Idyll #433: An April Day

saucydog(z5MA)April 2, 2009

"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.

You know how it is with an April day.

When the sun is out and the wind is still,

You're one month on in the middle of May.

But if you so much as dare to speak,

a cloud come over the sunlit arch,

And wind comes off a frozen peak,

And you're two months back in the middle of March."

- Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926

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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yarrgh! My post was #99 on the last thread! It will be lost 'in space' and it was a pleasant one! Boo hoo....

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:06AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

BTW, that is a very good poem. :-)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:44PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Saucy -- loverly poem.... I am very impressed at your skills of assembling a greenhouse -- would be great to see pics! And yes, I cannot possibly imagine why you couldnt move your tropicals into it... and then maybe a chair, and a small table, and.... I'd be living over there soon enuf, LOL...

I would be torn too about a fun weekend versus garden sale -- I always seem to schedule myself into other things and then learn that some fun garden tour or such would have been then too. I plan to take a week off in a couple weeks to do heavy gardening and prepare for hosting my stock club meeting -- I really need Saucy's magic for the house, but am prepared to shovel it out myself to make it unembarrassing to have people in -- but note to self, refuse to host during primo garden time next year!

Chelone -- sometimes the investment in an item that is exactly what you need is the best bet even if it costs extra; Im often guilty of doing the "bargain" thing and find Im never quite happy despite the savings in cost if it's really not suited to my needs of the item... go for it -- stimulate the economy, please.

This area is experiencing the "cloud come over the sunlit arch" today -- it is reported to be a sunny day, but fog and a very heavy haze are sitting over everything -- the Cherry Blossom events kick off with a parade on Saturday -- and the touristas are out all over right now... but Im holding off for the good garden weather reported to happen this weekend and I hope to work myself into a frenzy and then garden fatigue (you know that kind...).

PM -- that was a clever bit about Maine for April Fools -- I did manage to click on that r.e. offering and was thinking how wonderful -- it's actually the only town in Maine I've been to! And I totally agree would be a great place to retire too, if one didnt mind long winters and snow.... had me fooled too.

Hoping for some real spring fever to attack us all now that the worst of winter seems to finally be over (we hope, right? Mother Nature always seems to have the last laugh on us)....

Okie, gotta go grab some lunch now.


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 1:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

As promised!

Meanwhile outdoors I spotted a few Anemone blanda (blue ones) and a few Iris reticulata!

PM, oddly enough I would not have succumbed to the joke about Timbuktu because DH has been there and I've seen photos. It is so small and you would likely not wish to live there. No computer access, no going outdoors without your veil, no clean water, not a single green thing, etc etc etc.... There IS easy access to the mosque however, and if you like mud housing, you could have one built fairly quickly I imagine. No hospital, at least not back in 1965.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 5:43PM
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Greetings Idylls, we have blustery evening here in Northern Calif and I spent some time dead heading the Iceland poppies , inspected the roses and am inside now for a bit , hoping the wind dies down later. Ive kept my seedlings indoors all week even though temps have been good, for fear that the wind would dry them out while I was at the awfice. They surely are starting to put on some growth , and they need to start living outside
Frustratingly, I put in a couple of 6-paks of Delphiniums and despite my snail-bait efforts I have lost about half of them to the little b*%#**ds . I am going to replace them with 4" potted plants-they are better able to withstand the onslaught , and next time I buy 6 paks IÂm going to transplant them into 4 inch pots and grow them on for awhile before I put them in the ground. Why I didnÂt think of this tactic years ago is beyond me !

PM, as a child I was exposed to every type of music, although there were no musicians in my family , we were all Âaudience people. Classical , jazz, showtunes, bluegrass, you name it. I listen to everything and always have. I would like to recommend to you Dvoraks Symphony #9 (the New World Symphony) and ÂThe Moldau" (this is part of a bigger work called Ma Vlast)by Smetana , both very melodic and good intros I think for those who are just learning about symphonic music.Not wanting steal Marys thunder here , but I think she might agree with me about the accessibility of these two pieces. Mozart and Bach are my favorites. I like the earlier periods best..

Marian, youÂre right , later better than sooner is goodÂit would be awful after nurturing the plants indoors all winter long to have them cut down by an early spring frost. !

Nice poetry interlude Saucy !

Cindy, I continue to strategize the scheduling of Âgardening days off. IÂm going to do another 4 day weekend in April , but one day of it will be set aside to visit the Ruth Bancroft Garden. I relate to the house-prep for your stock group, I am having my fantasy baseball leagues draft day at my house this year (on Sunday) but itÂs all straight guys so I can be way less thorough in my cleaning ! I clean better for my gay guy friends, lol.

Âbug, what a lovely photo of your Amarylis ..I love the pure white colorÂ

See yÂall tomorrow !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 9:12PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I love the poem; I've always been a fan of Frost.

As far as music goes, I was raised by wolves and not exposed to classical music until I went to college. I can give you the full musical history of Crosby, Stills and Nash but am woefully lacking when it comes to Bach, Brahms and Beethoven. Don't ever tell my daughter the music major how weak my music background is. I go to her concerts and learn a lot in the process. In two weeks her school choir is performing Verdi's requiem and I know enough to know it is a big deal. :)

Today was a horrible, terrible, no-good day at work. Mr. Bossman was uncharacteristically grumpy and demanding. Wanted to know why March wasn't closed yet. Then he wanted to know why a February bill didn't show up in the February results (um, because you asked me to close February before all the bills were in?). And so it goes. I have an extra workload because we have laid off the part-timer who worked for me, and cash is extremely tight - I cringe every time my phone rings. I basically ended the day very concerned about my job. Anyone notice that the economy really sucks right now?

Enough with the crabbiness! DH and I are going away for the weekend. Our alma mater owns an amazing estate on several hundred acres of land and there is an alumni retreat there this weekend. This is a spot that I visited when I was in college (and had no money) and I've always fantasized about staying in the house. And they have fu dogs in the garden - how can you beat that? (The fu dogs are ceramic statues from China.) Since this is about three hours south of us, we are hopeful that the spring wildflowers will have started their display.

Mary, I have been obsessively checking email to no avail. Another good reason to get away for the weekend.

Kathy, tonight's wine is Zero Manipulation from Peterson Winery in Healdsburg.

pm, you know I was just fooling! When do you close on the new house?

I am determined to get to bed a little earlier tonight, so hasta la vista!


    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 9:50PM
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V, is your Peterson one of those small bottles they do? I did a favor for one my companies' outside sales dudes out of our Healdsburg branch and he gave me two of their cute little bottles in return. Sad to say they are long gone !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 10:11PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

"Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!" [g]

That Robert Frost, he certainly knew how to turn a phrase. He describes perfectly how I've been feeling outdoors lately. Thanks Saucy. I am also a Robert Frost fan.

G'bug...! That Amaryllis is gorgeous! I have to admit that I am not an Amaryllis fan. But the pure white with the green throat, wow. Plus those blossoms seem to have a great texture to them. I love the stamens too. You find such pretty plants. ..... So DH went to Timbuktu? Now that's a phrase you don't hear every I think I would rather go to Maine. :-)

Cindy...That is one of the great benefits of living where you do...Cherry Blossom displays! I would look forward to that every year. I don't see very many cherry trees around my area any more. I wonder why. I've been seeing a few more yellow magnolias lately. Yes, I think Maine would be nice to retire to, but you are right, the long winter is something that would cause some hesitation. Our son who is living in New York the past three years, has been talking about how long the winters are and not sure he can do it any more. Do you think the winters are shorter where you are? And do you get less snow? I seem to tolerate winter better than I do heat, and I hate air conditioning, so I think that might be the problem if I moved South.

Kathy....It seems like it's been more windy than usual there, yes? Those slugs seem to really give you a run for your money. I took a look over on the Organic Gardening forum and there are a few posts on the subject. I linked to one that sounded like someone was getting results from their efforts.

There were no musicians in our family either, Kathy. Both my parents worked a lot, so family time was at a premium. Brother and I used to watch TV on Saturday mornings. A lot of westerns and musicals. No one in our family attended plays or stage productions, let alone symphonies, but an older cousin would take us to the movies every week. When I was a teenager, I remember seeing West Side Story and loving it and being so disappointed when I bought the record, that it wasn't the performances from the movie. Oklahoma was memorable for 'Oh what a beautiful morning' I love that song. Anyway, I just finished listening to your Dvorak's Symphony #9. I especially enjoyed the flute sections. The You Tube video is interesting the way they show close-ups of the musicians in groups as they are playing. The flute section reminded me of a meadow. [g] The Moldau was interesting too. I thought that had a bit of a Spanish flavor to it, which I always enjoy. I will have to go back and listen to both of these and Mary's Rachmaninov selection a few more times. Thanks for your suggestions. I had never heard of either of these. I have a few selections on my 'two' albums that are Bach and Mozart. Of the few I have, 'Concerto for Piano No 21 is my favorite Mozart. I like a couple of Bach's and maybe Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns DieStimme is the one I like best. Oh, and one of my favorites is a song that could be an Idyll song...since we are all looking up at the moon that shines down on all of us, Suite Bergamasque 3rd Movement, Claire de Lune is a beautiful song to listen to while looking at the moon. :-) I couldn't link to the Moura Lympany performance that I have, but, it's there on YouTube and I see a version done by John Williams and Julian Bream on guitar that looks great too. closing date is your due date. [g]

Well...I'm glad the Website is back up. I missed my morning reading. :-) Raining here...


    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 11:36AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Whew! I am glad we are back! I am getting tired of trying to find something interesting to do....and that does not include housework! lol

I don't guess that was due to the April Fool's day virus??

Marie, I love your white Amaryllis. I think I will look for one locally. My pot of 8 goodsized bulbs only put up the one stalk. Very disappointing.
The pot of tulips has lost its flower petals, so I set it outside.

I sure missed Chelone's morning post...yes, I saw the one liner threads....:-)

It is another lovely sunny day, and will get into the 50s, then it is to get abnormally cold, with lows in the lower 20s. There goes the flower buds on my clems. :-(


    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:12PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Glad to see the Garden Gnomes of GW have gone out to the garden to work instead of playing inside!

GB -- that bloom is gorgeous.

PM -- re the climate here, yes, the weather seems to be that I can start gardening a month earlier than your area and it can extend into November some years (altho one is pretty burnt out by then and will have had a frost or 2); unfortunately it gets terribly humid here (DC is infamous for that) along with the heat, so summers can be beastly. This spring is markedly late and cool, but that may bode well for the bulbs for spring - tulips and the like.

V - have a great weekend hanging out with those fu dogs (and DH) -- hope you see lots of loverly blooms too; I hope the day job is uneventful and pleasant today....

I can barely contain myself - it's back to being sunny outside - the rains have gone -- and Im bouncing on my ofc chair and tapping my foot until it's time to go home and garden all weekend long.... got lots of garden J jobs to do and want to go buy some leafgro (commercial compost for the unfortunate folks like me who can't compost), etc.... Saturday is sounding better than Sunday (overcast) - altho cloudy will be nice for transplanting....

Yippee -- Spring is here!!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 2:00PM
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Cindy, soak up some spring for me this weekend, it's not looking too promising for my area. And it's cold and miserable here today; I've made some coffee and am preparing to light the stove! I would love to see the cherry blossoms some day. We had a spectaclular crab apple in the front yeard when I was a kid and if they're anything similar they must surely be a breathtaking sight. My memory tells me they were a gift from Japan?

Robert Frost was dead on with that poem; even here where it's a solid zone/2 warmer than his farm it can be quite chilly through May. Because of our location in such proximity to the big briney (and on a cape) leaves will be scarce until the very end of May. I loved the year I spent in Ol' Virginny and wouldn't hesitate to move back down that way. It is humid, but I was OK with it and you can't beat those lovely warm summer nights.

That Amaryllis is gorgeous. There is something very special about white flowers, an almost sugar-like appearance. There is another variety I love called "Picotee" that is pure white with only a delicate red tracing of the outer edges of the petals.

I know winter can be long in New England (I've survived 49 of them, after all), but you just have to put yourself in winter mode and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Or curl up in the foetal position and moan through it. My own experience is that getting outdoors everyday to take advantage of the limited sunshine is important. And making the effort to have the proper attire makes that more comfortable. I used to ride my horse all winter long, often bareback because it was warmer. There is nothing more lame than someone complaining about the cold when they don't have the wits to put on a hat or wear proper footwear.

I've been thinking of assembling greenhouses and what fun that will be. You will be impossible until you get one of your own, Saucy. :) hmmm... a greenhouse goddess.

And I've thought about Jake expressing an interest in Driver's Ed., too. It's terribly exciting! and probably sort of scarey, too. After all, we are all capable of recalling all the stupid things we did, and survived. I emphasize "survive", Saucy. ;) Remember how exciting it was to have your license and take the car out ALL BY YOURSELF for the first time? I do. I was the designated driver from the time I first expressed an interest in driving. Mum hated driving in the snow so I did it. And "taking the long way home" was always factored into any errand... . (I can't help smiling).

I hope today was easier for V.. Contemplating the Fu dogs will be a good way to recuperate from a crummy day at the awfice.

My brother had music lessons, it was an exercise in humiliation and failure for me. But I still love music and grew up with all sorts of it. The record player was called the "Bigtrola" (as a toddler my brother couldn't say "Victrola" which was what the old hand cranked ones were called). Sundays were big music days because the Blue Laws in Massachusetts ensured all businesses were closed. Classical, JAZZ! and later, Rock 'n' Roll pealed forthe. On gloomy mornings we frequently listened to Sousa marches to get us rolling and active. My brother was patient and made sure I knew how to operate the stereo equipment in his room properly and took proper care of records so they'd provide hours of enjoyment. Before I went to college he made sure I had a receiver, turntable, cassette deck, and a pair of speakers. I love baroque and classical music, preferring it to the romantic period, but will give just about anything a listen.

OK, well... the dishes are not going to do themselves, and the stove still doesn't have a fire in it. Later!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 4:25PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

V. yes indeed, I have noticed that the economy really sucks now. Doug still hasn't found a job, has been out of work since Jan. 17. Two of my students had to cancel out of the seminar last weekend because they had lost their jobs and I lost those seminar fees that I was really counting on. The economy REALLY and TRULY is terrible. I hope we weather this storm.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 5:58PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all!
Nice way to start the Idyll, Saucy-I've always liked that one. Ah, Driver's Ed..I remember it well! Lol, Chelone hit the nail on the head. I remembered every stupid thing I did, and worried about my kids repeating it all. We all survived, and it was nice to have a couple of willing new drivers to go get a gallon of milk :)

Bug, that's a beautiful amaryllis! It makes me anxious for my Leucojum to bloom. I love the little white bells with the green dots..simple and elegant.

V, I hope you and DH have a great weekend!

Chelone, I admire your cold hardiness ;) I'm terrible about staying in during the winter if I don't HAVE to get out. DH adores the cold and hates the heat. We're opposites in a pretty pleasant way, for the most part ;)

Not a lot new is going on here. DB seems to be feeling pretty well most days. I'm still in shock at the amount of paper-shuffling and phone calls there are to make in regards to his health care and insurance. He's always been a really sharp guy, always on top of his business stuff, ultra-organized, and it's even driving HIM bonkers. I can't even imagine what happens to people who have less of a head for that kind of thing and no one to help them.
It looks a little more like spring here. The sun has made it's way out, and the sky is beautiful blue with puffy clouds. I've got some crocus and iris reticulata blooming, and am seeing signs of life popping up all over the place. Still waiting for that first T-shirt day ;)
Have a good weekend, one and all!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 6:04PM
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I have two favorite stupid car stories.

One involved a late model (1967) aircraft carrier size Chrysler and a very long sloping hill. We stopped the car at the brow of the hill, put it in neutral and pushed like hell to get it rolling. By the time we were at the bottom of the hill (on a highway) we were doing about 90mph. Real bright.

The other involved a rear wheel drive Dodge, a hill, and a snow storm. We'd just come down the hill and wondered aloud if it would be possible to back the car up the hill. It was!


    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 7:16PM
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Here's a good one, Chelone:

My grandma always let us drive her car around the gravel roads at the lakehouse, even before I had a license. The roads are the roads, and anything else is a ditch, or a long way down a big hill.

Once I got one tire stuck over the edge. My heart was beating so fast thinking that I was going over in the car...looking at all the trees that were going to break my decent into the lake....

Somehow a bunch of boys got me out of my predicament and Grandma was none the wiser. On our way home, though, she kept saying something just wasn't right. We stopped into the gas station and the mechanic announced that she must be hitting the potholes pretty hard because she had a broken shock spring, and that was something he'd never seen before....

She never said anything and neither did I.

I've been hold up here with a very sick Sarah. It was very scary around here. Everytime she would get sick, she would faint. Apparently it's pretty common (vagus nerve calls for the blood to rush from your head to your stomach) and once you have this happen, you should watch for it to happen again in life. When it was all over I just cried. That was the scariest thing I've ever witnessed. I hope no one else gets this particular bug...not even my worst enemies (not that I have any :)

So all about me, and now I'm off to bed.

'night all

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 8:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I could go on and on about the kids and their driving escapades...and how I got my grey hair! I'll save you from those tales though.

Today I visited my naturopath briefly. She is off to Panama to get married and can barely concentrate on business. But today i got the amusing results of a food sensitivity test that I took last month. Unlike Mary, basically nothing upsets my body except two things. First, asparagus, something I grow and eat a great deal of. And next, lima beans! Of all things!!! I hardly ever eat them, and certainly wouldn't miss them except for a single recipe for a great salad that includes them. No big deal though.

As to you Mary, my friend here from book club is in a very similar position as you foodwise. I wonder if you would enjoy sharing recipes with her. She is ever so cautious at our book club meals and brings her own soups and treats. She's a great cook I think. Let me know.

Saucy, sympathies to you for your ordeal with Sarah. I've never had that exact experience, but others that will never leave me. Kids!!!

Tomorrow is another day...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 9:30PM
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Not what I was expecting to see on this evenings WALAT !

Eyelashes From Garden 2009

Mini rose, Gingersnap From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 9:44PM
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Good evening

Just returned from a fun evening out with a group of girlfriends - dinner at a middle eastern restaurant followed by desserts at a friends house. Everything I ate was gluten free, olive free and delicious! GB - sharing recipes is something I love to do!

PM - there was lots of music in our house growing up. We all played an instrument, my mother would accompany us on the piano and my father sang with the choral union. We also listened to a wide range of music on our aged stereo and the transistor radios we prized. As an adult I've always had musician friends, both amateur and professional, and being involved with music is one of my greatest pleasures.

It is never too late to discover classical music, and the internet makes it so much easier. Perhaps we should have a music thread where we could post suggestions of things others would enjoy listening to. Kathy's pieces are great! I too love Baroque music, and Bach above all else but what I listen to on any given day depends on my mood, who I am with and what I have heard recently. For other works you might enjoy, perhaps some Vivaldi. The Four Seasons would be a great way to get started.

Saucy - how scary about Sarah. I do hope she is over the worst and you can relax. Is there anything worse than that sort of worry about your child? Annie is planning on taking Drivers Ed over the summer. (A whole different sort of worry).

We had some VERY good news yesterday. David's flicker of movement in his foot has developed into a tiny lift and his Dr told us that that is a definite indication the nerve damage will repair. It was great to hear as David has been very depressed lately. He is one of the happiest kids I know and to see him struggle with such low spirits, fatigue and tears has left me at a loss for how else to help him.

Kathy - that is some gorgeous color. Keep it coming! - we're forecast snow tomorrow.

Hi Brenda - I hear you on the paperwork:0( Great to hear your brother is feeling good.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 12:25AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hard to fathom snow... truly an ugly 4-letter word at this time of year, Mary -- I think Michelle may be hearing that too... yikes.

On the same thread w/ snow contemplations, Kathy, you post a daylily pic - wow -- does that plant have its time-frame out of kilter? wonder what prompted that?

Saucy -- how scary -- you poor thing and poor daughter! I still recall from as a teenager my brother fainting - he had some sort of seizures at the time of horrible flu -- it was scary to see and watch. To this day I remember it.

Deanne -- Im so sorry about Doug's rough road -- it really is unnerving to know how hard things are for so many folks and I really feel for you. Im glad that it's spring for you tho so you can at least have some garden therapy and keep yourself busy, even if you have to restrain nursery crawls this year....

Speaking of hard times, I hope that Deanne and Chelone will please let the Idyller attendees chip in for the variety of festivities to be had at IU this year -- there's no reason we can't all help out to cover food and other things and we will all still have a rollicking good time -- water and garden talk w/ cheese whiz will be just as much fun!

Brenda, nice of you to drop in -- do you have signs of spring at your place? Glad your bro is feeling better and is optimistic despite the insurance overloads and woes -- it can break many a good mind, the bureaucracy and absurdity of paperwork and protocols.

Yes, Im awake at a wee hour -- not that unusual but the mind was working too hard so up I am -- my DD and her spouse having some issues -- he wants a new career (in this economy!!) and to move somewhere (anywhere out of this area according to him) and put their plans to have a family on hold until "he's happy" other issues but I confess the thought of them moving to the "left coast" has me upset and depressed much as I wont say that to them -- DD has always had problems making changes easily too so this is especially hard on her and her biological clock that is ticking quite loudly these days. He threw out a choice of 5 cities to her last nite at dinner after asking where she'd like to move to -- to which she said Boston, and he replied -- o he doesnt want to live in NE (only visited the region 2 times, LOL) -- Im sure the married folks here will appreciate this type of conversation! Well, I feel lucky at least to know my DD is willing to use me as a sounding board for her own feelings and trying to thrash them out without braining him... I guess her spouse is at the "what do I want to be when I grow up" phase of his life, which I always laugh about because Im approaching seniorhood and still dont know the answer for myself!

Mary -- that is so wonderful about David and the nerves repairing -- I know that's just the great news you needed to hear to lift both your spirits. Yum, to the middle eastern food - one of my favs...

Well, think I'll go contemplate some garden julie jobs (where is Julie???) for tomorrow's work. Forecasted to be windy but in the 60s (altho 40s coming early next week again).


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 3:41AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, Cindy, if I knew you were up, I would have logged on. [g] I've been awake since 2am. Already did my exercises while waiting for DH to get up. We are early risers here. He was up at 4am for the day. I will have breakfast soon and if I get sleepy, take a nap. I feel for you, with DD's news. We've been 'adjusting' since DD moved out in October. Now she has met someone who lives out of state and I worry about the distance creating similar issues. She tells me not to worry, that she's not moving without us. lol Still, I think, that's what she thinks now. Now that's always an option, that you could move where they move to. You could be near Denise or Kathy. :-)

Speaking of Denise...where has she been lately? scary for all of you about Sarah. I hope you all had a good night sleep without further problems. I had not heard of that before. Poor Sarah. Poor you! Kids can scare you like nothing else. Hopefully once the winter is over for good, these bugs will be behind us. Hope she feels better today. ... Some car story there. How lucky those boys came along! sorry to hear that Doug hasn't found a job yet. How stressful for you both. Are there any temp agencies in your area? Our DD found her permanent job that way. I would think that any company that can hire temps [expensive] should be in fine shape. Very disappointing about the cancellations on your seminar too. I hope things change quickly.

Congrats Mary on such wonderful news about David! I bet that lifted his spirits. So I assume he is doing PT a few times a week and still in a cast? How much longer before he can get out of the cast? What is the forecast for how much activity he can do this summer? ..... Yes, I would enjoy a separate thread on music. ...I would also like to exchange gluten free recipes.

Wow Kathy, how exciting to see your first rose bloom! I didn't know you had minis. I guess you will be seeing more and more now. I was just thinking we didn't have enough color on this thread yet. :-)

Getting my license was very exciting to me too. I was the first of my friends to have a car and we spent a lot of time driving around. I still love to drive. I have some car stories but I'm not telling. [g] I'm not a bit surprised to hear your gloomy mornings included Sousa marches! lol I think that was a great idea and that it has had a lasting effect on you. :-) Your DB sounds like he was a great brother to you. It's nice to hear.

Nice to see you Brenda and to hear your DB is doing pretty well. Yes, the healthcare system is like a world of it's own isn't it? I had my appointment for a sleep mask fitting on Thursday and the office was in a hospital. I was walking by what looked like an administration office on the way and noticed a women working a quilt on a hoop in her lap and couldn't help thinking that she probably was accompanying someone who had a serious condition and spent a lot of time at the hospital. I imagine DB has a lot less energy to deal with it all. Thankfully, he has help!

We had some nice heavy showers last night with thunder and lightening. We are supposed to have a beautiful day today and I can't wait to get outside! I started this thread an hour ago...time for breakfast!

Wishing everyone a spring day...I hope they are wrong about the Snow Forecast!!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 5:20AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good morning, Idylls!
I'm slowly working my way into "Farmer's Hours". 6:00 and still pitch black outside..I'm still not on board with the whole time change thing.

Lol, I consider myself fortunate to have gotten through learning to drive without any major mishaps, and for the most part, my parents were none the wiser about my shenanigans. My first car was an old Ford that I had for about 6 months before the engine blew. Thought Dad's brains were going to explode right out of his eyeballs on that one. I never checked the oil :( The next car was a Chevy Impala. A big boat of a car that I hated, but Dad seemed to think a big car with a lot of hood between me and everything else was a good idea. One night, I pulled into a mini-mart, filled the car up with gas, pulled around and parked to go in the store. When we left, I pulled forward....oops! There was one of those cement parking do-dads that was painted black and blended perfectly with the parking lot. Got the giant boat stuck on TOP of the stupid thing. Took 6 guys to get it pushed back off, and the exhaust got ripped to shreds. Bless boys' hearts for their interest in teenage girls, lol! Dad had a special look for me that night, too :) I got paid back when I had kids.

Saucy, Poor Sarah!! And, poor YOU! Christina had asthma when she was little, and she fainted a couple of times. Scary, indeed!

'Bug, the lima beans wouldn't bother me a bit..never did like them. I'd be pretty bummed if I had to swear off of asparagus, though.

OOO, Kathy! Pretty pictures!! I put in some new daylilies last year, and I'm really anxious to see them.

Mary, that is wonderful news about David! I think some of the worst times being a parent are the times when you would do anything to help, and there's nothing you can do.

Cindy, there are enough signs of spring to make me believe it's coming, lol! It's not getting here fast enough for me, though. We've had so much rain, the ground is really soaked up. We have a lot of clay in our soil, and I'm doing my best to stay out of the beds until they dry out a bit, but it's tough!! There is a cardinal that comes and sits outside the bedroom window most mornings. I wonder if he missed me yesterday and this morning-I was up before the sun, so I missed our visit. His mate popped by and sat with him one morning. Made me think what a nice picture Deanne would surely snap if she were there. Not sure if she's got a special lens, or if she would have to photoshop out the dog snot on the window, lol! My dog and my husband are both disgusting, and their housekeeper is a slacker ;)

PM-DB and the whole gang are fortunate to have the family we do. We're a bunch of mixed nuts, but when something goes wrong, we pretty much all pull together. There are 7 of us kids, and only one drama queen, so that's pretty good!

Yesterday, I checked in on the webcam at the skydiving place. They had the planes out of the hangar, and appeared to be jumping some tandems. I can hardly wait until we get the crops planted so I can get over there again. One of DH's friends told him the other day that it's in my blood and he'll never break me of it. LOL, I told him that makes me sound like a dog that won't stay in the yard....but I fear he's right ;) I'm not a "real" skydiver, though. The sky looked beautiful yesterday, but there's no WAY I wanted to find out how cold it was at 13,000 ft!

Time for me to go do my yoga and stuff. It's been a great winter for healing what ails me, mentally and physically. When I think back on all the events of the last year or so, it seems to have been a perfect storm brewing for a mid-life crisis. Some days, I feel really old, and don't know how I got that way. Regular exercise has done wonders for that, so I'm going to have to really make the effort to work it in while we're farming. DH has been a real trooper about giving me time and space to work through all this crap, bless his heart. Lol, so next time I'm giving him grief about something....he IS a good man....but a man, nonetheless ;)
Have a great weekend, everyone!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 6:47AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

What a busy week!

Yes, DS finally got moved, we must have made a dozen trips in the car. Also the place is a dingy little basement apartment so good ol' Mom got in there with her Pinesol and microfibre cloths and it looks and smells pretty good...Also did the dreaded scrub the oven and fridge out chores. He is in there, though, and we are all better off. He is only about a ten minute walk away so we see him often - usually about meal time *LOL* Last night TCS told him on the phone that we would be having food today and did he want to come over?

Oh yes, car shenanigans.....suffice it to say that DS no longer has a driving licence....Both of mine are great heavy equipment handlers though...DD drove the fire trucks when she was a volunteer firefighter and DS is trained in the use of heavy construction machinery. Most drivers of backhoes and huge graders etc. do not have formal training, so he is quite valuable at the golf course...

Also two medical appointments last week - BP is up so Dr. suggested that I see my eye specialist to check eye pressure. Nothing was wrong, $800 later. No insurance for eye doctors. I will be getting new lenses and as you age they tend to get complicated..transitional, special coatings yadayadayada...$800. Sheesh!

And the school called yesterday to say their pizza lady was sick and could the hot dog lady help out. 200 pizzas to distribute...

Our weather has been the pits! cold and dreary and absolutely pouring rain. I had completed my basic garden clean up though, managed to deposit about 25 bags of three way mix into the veggie boxes. No sign of the garlic - it may have been too wet last fall and we may cook with "bought" garlic for the first time in a least ten years.

Ajax had a great big growling fit the other night, nothing that we had ever seen before from him. Looked out to see three very large deer looking in the front window. Next morning I noticed that every birdfeeder was empty, I had just filled them, and every crocus was chomped off. Time to get my home made sprays made. Going to do that today.

And at the risk of sounding shallow, I found an internet site where one can watch episodes of bygone t.v. shows. I watch very little t.v. but caught a few episodes of Boston Legal last year and thought it was very entertaining. So I found and watched three episodes last week.

JJobs included shovelling out the basement storeroom, and DH did the garage (It has been tidied up exactly twice in the four years we have lived here), so we both feel good.

Oh, greenhouses. That is the one thing that can bring tears to my eyes - selling our old home meant saying goodbye to the attached greenhouse that DH built on the back of the house....sure enough, there was a little table and two comfy chairs in there. From February on, we could sit in there on sunny days and look at the snow outside. I had a ton of plants. Have had to curtail that now. Because that is the single most thing that I miss, DH and DS will convert my grden shed to something akin to a GH this fall (hopefully) Means replacing the roof, probably the doors, and adding a window...Where there's a will there's a way, well, often.

I will have to stop here - but I had so much to say to you all! I'll be back!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 7:05AM
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We had a couple of thunderstorms last night and the helpmeet remarked that it was a sure sign of spring. And the rain came down in sheets and torrents. All animals were comfortably sacked out in the general environs of the stove. :)

I was asleep before Supernanny had a chance to cast her usual pearls of wisdom to an obviously overwrought, stressed out couple with two out of control (OOC) kids. But I'm reasonably certain the prescription involved a schedule with a set bedtime and plenty of family time. Do you think those simple things went by the wayside as the revolving debt totals began climbing and "making the payments" took precedence? or we just devolving instead of evolving?

Sounds to me as though Sarah got the easy end of the stick, Saucy! You must've been scared witless but I know you are too practical to be overcome when the chips are down. And I'll bet both of you slept well last night. I had to laugh about the "on the edge" joyride, too. In northern New England you NEVER pull to the side of a dirt road at this time of year (mud season) as sinking over the axels is a very good possibility and can be expensive to rectify. There was a woman in town whose husband had a yoke of really big oxen and when someone came to the house and asked to call a tow truck she said she'd try to pull him out of the ditch. He was shocked when she yoked 'em up and drove them down to the stranded car. And was even more shocked when they effortlessly pulled the car out of the ooze. :)

Brenda it's nice to see you pop in, too. It must be good to see your brother feeling pretty well with spring just around the corner. He's fortunate to have help with the insurance forms and bills. The helpmeet remarked the other day that he didn't really know how to read the bills for his colonoscopy and I can see why! I don't know if you've seen the PBS "Frontline" on the health insurance industry, it was appalling and pretty much made me dizzy. I recommend it highly, but you'll want to record it as there is so much information to digest.

It's going to be awhile before we get the first tee-shirt day, I'm afraid. And even longer until we have something similar to the lovely shots Kathy's WALAT revealed. Nothing but some early spring bulbs here... so far.

It's been getting busy at work but who knows how long that will last. Which reminds me of Doug and Deanne and the uncertainty of temporary work. Let's hope one of those temp. assignments clues the firm in to Doug's bright and capable mind and they snap him up post haste. The "trickle down" effect of lay-offs is very scarey. The painting is as lovely as ever and may the seats in your studio are be filled for months to come. Hang tough! Something reminds me that you'll be playing in the mud this weekend, yes?

Cindy, I feel for your DD facing the sorts of decisions she and her DH are. Life is complicated and it seems that just when you think you've got it sort of "figgered out" you pull a wild card and find yourself rethinking everything. Boston is a lovely city with much to offer, BTW. Although real estate is expensive and hasn't really taken the dive it's taken in other areas of the country. It must be difficult for you to watch your child wrestle with such big decisions. Is she happy and content with her own work/career and is it readily portable?

Mary, you must be thrilled to see the improvement in David's foot. But more than that seeing the light return to his eyes must lessen the weight on your shoulders, too. Watching someone wrestle with depression is very, very hard because there really isn't anything you can do for them except offer support, solidarity, and constancy. How great that things are looking up!

I wonder if V. and her DH will be contemplating the Fu dogs this morning? I hope there will be a photograph of them!

Time to rustle up some grub and think about getting to the recycling station with the dead Sony Trinitron (300 lbs.!) and another "score", a 25-30 yr. old Sony with faux woodgrain sides and a manual channel changer! Why did the helpmeet think it would be a good idea to bring that home and put it in the boardroom?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 7:22AM
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I did get permission to photo the greenhouse, but haven't had the chance. She was flattered, but she must secretly think it insane to ask if I can take pictures to show to my imaginary friends :)

My neighbor and I can talk of nothing but what to put in the greenhouse. It was 87 in there with it in the 50's outside. I think my elephant ears will love it! Julie, what about the overnight temps....did you have a heater?

I feel your grief for the loss of your former attached greenhouse :) I am working on a sunroom on the back of the house (little work is being done) and hope to grow some tropicals there....

Brenda, that's all teenage boys are good for, isn't it? I'll have to tell Jake to always be sure to help out the wayward teen in her car :) though I think he is helpful like that....

Cindy, if your DD did move, you'd have to visit Kathy and Denise alot. I know it must be hard to listen without giving your .02. Men. My husband can be the same self centered way. I have learned to gather information about decisions....he's usually quite surprised at my "findings" which are always skewed to my reality. Egos need stroking, but they usually come around, no? Keep us posted.

Tomorrow I'm meeting Deanne and Wendy for 'tufa class :) I am already packed up. Nick and Jake helped. I am really set up for teaching now and find that I like it. I have little tubs for each person to work from and the tubs stack and hold my materials easily. I think about the class that V. took and wonder if I could build a hay bale building in which to teach my class :) Then (like Deanne) they could come to me....


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 7:41AM
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I noticed the umbrella sitting inside one of my muck shoes this morning... didn't think too much of it until I put my foot into it. Ewww. It's now in the boiler room, upsidedown, with the insole removed and drying atop the soapstone stove.

Whatever do you suppose possessed the helpmeet to put it inside my shoe? Moreover, what ever possessed me to jam my foot inside the shoe??

I'm off to the transfer station with the motherlode of used televisions. And no room for Wrecks. :(

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 8:40AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good chilly spring morning to all! At least here. Tomorrow is supposed to be better. My brother is coming down from Deanne's neck of the woods later this morning so I can do his taxes. Tonight I have tickets to the annual "Taste of" for my town to benefit the historical society. We went last year and it was well worth the $30 admission price.

I've been meaning to pop in and post the article below for Mary. Apparently there is a totally gluten free bakery in the next town over from me. I'll have to pick up a bunch of stuff for IU6.

Other than that I've been getting alot done in the garden. For a variety of reasons I've either been distracted or laid up somehow the past two springs and never got the spring plant moving done. Not this year. I'm shuffling madly. The goal is to find out just what I've got for room and under what conditions before I buy any new plants.

OK, enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 9:29AM
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Good morning

Chelone - did a few words issue forth as you made your wet discovery? We had the great opportunity a few months back to take used electonic equipment to our High school where the Green Club were running a fundraiser recycling used equipment. They even carried items from the back of your car for you.

Brenda - I love reading that you might be doing more sky diving - way to go!!

Julie - what a bummer on the costs for your eye care, though it must be peace of mind knowing things are OK. Doing the gross clean-up before moving into an apartment reminds me of college days. You are a good Mom:0) Hope it works out for DS.

Saucy - have fun tufaing (could that be a new word?) with the Idylls!

Cindy - how hard to have such worries about DD and her DH. That DD shares so openly with you is great and hopefully they will find the right path through joint input.

We had one of those marital decision discourses this week. Our hot water heater was leaking and DH told me he would have our neighbor look at it to see if it could be repaired. He was also going to HD and said he would take a look at new heaters just in case. The next morning I was leaving for work when DH announced the new heater would be installed that day.

I saw red, reminding him the last thing he told me was we were waiting to see if repair was an option. I reiterated that like it or not, we are in this together and that I am no 50's, "Leave it to Beaver" housewife, waiting for my husband to come home and make the important decisions. What's more, as the person dealing with household issues 98% of the time, I need to be involved when choosing any new appliance, especially as I have specific priorities when it come to environmental concerns. I stomped off to work to find a message on my office phone from DH telling me he thought our cars were getting a little old and that he'd bought a new one which would be delivered that afternoon. I can never stay mad at someone who makes me laugh.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 9:46AM
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I am a firm believer that humor is what keeps a marriage lubed and functioning smoothly.

Actually, Mary, I had to laugh at my own stupidity for jamming my foot in a wet shoe and then "accused" the helpmeet of "doing it on purpose"... which made him laugh.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:33AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

All right, gang, I'm back.

Saucy, I really enjoy Robert Frosts's work, and that particular piece is right on! Just like our weather here, although not today - absolutely torrential out there! You must have been just beside yourself with worry over Sarah - nasty business indeed. I hope she is o.k. now.

PM, ya, ya, you got me. I checked out the real estate listing, took the virtual tour, looked up the area on the map....kind of sorry you aren't moving there *LOL* - but it was entertaining at least!

Bug, here is my Amaryllis: Apple Blossom

I have many Amaryliss's which bloom for me most years. Last summer I put them out in the garden and they bloomed a second time; paying the price this year: only two put out buds.

My family did not grow up with music, but DH did, and my linking up with him opened a whole new world for me. We have always had music in our house, and everybody took lessons, DH and I included. Now TCS is following in the family tradition. We always have music here, often just muted and in the background...all kinds of stuff...

Oh Deanne - I am sorry to hear about the work-related issues you and Doug are facing. What a bad time for you. What kind of work does Doug do?

Oooh, Kathy, more outdoor blooms! I really like the Daylily (?). Nothing here but teensy little sprouts of green here and there.

Mary - good news for David! These things are dreadfully slow. I was still seeing my surgeon three years after my accident. But...he said he would be happy if I got 50% of the use of elbow and wrist back, and I got virtually 100%. It will come. But so long and frustrating for a twelve year old. My heart goes out to him....I know what you mean about not remaining angry with someone who makes you laugh! We are lucky to have such people in our lives.

Well, a few more indoor blooms from today:


And the orchids:

DH's ondoor garden:

And Ajax, "getting along" with the wet pets:

Have a great week-end all! (today's JJob: Bathroom vanities).



    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:45AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good (windy) morning all....It is good to see so many posts this morning.

Mary, that is great news about David. I hope each day shows improvement.
So...., was the new water heater installed?

Chelone, that would certainly more than irritate me if I found my shoe in such a condition! What do men think of??? or do they think?

Saucy, how wonderful that you will have access to the neighbor's greenhouse. I still would love to have one attached to the southeast end of our house. Or at least a plant room.
How scary about Sarah! I have never had anyone in my household faint. I have, but no one else in my presence. Mine was always due to some rather serious condition, and not all that common.

I do not have any scary stories about Tim's driving. I have had a few of my own.... :-(
But I have enjoyed all your stories, and thankful that none of the mishaps were really disastrous.

No players of music in our household in my growing up years, (in our home), except my dad and the harmonica and jews harp. We did listen to the Grand Ole Opry on radio regularly, and there was a neighborman who was a very good fiddle player. He played at school activities, and every year had a jamboree at his home, then, in later years it was held in a nearby city park.. He won many honors for his fiddling. I have one of his autographed records. His family were all friends of ours, and his two daughters attended grade school with me. The oldest was/is just 10 days younger than I.
Nolon was a very good guitarist. He played by ear. My brother took lessons, but never accomplished much in that field. All three of my sisters could play an accordian. I never persued any type of music, except singing, and had no formal lessons in that. The fiddler's daughter attempted to teach me to play piano. I succeeded in learning chop sticks! LOL
I spent hours playing the stack of old records that my mother had. One of my favorites was " the Skater's Waltz". They were of various genre. I inherited most of them, and can still play them on my record player. I have gobs of stereo records of various styles. I sat by the radio with a recorder and tape recorded hundreds of songs and music from a very good station that played all the old time music. I did that for 3 or 4 years. I just cannot 'get into' the modern music...from about the 60s onward. I do not understand most of it. I call a lot of it " the tortured generation". :-(

Brenda, are you really considering another sky dive?

Julie, sorry about the horrendous eye doctor bill! I have always wondered why my high BP was never addressed by my eye doctor. I am glad you're report was good.
I watch old Star Trek shows on internet. There are not too many other old ones that I am very interested in....but among the not so old ones( for me) would be the Columbo shows. I have most of them on VHS.

Kathy, your flower pic are gorgeous!

Marie, I viewed, and listened to, the link you emailed. How very interesting! Thank you. I bookmarked it for future viewing.

Okay, I seem to be winding will quit for now.

Oh,I did get the new prescription in the mail yesterday, and read the four pages of info, including all the scary warnings and side effects. Nevertheless, I took the first one yesterday.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:56AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Julie, You and I were composing our posts at the same time. Your pics are great! I was meaning to add some of my own, and forgot. So here they are:

My only red tulip to make it this spring:

In the woods are lots of Rue Anomones:

Our big patch of May Apples is coming up:

And one of the indoor attractions is the Walking Iris:

I would be so happy if my orchids were as gorgeous as yours, Julie. :-) But I am also happy with what I have.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 11:15AM
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Happy weekend, catching up a bit on idyll news. Skimming quickly, stand-out news is David's progress, Julie's DS esconced in new digs, Brenda getting ready for some more sky-diving. Marian, if I may be so bold, if I remember correctly, March is always a difficult month for you. Maybe there's a pattern there? Barometric changes? Just something I've noticed, and I may be wrong.

This haloragis has kept me entranced most of the winter, the russet-colored clump in the foreground. I always get lot of seedlings but have never had such a robust clump before. A single byzantine gladiolus stalk is barely visible mid-boscage. Spring is a great time to use words like boscage, isn't it? The bluish haze in the background is cerinthe crashing about on its neighbors.

My dad has been very ill and continues downhill so I won't be much of a steady contributor but want to check in to let you know you're all in my thoughts, your spring gardens, spring plans, spring babies!

And a Bouquet d'Or rose for Ms. Kathy's birthday, which I do believe is coming up shortly, on or about the 7th, is it? The complex tea scent certainly lives up to its name.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 11:36AM
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No time for lengthy post now, but wanted to say hi to Denise, and much obliged for a lovely photo of BDO , a rose have wished for some time, and now have a virtual piece of the action. Ill keep the west coast Idyll fire stoked while you have to be away, and best wishes to you and your familyI have been heartlessly pulling Cerinthe seedlings for some time now by the way, trying to teach them to be polite, and a few always get to stay !

Good reading this morning with the coffee, and I will return later dust rag and mop are calling

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 1:05PM
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Oh Denise, I do enjoy getting a peek into your Spring garden, but I am sorry to hear your father is not doing well. I had wondered where you had been.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 1:08PM
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I am truly sorry worry has knocked on your door, Denise. Lovely pictures from your garden, which I hope raises your spirits and brings a smile to your face, as it did mine.

Give Ein a kick for me and I'll send good thoughts to your Mom and Dad.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 1:52PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

It's NICE in Indiana..WOO HOO!! I've been out puttering around, tidying up what I can without stomping around on the beds while they're wet. It's just good to be out in the sun, even if it's chilly, breezy sunshine. Time for a coffee break, though. I've even been to the car wash. That's about as big a waste of time as cleaning house, though. A bird splattered it shortly after I got home. Can't get a garage built too soon for me!

Chelone, I haven't seen that Frontline. Health care is an issue that has pushed my buttons for years, and the current situation isn't helping that any.
I've accused DH of intentionally doing things that drive me up a wall. He swears that's not the case, but can he honestly be totally OBLIVIOUS to the world around him. Lol, it would appear so!

Julie, my glasses are always insanely expensive, too. I'm incredibly nearsighted, plus bifocals. Lol, I swear, every time I've seen a new eye doc, they always say, "Wow! You ARE nearsighted, aren't you?" I love contacts, but can't get bifocal ones because of my astigmatism, so I'm doing mono vision. One contact for long vision, one for short, and your brain evens the whole mess out. It works pretty well, unless I need to read the tiny print like on a shampoo bottle. I don't know why they keep making the print on products smaller and smaller every year ;)

Mary, I'm also a big believer in humor in a marriage. We'd have never made it this long without it!
I'm afraid I'm a hopeless addict on the skydiving thing ;) I thought maybe I'd get over it over the winter, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Deanne, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Doug. It's hard to get the mind wrapped around just how many people are out of work and struggling. DS has been laid off for months. What do you do when your job options pay far less than unemployment? He worked for a big orthopedic company, and they've laid off more since then. I'm just thankful that he doesn't have a debt load to speak of, and no family to support.

Julie, your pictures are wonderful. I've never mastered indoor gardening. Even the container of succulents I brought in and put in the yoga fort look sad.

Marian, I am for SURE doing some more tandem jumps. Lol, I'm CONSIDERING learning to jump solo. It's been one of the things I've been wrangling with this winter. Obviously, it's not one of my biggest concerns right now, but the experience struck me in a way I didn't expect, and it bears some examination. I got the Skydiver's Instruction Manual and read it this winter, to find out what all is involved. I'll see how the next tandem goes, and go from there. There's no big hurry to make up my mind, and my tandem instructor is a good guy and a wealth of information and advice,
Love the woodland pics..there's nothing going on in our woods' yet, according to DH. I haven't ventured out there yet. He's already stomping around in anticipation of mushrooms, although it's not been nearly warm enough for that yet.

Saucy, I know what you mean about pics and your "imaginary friends". You should have seen the way the guys were looking at me last spring when I was taking pics of my tractor to post for you guys. They couldn't imagine that you don't all have free access to tractors to climb on and look over....or that you would want to see one if you don't have one. Lol, they don't get outside their comfort zone much, you know?

Denise, good thoughts to you and your parents. Don't forget to look after yourself, too. ((Denise)) That rose is spectacular!

Okay, 3 posts in two days...can we all say SPORADIC, lol?!
Back to the great outdoors!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 2:21PM
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Mary, I'm so glad to hear that Davd's showing improvement. That's great news! I remember when Brad put in a new water heater a few years ago DIY style. That's one of the worst moods I've seen him in. I don't think they're very repairable when they start to leak because they've usually rusted through. At least that's been our experience. As for me, I'll take being June Cleaver any day :) I don't want to deal with any of that stuff if I don't have to.

Deanne, you're so right about how much this economy sucks! I was hoping Doug had found something. We're thinking Brad's company could go under any day now too so I will probably be the same boat shortly. Just gotta get through day by day I guess...

Denise, I'm so sorry to hear your dad's not doing well. My thoughts are with you. As always your garden photo is lovely.

Saucy, how scary that must have been for you when Sarah was fainting. Hope she's on the mend now. Hugs to you both! Lucky Wendy and Deanne, getting a private tufa class. I'd love that!

Julie, very cool aquarium!

My dream is to have a very large conservatory attached to my house that I can overwinter all of my tropicals in. I have it pictured in my mind just how it would look with all of the plants artfully arranged and with a nice sitting/breakfast area. I'd spend my whole winter in there puttering over my plants.

It's taking it's sweet time warming up here. We have a warm day followed by a few cold and/or rainy ones. There are many signs of life in the gardens now though. I walk through at least once daily to check on progress.

Only 9 more days until Kate's due to arrive. I'm pushing for the 9th though. That's David's birthday and also the Pink Moon falls on that day. I asked Jen not to have her on the 12th because Megan, Bella and I have reservations for an Easter tea party that day and we also have dinner plans. We're ready and waiting, whenever she decides to make an appearance :)

Hope all are having a nice Saturday afternoon!


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 2:45PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Denise - I'm very sorry to see you're dealing with illness in the family. I was wondering where you disappeared to. I was also wondering where Julie was and happy to see that the reason was more positve. And most positive of all is Mary's news re David! I'm sure substantive progress like that will lift his spirts remarkably.

Not a lot going on here. I started measuring the front garden on Thursday to produce a scale drawing to play with the changes I plan. The measuring is a PITA! It was a lot easier to draw the plan in the class when all the measurements were given... I need to remeasure a lot of it because it took me a while to figure out that the reason I was having problems is that the road is at angle but the survey (I used the property survey as a starting point) makes it look straight. But the first attempt holds promise that a second attempt will produce something better as I'm working out the problems on this one. You get a quite different sense of your space by doing the drawing. I was quite surprised to find that it's about 70' from the front porch to the road. I would not have guessed it was that far - I have a lousy sense of distance!

I also potted up the wisteria seedlings. I think I may have mentioned that I got Randy to collect the seed pods off the Chinese wisteria so I could attempt to germinate the seeds to see how much of a problem it would be if the seeds got a chance to germinate in the ground. I planted 12 seeds and got 2 seedlings. So I conclute it's a good idea to remove any seed pods we see. Then the question was - what to do with the seedlings... I decided to pot them up and try to bonsai them. I put both in one pot and twisted the stems around each other to make one plant that should have an interesting trunk. Since it takes 10 years for them to bloom from seed, the woody bits are going to be the only interest for a long, long time!

My wisteria babies:

I didn't do many seeds this year - practically none in fact. GB - unfortunately I didn't get any seedlings from the rose hips you gave me. But I got very careless about watering so it was probably due to neglect. I tried to do the winter sowing thing for delphiniums this year and it looks like I won't be having any seedling delphiniums this year! I just started a few annuals yesterday but it looks like I'll need to buy the things for the pots by the front door.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 2:54PM
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Hoping everyone is enjoying a bit of springtime this afternoon. I find myself gardening a bit aimlessly today, wandering around from here to there my seedlings got to spend all morning in full sun , and now Im thinking about possibly planting them out next weekend. I could easily fashion some sort of cloche device for the most tender in the event of a late frost.
Have any of you grown Tithonia before ? I know they get huge and Ive thinned my seedlings down to four very healthy plants and wondering if I need to do any pinching to get good branching and bushy plants. Ive also found that there are a couple of cultivars that dont get quite as gigantic as the basic Tithonia rotundifolia that I have. Im also pondering putting one of them in a pot.

Well Brenda , you definitely rose to challenge with posts o plentyNewsy too ! The Impala boat reminds me of the Buick Riviera with giant fins that I was allowed to drive I wonder what the gas mileage was in the thing ? Of course gas was probably 25 cents a gallon. I know just what you mean about the new daylily excitement , its so fun to see them in person for the first time. I have stayed away from the daylily forum for quite a while, but it may be time for another visit- those people are very serious enablers and there are always tons of pics. I think its great that youve found a path to peace of sorts external things often conspire to derail ones mental tranquility Ive had a very stressful year + at the awfice along with fretting about DDs financial woes , and I know that ramping up my walking regimen as spring progresses will be a great tonic.

Woody, I sure have seen some beautiful bonsai Wisteria at the local societies shows. 70 from the front porch to the road seems almost estate like to me . I have come to approach my yard as a cottage garden , but I have no problem keeping up with it so I guess its the right size for this point in my life.

Time to finish the vacuum chores --- I might just have more pics this evening ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 6:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well Boo nice spring day for us today. I must have been listening to an earlier in the week forecast. The thermometer on the back porch said 50, but it felt like 35. Really windy and overcast with no sun. I couldn't get warm or stay out there long even with a jacket on. So not a very productive day. We did work on the garage for awhile. Tomorrow it is supposed to be sunny! So my list for today has been moved to tomorrow. I did get the screen for the screenhouse repaired today. A neighborhood cat somehow got himself caught inside last year and ripped his way out. I did the best job I could to sew the opening, but it's not pretty. I think I can find a place to put it that it won't be too noticeable. Boy talking about going blind, trying to put a needle through those tiny squares.

Loved all the pretty photos. Nice Hibiscus Julie and very pretty spring photos Denise. So sorry about your Dad. Wish you were missing for a happier reason. That's some stand of May Apple Marian and your wisteria looks very healthy Woody. Such a fun project. experience with Tithonia, sorry. I was going to try some this year too.

Nice to see you Eden. It's a wonder any of you can sleep with such excitement. How is Jen feeling? Job woes right now, don't seem quite fair to cast a shadow on such a happy time. I hope it works out better than expected.

"Imaginary Friends" gave me a good laugh. :-)

See you tomorrow... :-)

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 7:37PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Denise, I hope your dad is not suffering badly..... How old is he? Your pictures are lovely.

I am certainly hoping the weathermen have made a huge mistake on the low for tuesday morning. One forecast is for 20 degrees, another is for 17! Either one will wipe out all the new growth, just as it did exactly a year ago that day! How wierd would that be?

And to add to that....I am apparently having an allergic reaction to the Cymbalta. I have taken an antihistamine to counteract it.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 7:51PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Make that two years ago for the freeze...April 7th, 2007.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 7:53PM
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I would have to concur with PM analysis of yesterday's weather. The thermometer read a balmy 48 here but there was no sun, a very brisk wind, and I didn't do anything outdoor except throw the ball for that fool dog (wearing my pea cap). More Crocus and Narcissus emerging and the Asarum is starting to look pretty lush. And it's time to give the Epimedium it's spring shearing, but it's too wet and soggy to do much of anything else. I still have to cut the grasses down and am thinking about burning them, but will probably wait until the helpmeet is around as my comfort level with fire is limited to those inside stoves.

I remember that freeze that took out all the new growth, Marian. I also remember that as disappointing as it was things managed to survive... but I'll send out good thoughts that the weatherman is off by a few degrees. I like the orchid you posted and I don't have any May Apples. I missed my chance for some free ones some years back when a neighbor down the road was putting in a garage and they had to dig her up. Maybe I'll have it together enough to get some in this year, you think?

I've never tried Tithonia and I've never grown anything from seed as there is no set up for grow lights in this place. Perhaps that will change in the coming year, but I'll not bet the house on it. Did Saucy get the heat mat for her operation?

I have not pulled the trigger on the tabling I mentioned last week. I requested a picture/exploded view of legs as assembly is required on my end and have heard nothing since. I have no intention of forking over the amount of pork quoted without seeing a picture of what I'm buying, thank you very much! So, I've been putting together DIY plans for something similar and ran them by the helpmeet the other night. He has graciously agreed that they wouldn't be too difficult to fabricate here and I think we'll go to the lumberyard on Monday (cut list in hand!) to get the materials required. I spent a good deal of time yesterday researching casters for the tables' legs. I had no idea there was so much involved in casters but there is. There are rigid casters, there are swivel casters, and there are locking casters and there are total locking casters! Larger wheels (which are only one component of casters) improve rollability and it's important to consider the load bearing capability of casters to avoid flattening of the rubber covering on the wheels if the bench remains parked for long periods of time with a full load on it. I will require rubber, non-marking treads, each bench getting two swivel casters and two total locking ones, and 4" wheels look to be pretty good for what I have in mind. Today I have to knuckle down and really come up with the final table tally, which I think is going to be 3. And then I have to look carefully at the available selection of bench extensions for my machines. I've been daydreaming about this for the past week.

I finished up the cuffs (buttonholes and buttons)) and the new hemline (shaped, with "tails" and bound) on the shirt I began altering last weekend. It came out nicely and I'm going to do the other one, maybe today, depending on outdoor working conditions. I also hauled out a few patterns that may be useful; one for slacks that I think could be customized into comfortable work pants (I bought some denim for them last week). Work tables will make the projects I have ahead of me easier and it's time to begin moving the machinery to the Salon.

I love the aquarium pictures, Julie. Esp. Jaxie checking out his aquatic friends. How big is he and does he snore? Rex did get to go for a ride yesterday and we also practiced our "Sunday go to meetin'" manners in a public area. I think it's pretty funny that TCS invited DS over for food; and it's grand that DS has his very own designated cave. Great for him, great for you, you're winners all around and how great is that?

Eden, all you have to do now is figure out how to get Brad to build you a conservatory similar to that darling cold frame he made last year! I'll bet you could get him to swing into action if you put on your best June Cleaver dress and some of those high heels along with a frilly apron. ;) I can tell the excitement is reaching fever pitch at your house. Is Bella getting excited about the possibility of Easter baskets (they were a big deal at our house)?

Local news is full of business closures, be it small book stores, paper mills, or a remaining textile mill in a mill town north of here. Yacht yards have had orders cancelled and the building trades are staggering along dukin' it out for available work/renovations. It's a worry for any and all and even if you're one of those who's fortunate enough to be working. Eventually the slow down affects everyone else in the food chain.

Well my "imaginary friends", that's all for now. Time to sort some laundry, plan my day, and count the many things in my life for which I'm thankful. Can't wait to hear what Brenda has to say to us today, lol. And if Brenda's flurry of posts is indicative it's about time for Honey and Babs. to show up, too. ;)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 6:56AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning and it IS a good morning... :-)

Although the sun is not actually shining yet, the sky is clear and the wind has died down and it is definitely warmer than yesterday. I could hear birds singing like crazy this morning. As I was getting out of the shower, I had to shut the fan off to make sure that was what I was hearing and it was! DH and I were just looking out the window at tons of birds flitting about out there. The feeders and bird baths were filled yesterday and it is almost like they know it. I don't think I give them enough credit. Such little creatures, their little activities and sounds have such an uplifting effect. Looking out the window every day, you see such a gradual change from the brown and depressing. Today it is really starting to look and sound like spring and I get excited in spite of myself. Regardless of what is going on with us, or what we are fretting about or struggling with, that spring feeling has a way of seeping through until you have almost forgotten what you were feeling down about. At least for awhile. :-)

I am also getting excited about the soon to arrive Idyll babies! I better get a few photos of the garden onto the thread before we are inundated with baby photos and none of us will be able to look at anything Yes, everyone has to get their garden photos in now! :-)

Ok, I've enjoyed everyone's posts, but no time to talk further, I have a long list carried over from yesterday to get busy with. DH and DS are going to be around today and have to make hay while the sun shines. Will catch up later.

Have a great day!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 7:21AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A beautiful chilly morning here! Lovely early morning clouds spread across the horizon...and no frost or snow!

Last night was our French Club and only a few attendees. We met at the local Mill and some of us enjoyed dinner there as well. I had a bowl of VERY good parsnip and garlic soup.

Today I must devote to major packing so that I can try to make a quick get away when that phone rings. It could be any day for the next month, but DSIL has decided it will be on the 17th. Also I need to pack up some recipes to make while there. Today is the official day (week 36) when baby is permitted to be birthed at home by the midwife. Any earlier would have been deemed premature and a hospital requirement. So DD breathes a sigh of relief!

A friend continues to ask if he can take Phoebe for walks. I'm torn about this. I replied that after I return from Alberta I'd revisit the topic. Phoebe has no decent leash walking practice. She stays close by to us and does not like to be separated, but cars, people, squirrels, geese and such are BIG distractions. Once the weather improves she needs lots of training again with her Gentle Leader. DH is terrible about discipline and repeats and repeats "off" and "no". Utterly maddening and useless. It may be the first divorce due to dog training. (Years ago I was told divorce was due to wallpaper projects!)

It is certainly time for breakfast, my stomach is talking to me loudly about this.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 7:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Im looking forward to a visit from Saucy and Wendy today. We are going to do some Hypertufa troughs and take a bunch of cuttings from the indoor plants. I just wish the sun would come out! Its still 42 and windy outside and that wont make for a comfortable outdoor experience. Im really glad the coleus are going to get a haircut today as they are growing like weeds at the moment and are totally outgrowing the space I have available.

The exciting event from yesterday was that apparently his nibs Rahjii decided to take an unplanned swim in the pond. We came into the dining room and there was this soaking wet cat that looked like a drowned rat sitting on the railing outside. He was shivering and soooo cold! (40 degrees out with 40 MPH winds, no sun) Poor baby! Had to welcome him in the house with a towel as he was still dripping water. He came in and slept for ten hours. What a trauma! Doug and I have been laughing behind his back. Te he.

Thanks to all for the support and kind words re Dougs job search. Ive just been dealing day to day with this grinding anxiety that completely wears a person down. It is in my nature to worry something to death and no matter how much I tell myself that it will all turn out OK I still cant seem to get on an even keel. This too shall pass as they say.

Julie, Doug is a business analyst specializing in Oracle applications. ~~ Love your pics, that hibiscus is beautiful.

Mary, that is terrific news about David! So glad to hear that there has been improvement and that it looks like the nerve damage will repair itself. ~~~ I LOL over the water heater story. And yes, I agree that one cant stay angry with someone who makes you laugh.

Kathy, I grew a Tithonia in a pot last year and it remained quite well behaved and lovely. It needed lots of food and water. I just love that clear orange color. ~~ Love that daylily! Gorgeous pics.

Woody, neat that youve gotten wisteria seedlings from your seed pods. Would love to see it as a bonsai.

Eden, Id love to see you with a conservatory off your house. That would be wonderful. ~~ What a worry about Brads company.

Denise, thanks so much for the spring pics of your garden. Always WONDERFUL! Love that rose. ~~~~ So sorry to hear about your Dad.

Great spring pics Marian, I have one lone, random red tulip that insists on making an appearance every spring no matter how many times Ive thought I dug it out. LOL

OK must get off this computer and get ready for company, have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 8:43AM
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Good morning

The sun is shining and the day promises to be beautiful so I'll be back later to comment on everyone's news and the great photos.

Just thought I'd share the link of David playing a really neat piece by the Brazillian composer Villa Lobos. The sound quality is horrible (I messed up with a camera I don't understand) but you get a feel for his playing. What is neat is to compare it with the clip from just 18 months ago to see his progress (click on "More from Adenophora".)

Till later!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:07AM
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Mary, David's playing is just beautiful. I played both clips and he is really advancing isn't he? He plays with such feeling! Thanks for sharing this. I so enjoyed hearing him play!


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:18AM
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"Pieces of April" - ours are white. Yes this is the garden this a.m. Thursday and Friday were in the 50's. Spring can be so cruel. There is still a 100% chance of snow for today.

I hope to be back later if the electricity holds. Last night it was on and off so it was hard to chat or to watch the movie we were trying to see.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:40AM
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I'll bet it's the heavy, wet stuff that breaks powerlines and makes roads very slippery, isn't it? How much is there on the ground? I recall a 10" snowstorm in April here, so I use 4/15 as a last date for measureable snow.

On the "up" side it's pretty and it won't stick around very long. And everything under it will survive be just fine. It should be fun to share it on the web-cam with your beach baby, Kenzie. That is, if you don't lose the juice. ;)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:04AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Mary, OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! David is absolutely BRILLIANT!

Michelle, how awful to have that much snow now. Hopefully it will be gone soon.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:49AM
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Woke up to frosty rooftops and the drone of the wind machines in the vineyards this morning. I expect no ill effects the Zinnias are safely in the garage and it doesnt appear to have hit the ground in any case. Thankful however that I dont live in Michelles neighborhood !

Thanks to Mary / David for such a pleasant morning musical interlude- a very talented young man indeed ! And what great news from the medicos , Mary ! What a weight that must have lifted of your shoulders- the tough recovery continues but the light is glowing at the end of the tunnel.

Hoping that the tufa ladies snap a few pics of the festivities, and the finished products..Deanne , I might have known that you of all people would have tried Tithonia in a container, lol. Ive now selected the pot and await mid-month to set it out.

Chelone, more industry at the compound will the table tops be plywood ?

Julie, what a flurry of JJs in prepping InterPhils new digs- and kudos to you fro getting that hibiscus bloom inside-and the orchids are lovely too !

Ok , I have to shove off on some errands and then get stuff prepped for baseball draft activites later this afternoon

Wave to all!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 12:18PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We too enjoyed listening to David's musical progress. DH commented on his technique in music that is quite abstract.

We are soon off to do yet more errands. The raccoons have done a number on our roof near two vents and DH needs more roofing nails, caulk, etc. DH set out 2 rain barrels as well. I, on the other hand, spent the morning throwing away old underwear and socks. Somehow that was very satisfying! I also made some more progress on the red knit outfit. Having finished the buttonholes, I'm down to the picky details at this point.

Off I go.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 2:27PM
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I am just in from 3 glorious hours outdoors beginning the clean up that inevitably follows winter. It was fun!
1.) hedge trimmers made short work of the grasses and will make burning them off less alarming.
2.) the Holly is considerably more "open" now, lol. I thinned the livin' daylights out of it and trimmed it back considerably, marvelling at how well bleaching oil has stayed on the leaves for nearly one year!
3.) the sedums and Wendy's asters are now at ground level, as are Echinacea that were divided and transplanted last fall.
4.) I've noted signs of life in the Dicentra spectabilis department and the crocuses are looking mightly perky.
I'm bummed that it's going to rain again tomorrow. Oh well.

Rex was an exceptionally cooperative boy today, probably because I took him to town to practice his "good boy manners" and it was so exciting that it used up a good deal of his copious energy. We passed several dogs when we were in the car and he didn't once explode into a barking fit. We met a few people on our walk and he was good about sitting and greeting them politely. Then we went to see Daddy and buy some new gloves for garden work. 'bug, keep at it with Phoebe, little bit by little bit and plenty of beatings will win in the end.

I see it's now time for me to go back and listen to David stummin (or pluckin') on the ol' guitar. Hope he doesn't decide to pull a Hendrix and set that baby on fire! ;)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 5:04PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post... GB - Phoebe has always walked fine on leash for us. If she's on the Gentle Leader thing, I don't think you need to worry about a friend walking her. I even walked her to the top of the street at Christmas - she was pulling a bit too hard for me to be comfortable but would be no problem for someone with normal balance.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 5:57PM
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Mary,kudos to David. You both must be so proud. He sounds great and I loved seeing the clips. Thank goodness for the good news concerning the nerve damage. I hope the improvement comes on a regular basis to keep his spirits up.

It has been pretty here this last week. The forsythia are still in bloom as well as the redbuds,quince and daffodils. Some of the dogwoods are starting to open up their flowers. We are going below freezing for a few nights and I have tried to cover a few things. A couple of peonys that are budded and some hosta that are leafing out. Also the deutzia Chardonay Pearl sp?, it is close to blooming too. I tried to cover the new Japanese Maple since it is it's first spring and not to large. I would hate to see it set back. The leaves are not fully unfurled. I'm hoping the wind continues to blow as things seem to do better than on still,cold nights.

Michelle,sorry to see that snow. But it may be a good thing. better insulation.

Deanne , Saucy and Wendy. I will be looking forward to seeing the tuffa projects.

Bug and Eden, I'm anxiously awaiting baby news.

Hi ,to Chelone, Marian, PM and Julie, Denise and Jerri.
Brenda,Martie and Woody and everyone else too.

Oh yes, Woody I wanted to ask How many strawberries you put in a pot that size? June bearers or everbearers? And then do you store them in the garage in winter?

Happy Birthday Kathy, In case I don't get back in time.

I've been feeling a bit crappy and missed a few good days in the garden. Don't you just hate that?


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 6:01PM
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David plays beautifully! He looks so comfortable! Nick was impressed and is now in the other room strumming on his guitar :)

I had a fun trip to Deanne's and came home with so many goodies: cuttings of coleus and geraniums, and abutilons, too! I got to see Deanne's tropicals hanging out in the garage putting on their new growth, so the first think I did when I got home was to bring some of my babies up to the garage....I hope I have success!

Wendy and Deanne are excellent students and both get an A+. Doug will get extra credit for getting us lunch :) We discussed maybe a leaf casting demonstration for IU, and everyone could play, and we'd have to just do small ones to ship to the out of towners :)

Michelle, that is a pretty scene, but one I'd rather not see out my window. My sympathies to those who are weathering the storms :) I should call my friend in Wyoming tonight and see how her spring is going....

Chelone, good thing you cut the grasses back! They go up in a really fast hot fire! Glad you had some fun outdoors today.

I wonder if GB is all packed up? Cleaning out the sock drawer is always good - one should only wear nice socks and underwear, or wear none at all :)

I am beat. Time to whip up some dinner and find a place on the couch. The upcoming week has an appointment on each and every day....and then there's all these cuttings to pot :)

Deanne, do you have any pictures (my battery is dead again!)?

(I just refreshed...hope you feel better soon,'s not fair to be sick during garden season!)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 6:06PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon :-)

Finally some sunshine today. We were out working in the garden early and of course, the sun waited until we came in to show itself. After I had a nap, we managed to get out again and knock a few more items off the list and get some sunshine. It was 68 on the back porch. I feel a little guilty reporting that, after seeing what your garden looked like this morning, Michelle! How discouraging. Well, winter weather can't possibly last much longer! It is a pretty photo though. [g]

I feel good about the level of productivity for the weekend. We got a good amount done but didn't overdo it. Two shrubs relocated this morning and a third potted up waiting for it's place. That was the priority and it is a relief to get it done on time. Also managed to get the large pots and tripods ready for peas and pansies and two veggie beds are ready to go. Did I already mention how thrilled I am with our compost this year? I am sure it would be so odd to non gardeners that such things are It has been brewing for about 18 months without turning and is mostly leaves and I have at least three wheelbarrels full of it. We didn't collect much for leaves last fall, so this will have to last quite awhile. Other excitement was getting the hose reels out and connected with very little leaking. [g] Last fall, I ran across a 50% off sale on the type of hose reel that is self retracting by water power. They are ingenious and I am tickled with that too. So all and all...a very satisfying weekend. The only sour note, was just as I started taking photos, my camera stopped working right. I think there is something wrong with the LCD screen. I baby that camera too.

Mary, your David seems to be playing at a much higher level then I would have expected for his age. How long has he been studying guitar? When he gets to the high school, I wonder, will he join the school band? I can't remember seeing a guitar in the school band, but I would think having someone so talented they would take advantage of the opportunity. Thanks for sharing the link, I enjoyed it! practice yoga ....gee, I just saw on the Comcast home page, that Jennifer Aniston keeps herself in shape with yoga. Pretty soon you are going to look just like her! :-) I'm not flexible enough to do yoga, so I settle for range of motion.

Julie....your DS's new living arrangements sound like an almost perfect solution. Imagine finding somewhere 10 minutes away. He is very lucky to have you to get his apartment in livable condition. I had to replace my glasses not long ago. I wear a pair for close up and another for distance. I just can't stand the progressive lenses. My prescription keeps getting stronger every couple of years. It was $800. for the pair of glasses, but probably would have been as much for the progressive lenses in one pair. I was shocked at how much they had gone up in the past two years. .... your orchids really are blooming their heads off!

Chelone.....I am a big fan of Supernanny. I also used to watch Nanny 911, which I haven't seen on for awhile. It always is so interesting how much of a difference she seems to make. I like her no nonsense with added kindness style. She seems so down to earth. .... I am not surprised to hear that you are thinking of making your tables. It may be more work, but you will get them custom to exactly what you need and probably save you money too. You must be getting excited about moving the machinery into the Salon. :-) We also made a big deal of Easter baskets growing up. I still try to give our adult kids some token Easter candy but no baskets around here for quite awhile.

Saucy...Sounds like you had a nice day. I would love to do tufa sometime too. Hope we will get to see a photo or two. :-)

Sue....nice to hear you are getting to move your plants around. I will be very interested to see your newly rearranged beds.

Mary...we have very hard water in our town and it is notorious for eating out water heaters very quickly. We were tired of replacing them too frequently and having tried tankless and not feeling it supplied enough hot water for us, we replaced with an expensive stainless steel water heater the last time. Hoping that will be a much better solution for us. are a country music fan? I wonder what you think of Carrie Underwood? My mom and I used to enjoy Columbo and we were also fans of 'Murder She Wrote'. Yet another 'Maine location'.

Woody....I have mapped off our small property when we were first starting to renovate the yard. Also spent considerable time mapping out the areas of sun and shade to figure out where to place the veggie garden. Luckily our property is level and fairly rectangular. Time consuming but you only have to do it once and the information has been very valuable to me. Hope you have made progress. fun you are having your baseball fantasy group over again. I have two cultivars of the is small and one is large. My seed is a couple of years old, so I hope it will still germinate. I'm also hoping to start walking more. I can't do garden work and walk, so I am waiting to get most of the spring chores finished first.

Hey...there's Norma! Nice to see you! I am still trying to figure how you are zone 5 with redbuds and forsythias blooming? I just noticed that Deutzia on sale on the Bluestone site. I was debating whether to order it. It has the bright golden foliage? Hope you are feeling well enough to get out and enjoy every day of spring!

Okay...that's it for me.

The first crocus are almost by, but these in a shady area are just opening...

Best batch of compost yet...

Wish I had a video of this in action...

The primula that came home from the nursery with me, not in the ground yet...

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 6:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, I like the idea of a leaf casting demo of small objects...for those of us who can't bring back live plant material! :)

I'm not at all packed, but making progress. Stuff is collected in my study. Had to buy a pair of smaller jeans. That's good for the ego!!!

On our way home we JUST missed hitting my good friend's dog in the road!!! It all happened so fast. We didn't know what it was at first, a cayote or whatever. But DH braked hard and all our groceries flew around the back of the car. The German Shepherd (Nora) dashed for our car, then circled to the front and started climbing! I tried to get out to catch her, but forgot to undo my seat belt. (duh...) Finally I got the door open and she lunged inside the car. DH had to move the car out of the road and deal with the dog while I found the owners.

Nora's owners had just a few minutes earlier returned from Nova Scotia. They had taken her for a long walk and tied her up outdoors in her regular spot. We can't figure out how she undid her leash clip, but she did. We're just so glad we were the ones to find her and know where to take her! Too much drama for me.

Glad the day at Deanne's worked out nicely. I'm eager for photos! Nice that Doug could play chef too!

Woody, your comments make me realize that it is Denis who needs some training on dog walking before I'll be comfortable with it. He is great at rough play, but serious obedience training is not his strong suit.

Need to throw something on the table for DH. It is still light out at 6:30PM. Amazing.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 6:36PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Eden, I'm sorry to hear that Brad's company is having difficulty, too. It's just gut-wrenching to hear of so many people losing their jobs, and the fallout from that...small, local businesses going under, etc. I'm so glad that NBC has been running that piece on the news about the good and uplifting things people are doing for each other. The only way we'll get through all this is together.
NINE days now!? Lol, geez, I hope I don't make a total pain in the neck of myself when I'm waiting on grandbabies! I can see me now, camped out in DD's garage, just waiting ;)

Woody-A couple of years ago, I decided to use a measuring wheel and measure and draw out my beds. There was a LOT of stuff that gave me trouble. Odd-shaped beds, etc. I ended up with a reasonable scale drawing, and it reiterated the life lesson that nothing is as simple as it seems/should be!

Kathy, I've grown Tithonia rotundifolia before, and I loved it! The first time, I did nothing to it, and it stood pretty well, and was full and had tons of blooms. Grew it again the next year, and pinched. It did make it more bushy and compact, but I thought it was a great plant either way. The flowers are just so "crazy 70's orange"!
Oh, that Impala blew through a tank of gas in NO time. Gas was cheaper then, but I think I was making $3.35 an hour, working part-time.
"A path to peace". I like that. I needed it, and am glad I stumbled onto yoga a couple of years ago.

Lol@ Bug. Okay, not laughing AT you...DH and I have had some pretty wicked head-butting episodes over dog discipline. I believe in it, he's horribly inconsistent, so when he does try to make Gus do something, Gus looks at ME to see if he really HAS to do it. For the record, when I was wallpapering the kitchen, I don't know that I contemplated divorce, but I did advise that I was using a razor knife, and coaching was not appreciated. Especially by someone who has never hung paper, and thought it was a waste of time to match up the pattern. I had to ask him to leave when I started the soffit over the countertops.
Get those bags packed, girl, and have a WONDERFUL time when you get that call!
Just last week, I went through clothes and got rid of some stuff. DH takes great pride in wearing clothes until they just disintegrate off his body. I've told him he makes me look bad. He walks around looking like he doesn't have to nickels to rub together, then UPS shows up in the driveway with big boxes of plants. It's obvious why he can't afford clothes ;) Most of what came out of his drawers and closet got burned (he digs them out of the trash unless I cut or burn them), but I put together quite a bit of my stuff for Goodwill. Big ol' yippee when clothes are way too big!
Good job on the Nora rescue!

Deanne, it's great that you, Saucy and Wendy can get together!! Gosh, I think the closest Idylls in this area are V and Eden, and I don't think it's exactly a hop, skip and a jump for any of us. Hm, I need to stick pins in a map to get a grip on how far and wide we're all scattered.

Mary-BRAVO! David is wonderful! Be sure and let us know when he cuts his first CD!

Oh, Michelle...Beautiful in a discouraging kind of way, lol! I fear we're going to wake up to a similar picture in the morning. It's can't last long, though. It just CAN'T!

Hi, Norma! Get feeling better soon!

PM, I've been eyeing those hose reels for a while. They actually work well? DH is pretty skeptical. Honey, if I get anywhere CLOSE to resembling being the same SPECIES as Jennifer Aniston, I'll be thrilled ;) When I started yoga, I had NO flexibility. Seriously. I patiently did very basic poses that looked nothing like what I considered yoga to be. Did them over and over and over, and the difference is amazing. I have eliminated almost all of the slump in my shoulders, and actually have some curve in my lower back again. Lol, another perk of skydiving-the videos. Watching the way I walk/move pointed out some issues I didn't even realize I had. Even in freefall, I had NO arch in my back. I still can't put my feet behind my head, but I don't worry about it-frankly, I can't thing of any reason I'd WANT to, lol! Stick with the range of motion stuff. Water on a rock, ya know?
Your pics make me want to play in the sun!

I've never seen Supernanny, but used to watch Nanny 911. Some people's kids, huh!? My Mom would have just beat our butts and called it a day, but she never let us get that far gone to begin with, and I was the same way with my kids.

Nothing was accomplished here today. Pop-in visitors. Around here, you never know who will show up, or how long they will stay, and I love that. The dirty windows and dust will no doubt be here another day. DD had me laughing until I was crying, with her tales of married life. You'd never know those two haven't been married for 30 years. A couple of other family members popped in, and we ended up passing most of the day. BTW, DD said she ordered the pics for her wedding album, and was going to call and see when she could go pick up the disk of pictures. I would not have thought it would take her THIS long to pick out her pictures!

Enough out of me today. Honey?? Babs?? Let's go, girls!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 8:29PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Norma - I have no idea how many strawberries are in each pot! It's been a lot of years since I first potted them up and now I just start new runners each year to replace the older plants. I stuff as many runners in the pots in early August as I can to root before winter - there's probably 18 or so runners in each. The pots were originally a mix of June bearing and everbearing. Most of the crop is in June now but we still get a few the rest of the summer.

Here is a handy thing from my course - if you do a scale drawing and locate North on it, align the north arrow of this template with N on the drawing and it will tell you where shade is at various times of the year. It wouldn't be right for the California girls but would be a reasonable estimate for most of the rest of you.

GB - you're probably right. Hopefully he's not too hard to train....:-)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 8:39PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Sunday evening all!

Mary! You are so kind to post the clips of David in concert. DH and I have both taken several years of lessons from a classical guitarist and we enjoyed listening/watching so much! - he is just wonderful! He seems to have found his calling already! And DH (who is one of those men who make one laugh) also remarked that "they have a pretty nice house there too" - of David's venue.

We will probably both get guitars out this week after seeing David.

What happened to my Amaryllis photo? "Moved by photobucket"? I don't think so.

At my other house I grew about thirty great big tithonias in my front garden one year. Although orange is not my favourite colour, I must admit they were fabulous. I haven't grown any here. I have a front garden that gets full sun and I bet they would do well here. But City of Portland cannas are going there this year.

I planted 13 of the cannas and eleven are up. I intend to make a Canna hedge to discourage park visitors from coming too close to Adrian's pool. We are not fenced from the park, and although the pool does not require a fence per bylaw, we would rather it not be quite as visible.

Get packing, 'bug! Hard to leave the garden at this time, but oh! What fun you will have!! I can hardly wait!

My garden clean up is all done, I have four garlic sprouts (I planted at least 60 cloves), the crocus are up and eaten by the deer, and I have lots of stuff showing tiny signs of life. I love Spring! Under lights, the Giant Cactus and Polar Bear Zinnias are thriving. I have 36 little tomato plants (3 varieties, 12 each, enough to share with a ten-year old avid gardener that I know), 12 Medusa ornamental peppers (to share with same boy-gardener), 8 "regular" peppers, the Cannas, Alyssum, Lobelia, four o'clocks, and I can't remember what else. I also have about 30 pelargoniums in the solarium window (I think mine is like yours, Kathy), cuttings I took last fall. I have not allowed them to bloom and have cut them down once so they are quite hearty and compact.

I just about dropped my teeth, DS asked for some plants for his new home!! I gave him four pelargoniums - I figure if he kills them it won't be much of a loss

I am so looking forward to IUIV! I would love to do some small leaf casts to bring home to my garden!

Just rambling here.

Going to find a spot on the couch to watch a rerun of "boston Legal".

Marian, if you like William Shatner, you might enjoy Boston Legal. A warning though: the show is about a firm of promiscuous sleazy lawyers, half drama and half comedy. The thing that attracts me is that the characters portrayed are not stupid - as many promiscuous sleazy types are - and there is always a difficult issue under scrutiny to leave you with some serious thinking to do.

Great to hear from so many people and see so many photos. If we can get by the freezing rain and snow/sleet that is predicted for the next few days, perhaps I will have some to add.



    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 8:41PM
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Fantasy baseball draft is wrapped up Im relaxing with a glass of wine, and have completed a WALAT ..its so dry out with this wind weve been having , the lip balm is getting heavy usage. Im going to have to do some serious watering if the Monday night -Tuesday rain fails to show up.

Reports of the doings in NH sound fun and productive, and suggestions for our very own leaf casting souvenirs from IU6 gets 2 thumbs up from me

Also thanks for all the feedback on Tithonia . My seedlings are very robust and ready to be transplanted . And , an exciting e-mail today from Rosy Dawn, my coleus plants were shipped to me on Saturday and should arrive Monday or Tuesday !

Marian, my MIL had tulips very much like that in her yard, bright red with yellow centersthey multiplied like crazy for her , which is not often the case in California .

Alright, a big hello and wave to all,

speaking of tulips ..from yesterday From Garden 2009 From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:50PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good evening. I've spent all my time reading so I'm out of time to post. But I do want to share just a little with you all.

This is what I had on Saturday:

And this is what I came home to:

The snow continues to accumulate and the wind is howling outside. Kind of like a winter storm. :(

But I did get to see the Fu dogs; they're my favorite. Here's one for you to enjoy:

OK, just one more. If you hike 3 1/2 miles from the main house through the woods, you'll come to a large opening and discover the Sun Singer. He faces the rising sun, but he still looks pretty happy with the sun behind him.

We had a wonderful time this weekend, and I'll tell you more about the weekend, the house and the grounds tomorrow. But now I'm off to bed because guess what one of my fitness recommendations was? MORE SLEEP!



    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:13PM
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I have to report that much of the snow is already melted.

Today I spent a little time sowing seeds in the wintersowing method. I dont do any under lights anymore. I just dont have the time to give them the care they require. Plants under lights are all I can do.

A box with an Easter basket and a few books is ready to be sent to Florida. The "basket" is actually a small beach pail.

PM, sorry to hear about the camera. I had to replace my battery recently which set me back $40. Things are looking so springy and cheerful in your garden.

Deanne, I was wondering how your cutting of pelargonium Crocodile did under lights. Mine is a goner. It sounds like you gals and Doug had a good time and all came away with goodies.

Norma, not feeling well is the pits and more so when you miss the first nice days of spring because of it.

Eden, the Easter tea party sounds fun. LOL on trying to arrange the day for baby Kate to arrive. Im sure its unsettling for you both with Brads job. Hopefully, things will settle soon in this economy.

Brenda, Id love to see some of those wedding pictures.

Kathy, I love pink tulips. Of course right now anything blooming looks mighty good LOL

Heres a shot of my little mudroom potting bench today while I was planting seeds. I use the torch to heat up the screw driver so I can start the first cut in the milk jug and also to easily make the drainage holes.

Good night


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 10:45PM
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Michelle, what a great potting bench picture. I was planning on doing some seed sowing over the weekend too but never did get to it. Hopefully this week. LOL on the torch! I'd probably burn the house down. I use an old soldering iron of Brad's. Pretty much just like a "hot" screwdriver. A beach pail is such a great idea for an Easter basket!

I finished up my Easter basket shopping today. I try to stick with mostly small toys and books to fill them. I do add just a bit of chocolate though. I did baskets for both Bella and Kate since she's due to be here so close to Easter. Bella's basket is one I got for Brad the first Easter after we were together, then was passed on to Megan and now Bella. Kate's Easter basket was my mom's, then mine, then Jen's. It's on it's 4th generation of being passed to the oldest daughter's oldest daughter.

Norma, sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Hope that goes away quickly for you! I'd love to hear how your grandkids are doing and what they're up to?

Kathy, what pretty pink tulips!

PM, it looks like spring at your house for sure! Great that you're doing so well on getting gardening chores done in a timely matter. Love your compost!

V, very cool Fu dog!

OK June Cleaver signing off here :) Have a good day all!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 5:32AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

YUCK! I'm blaming Michelle for sending this!!!

Snowfall warning in effect.

Periods of snow. Amount 5 cm except 15 cm over northern sections. Wind northeast 30 km/h gusting to 50. Temperature steady near zero.(Centigrade)

Periods of snow. Local blowing snow overnight. Wind northwest 30 km/h. Low minus 4C.

Flurries. Wind northwest 30 km/h. High minus 1C.

Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 3C. High plus 2C.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 6:46AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


G'bug...Buying smaller jeans, how great is that! It hasn't been that long that you've been on this diet and on the treadmill. You must be doing a super job staying on track. It's not easy either. .... Oh brother, if you are getting snow, I am wondering if we will eventually get it. We have had snow storms in April, many years. Rarely, one in May. .... I wonder if you find your excitement about the baby, keeping you awake at night? How is Sarah feeling btw?

Kathy....there was a tip in Fine Gardening about keeping slugs and snails away from hostas, by circling the plant with copper pennies. have a LOT of energy! [g]

Eden....I also have a longing to be June and not have to participate in a certain segment of the household decisions. I watched Leave it to Beaver when I was a kid and have recently been recording it to the DVR. Very nostalgic seeing these episodes again. :-) Yes, I never expected to be able to get any gardening chores done on time this year. Do you have a compost bin in your garden?

Michelle....Thanks Michelle and glad the snow is melting. What kind of camera has such an expensive battery? I think I can still use the viewfinder on my camera to take photos while waiting to take it to be fixed. .... Milk jugs....We use a cordless electric drill and put 5 large holes in the bottom and start the cuts with it too. I also use the kind of kitchen shears that you can cut through bones with. Much easier. I will try to get a photo of my few milk jugs later today. .... What a cute little potting bench. I love the sunflower border! that a Cornus mas in your first photo? What are the green foliage plants? Quite a long border of them, is that your driveway? Wow, what a change to the next photo! I hope your snow melts quickly too.

Kathy....your garden sounds like it is shaping up to be a great one this year. Are you planting the tithonia and zinnias near each other? Pretty pink tulips. So are you happy with your 'fantasy' baseball team this year?

Brenda...yes, the hose reels have started out, working very well. My DH was skeptical too. He operated it yesterday a few times and was very satisfied with the way it worked. We'll see how they behave through the growing season. I can look up the brand name. Fall is a great time to buy them. .... How long have you been doing the yoga?

We are getting estimates to have our gutters replaced and I have an appointment this morning. Have to do some research on leaf guards and heating cables. Anyone have experience with redoing theirs? I see sunshine, but it won't last. 100% chance of rain this afternoon. I am going to get two small JJobs done before the rain. See you all later.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:17AM
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Wow, Mary, what a difference a year makes, physically and musically! What fun to see the progression in David's ability, something that occurs only when there is a love of the activity and lots of encouragement. Makes me smile.

I'm hoping for pictures from the "Mud Pie Gang", some of the food would be nice, too. :) I like the idea of smaller leaf castings at IUVI, too!

I was expecting the Fu dog to be cast stone, V., but I love the glazed porcelain. What a lovely spot, could you tell me what the yellow shrub in the first picture is? Hammemalis? Hope you're all caught up on "shut eye".

I have to get to the candy store to stock up on Easter goodies either today or tomorrow (I get the "good stuff" for him). The helpmeet's basket is from THTTF, but the "grass" was new last year. I will likely receive one of the dreadful, cheap "faux chocolate" bunnies from Rite Aid, but there will be Peeps to look forward to (I hope). I marvelled at the crush of cars in the Catholic church's parking lot and then it hit me... Palm Sunday! next Sunday should be another attendance record breaker. ;) If it's nice perhaps Rex and I will cross the road and watch the sun rise over the ocean. And I'll eat some chocolate in celebration.

Michelle, quality time in front of the potting bench strikes me as very profitable use of snowy, crummy day. And the practical Easter basket, nee beach pail, seems just the ticket for a small BBIT (beach bum in training). She'll be tickled pink. Hope you put some sun screen in it, too! ;)

I done heard tell that we're going to try to get a burn permit and get some of the accumulated debris taken care of this morning before the deluge arrives. Can't say I'm really thrilled with the schedule but it has tobe done and we'll have some laughs in the process.

Dogs need 3 things to lead happy dog lives:
1.) discipline (beatings)
2.) exercise (forced marches and ball)
3.) love (beatings)
They need those things in copious quantity and in that order. I don't see that the requirements are that differnet for kids. Except more beating would propably be a good idea. 'bug, I'd never taken an obedience class before we took Rex to one, but I had trained horses and knew well the benefit of consistency and mastery of the basics. The helpmeet does not see how inconsistency an uneven application of "rules" makes everything more difficult. Obedience classes are NOT for the dog, they're to train the human, never forget that. I have much less trouble with Rex because I'm basically a "hard ass". I say it once, I enforce it, and praise for compliance. It works, but I'm nervous about the coming summer season as he's been bolting on the helpmeet and getting away with it. I tend to keep a sharper, closer eye on him when he's off leash and am freqently irritated by the helpmeet's laxer approach to supervision, which tends to negate my own efforts in that department. In that respect I completely understand your hesitation to allow Phoebe to "train" with your neighbor. ;) Nice work with Nora!

Best wishes to under-the-weather Norma. I'm keeping an eye on the forsythia, wondering when it will flower and I keep remembering your pastel colored forced quince. I think that's the most interesting thing I've read in quite awhile. Did you happen to see the 60 Minutels interview with Dolly Parton? I just love her down to earth, practical viewpoint on things like plastic surgery.

OK, "time to make the doughnuts"...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:37AM
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It's Monday, that's for sure! Too bad I won't get to enjoy a quiet house - Nick and I have a meeting together this morning and need to accomplish a few tasks where we both need to be present. Maybe I'll get a lunch out of the deal :)

My whole week has appointments dotted all over it!

Sarah was happy to return to school this morning: She's been very upset over losing a library book. The library has no record of it being checked out, so they told her until it shows up in the system, she can't pay for she's been limiting herself to checking out one book (normally she's allowed 2). When I had to wash her sheets the other night, I found it while she was sleeping - it was stuck between the matress and headboard. She was so happy to see it! Now she can check out her regular 2 books :)

Today is library day!

Jake has been looking at my car with a closer eye lately. He said to Nick yesterday, "this is a pretty cool car....I'd better keep up with my responsibilities...." At least his intentions are right :)

I am glad that Massachusetts is on the "right side" of the jet stream....that'd be the side without snow in the forecast! I feel for all of those going through it! Hopefully by Friday Spring will be back on track for you all!

Michelle, Nick got a kick out of the blow torch. We're a handy bunch, aren't we?



    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:51AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We started with a beautiful sunny sky but it has deteriorated rapidly and is now overcast. We are apparently supposed to get buckets of rain later but Ill take that over snow anytime. So sorry for all of you dealing with spring snow storms. Nasty business.

The gardens are all coming to life. I just love this time of the year. Ive got some pretty hellebores blooming now and they are such a treat. I think the rodents must have eaten most of my white hyacinths in the rose garden as there are so few left. Bummer. But, the good news is that most of the clematis are coming back and are looking really good this year. Im in love with the vigor of Betty Corning. What a wonderful vigorous vine.

Great photos all, I especially love PMs new primroses and daffs with the watering can.

V. I missed the part of where the Fu Dogs are? Love that first shot. What is the yellow blooming tree? Its gorgeous. ~~ Oh yes, I wanted to tell you that my Sedum Purple Emperor seedling survived the winter. None of the cuttings I took made it but the mother plant is alive and well. Well have to talk at IU if your place wants to test it out.

Michelle, love your potting bench. ~~ The Crocodile cutting lingered around for a long time but has finally taken off with some lovely new growth. Took most of the winter to do anything though. Cindy brought me a cutting of hers last summer and it didnt survive. I suspect they are difficult to start for some reason.

Eden, I love the thought of the Easter baskets being passed down. Lovely.

Bug, a big pat on the back and congratulations to you for needing smaller blue jeans. Woohoo!!!! Good for you!

Norma hope you are feeling better soon.

OK here is a pic of the cement festivities yesterday.

No pics of the finished troughs yet as they have to stay in the forms for a while.

Time to go and exercise, have a great day all,

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 8:41AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning - it was a busy weekend and I didnt really have time to check in -- what a lot has been transpiring.

First, I want to say to Denise how sorry I am about your Dad's condition -- I thought about it all last nite when I saw the news -- I do hope he's able to have the operation still -- it's amazing how quickly life turns on a dime. Thinking of you -- how wonderful of you to still post some photos for us to enjoy (and not an agave in sight?).... Feel free to rant or vent here whenever things are tough... we'll miss you while you're on hiatus but understand. Thinking of you and your family....

Looks like lots of tufa fun; cant wait to see some finished products.

On that snow front, egad, how depressing, Michelle and Eden (& 'bug too) --- altho the cold is heading in this direction, we're supposed to only get rain and frost/freeze - so I'll be covering up my spring pots I potted up yesterday full of pansies, ranunculus, English daisies, and primroses.... We had ferocious winds on Saturday and I didnt get much done -- also had an unexpected visitor DD who decided to seek refuge for some quiet time -- things are pretty intense re this whole relocation business; it's been going on for a month and I think she's just tired of the tension and stress involved in it all, esp, when there seems to be little willingness to compromise on the other spousal side -- she performed lots of magic at my house though -- terrific -- cleaned about a bunch of closets and got me organized -- she's always been super-organized and talented in that direction (wish I had the same talent, LOL) -- so the bedrooms are looking like real guest rooms now.... I asked her to please come back and work some more magic - maybe after her graduate classes have ended in May.

V - those fu dogs are neat -- Im surprised they're glazed ceramics too and impressed taht they stay out all winter in cold territory - wonder how that works? Depressing to see the 4-ltr word happening in your world; hopefully it will be gone quickly.

Well, off to the biz of work... I know I missed lots of folks and commenting - bad idyller bad; I'll try to be better later.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 9:06AM
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A few nursery pictures for those's not quite finished yet, we still have some things to hang on the walls but this will give you an idea


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 9:15AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Believe it or not ...I would welcome a foot of snow right now! Our low has reached 29 so far today, and expected to be several degrees lower tonight. I fear many of the blooms and new leaves will be toast by morning. The tulips in the large tub on the deck are bowed down already, and minus two unopened blooms! Apparently a squirrel found them tasty snacks? The deer and rabbits did not do it.

Well...I decided to cut them all, and brought them in to finish opening. I think they are all far enough along.

I pondered wrapping some of the things , but have decided to just let nature take it's course. I would probably only succeed in making myself ill. It will be cold and windy all day. As Chelone said, most everything eventually recovered from the 2007 freeze. I looked up my records and found that it got down to 19 the first night and 18 the second. The prediction has been updated to the mid 20s tonight and back to about 32 the following night.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 9:48AM
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Cindy, your spring pots sound lovely. And you had a nice visit with dd. I think sometimes it's smart to take a break from each other like that in stressful times. Bet it did her a world of good.

Denise, You've crossed my mind more than a few times over the weekend. I echo Cindy, please do come here to "talk" when you need to. I know the thoughts and comments of this great group of people helped me out during the time my mom was ill more than they'll ever know. My best thoughts are with you and your family.

Deanne, I concur that the hellebores are wonderful plants. I'm only a beginner with them. I planted my first one a couple of years ago and added a few more last season. They are truly beautiful and so welcome this early in the season aren't they? I'm so glad you all were able to have such a fun time at your house yesterday. When times are tough, days like that go a long way in keeping up our spirits I think. Just want you to know I'm thinking of you and Doug and hoping for good job news soon!

Marie, exciting times aren't they waiting for the new babies? Jen has a Dr. appt Wednesday so we'll know more then about how close Kate's arrival is. She's really in nesting mode this week, doing lots of organizing around the house. I love seeing her so happy and excited. I hope Sarah's feeling well too.

Chelone, your work tables sound like an interesting project. Brad and I work well together building things. I think something up and he has an uncanny ability to put together just what I have pictured. So far no dresses or pearls involved though :) Hope you and dh are able to put together just what you have in mind!

PM, no compost bin here. An occasional compost pile maybe. I did alot of my gardens in the lasagna method which is a form of composting I suppose. And I always work the old leaves and garden debris into the soil a bit in the spring. Always trying to feed the soil...

It's still snowing here. Wet, heavy stuff that's melting on contact with roads and sidewalks but sticking on the garden and grassy areas. The weather's not high on my list of what's important these days. Too much other stuff to think about, most good but some not so good. Que sera, sera!

It's a good day for spiffing up the house before the Easter holidays coming. So that's my plan for today. Hope some of the restayas are able to get out in your gardens!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 10:52AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Along with the winds and snow are lots of power outages here every few minutes. I may be cut off here any instant. It is really interesting when I'm on the treadmill...NOT!

I love the shade of yellow Eden, and always love crisp white with it. Everything looks so super organized and ready...down to the closet full of dresses.

Sarah's style will be jeans for the baby, even if it is a girl. Dark green walls in baby's room, but baby will be in with Mom & Dad for a year or so I bet.

DH is off visiting a gravel pit in steel toed boots today. Supposed to be 15 centimeters of snow up there. :(

Nervous about power later!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 11:06AM
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Marie, hoping you KEEP power! We had lots of wind over the weekend before the snow but not much now that it's snowing.

I really like the yellow/ white combo of the nursery too. The room is small and that's why they chose to use built-ins for the closet and shelves. You can't really tell from the pictures but their are cupboards under the shelves and lots of shelves in the closet too. Only enough space in the room for the crib and a rocker with a small table next to it. Just between me and you guys, I would have went with a white crib. Not my nursery though, you know? And I only contributed my thoughts when asked to :) I did get to arrange the items on the shelves!

Over the weekend Megan brought over all of the clothes my mom had made for Bella when she was a baby so Kate can use them. That meant alot to Jen.

Marie, Yes,I think our babies will be raised in very different styles but will both be so loved which is really what it all comes down to in the end. I'm so looking forward to you and I being able to share their growing up!

I really need to get away from this computer. I'm not getting much else done today. Working on washing dishes.....


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 11:42AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Sneaking a peek -- wow, Eden -- I love the nursery - both the color and the decorations... I must tell you the yellow is eerily the same color I chose for my family room walls that gone done over last summer after my "flood" -- my accents are the crisp white woodwork, then aqua and coral for fabrics... but I pondered the yellow (about 6 samples over everything) and the final choice looks very much like that! It is so cheery no matter what time of day or nite I've totally fallen in love with the room -- they're going to love that color too. Good vibes. I personally believe in having bright prime colors in infant rooms, so I think this is a stunning baby room (Ha, not that they care about my opinion, but I could move right in there, LOL). I love the bookcases too.

Im sure you and 'bug are just about dancing in your seats with impatience for the new arrivals -- we certainly understand your distraction from gardening, LOL...

Michelle -- you make the cosiest, little "nooks" of work spaces -- I love how you've decorated the potting bench area -- hmm, not sure I can handle the blow torch method but I bet it works wonders.

ok, back to legal beagle stuff, altho Im working mostly on client bills today....


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 11:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Eden... Like G'bug, I enjoy Kate's yellow bedroom, especially with the white trim. That is a wonderful bookcase, that looks built in? I like the 'K' on the shelf and the sweet little lamb. I would expect a pile of books. [g] I was thinking that the crib looks like it might convert to a headboard, on a big girl bed? Did someone make that quilt? It is very sweet. I love that someone was really thinking ahead to words, numbers and letters. Glad to hear that Jen is feeling good. That says a lot. .....Lasagna beds are the best and yes, sheet composting. I think that is the best way to do it if you can. I tend to leave leaves on the bed and just mow them off the grass. My neighbor gives me many bags of leaves in the fall and that is what I add to my bin along with grass clippings.

Denise...I would also like to know if your Dad is still able to have an operation. I didn't catch on that he was having heart problems while waiting for the surgery. Hoping for some good news for you all.

Deanne...those primrose are still in the pots so can come inside for the night if it gets too cold and that's my only blooming daff so far. The rest of the yard has nothing but crocus. [g] Glad your clematis came back, that should make for some garden excitement this year. I also love vigorous vines, that you don't have to fuss with to get them to grow.

I ordered three new clematis last fall and they are in small 4" pots, so I was happy to see new growth on two of them this morning. Still waiting on the third. Does anyone think I might see bloom this year, on a Clematis that small?

Ah, the tufa class! Saucy really comes equipped, right down to the tarp for the driveway. :-) I noticed how much greener your lawn is to your neighbor there, Deanne. [g] I would like to suggest though that maybe you can edit out the license number? I am very curious to see how your projects come out, I'm not quite getting a picture in my head.

Cindy...I'm sorry to hear the stress for DD has reached that level. I hope you had a good visit and she was able to decompress some. Is she your only daughter? I LOVE the sound of your spring pots too. All my favorite spring plants.

G' are already getting snow?

Marian...hang in there, it can't last much longer!

Having a rest day today and would rather be out in the garden, but it is just too raw out there. The day is going by so slowly. Had another roofing company here for an estimate on the gutters this morning. Nothing exciting happening here at all.

Another week and maybe....just MAYbe.....spring weather will arrive? :-)


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 12:37PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I forgot this photo for Michelle....Broccoli is up.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 12:39PM
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I just checked the weather and the forecast for Easter Sunday is 54F and mostly sunny. I hope that holds! I'm hoping to have an Easter egg hunt for Bella. If the weather cooperates it will be the first time we've had an Easter nice enough to hunt eggs outside since she's been born.

PM, the crib converts to a toddler bed. Randy chose it. The shelves are built-ins.

Cindy, my office room that Bella's taken over is a similar yellow too. My bathrooms also yellow and white but a bit of a brighter shade. I like your stlye with the bright colors! Cheery is always good I think!

The nursery is decorated pretty much gender neutral because they're planning on having baby #2 asap. Jen says she just wants to have time for a few glasses of wine over the summer and then she'll be ready. We'll see how that plan holds up once Kate gets here :)


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 1:03PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm doing a lunchtime post today because we are having my MIL over for dinner tonight, and I am trying really hard to get to sleep earlier this week. MIL's DH went to visit his two siblings on the left coast so she is on her own for a few days.

Eden, I had to laugh at your comment about how Jen's plan will hold up. It will be interesting to see how she feels by the end of the summer. The nursery looks lovely and I'm sure you can't wait for Kate to be here.

And I know that 'bug is about to start pacing the floor any day now. You know, both of those babies could come on April 15th and share my DD's birthday! She'll be 21 this year.

The tufa class looks like it was a lot of fun. Sure would have liked to be there! But add me to the list of folks who think that a small leaf casting class at IU6 would be fun! Saucy (or do we call you Ms. Unicorn now?) you look like a great teacher.

I had a very pleasant surprise on Facebook this morning. I had a friend request from the English girl who had been an au pair for us back around 1990. We had not kept in touch after she went back to England, but I had often wondered how she was doing. How nice to reconnect with her!

I was deliberately vague about where we were going for the weekend; every once in a while I still get a little concerned about just how much detail is appropriate to float out in the ozone here. But now we're back so I can spill the beans.

Allerton Park was established as a private estate around 1900. The man who built it inherited money from his father who founded the Chicago Stockyards and the First National Bank of Chicago. He was a "gentleman farmer" who traveled the world in winter and brought back lots of statues and other artwork, and he also built some rather impressive formal gardens. In the 1940's he donated the estate to the University of Illinois. After some periods of neglect, the University is restoring much of the house and grounds and using it as a conference and retreat center.

The blooming tree in my first picture was not labeled, but I think it is a witch hazel. The Fu Dogs indeed are ceramic, there are I think 10 pair of them in the garden of the Fu Dogs. Not all of them are original as they have been damameged by falling trees or vandalism over the years. This winter the firs behind the Fus were removed because of their advanced age. The replacement trees were to be put in last week but the weather was too wet. So any day now, there will be 10' firs backdropping the dogs once again. Here's one long shot of the garden:


I have more to say but lunch is up. So I close with my "motivational" photo for the day:

Don't be afraid to stand out in the crowd!


    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 1:45PM
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I see there will be much for me to read later on! :)

We spent the morning burning the brush that we accumulated over the past year. Helpmeet had the permit in hand and the fire going by about 8AM. I joined him a little after that. We managed to get it all done and have our lunch hour hot dog roast just before it began to rain in earnest. (Rex had hot dogs, too).

I smell like a bonfire and am going to take a quick shower and run our clothes through the washing machine. Maybe I'll bake something this afternoon... and read while it cools.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 1:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I always loved listening to Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev) as a child...and still do! It shows off the instruments well. But then I saw this and decided to send it to Skyler. PM, what do you think?

My brother who enjoys the organ was fascinated by this Harry Potter performance:

Still snowing here...

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 3:01PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

G' did you know I was totally bored today? [g]
I can't seem to put my mind to anything constructive. Now that John Williams YouTube performance was very interesting. I especially love the sound of that mini piano in the beginning. It reminds me of a toy piano I had once. [g] I hadn't had a chance to say so, but John Williams is one of my favorites. Of course, I've always thought it takes a special talent to compose pieces that follow a story and who does it better then he does. He conducted the Boston Pops for many years and DH and I have attended a couple. We also used to trek to the Hatchshell every Fourth of July when we were dating. What an experience that was. Arthur Fiedler was conducting in those days. I think Skyler would get a kick out of the Harry Potter YouTube link. I certainly did enjoy seeing and hearing all those uncommon instruments. Oh, and I also enjoy Peter and the Wolf and when we were all talking music here the other day, I had one of those passages rattling around in my head. The organ YouTube was fun. Reminds me of Phantom of the Opera.

Still raining here...better than snow I guess. :-) I hope no one ends up having to shovel!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 3:38PM
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I use a torch quite a lot, since the automatic starter on the grill died. They work much better than those clicker lighters.

Eden, the nursery is very sweet as was the offer of the special baby clothes. I like the drawers in the closet a good use of the space. It will eliminate lots of junk being tossed in the bottom of the closet as little Kate gets older.

Deanne, nice to know that even you had a hard time with Crocodile I may check the nursery and pick up another this spring.

PM, I noticed that you have a different technique with cutting open your jugs. I think Ill try it.
My camera battery is a rechargable one made for my camera so they have you.

I believe the ceramic Fu dogs would be fine outdoors as long as water cant get into them to crack them. I leave stained glass pieces and some glass finials out all year long.

Glad you all like my potting "nook" it is actually a closet that we dont need as much anymore since we dont have kids around.

bug, maybe if Sarah has a girl she will want to wear dresses. Kenzie is in that mode right now. She wants to wear dresses and be a "princess" My DD went through the dress phase around the same age.

Cindy, sorry to hear about the stress your DD and DH are experiencing. Hopefully, they can come to a good decision. Id love to have her come and organize my closets.



    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 4:45PM
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"Delicate Chocolate Cake" is in the oven and I've cleaned up the majority of the baking trail, leaving the dishwater to clean the cake pans after the layers have been turned out of them to cool. When queried as to his choice of buttercream frosting he looked pleasantly surprised and thought he'd like vanilla. I was hoping for either coffee or orange but since I did ask him, vanilla it'll be!

I see that messing around with masonry materials calls for safety equipment! I recall using one of those masks when I was mixing the structural skin for the skimcoat on the chimney. It's pretty nasty stuff, huh? I can't wait to see what came of your labor, how long do you have to leave the stuff in the moulds? No shots of the food?? you're slippin', Deanne. :) I meant to tell you that I laughed at poor Rahji's baptism in the fish pond. We've discovered a wet kitty a few times here, too. Don't you just love it when they do the "hokey pokey", shaking their hind feet?

I love the color of Kate's room, Eden. I have been seriously "burned" by yellow paint and have not ventured back to it since, lol. It looks beautiful; cheerful, bright, crisp, and clean. I would have opted for the white crib, too. ;) I can see your artful tough on the shelves. And there's another laugh about Jen's plan to get the second bun in the oven ASAP. Make sure to ask her about that when she's in labor or in the midst of sleep deprivation, willya?

I was a big fan of Prokoviev's "Peter and the Wolf", too. I love the theme for the cat, played on the clarinet. It's never too early to introduce the beauty of classical music to kids. I am reminded that Fred Rogers had an excellent jazz combo do the music for "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood",when asked about it he replied that children were every bit as appreciative of quality music as were adults. (He's one of our heroes).

The Fu dogs make a wonderful formal statement and the garden must've been (and will be again!) lovely with the backdrop of the evergreens. Were the firs trimmed formally or were they left to grow naturally? What a lovely place to spend the weekend, V.. Wonder how many head of livestock were required to pay for it all... are the famed stockyards even operable any more?

I'm thinking of Cindy's DD and the horns of the dilemma she now faces. We've all "been there" (I'm sure) in one way or another at some point in our marriages and have a special sympathy for the angst. Let's hope it's not resolved fully until she's had her way with the organizational aspect of your home, Cindy! ;) Your pots sound really pretty, it'll be fun to see pictures of them as the season progresses. Not even a thought of annuals has yet crossed my mind.

I was thinnking of Brenda and PM as I was hauling brush around outdoors. Mum had years of dance training (as did my aunt) and I really believe it was of great benefit to both of them later in life. The flexibility they trained to achieve in youth never fully left them as they aged and a refined sense of balance stayed with them always, too. I never could manage a complete split, but know that a simple routine of stretching keeps me limber enough to avoid a lot of strains. It's good to have something like yoga to keep your mind occupied on one level and help you work through things that are not all that pleasant but need "working through" just the same.

It's pelting outside right now but the stove is coming up to temperature, all the cats are inside, and the house smells particularly nice right now. :) OK, time to check and see if it's time to damper down the woodstove, which reminds me of Marian facing the deep freeze. I'll be crossing my fingers that the damage is minimal.

Feelin' better Norma? (hope so!)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 5:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Michelle...I think you will like the milk jug cut this way. Much easier to carry them around. I just cut off the tops when it is time to leave them out uncovered or plant out. Gee, I was going to get a rechargeable battery and I didn't. I wonder how many batteries you would buy to replace the one rechargeable? I discovered there was nothing wrong with my camera, I had hit a button that shut off the display. That is what comes of trying to use it without my reading glasses on. [g]

G'bug...I started thinking about finding a classical lullabye for the new babies on YouTube. Gee there are a lot of them. But they seem to offer the common one that everyone recognizes, the most often. I am still looking. But, that started me thinking about finding a french lullabye which had me remembering an album I had in the 1970s of a French singer that I just loved. I was studying French at the time and I had this one album that I played over and over again. All I could remember of the album cover was her first name, Mirielle. I just googled famous french singers, never thinking she was actually famous and sure enough, she was! I was so happy to rediscover her. I found one of my favorites from her album, linked below. I still don't know what the lyrics mean, but I love it that way. lol I wonder if you have ever listened to her? Thanks, for starting me off on an entertaining afternoon. :-)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 5:38PM
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I do believe that Chelone is trying to fatten up the helpmeet, but I haven't figured out why, yet.

Eden, I love the nursery. Yellow is one of my favorite colors, too. My main hall is a buttery yellow.

Deanne provided the tarp - I forgot mine!

V., your trip sounds fun. I'd like to be able to afford a gentlemen's farm and the lifestyle that goes with it. I think I would have a pot bellied pig and a couple of llamas on my farm, sprinkled with lots of guinea fowl and a big pond stocked full of fish. That should keep me busy :) I have a couple of little fu dogs that I bought while overseas and I have kept them in a box. They're made of marble and I think they'd fit perfect in the garden! They're just 4" tall, but they're cute. Funny...they don't "fit" with my house, but I liked them when I bought them.

Enough out of me. I'm tired and full of gibberish. More of the same this week....

Saucy (who read over that paragraph about the gentlemen's farm and thinks I should add a handyman....what would you have on your farm?)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 6:48PM
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I would have a goat. I like goats, they have great eyes. And you have to like a cloven hooved animal that doesn't think twice about getting on top of a car!

I would have a team of draft horses, probably Sullolk Punches, because they're not terribly large and they're a breed that is facing extinction.

I would have a Lippett Morgan horse that both rides and drives for some nice backroad riding/driving.

And to really slather it on I could amuse myself nicely with a yoke of oxen. I think cattle are amazing creatures and I've always had a soft spot for draft animals. They're gentle and extremely powerful. Draft horses get all the glamor, but it was oxen that turned this country from forest to farmland.

Barred Rock hens and some big, honkin' geese to scare the hell out of people I don't want to deal with...

(and I would fulfill a dream I had years ago to learn the farrier's trade.)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 7:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I have the farm...and would like a team of energetic skilled volunteers to weed, deal with raccoon damage, voles, groundhogs, take care of flood damage, repair out buildings, deal with the annual tree damage, (like at Marian's) shovel compost, etc. Maybe it is time for me to move to smaller digs though, because everything fun seems to come with something tough to deal with. I too like hens and ducks, but with the dog, coyotes and weasels, there's no point.

Ah yes, I remember Mireille Mathieu vaguely from long ago. My background was entirely classical...and anything else was an escape from that. I listened to Edith Piaf in university...and when I married DH, it was entirely possible that he'd become a rock star rather than a professor.

Do you suppose that because I ate asparagus tonight I turned into a grump? Hmmm.

Sleep tight!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 8:37PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Nasty cold day here too but the precip. stayed as rain - so far at least....

Pretty nursery Eden!

V - that looks like a fun place to visit - the Fu dogs are a neat/unexpected touch.

Chelone - your fantasy farm sounds good - but I'd substitute Shire horses....

I played around on the weekend drawing the front garden here to start planning the new bed. The new bed is the narrow bed that is the extension of the driveway border. It will wrap around the main bed to turn the remaining lawn into a path.

The paths in the main bed look odd when seen in plan view but they are functional and look much better when you walk through the actual garden.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 8:38PM
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Another Monday bites the dust, very busy at the awfice today . My lunch hour was spent watering as the temps today approached 80 we are doing the rain dance for the weather that is coming in from the pacific this evening.

Eden what a great job on little Kates new digs ! I also have pale yellow walls in my family room, done several years ago and I have never regretted it. Drapes are red, sofa is red and have purple and black accents. Sounds kind of strange but I think it works. We should all post pics of our yellow rooms !..I think Easter is really late this year , right? Thats perhaps why you have better weather than usual.? Have my fingers crossed that Bella will have her first al fresco egg hunt- When my kids were little we always had both inside and outside eggs. My Unfit Mother side is extremely grateful that I am through with coloring and hiding eggs. LOL Jen pondering wine drinking logistics relative to baby production-shed fit right in around here !

Cindy, dont know how old your DD and spouse are, but I think that individuals in their 20s are seekers sometimes and want to explore both mentally and physically. When I was in my 20s I moved to Arizona for a few years-and Im glad I had the experience. I loved the high desert and still do, but I was not prepared to live there permanently. I guess what Im saying is that when you are young its pretty easy to pull up and move away ..sometimes you end up coming back .This is way easier to do when young and unencumbered by and lots of stuff . I dont know what locales the spouse is considering, but if they are in California, or anywhere on the left coast Id be happy to provide pros and cons .. and I expect Denise would concur with the beware of aspects. The fact that your DD is organizational tells me that that a move of this sort to her requires planning, research, multiple visits, and a job offer.

Michelle, I had to giggle at the prospect of you packing your torch around for various jobs. Your potting bench reminds me a bit of mine, which is outdoors and cluttered at the moment with succulents awaiting their permanent home .

Pm , I tried the penny thing more than once , but with no success. Diatomaceous earth worked a lot better. I will be putting Zinnias in all areas so the Tithonias will be nearby in some cases ! I actually started another 6 pack of "Envy" Zinnias tonight because I want to use them to unify different spaces- the repeated elementsthing . Baseball team is good- we lost a couple of owners in our league so there were lots of talented players available this year. I always have fun keeping track of my players.

Thanks for the Tufa pics Deanne, although the dust masks sort of put me in a dental mode , lol !

Saucy, my farm would have 2 dogs, a cutting and vegetable garden with a roadside stand on the honor system, and chickens to give me fresh eggs. But they would be pretty chickens, with very sumptuous digs.

Here is Madame Isaac Pereire , taken today, her first flower is a bit small having been beat up by frost and dry conditions From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

All for tonight !

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 10:41PM
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What is the yellow confection behind the lovely Madame Isaac Pereire? I have a soft spot for yellow roses.

Kathy is right about "moving away". I did it in my 20s and sadly "came back" to this godforsaken hole... ;)

Work today is going to consist of an awful lot of very dirty mending. It's time to begin putting up commercial canvas, and this job in particular needs a priest, not more mending.

The helpmeet was worse than a lone mosquito in a bedroom after dinner. He buzzed around the kitchen while I made the frosting and then helped himself to two pieces of cake. I've found the layer cake is the best dessert option, along with pudding. Here's why: you have to make an effort to cut a piece, put it on a plate, and eat it with a fork, unlike cookies which can be packed into coat pockets and stuffed one after the other into that hole under your nose. I find I get better "mileage" from a simple, two layer cake. Though if the zeal with which he advanced on it last night is any indication I may have to revise that theory shortly.

If I'm not too grubby after work I'll go to Orange to price and get the finished thickness of the table top material; essentially a 4x8'sheet of plywood/underlayment with some sort of surface (melamine?) on the top side. Also on the list are the rolls of the finished edgeing that are applied to the unfinished edges with hot glue. I have to order the casters this afternoon, too. The helpmeet remarked that I seem to have put rather a lot of time into this project when we were discussing it yesterday. I have. I know that good tabling makes working on larger items a lot easier and experience has taught me that too often it's the thing that gets the least amount of careful thought, an "after-thought" or a victim of finances depleted on other things.

It's going to be a dreary day working on dreary things. I'd rather hang around the Compound with the helpmeet and the animals...

alas. ;)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 5:29AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a fly-by this morning. I'm SO happy! DS found a job. He'll be doing quality control in a place than manufactures vinyl fencing. It doesn't pay as much as the one he's laid off from, but it's a job, and he is MORE than ready to get back to work. Lol, the "vacation" aspect of unemployment wore off quite a while ago.
Chelone...Your layer cake theory doesn't work around here. Cut? Plate? DH just stands there in the middle of the night with a fork and plows in ;)
Gotta run, I'm going to try and be productive today!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 7:19AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Congrats to your DS Brenda! There must have been something in the air yesterday, Doug also got a JOB yesterday! Woohoo!!!!!!

PS there will be dancing on the tables and other appropriate celebratory activities occurring in NH this week.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 7:29AM
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Happy Birthday to Kathy! No pretty card from me. I'm on Brad's notebook without access to my pictures and if I took one of my garden for you today you'd think it was the middle of winter. Anyway.....have a great day! And after reading Chelone's post I must add, eat some cake!!!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 7:45AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Happy Birthday Kathy! Will try to do a birthday card later - my camera software seems to have a glitch at the moment.

Congratulations to doug/Deanne! And to Brenda's DS. Signs of hope for the economy in that news....?

Chelone - I feel compelled to bake a cake today - all your fault....!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:00AM
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Congratulatios to Doug and Brenda's DS on landing their jobs. Great news indeed and I imagine a huge relief.

What a flurry of posts and pictures these last couple of days. I'm now hopelessly behind but enjoyed all the news, updates and links. Mireille Mathieu was a treat PM! As is the new nursery.

We have double Dr's visits today for David, his regular pediatrician and then the surgeon. Rather than racing back and forth to my school I'm taking a personal day and using the time in between to catch up on chores at home. Unfortunately the 6 inches of snow we're having has meant gardening is out of the question.

Have a good day everyone


PS My For Cynthia is almost in bloom and I was wondering how our Cynthia is and her furry companions.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:02AM
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Woody - just took another look at your front garden plan and love the new curving bed. I've always dreamt of reducing our front lawn to grass paths. How fun to plan out your new plantings. Will you do the newspaper with mulch method over the grass to make the bed? Despite telling myself I would work with what I have rather than create anything new, I am extending my driveway bed to include the mailbox. Deanne's mailbox garden is a major inspiration.
I like to think the postman will approve:0)


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:11AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

First I want to add my congrats on the new jobs!

Second, I want to say it appears our yard escaped serious freeze damage. Our low finally reached 25 after beginning at 32 after midnight. I did go out and put protection around and over several things. I have a fence around the red japanese maple that was hit so hard two years ago, (to protect it from the deer). I drapped sheets and comforters over it, and tied them on. Tommy was 'helping' LOL .
I placed containers over most of the hosta.

I cut all the (remaining) tulip blooms and brought then in. They are making a lovely display in our livingroom.

We have at least one rat in our attic! It has been several years since we last heard one up there. I first heard it above the livingroom last night, then it woke me up gnawing above my bedroom this morning. Drat!

I guess it will warm enough today for me to leave Nolon with the stove. :-)
I am debating whether to go in today, since I will be going in tomorrow for my appointment with the OD.
It is to be much warmer tomorrow, too. I have time enough to decide.....


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:23AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Such good news this morning!!! Yeah to Brenda's son and to Doug!!!!! Definitely dancing on table tops!

For Mary, I couldn't resist this musical clip to celebrate your forthcoming mailbox garden. See below.

Here the snow plow has made its appearance once again. Groan....

And for our personal music activity, DH is practicing Octopus's Garden to sing with Skyler on his birthday.

STILL working on that knitting. Maybe I'll complete it today? We'll see.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:47AM
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