Idyll #274- For All The Cool Cats

lmcilhargieJuly 14, 2006

Seems the dogs have been getting top billing around here lately, lol. Let's hear it for all of the cool cats in our lives! Carry on...


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Good morning from the crabby one!

You know what did it to me (made me crabby)?

Me neither.

Oh well.

It could have been that I am dieting (eating wisely and counting calories). That always ups the crabby index.

It could have been that I am exercising (as in walking on a treadmill like a hamster in a cage). That always ups the crabby index, too. Not sure if exercise bumps up the index more than dieting.......both are brutal and cause great mental anguish.

Why am I dieting and exercising? Well, I'm looking matronly......and I'm just not ready for matronly (not that it matters what I'm ready for as my body has a tendency to just do whatever it darn well pleases in the wrinkles + gravity department).

My mother mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was built like her and her mother ----- a pear shape.

Thanks Mom (she ups my crabby index on a regular basis, too---just as I work on my children's indexes). She also said "well, your arms aren't heavy.....yet". I felt the index rise considerably on that spiked on the 'yet' portion of that sentence. Hmmmm, and then there was the "don't get rid of any of your bigger clothes if you do lose some weight, because you'll need them when you get bigger". OH!!!! Did you see the dial shoot off of the index on that one?!
So........if it isn't going to make me crabby to spend time with my mother while she lists my physical 'attributes', then I can look in the mirror and increase my crabbiness........or I can forego my morning coffee and the index rises just because I'm breathing.
Some days it just doesn't pay to get outta bed!
So far today, I've not looked down (to see my belly), I've not looked in a mirror (to see the double chin, jowls or wrinkles---jowls......what an ugly word.........almost as bad as looking in the mirror) and I've had a cup of coffee.......the day is looking fine so far.


P.S. I like cats, too.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 1:15PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Well, I don't have a kitty anymore, but I use to....but here's an adorable kitty/dog video I thought you guys might enjoy....Hope you are able to view it. Ei

Here is a link that might be useful: Get Along

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 1:46PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all, well Im tickled pink. I just got home from my bicycle ride and IÂve upped my record mileage. Today I did 40 miles and that gives me a total of 96 miles this week!!! How cool is that? I couldnÂt do this when I was in my 20Âs. IÂm hoping that these long rides help me drop a few pounds. It is really weird that I have to eat a power bar or something during the hours IÂm doing this or I just run out of gas and canÂt go another mile but IÂve found that if I take breaks and eat a power bar which is 220 calories about once an hour I can just keep going. Neat! And yes I can even walk and will go out and do some gardening when IÂm done this post.

So here is a ÂCool CatÂÂ Rahjii follows me around the gardens all the time and has to flop and stretch from time to time. What a hootÂ

T. sorry you are feeling crabby. That must be what my problem has been the last week or so. The crabbies have been running around here lately also and some was set off from a heated discussion I had with a family member. ~~ Interesting that my mother also likes to point out my wrinkles, flabby arms, and gray hair etc. WhatÂs with that?

Michelle, LOL about getting an AC unit for your shed. You never know you might change your mind if it keeps getting that hot in there. A fridge would be great for keeping chilled beverages though. ~~ I saw that news clip about the ranchers having to sell their herds of cattle because of the drought. Many of them wonÂt recover financially from this. ItÂs a pretty sad situation. ~~ WeÂre supposed to get temps in the mid to upper 90Âs for the next week or so. No complaints though, we havenÂt really had too much very hot weather yet this summer so it is inevitable that we have at least one heat wave. ItÂs just sad to see the flowers just Âmelt in the heat. My clump of ÂRegale lilies have gone from gorgeous to gone in a day.

Marian, I canÂt believe how many deer you have there. That is terrible!!!! I hope Nolan can keep them off your pear tree. IÂd really be crazed.

Eileen, IÂd absolutely love a bulb from that lily as IÂve never seen it for sale anywhere around here. It really is a lovely thing. I need to get a photo of your Illustris. It is growing beautifully now and I just love it. I wanted to ask Michelle if that ÂTilt-a-Whirl in her photo was one from me because if it was, it is a cutting of a cutting from you! Now how neat is that?

Yep, V, you old toothache youÂ. LOL, You know what I meant I hope? Even though I get upset when I read about all the wonderful things you all are going to be doing because I wonÂt be there, I still want to read about it.

OK, watch out T. IÂve got another dose of the crankies coming on here. Maybe it is because we wonÂt be going to IU3 that is the problem????

Eileen, that kitty is too darned cute! I just love it when they get all puffed up and jump sideways. It made me laugh.

OK IÂm off to go and find a few pics for you guys.

Later all,

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 2:07PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, Teresa. At 73 and 1/2 years of age I can almost forget what I look like....then I go and spoil it all by looking in the mirror! Too bad TV has us all conditioned to want to look like models. Very few of my dear friends do look like models, but I love them anyway.

V, thanks for the fruit fly tips. I have set up 2 differant 'traps', and removed all the fruit from the kitchen. ( I did a "Google' and discovered all sorts of advice.) Time will tell if it works. I am not happy about the kitchen being teeming with the little buggers while my company is here.

Yep, Michelle....a whole herd! We have both Turkey buzzards and Black Buzzards.
I used to make jelly with the Elderberries in Idaho. They are the blue ones, and not as strong flavored as the black that grow all over here. I have some bushes of the black ones in our back yard.

Well, I've got the vacuuming done, and my bed is ready for 2 of the girls. Did some straightening up around the I REALLY need to dust!!!? ( I hate dusting! )
Besides, it is too hot and muggy!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 2:21PM
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T, LOL on the crabby index.

Deanne I wanted to post this for you (I hope it helps with the crabbies) ;o) There is the beacon rosa and iresine that you sent me. In the container on the left I really like the coleus 'Meandering Linda'(the pink/dark purple one) and with the beacon rosa I really like the iresine 'Purple Lady'. Have you had that one? Your stamina for biking, etc. is very impressive.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 4:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So an acquaintance of mine was telling us last night how she cares for her 19 cats. She said cleaning the litter box was a Zen experience for her, and she then closed her eyes, made a gentle raking motion with her hand and chanted softly, "Ohm . . . rake that sand . . . ohm . . . rake that sand. . . " She had me roaring!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 5:22PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sometimes only a cat owner would relate to the antics...

A sweltering day here. Pant pant pant.... Lots of garden work done but way too hot to plant any ghetto items. Started a blueberry pie, made a chicken salad, almost ready for Woody's visit. I really hope it doesn't thunderstorm. We got rained out on their last visit here! Need to clean the litter box though. You HAD to remind me V, didn't you! Ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Can't wait to escape to IU3! I need the break. Wouldn't it be great if Ruby Star, Saucy, Chelone and others magically appeared too? I am hoping Cynthia and Eden make it...and somehow Deanne! I can dream .

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 8:22PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Tonight is total downtime - nothing productive is being accomplished other than some serious unwinding. I'm home all alone (well, except for the labs) and I can do whatever I want!

About an hour ago, a hot air balloon drifted across the southern horizon - what a treat!

Bug's post prompted me to send an email. We'll see if I get results.

Okay, back to doing nothing. Tomorrow I have coreopsis to deadhead. And a thistle or two (hundred) to kill.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 10:13PM
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Our cat is not so cool these days. She is being a pain as she sometimes wants to be.

Mary I will have to try to get some pics of the pond up for you. Today the new one is full of muddy water though. We had heavy downpours yesterday afternoon and since it is on a hillside and not fully planted it is a mess. Mud was washed on my gravel path too. I spent the morning trying to clean that up and the afternoon trying to do damage control on many plants. I was so happy to see we were getting enough rain to do some good until it just didn't let up. It left several plants with their roots exposed. I think a third of my topsoil is down the hill. On the bright side though weeds slipped right out of the ground and I reclaimed several areas where they had taken over. I also took out the perennial sweet peas I just had to have several years ago. They did a wonderful job as a ground cover on the back slope of the garden area but were encroaching on the garden. Those suckers had tap roots five times the length of a dandoline.sp? Anyway I worked out there from sunup to sundown and will be lucky if I can move tomorrow.

T, sorry things are making you crabby. I hate it when I get that way for no good reason. I chuckled about the matronly look. Although I am 63 years old and have a right to look matronly I don't feel that way. But I bought a new knit duster/nightgown thingy and when I wear it I think Ugh that is so old lady looking. LOL

Hello to everyone> I'm done in for the night so have a good day tomorrow. Norma

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 11:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Morning all!

It got down to 70 last night and we expect 90 today and 94 tomorrow. Hazy too so far.

Finished preparing the blueberry pie. A bit of sweeping of floors or (horrors) vacuuming should do the trick now. :-)

Norma, 63 here too, but not for long. Matronly for sure. Darn it!

DD has bought a dress for her wedding. It is cream/beige I am told. I convinced her that tattooed rings were so common, think of something else!!!! It worked! This wedding may indeed remind me of Woodstock.

I hope everyone has access to a pool today! Water play should be on our agendas in this heat.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 7:24AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

WE had such a great time last night. It was one of those impromptu evenings where one friend calls and asks what are you doing, then another then another and we wound up with seven for take out Chinese. We started the evening with a beverage of choice on the patio admiring the show on the hill (the daylilies are unbelievable at the moment)but soon moved into the air conditioning because it was still a muggy 91 degrees out at 7:00PM. Anyway, a good time was had by all. I just wish we could have stayed outside a bit longer but I was actually the first person to cry uncle and go inside.

Norma, Oh no! I can't believe you got torrential rains and it messed up your pond. What a mess. I feel your pain. We had those tropical downpours Wednesday night and as I said earlier it tore the heck out of the flowers. The fuchsias all had more flowers on the ground than on the plants Thursday morning and between the heat and the rain the lovely trumpet lilies are toast. I deadheaded them yesterday afternoon. Yes I was actually able to go outside and work in the heat after bicycling 40 miles. I'm actually pretty happy that I'm not sore this morning either.

V. I hope you had a nice, relaxing evening but be careful working outside in that heat today. I saw on the weather that it is supposed to be blistering hot there today. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you how much I laughed at the image of Mystic trying to lick the frog off the storm door. Too funny!

Bug love that kitty pic. Aren't they a hoot? My boys have me in stitches all the time. Isn't it a treat to share your life with another creature that brings you so much laughter? ~~ Oh dear, tattooed wedding rings??? I must be living in a cave or something. Ive never heard of that.

Michelle, thanks so much for the beautiful photo. I really love that Beacon Rosa with the iresine. Yes, I do have Purple Lady and wont ever be without it. I got one pot of it at the flower show in the spring and I divided it so Ive used it in a lot of containers this year. It looks great with everything. What is that variegated plant with the Iresine herbstii? It looks like some kind of ipomoea but Ive never seen a variegated one. BTW your Beacon Rosa looks great! What a beauty! You are going to love it more each year you have it.

Marian, I nodded my head in agreement when I read your post "Too bad TV has us all conditioned to want to look like models." Truer words have never been spoken. And to top it off the models aren't happy with their appearance either. Somehow we've been conditioned to never be happy with our appearance when it really is the most superficial and fleeting of things in the long run. ~~ So how goes the battle with the deer??? has Nolon managed to barricade off the pear tree yet?

OK off to do my watering, it is going to be another blistering day here and the plants are going to melt if I dont get on it.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 7:47AM
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Im in for a cool down. Its 90 here but there is a nice breeze. I decided to work in the shade. My project of the day is the rain barrel. Rick isnt home so Im on my own. I managed to get the gutter up on the backside of the garden shed. Im missing a piece for the end. This is old vinyl gutter parts that came off the house when we put on seamless gutters, so except for the end piece its a recycling project.

Deanne, I think that the green/white plant is a variegated ipomoea, but I picked it up at Walmart and it was totally unlabeled and there were no others like it. Ive included a link about it, Im surprised that Walmart had it as it was hard to find on the internet. 91 at 7:00 is pretty hot. We had company a few times earlier in the summer and both times it was so terrible windy that it was miserable out and we wanted to sit out so badly. The Tilt-a-whirl is one that I purchased when I was in Minneapolis this spring. It sure is a vigorous grower. In fact Im surprised how large several other varieties are getting. Plum Frost and Gays Delight are two other very vigorous ones.

bug, what a crazy cat picture. I hope you have a good time with Woody and that you stay dry and cool. Is that asking too much?

Well, Id better get at it as we are going out for supper the 2nd night in a row. Theres a fund raising golf day and supper. We dont golf but will go to eat.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 2:58PM
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It's hot here too. I finally broke down and had Brad put in the window air conditioner. I'm not a big fan of air conditioning. I wait all winter to open the windows and doors and get out in the garden and it has to be pretty darn hot for me to close everything up and sit inside. But the cats were beginning to deflate and I felt sorry for them so they're nice and cool now. I went to the farmers market early this morning. They're beginning to get in corn and tomatoes but the corn ears were small and 3 fo $1, expensive! And the tomatoes were still kind of green, not the deep red they'll be in a week or two. I did get some things for $1. 3 fiber optic grasses, a green and white variegated iresine and a hydrangea pink diamond, that was a bit more than $1. It was only $15 though. Then I hit a nursery and picked up a couple of new ajugas. I need to make a fast trip to Home Depot when David gets home from work, if I can convince him to watch Bella for a little while, for some containers. I have enough plants sitting in the driveway to put together a few more. They'll just have to be the plastic terracotta colored ones though that I can stack up to store this winter.

Michelle, I have that ipomoea planted at the base of one of my container bananas. I really like it. Tiltawhirl is one of the coleus I'm trying to train into a standard. I saw a large tiltawhirl standard at the nursery this spring and it was so cool. Good luck with the drain pipe. I'm no good at that kind of work.

Deanne, your evening sounds so nice and you've made me have a taste for Chinese food. Thanks for the kitty pic. He's really stretched out there!

T, hope your feeling your old cheerful self. Oops scratch that word old, lol. I know what you mean. I could probably use a makeover and diet but to tell you the truth besides staying healthy and feeling good I'm not much for trying to make myself look younger. I figure I've worked hard for the wrinkles, gray hair etc. I try not to let that kind of stuff bother me and to tell you the truth it really doesn't. I'm just thankful that I'm still strong enough to dig big holes and lug heavy things around the garden. Truly, I do hope your feeling better today.

Hi Norma, I'm so sorry to hear that the rain storms damaged your gardens. Glad the weeds slipped out of the soil easier for you after though.

Marie, love the goofy cat pic. They can be such clowns! I bet your dd will be a beautiful bride. Here dress color sounds so pretty and old-fashioned.

V, I'll remember to chant when I'm cleaning the litter boxes and see if it makes it a more pleasant experience, lol.

Hope Marian's having a fun weekend with Tim and the girls.

Ei, what a sweet video with the doggie and kitten. Thanks for the smile!

Gotta go, time for Miss Bella to rise and shine from her afternoon nap. Have a good evening all!


    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 4:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

In spite of heat, we had a lovely get-together today with Woody and her DH. We were very lucky that it did not rain and also that this turned out to be a really good weekend for flowers here. You never can be sure!
I never thought much about clematis names in terms of translating them to sign language, but her poor DH was kept busy with names like Aotearoa, Aljonushka, Venosa Violacea, etc...What a champ he is!
For some reason I was very into fruit today, so we had strawberry soup, chicken/melon salad and fresh blueberry pie. The guys discovered some ripe gooseberries and currants too.
Charlotte was not ignored either. Woody had brought along some of her home baked doggie treats for her.
I think I'll put some shots from this morning on a separate posting.

Goodnight all! It's been a warm one!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2006 at 11:18PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yesterday was beastly hot! I got in two small stretches of garden work, but had to come in for breaks from the heat. I'm keeping this short as I will head out again in a little bit.

Mystic has abandoned frog patrol and is now intent on saving the world from the dreaded four-lined ground squirrels. This work involves LOTS of barking.

Okay, there was something else I was supposed to say but my mind is blank. Time to put on the garden clothes before it hits 90!


    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 9:06AM
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V I hope you aren't killing yourself in the garden just for the IU3're right it's SO HOT!!!! Be careful and drink enough H2O.

Marie-it's a small,small world...I was thinking of you yesterday when I was at the nursery the cashier who was probably in her 50's had a tattooed ring finger...hers said 'Bob' I guess that IS done more than I thought : )
That's so great that Woody came for a visit! Blueberry pie sounds wonderful!

They(nursery) had an odds and ends sale and I picked up manure granules,and hot pepper wax to get the bugs that keep eating up my coleus 'sedona'-everything was 50% off..I'm not a potpourri kinda gal but they had these sachets of verbena and citrus and I found eucalyptus/mint home spray that doesn't resemble either scent but everyone here keeps saying what smells so good? : ) AND then I went clothes shopping(had to replace the ancient undies before IU3; )but Kohl's had some great buys. I even bought a long sleeved blouse for V's prarie walk-originally $44.00[Nine West]and I got it for $13.00...I just don't have summer weight long sleeved tops so I bought it. Actually everything I got was I'll have tops for when I start my new job as well.

Deanne and Bug-love the shots of those wild cats you have; )

Hmm I was thinking of the idylls alot midday,Sue,I saw a racked deer and other does dotted along the roadsides just on my way home from the grocery store-kind of unusual to see them like that spread all over.Maybe the deer are planning an invasion...remember Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds'? lolol.

Busy day-we've got a Bday celebration for my niece today so I need to get a move on...stay cool; )


    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 12:15PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello to everyone,

I've been running around like the proverbial chicken the last two days. Yesterday was one of those obligatory family things and today was pure fun, a visit from Sue and Tom and the 'puppies'. We had such a nice visit!

Last night at my DS's house Doug was bitten by a deer fly and, yep, you guessed it, he had a bad allergic reaction and his hand started developing a fairly large hive type swelling. I suggested he take some benadryl last night but he didn't and when he woke up this AM his whole left hand, wrist, forehead were swollen. His eyes were almost swollen shut. Soooo... a trip to the emergency room was in order at 5:30AM. What a drama. He's a sleepy person as he's been taking benadryl all day but the swelling is finally going down. I'm thinking he's going to have to see an allergist about this soon.

It's been terribly hot here also and lots of flowers are just 'melting' in the heat but it is July after all so was to be expected at some point. I think the temps topped out around 95 here today and tomorrow is supposed to be closer to 100. I've got to shift a few containers around in the morning because there are a few things that are marginal for the sun location I have them in and I noticed this afternoon that a couple of the coleus and fuchsia are burning. They were OK as long as the temps stayed below 90 but today's temps were too much.

So guess what? I just got a lovely phone call from Taryn asking about my chances for making IU3. Anyway, the chances really are pretty slim right now but you never know. Doug was just saying I should fly in for Sunday. Hmmmm Anyway, Taryn says to tell you all hello and that shes just been really busy getting ready for her move but that shes thinking of us all.

Babs, it sounds like you really scored on your shopping trip. Tell me about the hot pepper wax for the bugs and tell me about what bugs are eating your coleus because Ive got something chomping its way through every plant in the garden and especially the container plants. I cant find the darned thing and Im thinking it is some kind of night feeding caterpillar. The damage looks like that kind of chomping is going on. Sue says to go outside with a flashlight after dark to see if I can find what is doing the damage and Im probably going to follow her suggestion.

V. Please, do be very careful and stay hydrated with this heat. A garden tour isnt worth getting sick over. I saw your weather and they were saying it was supposed to top 100 out your way today. Yikes!

Eden, lol about your putting together a few more containers. It is like an addiction isnt it??? Where are you going to use those ajugas? Id love to see a pic of the white and green variegated iresine when you get a chance.

Michelle, thanks for the ID and the link for the ipomoea. Ive never seen that one before. Neat!

Bug, your dinner and visit with Woody sounds great. I sure wish Id been there. I miss her posts.

OK Ive got to run and check on Doug. Have a good evening everyone and stay cool!


    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 5:56PM
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Good evening

Babs - I had the same thought about new undies for IU3 but wasn't reading descriptions very well when I purchased a 6 pack. I ended up with the most enormous granny bloomers which could probably tuck under my bra. They look particularly good with low rise jeans LOL.

GB - so glad you had such a nice visit with Woody. I too miss hearing from her and seeing her gardens.

Hi T - hope the weekend left you feeling less crabby and more the smiling person I remember from IU3.

Deanne - how fab if you could fly in for IU3 Sunday! I do hope Doug's insect sting reaction has subsided. I'm glad he enjoyed his Upstate bike ride - the Erie canal has wonderful bike trails. It would be great to see you here again - after IU3 we have family arriving, then a drive down to DC to see my sis, followed by a week in CA with DH's family. The last week in August is free and September and October good months. By the way, please tell Doug if he has any free time to contact us as we would all enjoy seeing him too. Perhaps he could join us for a week night BBQ during one of his stays (we'll try and make sure he doesn't get bitten by anything!)

Today was hot, hot hot! No gardening here except watering pots (I think we hit 95F). I cooked in the morning, making a rather yummy Plum cake and fresh salsa from local tomatoes, then spent the rest of the day in and out of the pool with the family. A close friend and her daughter joined us and we all splashed around very happily, drinking iced-tea, eating popsicles and catching up on news. The perfect way to spend a hot afternoon.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 9:36PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good evening all.

Tim and GDs have come and gone, and all missions were accomplished!The new computer has been installed. The stuff from the old one transfered without a hitch. The new digital camera has been purchased, and tryed out.
I will need some trials to learn how to download to the computer, and then move it into my PT albums. Tim did a few, but I learn from hands-on experience.
I have already discovered that the pics in my Documents do not have a slideshow option as the old computer had. Bummer!
I hope to contact Dell and see if there is something I am missing. I WANT that feature.
Boy, it sure is differant....but I am learning. :-)

Deanne, that is so scary about Doug's deer fly bite. I had never heard of anyone being allergic to them. The little monsters chase me back into the house almost every time I step out,( in these hot days). I HATE them !

Speaking of heat...this has been our hottest weekend so far this year. What a drag that it was the time the kids chose to come. They are totally addicted to AC. We have had fans going all over the house, but Tim was still suffering. I don't think the girls were taking it so bad. I never heard them complain.
This coming Tuesday the prediction is for 99F, and 100F for Wednesday. Yarrrgh! And Tues is Nolon's follow-up doctor appointment.It is always hotter in town. His back is so terribly bad, I hope his primary physician will give him a shot to relieve the pain. He has several compressed disks.

Marie, how wonderful that Woody visited you, had you all had a good time. I am amused at her DH interpreting the plant names. :-)....So sweet.
I love that picture on your cat on the table.

Norma, I am so sorry what the heavy rains did to your pond and gardens, but how I wish we had some of that rain. We have recieved light showers most every day for a week ( until today) but it certainly isn't enough.
Yesterday while all of us (except Nolon) were in town, we went out for a Chinese dinner with Tim's friends. When we came out it had clouded up, and was a lot cooler, but no precip. I was so surprised when we got home and discovered a nice shower had came on our mountain, and at our house. We got about 3/10ths , which wasn't bad, and cooled the air down nicely.

I am too far behind to try to catch up on everyone, but hope all had a good weekend, without too many disasters ( re: Deanne's Doug).


    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 9:37PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Havent had much time to check in lately... too much to do.

Its hot as Hades here today (hitting 100 probably) yesterday wasnt a walk in the park either.... had to cut the grass & do a few things but that was it!

Vdont worry about weeds, etc. for IU its not worth getting heat stroke over we will understand!!! I just hope we get some cooler weather by the weekend.

Mary too funny about the undies maybe we can use em for our nursery walks? A new IU uniform!!

T dont worry about the crabby it definitely comes with dieting. Ive been doing it for six months now & there are days when all I want to do is chew a cabinet or two -- but it sounds like youre off to a great start w/ exercising, etc..... and were all allowed to have bad days!! Im sure its in our life manual somewhere? I look in the mirror & all too often see my mother staring back (who now looks Exactly like her grandmother its very scary) cheeks (I wont say jowls, nasty word), stature, dowagers hump!!

Deanne --- wow, how scary re Dougs allergic reaction. Men, they are so stubborn until its worse, right? Sounds like you really needed to go to the emergency room to get him to attend to it properly. O Deanne - pls, pls -- come for at least one day to IU.....

bug sounds like you had a wonderful visit with Woody as far as Im concerned there can never be too much fresh fruit for anything in the summer. Yum, yum.

Norma so sorry you had problems with the rains. That seems to be a problem for everyone this year too much.... I guess this means next year well be in a drought again....

No crazy cat photos to post here no crazy cats in my house... but Im lovin the antics of those who do.

O.k. gotta get down and dirty serious here at office.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:11AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! We're in for a cooker today-could reach 100 F. It rarely gets that hot here.

My weekend was a blur. We drove up to NH on Saturday morning for an overnight visit with my mom who has been grumbling for months that she hasn't seen us. In the spring, summer and most of fall she lives on Lake Winnipesaukee in a house she's owned for over 20 years. That house is currently on the market because she just can't climb all the stairs anymore. They bought a smaller, more seasonable place on a smaller lake nearby and will spend more time in FL.

On the way home yesterday we stopped in for a visit with Deanne and Doug. Folks, I know you all oooh and aahh over Deanne's garden pictures but believe it or not the garden is 100 times better in person. The colors are more vibrant and all the views are wide angles. It was hot yesterday too so we didn't spend as much time in the garden as I would have liked but the way they have the family room designed you can enjoy everything from inside. Deanne prepared a delicious lunch consisiting of a scrumptious salad, lemon pepper grilled swordfish, grilled zucchini and tangy new red potato salad. Fresh cherries for dessert. Despite his puffy face, Doug performed his usual grillmaster duties to perfection and was the ever gracious host. Tom kept telling me we had to leave because Doug was tired and needed to lie

By the time I got home I had to spend more that 2 hours watering. In this kind of weather, the pots and annuals just can't go a day and a half without water. Tonight I think I'll have to run some sprinklers in my drier gardens. When it's this hot for so long the gardens just shrivel. What happened to that fresh, new garden feel of May and June? Those months never seem to hang around long enough.

Babs, since I sprayed with the Liquid Fence Friday night I haven't seen any sign of the deer or noticed any additional loss of foliage. If I see them start to congregate though I may have to

OK, this looks to be another busy week at work compounded by it being a short week for me. I'm so looking forward to Idyllunion-less than 4 days to go.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:12AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The good news is that the heat is supposed to break on Thursday. The bad news is that you'll all have ample opportunity to see what a Canada thistle looks like at IU3. ;)

I got some weeding done on Sunday but maple breaks were a necessity. Okay, I just looked back at that sentence; how did "multiple" become "maple"? Anyway, some of the worst has been handled but there is always more that could be done.

The big news of the weekend is that my DS is coming home earlier than planned. He did not break up with his GF but they decided a temporary "separation" would avoid a break-up. Since he was working at home in a city where he knew no one, he had few opportunities for socializing other than through her. I think it was a bit suffocating. So he's coming home Thursday evening - yeah, the same time I'm picking up idyllers at O'Hare. We'll work out the details, and it will be nice to have him around to help on Saturday, but nothing is ever easy, is it?

Deanne, yikes about that deer fly bite! I'm glad to hear Doug is okay but I'm sure that was a good scare. We have them here, but they usually only bite the dogs. It would be wonderful if you were here for Sunday! Crossing fingers - oops, can't type like that.

Marian, I'm happy that you have all the new equipment set up!

I need to tackle some work right now, but I should be getting some emails out to folks this afternoon as we get final details nailed down.



    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Watering watering watering.....93 expected today BUT they say thunderstorms and 78 on Friday when my friend Lynn and I head for the airport. I'd prefer 68, but gee, anything is better than this hazy heat! (except snow)

Deanne, COME and attend Sunday night's event PLEASE!!!!

Time to move the sprinkler...

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:36AM
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Deanne-boy Doug seems to be getting hit with the worst things these days-hope he's better today. Such a worry after the last beee incident..
I have to read the bottle closer but hot pepper wax has to
be applied while the plants are wet-there might also be restrictions about air temps-I'm guessing hot weather might not be good(I will read the instructions). I'll keep you posted.
I'm crossing my fingers that you do come on at least SUnday!!

MARY! As I'm sleepily reading through these posts I come to yours and you made me laugh SO loud about your granny pants...I see you with your low rise jeans and undies tucked into your bra loud and clear--lololol! And your not kidding there were so many different types I was very careful so I didn't come home with a thong or sky high briefs: )

Time to go look over the garden-I haven't applied repel for two nights now-too busy/tired! Everyone stay hydrated!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:56AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

(Yeah, I know it was yesterday...)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 10:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thinking of your less than perfect summer and hope today, your special day, is a lovely one! Make sure you are the first to sign up for Idyllunion IV!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 10:28AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 11:26AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 11:27AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well, it is a bit after 10AM and its already 87 degrees outside and now they are saying it might just get to 100 degrees here today. Arrgggghhhhh.. Im mellllltttttting. As the wicked witch of the west said. Well, Im not melting at the moment because I decided to come into the air conditioning but Im having to water EVERYTHING. It is a good thing we arent having any water shortages. There is a slight possibility of T storms later tonight or tomorrow but the watering wont wait that long. Id originally wanted to take a bicycle ride this morning but it was already too hot to go. Ill have to get to the gym after Im done this and move the sprinklers.

Thanks to everyone for your concern for Dougs latest allergic episode. It really is a worry that hes had that bad a reaction to something as common as a deer fly. Im getting bitten by those beasties all the time and now Im really going to worry when he goes off on his bicycle rides. His face is still swollen this morning and Im now wondering if the doctor is going to allow him to go through with the surgery on Friday.

Marian, good news on getting your new computer and camera up and running. You are going to have a great time with that camera. ~~ I hate deer flies also. They are persistent and nasty and now I have even more reason to hate them.

Mary, the image of your new panties with your low rise jeans had me rolling off my chair. You are too funny. ~~~I told Doug about your invitation to visit sometime and he was really pleased and thanks you muchly. I know hell make arrangements to visit you sometime when its convenient for everyone.

Sue, thanks much! So happy you liked the lunch and garden tour. Doug and I both had a great time and please tell Tom Doug wasnt really tired and needed to sleep that was just the Benadryl making him a bit slow. I thought youd like to see these
Here is Nickster What a fresh boy! He made himself right at home.

And Zoe is just a cute as a button giving her mom some kisses. These two dogs should be poster dogs for mini schnauzers. They are so packed with personality.

Babs thanks for the input on the pepper spray. What insects is it supposed to repel or is it just for deer?

OK so the deal is there is a remote possibility that I might be able to come on Sunday but please dont count on it. Ill give it my best shot. Im trying to get someone lined up to come and help Doug and take care of the watering chores. The other difficulty is that Id probably have to fly into Midway and transportation will be a problemo. Ill see what I can do.

OK Ive got to go and move the sprinklers then get to the gym. Stay cool and hydrated all,

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Oh I feel horrible that I missed some birthdays!! So, before anything else....

Happy Birthday Michelle! I'm so sorry that I am late. I hope you had a wonderful day and that the upcoming year is filled with blessings. (photo taken at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney, Australia Sept. 2004)

I believe that Jerri is having her surgery today (if memory is correct). I am sorry I missed writing to tell her that my thoughts would be with her today. Happy Birthday and may you feel much better soon!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 12:22PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

a quick lunch break to see I missed birthdays!!

Happy Birthday, Michelle - hope it was a great one!!!!



    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 12:54PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Just a quickie - Deanne, if you fly into Midway on Sunday you are actually much closer to Ei's house. Transportation would not be too difficult.

V., throwing fuel on the fire of Deanne's toothache

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 1:38PM
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As Idyllunion approaches I am having a difficult time in not flying to the computer to look up last minute airfares and hotel accomodations. I absolutely hate that I'm going to miss visiting with everyone in person!

DD and babies still appear to be doing fine.

Jamie is getting a puppy soon. A little beagle whose name will be Alice (she is being named after one of Gramps' bulldozers which is an Allis Chalmers) LOL. His mom & dad kept asking him what he wanted to name his puppy and he kept saying "excavator" and "dozer" (two of his favorite words). That is when they came up with the name Alice (Allis). Jamie won't know that he is getting a 'dozer name' until he is older and can understand. :o) Did I tell you he is potty trained? Yep, exciting times. This is my first experience with a little man child being potty trained and I've never scrubbed a toilet or my bathroom floor so often as I have these past weeks whenever he is here to visit. A good aim is something that doesn't come naturally I'm finding out, ;o).

What else is happening around here? Hmmmm. The darn cheeky bunnies are coming into the front flower bed all day long. No fear at all of the house or the woman within. I'm amazed at how bold they are. Dratted critters!

Oh! The birds have denuded my raspberry vines!!!! EVERY berry, ripe or not, has been stripped from the vines. All year long I look forward to standing and eating fresh berries....and this is the first time this has happened. I don't know if smarter birds spotted the vines/berries or if I've just been very lucky all these years. I did have some netting that I tried to drap over the bushes, but I don't think it is going to work. I wanted to have a good ole gardener's tantrum when I saw what they've done. How dare they take every berry?! Every berry!! The vines had been loaded with berries that were near ripe. I had gotten to eat a couple handfuls over the past week, but was watching them finish ripening. Now.....nothing. I'm still cranky over that one!

Before the birds:

I don't have the heart to take an after......just imagine every bit of red gone. Yeah, I'm pouting and whining.

Guess I should get out of this chair. Hope the day is going well for everyone (Deanne....I hope Doug is feeling better!).


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 3:38PM
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Thanks for the lovely birthday cards. Yesterday was a hot one at 102 degrees. Rick actually treated me well all weekend. We ate out all weekend. Yesterday we went to a luau at a resort at the lakes. It was fun and something different. Afterwards we went to see DD and Kenzie and my folks came over with a cheesecake which has always been a favorite. I did come home to a terrible thing. Jaden was tied up in the shade and she laid in a garden bed and managed to knock over 3 of my containers. 2 of the pots broke and one I had just gotten. My poor plants laid on the patio in the 102 degrees heat. One was my beacon fuchsia from Deanne. :o( The fuchsia actually looks like it may be salvaged, but the 2 nice coleus were limp as dishrags.

Im very busy at work today as Mondays are normally busy and trying to get things ready so I can be gone Thurs and Fri. but I do have a couple of comments.

Deanne, no pressure, but I was sure hoping to meet you. We do have to leave by early afternoon for home. How terrible that Doug gets such a bad reaction.

Mary, LOL about the granny pants and Babs word picture is hilarious.

V, I am more than familiar with canadian thistle ;o) So no worry.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 4:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So T, tell me. When does the aim improve? Must be after age 65....Same with fingerprints. My MIL warned me that they only get higher on the walls.

93 here at the moment and still playing with the sprinkler.

The phone is on the fritz and DH has called Bell in for repairs tomorrow morning. Glad he figured it out from work. If I had notified them they would only have come on Friday...after I leave! Something about the male voice...STILL in 2006.

SOON FOLKS! I'll try to remember my camera so everyone can share.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 4:40PM
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Happy Birthday Michelle

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 6:25PM
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Happy Birthday Jerri

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 6:28PM
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I came across this photo today and ran it through the scanner. We use to take our cat boating with us. He went with us on a 10 day trip one time. This photo shows him lounging in one of his favorite spots. Not necessarily one of DH's favorite spots for him to lay (the red levers are the throttle controls). ;o)

There have been some luscious birthday photos!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 7:13PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

I'm in a rush and can't chat now, but didn't want any more time to pass before wishing the Birthday Girls a Very Happy Birthday!

Michelle...I hope you had a lovely day! I'm so sorry I missed it...


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 7:13PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Wishing you a smooth and speedy recovery and a Very Happy Birthday Jerri....

P.S. Sorry...Michelle's was a little large...LOL! I think I've fixed it with Jerri's


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 7:16PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:20PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:21PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:22PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:35PM
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Hi, Just checking in. It was so hot here today! Too hot. I did get those extra 12 containers planted up this morning though while it was still fairly cool. Tomorrow morning's goal is to get the rest of the annuals in the ground. That's really sad isn't it, this being close to the end of July. I also moved the pot ghetto from the driveway to back behind the shed where I don't have to look at it, just have to remember to water it. It's a fairly large ghetto, about 50 pots. I know where I want most of them to go it just need to move other plants around and get them in the ground. Time, that's what I need more of not plants! The driveway is fairly plant free now though. People were making comments about it looking like a nursery.

I haven't really had time to do much reading but Wendy thanks for the beautiful card, coleus and sweet potato vine, two of my favorites!

I'll get to sending out birthday greetings to Michelle and Jerri in the morning but wanted to tell Jerri I'm thinking of her and hoping all goes well and Michelle so glad you had a good birthday weekend. Too bad about the container garden mishap though. I really hate it when things like that happen!

T, what a sweet kitty! Surprising Jim let him drive though, lol. He looks alot like my Ella who's a little spitfire.

I need to go back and read more thoroughly before I can comment on anything else and I'm tired so I'll just say good night...


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:42PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Enjoy your day and feel better soon!

Michelle, sorry we forgot yours. I had been trying to keep track and had made a mental note to myself on Saturday before I went away. Well, you all know where the mental notes go these days. Outlook wouldn't even have worked since I only use Outlook at work. Criminies, we're going to have to devise a better system.

Oh look at my little baby girlie giving me a kiss. Isn't she cute? Here's a similiar shot taken over 8 years ago when she was 12 weeks old. She's always been generous with the kisses.

And look at that picture of my little fresh man chilling on Deanne's furniture. My MIL often says she wants to come back as one of our dogs.

T, you're killing me today with the aim comments (which I just shared with Tom) and the boat driving What else you got up your sleeve tonight?

Hot here today-98 F when I was driving home from work. Tomorrow is supposed to be worse but then it gets better for the weekend. It took a blasting AC and a fan aimed directly at me to get through the treadmill and weights tonight. Then I had to run out and water the pots before they gasped their last breath. We're out of dinner food so Tom picked up a pizza. After dinner I placed a Peapod order for delivey tomorrow night. Now it's time for bed. Where the heck do the days go?


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:58PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Hi Everyone!

Back from our week at the beach, and boy is it hot! I think that they said on the news tonite that every state in the "lower 48" except North Dakota had temps in the 90's today. I am one that is spoiled by air conditioning too. I grew up without it, and we didn't have it here when we moved in. We had the central air put in our house several years ago (at DH's insistence), and I wouldn't be without it now . We don't use it all the time, only during high heat and humidity.

Our vacation was great, a week of beach-bumming is good for the soul. I love the ocean! The beach we go to in Maine is lined with dream houses that have beautiful decks, huge picture windows and steps down to the beach. We stay in a little cottage that is an easy walk to the beach. I love going away, but it is wonderful to come home - I missed sleeping in my own bed.

Hope Les and Monique are back to themselves this week, free of all illness.

Sue, my sympathies on the deer - hope they find a new route soon, away from your place.

Deanne, I hope Doug is better now - how scary! He should definitely get checked out by an allergist. The biking sounds great, but not in this heat.

Marian, glad you are all set with your new computer and camera. Looking forward to more of your pictures!

Mary, LOL on the underwear dilemma! The young guys think it is cool to wear the baggy pants and show the tops of their boxers, maybe you'll start a new trend!

Ei, was it you that asked me how old that brugs is? Anyway, it is from a cutting Sue gave me in the fall. It spent the winter in a vase of water, and I potted it in April. The flowers are white, and it put on quite a show. It is resting now, only one bud. I kept looking at the buds, knowing we were going away soon; glad I got to see it before we went away on vacation. I'll send you (or anyone else) some in the fall - remind me!

T, I hope all these birthday pics are cheering you up - I just love birthdays here! Such a talented and thoughtful group. Your kitty looks like he's driving the boat, just needs a captain's hat.

Jerri, sending good thoughts to you - hope all goes well.

Safe travel to all those heading out to IU3 this week, hope you all have a wonderful time. I have enjoyed our NE Idyll get-togethers a lot, maybe next year I'll make it to IU4.

Have a great evening!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 10:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Sue, I love that pic of you and your baby Zoe! How fun is that? And yes that would definitely be a good life to bome back as one of your puppies.LOL ~~ Too funny about ordering out pizza because the cupboard was bare. We had to go out to Hannaford to pick up some fish for dinner because we had the same problem. There was some salad left from yesterday but no protein and I did want some fish. I'm trying to fit in at least three fish dinners a week lately. ~~ What is that hydrangea in your BDay card for Michelle.

NOw T. That is definitely a 'Cool Cat'! I want to know how you taught him to drive the boat. LOL ~~~ no kidding about the aim issues.

Eden, 12 MORE containers??? YOu are definitely the Container Queen! Incredible.

Michelle, I'm so sorry about the container fiasco. What a terrible bummer. Let me know if you need any more of those 'Beacon Rosa' fuchsias. I think I might have some cuttings left of that variety.

So many fabu birthday cards today. Thanks everyone for the eye candy!

OK I'm turning into a pumpkin.,

Nite all

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 10:20PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Happy (very) Belated Birthday Eden!

Happy Belated Birthday Michelle!

Happy Birthday Jerri!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 10:23PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Sorry I've been a baaadddd idyller lately. No time to read and haven't even been coming here for pics lately. (Which is how I missed Edens BD, even though I think I was emailing back and forth about IU3 with her that day!) Sorry Eden!

I'm sooooo busy! We had a fantastic time here on Saturday with our buyers and neighbors--just could not have been better weather (hot but breezy) or more relaxed! See link to some pics below, though I only got around to taking them after half our guests had left. Funniest thing was I decided after talking to my bro the fabulous cook to make a mild jerk chicken, fried plantains and rice and peas, all Jamaican dishes. I wanted dishes I could do ahead or cook slowly in the oven, so I could socialize with our guests, and not be stuck barbequeing in the heat. And also wanted spicy because I knew it would be very hot and spicy foods cool you down. I was so surprised when it turned out our buyer Alan has Jamaican roots and these are his favourite dishes! I had no idea, he is 2nd generation Canadian and has no accent at all! But it was a bit of serendipity, and he actually fried the plantains as he 'tried out' the kitchen! My two punchbowls of Mojitos were a big hit too. All in all a GREAT day and I'm so glad we did this! It was so much fun...

But now the crunch is on to get packed for our move August 9th and 10th. When I get back from IU3 I'll have 2 weeks 'til closing day! But then another week until we close here, so if need be we can do some more trips with the van. Please send good vibes for Glenn that his back has healed by then and we CAN move. He totally trashed it after the long weekend, missed a week of work and is still quite tender though acupuncture is helping a lot. He hates needles but knew this was bad and he had to take an active role in his healing, as all the MD did is give him really strong pain meds. Gotta FIX, not mask the problem. And fast!

Very much looking forward to IU3! Will be arriving at O'Hare on Thursday afternoon, and can't hardly wait! I don't have a hope of ever catching up here with reading, so please know I'm thinking of you all, and hope once we've moved and we're settled I can pop in more often. Hope you and yours are all well!



PS Drema just checked out the wedding photos, you and your girls are lovely! Looks like it was a fabulous day! Going to check out the other pic threads now and send mental oohs and ahhs okay? :)

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 10:45PM
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Thanks again for all the fabulous pictures. It just doesn't get any better than this! I must get this up for Jerri before I crash for the night. We are trying to get a timer going to water the pots while we are gone. So good night all.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 11:29PM
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Good Morning, It's a beautiful morning. The thunderstorms we had last night blew all of the humidity out of here, watered the garden and left us with a beautiful blue sky. I need to get out there and get some planting done this morning before it gets too hot again. So many pretty pictures here to look at this morning. I love Idyll birthdays!

Deanne, here's a couple of pictures you requested. first the musa truly tiny

and the green and white iresine on the left in this container (it has pink stems)

Ok time to get out in the garden..


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 9:28AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Wow, I missed another birthday? Sheesh - I can't hope to compete w/ all these lovelies that have been posted for you, Eden, but the sentiment is the same:

I hope you had a grand, grand birthday!! [one thing we know you do NOT need, is containers....]


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 9:30AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yarrgghh! I'm behind three birthdays! I will try to make amends tonight.

I'm just a little busy tying down final details, so hubby has decided to pitch in and help. He wants to buy a car tonight. (Do you hear that long, loud scream of frustration?)

OK, I think I'll sign off before I spill too much and then one of the visiting idylls tells all to my DH!

T, if you should find yourself drawn to the computer making airline reservations, call me and we will fit you in!


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 2:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Remember the joy last April when gardenbug got her new riding mower? Well today it went to visit Marian's "new" stove that got returned. Just too many little things that did not please me, so we are trying a different model now. We shall see how it goes over the next few weeks.

I really need to start packing for my trip west. Heaven knows what I'm taking, Babs never sent me the list. ;-)

Happy today to all you quiet busy folk!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 3:22PM
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Just a quick note. V, don't worry about my birthday. You have enough on your mind. You can give your birthday wishes in person on Thurs. :o)


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 3:31PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello all,

Well the temps are hotter today than anything weve had in several years. It is currently flirting with 100F. The thermometer registered 99.8 a little while ago and well see if we actually break the 100 degree mark. The plants arent dealing well with these very hot temps and the fuchsias are especially having a tough time. One of my Shadow Dancer Marcia plants is toast and I dont know if there will be any reviving it. Ive been paying a bit more attention to moving things today and I think Ill have saved a couple other plants that werent looking too good.

The kitties are giving me quite a difficult time today because Ive kept them in the house. This weather isnt good for man or beast. Rahjii has been yowling away at me for hours now but I refuse to relent. Sometimes I wish a person could reason with them. LOL

I didnt get out to bicycle today either as it just is too darned hot so I went to the gym and did my ab workout and an hour on the stairs. This weather is supposed to break tonight so hopefully Ill be able to get a ride in tomorrow.

Doug is pretty much back to normal but his face was still swollen this morning. I keep encouraging him to sleep propped up in the bed so he doesnt get swollen while hes sleeping but hed not into doing that.

V. A new car today??? Hmmm. ~~ Well, Doug was OK with my going out your way on Sunday but as it turns out when I checked for airfares the cheapest ticket I could find was over $400.00! Sorry but that really is just way too much to go for a one day visit as much as Id like to do it. Bummer!

Bug, sorry about the mower. Must be quite a pain in the neck to have to return it then learn another new machine.

Cindy, beautiful photo! Is that Betty Corning? Ill bet Eden would like as many containers as she can get. LOL

Eden, thanks for posting those photos. I absolutely LOVE that iresine with the pink stems and white and green leaves. What a beauty and that banana is too cute for words. How tall is that? What is that neato abutilon youve got planted with it?

Michelle, I love that globe with the nigella. Is that one of those that glows in the dark? Ive seen them advertised in a couple garden catalogs and they look like they are quite pretty at night.

Hi again Taryn, sounds like your party was a huge success.

Wendy, great to have you back. Glad you had a nice vacation. You had a good week to be at the beach.

OK Ive got to go and get a couple things accomplished before its time for dinner.

Later all

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 3:57PM
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Toasty here today. Tonight I will move all the containers to the potting area so that I can have a trial tonight and tomorrow a.m. with my timer and sprinkler. Tonight and tomorrow there is a chance of rain. Im keeping my fingers crossed.

Eden, I just love seeing your containers. You have the coolest plants. I have to really scout to find anything unusual here.

Deanne, nope the ball doesnt light, but I rather like it with the nigella. Such a nice blue flower. Around my garden shed I like to think of it as a "cottage garden" I have different reseeders there that take their turns. Starting with poppies, then nigella, larkspur, verbena and brown eyed susans. I add other annuals in to fill in. What a bummer that you cant find any cheaper airfare. Keep watching though, you never know. Ill miss meeting you :o(

Stay cool

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 4:31PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Eeeeshh, quarter to nine and it's still 85 F. I don't know what the official high was but when I went out to do an errand at lunchtime the thermometer in the car said 100 F. By the weekend it's supposed to be dry and in the low 80s, 70 and rain for Sunday. What day will we be getting that in Chicago?

Despite the heat I managed to slog through my workout then ran out and watered all the pots. Japanese beetles are decimating one of my cannas. It's weird because they aren't touching much else. I squished a few but most of them flew off. Does knocking them into soapy water work better? Why are weeds the only things that thrive in this nasty heat?

Michelle, you just reminded me-I need to leave a list for Tom so he doesn't miss any of the containers while I'm gone. Tomorrow night I think I'll have him follow me around while I water. At least it will be cooler while I'm gone so if he doesn't water each pot long enough(the usual problem) it won't be fatal.

LOL, V, we bought alot of things in preparation for IU2 but a car did not make the list. Luckily I was able to get that van from work.

Oh crap, Deanne, that stinks about the airfare. I guess the days of cheap flights are coming to an end. My ticket was around $325 but I got it for free using VISA reward miles. My plan of having Tom come and take care of Doug wouldn't work because I need Tom here to take care of the dogs and the

Eden, you crack me up-12 more containers. Where do you get all these cool plants-Goldner Walsh? If I hadn't been flying I could have dropped some $$$ there at IU1. When I was at Deanne's on Sunday I wanted to run out and buy more containers but I can barely keep up with the watering on the ones I have now. I do have my eye on one at NAMCO-it's a pool supply place that sells artificial trees at Christmastime. They have 30" and 36" diameter containers that I know go on sale for half price at the end of the season. The containers are plastic but they look like terra cotta or stone depending on the color. You could really go hog wild on the combos in a pot that big and you wouldn't have to worry about leaving it out all year.

Has anybody heard from Jerri? I wonder how she's doing?

OK, I must run. Tom is grilling salmon filets and they're almost done. Add some fresh steamed asparagus and a salad and you've got dinner. In a mere 48 hours I will be dining and sipping wine with all you IU3 early arrivals.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 9:07PM
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    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 10:12PM
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GB....undies,bras,socks,shorts,shirts,camera,batteries, battery charger,PJ's,deodorant,shampoo, makeup,sunglasses,sunscreen,bug repellant,prairie shirt/long pants/shoes,binoculars?, comb/brush,toothpaste,toothbrush,meds,*buy a car*...OK so that's the list so far.(I always forget *something* ...sorry it took so long; )

I'm hoping Jerri is doing OK-I've been thinking of her.

Deanne-I'm a dunce. The red pepper wax *can* be applied anytime-the foliage doesn't have to be wet. The best time is at night so it dries before sun hits the leaves. It kills/repels: aphids,white flies,cutworms,spider mites, cabbage loopers and other soft bodied insects-I do believe it can also kill beneficials so I only will apply where leaves are really getting shredded to bits. You do have to reapply after rain. MY big question is whether it even scoots the earwigs away!
I don't believe this stuff repels bigger pests such as rabbits,etc.-there is probably a stronger version for rodents.

Eden that iresine is pretty-interesting how different the leaf shape is compared to the red iresine that Deanne shared with me. Those stems are stunning.

Tomorrow Chris has his follow up from his eye exam-to see if there have been any changes...funny thing is that his vision hasn't been unusually disturbed ever since that earlier appt.

I think Ryan is going to miss me something fierce when I leave for Chicago. I told him to look for the moon each night I'm gone at 9pm and say 'good night mom' while I do the same for him where I am. That seemed to make him more content...I have to remember to do that at *8pm* Chicago time lol.

Finally the heatwave is OVER!

Sleep-I need it.


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 11:07PM
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T, sorry about your berries. That has to be maddening. Yeh! for Jamie being potty trained. I like the way they came up with the name for the beagle puppy. He will apreciate it too when he is old enough to understand. Your cat pic is to cute. Looks like he is piloting the boat.

Michelle , Belated Happy Birthday. I'm always late. I hate it that your pots got broken and you lost your coleus. Has the fushia revived? Poor Jaden, I bet she felt bad about it. It is so hot out for the animals. DH said just today that if the dogs would stay in the basement he would let them in. But we have an open stairwell and I know they wouldn't stay down there.

Jerri , Hope you are recovering and had a Happy Birthday.

Eden I think I missed yours as well. Happy Birthday. I hope the weather cools down at least a little soon. Everything will be toast soon. I have so many plants that need to be moved, but its no use right now. I'm trying to make notes so I won't forget what I want to do later.

Well this is as far as I got with comments to individuals. I pooped out after reading.

Hi to all. Marian I hope you and Nolon are surving the heat. Take care. N

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 11:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is still early enough to be cool, but that won't last long.

Babs, thanks SO much for the list! Binocs were just added to the heap! I really didn't want to bring a skirt/dress anyway....I'd like to lose another 30 pounds before Friday...but I guess only amputation could do that, so I'll skip it.

Today DH goes for his post surgery check-up. So he and Chris and Nolon...all the guys are doing the doctor thing! I hope Doug is set for his surgery too and over the nasty bug bite business. Lots of deer flies here too I discovered as I tested the new mower.

Somehow DH snuck in yet another gravel meeting I must attend...yep, on Thursday night. Groan. Oh, I need to arrange for a car to the airport still! Always something- but for a good cause.

Yesterday we got the tickets for our trip to Alberta for DD's wedding. I just may look forward to winter when life gets boring! Sounds good to me now, and cooler!


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 7:39AM
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Good morning!

It looks to be another nice day here today. There is a heavy dew and the temps are in the upper 40's (or at least they were a couple hours ago). Yesterday didn't quite get up to 80° but today and through the weekend the temps are suppose to continue to climb.

Jamie spent the night here last night and is still asleep. After dinner last night we took him to a playground so he could slide and swing. I forgot about tantrums when 2 year olds are told 'playtime is over'. He just doesn't realize that when he screams it causes my teeth to clench and my heels to dig in. He is NOT going to get his way for sure when the ole teeth clench and the heels are dug in.... lol

His mom showed up about 5 this morning and I told her to go climb into our bed so she could get a couple hours sleep before he woke up (she had to take her hubby to the airport in the wee hours this morning -- thus why we had Jamie and she is here so blessed early).

I did look up last minute airfares. 7 hours travel time and $ is a good thing it was just daydreaming and not truly looking to buy a ticket. DD has been having contractions for the past 2 days so I will be staying close to home & the phone. She's spending more time laying down so that the contractions will stop....she just needs to hold off having those babies for a few more weeks.

It sounds like IU3 is going to be a lot of fun!

Another cup of coffee sounds good so I'll finish this up with a "hello to everyone!" I hope you have a nice day....


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 9:54AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi all! Well, no new car yet. I was planning to go to the grocery store after work for idyllunion supplies (wine, cheese, wine, snacks, wine, oh yeah - get some wine) but DH asked me to come straight home so we could go to the dealer. I did so, then he changed his mind. He's got me totally frustrated on this. And to top it off, I never got to the store so no wine - whine!

Don't panic, folks, I'll do it tonight.

T & Deanne, bummer that the airfare is so much. You'll both be missed. As will the others who won't be there, and I won't start naming names because I will forget someone.

The good news is that the weather forecast is wonderful! Three days of sunshine and the highest temp is 80!

Okay, I'm going to go now, and this may be my last post for a little while. From here on out, things will be hectic!


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 10:12AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

V, don't worry about the wine and other essentials. Just pull into a store on the way home from the airport and we'll pick up everything you need.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 10:16AM
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Happy Birthday Michelle! This is a really pretty coleus
Bi-Polar by Golly.. I just love it.

Happy Birthday Jerri

Here are my blueberries..very yum

I hope you both had a wonderful day!!!


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 10:22AM
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Hi Idylls

Thanks for the packing list Babs! So far I've found a suitcase to bring but nothing has gone in it. I did however discover 4 wet swimsuits in a plastic bag in the back pocket, still wet from our last swim in Hawaii. (I'd spent days looking for them). The amazing thing is they weren't the least bit mouldy or even musty. I ran them through a hot machine and put them out to dry in the sun. It never hurts to have a spare!

I ran to the store this morning for groceries for when I am gone. I have a feeling there will be a lot more ordering out than cooking done over the weekend, so I purchased things with a good sell by date. David will be delighted as I also put in a couple of "Lunchables" to make packing lunch easier for DH. For those without kids these are pre-packaged, highly processed lunch combinations which include something savory, a cookie, an artificial drink and sometimes a piece of candy. They also contain about a weeks worth of sodium and are David's idea of heaven. They looked rather out of place in my cart of mainly organic, unprocessed foods.

Lots more to do today, not to mention getting my toenails in Idyllunion shape. What was the designated nail polish color this year?


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 10:50AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

T temps in the 40s! what hows that feel? I cant remember......were hitting "lows" in the 90s today..... and thats a relief! O boy, I remember those 2-yr old tantrums luckily youre more experienced at digging in the heels than he, right? I forgot to mention that I was hooting too over the sea captain kitty photo and bad aim stories....

O, V high temps of 80 yes, yes, yes!!! [what I have to pull out a sweater to bring maybe, maybe?] I probably wont believe it for fear of it not happening. Well, glad to hear no new car not something to rush into we could always rent something for the IU people caravan if we have to...?
I second the idea of letting us help shop tomorrow nite gee, I love seeing "foreign" grocery stores!! (to add to my collection of trivial knowledge) esp. we can help w/ that whine & wine....

Drema what a riot
theres got to be something seriously wrong w/ the "Plant Namers" when they are reduced to "bipolar" for a new coleus..... It sure doesnt LOOK bipolar to me? Luckily, the blueberries look just yummy to me too Yum!! my favorite fruit how many bushes do you have to grow to get em like that?

Deanne & T maybe you can lurk near a priceline or last minute fare website for cheapo fares? Altho I do think the days of really cheap fares are over..... But sounds like you both might be busy w/ patients on your hands all too soon. Sure will miss meeting you though.

Deanne yes, thats Betty Corning in the photo Ive got 2 of them & as bug states, they grow into monsters, but lovely lovely ones... even in this horrible heat, shes still been throwing out a few "bells" here and there...

Well, I have lots of last minute work too taking all day off tomorrow to pack, take the furry one to her "sister", etc. thanks for the list too, Babs Im trying to keep the list lite to squeeze in some plants minus their dirt on the return flite!! who needs clothes... (can I wear the same outfit for 4 days or will everyone refuse to be near me by the 3rd day? gotta have room for plants! You all will "understand" right? LOL I imagine that might not be the way to be invited back to an IU4 however)


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Morning all,

Im a little worried about my timer for the pots. It didnt go off this a.m. After I messed with it then it did. Rick is going to pick up another today.
Add my hubby to those visiting the Dr. Monday was the Dr. and Tues. was a root canal. After we get back he goes to the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. I have "diagnosed" it as sleep apnea.

Mary, I remember Lunchables. My kids thought they were such a treat but rarely got them either.

Drema, that is a gorgeous coleus.

Babs, cool butterfly. What kind is it? Thanks for the list. I didnt even have my camera packed.

T, what a fun picture of your cat. I hope your DD can hold off a few more weeks.

Sue, LOL on more containers. I always have my eye out for more. This is a good time of year for bargains.

Thinking of Jerri.

Hi to all.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 12:06PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls!

Deanne that Rahji is so beautiful, he almost doesn't look real! :-) I always get a kick out of the way dogs and cats can just totally loosen up and relax...they are truly Zen. I'm bummed about the price of a plane ticket...I was really hoping to finally get to meet you, but so glad to hear that Doug is okay and wishing him well with his surgery.

I hope Jerri's surgery went smoothly too and that she is doing well.

This heat has really got to me. My Italian ancestors would be so ashamed...LOL! I just can't take high temps...they actually give me headaches and make me feel ill and it looks like we're in for another hot one today and tomorrow. Gee, I'm a cheery person this morning! LOL! Sorry! Well, the good news is that it *is* suppose to be cooler for IU3, in the low 80's...yea!

Sympathies V on the car shopping...LOL! I too have been working through the heat *trying* to get my gardens in shape. Oh well, I guess all the Idylls will know now that I'm not perfect and neither is my garden....What do you mean you already knew that?! LOL! Oh well, I plan to get plenty of help and tips when you are here. :-) Still bummed about Deanne not coming, I really need edger tips bad. Hope you guys have your thinking caps on and are making mental notes of your favorite edgers to recommend! :-)

Lots of gorgeous BD cards here...they are *all* so beautiful. BTW, Babs, I don't know *how* you get those butterflies to stand still...they are always flitting away the moment I try to snap a pic. Really enjoyed the pic of Sue and her sweet, and T's & Marie's kitties just cracked me up! Drema that "Bi-Polar By Golly" sure *is* looks like a tapestry or a colorfully woven cashmere coat...I *love* textural looking! Cindy, your Betty Corning is beautiful! Even in this awful heat mine is still sending out blooms and has been doing so since late May. She is an enthusiastic grower for sure - lol, but I really love her too. Speaking of which, Babs, I was thinking of digging yours up ahead of time and putting it in a pot? But, dont know what would be the best way to "pot it up" for the journey...any suggestions? Or, should we wait until just before you are ready to head home to dig it up - or - wait and have me mail it? Let me know what you think, okay?

I had a wonderful surprise visit last night that really cheered me. About a week ago there was a young couple stopped in front of my house. They were in their early to mid 30s Im guessing and the young woman was in a wheelchair. I could see that they were looking at the flowers, so I went over to say "Hello". We got to talking and he told me that his companion had been in a terrible car accident a little while back and that she had to move back here from Berkley, California, to live with her parents. She was a gardener and had a huge garden in California. She is in therapy now, but can't walk or speak. I introduced myself and told Ann that I was so glad to meet her, though I really wasnt sure if she understood. Anyway, I asked Thomas if they would like to come see the backyard, but he said he didn't think it was possible to maneuver the wheelchair through my back yard and that he probably should be getting her home now anyway, but hoped I didn't mind them being here, saying that he knew it really cheered Ann. Are you kidding? Is there anything a gardener likes more than sharing their obsession with a fellow gardener? And as a fellow gardener my heart was breaking, imagining how Ann must feel and all she must be going through. I told him to come back *anytime* and to feel free to wander, whether I am home or not. I had a big lump in my throat when I said good bye to the both of them. I was so moved and in such an emotional state about the whole experience that it haunted me all week. I couldnt get them out of my mind.... We take our lives so for granted some times, you know? I was bummed thinking about the fact that being so emotional at the time, I didnt even *think* to ask where they lived.... What if he felt so awkward after sharing such distressing and personal things with me, he was embarrassed to bring Ann back? The thought that I may never seem them again made me so angry at myself for being so stupid and thoughtless. I kept kicking myself and feeling all the more depressed, thinking how I could have brought Ann over here myself (if I knew where she lived) to spend time with me in the garden, but how now that may never happen.

Well, last night they came back! :-) They were in the driveway looking at flowers when I happened to come out to water the pots. OMIGOSH...Ive never been happier to see two people in my whole life! And what a wonderful night! It was so sweet....Ann would point to a flower and he would say "Yes, what is that Ann?...You know what that is!" And she was *smiling*....thats when I knew that she *did* understand on some level, even if she couldnt speak. He explained that she was pointing to the plants that were like the ones she grew in California, but unfortunately, he didnt know the names of them. So there were the three of us...Ann pointing, me telling them which plants they were, and him trying to get Ann to say the word! She pointed to the agaves and the impatiens and the roses...all the time smiling...heck, we were *all* smiling! I laughed when Ann reached out to feel a leaf on my Purple Heart tradescantia. She had a strong grasp and I think Thomas was afraid she would rip the leave. He was holding onto the other side of the leaf with an equally strong hold, trying to keep it steady. I told him not to worry...*everything* was touchable in my garden and fully capable of renewing itself. I asked if he would like to try to get in to see the backyard, but he wasnt sure he could get the wheelchair maneuvered through the gravel. Well he gave it the old college try and we did manage. Ann stopped and watched the fish in my pond and I could see the light in her eyes...I take back what I said about my pond being too small and not in a pretty spot...! I was seeing my pond in Anns eyes and in that moment no pond could have been more magical, not even Monets! :-) I ran to get some fish food so I could get the fish to come up to the surface where Ann could see them better. I told her about how I lost all my fish to herons this spring - except for Alvin. I pointed out Alvin to her and then Ruby (formerly known as Freckles). "When I first got that fish," I told Ann, "I thought he was a boy and named him Freckles because of the tiny little freckles of orange on his all white body, but later he developed lovely painted red lips, so I changed his/her name to Ruby!" :-) I dont know how much Ann understood, but she was smiling and Thomas got a kick out of my story. Thomas told me that in California Ann had a pond too and that the raccoons were always stealing her fish. Then Ann began pointing to the backyard. She wanted to get into the backyard! Thomas laughed, "Ann, I know you want to go see all the other flowers, but I cant get this wheelchair through the grass." She kept pointing most insistently...LOL...and he kept trying to distract her by asking..."Whats this plant Ann?" of plants nearer to our location. She would gaze at the plant and touch it, but then start pointing to the backyard again. I thought she was pointing to the lilies in the middle of the backyard, so I showed her some Casa Blanca lilies I had near the deck. She got this huge smile on her face and I impulsively plucked a flower from the plant, removed the sepals, so not to stain her face and presented the flower to her. I put it in her hand and then held it up to her face so she could get a sniff. It was such a special moment, looking into her eyes and seeing the pleasure on her face...we had made a real connection. We were both smiling from ear to ear and I *knew* then that Ann really did know I was there with her...even if she didnt understand all my ramblings...but, then again, who does? They spent a long time here just enjoying the flowers and Thomas told me a little more about what had happened to Ann. She had been living with Thomas in Berkley and had a horrible car accident. The doctors really didnt have much hope for her survival....but to everyones amazement, she made it. They moved into her parents house out here (about 4 months ago) and Ann has been going through PT ever since. Thomas said she hasnt actually spoken yet, but that sometimes she will try to mouth a word. He said his fondest wish in life is that someday Ann will be able to garden again. Boy, do I wish that too! Hes very hopeful that Ann will make a good enough recovery so that she will be able to have some independence again. He said he knows she really doesnt like living with her parents and resents being so dependent. I cant even imagine how hard it must be to have all your thoughts and not be able to verbalize them, to want something as simple as a drink of water and not be able to do that for yourself. I cant even bring myself to *really think* what must be going on in Anns head; it just breaks my heart and makes me feel so frustrated....I can only imagine how frustrated she must feel. Finally, Thomas said they had to leave, even though Ann kept pointing...LOL! I went back into the house then to give them some "private time" to enjoy themselves, just the two of them. When I finally looked out the front window I could see Thomas gently pulling Ann back up higher into her seat and as they moved away I spotted the Casa Blanca lily still clutched in Anns hand...I was grinning from ear to ear! :-) Now I need to figure out some way to make my gardens more accessible to Ann. I was thinking two wooden boards might do the trick; lay them both down, roll the wheelchair over the first one and onto the other, then take the one from the back and move it to the front? I dont know, but I am going to try to come up with something that would work. If her parents and Thomas dont object, I would love to bring Ann here to spend some time in the garden with me. It would be great to have the company when Im working in the garden and I think it might be good for Ann too. Well, well see, I wont get ahead of myself. I mean, obviously I will need to know a lot more about Anns needs and how to communicate, and her family will need to feel comfortable with me, before she could come here by herself, but I sure hope we can work something out.

Well, have lots more I wanted to say, but got so caught up in talking about my vistors, that Ive run out of time. I need to go get my haircut for IU3. Not sure if there will be hope of doing fingernails and toenails before you all come, but hey, Thanks V, my heels are looking *so* much better anyway!

Wow, this has become a very wordy, guess I'm making up for lost time.

Well gotta go...Have a wonderful day all! Ei

Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes,
it is a triumph of hope over experience.
- Marina Schinz

It is utterly forbidden to be half-hearted about gardening.
You have got to love your garden, whether you like it or not.
- W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman, Garden Rubbish, 1936 -

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves
of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is a symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring.
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature...the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter. The lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world are available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea and sky and their amazing life.
- Rachel Carson (1907-1964) -

When you have only two pennies left in the world,
buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.
- Chinese proverb -

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin..."
- Bible, Matthew, 6:28-29 -

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 12:51PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I love that Rachel Carson quote and want to get that calligraphied and framed! And I loved Ei's story which is not in the least bit wordy. Ei, I have used long 2" x 8" boards to make a grassy area wheelchair accessible in the past and it works.

Oh! Oh! an idyll grocery shopping excursion! I love it!

Thud! Did you hear that? An unplanned project landed on my desk. Bye!


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 2:39PM
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Ei - what a beautiful story about Ann - it made me tear up. I think it shows how special you and your gardens are. I think being able to spend more time with you and your plants would be a wonderfully healing experience. I hope you can make it work out. Thank you for sharing such a touching encounter with us. Now THAT is why we garden!

I loved the quotes too.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 3:57PM
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Ei, thanks for sharing such a touching story. Your garden sounds like its a special and magical place. I hope you can connect with Ann.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 4:09PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ei -- your story about Ann has brought tears to my eyes -- perhaps because it struck home very personally to me. My mother who has always been one of the most articulate people I've known & who loved to read (truth be told, sometimes had a biting word or 2 to go along w/ that intelligence) had a stroke 3 years ago -- and completely lost all her speech, none of it regained - along w/ the loss of reading & writing... along w/ partial paralysis (thus confined to a wheelchair). It has been & is one of her most frustratingly, painful things to deal with on a daily basis - trying to communicate a word that she used to know - trying to tell a doctor where it hurts or ask a question or carry on a conversation with us....My father has learned to do the "20 Questions" repertoire w/ her & they have a "system" to communicating or figuring out what she is trying to say. The drs early on even said that she really could not understand -- but they were totally wrong on that, as we have discovered(so tell Thomas that) -- she understands almost everything people say & do -- many chuckles & tears she's shed without saying a retainable, intelligible word in the last 3 years. People recovering beyond a "30 day" window & 2 yrs are not seen as worth trying to rehabilitate acccording to insurance companies & medical professionals - it's very frustrating if you're not rich!

It speaks of what a beautiful, special person you are to be able to even glimmer at Ann's struggle & what she misses in her life now -- and to want to find the time to help her regain just a small part of it, is beyond words. You are a sweet, gracious person. The world needs more like you and your garden!!

Just had to spill that. Thanks for sharing a such moment in your gardens with us -- and Ann and Thomas.

Im in countdown mode here ..... 25 hours before the flite to IU3 and catching up with many of you. Yeehaa.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 4:51PM
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Ei! That is the best story I've heard about a gardener's experiences. Everything's blurry on the key board because of all these tears; ) I was thinking why am I sad? but it's not sad it's admiration for your compassionate actions and feelings toward Ann,and understanding the joy you gave her. Maybe her determination to see the back of the garden will push her to get further in her recovery! I'm so happy she came back and I hope she continues- Mary said it right~*That's* why we garden!

Cindy thanks for sharing about your mom-all this time and you hadn't said. How frustrating to have that happen-my dad lost his speech too but from dementia and there really was a different level of comunication but a definite awareness even without spoken words(despite what medical field says). Sometimes a twinkle from an eye or even a tear says volumes.

Michelle-glad you liked that b-fly I have to look him up I forget which kind he is!

Ei-lol yep those b-flies do flit around...the key is *persistence* and move vewy,vewy slowly; )

Glad my packing list is helping more than ' V, should we scratch *buy new Car* and add *wine*? lol. Just minor details; )

For anyone leaving tomorrow for IU3 please have a safe and fun some fun for Drema and I too though; )

Chris' eyes are the same-which is good. That means they are most likely stable. Just check ups once a year for now.

Short on time I need to share 'puter with AJ...


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 5:47PM
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Babs, we are actually going to leave tonight. We decided to drive part way and then take our time tomorrow getting there.

See you there

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 8:18PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The countdown...Getting pretty exciting!!!

Had a visitor this evening who brought Bella the bloodhound along to meet Charlotte:

Taking on a bloodhound is more than i can deal with. He actually runs between 10-20 kilometers a day with her...even in the heat!

And for the Idylls who have to keep commitments and can't travel, here are a few new things from the garden:

New to me, Phlox Flower Power. I like the hint of pink and hope these plants overwinter well.

Clematis Fryderyk Chopin.

Off to do more stuff around the old homestead. So hard to prepare to leave....

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 8:36PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

No kidding, Marie. Tonight after my workout I arranged all the pots in each area for easy watering and planted the few I had left that were "staged". Then I walked Tom around for a dry run. Break for dinner at 8:30. Now I have to go pack. The goal is to not check a bag but something tells me that will be easier said than done. Tomorrow I'm working til 2. My flight leaves around quarter to five. By 8 central time I'll be more than ready for a drink and dinner with the early arrivals.

Is there a pool at this place? Don't forget your suits.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 9:20PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Ei, I totally forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed your story about Ann. What a caring and compassionate person you are-I'm looking forward to meeting you and touring your lovely garden.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 9:23PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Ei, loved your story also. What a generous person you are!

Sue, you might as well check a bag b/c I'm checking one and we're on the same flight LOL I'm bringing a cooler as a carryon and hope to fill it with plants for the return home.

Michelle and Jerri-happy belated bdays. I'm sorry I didn't have time to post photos. Too much to do before vacation, esp with everyone being sick.

Emma is much better. Hubby and I are still coughing-but no fever and more energy so we're on the mend.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 11:03PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hi all,
I should be getting some shut-eye by now, but have just washed my laundry for the third time after pre-treating some stubborn stains. Yes, DH has left a chapstick in the pocket of his shorts AGAIN and there are grease marks all over everything! ARRRGGGHHH!!! He does this at least once a month but the timing bites on this one. All my fav shorts and tees were in this load (of course, thanks Murphy!) so I may be shopping at the hotel gift shop for clean threads!

But otherwise I'm packed and ready, toenails painted a peachy shade, camera batteries charging. I'm so excited to see everyone again, and meet Cindy and Michelle for the first time! Wish Deanne and Teresa were able to come, but hope when we get back after the weekend we'll hear that Doug sailed through his surgery and T's daughter has either two bundles of joy or has held off on delivering for a little while. Hope Eden and her DH can make it, but understand she is very worried about her Mum too. Best wishes and good vibes to all who need them. Thinking about Jerri too...

Ei, just read your story about Ann, how wonderful! You are so caring and compassionate, and I know you'll find a way to help your garden help Ann. That is so neat! Can't wait to meet you and see your gardens in person!

Cindy, your sharing about your Mum's situation was very emotional too. Sorry your family and your Dad have had to go through so much frustration, but it's great that you know your Mum is in there, and understands.

V, very timely that your DH is arriving at O'Hare just after my flight and can drive me out. That's great! Honey wants me to join her at the hotel's pool or hot tub, so I reluctantly tossed my bathing suit in the bag. After a libation or two maybe I won't care how I look. ;) Yes, please don't worry about wine! We'll take care of that staple when we get there...

Babs, thanks for the list! I'll add small notebook and pen to make garden notes/sketches along the way. Have found this a very simple but handy tool on past Idyll-Unions.

LOVED all the photos here, but it's midnight and my dryer just stopped. So going to check out the chapstick stain situ and get some zzzz's.

See some of you tomorrow!

Taryn :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:08AM
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Daylight is almost completely gone. There is just a bit of light behind the hillside that I can see from my window. DH has gone off to bed but I'm not sleepy yet. I'll be sorry at 4:45, when the alarm goes off, that I've not gone to bed already.....but for now it is nice to watch the day end in the quiet.

Ei, what a lovely person you are...I already knew that, but I guess I didn't realize how truly lovely and kind. Ann has found a treasure in you and your gardens.

Monique, glad you and Les are feeling better. I hope Emma is doing well, too.

'bug hope this new tractor works well. I enjoyed seeing the doggie visitor you had....and always enjoy & appreciate your garden photos.

Babs, glad that Chris' eyesight had not changed for the worse and it sounds great that you have a plan with Ryan for while you are away for the next few days.

Taryn, rotten about the chapstick! I've never been one to check pockets when doing the laundry. I count on the garment owner to have gone through and removed everything..I've been very lucky over the years that DH & the kids were diligent about emptying their pockets before dropping their clothes in the laundry basket. Hopefully once your DH sees how difficult this has made things for you, he'll get better about checking. It looks (and sounds) like the 'get to know the neighbors' party went well. It was a very nice thing for you to have done for the new home owners.

Marion's been quiet, hope that new computer hasn't had a glitch. I don't think she mentioned which camera she decided on and I'm eager to see her photos with it.

(Still a tad bit of light behind the hill)

Sue, you always seem to get so much done and packed into your days. I hope you'll have a stress free travel time tomorrow and that the work day will breeze by easily.

Deanne, hope all goes well for Doug and also that he has healed up from the sting/bite.

V., hope you didn't have to go vehicle shopping tonight and that the family rallied around to assist you with all the last minute things you wanted to accomplish. Life sounds pretty full and stressful right now, for both you and Eileen,...but once these 'guys' get there, help you pick out some wine and the good (fun!) conversation begins......well, it will just become stress-less and enjoyable. and Rick have already headed out, I hope your travel time will be easy and enjoyable.

Honey's been quiet....hope all is well there.

Eden, you are on my mind daily.... trip! :o)

(still a hint of light behind the hill).

A few of the elk came through the upper backyard this afternoon. There were 7......6 cows and 1 calf. A couple of the cows looked pretty 'full' so I wondered if they were going to have their calves soon....or maybe just pleasingly plump. ;o) I tried to take some photos, but not sure how well they turned out. I've not taken them off the camera yet.

Well, guess I'll shut down the computer and head off to bed.

'nite all.....

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:56AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Monique, I was able to get everything in the carry on so no baggage check for me. The last two times I set foot in O'Hare I had problems. One time Nick was my carry on and we ended up spending the night at some fleabag Holiday Inn way out from the airport because none of the closer places allowed dogs. Granted the previous issues were all with connecting flights but I'd rather have everything I need close at hand. It will also make for a quicker return trip. The only potential problem I see now is if tropical storm Beryl comes a little further inland. The upside to a storm though is it should provide enough supplemental rain if Tom falls down on the pot watering duties. everybody ready?


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 8:41AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Today's musical weather pairing is "Thunder Road" by bruce Springsteen, accompanied by random lightening in all directions as I drive to work. The storms started about 4:00 am and have been whoppers. No need to water today!

The good news is that the storms will move out by late morning. The bad news is that they move east, so I hope that no one else's plans get complicated.

Okay, more email to send and a tad of work to do - yeah, I'm working today because it seems like tomorrow's payroll is a bigger priority than idyllunion. Go figure!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 8:56AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

Well Im off to do grocery shopping today with mom. Were usually Friday shoppers, but I need to go with sis to the doctors tomorrow, so its off to the grocery store today.

Gee, I was a little embarrassed by all your nice words, but then again, I know that all of you are just as compassionate and kind (thats one of the things that drew me to the Idylls in the first place) and know that any one of you would do the same if the opportunity arose.

Cindy, Im so sorry to hear about your mom. It must be very hard for her and frustrating for all of you too. My good thoughts go out to your mom and dad, and you and your whole family; I can only imagine the strength and the love it takes to deal with such a tough situation on a day to day basis. I will definitely tell Thomas what you said; I know that will give him hope and strength too.

Anyway, Ive been taking tips from all you packers. Ill be there Saturday with my camera and my little notebook and pen in hand. Hey Taryn, you know if you need to keep yourself occupied while on the flight, that notebook should come in handy. You could be writing down all your favorite edging/low growing plants for full sun and part sun why, that will come in handy for your new house! ;-) Sneaky, aint I? LOL!

I cant believe that some of you will be arriving today! My gosh, Im getting panicky are you holding up V? I just know when you guys come here for breakfast on Sunday, I will have forgot to add something to a recipe, or forget to put something out...even with all my lists.

I have also put "peach" nail polish on my grocery list...though I dont know if it will ever actually make it onto my fingers and toes. :-)

We are having rain again today, which has caused the air to cool. I couldnt wish for a better circumstance. We really have been so lucky this year, with some fairly regular rain. Although some of my pots are heat stressed looking - for the most part everyone seems pretty happy. I need to get out there and do a little weeding and cleanup before Sunday, but Ive left most of the re-seeders that are finished in the ground for now (just in case someone wants some seed to take home with them). Mary, I think some of the Laurens Grape seed should be ripe by now and you need to remind me that we need to collect some for you when you come over Sunday. Im really thrilled because, despite the storms, my *very* tall, over 6 feet, Scheherazade is still smiling and standing up nicely in her place...."shes got legs...she knows how to use them..."

Babs, glad to hear about Chris good prognosis. Poor Ryan...I *bet* he will miss his mom something fierce, AJ too, even though as a "mature young man" :-) he may not let on...

Norma I would love to see your ponds too...*whenever* you can share. Ive seen glimpses of your garden before and it is *so* beautiful...wish you would share more pics!

Ive been thinking about Eden too and hoping that things are going as smoothly as possible for her mom...this is a very tough time, I know. Sending positive thoughts and good wishes. If I dont see you this week-end Eden, I understand, but cant wait until the day we will finally get to meet. You really cant be too far from me. Maybe some time Paul and I can drive out that way (checking on those houses again...LOL) and be able to stop in and see you...and Dotti too...and David! Wouldnt that be great?

Deanne, I will miss you too at IU3! I hope you are serious about stopping in here, if you come out this way for work...I would *love* that. Best wishes to Doug for a smooth surgery and a speedy recovery.

T Ill be missing you too and thinking about those little ones on the way. My best wishes to DD and to all of you....whoo hoo.....*twins*! Im so glad to hear that everything is progressing as it should. Well, hopefully, we will get to meet at the next Idyllunion....will it be Canada then for 2007? :-)

Hi Marian! Are you getting any of these nice rains your way? I sure hope so! Will be missing you too when the Idylls are here. I really hope that someday we will get to meet in person, although I already feel I know you so well. I would love to be able to put my arms around you and give you a big hug! Here are some happy cyberhugs anyway! :-)(((Marian))):-)

Well, gotta get cracking, Im burning daylight and Ive got *tons* to do. Have a safe and pleasant trip in to all on their way to Illnois! Ei

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 9:18AM
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OOps Ei I forgot to say about potting up the clematis...I imagine using a baggie to hold the roots(& wet paper towel to keep moist) and putting the twist tie just above the roots would keep things together?
Never be embarrassed by our words of ARE a sweet person!

Bye Michelle...she's already on the road!

TAryn doesn't it figure when you are rushed for time the chapstick ends up in the laundry---ugh!! If it makes you feel any better I ironed pine sap into my khakis: ( BUT I used baby oil to break it up then Dawn dish soap to get it out. Dawn works great for getting rid of oil stains but what a pain to look for all the oil stains after the chapstick gets on the clothes.
I'm packing a notebook & writing utensil. I am afraid of ink pens these days-I had one leak in my purse and just about died when I ended up with cherry red hands from trying to clean it up...that was the Fourth of July...hmm I was wearing a blue shirt and white shorts...I was definitely patriotic that day; )

I just want everybody to know I'll be missing you if you have to stay back from IU3. My wish is that one day every single one of us gets together-I wonder if that could ever happen. Last year I was in your shoes and it was tough. I'll take pics(I knopw that's not good enough).
Laura if you can't come for sure good luck with your mom.
Deanne-be gentle with Doug...but couldn't he co pilot you in his plane(and keep his leg elevated?)? By now you must be able to fly that Just kidding ; )
T-I hope your DD holds on till her due date-lots of excitement coming up for you!!Tell him good luck on his surgery.
Marian-please check in!
Everybody else too...hold the fort down while we're away(sniff).

I'll be back once more since I don't leave till an ungodly hour tomorrow a.m.

Have a good day with gentle rain-I hope V's weather comes here minus the lightening.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 10:13AM
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Good morning Idyll-land!

It is already sunny and looking like it will be a 'roaster'. Today is suppose to be in the 90's, tomorrow close to 100° and Saturday over 100. Unusual weather for us in July. The grass in the pasture is dried to a pretty toasted tan....and the lawns are still holding a little bit of green.

Cindy, forgot yesterday to mention how sorry I was for your mother. It has to be horribly difficult for her and those that love her.

I'm going to run into town this morning to pick up a few groceries as Jamie will be spending the night again tomorrow and his momma will spend the day here on Saturday (they don't have A/C so when she comes to pick him up, they'll enjoy visiting for the day in a cooler home).

Hmmmmm, guess that is all the news that is happening here.

Safe journey to all who are traveling today and tomorrow!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 10:33AM
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Hi! Does anyone want me to take some cuttings from any of my coleus? I have Stained Glass, Coco Loco, the Bi polar one in the pic, Dappled Apple, Alabama Sunset, Sedona, Dip'd in wine...I haven't cut them yet, so they won't have roots, but will be glad to do Babs's papertowel/baggie thing:) If any of you think of anything else I have that you would like, let me know and I can bring it.
I will check in again later today to see, but I probably won't be able to check back in after 8 tonight....


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 11:20AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Oh Drema, I'd love to be Bipolar, um, I mean have a cutting of bipolar! I was drooling over your photo.

Ei, I'm not panicking because I just keep dropping things off the list. At this very moment, I'm thinking the garden will look so drowned that no one will notice that I didn't have a chance to deadhead the 8 gazillion shastas that bloomed out over the weekend.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 11:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Drema....maybe I could innocently pack some bipolar leaves in my travel bag too?

V, get Taryn or Sue to deadhead those daisies. DELEGATE! Don't touch a thing from now on!

Storms expected here today but then sunny and high seventies until I return.

Still packing. The 'perfume' of countryside fertilizer is everywhere. UGH. Mowed yesterday, so that isn't a problem.

Maybe "Ann & Thomas" will turn up for idyllunion. Wouldn't that be a hoot! We'd weave them a lei....or a halo.

OK, back to business. The toenail colour is supposed to be "Polar Bare".


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 11:52AM
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V-now listen to me...we are experience gardeners...leave the deadheading to us!(for your garden's sake-preferably before the wine; )

Drema(I like Bipolar too!!)can I have some?

Here comes the rain: )


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 11:59AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

On my toes-Hippie Chic.

I'd love some coleus but decided I don't want to deal with plants and flights so I'm swearing off all live greenery for the weekend. Somebody please feel free to remind me of that when we're in the various nurseries.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:09PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Don't tell Sue, Monique, Les, Taryn or Cindy, but O'Hare is currently experiencing delays averaging 4 hours 45 minutes. scream!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:41PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Hmmm, just like the airlines, when you go to the AA website to check flight status it tells you everything is on time. Better pack some extra food and water for the flight. This is exactly what happened the time I went with Nick to OR. They load you onto the plane like there isn't a problem, then make you sit trapped for hours. Good grief!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 1:04PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good afternoon all,

Well I went on a plant shopping expedition yesterday and came home with some nice phlox and one Ajuga Black Scallop. I went looking for some nice dahlias but didnt find anything I liked. My dahlias in the mailbox garden this year are so ho hum and not doing much of anything. Quite the disappointment, in fact all the dahlias just didnt do well this year. I think the spring was just too wet and cold. Oh yes, I forgot, I also bought this tiny monarda Petit Wonder that is supposed to stay a foot to 18" tall. I removed a couple of the dahlias in the front bed next to the steps and planted it there. I hope it does well there.

So has anyone else had a bad year for powdery mildew? My east border is just a mess and even the peonies are getting mildew there. Ive never seen it so bad. Im going to pull out all the phlox from that bed as it has always been a problem and Im sick of dealing with it.

V. Ooooo nooooo. Bummer about those delays. What a mess. I sure hope that clears out and turns out to be not as bad as expected. ~~ Yes, it is truly a huge bummer that I couldnt get a more reasonable airfare so I could zip in for Sunday but I guess it just wasnt meant to be this year. Waaaaahhhhhhh ~~ That is great news about the weather forecast. You all are going to have a ball!

T. wow, you could wind up being a grandma again while the IU3 is happening! ~~ I remember the terrible twos well but with my DD the threes were worse. ~~ I cant believe the best price you could get on a ticket was $777, mine was $450, and that was Southwest. Jeesh! ~~ Bummer about the raspberries.

Babs, thanks for the information about the red pepper wax. I think Im going to give that a try. I do have leaves getting shredded to bits so Ive got to try something of I wont have any coleus left. The Sedona in particular are getting ruined this year.

Sue, not buy any plants? Ive only seen that happen once. ~~ LOL about your plan about having Tom come up to take care of Doug. That also wouldnt have worked because I dont think Tom would have been willing to water my containers here then zip down to Hartford to do yours.

Eileen, thank you for sharing that story. You brought tears to my eyes and again made me stop to count my blessings. Love the quotes as well. ~~ I have no doubt that we will meet in person sometime, just not this weekend.
Eden, whats up with you? Hope all is well there.

Drema, everyone is talking about your coleus pic and Im really bummed because I cant see it! I have Bipolar this year also but it just hasnt done well for me for some reason. Im going to keep checking so I can hopefully see your pics.

OK Ive got to get to the gym. Im way late today but I wanted to get all my new plants in the ground and then of course had to water and deadhead and that takes forever during daylily season.

So, SAFE TRAVELS to everyone. Have a WONDERFUL time. Im going to really miss being with you all.

Have a great day,

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 1:34PM
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Hi Deanne:

I sent you an email. I moved the pictures this morning, sort of by accident. Trying to organize my photos...but I sent you the login, password:)


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 3:27PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Just back from the grocery store and checking in to see updates....

What a bummer about the delayed flights...I hate when that happens. Well the rains have stopped here since the a.m. so maybe everything will right itself.

Drema...I would love a piece of bipolar too...but really only if it won't make your plant naked...Bipolar seems to be very popular here! :-) I went online the other day after seeing yours and found a place that has it in stock. I won't say where here because I'm afraid it will be bought out before I get the chance to get myself one....LOL! But I'll share the name of the nursery with anybody here who wants it.

Funny you mentioned that Marie...I was thinking wouldn't it be great if they could go to Trudi's with us? But I'm afraid Trudi is no more "wheelchair accessible" than I...probably worse. But hoping some day I will be able to take Ann and Thomas there.

Deanne...we're going to miss you!

Okay, time to unpack my groceries and scratch *that* off my list. TTYL! Ei

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 3:37PM
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My but it is quiet with so many of the Idylls enroute or doing last minute preparations for IU3!

DD saw the doctor this morning and it doesn't sound like I'll be holding babies while everyone is touring gardens. Now why does that make me feel a bit cheated? ;o)

Hope the delays at the airport weren't too long.

I went grocery shopping this morning so will be able to stay home for the next few days. Temperature a short bit ago was 93°...tomorrow and Saturday are suppose to be much warmer. A weekend to hide indoors I guess.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 6:56PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! I thought I would share that we had a nice dinner last night with Michelle, Rick, Les, Monique, Sue, Taryn & Dottie. My DH and DD joined us as well. The Hartford flight landed early but then they sat on the runway waiting for a gate for about 40 minutes. O'Hare was a mess yesterday. Unfortunately, the last we heard before bed was that Cindy's flight had not come in yet. I had reserved a limo for her, so hopefully she got in late and is at the hotel now.

And speaking of travel plans gone bad, my DS arrived home at 3:30 am after his train arrived 11 1/2 hours late. They went through St. Louis, which my son said was a total mess - trees down everywhere, no power at the train station or at most of the grade crossings, so the train just crawled. He missed the last commuter train out of the city, so I sweet-talked my nephew into picking him up. Oh, to be young enough that you don't even bat an eye when someone asks you to drive to the city at 1:00 am! The guys also dropped off a young woman who was going to a suburban hotel but also planning to take the commuter train there.

Okay, time to run so I can get ready for the day's touring! TTYL,


    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 8:05AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning V and Hi to all the "Have Arrived" Idylls!

Thanks for the update...glad everyone seems to have made it in okay. Let us know that Cindy made it in okay; okay? Glad to hear Dotti arrived safely...I was thinking about her!

Woohoo...they're here! :-) I know you guys will love your tour today....a beautiful place!

Well, I need to go get ready for sis, but just checking in to see if there was any word...again, thanks V!


    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 8:29AM
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