Idyll #501..Got Flowers ?

dodgerdudetteApril 15, 2011

Bet we all have some ! Carry on friends ..

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Jeesh, I posted on the wrong thread ! And I started the thing , lol.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 7:55PM
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Nice goin', Kathy.

I have daffodils bravely parting last fall's leaf carpet. It's still pretty cold here, more rain due in this weekend so their stout-hearted yellowness is really appreciated.

I have a big weekend planned, lots of paintbrush time. And I'm looking forward to it, too. My awning frames were delivered this afternoon and I'm now on the stick to make the actual awnings. I can't wait. It's my project, I may do it the way I WANT TO and in a shop that is clean and easy to work in.

3rd. coat of sealer on the underside of the floorcloth, stencil to be cut tomorrow and I'm not sure if it will work or not. But I'm looking forward to the whole process. I also plan to shrink another length of canvas for the next floorcloth. I'm playing with procedure and technique and this is proving to be a good deal of fun. Firing up the woodstove will aid in drying the sodden canvas... a perfect project for a predicted gloomy, chilly weekend!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 8:35PM
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Awnings for the BaHn Chelone ? Please advise !

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 10:23PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Hi everyone, in Idyll land. (doing the secret Idyll hi shake.)

I really considered starting a thread. Until my idea didn't pan out. You can't do strikethrough on the Subject of Posting box. Oh well maybe I will actually start a thread one of these days.

Hawaii Idyll 50(1) was what I was going to do.

I've been suffering with a cold, passed on by Richea. So took it easy, and just beat back the DandyLions today. I kept thinking I should make tea with them. I will for sure when I tackle the other half of the garden. It's been thundering and lightninging on and off since yesterday late afternoon, so I wasn't be out there out there long.

My kids belonged to all sorts of sports and piano and voice lessons for a few years, but not all at once. Then it stopped when Richea's SAD got worse, :( and my migraines were keeping me down and out. :( Money was too tight to carry on with the activities. Fortunately our kids did okay with school related activities. Alena went to camp and loved it, but Evan wasn't interested at all.

We managed to help them both in paying for college, so I hope that made up somewhat for those earlier years.

I hated camp. It was a one shot deal, and was all about getting rid of me. Enough said.

Richea worked outside today. I was very glad when he got home. The lightning was close, and the thunder shook the ground a bit. Canadian Vancouverite=rain, but not thunder and lightning!

Things are going pretty well, with the house cleaning. I get to be my own boss and practice being brave. :) As with any job, there's something satisfying about doing it well. And people are telling me I am doing it well. I'm starting a new job on Monday, which I think will work out. On my ad I also tell about the other services I offer and the woman who called wants me to help her with all of them. So I'll be cleaning, dog walking, and helping in the garden. I'm so glad I decided to mention everything. It's my dream job. Now if I could just get one or even two like that for every day of the week, I'd be in heaven.

On top of my other regular activities I've been trying to stop living such a fearful life. I'm practicing acting as if I were brave, a bit more every day. I'm doing everything I can to have a happy, full life. I spend a few minutes a day reading on the internet. I keep reading the same things, accept yourself, and practice the new skills that you want. I'm still fearful, but I'm facing my fears and working through them a bit, like they say.

It's helped in a way to have found people who have similar stories to mine on other websites. I used to think I was so different being a clumsy, duck out off water, loner, but now I think there are a few others like me. Otherwise there wouldn't be anyone else writing about being fearful and everything. It doesn't change anything, but we ducklings who will never reach swanhood seem to like some company too. Some say swanhood isn't all it's cracked up to be anyway. I don't know, never having swum with them. What I'm trying to do in my life, though, isn't to find more people like me to affirm it's okay to be like me, but instead I'm trying to strengthen all the areas in my flawed self, and create a resiliency in the real world. I hope that makes sense. I want to broaden my options not focus on just being okay.

My sad news of the day.
I just found out my youngest sister, who just had a hysterectomy had advanced endometriosis. They have also diagnosed her daughter with it. They both had problems for years, which nothing had helped. Hopefully my niece won't have to have everything removed too. Carrying a child is purported to help slow the onset of endometriosis. But she's not married or ready to have kids. My oldest Dsis also was discovered to have advanced endometriosis, when they did surgery to remove what was thought to be minor endometriosis 2 years ago. My 2nd youngest sister is pre endometriol and has been on meds for years. So that just leaves me and one other sister who are endometriosis free. There are 5 girls, and one half brother, who is deceased, in my family. The numbers are bad. I've been watching my DD for any symptoms for years. So far so good. There was none on either side of 'rents, so don't know where this came from.

(((Norma))). I'm so sorry for you and your family. My sister in law miscarried five times before she carried to term. She had two boys, but they were years apart. The doctors had no idea why. It's too common for comfort.

Glad you got your computer up and running. The computer's become so much a part of my life that I dread when things go wrong. I do save to other computers in case, but I can't afford discs right now, which is the best backup, imho.

Eden, like Chelone, I read learning other languages and music is very good for the brain. It improves the ability to do math, which I could have used. I often wished my children had exposure to several languages growing up. Both did fine in math though. Apparently free style dancing is good for the brain, too, .

Saucy a big congrats on the pass for the test. I couldn't even have considered what you're doing when my kids were young. I admire you so much for taking it on.

My DD uses her crockpot lots to help offset having to cook when she comes home. I cook extra whenever I cook meals so leftovers are a norm here. Evan my son, does great stirfrys and fried chicken when I can't or am not home to cook. I guess your kids are too young to help.

Marie, I've locked my keys in the car with the motor running before too. The people at the auto club made me feel like I had two heads. But upon researching I found out that in fact I didn't. ;) It is a fairly common occurrence.

I think you did something right with DS. Besides didn't you go help out in other lands, too. It's in the blood.

Cindy I hope the awfice was good to you this week. I wonder if you could do anything to make your experience there better, even if only a little.

Chelone I love the floor cloth. Copper is a favourite of mine. I've been dreaming of a copper sink and counter for years. Did you give it to your bro yet? Send it to me and I'll make sure he gets it. ;) (just kidding)

I have gray hairs shooting straight out of my head about the colour of your 'visitor'. It looks like I've been electric shocked some days, until it grows out a bit. My hair is a virgin, with no dye jobs ever done on it. I consider it periodically, but haven't the money to seriously consider it.

Kathy in Socal, thanks again for the the glimpse of the other side.

I hope you squeeze lots of enjoyment out of your final holiday days. Maybe you could read about keeping good memories to savour on your way to work next week. ;)

Woody, yum. I love custards and puddings. I now find myself converting the sugar to dates automatically, in my mind. The possibilities are endless, now that I've found a sugar substitute, that I can actually eat. :)

Michelle, pretty flowers. Hope you get a chance to at least see your garden. It's supposed to clear up here, after our turn at wet, cold and windy. Did you ever find out what was ailing you? I hope it's gone away.

Deanne, I hope the rose thorn injuries heal fast. I've decided to put a clematis on the huge Camellia japonica, and love the look of the Vyvyan Pennell'. I love clematis.

Off to sleep. (I hope.)


My latest necklace. I made for a nice old Polish lady, who gave me the eggs in the picture.

An article about dancing.

Use It or Lose It: Dancing Makes You Smarter

"One of the surprises of the study was that almost none of the physical activities appeared to offer any protection against dementia. There can be cardiovascular benefits of course, but the focus of this study was the mind. There was one important exception: the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.

Reading - 35% reduced risk of dementia

Bicycling and swimming - 0%

Doing crossword puzzles at least four days a week - 47%

Playing golf - 0%

Dancing frequently - 76%.
That was the greatest risk reduction of any activity studied, cognitive or physical.

Quoting Dr. Joseph Coyle, a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist who wrote an accompanying commentary:
"The cerebral cortex and hippocampus, which are critical to these activities, are remarkably plastic, and they rewire themselves based upon their use."

Get dancing for a happier (and longer) life

Calories burned: 265 per hour for ballroom; 420-plus per hour for salsa

I like this linked article for the idea that you can train yourself to notice and keep the good experiences more than the bad ones.
Taking in the Good

Here is a link that might be useful: Taking in the Good

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 2:47AM
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We're all scared of something. Me? not being financially independent. Scares the hell out of me, esp. on a "bad day". I don't expect a lot, and I don't "live large", but there's always a nagging worry that I haven't worked quite hard enough or saved quite enough. I find that it's kept me "compliant" and soldiering away in work environments that have moved beyond stale and into rotten too many times in my life. It has, however, forced me to be resourceful and pragmatic and those are certainly characteristics of great worth. I'm getting better about it, but it remains my "bugaboo". Good thing I'm married to the helpmeet. :)

Yeona, we have embraced the "Refuse To Live In Fear" credo. When something scares us, we bring it right out in the open, talk about, think about it, and work like hell to make sure it doesn't get the better of us. It's easier than it sounds, but it takes guts to admit something scares you. A 12 step program for weenies, lol.

The floorcloth is not finished and won't be for a spell yet. I can't seem to find the stencil burner I know I have somewhere around here. I have a few places left to check before giving in and going for it with the exacto knife, which I don't really want to do. The stencil is very delicate (a variation the Greek Key) and it would be easier to see the mylar yield to heat. Once the stencilling is finished I'll be in the home stretch... only 5-7 coats of polyurethane to apply and cure! Sodden canvas dries as I type. I cut the blank 9' long, and sponged on warm water this morning. To my amazement the piece shrank a full 6" in under one hour! I see that it's going to require rather a long time to dry, but that's OK; patience may well be a virtue, but it's also a skill that is honed with time. ;)

No gahden clean up, save some huge grasses cut down and the annual spring burn fest. Don't care, either! I have the endless delight of seeing little snippets of your labor and the bounty. Always puts a smile on my face.

Awnings. Kathy, you've seen the way we live here at "Frontierland", lol. The only things lacking are the Birkenstocks and my unshaven armpits. I have wanted to put awnings on the bahn from the moment we conceived of it. I have the fabric (a handsome, discreet stripe in pale grey and white) and getting the frames made proved a good deal more challenging than it should have been; too much "stonewalling" and too many obstacles at the logical source ("why do you want to do it that way? if it was me, I'd do it this way"). So I called a colleague and ordered them from him! 5 days later they were delivered. And the hardware will be installed on the building in a week/two with the helpmeet supervising to ensure the siding is not savaged unnecessarily. All the windows of the Salon (save the "awning windows" on the roadside" will have awnings. I can't wait!, they'll be pretty and will keep the interior cooler throughout the summer.

Have I told you how much I love Pandora radio? Keeps me dancin'!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 11:16AM
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Good Saturday evening. Seems like I blinked and a week's gone by since I've posted. It was really interesting reading everyone's responses on my question. Seems like we're all pretty much in agreement. My kids all took music, dance lessons and were involved in sports and school activities, just not so young. A bit of camp here and there but none of them were really big on that. They all loved spending July up on Lake Huron with my mom and dad every summer.

I've been busy getting some simple crafts and games together for Kate's party. Also, sadly, we had to attend the funeral of a neighbor. She'd battled cancer a few years ago and we all thought she had it beat until it returned last December and things went quickly from there. Cancer's such a terrible thing and I'll miss her.

Chelone, your brother's a lucky man to be gifted that magnificent floor cloth. I agree about Pandora. We listen here a lot too.

Norma, so sorry about your granddaughter. Not an easy thing for sure. My heart goes out to her.

Yeona, I've been meaning to tell you how much I enjoy reading your posts. So nice to have you back. I don't have a lot of fears, but I am a worrier, especially about my kids and grandkids.

Kathy, what a nice vacation you had. Bet you're feeling relaxed and rested. At least I hope so!

It was rainy here all day. I've got maybe half my spring garden clean up finished. I got a couple of good days in and really enjoyed being out there. I'm always glad when the spring clean up is done but I'm not in a big hurry this year. Nice to see the spring blooms in the garden, especially the daffodils.

We've got Kate's family birthday dinner tomorrow. I should probably go wrap her gifts but I'm most likely going to try to get Brad to do that chore in the morning. He's a much better wrapper than I am. And it's not one of my favorite things to do. We got her outdoor toys. Among them a water sprinkler, little pool, garden tools, a watering can, a ball, broom and dustpan and then a ballerina doll she wants that I'll give her at her little party with her friends on her real birthday Thursday. When Wally's birthday comes in June we're planning to get him a sandbox. They have a park across the street with playground equipment but it will be nice for them to have toys to play with in their yard too I think.

About bedtime for me. Hope you all are having a peaceful weekend.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 9:14PM
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Hola Idylls, and a pleasant Saturday evening here in the wine country. I was a crazed shopper at Annies today-I went with a list of four plants and came back with 2 flats, lol. Everything there is in 4 inch pots, so at least I wasn't tempted into the jumbo size. I was there for 2 hours ! I got some great stuff though, in my quest to take the front garden up a notch . So, I spent the whole day outside and got about a third of the stuff planted. More tomorrow.

Yeona, I love that necklace ! If I wore jewelry it would be just the kind of thing I'd like to have. I go through jewelry phases im my life-I don't even wear earrings anymore and I suppose the pierce-holes have closed up by now. I will have to look up endometriosis, I'm not familiar with that condition at all.

Lol Chelone, I think the compound is quite civilized ! Never saw a single car on blocks . And your awnings on 'the main resisidence ' were fabu !

OK here are a few from my visit to Annies today. From Annies Annuals April 2011 From Annies Annuals April 2011 From Annies Annuals April 2011 From Annies Annuals April 2011

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 9:33PM
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Love that first photo, Kathy. I like all the colors in that combination of plants. You definitely "Got Flowers" just like this Idyll title says. Lucky you to be able to go there. Bet you got some great stuff. Easy to get carried away there I'd say. I can't wait to see it all in place in your garden.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 9:49PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Yeona - lovely necklace!

Kathy - You sure live in garden fantasyland!

Very strange weather day here today. During a 30 minute walkies with Misty and Liam this morning, there was clouds and a bit of misty rain, followed by 5 minutes of blinding whiteout snow, immediately followed by brilliant sunshine and rapid warming, and then a relapse back to cold, cloudy and misty rain! It's been repeating the cycle ever since.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 1:07PM
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Very strange weather here, too, Woody. It began with a driving rainstorm in the early morning hours, followed by several downpours at sunrise. Then the whole front blew out to sea and it's been absolutely gorgeous since then. The helpmeet commented that it won't be long before the bugs begin to show up. We've already seen ticks. :(

I cut the stencil ( a lot of work) and played around with it, but ended up being unimpressed with the effect. I've opted to stick with the simple copper border. The stencil seemed too "busy" in an area that is probably not quite large enough to handle further ornamentation. I think it best to err on the side of discretion. I need to add one more coat of copper and then begin topcoating it.

I was thinking today what a crummy time of year this is to have a cold. It's good that those under the weather are on the mend. I've encountered several people in my circle of friends who've been nursing colds, too; lots of brochial stuff, Norma.

I applied the first coat of bleaching oil to the window boxes and the corbels that will go under the south windows of the Salon. Time to clean the brushes and have them ready for the second coat tomorrow (weather permitting). It has me thinking about what to plant in them, spurred on no doubt by Kathy's shots from Annie's Annuals. :)

I sat out in one of the plastic Adirondak chairs this afternoon and had Spencer on my lap in under 30 seconds. I looked around and the other two were hanging out, too. Rex and Daddy had gone for a walkie. A nice harbinger of what's to come in the next few months. I'm looking forward to it.

We met with the landscaping guy and have a tentative date set for the transplanting of Picea Omorika. We had a good plan and he was very confident of the relative ease of the caper. I was delighted to tell him that the Great Drainage Caper has done precisely what it was supposed to do. While the soil is quite moist there is no longer any standing water along the stonewall. And all the plants are looking great. I'm actually feeling hopeful that the Fertile Crescent may just move from bare bones to something more substantial this year.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Kathy your vacation did go fast! But thank you so much for sharing all of the beautiful pics. I really enjoyed seeing all of them. And Annies!!!! I can't wait to send her an order, but the lushness of those plantings is hard for me to believe out here in the bitter MidWest. Why do they even call it that? We had a huge hailstorm Saturday, and today high winds. Brrrrr.

Yeona, glad you found a job you think you might like. I hope it goes well for you..and congratulations on overcoming some of your fears. It is not easy to do, but I'm glad you keep trying. I used to have a lot of fears as a child and a young adult, but as I am aging, it is better. I talked to one of my psychology professors about it before I had kids, because I didn't want them to grow up like me. He gave me some good advice, which I followed. I don't know if he was right, but it made me feel good at the time.

Chelone, your tumbling blocks turned out beautifully! I am so glad you are getting pleasure from your new work space and that things are moving along in the right direction for you!! You are so talented.

Woody, I enjoyed seeing your dessert! I love lemon anything.

Norma, so sorry to read about your granddaughter.I will keep her in my prayers. I don't know if you remember, but both of my girls had miscarriages, and it is really a rough thing.It never happened to me, so I didn't exactly know what to say or do for them. I don't know that there is anything you can say really. But when they talked to other people who had the same experience, that seemed to help the most.

I have been sending out resumes every day. So far, no luck. I am trying to keep a positive outlook on it. And trying not to take it personally. I know there are a lot of people out there looking for jobs, because when I turned in my paperwork for the sub teacher job, she said that have engineers, and all kinds of other people on their list. People who would normally be employed. I am just thanking God that Skip was able to find something. I will figure this thing out. He said he could get me a job working with him, but I would not be home except on weekends, and someone has to hold down the fort here with all the animals, LOL.

Well, hope you all had a nice weekend! I am going to make some popcorn and watch a movie.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 9:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back from Toronto through snow and white-outs on the highway to find flowers at home. YES!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 10:31PM
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Well shucks, its back to work tomorrow. If I'd had one more day everything would have been planted, but still got lots done. No use agonizing when you run out of time/energy. I've made a list of 5 things to get done after awfice every day this week. I have no excuse to not get this stuff done, and a couple are inside chores that I ignored during vacation.

Drema, I've interviewed a fair amount of applicants . There have been some that just could not talk/converse and every piece of info had to be dragged out. Sometimes this is ok if the position requires working alone with data or numbers, not so good if customers are involved. Others talked way too much, volunteering information that impacted their chances negatively.-personal stuff. So hard to judge people you have never met ! We always try to do 2nd interviews, the applicants seem more confident and relaxed the second time around . Anyway , I guess what I am saying it that you have to strike the correct balance between being over qualified or under qualified-there are lots of over-q's, out there right now. Good vibes to you ! Perseverance is the key.

Woody, it's funny how different 100 miles can be here on the west coast, I imagine you have similar micro-climate issues. I really enjoyed the weather in SoCal as long as I was on the ocean . Things were as hazy and smoggy as ever in my hometown (Los Angeles) and it reminded me why I don�t live there anymore.

Chelone, I'm glad you opted for the simple border on the floor cloth-and hail to the fertile crescent !

In my own garden, stuff is going on-even with the numerous bare spots. Spring. From Garden Spring 2011 From Garden Spring 2011 From Garden Spring 2011 From Garden Spring 2011

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 10:58PM
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I do have flowers - they have a blanket of white right now.

Today is the last day of my 4 day weekend. It's supposed to get in the 40's so I plan on spending part of the day in the garden shed. It's almost impossible to move around in there. All the pots and garden art need to get kicked out. The rest of the weekend was either windy or rainy or both. I did get a lot done in the house and now won't feel bad about spending the summer in the garden. We took a few shopping trips and did some cleaning in our barn.

Yeona, your necklace is lovely. I've been inspired lately to make some jewelry. A young woman that I work with makes some awesome jewelry that she is always wearing to work. I love jewelry! I usually wear rather ordinary clothing and jewelry just adds the final touch.

Thanks for asking but my health issues aren't resolved. A pulmonolgist is next on the list.

Kathy, I've enjoyed all your vacation pictures. Annie's looks like a place I'd love to visit. Your garden is looking lovely as well. Love the purple/chartreuse combo.

Eden, I hope Kate had a wonderful party.

I'll leave you with a picture of the necklace that I made my mom for her birthday. I fell in love with these lime green glass beads and knew that I just had to make something with them. For some reason lime green now always reminds me of Mary.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 10:09AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Very nice necklach Michelee - except I now have a craving for Life Savers! :-)

Randy's computer crashed overnight. It looks like he's going to have to get a new one. And a day with only one computer definitely highlights that two computers are mandatory these days! :-)

I spent a large part of the day going through my garden photo albums to select a dozen or so pictures to have enlarged and printed to be framed and put along the hallway leading to the living room. Hopefully, we'll go out tomorrow and order the prints (likely on the way to the computer store!) When I was going through the photos, I was looking at ones from this time last year. This time last year the garden clean-up was done and it was warm and sunny. This is definitely a VERY cold spring! And looking at my rain records, it's also one of the driest Aprils we've had since I started keeping rain records more than ten years ago.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Woody, Thats neat that you are going to frame some of your garden photos. Not so neat that you are having a lack of rain especially since you didn't have much snow fall this year either. We had a wet fall and lots of snow this past winter and we are getting plentiful spring rain.
Sorry to hear about Randys computer. I was lucky I had bought the extended warranty on mine. The harddrive went bad but My files were recovered and I went ahead and upgraded to windows 7. I'm hoping to get a few more years out of it now.

Drema , I did remember that there had been some of you whose family members had had miscarriages. It seems much more common now or is it just that we hear more of it. You are right there is just not much you can say to help.
I imagine a job will come along when you least expect it. They keep telling us the economy is improving but I don't know how they expect it to with gas prices going so high. People just have to cut back on other things to be able to afford to drive to work if they have a job.
Speaking of which Bob had a rare day at work today and I throughly enjoyed having the homefront to myself. That doesn't happen very often anymore.

Michelle I hope they get to the bottom of your health issues soon. Have they ruled out acid reflux as a possible source of your chest pain. That is what they decided mine was.
I like The necklace you made. I bought stuff a couple of years ago to make jewelry but didn't stick with it very long.
Sounds like a lot of people had snow today. Hopefully it will be like our last one was and melt real fast. I had a good day until about 3:30 when it rained just enough to send me in. I have been weeding non stop try to get the chickweed out before it drops its seed. I try not to get discouraged but boy does it drive me crazy when I seem to spend more time on weeds than my plants. We have had some really warm days off and on and everything seems to be in a rush to complete it's cycle. Seems we never just get normal seasons anymore.
My new Smouthhi (sp) peony is blooming. I bought it as much for the foliage as the flower because it is ferny looking. I'm thinking I will want another one.
The early Iris are starting to open and the creeping phlox and bleeding hearts are blooming to.

Kathy whats the red flower in the third picture? I have enjoyed you vacation pictures too. Thanks for sharing.

I'm going to wave at the rest of you because I'm running out of steam. Having had a hot shower when I came in and a full tummy after eating, I am fading fast. Time to veg out.

Later. Norma

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 7:41PM
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I made it through day 1 back at the awfice after vacation. Not too bad on the whole, but the main annoyance was that my out of office voice mail greeting apparently didn't work, so I had a boat load of messages from people who had no clue I was on vacation. And I am proud to report that I accomplished my after awfice chore today and it is crossed off the list. Tomorrow will involve the stairs and the 2nd floor hallway.

Michelle, I love your necklace too ! So pretty, and lol re: Mary.

Norma, that red flower is Ranunculus.They do really well here, and we can plant them either in fall or spring. The clumps get bigger and put up more stems every year-I put in another dozen or so in Feb and they are just coming up now.

Woody, this winter I selected a few photos from my files and framed them for my office. The frames cost way more than having the photos blown up to 8x10, that's for sure. I need to do two more , and then I want to manipulate some into black and whites to frame and hang in my 'black and white gallery' in the stairwell at home.

Ok friends, that's all for me tonight.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 11:44PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Fly-by/check-in/just wanted to say HOWDY, IDYLLS!! Every time I pop in, it amazes me that the people with the most beautiful flowers, kids and grandkids all ended up on the same message board together :)
Busy, busy times on the farm. Getting ready for spring planting and in the process of getting permits to build an addition on the house. We're currently waiting to take delivery on a new mattress. That will have to be hoisted up on the porch roof and taken in through the bedroom window. I'm already looking forward to bedtime, lol!
Have a great day, all...

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 11:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I know about BUSY on the farm...but I am SO jealous of the new mattress!!! So good to have you stop by. Stay longer next time Brenda.

Today is Debbie day. Hurray! Next time, in May, it will be Debbie & Sue day. This will make it easier for me to be in the garden over the summer I think.

Good Friday is Skyler's birthday and I wonder how that will transpire... We'll soon find out!

I hope you are doing well Julie!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 1:21PM
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Happy Patriot's Day! (April 19, 1775)

You're all so busy with interesting things.

I thought of Life Savers, too, when I looked at the necklace you made, Michelle! Here's hopin' the "finest health care in the world" can solve your health issues, Michelle. Sucks when you don't feel good and no one should feel that way one moment longer than they have to. Pretty raw and chilly here, too. There are glimpses of spring, but nothing I'd bet the house on just yet, thank you!

Brenda, you are going to love the new "playground". I got a very long look when I impetuously replaced our 25 yr. old set (I didn't get financial "clearance from the tower" first) but like "Bruce" (the GE Profile gas "range") it was embraced with enthusiasm. I chuckled at the the image of hauling it through a second storey window. We do what we have to do, don't we? You must be so excited about adding on to your home. If you have time share some details, if memory serves me you are going to add a garage, yes? You will love it!!

Welcome back to the world of work, Kathy. I enjoyed your thoughts on interviewing. I found interviewing people a good deal harder than being interviewed. But, as I said, interviews for me generally involve a stitch test and that's basically where "the rubber meets the road"; you either know the stuff or you don't. Fakin' it is pretty tough, lol.

Seems Mother Nature spreads her (dis)pleasure randomly but fairly. It's been very wet here, I think we're about 3" over "normal" in rainfall. Wish I could send some of it your way, Woody. More due in tomorrow, lots of it. I have to work anyway, so I don't much care... but I'd like the soil to drain a bit before we move the tree early next week.

Knowing as you do that I hate kids and dogs I probably shouldn't speculate on miscarriages, but that's never stopped me before. The loss of something so full of potential, hope, and dreams must be terribly hard to reconcile, esp. when the hormones have kicked in and are doing their thing to rally support, too. Loss is loss, and only time heals the hurt. But that doesn't help much in the immediate aftermath. Lesigh.

I had to chuckle about your rare day alone, Norma. The helpmeet is off for extended periods of time after Christmas and I couldn't wait for my "first" day off without him here... until it was time for our mid-day "dinner". ;) He has his own "club house", aka the Chord Room, The Hit Factory, or Studio 54. And I have the Salon... so if we need to "lose" each other we can.

Drema, you will persevere, of that I'm sure. I'm sure it's small consolation that you're "up against" a huge field but your manifest talents, zeal, and charm will win in the end. Lucky indeed will be the person that snaps you up.

I've primed another floorcloth and am heavily into the topcoating of the one for my brother. B O R I N G. But I can follow directions and be patient. :)

Yeah... what 'bug said about Julie... and who's that Mary person, anyway?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 7:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Grades are being tabulated for the term, taxes are organized and sent to our tax lady for completion, banking is being tended to for DH's trip to Uruguay. I'm hoping for great weather and lots of gardening while he is away. Canada's election takes place the day before he leaves. It is most depressing from my viewpoint.

Still to work on is the barn cleanup. We need to remove the leftovers that the Elora Festival failed to deal with last year. This includes metal scaffolding and a great deal of wood staging. The wood is spoken for, just not collected. I am tired of people who are slow to turn up for their jobs!

We have bits of snow on the ground, heavy winds, and thunderstorms expected tonight. I really want to get out there and clean up the vegetable area. In the meantime, against my usual policy, I am absorbed by John Vaillant's The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival..."a riveting portrait of a stark and mysterious region of the world and its people, with the natural history of nature’s most deadly predator." I have seen the famous film Dursue the Trapper, and that was good preparation for these more recent events.

PS: From February's birthday party

Here is a link that might be useful: Tiger

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 9:07PM
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Splendid family photo 'bug !

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 11:08PM
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Great family photo Bug. I bet Sarah will want a copy of that.

Chilly wet morning here, but I plan to dress warm and get out there anyway.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 9:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Norma, you are brave! I can't garden in this weather at all. Sadly the forecast is not good for the next while either. I hope that the rain and bitter cold will change next week. I can deal OK with overcast if I must, but soggy and frosty are hard on my old bones. So much to do!

Skyler's paragraph writing (on lying) is still in the works. His first attempt was a failure involving no effort. His mother has decided to have a birthday sleepover party at her place the night before. Personally I am happy to have him think of their home as a place of subdued activity. Sarah will make a birthday cake combining both Skyler and Ivy's birthdays. They will spend Easter at his uncle's farm and see the horses there.

Ivy has begun identifying birds. I'm very happy about that. Today I sent her 3 good books and a box of large beads to thread. (She's a bit young for jewelry making Yeona!) Leo received a few clothes and a toy last week, and Skyler got a paper back book, swimming trunks and a gift certificate to a worthy cause in his name. Phew, next are two June birthdays....

It is now time to begin the dishwasher. Our "smart" electricity hours begin at 9pm.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2011 at 9:14PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello my friends, finally I am back in the land of the living. I have been under the weather for a few weeks, and the weather here has been lousy :) first stomach flu, three days, then dreadful Spring cold, couple of weeks, and then, (I couldn't believe this) stomach flu AGAIN for four days. Yesterday I felt half human once again. Today TCS has the flu. Groan.

So I haven't posted, but boy! have I enjoyed the reading and looking! You are a great bunch! I am sorry to have missed the birthdays (So Happy Belated Wishes to you), the spring photos, Kathy's vacation (you are a wonderful photographer Kathy), Chelone's floor cloth, so much to see.

The title, Got Flowers. Nope. Had a few croci but the deer got 'em. A few Hepatica are showing their little heads in a pot on the deck, but they were a gift from a friend and had already started in her garden. But my garlic is up!

I do have stuff in the house: a double red hibiscus, and some late Amarylis that I found in the corner of the "golf lounge" *LOL* Tomatoes, peppers, rosemary, parsley; lemon basil,and lime basil are all thriving under lights. Oh and I do have a few African Violets and Orchids showing off right now.

Interesting discussion re: the merits of activities for kids. Our kids did lots of stuff and loved it, karate, skiing, music, swimming. One of them absolutely loved stay-over summer camp, the other hated it. TCS is participating in Cubs this year, but that's all. He will be attending a day camp for a week this summer, called Real Programming for Kids, a math-based computer course. He loves technology and is really keen on this. Other than that, because we are home and available, we set a theme for each week, like, Music week, go to some concerts,buy a few CD's, etc., Baking week, nuff said, Paper week, do some origami, visit a newpaper, make our own pulp and form a piece of paper, paper mache etc, Nature week, visit the museum of Natural History, Provincial park, perform our own observations etc. I have done this before with him and it is very successful, a different theme for each week but not set-in-stone activities. It is fun for us both.

Sad to hear of "female issues" of some of your relatives. Never having any problems in that department myself, I truly feel sad for those who do. A miscarriage is truly something to mourn.

And of our own internal fears: that is one problem with feeling ill enough to be in bed but well enough to stay awake: You have too much time to think. To be proud of your children's achievements, and to be appalled by some of their endeavours. To think on things like financial future, life changes, all that serious stuff. (I had this conversation with my sister last night. She will be eighty soon, and is just realizing that she can no longer do a lot of the things she thought she could do forever.). Also time to ponder the eternal question "Is this all there is?". And to decide that no, it is time to get off one's a$$ and make something happen for yourself. It is sometimes hard to find the time for such serious thinking, so perhaps that is a benefit of being down for a while.

Things seem to be so difficult on the job front. Especially if you don't have one and want one. And if you have one and hate it but need it, well, that isn't so rosy either. The one bright bit of news in that area is Saucy's tree and bug job. Sounds just great and I am happy for her that it seems to be going well.

Oh yes, if Deanne reads this, the new J.D.Robb novel Treachery in Death, is out and is an enjoyable read.

And I have to say I laughed out loud at Chelone's description of the Compound as Frontierland complete with the unshaved armpits and the Berks. You are a hoot, and you have a great way with words.

On this cheery note, I will sign off for today. I hope you all have an enjoyable Easter, a sure sign of Spring.



    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:52AM
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Happy Maundy Thursday! (on this day in the 16th. century the ruling monarch would wash the feet of the "scrofulous" in emulation of Christ washing the feet of the Apostles). Another fun fact to know and tell and a reminder that I have to get an Easter bunny for the helpmeet. (or maybe I'll just wash his feet, lol).

This is turning out to be the one of the worst weeks ever at work. I'm due, I guess. ;) Nothing has gone as it should; crappy directions/"plans" with predictable glitches and irritating "do overs" on stuff that should have been a cinch. And the spring crush is on, complete with a ton of work that could have/should have been done over the winter, but wasn't. Why? because there's always tomorrow, until "tomorrow" finally gets here. I can't wait until tomorrow is over.

So reading here and gazing at pictures is a welcome respite (even those wretched little kids). I have been wondering about the birthday bash, 'bug. I like the combined birthday cake idea, too. :) It's always good to keep things in proper perspective... it's not always "all about you".

Julie, wash your hands until you are about to wash the skin off them. Heaven knows you don't want to relapse. :) I will be pondering the "needed job you hate" thing as I put another coat of sealer on the floorcloth and another coat of primer on the next one I have started. Really pondering... pondering hard...

Windy and chilly today, but really quite a pretty day. Narcissus are opening, Chionodoxa are pretty, and the Peonies are starting to really poke out of the ground, in a race with the Iris to see who can get rolling faster. Does my shop-worn heart glad, I tellya!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 3:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Julie, glad you are back among the living. It is so hard to be "under the weather"...and hard too to catch up with things, no less care for others afterward.

Chelone, I love the image of washing John's feet. NOT what he is expecting. A bit like Skyler getting a joint birthday party.. In that regard, I think his Mom came up with a good solution, even though out of anger. Getting HER to "do" the party thing in spite of poverty is a good thing. She needs to recognize that money does not a celebration make.

I visited a nursery today and took in displays of pansies and very unusual primulas. There were also grasses, new varieties of rudbeckia, hostas, bleeding hearts and much more - none of which can deal with the outdoors yet. A retirement home van had brought wheelchair patients to have a look around too. I wonder how that will affect me when the time comes? One woman was buying artificial hydrangeas with great excitement. I escaped with a hepatica plant and yet another hellebore.

I am sorry to hear of your continued struggle with the awfice Chelone. I think the build up of offenses has reached its limit. Nothing you say or do will affect the approach taken by your boss. At the pearly gates you will not be saying "Oh, I wish I had stuck with it just one season longer". I think you will be rejoicing that you got to have the time to create your special work environment and create things for people who recognized your many talents and allowed you to shine.

I tell you, this Tiger book has me afraid to have the cats near my bed at night. I'm glad I can't know their thoughts very clearly.

Off to plan some dinner.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 4:12PM
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When the helpmeet was but a wee one he and his 2 brothers used to stay with Grosmama and Grospapa. He vividly recalls "weird German food" and having to "clean his plate" (torture) but he also recalls the orderly store of jars full of preserved fruit, vegetables, and the preserved eggs in the cellar. And perhaps the most loving memory of all... every night before they were put to bed Grosmama would wash their feet. Bathtime was not a daily occurence but clean feet meant that the bed linen remained cleaner longer. Can you imagine a gentler, more loving, relaxing routine than having your feet washed?! She may have been a stern (Lutheran) hausfrau, but she clearly knew how to run a home and how to get kids "settled down" before bedtime. :) Funnily enough, Mum was always big on taking good care of your feet. Foot baths and time taken to gently massage them was encouraged. I've never had a "professional" pedicure probably because I've always made the time to do that for myself! :)

My brother was the first person I recall saying to me (as we watched a cat "work" a prey item) that he was very glad housecats didn't weigh 100 lbs. (let alone 50!). I can imagine no more formidable opponent. It's why I love them so. Everything about them exudes an air of confidence and danger and being around them reminds me that it "ain't all about me". By the time I was 20 I learned that men who "don't like" cats are worthy of no more than common courtesy.

I don't have to plan dinner (just clean up after) but I have to get going on the next round of clearcoating (having finished the latest prime coat on the next canvas).

Work will be OK. I've been working in my trade for over 30 yrs. now. It's unlikely I'll forget everything I've learned in those years in the next few days. If the -hit hits the fan it may suck for a bit but, odds are, I'll land on my feet. This whole thing goes to the very heart of my ingrained fear of financial "security". Whatever that means! :)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 5:31PM
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Hi Julie, I hope you will stay well now.Being down and out is miserable. Your weekly plans for TCS sounds like a good way to get a variety of activites in. Easier way to think of things to do.

I had some errands to run today one of which was to have one of the paints adjusted for the barn door. When we finally got it put together it had a greenish cast to the color that just didn't set with me. So I hope the correction flys. This has been one of those projects that is taking forever. It does'nt help that Bob and I seem to butt heads on the way things are done. It doesn't help that we keep getting rain either. Or that the pollen is turning everything green. Thats one area where the rain helps to keep it washed down. Oi! It is what it is. Right?

Bug I went to the nursery today too. I wanted to use my reward coupon towards another hayrack and was hoping it would match the one I had close enough, but it didn't and I had to buy the second one. At least it was senior discount day too. It was way to chilly to get reved up about buying annuals so I enjoyed looking at them but didn't have much time. I did find a baptisa in the grow native plants that I have been wanting. Also a Tassel fern that is new to me.

Cats? Bob was reading in bed last night and Niki kept ducking under his book and licking his glasses. LOL. She has mostly been staying out at night to hunt and sleeping the day away indoors.

I made pork chop, mashed potatos and veggies for supper tonite. It hit the spot because we don't do many potatos anymore.

We are under storm and flash flood warnings for several days to come (we are safe from flash floods here) So I bet I don't get any painting done. Hopefully I will be able to pull weeds in between. Would like to move a couple of things too.
Don't think I'll be washing anybody's feet. I do good to wash my own. During garden season I have to soak them often to get them clean.

My back is really tired and achey tonite Ibuprofin does'nt even seem to be helping.

The storm is coming so I'm outa here. N

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 7:24PM
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There will be no washing of feet here :) I've never had a professional pedicure because it freaks me out to think of people touching my feet. And I don't want to touch anybody else's either. No plate cleaning either. That's leading a kid down the road to obesity IMO. And we do birthday parties up big time for the kids. Well not as big as people who hire ponies and petting zoos just for the record, lol. I love children's parties. I love making all the plans with my girls and then watching the kids enjoy. Guess I'm the rebel here today, huh? LOL. It's all good though. How boring would it be if we all did things the same way?

Julie, I'm borrowing some of your theme ideas if that's OK. We're planning something similar for the summer. So far we've planned a rainbow theme, zoo theme and backyard fun art camp. I'm hoping to get the kids all together for the day once a week throughout the summer to do this stuff. And by kids I mean all three of my kids and the grandkids. And then I'll work more indepth on each theme with Bella because she likes to stay here for a few days at a time. And Julie, I sure hope that's the end of the sickness for your household. That sounds like it was pretty rough. Hope TCS is feeling better too!

No nursery shopping here :( This has been the worst spring weatherwise that I remember in a long time. Really cold and wet here. Oh and windy! I'd love to be out in the garden but have plenty of other things to spend my time on until that day finally comes.

Chelone, so what's the new floorcloth going to look like? Will this one go in the salon?

Marie, I don't know how I missed the photos of Ivy's dresses When you posted them the first time but they are so cute! And the new photos you posted of her modelling them are great too. My mom used to make the majority of my girls dresses when they were small. I always loved all the special little details on the homemade outfits. Special buttons, matching hats and bloomers come to mind. As far as the kid's birthday celebrations go I think when it's done with love it's always special no matter if it's simple or fancy. I know Ivy and Skyler will both have wonderful birthdays! Oh and I wanted to mention that Leo looks to be just the sweetest little guy. He always looks so peaceful and content.

Kate's birthday was today. We had a big family celebration Sunday and she had a small party today with Bella and two of her little friends. Crafts, games, lunch and cupcakes. I had as much fun as the kids :) I'll put up a few photos on the Nana thread. Brad's off for the next three days. Bella's spending tomorrow night and we're taking her to a movie (Rio) on Saturday. No plans for Easter which I'm really happy about. It's been busier than usual at our house lately and I'm hoping for a day in the garden or if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate maybe just a day for doing nothing.

If I don't get back before I hope you all have a great holiday weekend and the Easter Bunny brings you something made of chocolate.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 8:29PM
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I've got flowers!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Norma! That is what spring should look my dreams!
I'm afraid the white in my garden is a cold and wet substance so far.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 9:38PM
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Oh Norma, your 'baHn' looks fantastic with the spring action around it !

No time for a full post tonite, but tomorrow is TGIF so I'll be Idylling--no plans for the weekend, which means all garden !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 11:39PM
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Norma, your garden is beautiful! And yes! You've definitely got flowers. And the barn fits right in. I need to move to your area. We barely have daffodils here. Thanks for sharing your flowers. I needed to see some spring blooms!

I'm up early so I'm going to try to post a few of the birthday party photos. The picture posting process is such a pain here on GW, wish it was as easy as on FB!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 6:48AM
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Thanks Gals. The dogwoods are fantastic this year after a poor showing last year.

I know Eden, thats why I have slacked off on pictures. I first have to resize them and they are a pain to get on picture trail then over here. I'm thinking about getting rid of my picture trail account and try something else.

Deanne if you are reading this do you have any tips on planting my hayracks? Do you line them with plastic or lanscaping cloth first? Drainage material or water absorbing crystals. Normal potting soil or a special mix? Yours are always so pretty.
Anyone else can chime in too.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 8:32AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Norma - those trees are beautiful! (The barn looks pretty good too! What will it be used for?)

OMG it's soooo cold out there! We spent the afternoon cleaning up the north half of the backyard and then planted 9 big pots of peas. It wasn't too bad under the shelter of the pines in the backyard but the wind is NE, which means it's coming down the (very cold) Lake and straight across the driveway to where we were working! 'Cooler by the lake' is brutal this spring :-( I hope the peas survive! We usually plant 5 pots but they're our favorite crop so we decided to expand the planting considerably.

The backyard clean-up this year is a PITA. The winter was quite windy and the neighbour behind us has a row of scruffy old spruces along the back fence. Our garden is now heavily littered with thousands of about 4" long pieces of spruce branches. Once they dry, spruce needles are VERY sharp. Misty has been avoiding a large part of the yard already so we needed to pick up all those bits of spruce before they dry and become deadly. So I spent several hours crawling around under trees and bushes - my knees are killing me! Randy raked up the spruce bits on the paths and what he could rake out from under the trees without damaging the emerging trilliums and other plants. What a mess! We still have to do the other side of the yard and the weather is not looking any better for the near future.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 5:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Like Woody, I've been out in the cold cleaning up. I got a dozen or so clematis weeded and pruned and raked up lots of mulch that was spread all over the place. It took me several hours and the wind just got worse as I worked. It's about 32F and I just came in and gave up. Likely to rain most of the weekend and next week too. BLARGH!

Edited a letter for the Ministry of Natural Resources for DH and now it is time for some hot tea by the wood stove.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 5:29PM
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Oh I was hoping for a few shots of your dogwoods, Norma! What a beautiful sight and your baHn really does look super. Bob ought to be well proud of himself.

Next floorcloth will be for the Salon, Eden. It will be square, too (92" square) and I tried a different technique, using warm water and a sponge to preshrink the canvas and then sewing a stitched mitred corner. In the past I've primed the canvas once and then folded the side hems and cut a mitred corner. I like the cut corners better, but I like using water instead of primer to shrink the canvas. Next time I'll further refine the technique. I'm still playing with ideas for its ornamentation, but I it will be colorful, not muted like the one for my brother.

It's really cold here, too. And wet. We've had a few glimpses of spring warmth, but they haven't lingered long. Oh well, it can't last forever but it will last through tomorrow. Cold, raw, and rainy... I will fire up the woodstove once more and keep busy in the Salon.

Cross your fingers that it blows outta here by Monday... we want to get the Picea "Omorika" moved and some other big work done, too.

I'm going to read when I finish this lastest prime coat.

Yeona's necklace reminds me of the beautiful Faberge eggs... I love cloissone (sp?).

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 6:59PM
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Woody, the barn will be used for the tractors and outdoor equipment. Storage mostly. I hope to have a stall finished in the back corner of the lean to. I've been keeping an eye out for the right horse. Not positive that will happen but am hoping it might.

We when out to eat and do a bit of shopping. Got back home in good time. Tornado warnings all around. They are touching down in St Louis now. I think the worst has gone by us now.

We tell Rebel we built him a large dog house.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 9:33PM
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Norma, just a thought for your consideration with respect to horses. A very dear friend of mine is very much into the whole 3 Day Eventing thing (not my cup of tea!) but she is also very involved in Thoroughbred racehorse rescue. You can buy young, very sound animals off the track for next to nothing. The old saying being: "the slow ones never ran fast enough to hurt themselves", lol.

There is also a marvelous book by a woman named Peggy Jett Pittenger called, "Reschooling the Thoroughbred", that has gone through several printings. It addresses the pros and cons of recycling horses from the track. My copy is from the early '70s, but what really struck me was her openness to see them reschooled for use in the "western" style of riding. The main point of the book being that the Thoroughbred is designed to gallop and they aren't the mental "fruitcakes"/"wack jobs" that so many people believe they are.

I like the notion of "Rebel's Doghouse". :)

Wow, big news about the tornadoes, huh. What a scarey thing.

(3rd. coat of primer on the underside of the new canvas, time to clean the pan and the brush)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 6:43AM
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Spring is really dragging it's feet getting here this year. I've got flowers but I believe they are frozen in time. The cool damp weather has kept them going much longer than some years. This weekend is supposed to be somewhat better. It sounds like we can have an egg hunt outdoors. We colored eggs last night. Why oh why did I let her pick a glitter egg kit? We also baked some pre-made Easter cookies.

So there hasn't been any gardening going on here this week.

Norma, your spring garden looks amazing!

We were able to spend a little time outdoors but sun wasn't shining and it was cool. We had family over this evening and my parents and with be with us tomorrow so it's a busy weekend.

Have a happy Easter


    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 11:55PM
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Spring is taking it's sweet time getting here too. We've gotten about one nice day every two weeks on average. Yesterday was one of the nice ones. It was sunny and warm but we've had mostly cold, rainy and windy. One gray day after another this spring. I've got about half my clean up done, working on the nice days mostly. I'm a fair weather gardener! Brad got the decks washed yesterday and put out a few chairs so now if we do have a nice day we have somewhere to sit. So much left to do though and I'm feeling very behind. Glad I don't have any deadlines this year.

Bella spent Friday night and helped in the garden yesterday. We stopped around 2pm and took her to a movie she was wanting to see, Rio. I also took her shopping on Friday evening. It was really the first time she gave an opinion on which clothes she liked or more importantly to her, didn't like. She's usually just fine with whatever I choose. It was fun watching her pick things out. We also stopped at the little girl's makeup area and she chose a little makeup bag, some lip glosses, mostly for their flavors (m&ms), nail polish and this is the funny one...a Hello Kitty eye lash curler. I've never curled my eye lashes in my life, lol.

It's just Brad and I today for Easter. We'll probably just grill something for dinner and work in the garden if the weather cooperates. Sounds perfect to me.

Happy Easter to you all! Hope you all have a nice one.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 6:11AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What great Easter photos with a visit of the Giant Bunny, Eden!

OUch, Julie - you've had a time of it too. I hope this is your last last illness for the year! And I'm sorry to hear of your sad news, Norma -- I hope your DGD finds comfort in her family and recovers without being overwhelmed by sadness.

It's been an odd-duck Spring here too -- seems like it only rains on the weekends so no gardening... then today it shot to 88 degrees... it was sunny but after the huge soaking of yesterday it was too wet to dig, and I could only stand cleanup for a couple hours - both Stella and I were panting by the end of them. And yet, the first Clematis are blooming - Asao is doing her thing, and my first alpina managed to make it thru the winter and is blooming as well (but of course I dont recall what it's called right now).

A late Spring of extremes it seems.

Such glorious dogwoods, Norma. And it's always cool to see the wonderful vignettes of Kathy's gardens. Can't wait to see what you do to punch 'em up from your Annie's haul. My 2 orders (Bluestone and Avant) are awaiting planting too (along w/ those hostas from last year); it seems I lost more clematis that had overwintered too -- critters chewed a few of them, and then the wet soggies got some others that were in pots.

There was no chance to check in this past week -- had to deal with car issues and ending up searching for a new car, what a pain... but over now. The awfice too was overwhelmingly awful -- it seems Chelone's and mine workplaces seem to have the same cycles? For myself, it's a matter of constant triage and trying to handle too many requests flung at me - have been assigned to 5 attys now, with backup to another 5.... it's becoming ridiculous. Not sure how I could improve an impossible workload, except I'm starting to just laugh at it all... it's just too ridiculous....

It was a lovely day here, I wish I'd taken some photos to share -- I think Spring has finally arrived -- high 80s again tomorrow, LOL. The pansies, ranunculus, and tulips are not too happy.

I love the pretty necklaces I've seen here - such talented folks, Yeona and Michelle, you are! And I'm thinking of our peeps lady Mary ....I wonder if she had any lime green peeps?

Okay, time to chill out. Stella and I are tired.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Just popping in to say Happy Easter. I caught what sunshine we had this morning and weeded some in the Goddess Garden and laid down a leftover bag of mulch from last year. I think it's going to look nice this year as some of the plants are getting some good size.

Work is nice, but it's keeping me too busy to Idyll. Last week I found what they call a pseudo site (a spot they make in a street tree to look like beetle damage as a sort of quality control measure) and got a 50 dollar bonus! Woo Hoo! I haven't decided how to spend it yet. Probably a plant ;)

I miss the dogwoods, Norma. Spring was always so pretty in TN.

Woody, I've been gardening and working through this weather, too. It is cold! I used handwarmers the other day.

Thinking of you all as I peer into the treetops!


    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 9:02PM
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Happy Easter to those that observe it, and happy spring to the rest of you ! I woke to light rain this morning, and pouted for a while; the sun came out this afternoon, and the rain turned out to be a positive event. The ground was getting really dry , and had also planted several things out yesterday. It rained just enough to water the new kids and soften the areas that still required weeding. I have to work next Saturday and on Sunday evening is DS's choir concert (Beethoven's 9th ) so I need to make a list for post -awfice this week ; this worked out really well for me last week -there was a sense of satisfaction as I crossed stuff of the list every day.

Norma, you should try Picassa-it's free and organizes your photos on your hard drive as well as making it easy to post into web albums. There are also some nice editing tools-i.e. cropping, contrast etc.Very very easy to use. And no advertising.

Lol Eden, that shot with the Easter bunny and Wally snoozing cracked me up- at his age I guess sleep precludes just about everything !

We miss you Saucy ! I hope you can settle into your schedule for s bit more Idyll time.

Cindy, at my awfice we have gone to about half of the staff we had in the 'good ole days' mostly clerical folks who did my grunt work. So , no one to do that stuff now except me. Sigh. So did you have to buy a new car ? I would have expected your particular model to last long enough to be driven to death. My DS still drives his late Dads Camry; it has well over 100k on it and looks like crap , but it still runs like a top. I'm planning for anew car in the next 1 to 2 years, already know what I want -don't care for car payments so I need to start putting money aside. I'll look into leasing too-have any of you done that ? Pros and Cons ?

Photos from today...

Roses are popping. Gruss an Auchen From Garden Spring 2011

Reinne des Violettes From Garden Spring 2011

Doobie-nap time under the Daylilies, From Garden Spring 2011

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 24, 2011 at 11:32PM
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It was a grand Easter here, complete with a charming assortment of chocolate treats. Warm, sunny (most of the day), and I finished the 2nd. coat of bleaching oil on the window boxes and corbels. Rain the next few day will probably postpone their installation until next week.

Awfice issues include a complete lack of control over things that would be a good fit for my organizational skills. But no... instead deadlines loom and then it's rush, rush, rush to finish what should have been done months ago. I have no patience for that crap.

Wrecks has gone AWOL this morning, vanished like a faht in the pre-dawn breeze. I would like to see him show up soon, even though I'm certain he will have snagged every available tick in the area. He generally heads out into the swamp behind the Compound but without knowing which direction he went I'm always edgey.

There will be landscaping today... moving the Picea and a few other chores. The ground is pretty wet but the talented young guy who pulled off the Great Drainage Caper seemed unconcerned as his access to the area is over reasonably well-drained ground.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 5:44AM
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The Happy Wanderer is back. He doesn't smell too bad, either. The ticks should be easier to find a few hours. ;) He is now coolling his jets on his string in the centre of the driveway circle. I hate dogs.

1st. coat of poly. on the underside of the floorcloth, brush and pail are cleaned and drying, and now it's time to put in some quality time on some cushions until the real fun begins later this morning.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 6:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Made breakfast, weeded, made lunch, voted early. Then the rains began so I started a new knitting project and a new book.
Took a break and photographed wet flowers.
Wood anemones

Daffodils by the creek

Iris reticulata


Mertensia soon...

New Primula

Double Hellebore

Single Hellebores

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 3:52PM
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Wow, many more flowers than there are on the Compound, 'bug. Lucky you!

I offer the following, more mundane day's toil:

Trussed as best we were able against the onslaught to come:

Removing the red pine stump:

Primordial Ooze, courtesy of an April with over 3" more rain that normal:

4 yds. of screened not so great loam with lots of sand and we decided it was time for Picea "Omorika" to take wing..

In its new home, planted 6-8" above the original level and on the firmer, drier side of the place where the stump was removed:

And, while it seems small in situ, the reality is that this is presently a 9-10' tree and one that can hit 60' if permitted to attain maturity. It's put on over 3' since it was planted in the fall of '07. It needed more "elbow room" and I believe we moved it just in time and I hope it responds well to the disruption. Siting trees properly can be hard because it's often difficult to access the proper site and it's often hard to believe that what you see will increase its size 5-6fold in the fullness of time. I will not see its mature size, but it's my hope that whoever ends up in here will appreciate that something so handsome was sited well relative to the buildings.

You can see the firewood we have to split and stack in the general area... always something to do here on the Compound, I tellyas. Also accomplished today:
1.) 4 smaller stumps removed
2.) pilings for the old arbor are now gone
3.) an overgrown bed in Vegetable World has been relieved of several huge clumps of overgrown, perennial vegetation
4.) a huge Miscanthus was removed from the border around Sanitary Ridge... without the miracle of hydraulics it would have required dynamite, methinks.
5.) "30 yr. pile" of compost was turned

I can now focus on the cushion job that is the present load on my shoulders! And the rainy, showery forecast is actually a blessing in leaden disguise.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 4:36PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What pretty Spring is happening - I must confess it is my very favorite season - everything is fresh and welcome and yet to succumb to pests, stress, etc.

Quite a feat, Chelone, re that picea and all the other heavy duty things going on. I could stand to have that excavator for a couple things, LOL..... We've had lots of rain here too... then followed by two days of upper 80s -- I finally planted a few things today (while at home waiting for service folks and a frustrating event re a roofer) and put a couple boxes over them because I fear for sunburn... it's an extreme spring... we are expecting rain every day this week and maybe slightly lower temps (of course when I'm back at awfice)....

Kathy - I did purchase a car -- I was very annoyed to have sunk a large chunk of cha-ching into the 2003 Camry in the last year, and it needed more now plus some catalytic converter issue and the 99K tune-up. With the issues relating to production issues in Japan it stepped up my search. I'd planned to buy something at the end of this year and had started thinking about what to buy last month right before the earthquake.... I think we're going to see issues re even American cars being produced this year (they have lots of imported parts and use the chips that were made in Japan in their computers) -- the deals on discounts, special financing, etc., were disappearing in a blink of an eye.... apparenlty it may even impact the used car trade too. I decided I just didnt want to put any more money into this car - it was cheaper to have a car payment, frankly. Dont know why I'm so hard on cars, but I seem to be. Re leasing, I think you have to be a consumer who puts on very little mileage each year or it's a big problem at the end re owing more, among other issues. I've never been a fan of leasing cars.... havent heard of too many folks who will admit they do and give good advice on it either, LOL. Gonna be eating some PBJ sandwiches I do believe, LOL, now, but I dont have to worry about any more car breakdowns, engine lights, etc., for a few years (I sincerley hope!).

Love your rose pics, Kathy! Reine des Violettes is such a stunner - sigh..... I'm seeing dieback again on the Zephrihine de drouhin - not sure what is going on, virus? it was putting out some healthy shoots and then suddenly 2 branches are dried out and dying off.... boo hiss...


geez - sorry about the typos but this GW is acting oddly too so I'm going to ignore and just post before I lose it... the home p.c. seems to be working on exploding too and is definitely challenged trying to interface with this GW site for some reason....

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 7:21PM
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Sunday was a perfect day. When we were leaving for church, Kenzie ran around the side of the house. When I asked where she was going she said she needed to feel the sunshine. We had an egg hunt in the garden and spent some time sitting on the patio while Kenzie was on the swing. This a.m. I wore my sunglasses on the way to work and on the way home the wipers were going. I guess I'll water the plants under lights this evening.

Rick came home one day last week with an Easter lily and another with an orchid. He really does spoil me.

Eden, it looks like all the kids liked the Easter bunny except Wally who looks like he was bored. Wow a Hello Kitty eyelash curler who would have thought?

'bug, you have more blooming that I do. The hellebores are full of buds but since I only have 2 varieties and I think "Ivory Prince" seems to be a later one. I don't even have daffodils yet either - soon though. I need to go look for the bloodroot that I planted last year.

I still have crocus, iris reticulata, scilla, pulsatilla and chionodoxa blooming. They seem to be hanging in there for a long time I guess due to the cool wet weather.

Its hard to believe that Kathy has roses already!

Chelone, what a project! The heavy equipment does make it a lot easier though.

Last Monday when I had the day off we removed the old basketball hoop and backboard from the west side of my garden shed. Behind it was a boarded over window. We replaced the window, which has brought tons of light into the shed. On that side of the shed is a large piece of cement with fencing all around. I really use it as a potting area and pot ghetto. We ended taking down the fence on the front side. Now I need to decide what to replace it with. Any thoughts? I have a couple of climbing roses and some clematis that grew there.

It looks to be an exhausting week at the awffice. The big project I've been working for months on will go into place on Wed. all fingers and toes are crossed that things will go as planned. On top of that a new employee started today that I'm training.



This is the fence that was removed.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 7:32PM
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Kathy when I see all your beautiful roses it makes me second guess getting rid of most of mine but too late now. I had the two Cindy mentioned,also Souvenir de la Malmaison, Fredinand Pichard, quite a few of David Austin's...but they were so much work and dangerous for the grandkids in my small garden. The only two I still have are Heritage and Eden. I sure do love looking at yours!

Marie, lots of pretty blooms on the farm. I noticed yesterday that my double bloodroot is blooming. I don't have the single. Wish I did.

Cindy, we keep putting off the car buying fun. Hate that job! I can't believe you're having such warm weather when it's been so below normal here. Don't know which is worse.

Chelone, lots going on there on the Compound. Looking good! We have a couple of those bigger jobs to do this year, replacing a privacy fence along one side of our property and some tree trimming. Brad can do the fence but we'll have to have someone come in for the trees. I always feel good when those big but no fun jobs are done. They're easy to put off but make such a difference once you've taken care of them.

Michelle, are you planning on putting up another fence or trellis or leaving it open? Curious why you decided to take that one down? It does look pretty with the climbers on it in your photo. Bet you won't miss the basketball hoop and having more light in your shed will be nice. So sweet of Rick to bring you plants. Brad does that too and I always think how lucky I am.

We had beautiful weather all weekend. Brad was off so we got lots done in the garden. He washed the decks and brought out the outdoor furniture, cleaned the pond and got the pump running and dug out one of three big lilacs we're getting rid of. I did a lot of organizing in my shed and Bella's outdoor toy cupboard. Also got another area of the garden cleaned up. Still quite a bit of that to go but it's getting done bit by bit. I also went through the extensive pot ghetto I had left over from last year. I lost a few lilies to rot but everything else looks like it came through. Surprising since much of it was in 4" pots that I had just grouped together out on the patio. Guess all that snow cover was a good thing. Looks like lots of rain here for the rest of the week so gardening is on hold again. I'd love to get some of the tropicals out but am hesitant with the crazy weather we've been having. I'm not trusting Mother Nature too much this year. Quiet week here with no child related activities planned until the weekend.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:47PM
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Would love to do a nice chatty post tonight, but it�s almost bedtime ..a few words and maybe a bit more tomorrow. I spent this evening putting up a new post on the blog and WALATing , and crossing another chore off the list

Eden, Reinne des Violettes is thornless but not sure what her hardiness zone is. She is the first to leaf out here, usually in February. I will say my children grew up in a garden with 50 plus roses from the time they were babies, and there was never a single issue with thorn wounds. Not with them anyway-I�m a different story, lol.

Pondering Michelle's new opportunity.

Waves to all,

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 11:59PM
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That's right, Kathy. I'd forgotten that one was thornless. I don't know, I could easily see one of the little toddlers grabbing or falling into one of the thorny ones. Lack of time to care for them when I had Bella here so much was also a consideration. If I had a large garden I'd definitely have a "rose garden" in it.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 8:46AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Morning, my Idyll friends!

So nice to see/hear all of the Spring news. For once we had a nice gardening day yesterday, and it was also one for which I had absolutely zero committments. Overcast, warm, humid, no kids or men (*LOL*)and a forecast of rain for the next five days meant that I was out in the garden all day. Most beds are cleaned up, lawn is raked, dog spots composted and seeded. Shed is still a mess, and it stinks too, as a bunny family decided to live under it all winter. Lawn furniture is clean and arranged and the wine deck is ready! Planted the peas (thought of Woody); checked all of the clems (thought of Marie), decided where to put the banana when I take it out, soon I hope, thought of Deanne and Saucy; shovel pruned a few shrubs (thought of Chelone), and wished something would hurry up and bloom (thought of the rest of you but especially Kathy). You folks were in my thoughts all day!

Our Easter was pleasant and low key. DD took TCS to her house for a night, DS worked right through the weekend, DH and I managed a great brunch in peace on Saturday. DD and TCS arrived here mid afternoon on Sunday, did the egg hunt and we were able to sit outside with a glass of wine while the turkey cooked. All in all, very good.

Back to the JulieJobs this week, but could use a DebbieDay *LOL*.

I wonder if it is too early for me to put in the beet and carrot seeds. Hmmmmm, might just have to don the boots and rain jacket and see.

I hope you all have a great day!



    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 9:37AM
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Wow Julie! You did all that in one day? It would take Brad and I together a week to get all of that done. Superwoman you are! You reminded me I need to feed my clems. Maybe later today if the rain lets up. That can be my JJ for the day.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:14AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

You've all been very busy/productive! Gardening here is frustratingly on hold again - now because of rain! In the past few days we've went from having a below average rainfall for April to being on the high side - and rain in the forecast for the next few days too.

The most productive thing I've done in the last couple of days is to finally finish a sweater I started for Randy 3-4 years ago! My tendonitis in my right arm got worse just as I started it, so I could only do about 4 rows a day. I'd get bored with it after awhile and put it aside for months at a time, then feel guilty and pick it up again, do a bit, get bored, put it aside.... But it's finally done and I probably won't do another one!

This picture doesn't show it well, but it turned out that it almost exactly matches the color we painted the kitchen a year or so ago! The sweater is cotton and there is a pattern of diamonds between rows of a knobbly sort of rib. The pattern doesn't show in the picture unfortunately. I found the pattern boring to knit, which was partly why it took so long to finish the sweater. I prefer patterns that incorporate multiple colors.

It's thundering Randy says, so I'd better shut down the computer now...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 11:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

As Woody indicated, it is rain, rain, rain and thunderstorms here. I went to Belgian Nursery this morning and picked up a clematis of all things! They just got in their order and have quite a few choices including Romantika...which really surprised me. I love that one with Huldine, which they also have! I won't be able to feed my clematis yet until the mud subsides. It takes a while to feed 200 of them....more than a quick Julie Job.

I picked up some seeds for peas and eggplant so may start those later on.

Woody, I like knitting solid colors these days now that my eyes are weaker, but need the design changes to keep up interest. Right now I'm doing an easy sweater for Leo with a two toned blue Aran yarn.

Spoke with DD last night and it seems they had a fine long weekend. They had a joint birthday party at DSIL's brother's ranch. DSIL made the dinner, they managed to both do snow mobiling and hiking in sunshine! Skyler received many small cheap gifts (more than Sarah would have wished) and Ivy was given a bubble machine which delighted her. Last night it was back to homework for Skyler with his wicked stepmom.

My thoughts are with Michelle concerning her Wednesday project start-off. Everything crossed here for success! Can't believe you have YAT! (yet another trainee)

The groundhogs are out of their holes all about here...and raccoons are in both the barn and the driving shed (garage). I'm sure hoping there is no conflict with Phoebe!!! I saw a tree FILLED with turkey vultures too. Never saw that before.

Later gators,

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 12:29PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Just a quick post, love all the flower pics and weather discussion... hasn't it been cold, wet, and cloudy this spring... I'm in the middle of a painting I have to teach this weekend so I've not had time to do anything except to water the indoor plants but I had to ask Bug, what exactly do you do or use to feed all those clematis???? Inquiring minds would love to know...

Waving hello to one and all... I'll post a pic of the new painting when finished, hopefully tomorrow.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 9:19PM
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A very Happy Birthday to Cynthia (cyn247) tomorrow! I'm just in from a long day of fun in the garden (no work today due to rain) followed by back to back appointments and then helping Jake make tapas for Spanish class tomorrow.

This Friday Sarah and I are going to NYC to meet Emma and do a little sight seeing. I'm jamming this week full to get it all done in time. I'm enjoying it all, though. I feel like my old self ;)

Thinking of you, friends!


    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 9:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne I confess to using whatever is on hand, be it tomato fertilizer, rose fertilizer or even a box called "clematis fertilizer". The trouble is that boxes left in the garage over the winter are not supposed to be good after a freeze they say, so I've taken to keeping everything indoors for the past few years. And then some years, I simply skip it and everything seems to do fine anyway.

This afternoon I planted zinnia, eggplant and foxglove seeds indoors. I'm hoping some of them grow! Later I'll sow seeds like blue flax and gomphrena directly in the garden. Mine are ordinary mid pink ones, but I sure like the deep purples and oranges and other colours offered by other countries.

Looking forward to your new painting Deanne!
Nighty night folks!

Here is a link that might be useful: gomphrena colours

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 9:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Saucy, you snuck in a post! Your week sounds ultra busy, but filled with fun things with your kids and travel too. Hope you have a grand time in spite of rain!

Tell me how you make tapas. I have no idea.
When do you begin working with bees again? My DD took a couple of night classes last week on raising chickens and bee keeping too. Not that she needs to be any busier!

Time to hit the sack,

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 10:02PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Don't feel bad, Eden - remember that I have a small urban lot, all of the gardens were planted by me with some foresight about maintenance, all of my gardens are brick-edged, I don't have any trees to speak of, although I live next to a park, and I did a huge clean up last fall. So I am kind of ahead of the game right away!

I left a ton of indoor work for today as it was supposed to be heavy rain and wind all day. Of course it is bright, warm and sunny out, the gardens are pretty good, the house is a mess. Lesigh. I have already had my morning WALAT and coffee, so I have no excuse to put off the laundry.

Wow, gorgeous sweater, Woody! I can't stand the feel of a ball of yarn, no idea why, so I have nver knit. Knitted. TCS however is wearing beautiful sweater that my late Mom made for DS, TCS's Dad. Does my heart good.....

Didn't plant my seeds yesterday so that will definitly happen today. I have some tomato fertiliser in the stinky shed so I will likely give all of the clems a boost. My tomato plants under the lights are blossoming....are they ever going to be surprised in May when they migrate to the raised beds. Lupins from seed will likely go out today too.

I had better move along if I am going to feel like I did what I was supposed to do today!



    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:51AM
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So rainy here....again. Didn't get the clematis fed (I use Espoma Tomato Tone) but I went out for a quick WALAT around 6pm and ended up cleaning up one area and weeding the back fenceline. Came back in around 8 feeling like I'd accomplished something. My only other accomplishment yesterday was baking brownies.

Marie, so Ivy is now two. And Skyler must be 12? I'm guessing. We love bubble machines too! My theme for the kids birthday presents this year is outdoor toys and bubbles are definitely a part of that category around here.

Bella and I planted some seeds a couple of weeks ago for our miniature vegetable garden: tomatoes, peppers, eggplant among others. They were doing great until the cat got into them. Hopefully there are enough survivors left for the garden. I'm hoping to introduce Kate to planting seeds in the next couple of weeks. We're going to do some easy, big seeds in milk jugs so they can germinate outdoors. She'll like filling the jugs will soil I know. Bella will show her how, lol.

Saucy, good to hear you sounding so happy. How exciting that Sarah and Emma will be meeting. New York seems like the perfect place for it too. Tapas is appetizers right? I've heard of Tapas bars, lol.

Plans for the weekend here include taking Bella to a Fairy Festival if the weather cooperates. We went last year and she loved it. Lots of fairy gardens to look at, fairy stories read, edible flowers in her lunch and a May pole dance that all the children participate in among other things.

In other news, I need to order a load of mulch. Not looking forward to that job.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:18AM
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Forgot to mention to Woody that I really like Randy's new sweater. I'm more a fan of solid colored sweaters and I really like what can see of the pattern too. Nice work!

Just read Julie's post too. Julie, there's no way I can make myself stay inside on a beautiful day no matter how messy the house is, well unless I'm expecting company that I need to clean for. Beautiful days in the garden are not to be wasted no matter what (in my opinion). :) And all the things you mentioned that make spring clean up easy for you go for me too. Well, except for a couple of trees. Hmmm...I guess I make extra work for myself with the pond and fountains, fairy gardens and shuffling everything around from plants to garden art. I get bored easily! I'm not complaining though, I love working in the gardens. Especially in the springtime!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 9:31AM
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I wanted to stop in for a second and tell you guys that I just got home from a window appt about 1/2 hour ago, and when I checked my email, there was a message from a local greenhouse with a tentative May schedule attached! This is strictly a very short term, seasonal job, but I am so excited!!! I didn't know this was coming. This morning I was lying in bed trying to think of what they call those Irish fortune tellers so I could set up a booth, LOL. I had really started thinking way outside the box. You would not believe how many resumes, etc I have sent out. Anyway, just wanted to share my news with you guys first! I'll get back to you later with details and comments on other posts.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 5:01PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Yay Drema!! Good for you!

Yes Eden, my house is still messy....Went out "just for a minute", saww a few weeds and grass where they should not have been, started tidying up, and I am sure you can tell where this is going....

Some critter is eating my crocii - just the green parts, it spits out the blossoms...ggggrrrrr.

I have almost nothing blooming yet; my pulsatilla is just starting to show, there are a few scilla, the hepatica has just unfurled and the pulmonaria is looking pretty. The hyacinths, daffs, greater fairy bells, trilliums are barely showing. Gee Whiz, it's nearly May. At this rate the weather will warm up really suddenly and everything will bloom and be gone in a day.

I hae put in my "order" for Mother's day: five bags of cedar mulch, three bags of stone dust, one clematis and an estimate for roofing the wine deck. I am pretty sure I can count on the first three.

My big adventure today consisted of canvassing my neighbourhood for the Cancer Society. The people here are relatively well off, are generous, and are happy to show you their homes and gardens. Actually a nice way to spend the evening.

OOOOH! Thunder and lightening!




    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:09PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I Love that sweater, Woody - the pattern is wonderful, and I can't believe you could pick it up and put it away like that; I'd forget all my habits re tension, etc... Really pretty.

Eden - I believe I put buying a car at the No. 1 item or close to as Most Hated Task - right above annual gyn appts and dentist visits. I'm just relieved at this point to have it over and feel I wasnt totally violated (as I have been in other car purchases, in my "salad days"). Just couldnt stand to cough up more repair moola for the old vehicle.

Drema - congrats! That's so fantastic - cant wait to hear the details.

Bringing up the clem fertilizer topic made me recall I meant to tell Kathy that Dr. Earth products have finally arrived in my area - I bought the one for roses - and tried it on a couple in the back but Stella was in love with it - I had to keep her out of the yard til we have some rains and the rest of the stuff back there is going au naturel this year -- I dont need any emergency vet visits, please.... I did pop some of the stuff on some in the front garden so I'll be interested to see how the done/versus nondone do this year.

We had a tornado warning in the area coming home tonite and the severe storms on their way for tomorrow - but hopefully that will then bring a weekend of 2 days of good weather -- yeeha - can't wait!! Hoping to just garden, garden this weekend.

Michelle - can't wait to see what you do around the shed - I bet that was so neat to discover the window and reopen it... are you planning to keep the roses and climbers in that area where the fence is gone? I guess you could do some tuteurs or some interesting open fence pattern that's artistic?

Okay - off to chill.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 8:13PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning one and all, well the new painting is finally finished. Woohoo! I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Today I've got to get the house cleaned up for my students this weekend, water all the plants upstairs and downstairs as I won't have time to do it until Monday, prep my teaching surface then I think I'll be ready. Lots to do. This work thing really gets in the way of my gardening.

So sad to hear about the dreadful weather down south. I don't recall a worse tornado year and Bug, you stay safe. We are supposed to get that line of thunderstorms later but aren't under any severe weather warnings yet. ~~~ Thanks for the info about feeding the clems. I think I'll give mine some Osmocote and see how it goes. I always give them a nice top dressing of compost every year as well. Did I mention my Piilu is putting out some nice growth on last year's canes so I'm hoping for some double flowers there.

Woody, LOVE that sweater, that's a beauty! RE my Vyv, there wasn't any top growth as the rodents chewed it off at the soil level but it appears I'm going to have a few double flowers on the new growth. Those buds are enormous!

Eden, I still have to mulch everything here as well and am not looking forward to the chore. I lost my garden helper and really miss her.

Chelone, what a huge job moving that tree! hope it transplants well for you.

Michelle, I so love your garden shed! you must be in heaven with the new window.

Kathy, Bug, Norma wonderful pics! There still isn't much going on here and now I'm dealing with a woodchuck so the brunnera have been 'pruned' just when they were about to bloom.

Cindy, congrats on the new car. My friend MJ just bought a used Rav4 and traded in her old one that had 292,000 miles on it!

Ok, lots to do today so much run. have a great day and weekend everyone


Oh yes, New painting, the fuchsia is 'Bicentennial' and the butterfly a Blue Pansy. I don't know what the name of the rose is though. I took the pics at NYBG a couple years ago and didn't get the tag.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 6:56AM
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Thats beautiful Deanne! Just a quick good morning. I've got to hustle because believe it or not the sun is shining after several days of rain.
I could'nt get connected last night to read or post.

More later I hope. Have a good day.

Yea! Drema.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 8:08AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Wonderful painting Deanne! I hope Vyv produces something very nice for you - please make sure you post a picture of it. It's amazing the difference in climate - my Vyv is still pretty much in winter mode. You can only see leaf buds if you look very closely. She's nowhere near showing flowerbuds here - flowering is a mid-late June affair.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:42AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne, I'm counting the dew drops in your latest painting...and reached four. I think that's all. (Rather like Where's Waldo!) Gorgeous colors!

Yesterday I opened a package of zinc plant markers and decided to write the clematis names on them for the arbor in the vegetable garden. I've always thought they look like a mouse cemetery, but frankly, it is hard to remember which plant is which every spring without consulting my computer list. I hope this helps. Does anyone else use these zinc markers? What do you use to write with?

The winds here are still remarkably strong and fierce. In Toronto trees were uprooted and they landed on cars. The creek here is muddy and high, but we are doing OK. I sure hope things calm down and allow me to garden some more tomorrow. Of course I'm thinking of Marian and Nolon and hope they are doing OK with the weather trials in that part of the country.

The bridge on our road has finally been completed. They created a small parking lot at the start of the bridge and we went there yesterday to take a look. It seems they have installed a platform for osprey to nest! I'm so pleased that someone thought of this. I hope the osprey find it soon! We have blue herons on our property already this year which is fun.

Time to start getting something done around here!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:52AM
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Greetings! It's been so long since I've written, but have thoroughly enjoyed staying caught up with Idyll goings-on -- plants, grandkids, everything is getting larger! Here at the Park we have weathered our fair share of effects from the economy but are holding on. Rich, despite several attempts via applying and networking and advertising, hasn't found anything that will bring dollars in, but it remains really nice to have a full-time house/lawn keeper! I give him credit for maintaining as great an attitude as one could have.

Quick Ky update: The Army didn't want him after all because he was too peaceful. [Imagine Martie doing back handsprings across the lawn when that news came in.] He's enrolled at UConn to start in September for a second Bachelor's, this one in Forestry. He and Lauren are officially cohabitating and for that I'm thrilled. She is a true gem and they are both taking things one step at a time individually and collectively. They both have decent jobs (graditude) and are looking forward to a happy future.

The Park has come into its own and it's hard to grasp that this will be our seventh summer here. Plants that were sticks with roots are mature; all of the plant moving to give elbow room and balance has paid off both plant-health and vision-wise. Diligent mulching and composting means neither is needed this Spring and my back and pocketbook are both grateful! A few of our local garden club ladies came to visit a week or so back and we're "being considered" to participate in a Tour to benefit Plant A Row for the Hungry. Mixed feelings about if I want a positive outcome for the decision!! :-)

Know that, especially at this time of year, I think fondly of all and wish I could commit to being more active with this amazing group. With hope, there will be freer time coming up and that will be a possibility.

Wishing I could send you all the jonquils that just really starting flaring out and the scent that comes with them.....


    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:52AM
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Drema, that is absolutely fabulous news!!! Who cares if it's only "very temporary"? the point is that you landed a garden centre job and I have no doubt that once they get to see you in action you'll be the "go to gal". Fabulous and I am certain you are thrilled. Way to go.

Martie, what a surprise to see you drop in. And a nice one, too. :) Better yet is that things at CoHnfield Park are really coming into their own. Isn't it exciting? I watch the progress in the Fertile Crescent and wonder if the plants will ever attain enough stature to block out the prying eyes of "from away" tourist eyes... . Thanks for reminding me that they will, in fact, grow. And wise are you to appreciate all the little "thises and thats" that the one "at home" contributes, it's so important. Nice to know that you guys work as a real team.

Deanne, your painting is lovely. I particularly like the detail in the shading and the way you've blended one color into its neighbor. How amny students in the upcoming class?

The sweater is really handsome, Woody. I like the simplicity of color with "only" the pattern to add dimension. Subtle and very, very elegant. Less is indeed, "more", at least to my eye. Mum was a very accomplished knitter, but that gene seems to have skipped a generation. Perhaps I will one day discover the wonder of "knatting noodles", Lord knows I have inherited enough of them! Right along with crochet hooks...

Wow! what an accomplished and diligent group we have here... always sets me back on my haunches and makes me marvel. Everyone pat their own back now, OK?

Nothing of great import to report from the Compound, I'm afraid. Same basic thing on a different day. But that's OK, too. Sometimes the "status quo" is just fine, know what I mean, jelly beans?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 1:36PM
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Well lookee there, Martie came out to play ! Glad to hear you trudge along despite the obstacles. Hopefully one day we'll get some photos of the maturing Park ..see, you don't have to hang around here for long before someone starts nagging for pics, lol. Out here on the left coast we are starting to see some modest activity in the building trades, it's the first time a few years since we have had numbers in my company that are up compared to last years -we're even happy with flat in some categories. Hope that light is shining at the end of the tunnel for you !

And hooray for Drema ! Even if only temporary, it will give you that all important 'experience' on the resume, and it's not unknown for temporary workers to morph into permanent staff.

Beautiful plate Deanne ! What can be better than fuchsias and roses ? I guess I should be grateful that snails are my only destructive pest issue. No woodchucks here or bunnies like Sue, or deer, etc, etc. Every morning when I leave for the awfice I take my arsenal to my new Dahlia bed-the snails are crazy about them, and I am determined to fend them off the new emerging foliage. So far so good., though I planted 3 tubers of Park Princess and I only see one coming up .

I dutifully started my after awfice chore for today , which involves dandelions, but the wind has come up fierce and drove me back inside. Usually the winds die down as the sun sinks , so maybe I'll get a few more weeds pulled a little later. Hate wind !

Bug, I use the zinc markers for my lilies, roses and daylilies. I got them from Gardeners Supply, and have used many different pens -really hard to find one that is fine enough and doesn't fade, I bought a marker from Gardeners Supply too, and though the ink holds up well, the tip is too broad. I've used both regular and utra-fine Sharpies but they fade and have to be re-done.

Cindy, we expanded our Dr Earth offering this year- I also use the rose and flower -but typically only on the roses, maybe a little sprinkle here and there. I still use MaxSea for the Clems, which was recommended to me by a grower in Sonoma County. That is one plant that really responds to being fertilized (along with Citrus) and I try to hit them at least twice a year.

Allrighty, must do some paperwork..waves !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 8:13PM
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Hi Martie,good to have an update from you except for the fact that Rich hasn't found work. I'm guessing your work is doing ok? Good to hear Ky is doing ok too.

So I hear Drema and Julie both have trees down (Julie's in the park) and Marion's Nolan is awaiting a heart bypass.
I sure hope the weather settles down soon for all of us.

Woody I meant to tell you that I like Randys sweater. It looks great on him. I bet you are happy to have that finished.

I dislike unfinished projects and I am the worst about it. Seems I always leave something undone.

Had to go into town to pick up meds this morning so I plant shopped. Got a few annuals and some starter perennials. Hoping for a planting day tomorrow.

Snails are bad here too with all the rain.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 8:42PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I was 'talking' to Marian last week (Norma's wonderful dogwood trees made me think of Marian's beautiful spring woods...) Nolon has been having serious heart problems. The reports of the latest storms down there prompted me to check in with Marian again to see if they were OK. This is the reply I got just now:

We are not OK, but it is not due to the weather. Nolon is scheduled for a heart bypass surgery this coming Monday....May 2nd. It is his only chance to survive the bad condition his heart is in. He is in the Springdale Arkansas Cardiology Hospital. I took him there yesterday, thinking he would get the 3rd stint that he needed. It turned out that he has to have the surgery instead. I am home now, but will return there Saturday. One of his sisters lives there, so she will be looking in on him while I am not there. I have been spending nights with her .
The storm damage in our area is to roads. Lots of wash-outs. We received at least 13 inches in 4-5 days at our place. Others got even more.

So send good thought Nolon and Marian's way!

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Years ago DD was a figure skater. One of her coaches was a wonderful wonderful woman named PJ Kwong. PJ was also a young Mom then, a dog trainer too.
This week PJ has been at the ISU Championships in Moscow covering the events for the CBC. (Canadian Broadcasting Co)
I am so lucky to have known amazing people over the years and PJ is certainly one of them. Verbal, witty, smart, talented, kind...the list goes on. A mother with cancer, a daughter in South Africa... she is also an author, a busy busy lady!
And so I have been celebrating Patrick Chan's astonishing skate success today, accompanied by PJ's voice. I could weep. This beautiful skater is only 20 years old!!! And PJ has been able to travel the world because of her energy and talent. WOW

Here is a link that might be useful: Patrick and PJ

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 9:48PM
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I saw Marians post on FB re: Nolon's procedure. I worry about her isolation. I hope her DS can/or will help.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 11:12PM
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I came in from the garden at 9:00 this evening. It was so nice finally! I cleaned up another garden, dug and replanted a "Karl Foerester" grass that was in too shady of spot, put up my sugar snap pea fence and a few other misc. tasks.

Eden, the picture I posted is from several years ago in the fall. It�s a little hard to see but the board fence that went about 3� up was deteriorated badly. A Fairy Festival sounds like fun.

I have no idea what to do and giggled at Cindy�s thought of something artistic. That isn�t me. I�d like to be able to keep the climbers there. So I�d best get thinking.

Martie, how wonderful to hear the news from your neck of the woods. Sorry to hear that the job market hasn�t improved.

Woody, our kitchens must be nearly the same color. When I saw the sweater I thought the same thing about him blending into my kitchen. Very impressive work.

Deanne, I love the painting, the detail is incredible. Neat how you paint specific plants. I thought of you the other day when I noticed my orchid throwing up a flower stalk. This will be the first since the initial blooms when Rick bought it for me.

Saucy, have a wonderful day with your girls.

Drema, great news about the job.

I hope that things go well for Nolon. Thinking of Marian too.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2011 at 11:50PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

So my semi shade garden is now a three quarters shade garden....the tree that fell not thirty feet away from my house was at least a hundred feet high. A seond one just as big was also uprooted but didn't fall over...not a safe situation in a green space most often used by dog walkers and kids....

There was a pretty upset squirrel when her home fell down. I know they are really rats with cute tails, but you gotta admire Mother Nature: that poor little thing ventured into the mess of branches and individually carried each of her tiny offspring to a safer place. The brats (Bostons) were really anxious to give her a hand, uh, paw, but I managed to keep them at bay. Great entertainment for a sick nine-year-old.

Worrisome news re:Nolan; this is a really tough one for Marion. At least it's not winter....

Beautiful plate Deanne. Seeing as the main part of my house is the same colour as Woody's kitchen, the plate would look fabu fabu here. If you decide you don't like, just send it on over *LOL*

TCS is still home so I am going to run off so he can play on the computer.

Cheers all!


    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 9:57AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Duh! My garden is now three quaters SUN, not shade.

The town may remove all of the big trees as they are looking pretty ratty. Then I will have a full sun garden.....



    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 11:59AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Greetings, all for Friday!

Glad to hear most escaped any damage other than tree and a change in atmosphere for cleaning up from the ferocious storms. A terrible mess and hard I know, but at least all are safe, unlike the awful destruction in Alabama.

How nice to see Martie check in -- glad to hear you're going okay -- Rich should come to my area for work - I can barely get repair folks to return my calls or show up for estimates -- the roofers are crazy busy and turn me away; the siding/window folks sneer if the job is too little... I guess this area has recovered more quickly than others for many folks, altho I do know of people who have yet to be rehired. Fingers crossed that good things happen to Rich soon.

Michelle - you are indeed a very creative person - the mosaic bowling bowl, handcrafted tuteurs and many other things (to say nothing of the amazing composition of your gardens) comes to mind -- I know you'll come up with something country and maybe branches twisted together in some configuration that will look delightful for a trellis/wall.

The 80s temps we had blew most of my tulips away this week, but the other bulbs I potted up this year are coming on now -- camassia, allium and other things I never got into the ground. I hope to do that after their bloom.

A quicky photo -- all the rains have made things jump out of the ground - the clems have tripled in size in a week. Amazing. ('bug - i use the zinc markers but have had Kathy's experience of the Sharpies fading, but they hold up for a few years at lest).

Isla had her first waterbabies class last nite and reports are taht she loved it - I hope she'll be a little mermaid.

Would you believe Miss Stella will be the Big One Year tomorrow -- some Flossie chewies are in order for the event (if I make to the store tonite).

Happy Friday all and hoping for a Great Garden Work weekend.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 1:54PM
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Looking good Cindy. Are those the Cassimas in the pot?
Hope you get some good garden time this weekend.

Julie, Now that the sun has come out I see that one of my shade beds is going to have afternoon sun because of the trees we had to remove to build the barn. I just planted a big hosta there last year and I'm sure I will have to move it now. I guess you will just have to plant more daylillies now that you have more sun. Trying to enable you here. LOL Hope TCS feels better soon.

Michelle I put a link to a trellis someone made on the vines forum. I think it's pretty neat.

I planted my hayracks on the barn today. I'm still not sure exactly how much sun they will get so It will be interesting to see how they do. Probably take me a couple of years to figure out what works.

Here is a link that might be useful: trellis

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 7:08PM
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Thanks for the link Norma. That is cool! I think I have an idea but we will see if it works.

Rick wants me to ride with him to the home improvement store but he sure is putzing around. The sun just came out and I'm thinking I might have to stay home if he doesn't get it in gear. The only thing is that I want to check out the fencing options.

Julie, what a scare. I'm glad you and your house are ok.

Thanks Cindy for the compliments. Love the camassia in the container. Everything is looking so pretty in your garden. Happy Birthday to Stella!


    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 12:19PM
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Happy birthday to Stella. Give her a kick for me, willya? I love that Isla is now in a "swimming" class. I am a huge proponent of "drown proofing" and that begins at an early age, which is not to say that it's any guarantee. Kids love the water and they're so curious about it, the sooner they're introduced the better, IMO. We know too well how lethal the combination of curiosity and a moment's innocent inattention can be. LE SIGH.

Lol, Norma... I live in the land of unfinished "projects". And it drives me nuts, too. It always seems to be a "time thing", doesn't it? We start something on days off but by the time the next round of "days off" rolls around something more pressing presents itself and the first things is on indefinite "hold". But when you finally dot that "i" or cross that "t" is sure feels great. You'll get there. Kick Rebel for me, willya"

I slept through the creaking and crashing involved with the last ice storm when we lost several really big branches, and half a huge maple tree. We cut, split, and stacked it promptly, and we burned it this past winter! But having something so huge come down so near one's home is a very sobering thought. So is the threat of wildfires that find nothing but fuel on the ground around too many homes... . Good to learn your home was spared, Julie! I am always blow away (SORRY) by the footage of tornado damage; I can't even feature that sort of thing. I can imagine nothing so terrifying, frankly. So devastating and so fast.

I miss Marian's voice. I've e-mailed her and hope her addy is the same as it was. I, too, worry about her isolation, but know that she is a crafty and resourceful woman and that will serve her well in her present circumstance. Which is not to say that the need for familial assistance is foregone! HANG TOUGH, MARIAN!

I survey the Fertile Crescent daily and never seem to have the time to get out there and work on it. I have several "full sun" candidates to relocate, but I'm still facing the relocation of a few major shrubs and that has left me paralyzed by indecision. Lol, the story of my life, you guys. ;)

I had "help":


    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 3:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Chelone, those are for you, but where are they going? Glad you found time for work for yourself!

I too love camassia! Mine are up but far from bloom time. Today was a gorgeous sunny day with temperatures around the 60F mark. There was frost though in the morning and perhaps again tonight. Hard to believe we had spring peepers last week!

This afternoon DH helped remove some plant caging and installed more water barrels. While I did laundry and grocery shopping, he flitzed around researching his old Fender guitar. After lunch I weeded the asparagus bed which took a couple of hours. The bones are creaking now.

Last weekend DD got to visit a straw bale house. The friends there have 6 solar panels to heat their new home and greenhouse. (Remember, this is Alberta and COLD!) They have a music room, heated floors, a wood stove too. They have goats, both miking and meat varieties. One day they will probably have one of these homes too. They are very keen and DD has taken several courses on the subject already.

Progress has been made on a quilt for Skyler, but with being back at work, out of town on business and so on, things slowed down a bit.

Received email from DS from Uruguay. Pretty exciting. DH is undecided about which suitcase to pack still...

My pink zinnias are up...and it has only been a couple of days since i planted the seeds! I'm amazed. Keeping them alive is what is hardest though. Drema, when do you begin at 'Plant World'? Beware of spending all your income there!

Time to contemplate dinner and prepare it.

Happy weekend to all,

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 5:32PM
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The deck.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 5:41PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Just time for a quick post here -- It was a beautiful day here -- chilly start and windy but it warmed up to be quite workable. Stella celebrated by eating mulch and dirt and generally being a furry vole while I weeded and managed to plant a few things. Tired but satisfied we both are....

Westerplatte is blooming - some nice blooms this year. Asao is working too but not as bright as last year - I think I had to cut most of it back earlier becuase it was under the crepe myrtle that was down over it for most of the winter....

Westplatte - such a rich, dark red -- darker than this..


    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 6:41PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We had a fairly productive day in the garden yesterday. The major clean-up is done now in all areas - just a few small pruning chores to do and a few bricks in the brick edging in front have sunk and need to be reset.

It looks like all the clematis that we planted for the swag chains have survived and are thriving. However, I think I need to add more for the iron tuteur. Vyvyan Pennell looks like at least some of the stems that started climbing last year survived, so I'm hopeful that the show might be a little taller this year! The President on the lattice at the back of the front porch lift was very drought stressed last year and wilted for the first time ever. It looks like much of the top growth may have died back. I do see some new stems at the base so I'll wait a few more weeks before starting to cut it down.

Cindy - I love that red clematis! We're still quite a ways off from having any bloom here :-(

Chelone - kitty looks comfy there... :-)

gb - the straw bale house sounds neat - did she get pictures of it?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 11:59AM
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The trip to the home improvement store took all day! It�s a 45 minute drive. The purpose for the trip was to pick up the new roofing materials for our house. We also picked up some fencing materials and plants too. The fence will be 4 x 4 posts with finials on the top and then just wire fencing between since I really don�t need privacy, I just want division and a place to grow vines. We also purchased some white lattice that we will add to the top of the board fencing that surrounds the other 2 sides of this cement area. There I do need to screen some more farm related utilitarian areas. We will see when and if this gets accomplished this year since the farming season is getting off to a late start.

I found some plants for $2.99 each. Usually at places like that I can�t find anything I don�t have but I was able to find a variegated coreopsis, coreopsis �Cr�me Brule", and anemone "Pamina" I also picked up several ground covers.

Cindy, amazing that you have clematis blooming already. Love the color of it.

It was horribly windy yesterday and again today. The sun is shining but I really do hate wind.

I think I need to find a few more clematis this year. I�ve moved a few plants around already and still need to move a fairly large miscanthus "Morning Light"

Enjoy your day!


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 2:38PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Hi to all of you. I feel as if I've been gone so long, I half expected to see pictures of Ivy at her high school prom! Glad that is not the case. Oh, 'bug, I love to watch Patrick skate. I also skated until I was about 16 and then went back to ice dancing as an adult. What I love about Patrick is that he is the whole package-not just a jumper, but his footwork is wonderful and his spins are good, too. He is, to my mind, one of the greats.

Cindy, your gardens are beautiful. Your clematis is way beyond mine. I only have buds at this point. Doesn't seem fair since we are so close to each other! Happy birthday to Stella. Want to see pics of her celebrating and of Isla in the water. Babies do love that class and they are so cute the first time they go under the water. I laugh every time I think of doing that with John.

Norma, your dogwoods are just lovely. We lost three since last summer. I am exceedingly envious and appreciative of your wonders.

Chelone, the Picea looks great. Really, if you are worried about all your unfinished projects, just drop down here for a visit. I have tons of "not even started" projects. I think having in-progress ones would be grand. I suspect I am just plain lazy.

Sending good thoughts Nolon and Marian's way. Hope the surgery went smoothly. I am always amazed these days at how routine so many of these operations have become. Hope that was the case for Nolon and that recovery is quick.

Julie, won't you have fun redesigning your garden now with sun-loving plants. Much as I hate them in my bird feeders, I am glad the mama squirrel was able to rescue her babies.

Martie, happy news about Ky and Lauren. Hope something breaks for Rich. Job hunting is not easy these days, is it?

Drema, congratulations on the job! So nice to "hear" your excitement!

Michelle, Kenzie is such a cutie. I understand her wanting to feel the sunshine-love that!

Deanne, that is one absolutely beautiful plate. What immense talent you have-and in so many different areas! Impressive! Those dew-drops on the rose are incredible and the colors-wow.

Eden, cute Easter pictures with THE bunny. :)

Saucy, thanks for the birthday wishes. I hope your weekend in NYC with Sarah and Emma was full of laughter and fun!

Kathy, I always love your garden pictures (the roses are fabulous), whether your own or the ones you visit, but now I want to see your b-w stairwell gallery. I bet it is marvelous.

Yeona, that necklace is so pretty and I'll bet she loved that it referenced the eggs she gave you.

Love the one you made for your mom, too, Michelle.

Woody, I hope your weather improved from last weekend and week. It will be more fun once the clean-up is behind you. I suspect, though, that Randy probably enjoyed the fact that you were stuck inside and got the sweater finished. It is fantastic! All you talented folks put me to shame. I never learned more than a basic stitch because my mother, who was a wonderful knitter, was never inclined to teach us. Oh well.

Hope I caught up with everyone, but I am sure to have inadvertently missed someone, so if I did, I will catch you next time for sure.

Around here, we have a huge oak that is leaning suddenly and Chuck is, I think, going to leave it until it falls on the house. He wants to just have someone cut two big limbs to see if that helps. Egad. All I have to say is that it had better not hit me when it topples and crushes the cars, the kitchen, the living room, dining room and my pretty little magnolia that is near it. Not to mention all the stuff in the house that will need to be replaced. Aaarrrgghhh.

I will be back sooner than later this time, I think. We have our state tests this month and I have finished collecting the evidence for six of my kiddoes who are doing portfolios for their reading assessment rather than taking the multiple choice test. I have five students doing math portfolios that are due in two weeks, so we will be busy finishing those up. It just takes so much time. Oh well. All the rest are taking the tests.

Wishing everyone a week of contentment at the very least and perhaps joy and laughter here and there. Time to finish laundry and start getting ready for the week.

Oh- and I am setting a goal-when I realized that the Queen is only 26 years older than I, I decided that it is now or never to try to get back into shape a little (I am currently 35 pounds over my nine month pregnancy weight-not a pretty sight), so I am sharing with all of you-perhaps that will force me to get back to being more active!!! :)

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 5:57PM
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Hi Everyone!

I love all the beautiful pictures you are posting. Chelone, what a cheerful place to work you have there, and isn't it nice to have company too? I can just picture you humming along while you sew.

Cindy, your garden looks very lush! Nice pictures.

Cyn, hope your tree doesn't fall. It is so hard to know what to do in a situation like that. Good to see you back!

Michelle, hope your new project at work and your orientation for the new employee went well for you!

Bug, I haven't looked at your link to the hay bale houses yet, but I saw a documentary once about them. It is very interesting to see how well they work. I'll take a look at your link when I finish posting.

Woody, glad you are getting warm enough weather to be able to get out there and do something. It is a good feeling, isn't it?

Hope all is well with Nolon. Prayers going out to them.

Julie, sorry to hear about your tree, but glad you guys were able to get it cleaned up quickly. The insurance company told us they will contact us by Thursday, and for us not to do anything until they see the damage.

It has been a week here. I won't bore with too many details, but we had half a willow tree fall down here. It smashed the pond, and basically trashed my border, but I am so thankful that it was in the middle of the night and not during a family get together. We had 69MPH winds, and I was home alone. Skip and Sean out of town, I heard a huge crash, and thought something fell in the house. Anyway, I was so distracted the next day, I hit the gas instead of the brake and ran over a curb, killed a birch tree and impaled my car on two support poles at Sam's Club. Too much on my mind these days. I'm just thankful I didn't hit another car with people in it.

I start work on Wednesday. Will let you know how it goes. This week I'm working Wed, Fri, and Sunday. I asked about clothes, and she said wear something I don't mind getting dirty and wet. And I can bring extra shoes. Sooo looks like I will be playing in the dirt. Not sure what my duties are, but I hope I like it.

Today was Nina's 3rd Birthday party. We got her a globe like Charlie's because she likes his so much. He can name practically every continent, and knows where Ohio is. And N, S, E, and West. I could go on and on, LOL. But anything more would be bragging :).

Let's all hope for gentle weather and smooth seas this week.

Take care,

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 7:42PM
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Thought you might be interested:

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 7:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Drema, so sorry! Willow doesn't even burn nicely....
As to the car accident, when I get upset and nervous and have too much in my life...I can't drive. I know that and figure out an alternative.

Cyn, I agree that Patrick seems to be one of the greats. I so love his style (as compared to Elvis) and his footwork. He is light in his movements and can produce a quad without that painful-to-watch buildup. But good grief, did you need to tell me about "currently 35 pounds over my nine month pregnancy weight"? I actually took out pencil and paper and computed that I am exactly that. Oyyyyy

Cindy, your clematis time is so far ahead of mine. Even Woody's is earlier than mine. I'm still at the "did it survive the winter" stage. I expect them all to make it, every time...and so the disappointment is hard.

We had our Gravel Watch meeting this morning and so DH had to pay me back by passing by a nursery on the way home. The prices seem extraordinarily high this year. I picked up a grass and a saxifrage and I won't even tell you the cost...except OUT OF SIGHT!

It is wet wet wet here and tomorrow will be Debbie & Sue day. I'll be thinking of Nolon and Marian throughout the day. I expect the best, as I have known others to go through similar procedures. That doesn't make it any easier for them though. HUGS!

I hope Saucy's trip was super!
PS: Skyler's quilt, still in the making.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 8:27PM
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It was a great trip, GB. Central Park was especially beautiful on this trip ;)

I've got to hit the hay so that I make it to work tomorrow! 'Night all...


    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 9:08PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Ha! Getting the tree cleaned up? Nope. What a mess. Lots of visitors to my garden though,as everybody within walking distance had to come to get a first hand look at the carnage. My biggest concern though is the other hundred +foot one that was uprooted but didn't fall down. With wet weather for the next three days, the ground will get softer and softer and that tree is going to pull right out, it is already tilted dangerously. Called the town office and they came and put that yellow crime scene type of tape around it, big deal. The tree that is lying down is a mecca for kids. I guess that is a hidden bonus: five or six of them played outside on it all day yesterday. Only three fell off *LOL*

I mowed the lawns for the first time yesterday, and overseeded the back. Fed all of the clems a scoop of tomato food. Emptied the composter and fed every other growing thing in the gardens. Planted the lupins a friend grew from seed. Moved the huge Mandevilla out to the wine deck and dragged the geraniums out and back in again. One lonely Iris reticulata is in bloom, the bloodroot is doing its thing, and finally the hyacinths are open. Looks like nearly everything survived the winter, all of the clems and the Virginia Creeper and the Honeysuckle on the spite fence look great. Every Hemerocallis made it too, so that area should look nicer this year. Finally going to plant the veggie seeds and the Cannas this week. Whew! It will "just" be maintenance from now on! DH's work included tuning the mower, fixing the waterbarrels, working on the hose reel and hoses,tightening up the legs of the deck table, and talking me into selling our wooden adirondacks and getting something else. The scraping and repainting every year is getting too tedious.

Fuzzy headed today, so its an all about me post. Cheers to you all and Happy May!


    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 9:05AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

DH ran out on an errand, so I am taking the opportunity to check in again. My, two days in a row. Maybe I am actually going to be more regular in my attendance now that Spring is here-trala, it's May!

drema, the tree picture is awful! The reality is bound to be worse. I HATE losing trees. I have, however, found a new way to look at things if ours crushes the house. I have plans for quite a renovation! HA.

'bug, love the quilt colors. Oh and I misspoke (miswrote?). I am 35 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. Sorry. 10 pounds over the nine-month figure. Being short, though, it shows. It is frustrating that our metbolisms seem to change so much. Oh well. Glad the weather is nice now-walking the dogs may help a little.

Saucy, so glad the trip was fun. That is a beautiful picture.

Time for dinner. Raising a glass of lemonade to you all. ;)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 7:00PM
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Hello friends, only one day off last week so I’ve been scrambling to try and keep chores done, ana Sunday evening DS concert choir finished off my leisure. After awfice will be catch up time this week.

Cyn, glad to see you back !

Scary pictures from Dremas world, I’ve only had one tree go over here, and it was a Crepe Myrtle, nothing near the size or girth of that willow. Drema, I worked in garden center 3 days last week�"hard work ! I thought nothing of it back in my early 30’s- and thank goodness I’m used to working outside for 5 or 6 hours at a stretch, which improves the stamina quite a bit.

Love the quilt so far ‘bug, really nice colors.

Here’s a pic from tonight, a Clem whose tag is gone , and has to struggle up from beneath the Sweet Woodruff. Why did I ever plant that damn stuff ???

Thinking of Marian and Nolon . From Garden Spring 2011

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 10:45PM
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This is shaping up to be another bogus work week. But it's to be expected after a lovely weekend; never fails that every Tom, Dick, and Harry wanders in with all manner of needs as soon as the weather becomes more springlike. Right on time, just like the Spring Peepers. :)

I agree, lovely to see lemonade slingin' Cyn. resurface. May the little urchins in your class pass every exam with flying colors and show you to be the true light we know you to be. ;) I need to rein in the caloric excesses myself; thinking that putting Wrecks on his string and heading out on a forced march would do both of some good. I was interested in the comments on figure skating... I am so, so tired of all the emphasis placed on jumps, too! I love to see careful footwork, spins that don't "travel" too much and are tight and fast, and graceful interpretation of the music. I long for the return of school figures, or at the very least the addition of another tier of skaters, more mature and practiced in the finer art of the sport. I loved Toller Cranston, Paul Wylie, and John Currie.

Drema, I'm sad to see your lovely sitting area and garden smashed beneath the willow. You must've wanted to cry. I say you definitely need to incinerate that sucker for collapsing on it! Willows retain moisture a long time (like red maple and red oak) and the secret to a good burn is to give it plenty of time to season. Figure 2 yrs.; it's what we figure for the maple and oak. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow... brown baggin' it?

As usual, I'm way behind on the garden clean up stuff, but we have trimmed up and whacked back some very overgrown areas. And! we're still married. We have to bring the bird feeder in at night as the raccoons have made their thieving presence known and we see no need to encourage them further. I caught a faint whiff of the "black and white kitty" while out for the pre-prandial pee with the hugest of dogs. I clipped on the least, JIC. His great interest in the activity on the South Lawn tells me they're hustling grubs, worms out there. The virgin mow looms, Julie!

I, too, am thinking of Marian and Nolon.

And birthday parties and fun trips to NYC. Kids toppling off "attractive nuisances". And nurseries (haven't been to one yet). All of you lead such interesting lives!

I have given up trying to square up the latest floor cloth by myself. It is so much easier with two people and chalk line. I am so "over" crawling around on the floor to accomplish work unless it's to paint a floor! I will recruit his nibs as soon as he arises from his nap.

The three window boxes for the south window of the Salon were put up on Sunday morning. They look super and I can't wait to plant them. I am toying with idea of using Thunbergia as a trailing plant; anyone had experience with it? Awning hardware installation has been postponed until next week, which is fine because I don't have the awnings even cut out yet. But things are coming together nicely.

Also, some exciting leads on work that will require some creativity and not just the automaton response. I actually had to turn some down because I couldn't meet a tight deadline. And am thinking seriously of turning down the prom dress alteration I was asked about. I'm not sure I'm in the right "head mode" to fuss with one, frankly!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 5:23PM
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Sounds like busy times at the compound Chelone. Good going keeping Wrecks from the smelly ones. Rebel uncovered one of his possum stashes to take a dip in. The Nerd! At least it wasn't in one of my spaces.

Cyn you are busy getting the kiddos ready for testing. I hope the leaning tree stays that way and doesn't fall.

Bug I enjoyed seeing the straw bale house. I have watched them being constructed on tv. I wonder if they can even be built here. Planning and zoning is strict in this county.

Woody I hope your clematis do well for the swag. I am about to yank all mine. They were growing beautifully and some starting to bloom and now the majority of them have wilt. It's just so exasperating.

Kathy, do you often work outside at the garden center or were you just filling in for someone?
Pretty Clematis.

It was so chilly here yesterday I resorted to cleaning the pig sty and doing laundry. Still not so great today so I did paperwork and grocery store. Now I hope tomorrow is decent so I can get back at it outside. Frost warnings for tonight so I covered the hayrack planters and moved the purchased plants waiting to be planted into the barn.
I semi had a handle on the weeds for all of about two minutes. The second batch is emerging at lightening speed.
I need to ignore them and get some things divided and moved before it's to late.
Pollen here has my head feeling stuffy. I've been avoiding the allergy pills because they make me sleepy.

Julie I can see those kids playing on the downed tree. That would be right up my alley as a kid too. Better than a swing set.

Not much news here. Think I'll play my guitar for awhile.

Hey to all. Norma

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 8:50PM
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