Idyll #325 New Beginnings

honey_mi(Z5 MI)July 12, 2007

To honor our newest grandbaby, Reed.

Hi friends. DH and I have really been in a funk. Hes on temporary lay-off this week and itÂs been far too quiet here. Everytime weÂd go to do something weÂd be reminded. That sweet kitty was so intertwined with our lives. So we decided we needed another furry to help ease our loss.

Meet Missy:

SheÂs a 9 wk old Australian Shephard. SheÂs full of exuberance. WeÂre exhausted. She woke us up howling at 4 am. So today weÂre off to the pet store for toys and supplies, and the groomer, if she has an appt available. Missy did bark to go out this morning which is a step in the right direction. However, later she left us presents. Our fault. We werenÂt quick enough and didnÂt realize she hadnÂt completed her tasks outside. But weÂre quick learners.

All the kids in the neighborhood were over last nite and I had tons of volunteers to walk her. She was in her glory playing with all of them. Then my friend with the Golden and Std. Poodle came over. Missy had a ball with them, too. She wasnÂt afraid at all.

Cindy, the front came thru here Tues. and it rained north of us. We didnÂt get a drop. I was so hoping for a real soaking downpour, too.

Michelle, so sorry to hear you have Shingles. Ouch. I hear itÂs quite painful. ItÂs good you got the correct diagnosis so the Drs. can treat it properly. Hope youÂre feeling better soon!

Oh Marie, Reed is so adorable. No wonder youÂre having withdrawal pains. And I love the Clematis/arbor photo. Is that Earnest Markham? Gorgeous.

Deanne, I had hydrangea envy. Your ESÂs are gorgeous. IÂd like to get Blushing Bride, but havenÂt figured out where plants I have will go w/o buying more!

Mary, lime green undies?!!!! LOLOLOL.

Chelone, thatÂs great Rex is healing well w/o the lamp shade. And I agree w/you. The gardens here are just lovely. With all thatÂs gone on this yr., mine are not at their best. Oh well.

Saucy, so good to see you posting again. I havenÂt read the books youÂre talking about, tho.

Ok, it's time to get some toys before the containers on the deck are totally destroyed, not to mention the annual borders. Miss Missy has been busy. TTYL,


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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

You've done a wonderful thing Honey! Missy will have you guys trained in no time.

Your New Beginnings title hit me at a crucial tough time. Thanks! We all need to start anew at times....

Off to run more errands-
Later friends,

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 11:09AM
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Oh Honey

Missy is adorable!! How fabulous:0) What fun you will have getting to know each other and I'm sure she will be perfectly trained in no time. Like GB - I hope you keep the pictures coming and we can watch her grow up.

GB - I was mightly impressed that baby Reed can wink at such a tender age:0)

Saucy - you'd be a most welcome member of the Chicklits (as would any of the Idylls). Perhaps I'll post a list of what we're reading so that you can read along with us.

Today is glorious - sunny, cooler, and after a good rain yesterday everything feels refreshed. I'm looking forward to a long walk with a friend this afternoon, followed by a carrot cake I just finished baking. (We told ourselves we'd have to walk very far and fast to burn off the calories). I'm loving having such a tidy house, and with half the messies away I'm hoping to keep it that way for a few more days. Actually, that's not fair as DH is really quite tidy except when it comes to dishes.

Time for a little gardening before my walk


    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 12:06PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

OK so are we posting to Martie's thread or Honey's thread???? I guess it's going to be this one so I'll post this here too

Well a productive day here. I sprayed all the dahlias for mildew (they don't have it yet but a dahlia person told me to do it every ten days this time of the year to prevent the problem) then I got every container in the yard fed and groomed today and yes, I needed a ladder to get to the new hanger on the tree. I was supposed to go to the gym but by the time I got done with the feeding, grooming and spraying then turning over both the compost piles it was noon and I couldn't bear the thought of exercising indoors... so.... I went for a 34 mile bicycle ride. What a perfect day for it! It's 80 degrees out, nice dry air with a bit of a breeze. I'm pretty happy because I got my average speed up to 14.5 mph which is pretty good for me on a road bike not a racing bicycle. OK now I need some naproxin for my knees and a soak in the hot tub. LOL
I'm going to be able to turn out one of my composters tomorrow as it's looking done to me. I've been waiting for it to mulch the rose garden. My poor roses are looking pretty lousy this year but it really is my fault as I've not paid enough attention to them. A bit of feeding, pruning and a nice mulch of compost ought to perk them up.

So T. it sounds like you need a vacation! Nice to hear from you. How are all the critters?

Nice tydll Martie!

Later, I'm off to have a soak

Honey, horray!!!!! Congratulations on your new puppy! what fun.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 5:55PM
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No way could I ever catch up on the last thread so thank you for starting anew!

What a cute pupper Honey! I'm so glad that you have a new munchkin in your home. I can't tell you how very sorry I am about Bullet, he was a beautiful and special kitty. A huge loss for you and I hope Missy helps to fill the empty space. Aussies are working dogs with tons of energy, so start looking for the agility classes now :) I'm wondering what drew you to the breed? Have you had one in the past? A friend in Atlanta let her girl Josie go a year ago and finally adopted another Aussie this spring, and was thinking of a second last time we talked.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 6:11PM
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What a cutie....again with the puppies on Sarah is relentless now :) So sorry about Bullet. I dread my first pet loss.

Spent the day in a funk trying to be productive, but found I zipped through all the work I wanted to do and finished a book instead. I am so blessed to have days with my children and make my own choices on what to do, but what to do "next" is tugging at me mercilessly and I don't have a clue at which direction to go. I suppose every one who chooses to stay at home must come to this fork in the road. I don't know how or where to start over. I have made lots of progress in my personal life and again feel like I've reached a plateau.

Cynthia, you seem really good at planning....can you put me together an easy to follow life plan? LOL...wish it were that easy.

Speaking of wrinkles....I've been using a cream that states that it helps wrinkles and acne....LOL....I'm not in very good shape :)

Kathy, that's more money than I've ever made in poker. Wish I had a regular group like my MIL....they save change and use it like "chips."

I guess I'd better get a late dinner on the table....Tequila Lime flank steak with herbed fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus....Sarah and Jake will turn up their nose at the asparagus and add ketchup, I'm sure :)

'night all.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 6:40PM
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Forgot! I think 'Chicklits' has gotta be the best name ever for a women's book club EVER :)

I gave Monty a bath in the yard and now have to try to sneak out with Dannie for a walk. Katie is now 'no walks' and has her own supply of Tramadol while we wait for tests to come back so we can figure out next. He thinks spinal tap next. She's still got steroids in her system but we have to move on cause whirly girl has lost her twirl :( I was so excited last night when she rooed at me to get up from the couch not once but twice. First time she did have to go out, second time (1 hour later) she wanted me to get Monty off of her pillow. I made her sing for a long time because it's such a pretty noise and I miss it. I've been feeling a good cry coming on all week but that isn't productive.

Saucy, it so sweet that when you think of me you think of wrinkles. No life plan for you. So is the cream Retin A? I use it for my wrinkles, but I'm not consistent about it.

Ok, walks then got buy food for me.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 7:05PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

We have been blessed with another good rain today. I think this is the rainiest July we have ever seen here. It seems more like Portland,Oregon than it does Arkansas. What a differance from last year.

Honey, your new doggy is a beauty! I am sure she will be a blessing to ease the loss of your beautiful kitty.

I am glad to hear that 'Wrecks' is healing nicely.

Reed is a precious bundle. I hope you get to visit him often, Marie.

I'm glad you got a good rain too, Mary.

I am enjoying all of Deanne's pictures of her gorgeous flowers, but sorry than some were broken by young company. My sister had that happen to one of her prize roses, at our reunion. No one fessed up to that either. :-(

Saucy, I hope your choice to be a 'stay at home' mom turns out to be a good thing for all concerned. I feel that it is a good choice.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 8:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The new me has the car to run errands. (To heck with anti-aging creams...)So I ran around and bought plants today, things to fill in where I yank out the big weeds. Got a new trowel, a broom, a hand broom to sweep out the car. I need a timer for the hose but can't find one at this time of year.

So DH and I went in the new car to get a timer. The choice was between the $19 one and another for $60. Guess which one we got! Hope it was the right decision.

I'm still watering various beds tonight at 9PM. We do need more rain. But I'm plugging away at it a bit each day. Perhaps we'll get rain on Saturday they say.

Here's one for Deanne. They just began opening today.

And here a surprise in a small tree. I think they're robins.

And this is the first year for blooms on clematis Gravetye beauty:

That's all she wrote for tonight!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 9:12PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Honey, Missy is beautiful. She will undoubtedly give you many years of joy. I'm so sorry you had to send Bullet to the bridge. He was a special kitty for you and Tom. How lucky you were to have had him as long as you did.

Just think, next week at this time, some of us will be siting in Philly no doubt sipping on our beverage of choice. It can't come fast enough for me. I've been wound pretty tight lately. A few days away is just what I need right now.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 9:26PM
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Cynthia, Mary and I were chatting about had nothing to do with it :)

I'm really going to bed now.

(who came down to shut the computer off)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 10:16PM
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Just answered an email from my violin teacher (who has recently had a baby, given a concert and been on tour in Aspen) asking me if I'd like to come for a lesson tomorrow. Althogh I've been fiddling around, I haven't prepared the way I normally would. But somehow, if you don't grab at opportunities they have a way of disappearing, so I said I'd love to come. If you're up early tomorrow you might hear me practicing.

Which means I should go to bed now - pass the face cream someone:0)

Nite all


    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 10:43PM
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Honey, what a sweet baby you have ! I have included a pic of my BILs mini Aussie; he has one blue and one brown eye and is so sweet tempered.and smart too. Glad you took the plunge.Here is my BILS pup..

I know IU4 is coming up soon, I am going to make every effort to attend in 08. It was just not in the cards for this yearI cant wait to see pics !

Saucy, as one who has never stayed at home I have often wished I could ! So many things I want to do, and no time to do them. I guess the grass is always greener right ?? If I were at liberty I would be spending lots of time in volunteer groups-Master Gardeners is one that I am involved in even though I work 50ish hours a week. I need something or me and it fits the bill.

Deanne, my dahlia mildew is usually a fall thing- since I am no spray I just kind of tolerate it.I tried to plant them with good air circulation this year, but we have had odd weather so it may be all for naught ! Here is my cool new Fuchsia, 'Autumnale' ..had to have it !

OK , this is all for today-Ive got cats trying to walk on the keyboard and laundry calling..

Hi to all
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 10:45PM
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I have to tell you about my funny sight for the week. I see these 2 bikers with packs on the back at a stop sign, I kid you not, but one had a skunk on the top of his pack. It didn't appear to be a fake one either.

Thanks for the sympathy on the shingles. Actually, it seems to be a fairly mild case so far. One of the gals I work with looked at it and said she thought thats what it is and said if you get the anit-viral medication started quickly, it will help it not to get so severe. A lot of people wait several days and then they are out of the window of time where the meds help. The Dr. said I should reduce my stress. I didnt really think I had that much right now. Heck gardening relaxes me.

Weve cooled down here and its quite pleasant, but we are still extremely dry.

Deanne, I went back to get the papyrus and they had all their annuals for 1.00 a flat. I ended up with 2 papyrus, 2 irsene Purple Lady, a 4 pack of melampodium, helicyrsum Licorace Twist and bracteantha bracteata Sundaze Golden Beauty. Most are in pretty good shape. There really wasnt much else to put together another flat.

Im quiting though, I counted tonight and I have 28 container with combos, 17 solo pots, and 11 houseplants outside.

The Arabella cuttings are doing well so far, they didnt even droop. Im think that in the raised beds they would look good sprawling.

Ive been taking coleus cuttings and just sticking them in a potted arrangement and they just root up nicely that way, same with the Diamond Frost euphorbia.

Ei, I do have one small plant from that geranium and I will surely take cuttings when it gets bigger. How great to see a picture of your pond and very cool arbor. It was about a year ago that we were spending time exploring your wonderful garden.

Mary, what a wonderful way to spend a hot summer night.

Id like to eat a Saucys house.

Little Reed is sure hamming it up for the camera. bug, I bet you couldnt figure out what Eden, T, myself and some of the other grammas were so crazy about until now could you? Youve been bitten by the gramma bug LOL Interesting about your lilies just starting. Mine are just finished.

Honey, what fun you will have with that little guy. Ill bet hes the darling of the neighborhood.


Nite all

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 11:02PM
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Sheesh I am so behind-this pic should have been up here days ago! Sorry so late Eden : ) I haven't checked to see what else is new since a couple days after that storm-I hope you certainly have electricity now! You've been on my mind alot.

Deanne happy Bday to Doug!
BTW I was able to keep several of the coleus from you alive and they are thriving for a second year now-the fuchsias too-
I just love the history of where so many of my plants came from-I may even share some cuttings with one of Aj's teachers who's coming over for dinner next week. Lol I'm compiling plants to give away and the boy's swim teacher is a seed fiend so I'm gathering seeds to give to her on Monday when the next session starts again.

I've been working like a fiend to get the yard in shape since my teacher friend gushed about wanting to see my garden...such pressure; ) Ow my back hurts. We FINALLY got some rain to perk things up-I know we say this all the time but I can't get over what natural rain does for plants.

Well I'm short on time as usual(I need to fit some sleep in right about now; ) HI EVERYBODY!

I will catch up then return...soon?


    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 11:27PM
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Missy is pretty cute... for a dog. You know how I feel about canids in general.

Michelle, I prescribe more gardening to reduce your stress level! I've always heard about shingles but don't know what the condition actually is... with luck my personal experience won't include a bout with them. Bummer, hope you're perking up. I like the skunk story. I rather like them, personally. They just sort of trundle along, looking for grubs, etc.. You have to apply for a permit if you want to have one in Maine. There used to be a funny promo. for PBS tht featured Mancini's Pink Panther theme and a skunk coming in through a cat door and ultimately snuggling up with the man of the house... I liked that one.

I'm terribly behind here, too, Babs., Saucy, Cynthia. Sometimes life just outruns us, huh? I'm glad it's Friday. I'm in need of a few days "off", too, Sue.

I look like bushman, my hair is totally out of control and will be pruned ruthlessly at 4 PM today. Ever notice that when you have short hair it goes from marginally too long to out of control in about 3 days? I also bit the bullet yesterday and went to the MAUL to replenish the bra supply in my drawer. I bought 3, forking over $86! I see handwashing in my future. Yikes.

Gotta hit the can and then hit the road. Later!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 5:17AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good sunny morning all,

It is going to be another beautiful day here and Ive got to get a bit of staking done in the terrace gardens. Because that huge oak tree overhangs the bed all the plants lean south and the tall ones fall over eventually so I have to stake things. A bit of a pain in the neck but worth it as that bed going up the hill has such impact. It looks like a wall of flowers this time of the year. Im none to worse for the wear after my 34 mile bicycle ride yesterday. The knees are a bit sore but not too bad. I think a couple days off the bike and theyll be fine and ready for a longer ride.

My dear friend Peter the DH of my friend Deb (Chelone you met them at the party) wound up in the hospital Wednesday evening with chest pain. They gave him a stress test yesterday and that produced more pain so hes in for a cardiac cath today. Poor Deb was in the hospital with him Wednesday evening then all day yesterday. She called here about 5ish yesterday and I asked if she was heading home for the evening and if so, would she like to have dinner first. She did so I took her out to Michael Timothys for a nice steak dinner. Im glad we went out as she perked up quite a bit after having a nice meal and a glass of chardonnay. Peter has had a history of heart problems for a long time now and its always a worry. Between the problems with her dad and now Peter Im worried for her. Too much stress is a very bad thing.

HI Babs, great to hear from you. Im so pleased you still have some of the coleus and fuchsia! Thats terrific. I agree that the history of where these plants came from is as much fun as growing the plants.

Michelle, I LOL about the list of annuals you came home with !!! (great scores BTW) and the number of containers you have. You are rapidly catching up with me. ROTFLOL. You said you were quitting a month ago. So wed all love to see photographs of these 45 pots you have around. ~~ Glad to hear your case of shingles is a mild one. One of my friends came down with it in January and is still dealing with it.

Kathy, Im insanely jealous, Ive been looking for Autumnale for two years now and still havent found it. I took a cutting of Sues last fall but it didnt make it. RE spraying the dahlias, I use a Safer product fungicide. If I dont spray for mildew it completely ruins the plants. Ive planted them with tons of air space and done everything recommended to keep from getting it. I wrote to the people at Swans Dahlias last year and the lady there said that it is something that you either have in your area or dont and if you have it no matter how good your culture youll get it if you dont spray. She is the one who recommended beginning early on when the plants first emerge and treating every ten days and so far its working. This is the first year Ive not had any by mid-July.

Mary, whats that beautiful violin music I hear drifting in on the wind???? Oh yes, that would be you. LOL Enjoy the lesson!

Bug, thanks for the pic of your Suncrest. Do you have a photograph of a long view of your Diablo with the lilies?

Cynthia, thinking of you and your twirly girl.

Saucy, I still dont know what I want to be when I grow up. Seriously though, Ive not been able to touch my brushes in a long while now and am wrestling with what to do. I think that dilemma follows us through our lives. When I was around your age I quit my accounting job to stay home with DD then a couple years later the painting thing popped up and just sort of happened. A direction will open up in front of you when you least expect it.

OK time to get my day started. Have a terrific day everyone.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 8:42AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Yahoo! It's finally Friday!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:22AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

New beginnings what a lovely thought!!

bug youve definitely got one w/ that wonderful grandchild and family, now. I adored that collage of Reed so clever and cute.

Honey o boy, Missy is just too tooo adorable I felt the same way when my Frosty (first Maltese) passed away 9 years ago I managed to make it only 2 months without a dog it was either get a new one or get a part-time job to work at nite so I wouldnt have to go home! I finally decided getting Miss Chloe was the best, best decision. . . . Your tale of 4 a.m. rising brought back memories of her first days w/ me I called her the "Wild Child" many many nites of rousing & rambunction but it was so worth it. . . . it gives you a new lease on life.

Deanne I do not know how you do all that high maintenance re spraying, etc. and then go on a 34-mile bike ride! You are superwoman for sure.

O Saucy we can compare unproductive days -- but I didnt have a meal like that waiting for me at the end of the day -- and I am sure all the other "things done" you did -- "household engineer" is heavy duty stuff!

Cynthia I am sorry about your furry ones woes but I beg to differ, a good cry is EXTREMELY productive sometimes truly!! Ive had a few lately myself in the last month or so and find once its been indulged, I feel so much better and sigh and redouble my efforts. . . . you give it a try we give you permission to do so!!

Kathy that is one cool fuschia!

O my goodness, Michelle can you clear that plant place out and send us all care packages? Wow, thats an amazing steal!! I am so glad your shingles may be mild I was worried when we hadnt heard from you for a couple days it can be a very serious thing and have long-term chronic ramifications if not caughter early both my parents had it and Dad suffered permanent neurological pain damage from his case so nuthing to fool with.

I gave up on containers and planted out all the rest of the things Id had in the plant ghetto just in the beds last weekend and theyre on their own. . . . .

Michelle wow, 45 containers!

Chelone if you had chicken pox as a child, you are at risk for shingles, hate to tell ya. . . . .. better google it altho now they do have a new vaccine for preventing the shingles but they are generally prescribing it for persons over 60. . . .

Ok, gotta talk to a lady about maybe a meeting room and things

Ive had nothing but water, water, water, to do at nite and things still dont look so good. But I am sooo looking forward to a few days of fun and plant talk Im counting the days!


    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just dropping in for lunch. I know many of you are thinking of the gathering next week...but I received this today and thought others might want to explore some of these gardens some other time.

" The New York Times

Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By

July 13, 2007

The Hudson Valleys Fields of Joy


EVER watch someone entering a garden? Not for nothing is Eden
synonymous with bliss. A garden can deliver pleasure on any level of
sophistication from simple delight in color and scent to the thrill of
a horticulturist seeing a new variety for the first time. Joy is the
common denominator.

In the Hudson Valley prime territory for lush gardens five that are
open to the public showed a variety of personalities on visits this
season. At one, a young man in khaki shorts sat sketching formal
plantings while a young mother and her toddler son frolicked near
multicolored blooming borders and a woman strolled blissfully among
fragrant bushes. At another, schoolchildren listened to a guide talk
about the scenery.

Early one morning, a charming walled garden was deserted except by an
energetic chipmunk playing hide-and-seek among the pansies. And in the
woodland section of Stonecrop Gardens, a diverse landscape near Cold
Spring, a group of garden-club women from Connecticut strutted their
stuff, naming the wildflowers as fast as they spotted them.

The valley is an easy day trip from New York City and a center of
lavish estates with masterfully designed grounds. Here are five of its

Lasdon Park and Arboretum

If public park means well-worn playgrounds to you, you havent been to
Lasdon. The first thing visitors see is an elegant formal garden whose
well-tended panels are framed by boxwood hedges. In the corners are
pots of blooms. Everything is changed three times a year; now, in
midsummer, the garden is a riot of deep purples, reds and whites, with
petunias, nicotiana and alyssum among the flowers. At a fountain in
the center, water burbles through pipes played by two nymphs, almost
in a lullaby. What peace!

There are 234 rolling acres to see at Lasdon, now a Westchester County
park but once the country estate of William and Mildred Lasdon, whose
Colonial Revival-style home survives as a gallery and a horticultural
library. Of course, it has gardens in the yard where visitors may
linger at umbrella tables and browse in the garden shop, which
occupies the pool house.

In summer, coneflowers of all colors red, orange, white, pink,
you-name-it predominate. The sight is even splashier in spring, when a
hillside of azaleas blooms in a rainbow of hot pink, white, coral,
lavender and magenta. Hundreds of fluffy bumblebees buzz among the

Lasdon Park, on Route 35 in Somers, N.Y., is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
daily year-round (914-864-7260;
Admission is free.

Montgomery Place

The mansion at Montgomery Place, the 434-acre Livingston family
estate, is closed, but dont skip this landmark, now owned by Historic
Hudson Valley, a nonprofit network of historical sites. Not only are
the gardens beautiful, but the Livingstons view is one of the best
panoramic vistas of the Hudson I have ever seen. Trees frame three
distinct views of the wide, shimmering river, and a small pond at the
bottom of the lawn seems to bring the river closer than it really is.

The 19th-century landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing advised
the family on the layout of the grounds, though his influence today is
best seen in the woodsy trails; the gardens were redone in 1920s and

The formal gardens, in a Colonial Revival pattern, mix flowers and
herbs. Thyme surrounds the sundial (get it?), and the blocks are
planted with curly chive, rosemary, lemon balm, catmint and yarrow.
Along one border of the garden, the floral palette is hot (reds,
purples, bright yellows) and along the other, its light and airy
(pinks, blues, whites), with phlox and babys breath.

Another feature is a stout 200-year-old tulip poplar, whose gnarled
branches cant hide a gash that was, at some time past, filled in with
bricks and mortar. Its one of many majestic old trees on the property.

The best spot may be the rough garden. Divided by a stream and a
waterfall, it looks like an unruly child. Plants grow every which way:
blue lacecap hydrangea, white elderberry, pink rhododendron and much
more. Listen for the splashes, too of many frogs!

Montgomery Place (Route 9G, Annandale-on-Hudson; 845-758-5461; is open on weekends May to
October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is $5.


Tucked inside the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde
Park, Bellefield is overshadowed by its sprawling neighbor, which
includes Springwood, the Roosevelts home, and a museum and library.
Thats a shame. Bellefield, which dates to the 18th century and is now
the onsite headquarters of the National Park Service, is modest, but
its garden is a charmer. It was designed in 1912 by Beatrix Farrand, a
renowned landscape architect at the height of her career. She not only
created gardens for the Rockefellers, the Morgans and Edith Wilson at
the White House, but also pioneered the concept of garden rooms with
their own feel. And she was Edith Whartons niece.

To reach Bellefield, turn left at the end of the historic sites
entrance drive (theres a small Bellefield sign). Walk around to the
side terrace. Down a few steps is the garden a wonderland whose
fieldstone walls, laced with wisteria and other vines, block out the
outside world.

Bellefields garden seems to be a common backyard garden until you
notice that it really is three garden rooms. They stretch from the
houses terrace to an arched doorway, with a velvety green lawn down
the middle that narrows twice, elongating the space. In the walls
along the way, Farrand placed two more arched oak doors, with black
Arts and Crafts-style hardware.

The mixed borders are a color-themed mass of lilies, phlox, cleome,
snakeroot, monkshead and the like in shades of pink, white, mauve and
purple. The palette grows lighter becoming cream, blush, gray and
white as the garden narrows. Gaze at this from the terrace, which
offers a few tables and chairs for weary feet, and you just might feel
a lord of a manor.

The Farrand garden, at 4097 Albany Post Road (Route 9), Hyde Park
(845-229-5320; open daily from 7 a.m.
to dusk; admission is free.

Stonecrop Gardens

Just 12 acres, Stonecrop might seem at first like a little gem. But
its really a vault full of jewels, all the more surprising because you
approach it on an unpaved road.

Inside, surrounding a country manor house built in 1958 by Anne and
Frank Cabot and now owned by a nonprofit corporation, are thickets of
blooms a few are salvia uliginosa, ruta graveolens, tweedia caerulea
and dozens more on a handout lists running several single-spaced
pages. You are in another world, not least because Stonecrop changes
dramatically as you walk from one area to the next. One minute youre
in a bamboo grove so thick you have to hold back the branches; the
next, on a rocky ledge amid teeny alpine blossoms of brilliant red,
purple and pink.

One highlight is the inner sanctum in a lattice design. Around the
walls are shrubs, grasses and roses, framing beds filled with changing
displays. In mid-July the day lily collection is in full bloom, with
more than 75 varieties in colors from dark purple-maroon to dusky
peach and soft yellow. Charmingly, theres also a vegetable garden. Its
watched over by an obese burlap scarecrow nicknamed Miss Gertrude
Jekyll after the influential garden designer who created more than 400
gardens in Britain, Continental Europe and the United States.

Leaving the inner sanctum, youll see another highlight a whimsical
pavilion. Its first story has a footprint in the shape of a cross,
with a moon window at each end that looks out at a different garden
view. Atop that is a second story shaped like a zigurrat, covered in
clematis and very soon, clerodendrum trichotomum, or glorybower. (Go
back next spring for wisteria.)

The garden is at 81 Stonecrop Lane, off Route 301 east of Cold Spring
(845-265-2000; and is open April to October from 10
a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday as well as the first and third
Saturdays of each month and on selected Sundays; admission is $5.

Van Cortlandt Manor

At this mid-18th-century estate in Croton-on-Hudson, visitors watch
workers in period dress churn butter, craft brooms, forge iron, stitch
quilts, cook on an open hearth and of course tend the heritage gardens
that provide ingredients for many of those activities. This manor,
too, is run by Historic Hudson Valley.

Garden aficionados will want to stroll the Long Walk, an ornamental
flower garden that flanks a red-brick way traversing the property. In
July, its flush with zinnia, passion flowers and baptisia.

Past the Ferry House, once a resting spot for stagecoach travelers on
the old Albany Post Road, a pebbled trail wends into the woods along
the Croton River just as its about to empty into the Hudson. Look for
the stone post that marks the distance to New York City as 40 miles.

Back near the house is the herb garden, which in May was bright with
woad, a yellow flower that produces blue dye. The adjacent spiky
purple blooms are chive. Nearby are hops, appropriate because the van
Cortlandts acquired much of their wealth from breweries. Over the
months, the vegetable garden flourishes with tobacco, broccoli, squash
and pumpkins.

The manor, on South Riverside Avenue (914-271-8981; is open daily, except Tuesdays, 10
a.m. to 5 p.m. from April to October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends
in November and December. Admission to the grounds is $5; a $12 ticket
includes a tour of the house."

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 12:39PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Oh, Martie, I didnt realize you had started another Idyll. Forgive, please.

I have a few minutes b/c Missy is at the groomer. So, Ok, heres some more baby pix:

My containers and annuals are toast:

And here we are taking a cat nap:

Speaking of which, we bot a crate, pet gates, toys, etc. for her yesterday. So we decided to try out the crate so we could take a nap! We were exhausted.

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words about Bullet and congrats on Missy. We definitely still have a huge hole in our hearts, missing our sweet boy, but Missy is a great distraction.

Cynthia, some Aussies are calmer than others. We chose this breeder b/c her dogs were calm. We had a Sheltie, who was smart as a whip and spoiled us. He was larger, sturdier and calmer than most so we didnt have to worry about him breaking a leg jumping off anything, yapping/barking, or some of the bad habits some of that breed can have. He was a little bigger that Eis Sheltie but was a Blue Merle. So we knew wed be impatient with a slower-learning breed. DH didnt want a small or toy (whimpy) dog, or a horse. We were drawn to the Aussie b/c the females only get to be about 35-40 lbs., theyre smart, have sweet temperaments, medium coats, (we prefer tumbleweeds rolling down the hall to stick in the furniture fur) are usually not barkers or chewers, are great with kids and they have nice sturdy legs and bodies. And Missys color and markings remind us of our beloved Sheltie, Smokey.

Kathy, your BILs Aussie is gorgeous. We wanted one w/blue eyes but this breeder didnt have any. We went for personality, sturdy legs and hips. She was the only Blue in the litter. BTW, your Autumnale looks much better than mine. Its probably the California sun, lol.

Thanks, Chelone. Yes, I remember: You hate dogs (you big softie, you). I had to chuckle about your undies shopping. Its so painful to the pocketbook, they never carry the old style that fits you well, so you have to try on 100 to find a comfy one, etc. I wash mine in the machine on gentle and air dry all my undies. I found some great panties in SC at SteinMart. I also found a great pair of cropped pants and stripped sweater top. Love that store and wish we had one here. I always find something great there.

Bug, yes it is new beginnings for you in many, many ways. A wonderful whole new dimension in your life, for sure.

Thanks Deanne, for the heads-up on the fungicide. I have to do that, too. Mine in the front are showing signs, so I have to get with the program. I do love that lily you and Bug have. It looks to be cream with maroon. Is it? I have the perfect spot for some.

Michelle, after I posted yesterday, my DD came over and showed me a rash she has on her back. I told her to go to the Dr. and sure enough, she, too, has Shingles! The Dr. told her she discovered it early, too, but when I talked to her this am, it kept her up all night and shes not doing too well. So she has more meds this am. I feel so badly for her.

So now, I dont know what were going to do about IU4. DD was going to take care of Missy while we were gone. Im checking into other alternatives, but geez.

Thats too funny about the skunk on the biker. We were going down the road one day and a biker passed us with a mixed breed dog on the jump seat behind! When the biker stopped for a light, the dog just sat there, in his glory! It was something to see.

Well, its time to get Missy at the groomer and try to get something done around here. Happy Friday, everyone.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 1:17PM
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I am killing time before the hair appointment and have done a wee bit of reading. Thoughts:

I echo Cindy's recommendation that Cynthia really ought to indulge herself in a good cry. Sometimes "productivity" must be measured differently... crying is often the most productive way to jettison all the pent up worry and frustration we carry around inside. I think you should go for it. Nothing is harder to bear than the worry of an infirm pet because they are usually so stoic. I cringe watching Rex hop around on 3 legs, but I know it's temporary... and soon we'll return to "Parris Island for dogs" and the routine of regular beatings. (((Cynthia)))

Know what? I've never had ANY of the "childhood diseases". Mumps, German Measels, Chicken Pox, none... nada, RIEN. Mum used to send me off to my little (infected) friends' homes with small gifts and I was always welcomed in. Never came down with any of them. Consequently, I received every vaccination that was developed. :( I was first in line, lol.

I gotta get to the "groomer". Later!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 3:30PM
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Hi Honey! I'm so sorry you lost Bullet-I still get lumps in my throat when I think about my own pet dogs who died eons ago so I figure you'll be out of sorts for quite a while. Missy is definitely a sweet distraction!! I just love her!
AJ is really into learning about different dog breeds so I showed him Missy and asked him to guess what kind of dog you have. He figured it was a hunting dog or a herding one and then settled on Australian shepherd : )[naturally Missy's cute factor sparked his request for a dog-once again lol] Anyway,I am pleased that you seriously looked into temperament-PBS had an informative piece on breeding dogs and specifically discussed herding dogs-misbreeding is a serious situation among the herders so I'm glad you found calm Aussies to choose from. We believe the dog bite Ryan recived from my sister's border collie most likely was the result of a poorly bred dog.
We met an adult blue eyed A.shepherd at a cabin we stayed at and was the most gentle,well trained dog I've met. I am excited to see more of Missy and hope she brings you lots of smiles: )
Kathy-I asked AJ the same about your BIL's dog and he guessed A.shepherd but didn't realize it was a minature. He crackes me up;he says the trademark of Aussies is the tan face markings-I'm gullable but I think he's right? lol
WOW Kathy! That F.autumnale is amazing! I wonder if sun affects it's foliage-I'd guess the neon effect is less pronounced in shade? I don't know if it was mentioned but what color are the blooms supposed to be? Very fun

UH oh-Michelle how did you get the creeping crud? Sorry, I hope you are feeling good by the time you read this!
45 containers,eh? OK well I have 4-5 so take that; ) I'm pretty excited that my tradescantia zebrina(aka wandering jew plant)which I decided to use as filler for my containers started to get blooms-never knew they'd get flowers.

I'm trying to keep my mind off what I will be missing in a week...hint they make cream cheese there...: )

Well this was a hit or miss post-I know I've missed so many other idylls.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 3:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Well....I tried!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 6:08PM
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Just a quick post from me! Thanks again for the pretty birthday cards! I loved them all. Still trying to get things back to normal around here. There's slow progress.

Honey, your new baby is just a precious girl.

Cynthia, I'm thinking of you and Katie!

Michelle, take it easy. Hope you're back to 100% soon.

Kathy, I have the autumndale too and love it.

Marie, the collage of Reed pictures was just priceless.

Gotta run! Time to get Bella into bed. Hi to everyone I missed.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 8:00PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

When I saw that Honey had posted a "New Beginnings" tydll, I bypassed the other threads and jumped on this one to see if she had added a new family member. Well sure enough - Missy looks like a real sweetheart. While there will be many, many puppy adventures, she looks like she will be full of love and she has found two special people to share it with.

Shingles! Oh no - I had a college roommate who had shingles and she was just miserable. I hope that Michelle and Honey's DD both escape on the mild side.

I came home (late) from work but had enough time to enjoy a dip in the pond. What bliss! Now I'm on the screened porch with a glass of wine, enjoying a very pleasant evening.

Babs mentioned coleus - I don't recall if I mentioned that my Deanne coleus are doing quite well, and my Rosy Dawn purchases (made with Deanne's assistance) are thriving also. I'm so bad about taking photos, but maybe tomorrow I can snap a few shots of my faves.

Anyone good with geraniums? I bought a very cool purple one early this spring, and left it in its small pot but plopped into a decorative container. Now it's getting a bit too big and floppy. Any ideas on the best way to save this beauty? Do I cut it back or pot it up?

One week from tonight I'll be wrapping up dinner with the idyll friends! I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!

The labs are getting a little rambunctious, so I'll post and get the laptop to safety.


ps - after reading what I wrote, I should clarify about the college roommate - she wasn't the greatest roommate in the world, but she felt miserable because of the shingles. She certainly wasn't a miserable person!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:31PM
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If at first you don't succeed (what a terrible word to spell), then try, try again! You are welcome here and remember that you can't see all of our minds turning thinking of you.

I am having a better day today, partially because the Idyll's have reassured me. I'm in a tough place, but hopefully it will pass :)

Too tired to say much. We made homemade ice cream as a family and as I shared the news with a yankee friend, I was surprised that she's never taken part in this summertime ritual. Nor had my this some Southern right of passage that your parents make you crank the ice cream while they partake of unknown beverages and talk about "adult" stuff?

We made Mint Chocolate Chip using the chocolate mint that Jake is growing (he said he feels like a "farmer" harvesting his mint for ice cream) and dark chocolate chunks - whatever the San Fran brand is.... I hear it's delish and will try it out for myself and let you know. Jake just walked through and pronounced it the best ice cream he's ever had :)

On a side note, both were shocked at the amount of sugar that went in....if you want your kids to eat good, let them see what goes IN! Lesson to me!

I do like to cook, but I hate to clean the kitch and since no one else will, it does weigh alot on whether I will cook "big" or not.

'night all
(my nights are growing later as the summer grows hotter :)


    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:38PM
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Honey your new baby is darling! I do hope you show us lots and lots of pics as she grows up.

I was sad to read that Katie isn't feeling better yet. I think a good cleansing cry is a grand idea and I think I'll look into doing it if Cynthia needs some camaraderie.

Thank goodness Rex is leaving his incision alone -- probably concerned about the beating that Chelone threatened him with, if he were to lick it more than 3 times in an hour....we all know how much she hates dogs. (Good boy for letting it heal properly!).

Hope Sue's celluitis is improved and that Michelle's shingles will not cause her too much discomfort and that they will be of short duration (Honey's DD, too!).

V, imagined you swimming in the pool, but I think there was a leech stuck on the back of your left shoulder. Yikes!! I got the willy-nillys when you mentioned the baby leeches on the rocks...hope they are all gone (good dragonflies!!).

It has been so hit and miss for me to post that I'm behind on a multitude of things I would like to comment on.....but my mind isn't going to remember them all (remember what?) so I'm not even going to attempt the feat.

All is well here....babysitting the grandsons a lot.

I do wish I was attending IU4--you are going to have a wonderful time and see some fabulous gardens.

Well, I think I'm going to go do nothing and enjoy it immensely. This is incredibly disjointed and I should delete it---but I did that this morning and I really don't have the energy to make another attempt. ;o) LOL

Hello to all......

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 10:50PM
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Marian - I had said in my response to you that I would try gentle reminders so here goes. Your last comment takes us to a place we have been far too many times before and drags all of us down. I had asked a specific question on your thread with the One Stop that has gone unanswered - why not respond there? Anyone of us can find things that were not acknowledged, its so much more rewarding to look for those that are.

I too am feeling tired and heading to bed. I had a great violin lesson this afternoon - I can't wait to do more with the piece we worked on. I just love my violin teacher and am thrilled to be discovering so many new possibilities with the violin. After picking David up from Summer Fun we headed back into the city for his guitar lesson, then met DH (who had just flown in) for an Indian meal. Tomorrow morning I'm driving up to the Adirondacks to pick up Annie and her friend. I can't wait to hear how their adventure went.

So, full of delicious food and with blisters on my fingers from last minute practice, I'm done to a turn and am turning in.

Nite all


    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 10:56PM
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Hi Idylls ! Happy Friday..I have a speaking engagement tomorrow involving small garden design and will do a demo of a spill fountain. Ive been gathering all my materials this evening before its time for the baseball game..

Honey , I love all the pics of your new baby. When I was a child my parents were into show dogsI remember that at the obedience trials the smartest dogs always seemed to be the Shelties and the Poodles.
If I were to put that Autumnale out in the sun it would probably burn to a crisp ! Fuchsias are definitely shade plants here unless you live at the coast where the temp never gets over 70. I'm about 30 miles inland as the crow flies, and it makes a huge diff in the climate.

Marian, you mentioned rain in Portland-my BILS live there and the last week of June they called to tell me it was raining ! Had been all day. They get rain much later in the year up there than I do here in Napa-havennt seen a drop since March this year

Michelle, one of my employees had shingles this spring. Seems like she was dealing with it for about 4 weeks.. My goodness, those prices you paid for those plants are unbelievable !

Deanne, I order most of my Dahlias from Swan Island . I visited there last year when I was up in Portland visiting DBILs ..fabulous ! I walked the fields and marked on the list what I wanted to order in spring. I think Ill pick up some of the Safer fungicide-I think we will have bad mildew this fall. Thanks for the tip. I just happened on that Autumnale Im jealous of Beacon Rosa-maybe we need to do a swap ?

Cindy, I have 2 pets right now that are in their twilight years so to speak. One (BooBoo Kitty) I will be surprised if he is still around by Christmas. So many issues. When my doggie goes I will not get another till Im retired I think. I love dogs (unlike Chelone) but work such long hours it is a problem to give the attention they deserve. Your good cry advice to Cynthia was spot-on. Sometimes you just need to give in to the blues.

bug, Im ready to hit those Hudson River Valley gardens any time ! Not to mention the art that has come out of that region.

Hey Chelone, I had chicken pox in 3rd grade and it was really cool because I was not allowed to go to school for 3 weeks. That was my one and only childhood malady. Glad to hear that the d**n dog is doing well. Good thing for him or over the cliff he goes.

Babs, the tag on Autumnale indicates the basic red sepals , purple coralla

V, what kind of geranium ? I grow lots and lots ..Is it a geranium or a pelargonium ??

Ok time to go watch some baseball.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 11:04PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I'm sorry Mary, for some reason I failed to see your question on the One Stop thread,( that I posted in response to Kathy's request for a picture).( I got a little carried away with pictures!) Perhaps I missed your question because I had to do something else and missed it, or just plain forgot! I do that a lot....
Since that thread has served it's purpose, I deleted all but one pic.
No, they do not serve any type of desserts there. She 'is' going to start having a special dinner ( again) on Sundays. She asked us what we thought would be good, and I said a chicken fried steak meal. She liked that idea.
Their specialty is pizza.

I am sorry that my "Well...I tried" offended you. Believe it or not, I am capable of being dragged down too, in fact I stay in that condition more than in an 'up' condition...
I am forgetting that many of you are at a time of life when things 'get to you' more than they used to. I never had much of a problem with that time of my life. My Mother didn't either. I was only 29 when I ceased having periods ( now that is something you all wanted to learn...I'm sure.) It wasn't long after that that I had cervical cancer, so couldn't take hormones.

We had an interesting evening at the local volunteer fire department's fund raising auction sale this evening. Amongst other "stuff", I bought a scanner and printer for my computer. Both are claimed to be "good" and I got them both for $7. I also got an office chair for setting at the computer...for $9. It was sad to see how low most items went for.

Kathy, my brother lived in Portland,Ore. for 40+ years. He now lives in Albany,Oregon. Sorry that you are getting so little rain now. I hope you are not in danger of fires.

BTW, Just a "hi" would have been sufficient!

It is way past my bedtime, so I'd better hit the sack.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 11:50PM
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I think we ought to take a moment to remember Lady Bird Johnson, my friends. She was instrumental in raising the country's consciousness with respect to littering and the appreciation of the abundant native flora in our country. Anyone remember the "Don't be a Litterbug" campaign? Gracious and determined, we've all benefitted from her genteel insistence that we add beauty to our lives in simple ways.

We went to the theatre last night and saw "Crazy For You", a fun musical involving lots of Gershwin bros. standards. The costumes and tap dancing were terrific! The helpmeet and I were dragging when we left the house (4:30 wake up and 8PM curtain are a bad mix) but the show was energetic enough that we remained alert for the entire thing. Every bit as enjoyable as "The Full Monty". Next show will be "La Cage Aux Folles".

We returned home to discover the Wrecks lived up to his name in our absence. He removed 2 staples for his incision, right over the knee. We immediately applied bitter apple spray (first time so far). That dampened his enthusiasm for the exercise considerably. I have to call the vet. this morning and see if they'd like to suture it closed for the remaining week or what. The cliff you mentioned Kathy is looming ahead... perhaps it's time to put an end to the amnesty and get back to the regimen of beatings.

I was shocked at the amount of hair left on the beauty parlor floor yesterday afternoon. I encouraged her to remove some more. ;)

I can't imagine no rain since March! I read a book called, "Desert Solitaire" many years ago (can't recall the author) and the descriptions of the silty river and the sun blasting off the canyon walls has stayed with me ever since. It's a different world "out there", though no less perfectly adapted than in my own "home turf".

The trusses were hoisted into place yesterday (I missed it!) and the sheathing is over them in preparation for the roofing crew. The basic shape of the garage is now there. I was thinking yesterday that it's time to begin assessing the sun and shade patterns so necessary for successful plantings. I will be "on the lookout" for that sort of thing next weekend and would very much value your help.

On a lighter note, I have pointedly avoided garage and yard sales for many years now, Marian. It's been a long time and with the advent of a new "storage facility" I feel I may be vacillating in my resolve. ;) Probably better wait until the floor is poured and staircase is in place, huh?

Time to get my kitchen chores done and the laundry organized. I have to hustle to the bank first thing and transfer some money to pay the GC. Then I'll call the vet. about our little staple puller.

Honey, just how soft and fuzzy is Missy? she looks like a multi-colored powderpuff.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 7:36AM
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Just a short note from me. Today my mom and I are going to a garden tour/house tour at the lakes area. I then will pick up Miss McKenzie. She will stay over night. So I need to get out and get something done this a.m.

Honey, so sorry to hear that my shingles are "catching" I hope the meds kick in for your DD.

I think I saw Babs buzz thru here.

Saucy, making homemade ice cream is such fun, however we have and electric one. We quite often do it on Father's Day.

I'm a little down about missing IU, I had so much fun last year. Maybe next year the date will work for me.

Have a great Saturday


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 7:47AM
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Just waiting for Jen to pick me up. We're going to the Farmer's Market and then over to work on her gardens today.

Saucy, we have an electric ice cream maker here. I remember cranking the old fashioned kind as a kid though. Jake's choc mint sounds delish!

Michelle, have fun on the tour! I love going on them and wish I could find time to do it more often.

Chelone, sounds like it's time for us to see more pics of the garage progress. I love Gershwin, glad you enjoyed your play. We have an excellent theatre here called Meadowbrook that we go to occasionally. I wish Brad didn't work in the evenings so we could go more often.

Mary, sending a big smile to you :)

Just wanted to drop in and say "Good Morning". Jen should be here any minute so I have to run.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 8:06AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning from central CT where another gorgeous summer day appears to be shaping up. Right now I'm sipping coffee on the screen porch and enjoying the view of the garden. I have no idea how the rest of the day will go and I really don't care. How's that? lol

Michelle, I looked up shingles when someone suggested I might have it and was glad I didn't. Sorry you do. Enjoy the garden tour. Maybe I'll pull out my garden conservancy open days guide and see if there is anything worth visiting today. Of course what I really need to do is visit my own garden dressed in work clothes. Maybe later.

I had a beautiful Fuchsia Autumnale last year that I used in a container.

Despite Deanne's expert assistance, I was not able to winter it over. I did however find another one this year but have yet to plant it. Truth be told I'm basically out of empty containers and all the ones I like are $100 or more. Maybe I'll just pot it up alone in something small for now until the sales start. This is an off year in the garden for me-I can't seem to get real excited about it. If I hadn't made the committment to the Garden Conservancy I probably wouldn't even have done much at all in the way of containers.

My cellulitus seems to have cleared up nicely. I finished the antibiotics on Thursday. Nothing like having doctors threaten you with three days in the hospital to get your attention.

Cynthia, I hope Katy feels better and is twirling again soon. You certainly dealt with more than your share of canine health issues this year. I felt like crying last night myself but quickly identified the reason why, decided it wasn't really warranted and moved on.

T, got your message, thanks for calling.

OK, time to regroup.

Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 8:50AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning. It's a cloudy, cool morning here and my motivation has yet to get out of bed. My back tells me that I slept funny last night - must have been that huge leech on my shoulder.

One of our waterlilies was blooming yesterday and DD took a photo because she knew it would close before I came home. She didn't realize what a cool photo she got:

The green at the top of the photo is my aronia melanocarpa planted next to the house. The lily is planted about two feet deep in the pond, but it sure doesn't look like it's that deep.

Ei mentioned the scent of her oakleaf hydrangea. Mine is growing well, but not a single bud this year - lost them all to the late freeze.

Chelone, I have my hair adjustment appointment in a couple of hours. I totally missed the last scheduled one a few weeks ago and am very much in need of a major hacking!

Kathy, my geranium is a pelargonium. Your question motivated me to go check the tag for a variety name and I found out I had lost the tag. I knew it was an Oglevee variety so I checked their website and found the answers to my questions. I bought the plant early in the season to use as indoor color for a party, and had moved it out to the deck thinking I was doing the right thing. It was actually doing the best when I thought I was stressing it on the screened porch. I think I will do a little pot shuffle today and move it back to the porch where it was thriving.

Well, if I get some clothes on now I can get a few weeds pulled before my hair gets weeded. Have a great weekend!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 9:37AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

An extremely foggy morning. The roadsides are covered with gossamer webs.I was wishing I had taken my camera when we went for breakfast. It is actually rather chilly. So wierd for July 14th.

I've got to tackle Tommy and get another Frontline treatment on him. He has taken to sleeping on my bed,( at night), but he spends more time scratching than sleeping. I tried moving to the livingroom, but that wasn't condusive to sleep either, so I moved into the spare bedroom. Still lay awake until 3 A.M. I couldn't turn the light off in my head.:-(

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 9:39AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

First of all, I feel badly that I havent addressed each your posts lately. Im just mentally exhausted and staying busy with DH and Missy underfoot. Losing Bullet is still an open wound. So please dont feel slighted.

We also have family issues going on. While on vacation, my DBs and I confronted DS on her strong-arming Mom for $ (often in 5 figure increments!) at every opportunity. So all that stuff is weighing heavily. Nuff said about that. Sometimes families are so fun.

Cynthia, I agree. You should allow yourself to cry out your grief, frustration and distress over Katy. It is a good outlet for all the stress of her illness. We dont need you sick, too. So give yourself a break and let it out. ((((Cynthia)))))

Well, weve discovered we have a lil poop machine. Jeez, it must be packed from nose to tail! Thanks goodness we put up the pet gates and have her confined to hard surfaces. Were trying to get her on a schedule. As I said, were learning! Shes had a couple accidents, but none in her crate good girl. And shes not crying anymore when we put her in there.

She had a real busy day yesterday. She only had a brief power nap in the am before we took her to the groomer. Of course, the staff fussed over her the whole time and she played with all the other dogs. When we got her home, smelling much better, my DN phoned. She and my DGN had made a special stop at the pet store nearby so Jessica could pick out a toy for Missy. Jessica asked if she could come over and visit Missy. She was so adorable on the phone. Of course she could come over!

As usual, Jessica had to run the gravel path and cross over the bridge several times and Missy was close behind. Im sorry I didnt get any pix. Hopefully, my DN did. Both Jessica and Missy were in constant motion so the pix will probably be blurry. After they left, Missy crashed and slept a couple hours out on the cool grass. We needed a nap!

Chelone, yes, she really is a puff ball.

Eden, we love Meadowbrook, too, except its a real challenge for us to get there. There is no direct route and b/c of the traffic we dont often go. Great that its an easy route for you and not too far.

Sue, so sorry to hear about your cellulitus but glad to hear its cleared up. Great container combo.

T, you must be exhausted with your gma duties! But Ill bet you enjoy every minute of it.

Enjoy your garden tour, Michelle. Glad youre feeling up to it. My DD is supposed to come over today if she feels OK. I havent called her b/c I was afraid Id wake her up.

Marian, I enjoyed your pix of the One-Stop. It reminded me of the one and only store with 2 gas pumps, at the one and only stop light in the town I grew up in. Those places are a real slice of Americana. So sorry you didnt get much sleep last nite. I hate when I do that. It messes up the whole day for me.

Well, Mary, has the FedEx guy been back, lol?

Saucy, how fun you make ice cream with your kids. It will be one of the things theyll remember about their childhood, Im sure.

V, that photo is way cool. Your DD did a great job.

Well, time to wash my hair and do something productive. Have a great Saturday, everyone!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 10:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Happy Bastille Day! Le jour de gloire est arrive!

Yes, LadyBird Johnson was a gentille force. Roadside plantings will always bring her name to mind.

Desert Solitaire by Edward Abby? I think that's the book Chelone. As for "La Cage Aux Folles", that was a favorite of mine! Hope it will be well done!

"chicken fried steak" is something DH refers to once in a while. I'd never heard of it before I met him. A regional dish.

Mary, a good teacher and a successful lesson make for special moments! Lucky you!

I'm with Michelle on missing IU4. Who knows what next year will offer!

And V, your pond is glorious. But I'm reminded of the special day when DD's now husband proposed. They were on a boardwalk by a pond when he asked if she was prepared to "take the plunge". She decided yes, and they literally took the plunge. Then they decided to repeat the event, but he had to remove a bunch of leeches first! Then it hailed and they had a hail fight instead.

So I must run off to get my hair cut, a pedicure too.

More later I imagine!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 10:24AM
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My girlfriend's coming over to help me with Zeus this morning. I'm so tired of the d**m dog that I'm considering packing his red bandana and sending him on his way....him and the cat.....not that she did anything wrong, but she's got fur and today that's enough :)

My containers are looking wonderful and today I plan to rearrange them around the front stoops....seems more welcoming that way. Maybe I'll snap a picture.

Well, I'm just not as chatty as I thought I was when I began typing. Lots to do today. I am considering staining the deck myself instead of waiting on Nick. If I mess it up, I will fix it.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 10:46AM
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I think I've told you that I'm not nuts about the GC for the garage project. It's weird, I just get a "vibe" from him that sets me on edge. I regularly deal with pretty heavy-duty "workin' guys" (fishermen, construction workers, mechanics) and I don't automatically think a guy is being condescending because they call me, "dear", "sweetie", "honey". I'm pretty good at "reading" people and my experience has taught me that often those terms are bestowed GENUINELY and often demonstrate appreciation and respect. I'm smart enough to appreciate the TONE of voice with which they're delivered. Anyway, the GC speaks to me with all the courtesy due a client, but I can just tell he doesn't really want to "deal" with me when it comes to "decision making". He's called the helpmeet a couple of times to "double check" on the answers I gave him. So... today I did something I hope will demonstrate the point that I'm informed, as well. Instead of transferring the money for his bill from MY savings account to the joint, household checking account, I put in MY CHECKING ACCOUNT. He will be here on Monday morning to collect payment and I plan to make a point of asking him in and writing out the check in his presence. I have little doubt my name on the check will make an impression (I "let" the helpmeet keep his name, BTW). There isn't much in this world that pops my cork faster than patronizing, thinly disguised contempt. The GC has done a great job, and I appreciate his expertise, but he has a lot to learn about women... maybe that's why his divorce was so rancorous, huh? ;)

V., I'm so glad your camera wasn't "on vacation"! that's an amazing photograph! It evoked a very visceral memory for me; swimming in Loon Lake on a hot summer day with the scent of water lilies wafting over the surface of the water. "Summer" is a verb, as well; and summer in NH as a kid was about as close to paradise as I've ever been (or will ever return again, lol). You are so involved in such interesting work and projects. Really inspiring...

Keep lil' Missy socializing with her fellow canids, Honey! Well socialized puppies make for a more easily socialized adulthood... trust me, I KNOW about this stuff (one more reason for my dislike of dogs, BTW). It's been YEARS since we dealt with housebreaking. But I remember this much: food and water at regular times. No water in between meals! And when the itty-bitty "delivers the goods" you SING THEIR PRAISES, and love 'em up! S--ttin' in the yard is the very BEST thing they'll ever accomplish; make sure they know it. I swear by regular beatings...

Saucy, I've never made ice cream! "I heard tell" about the requisite cranking and the rock salt, but know little of the basic process. I smiled at the your reference to occupying the "young 'uns" while adults did their thing on the porch. You embody in your posts the whole "vibe" I so very much enjoyed for the one, wonderful year I spent in VA.. It was a totally different feel than noHtheHn NH, but in a way so very, very familiar. I may have been a suspected "damn Yankee", but in my own way I knew what they were about and they knew it, too. I loved "the south". :) And I completely agree that you have to continue to try; when you move to small New England town the best you can hope for is studied ambivilence/indifference. You "earn your stripes" with daily interaction and the acceptance that you're being watched and studied, often "ignored". You have to continually "put it out there" and maintain an even keel. Even when you feel really lonely. Flags and balloons are for the Fourth of July. ;)

Many mornings in New England are dew-soaked. Marian, I know you will appreciate my early morning observations. I have a friend who refers to the dew on lawn webs as, "fairy washing", I'd never heard that expression before. But, truly, is there anything more beautiful than a spider's web dripping with dew? Get out your camera! I am quite certain your keen eyes and appreciation for the beauty of our natural world will reveal untold treasures. :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 11:10AM
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Honey, can't you post a pic of Missy everytime you check in? Can't get enough grandchildren, pet and garden photos here! Sounds like she was herding your niece.

Michelle, so sorry to hear that you have shingles now. I understand that's pretty painful, hope you're doing ok.

Chelone, Rex trying to save you a trip back for staple removal? Sounds like he's recovering well if he has the energy to mess with the wound :)

I do like that Fuchsia autumnal, haven't seen it around here but also haven't hit the 'good' nurseries this year.

Well, let's hope it's a new beginning for Katykins, she has her MRI scheduled for Tuesday afternoon/evening. The entire household will have no food/water after 6AM that morning, so it's gonna be an interesting day. I'm saving my 'good cry' for the results (or maybe writing the check, she needs 2 different views, ka-ching~)But thanks for permission :)

I desperately need to mow front and back and side lawns, but good rain last night and too wet. I too have hair cut scheduled for today. We will all be freshly shorn for IU4. I suppose I should spend the next few hours washing kitchen floor. Bah.

Best to all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 11:29AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, Saucy....I know the feeling. I even get to thinking about Tommy in that vein, and he is my favorite!
Your "If I mess it up,I will fix it", is my attitude about things I cook that don't turn out well,only if I mess them up, I eat them! LOL ( Well, not always).

Honey, there was just too much on my mind last night, along with the excitement of the auction. A nap this afternoon should perk me back up.
BTW, I do like your title.
LOL, I am afraid I don't have the patience for a "poop machine" ! The occasional barf is enough for me to contend with. Yesterday it was either a hairball, or a rodent's remains, on my bedroom commode ( my mother's)! It appeared to be mostly hair. I had removed all my african violets from the stand,to dunk them in fertilized water, and Tommy discovered the 'clearing' and adopted it for another 'bed'.:-(
So now the african violets are in the utility room awaiting Tommy's tiring of the stand-bed.

V, I really love that pic. The reflected clouds are really special. Actually, the entire picture is.

Yep,Chelone, a wait is probably a good idea. I bought 'stuff' that I certainly don't need, but it was more of a donation thing than a need. I admire and greatly appreciate our volunteer fire dept.
Sorry about Rex's stitches.

We have a new inhabitant of our front porch. A long,lanky, young, black, tom cat. It showed up a couple of weeks ago. I was not pleased with it's appearance, and tried to avoid encouraging it, but finally broke down and put out another dish for him. He was so much of a nuisance, wrapping around my legs, that I dubbed him "Dorky". Nolon loves any and all cats, as long as they do not harm our own ( and he doesn't), so he named him "Dude". He has settled down some, so now I call him "Dorky Dude". LOL

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 11:31AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - I second Eden's comment - where are those construction pictures?! It sounds like your GC needs a bit of re-educating! The checkbook approach sounds good. When we did the reno/addition here, at first the GC was clearly nervous of my fragile-looking state and was expecting to deal with Randy. That didn't last long and soon they were all just clearing a path through the debris for me and were quite comfortable talking through all the technical things with me. Randy just kept them supplied with chocolate! :-) I'm sure you'll have your GC whipped into shape in no time.

Honey - what a cutie! When you posted that picture on the top of the thread, I send a link to the thread to our friends who own Blue and asked if Blue was that cute as a puppy (she says yes he was...) Blue is half blue merle Aussie and half Lab so he's a bit bigger than Missy will be. Blue's a sweet dog but he didn't get along with Chelsea - the two of them couldn't agree on who was 'top dog' - so he didn't come to visit much until after Chelsea died. A new pet never takes away the hole in your heart from losing one like Bullet - but the new one causes your heart to expand as it worms its way in. We have more-or-less decided not to replace Chelsea because we just 'borrow' dogs from friends instead :-) Copper, the Briard, came this morning to stay for two weeks while her'parents' are in Ireland and a bus tour in Europe. Copper is settling down a lot but is still more puppy than adult most of the time. Her coat is changing to it's adult color but still has the soft puppy texture.

Saucy - reading about that ice cream made me drool :-) We haven't be for our first ice cream cone of the summer yet. I think I'll have to have some chocolate mint kind....

Kathy - no rain since March?! That would definitely call for a different style of gardening. We finally got 19mm (~3/4") - in 30 minutes! - Thursday afternoon. We needed a lot more than that but anything is welcome at this point.

Sue - I love those dark Elephant Ears. I was looking for them this spring but couldn't find any.

I did finally get some Brugs at the local farmers market last weekend. I've loved the pictures some of you have posted of them here and a neighbour (who has since moved away) used to have some lovely ones. The ones I bought (one supposed to be pink and one yellow) are about 18" high. Will they get big enough this year to bloom? (I planted them in two of my big veggie pots where the early peas had just finished...) I don't have a clue what to do with them for the winter since those pots are too big and heavy to bring in. Take cuttings plus dig out, root prune and repot the 'mother' plants is all I can think of at the moment. Would that work to get them through the winter?

Marian - this picture is for you:

Those are some of the samosas my friend from Tanzania helped me make last week. By the end of it I was finally getting the hang of how to fold the pasty to make the neat triangles without leaks at the corners! These ones are sooo much better than restaurant ones. Chicken fried steak sounds wicked :-) I've heard the name before but don't really know what it is....

Cynthia - I hope the twirly girl is going to be OK soon.

Cool here today. I've got my fingers crossed for some rain....

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 11:55AM
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Wow! Somehow I missed a bunch of posts!

V.! That picture needs a frame and some real estate on the wall! I really love that....makes me sorry I missed seeing your place in person!

Happy weekend to all....I'm still considering the deck stain. I think I could pull it off......


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 11:57AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yum, Woody! Those look delicious. I'm sausage and biscuit from this morning has worn off. I have 4 pot pies,( store bought,2 chicken, and 2 turkey),in the oven for our noon meal.

LOL "Chicken fried steak sounds wicked." It is a breaded beef steak that has been well-pounded with a meat mallet. Easy for Nolon to chew, and tasty. Usually served with mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 12:30PM
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HI Everyone! I am on floor duty today, so have an opportunity to post.

Strange how haircuts and shingles are the latest thing to cycle through the idylls. I have a hair appt on Wed. A couple of years ago in the middle of the winter. It looked like poison ivy, but it was too cold outside for me to have been out pulling weeds, so it suddenly dawned on me what they were and I went to the doctor. I was worried because my niece gets them regularly, and I was afraid I would too, but haven't seen them since. I have been trying to eat blueberries and other antioxident foods lately to boost my immune system. Don't know if it is working, but they do taste good.

Woody, nice to "see" you!

HOney, I just love Missy. Aussies are so pretty. She is going to keep you hopping for sure:) I am so sorry about Bullet. He was quite the character.. it makes me laugh every time I think about him spitting the cat food at Tom after he had been spoiled with the turkey.

I made what could be the best deal ever a couple of days ago. I was going home from the library and stopped at a garden center (of course). They were selling all of their cannas and dahlia bulbs for $1.00 a pack. I know it is late in the season, but I don't care. Two of the packages must have had 10 bulbs in it. And, being a child of the 60's I almost flipped when I saw they had patchouli for $1.00 as an herb. I have NEVER seen it before in real life. Had to have it. My kids think it stinks, oh well, no accounting for taste:) If that ground hog eats it, he is toast. Anyway, I am chomping at the bit to get out of here so I can go home and get them in the ground. My department is reorganinzing at my day job. I have a feeling I will be laid off, so I am trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life:)... I have to try to be careful to figure out what the right choices are, and I don't have a good track record with being one of the "smart ones" on career decisons. I have sort of emotionally dealt with the panic phase of the actual layoff. I have been expecting this for a year. I called one of my daughters when I was pretty upset, and she said what are you worried about, you should throw a parade. Love that kid:)

Ei, I love what you did with the Bi polar by golly. I have another one that is similar but has more of a yellow on the leave. If the stupid groundhog leaves any of it for me, I will clip some and bring to IU for you. He has eaten most of my bi polar by golly, all of my nasturiums, my ornamental cabbage in a container, that I know he had to climb up on a chair to reach. Can they do that? He is a menace, but I don't know what to do about him. They say if you catch them in Hav a heart trap you are giving them a death sentence because they can't survive outside their territory. He has babies too. What to do what to do?.....

Deanne, I bought some Regale lilies, motivated by yours... but mine is no where near the height of yours. I need to feed them. But oh... the fragrance...ooh la la.....

Sue, I am coming to IU. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone. Speaking of purchases inspired by someone, I will have to take a pic of the container I put together after seeing your window box last year. I typically don't get geraniums, I never felt like I have enough sun, but I loved the pic you had. They turned out pretty good. I also got the Bishop of Landhaulf dahlia too.Don't know if he will bloom for me, but I have hopes. I love the way you put groupings together. Sorry you are having a rough time this season, but know that you do inspire a lot of people, me being one. Oh, I almost forgot, I got two Forest Pansys...they were on sale, and I just love them. Okay that does it, I am going home and take some pics to post.

Eden, I am sorry I missed your birthday. Pic to follow!!!!! Hope you have fun in Jenny's yard. Can't wait to see more pics. Is Brad putting the moon and clouds back up?

Okay, I have rambled on enough. Hi to everyone!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 12:40PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

PUPPY!!!!!!! Honey, she's just adorable, and she'll be a wonderful distraction. When we lost our dog years ago (first dog I ever fell in love with) I swore I wasn't going to get another. took about a month to have a new one.

Michelle, so sorry to hear about the shingles. Geez, if ya had chicken pox as a kid, you're subject to shingles?? That's hardly fair!

Cynthia, I'm sorry Katie isn't doing better, and a good cry can be an excellent thing.

Chelone, great that Rex is leaving the incision alone. Bra shopping is the biggest waste of money ever, IMO. I can never find ones I like, they're STUPIDLY expensive, and I think the world would be a better place if we could all just burn our bras, stop shaving and tweezing, and never wear dress shoes, lol! Can ya tell I'm a tomboy....that just spent about an hour out on the porch tweezing my eyebrows and ripping out my moustache?? Had to do it on the porch..between the bright sun and my 10x magnifying mirror, I could almost see what I was doing, lol! Besides, I'd hate to add all that hair to the dog-hair tumbleweeds in the house.
BTW, when we had the house sided and replacement windows, and when we did the bathroom, I insisted that the contractors talk to me about any questions. Frankly, Jim could have cared less if the house was sided in purple plaid, and had never given ANY thought to how many/where outlets should be in the bathroom. They found out I was serious when they got to move an outlet three feet to the right ;)

I'm way behind here, but do I remember reading that Mary was swimming in bright green bloomers?? You go, girl, lol!

Sue, glad to hear you're cleared up.

V-your DD did indeed get a cool shot! A natural born photographer, perhaps??

'Bug, I love the collage of Reed....I need a baby around here :) Okay, really I don't, but it's gonna be SO fun if/when I get to be a grandma!

Beautiful day today, pretty windy, but gorgeous all the same. Jim discovered a couple of days ago that we've been infested with root worm beetles, so we had to spray most of the corn for that. Hopefully we'll get some rain, so we have some corn to justify the expense. The beetles were eating the silks off the corn :( You could see them in clouds above some of the fields. It's always something, I guess.

This has been a really hit and miss post...didn't realize I'd gotten so far behind! So, HI to everyone I missed, and I love all the pictures, whether I mentioned them or not :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 2:18PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

Well this Idyll is zipping along at light speed!

Things here in in a hideous turmoil again over another of DD's emotional pyrotechnics. Don't need to go into the sordid details but I'm a wreck. I told Doug to just take me out back and shoot me. LOL (just joking of course, I needed a bit of dark humor)

So the bad news was that our dear friend Peter U. had a 95% blockage in one of his major coronary arteries and the good news is that he's had another stint put in and will be released from the hospital today. He's incredibly lucky he didn't have another major heart attack. Phew! Deb sounded so much better when I spoke with her last night. I need to get over there to see him today and give him a ration about driving himself to the hospital Wednesday night.

I really need to get a bit of watering done at the moment so I'm going to run and check in later. Just wanted to post these pics of my Regale lilies for Drema. I sure wish you could see these in person!

The breezeway grouping of containers is looking neat right now. Everything is at that point of being filled in without crowing other stuff out. I'm going to give everything a good 'haircut' before going to PA next week.

One of the containers I filled in with 'leftover' plants.

The driveway garden, you can see those faciated lilies behind the urn

OK I'm off for now. Have a great afternoon

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 3:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It rained! The secret was getting my hair done. ;-) I hope for more rain still.

I needed a quiet alone time, so went to lunch solo with a new Fine Gardening magazine. Also bought moisturizers for feet and hands: dandelion scent which is actually really nice!

Deanne, lovely photos, as usual, but what struck me was your White Swan echinaceas. Mine have not yet begun.

It is cold here. 60F indoors and out! I'm in a track suit, off to make a warm drink. Hard to believe it was in the 90s not long ago with 90% humidity. DD tells me it is in the 90s on her deck in Edmonton. They hare having a house warming and baby viewing pot luck today. Wish I could be there....

And this from a friend: :)


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 4:11PM
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Perfect, 'bug.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 4:57PM
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Wow - I've been gone 10 hours and there has been a whirlwind of posts and pics. Fabulous!!

Here are Annie and best friend as I picked them up from camp. They had had quite a week, some of it amazing (scenary), some exhausting (hiking with full loads including tent and water), much fun (a great group of campers and councellors) and some things gross (leeches in the pond swimming pond). They kept me entertained with camp stories most of the drive home. I have never known two girls more appreciative of the comforts of everyday life. I think they will both sleep well tonight!

Too much to comment on right now but I'll enjoy reading over again later with a glass of wine. Till later,


    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 5:36PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 9:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh my goodness! Look what Chelone's request has produced!!! The clemababies are rolling in! How fun! Deanne, do you suppose when he's 13 he'll wear his hair this way? ;-)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 10:04PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

gb - are those "clemlocks"?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 1:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I fear you are right V! ROTFL

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 1:24PM
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A hot one here today in Northern Cal. 80 in the house, 90 outside. Theres a nice breeze though so it should cool off tonight. Days like these I sure wish I had a pool-(or a cool pond like V) Ive spent the day watering and giving all the containers a shot of MaxSea. My Brugs arent blooming yet, but my Plumeria is to bury my nose in that one.
I need to add myself to the Idyll haircut crowd. My hair is absolutely driving me nuts, and it looks like hell. This week for sure.

Chelone, I love tap dancing. I bet Ive seen every Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire move 20 times each. You mentioned the sweetie-honey prefix coming from men, but I also really am annoyed by women who are 20 years younger than me , and dont know me (grocery checkers etc) who call me "hon" or the like.
DH and I used to make ice cream all the time when the kids were little. We had a very old electric machine that sounded like bench grinder on its last leg. We had some pretty slick recipes, but we usually made plain old vanilla.

Deanne, those Regale lilies are just exquisite!. I guess I better get some. They appear rather tall ? Funny , Ive been gardening for 25plus years and I never grew lilies till maybe 5 or 6 years ago, and now I wouldnt be without them. I keep getting more every year. Some of them dont do well for me so I dig them up and plant a different variety

Brenda, you are too funny , plucking on the porch ! Ive noticed that as I get older, along with the usual gravity issues , I hardly ever have to shave my legs anymore. For some reason the hair just stopped growing. I guess there has to be some benefits to maturity , lol.

Woody, borrowing dogs from friends sounds like a capitol idea ! When my little dog goes I will probably stay dog-less for a while too. I work so many hours it would be hard for me to get one trained .

Drema, sorry to hear about your possible looming lay-off. Even when you expect it I suppose there is always that little kernel of hope that it wont really happen. Ive never been involved in a lay-off before, but one year we all had a 10% pay reduction because the economy was so lousy and business way off.

Marian Dorkey Dude ! Maybe hell be successful at luring Tommy away from your African Violet table ! We never have rain in the summer here, although we usually get some in April and a bit in May. We had a very dry winter this year. Our rains usually start up again in Oct or Nov.

OK , thats all for today. I still have to clean up the kitchen and do some laundry

Ta ta all

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 7:47PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

My it got quiet this evening! We've had a weekend of wonderful summer weather and I got to have a couple of dips in the pond. I'm really enjoying this addition! It's 75 right now, calm and a little cloudy but just enough light to type badly on the porch.

Oops! but not much battery... I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and that most of you are looking forward to Philly next weekend! Can't wait!


    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 9:28PM
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Good evening all

Love the clemababies (clemlocks!) Move over Anne Geddes!!

What a fantastic day here - cool, a little cloudy, but perfect for bike riding. David and I rode 10 miles along the Erie canal, stopping for lunch along the way and to watch the locks in action. It was just beautiful. Deanne- I was thinking of you riding 34 miles the other day - I'm not sure my tushie is up to that yet:0)

Annie chose to stay home catching up on sleep from her adventure. I couldn't help think what a contrast it must have been for a teen who spends at least 45 minutes a day in the shower to have been presented with the bathroom kit consisting only of a trowel and a rather damp roll of TP. As she put it, it was a life changing experience.

V - you're right, to think we'll be in Philly by the end of the week is unbelievably exciting.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 9:52PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

For all of you who are around my age - I think you'll enjoy this video.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 10:05PM
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did you doctor that to make his beautiful pink lips match the pink of the clematis? What a cutie patootie!

getting Sarah ready for camp - she does day camp at "Nonny's" house and so it seems like sleepover camp to me without the worry :)

I just love Annie's picture - she looks puffed up and prideful from her tough week roughing it :) I remember leeches stuck to my legs - alot of jumping and squealing!

Gotta go...Nick's trying to get me out on the boat, too! I joked that maybe I should bring the suitcase with me so I could pack it on the lake (picture Sarah's undies drying in the wind!).


    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 10:08PM
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That was a post from this afternoon that I forgot to submit, and then hit submit out of pure familiarity when I saw it sitting here.....seems outta place.

Having a rough evening while I wrestle with all that must get done and employee with a death in the family. I can't wait to be drawn into a world of gardens and friends at the end of the week....nothing like Idyllunion to make all other matters fade to fuzzy edges of "life".

Everytime I put a period at the outside of a quote I wonder if GB cringes. I imagine that she's too preoccupied to care, though I think of her everytime I do it :)

Tonight was wild caught cedar plank salmon with cauliflower and peas. My grocery bill has been a little on the high side this month, but I like the creativity....

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 10:20PM
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There were several nice small gardens on the tour, but nothing that could compete with an Idyll garden. The homes that were on the tour were another story though. Out of this world gorgeous with fabulous lake views. Think HGTV Dream home.

Sue, glad to hear that your creeping crud has left. Mine is on the way as well.

Brenda, maybe we should get our hair done if it brings rain.

Deanne, Kenzie looked at your pictures with me and declared them "very pretty" Sorry to hear that there are more difficulties with DD.

V, interesting link on the American Pie a complex song for sure.

bug, heres an idea from the garden tour. This lady would take a Anne Gedes style picture of her grandchildren when they were 6 mo. Old in a large clay pot. Im assuming the picture in the background is an Anne Gedes. She also incorporated books into her garden tour (a former teacher) I thought it was a fun touch.

Night all


    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 11:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Saucy, it's been so long that I haven't a clue where the period goes. Tell me if you find out!

V, I remember entirely too much from that American Pie...Janis was a big deal in my life, as you may remember me writing about seeing her at the Fillmore West back in about '66/'67. The psychadelic posters are now displayed in museums...etc Memories....not all good. DH's best friend is institutionalized from overdosing etc. The heartbreak of his parents and children...! ARGH!

Off to bed. Got some cleanup done outdoors today. More tomorrow!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 11:22PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

First and foremost:

Happy Birthday Eden!

We've returned from our week of "fun in the sun" (along with rain, fog and clouds). It is amazing how the different the weather is only an hour away from home. I guess there was a heat wave in the Boston area while we were gone, but there was mostly fog on the Maine coast. I'd rather have the fog! We made it to the beach for at least a little while every day except for one, and the kids did swim most days (they have wet suits and DS even has a face mask). The water was too cold for DH and I to go in, though some years we do. The icy water feels great if it is a hot & sunny beach day, but it does take your breath away!

We are into week two of vacation now - I'm savoring a Monday morning that I do not have to rush around to get ready for work then sit in traffic.

Listen to my latest act as Mother of the Year: DS came home with sunburn on one ear, and he got up in the night complaining that he couldn't sleep on that side. The aloe gel was not doing the trick, so I remembered something I heard about tea bags used for sunburn. I found some in the back of a cabinet, and proceeded to run one under warm water to make a compress for his ear, then I sent him back to bed. In the AM, he mentioned to me that the tea bag made some crumbs in the bed. I pictured a few flakes on his pillow, but when I went upstairs his whole bed was loaded with tea crumbs! I don't know how he slept at all in that. I guess the idea is to brew the tea first.

Honey, so sorry to hear that you lost Bullet. The new puppy is adorable though. My kids are really having fun with my brother's puppy Skipper, and I'm enjoying the fact that the puppy doesn't live in my house! They are so much work, and Skipper is a little devil - he's into everything - they have to watch him constantly.

Eden, thinking of you and your Mom. What a difficult time she has had - I'm sending good thoughts.

Deanne, lovely pics as always. I have to tell you that my DS has been taking "nature pics" with my digital camera - he wants to be published in "Ranger Rick" magazine. He spends a lot of time stalking birds in the back yard, and I told him about your blind. He's seen your bird pics, and he in constantly asking me about your camera set-up. Sorry your DD is putting you thru so much, I guess being a parent never ends.

'bug, Reed is wonderful. Your DD and family look so happy. I love the collage of pics of him on the last thread - how long did you watch him with the camera to get so many different expressions? The clematis babies are adorable too!

We made ice cream yesterday too - I got the urge after reading here. Our ice cream maker is an attachment to the stand mixer (are you listening Babs?!) and it works really well. We've only made vanilla so far, since everyone likes it. We do separate the batch and let everyone mix something into it before freezing though. I mixed mint oreos into some, and DD did M & M's. DS is a plain vanilla man.

Mary, DD and I are the Harry Potter fans here - we are going to see the new movie in the IMax theater tonite. I'm looking forward to the new book more though - how will it end? DD will be reading it first, and she has promised not to reveal a thing. DS doesn't care for Harry Potter much. I started reading the first book to him a few years ago, and he made me stop after the unicorn died. He did the same thing with the book 'A Christmas Carol' too, he only made it to the first ghostly appearance. At least he knows his limits! I'd love to hear what your book club is reading, I'm pretty much a random reader. I go to the library and browse the new fiction and choose something that catches my eye. I'm reading the new Alice Hoffman book now.

Well, have to go start my day I guess - DS is going off to day camp today. It is a science/inventing type camp, and he is really excited. He has to bring an appliance to take apart, and we have a dinosaur of an electric typewriter for him. We're also bringing several bags of recycled stuff: plastic containers, foam trays, egg cartons, cereal boxes, etc. that they are going to turn into who knows what.

Forgive me for not commenting to all, but I'm thinking of each of you. I often leave the computer and think of other comments I should have made. Waving hello to all!


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 7:39AM
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Deanne, I missed the part about your DD - I hope that the trouble clears up soon!

Nothing new to report....just checking in


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 9:15AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wendy...a long answer to your question here. First of all the series of photos of Reed was taken in Edmonton Alberta by his dad in a short period of time while DD was trying to burp him. I have asked for a similar series of Skyler, Reed's older step brother.
I posted a series of photos of Reed's daddy on a pregnancy forum of DD's. So often babies are the center of womanly attention and I thought W. deserved lots of credit. In particular I was touched that my post affected one dad in particular. The woman I communicate with is expecting in 12 days. Her husband is legally blind..and you can imagine that her life is different from the ordinary, what with driving him to and from work all the time etc. Well he loves to look at the baby photos on the site as best he can, and "ooohs" and "aaaahs" over them all. But this time my friend said he cried happy tears to see the father emphasized. He is SOOO excited to be a daddy and I'm just thrilled to have touched him when he needed it. So here's one of the shots, fuzzy,(in many ways actually!) but who cares?

Off to garden...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 9:22AM
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Good morning

GB - I did a double take there, seeing your photo before reading I thought your DD had a rather, er.. "downy" chest. Just love the photo and the fact that Dad is experiencing so much of the joy.

Wendy - our September book is 1000 Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (author of the Kite Runner). Which Alice Hoffman are you reading? - I'm a big fan of hers and Annie loved Indigo and Aquamarine.

Deanne - I have Kathy's fuschia too and would be thrilled to bring you a cutting. How should I do it?

Here is mine with one of your coleus and an orange begonia.

It resides next to the pond where the orange picks up the colors of the fish and contrasts nicely with Britt Marie

Since I love orange, here are a few more from this morning's garden walk. Zowie Zinnias are eyecatching (if not exactlly tasteful) but I adore them.

Chicago Rocket daylily is hard to beat for intensity of color.

One of my favorite monopots - a toffee colored grass that just seems to match the clay of the container.

One of my succulent dishes with a few miniature touches (inspired by Eden).

Lime green Mirabilis next to Tiger Eye Sumac beside the pool. It's not 4 O'clock yet but when those blossoms open they just sing.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 10:41AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I have no time to post except to say,.... wow, Mary -- your photos peeks of your garden leave me panting for more!!! I dont think I often get the treat of seeing 'em -- wow and wowser....


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 1:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Home for lunch and waiting for the chimney cleaner 's arrival this afternoon.

I too have developed a love of orange Mary! Your photos are super. I like the idea of color coordinating with the fish. I have orange Asclepias waiting on my potting bench to be planted this evening. Mary, I enjoyed the first half or so of the Kite Runner. I read most of it but decided near the end that I'd rather remember the first part only. I may have to try 1000 Splendid Suns.

Had to laugh at DD. When told that her husband was one in a million, she replied
"I would say!

1 in about 6.6 billion actually!"


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 1:22PM
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Yesterday we received some MONDO thunderstorms. We lost the juice for the better part of 7 hours. I hauled out the Aladdin oil lamp I received for Christmas 1999 put in some oil and "fired it up". What a totally cool thing to have in one's possession.

I love the clemlocks. But I especially love the one of Reed cuddled up to Daddy in the snuggly. Daddys are pretty terrific at giving babies what they need, too. We have photographic evidence of it right here. GREAT shot.

I spent yesterday sewing (until the juice went out, that is). Not that that is particularly unusual, but I sewed for myself. And it's been a really long time since I've done that. My "stockpile" of fabric has been winnowed down a bit... I have to buy some elastic tomorrow, make 5 buttonholes, and sew on 6 buttons (one is the spare). Note placement of period...

I love the shot of Annie and her friend (who has GORGEOUS hair); they ought to be right proud of themselves! I was chuckling over the "bathroom kit"; thought of Brenda and the combine, and our sailboat. You quickly learn to do what you need to when you must. An important life lesson. :)

GC was predictably surprised this morning; casually added he'd added an additional amount to the talley he'd given me on Friday because the roof would be finished today. I coolly replied that "add ons" are not cool as I transfer only enough to cover the amount given. Why forfeit the interest, after all? ;)

Sumptuous garden shots, no lilies here as yet. Even the Asiatics have yet to bloom! go figure.

I know I'm missing things, too, but I have to set up the Kenmore for buttonholes. Later!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 3:40PM
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Chelone - are you making something you might wear to IU4 - I hope so!!


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 4:22PM
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AN ATTACHMENT TO YOUR MIXER you say,Wendy? ; )lol yeah I was listening! That is too cool~is this a KitchenAid mixer?????? Please don't tell my children...then I will *have* to make and *eat* ice cream all the time. Somehow that doesn't sound like a bad thing,

V-Tell your DD that is an excellent shot! I am envying your dip in the pond...(psst there's a leech on your earlobe)

Thanks Kath for the heads up on the Autumnale flowers-that is just a really nice looking plant just considering hte foliage-I will have to look for that. The flowers remind me of F.'miniroos'. Is it a miniature?

Bzzz bzzz!Michelle that container arrangement is beautiful!

Sue I'm really glad you are much improved!

Mary-I love your vividly colored plants!

Having a professor husband is kind of neat. Chris walked in the door two minutes ago-he hasn't come home on a Monday this early---ever? lol

Sorry I am so touch and go with posting-life is crazy as I try to declutter,maintain order and get prepared for our dinner with friends here on Fri. I am making lasagne,etc. for our former art teacher and AJ's former homeroom teacher. SOme of you may remember that there was an upheaval with next year's teachers contracts at my boys' school. Seven teachers and the principal are not coming back due to resignations,and two unrenewed contracts among the group. It's a mess. I'm glad I've made so many teacher friends there since I'm getting the scoop on everything. So many families will be floored to learn how much of the faculty has been wiped out. Hey,new beginnings? I'd say so!

Off to make dinner,


P.s. We are finally REALLY redecorating the kitchen...white wainscot and deep red walls....if your interested I'll elaborate later; )

p.p.s.I'm starting to get sad that I can't come to IU4. I want to see the gang: (

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes..this would be the perfect weekend for an IU4 if I had money to go. Babs, are you selling your house? I just hate fixing things up for selling reasons. I think things should be fixed up for pleasant surroundings and USE! DH always did this when selling cars. They'd be a mess while we drove them, then suddenly sparkling clean, touched up etc...only for selling. But now that we are ancient, he has his new Honda and is quite the happy camper.:)

DH (a prof too Babs) came home early and confused me a few minutes ago! He's actually on sabbatical, but you'd never know it what with meetings and students etc.

Word on the wood stove is both good and bad. The good is that it is all cleaned up and ready to go. Bad news is that it is totally outdated and unsafe. Looks like a $5000 investment if we go that route. But first is the exterior house painting, repair of last summer's mildew problem in the basement TV room, maybe even a new furnace. Add all that on to the new car and it looks impossible for this year!

I really MUST plant a few more things right now!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:34PM
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I am, indeed, Mary! Nothing very noteworthy, but I'm definitely due. It's been so long since I've indulged myself with the fruits of my trade, I'd nearly forgotten just how much fun it can be. Sad on one hand, but a much needed creative affirmation on the other. I have reservations about my bathing suit, however... can't find it, but have a few more cubbys to check. Not surprising, I don't think I've been immersed in close to 5 years now.

How nice to see Babs. resurface. I'm especially sad you won't be there; would really like to "meet" you. And I DO, very much, want to hear about the kitchen project. I have a red bedroom and deep, vibrant walls are my favorites. :) . "Your" school is private, yes? parochial? There have been many "consolidations" and outright closures of parochial schools in southern Maine in the past few years. The demographic has changed... the heavy French Canadian population has been diluted and the influx of "people from away" has cut into enrollments and swelled the ranks of the public schools. As a "child-free" person, it's interesting to me... but I worry about the tax implications on our household and those of many of my friends. Sigh.

The garage is now framed, the next phase is the roof. I have taken a bunch of pictures but really haven't had the time to distill them to something that would be informative and INTERESTING. I'll try, but probably not in the next couple of days. Hang in there, I'll deliver the goods, PROMISE!

Rex's missing staples are not too serious. He may have a scar because of it, but HEY if he has 4 functional legs, a scar is not that big a deal. I've thought repeatedly of Katy. I don't like dogs, but they don't deserve to be in pain or incapacitated by mystery afflictions. Wondering what's up and whether or not Cynthia has availed herself of a crying jag? (((H)))

Mary, your succulents are just yummy! I'm fascinated by succulents... probably my water-logged Yankee angst revealing itself. Everything else, too is just so, SO pretty. :)

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:52PM
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What's up with your woodstove, 'bug? why is it unsafe? a chimney issue or a stove issue? and if the latter what, specifically, is the problem? Stoves can be "outdated" and not as efficient as the newer ones are, but that doesn't render them unusable. More?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 5:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The wood stove is not well placed, not up to code. Unlike newer models, it needs 4 feet of space surrounding it...which it does NOT have. The stove pipe is not the proper size for it, has minor leaks, and is only a single layer. Some parts will soon need replacing, and parts will not be available. For example, the baffle is majorly warped. We are told it is an accident waiting to happen. I really trust this fellow too...after all, he's a gardener! We had some good chats!

Well I planted some dark reddish purple echinacea, some wine coloured lilies and some paler spotted ones, also some gloriosa daisies in brown and gold hues. More to be planted tomorrow.

I'm wondering who will be home to hold the fort this weekend: So far I think there will be:
Must be others too!
Now when you folks are packing, remember your cameras! We want both garden photos and candids of Idylls please!
Hi David! Hi Jim!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 9:38PM
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A quick hello to everyone..

V, I sent the American Pie clip to DS , who was already peruseing hidden meanings and was telling me about the Backward Music Community (I asked him if they had a lobbying group) guess the Paul is dead thing lives on !

Hi Wendy and welcome back. And week 2 of vacation ? I dont know when the last time I took two weeks in a row off. Maybe I need to do that next year-Im always worried about what I would come back to!

Mary , I came very close to getting some Zowie Zinnias this summer, but the spot I would put them in just isnnt quite sunny enough. I fear mildew ! They are just so festive !! I love your succulent dish.

Babs, we expect pics of that kitchen re-do ..

Ok all I have for today , big wave to everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 9:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait.

There - got that off my chest.

Tonight's advice is that when you get PO'd at the hubby and decide you will deal with all the garbage yourself, you will end up with an achy back. This has less than three days to go away!

We celebrated DH's birthday a couple of days late tonight with a lovely dinner of local grass-fed beef fillets, a medley of small potatoes from the farmers market roasted with rosemary and thyme from the garden, and a salad with romaine from the farmers market. I could cook like this every night with a little more effort. We have purchased half a steer from a friend who raises grass-fed beef; it's hanging at the butcher's right now.

gb, that photo is really darling, but I was a little confused when I first saw it and hadn't read what it was! There is so much love and joy that comes through in all of the photos of Reed and his family; I can't think of anything less trite to say but it really warms my heart!

Thanks to all who commented on DD's photo - she's gotten a lot of comments from the extended family as well.

I'm going to take my achy back to bed now. TTYL,


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 10:09PM
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V., I still haven't figured out the DH you think he's the source of my pain in the donkey that won't go away before IU4? It's a big problem because I can't sit (I'm riding in a car!) and I can't walk fast (good thing I have long legs!).....

We did a boat ride to a restaurant on the water for supper. Too much food! We decided to have all of Sarah's un-favorites since she wasn't with us, so we had mussels in a spicy red sauce, and calamari Block Island style (fried with cherry peppers on top). We were all stuffed when you add the foccacia and roasted garlic we gobbled down :)

I was bloated before and now my pants don't fit. I'm having some serious "body" issues and need to get back into my regular routine. I promise I will next week :)

Babs, I wish you were coming, too. I do want to see the kitch come along :) You know we love that stuff!

I can't comment much, it's passed my bedtime and I feel like I'm still riding the waves :) Everything's done but the dishes....I hear an early morning task calling....


    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 10:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Scrolling past Woody's samosas is really hard on me. They look so very yummy!!!!

Another beautiful morning, but I think it will be a scorcher. Many things to accomplish...including doing Saucy's dishes!

So another Daddy-in-love photo to start the day...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 8:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

It looks like another good gardening day here. Its supposed to rain tomorrow and then into the weekend but what worries me is the weather guy on NECN (my favorite forecaster as hes usually right) is saying that the T storms tomorrow night might come with tornados in central New England. Jeesh! I dont remember a summer in recent history where weve had so many strong thunder storms.

The daylilies are in bloom now and the gardens are just bursting with color. Its killing me to leave here, even for a few days. Mid July is really the peak of the gardens here and I just love this time of the year. The container gardens are all filled in, the fuchsias are all in full bloom, the brugs are opening their first blossoms, the early Oriental lilies are starting and the phlox paniculata are opening their first flowers. I was talking to Doug last night and telling him how this four week period in mid summer makes all the rest of the years work worthwhile.

Last night I went to see Ratatouille with my sister-in-law and my friends the Us (Yes the fellow who just had another stint put into his coronary artery) I just loved the movie. What a silly, funny, cute movie. Talking rats have a certain charm. The animation in these new pixar movies is amazing.

Chelone, we got rain out of those storms on Sunday night but no lightning/thunder. I know some places got hammered.

Bug, more terrific pics of Reed. ~~ Bummer about the wood stove. Please, do get it replaced. Things that are supposed to contain fire are not to be messed about with. I have had a pathological fear of fire since a friend of mine and two of her children died in a house fire.

Mary, I just love all your photographs. How clever of you to coordinate a container garden with your fishies! That succulent garden is marvelous. I almost bought that grass a couple times but thought it would look dead in an arrangement. I love that youve done that as a mono-pot. I almost bought that marvelous begonia a couple times this year but held off for some reason. Its really a beauty and perfect with that fuchsia. If you take a cutting get a nice eight inch piece or so, make a clean slice in the stem and put it into water. When traveling I use a water bottle. Thanks! I hope I can get this one going. ~~ I just love the photo of Annie!

Wendy glad youre having a great vacation. Please email me with directions to your house so we can pick you up on Thursday morning. Can you believe it???? Woohoo! Cant wait. Dougs been asking me where you live so he can program it into his gps and I had to tell him I didnt have your address yet. ~~ LOL about the tea bag.

Michelle, love the pics from your garden tour. Clever of that lady to put vignettes with books in her garden. Id like to do some outdoor paintings to put here but never make the time to do them. ~~ Glad to hear your shingles are going away. Im so glad you caught them in time.

Kathy, glad you like those lilies! Yes, they are quite tall. The top of that fence post behind them is five and a half feet tall. Im guessing that the tallest one is pushing seven feet.

V., Me too! ~~ Your dinner sounds scrumptious! How does grass fed beef differ in taste from grain fed? ~~ That photo your DD took of the water lily is awesome!

OK must run and get the watering and deadheading done. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 8:50AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

I'm not caught up reading, just had to pop in and ask...Michelle, did you guys get any rain? We're getting a little bit this morning, and there appears to be more behind it. Negative Nora (my dh) is grumbling because we need more than a light shower, but's a start!!
Gotta go exercise, but will get back later and catch up with everyone.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 9:36AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning - in for a break from working in the garden. I could get used to this no work thing! We've always taken two weeks vacation together, DH insists on it. His job is stressful, and he wisely pointed out that a week isn't enough time to properly relax. His theory is that for the first week you are still counting the vacation days, and it really takes until the second week to forget what day it is!

Kathy, I know I'll come back to some piles at the office, but the paper will always wait. Our office is small, just 3 people, so when one is not there the others have to pick up the slack as much as possible. I don't take much time off other than the two weeks. I'm happy to have a job that is challenging while I'm there, but I can lock the door at 5pm and leave it there - that's why I make a great second banana and I don't want to run the place.

'bug, I'm loving the Daddy pics. My DH is very involved with the kids since even before their birth. When he worked nights, he used to come home at midnight and talk to DD in my belly - I swear she'd wake up at the sound of his voice! He probably changed as many diapers as I did, and when they were small he was home with them during the day when I went back to work. We agreed even before we got married that the responsibility of children is a shared one, and that men are just as capable as women.

V, I enjoyed the American Pie video too. I was singing along with the computer - I've always loved that song. Kathy, I played that Beatles album backwards many times - I came to the conclusion that it says "I'm very bored" and that Paul is alive and well.

Babs, yes the ice cream maker is an attachment to the Kitchen Aid stand mixer. You freeze the insulated bowl, then mix the ice cream for 20 minutes or so with the dasher provided. Way too easy! We don't make it too often, but it is good. We've only used it to make vanilla so far, since that's what everyone likes. I want to try sorbet with fresh fruit, or maybe peach ice cream.

Mary, I love the succulent bowl, especially the tiny bowl inside. I'm reading "Skylight Confessions" now. I read "Ice Queen" and "Blackbird House" a while ago. I liked "Blackbird House", it is a collection of stories about a house and the different inhabitants over the years. "Ice Queen" was good too, if a little strange. Her stories are the type that you just don't want to put down - you have to see what happens next.

Looking forward to IU4, but I will miss those who are unable to come this year. 'bug, I've got my camera and I even bought a larger memory card and extra batteries!

Well, I'm heading back outside - enjoy the day all!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 10:00AM
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It's Katie's big day!!!!! Keep your eyes and fingers crossed that the MRI shows something easy to repair and she can be the whirly girl again after I throw more money at a surgery.

Today is complicated by a guest dog in my dining room. Returned as emergency last night because the owner is ....afraid of dogs. I feel for her and thought Katie must have had garlic breath when we did her home visit. She leaned away everytime Katie tried to make contact. Actually I did think she was fearful and recommended a really easy dog for her and lots of support. She got that really easy dog and dog bit her while she was clipping his nails on Sunday. This after I had demonstrated: muzzle first, clip second and told her that Katie had bitten me in the head twice before I learned that lesson. Ya think she'd remember that?! Because greyhounds look sweet people get stupid very fast and forget they communicate with their mouths. And they have a LOT to say. Ack.

V, that photo your daughter took looks like an illustration in a fairy tail. I think someone clever should do an Anne Geddes thing to the water lily with Reed's face :)

Mary, your oranges are glorious! I've been going through an orange phase for the last few years and particularly like leonitus in the fall. I managed to carry it over winter but it won't bloom until later.

Gb, those photos of your son-in-law and Reed are so sensitive. I'm thoroughly enjoying them so don't stop.

Drat, Michelle's birthday was yesterday! I'll be back.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 10:13AM
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    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 10:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 11:03AM
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**Happy Birthday Michelle**

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 11:10AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Birthday, Michelle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 12:22PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DSIL is a way cool guy and that's why I wanted to give him credit through photos. On June 17th, Father's Day, between contractions, this guy cancelled his business trip, phoned close friends to come help, cooked a chicken to make soup, supervised Skyler (Reed's step brother) and his friend who arrived screaming and racing around the house, fed them lunch, adjusted the hot tub temperature, cleaned and vacuumed, washed dishes, heated towels in the oven, made beds, etc...all the time helping DD through contractions and blowing gently on her face to remind her to breathe without words.
His excitement was enormous. Neither was looking at marriage at the time they met and their wedding was an unexpected miracle to both of them.. The baby was very much wanted and planned for. As some of you know, Skyler was hospitalized at 9 days old and fed through his belly for 2 years afterwards. He was expected to die many times. Every stage that Reed passes is new and awesome to DSIL. But he is very capable and easy with Reed, especially because of the problems with Skyler. Things are not nervous and scary, but joy and humor abound. And so I share with you a thrilled papa with his first son, the day after Reed's birth.

Skyler is spending 2 weeks with his mother now. He has phoned twice to "talk" to Reed. He asked if Reed could come with him to his Mom's place and it took a little explaining to say that babies stay with their Mommy and Daddy. It makes sense to him now. Besides, Indy dog would not allow Reed out of sight!

Here Indy rocks the bassinet. She's amazing!

These days when not at work, DSIL is busy making a spice rack for the kitchen, going for walks with Mom and baby, playing street hockey with neighbour kids, cooking and entertaining, helping neighbours and friends with odd jobs, mowing the lawn, and generally living a charmed life. Recently he purchased a life vest for a 9 pounder and so Reed can safely join them in the hot tub...where he loves to relax and look about. DSIL looks forward to January when he will take 6 months leave to be a stay at home dad.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 12:36PM
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Thanks for the lovely birthday pictures. I worked yesterday and we ate dinner out, nothing very exciting.

I hope all goes well for Katie today and a easy fix is possible.

Brenda, the rain came close again, but no cigar.

Babs, be sure to post pictures of the kitchen facelift.

Chelone, what are you sewing.

bug, I recall last year at IU3 when you were telling us about your DDs plans to marry, my what a whirlwind year they have had. It's nice to see them so happy.

Mary, I loved the glimpses of your garden. Wonderful combinations! I particularly was drawn to the succulent pot.

Wendy, Im jealous of your week off to spend hanging out and then off to IU4.

Would you believe that I have lost this post twice? I guess Id better post it pronto.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 1:31PM
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Hope you had a wonderful day Michelle!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 1:34PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Happy Birthday, Michelle!

Well friends, it seems the fates are conspiring for us to miss out on IU4. Yesterday, I tripped over Missys pet gate, fell and twisted my knee. So theres no way I could walk thru all the venues. It was the last straw in a series of TGWs. For some reason, were not supposed to go.

I also woke up yesterday with what I believe is an infection in an upper molar. So I have to make an appt. to check that out. And most sadly, DD phoned in tears and came over. Shed gone home for lunch and our SIL told her hed decided that she was what is making him so unhappy and in so many words wants out of the marriage. DD who is not supposed to be stressed b/c of the Shingles, is devastated. What was really telling tho, is he said that he hasnt been happy in all the time theyve been together. Then he said, In fact, Ive never been happy my whole life". Hes bi-polar and has been off his meds for the last 6 mos. DD believes hes at the bottom of a deep depression. Shes found him lying in a fetal position on the floor crying. Yet, he wont go to counseling saying "Im fine" or stay on his meds "I dont need them", which is typical of those with this condition. He also doesnt want to stay on his meds b/c he wants to drink and stay out at the bar w/his friends (and a recently widowed childhood girlfriend). Stay tuned on this front.

After his diagnosis and tough times since, DD has tried to be helpful and work with him thru his illness which he sees are controlling. As she said, "I vowed for better or worse so I decided to tough it out and see if we could make a life together." Its scary for her (and us) b/c she never knows how hell react to things or what shell face when he comes home. And some of the things hes done are bizarre.

We all concurred that the one who will be hurt the worst thru all this is DGD. What a mess. So for now, DD is going to think through all this for a couple days. We recommended she see a lawyer to just get advice on where she stands. All we can do at this point is support whatever decision she makes and give her safe haven if she needs it.

To lighten things up a bit, heres the tug-a-war from the other day:

And heres the latest "Missy tale". Last night as I turned my back to stir something on the stove, I heard this banging and crashing behind me. Missy had been lying on the a/c register, got her name tag caught down in the slots, lifted the register out of the opening and was shaking her head swinging the cover around. Then with a yelp, she fell back into the ductwork hole. It took DH and I 10 min. to get her untangled. Thank goodness she wasnt hurt. So her new parents learned that we have to remove her collar when she comes in the house. Sheesh.

DH had a particularly trying day at work yesterday after being on lay-off for 2 wks. He had Korean supplier on his cell phone with one hand, and a customer conference call on his desk phone. When Korea put him on hold, he reached in his picket for a Tum to settle his stomach and popped it in his mouth. After a few bites he realized it tasted funny he ate a Missy treat instead!

Woody, Copper is beautiful. Ive never heard of that breed. Your taking care of friends dogs sounds like a good alternative to being a full-time parent. Its just like having a baby all over again!

Marian, sounds like both you and Woody are great chefs. Your chicken fried steak sounds yummy.

Brenda, thanks about Bullet. Yep, Missy is quite a distraction, lol!

Deanne, your Regal lilies are to die for. Ive been pining for them since IU2. In fact, your gardens look wonderful all the time!

Love those collage pics of Reed, Bug. Theyre perfect.

Mary, I cant believe how mature Annie is! Wow, when did that happen? Ill bet youre probably saying the same thing. Incredible photos from you, too. Ill be you wore those lime green undies to accent your garden colors, lol.

Hey, Brenda and Michelle, I just got my hair cut today, too. Maybe it is what brot the rain on. Hmmmm.

Oh, Wendy. Be still my heart. That rose is gorgeous!

Cynthia, I hope Whirly girls tests reveal something fixable so shes back to her usual loving self soon.

Well, Im sure going to miss seeing all youse guys at IU4. Hate when Im so clumsy. Hope you take lots of pix.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 3:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Whirly Girl? How's it goin????? to deal with. Strength isn't enough sometimes. Incredibly sad. Hugs to ALL involved. That Missy....what a gal!

3 drops of rain in the last hour. WE NEED MORE!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 3:54PM
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    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 4:01PM
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Honey, I'm so sorry to hear your DD's news. Hugs all the way around.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 4:34PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Honey - your DD's situation is so sad - and kind of scary too. I guess you can only cross your fingers, hope for the
best and provide that safe haven when/if it's needed.
It sounds like Missy will be providing light relief for you all for a while. Copper is ~15 months old but still more puppy than adult. She has a beautiful face that for some reason reminds me of Catherine Deneuve - but she moves and acts more like Jar Jar Binks!

The Briard breed is fairly uncommon in North America. It's certainly an interesting dog. They have a reputation for being clowns! One Briard site I found has this cute section on life with a Briard. We're rapidly learning how true some of it is - we've lost track already of how many times we've said 'It's a Briard.'
27 reasons to get a Briard
contributed to Briard-L by Sandy Wicklund


GET A BRIARD BECAUSE THEY: (Half truths... followed by the real meaning)

Don't shed... "What are these little balls of hair on her?"
Are very smart... Knowing and doing are 2 different things
Are alert... When you are near a can opener
Are gentle... Only breaks 1/2 the things she knocks over
Are interesting looking... Learn to say, "It's a Briard" 999 times in rapid succession
Like to sleep near their owners... Buy a bigger bed
Like to travel... Buy a bigger car
Like to stay by your side... Buy a bigger couch
Like to be with you constantly... Build a bigger bathroom
Are an education pet... Learn the meaning of the word bigger
Aren't timid... She's begging from the neighbors again
Are playful... See my black & blue marks?
Have strong teeth... See my scars?
Worked for the government during the war... She chewed up the mail again
Have a thick coat... Pick broken comb teeth out of the carpet
Keep their toys in one place... Where are my shoes?
Look cute with a toy in their mouth... Where is the cat?
Are good watch dogs... Make a lot of noise at 3 a.m. if there is a prowler or a squirrel in the yard
Are constant companions... "Get out of here, I'm busy!"
Are fearless... The skunk got her again
Are good herding dogs... She's got the cat in the closet again
Have excellent memory... When it's convenient
Work well with verbal commands... Doctor, I think I have laryngitis
Have good hearing... That's right, I'm talking to you!
Are economical... We can't go out to dinner, I've got dog school
Are easy to housbreak... Brown spots give the lawn contrast

GB - we're enjoying the pictures of your SIL with Reed.
The samosas taste even better than they look! I don't like peas in samosas and the restaurant ones usually have peas - these ones don't. Also, making your own means you can make them with extra lean beef and fry them in oil with no trans fats - so you don't feel quite as guilty eating them (which, of course, means you eat too many...) I have about 3 doz. in the freezer and we plan to make more plus onion bahjis sometime soon. I'm sure we could be persuaded to share the bounty sometime... :-)
Get that woodstove straightened out! It sounds very dangerous....

Mary - nice oranges! I don't like yellows and avoid them in my garden but I'm finding that I like oranges and rusty reds lately. I'm gradually adding some on the south side of the house and in the herb bed on the south side of the driveway. They seem to go nicely with the deep purple of Jackmani and Jackmani Superba clematis - in an eye-popping kind of way!

V - I like the American Pie video - there was enough text so I could follow it and I could 'hear' the music because it was familiar stuff.

Chelone - waiting for pictures......!

Cynthia - crossing my fingers for good news on the whirly girl...

Michelle - Happy Birthday. I haven't been taking many garden pictures (too dry - not exactly lush out there at the moment...) but will try for some tomorrow.

My mind is a blank - Hi to everyone else.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 8:07PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Michelle!


Honey, sorry to hear you can't join us. So sad about your DD, sounds like a difficult situation. Everything happens for a reason; maybe it is best you aren't going on a trip so that you are close by to be there for her if needed.

Chelone, I'm glad Rex is recovering nicely; though I know how you feel about dogs.

Cynthia, sending good thoughts for your Katie girly.

Woody, you are making me hungry!

I wanted to show you guys this leaf - this is Illustrus - there are 2 leaves like this, then the newer one is normal.

The swirly leaves came up when the plant was in a shadier spot, then the regular one came up after I'd moved it to a sunnier place. I think I'll put it back in the shade!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 8:32PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 9:17PM
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Just a quick stop in to say Honey I'm sorry things have been rough going and that you can't go to IU4.I know the gang will miss your spunkiness: )

How devastating for your DD!! I'm thankful she has such supportive parents-she's really going to need it. How frustrating to know someone needs desperate help and it's really their own call yet they aren't thinking clearly. I hope somehow things turn out for the better. I always cringe when I hear a person needing meds decided to go off them.
Funny about Tom eating Missy's kibble; ) I'm so glad you were close nearby when Missy needed help with her collar!

Yay! The wallpaper arrived today-much sooner than I expected: ) I still won't get going until we are back from vacation though. I will eventually show pics of my selections-still need to find ceiling paper too. The walls in my kitchen are so badly cracked-structurally eveything is fine but to make them smooth would be a total gut that I don't want to do since we aren't here 'forever'.

Yes,'Bug,we plan to move within a year or so becasue my mom wants to sell her house to us and get a smaller place.

We finally got some rain spittle...not enough to make much difference though.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 10:42PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Happy Birthday, Michelle! Sorry, my camera is out on loan, so no pic :( We got cheated on the rain once again, too. A tenth and a half...when you're counting halves of tenths, you know you're grasping at straws. Light shower again this morning, maybe a couple of tenths. There is still hope for today. Maybe the humidity will be high enough to kick something up..the rain is all following the front which is just a bit south of us.

'Bug, DSIL is such a good Daddy! I love that Skyler wanted to take Reed to his Mom's with him...what a cutie!

Honey, I'm so sorry about DD-just heart-breaking. Tough situation for everyone involved. I was in a bad relationship years ago, and I had NO idea what it must have been like for my Mom until my DD grew up and moved away from home. Constant worry, and she's single. I'll be thinking of you and your family. I can imagine how worried you are for her and DGD. (((Honey)))
Poor that scared the crap out of her. Take care of that knee, and tell DH to go easy on the dog treats, lol! I hope your streak of unpleasant events is at it's end.
Guess you can help some of us hold down the fort, but I know you'd rather be at IU4. More hugs for Honey!

Woody-Copper is beautiful! I've never heard of the breed, but got quite an education on them based on your list, lol!

Hope to hear good news from Cynthia about the whirly twirly girl.

I'm nowhere near caught up, but a big HOWDY to everyone. Gotta go shower and start the day. I may drag DH to town with me, just to get him away from looking at the radar for a while. He went on a crop walk last night, and said the crops look better than they have any reason to, but he's getting pretty discouraged. We still have a shot at rain today and tonight. Let's hope it makes it, or I may run away from home and join up with the IU gang until this blows over, lol!
Take care, all!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 6:42AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hope you had a wonderful day!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 8:44AM
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My camera is not on loan, and I've even made a special trip to the archives to find something appropriate to convey my fond and warm birthday greetings to Michelle...

Many happy returns!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 4:22PM
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I would like to convey my sympathy to Honey with respect to your daughter's plight. Even knowing the nature of the disorder can't possibly dull the ache and hurt that accompanies, "I've never been happy...". The poor dearS, so tough all the way around. To watch it from the "sidelines" must be excrutiating. I'm so sorry. But sorrier still about your KNEE. One more reason why I hate those lazy, goodfornothin;, fleabags. ;)

Speaking for fleabags, our's had his staples removed today. The open part of the incision (where he removed them on his own) is to receive "a tincture" twice daily to preclude any nasties settin' up camp. He gets another round of oral antibiotics, too, as a reward for his stellar behavior. He's going out of his mind now. He is growing incrreasingly restless at a time when it's REALLY important for him to go easy on his knee. Poor thing must think his life is over, about now (but he deserves it, bein' a dog, 'n' all). Always a leash, always a short "walkie", and then back to his "launching pad" (a bed with a view out the window to the driveway and road). I can't wait until he's allowed to go for a 1/4 mile walk (about 2 weeks). How long do you think it will take before he blows out the OTHER knee? cringe.

I just spoke with the foundation and floor guy; he stopped by to check out the progress and I was able to give him some of the details, increased thickness of the area under the stairs and where the furnace and chimney will go. He's rather "dry", a man of few words and all about gettin' the job done and moving on to the next one. But He warmed right up and we had a few laughs about innovations in materials. He seemed a little surprised that "the lady of the house" was interested in the garage floor, but he explained how they pour, how they reinforce, and how they cut in the expansion joints. More and more, I realize that while I may work with fabric and foam I'm essentially a "builder"/"framer" person, too.

Woody, Copper's body has outrun her mind, huh? Rex was a bit older when we adopted him. It always killed me that he didn't lift his leg then, and he would "tinkle" when we returned home and throw himself of the ground before us. Then he'd get up and run around and chase his tail... at nearly 100 lbs. he looked pretty silly. Copper has that "sticky" mouth thing goin' on, though... dunno. What is the Briard bred to do? how big at maturity? is it a dog that requires grooming/clipping? And speaking of dogs, did any of you hear the horrific story on NPR's Morning Edition about the NFL player who was bagged for engaging in dog fighting and gambling? I sure don't understand the whole "gangsta" thing and how ANYONE could be so devoid of empathy that they'd do such things to an animal... but I don't understand shootin' up a neighborhood full of innocent people to stake your turf, either. They played a clip of a Fox interview of him... he was barely able to speak intelligently. Some role model. ICKY.

The "Vactionland Express" is now cleaned up. (Does anyone know a fool-proof way to removed dog nose prints from automotive glass? I cursed him roundly, you know.). I have two functional back seats now. I have one remaining chore: get to the grocery store for some hors d'oevres, tonic, and a few limes.

Our "grandfather" clock has gone to the clock doctor for some TLC. The case is still in the corner, but the works and face are gone. It seems so strange not to hear it ticking along and I can't tell you how many times we've both looked over to it to see what time it is! The man working on it has been in business since 1960 and he works on the antique clocks in the Governor's mansion, as well as many of the historic sites and museums around the state. To my knowledge, the clock has received NO care in well over 30 years, so I figured it was "due". The chimes have never worked and it will be nice to know how to set them (or not). I'm excited about it.

OK, gotta get to the store. Later!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 5:13PM
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I've been reading to catch up with what you've all been up to but it's all still a jumble. We had to take an emergency trip up to my mom and dad. My mom took a turn for the worst Sunday and it was touch and go for awhile. But she's rallied some and is out of ICU as of this morning so I'm back home as of late this afternoon.

Happy Birthday Michelle. Sorry I missed it. I'll get a card up for you as soon as I get a chance. I hope you had a wonderful day.

Honey, sorry to hear about your knee and you having to cancel from IU. I'm also sorry to hear about your daughters troubles. I know you must be worried sick about her. Sounds like Missy is keeping you hopping!

Mary, great pics from your garden and love the miniatures in the succulent pot!

Marie, I think you're smitten with DSIL and with good reason. Wonderful pics!

I know I'm missing so much but that's all I can recall now. My brain's pretty much mush at this point and I need a good nights sleep. It was great to be able to sit here for a while and read what you've all been up to.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 5:59PM
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I've been reading everyone's posts here for several days. I miss the friendliness and camaraderie of the group I belonged to on the RR forum. Our group disbanded and moved to Yahoo Groups........well you know how that goes. Only a few of us participate now. I am curious about 2 things what does Idyll stand for and what is IU????


    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 6:46PM
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