Idyll #430 Spring!!!

prairiemoon2 z6 MAMarch 15, 2009

Starting over... :-)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, We posted exactly the same time, only mine was on the other thread. At least you have the same title that I suggested. :-)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Earlier this afternoon....
It is gorgeous here! Sunny, clear and high 50s. I have been looking out the window longingly, having done my quota of outdoor time. DH is already stiffening up from his brief efforts this morning... and so it goes. The feeders are filled and birds are making more and more of an appearance. Mourning doves are camping out near the feeder all day, a pair of cardinals and chicadees that have been around all winter, still a few juncos and tufted titmice around. I saw a few finches, a woodpecker and a hawk fly by the other day. sound like your efforts are starting to pay off and that you have more energy and enthusiasm. I assume the vinegar is to increase acid to digest better. I can just imagine you are going to be dropping pounds at rapid speed very soon on that regime. I would like to drop some pounds, but I'm on hold at the moment.

I had quite a chuckle over Skyler's solution to his storage And laughed out loud about the dog who jumped in the window of the car.

BTW, I meant to ask.....the person offering pruning is asking for $35. an hr. Does that seem unreasonable to anyone? They do have quite a bit of experience. I do an adequate job, but not expert and I have a lot of young material I would like to see get off to a good start, a Japanese Maple too close to the house and some overgrown, out of shape hollies. Also, I keep buying the same brand hand pruners and they seem to last me all of two years at most. I am wondering if I should buy something more expensive. What are all of you using?

Michelle...your idea of a beadboard ceiling has given me an idea. I have a ceiling that needs something and I didn't want to replaster. I'll have to think about that one.

One flat screen at our house...a small one in the kitchen that was a Christmas gift last year. Our Sony in the Bedroom has been cutting to black for the first 10 minutes after being turned on, so we are probably going to have to do something soon. Although, after a call from Comcast last week, letting us know that our bundle is going up by $70. at the end of April and I would like to throw all the TVs out the window.

Looking around outside, we planted galanthus and more crocus in the fall and they seem to be coming up together. Seems that the galanthus are a little late but at least they are coming up.

What lovely weather we had this weekend. Lots of rain coming our way soon, but pretty soon it will be great weather non stop. Hope you all had a great weekend, which I am sure many were in the garden so it had to be great. :-) Monday tomorrow and another doctor appointment...hopefully my last for awhile.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Funny, now Honey's Ides of March really are upon us :)

It feels a little like spring: I burned my grasses, cut down all of last years plant material, washed the windows from the outside, cleaned and filled the bird feeders, and found some time to sit in the sun with my copy of FG with Deanne featured in it!

Today was good. I'm going to bed now :)


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hola amigas , hope everyone had a pleasant Sunday-my weather reports that I have set up on my homepage indicated that most Idylls were within about 5 degrees of each other today although looks like poor Cindy got the worst deal. I spent about an hour downtown this morning with my camera- Sunday AM is good for this activity since no one is around and itÂs easy to get pics that donÂt have cars and people in the way. I was happy with some of them, but deleted quite a few. I learned some things about my camera , so the next outing should be an improvement. Once I get a good batch of photos I will make a slide show and post it on a different thread, and would enjoy seeing others pics of their local architecture too. I found that the Napa Adult School has a digital photography class and I think I will sign up for when it is offered next.

Julie, lol your Idyll typo reminded me of Marys ÂtehÂ.. none the less we are proud of you for Âstepping up to the plate and establishing your true Idyll-creds . I can put up with little old ladies calling me Âdear but I hate being called ÂHon by people with whom I have no relationship , and even worse when they are young enough to be my daughter. "Paper or Plastic, Hon ?" AAArrrgh ! What would life be without little annoyances .. Character building , right?

PM, 35$ an hour seems okay to me, youÂd get 3 hours of work for just over a c-note. Even I can get quite a bit done in three hours. I thing the deciding factor would be an assurance that the guy knows what heÂs doing and isnÂt just hacking at things Âpruning can be quite a skill. I use Felco #2 hand pruners , and have done so for years. Almost every part of them is replaceable , and the only reason I have ever had to buy a new pair is if I loose them, (which happens about every 5 or 6 years ). This is the pruner of choice for professionals here too, and like them I use mine almost every day. My loppers are Corona WL6361Âs , Bahco/Sandvik makes good loppers too. My pruning saw is also a Felco.

Naughty VÂBy the way, you do know that High Country Gardens has a store in Santa Fe ?? .

Waving to all , and Happy Spring !

This is one of the photos I took downtown this morning. I really liked the subject , the orange Clivia with the blue tiles but I'm not happy with the pic and will try again next Sunday morning. I don't have it centered properly and you can see my feet refected in the tiles ! Many of our 19th century buildings have tile on the exterior, and I want to take photos of all of them.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I think that I am at the end of an eight-day run that was mucho crazy. Some breathing room is in sight, and a brief vacation is in the cards at the end of this week. The laundry is underway, but I still am rather short of the "canned consumables" and sundries. Oh, and I need a dress for this wedding in June...

I mentioned that I took the scenic route home yesterday. State Route 2 winds along the Rock River, at times no more than a couple of feet from the river and you know that if the road was built today it would never be so accessible to the river. But it's a great drive. Route 2 runs through Castle Rock State Park and I decided to make a stop. You've already seen what was right next to the parking lot, but here's the view of the river. It's on the high side right now but not flooded.

Just off the parking lot I saw some stairs that led to an observation platform. I decided to head up the steps and check out the view. The stairway turned and was a bit more than I realized at first.

Of course, when I got to the top of that section, there was another turn, and another. One hundred and thirty-nine steps later, I got to enjoy this view:

When I turned around to return to the car, my legs remembered my fear of heights. They only shook for the first fifty steps. (OK, and the reason that I know there were 139 steps is that focusing on counting got me down the steps. Dumb irrational fears!) But I was glad that I stopped and took in the view.

We had the extended family over today for an informal gathering. Lots of fun without a lot of advance prep - the best way to entertain. We went out on the deck for a while and heard lots of sandhill cranes migrating overhead. When I spotted one group being trailed by a small plane, I grabbed the binoculars and saw a whooping crane amongst the sandhills. Whoo-hoo for whoopers!

So now I am catching up on my reading and listening to DH snore on the sofa. I need to wake him up soon or he'll never sleep tonight.


    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Brava Julie! I like the compromise reached on the greenhouse, clever and a clear demonstration that your family has your best interests at heart. I like solutions that are so easy. (I've flubbed the Idyll tydll before, too, you know).

Saucy, it has to be something about March that brings out the need to wash windows. I have been eyeballing our's but haven't had the time to get to them yet. When I spoke with my brother about the kitchen and bathroom he was washing windows. There are a lot of nose prints on the inside of our's, too.

I don't think $35/hr sounds too bad, PM. You could perhaps talk them down a bit if you offer the incentive of dead presidents, too. Cash is king, baby. We have Felcos here but they tend to disappear (not unlike my expensive shears, if you know what I mean...) and are about as dull as a hoe most of the time. I think I'll buy a new pair for myself and keep them hidden or securely locked in my workroom or the Salon. I have some bulbs poking out of the soil on the warm south side of the house and in the front beds but everything else is still under snow, though it's receding rapidly under strong solar pressure.

I looked at the "for cynthia" yesterday and thought of Norma, wondering how she is since we've not heard from her awhile. It's always fun to track the progress of spring by reading along here. I wonder too about Cynthia.

I had visitors yesterday morning who came to look at our wood stove. They are thinking of buying one and had a lot of practical questions about its operation and burn times. The company is running their annual sale and the tax credit for EPA stoves makes them a real deal this year. Sadly, the stove in the Salon does not qualify as it was purchased in late '07. Lesigh. Later, another friend brought her two dogs down for a play date with Rex. You'd have thought we were running a dog fighting pit by the sounds of them, lol. After the best part of an hour of nonstop running, wrestling, growling, and general foolishness we all went inside to enjoy a "home cooked meal". Meatloaf and mashed potatoes (with gravy), winter squash, and Brussel sprouts. Cheap red wine rounded out the offering. Dessert was the Washington Pie.

The stove did not get levelled yesterday (today?) and the Washington Pie seemed a bit on the dry side to me, so I think a thermometer to verify the oven temperature will also be added to the list of kitchen items to be acquired. Seems, according to my Idyll friends, that Kitchen Aid is the act when it comes to mixers. I will try not to keel over when shopping, but OTOH I work with equipment every single day and know well the value of buying good stuff and taking good care of it. Amortized over time what can seem like a ridiculous sum initially often turns out to be money wisely spent. As for flat screen TVs, I simply cannot justify the purchase price of one since we have fully functional, PAID FOR options in our possession. Moreover, in our location we will require a rather expensive antennae to fully wean ourselves from Time Warner Cable. PM's unhappy call from Comcast is the shot across the bow that access to media is being constricted monthly further increasing the digital divide.

I do not wish to work today (this is becoming a regular refrain with me) but it won't be so bad once I get started. I am increasingly frustrated with poor equipment or machinery that receives care only from me. I'm tired of cleaning up everyone else's trail to clear a space to work. And most of all I am so damned sick of the crummy radio station that touts itself as offering "more music variety" but actually plays the same boring crap every single day interspersed with "snappy patter" from silly DJs. Ugh. At least I have NPR until 9 AM. ;) At least I'm still working.

V., great photos, esp. the, ummm, whatever it was supposed to be. I love the view from on high, and am amazed at how flat the local terrain is compared to what I see on a daily basis. Thanks for conquering your fear of heights for us.

Can't wait to see more from Kathy's new camera, too. I've enjoyed pictures of spring from your yard very much.

Gotta take off now.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 5:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning

The weekend disappeared way too quickly in a whirl of activity with an orchestra concert for David, Annie's stage crew rehearsals for the school musical and visits with friends. But best of all, I had a chance to get out in the garden. Although way too early to start spring clean up I cut back teh flopping stands of grasses and flower stems from the fall. I couldn't resist poking about and was thrilled to see so many signs of life. Daffodils, crocus and iris reticular are an inch high, hellebores have buds curled under their old leaves and pussy willows are just starting to show. We're hitting 60F on Tuesday and I'm sure everything will burst forth. For the first time since before Christmas the lawn is free of debris, fallen twigs and dog poop. Yay!

Bitten with Spring fever I ordered a few more seeds on Ebay, including the new Ruby Lime Zinnia ($3.75 including shipping) which I thought would look great with some Green Envy blooms. I seem to be taken by vibrant colors this year and also ordered Cherry Brandy Rudbeckia, Profusion Fire and Zowie Zinnias and Purple wave petunia. I'm not sure if the results will be dramatic or totally tasteless. Either way, I can't wait to see and it makes me smile thinking about it.

This activity counteracted more gloomy news. The Guitar Festival we were planning our summer around has been cancelled this year. It is a real blow for David as it was the hightlight of last summer for him. Given that sports camps or summer fun programs are unlikely to be possible I'm really concerned about how his vacation will pan out. We're putting visits to England on hold this year for although we have frequent flyer miles to cover tickets we need to save them for emergencies such as DH having to relocate to Southern CA (a spectre that hangs over our heads.)

Unfortunately there is no question of getting paid for my accrued sick days are they could only be redeemed if I were retiring. Long in the tooth I am becoming, but I'm not quite at retirement age:0) DH left on Friday for 2 weeks so our important discussions are taking place over the phone which is far from ideal.

Speaking fo work, I need to head out and will pop back later with soemthing more cheery.


PS I have a mix-master we were given as a baby shower gift for Annie (visions of making birthday cakes I guess). It was the most wonderful present as it is something I have used almost every week over the past 15 years.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 7:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Aw Sue, I'll be thinking of you guys!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Sue, I'm so sorry for your loss. Hugs to you and Nickster.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 12:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

So terribly sad to hear your news Sue, Im in tears here. So glad I got to visit you both this weekend. Big hugs to you and the Nickster.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 12:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hope you do something extra nice for yourself this week, Sue. Zoe hit the jackpot as far as guardians go...

thanks, Michelle, for the beadboard idea for the ceiling. That's definitely a viable alternative.

When I couldn't even send a transcript as an attachment through email, I realized something was definitely up with the puter. Seems all this cumbersome spyware was stopping uploading, attachments, etc. So rebooted it and was able to get some photos uploaded. Here's what the erodium seedlings in the front gravel garden are up to, the ruffle of green against the length of the fence (which oxidized paint needs freshening, I know, No. 17 on the list!)

And here's Angelica pachycarpa, unfurling a flower and then the fully opened umbel. Not as snazzy as A. gigas, which has yet to flourish here, but still a welcome sight and this one is supposedly a true perennial:

Dipping toes carefully into Monday...have a great week.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 12:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sue...what a shame. Not fair is it. I have been thinking about why dogs live such a short time. They are so precious and innocent and I know we all try to take such good care of them. Very sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sue, so sorry to read about Zoe. Hope you are hanging in there. The picture of the two of you together is perfect.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 1:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, golly, Im so sorry about Zoe - I was really hoping things were looking up for her. I cant see the photo here at the ofc and that's probably best to keep the emotions in check. Hugs to you Sue.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

(((Sue & Nick)) I'm so sorry Sue. I'm sure things won't be the same without her. As Denise mentioned, she was very lucky to have you.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 2:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sue, I love the picture of you and Zoe. Not fair that they aren't around for so much longer. You were a great mom to her and Nick a great brother. She was a lucky girl! And I know you feel so fortunate to have had her too.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 2:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh Sue - how sad. You must be missing her terribly. Hugs to the two of you.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 3:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is a great picture of you and Zoe, Sue. I know you and Nick will miss her terribly.

Denise, I want to poke around your garden even more now! I love the concrete balluster....where'd you get that? I want one!

Don't they have any plaster guys in California? for cracks they have great new systems where they zip a screw in and bring the broken "keys" of the plaster back up to the lathe and then use "durabond" over the whole thing. My house's ceilings were coming down, but now they look like new! I'm sure in California there's the threat of a new crack, but I'd think it'd be worth it, if that's what you want!

BTW, my friend just recommended that movie to me, and I'm a fan of Adaptation and Being John Malkovich....what does that say about me? My favorite movies are Cohen bros....starting with Raising Arizon! Just saying, "H. I." cracks me up :)

Mary, sitting in limbo is no fun. I hope some things get settled nicely for your family soon. Good opportunities are due your way!

PM, you're kind of stuck in limbo, too, it seems....I will have my fingers crossed for a good diagnosis. It sounds like you were able to make the most of our weather. I think sitting with the sun shining on my face cures the winter blues, for sure!

I am off to do some much needed grocery shopping. Thinking of all my Idyll friends......


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 3:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just knew I hadn't see Denise's front garden. I too love the baluster. I want one too!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 4:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

((Sue and Nick)) What a cute picture of you and Zoe!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 6:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Sue, I am so sorry that your dear Zoe has gone to rest. Not only will you miss her, but so will Nick. Thank goodness you have spring to look forward to.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 6:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sue, I'm sorry to read that You have lost Zoe. May she be romping with Zac (Zak) sp?

I agree that is a great picture of the two of you.
You look so much younger with your new hairstyle. Norma

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

V, I was reading something about Castle Rock State Park not to long ago. Nice veiw. I'm right there with you on fear of heights. LOL

Kathy, I like your shot and wouldn't have noticed the feet had you not pointed it out.

Pm, It's good you are following Dr.'s orders and taking it easy. I hope you are going to be ok.

Woody, you have been on my mind too. Are you ok for now? Other than being worried about it all?

Denise, I also like the terracotta pot on that pedestal.

I went to the nursery today to use some coupons that expire soon. There wasn't much of anything out yet so I looked at the pots but decided I had bought enough pots last year. I joined the rest and bought seeds instead (some zinnas) and some sixpacks of blooming violas that were bright and cheerful. Think I will put them in a pot on the porch for now so I can pull them in if necessary.
I have daffodils blooming and 75% of the beds cleaned up. Had to take a couple of days to rest up and am ready to go at it again. I have so much dividing to do as soon as the ground can be worked. I'm sure I won't get to it all.

Thanks for thinking of me. I'm still here. Just in lurk mode. Waving to all. I talk to you all in my head. Norma

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


No after work WALAT today unless I want to take my umbrella. I felt woefully draggy at the awfice- I think these last couple of months of extra work load are finally taking a toll. Really looking forward to the 4 day weekend I have going on at the end of the month, and thinking about stretching it into 5.

Mary, Ive been pondering that Zowie" Zinnia all winter. I love your planned gaudy color scheme-Im in the same mode here ! My front garden will either stop traffic or get a code violation, lol. I think that in these difficult times , a relentlessly cheery garden is an absolute must.

Not to worry Denise, rustic fences have a place, and if you plant enough tall stuff against it no one will see your oxidation issues ! My jealousy towards anyone who has Angelica of any sort in their garden continues.

Chelone, washing windows in spring here is an exercise in futility- the rain comes along and it all goes to hell. I usually wait till May and then do them all , inside and out.

Saucy reminded me- another Adaptation fan here ..

Ok, time to hit the mess hall and go cluck over the seedlings for awhile


Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yay Norma, more Zinnias ! What variety did you get ? Glad you stopped in ...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Sue, that's a wonderful photo of you and Zoe and I hope you have it framed. She was a sweetheart.

My exciting news for the evening is that I got my dress for the wedding today. DD and I zipped up to Lake Geneva just before the store closed at 5 (I had called and made sure it was okay that I came in just before closing) and believe it or not I fell in love with the first dress I tried on. I just decided that if I post the small photo you can tell what the dress looks like without seeing "other details". I was able to get a dress off the rack for 1/2 price, but it's a full size or more too big. It can be altered to fit properly, but at the moment the fit of the top is a little, um, uh, risque...

No, I didn't ask the dog to pose with me.

DD picked up her dress today. Again, quick photo shoot without alterations or the right undergarments, but I think you can get the general idea.

Mary, you are well overdue for some bright, sunny news. I hope some arrives soon.

Sending good thoughts to everyone.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 9:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

V - gorgeous, both of the dresses!! I especially love the deep blue/purple color. It will be a beautiful wedding.

I'm reeling from having looked into Heathcare with DH's company, who are based in CA. To cover us all with out of network doctors and pony up the deductables it will be $12,900 a year. Gulp. I'm seriously wondering why I ever left England. Time to check out Cobra.

On a different note I've just discovered the surprising fact that I am allergic to olives, something I love and have eaten all my life. At the weekend I had a hankering for a Greek salad and purchased all the ingredients at teh market. A couple of hours after dinner I had hives starting under my bra, across my belly and back. Benadryl helped with the itching. I ran through everything I'd eaten and began to suspect the olives. Then this evening, to test my theory I made a quick garlic, caper and olive sauce for some brown rice pasta. Sure enough, the hives started up again, this time they are large raised welts, and I can't stop scratching. Kind of a bummer. Still there are worse things in life like broken limbs and nerve pain and loosing your health insurance. Oops - that's happened already.

As I promised something cheery, here are last year's Zowie zinnias for Kathy. They are really great performers - their colors just sing and teh blooms last an increddibly long time on the plant. They pump out flowers all summer, never get mildew and are well worth the cost of the F1 seed. This will be my third year growing them.

Nite all - give Nick an extra hug Sue.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 10:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the pic Mary, and the giggle at the 2 'teh's in your post! Now I'm starting to ponder teh proper pronunciation, lol.

Thinkin Zowie is in my future..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

Love that color, V, on you -- very impressive to score w/ first shop and first dress -- I love a woman who knows her mind! Really, great colors and DD's goes well w/ it too.

Denise -- along w/ that baluster, the pot is terrific and the foliage combos in that shot are fabu -- I like the architectural feature of the euphorbia -- you do architectural w/ the best of CA gardeners!

As Kathy mentioned, it has been woefully wet, damp, cold and rainy rain here - very depressing for a gardener w/ serious itches that requires outside venting and cleaning to relieve that itch. I have 4 or 5 roses in dire needs of cutting back, to say nothing of those arbors that had some helpers arranged... o well. I do hope Mother Nature does not decide to rain on the parade next weekend.

Mary -- golly gee -- are you sure it might not be some sort of stress reaction from all going on rather than olives? I would be seriously bummed if no olives were in my future. I would think you might have had a whole bottle of vino w/ that tally for medical healthcare premiums; geez, I hope COBRA works out and maybe you're eligible for a shaving off re the new act they approved to cover some of those premiums for folks who need it or are losing their benes/jobs.

I rank among those who fail with zinnias - I think that may be a special loser club designation -- used to have luck w/ 'em, but a couple years of recent attempts w/ seeds put me in that category.

Hi, Norma - glad to hear you found a coupon to stimulate your local economy and nursery for -- plants are a good place for us to do that dont ya think? I'd much rather keep the local nursery in biz than another card store, LOL.

well, i guess i should try to go to bed again....the first attempt ended in failure tonite - and gee, more rain going on!


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh no, not olives, Mary! Why couldn't it be something tapioca. (at least I think it is yucky!)

V, I love that dress and its color! Didn't Ei find a dress that color too? I remember Hillary Clinton's sequined ball gown of that same hue...and think she looked her best ever that night.

I'm home from Book Club and we had a lovely dinner and fun conversation. (Remembering the Bones by Itani)


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sue, returning home with just an empty collar has to be the very worst part of owning a dog (which is pretty bad anyway), or any pet for that matter. Lesigh. And one more reason why I hate dogs. Perhaps there's a rescue out there who'll be fortunate enough to trot across your path... . Very sorry to learn that your pack has been reduced by one.

I love tapioca, esp. with one square of baking chocolate chopped and added to it and a little splash of almond extract. It's one of the few ways I'm able to pump some milk into my system. I love olives and would be very sad to lose them from my diet, but I think that hives might persuade me it would be OK in the long run.

I love seeing Denise's garden, too. It does seem as though it goes on forever and that's a tribute to clever use of "props", boundries, and plant material. It looks like the sort of place that kitties love to lurk... I can see them shooting out from under the grasses to "attack" the unwary. Your fence isn't oxidized, though, it's "distressed".

I am not in the least bit surprised by the price of the healthcare you shared with us, Mary. Outraged, but not surprised; the pricetag is shameful and I believe that in time this country will look back on this time with the same shame and remorse we reserve for slavery and child labor. Anyone with full boat coverage who says their health care is "free" is kidding themselves. The more people who're added to the rolls of those without it the more the price goes up for those with "free" healthcare... and the more likely they are to to see their's go by the wayside, too. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this spectre in addition to David's injury, and the loss of a position you devoted yourself to and loved. I think you're due for some really LOUD colors in the garden and the combination will be fun. Try to think positively and that failing, kick the dog. Works for me. :) (I don'think I'd give up on olives completely just yet, either).

The wedding is going to be a wonderful occasion, V., the serendipitous selection of the dresses you showed us is the guarantee. Very pretty. As one in the trenches who regularly appeared with a pin cushion on her wrist and a tape measure knotted 'round her neck, allow me to assure you that making it smaller is a helluva lot easier than making it bigger. And proper "foundations" make that process even easier. I'll bet you feel a lot "easier" now that the dresses have been purchased! Alterationists and hairdressers hear all the voiced insecurities of customers and one of the perks is seeing someone put on an altered garment and smile at their reflection. I'm happy for you both.

It's really soggy here, too, Cindy, just not from rain. It's going to be some weeks before I'll be able to do anything. Receding snow on the south side of the house revealed a good deal of disturbed dirt around the peonies and part of the terrace. Not sure if it's mole damage (haven't seen one in years) or if it's voles. Either way, I've not yet ventured out for closer inspection as the thought of no peonies is a bit too much for me right now.

I spoke with a plumber yesterday and briefly outlined the bathroom project. He came highly recommended by a good friend and the fact that he called me back indicates either a strong work ethic or a really crummy economy, lol. I suspect the former as his family business has been around for some time and he works regularly for a couple of very reputable builders in the area. Helpmeet needs to get busy on the scale drawing of the bathroom now.

And I need to get to work but not before I wave back to Norma and everyone else.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 5:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think Mary should not kick the dog, and perhaps feed him the olives :)

Silly me wonders if it could be something on the olives...they put so much junk in our food nowadays! I am in the process of eliminating certain foods and find it very frustrating to think a food is "clean" and find out that it is NOT. Even the food that is not yet food, but eventually will be, is full of things it shouldn't be full of....

Mary, since I own my own company now, I pay over 13K per year for my family. It is truly sickening, especially since we only have it for emergencies (like Jake's 3 broken bones)...and now to pay it for employees, too! When you break the company up into a pie and look at where the money goes, healthcare is a fat slice. We're a part of a co-op that provides healthcare. There are other options, but getting people (read: my husband, other employees) to go with it is impossible: they're very afraid of change.

Wow, my knee hurts from stepping up and down off of that soapbox :)

We've interviewed someone to take over the bookeeping portion of my job and I will move into my "partner" role and only provide good sound advice :) I am excited because I do not like bookeeping and all the hemming and hawing about actually doing the bookeeping takes up a lot of head space.

Lots of good things are happening here, but with all the talk of the economy, it makes it hard to pick up your feet and move forward. We both feel that this is an excellent time to hire good people, though. Forward progress is good. Fear is not.

Wow. I didn't mean to talk of the State of Saucy's Union, but there you have it. Time for me to shower and get to cooking the books - I have to get all my i's dotted and t's crossed so that someone else can take over!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 7:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning,

We are looking at another lovely, sunny day here. Woohoo! Happy St. Pattys Day all.

I got all the plants watered after my weekend away and they are all still happy tucked under the lights and growing at light speed. (sorry, couldnt help myself) Im still getting my class piece finished up so am stuck in the studio for another couple days until thats done. By the time Im done the painting the gardens should be dry enough to get outside and do some cleanup. It really is feeling like spring finally.

Mary, I missed the part where you lost your health insurance? Whats that all about? We are also looking at $1,000 per month for health insurance for the two of us and that is our Cobra payment. I cant figure out how people whove lost their jobs are supposed to afford $12,000 per year for health insurance. And the fat cats in the bailed out companies are getting millions of dollars in bonuses on the tax payer. What is wrong with this picture? Makes my blood boil. ~ bummer about the olives! I love them - all types, shapes and sizes especially in martinis. LOL ~~~ Love those zinnias.

Bug, I love tapioca pudding! LOL

V. love the dresses and the photos of the park. Beautiful.

Denise, Wonderful garden! Love the angelica! Reminds me that Ive got to start some seeds of my A. gigas.

Kathy, I really like the clivia photo! Marvelous image. Great blue/orange complementary color scheme, interesting juxtaposition of the natural shapes of the flowers with the geometric shapes of the tiles. Beautiful work!

OK time to get my breakfast and get my day started.

Have a good day everyone.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 8:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good soggy morning --

not much time to comment but the thought occurred to me that Saucy's cleaning her books in prep for someone else to take over is kind of like me cleaning in prep for a cleaning woman to come in, LOL.... are we vain, insecure or over-conscientious? Anyone else feel compelled to clean up before a cleaning service? I've only had the luxury of having one a few years ago and while I daydream about having another, Im loathe to pay the prices and risk the stress re breakage, poor jobs, etc... Good luck whipping those books into action, Saucy -- that will leave you more time to do the creative 'tufa and casting projects!

Re the health premiums, I guess listening to others check in, Mary, that puts your costs right in line with everyone else's. Since Im solo these days, I've managed to drop that cost, and luckily it is a bene my firm helps to subsidize -- but less and less of it each year, as Im sure everyone has happen too. The whole subject is a tarantulas nest and like the economy and fixes, I dont have any good handle on what or who has the answers. Some tough choices are likely ahead of all of us as citizens. It's hard to think of rationing care and choices about treatments but certainly that seems to be one of the pronouncements -- as a country we apparently all want the best, most and all options available to us, but we want them cheap -- and they keep telling us that's not possible.... dilemma dilemma...

I appreciate your new photos, Kathy -- you and Denise are holding up your end of the "deal" re spring photos to keep us hoping it will indeed come!

Happy St. Patty's...


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 9:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy St. Paddy's Day, all! With two offspring named Kelly and Brendan, you understand that I can't help myself!

Oh Sue, sad for you about your beautiful little Zoe! I agree with the others, that is a lovely photo. Blessings to you.

Denise, your front garden looks so nice and lush. Ha, about the Angelica. It proliferates all over the place in my garden, smells wonderful, but if I let it be it would completely overrun the place. I confess, I didn't even mean to bring it with me, but a little piece stayed in the soil of another transplant, and there you go! It does attract a lot of attention from others though - It may be be terribly common in gardens here maybe.

PM and Woody - blessings to you two (too) (I sound like a train) with respect to your health issues...hard to be in limbo for sure...I certainly hope that the advent of Spring brings some good stuff for you, even if it is just relaxing in the garden instead of slaving away like the rest of us fools!

Mary, I am stunned by the proposed cost of Health Insurance for you! Gee, pay the $1200 + then have a heart attack...what's going on with that? We pay a little bit but nothing like that. DH and I also have drug insurance and dental insurance, and Adrian, as our dependent, is covered for free on those plans. These plans were obtained though our jobs when we worked, no choice but to join, but they continue in retirement. We are so very lucky in that respect, especially as DH has myriad difficult health issues....I certainly hope that a more viable option turns up for you. Things must look pretty dreary for you right now ((hugs)).

Olives and Tapioca - two of my absolute least favourite foods! Individually, not mixed together.

My giant Cactus Zinnias are all up. I planted six pots. One pot completley died off due to damp off, and the others were all fine. What's up with that? I used the sme growing medium and method with them all. Anyway, they are now developing their first true leaves and I will plant them on next week.

The cannas are poking up too. I noticed today that every one of the 12 pots has some sort of grassy thing sprouting - must have been some seeds in the peat that the bulbs (corms?) came in, as I mixed that into the growing mix too. Now I have to weed my pots!

Pelargoniums are thrilled with the Spring light and are getting bigger by the minute. May have to move them back under the lights as the shelves are bigger, and put the seedlings and the other stuff into the solarium window. No wonder the family calls my activities "playing with the plants".

Off to the doctor today to see about a problem I had three weeks ago, that is, of course, now gone. But a good excuse to spend a day in the big city...maybe shop a little...DD has taken DGS skiing. DS has been called back to work this week (Horray!!) and - wonder of wonders - has found an apartment not far from here that he thinks he can afford! My spring is brightening up!

Gotta go weed the pots and water everything before we hit the road.

Have a great green day, all.



    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 9:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Happy St. Paddys Day Im 1/8 Irish on my grandmas side.

Denise your fence has patina a favorite word of mine.

DH and I love tapioca. The last time I made it, I cut the sugar by half and still liked it.

Kathy, great picture and I didnt even notice your feet.

V, your dress is lovely and bug is right Ei had one a similar color as well as myself.

Mary, I feel so bad for you, it just seems like you have had so many struggles lately.

Saucy, how wonderful to be relieved of a job that you dont care for.

Another beautiful day here. Yesterday we got up to 70. DH and I had a nice walk up our country road and then back through the pasture. Little bits of snow are left here and there.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The good news today is that I found an island bed that I could start to clean up. It was good to be able to give Phoebe a bone and have her sit nearby while I cut back sedums, asters, agastache, soldanella and veronicastrum. There are loads of grasses to prune too...another time. But just getting at it, seeing bulbs emerging and little bits of sedum growth is a very nice start! I think I need to get myself a new rake because there's so much junk to clean up after flooding...including plastic bags, logs and so forth. It will take several hours of effort and result in sore limbs I'm sure. DH said at least we've never discovered a body! Phoebe had fun chasing away some geese too. Like Michelle said, there are still some snow patches about.

On Sunday I saw the rhubarb beginning to pop up. It was too muddy to prune the raspberry canes yet and there was lots of damage (vole/mole?) around some roses and clematis. I'm not ready to deal with the heartbreak of it all.

The baby sweater needs some ironing to shape it, but it is done now. Then I should try for a photo.

I'm rather grumpy these days about all the negative stuff in DS's and DD's life...Fortunately they do a better job of dealing with it than I do!


PS: Last March 24th this was how things looked here. So maybe the fact that I was gardening a bit today bodes well for the season?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Deanne - I found out last week my position would loose all benefits as of July 1st (I carried the health care for us all) plus paid sick days, personal days and holiday pay. It is being done in an attempt to keep our positions and the program running. I think Babs had asked - I work for a cooperative board of education and our services are contracted out to different school districts. It is a major bummer given the cost of health coverage, plus it will be a substantial cut in my yearly pay :0( We are trying so hard to put money away for Annie's college but this will mean major tightening of our belts just to keep afloat.

I did find out today that 65% of Cobra would be paid for, and Cobra is actually just a little less (but not much) than going with DH's company. Not great, but slightly less bleak than originally thought.

My seedlings continue to bring daily pleasure and they are at the point of needing more lights set up. I'd forgotten that last spring I dissembled the shelving units that housed the shop lights to organize our basement closet. To save having to purchase more I attached lights instead to the underneath of the laundry folding table in the basement and to the upper of the two shelves above. For the first time in my life I'll enjoy going into the laundry room and who knows, I might even throw in a load while I'm doing my daily watering.

Regarding tapioca - it is a big favourite here. We especially enjoy a Thai tapioca pudding made with coconut milk and served with fresh mango. I'm trying to forget how much I enjoy olives in any shape or form, (especially oil cured or stuffed with garlic) but might give them a try from another supplier.

Annie has just announced dinner is ready - she's just completed her first batch of chilli.

Till later!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 6:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It was 70 degrees and sunny all day today and I'm in a good mood. Do you think there's any connection? It was rather windy today, in fact it was windy enough to put thoughts of flying a kite in one's mind.

Now we have corned beef finishing in the crock pot and Irish soda bread in the oven. The feasting will begin soon. And this afternoon, the Irish pub that opened on our Square had a pair of bagpipers playing out front. Quite a pleasant surprise.

Yesterday DH did a little more burning, and suddenly we realized there were two competing fires. One was very large, round and low in the sky and the other was very small.

I'm a tapioca fan, but the only one in my house so I rarely get to enjoy any. I've just learned to enjoy olives in the last couple of years. I think that something I ate on Sunday made my eczema flare up. I didn't have any olives or tapioca that day, but I am questioning pork. I'm going to try and avoid it for a couple of weeks and see what happens.

The trip to Santa Fe is in 4 more days. Kathy, I've already mentioned to the rest of the group that High Country Gardens has a retail outlet. I'm hoping that an agave or two might follow me home.

That's about it for me tonight. TTYL!


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 8:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Tipping a ceremonial St Paddys day beer, although I fear it is not of Irish origin, nor is it green. WALAT du jour (rain has gone ) provided me with the discovery of my first spittle-bug of the season. The roses are never far behind. The snails are also in full attack mode .

Mary, I would be very sorry indeed to have to give up olives. I hope it is some sort of stress related thing and you are able to resume that particular delicacy. Or, as Saucy suggested, something confined to a particular batch. Im glad your Cobra issues proved to be less dire than originally thought. I now have a ridiculous amount of Zinnia seeds planted and suppose Im going to have to give some away when the time comes. This weekend Im going to start putting them outside on a regular basis .

Well Deanne, thanks so much for the nice remarks about my tile and Clivia photo. ! If there is no rain on Sunday Im going to go down and take several more shots to get a better composition.

Saucy, kudos to you and Nick that you are actually in a position to hire someone, instead of the reverse! You must be doing something right . I have become very much a label-reader when food shopping, I bought some yoghurt last week and the damn stuff had high-fructose corn syrup in it. I really try to stay away from packaged foods , which isnt so hard when you are mostly buying for one person.

V, the color of your wedding attire is terrific.! Will you have a hat ? ..and dont forget breakfast at Pasquals , and a cocktail in the bar at La Fonda.

All for me for now, this computer is slow tonight so I think Ill shut down and reboot.

Tra my friends

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 9:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just got home, want to do a quick pop in for Mary. I think Cobra lasts for a certain amount of time. ( Maybe) Anyway, just thinking of a possibility. Check and see if your husbands company has any sort of preexisting condition clause. cobra gives you the same coverage as before, and might cover any sort of follow up to David's accident. But if you can get your husband's insurance to cover anything that might come up in the meantime, it might be a better option. Does that make ANY sense? This is a time when I wish we were in the same room so I could explain what I am talking about. Hope you get my gist:) I hope how soon the govt gets the affordable health insurance going...I know they are trying to move forward on this. It would sure be nice....

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was looking through the pictures from the Denver Botanic Garden that I took last fall for inspiration and look what I found.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 11:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Year of the Zinnia marches on...

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 11:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pictures of Zinnias are a very cheerful way to start the morning. I'm monitoring the emergence of bulbs and the receding snowline. It's nearly past time to cut back the revealed clematis and well nigh time to advance on the climbing hydrangea with the (dull as a hoe) Felcos. Not today, though.

Polly managed to get a chippie yesterday but it gave her the slip before she was able to finish it off. It made a dash for the helpmeet's car and managed to squeeze through the decorative holes in the even fancier hubcap. OK, now what to do? seems in its brilliance GM came up with a hubcap that cannot be stolen, it's afixed to the wheel rim "poimenent like". To access the lugs and change the tire you simply use a special chuck and remove the center of the hubcab. We could see Mr. Chip-Chip curled up inside it but he refused to come out. We poked at him with a stick and then did not see him, so he either squeezed out the back between the brake pad or he's doomed to be agitated to death when helpmeet heads out to work this morning. Never a dull moment, I say! (and a sure sign of spring).

'bug, I remain skeptical of the spring's advancement during the month of March. I've seen one too many April snowstorms to be lulled into any sense of security. I hope this is not the case for the winter weary but I'd be fine with one more official snow day to close out the '08/'09 season. The scenes from your farm are always so pretty and I can't wait to see the newly completed sweater in miniature. How're you doing on the booties??

The helpmeet presented me with the scale drawing of the bathroom and several blank copies of it when I returned home yesterday. I've put together a list of the things I want to change/add and while they seem like rather a lot on first glance they really aren't, although there will be rather a lot of work required to bring it to completion. I am definitely not into "frou-frou" bathrooms, in fact, I'm more interested in something bordering on a laboratory, lol! A nice, large shower well outfitted with safety bars, something that could permit bathing the Huge One if needs be. A large (possibly 2 bay) sink capable of soaking some delicate laundry as well as large enough to really wash up after a long, dirty day in the garden. I would dearly love to have the sink mounted below the countertop (flush mounted?). I suspect the faucets and shower heads are going to be the expensive kind (I'd like to be able to hook a hose onto the sink faucet to water the windowboxes on the second floor) and I don't care. I'm sick to death of crap that looks "pretty" and doesn't work well, crapping out in 5 yrs.. Know what I mean?

I don't believe I've flown a kite since my age was measured in single digits, V.! It looks as though you had a great time enjoying the sunshine, clearly it was "big time fun" for the resident fleabags. Reminds me that we have to get out there and eliminate some brush with the assistance of Mr. Fire, too (even more fun).

So Mary, are you still working under the old contract arrangement right now, or have things been changed already? I'm glad to learn the Cobra option is a little more palatable but the irritation and worry can't be greatly abated by what you've related to us. My take on it is that I don't understand why people are so freaked out by "rationing" healthcare... hello? we already ARE and have been for years. If you can't afford it or accessing it is going to bankrupt your household it's pretty well rationed, isn't it? Nor do I understand why simple, routine screenings and vaccinations are not covered by insurance policies; seems to me that's the quickest, cheapest way to boost overall health and put the onus on the insured to be an active participant in their health. Nothing irritates me more than the "feel good" news stories about this kid or that kid receiving some heroic surgery when they don't give the prices or tell you who's footing the bill. Let's get real here and accept the fact that you can't save everyone, death isn't the "enemy" it's simply the punctuation that defines life. We are presently watching a very dear friend wrestle with that very question with respect to the quality of what life remains in his cancer-ridden body.

I have a really ugly cushion job to finish today and am looking forward to putting one more work day behind me. Also on the docket is getting all the routing numbers squared away for the implementation of direct deposit (not well received by my employer who likes to dictate things like that and has pronounced it stupid). Also need to sit down with the accountant and make sure all is in order for the timely filing of tax returns.

On that bright note, friends... later!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 5:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

Thanks for the well wishes, I've decided to focus on spring and start planning on the garden as much as possible. Well gosh, I guess I am just going to have to sow some zinnias this year. Have no idea where I will put them, but they will get squeezed in somewhere. The year of the Idyll Zinnias. Looks like there is plenty of time before I have to start seedlings. The forecast is for low 20's a few nights this coming week. With no snow cover, I am going to have to cover up the Hellebores and a few more.

I'm planning on growing some strawberries this year. I keep remembering that hanging basket you had last year Gardenbug, with the strawberries and sage and pansies. I am planning two containers using that combo. Does anyone order strawberry plants bare root from a catalog, or do you get them locally in six packs?

Potting soil.....I usually mix my own but skipping that this year. Lowe's and HD only have bags with an awful lot of additives in it. Anyone use a brand that isn't too expensive that is basic simple ingredients?

Thanks Kathy and Chelone for reassuring on the $35. an hr for the person who prunes. We arranged that he would start small and do a shrub or two until I had an idea of his work and the speed at which he works. Actually this person used to be the manager of the outdoor nursery at a local nursery that went out of business last year, who has decided to go into business for himself doing what he does best. One thing I noticed about him, was how fast he moved, so I have some confidence in that regard. .... What a pretty photo of the clivia and tilefront. Orange and blue is a favorite combination of mine. I would enjoy seeing more architecture photos.

Thanks all, Felcos it will be then. Our loppers and pruning saw are fairly new and hardly used. I think I bought them at Sears. We like the Craftsman line that they replace no questions asked, when there is any breakage, but maybe next time I will check out other choices.

I'm not usually bothered by expressions of familiarity from strangers, as long as the intention is benign. DH gets annoyed when we are addressed as 'Youse guys' when we sit down in a restaurant, but his Mom, was a stickler for a more formal usage of language. I value friendliness and ignore the rest. [g]

Since Noodles will be visiting with DS, I would like to get him some more toys...anyone have any more good ideas for doggie gifts? will be happy to know that our oldest DS has made another batch of doggie treats for Noodles. Thanks again for that recipe. :-) How are you doing? Is your class winding down?

Chelone, I am still trying to figure out what I am going to do about Comcast. Our DS would be lost without sports, otherwise, we might try to go with basic and do netflix. I may call Verizon this week to check prices. the Cobra costs $12,000 a year and then 65% less? When are we going to see pics of your seedlings? :-)

Denise....glad to see you holding up your end of the West Coast spring photos! Great angelica. You have some cool plants and I really think the fence looks really good that way. It looks like someone was artistically painting shading in or that it is just drying after a rain. It is a nice color for the garden too.

Norma....You are zone 5 and they are selling violas already where you are? I called around and March 25th is the earliest I can find any here. I would really love to know what you are saying to us in your head? [g]

V...very pretty dresses! I also like that color. You must be so relieved to have that done and your daugther is so pretty, even with her eyes closed!

I am the only one that enjoys tapioca at our house too. My Mom used to make it and whip the egg whites separately before folding in and she added bananas and topped with whipped cream. Yum.

Saucy....I always find your posts so interesting and also wonder what type of business you have.

The last time we flew a kite, it was on Ogunquit beach, when the kids were little. Looks like fun.

Ok....time to quit. I have been trying to check in and read a little at a time through the day and enjoying everyone's accounts of what is going on with them.

Spring in two more days! :-)


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 7:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning

Chelone - yes, I have my old contract till July 1st. How neat to hear about your bathroom plans. Will you do all the work yourself? A dead chippie in the car sounds like a case for Click and Clack. Do you listen to them?

V - we all enjoy flying kites and havn't done so for a long time. Have fun in Santa Fe.

Dreama - I'm still getting my head around all our options. I know you have a lot of experience in the health care field and would love your take on things. Getting DH's insurance (a California type of HMO) to pick up anything here will be very expensive as it is all out of network. Plus the premiums cost more than our share of Cobra will be, so I'm not sure we could do both. Would there be an advantage in doing so?

We are far from being out of the woods with David as he will have years of follow up for necrosis monitoring his femur with MRI's every few months. In the worse case scenario there will be surgeries to graft, scrape, or possibly replace bone. After Cobra runs out we will re evaluate the whole situation, medical and jobwise plus where we need to live, and I have a feeling a lot might have changed.

David had physical therapy yesterday and his therapist was delighted with his progress. He rode the stationary bike for 10 minutes and managed to do 2 miles. His range of motion in the leg has dramatically improved and the flickers of movement lifting his toes continues. What a thrill amidst all the bleak news.

Another big step forwards was he spent yesterday at school using his walker instead of wheelchair. David's buddies were highly disappointed to miss out on the fun of the wheelchair runs between class LOL! He was tired but pleased by the end of the day. The nurse told me how independent David is taking care of his needs and doing his therapy exercises in her office. The librarian said the same, that he never, ever complains even though there are times she can tell how painful his foot is (David enjoys the quiet of the library during gym class.) She patted me on the back and said "You did good, Mom" which for some reason made me really teary.

Michelle - I love those Zinnia combinations and am seriously feeling the need to buy blue sage seeds now. We might have to ahve a separate Zinnia thread once our gardens get going.

Julie - did you have fun in the city? Fingers crossed on DS' apartment.

Saucy - hope you are enjoying the relief of being freed up from the books. How great that your company is doing well.

Time to get going for work. While I still love working with the children, at the moment I'm feeling as if every ounce of motivation and enthusiasm has been drained from me and I might as well be heading in to a factory. Or the salt mines.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 8:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chelone, your bathroom plans sound exciting! SunnyD just had hers done, and now I keep looking around mine and thinking that I should do something....but my gut says wait until the children leave :) Your initial ideas sound perfect to me!

I never understand why violas/pansies aren't out earlier here. I think it's more a matter of the general population not thinking it's the right time, so that retailers can't sell them before they shrivel up and die from lack of water :)

V., your grasses burning are on a much larger scale than mine :) Did you see the article in FG on planting near wetlands? Some of the ideas I liked, but I wondered how "out of place" it might look in my setting. I really want a low dock-like walkway, and it's allowed here, but it has to be removeable. The hamster wheel turns...

GB, What a picturesque photo of your place! Spring has sprung for me, and it could snow 10' and I will have it in my head as one of those fluke spring snows...

Cynthia, ironically, it is today that I must clean so that the Magic can happen at my house. I am such a poor housekeeper, that anything that happens upon my absense (I do all my out of office errands today) is spectacular. I do worry that if I complain, she will wash my toliet with my kitchen sponge.....I change that regularly :)

I don't know why we do that....for me it's a fear that she won't know where things go, and then I won't be able to find them!

Mary, sounds like you know what you're up against and that is the most important part. You are a great mom! You're probably on the teary side from being over tired and over worried. I hope this gardening season brings you a respite from all that is going on in your world, even if you only lose yourself for an hour! I think that is the greatest gift my garden gives me....the loss of time and worries.

PM, it's no big secret, Nick and I did Heating and A/C in the Navy....does that clear it up for you? We're in the commercial/industrial biz. How are you feeling? I think your pruner will work faster than you think, and you'll learn the tricks of the trade in the process.

I had better get moving if I hope to have my house whipped into shape before the Magic arrives. I won't have a bookeeper until April, so there's still that to do, too :)


OH, PS, I got my booth for the plant sale/craft show at our Community barn! Now I've really got to start cranking out the pieces of art! I have my head set on making reflecting bowls that could hold water and have a leaf impression inside the bowl....we'll see!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 8:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Saucy... I am feeling a little better, thanks for asking. I have gotten some good reports from some of the testing I have had so far. My doctor is having surgery on his shoulder next week, so I am tabling the stress test decision for the time being. I am not in any danger and pacing myself helps a lot. We did figure out I needed a dosage change on medication that I take. One minor result of note, was that I am very low in vitamin D which we all have to be careful of as we get older, since it is so important in preventing osteoporosis. I imagine gardeners usually don't have this problem [g]. it sounds like you and DH met in the Navy? Sounds great that you both are in the same field. I wonder if you see each other too much running a business together? DH and I had thought of going into business when we were first married, but never did.

I was thinking about following the pruner around and watching him I may have our son do a little of that too. Poor man. [g]

I saw a 20/20 episode about lab results that found more germs on a kitchen sponge than in a toilet bowl and have not been able to get that out of my head I stopped using sponges for that reason and we use 'Handi-Wipes' which can be rinsed out well and dry very quickly.

Mary...I don't know about you, but I always have my doubts about whether I am doing all that I can for my kids, so whenever someone compliments me on that account, I get teary with relief that maybe I am not doing so bad. :-)

Oh, Saucy, the reflecting bowl for holding water with the leaf impression sounds so pretty. Sort of like a bird bath? I would love to see a photo if you decide to do it.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Today is the 15th. anniversary of my father's death. Yesterday would have been his 84th. birthday. Strangely, I'm not in the least bit sad about it. I returned home to find a fat Chippie layed out on the doorstep for my appreciation. Dad would have thought that was just great. He loved all animals but he was particularly fond of cats and any time they brought home some game he was downright proud! I can see him now, settled agains the west side of the brown house soaking up March warmth with his orange kitty at his side. I have inherited his droll sense of humor, unwillingness to suffer fools gladly, and attention to detail with respect to money, as well as the "early bird" gene. He was always up before the sun and in bed early. :)

Baleful brown eyes in a brindle mask are staring at me, so I have to follow him around for awhile, I guess.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 3:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

V- I meant to tell you how elegant (said with a French accent:) you and DD look in your gowns! Definitely a good choice! I really like your hairstyle, too.

Mary,I think I would stick with the Cobra, do some research on the HMO, then decide what to do. I think the Cobra can be extended at a high cost which you could decide when it starts to run out. They renegotiate contracts every year, so what is pertinent this year could change next year. Hopefully David will make a great recovery, and you won't have to worry too much about follow up repair, and in the meantime someone will get a great job offer with free health insurance:) The best thing is your immediate needs are met, while you really need it.

Chelone, I am going to paint my kitchen:) I do have some walls done.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 4:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Go Drema! I can't wait to see what you have picked for a color. I'll bet painting a kitchen is a lot of work. Any time there is a lot of "cutting in" and trimwork there's a lot of time involved. Just keep reminding yourself how nice it's going to look when you're all finished with it. Maybe you'd consider coming here for a "busman's holiday" and help me paint the entry hall and floors in the house? lol.

Mary, I'm not sure how much of the work in the bathroom I'll actually do myself. A wall has to be ripped out an opening to a closet sealed up to enlarge the bathroom space. Water lines and the waste line have to be relocated to the new wall where I'd like the new sink to be located. And I would like to have the water line for the heating system cut and shortened along with the baseboard so the shower are can be enlarged, too. I'm fine with the tiling and the painting, but the the construction work? not so much. Though the demolition sounds as though it could be fun. ;) The helpmeet is heading into the busiest time of year for him and has been ambivilent about my zeal for home renovation anyway. So, I'm delighted that my brother is willing to consider helping me with this. As I mentioned before he and I tend to think similarly and he's very experienced having gutted his turn of the century home and reworked it from the studs in.

Doesn't surprise me in the least that the librarian's comment to you elicited tears; you HAVE done a great job. Your kids are bright, interesting, and interestED and that doesn't leave a lot of room for whining, grousing, and self-pity. Sometimes tears are the most immediate reaction to simple praise. I certainly hope you permit yourself a little bit of time to bask in it. You've earned it. ;)

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had more tears tonight, but of a different type. I made Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Coconut soup) for supper. It was easy and delicious and spicy enough to clear out the sinuses. I'm on a coconut milk kick at the moment and trying all sorts of different recipes with it. This one was a keeper. Annie is our queen of the hot peppers and I've yet to make anything too hot for her. She gave the soup a big thumbs up.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Chelone, in our prior house we eliminated a hallway linen closet in order to add a full tub instead of a shower stall in the master bathroom. I was quite pleased with the project when it was done but we did have all the work contracted out. I remember the contractor telling me then that he would not touch a bathroom remodel unless he could demolish it to the stud walls and rebuild. He said no matter how good you think your plumbing is, there is always some extent of water damage behind the walls. In the end I was very pleased with his work, and he did show me some hidden water damage when they were in the demolition phase. Something to keep in mind as you approach your project!

Today was a day of minor accomplishments that went hand in hand with minor frustrations. The frustrations try to win out, but then I talk to my friend who's husband lost his job two months ago, or I think about Mary and David, or the awful story of Natasha Richardson and I wonder just what I am complaining about. Seriously, things overall are just fine in my little corner of the world, and I need to remind myself of that from time to time. Sometimes from second to second!

I am enjoying my online journaling class. I got some nice comments on my first homework assignment. There's been a sort of "firestorm" of information about journaling that has hit me since I decided to sign up for this class. I feel like greater forces are colluding to shove me in a new direction.

Enough deep thoughts for one evening. Twenty four hours from now it will almost be Friday. And we know what this Friday is!


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

TGIF is also TGIS ! Hooray ...!!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 11:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good evening... I've gone to bed and already awake again. Oh well. I sort of knew I had too busy a day which for some odd reason usually translates into an on again/off again night sleep. That is one of the problems I am trying to work on. My PCP is also a Sleep Specialist and I am looking at Cpap masks this weekend to see if that will help at all. I've tried one before with no luck. The old masks were full face and I would wake up after 3 hours with a headache. Apparently they now have some that are like the oxygen tubes you wear in the hospital and not as intrusive. So I might as well try it.

Chelone....your Dad died the day after his birthday. He was too young. Sounds like you had a good relationship with him. It's really nice that you can see the ways that you resemble him. It's sort of like looking at a part of him every time you look in the mirror. :-) Do you do anything special as a remembrance on his days?

V....I found myself being grateful myself today. Our DD was here telling about a friend of hers who just lost a good friend from college who at 27 had terminal cancer. More than half my age; life just barely seems to start at that age. Almost the age of our middle son, who still feels unsettled in his life and was just saying today that he is starting to feel old.

I was wondering where was Kathy tonight and there you are... :-)

Well, I had a bright day for a change. I just threw off the winter blues and the health worries for the day and did whatever I wanted all day, ignoring my usual restraint. I saw the first pair of robins! Just in time for Friday. We also seem to have a bumper crop of juvenile squirrels visiting the yard, acting, well....juvenile. [g] I also sorted some seed I collected in the fall that has been waiting to be packaged up. I seem to have a ton of seed from the white marigolds I enjoyed so much last summer. I was thinking that I have more than I could ever use and though I couldn't guarantee how they will turn out, I would be happy to share if anyone is interested. I may sort more tomorrow and see if I find any more forgotten surprises.

Here is what they looked like last year....

Well...back to making another attempt at sleep.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

V., your sage plumber's advice will have to be put to use if we're to accomplish what I'd like. I have lobbied hard to get RID of the bathtub entirely. I have taken maybe 2 baths in 18 yrs. (ditto the helpmeet) and we have one on the ground floor, interesting that you decided to add one.

I know what you mean about thinking that things in your corner of the world are pretty much OK. It's that way for us at the moment, too. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, life's a crap shoot afterall. I think the years that Mum was here and the year after she left have really shown me that you have to make a conscious decision to change the things that no longer work for you, instead of marinating in indecision and worry. So what if you happen to make a bad choice? keep trying until you stumble on a solution that works better. I think this sentiment is at the heart of the "refuse to live in fear" motto we've embraced in this household.

As for remembering Dad on "his" days... I don't do anything special, actually. Rather, I've opted to do the sorts of things that could have made his life more pleasant in the time he was in our world. He never took care of his mouth and a handsome smile that should have seen more use in conjunction with his great sense of humor sadly remained little used, though its absence added to the dry aspect of his humor. I have become a stickler for regular dental care. I inherited natural athletic ability from both my parents but unlike them, I am much more physically active. And while my work ethic echoes his, I am more inclined to "smell the roses" and indulge "wants" more than he permitted himself to. I watched him selfishly refuse to do things around the house that would have made both Mum's life and his own easier and more enjoyable (the helpmeet is heading down this path at present). What good is a life of thrift if you never allow yourself to use some of what you've accrued to "brighten your corner" in a prudent manner? So, I suppose I celebrate his life by doing some of the living he never "got around to". ;)

It will be fun to see pictures of V.'s great western progress. And Kathy's photo essay on her area. Please, if you're able, give a little background on the history or the areas to be photographed. I love that sort of stuff.

I loathe being called, "Hon." and pointedly correct people who do it. The saleswoman who sold me the tile for the Salon hearth did it repeatedly until I said, "My name is not 'Hon.' and I do not wish to be addressed that way. The presumption of familiarity not existence is bad form for a clerk. Please call me, ----.". Mum hated that, too, and it's a very bad habit with too many nurses and medical staffers. I used to correct them on it too, insisting on the formal, Mrs. -------- until Mum gave them permission to use her first name. To this day, I ALWAYS ask a new customer how they would prefer to be addressed, and I have several who prefer, Mrs. So&So and have actually thanked me for making the time to ask. It's simply good manners and Mum and Dad were sticklers for it, saying it never hurts to err on the side of formality. I think many children would benefit greatly from this sort of education.

It's a relief that today finishes my work week. I will wrestle with foam this morning and then who know's what's next on the docket. Time to wrap this up and make my move on the day. I'm outta here, "youse guys". :)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 5:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A quickie...

Here the word "yous" is the correct plural form. Perhaps a German remnant of the Mennonites. It definitely took some adjusting to!

I am one for whom it grates to be called "dear" or "darling" or "Hon". I think of it as talk from an over friendly butcher or shoe salesman. And in the retirement home, this is one of the many things my Mom graciously submitted to. I was horrified. How rude. Even calling her "Barbara" I found presumptuous. Then too I grew up with the formal French "vous" and not the familiar "tu". Even close relatives were addressed as "vous". At our children's French school, their teachers were called by their first names! Astonishing!

Later gators...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 8:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Darn, Darn, Darn. I was looking online to see what happened to Miranda Richardson (heartbreaking, and heartbreakingly close to home) when my computer got a slew of messages from WinPC Defender. It's of those fake AntiSpy ware programs and I can't get rid of the @#$%^&* thing. Does anyone have any ideas or experience? We have our own anti-spyware and McAfree but removing this seems impossible. If the computer goes down I'll be sunk, and if I'm not back later today that might be what's happened.

(who is just making sure there are no plagues of locusts before starting off for work.)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 8:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hardly dare say how nice our weather has been, it seems that we are just ticking off the last days of winter in the nicest way. I have to remind myself though that an April snowstorm is unlikely but entirely possible. My son was born April 12 and there was quite a blizzard just the week before.

Tuesday night I spent some time in the garden and also did some cleaning up of the garden shed. The beds are really too wet to get into but I cut back a few things I could reach.

I don't like to be addressed as dear or hon either but the one that bugs me is the young grocery boys that call me 'mam. It just makes me feel so old!

PM, I'm glad you had an enjoyable day. Hopefully, the C-pap helps, it certainly has given my DH much more restful nights and as a result myself as well. I usually grow the white marigolds and I really like them. I've grown them with the pink globe amaranth for a pretty combo.

Chelone, the bathroom project sounds pretty major.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick fly-by... Mary - you might be interested in the linked article. The Dr. Tator quoted in it is my neurosurgeon.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks for that link, Woody. Below is the first time I became aware that Vanessa Redgrave's daughter was an actress, in the BBC production of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series, the mystery of The Copper Beeches. I still fall asleep to one of these stories almost every night...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Last day of winter! It's not as warm as it's been but the sun is shining and the sky is blue. Just back from visiting Jenni at her coffee shop. She's down to her last few days of work and baby Kate is growing by the day, as is Jen's baby belly. Only 25 more days until her due date. Can't wait!

I have a question about hellebores for anyone that knows. I planted a few in 2007. Last year I didn't do anything with them but this year they look like they're doing well and I'm wondering if this is the time to cut off all of the old foliage. I'd appreciate hearing how any of you care for them.

Chelone, the bathroom sounds like a major home improvement project. We gutted ours and redid it all including new drywall and plumbling in 2001/02. Brad did all of the work and it took us a good year be completely finished. The biggest challenge I think was removing the old tub and getting in the new one since it's a small room. I wouldn't be happy without a tub. I use mine on a regular basis.

PM, I love your marigolds. The color reminds me of french vanilla ice cream.

V, thanks for posting pictures of the dresses. Both are very pretty and I really love the colors. Seems like the wedding is really coming up fast to me.

Funny how we all have different takes on things. I was surprised to hear how being called endearing terms by strangers bothers you all. I've never minded that. I've always taken it as a sign of friendliness or kindness.

Mary, bummer about the olives. On top of everything else that's just the last straw! Hope it's just stress related or something that has to do with that particular batch. You and your family remain in my thoughts.

Not much time left before Bella's arrival and I want to take a look at Marie's thread.

Ta ta for now.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks for the article Woody. I sent it on to DD whose stepson has been coerced by his mom into skiing lessons. This for a kid whose sternum has been opened twice and should not play competitive hockey. I guess they figure he can push himself as he sees capable, but so far, he does not have the skill to judge for himself. I'm not sure what equipment he uses for skiing. I know he wears a bike helmet and a skating helmet too.

Hellebores: I have trimmed most of the foliage from my hellebores recently because it is UGLY and hides the new growth. A few are still covered in ice and I will deal with them later. My hellebores are of different varieties and some are much earlier than others. Frost doesn't seem to bother them, only delay things.

I'm hoping there is a cure for Mary's computer problem. That is the last straw for sure! At least she'll get spring along with the rest of us!

I'm still stuffing recipes into a binder...but things are improving there. I need quick, easy and yummy recipes for our trip out west. They have a crock pot but I've never used one. I have included a few recipes for one in the bunch. It's all so hard for me now that I'm eating minimally! And wouldn't you know, we've been invited over for crepes and fresh maple syrup this weekend. That's not diet health food!

Yesterday DD had issues with DSS about anger and frustration. He says that it is OK to kick a chair or punch the couch if he is mad. She totally disagrees. He met her former boyfriend in the ravine with his dog and said to DD that he was nice and that he wasn't angry because he didn't hit her or punch her. So after she tried explaining all that they left for school. In the car he was frustrated by not being able to pronounce something correctly (he has speech therapy and was practicing "melts")and began kicking the back of DD's seat. She was furious. She got out of the car and took a short walk to compose herself. He made up some story, totally denying he had done wrong and that was what angers her, not the pronunciation part AT ALL. We know he witnesses physical responses to frustration at his other home and that it will be a long road for him. I tried to offer some suggestions...but each child is so different and my two never had this problem. But anger and frustration are part of his life unfortunately, and this week he bonked a friend with a hockey stick and displayed other signs as well. Obviously lots on his mind and probably a sense of the tension in the air between households.

Cloudy here.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 2:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Marie. I went out and cut off all the old, ratty foliage surrounding my hellebores and feel much better about them now.

Tough situation with Skyler. Sounds like he's acting out frustrations on many levels. Good that he has Sarah to help him work through it. All in all that makes him a very lucky boy I think.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 4:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Conversation with Isabella:

Bella: Grandma, look at the picture I drew.

Me: Bella, that's so pretty. Sign your name and I'll put it on the refrigerator.

Bella: No, I don't want to put my name on it.

Me: You need to put your name on it so everyone knows you drew it.

Bella: (In a condescending tone) But if they want to know I can just tell them.

Sometime she makes me crazy :)

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 5:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I guess we are not alone in thinking spring:

March 19, 2009

Obamas to Plant White House Vegetable Garden


WASHINGTON -- On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch
of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since
Eleanor Roosevelt's victory garden in World War II. There will be no
beets (the president doesn't like them) but arugula will make the cut.

While the organic garden will provide food for the first family's
meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said,
will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and
vegetables at time when obesity has become a national concern.

In an interview in her office, Mrs. Obama said, "My hope is that
through children, they will begin to educate their families and that
will, in turn, begin to educate our communities."

Twenty-three fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in
Washington will help her dig up the soil for the 1,100-square-foot
plot in a spot visible to passers-by on E Street. (It's just below the
Obama girls' swing set.) Students from the school, which has had a
garden since 2001, will also help plant, harvest and cook the
vegetables, berries and herbs.

Almost the entire Obama family, including the president, will pull
weeds, "whether they like it or not," Mrs. Obama said laughing. "Now
Grandma, my mom, I don't know." Her mother, she said, would probably
sit back and say: "Isn't that lovely. You missed a spot."

Whether there would be a White House garden has been more than a
matter of landscaping. It's taken on political and environmental
symbolism as the Obamas have been lobbied for months by advocates who
believe that growing more food locally could lead to healthier eating
and lessen reliance on huge industrial farms that use more oil for
transportation and chemicals for fertilizer.

In the meantime, promoting healthful eating has become an important
part of Mrs. Obama's agenda.

"The power of Michelle Obama and the garden can create a very powerful
message about eating healthy and more delicious food," said Dan
Barber, an owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.,
an organic restaurant that grows many of its own ingredients. "I don't
think it's a stretch to say it could translate into real change."

The Clintons grew some vegetables in pots on the roof of the White
House. But the Obamas' garden will have 55 varieties of vegetables --
from a wish list of the kitchen staff -- grown from organic seedlings
started at the executive mansion's greenhouses.

The Obamas will feed their love of Mexican food with cilantro,
tomatilloes and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green
oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach,
chard, collards and black kale. For desserts, there will be a patch of
berries. And herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like
anise hyssop and Thai basil. A White House carpenter who is a
beekeeper will tend two hives for honey.

Total cost for the seeds, mulch, etc., is $200.

The plots will be in raised beds fertilized with White House compost,
crab meal from the Chesapeake Bay, lime and green sand. Ladybugs and
praying mantises will help control harmful bugs.

Cristeta Comerford, the White House's executive chef, is eager to plan
menus around the garden, and Bill Yosses, the pastry chef, is looking
forward to berry season.

Sam Kass, an assistant White House chef who prepared healthful meals
for the Obama family in Chicago and is an advocate of local food, will
oversee the garden. The White House grounds crew and kitchen staff
will do most of the work, but other White House staff members have

"First of all," Mrs. Obama said, "there's nothing really cooler than
coming to the White House and harvesting some of the vegetables and
being in the kitchen with Cris and Sam and Bill, and cutting and
cooking and actually experiencing the joys of your work."

Mrs. Obama, who said that she never had a vegetable garden before,
said the idea for it came from her experiences as a working mother
trying to feed her daughters, Malia and Sasha, a good diet. Eating out
three times a week, ordering a pizza, having a sandwich for dinner
took it's toll. The children's pediatrician told her she needed to be
thinking about nutrition.

"He raised a flag for us," she said, and within months the children
lost weight.

For children, she said, food is all about taste, and fresh and local
taste better.

"A real delicious heirloom tomato is one of the sweetest things that
you'll ever eat," she said. "And my children know the difference, and
that's how I've been able to get them to try different things.

"I wanted to be able to bring what I learned to a broader base of
people. And what better way to do it than to plant a vegetable garden
in the South Lawn of the White House."

The country's one million community gardens, she said, can also play
an important role for urban dwellers who have no backyards.

But, sitting in her office in the East Wing, Mrs. Obama stressed that
she doesn't want people to feel guilty if they don't have the time to
have a garden: there are still many small changes they can make.

"You can begin in your own cupboard by eliminating processed food,
trying to cook a meal a little more often, trying to incorporate more
fruits and vegetables," she said.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ive gone direct from Awfice to gaHden the last couple of days, trying to feverishly prepare a couple of planting areas before our expected rain appears Fri pm. Dug up an old and exceedingly unattractive Rhodie , and rolled up various carpet sections of Sweet Woodruff. I have a lily planting scheme in mind- hoping I find some Regals like Deannes at the garden show on Sat, there are two large lily purveyors there so chances are good.
The tax lady had good news for me , so my camera purchase is officially justified, and air fare to IU6 is covered. Voodoo economics of sorts since my dental bills were instrumental in lowering my tax burden !

My seedlings are doing quite well, and more will be transplanted to larger containers in a few days, one flat will start spending days outdoors soon. Im also starting to move some of my tender succulents back outside, I just have to be vigilant about the weather forecasts and protect them if frost seems likely.

Chelone , I wish you well on the loo project- will this proceed at a pace that will allow Idylls to have a christening piddle ? (in the proper receptacle of course) When my children were small I had a set up for reading in the bathtub-bath pillow, reading rack with a beverage holder--this was my escape from the world of the household, and I was always allowed to be undisturbed I had a radio in there for music appropriate to the reading material (classical for challenging fiction, jazz for trashy murder mysteries) but since I have a serene household these days the escape to the spa is no longer needed. No kidding, your comment to Drema about the difficulties of kitchen painting. I hired mine out the last time. Im glad did , they did a really nice job , much better than I would have I was just about burned out on painting projects at that point.

PM, glad to hear you are feeling better ,and are able to enjoy your garden , but the sleeping thing is a worry I bet. I get really anxious if I wake up in the middle of the might on the workday and have trouble getting back to sleep-worsening the situation of course. My job requires good brain function and I feel horrible if I dont get at least 7 hours.

Ok, I need to find some dinner an read the paper

Here is Lady Banks taken on my lunch break this afternoon.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

In no particular order:

-I'm 12 for 12 on my brackets today! (ah, March Madness)

-That is truly awesome news about the White House Garden

-And the death of Natasha Richardson is totally sad and very frightening. I remember being very vexed as a teenager when my brother hit his head somehow, and we took turns getting up and checking him every couple of hours during the night. At the time I'm pretty sure I thought this was something the doctor made up to make me (a teenager, remember) miserable. The blessing of this very public tragedy is that a lot of us will take head injuries more seriously from now on.

-Very positive sings were observed today: a blue heron fishing, elongated catkins on the hazelnuts, and one Iris reticulata in bloom.

-And where has Marion gone to?


    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Marie, thanks for posting the column about the veggies at 1600 P Ave. This is a wonderful effort by the O's and if they can make it attractive enough we might consider it an IU7 destination. What an honor it would be for them to have us visit..!!! If I were Michelle I'd be swooning at the prospect. I wonder if we would be able to get First Family bum-shots as they pull weeds ???

Kathy in Napa

...p.s. in all seriousness, this makes me very happy, and I think Michelle is The Bomb.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 10:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, I wonder where Marion is too..hope all is well there, check in Marion !

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 11:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can you imagine the group Idyll shot possibilities on the Obama kids' swingset?? They would love us! Yes indeed, the gahden at the White House is a wonderful idea, but I think the whole family is such fun anyway. In these hard times we need a double shot of young, intelligent, enthusiastic, rounded out nicely with a dollop of good-natured teasing and self-deprecation. When the press tried to pillory Michelle for her remark that she was, for the first time in her life, really proud of her country (in response to the nomination of her husband for the presidency, I believe) I knew exactly what she meant and agreed wholeheartedly. I think she's about as classy an act as ever there was.

I've been wondering about Marian, too. Hmmm. You don't think Nolon has fed her into the wood chipper, do you?

I have so much work to do in the Compound gahdens when the soil is ready to work. The place has some very nice stands of things but much of it has gone to pot in the years Mum required so much time. Still though, I'm not particularly bothered by it. I'll pick away at it, make some good choices and some bad ones, and have a ball either way. How can you beat gardening for cheap laughs? and quality time communing with resident animals?

My friends, I think today may be the day I salley forthe and purchase a mixer and a few other things to make baking easier. I casually mentioned it to the helpmeet and he was typically ambivilent (why do we need that, can't you get by with what we have?); poor dear I don't think he has any notion he's being seduced into kitchen rehab., or maybe he does! Anyway, I told him I'm going to feed him until he hits 800lbs. and then I'm going to exploit him totally by posting daily pictures and film on You Tube, informing him that they'll have to remove one of the picture windows and remove him from the house with a backhoe or crane. ;)

Poor dear helpmeet returned home with a beastly cold yesterday, complete with a sore throat, chest congestion, and a cough. Seems this is bug that's been passed around at work for some weeks now. I fired up the stove to keep the living room cozy and he watched March Madness last night from the couch with feline and canine nursing aplenty.

Yes, Kathy, if all goes according to plan the bathroom rehab. should be completed in time for Idyll Camp. You should be able to wee wee in whatever recepticle you choose. A shower pee-er from way back, I've never been too fussy since it's all going to end up in the same tank, though counter height makes the sink option somewhat more challenging... . When I informed Dad that I wanted a bidet he turned to me is surprise, "what the hell do you want one of those things for?". I grinned and said, "Dad, you've always said that good tools are important. And it's the perfect tool for the job.". He cracked up. And it was one of the best things I've ever insisted on; I no longer shower daily because there is no need to... talk about saving water!

I guess that's it for me so far. Not sure how to best use this first day off but I'll "figger it out". I'm going to see my brother tomorrow morning and can't wait.

Eden, Bella's crack about her picture made me smile. Can't argue with the logic, can you? :) And V., I think I heard a red-wing blackbird the other day, but I'm not sure enough to hazard a nickel bet on it. But maple buds are swelling, so is the "for cynthia", and the fuzzy jacket on Magnolia stellata look promising. OH! and there is a lot of bud activity on the transplanted Magnolia, "Butterflies"... will this be spring of copious yellow blossosms?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 6:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Happy Happy Spring and on a Friday yet! I'm so glad it's finally here though I've been in spring mode for at least a week now with all of the beautiful warm weather we've had. Even if it snows again now it won't stick around for long. I've got things peeking up all over the gardens which I have all tidied up by the way. This is the earliest that's ever happened. Bella and I have had lunch out on the back deck quite a few times already and she's been riding her bikes and playing with her outdoor toys. Even the birds have been busy building nests in their houses. Here's a few pictures of the spring/Easter decorations I put up the other day for Bella's enjoyment.

Chelone, winter 07/08 I really got involved in purchasing or replacing lots of kitchen supplies here. I bought nice heavy baking pans that I love plus lots of other little gadgets that make spending time in the kitchen pleasant. I even got quite a few pretty new dishes and serving pieces. I've really enjoyed using it all and follow quite a few cooking/baking blogs, when I have time, for lots of great inspiration.

Kathy, your Lady Banks is so pretty! Yellow roses have always been my favorite. I too need a good nights rest and usually get 8 hours. Brad can get by on 6 or a regular basis.

I love the idea of a vegetable garden at the White House. My parents always had a large veg garden and I've always wished I had the space for one of my own. The man who lives behind me has a big area of wide open sunny land that would be perfect for one and always tells me I'm free to use it. If there were only more hours in the day......

On that note, time to tackle the long list of things I want to accomplish today. Hope you all have a good one!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Eden, you really should work with Bella and plant a few rows of easy stuff and put a little fence around it on the "back 40". I'm thinking carrots, radishes, lettuce, chard...zinnias.

I think today will be a strange one...with me going to the mall! I NEVER do that, but a baby clothing store has been on my mind lately! Not that DD needs anything, but I do!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 7:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The sun over my shoulder is directly due east today. It has underscored the filth on the windows, too. :)

Bella must've been beside herself when she saw the Easter finery, Eden. Reminds me to get thinking about the helpmeet's Easter basket, too. Perhaps you could sacrifice that little patch of what looks like lawn and put in some vegetables? or would that be invading Brad's space too much?

I have to go to some sort of maul, too, methinks. I can't think of any other place to go to locate a mixer and some of the other things on my list. Ugh.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Marie, baby clothes is one of the few reasons I can think of for venturing into a mall. I try to avoid them at all costs too! I can't wait to see what you find. You're right, I should do a small veg garden back there with Bella. Even small veg gardens take alot of maintenance though........

Chelone, I have to keep that small patch of lawn on principle. When we redid the front gardens in 03 my neighbors swore I would never be able to leave that bit of lawn. I think every garden needs at least a bit of lawn.

I've bought lots of kitchen things online. You can find just about anything on Amazon, and I always get free shipping with them. Sur La Table's also good as is Chef's Tools, and of course Williams Sonoma but they're pricey! Locally Homegoods has good deals. Kohl's has a pretty good kitchen section and there's always Bed Bath and Beyond with their 20% off coupons. I pick up things just about anywhere I find a good price or sale. Have fun picking out your new things, even if it is at the mall!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

Such pretty spring photos! Thanks, Eden and Kathy for really getting us in the spirit! Im afraid my gardens still look pretty winter torn between leaves and debris that hasnt gotten picked up yet -- altho crocus, snowdrops (Michelle you Have to plant them, they're lovely and carefree), and iris reticulata are blooming.

Kathy, pls keep the rain at bay to the left coast for our weekend! I plan to exhaust myself fully for 2 days of clean up and arbor rescusitation and remainder pruning.

'bug- Im so sorry you take so much to heart at DD's house but it must be so frustrating for you; it is hard to remain stoic w/ such drama isnt it? I dont profess to know what's best for kids who act out like that, but I do recall that a therapist my DD saw as a child did in fact say it was permissible for certain acceptable outlets, esp., when other physicality is going on -- I recall we adopted the -- go hit a pillow about but only in your bedroom and only on the bed for 10 minutes -- no person or thing was permitted to be hit upon... and it seemed to help her -- it allowed her to get those frustrations out that she could not vocalize, and eventually the other things petered away. I think at DGS's age, he's still learning control and appropriateness. I imagine experts have lots more ideas on the subject too. Hockey sticks and people certainly are not appropriate -- and so much of our parental encounters are tug of wars over control - I recall them well.

I dont think I have time to comment on 'bug's wonderful thread - but I saw Eden's idea about those baby clothese being photos for the nursery -- and that's a very cool wonderful idea!!! I hope you do it!!

Lots more to comment on, but no time.... later, gators.

Happy Friday, all -- and Happy Spring!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cindy, I like the photo idea too (Saucy's?) but I know that the nursery will be the same as it was for Reed, with Noah's Ark on one wall, a favourite painting on another, dark green walls. DSIL is the one with the decorating genes, not always my taste, but heck, it is his house! Maybe some day I'll bring the photos for the bathroom or hallway. At their house baby co-sleeps for almost a year, so the nursery is not used all that much.

As to DGS, his age does not relate to his stages. Lots of this is due to having medical issues for several years in infancy and having been treated like a china doll. He feels he is owed everything in life and it is eye opening and very very hard when Sarah shows him otherwise. His Dad is only beginning to see the wisdom of some of her work. Fortunately, DGS still adores her, but therein lies more friction with Mom. I try to follow DD's advice, namely only dwell on the crap for 10 minutes a day and then let it fly away.

Here it is 10am and I just finished an hour on the treadmill and ate a bowl of oatmeal. That's all! Time flies...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post...

Eden - definitely do veggies with Bella. Try things in pots - lots of things do well in pots. I've grown lettuce, carrots (deep window box pots are great for baby carrots...) leeks, tomatoes (they do better in the ground than in pots though), peppers, beans, peas, watermelons, zucchini, even corn!

Bean towers:

(Peas are fabulous in pots too - I grow 5 different varieties so I get a long crop season...)

Strawberries are easy too:

Highbush blueberries also do well in pots and it's easy to control the acidity.)

You don't get huge crops but enough to have lots of fun snacking as you pass by.

Alpine strawberries for edging plants in the garden produce little treats alll season and kids love them!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Happy Spring!

Thanks for all your kind words about Zoe. She was the sweetest little thing and I miss her alot. It's the little things you miss-like the way she used to sit patiently next to the tub every morning to lick the water off the bottoms of my feet. They never live long enough as you've all experienced. Nick seems to be doing OK. He's going to have to get used to being an only dog because I have no plans to add to the family at this time. We've gone out on walks a couple of nights this week and he seems to be enjoying that. Life goes on...



    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The White House veg garden is such exciting news. Eden, re your neighbor's offer, you know "borrowing" someone else's backyard has turned into something of a movement. Waay back when I did a bit of "market" gardening as an apartment dweller (ah, the audacity of youth!) I borrowed a backyard a couple houses down, which I was already borrowing to house my dog Alfie, so the arrangement worked well. Apart from the extra $50 a month it brought in, the old gentleman used to enjoy chatting with me as I worked some of the worst clay soil I have ever encountered! The first spring his deceased wife's daffodils were a lovely surprise, and he'd tell me what a beautiful garden she had before neglect set in after she died. At the same time I kept a public garden plot, then eventually ended up borrowing my MIL's front yard too. She thought it was great fun until I brought the huge load of manure from the horse stables via Marty's VW bus. Boy, do I know how to make enemies. The horse stables are right next to the South Coast Botanic Gardens, a twofer.

Saucy mentioned bringing in a plasterer for the cracked kitchen ceiling, which is another good idea. What little mental rabbit trails we keep to instead of busting out into the fecund tall grass (a good Easter metaphor -- love your decorations, Eden!) That's the ebullience I sense in Chelone these days, striding through the tall grass with a scythe in hand, mowing down the niggling stuff. Speaking of ceiling cracks, Mitch swore he felt an earthquake which woke him in the middle of the night last week, so I googled and found there was a minor 2.6ish quake.

And just to round out this meandering post, I dreamt of Alfie last night, the little dog I borrowed a backyard for. Maybe Zoe told him to pay me a visit ;) He lived to the ripe old age of 19 years, so he was the childhood dog that moved out with me and lived to see Mitch born. What adventures we had! I've gotta get busy and shake this pensive mood...

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ceiling cracks! That has to remind you all of Madeline, no? Remember when she's in the hospital having her appendix out?

Madeline soon ate and drank.
On her bed there was a crank,
and a crack on the ceiling had the habit
of sometimes looking like a rabbit.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

now that broke the pensive mood and brought a smile. Years ago I gave my now 20-yo niece a Madeline doll...which I noted when in Alabama recently now resides with her 4-yo half sister. I think I'll sign my niece up for the Madeline birthday club.

I really need to turn the crank on the here-and-now machine! Happy spring, idyllettes!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ah Madeline, I've just spent the last 15 minutes since I read Marie's post researching Madeline books we don't have and horror of horrors I don't think we have the original one where she's in the hospital. We did get the newest one, Madeline And The Cats Of Rome not long ago. My current favorite! I think a trip to Borders is going to be on the weekend agenda. Have to run and check out that Madeline Birthday Club now..........

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Happy Spring! :-)

It is cold but sunny today and the forecast is for more of the same for the next five days at least. Had a coat and gloves on outside this morning. I took a few photos but I haven't dared to uncover much yet. I do have crocus blooming.

Eden and Michelle, I would love to send you some marigold seeds. I will email you later. They are probably hybrids and not sure if they will come true to seed, but I am going to give them a shot. If anyone else would like some I would be happy to send some along. are certainly on the ball at your house. Already have the garden ready to go and decorating too. Your zone 5 is warmer than my zone 6 right now. [g]

Between the article about veggies on the White House lawn and Woody's photos from last year, I am getting fired up to do a better job with my small little veggie area. I am going to have to do more pots because I just don't have enough room in my small raised beds. I save two beds for tomatoes and one has asparagus that I plant a tripod of beans over later and edge with basil. That leaves one raised bed only 4x4.

Oh....I just remembered, I read the article G'bug posted about 5am and fell back to sleep a little later and woke up dreaming I was at the White House. LOL It was a very weird dream, but no veggies or lawn in sight, just some shrubs that I believed I had planted and as I walked down from the room we were in, were suddenly covered in snow and I was just about to say so when I woke up. I was also visiting their two daughters in their bedrooms which they were redoing and commented on how pretty the fabric for the chair was. lol

Funny the power of suggestion on our dreams, huh Denise?

Woody...I would love to know the five varieties of peas you grow? I am thinking of trying Tristar strawberries in pots this year, which are supposed to keep producing. I am not sure whether to order them bareroot or not.

Kathy...yippee that your tax return is enough to cover some treats. Everytime I see your Lady Banks rose I want to get one. [g] Just love that it blooms so early and of course, yellow is my favorite. I keep restraining myself because I am afraid it will take over the house and it is a one time bloomer. I forget, is it fragrant?

Would you believe I've never read the Madeline series?

Chelone, happy kitchen equipment hunting. Sounds like fun. The bathroom redo on the other hand, does not. [g] We need to do ours but not likely any time soon.'s good to see your post and glad you both are doing okay. Such a cute memory of Zoe.

I'm hurrying, so excuse any typos. Off to do more veggie garden planning...


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 12:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

I had to smile and laugh about Zoe and the wet feet, Sue -- Chloe loves to do that too -- it is all those small things that make them so close to our hearts, LOL -- some things you dont even know til they're gone. Im glad you've got Nick for company though, he can be a diversion. He likely thinks Zoe's off at the vet's or something dont you think? He may not have really realized she's off on her own permanent new adventure. But I completely understand not expanding the household -- I dont know how all you folks do it with multiple critters -- so expensive, if nothing else!

Well, believe it or not, Im sitting here at the awfice typing in gloves with an irish wool sweater wrapped around my lap, my oustide coat on -- it's been frigid in my corridor for 2 weeks -- and we've all been complaining and moaning but so far no success on them getting it. The bldg guy came by to check earlier and claimed it was one degree different from around the corner -- I was proud of myself not leaping over the desk to strangle him in his Lie... or tell him to get new thermometer; luckily several other voices chorused that that could not be true... I feel like a little old lady in the meantime, complaining of the cold! I know it's warmer outside than here right now - took a little walk before setting down to see what's up here.

My foot is tapping (not just for the cold) counting the minutes til it's freedom to go home and leap into the yard, LOL. It is actually to be in the 20s tomorrow a.m., but hopefully warm up quickly. My helper may have bailed on me for the arbor project, but I may just tackle it myself and figure out something -- I think it's just unwieldy if nothing else.

I bet our thrifty Chelone comes back with only modest kitchen purchases; set me loose in Sur Le Chef or Wms Sonoma and Im in big trouble (assuming no limit to purchases).... I've never had a nice Kitchenaid mixer much as I longed for one; bout a cheapo one years ago for what we declared were "$60 mashed potatoes" - in other words, I needed to make potatoes for Xmas; the little mixer died and I ran out to buy a new mixer just for the potatoes. Since I seldom cook big deals anymore, the $60 has turned out to be a bargain after the first event of years ago...

Ok, off to contemplate where to put last year's clems that never got planted....


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 1:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was a woman on a mission this morning. There was no screwing around as I diligently ticked off the items on my list.

The 2 qt. saucepan under the double boiler will be exchanged for a 3 qt. model. I couldn't remember if the largest saucepan in our arsenal was a 2 or 3 qt. and it turned out to be a 2.

I'm looking at you, you know:

Spencer shared Mummy's outrage over the damage to the gahdens and the peonies. He went out while I set up the shots above and was back 5 minutes having relieved this world of one slow or stupid vole:

Time to drag Rex around by his neck and plot my next culinary move. Oh, I have snowdrops today, piddly as the stand may be.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

OMG Chelone, did you post the vole photo after the saucepan just to wake up the people scanning though? ROFL!
Go Spencer, what a good boy! ;)


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nice work Chelone. Interested to hear what you're planning to use the double boiler for? I have one but I think I've only used it once. I know you must have plans for yours since it was on the essentials list.

As for photot #3, ewwwwwwwwww!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 2:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't be such a weenie Eden, that one wasn't even bloody and it was intact, lol. :)

I am eager to try "Blanc Mange" (cornstarch pudding) and the recipe calls for a double boiler. It's great way to cook things without a lot of stirring, reheat coffee without burning it, very useful set-up in the kitchen and something we used a lot when I was a kid. We don't own a microwave.

That Kitchen Aid constitutes weaponry. I'm going to have to really think about how I want to store it when the kitchen rehab. rolls around, it's big and it's heavy! I turned it on to make sure the wire whip is properly adjusted and it purrs like a kitten. It ought to for the price, but if you're going to do a routine job easily good equipment is important. The helpmeet uses the Cuisinart food processor all the time and in 20 yrs. it's never faltered.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hunted up a blancmange recipe Chelone. I can see where the double boiler will come in handy for that recipe. Tempering eggs is also involved I see. I guess I don't use mine because I don't make many creamy things and I do heat choc. etc in the microwave. I've seen a neat contraption for a standmixer that raises it in and out of a cupboard that would really come in handy for storing it. Mine's sitting out. It's too big to store in any of my cupboards. I have a mini cuisinart that I use for quick chopping an onion or grating parm cheese. I do find chopping by hand theraputic most of the time and I don't have a full size one.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 5:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

For some reason, I will now forever recall bidets and kitchenaid mixers in the same breath as "right tools for the job" and hence think of Chelone.....


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 5:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was going to say EWWWW again but I don't wanna be a double weenie :)

Wonder what Marie got at the baby store???


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 5:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lots! Photos later Eden...:)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 5:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What a score you brought home from the store Chelone! I would like to be eating at your house this spring. You can also make Indian Pudding in that double boiler. Don't I remember you like that too?

I've been listening to music waiting for dinner. Anyone a Carly Simon fan? She writes some interesting lyrics. A song I particularly enjoy is one called 'The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of'. I was thinking it is sort of a spring like song, only because it is about new beginnings and renewal.

Would love to see baby clothes!

Supper's ready... :-)


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 6:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nice score, Chelone! I have a cool cabinet that would be perfect for the Kitchen Aid, it can hold alot of weight and it rolls completely out of the cabinet. I'll bet you could buy the hardware online.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Chelone, you are my kind of shopper! What a lovely haul, all bright and shiny. I'm thinking that I may do the Kitchen Aid mixer as a shower gift for the happy couple. I need to replace my measuring spoons and cups sometime in the future. I have some plastic Tupperware ones that are rather old and the plastic has reached the point where it never seems really clean. Bring on the stainless steel.

Nothing too exciting here tonight, other than getting packed for tomorrow's trip. I suspect I will miss most of Idyll #431 - how's that for a different way to mark time?


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's a link to the mixer lift I was referring to. Now that I've found it I think I'll show Brad and see if he can do something like this to store mine away.

V, a mixer would be a great gift for them. I prefer the stainless spoons and cups too. Wondering if you all prefer your measuring spoons on a ring like they usually come or separate. I always separate mine and store them inside my glass liquid measuring cup. My sister likes to keep hers on the ring.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I confess that I have never used a mixer for mashed potatoes-I always smash them by hand with my smasher doo-dad. I like them a tad lumpy. With chives. Heavy cream instead of milk. If one scrolls through Chelones pics without reading , one can almost imagine a recipe for Vole Fricassee .

Impressive spread there Chelone ! Doesnt look like you scrimped I smiled at your lack of microwave- mine sure doesnt get used much , usually only to wrm up tortillas and DS makes popcorn sometimes. That mixer is so pretty you could almost comsider it décor when you decide on the location .

Tomorrow is the SF Gardenshow, and Im excited ! Taking my camera (the small one for better portability) packing a lunch, and my list. Im hoping someone will come along to rescue this show and it will be revived somehow next year, but in this economy who knows. This show has always marked the opening of gardening season for me- a friend of mine would pledge earnestly not to buy any more garden art on the way there , and was always brought to her knees once inside .

Time for a Friday night WALAT, with rain coming I need to get it while I can, and I believe a cranked up stereo may be in the cards too

Adios V !!!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

woody, how nice thqt you have such a respected neurosurgeon! Good for you! By the way, I loved your veggie plantings.

Chelone, when you make up your mind about something, you don't mess around:) Good Job! I have noticed that open shelves in kitchens are all the rage right now, every where you look.

Skip is not looking forward to laying out my potager, but I can't wait. Seeds are ordered, and the mini greenhouse peat pots are waiting for the arrival. Skip and Dev are waiting for me to get off computer to go with them to see Escape to Witch Mountain. We are lucky enough to have a $3 movie in our little town. Close enough to walk, but not in this cold.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Last night DH went walking with Ms Phoebe, but Phoebes was instantly distracted by a critter. It was dark and DH saw white markings and shouted a firm "NO!!!!" To his astonishment, Phoebe stopped! DH is pretty sure it was a possum, not a skunk. Phoebe has surprised us lately with her behavior. This morning she was out gathering firewood with DH and I opened the upstairs window and called hi to her. She ran over and looked up at me and pranced about happily. Charlotte never was able to find things up in the air so this marks a big difference in the two.

Kathy, you commented on what I did not dare. The first thing that came to mind was "sauce veloutée" which means a velvet textured sauce, smooth as velvet. It is a word used to describe wines too. Of course it would have to be "voloutée"... I just learned that campagnol is French for vole. Live and learn.

Tomorrow is once again haircut day. Well timed for our outing for crepes and fresh maple syrup. Today the Mennonite buggies were out in full force selling their syrup at stop light intersections, their horses patiently waiting by the sides of the road. I saw quite a few cats out in the fields hunting as well.

I think this makes some kind of record for postings from me in one day!

Yoo Hoo! Marian! I hope you are feeling OK and that Nolon is too. Your bulbs must be a riot of color by now.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks for missing me ...

I think I am in the recovery from one of the worse spells that I have had yet. I have an appointment for a complete checkup monday, but in searching all the Fibromyalgia sites it seems it has just been a fibro flair-up. I am going to have her cover all the bases just to rule out anything more serious.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chelone, Im impressed with your shopping trip. I keep my KA in a corner of the counter. I m able to shove it back far enough that it really isnt in the way. Who uses the deep corners anyway? I think they are used a lot in décor or have become that because they are so heavy.

Between Chelone posting the dead vole and Kathys thoughts on what she may make with it, you guys crack me up.

I considered the mixer lift when we were working on our kitchen but decided that I really didnt want to give up a whole cabinet for it. I have my measuring spoons separated. What happens when one is dirty and in the dishwasher and you need another size? I have 2 little plastic baskets screwed down in the front of my utensil drawer that I keep them in along with a few other small items that would get lost in the drawer. The corkscrew being one which you would hate to have to search too much for.

I cant imagine living without a microwave and often comment that I would like to have 2. My morning Multi-grain hot cereal is so easy to make right in its own bowl.

V, I gave my DD a KA for a shower gift. I think it is a perfect gift since they will have it for many years and will remember who gave it to them. Even my DD who isnt extremely interested in kitchen activities loves using it for cookies. Her DH was pretty excited about it as well.

PM, I find it interesting that my hellebores are about the size of yours but I see no signs of the crocus. Although, most of my crocus are underneath the ivy and that probably keeps the ground cold longer.

My DD loved Madeline. Im thinking Kenzie should have a few.

Eden, you really should plant a few veggies with Bella. Kenzie really loved the vegetable part of the garden as much as the flowers. Last summer she was always so excited to pick the "aspartagus" (her pronunciation, not my poor spelling) and pulling carrots and onions was also great fun for her. I put a couple of cherry tomato plants in her garden because she loves eating them.
They Easter decorations are so fun, Im sure Bella was thrilled.

There was a petition going around on Facebook voting for a Victory garden of sorts at the White House, I guess they got the message.

Since we are having an overnight guest who we havent met, Id better get going and clean this pit up. The guest is guest minister at our church from Michigan.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:23AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Off to Paris!
Hello Fellow Perennial Fanatics, :) I'm off to Paris...
Are you missing past content?
I went searching for my old comments on GW and according...
prairiemoon2 z6 MA
Would you be willing to share your favorite plant markers?
I've been eyeing the copper and zinc ones but just...
PSA: Please set up messaging feature in your profile!
Not sure if you guys are aware you are able to do this....
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™