Idyll #434 - Things are Looking Up

deanneart(z5Southern NH)April 7, 2009

So I thought I'd start a new Idyll so that we can post Kathy's Birthday Cards!

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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:56AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Happy Birthday Kathy!!

I knew you would be shy about posting your photo, so I did it for you. :-) Tis the season... :-) :-)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:20AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

A momentous day -- Happy Birthday to Kathy (and successful job offers to others of importance in the Idyll world)!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:10AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Birthday, Kathy!

Closest I could get to Dodger Blue!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:58AM
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    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 11:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Deanne and Brenda, what very happy news!!! Life is hard enough without worrying about how you're going to pay your bills. I hope they find their new positions providential.

Well, Gardenbug....I have gotten the bug and signed up for YouTube today. [g] Octopus's Garden is such a fun song. I hope to go back and find a Peter and the Wolf performance I like.

Good news Marian about your plants surviving!

Very pretty painted plaque, Deanne! I love that even drops of water are on your rose.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 12:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

And this to brighten Chelone's day when she gets home'

Back to the red yarn now.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rossini

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 12:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I love watching people....

Here is a link that might be useful: smile!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 1:15PM
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This picture was taken in the first week of June last year, so a little ahead of time: From Idyll Birthdays!

(Everyone's pictures are gorgeous today! Michelle, is that a lespedeza thunbergii? I want one!)


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 1:51PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

OMG, things are looking up! Congratulations to Doug and Deanne! Also, congrats to Brenda's DS (and Brenda hehe).
A big Happy Birthday to Kathy! No photos I can post from work but sending well wishes anyway.
Hi ya'll! Work is hopping today so I gotta' go.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 2:01PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)


This is Kathy enjoying the view at Wave Hill during IU5 last year. Looking forward to seeing you again this year my friend!

Deanne, you must be excited about Doug's good news - I can't remember the last time you actually started an Idyll! The song "Happy Days are Here Again" is playing in my head for you guys.

Mary, so glad to hear that David is improving.

Must run, but I am thinking of all of you!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 2:46PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 3:24PM
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I believe so Saucy, this was at Denver Botanical Garden last Sept.

Deanne, that is fabulous news! The painting is stunning! I'm always amazed at the detail.

Brenda, I'm sure you are relieved with your DS's new job.

I'm loving all the birthday pictures.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 4:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

G'bug...where do you find these videos?! lol The train station was so much fun! that photo from your garden? Is it a cherry of some kind?


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 5:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM, then here's another one for you!

Here is a link that might be useful: Freeze ( the good kind)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 5:09PM
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Wishing you an exceptionally happy birthday and a most prosperous year to come!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 5:12PM
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Happy Birthday Kathy

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:07PM
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Eden Kates nursery is soooo cute!

Deanne, your painting is awesome.

All the birthday pictures are great. Marian I'm glad you saved those tulips.
Woody I like the glass bird in your pic.

I had a few chuckles about what everyone wanted on their farms. Bug has a point about the energetic help. LOL
I wish I had been able to start on this place fifteen years sooner.

I am leaving things covered one more night. So far the uncovered stuff looks ok, but tonite will be cold and still, so we will see.

I had the big squeeze test this morning,and then went in to talk to the doc about my other problems. He orderd tests. I'm hoping it turns out to be not much. I just want to get back to work outside.

V, I hope you keep doing all that interesting stuff. I like the things you have been sharing.

later all, Norma

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:34PM
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I forgot to applaude the guys for getting work. Thats great news! Doug and Brendas DS. What a relief.

Also Pm, I liked the way you cut your jug too. I'm going to try that. N

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:41PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:10PM
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Youse guys are the best ! Thanks for all the fabu-fabu birthday greetings ! My office mates had quite a spread today, one of our new buyer sig-other is a pastry chef- what an exquisite cake we had , wish Id had my camera to take a pic for you. Best of all there are leftover olives , artichoke dip and strawberries for tomorrow.

Chelone, the yellow number behind Madame is Lady Banks, in full bloom right now , and hanging down as dramatically as she knows how. I too love yellow roses and have several different cultivars. I will be sure to post some photos of them for your viewing pleasure when they start to unfold in the next couple of weeks. And thank you for the lily-I just love them , and continue to add more !

Deanne, here I sit a zillion miles away, but it sure lifted my spirits when I read that Doug had snagged himself a job. It is so very ugly out there , and we hear from people in our company who were laid off last fall that are still looking for work. And how special to have a ÂDeanne Original for my B-day card !

Marian, there is not much that is more festive than a bowl of tulips ! I only wish they lasted longer ..

PM, you are too funny- I didnÂt look that good when I was 25, lol !

Cindy, I hope that pic is recent !

V, you did good, my Awfice mates put a blue tablecloth under our birthday-graze buffet today. Dodger Blue is pretty close to Cubs Blue donÂt you think ?

Beautiful photo Âbug as always.

Norma, pansies are one plant I always grow, no matter what. I love the grass as a background.

Michelle, it would be very nice to just float about in that pond (provided temps were appropriate) and I love the way the trees are reflected there.

Saucy, how did you know that cherries are one of my favorite fruits ? There are orchards near here and we sure get some nice local ones starting about in May.

Lol , Wendy, I keep buying more hats, and am starting to feel like Bella Abzug . IÂm already planning my hat wardrobe for IU6.

Woody, is that your stained glass bird ? Very pretty.

Sue, IÂm thinking I am looking at a frosted J Maple with ÂGreenland tulips ?

ItÂs taken me about 2 hours to write this post between a couple of phone calls and eating dinner. I better sign off and go watch baseball, my couch potato b-day gift to myself ..thanks again everyone, Idylls are groovy !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:54PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 11:40PM
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I am thrilled to know that 2 more members of the extended Idyll fam'ly are once more gainfully employed. I hope, in honor of their "first day", new lunchboxes and thermoses have been purchased and appropriately stocked... . ;)

Bosslady periodically scoffs at classical music, dismissing it as "boring" and leaping for the radio to enforce "no music variety". Classical is neither "boring" nor without humor as 'bug's link eloquently points out. :)

I would like to hear about Woody's cake, and I assume full responsibility for her assault on the kitchen. I ate a piece of our's as a show of birthday solidarity for Kathy. I also meant to mention what an interesting diagram you posted for the determination of seasonal shade patterns! very cool, indeed. I think your plan for the continuation of your front garden area is going to be grand, Woody. You certainly have something to work on for the coming months, don't you? One question though, how are you planning to get the collars on your Shires... ;)

I did not get to Orange yesterday but there was a photograph of the quoted table in my e-mail yesterday, so some price comparison is definitely in the offing. I suspect, though, that we'll be able to beat the price by rather a lot. And I'll have to tap out a rejection letter. Frankly, the shipping charge was the killer, at nearly 1/3 the purchase price. perhaps ordering the sewing bench extension will soften the rejection somewhat.

The helpmeet made bread last night, but refused to use the dough hook on the KA. Too much machine for him, methinks! I was less than impressed at the debris trail he left behind, too. And will guarantee it will be waiting for him when he gets home this afternoon. When I bake I make sure the galley is clean when I am finished.

Still cold here, but we're supposed to have a few sunny days before more gloom. Brenda, we're still waiting for the first real "tee shirt" day. And with that I must now needs away!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 5:25AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cold morning this morning...brrrr! I am going to have to modify my idea of the month of April. [g] Of course, this year I decided I had to have a ton of pansies and now they are out there shivering and complaining. I can see them from the window, talking to each other, asking what is wrong with the lady who put them out there. [g]

Sounds like you had a great Birthday Kathy, doing what you want and eating lots of treats. I am also a yellow rose fan and look forward to photos of Lady Banks and any yellow companions.

Woody...I really like your plans for your front garden. I am also a fan of less grass but like the way you have created 'grass paths'. Brilliant! Chelone is right...lots of work to keep you busy this year!

Norma...On the milk jugs...I tried it the other way first. Someone had recommended cutting it almost all the way around and then taping it shut. That was a real PITB. This way, the flap folds down snugly and works fine without all that taping. I also tried permanent marker that wore off even before germination one year. I found a 'Garden' marker that resists UV damage and it worked great last year.

I always wanted to grow up on a farm. When I was a kid, I watched a lot of movies set on farms and ranches, Shirley Temple in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms among them. I would have to have horses of course. I've seen some gorgeous Paint Horses over the years. Draft horses are wonderful but would have to come with a big strong trainer. [g] I would love to have dogs and cats, chickens and geese, a small flock of sheep, a couple of gentle, sweet, cows, and no pigs [g]. I would love to grow strawberries, boysenberries and raspberries for jams. String beans, peas, tons of tomatoes, peppers, and corn. An orchard with different fruit trees, cherries are one of my favorites too, Kathy. Old Sugar Maple trees for syrup. Would love to have a clean, pure source of water somewhere on the property and wells. I would still want a swimming pool. A salt water one. So I guess I would have to have a farm on the Mountain views would be nice too. It would have to be a compound with houses for family and a guest house too. Native woods. Gardenbug, I hear you. The farm would have to produce something that would pay for a LOT of help. :-)


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 8:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We have sun this morning! (with lots of white still all about.)

Well, the little outfit is done. Took much longer than I expected.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 9:01AM
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Marie, that's the cutest little outfit! It does look like alot of work. I wish I had your talent!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 9:05AM
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GB, that is SO cute! New Babe is going to be dressed to the nines :) How long do you estimate it took you to complete the ensemble? Your work is impeccable.

Nothing much going on here today. I am trying to decided between burning brush and playing in the cement. I have some castings to do, but it's kind of cold outside. I will have to dress for the weather and see how I feel.

Kathy, the birthday food sounds like it might last for a couple of days....always good to let the birthday linger :) I do believe PM has gotten her funny bone tickled somehow - first with the move to Maine and now with the picture for you! I can't wait to see what she comes up with next :)

I don't mind classical music, but it's more like white noise. I did enjoy GB's link - nice to see people having fun and a good laugh.

I like music with a story, and usually like things that I can relate to my own stories :) I listen to the adult alternative station on cable, so there are no commercials. Coffeehouse music is what Nick calls it - lots of guitar strumming and vocal crooning.

I guess I'd better get moving.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 9:25AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

GB - that is SO cute! Is it a modified rib stitch? I always find ribbing of any sort slow - all that back and forth movement of the yarn takes time!

Chelone - I restrained muself and didn't make a cake. I made low fat chocolate cupcakes instead. Here are the remaining ones:

Re shire horses - height is always manageable with something like a modified mounting block....:- ) Here is me with Shire babies at the Shire Horse Center in Stratford, England in 1991:

The glass bird in Kathy's birthday picture is another one of the student art works that were on display in the RBG greenhouses in Feb. That one was in the bulb room.

Mary - I won't be doing the lasagna thing for the new bed - that takes a year and, if all goes according to plan, I want to finish the new bed by the end of May or early June! If it warms up a bit by tomorrow as it is forecast to do, I intend to lay the bed out tomorrow and Randy will start cutting the sod on Friday. I will be doing the process I described for Saucy last year - cut the sod in narrow strips using the edging spade; lift the sod using the handy-dandy J-shaped crack weeding tool; turn the sod upside down and leave it to dry for a few days; clean off the soil attached to the grass roots and add the soil to the bed; add the grass to the compost heap and add some finished compost to the bed; edge the bed with bricks backed by Curv-Rite metal edge on the grass side; lay soaker hoses; plant the bed. Simple.... (I need to order the bricks and metal edge next Monday - the drawing helps me figure out how many I need.)

Chelone - that sun/shade template is very handy. You just have to remember to align it with true north (as opposed to compas magnetic north) so you need to know the adjustment required for your area. If you go back and look at the plan view in my assignment thread, you'll see the template is on the drawing and the plants have shadows corresponding to mid-afternoon in summer.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:08AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cute cute photo Woody!

The knitting pattern consists of 4 rows and only one is unusual. The other is straight knitting, the back side rows are all done in purl.

Phoebe has a story to tell about her morning:

"It's so early Mom!"

"So, I think I'll not budge for a while."

"Do I HAVE TO get up?"

"You know, I think I see some birds out there! OK, I'll get up now!"

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:25AM
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Baby update...Jen had an OB appointment this morning, they're weekly now. Dr. says Kate's not likely to arrive over the weekend but things are progressing. Most likely early next week.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:36AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good news Eden! I'm so glad she is waiting for Kate to choose her birthday. So many schedule these things these days.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:14AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Schedule them? Really? Well, looks like she will miss the 9th, Eden. Wouldn't it be funny if Kate was late and 'Surprise' baby was early and they were born on the same day? :-)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I forgot, I wanted to add... that baby outfit is just the sweetest thing! Not a simple pattern, you have a lot of ability G'bug. Has Sarah seen it? ... Woody...great photo! Would love to hear the story behind it when you have time. .... Phoebe has such an expressive face, G'bug and you 'read' conversations from animals, the way I do. My family rolls their eyes at me. [g]

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:27AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I apologize for posting so much lately, but I think I am a little stir crazy this week. [g] Why I don't know. I decided to stop hanging around the house and walked the Pond. I brought the camera but it was so gloomy and cold, I waited until I got home and snapped a few. There was more coming up then I thought. Sorry it's so gray out there...

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 1:51PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hey, great news on the job(s) front(s)! Congrats to both of the guys!

We have had the white stuff (S___) (bad word) all week. I gave away TCS's winter boots so he is weariang rubber boots with two pairs of socks...DS is moaning already about things like eating and paying rent, as there isn't much action on the golf course these days. I explained about counting chickens - not well received!

Happy Birthday, Kathy, although a bit belated. I will look for a decent photo when I can be sure that my computer won't shut down just as I post...

What great harbingers of Spring I see on this thread. New life in the gardens, and in the garden families too, just about to pop!

I have some absolutely dreadful photos of my yellow rooms: TCS's bedroom with the blue stars stencilled, and our family room in the basement, now referred to as the "fish room" due to the resurgence of DH's tropical acquarium hobby - wet pets that die as soon as you get them home, my opinion.

It is quite funny to us now, with DS gone, we find we have a lot of house to use. Choice of two t.v. venues - not a big deal because we watch very little t.v. anyway, and two sitting areas. Much to my surprise, we seem to be sitting together in the basement watching the fish a lot. Even though the upstairs is to my way of thinking a much more, well, adult venue, for lack of a better word.

We have decided to redo the room DS was in - the previous owners painted everything in the basement a kind of mocha colour. I really like the colour but in a basement it is kinda dark, and I would have painted the ceilings white, not mocha. DS has repainted the family room, we are leaving the office alone, but the now vacant extra bedroom will be getting a remake. White ceiling, Rose walls, carpet cleaning (he spilled a glass of hot chocolate there one night, a glass of red wine another, OY!) white woodwork, and the antique furniture can go back in. I'll post photos.

Oh 'bug, the little outfit is gorgeous! I am sure that DD and DSIL will love it - even the colour! Phoebes is so cute - dogs do have a way with wortds don't they?

Thinking about some posts a long way back: metal measuring spoons and cups. Stainless steel here, teapot too, and silver sugar and creamer in daily use, wooden salt and pepper mills - my sweet men are stong and ham-fisted and break everything. DS drinks wine out of juice glasses because the stems mysteriously snap off of his wine glasses. I get the crystal stemware all to myself....

Living on a farm? Nope, don't think so. Can drive but hate to so I don't - I need to be able to walk to neighbours and I live in town. But I'm not into city living all that much...but I do lover animals. I think I am pretty limited to dogs and cts and rabbits, maybe a donkey because they are so cute....Like the rest of you, I would need workers...

You are such a friendly and talented group of people - I love coming here. Hi to all of you great writers that I've neglected!



    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 4:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My bowl of tulips are all open now, and it is a lovely sight! Yesterday I brought home an Easter Lily to join it. I 'high graded' them and found one with 2 open blooms and 6 more buds. Today there are 4 open. It is lovely also. :-) I will plant it out after it is through blooming. I also brought home a pot of Pineapple sage, and a lovely big Siberian Bugloss. The label says it is hardy to 40 below! I hope it will not become more deer fodder.

I went for my OD appointment today. I was correct about it being my rotator cuff causing the pain. He gave me a shot that he said should not only take away the pain, but cure it. I sure hope it cures it! Wow! did the shot hurt!
I did some shopping both before and after the appointment. I bought a 50 foot roll of 4 foot high welded fencing to use around more beds, and 3 more long containers, that I guess are meant as window boxes, but I use them on the deck. I planted green peas in two of what I already had, and will plant more in the new ones.

Cindy, I love the tulips in your pic. Sure wish I could grow lots of them , without varmints getting them.

I love all the lovely garden pics. Birthdays are so great for lovely pics!

Pm2, not only did all the plants survive, it was much warmer last night than predicted. There is no more freeze in the long term forecast, but that can easily change.It is still 3 more weeks before I will brave putting the tender plants out.
That is a nice bunch of pics from your walk-about. What is the last one?
I remembered that you asked me about liking a singer, and went back and found it....I am not familiar with Carrie Underwood. She is apparenly of a later generation than the singers I was familiar with. Yes, I liked country music, and pretty well grew up on it, also western music. My favorites were of the 40s and 50s.

Marie and Eden, I am so happy about your soon to arrive bambinos. What joy! Eden, the room is perfect, and Marie, that outfit is wonderful! You cannot buy anything that great.

I am enjoying most of the You Tube links, and bookmarking them for future additional viewing. I watched a lot of the video about "Black, the Stallion" that is on one of the links.It was too long to finish viewing last night, so I will go back and see the rest.

The posts about what each of you would have on your farms took me back. I have had many of what you all have desired. If our present place had been well-fenced, I would have had a lot of them here. One critter that I always wanted, but never had, was one of those fuzzy-headed burros, like the old time miners had. :-)
Of course, a lot of the critters that I grew up with were not mine, but they were my dad's.
I would certainly need help if I had such critters now.

Norma, how cold did it get at your place Monday night? Was it as cold as predicted last night?
LOL, on the "big squeeze". I am refusing to do that again.
I hope your additional tests do not find anything serious.

Kathy, you never told us how you spent the day??...other than at work.

Woody, your garden plans look great. You are much better at utilizing all your space than I ever was. Your cupcakes look yummy, and I love that pic of you and the horses.

LOL, Marie. Nice pics and story of Phoebe's thoughts. I am the same way with our cats, espacially Tommy. He is pretty 'readable'.
Julie, great to read your interesting post. It sounds as though you may be sort of suffering the 'empty nest' syndrome?

When I got home today it was 76 indoors! Warmer than I would have let it get. I immediately opened doors both front and back. I had told Nolon to open the front door if it got too warm inside. He did but he did not open the storm door, so it did not gain much! I prefer it cooler indoors as long a possible, not only for us, but for the plants and cut flowers!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 6:01PM
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It's cold today. Well... not really cold, 40s but it's raw and overcast. I've just started a fire and am beginning to wonder when the stove is going to go "on stand-by" for the season. Anyway, I'm pretty glad we've got one, it really takes the chill off nicely. Right now I'm thinkin' 76 sounds pretty nice, Marian. :)

Did you get a cortisone shot today, Marian? My co-worker has received a few of them for persistant neck and lower back pain and she says they really hurt. Guess they go right for the affected joints. Anyway, it doesn't sound very pleasant and she's limited to how much of the stuff she gets because it evidently hangs around in your body for a really long time. I sure hope whatever you received today helps you out!

Woody, no frosting?? ;) The helpmeet has become quite spoiled, remarking last night that he really likes frosted cakes. I'm already thinking about the next dessert item... I think a pie may be in order. If I remember correctly the preferred pie crust recipe makes enough for 3 crusts. Perfect for a double crust pie (and the elderly apples occupying real estate in the crisper) and possbily a custard pie (my favorite). I've never tried making pie crust with a mixer but am confident the Kitchen Aid can handle just about anything I throw it's way. I was wondering how old those Shires in your picture were? Fascinating breed, amazing how tall they get. Do they have the characteristic high, trappy action of the Clydesdale?

I love the little red waffle suit, 'bug. I wouldn't mind having one of those for myself right about now. It'd be pretty nice to be buttoned into one and propped up with my book, actually... . Phoebe really has an expressive face, is it my imagination or is she greyer than Charlotte? (I think Woody mentioned that, too). Here's a good one of Rex monitoring action on the Compound:

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 6:54PM
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Gracious good evening everyone, weve had a lovely 2 days of off and on rain, and more expected tommorow. Clear near 70 temps on the agenda for the weekend though .

Marie, that Phoebe is just so cute ! And that baby outfit what a treasure, You should be very pleased with yourself - I cant wait to see the hat and scarf variegata !

Julie, I had to laugh at your venue characterizations of the various locales at chez Julie.. I couldnt help but conjure up a mental pic of you and DH sitting in a dark basement, mesmerized by the fish , glazed over eyes and untouched wine-Aquarium Zombies.

Pretty photos PM, and like Marian I wish for an ID of the last pic. It reminds me of a Lewisia.

Marian, youve been industrious today I must say, and Im glad to hear the Doc was able to fix you up ..I spent my B-day evening watching baseball games ! And had two lengthy telephone calls too. We have always been very low key about birthdays around my house especially if they fall in the middle of the work week.

I took some pics on my lunch hour today, as requested Lady Banks in her glory , plus a few others.

Abraham Darby

I'm having issues trying to post my other 3 photos so I'll try again a bit later...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 9:15PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Marian...nice to hear you sounding better. :-) I certainly hope you have some extended relief from your pain. The roll of fencing is to keep animals away from your beds? I have peas planted in cell packs right now. Nothing is showing after a week, so I dug one up today to see if there was germination and there was! With your higher temps you might get them popping out of the pots soon. .... Glad you liked my pics...that last one was a Primrose that was on sale in the fall. I'm happy to see it come back and look so promising. :-) So you haven't heard of Carrie Underwood. I had to go to YouTube and find her singing a song that I know you will like. See the link below. I was quite surprised to see that over 6 million people had watched the video of her singing. .... I love those fuzzy headed burros too. :-)

Chelone....The expression on Rex's face...he looks like one contented dog. He has a very 'regal' face and demeanor. King of the Hill!

Julie....I think we share the same opinion of fish as pets. [g]

Kathy...Primrose, in the last photo. .... I landed on your photo site and saw your four new pics. That Lady Banks Rose just takes my breath away. I am going to have to look into trying one. I just love it. Especially next to the trunk of that tree. Abraham Darby reminds me of a sherbet trio.

Good night...

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 9:46PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's been a long day but I just have to pop in and share a couple of things.

First of all, gb, I'm not sure which is cuter - that outfit or those photos of Phoebe. What expressive eyes she has!

Marian, you do sound much more chipper in your post today.

pm, I've read recently that the c-section rate has skyrocketed as couples decide to schedule deliveries to fit their busy schedules. My OB never would have stood for that; my first delivery ended up being a c-section but as he was stitching me up, he was telling me I didn't have to have a c-section the second time. And by golly, I didn't, even though my daughter was 10 lbs 13 ounces. Twenty-one years ago tonight, I was one week past due!

I came home this evening and a package had been delivered for my DH. I opened it and realized I was not supposed to open the box. I know now that my Easter/Mother's Day/Anniversary/Birthday present is a nice digital camera with extra lenses! (and you haven't missed my birthday - it's not until August but I was told this would have to cover several gift-giving opportunities) I am resisting the temptation to tear into it further and play; I'll let them do a proper presentation first. BUT! I am excited!!!!


    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:45PM
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I'll try this again...You may or may not be able to see them..

This bearded Iris is always very early From Garden 2009

Lady Banks From Garden 2009 From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 10:51PM
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Oh Yeah, and forget about the chicks with all the make-up and the guys with tight jeans and giant hats who all look alike and have forgotten where thier roots are; this is the real deal..

PS. disregard the pic and just listen to the song

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 11:55PM
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Bosslady would never permit anything like that... to do so would be too much like musical variety, Kathy. ;) What a nice tune. Wow, Lady Banks is unbelievable. How old is your plant and is she a "one trick pony" or will she bloom throughout the season once the first big flush of blooms has passed?

Exciting news, V.! now that you've "gone and wrecked" the surprise I wonder if DH will allow you to play with it before the intended gift-giving date? I hope so because if he doesn't it would be tantamount to giving a kid a bicycle for Christmas when there's a foot of snow on the ground. Reminds me that I have to get the service pack that will allow me to continue using my camera with this new operating system. You'll have to practice up for the wedding. You were lucky to have an OB like him, V.. Too many think only of "convenience" which I find appalling.

I have a couple of friends who are nurse practitioners/mid-wives and their professional opinion is that the skyrocketing rates of C-sections is a reaction to malpractice suits and scheduling. They have confided to me the names of doctors who are only too willing to get out the scalpel at the drop of a hat and there are a lot of them. I had the misfortune to go to one of them for a routine exam several years ago and he was one of the most pompous asses I've met in years, when I mentioned his name and told her how offended I'd been by him she shook her head and rolled her eyes, "that guy is jerk".

Gonna be a long day today, I didn't sleep well last night and I have long day ahead of me. Best to get the boots laced up and hit the trail. Yawn.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 5:28AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


My shades are still down, but it's supposed to be a better day weather wise today. I hope so. I usually am not bothered by poor weather in the spring keeping me from heading outside to work, but this year, I just don't want to get out there when it's cold and gray. This morning I am motivated again to get out there again, even if it is 36 on the back porch.

I am looking at a long list of things that need doing. Maybe that is more the reason I am less motivated this year, but I have a long list every year. [g] Doesn't everyone. I could use some help from all of you expert clematis growers. I have to make a decision about where to put three new clematis that wintered over nicely. Claire de Lune, Duchess of Albany, and Ville de Lyon. I only have one trellis and I was considering putting SAClematis on it that is now on a fence. But it may get too big for the trellis. I wouldn't put these three together right? Or plan on growing up through a shrub? I have a small arbor for a gate that has a Honeysuckle on it and thinking about adding a Clematis to it. Is that a good idea or bad? The Honeysuckle is pretty vigorous. OH, I just remembered I ordered that Harlequin Honeysuckle that is coming in a few weeks too and I still have nowhere to put that either! I really am very 'vertically challenged'. The clematis are small. Maybe I should just pot them up into a larger container with bamboo supports for a season. That would also give me more time to figure out where to put them. Any wisdom to send my way?

I didn't know you were a country music fan, Kathy? Nice pick. I like the song and such a nice voice. I had not heard of him before. That should interest Saucy too, since it has a story to it. I like that they had the lyrics printed there under 'more info'. ....Your new camera is taking excellent photos btw. :-)

V....well...another Idyll with a good camera! That will be a treat to see more pics from you. How exciting! I hope they present it to you on Easter.

Enjoy the day!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 6:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A quote from DD's forum:

"I think the main issue that we are dealing with here is that there is an increased medicalization of childbirth in North America. Is childbirth dangerous and does it need to be medicalized? People have different opinions. The facts are that North America, despite having the highest rates of intervention and c-section, does not have great statistics on neo-natal and maternal mortality when compared to other countries world wide. These data suggest that medical intervention, as important as it is when necessary, is actually increasing the risk to mothers and unborn babies, rather than helping maintain or have benefits to their health. As such, I feel that the majority of people who are saying "let baby decide" are meaning "Most of the time, things will work out fine if left alone. Is this intervention truly necessary?" I dont think anyone is claiming that there is a magic eject button that baby pushes, or that there is never a time that intervention is right. However, if both baby and Mom are monitored appropriately and are doing well, is there truly a good medical reason to intervene? And if there is a true reason to intervene (baby is truly too big), do you take the bigger risks on baby (induce to bring baby into the world early and possibly deal with a baby not developmentally ready), or wait until labour begins and deal with possible issues with mom (c-section)? (Incidentally, I do know people who were born at 44 weeks gestation It just seems that inductions are more common than necessary)

[There are huge numbers of contributions on this topic...]

A sunny day here, so maybe I can cut down some grasses once the snow melts?

Later. Must send DH off to proctor his exam.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 7:34AM
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Yes indeedy, things are looking up :) I have some energy today, and the sun is busy warming the outside temps into the 60's! The bees will be busy today, for sure!

The only downside I see to this is Nick has some sort of w-o-r-k planned....something that involves me. Hopefully I can get it done quickly!

Today I am planting coleus cuttings and seeds. I have ricinus communis Zanzibariensis and Carmencita, as well as Salvia argentea and cardoon to plant.

GB, cutting down grasses sounds like a great day to me! Phoebe has a really human expression. She must be a good companion.

Woody, I enjoyed the shade indicator, too. I wonder if I can fit it into my garden plans. I have been thinking of the plans that I have and am ready to break them out and try to implement them. You have planned a busy garden season for yourself.

V., how exciting for us that you are getting a new camera :) It's like it's our birthday/mother's day/anniversary too! :)

I need to learn to operate my camera well and take it every where I go. I see so many things that I want to take a picture of....

Kathy and PM, I did enjoy that little musical selection. I got a good laugh out of one of the comments below it - did you read? Someone's grandmother dated Hank Snow, but quickly called it off when he wouldn't let her ride his horse home - he claimed the horse was tired.

I know horses really do get tired, but I think I would've dumped him, too!

Well, best to get this glorius day started as soon as possible!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 8:32AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - that Rex is a noble-looking beast! Misty would love him I'm sure :-) For more noble beasts, see the link below (which will show you how the Shires move. I gather they are now being bred to Thoroughbreds to make nice heavy hunters. A friend has a really nice thoroughbred x Clydesdale that she uses for dressage. Nice beast.)

There is no special story behing the picture of me with the Shire babies. We were vacationing in England in late October 1991 and were in the Stratford area. I've always liked 'the big guys' of the equine world so couldn't resist stopping in to check out what was there. The babies were that year's foals so I'd guess they were 6-8 months old.

One of my best friend in elementary school had a big old Clyde that she used to thunder around the fields on. I may have told this story before - we were bused to an urban school. In grade 6 one day Dorothy didn't show up for school and the next day she brought an excuse note from her mother. The teacher read it and burst out laughing - he said he had never seen any excuse like it! The note said: 'Dear Mr. Ward; Please excuse Dorothy for missing school yesterday. The horse got stuck in the swamp and Dorothy was helping us pull him out.' (unfortunately the horse never really recovered from the experience and died not too long after.)

gb - Phoebe is looking very elegant in her silver coat.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 8:37AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Waiting for a little warmer temps to head out. It is finally sunny! Just finished my exercise routine for the day and feeling quite virtuous. lol

G'bug, I agree, I can't understand how women make a decision to have a C Section unless there is a very good reason for it. Your DD's forum sounds like they are all on the same page. I always thought no woman would actually 'want' to have one, especially for scheduling sake.

Saucy, I am planting seeds today too! None as exotic as yours though, [g]. I haven't yet decided which will get their chance. I would love to hear how the Salvia and the Cardoon fair as far as germination time and percentage. ....Funny story about the horse. .... I have yet to learn how to use my camera either. I got a good book out of the library and then didn't get to it before it had to go back. I will have to try again. kind of vacation, England, gardens I assume :-), and horses! I enjoyed your link very much. I particulary admired the two foals, Sara is gorgeous and would probably be my pick! Of course, with a name like Full Moon, I took a liking to him right away. lol I think he was the cutest! Something about the way he walked reminded me of trotters. Nice way to start the day, thanks. :-)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 9:18AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all.
I 'was' feeing fairly good last evening while posting. I had had my afternoon rest, and was still hyped from the day's activities. I have got over that...:-(

Chelone, I am not sure it was a cortisone shot. He told me what it was, but I did not retain what he said. :-(
It probably was, though. As for pain relief. It is not expected to be an immediate relief. He said if my shoulder was still hurting by the end of a couple of weeks, to return, and we would go another route. He gave me two pages of exercises for my shoulder(s). I am still popping the pain pills.
The snow has gone down since that pic of Rex, hasn't it?

Rain is in our forecast for this evening, with the possiblity of severe storms.

Kathy, we are the same way about birthdays at our house. I wasn't raised with much emphasis put on birthdays. That is fine with me.
I enjoyed all your pics in your link(s). It would be so nice to live where you can grow such beauties. Some gardeners in Harrison have much more success than I do up here on this soil poor mountain.

Yes, Pm2, the fencing is to keep varmints away from my flower beds. It is not pretty, but better than seeing all that you have grown eaten off!
Wow, the primrose is going to be gorgeous. Be sure and post a pic of it.
Hey! Now you are talking! Hank Snow, Hank Thompson, and Hank Williams were among my very favorite singers and musicians. ( Hank was a very popular name back then. ) I knew most of their songs, and have lots of them on recordings.
I listened to your Carrie Underwood link, sorry, but not my type of music. Instruments are too loud, and overpower the singing. I am sure she would sound much better( in my opinion) if the music was more like Hank Snows. :-)
But I appreciate your linking that.
As others will tell you...the Sweet Autumn Clem gets to be a massive vine. ( Mine doesn't, because it is more deer fodder.) I think the other 3 are much smaller growing. I am sure 'bug can inform you as to whether all 3 can be grown together. Your choices of locations sound good to me, but I am no expert on that matter.
LOL, about sending for plants that you have no idea where you will plant them! I do that all the time. I have quite a row of potted shrubs and trees awaiting a decision as to where to plant them!

V, how nice that your DH has gifted you with such a great camera. I know you will really enjoy it.

Is it just my service, or are the rest of you having a long wait for GW to load?


    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 9:42AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sunny still, but cold, so the snow is lingering.

Yes Marian, my computer is slow to load today. I thought perhaps it was because of all my Youtube watching which slows down my service.

I've vacuumed as much as possible but our central vac is not functioning properly still, so it is a very tedious business. DH did find an antique part to repair the main bathroom toilet with, so I hope that will work.

I've not been feeling 100% lately and am not sure what it is all about. Tired? I also had a fall on our stairs yesterday which was a total surprise! I slid down about 6 steps. I had a glass dish in my right hand and all the berries and almonds went flying. Now I have a bruised leg. Good grief.

I should go catch up on the treadmill and then do something exciting so I don't bore you all to death with my next posting.

For those who are curious, yes, Phoebe has a more grey coat than Charlotte did. I was hoping she'd be silver like her Mom, but isn't- so far anyway.

Yeah on the "surprise" gift V!!!!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 10:10AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Not much to share this evening.

I did forget to say that when I came home last night, there was a brilliant full moon shining down on my, and I paused for a moment and thought of all my idyll friends.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 10:29PM
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Still raining, but thats ok, baby coleuss (colei ?) have settled in and the seedlings are holding their own. I had to get a new receiver for my DirectTV , mine was so ancient my baseball stations were all messed up. Got a new one for just shipping charges.

Im not sure what the problem was last night when I posted my pics-I still have little blue squares with red xs instead of pics tonight. Guess Ill just try another pic and see what happens. I found some digital photo classes at our community college in their non-credit program, but will have to wait a few months for the new term.

Re: Hank Snow and other Country music issues, PM, I am strictly a pre-1970 aficionado. I love blue grass and the old timey stuff, never listen to the recent music coming out of Nashville , too poppy for me. I am solidly with Marian when it comes to Hank Williams, Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Flatt and Scruggs etc. Love that old Loretta Lynn stuff too-

V, will you divulge the make and model of the secret new camera ? Will Saucy and I be bested at IU6 ?

Chelone, Ms. Banks is a one time bloomer I fear , but her foliage looks nice all year, unlike other roses. I planted her on the west side, so she shades that part of the house nicely during the hot months. I think I planted her about 10 years ago. I will take a photo of her trunk this weekend.

Shire horses, how beautiful they are ! I have had such little exposure to the equine beast over the years. I learned to ride in high school , and went riding on occasion after that , occasional relatives and friends had horses , but for the most part I was a city girl. There are pockets of horse folk here in Napa County , but the $$$ in the wine business has prompted many to sell off that land for vineyard development.

So where the heck is Mary ???

See yall tomorrow

Kathy in Napa

My test pic

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 10:48PM
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I managed to miss the Reed Moon, but it reminds me of all my Idyll friends, too.

Thanks to Woody's link I wound up spending way too much time looking at video clips of Morgan horses and American Saddlebreds. I had to laugh when I noticed the rift between those who ride Park Seat and those who are into eventing and 3-day competitions is still alive and well. Some things never change. Cupcakes without frosting seem very, very wrong, Woody.

I generally agree with Marian and Kathy on the state of country music, but you do have to give a nod to George Strait, Randy Travis, Leon Rausch, Curtis Potter who were straight out of the mould of the "old timers". I have a particular affinity for West Texas Swing, though I'm not permitted to listen to that at work, either (it's "boring"). ;)

Here's my funny to report. I have introduced the helpmeet to the concept of the JulieJob. It's not been embraced with open arms but the practical aspect of it has struck a chord. When we were cleaning up and burning the brush on Monday we decided to tackle some of the large limbs that have come down in the past winter. I asked that the helpmeet fire up the chainsaw for 15-20 minutes when he gets home from work and I'll deal with cut up stuff when I get home from work. Last night he did just that and commented that he couldn't wait to cross something off the "Julie List". Maybe, in honor of all this chat about classical music we should begin calling it the Julie Liszt... :)

Our regal dog was vole hunting while the helpmeet was chainsawing... he found one. And he pawed at it repeatedly until he could get at it... we heard him yelp and watched him drop it after it bit him. Then he promptly ate it. Swell. Oh well, a little game will put some shine on his coat.

It was pretty warm yesterday, though not tee shirt weather, Brenda, at least not in my estimation. Nonetheless, a few more days like that and things will really start to begin putting on some new growth.

I can't wait for today to be over. I have to order the casters for the tables, pay some bills, and get back to work on the bathroom project. I fear I'm getting worn down by the chaos at work, returning home and preferring to sit in a pile instead of making the effort to do something that will be uplifting and get me one step closer to completion of something meaningful. If I had a basement aquarium I could turn into a zombie, too!

It will all be over soon.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 5:17AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...looks nice out there. It must have been nice everywhere yesterday and everyone here must have been in the garden. Or....all my posting sent everyone into hibernation, or everyone is just waiting for me to start posting a lot again. :-)

Need to make a quick post this morning. DH has the day off and we may take off to Ogunquit for the day. How much fun is that?! But I will have to give up most gardening activities for the whole weekend, since everyone is busy busy this weekend and it is supposed to rain. Well...DH needs a break once in awhile and today is the day. I DO love the ocean and I will bring my camera. I am wondering if there is a nursery in the area for a quick stop on the way home. [g]

I went downstairs for a snack of 3 pepper strips in a little basil dip about 10pm and on my way back up I could see the moon through the window at the top of the stairs and wondered what you all were doing. :-)

Gardenbug....are you feeling any better? Did you fall down the steps because you were dizzy or lose your balance? I've done that a couple of times. I wrenched my back and arm pretty good the last time I did that. Did you hurt yourself?

Well Marian and Kathy, that explains it. I have not been a country music fan at all. Every once in awhile a country song will drift into my experience and I will enjoy it, but most of the time it would be a 'crossover' country song. Which I suppose would make it...'poppy'... lol. Of all the artists you both have named, and Chelone has named, the only one that I have really listened to would be Patsy Cline. Who I just love to pieces. I did hear Randy Travis just do a duet with Carrie Underwood and I loved his voice. But the song was a little 'poppy'. I like Shania Twain and Faith Hill, but there again, very 'poppy'.

Kathy, is that a trick photo? [g] It looks like a rose coming up through a succulent or some such plant? Love the rose itself and actually the whole arrangement is entrancing. A very pretty yellow.

Chelone...I appreciate that you do struggle with having to make yourself do things like the rest of us. I wouldn't want to think you have super powers or something. :-)

Saucy...what did you get done yesterday?

Well...after a shower and breakfast, we will be out of here. If anyone reads this and knows of a nursery we could stop at along the way, I will check back.

Have a marvelous day! :-)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 6:50AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DH is home here today as well PM. I think that means I'll get a little bit of garden pick up accomplished with his help. No stores are open at all. In this area, no nurseries open before May. :(

I spoke with DD last evening and she was excited that it was 60F in her backyard, which means she could quite likely have her outdoor water birth if things stay this way. The forecast is for 2 weeks of this weather.

DSIL is anxious to go up north to mark off the areas at the North Country Fair for the workers to begin construction of The Reed stage and playground. I pirate ship theme is what I last heard for that. Fortunately, there are still 2 feet of snow up there and so this weekend is not good for the 3.5 hour drive up there. DD was not excited to go so far at this stage of pregnancy.

DSIL is the energy bunny and has cleaned the kitchen immaculately, vacuumed the living room, dining room, bedrooms, basement, etc. He has put clothes away, done laundry too. Neither of them have slept and they visit their counselor every week or two for hep with their emotions about new baby. It is a struggle for us all. Naming the new babe is a very important process for them now, and there are thoughts of using Reed's name somehow in the spirit of the spring season and renewal. Oh my....

I think perhaps pancakes are on the agenda for this morning!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 8:10AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday --

I am happy to report that it appears the stimulation of the economy by Sue and myself seems to be bearing fruit - how nice is that? "Cautiously optimistic" I hope to be -- but Im out of shopping tip ideas -- anyone got any for us, LOL?

Sounds like most of us are feeling the impact of Spring too and it's lifting our spirits -- altho Chelone sounds a bit in the dumps (the chaos dumps I believve -- to which I totally relate and can sympathize as my spring last year was in that category). But you're a hang-tough lady and I imagine you'll soon kick the chaos to the curb. Im feeling a bit of angst about having my house "ready" for the club meeting next Sunday -- but of course it's my own vanity to have things look nice - I imagine if I can get the tumbleweeds and cobwebs and 3" layer of dust off the main level and some food on the counters I should be okay, yes?

I love your pics, Kathy -- I hope to get some this weekend; that b-day tulip pic Im sorry to say is last year -- things are much later this year -- those same groupings have the tulips just opening and no anemones showing yet; altho the muscari are doing their thing now... We're expecting showers today and tomorrow; so garden day will likely be Sunday as Im being an agnostic and ignoring the holiday.

Eeek - there's no messing around w/ Rex is there? Dont toy with that guy!

PM, enjoy your jaunt off to visit and enjoy the weather and hints of spring!

Ok, gotta hit the desk here.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 9:01AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Vacation day here today! I've been out moving shrubs for most of the morning and I'm happy to report that it's almost a done deal for the year. Just a caryopteris, a spirea and a clematis or two to go. Then I'll start shuffling perennials and hopefully fill in with new stuff. Most of these plants have needed to be moved for a couple of years but I've been laid up or distracted with one thing or another for the past two springs and missed the window of opportunity. Not this year. The plan is to improve the overall structure of the garden with woody plants, get rid of all the high maintenance, low impact perennials and fill in with annuals, tropicals and tender plants that last all season only in the areas where I spend most of my time. It would be nice if I could really make it

OK, better get back at it. It's beautiful outside right now but the forecast is calling for rain this afternoon sometime and rain all day tomorrow. If I don't get back here, enjoy whatever you have planned for Easter. Deanne's friend, MJ, invited me to join them for dinner. I'm looking forward to it!


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 11:59AM
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Sue, great garden plan! You're way ahead of me despite my having the best of intentions.

Lots of family stuff going on this weekend. I have Easter baskets to put together, Bella's egg hunt to prepare for, an Easter tea party with Meg and Bella, and a family Easter dinner. I'm in charge of dessert and hope to find time to do an Easter Bunny cake. Best of all the weather's supposed to be great all weekend. Kate's arrival could change plans at any time though :) She'll be here by the end of next week for sure. Jen's Dr. doesn't want her to go more than a week over her due date so if she makes it to her Drs. appointment Wednesday they'll make arrangements to induce.

Enjoy your Easter weekend everybody :)


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 12:22PM
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My furlough from Chaosland came through, I'm free for 3 whole days. I've decided the toughest part of the chaos aspect (for an organized worker bee) is not being allowed to change anything to make it easier for myself. Any sort of change, or the mere mention of it, is met with derision or outright refusal. Everything must remain exactly as it has been for over 10 yrs. so there will something to complain about and use for an excuse when it gets busier and more hectic. ;) OK, then this productive, generous, capable worker bee will simply go home and refuse to worry about an incomplete project or a project that takes longer than it should. You wanna work in Chaosland? be my guest, go for it! Me? I'll go home and do something I want to do or that I like to do. I'll do it in an organized manner and it will be completed or at the very least nicely on the way to completion. You can stay in Chaosland and grouse about the weather and "busy season" and worry about why things don't get done as quickly as you'd like them to.

Cindy, pick up the big stuff and provide food... if there's food no one will notice the little stuff. Trust me on this. My house hasn't been "barracks inspection" clean since it was built. This is why we have "superior immune systems". If it doesn't kill ya it makes you stronger.

It's time for me to take the Vole Hound out to the hinterland and let him rustle up some dinner while I start moving the wood the helpmeet cut last night. The goal is to get the rounds nearer the vicinity of the wood splitter. But before I do that I have to call "tree boy" and schedule some more "take downs".

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 4:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Eden, the excitement builds!

Sue, I like your Easter coloured letters above...and hope you get your garden just the way you described! Today I feel as though I'm almost on top of things, but I know that won't last given that there's lots of travel on the agenda for me. It's great working on things before the insects arrive.

Today I got a few more clematis tidied up, the Pasque flowers, and some more ornamental grasses too. I cut back the Honorine Jobert anemones, my old white baptisia and the monkshood. I raked up the raspberry canes and the asparagus patch. DH helped collect the piles of stuff in the wheelbarrow and cart them away. I just saw the blue heron again...and now DH is off walking with Phoebe. It feels like a Sunday afternoon.

I started a sample knitting pattern for the scarf project. I think I like it. It looks quite fancy but is in fact pretty easy. Too bad you can no longer take your knitting on a plane to work on.

I think it will be ham and some fresh pineapple for us on Sunday. I'm not really a fan of ham, but it is a tradition on DH's side of the family. (They used canned pineapple)

And a question for Chelone. Does Rex run off with your gloves? Both our dogs played that game. I was startled when the first dog I met, Luke, grabbed my mitten and ran off with it. He was quite the rascal! I guess Woody has doggie company this weekend! Have fun!


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 4:13PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

About 2/3 of the new bed across the front has had the sod cut (by Randy...) and turned over (by me...). Dawn (Malamute) and Tess (Collie) stopped by to inspect the work in progress and have a go at assisting in the digging :- ) The big front bed has been cut back. I hope to finish turning the sod on the new bed tomorrow and then Randy will wrestle a couple of the highbush blueberries out of their deteriorating pots and into new homes.

Liam was here Wed. and Thurs. and Blue arrives tonight, staying until late Monday.

Still chilly here (+3C) but warm enough once you start wrestling with clumps of sod! I expect to sleep soundly tonight...

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 4:30PM
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We went to the city yesterday for my doctor appointment. With a cortisone shot in each of my knees, I hope to be able to garden this spring a little more comfortably. I didnt have much time to check out any nurseries but did come home with some lily bulbs, 5 large bags of potting soil and containers that should work on my pillars by my front walk. I also picked up a Red Majestic contorted filbert for in front of the garage wall by the front walk. I have no plan for this area other than trying to find some things that give 3 or 4 seasons of interest. I have a feeling that Ill be tweaking for a long time. As I read backward, I see my plan for our front door area resembles Sues garden plans, except Im working with a blank canvas.

We will be having Ricks crew which amounts to at least 19 for a meal on Saturday night and my crew which these days only amounts to 5 of us for Sunday noon. Lasagne on Sat. and pork loin on Sunday. Since Saturday is supposed to be quite nice, I hope to make food tonight and do a light cleaning and call it good. Rick will help.

Things are looking good here at work with the new employee. Hopefully, some of the chaos that drives me nuts will go by the wayside. I understand completely Chelone.

I really must go.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 4:47PM
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Youse guys are doing far more interesting things in your yards/gardens than I am! I just finished moving the rounds of wood to the splitter, near the place where the wood will be stacked to dry. I pulled a lot of dead wood out of the area and was wondering if there is such a thing as a "girl's chainsaw", something lighter duty than what the menfolk use to take down trees? I could use one to make kindling out of the dead stuff... waste not, want not, you know!

OW! Michelle... that sounds like a nasty treatment but if it facilitates comfortable gardening then I suppose any temporary discomfort will all be worth it. Do you know if the Easter basket (nee beach pail) has arrived? will it be a surprise for Kenzie? I was a total slacker and failed to get the Easter loot... maybe he'll get a drug store bunny this year, too. ;)

I haven't given any thought to dinner on Sunday! in fact, I'm not even sure if the helpmeet is working or if it will be a full day. I suppose I could stuff a chicken or a small turkey and it would be a pleasant surprise. We'll see...

Rex doesn't mess with my gloves, 'bug. He tends to be very concerned with the location of his balls since the ones that were once attached have long since been incinerated. If there are no balls to guard he will collect sticks and reduce them mulch all the while keeping a watchful eye on the Compound. Occasionally he will burn off some energy by chasing an unsuspecting feline.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 5:45PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I second that ouch, Michelle - both knees -- yow, I hope it provides you with the relief you need to garden or we'll be coming out there to make raised beds for you! I admire that Red Majestic corylus and bet it's going to look wonderful in front of your house.

Well, Im disappointed, no rain here - it was a glorious 73 degrees and I was stuck at the awfice w/ toaster woman all day - unfair.... I hurried home to run into the local hardwarde store for some hollytone and rose tone (which they didnt have; just some outrageously priced "organic rose food" by miraclegro) -- 'cause Im hoping to throw it on various shrubs and clems before it seems like Im late w/ lots of chores already this gardening year.

I bet Sue got a lot done; it will be interesting to see what editing you did -- your garden looked so lovely last year from the photos we saw....

Well, time to kick back and find whatever refreshments might be here....


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 7:42PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

So here's the thing. I did a GREAT job of cleaning and organizing all my gardens last fall and got out there and raked everything on the first nice day three weeks ago and so I'm done. So I "volunteered" to do community gardens for the Hort. Soc. this year. So I voiced my intention to get out there the first nice day (today) to scout out and start my work - made it clear that I needed one hour (ONE hour) to do this. Then the golf course opened. They went. I cussed. I took TCS with me while I raked up a mess that belongs to Parks Canada. So PO'd that I went to the pub with TCS, let him pick the food (Orange Crush and french fries for him, white wine and poutine for me, the adult equivalent to Orange Crush and fries) and came home. He played with friends, I did non-essential garden chores - cleaning up the shed, hauling out birdbaths, lugging large pots. Came in and organized dinner. Men came home, we had the "sit-down" - they whined about their aches and pains until I reminded them that we pay money for this...went down to the basement to come here to vent...socks got pretty wet....what is this, like, water? Acquariums. Need I say more? ShamWows do not soak up as much as they claim....

Tomorrow is another day...



    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 8:08PM
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Julie, can't say I did, but Brad got alot of similar things done today. Put away the winter heated birdbath away, filled the others, set up the fountain, put out some of my statuary. It feels like Sat. nite. Wine here tonight too.

Cindy, thanks for the reminder. Note to self to feed the clems!

Michelle, hope the treatments work. My mom suffered with rheumatoid arthritis for as long as I can remember and I know how painful it is. She always said, the best thing was to just keep moving. That it hurt more if you didn't. I hope they've come up with improved treatments that help you more now.

Speaking of girls in dresses, here's some pics of Bella in her outfit for the tea party tomorrow.

She's feelin' fancy! :)


    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 9:46PM
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Friday greetings to allmy post-Awfice WALAT was lengthy tonight, involving a entire and a half glass of wine and much weekend-planning. I made a list for my nursery journey tomorrow AM (going to hit the upvalley location that features my employee discount) and the new coleus babies and seedlings will be moving to bigger digs.

Chelone, you should schedule yourself some fun garden maintenance time ! Youve certainly put in your time on the home improvement chain gang.

Julie, there is very little in life that is more annoying than wet socks. Tee times for people who should be doing something productive is up there too.

Michelle, I never realized you had knee problems. Thinking your shots may be worse than my dental experiences. !

So Eden, Bella looks more like shes duded up for Mardi Gras than a tea party ! The shades however are a perfect LA girl vibe. Is that your chair ? I absolutely love it !

Ok , I took a few pics during WALAT and here they are, well see if I have better luck posting tonight .

The Coleus, still in the plugs.. From Garden 2009

Archduke Charles From Garden 2009

Charlotte Armstrong From Garden 2009

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 10:10PM
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Quick post this morning and then I'll be back to comment (though I read about Julie's wet socks and I can't think of a less favorite job)

I am going to the Boston Flower Exchange this morning, leaving at 6 a.m. sharp! I have all my materials to cast leaves, but no leaves, so my neighbor is taking me to find some.

I've been hiding in the greenhouse....some of the things I overwintered in the basement are alive! LOL! What a surprise. My water plants were the big surprise: a corkscrew rush, waterlily, and a very pretty lilac canna (wish I had botanical names, but my brain is still mush).

Anyway, you were the only ones that I could imagine would share my joy in this morning's event :)

Later gators!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 5:40AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

I haven't looked out the window yet, but it is supposed to be raining today. Just as well, I don't think I can move. [g] A nice hot shower after breakfast is in order. Had a wonderful day yesterday. For some reason, nothing went wrong the whole day. I don't know about any of you, but very few days like that around here. DD is coming over tomorrow early. We are supposed to plan dinner today before our weekly food shop. The last I heard, lamb was being discussed. I would rather have ham with pineapple gravy. Did I read someone here was having that? We usually shop Whole Foods and they don't carry ham. DH and kids like that Honey Ham that you buy cooked and spiral cut. I am not a fan. Your Easter cake sounds great, Eden. Are you baking Chelone?

Last weekend before tax day. Ours were in the mail awhile ago. DH usually helps all the kids with their taxes. He used to do them by hand until about 4 years ago when he started doing TurboTax and loves it. DS #2 [who lives away] took his to a professional at least a month ago to our surprise, and was very happy with an expected refund that he could really use. DS #1 did his with the help of DH when we got home last night. They were using TurboTax and it went fairly smooth and quick. He was also happy with an unexpected rule that eliminated a penalty he was expecting to get hit with. DD is asking to do hers on Sunday morning, :-( ... although I expect they will be very straightforward. DH is too much of a softie and I think he needs to give them a better deadline if they want tax help. They are actually all learning how to use TurboTax and DH is just the training wheels at this point. I wonder if he would miss them asking for help?

We have a neighbor that lives behind us who has a dog. Lately they have often had two dogs, so I am thinking babysitting for a son's dog? Anyway, I hear one of them out there barking to come in the house. You should hear the pathetic way he is barking. More like yipping and talking, he sounds We have another neighbor who has a very small dog, who they keep on a stationary leash in a fenced in backyard. I am still trying to figure that one. We drove by their house yesterday and I noticed they have artificial plants in pots and artificial hanging plants by their front door. Odd.

Sounds like youseguys have been busy. Poor Marian and Michelle with their shots. Not my idea of fun. Makes me grateful for my muscle pain rather than joint pain.

Gardenbug....DD and DSIL, bless their hearts, trying to work through such complicated feelings. I am sure you are all thinking of Reed the closer new baby's arrival gets. All I know baby will be more loved and will bring all of you a lot of happiness and comfort. :-)

Cindy....Shopping tips: Some of the car deals out there sound pretty attractive. [g] Are you gardening this weekend? 73 degree days, not bad!

Sue....what a happy spring you must be having, what with no obstacles to gardening for a change! Can't wait to see the 'new look'. What are you doing for Easter?

Eden....I am trying to figure out what is behind Bella in your photo. Is it a stain glass dividing wall with a sunroom on the other side? Bella...looking quite like a princess! It must be great fun to get to dress up. Did your kids do the same when they were young? Wow, so another week is all you will have to wait! Monday is her due date, right? Wouldn't Easter be exciting if Kate decided to arrive!

Chelone...I am also thinking, time for you to have some fun. You are definitely sounding in the dumps. On the one hand, I would say, take time off from your work around the house. On the other hand, it sounds like what is causing you to be down is your job. I would say the quicker you get your Salon up and running the better off you will be. Maybe you can keep working but leave enough energy to do some fun things too?

Woody...sounds like a soak in the tub is in order. 35 degrees F is warm enough to garden? Boy you really are going 'full steam ahead'!! I doubt you are having fun yet, but once the bed is ready to plant, I am sure you will be. Have you already shopped for plant material?

Julie....Sorry to hear about the aquarium. I hope you didn't mean the whole tank leaked onto the floor. Did you have to take the fish out and empty it? Hope you have a better day today. :-)

Thanks for the reminder Cindy and Eden....feed the clems! sound like you are on a mission this year, in the garden. It sounds like a great year shaping up there. Charlotte Armstrong is such a sweet little sweetheart rosebud. Where are the coleus going, in containers or beds? I keep meaning to ask you...I signed up for Picasa, because I like the quality of the photos you have been able to post with it. I usually use TinyPic and want to find out if Picasa will be better for me. I was able to upload and create and album, but can't figure out how to post a photo to Idylls using it. What am I missing?

Saucy! So happy for you to be planning a trip to the Boston Flower Exchange. I have never been there. Sounds very exciting. I hope you find some great material for your tufa projects. I really loved your little water pot last year, so I am glad those plants survived. Take lots of photos!!

So, before reading all your posts, I was planning on staying in bed this morning. Now, I am sitting here thinking about some items I need at the nursery, like a new liner for my Hay Rack and some Hollytone for the Holly bushes. Garden excitement is contagious!! I think I will decide after a shower. :-) Have a WON-DER-FUL day!!


    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 6:20AM
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Have any of you ever worked for someone who is a control freak? someone who micromanages (or tries to anyway)? I know the "control" and "micromanagement" is probably compensation for poorly written work orders and lack of organization but for someone whose approach is basically the "surgical strike" it's hard to operate under those conditions. The thing about my work is that there is rarely just one way to do something. Techniques vary and approaches to a project can be very different because of it. It's rare that there is only "one right way" to get the job done, esp. when the worker bee has extensive experience.

I come from a tailoring and alteration background. That means I've been taught to assess fit based on what is in front of me. It also means I've been trained to look at a problem, trace it back to its source and then repair/adjust it as quickly and neatly as possible. I think in terms of shapes and how they must be put together within certain parameters/"rules" (outseam verticals, grainlines, bias, etc.). I also have manufacturing experience and that taught me to look critcally at the individual steps required to produce something quickly and efficiently. It means that sometimes you begin a project with a step that seems unrelated to the desired end result. Anyway, every project is different and bosslady tends to approach every project the same way, dispensing incremental information so that the person asked to do the job is completely reliant on her presence for the information required to accomplish the job. Often she changes her mind and requires you to go back, rip something out and do it again... all very inefficient and very trying for someone with the background and accrued experience I have amassed over the years, esp. when she is frequently working out in the field and cannot be contacted for clarification on some missing piece of information! I suspect this approach to work is not so much about my shortcomings with respect to ability and skills but rather organizational challenges on her part. Still, it's frustrating to be so hobbled when the work is pouring in the door, the 'phone is ringing off the hook, and there is no relief in sight. I like the work, I like bosslady, and don't see any reason why performing it has to be made so difficult. I especially don't like hearing the tension in her voice or being on the receiving end of TDC (thinly disguised contempt) when things don't go according to "plan"... because there was no plan! So, I maintain a protective buffer around myself and my free time and refuse to "play that game". I do what I'm told and I go home when my shift is over and do things that I enjoy and get me one step closer to my longer term goal. It saddens me because it's in my nature to offer so much more to someone I genuinely like, respect, and admire. Make sense?

I'm not sure there is garden clean up in my future today, but I will be relocating the rounds chainsawed last night by the helpmeet. It will be a profitable way to spend the morning as tramping around the area is best done before the ferns begin to emerge. I hope I hear from "tree boy" today, as what I'd like to have done involves that area, too.

Miss Bella certainly looks excited about the coming tea party. I have some gay friends who'd be all over a life-size costume like that for a Gay Pride parade, lol. I just love the way kids get into dressing up... what a fun and imaginative way for them to play. The only "rule" about dress up at our home was that you weren't allowed to wear Mum's high heels down the stairs... you could put them on when you reached your destination, but wearing them on the staircase was a "no-no". Any shots of the tea set, Eden? what's Bud going to wear? ;)

Woody, I smiled at your reference to it being plenty warm to turn over sod. In all the years I had horses I rode all winter long and don't ever recall being terribly cold. Physical activity and a goal keeps you from getting chilled. I can't wait to see pictures of the progress. I thought of you yesterday as I was moving in between the many high bush blueberries in the area I was cleaning up. They're such a nice shrub, beautiful in all seasons and so easy.

Like you, Sue, I'm making a concerted effort to move to more shrubs. I could use a dynamo like you to help me move some things around here... girl power can accomplish lots. Like everyone else I'll be interested to see the tweaks you have accomplished. And I can only imagine how good it feels to see the things you've wanted to do finally get done. I see that the redefinition of your yard and your life is in full swing and I applaud your efforts.

Can't wait to see what comes home with Saucy today, too. Do you think they will be excavating her leaf castings in 1500 yrs. and marvelling at the ingenuity they demonstrate? :) Excellent news on the survivors in your basement... funny how the "imaginary friends" pop into your head throughout the day, huh?

I meant to tell you that I saw the beautiful moon yesterday morning as I drove to work. It was salmon colored and hanging very low on the blue-grey western horizon with some clouds drifting by in front of it. I smiled, thinking of you, some of whom were still in slumberland. It's a nice connection and the image returned to me throughout the day.

That's all for now.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 7:39AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! It's sunny but only 34 right now. I hope it warms up!

I've only skimmed the last day's posts so my comments will be limited. But I wanted to let Julie know that I actually tried poutine when I went to Quebec a couple of years ago. I think too many of those will kill you!

I went to the dermatologist yesterday because of a rash on my face. I'm a strong supporter of equal opportunity, but I have to admit that "nurse-practitioner" and "Jake" just don't seem to go together, you know? But Jake was very nice. I have contact dermatitis on my face which means I got into something I shouldn't have. While I may never know exactly what it was, there's a good possibility it was the lovely scented soap at the hotel in Santa Fe. He gave me some samples of a couple of different lotions and this morning it already is greatly improved. Heck, I just typed all of that without itching my face - major progress!

I need to make my list for the day and get under way. DS and his fiance are already here, DD comes home around lunch and MIL and her husband are coming for Easter dinner tomorrow. And the cleaning lady did not come this week because of a pulled muscle. I don't quite have to shovel out the house, I think a leaf blower will do just fine.

Daffodils glow yellow
Daylight grows longer each day
Spring starts to unfold

I've been in a Haiku mode lately.

Happy Easter!


    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 9:12AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

I have recovered from yesterday's trials (hehe). I said nothing. My men offered to take care of everything today and to come and help me rake up one of the community projects. The carpet is drying and the fish were fine. The filter had gotten clogged up and overflowed, so the deluge was a little more controlled that it might have been.

Eden, that Bella is a living doll! What a little ham! You must just adore her to bits!

Marian and Michelle - Ouch! Cortisone shots seem to work but injecting some extra fluid into an already inflamed space just doesn't feel good. And you have to do something. I know that rotator cuffs simply won't heal all by themselves, and knees are, well, so essential! Good luck guys!

Kathy, what beautiful coleous. I wasn't going to have any this year but....I must get some.

Saucy, wow, a lilac coloured canna! I would love to see that - photos when approrpiate please! This year I am growing City of Portland, I think they are kind of pink.

Taxes. Oh yes. Our property tax and our income tax hit at the same time. I don't get it, retired people raising a seven year old shouldn't end up paying, but we always do. *sigh* We wouldn't touch our kids finances with a ten foot pole *LOL* They are catching on to H & R Block!

Yes, Chelone, it sounds as if the job is becoming a dreadful burden. Even if one tries, shutting it off when you walk out through the door can be almost impossible. It sounds as if you've got the problem psyched. Does BossLady know you are about ready to strike out on your own? (at least that's what I think you're doing, right?)

Maybe she is in "panic mode" at the thought of losing such a good worker, and is trying to minimize her own anxiety by negating your value in her eyes. Ugh.

V. glad the itch is gone. Nothing like trying to garden wearing grimy gloves when your face gives you a little zinger.

Today is "band practice". The musicians are seven years old. They have a keyboard with 61 songs to choose from, a quarter-sized classical guitar, and a set of toy electronic drums. I am ensconcing them in DS's vacant bedroom as all the furniture is now out of there. We are having make-your-own pizza for lunch.

The "lead" musician has to go home at 3:30 to colour Easter eggs with his brother. I am so glad that my men volunteered to manage the day!




    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 9:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

10am and I still don't know what we're doing today! But it has been fun catching up on everyone's activities. It's about 35F so far, but yesterday we reached above 50F! YES!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 9:58AM
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Coffee with the Idylls before heading off on my nursery and grocery journey..

Chelone, in answer to your query about ladies chainsaws, (Im envisioning something in pink with daisy appliqués) there are nice little electric light duty saws made by Desa with as small as 14" bars. And they usually go for 60 bucks or so. I bet if you have a local Ace or True Value hardware store you could find one there. I saw that same golden moon on my way to work yesterday three hours later no doubt.

PM, I also use Picasa as my photo storage/organization program and for editing as well. I use it to upload from my camera and when working in the program there is a link to take you to the web album and sharing site. To post here , you would select a photo from your album , and on the right side of the screen where your photo is displayed there is a link that says link to this photo . When you click on that 3 dialog boxes open up,, I use the bottom one to select the size and the middle one to copy and paste onto my post.

Ok, time to fill up the commuter mug and head up the valley ..wave to all !

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 10:37AM
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I had a blast this morning - and I've already done my grocery shopping, too, and it's not even noon yet. I feel like Chelone :) Wonder if I'll hit the sack at 8 p.m. tonight?

I got a HUGE elephant ear leaf for casting for 3 bucks. This place was fun, and I took pictures for all of you - now I just need to find some time with my camera.

My sympathies over the shots! Nick said it was very painful, and he didn't feel relief for weeks, but once he did, it stuck with him. I hope you both feel better soon.

V., I have never tried Haiku! Maybe I'll give that a try - I just need a subject matter...hmmm...I'll be haiku-ing my days away in no time....look out idylls.

Woody, you and Randy are a dynamic duo! I need to find some garden time. I poked around the Goddess Garden yesterday and made a mental list of all that needed to be done.

Sue, I could use your girl power here, too. Pass me one of whatever you're taking, lol! Whoopie Pies must be the secret :)

Today there are eggs to color and then I need to find time to shop with Nick. Sarah and Jake usually get their beach towels for the summer in their Easter baskets. After that, I've got to make scalloped potatoes. I am so ashamed - I'm making them from the box. This is the request from my MIL! Everyone loves them. Oh well - I feed my kids REAL potatoes the rest of the year :)

Hope everyone's having a great weekend. I plan to return to bore you with pictures galore :)


    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 11:34AM
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V, I love your Haiku! Good news the rash is departing :)

Saucy, the elephant ear leaf casting gives me visions of Little and Lewis. I can't wait to see what you do with it!

Julie, 7 years olds having band practice sounds too cute! I'd love to hear them playing. The make your own pizzas will be fun to do too (and yummy)!

We picked up our taxes yesterday but haven't mailed them in yet. No paying, but not much of a refund either. That's our norm.

PM, so glad to hear you had such a nice day yesterday. I'm not sure what we're having for Easter dinner tomorrow either. We'll be having a family dinner at my sister's tonight so tomorrow will be a quiet day with just Brad, Bella and me.

On my Susan Branch calendar it calls the full moon we had on the 9th the Pink Moon.

A few Easter basket assembly pictures and then a link from the tea party and Easter Bunny visit this afternoon for anyone who wants to see.

The loot...

Baskets filled...

Wrapped and ready to be hidden by E. Bunny... (well at least Bella's I'll just give Kate's to Jen tonight)


    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 4:14PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - EE are one of my favorite big leaves and I'm sure they'd make an impressive cast!

Still a chilly 3C most of today so 'twas good for more sod wrestling. The new bed, looking north:

looking south:

I ran out of steam so repotting the blueberries will happen tomorrow. And there's still a lot of sod turning to do to convert the path behind the small rose bed from grass to bark mulch....

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 4:52PM
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Bummer! no pictures of the Easter Baskets are coming up on the screen for me, Eden. I'd love to see the heirloom baskets; I fished the helpmeet's from the attic, picking up the bits of "grass" that hit the floor to safeguard the surprise. :)

The Easter Tea is just too darling for words! Who hosted it? I seem to have missed that in the previous mentions of it. All those little girls must have been in 7th. Heaven, all dressed up and out for the afternoon. I have always wondered if "dress up" birthday parties complete with invitations are still given; they were really the high point of the neighborhood social calendar when I was a kid. Luncheon looked pretty good, too, not a lot of garbage food there, I'm relieved to see. I liked the looks of that pink marshmallow bunny... ;)

When I was chosing the helpmeet's chocolate bunny and a few sundry items for the basket I noticed that the Grandfather Bunny from another Easter story was the mould shape for some large dark chocolate ones. I have forgotten the title (it's old) but the illustrations are charming; a delivery bunny who hurt her foot and pair of golden shoes were featured prominently... ring a bell with you?

I've moved all the wood that was on the ground and finished up just before the rain began. Rex had an excellent day guarding his territory and attending to important dog business. There was a lot of feline supervision, as well. I've scheduled "tree boy" for next weekend and I'm stoked that he can get here considering all the tree work required following the ice storm. He's the nicest guy, so capable, and I just love watching him climb and tactically take down large trees that have seen their best day without destroying the surrounding undergrowth. He really loves trees and it shows in the way he approaches the work. We walked the premises and assigned priority to the other things that we'd like to get done. This way the helpmeet and I will be able to get the downed stuff processed without hitting overload. Kathy, thanks for the suggestion on the chainsaw.

I've made chocolate almond tapioca, whipped the remaining cream to top it and have cleaned up the kitchen. I'm now going to light the stove since it hasn't topped 43 degrees today and it's cold, damp, and raw outdoors. And, there is laundry to dry!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 5:16PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy....thanks for the directions. I hadn't clicked on 'link to this photo' for some reason. The photo is of a Cimicifuga. I dug them all up last fall because they were just not getting enough moisture where they were. I ran out of time to get them into the ground and left them in the pot against my fence all winter. I was so happy to see some life in the pot! Now to figure out where to put them. I don't have a perfect place for them. My garden is pretty level and no low areas that collect water, plenty of maple tree roots, so it is fairly dry.

I couldn't see Easter baskets either, Eden. :-(

I did fit in a trip to the nursery this morning. Came home with a pile of stuff. [g] Nothing too fascinating, just odds and ends. A couple of 6pks of collards, pansies and fancy lettuces all ready to plant out. A huge bag of perlite, seed packets, clay pots and saucers, 8ft tall bamboo poles and a few other things. Remembered to get Hollytone for the acid lovers. It was too cold to really stroll around outdoors, so next week another trip will have to be planned. :-)

Will catch up in the morning...I'm tuckered out for some reason. lol

Enjoy the evening...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 5:31PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello, hello,

Well I worked in the driveway garden yesterday and Im so discouraged and POd I could chew iron and spit nails. The drasty voles have destroyed my lovely mature clump of Hakone Albo striata.. That has been there for four or five years now and was just lovely. When I grabbed a hold of last years growth to cut it down to the ground the entire clump just lifted off in my hand! A 2 x 2 clump of grass that no longer has any roots. Arrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!! Im feeling like why the heck bother when the rodents eat me out of house and home every winter. Last year it was a gorgeous clump of H. Pastel Classic that was their winter fodder and now this year my beautiful grass. I cant yet tell if I have any hostas left in the shade garden either. Im crossing my fingers that they are just later to emerge than the other hostas.

OK done vent.

Great pics everyone. Im really enjoying all the spring doings in everyones gardens.

Eden, I LOVED the photos of the tea! Would you like to adopt me? LOL That is one lucky Bella. You are a wonderful grandmother to her.

Ok Im off to grump and moan about my missing plants and perhaps have a martini..


    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 5:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Deanne, I remember the woes last year in your driveway garden. The critters really are cruel aren't they! Wish the cats would devour them all. Hrumph. Here it is the rabbits that chomp everything, trees included. One rose in particular looks to be a vole haven...I'll have to wait and see.

Today I yanked up a heap of Jerusalem artichokes and carted the old stems away. DH got out the cables and got the mower started once more. I drove it around for almost a half hour and saw lots of groundhogs and many new groundhog dens. Sigh...

But each day I make a small bit of progress. We have called the neighbour boys to get them over with their chainsaw to do the tree damage cleanup. So within the next couple of weeks that should get done. Of course we need it cut to fit our smallish wood stove, but we can at least stack it and put it in the barn.

I never had tea parties with children my age. What an amazing event Bella attended! I loved the photo of story telling time. So sweet!

Today Skyler wrote me an email saying his Dad has bought tickets for him and the family to see The Lion King production. He is soooooooooo excited. I really hope his Mom doesn't jinx things, but I'm waiting for the "shoe to fall." Seeing a live play is so much more thrilling than watching videos...

Tonight we attended a fish fry at the local church. Really fresh nice fish, not at all greasy as I anticipated. I had my first FULL meal since Christmas...complete with baked potato, sour cream, roll with butter, coleslaw, PLUS DESSERT. I'll probably feel quite sick tomorrow!

Bought two hyacinth pots at the store today. Not my favourite flowers, but any bulbs are fun to anticipate, especially these as I have no idea what colour they will be.

Still light out at 7:30. :)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 7:32PM
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Seen at the garden center today :begonias , impatiens, coleus, zinnias, and hoards of shoppers. The seedlings will undergo a one week harden-off process- no heat mat in the garage at night, and next weekend nights outside . All my coleus kids were planted into 4 pots today, they spent the day outside in the shade and if temps permit they will start to camp out at night too. I shovel pruned my Daphne today , it had to be 15 years old, and has looked like crapola the last couple of seasons. The shade situation has changed in my garden since the demise of the gazebo and I had to admit the Daphne would never look good in its present location. I noted signs of life on my cane begonias that had to brave the elements outside this winter-very happy about that .

Deanne , how frustrating to loose a lovely clump of grass like that ! I guess the advantage of having a small garden in a dense neighborhood is the absence of some of those rodentlike critters. Maybe you need Chelone to bring Wrecks over for a few days.

Saucy, Im thinking you might need a booth at the Farmers Market to sell your wares !

I have baseball to watch so Ill leave you with a bit of Denise-ian action , and a rose from today

Kathy in Napa

Reinne des Violettes

From Garden 2009

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 9:58PM
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I had to bop over to Flikr to post this.

My Denise-ish contribution

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 10:13PM
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Kathy, love the succulents!

Deanne, my sympathies on the vole damage. That can be so discouraging. Hope the martini helps ease the pain :)

Marie, Skyler will love Lion King. My friend took her grandchildren to see it a couple of years ago and raved about it. I'll take Bella in a minute if it comes back around here again. I hear the costumes are fantastic!

Chelone, It's The Country Bunny And The Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward, one of the books we've been reading often lately. Great story!

Sorry, I broke the link to the Easter Basket pictures somehow but the pictures are back up now. Here's one more. The bunny cake I made today... not great, but Bella liked it and it tasted good.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 10:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Eden, below is the clip Skyler sent me. Bella might like to see the animal costumes. My flute teacher from years ago played the wind instruments in the Toronto performances. He even made some of the instruments:

I think your cake is a great success....except I can't eat coconut.

Still not seeing your baskets...

Woody, Randy is going to change his mind about retirement if you keep making him dig sod! ;) Oh well, there isn't much left to go! It is really taking shape! Funny how it seems warmer here than at your place these days. Most unusual. Hope all doggies are doing well together.

Think I'll broil pineapple tomorrow. Anyone ever done that? I have no instructions.

Nighty night!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2009 at 11:19PM
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Thanks for the title, Eden. I just knew you would know the book, it was a favorite of our's. Your cake made me laugh, what flavor is hiding under the frosting? (cocoanut is one of my favorites, is that boiled frosting?) The candy store was jammed yesterday, BTW. Not a hand made marshmallow chicken to be seen, those are a hot commodity, sold out early in the week. ;)

I was up before dawn (no surprise there) and set out the helpmeet's Easter basket before returning to bed. So, I missed the basket he'd set beside the coffee machine for my delight. It's teeny-tiny and there is real chocolate in it. A power breakfast if ever there was one.

Deanne, if it's any consolation (and I know it isn't) I've noted a good deal of vole activity in and around this house, too. You must be heartbroken, that's such a lovely grass and it takes so long to get nice stands of any perennial to attain full potential. Rex would definitely take care of the voles for you (he had another one yesterday) but there could be a good deal of collateral damage as he rooted around to finally get the little ba--ard. He's definitely not neat in his pursuit.

Skyler must be very excited about going to the Lion King. I remember how exciting it was to go the Ice Follies with Dad. We'd take the street car in from Riverside, have a leisurely lunch, and attend the matinee performance. It was a ritual and I can still smell that ice rink smell and hear the slice and scrape of blades on ice when I think about it. He'll be talking about it for weeks, I'll bet. :)

I love the juxtaposition between the succulents and that lovely rose, Kathy. I've made no move to visit any nurseries yet, no point with it so cold and there being so much to do around the Compound. But the occasional pot of Pansies brings a note of cheer to the chill. Very sad about the Angels' pitcher, huh? We watched the Red Sox (barely) beat them yesterday. The helpmeet was nearly apoplectic as Sox pitcher threw a couple of fat taters and then managed to walk a guy to get to their best hitter. The curse of the Bambino lives!

And wondering how Denise and her Dad are faring these days. Such a worry, I do hope things are maintaining some semblance of an even keel.

Time to get the details on that dope who fell into the Polar Bear enclosure during feeding time. Poor bears must've thought they had a real prize, only to be denied... . Lol.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 7:15AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good morning everyone, and Happy Easter Sunday to you all! Easter....a sure sign of Spring.

Almost the only one here still - although the snow is gone it is still cold and there is not much awake in the garden yet; although it appears that I will have garlic after all (smile).

Our forecast is quite a bit better for next week.

Deanne, my sympathies over the ^&^&^%%*(%^%$* voles! I had very little damage this year - wondering if it was because there wasn't really a lot of snow so they could get their snacks in the orchards and parks...last year they ate everything, including most of my front lawn...

I do have a recipe for a deterrant spray - seems to work on rabbits and deer but it has to be applied often. Of course, I didn't take my own advice and the deer have eaten my trilliums right down to the ground - that's the end of them I guess.

Kathy, your succulent pots are lovely! Such a nice arrangement too - You are so lucky to have the great weather right now -

Woody, I said I wouldn't dig up any new gardens this year but there's always a place and a need, right? Your planning skills are great. I usually just fly by the seat of my pants, resulting in an often hodge-podge of landscaping, and then I spend lots of time moving everything.

Eden I just loved the tea party! When I had a little girl, her idea of a fun time was to put on her Karate ghi and break boards....How elegant and sweet they all look. You have lots of energy and an admirable amount of dedication!

Skyler is a lucky kid - to be going to a live performance of the Lion King! I bet you are on pins and needles, now, Marie, waiting by the phone, foot tapping.... And having your first full meal? I would die. I love food.

All you folks posting news of your nursery visits...I am just going nuts - ours don't open until Easter at the earliest, and we can't plant out until the May 23rd week-end at best.

I have pretty much planted up my space now, but because I am the community gardener for the Hort. Society, I do get to buy and plant a zillion plants paid for by the Society, the town of Perth, and Parks Canada. The upside of volunterrism...

The "band practice" went well. As TCS sat at the keyboard and played a couple of his jazz numbers, the other kids looked on in amazement! "How did you do that?" said one. "Oh, it's just music lessons", was his response. They also had a mike, not plugged into anything, for singing. What a hoot! And a sign taped to the door: "Quiet Please". Great way for kids to spend an afternoon. How will I feel about this when he is fifteen? (Tell me, Mary!).

We are not celebrating Easter here until tomorrow - DD is working nights 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and DS is off until Monday when he works 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. So we will have a nice dinner together tomorrow evening. Cornish Hens on the menu. TCS was up at 6 a.m. this morning and had collected the eggs by 6:15.



    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 7:42AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

just a quick note... gb - it's always cold here in the spring. Lake Ontario is so close by and it gets very cold during the winter. Because it is so deep, it takes a long time to warm up in spring - and never really gets very warm at all. 'Cooler by the lake' is a constant, especially in the summer forecasts. It can be considerably warmer just a km. or so inland. The flip side is we get warmer autumns because it takes a while in the fall for the lake to lose what heat it mananged to gain in the summer. And, since the lake doesn't freeze in winter, it moderates winter temperatures so it rarely gets as cold here as it does at your place. Inland where you are, you get faster/warmer springs but colder weather comes earlier in the fall and your winters, on average, would be colder. There are certainly pros and cons with living by a large body of water!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 8:42AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all and a Happy Easter to the Idylls,

Im anxiously awaiting Sues arrival today. Shes coming a bit early for a visit here then we are off to MJs for dinner. MJ is making a tenderloin roast for dinner, Yum!

At least the sun is out today but the birdbath was frozen over when we got up and the wind is howling at the moment. Will spring weather never arrive this year? I dont think weve seen 70 degrees since last October. Im ready for some warmth! Ive noticed a lot of damage to the Rhododendrons this spring. Ive lost a couple here and thought it was just my miserable luck with them but there are a lot of sorry looking Rhodies around. Wonder what happened.

Kathy, love the pics and Eden what a nifty cake. Love the Easter baskets too. You are so creative!

All righty, Ive got to pass a vacuum and get some exercise as well as water a few plants. Have a great day all


    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 8:44AM
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Happy Belated Birthday Kathy

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 8:57AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gosh...where has the morning gone? I guess I was enjoying the links on the Entertaining thread and time ran away with me. time left, we are eating early today, about noon, since DS has to leave for work about 3pm. Time to get busy!! Happy Easter!!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 9:12AM
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Happy Birthday, Kathy!!!!

Cornfield Park is celebrating the Promise of the Easter Season with full sunshine but little warmth. Grateful for a fourth year garden that looks like it might actually fill out this year!

Think of all of you often......


    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 9:58AM
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Hi Martie, It's sunny but cold here too. I love your zinnias!

Mary, that's a great picture to celebrate Kathy's birthday and Easter.

Woody, you and Randy did alot of work yesterday. Bet you both slept well last night. It's going to look so good!

Deanne, your Easter dinner at MJ's sounds delish and nice that Sue's coming (and bringing the whoopie pies).

Julie, TCS got you up and going this morning! That was a sunrise egg hunt! It's such fun to see the little ones so excited isn't it?

Here's the last of the Easter pics from our house. I'm sure you've all had your fill of them. Just a couple of the egg hunt...

and a Happy Easter to you all from Bella (and me)!!!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 12:02PM
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It was a lovely day to spend in the garden. The sun was shining and the temps got to around the mid to upper 60s. Last weekend we had a snowstorm and 6" of snow and today I was able to plant peas and a few other cool season vegetables. The bean tepees are up and ready to be planted at the appropriate time. I was pleased as a moseyed about the garden to find new growth on some the things I planted last year and wondered if they would return. I was able to locate one of the clematis Arabella cuttings that made the winter. I dont recall exactly where I planted the others. Funny how you think you will remember. Who needs to mark things? Corydalis elata has returned - that one seems to have lots of opinions on hardiness. Any where from zone 4-6 for the low end.

Some of you mentioned having "help" on the farm. I have lots of garden "helpers" They prune and fertilize.

Thanks for all the concern over the shots. They werent too bad since the numb it a little first.

Eden, the Easter tea looks like it was a blast. I love all the finery the girls have on. How about yourself? What did you wear? I just love an outdoor egg hunt, lucky Bella.

I best get this posted. I started it yesterday and didnt finish before guests began arriving and now the next group is due soon.

Happy Easter all!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 12:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Peter Cottontail
Hopping down the bunny trail
Munching clematis

Happy Easter! ;)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 2:09PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

For you, Kathy, Happy Birthday, a little late! This Hosta is Frances Williams, one of the first I ever bought, and a split of my original, brought here from my other house.

I raked up the Cenotaph garden today, took about ten minutes, and a good thing too, as it is absolutely freezing cold, and really windy. The sun is out though, so all is not lost.

Gee, Eden, that Bella is a sweetie! I chuckled though, at the egg-hunt photo, because I could tell that you had had many pots on those steps in the past!

We got TCS to church on time this morning, shirt and tie, understanding that he has to be quiet and not squirm too much. It was a communion Sunday today. In the past, TCS has always declined, but, feeling very grown up he decided to participate. Who in their right mind would give a seven year old a small plastic cup of grape juice and make them sit there and hold it for 15 minutes? By the time he got to have it, he had split the cup and had to drink out of the side of it. He got his piece of bread and played around with it until it no longer looked like bread. He ate it anyway, and pronounced it delicious. How spiritual. DH and I could hardly keep a straight face through the whole service.

Having a lovely quiet day today, counting my blessings and thinking about my gardens. I had lots of stuff I wanted to say to you folks, but I have been interrupted so many times that I forget what I was going to say. So, on that happy note, I am off to cook a wonderful meal of mac and cheese (home made, at least) and hotdogs for the masses.



    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Did Peter Cottontail fertilize those clematis too 'bug?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 6:24PM
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A gray cold day here today. We spent a quiet day a home. We could have gone to Wyatts house this afternoon,but opted not to since we were with everyone yesterday at a family funeral. We all went out to eat at Cracker Barrel afterward.
DH and Jake were hoping to make their annual trout fishing day tomorrow, but the weather is not going to be fit.

Eden, I can never see to many pictures from your place. I'm happy Bella got to hunt eggs outdoors. The baskets were cute. I hope Kate gets here safe and sound very soon. I hope Jen has an easy time of it.

Julie, I would like to meet TCS. He sounds like a neat kid. I'm sure he and Wyatt would get along great. Maybe you can do a you tube video of his piano playing someday.Does your camera have a video feature?

Michelle, I'm happy you had some garden time today.

I'm feeling better but still not up to par, so I'm getting frustrated at not getting anything accomplished.

I'm about to lose this post so heres hoping you all had a pleasant day.. Norma

    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 7:00PM
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Michelle, I dressed "normal" for the tea party. No fancy for me :)

Julie, that's a stand for my agaves Brad made me that Bella's climbing on. My back stairs do look a bit like that too though now that I think of it!

Norma, thanks for the good wishes for Jen and Kate! I hope you feel better real soon so you can enjoy your gardens!

Hope you all had a great Easter. We did!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2009 at 7:39PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Great Easter photos, Eden -- Im glad to see the Easter Bunny visited Bella and she had a great Time.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2009 at 9:09AM
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