#329 Beyond the Fringe Idyll

gardenbug(Canada zone 5)August 10, 2007

I little Friday humor to start the day...and the next Idyll'

Start posting!

Here is a link that might be useful: Comedy

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Good Morning Idylls! We've finally started getting rain here so things are greening up a little. Busy with the new paver project, moving Jen and Randy, and Bella's discovered the ice cream man who she now considers to be her good, good friend, lol. Also we're playing lots of Candy Land these days.

Marie, cute, cute pics of Reed. I loved the bumbo seat when Bella was little.

Denise, love the blue fence.

Kathy, great begonia collection.

Michelle, congrats on the new addition to the family. I too love her name.

Cindy, what a great friend you are.

Deanne, my dream is to be as organized as you and fertilize my brug every day. I'm lucky if mine gets watered enough. It is putting out blooms though.

Mary, great pics. Ivan and Iris is such dolls and Annie is looking so grown up and pretty.

Saucy, hope your friend made it ok and you stayed up late catching up. Enjoy your time together!

Hi T! Miss hearing from you!

Hope we hear from Sue today and she's on the road to recovery!

I have to run. Lots to do as is always the case. Have a good weekend everyone.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 8:53AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im not sure I can speak to the topics beyond the fringe, LOL, as Im probably a fairly mainstream kinda person.....

But Im very happy to see it's Friday, sounds like we have a lot of folks going on vacation - V, Mary, Saucy, others in another week -- take lots of gahden pics for us workerbees & housebees!

Denise - love that stain on your fence and meant to say that I too & I think a number of folks here are enamoured also of Thomas Hobbs and I would dearly love to see his house & nursery. I think he's the one w/ his books who really got me thinking that succulents, agaves, etc., should be planted places beside the desert, LOL. Your gardens from what I've seen in your photos definitely reminds me of him - you've got the same eye.

We actually got some rainstorms last nite and there is much relief to the plants and the heat. It will be very muggy and in low 90s here today - but that shouldnt be as oppressive as it's been.

I meant also to mention to Martie how impressed I was she held it together trying to get into her NYC meetings - I find that place very daunting to drive in and avoid it whenever I can. I've gotten good at driving in DC and the highways here, but I think NY is a world all to itself. Sounds like you should call Galium's DH next time.

Galium, how neat that you lived in Scotland for 3 years - I've visited there 2 times (altho it's been a while now) and loved, loved Edinburgh. It's such a charming, Walkable town -- I found it really easy to get around and we thought the Scots were all so incredibly friendly and helpful and welcoming. It was a great experience. And the flowers and gardens - o my.... I didnt make to the Highlands but was amazed and stirred by the beauty in lower Scotland. I have it on my list of places to return to for sure.

Well, Im a bit brain dead (not unusual for me) -- things are okay w/ my friend; we're still puzzling how or if she can somehow retrieve her belongings in SC - I just wish I knew 5 hulking men who could drive her down in a truck & grab her stuff out of there, but I dont....I think she's definitely decided to stay (or return) to this area and we're starting to look for jobs, etc., for her. But she's gonna need some clothes, etc., to interview, so that will be the task for this weekend I think - to get her some. I just realized to, in Mary's vein, that Im sure she has no extra undies w/ her -- not something you really can loan to someone -- we better put that on the list too, LOL.

I got the first of my fall plant catalogs - gotta find some time to root thru it if I can.

Happy holidays for those going off for late summer fun!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 8:57AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

I think I may been beyond the fringe a time or two in my life...

First and foremost though: 'bug, if you'll pardon my ignorance, how does the lovely Reed go around without diapers? There must be some sort of get-up to catch the, um, stuff that babies do? My kids are 10 and 12 now, and it has been a while, but I distinctly remember the diapers as somewhat of a necessity. My son's uncanny aim when he was lying on the changing table unencumbered comes to mind... Inquiring minds want to know about the alternative!

Summer is winding down here, thoughts of garden renovation and bulb planting are starting to dance in my head. School starts in 3 weeks - Yikes! We actually shopped for school supplies this week. The schools provide very specific lists for the kids, DS's list even had the sku # of the particular folder he needs from Staples! Jeesh! If I remember correctly, we were lucky to be sent off with a new lunchbox and a handful of pencils! Lunchboxes are not cool around here BTW, both my kids are the brown bag types.

Saucy, I chuckled about you and Chelone driving to NYC - I can picture it now. Maybe you could have picked up Archie Bunker - I'm sure he knows where the airport is! Glad to hear you got the deck and some other items on your list taken care of...it is amazing what can be accomplished when the kids are gone for a while! I've yet to convince mine that sleepover camp is a good idea...

Mary, love the pics of the kids. My son is pretty cautious in the water too, but the combination of the wetsuit and the face mask is his suit of courage. At the beach, he would only go in the water up to his knees and run from the waves until we got him a wetsuit (DH explained the effects of 55 degree water on the male anatomy, and I can understand). He loves to ride the waves now. He wears the wetsuit only in the ocean, but the face mask is worn on all swimming occasions - he'd probably wear it in the shower if I'd let him.

Cindy, your friend is lucky that she has you to help her get back on her feet. How unfortunate that things like that have to happen. If her money and her stuff is the most she has lost, she should probably consider herself lucky.

Denise, I like the fence color.

Sue, put me on the list of willing garden volunteers if you need any help. Thinking of you and hoping you are feeling better.

Well, I know I had tons more that I wanted to say, but I really must start my workday here. I'll have to refresh and look for the TGIF. I was actually looking for it yesterday around noontime, and I was worried when I didn't see it...until reality slapped me in the face and I realized it was only Thursday...

Happy Friday!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Kathy, I forgot to mention that this is called the Bumbo seat. See below. It was T who first got me interested. Of course with twins, you can imagine the relief it provides!

Hoping Sue is doing OK, and getting better than OK SOON!

Missing Chelone and others who are packing for holidays or visiting family. Smiled about Bella's new friend. Maybe Chelone's brother would like to teach her the fine art of licking ice cream cones?

I added a few flagstones under the house eaves last night, giving me a place to place my feet when weeding back in there. The neighbours came by once again to take photos of their boys for their parents' 35th anniversary gift. This morning we were given fresh 'thank-you' muffins.

Off to prepare for my weekend guest now. Beds made, flowers in vases. Now for lunch prep.


Here is a link that might be useful: baby seat

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:40AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good morning! Gotta run-meeting at 10. It's been a long week!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The theory of no diaper training is that babies are born with the desire to be clean and dry and will cry when they are about to soil themselves. In China, Africa and other places babies are carried by their parents in various sorts of slings without the use of diapers. There are books which describe the process in more detail. In Reed's case, he gives plenty of warning and makes different sounds according to whatever is bothering him. (or pleasing him!) DD or DSIL carry him to the sink/toilet at such times. They make a "pssssst" sound at the same time and now he will go when either of them make that sound.
They do have cloth diapers that he sleeps on (or under. When they go out, they also use diapers. it is hard to do the "no diaper" thing at Home Depot or in the car seat.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diaper Free

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:54AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Cindy...food for thought...when I left my first husband he was causing me a lot of grief ( threatening type), so I called the police, and they were at our house while I gathered up my belongings. Hopefully her husband would not chase her down, as mine did...but that is another story.
Best of luck to you both.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 10:00AM
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Marie, I'm always amazed at the new things I learn here on Idylls. The diaper free concept is very interesting to me, especially since we're in the potty training phase with Bella. How great it would be not to have to go through that at age 2!

Great to see Sue's Friday greeting.

Cindy, I think Marian's idea of getting the police involved is a good one. How awful to not have access to even your underwear!

Wendy, I'm just waiting for cooler weather so I can do some garden renovations too. Hard to believe that it's almost time for school to start up again!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 10:19AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

'bug, that is fascinating - I had no idea! I always knew that babies could communicate non-verbally, but not to that extent. I understood completely when I read the quote in the intro of the book on the link you posted: "It's become as natural and ordinary to me as nursing him when he's hungry". Amazing!

Thanks for the TGIF Sue, it has been a long week.

Some things I forgot to say earlier:

Michelle, congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter. I didn't know you have so many grandchildren!

Denise, that kitty pic is a riot - no photoshop involved there? Pretty funny.

Chelone, where are you?

Brenda, we are Mike Rowe fans at my house too. DS and DH love that show, and I watch sometimes too. I like it when he deals with animals because you can see how far out of his comfort zone he really is. My fave was when he was fishing in the swamp for crawfish, and one bit him and he cried out. The fisherman asked if the crawfish bit him, and Mike said something like "No, he scared me"

V, enjoy your vacation!

Well, enough for now - the lunch bell is ringing...lunch today is a wrap I made with smoked deli turkey, veggie hummus, mesclun, tomato, cucumber and cheddar cheese. I've been into wraps all summer instead of bread sandwiches - you guys got any good recipes for wraps?


PS I just used the google spellcheck on the above post, and it flagged the word mesclun (you know, the baby greens) - the spell check thought I was trying to spell mescalin! Good thing I didn't just automatically do the correction like I sometimes do...talk about beyond the fringe!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 12:11PM
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I'm here.

But we all face "struggles" in our lives now, don't we? I'm not very much fun these days, frankly. I'm thoroughly irritated with the beaurocracy of BULL-HIT and the "excuse making" that seems to go hand-in-hand with it.

I'm unfit company for man or beast... esp. the latter (watch out, Rex!).

Clearly, I need to "simmer down" and read the blazing Idyll du jour... as IF, lol.

I'll try to do what I know I must do... you guys always make me feel better but sometimes I miss too much and flounder in the wake. You know?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 12:44PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

(((Chelone)))...this too shall pass.... I know, it seems like it never will, but it will.

Marie, I am glad you explained about the 'no diapers' . I was sure wondering about the bed at night!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 12:55PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hi, Eden - you are always so busy! Boy, what a full plate -- love Bella's new friend - I'd like to have one like that too!

Hi, Chelone - I was afraid your silence might be due to the fact that you had encountered what I had too often at LTCs -- they're full of mea culpas and "we'll do that," "we'll get right on that...." and then it all goes down the tubes.... you get tired of fighting dont ya? I feel for you -- just remember, it aint you, it aint the patient, it's the industry. You feel like you're banging your head against the wall, right? Dont let it defeat you though. & you can come here to complain & rant whenever you want to...refresh and rejuvenate and then redouble your efforts.... Sometimes you just have to do the best you can w/ what you've got to work with, even if it's not the best we'd like to have. Does that make sense?

You have not missed anything of importance -- more of our idyll musings...

gee, though - for sheer new knowledge, you might want to check out 'bug's link to learn what we all learned today about "no diapers" -it's amazing to me the new ideas that people think up! I do find it hard to fathom being able to schlep the child around in the stores, grocery, etc., day care without protection from accidents? at some point....

Thanks guys re the my friend & the police idea - unfortunately this dude is a ex-cop and she already tried that route -- for a violence incident, 2 of them answered her call - 1 male and 1 female -- they greeted the schmuck, chatted w/ him, and the female one gave him her home phone # to call sometime!!!! it's apparently true that they are a close-knit bunch and it doesnt matter the size of the town -- so I dont think she'll get much help from them unless it's reinforced w/ some atty back-up.

'bug, I just saw some crocosmia in a floral arrangement today at our office - boy, it is sooo striking by itself in a vase. I may have to try it, but Im just not sure Im gonna like orange w/ pink.....Wish it would come it a more blue red tone, LOL. (custom plant order request)


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 1:16PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh dear, Cindy! I have seen too many movies on that type of situation! It's bad news for the wife I'm afraid. My prayers will be for her.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 2:02PM
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A busy day here at the office. Everyone wants something before the weekend.

Im glad the no diaper concept was explained. Who would have thought?

What a nice smile baby Reed has.

Chelone, sorry to hear you are down.

Wendy, actually 9 of the grandkids are DHÂs and 1 mine. HeÂs 13 ½ years older than I am.

I painted last night with my mom at the new house.

We are leaving tonight for the state fair. Not much is getting accomplished these days in the garden. The childrenÂs garden has had no progress. Hopefully, this fall. I will have to visit the ChildrenÂs Garden at the Fair to get inspired.

Have a great weekend!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 4:27PM
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Michelle, take pictures of the children's garden if you have a chance please. They're always some of my favorite gardens and I love to see what ideas they've come up with. Are your parents moving away or just downsizing?

Cindy, how sad that your friend can't even get the police to stand there and make sure she's safe while she retrieves her things. That makes absolutely no sense to me. I think I'd be complaining down at the station!!!

Chelone, sorry you're feeling low. Wondering how the garage is coming along?

Marie, enjoy your time with Lynn! Can't wait to hear what the two of you get into! She is or is soon to be a grandma too, correct?

Wendy, it has been a busy summer here. Too busy for my taste! That's why we put any projects on hold for this year but then with the tree falling we were forced into doing some things. Bonus is that I've lost around 10 lbs this summer without even trying. Chasing a two year old is great aerobic activity, lol.

I wish I had video to show you of Bella when she hears the music from the ice cream truck. She gets so excited. I can't help but let her get an ice cream sandwich every afternoon just so I can watch her flag him down and laugh at her antics!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 5:21PM
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That made me laugh Eden. No video required. I can just imagine :)

I'm avoiding the last thread because I'll never catch up. I wish y'all would write more on the week-ends and less during the work week.

So Katie is on a new miracle tablet $7 per pill twice a day. If they said her spine needed to be removed and replaced with Itanium I'd be there, I just didn't expect $100 at Sam's for a week's supply. (Pennies compared to the checks for neuro, but you can be darn sure I am not allowing her to spit these out.) Seem to be affecting her usually ravenous appetite though. Monty ate her supper as a second helping, and Katie settled down with a turkey neck which was sufficiently enticing I guess.

We had rain and cooler temps drift in here yesterday afternoon. It remained cool until I wanted to walk Foster Fudge tonight. He's going home next Thursday night to live with a lizard and a kitty. He'll be fine. Sweet happy boy and very trainable.

I'm fascinated by the no diaper concept, actually sounds more civilized. If cats and dogs can figure it out at an early age, why can't human babies? Makes sense.

Chelone. Ugh. I feel for you, that kind of stuff saps your strength and happiness. I've linked a perfect dog for you. He obeys most commands, though not as quickly as I would expect! Be sure to ask for a kiss at the end. He does not respond to 'Kill' or 'Cuddle', I did try those, but 'Spin' worked. Try it, it's fun :)

Cindy, ouch. You are good soul to offer shelter and support while your friend regroups. Make sure you keep some 'me' time. Most of the 'red' crocosmia I've seen has an orange tone, but check online there may be a purer red one now.

Hi people!


Chelone: click the link

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 8:00PM
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He failed to respond to "Lie your -ss down". One more reason why I maintain that dogs (and staffers at LTC facilitities) are the basest forms of life...

And one more reason why I administer regular beatings.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:00PM
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Ditto what Eden said at 8:53, lol! There's an experienced idyller at work! When you're a kid, the ice cream man holds all the keys. We've got a guy that runs through the neighborhood around 6 p.m., playing a loop of Christmas tunes year-round, the theme from Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet and a little Scott Joplin too, all in one drive-by.

Saucy, I'd love to meet up with you if you ever make it out to Calif. GB, that angelica is spectacular. Interesting to hear of the brave new world of your daughter's child-raising experiences and, at the opposite end, hearing what Chelone is experiencing. I'm really curious as to the framework in which your daughter made her childbirth choices, how she got such latitude, and what part the Canadian govt health programs play. Might be too big of a subject to tackle in an idyll, lol. Sounds so supportive and creative. Chelone's situation is simply enraging, and so many of us either are or will be facing that soon. **deleted blue state political rant, lol**

Cindy, What a good friend you are. Nice to see Sue pop in to ring the bell on this week. Cynthia, I hope those pills are the answer. I missed if Katie ever got a diagnosis. I hear you on keeping up during a work week, which I doubt I'll be able to do.

I've gone feral, all traces of civilization sloughed off. Gosh, do I love to dig. I've been attacking the dead zones, those spots that usually hold a "sacred cow" or two, some sentimental favorite that's seen better days, where the planting just doesn't hold together anymore. Still got a few dead zones to go...and probably always will ;)

Deanne, your compost adventures have been inspirational. I MISS loads of compost and have a measly bin that just doesn't cut it. I'm in the process of getting a new compost program going, which is kinda like sticking to a diet for me. Autumn is the best time for new resolutions, I find.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:02PM
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Try 'Please lay your ass down.'

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:05PM
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Bella loved the little dog. We tried 'twirl' and it responded:) Hope the new golden pills work for Katie. Fingers crossed here that they do!

Denise, loved the comment that you've gone feral. Made me smile! Now that's the sign of a good vacation IMO!

Chelone, great to have you back!


    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:19PM
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I tried 'Go Potty' ..does this mean I am some sort of deviant ?? A piddle-o-phile perhaps ? It was to no avail.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 9:22PM
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Eden, have Bella try beg, dance, boogie, roll over, speak. That should keep her busy!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 10:09PM
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...jump (on the couch), lick, fetch, play dead.

Go to sleep now....

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 10:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ate out with Lynn and another friend tonight after shopping for light fixtures together.
mango & prociutto
scallops & mushrooms in cream sauce, veggies.
lemon tart to die for

Returned to find 2 light fixtures magically installed and DH reading a book on statistics for fun??!!??

Saw 2 more fixtures I covet. One for the bathroom, one for the kitchen. We'll see.

Denisez, I'm not sure what info on birthing you want. DD wanted to have her baby at home. This is less expensive than hospital births, but basically it was a good fit for her. She is healthy and trusts her body and the fact that women have given birth on their own forever. DSIL was thrilled to participate and help. Each province has different approaches to this so far, but DD hopes her Ontario medical coverage will pay for the midwives in Alberta (where midwives are not covered). Don't know yet, but do know it has worked for others. They are willing to pay out of savings if necessary. This amounts to $2,000, way less than a hospital birth with all the interventions that involves. DD was within 2-3 minutes from an excellent hospital if the midwife saw a need for a transfer there. All went very well. DSIL was extremely supportive of her decisions. He is the one who insisted on co-sleeping and also who supports the diaper free style and breast feeding. Swaddling helps at times. So far all has worked very well. They are committed.

Bed calls.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 10:58PM
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LOL when I saw the Tydll. Spent a lot of last night handsewing Chelone and my favorite tassels on drapes for DSD. Drapes cost $23 on sale, a beautiful deep blue taffeta with white flecks, and the tassels were in the bargain bin in bright white. One large bay window covered = $50 and some time. Perfect!! As for the intended interpretation of fringe, given the last Idyll and shaving ideas, we could go in an entirely different direction :-) Anyway ...

Very interesting about Sarah's choice of babyraising methods. Wish I'd had the opportunities she had, but my body didn't cooperate. Attempts at breastfeeding were suspended after 8 days when we realized that Ky had Lost weight and clearly wasn't getting enough sustenance despite every 2 hour for 45 minute feedings. LeLeche wasn't any help when they told me it had to do with my attitude. No, milk was never produced despite all efforts to eat and do everything possible to bring it in. There are reasons that infant mortality was excessive pre-bottle era.

As far as no diapers -- I say go for it! We had Ky in cloth (thank you to my work who gave three months of service for my baby gift). Just hope that everyone holding darling Reed gets the messages :-)

Galium: Thanks for the offer of DH on loan. My new (great) boss and I made the collective decision that if the trains ever are flooded again, we turn around. Period. I'm saving my on-street parking stub as a momento.

Bella and the ice cream man. She already knows how to pick'em, Eden!! Smart girl!

Cynthia: Serious question: Do they have medical insurance for pets? I remember seeing an ad for it at one point and thought it would be a good idea for multi-animal owners. It's gotta be cheaper than $7/dose meds.

Chelone: Wish I had words that could convey ((())), empathy and anger at the system all at once. Maybe you should bring Rex into the facility and suggest that they could take better care of him than your mom? It's worth the fight, it's not your fault that she's there, there are laws that protect inadequately cared-for patients, and all you really want is some peace with the whole thing ..... Thinking of you.

Cindy: Since the police are no help with a situation involving one of their own -- all too common -- call the local domestic abuse agency and They will arrange reinforcements to get her stuff out safely. If the agency feels that the situation is beyond them, state law enforcement officials are OBLIGED to step in when locals turn a blind eye. In Connecticut, turning a blind eye is illegal.

That said, GOOD FOR HER TO GET HERSELF OUT!!!! So many abusees can't, and with that tiny fragment of strength she set herself on a path that will be much happier. As her respite person and place, good advice was given to Take Care of Yourself First. You won't be any good to her if you let this become your emotional problem.

Feel like I'm the point guard for dealing with all kinds of mental illness lately, but am grateful to have the knowledge (though could do without first-hand) of domestic abuse and systems and disease progression. Can only imagine what folks without that knowledge think.

Sue -- Good to see your TGIF. It's such a gorgeous day here, and hope you can at least get in some shade and breathe some cool, fresh air.

It's too nice to be inside, and the weeds will be my angst therapy for the day. Kill'em with no repercussions other than happier good plants!!! How Cool!!! Yank, throw, boil, dig, DESTROY!!!!! Feels like we all could use some of that :-)

Best to everyone -


    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 11:11AM
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Hello All!

I have FINALLY gotten a chance to read at least this idyll, and skim the others. I have floor duty today, I actually look forward to it, because it gives me a chance to write on the idylls. You guys can relate to this.. I am supposed to be here at 10, but cut it two minutes short because I just had to stop across the street to pick up bags of mulch on my way, so I can just jump in the car and scoot home to put it down when my shift is done at 2. Here is me, in a skirt lugging muddy mulch bags. We have had three days of rain this week, and it was much welcomed. Things are starting to turn green again. So far, we have caught 7 groundhogs, and one raccoon. The other day the dogs found a nest of baby bunnies, right beside the bed that has my roses. Smart bunny mom. They have so far eaten every dahlia I had planted out there, and some of them were going to be beautiful. Oh well, no biggie. At least one has survived and looks like it is going to be huge. The plants that they managed to decimate are starting to come back... but boy, they blazed a trail through my containers. This afternoon we are going to N Carolina for three days. Skip has meetings, and I have scoped out two garden centers that are close by. I have some things I have to take care of while I am there. We were going to stay till Tuesday afternoon and then drive back, but guess what? I have a job interview on Tues at 5:00. So we are getting up and heading out the door at zero dark thirty. This place is going to be 2 MINUTES from my house. Can you imagine? I could walk to work when it isn't icy out. We will see... if I get it I will tell more details. I would gain three hours out of my life every day. Cindy can empathize, I know. Getting up at 5 to be at work at 8 isn't fun. I could go home at lunch and either sit in my garden or pull weeds, write in the idylls... I have my list:)

Cynthia, hope Katie is responding to the new meds. Fudge looks like a cutie. I think the idyll pets are a very lucky group.

Deanne, your photo sessions have been taking my breath away. Just when I think, oh my goodness, could anything be any prettier, you outdo yourself.

Michelle, congrats on the new grandbaby! I can't wait to see and hold mine.

Babs, I can't remember the name of that annual you said that was bright green with little pink flowers, and I am away from home right now so can't look at the tag, but I got a couple of those at the beginning of the season and really like them. It is a cool plant, and supposed to reseed. I think down south it is a perennial, so I am going to take one in for the winter and try to save, and the other one I am leaving out side to see if it will reseed.

Cindy, what a nice friend you are. Hope all turns out well for your friend. Sometimes it is best just to cut osses and move forward. Freedom is worth a lot. She can go on Craigslist and furnish her whole house pretty cheap, or free. It is amazing what is on there, and I would think your area is a great place for that, because it is highly populated.

Bug, I was most interested in the articles about diaper free, and the bumble chair, etc. I passed everything on to my daughter, you know we are expecting a little one on Christmas eve. Best gift I can think of. I am getting very excited... and trying to not give too many opinions, etc. Sometimes it is hard, but I keep thinking, if she has a question she will ask. I am going to try to keep my mouth shut, not always succeeding:)

Hey, Dianthus.... come out... how is it going? I was glad to see you post.

Kathy, I loved that Wannabee Dahlia. Wow, I bet it is even better in real life. Do you remember where you got it? I have ordered from Swan Island Dahlia. I like the way they write on the tuber what it is. I am horrible with names of plants, just don't have the time to be really organized with it. I try to keep a spreadsheet, then I get a big group of plants on sale, and get confused all over again. Sort of a hit or miss method. Funny, when I get a plant from a person, or if I am inspired to get a plant from someone, I can always remember it.

Chelone, hope your weekend is better than your week. Hope you enjoy this day. It is hard to live in the moment sometimes. Here it is a nice cooled off day, perfect for working in the garden. One good thing out of all of the problems you have been having is connecting with your brother.

Eden, you have been doing a great job on Jenni's house. I can just picture Bella... I have to agree, there is something about those ice cream trucks that you just can't resist. I saw a Mr. Softee truck sitting in a junk yard not too long ago.. brought back fun memories. That is when they actually dispensed frozen custard from the truck...mom's didn't have cars during the day to hop out to Dairy Queen, so they brought it to us..on really hot days, she said yes.... Yummmmmm It is the little things...

Sue, have been thinking about you, hope you are feeling more the thing... Monique and Les are so sweet!

I know I missed a bunch of people, but I can't think, and am afraid if I flip flop back and forth I will lose my post. So, hope all are having fun visiting with company, or traveling, or whatever you happen to be doing this sunny day! Will try to catch you on the flip side!



    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 11:25AM
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Just here catching up and checking in...Nick's friends arrived last night and we have a house full :) They all went out on the boat, but my friend and I stayed here for some peace and quiet and a little afternoon siesta....it's so nice to have her here, she knows me so well and I find that she reminds me of the basic things that I need to stay sane. I won't let so much time go between now and our next visit :)

GB, I'll bet your daughter is already on top of it, but there is a wonderful book out on the different cries/noises that babies make and exactly what they mean. We can get all caught up in other things and forget about the basics, I think.

Hi to everyone else, especially Chelone who I wish could come sit on my freshly stained deck and let me serve her an ice cold tea and a fresh salad of her liking and just be allowed to sit and forget about life for a while :) I hope you get peace, soon.



    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 1:35PM
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Happy Saturday! I've been outside using the string trimmer to get areas where the lawn mower can't easily navigate. It is just hot enough and I'm just enough out of shape that I needed a break. DH is using one of his 'big toys' to make a level road to the 'micro barn' (it is a little barn...thus the name). We're getting 5 ton of hay delivered next week and the uneven ground has been bugging DH......oh who is he kidding?! He just wanted to bulldoze I think. ;o) Hopefully he'll do a great job and it will not rain to make a muddy mess so that the hay truck cannot get to the MB (micro barn, LOL).

Bumbo chairs---great invention! Diaper less babies? That one is quite intriguing but---no thanks. I miss the cues even while changing a baby and have gotten hit twice. I'm afraid I'd fail at catching the signals. I had wondered what was done pre-diaper days or in countries where fabric for diapers & water for washing them is non-existent or scarce. Now I know.

I uploaded some pics of the grandsons a few days ago but it has been one of those weeks (it is always 'one of those weeks' any more!) and I never felt I had the time to get the URLs to post them. The twins are already 1, James is almost 4 and his little brother is already 3 months old. Time is going by so darn fast. As they grow and change so quickly, it has been a good reminder to appreciate every day and to never wish away time. I remember thinking "another 2 months until summer......wish it would get here sooner"....well, now the time flies by so fast that I am constantly thinking "slow down clock!!!". ;o)

I guess I'd better go wave down DH and get him to come inside for lunch and a cold beer.

There were two little coyote pups that came to visit last week---they stood up on the back wall and stuck their heads through the fence.

A couple of elk that visited recently:

And the 'boys':

Hope it is a great weekend for everyone!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 3:44PM
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How great to check in and find posts from Drema and T!

Drema, fingers crossed and hoping you get the new job. Being so close to home would be great. Brad worked around the corner from our house when we first lived here and could walk to work. Now he spends 1 1/2 hrs. and 50 miles on the road every day. My dad always worked close to home and came home everyday for lunch. I didn't appreciate it enough back then but I sure would now! Live and learn.

T, you're doing a great job with all of those boys by the looks of them. They all look so healthy and happy. James looks alot like his grandpa to me. I can't believe how big the twins have gotten and little Thomas is cute as he can be. Thanks for sharing the pictures of them.

Mariann, I've always thought Scotland would be a beautiful place to visit. I thought our last name was Irish, but have been told it's Scottish. It's McIlhargie.

I've had Bella again today. That makes 5 days in a row and she'll be here for a few hours tomorrow evening too. Needless to say I'm behind on everything else. I'm hoping to get 3 or 4 days to catch up at the beginning of next week. I do have to get out and water pots this evening though. That's becoming an emergency situation with the heat back again today.

I believe dinner's about ready and I even made some chocolate chip cookies for Bella's dessert since the ice cream man has softball on Saturdays and doesn't work. We played some more with Cynthia's little dog link this morning. He's a hit with Bella.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 6:20PM
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Megan picked up Bella early tonight. They just left so I'm about to crack open a bottle of Chardonnay. Anyone care to join me? Cheers!


    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 7:31PM
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I'm heading for a bottle of cold Candadian Labatts myself. Came home from nursery shopping to find a "herd" of cats. Cracked me up. I've never seen them sitting together in one place before. Kind of cranky looking, aren't they? Hey, kit-kats, don't blame the heat on me. And no, we won't be eating off that table cloth tonight, lol. Picked up some screamin' cannas to go with the blue wall ;)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 8:17PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I just did, Eden! Although while on the antibiotics I'm not supposed to be drinking.

We had beautiful weather here today-sunny, dry and in the mid 80s. A far cry from mid 50s and drizzly rain we had yesterday although I rather enjoyed that because it's been so hot and dry for weeks. I got out around 9:30 this morning and cleaned out my curb garden. Being in the sun is a no-no for me as well so I quit at noon and sought shade jobs. Unfortunately the best I could do was weed behind the garage and shed-a job that desperately needs to be done but one that no one sees the results but me. Oh well.

I'm slowly feeling better but still seem to be more tired than normal and I seem to have some nerve related issues on the right side of my face, neck and down the back of my right arm. Tonight I walked my full route for the first time since before I got sick-almost an hour and a half. On Wednessday I go back to the doctor.

T, the boys are all looking happy and healthy. I imagine you have to keep a close eye on Geroge and Henry with those coyotes hanging around. Did you go to the schauzer walk or hoflin list reunion last weekend?

OK, my dinner just came in from the grill-fresh swordfish tonight.



    Bookmark   August 11, 2007 at 8:18PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sue, it sounds like you are pushing things a bit...but I'm happy you were able to get in a good walk and enjoy it this weekend!

T, wonderful photos! Great smiles from the boys. I think you need to put in an order for a grand daughter. ;-) We have coyotes too, but never so near. We see them rarely but certainly hear them!

Denisez, your kitty photo is wonderful! Our three have been lounging about together on an old sleeping bag lately. This morning all three were in bed with us...which makes for cramped quarters. Probably why I'm up and on the computer already.

Drema, so good to read your update! Can't wait to hear about the job and hope you gain those 3 hours each day..as long as the job is what you'd enjoy! Your Christmas gift is the best! I know what you mean about trying to keep from offering advice though. I try not to, but...anyway they are good kids and understand me well.

Yesterday morning as we were driving off to a neighboring town we saw smoke nearby. It turned out to be our neighbour's house which was deliberately burned to the ground in preparation for erecting a new big place. But there was something very scary about it...as we had not been notified by the fire chief. This was the house of the young family that I helped when they moved in. All the local ladies did a massive clean up of the place when they were married and moved in. It was fun working with them and finding out about my Mennonite neighbours.

I'm off to start the day with friend Lynn...who leaves to return to the city in a little while. Yesterday we hit the farmer's market, nurseries, etc Bought fresh picked corn and had a fine steak dinner. Watched an insane Japanese movie which was a take off on Westerns with a food orgy theme combined...I'm still trying to piece it all together. It certainly was FUNNY!

Hi to all!
Ta da!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 7:52AM
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Good morning all!

T., what great pictures - I have to agree that everyone does look healthy and happy.

Sue, I meant to throw my hat in the ring several posts back, but I think I forgot....I would be happy to help you in your garden! I think I live the closest out of all the idyllers....your walk sounds good, and your dinner, too :)

I'm trying to cook breakfast for 7 as I type this....wonder if we'll end up with bagels on the go?

I enjoyed taking my friend to the local farm for fresh corn and heirloom tomaotes....not one of my guests had ever had a yellow tomato, so I think I impressed them with my salad that topped the tomatoes with feta, balsamic vinegar/olive oil and basil :) I like to cook when my guests do the cleaning :)

Gotta go....a trip to visit Jake at camp and then a jaunt to the Atlantic is on tap for today, with a lobster feast ending!

Have a good one!


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 8:19AM
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We'll be laying pavers here today if the rains hold out. It's already sprinkling a little. We need rain, but I'd really like to get this project finished too. Brad's off today so we're on our way out for some breakfast first. Bella will be here around 3 and I'm thinking she and I will take a trip to Borders. She chooses the book store over the toy store.

Sue, glad you're feeling better. Don't push yourself, don't want a relapse!

Denise, love the kitty picture. I smiled at how cranky they all look. Hey, that's how cats are supposed to look right?

Short post this morning, time to start the ball rolling here.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 8:32AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello, hello everyone, Well, did I ever mess up BIG TIME. In case no one noticed I havent posted the last couple days the deal is I had a message from the woman who runs my local seminars on Thursday at 3:00PM. The message said, "Do you know you are teaching a seminar tomorrow and Saturday?" Holy crapoli!!!! Id had that seminar listed in my Daytimer for NEXT weekend. Well, the mad scramble and dash was on because not only was I teaching on Friday/Saturday I was having all the students over for dinner on Friday night. Good grief! Ive been running around like a maniac for three days and I cant seem to get myself out of this chair this morning. The good news is that I dont have to teach next weekend!!!LOL So I had to print all the student handout materials, photos for everyone, cut fourteen mats and illustration boards etc. Get everything watered on Friday AM. Run to class, teach, run to the grocery, get stuff for dinner, get dinner for twelve ready and the gardens picked up for 6:00PM, entertain, until 9:30, get up, water all the plants, get to class finish teaching, then get to MJs for dinner last night. What a weekend! So, now Im going to reward myself with a day off.

Sue, its really nice to see a couple posts from you. Hope you are back up to speed very soon. Again, let us know if we can help you out.

Wendy, Saucy and any locals interested, Lets plan for a garden get together here sometime soon?

Chelone, Glad to hear from you. I was afraid the proverbial s it was hitting the fan for you when we hadnt seen a post from you in a while. Thinking of you.

Bug, love that angelica! LOL about you buying those celosias as well.

Denise, Did you mean the package is in the mail????? Woohoo! ~~ RE composting, it was Babs and Saucy here who convinced me that I needed to start composting and it was the best thing anyones ever done for my gardens. Youd so laugh at me, I have to go and look and turn and in general rub my hands in glee over the yard or so of finished leaf compost Ive got ready. Such wonderful stuff.

Eden, I keep a hose end sprayer ready with liquid plant food and use it to water with, I have to water anyway so it isnt any extra work to feed the brugs. The sprayer has a dial to change the dosage rate so I just turn it to the off setting when watering things that dont need any food.

Brenda, lovely, lovely photo of the sky.

OK Ive really got to get myself out of this chair and get some watering done. Hello, hello to everyone!

Have a great day

PS I'm thinking of raffling off the class sample painting of Asiatic Lilies to help my friend who's doing the walk in San Diego for breast cancer research. Anyone interested in participating please email me.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 9:08AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Looks like another hot day on tap here. It's already hotter and more humid than it was at this time yesterday. It just may be a day for indoor cleaning-this house is turning into a pit. I've been trying to find help to come in and clean the house every other week or so but I prefer to get a recommendation from someone I know and so far haven't found anyone.

Push it? Me? lol I know it's no laughing matter but I truly have a tough time sitting around watching stuff pile up unless I'm completely incapacitated. Last night I was scrubbing th bathtub at 9:30 because I had just gotten out of the shower and figured no time like the present. This whole garden season has been very frustrating for me-first the surgery, then the cellulitis, now this crap. And it figures...the year I commit to a Garden Conservancy open day.

Saucy, I truly appreciate the offers of help from everyone. Last night I wrote to Monique and told her that maybe I'll have a sort of spruce up day just before the tour. Turn it into a party where everybody brings their pruners...lol. Things aren't in horrible shape here and I do have five weeks still to get ready.

Denise, is that all your cats or are there more? Lots of multiple cat households here. Nothing like a cold beer on a hot day. I use those frozen mugs that you keep in the freezer and plop the beer in bottle and all. It keeps it ice cold to the last drop even on the stinkiest hot day.

Drema, good luck on the job front! My drive to work is 15 minutes or less-no traffic, so I'm spoiled. The last five years with the latest boss have been great but he's retiring this year. Times are changing at my company as well and I think it may be time to start working on a resume. After twelve years I don't look forward to it but what can you do? This is going to be a year of change for me.

OK, best to get cracking on some sort of game plan today. I actually feel like doing a little nursery crawling. Yesterday I went to the local one here in town and the lack of selection and condition of the plants was depressing so if I go I best choose the places wisely. I do have some holes in the garden that I was hoping to fill with small ornamental shrubs but I think my chances of scoring anything unusual this late in the season are slim. We'll see.



    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 9:27AM
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Wow, what an improvement in the the weather here. Certainly not 50F like New England, but has been in the 70s at night the past few days and we even got the rare good rain at some point. It was cool enough to give the patio and furniture a good cleaning yesterday; the wicker under the pergola was embedded with wisteria leaves and the leaf blower got a good workout.

T, what a treat to have photos from you, lots of interesting visitors from four footed to two footed :) No wonder we don't hear from you often, with all those cuties to keep up with. What beautiful boys!

Drema, hope the job you scoped out is a good fit. Keep us posted. Sounds like the commute would be a huge improvement. I've gone back and forth between commuting and telecommuting the last 15 years, and the shorter the commute, the more work that gets done. To your question about Pet insurance, it's usually not favorable (premiums vs reimbursements) to the insured. Much like service plans on appliances or electronics, it's a big margin product for the insurer, the insured rarely breaks even or comes out ahead over the long term. I'd never come out ahead with 3 cats and 3 dogs.

Since it's time for kitties (how many do you have Denise? Looks like a spoiled crew :), here are AudreyHepburn and Saul enjoying the particularly crisp sunshine in the kitchen this morning:

No idea where George was.

Deanne, good thing you had the remember on the class, imagine geting the phone call if you hadn't shown up at all!

Sue, sounds like you're getting a little more energy if you were able to open a bottle of wine. Thought they Dx'd Erlichiosis but saw Martie's note talking about Lyme so am confused, nothing new and missed most of last week's idyll Lyme's a Connecticut thing, Erlichiosis is southern TBD.

Eden, what is being paved? Is this at Jenny's house or are you making some changes due to the storm damage?

Saucy, have fun at the ocean, sounds like you have a house full there!

Have a good day all,


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 10:56AM
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LOL Cynthia, you fooled me for a second. I couldn't figure out who the third cat was, knew it wasn't George. Yes, we're making changes where the storm damage occurred. We're paving the area bordered by the path, the deck and where the garden begins that was in front of the shed doors and was wood chips before. Well that sounds confusing, I'll get a picture:)

Saucy, sounds like a fun day ahead. Enjoy!

Deanne, great idea for applying liquid fert! Thanks! You've been a busy girl! I wondered where you were? Enjoy your day of rest.

Sue, I completely understand. The more I know I'm supposed to take it easy the more I want to get things done. Your garden will be beautiful for the tour. Of that I'm sure. The spruce up day sounds like fun. Wish I was close enough to join in and help.

Back to work. I'm hauling the pavers and Brad's placing them.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 11:10AM
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The cement slab where the old shed was is where the new greenhouse will go hopefully next spring.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 11:24AM
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HI Y'all!

I'm here but no time to really read thoroughly. These last couple weeks before the s-word starts are so busy I'm not sure when I'll be posting much : (

Well we finally did get rain-it was bad! last Wed.(I think it was)Chris couldn't even get to work! The highway he takes and roads leading to work were covered with feet of water! Now we are over three inches above normal for rainfall...figures that happens when the gardens aren't that exciting in Aug. There was tornadic activity a couple days after the deluge(not directly here) but some pretty dark as night daytime moments with lots of lightening.

Fri. Chris had his endoscopy done-his esophagus looks fine & no h.hernia but they removed some polyps in his stomach and one is questionable so he waits a week for results on the lab tests.
Today is my family reunion(I'll wave to you Drema!)and I look forward to seeing my cousins & their kids who are in from out of town-it's the family's 50th reunion so it should be fun-as much as those can be ; )
Tomorrow I have my CPR training so I can save millions of lives this year as health aide. AJ's track season starts too and in the evening I have a dinner with the school faculty & staff...we have something like 10 new faculty/staff this year.

Interesting talk about sibling inlaws pulling family away. Theres' something weird going on with my sister-she has kids the ages of my boys. We never see them unless it's a holiday and now she's decided to skip bday parties for her kids so we'll see them even less. It's weird because teh kids don't understand and I don't know what to tell them since I don't get it either. I do feel a little better that the same thing happens to some of you guys too. You can't make someone like you but it sometimes helps to know why there's dislike. Maybe it's jealousy? I wish family togetherness was unconditional.

Deanne-duh that I didn't realize your stargazers were orientals! lol. Makes sense now : ) I need to check that compost tea recipe later-you got me back into piling up my compost pile-thanks.

Mary I love the pics of your neice/neph.,Annie and Ruth-lovely smiling faces: )

OOoo oo!Eden was the paver floor planned before the storm damage or is this a newly inspired idea? Looks wonderful!

Brenda thanks for looking for me-I'm here! I know I missed tons too. I need to reskim slower.

Michelle-congrats on the new grandbaby!!!!!

I shave the whole damned things unless it's winter...lol kidding. OK who shaves their toe knuckles???

Gotta go~have fun


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 12:09PM
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Eden that is going to be a great area! And you won't have to weed. You are an opportunist taking advantage of the disaster, and I see the 'Y' of the dead tree is still there, what happened to the moon and stars, is it over for them?

Looks like a ton of preparation went into that. I'm curious since I've never done anything like that, how do you get the ground so flat. Is it stone dust over the dirt, or something else in between? And will anything go between the pavers, or do they just butt up against each other and remain tight.

Babs, I miss a lot and didn't realize Chis was having some med issues. Hope things are resolved soon.

Eden do you have a spot for this in your newly styled garden? I would just love it in black.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 3:40PM
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A few pics from our excursion to the dairy farm for cows and ice cream. My life seems to evolve around ice cream these days :) and Bella says she LOVES cows!

and one for the Idyll bum shots


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 7:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Bella, you are so adorable. One lucky girl to be loved by many! And of course I LOL at the bum shot! I'm looking forward to a family visit in a week's time. YIPPEEE!

Got soaked trying to weed at lunch time, but managed to plant 2 more Limelight hydrangeas instead. Maybe I'll be able to complete the weeding tomorrow. It didn't really help the garden all that much, but any rain at all is acceptable.

Babs, I read about the in-law relatives and their issues on another forum. It certainly is an eye opener for me. Our family was good and dysfunctional, but we didn't actually look for things to fight about. In fact, as Drema pointed out to Chelone, the retirement home experiences really brought my brother and I closer together. I find these stories so sad and un-necessary!

Eden, your bricked area looks just wonderful. I know such projects are a lot of work, but they are ever so exciting! Cynthia, last year when we made a brick path under my clematis arbor, we removed sod, raked it smooth, poured out screenings and used a gadget to tamp them down, then used a level to install the bricks. Afterwards we tamped the bricks too, spread fine sand over the whole thing and swept it well to fill in any spaces. Weeds still want to grow there...but not too badly. Eden & Brad's job is far more elaborate than ours.

I hope this week is a productive one here. The gardens really need attention!
Best to one and all! Hi Woody! Honey, you there? Mary, hope everyone is having a wonderful time.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 7:53PM
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Started some laundry and poured myself a glass of cheap-o sauv blanc for a bit of Sunday afternoon Idylling. The mild weather continues here in Northern Cal .I bought yet another begonia today-who can resist ? Ill try to get a pic of it when the light is better .

bug, the diaper free info was most interesting.. I think there would be a lot of approaches to take that would at very least reduce diaper usage-I noticed that it was a technique that only works well for stay at home moms/dads. I can imagine coming up with some sort of a hybrid plan I bet even working parents could cut diaper use in half .

Deanne, I was about to wonder where the heck youd gotten to ! I dont think Ive had any classes that involved the teacher having the students over for dinner . So what was on the menu ?

Drema, my office is one mile from my house. I can walk to work if Im not lugging my briefcase around, or if the sun is up when I go in . My traffic issues are limited to whether I make the green light on the one intersection between here and work ! Best of luck to you at your interview. The Wannabee Dahlia in fact did come from Swan Island.

T, I enjoyed all your pics-baby humans, baby wildlife etc.. Doesnt sound like you have much spare time these days . Glad you were able to check in .

Denise, love the kitty congregation. Funny how people often say that cats are too independent ..if Im in the kitchen , theyre in the kitchen , Im in the back yard , theyre in the back yard, in the front yard, theyre in the front yard. I usually have at least two of them in the bathroom with me in the morning while Im attempting to beautify myself for the day. Independent indeed.

Eden, those pavers will look great ! And Im really jealous that you will have a greenhouse ! What size ? Will you get it from Charleys? Will it have a heater ?

Sue, Id be chomping at the bit too if I were on the disabled list. Nursery hopping sounds like the perfect cure. A leisurely stroll through the garden center, have nice young man load up the purchases for you, have DH unload them , and then plop down in a chair with a cocktail to view the purchases while DH whips up some dinner.

Babs, there were several columns in the SF Chronicle opinion section today about the school year and how much longer its become. Toe shaving:only in summer and only my big toe.

Time to sign off-a big Hi to everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 8:28PM
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Hi Babs! I'm always so glad to see your name and hear what's going on with you guys. Hard to believe school's almost here. Seems like you just got out. Glad Chris's tests came back ok and will be thinking good thoughts for the results on that last one. We try to do one major project every year in the garden but I'd decided we'd skip this year since our summer's been so crazy. So we were putting off tearing down the old shed and adding the pavers until next year until the fallen tree decided for us that we'd go ahead and do at least part of it this year.

Cynthia, Brad did pretty much what Marie described but Home Depot has something called leveling sand that you use as a base and sweep between the cracks of the pavers. The pavers do just butt up against each other. We have clay soil so most of the work and time was spent with Brad digging down to the correct depth, getting the ground flat with no high spots then adding an inch of the sand. It's not really level, but follows the lay of the land. Laying down the pavers is the easy part. I love that gate. I think it would be just perfect for your garden. Just your style!

Marie, what great news that the family visit is going to happen. A couple more weeks for you to spend with precious little Reed!


    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 8:47PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning everyone,

Well it looks like we are in for some lovely dry air here as soon as this rain clears out today. Im looking forward to finally getting a few big projects done that Ive put off because of the humidity and heat. Im going to run over to Lake Street Gardens today and hopefully pick up a few things Ive not been able to find yet.

Sue, let us know when to show up with our pruners.

Cynthia, lovely photo of the furbies in the window! Yes, Im thankful my friend called me the day before the class as it would have been a disaster if Id not found out until the day of the class. ~ Those gates are to die for!

Eden, I just love the new patio area! So are we all coming to your place for IU5? ~~~ Those photos of Bella and the cows are precious. What a little darling.

Hi Babs, great to hear from you. I had to have CPR training when I was a scout leader and I got in trouble with the instructor because when we were doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the baby dummy this one lady blew so hard the air came out of the ears like a whistle. Well, I just about died laughing and the instructor was pretty ticked at me. I just couldnt help myself.

Bug, how fantastic that your family is coming for a visit. Ill bet you cant wait.

Kathy, Ive known these students for a very long time, in fact, one of the ladies has been taking classes with me since 1984! They are VERY good customers as well as friends and they like to see the gardens when they come for classes in the summertime. Dinner was nine layer dip, shrimp cocktail, barbeque chicken, tossed and potato salad. Quick and easy. The students brought the dip, tossed salad and shrimp.

Denise, love the kitty pic!!!! Too cute.

OK Lake Street opens at 9:00AM and I need to get going so I have time to plant my purchases when I get home.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 8:33AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi yall! Its been a couple weeks of crapola, doctor, emergency dentist, vet and couple runs to Emergency, DDs marital problems, family crap and oh my, Missy wearing us out.

First it was DH. He helped the sub weed-whack the area behind us and got into the poison ivy. Of course, he was wearing shorts, no socks and a short sleeve shirt (DUH).We found out he was allergic. So the Dr. put him on steroids and his BP and sugar jumped thru the ceiling. That was our first trip to Emergency.

Meanwhile, Missy developed a rash on her belly so the vet told us to give her Childrens Benedryl.. That didnt solve it, so when she went for her wellness visit, she put her on antibiotics and gave her the usual puppy shots. Well, that kicked off diarrhea. Thank goodness we have her restricted in the house. That was quite messy.

The situation with DD is going from bad to worse with her marital problems and the stress aggravates her Shingles. It is wearing DH and I out emotionally, too, b/c a divorce will leave her financially devastated and we cant help. So this will be a test of whats shes made of. I reminded DH yesterday that weve done all we possibly could for her. We can advise and support her emotionally, but we cant take on her living expenses. This is the first time DH has voiced his feelings of frustration w/her.

Then to top it off, DD got what the Dr.s first thot was food poisoning. Her symptoms kept getting worse and my niece noted that DD had eaten some of that recalled chili a couple nights previously. So I took her to Emergency as her Dr. instructed b/c there was a possibility she had botulism poisoning! They ran copious tests, contacted the CDC, etc., etc. It turns out that she has a new flu thats going around that just wipes you out for 3 wks. Were hoping we didnt catch it. Not good, but better than botulism!

I had another round of dental problems (my teeth act up when Im under stress) and had to have another round of minor surgery.

While all this was going on, my DS phoned and said, "Oh, by the way, Moms mobility scooter is broken and someone needs to go over and fix it. Also, I cant deal with Mom and the wedding, too, so one of you guys will have to see to her arrangements to NC and back in Sept." It turns out that DS brot Moms scooter into the house for her and b/c she was angry with Mom, she threw the scooter down on the floor and it came apart. It was fixable, thank goodness.

The plan for the wedding was that DS was going to take Mom with her to spend the week prior in the house DS rented on the beach. So b/c Mom wont cave in to DSs requests for $, DS is mad at her and doesnt want to take Mom to the wedding. So, we picked up the gauntlet and got both Mom and DD on our flight to NC for the wedding. Most of the rest of the arrangements are made, but need to be finalized. The thing of it is, none of us really WANT to go to this wedding and were hearing my nephew and his intended are fighting! Oh, family is such fun.

Lastly, Missy Mischief is quite a handful. Shes doubled in size and weight and our whole life is on Missys feeding, pooping, peeing, playing and walking schedule! Shes crate trained now and weve only had a couple of puddles in the house. But we have to watch her all the time so she doesnt chew things up. The Invisible Fence was installed Friday and shes in training for that.

DH kept apologizing to me over the weekend. He really wanted this dog, but forgot how much work a puppy is. I had to get him in gear to help out with her. Since Im home now during the week, the work falls on me. I get NOTHING done except Missy stuff. It is truly like having a baby in the house.

She is really a sweet dog, but has needle teeth. We cant wait until we can get the nipping under control. She doesnt know the power of her jaws yet. We start puppy training on the 23rd of this month.

We solved the digging problem by giving her a storage container with water in it. So she has her own little pool to keep cool. Shes a stitch to watch. She digs in it and throws water everywhere!

Puts her toys in it and takes them out

And when its really hot

Now, doesnt she look like shes full of mischief?

Thats it from me this am. Its time for Missys walk already. Hi to all. Im still reading the last thread.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 8:56AM
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Hi everyone

Ruth and the kids just left a few minutes ago and I have a few hours to pack and get the house ready before we're off to England. Do you think I should be feeling frantic? DH is there already and will meet us at Heathrow. I can't wait to be in Kent but wish I could skip the whole packing/travel part of the deal. Oh well, time to hunt up my favorite undergarments.

Have a great August - we're back September 2nd. I might peek in from Mum's house when I can. Carry on the good work!


    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 9:15AM
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Oh my - Honey - I just went back and read your post. What a lot you've been dealing with. Thank goodness you are such a strong person!

Also wanted to tell Cynthia what a special thing it is to be offering a safe haven to her friend.

Lots to say to everyone else but time makes it impossible so I'll wave instead. The photos have all been wonderful, especially T's little men who have been rather absent for a while. Hope to see more of their smiling faces.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 9:49AM
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Well - Cythia is offerning a safe haven to her canine friends, at the instant I wrote that I meant Cindy.

I'm off.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 9:52AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Honey. I am so sorry about all your woes. Too, too much for one person to cope with....great that you have a supportive helpmeet. I love the pics of Missy, but so glad she is yours and not mine!! :-) She is a beauty...

Mary, I am envious of your upcoming trip to England. I try to comprehend having such experiences....but doubt if it will ever happen.

Deanne, how good that you were alerted to the class in time to make it! But what a hassle !

Eden, your DD's yard is getting prettier all the time. Great job ! Bella and the cows is precious.

Great to 'see' and 'hear' you Babs..... I hope they get a good report on your DH's polyps.

So good to hear that you are doing better, Saucy. I hope that continues.

Sue, do be careful about overdoing it. That can cause lasting consequences.

I am enjoying all the feline pics. Trubby has overcome his this year's sick spell. Still pretty peaked looking, but then, he usually is in the summer. Dorky Dude loves to attack the hose when I am watering. I think he thinks it is a long snake? Nolon saw him kill a snake a while back. He follows me all around the yard while I am watering, but is no longer a nuisance. :-) Nolon is enjoying him immensely.

The heat and lack of rain continues here. I have developed a bunch of irritations on my chin. It itches, and in bed last night, after scratching them, I developed an ooze that dried into bumps...:-(
You will get a kick out of this....I dreamed that I went to the bathroom and was looking in the mirror mashing on my chin. Gobs of white maggots came out of it. I was wiping them off with a tissue. They turned into some sort of flying black bugs !!!! Yarrgh !
No maggots or bugs this morning,LOL, but a bunch of itchy red bumps! I've never had this happen before.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 10:23AM
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Morning Idylls,

Back to the grind. The week is shaping up to have little time in the garden. I was out at 6:30 this a.m. and picked tomatoes and green beans. The medication that I am taking says no alcohol and limit exposure to the sun also.

We had a phone call on Friday afternoon that DHs DD and 3 of her kids were involved in a car accident on the interstate. The accident involved a semi-truck. Miraculously they only received bruises.

We did go to the state fair, but it was hot, hot, hot. Ill try to remember to post some shots of the childrens garden later Eden.

The crop duster came last evening. On top of no rain everyone has soybean aphids. It is amazing to watch those pilots. I was out working on my containers and he was flying so low I could count the spray nozzles. He needed to fly low over the yard and then drop down right after the grove to get that field.

Mary, have a great trip. I cant help but wonder if the lime green panties will make it across the pond.

Honey, I love the pictures of Missy in her "pool" Just like a kid, give them water and their entertained endlessly. So sorry to hear that life is throwing so much at you lately.

Eden, the pictures of Bella at the dairy are so adorable and the bum shot a hoot. I probably have mentioned it before, but DH had a dairy farm for nearly 30 years. He sold the milk cows a few months before we married. We raised replacement heifers for a number of years after that.
The pavers look great. Send Brad over when he gets done, I need a new front walk.
To answer your question, my parents are moving about 5 blocks to a smaller house all on one level.

Babs, I hope all the tests turn out ok for Chris.

Saucy, I like to add yellow tomatoes to fresh salsa. They add great visual appeal.

Sue, good to hear that you are perking up.

T, I get a kick out your DH playing with his bulldozer. The boys are all as cute as a button.

Drema, best of luck on the interview. I commute 40 minutes each way. The problem is we live a good 20 minutes from any town where I could get a decent job. Luckily the commute isnt bumper to bumper. Its actually pretty relaxing.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 11:33AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Good heavens! Some of you are certainly having a rough summer.

Honey - you're long overdue for something good to happen! Those pictures of Missy are so cute. Puppies are so much work. Copper, at 16 months, is still an overgrown puppy. As much as we enjoyed her two week visit here this summer, it did rather confirm for me that, if we do eventually replace Chelsea, I'd prefer to get an adult dog! Actually, we probably won't replace Chelsea because, on the whole, I think I prefer just 'borrowing' other people's dogs on a regular basis :-) If we had another dog here, it would be harder to dog-sit as much as we've been doing this year.

Mary - have a great trip to England! I'm jealous... I miss not being able to travel and England was my favorite place to go. There were so many places there that we'd like to have visited but that we never got around to on our trips. One or both of Yorkshire and Scotland would have been next on our list of places to go but they're out of the question now.

Marian - Icky dream! You never know about travel opportunities... Mom was over 60 when I took her to England with me. She had always wanted to go but couldn't afford it. After I finished university and had worked for a year, I had saved enough money for us to go for two weeks. It was the first time Mom had ever been out of the country so the whole thing, including getting a passport etc., was lots of fun for her. (And me too!)

Cindy - it sounds like those cops need to be reported to someone. Certainly that would be something that would be addressed by a police Complaints Board here and I'm sure it must be unacceptable behavior where your friend is too.

Cynthia - ooh - love those gates (if they were black...)

GB - it sounds like you're going to have fun/exciting times with family shortly. The rain here has been measly too - 3mm yesterday which was not enough to penetrate tree canopies. It's surprising that anything is still growing out there!

Eden - great Bella pictures with the cows! The patio looks impressive - and a lot of work! I'm still slogging away at my brick edging. I'm hoping to have the front beds done by early September.... I'm not very good at getting the edges straight or smoothly curved, as appropriate. I'm going to need to plant a lot of things that drape over the edges to hide the imperfections!

Here's some views of what I've been working on this past week or so:

Laying out the pattern of stones for where the path through the arbour meets the driveway:

The stones in place:

The entrance to the cross-path by the garage:

( I did the matching street-side cross-path entrance this morning.)

I've had to extend the back of the bed a bit to allow room to put in the brick edge without doing too much damage to the magnolia roots.

A few weeks ago I planted two Henryi clematises under the wisteria 'tree'/'shrub' with the hopes that they will grow into the wisteria to provide a second bloom season for the wisteria. This morning I noticed one flower so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will work

I've been enjoying the pictures (kitties, kiddies, coyotes, gardens etc...) but have not been feeling chatty for some reason... So Hi to all I've missed commenting on.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 11:52AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Mary, have a wonderful trip! BTW, I sau Menopause and it was by far the best belly-laughing show I've ever seen. Even DH loved it. If anyone has a chance to see it, do go. You WILL be entertained.

Michelle, I'm so sorry you're still dealing with the Shingles. I hope the meds help. I was surprized to hear from my DD about staying out of the sun while on those meds. How awful and scary about the freeway collision. I'm sure glad there were only minor injuries.

Marian, I hope you don't have Shingles. With all the stress you're under, you might want to check out that rash right away. If it is Shingles, it's important to nip the nerve irritation in the bud. I hope you see a Dr., soon so you're not so miserable with the itching. I love hearing about your kitties' antics. How old is Trubby now? Is Dorky Dude the new guy?

Actually, dealing with Missy wouldn't be so bad if we weren't dealing with all the other stuff and the emotional turmoil with DD. I'm just old and cranky, I guess.

Sue, so sorry to hear you've been under the weather. I hope you continue to feel better every day.

Babs, I hope Chris' test comes out OK.

Hi DREMA! Good luck on your job interview. Nice to see a word from you now and then.

Chelone, I'm so sorry you're dealing with such continual, heartbreaking drama with your Mom and her caregivers. There but for the grace of God, go I. In an earlier post you said that one doesn't have a choice but to step up to the plate when faced with life's issues. Well, that's the way I look at it, too. However, I've seen so many who just walk away from family and friends when the going gets tough. Sometimes it's payback, but mostly it's narcisism and inability to truly care for another, parent or otherwise. I think you're one heck of a stand up lady, kiddo.

Kathy, you always post such mouth-watering photos!

Deanne, OMG, how awful about mixing up your class dates. I hate when I have to rush around like that b/c I always feel I may have forgotten to do something important.

Eden, the paver project looks fabu, as usual. Brad is so handy and creative. Bella is absolutely adorable! And she looks so grown up! I noticed that my DGN also has lost the 'baby' look.

Cynthia, how much more I admire what you've done with the rescued greys. The new guy is really pretty. I haven't seen a 'Fudge" color before.

T, oh, T, those grandbabies are so very cute! How are you coping with them? You must be exhausted at the end of the day. I love the pix of the elk and the baby coyote.

On the discussion of driving in NY, when I lived in NJ we did everything to avoid driving there. It's too easy to use public transport instead. Now, So. Cal. is another issue. I can drive in any other city in the US but there. I always get lost. Every street corner looks the same to me. And the freeways! OMG. When I had to go there for business, I always deferred to the locals.

I know I meant to say something to Marty, Wendy and the two new idyllers but my brain in mush! It's time for Missy's lunch, then a trip outside and then hopefully she'll take a nap so I can do some errands! TTYL.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 12:19PM
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Wow, this thread really hit the accelerator. I don't think I thanked you, GB, for the info on your DD's childbirth choices. A vast subject which varies widely country to country. I wasn't sure if your govt paid or not, depending on which way the mother chose. Two grand sounds very fair.

Eden and Woody, way to go on those mid-summer paving projects. We ripped out a rotting wooden deck in May then had some guys come in to dry-lay bricks. No fancy design, just straight running bond. We've done all the other brick stuff, and since there's no lawn, it's either planting or paving here. But we treated our backs by farming the job out this time. There were a few snafus, chief of which was communicating the concept of laying bricks on sand. They wanted to mortar. No rain runoff. I showed them some work I had done, and they said, Well, you used mortar there. What the?? The job did get done, though, on sand.

Coyote pups, elk, and then those twins look like there's a scuffle brewing! Is that a shoving match? The twin looking into the camera looks like he might want a rescue! What gorgeous grandkids. And Bella and the cows is lovely. Cows are so approachable. Horses maybe not as much for kids. Need to get out to one of the county fairs again.

Honey, good god, this has gotta be the summer of pain for you and your family. It can only get better. Ein wasn't much trouble as a puppy, once he finally stopped trying to herd us everywhere, always nipping at our ankles. My DH was telling a coworker about his new puppy, and he must have mentioned Wales in Ein's description. She, being a slightly dim bulb, said, Does he get in the water to herd the whales or just run alongside on the shore? Ein still dislikes being walked unless e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e goes but he's getting more flexible, or maybe those herding genes are growing dormant from disuse.

Yes, Deanne, I've mailed the package. Been seeing too many spy movies lately, and it's too much to pass up saying "the package is in the open," dork that I am. Amazing feat on mustering for the class.

Mary, take lots of pictures, please! Lovely to see your mum, but I agree that flight is one long stress position, isn't it?

Cynthia, your "third cat" had me fooled for a bit. We have just the four. I think that's the legal limit ;) The grey cat has an amazing disposition, very affectionate, follows me everywhere, which is odd since a previous grey cat had the same almost dog-like affectionate nature. The white one is icy, remote, but loves the water, like a white tiger. The little brown cat is the three-legged one, and she's the white's mother. The big yellow is the only male, really runs the place, terrorizes the Corgi.

Kathy, my folks were over yesterday, which means my dad immediately turned on the baseball game. The only sports this house has ever followed are the sailing races and lately the Tour de France (me mainly for the scenery and the legs!).

My youngest son started his first job this morning, 3 a.m. to 8 a.m., loading boxes for UPS. He's sleeping on the couch now ;) Don't know if this will work out with his college schedule or not. His class schedule works well with the hours but the fatigue, that's another story. DH's back is going out, of course, right before the huge family vacation. Popped Tramadol in the middle of the night. Fingers crossed. Hope this week improves for everyone.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 2:09PM
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Hi Everyone,
Don't have much time to post. After seeing Eden's pics I wanted to attach a few of my DS & BIL's dairy farm. I took these last spring.

My sister is actually giving the cow an injection under her tail.....LOL

Normally calves don't nurse from their mom's on dairy farms. This little one wouldn't take a bottle so they gave her to her mom to feed. So adorable

I'm battling whiteflies in my veggie garden. Everything is pretty much devastated. Anyway it's a long story.

Have a good evening and I'll post more tomorrow.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 5:57PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well I went to Lake St. Gardens today and picked up a few things including some lovely Chelone Hot Lips and a gorgeous Celosia to fill some spots in the perennial border. I also made the mistake of looking at the pots. Hmmm. Well, they had this exquisite 20" cement pot with decorative handles, a grape border and the rim has embossed acanthus leaves. It was 70% off!!!! Even though I really did not ever want to get another cement container (they weigh too much) I just couldnt resist! I have no idea what Ill put in it and maybe Ill just leave it empty and look at it for the time being. LOL

Mariann, love the dairy cow pictures. How neat. I dont remember your mentioning that your DS had a dairy farm.

Denise, oh boy! Youre the best, thanks for picking that up for me. ~~ Interesting that I once had a grey cat that was just like that. He was the most affectionate kitty Id ever had until we got our Rahjii.

Honey!!!! Good grief! Sounds like you really have your plate full right now. So sorry for all the troubles. I really know where you are coming from and you have my total empathy. ~~ Those shots of Missy in the swimming pool are a stitch.

Michelle, thank heavens your DHs DD and children are OK. Thats so scary! ~~ Bummer about the no wine, no sun thing. Is the medication helping?

OK Im starting to yawn and am having difficulties putting a sentence together so I guess its time to sign off until tomorrow.

Night all,

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 8:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My goodness it gets dark early these days! I managed to get a third hydrangea limelight planted next to the barn. The weeds there are horrendous, but every time I plant something i weed a huge patch. Bought a few sale plants today: a mystery clematis, burgundy gaillardia, a pink coreopsis. One nursery had the distinction of being so bad that I found NOTHING to buy!

I'm so sorry to hear of your woes Honey. Your DD has the good fortune to have your emotional support...which at times is better than the financial! She may not understand this yet, but it is so.

And after hearing of Tom's job trials, I was not surprised to hear from another friend that they are packing up from Detroit, trying to sell their house, leaving their auto industry jobs and are off to New Jersey. I'm so glad they have thought this out carefully and finally made the decision,, tough though it is.

Woody, you have made huge progress since I last saw the start of your edging! I don't know how you did it with all the heat we've had! My weeding this year has required more energy than I've had. I hope planting more shrubs will help me for next year.

I'm obviously winding down...forgetting the comments I intended to make. More another day!

Sue, are you out walking this evening? It's quite cool already here.

Sleep well!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 9:05PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Cindy, I've been through what your friend is going through, and I know how much a friend like you means in that situation. It's sickening that the police are no help to her. I wish you and her the best to get through this tough time.

'Bug, the no diaper thing is very interesting! Was telling my niece about it the other night. Her youngest is 8 months old. She had heard about the different cries, and has a CD that has the different cries and what they mean.

Chelone, I'm so sorry to hear that there are more problems with your Mom. You handle it wonderfully, but still...what a drain on you and your DB, and so unfair to your Mum. I've always wondered if some of these folks don't stop and realize that one day, they too, may need a safe and reliable place to be. The world would be a much better place if we could all put ourselves in the other guy's shoes once in a while.

Eden, lol-there's nothing like the look on a child's face when they hear the first notes of the ice cream truck coming :) Love the pics at the dairy farm, and those green clogs are just precious!

Cynthia, here's hoping the high priced drugs work for Katie! I've killed WAY too much time on the link you provided and DH thought it was pretty amusing, too!

T-love the pics :) I'm not sure I'd keep up with the twins, lol! I'd have to hook them together some how so they couldn't wander off in two different directions! All the cute kid/baby pics make me want GRANDBABIES!!!

Sue, good to see you and I'm glad to hear that you're starting to feel better. You've had enough misery to deal with.

Babs, I can't figure your DS. It's such a gift for cousins to be able to spend time together and be close. Whatever bee is in her bonnet, it's not fair to the kids. You just HAD to ask, didn't you?? I have to shave my toe knuckles. I've been "blessed" with size 11W man-feet :( My best friend gets on my case when I wear sandals and don't paint my toenails, but it just seems almost laughable to me. Seems to me that it just draws attention to something better off ignored ;) Best wishes for Chris and his tests.

Deanne, I'd have laughed at the CPR class, too ;) I have a talent for busting out laughing at the most unappreciated time.

Honey, I'm so sorry that you've got so much going on. Things are bound to turn for the better soon. Missy is just adorable. Puppies are a total PITA, but they're so cute!!

Mary, have a wonerful time in England..I'll be looking forward to pictures!

Marian, lol, I'm glad to hear that the maggots were only a dream. I have crazy dreams like that sometimes, too. Funny the way your subconcious works, isn't it?

Michelle, how scary about the accident. I'm so glad that no one was hurt. The idea of being in an accident with a semi is just terrifying. I love to watch the crop dusters. Scary how close they have to cut sometimes. My hat is off to anyone who ever milked cows. I was a milk tester for a while, and I was so impressed with the dedication and commitment it takes. Makes me appreciate the milk on my cereal SO much. I couldn't do it, myself, but I do love the smell of a cow barn. Cow poo is pleasant compared to pig poo, IMHO.

I'm loving the paver projects! I've always wanted to try it, but I know me, and I'd take shortcuts and make a mess of the whole thing.

Denise, UPS is popular among the young, strong college boys around here, too. Exhausting, but a good place to work. Given the amount of online shopping I do, I imagine they're all familiar with me, and probably not in a good way, lol! I expect a group of them to come and take away my credit cards any day now ;)
Mariann, how many cows to your DS and BIL milk?

I don't know what the deal is with August, but it's been crazy around here lately. My friend and I are getting ready for "Princess Weekend". We have a suite reserved, and will drink too much wine, giggle too much and generally act like we're 15 years old again. We go for three days for each of our birthdays. Hers is in January and mine in July, so it breaks up the year nicely. We can't always work it to go on our birthdays, but we'll take it any time we can get it! This is the 5th year we've done this, and we so look forward to it. We're probably the only 45 year old women who look forward to another birthday, lol!

DH and I are going to go to St. Ignace, MI again this year. We're planning to go early in September, after the holiday. We went last year and just loved it. I'll get a lot of vacation time in before harvest starts-cool!

I've got a bunch of laundry to get done, and have to hunt up my bathing suit. Can't believe it's August, and I haven't worn it yet this year.

We lived through the heat and humidity. Yesterday was downright pleasant, and I got a lot of weeds pulled. We were supposed to get a good rain this morning, but got a sprinkle instead. But, it is cool enough that I can stand to run the dryer.

Have a great day all, and a big HOWDY to anyone I missed...I got way behind again!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 11:16AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all....I went to a doc this morning and my chin problem wwas diagnosed as a bacterial infection ! I guess that is better than shingles ?? It itches like mad, and hurts. It had spread to both earlobes. I hope my scratching of bug bites on other parts of my body hasn't infected them too!

Interesting about the milk producers. I started milking cows as soon as I was big enough to squeeze the teats, probably around 5 years old. I continued milking ( the old fashioned way) until I was first married. After Tim was born Nolon and I lived on my dad's farm for 2 and 1/2 years, and I milked cows then also. Sometimes Tim would be out in the barn in his stroller as I milked.

Thanks Mariann,for the pictures. I was never one to give any type of medication. Either my dad did, or a vet.

Brenda, I agree about the dreams and a person's subconscious. I guess I was equating what is squeezed out of pimples with maggots...LOL., but have no idea what the flying insects represented, unless it is the multitude of biting bugs that attack me when I step out of the house !

Susan, you have been much too busy in this hot weather! I cannot take it, so I do my watering either early or late. Today is predicted to be the hottest yet for this year. Our house got up to above 90F inside yesterday. It is very hazy today, so may hold the interior heat down some. I have fans going all over the house. Tomorrow is supposed to be the last of this highest heat for a while...hoping for the rest of the summer.

Honey, Trubby is probably around 8. He was dropped off here in 2000, and appeared to be young. Yes, Dude is the latest dumped cat...:-( [Or else he strayed from whomever had him first.] He is very young...still just a large kitten. Was/is very friendly, and apparently had been an indoor cat, but not here! Two in the house is more than enough for me.

The face itch seems to be easing up, so perhaps the horsepills are helping...

Marie, it is the late daylight in the mornings that I am not enjoying. I like to wait until it is light to get up, and it is getting later and later ! Our place is even later that most people's around here, because we live on the 'evening side of the mountain'. ( Are you aquainted with that song? It was one of my favorites.)
My beds have really gone to weeds this year. I just have not been up to working in them. I hope when cooler weather gets here I will clean them out. Of course, by then, all the weeds will have gone to seed for next year! Oh well....


    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 2:27PM
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Caveat: I've not caught up with my reading "assignment". In fact, I'm farther behind than ever. But I'm OK with that. :)

I'm not really very good company these days. The adrenalin rush following the NH meeting has long since worn off and I've managed to slip into a low-grade melacholia. I busied myself with long overlooked and pretty mundane chores on my "vacation" and did find some "bright" spots. But, I have to say, I'm SO disappointed with PEOPLE, in general, that I've avoided them whenever possible in the past 10 days.

I've reached the conclusion that the whole sad story of Mum's evolving evaporation has forced me to the realization that my genuine trust and belief in the innate goodness and fairness of people has been misplaced. And that, my friends, has been a terribly bitter pill to swallow. It's not in my character to automatically be suspicious of people; but I've been reminded time and again, that the "corpies" are not worthy of such generosity of spirit. Time and again, my cheerful patience and offers of experienced guidance have been summarily dismissed. And the result has been poor care for Mum, who can no longer advocate for herself. I've patiently offered my assistance and thoughts on how her care could be improved only to be politely "blown off" or dismissed by the "professionals". When I've asked to see the record of my mother's water intake or the record of her urostomy appliance changes they've been "missing". I have NO faith in any of those idiots any longer. And I labor under the burden that I've failed my mother. I couldn't care for her in my home any longer. But no one else seems to be willing to get off their asses to make 1/4 of the effort I made for over 3 years. And I didn't do it because she is "my mother", either. I did it because she is a HUMAN BEING and deserves the care, compassion, and DIGNITY her nearly 81 years on this planet DESERVES.

My wish is that every one of those obese, smug, "credentialled" nurses and beaurocrats gets a bellyful of it at some point in their lives and pauses to remember the little old woman with senile dementia and an urostomy... . And I hope it makes them gasp for a brief moment. I fervently want life to deal them a "dope slap" and put them on their knees for a little while. There would be some justice in that. And I'm not malicious; but they honestly "don't get it" and they need to.

Enjoy some life for me, my friends! knowing that you DO really does warm the cockles of my heart, even when I don't regularly appear to say so.

Believe that.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 4:03PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Chelone-"I did it because she is a HUMAN BEING and deserves the care, compassion, and DIGNITY her nearly 81 years on this planet DESERVES." Exactly! ((Chelone))
I stitched this on a sampler that hangs by my desk:
The Essence of Compassion:
Remember to be
Tender with the young,
Compassionate with the aged,
Sympathetic with the striving,
And tolerant with the weak and wrong....
Because sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.
While I fall short many times, it's a good reminder to have nearby. Of course, there are those than a gentle reminder is wasted on. I'm so sorry your Mum seems to be at the hands of those kind of people. I do believe in Karma, and what goes around does come around, but that doesn't help right now. I'm just baffled as to why people choose careers in this field, if it is not for a true love of the job and people in general. Hang in there, if nothing else, you've got a lot of good thoughts coming your way from here.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 4:44PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I dont have much time to write but saw Chelone's discouraged post. Chelone, have you considered writing/calling your ombudsman in the state to report the facility? At the least the 'missing" records are an infraction and you should tell them about the substandard care you think she's receiving. I was never brave enough to do for my own DM - we moved her instead to another place (which was only moderately better) after some huge disasters at the first one. They claim you can do this confidentially I believe.

Here's a link to check it out at least. Stay brave & strong & do not let them win!


    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 5:17PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I do know somewhat where you are coming from. I wish I could word things as eloquently as you. Hang in there. It is really true that this too shall pass. This time of the year is conducive to feeling low, even if you are not under the pressure that you are having. Do not beat your self up about your care of your mum. You are a wonderful daughter.

I can understand your attitude towards humans also. I have felt that way many times. Thank God for good people...and there are many ( just hard to find at times).


    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 5:33PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Chelone, I'm so sorry for the continuing difficulties with your Mom. That has to be so discouraging. Know we are thinking of you. Sending positive thoughts your way.

I just realized that we've really messed up big time and missed a birthday. Brenda, soooo.... sorry. I just checked the last Idyll and I don't think anyone even posted on your birthday. So without further ado

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 8:47PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

((Chelone)) - That's such a tough situation you are dealing with. I've never had to deal with it in the role of someone overseeing another's care. But I have been on the receiving end - in regular and rehab hospitals for a two month period back in 1998. I used to say to those who were lousy at their job something along the lines of 'You'd better hope that curses don't work because I curse you to be, at some point in your life, on the receiving end of the same sort of treatment you are giving me!' It's easy to see where the 'golden rule' came from - too bad more people in the 'caring professions' don't adhere to it!

In my experience, you get the worst treatment from nurses. They always think they are right and aren't too interested in listening to what the patient (or their family) has to say. What you really need to do is get the know the PSWs involved in your mother's care (PSW= Personal Support Worker - is that designation used down there...? The PSWs work under the supervision of the nurses and it's the PSWs who do 90% of the work Have you noticed how many fat nurses there are in LTC facilities?! They mostly sit at the desk, distribute medicines and do injections. The physical labour is largely done by the PSWs . That's how it works here - maybe it's different there...) Some PSWs are as bad as the nurses but there are usually some good ones around . You need to find who they are and make sure THEY know the care your mother needs. Things are more likely to get done right if you get to/educate the PSW who actually does the care. They're more likely to listen than the nurse is!

Barb, who now works for me just one day a week, is a PSW. She has a great attitude and we have lots of fun together. She used to work 3 days a week here but needed more money than I could pay her so she reduced her days here and works 4 days at a LTC facility. I hired another lady for 3 days a week. She is a foreign-born/foreign -trained nurse who didn't get around to requalifiying to Canadian standards so does this sort of work instead. She's a nice person but has that annoying nurse attitude - she doesn't listen properly when I tell her what I want done. She's too inclined to do what she thinks is right - even when she knows nothing about it (the major part of what she does at this time of the year is to help me with the garden...) It gets very annoying at times and it's an attitude that seems ingrained in nurses! (My sister is a nurse - she was born with a nurse's attitude and wanted to be a nurse from a very young age :-)

Re working in the heat - I can't work in the heat at all. One of the reasons the brick edging is taking so long is I can only work on it in the very early morning when it's cool and there's more shade in the front. I'm usually out there by 7:30 or so but have to stop by 9:00. If I sleep in a bit or Misty walks too slow on morning walkies, I miss my window of opportunity to work! I've got another 150' or so of edging to go. Preparing/placing the aluminum edging barrier can take a bit of time (I keep hitting rocks!) plus putting down the screenings and leveling the bricks one by one by hand takes a long time. I average only about 3-4' a day! If the weather doesn't cool down soon, I won't finish until October! I'm hoping to finish before the end of September though.

I have more onion bhaji info for Mary but I'll have to try to remember to post it after she's back from England. We made another - much improved - batch today after consulting with my friend. I didn't realize that bhaji means spinich! That and lots of green chilies were the vital ingredients....

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 8:53PM
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Hugs from me (((Chelone)))....I don't usually do cyber hugs, so I hope they cheer you up a bit :)

I can't imagine what you're experiencing. You are a strong woman and I look up to you! Even though you're feeling low, know that you've done the best for the deal that you've been handed.

Others have more experience and better advice, I'm sure.

My company is all gone. That was the first time I've ever had overnight company in this house - it worked beautifully - front porch for night, deck for day.

I enjoyed the peace this afternoon and then took a nap that had a will of it's own...I slept for an hour and a half at 5 in the evening! I woke to find Nick and Sarah napping, too! She had a companion her age all weekend and I guess was as tired as mom and dad.

I'm going to miss my friend from Wyoming. I've got myself psyched up for a trip to WY to camp in the woods with her and her family. She says it's peaceful and lots of fun to hike.....I've added it to my list of "must do's".

I don't have much more to add....I'm tired again even though I had the nap. Next week we go on family vacation to Maine. I hope I can recover quickly enough to pack.

'Night all....


p.s. Sue, I'm with Deanne, name the time....I've got new pruners that need to be broke in....Deanne, I've yet to email Wendy....I'll get right on that!

ME again :)
((more hugs for my Maine friend))

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 8:53PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I just saw Deanne's post...

Happy birthday Brenda!! (I'll try to find something in the desert out there to post a proper birthday greeting tomorrow...)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 8:57PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well I'm late but I wish you happiness just as much as if I were on time! May you have many Princess Weekends!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 9:26PM
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Gracious Tuesday greetings to all.. Ill try to catch up here, Im off to Vegas on business tommorow afternoon and wont return til Sat afternoon. Temps there are forecasted to be a hi of 108, low of 86. 109 on Thur and Fri. So I need to get from the baggage claim into the cab as quickly as possible, and then from the cab into the hotel lobby. Nothing like Las Vegas in August !

Honey what a time you are having ! Its so hard to watch our children make foolish decisions, or be thrust into bad situations. Sometimes the adversity can create strength that was laying dormant. I hope this is the case with your DD, and that her troubles peak with this unhappy episode in her life and she is able to pick herself up and start again. And all that DS stuff with your Mom-what crapola! My best wishes to you.
That Misty is so cute ! Shes going to be one beautiful dog. Hopefully the puppy training will help-I know she will be a fantastic pet when she becomes more mature, and youll hardly remember the trails you had to go through to get there! Funny about your driving in SoCal- Ive always felt very comfortable on those freeways since I learned to negotiate them at a tender age-a couple of years ago our CFO and another manager and I flew down to LA for the day to visit a couple of fellow independent home centers , and they sheepishly asked me to be the driver of the rental car..I was more than happy to comply. I felt kind of cocky being asked to drive by a couple of senior management guys who were clearly terrified of the thought !

Bon Voyage Mary !

Marian, that skin thing sounds bothersome ! Did your Doc say how you might have gotten it ? Assuming they gave you some meds and hope they work speedily. Nice that Nolan is enjoying Dorky Dudes antics so much. Pets can be so soothing sometimes , especially cats. I guess its that unconditional love thing , and the relaxed demeanor of most cats that just seems to help set the stress level down a notch.

Woody, I just love what you are doing with the pavers..I like the gray color too. The Henryi Clematis is one of my faves the flowers are so huge when its well grown. I lost mine a few years ago as I recall it was eaten to the nubs repeatedly by snails and finally just gave up and croaked.

Denise, glad you let Dad watch the ballgame ! I dont watch TV once the world series is over..I do Netflix and baseball and thats it. I pay for satellite expressly to get the baseball package so I can watch Dodgers games from my abode here in Giant territory. I think thats cool that your son got a job with UPSI am under the impression that positions with them are sought after.

Michelle, the auto accident call is most surely one never wants to get. How very lucky that no one was badly hurt.

Brenda, I just love your Princess Weekend concept. What is in St Ignace MI ? Is it a resort town ?

Chelone, hang in there. Sit back and think about how many fair, kind, competent, and bright people you know (include the Idylls of course as we are remarkably brilliant in every way) . Do you truly come in contact with more a***oles than good folk in the course of a week ? Is the badness of Mums situation tipping your scales into a bad place ? I dont want to sound like Pollyanna here, because there are situations that are beyond our control: Our generation is dealing with the results of improved medical care , which is prolonging life but not always improving the quality of same. Folks are drugged up (expensively) but to what end ? I dont know what the answer is Chelone. I hope that you and your Bro can have peace at some point. I urge you to follow Cindys advice and seek outside assistance.

OK, I need to pack and water the containers. See yall in a few days..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 10:06PM
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    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 10:51PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Belated Birthday, Brenda -- enjoy that Princess Weekend - Glorious Idea!!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 8:49AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

I've been reading along, but not much time to collect my thoughts and post.

I was writing the following in my head in traffic on the way into work this AM:

(((Chelone))) so sorry you are having such a hard time. I firmly believe that if people don't do the right thing by others they will get theirs eventually, if not in this life then in the next. Modern medical technology is wonderful, but we are prolonging life at the expense of the quality of living. I wish I had some wise advice and a solution to offer you. Know that we are all thinking of you and your family.

Cindy, I've been thinking of you and your friend also. The "blue wall" she seems to have run into may seem like it is a mile high, but it is not impenetrable. I have a lot of respect for police officers and the job they do, but there is a small percentage that take the job because they are bullies at heart and they want that badge to justify their behavior. They feel like they are a law unto themselves, but they ultimately have to answer to higher ranking officers, the chief, and the city or town that employs them.

Honey, thinking of you and your DD also. That puppy is adorable. I hear you on how much work they are - I'm glad we can visit my brother's puppy and then go home for some quiet!

Deanne & Saucy, we must get together soon! Weekends are probably the best for me, but I could possibly sneak up there on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.

Sue, I have my pruners ready, along with my weeder and anything else you need - just say the word.

I have to get to work now, hopefully I'll be back later with a pic for Brenda (Happy Belated Birthday!).

Waving hi to all!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 9:22AM
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Happy Birthday Brenda!!!

Have fun at Princess Weekend. I could sure use a weekend like that. I'm envious!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 10:01AM
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My garden and the crops are smiling this a.m. because of the 1.4" of rain we received last night. Unfortunately many areas that need it badly didnt get much. I drove down to where we have our electric meter to get the reading and got stuck in the mud. It took a bit of rocking but I did get out. Who would think when its been so dry? By the time I got out, I had forgotten the reading.

We have been so busy lately that I have spent very little time in the garden, but did get the lawn mowed last night. After the rain that we received earlier this month, the grass has greened up and started growing, but mostly the weeds were getting tall LOL

I pulled out all the Bells of Ireland last night. They sure dont last long. They were behind the purple celosia and the tall straw flowers so they wont be missed. The tomatoes would like more room anyway.

Woody, I planted 2 c. Henryi last spring. They really have bloomed all summer for me. I also love Arabella for being in bloom all spring and summer. It is unbelievable! Thanks again Deanne!

Speaking of the influence that you all have on me, somehow an agave in a pot appeared on my patio.

Brenda, I hope your Princess weekend is fabulous. When Rick quit milking he said it was because he wanted to have a life. DD told me on the phone last night that she took Kenzie into the swine barn at the fair. Her comment was "mommy they stink" LOL

Chelone, I cant imagine how frustrated you must be. You are right, she deserves to be treated with dignity and its deplorable that this facility doesnt realize that.

bug, I planted my first h. Limelight last fall and its just beginning to bloom. What a great shrub. I have it in full sun and in my zeriscape bed and it looks wonderful.

Deanne mentioned getting a Chelone. I have one that does nothing. What does this plant need? I have it in partial shade and give it extra water.

Honey, my shingles have cleared up, the meds are for my knees and hands.

We received sad news last night. Ricks DILs mom has stage 4 breast cancer. She had it 3 years ago the first time. Shes probably my age. Hopefully, she can beat it.

Enough rambling from me. Enjoy your day.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 11:41AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Brenda!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 1:06PM
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A royal belated birthday salute, Princess Brenda!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 1:15PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 3:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today has been an odd one with a different routine. DH decided to stay at home and read up on statistics...or so he said. But then the guys came to return the music festival staging to our barn. This is always exciting because kids from the drug rehab center do the heavy work. They always ernjoy the outing, are young and strong and are a big hit with Charlotte. Well this time DH couldn't help but "supervise". He also burned lots of stuff in our burn pile at last.

I was out weeding in the veg garden at 6:30 and came in at 10:30 to recover. I didn't get as much done as i hoped, but there was progress made. After lunch I pulled out LOTS of jewel weed and hope DH will cart it off to decompose somewhere later on. I'm beat.

On the negative side I'm furious with out politicians and their lack of transparency and their collusion with industry here. A friend is the brunt of some nasty goings on. Also a neighbouring hamlet is being turned into a gravel pit and the 80+ residents are losing big time...as their homes surround the new pit and are in the $400,000+ range. No compensation and the township isn't helping them out a biy.

On the plus side, family arrives on Monday and we can't wait. I guess I'd better think about making beds, buying food, etc. Yesterday I went to the toy store and bought water balloons, a puzzle, a bug/frog net for the pond, and other toys. We already have a swing in the barn, a soccer ball and other stuff. So I'm learning to be a Nana.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 3:23PM
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    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 4:46PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Woohoo, the UPS man came with my Sansevieria cylindrica! What a COOL plant. I just love it. Thanks so much Denise. Please email me and let me know what your address is and what the shipping charges were and I'll get a check out in the mail to you asap.

Michelle, I've had Chelone in the garden for a couple years now and I've not quite found the right spot for it. My sister has a patch of it that is fabulous which is why I've tried to cultivate it. I do love the plant with its lovely, dark, glossy leaves. The couple plants I've had I've moved around a couple times so I'm assuming that's why they've not gotten much size to them. I'm an eternal optimist which is why I've bought more. LOL

OK later all,

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 5:00PM
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I am SO supposed to be doing other things...but the computer keeps looking at me.

Deanne Oh that is so funny about the CPR baby mannequin!! hey sometimes people don't realize what it takes to blow into the adult mannequin and that the baby requires even less-so I'm sure that happens a lot! Sounds like that instructor was a bit uptight-I would have been rolling too!
I was very happy with my class-last time I went through Red Cross and this time it was through American Heart Assoc. which is usually taught by a nurse or paramedic. The nurse really made us feel at ease and was very receptive to those feeling confused or nervous. We also had a couple paramedics with us and it was helpful to have them talk about actual scenarios that they'd encountered since each situation can be so different and I may need my training for other than school-I hope I never really need it though. It was so sad to hear one woman in the class talk about how she tried to save her aging father but couldn't even with CPR-that would be so scary.

Eden I love Bella's pics-she's such a beauty. Lol-I think that might be the first bovine bum shots here; )

Galium that shot of the nursing calf really is sweet.

Honey if you don't stop showing us how completely adorable Missy is I just know you're going to cause me to start looking at a dog for my boys! AJ really enjoyed seeing Missy play in the water. He's starting to make me feel guilty that we don't have a dog yet. This kid studies any dog encyclopedia he can get his hands on-he's constantly IDing dogs we see and he's accurate!(since I'm not as smart I sneak to look in the encyclop. and every time he gets the breed right) That really was a great solution to Missy's digging. Just remember she won't be a puppy forever. Keep those Missy pics coming: )
I'm sorry things have been so rough for you.

I hope Mary has a wonderful excursion-I hope we see pics: )

Here's a pic of my boys while we were on vacation in Hocking Hills...I think Eden or Mary asked to see AJ & Ry(you get Chris too as a bonus)

Thanks for the good thoughts for Chris' biopsy results-you're not going to believe this(well maybe),his doctor called,naturally while I was out, and left a message about the results. Just as he was saying what the results are the message machine cut him off! I'm assuming he wouldn't give bad news out by voice mail so I figure Chris is fine(he'll call to get the results). It's odd,since he had the polyps removed he hasn't had symptoms from the GIRD. That would be great if it was just the polyps causing his discomfort. I did read that sometimes the GIRD meds can cause polyps to form-go figure.

I better get a move on-I haven't even finished all my comments...it'll have to be later though.

Thinking of Princess Brenda's fun weekend-will you pack your tiara??lol


    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 5:48PM
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Deanne, I'm so glad you got the sans. Hope it survived transit OK. Don't be afraid to tell me its true condition! We've been hearing some "insider" stuff on UPS from my youngest son ;> I'll get my address off to you but it may not be right away. We're packing and leaving tonight for Oregon.

GB, I was going to ask what petition can I sign or letter can I write, but being in another country that's a pretty useless offer, so all I can offer is sympathy. It sounds like a tragic fait accompli already. I think it's safe to say transparency in govt is a prerequisite for democracies. It IS hard to stay away from political topics because, on so many levels, the personal is political. I tend to see Chelone's situation she's in now as a political failure too. If anybody could secure a decent situation for their aging parent, my money would be on Chelone.

Kathy, have a blast in Vegas, if possible. Maybe check out a Cirque de Soleil show or the Blue Men. I haven't been to Vegas since its had the glitzy redo, not since a kid one time with my parents, then passing through with friends on a road trip, early twenties. Along with all the old stories I continually pump my mom for about growing up in the "flats" in Holyoke, Mass, I get a kick asking them about who they've seen in Vegas. Rat pack? No, but yes on Sammy Davis, Jr. by himself. No Sinatra but Buddy Greco, Dean Martin, Steve & Edie, Wayne Newton of course, the big bands, old school comedians like Milton Berle, Don Rickles, Dangerfield, Phyllis Diller. My parents' heyday. My mom had this electric blue satin dress and a red chiffon number she'd lay out on the bed when packing, a ritual which mesmerized me. I hear they don't dress like that in Vegas anymore, lol. They were bored by Bill Cosby's "stories. He just sat on a stool and talked." Speaking of which, gotta run. Hoping for uneventful days this remaining August for the idylletes. Sometimes "boring" days aren't half bad ;o)

(Babs, what a great-looking family. Same number of boys in my family, lol! How about an idyll poll on the best dog breed for your clan?)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 6:24PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good evening to all,

Hoping princess Brenda is having a ball!!!

Denise, The San is in perfect condition. Seriously, I've never seen such a terrific job packaging a plant. I knew this baby was a succulent but wow! It really is a great plant and even better because from what I can tell it requires absolutely no care whatever. Infrequent watering, sun or shade, almost no food and it just keeps on doing what it's going to do. What fun. I want to find a neat oval planter for it.

Babs, what a fabu-fabu pic of your boys! Love it. ~~ OH no about the answering machine. Good grief. ~~ So do tell, is Brenda's B-Day card a picture of 'Lena'?

Bug, I'll bet you can't wait until Monday! I'm excited for you. Looking forward to pics of the visit.

Saucy and Wendy, how about a visit here on Sunday? or next weekend sometime?

OK time to get ready for bed so I can get up and put in another twelve hours in the garden tomorrow! LOL

Nite all

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 8:24PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The sprinkler is on...no showers as were predicted. The sun was rising behind the barn as I was setting up the hoses.

Lilies near the barn.

Through the dining room window, a hummingbird on a clematis obelisk.

Happy Thursday to all!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 8:11AM
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Good Morning, I'm hopeless behind and no time to catch up. We've about wrapped up the paver project, now I just need to get that huge pile of woodchips in my driveway spread. No Bella today and I MUST devote my time to housework unfortunately. Jen and Randy are moved in and Jen and I are spending the day Saturday at Sunshine Herb Farm attending How To Cook With Herbs. That will be fun and give her some ideas on how to use what's in her herb garden.

Marie, great pics to greet me this morning. Love the hummer!

Babs, Thanks for the pics of Chris and the boys. They're growing up so fast and what a great pic of your 3 guys! Still no blooms on the clero here.

Woody, loved seeing pics of your paver project. I'm impressed that you're doing it yourself. When I say "we" around here it usually means "Brad", lol. I'd never attempt the pavers on my own. They'd never be straight or level, lol. Can't wait to see yours when you've finished. It's going to look great!

Hi to everyone. Times wasting so I must run...


    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 8:33AM
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Good morning.

Fast skim (again)... I feel like I'm on a Merry-go-round set at warp speed. Hold on tight or you'll get flung off before you know what happened.....

Babies are still not feeling up to par. Yesterday morning was pretty nice (they were happy & playing) but the afternoon went downhill quickly with fussiness and crying. I had to use the numbing drops in their ears on the hour (as prescribed - if needed) and also gave them Tylenol. I sure hope their mom & dad had an okay night with them and that they wake up this morning feeling better. Brutal to have two hurting and cranky babies to contend with during the day.

In the picture, it was a shiny button that one was poking at, not his brother. ;o) Although yesterday morning one was laying on his back and the other one dog-piled onto him. There was lots of giggling and they traded places a couple of times before one cried at a misplaced foot in his face (teaching a 1 year old 'gentle' is a tough one). They've just begun 'playing' together. There is a lot of "I'm not sharing and that is MINE!" that goes on during the day, too. But it is fun to watch them interact when it is 'nice' interacting instead of tug of war over a bink or a toy.

Today is errands and then going to pick up a 15 month old beagle to dog sit until Monday night while the family goes camping (the dog belongs to James & Thomas' family). The dog is high energy and doesn't mind well. It will be a long time until Monday night. Tomorrow is twins once again. So.......that is my life right now. Fun, tiring, chaotic and a bit boring.

Hello to all......sorry that it is once again a fly by post and all about here.... :o/


    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 9:51AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Aw, you guys!! Thanks for the birthday wishes. Just popped in to say bye-I gotta get packed. Will be back on Sunday. Babs, we usually go to my brother's for brunch on Princess weekend, and one year he DID provide us with tiaras :)
Since my friend drives a trash truck, and I'm a farmer the "Princess" thing is quite a joke, but we enjoy taking it easy for a few days all the same.
See ya all when I get back!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 12:53PM
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Deanne-that's Lena,alright: ) I also have one from you that has brighter magenta flowers...do you recall which that is?

Hi T! I missed the pics you posted earlier : ( hope the little guys are better soon! They always seem to be under the weather together lol.

Eden-darn,I was hoping your Clero. was budding up too. Mine suddenly started budding and looks like it will have lots of blooms. When the weatehr starts to cool I would be glad to send you one of my cuttings that has rooted.
I was surprised to see the 'Foliage' book recommended in the garden resource section of today's newspaper...how ironic: ) or is it.lol

Denise-thanks about my boys-Oh the joys of boys?lol. I do know that when we get a dog it will be from the pound and I'd really like a terrier since I grew up with one. The only thing is that I probably won't get a dog until we move to my mom's house since we live on a high traffic road-I'd rather train a dog where it's safer if it gets loose. I also like a dog that's small enough to sit on my lap.

Good grief-the construction across teh street is driving me batty. I don't even need an alarm clock...beeping trucks and moster dump trucks wake me like a charm at teh crack of dawn. Can you believe on a sat. they were working at 7 am?

This is brief as I have to get the boys ready for track practice. Oh boy~three days a week.

Nice pics 'Bug-that hummer is so cute! We have a baby one around here and it visits my fuchsias.

~ABbs oops-that's ~Babs

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 3:08PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRENDA!! I'd post a pix but my camera is in the kitchen and I don't want to wake the 'baby' up!
Can't wait to hear about your princess day.

Eden, the Brug Charles Grimaldi you have me is blooming and has lots of other buds this year. Yeah! Also, the double white finally has 2 buds on it. I can't wait to see it bloom for the first time!

Thanks, you guys, for all the support. I feel like a whiner, tho, compared to Chelone and others dealing with such adversity.

Re DD, she hasn't always made good choices and she's had bad things happen. I guess as a parent you always want the best for them and it's frustrating and dishartening when they choose not to achieve what they're capable of. This saga will be ongoing, but thankfully DD is feeling better from both the flu and Shingles.

Last night, my DB phoned and woke me up b/c Mom called him about DS and her antics. He's beside himself over what DS is doing and how Mom's handling it. They both love the negative attention so it just perpetuates. I just can't wait for Sat. DB is having us over for fresh-picked corn from his garden. I'm sure Mom will recount all the antics for the entire visit. Oh joy.

Oh, and by the way, my DB tells me that if you cook corn within 15 min. of picking it, it's sweeter b/c the sugar hasn't had a chance to turn to starch. I'm sure Michelle and Brenda know this, but I didn't!

Yesterday I was just at my wits end with Missy. I was commiserating with my neighbor who has a Bouvier puppy the same age as Missy. She looked as haggard at 9 am as I did.
What scared and frightened me is Missy testing her growl and lowering the tone of her bark. After thinking about what we're doing, I realized that we've been inadvertently encouraging aggressiveness in her. Also, I think she's picked up on my stress and frustration over other things.

Luckily, I've read that dogs forget your mistakes and it's just to pick up from here and go forward. First, it was a huge mistake to get Missy a tug-of-war toy. So I trashed those. We play fetch instead. Also, I've realized that when I've been reprimanding her she's perceived it as my getting aggressive and has escalated her bad behaviour.

So this am, I'm trying new tactics. My interaction is calm and soft with lots of scratching her belly and talking softly to her. I'm using a pop can filled with marbles that I shake loudly when I reprimand her for barking. It gets her attention and she stops. So, so far so good. Tomorrow am I have a special session with the trainer and hopefully I can pick up some pointers. I just have to find the 'right' parenting skills for this baby.

Marian, I'm so sorry to hear about the bacterial infection on your chin. I hope the antibiotics take hold quickly and the itching diminishes. When you get a chance, please post a pic of your new kitty. I need a kitty fix!

Babs, it sounds like the results of Chris's tests is good news! I'm so very glad to hear that. About getting a puppy, puppy training was much easier last time. The puppy was 4 mo. old and we had a fenced in yard. It is just like having another 'baby' in the house and is a lot of work.

Cindy, I meant to comment earlier that I so admire your offering your friend safe haven from the domestic violence situation. Hopefully, she'll be able to pick-up her life and not seek out another relationship with someone similar. It would be great if you encouraged her to get some counseling, if it's available in your area.

Kathy, that's great you can find your way around LA. I don't mind the driving per se, it's figuring out where the heck I am. I can't navigate out there for some reason.

We're going to meet up with friends for dinner tonite. Can't wait. We haven't been able to get the whole group together for 8 months! So it'll be great to see everyone. And I get to wear something other than a ratty ole t-shirt and jeans.

Hmmm, I have to take a pic in my garden for Sue. I have similar acoutriments, tho not as large, as that photo of her that was circulated, lol.

OK, here's some good news. DH just phoned and he put together a report that shows that if they keep he and his partner instead of laying them off and disposing of that part of the business, they'll net $19.5 mil. in profit/yr. Altho it's no guarantee mgmt won't do something stupid, we're hoping they'll decide to transition these two jobs into the new reorganized co. We'll see.

Hope Mary has a safe fun trip; that Sue is feeling better; that all these paver projects come out exactly as you hope them to; and a big Hi to everyone else I missed! It's all I can remember for now.

Missy is awake and it's time for a walk!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 3:22PM
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Greetings! Today is TGIF for me -- taking tomorrow off to prep for a 40 family member soire' on Saturday. My part of the food is easy. Pretty darn cool to have both sides of the family include some really good cooks/chefs/bakers!!

Denise: I had to read your Holyoke sentence twice, since I'm there a lot!! My niece went to Mt Holyoke in South Hadley, and you can't get there from here without going through Holyoke. My Great-Grandfather was the chief engineer for the lock and dam system on the river, and I think locals are still cursing him :-)

Eden: So is the greenhouse going to double as a cow home? Farm-made ice cream is a huge business here, and you never know what career path Bella could choose with the right start at age two!!

T: I missed the pics, also, but can certainly envision two one-year-olds learning to get along. All good thoughts headed your way when the Charlie Browns are there.

'bug: My heart aches at the thought of a gravel pit being put into your area. Because we are in a river valley, there are a lot of them around and despite everyone's best efforts, government continues to think that they are the "highest and best use" for some land. To me, that logic is incomprehensible. Are they at least required to submit a restoration plan from the beginning??? For some reason I'm excited about seeing pics of your DD and crew. There aren't any sevenish kids in my life, and it's one of my favorite ages.

Deanne: Your gardens continue to astound. Do you realize that it was a year ago that I came up to see them? It seems like yesterday, and every time I use a certain coffee mug I think of you. The biggest, baddest coffee mug on earth! I, too, am staying away from concrete containers if it can be helped. At 70%, it couldn't be helped;-)

Sue -- I hope your intermittant posts are only because work is so busy, and not because you're feeling lousier. If there's a "Work on Sue's Garden Day" be sure to let me know. Yes, I've backed out of invitations before, but this feels like a mission and if Saucy will be there (whom I'd really, really like to meet) it's a go!!

Marian: Must admit that your description of your chin gave me the shivers, but am glad that it's something easily handled.

Mary: If you're out there, could you look at what 20-year-old college students are wearing in England? Trying to get DS to buy new clothes (to replace the shredded jeans that show his lime-green boxers -- no kidding) is futile unless a love interest is involved. Perhaps a stern warning from a native would help.

Honey: You almost were my best friend forever. Showed Rich the Missy pics and explained that with my new job I'll be home more and it doesn't have to be a puppy and now would be the perfect time for a dog. It took him ten or so seconds longer to say no than usual. Yes, I could just go get a dog but I like my husband better :-)

Brenda: HAPPIEST BELATED BIRTHDAY I CAN SEND!! Being a Princess is never a bad thing ....

Babs: That pic is a framer and keeper. I love Hocking Hills!! Keeping fingers, toes and everything else possible crossed for Chris' results.

Chelone: Fill us in on the construction progress! With everything else going on, can you look at it as a bright spot? No cleaning off cars this year?????? Yes!!!

Kathy: Serious Rose Question. I "acquired" an Aloha climber and what I'm seeing says Z7 is the min. I refuse to believe this as it is an amazing plant in flower (even in baby-stage). Have you heard differently? Drop a quarter for me, BTW :-)

To everyone I've missed because of brain freeze, Hi!!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 5:00PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Honey - have you read 'The Other End of the Leash' by Patricia McConnell? If not, I think you'd find it useful - and it's amusing to read too. Stanley Coren's How to Speak Dog is excellent too - they cover a lot of the same territory.

Eden - This is very definitely an amateur paving job! The metal edging behind the bricks has annoying little wobbles in the lines and the bricks aren't always lined up neatly enough. I'm reasonably good now at getting the bricks level side-to-side but the ground isn't flat. The bricks follow the contours so they aren't always level end-to-end. I expect that they will shift a bit with the freeze/thaw cycle but hopefully they will settle down again and only need a bit of corrective leveling in late spring. My real objective is to eliminate the need to ever have to trench-edge these beds again. That has become a major garden chore that will become increasingly difficult for me as time goes on. The brick edging is also making mowing easier for Randy (not that any mowing is needed at the moment as the grass is more or less completely dormant!) While I'm doing most of the work, the edging is a collaborative effort. Randy gets to carry the bags of screenings from the driveway to where I need them dropped to work. Arlene/Barb helped dig out the grass to shift the back edge of the bed and to make the new wisteria bed. They also help with placing the metal edging. 'We' here, depending on the day and time of day, means me and one or more of Randy, Arlene or Barb.

This morning we (Arlene and I) worked on the new wisteria bed. It's almost all planted now - except we had to get more orange-scented thyme this afternoon - and the bricks are in place (but not leveled) for the edging. The bed has the 'Lawrence' wisteria, an Emerald Gaiety' euonymus, a 'Black Knight' butterfly bush and a groundcover of orange-scented thyme. I have tried to grow the Black Knight butterfly bush every year for at least 6 years and it always dies in the winter! But I like the color and scent enough that I'm willing to plant it as an annual each year if need be.

I've been lax in my pruning of the Lawrence' wisteria already. Instead of a single trunk it's going to end up with multiple upright trunks. I really like the tall bushy tree look of the other wisteria so I wouldn't mind if this one ends up looking similar to that. The 'Lawrence' is on the NE side of the lawn and the other one is on the SE side. Between the wisteria beds, the main front bed, a secondary smaller bed, and the driveway border, the front lawn is now reduced to grassy paths between the beds. There is a steep bank to the ditch by the road so that limits the width of the beds I can make at the edge. The new wisteria bed is, therefore, quite narrow. Here's how things look today, looking from near the back of the new bed towards the other wisteria at the SE end of the lawn:

This morning we made more samosas - on our own this time without my friend's immediate assistance. They turned out not too bad - although the folding is still a bit less than ideal. Arlene got the hang of it reasonably quickly. We only used about half the filling we had made yesterday. I've put the rest in the freezer. Next week I'm going to make fresh samosa pastry and use that to do the rest. The bought pastry is definitely more appropriate for spring rolls I think. It bubbles and I don't remember 'proper' samosa pastry bubbling when it cooks. So I'm going to see if the home-made stuff will work/taste better. The pieces of pastry will be more irregular in size so the folding is going to be trickier I think. I'll use the pasta maker to roll it out into thin sheets. If I do it right, maybe I can cut the sheets to a uniform size to make the folding easier to do. Here's how today's samosas look:

Hopefully soon I'll have 'perfected' both onion bhajis and samosas!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 5:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Honey, I only had one pic of Dorky Dude, so I went out awhile ago and tried to get some more. He isn't very good at cooperating. Here are some of the best:

If you look closely, his head is upside down !

In the next pic I was trying to get some action from him. he was kicking at my foot, but most of the pics were blurry...

And one with Tommy trying to start something !

While out there I decided to take a pic of one of my watering operations:

Usually I have the long handled spray nozzle on the hose for watering the pots, but this is easier. When it is cooler out, I will go back to it.
Today is supposed to be the last of the torrid temps, at least for a week or so. We have been very blessed at our house, since others around were having at least 10 degrees hotter temps than we had. Our highest was right at 90. The hottest it got indoors was about 92. I have seven fans going all day, and 4 at night. Thank God for electricity !!
We haven't suffered any discomfort, and avoid doing anything strenuous.
Our Son, Tim, called today. It got up to 107 at his Malverne home ! He said he has taken to turning his AC off while he isn't home..to cut down on the bill. (I am thinking that will not work.) He said when the girls are there they keep it cold enough for a meat storage unit !! LOL !

My chin lesions are slowly healing. They have formed scabs, and still itch occasionally. (Such a weird thing to happen to my poor chin !!) They aren't too noticable, and can be pretty well hidden by makeup when I take Nolon in to his lab work in the morning.

Back to cats....last night a terrible fight broke out between Trubby and Dude. I'm not sure who started it, but they knocked over my strawberry jar full of hen and chickens, and demolished a hosta, (that was already suffering from slugs), and a couple of wax begonias. I broke up the fight, and replanted the dislodged plants into the jar. Neither of the cats seem to be any worse for wear.

Kathy, I didn't even think to ask the doctor what caused the infection. (He wasn't my usual doc, in fact he is my doc's DH ! ). I suspect it was just one of those things that happen......
I love the pic you posted for Brenda's birthday.

I have gotten so far behind on doing birthday pics, I am hesitant to start again.... but I do hope Brenda had/ is having a lovely birthday.

Michelle, I am very envious of the nice rain that you had. We are really parched !

Marie, I am sorry about the gravel pit issue. There is a large pit into the side of a hill south of Harrison, in Boone County.It is surrounded by fields and pastures. There does not seem to be any problem with it and the neighbors.It is where gravel comes from for the roads. Our county ( Newton County )used to get it from creek beds, but that was stopped. Now our county roads are going back to dirt and bedrock !
I am happy that your family is coming for a visit. I am sure it will be a fun-filled time !

Babs, great pic of your family ! A good looking bunch.
What a drag about the message machine cutting off the test results on your DH.

Woody, those pastries are making me hungry !!!!

I have fizzled out...and know I've failed to comment on lots of things that I should....


    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 9:59PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good morning! August 17th. Can anybody tell me where summer went this year? Good grief! The wallpaper on my computer screen at work is a group shot from my birthday dinner this year...June 2nd-seems like last week!

Happy Birthday Brenda! Enjoy your princess weekend. That sounds like something I could use...lol.

On the health front, I went to the doctor on Wednesday. It is Lyme I have and not Erlychiosis-she showed me the lab results. Dr. Feelgood jumped the gun on the other because the test was borderline. According to the lab borderline is considered negative. It doesn't really matter because the treatment is the same for both. Because I still have some nagging symptoms she extended my antibiotics for another week (great, no sun til September now) and gave me the name of an infectious disease group in Hartford for an appointment if I feel I need to see a specialist. At this point I've had enough of doctors. Maybe I'll reconsider next week.

Other than that it's been work, watering and walking. That's about it. It looks like we're going to be getting some cool, dry weather for the weekend so maybe I'll make good progress on the gardening front. Less than a month now before the open day...eeek!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 7:34AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Last night the perfect gardening weather arrived here! Crisp, cool and sunny! Maybe I'll get something accomplished today? I know Sue will...but please don't push it. You have lots of offers of help.
The sprinklers are running already.
Still preparing for grandkids next week. Also lots of other stuff going on.
Missing all the vacationing folks...Bet V is enjoying her HOLIDAY. Thinking of Princess Brenda and lime green Mary too. Norma?
Nice to meet the Dude Marian!
Woody, those samosas...mmmmmm

Time to get moving!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 7:56AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

Sue, I don't know where summer went either - I can't believe it is back to school in 2 weeks! I like the slower pace of the summer routine; no lunches to pack, no homework to supervise, no rushing in the morning - the kids go to my mother's when DH & I work so my only AM requirement is clean clothes and brushed teeth.

The school paperwork has already started, a packet from DD's school came yesterday. She is taking French this year! Most of her friends took Spanish, and frankly Spanish would be of more use to here around here, but she wanted to take French since there is a field trip to Quebec in 8th grade. Much of the communication from school is moving to e-mail now, which I greatly prefer - I get enough of paper clutter at the office.

I am admiring all the edging/paver projects going on here - that is such hard work. We hired out to have our path done, and I'm really glad we did. Their fleet of equipment made short work of it. It would have taken us weeks to dig the path foundation that they dug in one morning, and the large rock that they removed would still be sitting beside our new path if we were on our own!

It is pretty swampy outside now, very warm & humid. Some cooler, drier weather is predicted for the weekend - DH has promised me some quality time...with the shovel! There are a few areas that I'd like to dig out, including the attractive milkweed/orange daylily combo next to the driveway, and the ragged bit of lawn where the play structure used to be. DH surprised me on that one: when we removed the play structure, he actually suggested that a nearby bed be extended to include that spot rather than re-planting the grass. I think he is starting to get it!

Deanne, I'm free to come to see you this Sunday or next weekend - I've emailed Saucy, she was going to get back to me (helloooo Saucy!!). Why don't we say next weekend, Sunday maybe, unless I hear back from her soon? BTW Saucy, I can check email here at work on the server, but DH is at home today (he has way more vacation time than me!) and if he checks his email, mine goes off the server before I can see it, so shout out here!

My music in the car this AM was Don Henley (of Eagles fame). The lyrics of the song "Inside Job" made me think of 'bug's gravel pit situation:

While you were sleeping
They came and took it all away
The lanes and the meadows
The places where you used to play

It was an inside job
By the well-connected...

I'm not familiar with gravel pits, there isn't one around here. I'm picturing 'round the clock noise from heavy equipment and devastation of the environment...is that about right? What a shame. We used to have county government in Mass., and there was a lot of backroom deals and hackery there - DH went so far as to call it "hack-o-rama". The state finally took over the county, but I'm not really sure how much better it really is - probably just better hidden.

Speaking of the car, my next installment of the strange things people do while sitting in traffic: this guy in front of me kept leaning way over to the right, I'm not sure if he was cleaning out his glove box or fixing a tremendous wedgie! One wonders...

Well, duty calls; thinking of all of you, never enough time to type all my thoughts.

Have a great weekend everyone!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 9:21AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wendy, here is more info on Gravel than you want to know. This is our website and now you know what keeps us busy. It is usually mighty depressing, hence why I enjoy gardening! It describes such things as rehabilitation which you asked about and also noise issues, dust, etc. etc. etc.

This morning (conflict of interest!) I met with the guy who is going to upgrade our drive. Our new Honda is low to the ground and so the ruts need filling with gravel. You don't know how very hard it is for us to proceed with this!

Planted some lilies near the Russian Sage, also some of the short balloon flowers in the yellow/blue garden. Still lots of shade plants to be put in the ground, but first huge patches of weeding need to be done.

Think I'll run out and do my errands now. Hope the perfect weather is reaching you. I just wish it would rain every night from 10pm until 4am....;-)


    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 11:57AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi everyone, just a 'drive by' here.

Wendy, is there any way possible you and Saucy (Hmmm, maybe Chelone could use a day off in the gardens here too) could make it Sunday???? The weather is supposed to be gorgeous and I've jut finished 'polishing' up the gardens and house for company this evening so all would be ready for an Idyll visitation. We could plan for munchies and beverages on the patio. I know its going to be a perfect day for it.


PS any Idylls interested are welcome to join us!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2007 at 12:21PM
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