Idyll #328- Let the Good Times Roll

drema_dianne(z6OH)July 24, 2007

First idyll title for me.. this song has been "rolling" in my head all morning..

Come on baby, let the good times roll

Come on baby, let it through your soul

Come on baby, let the good times roll

Roll all night long

I said baby this is it

This is something that I just can't miss

Come on baby, let the good times roll

Roll all night long

I feel so good, sugar, when you're home

I say, come on baby

I wanna rock all night looooong

I feel so good

Now that you're home ......

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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Love this song, but I think we need to go w/ only one thread... this was kind of way the IU4 went wasnt it, LOL? we were all doing and talking simultaneously... what fun.

Can we save your thread, Drema and go w/ good ideas & save the good times for the next #328?


    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:24AM
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Good morning

Bravo fellow artistes! Charlotte's self portrait, Kathy's flower lady and Cynthia's C scape are way cool. How neat to see what each of us creates with the same limited tools. I have to stay clear of Mr Picasso Head today - I find him too addicting. I was up till late trying to create a cubist self portrait. Just not enough geometric shapes for anything satisfactory.

Denise - I love old artist films, one of my favs is the Agony and the Ecstasy where a bearded Charlton Heston was brilliant as Michael Angelo.

Chelone - your night at the theatre sounds grand. Annie and I went to see a summer production of "Anything Goes". It was a fun night out and I'm still humming the tunes.

Time to get going on the day!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:26AM
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Yeah, DREMA! thoroughly awesome FIRST Idyll. :)

I love the Gershwin Bros. but confess my absolute favorite is Cole Porter. I love the sentimentality of the Gershwin boys, but for downright wittiness and clever use of our language... NO ONE trumps Cole Porter (with the possible exception of Stevie Wonder). Lyrics aside, there would be many composers in contention... but I'm not a musician and I relate to lyrics initially. JAZZ is all about being "American"; takin' the "is" and turning it into the "whatwill be". None of that would ever occur if it weren't for the "infusion" and "integration" by "other" influences to our PRESENT circumstance. Did anyone hear the story about the Ukulele artist on NPR this morning?!

WOW! how great is this country we inhabit, in spite of its shortcomings?!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:46AM
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I didn't hear the story on NPR, but is this the guy that plays "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"? A friend told me a few months back to have a listen and, I admit, I snobbishly thought her taste had taken a hit with middle age. Was I wrong. What an artist -- if it's the same guy. S'Wonderful ;) Well-written lyrics get me, too, except there's a fine line sometimes. Don't know if you've heard Aimee Mann, but I often find she crosses that line, by writing such tightly controlled, hermetic lyrics, usually riffing on an extensive metaphor, that the song doesn't zip like Porter but just cleverly clunks along. She seems pleased, though. Now, Joni Mitchell, there's a lyricist par excellence. Elvis Costello too. What boomer tastes!

And, Chelone, hats off to your kindness with the motorcyclist. Doesn't get any better than that. About the Corgi's pose, I'll have to catch him in his preferred "flying squirrel" mode, with his 2-inch legs stretched out behind him. Funny little breed. I completely understand keeping large breeds controlled. Our previous dogs were Newfoundlands, an amazingly gentle breed, but you'd be a fool not to learn how to understand and control 160-pounds of dog. Woke up this morning to find the dog treats on the front porch were stolen, second night in a row. And there's the neighbor's pitbull at the fence, howling for her treat. Strange thievery. Will lock gates tonight.

Cynthia, that aloe had a few pups, but it's a stiff plant and it wouldn't pull apart, but kinda broke off. Three pups are cooling their torn ends in sand right now. We'll see what happens...

Hey, Martie! I can't believe you can just visit WFF. I saw it in '83. Happened to be one month pregnant at the time. Sounds like there's some great nurseries on the EC. Good morning, to all. I'll stop here, since this thread might be a dead-ender with the dueling threads. Check in later.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 11:33AM
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I, too, wondered if the ukulele artist was the same one in the story you referenced, Denise. Need to do some research (but probably WON'T). :)

Aimee Mann... yeah... know about her, listened to her and sort of liked her stuff. But I have to say, it doesn't "speak to me". Not the way Cole Porter or the Gershwin Bros. do ... sorry; if you like a modern artist listen to their "inspirations". I don't think her voice is anything to "write home about". If she was willing to sing in front of big band, LIVE... I might reconsider my assessment. (ditto: Mariah Carey, Madonna, and Whitney Houston...). But the big name vocalists never questioned a director's wishes, they never wanted to "call the shots"... (OR, they left the band!) Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day, Kay Starr, Billy Holiday, June Christie, and many, many others never did. And no one can disspute the quality of their musical legacy. Aimee Mann has much to prove, IMO.

Corgis and Newfoundlands are leagues away in personality with repsect to their breeding/intended work. But you've probably figured that out by now, huh? :) Short legs, "cute" faces and the reality of the breed "personality" is too often overlooked. Cattle dogs, Corgis are tough, independent, self-directed little "workers". NOT a cuddly, snuggly "lapdog", at all! Corgis are tough, independent, and more than willin' to "mix it up" to establis the hierarchy. I hate dogs, but the tough ones gain a grudging respect from this "cat person".


    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 12:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Let's deal with this thread first, OK folks?

I've spent a few hours weeding the barn garden. I'm about 1/3 done. Sheesh! It is supposed to be a "relaxed" look, but not utterly wild! It is fun to see the hollyhocks, roses and grasses once the finished part. Doesn't do much for the fingernails though. I managed to find spots for the Echinacea Vintage Wine and the Salvia Pink Delight.

DH took the axe to some giant burdocks and carted them off to the fire pit. No hope of eliminating them permanently. I read somewhere their seeds last 75 years or so. Anyway, grooming them out of Charlotte's coat is a challenge to us all. He also cut off some tent caterpillars from a plum tree.

Martie, I agree about Skyler. It IS a wonder he deals OK with life. His mother is so needy in odd ways that she has made him into a very difficult little guy. His behavior at DD's home is pretty good, but apparently not so at Mom's place or at school. He isn't stupid and knows how to manipulate her. DD phoned to say what a good day he had yesterday. She instituted a "1 strike and your out" policy. Any whining and manipulating and away he goes to his room. For some reason firm rules didn't bother him at all and he was an angel. His Dad and Mom are always reasoning with him and that seems to encourage the eternal "WHY WHY WHY" age 8! Dad is catching on now though after seeing results with firmness. He has limited the number of daily phone calls to Skyler's Mom recently. He likes to phone her and complain every time he doesn't get his way. Skyler has improved tremendously in the last year! I figure they have about 6 or 7 more years before he's out of their control, so had better make the best of things. :-)

No motorcyclists here today, but yesterday the bible salesmen were entertained at length by DSIL. They got about 10 words in in the hour they stayed and then declared they had to go. He suspects they'll not be returning. He really loves discussing these things, but doesn't appreciate others forcing it on him.

Better do something about the grimy hands before preparing a little lunch.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 12:22PM
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Jake Shimabukuro? I think I heard Scott Simon interview him a few months ago.

It rained last night and was cool & low humidity for gardening this morning, but now wet rag front has moved in. I managed to do some ruthless chopping of anything not looking at least halfway decent in a couple of gardens. Eyed the Aster Raydon's favorite which are not my favorites right now. Splayed and browned at the bottom, but granted reprieve and may truss them up later today and see if I can stand them for another month. The fall blooms are worth it (until I change my mind later today.)

My favorite phlox is Richard Poore, and I find a new spot out front to stuff in more each year. Trimming up the front I found a blooming seedling that's not muddy at all. Slightly lighter shade of purple but a dark center the color of Richard. I've marked it with a twist tie and will be looking at that plant in fall wondering what I meant to do with it. My twist ties usually means something is orange where orange doesn't work.

Denise, that Crocosmia S. is stunning! My Lespedeza won't be blooming for another month at least, I really like them in winter when the branches all rise up and curve towards each other, and started a bunch from seed this year. Now wondering where to sneak them in on the neighbors property. No room here.

Marty, Let us know if you found anything fun at WFF.

The sweat has evaporated so I suppose I should get back out there.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 12:41PM
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Right, Chelone. I can think of a few dogs that would love to have you "hate" them. Nice to see Rex out of the woods. And self-directed is a polite term for our corker. Our last Newf Toby was going to be the last dog, ever. We were devastated. What a noble beast. When the war started in 2003, a comical corgie seemed like a good idea for this family. Nuff said. At least we'll always know his age, something I tend to forget. Couldn't cite the ages of the cats, for instance. Of course, the corker is now the finest dog in dogdom, etc. (Honey, good time to mention best of luck with Missy. Sounds like a handful!)
I share your assessment of Mann. A neighbor has been blaring power ballads for about a week. Must have got a compilation. Houston, Celine Dion, over and over. In all honesty, drivin' me nuts. Now, Arethra I could probably take no problem in excess. Ditto Billie Holiday, Piaf, Callas, Ella.

Mary, I've discovered you can print the Picasso heads!
These are definitely going on my next business cards.

Gosh, you guys are addictive. I've gotta knuckle down and get some work done. Hello, to all neo-newbies, Mariann, Dianthus. Hope you're feeling OK today, Marian. My DH swears by Tramadol when his back acts up. It's an effective but tricky drug, though, and he usually feels rotten for a couple days after stopping. He slid down the back porch last week, landing in a howling heap, still limping on the sprained ankle, but won't take the Tramadol. Saves it for the big stuff.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 12:44PM
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The lawn is mown. I did Sanitary Ridge and the south lawn before becoming so pissed off at the mower I called it quits. A rather noisy grinding sort of noise required us to switch over to BIL's mower. I hate his mower only slightly more than I hate dogs. Apparently, there is something amiss with the "personal pace" aspect of the transmission...

Eww.. burdocks and a dog like Charlotte sound like a poor mix, 'bug! Wrecks is rather unhappily viewing the yardwork from his "launch pad" in the guest room. I feel so bad for him; much as I hate dogs the poor guy shouldn't have to be subjected to "house arrest" during the SUMMER. He'll survive, but he's not having very much fun these days. Perhaps the humidity has taken the starch outttamycollah but I don't even feel like administering a beatin' (fancy that!). Go figure. Many, many moons ago, I had a boyfriend with a Newfie.. That fool dog used to go out of his mind whenever he'd see me in the water! he simply couldn't understand that I was there by choice... bless his simple heart. When restrained with a leash he used to cry and fuss; it was easier to simply leave him home. But, WOW! talk about a dog bred and adapted for the water... amazing! He drooled, A LOT. Another reason I hate dogs...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 3:21PM
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Darn, darn pididdley!! I'm so sorry for forgetting about Drema's #328. I'll leave the starting to others ..... LOL

Anyway, no trip to WFF today in favor of lawn mowing by DH and weeding by me, but did swing to a local nursery and was really proud to point at the Open Garden poster and say: "I know someone who's on that!" The counter guy chimed in..."We know her, too!!! Really Well!!!!" They've got your number at Garden Sales, Sue, and said that on Open Garden days they put on extra staff :-)

Couldn't find Cathrine or Strawberry but did find 'Bama Music for a different spot. Yaknow when a plant just screams "TAKE ME HOME" and you have to???? That's what happened. I heard it. Honest.

Trying to wrap my head around Marie's DSiL's former and Honey's SiL and people who are just mean in general. Maybe it's a good thing I don't understand.

Am loving the pet pics. It's looking like I'll have more time at home really soon, and maybe a dog would be okay? It's my one big fear that the poor creature will feel entirely neglected while we're gone all day. For some reason the thought of crating doesn't do anything for me, and the house isn't set up to easily gate. Hmmmmmmmm

Next time I'm out lingerie shopping I'm looking for the hottest set of bloomers in Garden land these days. LOL at a moment when it was Most appreciated, Mary!!

IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR TIMING PURPOSES: Anyone started taking cuttings, yet?

Sorry, again, Drema!!


    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 3:37PM
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Hi All,
It's been raining here on and off since Friday. Severe thunderstorms. We lost power Friday evening until Saturday morning. I'm always amazed by how much I rely on electricity.

I was in a swap recently and someone sent me a Yucca plant. I have about 2" of full sun on my 3/4 acre property.

My SIL retrieves wood from curbside recycling. He takes whatever it is apart and makes furniture as a hobby. Very creative guy.

I spent 10 minutes chasing this Hummingbird Moth around to try and get a photo. Isn't as good as I would like I'll have to keep trying.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Creation

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 3:53PM
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Time for the 2 oclock beer. IÂm reflecting on what IÂve accomplished this weekend, and IÂm not too impressed. I did mow the lawn (an exercise that comes nowhere near to the magnitude of mowing Chelones lawn) which took about 10 seconds , and I did a tad of laundry.
Last evening I was out deadheading in the front garden and a lady came down the street with her little dog. She said (speaking to the dog ) " Oh look itÂs the flower lady !" (the doggie did not comment) . She went on to tell me that she likes to walk by every day, and last week she brought a friend of hers by to see the garden . Pretty cool , huh ? Nice to know that someone actually notices ..she asked if it was a lot of work. I told her that work is a relative term (i.e. the inside of my house looks like hell right now because I spend all my time in the garden ).

Martie, I was excited to hear about your trip to WFF..sorry it didnÂt pan out for you . Back in the olden days when I worked at the garden center in San Diego we couldnÂt give perennials away unless they were pelargoniums or euryops. People just wouldnÂt buy anything that didnÂt have a flower on it and either bloomed all year or stayed green all year. We sold boatloads of Euryops and to this day I would not be caught dead with one ! Anyway, the WWF catalog was like a textbook to me-I never bought anything from them since the prices with shipping to the west coast is prohibitive, but I kept every catalog and read it over and over , cover to cover. I learned a ton from that catalog. When I moved to Northern Cal in 1986 I was excited to see that nurseries up here actually carried some of the plants that I saw in the WWF catalog.

Chelone, all I heard of the uke story this morning was the correct pronunciation. I didnÂt even hear Will and Leanne do the puzzle this morning. I think I went right outside with my coffee. I concur that there is no lyric like a Cole Porter lyric. You can also make a very strong case for Steven Sondheim. Though his music isnÂt as traditionally tuneful or accessible as CP there is considerable wit and cleverness there. Poor Rex , having to gaze longingly out the window while Mom toils in the garden.

Denise, I hate it when neighbor music is louder than my music Âespecially if it is bad. Celine and Whitney fit the bill IMHO. I have a little portable stereo that I bring outside in summer that actually does not have to be very loud at all to mask neighbor sounds.Except of course for the guy across the street who has not got one sigle piece of garden equipment that is not powered by a gasoline engine. Blowers, edgers, brush cutters, hedge trimmers, power washers, heÂs got Âem all. Why the heck do you need a power hedger to trim 2 Loropetalums and 1 Escallonia ? I could probably have the Loropetalums done with my trusty Coronas in the time it takes him to gas up the thing.TheyÂd probably look better too ! Hmmph. Enough of the whining.

Mariann, nice try with the hummingbird moth. It looks better than some of my still shots ..IÂm really trying to master my camera .IÂm thinking of taking a class that they are offering at our local community college in Sept.

Cynthia, IÂm noting the name of Richard Poore as I have decided to increase my Phlox inventory. Looking for purples and lavenders..
Ok, hi-ho to all, and here is another Important Work from a Tormented ArtistÂ

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 6:38PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Kathy - however little you accomplished this weekend, it was miles more than I did! Other than watering a few pots and the new wisteria, I don't seem to have done a thing!

Copper returned home this evening. Misty is all big-eyed and sad that her big buddy left. The leaving was quite an event though. My friend was tired from the long flight (9 hours + airport time I gather) plus the time difference so she went to bed and her husband and one of the boys came for Copper. Copper greeted them with lots of loud barking and her 'scary man' face! (scary man face = lips parted to show a bit of teeth and an expression that says 'prove to me you're harmless...') Then she did copious amounts of submissive peeing in the front hall and dining room! From all that I conclude that she must have assumed she had done something terribly wrong that resulted in her banishment from that 'pack' to this one and was doing her doggie best to apologize while saying she wasn't prepared to take any 'grief' about whatever it was she had done. I suggested that they put the crate in their bedroom and let her sleep there to reconnect to their 'pack' and make sure she felt welcome. She slept in her (open) crate in our bedroom here and was very comfortable with that but at her place the crate is usually in the laundry room. I don't think that's a good place for her to sleep. I had to scrub all the floors after they left - we did an emergency clean-up with paper towels while they were here so they could get the crate etc. out but the front of the house needed a proper washing. Copper has certainly been an interesting guest!

I'm really impressed with everyone's creative ability on the Picassohead site. The violin lady and Charlotte's self-portrait were particularly memorable. I tend to realism in art stuff so my poor attempt is sort of abstract realism I guess.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 8:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A PERFECT summer Sunday here. After garden work in the cool part of the day, we had a quick lunch and then went off for a Sunday drive. Ended up at my clematis friend's old schoolhouse. We enjoyed an amazing tour of his gardens and stayed for tea and cookies. He has acquired a male and female Bantam pair that are amazing. I never had any idea how adorable they can be! They are true pets and came to greet us and show off. DH was truly impressed by them. Although I had a parakeet as a kid, I never thought I'd ever feel warmly about any birds....
My friend actually GAVE me some wonderful plants and I ended up buying a few too. Amazing!
We toured a local marsh on our meandering route home, then grilled our dinner upon our return.

When I checked my email, this is what I found! YEAH!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 8:58PM
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Good evening

Just returned from seeing the movie 'La Vie en Rose' about the turbulent life of Edith Piaf. The "little sparrow" herself was wonderfully depicted and her tragic life brought alive in the film. Edith Piaf was only 4' 8" (as a fellow shortie I find that interesting) but what a voice!! I used to listen to a lot of her music and will be hunting tomorrow for my old cassettes to see if they still play.

I'll leave you with the following, one of her most famous and my favorite.

Nite all


PS Enjoyed every one of the portraits - keep them coming! Kathy - are you as addicted as me?!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 10:48PM
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Mary, that's on my movie list too. Thanks for the link. I stumbled upon a Piaf exhibit in the Hotel de Ville in Paris while visiting one of my kids studying there. The exhibit was packed with Parisians, teenagers, old men. She is revered, and rightfully so.

And in the interests of closure, I'm linking to the ukelele guy, Jake...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 11:25PM
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The sun rises eventually. But much too late these days. Kathy, when you typed it I knew I had it wrong - it's Robert Poore. (I must have been thinking 'Poor Richard' and byte swapped :-) It is virtually mildew proof. Do you even have to worry about that in CA?

Katie is stirring. She didn't eat yesterday and time to take her temp. The sadness is that she gets excited when I say the key words and goes to top of stairs for her 'ride.' Performs her sits and says please for her hamburger pill balls but then can't eat them, or her meal, no matter what I offer where.

I see Mariann has pentas. I used to grow the tall white pentas but can't find either seed or plants anymore. We need some long shots of your gardens. What happened to the RR forum you mentioned? Was it removed?

Baby Reed and mom are looking happy and healthy. I can't quite tell, is that a dwarf Alberta spruce going in?

Poor Copper. (Poor you!) I wonder if her crate is in the laundry room at home for a reason. There's a good link at if you want to share that with your friends. Go to Behavior FAQs, then scroll down to Dogspeak and click on 'Leaky Greetings.'

No mowing accomplished here this week-end. Grass was wet Sunday morning and T-storms without rain off and on all day. I eyed the variegated agave for transplanting and even found the right pot for it's new home. Too scary. One of us could get hurt.

Time to feed the critters!

Have a good day all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 6:23AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Check out a friend's garden improvements in zone 4!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 7:50AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning, Monday....
I dont know what it is, but since I got my laptop at home I've had more internet problems/outages than ever... very weird. I dont know enuf techie stuff to even try to figure it out - so I usually end up ignoring the pc after a while - so I was pretty much out of commission for idylling after Friday nite.

I would not say I accomplished 1/10 of anything this past weekend -- I did manage to go to a terrific crab fest Sat. nite at friends' house - they had a bash and I decided it could be my last blowout before setting back to dieting and fixing cholesterol... It was a lot of fun; by the time I left I hated the sight of the remaining crabs - Sunday I longed for just one more but luckily had stood my ground and not taken any home.

Cynthia, -- isnt that odd -- in my neck of the woods we got rain Sunday from about 2 pm onwards - lots and lots - it was great as we'd so desperately needed it. Unfortunately, it did come as I was re-potting some houseplants & making up a container w/ the first annual grasses I've ever had - just my luck. O well, the lemon tree didn't get repotted, but we got the much needed moisture.

Robert Poore Phlox was the first in my back garden but I confess it all reverted to the wild magenta - which I have yet to rip out -- I say I will but then there's not much blooming in that area by the time it starts & I decide I like color of any kind about that time..... I need to get some willpower and just be stern & rip!

I actually planted 2 pentas - the first I've ever bothered with -- they looked pretty strong & bright at the nursery last week & I've definitely had a bunch of butterflies checking them out. The gardens are pretty much a hodge podge again - it's always depressing after seeing the fantastic well laid out ones at IU.

Speaking of IU, I sent my DB some of the photos of the A. Summer Chocolate and Prunus persica and the first garden we saw & he called on Sunday to talk about them -- we chatted probably 30 minutes about plants, nurseries, etc. - it was nice to have someone to talk plants with again - that's what so great about IU & Idyllying here - we can gab about plants and no one is bored, LOL....

It's great to see new names appearing - welcome Denise, Galium, Mariann, Dianthus and I've probably missed a couple - Im terrible w/ names unless I review everything before I post.

Great babe & Mom shots, 'bug.
Eden, I love those Bella pics - your front yard looks just her size! It was very nostalgic to hear how much the simple things your parents are appreciating -- that's so great -- making more memories of things they enjoy together - what life should be all about! I also like that it's nice to learn that our parents can still be good role models for us when they are seniors -- we can look to them to see how to live life "with joy" despite adversity and with new found devotion & rekindled love. I dread the thought of turning into a crochety old woman myself -- hopefully my DD will keep me on the right path for that! I will hope to remind myself of how I see my own parents - just as you probably will with yours.

I havent had time yet to check out the artistic addictions Mary is trying to hook us all with, LOL -- Im still working on the agave addiction myself. Went to the local Smith & Hawkens to pick up some new Wolff pots that were on sale to they will have worthy new homes when they arrive. V definitely should have gotten a commission on sales at Yucca over the last week. Shopping is what I do best.

Well, unfortunately it IS Monday and so that means work/office, etc. I hope Deanne has returned safely from CA and Sue is not still suffering a sore neck (hopefully wasnt serioius? or related to the celluitis).

Im having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it is going to be August in 2 days!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 8:55AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I wanted to ask, Cynthia -- what's wrong w/ Katie that she wont/can't swallow? Is she just not feeling well because of her back or is there other going on w/ her? Can we hope it's just a summmertime weather malaise? Pls. let us know -- I meant to inquire before -- that's so hard to see our best friends feeling so poorly. Thinking of you, Katie, Monty, and Dannie (& pls forgive the misspelled names, Im sure I screwed up there but dont have time to double back). Chloe sends her best wishes as well!!


    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:19AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pic for Marie and orchid lovers....:-)

Taken this morning.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 10:03AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Cynthia - I passed that link along to my friend, thank you. The submissive peeing for my friend's husband and son startled me a bit. While Copper's certainly a bit timid meeting strangers for the first time, she's never done any submissive peeing here and my friend has never mentioned that Copper did any peeing at their place. Copper was nervous with Randy the first few days and clearly recognized him as the Alpha male, but she never pee'd when he greeted her. After the first few days here, she was greeting Randy with joyous enthusiasm when he came home. She was very upset when Randy didn't come home on Friday night. I was expecting her to enthusiastically greet my friend's husband and son in the same way she greets Randy. I just realized though that I've never seen them with Copper before - it's always been my friend who has brought Copper here and we haven't been to their place for quite a while. I would assume that the two week absence had an impact - that the peeing was part of getting reacquainted and not something that will be chronic (I hope!)

It's shaping up to be a very hot day today - we seem to have lost the 'cooler by the lake' effect that has protected us from too much heat for the past few weeks. No rain in the forecast for this week - again! I noticed this morning that the magnolias are starting to lose their leaves. I've been doing very restricted watering this year but I better run some hoses this evening as, clearly, conditions are getting critical out there.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 11:09AM
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Much has transpired here in the few days I was away. I did some turbo skimming and was glad to see Edens mom is home. It sounds like your dad is a super sweet man. The pictures of Bella helping in the garden are as cute as can be. You should frame them. I see in the last shot that shes trying to water the flower. Kenzie has that idea too that the flowers themselves need a drink.

Little Reed is appears to be growing like a weed.

I can never see enough of Cynthias elegant garden.

What luscious dahlias that Kathy is growing.

Welcome Denise!

I see the lime green undies have appeared, maybe the Fed Ex guy is a lurker here. LOL

The pink orchid is lovely Marian.

I was very impressed with bugs friends improvements. Im not a big fan of decks, but that one is wonderful. I really like the way the roof of the pergola is made.

We had a fabulous weekend. Thursday night the garden tour went well and they seemed to enjoy it. Several asked if they could come back and spend more time looking. There was threatening weather while they were here, but the rain went about 6 miles south of us. 1 to 1.5" was received by some. I find it funny to see what plants people ask about. The top plants of interest were the ivy, Bright Lights Chard, oriental lilies, hibiscus Disco Belle White and the tall white balloon flowers. I always laugh when people are so interested in the ivy.

We also went to the gardens of 4 others and had a barbecue at the last place. Only one other garden had any size to it, and that was a woman who died recently of cancer. Her husband is very concerned about how to carry it on. The place with the barbecue did have the cutest sleeping cabin in a wooded area with a fire pit. Thats where we ate. The couple actually sleeps out there quite a bit.

We had a nice warm weekend for camping. Kenzie spent one of the nights sleeping in our camper. We had campfires, went to the beach, had jet ski rides, had an Easter egg hunt for the grandkids and ate lots of great food. My DD brought the jet ski and insisted on giving me a ride. Needless to say I have stiff legs and butt. She purposely threw me off, now is that a nice thing to do to your mom?

I know I am missing many things to comment on, but I must get to work.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 11:45AM
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Still trying to finish up work so vaca. can truly begin, but snapped some pix. Great photos on the IU4 threads. Kathy might know this plant but not sure if anyone else has seen it, Calandrinia spectabilis aka rock purslane, long stems with magenta, poppy-like flowers, blue-green succulent leaves. It's in the ground, with a pot ghetto behind:

And glad I snapped a photo of Rubdbeckia 'Herbstonne' since there's no way I'd have found those snippers again. sheesh. (wonder how long they've been hanging there)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 3:10PM
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Denise, is this the same plant? I got it as a tag along plant a few years ago and don't really know what the name is. Its fully hardy here in zone 4b.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 4:21PM
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Michelle, the flower details look identical. The stems have gotta be at least 3 feet high. Here's a closeup of the leaves on mine:

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:36PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

My friend provided an explanation for Copper's odd greeting/submissive behavior of last night. It's quite funny so I thought you all might get a kick out of it. I can imagine it as a slapstick scene in a comedy :)

Copper has been tentative with [her DH] on occasion, after he has been away from her for a while, ever since he tripped over her, early in the spring. Did I tell you that story? [DH] had his coat on and was rushing around late for getting someplace. He had been striding up and down the hall, got out the front door and discovered he had forgotten something, his cell phone I think. He rushed back down the hall on the way to the kitchen. Unfortunately, between the time he initially left the house and then returned quickly down the hall, Copper had walked into the hall and lay down flat. Being coppery brown, she was the same colour as the hardwood. [DH] never saw her, tripped, and literally went flying through the air. If Copper had stayed down, [DH] would have cleared her and landed on the other side, but she tried to get up, which made things worse, and they both went down, all tangled up, with [DH] lying partly on her. It was a miracle neither of them were injured, especially as [DH] also hit a piece of furniture on top of which was a heavy candlestick, which went flying, damaging the furniture, but missing both man and dog. [DH] of course shouted as he flew through the air, the crash on the hardwood floor was terrible, and I think the shock was worse for Copper than [DH], as even to this day, Copper sometimes takes a little while to warm up to [DH], checking his mood out I suppose, as she probably thinks he is some kind of unreliable mad man, to have done such a thing to her, totally unprovoked as it was. It was a very unfortunate incident, but shows the kind of memory she has. Sylvie [previous, smaller breed of dog...] would have passed no remarks, and the episode would have been forgotten immediately, and she would have treated [DH]no differently. With Copper, once around [DH] for a few minutes, everything is normal again and trusting, and she will let him step right over her, no problem, but it seems to be during that first few minutes, when they have been apart, where she is checking him out at a bit of a distance, just to make sure he is not showing any signs of flinging himself onto her. She has no hesitation that way with the boys, it is strictly related to [DH], and only started after that accident.

She says Copper has happily settled back into her usual routines an behavior.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 5:38PM
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Good evening everyone....

I spent part of today with my daughter, Carol. She and I have so much fun together. She's starting her own stained glass and Mosaic business although she has many other crafts. She put me in charge of coming up with ideas for Stained Glass Garden Ornaments. We try to get together once a week for breakfast and a movie.

My brother and SIL's dog used to submissive pee whenever my brother walked into the house. I've never seen this happen before so I thought it was a little odd. Now that I've read the posts here I realize that it's not that unusual.

cynthia-I love Pentas. Tried growing them from seed this year but they didn't germinate. Believe it or not they are in part shade. I'm surprised they didn't become leggy. I posted a link with some of my garden photos on it. Most of my gardens are a work in progress. I just keep messing with them.... One of the groups I belonged to on the RR forum was Hortiholics Anonymous. We had a wonderful group of members and we swapped every month. There were some problems with the hostess and she relocated the group to Yahoo Groups. It kind of fell apart after that. As I said, when I first posted here, I miss the group dynamics and the friendships we shared.

Kathy-my camera is relatively new. I'm still getting use to it. There is a setting that I can use to take 3 pictures one right after the other. It's used for action shots. Of course when I needed it I couldn't get it to work. I'll probably figure it out one of these days.

Hope everyone had a great day-I'm loving all the pictures,

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 7:18PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi Marian. I see the frog puzzle and am amazed you finished it once more. :) Orchids seldom reflower for me...

Today was an odd day of "plant slutting" as my friends call it. Visited about 4 different spots to locate sale items to add colour to our front bed. Got a few things, but need more. Another time...In the meantime, weed, weed, weed. Always more of them!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 8:26PM
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Another busy Monday and more pics to look at ! I snuck a peek at the office today.

Marian, love your Phael, I like those veiny-colored ones. I have a chartreuse one in bloom right now (regrettably no pic at the moment) another color that I really like.

Denise I never see the Calandrinia around here. Maybe it has frost sensitivity issues ? Although if Michelles is the same it kind of shoots that down. Is that a Dittany of Crete in the background ? I just love that plant and will use it more in the future. Love the shot of the clippers perched on the branch. Precisely why I have back-up pairs of everything. I even bought myself a little doo-dad for around my waist to put stuff in that I always forget I have.

Woody, what a story about Copper ! I was thinking at first when you posted about the pick-up scenario that maybe Copper had gotten really attached to you and just didnt want to go ! I was reading n the paper tonite about a company in San Diego that is doing a shared pet concept, where a maximum of three people share a pet and pay a fee for time with same. Ill see if I can find a link to the story, Its kind of an interesting concept .

Cindy, our crab season (the culinary variety of course) is winter out here. We have the Dungeness Crab , which is soooo tasty !

Im growing Pentas too Cynthia. I bought them in 4" pots last month. They do not survive our winter here , so they are basically an annual for me, but an expensive one.

bug, what a nice small garden your friend has ! The brickwork on the patio is just lovely, and I love the design of the deck. Not to mention the pond and waterfall. By the way I also loved the pic of DD and itty-bug , she just radiates pride and happiness.

Michelle, I hope your friend whos wife passed away can find a way to keep her garden going. I cant imagine what would have become of my garden if I had gone first so to speak. My DH was totally hands off unless I needed help lifting something. I could imagine him perhaps selecting a part of it to keep . My DH always enjoyed viewing the garden and making requests of certain plants.

Mariann, bet youll get a creative consultant discount on the stained glass garden ornaments ! How cool to have someone in your family who can do that stuff.

Mary, I never went to Picasso Head once today ! Im showing my strength of character.

Later everyone
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:32PM
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Couldn't pull up the AP story from the paper, but here is the website...

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 9:44PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi, Michelle welcome back sounds like you had a great time I know people have to have enjoyed your gardens they look so wonderful. And sounds like your annual family get-together was as much fun as last year. Thats neat that you have that same plant as Denise & have overwintered it successfully right now it looks lovely!

Galium, sounds like the new biz youre helping your DD with is a great idea I look forward to hearing more about it. Such a nice thing that you are able to do social things w/ her each week.

bug my Echinacea Vintage Wine is blooming (was a small plant I got mail order in the Spring) not like the huge clumps we saw last year, but so far I really like it and hope for better things of it next year. I too really love, love that paver work w/ the circles in the patio of your friend its a bit similar to the brick courtyard V mentions re what we saw at Garden #1 I too was entranced by its look Id love to do a path in my back garden like that if I thought Chloe would do well w/o her grass. Maybe some day. More things for the "idea" file.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 8:50AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I think I probably confused the newer members with my last pic. The huge frog puzzle was a gift from Marie. She sent it to me at least 2 years ago. This is the third time I have put it together ( with a little help from Nolon ).
I took the orchid pic to document(for myself)that it is 'still' blooming ,( it started blooming in April ),and decided to post the pic. The puzzle was the background that I chose for it.

For those who asked, the Tramadol definitely helped, but I itched all that night! So I waited a couple of days, and took just half a pill to get me through Sunday. I have taken another half for today's trip to town.

Chelone, lol on the needing an eye doctor. I made an appointment with the Doc that did my cataract surgeries and the laser surgery.It is for this Thursday. My right eye has started hurting quite a bit.

I am happy with all that got much needed rain.
We recieved another good rain Sunday. 3/4th inch. I haven't needed to water the potted plants since, but will probably need to this evening. There is no more rain in our long range forecast, but that can change rapidly. Two days ago there was the possibilty all 5 forecast days...yesterday all of that was removed!

I am happy to hear that some's ailing loved ones are improved. I hope that continues to be so, and that all the other's who post here will have equal good news. Also, I pray that those who have ailings, and other issues, will soon overcome them.

Our Trubby appears to be ailing again, but nothing like last year's terrible spell. He has spent the past 3 days either on top of the wood in the shed, or on top of the shed. He hasn't been in the house all three days, and I haven't seen him away from the woodshed. He IS eating with no problem...I don't know about his drinking or 'bathroom' habits. He is bright and we'll see....(no harsh breathing like last year).

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 9:16AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone! Well I'm finally home from my travels and it really feels good to be sitting in my favorite chair in the family room looking out at the gardens - although - you can just imagine the amount of work needs to be done after leaving for almost two weeks this time of the year. I'm cringing!

Sorry Kathy, I wasn't able to squeeze in any extra time to get a visit in to see you this trip, however, Doug and I are thinking about coming back out in October to see some of the wineries in the Anderson Valley area and if we can work it out maybe we can make plans for a visit on our way north? I'd particularly like to get to Navarro again as they have some fabu-fabu red zins. I wish I could remember the name of the Pinot I had the last night of the seminar. It was a beauty.

The trip home was pretty tiring and was a good twelve hours of travel including driving time. I was on an aisle seat on the plane and this pain in the patootie, spoiled brat in the seat on the window waited until lunch was served, drinks out etc to tell his mother than he needed the rest room. Well what a drama. One simply cannot pick up a lunch, cup of tomato juice, can of tomato juice, book etc. and get out of the seat with the seat in front fully reclined. Somehow we managed it but this kid 'needed' to use the bathroom no less than five times. He kept throwing himself against the seat, yelling at his mother that he wanted to get out of there, wanted to be home, etc. Also, kept standing up and ringing for the flight attendant then when they showed up he couldn't decide what he wanted. Didn't want the lunch when offered then an hour later rang for the flight attendant then kept him waiting while he and the mother went through the choices in the magazine. Grrrrrrr....He was seven and IMHO a bit on the old side for those kind of tantrums. Grrrrrr..... I was frazzled by the time we got to the gate in Boston.

It was a good seminar and the weather in Willits was beautiful, actually cooler than it was at home. Doug said it was in the 90's and humid a good deal of the time. One of the women in my class is doing a walk to raise $$$ for breast cancer research and I decided to raffle off one of my paintings. We raised a nice chunk of change for her. What fun, everyone bought a ticket and some two or more. The lady who won the painting was so happy. It just made my day.

WEll I can see there are new names around here Yea!!!!

I'm not going to try to catch up but will slip into the stream of things here. I guess I've got to go and get unpacked and get some laundry started, water plants and yada-yada-yada..... Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 10:19AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Glad to have you back Deanne! Can't believe the kid next to you on the flight though. I've found kids far better behaved in recent years than in the past. Wouldn't it just be my luck to get the odd one though. Here it is 90F or more by now and expected to be hotter tomorrow. About 50% humidity too.

In spite of the heat etc, today was a day when my friends arrived at 8am to clear out the front bed of weeds. Well we cleared out more than weeds and put in some new stuff as well. The sprinkler has been going non stop since as it is a sunny area. I sure hope this means more colour showing next year at this time. Gone is the twitch grass though, at least in that part of the garden! It is a bad year for tent caterpillars and DH has been clipping off infested branches lately. On a happier note, lots of toads and frogs and monarchs!

This Friday we have French Club at the nearby organ factory complete with a performance. I'm looking forward to that!

DGS's Mom has been up to nonsense once more. This time she bought a hot tub so she could keep up with her ex...I think she's going on 6 years old! DGS finally lost his first tooth the other day. Instead of money, the tooth fairy brought his favourite thing in the world, a box of Kraft Dinner- something DD very seldom gives him. He was so excited that he phoned his Mom to share the news and she cried! She sent a furious email to DD & DSIL. What the heck???? Fortunately DD laughs it off, but DSIL wrote her a note that said "If you can't offer positive ideas, say nothing at all." What a tough life.

Wondering what to concoct here for a COOL dinner...
I hate to say it, but dear Charlotte doesn't know enough to get out of the sun and into the shade.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 2:02PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well, here is a strange story for you all.... About three weeks ago I cut my gums on a chip. (I guess that's what you get when you eat something you shouldn't) Anyway, the cut turned into a canker sore and the darned thing wouldn't heal up. I was dealing with the stupid thing all through IU4. It hurt like the devil. Well it got worse on this trip to CA and I had Doug make an appointment for me at the dentist today. I just got back and you are never going to believe this one. Apparently when I cut my gum I cut into a piece of tooth that had been left embedded in my gums from when I'd had my wisdom teeth extracted forty years ago. That small piece of tooth material then kept trying to surface and kept the gum from healing up. The dentist couldn't believe it! He just pried it out with a dental probe and voila! I should be all healed up in a few day. What a wierd thing. It's a good thing I went in as it never would have healed and would probably have eventually caused an infection. Good grief!

So Bug, glad to hear you've gotten help and lots of work done in the gardens. The temps here are supposed to head up to the high 80s today and over 90 the rest of the week. Its so sad to see all the perennials just zip by so fast when the temps are this high.

The good news is that Doug did a heck of a job with the watering while I was gone and there are no casualties. I just can't believe it. He gets a gold star! Things really need a good deadheading and cleaning up but everything looks great.

OK I'm off to have a bit of lunch, still on CA time I guess.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 2:22PM
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Hi all! Checking in. Wow Deanne, that is a good one! Your dentist will remember that one forever :)

I had a good guffaw at Copper's "dad" tripping over him. I would've broken an arm and a hip and the dog would've been in a body cast. I think I'd wet the floor when I saw him, too :)

I just finished my accounting duties for this quarter and took them to the accountant for the "once over." I have to say that I am very proud of myself. I've never run payroll/paid employees in my life, but all my homework has paid off! No mistakes :)

I'm now in the process of trying to get this house in order. I have been really sick since we returned home from PA. I have a terrible chest cold that had me flat on my back yesterday. I'm taking it easy, but I'm slowly picking up, too.

Gotta go get at it. I'll check in more frequently now that I'm caught up here. Enjoying all the pictures and picasso heads :) Like the ukelele, too! Wow, that's some talent.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 2:45PM
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Deanne, the NYT just did a piece on kids and air travel, which included: [a survey of] "1,000 people online who had flown in the last six months for feedback on how airlines could improve customer service. Nearly three-quarters suggested that airlines segregate families in their own section, away from other passengers." And I think the dental anomaly makes you a contender for the Guinness Book of World Records.

And while on print media, do you guys get Horticulture? The new issue has a bizarre letter to the editor, taking the Irish gardener Helen Dillon to task for the recent piece she wrote on "editing" her garden. The letter from a George Hubbard sends off the opening salvo: "When Helen Dillon created her horticultural hodgepodge of a garden some 30 years ago, it appears she did so without much thought given to plant selection, their placement or basic compositions. Now her attempt to 'edit' her garden after years of neglect looks to me like a complete 'rewrite' of the original script." And so on, venting spleen, then goes on to describe how his gardens are designed for the ages, etc. He says it shows "disrespect for flora" for Helen to admit that tending "some piece of planting installed years ago is neither exhilarating nor satisfying." Dunno if this man has seen her garden, but a hodgepodge it ain't. Seems he's assuming because she's doing some big changes that her design sense must be inherently weak. I'd call it adventurous. Any opinions?

My "day job" is freelance court reporting, so I had to deliver some transcripts and exhibits today to my production office, which is a hoe-handle down the clogged LA freeways. BUT I found out about a new succulent nursery that's near the office (sorry for those bored to tears on this subject!). Pricy up the wazoo but some interesting stuff. Every unmarked plant I brought up to the cashier for price check was at least $80, AND they'd hazard a guess at its identity. Most plants' identities were obvious, but I've already forgotten the name of the senecio I brought home, a large, fairly cheap shrubby senecio that looks like a protea in leaf almost. But no name tag, Wendy!

Here's Sansevieria cylindrica, pots of which lined the walkways, with 3-foot spires:

And this is one my DS snapped of Agave desmettiana variegata.

Sounds like some of the idyll4 attendees barely survived, limping home with chest colds, cut gums. That kind of partying would make Caligula proud! (JK) 'bug, sounds like DD is in for quite a ride with that ex, but the new family looks so happy that I bet nothing fazes them. Hello to all. 200 pages to go, then I'm done with work til Sept.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 8:21PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The dog days of August arrived one day early. Blazing hot sun all day and mosquitoes thick as can be as soon as the sun relents. In a word - yuk! I was going to stop by a garden center after work, but when I stepped out of the office I decided I was out of my mind. More of the same tomorrow, but I get to work outside all day!

Denise, I saw the letter that you referred to and I was somewhat astounded. Mr. Hubbard would have a very, very low opinion of my own garden and the "disrespect" I have shown for some flora. I will always consider my own garden an evolving work in progress, not a work for the ages. I am constantly learning something new or developing an appreciation for different types of plants (dare I say "agaves in pots"?) and then finding ways to incorporate that into my present garden. And sometimes that means that something else has to go. I love the brilliant hue of Aster 'Purple Dome' in late summer, but the rabbits found it far too tempting in springtime, and the result was a border edge that looked like heck. So this summer, the aster got the heave-ho, to be replaced by Nepeta 'Blue Wonder' and Stachys 'Densiflorus'. So far, so good - the rabbits have left those two alone, and I have also learned I like the combination of two different plants better than the solid edge of asters. In the education world, it has been recognized for some time that there are different styles of learning. When it comes to gardening, I definitely am a hands-on learner who needs to see, touch and get my hands dirty with the plant before I can really "understand" it. Mr. Hubbard's opinion leaves no room for that type of experience.

Whew! How come I didn't send that to Horticulture?

Time to go pack a bag with sunblock and bug spray for my adventure tomorrow. Have a good night, all!


    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 10:25PM
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Pretty quiet day here on the Idyllseveryone must be busy pulling weeds..

Deanneglad you made it home safe and sound. I always cross my fingers on long-haul flights that I dont end up near any small children. Ive had pretty good luck so far. Im not surprised by your weather in Willits; we are having a very mild summer over all in the bay area. I love the Anderson Valley-when my BILS lived in Ft Bragg I would drive that road several times a year , always loved driving it no matter the season (had to give the dog Dramamine though) and Booneville is the home of my fave beer ! (Boont Amber Ale). We also camped there many times at Hendy Wood when our kids were little. Always included a visit to Navarro Vineyards. Nice gardens there too. Look forward to a possible visit ! If nothing else I could certainly bip up to Anderson Valley for a day if I have no business commitments-its only about a 2 ¼ hour drive for me

Saucy, hope you move into the recovery mode soon..Having a cold is crappy enough , but having it in summer is just not pleasant-at least in winter you can bundle up by the fire with a glass of port and and a blanket and feel sorry for yourself.

Denise, that Sansiveria is too cool-it reminds me of a grove of Armenian cucumbers ! So where is this nursery anyway ? I get Horticulture but have not recd yet this month. Does this guy have credentials of some sort or is he just a horticultural curmudgeon?

Ok , need to watch the ballgame so Im off See yall later ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 10:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning folks!

Well I started the sprinkler at 6am already. Also, following V's hands on method, I planted some daylilies in the front border. I have never liked daylilies, but decided that my love of orange may win out in this case. I need colour there! So I have been playing in the mud and have the hands and nails to prove it. ;-)

Yes, it will be a scorcher once again here. Mid 90s expected. ARGH! Last night I even turned on the A/C for the first time. I am reluctant to use the darned thing, but some days it really is needed. Have any of you noticed shops that leave their front doors open for customers while their A/C is operating? Crazy in my opinion. Nothing like cooling the universe....

Friend Lynn is expected next week. Some of you met her at IU3. She's about to become a grandmother in September. Last week her daughter was at a music festival near Montreal and she and her partner were confronted by a bear. Their tent was the only one not demolished. It seems DD, being pregnant, had "marked" the area well around the tent, thus discouraging the bear! This was not at all bear country and so folks had been lax about allowing food in the tents. Seems it was after fudge in a little girl's tent. Anyway, no one harmed and the bear is being relocated. He was not after people thank goodness.

Early October has us scheduled to see Oklahoma. Fun, but I think La Cage Aux Folles night be more up my alley. DH being from OK means we can't avoid it.

Off to complete some jobs before the heat descends.
Enjoy your day!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 7:11AM
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Good 72degF at 7am morning!! Oppressive humidity on tap here going to 95deg with 70% saturation by tomorrow afternoon. August in CT -- gotta live with it :-)

Yes, it is great to live near WFF and trips there are frequent. I don't like the prices, either, but sometimes they have things that you can't find elsewhere. As I've said before, if anyone ever wants anything from either there or Logee's (an hour from me in the opposite direction and frequent haunt during the winter) just let me know. I don't charge a packing fee :-)

Read the Hort letter and had to read it again to be sure this guy was serious. Garden snobbery at it's best, IMHO. I'd like to see Mr. Hubbard's gardens!!!

Funny garden snob/WFF story -- for a few seasons a good friend worked at WFF on weekends. It never ceased to amaze her that customers would come in (usually with far away license plates), and demand more than normal exceptional customer service claiming a friendship with "The Pettengills". When someone actually said they had gone to school with Amos the entire staff within earshot about lost it. Don'tjawish for one minute that prices could be automatically tripled for customers like those?????? They don't deserve such fine flora. LOL

Good to have you back on the right coast, Deanne. Love that you raffled a painting. Next time, let the Idylls in on the action, Okay?????

Does anyone else just love Andromeda polifolia (bog rosemary)? I picked up a gallon of it last year on extreme sale and have become entranced. The weirdest plants .....

Love, love love the grandkids pics and stories. Keep'em coming!

LOL about mowing your yard, Kathy. It takes DH and DS combined about three hours to do it "the right way." Yes, it looks nice and no, it doesn't get in the way of the gardens. But SHEESH!!!! Then I remember that grass is plants, too and they're let off the mocking hook for a few days.

Wonder how Sue is feeling ....

Marian -- Read a great deal of your link on Fibromyalgia since my DSis has been diagnosed for about the last 11 years. Treatments have come a long way and I hope you take advantage of every little thing that may help. Love the orchid and am jealous as usual about your flowering houseplants.

Michelle -- Does your family ever stop having fun?? Very cool about the garden tour, and LOL about the ivy. I think it's the en masse effect that gets people.

No time to get on a serious roll, here, but know I'm sending good vibes continent wide to all!!!!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 7:24AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Deanne welcome back, wandering traveler. Boy what stories Id probably tempted to murder that kid and/or his parent traveling is not my forte & being cooped up with that would have driven me nuts! What weird thing re your tooth glad it had a happy & fairly easy end. Cant wait til youve had a chance to recover & then see some of your IU4 photos I know they will be very special & fantastic they were such special gardens that I could never see too many photos of them.

Saucy Im sooo sorry youve been under the weather like that no fun being laid flat out especially in the summer! Hope you start feeling much, much better soonest.

Denise, I did see that editor letter in Horticulture and I had a similar reaction to him. In fact, I was so inspired by Dillons article I almost mentioned it here a month ago I thought it was so encouraging to see that gardeners of such renown as she could still feel challenged, bored, and liberated to make radical revisions to their homes & gardens. Its an inspiration to us all, novice & master gardener alike. Like the Hadspen controversy that you posted elsewhere (I was going to respond but time won over my efforts), and the 3-generation garden we saw at IU4 in Phila, I think "old" gardens are very interesting, living breathing continuous "works in progress." I find that preservation is a very rough road to go down without it becoming boring, tired, and uninteresting. I think a "work for the ages" belongs to something like major French gardens - Versailles or other important historical landmarks that should bow to preserving such heritage but generally individual gardeners (even those like Sissinghurst) to me, should move with the times while balancing some sense of history. I do have a hard time w/ the radicalism re the Hadspen contest and it is such a shame it could not have been renovated rather than totally destroyed.

Whoa kudos to you re court reporting I work in litigation at a law firm myself I know what tremendous pressures your job is! Man o man no wonder you take the month of August off just to stay alive, right? Boy, youre going to feed the new IU agave/succulent addiction big time I can tell! $80 for unmarked plants wow!

Kathy "armenian cucumbers" what a description youre quite the artist w/ words, LOL.

I confess that mid & upper 90s for the next 10 days is somewhat chilling my desire to work in the yard! Im having a hard time even contempating hose slinging right now but guess Ill be reduced to that this evening.

I just placed an order for more daylilies its sad, I keep ordering them, planting them, watching them bloom, hating their colors, ripping em out & sp or giving them away and ordering different ones. . . . I think Im a slow learner in this department.

Martie in one of my former "lives," I worked at a well known auction house I cant tell you the number of times that people would call or demand to talk to "Mr. Sotheby" (usually they pronounced "Mr. Suthbey") or "the owner" like they felt they needed to talk to the top dog -- they were usually somewhat chagrined to learn that hed been dead a couple hundred years...LOL. I do love andromeda but it does not love me I tried & killed it every place I know in my garden that is "wet" all winter turns into the desert in the summer andromeda definitely likes to stay watered well and in my yard, that doesnt happen much.
Well, dare I say Im happy to be inside the office today its gonna be a nasty scorcher here in DC & the heat will be radiating off the buildings by Noon. Yucko.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 8:52AM
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Good morning

We're getting a share of GB's heat today so I need to be productive this morning. I'm looking forward to lunch with a friend then an afternoon by the pool with Annie. Annie is having the sort of summer I remember as a teen devouring books. In the last 2 weeks she read the latest Harry Potter, the Diary of Anne Frank and two young adult novels. We have an hour or so quiet time between her play rehearsals and collecting David from camp when we both read poolside, me in the shade she on the lounger. The only rule - use plenty of sunscreen!

Deanne - great to have you back - commiserations on your flight experiences and tooth - ouch!

Woody - I enjoyed the Copper tale!

Lots more to comment on but I need to finish my outdoor work while I can.

later folks!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 9:35AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

Hot here as well today. Its already 80 degrees out and supposed to get into the 90s. August at its finest! LOL The Oriental lilies are blooming their hearts out right now and the heat will push many over the edge by the beginning of next week I guess. It seems early for them this year. Normally I have Casa Blanca blooming the middle of August but they are all out now and Im sure wont last that long this year. Im feeling a bit overwhelmed today after doing the watering. Soooo much cleanup, deadheading etc Ive got a couple pots that need a bit of work. One had a nemesia that is looking pretty sad for some reason and Im going to dig it out and replace it with something else. I also want to replace that orange Abutilon pictum with the yellow one I finally got in from Avant Gardens. Ive also got to write to Dutch Gardens and get my money back on the stupid dwarf canna they sent me instead of the Pink Sunburst I ordered. The darned thing finally bloomed after two months and it has YELLOW flowers!!!! Arrrrgh! I was so bummed out. This is the second year I buy what is supposed to be a pink canna and it turns out yellow.

Mary, how marvelous for Annie and you to have mother/daughter reading time. Marvelous! I read my way through a lot of books when I was that age also.

Cindy, my sympathies with the hot weather. Im putting off going outside and watering at the moment and it isnt even that hot out yet. At least weve had a few T storms that dropped a lot of water in the last few days so the gardens arent dry yet. ~~ No kidding, I wanted to tell that mother to stuff an orange down that childs throat. Grrrrrr. It was beyond aggravating. I felt like telling her that the kid needed to see a urologist. Any child that needed to go to the bathroom that frequently has something wrong with it.

Martie, I dont think Id get a way with doing a raffle for a painting on Garden Web. LOL I wish I could have included you guys because I know wed have gotten her closer to her goal for her walk.

Bug, be careful, you might just come to love daylilies! I adore them. So many colors and bloom times. I had to laugh when I was out in CA. No matter how many times Id scrubbed under my nails it seems that there was still a bit of dirt that needed to work itself out. I really have gardeners hands right now and actually dont care which is strange as I used to love to have a manicure and keep nice looking nails.

Kathy, neat that you like the Anderson Valley area. If we do come out Doug and Ill rent a car and have a lot more flexibility with scheduling so well definitely plan to stop by if you have the time. Ive heard that the vineyards are beautiful in Oct. and Id like to see that. ~~ RE Ft. Bragg, one of my students who comes to my class in Willits owns the bowling alley there.

Denise, I LOVE those plants. Does this place mail order? Id love to get that Sansevieria. What a terrific plant. Did you see the pic of the Sansevieria Moonshine I found at Loews earlier this season? I just love it and was thinking of collecting a few more Sansevieria. ~~ No kidding about having a separate area for people traveling with children on aircraft.

Saucy and Wendy, let me know when you can come up for a visit.

OK I guess its time for me to head out and brave the heat. I dont know how long Ill last but Ive at least got to water the containers in the front.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 10:59AM
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Yesterday I went back to the Dr. She really didnt find anything conclusive in the tests. She wants me to come back in 3 months and keep an eye on it. I was pleased. She said time will tell and that I could be in the very beginning stage of something.

We stopped at Lowes and I found a gallon sized pot of ajuga Black Scallop Ive been looking for it since I saw it in Deannes containers last summer. Too bad all my containers are so full, but I did have an idea for using it in a container that I found in the barn. Is putting together another container in August crazy or what? I also picked up a pink hardy hibiscus.

We have been having day after day after day of hot temps in the upper 80s to nearing a 100 with no rain. We are setting records here. There is a 50% chance for tonight. All the fingers and toes are crossed here. We had only .5" in July.

Deanne, I saw several dwarf pink cannas that were in bloom at Lowes yesterday. What a bummer about the annoying child (due to a parent who doesnt have a clue) another reason I dont like to fly. What a weird thing with your tooth.

Martie, I think that most people think that ivy is only a houseplant around here and have no idea that its hardy. We will be having more family fun on 8-18 as it will be moving day for my parents.

bug, what a scary story about the bear. Im glad no one was hurt. Say hi to Lynn from me. I can still picture you, Lynn and Sue packed in the back of our VW.

Denise, I did a little googling and found that my plant is talinum calycinum. I believe both are in the purslane family.

Mariann, I have dabbled in stained glass for about 10 years. I have made garden stakes, stepping stones, a mosiac table and a stained glass birdhouse for my garden.

Mary, I loved to read when I was Annes age. Im glad to hear that there are still kids that do, with all the other distractions there are these days. Much to my dismay, my children didnt like to read themselves, but loved me to read to them. So we did a lot of reading as a family out loud. I would read some and then they would each take a turn.

Stay cool!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 12:23PM
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Denise that's pretty disturbing about the letter to the editor. I agree so deeply with V that to garden is to learn by experiences.I just assumed that's what all gardeners felt. I think if I were to know be all knowing in a hort sense there would be no passion or growth on my part. It would be too mechanical-passion isn't mechanical(at least in my mind). I think that's why people garden, they have the essence to create and with each garden having its own obstacles whether it's soil content,climate,or any other difficulty it takes time to understand and work through. Each of our gardens have been at different levels of maturity but the excitement & knowledge comes from that evolution and sometimes it does means editing what wasn't working-even 30 yrs later. I think I respect someone more who has gardened-been in the trenches-and can still learn and isn't afraid to admit it.There is no shame in wanting to learn or improve on what you've created even 30 yrs ago.
Did I say too much? : )

Welcome back Deanne-I had been wondering where the heck you've been-glad you returned before I started worrying: )
Sorry your flight was no, what a manipulative
'little' boy.

I hope Sue is doing OK.

I really need to get out and assume the position-you know,hold the hose? lol. Maybe a rain jig would help. I almost can't believe we've had such scarce rain and none is really expected-just small chances.

Yesterday the boys and I hit the library and I found an excellent book that would be helpful to someone trying to get ideas for contrasting foliage combos.
It's Called: 'Foliage' by Nancy J. Ondra. I may have to purchase one for my own reference 'library'. It's nice becasue if you don't have access to the exact plant she suggests it does give you other plant options for similar effect. I was really surprised at the vast number of variegated plants that I never knew existed(I live such a sheltered life; )

I was amused that Ryan(age 6) borrowed a book showing colorfully illustrated organ systems of the entire human body and diseases that affect's probably good he has limited reading ability. He is really fascinated by what's inside him...a future M.D.? : )

Now I really need to find that hose.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 12:27PM
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I refreshed and found Michelle's post-hey that's funny-I saw your talinum and I thought it looked like mine except mine is T. paniculatum and very neon green with wands of tiny shocking pink flowers. I am saving seeds(these are not hardy but reseed prolifically)if anyone is interested. Glad you found out what it is. There's a variegated form of T. paniculatum too!
I fogot to mention I'm glad you had a fun vacation-and even jet skiing! you are brave lol.
I must have missed that your parents are moving?

OK I better go before people get sick of me: )


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 12:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lots of harvesting going on here both yesterday and today. Charlotte barks as they pass each time. :(

DH has been busy repairing the front door knob. To do so he removed the knob to the kitchen door, the one I use most, and installed it in the front one, then taped the kitchen door shut. Hmmm. To be continued!

I'm trying to find yellow or pale orange crocosmia. Heck, ANY crocosmia! Visited 5 nurseries and none so far. I see it in gardens though, just not mine!

Last night the first of the bow hunters drove by to get permission to deer hunt. It really is quite funny because our property contains no possible place for hunting, but they don't know I continue to repeat "Thanks so much for asking, but no, we don't allow hunting in our woods." Some day I fear they'll figure out the boundaries, but until then...

Here's another baby! :)
Anak, a 31-year-old orangutan, holds her five-day-old baby Apie in her arms in Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, central Netherlands.

Pant pant, sweat sweat...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:09PM
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Hi everyone! Monday morning started off great and I had high hopes for the week to come, gleeful that the end of it would be the beginning of 10 (count 'em) days off. The message from my brother dashed all of that on Monday afternoon.

Evidently there's trouble a-brewing at the nursing home and there's a meeting on Friday morning. My brother sounded so defeated and while he didn't ask, there was no question in my mind that I will be present. The upshot of the meeting is that Mum is becoming increasingly disruptive on the ward and the administrators feel a "pow wow" is necessary. I'm cool with that. But given the general level of care Mum has (not) received with respect to her urostomy, the loss of her hearing aids, etc. I am not entirely sympathetic the nursing home's "cause". The sorts of behaviors they're describing do not fit the profile of Mum. BUT, as dementia deepens personality changes can/do occur and it's only fair that concerns on their part are aired and shared with my brother and I. I have a nagging suspicion that they were displeased with our refusal to put Mum on an ANTI-PSYCHOTIC and have decided to haul out the pscychiatrist in an attempt to "strong arm" us into it as a way of making their custodial duties easier, but perhaps I am wrong on that count. I've spent several very restless nights turning it all over in my mind and worrying that I will be unable to retrain myself from verbally "going over the table to grab them by their throats"... ;) .

Work has been predictably crazy with a week's closure looming large. My poor boss is worn to a nub and it shows. I'm struggling to "maintain" and have wasted little time exiting the building at the end of my "shift". :)

The Huge One "escaped" last night. The helpmeet found him, contentedly sprawled on the cool sand in front of his new garage, with his ball between his paws. He had to come inside, though. NO "free range" for at least 10-12 weeks post op.!

There is a roof on the garage now, "man doors" have been delivered, garage doors ordered, and there are several bundles of shingles stacked neatly by the door. Windows are not yet in place, nor are there any stairs to the second floor... any day now.

Soo... I'm not much fun right now, but maybe some time spent reading all the WICKED FUN stuff you've been up to will cheer me up a bit. (I hope!).

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 3:20PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's not even 8:30 and I am ready to go to bed. Exhausting day today, but I did have the strength to bring home 5 nice-sized papyrus plants. (I love the summer trade shows!) No Michelle, you're not crazy to re-do a pot in August. In fact, I think I'll join you!

My mind is a blank now. I do think I was thisclose to having a real issue with the heat today, despite lots and lots of water and a concentrated fixation with shade. I think I will go to bed and chill!


    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 9:18PM
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Wednesday so it's downhill from here...
I went to my dentist yet again today , this time for the consultaion, treatment plan and of course the financial plan. I have a little bit of everything-gum surgery in Sept, 2 extractions, 4 implants/crowns,bone augmentation (why do all the dental terms sound the same as boob-job terms ???)all for the price of a nice used car. The whole process will take close to a year to complete. Fun times !

Chelone, sorry for the crummy news on the Mum front. I do think your analysis of the situation is very balanced and objective though-no easy task to try to sit back and take a deep breath in a situation like this.Mum is lucky to have you and bro as her champions.

Babs, funny about Ryans medical curiosity. My friend George and I were absolutely fascinated by a textbook his sister had with overlay transparencies of veins, muscles, organs etc. Must have been a biology book-this was probably around 1960.

Better be off now, almost time for baseball..hi to everyone!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 9:28PM
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Chelone, I hope this new crisis is averted relatively painlessly. Here's some mindless nattering, not necessarily wicked fun, just dog day ruminations.

V., I probably shouldn't attract notice of the weather gods by admitting this, but it has been...mild this summer. Barely breaking out of the 70s some days. I truly sympathize for the hot, sticky days some of you are enduring. My mom always reminds me that August, Sept & Oct are the worst months. Maybe. The weather just doesn't seem to be playing by the old rules anymore.

Glad to know I'm not the only one that Hort. letter rubbed the wrong way. It reads like a troll wrote it. Very odd.

I'm watering a neighbor's back garden while they camp on Catalina this week. Last time I watched their house, I screwed up their high-tech security system, not shutting it off in the 15-second window after crossing the door threshold, the police rolled out on the call, and she was out $300 in penalties. I felt awful about it, but heck, I can't even operate the Tivo. So watering their garden, that I can do. I was kinda intrigued to see the garden again, because this couple has the classic marital dilemma of one partner being unable to throw anything away (in this case the man). She's really worked hard and squared away the backyard, grass in the center, veggies and flowers around the perimeter, signs that say "Welcome to My Garden!" hanging baskets, tons of feminine touches -- then there's this rusting hulk of a VW bus at the back end and a Jeep circa Daktari on the patio. Scenes from a marriage right there. And this is a huge improvement for them. He does native plant landscape restoration and is one of the few people to recognize plants in my garden. Interesting guy. And he really walks the walk. Despite being penurious, he spent 40K on a new solar-paneled roof for their old bungalow. But does he ever drive his wife nuts. I'm thinking set a deadline to have that VW outta there or it gets parked at a jaunty angle, loaded with soil, and used for summer bedding. (Anyone see Green Fingers with Helen Mirren? A truck is used in an award-winning garden show exhibit.)

For those who asked, the succulent nursery is California Cactus Center in Pasadena. Their website doesn't indicate mail order. And, Kathy, you had asked if that was dittany of Crete in a photo I posted. If that's what you call Ballota, then you're correct, it is. So sorry for your dental woes. I had a crown done recently and felt absolutely heroic for keeping the appt, doing what had to be done. What a baby. Bought plants afterward as a reward, of course.

Cindy, about the court reporting/need for vacation, you've got that right! I'll probably practice to C-SPAN, dork that I am, to keep the dexterity up. I've always got banana fingers after long vaca's. And, Deanne, here's a hot tip on wines. I took testimony from a wine expert a few months back, so of course during a break I grilled him on wines. He said it's all about Spanish wines. He'd rather have the cheapest Spanish wine than anything else, because the Spanish have a long-standing culture of including wine at meals, their palate is sophisticated, the vineyards are old, and so on. He said Calif. wines are raw in comparison. I do remember your Sansevieria. I think I've got the same one, kind of whitish. Again, no name tag on mine. I've planted it in the ground in the front garden after years in a pot.

Daylilies! Bela Lugosi is calling me. I've never grown daylilies and I'm wondering why not. Snail/slug damage is a certainty, but how much is the question.

Mariann, I've been playing with an old jar/pot, mosaicing it with some natural stone tiles left over from remodeling. No colors, but just to get the hang of fitting everything together. I think I'm hooked. You've gotta post some pix of your DD's work.

Babs, my boys surpised me the other day, while watching a LOTR/Tolkien movie, by mentioning how I had read The Hobbit to them years ago. I'd completely forgotten. I'd read them lots of books but, dang, that's a long book to read aloud! I'd come home with stacks of garden books for me, too, and Chris Van Allsburg for them.

That's more than enough. G'night to all. I thought this link was so poignant, celluloid heroes and all, and really well done.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 10:24PM
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Denise...snails be damned !
Bela Lugosi

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 11:03PM
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Bella! Hello, lover...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 11:19PM
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Good morning!!! You're talking my language when you speak of Dittany of Crete. Yippee!!!! I know this plant well. Back in my herbie days Origanum dictamnus was in practically every container I planted and was used extensively in my seasonal white garden. For a long time there was argument about the botanical, and people were getting confused when they found out it was edible and technically an oregano. When it hit the AOL Herb Board, lots of newbies were complaining that their sauces just didn't taste the way they thought it would. Got that straightened out right away since it is considered a medicinal and like anything else, more is not better:-) It is one beautiful plant, and greatly underused, IMHO.

A few catchup things:

Eden -- So glad your Mom got released and that she and your Dad are just enjoying their time. How is Jen's garden doing? Has she added a Lavandula yet :-)

Deanne - There's nothing worse than misbehaving children on a plane. I think it's 'cause they know they can get away with it. A frequent flyer friend actually offered her Benedryl to a mom who's 6-year-old was acting like an infant, then turning around and smiling at said friend as if to say "I've got the upper hand, here." She figured it would be better to knock the kid out than to knock the kid out. Other times, though, flights have felt a lot shorter by coloring or reading or doing puzzles with small and engaging seatmates. Again -- Where are the parents??????

Chelone: First question -- Have you and DB researched other nursing homes for your mom, or is there no better place for her to be? If there's not, bring an advocate with you to the meeting. Your local senior citizen center or AARP can guide you to people who have no emotional attachment to the person, but who understand the nursing home industry.

And, Chelone, I say this very very very gently: if you can find it within yourself, keep an open mind about what the psychiatrist is telling you. Remember that just like any other systemic disease, chemical balance is key to treating that disease and the fallout from it. She has a urostomy because she had a systemic disease; she may need psychiatric meds (anti-psychotics are what's keeping my brother functional) to have any kind of happy life if, in fact, her behaviors are what they say. Above all, whatever your decision, the advocate will be of help if you chose to go that route. Consider it .....

Mary -- Lounging around with one's daughter poolside whilst reading is my idea of a perfect hour. Appreciate the time, and then go for whatever ice cream type dessert your bodies can handle :-)

So it's cooler in Southern California than in Connecticut. It has become an upsidedown world, yes? LOL

Best to everyone and please, stay safe in this heat!!


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 7:24AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

For some reason I couldnt get a darned thing accomplished outside yesterday. It felt that I was just wading in quicksand as far as getting anywhere. The day was topped of by my dear Douglas somehow crashing into my gorgeous Sunray fuchsia and breaking off 25% of the branches that were just beginning to bloom. He has no recollection of doing it but he was the only person anywhere near it. Im assuming he whacked it with the lawn mower handle or something. Ah well. Ill get over it and the plant will look good again by the end of September. And so it goes. Do any of you ever have a day when you start one project only to get distracted by another then another and by the time the day is done youve gone full circle back to the first project and realize that you didnt finish anything??? Well, that was yesterday. Hopefully today will be more productive.

Kathy, So sorry about the dental woes. You have my condolences. Sounds painful to your mouth and your wallet. Im so thankful the problem in my mouth was an easy fix. ~~ You mentioned your cabs of preference in the Longwood thread, have you ever tried Groth? We had a 1990 Groth Cabernet with a very shi-shi dinner a few years back and to this date that is the best cab Ive ever had. Ive never had either the Opus One or the Silver Oak. It sounds like I should save up for a special event or ask for one for a BDay present. Do you like Red Zins?

Denise, Ive had some really fine Riojas but havent tried much else from Spain. ~~ Sorry but I lol about the security system snafu. Im completely non-mechanical and would have probably done the same. ~~ Bummer that nursery doesnt ship. Id really love that plant.

Chelone, so sorry about your Mom. Sounds like your stress levels are escalating again. ~~ I hope Wrecks is OK after his run for freedom.

Babs, thanks for the tip on that book. I looked at it on Amazon and Im thinking Im going to have to order it.

Michelle, thanks for the heads up about the pink cannas at Loews. Im going to run up there and see if they have any at our store.

Martie, LOL about the friend offering the mom of the misbehaving child Benadryl!!! Thats a good one. I should have thought of that.

OK time to get the watering done and hopefully accomplish something outside today before the day heats up.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 8:21AM
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It's hot, hot, hot here. Bella and I have been doing nothing much other than just hanging out reading and playing Candyland and Hi Ho Cherry-O. Last night I did go through a bunch of VHS tapes of home movies from the 80s when the kids were small. Now that was entertaining, especially Brad with his 80s rockstar hairdo, lol.

Deanne, your day yesterday sounds like how everyday is with a two year old.

Chelone, sorry to hear about your troubles with your mum. I hope you're all able to come of with a solution that benifits her most of all!

Martie, we did put in one lavender plant in the herb garden in the scented plant area, between a patchouli and a lemon verbena. We may work on Jen's gardens tomorrow if it's not too hot. Things have been so busy the last few weeks that we haven't done any new areas. Next is the driveway garden. I was bummed to read that your stewartia didn't make it. Mine's one of my favorite things in the garden.

Marie, if you're warming up to daylilies maybe I should give them another look too. Especially that Bela Lugosi that Kathy mentioned.

Michelle, good score on the ajuga black scallop. I put all of my ajugas from the container gardens in the ground last fall and had just one black scallop survive. I haven't seen it for sale around here this year.

I got an email notice that my Yucca Do agaves should arrive today. I'm itching to do some rearranging in the damaged areas of the garden but need it to cool down first. Got to go get some watering of pots done though before it gets too hot this morning.

Thinking of Cynthia and Katie!


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 9:04AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Metro Shopping Report here:

I can attest that my local Lowes did not have ajuga Black Scallop; they do have pink cannas & that black foliaged one pretty cool looking; but only Heuchera Snow Angel came home w/ me (leaving behind Euphorbia Tasmanian Tiger it was a big plant but not sure where its going to overwinter successsfully having lost the first one) I may be forced to rethink that decision & go back for it...

V- theres a Natl Capital Succulent Society Sale on Sat & Sunday at Brookside Gardens in MD wanna come?
In case you cant there is a cool new book "Designing with Succulents" by Debra Baldwin that looks pretty interesting it jumped into my amazon shopping cart last nite along w/ Foliage by Ondra and the Amy Stewart florist book Mary mentioned last month. . . .

Mr.Lugosi is on order already, many thanks to your photo confirmation Kathy that I needed to own him Id been eyeing it for a year and your pics decided me a month ago along w/ Indian Giver (which is NOT what I got when I ordered it last year the bloom is totally yucky on the one I received) and a couple others. . . . . Im in the purple/lavendar/red mood for daylilies apparently also need some late bloomers.

Having already gotten the plant stand & pots for ordered agaves, I think I have fully fulfilled my duty as an addicted Idyller, dont you agree?

Now if only I could locate the 2 trees from IU4 Ive decided must have... it never ends, does it?

So when one cant garden because of the high temps, one must go shopping! Is anyone else exhausted from all this shopping?


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 10:34AM
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Perhaps I'd get more done in the house if I stopped playing around with things like this. (tToday is cleaning day.)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 10:35AM
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Just in case anyone else wants to try.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 10:39AM
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We watched with horror the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. I called DB to make sure they were safe. Since we live only 2 miles from the MN border we feel we are part Minnesotan. Ricks son and DIL left yesterday on vacation so were out of the city.

I potted up some of the Black Scallop in a container surrounding some elephant ears. Inspired by the elephant ears in the pot of Intas garden. I didnt go to IU4 but was still inspired by the many photos. This was a good-sized gallon pot that was overflowing. It was only $4.98.

Kathy, I have a daylily that was given to me that looks a lot like your Bela. Sorry to hear about all the dental work. We have dental insurance which helps a lot.

Deanne, bummer about the fuchsia. I had a cat lay in my planter and destroyed part of that bed.

bug, adorable "baby" picture.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 12:03PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Wow Mary, this is cool!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 12:33PM
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Plants purchased this summer under influence of idylls:

Fuchsias (general)
Coleus (general)
Abutilon (tho small-flwrd megapotanicum)(Deanne)
Pelargoniums, (Vancouver Cent. couple others) (general)

Echinaceas, rudbeckias - general. Have NEVER grown these plants. Perennials peter out here. PPO rule. 'Harvest Moon' is piddling along. Creatures love these daisies, worms of all type. Where are my wasp friends this year?

Datura (general) evil kin of brugs, smaller in size. Found a 'Manuel's Choice' in bud. The flwrs are so layered it smothers itself before fully opening. I think the flwrs are triples. Looks better with unopened buds. (Manuel must have been high on jimson when he chose.) I see datura seeded along freeways, full sun, yet this can only manage filtered sun for me. Deserves only faraway pic:

Good morning!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 12:37PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Addictions run rampant on this forum!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:33PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Another summer day in the city - Earl the Pearl (one of the local homeless crew) is in the park across the street, topless, sunning himself, a cold one wrapped securely in the requisite paper bag. Here we sit in our air-conditioned cave looking out the window - what's wrong with this picture? Never mind me, slow day at the office today. Actually, I'm glad to be inside today, it is shaping up to be a hot one.

I'd much rather be plant shopping. I did get some nice $1 plants at a local nursery. At that place they just don't have enough shade to keep the ferns and tiarella happy, but they'll be fine in my shady yard. I'm already plotting what I want to dig and re-arrange when cooler weather comes - looking to change a few of those "what was I thinking" areas. IU4 was totally inspirational.

I did go back and re-read that letter in Horticulture magazine, and I agree with what others have said. You need to try different plants and combos in order to learn, and part of that process is to know enough remove things when they don't work. I'm all for preserving history, but it can be awfully restrictive. That 3-generation garden we saw in PA was wonderful, but the owner pointed out the rebar stakes in the corners of some of the beds that keep him from changing their size or shape when edging. I admire what he is trying to do, but that is way too restrictive for me!

Denise, welcome - glad you decided to jump in and join us! I'm now growing fuchsia and brugs, directly influenced and enabled by the Idylls. Your comment re: Manuel's Choice cracked me right up. I don't care for double flowers in general; most either flop or look lousy for me.

Chelone, I'll be thinking of you tomorrow AM. You'll be fine - you do speak your mind, but you do so intelligently and fairly. Martie's suggestion re: an advocate is a good one. Nursing homes are definitely an industry, and someone who knows the ins and outs could help you a great deal. How about her own doctor - is he involved in her care still? Maybe he could offer a second opinion. Anyway, don't let them pressure you into making decisions on the spot - request some time to consider.

Michelle, that bridge collapse was horrific - we caught some of it last night too. I thought of you - glad you and your family are OK.

I'll leave you with a thought I had while driving to work today: there are many gestures that drivers make to signal to our fellow drivers. Is there a gesture for "hang up the cell phone and concentrate on driving the car"? Many times when I see a car making a stupid move, there is a cell phone involved - I think a specific gesture is needed. Any thoughts??

I guess I have to get back to work now.

Hi to all I've missed!


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 1:34PM
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OK I'm trying to keep up here with the shopping:) I picked up the Foliage book at Borders this morning. Great suggestion Babs! Here's a couple of pictures from today also. The first is my ebony angelica...

And doll's eyes, kinda creepy name, really it's Actaea pachypoda, but very cool plant.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 2:12PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

I'm just going to pop in and say a quick HI to everyone. It's gone crazy around here, running from one place to another, a constant stream of company, etc.
Sweet corn is ready, so we're busy shuckin' and freezin'. It's crazy hot out today, the kind of day that makes me dream of central air.
So, hi to everyone, I'll be back when I have more time.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 2:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've certainly been doing my share in the shopping department, but not much money left for chocolate!

Eden, Actaea pachypoda grows as a native here and I enjoy it too...except for the common name!

This morning I managed an hour or so of weeding before the heat and humidity bombarded me.

Kathy, you asked about my camera...It's a Panasonic Lumix, DMC-FZ20PP. It was brand new, cutting edge when I got it recently...but by now is antique. Such is the world of cameras and computers. Any credit for clarity in my photos is given to PhotoShop.

Laundry involved dealing with DH's leaking ball point pen today...The locks on the doors are at last affixed. This morning DH had to meet with guys from Google who are trying to give research money away. I have all sorts of research questions I feel they could fund, but DH says not likely... :( So I guess I won't be buying those foliage books.

Last night's dinner was cool and easy: avocado sandwiches with alfalfa sprouts and walnuts, melon on the side. I need inspiration for tonight's meal though...Perhaps shrimp with pasta.

Back to the hose...
'bug & Charlotte

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 2:35PM
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Oh no, I'm addicted again!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 2:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, me too! It's too hot to be outside!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 3:19PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Hot, hot, hot here - it was just below 90F at lunch with a humidex of 98F. That's way too hot for me! We were at a garden center this morning and I was dehydrated within about
15 minutes. I did buy a Lonicera periclymenum Serotina' (Dutch late honeysuckle vine) to fill an empty space on the north fence and a bunch or orange-scented thyme to use as a groundcover under the new wisteria tree we're starting. I'm still trying to think what else to plant with the wisteria - something of a reasonable size but that I can keep the wisteria pruned away from.

I'm definitely going to dig out the clematises from the iron arbour and replace them with something - not sure what yet (roses?) On both sides of the arbour I now have a healthy clematis and one struck by wilt. None of the clematises on the arbour are what the tags said they were and, since it will be impossible I think to get rid of the sick ones while leaving the healthy ones intact, I figure it's going to be easier to just dig them all out and start over with something else. It is so dry here that it will be impossible to dig anything out until we get a few good rains - and who knows when that will be?! I keep hoping for a thunderstorm or two with this heat and humidity but there hasn't been any signs of one.

Yesterday we were supposed to have an onion bhaji session with the friend who taught us how to make samosas. But her air conditioning had conked out so we postponed it. Barb and I decided to try on our own with a recipe from the Internet. They looked good but tasted bland! I think we needed 3-4x the spices the recipe called for and a lot more onion. We kept adding onions to the batter as we went so the later ones were better than the first ones but the spicing was sadly lacking! Here's what they looked like:

After the disappointing bhaji session, I decided to go on a cleaning binge. I finally got rid of a closet full of my business suits that I haven't worn in 10 years and am not likely to ever wear again. It felt a bit like disposing of the effects of someone who had died! But now I have more closet space....

Chelone - that's a tough situation again for you, your brother and your mother. Barb, who works for me one day a week, specializes in dementia in her other job (hmmm... I hope that's not significant!) She has lots of interesting tales to tell - she was kicked in the head the other day by someone when she was tying their shoes. But she says most of the time things like that are not deliberate and, if the staff is paying attention and actually like the people and the work (as she does), most residents are easily managed. But there are exceptions - and (she says) too many lazy staff with bad attitudes. So listen closely to determine which situation your mother is in - perhaps a bit of both... (I remember your description of the event with your brother that led to the decision that she needed professional care.) I'm sure there are no easy answers when dealing with issues like that. I'm sure you'll continue to handle it with your usual grace and strength.

Kathy - my sympathies on your dental woes! Dentists are not my favorite people. I only have a few daylilies. My favorite is one called Summer Wine. The name sounds appropriate for your area :-)

Cynthia - I just saw the thread on Katie. I hope you finally get some answers. If Katie was good during a spinal tap, she deserves a huge treat. I've had two of those and, believe me, it's not a fun experience!

Wendy - you could probably effectively use some ASL signs to deal with the cellphone drivers. Use the signs for 'hang up the phone' and 'drive'. Do it emphatically and they'd get the message! Phone is a Y handshape (little finger out, three middle fingers bent to your palm and thumb out) held to your ear - the hand mimes the receiver of the phone. To say 'hang up!', rotate your hand down to mimic hanging up the receiver on a phone. For 'drive', the hands grasp an imaginary steering wheel and move it as if a person is driving a car. Combine the two gestures and you'd get 'hang up the phone and drive!' Most people would be able to figure out what you meant I think - assuming they saw you. Probably the 'hang up the phone' part would be sufficient.

I'm sure I was going to comment on other things but my brain is addled in the heat I think :-)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 5:07PM
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Apologies to each of you because while I've tried to read and digest what I'm sure are WICKED fun posts I've been unsuccessful. Worried about tomorrow, but know it will be OK. My brother and I are "smarter than the average bear", we aren't given to "knee jerk" reactions, nor is "strong arming" the way get us to bow to prevailing will.

Martie, I don't think you were around for the first bout with LTC facilities. Mum's urostomy has been a sticking point since it was performed. In the past 3 years we've YET to find hospital staff (2), let alone LTC facility (3) staff capable of manageing it properly, in spite of repeated assurances that the staff was capable. The more they tried to "assure" us the more suspicious we became... and we were RIGHT.
1.) They don't understand that the pouch must emptied when it is 1/3 full. Every 3-4 hrs. IF they've adequately hydrated the patient. A pouch approaching the dimensions of the Hindenburg is a disaster waiting to happen; in more ways than one.
2.) They don't understand that a neo-bladder and urostomy REQUIRES the patient to comsume minimally 48 oz. of water/DEcaffienated beverage daily (that's for an elderly, inactive person). A neo-bladder is a the equivilent of an interstate to the kidneys. They passed anatomy/physiology but they can't answer the most basic questions about kidney function... Loop of Henley? what's that? (important, that's what!).
3.) They don't understand that the patient must be hooked up to a night collection reservoir to ensure a sound night's sleep. This entails hooking up to a tube that directs the continuous output of urine to a "jug", RATHER than allowing the pouch to overfill. The latter weakens the seal of the urostomy wafer applied to the skin, irritates the skin, and backwashes urine into the neo-bladder. Result? URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS. (this is a major cause of "loopy" behavior in the frail elderly).
4.) Basic inability to deal with the 2 pc. urosotomy "appliance", at all. Inablility to properly clean and prep. the skin for the application of the adhesive "wafer" (the flange to which the pouch is sealed). Result? failure and leaks within hours and resultant urine burns to the skin that supports the stoma. This is, effectively, "diaper rash" that has a tougher time healing because the skin has to be covered by the wafer!

It's all basically glue and tupperware; but if you think the RNs on staff know diddly about it... guess again! the poor staffers know less. But will any the knuckleheads admit they don't know how to do it? Too often, NO, they're too busy extolling their "credentials" and empathy. Why would they (the "educated") deign to solicit practical advice/techniques from those of us who mastered the whole thing in under a week. Nothin' like "time in the trenches" to teach the lessons... what used to be called "clinical rotation", I believe. :)

Mum had exactly ONE UTI under my care... she brought it home from the "rehab. facility"! It's been my pleasure to deal with 2 urologists and 3 "stoma/wound care" nurses and every single one of them has told me I've forgotten more about urostomy care than 98% of the rest of the medical profession will ever know. I've learned what I know the HARD WAY... doing it twice weekly for over 3 years.

I'm "cool" with pyschiatrists and I'm cool with their insights on dementia and its sad progression. BUT, when I'm unsure about the careful management of Mum's urostomy and all the inherent perils that sneak in when lack of attention to detail is so evident I am "loaded for bear". I have my camera packed and plan to change her urostomy myself (I want to see the skin around the stoma!!!).

There are too many variables in this equation for it to be solved in one meeting. My brother shares my opinion. We did as much research as could be done with respect to selcting a LTC facility; but you have to understand that Mum is not the "average" patient. And THAT'S the crux of the issue... they appear to be regarding her as such, and oversights in the care she daily requires have put her in a vulnerable position. We can't, sadly, be there to supervise every day. And besides, shouldn't $300/day include attention to detail?

I'm not fit company for anything except beating the dog... Wrecks? where are you when I need you...


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 5:19PM
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chelone-good luck tomorrow. Looking at health care from both sides of the aisle IE: as a patient and a health care provider I can understand your anger. Some health care providers treat family like they are stupid and couldn't possibly understand the medical lingo. Stick to your guns!

Martie what is WFF???

It's been a miserably hot day here. This type of weather just sucks the life out of me. I spent most of the day shredding old bank, credit card, etc. statements. My DH saves everything....Hate to say it but he's been collecting these things for years. I was sick of it so I ordered a shredder from Staples. Right now I have 6 tall kitchen garbage bags filled with shredded paper for recycling. I'm not even 1/2 way finished.

deniesez-I received a Mosaic book for my birthday and in it are instructions for Mosaicking rocks. Never though about that. Good luck with your jar.

Michelle-I would love to see a photo of your Stained Glass Stakes.

Thought I'd include a photo of my last daylily bloom.
Daylily 'Royal Palace Prince'

My DD made this for Mother's Day

This is the bird bath she made for me from 2 Terra cotta pots and saucers.

Does anyone listen to Josh Groban? A friend of mine sent me one of his Cd's. What a voice he has-gives me chills. Good chills........

Have a great evening.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 6:49PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Oh, another fun one!

I decided that Veronicastrum is too long and V too short, so instead I will give you a good thought:

hmm, not sure why that little broken link shows up?

Chelone, my best thoughts to you and your brother tomorrow.

On a sad note, my DB is in the hospital and he is losing his battle with esophageal cancer. I'm going to see him on Saturday. Any good thoughts and prayers you can send his direction would be appreciated.

I'll end on a happy note - my agaves arrived today. I'll be able to go to pot this weekend!


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 9:49PM
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My agaves arrived today too. Not looking forward to potting them up. I got some good pokes just pulling them out of the shredded newspaper packaging.

V, best thoughts and prayers for your brother. I had thought he was winning his battle. I'm so sorry to hear otherwise.

Chelone, I'll be thinking of you and your family tomorrow.

Hi Brenda, good to see you check in!

Mariann, I really like your birdbath.

I hope it's a little cooler here tomorrow. Jen and I are working on her driveway bed. I'm hoping to talk Brad into coming over in the morning and removing some sod that's growing in the area. He's much better at that than I am.

I hope Sue checks in tomorrow and lets us know how she's feeling. She's been on my mind. Hope her stiff neck's gone!

Time for bed here.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 10:23PM
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I noticed today when I did my post-work garden stroll that my garden is on the cusp of entering that late summer phase where things just look a trifle tired .I think some careful pruning and deadheading this weekend can expose the stuff that still looks good. When in doubt, prune it out !

Denise, thanks for the tip on buying plants after a dental procedure. Lets see, Im going to be sedated for my next procedure (Valium I think) so when DS picks me up maybe we should swing by the garden center ? He can wheel the cart for me so I dont crash into any unsuspecting fellow shoppers.
Greenfingers ! Yeah , I saw that oneand of course who can forget Amazing Grace with the pot-growing matron ? There just arent a lot of horticultural themed films are there? About the only other one I can think of is "Little Shop of Horrors" !

Martie, I agree that Dittany of Crete is underused-not to mention all the other cool ornamental Oreganos- Kent Beauty, Hopleys etc. Ive never used it in a container. I must give it a try next year..

Deanne, maybe the Sunray" accident will double your bloom count ! Think of all the new growth.. Interestingly, Groth is located right across Oakville Crossroad from Silver Oak . My DH worked at Plumpjack which is Groths next door neighbor. I cant recal ever having a Groth wine. And I love Zin.! The best are actually grown in the Dry Creek area of Sonoma County- Healdsburg area just south of Cloverdale. Lytton Springs makes an excellent Zin It gets really hot over there which is favored by Zinfandel.

Eden , I wish Id taken more daylily pics , theyve been quite enjoyable for me this year. I hadnt done much with them at all before. What I like is that they peak after the first rose flush and just before the Oriental lilies .
And Cindy, what you mentioned about yucky color really is spot-on.I cant think of another plant where the color can be so variable. I try to buy most of mine from Maryotts which is here in Northern Cal, hoping that I will get colors that are true to the pics on their website.It seems like the biggest issue I have is that many of them seem to turn to peach-color which I really dont care for. Like you I rip them up and give them away and try something else.

Hi Brenda-glad you checked in

bug, thanks for the camera info..we dont have Photoshop, and the utility program that came with my Canon A540 has not been fully utilized-that might require reading the instructions ! Not as powerful as Photoshop though .You get what you pay for.

Chelone, I hope things go well for you tomorrow. I cant imagine how medical professionals could fail to understand the treatment regimen required for Mums urostomy. I would think that she was not the only patient to come over the threshold with this type of issue ? Good vibes to you and bro in any case.

Mariann, I like that Royal Palace Prince, and the birdbath is very cool ! Yikes with the shredding .. get some grass clippings and you could make some great hot compost !

OK gotta go..night all and hi to those unmentioned ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 11:25PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, its going to be a very hot one here today with T storms around.

I thought you'd all want to know that Sue's not well lately and apparently has gotten some tick born disease, Erlychiosis, that was finally diagnosed after she went through some serious pain issues. She gave me leave to let you know so please send all good throughts her way for a speedy recovery.

Kathy, one of the best red zins I've ever had was an Old Vines Zin from Dry Creek Vinyards. That was the wine that got me addicted to Old Vine Zins. Love em. ~~ Definitely "When in doubt prune it out". I'm a fanatic about grooming and it keeps the borders looking so much better.

Eden and V I'm jealous of your agaves but not the job of potting them up.

Eden, Love the pics! Thanks for posting them. I always love to see photos of your gardens. That angelica is marvelous.

Hi Brenda! Thanks for checking in!

V my thoughts and prayers are with your brother and your family.

Mariann, yes love Josh Groban. He has a magnificent voice. ~~ Love the birdbath! I'd never have guessed it was a couple saucers and pots.

Chelone, thinking of you today.

Woody, they look pretty yummy. Bummer they tasted bland. You'll just have to make another batch, right?

Thought you'd be interested to see this photo of my fasciated lily. It didn't drop the billions of buds as predicted and actually bloomed. It looks like a bride's boquet.

Yesterday I decided to enlarge the container garden area. What a huge job to do in the heat but I survived the experience and the plants are looking happier with the extra room. I added about another three feet on this end of it. I warned Doug I'm thinking of going all the way to the garden with the persicaria next year. LOL ~~ That's the Sunray fuchsia in the foreground in the urn next to the brug. I turned it so you can't see the hole in the plant.

And here is a closeup of one of the containers. I've finallyl gotten a couple callas blooming in this one.

OK must get my day started here. Have a good one and stay cool everyone.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 7:27AM
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Good scorching morning. Spent yesterday on the road, doubled my normal gas consumption by keeping A/C on all day, and didn't give a hoot!! We're lucky to have central in the house -- a Camellia thinks it's winter already and is budding up!! Any relief will be welcome ...

Galium: WFF is White Flower Farm, one of the very first mail order plant companies in the U.S. It is regarded with awe and deservedly so. Their prices are a "tad" on the high side, but the plants worth it. To go to the farm is like walking into the perfect display garden sanctuary, and a June trip to see the tuberous begonia house in bloom is a must. Their catalog, as Kathy pointed out, is more of a reference book than anything else. They are located in Litchfield, CT, on a quiet hill that's easily accessible and has great restaurants nearby. What else could one want??? LOL

Chelone: I'll be "with" you today. I didn't understand the urostomy history and am stunned at the ineptitude, or lack of care, that your Mom seems to be receiving. Find An Advocate!!!! Doing so is not admitting weakness nor lack of knowledge, but is a great way to bring in an objective look. If the home is wrong, it's the advocate's job to say so and get things fixed. Institutions listen to advocates long before they'll listen to family, and I've learned this over several different circumstances. Stick to your guns, have a glass of wine ready for when it's over, and do some deadheading pretending that the dead flowers are the administrators :-)

Eden -- Glad Jen has a lav. A garden wouldn't be a garden without it.

Love, love, love datura and have enjoyed it growing wild for as long as I can remember. It was the plant that taught me "poisonous," like teaching "hot" to a toddler when they go near a grill.

Won't have time to check out the name spelling link, but am enjoying everyone elses. Especially like V's.

Running and sweating already. Have a great day, everyone!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 7:32AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thinking of Sue. Just not the same....

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 8:15AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, Ive lost my silly edge here for the moment -- It sounds as though we are entering Friday on a serious note lots of troubles.

Michelle saw your post re Minneapolis afterwards I am so glad to hear no one you knew was involved it surely is a horrible tragedy.

Thinking of Miss Katie Grey and her owner good thoughts.
Good thoughts for Edens mom too.

And yikes, more sadness re Vs DB -- I'm thinking of you and your family. I hope things go quietly for you all.

and Chelones troubles re the LTC & Moms care Chelone you and I could exchange a lot of horror tales Im sure it is a very sad state of affairs I think others have noted here re this industry and the health care in our country in total just as in early childhood education, when you have aides making minimum wages (& in PA a lot of them were actually imports from other countries!), etc., its a terrible thing to have to but your head against. Yes, $300 a day Should get you great care, but the reality is it does NOT unless youre there daily to check and badger for it . It is pretty much a no-win situation for everyone all we can do is make the best of if we can without killing ourselves or others over it. Im thinking of you much.

O wow, Sue what a horrible year youve had I hope 2007 is it for you for the next decade for medical woes. Do you need help getting ready for your September open days? Maybe some of us could come do a weekend "clean-up" prep thing for you? Please let us know Id be happy to try to arrange to help with some notice.

Deanne wow, cool lily, uh? My fasciated lily did not do that; it lost some of its buds last year but did bloom but not quite so lovely as that. This year it was okay altho a huge number of my lilies seem to be in great distress this year and never bloomed or were bitten off. I in fact stopped myself from placing a big order for more this week, because Im not sure whats going on with them no signs of the lily beetle but something affected them, thats for sure. So rather than throw money in the dirt, I think Im going to hold off to see what happens. I sure did want to get more Sumatra and Chamertin though...

Mariann lovely ornaments your daughter is talented.

Wendy/Woody I like that idea of starting a mainstream gesture to signal drivers re hanging up on the freaking cell phone! AAArgh it is one of the most annoying things I encounter daily. Right now the gesture Im thinking of would be all too well understood the one that goes the "read between these finger lines" . . . . .

Kathy did you say "Dry Creek"? Ah one of our great IU4 pleasures the Dry Creek Chardonnay (I think?) she brought that we all raved about & Deanne gave us some wine tips on! It was terrific.

Gardenbug you beat me to it I was thinking those tiles would be a good substitute for TGIF it seems a somber TGIF for a bunch of reasons.

A hot, hot, hot heck one its going to be I could grouse about my 2 hours commute home last nite but think its pretty trite in relation to other peoples problems. I hope its a peaceful weekend. As V said, Peace to all.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 8:59AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Thanks Marie! I seem to be falling down on the job lately. Thanks to all for the well wishes. I wanted to post but haven't been able to spend much time at the computer.

This will have to be short since I'm attempting to work today for the first time since last week. As Deanne said I've been diagnosed with Erlychiosis. Apparently you get it from a tick bite but as far as I know I've never been bitten. I spent last Friday night in the ER for 7 hours (mostly suffering in excrutiating pain while I waited for somebody to look at me). Up until Tuesday morning pain management was a huge issue. My kitchen counter looks like a drug factory with all the pain killers and muscle relaxers they had me try. Then I decided to disregard the pharmacy instructions and just double dosed myself with Percoset and I slept for a couple of hours for the first time in days. Now I'm on antibiotics as well and am supposed to stay out of the sun for 21 days. Goodbye garden.

Anyway, it sounds like I'm not the only one with problems. I'll be thinking of you all. V, sorry to hear about your brother. Chelone, if anyone can straighten out a nursing home it would be you.

Gotta run...


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 9:38AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi Sue, so glad you popped in for a minute. I just can't believe the amount of health crapola you've dealt with this year. Was the cellulitis associated with this thing as well? So, so sorry. ~~RE the gardens - as Cindy said anytime you need help with garden stuff please, please just give a holler. There are enough of us around that we could get everything spiffed up in no time if you could deal with letting a bunch of Idyllers loose in your gardens for a weekend. WE are all experienced and really could help so give it some thought. ~~I've got about nine billion containers (well maybe a few less than that) that Doug and I could bring down for you to borrow for your tour if you want. I couldn't fit the big brugs in the car but I know quite a few of them would fit. Hoping you get well REALLY soon.

Well, its already horrible outside and is 85 degrees at 10:00AM so I'm assuming it is probably going to hit the high nineties as predicted. I had to come in and cool off as I wasn't feeling too perky.

This is another shot I took of those lilies last night. The not only are prolific they got incredibly tall. Id guess they are 6.5 to 7 feet tall this year.

And another view of the container garden showing my Eupatorium Little Joe that just started blooming on the fence in front of the containers.

Here is a shot I took of the terrace garden last evening. I really am not in love with all those Stargazer lilies here and am thinking of changing them out for something else but these lilies have been in this garden for more years than I can count and it seems sad to move them, but, that pale yellow of 'Tarragona' would be so much prettier here.

Cindy thats terrible that youre having problems with your lilies. Have you tried to figured out whats going on with them? Do you think its a critter eating them? As much as a pain it is to deal with the dratted lily beetles I cant imagine my gardens without the Orientals in August. They smell so divine! ~~ Sorry about your miserable commute yesterday.

OK Im now cooled off and coffeed up, time to go brave the heat again. Later Gators

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 10:21AM
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I've fallen behind on Idyll reading and I've missed you guys big time!

I'm so very thankful to read that Eden's mother is back home (I pray she'll feel well for a very long time!).

Hello to all the 'new' posters!

V, I'm so sorry to read that your DB isn't doing well. My best to you and you'll be on my mind, your brother and family in my prayers. awful! I'm not familiar with any tick borne diseases other than a little bit of knowledge about Lyme's disease. I will read up on Erlychiosis so I will know what you are fighting and hope that you'll feel much better soon.

Chelone, I worked in a urology speciality clinic for 5 years doing patient care and assisting the physicians during procedures/exams. I do know what you are going through and it is not rocket science.....the health care workers in your mother's facility should be able to grasp the importance and should have been easily able to master taking care of the stoma site and keeping your mother 'healthy'. It is sad if that has not been the case. I hope your meeting goes well.

Dang, brain fade hit and I am at a loss as to what else I was going to comment on. This is the problem with just reading and not posting often along with those times that I'm unable to read daily. I'll try to be a better Idyller. ;o)

I'm suppose to go babysit Thomas today while James & his mom get their teeth cleaned, but James began running a temp of 102° at dinnertime last night and then began 'tossing his cookies' about 8 pm. His mom called to tell me I'd probably be watching both boys while she kept her appt.....but she might cancelled her appt. too if he stayed so sick. I am babysitting the twins on Monday, so hope this isn't something that everyone is going to be sharing....... blech!

The twins are soon to be 1 year old! Crawling at warp speed (thankfully they are usually heading in the same direction so watching them isn't impossible). At times, corralling them is similiar to herding cats, so it is keeping me on my toes. I usually watch them 3 days a week, so it has been busy around here. I told DH that I don't need to worry about sun damaged skin this year.....I never get outside! Next spring and summer they will be walking well enough that we'll all be able to go outside. I loved seeing Kenzie and Bella helping in their g'mothers' gardens and look forward to having the boys be outside with me.

Well.....the coffee cup is empty and I really want it filled. Then I will phone to see how James & Thomas are doing and if I am babysitting them this morning.

Take care!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 10:43AM
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Gosh, Sue, I just Googled Erlychiosis. How godawful. Good to hear you've sorted the pain issues out. That's nice, having to stay out of the sun in August! It certainly looks like you've been mistaken for the biblical Job this year!

Chelone & V., thinking of your tribulations this Friday. I think Deanne's got our back on the wine list this weekend which is much appreciated. We've got a huge nursing shortage here in Calif and, paradoxically, a 2-year wait to get in a nursing program. Go figure. This spring I was met at a job at a govt bldg by some angry nurses demonstrating our Gov's decision to deem them "supervisors," thereby cutting off any overtime. The Gov reasons that nurses tell assistants what to do. Good idea, to further PO overworked, understaffed nurses -- not!!

Kathy, I do know why I've avoided daylilies; it just seems bottomless. Even my salvia lust has abated. But Bela still calls, so there's nothing to be done but answer. Is he tall? I am growing the real-deal dittany of Crete in a moss basket too, which I'll move into the ground in fall. Making copious notes on wine advice.

Wendy, I enjoyed reading your park vignette. I was lost and late for a job downtown recently. Approached all the groomed and suited people, and no one could offer directions. Who the heck would know where this blasted bldg is....oh, right. In desperation, yes, I approached a "gentleman of the road." Of course, HE knew where the bldg was, and was amazingly courteous with directions, even walking me partway. Made it on time, and bless him for that.

Calif. just quietly passed a law July 1 banning cell phone use while driving. I think two days later my DH got nailed with a ticket. Chertoff of Homeland Security fame was in the harbor to check things out, and cops were e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Also got hit for no seatbelt -- rebel! His last ticket 15 yrs ago, you guessed it, was for no seatbelt. I've never seen him NOT wear a seatbelt and he's not too chatty with a cell phone either. The cop called it a "courtesy" ticket. Uh, thanks, Officer.

Eden, I completely agree that Brad's the man for removing that sod, and you can tell him I said so! (And he's, Who the heck is that ...?) I've got some thick leather gloves for wrestling agaves. Don't feel a thing. (See the cover of the new Horticulture? you guys are cutting edge.)

Hi, T., you sound very busy! Stunning pix, Deanne. I yearn for eupatorium.
A rousing second to the TGIF. Hello to all.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:15AM
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Good morning

It's bright and sunny here but my thoughts are turned to all those with challenges this morning.

Sue - so sorry to hear you have been in such pain. I know you have a pretty high tolerance so it must have been unbearable. I've never heard of that disease (nor can I pronounce it) but hope the barrage of drugs will make short work of it. Hope they gave you some good ones. With a garden in as good a shape as yours I'm sure it will respond perfectly to a quick whip round and tidy up when you're allowed back into the trenches. Or perhaps you could garden at night?

V - many good thoughts going your way for your brother. Glad your family are all so close to support each other.

Chelone - while I'm typing this I'm thinking what a great advocate you are for your mother and can almost hear you laying down the law at the nursing home. Hope you too get speedy results, a better quality of life for Mum and some peace of mind for you and your brother.

Also thinking of those others in pain, or with ailing loved ones.

Deanne - your photos are simply wonderful and I hope are lifting the spirits of those in need. I'm loving my orientals right now though have found I have better success with them in pots where I can protect them from the larger critters (deer, voles) than in the ground.

I'm trying to beat the heat and put in my couple of hours in the garden early today. My big achievement was staking the Helianthus lemon queen before (rather than after) the heavy storms we're predicted later. By the time I was done I was sticky all over - our humidity is way up. I timed my skinny dip better this morning, avoiding both the Fed-Ex guy and my kids (who would no doubt think it totally gross.) I guess I should probably learn to cover up more.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:27AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all! So much to catch up on, but I want to send good thoughts to V, Chelone and Sue.

Some excitement on the farm this morning. One of the guys we farm with was coming over to get some sweet corn, and saw a guy on a motorcycle hit a fawn. He's a local guy with a bit of a drinking problem. He was flying down the road at a spot where deer always cross..there's a culvert under the road and a ditch where they drink. Killed the fawn, threw the guy off the motorcycle and he went skidding down the road...dressed only in shorts and flip flops. Jim said he wouldn't go to the hospital, just wanted his motorcycle taken home. The guys got a plank and got it into the truck and took it to his house, and the guy's girlfriend was going to tend his wounds. Jim said it looked like the guy was probably going to lose one of his toes, and he looked like 180 lbs of raw hamburger. I'm not sure how flying down the road half naked on a cycle drunk at 8:00 a.m. seemed like a good idea to the guy, but I bet he's going to regret it for a long, long time.
I was just stunned to see the bridge collapse in Minnesota. We've been across that bridge more than once, and others, and just never give it a thought. They interviewed a fireman on the news last night that just broke my heart. Michelle, I'm glad to hear that your family is safe. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to see something like that on the news, and have family that regularly travel that route..the waiting and wondering would be pure hell, and my thoughts go out to all those people.
((Sue))...but only if it doesn't cause pain!
I'll have to cut this short, but am here in spirit ;)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:59AM
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Quick driveby to thank Eden for the pix of the angelica (and the doll's eyes! Makes me think of Quint's soliloquy in Jaws about sharks having doll's eyes! yikes!) I've never had the A. gigas bloom. Now that I think about it, even the straight archangelica is only a foliage plant for me. What excitement for you and 'bug.

And, Woody, re ripping out the clematis and going for roses: Ramblers, incredibly supple for training. Sure, once bloomers, but then no Japanese beetles issues (if you have any). Wish I was zoned for Alberic Barbier. Try a search on the Antique Rose Forum. You could replant some clematis for later bloom, but they wouldn't have the burden of being the only focal point on the arbor.

Mary, I bet green goes well with that great tan you no doubt have ;o)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 12:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Looking for some

news - and just discovered that in spite of severe thunderstorm warnings now, tomorrow's high is expected to be 73F! YEAH!

I tried to find some humor on Google to share with you, but the jokes I located were all weak weak weak....

And so I'll leave you with hopes for a weekend with smiles!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 12:11PM
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Good morning Idylls.

V, Im so sorry to hear that your DB has had a relapse. My thoughts and prayers will be for him and your entire family.

Sue, wow you sure have been through a lot lately. I hope you whip this thing and start feeling better.

Deanne, your garden is looking fabulous and I love the Stargazers in there. Funny that your container area is "growing" Your fuchsias look stunning. I keep buying them per your influence but they look pretty sad this year.

T, when you mentioned taking the twins outside, I just grinned. Kenzie loves to put rocks and sticks in her mouth. I have to watch her like a hawk. While we were camping she put some kind of weed in her hair that had small burrs. It was horrible trying to get it out. The seeds had to be taken out one at a time. I gave her some gum to distract her. I hope little James is feeling better and you dont have a "messy" day.

Chelone, I hope all goes well today and that you can "educate" them.

Mariann, wonderful birdbath. Funny, but most of the garden stakes have been gifts or donated for charity auctions.

Eden, great pictures from your garden. Both are very cool and interesting plants.

Its supposed to be another hot one, but there is a 50% chance of rain. We didnt get any the other day. We are 4" behind normal which means a lot for the crops.

Heres hoping for a wet anniversary. Its our 11th.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 12:16PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Just a quick fly-by here, TGIF for sure - it has been a crazy afternoon here at work.

Good thoughts for Chelone, V, and Sue.

Woody, thanks for the sign language tip - I'll have to practice that one!

Eden, love the cool and shady pics.

Deanne, your place looks wonderful - I need to come see it all in person soon.

Leaving you with a festive Friday bum shot in the classical motif - from the garden we visited at IU4 two weeks ago tonite.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 2:17PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Went out to lunch today - shoulda just cooked an egg on the sidewalk cheap that's for sure - it's so hot out there. Our present chief of the nation was across the street and they had all the streets in a 4 block radius blocked off - no cars, buses, etc. -- & wall to wall police -- I had to take a walking detour to even get to the restaurant - just what I wanted extra blocks in 97 degree heat.... grimace. [They started blocking everything off about 3 hours before he got there -- so it's now taken up at least 1/2 day for people trying to find parking anywhere in this area -do u think they gave up and just went home?]

Hey, Deanne - you could try Scheherazade lilies (like we saw at Chanticleer) in that area instead of the star gazers (altho those are the biggest baddest patch of those Ive ever seen that youve got!) Those Schez. always gets rave reviews about how strong stems, fragrance, etc. -- it combines yellow & pinks/reds. I keep looking at them myself because everyone seems to love it when its planted. I dont know whats up w/ my lilies this year they all starting dying on the stalk so to speak at various times unfortunately Im hoping(?) to attribute it to huge lack of water while I was gone for those periods in May/June during my Moms last illness & death it started about then, esp. after Id been gone for those 12 days when nothing got watered. Not that I expect theyll miraculously ressurect themselves after dying of thirst (or being overwatered, which might have been another problem in another area where I ran the sprinkler for hours). . . . all in all, I just decided not to be too distraught about it this year as Im not sure what happened and see how things go next maybe I will just have to replant a bunch of new ones. I am really missing them though my Casablancas turned into these spindly small blooms you never guess thats what they were; the only thing putting on a decent show now is Black Beauty. But the early Asiatics did really well before I left town so Im hoping it was mostly the water issue guess time will tell.

Denise I did hear re the nursing shortage that part of the problem is the nursing schools do not have enough instructors/teachers to teach! I think it was U of AZ who turned away several thousand "qualified" applicants this year because they did not have room for them to put in classes w/ enough teachers another conundrum. And apparently Nursing Schools are somewhat of a "dying breed" too in education... like veterinarian schools. . . . Not the wave of the future someones missing the boat here. But w/ the shortage of education funds for public schools another dilemma!

O man, Deanne youre just trying to make us feel bad w/ all those wonderful photos, right? Everything is simply stunning unlike my tired, dry, burnt-out beds. Your photos are a lovely sight for sore eyes.

Brenda I sure am glad you didnt have to get involved in any of that bike/drunk accident bit? My nephew is still recovering from his almost-fatal one last August his body will never be the same and is still not healing its amazing what heavy scraping can do to a human body. Raw hamburger probably describes it well.

Denize re the Hort. Mag cover shot I was going to inquire (after looking thruout the mag but not seeing it identified) what is that huge agave in the lower right? sharkskin or something? Its really a lovely shade. Any ideas, Ms. Agave Expert?

T- you sure do get g-mom award re the sitting what patience & fortitude you must have.

Ending w/ a glad note to see that Sue is feeling sufficiently better that she checked in here boy, I think Denise might be right about that biblical Job nickname!

Mary, glad to hear you were spared surprise visitors for your "constitutional" wet frolic.

Ok back to suffering at work. Happy Anniversary, Michelle!


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 2:22PM
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Kathy-I guess I do recall as a little kid loving to examine our World Book Encyclopedia section on the human body-it had those same overlays....I think there was also one of a frog. The things I remember: ) I also wanted one of those clear plastic models of the body that had the systems visible lol.

Deanne after reading that book I can't fall asleep at night because I am putting together foliage combos in my head(fun!). It also had good info on how different colored foliage requires different care for the best color & survival. Now you probably already know all this stuff,lol, but it should help me quite a bit!

Oh Eden-how cool that you bought it! I'm glad that little ole me found something that interests I found three newly forming flower buds on my Clero...check yours maybe you do too.

I'm wishing the best for Chelone's meeting tomorrow.

How terrible that Sue has that big word that I can't pronounce either! Please take care of yourself & feel better soon. Let us know how you are doing.

V-I'm sorry to hear about your brother-it's very sad. I'm thinking of you.

Michelle I'm glad your family is OK. I traveled over a few bridges yesterday and I hated the thoughts I was having. It ends up that a few of Cleveland's bridges are of the same design.

I have no car today. LOooong story-short(hey I heard that sigh of relief ; ). Chris & AJ were on their way to the Indians game. The car started acting funny on the highway. Luckily he was smart enough to take the very next exit when the car died. Cracked radiator. The first business they walked to(in a not so great & pretty desolate neighborhood)was a printshop and the woman at the desk was very rude and unkind to them.(She wanted them to wait for their ride outside in the blistering heat among other things). Maybe she thought he was a a screaming Hawaiian shirt and that baby face? Luckily I was not school supply shopping yet so he could reach me(I am the last person on earth with no cell). When I arrived to rescue them AJ was in tears happy to see me & devastated that a person could be so mean to someone needing help. I said just remember never to do that when you have the opportunity to help someone. I know he won't.

We went down the street to a different place(tire garage)so we coiuld call a tow truck and the lady there was accomodating and pleasant. I told AJ he can have faith in the world because there are kind people in the world too: ) if they had gotten stranded at Chelone's he would have been really surprised lol.
The great news? I'm expecting this 13 yr old Honda to be not worth restoring.....maybe a new car on the horizon : )

OK so that wasn't such a long story-short. I'm Blabs.

OH there's MORE- sorry. We did later go to Target yesterday and as we got into the car there were rumbles of thunder coming close. We made it to Target,started to shop & suddenly it sounded like the ceiling was exploding(not really).Hail and torrents of rain fell that lasted for about 20 min. Naturally my brain was screaming,HAIL!MY PLANTS!Eventually, after we bought every item in the store(yeah)...we came home and NOT ONE-did you hear? NOT ONE drop of rain or hail fell at my house-we are only two miles from Target. I assumed the position once again.(Bought a 150' hose: )

Hi T! I don't mean to laugh but I too have wonderful memories of the first handful of dirt AJ sampled at 12mos.(and the sand and grass and...) AJ still loves when I tell the story of my horror. I was so sure he would end up with strep or lock jaw...they grow up in spite of us: )

p.s. The Indians WON. Chris and AJ missed a good game

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 2:54PM
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Here's for Michelle & Rick~many happy returns

Can you tell I have too much time on my hands? : )

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 3:45PM
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Blabs - you're name looks so classy! How rotten that women must have been to upset your two sweet boys.

Wendy - your skills with the camera have given me a whole new insight and admiration into your personality!! I'm so glad I got to spend time with you at IU4 (especially in room 218) - was it really only 2 weeks ago?

Michelle - happy anniversary;0)

Woody - onion bahji are a great favorite here. Yours look delicious. If you perfect the recipe could I have a copy? I believe they are made with chick pea flour which is perfect for a gluten-free diet.

I'm just bolting down a delayed lunch before picking David up from Summer Fun. I had fresh cherries for breakfast and the same at lunch time - they were so delicious. But arriving home a few minutes ago I was seized by hunger and could eat a horse. Not having one in the fridge I'm enjoying some left over mashed potatoes and pulled pork instead.

I am the official moderator of the Chicklits bookgroup this year and this afternoon had a tutorial on managing our website. I'm kinda excited, but not being much of a technoweenie I'm also a little nervous. Out next event is an outing to see the musical Menopause - anyone want to join us? it should be a lot of fun. Unfortunately our group is closed to the public - we had problems with wierd lurkers trying to join, otherwise you could follow along.

Yikes, gotta dash


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 3:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, next time Kenzie gets stuff stuck in her hair..gum, burdocks, whatever.. peanut butter...yes I mean it!..seems to remove everything! I'd suggest the smooth version, not crunchy. ;-)

Cindy, your lunchtime tale reminds me of days in the '60s in Nigeria. Each time a "dignitary" drove past our area the school kids were required to march a mile down the road and stand there cheering for hours until the person in question eventually drove past. Absolutely a horrendous waste of time. You can imagine hours in 95 temperatures and 95% humidity. A grim business in many ways....

Congratulations to the anniversary couple! Just think, back in the 15th century, you'd be harvesting like this! (Also your castle would look like that too!)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 3:50PM
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Another quick pop-in to answer Cindy, before I forget, I don't have a clue what the agave is on the cover, and Hort. inexcusably doesn't give a name. Looks like a giant, tho. (You are a periodical called Horticulture, right? And you do aim to appease plant zealots, right??) I scanned the rest of Hort. and saw Hinkley discusses restios. So proud mama has slimmest of reasons to show photo DS took yesterday of my Chondropetalum, fooling around with his new SLR dig camera -- nothin' but techno-talk around here, tho I too remain a technoweenie. The vase shape is stunning, but DS chose detail. Hinkley's photos weren't all that great either ;>)

Happy Anniversary, Michelle! See wine list provided above...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 4:09PM
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Denise - that photos is just beautiful. What sort of camera does your DS have? My DH is a photographer, but I'm a point and shoot sort of gal. I'm intrigued to check out the articles in this month's Hort next time I'm at the library.

GB - is that from Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry? That was one of my favorite topics when I studed art history adn got me interested in book binding (another life.) I'll have to remember the peanut butter trick - does it work on dogs?

T - how are the grandbabies doing?


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 4:52PM
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I was not arrested for felonious behavior! and it's all behind me for the time being. I am enjoying a glass of Pinot Grigio.

My brother was effectively "beside himself" when I arrived at his home; I knew because he was puttering around making up flashing for his garage... . I asked him what he thought was going to "go down" and we decided our strategy would be to let them direct things and interject when the opportunities arose. They were pretty much stunned when I walked into the room, a lot of sideways glances at each other. :) (wimpy handshakes, too... didn't look me in the eyes). Meeting started with a discussion of how disruptive Mum has been in the past two weeks; I asked for details of the "events" and asked who had witnessed them. Details were scarce. I asked about the time of day they occured; typically late afternoon... "sun downers"? yes, suspected. They asked US what they were going to do? I suggested using the "scientific method" and begin by checking the basics... "how much water is Mum drinking daily?" didn't know. "She must have 48 oz./day to maintain adequate hydration and keep her neo-bladder and the requisite urinary pouch from becoming a breeding ground for UTIs"; we measure fluids in cc s. "Don't you have a conversion chart? I'm sure you could download one in a few seconds... "; silence. "What has the stoma nurse at the medical facility next door had to offer?"; we didn't call her, we didn't think it was necessary. "You didn't think it might be a good idea to establish a rapport with a stoma nurse NEXT DOOR when you clearly had no practical experience with urostomies and were unable to adequately change the appliance for the better part a month? If I may be so blunt, that seems like common sense to me. Moreover, my mother has had 2 UTIs in 4 months, she has 1 in 39 mos. with me, and brought that one home from a rehab. center.". Embarrassed silence, during which time I presented the nurse with a ton of literature on urostomies from Conva Tec, as well as their hotline number, a contact name, AND the name of the area Conva Tec representative (all are very well trained). We asked about exercise, fresh air, outings... minimal. Not surprising. The the head administrator and director of nursing arrived shortly thereafter. The admin. guy "strongly" objected to our blunt assessment of their ability to manage an urostomy patient. "Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating... the reality IS that your facility utterly failed to provide the most basic adherence to the fundamentals. I don't want to hear any more about your credentials... I want to see you start using them.". I suspect they don't often get legal guardians like my brother and me.

Upshot? the replacement hearing aids, increased hydration, and greater attention to the fundamentals of urostomy care, as well as increased exercise OUTDOORS are to be the focus of the new "program" for the short term. It was made very clear to them that medicating a elderly woman "livn' in her own private Idaho" WASN'T going to be the first option. Not when they'd failed so utterly and miserably on the very points of concern my brother raised repeatedly before admitting Mum.

Then we talked about the hearing aids and the "loss" of Mum's personal property. And it was made perfectly clear that the missing items are to be replaced in a timely manner and that the inconvenience it has caused is not to be repeated. I will be following this up with strongly worded letter.

My big brother has, I think, a new appreciation for his little sister (he calls me his "little pit bull"; I hate dogs!). He remarked that watching me write down names and take notes blew him away! and he quietly thanked me 2 times for coming down for the meeting. It's been a tough month for him; he's lost 2 friends, and one of his cats, and has been beating himself up over selecting the wrong place for Mum. I told him not to waste time on the latter... there are no guarantees and trusting people are often the ones prone to "guilt". I teased him, telling him I really did understand just how it felt to be absolutely overwhelmed... "yeah, now I get it".

I'm whipped. Traffic was dreadful coming home.

Sue, the sickest I've been in my life was with Lyme Disease. I don't doubt you must feel some crummy! did the do a Lyme titer on you? Check out the New England FAQ for my story and my insights on that. Take good care, we need more people like you in our world!

Hi to everyone else; I promise to reread with a less distracted mind, but know I think of you guys every single day in one way or another.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 5:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 5:45PM
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Skimming and see Sue has Ehrlichiosis!?!?! That's a serious TBD and we now test all of our greyhounds coming up from the south for it, but to get it from a tick in Southern Connecticut is very unusual. Local labs aren't even good at identifying it. Doxycycline for 3 weeks is what we use if the dogs test positive. I know Sue loves me comparing her to a greyhound :)

Thing is, that above the south most vets (and MDs) really aren't familiar with TBDs other than Lyme and RMSF and treat for all sorts of other things. There are two or three good labs in the country that test accurately for it: Protatek in Arizona, NCSU, and I think Cornell. One type of test looks for antibodies,(IFA) and another test looks for the actual organism (PCR). I could go on for days about this. I get Protatek full panel done on all my dogs, and was happy to have that baseline when Monty got sick this spring and then Katie so we could rule that out first. But for Katie we had the PCR done just in case and then put her on 3 weeks of doxy anyway. TBDs mimic other diseases and in the North there just isn't a lot of knowledge about them.

Sue, if it is Ehrlichiosis, you could have been bitten by a tick 5 or 10 years ago, had some mild flue like symptoms and then it went dormant. It comes back when the body is being stressed by other things. Hope it hasn't done too much damage and you can get it under control and out of your system for good.

Deanne, your gardens look totally stunning! I've got the back yard burned to a complete crisp thing going on and wonder if anything will survive for next year. Have soakers going in two gardens now but it's too little too late. I try to keep the front looking presentable.

Very cool photos. Denise's stopped me dead in my scroll.

Ok, got someone coming to meet Foster Fudge tonight, so need to run through the downstairs with a bag and wipe down the kitchen. To hot to walk much today, but I'll see if Dannie & Fudge want to go.

Katie has a new hat collection to cover her bald dome. I added photos to her thread :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 6:07PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Cynthia, 21 days of Doxycycline is exactly the course of treatment I'm following. Two pills a day. My new best friend, Dr. Feelgood, the doc in a box I've had to rely on recently added it as one of the blood tests he ordered last Friday. My doctor is calling it Lyme so I need to find out if I have both or if she just refers to any TBD as Lyme.

Best wishes to Katie, BTW. Zoe had a spinal tap at the same time she had her MRI in February.

Go get 'em, Chelone!

OK, salmon just came off the grill. Most food hasn't interested me much in the past week but I'm slowly getting some appetite back. It helps to stick to only stuff you feel like eating.



    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 8:02PM
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I googled your ailment, Sue, or rather WebMD'd it :) and came up with just the opposite Cynthia - apparently there is a large outbreak area in CT (I suspect it's more like there's a large population who's getting tested now).

Hope you're on the mend, soon.

V., I hope you have some good time with your brother tomorrow. It must be a tough time for your family.

Eden, glad to hear of your mom's homecoming. I often say things aloud at the computer but am slow to type them out.

Happy anniversary to Michelle and DH!

I knew Chelone and bro' would make a dynamic duo :) My mom's a live in nurse and I'm proud to say that I think she's an excellent advocate for her patients. She's always worrying about diets and fresh air, even if it's opening windows or a sit on the porch.

Speaking of the porch. I got caught in a really good rain storm tonight, inside the truck. It sounded just like sitting on Grandma's front porch under it's tin roof. Sitting in those old sort of bouncing chairs surrounded by stinky red geraniums (that got dragged in every winter - they were huge!) talking about how the storm was coming in over Short Mountain. She loved to sit on the porch when it rained.

I'm still reading my good book, Mary, "Best Friends" by Martha Moody. I rather think your club might like it for a quick summer fun read. It's sort of written like a diary, easy reading....the reason I brought it up is because I'm off to read it :)

'night all....more from me tomorrow.


(thanks for all the well wishes....nasty cold, DON'T CATCH IT!!!....reminds me, T. hope the babes are all well and let 'em eat dirt! Makes them good gardeners....Jake flossed with worms :)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 10:06PM
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