#327 Refreshed.....with new ideas!!!

saucydog(z5MA)July 24, 2007

Carry on!

So glad you posted "dianthus"! We enjoyed both you and your SIL's company!

For those not in the know....dianthus is V's SIL!

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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Okay, V gets the Plant Detective Award for the week -- that was fast work, V, on that gossypium -- really neat -- I may get a new appreciation for annuals, assuming we can find seeds somewhere for that gem. Interesting it's like or similar to cotton....

Welcome, Dianthus -- great to see you post - it's pretty intimidating but you get into it pretty soon. It was great to see ya and I hope your other partner in crime will come here too. It was so terrific to see you.

I think I also owe a welcome to Mariann -- I look forward to getting to know you better here --

I think I've already forgotten what other things I was going to say from the other thread... short term memory loss is affecting me greatly today... too much fun?

Going to get out to the yard to do clean up today- i should just cut it all down after what I saw over the weekend but can't restart in July. We're about 7 inches below normal rain levels; officially in a drought here now - they keep teasing us w/ forecasts of potential storms but none of them get here. So more hoses today for me.

Then tomorrow it's back to ofc to see what cleanup I need to do there.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:32AM
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Cindy..I see I skipped a number..Not good with numbers, there is the proof...

Dianthus!!!! Good to see you!

Welcome to Mariann too!


    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:56AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Those of you who heard me muttering all weekend, "Agaves in pots! Agaves in pots!" will be pleased to know I just ordered four agaves from Yucca Do.

And they're on sale right now!


    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 12:57PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all and welcome back traveling Idyllers! I see there are pictures to browse...yay!

Woody..Lemon shortbread crust?? Your pies look so yummy, my stomach gave an appreciative growl at them. Care to share the recipe?

Welcome Dianthus! Are you and V the first "relative" idyllers?

V-I'm taking your agave remark as a sign. I've been thinking and thinking about doing some in containers. Thanks for mentioning Yucca Do...lol, I was ALMOST out of places to spend money on plants for the year ;)

Picked up my contacts and bifocal glasses this morning. I haven't braved the bifocals yet. I can wear the contacts and just use magnifying glasses for reading. I haven't had contacts for years, and forgot what a free feeling it is. I'll be able to see to shave my legs in the shower, and it's gotta make tweezing my eyebrows easier! It's the little things in life, ya know?

I have to run, I just popped in to say hi. I'll be back later to browse the pictures and get completely caught up. There's talk of an invasion of 6 year old triplets this afternoon, and I'd better get ready for it.
Have a good one!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 1:18PM
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I returned to "the compound" at just after 7 PM last night and received an enthusiastic greeting from the Huge One (apparently he still has yet to read the memo that I hate dogs), and it was kitties on parade for some time. A lot of trilling and zipping by me to put on wondrous displays of rolling. The feline straight jacket was in full force last night. All is back to normal, as it ought to be.

I was assigned a loathesome task at work this morning. I offered my approach, was slapped down and did as I was told. 3 hrs. later the finished product didn't fit (for the reasons I'd already voiced) and "we" had to "drop back and punt"; coming 'round to something remarkably akin to my original suggestion. Every single time I've had to make one of the damned things I've had the same problem... please, if you ever buy one of those covered swingsets for your lawn don't ask me to recover it. :)

No floor in the garage yet. No windows in the openings yet. Garage door (w/o "embossing"!) to be ordered this week.

The tour was wonderful. I had so much fun and returned rather nicely recharged for the project that awaits us after the building is completed. I see clearly that it's time to get out the 100' tape measure, the graph paper, and begin planning the planting to screen the road. I've also toyed with the idea of installing fence... not sure, though.

I'd like to be eating at Woodie's tonight, those pies look pretty good.

Time to go and assess the lawn and the gahdens. Felicitations to newcomers, esp. Dianthus. ;)

I would like Cynthia's recipe for the delightful chicken salad she thoughtfully provided on Saturday. It was delightful... quite a spread to "take on the road". So thoughtful and so ORGANIZED, an edible spreadsheet. :)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 4:41PM
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Thank you for the welcome Cindy and D. (is that short for Dianne???)

Welcome dianthus....WOW I actually get to welcome someone.

Brenda-I have bifocals but they are progressive...No lines. Could never wear contacts I tried and tried.

Stopped at Home Depot today to see if they had any annuals on sale. Was out of luck. Some of my containers look pretty ragged. Slugs had a field day. My Nicotiana's were attacked by Clavate Tortoise Beetles early in the season.

Hope everyone had a good day.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 6:16PM
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No one should be allowed to post food pics like those pies, Woody, without also posting the recipe :-)

V - LOL Agave in pots mantra. Cynthia got me started on the idea and of course there are too many wonderful varieties to choose from. My guess -- they are addictive so I'm starting Next year and going from there.

Brenda -- Congrats on the contacts! Bifocals aren't bad at all. I have progressive lenses which are actually trifocals but no lines and have learned to love seeing again. You get used to it pretty quickly.

Chelone -- Since the huge one doesn't get that you hate dogs, maybe it's time for a pahtner-in-crime so he has a playmate?????? LOL Actually went to look at a pound pup last night (DH hates dogs as much as you) but with an eye infection already, figured it wasn't a good idea, yet.

Thanks for the daylily suggestions. Wish I'd needed this 30 years ago before the hybriders started having field days!!! Try googling pink daylily sometime...

Welcome Dianthus!!!! My fav perennial of the year is D. 'Siskin Clock'. This is the first garden I've had where D. really thrive. Have no idea why, but a nice little collection is forming. What an initiation to Idylldom! You're a lucky person.

David - sorry about the flight woes. I gave up flying standby as every flight seems like standby lately and isn't that much more expensive.

I Think I guess the reflective Idyllers -- Wendy, Mary, Drema, Chelone????????

Welcome back to NE Sue, Monique, Deanne, Saucy and anyone else I've forgotten. Hi everyone!!!!

Best to all - time to go smell the roses.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 6:19PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Martie, I believe the 4th "reflective Idyllers" is Saucy.

Count me in with the trifocal wearers. Mine are not the progressive lens. I think I will get them the next time. I have never tried bifocals, and never will. Can't stand the idea of poking something in my eyes....also, I look much better with glasses( They help hide some of the bump on my nose----:-).

Yep, Woody's pies look really yummy!

Welcome Dianthus. Pinks are one of my favorite flowers :-)

Chelone, I'm glad you finally posted. I was beginning to get worried about you.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 6:44PM
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Wendy, Mary, Chelone and Saucy.

I'm eating while Idylling as DH left to go look at another tractor. Am I right, we don't need 4 tractors do we?

Welcome Dianthus! I know you are V's SIL, but are you the one that drove us around last IU?

I must get out and look things over. Thurs. night the garden visitors come and we leave for the annual family campout afterwards.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 7:36PM
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How'd you know? ;)

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 8:00PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Only one of those pies is left tonight :-) We've eaten two, I took two to our sweet-tooth buddies at the long-term care facility and one went home with one of my helpers for her son who also has a major sweet tooth. I found the recipe on the Internet a few years ago when I went looking for something else to do with red currants other than to make jam or jelly. I also found a recipe for an orange and red currant cake but I haven't made that one yet. The pies are really different and delicious - but not health food! Way too much butter and eggs for that! I doubled the recipe below to make the 6 pies - not quite double; 5 eggs. A stand mixer comes in handy for the beat the egg whites for 5 minutes part - you really do need to beat them for that long to make them stiff enough to support the currants. I think next time I make it I'm going to try a slightly different arrangement of the ingredients/mixing instructions. I think I'll cream the butter with the lemon zest, then beat in the eggs and add the flour/baking powder at the end. I think that might give me a dough that will stick together better without the additional egg.

Red Currant Pie


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

3 egg yolks (original recipe called for 2 yolks but I found the dough too dry with only 2 - would not stick together)

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest


3 egg whites (original was 2 but, since I needed another yolk, I used the white too)

1/2 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 1/4 cups red currants

In a medium bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Mix in butter, sugar, egg yolks and lemon zest until mixture forms dough. Press into bottom and sides of a springform pan (or will make three 6" pies). Let rest in cool place for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 325F. Bake crust in oven for 25 minutes, or until golden yellow.

To make topping: In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually stir in sugar and cornstarch; beat for 5 minutes. Fold currants into mixture and spoon into pie crust.

Bake in oven for ~15 minutes at 325F or until top is lightly browned. Let cool before cutting.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 8:41PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Well shoot..Chelone. I thought I 'knew' what you look like! I didn't know the 3rd one was you.

Woody, I always gathered red currants in Idaho, so I tried growing them here. They just will not do well.( I think the climate is too hot and humid here.) I made jelly from them, but never pie. They are buggers to clean, with all those little stems.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 9:17PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Well, Drema isn't the last one to post the long overdue birthday photos. Better late than never. Hope they were wonderful!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:22PM
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Thanks Monique! I love the use of the mirrors on your fence. Your garden is so pretty, you really should post more pictures of it.

Chelone, I've seen your picture from the time at Deanne's. Besides I've met Drema so I knew it wasn't her.

After meeting so many Idylls last summer, I think that made missing this IU so much more of a bummer. You really know what you are missing.

We are still having temps every day in the 90's. Unbelievable! In central South Dakota it was supposed to hit 110 today.

I really didn't accomplish much this evening, although last night I put up some lattice that I had laying around. It went behind the tropical garden to hide a very utilitarian area. What a difference it made.



    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 11:05PM
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If you can't find seeds or plants of Gossypium herbaceum nigra, a great substitute is Hibiscus acetosella 'Red Shield'. I started it from seed this year and it packs a punch.

More, later.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 7:00AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Michelle!

The above is a yellow mandevilla from the conservatory at Longwood. I'd only seen the pink before.

Idyllunion was so much fun, it was wonderful to meet those I hadn't met - now I can picture your faces and hear your voices as I read the posts. Touring gardens with such a knowledgeable and fun group was the best. I just wish each and every Idyll could have joined us! We did think of the missing ones often.

I also want to mention that Doug (aka Dougas Drivafolia) is a chauffeur extraordinaire! He put up with all of our chit-chat and silliness while smoothly piloting us to our destinations with the aid of Mustang Sally (the GPS voice). Well done Doug!

Back to reality though, but at least I could ease back into work after my two-week hiatus by working 1/2 days yesterday and today. I am looking at my own garden with fresh eyes - thousands of new ideas! I think I need more land...

Welcome Galium and Dianthus! So glad you could join us here. We love garden pictures too, when you are ready.

Martie, that Catherine Woodbury daylily is a soft pink, and it is truly beautiful. I've been on the hunt for a pink daylily for a few years now, and that one is the best. Most are peach or muddy orange for me, but this one is great.

My mother told me yesterday that she heard on the news about a seagull in Scotland that is walking into a seaside store daily and stealing a bag of chips, always the same brand. People are now leaving money at the store so that he can continue to have his little snack. Can you picture it!?

Well, duty calls. I'll try to post some more pics later today on the other thread. Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 7:35AM
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I think its pretty cool to have a birthday that just goes on and on. Thanks Wendy for the mandevilla picture. I remember seeing the yellow one at the Dallas Arboretum a couple of years ago.

I have 'Catherine Woodbury' as well as 'Strawberry Candy' which is funny because I don't have all that many daylilies. Catherine is taller and much paler. Strawberry is a little shorter and more a medium pink. I like both, so it depends on what you want for height and color.

Martie, I have seen the h. 'Red Shield' at botanical gardens before, and always think I must order seeds but then forget.

This is a 3 day work week for me, whoo hoo!

Mariann, D. is short for Drema, isn't that just the coolest name? Pronounced as "Dreama"


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 10:24AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi friends. I'm hoping I'm posting in the right place. I'm really feeling miscomboobilated and this is going to be mostly all about me. Sorry. Hey, do we have a new idyller -- Mariann. Welcome! Just jump right in.

First of all, I want to send a hug to (((((Eden)))))). I just read about your crisis with your Mom. I'm sending positive vibes to you and your family. It's especially difficult for all of you since they live so far away.

Seems we have the possibility of the perfect storm brewing. It was a good thing DH didnt miss work Friday. They gave those that were there a printout of the shut-down and disposal timetables and he was able to attend a couple important mtgs. It gives us some idea of when DH might be laid-off. Then again, perhaps his political wrangling will help him transfer into the division that is being retained. Who knows? Its quite unsettling.

No long term damage to my knee, thank goodness, and its getting better. Dont know about the gum/tooth infection. Im hoping it was just minor and the antibiotics will take care of it.

The situation with DD is maddening. SIL is whipping DD back and forth. First he gives her a 4-yr plan to dissolve their partnership, then the next day tells her he loves her, then the following day he tells her he doesnt want her anymore. DH and I KNOW hes got something going on the side, that hes executing a plan etc. DD is still realizing the scope of whats going on. Thru all this, her Shingles are raging and shes having a hard time coping.

This am a ton of more bad stuff came to light. So now, Mama and Papa Bear are furious. DD was really blind-sided and he did it when shes at her lowest and cant fight back. Weve had DD here every pm and taking care of her as best we can. Ive been driving her on her work errands b/c of her meds. She needs the job and is afraid of losing it. So far her boss has been very understanding. We hope that continues. Tonite, another heavy chat is on the agenda. We got her an appt. with a lawyer next Mon. and she may need a private investigator to uncover and get proof of things we suspect. Weve been taken in, too, and hes used us. So hes unleashed more than he knows. He's not that smart.

Thanks all, for your support on this situation. If Im offline, its b/c lots of stuff is going on.

Missy is keeping us very, very busy and were exhausted. She is a bright spot in this, altho its humbling to be outsmarted by a 10 wk old puppy! Yesterday, she figured out that it isnt the lead thats keeping her from freedom, but the stake thats augured into the ground. So, she started digging it up! I was able to stop her in time and sprinkled the whole area with cayenne pepper. My once nice lawn is full of craters. I may have to buy cayenne pepper by 10 lb. Bags!

Ill stop by when I can, will try to catch up with you guys and am looking forward to seeing and hearing about IU4.

A T-storm is coming our way and I have to get off-line. I hope it doesnt knock out our internet again like it did last weekend.



    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 11:47AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

(Honey) - it sounds like DD's situation is a mess indeed! Re Missy - please, please, please don't use cayenne pepper to stop her digging! Just imagine the tragedy if she gets that in her eyes. You don't need any more crises at the moment and the puppy blinding herself is not what you need right now. A few holes in the lawn is not that big a deal. Randy's brother's Airedales are/were real excavators - they could dig 3' wide and deep holes in no time flat in their sandy backyard! They stopped on their own as they outgrew the puppy stage and only dig if they need a cool spot to lay or if they are bored. (why does she need to be tied up? Is your yard not fenced?)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 12:03PM
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Honey, I think you and I are having the same kind of summer. One thing after another. My heart goes out to you, Tom and dd. She is fortunate to have you and Tom there for support but I know how much worrying about children, no matter how old, can take out of you. Missy sounds about like Bella. Sometime I'd like to tie her to a stake and sprinkle around some cayenne to keep her out of stuff (just kidding) lol. I hope you've been able to spend some time in your gardens. I know that always helps me.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 12:47PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My sympathies are to Honey, and DD. I pray that all will turn out okay for your DD, Honey. I am sure it is a scary situation. Thank goodness she has your support.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 12:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thinking of Honey, Eden, Ei and all those who need a big boost!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 2:57PM
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The Pennsylvania weather is here today, and the Maryland and Virginia weather is slated to arrive tomorrow. I'm OK with it; I don't generally mind the heat... I just move more slowly and deliberately (learned that in Va., Cindy).

Oh my! having spent 3 rather long summers fraught with worry and a seemingly endless round of "chores" I sympathize with the "curve" thrown to Eden, Honey, and Ei.! It's my own opinion that the crisis isn't the worst of it, at all. It's the gnawing, grinding worry that can't really be "solved". (((hugs to all))). I wish I were able to take each of you to a nursery and buy you an ice cream cone. :( (Honey, you could always kick the dog to relieve tension... ;) actually, ALL of you could!).

Today I finished up the horror of the swing canopy and started a cushion job for a BEAUTIFUL replica of a 1930s power cruiser (this boat is easily 3/4 million bucks). First cushion was JOINTED; it is actually 2 cushions with a hinge. They're buggers to make; this one has zippers on a back edge (bevelled to fit against the hull, for good measure), and the front edge which means the zipper must be in the seam (fussier to execute well). I have it together and will cut the foam first thing tomorrow morning, then I'll move on to the next 4 in the series. It was easier strolling gahdens... I thought of you, Wendy! ;)

I went to a nursery today and bought an itty-bitty Hosta (with yellowy margins even, and a $20 pricetag!)and some Anemone! They didn't have any of the varigated Asarum I was hoping for, and I wimped out on the Hakono...whatever grass; NOT because of the color, but because I wasn't sure where to site it. I am really trying to stick to my resolution to "GO FOR IT" more and really push my "comfort level" a bit more. Speaking of Asarum, they wanted $11 for a 2 quart pot of Asarum europeum... I nearly choked. I have it EVERYWHERE, it reseeds prolifically (even along the driveway). I can't MISS with it. My retirement will be secure, lol.

I still haven't tackled the pictures. Or taken the suitcase up to the attic. But the laundry is done!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 4:32PM
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Honey, I'm so sorry for your daughter and you and your husband. Especially since your daughter has a virus that is aggravated by stress. Life is everything but fair.

And I've been absent about birthdays to Eden and Michelle. Hope you had good ones. I'm a terrible card giver in real life and that just carries over here....

Pies were commented on by Jake....resident pie expert :) He thought he'd like to have a slice.

I'm tired and spacey. Lots of emotional crapola going on around here and my body seems to shut down instead of dealing. I get incredibly sleepy and then have fitless sleeps filled with dreams. I must have a brain that processes overnight, for alot of times I wake with "the" answer....then again, alot of times I wake and wonder what I ate that would've made me dream "that".

I'm so inspired by my recent trip. Jake and I start the pond garden tomorrow! I will document (ordered by Wendy and Chelone!).

Oh, and I'm interested in investing in a condo...any ideas where to look for information? I'm starting off with NO knowledge whatsoever.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 9:07PM
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Wednesday and Im not sure Im having a very productive week. I seem to be spending an inordinate length of time looking at pics on the Idylls !

Honey, my best wishes to you and your family. What an ugly situation. Hope your DD gets her health back soon so she can concentrate her efforts on the issues at hand.

Welcome DianthusI guess you passed your initiation by attending and surviving IU4 !

Chelone, I just love hearing about your sewing exploits. You always give just the right amount of info so I can visualize what you are doing. There is so way in h**l I could do what you do ! No patience , no hand eye co-ordination etc.

Think Ill go check out IU day one-Im sure there is a day two on the horizon???

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 9:37PM
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It's going to be hot in the shop today. I'm relieved I have the hardest cushion finished. We have a running joke in the shop that I only stuff cushions ("alligator wrestling") when it's hot and humid, and bemoan the fact that I'm not working on vinyl ones. Stuffing large vinyl cushions is remarkably "physical".

I believe they'll pour the floor today. Roofers on Monday and then the framers return to put in the windows. Should be a busy week. We have to call the mason this week, too. And it's getting on toward time to get out with the stakes and orange paint to set the new curve of the driveway. We went to the bank to close on the loan yesterday. I was cool as cucumber, which is unusual for me when it comes to consideral sums of money. ;) . First payment is due on the 30th. of August!

Wrecks is putting weight on his leg now and the open portion of his incision is healing nicely (where he removed the staples). We now have to watch him like a hawk, he's really BORED with the whole "house arrest" thing and has availed himself of the opportunity to "escape" a couple of times. Naughty boy! (a prime opportunity for a beating).

Time to run.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 5:23AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Chelone -- yikes, you are an early bird -- the better to wrestle alligators today and then take a nap? Sounds like things are really humming on the garage now. Neato. I too have been plant shopping but only came home w/ a few annuals to plunk in the ground to try to perk up the tired looking front beds. Im trying to resist V's sales advice re agaves...... they're probably sold out by now from lurkers popping in anyhow, LOL.

I seemed to have missed some of the tales of woe (Ei?) here but that may be due to turbo skimming -- but I hope things go better for all here -- Honey, you and DH are wonderful parents & DD is so lucky to have your support - I hope things go better & she keeps in mind that fact that she has great support.

Eden, hoping your mom's doing better today -- and the drs make some more commonsense decisions to keeping her health at its best levels.

Saucy - sorry you're feeling more emotional fallout -- I think sometimes dreams are aides to solving our problems -- sounds like you've got some depression going on too - but it could be too much IU Fun withdrawal too! Look forward to seeing your pond project.

Is anyone feeling a letdown from too much laughter? It's terribly quiet in my locale today - makes me wanna go to sleep! Ok, guess I better face work some more; it's not like I dont have lots to do.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 9:56AM
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Good morning

Still playing catch-up here from being away. To date groceries have been replenished, laundry done (almost), gardens weeded and my IU4 folder filed away optimistically renamed IU5. We tossed a few ideas around for next year but nothing definite emerged. We might need a brain storming thread once winter rolls around to decide, or another get together to nail down a location.

Wendy - LOL on Doug's Botanic name. I had it wrong and thoguht he was Dougas Drive-us-around-us.

Dianthus - great to see you post. Don't be a stranger;0) Perhaps you can persuade um, Echinacea? to stop by sometime. It was so great having you both along to share the fun.

Woody - red currants are a favorite of mine. Your pies look delicious. Have you ever made an English Summer Pudding with them? I also grow gooseberries and black currants, nearly all of which seem to get eaten by the wildlife.

Honey - so sorry to hear how rotten things are for your DD. What a great support and comfort you and TOm must be. Are you going to get an invisible fence for Missy? Ours has been fantastic and with a corner lot was the only way we could make a fence work, either aesthetically or financially.

Deanne - I was thinking of you yesterday as I yanked out the remains of my Sambucus Gold. It started turning black on just a few leaves. I pruned them off but branch by branch it succumbed. Darn - I'm going to miss it.

I need to get in the gardens before the heat and humidity hit today. Kathy - I'll try and get to some Day 2 photos later.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 10:00AM
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I'm home today but I have much to do. The garden tour is tonight with a barbeque to follow (not here) and then I will leave for the lake to meet up with the first of family to arrive for our annual campout. DH will work tomorrow and show up in the evening. The camper was loaded on the pickup last night and I need to get some food and clothes ready. We each are responsible for one meal for everyone and cleanup, but then the rest of the time you get to eat all the delicous food that's been prepared by the others. It seems like an easy way to do it. It gets the men involved too. I'm making pork loin, baked beans, toasted garlic bread and chips. Easy and will be enjoyed by the kids as well as the adults. Last year I did a theme supper with a Luau and it was a hit. So my brother will be having a Mexican Fiesta this year.

Honey, sorry to hear about all the game playing that your SIL is up to. Your DD is very lucky to have your support.

Eden, I've been wondering about your mom, do you have an update?

I think I missed what was going on in Ei's life.
Hugs to all involved in difficult situations.

I must get busy.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 11:59AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

I feel so badly about missing IU4. Im loving the pix tho. Ive looked at Cindys twice now, too, and will try to experience it vicariously when reading and looking thru the rest of the threads.

Welcome Dianthus! So glad youre joining us.

Woody, thanks for the info on the cayenne pepper. So far, Missy doesnt go near it. Youre right. We dont need another crisis right now! No were not able to have fences here which is why Missy is staked. The invisible fence folks are due here next month. Meanwhile, were trying to train Missy to a specific area for the potty and another for play.

We bot her a harness so I can take her in the car except shes such a wiggle worm I cant get the harness on her. Before I got it, to take her to the vet I put her in the passenger seat and held her collar with one hand and driving with the other NOT SAFE. She found the power window button, of course! There are no child safety window locks for the front seats. Shes too big for the cat carriers. So unless I can get the harness on her or DH is home, I cant take her anywhere..

Thanks, guys, about DD. It gets worse by the hour. Were all emotionally exhausted, and physically exhausted from not sleeping well. Last nite, DD was lamenting her lost life and I got short with her b/c she doesnt see that her life will be different, not over. In retrospect, I was very wrong. She needs to mourn the loss of her hopes and dreams. I wasnt feeling well myself, am anxious about our ability to help her (help ourselves if DH is laid off) and was anxious for her to take charge and get her list of questions ready for the lawyer. She wasnt ready to do that. SIL drained her dry, brought nothing to the marriage and may make off with a huge inheritance from his uncle and $ hes stashed. DH and I are furious that hes taken advantage of her good nature and us. DD hasnt gotten to the angry stage yet. I need to be more patient.

This weekend, SIL is supposed to go up north. Well be helping DD document contents of the home, copy important documents and $ "stashes" shes found hidden. It infuriates me b/c he had $ stashed and he didnt step in to by his DD clothes when she needed them. He acted like he couldnt afford to and let us do that. What a jerk.

Eden, yes, it does seem like its one thing after another. And youre so right. Monday I finally was able to think about some moves and changes as well as deadhead and cleanup the garden a bit. It was what my soul needed. I felt so much better afterwards. I was hoping Missy would snooze while I worked but she was being obnoxious, barking and howling. Its truly amazing how much sound comes out of a 14 lb. Puppy! So I finally had to put her in her crate for a nap. Shes like a child in that when shes tired, she gets hyper and gets into trouble.

Chelone, so good to hear Wrecks is healing well. I know wrestling with those cushions is a really tough job and not one Id be able to do. In fact, you must have very strong arms and hands to wrestle all that heavy upholstery fabric around. It definitely isnt for the delicate! Sounds like your garage project is really coming along. Pix, please.

Saucy, you didnt mention where the condo is that youre interested in investing in. Is it nearby or somewhere warm? Are you planning on becoming a landlord or is it for you? I recommend researching it thoroughly before moving forward.

Hi, Brenda. Just what do you do to get ready for 6-yr old triplets? Oh, my.

Mariann, I share your pain about slugs and bugs. Im having trouble with Slugs, too. And Aphids are helping Missy destroy my container plants.

Hey, Martie. Want a pup? Maybe I could rent Missy out for the next month or so! Truthfully, we probably should have selected a pup that was a little older. I know itll get better as she matures, but oh my, shes a lot of work. I try to remember shes just like having a 1 yr. Old. Cats are definitely easier.

Michelle, 4 tractors?! Yee gads. Boys and their toys. About Moniques garden, its just glorious and huge. It was truly a treat to see it in person. I, too, hope she posts more pix.

Oh yum, Woody. That pie sounds delish!

Marian, you and Woody are so ambitious baking all those homemade things. First, DH and I each dont need the calories (excuse, excuse) and second, I get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible, especially in the summer.

Monique, what a unique idea! Those mirrors on your fence are perfect!

Wendy, LOL about the Seagull. But they are nasty, dirty buggers. Why theyre protected is a mystery to me.

Mary, what happened to your Sambucus?

Well, it looks like it might rain again. Glad to have it except Ill have to bring Missy indoors. Somehow I think I have some pix in my camera I havent downloaded. Ill share if theres anything good.

PS: Loved that IU pic of Sue!

Later, taters,

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 11:59AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, everyone!
Woody, thanks for posting the recipe..it sounds so yummy!

Wendy, I saw a clip of the seagull lifting the chips-it was hilarious :)
Personally, I'd go for peanut butter cups, but maybe they keep them up higher?

((Honey)) Your DD is so fortunate to have you and your DH to help her though all this. Best of luck with Missy. We had a run of really BAD luck with dogs that left me training a puppy every year for five years in a row. Tested my patience beyond it's limits, lol! As a matter of fact, a friend of mine said just the other day that she admired my endless patience. I pointed out that it's not so much patience as pure stubbornness. (Are there two n's in that word-it doesn't look right??)
How do you get ready for 6 year old triplets? Three valium and three shots of whiskey :) JK! Since I don't have a lot of youngsters around, I tend to have scissors and other assorted no-no's all over the place. They're VERY good kids, but I like to remove as much temptation as possible, so I had to scurry around and see what all was out that shouldn't be.

((Saucy)) I hope things get better for you. During some really tough times in my life, I'd find myself having odd dreams. I think it's kinda your brain's way of taking a healthy dump, if you'll pardon the expression.

Chelone, I'm glad to hear that Wrecks is coming along well on his recovery. BTW, the Wrecks/Rex thing has always tickled my funny bone ;)

Michelle, good luck with the garden tour-I just know your guests will love it! You're probably right, you don't need 4 tractors, lol! So, what's the word, are you going to have 4 anyway??

I survived the triplet invasion...with a 13 and a 9 year old thrown in for good measure. We had a great time, but I was exhausted when they went home. How their Mom and Dad do it (they're all five in the same family) is beyond me. The triplets are just learning how to blow bubbles with their gum. The 7,000 demonstrations (and a bubble-gum missle in the face) brought home to me how much patience raising triplets would take. And, they are learning how to snap their fingers and whistle, too, lol! They are wonderful, well mannered kids, and we had a fabulous time. They are all very interested in what's going on in the gardens, and seed collecting would keep them busy for days. I'm just glad I'm not taking them all back to school shopping. DH and I were at the store today, and the school supply aisle was crammed with people. DH just smiled and waved to them all as we went past the end of the aisle. There was more than one unhappy youngster and some Moms looked like they were on their last nerve. We were just there for dog food, and were glad to get it and get outta there!

We're getting some odd rain, swirling around from the east. It can come from whatever direction it wants, and we'll be happy to have it. We got 6/10 last night, and are slated for more today and tomorrow. The sweet corn is ready, and delicious! I stumbled onto the variety "Serendipity" and it's like candy. The coons seem to be enjoying it as well. Last night, DH was stringing extension cords to put a radio out there and Sarah came up to the porch with an ear in her mouth, so I don't know if it's the dogs, the coons, or both.

The bifocals have been no problem at all, thank goodness. I got the progressive lenses, and there was really no adjustment at all. And, I can read the fine print again!

Today was DS's birthday. He's 22. I pointed out that he's on the slippery slope to middle age :) He appreciated that almost as much as he appreciated it when I pointed out that he's almost half my age! He had DD, Jim and I over for lunch. His GF cooked for us all. I think he'll probably keep her for a while, given her cooking skills. She made walnut crusted chicken breast and a wild and white rice dish that was to die for. Lol, then she told me her Uncle Ben made the rice. She said she just threw the chicken together from her imagination and hoped for the best. She also made him an R2D2 birthday cake, decorated exactly like a 3-D puzzle we got him for Christmas years ago. He's still got the crazy thing assembled and sitting in his apartment.
Enough from me today. Oh, one more thing! I think I've finally figured out how to get a decent picture of my "stump bed" for you all. I need to get on the porch roof and get above the whole thing! For the sake of safety, I think I'll wait until the roof is dry, though :)
Have a good evening everyone, good vibes to all who are going through trying times.
PS-Deanne, we stopped at the home improvement store to see if they had any deals on plants they were killing, and I thought of you. They're starting to clearance their containers, and they also had some coleus and other tender plants marked WAY down. I told DH that I bet you could take them home and love them into a stunning display for next year. He said, "Well, why don't you do that?" I pointed out that I was pretty sure you had a whole set-up with lights and stuff, and that I would really ENJOY doing that if I had the set-up. He said, "Okay, we'd better get going now." The seed is planted in his brain, though. By next year at this time, he'll hatch a GREAT idea he just thought of, lol!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 5:13PM
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It's raining just a little here, but the wind's blowing so I came in. I don't want a tree or something to fall on me:) More birthday cards! Michelle's right, it's like we've had our birthday's all month!

I'm at the stage in the tree clean up where I'm ready to start shuffling plants in the areas where it wiped out the gardens but I'm holding off until it's cooler and wetter, probably next month. We're having a dumpster delivered tomorrow, so shed demo is on the agenda for the weekend. If I get bored I can always spread some of my mountain of wood chip mulch.

Brenda, I love reading your posts. I always feel like I'm sitting on the porch chatting with you over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. I bought my first sweet corn of the season at the farmer's market this morning.

Michelle, enjoy all of the compliments your going to get tonight. Your garden's beautiful! Then have fun camping. Hope you get some good pics of Kenzie. You asked about my mom...she's still in the hospital, but is so ready to come home. Today they decided she needed a transfusion to boost her hemoglobin. Yesterday it was a platelet transfusion and so it goes. She's feeling good though.

Chelone, I was thinking after reading your description of your last project at work what a fine craftsperson you are. You're someone who takes pride in her work. Your customers are so fortunate to have you doing work for them. Hope they realize it and let you know, at least once in a while. I wish I'd gotten to meet you at IU! Glad Rex is recovering so well. I always wonder why those little mini hostas are so EXPENSIVE!

Saucy, thinking of you and hoping you can work things out. Have fun gardening with Jake!

Monique, I think those mirrors on your fence look pretty cool too!

Honey, it's hard to have patience sometimes I know! My thoughts are with you. Hang in there!

Meg picked up Bella early so I have the evening to myself. It's out to the garden I go! The sun's back out.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 5:54PM
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I keep forgetting to say welcome to Dianthus. Glad to have you here. Just jump in and start talking!


    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 5:56PM
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What happens when I have time on my hands? Thanks to V's influence I'm now awaiting the arrival of 9 new agaves from Yucca Do (they still have LOTS Cindy!!!) They'll join 8 others that I've collected over the last couple of years due to the influence of Cynthia. Guess I'm easily influenced. Now I'm trying to talk myself out of ordering this spiral aloe.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 7:00PM
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Wow! It's so good to learn so much about all of you and your gardens and your families and your activities! As a new Idyller I look forward to doing more reading than posting, but I'm not good at lurking so I'll jump in when I can. My SIL has encouraged me and my gardens have commanded me... I will participate and CHOOSE JOY in my life and in my garden!

My thoughts are with those of you who are struggling... it's those storms of life that test us and somehow require us to find strength and resolve.

I LOVED the IU photos and have not stopped laughing at the giant acorns... you are all too much!

Enjoy this final weekend of July and thanks for inspiring me to "winter" some of my plants, create a hypertufa, and shop for the end of summer container sales at Tuesday Morning and the Home Store!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 7:10PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I will not buy agave, I will not buy agave, I will not buy agave.....

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 8:24PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Hey Cindy - this one's for you, LOL...

Chelone, it sounds like you are moving right along on your garage - windows will really pull it together. Folks, if you like to hear her describe her work, you should SEE her! She does an awesome pantomime; her gestures were so precise I could actually see the large machine she was describing.

Honey, glad your knee injury is not serious. I feel for your DD, it is a huge heartbreak when you find out that the man you love is not what you thought he was; been there in a previous relationship. Your DD will need time to grieve; she has built a life with him and it will be hard for her to let that go, even if it was not ideal. Hugs to all of you (((Honey))).

Puppies are like toddlers, they are into everything. My DD was mortified when Skipper trotted into the living room with Grampy's tightie whities from the laundry pile clutched between his teeth. She doesn't even like to take underwear out of the dryer at home, let alone see it paraded by hanging from the puppy's mouth!

Brenda, LOL on planting the seed of an idea in your DH's brain - I do the same thing. He has lots of good ideas!

Dianthus, good to see you here! I love your motto CHOOSE JOY - definitely words to live by. I hope the JOY spreads far and wide.

Have a great night!


    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 8:57PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Chelone, I forgot to post this link for you - I've never been there, but I've heard only good things about the place. Road trip anyone??!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 9:00PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

EDEN! Cut it out ;) I was eyeing that spiral aloe just the other day. Lol, if I had any idea where I'd put all this stuff in the winter...well, you all KNOW what would happen.
I'm glad your Mom is feeling good, you're in my thoughts a lot. BTW, we always have coffee and wine around the house, and the porch is always open :)

Dianthus, they got to you, too..didn't they? Soon, we'll all be building on additions to have room for plants for the winter.

Okay, I actually got online to look up some exercise info, so I should probably go do that.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 9:07PM
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Cindy, here's a link to the Yucca Do agave page, scroll down about half way, in case you just want to peek...

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 9:08PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hey, Eden, I already "peeked" - I even had a shopping cart filled.... and then I bailed. I have no idea where I'd over winter them....already have 3...and aeonium I tried last year are looking pretty sick. So empty cart I left; I know I will regret it but -- if it makes you feel any better, I did come home on tuesday w/ 3 coleus, LOL.

Nite, nite, all.


    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 9:40PM
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I have the spiral aloe from PDN. It was part of my 'winnings' a few years ago :) Had to repot it this year, and it probably would be larger by now if I'd repotted it last year. It sits with my agave collection.

If I'd known you were all going to go agave crazy after last week-end I could have brought pups from the variegated agave I picked up at VFN at IU2! My blue steel should have been repotted a few years ago too. Problem is that I love it in the pot it's in.

I wonder if the Tiger's Eye Sumac would be a good replacement for all the S.R. Sutherland Gold that folks are ripping out of their gardens? I still have two that I haven't had butcher and they're fine. But could certainly sprinkle some of the Tiger's Eye around. Does that need full sun to thrive?

Cindy, go ahead and buy them. They're really small, and you can winter them over for a few years in a bright window. Then when they get too big, I'll take them ! :)
(I like this plan.)

'gnight, Cynthia

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 11:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just so you know I'm not slacking on the job...

From June-

And Chelone ought to love this combo of baby AND guard dog:

Enjoy your sleep...Sarah still doesn't get more than 3 hours at a shot. ;-)


    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 11:40PM
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Jeez, 'bug, 3 hrs. at a time? that's worse than the feline straight jacket on a cold night!

The floor was poured yesterday and they sealed it, too. They'll be back today to cut the expansion joints into it. The helpmeet reported a great deal of "cleavage" on the compound yesterday. I was dismayed he failed to snap a couple of shots for your enjoyment, but he felt there was no opportunity without being spotted. ;) The guy in the concrete truck savaged the irrigation line to "Annual Man's" gahden and did quite a job on the lawn in the circle, too. Helpmeet was really irritated and told him so! All I can say is the driver must have been a wicked "mouth breather" if he elicited that reaction.

Hot and humid this morning, more on tap for the weekend. I'm glad I have the hard cushion and the two big ones behind me. The final two are pretty straight forward and there won't be much foam glueing (takes longer to "set" when it's humid).

Theatre tonight, "La Cage Aux Folles", je crois.

Wendy, I'm there if you want to check out Blanchette's...

"Time to make the doughnuts" my friends. Keep cool.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 5:20AM
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((((Honey, family and especially DD))). What you're describing is legally considered psychological abuse, and is Finally recognized as being even more damaging in the long run than physical abuse. Find a lawyer who understands this well so that DD isn't slammed in court. Not all judges and systems get it, yet. The sooner the better. Isn't it easy to get manipulated and isn't it scary when one realizes how easy it is??? You're not alone and Good For You to face it head on. There's local domestic abuse systems almost everywhere that can help with clothing, meds, legal, etc. Look into it. Stick with her, friend, we're all here with you. Appreciate the Missy offer, but no thanks for now :-)

Looking forward to seeing Saucy's progress since water feature is slated to be the 2008 major addition. No condo help, here, as my only experience was to live in one with Rich for about a year and swear I'd never do that again.

Sultry summer weather, here, and am really hopeful for rain. Also hope that it will stay dry long enough for Chelone's floor to cure just enough. I can't imagine dealing with huge expanses of heavy fabric in this weather. Ugh.

Since I can't decide, will probably end up with both recommended daylilies. Variety is the spice, right? LOL

Any great suggestions for sending a child overseas for five months? We have DS's departure date from New York and a caravan for to send him off is being formed. As much as I'm proud and excited for him, part of me will be holding my breath until he's back.

New job officially starts Monday and I'm excited!! Have been on a few appts with boss-to-be (I've lucked out twice in a row with bosses -- he's as great as the current one who I'll miss terribly) and it's going to be one he$^ofa ride.

I'm so enjoying all the pics of IU4 and am purposely staying away from anything agave related. I told Rich that coleus doesn't necessarily need lights, Marian, and now I'm afraid that he's discovered that buying plants over the internet isn't such a bad thing!!! LOL

The original plans for the house addition (including small greenhouse) are now being expanded to include a southwest facing tiled room that will be built as a bathroom but will include lots of shelving. You all have helped me create a monster. THANKS AND YIPPEE!!!!

Forgot to answer Mariann's question. PW annuals are Proven Winner annuals, which really are what they market them to be. Since this won't turn into an ad, suffice to say that if you're lousy at seed starting and/or cuttings, they are worth the investment, especially on sale.

Hi, everyone!!


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 7:32AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good morning idylls! I'm just popping in quick for my weekely greeting. Unfortunately the stiff neck I had from last weekend has gotten progressively worse and I'm currently trying to track down some doctor to see me. I can't sleep or concentrate and the pain meds I've been trying are making me nauseous. I'm just a barrel of fun...lol. Looks like it will be the walk-in guy again or maybe a chiropractor though because the earliest appointment I can get with my own doctor is Monday.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 8:21AM
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Good Morning, It's a little rainy here. We've been getting dribs and drabs of rain. I wish we could just get a good all day slow soaker and be done with it. Housework is on the agenda for today here. Then it will be shed demo for the weekend. I found a really cute little greenhouse in the Charley's catalog. I need to plant the idea seed in Brad's brain to get it for me next spring, lol. I'm trying Brenda's method.

Chelone, EWWW nothing makes me see red faster than someone not taking extra care when working around the yard and gardens. I've been lucky this year. The workmen have been careful but that could be because they knew I was watching them! Good for the helpmeet for givin' it to em!

Cynthia, I thought I remembered you having the spiral aloe. I always love your agaves in the pictures you post.

Cindy, the agaves ARE super easy to overwinter. I just keep mine in a west facing window and they do fine. Now I may have a problem fitting my new total of 17 in that window:) My motto is "I'll figure something out". The aeonium is another story. I've yet to have one of those make it through the winter. Three new coleus huh? Good girl!

Coffee's ready so time to get moving. Here's a pic of the greenhouse I have my eye on. Wouldn't it be a cute replacement for the old shed?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 8:47AM
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Forgot to tell Marie how sweet Reed looks in the pictures. I was lucky that my babies, including Bella, slept through the night from the start. That has to be hard for Sarah.

Sue, I'm so sorry to hear that you're not feeling well again. Hope you find someone to give you some relief today so you don't have to suffer through the weekend.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 8:51AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am in the lurking mode again, but I do want to tell Sue that I sure do hope you can find relief. Both I and our son suffer from bad necks. It definitely can color your entire outlook!
As for myself...at the risk of sounding 'whiny', my fibro has flaired up, amd I finally resorted to taking a Tramadol awhile ago. Maybe I will feel up to watering all the pots when it kicks in.....

Chelone, sorry about the yard damage. Bummer!

LOL, Martie. So now your DH has been bit by the coleus bug!

Marie cute bambino pics. One of the anchors on the TV news that we watch was shoping pics of her new baby this morning. Reminded me of yours...:-)

That's all for now. I am going to continue with my pity party....

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 8:59AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, make that 'showing ' pics, not 'shoping'!!!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 9:03AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ok, Cynthia - expect to be plant sitting this winter, LOL....
I am weak, weak, weak - I probably bought the remains of Yucca Do. Now, I guess I need to buy another plant stand.

Geez, Sue -- Im so sorry your neck is still a problem - guess you'll be getting cozy w/ Dr. Feelgood then? better have it checked out first before you go chiropractor, unless you have had the same prior problem....?

Still not a lick of rain in this area.... those agave may be going in the ground after all if no rain and high temps continue into winter!


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 9:05AM
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Hey Sue

Could your neck pain have been caused by laughing uncontrollably while sitting on the floor drinking wine? (In that case I'd expect a wicked neckache too.) Hope you find some relief. Perhaps more wine?


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 9:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Gee Sue, what a time you've been having! I hope you find some solutions soon. Perhaps Mary is right, wine is a solution, right? Of course with those acorns of yours, I'd expect a neck problem...

Here is a collection of things to amuse you on a Friday.
(My server is down now, so they should show up later!..Grrrr)

First is DH's new toy:

My new vehicle! The first garden item I've ever received without hints!

Those garden storage hooks I find so useful:

Clematis Purpurea Plena Elegans is in bloom now.

Close your eyes Woody, yellow Echinacea Sunrise blooming now too.

Eden, my kids were pretty good sleepers too...especially in their teens! In addition to the 3 hour sleep habits, Reed's brother is a very early riser and has been waking Sarah. The other day she was up from 3am until 6:30am. At 6:38 SS bounced on the bed...He was shocked when he got an earful! His mother has been troublesome too. Recently she decided it would be a great idea to move to a new house on the same block as her ex....The saga continues.

Back to the weeds now...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 10:10AM
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Just a quickie, I went out to take picture of the Spiral Aloe for Eden, but forgot to get the closeup! Too sunny for pics this morning anyway - the spiral is in there somewhere :) For newbies, I fenced my patio to keep the dogs from falling into the gardens.

The Brugs were all in bloom last night and the air smelled heavenly.

I like my uni-pots :)

This is a poor picture, but decided to post it because Dannie is reference to show just how big that urn at backyard enrance is! The I.Blackie has gobbled up the artichoke :(

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 10:24AM
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I love that urn, Cynthia. Drool... is it an antique? care to share its provenance? Also, how's Dannie's obedience training going? have you noticed any appreciable change in her confidence level?I think if her ever single time I hear a rumble of thunder, lol.

Sue, you've had a rather unpleasant stretch of it lately, haven't you? do they give discounts for frequent visits at Dr. Feelgood's? You should ask... ;) have you placed the Schnauzer statue yet? I can't wait to see a shot of it in situ.

I received an "early release" today. I finished up the cushion job way ahead of schedule (they look awesome, in a really classy striped awning fabric) and since it's a hot one my boss told me to skeedaddle as soon as I was finished. I'm eyeing the hayfield that used to be the lawn... but am not quite sure I want to pull the trigger on that task. Putting some rescued annuals into window boxes to replace the Browallias that failed seems more "do-able" right now. The Huge One is sacked out on the bed downstairs and I think I might just turn the fan on for him in a bit... wouldn't want the fleabag to overheat and ruin our "investment" now, would we? All cats are very l o n g today and not terribly active. It's a lime green undies day, Mary.

Hang tough, Marian. I know your health is rather up and down and the present down condition will abate sometime. Go easy on yourself.

So, Eden, how much different are the sun and shade patterns in your garden now that the tree is gone? I've been wondering about that, esp. since I've been watching watch happens daily in the garage vicinity (very sunny right now!) It's dry here, too. I wish everyone a bountiful and gentle rain to alleviate drought.

Honey, have thought of you often recently. Hope all is well. And I, too, commend you for takin' the bull by the horns and seeing that DD does what she must to protect her future interests. Nothin' wrong with that.

Wondering, too, about Deanne. Maybe she's still sorting through photographs and deadheading the fleet of containers. Would like to know, though...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 11:31AM
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Cindy, that's not being weak it's just part of being a good Idyller I think. We tend to go over the top with plant purchases from time to time.

Martie, so Rich has been bitten by the coleus bug? Has he checked out Rosy Dawn's website?

Marie, love the color and dh looks so happy behind the wheel. I got a new garden cart too but not as big or as nice as yours. I needed something small to maneuver around the garden hauling mulch. Mine's molded plastic and resembles a Little Tikes toy, lol. I have the e. sunrise too and think I may move it closer to my Blue Paradise. Nice combo.

Oh Cynthia, it's always a special treat when you post pics. I like your mono pots too. You have a knack for arranging them all together. My artichoke hasn't grown as big or as fast as I thought it would. I like the Blackie in the BIG urn with yours.I always wish I was able to transport myself into your pics, walk around and see more. Oh, I did order that spiral aloe last night. Hi Dannie! How's sister Katie and brother Monty doing?

Chelone, how great to get out early on a Friday no less! When it gets hot here my cats "deflate". Between the power line tree trimmers and the fallen tree gone I have much more sun. The recent tree lose gave me late day sun, it was on the west side of my garden. I have lots of burnt hostas. I keep forgetting to tell you that I purchases a 6 pack of browallia due to your mention and I love them. I have them in my front beds. I think Deanne said that she'd be away teaching this week.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 11:47AM
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Hooody hooo!

Just checking in to say welcome back IUidylls....I guess I'm late at that since you were all returning home when I was leaving town for Hocking Hills. I just returned yesterday.
Kathy-Hocking Hills is a wonderful nature haven in southeastern Ohio. We go there often and rent a cabin so we can relax,hike or do whatever. This time we visited a nearby town of Lancaster which has a historical background dating from before the time of the Civil War. We took a tour of the Hocking glass museum, and a couple other historical homes in Lancaster.We also managed to find a couple ice cream parlors: ) We all had a nice relaxing time. The boys fished(25 fish,& one snapping turtle!),we took turns snatching our one copy of the latest Harry Potter from each other-it got pretty cut throat after a while.

Fun seeing IU pics....uh,there have to be more pics,right?Please : )? Loved seeing the idyll reflections(Wendy,Mary,Chelone & Saucy) and Les popping out of the tropicals....Sue you need to do something about those acorns of yours...hello maybe that's why you have a neckache?lol. When I get a neckache I pop the advil and grab the hot waterbottle to loosen up the muscle...the worst one I had took two-three days of that. You need a massage.

Eden it sounds like you're surviving the storm cleanup fairly well. I hope your mom is continuing her good progress too. Back in the 'archives' you mention feeling bad about discussing the difficult situation of your mom's but I'm glad you've shared with us so we can help give you support when you need it. That's what friends are for.

Honey-oh your DD's situation is just horrible! I went from feeling sympathy that SIL needed psych help and now I'm angry that he's being manipulative....what a mess. I hope your DD can work through this quickly so she can get back a better life--I would definitely stress to her that she deserves much better than what she's had. It's a tough step but worth it. I hope she realizes it soon.

Welcome to Galium!! And Dianthus too--didn't I tour V's prairie with you?? I remember it was fun talking with you and I'm glad you finally stopped by to discuss!

This a spotty post;I know I've missed things I wanted to say(I have a mind sieve)but I hope to stop in with pics from our vaca. soon...


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 11:53AM
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Do these make my bum look big?

(They come up to the poor monkey's armpits too - you can see why they didn't make it to IU4.) Gotta run - I think I can hear the FedEx truck.

Welcome back Babs!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 12:54PM
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I've finished watering the very dehydrated windowboxes and am now "killin' time" until the water has had a chance to infiltrated the peat in the potting mix. Imagine my glee to see the the lime green undies so beautifully displayed!

Eden, have you ever used Browallia before? it's very old-fashioned and because it's a plant that responds to heat it usually looks crappy early on. And that means it gets passed over and remains unsold... the kiss of death when talkin' about annuals and whether or not they'll be available NEXT year (what I've encountered locally). I just love it, but sometimes it craps out by mid-June here... esp. if it's cold (like this year). Mark my words: it'll show up as a Proven Winner in a year, two. At far too much money, lol. (I don't think the PW label is worth the price, at all, not for a "throwaway plant").

Should I mow, or not? dunno...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 1:04PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Dont have much time but wanted to comment -- Cynthia -- as always your photos are stunning and your patio is fantastic -- worthy of inclusion into Chanticleer photo ops -- Wow - lush and tropical - totally fabulous. And That is one big honking urn.

O my -- Mary -- I just know the fedex guy appreciated those greenies.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 1:18PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just back from an emergency nursery getaway. Since I finally planted 2 epimediums that I'd bought back in May, I figured I needed to celebrate. I finally found Echinacea Vintage Wine (first time sited since IU3!) as well as a lovely Primula capitata 'Noverna Deep Blue', a gorgeous fern (Polystichum setiferum 'Herrenhausen'), Salvia 'Pink Delight', Carex oshimensis Evergold, an enormous Cerastostigma plumbaginoides (not Browalia but a great blue nevertheless), and Sedum spurium 'Voodoo'....all large and at sale prices. FUN! But not exactly the way to empty the plant ghetto.

Welcome back Babs & Co!
Congratulations Cindy on your weakness! ;-)
Honey, I completely agree with Chelone about protecting DD's future interests when she is feeling deflated and hurt. DSIL gave away his home when his ex-wife ran off, simply because he wanted everything over with and settled fast. Not only was that a huge mistake (he'd been warned) but resolving custody issues later has been a long painful process. He discovered that he simply can't expect someone he once thought he understood to act reasonably.
Cynthia, beautiful as always. I too enjoy your uni-pots! Your gardens look relaxing and elegant. Maybe it's Dannie that adds to the sophisticated touch.
Hope Marian is watering her pots by now.
Dianthus, I hope you have a camera so you can share your gardens with us.
Hi Eden, Marty, Saucy, Wendy...heck, HI EVERYONE!

Hot as Hades here today. I'll have to wait and water later if it doesn't pour as promised.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 2:11PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Some amusement for you - Copper and Misty play pictures. Copper thinks Misty is a squeaky toy. And Misty enjoys the attention - most of the time. At 15 months, Copper is still more puppy than adult - and doesn't seem to come with an 'off' switch! She's lots of fun and very cute but very exhausting too. Honey can probably relate to that statement...:-) What was Charlotte like as a puppy GB? Briards and Bouviers seem to share a lot of characteristics so I hope Copper eventually becomes more Charlotte-like! Copper goes home on Sunday and Misty and I will probably collapse in exhaustion. The two of them really are good buddies but the unequal size is a bit disconcerting at first when you watch them play. Misty likes the 'high ground' so she can be as tall as Copper. Yesterday at one point they were tussling on the bed - Misty on top of the bed and Copper from the floor. When I came out of the bathroom a few minutes later, Misty was snoozing on the pillows and Copper was peacefully posed as the Sphinx on the bed facing me (she's not allowed on the bed....) Here's a bit of a play session from a little while ago in the office:

I'M the Queen of the castle.

Not for long says Copper.

Misty reclaiming the throne after being rolled onto the floor...

GB - I like yellow coneflowers - at your place....:-) Nice car. Randy wants something like that for our next one. We miss our old Toyota hatchback - you could stuff a lot of things into it. A sedan just isn't as handy that way. Those look like good hooks. I'm leaving the fixing up of the inside of the shed entirely to Randy. He's Mr. neat-and-organized. I'm the messy slob who just stuffs things in any old way!

Cynthia - ditto what Cindy says... It's always a pleasure to see pictures of your garden (and dogs...)

Marian - I hope you're feeling better soon.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 2:15PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

As it sat here working an online game of Solitaire, and waiting for the Tramadol to kick in, I came to the realization that I am fortunate that my parents were not wealthy. I may have been pampered, and would not have attained the strenght that I have.
For all who are not very familiar with the Fibromyalgia Syndrome, I am posting a very good link that has all anyone needs to know about it. The "Topics A-Z" is espacially informative, espacially the link " Invisible Disorders".... to those who wonder about the fact that most of 'us' look so well). Also the one on "Fibrofog".

The Tramadol has worked! I feel 100% better! Wish it didn't cause so many side effects.

BTW, Marie, there is a very large green frog puzzle on my dinningroom table that is nearing completion...:-)
It,( and the solitaire), is filling in for the void that was created last Sunday following an uncomfortable situation that arose in the afternoon.
I'll do the plant watering in the evening.

LOL, Misty and Copper...better your house than mine, Susan.
I hope Misty doesn't ever get hurt by Copper's enthusiasm. Trubby and Tommy get into minor hassles with the Dorky Dude, but so far no one has been injured.I never let the Dude indoors, although I know he would love to come in. Two cats in the house is more than enough for me.
I miss my old Toyota station wagon for the same reason... It was so handy for hauling stuff, and much easier to unload. Every year at this time, for several years, it hauled all my potted plants, flower arrangements,veggies, and photos to the County Fair. I don't miss doing that, in fact I didn't even go last year.

LOL, Nolon is the "messy slob" at our place. His 'shop' looks like the city dump inside!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 2:47PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Shoot...I forgot the link !!!!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 2:49PM
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Loser girl, here. I've folded the laundry, washed the dishes, and done some other minor housekeeping chores, but still can't face the lawnmower. (wimpy).

Woody, that neo-classical loveseat is to DIE FOR. We have a similar sofa, and it's bcome Rex's favorite observation point. It was gorgeous, in tourquoise velveteen, but now it's hopelessly soiled. (I hate dogs).

The puppy thing... minimum 2-3 years. Rex was an idiot for the first two and he STILL is! Do the Obedience thing and continue with the classes; and PRACTICE, practice, practice. Sometimes you think, "jesus! I can't DO this anymore". But that's precicely the point at which you MUST do it and insist that your dog OBEY within 3 seconds of the command; when you repeat it, follow it up with a physical placement of the dog!). Breeds have distinct personalities and you have to accept and understand that. The "herding" breeds are independent by nature and you really have to work to convince them they must listen to YOU. Dogs who've never been required to "obey" a command but are perfectly "cool" and "compliant" require the same attention to basics (right, Cynthia?). A mellow dog that can't follow a command is NOT trained. Period. Never forget that. And they all transgress; when you most regret it, lol. (Like kids?).

Anyone who hates kids and dogs can't be all bad... (WC Fields).

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 2:53PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Charlotte is not trained any longer. She was fine after 2-3 sessions of puppy school, but even with more time spent on commands now, she will never respond within three seconds. Slooooooooooow as molasses unless there's a squirrel or chipmunk around! Yes, a herding animal with independent attitude. "Yes Mom, I'm coming as soon as I feel so inclined...." That's fine with us on our property, but certainly NOT on a city property! It did get her into trouble once when she investigated a skunk too closely.

She was a puppy for way longer than I expected. (She's my first dog...) I'd say at least 3 years!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 3:42PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Oh my gosh - that'll teach me to try to stealth-skim on a boring afternoon at work - I'm now about to explode with laughter at the sight of the lime green panties! Our UPS guy would love them!

-Wendy (trying to hide under the desk to stifle my laughter in peace...)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 4:15PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all!
Bug, I love the picture of the dog standing guard over Reed..so sweet! Ah, yes, I do remember the nights of broken sleep when the kids were babies...sitting in the rocking chair feeding them, practically cross-eyed from exhaustion.
I like YOUR new vehicle the best. That's exactly like the ones they have at my favorite nursery, and I really like the way they steer.
Oh, wow, and I thought I had it bad having my MIL on the same road as me. I can't imagine an ex in the same block.

Chelone, lol @ the cleavage. My best friend works with all men, and snapped with her cell phone, then tried to get people to play "Name That Crack".

Marian, I hope the meds help, and you get feeling better.

Martie, if I don't "talk" to ya before, have a GREAT day Monday! Oh, wow-adding on to the house, AND creating space for plants...cool!

Sue, I'm sorry to hear about your neck. That can be absolute misery :( Hope you get some relief in one form or another. My chiro is a really good sport about coming in after hours to do an adjustment, but I have to be pretty miserable to do it to him.

Eden, that is a nice little greenhouse. I've been telling Jim for years I'd like a small one to play around in but so far, no cigar. Hey, now that we moved the bedroom upstairs and the old living room is a dining room....I have a west window to put plants in front of. I hadn't done much reading on how to overwinter agaves, but it sounds like maybe even I could do it!

Cynthia, beautiful pictures!! Great bench and table in the next to last one. That urn is SO cool! I'm in awe of all you "container folk"! Somehow, I just know I wouldn't keep so many containers looking so beautiful. Thanks for sharing them!

HI, BABS! Welcome home!

ROFL! Wow, Mary you weren't kidding when you said big ol lime green undies, were you?? They look just like my "work bloomers", lol! Are they Hanes Her Way??

Woody, nice job capturing that sequence :) Nice loveseat-I really like the shape. Chelone hit the nail on the head with the puppy thing. Sarah is two years old now, and is just starting to act like she's got some sense, lol! Puppy training is exhausting, and reminds me VERY much of raising my son, lol! Once with an explaination of why worked for DD, but DS took a while for things to sink in, lol!

Fairly uneventful day around here, and I can't believe it's so late in the day. I SWEAR, I was ready to head upstairs to exercise before 8:00. Jim wanted to have a cup of coffee on the porch with me, the phone started ringing, one of my DBs popped in.....and here we are, 4:00. At one point, I was on one phone, and there were two others ringing. Something tells me we have WAY too many phones in the house, and DH needs to learn to keep his cell with him.
My friend (of Name That Crack Fame) Diane and I are planning our summer "Princess Weekend" getway for next month. We had hotel reservations made and everything, then one of HER DBs threw a monkey wrench in the works. She works with her family, and he's had reservations at a campground for a year-of course, the same weekend we were going away. They can't both be away at the same time, so we caved and changed our plans. Only fair, he's had his reservations longer. Had to make phone calls to re-arrange all that. One of my other brothers always has us over for brunch when we go up there. I think we've got stuff all set for a week later. Until further notice, anyway, lol!

The exercise room faces west and has no shades on the windows. Should count as two workouts if I go do it now, right? It's really sticky here. We haven't gotten any more rain, but we have prime conditions for a good old-fashioned thunderstorm to brew. Here's hoping!
PS. Marian, I'm glad you're feeling better. Tough choice between feeling better and dealing with side effects of medicine. Jim's shop looks like a bunch of stuff that was invited to leave the dump, too ;)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 4:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary, got any more lime green undies for this little fellow?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 4:59PM
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HI Brenda!Thanks ('Bug too)for the welcome back ; )
Brenda Your MIL is on the same street? I am so sorry lol. Though mine doesn't live on my street she has a bunch of friends that will drive by(I'm on main road)and tell MIL what I'm up to since I have a garden in the front yard as well as back(sheesh living on a corner is rough!). It's kinda like 'Big Brother's watching'-I try to remain amused...hmm maybe large lime green underwear over my clothing would help! I wonder how quickly that news would travel.

I know I missed how the lime green undie thing developed but I'll bet it's pretty funny...; )

Having a fun day puttering in the garden...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 5:23PM
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Pictures from this afternoon of Bella watering...

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 6:14PM
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Hello everyone,

eden-I've had my eye on that greenhouse from Charley's for a few years. I have ordered from them in the past but not for a greenhouse. They are terrific people if you haven't ordered from them before.

Marian-I feel for you...Glad you are getting some relief from your meds.

Sue-My cervical spine is degenerating. Very painful stuff. I seem to get some relief from moist heat. Hope your neck is better soon.

Cynthia-Love your photos.

My DH just picked peppers from my garden. He is making homemake spaghetti sauce for dinner. He bought me some sweet Italian sausage to go with it.

gardenbug-I just purchased Echinacea 'Vintage Wine' 2 weeks ago from Well-Sweep Herb Farm. They are having a 20% off sale and free lunch on the 28th of Aug. My DH and I went last year and plan on going again this year.

This photo was in the link I posted-just wanted to share it. Not because of the Shade garden but the 2 chairs and the swinging love seat. Believe it or not I brought those home from our township's household recycling center. When we pulled up to unload someone had just dropped this set off. No rust perfect condition probably very expensive. My DH cringed when I jumped out of the car to go look at the set. When I told him I wanted them he tried to talk me out of it. No way...... We sit in them every day. The chairs actually rock back and forth too. What a good day that was.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 6:15PM
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Chelone can make you some cushions for those! Great find Mariann. I love black iron or ironesque faux-iron, whatever outside. It's much easier to maintain than wooden things. I zip around in spring with the spray paint for anything metal.

Ok, Babszilla, the green underpants story! Mary, like you (I think?) is off for the summer so is much busier than we working stiffs. Dressing monkeys and all, there is just NO time for bathing suits, and she dove into the pool in nothing but those very green underpants (and a smile) one morning. The FEDex guy showed up! Fortunately no signature required :)

Eden, is that Bella's garden or yours :) It looks perfect for her. I love all you grammies bringing up little gardeners. She does need a watering can to match every outfit though.

GB, is that a hybrid car? Looks very gas efficient no matter what it is. Tool shed came out great and your garden photos are gorgeous as always! I need to find where you posted a couple of blue clems and write down their names. They looked amazing. Charlotte is a senior, so she doesn't have to perfect at obedience any more. I raise doggies with NILIF (nothing in life is free) and they have to work for everything, food, treats, walks, in/out. But since Monty had his crisis I cut him some slack. I ask for a sit, but as long as his rear legs bend a little I call it success and don't make him complete it :)

Misty lovvves Cooper!

Saucy, how about buying a condo in a senior community? Should be fewer tenant issues and with all of us baby boomers aging, it would make a smart investment in your area. Buy in a place that has serious bylaws to keep the place looking nice. If you drive through and see messy porches or flowered curtains (should be lined in white), move on to another place. Not enough rules. If the rules aren't enforced, condo communities can trash up pretty quickly.

Long week here (post vacation chaos) so I'm behind in the idylls but housework and yard work willing, I'll catch up this week-end. I am sooooooo happy it's the week-end! Oven is heating up so that I can have hot poppers and I already made the pina colada :) Just had a thunderstorm that was all thunder and no storm (rain).

Hi to everyone!!!! And special hi to Dianthus - horrible I know, but have to ask if you're the blond sister in law or the brunette?


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 6:48PM
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PS: Chelone, yes the urn is a vintage piece. 2004 I think. Inherited from Home Goods. I must had have a special bonus I needed to burn that month or no sick dogs, it was ridiculously priced but I love it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 6:53PM
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It's getting hot and humid here today after a long string of perfect days and cool nights. Figures, just in time for the shed demo, lol. Good news, my dad called a little while ago and my mom gets to go home this evening. My dad's been great through her illness. He's researched every option possible and really keeps on top of things with the Drs. He's trying to talk my mom into going to Mayo. She's hesitant because she doesn't want to lose more time while a new hospital researches her case. It's so tough to decide what the next move should be. Dad spent the day cleaning and getting ready for her to come home. My mom likes a clean house:) This from a 76 yr. old man who never cleaned or cooked until the last year. I'm so proud of the way he's caring for her.

Welcome home Babs! Sounds like a great family vacation. I used to love those vacations when the kids were small! Would you believe my Clerodendrum ugandense still hasn't had one bloom, nor have the cuttings I took from it. I'm thinking it's a dud and I should start over with a new one.

Mariann, great score on the outdoor furniture. It was your lucky day! I often put things out on the curb that were expensive and are perfectly good but I don't use hoping someone will take them who can put them to use. Better that than just sitting around here taking up space and causing clutter I say.

LOL Mary, tell the monkey they kinda DO make his butt look big!

Marie, great score at the nursery! You know we gotta have a pot ghetto (for security). Love the little monkey! The ex in the same neighborhood sounds like she'll be nothing but trouble. Hope that doesn't come to pass!

Brenda, We lived 2 houses from my dad's parents when I was little. It was great for us kids, like we had two homes.

I wouldn't call Bud trained either. He knows what he's supposed to do but often takes his sweet time about it. He's old though so he doesn't get into much trouble.

Chelone, I'd never even heard of browallia before and probably would have passed right by it. It didn't have any blooms at the nursery. But I remembered that you'd said how much you like it so I gave it a try and it's doing great. It will definitely stay on my list of annuals.

Woody, those pups must tire each other out and sleep well at night!

Dinner calls.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 6:59PM
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Cynthia, that's the front garden. I try to keep things fence level or below there and exercise some restraint, lol. It is where Bella does most of her gardening.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 7:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Bella is soooo cute in her green garden shoes! Very serious going about her work too.

Cynthia, DH's car is a Honda 'Fit'...good mileage, not a hybrid. DH is leary of hybrids so far.

The orangutan is named Elmo. He's 4 days old and lives in
an animal hospital at Taman Safari in Bogor, West Java.

I am VERY fed up with the weather guys. They are simply predicting what people want to hear (rain!) and not what is actually in the cards.... Hahahahaha! It just started to rain a bit! I hope it lasts!

Mariann, we have a 2-seater glider (vintage, Cynthia! must be at least 50 years old...)that gets tons of use. We really love it so I'm sure yours will get loads of use too!

OK, time to accomplish something before declaring it the weekend.

Take care Sue!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 8:20PM
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Crocs are so much better than Jellies....lucky Bella :) Sarah has an aqua blue pair. Mary almost has me convinced after I saw her in her crocs during IU4.

Tough day here. A woman shouldn't have a cold (thanks Sarah!), start her period (sorry male lurkers), and have husband troubles all in one day. I'm really blue.

SO....I decided to pick through pix and post here....luck you! LOL!

Welcome home Blabs :) I missed you at IU4. I used to live on the street where everyone would drive by and call my dad to tell him what I was doing. I would get so irritated :) I was a teen, what can I say?

Cynthia and GB, I absolutely love peeking into your gardens....they are so mysterious....I want to roam around because I know there is so much more!

Cynthia, you do have a way with staging your patio that is very pleasing. Could you pass my Margarita?

Sue, what's with the bad run on health....Dr. Feelgood is funding his kids college tuition with you :)

GB, I want your garden cart! Way better than the car :) I think he lost....you get way better gas mileage!

Eden that greenhouse is cool. There are all kinds of extras to buy to make it usuable for most of the year. Where will you hang your tools? I'm in need of my own garden tool space as I get a "corner" in "man town".

Mary, you're too much....those are quite the bloomers!

Cindy, thanks for thinking of me, but I'm coming OUT of a long depression....not heading in :) I've been dumped a large load of schist to deal with and I'm doing the best I can.

Woody, nothing I love better than dog antics - the first picture of the Mexican standoff is my fav.

Brenda, Name that Crack is right up my alley. I worked with all guys, too. Once you get accepted it's pretty cool. They used to call me "String Bean"....of course I was a lot thinner :) They used to watch my soap with me at lunch time, too :) Bunch of girly men :)

I'm outta here. I know I missed a bunch. Thoughts are with Honey and others dealing with big issues. I get wrapped up pretty tight in my own stuff sometimes.

I have pictures to post if my cold will allow!


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 8:56PM
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Well, ladies, I'm jumping in with both feet. I'm off work for August and ready to idyll away some time. I've been skimming and have a reasonable handle on who's who. The pix have been incredible. Whodathunk there'd be that incredible agave garden at Chanticleer? My ears perked up re the sale at Yucca Du. Not a mad rush for Mr. Ripple!! I saw him locally a few weeks ago, and it was a botanical weak-in-the-knees moment. Found him today at a nursery, not a great specimen, and at $50 too rich for my blood. But I came home with this Aloe spinosissima, fairly cheap in a gallon:

I'll check in later. Do you guys need mini bios of new idyllers or is it okay to just jump in?
Ein, our corker of a Corgi, waves hello to all yours beasts.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 9:27PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi Ein, Copper, Misty, Charlotte, Danni, Monty, Katy, and all other Idyll Beasties too!

Welcome to all New Beastie Idyller Moms and Dads...


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 10:16PM
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Good evening everyone

What fabulous pet pics we have today -perhaps we should rename Friday as Idyll pet day. How about it Chloe?

Denise - jump right in!!

Eden - great to hear your Mom will have an evening at home. Your Dad sounds a gem. Bella is cute as can be with her watering can.

Mariann - we too have a very nice pair of aluminium rocking chairs I found on the side of the road. Like yours they were in perfect condition and again probably very expensive. We love them - my favorite kind of recycling.

I had a lot of fun this evening playing with the link below. I came up with a self portrait - I wonder if anyone would recognise me?


    Bookmark   July 27, 2007 at 11:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Worthy of framing, Mary ! Or giving to the Fedex guy...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 8:00AM
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Mariann, we have a word for your means of obtaining that lovely metal set, "kumshaw." My DH's invention, I think. Looks vulgar but generally means seeing a good thing and chucking it in the back of the car. A good thing sans owner, that is. We are the Kumshaw Kings. Perhaps somewhat reformed since we've been purging. Our neighbor across the street has a ton of our stuff. DH did bring home from work a heavily verdigris'd bulkhead light last night. Must be 100 years old. He works at the harbor so finds all manner of neat stuff. He certainly knows what gladdens my heart.

Saucy, "load of schist." Love it. I'm thinking can I use the German? How do I spell the German anyway? First Google hit brings up "sheizen hoosen." Then I remember, yes, vacuum day! My 50-year-old brain leaps constantly. No wonder I sleep so well. Sorry for that triple whammy, with the cold, OTR and ...

Possibly high 80s here. A productive Saturday to all -- or just head straight to the Mojitos/Margaritas...

Lest you all think I only grow severe succulents, I found this in my neglected front garden yesterday, Lespedeza 'Gibraltar' just starting to bloom and Crocosmia 'Solfatarre,' so almost in bloom together. Maybe next year. The trick was to neglect the area entirely, after ripping out most everything with the intent to "redo" it at some undesignated time. It actually allowed some breathing room. That's a Sambucus 'Madonna' leaning in on the right. Sorry to hear about so many Sambucus woes. I wonder if it's a different type than I grow.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 11:07AM
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Thanks for the undie tale,Cynthia. Mary that story is even better than I imagined!~have you seen the UPS guy since then?? I think a framed Picasso portrait of you would be a lovely remembrance of that incident for him: ) Shouldn't there be some acorns in that too? Picasso would never leave out the acorns lol.

Eden-Ironically,my Clero. hasn't bloomed yet either-the cuttings either. It's very full and lush and I check daily to see if any budding up is beginning. I think as I recall from last year that they bloom most profusely in late summer?? I am going to put it in full sun to see what happens-full sun means it needs more water,it's a very thirsty plant. I also stopped fertilizing it in hopes that that should get some flowers going.
I LOVE seeing Bella tending teh plants!!! I remember wearing a little jumper outfit like hers when I was most likely her age-love the bloomer bottoms on them. She's as sweet as ever.
Is your mom doing well?

I wouldn't call Chris trained either. He knows what he's supposed to do but often takes his sweet time about it. He's old though so he doesn't get into much trouble. Oh wait-we're talking about dogs? oops...nevermind lol

Thanks Saucy for missing me at IU3--all week I had been thinking back to when I met you and the idylls in person for the first time and how fun that was...
Sorry about your summer cold-those are the pits!

Welcome Denise! I'm jealous of your crocosmia! I planted one last year and it never returned this year plus some rodent dug up the bulbets...

I'm trying not to look at any agaves otherwise I will get sucked in...just like with the fuchsias and the coleus(that eveyone hates).

I made a cool discovery-I think I have a Cotinus seedling growing in the garden!! Probably a volunteer from a nursery pot...I hope rabbits don't eat them.

So Chelone what was your impression of the idyll group you met? In your opinion did everyone have the same personalities in person as they do online? Isn't it pretty amazing to finally meet these people we've been telling our life stories to?

Welp it's time to go~MIL duty(I hate Saturdays). I'd rather be in the garden...we all would.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 1:28PM
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Mr. Picasso head is fun! Oh yeah the MIL...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 2:19PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Would you believe I just got a thank you note from Yucca Do? Just joking, but I wonder if anyone there is scratching their head over the sudden bump in agave sales.

Cynthia, Dianthus is the brunette SIL. We're still trying to get the blonde one to jump in. I'll have to suggest the name Echinacea to her.

I hope Sue's neck is feeling better, but I sure can understand what a strain she put on it at Chanticleer.

Mary, the lime green undies are too funny!

At the very first private garden, I saw a brick walkway that I really liked. The next day, DH called and asked if I wanted some old bricks from his mom's garage. OF COURSE! So today we brought the bricks home, which is a tougher job than it sounds. Now I need to figure out the logistics to see if I have enough to recreate this:

We also picked up our 1/2 steer from the butcher today. Why does my back hurt?


    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 4:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Can't wait to see your creative energies at work V! Mine are dampened by heat & humidity...with no end in sight for at least a week.

Here's the extent of my creative juices today...Picasso style Reed. He is now 8lb 14oz at 6 weeks, healthy and fine and amazing. His step brother weighed more at birth, but ran into serious medical problems by 9 weeks of age. The birth weight is one of the things that helped him survive.

Friday I placed my bulb order for September delivery. More camassia, tulips and anemone blanda on their way!

Charlotte and DH are asleep downstairs. Second round of laundry is going. Feels like a Sunday....

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 4:35PM
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Sensory overload with all the great pics being posted Im having my Saturday lunch break and viewing them all yet again ! What great morning we had here, marine layer overcast till about 10 , so the heat should not be too bad at all today. I really really need to do some house chores for a change. Sigh.

Hi Denise, and welcome .So is Ein pronounced as in Eeny-weenie ??

Cynthia, loved your garden photos everything looks just so lush and beautiful, and artfully composed as well. Your Agave collection is making me a tad jealous ..lol re: the vintage urn. I keep hearing references to Homegoods and I guess its a good thing we dont have them out here !

Mary, your self portrait courtesy of Mr Picasso head is a true masterpiece. Think you need to print it, take it to Kinkos and get it blown up to about 24x36, get a nice frame and hang it over the fireplace.(that is if you have a fireplace) .

Nice to see you back in the fold Babs.. Your cabin getaway sounds just the ticket. Looking forward to the pics ..

Eden lil Miss Bella looks quite diligent in her watering chores, though it does appear that she is watering a rock in the first photo Im sure her skills will continue to improve with the proper training from her garden mentor ! Glad to hear that your Mom gets to go home.

Wow Mariann, what a find you made on your re-cycle trip !

Saucy, crocs are the perfect summer gardening shoe. I hate hot feet, but its kinda hard to garden in flip-flops . I find these the perfect alternative. Muck shoes for the early morning, crocs for the afternoon, flip-flops for cocktail hour. Like you and Brenda , I work with lots of men as well. They have declared me an Honorary Dude because I love baseball, dont care if everyone forgets my birthday, and I drink beer.

Okay, I really need to go upstairs and put some laundry away..

A big hello to everyone, and Ill leave you with a few pics I took this morning..

I'm really enjoying the Dahlias this year. This one is called 'Myrtles Folly'

Kid Stuff

Chilsons Pride-my fave pink..this shot is at eye level, the bush is as tall as I am.

Moonstruck and Moon River

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 5:01PM
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Good Afternoon

Kathy - what gorgeous Dahlias!

Babs - love your redhead portrait.

GB - Baby Reed is very sweet!

V - Keep working on Echinacea!!

It's raining here so I was playing some more.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 6:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wow Mary, making that violin took real talent! (Not to mention the acorns...)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 6:48PM
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This was fun!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 6:54PM
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Checking in to do some more catch-up. V, that walkway is gorgeous. I blew out the suspension of a Honda Civic bringing bricks home. Bug, your new wagon looks like it'd be up to the job.

Babs, jealous over crocosmia? Bug's clematis inflict pain on me. I've killed that purpurea plena elegans countless times. There's a piece in the new Horticulture on how indestructible Betty Corning is. Just when giving up hope was becoming a comfort. BC supposedly has viticella in her, and the vit's are a much better bet here.

Eden, best wishes for your mom's recovery. And I've been getting up to speed on the tree disaster. Lord, what a mess. We've had eucalyptus crash occasionally, like immediately after building a pergola, of course. And there's this strange branch-shedding syndrome that happens on hot, absolutely still days. A huge branch will just shear off a tree, almost like calving icebergs. The coral trees, erythrina, are famous for this, and they've smashed so many expensive cars in Beverly Hills that they've been banned as street trees. Something about the xyloem and phloem not up to the evaporation rate -- botany was such a long time ago, grows dimmer and dimmer...

Mary, your Picasso heads are very timely, as that will be my viewing tonight, an old BBC art show from Netflix. I caught the Roman sculptor Bernini the other night and tonight is reserved for Picasso. Didn't hurt that the actor used to play Bernini in some recreated scenes strongly resembled Orlando Bloom, storming through Rome, angst-ridden.

Kathy, what can I say? Your dahlias are sublime. I'm growing two kinds this year, Bednall Beauty and Bishop of Canterbury, neither of which are doing much at the moment.

Cynthia, your garden looks so verdant and cool! It looks like a garden in the Pacific Northwest, not the hot and muggy East Coast. You make it look so easy.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 7:27PM
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The shed is down and the garden is looking very...open. More open than I like. Do you suppose I'll get used to it? Future SonIL brought over the old claw foot tub they tore out during the bathroom remodel. I'm thinking of using it as a container for a bog garden.

My mom's happy to be home. They went to the Farmer's market this morning for corn, tomatoes, cukes and she and my dad made dinner together. A couple of her friends stopped by to visit, she took a nap. It truly is the simple things!

I'm enjoying all of your creative portraits. I don't have enough energy to contribute tonight.

Denise, great to have you posting to Idylls! Welcome!!!

Kathy, your dahlias are to die for!

Babs, Thanks for the info on your clero. I guess I'll give mine more time. The Clerodendrum Thomsoniae Variegata I bought last winter is blooming now.

V, I love that path. Hope you have enough bricks to pull it off.

Hope Sue's neck is better.

Also thinking of Honey!

It's almost Bella's bed time. She'll be here tomorrow in the evening and wants Brad and I to take her to see the cows at the dairy. She says "I LOVE cows!" Brad and I like the ice cream they make and sell there.

Have a good night. I'm ready for a BIG glass of wine!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 7:28PM
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Quick post:

Eden, I'm so jealous of the bathtub. My idea has always been to set one up with a recirc pump and have one of the big wide shower heads with a drizzle of water coming back down in a full tub that would have a pretty water lily in it!

That's all....enjoying picasso portraits....will make one, too :)


    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 8:09PM
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Yes (!) on the clawfoot tub bog garden Eden. I just picked all of my tomatoes and then ripped them all down. Early blight every year. I have them in big trough like pots and think I'll turn them into non-tuffa succulent gardens.

Gorgeous Dahlias Kathy. Hello to Ein and Chloe. There was a corgi named Raven at the MRI facility when I took Katie. After talking with Raven's mom for nearly 4 hours, I cried too when she came out sobbing and clutching her dog. Sigh.

The aloe spinosissima is gorgeous. They do NOT carry it at Yucca Do.

The picasso site was too much fun Mary, Lady in Green was terrific but Lady with Violin was amazing! I see Bug & Kathy & Babs dabble too. Ok, so here's what I came up with :) I can see wasting too much time there but I'm sure it's good for my aging neurons.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 8:24PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Man am I impressed with Rainy Day at C. Once you try this with such limited tools, you'll be amazed too! Hand over any extra neurons folks! (Will they allow them across the border?)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 8:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

From Charlotte...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 8:54PM
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Mary gets a smiley face, two thumbs up and a Brownie Button for posting the Picasso link ! Just loved Cynthia and 'bugs entry !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 9:18PM
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And a fine good morning to my virtual friends. Well... not virtual any more. Babs., I found the personas very much in keeping with the "pen pal" ones. But, after all the years we've been chitty-chatting with each other it would be pretty difficult to misrepresent ourselves, and actually "get away with it" for too long!

I'm enjoying the exhibition very much, and oohing and ahhing over the photographs with as much glee as I did in person. I just love the way the shots posted have focused on things that, in some cases, I passed right over. I appreciate each and every set of eyes and aesthetic. Such fun!

"La Cage Aux Folles" was great. The costumes were fun, and the story... well... let's face it, there is no such thing as a successful movie or play without a great story. We decided the quality of the story is that it sharpens the focus the on the little hurts we inflict on those we love even as we try to make a tough situation easier for someone we love. In short, it's about FAMILY VALUES, love, repect, and appreciation for what makes each of us unique. :)

The lawn remains unmown. Too hot on Friday. Quite muggy yesterday and I decided to wait for it to dry out a bit before attempting it. I decided to visit a nursery instead (a new one, that Wendy might enjoy!), knowing the forecast was for thundershowers in the "afternoon". After noon, all right, about 15 minutes past high noon! I had just gotten to the nursery when it started to rain. I opened my "brollie" and continued to stroll watching other shoppers flee. It came down in sheets and torrents. I nabbed 2 Astilboides tabularis (gonna try 'em again) and started the drive home. Heavy traffic on 95, sheets of rain and an average speed of about 30 MPH. I don't know how much rain we received, but the level in the pond increased significantly. I arrived back on the compound as the thunder rolled over us. Rex was pleased to have Mummy home; I greeted him warmly, matterofactly, and we retired to the living room where I did some reading while he "guarded" me. The kitties were pretty excited to get indoors, too, though elderly Flo was perfectly content under the canopy on her couch. No much rattles her at 16-17 yrs. old.

LOL about the Corgi pose; Rex assumes something similar on a routine basis. And looks like I'm the "hardass" about obedience training; but I kinda have to be. A large dog, largely untrained until he came to us, and a frail, elderly mother rather dictated a zero tolerance approach. I've become particularly interested in canine personalities with respect to breed characteristics. Working dogs are bred to "think for themselves" and if you don't establish your leadership role when they're young, you have to work doubly hard to assert it later on. Like Cynthia, I expect compliance when the command is given. I HAVE TO. I'm also aware that "off leash" the radius of voice control is limited with Rex. So, we continue to train and carefully permit off leash time. The recovery from knee surgery will provide a heretofore overlooked benefit. I hate dogs.

I am the orginal kerbside shopper. I pulled two chairs off the side of the road a couple of years ago, painted them and made cushions for the them. Lo and behold! a few weeks ago I saw 2 more and a loveseat at a local antiques place... $650!!! Like you, Eden, I also put things out by the road that I no longer use but might be useful for someone else. My favorite story was the gal who ogled 4+ doors we'd set out. They were nice, heavy solid wood doors in an old-fashioned panel configuration. She knocked on the door and timidly asked if they were to be hauled away. I helped her schlep them out of the way so she and her husband could collect them later on. Later, she came back with a picture of them stripped, refinished and in situ. They were the perfect match for the others in their home! How great is that?

Bella is so cute. I remember those sunsuit rigs, too. Only mine consisted of something akin to a tunic with bloomers below; two pcs. not one. I remember Mum making them for me. My brother used to put frogs and snakes down my "drawers" regularly. No wonder I'm not afraid of them now. :)

Roofers arrive tomorrow morning and then the framers return to install the windows. I go to get the (non grained) garage doors ordered tomorrow. I know you've been calling for pictures but I haven't felt like it. I haven't even put the IUIV shots on the computer yet. Sorry... it'll be a treat for "later on".

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 8:15AM
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I heard the sound of an approaching motorcycle and then heard it come to a stop in front of our home. Rex began barking furiously and I went out to investigate. Flat tire. They were calling local friends for rescue when I approached them.

I told them to roll their bike into the yard, I introduced Rex, and offered them a ride home (local). They seemed surprised, but I guess generosity and kindness is in rather short supply these days (not where I grew up and NOT the way I was raised)?

I peeled them two Clementines and set up the Adirondaks for their comfort, reminding them that a bathroom was readily available, too, if they wanted to use one.

Kindness is the rare coin that returns the spendthrift twofold but leaves the miser penniless. I read that first in a CW Andersen book about horses, now out of print but a JEWEL ("A Touch of Greatness", and the first word was "courage"... but it works fine the way I've written it, too. Words to live by! :)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2007 at 9:57AM
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