.

Hang in there, Kathy. The right person at the right time at the right price will arrive, soon.

I am in awe of Chelone and others who can do painting projects. In this house I am officially banned from anything involving a brush and liquid. My job is generally to keep the "real" painters fed and watered. LOL

At one point during the last week Rich thought it would be nice to have a warm living creature to curl with (aside from me) and for a brief drug-induced moment, went on the internet to some dog rescue sites. Quickly decided that that warm living creature would move and need care and the romantic side of the idea wore off. Step One!!

Interesting that greyhound results are grouped by the dam. Hooray for mothers!

Double waving to all. Idylls helped me stay grounded and chuckling last week and every single one of you is appreciated more than you know!!!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 7:02AM
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Good Monday morning all!

I had a wonderful weekend! I got the front of the house spruced up for Spring - pansies and all! I raked out the lawn and returned the sand back to the road for the (I'm still waiting) street sweeper.

Then I turned my efforts to the woods. I got out my mechanical fingers and plucked all the winter blown trash out of every twisted branch. I straightened the stones that line my path to the canoe launch and watched the swan swim around (when she thought I wasn't looking).

Is that a Kingfisher, GB? He's very handsome :) I think it is good for Phoebe and new friend to have each other!

Martie, my goodness! I am glad last week is behind you. I hope Rich mends quickly.

I thought about so many of you as I uncovered garden treasures, "oh, Chelone gave me that...." "there's Deanne's phlox....Wendy's geranium...." It was fun. Every year I like to add an annual and this year it's larkspur and cosmos. Blue and hot pink :)

I feel a good garden year coming on :)

Gotta go catch a bus....


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 7:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good Monday morning...

Cynthia, I must have missed your explanation of Katie's medical issue. I was under the impression it was a minor injury. Is she expected to get full recovery? Thanks for Katie's link. I should be so organized about our family Imagine in human terms, if we kept charts of our own 'track records', our successes and failures, like that. So startling to see it in black and white.

Kathy I would love to see a Lady Banks Rose photo. For the amount of fallen petals on the ground in your Ted photos, it must be full of blooms. It blooms very early then? So, did you at least get any good feedback from the open house about how people are responding to the condition of the house, any of the renovations, etc? As for FBLDDay...who did you end up getting? Our oldest son is the dedicated sports fan and right now he is still emersed in March Madness. Baseball will be center stage soon.

Cats...enjoying the cat stories. We always had cats as I was growing up but my husband's worst allergy is to cats, so we have not had one since I married. My mother LOVED cats and during a particularly difficult time, she brought home three persian kittens. I think we had a dog at the time too. These kittens were the funniest and most entertaining little guys. We were working during the day and they would sleep, then at night they were terrors! Wide awake, they would race each other up and down the stairs and climb the curtains in the bedroom and when they would get to the top, they would leap onto the bed from there and wake me from a sound sleep. Such a night life they

Woody...Barb sounds like a real jewel! Just what you need. :-)

Gardenbug, Phoebe is getting big fast. My favorite photo is the first one. She looks so cute sitting still, lol....and the touch of white at her chin is charming. Nora is cute too. I hope it will all work out for the two to play together. Sounds like a bit of work for both of you, but I am sure it will be worth it. Never saw a bird like that...does anyone know what it is?

V.....when is the last time you posted a photo of Mystic? Such a character. Seminars sound great but I will ...Shhhh! :-) can tell Rich, I was just feeling the urge this morning to look at the animal rescue websites. All these puppy my Mother would say..'Oy vey'! Thanks for the rose pruning tips...helps a lot! I only have a few and no teas, so that makes things simple.

Saucy! You spruced up with pansies and all this weekend! Geez, I feel like a lazy I actually hadn't thought that pansies would be for sale at the stores yet...but of course they are. What was I thinking! I have been busy making a MESS in my front yard, with the pruning. [g] Thanks for the inspiration, off to the store for pansies today!

We had a lovely Sunday yesterday. One of the best in a long time. Just two of the kids home, oldest son cooked a delicious Lamb dinner and cleaned up afterward. Our DD is halfway through her PT for her shoulder and is feeling much better and getting some of her range of motion back. She and our oldest son are really into cooking and we talked of nothing else but food all during dinner. [g] Then we had to walk off dinner and made our trip to the Pond and for a change, DD came with us. She hadn't been in quite awhile and enjoyed it. It is the perfect time to start going to the Pond regularly because everything is just waking up. We saw a swan FLY into the Pond while we were there. What a huge wingspan they have. The only swan in sight and a single Canadian Goose kept following her around while she repeatedly objected I will really enjoy seeing a swan pair and potentially goslings before you know it. I forgot my camera! So did my For the most part everything is still brown and dull anyway. Next time.

Since I seem to have animals...and birds particularly on my mind...wanted to share a photo just for Popcorn..! :-)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:16AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oops! Forgot....his name is Alex and he is an African Gray Parrot. He lived in Massachusetts at Brandeis University until his death at age 31, in September of 2007. He could count, knew colors, shapes and sizes and had a basic grasp of the abstract concept of zero.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:23AM
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Just had to say Saucy I'm so jealous! It's cold and wet here. Still a couple of tiny patches of snow too. I'd so love to be out cleaning up the front gardens today. Instead I'll be painting. We're moving into the home stretch I think. Still more hours to go though.

Martie, get well wishes for Rich. Sounds like you've both been through the wringer!

Chelone, enjoying the visuals of the salon progress. What a nice pattern you've chosen for your stencil. Looking forward to more updates.

Cynthia, I hope the wheelchair is a help to sweet Katie!

Marie, great pictures of Pheobe. She is getting big! Any plans for the children to be coming for a visit? They'd all have a ball playing together. Bella is enjoying Magglio and Jen says an added bonus is they tire each other out.

Michelle, I so enjoyed hearing about your day with Kenzie. What a fun grandma you are!

Hi Babs, Can't believe Ryan is 7. Seems he was just Bella's age. Your vacation sounds relaxing but I keep wondering how did you all keep warm? Does that log cabin have heat?

Time to warm up my painting arm.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Fly by here, off to the vet soon.

The bird I posted yesterday is a belted kingfisher. He's around our bridge fishing every year, but so busy diving that I never got a shot of him before. I should take my camera in the car more often!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 8:42AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Back from the nursery Wow, it is freezing and raw out there this morning! The local nursery was open with no one in the parking lot. Pansies for the most part are in the greenhouse and won't be going out for a couple of weeks. I am looking for a spring wreath for the door and didn't seem anything that wowed me. So, I am home again and guess I am not ready to spruce up the front yard today. :-)

What will you be putting on your front door this spring?


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 9:22AM
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The weather is nasty here in my corner of Iowa. I should be at work. I started out, but figured the white out conditions just weren't worth it. I hate giving up a vacation day for snow when I could use it later for gardening.

I tried to download the backup utility for Windows XP only to find that once done it keeps erroring out when I try to do a backup. I bought an external hard drive. I'm really clueless with all the computer stuff.

I started to sew the curtain for the laundry but find I don't have everything I need.

Needless to say the day isn't going my way :o(

Martie, it sounds like you had quite a week. I'm glad to hear that Rich is feeling better.

Cynthia, I'm sorry to hear that Katie is in need of such a device, but hopefully it will be an asset.

Chelone, my mom is supposed to see the Dr. today but who knows with this crazy weather. They are thinking some kind of acid reflux problem and her arm could be a flare up of rotary cuff problems. She had surgery 3 years ago for the shoulder.

'bug, I always enjoy your pictures, from the pups to the bird, which is a great picture and a nice background. Around here there'd be some kind of farm stuff in the background to spoil it.

PM, I usually do some wintersowing, but none yet this year, but I guess with the look of things, winter is still here. I doubt I'd have sprouts yet anyway.

I did look thru some seeds yesterday and pick a few out to WS. I also took a couple of trays of cuttings. In my head I was trying to take cuttings that would make 2 large containers for my mom. Last year I gave her two containers and filled them and I thought I'd do it again. She seemed to really like what I had done.

We purchased a new matteress this past week. We went up to a king size, which means that the quilt that my mom made me doesn't fit. We are moving our matteress up to another guest room upstairs that only had a twin bed. The quilt can go with it, but it really clashes with the room. So that means I really should paint and redecorate both rooms. All because of a new matteress LOL

Kenzie got the twin bed which had a cute white iron headboard. She now says she has a big girl bed thats only for "very big girls"

So now we have 2 guest rooms for any visiting Idylls ;o) I think the one will end up a cottage/garden look to it. The quilt is in that style and I have an antique white mirror from DH parents that I'd like to incorporate.

Enough blabbering from me - have a great Monday!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 11:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Phoebe was subdued for a good part of the day after getting her third set of puppy shots. Tonight she has been naughty and is crying in her crate after nipping me and ignoring commands. I can only tolerate 1/2 hour of her being solo, but I was told to aim for 1 hour. I figure she's messed up from an unusual day. They also clipped one of her nails too far and that can't have been fun for her!

On the bright side she has had a good number of visitors and really enjoyed the doggies she met at the vet's today. She's now almost 20 pounds. In the morning DH & I will take her for an intense 1 1/2 hour first training session with the same instructor that helped us work with Charlotte. Phoebe certainly has a different personality and is very willful as well as playful. It will be worth the effort though. I'm sure Honey would agree!

Tomorrow will be a rainy day, perhaps with flooding. I can see snowdrops in the distance, but so far have not been able to wade through the snow drifts to photograph them. Perhaps the rain will make it possible to reach them on Wednesday or Thursday. I hope so! There's doggie clean-up in my future.

Today the new but inexpensive couch for the TV (basement) room was supposed to be delivered at noon. By 3PM I felt it was necessary to phone them. I can't stand waiting around for these yo-yos! Anyway, now it is tomorrow afternoon they say. I'll believe it when I see it... After all, tomorrow is April Fool's day.

Eden, I sure wish there were travel plans for DD to come visit here, but it will be a while I'm afraid. DD is working full time, there's Skyler's schooling and alternate week issues, our baby puppy, the garden clean-up etc. I'm trying to figure out a way I could go there for a short visit without destroying the training efforts I've put into Phoebe thus far. DH simply would not follow through on that. :( Meanwhile I have goodies I should be mailing off soon for the gang. Skyler will be nine on the 22nd. (Not that he needs a thing!)

Tonight I made a good dinner that would no doubt offend a few of you, a dinner from my past, namely beef tongue. DH's Mom used to make it too and it was considered a treat. No more! You never see it displayed for sale. I had to order it and it took 2 weeks to arrive! Ridiculous! There are cows everywhere! Anyway, the cashier was not thrilled to scan it through. Pretty funny! All in all, with spicy raisin sauce, DH and I were happy with it. It only happens once every year or two. Hope this doesn't kill the thread!!!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 9:57PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It was a rather Monday-ish Monday in this neck of the woods. Michelle's snow was all rain and thunderstorm here. We got about 1 1/4" total, which on top of the already saturated ground has meant a lot of standing water and near-flood conditions. Toss in several little annoying computer issues and a visitation for a coworker's grandmother almost 90 minutes away, and you end up with a rather forgettable day.

DH came home, looked at the radar on the computer and announced that he was putting on his amateur forecaster's hat and we would get no more rain this evening. Yep - the rain started about 1 minute after he said that. I told him his hat was being recalled.

Saucy, I'm jealous that you've been able to put out pansies! I'm thinking at the rate our weather is going, I will be able to clean up my beds in mid-July.

Kathy, I hope you drafted Fukudome! He certainly got off to a rousing start today, although the final results for the Cubs were disappointing.

pm, I'll have to work on getting some more photos of Mystic. It can be hard to get a good shot of an all-black dog that never sits still.

Speaking of still, I think I'm gonna get myself into that position!


    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 10:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

My mother used to make tongue occasionally, and I remember seeing it all the time in the grocery store. I've noticed that, while the number of things such as breakfast cereals has exploded, the number of different cuts of meat has shrunk to an acceptable few.

But when I was a child, I had a bad dream that someone had left a guitar in my bedroom (and I didn't know anyone who owned a guitar at that time) and I picked it up and put my tongue on the strings. Something in the strings caused the top of my tongue to peel away, and the inside of my tongue looked like cole slaw!

I couldn't bear to look at beef tongue after that! (and I have never, ever licked a guitar string, just to be on the safe side.)

But your post did not offend me - just brought back a memory that I consider quite funny.


ps - on my long trek home this evening, I saw a man walking a Bouvier!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 10:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

"My mother used to make tongue"
So we are NOT alone. How nice...except for the nightmare of course!

"on my long trek home this evening, I saw a man walking a Bouvier!"
Man's best friend!
:) :) :) :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 10:57PM
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A forgettable day here too ! Lets raise a glass to Tuesday and its potential to be better. I am decidedly not in a good place right now at work, with looming deadlines , reduced staffing and a ever multiplying workload. Sigh , whine over.

V, I regret I did not draft Fukudome, although there was spirited conversation on the correct pronunciation of his name , lol. My only Cub player this year is Mark DeRosa, though I have plans to dump a poorly chosen relief pitcher and pick up Ryan Dempster to replace him.

bug, though I rarely eat beef, I would say that I can appreciate the waste-not aspects of a beef tongue repast. Sounds like little Miss Phoebe is hitting the terrible twos in doggie years !

Michelle, I must say that all my painting efforts, though hellish , have certainly made for a pleasant atmosphere at home ! You need to get a jump on it so you wont be stuck indoors when spring hits your part of the world ..sounds to me like you have the perfect excuse for new décor. I have been sleeping on the same cr**py mattress for over 25 years. Every time I stay in a hotel, especially if its upscale, I ask myself why dont just get rid of the thing and spend whatever is required to get something decent. It seems like some other expense always comes up. Now that Ive spent thousands of $$s to put this house in saleable condition, the mattress has once more fallen by the wayside.

PM, I must admit it had not occurred to me to put anything at all on my door this spring. I wonder if I should as a welcoming gesture for the lookie-loos ? My fantasy team might be too lengthy to post, but my best pick-ups this draft were Matt Holliday, Hanley Ramirez, and Brad Hawpe. Im worried about my pitching staff though, I have way too many over-40 pitchers, who could go downhill fast, including Maddux and Smoltz.

Here is Lady Banks just starting to bloom and her friend Cecile, with no flowers yet...

LB after a severe haircut.She was about the center of the sliding glass door before her locks were sheared.

LB and her pal Cecile Bruner- Cecile also had about 1/3 hacked off this winter.You can see LB to the left. If allowed to they would easily meet and probably battle it out for space.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 11:14PM
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When I was a kid it wasn't uncommon to find organ meat in the case at the store. There was certainly always tripe and liver. As with anything, the key is probably in the preparation. And a side of cole slaw...

I'm in rather a hurry to get on with my insubordinate ways, but will leave you with this: the large one is going in on Friday to have the other half of his drivetrain rebuilt. I would have to agree that yesterday wasn't a great day.

Helpmeet is finishing up the stairs to the Salon. He installed the cable and 'phone jacks and the smoke detector yesterday.

OK, gotta get going... back to the salt mines.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 5:27AM
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Happy Tuesday. Given everyone's Monday, let's do it again!! Happy Tuesday!! Despite the fact that it's getting darker rather than lighter outside given a huge storm sitting smack dab on top of the cul-de-sac (I like your DH, V, as a fellow follower of radar) today will be better than yesterday. So There!!!! LOL

Though not at all offended, I've never been a fan of tongue. Haggis is a different story, a dish one either loves or loathes. If you don't know what it is, google it as I won't even add a link, but anyway .... Made properly (hard to find) I love it. Call me weird yet again. I'm glad you and DH got to have something you really love, 'bug.

Our corporation has a work day every year in addition to offering routine time off for volunteer stuff. This year one of the projects is planting a garden in front of 'Old Colony' in Boston hosted by the housing authority. There is some debate amongst the volunteers concerning good plantings (by the ocean, heavy traffic, city soil, etc.) Any suggestions for plants? A group of residents have offered to keep up the garden once it's in, so simple will be good.

Rich is physically better but a bit unsettled by the whole experience (now that he is somewhat lucid :-) and there's more to come. He appreciates everyone's well wishes.

Pansies are Juuuuuuuuust starting to appear here, but I'll give it another week. Crocus are blooming and if it would stop raining I'd go take a look :-) On Sunday they looked downright perfect.

Another cuppa beckons. Hope for today is obedient animals, quick recovery (Rex!! You Poor Thing!!) for all, lots of smiles from darling children, and good food to serve the soul.



    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 6:55AM
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Good morning all. Glad yesterday was not "me"....I am ready for a clean slate with Tuesday :)

My pansies are standing at attention in this morning's balmy drizzle :)

I love beef tongue, though I never questioned what it was because we always had it at my friend's house....that would've been bad manners :) She later told me that I was the only friend who ate right along with her family....and I still do :) They fished and hunted so we ate alot of game meat, too.

That friend is going through a rough break up and I am sorry for her. He's behaved very badly. I hope she can move on to better things, soon.

I had so much fun exploring Hocking Hills via the web! It reminds me so much of the area I'm from in TN. I'd really like to visit....I can see why it's special for your family, Babs....BTW, nice to see you :)

I'm gonna get out of here now.....someone's not cooperating with my nice Tuesday rules :)


    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 8:17AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idylls

Well Im still busy, busy, busy. Yesterday Wendy was in danger of being hugged and kissed if shed been nearby. I saw her last week and she suggested that I place the plastic drain through flats inside my trays so I can water the plants a tray at a time instead of a plant at a time. Well, I did have a stash of the things in the garage and guess what? Some of them do fit inside my trays for the light stands and it WORKS. Thank you Wendy for that brilliant idea. It will now take less than half the time to do the watering. Please send that one into Fine Gardening. It really is a terrific idea. Now when Im out of town this week the plants will stand a chance of having Doug actually water them. Ive got to shorten the day length also so they dont use as much water but overall I think things will be OK while Im gone.

Sue and I will be like the proverbial ships that pass in the night as Im leaving for FL tomorrow. A three day seminar then home again hopefully to spring in full swing here. My class last weekend went really well except for my making a stupid mistake and not sticking to my guns about some mats Id cut for the class Ill be teaching in June. Theyd asked me to teach a strawberry painting that I have in my kitchen and at that time I said I would but I was not going to cut the rectangular mat that the painting is in. The next time we discussed the project and they asked for mats I forgot to remind them that it wouldnt be the rectangular mats. I cut the ten oval mats for the June class and when I brought them for the ladies one asked me if Id make her one like the original, well, shes a really good customer, takes every class I teach and has been a student for at least the last 12 years so I said yes I would. Well now I have to re-cut all the mats for the entire class.. Grrrrr. Boy was I cranky Sunday afternoon when that happened. Ill just suck it up and deal with it. But I told them I wasnt ever going to teach any projects again that are currently in a rectangular mat. (My right angle mat cutter is a bear of an old commercial tool and is really difficult to use. The oval machine is old as well but takes less than half the time to cut a mat.)

Martie, good grief! What a saga about Richs gallbladder. That must have been stressful! Its really too bad he wouldnt stay in the hospital. Poor guy, I know the pain from gallbladder disease can knock you right off your feet. What a miracle that they were able to do the laparoscopic surgery even with the complications. Lucky Rich, if theyd had to do the old type surgery hed have been months recovering. I hope hes all well soon.

Woody, I agree with you 100% on the fact that in general women take care of health issues early on and dont wait until they are critical and thats why they tend to outlive men. We have a friend (male) who after a heart attack drove himself to the hospital when having a second one. Jeesh! Hes lucky he didnt go into arrest while driving and kill some other poor person on the road. ~~~ Love the pics of the samosas! Everyone looks like they are having a great time.

Chelone, LOL about the cats! The first apartment we lived in when we were married was on the second floor and our kitty Rufus, figured out how to climb the tree in the front, jump to the porch roof, climb over the main roof of the building and present himself at our bedroom window. Thankfully Luke and Rahjii havent figured out that they can get into our second floor bathroom window the same way. They are up on the dining room roof all the time.

Bug, that Phoebe is as cute as it gets! Love the kingfisher pic!

So Saucy, how on earth did you plant pansies??? We got six inches of snow on Friday.

Babs, great so hear from you!

Cynthia, poor Katie, poor you! Lucky Katie to have you for a mom. I didnt realize she couldnt walk. So sorry.

PM great pics of your seedlings!

Kathy, thinking of you with the house sale. Hope the right person comes along soon.

OK Ive spent too much time on this computer, Ive got to get my class materials ready and get packed so Ive got to sign off for now.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 8:52AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

As always one can find interesting and diverse topics here - garden and otherwise, LOL.

Im glad to hear that after that horrifying experience, Martie, Rich is doing well -- what a scare that must have been.

Sorry to hear about the ailing mothers -- T, Michelle's and Eden's - I hope they're all on the recovery route as well as can be and enjoying the days as they come.

I should feel comforted to hear of all this snow that some still are getting - and not groan about the rain, rain that we continue to get. Dealing w/ more of the same house woes last week and of course the internet went down because of it -- the brand new TV got a rental DVD stuck in it -- I may end up owning Blockbusters by the time it gets un"stuck" from the TV shop I dropped it off at -- so much for on the spot fixing -- they simply took it away and plunked it next to a heap of other things being repaired -- it was a challenge to even Find a local shop that would claim to do TV repairs... a sign of the times.

Ah, tongue -- actually, 'bug, it brings back fond memories to me too -- it was something my Mother cooked as well and I actually enjoyed it a lot -- but I could never get the daughter to even consider it -- and you have to admit it is startling to look at - delicious as it is. Haven't had it in many years ....

Chelone -- Im so sorry to hear indeed Rex needs another overhaul -- I was going to say how much I love that stencil and the pickling as shown -- but I imagine Rex's news has dimmed your enthusiasm for that....

And somehow I missed the prognosis info on Katie? Is she getting her own soupped up skateboard? I think sometimes I need one....

Am saying prayers to the air goddess that the tests come back good tomorrow -- I lost my decorating enthusiasm w/ the angst of this all -- like your delivery person, 'bug, all repair/service people seem to think you have nothing better to do than day after day sit at home waiting for them when they choose to come, assuming they even choose to show up, right? I have to really talk myself down from those high BP moments....

I'd love to say I have some spring flower shots but it's been so rainy and cold lately I wasnt motivated - altho last Friday was 70 (& needless to say I played hookie to do a bit of yardwork and more remediation holding) - but these fine days seem all too fleeting right now.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 8:58AM
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That is amazing that Rich's gallbladder was dealt with laparascopically considering the size and state it must have been in. Good job on standng firm for the excellent surgeon, Martie. A knowledgeable advocate can make or break quality healthcare, unfortunately. Doubly true for pet owners. Good luck, Rex!

I had to deal with a lost puppy couple days ago, who was out of control with fear. His tag said Max, so I tried "Sit, Max!" and the blessed beast had been trained to respond to basic commands. He could sit and stay, and it calmed him right down. Owner was found, happy ending for all.

Cindy, I don't know much about feng shui, but mercy's sakes that condo is working against you! Fingers crossed for a passing grade on the air quality tomorrow.

Some people think offal is just awful ;>) My grandmother taught my mother her dish of tongue with red chili sauce which was served often at home. I am always amazed at meat eaters who are squeamish over certain cuts of meat or meat that's too rare, I mean for gosh sakes...

The great hangover remedy, a bowl of menudo, is made with tripe. Make it without the tripe and you have pozole, good stuff, broth deep red from chilis.

Quick "happy Tuesday" wave to all. The haggis will be in the fire for sure if I don't get moving!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 11:26AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back from a 2 hour (!!!!) session with Phoebe and the trainer. We have our homework for the next 3 weeks! Boy, I really had forgotten a lot about training...and there is more new stuff too. Anyway, convincing DH to work WITH me on this is the main hurdle, but I let HIM pay for this intro session to kind of give him a boost! ;) Timing of commands is so tricky...

The new couch has arrived with the driver apologizing for the delay. It really was no problem, but I didn't tell him that!

The flooding has increased and it is dramatic. The kingfisher has been diving in the pond all day, quite fun to watch! Then too, the basement floods in this weather, from beneath the cement floor. Cindy will understand my feelings on this....

Off to deal with other stuff.
Happy Tuesday to all!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 2:11PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im free, Im free!!!! or as the hygenist report reads "normal indoor fungal ecology is evident in all areas...."

doesnt that make one feel cozy and sanitary?

yew... haggis -- just one of those things along w/ sweetbreads that is just a tad too much organ for me....

Gardenbug - I shudder w/ the thought of floods... I will hope NOT in your case -- V can sympathize too (did you ever get your cool new carpet tiles picked and installed?)

okay, back to thoughts of home re-construction amidst legal papers.... and regaining some feng shui in my home... anyone want to hire out to come house sit on the next phase of holding hands for the repair/service folks?


    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 2:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cindy, in some ways it sounds really like a good idea....hanging out in warmer climes. But then, my dog and yours are probably a horrid combo right now. Besides, DH is unable to feed himself. Seriously! I kid you not!

Update on our tiny creek today:
Hard to believe I normally mow this area...

Ice and wood collects under the bridge slowing the flow.

Beyond the bridge

And the first blooms!!!!

Water is still rising...What fun! Not really, but it is exciting and very LOUD. The kingfisher has been squawking all day long.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 4:30PM
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I am grimly reminded of "t"s post from over a week ago that mentioned her mother's release from the hospital... . I noted it at the time and promptly forgot to comment on it... . I hope you will give us an update. Sometimes posts flit by too quickly and things that I've noted/that have interested me get by me.

I'm sensitive to issues with elderly parents, as my own experience is still raw. And I'm mindful of how important it can be to have someone just ask how things are going for you. My boss NEVER asked me about how things were going with Mum. Maybe she was afraid to, maybe she didn't think it was important because I rarely missed work because of Mum. I don't know. But I DO know that whenever I voiced a concern about Mum's behavior she was quick to tell me "it could be worse, she could be doing thusandsuch". She TOTALLY "didn't get it" and glib comments like that really upset me. And try as I may, I'm still unable to forget them and "get past" them.

So "t", I want you to know that although the response is slow the empathy is sincere.

Speaking of old people... where the hell is Marian?! man, she's worse than a puppy... turn around and she vanishes like a faht in the wind.

Great pictures of rising waters, 'bug. Very similar to my area. Today was really warm... nearly 60 degrees, but overcast and rather gloomy.

I'm feeling glum... very discouraged about Wrecks and the mud field to the east of the barn. No real landscaping plans, nothing as near to completion as I'd like, and a week of unsettled weather to boot.

But Cindy! yeah, you've posted a notable bright spot. Hooray for acceptable levels! you must feel that the weight of the world is now lifted from your shoulders. That's great. Want me to come practice some stencilling at your home?! hmmm... could go there and then to Cynthia's... working my way north right behind the daffodils... . I'm relieved for you.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 5:59PM
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The 'rents teased me relentlessly about my dietary preferences... "it's got black on it!" was a favorite family refrain... to my chagrin. I never tried pizza until I was 18! So, you guys now have "the picture".

I was with my boyfriend and we were invited to stay for dinner where he rented a room (ski lodge, Sue!). It was going to be "Italian". OK, I told myself... spaghetti and meatballs... not my favorite, but OK. Hehehe...

"Italian" in my home was ALWAYS spaghetti and meatballs. Nothing else could be served over pasta, right?! ;)

Imagine my chagrin when the hostess ladled calimari over the pasta... not the customary rings of it, but entire little squids with contorted arms. LOL. I can only imagine the look on my face because the hostess leaned over and asked, "you've never had calimari, have you? put some on your fork, close your eyes and try it.".

I was too embarrassed to refuse the food. I did as I was bade and it was DELICIOUS. I've never looked back. I ate lamb kidney at the restaurant at the Tour d'Eiffel. I love pates. And while I've never had tongue or tripe or "sweetbreads"... I'd give 'em a whirl!. There's nothin' in the world wrong with NOT liking a flavor, but to wave something off BEFORE trying it is fool's folly indeed. And sometimes you have be "shamed" into trying something.

Gotta say, though, I'm not nuts about sweet and meat... prefer savory and meat. Sweet to me states dessert... funny, huh?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 6:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Tee hee...the wind blew this old "faht" back!!!

My pics are not nearly as clear and exciting as Marie's..but here goes anyway:

Our yard after the latest deluge (yesterday):

This is immediately after the rain let up, it was late evening and getting dusky. I took a bunch of the back yard too, but they are not as clear due to the time of day. All was covered with water.
The next are of the promise following....

And...finally...the end of the day..

We recieved 2 and 1/2 inches of rain in about a 3 hour period. No hail, but plenty of T&L. The driveway held guite well this time. I navigated it okay on my way to town this morning. Lots of washouts and gullys, and rocks, but still driveable.

Sorry that I am not consistant with my posting, but I am not feeling at my best, am not too up to commenting...
But: re: beef tongue, my mother cooked it and all sorts of other uncommon critter parts, espacially swine(my dad buchered pig more than beef, as he could cure it in his smoke house). Daddy made head cheese from pig heads. It was much better than that that I have bought in stores. I don;t think we ever ate tripe, but I still like liver ( and onions). I have read about haggis, but have forgotten what it is... Daddy always saved the sweetbreads for Mama to cook. Like Cindy, it has been many years since I ate tongue. I don't think I could bring myself to cook it now, my digestion isn't what it used to be. :-(

Pm2, which 1944 John Wayne movie did you watch? I have over 100 of his movies. I like most, but a few I don't care if I see again. That's a beautiful Golden Gate's pic.

Babs, I loved your description of your stay at Hocking Hills. It was either nostalgic to me, or else my every day life here. Although 2 neighbors have those annoying night lights, the stars are still very visable here. The spring frogs have been very loud all around us this year...even at times a month or more ago. Not only do we hear them around our own place, we hear them as we drive down the highway, at farm ponds. It is a very pleasing sound.

Cats..and ways of notifying their desire to get in...Tommy is a 'plucker' If he is at the slider, he plucks on the screen. If he is on the front porch, he either plucks on the storm door screen, or gets up on the trellis by my bedroom window and makes what ever racket he can come up with to get my attention. :-)
Trubby is less inventive, and just jumps off of the trellis whith a huge 'thud'. He knows that generally brings me to the door to turn on the light to investigate. Otherwise he just sets out there wating to be discovered.:-)

Re: allergies, they are just another 'blessing' of having The Fibromyalgia Syndrome. :-( As well as sensitivies to everything...sounds,smells,meds, food... Never a dull moment! :-(
Most of the females that I know, who have it, are stong. The one that I know who is not strong, is a total basket case! Very sad...

Wow, Martie! What a scare with Rich's illness! Sounds as scary as our Tim's Polmonary embolism. To say he was "a bit unsettled by the whole experience" would be putting it mild! I am so glad he (Rich) is recovering.

Marie, great pics of Phoebe...all of them... The pic of the Belted Kingfisher is really neat too. We very rarely see them here. I am envious of your getting to watch it fish.

I guess the reason it is hard for me to comment on all the goings on with the home improvements, is because I am no longer able to do such things, and I have to just set here and watch everything deteriorate! I can't afford to have it done,either. It does not bother me so much, but the inability to keep it all clean does bother me!
Nolon is definately unable to do much. Even walking around outside makes him wheeze something terrible.Very distressing to hear... He has another noise that he makes constantly, a 'popping' noise from his throst, ( I think), that is very disturbing, too. I have no idea what it is for or what it accomplishes.

To more cheerful I 'had' to check out the gardening section of Wal Mart, and naturally several bags of bulbs ended up in my cart. Elephant ears, Caladiums and Glads. I resisted checking the plant places.... Although I was tempted to get some pansies to replace all of mine that didn't make it over the winter.

Oh my! Kathy,how pitiful any and all of my rose bushes look compared to yours! They have always struggled along, but last spring's freeze about 'did them in'. Thank goodness my Evelyn rose is putting out some good new growth.

Saucy, my sympathies to your friend. My sister ( Evelyn) told me Saturday (on the phone), that her favorite neighbors are in the same situation, The hubby is in his 50's, and just up and moved out! Said he wasn't coming back. No previous warnings. A huge shock to the wife.

Denise, my dictionary says "offal" is:"refuse;garbage;carrion". I don't think I care to eat any of the above!

Cindy, YAY! I am so happy that your home is 'livable' again. :-)

Back to yesterday's storms. Another town in Missouri was hit hard by a tornado.Thank goodness no deaths, or serious injuries. We were under a tornado watch for several hours.
Another round is predicted starting tomorrow evening and going through Thursday...Yikes!


    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 9:17PM
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Modest signs of spring here, with dutch iris, poppies and byzantine gladiolus just starting to bloom. Gaillardia and agastache will take over here in a month or so.

And can't forget the nasturtiums.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 9:25PM
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Nice to see you check in, Marian. That's some extreme weather! Great photos.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 9:30PM
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Tuesday seems to have been an improvement. I am trying to do at least one chore every day when I get home (not counting the normal chores like cat feeding, dish doing, trash-outing etc) and today I edged what remains of my lawn and pulled weeds..Im cooling my heels now waiting for the Dodger game to come on, have the Marlins on in the background with no volume.

Yay Cindy for the clean bill of fungal health ! Now that you have the house-guest issues and the flood issues both behind you are due for about two years of good times, with only periodic mild annoyances.

Chelone, how disappointing that Rex is having to present himself for another procedure, I can only imagine what a challenge it must be to nurse such a large animal-I hope all goes well .

Enjoyed bugs pics of rushing water, and Marians photos were quite springlike ! Though Denise wins the derby with blooming Nasturtiums..none of that going on here . I did however spy shoots today emerging from my Dahlias- I grabbed the Sluggo poste haste lest they become some slimy creatures dinner. And in front, green tips emerge from the Hostas.

So Saucy , have your buzz kids come yet ?

And Deanne-nothing like a little trip to zone 10 to recharge the batteries. Mybe youll get some cool pics to share ???

Ok, time to go , see yall on the morrow

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 10:19PM
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So DH was breaking into the hopefulness of Tuesday (but I did not let it do me in....had a great day) and I did not get to finish my comment on Kathy's wonderful display! Wow, wow, wow! I like to live vicariously through those who care for roses - and climbers are my favorites!

I rescinded my purchase of Southern bees and am instead going north for Maine neighbor is helping me make this purchase, so no buzz babes yet :)

Did I miss news of t's mother (little t)? I hope she is well. I often comment aloud and forget to type. This is not the best medium for me :)

Marian, I remember being annoyed when the neighbors put up the giant street lights. My husband said jokingly of TN the first time we were in the country, "please do not leave me here in the dark!" He likes it now, though.

I guess I have to explain that my pansies are in pots? I'm not sure what you all have imagined :) Nick and I are doing a front-of-the-house makeover starting this weekend. The porch will be painted, storm doors replaced, awnings removed (haven't decided whether I'll replace - I see no purpose in the one that is there). I should do before pictures.....

Denise, I think you're being modest about spring in your neck of the woods! Those shots are spectacular! I love the purple petals against the gray of the agave!

Michelle, I liked the story of Kenzie getting the wrought iron bed - I had one, too. I imediately thought of the quilt hanger that I'm not using when you said you were going to remodel because of the quilt....could you use it as a decoration?

GB - I'm crossing my fingers for a dry basement - those pictures always look ferocious!

Thank goodness Cindy can finally breathe deep! Congrats on your test results.

Guess what kept me awake for a while last night? PEEPERS! Spring is springing....

Have a good day all.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 7:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Peepers! How fun!

Water is down mostly far. Once the temperature rises to above freezing things could get exciting once more.

Phoebe was resisting change this morning so I'm a grump. It looked so easy yesterday....

Rex, do well buddy!

Gotta deal with DH now...

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 8:42AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

So, "modest signs of spring," Denise? Geez, I only wish I can offer 1/3 that modest in another few weeks -- gorgeous! and do I see some amethyst glass aroung an agave? Very cool - I thought they were flower petals & was pondering waht they would have been -- clematis? Gorgeous! And are those grasses behind the poppies?

I confess Im a poppy-wannabe -- I've tried lots of kinds and persist each year in buying another cultivar -- Im very excited that by the front walk each day Im passing what is now getting to be an adequate hunk of one that's called Raspberry Queen -- Im getting very excited this year with the idea of seeing a good "show" -- it's funny those little things in life that make you excited for each day isnt it? Just like, 'bug's photos of the snowdrops!

I think that's one thing I dreadfully fail in the combo world -- getting things to bloom together in the same area -- things are more often spread apart too far to show together and/or just a week or 2 behind one another... very frustrating!

Deanne -- sounds like you had some frustrations w/ that matting business -- you are too nice to "just say no" re the style mat & sucking up the cost of re-doing! What a gem. I hope you have great fun and get some sun while in FL this week! you deserve it -- please bring some warmth and sun back up the east coast.

Chelone -- I get you on the glum -- when you see messes that havent progressed and then those hated pets have such woes -- piffle. I think you're suffering from late winter-itis -- I find Im so tired of dreary looking days; Im positive it affects me when I see the messes!

Kathy -- I hope you get to enjoy your house in its superlative level of gorgeousness for a bit after all that hard work.

O.k., Saucy -- what happened to the idea of southern transplant bees? Did they tell you not good for the region or what? Inquiring minds wanna know.

This is definitely a late, chilly Spring -- we had a day of 70 again yesterday and now it's plunging back down -- to go into the 20s tomorrow nite I think I heard -- Im glad I didnt get too enthused w/ planting english daisies or other tenders - altho I dearly love them -- and remember that I had them last year w/ pansies - sure enough -- before March 12, and they survived. I dont think that would have worked this year.

I imagine in some ways, Gardenbug, it's great to have Phoebe keeping you occupied so you dont get the winter slumps -- but I know it's terribly challenging in the bad weather to get her the exercise & training -- You've got a new baby on your hands for sure!

Marian - great sunset shots! Im sorry you're feeling poorly -- it's a trial w/ new meds and Im sure you're disappointed w/ the allergic effects.

Well, I guess I have to start the business day.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 9:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

As DH put it, it's a day to put on one's steel underwear. The Phoebe challenge today!!! 'Naughty' doesn't begin to describe her resistance to training. It would be tempting to abandon it...but I won't. She's trying every trick in the book: scratching herself, sitting on my foot, yawning....and more. She peed on the rug at the front door...deliberately. I'm giving her a break right now. Me too! Then back to work in a little while. DH gave her a long hard workout too. OYYYYY....Feels like we are going backwards before we can make progress.

And the dog distractions:

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 10:22AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have been responding in fits and starts since yesterday, so I hope my post is understandable. [g] Windy and a little cold for working outdoors today but nice and sunny so I am going to make the attempt to get some thing done out there later on. My move from old to new computer is almost done, thankfully.

Michelle, you have my sympathy...hope you worked out your XP problems. I've had that kind of an April Fool's Day too...not much went right. Nothing funny happened today either which was too bad. I am going to have to make more of an effort to have fun next year.

Cindy! So *happy* for you! You must be so relieved about your great test results. :-)

Gardenbug....It helps so much when everyone in the house is doing the same thing with the dog. We took the whole family to training sessions when we went through them. Years ago, it was pretty expensive too, but well worth it. Sorry about your basement flooding...hate that. Does your creek fill up like that every spring? I can imagine that it is interesting to watch every day, what with kingfishers fishing and all. [g] Amazing. Wow, to geese on your own property. I have to go to the Pond to see that! Hang in there with 'her highness'.....just keep telling yourself, 'I am smarter than this dog.' LOL

chelone....the response of your boss to your Mom's situation, was such a shame. Asking how someone is doing is such a basic courtesy, isn't it? I have known people with similar attitudes, trying to smooth things over with 'positive' thinking used without much thinking involved [g]. Sometimes there is a reason behind such a response. Maybe she has reached her limit of anxiety in her own life and has to deflect any more? Hope there were others able to offer a more sympathetic response. I think it makes a big difference when you are struggling with something. We all need the support. Sorry about Wrecks...I hope it will get resolved quickly. Is this keeping you from your long walks? Good luck today. :-)

Marian...great photos! Love number four of the rainbow! The JW movie I watched on Sunday, was Tall in the Saddle. One I had never seen. Love JWayne movies. The only one I never liked was The Quiet Man and probably because I am not a big fan of Maureen O'Hara. You have quite a collection! About your meds, can your doc give you something else that you might have a better response to?

Saucy...bee babies from ME...sounds exciting! Very jealous you are able to tackle the front redo of your house. I am a year or two away from being able to do ours. Good timing though, maybe I can learn something from your experience. :-) We had high winds keeping me awake last night...sounded like a train coming through a couple of times. It did warm up for a few hours yesterday afternoon and all of sudden the sound of birds! Can't wait until it is warm consistently for a few days in a row.

Denise....LOVED your spring photos! I see the colored glass mulch in one of your containers. Nasturtiums in bloom? That isn't even spring here, that's Lovely. I am wondering what is mingling with your grasses? I can see the poppies but on the right side of the photo..pale purple blooms to the right of the pink poppy? Is that the gladiolus? Really nice effect. I am a big fan of this look with the grasses. You really seem to be able to grow things quite differently then we can.

Kathy...your Roses are amazing! I imagine on the framework against the house, they provide shade for the patio and privacy and fragrance for the upstairs windows. Do you ever get birds nesting in them? Nice job on the pruning. I like the curve to the branches of LB going up the arbor.

Quick hello to all...

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 11:38AM
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david_5311(Z 5b/6a SE Mich)

Hi Idyllers! Thought I would stop by here and just say that I am still alive and kicking. Have had some relationship issues and growing pains in general, life is tough sometimes, but I am on the whole still doing fine and ready for spring. First working day in the garden last weekend, felt like I had been on another planet all winter and returned to earth, have never been so *disengaged* from the garden and plants over the winter before. It is nice to be grounded in the earth again. I am happy to say the witchhazels are all in bloom, the Plantskydd spray worked wonders and the deer did not decimate them as they have every past winter. And Magnolia grandiflora 'Edith Bogue' made it through a real zone 5 winter green and unscathed (forget Brackens Brown Beauty which I have killed 3 times, Edith is definitely hardier) and Cedrus deodora 'Karl Fuchs' which is supposed to be barely zone 7 hardy and people in NC complain about losing has been through 4 solid winters in my zone 5 garden and looks pristine....

No time but to skim the pictures and notes but Marie, Phoebe looks like a joy. Charlotte will never be replaced I know, but I am happy for a new spirit in your life nonetheless.

If anybody knows if there are any Idyllunion plans for the summer, please email me and let me know.

My best for a happy spring and life/garden renewal to you all.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 1:31PM
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What a treat to see David! Hope everything gets on an even keel for you. Funny you should mention Karl Fuchs, as the one thing I ordered from Forest Farm this year is Cedrus atlantica glauca (a bit smaller and bluer than Karl). I resisted the C. deodora thinking that in the Z5 micro it'll be in, I'd lose it. Next Year!!

Rich drove today and has declared himself able to do everything but lift. That was at 9a and by 11a he was sound asleep and according to his VERYDB (I called him when no phone got answered for 1/2 hour and no pre-sleep call) he's still out cold (now 4p). LOL Let'em think what he wants ....

Until there are at least 20 crocus blooming in my yard (there are now 12) I'm not talking to Denise or Kathy ;-)

This is a blast in and out from work so must move quickly. Wish I could offer to "do" Idyllunion this year as a 10th Anniversary Celebration of 1998's Herbstock, but you've all been to CT and I need one more year for the gardens.

Bye and Later!!


    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 4:21PM
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Hi everyone

Wanted to stop by to say Hello. All is well but hectic at work and home but in ten days time we have our Spring break - yeah!!

I'll keep peeking in when I can - our snow finally melted and I feel as if we might get a Spring after all. Crocus are blooming and the first apres winter poop pick-up has been completed.

Miss you all


    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 4:23PM
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Weekly update: Everything planted in this tray is sprouting!! Early success but damping off is a big concern this year given wacky temps and only one heat mat:

Here's PM2's and anyone else's Digitalis. Please ask for some as we've got plenty and they are one of the few seedlings that suffer no angst from being moved just after first set of true leaves (another week?????):

Did everyone disappear into baseball madness??? LOL (Feeling for any Mets fans out there.....)


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 6:56AM
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Funny, Martie, we had softball madness - Sarah's season started last evening.

Today promises to be a good garden day, so I am going to work quickly in the office and save what I can do later for a rainy day :) I hope to do a clean up of my neighborhood and pick a garden bed to rake out (maybe my shade garden).

Tonight is bee school. The reason for the Maine bees is because my neighbor is sort of my mentor in this project and she lost some of her hives and is replacing them....she knows the bee lady in Maine and says she's a good source. Nothing against the southern bees. Most bees are transplants from the south, turns out, I think it's because their spring gets started earlier so they make a good mail order business out of it....

Class is fun and soon it will be time to put a hive together.

Hope everyone has a great day! I've got a bus to catch :)


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 7:31AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

How lovely to see David pop in -- Im sorry you've had a trying winter (a lot of us seem to have had those woes of one sort or another) -- being able to get back out in the yard is amazing therapy isnt it?

Hope we can all get enthused about a summer IU get-together too - Im up for anywhere...

Neat, Martie, that you've got all those digitalis seedlings -- Im pretty sure I noted that several of my clumps seem to be non-existent now - go figure.... there are a few still alive; but we really didnt have much snow cover this winter - maybe that's part of the problem...

Saucy, sounds like a good idea re "splitting" w/ your bee mentor -- we will all be so much more knowledgeable w/ all these tidbits - I have never thought where they might be sourced from or how or if they have to acclimate to different areas..

Wow, Mary - that seems late for spring break - late April? But Im sure you'll take it no matter what time! It must be frustrating having to keep the future "open" to drastic change.... the sooner things get decided, the more you'll be able to adjust accordingly.

Off to lunch.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:11PM
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The snow is gone again, but the mud remains. We just cant seem to coax the sun to shine here.

Cindy, I have the combo problem too, the ones that usually work werent planned by me LOL

bug, I hope you stay nice and dry. Fortunately our creek is far enough from the house and the house sits on a hill that we havent ever had a problem. Puppy training sounds trying, Im sure consistency is the key.

Denise, I always find a spot each year for some variegated nasturtiums. From the looks of it, spring is in full swing there.

Marian, you really live in a lovely area. Although, the stars are pretty bright here too.

Treipen, headcheese, tongue and heart are all things I recall but dont believe Ive ever tasted them.

Deanne, Im sorry Ive never mentioned the mesh plant trays as liners. I do that same thing and it does work great.

Wow Kathy, those are some monstrous roses.

Lunch hour is nearly finished so Id best end here.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 1:52PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Wow, Martie, what a crop of foxglove sprouts!! Such a lovely sight. :-) You must be happy with that germination. I haven't tried that in at least twelve years or longer. I bet you are having fun. I was going to email you and couldn't, but you could email me from my GW page.

Not feeling too good today...of is balmy outside. I could be getting something done in the garden otherwise. Waving .... no baseball here.....:-)


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 4:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A beautiful day here and 50F. Sun is changing to cloud now, but I can't do much outdoors yet due to MUD! MUD! MUD! My shoes, eeeew! But frankly, almost any sign of spring is welcome. I threw many sticks into the floodwaters just to get rid of them. There are snowdrops, yellow winter aconites, birds...little bulb shoots emerging too. Of course there are vole mounds too...

Phoebe is full of beans and yes, I will try to be consistent with the positive training. It is a learning curve for me because Charlotte was much easier. This little girl is full of attitude and I find it hard to keep my commands calm and sweet and save my temper for "NO" alone. I'm learning though.

No baseball here either. Just gravel pits!
Wish there were a Lady Banks here, but not in my zone. Every time I see one I fall in love. Sigh... BUT, today the nursery phoned to say my order of 2 roses is ready. Well I'm not ready yet, so I delayed them for a week. Perhaps I can shovel the snow away from their new homes and put dark plastic there to warm up the soil.

News from out west is that Reed is excited to be on the deck. He is super conscious of spring sounds and that amazes DD who is used to her SS with hearing problems. He loves the airplanes overhead, the bird songs and even the fluttering of their wings. Now she's on a campaign to get DSIL to turn his music down to save Reed's hearing. They're tuning up their bikes and have been on one ride already with Reed in tow, screaming in delight all the way! They celebrated their first argument last week too. It's about time too. Hehehe. Anyway, it was all about consistency in disciplining DSS. DD is trying to get DSIL to read about dog training as a motivator! Hahaha. It just might work. I think sometimes electric shock therapy might be best. He can be sweet, but the signals are so mixed from parent to parent. OY....

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 4:47PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, I haven't felt too great today either. Twice I have gone out with my camera and wandered around taking pics, even though the ground is terribly soggy! The first time was before lunch.I wandered the woods that time. The second time was due to Tommy's insistance...:-) He was out on the deck, and wnated me to join him. We wandered the yard, and went up the drive. He 'talked' the entire time! Funny....
Then Nolon decided to go out also. He is restacking a wood pile out front that fell down. Tommy is out there monitoring the job.

I am still feeling poorly...hope you are better.

Serviceberries behind the little red barn and farther out in the woods:

A handsome mossy rock:

My shrub row out front:

I am hearing thunder again...guess the rain is returning!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 5:09PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Well... it's no match for Denise's or Kathy's spring pictures, but they're the first flowers here!:

Sorry about the off-center picture - the sun was so bright I couldn't see the screen on the camera so was just pointing it and hoping...:-) These crocuses are by the south wall of the house where the snow melts first. I'm sure there're snowdrops in the backyard somewhere but there's still too much snow and ice back there for me to get near any of the spots where the snow has actually melted off. I did see a winter acontite or two in the front lawn bed but couldn't get near them to take a picture.

The seedlings are coming along here too. I separated my Angel rose hips when I collected them in the fall, keeping the ones from under the big Blanc Double de Coubert rose separate from the rest. I was hoping I might get some interesting crosses from them. I didn't have great luck with germination on them this year - the seed starting mix I used was obviously heavily laden with moss spores because I got a great crop of moss but not muce else! However I did end up with 5 pots of roses. Several of the hips produced extra-large seeds, which I hope are a cross. One of them was very late to germinate and is still very tiny so I'm not sure what it will be. All of the seedlings are scented, which is not always the case. One pot has turned out to have a mix of seeds because there are both single pink flowers and double white ones blooming in the same pot. The double white one was really pumping out the scent this morning so I'm assuming it probably does have BDC as a parent. I will probably keep that one and the tiny one if it survives and looks interesting but will give away the other three. Are you interested in having one gb? Here is a (vey bad) picture of the pot with the double white one:

I have a dozen pots of hens'n' chicks that are doing well. I really like hens'n' chicks but didn't expect them to be so prolific in germination! I'll keep a couple and take most of the rest up to the longterm care place's garden for planting in their hot dry area at the front.

My other seedlings this year are my usual delphiniums, Blue Wave petunias (I love the spicy scent of them!), heliotrope, Sweet Million tomatoes and hardy hibiscus. Some of them are for my garden but I'm also growing them for my samosa-making friend - they just moved into their first house from a condo in December and are looking forward to having a garden for the first time.

I had an nice, but unexpected, letter yesterday from the younger son of my mother's best friend. She and my mother, both elderly and living alone, used to call each other every day - to chat but also to check that the other was OK. It was actually her friend who called for help when my mother had her stroke 10 years or so ago. She called Mom for their usual morning chat; Mom answered but was not making sense, so she called my sister who went to check on her, saw that she had had a stroke and called the ambulance. Mom died a few weeks later in hospital after another stroke. After Mom died, her friend and I exchanged annual Christmas letters. I was worried whether she had someone else to continue the dailiy checking routine she had with Mom. A couple of years ago, the Christmas letters from her stopped. I asked my sister if she had heard if something had happened but she hadn't heard anything and said the house still looked occupied when she passed by. I checked the obituaries on-line and was reassured not to find her there! When I saw her son's address on the envelope yesterday, my first though was that he was writing to tell me she had died. In his letter yesterday, he said she had had a stroke - in 2004! Initially she had went home after some recovery time in the hospital but then had a fall when she was on her own at night after the home care worker had left. I assume she broke a hip or something because he said she had spent months in the hospital and then moved to a nursing home where she still is. He said they meant to write to me sooner but kept losing my address from the Christmas cards and they couldn't remember my sister's married name to contact her... He said she loves to 'hear from people' and is still 'on the ball', so yesterday I wrote my mother's friend a chatty letter, included lots of pictures and sent it off today. Mom's friend used to live down the road from us when we lived at my grandparents' place when I was small. She was one of those fun people, with a witty, sharp tongue and I loved to listen to her talk! Mom was godmother to the son who wrote to me. It was a nice touch of 'home' and brought back lots of momories of my mother...

Marian - Those were great pictures of your yard, the sainbow and sunset.

Chelone - poor Wrecks/Rex; poor you...:-( I hope he recovers quickly this time too.

Cynthia - how is Katie doing now? How sad she never got her twirl back!

Cindy - I'm glad you're breathing fresher air again!

gb - you and Paul, a neighbour on the next street, would have a good time comparing training stories! He owned that nice Rottweiler/shepherd cross that died last spring. He got a new Rottweiler puppy in the summer - Zoe is about 10 months or so now. She's a nice beastie but has lots of puppy exhuberance. Like you, Paul keeps saying she's harder to train than Hera was. I think you've all just started to see Hera/Charlotte's youth through rose-colored glasses. Zoe was out in the front yard with Paul when we walked by with Misty and Liam at lunch. She stayed in a nice 'down' while we were coming up the driveway to greet her. Then she was very polite and friendly with both Misty and Liam. (she's met both of them before and they all consider each other buddies...)

Speaking of dogs... - there is agitation going on for post-supper walkies....

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 5:38PM
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This has not been a good day. It has humorous aspects but I'm tired, cranky, and frustrated. And it's been a boring, dirty week at work. With a few warm days hastening the level of urgency.

Wrecks was been taking 100 mg. of Deramaxx daily (an anti-inflammatory) since his exam on Monday. Surgery was scheduled for tomorrow. My job today was to take him in and have a morphine patch applied to the unaffected rear leg so he was already on some "pain management". I came home, took him outdoors and we messed around in the yard for a bit. Then we got in car and had the patch applied. I returned home, went upstairs and discovered he'd eaten 16 Deramaxx pills sometime between noon and 2:30 (Daddy comes home for lunch).

I called the vet. and explained what happened. I used an ear syringe to put 3-4 tbsps. of Hydrogen Peroxide down his throat to induce vomitting. I waited about 10 minutes and he "cast his gorge" obigingly... one huge pool, and 3 smaller ones. I promptly tied him to the railing so he wouldn't eat it... (I hate dogs). I used a knife and my fingers to patiently go through it all to find the remnants of as many pills as I was able (12-13). Put him back into the car and retraced our steps so they could shoot 300 mls. of activated charcoal down his gullet, shoot something to inhibit acid production into his hindquarter, and give me 42 pills (2 3times/day for a week) to help protect his GI tract from the corrosive effect of the Deramaxx. Helpmeet takes him in for bloodwork tomorrow morning... to assess any potential danger to his liver and kidneys.

No surgery tomorrow... probably at least a week, pending bloodwork. :(

Sooo... Rex is now groovin' on 100 mg. of recreational morphine and a bellyful of charcoal. Life is just great.

There are two pools of pristine white Crocus, though. :/

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 6:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh boy, I guess Chelone's DH is in the doghouse and Wrecks is enjoying the morphine. Wouldn't you like a dull moment about now? Maybe some wine????

I must say, dog training and child training both require the partners to be on the same page. That never happens at our house and it is impossible to deal with! Even the dog trainer had to put up with "no, that isn't true" from DH every time she explained a technique. He's a pain....Why have I put up with it for so long? He must have redeeming features but at the moment don't ask me what they are.

Woody, no way would Phoebe remain in a nice "down" if you came up our drive. Especially if you came with other dogs! Much more work for us first! Tonight she practiced sitting in the dining room while we ate.("sitting" is a term I used loosely!) She ate later.

I'm amazed by Marian's trees. So much color and beauty. I wonder how long until my service berries bloom. At least a month, probably more. What is the red color in the distance? My forsythia was chomped by bunnies...Maybe next year?


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 7:17PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, it is a Flowering Quince. You must have a differant kind of rabbit than we do. The ones here never bother the forsythia.
We got another deluge awhile ago. When it ended it was lighter out than when I took the other pics of the water in our yard. I got a lot more pics and they are lots clearer, but I won't bore you all with them ... unless asked - ;-)
I am hearing thunder AGAIN, so think more is on the way!!!! Will it never stop? Yes it will...then we will be wishing for rain!

Oh my, Chelone. Poor Wrecks, and poor you! I hope you both will be okay.

Woody, I had the same problem with my camera's screen. I had to point at the subject and hope I was in the right spot, and it wasn't even all that bright out! I don't know if it is my eyes, or the camera?? Your pics are great. I am envious of your rose seedlings...with blooms even! If I were feeling like it would be a smart thing for me to do, I would like to grow some hybrid rose seeds, but I don't need any more stuff to take care of.
I have hens and chicks both in a pot that I brought in last fall, and one that I left outside. They both look good.

The thunder that I heard this time was on past us, and another rainbow appeared. :-)


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 8:11PM
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A brief check-in here..I enjoy tales of others as they observe the beginning of spring, and exciting time that is over for me ..spring here is in full throttle. I say 6 to 10 days and I will have many blooming roses, and hopefully photos to share.

Marie, I completely empathize with your frustration over the problems inherent in having the spousal unit off the page that you are on when training/disciplining the youth of the house, be they kids or pets. I think that was the number one issue between me and DH . Im really lucky my kids turned out ok in spite of the constant mixed messages they received.

Crikey , Chelone, what a horrible day for you and jumbo-pooch. Best wishes for better days ahead

And Woody, love your story of the eldery friend, and pics of the spring green babies.

This is all I have time for today, a big howdy to everyone and hope for a longer post on the morrow..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 8:55PM
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Bore me Marian, LOL! I love seeing pictures of your spring!

Woody, you inspired me to write to someone who I have been thinking of lately. Your story made me miss my grandmother's letters terribly....I might find one to read tonight :)

I took Sarah to class tonight. She jotted me a note while listening to the speaker: Bees should take swimming lessons. We learned tonight that bees drown easily.

Check Rex into Betty Ford....good grief! I hope tomorrow is a better day for all in your house, Chelone.

I'll check back in tomorrow eyelids are on auto pilot.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 9:53PM
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Marian what a nice show of shrubs you have. My forsythia is just getting started and not planted near the flowering quince that is budded but not open yet. And is that bridal wreath spirea blooming too? We keep getting rain here too. The river is near the road to town again.

Woody, are those roses blooming from seed started this winter? Thats cool. I hope you get something special from the crosses. I imagine your mothers friend will be delighted to get your letter.

Martie, seeing your seedlings makes me wish I had started something. Truth is I lost a lot of my cuttings so they probably wouldn't have survived either. Richs ordeal was really something. I hope he is feeling better each day.

I have finally finished in the basement for now. What a relief to have that done. Now if these two upstairs closets were done. But those are going to have to wait for awhile. It is really greening up in the gardens but oh so muddy. The iris and daylillies are putting on growth and lots of columbine foliage too. Of course the cool weather weeds are growing like, well weeds. I actually took time to pull some in one bed. Enough to get muddy knees and dirty fingernails. Lots of daffodils. Some of my clumps have matured to a nice size. Problem is they have only had about a day and half to hold their heads up and show off. The rest of the time they have been drooping in the rain.

Cynthia, I imagine your garden is starting to take off. Did you get the support cart for Katie?

Oiy! Chelone. I hope Rex will be ok. thats pretty scary.

My mutt Rebel reeks of skunk and while I was sorting some stuff in the garage today he kept sticking his head in my lap for pets. Yucko.

Michelle, I'm glad your snow has melted.

Cindy, great to hear your house passed the test.

Kathy your climbing roses are awesome. I just can't make it happen here. I give up.

Hi Babs!

Saucy you are being very productive lately.

Waving hi to all the rest of you. I'm fading away here.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 10:26PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I've been a bad idyller this week - meetings Tuesday and Wednesday night, and just no brain left to do anything productive tonight. But I caught Chelone's story about Rex. Okay, that phrase "recreational morphine" just sort of leaps off the page, you know?

Chelone, kudos to you for doing what was necessary, including the pill count. I hope that Rex recovers and that the helpmeet is not beat too badly...

So it's Thursday evening. Since Monday, I have gone to a visitation, read a small dramatic part in a program, run a board meeting for a trade group, gone to a small wine tasting, did trouble-shooting on a label printing program, entered several hundred lines of data into a data base, drafted questions for a certification exam and taught myself to write Access queries, just to name a few highlights. And I'm wondering two things: a.) why am I so tired? and b.) aren't I an accountant?

Off to "find myself"


    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 10:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I hope Sue signs in early tomorrow....I'm ready for her message, no matter what color!

gnite! (I'm caught up but too tired to respond.)
'bug & Phoebe

    Bookmark   April 3, 2008 at 11:40PM
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Queries you say V ?? I am the Queen of queries, but I dump mine into excel. Never saw a schema I didn't like.Doin queries when I should be buying stuff.

Hi Norma!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 12:01AM
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Sounds like Rex and Rich could party together this week :-)

V -- I want an "accounting" job like yours, despite Access which is harder to use than it should be.

Waving hi to all.

Off to start a thread of The Park. Do stop by!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:03AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

goodmorning... :-)

Feeling somewhat better this morning after having gotten a better night sleep then I have been getting of late. More sleep would be even better, but I am working on it. I'm expecting my energy to be fleeting this morning, so I thought I would post while I still have some.

I did attempt to go out and cut back some grasses and take photos yesterday, but after a few photos my memory card was full, and after one grass, I was ready to quit. But here are the few pics I took...

Hairy Vetch cover crop....

Tiny Dianthus seedlings....


Dwarf Delphinium bought on sale in fall...came back!

Crocus finally opening up...

Chelone.....hope you have an easier day today. Once again, I am impressed with your level headed-ness. I learned a lot reading about how you responded to Wrecks crisis. I would not have known about the Hydrogen Peroxide or counting the pills. I am sure you saved that poor dog!

Marian.....sorry to hear you are not feeling so well. I wonder if the meds you were taking might have stirred something up? We are pretty sensitive to meds in our family. My Mom had to be hospitalized from a reaction to blood pressure meds once. It took them awhile to figure out what the problem was and as soon as they took her off it, she made a quick turn around. Incidents like that have happened often enough that any time we are not feeling well, meds is the first thing we think of. I enjoyed all your photos...LOVED that moss covered rock. Beautiful! I have Amelanchier not in bloom yet too. I second the request for more photos. :-)

Woody...loved the story of your Mom's friend and look forward to an update if you hear back from her. Great rose photos! Also wondered if those were from seed planted this winter?! I used to have a Blanc Double de Courbet but it didn't come back one spring. I thought that was bizarre since they are supposed to be so hardy. I have never tried sowing rose seeds, I will have to try them.

Gardenbug....enjoyed your account of Reed's first spring experiences. DD and DSIL having first fight over disciplining the fight about what is most important to you to fight for, don't you think? That says a lot about where their priorities are! Better that, then fighting over where are we going to dinner tonight. [g]
I wonder do you get that show SuperNanny where you are? I watch it all the time, and the first thing she works on with struggling parents, is getting on the same page.

Kathy....Roses in spring...did you choose really early bloomers? Not sure, since I only have three roses in my garden, but around here, isn't it almost June before we see roses here in NE, anyone? Looking forward to seeing photos of the first of your roses blooming.

Norma, sorry you lost your cuttings. No seedlings this year? I forget if you mentioned whether you have tried Winter Sowing? Once I got the containers with the seeds sowed and labeled, out the door back in January, I have done nothing with them. Haven't even gone out to keep checking on them like I usually do, and just like magic, the seeds sprout....Now I will just have to make sure they don't dry out and they should be all set until time to plant out. Very envious that you have your basement cleaned out. is Katie doing?

V....that is some wild week you've

Enjoying everyone's photos and stories and sure I am forgetting something I was going to comment on...but time to go...

Enjoy your Friday! :-) pm2

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:05AM
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Sorry to be in a rush because there's stuff I'd love to comment on (particularly Reed's discovery of "outside") but wanted to slide these in before big day at work:

Woody's from-seed Rosa chinensis (we think ;-) flank the start of the main path through the main bed:

Anyone remember the pic of a giant 60 pound daylily falling out of my car at Deanne's?? No worse for the wear, this "baby" is a full 2' wide:

Happy Friday!

Martie, again

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:22AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Back from a fairly uneventful trip to Florida. Visited the various parental units and spent as much time as possible soaking up the sun. At mom's I even stripped down to a bikini and sat by the association pool with books two afternoons in a row-something I haven't done in 20 years. Dad and wife took me to the new Hard Rock Seminole Casino in my scene but I decided it was going to be a go with the flow trip.

Chelone, Zoe ate a fair amount of De-con a few years ago while at my MIL's on a Sunday. All the hydrogen peroxide caused her to do was belch. Luckily the local vet didn't mind having his Sunday dinner interrupted and met us at his office within half an hour. He put a tablet of something in her eye and within seconds it was coming out both, sorry for the unintended visual. Had I not gone looking for her in the house I never would have known she got into it and she would have been dead the next day. It still gives me agida to think about it.

Marian, you are way ahead of me in the spring department. Keep the pictures coming! This morning we have cold rain that is supposed to last into tomorrow.

At any rate, I've only skimmed this thread and have probably missed alot. Martie, hope Rich is on the mend. Jeez! Here you go, Marie...



    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:45AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Raining here this morning - hopefully that, and milder temperatures, will have the rest of the snow gone by the end of the weekend. I sure hope so!

Re the rose seedlings - the seeds were planted Jan 17th. The seeds take 30-60 days to germinate but the neat thing is the seedlings start blooming when they are about 2-3" tall! And they don't stop until about late October! They are lots of fun to grow - right, Martie?

I don't expect to hear back from Mom's friend directly. Her son reminded me that she is left-handed and the stroke left her paralyzed on the left side. He says he will relay her comments to me via e-mail.

Saucy - I'm sure whoever you wrote to will appreciate it greatly, especially if she/he is older. Letters have become such rare things these days....

Chelone - I sure hope your big beastie will be fine after his high-flying experience!

gb - keep in mind that our neighbour's Zoe is probably 6 months older than your Phoebe. I'm sure Phoebe's behavior will improve the same as Zoe's has. My point was that both you and Paul lament about how unruly the current puppy is relative to the memory of what the previous dog's youth was like. But, as an 'outsider', all I see is normal puppy behavior that is settling down to a nice dog....:-)

V - it sounds like you are a multi-talented accountant...! Isn't that what us accountants are supposed to be?!

All the sping pictures have me itchin' to get outside - but a lot of the yard is still inaccessible with snow and ice. - Next week I should be able to be out there I hope....

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 8:13AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yikes -- Chelone you had a time of it yesterday! Too bad you didnt have an extra morphine patch for some recreation yourself by the end of it! Those emergency scares w/ "stoooped dawg" things are expensive, draining and frightening -- glad you were timely w/ all the response. Guess Rex Really did not want the surgery today! Chloe's had a few runs like that to the emergency vet too -- they are all too memorable.

Welcome back, Sue - glad you had a pretty good time - sometimes real R&R/go w/ the flow is just what a person needs. I am feeling in need of a week off myself just to slug; but it's not likely to happen any time soon.

Norma -- what an accomplishment to get your basement all cleaned & organized -- sigh, sigh -- if only.... Having my own in such upheaval has made me realize what an entire mess/clutter/packrat heaven my whole house has become - I have got to do something about it.

V -- you're a truly multi-tasking/multi-talented "accountant"!

Love those hens and chicks, Woody. A sad tale about your mother's friend -- I guess we all "fade" away eventually like that if the family doesnt really bother to contact friends & acquaintances. Im sure she will enjoy your letter immensely.

More rain here for the next 2 days.... and feeling very chilly -- mud, mud and more mud -- in another week or so I should be getting some mail orders in -- I guess I may end up using the basement as a greenhouse after all if it doesnt warm up soon - well, that would make it good for something at least.

Happy Friday all.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Hello Idylls! Fast fly-by post from me. I've had some issues with internet connections along with lots of babysitting, helping mom and a run in with springtime cold germs. All makes for a busier time than normal and less time to read online (or to deal with the frustration of attempting to get online).

We received about 4" of snow last week---crazy springtime weather for us in this part of the country. It was lovely to watch the big fluffy flakes fall, but it sure seemed more like December instead of late March. Weird weather patterns everywhere.

My daffodils are still in bloom although most are laying along the ground after being weighted down by the snow. Tulips haven't shown themselves yet, but there is new growth on the rose bushes (until the elk & deer find the new leaves) and more leaf buds opening on the trees.

The logging operation is still going on behind our property but they look to be finishing up. Most of the logs have been hauled out, only one loader (the machine that picks up the trees/logs to put them on the log trucks) is left. They did leave approximately a football field length of forested land between our property line and their logging operation. We're amazed at the buffer and wonder why, how long we'll get to 'keep' the buffer (days? months? years?) but also very thankful that it has been left. I've taken many photos as we've walked through the woods to check on the logging operation but still haven't downloaded the photos onto this computer.

Well, twins will arrive any minute and a melt-down happens if I have the laptop in their view (they want to type) so I'd better get this put away and do a once through to make sure all is ready.

Hope all are doing well.....sorry to be so hit and miss.

My best to all,

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Caught up on reading.

Zero tolerance for puppy these days....Even the trainer says she's a character Woody! She suggested putting DH in the crate until he'll begin to work on the same page. Hehehehe.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:31AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Me oh my oh! I think I need to go back to bed and hope for a better day. Since I am still under par, I decided to rearrange my PT albums. I had too many pics in the last one ( for March) so I made an April album. In the process of moving pics, I deleted several from this thread!
I started a post to explain this booboo, ( and it was becoming a rather lucid post!), when the power blinked off! Back to square one....( I HATE when that happens).
So I prepared a meager noon meal for us, then attacked the keyboard again. This time I hit the wrong key and eliminated the Idyll page! Soooo, another wait for it to come back on.
I went and folded a basket of laundry that was washed about a week ago! Talk about wrinkled!!! it was bedding and towels.
Anyhooo, I think I will start a new thread for my pics, like Martie did. I had better wait until after my afternoon nap. Maybe I will be refreshed, and avoid more booboos!

Last night was another of those " wonder if I will still be here in the morning" nights. I was up almost as much as I was down. Was not comfortable( to say the least) either way. My treks outside yesterday were efforts to rise above how I was did't work. Today is dark and wet ( but not raining) and cold.

The only concellation to the cold is that it is holding the spring blossoms in good shape. The serviceberries are lasting a record time, and so are other blooms. Also, the darkness makes the white blooms stand out, espacially the Amelanchier( see...I know it's name! ).

I will close now before I lose this post, and my mind....


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 2:17PM
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Marian, I'm sorry you're not feeling well and that the computer is not cooperating. Did you quit the meds, or trying to work through the side effects? Funny, I hear an advertisment for a new FM drug all the time...they're really pushing it.

I hope you're feeling better and that a good night's sleep is the catalyst :)

GB, that's why I refuse to get a pup. Zeus came trained. He has some bad habits that time does not seem to erase but for the most part, they are not deal breakers :) I don't know where you'll find a crate for DH, but if you do, send me the order info :)

I did my part to stimulate the economy today. I ordered some brugmansias (I feel terrible for killing the cuttings I received from Wendy) - some new sports bras for tank top weather - and a japanese maple.

Nick and I have Aflac "accident" insurance for our family. I about fell out of my chair when I got the check for Jake breaking his ankle!

Looking forward to the weekend even though I have a bit of catch up to do in the office. I have a worker's comp audit next week, and I actually feel pretty confident! This isn't so hard :)

I'll talk at you later!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 3:36PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello...still feeling better this afternoon. Trying to make some garden decisions and suddenly find myself looking at some plant material at Broken Arrow Nursery and considering whether tomorrow might be a good time, if I feel up to it. I really have to put in a couple of evergreens for screening and they have such a great selection and pretty good prices. Has anyone tried the Green Giant Arborvitae? I've been thinking about that one for awhile. Any other evergreen favorites?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Looks like we're in for a few decent days starting tomorrow. 60s and sunshine! Jen and I are going on a production tour of one of the larger nurseries around here tomorrow. It'll be my first trip out to the nurseries this year. I haven't even mail ordered a single plant this year. Unusual for me.

My mom and dad will be here overnight Monday. They've decided to go to AM Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX since the Drs. here say there's really nothing else they can do for my mom. They'll be driving the 1500 miles over 3 days and have an appointment for next Friday, April 11th.

Our last two dogs have been 2-3 years old when we got them. Alice, a black lab, that we had for 11 years and now Bud that we've had for 8 years. They've both been great dogs with people, especially kids and never destroyed anything or had an accident in the house. I wouldn't want to have to deal with a puppy myself. Jen and Randy are making headway with Magglio. He's very smart and quick to learn and very calm for a puppy. The vet said he estimates him to be around 8 months old. He's already made the transition from sleeping in his crate at night to sleeping with them, lol.

Bella knows her colors but brought me a purple crayon earlier wanting to know the name that Crayola had given it. It was Purple Mountain Majesty. A very silly name for a crayon in my opinion. What happened to violet, orchid, lavender, etc.? What are kids supposed to do when they see that shade of purple somewhere, say "I know that color, it's Purple Mt. Majesty"? Not a very good learning experience from Crayola IMO.

I've been shopping for new chairs for the livingroom. Not an easy task. I want 2 chairs, not too big, but comfortable. Brad's vote would be for big, ugly recliners. Maybe just one for him:)

I haven't read enough to comment tonight. Don't know if I'll be around much in the next weeks so don't worry if I'm not posting.

Have a good weekend. Hope you're all able to enjoy springlike weather.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 6:59PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Eden, have always heard great things about AM Anderson. I hope they can tell your parents something encouraging. :-)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:36PM
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Thanks PM. Oh and it's MD Anderson. I mistyped:)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 7:48PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden, I think I can understand what you are going through. My mom was 75 when diagnosed with lung cancer. She opted not to have chemo or radiation. I know you have said what age your mom is, but I forget. I do hope she can get help, since that is what she choses.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 8:35PM
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It was a lovely 60 degrees and sunny today. It certainly helped the mud situation. Tomorrow is supposed to be like it, but next week is predicted as rainy, so the mud will return.

We ran a new line to our icemaker tonight. I hate home repairs. The laundry room is a slow process. The painting is done along with the curtains. We are waiting on the new flooring and then will install a new sink and beadboard.

Eden, I hope that TX has something that can help your mom. Shes in my prayers.

Have you checked out the new style of La-z-boys? They have a few recliners now that dont rock and dont look like a recliner. Ive added the link below. You can pick your fabric as well. Ive looked at these and may get a couple eventually.

I noticed the same thing with Crayola markers that I bought for my Sunday School kids. They are called Pip-Squeaks and have crazy names such as petite rose, dinky pink and leprechaun green.

T, Im glad that you were left with some trees as a buffer and hope that they leave them for a long time.

Woody, the roses are awesome. Amazing that they bloom when they are so small.

Pm2, I love your spring shots.

Chelone, hows Rex feeling tonight? What an ordeal. I cant imagine sorting thru the "gorge"

Norma, I wish my basement was clean. It seems like you get it clean and a couple years later its right back to its messy self.

I havent ordered any plants either and I so love getting those boxes delivered, its just like Christmas. I was at Chalk Hill Clematis site today and thought I could put together an order but didnt get it done.

Today was the annual boob squash. Im sure you all are envious.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:01PM
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Friday greetings to all, I am Idylling and watching baseball simultaneously. No open houses this weekend-I am taking a holiday from feverish house cleaning and real estate issues. Im just going to putter in the garden, not go into the office, and kick back this weekend. And I swear I will sleep in till 6:30.

Eden, you know we will be thinking of you if you must be away. I hope that your Mom is feeling well enough to get some enjoyment out of the journey to Texas, and that they may find help and hope waiting for them.

PM, I can only assume that you took one for the team prostrating yourself on the ground to get that crocus shot , lol ! Roses: the first bloom flush here is typically in April, and how early or late depends on weather, rain etc. We have had a very dry spring, with many sunny days so the roses will be popping very soon. My Archduke Charles, a china rose, has been blooming for a month, and has been the first rose to bloom every year since I have had it -not counting Lady Banks who can start blooming as early as January here.

Hi T ! My BILs in Portland had some snow in March too- not normal I gather. Our nighttime temps have been quite cold here the last two weeks or so, with the wind machines kicking in in the vineyards 4 or 5 times a week. Im determined to plant at least one coleus this weekend ! One would hope that your loggers left that buffer out of sensitivity to your view .

Stand your ground bug !

Saucy, you did mention a re-do of the front of your house a couple days ago, and I am confident that you will take some time this weekend to snap the b-4 pics? I promise numerous climbing rose pics in return , starting with Reine des Violettes this weekend.

Cindy, you may have rain, but you have no mold and no houseguests! You will prevail my friend !

Ok, I really need to go watch the ballgameenjoy your Friday night everyone.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 11:03PM
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Though dreary, it is a very Happy Saturday! Fell asleep at 6p last night after being given the afternoon off by my most understanding boss, and woke an hour ago. Think maybe these past few weeks have been a bit wearing??? LOL

Rich's Dr appt yesterday went well and though he needs to go to his general med guy in a few weeks for followup test instructions, he's in good shape. There will be gastrointestinal issues to be dealt with and eventually a heart valve that will need to be replaced.

Laughed hard when he said he felt like a used car and I reminded him that most Jaguars increase in value with age. Good to hear that laugh again.

Am feeling for those with pet woes. Don't have any idea what I could say that would help :-(

Reine des Violettes, Kathy!!! Am I remembering that it is an heirloom Bourbon? May I request a closeup shot of a bloom so I can vicariously enjoy it? I tried it several years ago, but couldn't seem to get it past Year 1 with J&P grafts.

T: A daycare near me put out an appeal for used keyboards, no wires, because the kids just liked the sound of tapping on the keys. Could one become part of your twins-keep'em-occupied arsenal?

Woody: So glad contact has been restored with your friend's family. Those roses are a Blast, and a good part of the fun is not knowing what color they'll bloom. Easy, easy, easy.

Good for you and your basement, Norma! A great feeling to declutter, for sure.

Sue: Uneventful trips to Florida can never be a bad thing. Sounds like pure luxury to read on the beach ....

CT New Nursery Alert: On Route 190 in Stafford, what used to be Milikowski's has reopened. Plan a ride over there tomorrow and will report in, but it looks like they have all greenhouses up and running and already have some nursery stock in. This used to be a top-shelf place to get all kinds of unusual things, and I'm hopeful the new owners continue that tradition ...

It would be so easy to just sit here and blather on. That kind of day, but many tomato seeds are waiting to get going. Shucks, what a chore ;-) LOL


    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 7:31AM
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I've read as far as Friday morning (good that Sue is back to remind us).

Wrecks is nontheworseforwear, let me assure you. I believe I own a Hyena hybrid... that dog's stomach is cast of the same iron as his will. Too bad the drivetrain is made of Silly Putty. I've come to the conclusion that after my experiences with Mum I'm pretty much "bomb-proof" when it comes to emergencies and gross stuff. I called the vet. that prescribed the Deramaxx and she was very calm, told me to induce vomitting (this vet. is 30 miles away). I didn't have a turkey baster, but instantly thought of the ear syringe as a logical substitute. Figured it would be best to have him vomit on the fibreglassed deck so I'd be able to inspect the vomit without grass, leaves, dirt "confusing" things. Vet. called back and asked if I could find any pills... I had a knife at the ready and patiently went through it, using my fingers, too. Vet. remarked that I was amazingly calm to which I replied, "a meltdown probably wouldn't help right now, would it?" she laughed. She then called our local vet. (6 miles away) and they decided to administer activated charcoal. Vet.#2 called me and she was spitting out instructions, her voice rising in pitch as she went on and on about possible ramifications of the overdose. Like that was going to help? "lookit", I said, "you need to take a breath, doc.. He's puked up the pills, I've found the better part of 13 of them. They haven't been in his system that long, he's perfectly healthy, and I can't 'beam' him to your facility. We're on our way." I hung up on her. We arrived in 5-10 minutes and she was still wound tighter than an 8 day clock. They took the dog out back and I followed them right out there! :) Didn't bother me at all to watch two techs. administer the charcoal to him. I guess maybe a lot of pet owners are wussies about the practical realities of emergency treatment? He's fine and the surgery is scheduled for next Friday. (Nice try, Rex).

Marian, I meant to comment on your rainbow picture. Just lovely and the serviceberries are so pretty. I have one here, and I'm underwhelmed by it, but it's only starting its second year in the site. I love flowering quince, too. Isn't that color too luscious for words?

Dog training isn't about training the dog, at all! 'bug., your DH needs to understand that simple fact... he's got a bad case of "teacher-itis", doesn't he? lol. If it's any consolation, the helpmeet isn't nearly as patient or as assertive as I am with Wrecks. He repeats commands too many times and enforcement comes too late. Wrecks knows that enforcement is lax and "pushes" the boundries predictably. The other thing he doesn't completely understand is that it's a lot easier to train a TIRED dog. Let him blow off some steam first and then do the lesson. Everything in your dog's life should be a reinforcement of the dogs PLACE in your home. You eat first, always. You exit a door first, always. The dog must learn to wait for your command. You are the one leadin' the parade. And every single day of your life with your dog is about reinforcing that simple fact. it never ends, but that's the reason we have dogs and we hate them. ;)

I have to go deal with returnables now... before the crowds descend on the automatic machines. Later!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 8:12AM
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Today's sky is light blue with wispy clouds and looks like the start of a beautiful summer day, but forecast is for gray skies and more wet stuff. Maybe they're wrong. It's been a really decent spring here, with the cool temps keeping the daffs going for weeks. Ice Follies usually bloom a few weeks after the early Jet Fire, but this year they're blooming together and I like it! Magnolias are out and didn't get hit by late frost. So far anyway.

Wrecks! You junkie. Good work Chelone, counting pills in dog vomit is an act of love, you can't deny it.

That story reminded me of a home visit a few years ago in one of the most awful sections of Baltimore City. Nice young man refurbing a brick row house with a cement yard and one tree on the entire block. I had Dannie with me, and she was my foster then. In the living room, she reached toward a door frame and retrieved a small green block with her mouth. 'What's that?' I asked. The young man leaped into action. Did I imagine sweat on his face? The green cube was rat poison. So he got a demo of 'how to make a dog vomit.' She had not eaten it, but having it in her mouth was enough for me. The trick after administering the hydrogen peroxide is to walk the dog in tight circles to make them dizzy and vomit more readily. He was panicked and thought he had failed the home visit and wouldn't be able to adopt. I was excited. No! That's exactly why we do these. He is wonderful owner and has become an active volunteer.

Today I'm getting together with two friends to measure Katie for her cart. The PT gave it a thumbs up and thinks it will help her. She recommended Eddie's Wheels
for best design and comfort. These carts come in pink! The measurement taking involves multiple sets of hands and clipboards used like a sandwich to measure widths across top of back, ribs, butt. It's daunting, so I need help to get it right. She is loving her PT, and we have exercises to do at home too: Cookie stretches, nudges, massage across the spine, Cavaletti poles (I covered bricks with towels and put across thresholds). We meet interesting breeds of dogs in the waiting room there. A morose Irish Wolfhound with beautiful eyes and a shy Bernese Mountain dog this week. I'm grateful that outings and people are the things Katie loves the most. So she lights up the place with her happy attitude and makes me proud to be her designated bill payer :) The surgery took care of the pain, but at this point I'm not optimistic she will recover fully, so am grateful that I have a happy girl who still thinks the world was made for her entertainment.

I do need more coffee, but there's a cat in my lap. In my front hall is a box with a small order from Brent and Becky's. Canna Stuttgart, Canna Australia, Alstroemeria Sweet Laura, Alocasia plumbea 'Nigra' and Eucomis Van Der Merwe. So I guess there will be some 'potting up' in my day. I have not started a single seed this year. But I will, it's not too late for the annuals I like and some of the interesting or favorite perennial seeds. I enjoy seeing the pictures of everyone else seedlings germinate.

Eden, I'm thinking of you and your mom!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 8:28AM
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Saucy, you must do "before" pictures. I always regret it when I don't and love seeing the differences when I do.

Alstroemeria 'Sweet Laura' I'm always suckered by plants with my children's names. I haven't bought that one yet although I've seen it in catalogs. I already have phlox and clematis 'Laura'. I've only seen one daylily with my DS name and didn't think it was worth the price. McKenzie on the other hand isn't as common as Laura. I've spied a clematis 'Bill MacKenzie' with yellow flowers which are her favorite. I just need something in her garden for it to grow on.

Its supposed be a beautiful day so I'd better get going and enjoy it.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Eden, my thoughts are with your Mom and Dad. I well recall the "time between" diagnosis and treatment. And how painful it was to carefully mull over a diagnosis of cancer and the alternatives, each with its own set of insecurities. No fun, and scare-y. I smiled at your comment about Crayolas... how come it's so much more complicated now and less of it "sticks"?

And speaking of color, Michelle... dinky pink?? I'm sorry, there is something just a tad too "adult" about that description, thank you very much. Reminds me of those "mauve" kitchen accessories (dishpans, dishmats, etc.) that were a bit too evocative of intimate anatomy. :/ . I'm with you on the mud scene! Lots of it, here, too. 'tis the season and a lot of ground water characterizes our "low" lot. It's why the ferns are so pretty and I have to wait so long to rake.

I'm dazzled by the seedlings and cuttings you've shared. Does my heart glad, but I'm in no position to undertake such things at this time. Clearly, something I'll be able to discover in coming years. :) the ice is now officially out of the little pond/muckhole and I suspect the next round of warm weather will lure the peepers out of hibernation. My co-worker heard then last Tuesday (it was into the '60s). She lives 30 miles south of me and hasn't heard them since, however. But the chillies can't last forever. It's all so exciting.

Canopies are due to be put up starting next week. The 'phone is ringing steadily at work, tension is building at precisely the same rate as my tolerance for being snapped at is waning. ;) I'm plunking along on the Salon, and feeling pretty good about things in general. I've decided there is nothing to be gained by letting too much of the seasonal tension "get to me". When I hit critical mass I'll blow and the aftermath will be OK. (No, I didn't snitch Rex's morphine patch).

Helpmeet was especially contrite about the Deramaxx being left atop the sideboard. So contrite, in fact, he cleaned up the puke for me. Nothing says, "I love you" more than sqeegeeing dog puke into a dustpan for your helpmeet. He's a "keeper".

Denise, I just loved your springtime shots. I can't even feature growing much of that stuff here. Too wet. But one of the things I like most about gardening is that there really IS something for everyone, every climate, every soil. You just have to learn to see the beauty in the palette available to you. And you have learned your lessons well! Any chance we could persuade you show a shot of your bungalow? I'd love to see it, inside and out.

Maine bees? nyeah... nothin' like them g'damned honey makuhs to add some spahk to y'yahd... . Definitely want to see some before pictures, Saucy... your house is so cool.

And... back to dogs (which I hate). I don't think the likes of Ein, Wrecks, Zoe, and Phoebe are particularly "willful". I think they are perfect examples of animals that have been selectively bred to perform work for humans. Note, if you will, that all dogs mentioned above are herding or working dogs. They have to be independent thinkers to be able to do their jobs. And "independent" is the key to training them. The instructors we had when we took those classes were adamant about that; they told us the basics were going to try our patience and that daily practice was a necessity if we wanted to get anywhere. But, they confided privately, the toughest dogs to train are always the smart ones and they make the most enjoyable companions for those who like dogs (unlike myself). Our first instructor had a Bouvier, 'bug! So hang in there. And don't let DH sabotage the training by thinking he has it all "wired" when he clearly doesn't. ;)

Norma, I don't think there is a dog on the planet smart enough to understand that sticking your nose in skunk's ass isn't such a swell idea. It's funny now, but when I was scrambling around the driveway in my underpants trying to neutralize the smell on Rex's head it wasn't nearly as funny. ;)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 10:27AM
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Yeah Chelone, but Katie's the only dog here who ever actually worked for a living. As you said earlier, it's human training that produces the results. I do applaud the efforts of those here who at least understand the needs of their dogs. What bugs me is when people see my well trained dogs and assume they are 'easy.' It's daily training, training as a way of life that does it. And greys are tough to train. Dannie was returned after two years and didn't know how to sit. It took 2 months of daily training to teach her that, which is ridiculous when compared to other breeds who sit naturally (greys don't).

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 10:48AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all..
I have reread and found that I neglected to answer some queries.( Now where did I hear that word before??)

Yes, Norma, that is S. prunifolia, aka Bridal Wreath in the US. A differant variety is called that in the UK ( at least that's what my Garden Plants book says ).

Chelone, my stomach has been too queasy the last day or so to cope with the dog puke! But I AM proud of your ablity to do that job. And kudos to the DH for the cleanup.

Pm2, I am thinking you may have as many 'off' days as I do. I hope YOU are feeling even better than yesterday. Your pics are great..espacially the side view of the crocus...:-)
I don't think it is the meds causing my malaise, but I am not sure just what it is. Probably a combo... That is scary about your mom and the BP meds. Glad you loved the moss covered rock. I am partial to

Woody, I didn't mean to ignore your story about your mom and her friend. It was special. I wish it had prompted me to write to someone. I used to, but it got increasingly harder and harder to do. My sis called my letters to her "books", they were so long, and chatty. It is easier for me to pick on the keyboard, and easier to correct the many mistakes that I make. :-(

Marie, if you didn't see my comment on my thread about Reed and the sounds of nature, I will repeat here that I too love them. I may be returning to my second childhood???
I loved your report, and the mental image of him 'listening'.

I could be jealous of all the lovely seedlings, but I am not. I used to have my dinningroom filled with them every spring. I quit when the granddaughters came along, and have never looked back.

Yes, Marty, I remember the pics of the humongous daylily falling out of your car. It appears to enjoy it's new home...but with my experience with them, they are hard to kill! Glad to hear that your DH is doing good. Apparently he has a very good outlook, and sense of humor.

Yes, Chelone. I love the color of the Quince. I wish the others I planted around the place would 'take'. They can be so rampant in spots that they like.

Sue, so good to see you back. Sounds like a pretty nice getaway. Thanks for the encouragement on the pics.

T, I am so happy for you that the tree cutters left a buffer between your land and their activities. I hope it will remain that way. Strange about the snow. Weird weather all around!

Saucy, you asked about my meds. I am 'experimenting' with them. At least one of the 'side effects' was a missdiagnosis on my part. I had the same type of 'spell' when I hadn't taken the Lyrica for awhile. The itch went away also, and hasn't came back when I took more Tramadol, but I am avoiding taking one in the evening. That is when I seemed to have the most problem with itching, no rash, and no hives. Today my main woes are a queasy tummy and a bad headache! Drat!

Eden, I hope the sun is shinning on you today, too. :-)
Your nursery tours sound like so much fun. Not a good idea for me though. I don't need anymore plants!
My hopes and prayers are for your mom. It must be a very trying time for you all....

Michelle, I sure glad to hear that you are having sunshine, and that the mud is drying up. There is very little bare ground here to be muddy, even in the flowerbeds. Ofcourse, it would be muddy if any digging was done.
I really dislike the new names for so many things. The Crayola thing is rediculous! Who is coming up with all this garbage? Can a body find crayons with 'normal' names?

Cynthia, is is almost useless to attempt to grow Magnolias here. The late frosts almost invariably kill the blooms. Some do succeed down in the lower elevations, and are gorgeous. Good luck on the cart for Katie.

I agree with the "before pictures" for every project. I failed to do that when Nolon build our house(s), and wish I had. I'm the world's worse to forget to do that when I am going to change something.

Wow! I think I have rambled on long enough!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 12:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've enjoyed..and benefited from everyones postings and dog comments. Just no time to add much. I'm busy training Phoebe indoors and out. I have no time to train DH now too. Yesterday I had to tell him she is my dog and to keep away from her. Not a good scene but I can't deal with him hitting her and pointing his finger at her and backing away. I am furious with him. grrrr! I'm into zero tolerance with Phoebe and it is working very well when I use it. She sits and waits for me at each doorway and outdoors too. She waits for food in a sit as well. She waits at the top and bottom of stairs until I have passed. All this in about 3 days. I'll admit it is not easy for me to say NO and apply all the techniques. With people I seldom say no, but use a gesture or facial expression, tighten my jaw...So it takes me time to get it right. Also the timing is crucial, as when snapping the leash. Also saying commands ONCE and not 3-4 times in a row. It does take practice, but I'm learning at the same speed as my pup! (When will my 3 years be up?)

This morning I took Ms Phoebe to the dump (where they give out HUGE dog treats) and later I bought myself shoes to use for training in mud and rain. I need to get new orthotics next week too.

OK, enough whining from me...
Later! Thinking of ALL of you in your various circumstances. I hope to garden some next week. I'm sure Phoebe will be a great help. Hahahaha...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 1:29PM
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