Idyll #395 133 days left until the end of the 2008, Carpe Diem!

prairiemoon2 z6 MAAugust 20, 2008

So what are you going to do with the rest of it?

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

Brisk is right, Chelone! :-) We had the bright idea of putting the house fan on last is turned off now though. Brrr! I didn't notice how cool it was under the comforter, but I didn't want to get out of bed.

Friday we are leaving for two days to visit our DS, who we haven't seen since Christmas. He has visited us the last three times and now that he has cats and a dog, not so easy to get away. [g] We are getting excited! I am wracking my brain to think of something to bring him, but our tastes are so different and every time we ask, he tells us nothing. Any ideas for a gift for mid 20s young adult male? :-)

So I imagine the next couple of weeks will be busy for everyone. Catching up from vacations, kids going back to school. Now that the weather is cooling, we have to start thinking of catching up with work around the house although I would rather pull apart the garden and put it back together. [g]

Is anyone planning any large fall garden projects or purchases? I have been drooling over the North Creek Nurseries website, but they pretty much sell wholesale only. You can order, but a $300. minimum and you have to buy plugs by the flat, 32 to a flat minimum. They have some really nice plants.

Catch up Part I

Martie...where is the photo of 'April Tryst'? :-) I am pretty sure, DH and I were on that Logee's trip when you bought it and remember how excited you were to get it. I would have thought it bloomed in April? Martie, was it 'Grosso' lavender that you were saying was hardy and grew well for you? I can't see any reason you can't grow Hibiscus, you are warmer than I am here. Congratulations on your first shopping trip.

Eden! How exciting! Congratulations to Jenni and Randy! Shhh.... I bet your parents are very excited too. Have you told Bella yet?

Woody...the seedlings from your Hibiscus shrub look a lot like either the 'Fantasia' that Deanne has, or my 'Plum Crazy'. So, you have tried starting seed from your plant and did you have to wait a year to find out what color the seedlings would bloom? Did some come true from seed? Both plants are quite pretty and I just love that first photo, such a bushy Hibiscus. I tried growing the Hybrid Shastas from seed and had quite a variety of results. Some of the Becky's and Snowcaps were fairly close to what the original plant looked like, but some were not at all.

Woody...I went looking online for Disco Belle seed and found the white at Park Seeds, see below. Not sure this is what you have there or not. The whites I have seen seem to have a 'red' eye, is yours more pink? You can see from the photo, not quite the same shape blossom and the eye is a little more pronounced, but it does seem to have the bushy habit.

Are things getting back to normal at your house with Phoebe gone? Gardenbug and Phoebe are so lucky to have you to watch her. When we had a dog, we would be happy if anyone would take him let alone help reinforce the training.

Deanne...What a nice combo you have going there with the Hibiscus 'Fantasia'. I love them in front of the Pine. Did you have to stake them to get them to stand so tall? This 'Plum Crazy' I have, has flopped over almost to the ground and didn't come back up in the last rain. I'm not sure what to attribute it to...not enough sun, the large size of the blooms. Next year, I plan on pinching it and hoping I won't have to stake it. Love that Le Baron Dahlia. Such an unusual effect with the two tone center and I love the way the petals open and the shape of the petals is a little different too. Really nice.

I completely sympathize with Doug with the computer problems. It can be so time consuming. I am the only person in the house that job falls to. But not being a genius, generous warranties with tech support are a necessity with any purchase. Do you use a Firefox browser? Quite a cat and mouse tale you have this morning.

Time to get is shaping up to be a perfect day out there. Part II to follow..


Here is a link that might be useful: Park Seed Disco Belle Hibiscus White

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 9:10AM
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I'm getting a dose of what it is like for a laptop user with a slow connection :)

Having a great vacation, enjoying the weather! Chelone, did you order this special for me? Zeus and I have had a couple of marathon walks this week and it keeps him tired for our family (minus dog) outings in the afternoons. Today we are picnicking on the boat for lunch and a bike ride with SunnyD and friends this afternoon.

It was nice to read that your FAK was sent home with nice memories, Mary! I enjoyed reading about your experience.

Gotta run....


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:38AM
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The terracotta temperature taker read 40degF when Rich woke at 7am today. Brrrr! Since the basils survived, must've been a brief dip. It's too early for frost!

What wonderful news, Mary, that you had such a great experience, and obviously Fuquan did, too. That he wants you to remember him is a tribute to your family, and your new-found commitment to the program makes my day! If there hadn't been any less-than-great moments it would've really surprised me but good for everyone to get through them.

So when will Annie take her first jaunt across "the pond?" It is a huge thing to travel alone for the first time, direct flight or not :-)

Chelone, I've been curious for years about how large the pieces of fabric are to start with when one takes on the projects you describe. Obviously not the 44"ers I use. LOL

Hooray for Rajii, the cat I scared out of Doug's arms when I met him!! Dieback is happening quickly here, too; certainly 40deg nights won't help, but there are still some things in bud and the Rose of Sharon looks promising.

PM2 -- you and your DH Were there at Logee's!! No buds nor blooms for the first year as expected as the Camellia was purchased as a rooted cutting (budgetary considerations:-) but there's buds this year and the challenge is to keep them on the plant for the winter so they can bloom in Spring. They behave much like other acid lovers like rhodies and azaleas. I'm confident (I hope). If this C. japonica works, I'll get some more. I love Camellia blossoms and their unique fragrance.

Battles with the State continue. So far no one can respond to my arguments. There are no Statutes that cover my brother's financial situation but the State seems to feel that the Statutes covering Medicaid recipients apply to SSD recipients. Huh -- two completely different circumstances?????? Research continues .....

'bug -- Enjoy putting together Skyler's book! I was sorry to hear that he won't be going to the school that Sarah and DSiL feel would be best, particularly since it's Skyler's choice, too. Is there enough evidence that he'll be harmed by being there as opposed to the better school that Sarah and his Dad could ask for a change through the Courts? I'm not sure how the Canadian system works .... I've been trying to figure out for years just what useful purpose Burdock serves, and have yet to find any. My empathy to you.

Cindy: Good to see you pop in and hope that you can get a comfortable walk during lunch. I've seen umbrella-in-the-sun walkers who appear only mildly less stinky and sweaty afterwards. Is one of them, you?

Saucy: Sounds like you're having a great time. Pics are anticipated.

Need to get back to work on research, and also need to get with work to see what I can expect when I return one week from today. It's a good kind of anxious.

Waving to everyone, and wishing I could send some Zinnias out to Kathy, sans mildew, and know they'd get there intact. Mine are just a bit crowded. LOL


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 11:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM2, how about a check. I know, so boring, but you could suggest that it is for vet or kennel expenses that may arise. Or perhaps a fancy cat climbing/scratching post?

And what will I do as the days get shorter? Personally I love this time of year with the cooler nights, the clear skies, the autumn grasses and colors.... So I am going to try to soak it all in. I have some attitude adjusting to do on several fronts too. I am trying to step back, trying to enjoy things and control less. Need to take care of ME sometimes too.

But for now, I need to take care of the cat box!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 11:02AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I'm a little hardy hibiscus obsessed at this time of year. I am disappointed that neither of the 'Pinot Noir' I planted last year have come back (I suspect I didn't keep them well enough watered after planting them in last year's dry August...) I thought one had but it turns out to be white - I'm not sure where that came from! It must be a seedling from the white Luna with a red eye that isn't too far away.

I want more dark red for the front bed so we went out yesterday looking for some more Lord Baltimore since I like the one I planted two weeks ago. I ended up getting a Lord Baltimore and two Fireballs. What attracted me to the Fireballs was their foliage - it looks like a purple Japanese Maple with very long, deeply cut leaves. If a few of the leaves on the bottom of the plants are any indication, it may have great fall color too! None of them were in bloom so I'm not sure what kind of red they are - red is one of those colors that can be so variable in photos. When I did a Google Image search, the colors in the pictures are extremely variable; some I like and others not so I'll just have to wait and see. Nothing I found on the Internet showed fall color so I'll have to wait and see about that too.

I looked for Fantasia (I loved that picture of yours Deanne...) and Plum Crazy but neither were at the garden center I went to.

Here's what I bought - and planted this morning:

PM2 - my bushy one is not white; it's a very pretty pale pink. If you start the seeds by early March and plant them out in pots for the summer, they usually bloom the first year so you can see what you've got. About 1/2 seem to come true and the others are usually that intense pink with the bigger flowers that open flatter. It takes about three years in the ground for the pale pink ones to start getting bushy.

When I was looking around at the hibiscus this morning, it occurred to me that, if I had the space and the right conditions, it would be nice to have a bed filled with plants from the mallow family. There are a huge number of garden plants in that family - think of a bed of garden mallows, hollyhocks, hardy hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, Sidalcea, some abutilon in pots.... Throw in some foliage plants for contrast and some spring bulbs for earlier flowers and you could have a very interesting botanical themed bed I think.

Yes, things are back to 'normal' here with Phoebe gone. Mind you, we do enough dog-sitting that having a canine guest is pretty normal too :-) Actually, we're lucky to have a good supply of guests because then we don't need to get a second dog of our own :-) We just 'borrow' from friends....

I've been having computer problems too in the past little while, although it appears not to be a nasty something-or-other. From what I can find by searching, a lot of people have the same issue and it appears to be a Microsoft problem. But I've also been having problems accessing GW at times over the past month or so for some reason - it just won't open GW at all sometimes. And yesterday I did a post and submitted it but it never appeared. (Martie, your comments yesterday gave me a craving for a hot fudge sundae! What did you treat yourself to after the squish test?)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 11:16AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Catch up Part II

I went shopping a 50% off sale yesterday and came home with Tricyrtis 'Imperial Banner' which is variegated. I am really happy about that one. I have wanted to add a Tricyrtis to a shade grouping and I just needed another variegated foliage. Plus the blooms would be late when there is nothing else blooming. Also dragged home a Penstemon 'Pike's Peak Purple' which was completely impulse. Another hummer attractor I am hoping.

Kathy...I have so enjoyed the Chicago pics and spent some time this week looking over Piet Oudolf's plant list and the layout of Millenium Park. Very interesting place to visit. On his plant list were a couple of plants that I would like to get...Camassia 'Blue Danube', Veronica spicata 'Giles von Hees', and Phlox paniculata 'Blue Paradise' which I see from a GW search yesterday, both Eden and G'bug have. Wondering if it needs staking and is really mildew free? Another plant he used that I would like to find a way to use is, Gentian andrewsii. It looks like it is a meadow plant and I don't have a meadow. [g] But maybe with some grasses. There was also a very different looking Purple Lance Astilbe, that I liked.

Sungold is our favorite tomato and with all the rain and cloudiness, we have all of 12 little cherries on one pathetic plant. Getting it in the ground late didn't help either, but I heard some people who had them in sooner, still ended up with a ton of foliar diseases this year, so I am content to look forward to next year.

Norma.....Dianthus 'Siberian Blues' is more of a purple to me. Lavender, purple maybe? I don't find it easy to describe color I'm afraid, but I did go out and look at it a couple of times and in different light, it is somewhat iridescent looking. I am not someone who can see the underlying tones in colors, so I imagine that some who do, probably see blue tones? To me it is a purple and not a blue. If you have never tried it, it does come pretty true to seed and I could send you some later in the fall. They are really easy and dependably winter sow.

Denise...interesting story about your grandmother. The older I get the more I notice the differences in generations and sometimes sad that it is hard to appreciate the differences on both sides. Wouldn't your grandmother be happy to know that you appreciated her so much. :-)

Cindy...your Dad sounds like such a positive person. I've always thought it a much better idea to remember the birthdays instead of the anniversary of someone's passing. Hope you are doing okay. Glad you and your Dad have each other. :-) nice that you may have a new dog walking partner. Fun! Tell me, how do you like the new seamless gutters? We need to repair or replace ours and I am dreading calling the company to come look at them. I just hope they haven't been leaking behind the vinyl siding. Were they expensive? So clue me in...what is the THTTF? [g] I am figuring it is a reference to your Mom's old house?

Gardenbug...what a pretty as a picture wedding! Such a better idea to be outdoors. Sounds like you had a wonderful few weeks, what with Skyler there and your trip to DD's. So what accounts for this sudden idea that you think you need an attitude adjustment? :-)

Michelle....I think this is a little late to answer, but I have been to tractor pulls. We have a Four H Fair around here once a year in the fall and the Topsfield Fair is local too. They have the tractor pulls and the Draft Horse Pulls too. Our kids loved them when they were little. How are you doing? Was it a long week at your house?

V...what a crisis to come home to at work, that's awful! The poor families involved. I hope things have settled down a bit and you have been able to catch up some. Kind of takes the buzz out of the vacation, no? We always refer to coming home from vacation as 'Re-entry'. :-) You have my sympathies. Tomato Horn worms to return home to, too? Those I really dislike too. Glad you found them before they got any bigger.

Mary...that story of your FABoy, brought tears to my eyes too. It must have been hard for him to leave. That he had never visited Central Park 10 blocks strange and sad. How old a boy is he? Sounds like you all were touched by having him there and I hope it makes a big difference for him.

Almost lunchtime and I have some things to do to get ready for our trip...


Here is a link that might be useful: Tricyrtis 'Imperial Banner'

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 12:09PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Happy Hump Day all! I'm hard at work today as you can see from the link below. Too funny... I love the corporal cuddling/Cat yodelling portion. I never knew the name of this effective practice. LOL


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 1:42PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Just got back from the Castle Haupt gardens and butterfly walk along the way -- saw this interesting, gorgeous foliage plant - a tropical I guess -- had to google it when I got back... Our West Coast folks are probably familiar with it.... It has such lovely variegated foliage. I would bet Deanne has it in one of her pots too!

No, PM - no umbrella for me -- Im a hat gal altho the one I leave at work is not very pretty, which makes it less desirable to go home with anyone and it wont hurt my feelings if it does, LOL....


Here's breynia nivosa:

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 2:16PM
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THTTF= "the house that time forgot", PM. Mum was so ill and so depressed that we pretty much had to pry her out of it and move her in with me. Following that move I was so busy with the myriad doctor appointments/tests I had no time to go back to her home and do anything with it. So it sat... and sat... and nothing changed very much from the date she moved in with me. It's kind of creepy in some respects, but mostly it's wrenchingly real and double dipped in poignancy. Her desk still has some old correspondence on it. All the old calendars are still in place with all her appointments duly noted through late October of '03. I found her last carton of cigarettes in the drawer of a bureau in her "office"... I found an open pack of cigarettes on the desk... wonder if she ever thought that would be her last pack?

The seamless gutters seem to work well... we have them on the barn and now on the house. I have nothing to compare them to with respect to price. They applied a silicone bead behind the gutters to prevent any water from finding its way down behind the gutters on the house. That has happened on the barn, right over the side door (wouldn't you know it?) and they will be returning to silicone those, too (no charge). We have opted to have the company that installed them come in the fall to clean out any leaves/debris. The pitch of the house roof is not great (5/12, if I remember correctly) but the barn is tall ("imposing" was Kathy's description and it's apt) and the roof pitch on it is steeper (8/12) and neither the helpmeet nor I have a burning desire to ascend the heights to clean gutters... sometimes it's easier to pay, and in this case we WANT to pay! :)

Martie, fabric widths are really pretty standard across the industry, regardless of the application. The striped awning acrylics are 46" wide. Solid acrylics are often available in 60"; both have the laser cut "selvedge" (which really isn't a true selvedge, at all) but permits easy seaming of runs with no need to trim away the woven selvedge and no loss of usable goods. Interior (upholstery) acrylics are typically 54" wide and they have the traditional woven selvedge, though it's narrower than you would find on apparel or interior drapery/upholstery fabrics. Vinyls range from 58"-62", with a few available in 72, 84, 96, up to 120" wide. As you might expect they're very expensive, but can be worth every dime if you do your layout calculations carefully. 100% cotton duck can be had up to 120" wide, too, but only in certain weights (usually #10 and #12). It can be tought to locate and generally requires purchasing an entire roll (50-60 yds.); typically this is what theatre companies use for backdrops. Generally, we seam goods with the machines, but we also use a very hip, local shop to heat weld widths for bigger jobs. This eliminates the inevitable erosion and failure of thread. I used their services when I made the canopy for our deck; cost me pizza for the guys doing the measuring and the "welding". I think you are the first person to ask me about this stuff, Martie. :) (I want to add a couple of Altheas to the border... the nice blue singles. What do you have at Cohnfield Park?)

I have a few things I need to do right now. Back later to take the link detour.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 4:47PM
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Quick bounce in:

I went right to the source and asked Ky for an answer to PM2's question.

FOOD. Lots and Lots of stuff one usually wouldn't get, like great cheeses and not-on-sale crackers, favorite crudite (deli olives specifically), meat marinades, specialty pasta sauces, fresh ground coffee, etc. Also mentioned: baking mixes with the right-sized foil pans to use (and, as I was reminded, the oil that most baking mixes need and, of course, a dozen eggs).

"Anything fabric" would also be a good choice: fluffy towels, good sheets, dish towels (!!! he's growing up!!!).

Also cleaning supplies in an unbroken new laundry basket.

You've helped me by asking, PM2, since I'm putting together a bunch of stuff for Kyle's Independence Day which is coming soon!!

Woody: Hot fudge on strawberry ice cream topped with black raspberries and the first of the local walnuts. Whipped Cream. No Cherry. Go For It!! "Squish tests" deserve reward :-)

Chelone: Interesting about the fabric. Having done costuming I was always on the lookout for good selvages and prints/textures that didn't require matching for economic layout considerations. Can't imagine a 120" wide roll of fabric. That's almost as tall as me!! Is glue used when they weld or does the fabric just melt together if it's synthetic?

Bouncing out to check tomato supply.

Still thinking about the prospects for the rest of the year...... Good Exercise!



    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 6:04PM
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Martie, they use a "tape" that sticks to the fabric and melts them together when fusing the Sunbrella acrylics. To be honest, I don't know if they use the same tape/something similar or nothing at all when they fuse vinyls. It probably depends on the compostion of the vinyl; specifically the skrim and the coating. The heat welding operation is pretty cool, there is a long bar that is lowered over the positioned fabric and a shot of electricity heats it and melts/fuses the goods; the time the bar is heated depending on the composition of the goods in question. Done correctly it's very secure and impervious to UV damage. Definitely the way to go in "sun belt" regions!

My favorite ice creams for a hot fudge Sundae are:
Peppermint Stick
Maple Walnut
(whipped cream, walnuts, no cherry)

If a cone is the order of the day:
Peppermint Stick
(sugar cone, with Jimmies)
I like my Maple Walnut "straight up" in a sugar cone.

Unless I go to Dairy Queen... where I always order a vanilla soft serve dipped in that plastic "chocolate"; Mum and I used to love those. :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 6:45PM
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I have to post this bit of goofiness since the topic is fabrics and now Martie's revelation she's done costuming, a trompe-l'oeil backdrop Mitch purchased for some photography tomfoolery, just hand-painted muslim. Amazing what you can order on the Internet:

Nice to see you so bouncy, Martie. Nobody is leaving home here as yet, though Mitch is subletting a loft for photo work for a few months, so that should thin the herd temporarily. Duncan started classes again this week and returned today saying it's the first time a teacher burst into tears in class before, while recounting some former student's essay to the class. I asked is she about my age, and of course she is. ("It's just hormones, kid, nothing to worry about.") Dune also said she "swore like a sailor." I'm amazed at such college stories. The teacher apparently was able to compose herself enough to segue into a discussion of Plato's Cave. Dune's also volunteered as a docent at our local aquarium this fall.

Food would be a great gift. Also a book of movie tickets, at least in this family ;)

Cindy, I see that breynia stocked with the indoor plants locally, tho can't see why it's not grown outdoors year-round.

I like "re-entry" for returning frm vacation, PM. I've been taking fewer jobs this August, but it takes me forever to get the transcripts out the door. It's those darned hummingbird plants right outside the office window. ;) Not to mention playing butler to the cats all day, who never eat kibble at the same time, so the outdoor bowl is constantly shuffled back and forth out of its ant-proof container.

I like this time of year too, 'bug. The colors are really starting to sing. Peppermint stick is a flavor I haven't had in years. One of my uncles in Massachusetts works at Friendly's Ice Cream, which isn't sold out West, but he comes out here occasionally to buy ingredients, like Chelone's walnuts.

Deanne, that's amazing. Who knew that would work: Place cat near last known location of mouse. Reapply cat as necessary...

Enough chatter frome me, back to transcripts. Wave to all.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:02PM
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Pictures are a "no go"...the laptop is not cooperating!

Just poking my head in to say that I am reminded that I forgot to bring the ice cream maker with the required peppermint/chocolate mint for ice cream :) I will have to do that for the week after vacation....peppermint stick ice cream is always a fave for me, Chelone....I prefer "magic shell" to hot fudge, though....

Better turn in...big walkies and then long kayaking is on the menu for the A.M....first time in a kayak, so I won't bring the camera....


    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 8:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM2. I say "attitude adjustment" because I'm consumed by DSIL's ex and her ways. I try to put myself in her shoes...and still can't come up with such poor behavior. Fortunately he is amazingly good at working with people. He appears to have solved a crisis today (I hope no more changes) with her agreeing! The little manipulator (DGS) seems content with the solution as well. I also have my own family things to deal with and muddle along with those. This is where weeding and mowing can play an important role in my life. Time for thinking. ;)

Yes, DGS's visit was tons of fun, exhausting and also worrisome as he has his share of problems. So although it would be great if I could wave a magic wand and solve things for him, that just isn't going to happen. I hope a week in our company was mostly good from his point of view but he is filled with anxieties and "what ifs" that prevent enjoyment much of the time.

Tomorrow is my appointment with my most unfavorite doctor in the world...the one who will discuss only 1 issue at each appointment, never looks me in the eye, and loves to prescribe meds. Yuck. Can you tell how I look forward to this?

I notice that Tiger Eyes Sumac is beginning to change color today....and DH collected all the burdocks, even those in Phoebe's coat! She is an amazing disperser of seeds.

A demain!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:09PM
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Coffee ice cream. Hot fudge, whipped cream, leave the yukky maraschino cherry in the jar and serve it to someone who wants a Shirley Temple. Saucy, I stopped buying Magic Shell due to a potential addiction, lol.

Woody, interesting that you mentioned a Malvaceae bed, on our IU5 visit to Stonecrop we saw an area where they had a whole series of beds that were family themed. They were all rectangular beds, layed out in a grid and were created for educational purposes-wonder if anyone has a pic?? I dont seem to.

Well, PM, everyone seems to have come up with much more practical gifts for your DS than I did-I was going to suggest a pack of rewriteable music cds or dvds, or pet toys. Will you have to travel far for your visit?

Martie, colder nights are a sure sign of fall arent they? I was surprised when I opened the garage door this morning by how cool it was-I never looked at my thermometer though. I know it wasnt as cold as at Cornfield P .. Re DB and trails with the Stateare there advocates who can help you negotiate the bureaucracy and learn your rights ? I fully support planting zinnias too close together. Mildew be d*&med !!

Good for you GB, sometimes the need to control is as stressful as the loss of same ! Though your DSILs travails with the Ex are a mental burden to you, you are so right that they are totally out of your control and thus I guess all you can do is accept the powerlessness and continue to provide wonderful support , stimulation and love for your DGS. Hugs to you !

Jerri, thanks for the cat link-that was very funny..I sent it along to my DS .

Cindy, I concur with Denise that I see it (the Breynia) in the houseplant section. I wonder if its invasive ? I had to Google Castle Haupt I understand that portions of it are rooftop?

Enjoyed Chelones tutorial on fabrics, fusing etc..we do learn a lot of stuff around here dont we ? Pizza seems like a great bargain for canopy welding-Have you firmed up your dog-walk date and is The Huge One" fully recovered from his procedure ?

Deanne, what a gem that feller of yours is ! He must be very patient to endure that many hours of computer fixes.. I hear you on the Daylily foliage thing-thats the only feature of the plant that would keep me from having a hundred of them ! I tried to keep up on it this summer and pull off ratty foliage even if it was only a couple of leaves every day. I sure love the flowers though, and I have some that bloomed for 2 solid months. Do you have the Fuschia Dainty Angel Earrings ? I am so pleased with it this year. LOL your cat and mouse tale ! We used to say that our cats are so lazy that the only way they would catch a mouse was to roll over on it while they were sleeping..

Insert WALAT break here.

WALAT segued into WAWT..Walking Around Watering Things. I think I was oblivious to the outdoor temp today, but it must have gotten warm.

Denise , I spent several minutes peering at the faux fabric shotvery serviceable in the hands of a talented photographer like your Mitch. Amazing how cats somehow manipulate us into the status of servant. Doobie is desperate to sit on my lap while Im at the computer, but somehow a pile of long fur on ones legs when its 80 degrees out just does not cut it ! Every time I see him approach I stand up and take a turn about the room ala Elizabeth Bennett and the Bingley girls, then I sit back down when he has wandered off again. This gets repeated several times in the course of the evening.

Okay , think Ive blabbed enough , and speaking of which HI BABS!

And do you suppose Honey is lurking? If so, HI HONEY !

Wave to all

Kathy in Napa

Doobie and Ted, guarding the door.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 10:43PM
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Before I forget to ask this, I want to know if Callie-cat has gone to the Happy Hunting Ground, Marian. And, just for fun and in keeping with your bear skat shot, I thought I would share the following nugget. I mentioned that we have several big, fat toads that appear nightly on the driveway. I kept finding dark brown "capsules" (slightly larger that Good 'n' Plenty) on the driveway, hmmm... could they be?? I broke a dried one up with a twig yesterday, and sure enough! they are indeed toad skat. The disection revealed densely packed beetle shields, wings, heads and discernable legs. Evidently, Mr. Toad's gastric juices dissolve the good parts and the inedible portions are left behind. The close up on my camera is not good enough to pick up the detail for you... ;)

I love trompe l'oeil painting. And many of the distressed faux finishes. But only if they are well done. There is nothing worse than hastily and heavy-handed spongeing in strident colors, it gives the entire art a bad reputation. That fabric background is smashing.

Deanne, I laughed and laughed about Rahji and the mouse. I am not surprised at his hunting skills! I am reminded of the night I awakened to find Spencer and Vera sharing sport with a very frightened field mouse in the bedroom. The helpmeet and I spent 15 minutes attempting to round it up and get it in a paper bag before it escaped to the the netherworld of the first floor. I have no pity for voles and other assorted rodents, allowing the cats to "have their way" with them. I couldn't get the Jerri's link to work :( .

I have to call the potential dog walking/training person this week. The Huge One is fully recovered from his "rebuild". It's really pretty amazing, actually. He moves without a trace of a limp, accelerates off the line after a ball with startling power and it's good to see him comfortably able to do the things he loves to do.

Great shot of Ted and Doobie watching the garden channel, Kathy. But I do think you need to "take one for the team" and sit quietly with Doobie on your lap. Sometimes you have to do those things, you know.

I have to get going, it's going to be a jam-packed day, full of teutonic precision and single-minded pursuit of maximum efficiency. lol. I'd rather be floating around in a kayak. Later, kids.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:23AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Still in Nana mode....

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 6:57AM
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Good morning! Taking our time getting ready to get outta dodge for the day and car-tour the northwest CT corner and some of eastern NY state. We're both feeling a bit cooped up and I need practice driving long distances. Hooray!

Kathy -- This sounds very self-serving, but the advocates available are much less effective that I am on my own. I learned this while trying to get my brother appropriate treatment three years ago. While their hearts are in the right place, they are much for "peaceful solutions" and of course the State walks all over them.

I, on the other hand, take the factual approach and cite Statutes and discrepencies within them and have thusfar gotten what I've wanted for DB -- which to me is a no brainer since it's what the Statutes and policies call for.

Learned yesterday that my reputation proceeds me; there must be a list of "take this person's call" amongst State agencies. Also wrote several letters to Legislators on behalf of the folks who are getting financially hammered while the State tries to recoup a huge budget deficit. Major argument is that prisoners fall into the same category as my DB; they also can have liens placed and receive bills for any assets they own to repay the State for their time in prison. How often does this happen? Answer: Never. Is this new policy to suddenly enforce a ridiculously written Statute being extended to prisoners? Answer: No. So there you have it. Pretty lame and definitely defeatable so that my brother can have blankets and clothing without holes which is about what the State budget allows for indigent clients at his facility.

It's been suggested that I open an advocacy office but one has to be registered with the State (like a lobbyist!!!) and I doubt my credentials would get through, if you know what I mean.

That backdrop is fantastic, Denise! Looking forward to seeing more of Mitch's work. Does summer usually bring a decrease in depositions, or is the slower work load self-imposed? LOL about the professor who shares our age. Kyle would "get it" right away and just take cover under a desk.

Yes, I did volunteer costume design and execution for community theater for a looooong time, until Ky was born and the house couldn't handle a baby and countless yards of fabric at the same time. Pippin, Paint Your Wagon, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Fantasticks, Ooooooooolahoma, the standard summer theater fare. I'd only go back to do something Shakespere. I miss it some days, some days not :-)

Chelone: Reading your toad story reminded me of a toddler book called "Everyone Poops" that was standard reading by toddler moms back in the day. I'm not so into nature that I actually check out possible specimens. LOL

'bug: Keep those pics coming! How can one possibly leave the computer feeling down after seeing Reed's radiant smile!

My turn for the rain locker before our trek, and need to water some of the plants. WAWT including me!!! Perfect!!

Where's Sue, Monique, Honey, Babs, Cynthia, Ei, others missing??


    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 8:46AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Kathy - what a lovely view (never before shared) you get to see from inside your home -- I just love it!! no wonder those cats are gazing out. Really, really lovely. It was interesting to read that you're still awaiting your salvia leucantha to bloom as well - I've been fretting it was in too much shade and I planted it in late April -- it is startling to me how the neighborhood and park trees have so substantially changed the light over my various garden beds this year - it seems it all happened in one year - somewhat disheartening as so many places that used to have full sun most of the day are now shaded greatly -- and the plantings have not kept up being changed! Yes, I ended up WAWTing too -- how could that be possible after an hour in each spot on Sunday? I did not mulch with heavy mulch this year; maybe that's the problem....

Re "Castle" "Haupt" - sorry, a silly short (cindyism) - the oldest blg part of the Smithsonian is called the "Castle" and there are "Enid Haupt" gardens behind it -- she has endowed many gardens in several cities (as we saw in NYC) -- the Sackler was rebuilt - a lot of it underground next to the Castle and so, yes, some of the Haupt gardens are its roof - but one would never know from how they're laid out w/ an annual formal knot garden arrangement. Interestingly, the breynia I saw was potted as a standard - it has gorgeous, gorgeous red coloring to the new growth. I also saw some incredible furcraea mediopictas (false agaves)that are in incredibly small, small pots but are huge! (thanks to your enabling, Denise, I glombed onto 2 a month ago and have been fascinated with them - they're growing faster than I think I want them to!). Also really interesting was to see Gaura planted out into large overhanging planters from the streetlights they have thruout the gardens - I never would have thought to use gaura that way, but it's very effective (it can lean all it wants but look elegant) and obviously doesnt need water as much. One of these days, maybe I'll bring the camera on the lunch walk Im trying to get into the habit of, to show.....

Chelone --- talking about ice cream at 5 a.m. is decadent but divine. -- no one would be surprised to know(?) Im a purist for it -- give me chocolate, chocolate, coffee, raspberry or on occasion, vanilla -- it probably goes along w/ my carnivorous tendencies -- a good prime rib, juicy and rare.

Denise -- that is one cool drapery -- Mitch has a real eye. While I envy you being able to work from home, I know that my lack of willpower would be applied to the work ethic and deadlines as well -- distract me in any old way you can and I'll do it.

Glad to hear you're having a grand time, Saucy -- I cant believe summer seems to be really really waning quickly!


    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 9:13AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well can you see the nobility oozing out of my pores? I left for the gym at 6:45AM and did my hour on the stairs and returned home by 8:00AM. Woohoo.. I forced myself to just go out to the garage, get in the car and leave without even looking at a single plant outside. That inevitably leads to my doing something and I get to the gym two hours later or not at all. Im thinking that has to be my new approach.

The local HD has got some lovely Plectranthus Mona Lavender in and I picked up a couple plants to tuck in and around the thinning borders. My Rosy Returns are returning beautifully although the Stella dOro didnt this year which is strange. I just wish the RR had less peach in it but such is the case with daylilies. They always are more peachy pink than true pink.

Chelone, Oh dear, I wouldnt be too happy with a mouse in the bedroom. Id have nightmares about it nibbling my toes. LOL I have to agree with you about cats and rodents. I do wish you could have seen the pounce and instant grab. I dont recall ever being that astonished at anything this cat has done before.

Kathy, that pic of Doobie and Ted is priceless and not to mention a lovely pic of your garden view. Beautiful! ~~ No I dont have that fuchsia but it sounds like Id love it. I completely agree about daylilies. If they looked better this time of the year Id have hundreds of them as well. I have one called Pastel Classic that is so heavily scented youd just love it. Thats also another variety that blooms for an extended period of time. ~~ Oh yes, I love coffee ice cream and in fact its the only kind I ever order. Big surprise?!

Cindy, I dont have any Breynia but Monique and Les normally use that in their containers. Ive never found it around here. ~~ Would love pics of the Haupt gardens at the Castle.

Denise, LOL Reapply cat as necessary.

Jerri, sorry couldnt open the link.

PM, I must find that variegated Tricyrtis! What a beauty! ~~ Yes I do stake my hibiscus. It does tend to bend over and doesnt display the flowers as nicely. I just use those single plant stakes with a ring at the top and it keep them upright.

Woody, love the foliage on that hibiscus. Id grow that just for the leaves.

OK time to hit the gardens and see what is in desperate need of attention today. Yesterday I made some major moves of the large plants in the Container Border. The peach brugmansia and Colocasia were squeezing out a very large specimen of Canna Pretoria so I moved the Pretoria to a new location. Ill have to grab some photos of the brugs this weekend as they are all finally putting out a nice flush of flowers. The Charles Grimaldi was especially fragrant yesterday evening. What a treat.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 9:37AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good (??) Morning all !

Well, it IS good to start out with a chuckle. :-)

Chelone, I told Nolon the other day about your habit of examining scat, and said I should have packaged up the bear's and sent it to you! LOL
Now I see you are even examining toad scat! LOLROF
Calliecat has rallied (again), and seems more like her old self. I think she is going to outlive me...:-)

I also got a laugh at Kathy's discription of her cat's mouse catching. Tommy likes to catch the kind that no one will eat. :-( Then he will bring them to the front door for our 'enjoyment' ?

Pm2 where does your DS live ? Ours doesn't get here often either,but was here later than Christmas... May, in fact. Seems longer ago than that.

Woody, I like the idea of a mallow family bed. I have grown many of them, but too many are food for our deer, including Hollyhocks. :-( I can only have them right next to the house, and the sunny sides are pretty well filled up with other things.

I am thinking the computer problems may even off now that school is starting...maybe not... I think it is due to too many surfers ? One site that I open daily usually requires either a double click to open it, or a second try after getting a page saying it is not available. GW took a spell where I had to log in every time I came on.

Chelone, I can not quite identify with your working on sorting our your mum's stuff. My mother decided to throw away a lot of her accumnlation, when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A lot that she disposed of were things that I wish she had kept. :-(
Since she was in a rented house, we (my siblings and I) did the sorting and dividing within a few days of her passing. I got my dad's writing desk, and it still has his stuff in it, along with a lot of my own. I have a box full of my mother's letters. ( Some day when the power is off and I can't be here on this machine) I need to get it out and reread them. :-)

Re: gutters...we have a lot of problems with ours overflowing all along them, and showering us when we go out. Not what they are meant to do...I think. :-(
Setting up a ladder and cleaning out the leaves and debris is becoming harder and harder for either of us to do.

Marie, I am glad I am not involved in ex-DIL problems. Tim mentions things occasionally, but I do not give much input.I give my sympathy, but that is about all. The girls have been programmed( by her) to not say anything. The subject is very seldom mentioned in their hearing. The oldest has entered High School this year. Tim emailed me a pic of her entering the HS building on her first day. :-)
I was going to a Dr. that was sort of like issue per visit. It's a good way to line their pocketbook, but I changed to one who is more flexible. Perhaps you do not have that option ?

Pm2, I didn't have any decisions to make on my DS's moving out. He did it on his own when he was 17, but was still in the same town. I expected him to do so, since all the males in my family did that at about the same age...but most of them went much farther away. He helped himself to what he needed, including his bed and chest of drawers ! ( They were't 'really' ) I eventually got the chest of drawers back, but not the bed. He said it broke and he disposed of it !!! It was a solid maple bed !

Nice pic of your cats, Kathy. The view from the door is pretty too. :-)

Weird, weird weather ! Yesterday's low was 64, the high was 66 !!! We got about an inch more of rain, and STILL more in the forecast !!! We have had 2 straight weeks of this kind of weather. Totally unheard of in August. Although I love it, it sure is playing hob with my fibro and arthritis. :-)
The yard and containers love it, too, and the birds....


    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 9:42AM
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Well, I just lost my post so I'll start over...

My mom took a bad turn the last few days so I've been busy with that but she's doing a little better now. Bella got to meet her teacher this morning. Megan said Bella walked up and gave her a hug. She can't wait for preschool to start but has about 3 weeks to wait. Things in the gardens seem to be getting their second wind. I'm seeing lots of things just beginning to bloom. We sat out at lunch and saw a hummer, goldfinches, a big yellow butterfly and lots of bees. The salvias are going good now and are a big attraction.

Cindy, I have the breynia, both roseapicta and nana. It's one of Cynthia's favorites too I remember.

As for rodents, we had a rat show up here last week. He's now history thanks to rat poison, not the cats.

PM2, love that tricyrtis and will be keeping an eye out for it around here.

Marian, I have Fishnet Stockings too. Mine's in mostly shade. I think your other coleus is Dipt in Wine.

Kathy, great pic of the kitties enjoying that beautiful view of the garden.

Jerri, that link was great. I passed it on to a few cat loving friends.

As for hibiscus, hollyhocks etc. I have such a problem with the hibiscus sawfly here. The larva just skeletonize all of the foliage so I don't grow them. I wish I could though, they are so beautiful.

How cute that Reed is coming down the slide!

Chelone, I always find your posts about your work very interesting and informative. The sewing gene passed me by unfortunately. I'd just love to have that skill.

Jen and I were out looking at nursery decor this morning. I know it's early but my mom would like to try to work on a quilt and so we need to choose something now. It will give her something happy to focus on. We're thinking about loosely basing it on this Alphabet Soup theme/colors...


    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 2:41PM
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Gee, Eden, I'm sorry to hear about your Mom's tough turn. I know what a worry it is (((Eden))) . But isn't it lovely that she has something as fun as a new baby to think about and focus on? things like that can make the tough times easier. There is no "sewing gene", kiddo. There is only curiosity and an ability/willingness to follow directions. What takes you from beginner to advanced is your sense of humor and willingness to pull something apart when it's wrong and try it again. It ain't rocket science, which is not to trivialize the skills and the time required to master them. I am a precise person by nature. I am orderly and organized but I'm not sure if those traits are what lead me to my chosen trade or if they are the result of it! An interesting thing to consider... How long will Bella's "school day" be? how nice that she is excited about this next step in her life. And what interesting changes you will see in the coming months.

Marian, having lived in a very rural location for many years and having had dogs, cats, horses, and birds I suppose it was only natural for me to investigate droppings. They're good indicators of relative health and it was fun to be able to identify what member of the "night shift" had been snooping around the barn or the house "after hours". Wish I still had that microscope because I was always really good at preparing the slides! ;)

Boy, Martie, you so dead-on about being an advocate. It was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. And it took a toll on me. It's so hard to find a secure compartment for your anger and outrage while at the same time tapping into your logical, rational self. I fear I was not nearly as capable as you have been, but I never exploded! I did, however, tell the pencil pushing social worker that I'd prefer a good, interactive web-site as I felt it would provide a more productive interface. How popular do you think I was at that "rehab. centre"? I'm occasionally still filled with remorse that I wasn't more effective. But it's over now and I understand that those twinges will decrease with time. Wish time moved faster in that respect, though.

Deanne, what's the Chamaecyparis in front of your Hibiscus? I like the delicate "fronds" and wonder how tall/wide it is and how well it prospers in your garden. I am intersted in low growing evergreens that can tolerate partial shade, your input would be useful.

Dog vent: I kept watch over a Corgi today at work. I know the dog and I like him very much (Denise, they have the most delightful personalities!). But he has been permitted to "rule the roost" at home (becuase no one ever enforces the commands!) and he behaved very aggressively toward a young female Wheaton terrier today. My boss allowed the bad behavior to go unchecked, saying he "wasn't good with other dogs" (thus excusing bad behavior on his part) and I called her on it. I asked her why SHE permitted it and she didn't have an answer, only a very lame excuse. I would have grabbed him by his ruff and given him a stern, "NO!" and a good shake (the way I did in '05 when he pulled the same crap and I was alone with him in the shop). Then he would have done a "down/stay" by my side, fully enforced. I was appalled. In the absence of leadership dogs will assume the "alpha role" and do whatever they please. And those are the dogs that can be dangerous.

Beautiful summer weather here (at last!) and I'm glad tomorrow is Friday.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 3:56PM
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I tried to write up a post last night but my computer seemed to be acting flaky. This week seems to be going that way though. Its whizzing by and Im standing still.

Very cool, cloudy and misty here today.

PM2, I have Disco Belle White. If you would like seeds I would gladly send you some. Let me know.

Woody, great foliage on that hibiscus. It reminds me of the non-hardy Sugar Maple hibiscus.

I rarely see the hardy hibiscus for sale locally.

Last night I planted out 5 rooted cuttings of clematis Arabella I hope they settle in and survive the winter. I also threw together a fall themed container for the front door area. Hopefully Rick has that area in order soon. Its pretty rough looking right now.

Chelone, its good to hear that Rex is enjoying life again.

Kathy, now thats a room with a view!

Oh, that slide looks like so much fun Reed I can tell by your big smile.

Funny mouse stories, but Im glad they arent mine LOL I did see a snake last night though, which I dont often. They really give me the creeps. He wasnt moving and I could only see part of him. I didnt stick around to see if he was alive or not.

Cindy, how nice to have a garden with in walking distance of your office. I know exactly what you mean about the lunchtime walk. I quit when it gets too warm.

Eden, sorry to hear that your mom had a bad spell. Hopefully, the quilt will lift her spirits. The sewing gene passed me by too. I sew some but dont enjoy it. My mom has made quilts for all the grandchildren and Kenzie too. The Alphabet Soup theme is cute.

I know theres much more to comment on but we are extremely busy at work. Im taking Monday & Tuesday off next week to watch Kenzie while her parents go to FL to look for a place to live. Ill work Wed-Fri and then we leave on vacation through 9-8. So in other words work like crazy to try to get ahead a bit.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 4:07PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden, I am sorry that your mom has her bad spells. I believe that goes with the ailment. I hope her mental outlook is still good. That is half the battle.
That is so cute about Bella hugging the teacher. Are teachers allowed to hug back ???
I did a Google on Dipt in Wine Coleus. All the pics have less green in the center than mine. I think you, or someone else suggested another name, but I have hunted through the old threads and cannot find who or what. :-(
My Hollyhocks have the same leaf skeletoning as you mentioned. If I am feeing ambitious, I dust them to prevent it, but have so few plants left, and they are not pretty ones, so haven't bothered with them this year.

Chelone, animal poo was too common on the farm. I couldn't be bothered with examining it. LOL
But your microscope comment intrigues me. I have always wanted one. Maybe I will treat myself to one this coming holiday season. :-)

I finally got to see a little of the Olympic's equestrian competition today. It was good. Now the main thing I want to see (besides the closing ceremony) is the sychronized swimming.It is scheduled for tomorrow.

Re: Welsh Corgis. My oldest sister had one when we were children. It was a female...spayed. It was very well behaved. If I were ever motivated to get a dog, I wouldn't mind having one of them.

Re: Fishnet Coleus...I haven't done any research on them. Are there more than one variety ?

Marie, count me in as another who loves the pic of Reed on the slide. He sure is turning into a little longer a baby. :-) Handsome. too.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:43PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - I hope your mother's bad turn takes a turn for the better! A baby quilt sounds just the thing to be a good distraction....

My hollyhocks are very lacy this year too. Surprisingly, given all the rain we've had, rust hasn't been much of a problem on them this year. I don't worry too much about the holey or rusted leaves - I just pinch off the worst looking bits... The flowers are well worth having the hollyhocks around; you just need to do your best to hide - or distract your attention from, the unattractive foliage once the bugs and/or rust strike. This picture should be on the Truth in Gardening thread I think! Hollyhock foliage today:

But you don't really see the foliage most of the time. The hollyhocks are nearly finished blooming but still look great with the second flush of the Hot Cocoa rose. (The Hot Cocoa rose has been given a reprieve because it looks so good with the hollyhocks...) In the middle of this picture, you can also see one bloom on the Lord Baltimore hibiscus I planted last week. I've been adding red daylilies in this area too to go with the rose so the herb bed and the south sideyard seem to be becoming a red garden!

Marian - we've been watching the jumping classes too - very exciting for horsy Canadians since Ian Millar finally got a medal (silver in the team competition) after participating in 9 Olympics, and Eric Lamaze won individual gold today. I haven't seen dressage or cross-country; I'm not sure when those are on - do you know? Equestrian competition is great because it's one of the few (only?) competitions where men and women compete together and where age is less impotant (Ian Millar is 61).

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 8:38PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Woody, in our area what I saw today is all we are going to get ! I guess because it isn't all that popular in the States? You should get more there I would think.
I don't care for all the track and field stuff, or the volley ball and beach ball games, but they can't please everyone. I would like to see more diving and swimming.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 9:01PM
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Ive come to realization that tomorrow is Friday, and indeed it will be Friday by the time many of you folk beyond the Rockies read this. How did that happen? Not that Im complaining, but my things to do this week mostly remain undone, and the clock is ticking ! Idylling is the only answer.

Chelone has moved this week from descriptions of stitching and project management to toad fecal pathology , Martie progresses towards a road trip (testing her limits) Deanne bravely leaves the garden behind in the interests of conditioning..and Saucy goes on vacation. And so the Idylls turn.

Eden , I suspect your Mom truly personifies Marties Tydll for this thread, she seems to take each day and try to live it to the fullest her physical condition will allow-am I right? Capre Diem indeed- she continues to inspire admiration. ((Eden)).

Michelle, I will have Arabella one day-did you root her in soil or water ? I have never tried to propagate a Clem and know not what the preferred method is. Are there employees of your farm that will take care of your garden while you are on vaca? Kenzies parents will probably be able to make a pretty sweet buy in Fla right now, I understand that is one of the hardest hit markets and inventory of unsold and bank-owned is plentiful .A bittersweet situation for you though!

Marian, I like the diving too, I watched a bit last night. It comes on pretty late here and since I get up a bit before 5am I have not been able to watch as much as I would have liked. My favorite things to view in a microscope are diseases like rust, mildew etc. They are really almost beautiful when looked at that way-a redeeming value as they make the garden look lousy :-(

Fear not Chelone, both Doobie and Ted get ample lap time once the temps have cooled in the evening . Doobie is a pillow sleeper" i.e. he settles in about 6 inches from my head on the poofiest of pillows he can find, while Ted prefers sleeping on , or between, my feet. Laptime is only rejected during hours of high temps.

Thats all for me tonightheres a pic du jour , remembering conversations at IU5 about our brown summers here-this is what our valley looks like after the rains stop in spring.
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 10:21PM
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Kathy, the hills are beautiful! I love the russet color against the piercingly blue sky. Things are very green here and very lush, and we have a voracious crop of late season mosquitos, too (unusual).

Vera proved quite difficult last night, refusing to come indoors until nearly 10 PM. She was clearly enjoying having us outdoors in the darkness, as she'd shoot out of the bushes and gaily gallop past us emitting excited little mews and chirps. She finally surrendered atop one of the woodpiles. What a minx! (an aside, I wanted Denise to know that "reapply cat as necessary" got a laugh out of me, too). Within minutes of coming indoors and having "a little snack" she was curled into a little ball pressed against my thigh and there she remained until this morning.

Toad activity was heavy last night, too. I counted 3 in the environs of the driveway and a REALLY big one out back, easily 5" long. Better watch where I step this mornin', huh? We also heard an owl in the woods as the last light was fading; the hooting was just as clear as a bell. We wondered what kind it was.

I'm glad it's Friday; is Sue going to be back in the swing today? I should be working "unsupervised" and alone for much of the day today. This is excellent as I may listen to Diane Rehm or even, gasp! classical music. If I am to monitor the dog today, let me assure you any transgressions will be dealt with summarily and without emotion. I have all the clear plastic for the enclosure cut and joined and it's on to the assemby part of the operation. I should have most of that finished by the end of the day. Next week will see the installation of the hardware, zippers, and the construction of a few connecting flaps.

We are going to see "My Fair Lady" tonight. It's one of my favorites and has been since I was a little kid. "On The Street Where You Live" is one of my very favorite tunes. The helpmeet has been singing it in the shower for a week now. :) You just can't beat a sentimental love song with a pretty melody.

I missed the equestrian stuff on TV. But to be honest I'm not really terribly interested in Stadium Jumping or Cross Country. The Dressage competition (not the portion of the the 3 Day Event) and the Driving interest me a great deal more, but I understand they probably don't hold much appeal for the masses. But I couldn't care less about Beach Volley Ball. Here's something to contemplate: the women wear bikinis, how come the men don't have to compete in "banana hammocks"? ;)

On that bright note I'll leave you and the comfort of my home for the reality of the workaday world.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 5:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Not sure what the day will offer here. Yesterday's doctor's visit was surprising in that he actually looked at me as well as at his computer screen. Also, when asked how I could get OFF my BP meds, he answered...after some hesitation. Last time I asked this, he said "never" and that's when I really lost respect. I don't mind a good doctor who doesn't have a good "bedside manner". Heck, I'm not good at everything either! But to dump pills on me with no other option is dumb IMO. So perhaps we can work toward a different approach over time. His reply was "You only take two medications!" It isn't about the numbers I take, it is about getting my body to behave through diet and exercise without the chemical component. This time he admitted that might be possible. It is so silly that I need to manipulate him. He isn't ready yet for me to ask him to work together with a naturopath. I think he was a great student and is well respected by his peers, which means he is fairly narrow in his outlook.

Yesterday as I mowed a bit more (no, it never ends here-) I had one of those moments when I quickly had to dodge a toad. I hate to look back to see if I missed or not, but he escaped just fine! YES! I've had this experience with a garter snake once as well.

The children return to school on September 2nd in our area. That means that Nora dog's Mom will be very busy once more teaching French, that the school bell at the Mennonite school across the road will be ringing, and confusing me because our door bell is a school bell as well! The nights are already cool and that means temperature inversion causes the nearby gravel pit to be very loud for us. :( Morning dew is very wet and takes a long time to dry, meaning that early morning weeding and mowing is not possible and I must wait until it is warm out.

DD is away at a 2 day work conference. I hope she has a good weekend with DSIL because they have had a tough week. DSIL has been having a very difficult time of it at work since his return from paternity leave, with long hours and basic philosophical differences in what he is supposed to achieve and how he is to do it. Skyler was manipulating to return early from Disney because he was homesick, and you can imagine how complicated a decision that was between him and his two parents, the family he is with, etc. For now, he is toughing it out. It is always a complex process of things to consider even when the problem is not a huge one. Sigh.

How's that for saying nothing's new here?!

I've thoroughly enjoyed quilts, kitties, vineyards and more!

Ta ta...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 7:54AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We are supposed to have a gorgeous day here. Originally I was going to work in the basement but Im thinking Im going to take advantage of this beautiful weather and try to get some semblance of order in the perennial borders today. They are looking a bit worn out at the moment and seriously need some cutting back and deadheading. The containers are looking so cool right now! I went out yesterday and snapped a few pics of the brugs as they are finally opening up blossoms. Let me know when you get tired of brug pics as Ill probably be posting way too many of them in the next week or two.

The white one that was a cutting from Sue a couple years ago. I quit counting buds when I got up to 200 on the front of the plant

This peach one was a cutting from Marys plant and my very first brugmansia. I put this in an extra large pot this year also and its loving the room. This is going to be as large as the CG this year. The Abutilon pictum Thompsonii to the right of the brug is almost five feet tall this year and really enjoying its time in a mono pot. The dwarf canna in the front of them is Pink Sunburst and a real winner. I just love the foliage on this plant.

And here is the star of the brug collection, my Charles Grimaldi. What a beauty! It is only just starting to open buds and all the bases of each of the Ys are also setting buds. Doug and I figured that this plant is probably about nine feet tall at the moment and still growing. Brugs are SO worth all the work.

You can see the Eupatorium Little Joe to the right of this photo and its also looking fabu this year. Another of my favorite perennials.

And another view of the border. I really like the look of the Pennisetum grass against the leaves of the banana.

Chelone, that Chamaecyparis pisifera was labeled to be an Aurea but isnt so I dont know exactly what the varietal name of it really is. Just some kind of thread leaf type but not especially golden. I keep it pruned and it is about three feet tall and four feet wide. It has stayed this size for the last four years or so. If I didnt hack away at it the shrub would probably be six to eight feet tall by now. ~~ I LOL over Veras antics over coming in last night. Rahjii is the same kind of brat if I dont get him in before the sun goes down.

Michelle, how neat you rooted Arrabella! Im going to have to try that as its a plant I can use so many places. It tucks into spots easily and those blue flowers look good with just about everything.

Eden, Im so sorry to hear about your Mom. I hope she rallies. What a terrific project to be working on another quilt. I think of you and our family often. I agree with Kathy, "She continues to inspire admiration."

Kathy, love those photos of the brown hills. So familiar and so typical of CA. I LOL over your getting up and walking about to keep Doobie from settling in your lap. Luke does the same thing to me and I pretty much have adopted the same behavior. I cant type when the Buda is sitting on my laptop.

Woody Im loving your red garden. Id love to have something like that here but no more room. LOL

OK time to hit the gardens. Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:00AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Thanks for standing in for me last week, Jerri! I had no internet access at the cottage and no desire to go in search of any. Work has been all consuming this week. Like Kathy, I can't believe it's Friday already but you won't find me complaining.

Vacation was fantastic! I already told the people who own the cottage that I want it for a week again next year. If I had the $$$, I'd rent it for the whole summer and commute the hour to and from work every day.

Here's what I spent as many nights as possible watching last week

Here is a shot of the gardens at Enders Island, a Catholic church retreat in Mystic. It's a beautiful, peaceful place.

My "front yard" at the cottage. Many hours were spent sitting in those chairs just looking out at the view. I was born to live near water just not born with the money required to do

Eden, good thoughts for your mom.

Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:06AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hey, how about a long, disjointed post?? Much to catch up on around here!

Michelle, DH took me to a tractor pull on our first date, and to a restaurant called The Farmer's Exchange. Lol, he never pretended to be anything other than who he is ;) I didn't mind the tractor pull, but it's certainly not someplace I'd go if I had the beginnings of a headache!

Kathy-Princess Weekend consists of just me and my best friend. I've known her since 5th grade. We get a suite in a hotel that has a nice pool and hot tub, and just hole up for the weekend. Drink some wine, play some backgammon and just relax. Princess weekend is one of those ironic names-we are both FAR from princess-like ;) She drives a recycling truck, and I'm a farmer and sometimes our co-workers forget we're not men!
It looks like Doobie and Ted have the life! Heck, I could lay on the floor and look out that door until I fell asleep :)

V, what a horrible thing for your driver to deal with. Being involved in an accident where someone lost their life, even though it was his fault...I just can't imagine it. Re the dishwasher-we've been there. DH was pretty sure if you just put a "little" dish soap in, it would be okay. He's a "show me" kinda guy, so...he cleaned up the mess and now believes me that you can't put Dawn in the dishwasher.
EW, HORNWORMS!! Nasty, creepy creatures! DH has been patrolling for them on his tomatoes. He's got great eyes for that-he spots them long before I do. Thus, he is head of the hornworm and mushroom hunting department.

Chelone, THTTF-an apt way to put it. It was very strange to go into Dad's house after he passed away and see the evidence of a day going along as ususal, then cut short. How nice to find your panda tucked away and how sweet that your brother did the surgery :) I have 3 brothers who tormented me endlessly, but looked out for me like guard dogs. Um, I think there's a hyphen in anal-retentive. Just a small one, and you have to put it in just so... Lol, I'm anal about the strangest things. I hate keeping house, but like to have certain things just so. I can't sleep if the blankets are crooked on the bed. I'm sure I'd make an interesting case study for someone. "Look at inch of dog hair on the floor, and yet..the canisters are all lined up perfectly :)

Bug, I hate clutter too. That's the main goal of my "housekeeping". If you can keep the clutter down, things LOOK neat and tidy. I've found that if you keep things put away, and don't disturb the dust, it settles in an even layer that I can ignore for most of the summer, lol! I imagine when we build the garage, there will be quite a turf war. DH has two large buildings that look like a bomb went off in them. The garage is to be MY area, with my tools kept in an orderly fashion. We'll see how that goes.
The photo book with comments for Skyler is a wonderful gift for him. Just think, someday he may sit his grandchildren on his lap and show them the things he did when he was a boy. I've been uploading some old family pictures, and am sorry that I don't know the stories behind some of the candid shots.
I would find it hard to keep from being consumed by the situation with DSIL's ex. It's so hard to see kids caught in the middle of stuff like that, and not be able to fix it for them. I'm sure that spending time with you was wonderful medicine for him. You are so positive, and seeing the pictures of him enjoying the simple pleasures while visiting with you..he'll carry that with him his whole life. Given that your DD is the kind of person who will shave her head, I'd bet that he will overcome the "what if" thing, learn to relish the moment, and deal with the next moment when it gets here. Lol, plus, he's got Reed! Go down the slide's a rush, and you worry about the bottom when you get there ;)
I'm right there with ya about the doctors! My doc and I fell out when he thought I needed to be on cholesterol medicine and I KNEW I could bring the LDL down by improving my habits. He was wrong, I was right, and I haven't been back to him since my last set of labs proved it. I would love to find a naturopath, unfortunately that's something that hasn't caught on much in the ol' Hoosier state yet.

Mary, I think the experience with Fuquan is just awesome. How sweet that he posted a picture on the fridge so you wouldn't forget him. I hope he's able to come back next year. An excellent experience for Annie and David as well.

Deanne, Lol-having not had a lot of dealings with felines, I would have applied the cat the same as Doug. Good for Rahjii! I detest mice, and they are a constant battle on the farm. DD keeps telling me I need a few cats. There are a couple of strays that wander through from time to time, but Sarah doesn't share her yard with anyone but Gus.
I find it easy to get side-tracked doing "one little thing" and not get to my exercising as well. If I don't hit the yoga mat first thing in the morning, odds are, it won't happen at all.
As always, I feel like I could step right into your pictures. That "Little Joe" is wonderful...I need one!

PM, although it's a bit late to answer...DS would be thrilled with frozen meatloaf. That was always his favorite meal, so when I make it now, I make extra and freeze a couple for him. I do the same with some of his other favorites, freezing them in containers big enough for two. You'd think he hit the lottery when I deliver a box of frozen goodies. Have a wonderful visit!

Martie, way to be an advocate! Here, people in jail are also treated far better than those who are unable to look out for themselves, and it's a sad statement about our society. I'm glad he's got you fighting for him!

Eden, I'm glad to hear your Mom is doing a bit better. I know how tough it is for the family. ((Eden)) How exciting for Bella! I imagine it will be a long three weeks for her. The alphabet soup stuff is adorable! DD has always thought she'd like the John Lennon stuff for a nursery. She looked at it online, and almost fell over at the prices. "Imagine" is her all-time favorite song, and she wondered out loud what he would think of $40 crib sheets and the like. (That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but that stuff was CRAZY expensive!)

SUE! You're back!! Good to see you, although how you tore yourself away is beyond me. Those pics look like a little slice of heaven!

I'm a pretty simple ice cream gal..vanilla bean with chocolate syrup if it's in a dish, plain chocolate if it's in a cone. I have developed a fondness for Ben & Jerry's "Willie Nelson's Country Peach Cobbler" ice cream. Normally, though, I don't care for fruit and ice cream together. Lol, I'm a sucker for a hunk of prime rib, too, Cindy-go figure!

As for the Olympics, we've been watching the gymnastics, swimming, diving and volleyball. I enjoy watching volleyball (one of my favorites in gym class), but I fail to see the need for bikinis. If they weren't being rained on, they were sweaty, and the thought of sand + wet skin + bikini....eeeeuuuwww! LMAO...Chelone, I'm afraid I'd just DIE laughing if the guys played in banana hammocks :)

Not a lot new here. It's a bit overcast and looks like off and on rain for a while. The fact that it's overcast makes me think I should wash the kitchen windows. The fact that I don't want to makes me think that I'd rather not, lol!
DS is taking us to see "Dark Knight" this weekend. He left "Batman Begins" here last week for us to watch for background information. He called on his lunch break last night to remind me to watch it. He knew we hadn't yet, as I'm famous for taking forever to watch a movie. I tell people not to even loan me DVDs because they won't get them back for a year. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't really expect to care much for a super-hero movie, but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing "Dark Knight" on a big screen.
Okay, guess I might as well bite the bullet and wash some windows. What the heck..yesterday I actually used the iron and ironing board. Might as well make it a big week and clean something, too!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:02AM
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Happy Friday to everyone! Welcome back, Sue, and thanks for the pics of yet another view of Connecticut!

Thoughts are with Eden and her mom. Love the alphabet soup idea and a quilt can certainly come of that from her nimple mind and fingers. Good for Bella! Anyone who a child instantly likes is okay with me, sight unseen :-)

Our roadtrip yesterday took us out into Dutchess County, New York and the car drove itself to FDR's home, Springbrook. We didn't tour the house but did tour the gardens. His and Eleanor's burial site is ringed with an annual garden that inspired Rich to want any and all types of Celosia around our lights next year. Great with me!

They also have a rose garden that holds several each of about 30 varieties, all bedded and just too neat for words. The greenhouse right now is full of hybrid teas for next year and cuttings of tropicals.

We were also able to pick "THE" japanese maple for our front yard island: Acer palmatum. Yes, Rich agreed that this beautiful maple warranted digging up more lawn!! It is that special. Didn't remind him that the speciman we saw was 70 years old ...... LOL

Have unconciously started to add red to my gardens and Woody's pics are great incentive. If you've not used Potentilla in it's non-yellow form, there are several out there both shrubby and herbacious that seem to blend a lot better than just fire engine red daylilies, for example. I have a pic around somewhere :-)

Today am getting water color supplies for DB as his caretakers feel they can give him brushes and pencils without fear of self-mutilation at this point. He was very specific in terms of colors. Since he is the only ancestor of my great-grandfathers who has the divine gift of WC painting that looks like what's being painted, we're glad to accommodate this request.

Then, to dinner with a friend-since-I-was-10. This is really special because she's a very higher up in local education and gets to "just be a kid again" when we're together. Fun stuff!

Enjoy the day, everyone, and if you hit a bad moment, think of the fun Michelle is having with Kenzie this weekend.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:09AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Martie - I have no yellow potentillas - but a LOT of Pink Beauty and a few Abbotswood and Mackay's White. I've never tried the red ones and haven't seen any anywhere in bloom. If you've got pictures, I'd love to see them because potentillas seem to do well here. I'd be inclined to give a red one a try if I liked what I saw and could find it...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:22AM
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Sue, what a gorgeous place to vacation. Id love to live on the water too. Growing up boating and water skiing were our familys summer fun.

Deanne, start those Arabella cuttings early next spring. I started mine as soon as it started growing this spring and the roots are small but nice and white and thick so I figured Id better get them in the ground. Wow, your brugs are amazing. Thats one plant I havent attempted yet. Actually, Im in awe of all your plants, everything is just so big, healthy and lush. Who needs a vacation in the tropics?

Kathy, the cuttings of Arabella are dipped in rooting hormone and then in potting soil. Something new Ive been doing this summer is watering some of the cuttings with willow water. Ive heard that if you put willow branches in water and let them root they excrete rooting hormones. I figure it cant hurt. I like my outdoor potting area as I keep anything that Im trying to root there along with a bunch of my containers. That way I remember to water daily. I love your blue sky pictures.
We dont have farm employees other than DHs son. I usually group all the containers together in the potting area and set up an oscillating sprinkler on a timer.

I got the nerve up finally to ask DD when moving day will be. All along I wasnt sure I really wanted to know. The 23rd of September is approaching quickly.

Martie, Im sure painting is a wonderful outlet for your DB. The tour of FDRs garden sounds like a nice day trip.

bug, we have a gravel pit thats a couple miles away so we dont hear it but yesterday the neighbor was loading out hogs and for some reason the squealing of hogs didnt add to the enjoyment of my morning garden stroll LOL Several other neighbors have Holstein cows and I do enjoy their lowing in the morning.

Brenda, LOL on the tractor pull first date. At least you knew what you were getting into ;o)

Im pleased to say that we have had an absence of mosquitoes lately. Earlier this summer they were much worse. As for toads, they are always about in the garden. I was having a problem for a while with one that kept burying himself in a small container that was sitting on the cement in the potting area. As for snakes bug you can run over those with the mower. It doesnt usually bother since they are pretty low to the ground.

I enjoy the beach volleyball. Not necessarily the womens outfits though. Those surely cant be comfortable to play in. Did you see that Chinese gal dive and end up with a bosom full of sand?

Last night we replanted a few shrubs and three sedum Brilliant that were huge plants. I divided each plant down to about ¼ the size. Sedum anyone? LOL DH asked if I was going to transplant the remains. The response was "yes in the compost garden" That bothered him a bit until I told him we have probably about 15 in the gardens already. Enough is enough! We also placed the new porch pillar. Rick has been working on it daily, hauling dirt and leveling. We scored on the black dirt. The county was cleaning the ditches this spring and needed a place to haul the dirt. We could have it at no cost and they hauled it here.

Thats all from me for now.

Have a great Friday


    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:57AM
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Quickly, mostly for Woody, Potentilla thuberi 'Monarch's Velvet' in it's very late stages. It blooms profusely, and could show you that, but wanted you to also see the foliage which maintains itself nicely through the season. Note the bee coming in for a landing to the left of the bloom :-)

Also, Dianthus 'Siskin Clock', one of my all-time favorites that starts blooming around early May and doesn't stop 'til November. It's redder than pink but was avoiding a wasp while snapping pic and didn't realize how lousy the image is 'till uploaded.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 12:09PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Martie - I thought you were talking about the shrub potentillas. I did some quick research on those - Red Ace fades to yellow and Red Robin fades to orange. So neither of those sound promising. I've never tried the perennial types - don't know why... I'll have to look into them because that color looks like it would fit in nicely.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 12:51PM
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I've got one of these geum, on order, tho they've never been startling performers for me here in zone 10.

What about listing some fall plans? Fall always feels more like the new year to me for planning than January. Mine would include:

sow sweet peas
lots more dutch iris
alliums, the sphaerocephalum and Purple Sensation
a little meadow with gaura and yarrow
screened-in bathtub porch off bedroom -- really! On the lines of that photo of a porch I posted a while back.
get serious on a a new coat of paint, house exterior. We need to go lighter, since the dark color wears fast
learn to knit
read more fiction again, less non-fiction
ride my new bike on local errands - have been doing this and it's great fun. Got a backpack loaded and ready to go in the garden shed.
Widen pathway and finish brick entryway to new gate area.

Michelle, that's most impressive progagating of Arabella. I find that so poignant that you hadn't yet asked when the departure date was. I know you'll find creative ways to keep Kenzie close, wherever they move to.

Deanne, I like your brugs better than the ones I see local. Whacking plants back clearly agrees with them.

Martie, I've been purposely working a light work week in August, but the hammer falls next week, when I'll need to pick up the pace.

Kathy, your taking a turn around the room to dethrone the cats brought a smile...that line from P&P cracks Marty up too. Have you seen the Mansfield Park movie with Harold Pinter? MP is one of my favorite Austen books.

What an ideal vacation spot Sue found. More importantly, how many idyllers can those adirondacks hold?

Eden, it's good to hear your mom is pulling out of that bad turn. Jen couldn't have better timed her exciting news to rally the family.

Cindy, I'm so envious of your lunch break walk to the Smithsonian!

Just an informal poll. How many use alarm clocks? I never have needed to, and I sometimes catnap through the night to meet deadlines yet never oversleep. If I need to get up at 2 a.m., I do. Lived alone for years after high school and never owned an alarm clock. Yet everyone else in the household has alarm clocks going off at all hours, and the racket drives me nuts. Marty has to be at work at 5:30 a.m. and would definitely oversleep w/o an alarm clock. Just curious if it's a guy thing...

Stealing a leaf from Brenda's book, that's the end of this disjointed post. Hello weekend!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:10PM
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My having a geum on order makes sense only in the context of my somehow confusing my incoming geum with Woody's potentilla. Similar flwrs I guess. Carry on...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:16PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Denise - I initially thought geum too when I realized that Martie was not talking about shrub potentilla. I won't grow geum because there's a nasty weed relative of geum that's a real pest around here.

Randy's an alarm clock guy too. He usually wakes up before the alarm but he's been known to sleep through it too. He has an uncanny sense of time though - he never used to wear a watch but always knew the right time with an accuracy of 5 minutes or so! I took it as a sign of aging when he started wearing a watch about 5 years ago :-) In the past 10 years I've rarely needed to get up early enough to need an alarm clock. In my working days, I set one just in case but almost always woke up about 10 minutes before it was due to go off. If I set the alarm for me these days, when it 'goes off' the bedside light starts flashing to wake me up. The other 'deaf' alternative type alarm clock uses a thing that goes under your pillow and vibrates when the alarm goes off. I find the flashing light more effective for me although Randy finds it a startling way to wake up!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:43PM
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Came home at 4:15 today as I had nothing left yknow how those days are ? The brain just shuts down and says its time to be mindless for a few hours. Im fixin to go out and do some deadhead/cut-back activities in the front tonight before I read the paper.

Chelone, re: My Fair Lady..this was the first real play I ever saw when I was 8 years old at the Biltmore Theater in downtown Los Angeles. I knew the libretto by heart after listening to the Broadway cast album a zillion times, and was totally beside myself with excitement. I still remember the dress I wore. It remains one of my faves too. I have since seen the play many times over the years and have multiple viewings of the film under my belt-still a shame that Julie A. was not cast in the movie but I love Audrey Hepburn , so Im over it.

Really Deanne, I need to post a pic of my Brug on the Truth in Gardening thread.yours are so fabu ! Cant wait for the pics to unfold as the blooms do..

Welcome back Sue, and I could definitely sit at that water all day with no problem- wonderful photos of an ideal spot. How was your garden after your absence-did you have a sitter ?

Ok, going to go out and do some chores, think Ill drop in again later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 9:08PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

May I join the disjointed post club? And may I have another vacation, please? Hmm, probably not on that last request.

Wednesday I worked a trade show at Navy Pier in Chicago, and it was such a lovely day that we stayed and had dinner outdoors on the pier. Of course, that made for a very long day and I paid the price on Thursday. Today, I was off work to take DD back to school. It was horribly humid downstate, but we got it done and I only stink a little. ;O

Someone mentioned housekeeping styles and beds. I make my bed every day (unless there's still a body in it when i leave for work!) because I like getting into a straightened bed at night. When I helped DD make up her bed today, she asked me to please NOT tuck the sheet in on the end - she can't stand to have it tucked in! She said she never makes her bed because she likes to wrap herself in the sheet instead of laying under it. I guess we're all different, eh?

That's all the brain can crank out tonight. I'm going to climb into my nicely tucked bed and sleep like a rock...


    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 10:15PM
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Evening post.

Denises fall challenge: In view of my unsettled living situation I am back to my pre-90s roots with annuals. Sweetpeas are a must. I will also do some English Primrose, Iceland Poppies, Primula malicoides, kale and the ever popular pansies. Snapdragons again even though the rust is unstoppable. Will throw out some larkspur seeds too. These selections are common as dirt in Calif autumn planting schemes. I can only hope to distinguish myself by clever color combos and sheer volume.

Had the yellow double Geum, whose name escapes me at the moment , but dug it up due to poor location and ratty foliage-consistent ratty foliage lots of die back etc.

I wake to music, but most days am awake before the music goes on. I alternate between the NPR jazz station in San Mateo and an SF classical station. The classical station has commercials so I use it less. Sometimes the jazz station does not come in well. There is another jazz station out of SF that has great reception but they play stuff like Kenny G and the Rippingtons , which is not jazz to me. Im a Thelonius Monk, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Weslia Whitfieild, etc kind of jazz gal. Dont care for the lite jazz action.

Michelle, thanks for posting your steps for Clem propagation. I would like to try that if Im still here in the spring so I can take some of them with me. My Ramona has lots of new growth right now so I might experiment with it this weekend and see how it does. I was interested when you stated you have no farm employees-harvest is so intensive here that there is a huge influx of laborers starting in August and going through pruning season as well. Harvest has started here about 10 days ago, the sparkling wine grapes are always 1st to be picked and then the white still wines. Zins and Cabs are usually last. Picking usually goes through October, all dependent on the brix or sugar content reading of the fruit.
Brenda, I just hate dirty windows.. But I have not been as diligent this year for some reason. Im really obsessive about my car windows cant stand driving with yukky windows ! LOL the tractor-pull 1st date- that may have been the beginning and the end for me !

Denise, I have not seen Mansfield Park. Think I have it in my Nexflix queue though. Ive been a P&P aficionado since my freshman year in HS (I was a St. Marys girl when it was still at Slausen and Crenshaw) where it was required reading , and have probably read it at least once a year since then. It Is A Truth Universally Acknowledged etc

Shucks V, I should have taxid it to Navy Pier and left a secret gift somewhere. A bottle of wine? Gin and Tonic?

OK , I need to go ino the vegetative mode of the evening and watch some Olympics..

Big wave to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 12:14AM
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I was very familiar with the music from "My Fair Lady", and had seen Pygmalian performed on stage once before... in an absolutely blistering theatre in Paris. A talented French actress, Sophie Marceau, played Eliza. It was fun, but my French was not really good enough to appreciate the subtlety of the dialogue and I was so hot I thought I was going to expire. I read "Pygmalian" when I was in HS but that was many moons ago and I was not nearly as appreciative as I should have been (maybe I'll read it as the days grow colder). So anyway, last night's performance was special. And it was terrific! The backdrops were great (lots of very good trompe l'oeil), the costumes first rate, and all the principals had very good voices (sometimes that isn't the case with summer stock musicals). The theatre was packed and there was a group of ladies (reminded me of the Idyllettes, actually) seated behind us that were having the time of their lives. The helpmeet and I had a ball! the dialogue is so rapid-fire and so funny that you really have to pay attention to "get" all the funnies. The couple sitting to my left were oddly quiet; barely clapped and didn't laugh once. At intermission I smiled at the woman and asked if she was enjoying the performance, she looked stunned by my "forwardness" and stammered out, "Yes" (clearly from "away" and not accustomed to the easy, relaxed nature of the Playhouse). What surprised me about the play however, was the dark overtone and heavy social commentary so evident in several of the scenes. I know it is very present in Shaw's story, but it was not brought out in the film adaptation. The helpmeet commented on it, too. Anyway, it was one of the nicest productions we've seen in several years of attendance, probably the best show of the season, though next up is "Les Miserables", so I'll reserve judgement.

I have to water the "germamiums" today so I can accomplish what Saucy calls "keeping them consistently alive". ;) There are nowhere near 100 buds on them, but they're pretty and liven up the grey facade of our domicile. Not sure what the rest of the day will bring. I know there is lawn mowing, no shortage of weeding "out by the road", a trip to the bank, and the option of a trip to a nursery to survey their stock with an eye toward the shrub border.

You're a good sport, Brenda, to sit through a tractor pull. That would be right up there with Nascar racing, Monster truck ralleys, a football game, and a bull fight for me. Michelle nailed it, you knew what you were getting into, lol. Our first date was at my invitation and we went swimming (good way to assess the goods and if he turned out to be a bore the swimming would be fun anyway!).

No alarm clock for me. I'm a natural earlybird, have been since I was a little kid (Mum and Dad were, too, and so is my brother). I awaken by 4:30 every morning, "oversleeping" is usually by no more that 15-30 minutes. It doesn't matter if it's pitch black outdoors or if the sun is about to crest the horizon, I'm up. I'm one of those people some loathe in the morning. I am chipper, in a good mood, and I can't wait to get the day underway. Nor do I wear a watch with any regularity. I have several, all with dead batteries. ;)

My fall plans? same as the summer ones, try to bring a modicum of order to the roadside planting. The level of success is greatly in question at this juncture.

Sue's scenes snapped for our enjoyment are wonderful. I had visions of Idyllettes lolling on the ground agreeably and seriously discussing the relative merits of this perennial or that shrub. Good to learn you had such a nice time that hunting for internet access never crossed your mind. Now that's a successful vacation!

Time to rustle up some grub, fill out the deposit slips and start watering the windowboxes. It's a beautiful morning, still and crystal clear. Probably best "take a turn round" the yahd before the traffic and noise picks up. :)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 7:26AM
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Fall plans at Cornfield Park:

Redirect some Sweet Pea, Cleome and pansies to reseed in blank spots.
Amend compost in raised bed and cover.
Plant iris, lots and lots. Probably a few peony, too.
Divide Dianthus to "permanent" home.
Start lav, begonia, salvia cuttings.
Write "real" list and find time to get it done. LOL

Today we're off for Boston area to visit Dniece. Since we're "real" guests we were asked to not arrive too early since cleaning needed to be accomplished. Should be interesting. Large bouquet of zinnias cut and ready to deliver :-)

"If I Were a Rich Man" has been running through my head for the past few days. Wonder why???? LOL

Sorry, Woody, if I threw you off with the Potentilla. I've always felt that the non-shrubby types are underused. A bonus is that they do reliably reseed but are easy to yank. The 'Monarch V.' isn't hard to match. Pinks, yellows, whites all blend well. Give it a shot! I know Bluestone has it listed if all else fails locally.

Kathy and V.: I felt your "blankness" yesterday and didn't even work. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Off for a quick WALAT before our eastward trek. Everyone have a great day!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 8:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

There would be one long staircase just going up,
And one even longer coming down,
And one more leading nowhere, just for show.

I just threw that in Martie because I love it....

Tensions around the homestead today. Meeting of minds...or emotions, depending on the person.

Need to get haircut, beard trim, go to dump, etc too.

In the garden we have a HUGE mushroom that looks like a skull. I must get the camera out to share it.

It's a hot and sticky one!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 9:48AM
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Looks like rain this morning, but hot and humid, too. I have a rare Saturday off and will spend it with a one-on-one with the mulch/wood chip pile. I had eight yards, not nearly enough, delivered last week and will try emptying it out today.

I'm a card carrying night owl. Always have been. Out of nine siblings, I'm the only one, leaving me the butt of many family jokes!

Pm's idyll title gave me a quick start. Only 133 days left! The summer has flown by without actually being a summer. Grandson started first grade, son back to college, hostas starting to yellow...all signs that fall is near and summer is almost over. I don't have any significant fall plans, but do want to get a pagoda dogwood. Have my eye on a healthy specimen at a local nursery, just not sure of the exact spot for it.

I did get in on a summer sale at a favorite nursery. Mostly pots and annuals...coleus for 1.99...I thought of Deanne the whole time.I did manage to find four perennials: amsonia, agastache 'Blue Fortune', blue oats grass and a 'Lady In Red' fern.

Here's a shot with the fuschia in one of the new pots. It's nestled near the planter I got in June from Costco. I'm impressed with the bargains you can get there.

Here's a glimpse of the end of summer border. You can see the tops of 'Fireworks' goldenrod getting ready to bloom.

I also took advantage of a mail order hosta site with 40% off. Learned of it over at the hosta forum...

And here's DGS Will with Tequila on the garden bench.

And just one more photo for now. It's of my two year old 'Limelight' that wasn't blooming during the hydrangea idyll thread, but wanted to share it now that it is.

Sue...your vacation shots are great. So glad you had a great time of it. How is your leg these days?

chelone...Seeing your photos in the other thread helped to put your place in perspective for me. I didn't realize you were so close to the road., but the plantings you've installed, a sence of privacy is right around the corner. The salon looks wonderful and all the hard work is evident.

Hi out to everyone...more comments to make, but the wood chip pile waits for no one!


    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 10:54AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hi all. I'm SO happy it's Saturday!
I'm packing up 'puppies' to go to PetSmart. I should make a poster:
Big Dogs need love too!
le sigh...

Talk about a disjointed post. I'm the queen of disjointed lately. Our internet connection has been slow to the point of being unusable. This afternoon we are getting another satellite internet system installed. It's got to be better than this. :(

Ebony was spayed on Wednesday and just came home last night. She had an pretty bad infection but is feeling better now.

We could use Idyll good wishes for multiple GOOD pet families wanting to adopt today. ;)


    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:59AM
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Nice to see Anita come out and play this morning. Nice group of booty from the garden center- and I enjoyed your photos of your garden too.Want a Limelight pretty bad, but not in the cards till I move.

I'm downing some french roast after grocery shopping and will force myself to clean the downstairs bathroom before I go outside-inspired by Deannes character building sacrifice ofattending the gym 1st, and hitting her garden after!

Ok, off to clean the loo.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 12:02PM
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OK, back home from the cruise to the nursery I mentioned above. It's huge! and obviously they do a big business with local landscapers. I saw several roped off groupings of up to a dozen 6-8' Viburnums/substitute whatever shrub designated for landscaping companies whose names I recognize. They carry Magnolia virginiana and can order in larger specimens. They will deliver and plant for an additional 50% of the shrub's price. They had great prices on several things I'm interested in. But... on my way home I went to my very favorite nursery (where they know me by name and where we've purchased tons of things) and spoke at length with the owners. They can order Mag.v., too (and will happily do so), but he counselled against using them as the area in question is full sun and they really appreciate more dappled shade. He remembered the site clearly and instantly suggested a Viburnum, showing me several varieties including V. sieboldii, a "new" plant for them and one I'd actually contemplated for the site. I think we may just have a winner. I'm going to go out and do some measuring and the helpmeet and I are going to have a pow-wow about it tonight. And while the other place has great prices, my heart tells me to support the hard-working, kind and generous folk who've been so very helpful time and again over the years.

The traffic was unbelievable today as I was coming home. Rte. 95 was slow and the off ramp was bumper to bumper. I stopped into the local convenience/sandwich shop and spoke with a State Trooper while waiting (his GS canine partner was handsome and big!). I mentioned the number of families in cars with no one wearing a seatbelt, and he told me the troopers "take no prisoners" about that now. They just write tickets.

Great to see Anita (even if she is sneakin' a day off) and I hope your time with the mulch pile is very productive. Your grandson is a handsome little boy, the picture of health, though neither he nor Tequila look really stoked about the "photo op". I love the metal settee, too. Great lines. Know something? I think of you whenever my hair gets marginally too long, lol. Right now I'm contemplating going for a more "sculptural look", more "dramatic". I've been thinking about "white walls" (it's what I call more clipped up around the ears) and shorter on the left side of the part. I think I may have to convince the wonderful woman who cuts my hair, though. But the way I see it, Anita, it's JUST HAIR. It will grow back, so there's really no way you can screw it up. Wish I'd known you were looking for Krossa Regal, darn it! I have a huge one that needs to be divided desperately; it's a beautiful plant with great form and lovely glaucus color.

'bug, you sound sort of sad and discombobulated; missing your family, I'm sure. It must be very difficult to say good-bye and leave Reed and his accomplishments of the past 9 mos. behind. I very much admire your practical approach to maintaining contact and cohesiveness with your family. It can't be easy, but you manage it with a determination, grace, and sense of humor that appeals to me. Reed is a fortunate child, but Skyer is even luckier I think, because his experience is fraught with so much more tension and uncertainty. I really want to see that mushroom!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 1:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here you go! With my size 7.5 sandal for size.

And other late summer bits from today:

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 4:07PM
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Hello everyone

A brief post from Woody and GB's neck of the woods. We are all having a great few days up here in Toronto. Special news for V and Kathy - today was our first family visit to a baseball game. On a whim I negotiated for some tickets on the street, found a great deal and we spent the afternoon watching The Blue Jays beat the Red Sox. We were cheering for the home team which was just as well as they won 11 - 0. We all had a blast!

DH is working some of the time and has just left to lead a photo walk, Annie and David are working out in the hotel gym and I'm enjoying a quiet half hour on the laptop. So far we have been on the "Shark Attack" (power boat) tour of the harbour, visited museums, a guitar store, seen the musical "We will Rock You" (also total fun), walked everywhere, eaten fabulous French food and spent hours watching street performers at a Buskers Fair at St Lawrence Market. Whew! Tomorrow we return home.

Hope you are all having a great weekend


    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 5:51PM
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Things looking a bit better around here after todays efforts-lawn mowing (which takes about 4 minutes) nice sharp edge to the back yards beds created with my trusty shovel, a bit of watering..lots of flopping going on though-floppy C. moonbeam, floppy Nepeta, floppy Penstemon. Not much that one can do at this stage except a little bit of trimming here and there. Ants breeched the fortress on the hummingbird feeder so I had to re-do the Tanglefoot barrier . Bought garlic marinated olives at the olive bar at Whole Foods and am resisting having olives for dinner.

bug, one wonders what that giant mushroom might go for at the grocery store ! ID on the rose pic ? Love that soft yellow center.

Mary, so did you have a hot dog and a beer at the ballgame ? And sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" with gusto ? So nice that you are having a fun visit I imagine school is just round the corner for you, and this is the last hurrah for summer break.

Chelone, I wholeheartedly support your instincts to buy at the smaller nursery though if both are locally owned and operated you can feel good about your choice either way.

Off to move the water one more time-surely is quiet around here today !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 8:17PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Martie-Hope you had a great time with your friend-since-you-were-10 :) That's the friend I go on Princess Weekend with, and we both act like MORONS when we get together and get a couple of glasses of wine in us. Wonderful for your DB to have a creative outlet!

Michelle, I know the next month will fly by for you. ((Michelle))
My DH also gets a little freaked when I divide something, and pitch extras. Obedient plant?? Come on, how many do you really need to save?

Denise, I use an alarm clock..and I seldom have to be anywhere at a certain time. I've found that in the off-season, I'm much better off if I get up at a set time. Otherwise, I'm like a kid on summer vacation, and sleep later and later every day. Then, it's MURDER when it's time to farm again.

Woody, I'd have to go with the vibrating alarm under the pillow..a light would never wake me up unless it was a 400 watt bulb suspended about an inch above my face. I can sleep through just about anything. When DH and I were first married, a sow escaped in the middle of the night, and he was out chasing her around the house and I slept through it all. Pretty amazing, if you knew the colorful dialog that went along with the chase ;)

V-that was me with the bed, and how's this for odd-I never make the bed in the morning, but HAVE to straighten it all up before I get in at night. When I came home from my weekend away, DH had tidied up the bed and had the sheet on sideways. Length-wise it was okay, but I could have never fallen asleep with the stripes going sideways.

To all who couldn't stand a tractor pull: I have not been to one since, and it DID cross my mind that evening that this guy needs to get out more. He had never even been to the MALL. He believes to this day that he married a fairly sophisticated worldly woman, and I see no need to tell him any different, lol!

Chelone, LOL at your first date plan! I like the way you think!

Anita, your summer border is lovely! My 'Fireworks' have been blooming for a while now. It's always seemed to me that they bloom much earlier than they should. Location, maybe? I dunno!
DGS and Tequila are both adorable!

Jerri, how did the "adoptathon" go? The local shelter does that from time to time at a farm supply store here. The two dogs we have seem to be plenty, but I do make a point to take supplies to the shelter from time to time. It angers me to see puppies at the shelter because people don't have their dogs spayed and neutered, and it mostly seems to be large breed dogs.

Bug, Cool mushroom skull! Almost as alien to me as a size 7.5 sandal...don't believe I've seen one of those since I was in the 4th grade ;) I love the soft yellow of that rose..sweet!

We went to see Dark Knight today with the boy, and it was excellent. For sure, needed to be viewed on a big screen. Heath Ledger did a superb job as the Joker. Then we went to eat at the restaurant where DS's GF works. Sweet girl, and I enjoy giving her pointers on how to keep my boy in line. It got to about 90 here today, so sitting in the cool theater and restaurant was just what the doctor ordered. Our plan this evening is to watch another movie DS loaned us, "300". I have no idea what it's about, but since the purchase of the bedroom tv, we can watch it in the only air conditioned room in the house..yay! Plus, I'm getting a pat on the back for the wonderful idea it was to buy the tv in the first place. Sometimes, it's like shootin' fish in a barrel, ya know?
Have a good evening, all!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 8:42PM
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That is some mushroom! I googled "giant round mushroom", and I think I found a link that names what it is.

Mary...sounds like a great time in Toronto. You sure packed in a wide variety of activities in a short time. Memories in the making.

Chelone...I agree with your thought process on choosing a nursery. I have to look up that viburnum, it's one I haven't heard of. I've just started my interest in them, so far I have two small V. dentatum 'Blue Muffin.' They get big fast. The hair cut you described sounds young and hip. Not sure you really want white walls, though. That's bald! Sounds like you want an asymmetric short graduated cut. It's a popular style right now, and always in fashion. I wear a graduated bob, though not asymmetric.

I got a lot of the mulch down, with DH's help, but didn't finish like I wanted to. I kept getting sidetracked by weeding and watering chores. Then the DGS's came over, so I had to quit early.

Have a nice night.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 8:54PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Mary - it sounds like you all are having a good time in Toronto. Where does Clousseau (sp?) stay when you're away? Sometime you should bring him to meet Misty - then you could drop him off here when you visit Toronto....

A cute couple of pictures from this evening...
Misty meets her match; this kitty has her number!:

(gb - that's the red Abyssinian cat I was telling you about - the one that 'put the fear of God' into Chelsea the first time they met when it went into that slinky stalking/hunting pose and started towards Chelsea - who wisely decided hiding behind me was the safest place to be!) A closer view of a formidiable kitty:

Brenda - the 'bed shaker' vibrating alarm doesn't work for me but you'd be surprised how effective a flashing light is at waking you up....

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 9:31PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Too pooped to read much but I love that photos! LOL
I got this is an email. It's a little long but I really liked it.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift
I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.
I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family (OK, so I'd trade some of my family! LOL)for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.
I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love . I will.
I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set .
They, too, will get old.
I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.
I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver
As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.
So, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 9:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Had to mow more today...starting the whole routine again for the second time since our return.

Giant puffball seems to be it! It is so tempting to pop it, but we have resisted so far.

Red cat is indeed a match for Mysty!

OK, the rose is "Crocus Rose". It is best for me in the Fall and develops new reddish foliage then. Before late summer we always seem to have the terrible sawfly caterpillars that munch EVERYTHING on the roses. I also bought a new "own root" 'Golden Wings' this summer. The first one I had was lovely but grafted and the suckers were a terrible problem.

Went to shop for clothes fo0r DH. I really find it pitiful that he can't dress himself at age 67. So we got 3 pair of 619 jeans in size 34-30. Is that so hard to write down and stick in your wallet? Apparently so. Also got another pair of the same shoes he always wears. No brainer. I threw in 3 T shirts. By then he was tired and needed an iced capucino and then home again. I fear I'll be caring for my version of Chelone's Mom one day soon...

Had a nice call from a good friend who just returned from holidays. They visited with DD and family while they were away, missing Skyler but falling in love with Reed. She is a psychologist with the Catholic School Board in Toronto and we had a good long conversation on bullying and a productive chat too on child custody schedules and what works best in her experience.

Finally got around to preparing dinner after 8PM...and that turned out to be a quick mushroom omelet with a fresh salad with toasted pine nuts. Dessert was fresh peaches...with ice cream for DH. No, it wasn't the mushroom from our garden!

Still more weekend left to enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 10:24PM
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Anita, what a nice surprise to see you pop in with your adorable GS and gardens. Nice score at the nursery. You have no idea how foreign hostas are to me. That's one plant that's never crossed my garden threshold...yet.

Woody, that creature looks more tasmanian devil than cat! I'm also wondering what Clousseau is up to while his family frolics.

The mushroom photo looks like it belongs on the front page of the Enquirer with the caption: "Alien Orb Suspected in Disappearance of Canadian Woman, Only Sandal Found."

I'm enjoying the results of the informal alarm clock survey, which seem to confirm it's more a guy thing. If I had to use one, I'd probably prefer the one that rattles the pillow.

Cindy, my sun/shade areas are in transition too. My Paisley abutilon is crisping on the leaf edges. The prime dappled shade real estate is mostly taken already.

Jerri, fingers crossed for your pups.

Martie, your visiting the "Dniece" really makes me hate my name all over again ;)

Chelone, I hear you on the heat of a Paris theater. It's kind of a shock to find out most of Europe lacks AC, at least the hotels and places I visit. (Strangely enough, I found notes just yesterday from an old trip we took in the '90s: "Wallet lifted by gypsies at Eiffel Tower. Mood plummets.") That's amazing that you got the same kind of morose seat mates this time for MFL as you did for The Producers. One of my favorite plant nursery owners has a haircut just like you describe contemplating -- looks smashing on her.

I do make the bed...after a fashion. Nothing military, just kind of throw the covers back in place. Since Marty is often sleeping off night shifts, there's not much point.

Brenda, geek that I am, I saw Dark Knight on the day it opened...AND I intend to see it again at an IMAX theater. I liked the new Woody Allen movie too, tho haven't kept up much with his recent movies -- but this one, filmed in Barcelona with Javier Bardem, what's not to like? And if you like intense, nonstop sword fighting by barely clad men reenacting the Battle of Thermopylae, you'll love 300 ;)

I talked Mitch into renting a telephoto lens from a camera shop in Hollywood for the concert footage tonight, since the stage was changed to make it virtually impossible to get in close. They had to accommodate a 70-piece brass band. The lens was $45 for the day to rent...but required a $3500 refundable deposit against a credit card. Yikes! I'll be pacing until both he and the lens return safe around midnight. I called him to admonish do not go out with pals after show, come straight home, and he just IM'd to say with this lens, he can see the performers' pores.

Viewing has been Helen Mirren's Prime Suspect rented from the library. I told Marty now I know how to be middle-aged after watching Helen...what an impressive woman!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:14PM
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Today was a gorgeous one. DH made some more progress on the front yard by creating a pillar on each side of the new sidewalk. Im planning on adding a large container on top of each. The beans got picked along with a nice sized eggplant, both were consumed for dinner. All the shrubs that were moved got their daily drink. They seem to be doing pretty well for an August move.

Fall plans include moving many things. Ive been making a list.

We got stopped the other night on our way home for a burned out license plate light. I could hear the deputys dog bark. I said to DH now that would be something if he brought the dog to sniff us out. He didnt. I couldnt see him, but when he was finished with business he asked if our car was a diesel and what we got for mileage. When he heard, his reply was "sweet" Hold old do you suppose he was???

Jerri, thanks for the words of wisdom. Exactly how I want to live my life. My BF since I was 10 died 4 years ago from cancer. I think of her often and realize how each day that I live longer than her is really a true gift.

Brenda, I got a good laugh at your description of your DH when you met him. We joke here about being fresh off the farm.

Chelone, I almost sprayed my computer screen when I read about your first date.

Denise, where you live you could get by with an outdoor bathtub. Here in Iowa it would be less practical. LOL on your comment about the alien mushroom. You gals are really cracking me up tonight!

Im an alarm clock user during the week but I actually wake up pretty early on weekends so I probably dont really need it.

Anita, your DGS is absolutely adorable. I think I have that same bench that he is sitting on. I take a picture of my granddaughter on it every year.

bug, I didnt know that mushrooms got that big, but since Anitas link was from Iowa State U I guess we must have them here.

Night all

A couple of pictures from last Sunday. As we waited for the "ocean liner" to depart we spent a little time at the amusement park. We did the "free" stuff.

Kenzie checks out the mirrors in the fun house.

Our little monkey:

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:35PM
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Just a quick drop in. Bella found a new victim to read to today. We're dogsitting my sister's dog, Sophie, for the weekend.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:48PM
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A retro evening watching a DVD of Never on Sunday-(1960 or thereabouts?) Im pretty sure the last time I saw it my age had a 1 as the first digit . It holds up pretty well I must say.

Woody, I have always loved Abyssinians, though I am a committed shelter-cat owner at this point. What a photo !

Jerri, what nice sentiments in your post- hope you had some nibbles on the pups?

Im thinking Invasion of The Body Snatchers if that mushroom gets much bigger. Hopefully tommows pic wont feature a billiard tableor was that The Blob ?
Lol Denise, Im seeing the Nat Enquirer featuring our own GB. Hope that lens makes it home safe and sound .

Thats all for me. See yall in the AM for coffee

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 12:07AM
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Happy Birthday Deanne!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 8:21AM
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Very humid this morning. I forgot to close the windows on my car yesterday and the heavy dew has fogged the inside of them. The forecast is for a nice, sunny day so I expect the "overcast" to burn off as it begins to warm up. All my usual morning chores are long since finished and I should probably get moving on the roadside weeding, but I just don't feel like getting out there just yet.

Denise, I cracked right up over the alien kidnapping the Canadian woman, leaving only a sandal behind. I like the way your mind works. :) I also chuckled over the security deposit for the lens and the attendant caveats to "come straight home".

Woody, I love the action shots involving a friendly dog and a kitty who is "just makin' sure" everyone knows where things stand. Pretty cat! I am always amazed at how fearless cats can be. "Posturing" plays such an important role in the lives of animals, and we could take a lesson from them with respect to easily things are settled. I think the vibration under the pillow would be my choice for an alarm clock. I learn the neatest things from you.

I really like the shots of Kenzie, esp. the one with the chimps on the bench, "monkey see, monkey do". And the "ocean liner" thing tickles me, too. When I about 5-6 Dad took me to Boston with him on a Saturday, after he did his paperwork at the office we went to one of the piers and toured a liner, the Christofo Columbo. It was really fun and I remember watching them loose the lines and watching for a long time as it left the harbor, outbound for sea. We always did fun things like that, and I've every confidence Kenzie will remember all these little adventures for the rest of her life. I'm sure you will miss her terribly.

Bellathaball certainly has reading to the dogs down to science now, doesn't she?

I see some faint sunshine over my shoulder, though the sea breeze is clammy and not terribly warm. I finally managed to eliminate the mosquito that has been pestering me since I sat down here. And now I'm hoping for some Idyll diversion to justify postponing the move to the weed field.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 8:42AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 8:57AM
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Praise be the orientation to detail exhibited by Eden!

A slice of Idyll summer from my favorite garden:

And who's that in the background? gotcha!

May your day be spendid, Deanne. :)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Morning has broken....

It is a humid sticky one again.
I did not make the bed..again. Because of the weather, I rarely do in summer. It is only a sheet anyway, and it must be tucked in at the bottom for me, giving a fair share to each of us. The cats often settle in such a way that I get none.

How can it be Deanne's birthday already? I must put thought into finding an appropriate card for the day.

Michelle, distance grandparenthood is the pits. We'll have to share ideas as time goes on. My mother on the other hand, really liked things that way. There was none of the sticky stuff, no decisions or conflict, just the news and progress on a post card. No, not the style for me. (Do they even make postcards any more?)

OMG! A horrendous panic and noise errupted JUST NOW and my clock and desk papers are everywhere! It seems that Vita was inside two plastic bags (from DH's clothing purchases yesterday) and was entangled in them and raced around frantically to escape. The bags have been recovered, but we have yet to locate the cat.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:14AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Birthday, Deanne!

I can't claim credit for this container; it's from the Ball Seed gardens. I wish I had thought to move the stray water bottle before I took the photo.

Hope you have a wonderful day!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:49AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I hope you have a great day!

Some pictures from this morning's walkies...

This is Zoe the young Rottweiler who lives on the street behind us and is one of Misty's big buddies:

She's a 'cookie monster' and LOVES my homemade dog cookies I always carry with me:

Misty is a slow eater - Zoe had three cookies before Misty finished one. When Zoe tried to steal Misty's cookie, Misty told her off right smartly! Our nickname for Zoe is 'greedy-guts' :-)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:52AM
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Thank goodness for the cooldown the rains last night brought. Yesterday was hot and muggy.

Michelle, what great shots of Kenzie. Every moment must seem all the more precious with her now that you know the date they're moving. Are you putting in new front gardens? I'm not exactly clear what your doing?

Denise, wow, that's quite a deposit on the lens. Hope it made it back safe and sound.

No alarm clock here for me. I rarely have to be somewhere in the morning but I've never needed an alarm. I'm always pretty good at knowing what time it is within 10 minutes or so except when I'm working in the garden and then time gets away from me.

I like the bed made and the sheets tucked in. Brad kicks them out at and I have to redo them every morning. He says his feet aren't on hinges.

That's some mushroom Marie.

Anita, your grandson is a cutie! And the puppy too! Thanks for sharing the beautiful garden shots. I went through a phase of hosta collecting a few years ago and have many, well over 100, varieties to show for it crammed into my little garden.

Chelone, I can't wait to take Bella to shows when she gets a little older. We listen to the original cast recording of My Fair Lady with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews sometimes.

Brenda, the bedroom tv sounds like it's a hit. Glad Princess Weekend was a success.

Sue, your vacation picture reminded me so much of the view my mom and dad have from their deck. They live on Presque Isle Harbor on Lake Huron and have a large marina just down the way from them so there are always lots of big sailboats sitting out there in the evening and early morning.

I'm off to the nursery to look for a few new miniature plants and then we'll probably spend this afternoon at the park and Bella put in a request yesterday to make a visit to the dairy to see her cows which translates into hot fudge sundaes too. Mine with vanilla ice cream. Hope you all have a great day.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:53AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Yesterday morning was extremely hot and humid, so I spent the morning working on the back yard gardens. Cut back a few things, yanked a few weeds that were trying to hide in the middle of plants and generally primped. Of course, after I wore myself out in the heat, the humidity went poof in mid-afternoon and it turned into a lovely evening. We had a very nice time at a patio party with the group from church.

I finally downloaded the photos from the camera, so I thought I would share a few with you. For starters, I'd love to hear some feedback on this flower:

It's an unnamed echinacea cultivar being considered for introduction. What do you all think? I should add that, while I snapped a close-up of the bloom, the plant had lots of blooms/buds and sturdy stems.

Here's a Canadian sunrise to enjoy. I'm not sure how I got the camera to take a black & white shot, but it worked well in a very low light situation.

Here's another Sunrise to enjoy.

And a very wet Mystic.

Enjoy your day!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:01AM
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    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:05AM
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I hope the sun smiles on you all day.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:21AM
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Alarm clock set on work days only so today took full advantage and slept in. Ours is a progressive beeper and is so annoying that it does its job well. Without it, I'd be doomed to lateness :-)

V: I like the Echinacea. Height? Looks good and full but flopover is always a concern so hope it is shorter than most? Can we have a naming contest???? Also really like your B&W shot.

Denise - Dniece trip was great and just putting in DN could leave way too many options open. LOL about the aliens. Is the lens really worth that much???? Whew!

Michelle - I love that Kenzie always seems to be in motion. The legs certainly suggest swinging, as it should be.

Eden - If Bella doesn't end up doing something with animals in her later life, I'd be amazed. She is a little beauty! Thanks for remembering Deanne's B-day for the rest of us.

Hoping the traffic slows down for you, Chelone. On the way to Boston yesterday the Mass Pike to/from 495 was horrendous and can only imagine what 95 was like. Will it slow down after Labor Day? Gotta love the flexibility of Viburnum.

Anita - Great finds! We're not Costco members but our neighbors are, so whenever good garden deals are available she lets me know. Very cool Hosta collection. Not enough good spots to do them total justice here, but can't imagine a garden without them.

Mary - Since it was the first family ballgame, you're almost forgiven for cheering for the Jays. LOL Glad you had a good time and I'll bet there's a minor league team nearby to follow when you get the urge.

'bug - As children we were doomed if we popped one of those. "Spores will spread all over the lawn and you won't have any place to play!!!!" Is that really true?? (She asks after all these years. LOL)

Kathy - Anytime you want to mow for more than 3 minutes just pop out to Connecticut :-) Thought of you a lot as we made our way through New York wine country this week, and would really be interested to know how massive acres of grapes are harvested without getting them all squashed. Only experience I have with grapes are wild ones and, well, it's just not the same.

Tobacco harvest is in full swing and the fields across from us are now barren excepting the few plants that stay as a ceremonial "thank you" in the local custom. The hum of tractors and the lilt of voices is reassurance that while time goes on, some things stay the same.

Tried some serious weeding and it's still a bit too soon to be on knees and pulling at the same time. I'm reminding myself that anything is better than it was four years ago so attitude again prevails! LOL

Got a great message from my boss yesterday (Saturday so that no disability provisions about work contact would be crossed) saying "We NEED you back here!!" amongst other chitchat. It might just've been a nice thing to say, but made me feel pretty darn good.

Waving to all....


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:33AM
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Happy Birthday Deanne !!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:45AM
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Happy birthday, Deanne!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 10:53AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Hi everyone! Had to download photos from the last couple weeks that were still in my camera in order to find one suitable for the birthday gal. Couldn't make up my mind, but finally decided on some containers in our patio area.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 11:25AM
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    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 12:51PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Happy Birthday Deanne!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 12:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Anemonopsis macrophylla

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 2:03PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

I just love Birthdays on the Idylls. Good job. :)

I'm supposed to be cleaning the bath. That takes a little working up to on my only day off. Saturdays at PetSmart don't count as a day off.

DH was supposed to help with the house today and just decided he 'had' to go into to work. :(

I had several people wanting the puppies but they were gang type people. It's very hard to adopt out 'bully' breeds to good homes here . It's funny that these babies look tough and are just big couch potatos!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 2:24PM
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A beautiful day here, and Im presently enjoying my lunch break after a quick run to the nursery ( I just CANT buy any more plants.) I had taken down a plant stand from my patio area in the spring to try to reduce clutter there , but today I decided to haul it out again to put at the rear of my begonias. Of course I didnt have enough stuff to fill all the shelves . I went to our little local nursery that grows their own stock and I got these 6 coleus for a buck a piece and the 1g Aloe for 8.50.. Yay ! I finally have a bargain to share on the Idylls !

Ok, time to move the water and get these guys into pots..

til later..Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 3:37PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)


From the conservatory at Wave Hill

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 4:10PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Oh my goodness! What fun! Thanks so much everyone for all the lovely birthday cards. You are all the best! Im having a wonderful birthday weekend. Yesterday Monique, Les and Sue drove up here to NH to help me celebrate my birthday and we did garden tours with frozen margaritas in hand, then lounged on the patio enjoying Les killer guacamole and Sues lovely shrimp cocktail. (Luke and Rahjii also enjoyed a few shrimp the spoiled brats!) After a leisurely hour or so with the appetizers we had filet mignon with grilled summer squashes, eggplant, new potatoes that had been marinated in garlic and olive oil. Double yum! We moved the party to the lawn in the shade area and let dinner settle before Monique unveiled the crowning glory of the birthday dinner - a fabulous coffee/nut torte with a butter cream frosting that was just to die for. Monique is the best baker I know. The cake was simply wonderful! Monique and Les brought me a box of lovely and unusual plants that I didnt have (can you believe it?) and Sue found a bottle of Dry Creek Fume Blanc that is my very favorite white wine and even brought it to the party chilled. The day and weather but most especially the company could not have been better.

Today I did a lot of puttering about in the gardens and Doug has been working for hours trying to fix my lap top. We thought he had it fixed but it had some type of nasty Trojan virus that wound up hosing the booting up system and hes had to re-format the hard drive and reload all my programs. What a HUGE pain in the neck and the worst of it is I have no idea where the he l I picked it up as Im a fanatic about not downloading stuff off the internet just because of stuff like that. ( Im currently using his lap top to do this post.)

Anyway, back to my lovely weekend, today Doug took me over to Lake Street Gardens in Salem and bought me several cement items (A couple pedestals and a nice large plinth) and also a couple more glazed ceramic pots that were on sale. He so laughed at me when he asked what Id like for my birthday this year and I told him Cement! LOL

Michelle and Eden great pics of Kenzie and Bella. Wouldnt it be fun if the two girls could meet?

Eden, the breynia arrangement is gorgeous. Ive not grown one yet but think I need to find that for next year.

Sue, that banana is going to eat up your garage sometime soon. I love that card, its my favorite view of your gardens.

Chelone, beautiful lotus photos and you captured me in such a normal pose! LOL Camera in front of my face. Nice to see Wendy in the pic too!

V. what a gorgeous container! The container and the arrangement of plants. How large was that sucker? It looks the size of the benches. I really love that Blazing Lime iresine. ~~ Lovely Echinacea. Id be interested to see how it winters over. How fun you get to see new plants before their introduction.

Thanks Martie. Lovely roses! What variety is that?

Woody, what a lovely hydrangea. I love that soft pink edging on those flowers. ~~ The puppies are looking like they are having a great time. You and your cookies must be loved by all the canines in the area.

Anita, I love that hydrangea with the rudbeckia.

Kathy, Love that dahlia! Do you know what the name of it is? I have one that the flowers are the same shape but are yellow with pink edging. ~~ Great score on those plants. Dont you just love end of summer sales?

Denise I absolutely love that urn! What a beauty. Is that in your garden?

Monique, beautiful container grouping, but you know how I love that area in your garden! I really love all that terracotta with the orange plants.

Michelle that fuchsia is gorgeous and so large! Is that one you wintered over? It looks great with that begonia.

Jerri, is that waterlily from IU5? I seem to recall one like that at Wave Hill. Beautiful photo!

Bug, what a beauty! I dont believe Ive heard of that flower before. Do you have photos of the whole plant? Id love to see the entire plant in its setting in the gardens.

Wendy, awww orchids for my birthday? Thanks, how perfect!

OK I've got to give Doug back his lap top. He's been most patient while I've been writing this. I'll try to check in again later. He thinks he might have my computer back up and running sometime this evening.

Thanks again all for the lovely birthday wishes!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 6:03PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good evening... :-)

Just popping in to include my Birthday wishes for Deanne...

Didn't have a garden photo to share, but it looks like you have had some beauties sent your way today, so I will add a bird to the mix and since you've already taken such wonderful photos of backyard birds, I knew it had to be something here is my Birthday offering. Hope you had a wonderful birthday and many more to come!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 7:19PM
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I just love Idyll birthday cards! Each and every one is just beautiful! We're just back from Mexican food. I mostly go for the margaritas. We were supposed to have Bella today but something happened with the power in the area by Megan's work so the restaurant wasn't able to open today. I stopped into the Whole Foods in the same area this morning and it was sad to see all of the refrig/freezer food melting and dripping as they loaded it into carts to dispose of it. So much wasted food!

Deanne, such a bummer about your computer. I wonder what in the world you picked up and where? Lucky you to have Doug to get it back up and running for you. I'm so glad you had a great birthday weekend. You deserve it being the sweet and special person that you are!

Kathy, nice score on the bargain plants. I didn't find anything I was out looking for this morning but did pick up a couple of bargain plants. For $.99 each I picked up a Iresine Blazing Rose and a Blazing Lime just like the one in V's container picture.

Jerri, we have so many people who have those 'bully' dogs in our neighborhood. They seem to view them as a status symbol, not a pet. It's gotten so I think it's too dangerous to take Bella or Bud for a walk. I hope you're able to find good, loving homes for your puppies.

Monique, I wish you'd come back and post some of the other garden pictures you were having a hard time making up your mind about!

Martie, good thoughts for you going back to work tomorrow. It's been great reading all of the long posts you've had time for while you were recouperating.

V, not sure about the echinacea. I'm more inclined to like softer colors. Ive lately become more disillusioned with so many of these new introductions after having quite a few turn out to be a bust in my gardens. I've been alot more choicey this year about what new perennials I've purchased.

Tonight's Mad Men on TV. Anyone else watch it? I'm off for a glass of wine (or two) in the garden before it starts.

Talk to you all tomorrow.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 7:40PM
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Pleasant Sunday evening Idylls.. Im engaged in the last of my watering, and making spaghetti sauce. I was enjoying the lovely weather outside but there is a small child having an extremely loud and long temper tantrum on the block behind me and the ambience has effectively been destroyed. So I came in and turned up the stereo to drown him/her out. Hopefully the racket will cease soon.
What nice cards to view today-Jerri is right, Idyll birthdays are the best ! And we havent seen any cool Nat Geographic pics from PM in awhile Mr Peacock is a winner.

Maybe Monique needs to bring one of those cakes to IU6 ? Not sure how it would go with gin and tonic , but Im sure we could scare up some pinot noir.

Martie, the grapes are harvested by hand in some cases and by machine in some of the larger operations. The machines actually go along the rows and shake the fruit off. The hand picking laborers use either ring knives or knives that look like linoleum cutters. Its okay if the fruit gets a little squished its dumped into a giant auger thing a the winery where it is totally squished and the stems and skins are separated. A mechanized version of grape stomping !

V, doggie portraits are fabu, particularly the discreet exposed tongue of Mystic. and I LOVE the Echinecea ! It would look great in my yellow/red area.

Deanne, what a PIA with your laptop- and as always you have your saintly spouse to save the day-hopefully . The Dahlia is China Doll purchased from Swan Island . It was a wonderful performer, but I dug it up and gave it away last winter thinking I would not be here this summer to enjoy it. I was trying to simplify the bed it was in so that it would not look as high maintenance to any potential buyers . Kind of backfired since I now have VBSmy version of a term my DD taught me VBS= Visible Bra Strap , gardeners version is Visible Bare Soil, lol !

Denise what a cool urn in the pic you posted for Deannes B-dayis that yours ? And tell us, did the lens make it home safe and sound ?

Okay, thats enough from me for one day..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 8:28PM
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Deanne and Nick share the same birthday apparently! So without further adieu:

We're home safe and sound and the rig is unpacked. Chelone, you'll be happy to know we all buckled and we're smart and try to avoid peak traffic times :)

Lots to share, but for now I am off to tell my sheets how much I missed them :) I pull the coverlet and sheet over the bed each morning to keep the spiders out (LOL, I know it sounds silly, but I had a scorpion in the bed with me in TN once!)....and I don't like the sheet tucked in at the foot of the bed because sometimes the piggies need a little air :)

'night all.


    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:10PM
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Kathy, when I hear babies or puppies crying, I always get into Rear Window mode and suspect something sinister. Today it was a crying puppy next door. All day. I finally peered over the fence (ladder happened to be handy...) and saw the poor little puppy blocked in a small area. Around 5 pm I approached some of the young adults that live there. About that crying says We're trying to give it away. I'm thinking hand it over the fence right now. Another pops out and says it's her brother's, everything's cool, nothing to see here, keep moving, etc. I'm on good terms with another brother so will ask him what the heck's up.

Like Michelle, I guffawed at Chelone's pragmatic view of dating. Jeez, did you insist he wear a speedo? ;)

The urn is against the back wall. A friend brought it home to their garden from a construction site but didn't want to lug it to Oregon when they moved to Eugene. Your dahlia photo instigated much reshuffling of pots to get more sun on mine.

The camera made it home safe. I should probably butt out of my kids' lives. Mitch said it wasn't of much use, that he was shooting up performers' nostrils all night, which wasn't helpful when there's 70 people on stage. I asked what would such a lens be good for. Reply: Bird photography in Africa. OK, just tryin' to be useful...And Eden, it was actually worth 6 grand.

Deanne, I had my suspicions about your absence. I got the most awful spyware attack about a year ago. You think you're out of the woods...but you're not. Nasty stuff. Nothing worked until I wiped the hard drive and reloaded everything. I never go online with my work laptop, maybe to check mail but that's it. I thought you had to download something to get infected, but apparently that's not the case anymore as the computer geeks work hard on ways to annoy us.

I'm not sure about V's echinacea. Like Eden's experience, so many of these new varieties have proven worthless. I now have a nice khaki green flwr in Echinacea Green Envy. I'm not sure the breeders should have bothered. And I've been waiting all summer for Gaillardia Amber Wheels to decide to grow. Gaillardias have been foolproof here, always, except for AW. But incorrigible that I am, I've ordered a new coreopsis 'Pale Moon' from a Massachusetts plants breeder Darrell Probst.

I love the spread of the flwrs on Michelle's fuchsia. Mine are kind of all bunched up together, but that one is so elegant. I like birthdays around here too ;)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:31PM
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Kenzie arrived this evening, she will stay here a couple of days and then at my moms for a couple.. Earlier in the day we spent some time shopping. Sams had boxes of alliums and daffodils mixed so a got one of those. I also picked up a cactus and a hellebore Ivory Prince for the bargain price of $2.60. It seems like everyone is picking up plant bargains these days. We searched for pots to go on the pillars but no luck finding just the right thing.

I must say that Ive never enjoyed other adults birthdays as much as I do since joining the Idylls. Im glad your weekend was so special Deanne.

I do have to say that I am pretty proud of that fuchsia. I did over winter it under lights.

Woody, the rottie pictures tugged at my heart. She looks just like the one we lost a number of years ago. Jaden has rottweiler in her but she doesnt have very distinct markings.

DH and I make the bed together every morning.

Eden, Sophie looks like a stuffed animal but how cute that Bella is reading a puppy story to her. We are tearing out the sidewalk, putting in a paver walk that is much wider and curved. Ill have to post a few before and after pictures.

Denise, DH and I wondered too about the Speedo.

I need to get to bed as a day with Kenzie wears me out. We already have plans to make a stepping stone with her hand print, play in her garden, pick vegetables, have a tea party and play with toys. I added a mailbox to her playhouse and tonight I stuck a letter I wrote to her in it and a garden catalog as she likes looking at them.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 12:13AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning....

Back from our visit with DS. We had a very nice short but sweet visit. Brought him a supply of organic fruits and foods that are not easy for him to find there, great suggestion. Also a climbing/scratching post for the cats and snacks and toys for all the animals, towels, dishtowels and potholders. Another great suggestion. All were very well appreciated. This was the first time we had seen his cats. A 'friend' gave him a cat not knowing the cat was pregnant. Four kittens later, he is having way too much fun with them to let any of them go. They are adorable of course. Mama cat has been spayed.

He has the sweetest dog and they all manage to coexist fine, but I wonder how much company the cats are for him. They seem to have their own little club and I feel a little sorry for the dog. Five cats in the house seem like a lot of activity to me, but I suppose that is my old age showing. [g] How do you discipline a cat? They seem to be much different than dogs.

Also, have a question about vacuums and pet hair. He has two vacuums and neither of them work well. [g] We picked him up one of those inexpensive Dirt Devil's, but I'm debating whether to have him return it and get him an early Christmas present of a quality vacuum. We haven't had to buy a vacuum in about 40 years. We still are using our first Electrolux. lol Anyone have a good experience with vacuums? We also wondered if some of those manual sweepers were another option. Most of his apartment is carpeted.

Oops! What is it about Idyll 'trends'? They seem to be contagious. No sooner did I sit down to read Idylls and see all the cat/mouse stories, then we found a mouse coming up from the basement and scooting across the kitchen to head for under the refrigerator! How wonderful! And no cats here, due to DH's allergies.

We stopped on the way home at Stockbridge MA and made two brief stops at local nurseries with no special finds to bring home, but interesting to see what is offered in other areas.

Managed to still have enough energy to make a short trip to the local nursery yesterday, which surprised me. Bird seed was on sale 25% off, had to fit that in. Came home with another Penstemon 'Pike's Peak Purple', a Saponaria and a fancy oregano that was flowering, for $10 total. This is the nursery near us that is going out of business in October. They sold their large parcel of land to developers because the owner was getting older and has health problems. Located in a very expensive residential neighborhood in a very expensive town, I can only imagine that was the most advantageous for the owner. They haven't put everything that is left on sale yet, but have been selling some things here and there. They just started selling off their collection of Ceramic houses that they use for Christmas train displays for the holidays. They are originals that are collectable and I couldn't resist bringing two of them home. was called 'Reindeer Barn' and the other 'South Pole Chapel'. :-) sorry to hear your Mom has not been feeling well. I like the alphabet soup theme and the primary colors are usually what they recommend for nurseries, right? I am sure Jen would love to have a quilt your Mom made, as much as your Mom would enjoy making it. Great idea.

Gardenbug....I can completely commiserate with you on attitude adjustments. Also find wanting to control how things work out for the kids always a challenge to 'adjust'. :-) Making the switch from parent of a child to parent of an adult, not an easy one. Sorry to hear of DGS's anxieties preventing him from enjoying being a kid. So painful to watch I am sure. Just not fair that a kid can't be a kid for awhile. Childhood is short enough. Sorry to hear the school decision was not what all of you wanted. Perhaps if the school he will attend does not work out, the decision could be revisited?

Woody...lovely foliage on the 'Fireball' Hibiscus. Like your idea of a mallow bed, especially with the spring bulbs.

Chelone....I can see where THTTF could be painful, but also like a walk back in time and an attachment that could be comforting and might be hard to let go of too. I think it is great that you still have the house and it could become rental income for you and DB. Thanks for the info on the gutters. I hope I can get to making calls soon. Interesting about heat welding seams...who knew? :-)

Denise...I would have the same problem if I had hummingbirds out my window. The cat 'butler' is funny. DS tells us his current problem is the dog evidently eats the cat food and won't eat the dog food.

Kathy....such a nice photo out your back door and Doobie and Ted seem to be enjoying the good life. Your roses are blooming again? Got a chuckle from your solution to staying pet hair free while on the computer. :-)

Marian...a solid maple bed is a real find. Boys don't always see the value of 'furnishings' the same as girls do I think.

I think it is going to take me awhile to catch up and this is too long already....enjoy your Monday!


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 5:31AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

So now guess what????? Yes, indeed, it is V's birthday today. What fun! And apparently Saucy's Nick shares my birthday. Saucy, tell him that he was born on the "Last Day of Pompeii"

Without further ado

Will be back later to chat a bit.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 7:37AM
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Michelle and Denise, this is New England and the sight of a Speedo is relatively rare and usually means wearer either, A.) really knows how to swim properly and well (I remind you, this is NE and Ian Crocker is not the norm in northern New England), B.) dives (this is NE), or C.) is from Quebec or Europe. ;) On that fateful first date I was charmed by his witty and droll sense of humor and thrilled to find his legs long, athletic, and shapely enough to have fared well in a 16th. century doublet. I was definitely hooked and have remained so for pushin' 25 yrs. now.

One does not "discipline cats", PM. You don't have have since they're already the most perfect creatures on the face of the earth. Peacocks are the most fascinating birds, but they certainly have a disconcerting cry. We have a Kirby vacuum and I hate it. It's heavy and louder than I think it ought to be, it's like dragging around a compact car. But it works very, very well. My brother inherited a Mehle (sp?) when my aunt died and he really likes it. My recommendation for animal hair is a good, "beater bar" on the rug attachment and a smaller version of same for upholstery.

Those are definitely two happy canines, V.. But I've never seen a wet Lab. that wasn't happy, lol! I am not particularly impressed by all the "new and improved" introductions from plant breeders. It seems to me that the more they try the more they fail and they really seems to have focussed on Echinacea recently. That sensibility, coupled with the color (not my favorites) leaves me ambivilent about the Echinacea in question. It will be interesting to see what is decided and how the introduction fares.

Sounds like the chow at Deanne's was pretty good! did the kitties get any filet mignon? Cement for your birthday sounds good to me. I want to see the new additions EMPTY, so I may assess the lines... ;). But no doubt you've already crammed something into them.

Not sure what the weather will bring today, humid again and foggy with a threat of a shower. Yesterday it burned off and left us with a lovely day. I weeded diligently for several hours and dug two holes to receive shrubs. Hole digging on the Compound is frequently an exercise in frustration, requiring the proper mindset to address the many buried rocks and a willingness to shift the hole to one side or the other if you can't dislodge the rock in question. I did get another Vaccinium corymbosum into the ground and took the (Cindy)loppers to the taller of the two we transplanted in the spring. I was gratified to note the extent of new growth from the bases of them and that encouraged me to trim the tops back more aggressively than I otherwise might've.

I should probably get moving and eat something because we're going to try to finish off the remainder of the wood this morning. After that? maybe more weeding or maybe a cruise to the nursery to pick up the Viburnums and MAYBE we'll get them in the ground. A longshot, for sure, but it would really do my heart glad to see something like that happen.

Jerri, I am routinely shocked by how little people consider the emotion well-being for animals. For the first time in years I actually saw a TV ad. to spay/neuter your pets. Evidently, New England has a pretty good record about that stuff (good enough that the shelter import puppies from other regions because they're relatively scarce), but the shelters are awash in cats. I had a surprising encounter with a rather unpleasant woman yesterday. Rex and I were returning from our walk and we walked down the field/parking lot for the church across the street. I was informed it was "church property" and asked if I walked my dog in the new garden/cemetary for cremated remains?? Of course not. I asked if there had been problems with that sort of thing and was icily told I "was the one with the problem". OK. We have a key to the church and the rectory (have for years), and in the nearly 20 yrs. we've lived here no one has ever told us we may not walk the dog over there. Yesterday, in fact, there were two famiilies picnicing with 3 happy dogs between them. Many people enjoy fishing from the rocks and bring their dogs with them. I was stunned and pointedly asked her why she was clearly so angry with me when I had done nothing wrong. She blustered some more and I've decided to discreetly inquire about this with my neighbors and good friends who are members of the congregation.

We had lunch out yesterday and noted with surprise that this was probably the last shot of summer as so many kids go back to school in August now. It will be quieter this week and busy on the weekend and then it will begin to wind down for the season. I'm not ready; i always wish summer would go on longer than it does. It makes me a little bit sad, actually.

I make the bed and I tuck in the sheets. Mum preferred the "cocoon wrap" and I would frequently find her contentedly swaddled in the down comforter when I'd go down in the morning.

Hi Marian.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 7:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 8:12AM
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**Happy Birthday Deanne**

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 8:29AM
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*****Happy Birthday V*****

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 8:32AM
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Hi everyone

Deanne - it sounds as though you had a fabu-fabu birthday. Hope V's is as much fun. I agree that birthdays around here are real highlights and another great chance to peek and see what is happening in everyone's gardens.

Kathy - I'm afraid I didn't manage a hot dog at the ball game but did sing "Take me out.." with great gusto. By the way, VBS (bra straps in this case) are a very useful way to determine age in women:

4 straps - teen
3 straps - twenties
2 straps - thirties
1 strap - forties
none - 50 or over.

Count me as a rather casual house cleaner but a daily bed-maker. A made-up bed is so much nicer to get into at night and provides a great surface for piling clothes, laundry etc on during the day.

So much else to comment on but I need to make a start on the day. Hope to be back later.

Happy Monday everyone


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 8:57AM
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Happy Birthday, V!!!!


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 9:22AM
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Happy Good New Morning! Rich landed a small deal that will keep him busy for a few weeks. At this point that's far more important than the dollars :-) We're switching around his advertising a bit to see if that helps. In the meantime, we're So Grateful for this opportunity!

Deanne -- The rose is 'Soaring Spirits' and would be reliably hardy in your garden. Great repeater and easily trained to be a climber or spreader. I happen to like the frilly edges -- definitely a "girly" rose :-)

Maybe it's my history as a trialer, or my marketing laden career, but anytime a grower is willing to try something new excites me, V. I really do like the coloration and given that it would be a fall bloomer, a season hybriders have ignored despite the surge in Echinacea varieties IMHO, I think it'll be gobbled up by the market. Still wondering about the height .....

So glad, PM2, that you enjoyed your visit with DS, and I'll let Kyle know that his suggestions were well received. Too bad about not finding some cool plants to bring home, but fun to poke around and get a good stretch, anyway :-)

Realized I never told Anita how darn cute DGS is! Must've been excrutiating for him to sit long enough for the snap. LOL

Oh, Michelle, I can "hear" you missing Kenzie already. What a great agenda for a grandaughter day! Love that you've included catalogs in her mail box. She'll need her own subscription and rather than reading regular books over the phone as many long-distance GM/DGS relationships do, I can just hear you discussing the merits of each plant page by page. "This one would look good next to the gate, Grandma!!" "It'll be here next time you visit, Kenzie." LOL

Mary -- Your bra strap list cracked me up. As an over 50 who is not particularly well endowed, you hit the nail on the head except for work. What is it with multi pop-up collars on one person these days???? LOL

Very suave first date, Chelone! Mine with Rich was on his motorcycle and offered a great reason to see how my arms felt around his waist. We're of the same mind :-).

We make the bed with sheets tucked in but blanket and/or coverlet non-tucked. No reason other than it instantly neatens the room up (visible from the kitchen) so the impact vs. energy expended is worth it.

Good to see so many pop in and am loving the b-day pics.

46 hours until work!! Off to just reeeeeeeeelaaaaaaaaax for the day.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 10:18AM
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    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 10:42AM
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This thread is going to be a bear to load but...

Happy birthday, V!

Me & Newt

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:19AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Happy Birthday Veronicastrum!

V....loved that Canadian sunset photo! That container from Ball Seed gardens, well I just love everything about it. Anyone know what the names of the plants are? I think I know the Euphorbia is 'Tasmanian Tiger' and the Elephant Ears but can't identify anything else. I take it your perfect creatures don't use your furniture or your legs as a scratching post or wake you up in the morning by digging their claws into your head? [g] Thanks for the vacuum recommendations. I hadn't heard of either of those brands. I still have to do a Consumer Reports search.

Michelle...impressive bargain on that Hellebore. Cute idea with the mailbox. I have wanted one in the veggie garden to store hand tools in.

Denise....will we see any more of Mitch's photos? We saw Batman Begins in IMAX and loved it. I am not planning to see Dark Knight, only because I haven't liked the Batman series until Batman Begins and I want to quit while I'm ahead. [g]

Deanne and Sue....those are some amazing banana trees!

I forgot to say, I saw an Agave over the weekend that was $100.00! I was shocked they were so expensive. It wasn't that big. They were 50% off but the stems were slightly damaged.

No alarm clocks necessary here. We wish. [g]

Martie....happy to hear you are heading back to work and that you are feeling well enough to.

Eden...that Bella has a wonderful bedroom. Sophie is very cute and I see tons of books and Curious George is a One lucky little girl!

Michelle...Kenzie on the monkey bench....what a cute photo op. :-) So when do we see photos of the front yard project? Like the sounds of the pillars. Thank you for the offer of Hibiscus Seed...I think I would be getting ahead of myself to start planning starting seed. Seeing lots of non gardening projects in the near future. I think I have to put that one on hold.

Woody...I've never seen a 'real' cat that looked like that! LOL

Gardenbug....there are a lot of great books on how to reduce high blood pressure. I was starting to get it and changed my diet and it is back down to normal. Wish I could remember the book title...I will try to find it if you are interested, but I think there are lots of alternative medicine books on the topic. The naturopath I have seen has also helped my husband lower his cholesterol for the first time in years, and his primary care doc was impressed. We pay the Naturopath out of pocket, so we don't wait for permission from the Primary Care Doc.

Anita your GS is adorable! Tequila is very cute! How old is she/he? What a Hosta Haul..! I love the name Zippity Do Dah!

Brenda...Frozen dinners is a great idea too! We wouldn't have had time to accomplish that but on the plans for the next visit. Meatloaf is DH's fav.

Sue...what a great composition for a photo...I love that row of Adirondack chairs looking out to the water. How do you find these 'cottage' rentals? [g] If I had one wish for where I would want to live it would be on the water...ahhh! Yes, money would be the obstacle for sure.

Kathy nice photo of the the pretty clouds in that second photo.

That's as good a catch up as I can muster. [g] Hello to all I have missed...Marian, Monique, Cindy, Jerri, Saucy, Mary, Wendy....and still wondering where Cynthia and Ei are?

Have to go move the sprinkler. First time using it in over a month...not bad. :-)


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 12:55PM
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