Idyll #436 Rock A Bye Baby? Maybe?

lmcilhargieApril 19, 2009

Two Idyll babies due any day now....that's what's on my mind. Carry on Idylls!

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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

That's on my mind too! :)

But from Julie, I'll include this:
Spring has sprung,
The grass is ris
I wonder where
The birdies is...

All over at Deanne's, I bet!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 1:35PM
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I'm having fun directing the shirtless menfolk on how to do spring yard work :)

Why do they do that?

GB, you got me on the puzzle, but I'll be sure to pass it on!

Babies will come, babies will come :)


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 2:08PM
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They will come when they're good and ready or when someone else decides they're sick of waiting. ;)

I'm just in from nearly 5 hrs. outside with the Huge One. I focussed on the terrace today, cutting back remaining dry stuff, and gently pulling the leaves and winter debris out of the beds and away from the areas that might be "hang outs" for salamanders. LOTS of vole damage around the perimeter of the railroad ties, in particular my stand of Chelone. It's a bit early for that just yet, so there may be some action, but I'm not gonna bet the farm on it. I also had my way with the Hydrangea paniculata which will soon be confused with Harry Lauder's Walking Stick if I keep on the same path of ruthless trimming. I have yet to tackle Clematis "Daniel Durondo" which looks like a vertical brillo pad right now. "New Dawn" rose looked so bad I simply cut the daylights out of it and am considering shovel pruning it and simply starting over ("details at 6", Kathy). Both those plants took a terrible hit when the house was painted and I'm not quite sure how to rejuvenate them. I also noticed that several of the beds have gotten quite acidic in the past few years (lots of moss starting in them) and it's time to give them a hit of lime and some good compost, too. There is much more to be accomplished but it's a start and it looks a lot neater out there. Rex disappeared once (to see his buddies next door) but came running home when he heard me call and figured "I meant it". And was remwarded with some "ball". Yippee.

It's now time to make the cake and dream of Saucy's shirtless menfolk. Maybe you could get them overalls and have them wear those without a shirt... I've always thought that was a particularly nice look, myself. ;)

Deanne, I love your observations on birds. I was thinking about the Jays nipping off new growth while I was working along. I did know about pairs feeding each other, Larry used to try to do that with the helpmeet and me. He used to to preen our eyebrows and eyelashes, too. He was dear little thing.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 3:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, how did Larry get his name?

My Gillian Blades ( like the ancient rusty brillo pad you would throw away...but I am not pruning it at all and expect it to look fine later on. Cross your fingers!

The little girls arrived this morning to check out Ms Phoebe. Phoebe was thrilled and the girls, happily, were cautious and giggled at her antics. They explored the property and dared to cross the narrow footbridge across the creek. Phoebe was restrained while they tip toed across because she is too enthusiastic when she is the centre of attention, and would gallop across the bridge and knock someone over. DH has not been insisting she sit when there are door issues. I do. All in all I expect this family will be very good with her. The mother in particular likes doggie kisses. ;) The father volunteered to do early morning duty as we are on his way to work.

It is a cold wind a blowing out there today, so I started up the wood stove and knit for a while. Now it is time to fill the bird feeders.

I wonder, what's for dinner?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 4:09PM
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Inside for a beer an a couple of innings of baseball, 80s out again today , glad I watered yesterday-this will be our annual April heat wave (we always seem to have one) and itÂs expected to get hotter tomorrow and Tuesday , breaking on Wednesday. I planted out two of the Tithonias in a very large terra cotta pot- the very pot were my lime tree used to live, may it rest in peace. ItÂs in full blazing sun and shows no ill effects thus far. IÂm just having so much fun with these seedlings this year ÂI guess not doing seeds for a few years is beneficial in a way- nothing seemed mundane at all this year, and I was very diligent about their care .

Deanne, how fun to be able to observe the family-building antics of the birdsÂsince the river and the riparian trees etc are just across the street I think many of the birds nest there . I did find an abandoned nest when I was pruning Cecile Bruner this winter , and one of the features of the nest was a length of gold ribbon from my Christmas décor ! Thanks for the info on the Lantana, I could probably just move them to a protected area and they would come back just fine. Beautiful bird pics by the way ! I hope Mr and Mrs cardinal are still around in July ÂI still think about my 1st encounter with one at NYBG.

Julie, lol, you just forgot one step in your new Idyll post ! You Âhid it at the end of #434 . Fear not, one day you will prevail ! As far as the pretend Kathy vs the real one, I of course look exactly like Scarlet Johanssen with gray hair and glasses. Deanne couldnÂt see my pics either..IÂve been trying a new resizing technique and IÂm not sure I have the privacy settings where they should be.

Michelle, do I remember you mentioning that new front pillar displays are in development ? I know youÂll come up with a great plan for your new front area , you gardens are so nicely designed and I always enjoy your photos of them.

Well thatÂs the pits Chelone re: New Dawn. I must say though that climbers are climbers for a reason, they tend to be vigorous against all odds. I had a fence fall over on Sally Holmes a couple of springs ago and by June it looked like nothing had ever happened. This winter I gave Reine des Violettes a Âbutch , and once again the fence has vanished behind her. I imagine your climate zone has a part to play here as well. The Huge one seems to be shaping up to be quite the gentleman !

Heres a sight that greeted me this morning  Niobe From Roses 2009

And the cool Senecio talinoides in his new pot. From Roses 2009

See, I do have other stuff besides roses !

So we continue to wait for babies ? Waving to all ...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 7:04PM
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I'm sorry Julie. I didn't realize you were trying to start a new thread or I've had just put it here for you instead of starting with a new title. Clueless of me.

Woody, thank you so much for the eye info. I pasted it into an email and sent it on to Jen right away.

Bella and I sowed lots of seeds this weekend. She did a great job and kept telling me how much she loves gardening which was music to my ears. Today I picked up 4 large bags of potting soil while it was on sale half off, a heuchera and a dwarf iris. I fed all the clematis too. Brad put a new screen in the back door, painted the front door threshold and started scraping the conservatory to prepare it for painting. We also fit in ice cream a few times.

I'm not really overly anxious for the baby's arrival I don't think. I just want the labor and delivery to be a done deal, over and behind us.

I'm tired so it'll be an early bedtime tonight.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 7:57PM
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Well, I cannot claim victory over the 7 minute, boiled frosting. Try as I did I could not get it to achieve "stiff peaks". I used a candy thermometer to get the syrup to the "soft ball" stage, and I had the egg whites beaten stiffly. I poured the syrup in, according the recipe and... it came out more like chocolate gloss that you'd drizzle down the sides of a cake or over the top of a Bundt cake. If any of you have made boiled frosting successfully I hope you'll share your secrets. Should I have allowed the syrup to cool down? how much? the recipe didn't say that so I'm confused.

New Dawn is indeed vigorous, Kathy! It was not until last year, on that blasting hot day at NYBG when you told me to just let the canes grow that I realized had been pruning it wrong for just about its entire life. I have some new, green shoots starting from the crown (which is pretty gnarley) and a couple of older canes that still look pretty good. I removed a lot of the crappy stuff today. Should I favor the new shoots and just write this year off as a learning experience? My camera is still out of commission so I can't put up a picture for you, maybe I'll deal with that tomorrow.

Rex has been an exceptionally cooperative boy lately. I'm tellin' you, it's the beatings. They really do work like a charm.

Time to sample the cake and watch "Wall E".

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 8:13PM
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Chelone, removing dead wood (the whole cane) is the right approach- the new stuff should rapidly (weather permitting !) put on height, and girth. Be sure to carefully/gently train them where you wish them to go while they are still pliable. I only have one climber that is on an arbor, Jeannie la Joi , and she is a monster. I regularly remove canes --I'll get a pic this week ..Saw Wall-E a couple of weeks ago by the way-loved it !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 8:25PM
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Chelone, did you add cream of tartar to help stabilize your egg whites? From what I remember you pour in the syrup hot but continue beating until the frosting is cool and is spreading consistency. Sounds like it came out good enough to eat anyway. I wish I had a slice!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 8:42PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm home after quite an eventful weekend. Friday night we saw the performance of Verdi's Requiem, which was quite good. But barely five minutes into the performance, the featured soprano passed out, crashing face first into her music stand as she went down. I've seen performers get wobbly and sort of melt but this was the most spectacular crash I've ever witnessed. Fortunately, she was fine and the performance resumed after about twenty minutes.

Saturday, we went out to Funks Grove to see the wildflowers - you may remember my photos from there last year. Our timing was about a week later this year and I took the new camera, so I have a whole new batch of photos to upload. We stayed for DD's jazz concert and arrived home rather late Saturday night.

Then today was a bridal shower for DS's fiance. My two SIL's and the maid of honor hosted the event at one SIL's home. It was a very lovely day.

But do I need to say that I am tired? Oh yes, I did take the envelopes with me and spent a nice chunk of time Saturday morning doing addresses. Halfway done!

OH! major news - I think that my DD is coming to IU6 with me! She is looking at grad schools and Boston University apparently has been recommended. So we may spend that Monday visiting BU. She assures me that she has a high tolerance for bendy straw antics, since she has been working with middle school kids this year.

I'll leave you all with just one photo. DH participated in the sandhill crane count early Friday morning (I had to go to work) and he took my camera with the zoom lens. He was rewarded with a crane landing on the edge of the wetlands. He got some good shots but I think this was my favorite.

OH! OH! the other major news - DS and his fiance have decided they want to move to our town. They've already started looking at houses.

Yes, it was an eventful weekend here!


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:25PM
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Eden, no cream of tartar was called for. I looked at some other recipes that did call for it, which struck me as interesting. The KA cranked out perfect egg whites, stiff peaks that "glistened" and were uniform in color. But everything sort of melted upon the addition of the syrup, which I dutifully drizzled in slowly all the while beating the mixture on high. The apparent "meltdown" is what makes me wonder if you're supposed to let the syrup cool down, but how much is the question I have. The helpmeet is now calling it 70 minute frosting, lol. :) I gave up, added the remaining Lord Baltimore ingredients and frosted between the layers and the top. It looks, the morning after, like a cartoon cake... the helpmeet began singing that immortal song, "MacArthur Park", "...someone left the cake out in the rain, I don't think that I can take it, 'cause it took so long to bake it...". I will master boiled frosting, but for now will stick with good ol' buttercream. BUT, as the helpmeet pointed out, while shovelling it into that hole under his nose, it's tought to screw up something with adequate quantities of sugar and fat in it. Amen to that! Why did kitty have to go to the doctor?

V., very exciting about DD, it will be a delight to meet her. And kudos to the soloist who crashed into the music stand and then returned to finish the performance! now that shows some moxie, huh? I am mightily impressed by your weekend adventures, I'll bet you slept well last night! How many wedding guests do you have to invite with your special contribution? I see you are getting along famously with your camera, too. Lovely Heron photo. We have a Heron that shows up every so often to mine the pond for frogs. Wrecks usually goes nuts when he sees him and we turn him loose to defend his little Amphibian buddies. :) When the Heron takes off he casts a shadow that always reminds me of a Teradactyl.

Wonder what PM had for dinner yesterday? I'm another one who wakes up at 1-2AM with regularity. I don't tend to waste much time fretting about it, personally. I try to relax and go back to sleep but if I find I can't I'll flip on the tube and catch some late/early? news, maybe read for a bit. The way I see it, I'll sleep well the next night and that's usually the case. Things I do to stack the deck in my favor for a good night's sleep are:
1.) don't hit the sack with a full belly
2.) make sure I get plenty of exercise on a regular basis
3.) make sure there is at least one cat within easy patting range at all hours of the night. ;)
Mum was always a fan of getting up and doing something productive when she couldn't sleep. Her infrequent bouts of insomnia tended to result in a pan of brownies or neatly darned socks/mittens. I can only imagine how trying chronic insomia must be. Take a picture of your mask, willya? I can't even picture what it must look like.

Larry was named for Larry Bird, 'bug. All "normal grey" cockatiels have barring under their tailfeathers when they're immature. Females retain the barring throughout their lives. Larry was incorrectly sexed and was originally christened "Naomi" but it was amended to Larry after the first molt of the tailfeathers revealed his true sex. Phoebe is going to have a great time on her "staycation". I know exactly what you mean about enforcing the "wait" and release at doors, stairwells, narrow passages. I am a stickler for that with Wrecks, too, the helpmeet... not so much. He tends to regard me as a "control freak" (perhaps I am) but the way I see it it's actually giving that fool dog the skills to move easily in a human-centred world. The more one interacts with their dog and requires them to look to you for guidance the greater the odds of control when crises arise. And I think this is especially important with a large dog, since transgressions can often have dire consequences or inspire fearful reactions in a public that is increasingly unsavvy about dogs. My boss's dogs are little horrors, completely OOC at all times and the Wrecking Crew (2 stupid Labs) are kind and sweet but OOC and pack as much garden destruction as possible with 160 lbs. and 8 legs, Not to mention the added peril of uncontrolled airborne "greetings". It's hard work to beat a dog into submission and it "takes a village", too. My greatest regret is that so many public places are closed to dogs because so many are so poorly behaved and their owner's so oblivious to it.

Will today be the day of new arrivals? tick-tock, tick-tock... . Time to start planning the day, more garden clean up, perhaps?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Update from Alberta as of last night:

Baby should be here any day now, and DH, Indy, and I are enjoying our last few baby-less days gardening and enjoying the spring weather. We had a great walk today where we explored the ravine in places we hadn't been before, and tried not to slip on the melting ice. Sorry, we didn't bring the camera!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:50AM
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yoo-hooo !! Is there anyone out there ???

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:10PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

where did everyone go? to the maternity wards?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:41PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, I'm here.

Still cold and dreary here, so I did stuff in the house, waiting for more spring-like weather.

Deadly stuff. Like removing and cleaning the toilet seats in the three bathrooms, rearranging TCS's bedroom to discourage his playmates from climbing over furniture that is not designed for that; moving stuff and vacuuming behind it...what a drag. Although my house looks good tonight...

Given TCS's poor track record with respect to music practice, bedtime, etc. I finally put my foot down and told him he must come straight home after the school bus and get down to business. After much stalling, he did finally get everything done before dinner and DH is now reading a chapter of Harry Potter to TCS before bed. Last night he went to bed at 8:45 but was still awake at 11 p.m. Of course he was not an energetic little boy this morning - he wanted to stay home but I wouldn;t let him....he must go to bed at night to get up in the morning - hard lessons, slowly learned. I told him he would appreciate this discipline when he goes to college - he is not impressed.

Absolutly nothing of interest here at my fingertips this evening....good wishes to all those anxiously awaiting the arrival of babes!



    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 7:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Quiet day here too. DH and I did get out in the yard before dinner and did some lawn work and pulled leftover leaves onto the lawn and mowed it while waiting for the rain to start. Not my favorite job but it looks better. We just keep chipping away. Over the weekend we were able to repair and fill two whiskey barrels with fresh soil and they are ready for strawberries. I think I am a little late for them.

We had a lovely Roast Chicken dinner at DD's yesterday. First time she has made one and it was delicious. She and her roommate have asked for help with plants for their deck, which I am more than happy to provide and that should be fun.

That's it. Oh...I had one delivery from Bluestone and another due tomorrow. They sent my orders in two boxes.

V...very pretty colors in that photo.

I check in here a couple of times during the day, waiting to see some exciting news! :-)

Off to watch 'DWTS' ...


    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 8:20PM
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Hey-oooo! Kathy I'm out here.

We had a day without rain today, although it was kinda cool out. I finally dug out two clems that were growing to near the front steps. Always overgrowing everything. A tight corner to get into to dig too. They may or may not survive where I put them, but oh well it had to be done. The redbuds are starting to drop their flowers and the dogwoods are getting going. The japanese maples have leafed out so I'm hoping there won't be anymore freezes.
I haven't been able to divde as many daylillies as I wanted to because of rain and trying to get a handle on the weeds. I also need to pull the waterlillies out and divide them. The oaks are budding out so it won't be long before we have leaves on the trees.

V, thats a neat pictue of the crane. Nice that DD will be making the trip with you and be able to check the grad school out. How great thay DS and fiance will be living nearby. Will he still be working at the same place?

Deanne, I'm so happy Doug found a job. What a relief that must be. I hope you are over the tummy thing so you can get gardening. Nice bird shots.

Saucy, your leaf casting turned out great. Bet your loving being able to use the greenhouse. Sure wish I had one.

Chelone, give Rex a pat for me. Seems he is getting things right these days. Perhaps it's a bit of maturity helping out.

Woody, I hope things have smoothed out a bit at your place. Have you been able to do more work on the new bed?

Eden, Bella will be thrilled when the new seeds emerge. Looking forward to seeing the conservatory.

I need to get to the store and buy a new battery charger for my camera. I've wanted to take some pictures but my charger is shot.

There's more I needed to say but it has vanished.

Hi to all. Norma

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 8:31PM
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I think Eden probably is at the hospital. I wonder if baby Kate has made an appearance.

PM, I did some wintersowing the other day and tried your "door" method and really liked it.

Manic Monday at work. DH is off to a meeting but I need some home time. I have the sewing machine out which rarely happens.

Norma, does your camera charger have a spot to just charge the battery and a spot to charge the battery while in the camera. Mine has this and it appears that the spot where you drop the camera in doesn't work but the place where you put the battery does.

V, tell DH that either he is good or the camera, but that shot has some very pretty colors to it.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:10PM
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Glad to see a few voices pipe up ! I am feverishly dragging the hose around to areas that I didnt water this weekend it is one hot tamale out there. I set up my A/C to go on at 76 when I headed out to the awfice this morning and it was on when I got home. I hate having to use it and Im hoping it will cool off enough when the sun goes down to shut it off. Its 90 out right now . Tomorrow it is forecast to hit 97. Jeesh.

Hi Norma ! yeah, get that camera battery issue resolved wiil ya ? I love see to photos of your pond. My new camera has a lithium ion battery, they charge up really fast and hold the charge for a long time. I need to get a spare battery though. I use rechargeables for my other camera. Ive never tried moving a clem, Ill be interested to see how that works out for you.

PM, its always nice to get a meal cooked well by a DD or DS My DD is a very good cook . Im thinking we might need more details on the Bluestone order?

Based on info from elsewhere I concur that Eden is on baby-watch

Julie some folks never get the bedtime thing-and college may have been a bad example, lol ! My DS stays up till 4 or 5 am routinely, but works evenings so it works for himhe has been a night owl since he was a baby, my DH and I used to refer to him as the Vampire since his energy level seemed to increase when the sun went down. I have loved radio all my life (still do) and when I was a kid I was often listening to radio til the wee hours. I still go to sleep to the radio to this day, either the jazz station or the classical station.

OK, I took about amillion rose pics this evening so Im going to upload and see how they turn out. Might be time to do a slideshow..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:35PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Rumor has it that eviction proceedings against Baby Kate were commencing at 4:00 pm. OK, maybe that's not rumor, maybe that's the word on Facebook.

I'm uploading a ton of wildflower photos onto Flickr, but since they are only 20% done now, I may not be posting them tonight.

This evening I left the office thinking that I was not enjoying my job anymore. I think it has a lot to do with the state of the economy; it seems that everyone is very grumpy and demanding. We'll see how it turns out; if the season is bad I may not have to make any big decisions!

There was a very disturbing article in the Tribune yesterday. A suburb called Crestwood pumped well water contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical for many years. My brother lived in Crestwood for several years. He died of esophageal cancer, although he had none of the risk factors. It makes one wonder. No, it makes one sadly furious.

I hope there's happy baby news in the morning!


    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 10:16PM
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Poor Kate, rousted from her comfortable, warm, aqueous quarters... bet it was (remains) a long night for Jen. Well, the quicker she pops this one out the quicker she can start on her stated goal to have the next one! Here's hopin' it all goes smoothly. Kathy, cue up the rose pictures, and Deanne get busy with the birds, too, OK? ;)

PM, the forecast for the coming weekend is a good one which means the helpmeet will be inundated with over eager shoppers. He had to tell a guy on Saturday that it was too early to plant the Proven Winners... jeesh. In that vein I'll be in charge of dinner on Saturday and Sunday nights. I think a roast chicken will do nicely for one or the other, and am thinking about pork chops, too. I hope you'll snap some shots of DD's planters. I always smile when you speak of her in her first apartment.

It's pelting outdoors right now. Good thing, we really need the rain. I don't think we've had any appreciable rain in over 10 days now. I'd be stoked if this kept up all day long.

Norma, I love reading how spring is progressing at your home and Marian's. I still don't have blossoms on the For Cynthia, and Magnolia stellata has only a handful of blossoms beginning to open. The maple flowers have only just "popped" in the past two days. And I'm still thankful for fleece jackets and occasionally, my pea cap. I have dutifully given Wrecks a good swift kick from you. ;)

We pooled our efforts yesterday and raked Sanitary Ridge, the back terrace area, and then the South Lawn. It was definitely a good year for voles which reminded me of Deanne. ;) I wish I'd had the presence of mind to take a shot of all the acorns we raked up, too. They could have done a good job filling a large trash barrel. Many were already rooted and very happily making a living on the lawn. NO more! I cleaned out the two back beds along the terrace and then the fern bed after that. I have only the circular bed in back to clean up now. THEN, I'll be able to go back and assess what needs to be lifted, divided, relocated, etc.. The helpmeet spread the accumulated wood stove ashes over the lawns yesterday (Rex looked like a ghost dog after aggressive rolling) and we both agreed to allow the moss to take over the shadier, wetter portions of the yard. I have to uncover the ferns we rescued and heeled into the leaf bin two years ago and get them planted out in one of those shadier, moister parts of the lawn, too.

The clock tells me it's time to depart for Chaos. It has the potential to be a crabby day or a very good one... as do they all. :) I believe 'bug is departing today, so on the off chance I miss her departure I wish her God's speed and safe trip. And lots and lots of fun and joy.

Can't wait to get home for a more in-depth update!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 5:34AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Exciting news about Kate! I am sure we will be hearing more news later today.

I am wondering if Idylls are splitting up though? Some have decided to move over to Facebook? I guess I must have missed that memo. are really getting serious about the baking, to be making boiled frosting! Better luck next time. DH and I saw Wall E and enjoyed it. Very cute and a kid's movie with an environmental message was new. .... All very practical suggestions on sleep. I've read a few books on 'sleep hygiene' over the years with similar ideas, which I do practice for the most part. Haven't seen the one about having a cat to pat though. [g] I also try to get back to sleep but after a half hour, if it's not working, I usually get up and head downstairs. DH is a very light sleeper though and I always debate whether to wake him up.

V....You must be going to sleep with a smile on your face, with all the great news you have been getting of late. :-) In addition to the wedding and all the happiness surrounding that, your son moving to your home town, your DD going to IU6 with you! Very happy for you! I see the new camera is getting put to good use. Again, very pretty photo! Submissions to National Geographic will be next! On the other hand, to have all that good news tempered by the newspaper article. I would be furious too. glad you were happy with the 'flap' milk jugs. :-) What are you sowing? I need to get busy with the warm season annuals this week. I have Pak Choi and other Brassicas up, Violas and Pansies and I thought I saw one little seedling in the Broken Colors Four OClocks jug. I tried California Poppies, but nothing yet. I direct sowed Spinach and Beets last week and nothing so far. I remembered to soak them, after I had already sown them [g], so I am hoping that is not going to be a problem. I will be shopping for strawberry plants this week. So far, no one locally has much to offer but I am still looking.

Kathy....DD and DS cook at our house a lot, but this was actually our very first dinner cooked by one of the kids in their own digs and it was fun. Not only was the meal simple and well cooked, but we were treated to champagne with warmed brie on crackers while waiting for dinner. How are things going with your DD these days? She must be disappointed that you have not been able to move yet. .... Bluestone order was a mish mash. Hardy chrysanthemums, Primula polyanthus, Boxwood 'Green Mountain', Polemonium 'Brise D'Anjou', Hydrangea 'Lemon Wave' and the Lonicera 'Harlequin' that Woody posted a photo of not too long ago. All, tiny plants, but tiny prices too...all half off. are you feeling? Your zone 5 is still ahead of my zone 6. No redbuds yet. My dogwood is a cultivar that opens late too. Our maples are just starting to come into leaf. I would enjoy seeing photos too!

Chelone...I forgot that helpmeet works in the garden industry. Retail? Not much rain here so far. The forecast is only for about an inch and a half over the next few days and we are three inches in the red. Still needing fleece here most days. I hear that we will reach the 80s over the weekend though. Wood ashes go on the lawn, Chelone? I was just wondering whether to throw ours in the compost bin. Our lawn was looking wonderful two years ago on no account due to our efforts and the lawn mower broke late in the fall last year and we left leaves all over the back lawn where they stayed all winter. What a mess it is this spring! I love moss and I'm encouraging it where ever I find it. .... Yes, I will be sure to get a few photos of any pots destined for DD's deck. She is definitely having an exciting time of it. She is a very socially inclined person and managed to move into a neighborhood where at least a half a dozen of her best friends live within walking distance. They have started having a designated 'dinner night'. Once a week, they take turns hosting dinner for everyone.

I am sore from raking this morning. We have a postage stamp of a back lawn and my contribution was only doing the edge of one side. It doesn't take much. [g] I do not have a For Cynthia bush, but I see one in my neighbor's yard and it is completely open. Our Amelanchier is looking ready to open any minute now. Leaves are opening on everything from the Viburnums to the Japanese Maple, all the spring bulbs are open now with no surprises left in that department. I am going to want to add more in the fall. I received my Epimedium catalog from Garden Visions the other day and I plan on buying another 3 new ones this year. Their catalog announced that Darrell Probst has sold the business to someone on his staff. I wonder how things will change? I see they will be offering them for sale at Tower Hill in May. I would love to try to make it there this year.

Yes, travel day for Gardenbug and DH. I wonder if anyone slept last night with such excitement? :-)


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 6:58AM
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Thanks for the Idyllinfants updates for those of us not brave enough to venture into FB territory :-)

Welcome rain this morning. Dry here, too, evidenced by a red flag fire alert during the weekend. Lawn is covered with birds and I'm afraid the nightcrawler census will be down considerably by this evening.

Sorry to hear of work woes. Think the world is in perpetual frown mode of late. Kill'em with kindness when you can. Walks around the building help, too. LOL

Remember working at the nursery at this time of year and needing to clothe all annuals. Smart little girl: "If we can't plant'em, why are you selling'em???" She got a geranium for her window :-)

Back later! Fly with care, 'bug!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 7:03AM
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No babe yet. They admitted Jen yesterday, hooked her up to monitors and started giving her meds orally. Then they gave her something this morning at 6am that should start labor. So Kate should be here sometime today.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:21AM
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Hi Martie, I signed up for facebook to keep up with family but find I don't use it much.

PM, I am feeling better but not great. I would truly like a feel great day. I still keep going though.

You are much farther along with your vegie garden than me. Ours is on the down hill slope and catches all the run off water so is slow to dry out. I long for raised beds there. Wish DH would cooperate and help me make them.

Gotta get out there.

Hoping babies are making their arrivals.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:26AM
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Good morning.

School vacation week here, so whatever I do involves two other eager faces :) Today we decided will be office day for me (Sarah likes to file, and stamp things, "entered" when I do the data entry) and Jake is going to concentrate on cleaning his room - throw a little video game time (it's raining) and then we'll be on to tomorrow which is fun stuff :)

Sarah and I are going to a movie, Jake is going over to a friend's.

V., the crane is beautiful! Nick has been talking about telephoto here, too. I'm just trying to master the durned camera without bells and whistles! Yesterday I saw a perfect macro shot, but didn't know how to do it, so I talked myself out of getting the camera.....

Norma, it's so nice to hear from you. I miss seeing the redbuds and dogwoods dotting the woods. I wish I could recreate that here :)

PM, it sounds like you are making good garden use of the nice weather we've been having. I am not looking forward to 80 with no leaves on the trees for shade cover. I will have to hide inside during the worst of it :)

Kathy, I'm headed over to the rose thread next. It sounds like you're having fun in your garden this year - last year seemed more like limbo. It's nice when we finally make peace with where we are at any given time, isn't it?

My castor beans are monsters :) They shot up to 3" tall overnight, and now it's time to put them under the lights!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:43AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I don't have time for posting...but want to add a few pics.

The first are a couple of spring here:

Japanese Viburnum:

honeysuckle and neighbors:

Martie, I have been wondering the same thing about the exodus to facebook. :-(

Time for me to get ready to go to town.

Hide your eyes....

The last one is for Chelone and those with like interests,lol.
It was the gift on the front porch this morning...


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:56AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Marian - doesn't the poor little guy look so innocent ?! The spring preview from your place is always something I look forward to - it'll be quite a while before anything like that makes an appearance here....

Lots of changes and general choas in the air here.

My three-day-a week helper will be paid off and 'given the boot' on Friday.

Barb will still be coming one day a week and her middle daughter, home from university and looking for summer work, will probably fill in for a few days here and there. Barb is having her own medical issues these days - in part because of being rear-ended in a car accident about 6 weeks ago and in part because of issues relating to heart problems that affect her whole family.

Randy notified his boss yesterday that he will be retiring May 22.

So lots of turmoil going on. Some other worrying things are starting to happen to me but I'm trying to ignore them as best I can and take it out on beating up on the sod! About 1/3 of the new bed has had the sod cleaned off by the end of the weekend. We got about 1 1/4" rain yeasterday so no outside work yesterday and probably no more sod work until close to the end of the week.

So that's the story from here...

Waiting for good baby news....

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:39AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A crazy day here trying to finish packing and getting Phoebe and the cats organized.

Woody! Are you wearing a pony tail in your photo? What a surprise! Anyway, I sympathize with the "hair-in-the-face" problem while gardening. I spoke to Randy on the phone the other night and he seemed quite OK with the retirement plan! "There's more to life than money" were his words. And that is so very true.

Today we have an abundance of flickers and very yellow goldfinches. A treat!

All is quiet on the western front...but I'm waiting for Michigan news before I leave for the airport! Maybe?

OK, back to work here...

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Woody, that is amazing progress! It's going to look fabulous :) You inspire me.

Marian, I love the viburnum and honeysuckle! The little "present" looks like he's got some hamster genes :)

I don't think there's an exodus to FB, it just happens to be the newest thing. I'm a member of other groups online, too, as I'm sure alot of us are....none of them are as nice as Idylls, though :)

I'd better get back to work...a lot of computer frustration this morning, and that is never fun!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 3:13PM
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There is a strong north wind here and even though it is sunny it don't feel good out there. So I made a run to town for some of the things on my list. I broke the handle out of my favorite shovel yesterday digging up those clems. I didn't find a replacement I liked.:( I was also looking for some organic lime. I had a bag that I bought a few years ago. Nobody has it now.
I also got a new battery charger. Michelle mine works independently of the camera. I looked at the little pocket type digital cameras. I think I would like one of those for quick photos.

Woody,I think, Randy's retiring is probably a good thing in light of your situation. Maybe you two can work in some fun things to do.
I say that cautionly because DH has been getting on my last nerve lately. I never have a moment to myself and I enjoy my own company sometimes.
Bug, I was under the impression that you were already gone for some reason. I think it was the remark you made about DSIL, Indy and you gardening. I will be thinking of the family and wishing the best for Surprise's arrival.

The other thing I bought in town was new garden clogs. Tired of getting wet feet with my summer ones. So I think I will slip them on and walat a bit check on the moved clems, and I spotted those little blue iris bloomed out so will go take a closer look. The little blue flowered veronica is blooming too. I'm thinking I should plant some by the blue iris for a color echo.

Has any one ever divided an Caryopteris Snow Fairy? Mine have been getting very large and flop onto surrounding plants so I am going to have to try dividing or moving them.

Marian, looks like your honeysuckle has blooms. Mine are not opened up yet. I bet that hummingbird I saw yesterday wishes it was.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 3:17PM
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She's here...

Kathaline Joan
born at 12:28 pm
8lb. 6 oz.
21 inches long

Daddy and Kate

Megan, Kate and Bella

And I'm happy to report that both Jenni and Kate are doing great!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 3:31PM
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It's still pelting outside and it's chilly. But we need the rain badly (red flag warnings here, too, Martie) and I can fire up the wood stove if I want to. If the warmth forecast for the weekend turns out to be true things will be shooting out of the ground and I'll have to hustle to get the dividing done. I seem to recall a request for Hosta "Frances Williams" from Saucy?

Allow me to say, Marian, how deeply touched I am that you decided to share such a precious gift with me. ;) That one is nicely camouflaged against the mat and the deck... better keep a sharp eye out where you step! They are dear little things, aren't they? I always feel sort of bad for them, but that's why they have some many in a litter and have so many litters in a year! Our kitties are more than content to sit on the windowsills and watch the raindrops race down the panes today. It is nice to see a preview of spring still to come in your photos.

Woody, I'm sorry to learn that things have been sort of turbulent for you lately. It must be very unsettling and tought to "ignore". But I hope the company, love, and respect of a good man and a loyal dog brings smiles to grey days. I like that you've decided to take it out on sod... adds new meaning to the expression, "sod off". Your newly expanded garden is going to be lovely. Exciting that Randy will be around more to enjoy it, too. (I cut my hair off several years ago and sometimes wear a 'do-rag when I get sweaty and it starts to fall in my face).

What are you and Sarah going to see at the movies, Saucy? I like the "help" in the office, too. Do you think the beans in the "Jack and the Bean Stalk" were castor beans?

And I've been meaning to ask you, Kathy, if you were entertained by "Walk Hard, the Dewey Cox Story"? lol. I haven't finished "Wall E" yet, but did have to laugh at the cockroach disappearing into the Twinkie and emerging with creme on his antennae, along with the human passengers in the floating recliners... lol. I love good social commentary.

PM, we always spread the ashes on the lawn and over the gardens in the springtime. I warn you, don't try to spread them on a really windy day or at least remember to close the windows!

Great to hear a quick blurb from Martie, great observation from the little girl. We are always blown away by how removed from the realities of the natural world and the changeing seasons people are. Too much time spent in cubicles, we suspect.

Maybe I'll head on out to the Salon and set about the pickling... or maybe not... oh, I can't decide. Aha! time to go look at Kathy's roses.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 3:46PM
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Well... FINALLY, Eden. :)

I'll bet you've been thinking of your Mom today, too. Wouldn't she be all smiles about this special event?!

I'm happy for you.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 3:51PM
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She's beautiful and makes me miss the days when I could hold mine like that :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:04PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

What a doll Eden!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm always a sucker for the daddy/baby photos!

Tap tap tap......

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:11PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Wow! Eden! Congratulations to your happy family. Katie is absolutely adorable! Does it ever get any better than this??!!

Another cold and rainy day here today. We need this for the gardens, but I am still anxious to get out there and do stuff. Although I have very little to do...

Somebody - Kathy I think - mentioned Millet the other day -perfect solution to a problem spot that I have - or will have, if I can get the men to yank out the Little Princess Spirea which does nothing....I have a large blue fescue in front of the Spirea and a monster rock behind, so I can just sneak in some purple Majesty Millet and maybe some Golden Millet to fill the space. I am keen now...might be able to do this tomorrow - not plant the Millet, too cold yet, but maybe get the space ready...maybe look for seeds...

DS is off today - too wet to work, but he was over at 9 a.m. with a Tooth Emergency. Found a dentist and he will have surgery tomorrow. Sure would be nice if he had money to pay for it himself...

Lots going on at your house, Woody. Nice that Randy is going to retire and be available to do your bidding. Be careful he doesn't take up acquarium fish to keep busy *LOL* Speaking from experience here. But still, better he hang around with the fish than be on your case - right V?

Your gardens look wonderful Woody, completely neat and ready for Spring. It looks effortless, and we all know, of course, that it isn't. I am looking forward to a whole summer of photos....I am sorry to hear of worrying physical things happening to you, Woody. I admire you for just getting on with it as best you can. Hoping for some relief for you.

Gee, Marian, you are way ahead of us here. The little "present" looks pretty familiar, although (gross as it is) I usually only get half a present...

I, too, have a FB account but I absolutely never go there. I would cancel it if I knew how (grin) but we all know how adept I am at technological things. My kids are on FB about ten times a day - they post stuff like "XXXX is at work" or "YYY is going to have a nap". Frankly, bores me to tears. I gave up after a whole host of my children's acquaintance invited me to be their "friend" and then sent me e-mails about their rock bands and pub brawls. No thanks, not for me.

TCS has an incredibly busy week this week - music lessons, basketball, is playing a small part in a musical and has two dress rehearsals and two performances, I forgot those and made him a dentist appointment tomorrow and an eye exam on Thursday...and swimming just started last Saturday. Am concentrating on getting music practice out of the way, nutritious food into him, and regular bedtime.

Nothing else of much interest happening here - but I now have 13 cannas up, and my tomato plants are going to have to be transplanted tomorrow into bigger pots - I was hoping to make it to gardening time, but that is still 4 weeks away for me, at least.

So I'm off - busy, busy, the days just fly by.

Hope you all had a nice Tuesday!



    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:13PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh my! I am laughing out loud looking at those photos, Eden! Just with pleasure that everyone looks so GREAT! The baby's facial expression in the first Alert and Responsive! In the second photo, Megan looking so comfortable and Bella's happiness is written all over her face too. A healthy 'pink' bundle of joy, Kate is!

Congratulations to all of you!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:17PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

O.K. you guys, after all of this talk about FB I am going in there to find those of you whose actual names I know. If you get odd friend requests, it's probably me.....I think, after dreaming about Kathy, it might be nice for me to "see" you.... Later!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 4:35PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Checking in to see that at least one new idyll addition has arrived. yeeeha... So cute and looks like cousin Bella is delighted too. Im so glad things went well, Eden.

Sorry I have been missing but I've been sadly preoccupied -- my baby Chloe has been very sick and much of my vacation time has been spent at the vets or emergency vets.... but things are looking up as I got to bring her home last nite and she's eating and has perked up -- her young body has decided to become a senior one over nite it seems.... But as I had grave doubts I'd have her past the weekend or even bring her home, Im delighted. So we've been enjoying some comfy time and I have one more day at home before back to the awfice. Not what I was expecting to do on days off -- and it rains to boot.. Go figure. It has kind of knocked the garden spirit out of me for the time -- I really hate hate pets not getting to live as long as say, turtles?

On the good news subject, tho, Cynthia and her wonder greys Hope and Danny visited us last Saturday before Chloe took a turn for the worse -- I must say that they were the best, quietest, most lovely BIG dawgs Chloe has ever had the pleasure of meeting. They happened to be in the vicinity and came to see us. While we were not at our best (neither Chloe nor I) it was great to see them all, and it was fun to take the 5 minutes it takes to see my garden w/ Cynthia -- she informed me that my stuff is considerably more ahead of hers - I guess being just that much farther south and w/ my fences I get a little mini-climate.

Spring has definitely arrived in this part of the world too; hopefully I can get some shots of it before it flees in the summer!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 5:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Back to look at the photos again. I seem to have ignored the Dad all together. [g] He looks quite in awe of his new daughter. I hope that Jen is feeling as well as can be expected. Wondering how soon they will send them home. Megan looks like the proud auntie. She must be so tickled to share motherhood with her sister and for Bella to have a cousin. How is Brad feeling about being a grandpa again? What a great summer you are all in for! Hope you have stocked up on memory cards! I think April 21st is a great birthday to have! Just in time for the good weather.

Now for Baby #2 to make an appearance! Happy trails Gardenbug! :-)

Ok...I'm done for the day.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 7:03PM
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Thanks for all of the congrats. Julie's right, it doesn't get any better :)

PM, Jen did great and is feeling fine. Once they got her labor going things went really fast for her. They'll stay at the hospital until Thursday. Randy's staying there with her. He hasn't left her side. Here's Brad with Kate...

Cindy, I'm so sorry to hear Chloe's not been doing well. Good that she's back home with you and I hope she continues to improve. Neat that Cynthia and her crew came to visit!

Marie, wishing you a safe trip and I can't wait to see Baby Surprise next!


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 7:33PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Whoopie! Welcome Kate! I love the pics. I think the last one is my favorite. Grandfather Brad is very good at holding a newborn. ;-)
We need a pic of Grandmother Eden holding her, too.

Wonderful to hear that both Jen and Kate are doing fine.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 7:45PM
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Well Marian, I don't usually post pictures of me just because I always think they look bad but in honor of this special day I'll bend my rule :) so here you go.

Kate and me...


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 7:54PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden, you look great! Better then I did in my newborn GD pics. Kate was really zonked out wasn't she. :-)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:01PM
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Love the photo of Brad and Kate getting a long look at each other. What a happy day, Eden!

Good to hear from you, Woody, but sorry to hear there's so much turmoil at the moment. Looks like great things are happening in the garden.

Cindy, poor Chloe!...what an awful time you've both had, but that's a pretty nice treat to have Cynthia and the hounds pop in. I too wish dogs would live as long as turtles or parrots.

The heat let up quite a bit today, and spring-like weather seems to be returning. Ein, the little highlander, has been retreating deep under beds the past two days...hates the heat. Lots of salvias are in bloom so the hummingbirds are tempting the casualties so far.

We recently watched the Bleak House with Gillian Anderson, a very good production, available on Netflix. Now I want to read Dickens over the summer.

Chelone, your morning missives are as enjoyable as ever. Still getting used to all the baking you've been doing. Seems like a big change for you, no? I made this lemon cake below a couple days ago and it was amazing...

Kathy, your roses are luscious. Guess you got some of this heat too.

Marian, your viburnum is lovely. Waving to all.


Lemon Cake
Adapted from "Barefoot Contessa Parties!" by Ina Garten, and

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup plus 3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 1/2-by-4 1/4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans or one bundt pan, and line the bottoms with parchment paper (no parchment paper if youre using a bundt pan).

2. Cream butter and 2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Mixing at medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, and lemon zest.

3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to butter and sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Divide batter evenly between loaf pans or one bundt pan, smooth tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

4. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat until sugar dissolves.

5. When cakes are done, carefully Invert them onto a rack set over a tray, and spoon lemon syrup over cakes. Let cakes cool completely.

6. For glaze, combine confectioners sugar and remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cakes, and allow glaze to drizzle down the sides.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:14PM
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Aw, Eden!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:18PM
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Welcome Kate! Congratulations Jen and Randy!

Eden she looks so sweet. She looks right at home with all of you. I love the feel of holding new babies.

Cindy, sorry to hear Chloe has had a rough time. I hope she is all better soon. How nice that Cynthia visited you. I miss her posting. Maybe she will drop in and update us on the garden and dogs. hint hint.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 8:22PM
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Weve gone from feast to famine on the Idylls I see, nothing like a baby to bring out the slackers, lol ! Congrats to Eden and family, and how clever of them to name the baby after me, even though its mis-spelled . Can our neighbors to the North be far behind?

The heat wave is breaking , we are seeing return to 70ish temps over the next couple of days. Im down with that .. I cam e home for lunch today and spent an hour watering , and hovering over the seedlings. Most interesting is the Amaranth viridis, which seems oblivious to the heat all remaining will be planted out this weekend.

Cindy , Im so sorry your sweet little Chloe was ill ..ailing pets just suck, to be blunt . Can you share with us what sort of issue she had ? How fun that the grays came over(oh, and Cynthia too!) to visit. I dont suppose there are any photos of this event ? Id almost pay to see Chloe socializing with Hopesy-Dopesy !

and furthermore- come out and play Cynthia !!

Chelone, I was in fact entertained by Dewy Cox in sort of a Something About Mary way..although if I compare the 2 I find "Mary way funnier, hilarious in fact. I tend to be a Woody Allen comedy person vs a Mel Brooks person, and the funniest move Ive seen in ages (to me ) is Sideways. And no matter how many times I see it, "The Birdcage is another favorite- top 10 comedy. Comedy is so subjective isnt it ? I can sit through every Mel Brooks movie and barely crack a smile (with the exception of "Young Frankenstein" ) and fully recognize that he is comedic genius-and that I am way in the minority ... my humor I guess tends to fall on the dry side.

Marian, I love that Viburnum, and surely wish I had the space to grow more of them. I love seeing your wonderful shrubs and trees.

Yes Denise, I think the whole west coast had high temps. Including BILs etc in Oregon. My rain barrels are just about depleted.

PM, I dont think the Idylls are being abandoned for FB, the goings-on over there are different, lots of silliness and short comments, a bit of naughtiness , games , quizzes etc. The content is very differentsort of like Fox news versus NPR.

Woody, I dislike hearing of your challenges , but thumbs up to you for trying to move along in spite of them. Randy decision to pack it in and be of service where needed is certainly a plus. Here in the US unfortunately retirement is now financially difficult due to the health care issue.

Allright, Ive got a baseball game on, trash to take out and dinner to cook, so bye bye Idylls. Happy dreams to you all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 9:55PM
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Eden, Im so happy for you all and glad to hear that the delivery went well. Baby Kate is adorable and looks so alert in the picture with daddy. Nice pictures of both you and Brad.

Woody, sorry to hear that you are dealing with more issues. Taking it out on the sod looks like quite a project. How nice that Randy is able to retire.

PM, the only things I have up in the jugs are the ornamental kale. Most have been recently planted. I do have a few things planted in the veggie garden and see some radishes peeking up.

Cindy, how awful that Chloe has been so sick. Im sure it was very hard for you. How fun for you to get together with Cynthia and crew. You cant imagine how frustrating it is living states away from other Idylls.

Norma, Im with you on enjoying my own company. Thats what works good with farming and gardening. When Im in the garden hes too busy farming to bug me much.

About Facebook, its OK but not nearly as personal as the Idylls. It seems like just little chit chat back and forth.

Spring appears to be in full swing at Marians.

Kenzie is still in "princess mode" the other day DD wanted her to put shorts on and she informed her mom that "princesses dont wear shorts" Her mom informed her that "this one does"

I spent some time in the garden this evening and it was so pleasant. All the blue oat grass is cut back and most of the quack grass is out of the one bed that it loves. I put a few pansies and some little decorative items in the planters along the front walk. My For Cynthia is just starting along with some scillia, iris reticulata, Pulsatilla vulgaris and Chionodoxa.

Good night


    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 11:19PM
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I've decided that FB is fun, but that it's a format designed by and for people who work with computers all day long. I turn this machine on in the morning and when I sign off with "youse guys" I shut it off... really off, no electricity going to feed it however middling. And I do the same thing in the afternoon or evening. For that reason I find the little "sound bites" can be funny but often they make very little sense to me, like some snippet you overhear while waiting in a grocery checkout line. I'm definitely an NPR girl. ;)

I am very sorry to learn that Chloe has been ailing, Cindy. I was thinking about you and your housecleaning marathon and stock club meeting and figured you'd been wrapped up in those things. I had no idea something as sinister as an ailing pup was afoot. Good thing I hate dogs or my stoney heart might just be moved. I'm glad to learn Cynthia is well and her pack was able to visit you. I have wondered often about how her sister is doing in the recovery process. Fun to hear about you "southern garden" with its "giant steps" toward summer, a harbinger of things to come for me.

Norma, like you and Michelle I like to be alone, too. The helpmeet is the same way. We worked as a team on Monday, raking the lawn together, often in silence, with only an occasional funny observation to break the silence. It was very comfortable. Some of my friends have spouses that I would term, "needy" and I often marvel at how they can stand living under the same roof, lol. Don't you just hate it when one of your favorite tools breaks? I know just what you mean about being unable to find a suitable replacement and more and more tools are manufactured so that a broken handle can no longer simply be replaced! Something about thay mindset really offends my stalwart New England yankee sensibility.

Spring at Michelle's seems about in line with what's happenin' here, though the earliest spring bulbs are pretty much spent. I love Chionodoxa and will definitely add more clumps of its cheeriness next fall, remind me, OK? I think some little "princess dresses" with matching bloomers might just be in order for Kenzie. With lots of lace... cracked me up that she was roundly told "this one does", sounds like an echo from my long gone youth. :) What's the sewing machine out for, if I may be so bold?

That lemon cakes sounds delicious, Denise. Plenty of fat and sugar, just what we like here on the Compound. ;) The baking junket is more a return to something I used to do in my misspent youth and something at which I excelled. It's part of a concerted effort to trim a bloated grocery budget and make sure there are more flavorful offerings in the house on a regular basis. The gold cake with its failed 7 minute frosting was greeted with great relish by the helpmeet and has now vanished... I believe setting a new record. I hope your Dad is continuing to improve and you've not found the "detailed" lizard decomposing in your flower bed, though I'm certain Ein would like to roll on it.

Predictably, Kathy, I'm firmly in the Mel Brooks camp. I do love dry humor but don't think Woody Allen comes anywhere close my preferred brand of it. Personally he creeps me right out. Ick! reminds me a little too much of "summer people" who never really "fit in", were bothered by all manner of stupid stuff, and who we couldn't wait to see go the hell home. Isn't that funny?

The order from Caster City arrived yesterday and I lovingly inspected all 12 of them. :) Since it was really raining I hauled myself to the Salon and began jamming filler into the open knots on the lumber that's been cut to length. The legs are still drying in the kiln and will probably remain in the boiler room for the remainder of the week. The goal is to get them planed and chamfered next Monday/Tuesday. By that time I should have the finish on the rest of the stuff complete. I will then apply the pickling stain to the the legs but not seal them with the polyurethane so they may continue to dry at their own pace, sealing the finish in another month/so. A not-so-good day at the awfice inspired me to get busy with the finish. ;)

The lawns are turning green before our eyes. Nothing like some vigorous raking and some steady spring rain to bring it all about, I say. And our first real bout of what Brenda calls "tee shirt weather" is due toward the end of the week so I expect things will shoot up markedly. This is truly my very favorite time of year and always has been.

Eden, I do believe all this waiting for spring and Kate has turned your hair grey. ;)

Awfice calls... T minus 9 hrs. and counting...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 5:37AM
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Greetings from rainy Boston to wish baby Kate a warm welcome and send congratulations to all her family:0)

Despite the soggy weather we are having a fabulous time here. SIL flew into Rochester on Saturday and we drove up Monday to our hotel in Cambridge. My nephew arrived on the red-eye from CA Tuesday morning so Annie and David are having a lot of fun with their big cousin. We have a boys room and a girls room here at the hotel and spent yesterday at the Natural History museum in Harvard where I had a splendid time scrutinizing the incredible collection of glass flowers.

Last night we ate at Legal Seafoods where we all had an excellent meal. Most exciting and unexpected was the moment a basket of bread rolls was brought to our table and Annie and I were told they were Gluten Free. I haven't eaten bread in a restaurant in 15 years and these were fabulous - warm from the oven, light and airy and delicious. After wolfing them down we told our server how much we enjoyed them and he appeared a little later with another half dozen. Apparently the restaurant makes them from scratch just for their Celiac guests.

Today we are heading to the Museum of Fine Art and then SIL, nephew, Annie and David have Red Socks tickets for this evening's game. I'm very discouraged that the weather forecast has a prediction of 100% probability of rain for the game time. SIL bought 4 tickets on Ebay weeks ago, misplaced them so bought another 4 (at I'm sure considerable expense). How miserable it will be if they don't get to see the game after all that:0( It is beautiful out right now, do you think the forecast could be completely wrong? Of course the day we leave promises to be the beginning of beautiful weather....

A big wave to all


    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 6:40AM
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"Isn't it a lovely thing that something so fresh from heaven should love us so much...." Welcome Kate!!!!

Bella looks absolutely delighted (evidenced by the shoulders to the ears pose) with her new cousin. As it should be :-)

I'm feeling for Chloe and family and hope for expedient feeling better on everyone's part. Good to hear that Cynthia and company are out and about.

Lemon cake ...... may I suggest throwing some chopped verbena in there for a little kick? Who am I to change a Contessa recipe, but I find that no matter what it's added to it makes it better where lemon is involved.

'bug -- Have you landed at least literally? LOL Figuratively, you must be floating being with "the" family at this point.

Road trip to Ohio planned starting Friday to see second brother. Celebrating his birthday while he's there, deep fried turkey on the menu, so our 22lb frozen since Easter bird will be thawing in the back of Rich's truck on the way out. We're opting for a hotel stay since DB is a bachelor in every sense of the word and no more needs to be said :-)

Will try and swing up to Bluestone on our way back and it will be a true pleasure if I get to finally meet the Boonstras and see their operation. Fingers crossed!

Woody -- you sit on the ground like me!! Everyone laughs but with my own back it just feels best. Lots of turmoil, yes, but all for a better future. All good thoughts and the roses needed to be pruned this spring!!

I need honeysuckle. Thanks, Marian!

Off for now -- big and double big work bosses from Boston day in store. Hello everyone!

Oh, Mary! Sounds like the perfect break!


    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 7:02AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning....

Nice photos of Brad and Eden with baby Kate! I just get such a kick out of seeing her looking around and checking everyone out. :-) Very glad that all went so well and Jen and Kate are in good health. Fingers and toes counted! [g]

That is so funny Mary that you are right over there in Cambridge. I will be driving near there later this morning and I'll wave. [g] You also ate at one of my favorite restaurants and I didn't know they served gluten free bread, lol. I don't know about the Red Sox game, it looks nice out there right now, but.... I hope the weather cooperates for you all.

About FB, I think I have been confused about what is over there. Is it a gardening forum on FB? I was thinking it was just Idyll members meeting on their own.

Cindy...Poor Chloe and poor you. I hope she will recover completely and be her old self soon. I agree, dogs don't live nearly long enough. I enjoyed your description of what great 'guests' the 'wonder greys' Sorry that we don't see more of Cynthia.

Great Viburnum Marian! Waiting for photos of Kenzie and the front garden walkway, Michelle. I can't watch Woody Allen any more. Norma, we buy Craftsman from Sears for our pitchforks and shovels because they replace them free if they break.

I would love to hang around and chat but it's already 8am and I have to get up and get moving.

Happy Wednesday... :-)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 8:16AM
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Good Morning,

Thanks for all of the congrats, you guys! I'm so glad Kate's here and everyone is safe and sound. And yes, PM, you can bet that the first thing I did was unwrap her and inspect every single finger and toe. And happy to report they're all perfect!

Marty, that quote went through my mine a few times yesterday. So true! Enjoy your trip and the visit with your brother.

Chelone, yes it must have been worrying about spring that turned my hair grey :) Whatever it was, it's staying that way. My sister, the hairdresser, is always trying to talk me into coloring it but that's not for me. I've earned those grey hairs, every one of em.

I enjoy both Idylls and FB. They're each different but both have their advantages. More privacy there, as you can choose who sees your page and photos. And you get to mix friends from all areas of your life in one place. I like both of those things about it. Here, things are more personal, which I like, but anyone can read that, which bothers me if I don't just push it out of my mind.

Hope Marie arrived safely and gives us news soon.

We're off to visit Jen and Kate later this morning. Can't wait!

Have a good one!


    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 9:00AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Whooie! I think I may have pushed my 'luck' this morning. I just got back from a trek all the way down to our 'pour-off' at the bottom of Pitcher Hollow. It was pretty tough going, with all the downed trees and branches. Such devestation! Huge trees uprooted on one side of the hollow, that now lay across the wet weather stream,and the canopies rest on the far side. Thank goodness the pool below the pour-off falls is still pretty much unscathed. Lots of water still flowing. I wish I had taken my camera (well secured to my neck). The wild flowers, going down below the two bluffs; are just now coming into bloom.
Coming back up was quite a bit tougher, and I did take a tumble, but did myself no harm. It 'was' a wake-up call though. :-)
Nolon saw me head that way, so would have known where to look for me if I did not reappear.
He was at the top, cutting wood from trees he had downed.

There is no way we can get to the huge downed trees below, to cut them into wood, or logs. Nature will just have to take care if them.
I saw many many tiny dogwoods, so eventually it will really be floriferous this time of the year.
Our yard dogwoods are almost in full bloom, but most of them suffered loss of limbs in the icestorm, so are not as shapely as they once were.

Oh my! I am really behind on my comments on this thread.

V,I will start with the lovely sandhill crane pic that your DH took. It is excellent!
I can imagine how angry you would be about the cancer-causing chemical in the drinking water. A lot of atomic bombs were set off in Nevada, when I was young, in a location where they contaminated a lot of the surrounding areas, including southern Idaho. Who knows how much cancer was caused by that?

Chelone, obviously your cake was delicious, even tho the frosting did not turn out 'right'. I have started cheating when I do frost a cake(which is very seldom). I buy the canned or packaged types.
Sometimes I spread our wood ashes on the lawn . I should do it more often, but have to be careful because a lot of times the ashes are still hot, and the lawn too dry!
Yep..those darn ashes sure can fly around! And the inside of our livingroom is well covered with them! The nook in my computer desk does not protect the computer. I sopped out a gob of ash dust from inside it yesterday.
LOL, I am so happy that you were "deeply touched" with my sharing....:-)

Norma, your trees sound as tho spring is about as far along there as it is here. Many of our oak tress are buding, but nothing fully open yet....maybe next week? Or this weekend. We are to have warmer than normal temps the next few days.

The only seed sowing that I have done so far is peas. The first two containers are up an inch or so. I have cut brush and put it between the double rows for them to grow on.

Kathy, sorry about the hose dragging. I have not had to do any watering except the newly planted things, and that was mostly just to water them in.

Re: roast chicken. Mine come from Wal Mart. I like theirs, except they are awfully greasy.

All this flowerbed 'could' make me feel guilty....but it doesn't. Besides, I can hardly get into mine because of the protective fencing! ;-)

I am glad to hear that facebook is not taking the place of the Idylls for most of 'us'. It really turned me off when I got all that spam after registering there. I have not been back, and have forgotten my password.

Although I do not feel the thrill that I used to at the coming of spring, I am still buying plants! My tuesday's purchases were:
1 4pack- Lobelia Riviera Blue Splash.
2 4"pots Lobelia Midnight Blue
1 8" pot Lobelia Periwinkle Blue Improved
1 8" pot Angelonia Serena Purple
1 4pack Alyssum ( purple)
1 8" pot Coleus ( unnamed, but with green ruffled leaves bordered with black)
1 tall 8" pot Chocolate Joe Pye Weed

I don't know if I mentioned already having bought a 4 pack of Red flowering wax begonias, with dark leaves. A Pineapple sage. A six pack of orange violas ( visible in the planter beneath the bay window in my honeysuckle pic).

Speaking of the Honeysuckle. That is a L. sempervirens. It is fully budded out, but not many are opened . I put out the Hummingbird feeder, and it was 'hit' with a minute or two! At last count, there are 3 males. The females have not arived yet.

Woody, the "poor little guy" looks very peaceful in my pic. LOL . It is a white-footed mouse, and for some reason the cats will not eat them. They do eat the voles, but occasionally leave some 'remains' on the porch.
I am sorry about the general chaos at your place. I am espacilly concerned about your private worries. I wish there were something I could do.....
The picture of you setting there taking your frustration out on the sod, is great, but makes me sad, knowing....
I am glad Randy is retiring. I am sure he will be a huge help, even more so than usual.
Your yard, and all the work you put into it, is really impressive.

I aways enjoy the reports of the birds that you all are having return this spring. We saw a brown thrasher this morning, out front. I am sure they will be nesting close by.

Saucy, I have registered with several other forums, but very very seldom post anywhere than here, and on City Data, and that is a whole differant 'ball game'. It is mostly for informative reasons that I post, and not for friendships.

Well. this is turning into a book, and it is about time for me to decide what to feed us, so I will touch on more later.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:06PM
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I know you're all dying to see another baby picture :) Here's one from this morning, a close up minus the crazy hat.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 1:53PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh my! how sweet little Kate is!

Here are some of my 'babies' LOL :

Close up of the honeysuckle

One of the front yard dogwoods

New leaves on Maackii amur

And new leaves on Metasequoia glytostroboides, Dawn Redwood


    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 2:19PM
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Eden, Kate is just so pretty and perfectly formed. You must be having a ball.

Chelone, I was only doing a little mending type stuff, nothing exciting. Not during gardening season!

I'm really busy these days at work. The bosses wife decided to retire, then decided to stay on part time and then decided not to come back. We have a new young 'un. So I'm doing some molding along with my regular work.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 4:30PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oh, isn't little Katie a love! Looks like she is going to have medium to dark hair? Have you all decided who she looks like yet? Great that she is a good size. How did she do her first night? Do they bring her in for a feeding at night?

Marian...what has gotten into you? [g] You seem to be enjoying spring this year and busy as a bee too. Did the treatment for your pain make a difference for you? Very pretty photos of your yard. Love your dogwood! I brought home more pansies and a variegated thyme today, along with some bare root strawberries I hope to plant tomorrow. I had that Lobelia Riviera Lilac last year and it was gorgeous but as with all lobelias, mine didn't last long.

I'll be back later...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 5:05PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

That's a very peaceful looking baby there Eden...

Marian - love the dogwoods! I'm impatiently waiting for mine to bloom. Of the three I've planted over the past few years, one finally set flowerbuds last fall and now I'm anxiously waiting for them to open!

Today was a busy day here - unfortunately not in the garden though. It was very chilly and I wasn't feeling at all inclined to dig in the dirt! I spent most of the day doing exciting stuff like figuring out termination pay, accrued vacation pay, severance pay, and creating the Record of Employment so my helper can apply for Employment Insurance when she gets terminated on Friday.

I was also doing final checks on our post-retirement finances and rearranging finances to maximize income splitting for tax purposes. (I used to do this sort of stuff for a living at one point in my career so it's sort of fun to do it for our own benefit.)

Randy will still have health coverage from his employer, plus he's covered under my plan too. Plus, of course, basic health care is well covered uder the Canadian health system. So health costs are not an impediment to retiring here. The market meltdown certainly makes us feel somewhat poorer but, so far at least (knock-on-wood) it hasn't had a serious income effect. Since I worked for a bank, much of my assets are in the financial industy so it's been a rough ride lately! Fortunately Canada's banking system has survived relatively well - so far at least.

Randy certainly has mixed feelings about retiring. My health is a big factor in the decision. And his parents are now in their mid 80s and, particularly given his mother's mental decline, are likely to need an increasing amount of his time too. Plus he says there's just 'that guy thing' that makes him feel guilty that he won't be out their bringing home some 'bacon' :-) On the plus side, is the opportunity for 'quality time' with me, his parents and family, Misty and just time for himself. I think he'll enjoy retirement once he gets over the initial adjustment. He's a very organized sort of person so we'll be making a long to-do list which will have lots of things to keep him busy :-)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 7:23PM
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Michelle sounds like it has been a rollercoaster at work.

Eden, Kate is a pretty baby. Nice close up.

Woody, Yikes! All that paper work would have me crazy.

I spent the day repotting and sowing seeds. Moving some stuff out of the basement.

I tried to link to a slide show but it didn't work. I will have to figure it out later. Norma

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:18PM
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Marian, I meant to coment on your hike down the hill.
Even though it was rough going I bet you enjoyed getting to see it all once again.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:23PM
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slide show maybe

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:38PM
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Please ignore that link. It is not right. Anyone know how I can delete it?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 10:50PM
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maybe this?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 12:11AM
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Eden, when I scoped out Kate's head shot the first thing that came to mind are the faces on the little porcelain baby dolls that were so common at the turn of the century! they are amazingly accurate portrayals of newborns. Then I looked again and I've decided she looks "inscrutable", like your very own pink garden Buddha! Today is the day she is moved into her sumptuous new baby digs, yes? What has Bella's reaction been to this blessed event? before I inundate you with pictures of my new casters maybe you'll put up a shot of Bella holding her new cousin. And I'm right there with you on the grey hair thing, lol. My hair went grey very early on (30s) and I am way too parsimonious to fight such a losing battle, pass the blue rinse, willya?

Woody, sounds as though you've been a busy lady. I always admire the willingness with which you "engage your brain". Good news that you and Randy have made good decisions and have not been so adversely affected by the economic downturn that retirement for him is out of the question. That's got to feel good, given the circumstances. I have little doubt that he'll fall right into the new routine after a fashion, I suspect he has no trouble engaging his brain, either. I sympathize with the increasing mental frailty of his mother, it's such a terrible worry.

Marie and DH must be comfortably ensconced in that far, western province, and wondering how long Surprise is going to keep them waiting. I certainly hope they're able to find ways to amuse themselves as the countdown continues. And I'm hoping for reasonably temperate conditions so the hot tub birth is possible. Yesterday was Skyler's birthday, wasn't it? I wonder what was included in the birthday loot?

Today is going to be sunny and it will be great fun to see how many flowers open up on the Magnolia stellata. I looked at the Magnolia we moved last summer and it looks fantastic, healthy and vigorous. Last year we got one flower, lol, and it will be interesting to see if there are more than that this year. It's a later flowering plant than M. stellata. That fool dog will have a grand afternoon chasing the cats and marking plants of interest. ;)

Norma, I'm going to have to postpone your slideshow until later today, I'm afraid, but I know it will be well worth the wait.

I'm not sure why but I have a vision of Marian in camouflage, hacking her way through the surrounding woods, machete in hand. (Watch out Nolon). :) I love this time of year and always recall the beauty of the spring I was in Virginia, with the Redbuds in the woods and then the Dogwoods... I would love to selectively add a few around here, but always hesitate as the digging is pretty tough and there are always things of greater importance ahead of that on "the list". Hey Marian, are you a "bluehair", lol? ;)

Oh mercy, I have to depart for Chaos. It won't last forever, but I'd rather stay right here and WALAT for the day.

Greetings to all not mentioned.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:33AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Looks like I am going to have to head outside this morning and take a few photos. The sun is coming out and the sky is clear, after a day of rain yesterday. I am putting in a few strawberry plants and pansies in whiskey barrels today. Bare root, which I would rather not deal with for some reason, but that was the only version they had of the variety I wanted. I am having a hard time finding a nursery that I really like around here. The one I used to go to most often, went out of business last year. The owner was ill and wanted to retire. He also cited the tremendous cost of oil to heat the greenhouses. I've tried four other nurseries and find none of them suit me. Well actually one does pretty well, but it is the most expensive of course. They had organic strawberry plants in large 6 packs, and wanted a whopping $16. for 6 strawberry plants! Pansy flats were $4. for 4 packs. All of which is convincing me that a light set up next year for the few plants that I don't winter sow, will be very worthwhile. I love pansies and I winter sow them, but they don't start blooming until later than I need them and they don't always come back the next year. I am working on a system of seed sowing them that works for me.

Speaking of pansies....I bought a variety called 'Snow Angels' last fall, that were supposed to be cold hardy. I was skeptical but sure enough they came back in fine form this spring and are now just starting to bloom. I plan on trying to sow seed from these in late summer for next spring.

I also spied a new crocus opening this week. Very late, all of the others have gone by. We bought this in the fall and I just love it. It is called 'King of the Stripes'. It is prettier than the catalog.

I received a free packet of Penstemon 'Iron Maiden' from T&M 2 years ago and winter sowed them. They had a great germination rate. I planted 7 of the seedlings in my front bed last year which remained rosettes all season. They are up and putting on some growth and are supposed to be hardy to zone 4, get 3-4ft and bloom in August, and one of the best penstemons at attracting hummingbirds. Good thing I moved my Nepeta and some Cranesbill out there to look at while I am waiting.

I hope you will take photos of your Yellow Magnolia when it blooms this year, Chelone. Also looking forward to castors and cutting tables. I imagine once that project is finished you can finally start sewing those curtains?

Gray haired here as well. Premature gray runs in my family. I had an aunt who was almost all gray in her thirties. I did try coloring it for awhile, but I just hate roots and would end up going every 6 weeks. I just didn't like the unnatural look of my hair either. So I let it grow out. I had to have blood work for food allergies around that time and they identified some substance in my blood that I was having a reaction to, that was actually a residual from the hair color. That was quite a shock. Certainly helped me decide to stop as well.

Woody....I would need a week's vacation after all the mental acrobatics it takes to do what you were doing yesterday. [g] What would Randy find interesting to do for fun, with more time on his hands?

Norma....It's been quite awhile since I've seen photos of your garden, what a treat! I love your double Daffodils and Bleeding Hearts. You have some huge ones. Pretty pink dogwood blooms. Such a great size property you have. What is that mass of purple flowers in one photo?

Busy day for Kate and company today I am sure and I am wondering if 'Surprise' is going to be an April baby or a May baby.

Cindy, how is Chloe doing today? What's going on in the greenhouse, Saucy? Any pics?

Time to get rolling here...hope it is sunny for all today!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 7:33AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Norma! Great slide show! You're 2-4 weeks ahead of us here. There's not a lot of color in the garden here other than the early bulbs.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 7:45AM
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Pm,Those are narcissius I think.(the double yellow), I can't remember what variety. The purple flower is Ajuga and it is batteling it out with the lily of the valley behind. Why is it that when you plant LOL in a spot where nothing else will grow it takes off everywhere? Never mind I know the answer to that. LOL

I like that new crocus. I have found that planting cold hardy pansies in the fall work best for spring show.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 8:41AM
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Marian, I chuckled at Chelones comment of you in camo.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 8:45AM
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Norma, I really enjoyed your slideshow! You do know how to put on a spring show in your area! Sarah always gets me to use the sparkles when we make photos for her on Picturetrail :)

My second elephant ear came out better than the first - obviously practice helps. The color was less gray, more in the "buff" color that I like. I need to work in the garage today, as I'm running short on time until the plant sale.

The wind is wicked here this morning....cold and bitter! We're shooting up to the upper 80's through next week and I'm not too happy about it with no leaves for shelter :)


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 10:01AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

You are so right, Saucy. It is cold and windy here this morning and I went back to I am also not looking forward to going into upper 80s so early. No leaves here either. I promise that is all the complaining about the weather I am going to do until July or August. :-) I am so happy to hear you like your Elephant Ears container in buff.

Norma, thanks, I am going to need a reminder when it is time to sow seed for pansies for the fall. [g] So, that is ajuga, wow, nice stand of it. I ripped out all my LoValley. It was trying to take over my front yard. I guess you have to have the right place for it to roam, and I've heard it's a good idea to give it competition,like the ajuga. Good decision.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 10:18AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Nope, no camo. I don't have any camo. I was wearing a blue plaid cotton shirt, and green sweatpants. :-)

Woody, I admire your finding the paperwork "sort of fun". It would literally make me sick when I made out our tax papers, and I have a similar reaction when balancing my checkbook. It's odd, because I loved my bookkeeping job at the discount store way back then....
I am a terible procrastinator when it comes to my checkbook, but I do check online every now and then to see what my balance is.
Canada's medical care sounds like a good deal. We had no insurance until we were old enough for medicare. If that goes down the drain, we will be back to square one!
How is your MIL? I forget that she has the memory problems. Did the supplements help any? Did she get B-12 shots, and did they help her walking? I don't imagine there will be any overseas trip for them this year.
Nolon has had that feeling about not bringing home any paycheck. He enjoyed digging and selling herbs to get some income, and selling firewood. Last year it was the selling of all the recycled scrap metals that he could round up. He finds comfort in having some of his own cash in his pockets. :-)

Yes, Norma, I really did enjoy my woodsy trek. I could at least spend more time on the more level parts of our woods. Getting down to the falls is pretty tricky, and dangerous, but, (until the icestorm), so beautiful down there. I didn't make it to the upper pond. Too much downed trees...It is pretty too, but has no falls. It shouldn't be long until the wild azaleas are in bloom. That is when I really need to take my camera and go down.
I have one that I transplanted up by the deck. It had several blooms last spring.
Your slideshow is beautiful, but I had a hard time seeing all that I wanted to because of the speed. ( I am not a very fast seer.) Is there a way to see them slower?
You, and others, have almost persuaded me to get more bleedinghearts, both red and white. :-)
I have a lot of Ajuga, thanks to a cousin who 'shared' with me! It has spread into various lawn areas. I don't really care, and it 'is' pretty when it blooms.
My lily of the valley is spreading also, but not any problem, so far.

Speaking of grey hair, I am still waiting for mine. I quiz my hairdresser every time I get a perm, and she insists that I have no, or very little, grey. Chelone, "bluehair" ????

We had lows in the mid 60s last night! It got up into the 80s yesterday. So far, I am tolerating it much better than I used to. I hope it does not get so hot that it blasts the spring flowers.

Pm2, my favorite nursery went out of business a few years ago, due to the owner's aging. A differant outfit eventually reopened there, but is 'small potatos" compared to the former. The other nice one is only open briefly, and is rather expensive, too. I haven't checked it yet this year. They used to grow most of their own plants....maybe still do.
That's a good deal on the pretty pansies. My sis has a type that regrows every year, and spreads.
Love the stripped crocus. I have some similar.
We have a wild penstemon here, (in our yard even), P. digitalis, Beardtongue. It has white flowers.

Our daffodils are almost all gone, and now the jonquils are blooming. So are the Spanish bluebells.

I think I have caught up now...

I am going in to get my monthly B-12 shot today. Will have my BP checked, and maybe I will go to the beauty school and get my hair trimmed. It sure needs it.
Naturally I will have to check the plant places also. :-)

I hope we get good news from Marie soon.....


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 10:18AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, bummer -- here I am, back at the awfice and hoping to stroll thru Norma's yard for lunch and it wont work here -- aaargh.... well, I'll try for a stroll this evening when I get home.

I bet you will really enjoy having your DH at home, Woody after the initial adjustment -- it sounds like the right time and still have time to enjoy marital "bliss" time and not feel too pressured when the other family things crop up. It sounds like, as with your garden, you have it all sensibly laid out and a strategic plan for action!

Michelle, Im sorry things are topsy at your ofc - that's so stressful -- just at a time when you dont want or need any more stress, right? I hope the young'un will be well molded and end up being a "dream" for you and the work situation! Maybe she can even take on your duties that keep you from IU trips, LOL.... altho I know there are other things that play into that.

Im pondering the irony of Mother Nature and the wonderful sun she's now bestowed upon my region -- me back at the awfice after three lovely days of cold and rain for vacation.... guess it wasnt meant to be garden time for me.

I hope Martie as lots of fun on her road trip to Ohio -- and a neat side trip to Bluestone - I bet she picks up a ton of goodies there.

That lemon cake recipe sure does sound yummy; I'm going to try to resist as I would end up eating it all myself!

Thanks for the nice thoughts for Chloe -- she seems to eating and perky which is great -- Im going to hold out good thoughts when we got back to the vet next week to see if things have improved.

Well, Im trying to stay positive -- it's only a Monday and a Friday now for me at the "awfice" and much as there is to dig out from under, it will go by quickly. But I'd rather be gardening.....

Wondering about news from 'bug's world.....


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 1:40PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Back again...I pushed myself out the door late morning and now have two whiskey barrels all planted with dormant strawberry plants, pansies and variegated sage. Very pleased to have that done. Getting out when DH gets home to watch him, [g] spread mulch and weed, before the weeds get the upper hand.

I have sprouts in the milk jugs of cauliflower, broccoli, pak choy, kale and one lonely little tomato seedling. They are so little, I think I will wait to get them in the ground until next week.

I was walking about the garden checking things out and don't you just love the little surprises? In one area there must be about 50 volunteer seedlings of something. I am really hoping it is not a weed. It occurred to me that it is in an area where I had Digitalis planted last year, but I would have thought they would have sprouted last year if that is what they are? Plus, in two areas where I tried to take something out, some of it was left behind evidently because they are back! Cimicifuga and CasaBlanca Lily. Spring is so much fun!

DD called today. I had sent along an email with suggestions for her deck plants and she and her roommate are very excited about the possibilities. I will need to get over there one of these mornings to determine how much sun they actually have but I am thinking not a lot. I am trying to come up with fool proof plants that would be fun and easy. I was just looking at Colocasias at Brent & Becky's and one I have my eye on gets to be 3-5ft in one season? I've never tried growing them. I'm not sure they will have room for it, but anyone have any thoughts on how easy and fool proof that would be?

Cindy...I am keeping my fingers crossed that the vet will give you and Chloe some good news!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 3:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Arrived at about 2:30AM on Wednesday. Went grocery shopping ($300) and made soup for our dinner. YUM! I love this recipe and will try to send it out to you when I return. We bought cake etc for Skyler's class of 25 and surprised them all in the afternoon. He was VERY HAPPY! His Mom arrived later and I hope she was OK with the celebration.

This morning we prepared a stack of towels and items for the midwife, put the birthing tub in the sunroom and began heating the sunroom as well. Then DH and I went to buy loot bags and a pinata for Saturday's party, a scavenger hunt in the ravine.

DD is tired and anxious, DSIL phones home frequently. I made puff pastry tomato, pesto, feta treats for lunch and now we are napping....The wait is fairly tedious....tap tap tap!

The mouse is challenging me here...but want to send my love to all and welcome our newest member, precious Kate.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:40PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What a happy post that was Gardenbug! From the account of all that has happened since your arrival, I imagine your DD, DSIL and Skyler are very happy to have you there. The cavalry has arrived! :-)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 6:49PM
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We're just back from dinner "out" and I couldn't resist a quick read before retiring for the night. What nice news to read after a rather discouraging day at the salt mine. A few hours WALATing with that fool dog and the pride was helpful, too. The Calvalry indeed!

I want to recommend "Wall E" as a very entertaining movie, perfect for bright children and bright "grown ups". Lovely life lessons, fun animation, and plenty of funnies for all ages. I'll bet Skyler would enjoy it. So would you, Marian!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 7:45PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I keep thinking I'll post in the morning when I'm not so tired, but I'm never quite coherent enough. Work has been really busy and I'm just wiped out every night.

I'm still working on addressing the invitations. My list and her parent's list are done, but I had to wait to get the full address list from the kids. It seems that they had very few mailing addresses for their friends and had to track down a lot of them! I'm making good progress, though, and I hope at the end that I can take a photo that shows off the work without revealing names and addresses. Not sure if that will work.

Tonight I did have a chance to actually WALAT, camera in hand. The photos are uploading now so I probably won't post until tomorrow. But have I said I'm having fun with the camera?

Good to hear from GB - a happy post, now we just need the really happy news!

I think the comment about FB being like Fox News and the Idylls like NPR was spot on. I don't feel terribly guilty about keeping FB open on the computer at work because I can get my fix in under two minutes. The idylls, though, are for savoring.

I'm determined to do 5 more envelopes before I hit the hay. G'nite!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 9:55PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

OK, a couple of quick pics.

Here's tonight's sunset, focusing on the tree in the middle.

And the same scene, only seconds later, but focusing on the setting sun.

Quite interesting to see how the change of perspective alters the finished photo.

Crazy lab action shot:

And from the bog at the top of the waterfall, here's a double Caltha palustris.

Okay. I'm gone now. Really.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 10:22PM
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Good evening friends ! After awfice today was the 10 minute weeding -more like 20, but I dont want to fall behind. I noticed that the spotted spurge has arrived, a sure sign if warming soil, and planting out Zinnias this weekend will be the 1st order of business. I have taken probably 100 pics in the last 2 days, and I will post below some shots as requested that show more of the real estate. Last night I ordered a book on Amazon that was recommended to me , sort of a guidebook for my D60. There is a whole series of these books for various Nikons, link posted below in case Saucy and V have an interest.

Marian, I enjoyed your description of your trek to Pitcher Hollow. It was very nicely written . I felt a bit like I was going along with you , though I did not take a spill ! My enjoyment of the Idylls is often tied up in seeing places that are unlike my own. I have yet to find Angelonia here ! I think this weekend I may be able to score some. What a great plant sure wish it was available in 6-paks. Im going to find out how to propagate it this year.

Well Eden, I have to admit that Kate looks awfully pretty, even though she is a baby :-))

Norma, I loved your photos ! this sort of early spring action is over her and I enjoy experiencing it again . My faves were the daffs, the white Dicentra , and the kitty !

(((Cindy and Chloe)))..

Ok, some pics and hi to everyone
The back garden. From Garden 2009 From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 10:27PM
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It's Friday and I am indeed glad of it. It's been a tough week, the forecast for the weekend is lovely weather and I can't wait to close the door behind me today. The helpmeet and I have worked very hard to create our own little world here on the Compound and the joy I feel coming home every day makes discouraging periods easier to take on one hand, but also underscores the stupidity of being unhappy with brutal directness. Many of our friends do not understand how we can possibly be happy "staying home".

Such a lush oasis you've created for Doobie, Ted, and yourself, Kathy, in that place called, California. You don't have the dreadful reality of Blackspot dogging your every rose bush, do you? (it's exacerbated by humidity, isn't it?). I look at your lovely roses and moon a bit then snap back to reality and think... FERNS, Astilbe, Cimicifuga, Hosta, Peonies... bullet-proof is good. Be happy with what you have, Chelone! Yes indeed, I like the variety our diverse group brings to the gardening "table", too.

I have to get the service pack for my little camera as I've been collecting pictures but have yet to disgorge any of them. I have looked at the threads and enjoyed them very much, just haven't commented on them. But they have inspired me to go outdoors and really LOOK at things with new eyes because what is commonplace for me isn't for some of you. Knowing that is a bit of a "driveway moment" for me. ;)

V., I had to laugh at the kids not having physical addresses. Never crossed my fogey mind that they wouldn't, lol. I figured a coupla shots of Geritol and you'd just sit down and scrawl some names on envelopes... tough to do the calligraphy thing on a computer, huh? I love the water shots, do you have Spring Peepers or are they an Eastern/New England thing? There is a handsome roadside stand of Caltha on my way to work. I've been eyeing it ever since the snow melted away and it's just starting to come into bloom now. It's a lovely yellow ribbon of cheer in a very marshy area. I love the little wildflowers and spring ephemerals.

Norma, I really liked the kitty shot, too. I just love being outdoors with our's. Yesterday they followed me all around the Compound. It was really windy and they did a good deal of "showing off". Racing after airborn leaves, climbing the pergola, racing sideways across the lawn, and taunting Rex into chasing them, then dashing up a trellis or nearby tree. White Dicentras are my favorites, I used to have a big one that was underplanted with Ajuga that put on quite a nice display... but over time it's petered out and the volunteers have popped up farther and farther away.

OK, well I can't postpone the inevitable much longer but it'll be over soon enough and I'll be able to return to the fold and enjoy 3 days of no chaos and not feeling as if everything I do or say is somehow "wrong" or invites contradiction, "just because" it can be. It's hard work "keeping your head down" to avoid incoming strikes. ;)

Be brilliant today. Tap tap tap!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 5:32AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

While we are awaiting more baby pics I will post a few pics of the area I spoke of treking into.
These were taken some time ago.
The first is one of the more interesting views of the bluff below our main level where our house is:

It used to be a trick to navigate down to the second level, but ten years or so ago the logging crew, including Nolon, cleared a 'roadway' down at a less rocky area.The upper level, where our house is , is about half of our 20 acres. It is all pretty level. Below that bluff, which runs the width of the 20, is a level that is approximately 75-100 foot wide. Then on down to the bottom of the hollow which is not bordered by a bluff, (I misspoke when I said "two bluffs"). It is a steep, rocky tree covered slope, approximately another 50-75 feet down to the bottom. ( I am not too good at estimates). :-(

At the bottom, in the extreme northern border of our land, is the pour-off:
This picture was taken by my sister several years ago, you can see her DH (I think, maybe it is me?) at the top of the falls, on the right:

The reflections on the pic are from my camera. I took a pic of her pic to put it in my album.

And the last pic is one I took myself, at a later date:

It would be so great if we had a step-lined path all the way down, with railings. :-)


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 8:47AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday -- I was delighted to WALAT around Norma's yard last nite at home -- truly lovely Norma - and such gorgeous combinations. Im not so good at that; I just tend to plop my spring bulbs, etc., in the ground and think later I should have given more thought.... it was a real treat to see your gardens opening up. You're a few days ahead of my region - the dogwoods are just opening; I saw my first small iris this a.m. in my front garden as I was leaving - a short WALAT to see what was up before hopping in the car. It will be high 80s this weekend and that will likely blow all the tulips that are giving a gorgeous show right now. If Im lucky I try for a couple shots tonite when I get home.

V -- love those photos -- you're getting great shots too -- you will give Saucy and Kathy a run for their money; altho I think Deanne and 'bug lead the pack still..... I totally relate to being exhausted at the end of the work day....

Kathy -- o my -- no wonder you took 200 photos in the last couple of days -- it must be hard to know what not to snap! Truly magnificent - it's amazing how it all just popped out -- I see your geranium Rozanne (?) totally in full bloom, etc.... It's all eclectic but fantastic. Just what the doctor ordered for a perk-up for Friday!!

Ok, time to make sure I can pay the vet bills, LOL -- got lots on the plate here - I hope I have energy for some planting in the a.m. this weekend before the nasty temps kick in.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 9:07AM
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Happy Friday! Looks to be a beautiful weekend on tap. The sun is shining brightly and I'm hoping to spend most of the next few days out in the garden.

Norma, Thanks you so much for the slideshow. I always enjoy seeing glimpses of your gardens. I have high hopes for my white dicentra this year. It was a seedling in my friends garden and has been teeny tiny in mine for the last couple of years but this year looks to have put on some size. Yours is a beauty!

Kathy, great seeing some longer views of your space too. So much color! So pretty! My zinnia seeds that Bella and I wintersowed last weekend have sprouted.

Marian, your pictures reminded me what a beautiful spot you live in. Lucky you to have such beautiful scenery!

Chelone, enjoy your weekend of peace and quiet on the compound. I feel the same about our home. It's where I'm content and happy to be. I baked brownies yesterday and thought of you and your recent baking endevours.

Glad to hear that Marie made it safely and is now settling in and waiting for the arrival of Baby Surprise.

PM, you sound very industrious lately. One of my favorite spring activities is walking the garden at least a couple of times a day to see what suprises have appeared. I'm seeing lots of little seedlings too and wondering what they may be.

Lots of garden time planned for today so time to get rolling. I'll leave you with a picture of Jen and Kate that I really like. This was taken at the hospital but they came home yesterday around noon and are doing well.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:19AM
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A couple quick comments as the awffice beckons.

87 degrees here yesteday!

Eden, the picture just exudes a mother's love for her child. It should be framed.

V, that 2nd is wonderful. Great clarity.

Hiking with Marian was extremely enjoyable as was the stroll through Norma's garden. I loved the sparkle effect on the slideshow. It made your garden seem all the more magical.

Kathy, I'm just stunned to see how far along your garden is. Just lovely! I'm still looking for signs of growth for lots of things.

PM, I 'King of Stripes' is very pretty.

As you can see I've only looked at pictures. Last night I was too busy in the garden enjoying the warm weather.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woke up this morning to a white world. The sun is shining and the snow slowly disappearing. More white is expected on the weekend which should be OK because folks here are used to it but me, I'm sick of it!!!

One of the exciting activities here is geocaching. See below. This is an activity which is being introduced gradually to Skyler and hence the scavenger hunt theme for his party tomorrow. DH & DSIL have located one (I saw it too) and this morning DD and her father are going to mark off ravine areas for festivities. It is mighty complex from my point of view, but everyone is enthusiastic about it...except one sweet friend (male) who called this morning to plead with DD to take it easy and not go in the ravine. No one is likely to win an argument with her though. :)

This afternoon there is a midwife appointment and then we pick up Skyler for the week.

I plan on making a curried apple/chicken recipe for dinner too, then wrap presents afterwards. Such a production!

Things are a little tense because DD feels we are invading her space and feels like a watched pot. We of course are doing our best, but I empathize.

Word from home is that Phoebe is excited to have so much company and that things are working out well. I am disappointed that so far I am unable to send email.

Big wave to each and every one!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 12:28PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - that's definitely a picture that needs enlarging and framing! B&W makes it timeless.

Marian - every time you post pictures of that 'pour off' (I love that name - so evocative/descriptive!), I want your property!!

Kathy - I want to be sitting in that chair! :- ) It must smell heavenly there....

GB - the 'watched pot' comment made me smile but I understand the stress in it too. Hopefully the 'pot' will 'boil over' soon and all will be just nice and warm and cozy... I'm glad Phoebe is enjoying her visiting caregivers but I wish she could have been here.

I did the termination of my helper about a half hour ago - never a fun process but it went smoothly. She knew it was coming sooner or later and the termination pay, severance pay, etc. eases the financial blow. She's on her way now to apply for unemployment insurance - I did the termination early enough today that she has time to get the application in today.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 2:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


Maybe you might remember a photo I posted last spring of this border? This is what I spent my morning doing with the help of DS.....

Last week, we moved one of the veggie beds out of the way and are now bringing out the rock edging by almost 3 feet. We're not finished yet. What a mess, but it needed to be done. I have no idea what year [g] I will finish not only the edging but finding enough soil to back fill and re positioning perennials and shrubs. Mistakes are a lot of work in the garden.

V....I'm glad you are enjoying your new camera. Very interesting how different the second photo was from the first. I like the second one much better.

Kathy.....Your garden is luscious! The chair and the bright blue pot are such great points of interest and very inviting. I like the way your patio is surrounded by garden. I love that apricot rose on the left side of your photo and wondering what is against the fence right above the chair in the second photo? I would enjoy more photos.

Norma....I liked the kitty shot too, with the sparkles and the butterflies.

Marian...I didn't realize you had water on your property. How large is your property? Is there that much water there now?

Eden...that photo of Jen and Kate is just perfect! Not only the expression on Jen's face, but Kate looking right at the camera! Definitely agree about framing it. .... Glad you will have time to get in the garden today.... Yes, I push myself a lot this time of year. I'm trying to build up a little more stamina and try to go out for awhile, come in and take a break and go out again a second time later in the day to do more light duty jobs. I see too many jobs I want to complete and I haven't finished trimming and haven't started spreading mulch yet, which is a must. I want to get as much done as I can before the heat gets here. I am getting to start my vegetable garden earlier this year and very happy about that.

Michelle....glad you are gardening so much you haven't time to keep up with Idylls. [g] I hope you are taking lots of photos for when you take a break.

Snow, gardenbug??! Amazing. In the 80s here this weekend and you all have snow!

I am sure you are glad to have that over with, Woody.

What happened to Sue today?


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 5:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This afternoon at the midwife's I heard baby's heartbeat, felt the bum, the back, the legs and the head. A weepy moment for grandma...

We collected Skyler from school so DD could nap, and then while he was playing with his neighbors, I made dinner. Right now the gang is off buying a birthday gift for a friend.

I'm tired! You think I'm too old for this? Just maybe! Eden, you do this almost every day too!

Chelone, Indy is a remarkable dog. Amazing in fact, Yesterday she found a coyote in the ravine, but simply observed it and kept a smart distance, then returned to DD's side. Seriously, no need at all for a leash! These days she's glued to DD.

Enjoying the high quality photos. :)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 9:55PM
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Happy Friday ! What a pleasant WALAT tonight, with a pause to plant up my first new container combo of the season. Im hoping to find some Lantana at the garden center tomorrow, I have lots of empty pots that need to be filled. If Marian can get Angelonia in AK this week, surely I can get it here ? There are buds on my Amaranth viridis , and some of the Zinnias as well.

Chelone, blackspot here is usually a feature when we have a rainy spring, I do have some since I insist on growing some varieties that are highly susceptible (such as Eden) but the last 2 springs have been dry so it is less of an issue. I rarely if ever get mildew. Part of the fun of gardening for me is the ability to manipulate my garden spaces , and I am never totally content with what I have ! I address this by changing something every couple of years not minor changes, but rip it out and move or toss it changes. I like moving stuff around .

PM, the apricot rose is Amber Queen, a floribunda that does very well for me, and the plant behind the chair is my Camellia, which is on its way to going out of bloom-they are winter bloomers here. I love seeing the stone and rock edged borders that you NE folk have ; our valley is only rocky in the east hills and there are quite a few dry-stack rock walls in that area, but since I am on the valley floor my soil is alluvial and no rocks to speak of. What anice border youll have along that fence !

Eden, I love black and white photos and your is great ! Did you take it ?

Cindy, not Rozanne, but the magenta-ish sanguineum that invites itself into various areas of the garden- I like it because it looks tidy all year, no flopping, and I can shear it off for a modest re-bloom. I have Rozanne in my front garden and want to replace all the Johnsons Blue in back with Rozanne ( way superior in my opinion) but she is very hard to find around here for some reason.

Jeesh bug, snow ??

Ok, Im going to go watch baseballIll leave you with my mystery Clem and Mary Rose From Garden 2009 From Garden 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 9:57PM
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Eden, that's a lovely shot of Jen and Kate. It has that timeless quality that would lend it nicely to a round or oval frame if it could be manipulated accordingly.

Marian, I very much enjoyed the pictures of your lovely property. I think the "pour off" is grand and I instantly wondered if the pool was deep enough for a quick dip! The surrounding terrain is rugged and reminds me of the White Mtns. of NH. Wouldn't it be terrific if we could just wave a wand and, POOF! walking trails, stairs and handrails could appear where we'd like them? Do be careful when you're out bushwackin'.... (cluck cluck cluck; the sound of a concerned BIT... biddy in training).

And PM, my my! aren't you industrious? if you'd like to perfect your wall building skill by all means c'mon up and practice here with me. ;) It's going to be lovely when it's finished. I noted with interest that you've deepened the bed in the picture. I plan to do that will the front bed here. The learning curve is steep when you begin gardening with little or no real background and a minimal sense of scale. It's that sense of scale that I find I'm developing more and more over time. It's going to look terrific when you and your generous DS are all finished. Be sure to keep a good photographic record.

Woody, I've had to "terminate" exactly two people in the time I had my "straight" job. One was a slacker and it made me uncomfortable to have to "look over her shoulder" to be sure she did routine things correctly (or at all), so when it came time to give her the book I didn't really care. The other, however, was very troubling. She was illiterate and I'd never before met someone who couldn't read. She was punctual, cheerful, and she really tried. But she was unable to handle the simplest sewing operations in the line and was so disappointed when I had to let her go. I've thought of her over the years and wondered whatever became of her. So, I'm sure you felt a certain level of relief when the deed was done. I hope you gave Misty a swift kick and then went outdoors to torture the sod for a bit. I smiled at the "watched pot" comment, too. But for a different reason, I recall being the watcher... keeping an eye on Mum to make sure she was safe and noting changes and trying very hard to be "cool" about it. You bring such an interesting perspective to our conversations here, Woody.

I believe Sue has blown us off, having retreated fully to the "dark side" of sound bytes. We can only hope that she and Deanne don't abandon us completely and forever. I was going to suggest that she was perhaps in deep mourning for Zoe, but that doesn't strike me as her style. :)

Mary and her family crossed my mind the other day when news of the Red Sox triumphant double header hit the news. I wonder if they braved the rain delays to see all of it? And I wish I'd urged her to take in the Gardner Museum, too. It's a jewel... even the blank wall where the stolen Rembrandt seascape used to hang.

'bug, I'm sure there will be many weepy moments for you and your family in the coming days/weeks. Poignancy lends a certain "flavor" to anything... may the "sweet" in the sweet and sour be especially so. Was Indy a "puppy raised" dog? We have a saying here, "nothin' like a kitten raised cat" and it holds true for dogs, too. It's one of those things you miss out on when you make it a goal to reclaim other people's cast-offs. We frequently wonder about Rex and what his life was like before we "sprung him from the joint". Why are you telling me this, anyway? you know I hate dogs.

Looks like I'll be working on Monday, seems like the prudent thing to do to head off a stressful dash to the finish line for a Wednesday installation; I'm always interested in containing and minimizing the chaos whenever I'm able. ;) I worked alone yesterday (I like that) but still came home feeling that no matter what I did, how much I did, or how well I did it it still wouldn't quite enough. It doesn't matter that it's not really about me at all, the fact is, nobody likes going to work when they feel the task in front of them is Sysiphean.

I haven't returned to the cutting table pcs. since I filled them. Foolishly I set them up in the Salon without thinking of the mess the sanding will create (duh). So, I'll set them up in the garage bay and have at 'em with the palm sander today or tomorrow. Then drag them back upstairs for the finishing. Right on top of it! that'd me. :)

Time to tend to some chores while it warms up outdoors. I have the sunscreen at the ready and a very basic plan of attack formulated. My greatest concern today is what to make for dinner... helpmeet will not be home until after 6 and it hardly seems fair to saddle him with the responsibilty for dinner after such a long day... . I'll have to think about that for awhile. Gotta be really easy.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 6:33AM
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Good morning!

Today is community clean up in our town, so I've got a gang of kids ready to clean up this neighborhood. Jake's gonna hit the waterway with the canoe and a friend and collect any trash he sees.

I am playing in the greenhouse, too. Pictures this evening! It looks pretty with all the hanging plants and flats. Calibrachoa, Ipomea 'blackie', and verbena came in yesterday. My zinnias really like it in there :)

All my house plants got the boot early this morning. They're out on the deck hanging out in the smallest patch of shade :) It'll be nice to have them all out and putting on growth.

GB, geocaching really looks like fun! I am going to share that with Jake. We won a free GPS in a drawing a couple of years ago....enjoy your time with your family!

Woody, you are a very thoughtful employer - I'm sure that was appreciated. When I'm put in those situations, I try to always remember what it has been like for me to stand in those shoes.

Chelone, my specialty is schlepping things from one place to another....up the stairs, down the stairs.....have fun working on your layout tables :)

Kathy, what a beautiful garden space!

I agree about framing the picture....I think it would make a nice gift, Eden. My grandma had one in her house of her and my grandfather with my newborn dad. The funny thing I noticed was how made up she was - head of curls (from rollers, no doubt) and lipstick. I wonder how that all went down?

Time to find a hat, I hear it's going to be 80ish!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 8:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Birthday party morning here, with rain &snow. SLOPPY! Skyler is a motor mouth and full of beans... DSIL & DD are very excited about the activities. We are enlisted to collect 2 friends in far off places and bring them to the party.

Indy was a rescue dog. DD chose her about 6 years ago when she was under a year old. We wish she could speak and tell us her history as well as other things. When she first arrived she would stay very close to Sarah. She comes ALWAYS when called and sits at your left side.

Saucy, I think your entire family would love geocaching. We plan on starting one with Skyler containing action figures. There is one we hope to find soon with a newborn theme. Thank you for the environmental cleanup!!! There is a serious need for it here in Edmonton now that most of the winter snow has melted. I find the mess depressing! In a few minutes the boy scouts will come here to collect bottles. There is about $100 worth on the back deck waiting for them.

I planted snowdrops from the farm here at DD's on Thursday. I hope they bloom next spring!

Off to help out!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 12:19PM
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I haven't exactly been the productive clean up whiz I was hoping for this morning. Still:
1.) breakfast mess and kitchen are cleaned up.
2.) 2 loads of laundry are drying (V. could take a picture).
3.) Rex and I have WALATed several times this morning, and managed to squeeze in some "ball", too.
4.) Rex and I "went out", bringing Daddy something he forgot to take with him this morning. We brought home 2 Rhodo. viscosum and practiced our "good boy manners" in a very busy place. (He was a very, very good boy).
5.) I've sanded the table pcs. and refilled a couple of overlooked rough places. When the filler dries I'll finish up sanding.
6.) I've had lunch (Cheerios) and am about to put some Brownies in the oven.

I have to go back and find out about geocaching while the Brownies are baking. And I hope Skyler has a grand day and proves to be a lively, fun-loving host and birthday boy.

tap tap tap...

I'm happy to have Rex "Come!" and then sit in front of me waiting for the next direction. I try to have him do this every single time I call him to me. I also use hand signals with him, does DD do that with Indy, 'bug? (do any of the rest of you use hand signals?) I find Rex is very visually "tuned in" and can be easily distracted from looking directly to me for directions. This is something I work very hard on with him, trying to use more praise than food as the reward. I use the command "Heel" to bring him to a sitting position at my left side.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 1:25PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It's our first really warm day here today - we're up to 24C so far!

I got a bit more sod cleaned up this morning - about 1/2 along now... I also reshaped the end of the bark mulch path around the rose bed yesterday to make the grass path 'flow' a bit better.

A little WALATing this morning found some pretty stuff. I particularly liked these primroses:

Spring bulbs are naturalizing nicely under the pines:

We're going out to dinner tonight with my samosa-making friend to an Indian restaurant we haven't been to in while so we're looking forward to that. A neighbour will be dropping by shortly with her mother to check out the garden... I'm helping her make some changes to her garden so she's coming to see a few things here that she might want to add to her garden.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 2:19PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Glad to see some Idylls checking in today. On such a gorgeous Saturday I thought everyone must be out every minute in the garden. We were out early having to get what ever garden work done before DH went to visit his Mom and before it was too hot for me. Rock edging has come to a halt until cooler weather. So we pulled the few weeds that were in the Shade beds, edged the front foot or two with newspaper and bark mulch, had three holes where plants had been plucked out earlier that needed filling and mulched over then we pulled bags of chopped leaves out of the garage and distributed them thickly behind all the shrubs to suppress weeds. Ran the sprinkler and dragged out the summer bird bath and voila! That whole shady side of the yard is done for the season!!

I feel like it is such an accomplishment because I have had to chip away for quite awhile to get things moved and planted and I finally have it to a point where I don't see one plant that needs moving or changing for awhile and I'm pleased with the way it looks. I don't get that feeling that I've completed something often enough. [g] Plus I saw two new hostas just starting to peek out. The shrubs are just starting to show 'peach fuzz' [g]. You know, tiny new leaves. Plus a native Spicebush that didn't bloom last year is blooming with these tiny yellow blooms all along the branches. A patch of viola 'Queen Charlotte' was perfuming the entire corner. [I think of your sweet dog every time I say that name, Gardenbug] And if all that wasn't enough, our neighbor behind us who has driven us crazy for three years, leaving trash in our line of vision from the kitchen window and a stagnant water feature with a broken pump, was out there all morning fixing and getting things straightened out! A very satisfying morning.

I should have stopped there, I was tired and sore when I got up this morning, but there was still a half hour left before DH had to leave, so I spearheaded one last project, a twig trellis waiting in the garage to be erected. We made quick work of it and now one clematis has a new home. I am completely done in, as in haven't been able to move since I plan on not moving for the rest of the day.

I have more to say about what's going on with all of you when I come back. You'll all be outside all afternoon anyway. :-)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 2:32PM
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I caught my first swarm of bees! They landed in the hedge, and I was able dump them in a trash barrel and prepare a new hive.

I will have to go get more supplies and relocate them, but I caught a swarm!

I feel like a real beekeeper now :)

I am grinning from ear to ear.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 3:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Quite the exciting birthday party yesterday! Much Much better than parking kids in front of a movie.

Today Skyler is attending a "Home Alone" course and DH and I are planning for a few days on our own in Jasper, perhaps next weekend. DD is really feeling annoyed by Watched Pot syndrome. I don't blame her in the least.

This morning DSIL, Skyler & DH found a geocache and left a note inside. :) Skyler is learning to use a compass. It is snowing lightly...groan! Back East my friends tell me about the summer weather.

My evening task here is to work with Skyler with two garbage bags. We are to sort his clothes, put the "too bigs" in one bag, the "too smalls" in the other and create a tidy closet and drawers. Then photograph the outcome and post it on his door for future reference!

DH's task is to supervise math homework. Then we hope for either reading time or a game after dinner. There is still anxiety and temper...but he is growing up and visibly improving in many ways. He has new glasses too which make him look more mature I think.

DSIL wants to go to a nursery with me, but I think sunny warm weather would make it more exciting.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 4:42PM
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