#375, what IS aggression, you guys!

cheloneApril 23, 2008

I agree, it's a provocative question, Jerri. And a good one. It's high time we had something provocative to toss around betwixt and between us.


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I think aggression is the last resort in self protection. So, ultimately, I believe all aggression is linked to issues linked to personal "safety". I think that holds true for humans and animals. It's nothing more than a protective response and it's made more complex for humans because we have language to "get in the way".

Next? ;)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 7:31PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone, I was just thinking of you in regards to this question. I would think that you are the 'poster person' of self assertion. I mean I don't know you very well and what happens off the forums, but from what I have read, you seem to take care of yourself in a respectful way. So let's all talk about Chelone...lol. You all have known her a lot longer than I have, would you agree? :-)

I would agree that aggression can be self protection, but I am not sure I agree that it is always that. I think it can be rage and retaliation too.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 7:42PM
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Jerry, give us an example of what you're talking about. I too think you may be confusing assertiveness with aggression. Real aggression is not a good thing, but may be fear based in people just as it is can be in dogs.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 7:47PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hmnmmmm aggression, it also has to do with Âposturing and jostling for position. (Why must we be number ONE?) The most aggressive and strongest garners the MOST productive land, better food on the table, wealthiest and healthiest spouse etc., etc. etc . As the culture becomes more sophisticated we are no longer need driven as a species to maintain our aggressive natures but unfortunately itÂs in the gene code. Society has developed acceptable Ârules for displaying aggression competitive sports such as football and boxing to cite one example. How about Âhostile takeovers in business. It provides 'legal' outlets for what is normally considered unacceptable behavior.

I agree with Cynthia that there is a big difference between being assertive and aggressive. Being assertive means you wonÂt allow anyone to use you as a door mat and being aggressive means you want to use other people as a doormat. Not positive behavior.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 7:53PM
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NO. Cynthia, what do YOU think aggression is all about. Your thoughts and insights... no further clarification. What do you think? from your "gut". I think answering relatively viscerally is important.

(thanks for the information on Greys. and ACL injuries. Rex is definitely athletic and "acrobatic"!)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 7:56PM
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Aggressiveness or even assertiveness aren't qualities I admire much in people. Now self-confidence and honesty are a different story and those are qualities I do admire greatly. I think many people use the excuse of being honest and truthful to be aggressive or even mean. I equate aggressiveness with bullying, belittling and unnecessarily hurting others feelings for no good reason. Misdirected anger may have something to do with it too I suspect. I think the same end can usually be accomplished tactfully in a kinder,gentler way. Unfortunately,easier said than done for most of us. So there you have my opinion for what it's worth:)

Kathy, glad your meds are working and you're feeling no pain, lol.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 8:29PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Completely off the aggression topic.... I need to stress-reduce by 'talking' myself out a bit, so pardon this dump of stuff; this is not a good place to do it I know and most of my 'talking' is happening elsewhere, but.....

I've found myself back in a medical limbo again. Weird things have been happening in my head and face the past week or so that seem to indicate one of three possible things going on:
1 - I'm having a reaction to the radiation like I did in 1996 with the previous round that caused brain swelling;
2 - the radiation hasn't worked and the tumor is still growing and causing further damage or;
3 - I'm going through a particularly bad, but normal, down period but am paranoid because my prior bad reaction happened about this time post-treatment.

So we went off to see the Gamma Knife folks this afternoon. Essentially they agreed with my assessment of the three possibilities but said my symptoms are unusual and not what they would expect to see after the GK treatment. And because my whole medical history is unusual, they were not willing to make a guess at what is going on/what is the right thing to do. So they want to do another MRI as soon as they can schedule it (1-2 weeks probably). It is unlikely that any growth in the tumor would show in comparison to the January MRI unless the tumor was having a really unusual growth spurt. But if my brain is swelling, that would show up. So, in the mean time, Ill continue to take Aspirin/Ibuprofen for some anti-inflammatory insurance and wait in suspense for another 1-2 weeks and hope that theres no preventable damage happening in the meantime!

So add me to the list of ailing/recovering/in suspense people and dogs Idylling around here....

It's all spoiled the SALATing a bit, not to mention the actual spring chores! I was looking at my brick edging yesterday and thinking how glad I am that I did that last year because the thought of heving to edge all those beds is a non-starter at the moment! The remaining areas (in the backyard) that need edging are on the 'hit list' for changes this year.

I'm greatly looking forward to meeting Phoebe this weekend for some doggie-therapy! I've been distracting myself somewhat by cooking and stocking the freezer. gb - the menu so far is samosas and popadums for appetisers; beef Kalio, butter chicken, chicken korma and mushroom bhaja for main 'buffet'; popovers will have to substitute for naan I think; and likely lemon meringue pie for dessert. Does that sound OK for you?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 8:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

First of all, thank you Chelone for this topic thread! Secondly, Jerri, no way are you allowed to be timid about this fascinating topic. I'd love to learn YOUR take on it too!

My most recent encounter with aggression had to do with bullying in the playground. (by my very own stepgrandson!) I found this article on the web and thought it had a lot of good ideas. Most everything I had read before this was the old "low self image" stuff. I hope this is related to the topic at hand in some ways.

What Causes Bullies?
by Jane St. Clair

Psychologists used to believe that bullies have low self-esteem, and put down other people to feel better about themselves. While many bullies are themselves bullied at home or at school, new research shows that most bullies actually have excellent self-esteem. Bullies usually have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others, and lack compassion, impulse control and social skills. They enjoy being cruel to others and sometimes use bullying as an anger management tool, the way a normally angry person would punch a pillow.

All bullies have certain attitudes and behaviors in common. Bullies dominate, blame and use others. They have contempt for the weak and view them as their prey. They lack empathy and foresight, and do not accept responsibility for their actions. They are concerned only about themselves and crave attention.

Bullies are not born that way, although certain genetic traits are often present. Some children's personalities are naturally more aggressive, dominating and/or impulsive. Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are more likely to become bullies. However, having such inborn traits does not mean that a child will automatically become a bully. Bullying is a learned behavior, not a character trait. Bullies can learn new ways to curb their aggression and handle conflicts.

Bullies come from all backgrounds. Researchers have not been able to find a link between bullies and any particular religion, race, income level, divorce, or any other socio-economic factor. Girls are just as likely as boys to bully and abuse others verbally, although boys are three times more likely to be physically abusive.

There are different types of bullies produced in different types of homes. Author Susan Coloraso identifies seven kinds of bullies. Among them are the hyperactive bully who does not understand social cues and therefore reacts inappropriately and often physically. The detached bully plans his attacks and is charming to everyone but his victims. The social bully has a poor sense of self and manipulates others through gossip and meanness. The bullied bully gets relief from his own sense of helplessness by overpowering others.

Bullies are often victims of bullies themselves. According to Dr. Peter Sheras, 40% of bullies are themselves bullied at home or at school. Dr. Nathaniel Floyd's research shows that a victim at home is more likely to be a bully at school. The reason may be that when a bully watches another child appear weak and cowering, it disturbs him because it reminds him of his own vulnerability and behavior at home.

Bullies have immature social skills and believe other children are more aggressive than they actually are. If you brush up against a bully, he may take it as a physical attack and assault you because "you deserve it, you started it," etc. Drs. Kenneth Dodge and John Coie's research indicates that bullies see threats where there are none, and view other children as more hostile than they are. The hyperactive bully will explode over little things because he lacks social skills and the ability to think in depth about a conflict.

A bully's parents may be permissive and unable to set limits on their child's behavior. From early on, the bully can do whatever he wants without clear consequences and discipline. His parents may have been abused themselves as children and view disciplinary measures as a form of child abuse. While their lax style may have been fine for an easy-going, older sibling, it will not work on this more aggressive child. This bully may be allowed to dominate younger siblings and even take over his entire family - everything will revolve around his agenda.

A bully's parents often discipline inconsistently. If his parents are in a good mood, the child gets away with bad behavior. If the same parent is under stress, he or she will take it out in angry outbursts against the child. This child never internalizes rules of conduct or respect for authority.

Self-centered, neglectful parents can create a cold, calculating bully. Since his parents do not monitor his activities or take an interest in his life, he learns to abuse others when no authority figure is looking. His bullying can be planned and relentless, as he constantly humiliates his victim, often getting other children to join him.

A bully has not learned empathy and compassion. The parents of bullies often have prejudices based on race, sex, wealth and achievement. Other people are just competitors who stand in the way. Their child must always be the best in sports or academics, and others must be kept in an inferior position. A University of Chicago study led suggested that bullies watch more aggression on television and in family interactions. Aggression is rewarded and respected, and humiliating others is tolerated. Compassion and empathy seem like weaknesses.

I'll stop here for now and hope others continue with the topic as well as the regular updates and conversation!

Hi Marian, Mary, V, Brenda, Babs, Norma, Monique, Sue, Wendy, et al...


    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 8:40PM
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When you are holed up in the house avoiding strenuous actvity, taking drugs, and told not to drive you can Idyll multiple times a day.

Lets see, Vinca minor=aggresive,Pink Jasmine=agressive, oxalis=agressive. Even we gardeners in our bucolic world still have to deal with agression, because it's everywhere.This might be an 'imperialist' agression of sorts i.e. 'I am the mighty Kudzu and I am taking over this area-it's mine.

And how about the agression of the powerless ? How many of us have worked with folks in the workplace who are not management or supervisors and seek power by means of intimidation and agression towards others-'I don't want the responsibility,but I want the power'. I concur with Deannes doormat example.

On another note Thanks PM for the suggestion I had my tomato basil soup (room temp) for dinner and pureed a banana with some strawberries for desert..

Time for a nap.

Kathy in Napa

PS Sorry Cynthia that Katiekins is not enamored of her first 'car'. What you describe is exacllt how my little dog used to react if I tried to put a coat on her !

PPS you wouldn't beleive how many typos I had to correct in this post

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 8:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, are you kidding? Does it sound OK???? It sounds amazing. Now if I can only give Phoebe a repeat crash course on manners. She was doing very well, but suddenly likes to pounce on me with no warning and nip! ARGGGH! Not a good friend for you or anyone at the moment. Chelone, we have been appropriately cruel in response to this behavior. Honest injun!
Big hugs in the meantime. If you feel a need to cancel, we'll understand.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 8:49PM
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Woody, that menu sounds amazingly delicious! Waiting for medical tests and their results is not a fun way to spend time I know. The wheels of medicine grind much too slowly for me. You're doing the best thing by keeping busy though. My best thoughts and prayers are with you.

Cynthia, hope Katie likes her cart better when she becomes more familiar with it. Exciting times in your neighborhood. Most of my neighbors are like that and even the city itself. Nothing is ever done preventatively. Drives me nuts!

Healing thoughts for Wrecks!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 9:13PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I just got back from meditation class and found there is not hiding from the Idylls! ROFL!

I have a little reading to do.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 10:01PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Wow. Some great responses!

I Googled 'define aggression' and the first response most closely defines the topic at Dr. Shrink:

"having or showing determination and energetic pursuit of your ends; "an aggressive businessman"; "an aggressive basketball player""

The doormat term comes to mind here - as in don't let people USE YOU AS ONE! I do not know why he chose the word aggressive as opposed to assertive. Aggression to me is so horrible because I relate it to past abusive situations.

To pooped to think right now.

Night Idylls. Thank you all, you're a very special group.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 10:24PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Thoughts on aggression:

If it flashes through your mind that you would like to tell someone off but don't it's not aggression.
If you try to better yourself and get ahead at work through training it's not aggression.
If you finally get fed up and cut off contact with someone who choses to belittle you and use you it's not aggression.

Now, why does someone who is not aggressive feel cripling guilt for feeling aggressive?

Why is it so darn hard to sleep?! LOL

Woody, how frightening to have something going on and not know what. Waiting must be terrible. I am amazed by your strength during this time. (((hugs)))

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 1:05AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...I am amazed that Kathy can still come up with the phrase 'we gardeners in our bucolic world' while taking meds. lol

Kathy...happy the banana/strawberry idea worked out for you. Your tomato basil soup idea was a great one too. Hope today you can manage to be comfortable and that the day goes by quickly. Maybe you could park yourself in the garden with your magazines. :-)

Woody...so sorry to hear there are complications cropping up. I am sure it is very disappointing and worrisome. Perhaps if you call them in the mornings at the MRI department, they might have a cancellation and get you in sooner and you won't have so long to worry about it. Once in awhile I've found a sympathetic person on the other end of the line, that will make the effort to try to squeeze you in.

Jerri...you asked..'Why does someone who is not aggressive feel crippling guilt for feeling aggressive?' I am sure that the whole situation would have to be understood to answer that adequately, but in general, I can think of a couple of possible reasons. One, if the person grew up in an abusive situation, maybe they were punished in some way, every time they tried to stick up for themselves. Or, maybe when they have a perfectly normal reaction to someone using them as a doormat, by getting angry and sticking up for themselves, it makes them feel guilty because they are afraid they are acting in some way like an abusive parent or relative from their childhood?

Guilt can be a good thing and necessary thing that can let us know when we are off course and need to correct, but like any other feeling, sometimes it can be unreasonable and inappropriate. Logic and reasoning have to be applied in that case to evaluate whether our feelings are on track or not. Not always easy to sort out though. That's my take on it. Life can get pretty complicated sometimes, doesn't it?

Gardenbug...that was a very good article. Makes more sense to me than what used to be the explanation offered.

On the home front, it was 85 degrees here yesterday. This morning the air is much cooler but supposed to be in the 70s today. I had some positive developments yesterday. I was talking with the boy who lives across the street earlier in the week and he was telling me about a boy around the corner who has gone into business for himself doing landscape work. So I talked with him yesterday and I am going to try him out for a couple of weeks and see how he does. Maybe I can get a little caught up before the heat gets here for good. Keeping my fingers crossed.

My one and only Hellebore blooming....last year it only had two blooms.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 6:28AM
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In my mind, and in the first person because it's easier at this time of the morning :-):

Assertive = I know what I want and I've earned the right to have it but for some reason someone else doesn't want me to have it. So, I'll keep reminding them of the reasons I should have it and by using creative tenacity eventually will get it without hurting anyone's feelings along the way.

Aggression = I don't know how to be assertive or it's too much energy to not go gangbusters on the person/situation that's not letting me have what I want right away. So, I'll go full force and use whatever power I can conjure over the person and in the meantime allienate lots of people along the way and maybe even hurt someone emotionally or physically.

I think that people with self-confidence, who know they can't have everything --- including undivided attention --- at their whim are MORE COMFORTABLE with being assertive.

Aggression has never been my style, but i've been on the receiving end of it many, many times in my life and still have some of the scars. It amazes me that some live their entire lives using aggression to get what they want, or what they THINK they want.

And those people are amongst the most unhappy I've ever met.


Out to pick tulips :-)


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:09AM
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It's been an amazing weather week, and I'm so glad we have rain in the forecast as the plants just aren't quite ready for this type of pampering. They need some assertive rain!!

Anyway ....

Woody -- You are in my thoughts. The not knowing is the hardest part. Funny you should bring up your bricks, because I have a small area I need to do something with, and materials on hand will be used. Bricks are it. Actually went back and found your instructions. Thank You!!

'bug -- Sounds like you need a Bobcat.

Cynthia -- I think I'd be afraid of a huge contraption, too, if my genes said "run and be free." Know you'll ease her into it, and hope she "gets it" soon. The peanut butter idea actually doesn't sound half bad :-)

Deanne -- Are you planning a trip south anytime soon? Perhaps to Logee's to pick up some "can't find anywhere else" stuff? Or to visit with Sue? If yes, consider this a formal invitation to photograph my garden since I simply can't do it justice. Anytime. I make killer chicken on the grill.

Heck -- Everyone's Welcome and you don't even need to bring a camera!

Kathy -- Remember that people pay big bucks on the street to feel how you feel right now LOL. just imagine the garden designs you could come up with in your altered state! Seriously, hope everything is settled soon and you feel much, much better.

Wish I could just sit here all day and chat .... then SALAT a bit .... then chat. But work beckons ... Heading toward the shore today so will have a chance to have the best fish sandwich north of Ocean City :-)


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My father was French (from France) and grew up thinking that children were savages that needed to be literally whipped into shape. My brother(69) and sister(67) still suffer from that. In today's world this would be considered violent, aggressive, cruel. At the time, it was what he grew up with and what seemed "right".
In spite of his methods of discipline (which seriously, he never needed to enforce on good children..he was mainly frustrated when challenged) my brother was non violent and could not defend himself against others because he felt it was so wrong. He is a practicing Quaker now, also works with children with psychological problems and abusive pasts (although programming was his career). My sister was subjected to plenty of verbal nastiness from others as well.

So when you ask WHY the guilt, I think because there is lots of baggage that we carry with us! It will be different for each of us. I think we need to train ourselves to be good to ourselves...with confidence too, much like we train a dog to do what will eventually be best for him/her and live well with others.

It certainly is a complex world and what is wonderful is that people really can grow and change!

I asked DH for his comments:
An assertive person can be perceived as a person taking advantage of a situation and bullying people around, pushing his/her point of view on other people.

An un-assertive person can be seen as being helpful, trying to make things go cooperatively for the group.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:49AM
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I know there have been times in my life where I have felt totally UNHEARD (shouting from the rooftops) and wish I could've been more agressive/assertive. I honestly have replayed those times over and over with no clear solution :)

I don't even want to dip my toe into this pool.

I do have to say that I don't think guilt holds any good space in one's head :) I am amazed (if you really listen) at how much guilt is used in conversation to bend others to one's will :) It is VERY hard (and something I'm struggling with) to parent without guilting.

Did I do okay, Chelone? (she asks like the shrinking violet....)

Fenway park was a fine experience last night. Sarah's face lit up like she had seen Santa's loot when she laid eyes on the lit up field :) We had to yell, "cotton candy" because the vendor wouldn't even come close, and she got a kick out of him running right over.

Woody, wishing the best outcome for you here, but I wish you didn't have to wait so long. I hope your garden (and Phoebe) keep you lost in time with new surprises each day! It is true that the waiting is the hardest part.

Kathy, Nick and I just wrapped up our last surgery (I really feel a part of the whole ordeal :) last year. LOL, his surgeon said that he was the only patient he ever had to gain wait on a liquid diet (with his jaw wired shut)....I blended concoctions with lots of protein :) Your diet sounds more spa-like to me, and quite delicious actually. Cream of asparagus (potaotes for the "cream" part?) sounds yummy as asparagus is showing it's tasty head in the garden here :) Hope you heal quick!

Denise, you sound out straight and like the cruise is needed ASAP! It's easy for others to point out when they think we're being "under" assertive, LOL....

I made the call and passed on the recruiting job. Things are getting really busy for the company (good thing!) and I would like to move myself in a new direction when this "at home" phase is over. Perhaps I'll study agressive bees :)

They're on my mind alot as the day grows closer.

I need a makeover. Phew. I need to rethink the clothes that I wear on a daily basis (meaning running around with family)...got a picture of myself last night that I totally can't stand! I go along liking myself and how strong I feel and how I'm getting a little color and ONE PICTURE destroys the esteem. Geesh. Time to make Saucy over a bit.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 8:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

When they handed out guilt, they gave it to the wrong people, folks. Those who really SHOULD feel guilt don't have a clue what it is. Meanwhile those who are a delight and do good, feel the burden of guilt on their shoulders.... IMHO

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 9:34AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Another gorgeous, scrumptious, beautiful spring morning here. Yesterday was like a summer day with temps in the middle 80s setting records for the date. The weeping cherry is snowing its flower petals in the breeze this morning and will probably be gone in the next couple days. I surely wish the spring blooming trees lasted a bit longer. I almost took this cherry out last year but Cynthia talked me out of it. Its seeming to hold its own and is actually better than last year even though the crown and trunk have some large splits.

Saucy, I think you look fabulous!!! You are way too hard on yourself. Did you get your bees yet? I thought of you yesterday as I was out doing some pics because the weeping cherry tree was buzzing with hundreds of bees! I thought youd get a kick out of these photos.

Bug, lots of good insight in that article about bullying. I was brought with the "whip them into shape" attitude as were so many from our generation. It certainly adds to that baggage we travel the road of our lives with. Ive spent the last twenty years trying to offload a ton of suitcases. LOL

Martie, you are so kind! Im flattered youd like me to come with camera in hand. Ill let you know the next time Im down your way. ~~ BTW I found some lovely Rex Escargot at Lake Street Gardens in Salem, NH. ~~ NO kidding that we need rain. Im hoping that the weather people are right and we get some beneficial moisture on Monday.

PM lovely Hellebores! My plants hare superabundant flowers this year as well and some had none last spring because of that warm Jan we had in 07 then the hard freeze.

Woody, so sorry you are having such problems! I surely hope all get resolved soon. ~~ That menu sounds yummy! Wish I was coming for dinner. LOL

Kathy, hope you are feeling better today.

Eden I believe that one can be assertive and do it politely, for instance, I used to just let people barge ahead of me in a line and now I will say, "Excuse me, but I was here first". They normally step back to their place in line if someone says something. ~~~ Do you have any spring garden pics for us????

Cynthia, sorry Katie doesnt like her wheels. I hope she gets the hang of it soon.

What a difference a couple weeks makes here in the spring. Here are a few more shots from this morning.

OK Ive got to get a move on and get some materials ready for my class this weekend. Have a great day all!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 9:39AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Saucy...I forgot you were going to Fenway last night, sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. First time is always special, hope you have photos. Oh, and I agree with what Deanne said. I remember you posted a photo when you were on vacation and you were in a wetsuit. You have to be attractive to look good in a wetsuit, and you did. :-) Although I completely sympathize with you about photos. I haven't seen a photo of myself that I liked in the past twenty years. The older I get, the less I like them. :-)

Deanne...Thanks and what gorgeous photos you have again! That cherry tree, the close up of the bee. My favorite is photo #4 and the last photo. Really nice job on your raised beds. Beautiful backdrop and wow did your beds spring to life fast! New camera all that you hoped it would be? I've been up to LakeSt Gardens in Salem. That is a nice nursery. I am hoping to get up there again this year.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:39AM
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First off I just want Woody to know that my thoughts are with you. I'm so sorry to hear this latest news. I'm glad that we can be at least of some help to have us to vent to. Wow your meal sounds fabulous.

These are blooming in my garden, some type of bulb. Can anyone ID them for me? I'm not the best record keeper.

This is the "Secret Garden" Norma, you asked about the shape, it is basically a triangle with the widest part at the front. I'm thinking of clearing a path thru the thicket for a little woodland trail circling around. As you can see the playhouse isn't anything fabulous, but has lots of memories and sentimental appeal to me. To the left of the door is the bell. I do plan on replacing some of the broken trim and painting it. I'm thinking window boxes would be nice.

Saucy, the game sounds like a fun family outting and a nice memory.

Deanne, your garden is really coming to life. Love the pink hyacinths. The bee shots are incredible!

Cynthia, it sounds like things were just a little too exciting on your street. A lot of people just don't want to spend big bucks on maintenance. I'm sure with the way you have with your pets that you will help Katie to accept her wheels.

Kathy, the snapdragons are another great idea. I had some last year and have to admit that I even played with them some ;o)

Agressive or assertive, lots of interesting thoughts here. I'm neither, but probably should be more assertive at times.

Its supposed to rain today and through the weekend. I'm going to Madison, WI for the weekend. My nephew is making his 1st Communion. This is my youngest sister's son and my other sister will coming as well, so should be a fun time.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 11:50AM
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Jerri, you sure know how to stir up a group. LOL, just teasing. I am totaly non aggresive and hate conflict. I am a Libra (the peacemaker). I came from a family who loved an argument and I shyed away from them. DH loves to try to get me going but I avoid it,( but watch out if you push me to far). I am only assertive when I really want something. Lots of interesting views on the subject. I admire you for searching for your answers.

Woody, I admire you also. You deal with so much. I hope you can hang tough and the effects of what is happening to you will be minute. Your food preps sound scrumptious.

Pm2, this is my first year for hellebores. The seedlings were given to me. They are purple. I would love to have more colors. Yours is pretty.
Hope the garden boy works out. I sure could use someone. The kids up the road have offered a time or two. But there you go, I'm not assertive enough to ask for help.( g)

Martie its raining here too. Yesterdays heat with no leaves on the trees was hard on the shade plants.

Saucy, I spotted a few spears of asparagus this morning too. How fun for Sarah and all of you. I could use a makeover too, but its hard to find cute things for short and dumpy.

Deanne , it would be a shame to lose that weeping cherry. WOW! the bee photos.
Do you have a close up of the spikey garden ornaments? I'm wondering if DH could make me some of those.

It seems to be clearing off outside so I better hightail it out there.
Love all the spring photos. I'm trying to get something together. Later Norma

PS hi to all.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 12:37PM
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Lukewarm coffee with the Idylls this morning. Not feeling half bad today, Im going to hold off on pain meds for awhile as I am still in the sedation hangover phase . It is going to be a beautiful day here , near 70 and there is no way Im going to hole myself up in the house. I will do some judicious WALATing (thank you Martie for this appropriate term,) since one must WALAT before arriving at the SALAT location. I will absolutely not dig, bend over or otherwise overexert myself.

Woody, all my available appendages crossed for a speedy resolution for you.

Saucy how about you go get a facial, haircut, manicure and a pedicure . Well maybe not a manicure,I dont know about you, but that would be an exercise in futility for me with the abuse my hands receive in the garden. Thank goodness for Burts Bees hand salve.! Seriously though, sometimes just doing those girly things for a day can lift the spirits. Youve got something there with the cream of asparagus ! Locally grown is bountiful right now in our produce depts., and I can have dairy again tomorrow.

PM, lovely Hellebores..I can only speculate what position you must have had to contort yourself into to get that shot ! Im going to blend another drink today, this time Im going to add some apple juice . I hope the young man in your neighborhood works out for you. Sometimes the clean-up tasks can be overwhelming I hired out a couple of things this last year and it was well worth every cent.

Deanne, those bee shots are just spectacular ! And so true what a couple of weeks will do what a difference it has made in your garden . Love the green cushions on the hillside cocktail lounge . And how many bird feeders do you have out there anyway ? Do you cook your seed to keep it from germinating in your lawn ?

Cynthia, I think the prep work for the implants was way harder than the implant procedure itself yesterdaythe sinus lift , bone grafts, extractions etc. I had three implant yesterday , of course on both sides ! Chewing will be an interesting challenge for the next few weeks !

Ok, time to go read the paper and continue to avoid strenuous activity (Idyll = Avoid Strenuous Activity )

Pics from this morning more roses !

Just Joey

Mary Rose

Brass Band

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 12:45PM
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I meant to post this.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 1:01PM
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Already broke my no digging rule ! I decided that sitting on the curb , pulling weeds in the hell strip at a leisurely pace would be an assertive yet not aggressive activity. It rained overnight Tuesday so the soil moisture is perfect for weeding. I admit to getting the shovel to loosen up an area. Time now to do the ice-pack thing for awhile.

Michelle, what fun to have all that space to plan a new garden ! But daunting. Good to have a bunch of farm equipment to lighten the prep load ! Childen also love to pop fuchsia buds (this was strictly forbidden when mine were little unless under close maternal supervision) and squeeze impatiens seed pods too at the perfect explosion stage. There is also a public garden here with a childrens garden and they planted a gourd arbor so that the gourds hang inside really cool. Ive seen the same thing done on a rebar tee-pee.

OK ice pack time.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 2:20PM
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What a wonderful area for you and Kenzie to share, Michelle! I like the shed just fine.

Kathy -- I'm aggressively telling you to sit down or I'll make you!!!!!! Remind me sometime to tell you about my just-post-back surgery foray into the garden. Not pretty.

Your roses, my friend!!!!! I've not ever seen "Just Joey" so striking in the garden!

Deanne -- I'm flattered you'd consider taking some images :-)

Happily busy day here, but am thinking of everyone and wishing I was out getting my hands dirty!!


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 2:47PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello again...

Nice to see you posting Kathy. Not having to take pain meds yet is a good indication I would think. More rose photos looking great! I am fond of Just Joey, as it reminds me of a relative. Is Brass Band a heavy bloomer? Very pretty. It just occurs to me that you mentioned the position I need to get in to get that shot before and I meant to tell you that I have a Canon with a swiveling LCD screen that makes that easy to do. I don't have the steadiest hand, so I like to prop the camera against something, even if it's the ground. [g] I agree about spring prep being overwhelming. Hoping it won't be that way every year. Hope you are enjoying your garden today and continue to feel okay. If you can have dairy soon, a nice juicy ripe Mango blended with yogurt is delicious. I also enjoy frozen bananas, w frozen strawberries and yogurt. Yum, almost like frozen yogurt.

Norma....did you turn down the local kids help in the garden? Were they offering for free? I am going to pay this boy by the hour and he has been in business for 3 years I understand. That makes me feel more comfortable. He is twelve and his parents own their own business, so I imagine that was where his encouragement came from. The purple hellebores are one of my favorites. I bought first year seedlings two years ago and only one bloomed so far. They do seem to take awhile. But they were at a local sale for $3. each so how could I turn them down. [g]

Michelle, Is that your shed? If you are in the planning stages of your secret garden, I thought you might find this link interesting. I remembered another GW member posted it when she did a garden with her kids. She also traded seeds with them and joined a couple of Round Robin swaps that were for kids. The kids really enjoyed it, they went looking for every plant/seed that had an animal name. Here is a link to her photos...


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 2:55PM
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Forget the ID request, they are Chionodoxa.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 2:59PM
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DS showed my where the photo sharpening tool is in Picasa, which we are now useing to organize our photos. Then I opened an account at Flickr which I think I may like better than Photobucket. No adds. Anyway , here is my first official Flikr pic, after sharpening..a rose of course.


Kathy in Napa

PS. PM, love the zoo garden ! I'm going to go back and look at it again later, avoiding all pitures that contain children of course.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Saucy, KRONG (shorthand for "correct me if I'm wrong") but you're not even 40 yet...I know it's wasted effort to tell anyone younger to savor their moment of youth, but you are strong and fabulous right now, girl! Brimming with plans, interested in a million things, bees on the way! It does seem somehow fateful when a job offer like yours comes up linked to the past. Makes you a little nervous, doesn't it, like Zeus has your little statue in his hands and feels like messin' with it (just saw Jason and the Argonauts again, lol).

I dreamt of Katie last night. Weird on so many levels I can't begin to fathom, not only dreaming of dogs but one I've never met. Her new wheels had inexplicably (duh, dreamlike!) become a tiny sled that she raced around with, sort of reindeerish. She seemed delighted with her sleigh/new wheels. And the best part, she seemed to really like me too! We were great friends, Katie and I. Hope that's a good sign for progress with the new wheels.

On the economic front, Marty comes home from work and says the harbor is sooo slow. No ships coming in. Most workdays his feet barely touch land but not lately. And Costco announced they will NOT tolerate food hoarding of rice and wheat...as Chelone says, there may be rough weather ahead.

Woody, I think PM's advice has merit, re calling in everyday to check on MRI cancellations. Is that all Indian food on the menu, and where and how did you become so proficient in that cuisine? I'm sure Phoebe will mind her new-found manners with you. Why is it that every one of our dogs has been extremely well behaved on leashes unless you try to cross a busy intersection? Then they leap up and bite the leash and behave as tho rabid. Step up on the curb and and utter calm descends again. Maybe just jittery nerves over all the cars.

Jerri, did you get your answer, lol? Whether upbringing or genetics, and it's nearly impossible to tease those two apart, there's a huge variability in whether someone has more "wag" than "bark." I've definitely got more "wag" too ;)

I'm thrilled that spring seems to have finally arrived for most idyllers and the photos are rolling in. Spring is a giddy time, and I'm going in a million directions it seems. Have to constantly remind myself to "first do no harm" when trying to stuff in more plants, allow enough room and keep shuffling to a minimum as warmer weather approaches. I had to try the Green Envy echinacea, never any doubt there. Plant show today had gorgeous Rex begonias, and B&D Lilies had a stand with lots of Eucomis so brought 4 of those home, including a new one from New Zealand, Tugela Ruby, that was said to be better than Sparkling Burgundy. And the tillandsia stand was fascinating, etc, etc. A nursery owner gave me a plant I admired, saying a friend dropped off two and she didn't know what it was so I could have one. Pillenia tripartita, or "Dragon Tails," what a cool plant!

One stand at the plant show had tall cylindrical glass containers/vases filled with layers of sand then pebbles, planted at the top with a specimen succulent, like a small agave or echevaria, aloe, really anything you like. I heard the girl say "water once a week" to a patron. Tumbled glass could possibly substitute for the pebbles. Thought I'd pass the idea on...

Splendid roses, Kathy. Michelle, you've got to include the idylls in on the planning stages of Kenzie's purple/yellow garden. Off to explore the zoo garden link, wave to all.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:54PM
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Well the rain came back so I went to town instead to buy grass seed and food etc. I bought two waterlilies, a red and a yellow. I didn't have any last year after cleaning out the overgrown ones. I pitched them all and I missed them. Also bought an autumn fern. I walked about before I went to town and I can't believe how things are exploding. The weeds too of course. It's like the plants are trying to make up for last years lack of bloom.

Kathy, I'm thinking you must be the rose queen of the Idylls.
They are so pretty.
Happy to hear you are feeling better today.

Michelle I was thinking you missed putting the photo in. You will do wonders with it. Maybe a heart shape cut out in the door? Perhaps some flowers and buuterflies painted behind some short picket fencing around the bottom. Child size garden tools hanging. I see lots of possibilities. How fun. Yes a path through the thicket too. Kenzie and the other kids will just love it.The zoo garden is pretty cool. I like the color of the shed.

pm2, the kids were offering free help. I used to ride horses with these kids a lot. I'm sure they were sincere, but they have the usual ball games and such.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 7:54PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am so far behind I won't even attempt to catch up.

Woody, I am so concerned about you. What a terrible time for you ! Why in the world would they make you wait so long for an answer ?

The 'too much rain saga' continues here. We got 5 inches over night last night ! Needless to say, the road is again washed out. I cancelled my appointment with my mechanic for my car's yearly maintenance due to the condition at the head of our drive. No sooner than I had called him , I heard a machine up there, and could see it through our 'eye road' . The neighbor from down the road fixed the mess in the county road pretty well, and reopened the ditch around our corner so the runoff would go through our culvert instead of across and down the road. I decided I would still wait to get a new appoimtment for the car. It isn't having any problems, but Nolon says the oil definitely needs changing.

Yesterday Nolon had 3 appointments with the VA hospital in Fayetteville. The local VA ofice set it up for him , in an attempt to get his benefit reinstated. I haven't driven in that area for some time ( actually never very much), and was worried about my ability to do it, but it went off with hardly a hitch. I had googled the route, and the info was easy to follow. It was a beautiful drive, with all the flowering trees and pastel colors of the new leaves on trees. There was rain in the forecast, but not a drop fell until we were almost home. His first appointment was at 8:30 AM, so we left at about 6 and were about 15 minutes early. I had got up at 5 and cooked our breakfast.
We were a little concerned about what to do with Tommy and Trubby, since we were going to be gone longer than usual. Nolon wanted to put them out, but I wanted to leave them in. We left them in..:-) When we got home around 2 PM they were both asleep in the bay window, and acted as though they were oblivious as to how long we were gone. There were no accidents in the house that I could find.

At the VA hospital it was very interesting. There were veterans of all ages there from the very old World War 2 ones up to present day ones. I didn't ask if it was that busy every day. These were veterans coming for whatever, not in patients. Mostly male, but some females. I initated conversations with lots of the wives, and one of the volunteer workers. He was older than Nolon, but sure looked good. It will be some time ( I suspect) before we get their decision. It has to be decided at the little Rock office. One of the nurses/doctors that examined him decided that not enough tests had been requested, and he was sent for several xrays. He also had a pulmonary test and an EKG. They were going to have him do a stress test, but cancelled it when they saw how rough his breathing was.
Most of the time he was being moved around in a wheel chair, either by me or one of the nurses. He is rather tired from the whole thing today.

Our yard's flower beds, trees, and shrubs are getting prettier and prettier every day. I did a 'walk about' this morning, and discovered many pleasant surprises and a few disappointments. There are a few shrubs that are still suffering form last April's freeze. For instance, the Japanese Viburnums have very few blooms. The 'pleasant' includes the clematis. I have none that are as full at the base as Marie's, but many will be in bloom soon. Also my earliest Iris have huge buds and will soon be in bloom, this includes one of my 'Jain' Iris's. I seem to have lost the For-get-me-nots that came up by the little red barn, but have found 2 plants blooming in the front flowerbed. ( Are you 'listening' EI ? ) It looks like I will have plenty of Peony blooms. The red Azalea at the bedroom end of the house has lots of buds, and will soon be open. The big white one by the deck is farther behind, but looks good. The wildflower bed is full of blooms.
What a wonderful time of the year !!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 8:42PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

What a surprise today was. I knew I was scheduled for a 2 day class but I didn't pay too much attention to what.
It's a class called Effective Presentations. AH!
I have to give a 10 minute presentation tomorrow. At least I get to choose the topic! It will be animals rescue of course.
My parents were in the 'beat it out of them' school but dad was verbally and emotionaly abusive too.
As a result I have performance anxiety and PTSD. Today's class included the typical tips on how to get over being nervious about public speaking. Yeah right...
It didn't include chest pains and requiring a couple of medications to get through the process.

I won't have time to post about assertive/aggression until this in over. It will be good for me but really painful!


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 9:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes it is Marian! And I was thinking of you today as I noticed our serviceberries beginning to leaf out. What a difference in timing for us!

We got the snow fencing back into the barn today. YES! Also set up 2 more rain barrels. There's so much more to do and already the weeds are beginning to grow too. The bugs have started too now that the farmers are adding manure to their fields....Oh that fresh country air!

Today I watched the fish in our creek...and so did Phoebe:

And then I spied the first two white Purissima tulips.

Enjoyed the newly sharpened Prospero. (Prospero was a huge sheep dog in town!)
Michelle, this secret garden will be so much fun! I think snapdragons are a MUST! Pansies or violas with their little faces too. As a kid I loved the smell of carnations and lilacs.
But I also loved Dad's Victory Garden with its tomatoes and red currants. Maybe she could start some morning glory seeds now? Later perhaps radishes or carrots too? How about a hanging strawberry basket somewhere? A mystery woodland path would have been my favourite place! When I was small I also enjoyed glads and iris. I'm not so excited by glads any more though.

One more walk soon for Phoebe and then maybe I can hit the sack.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 9:26PM
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Denise the containers with succulents sound neat and how about a picture of your Dragons Tail.

Marian, I imagine Nolan is pretty tired after all that. I hope they will approve his benefits.
Kudos to you for navigating your way there and back.
My iris are ready to burst open too. I found a container of wildflower seed when I cleaned the garden shed, so now I need to decide where to spread it. In fact I have a bunch of saved seeds I need to start.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 9:42PM
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Norma, it was almost too dark but here's the Pinellia tripartita, dragon tails, an aroid, kin to arisaema. There's a couple flwr buds about to open, but I couldn't get the "tails" on the buds to come out on film.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:20PM
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What meds will do for you..occured to me that Deanne has posted bee-bum shots !

Kathy in Napa..maybe I should go to bed.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 10:55PM
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The rain quit for the evening, Rick thought we got at least an inch. I thought I'd bring out a few garden ornaments. When I saw the antique gate in the shed I lugged it to the machine shed so Rick could heat up the finial with his torch so it could be bent back in it's proper place. Somehow the gate slipped and fell on my foot. The good news is I don't believe that its broken (my foot) but badly bruised. I leave for Madison tomorrow a.m. hopefully I don't limp all weekend.

While I was out I took a few more pictures. Pm2, I thought I'd try get a picture of the bark of the cottonwood. It is nearly 2" thick. Large hunks routinely fall off on the lawn.

I always enjoy the emerging foliage of the fern leaf peonies. My original clump is now about 18" in diameter.

Pm2, thanks for the link to the zoo garden. Very cool! I have some lambs ears that are a must also. I was always fascinated with bleeding hearts as a child. Cherry tomatoes are another must as she loves them.

I think I need to start jotting all these wonderful ideas down.

Kathy, your roses are gorgeous!

I'll be back Sunday night so talk to you all later.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2008 at 11:01PM
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Quickly, a link for Michelle. I've been looking for childrens garden ideas and ran across this. Some good material, especially in the themes and projects chapters.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 7:33AM
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Wow! Such a good read this morning after a hectic start :) READ: The following story is NOT funny (unless you're me and see the real humor in it):

Nick has a big meeting with an early start, so I got up early, too, to help get him out the door quickly. He's all ready and now can't find his keys. We've retraced every step. We're looking behind the toilet, in the lawn, under the desk....we are desperate now. Now he's 1/2 an hour late. We are ready to call AAA. He goes and wakes Jake up, "have you seen my keys? Maybe you used them?" Jake says, "yeah, we played a joke on you - they're hanging in the bird cage."

Nick is furious. I find this hilarious as the bird has been "screaming" the whole time we're looking around all frenzied.

I hope the meeting goes smoothly. I hope Jerri found her keys easily this morning before her meeting :) I will be thinking about you Jerri. Sometimes I'm an excellent speaker, and sometimes I get a big lump. I used to do the orientation at a largess company - every Monday at 8 you'd see my smiling face. Not funny if you can't find your keys, I guess :)

Deanne, wow! Bee Bums indeed, Kathy! They're so laden with pollen they look like they'll fall out of the sky! I wish my hive would come (mail order)....your place is gorgeous for Spring. My garden is truly a summer/fall garden....I need to work harder on my spring garden :)

Michelle, the Secret Garden is very cool, and I can see the potential in the play house :) I like the idea of a little path in the woods...a place to get cool on those hot days.

Norma, I can't wait to see your pond! I like to visit my neighbor's as often as possible...it changes daily :) BTW, tall and dumpy is no fun, either :) I've always had boobs that go right into hips...short waisted is the nice way to say it :)

Kathy, I got right on the horn yesterday morning...hair appt is scheduled, toe pampering today. Hmm...I think I have a facial gift certificate somewhere. My real problem is the really bad t-shirts...time to switch to a button down and elongate that mid section, me thinks.

Denise...I wish I'd known what a beauty I was in my twenties, LOL....I see your point, but a mini makeover can't hurt. Besides, I only show the Idylls the good photos...I see that I won't gain any respect from my wiser friends as the years go on, because you will only say..."KRONG....you haven't even hit your 70's yet, have you Saucy?" LOL...

GB, I recognize those fish! Pike, you say? I think people fish for Pike, don't they? Phoebe has a pretty awesome play place :)

Marian, I never cared for all the "hurry up and wait" of the military. I'm glad your neighbor lent a hand with the drive...it could only get worse with more water.

I see there are lots of nice threads to check out! I'm off to go peruse those....


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 7:40AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


D-Day here today. Tom closes on his new house. It will take a few days for him to move but at least the wheels have been set in motion. On Monday I celebrated by buying myself a new leather sofa at a local high end furniture store closing sale. Now I'll at least have something to sit on in the livingroom. I've been doing alot of lurking on the furniture and home decorating forums here at GW to get some ideas. Interior design is not my specialty...lol.

The tendonitis in my right ankle persists. It's been three weeks and although it has gotten better, I still have to walk with a pronounced limp much to the delight of many co-workers who have come up with a wide variety of names for me. Every night I ice it seven minutes on and off for an hour and I've been trying to stay off of it but sitting around just isn't what I do.

Tomorrow I've volunteered through work on a Rebuilding Together project. It's a local non profit organization that sends teams of volunteers out into the community to do repairs and maintenance on homes of people who cannot do it themselves. Since I listed gardening as my skill I'll be doing yardwork. It's only from 9:30 to 2 so I won't lose the whole day. With any luck when it finishes I'll still be able to walk so I can go home and do stuff in my own yard.

On Sunday I'm meeting up with Chelone, Saucy and Wendy for some garden related fun and hopefully lots of much needed laughs. If I can't walk, I'll hop...lol.

OK, enjoy. Good thoughts for Woody.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 7:43AM
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Here's one more with some good themes. I especially like the five senses garden, quiet reflection garden area, ABC garden and rainbow annual garden ideas! Oh I wish I had about an acre to make Bella a garden. I envy you Michelle, so many fun things you can do with this!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 7:49AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idylls!

Goodness we are in for yet another gorgeous day here! Its incredible for us to be having a warm sunny spell like this in April. Normally we get quite a bit of cold, dreary, rainy weather and some years it seems we go from winter to summer with no spring so this has been a real treat. What a lovely, lively thread this has been. So many beautiful photos. Kathy, your roses are superb! I absolutely love that Brass Band.

So I just realized that weve not had a birthday around here for a while and its been too long so I checked the list and was horrified that weve missed three birthdays so without further ado.

Sorry we are late friends! Honeys BDay is March 6th.

Dremas is April 3rd

Babs is April 7th

OK so now that Ive gotten this done Im out of time so will have to finish posting later. Sooo sorry to the birthday girls for missing your special days!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 8:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Dear! Thanks for the birthday updates! Now we'll have more pretty cards too!

I'm very concerned about our weather forecast after our glorious spring so far. This is for next Tuesday:
"Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries mixed with rain showers. Windy. Low minus 3 (27F). High plus 3 (37F)."
Minus 3C will be no help to all the flower buds on trees and perennials. No way can I cover everything. Sheeeesh!

Hi Sue!!! Glad the big move is finally happening. Good luck with your ankle. Please take your camera along for the mini Idyll gathering and share with us!

Eden, I couldn't open the parent's primer, but the other one had super ideas!

Be back Later.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 8:43AM
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I think we missed Denise (April 7) and Kathy (April 10) too according to my list. Time to get busy and take some photos!


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:20AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Busy day here so just popping in with an update to say my MRI is scheduled for Monday at 9:45. Thanks for all the good thoughts....

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:25AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh, Woody, I am SO glad it has been moved up. I pray that you will get good news....

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 9:55AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Eden, thanks for the update! I didn't have Denise and Kathy on my list.

Woody, that's great news! Hope everything is OK.\

Without further ado...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 11:19AM
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Good morning Idylls ! Its not even 9am yet here and Im already having a splendid day ! Feeling much better than I expected to, sun is shining, only meds I had last night were two glasses of Cabernet , and this morning a breakfasted on a hard boiled egg and applesauce .delish ! Im allowed to drive today, but my only plan is to go get some new undies and socks (no lime green here) and spend the day doing really low key chores, like doing the dishes (not many of those with what Ive been eating) and deadheading roses.

I have been playing with my Flickr account this morning-apparently my DS set us up a free account many moons ago which we get as part of our ATT-Yahoo DSL service. It is so much nicer than photobucket. No adverts, very non-teeny bopper oriented . Lots of helpful forums .

And birthday cards !

So yesterday afternoon here comes the florist with a hotel lobby-sized flower arrangement (slight exaggeration there, but you get the picture) from my co-workers .My god, youd think Id had a triple bypass from the size of it.!

Saucy , so glad you are doing the beauty treatment ! Thinkin the keys in the birdcage thing was a bad way for poor Nick to start his day . However, no one would ever make up a story like that so at least its more believable than homework eating dogs or flat tires .

Marian, great to see a nice newsy post from you at last- We have a large Veterans home here in Napa County, in Yountville. Its in a beautiful setting on a low hill among the vineyards and has wonderful grounds with really interesting trees. There is a theater where our local symphony plays and a small baseball stadium where you can go watch American Legion baseball league play for free.It was actually founded for Civil war vets in the late 1800s if I remember correctly. Link to some photos below. It sounds like spring is popping around your place ! Hope those pesky critters that you get stay away for a spell.

Sue, I hear you with the enforced lack of activity .. very difficult! Glad things will settle in for you on the home front soon. Nothing like a new piece of furniture to create a new environment-sometimes just what we need.

Woody-great news , hope all goes well.

Warninganother rose shot dead ahead

Fair Bianca

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 12:47PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It's truly amazing how non-idyllying for a few days can set one back seemingly years..... as usual amazing subjects and photos here....

Awfuce taking too much of my time.... I love all the photos - knew if I managed a lunch pop-in I would be rewarded w/ amazing photos from the Queen of Roses (feel better, Kathy) and Deanne's gorgeous place - to say nothing of the great shots of Michelle's awakening...

And o my too many birthdays we managed to miss - I'll try to do better over the weekend to give them their due.

I hope Woody you manage to get some feedback a.s.a.p. re your medical trauma -- Im sure that has got to keep your heart aflutter -- one's mind sets terrible things afloat to imagine while waiting...

Sue, I hope you enjoy the new freedom of your house -- it will seem strange Im sure when Tom's gone and the house feels empty - it can't help but be bittersweet about how life changes - but it will be better. I sure hope you coddle the tendonitis - I think that's a really slow healer isnt it, and so easy to re-injure? Take care.

Kathy -- I hope you progress quickly to better "spa diet" food, LOL -- in the meantime, keep those rose perfections coming -- your Prospero -- you know you incited me to get one last year -- Im hoping to see a bloom or two out of it, but it's still a tiny plant right now. If only it would even imitate yours!! Wow.

Okay, back to serfdom here...Chelone -- there's some crankiness going on in my workplace too for some reason -- eeek... I though of you and your work when there was some crankies going on.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 1:47PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Belated Birthday, Honey:

Happy Birthday, Babs:

Happy Birthday, Drema:

Happy Birthday, Denise:

Happy Birthday, Kathy!!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 2:06PM
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Workplace crankies have abated for the time being. But I know they will return and I plan to say something when they do.

Mum and Dad were pretty easy going; big on teaching us to be independent, polite, and expecting us to use our "noodles" before plungeing right into something or acting "rashly". Teaching us HOW to do things was a big part of their overall strategy of "damage control". They did not accept "excuses" easily, either; we were expected to be "accountable". Missed homework assignments, poor grades, bad manners all garnered a frosty, question-laced reception (the last one being, "how do you think you will correct this situation? how may we help you?"). Whining, "beating around the bush", and being mean were huge NO-NOs and we were called on the carpet for it. "What in heaven's name is it you want, Chelone?! stop beating around the bush, you're wasting everyone's time, get to the point, please.". I can hear Mum's voice now, lol. "When you are prepared to stop whining and are willing to speak clearly I will be willing to listen to you. Until then you may whine to your heart's content in the seclusion of your room. I don't wish to be around you when you behave this way.". Clearly, my parents had little compunction about laying on shame and guilt when they thought it had been earned. I don't think that's really such a bad thing. They were really pretty fun parents, so when they were irritated/"disappointed" with us, the usual fun stopped COLD.

I am probably a "battle axe" and definitely a chip off the old blocks! so is my brother. I say what I mean and I mean what I say. I assure you, more than a few indolent "health care professionals" and bureaucrats were a bit taken aback when I "called a spade a spade". That, coupled with very steady, direct eye contact ("aggressive" behavior in dogs), made the point quickly and surely without a raised voice or harsh words. I punctuated unpleasant encounters by asking them what THEY thought needed to be done and when they expected to have it resolved. I took NOTES and called them to "follow up". I was held "accountable" and still am. I expect the rest of the professional world to operate the same way. I learned at the knees of masters and I'm not wholly unforgiving, thanks to a pretty good sense of humor.

I am more behind than ever. I spent the better part of yesterday at the emergency room with the Meme who lives over the shop. She had a small, cancerous lesion removed from her bladder and was sent home with a Foley catheter hooked to an overnight bag (big, bulky, and has a long drainage tube to allow movement while in bed). She managed to step on the tube and the tension partially removed the "balloon" that keeps the catheter from slipping out of the urethra. In pain, scared out of her wits, she went to the bathroom and saw blood on the tp when she wiped herself. She then flipped out totally and yanked the catheter out completely! She arrived, panic-stricken in the shop, with the whole apparatus in a plasic bag. I raced to her apartment, called her urologist (same practice Mum used), put her in the car and took her to the ER. She was crying and PRAYING the whole way. Poor thing was terrified that her "insides were going to fall out". They put in a new catheter, provided her with a leg bag to avoid the possibility of stepping on the tube again, and I brought her home. She spent the rest of the afternoon in the shop with us, helping out with things like pulling staples, cleaning off the white lines on the fabric pieces, etc.. I debriefed my boss on how to get her set up with the larger capacity night bag before bedtime. My boss took her out for a leisurely dinner and stayed with her until 8/8:30. I arrived at 6 AM to help her drain the overnight bag and switch over to the leg bag. She was veryreceptive to my help and actually did most of the work herself! I disinfected the leg bad and the overnight bag (brought my own white vinegar, lol!), and she asked me if a doctor has taught me how to do all that. I said, no, I learned how to do it for Mum because she was afraid too and nobody can learn anything when they're afraid. Jeez, and I though I'd seen the last of my "urine wranglin' days". Go figure. Anyway, she has a series of 6 follow-up appointments each a week apart and we've all assured her that they will be a breeze, and she is to "leave the driving to us". She's 87.

This has been all about me, and I will do my level best to read all the really fun stuff I know has been posted that I've yet to read. But right now I have to get the Huge One out for as much enrichment as a 4' leash on a stake will allow.

Great news, Woody! if I may so bold to call it such. Positive thoughts only.
Nice to see Marian (will actually read it later, but the maple flowers are gorgeous).
Been thinkin' about Katie and hope her wheels are becoming less frightening. And YOU don't get discouraged, Cynthia.
Also, thinking about Eden's sister. How's she doing? and you Mom?

I'm outta here!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 4:39PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

My Mom had Crohn's disease even before I was born. At the time, it was diagnosed as ulcerated colon.
Once my dad came banging on my door, unexpectedly, and in a rage he told me I was the cause of Mom being sick. This of course was followed by the long belittling verbal tirade.
My brother and I were berated to the point that neither of us could even come close to standing up for ourselves. We have been abused in various instances because of this. My brother was raped at about 7 in 'church' camp. Mine was older. I was not able to scream. Children are not to be heard.
There was nothing at all 'constructive' about his rage and accusations.
There was no fun at our house. Laughter meant you did not have enough work to do. We were not allowed bathroom breaks while working in the field/yard because he was convinced it was a ploy to get out of work. Many times, I could not hold it. My brother was forced to 'bring some back on a stick' after going in the field.

I just watched Dr. Phil (not common!) and saw a guest child molester with all his excuses and accusations. Then after flunking two polygraphs, he hid behind his 'God' who would protect him from all these 'lies'. I am so angry I want to hit something. Maybe this is aggression??? :(


    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 5:38PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Sorry all. We were really never allowed any emotion and I'm just learning to have them, know what they are, and 'control' them. Guess I still have work to do!
Carry on Idylls. I do not want to kill the thread. :(

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 5:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Isn't it amazing that you are such a caring wonderful adult Jerri?!! It never ceases to surprise me how from rotten beginings, super humans can emerge.
One of the startling things I learned at Book Club is that none of the seven of us women has reached adulthood without very similar sh!t in our backgrounds.
No Jerri, I think what you are feeling is fury and pain...and not aggression.
Giant hugs.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 5:55PM
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Bein' pissed off is OK. Let's face it, we're all pissed off multiple times/week, to a greater or lesser degree. It's a normal state, pretty much.

The key to dealing with being pissed off about things is to figure out what, exactly you're pissed off about. And you work from there (it's "detective work"). You have to figure out how to tell yourself that the outrage you feel about things that occured years ago and/or at the hands of people who may now be dead is OK but you also have to find a way to channel the energy into something that is useful, rather than just sitting around marinating in it. Hate is the mose corrosive thing in the world; it rots whatever attempts to contain from the inside out. And, so, Jerri, I see you have figured out how to harness the emotion and energy. You may not be quite able to see it because you don't have the luxury of distance. But I think you're doin' just fine. :) Hate is waste of time and energy... pass it on and allow it to work it's wonder on those willing to nuture it!

I don't see snakes much more than 2/21/2' around here. I DEFINITELY "take notice" of the big ones. lol. But I'm of a practical, resourceful nature (much of it LEARNED), so I am more inclined to take a deep breath and look again at what has startled me. Your linked snake was really beautiful, and I know you understand that, too. Even as they "creep me out" I feel beholden to champion snakes... they are too enshrouded in fear and misconception; unjustly so!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 6:47PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Huge hugs from me too Jerri. You have every right to vent your rage. That is so shocking! But please, please do not blame God for what they did. At the rist of incuring someone's wrath here, I must say, Satan uses evil people in churches ( yes there can be evil people there) to attempt to destroy the good people. Yell and scream all you need to, I do think I understand.

Belated birthday wishes to all that have had recent birthdays.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 6:50PM
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I remember hearing about the late Idyller EP, and found some old posts . What a wonderful spirit she was , and I regret that she was before my time here and I was never able to know her. Point being here Jerri, I think everyone has his or her Enchanted Place , and for many us here it is probably in our gardens . Maybe it is a room, maybe it is only a room in our mind, but here is where we go for comfort, healing, and peace . I hope you are able to find your own enchanted place . Your rage is completely justified.

Another great spring day here, and I was careful not to overdo . Tommorow will be a nursery visit and some planting-I will finish the annual corner. Pleasant Friday evening to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 8:05PM
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Very nicely put, Kathy, and glad to hear the convalescence wasn't too awful. I know I cling to my Enchanted Place with the utmost ferocity ;) And, Jerri, risking that this comment may come out strange, and it may be what Chelone is alluding to, but I'd bet your empathy for animals and work in animal rescue springs a good deal from your rough upbringing. I'm not saying those with an easygoing childhood (whatever that is!) are incapable of compassion but just that you're perhaps more "sensitized" to creatures in need of nurturing and protection. So your suffering, your too familiar knowledge of it, has eased the plight of others, and you've turned what could be viewed as a personal tragedy into a triumph of caring. That's not how a powerless victim behaves, but a healer. I'd say a powerful healer.

Speaking of which, nice work with the upstairs gal, Chelone! I think we've now got two Nurse Ratchetts ;)

Happy birthday to the April idyllers and my "time twin" Babs! Reminds me of the excellent b'day chocolate cake I had, the best ever. The ornamental dark purple/black chili peppers from last summer sprouted dozens of seedlings. I left the mother plant in her pot over the winter as a science experiment, and the plant is leafing out at the base and now sprouting all these ebony seedlings. If they survive my 12-day absence I'm hoping to donate some to Kenzie's garden.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2008 at 8:43PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Jerri, I couldn't say it any better than everyone else has. I'm glad you are talking about what happened to you and getting it out to be able to deal with it and begin to heal. It's not easy to do, I am sure, but will be worth it. Be kind to yourself. :-)


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 5:01AM
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Jerri, check the email you have linked up to GardenWeb ;)

I think you should print all this acknowlegement of what a wonderful adult you've turned out to be and paste it somewhere handy :) Very inspired words of wisdom!

I am excited to visit Garden in the Woods with some Idyllers tomorrow. I need some laughs and maybe a plant or two :)

Today I plan to clean and redecorate the front porch. It is quite the catch-all as it is the main "working" entrance of the house. The kids drop everthing there. If it were heated, it'd be an excellent sort of mudroom, but it's too cold in the winter to hang your coat there :) Time to change out to the screen, I think, too.

Chelone, way to go helping out! You never know when you'll have to jump in and use those skills, huh? You should get a cape :)

Woody, glad you're getting in quicker. Good thoughts coming from me.

Sue, clean baseboards and a new couch would certainly cheer me up! Good for you. I hope Tom's move goes smoothly and that your transition into single life does as well.

Kathy, I could look at photos of the roses all day long! They just don't look like that here :) And she sharpens the pix, too!

I have a birthday photo for all who were missed:


I'm sure I'll be back later....I can feel it :)


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 7:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Happy Belated Birthday Wishes to all those I have missed! I am unable to post photos here for some reason, but warm thoughts are sent to all!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 8:12AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, Saucy, you did a perfect group birthday Idyll pic!

Jerri -- I can only echo what everyone has said so eloquently about the bad things that have happened to you and the baggage you grew up with -- as Deanne says, it's what you do with those suitcases that's important -- and throwing them off the bus is the best way to get rid of that hate.... altho recognizing you have them and how many is the appropriate first step. I concur that anger and pain are not aggression -- I think anger and fury get bad raps -- most of us have been cowed by hypertensive versions of it (abuse, etc.) but they are useful emotions to allow us to expend that pain -- and move on. I echo what Chelone said about whether we decide to nuture the hate or give it to someone else who would prefer to feed it. It's definitely a weed that should be pulled and burned!

But glad you feel a place safe enough to discuss family things -- you're safe here to do so -- and no one is going to think the less of you for being ASSERTIVE and open in doing so!!

It's a glorious day here; Im stuck hunting for carpet one more day; hoping to cram it in this a.m. and then back for garden therapy and exercise.

I look forward to hearing about the jaunt to The Woods, 'bug's sojourn w/ Woody and the Phoebe intros.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:16AM
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I, of course, have done no reading to "catch up". And am keenly aware of the funnies I've missed. :) But I'm OK with it.

I was thinking about Katie (and Cynthia!) last night. My recent experience with the Meme upstairs reminded me of how crippling fear can be. And how the loss of simple things can breed fear and withdrawal.

It was a truly terrifying experience for an 87 yr. old woman to be denied the normalcy of urninating into a toilet when she felt the urge. She was clearly so frightened by the overwhelming tide of circumstances she was unable to think clearly and rationally. And was completely unable to understand the need for a Foley catheter, and the fact that it was TEMPORARY. Fear can be crippling. And so, I think, it is with your Katie, Cynthia. She knows she is no longer able to do the simplest things easily and independently. You don't have the luxury of a common language and you aren't able to explain that the contraption she has FOLLOWING her everywhere is actually the key to her future freedom. It must be as terrifying for her to be "followed" with every step as it was for Meme to have to carry that urinary pouch around with her.

Hate is so corrosive it will eat its way out of anything that attempts to contain it.

Fear is equally crippling.

The key to neutralizing both is identifying it, facing it, and rejecting it.

For all my Idyll friends whose "birfdays" I've managed to miss, know how much I love the blossoms of Magnolia stellata. My one great regret is than I'm not able to send you a "scratch 'n' sniff" caHd:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:25AM
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Have googled Garden in the Woods this morning while I brew some coffee to take with time to the garden center-along with my lengthy list that Ive added to several times . Appears to be a place that one would have an excuse to visit multiple times as the season change. Maybe well get some pics?
Thanks to all for birthday wishes- and Saucy arent Iceland poppies just so festive ! We plant them in fall here and they bloom winter and spring, and will keep going strong until it gets really hot.
OK , time to get the commuter mug filled with French roast and off to the nursery !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:54AM
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To all fellow b-day folk

Happy Birthday Friends !

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Evie ponders liquid mysteries:

You may not be able to make a horse drink...

But fill the basin with fresh, bubbling water and Evie's a pushover

(I saw some jade green fisherman floats at a flea mkt last Sunday, but alas someone was ahead of me and all four were sold!) Thinking of Woody on Monday. Probably best to wave bon voyage now and finish up loose ends. I'll catch up with you guys mid-Mayish.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:46AM
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OK, I figure we have 2 wks. until Denise returns from her junket. I have it marked on my calendar. I want to start a pet photo Idyll, so we may post shots of our "betes domestiques" (don't know how to insert important accents).

I'm OK with all the little kid shots. But I've endured them long enough and it's high time those of us who hate kids get our due. :)

So start searching the files now, OK?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 12:02PM
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Almost outta here ;)

A parting shot, since I'm sure these verbascums will be flattened when I get back:

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 12:09PM
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Can I come over to house sit and water the garden, Denise?


I've thought about Katie alot, too, Chelone. They did a piece on Eddie's Wheels on the local news this morning! I said, "Katie!" and my whole family went, "huh?"

Jake has used and lost all my garden forks and I am furious. Another father came over this morning looking for his brand new fork. He was lucky, I was not. I need my OWN SPACE! I feel like using his (insert precious item of his) to dig a hole and plant :)

Rant over.

Bon Voyage Denise! Take lots of pictures! I miss being on the ocean every once in a while :)

Icelandic poppies are perfect here if we have a cool/sunny spring! I love their paper blossoms. A little too much heat and they all pop at once.

TTYL - Jake and friends took the canoe to clean up the river for Town Clean Up day....off to collect his seedling tree and a hot dog for his efforts :) See, he does have some redeeming qualities.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 12:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We are supposed to have 32F tonight. I don't know how to deal with budding trees, roses, clematis and more...Maybe wake up at 5 am and sprinkle everything? I can't cover everything. Just the tree peonies and a very few other things. Tuesday and Wednesday will be worse. Perhaps I can collect sheets etc by then.

I must remember my camera for tonight's get together with the mutts...and good food. Phoebe has such poor dining room manners....so far. Are Doofus Dogs permitted for inclusion on the Idyll thread Chelone?

Evie is a charmer! As is the whole garden.

All the birhday blooms are glorious!

Saucy, it somehow happens that no possession is sacred once one has family. I think so anyway. DH was heard yesterday to say that I had staked out the entire 10 acres as MY property and that our friend should not dig soil ANYWHERE here. Hey, I think he's been listening! ;)

Off to deal with the mystery critter in the fireplace. We know it has claws because we hear the scratching. Yikes!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 1:04PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post while taking a break - a swag for the birthday girls:

I've been skimming fast so have missed a lot...!

((Jerri)) Ditto what everyone else has said so well.

In my skimming,I've missed where Denise is off to... but Bon Voyage!

Chelone - bravo re the rescue of the lady upstairs!

Back to final food prep.... (for whoever asked... yes, the menu is all curries - except for the dessert of course. Desserts seem to be the downfall of Indian cuisine. I have yet to meet an Indian/south Asian dessert I like but lemon things seem to go well with curry, hence the lemon pie dessert. I picked up a taste for curry at university. There were a lots of south Asian and middle eastern students there. And then when we first moved to Toronto, there were two excellent Indian restraurants in the neighbourhood where we lived. And my East African friend has introduced me to a some of the things that are on the menu tonight. While I don't like all curries I've tried, I do find the cuisine fascinating with the extensive range of spices. When Barb and I visit Indian grocery stores for supplies, we tend to get amused/bemused looks from owners/staff. We're usually the only blonde, blue-eyed customers...:-) It sort of gives you a feel for what it's like to be a visible minority!)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 1:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The mystery critter was a starling!!! Out of the chimney and into the great outdoors now.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 2:19PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Congratulations Bug, another successful rescue!
Birds occasionally get in our fireplace in spite of the screen over the chimney. DH cannot find the entry point and I do not care to climb on the roof at this stage in my life! LOL
I couldn't get logged into GW all morning. Not sure what the problem was.
I am printing all your wonderful comments and kind words as well as a few things to think about. Thank you all. It is as hard for me to deal with good emotions as it is the bad. They are especially foreign to me. At least online, I can cry in private! With your encouragements last night, I was doing the 'ugly cry'. :)

De-cluttering and yard work are both on our agenda today. This Wednesday is 'big trash' day so I'm taking advantage!
Have a wonderful weekend Idylls.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 2:35PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Going Green!

What about those who have always been green? :)
Maybe it was growing up in a poor rural area, but we always recycle bigger items and buy items that were repairable and not disposable. It is nice to see the attention on environment for a change.

I should add that our Big Trash day is the only day that our rural trash pickup will pick up cardboard and other recyclables. It is a celebration day since we do not have to lug things downtown or store them for a later pickup day. I have to admit sometimes we get frustrated and just throw them away.

What do you think about the big 'Going Green' push lately?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 2:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

For all who are interested in praying for our country, I am posting a link to something that was posted on the other forum that I am on.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 4:20PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Jerri -- I think going green is way overdue and Im not sure we can make up for it in time.... plus there's a lot of "leaping" before really considering what's green and what is the long term implications of product they call green...

Here in the metro area, efforts for things to be recycled (unless you join freecycle - which I found prohibitively spammish, if you understand what I mean), my local county still does not recycle a lot of plastic stuff becuase it's "not worth the money it costs to recycle".. go figure. They seem to take less plastic and other containers than ever -- I feel horrible when I throw the yogurt container in the trash can - but is one to do?

And I fear so much of it is driven by budgets and economics -- all government ones are really suffering from the national one on down....

It was a glorious 80 something today - in fact it got a bit too hot to plant stuff - I hope to concentrate on that tomorrow and did the necessary evil things like cutting the grass (hand pushmower, no carbon), weed-whacking (electric but only 10 mins worth) and pruning box -- human manpower.....

but then we had some t-storms and so no hose slogging was needed. In fact, I had a weird thing happen -- I throw down earthpro (a local leaf mold composted) that I buy by the bag -- did it last week around a bunch of plants -- we had about 3 inches of rain last week and now all the stuff is moldy! weird.....

Kathy, waiting to hear what tasty things you got at the nursery; I've been trying to resist hitting any til I have the mail order stuff planted -- but I do have a "wish/need" list and that doesnt count annuals for containers.... maybe when I take a week off whenever (hopefully within the next 2 or 3 weeks) I have a contractor/painter putting the house back together...

Boy, I second Saucy's idea of house/garden sitting for you Denise!! Yum - love those photos you just posted -- it's so wonderful and exotic -- you have such a marvelous eye for color and combos of hardscape/plant material...

Well, time to kick back and relax.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 8:32PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im probably opening a can of worms, but, Marian - I find that link you posted personally offensive. We all strive hard here to keep politics and religion out of our discussions -- I would prefer you not post things like that here. This is not the forum for that.

--Cindy (probably being aggressive, but hoping to only be assertive about things that really offend her).

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 8:37PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

More excitement at my house than I care to have. DH and I were out playing with the dogs. I made a HUGE mistake and held Annie the new repo dog by the collar so she would not take over the Frisbee game from our old dog. Annie of course starts growling and my dog Lily intervenes. A fight ensues and I tried to keep the dogs apart. I KNOW better then this.
I think I was the only one injured in the whole mess. I forgot how much dog bites hurt. They got my left hand, right wrist, and stomach. DH turned the water hose on and broke it up. Geez....
I think Ill get a tetanus shot tomorrow. I need to get a rabies vaccine anyway. That is way over due.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Cindy, you were definitely not aggressive. I just saw aggression in the back yard!!! OUCH>

Jerri -> Who KNOWS better than to break up dogs. :(

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 9:38PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Very sorry Cindy, I thought the post was warning enough that those who don't care for such, would not open it. I will put my tail between my legs and crawl back into my hole...:-(

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:07PM
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Have negotiated a refried bean and cheese burrito for dinner, using only front teeth. Im getting pretty adept at creative chewing.

Booty at the garden center today : Four 6 paks of Dreamland mix zinnias, all duly planted and need one more pak. Three 4inch dwarf sunflowers, will be planted tomorrow, 2 green and 3 red basil, 2 Red Wonder Nastursiums (pathetic to buy plants of nasturtiums , but no time to start seeds) I wanted Empress of India but none were found and this one looks close . One umbrella and umbrella stand. 3 bags of Firmulch. Got to the mid 80s here so I spent most of the day watering. Also washed my car. Time for baseball.

Bon Voyage Denise, good journey and plant photos are strongly advised.

Jerri, the company I work for is actively pretending to be green. I work in an industry that is highly suspicious of anything that smacks of environmentalism. This is a marketing issue for many companys. But its good that something like this is being introduced into popular culture, hopefully raising awareness and forcing companies like mine to change practices in spite of themselves. And yikes Jerri ! I remember how painful those bites are from the one time I attempted to break up a dog fight when I was a teenager.

Hoping that Saucys cleaning project went well, bug dodges the frost bullet, and that Cynthia and Mary are well !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:25PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi all,

I thought I would crawl out of my hole and check in from the green end of the spectrum. ;) Kathy, I'm seeing the term "greenwashing" being used more and more, and I do believe that there are businesses that use more resources telling us how enviro-friendly they are than they actually conserve. But I'm also a big believer in making small changes that can add up to a significant impact. I started carrying reusable bags about eighteen months ago. It took me three months to remember to carry them into the store! But now I use them all the time, or turn down a bag at the store. I always recycled all my plastic bags and I can tell how much the accumulation has slowed down.

I did the quickest of skims here. Couldn't believe how much I had missed! But now I realize that all this past week I have worked in an awfice. Lots of roller coastering this week. But I did a seminar today for a wonderful audience and was rewarded at the end with the most amazing orchid - the anal retentive accountant who sometimes lives here had to count, and there are eighty-eight (88!) buds or blooms on the flower scape. This one should last a long time. It's Oncidium Sharry Baby 'Sweet Fragrance' and the flowers have the nicest vanilla-lemon fragrance. So when I'm getting grumpy, I'll just go sniff an orchid.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:00PM
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Important Fact : No chewing is required to eat ice cream.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 11:53PM
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I wrestle with the "Going Green" on a daily basis. As a family, we've always tried to recycle/compost and do what's best. Cost will sometimes keep us from making bigger improvements as quickly as we'd like, but when we have a chance, we keep the earth in mind.

On the company side of things, Green is a big part of our business - though only recently has it been labled that way. It's hard to balance our needs sometimes, too! It'd be nice to have more cost effective alternatives. Feels funny to help companies become more energy efficient while driving a gas guzzler :)

Remember a decade ago when refrigerants were to blame for the hole in the ozone layer? I surely felt like Chicken Little watching for the sky to fall.

Have you seen the utensils made from potatoes? I think the plastics industry should modify their equipment to make potatoe forks for my bamboo plates!

I can weather all the hype if we get some good products to really help us live green. I will watch for the scams and wait for the next bandwagon to come along....

I'm off to shower and get ready for my Idyll walk in the woods :)

I have buds on my brugs! What do I do with these monsters? I've been taking them out during the day and bringing them in at night. I think it might be time to put them in a big pot. If I repot, shouldn't I pinch off the blooms, since all growth will probably go to roots?

Confused About Brugs,

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 7:08AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Well....I have been considering my appology and have realized that I have done nothing to appologize about. In fact I am astonished at the attack. There are several on this forum that frequently mention their church activities, and have never been chastized for it. What is the differance.? It is quite obvious that your stance is a personal feeling toward me, and me alone.
If there is no withdrawal of your attack, and if there is no one who will agree that it was totally uncalled for, I will know that the feeling you have is overall with the Idylls, and I will REALLY remove myself from posting here.

When Spike was moderator, he was very strict about any mention of religion. Spike is no longer the moderator, and IVillage is much more lenient.
Besides, the link I posted was not for the purpose of teaching of any religion, and I also warned all not to open if if they did not care for such.
The link was for the purpose of praying for our country , to bring it back to a more acceptable frame of mind. So there would be less of the violence, dishonesty, crime, immorality etc. etc . I cannot believe there is no one here that thinks our county as a whole is 'okay' ! And I know there are several here that believe in prayer.
I have no idea what religion was back of this. I really didn't read the entire thing. I only thought the concept was good.
Now the ball is in your field....

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 8:26AM
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Marian, Try practicing christian values instead of using them as a stick to beat others with. The rules on these forums have not changed. Your link was offensive, your allusions to satan are offensive. Use your personal beliefs to make yourself a better person instead of using them to offend or denigrate others. Pray if that helps you personally, but better yet do something GOOD for the country and the people you deal with in your everyday life.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 9:28AM
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Good sunny Sunday morning to you, My garden is cleaned up and growing, getting greener every day. Cold nights for the next 3 though so I'm going to have to move some things back inside. I too went plant shopping yesterday, container stuff, some replacements for my neglectful ways over winter and a few new things. Also I picked up a new Red Abyssinian banana, which I always call my most expensive annual. They get to big to save but are such a focal point in the garden I want one every year. I had to put on the sprinkler yesterday, we haven't had rain in a few weeks and things were getting pretty dry.

Marian, I have real crisis' going on in my life now and therefore don't have to time nor inclination to deal with your pettiness. I personally didn't find your link offensive but stand behind Cindy that this isn't the place for it and I thank her for telling you so. You had to have known that it was inappropriate and sometimes I think you're singlehandedly trying to kill the Idylls and just won't quit until you succeed. Everyone has bent over backwards to be kind to you here IMO and forgiven you for much. Your leaving again rings as an empty threat and you seem to love the attention of people begging you to stay on a regular basis. You do always manage to find your way back to us. I enjoy reading your posts when you aren't trying to stir up trouble and think it's a shame that you continue to do so instead of just enjoying the special comaraderie that we strive for here on Idylls. The fight my mom's going through right now makes all of your shananigans seem so small and silly to me. I won't revisit this subject so my best to you whatever you decide to do. I just ask that you decide quickly as Idylls is a bright spot for me to come during dark days recently. Please don't ruin that again.

Hope those Idyllers getting together today have a wonderful time. I'm off to buy Jen a red abyssinian for her birthday next week. She says she'd like one for her patio. I forgot to tell you all that we spent a day last week cleaning up her gardens and things are looking good over there. We'll be doing a shade garden on the side of the house next. Stay tuned for pictures of that.

Hope you are all able to get out and enjoy this beautiful spring day.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 9:56AM
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Just spent a great hour catching up. No comment on the BAM that followed.

Good for you, Jerri! In our house everything was based on feelings and it was, well, exhausting. What I learned is that feelings are just feelings, and they all pass eventually. Yes, they may come back, but to recognize what it is and feel it and let it go is an enormous skill.

I think some hold on to feelings just for drama and that serves no useful purpose. The useful purpose comes in recognizing what is really going on. How happy was I yesterday blowing bubbles for a two-year-old? How content was I last night having a great dinner with Rich and realizing he's healthy enough for man-food? How grateful am I every single day that through distructive feelings directed toward me by those who don't know better, I've learned to BE CAREFUL when I state my feelings so there's no misinterpretation? And back to gardening :-)

Missing the group at Garden in the Woods, today, but we're still playing catchup with "stuff" that needs to get done here and at my parents'. For the first year ever, they won't have a garden so I've planted them the biggest/baddest container herb garden ever for their back stoop. Will be adding a potted tomato or two and started some small-sized sunflowers in a tub. Deanne would be proud. LOL

Hint for all of us: Plant asparagus, rhubarb, raspberries well NOW so when you can't dig anymore, there's still something going on all the time that's indestructable. Seeing my Dad's smile as he munched creamed asparagus gifted to him ten years ago is priceless.

Chelone!!!! Not only did you handle the physical part, but you got the lady to go along with what you needed her to do to get her better!! A true, admirable skill.

Bon Voyage Denise!

Kathy: My Aloha came back! With lots of new canes from above the graft!

The roses overall this year look better than I've ever had them. I think the "extra" zone here coupled with three years of soil work has paid off. VAVOOM! Rich has gotten really into them and wants at least ten more. Maybe next year .....

Last night on CBS news there was a great segment about backyard beekeepers and said Saucy! and got a look that was hysterical.

Hoping against all hope this morning that the rain doesn't dry up when it hits the valley. To the left and right of us got lots last night. Us = zippo! Trade in for the extra zone I guess.

Waving to all! Enjoy your days....


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:14AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Eden, you remind me of the pettiness of aggression versus assertiveness - perhaps some of us have taken that idyll title too much to heart -- this forum too is a bright spot for me as well and where I love to come for the garden photos and sometimes glimpses of others' lives/gardens. And I have no wish to spoil that in any way.

I dont believe I've made my opinions known to anyone here as to how I view this very very fine country in which I live -- as always there are things to be improved -- but I know from traveling in other parts of the world that we are truly truly lucky people. But I accept that this is not the place to debate my views or thoughts on that.

I hope you will find some time to give a glimpse of your Spring, Eden -- it's always so special.

It's a rainy rainy day here so I will have to SALAT inside I'm afraid.

Jerri -- ouch, double ouch -- I hope your bites are not serious - that must have been scary even though you feel so stupid when you know you helped cause such an incident. I am always "kicking" myself when I to something like that.

Wow, V -- 80 buds to enjoy -- that's an amazing plant. The orchids are "in" gifts at present -- a lot of people in my awfice have them and I've been interested to see they really seem to last pretty well w/ minimal care it seems.

Kathy, I've been meaning to thank you for your suggestion of the Coastal Living mags - it was there that I got some great ideas for my decor in the family room and even saw a fabric I loved that I've managed to track down -- the wonders of the internet! Glad to hear you've moved up to the dairy products for eating -- great protein there, LOL..


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:14AM
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Jerri -- Get that hand taken care of! Yes, you do know better, but hey? It's instinct, right?


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:16AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I, too, hope we don't descend into silly snits again. Life's too short for that. I'm counting on the Idylls for light, positive distraction so just let it all go by please....

Jerri - ouch! I hope you've got those bites taken care of! That sort of response can happen with any pair of dogs in that sort of situation - a friend's husband got a nasty bite from their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever when he tried to break up a spat between her and their elderly Springer Spaniel. The scary thing with the breed you work with is the addition power the mechanics of their jaws can bring to bear when inflicting even a casual 'get out of my way' sort of warning. I hope you are OK today - puncture wounds need proper and careful attention so don't neglect them.

These two dogs got along beautifully last night:

GB has been misleading us - Phoebe is a very well-behaved puppy! She greeted us pleasantly but wasn't particularly interested in Randy or me though, just Misty!

Misty seemed to immediately 'adopt' Phoebe and allowed her an unusual privilege - I've never seen Misty allow another dog to share her water bowl:

Phoebe wanted Misty to play 'chase me' a lot but Misty is getting a bit old for that so there were only a couple of small chases but Phoebe used them for an excuse for some racing around with ears flying:

On the food front, the curry was pretty good but the dessert was an embarrassement because the filling refused to set properly! It still tasted pretty good though... :-) No pictures of dessert but the curry looked like this:

GB really likes popovers so took a picture of just the popovers (all the pictures are Marie's - she's having trouble posting pictures so sent them to me this morning...)

We all had a good time last night. I have a new variegated iris to find a home for; an Angel rose is going to test its hardiness limit at Marie's (and I unloaded a couple of pots of seedling hen 'n chicks on her too - I have TOO many seedlings of them!); Misty has a new buddy that she hopes to see again soon.

We have a slight complication for tomorrow - the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) went on strike Saturday morning! Traffic chaos as 1.3 million or so passengers are looking for another way to get to work etc. Theres a good possibility that they will be legislated back to work later today Otherwise its going to be a loooong slow drive in! We have to be there at 9:15 so well be heading in in rush hour(s) anyway.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:25AM
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Changed the batteries in my camera yesterday and have to do again today ! I guess a recharger and some rechargeables are on the shopping list for today. DSs has a lithium ion .

Another beautiful dayout to the garden with my coffee I go.. Back later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:45AM
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I have two seconds before I have to run out the door, but wanted to say THANK YOU for the beautiful BD cards and thoughts! You guys are the best. My goal is to take a pic for the other BD idyllers in the next day or so.

Real quick, Eden, I got a Red Absynnian from Brent and Becky last year for $10. It was a nice healthy baby and grew to full size very quickly. Brought it in last fall, whacked the top off and it is sitting in a corner. I water it occaisionally, probably every other week. I also have a different banana dormant in the basement. I cut off new leaves as they produce. It must be close to 5 inches in diameter. Just a thought....I just love it.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 11:47AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello... :-)

DD and friend due here any minute for dinner which I am really looking forward to. Spent time outside this morning on a nice overcast day, moving plants into new homes. Feeling so satisfied, to have made progress. I won't be able to move for a week, though..lol. Sorry I am behind, missed BDs and more...

I am sure I will have a chance later today to catch up a little more. Just wanted to say Hi. Hope everyone here has a really great Sunday!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 12:51PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Ahh.. I slept in today and woke up to a glorious sunny, breezy day. A cool front came through last night but the associated rain passed us by.
Everything is better but my left hand. I talked to a friend and found that a report is required for dog bites so I'll be staying home. I have the required antibiotics, a perk of animal rescue, so I started them this morning.

I have to go back to check out the wonderful photos! Dogs and food Two of my favorites! LOL

Woody, it sounds like a wonderful visit. I'm so jealous! ;) Hope the transit strike is settled by tomorrow.

Later gators,


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:50PM
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You know it's a good day when the monumental question is:

How does one know which Coleus cotyledons should be pricked when one can't tell foliage patterns until the true leaves are large enough to make it next to impossible not to disturb rootlets?

Counting on at least Eden to chime in since you're the one that got me hooked on the coleus from seed idea :-)

Thank you, Woody and GB, for the pics! I think Misty just "knows" that this is going to be a relationship to treasure, just like the humans.

V: Please remind me again that there is no such thing as a miniature or drawf Kiwi. The darn plant enamors me and I have a literal roof high (pitched ranch) by 8" wide area due west. Would I really regret it?????? ""Fingers in ears)) LOL

Going to start the last bunch of seeds - 4 weeks before frost free in my best estimate. Some additional Dianthus, Portulaca mixed, Cut and Come Again Zinnias, yellow and green squash.

It's really Spring!!


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:51PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

ohh, ohh I have started and Idyll in a long time!

Yeah! In addition, I am going to plagiarize to do it! LOL


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 1:57PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That weekend seemed to go by awfully fast. So lots doing here, I see. Ignoring the elephant in the room...

Jerri, sorry to hear about your dog bite...hope it heals quickly.

Kathy...glad you are doing so well. Amazing really. :-) Pretty sweet peas, wish I could smell them.

Garden in the Woods has a great nursery too.

Woody and G'bug, so great you both were able to visit and I really enjoyed the photos of Phoebe and Misty and all that good food!

Martie, hoping to see more photos soon. :-) Sorry no help here with Coleus, but as far as the Kiwi goes...locally the old Victory Garden was close by and they had a very large, long arbor that they started a Kiwi on and it got out of control very quickly and they actually ended up taking it out. No personal experience to add.

Denise must be gone by now...2 weeks on the ocean, was all I caught...sounds wonderful, sure you will have a great time. Loved that series of photos of Evie and your fountain is so neat.

Chelone, you are going to have to add sweet little old ladies to the list of those you hate. [g] Nice job.

Saucy, is that photo of the Poppies with the columbine behind them from your yard? I just loved it!

Happy Birthday to Denise, Honey, Drema, Babs and Kathy too? Wow, that is a lot of spring babies...lol. Lovely garden photos from everyone. My yard is a disaster area still, so hope these will be enjoyable to the Birthday Girls. :-)


    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 5:00PM
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First Post!

This is something I know a bit about! I think aggression is, to borrow a phrase, a step in the emotional ladder. Lashing out at another is a way for an individual to feel powerful when they feel they have no power. Aggression is a step below anger and just below aggression lies self-hate and then just below that, down at the bottom, lies depression. So the shocking truth is that aggression is much healthier than depression. In depression, one has no power and no impetus to have any empowerment at all and wallows in possibly self-destructive behaviour (been there). In anger, one is now at the very least asserting onesself and that's like saying "I'm good enough to be powerful, get the hell out of my way", which is nice, except for the person on the recieving end (been there too!) ;). Even being angry at yourself is better than hopelessness and depression. We can all just hope that we have someone to let us be angry when we need to be. Well how's that for digging up a dead horse!

So...I think this is my first post, but I'm not entirely sure, I may have had one other. I'm Kathy's son, I was just reading around, wanted to respond, and to be honest, I probably won't be posting much ever. Just wanted to voice my thoughts on a subject close to my heart...the land of emotions. Well, I guess that's kind of close to everyone's hearts, even if they don't know it. Right mom...;)? Well, gotta work in the morning, ta ta...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 3:39AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Kyle!

What a pleasant surprise to see a post from you. I think that if you posted before, it had to be before I started posting. Well, you have given me something to think about. I rarely deal with aggression so it's not a subject I am well versed in, but we do have a family member that sometimes struggles with depression and I have to agree, that being hopeless, getting stuck in self destructive patterns is the worst. Especially since it usually is accompanied by withdrawal and not talking about what is going on with them. It is always a step forward, when they do start to talk and anger often will trigger forward motion. We have observed this many times.

I also agree that having someone close to you that can listen when you are angry is very important. But emotional conversations to me can be compared to a tango. :-) It takes a partnership is what I am trying to say. A person who can express their anger without directing it at other people will find this allows others to be able to listen. Not an easy goal to achieve at times. If instead of looking for blame they can see what is making them angry as a problem to be solved and their 'partner' in the conversation as a team member on a 'problem solving team' I think more can be gained and whatever the source of the anger, it can be better resolved.

Anger and aggression are something that we all can get stuck in too, though. It can become a habitual way of responding to frustration and can become part of the problem. I had to look up 'aggression' in the dictionary to check my concept of it and it is interesting that I do have a very negative response to aggression. Wikepedia describes it as 'behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain', so that made sense why it is a negative to me...lol. It went on to say that behavior that accidentally causes pain or harm is not aggression. I think that is a big distinction. In any of my family/friend relationships, the basis of trust that there is no 'intention' of causing harm or pain has to be there. Pain that is unintentional is unavoidable. Assertiveness to me is a healthier approach than aggression and is necessary. It helps to be clear on the difference in our own responses to others. So were you referring to 'aggression' or 'assertiveness'?

With our family member who struggles with depression, what seems to be at the core of it, is that this person is not very good at problem solving and there is where the focus needs to be in becoming better at that. Right now, we have just had a small victory with a 'good' angry conversation in which we were able to sort some of that out and now there is forward motion again. Now if we can get some momentum and maintain some progress that would be great!

It's not easy! Pop in any time, Kyle...I love talking emotions too.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 4:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

WOW! I'm enjoying reading this 'conversation' Kyle and PM!

In our case there is Depression in my family...but the topic that interests me is a situation with my son in law's ex wife. It is easy to be annoyed with her anger, aggression, self centredness and other emotions. It is also possible to be kinder and feel very sorry for someone who simply is not aware of her own behavior and its affect on others. I get the feeling that she doesn't progress at all in her present mode of operation. SIL is a different person these days, not the man she knew. His behavior in responding to her nonsense is one of complete respect for her opinions (hard though it may be). His patience is endless. This truly baffles her at the moment, and I believe (hope) she is beginning to see that her actions and lashing out are quite tasteless and harmful to her son as a result. I am hoping she is able to move ahead intelligently. Unfortunately, she seems very needy and her partner is a boor who operates using anger and a loud voice only. The trick with her I feel is getting her to even see that there is a problem and that it affects others. She believes that there is one pattern of behavior, hers, and it is the "correct" one. It would be fascinating to observe all this if it weren't real people involved, children too, people close to me. It is very complex.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gardenbug...hello...glad you joined the conversation. Your SIL's ex seems to be a challenge, for sure and you hit the nail on the head when you describe the situation as complex. I can hear how much it worries you, what an effect all of this has on Skyler. I am sure it will and has had an effect, but doesn't seem to be one that you can protect him from. I guess all you can do is the best you can to make the best of the situation. Isn't it fortunate that Skyler now has a stable family in his experience in which to draw comfort and strength from? SIL again impresses me with his decision to treat her with respect and patience. Helping the Mom helps the child. What a great example to Skyler. We all have someone challenging in our lives and to also have the advantage of an example of how to negotiate that relationship is a real blessing.

Over the years, I have tried to adopt the attitude, that most people want to do well and do as well as they know how to do. In some cases. I have suspected that there is some disability that is in play that may not have been recognized and identified, that makes it much more difficult for that person to negotiate life. All of us have limitations. I have more now that I am older than I did when I was young. [g] I can remember being so exasperated with people making poor choices for themselves. As if even then I was always making the best ones for myself...lol. But when I was young and healthy and had a great memory and great coordination and a logical mind, it was not as easy to understand what it was like not to have all those things. Now that my memory is dim and my health leaves me with less energy then I need etc etc. I find it easier to recognize that all of those advantages that I had as a young healthy person are not what everyone is dealt. Now I experience how hard it is to meet my own and everyone else's expectations and I find it much easier to understand other people's limitations in an entirely new way. I don't have to imagine what it is like, I have some actual experience...lol.

Even understanding that, I still feel frustrated when I can't figure out a way to fix everything..lol. I keep trying though and that has to be worth something, right? In our difficult relationships, I am trying to look at it as a problem to be solved and instead of seeing the other person as the 'problem', I have begun to think of myself as part of the problem as well. It is not just that the other person is insensitive or not making sense or self centered, but my response to it is also the problem.

For instance, I used to feel that I was doing the best thing by trying so hard to be understanding and figure out why the person was acting that way, but I have recently discovered that when I look at it objectively, it might have been more productive to move past that, to figuring out what needs to happen and how and trying to frame conversations in that way. So in reality, my response may have been contributing to the lack of change. So at the moment, that is my new approach, is to focus on solving the problem in a concrete way and to see myself as part of the problem. The patience and understanding is definitely needed for the other person and for yourself too, but it is just the platform to dive off of.

I think I may have traveled a distance from the discussion of aggression I fear, so I will stop there...lol.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 10:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I am nodding along in agreement PM. My thoughts and feelings follow a similar route. Yet I do not even know Skyler's Mom, have only seen her twice. I have been around though for her 5 phone calls a day, for her slamming down the phone in fury. I'm trying hard though. Hardest to observe for me is Skyler's behavior when with his Mom. I think he detects her neediness. His voice and manner are sickly sweet around her, that of a baby. He has separation anxiety at her home, and not a trace of it at Dad's. Mom is in a competition to outdo her DH who has found happiness. And happiness is something that is eluding her, partly because it is so connected in her mind with money. Yes, it is frustrating when we want to remedy situations involving others! It must be the teacher in me. Who do we think we are that we could do this? Just humans too I guess.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 11:19AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

"Mom is in a competition to outdo her DH who has found happiness."
Of course I meant her FORMER husband.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 11:27AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I didn't know you were a teacher G'bug? Maybe you told me that once already? I am not a teacher, but I see in myself and the way I interact that I have those tendencies. :-) There are a long line of teachers and nurses in our family on my mother's side.

I can hear what a helpless feeling it is to not even have the opportunity to know the person you have to try to get along with enough, to know how to respond and keep things on track.

I would assume that SIL must have made supreme attempt to get things ironed out before divorce was the only option, and if he could have influenced her, I am sure that would have happened by now. So, is there anyone in her circle that she actually listens to, that could convince her to get counseling? I ask, although I suspect the answer is no. Not that I think counseling is always the answer. It is a maze out there to find a person who can actually be of help.

I am at present reading books that are actually aimed at how to work out a relationship with difficult children. Not because I see the person as a child, but some of their issues seem like opportunities missed when they were children to identify and help a problem. Not always easy to see where you can apply the information with an adult, but I think it helps to see what the goal is and understand the problems better.

I've just started reading one now, titled 'The Explosive Child', which describes a segment of children who are poorly understood, who have a very low frustration level and significant inflexibility for starters. I find that I am recognizing the adult version of lots of the behavior described in the book. What I like about the book is it gives lots of specific examples of situations that come up and how to handle them. It helps especially in seeing a different way of communicating. They offer an approach they report to have had wonderful success that they called, Collaborative Problem Solving. Working respectfully and honestly with the 'child or troubled person' to solve problems in a mutually satisfactory way and not just satisfactory to you or just satisfactory to the 'troubled person'. It's aim is to move toward cooperation and compromise. Maybe this book might help SIL/DD at least to see if there are any changes they could make in the way they respond to the Ex that would bring a better result. At the very least, to maintain their own family's boundaries as part of their solutions.

I adopted that old adage for a new year's resolution this year along the lines of...'...accept what I can't change, change what can be changed and wisdom to know the difference.' There is a LOT we can do. So I am focusing on that and trying to find solutions to things, acceptance being the last resort...lol. But in the meantime, change and progress is slow and often one step forward, two steps back, so I guess for me there is where the acceptance comes into it that is giving me some relief from stress, is in accepting it as a process and as long as I am doing my best and working at it then I am doing better at letting go of having to have it the way I think it should be right now.

Does that make any sense?

I don't always do well with it all. I have some pretty discouraged weeks sometimes but I am having a good week at the moment, in that regard. I hope you will tell all of this back to me when I am not. [g]

I am happy for you that you will have some extended time to spend with Skyler and I have a feeling that time will encourage you that he is making progress and growing stronger and happier. :-) Don't underestimate what you and DD and SIL are giving him. It is precious!!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 12:24PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi Kyle. I really enjoyed your post. I think it shows a lot of understanding and compassion. Come back anytime!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:02PM
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@PM2 Re: 'tango' I know what you mean. That's what trust is for, I guess. It's a tall order to say "Yeah, but you still have to respect and care for me even when I am demeaning you"...but the tango is a passionate dance!

I am referring to aggression, not assertiveness. Skies are bright and life is good when you are dealing with 'assertiveness'. But life is a bit easier if you are able to see your 'tango partner' as reaching out instead of just beligerently trying to hurt you. See, the tricky part of this is that in being aggressive, one might think they are consciously trying to hurt someone else, but really it's a coping mechanism and what they want is to feel empowered again. This understanding goes a long way in making it easier to deal with your tango partner in a compassionate way. Assertiveness, of course, is the healthier way to deal with some feelings, but what does someone do when they are not there yet? Hopefully, by the end of the tango, they will be in a healthy enough place to access 'assertiveness'.

@bug, treading the line between understanding and condescending is a close one for me...kudos to those who pull it off! It really is hard to see the forest for the trees, especially with people so close to you involved. I'm like a blind man when it comes to myself, let alone my family. Actually, the family is a lot easier for me. Case in point, though! There comes a point, in dealing with 'other peoples affairs', that you must recognize that simply being a rock of stability is the most important thing, like your SIL is doing. It may seem inneffective from far off, but in the grand scheme of things, I think that energetically and subconsciously people really respond to someone who offers that type of stability. Down the road, the song is always 'they were always there' and the specifics get lost in favor of the love that was offered. PM2 said it, it's a gift being offered in the form of crappy challenges. Being that rock is invaluable because it brings notions of security and stability to an otherwise frail world. So don't feel powerless, you always have that to give!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm a pretty fragile rock Kyle, but I try!

I have a brother (70 now) who has been working with excellent counselors on his depression for decades. And I mean WORKING. I have seen some progress along the way, but nothing like the progress in the last 10+ years. What has made the difference? Involvement. Involvement with a baby girl who is now 11 and with her extended family. I think he sees what growing up in a complicated environment is about now. He STILL blames our parents for his difficult life, something I would have hoped he'd let go of before age 50, but no.

It is frustrating for him on many levels. He is involved with 3 girls who have Borderline Personality Disorder. This is really painful stuff. They ask for him and want him to visit, but all connections are cut off to him and to them. It seems so unfair for someone who was cut off from emotions for years to now be refused these bonds. It is ghastly for the girls.

But I think little people have so much openness and caring to offer...very therapeutic! I see nothing surprising in seeking solutions for adult problems in treatment for child behaviors.

(This is a long thread...hard for me to load.)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:51PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Kyle...

Sorry to take so long to respond...I see you have some very good insights and I am wondering how you happen to come by them. [g] Has this been an area of study for you? Or do you just have a lot of 'on the job training'? [g]

I had to concede that being assertive over aggressive is more likely when 'skies are bright', but that sort of goes along with my underlying thought, that if you are being aggressive during a discussion, during a time of stress, as a reaction to something painful that has happened or been said to you, then you are not intentionally trying to hurt someone, [are you?] you are just reacting in the moment and that is what I was talking about when I said...'pain that is unintentional is unavoidable.'

Totally agree, that viewing the tango partner as reaching out, is a very healthy way to look at it and could help to keep the reactions to a minimum. I don't know though...I assume we are talking in general about confrontational conversations as the context for aggression? I think someone could study the dynamics of that for quite awhile and still be left scratching their head. lol

I wonder if underneath many of our conflicts is just a tapestry of misunderstanding? A lot of what seems to me to be going on in what I experience as 'repetitive disagreements', is a pattern of frustrating misunderstandings. Each person trying to communicate what they are feeling and thinking and yet not always finding that... either they cannot express it accurately [which may be from not always understanding ourselves as you point out] or it is not being heard at all by the other person, or the other person is hearing the words, but filtering what you are saying and putting a twist on it that doesn't really represent what you intended.

In all of my present personal relationships, I believe all the ingredients for harmony are there. There is a bond, there is a history of mutual care and concern, there is genuine desire to understand each other, there is a willingness to be tolerant and forgiving, yet that doesn't prevent problems from coming up. I think they are as inevitable as rainshowers. We seem to sporadically have conflict over the same issues over and over again. That gets frustrating. :-) Thankfully the commitment is there, to work out what can be worked out and agree to disagree on the rest at least until some future possible breakthrough that would bring better resolution.

I also thought it was very insightful of you to recognize, that 'being a rock of stability' is the most important thing. 'They were always there'....absolutely right. It takes a lot to be a rock though!! A lot! That is probably why it is not very common. How many of us have a rock in our lives? How many of us would consider themselves a rock to someone else?

We could start a new thread?


    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 5:20AM
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