#373 SALATing, waiting for inSPRINGation

cheloneApril 11, 2008

OK, it's lame. Get over it. And get on with it. OK?!

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chloehoover(z6b VA)

SALAT reminds me of the yoga exercise "The Sun Salutation" -- I think they're both similar activities -- energizing yet calming at the same time -- I managed to squeak in 30 mins tonite instead of more errands -- both Chloe & I enjoy SALATing immensely.

Cynthia, I have to say the sewing machine foot story sounded much too much like it would be something I did....and I might have even called and been asking a customer service person what the heck was wrong w/ the new thing.... You are a devoted mommy; I dont think I could get inspired enough to pull out the sewing machine - not sure it even works any more....

We've got t-storms here tonite; Chloe is huddling and barking; waiting to lunge under the bed - Im a little surprised myself; somehow I thought rain was tomorrow - well, what do those weathermen know???

It was over 80 here today!!!!!! but the cold front is coming thru.....well, I dont have to worry about watering the newly arrived plants.

Ok, time to sign off; the boomers are a bit too close and fierce...


    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 10:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well we had a great Friday evening with Dougs two sisters and their spouses for take-out Chinese and ÂbeveragesÂ. A good time was had by all. Busy, busy week here and my old body is complaining at me for the 30 hours or so of hard physical labor I put in outside. Denise, BenGay is right! I LOL this Am thinking about it as I really could have used it. I had a soak in the hot tub instead and that worked a treat.

Here are some of the results of the weekÂs work. The back yard is almost completely cleaned up. I only have a few areas to finish. Here are the Sundial and Terrace gardens bare of anything. It looks so strange to see this so devoid of flowering plants. These two garden areas are 95% perennials and in four weeks or so will be amazingly filled in compared to right now.

This is a look from the top of the hill looking back down toward the pond where I took the previous pic.

The west side of the back yard showing the shed and shade garden next to it.

The east end of the terraces showing my Rosa Rugosa standard on the left (this is now about 20 years old. I trained it from a cutting from a friend) and my trumpet vine (still needs spring pruning) on the fence on the right. This was a plant from my GrandmotherÂs garden so we call the plant "Simone". (My GMs first name)

A few flowers

Denise, I really loved the photo of the Peacock. What magnificent birds! IÂd love to get my hands on another 20 or so of their tail feathers. I have a beautiful vase in my living room with Peacock feathers and it really could use some more to add to the effect.

Chelone, this was taken a while back when I worked for a farm in Candia NH. (Yes, that is me driving this team with the antique fire engine. What a kick. I didnÂt drive it in the Fourth of July parade though, my boss did) This was their parade team of black Percherons. I loved working with these magnificent horses.

Cynthia. I lol over the presserfoot snafu. Love the fabrics for KatieÂs coats. CanÂt wait to see them modeled.

Michelle, I do hope you plan to keep that weather with the ÂSÂ word involved in your neck of the woods. IÂve loved the last couple days of nicer weather. ~~ IÂm afraid that the rodent damage is going to be worse than I thought. There is a whole section of that garden that is just missing.

Bug, the hellebores are gorgeous, do you know the varietal names of those plants? ~~ Glad the knee is OK.

Cindy, great find on that jasminum! Looking forward to pics of the new acquisition. ~~ I agree that the "Sun Saluation" is as energizing as a good round of SALATING. I need to start taking yoga classes again.

Kathy, after 5 and 81! IÂm so jealous!

OK, IÂm yawning and up way past my bedtime. Have a good Friday evening all.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 11:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Funny how Chelone's talk of Percherons brought to mind Deanne's photo and then there it was! Neat!

Phoebe told me clearly that she urgently needed to SALAT this morning at 6AM. She wasn't being completely honest, but we've had our morning tour, even though she didn't do her part. "Later mom..." We saw two blue herons fly overhead and land in an old apple tree very close by. The quiet early morn is a wonderful time indeed. Now I'm awake and need to clean some more around the homestead before friends arrive to view the new monster pup this afternoon.

News from out west was in photos today. YES!

Why is it that boys seem to have the beautiful eyelashes? I think I'll make us waffles for breakfast too. It seems that Skyler is trying so hard to keep his hands away from Reed's new toy!

Our first rain barrel is full and we expect plenty more rain in the next few days. Our immediate area has flood warnings today. In the meantime this is their outlook: "70 percent chance of wet flurries tonight..." Last night Phoebe jumped when she heard her first thunder. It was close too and very surprising to me as well! They are saying that come Tuesday, nice weather begins again. I hope they are right this time!

May your weekend be pleasant and restful so that you are recharged for what's to come.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 7:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, you are right. Shortly after Sarah's family moved to the house that had an old hot tub, the "ex" bought a hot tub for their place. So the dog idea is partly an attempt at "keeping up" with Skyler's Dad. It is such a poorly thought out plan though. No experience with pets, no patience for pets, no time for pets, no tolerance of shedding, no money for vet...

She harps and harps on distances, but in reality truly wants to live in their neighborhood where she and Skyler have friends. It is impossible now because she took the mortgage money and invested it, then lost it, so the bank essentially owns her house now. Must be depressing. Just last year she was bragging to DSIL about how she was going to be earning way more than him. Hmmm It's really quite sad.

DH has said no pancakes this morning. He's still full from dinner last night! That makes things easier for me!

We found all the dimensions of the house and barn in a filing cabinet last night, so that helps things for insurance purposes. Next, income taxes, due at month's end. Never a dull moment. I wonder if the US tax guys will challenge Mom's taxes again this year? I can hardly wait to find out....;)

Happy Saturday!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:20AM
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Just SALATed and then decided it's too wet for moving plants today. The baby rabbits munching on the Quince feel the same way and learned a lesson as they made a mad dash for the woods upon seeing "the human" and landed in a puddle.

Must say that while peacocks are beautiful, they also have a most annoying screech. Bohemian friends of my parents had them when I was growing up and the sound actually scared me who was afraid of not much.

Rich is trying to be good but can't. "Light lifting" to him means cellar windows instead of standard-sized windows. NO!!!!!! The doctor gave him firm warnings yesterday, again. I told him I wasn't going to take care of him anymore. I hope he gets it.

Pansies on list of things to do today. Crocus and daffs and Iris reticulata are blooming. Most seed-starts from last year are back -- the lavs, campanula, creeping thyme .... Wonderful!!

Since the planned day is gonzo, food shopping is on the docket.

Great Lowe's score!! Better investment than a psychiatrist sometimes :-)


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:56AM
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It's pretty gloomy here today, too, 'bug. We've had a couple of real downpours and there was mention of thunderstorms on the weather this morning. Not too cold, though. I was outdoors with Rex at about 6 this morning... he's been really naughty lately, and yesterday's cat chow caper seems to have put his bowels into overdrive. Daddy was out with him at 2:30 this morning. :)

Anyway, I noted with satisfaction several clumps of Narcissus that are shooting up out of the ground, seemingly by the minute. My yard looks nothing like Deanne's. :( Even in the gloom of a rainy early morning it was cheerful.

I have a day of filling nailholes, sanding, vacuuming the dust and more pickling ahead of me. Getting started is proving to be the tough part today.

I am also debating going to a local fencing company to do some basic fact finding. I really have no idea about options and prices.

OK, I have to get moving on my appointed tasks.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:57AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! Well despite the gloomy weather forecast for today, the sun is currently out and the skies are clearing. Some decent weekend weather would be nice.

OK, since I started writing this over 40 minutes ago I got a call from someone who wants to turn a 14 week old puppy into rescue so I've got to go get that dog. During that call my vet also called with the results from Zoe's unrinalysis. Zoe tested positive for Lyme this week and unfortunately she's spilling some protein in her urine which means she has some kidney issue going on. So now they want to do bloodwork. I told them we would have her down there by 10.

Anyway, I had good intentions but have been sidetracked for the time being. Hope to be back later.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:11AM
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Chelone, When I do big jobs, I use a web service called ServiceMagic.com. You explain in general what you're looking for and screened qualified contractors will contact you via email or phone, your choice. Then you schedule appts for the ones you're interested in to come out and measure. When I did my first round of fencing I got 3 well known fence companies that way. Takes about an hour each and they measure and go over options, leave informative brochures and most carry sections of different quality fencing in their trucks or cars. They leave you with a detailed quote, or mail it to you a few days later. Then you can negotiate and schedule. It's a great way to get competitive pricing, and learn at the same time.

Lovely to see Deanne's garden beautifully weeded and mulched!

I still have a ton of weeding and garden raking to do here. Maybe two gardens cleaned up so far. Most everything is up though. This year is THE year for magnolias. I have never seen these trees so full of blooms, and not just in my yard, everywhere. Daffodils are pretty much gone by after a solid month of blooms. The late daffs are getting ready to display now. Hellebores are starting to go to seed but still stunning, and I'm hoping the H.foetidus will still be in bloom when the camassia blooms. The lake-y blue with the citron-y green would be sweet together.

Katie's draft coat is almost done. I've been using Monty for fittings as it's hard for Katie to stand up. But her body shape is deformed so I need her for the final fitting which is just to place the velcro on the belly strap in the right places. She had a tough week. I really needed her to see neuro vet and all they had open was same day as her therapy, so I took day off and scheduled it on Thursday. That meant I worked into the wee hours Wednedsay night. Neuro decided there might be something totally unrelated going on with her right leg and he called the ortho guy who is married to Katie's PT vet and Asked him if he could take a peak when Katie was in for her therapy later in the day. Katie was not in good shape when we got to PT. They did x-rays of knees and hips and the ortho guy said her bones are PERFECT! So this is referred pain. The term they used was 'root signature pain.' Basically confirmed this is still neurological. I was a little worried about something like osteo in that leg, so am happy (in a strange way) that this is all the same problem. Then she had her therapy and they assistant fed her peanut butter on a bully stick through out. I gave her tramadol when we got home and she went to bed. She's deteriorating and wheelchair-cart is 3 weeks backlogged. Apparantly AP picked up a local story on Eddie's Wheels and they had a surge of orders just when I sent in Katie's measurements. Darn.

Meanwhile, George the very old CRF and hyperthyroid cat is having trouble keeping food down and spending the day in the bathroom on the cool floor. He seemed a little perkier this morning. I had to force his meds, but he didn't throw them up and kept down some stinky Jack Mackaral (not something I enjoy smelling in the morning, but needed him to try to eat.)

Did you infect Zoe Sue? Can't remember if you actually had Lyme or if it was erlichiosis or babesiosis. Hope she's better soon!

We've had 4 greys returned for aggression this month. Most are just stupid owner handling issues of these mouthy dogs. I may make clothes for my dogs, but I do know they're dogs, and I take Katie's play muzzle to the vet every single time to make sure nothing happens.

That's it from Animal Planet for today. I suppose some housework is in order here........It's 67F already, and yesterday was TOO hot.

Later - Cynthia

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm up to date now on stupid people...those returning a 14 week old pup. (That's Phoebe's age!) Then there are all the scheduling issues that wear us out.(Rex and Katie) But spring must be the time to get these furry ones back in good shape!

Off to the dump with Phoebe to get her treat for the day.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 10:25AM
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Well, I went to go snap a shot of my nifty light set up in the pantry and found my camera battery dead. A quick look produces no charger....ahh, life.

My brugs must've spent the night in a cold warehouse, but they've kept most of their leaves and seem to be happy to be potted up and under lights. Deanne's goodies actually look happy! I was sure they'd sulk when they found out who they'd be staying with (indoor plant killer!).

Time to start seeds, me thinks.

I had so much fun making a myspace page last night. My TN friends have one and we all sat up sharing pictures of our youth laughing at our big hair. I am thankful for the big hair phase in my life, for it has brought me many good belly laughs! Don't go looking for my page because I made it VERY private :)

Katie-kins will be pretty in pink. Lucky lady. I too would've wondered about the new sewing foot. If I wait any longer it will be 30 years since I've sewn a stitch....I'm always wanting to make curtains and pillow shams!

I too see the sun! I see some SALATing in my day.

I'll check in a little later. I need to get moving this morning. Chelone, if you're lucky, I'll grace you with my yak story :) though it's not as exciting as yours!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 11:35AM
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In from the first round, I've done 2 big awning windows and the small one on the staircase. I'm ready to begin pickling some of the woodwork surrounding the staircase now.

What town in Maine are your bees coming from, Saucy? And what is your "starter pack" (Queen, drones,?)? It's pretty exciting.

And thanks for the hot tip on the fencing thing, Cynthia, that's a great idea! I have some ideas and there are some difficulties, too (drainage).

Lots of pet things going on now, huh? Poor Wrecks is so bored right now. He's too lame to really get out and exercise and understandably he's doing things to amuse himself he hasn't done since his first week here. Our feline units eat Jack Mackerel, too. Not an odor I love first thing in the morning, either.

I suspect I'd be mouthy too if my skin was as thin as peachskin... they're just being protective. At least your rescue should have no trouble placing a 14 week old puppy, Sue. Schnauzer?

OK, I've done the dishes, mixed up new pickling stain, cleaned the brushes and I have get back to work. Later!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 12:13PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all...

I've kind of got the 'groggies' this morning, but will attempt to post a lucid post....:-)

The weather is VERY windy, but the sun has been out all morning. It is chilly out too ( 40s). I am dreading the next few days. It is predicted to get down into the lower 20s Sunday and Monday mornings. I don't know how adverse that will be on the new leaves and blooms. I don't know if I could take another damaging freeze like last year! It got down to 18F that time.

I eased my way out yesterday, through the gullies and rocks. It is pretty rough going at the head of our drive.
I don't think I told you all that when I went out to my car I found the battery dead. I had left the lights on when Nolon and I got home Wednesday. I immediately called my Doc's office, and was rescheduled for 12 noon. Nolon put the charger on and I was ready to go around 9:30.

I was given an EKG, and had chest xrays. I haven't got the report yet, but I doubt if there is anything wrong. I HAVE been having an unusual pain down my left arm and into my hand. Rather concerned about that. It started when I was about 2 miles from home yesterday. Pain meds, are controlling it.
She (my dr.) prescribed an antibiotic for my apparent sinus infection. She approved of my meds management. I bought an ear wax cleaning kit at her suggestion. My right ear needs cleaned. I haven't done it yet. Was given my monthly B12 shot. The nurse asked if I was still taking the Garlic for my high cholestrol....I wasn't ( I'd ran out of them so I bought more). I take them to help deter ticks and chiggers also. The nurse said her dad does too.

Chelone...interesting title...:-) It is dry enough to SALAT now, but too windy....gusts up to 40 mph! More twigs coming down in the places that I raked already!:-(

Speaking of sewing machines.....One of the young mothers in our congregation was so happy that she had found one at a yard sale, and bought. I told her I wish I'd known that she wanted one. Mine is a 1969 model, but worked fine ( except fot tangled bobbins) when I retired it. It has been sitting under my vanity for years! I would have gladly given it to her.

Deanne, I would love to have my yard and beds as neat as yours. It won't be long 'til yours are filled with beauty.
I remember that pic of you driving the antique fire engune.Neat.

Peacocks: I used to see a free roaming one in Harrison. They sure are noisy dudes!

Marie, great pics of a happy babe and his DB. I haven't made waffles in YEARS ! Your tales about the former wife sound so very similar as Tim's ex.....it is amazing!

Chelone, I was behind a Maine pickup as I was leaving town yesterday. That is a rare occurance here. Naturally I thought of you.

'Dinner' time...TTYAL


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 12:26PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pics of my latest indoor blooms:


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 1:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We all know someone who is aging, or maybe it is even ourselves getting older. But this YouTube brought a smile to my face.

Here's some background:

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 2:19PM
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I saw them on TV and the guy who reviews movies on NPR gave a very good review to the documentary about them. Remaining vital and interestED in things throughout your life is the key to vibrancy, I think.

Marian, every time I see your "inside" plants I wonder why I don't have any houseplants! Just lovely. We have one remaining trumpet on the Easter Lily and it's about to "go by". It's nearly time to put the forced "Tete a Tete" narcissus out, too.

I think we've "squoze out" a better than forecasted day! Too wet to rake, but it's reasonably warm and not raining. A good day to SALAT. I was going to throw in the rag and be done with the pickling for the day, but I may just get the second coat on the windows now that I'm fortified with a late lunch (that will ruin dinner). Maybe not... ;)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 2:56PM
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Marian, your "groggies" are my "daffies," as in I've been daffier than usual lately. I drove off to that peacock job in a completely opposite direction, realized what I was doing, and just couldn't formulate a plan to alter course. Kinda dream-like state. Snapped to finally and managed to arrive on time. And yes, lots of residents of the free-range peacock neighborhood wish the birds would go away. Very noisy indeed.

PM's photo is of the hawk that nested in Paula Zahn's bldg in Manhattan whose nest she and her bldg board had destroyed because the bird's presence made the tenants "nervous." I'm pretty sure I'm not making this up, but too lazy to Google. PM, I saw your post on your border. How about planting in bays anchored by shrubs rather than lining up shrubs in back and delphs in front? Weave in and out around bays. You can also cut back ("stool") the smoke trees too. Medium size subshrubs like perovskia and caryopteris are useful. The spaces around plants are the most fun to sculpt, I find, (but usually end up packin' everything in anyway.) Your 90 feet sounds luxurious. Monique does wonderful stuff with shrubs. Maybe someone has saved some of her photos. Christopher Lloyd wrote a nice piece on looking at a friend's border, ignoring the struggling stuff and helpfully noting that there was a smoke tree and a santolina thriving and to build around these. Any happy plant is always a good starting point, and your golden ninebark looks very happy. These photos of the Bellevue perennial border are small but you can reference shapes and sizes.

The new rock border shows to great effect and looks FF, Deanne, and what a cleanup job. And no, the photo of you putting that team of horses through their paces doesn't surprise me at all, lol, just learning to expect anything from you. Maybe Deanne in a spacesuit is next, repairing the Mir space station...

My sewing machine is Italian, ciao! a Necchi, but missing a few pieces. I've still got a seersucker playsuit half finished for a 2 yr-old Duncan. Can't the cart/wheels people understand that Katie needs her wheels now?

I think a case could be argued that bees are worked entirely too hard anyway, trucked hither and yon, so if they get a taste of the spa life with Saucy maybe a new uber healthy bee will be on the horizon soon. The glimpse of the nighttime reading habits of Saucy & Nick was a complete hoot.

Some days are just plain weird, and yesterday certainly qualified. Four people attended by phone conference and none of us "high-tech" types could figure out how to telephonically accomplish this. Definitely needed Michelle as trouble shooter. Doesn't help when pertinent info is not shared and the "moderator" of the phone conference does half the job then bows out. Finally got all the dial-in codes sorted out and proceeded without further hitch, except for the usual stuff, like the phone folks not identifying who the heck they are before they speak and keeping their mouth right on the receiver, sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher, mffma mffma. Then everyone looks at me to decode the mffma, mffma, as though my ears are made of something other than flesh, cartilage, bone, stirrups, hammers, etc., just like theirs. Mffma, mffma back at ya. I've had a lot of medical malpractice stuff lately, so I get 3-plus proteinuria at work and then protein spilling on the idylls too. Hope the pup's OK, Sue.

Love your indoor bloomers Marian! Sounds a bit impertinent. This guy opened yesterday, Jurassic Park, supposed to be a rebloomer:

'bug, that video reminds me of the older couple at a "silk road" fusion music concert during March trip to San Francisco who just could not sit down but had to mimic the belly dancer's every move even though audience participation was not part of the program ;) Kinda sweet but noticed lots of sour looks from the younger people in the crowd. Their what-the-hell-I'm-old! day will come, no two ways about it...

In the 90s today, windy. Many plants not digging it at all...must rig shade pronto!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 4:00PM
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I have found that SALATing can be further refined into SADBLAT. That would be Standing Around Drinking Beer Looking At Things.

82 out and too sunny to snap a pic of the Queen of Violettes which has popped open a few flowers. Ill see what I can do when the sun gets lower this evening

Back later..

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 4:36PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

OK, I've got Louie the puppy currently crated with his dinner. Nick and Zoe are circling like the vultures they are hoping a piece of kibble jumps through the crate bars. It's the most interest Zoe has shown in him all day...lol. Louie is a real cutie. The couple who surrendered him bought him from a breeder (and I use that term loosely) last week. They decided it wasn't a good move with both working full time, called the breeder and she refused to take him back. Backyard breeders make me crazy. Reputable breeders have clauses in their purchase contracts stating that they will take one of their puppies back at any time in it's life. Not an issue for me, rescue will have no problem placing him. In fact I've already contacted someone from our waiting list and am waiting for a rturn call.

Somehow I managed to screw up my right leg last week. It feels like a shin splint when I walk but the soft tissue around my ankle is sore to touch. I've been taking ibuprofen religiously but it's still painful and I'm walking with a pronounced limp. On Monday I'll call the doctor. It must be some sort of stress injury-happened while I was out on one of my hour and a half walks. I ignored it the first day tried to walk through it the second day. Bad move I guess.

Despite the distractions, I was able to fill one trash barrel with garden waste from the front garden and get tickets for a local "Taste of" event in town tonight. Tom took Zoe for her bloodwork. I still plan to stretch, do Pilates and shower before my friend comes to pick me up at 6:30. Louie seems to have fallen asleep in his crate without eating. Time to sneak upstairs and work out.

Enjoy your night.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 4:37PM
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Katie SALATs:

And here's a better view of her new sundress:

It looks crooked across the front here (it isn't really!) but I love her expression in this one.

And left side view:

Here's the magnolia they were standing under :)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:00PM
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It looks TERRIFIC, Cynthia! the lace is just too funny. How about you change her name to Molly? in honor of Molly Ringwald and her terrific movie, "Pretty in Pink". You HAVE to post a shot of her in her sunsuit under the Magnolia... PLEASE?!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:04PM
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Katie's lookin' fine as she SALATs. Who knew brindle and pink went so well together?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:12PM
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I can't get that far away. She can stand in one place a few minutes, but if I start to move she wobbles and I have to be right there to keep her from falling :( Did you notice the pocket? I figure I could put a linen poop bag in there. Dannie had it on this morning after I finished it and wanted to see how it looked without disturbing Katie. The lace pocket is the same width as the tummy band and on the opposite side of the fastener to 'balance' things. Any design tips or ideas, Chelone, will be well-taken. Now that I have the process down and have made most of the mistakes, these should take about 30 minutes to put together.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:18PM
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I "get" the reason why you can't do the shoot in front of the Magnolia, and am sorry for it. :(

I missed the pocket completely, lol. But what a great thought. That's great. It looks to me as though this is an "over the head" garment, yes? There appears to be no provision for a front closure, am I right? and why is there no closure of some sort under the rib cage and behind the front legs? (looks to me as though there ought to be something there to keep the protective rib cage "flaps" from flapping too much). Your last picture makes it look as though the sunsuit could double as a funerary shroud...


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:28PM
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Cynthia-what does she carry in her pocket? IS that a side pocket? How about a lace hankie: ) Nice job!
I'm amazed that your mag is so in bloom! My star mag has just one bud that is emerging the others are tightly closed-it's only 41 here. It was 72 yesterday.

Thanks for your garden/flower pics Deanne-I can't tell you how happy I feel to see something blooming even if it's not mine lol. Doesn't it seem like a miracle that our yards go from grey stark nothingness to vibrant life & color in just weeks? I hope everyone has a great growing season this year.

Well,I need to move along. Must tend to Chris-he has cellulitis of the face(his lower lip is twice its normal size-no I didn't punch him)....at first I wasn't concerned but the Dr. has him on two antibiotics-one for that resistant bacteria-I guess there's concern he could have a flesh eating bacterial thingy-he's supposed to contact them immediately if this spreads to other areas of his face. He doesn't even know how he could have gotten this-no cuts or wounds he's aware of. Isn't that freaky?....this will bring me bad karma to say,but it's getting me out of our weekly MIL visit-ssh!

Hi to ALL the idylls!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:36PM
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Right, no front closure, over the head and over the back, then the 'band' you see in the picture where Katie is nibbling grass (pic #4) is what keeps the sides from flapping :) It's 6 inches wide and two 5" x 1.5" strips of velcro are on the coat (an inch apart) and two strips on the flap keep it secure, plus with the double strips I can fasten it tighter or looser as her shape changes. The velcro is pink.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:43PM
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Probably her medical ID card, Babs..

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:48PM
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Lol Chelone. I was thinking it could be a donation pocket.
Told the neuro vet that she needs a general contractor.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 5:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Woosh! Twenty seven posts..chatty Saturday, how fun!

Chelone...I like your tydll. :-)

Cynthia...enjoyed your sewing machine story and I agree with Cindy, sounds like something that would happen at our house. What a devoted PetParent you are! Those fabrics are just so girly girly, but what I like the best are all the piping and trim. Haven't dragged the sewing machine out in a long time either. Here you are getting a machine, making your own patterns and having a finished result in hand a day later? You are amazing. :-) Katie looks so adorable in her new sundress, any plans for a sunbonnet to go with it? [g] Your mature magnolia tree is a sight to see! Lucky you!

Cindy....I have almost stopped listening to weather forecasts. We had no rain yesterday when it was supposed to, but it did arrive last night, then it was supposed to rain all day today but after a wet morning it cleared up and was sunny until 4pm, then we had a sudden 15 degree drop in temperature, thunder, lightening and an hour of downpour. Yesterday they forecast Sunday sunshine, Monday through Thursday as cloudy and rainy. Today they are forecasting cloudy tomorrow and sunny the rest of the days..Brother, lol. I tried to time moving shrubs to the forecast, guess that is a waste of time. I was scrambling around late this morning trying to find something to shade a 6ft juniper that was just moved. Ended up having to use a step ladder and an old piece of plywood.

Deanne...I've taken two showers already for the sore muscles and I barely did anything yesterday. A hot tub sounds lovely. Your gardens look all ready to go. Do birds nest in the birdhouse on the post? I just love the form of 'Simone'. It adds such architectural interest. Look forward to seeing it in bloom.

Percherons, someone in our family raised two of them. I think they were the dappled gray. Huge animals that immediately elicit deep respect for their power and gentleness together when standing next to one. Someone trusted you, to allow you to drive their team!

Gardenbug...Glad to see Skylar and Reed are looking very happy together. When you have time could you tell me about your rain barrels?

Martie...how disappointing you had to put off your moving party. Next weekend, I hope.

Rabbits...none here yet, but saw our first groundhog yesterday. Darn.

Sorry to hear about Zoe's Lyme test results.....Sue. Will they be able to treat him with antibiotics? Hope you can get the leg back on track quickly. Especially this time of year.

Marian...so happy to hear you have been to the Doc for a check up and taking care of yourself. :-) Is that a cactus blooming? And a puzzle all done, under it?

Saucy, what will you be starting for seeds?

Denise...yes you are right, that is a photo of the hawk you referred to. I've had that photo in my collection since the story was first reported. My husband is a fan of NYC and we were fascinated by this bird activity in the city that we had not heard of before. Link below. There was another article about someone being arrested for harrassing Paula Zahn over it recently.

Loved your idea about inserting bays in my border. I do seem to be viewing the border in thirds, so trying to insert two bays might be workable. Especially since the sun exposure is so different in each section. Someone else on the thread had the smoke trees. The Ninebark DGold, was very happy as well, but not large enough yet. Anxious to see what it will do this year. I do have some perovskias that I am repositioning with grasses in one end and one large BBush near that end of my border not shown in the photo. That was the only thing providing 'mass' last year. I bought another that I hope will add more. I enjoyed the BBush more than any other plant in my yard last year, with all the 'visitors' it attracts and it would qualify as the happiest plant in that border. Nice quote..and useful. Thank you Denise...for your very helpful comments and the link. There was a link, on the link, to Open Gardens that sounded intriguing. Looks like a very busy organization. Nice photos! Second, third and fourth on the page you linked to, were my favorite. Very pretty iris. 90s already?! Haven't used the video conferencing on the new Apple yet.....mffma mffma. You are funny Denise. [g]

Babs... Scary to hear about Chris's face! Doctor's don't explain how he could get it without a cut? Very freaky. Hope you will let us know how it works out. Happy Spring to you Babs...! :-)

Hello to all the missing posters today. :-)


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 7:13PM
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OK, two coats on the two big awning windows that are on "solid ground". I by-passed the other one as I'd have to be out on the stageing and no one would be home to find me if anything catastrophic occured. (See Marian? I AM using my noodle!). Tomorrow I will add a second coat to the little window in stairwell and take a stab at the remaining awning window, as well as carefully survey the stairwwell trim I did today. It may require a quick "dry brush to brighten it up, but maybe not. Next step will be the satin finish clearcoat (2 coats). Helpmeet is "feeling the pressure" and I'm not sure if that a good thing or a bad one. ;) Having your's truly "breathin' down his neck" with paintbrush in hand has rather hustled him along...

I was surprised to find he'd lit a fire in the stove when I came in from my pickling endeavor. It's chilly and raw outdoors, but he almost never fires up the stove unless it's really cold. It's very cheery and cozy right now, I must say. I uncovered the stove for the Salon today... just to look at something so lovely (I love, love, LOVE it!). I've begun working on the "look" for the hearth in my head. I want it simple, simple, simple, no flashy tiles, no fussy woodwork. I want everything about the hearth to be a base/showcase for a handsome stove. It's been a really long time since I've felt so jazzed about something, you guys.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 7:41PM
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Lots to look at and read about here at the Idylls today . I spent the morning in my office , and have spent the afternoon watering everything. I always hope to get into May before I have to water, but weve had no rain in weeks so I finally had to give-up and drag out the hoses. Im thinking its about time to plant some zinnias.

Deanne, its fun to see the bare-bones of your garden, with all the wonderful stonework. You dont mess around when you clean up I must say ! I still have areas that need raking along my fence line. Simone looks especially FF..what genus is she ? We hear trumpet vine out here used to describe numerous plants, some of which I dont think would be hardy in your zone.

Martie contemplates pansies as I plan for zinnias I put in no pansies last fall, but have a few volunteers here and there and a couple that are still going from the previous year.

An ailing kitty too for you Cynthia ? I have asked the dentist when will I qualify for my own parking spot with my name on it-perhaps you need one at the Vet. The lace collar for Ms Katie sets her outfit off just perfectly ! How lush and verdant your garden looks too, prime for a SALAT.

Yay!! Babs came out to play scary that thing with Chris..

You know Marian, some people just really get it when it comes to houseplants , and you surely are one of those .. I love that little cactus (nice touch including the puzzle as a backdrop !) so many flowers ! Garlic for cholesterol? I guess that explains why I have absolutely no issues with that ..garlic gets heavy use around here.

PM . you have something there with the sunbonnet suggestion for Ms Katieone of those Little House on the Prairie numbers ? Bet she would hate it-Ive yet to meet a dog that takes to hats. Lets see, a baseball cap might be suitable for Wrecks, Ms Phoebe might need a cloche-style hat (with feather) and I think Ein would look nice in a beret.

Chelone, I really think we are going to need a pic of this stove , so that we can all praise your exquisite taste and design sensibilities .

I do like the color combo on Jurrasic Park . We have an Iris farm here in Napa County getting close to peak season to visit too. Every time I go I mean to buy a re-bloomer , assuming that if it reblooms for them it will for me as well. I would be interested to know if the rebloom happens, and when and how many ? Keep us posted .

Hello to everyone !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:34PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yes pm2, that is a cactus...a Mammilaria. I have had it several years. When I was into entering plants and arrangements in the county fair I won the Grand Champion on it. ( And some nervy person snitched a piece off of it! It took awhile to fill back out .)
Oh, yes, that is the latest puzzle that we did. It is of Duomo, Milan, Italy. An interesting place. I need to research it on line.

LOL, Chelone. I am glad you are "using your noodle".

I really wanted to work my way down below two bluffs to see the water rushing down our portion of Pitcher Hollow, and see the 2 waterfalls. But I was aware that I could easily fall on the slick leaves and rocks and do myself harm, so opted against it. I knew Nolon would have a hard time copng if I were layed up. I sure would like to get some pics of it eventually, while it's running full.

I am jealous of your lovely new stove. Mine is just an ordinary King Heater from the local hardware store. It 'does' put out good heat though.

The low temps have been updated to not quite so cold. I still will be holding my breath until after monday morning's low....with fear of what damage our leaves and blooms will suffer. There is no way I can protect things.

Oooo Babs! How scary about Chris's face! Sure hope the treatments nip it before it gets worse.

Cynthia, what a neat outfit! Great job....
And how fortunate that you have such a beautiful magnolia.

I almost forgot to tell you all....Nolon saw our first hummingbird of the season while I was in town yesterday. Poor thing, there aren't even any honeysuckles in bloom yet! I hope it can find enough nectar in what is available.

Wow, Denise! and you are so much younger than I! It just goes to show....I get a little annoyed when people equate my lapses as being due to my age. :-(
Teehee, "indoor bloomers" .

Marie, I saw that "Aging with grace" group on TV this evening!


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 8:54PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Our trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, looks just like Deanne's when leafless. Here is a pic of it blooming:

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 9:14PM
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Hi Marian! I was wondering how old your cactus is? Does it bloom easily? I just know that I had a cactus that lived for about five years and it only bloomed once. Yours is beautiful! So is the Amaryllis(sp).
I'm fooled by your trumpet vine...I want to look outside and see GREEN,leaves,and feel warm breezes through the window--reality says it's 39F and raining : ] I hope your hummingbird does OK though they usually know what they are doing,there must be something else they are eating from.

How strange-Sue's and Cynthia's latest posts were definitely not there earlier when I posted-otherwise I wouldn't have asked if that was a pocket on Katie's spring jacket.

Denise-I'm not sure,but I have an iris that looks alot like Jurassic Park-I have several rebloomers but I'm in the wrong zone for them to rebloom-you are so lucky!

OK so I started looking up 'staph infection' which is bad enough then I started looking at photos-not a good idea. It sounds like even with strong antibiotics he's going to have this fat lip for a while and it will possibly look worse before it looks improved(I haven't told him that). We think we figured out how he got it. On the opposite side of his lip he nicked it with his razor yesterday-strange that the opposite side would become infected though,but a razor would certainly have scary creepy crawlies on it. Let's just hope they don't have to remove half his lip...really,I am kidding.
Better go check the patient...


    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 10:33PM
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Since it was cold and snowy here today (yes snowy) We stayed in and worked on house projects. I now have a custom pull out shelf in on of my cabinets and DH has his TV in the kitchen mounted on the wall in a cabinet and is able to pull it out. I also played around with bedding. I ended up with 2 bedding sets and a bedspread. I found out that not all comforters are created equal. Some are so small that they don't even reach to where the dust ruffle starts. You would think with todays deeper mattresses that they would make them bigger. That one will go back for sure. I ended up with the bedspread in cream. I will probably make some nice pillows to dress it up. That way I can always change out the pillows for a new look.

Thanks to all who have posted spring pictures as well as indoor bloomers, I needed that. Today is my son's 26th birthday. I don't remember many that were snowy. We spent over an hour on the phone this evening. He has a bad cold and decided to stay home and take it easy. How nice that he still likes to spend time talking to his mom. He will be starting a new job soon that he's really excited about.

I'm pooped, talk to you all later.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 12:13AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Up too late and awake too early and hoping for a nap later...

I see a few things I have missed...a link I referred to, for starters. Pale Male is the name of the Red Tailed Hawk in the photo I posted. He has his own wikipedia page and his own MySpace.com...lol. His mate is called Lola. [g] See below for real this time.

Chelone...you are getting so much done in the Salon and it is really nice to hear you so excited about your stove! Is it a woodburning stove? I agree that a photo is in order. I wasn't here when the Salon idea developed so I never did catch what you are planning to do when it is finished. Will you be going into business for yourself creating masterpieces with fabric?

I see your Mom was a librarian, which didn't surprise me at all. :-) How clever of her to have you read aloud while she made dinner. So many ways that was beneficial. Also pretty smart of her to enlist the kids in book purchases. I wish someone at our library had taken that attitude. Actually, as our kids were growing up, the children's librarian was the worst! Not the least interested in what anyone else thought, parent or child. Over the years, in the adult department, I have often thought whoever was making garden book purchases was not a gardener. Suggestions for improving the selections basically unwanted as well. Now that I have access to the entire library consortium in our area and can reserve online, I don't have as much contact with the library and go a lot less frequently. Although the last time I was picking up books, the librarian was asking me for gardening advice. They assume I have benefited from the amount of gardening books I have checked out over the years. Wrong. lol

I have very fond memories of different libraries as I grew up. I often thought of working at the library but never did. I still drag a large bag of books home every month. In my house growing up, no one was really a reader. My Mom worked, so she didn't have much time for reading. My Dad would read the paper every day. None of my older siblings were readers. I seem to have been the only one. I wanted my kids to become readers and oddly, none of them are, despite reading with them from the time they were little and books for gifts every Christmas and frequent trips to the library. Funny, that I brought them to one library that had a little play area for kids, with a playhouse and puppets and they loved going to that library and spent all their time in the play area. :-) My DH is not a reader either except he loves to read the newspaper daily.

Kathy...Yes, definitely a 'House on the Prairie' bonnet for Katie girl. [g] Hmmm...a little play on words there? So, you are a Nancy Drew fan as well. Wow, and one with a memory!! I am impressed. Sadly, I do not remember many of the titles of my favorites at all. I think The Hidden Staircase was one. Did you know there is a recent Nancy Drew movie? It is on Pay per View here and we just watched it last week. It was actually very good and held our attention and reminded me why I liked the series. I am sure if I could remember the stories I read, I might find more fault with the movie, [g] but the character of Ned was not as I remembered him and I didn't quite get the feel of her relationship with her Dad that I did in the books. I remember her as very capable and independent and admired that about her. Quite unusual in pre-Women's Lib days. I had even forgotten about the roadster. They changed the color in the movie, evidently. I am sure I was reading them before Junior High, so that had to be in the late 1950s, early 1960s. So funny that you and George were creating 'books on tape' so long ago..lol. I'm very sorry to hear that you lost him so young. I bet you have a lot of memories though. I don't think I was able to make many best friends growing up because we moved quite often. I did have a few that I tried to keep in touch with, but it didn't last long. Kids are terrible at letter writing. [g] Did you stay in touch with George as an adult?

Michelle, have you seen the 'Nancy Drew' movie that is out? Our middle son just turned 27 and first time he was not home for his BD. We missed him. :-)

Babs, thanks for the update. A razor cut, I will have to remember that. Hope it starts to clear up fast...and looking at photos is definitely not a good thing..lol.

Marian, that cactus looks like a 'prize winner'! I never had a sunny enough window to have bloom on cactus. Your trumpet vine looks great too.

Sun is coming out, time to get outside. :-) Happy Sunday!


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 7:42AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Brrrr! Cold this morning....'only' about 30F, but feels cold to me. :-(
Thank goodness the strong winds have died down.

Babs, I cannot remember how many years I have had that cactus. I would guess 10 or 15. It has bloomed every year.(I bought it in bloom). I always set it out in a fairly sunny spot in the spring. I set all of my cacti out, and most of them bloom,( but at differant times). One that has never bloomed is the Bunny-ears Prickly Pear, Opuntia microdasys. I have had it many years also, and has never got very large.
The Trumpet vine pic is an old one...2 years or longer ago.( If it were blooming now the Hummingbird would have plenty to fed on.) It is still totally naked . I should have taken a pic of it now, to post, so you all can see the resemblance to Deanne's. Ours is attached to a post. It was growing up a stump, but the stump fell over! Nolon used a come-along to pull it back up so he could fasten it to the post. It is old and BIG.
A you can see in the pic, our house still had that old dingy siding. Now it has brighter clean siding.

Happy birthday to Michelle's 26 year old son! He is a little more than half as old as my son. We like to talk an hour or more on the phone too.:-)

BTW, our Trumpet vine generally has lots more blooms than that pic, and it reblooms throughout the season.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 8:29AM
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Just in from dividing. The entire main bed now has edging -- Veronica 'Minuet', Geranium 'Biokova', Campanula 'White Chips' and Lavandula angustifolia 'Munstead'. Placed about 10 other things, including a huge Grandiflora 'Melody Parfumee' rose that had rooted to China. Worse than a Baptisia, I swear :-)

Why today?

At 6:30am the phone rings and it's BGF insisting that since yesterday was a washout today would be perfect. She's leaving now, would be at my house in a 1/2 hour, and no argument.

We just finished up and the main bed is, for all intents and purposes, arranged!! A four year project .... with lots more ideas. LOL

Here's what's going on downstairs. I'm particularly tickled with the ivy-leaved geranium that has it's first true leaves:

Container-to-be combo:

Turned off the lights because of glare, but everything has green in it:

Kyle's due any hour now ;-) so must get back to the laundry to can attack the stuff too heavy to move myself.

Later -- and waving hi -- nice to have company with you this morning!!!!!


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 10:35AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We had a lovely evening with friends last night and Doug and I decided to splurge and buy some tenderloin steaks for dinner. Yum! What a treat that was and Doug grilled them to perfection. I steamed some asparagus and sautéed portabella mushrooms to serve with the steaks. A good bottle of red made it perfect.

We worked in the gardens in the AM as it didnt rain as predicted. Doug and I got the front lawn cleaned up and all those peeled up sods are now in the compost heap at the landfill. Id wanted to try to save them but they were full of road salt and grit and probably never would have done well. WE also cleaned out the shrubs and under the weeping cherry tree and the corner garden in front of the fence by the wisteria. Now I only have to finish the driveway garden, the corner inside the fence with the wisteria and around the pond and spring cleanup will be done. I dont think weve ever gotten this much done so quickly. Im hoping to get to some stone work before the plants fill in much more. There are some places in the walls that really need repairs and I also want to make another mowing strip with the set in rocks along the edge by the pond.

Chelone, sounds like youre making real progress on the salon. Give a holler when you want to work up some colors for those stencils. Looking forward to seeing that new stove.

Kathy, that trumpet vine is the same Campsis radicans as Marians.

Cynthia, Katie looks lovely in her new outfit. Love the lace and pocket! ~~ That magnolia is incredible.

PM yes I unfortunately get House Sparrows in that bird house but I remove the eggs before they hatch so Im not contributing to our House Sparrow population problem. ~~ RE the Percherons, I worked for the farm and it was my job to harness and drive one of the teams for hay rides and sleigh rides. I also was the person responsible for the
away team to a ski area one New Years Eve. It was a bit scary when the fireworks went off and the horses were spooked. Fortunately Id gotten them off the wagon and had them in hand before the fireworks went off.

Babs, great to hear from you! Sorry about Chris infection. One of Dougs cousins had something similar one time and it really is a bit scary. Hope hes better soon.

Sue, glad to hear the puppy is going to be placed soon. LOL about Zoe and Nickster hoping for kibble fallout.

Denise, I love that Jurassic Park Iris. I painted one a few years ago for a magazine article.

Marian, that cactus is amazing! What a lovely specimen.

Michelle, sorry your DS was sick on his birthday but lovely he spent time chatting with his mom.

Martie, your seedlings look great and love that soon to be combo! Great light set up. What fun!

OK Ive really got to get going. WE are supposed to be in Rochester NH, in a couple hours and its a 1.5 hour drive and Im still in my PJs so must hit the shower and get ready to be out of here. Have a great day all.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 10:40AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Slept in until 6:30...then out the door with Phoebe for a walk and teaching HEEL some more. She is immune to her choke collar...Anyway, minute progress I think. Am I beginning to hate dogs? We saw the mergansers again today.

I potted up the last of the coleus sitting in vases. I hate coleus, remember, so why am I doing this? I potted up violas and they are outdoors in the sun. I've been waiting for things to warm up our there so that I can do some easy gardening. Still thinking about my knee.

This is supposed to be a lovely gardening week with sun and some warmth. I sure hope to get lots accomplished. My friend is supposed come to prune our crabapple and another old apple as well.

Cynthia, I think it is your third photo which shows your pink lady with a few magnolia blooms. PERFECT combo. I was thinking Katie could keep her Blackberry in that pocket, or maybe just her Visa card. Slide rules and calculators are a thing of the past.

Last night we went out for a small early dinner with friends who had a 2 hour drive home afterwards. We tested a new place where we all decided on hamburgers and salad! Not ordinary at all, but $10 hamburgers that were large and delicious. No room for dessert either. I had mushrooms on mine, the others chose goat cheese topping, DH chose plain. Today I have artichokes to prepare, a treat and memory from my youth. I like lemon butter on mine. My first artichoke was a memorable experience in Paris. The artichoke filled a 12" plate and I somehow managed to finish it! I was 8.

Enjoy this day!

OH! PM, you asked about my rain barrels. We have 3 1/2 old wooden whiskey barrels from an old nearby brewery. 2 1/2 are in OK condition, but last year one of them was beyond repair. Each winter they go in the barn, but in early spring they are rolled out for service before the rains begin if possible. No fancy attachments. We float a piece of wood in each so that critters (birds and chipmunks) have a life raft if need be. We use them to water plants as well as to rinse off major grime before coming in the house. I should build covers to prevent larvae from forming in them, but probably won't get around to that. We have loads of insects here because of standing water near the creek. The water from the 2 1/2 barrels helps during drought, but it doesn't last terribly long as we have acres not square foot areas to deal with. I also use "grey water" during those times. I need to think about setting up our hoses too, but I hate using them!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 11:10AM
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Happy Sunday everyone

Katie looks stunning in her new couture - stylish and functional. She could well steal the show even from the glorious Magnolia.

Some of Cynthia's sewing vibes must have reached me here in upstate NY as I spent Friday evening at my machine too. I had had to hem 3 pairs of new pants for DH before his Asia trip. While that is a task I loathe (like pancakes, the first pair never comes out quite right but the rest were fine), I found myself bitten by the sewing bug.

I decided to make something fun for myself and as aprons are hip right now and something I use every day (I love to cook but am also rather messy) I bought a yard of home decor cotton and came up with a simple pattern. I was aiming for something rather Suzie home makerish and a bit retro. Here are the results, modelled by Annie who thinks aprons are definitely uncool (hence not wanting her face in the pic LOL!)

Great to have so much chatter to read on a lazy Sunday.

Deanne - your gardens have to be among the neatest, most lovingly tended in the world.

GB - how vibrant and colorful! Do you have snow too today?

Marian - what glorious color from you.

Martie - not havinig started any seeds for the first time in a decade I have been going through withdrawal. Your photos are a quick fix for me - thanks. Future still very uncertain here so all garden projects are in holding mode.

Babs - keep us updated on Chris' infection. It sounds rather scary.

Sue - good luck with the rescue and your leg/ankle.

We don't fly the coup till Tuesday but Annie and David are very excited. Poor DH arrived back from Tokyo on Friday and is still recovering. He had travelled within Japan for 6 hours before the gruelling long haul to Chicago. There he had another 6 hours of delays before finally leaving around midnight. The flight enountered storms on route and insted of making it to Rochester dumped everyone out at Buffalo at 1 AM. DH arrived here around 3 AM after a $160 cab ride, minus luggage, not knowing if he was coming or going. Sadly those sort of journey are more common that not these days.

Meanwhile Clousseau is looking very fetching in one of those Elizabethan collars - we had an emergency run to the Vet yesterday and he has a nasty abcess that is being treated with antibiotics. Hopefully he too will be feeling better befor we leave Tuesday.

Time to check on what everyone else is up to here


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 11:54AM
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I'm in for a quick break. I've managed to scrape paint of the glass of 10 (count 'em) doublehung windows and put all the hardware back on them. They still need to be washed, but that can wait.

Here is the new stove:

You would appreciate the stove, Marian. Soapstone holds heat for a long time and radiates back into the room. They get plenty hot, but you can bounce a finger off the top of it and not be burned immediately (Polly bounced of the top of her first winter here and was not hurt). It takes 16" pcs. of wood and fully loaded will burn for very close to 12 hrs., leaving enough coals to start the next fire.

OK, I have to get back to work.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 12:00PM
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Martie looks good to go, but wow, more snow for Michelle! With no "base tan" yet, yesterday's temps in the 90s fried a few plants but no permanent damage. Trimmed a few shriveled leaves off Corydalis Blackberry Wine, which otherwise did amazingly well, seeing how it was used to the cool and shady conditions before the removal of the rose pergola. What a spreader the BW turned into! Dipping back down into the 80s today then 70s for the week, or so the forecast is. Too hot to eat inside last night, so italian sausage on the barbie with pasta al fresco until the bugs drove us inside. The gigantic sphinx/hummingbird moth, whatever, is a bumper crop this year, and what erratic fliers!

The side yard gate/pergola has morphed into a very complicated project, which is par for us, and now the fence has "windows," really lovely multi-pane leaded glass windows from the salvage yard. Kind of a faux glassed-in porch effect is what we're after.

I haven't had bearded iris around for years, and when I went to nose around for some last fall, the reblooming bearded iris were featured, with the advice that we'd be nuts in So. Calif. not to make more use of them. Here's the five I got last fall: Mary Frances, Wine Festival, Frequent Violet,
Breakers, Jurassic Park. I might just fill the narrow strip that parallels the main bed with iris and will trial these guys out for divisions. It does look cool to see the spears and now flwrs viewed across the main bed.

Duncan has a cactus from 2nd grade we call Trevor, named after his classmate who abandoned it when it was time to take the science projects home. (Science project: Can 2nd-graders keep cactus alive for a week?) Covered in little white blooms now, first bloom ever, so about a 12 yr old cactus.

We've got some of Pale Male's brothers and sisters soaring the skies overhead, brought in to keep local pigeons in check. Gorgeous stove, Chelone, great SALAT material. And Mary I love that shade of green in the apron, very cool!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 12:28PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

I still have to read and catch up with all of you and will then comment. Ive thot of and talked to you in my head since Ive been away. Did you hear me? Missed you.

Its been crazy here. At the end of the day, I havent had anything left to even give myself which is the reason I havent been here.

First, weve revised and submitted DHs resume 50 hundred times and DH interviewed twice but didnt hear back. It was incredibly disheartening. It was all we could do to keep our spirits up. Then out of the blue he got a call Friday that sent us scurrying. Within a half hour he was hired, processed thru HR and had reservations for a flight to Paris for a contract house he worked for 6 yrs. ago. The assignment is for 6 wks. to 3 months + (could be much longer tho), and hell be working on a team to keep a bankrupt supplier plant producing enough parts to keep an assembly plant running. Then, working within govt rules, theyll move the tooling to a new supplier in Portugal and get that up and running smoothly. It was a real scramble to get him on the plane in less than 24 hrs. He went from HR to the Dr. to get routine tests completed and enough prescription meds for a couple months, got a haircut, picked up dry cleaning, packed, etc., etc.

We have very mixed emotions about this. Its a real opportunity b/c there are NO jobs here; the $ are better than most; hes making more contacts and itll be great on his resume, but were not happy hes so far away from home for such an extended period. Perhaps we can take a weeks vacation in Paris or Portugal somewhere along the way? Within minutes, I went from being our familys Operations Mgr. to acting CEO and CFO, too!

Since Valentines Day Ive been working P/T on-call for a local florist weve known and used for 20 yrs. both in the store and delivering. Quite frankly, I think theyre close to going under. Im still waiting for my 2nd check! I took this job not to start a new career but just for plant money and to get out of the house. On one hand, the owners talk about me opening and managing the store for them (NOT), while they try to secure weddings and other business. On the other, they tell me they cant afford to give me hours but want me on-call and for heavy times, i.e., Mothers Day. Now, with our lives totally changed, I think Ill give notice after I get my check. This is a story in itself.

Also, did I tell you I was appointed to our Twp. Beautification Commission? So now Im a Commissioner. We had our first mtg. this yr and have purchased a couple hundred seedlings for a giveaway to residents later this month. Well convene after the event to finalize a plan for planting annuals around our Twp Hall (a red/white/blue theme since this is an election yr.) and make plant selections for a new shade garden in front of our Twp. Hall.

And I am our subdivision landscaping committee. We have a walk-thu scheduled for next Sat. to look at the commons areas and determine this yrs work. We did tons of work last yr, but have lost a lot of plants over the winter. Hopefully, some of them are under warranty. And there are 2 big areas still TBD b/c we ran out of $ last yr. Most of the shovel pruning well do ourselves, well get some seedlings from the B/C giveaway (Eastern Redbuds, Dogwoods and Vibernum) and will have as much done as we can afford.

Meanwhile, since I was here last, DD completed the sale of the house to her X, sold both cars and bot a new one at a great price. Its a 2006 model with 15,000 miles on it and is just like brand new. She also moved her stuff into storage at my Moms and here, and moved herself and 2 kitties in here. Lots of turmoil getting all that done.

So far, the kitties are staying upstairs and Missy has the downstairs. My worst fear is that one of the cats will come downstairs while Missy is outside, and when Missy comes in shell chase one over the couch and theyll pull down blinds, drapes and lamps in the process. Missy wants to make friends but in her exuberance, the kitties are terrified. Itll be just as well if the kitties stay upstairs. Missy seems to think its her job to stand guard at the bottom of the stairs. Works for me.

DD also has had a couple of whirlwind months. After getting settled in here, shes been looking for a 2nd job. Two weeks ago, her boss called her back to her seasonal, /PT job. Evidently, he thot all winter about her situation and knows he isnt paying her enough for her to live on. He knows shes been looking for a 2nd job and I think he doesnt want to lose her. Thus, last wk. he told her hes going to pick up her medical insurance costs starting May 1, when her divorce is final, and is going to take her on as a F/T employee! Two days later, she got a response to her resume and an interview at a real estate office (5 blocks from here!) and was hired on the spot. Her plan is to use the P/T job for expenses and bank the check from the F/T job so she'll be able to buy a house in a yr. or so. It's great having her around all the time. So far, we haven't tripped over each other and it'll be great having her around while DH is overseas.

During the last 2 mo. Also, I got several calls from DS to rescue her when her car quit and she got stranded downtown in the worst area (30 miles away). Then had to also pick her up from the ER twice (40 miles away in the other direction) when she went in with severe pain under her rib cage on the left side. Theyve ruled out heart and lung problems. Then I took her in several times for tests: an upper GI and a couple different scopes to look at her esophagus, stomach, liver and pancreas. The biopsies were OK and the tests didnt show anything abnormal. Its scary b/c now we have to wait for the next crisis to see what shows up.

IU5 sounds great and Im dying to join you. Itd be fun to see how the area has changed. As I mentioned in my email, I grew up nearby. I/Wed stay a couple extra days and visit with my aunt, uncle and cousins. But at this point I cant commit until we have some idea what continent DH will be on and logistics on the home front!

Thats it from me for now. Back later,


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 1:27PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi, back as promised. Right after I finished writing my previous post, our power went out! At least DH had phoned to say he made it safely to his hotel outside Paris before it did! Its been out for over 2 hrs. and although I put the gas fireplace on, its a bit chilly inside.

Ditto what Mary said! (In case I dont remember what I wanted to comment on.)

Mary, love the gorgeous fabric on that apron. Great job. Your poor hubby. I cant imagine trying to get myself straightened out from such a grueling trip. It would take me at least a week!

On sewing, a couple yrs. ago I bot a Singer for $60 at a going out of business sale. Its a simple portable and all I need for small projects or repairs. I made the GR ottoman slipcovers, throw pillows and drapery swag with it. So its more than paid for itself already.

Cynthia, love Katies finery. Shes truly, Pretty in Pink". When I saw your garden and the magnolias, I was reminded how much later our season starts. A few bulbs have popped up, but nothing is greening up yet. Hopefully, well have warmer weather later this week. Usually the "forcynthia" doesnt bloom here until the end of April or first of May.

Thank you, Martie! After seeing your plants under lights, I remembered I started my dahlias last week. When I just checked them, I found the lights are burning out! Ill have to make an HD run.

Marian, you have to be the houseplant queen. I have very few and if the plant police ever saw them, theyd charge me with cruelty and put me in jail! Really tho, I know I dont have the right exposure or room for the ones I want.

Deanne, last week we were able to clean up our yard a bit, too, and prune some things. It felt so good to be outside. Your beds look wonderful. I like how your evergreens are mixed in and your hardscape has so much structure and provides winter interest. Whats the vine growing up the tree in the middle pic?

Chelone, I just love your new stove. It is truly very handsome. No wonder youre so excited about it. Cant wait for pix of your project. It sounds gorgeous.

Bug, love the DGSs pix. Too cute. Re Phoebe pulling on the leash and heeling, my neighbor who has the same kind of dog you do, and Missy both responded immediately to a pinch collar. It doesnt hurt them, but they dont like it. I wished I had in earlier in her training. Youre reminding me that Missy still has a couple training sessions left I have to schedule now that the roads arent snowy and icy. Were still working on Missys jumping when greeting visitors and us. Its maddening that we havent broken her of it yet. All she really wants to do is lick their face but shes so exuberant and rambunctious about it, it scares people. Weve got a lot of work to do with her yet, but shes turning into a really nice dog.

You mentioned mergansers on your pond. Im always thrilled when they come in in the Spring. I thoroughly enjoy watching them especially when the males get together and dance for the females in their Spring mating ritual. It is truly a sight to see. The following are NOT my pix, I got them from the net and am posting them for those whove never seen these small water fowl:

Usually eight or 10 of them will swim in line or in a circle with their crests up, dancing in perfect synchronization while the girl(s) stroll by with their reddish brown crests up. Its amazing to watch.

Babs, Im so sorry to hear about Chriss lip. You must be so worried about him and about disinfecting everything. The bugs going around lately are really scary.

OK, that's it from me today. Yeah, I'm back idylling. Hi to all,


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 3:07PM
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Nice to hear from Honey! I can see I'll have to reread your post more carefully lots of action in your world while you were AWOL. :)

Rex has spent the best part of the day tied out in front of the bahn. He has his bed out there, in the sun, can come inside the bahn for a beverage if he so chooses. He knows I'm upstairs (barks if he wants to come in), is able to watch the road and the yard, and can't run too far on his bum leg! A "win/win" situation.

We've just returned from a trip to the store. Dog biscuits, Pinot Noir, paper towels and Windex. The cashier was a HS student who politely put my things in one bag, I love making a humorous comment and watching which kids respond favorably... "Clearly, I have an exciting afternoon planned." "Do the windows up high first." LOL, that kid is going to have no trouble navigating the world.

I've finished pickling one more window, have the first coat on the remaining one (it's time for the second), and thought some window washing might make things looks nicer.

I'm also noting that I need to get a better shot of the pretty legs on the stove. The cast work is really lovely, delicate and nicely designed.

I have thought of you, Eden, several times in the past few days. I think you would really enjoy the process (you, too, Michelle!) and find it as soothing and rewarding as I have. I've shed a few tears for Mum in the process, knowing how much she would have loved the results and acknowledging that the part of me that likes this sort of thing is actually very much her legacy. Please don't be a stranger, I miss your reports. But hey... NO pressure. ;)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 3:18PM
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Today I learnt something valuable I thought I would pass on to my Idyll friends. If you decide to reorganize the tool storage in your garage on a freezing cold day when your DH is majorly jet lagged, you will probably have a huge fight.

It's great what wisdom you can pick up here.

Honey - fabulous to hear from you. Love the stove Chelone.


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 3:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary, I hate it when they return! You are happy they are back, but it takes ages to figure out how to live together once more. :(

Honey, so good to have you back! Life sure throws a lot in your direction, and yet you give back way more. You are a real trooper! With Phoebe, we ask guests to only greet and address her once she has 4 feet on the ground. Occasionally it works. ;)

Chelone, LOL about the order of afternoon events.

Hellebores are planted, a few clematis trimmed back, a bit of raking done, but it is very cold to be working outside.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 4:16PM
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Honey, Michigan must be one of the most challenging places to live in right now. Very glad to hear your husband has found at least a short term assignment, that may lead to something else, and most contractor type jobs do last longer than planned.

I need to say this: Pinch collars DO hurt, they are outlawed in more civilized countries like Australia. They teach your dog to obey because of the threat of pain. The dog stops what it's doing because of pain or the fear of pain. Positive will work, just takes more time. Sitting here with a dog in pain, who can't even stand up today, I've turned off my 'politically correct' button, although I probably would have said it anyway. Although adult severe behavior cases may be last chance candidates for this type of punishment, that should never be necessary on a puppy. So many behavior problems are simply the wrong choice of breed. Trainers should be licensed and regulated.

Chelone the stove is indeed gorgeous and worth waiting for. I like the idea that the stone holds the heat.

Mary, the apron is terrific. Love it, and it makes me think I should try my hand at retro dog coats for the non-pink part of the pack.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 4:49PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Arrgh! I did a long post this afternoon - but it's not here!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 5:26PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Marian...link for you below that I think you will enjoy. :-)

Honey, amazing amout of turmoil that you seem to be handling very well! Very happy that your DH found a position and despite the drawbacks and changes it has to be something you all needed. Your poor daughter in such turmoil too. Isn't it great that you all have each other for support. You are all due for some smooth sailing sometime soon. :-)

Mary, I LOVE that apron. Where were you last Christmas when I searched in vain for a pretty apron to buy my daughter for Christmas? [g] That retro fabric...so pretty and isn't that trim called 'rick rack'? That has always been one of my favorites. You have nice taste and some sewing skills too. Your daughter was a good sport to model it for you. Cleaning out the garage even without jet lag can find us disagreeing and frustrated in very short order. Sorry your day took a sour turn. Tomorrow will be better.

So that's what a merganser is? Would love a few of those at our pond!

G'bug...wooden barrels sound so attractive. Did you position them under your downspouts and have to cut the downspouts to fill them?

Denise...looking forward to seeing reblooming iris photos.

Deanne, we had sparrows set up shop in the bathroom fan vent one year and had to put hardware cloth across it to keep them out. They still showed up looking to get in there for about three years afterward. They are persistent. The one birdhouse I have has a small hole and the chickadees used it last year. Hoping they will again this year.

That's a great BGF you have there Martie! I love the sound of the combination along your main border and looking forward to photos. Nice containers shaping up at your house too.

Chelone...what a great stove! Figures you would find such a sensible stove that has soapstone that will radiate heat back into the room and will make a load of wood last so long. Very efficient and energy saving, sounds like. Very nice details on it too.

Ok...supper is calling...


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 5:37PM
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I have to know if a "pinch collar" is the same thing as a "training collar", too often incorrectly called a "choke collar".

We use a TRAINING collar on Rex and we have since we adopted him. Without it, we would have been unable to quickly, adequately, and efficiently squelch bad behavior and get him under control with minimal fuss. The whole key to using one is putting it on properly and learning how to use it properly. Jerk and release. NEVER use steady tension, always "jerk and release". ALWAYS. You face the dog and the loop you pass over the fleabag's head should make a "P". "P" for Patience, Praise, Perfect... . A dog's neck has the strongest muscles in his body... a training collar, used properly in conjunction with voice commands and PRAISE is an effective training tool.

I was a good doobie and washed the inside of the 10 double hung windows this afternoon. The remaining 4 "awning" windows all have 2 coats of pickling on them and the grilles are pickled, as well. Next step will be topcoating them with the clear sealer. And then they can be cleaned and washed, too. Once I've accomplished that the only thing left is to get them cased and pickle and seal the casings. The casing will probably not be done until the fall... bums me out on one hand, but I understand that the helpmeet's time becomes ever more precious this time of year.

Mary, don't you just HATE it when time together devolves into an arguement? It happens to all of us, and it's not as though the two of you don't have some heavy issues to discuss and decide right now. It'll be OK, but it sure sucks now. Hang tough.

I've not read nearly as carefully as I ought!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 6:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I don't know what a pinch collar is either.

I do know that the "choke" collar (snap & release is my term for it) is ALWAYS put on the animal wrong at the vet's and by the kennel too. Charlotte loved hers...thought it was jewelry and was agitated when it was off.

Our contract for Phoebe is adamant that she be returned to the breeder for ANY reason should we or Sarah not be able to keep her. The breeder is entitled to first choice of a litter should we decide to get permission to breed her. (NO, that won't happen)

Checked out the heronry to see how things are going there. Some of the birds are on nests...but I'm not sure if they are only checking them out or what. It is quite a sight now without any leaves to get in the way of viewing.

Off to artichoke cooking.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 6:39PM
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For Kathy -- to ease the jones .....

And Mary, I've put in extras of everything so no matter where you are some of "your" plants will be with you. Guara, Clary Sage, Dianthus, etc., etc., etc. :-) Example: Digitalis (notice the true leaves -- new from last week).

Chelone: Now That is a Stove! You may have mentioned it before, but will have have some sort of moisturizing system on top? Do they make urns/pots/heat-proof containers to do justice to this design?

Honey: So glad your DD seems to be on the up side of her situation. Know it's tough without DH, but Springtime in Paris?? Is there negotiation room in the job for an extra weekend ticket?

'bug: I'm jealous of your heron. I'd take standing water larvae to have a few around.

Deanne: Did you find a Rex?

Cynthia: Good thing Katie is spade -- she's gorgeous!! I feel for her not being able to walk as she'd like. If dog back pain is anything like human back pain, give the girl whatever drugs your vet and you think is okay until her wheels arrive. Please give her an extra stroke and treat from me who truly human empathizes:-)

PM2 - The no moving weekend sadness of yesterday morning vanished today. Everything on the list got done, and I'll be feeling it about Tuesday, but hey, that's what hot soaks are for.

The neighborhood kids were a hoot with BGF, "ya gotta watch where you step Mrs. Virginia -- look for anything larger than an ant that's green!!" to the point that they got additional hours at Her yard next weekend. Guess who gets to bring them up there and "stick around and I'll make sure I have gloves for you" while THEY work???? LOL

Mitch's image is mesmorizing, Denise. If you look hard, don't you think that one of the roots on the mid-left looks like a lizard?? Is this tree LA's answer to maples whose roots do the same thing only with completely different bark?

So much chatting here today! It's been fun to bop in and see what's up with everyone. Hello all, and Take it easy on that road, Marian!!


    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 7:37PM
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Honey, I certainly hope there's some vaca time for you in Paris and/or Portugal out of this whole ordeal, but perhaps the job assignment will be respite enough for you both from chronic worries. Best of luck.

Now I know what mergansers are but am still wondering if the "peepers" you all talk about is generic for noisy spring birds or if you're all on the same page and referring to a specific bird. I read and glean and hope for enlightenment...

Mary, um, thanks for the advice, but no need of it here. No arguments, unpleasantness, strife, ever...signed, Geppetto's puppet child.

What's with the weather forecasters these days? Today didn't cool down, it was hotter than yesterday, setting a new record.

Pickling, pickle barrels, Lord Nelson carried home postmortem in a pickle barrel after his victory at Trafalgar. Home improvement might be slightly less stressful than the Napoleonic wars, however, but no less heroic I say. Again, gosh, it's hot. Marty made great progress on the fence today, with one of the windows installed, hoping to have the door in and most work completed before we leave end of the month, to seal the "breach in the perimeter" on that side. Marty wants to put another of these windows in the top part of the dutch door, then another window on the other side of the door, so three in a row. I initially thought two windows would be enough, but three would draw the eye horizontally, making this narrow space appear larger. (Don't be shy with input.) All will be painted to tie into house. Overhead pergola will have to wait. Can't wait to redo the bricks in front of the gate, enlarging the path quite a bit. Photo includes glimpse of bungalow across the street, standard issue on this street:

Looking opposite, toward the fringe tree, a couple days ago:

Wondering where 'bug's artichokes are coming from barely into April. And what a great word, "heronry."

Seed nursery will be bursting at the seams soon, Martie. Sounds like the Bowery Boys are alive and well in your neighborhood, lol. And no, that Moreton Bay fig tree is a sight not often seen, but definitely a "Rorschach" tree.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 8:04PM
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Denise, They're little tiny froglet creatures which peep until they find their mate in spring. They don't eat until they mate, and when I hear one solitary peeper in August, I wonder how hungry it must be. There are some good sound tracks on You Tube. Some with photos. So no peepers out west? They're in the wetlands here. Some don't like the sound, I do, as it means it's really spring.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 8:33PM
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Thanks, Cynthia! Knocking down idyll mysteries one at a time...Mitch and Marty wandered in and both loved hearing the peepers.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 8:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Artichokes come from the grocery store...of course! Uhhh, not Italy yet...not California?

I wish my fringe trees would grow from 2' tall to tree or at least shrub size. Unfortunately, the rabbits won't let them.... More caging needed next Fall...on everything! I wish someone would design cheap, strong, easy, handsome caging for all shapes of plant.

Denise, I love the fence. Very handsome. 3 windows sounds good to me, emphasizing width, not alley effect. I think staining it would be easier over time, if you could find a color that blended.

Here's a heronry pic from last year for Denise: (or if you prefer, a 'rookery' shot)

Sorry Woody, sometimes it is simply too much to try to reconstruct a lost posting. Very discouraging.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 9:00PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi Woody. Come back when you can!

PM2, it truly has been one thing after another. Thanks for your kind words. I want smooth sailing! Glad the pix of the mergansers were helpful. When I first saw them on our pond, I had no idea what they were. Then after I saw them raise their plumes and watched them dance for a half hour, I was mesmerized and had to find out.

Marty, if I go to Paris, itll be for more than a weekend! A friend and colleague and I tacked on vacation time after a conference in Cologne several years ago, but it wasnt enough time to visit with friends and still see and do everything we wanted. I really wanted to see the Impressionists, go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, as well as see some of the surrounding countryside and we didnt have enough time to do that. We spent an entire day at the Louvre mostly in the Egyptian art and artifacts area and that was a drop in the bucket. It was amazing. I definitely would like to see more of it. Hopefully, DH can get some time off so we can enjoy Paris together. But theres no hope the company would pay for me to fly over.

Thanks, Cynthia. Michigan is truly a difficult state to be in right now highest unemployment rate, the most lost jobs, the most foreclosures, etc. From your thots to Gods ear on the contract jobs being the best to have right now and usually lasting longer than planned. Its really been a challenge for Tom to keep pursuing leads and continual follow-up, stay upbeat and not spiral into depression. Weve seen it bad before, but never this bad.

I understand how you feel right now and its definitely tempered by your situation with Katie and that breed. It has to be absolutely awful to see that poor animal in pain. We have worked with Missy using verbal correction and positive reinforcement but had to step it up. Do you watch "The Dog Whisperer," Caesar Millan, on the Natl Geographic Channel? Hell use this type collar for training when necessary.

Bug, our contract with Missys breeder is the same. If for any reason we cant keep her, the breeder has first right of refusal, and she definitely wants her back. As much trouble as she can be, I wouldnt give my lil wiggle-butt up for anything!

Bug, Chelone, click on the link below for info on prong collars (sometimes called pinch collars). It has pix and info. Missy is a smart, stubborn, head-strong, alpha female. Shes sturdily built and has tremendous stamina so we were having a heck of a time getting her to listen. Altho shes only 48 lbs., its all I can do to hold her back. Shes that strong. We only used the prong collar during training sessions for 2 weeks. After the initial pinch the first time, she was a different dog and stopped pulling immediately. We tried the collar on our bare arms first. It looks worse than it is but it gets their attention. We moved on from that to an electric remote training collar. Again, we tried it on ourselves first before it was ever used on Missy. Wed never deliberately hurt an animal.

Thus Chelone, I agree with you and you said it so well. Its important for the safety of the dog, other animals and their people family, that dogs listen and be well behaved. We wanted a smart dog that would learn quickly. Problem is that we selected a dog that is too smart and can be a manipulator.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 9:12PM
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Ive checked in more than once today- such goings on ! Honey I felt like I needed a nap after reading your posts ! I thought I had a lot going on in my life right now but you win the day hands down. Wonderful news that your DH is once again gainfully employed and bittersweet the miles apart you will have to endure.
It was HOT here today-not as hot as Denises area though. I watched a few innings of the Dodger game this afternoon and it was mid-90s on the field. Glad I watered yesterday.
Zinnias have been duly purchased-Cherry, White and Orange Profusion. Theyll all go in the back, Im holding out for Dreamland series for the front yard, but I only saw them in 4" pots today .

Denise, your project looks very cool. Im down with three windows-it would look more bungalow-ish to me with that horizontal line . Nice view of the fringe tree and environs- I notice the water feature in the distance. Betcha bugs chokes rode an airplane from Watsonville or Salinas. I have two in my fridge right now . I eat them at least once a week in spring. An enduring favorite.

Chelone, that stove is really beautiful. I love the soapstone with the black iron-work . It will look great with the paint color youve got going in the Salon. I envision SALATing the Salon as a daily chore.

Martie-thanks for the pansy ! A girl cant have too many. Im so impressed with all you seed starting folks-but Im having to deal with instant gratification here as the customers come around (what few there are) and seedlings dont cut it. There will be ample seed starting years in my future, in the mean time I will live vicariously through the Idylls.

PM, my memory may seem impressive but I bet I read all those Nancy Drew books about 10 times each .. this reminds me, did anyone else hear the author on Weekend Edition yesterday ..I didnt catch his name and did not yet go onto NPRs website to find out, but he was describing to Scott Simon how he used to type out short stories by various authors (I think he mentioned Cheever, Hemingway, Faulkner among others) to learn about how they constructed the stories, dialog, etc. It was pretty interesting stuff.

Love the apron Mary ..Im a messy cook too, but Im usually in my gardening clothes when in the kitchen so protection seems unimportant .

Wow, bugs heronry shot

BBQ is almost ready must go brush the grill

Kathy in Napa

Reine Des Violettes

A blurry garden shot from this morning, with Lady Banks on the upper right

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 9:14PM
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Harmony restored here - we were able to laugh ourselves out of the impass. We also took a trip to Home Depot together to return the storage cabinet I'd purchased but DH though would not help. Instead, he chose... the very same cabinet. I'm putting it together in front of the TV. We're at the stage of having a bigger mess than when I started but the end results will be worth it.

For supper tonight (wearing my new apron) I made vegetable chick pea pancakes. They are similar to an Indian Bhajhi (Woody will know) but are cooked in just the tiniest bit of oil instead of deep frying. They were delicious, quick and easy, Gluten free and something I think we'll be eating often.

Recipe below if anyone would like to try.

The photos today are gorgeous. Thank you for more seedlings Martie.

Denise - the fringe tree and your tile are stunning.

GB - how cool to see the herony. I saw two herons doing their mating dance last year - it was very cool.

Kathy - I've longed to grow both those roses. Your gardens are just lovely.

Honey - we have been able to enjoy some fabulous overseas trips as a result of all DH's travels. I'd still rather have him home but it wonderful to have those trips together after all the time spent apart.

I must go finish my cabinet before it gets too late.

Have a good evening everyone


Chickpea Flour Pancakes (makes three large pancakes)
1 cup besan/gram flour (Indian chickpea flour)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup water
1/4 lemon, juiced (about two really good squirts of lemon juice)
1 cup chopped veggies (I like 1/4 cup frozen peas, 1/4 cup chopped onion and 1/2 cup tomato)
a chunk of onion to season your skillet

In a small bowl, mix together the besan, salt, baking soda, and spices.
Add the water and beat well. The besan tends to clump a bit, so you can sift it if you want, but I just beat the lumps out with a fork.
Beat in the lemon juice with a fork.
Stir in the mixed veggies (you can add some chopped cilantro and freshly grated ginger if you have it). Whatever you do, don't taste the batter. Raw chickpea flour tastes terrible!

The easiest way to make these, is to season a cast iron skillet with the cut side of an onion. This is an amazing trick for savory pancakes, and helps the pancakes to pop out of the pan--even if you make these without oil. You could also use a non-stick gizmo for good results. To season, just rub the surface of the pan vigorously with the cut side of an onion, you can also add a touch of oil if you want.
Ladle 1/2 cup of batter at a time into the hot seasoned skillet (cook over medium low heat) and spread the batter out so it's not too thick.
Cook until the bottom is brown and there are bubbles surfacing in the center of the pancake. Flip and cook the other side. These take considerably longer to cook than regular pancakes, so you want them on a lower heat to keep them from burning. I'd say they take at least 5 minutes to cook on each side.
Repeat with the rest of the batter and serve with pickle!

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 9:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning! I guess I'm the earliest bird here today? Which reminds me, yesterday when I was potting up coleus, earthworms came out of the potting soil!!! Of course I guess the robins have been finding them outdoors for quite a while already.

So today will be one for dealing with insurance again and also some post office activity. But I hope there is time for major garden work too. We shall see what happens. The sun is out and last I looked it was 32F. There was ice in the rain barrel. I'll also try for a photo of our rain barrel arrangement for PM2.

Happy Monday! (Hope that's not an oxymoron...)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 7:49AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Mary - thanks for that recipe - I'll have to try them.... Barb and I are off this morning to my samosa-making friend to be her sous-chefs for making a huge amount of food for an event for her brother.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 8:16AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good morning to all. We have a beautiful sunny day here and I want to get outside and work on finishing up the garden cleanup. Looks like spring is finally arriving.

Denise I absolutely LOVE your fence, with windows and that tiled courtyard with the Fringe tree is Fabu-Fabu!!!! Gorgeous.

Kathy, Your spring garden is just breathtaking. How fun to see so much lush growth when we are only getting started here. Thanks for posting that.

Honey, fantastic to hear from you and I'm so glad to hear Tom got a job but what a bother for him to be so far away. Glad to hear things are moving along in a positive direction for your DD.

Mary, great to hear from you also. I love that apron! ~~I so know the feeling about trying to organize anything to do with Doug's tools etc. He can get pretty testy if I rearrange his stuff even though he has it strewn about the countryside. He's one of the most disorganized people I know but manages to keep up with things by knowing where all his 'piles' of stuff are. If I try to consolidate his stuff he can't find a thing and gets really 'testy' if you can believe that of him. I've learned to be patient and after a couple months of the messies I give him a warning that if he doesn't consolidate it I'm going to do it as I live here too. LOL

Marty, no I've not found a Rex yet and would really like on of those 'Escargot' varieties with the twirly leaves.

OK got to go! Have a great day!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:16AM
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I'd rather idyll than go to work on this sunny morning: )

I LOVE your apron Mary!! My local Joanne Fabrics is liquidating and is selling whole bolts(no cuts allowed)of material at 75% off! You could make a zillion aprons! : )

Chelone that is a HANDSOME stove! I've never seen a soapstone one-that is really gorgeous.

Denise-I hadn't even realized that some areas don't have peepers but it makes perfect sense. Cynthia,I too enjoy the sound of peepers for that exact reason that it means spring is here!

HI HONEY! I have missed you...while I haven't been here: (
I have much more to say but I gotta go to work.

Chris is doing quite well and the swelling is almost gone-that was scary though. After stupidly looking at internet images of staph infections I was sure he'd have a crater for a face. All flesh is intact : )

Make your Monday a good one!


    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:21AM
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Good morning

Hooray - I love vacation time (we're on Spring Break). Tools are now 98% organized, sorted, and labelled and it gives me great pleasure to walk past them all. DH still seems rather ambivalent about the project - perhaps they are man's territory after all. But I'm sure organized drawers and cupboards are beter than one giant pile necessitating extra trips to HD, and will prove their value in the long run.

Today I need to make a run with Annie to the Apple store for some IPod repair, take David to Bass lesson, practice for the recital and pack for our trip.

For lunch everyone begged for veggie Chickpea pancakes again and then David tried to get me to promise more for dinner tonight. It's funny what can grab kids' taste buds. But then David has adored Indian food since a tiny baby - we joke he was an Indian in his past life.

Woody - have fun with your food prep!

Babs - great news about Chris. By the way - how is MIL doing?

GB - enjoy your morning (perhaps I should say afternoon now).

Onwards and upwards!


    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 12:21PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I was doing a GW search today for threads on the topic 'Evergreens in Perennial Borders' and a few Idyll posts of old came up. My my my...very interesting. Not a lot of photos still functioning but a few...including a photo of Gardenbug's fenced veggie garden, newly hatched goslings and Beau Monde tulips..so pretty! LOVED those photos Gardenbug. You are living quite the Idyll life there! Did you finish the brick pathway in the veggie garden? Kitchen gardens are a yearning of mine. Yours is quite nice. Wow, further on, I see you have Camassia..one of my favs. I winter sowed those two years ago but they didn't come back after their first winter.

Also in the same May '06 thread tydlled 'A BeautifulDay in May...Ei was posting the lyrics to 'Oh What A Beautiful Mornin'' from Oklahoma. One of my favorite songs of all time and I can still feel the pleasure of watching that movie and hearing that song for the first time.

So, where are you hiding Ei? :-)

Marian posted a gorgeous Clematis and so did Cindy.

Sue's Mother's Day post was a riot.

Mother's Day is a month away, have you started thinking of what hints to drop?


    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 12:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

What fun to return to Idyll #264!

Yes PM2, I think for Mother's day that DH and I need to come up with a plan for a trip out west to visit with DD's family. That's my wish! And yes, the brickwork and arbor were completed. I'll try to find the photos.

OK, found:

Today was excellent, though I am bushed. OOOPS! No, I'm pooped. My friend John came by and pruned our crabapple tree, a sambucus, and a ninenark. He also tried to rescue a wild cornus alterifolia that was pushed over by the flooding. We'll see if it survives in its new home. I'm hoping!

Lots of other things got done: two large island beds were tidied up, the small mailbox garden too. I raked and raked, but there always seems to be more! The weather is supposed to stay nice (even though 24F tonight) so I'm planning on attacking more tomorrow. It's very discouraging to see the damage done by flooding. Lots of soil will need to be replaced SOON to cover roots and reseed lawn. The mower is back and ready to go. I need to finish pruning clematis and start in on the roses. Most of the ornamental grasses have had their haircuts.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 7:52PM
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Denise, thanks for the peek at your garden. The fence, the tile and the fringe tree are all a treat to see.

Deanne, I had Escargot last year and it just wimped out on me. You on the other hand can probably get it to thrive.

Kathy, wow! Your garden is looking fabulous. It will sell the house itself.

Chelone, the stove is truly lovely.

LOL about Annie not wanting to be caught online wearing an apron. It is a pretty one though. I wear one my mom made me occasionally

Honey, great to see you report in. I was wondering what you were up to, it sounds like plenty.

I wonder what Brenda is up to these days?

Marian, the catcus is wonderful. I have several but havent had them very long.

We spent yesterday afternoon with DHs siblings and spouses. Since his dad is gone we just dont seem to get together much. Ill probably try to do something this summer as several garden and they just may "get" what I do out here.

Jaden and I took a walk out past the overflowing creek, the ponds, through the grove and checked out all the waterfowl that are visiting at this time of year. Our weather seems to be shaping up. It was probably 60 today with sunshine and wind. Tomorrow will be the same but about 10 degrees warmer. We call this good drying weather. DH is itching to get in the field and Im itching to get into the garden. I have done some cleaning up but not nearly as much as Deanne.

I continue to work in the laundry. I ripped out some of the flooring tonight. DHs son will lay the new but we usually do the prep work.

I really need to declutter this place. So Im off.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:47PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im sorry to say I havent had time to idyll other than to quickly note Babs, Honey dropping in -- alot of each of their plates!

No snow, here, but finally Spring (despite it going back down to the 30s tonite).

I did manage to SALAT tonite....


    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Holey Moley Cindy, that's just beautiful! Thanks!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 10:27PM
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You've been holding out on us Cindy !

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 10:34PM
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Cindy, I'd SALAT if my garden look that good too. Right now I'd have to kneel as everything is pretty miniscule.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:21PM
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I finished the windows in the Salon! 10 doublehungs (2 triple mullions, 4 singles) and 4 "awning" style casements, with grilles. Every one of them has 2 coats of pickling stain and 2 coats of satin finish clear sealant on the sashes. They've all been scraped and washed and all the hardware is back on them. I've begun pickling the trimwork in the stairwell and have sealed the parts most likely to receive greasy fingerprints from the helpmeet.

Helpmeet purchased the Hemlock for the posts and railing that will encircle the now open stairwell. I've done the pickling color test on a sample of it and it will work nicely with the rest of the pine; the grain is different but very interesting.

I cracked up over poor Lord Nelson... is that story for real, Denise?

I began pulling leaves away from some of the crowns of plants (esp. Narcissus) but wimped out when I realized to finish I'd have to empty the helpmeet's crap out of the gardenway cart. We need Mary to come organize the bahn.

Denise, the fence is great! Mum was big on using odd numbers for any sort of arrangement she did, saying it provided a more interesting "rhythm" than evens (unless you're talking about Georgean architecture!).

I have to run, don't feel like working today, either. I would rather mess around in the yard rediscovering my plant friends.

Waving to everyone else.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 5:27AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning....gee, it was a busy couple of days here. Such a burst of posting and photos!

Kathy...LOVE that photo of your yard and that Lady Banks rose is amazing! Nice pruning job. It really does cover itself with blooms. You are inspiring me to keep trying with the roses. I have all five of our small roses pruned and composted cow manure added in the fall. Do you fertilize in the spring? Would you call that an obelisk, that is painted blue? Is it home to a clematis? The blue is just enough and very cheerful with the Lady Banks yellow. All that SALATing has paid off. :-)

Gardenbug, great photos of your vegetable garden. Makes a nice view from your house? What makes me think roses will be going up on the arbors? [g] What are your plans for this year? Does DH enjoy the gardens? Gee you could probably grow your own food for the year in that size garden. Will you be canning at all? Sounds like your knee is improving.

Denise...is the gate project a team effort? Marty has some serious skills. I love that window and the roofline of the house behind it is attractive. Pretty borrowed landscape. When that fringe tree blooms, it goes to town..lol. Can't wait to see the finished results.

Martie....You and BGF must make a good team. Must be a great feeling to be on track for the growing season. Especially after a few years of no garden behind you. Seedlings are looking good! No pansies open here yet.

Mary, I envy you your organized garage for sure. I am sure DH will come to appreciate it the next time he is looking for something.

Woody, sorry you are still having computer problems. I used to lose posts until I started using Wordpad and now TextEditor on the Mac, to respond to threads. I keep two windows open and then copy/paste it into the site. Works every time!

Honey, sorry to hear that Michigan is being so hard hit economically. Wishing there were some better news on the economy front.

How is that cutie, Missy? We watch The Dog Whisperer at our house too. Great show.

Cindy, what a pretty spring bed! I like that you have so many bulbs together to really make an impact instead of scattered a little here, a little there. Good job!

DD just started a new job and I will be dropping her off at the train station in the mornings. I'm looking forward to such a nice way to start my day and there is a Lowe's to stop at on the way home to see what is in the nursery once in awhile.

It was freezing yesterday morning. Saw two gorgeous variegated, cream color hollies in standard form. One had red berries on it. $29. a piece. Almost came home with them until I noticed they were English Holly only hardy to zone 6. Thought I'd save myself the disappointment. Not really feeling well enough yet to get much done in the garden, although I keep trying. Half hour out there yesterday morning that was it. Trying not to get in a twist about it and plan to spend the next couple of days babying myself to see if I can feel better in time for gorgeous weather next week at least.

Since I am not getting about taking photos...here is another from NG....

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 5:31AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It looks like its going to be a great garden day here with lots of sunshine and temps in the 50s or 60s. We started out below freezing though. My poor fuchsias in the garage are all looking a bit raggedy at the moment but they are finally setting out some leaves generated in the sunshine so theyll be looking better soon. Yesterday my Rosy Dawn order came and boy those plants are gorgeous! I know I say it every year but what a treat to get such robust, and healthy plants by mail order. They sent a bonus plant called Flamingo that I know Im going to love. I sure hope its sun tolerant and that it holds it current magenta-purple coloration. Its a beauty.

Cindy! That bulb display is gorgeous! Every year I tell myself Im going to plant tulips and every year I get too busy putting the containers to bed and never get around to it. Your photos make me wish Id taken the time to plant bulbs. Beautiful!

Michelle, I had a lovely Escargot a couple years ago but lost it over the winter. It seems I can grow Rex Begonias outside but not inside. Im trying to figure out where Im failing in their indoor culture and Im thinking Im probably over watering them. It always baffles me when I cant seem to grow something when I do OK with most things.

Bug, you really have a perfect kitchen garden there. Great pics.

Mary, Im with you on getting organized. I really detest things in a jumble so you cant find anything. I have a peg board in my framing area downstairs and I keep all my tools put up on the board. Anytime I cant find something its because Doug lost his pliers (or whatever) and hes borrowed mine from the peg board and not returned them. Right now my claw hammer is missing and Ive no idea where its walked off to. LOL

Babs, so glad to hear that Chris infection is healing up! That must have been a real worry.

Heres a pic of one of my Bella Hybird Abutilons. These seem to do really well for me under the lights.

OK Im off to the gym then Im going to spend a day in the gardens. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 7:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

High of 53 expected today. YES. More outdoor work after a few errands.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 9:17AM
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High of 70 but quite windy, but then I have to work anyway.

Deanne, the abutilon is gorgeous. I haven't given up on rexes yet. I do have one that I have had several years and it looks great. I think indoors they like my lack of watering. I believe Kathy mentioned planting them in clay pots, I'll try that this year.

Enjoy your day


    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 11:18AM
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Mary's chickpea pancake recipe ended up in the middle of a transcript I was working on. Gotta watch that cut-and-paste action! Who knows, maybe the attorneys would prefer I'd left it in. Your Honor, I move to admit this fantastic chickpea pancake recipe into evidence...pass the pickle...

I've got questions too, PM, on 'bugs veg garden, like can that path possibly be dry laid with such winters? Great spot for the barbie, overlooking the garden. The artichokes haven't looked tempting here yet, is why I asked. They're available year-round, off season coming from So. America I believe, but have been a scroungy-looking bunch for the most part. What giant nests the herons make. Besides these big guys, we also get night herons at the harbor, a much smaller bird.

PM, I did bring out some bruschetta for Marty's lunch. Does that count as a team effort? ;) Hope you're feeling better and ready to tackle the garden soon.

True enough about Lord Nelson (only way to preserve his illustrious body for the journey home and hero's funeral). Able-bodied seamen got the typical burial at sea. Bit of inside info, and don't faint, ladies, but when my BIL was an AB (able-bodied seaman) I found out they refer to themselves as "sperms," bit of play on words there.

Michelle, I love hearing about your walks with Jaden. So many of you have such great places to walk your dogs, just outside your door.

Cindy, you must have had a break from the steady stream of travails last fall to get those tulips in, and aren't you glad you did! Sheer loveliness. Spectacular armillary sphere, or what looks to be one.

Kathy, you must be glad on some level to be able to enjoy spring in your beautiful garden. True? Thanks for faithfully posting pix of the Queen, she's grand.

Babs, Chris seems a bit young and angelic for shaving? Glad that cellulitis is fading without a hitch.

Deanne, the abutilon is spectacular, and to think it's been indoors all winter. Wow.

I checked with Marty before asking about the peepers, since he moved around a lot as a kid, Virginia, So. Carolina. Never heard of them. I've got to think of something local and unheard of to dazzle you guys with...that'll take me a while ;)

Woody, did you find that post yet?

Weather has mercifully cooled and it's now overcast. Perfect!

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 12:21PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Good morning. Chilly here but getting warmer each day for the rest of the week. Think Ill put the rest of the patio furniture out this week, uncover the BB, and work outside as much as possible. The list seems to go on. Busy spring.

DH has been in a funk for months and would get testy if I suggested projects that we could do. Thats one of the reasons I took that P/T florist job. I did get him to do some things, but am now finding out stuff he didnt do, i.e., fix the garage door. Ill have to call someone out to adjust the pulley wires and get it operating smoothly again so I dont get stuck. Picked up some new grow lights this am and now have that operational again.

Deanne, Toms the same way. He has some disorganized method with his stuff and it drives me crazy. I ignore a lot. He usually does the bill paying and his filing system is a great puzzle to me. Twill be interesting. Gorgeous Albutions.

Mary, Tom and I also have had some great vacations tacked on to business trips, too. Usually, I got to go to better locales and he joined me. Once, he told me he couldnt get off work to join me in California. That is until I told him that along the way wed have to deliver a specially built luxury car to a major Sports Illustrated model & actress (hottie) who was surprising her hubby with it. It was amazing how fast he got clearance to take time off!

Denise, what a great space youre creating in the front of your home. The fence is beautiful. I think the 3 windows will really look nice. I just love some of the craftsman style bungalows that are so prevalent out there and the fact that you can fence in your property. Here, were not allowed to fence in our property (except around and immediately adjacent to a pool) and open landscaping where one yard flows into the next is encouraged. It does look nice and seems more open but is a problem if you have an inconsiderate neighbor.

Wow, wow, wow, Cindy! Just gorgeous! The only thing blooming here is my little "Glory in the Snow". Hmmm, perhaps its time to go get some pansys.

Bug, great to see your veggie garden and paths again.

Hi Michelle! Im hoping the Iris "Denim" you gave me will bloom this year. A few little leaves of Brunera Jack Frost are just popping up.

Babs, goof to hear Chris is doing better.

PM2, Missy is pooped today. Since DH wanted to spend some time with her, we kept her her home Sat. and she didnt get a walk or run at doggy daycare. So Sunday, she had the heebee jeebies and was pacing around. Yesterday, I indulged both of us and sent her for a full day. Shes outside now just enjoying spring, sun and nice temps. Its hard to believe shell be a year old soon!

Well, its sunny out so Im outta here. Hope youre doing the same!


    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 12:31PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

creak....groan....OW!... We more-or-less cleaned up the front beds this afternoon and prepared 6 big pots for planting peas tomorrow. Man, I'm out of shape!

If I'm not totally stiff and imobilised tomorrow, I will try to recreate my lost post. I had been doing the write-it-elsewhre approach for a while but got lazy and wrote it in the box; Randy called me to supper; I thought I hit 'submit' but obviousuly I missed... :-(

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 4:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have given up on Rexes a few times. The last one I bought did ok on a shady table all summer. Had it in the house for a couple of months before it finally died. It was in a clay pot and it did not get the same watering schedule as the rest of my plants but soon enough, first one leaf then the next started to turn mildew and it is kaput. Is there some secret to keeping them in the house?

Denise...yes, keeping him fed is definitely holding up your end. :-) I bet he likes doing it himself. Right? I would double bet, you like doing the garden yourself.

Deanne...love the color and abundance of blooms on your Abutilon. Your camera takes a nice close up too.

Another half hour out in the garden this morning and that was it. Looked out the window at the beautiful spring sunshine all day. Had a two hour nap this afternoon that I hope will help. The forecast for the rest of the week/weekend looks like great garden weather here. Hoping.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 5:17PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all, well if you heard screaming from the Northeast this afernoon that would have been me..... I've been working on cleaning out the driveway garden and I've never had this much rodent damage in one area before. My entire clump of H. 'Lemon Queen' is gone, gone, gone.... I'd also like to know why they decided to eat three of my 'Gladiator' allium bulbs. The others are there but there were three large mature bulbs in the corner of that garden that are MIA. My lovely clump of Sedum 'Matrona' is decimated. There are tunnels running right through it and what's left is all undermined and falling out of the groung. My Heliopsis 'Lorainne Sunshine' and three clumps of Echinacea 'White Swan' are gone as well. And the list is growing..... Sometimes it seems you just can't win with this gardening stuff. Last year it was that hail storm just when things had gotten off to a good start and now I'm going to have to replant a ton of perennials. Oh yes, I'm not holding out any hope that any of the oriental and trumpet lilies are still there as there are tons of tunnels in those areas of the garden as well. OK done venting.... but I surely wish they'd kept their depredations to a resonable level.

More later,

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 5:28PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Deanne, such a pity, after all that work to have to replace so much. I wish I had a suggestion to prevent that kind of damage, but we have had rabbits and groundhogs last year, but not the little vole/moles over the winter yet. Something to look forward to I guess, as our garden fills in more. [g] I am dividing up two large Sedum 'Matrona' this year and would be happy to share if that helps. :-)


    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I survived the trip. I feel like I've been hit by a truck mentally and physically. I'll update after I recover in a day or so.

I got this doggie warning on a rescue group list and wanted to warn all doggie Moms who might use flea and tick meds. DO NOT use the new product ProMeris without serious research on it's reactions.

Here' is part of the email:

"This is a new product designed to be a more effective product than other flea/tick treatments that was just released this year. It is available thru a vet and not currently on-line. I got ProMeris this week for my 7
dogs (6 Huskies & 1 Golden-Airedale) , and the results were
debilitating for nearly all of them-including me. Since my incident this week, my vet has pulled it from distribution and alerted the manufacturer, Fort Dodge. "

Take care all,

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 9:29PM
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Hola Idylls, my Tuesday was not much improved over my Monday, but have survived both ..The weather is pleasant and the path to the weekend seems smooth. So today boss (in his never ending dont go mode) has advised me that he has enlisted the aid of another fellow VP to convince executive management at large that I need more $$ to entice me to stay just one more year. And ,in my e-mail is a note from my MG group notifying me that I am officially a candidate for my garden to be on the 09 garden tour and could they come and take a look next week ? Ai yi yi ! I am going to tell the MGs that they are more than welcome to take a look, and they can put me down as an alternate, if I am still here and someone bails I can step in to fill the void. A great way to get free weeding assistance for many weeks in spring. Will tell my boss to Show Me The Money.

bug, thinking Idyll 264 was before my time, and I do so like the design, layout and setting of your project.

Michelle , I hope you get your laundry room project completed before your weather is so nice you cant bear to be indoors anymore- thats where I am right now. I do my cleaning really early in the morning and then its outside for the duration.

Chelone, you are the worker-bee deluxe..bet all those windows look fabu-fabu.

PM, I have one Rex, is in a clay pot, and I moved it three or four times this winter, including spending the day outdoors when the weather was over 55. It is outside now in the shade. I let it get pretty dry between waterings this winter. Yes, I do call it an obelisk. My late DH made it for me, and it was the home to Buff Beauty hybrid perpetual rose. I had to cut the rose almost to the ground this winter so that I could remove the obelisk to take with me when I go-the rose had it in her clutches! I am an organic gardener and my roses get alfalfa meal in spring and Dr Earth rose food in June and again in Sept.If I remember , lol !

Deanne, I keep looking for the Bella hybrids after seeing yours. I wont buy any this year even if I find them since I am in a unsettled situation, but they are surely on my to-get list for the future .

Honey, the fence thing : Our lots here are so small that fences are really needed if you want to have any privacy what so ever. Every back yard is a secret garden . I think that the open thing with one yard flowing into another is really cool for the front of the house though. What do you do if you have a dog ?

Deanne, that is just so un-FF re: the destruction in your driveway garden. I am really lucky that I have no rodents here , and my worst issue is snail and the occasional banana slug. I would be totally bummed if my lilies got trashed. I guess your up side to the whole thing is the perfect excuse to go out and buy more plants !

Ok, thime to have some dinner and settle in for some baseball;I am ready for a total veg-out evening

Doobie likes the Nepeta

    Bookmark   April 15, 2008 at 9:54PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Chilly this morning but it looks like another sunny day shaping up. Feeling very antsy and nothing seems to be distracting me much, so I went looking to see what spring photos were being posted on Idyll's last year. Found myself reading Idyll #315

What has changed in a year?
Chelone was out in the garden working and contemplating the 'Salon'
'V' was having SIL problems
Sue was recovering from surgery
Jerri was mixing it up with members of her rescue group
Gardenbug was keeping company with Charlotte and no sign of a Phoebe and DD was still expecting Reed
Cynthia's Monty was recovering and Katie was just starting to have problems
Martie was laying faux bluestone and moving her Peace Rose
Brenda was posting and her Mom had just passed the previous month
T was babysitting the boys.
Honey was taking care of business with the neighbors and won a TV
Kathy was working on her teeth and posted gorgeous before/after pics of her front yard and celebrating a close call for BooBoo
Michelle was excited about the upcoming SpringTeaandBridalShow
Cindy took a week off from work and gardened herself silly, posted great bulb photos
Eden was gardening with Bella :-) and playing backgammon with friends?
Ei was anticipating the house going on the market and helping her Mom and Sis
Wendy was mulching her woodland area and getting ready for a trip to the nursery with DH and the truck
Mary was dusting herself off from a Hyper-tufa workshop and mourning the death of Rostropovich
Deanne was thinking about starting over with her pond, admiring her climbing Hydrangea and posting gorgeous spring photos
Babs' Ryan had just been bitten by a dog
Saucy was back after long absence starting up a new business w hubby
Norma was feeling like she was starting over and contemplating revamping spaces
Monique was excited about Emma's recovery from surgery
JWJ...made a surprise appearance and was having a photo shoot of her house

Spring in another part of the world...

It can't possibly be Wednesday already...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 7:21AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

We are going to have a brilliant day here. Temps started out at 32 and are going up to 64, not a cloud in the sky. Severe Clear as Doug says the pilots call a day like this. Im hoping to finish cleaning up the driveway garden today and get the wisteria pruned and get that corner cleaned out. Then Ill have to tackle pond cleanup, get the fish outside and spring chores are done. Woohoo! Getting closer to being finished.

I put together my first three containers yesterday. They are just a spring cheer me up for the front steps but it feels good to have some color out there.

And here is a pic of the containers from the top of the steps.

Kathy, Love the garden pic with Doobie pruning your Nepeta. My boys love it too. I really love the blue obelisk in this pic. Sue has one that color also. ~~ If you cant find any of the Bella hybrids Abutilon when you get situated let me know and I can send you some rooted cuttings or pick some up at the nursery I get them from and send them out to you. They really are winners.

Jerri, glad to have you back. Sending hugs your way. I have to go to a cousins funeral today and Im not looking forward to dealing with the relatives. These are the folks from my Dads side of the family. She was just a year older than I but mentally ill and on meds her whole life. Her liver failed.

PM thanks for the kind offer of some Matrona but Ive got enough left to get it going again. I just have to replant the sections that are left.

Woody, I can totally empathize with your creaking and groaning. No matter how much time I spend at the gym gardening uses whole different muscle groups. Must feel good to have those front gardens cleaned up.

Honey, I can empathize about the garage door undone project. Ive got a list of those projects on the never will get done list. Four years ago I asked for a full view storm door for my front door for my BD. Id been asking for him to put one on for three years prior and I thought that if I asked for it for my BD Id get it. NOT! It still hasnt happened.

Denise, LOL about the pancake recipe ending up in your transcript!

Michelle, Im beginning to think that my Rex Begonia problem is because I must overwater them. Even though Im careful I must be giving them too much TLC.

OK Ive got to hit the shower and get dressed. Ive got to be out the door by nine.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 7:50AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy....I must be still giving the Rex too much water, thanks for the tip. Also for the rose fertilizer info. I am going to have to find a feed store near me. I've looked for the alfalfa meal and not found it yet. Buff Beauty is one of my favs too. LOVE that obelisk and so special since your DH made it just for you. :-)

Deanne...glad you have some Matrona left. It won't be long before it is a big patch again, they grow so fast! LOVE your pots...such great color to start the spring season off with!

G'bug.....I caught your rain barrel set up in one of the photos...check that off your list. Thanks :-)

Honey...wow, a year already...Missy should be very happy she lives at your house, we would be entirely too sedate for her. [g] Glad you are working it out so well. DoggyDayCare sounds like a good movie plot. lol

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 9:13AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

I'm pretty stiff this morning - I sure hope I get back in shape for the garden quickly! Starting the clean-up in the front just highlights how much more needs doing! And we haven't finished the front yet - still need to do the garage area, the herb bed, the porch area and the south side of the house. And the backyard is considerably bigger - but still too wet to do much there until next week at least. Plus the dog-poo-patrol has to clean it up first! We've had a lot of doggie visitors over the winter and the evidence is now clearly visible.

This morning I meant to plant the peas in the pots we prepared yesterday - but I forgot to put the seeds out to soak last night! I put them out this morning so I'll plant them this evening.

I'm trying to remember what was in my lost post...

I know I commented on Houseplant Queen Marian's fabulous cactus. I've had the occasional bloom from a cactus but nothing like that!

I see that Babs posted an update on Chris's lip problem. I'm happy to see that it seems to be improving and hope it continues to do so; it sounded like a very worrisome thing to have.

Honey - that sure sounded like hectic times re your DH's new job! I hope you get a chance for some visiting in Paris. Is that the sort of job that could lead to a work stint in Europe for a couple of years? That would be a fun thing to do. It sounds like your DD is a practical and down-to-earth sort - takes after you...? With DH away, it must be especially nice to have DD there - and Missy. And it sounds like you've got lots on your plate to keep you occupied while DH is away :-)

And I know I commented on pretty fashionista Katie in her pink couture gown.

And Chelone's beautiful stove... The Salon is going to be drop-dead gorgeous.

Mary's apron looks practical and attractive. I need to use a apron more than I do - I'm a very messy cook.

I was very annoyed with myself on Monday - I took my camera with me to get pictures of my friend's marathon cooking results - but forgot to use it! She had meant to take pictures too - but also forgot! The end result of her cooking was 16 family-sized platters of food. I got to take home some butter chicken and a curried salmon steak for Randy (I don't like fish...:-)

Deanne - poor you re the vole damage - that would be VERY annoying! Knock-on-wood, I've never had problems with such things. Rabbits are an issue - but Misty is a dedicated rabbit hunter and keeps the population down in the backyard at least.

You California ladies are so lucky with the early start to warmth and gardening...

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 10:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The dock is in and DH is now setting up hoses. Spring is definitely in the air! I grow mainly clematis on the arbor in the vegetable garden though a few roses may have survived, but too early to tell. There are fewer and fewer vegetables and herbs, more and more flowers there.

Today I raked a huge pile of flood debris from the front lawn area. There are many areas that will need soil and seed there. :( More island beds to deal with this afternoon.

The tough tale of the day is that Sarah's fabulous dog Indy dug her way out of their yard last night when they were out to dinner. They drove everywhere and phoned everywhere and still no clue where she could be. Sarah is totally miserable and hoping someone kept her indoors for the night. She is tattooed, and chipped too I believe. Indy is truly her first baby and I hope so hard that nothing bad has come of her. They have repaired the fencing and gates frequently and were convinced they were now foolproof. Alas.... I keep returning to the computer for updates!
PM2, I so enjoyed your review from Idylls past.
Deanne, F-F colour in those porch pots!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 11:10AM
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I woke up this morning with the thermometer reading 50 degrees and finches on the feeder. The reluctant spring may actually be here. Ive done little in the garden though. It does seem to be pretty dry. I could easily be planting peas like Woody.
Last night I did 6 wintersowing containers, even though its not winter anymore.

Kathy, we are kind of at a stand still in the laundry room until the flooring gets laid. I do want to add beadboard around the sink and washer/dryer area and we have a new sink to install. We will do these things when we move the washer and dryer out for the flooring install.

Deanne, how terribly frustrating to find so much damage. I have one bed that I get some rodent damage in but it's the Welcome Garden and I dont have anything real special out there since its my one garden that I dont water. Mostly coneflowers, autumn joy and that type of plants.
We did have lots of shrubs eaten by rabbits this winter. Its hard to get any size to them, but I dont have time cage them all.
Funny but we purchased a full view storm door for our back door and it remains in the garage more than a year later. Although, the old door is almost shot and wont shut properly so theres hope that it will be a necessity soon.
Your front door containers look so nice and surely bring a smile when you see them. I need something by mine, but the closest nursery is ½ hour away and I just havent been there to get something.

PM2, the look back to last year was neat. A lot has changed.

Kathy, my thought always is why werent you paying me more all along if you find it so hard to do without me.

Honey, best to get the garage door adjusted. We were stuck in ours a while back and of course it wasnt a convenient time.

'bug, I certainly hope that your DD finds her dog back. Our last dog we believe was stolen and we never did get him back.

That reminds me of an interesting story. My BIL's dog went missing and they looked and looked and thought it strange as he wasn't fenced and always stayed home. 2 years later some guy was arrested for theft and when they searched the place he lived on, there was BIL's dog and someone actually recognized the dog as theirs and Red was returned after a 2 year absence.

Another warm but windy day on tap here. Enjoy yours!


    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 11:49AM
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I feel like I've been a bad Idyller. I have been reading, but everytime I want to post, something comes up. I don't know if I will comment on all that I have thought to say in the past few days!

I am excited that the ball is rolling on IU5. I am also planning my trip to TN to see a friend, and introduce a friend to TN for the first time. I have a "girls" weekend planned at the end of May in Maine - we'll be 5 moms with no strings, very fun. I also have a Tower Hill plant sale and nursery trip with NE Idyllers to look forward to, and possibly a trip to Garden in the Woods (I will send a "still interested?" email). I feel like my dance card is filling up.

I have been busy in my neighbor's garden. I love to give her garden it's spring spruce up. We go to the wholesaler on Friday and this is a treat for me. It's fun to see the big operation and load her truck full of plants. Planting will begin next week.

My garden is still in it's planning stages, but we are planning to work on the bones this weekend. Sadly, the 100 y.o. maple in the backyard is dead (they ran over the roots to hook up to the sewage before I moved in)...it's getting removed along with some other large "bones." Nick has lush green grass planned for the back and I have it bordered with beds (in my head :) I feel inspired this year.

PM, I loved your synopsis of last year at this time. Maybe you could give us a run down next April, too :)

Deanne, you always make a statement! I love your containers....gorgeous. I thought you built cages for your plants a couple of years ago....am I thinking of someone else? The devastation is hard to imagine, but I know you will come up with something fabulous to take it's place :)

Wish I could've seen Woody's feast! I do enjoy your cooking escapades.

I think the chickpea cakes sound wonderful and will try them! I am especially interested in the onion trick.

I still have not made it to the shower today. Everytime I tried to, someone needed a ride or a meal. I am off for hot suds and then I'm sitting on my sofa with my blanket and watching last night's episode of The Riches. I like my t.v. serials, and none of you Idylls will convince me otherwise! Luckily I don't have kids who are glued to the tube and don't really worry about it like I think some people should :)

The street sweeper finally came and did a really bad job in front of my house. I ended up sweeping it myself and throwing it in the garbage....I wait all year for the one day when the sweeper comes.....



    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 8:17PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well Im over the moon, I bought a new camera and new lens and Im loving it. I upgraded my Canon Rebel Xti to the Canon 40D and it was worth every penny. The 40D outperforms the Xti by a mile at higher ISO settings. I also picked up a nice, fast 100mm. macro/portrait lens and its as sharp as advertised. New toys, what fun! So I ran around outside this afternoon chasing the cats around taking their pics. They didnt know what was up but here are a few pics of Rahjii, my spotty, poka-dotty boy.

Woody, the best way to deal with being sore from garden clean-up is more of the same! LOL. Sounds like you still have your work cut out for you. Did you get your peas planted tonight?

Bug, how discouraging to keep dealing with flooding every spring. So sorry! How about a barn/pond pic for us?

Michelle, how great you are finally getting some spring weather. WE are too and Im loving it!

Saucy, yes, I did cage my clematis a few years ago on the plants in the back but Ive never had any rodent damage in the front so this is new territory for the drasty beasts. ~~ I always sweep the street in front of our house even though the city does. They never really do a good job so I just do it myself.

OK Doug just got home with groceries so its time to run and help him put them away.

Have a good evening

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 8:31PM
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Wow Deanne! I feel like I've been on a Safari, LOL! I can't wait to see what you do with this new camera!

GB, I am sorry I missed the trip to your farm. You have laid out such a beautiful garden and I love getting glimpses into your little piece of the world.

Kathy, I hope they keep wooing you no matter what you choose....it must be flattering :)

Sarah and I gave the dog a Spring brushing yesterday and left all the hair in the lawn. This morning we're watching a chickadee pair pick it up for nesting!

I've got a bus to catch!


    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 7:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks Michelle. No news yet. They narrowed it down to a 15 minute period when she went missing. We're all feeling very sad. Do you know anything about how Red behaved after his return?

70F expected today, 75 tomorrow. Needless to say, I'll be outside. Imagine though how the house has been neglected... Saucy, sorry you haven't made it here. You can come ANY time. Any help with weeding is appreciated ;)

Reed is 10 months old today, but he misses Indy...Skyler is back with Sarah's family. Mom is still too 'sick' to care for him. Good thing she doesn't have to care for a new puppy too.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 8:08AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Deanne - great pictures with that new camera! Yes, I got the peas planted yesterday - but forgot to do the lettuce so will do that - and more garden clean-up - today. A dentist visit and a filling is also on the agenda unfortunately!

gb - I sure hope Indy is found soon! I noticed our south gate was partly open yesterday which gave me conniptions! That gate has a sticky latch and it obviously hadn't closed properly after we had used it on Tuesday. I'm paranoid about gates being open so will have to remind Arlene, Barb and Randy about double checking to make sure it's really closed whenever they go through it.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 8:30AM
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It was so nice to spend 2 ½ hours in the garden last night. I believe all the grasses are cut back. I was able to move a few perennials, but its somewhat risky as not all the bulbs are up and of course I dont know where they all are. I also planted sugar snap peas, baby spinach, radishes and parsley.

Rick may not be in the field but repairs of the field cultivator are in progress and my help was required. I dislike that kind of work as I feel its dangerous. I know why farming is ranked up high in the most dangerous jobs. Last night a 500 lb. piece needed to be removed and it wasnt easy, Rick was maneuvering it and I was lifting it with a chain attached to the bucket of the skidloader. I was plenty relieved when it was done.

bug, as far as I know Red was the same after returned and died of old age. My sister has 4 kids as well.

Deanne, enjoy your new camera. My new toy is a camcorder. Last summer I wasnt able to use the old one because none of the batteries would hold a charge. So far the garden hasnt looked like much to use it though.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 12:13PM
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Everyone's in the garden, huh?


    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 7:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Still waiting for Indy....Perhaps I'll leave the last post open for the announcement of her return?
She was spotted last night at 4pm and then again later on too. Although she is micro chipped, the chip is tricky to find as it shifted to one of her elbows from the neck area where it was implanted.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 8:26PM
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This has been a busy week for me. Adventures in canvas, tax time, some actually springlike weather, and Rex's surgery (today).

I am very sorry to learn that Indy has gone AWOL, 'bug. Sarah must be just heartsick.

I am closing this thread out because there is something unfulfilled about not finishing 100 posts. Perhaps it will break the jinx and bring Indy home. Sending good thoughts for that fool dog's timely return.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 5:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

You did it Chelone!
FOUND! She's on her way home!
Wayne & Skyler checked the pound yet one more time...and there she was.
Oh my....I'm in tears.
It has been a very long 4 days.
You can uncross everything now! Thanks for all the support!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 4:28PM
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