Idyll #431 ...Adios Winter , Hello Spring !

dodgerdudetteMarch 20, 2009

Carry on my friends !

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

I copied this form the last thread:

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 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hope you get some relief quickly Marian !

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Marian, I'm sorry to hear that you've been ailing but glad that you were able to check in. Good luck with your check up on Monday!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good wishes Marian, I hope you feel better soon, and a wave to Nolon too..

Kathy in Napa

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

I'm relieved to know Nolon hasn't fed you to a woodchipper, Marian, but am grieved to to learn you've been cut off at the knees by the Fibro.. I have a dreadfully sick helpmeet downstairs and he's perfectly miserable. So I commiserate. Here's hopin' the good doctor is able to put you right again.

I have a few things to gather together for my trip to my brother's this morning (ETD is 6 AM, thereabouts), including some tabouli I made yesterday (he loves it). I'm looking forward to the drive and singing along with the radio.

Will Kathy and Exotica rendez vous at the Flower Show? I would surely love it if there was a mid-season Idyllunion in California, all of which is predicated on the belief that California is more than just a state of mind. Hey Kathy, do Ted and Doobie bring you rodents?

'bug, all the training with Phoebles is clearly paying off. Nice when that happens, huh? And the guy who taught our last obedience class said the most "willful" dogs were usually the brightest ones and required even more consistency than others. And it's the consistency thing that I think is the wildcard when more than one handler is involved... ask me how I know this. ;)

Rex and I went for an extended forced march yesterday afternoon. I had to do something for him since Daddy is ill and I ditched him for the maul cruise. I had little treats in my pocket (I have to remember to clean them out whenever I do laundry!) and we set off down the road. We encountered two very little dogs who came racing out to defend their territory. One was a Chihuahua mix (Pepe) and the other was a very shaggy Maltese (Willie). We crossed to their side of the road (Rex sporting the full Mohawk) as I didn't want them to run across it. I asked Rex to "heel" and took an extra strong hold on him and we walked down the driveway to the house where Pepe and Willie's mother was unsuccessfully calling for them to return. Rex was very excited but I wasn't in the least worried about him. While Willie circled and yapped incessently (Cindy, I hope Chloe doesn't do that!) I put Rex in a "down, stay" and kept a close eye on him for compliance, correcting and reinforcing as was necessary. He was great and the woman was impressed (as well as charming). In the space of a few minutes of conversation Pepe and Rex were friends, Willie was starting to quiet down and I've met another person in one of the "anonymous houses". Turns out both Pepe and Willie were adopted from the shelter that gave us Rex. Anyway, as to dog training, I've adopted a zero tolerance with His Hugeness, whenever someone comes to the house he goes on his leash and we handle introductions MY WAY. He gives the helpmeet much more "flak" than he does me. (consequently, he gets to do way more "fun" things with me and that makes him even more cooperative).

I'd really like to hear an update from our resident scholar, Woody. So, if you're able to pull yourself away from the books and drawings for a bit, share some of it, willya? I read with interest the article on Natasha Richardson, such a sad story and it really underscores the fact that we never really know when our number is up. The doc. sounds like quite a guy, do you like him, Woody? I ask because there are plenty of doctors out there with tons of skill and ability but if you don't click with them they're essentially useless to you. Any dog guests lately.

Well, I have to get rolling, we're heading out for breakfast and I'm getting hungry!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 6:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Michelle, do you think the husbands are excited to see the Kitchen Aid because they think baking genius will be the result? Your comment made me smile. I remember when we got married, Nick thought that every meal that I made was heavenly.

He's had them all at least a hundred times, now :)

Marian, I'm sorry to hear you were feeling bad. I hope this passes soon! I know how happy you have been lately, and it is nice to see/hear you in good spirits.

I had such a nice breakfast at the local breakfast spot this morning. A man came in wearing a hat that I recognized from the Navy and we spent a few minutes exchanging sea stories. I went away thinking that I liked being a member of this exclusive club :) He shouted, "see you, Sailor!" when we left the restaurant.

Nick and I had just watched a show on building a destroyer that took place in Bath, ME. It put me in the mood for this morning's encounter :)

We've got more burning to do today. Jake's out with his dad shopping for a refurbished bike at the bike shop. He is really ready for an upgrade. I'm so proud - he joined the swim team at school. He enjoys swimming alot, but had sort of given it up until a friend goaded him into joining with him....that's what friends are for!

I'd like to see Woody's work, too.

Chelone, did Pepe and Willie's owner have a garden we could visit?

I saw pictures of the San Fran flower show and it looks awesome! I hope we'll get a full report from Kathy and Denise.



    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ted and Doobie are so lazy they can be 5 feet away from the bird feeder, birds hoping about at ground level, and they could care less. Doobies name is apt, as he acts as though he just smoked a couple and wants to kick back and listen to some music. Denise will be at Lotusland today, I will be at garden show --our ships are not on the same course !

Required gulps of coffee are consumed , next stop the shower, sandwich is made and packed , and I'm off...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning

Still having computer troubles - the last post disappeared in a pouf @#$%^ The rouge spyware is enormously persistant.

Marian - do hope you can find something that works for your pain. Healing thoughts going out to you.

Did someone say blancmange? It is a popular dessert in England, excellent when well made but ghastly when poorly done. It was often served to us as part of our school lunches - you can guess which way that went.

Chelone - you would enjoy David's BF and our neighbor. She is a real tomboy and cleaning her room her least favourite activity. One day she had to clean up a particularly big mess and found a dead mouse in one of the piles on her bed LOL! She was rather proud.

Thursday night we all went to see a production of the musical Sweeny Todd and what fun it was. The leads were amazing, well supported by an excellent ensemble and clever stage set. There was just enough blood to add to the plot (as opposed to the movie which didn't know when to stop), but enough humour to balance the macarbre. The music of Sondheim is not always easy for young listeners but Annie, David and their two friends loved it and are still talking about it two days later.

Today David is playing in the All County Orchestra and I jsut returned from delivering him, his walker, his bass, stool, footstool, stand, music and concert clothes. At times I feel like a pack horse. They have rehearsals all morning, then the concert at 1.30PM which I'm looking forward to. David was really enjoying playing with a full orchestra (at school it is just strings) and did very well at auditions to get first chair of the basses. Plus, he told me how much he loves the chance to do things out of the house as everything else is so limited for him.

Between now and the concert I am determined to clean the kitchen properly.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Happy first Saturday of Spring!

That color is perfect, V.

Mary doesn't need any workout amendments for the time being, lucky her!

Chelone's haul brings back memories of a bridal shower, which I think everyone should have at least every decade or so. Good picks!

((Marian)) My sister got "hit" badly by fibro this week, too. Wonder if it's time changes, weather changes, etc. that mess with the receptors and muscles?

Eden: An Easter suggestion to add to your wonderful array! I have bunches of pretty, cheap ribbon cut up and the cul-de-sac kids will all come over to tie ribbons on branches with my direction. THEY think they're decorating for Easter and Spring, I KNOw that they'll be marking the branches that need to be pruned. Double Whammy! Is Jen slowing down at all?

Marie: I am jealous of your knitting ability and any baby will be glad to get those lovely things! A closet Martie secret: I always volunteer to get "group" baby gifts. It's so fun to think of those tiny things on something so fresh from heaven, without the work involved!!

Sue: Thinking of you and Nick and am a bit surprised that a new addition isn't already in the works? Big SPCA adoption even tomorrow.....

Julie: Isn't it fun to celebrate a holiday that means nothing other than just having a blast 'cause you have a certain gene?

Know there's lots else, but am getting antihistemine(sp?) groggy. 'Tis that season :-( All zinnias here will be direct sown so no progress to report, other than the pile of "Z" packets continues to grow.

Gotta love south lawn gardens! Especially like the local school kids will be involved with care.

Out to bundle up on the chaise and soak up some Vit D.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Like Mary, today I am proud of my son and his struggles. Still plugging away at working to help OLPC stay afloat, he is in DC to speak with a successful "community builder", trying to gain wisdom for his volunteer support group which is divided at the moment.

These are the questions he asked:
1) Why really, did you decide to join the Peace Corps?
2) Why did you go to Nigeria?
3) What distinguished your strongest success there?
4) What marked your strongest failure there?
5) Do you keep up with Peace Corps friends, US or Nigerian?
6) How can large social movements hold themselves together, while
fully respecting all their individual voices?
7) If you believe in a cause, in your heart, how do you explain this?
8) If you cannot explain what's in your heart, is this easier or
harder than 40 years go?

DS will be speaking to "the biggest community group worldwide soon after lunchtime today." (He has visited the WH garden too.) He also adds that he "will be in NYC Sunday doing the same." The kid (37) just never gives up! He never eats or sleeps. :(

My hair is now trimmed. I have started the purple shampoo phase of my life, not wanting the grey hairs to turn yellow as they did for my grandmother. Le Sigh.

It is very cool out there today, so no gardening for me. Time to begin some sort of lunch and grocery planning. I'm broke, so I'll need a handout from my boss. :(

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was going to say good morning but seems it's already afternoon....where's the day going?

First off, Mary, you must be so proud of David. First chair in All County Orchestra! Good for him! I agree with him, playing with a full orchestra is so much fun. Jen has my piano at her house and Brad was asking me yesterday if I miss playing. I told him not as much as I miss playing my violin in an orchestra. I really wish I'd kept up with that!

Michelle, I wish I could keep my mixer on the counter. My upper cupboards are too low for it to fit under. I have to keep it on another little table and move it when I want to use it. I did show Brad the lift this morning and he said he could do it. I'm going to see if I can get sil, remember he's got the kitchen/bath design business, to order one for me and maybe save me a few $$$. I have plenty of cupboards so losing one won't be a problem. Good point on washing the spoons. Wonder why they always put them on a ring? I like your basket idea. You always impress me with your organization. Do you know where in MI your guest is from? Enjoy your time with him.

Woody, I didn't realize you had such an extensive container veg garden. Thanks for posting the pictures. When you feel like it and have time I'd love to hear how your class is going. Pictures included of course :)

Martie, the ribbons are a great idea. We're going to do an indoor Easter tree this week and I'll use them there for sure. Thanks! Feel better!

Saucy, Brad is still thrilled if I cook him dinner. He's not home at dinner time often. Maybe he'll get lucky tonight:) How great that Jake's joining the swim team. I have fond memories of high school swim meets. Back in my day, only boys allowed on the teams but we girls were the timers at the end of each lane with our stopwatches. Lots of fun. Bella's taking her first swimming lessons at our Health club this spring. They have a swim team there for children starting at age 6 that's coached by a local highschool swim team coach so our hope is for her to eventually end up on it.

PM, I would love some of the marigold seeds if you have extra. Thank you so much! I like Carly Simon and her ex James Taylor too!

Looking forward to seeing pictures from both Denise and Kathy. Lucky girls to be able to go on field trips today!

Back to my housework. We had a few flakes of snow this morning but they didn't stick. Happy about that :)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 12:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Martie I meant to address your question about Jen. This next week will be her last at work until the middle of July. She had hoped not to have to go back but the blasted economy isn't cooperating with that as we all know. She's feeling great though and staying really active. She had lost a pound a her Dr. visit last time and then gained one at her appt. a couple of days ago. She's mostly just a big belly at this point :) 23 more days to go. She's due the day after Easter. The nursery's finished but we're still waiting for the crib to come in. I'll get pictures once that happens. It's CUTE! Tiny clothes are ready to go and stuffed animals and toys fill the shelves. Thanks for asking.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA


Boy it is cold today. It was 26 degrees on our back porch this morning. I am amazed that the crocus that are already in flower look fine. Having spent the morning trying to shop for DD and DS's BDs, I am too pooped to pop anyway, so I am in. I had not been to the mall in a long time and was amazed at how many stores were empty and for a Saturday, there was hardly anyone shopping.

Michelle...the crocus I posted photos of are always the first thing to open in our garden. I have groups planted in other locations that are just barely showing green. Glad to know your DH has had improvement using the C-pap machine. I am keeping my fingers crossed it will work out for me, too.

Marian...Fibro flare...that's not nice. I hope you will quickly get back to feeling well again. You seemed to be doing so well for quite awhile.

Mary....One of my pet peeves are those computer spyware problems. I had them in the past and had to spend hours finding someone online to help me get rid of them. I just looked and I still have one link to one of the websites that I tried to get help from. I linked it below.

Marie...I am still interested in hearing what you are coming up with for recipes and meal ideas. I have found things that work for me, but then I get tired of eating them and need something new to try. Nice to hear news of DS. You are so lucky that he seems to have found something he is passionate about. Our oldest will be 41 this year. So enjoy hearing stories of Phoebe and I can hear in your 'voice' how much happiness she gives you. :-) I was cranking up the heat around here today, I thought of you in your gloves and sweater at the office. [g]

Glad some Idylls have happy plans for this weekend. Looking forward to more photos of garden show and many many baked goods.. :-)

Eden...I don't remember seeing whether you know the sex of Jen's baby or not? This is her first, right? Have they got a name chosen yet? Tomorrow I will send along an email re: marigold seeds. I will be happy for you to try them and see if we get anything interesting. Re: Carly Simon...I was looking on YouTube for a performance of that song yesterday and came across a video of an interview with their son, Ben Taylor, who was asked, 'what is it like to have Carly Simon as your Mom and James Taylor as your Dad?' I was fascinated. He has huge blue eyes and his comment about his Mom, was that 'she was just magical'. I thought what a nice thing for your kids to say about you.

2pm already, where did the day go?


Here is a link that might be useful: Tech Support Guy

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

PM, the baby is a girl. Her name is Kathaline Joan, named after Randy's grandma and my mom who both passed away last summer. We'll be calling her Kate. And she is their first baby.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 2:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Eden...Now I remember, I did read your post when you announced that. We had almost named our DD Kate, but I was persuaded by DH to agree to his choice instead. I do really love that name. I think she is lucky to have a name that will be so special to your family. I very much remember your Mom's passing, I didn't remember hearing about Randy's grandma. I remember your Mom was making something for the baby. I hope you will forgive me for forgetting. I always read your posts with much interest. It must have been my frequent breaks from posting that have addled my brain. [g] It's wonderful that your family will have such a happy time. You are overdo. ... Oh, now I remember thinking about how Bella was going to have little Kate to read to along with Bud. The photos of her reading to Bud gave me a big smile and have stayed with me, since last summer I guess. :-)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you PM, what sweet things to say. You're correct, my mom was planning on make a quilt for Kate but she passed away only a couple of weeks after Jen announced her pregnancy so she never had the chance. That was a hard thing for me at the shower, thinking about how much my mom would have put into it. She was just great at decorating for parties and would have made little Kate so many special one of a kind things. Kate will miss out by not having had the chance to know her Grandma Joan.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Eden...From everything you have shared about your Mom, it's easy to tell that she was a very good mother and grandmother and I am sure that she will not be forgotten. And just like Chelone was saying about the things that she sees in herself that are like her Dad, that is, to me, the most special way in which they stay with us. I would bet there is a lot of your Mom in you, Eden. It does amaze me though, how unique and irreplaceable each of us is.

Excuse me if I have said this before, but I never knew any of my grandparents and I have always felt a hole there. But it is amazing how you can feel a connection simply from hearing stories repeatedly about what that person was like. I only have one photo of my grandmother on my Mom's side and no photo of my grandfather, who my Mom was very fond of and it bothers me not to have a face to go with the stories. Yet my Mom's fondness for him has seeped into me and I have a fondness for him. So it can be for Kate. :-) You all must miss her very much.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 5:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Martie, was your sister's flare up pain? Mine was not unusual pain, but extreme weakness and dizziness. I felt really okay as long as I was laying down, but when I'd get up it was like all the strength ran out of me. My legs were like rubber, from the hips down, and my arms and shoulders and chest were affected also. It was differant than the usual flare ups. Hopefully my Dr can locate what the problem is/was. I am still better today, but am pretty much confined to indoors since it has been raining all day. It is the good soaking-in type of rain, and the spring growth is loving it.

It is good seeing Pm2 posting again. :-)

Re: microwave ovens. I use ours frequently to either cook a meal, or to heat up leftovers. Nolon reheats coffee in it all day until the pot runs out and I start a new one.
I saw tubs of Curley's Pulled Pork in the store awhile back, and bought one. I love it! We had it on buns yesterday for lunch, and again today. It is seasoned with barbecue sauce. I will try the pulled beef next, but think I will like the pork best. We are eating guite simple since Nolon has cut down so much on his noon meal. He still snacks all day.
BTW, we ate all of the 3 things that I baked the other day. I finished off the last of the Butter Pecan cake with icecream yesterday. It was awfully dried out, but still good. :-)

I just noticed my legs are feeling rather weak again. I may have overdone it outside yesterday. I helped some with the removing of the debris from Nolon's wood cutting of the damaged trees in the edge of the woods, and a few other chores in the yard. His wood piles are growing.

Nice to hear of all the remodeling and fixing up that many of you are doing. After reading of the cost of health insurance, and the fact that some of you, (maybe many of you), are paying that, hit me with the realization of how low on the totem pole we are financially compared to the average middle classed couple/family. We have hardly even grossed that much in a year! Our total income from SS, and all that we have to live on, is only a little more than that! Thank God for Medicare and the insurances we have through it. If those fizzle out we will really be in a bind! I do not dwell on that happening.....
Since we are not physically able to do much in the line of home inprovement due to our health and ages, you can see why we also cannot even think of hiring it done.

I am keeping up with the prospect of the new little ones. Very exciting to all who are awaiting them.

I am also keeping up with the signs of spring at everyone's homes. This too is very exciting. :-)
I bought a bag of potting soil and a couple of packets of seeds my last trip to town. Now I need more of both, espacially since Woody has reminded me that I want to plant some peas. :-). I didn't have any fresh ones to snack on last year. The seeds that I bought are Mixed Coleus and Heavenly Blue Morningglory. I plan on fixing a support on the deck to grow the morningglories on, since the deer eat them if they can reach them. :-(
I looked for Zinnias, but WalMart does not have what I want.

I have been spending a lot of time researching trees and Viburnums on line. My, there sure are a lot of species and varieties of Viburnums that I would like to have! Now I am back to looking up native plants ( trees, shrubs and flowers) of Arkansas. I am not up to getting out in the woods and searching, so I am doing it on line. It is not nearly as fun as finding what is on our own land. :-(


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

I'm in for a little break, its 5:30 here and still 70 degrees with sunshine and no wind. Can you tell I'm loving it. I raked a little and fussed around with the mulch around the front door area. Its just so good to get out.

Eden, our guest is from Grand Rapids. He is associated with Calvin Seminary. Jeremy was born the day after Easter 27 years ago, so his birthday will fall on Easter this year.

I'm feeling a little bummed that Kenzie won't be here for an egg hunt.

Saucy, DSIL and his family are in the resturant business so he does quite a lot of the cooking.

Later, I must enjoy what's left of the afternoon.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 6:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Michelle, Blow some of that warm weather this way please! I know of Calvin College, graduates from my kid's highschool sometimes go there. Will Kenzie be able to spend any time visiting at your place this summer? I can imagine how much you must miss her!

PM, thanks for the wise words. You're right. We can keep the memory of my mom alive for Bella and Kate through stories about her. I already do that will Bella without even realizing.

Marian, glad to hear you're feeling a bit better.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 6:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Marian, you have to remember the cost of living is so different from area to area. Massachusetts rivals California in my view, and both are sky high compared to the south :)

We had a good time burning brush and roasting peeps over the fire to make s'mores. I'll share pictures later....but look what's up - it's Green Envy Zinnias!
From March212009


    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 8:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Saucy, so you did make the Peeps S'mores? Were they good? I'm going to try them over my gas stove burner, lol. Your seedling is a thing of beauty!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 8:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A blustery evening here , and I am home from the garden show viewing my purchases with a glass of cheap chardonnay in hand. -quite conservative for the most part , and mostly lily bulbs and a few succulents. The good news of the day is that the garden show has been potentially bailed out with a buyer , and the word is the show will continue. The new venue this year was the San Mateo Expo Center , a bit to the south of SFO .Rather long in the tooth and substantially less square footage than the Cow Palace , so areas of the show were very crowded (notably the plant marketplace ) and the exhibitors were reduced in number. The display gardens were smaller too, but they were also slightly less over-the-top than usual. I wonder what next year will bring with the new ownership . About half of my pics are crapola because I turned off the flash with predictable results.

Hi Marian , glad you were able to visit a bit. Aside from the scariness of feeling dizzy, having to be still and lay down for an extended period would be so difficult- especially in spring !

Mary, I exposed my kids to Sondheim when they were very young I had a videotape of the broadway cast (Angela Lansbury ,Len Cariou)that I edited for content , and it was one of DSÂs faves to watch Âthinkin he was 7 or 8 at the time. DS and I always listen to Into the Woods on extended car trips ! Happy times with David playing with the orchestra ! You must be very proud of his positive attitude and willingness to put himself out there during this challenging time in his young life.

Martie, I hope things are going ok for you and DH Âthis must be an exciting spring for you at C. Park, after all the plant movings and installations  and the Zinnias are of course vital to your future success ! Have you shared with us the chosen varieties ?

PM , was it you that asked about Lady Banks fragrance ? There is none that I can detect. ThatÂs ok though , I have many many fragrant roses in my garden  LB was plated to provide shade to the west side of the house in summer and she has fulfilled that mission admirably. She is however way to big and I am required to hack away mercilessly at her every spring lest she eat the house.

Eden , I am concerned about your indoor peeps-roast Âmight this not create toxic fumes in the household ? IÂm sure the ingredients list on peeps is long and full of things that are unpronounceable. Make sure the area is well-ventilated !

Signing off for tonight

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, Marian, Saucy raises an excellent point about the cost of living in various places around the United States. Wages follow that or the population would gradually leave one place and head for another. Actually, that is happening in my state as young people move to areas where there is more variety in work and wages are commensurently higher. Mum's income from her retirement savings and her SS checks was not terribly high, either. The nursing hole certainly managed to drain her retirement savings effectively, and in not very much time, too!

As for the home improvement occuring here, much of it is accomplished by the your's truly and the helpmeet. For the most part, we've followed a "pay as you go" policy and for that I'm grateful. The number of people I know who've raped the equity in their homes over the past 10-12 yrs. to undertake palatial renovations to things that were really perfectly serviceable shocks me, but it is none of my business what they choose to do with their money. Now is the time for us to undertake projects as the lack of work in the building trades has made contractors more receptive to returning telephone calls and willing to work WITH us to effect the project. Before, they didn't really even want to speak with us because they wanted to do the entirety of the project themselves or none of it at all. Funny how quickly the shoe can be moved to the other foot and the homeowner returned to the driver's seat and calling the shots, isn't it?

With that in mind, I had a really great visit with my brother yesterday. He looks just like Dad and shares his sense of humor. We had breakfast at a diner and the waitress had his coffee in front of him before his hindquarters were on the stool. She asked if I was his wife, to which we howled and began calling each other "honey", "sweetheart", "dear" whenever she was nearby. :) He looked at the plans and we went over my "wish list", and the good news is that none of it is difficult to accomplish. The down side is that the sort of fixtures I would like are more specialized and will probably come from the "commercial/industrial" part of the plumbing supply catalogue and will be more expensive. Not wholly unfamiliar with the world of plumbing and the amazing variety of fixtures, I am not in the least bit surprised by that. And again, it underscores the necessity of a long view of the project and what I want to derive from it. Money spent on something carefully thought through that will make your life easier is very different from pissing it away on cheap crap that "looks pretty" but overlooks good function. My mission today is to research shower bases and countertops, take some pictures of the waste lines, and send them along to my brother.

Rex has a play date this afternoon and the mistress of his guests will be having dinner with us. The helpmeet says salad is going to be important as we have lettuce that needs to be consumed before it degrades into a sopping mess in the crisper, though I'd prefer braised cabbage. I have had a hankerin' for a ham (with horseradish!) and will make some scalloped potatoes, too. I plan to round out the offering with an orange cake frosted with chocolate buttercream; this will inaugurate the new mixer and the other baking tools (and will be a surprise). The helpmeet is going to help me level the stove before he leaves for work this morning.

Dry measure cups are off the little storage ring in this house, but the spoons remain yoked together. The galley is very small and I like it that way. Counterspace is at a premium and because of the size of the room so is all storage. I can see that I'm going to have to spend a good deal of quality time apportioning areas to things and using the area we have creatively. I really like the appliance lift you linked, Eden; that's my idea of clever!

Only one of my grandparents was alive when I was born. I have fond memories of Mum's mother, and have the rocking chair she had in the corner of the kitchen. I have a memory of sitting on her lap, while she rocked and read to me. She died when I was about 11. Her husband hanged himself in 1929 and no one ever spoke of him, in fact I never saw a picture of him until I was well into my 20s. It saddens me that there was so much anger and shame surrounding his death that everyone "circled the wagons" worked in concert to effectively erase any memory or trace of him. My late aunt was shocked when I expressed sympathy for his state of mind at the time of his death, funny how times and attitudes change about things like suicide, huh?

Saucy, your Zinnia looks pretty hopeful, standing tall all on its own. :)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 7:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So far it is a gloomy morning, just at the freezing mark. Saucy's photo is a delight, but I am surprised that for our first truly spring thread, we have no coloured photos! I'll search for one from last spring to correct this now...

Last night we enjoyed crepes with our friends. There were various syrups, fruits, apple butter, chocolate chips, whipped cream and so on to accompany them. On that happy note, it is time to go exercise!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 8:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kathy, many times I have come home to view my photographic efforts only to be disappointed. Alas, it is my lack of skills that prevent me from taking a picture of what my eye sees as beautiful!

I need a class....

I thought what I saw of the SF Flower show was gorgeous! Sometimes good things come in small packages....we'll hope this is true for the flower show :)

Eden, we found that peeps, because they're coated in sugar, will form a sort of creme brulee crust on the outside if put to the flame. Slow roasting produced a melted peep that smooshed well into the chocolate. Nick demonstrated for you: From March212009 From March212009

How's that for color, GB? Bright unedible blue? I still don't understand peeps :)

Chelone, have fun with your new toys! Your dinner sounds delicious....I'm crazy for ham :) and followed by cake no less....

Have a great day. I have it in my head to do some painting on leaf castings. I've been wanting to play around, and I woke up thinking today was the day.

I'll link the album if anyone's wanting to see more peep s'more making :)


    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 8:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Now that's a power breakfast I could really sink my teeth into! Mmmmm.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

No, blue sugar...not for me. Not part of the new diet! ;)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A full scale WALAT is not yet possible at The Park, as it is 50degF with a stiff breeze that freezes fingers quickly.

That said, Spring is trying hard, here, and there are a few reminders from Idylls past that caught my eye:

PM2's Digitalis

Having never had a rose that got to the pruning point of "dead or dying canes that have bloomed for several years", what do I take out of this mess?? LOL

My solution to flop all over Baptisia? Throw an enormous pot on top of the inner crown and let the plant grow up around it so it can be tied to said pot and said pot can have color in it long after the Baptisia blooms out.

For Kenzie, Woody, and all other purple and yellow lovers:

'bug always comments on this Japanese Maple and thought it would be fun to show you it's bare state:

Mish Mosh of cuttings, pity pile treasures, overwinters and early seedlings. This is what I wake up to every morning :-) Brother III made the box for me years ago and it's perfect to hold stuff since it's easily lined with tin foil:

Robins are back in full force, the local Creamery opened this weekend for compost and ice cream, kayakers are practicing for the annual race in our local river, and saw my first pansies at the grocery store this morning. It must really be Spring!!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 11:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Color on the way here 'bug, taken this morning !

Back later !

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 11:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's snowing outside, Eden. Just a little squall, but it's been very chilly for the past two days, in spite of the sun's warm rays. I'll be interested to see when we get our first mid-60's/70 degree day.

OK, preliminary report on the Kitchen Aid is very good. I'm a little clumsy handling it, but like the way it creams shortening and eggs and the way it beats frosting. I was not so thrilled with the stir function when adding dry ingredients alternately with the liquid but that may just be a technique thing. The cake is finished and I have the ham all set to go into the oven. The scalloped potatoes all ready to receive the milk and go in, too. And the galley is cleaned up.

Now I think I'll take Rex out and get some firewood for tonight, put the car in the barn, and by that time our guests may have arrived.

Hey Kathy, when I was buying wine I read that Napa Valley is known for nice Pinot Noirs. Could you recommend a vineyard that has wines you like? I was thinking as I looked at the bottles, "I know someone who lives in that area" and I figured I should support your fellow property taxpayers.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 4:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Wow! Tke a few days off and I feel like I've been away for a milion years!

I was dismayed this morning to find a coat of white over my recently raked and tidied lawn and would appear that winter is really not quite gone here in the frozen north...

But.... most of the three kinds of tomatoes that I seeded are up. The Peppers look great. Adrian's Four O'clocks have their first true leaves. The Allysum and the blue stuff (oh yeah, Lobelia) are sprouting away. 8 of the 13 Cannas are up. I still have some Giant Cactus Zinnias after the great damp-off crisis, and, although I looked for Green Envy and couldn't find any, the Polar Bear ones have germinated. Some blue pea variety which was supposed to take from 17 to 24 days to germinate showed sprouts in three days....I am impatient for Spring - tapping my foot as I look outside...

While searching for Zinnias I came across some mini orchids that looked sad - so I just had to bring them home...

Ajax had his grooming with Nana day = I trimmed his nails and gave him a bath. No earth-shattering activities but he is vey pleased with himself after all of the attention.

DS is diligently accumulating stuff for his apartment. It is a dismal dungeon as far as I can see - but he is thrilled. The golf course called him back part-time last week for a month - but upped the hours to 40 a week starting Monday - hey, good news for us all. DS is SO much happier when he is working...

I saw your post, Marian, concerning your recent health issues - I certainly hope things are looking up for you. I have a good friend who is also having a Fibro occasion (for lack of a better word,) just now. Do you think season change has a role to play? As for $ income, it doesn't matter how much you have, it all goes anyway. Somewhere. And life is never what you planned....we always joked about "Freedom 55 - no debts, no pets, no kids". Well, guess what????

Chelone, that looks like serious hardware! What a lift it must give you, to realize such dreams, if I can call it that. I'm anxious to see more of your home this summer! You have such good intuition about Rex. I try to remember a few of your ideas when dealing with Jaxi - size of dog shouldn't make much difference,although I note that many small-dog-owners consider them their babies who never grow up and treat them as such - to nobody's benefit, really.

Don't really know where I'm at with the rest of you! I love to read/hear of your every day lives. We all share many of the same joys and anxieties....I feel very connected to you all, and I noted this week that I have no faces, except for Marie's, to image with! Soon, I hope!

Cheers, to you all!


    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 4:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kathys Peeps are appalled by the activities of the Saucy family..!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 4:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL Kathy - I love it when Peeps season rolls around. Love your spring color too.

Martie - its neat to see a garden before it wakes up. The rose looks just like mine do. I'm far from a rose expert but I wait till the buds swell before trimming off the dead wood which is easily visible, or any branches that are too long and lanky. What a neat gift from your brother.

Chelone - your supper sounds delicious. Some pork is cooking here too - a slow roasted shoulder in a marinade consisting of an entire head of garlic, a little white wine vinegar, orregano, lemon juice and salt. It smells devine (if you love garlic, which we all do.)

I spent the afternoon in the garden cutting back more perennials and clearing. I also (somewhat imprudently?) moved a couple of early bloomers to try and group the spring flowers together rather than having them dotted around the garden. I'm not sure my rheum palmatum will like the move, but it was smothered by a fosythia bush in its current spot. This year I am fired with the idea of really thinking about design instead of the number of plants I can cram into a border. My head is spinning with ideas and any marginal perfomers will be ousted to make room for the new things I have under lights, or plants I love and do well.

I still have the Sunday laundry to run and kitchen floor to wash so I should finish my chores. Have a nice evening


    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 5:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

here is a slideshow of my pics from the garden show yesterday, I surely won't win any photo awards with these , lol ! Hopefully you get the idea --about half of the pis I took were awful--better luck next year.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 8:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kathy, you made me laugh so hard I am crying!

Marian, hope you feel better!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lots of clever stuff at the SF Garden Show!!! Those living walls are quite amazing.

knit knit knit knit....

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 9:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I managed to get out and pull up more Sweet Woodruff this afternoon, even though its been quite windy and cool all day- Im wimpy about gardening in the wind, Theres something just too annoying about your hair and other debris blowing into your mouth while you work. I have my four (or maybe 5) day weekend on the agenda starting Friday (or maybe Thursday) and the weather is supposed to be fabu-fabu ..thus the possible addition of another day. I bought 18 Lily bulbs(5 varieties) at the garden show and they will be planted during my time-off. Regale was nowhere to be found they do offer it from time to time at B&D in Washington , a sport of the species called Horn Of Plenty . Ill just keep checking back to see if its in production.

I also spent sometime today with my camera and took more spring floral pics which Ill probably get around to posting tomorrow.

Mary, I do hope we will be treated to a few pics of your garden progress this summer Im thinkin Marys Garden Photos have been in short supply around here.

Julie, well that is good news re: InterPhil and the work situation. What is this apartment that you refer to ? Somewhere other than Casa Julie ?

I can see it wont be long before Chelone Inc. is making both the dress and the cake !

Martie, hopefully the creamery serves the compost and ice cream separately

Drema, I must admit to giggling a bit while I was setting that pic up-fortunately no one else was home !

All for me this evening, time for dinner..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 12:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dinner was pretty good in spite of salad instead of braised cabbage (a favorite of mine). Our guest went home with enough for another meal. One of the things we love most about her is that she loves dessert. She was not shy about asking for a second piece of cake. :)

The oven thermometer was a good investment. The thermostat in the oven is erratic and knowing the actual temperature was helpful. The cake was moist and delicious, although the temperature spiked and was a bit too hot for the potatoes and the ham. I do not believe the helpmeet yet has any notion of just how serious I am about ending the run of the 24" Premier. I see it's time to begin researching stoves. And your help will be invaluable.
1.) We use gas to power the stove now and will continue to do so with the next unit.
2.) I do not care about stainless steel or fancy, chef-wannabe appliances. I don't care about self-cleaning ovens or a million "options" that eventually crap out anyway.

Kathy, the Peep gallery before your computer screen brought audible chuckles this morning. I have yet to taste my first Peep of the '09 Easter Season. For economy's sake I generally stock right up after they're marked down to 1/2 price. I prefer the classic yellow personally.

Todays's afternoon mission is to bring the remaining '08 tax stuff to the accountant and get that all underway. I am slightly irritated the helpmeet has not lifted a finger to do any of it, but not surprised. I don't believe this will ever change, but there is a certain comfort in that revelation. It's supposed to be chilly today, too, so I'm definitely not into the outside clean up thing. A forced march with the fleabag might be about all I'm able to muster the gumption to undertake. I can report a pool of pristine white crocus in the terrace garden as of yesterday. Narcissus are springing up reliably, too.

I received the names of the "big three" in commercial grade plumbing fixtures from my brother. My mission is to carefully scrutinize their on-line catalogues and report back so he may get prices on fixtures from his plumber buddy. He told me he explained to the plumber what I was interested in for the bathroom sink and the guy was intrigued since he's not encountered many women who eschew "frou-frou" in favor of something that would look more at home in an industrial laboratory or kitchen. We'll see what's available. I also have to figure out how to deal with the area under the counter, since that's where the catbox lives and will remain ("scoop poop when you poop" is my motto for maintaining a clean litter pan). I'm not quite sure how to spiff it up and how (or if) I want to hide it.

Would like to hear more about David's orchestra and what was played and something from Woody and her project.

Loved Martie's shots from Cornfield Park and her rose looks a lot better than my own "massacreed" New Dawn. I love the gift from DB, it that the one in the hospital or another? the pruning idea is great, too.

Has Drema taken pictures of the painting? enquiring minds want to know.

Loved the pictures from Saucy's with the gang of youth hanging around the fire and no doubt discussing the merits of the new bike. Very cool. They look like they're having so much fun, really made me smile.

OK, time to leave this pestilential domicile in favor of the uncontrolled clutter and filth of the shop. Later, kiddy-os!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 5:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

GOod morning

Chelone - glad your dinner was well recieved. I too am a huge fan of cabbage in all its incarnations - soup, braised, coleslaw, stuffed.

At David's concert they played:
Overture form the Magic Flute - Mozart
Fantasy on Sleepers Wake - Bach
Slavonic Dave 3 - Dvorak
Finale from Symphony No 2 - Tchaikovsky.

The kids did a wonderful job and I found it hard to remember they were still in the elementary division. Many of the players like David have only been learning their orchestral intruments a year or two. What was really wonderful was seeing over 400 children (there was a choir and windband too) getting so much enjoyment from music. That's what it's really all about.

Kathy - I'll try and provide more garden pics this summer. My photography skills are rather lacking and I'm rarely feel I've captured anything close to the way things look. You'd think with a photographer husband photos would abound but I guess it's a case of the shoemaker's children having no shoes.

While we respect each other's expertise and get on very well together, when DH tries to "teach" me something the dynamics change. For example, when DH had his studio and darkroom he would often say things like "don't touch that, those are chemicals". I would remind him I have a degree in chemistry and probably knew more about a solution's molecular structure and properties than he did but he still felt the need to remind me. I suppose we all have our quirks. As you can imagine, my golfing career with DH as instructor was very short lived.

Time to see David off (he has a special bus that comes for him and lifts the wheelchair), and make my way to work.

Happy Monday everyone


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 6:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL, Kathy. They actually have an ice cream flavor called "Compost" that has chocolate ice cream with coconut, chopped walnuts and chopped cherries. "Cow Pie" is even better, though :-)

Box made by youngest brother who lives with my parents and has untreated mental illness but sometimes comes out of the shadows and is a remarkable person. Enough about THAT situation:-)

No peeps, here. To my taste they are addicting and the resulting sugar high usually ends in a huge crash and burn. Now that Mary has encouragement, am looking forward.....

Good for David! Good for Mary to be able to sit and soak up some music!

Zinnia list will come when I get all the packs in one place for inventory. They just keep managing to land here!?!

Happy Monday, everyone!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 7:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

My last assignment is due Friday and I'm scrambling here... Hopefully I'll have more time next week to be able to comment (and post some pictures of the assignment.)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 7:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good to hear that Chelone and her brother are enjoying working on the project together. I wish I could say that DH and i had a project on the go. Perhaps it is more like staying afloat here. My central vacuum is a disaster and I hate using it. The previous owners installed it and there are just too many bends and curves in the tubes to have it make sense in an old farmhouse. But a regular old upright does not get in corners etc... I have asked since last YEAR for DH to help me decide what to do, but he always has a different priority. Grrrr. There are other things that discourage too, so basically I do nothing in terms of housework.

Yesterday I bought some clear plastic containers to try to organize the balls of yarn that collect in my cupboards. It is nice to make a dent in tidying up...and also in throwing away!

The poppies in the Napa Valley are so cheerful! Wouldn't that be a treat here. Later I'll have some orange ones.

In terms of ovens, I do like the self cleaning. But anything else is just fluff for me. Especially the clock which is the first thing to go. Do you know how annoying it is to have a clock with the wrong time set on it? We finally put black electric tape over that! We do not have gas at our property. Who knows if and when it will reach us...(not to mention high speed internet!) I have two ovens and really do use them rather often at the same time, mostly when entertaining family and others. A friend has just bought a new stove top which has a name which I've forgotten, but which heats very quickly, faster than gas, but maintains a cold cooking surface. You need metal pots for it to work. She's thrilled with it, though I'm not sure why since her husband does the cooking!

Taxes: what a terrible topic! Ours are complex, always! It is a pain to be dual citizens, let me tell you! Add on book royalties, home office, multiple incomes, a business that is being closed down over the past 5 or so years...and more...and that is why we have a woman help us. This year we expect a grandbaby in the midst of it all, but first come final exams (which need to be written) and later grading. I wonder if DH will even manage the trip out west.

There's a HUGE robin on top of the crabapple as I type. This morning a murder of crows woke us.

OK, cats are fed but not ME!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

LOL Kathy! That's a good one.

Yes, Chelone, it is good to see kids standing around a fire having fun. Nick always calls me Mean Jean and says I'm too hard on the neighborhood kids, but they still come back, and at least they know what to expect from me....they're always available for neighborhood clean up day!

I've never heard the term murder of crows, but how appropriate it seems! All the red winged black birds have returned here, but not a sign of a robin yet. The earth is still frozen, so there is not much for the robin to do here, yet!

My neighbor and I have been sitting together and planning her gardens. We'll get together and burn this week. She is feeling good after last year's shoulder surgery. I am happy for her. I think that this could be HER year!

I've got to dive into the IN runneth over. TTYL!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

LOL, Kathy -- those horrified peeps.... and your gorgeous flower photos.. The poppy and muscari combo is yummy.

Can see Spring is definitely springing -- it's been a chilly one here and disappoints in that way, but I forced myself out in it both days of the weekend; and my DSIL showed up yesterday and we replaced the arbors -- yeah. So at least one major thing was accomplished altho we pretty well tamped down a lot of bulbs and soft garden dirt in the meantime. Unfortunately, we werent apply to reinforce w/rebar or anything because of the way the bases were shaped; so I'll be crossing my fingers about how they stay upright. Cross that bridge if it happens and the leaning starts...

I did manage to try to transplant the Sambucus Black Lace that was so overgrowing its spot -- boy, what taproots those things develop when they're happy. It was only 2 years in the ground but incredibly long and several huge taproots develped; I totally massacred it and it will be a miracle if it survives - but I replanted it just in case and we'll see how much of a weed life it really has. So I got a lot of shares of aches and pains out of the weekend....

Will look at some of the links at lunch I hope today.

O, p.s., -- Julie - that's wonderful about your DS re job and apt -- he will feel so much happier and it will help him so much to have even his very own "dismal" apt and the joy of being able to pay for it.

Thinking of V in nice warm summy locale -- .


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No murder of crows here but yesterday I snapped this photo of a clowder of cats. No idea why they all chose to pile up in that corner, I've rarely seen all of them together in one place like that.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Warm and rainy this morning. I really like the "warm" part. Things will really get going with that combination.

We enjoyed our overnight guest very much. He was interesting and funny.

I have a convection self cleaning smooth top stove that Ive had for around 6 or 7 years. Im happy with it and it works well for what I do. I do believe bugs friend has gotten an induction cooktop.

Kathy and Saucy, thanks for the peeps laugh.

Kathy, I really enjoyed the garden show pictures.

Sorry Martie, but compost ice cream just doesnt appeal to me. LOL

Mary, I would love to see more pictures of your garden.

Its so nice to see spring arriving in the Idyll gardens.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Afternoon all! No internet at my house today so I am at the library, where, of course, our use of the internet is timed. I have 10 minutes....

Cracked up about the peeps. Just like BM's, I have never had one. So if there are any left over, bring to the Idyllunion!

Yes! Yes! Yes! Ds's dismal dungeon is not at my house! He has found a crummy little basement apartment for cheap, a mile closer to work, with everything included in the rent, cheap partially because it is in the basement, and partially because there is no parking, and partially because it was a huge mess from the last young batchelor tenant. It is now clean, minor repairs will take place this week, and he's off. A mile closer to the golf course, and overlooking a lovely part of the Rideau Canal System (a world heritage site) with a large garden in the shape of flags, sponsored by Parks Canada and the Perth Hort. Society. Guess who is responsible for Community projects for the PHS? Yup. I get to garden my son's backyard!

Nice to see Spring gardens. The poppies are eye popping, Kathy! and Martie, your garden looks like mine right now - but there are hints of beauty to come! What do you think? Could I keep a Japanese Maple alive indoors? I think I asked this once before...

Mary, the music concert sounds wonderful! 400 kids enjoying music! What a treat. And so good that David has something so important in his life - these moments will last his whole life through...

I too have the glass top self cleaning appliance in my kitchen. Means that there are a couple less JJobs requiring my attention....Chelone, I too kind of like a more Spartan approach to decorating to an extent. DH has the litter routine - same philosophy as you *LOL* one has mentioned JJobs for a while....mine today was to excavate the kitchen basket. It catches all the debris from family life - odd cards, mail, junk, paper clips, old seed packets, tax information - Yikes - and unfortunately this morning I found an old lunch with JrPhil's name on it from before March break....
still trying to shred for 15 minutes a day and work for 15 minutes in our junk-laden storage room. I get sidetracked there, as my plant lights are there....

Someone posted a while ago that her SO helped her work all day in cleaning the basement. Can I borrow him????

I was dismayed to find a crisp while coat of precip on the lawn and gardens yesterday, and the weather is just plain bitter today...

Oh, O.K. my 10 minutes is up and a young person is fidgeting behind me waiting for his time. Tomorrow....

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 2:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Eden - what a lovely photo. It makes me want to run out and adopt a cat, or six. But as I barely keep up with the hair from one Brittany Spaniel I should wait until I'm willing to devote more time to vacuuming. Clousseau, by the way, has become David's night-time companion and curls up on the bed next to him. When I check on them in the night David usually has his hand out stretched, holding Clousseau's paw.

GB - I've seen those central vacuums and often wondered if they work. But what I'm really interested in is the little robot vacuum you leave to do your house while you are gone.

Julie - more good news of DS's apartment. TCS will not be moving will he? I'm afraid my Julie jobs flew out of the window with the hint of Spring weather. Perhpas the Idylls will inspire me to tackle some more before spring really hits.

I lucked out yesterday on the huge pile of leaves and debris I dragged to the curb - our town began the green pick-up today and our street must have been one of the first. It is very satisfying to think of it all rotting down in the town's compost heap while I have a clear view to my gardens.

On the subject of ovens I have a 10 year old basic electric model (Kenmore) that has a cycle clean which does a wonderful job. It has served me very well. It also has a smooth ceramic hob and although I prefer gas for actual cooking it is a dream to keep clean. I cook constantly and messily and anything that makes clean-up easier is a worthwhile investment for this household (or should I say for me, as I am the chief bottle-washer).

I am constantly amazed at the number of women I've met who insist on top of the line or professional ovens but who admit to never cooking. I am also surprised to hear people agree that a kitchen should be redone every 10 years or it looks dated. I suppose we all have different priorities.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The dynamics of our relationship change as well when the helpmeet dons the "teacher hat" and assumes that distinctive professorial tone, Mary. ;) There are certain things that ought not be attempted between man and wife, methinks. I would have to say that sailing is one. I was so tired of not understanding "the object of the game" and being barked at for sluggish responses I simply refused to step over the gunwale for the better part of 5 yrs.. I took some sailing lessons and found it was really a very pleasant and relaxing activity and quickly realized that the boat was very poorly set up with respect to winches and reefing points. Now it is more comfortably appointed and I still "pick my days", avoiding really gusty ones as I particularly loathe "dipping the rail" and the resultant white knuckles. I have a succinct two word phrase for him when he gets "that" tone in his voice (not "back off"). Indeed, we have a relationship based entirely on mutual respect and fiercely defended boundries. ;)

It's really cold today! not above freezing and a biting wind to boot. I have started the stove and am looking forward to its cozy warmth. There was no walkie for the fleabag but Daddy was home today so there was no lack of treats and attention. I was charmed by Clousseau and David facing adversity and discomfort as a team. That's why we feed 'em, I s'pose.

All tax materials (that have thusfar arrived) are in the possession of the accountant. I have to verify a few details but it should be wrapped up pretty quickly, our taxes are not that complicated. Should there be a payment (doubtful) it shouldn't be too large. I hope!

I hardly think you fit the "Mean Jean" mould, Saucy! In fact, I'd hazard a bet that you're a pretty fun Mom, not overly concerned with minutiae and emphasizing safety, respect, and having fun. I remember some mothers who were so wrapped up in "being clean" or busy with some strictly supervised activity that we avoided their homes like the plague. We had way more fun at my house where you could actually set up the poster paints (or some other craft) on the dining room table or play records really LOUD and do some dancing. The pictures of the young uns reminded me of those days.

BIL has central vac. in his home. It is beautifully set up and works flawlessly but he built the house and the system is not a retrofit. I would love to have a vacuum cleaner that didn't rival a Volkswagon in weight and has a really nice floor brush. I hate the Kirby we own but can't justify replacing it.

Fabulous news on the liberation of InterPhil, Julie! or is that your liberation? And I'll bet getting back to work is going to make a big difference in his general attitude. There's nothing like working to banish feelings of uselessness and the accompanying sour outlook. I'm still watching the snow retreat and surveying the vole damage. And working up my courage to burn off the grasses.

I meant to comment to Denise that I chuckled at her description of me striding through the tall grass with scythe in hand. I confess I rather like the image of myself as a sort of Grim Reaper... suits me, don't you think? :)

Precisely how many felines are involved in that pile-up, Eden? I counted 6, I think (great picture!). Our's never "co-sleep", in fact, they have a sort of DMZ that is inviolate unless they deign to play with each other. Play is generally restriced to very stormy or very cold days when going over the threshold is out of the question.

Go Woody! you're going to ace the course, I just know it.

I am dawdling on my bathroom fixture research but am sending good thoughts to every one of you.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 6:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Spring Color
ring color

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 8:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Did you try forcing any of the quince?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Eden, Love the kitty pile up.

Kathy, the horrified peeps are a hoot. I really enjoyed your poppies and the garden show pictures too.

Martie, Nice box your brother made. Looks like things will be popping out of the ground there , soon. It was windy here today too, but warm enough to weed some of those darn cool season weeds.

Mary , I'm looking forward to seeing more of your garden too. I imagine working on other peoples gardens has given you a new perspective on your own.

Cindy, happy to hear you were able to get the new trellis (arbors?) up. Pictures coming soon I hope.

Saucy, I love gathering around outdoor fires. I hope lots of cleanup was accomplished. Did you get to paint the leaves?

Julie, bummer your internet is out. Hooray for Inter Phils independence. Hope it makes things a little more enjoyable for all. Sounds like your seedlings are doing great. I think most of mine will get direct sowed.

Michelle, nice that you are getting some decent weather. Have you had the paint and clean day at your parents house yet?

Hi Chelone and Marian(hope you are feeling better Marian)
And everyone else.

I'm pretty achy tonite so think I'll take a couple ibuprofin and hit the sack. Norma

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Monday greetings to all, I did my ten minutes of weeding- the dandelions are in ascendancy. Weeding will be prominently featured in my upcoming 4.5 day weekend. We had frost last night, the wind machines were blowing in the vineyards when I got up this morning. I had moved the tender stuff inside so all was well here.

Eden, I always forget about your plethora of felines , but when I am reminded I always ponder the logistics- the lap thing . I only have two but they are always competing for lap time, trying to stare each other into abandoning the quest. At least yours all seem to like each other ! I enjoy how cats select certain spots to hang out in.

Chelone, I have a Kenmore gas range, nothing fancy , bought new in 2002 I think. I dont remember how much it cost , about 700 bucks sticks in my head. It has all the features I require, self-cleaning, a timer, a warming drawer , and a broiler. Kenmore is a Sears private label , and the stove is probably manufactured by Whirlpool , GE or the like for Sears. I think the only advantage with an upgraded unit would be the better evenness and accuracy in oven temperature. I always set mine 5 degrees lower that the recipe suggests.

Hi Norma !

I have some spring action here too- From Garden 2009

Rozanne From Garden 2009 From Garden 2009

Scilla From Garden 2009

Peace Out ! From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chelone, I did force a branch of the Quince. I was amazed though because the flowers stayed a pastel color instead of the bright red.

Kathy , did you just get the peace sign at the show? I saw several things in the pictures I would like. I've always wanted to do the sphere thing with the barrel rings.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I did indeed Norma, from a company called Rustiques out of Eureka on the North Coast of California , I buy something from them every year-it was only 5 bucks . I'll have to do a photo tour of my rusty-sick things..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 10:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good evening...

Enjoyed all the spring photos. Love that peace sign, Kathy. On my way to bed, celebrating DS and DD Birthdays this week so will get back later in the week, I hope. Have a good week!


    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 10:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I hope we get to see some birthday pictures PM!

I'm quite stressed this week...but kept myself busy with knitting, washed the car, bought gas, picked up some groceries and dog cookies, exercised, made salad and sweet potato fries for dinner, etc. DH used the BBQ for the first time this year..made a steak for himself.

Tomorrow night is my photo class on taking portraits. One evening only, but I know the instructor. We both love clematis...

I saw some fantastic yarn I want to buy...It costs a fortune, but I still want it. Maybe I'll rethink this on the weekend. I'd love to make something for myself with it...

In the meantime, I'm making another baby outfit in red, one of DD's favourite colours.

The garden grasses need cutting back, but it hasn't been warm enough for me to work out there. I'm waiting for Mary's photos to inspire me.

Good luck Woody! Hope the course goes smoothly.

Julie, that's the pits about your computer woes once again...but news of the basement apartment sounds good. I hope this will be a good maturing experience! I hope to hear "greenhouse" news coming from your direction soon! (Mother's Day isn't far off, right?)

To Bed!!!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I believe I've zeroed in on the retrofit shower base, after looking at rather a lot of them. If I go with the one I've got my eye on I can order the new countertop to match it. I like the aggrigate "colors", but am unwilling to fork over more pork for that. I think white will be just fine, thank you. That way it will match the commode and the bidet. And selecting tile will be a no-brainer. When in doubt, "Keep it simple, stupid". I ran out of gas looking at shower head fixtures last night, and was not successful looking at vanity bowls... not what I want, at all! Clearly, there will be more exploration of the recommended sites in my future. I would like to have the selection accomplished by the end of this coming weekend, but fear that may be too optimistic.

I love the Peace sign, Kathy; how can you go wrong with the sentiment and the $5 pricetag? I can't remember who commented on the yellow poppies and the Muscari, but that was a lovely picture. Right now it's hard to imagine color will return to the area around this house, but it will. Our refrigerator is a Kenmore and it runs nicely, I hate the textured surface though. It manages to store any grime on your fingers in the recesses of finish... I gave up trying to keep it clean years ago. I now regard it as the immune system booster. :)

More cold today and an equally unappealing project at work. There were dead insects (the kind with lots of legs) and egg cases inside the covers and I instantly thought Eden and Michelle would be grossed right out. The glamorous field of yacht interior refurbishing is not for the faint of heart. Or weenies. ;)

Looking forward to the next knitting project's premier, 'bug. Sorry to hear your day was stressful. Kick the dog, willya?

Off to chaos-land now. Ta-ta!

Where is Deanne?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 5:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Since I am up early waiting for the day to get going, I thought I would make a few more comments. ...

I am worrying a little bit about you Marian. I didn't like the sound of dizziness and weakness. I didn't think those were typical Fibromyalgia symptoms. I hope you are getting an appt to see your Doc. I also am a Viburnum fan. I have six of them but wish I had room for more. There are so many great cultivars.

Saucy and Kathy certainly provided some 'Peep' fun. lol I am a peep fan usually but I don't feel the urge so far this year. Where are Mary's Peep shows?

G'bug...I was so happy to hear about what is up with DS and how old he is. Did I dream up that I already posted that and that our oldest is 41? I say you should go for it with the yarn you want. :-)

Chelone...happy to hear of your visit with DB. Is he older? Did you say he is an engineer or contractor? ... So lucky to have your Grandmother's rocking chair. I have nothing from any grandparent, that they touched or wrote or made. My Mom was the baby in the family and moved away from home and I think her older sister ended up with everything from their parents. I find it so odd that none of it was shared with my Mom. I wish I had thought to ask her more about that. I don't know much about my Dad's family which is another mystery ... Sorry to hear about your grandfather's suicide. It sounds like you have a healthy outlook about it.

Martie...glad you have digitalis coming back, that's great! Look forward to blooming photos. :-) I see I have a few coming back in the garden too.

Cindy...thanks for the warning on the Sambucus Black Lace. I have Black Beauty that has to be moved soon. It has only been in it's location a year, so I hope it is not too bad.

Oh my Eden....your clowder of cats! lol They keep each other warm I guess.

Julie...very happy for you that DS has made the move and is working. That has to be the best news you've had all year.

Our taxes have been done for about a month. DH does them every year. He used to do them by hand but now he uses Turbo Tax and loves it.

I forget the brand of our stove. It was replaced when we did the kitchen over about 15 years ago. It is an electric self clean. Not my favorite stove. We take apart the burners when the stove gets cleaned and they start to disintegrate pretty easily. $25. a piece to replace them, so I would rather buy a new stove. I would love a gas stove to cook on and something professional and larger because it gets a lot of use at our house, but I'm not thinking it is going to be replaced any time soon, as long as it keeps working. I inherited a fear of gas in the house from my parents, so I don't think I am ever going to have a gas stove.

Norma...what a bright colorful sight that Quince is!

So Kathy...what are those pretty red and white flowers in your first photo? And the photo just above the scilla?

DS is arriving tomorrow with the dog, Noodles. This will be the first time the dog is here without snow on the ground, so some training to keep her out of the flower beds will be in order. Any tips on how to do that? I will try to get a few photos that are post-able G'bug, but my group is a little photo shy. DD is taking DS out on a shopping trip and both boys out to lunch in the city, while we baby sit the dog, who cries the whole time DS is gone. Last time I tried giving her bits of turkey everytime she stopped crying, but she is so anxious when he is gone. .... I started some seeds finally and cut back one rose that has to move this spring. It had already been putting out growth. I thought that was a little early. I am wondering if I should be hurrying to cut the rest back, but they will have to wait until next weekend.

Okay....I think I touched on everything I had a thought on. [g] Again...have a great week everyone! :-)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 6:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning

Yes, where is Deanne?

Marian - hope you are feeling better too.

Norma - the quince is simply stunning. This year I am totally drawn to the most vibrant colors and that fits the bill exactly. How is your guitar going?

For no particular reason except it appeals to me from an artist whose work I love.

Modest Pear:

Have a great day


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 7:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oops - I forgot to mention how great it is to see more of Kathy's color. "Peace" is way cool! I really like the Cerinthe which I've never had huge luck with but I adore the flowers. One year I visited Christopher Lloyds amazing garden at Great Dixter and he had Cerinthe in bloom everywhere. It was stunning.

Saucy - neat to see the gang at your house too. Having a supervised fire is a huge draw here. One play date I had David and friend cook sausages on sticks over one for supper and years later they still talk about it. Simple pleasures, especially those outdoors, are often the best. Happy cycling to Jake. We've fitted David's bike on an exercise stand indoors and he's enjoying pedalling again.


PS - this year I'm trying Tigrida in pots - has anyone had any luck?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 7:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cute Pear picture, Mary. I have two of those Quince and they are really showing off this year as are the daffs. One of those rare years when they haven't been beat down by rain or a freeze. We are supposed to get heavy storms this evening so That may do them in.
I kind of have to let the guitar take a back seat when I have lots of weeding to do. The arthritis in my fingers won't let me do both. But I do love playing. I always like to hear about Davids playing. I would love to hear him play. Annie too.

It is so windy today , I may opt for starting some seeds and new coleus cuttings.

Bug go for the yarn, and make yourself something.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sneaky Awfice post..

PM , those flowers in pic one are Freesias , at peak bloom right now , and the little blue flower is Geranium 'Rozanne" in my humble opinion vastly superior to 'Johnsons Blue' .

Mary, Cerinthe reseeds copiously here, is impervious to frost, and has to be monitored carefully so as not to take over.I only had to plant it once.

Later !
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary, I think the pear photo is wonderful...and that Chelone should hang a copy in her new bathroom!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

For those of you considering wall colour...

And some times I think my dogs are actually part cat. Here is Phoebe listening to me this morning...


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hello everyone, I'm back from a wonderful but too-short trip. I've haven't unpacked nor downloaded photos yet, but I thought I would catch up on idylling. I think the highlight was Kathy's horrified Peeps. And just where are those Peeps now, Kathy?

And I had to really chuckle at Cindy's thoughts of me in a warmer place yesterday, as Monday was quite cool and blustery in Santa Fe. Fortunately, we had paid attention to the weather forecasts, and arranged our activities accordingly. I have to say overall that all the Santa Feans we encountered were very friendly and helpful, and we got many good recommendations of places to go. Our waiter at breakfast Monday morning recommended the happy hour at the Rio Chama Steakhouse bar. We actually stopped much earlier in the day and chatted with the bartender, Orlando. The guys had noticed a door marked "The Humidor" and asked about it. It turns out that New Mexico allows smoking in only two indoor places and this was one of the two. He sent us over to check it out. There are two rooms, with the second room being slightly nicer than the first. That room is furnished with nice leather couches and chairs, and nice-size flat screen TV. Both rooms had killer ventilation systems, so there was only a mild cigar scent hanging in the air, not the overpowering stench you would expect. The bartender told us that the governor often would smoke cigars in there.

We decided to stop back for their happy hour and enjoy some of the bar food that Orlando recommended. We had a platter of yummy mini-burgers, a platter of lobster nachos that I had to pass on because of the guacamole, and a great cheese fondue with bread and apples. Once we were fortified, the guys decided that they had to try a cigar in The Humidor, and the women decided to go along to keep them in line (hah!). The waitress said she would take us over there, and someone asked if it was true that the governor visited there. "Yes - he's in there right now. That's why I have to bring you in."

We had to wait outside for a minute while she got the all-clear from security, and then we entered. Sure enough, Bill Richardson was sitting with a few other people in the second room. There were two or three nice young men sporting wires out of their ears who discreetly moved in and out of our room occasionally, just keeping a judicious eye on things. One of them sat with us for several minutes and talked about his job, which he really enjoys. While we were chatting, the "voices in his head" told him it was time to go, and Richardson and the security detail quietly departed. The others in the group stayed behind. About fifteen minutes later, one of them invited our group back to the second room, "to see why the governor had to leave." There on the TV was Richardson, being interviewed live on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC. The interview centered on a bill he had just signed abolishing the death penalty in New Mexico.

After the interview finished, the staffers chatted with us for several minutes. They had heard we were from Illinois, so we talked a bit about ex-Governor Ryan's death penalty actions a few years ago. The staffers introduced themselves as Richardson's chief of staff, deputy chief of staff and secretary of finance. Very friendly folks, and we did tell them we were having a great time in their state.

So that was our "brush with fame" story. When I get the photos done, I will post either a separate thread or a link. I've posted a link to the interview video below. Right now, I think I need to go unpack, get laundry going and think about dinner. No one will take my order this evening, and there will be no green chiles on my dinner.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The WALAT this evening was pensive in nature, pondering activites on the upcoming days-off. I surely want to make the best use of my time , and being indoors is not on the agenda. I had initially planned a financial day doing some banking activities but Springtime seems to derail that stuff pretty easily. I am trying to get in a position to take half of Thursday off as well, and Ill know tomorrow whether this is do-able. I also need to purchase a new market umbrella as mine fell over and broke in one of our few winter storms the employee discount will ease the pain of this substantially.

Excellent call bug, Marys pear photo and Chelones loo .. one spot of whimsy in the indstro- lav is called for ! And I giggled at both the painting cartoon and silly Phoebes ears. Im adding my voice to the chorus of get the yarn and of course take a pic for us !

V, I loved reading of your SW adventure , and your brush with fame..Which hotel did you stay in ? Did you make High Country Gardens ? and the Peeps are in fact in a ziplock bag, soon to be awfice décor and a experiment to determine whether Peeps or Twinkies have a longer shelf life.

Time for dinner (no Peeps involved)
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, one more...

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 10:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am proud to announce that there is art work in our bathroom! two contemporary collage still lifes involving pears, no less, done by a very dear friend of our's (still lives didn't sound quite right). Mary's modest pear would feel right at home. I did not work on the project last night, just didn't feel like it.

Once again it was COLD and very windy yesterday. I schlepped another load of wood in during the afternoon. And I fired the stove up, wondering aloud when the regular "burning season" would come to an end. It's hard to believe it's time to get the chainsaw out and the fire up the splitter to take care of the stuff that blew down over the winter. And a call to the tree guy is in order to clean up storm damage and remove a few very large and dangerous branches that threaten the BIL's garage. Looks like we'll have cordwood aplenty for the next 3-4 yrs..

'bug, get the fabulously expensive yarn and make yourself something beautiful! Mum always called buying yourself something really wonderful a "hyacinth for the soul", and often lovely little things would magically appear "for no good reason". Too often we get too wrapped up in finding the reason why we shouldn't. Austerity measures for the sake of saying you can get by makes for a joyless exisitence. I had to look twice to figure out which end was which on Phoebe!

PM, my brother is a building inspector and a fully licensed contractor. He is also a metalsmith of great skill (think very small, very intricate medical instrument prototypes), with a good deal of experience in automotive restoration (think classic cars). We share a delight in mastering new skills and using them efficiently and creatively. He loves cats, too.

V., I'm impressed to learn you entered The Humidor; did you actually take a couple of tokes of one of those hand-rolled numbers? lol. I have always admired Mr. Richardson and I hope the taint of scandel doesn't stick to him. He has a no-nonsense, practical approach to things that I admire, though without the panache of so many others I think his talent tends to be overlooked. I will have to go back and read the interview you linked when I have more time.

I have created a monster in the helpmeet, I fear. I am now "on the stick" for another dessert. This time I think a spice cake with mocha buttercream... and I've been toying with the idea of mocha tapioca, too (rolls off the tongue nicely, eh?). I did send a large section of the last cake home with our guest lest you think we've been on a dessert bender.

OK, off to work and already looking forward to coming home. Sigh. Lately, it has been the awfice for me... too much micro-management and nit-picking and not enough belly laughs or general silliness.

Have a good one, friends.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 5:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning

I am meeting with the head of HR this morning so have a little time to kill. I have a list of questions ready to go though I have a sinking feeling that I know the answers already.

V - sounds like a neat trip. I LOVE green chiles.

Kathy - I am off on Friday too but not Annie and David (different school districts) and I'm looking forward to spending a day in the garden doing exactly what I want. We can think of each other weeding away to our heart's content.

GB - hope you go for the wool:0) In the summer Mum and I splurged on a beautiful skein of hand dyed wool to make my rainbow socks. Mum told me what a pleasure it was to knit, and everytime I put them on they bring me joy.

I love finding ways to balance out purchasing something special. The week we went to the theatre I served lentils twice and had them for lunch another two days. It wasn't a real hardship as we all enjoy eating them, especially the little French ones, and my tasty lentil stew thinned down to make an excellent soup for the following days. Economies on the grocery front made for a fun splurge at the theatre. Now, to save enough to offset the thousands we'll need for healthcare I might be buying lentils by the sack:0(

Chelone - Mocha Tapioca - do you have a recipe to share?

We had a wood fire last night but temperatures are warming to the 40's today. I'm so ready to go out in a t-shirt and feel the warmth of the sun again.

Have a good day everyone


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No recipe to share on the Mocha Tapioca, Mary. I'm just gonna "go for it" with some baking chocolate and the dregs of our morning coffee. I'm a bit unsure how the acid in the coffee may affect the thickening process but I'll know in a little while and will report back when I have the results.

You seem to approach things very much the same way I do, Mary. I have always been pretty good at "finding" money by looking carefully at expenditures and being willing to ask myself again, "do I want this or do I need this?" and then, "how much do I want this?". I find that sort of inner dialogue keeps me on budget without making me feel like a drudge.

Good thoughts on the meeting with HR; so much to consider and so much to add worry to a demoralizing situation. I hope you have sunny skies on Friday and have a grand time in the garden. It will do you a world of good to stock up on vitamin D and smell dirt. :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jak1(4 Ontario Can)

So. This morning I looked at the clock and thought to myself "Well, 6:30, I have time to Idyll right now." Came down to the computer and saw early morning posts, browsed around, glanced at the computer time: 8:35. Nonono! School bus leaves at 8:40. Checked the clock, yup, 8:35. Got TCS up, fed, dressed and walked to school by 9:20. Day continued from there. I am now sitting here, dirty hair, kitchen not cleaned up, PHS meeting at 7 p.m., bunch of young folks coming for dinner....well, we'll have burgers on the barbecue, I'll wash my hair, and that will take care of my day!

Finished the basic clean-up of the garden today, as it is warm and sunny now with rain predicted for the next 5 days. Lots of stuff peeking out - but, much to my surprise, no sign of the garlic. It is usually very early. I hope I didn't lose it for some unforseen reason.

Mary and Kathy - I wish you both a good Friday in the garden - think of the rest of us - working, or whatever....I hope there is at least a little bit of good news for you, Mary, from HR.

A neighbour of mine passed away last night, not an unexpected death, but sad nonetheless, and I think I will somehow be involved in funeral stuff. I am organizing a group memorial from the neighbours - flowers or a donation or whatever, and that kind of organizing always takes a bit of time...and after a seemingly long winter, a bit of visiting over the fence so to speak.

No folks, TCS is staying put. Did I ever mention that we hired a super lawyer to represent us when TCS was born? As a result, it is right in the custody agreement that he remains with us. Our reasoning was the establishement of stability, at the very least. It has worked out well. It is good when the CAS (maybe called "Chilren's Protective Services in the States?) looks at you and says "You have WHO to represent you???".

Oh Eden, what a nice bunch of kitties. I love cats!

Marie, I got a kick out of the cartoons, but Phoebe's ears are the funniest! She looks like such a sweetie! Buy the wool.

Wow, V., what an interesting unexpected trip bonus!

Chelone, it sounds as if both you and DB are very accomplished people! No wonder you and the helpmeet (I love that expression) are so good at doing stuff - it must be in the genes!!

Going to sign off for now - wash hair, dishes, and think about how much my input is required at the Hort Soc. executive meeting tonight...

Cheers. Maybe tomorrow I'll read the clock right.

Yes, where are Deanne and Marian?

Cheers again, Julie

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is a spring rain falling here now. Not unpleasant at all. A few snow patches left still, but, hey, it is still March!

Yesterday I bought some place mats for a young friend's wedding shower. Things are constantly changing in ways I don't care for. You see, she, like many others, has a registry on line. In fact one for kitchen and bath supplies, another for china. But neither site offers illustrations of the items. Am I old fashioned in that I'd actually like to see what I buy? I'd like to select what I want to give! Well another friend who is hosting the event added that the future bride also wanted place mats and had no specific color scheme in mind as they will be renting an apartment in Toronto for another year or two. So I chose to buy some spring themed place mats and matching kitchen towels. Next I suppose will be a registry for the actual wedding gifts.... I really like her, so I don't mean to sound grouchy. I think I AM a fuddydud and am showing my age.

My photography class last night was a bit of a disappointment. I made sure to ask what I should bring along and was told to bring my camera. Well, my friend the teacher was very pleasant and informative...but we had NO hands on practice at all. I found that odd for a class on taking indoor portraits. Here we were, only 9 people, and I think we could have learned so much taking photos of each other under some expert guidance. Oh well...

Tonight is my first dinner prepared in a slow cooker. It's a Mexican creation, so the verdict should be soon! I hope I can take this EASY recipe to Sarah's and double the amount.

My friend's conclusion on this year's Canada Blooms show in Toronto is that it was a slide downhill. She even wonders if it will take place next year. Her event was very well received, except for one lady who assumed she had won the competition but in fact had not...and had brought an entourage to celebrate with her. One of life's embarrassing moments and poor Lynn had to handle the delicate moments!

I've been thinking about the Red River flooding and my friend in Fargo ND. The business of sandbagging is tedious, heavy and dirty. But it is wonderful to have people join together like this. It is headed for Manitoba now I believe.

Well DH just arrived home and I'd best go prepare a salad. I'm still cogitating the yarn scenario...but it might cut into Idyllunion finances. Hmmmm. Money is such a boring and time consuming subject. The store is only open on weekends.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 5:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The spice cake is frosted and under the dome. The layers are a little uneven and therefore the edges of the shorter one are a bit overdone. Note to self: pay more attention when putting the batter in the pans, dummy! I made mocha frosting for it, wonder if you have favorite frostings for spice cakes? I've left the mocha tapioca for tomorrow; I'm out of gas right now.

I am thankful there is no danger of flooding in my area. I can't imagine how frightening it must be to watch a river rise and rise and wonder if your home and all you've worked so hard for is going to be steeped in all manner of foulness. I also wonder why the hell people continue to build in areas that are so prone to flooding and storm surges!

Julie, that's not a nice way to wake up and face the world. Oversleeping always keeps me a bit anxious for the remainder of the day, isn't that silly? TCS is a very fortunate little boy to have the love, stability, and support you and DH obviously shower on him. I'm sure it isn't always easy or fun but one of the things about being a "grown up" is stepping up to the plate and doing the right thing when it's required. I know how that can be and how tough it can be sometimes. I'm sorry you've lost a friend, too; it sounds as though it was an illness that caused the death?

I'm tired of looking at sinks (on the computer and full of dishes!) and I'm going to toddle off to the boudoir to commune with some resident felines and read a bit.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 7:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good evening

Well, I'm very glad I set up the HR meeting as our discussion led us to an option I hadn't considered (face to face is so much more productive than emailing back and forth or playing phone tag.) There is the possibility of another job that would allow me to keep all my benefits, accrued sick time, retirement, plus full health insurance. I would no longer be with the same project but working with the health office in the city schools.

I need to keep my eye on the website and apply as soon as the position opens, then email the head of HR to let her know my application is in. It is far from a done deal, but having support from the top will be a big plus. I'm feeling so much more hopeful at this possibility and that something will work out I'm ready to burst into song. Perhaps our luck has changed:0) (Zippedy doo da, zippedy day......)

David has been somewhat on the fence about continuing in his role in the upcoming school play. He has a small solo and dance as the red knight in Alice in Wonderland. His chorus teacher very much hoped he would still do it, and said it would be fine to have him perform in a wheelchair if that is what it takes. Instead David is planning on using his walker and I am going to make a horse costume to go over it. It's the sort of fun, creative project I enjoy but I sure wish Babs or Chelone were closer to give me a hand.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Mary, I have my fingers crossed that the new position works out. You're over due!

Kathy, we stayed at the Inn of the Anasazi, just off the plaza. Never got to High Country Gardens as my traveling companions all preferred their agaves fermented. But we did an amazing hike at Tsankawi Prehistoric Site that involved climbing ladders, shaking knees (mine) and cliff dwellings. The scenery around Santa Fe is just amazing. I could move there in a minute, and was quite flattered when our breakfast waiter told me that I looked like I lived there.

Sunrise is hurting this evening. My best guess from the scene of the crime evidence is that she was on the loveseat today, and when she hopped down,she caught her leg on the small garbage can and pulled it. She's really favoring that leg right now. I'll have to see how she's doing tomorrow or if a trip to the vet is warranted.

I have some writing to do for my class so I need to run. But where is Deanne? I hope she has not been strangled by a coleus!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Tell Mystic that crime never pays, V.. I hope the veterinary clinic is not involved... going is a pain and paying can be even worse. Rex's wrecked drivetrain would have handily paid for the bathroom reno.. See why I hate dogs? Had a good chuckle over fermented agaves, though I have no idea what spirit the fermentation yields. I'm looking forward to the photo essay. Good girl with respect the sucking up required to tackle the ladder! I'll bet the cliff dwellings were very cool. It's always good to not look like a tourist, but even better when you don't act like one. ;) I'm certain you had to good sense to leave the black socks and sandals at home.

Mary, you are definitely due for a turnabout in the good fortune department. I'll be sending good thoughts to the cosmos for your delivery from this round of trial and tribulation. How are you going to fashion the horse costume? it sounds like a lot of fun and heaven knows I have the sewing artillery to handle the fabrication end of things. My latest project is the repair of two dog beds for "the wrecking crew", the helpmeet's name for a friend's pair of completely out of control, 3 yr. old Labs.. And there are 3 long-sleeved tee shirts that have need the sleeves shortened for some time now. (can you tell I'm chomping at the bit?)

This is "Friday" for me and I'm counting the hours, lol. It's been a week of repairs which I've actually found interesting. I've never understood why repairs are often shoved in the direction of more junior workers because I think they require the most technical ability and a greater understanding of the function required of the piece to be mended. You cannot repair something quickly, neatly, and securely if you don't know how it was damaged or how it will be used. Aside from being dirty work it's rather like a timed puzzle.

Good thoughts and wishes to all. I'd like to hear from Deanne and Saucy (maybe Wendy?) as there was some discussion about making mud pies under Saucy's supervision yesterday, I think. Maybe there will be pictures of the mud pies and some of the cuttings exchanged... unless of course, Deanne has succumbed in her very own "little shop of horrors".

Counting the hours until my liberation!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 5:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

No, the sandals and black socks stayed at home and the Birkenstock clogs did their duty on the trail.

Agaves are distilled into tequila; more than one margarita was consumed over the course of our stay.

And this one is for 'bug. I call it the world's cutest sign. You can guess what it says on the other side.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 6:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm here Chelone. Wendy, Deanne, and I postponed our mud pie making party until the first Sunday in April.

I'm thinking about playing in the mud this afternoon, though. I painted alot of my leaf castings and I figured out my strategy for moving ahead :) I have several good ideas for my water vessels, too, and want to try them out today. My biggest obstacle is fresh leaves being available when I want them, but I have some ideas on that, too (florist, grocery).

Well, GB, splurge on the wool and we'll cover your admission to gardens at IU6 :) That would be a hard choice to make!

V. your trip sounds like fun! Bill Richardson has been one of my favorite current political figures since he worked for the Clinton Admin. He's got a big head, doesn't he? Is it as big in real life? LOL!

The fact that HR gave you a heads up on the job opening Mary is a good sign, at least I think so. I will keep my fingers, toes, and knees crossed!

Hope you and Kathy have a good gardening day tomorrow. They're calling for an overcast/rainy day here, so I guess I'll find something to do inside. I have been thinking of packing away all the winter clothes - that should provoke the weather gods into making it snow again, right?

Well, I'd better get this show on the road....Sarah's running late today!


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 7:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hey all! Boy is it slow here today! I hope everyone is OK and just busy getting ready for spring.
This is OT but could be big so I wanted to warn you to update your anti-virus and put on all Windows security updates NOW.
Computer Virus Time Bomb Could Go Off April 1 - Conficker Virus

The Conficker Internet worm could strike at infected computers around the world on April 1, a security expert warned Monday.
Conficker is a sophisticated piece of malicious computer software, or malware, that installs itself on a Windows PCs hard drive via specially written Web pages. It then conceals itself on a computer.
Graham Cluley of the British security firm Sophos confirmed that Conficker is programmed "to hunt for new instructions on April 1."
However, he added, "This does not mean that anything is going to happen, or that the worm is actually going to do anything. Simply, it is scheduled to hunt a wider range of Web sites for instructions on that date."
One strange thing about Conficker is that no one yet has any idea what it is programmed to do.
In February, Cluley told The Times: "Its as if someone is assembling an army of computers around the world, but hasnt yet decided where to point them."
A worst-case scenario for April 1 would be for all the worlds millions of infected computers to receive simultaneous instructions to attack, or to flood the Internet with spam e-mail.



    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 7:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I made it home from the Awfice at noon today , and have done quite a bit this afternoon. I actually made a list of things I want to accomplish this long weekend, and practical things such as bathroom cleaning, banking, grocery shopping etc are noticeably absent. I expect some of it will get done in spite of myself !

Mary, best of luck to you on your quest for a new position that will assist with some of your benefit woes.

V, I do so love visiting the historical sites in the southwest, is Tsankawi part of Bandeleir ? I remember signs warning people with heart or health issues to skip the trail. Let me know when you move to Santa Fe so I can schedule my calendar for quarterly visits, lol.

Saucy, it sounds like you are making real progress in the leaf casting world , but where are the pics, dam**t ! And whats this mud pie thing ? Does it involve chocolate ? Please advise !

OK, I m going to WALAT to plan the strategy for tomorrow , as Mary and I have our dual coast garden day and then I will peruse Woodys thread.

Hoping Marian is OK,thinking Denise is in deposition hell again, and awaiting the next Chelonian Baking Extravaganza.

Later friends..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just had a chuckle. Jake is upstairs reading and he came down to look for the dictionary - unsuccessfully. So I asked him what word he was going to look up.

The word was copulate :)

He's working his way through Elie Wiesel's Night. I read it as a freshman, too. I remember being terribly sad.

Kathy, I never like any of my stuff until it's 3 years old and has some moss and dirt on it, but I'll try to work up the courage to snap some pictures. You have to remember that I make it, but then it has to sit and cure for a's an ugly duckling/swan thing.


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 8:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Saucy - I reread Night last year and was as devastated by it as I was as a teenager. Important that we should read and remember - I'm glad schools are setting it as a text (or was it Jake's free choice?)

I am finished with things for the evening and totally looking forward to my day tomorrow. It has changed to include lunch with a friend, which will be a good way of making sure I don't overdo things. My back had some twinges after Sunday's foray so I need to remember to pace myself. One injured family member is all we can deal with right now. Fortunately at this time of year it is amazing what a difference even a short spell in the garden can make.

David did well at physical therapy this afternoon and there were a couple more flickers from his dropped foot. He was exhasted afterwards and fell in to a deep sleep on the sofa - something he never does. I felt badly having to wake him to finish homework but we got everything done and he is tucked in for the night now.

I shall follow suit so that I have full energy tomorrow.

Nite all


    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm not sure what the day will hold for me. I'd really like to get outdoors to do some clean up too, but it rained last night and I'm not quite sure what the forecast for the day will be. I'm not too keen on spending the day in the Lab., but if it's crummy out it's an option. There's always more cleaning inside, revival of the JulieJob!

I fell asleep with the light and the television on last night. I was watching the Ken Burns program on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. And it reminded me of a great quote to the effect of: "We see as far as we do because we stand on the shoulders of giants". Hard to believe that when my grandmothers married they were not legally permitted to cast a vote in an election in this country... . I just caught the tail end of another program on Betty Ford, some difference between her attitudes and those of Sarah Palin, no wonder a young Dick Cheney wanted Gerald to "shut her up" before the '76 election, lol.

I agree with you, Saucy, I think a nice layer of moss and lichen improves nearly every stone surface out there. But I do think we're usually overly critical of our own work, too. Personally, I never look at most of what I've made without remembering some small detail and wondering how it might have turned out if I'd done it differently. So I "get" that sentiment you voiced above. What sort of leaves are you planning to cast this time around? I would imagine florists or purveyors of plants might take rather a dim view of you casually stripping off a nice, large candidate. ;) Hey, how far down should I cut the grasses before setting them alight? I think this might be a good day to do that.

I took Rex on a forced march yesterday and it was beautiful, though a bit chilly. Definitely a pea cap day with a brisk wind off the water and some still large (though diminishing) rollers coming ashore. There is a huge ocean storm out to sea and it's been moving steadily northeast but it provided some really handsome surf for the past few day. Lots of bird activity (Eiders) made me think of Deanne and glad I'm not heading off-shore for a week long fishing junket. I always let Rex inspect roadkill and after giving the grey squirrel a thorough once over with his sniffer he was very willing to "leave it" and continue on the forced march. Smelling stuff is big entertainment for him and I see no harm in indulging him. "We" spoke with 3 people on our walk and he was good as gold, just patiently standing or sitting by my side while I spoke to people who were not "dog people" and didn't care to meet him. One even remarked how well behaved he was "for such a large dog", whatever that meant. I wonder what she'd have done if I'd unsnapped the leash? ;) Anyway, he seems to have reached a new level of cooperation, maybe he's just more confident that he'll get to see and do more if he does what I ask of him? I've not noticed any bulbs blooming yet, but the beginnings of Hemerocallis and Narcissus are clearly evident along walls and foundations. And swelling buds are present though you really have to look to notice them. All it's going to take is one or two really warm days to spur them into action. This is a very exciting time of year.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 6:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all and happy Friday. I've had my nose burried in the paints and brushes for the last couple of weeks and have only been able to keep the plants watered but no additional garden cleanup. The new painting is up on the web site and features 'Sally Holmes' and 'Beacon Rosa'. I'm off to teach today, Sat. and Sunday and then I'll have at least a week to do some serious garden cleanup. The helleores are starting to put on their show and are looking like they are going to be wonderful this year. That 'Ivory Prince' is fabulous.

OK I've got to hit the shower and get out of here. Have a great day all.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 7:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning

In planning my day I forgot how cold it is first thing. I had a thick layer of ice to scape off the windsceen amd the thermometer is in the mid 30's. As we also have heavy fog gardening might be postphoned till it warms up after lunch. Keen as I am to get giong, gardening below 40F is no fun.

Chelone - I could be joining you on Julie jobs. However, if I am stuck indoors I've been having a hankering for ravioli and might try whipping up a batch. It's been over 12 years since I've had any (Gluten Free Ravioli is not obtainable) and it would be a fun to try. A much more appealing way to spend my morning off than mopping floors. Does anyone have a favorite filling?

Deanne - glad all is well. I'll head over to your site to check out your new work. Enjoy your teaching.

Hope Marian and Michelle check in soon too.

Off to see what the day holds


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 7:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just a quick note here for those who remember...This morning I received a wonderful email from Kaveh! Such a treat! I've been concerned about him and his news cheers me.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 8:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am in the process of making Mocha Tapioca and will check in later with results. As for ravioli filling, I like vegetarian things and since I'm not that evolved in my cooking expedition I have nothing to offer, Mary. What do you use for flour since wheat is off limits? and is any amount of wheat bad news for you or is it just the major load of it that makes you ill?

The helpmeet is home today after working yesterday. I am reminded of just what sissies menfolk can be when they're not feeling up to par. I suggested he connect the two exposed cable wires in the Salon and he just about had a tantrum. In my eyes, he's not so sick that he needs to take to his bed (he has no trouble eating! or sitting in front of the computer or playing music). I can't wait to get the hell out of the house today. If he was a little kid I might just contemplate holding his head under the bath water... :)

Time to stir the pot (the tapioca, I mean).

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 8:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I'm a bit out of the loop here....

Marian - I hope your fibro flare-up is not causing continuing problems as you seem to have gone quiet again.

Deanne - it's good to hear that you were just missing because of time spent painting - I was getting worried....

Mary - I sure hope the alternative job pans out and that you get to keep the benefits etc. And great news about some foot movement starting for David! You are both doing so well coping with all of this.

Chelone - that was an impressive collection of cooking gear! On the issue of stoves... I avoid gas stoves - for two reasons: 1. - I read somewhere years ago about a link between gas stoves and asthma type problems so, if you've got a gas stove a good rangehood ventiliation system is a very good idea to vent the crud from the burning gas. 2. - Since I have vision, balance and motor control issues, the open flame of a gas stove would be an accident waiting to happen for me! So we stick to electric - and avoid the ones with the flat heating surface. I need the extra visual input of the burner rings to clarify where the hot surfaces are. I like the look of the flat top but I can't find one with a high enough color contrast between the burner area and the rest of the top to feel comfortable that I wouldn't accidentally touch the hot surface. We bought a new stove last year and it was actually hard to find one with the old burners - they are virtually all the flat tops now! The one feature that was a 'must' for me in the new stove was the convection function in the oven. The convection function on the old stove died a couple of years ago and I really missed it; getting the convection function back was one of the main reasons I was looking for a new stove. I do almost all my cooking in the oven using convection.

Somebody asked about the peas I grow...? This year's varieties will be Spring (matures in 52 days), Laxton' Progress (55 days); Progress #9 (60 days); Lincoln (65 days) and Sundance (70 days) so that gives us almost 3 weeks of peas for fresh snacking. Peas in the pod are something we look forward to greatly in early summer.

Randy is again actively thinking of retiring soon. I think my recent diagnosis is a big factor in that - plus his job changed at work and he's none too keen on what he's doing now. So we've been taking a close look at our somewhat bruised finances... Retirement looks doable still (but with less of a comfort margin than a year ago!) so we'll see.... There are definitely indications that things are deteriorating neurologically (Did you notice the odd spelling mistake in the title of the thread I started? That is more than just a typo...) so we're all a bit nervous at the moment.

Lots of bulb foliage starting to pop up here now but it's been too chilly to want to do any work out there yet. I've been enjoying the color that Kathy has bee posting - nice to have some early spring warm-up pictures from the west coast....

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 8:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all.... I am okay. Just not feeling very chatty about my less than interesting day by day activities. :-)

We did have a visit by our ex DIL and our 3 GDs. The new man in their life was with them. X-DIL has been engaged to him for several years ???? He seems to be a pleasant enough man, and we had a nice 3 hour visit with them all. It was pouring down rain when they arrived, and water was running everywhere, but was clear and beautiful out when they left. Many of my yard flowers were/are in bloom, so it was a pretty time for them to come. They had been at Branson, Missouri for a vacation, during the girl's spring vacation.

Nolon is busily working on the tree up damaged trees and cutting firewood. I am so happy that he has that diversion. It makes it good for both of us.

I seem to have recovered from the bad spell. It was followed with a nerve pain that started in my right hand and spread theough a lot of my right side. That too has eased, and was apparently more of the fibro. :-(
It began the day I saw my Doctor. I mentioned it to her, along with all the other things that were most important. She was not all that helpful with anything. :-( [I am an As for my really bad spell, she 'thinks' it was from my BP med. It has been cut down some more.
I now have an appointment with a bone doctor for my bad left shoulder. It is next month.

Today I will be gong to the funeral of the dear friend who was dying with terminal cancer. She passed on Tuesday night. I will drive to another friend's house and ride the rest of the way with her.

I guess you all are hearing about the winter storm that is moving our way through Colorado and Kansas. If it gets to us, it may be a big one! I don't mind. It will protect the flowering bulbs and be pretty, and will not last long at this time of the year. It may bring down more of the 'hangers'. Hopefully it will not drop the Wild Black Cherry limb on the Burkwood Viburnum. It is in full bloom now:


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 9:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I vote for ricotta, spinach and a tad of proscuitto Mary !

Nice to see Marain with news of visits and Nolons industry, sorry to hear of the passing of your friend too Marian..

Deanne, the Sally-Beacon design turned out lovely- I expect to see you sneaking in a coleus any time now !

Ok, off to move the seedlings outside, I's going to be a beautiful day here..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Sheesh, another week gone! And this one seemed to be dragging. It's been a bit chilly here this week but today the temps are expected to hit the low 60s. I'll probably take Nick out on a forced march when I get home from work. He's been enjoying them.

Still not much going on in the garden-witch hazel and iris reticulata. Tomorrow I plan to do more spring cleanup. Because I was so thorough last fall, there really isn't all that much to do-a couple of grasses to cut down, some pockets of leaves, a few shrubs to coppice and clems to cut back. Shrubs to move, of course. It's never a problem deciding which ones to move just where to move them.



    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 11:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

9 lily bulbs installed in my quest to have the gaudiest front yard in the neighborhood, and I took a chance on the dahlia tubers too, I usually wait a bit longer . 2 "Fascination and the old standby Park Princess.I worked today on a neglected area that has looked unattractive for years , but never seemed to gain my attention. On my list making WALAT yesterday I realized that a half day of effort could probably spiff it up just fine and provide a new area for shady container plantings ( i.e. coleus, fuchsias, plectranthus etc etc ) and Im quite happy with the results. The piles of debris and the d**m pink jasmine that eats anything in sight are gone (although pink Jasmine eradication never ends unless you build a house on top of it ) and I am going to pick up a few small plants to fill the vacancies.

Marian, Im fond of Viburnums of almost any type, I only own two , one of the evergreen Viburnum tinus Spring Bouquet which is quite common here and another deciduous type which I have misplaced the tag for.

Woody, I admire your pragmatism and will to find quality of life where you can in spite of physical limitations. I hope that there continues to be solutions for you. ..Ive never owned a convection oven and think I may have to google because Im unsure of what the advantages are.

OK, time to move the seedlings back indoors and shape up the kitchen


Spring Bouquet From Garden 2009

Mystery Viburnum-I love the crinkley foliage From Garden 2009

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 7:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, your "mystery" Viburnum leaves look like a V.dilatum. I have two varieties of it....Erie and Oneida. V. tinus is not hardy here. My Burkwood pic is only the lower 1/4th of the bush. It is quite tall and not very wide. It's blooms are fragrant.

Speaking of fragrance, one of my favorites is the clove currant:

And I love the color of it's blooms. They are so differant than the Forsythia's color.( You can see one back over the top of it.) They do send out lots of suckers, and I have planted them in various locations in our yard, and given them to relatives.

I have a big joke on me that I want to share with you all... Do you remember me mentioning the pot of Peruvian Daffodils that I found sprouting in the little red barn? Well... when I went down into the utilityroom this afternoon, to go out and get some firewood, I saw large pink things in the room's southeast window, pretty well hidden by the other plants in there. Lo and behold! This is what I found:

LOL, LOL ! This is the pot of "Peruvian Daffodils"! I forgot that I put that pot of tulip bulbs in the little barn. I have been pampering a much smaller pot on the deck, thinking it was the surplus bulbs that would not fit in the large tub, and wondering why nothing was emerging! I was accusing the squirrels of stealing the tulip bulbs from it! Talk about a senior moment! Some one come lock me up and throw the key away...LOL.
The poor tulip's leaves were so tall and limp I had to put a support around them. They are now blessing the livingroom with their blooms.

Here is a pic of the 'island' shrub row as of yesterday, from the front of the house:

I need to get a good one from the other side of it that shows the Quince better, and the pink flowering almonds around the end of the juniper. My "Popcorn Bush"( read "White Flowering Almond"), is blooming nicely out at the end of the deck behind the tub with the tulips...the tub that had the huge elephant's ear in it last year.

I see beauty from every window that I look out of, and the leaves are not even on the trees yet. :-)


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You are spot on, everything is so pretty in spring ! I think the anticipation is part of it, after the dreary winter. I picked a vase of Freesias this morning and like your 'Peruvian Daffodils' they bring a smile ...tulips are bloomimg in the garden here , though I don't have many. And the sweetest of all is seeing the buds on my roses and waiting for the first flush of bloom, before the blackspot lays them low !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 10:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Woody, I know your new symptoms must be worrisome for the both of you. You are in my thoughts. Count me among your friends who are in awe of all that you do - your brick edging puts me to shame and here you are ready to redo it while reshaping the beds in your front garden :)

Today was a happy one for me. I thought of each of you as I cleaned out the garden....especially Mary and Kathy :) I thought it was supposed to rain today, but they changed the forecast.

I opened and inspected my hive. My smoker stayed lit and me and the bees stayed calm. I fed them a pollen patty (pollen, sugar, and water) and observed them bringing a buttery yellow pollen into the hive (cedar perhaps?).

I went to the art supply store and bought some linoleum for carving and have been working this evening on carving a design for later concrete casting use.

And I raked out the front beds and the driveway garden. Signs of life are all around, but funny, I planted a lot of new things last year that I didn't tag....there will be a lot of "oh yeah!" moments, much like Marian's!

Hope all is well with you tonight. I haven't been up this late in a while, so time to retire. I really enjoy seeing spring in the west and south! We're a good month behind Marian and maybe 6 weeks behind Kathy's tulips (I see tulip foliage now)....just a guesstimate.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 10:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

LOL at Marian's Peruvian Daffodils! I never realized that the Peruvian daffs looked so much like tulips. :0 I can just imagine the look on your face when you saw those tulips today!

Not much time to write tonight as I spent most of the night writing for my class. I've had good comments so far, and have found that the assignments are doing a nice job of focusing my efforts. I am thinking at the end of the class I will ask the teacher for her recommendation on "what next?"

On an unhappier note, the prediction is for 6 to 9 inches of snow tomorrow. As my friend Cathy would say, Oh for cry eye! So how many people do you think will brave sleet and snow to attend a presentation on shade perennials tomorrow?

I'm still holding on to 1st place in our little NCAA pool. If Les & Monique's UConn comes through for me, I'll be "in the money".

OK, enough babbling. Jackson Browne just said "it's later than it seems" and I think he's spot on.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 11:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The first day of "Designed to Sell" is complete, but there's alot to do yet.

My sister and brother and families were here last night for dinner and my sister stayed over. It was fun and something that just never happens since she usually stays with my parents when in the area. My brother went on to turn the heat up in the house that we were going to work on.

My parents were called yesterday to tell them they said the predicted "you kids don't have to" but sounded relieved that we were.

All the spring pictures are lovely.

I'd best get a good nights rest.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 11:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Japanese dinner out for us tonight! How nice! My favorite...or one of them anyway. Then we went to look at books and things for Skyler's April birthday. Ended up with 2 silly books, one for bathroom reading. ;) Then we also got two dress-up hats: a king's crown and a pirate hat.

We had a good chat with DD & DSIL. DD plans on working until Easter but has 3-4 sick days she must collect now too. Mary knows all about those... Skyler has March break with his Mom in exchange for Skyler staying with his Dad after baby is born. I'm pleased about that. Meanwhile the news from their lawyers seems to be good, until EX decides to challenge us all once more. It is time for good news for these guys!!!

I managed to clean up more hellebores and clematis for a little while today, with Phoebe's "help". Warm tomorrow again, but rain expected.

Knit Knit Knit, pull it out, start over, knit knit knit. ;) Terrible instructions. I just know Deanne puts lots more thought into her instructions for magazines!

Time for sleep.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 11:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning .... :-)

Birthdays are over for another year and since the kids are older, gift giving has changed. DD wanted money toward some outdoor furniture for her deck and we sent DD and DS out on a shopping trip for clothes for DS with our credit card on Thursday. They didn't even want candles on the Birthday cake. After a three day visit, DS was packing up the car for his return trip yesterday morning. Feeling my usual sadness that we won't see him for another three months or so. Sorry G'bug, but I just looked at photos and a particularly bad batch this time. I'll try to look for another opportunity soon.

Thankfully it is Saturday and the weather is supposed to be very good today. I am really needing to get outside and be busy and get some sun. Not feeling my usual enthusiasm but we may work on the lawn today, since the mower blade was so bad in the fall, we never got the last of the leaves off of it. Brought home the first pansies Thursday and plan on adding those to pots today. Maybe work on getting the screenhouse put back together. Peas are going in today. Tomorrow is supposed to rain. I have my appointment for a sleep mask fitting next week.

Enjoyed your Easter jokes...especially the earless bunny, G'bug. [g] I would have been disappointed with a 'no hands on' photography class too. Hope you can find another class that offers more. What was the verdict on your Mexican crockpot dish?

Chelone...I am curious, since both you and DB seem to have many abilities, what your Dad did for a living? Was it Dad or Mom or both that you inherited your abilities from? Oh, and where are the photos of Mocha frosted cake, Mocha Tapioca...and what is next? :-) exciting that you might have another option! Keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out. Good thing you kept trying to find more options. Glad to hear David is working hard and seeing results.

Julie...what a full week you seemed to have. I do get a chuckle over some of the situations that develop at your house. :-)

Kathy....I hope you are taking photos this weekend. Your lily bed is going to be fantastic! By Sunday night, we should be able to see a photo essay of what you accomplished this weekend. I am sure you are enjoying every minute of it. Your mystery Viburnum also resembles my V. maresii.

Woody...I had asked about Peas. Thanks for that list. I just bought some Sugar Snap that will go 6ft and are 70 days. I will have to try another variety for something sooner. I haven't seen 'Spring' but will look for it. since you are starting to see indications of some neurological problems, I am wondering what they have told you they can do before there is any more? Will they try to treat this the same as the last one?

Nice to hear from you Deanne. It sounds like your Bird photography has been replaced with teaching your painting classes. I bet you can't wait for free time to start getting the garden going.

Marian...your Viburnum carlesii is are way ahead of us! What a lovely grouping of spring flowering shrubs you have. Glad you are feeling better.

Sue...I am going to have to do more next fall. It sounds really lovely to be able to sit back and just let spring unfold. :-)

Saucy...I was just thinking about how you have been so even keeled. Cheerful and focused. Sounds like you had a lovely spring day and are feeling revived after the long winter.

V....can't believe you have that much snow headed your way. I love that old expression and haven't heard it in awhile. 'Oh for cry eye' was usually, 'Oh for crying out loud' at our house.

What fun at your house Michelle! Doing the work together could seem like a party. Will you be taking before and after photos? I can imagine how relieved your parents are.

G'bug....glad to hear that news on the legal front is better for DD and DSIL. They really do need a break and some time out from worrying. I hope they will get clear sailing while waiting for the new arrival.

Hope those missing can check in this weekend some time.
To me, this is the first real spring-like weekend and I hope you all will have the same. Take lots of photos! :-)


    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 6:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just learned that on this day in the early '40s, Virginia Woolfe decided to go for a one way swim in a river near her home. Tough to swim with a rock in the pocket of your fur coat.

You know, I was thinking that perhaps Michelle would be working in her 'rents' house! I think that's such a generous thing for you and your siblings to do for them. Mum was steadfast in her refusal to allow my brother or me to do anything... now we don't have to "get permission". You are going to be all tuckered out when it's all finished. Hard enough to do it on your own, but to have to orchestrate the efforts of several people will probably present untold challenges too. I hope there will be "befores" and "afters". ;) Better eat your Wheaties.

I do not have any Peruvian Daffodils here. I chuckled at that story, Marian. I concur with Saucy about the amount of time I'm "behind", too. I immediately noticed the difference between the yellows of Forsythia (For Cynthia) and the Clove Currant, though I have to say nothing says "spring" to me more than good ol' Forysthia (and those electric blue tarps that cover everything!). Doesn't it do your heart glad to look out your windows and see evidence of the new season everywhere? I'm still satisfying myself with a piddly patch of snowdrops and a couple of pools of crocus. Very sorry to learn about your friend's death; saying farewell is never easy, is it? Still, though, I've come to view death differently in the past few years, more like the period at the end of a sentance. Sometimes an "end" is needed to bring fuller meaning to what came before. I heard red-winged blackbirds the other day, too!

I have an area on the border of the south lawn that I think is screaming for a nice shrub border. I always think of Saucy when I see Viburnums and I shall add Marian and Kathy to that list now, too. So much to do and so little time... getting the suckering growth out is going to be a challenge since the lawn area stays soggy and getting a tractor in will be tricky.

Rex and I noticed that the flattened squirrel he enjoyed the other day was missing yesterday when we passed by. Evidently the night shift was scrupulous in its clean-up efforts. I don't know why I think things like that are interesting, but I do.

Yes Woody, I too admire the pragmatic way you strive to bring joy and vitality to a life that's required "reworking". It's probably that aspect of our human condition that I most admire, actually. Your approach to your landscape design course is a perfect example as is the way you've addressed safety issues in the kitchen. Never say die 'n' all that jazz. I hope the plans for Randy's retirement come to comfortable fruition; and present economic conditions turn around, though I'm not holding my breath on that count.

I spent a lovely evening in the Salon, warmed by a nice fire in the stove. It was peaceful (no background coughing or complaining) and I listened to an old favorite, "Breezin'" by George Benson, a CD my brother burned for me last weekend. I particularly like the cut "Affirmation" (Jose Feliciano composition). I came in and with renewed zeal began Googling for adjustable H legs on casters AGAIN. I found some great work benches that were very expensive, not what I wanted, but again no source for independent components for "build your own" work tables. I find the whole exercise terribly frustrating and basically a colossal waste of time when I come up empty handed. I'll try again today, but limit the time I devote to it. I REALLY need to get some stuff set up and ready to go in the Salon; I want to do some fun stuff!

I have prices coming early next week for the shower base and the countertop and will compare them to on-line sources. If the prices are not terrifically disparate I always prefer to "shop local". It's important to consider the hidden costs of "shopping price", lost local tax revenue, etc.. I know many at the lumberyard well and they've helped me greatly over the years. I've narrowed the choice of sinks down to 2 or 3, and have to zero in on a faucet, a mixing valve and shower head, shower seat, and grab bars. Once that's done I'll contact my brother and we'll begin the demolition phase, starting with the sink area. If we progress incrementally we should be inconvenienced minimally though for a longer period of time. Tiling is going to occupy a good deal of fiddly time, I fear.

'bug, I'm glad that there is some hopeful news on the Skyler front. This is not the time to be faced with such foolish and selfish worries. What is up with people who delight in destroying the joy and excitement people feel as a new baby's arrival draws near? EX must be one miserable excuse for a human life form!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 6:41AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Zone 10b: Dog Friendly Ground Covering (Creeping Perennial)
I am considering replacing our front lawn (in a gated,...
campanula confusion!
I have a question, everyone! I've always eyed campanulas...
diggerdee zone 6 CT
Troubles with new Campanula Carpatica (Blue Clips)
I will start by saying that I am a pretty new gardener....
Why all the old stuff?
I'm curious--why am I seeing so many resurrected posts...
Kirstin Zone 5a NW Chicago
Does Anyone Do Mixed Perennial Containers For The Deck/Patio?
As opposed to annuals? I've been seeing some pretty...
Sponsored Products
Contour Bed by Copeland Furniture
$3,233.00 | Lumens
Bauble Rug in Charcoal
$38.99 | Dot & Bo
Patio Living Concepts Outdoor Lighting. Catalina White Umbrella Table Outdoor La
Home Depot
Contemporary Carla Twin over Twin Bunk Bed with Storage - IDF-BK613WH
Serena & Lily Presidio Day Bed
Serena & Lily
18-Inch Square Multi-Color Bohemian Cotton Pillow Cover with Poly Insert
$43.80 | Bellacor
Contemporary Indoor/Outdoor Braided Area Rug: Colonial Mills Rugs Boston Common
Home Depot
Celeste Home Lattice Ultra Soft Flannel Sheet Set
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™