Idyll #331 As the Aloe Spirals

denisez10(SoCal)August 29, 2007

... autumn follows summer.

(will that do?)

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I'm confused but chose the title with the # to post to??? It's hot and humid here today and thunderstorms are scheduled for this evening. I'm procrastinating on washing the kitchen floor.

Denise, great 1st title. I'm waiting for my spiral aloe to be shipped somewhere around Sept 9. The only experience I've had with VW buses is when the Grateful Dead used to do concerts at the Silverdome here. Then all of the Deadheads would come in their VWs and camp out in the strangest of places. My girls used to be fascinated with them (the people not the VWs) when we'd see them in places around town.

Chelone, what an awful thing for your mom. My heart goes out to her and you.

Marie, I just loved reading your post. What special memories. I know Reed's going to have them too!

Kathy, what a lovely color you painted your office, lol. I remember when you were painting around the same time as me. It looks like such a warm and comfortable room. I only post from mine sometimes. Other times I'm sitting in the kitchen or on the deck. So you have an abundance of containers too:)

Deanne, love the plant and the pot! As for what's blooming, not much here this year. The lack of rain really put a stress on things. I have a few phlox hanging on, chelone, the othello and britt marie ligularias, helianthus lemon queen and some assorted coneflowers and rudbeckias off the top of my head. Thank goodness for the container gardens to keep the color going.

It's starting to cloud up so I guess I'd better batten down the hatches, put down the umbrellas and stow away the outdoor cushions.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 5:52PM
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Yeah Eden... that Denise, she's "new", you know...


let's let this one die a natural death... OK with you guys?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 5:57PM
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Hmmm... this one is numbered... perhaps I was too hastey in my opinion?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 6:00PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just popping in to say a quick hi! Haven't finished reading the last thread, but I do see that Chelone has a skunky dog...sorry to hear it. What has worked best for me in the past is vinegar and water. The vet told me about it several years ago, and it works like a charm. He told me to use douches to spray the dog, but the second time Sarah got sprayed, I just mixed up about a cup or so in a gallon of warm water. Sorry to hear that your Mum is having such a tough time again.
Princess Weekend was fanTABulous, although too short. I'm in the midst of getting our plans together to go to Michigan. We're leaving on the 6th. We'll stay in St. Ignace and go out to Mackinaw Island at least one day. Gorgeous gardens and lots of walking. I was SO pleased to see that there were two segments of Dirty Jobs filmed in the area. (I'm madly in love with Mike Rowe, btw) He worked on the bridge in one, and then went to the island to help tend the horses. More accuarately, he helped gather up manure, then went to where they make compost. There's a little coffee shop in St. Ignace called Java Joe's that has the best omlettes I've ever had..I'm really looking forward to my first breakfast when we get there. His pizza rocks, too.
Must go catch up on my reading, will post more later. In the meantime, HOWDY EVERYONE!!!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 6:54PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Welcome back, Brenda ! Glad you had a great Princess Weekend - I think a bunch of us here at Idylls need a similar event in each of our lives.

Too many family dramas, uh? - That's awful, Galium, re your DD -- glad it worked out okay but I can relate to the "o no, what am I wearing" thoughts your DD had.... it's weird how somehow there's always a glitch like a cell phone left in a car or turned off, that makes the rescue more troublesome.

Chelone -- I am so feeling deja vu w/ you re the Mom situation -- it's a tough, no win spot -- you can only do your best efforts. I loved your Aunt's comment about "getting off the planet" - in fact, I repeated it to my Dad last nite and we both chuckled about it -- things & paperwork are soo stinking complicated -- as Gardenbug can attest to being audited for her mom's taxes (again) after several years... ugh....

It turns out that Dad is now having more health problems in addition to the hip thing - I hate the feeling of doom -- I strongly suspect his body is breaking down after his 4-yr trauma of dealing w/ Mom's situation -- aargh. I was so hoping we would all get a real breather of good health for a year or two while we dealt w/ closing up their house, moving him,etc.... well, Life just doesnt like to follow our best laid plans does it?

Denize - love the title -- I resisted getting the aloe spiral despite the Cynthia et al spiral (I keep looking at it at PD though, lol); but what I really covet is still the agave mediopicta alba -- and can't find anywhere... it's #1 on the wish list. I realize what I got at HD last winter was in fact the marginata (now that I've actually done a bit of reading on the succulents, thanks to you guys! Love learning new things - and new addictions, LOL).

Work is totally fraking crazy -- hence me being here even earlier than usual, hot new case is burning up & Im trying to pretend I wont have to work this weekend cause I Want to Work in The Gardens!!!!! they look pretty sad and definitely need some maintenance work done if nothing else. Keeping my fingers crossed.....

In bloom still there is platycodon, a bunch of phlox, persicaria, kalimeris, even a daylily still putting out (Final Touch -- it keeps going and going), Prince Charles Clematis is reblooming nicely altho Arabella never gave out at all - it's been going all summer long, Thalictrum, Verbena bonariensis is going wild, and the Anemone Honorine Jobert is starting w/ the first few of its expected big batch. Hmm, now I better go check more out tonite if I get a chance - the dogsitting gig has cut into the yard time at nite too.... we're all discombobulated(sp?)

Is it Friday yet???


    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 8:46AM
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Good Morning all! I'm still trying to get back into the swing of things. The work mountain threw me for a loop, as I usually spend this week getting ready for back-to-school, but honestly, what do they really need but what's on their lists? Warm clothes aren't neccessary for a couple more months - yeah!

My dad had the Chevy van with the floor to ceiling shag in royal blue - bed in the back with crushed blue velvet comforter. Sounds kind of creepy, huh, but I seem to remember using it to camp alot.

Nick and I had a VW bus in So. Cal....never got to even ride in the darned thing before he decided it had a cracked head and tore apart the motor....I worked on lots of the "guts" of my bus, but only sat in the interior. That is still a source for soreness in our marriage, LOL!

Chelone, I like skunks, too. My silly boys (include husband in that one) are hilariously frightened of being day this summer I pulled over at dusk to watch one skitter across the road and they rolled up their windows and jumped to the other side of the car! Like a skunk wants to smell that stink anymore than we do :)

I can tell you that the tomato juice bath just makes a dog smell like skunk with a side of tomato.

Glad to hear EP is now with her significant other.

I will post a picture of my posting place later, if I can get it neatened up that fast :) I used to post in my parlor, but now the parlor off the dining room is the office. I need artwork ideas for the naked walls.

I'd better get to work as we're going to try to take advantage of this soupy day and have a dinner cruise on the boat. Thinking of Cynthia's chicken salad as a good candidate :)


    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 8:50AM
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Beautiful morning here and suupposed to continue through the weekend. Brad has Sat, Sun AND Mon off. That almost never happens. We're taking Bella to the zoo on Sat. Should be fun for she LOVES animals. She's learned the phrase "I don't want to". What fun! Also on the agenda for the weekend is mattress shopping. Right up there with shopping for things like carpet or a car. Not my idea of fun.

Plans for today, besides keeping a good eye on Bella include prepping an old dresser I have for painting.

Hi Saucy, good to have you back and Brenda too.

Cindy, hang in there girl. Hope you do get some time in the garden this weekend.

Marie, saw your pics on the other thread. Love Reed with his tongue out. Cute!

I'm thinking it will soon be time to start taking cuttings of all those coleus and things to be overwintered. Wonder how Sue's doing on getting ready for her big garden tour? Hope she's feeling well.

Off to get started on about a million things:)


    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 9:04AM
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Good morning!

Brenda, glad to read that the Princess weekend went well. I envy you each year when you talk about it....sounds like such a good time. :)

Cindy, rotten about the heavy work load, your poor dad not doing well and you not getting free time to spend renewing yourself with your garden work. Sending you my best.

Saucy, welcome back!

VW bus.....never owned one although my first car (as was DH's) were VW bugs. Loved my little car except for the frost on the inside of the windshield in the winter......LOL. Never wanted a bus (bigger, colder, more windows to freeze over box) but one of our children had the idea that it was a 'dream car' when they were a teen. Nope, they never got to have one as their dear ole dad wasn't going to work on another VW motor ever again. ;) DH at one point had a VW bug that he souped up with a Corvair motor and huge terra tires---he spent a lot of time working on cars and now, we have a wonderful mechanic in town that we hire the work done. DH is tired of fixing cars.....happy as heck to pay someone to do it now. LOL My how times change.

Denise...glad you had a nice vacation and I hope that Kathy enjoys hers too. The weather is suppose to cool off again (mid 70's) but I don't think the forecast, for the next 4 or 5 days, includes rain. Lots of thunderstorms expected in central and eastern Oregon, so there are fires already and lots of fire danger there.

I've got a baby-free day today so am just mentally playing with all the possiblities on how to spend my day. I pulled some weeds in the front flower bed last night. The soil is so dry and there has been a rodent (or two, or three or.........more) making tunnels in and around the iris. UGH! I should have tossed some De-con down the holes before filling them up....maybe I'll do that next time. I hate mice (and their cousins--voles) it seems that most years at least one mouse somehow makes it into the house and I find 'droppings'. Makes me so darn made and grossed out. Darn dirty little things.

One of my dogs just alerted me to the elk in the upper back yard. There are two young ones that are playing 'tag' or whatever elk game is similiar to tag. Fun to watch them play. It is not quite light enough to get a good photo and I bet I couldn't capture their game well enough even if I tried.

Guess that is it for here...Our mornings have been hovering in the mid 40 area, yesterday's high was 95, but today is suppose to only reach the mid 80's. Autumn seems to be showing itself in little ways....

Hello to all.......

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 9:39AM
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Sorry Galium, that spiral break sounds painful-will it be difficult healing? If that happened to me I'd be similar in my priority concerns...let me take a shower,do my hair, & slap on a BRA/decent clothes before I get paramedics around me... I do hope your DD mends quickly.

Chelone you smell different today... ; )

Saucy good luck with the start of the school year-gee,that seems so long ago that I was just preparing for Day One. We're on Day 6 now. When's Xmas vacation? lolol.

Deanne that plant is very funky/fun and I also like that pot!
I also keep forgetting to tell you how much I love that Calla bday card you posted for V-love the speckled leaves-the whole combo.

Brenda that Mich. trip sounds like much fun-um hey you forgot to remove the's Ok, no one noticed until I mentioned it; ) Glad princess weekend was a success.

Cindy for the last two days I've kept asking myself if it's Friday yet-sheesh work is very busy in the clinic with a million important paperwork items needing to be done 'yesterday'. It amazes me that the work day ends too quickly but the week seems to drag on...can it be the twilight zone?

Eden I completely love the shelves Brad built for your room-such a cheery looking place to idyll for you and how great that it accomodates Bella too(I want a moon like that; )
How is your mom doing lately?

Bug why don't you ever post pics of your grandkids? ; )

Chelone I can't find where your mom has had new difficulty-I will look but not before I post this-since knowing me I will lose my post. I'm hoping it's not a large setback.

Good gracious,AJ was coughing like a seal and having a sore throat(viral) & Ryan luckily just had a runny nose(getting the good old immune system in gear; ). Both are improved greatly but what a morning we had today. We essentially have 45 min. to get the boys coherent,fed,clothed,teeth brushed,etc. with little time for variation...First thing,Ryan had a bloody nose just to throw a wrench in the works lol. And AJ spilled a glass of juice which I helped clean up while I simultaneously packed lunches and administered cold meds to each kid. Chris helped pinch Ryan's nostrils while Ryan dressed & ate breakfast-waffle & juice(it not easy to eat with your nose plugged!). Surprisingly the nose healed just a minute before the bus arrived....
Hey T, got any of that Bailey's for me? (I joked to Chris that I thought I needed a double martini after that fiasco-which all happened BEFORE my first cup of coffee lol).... sorry,I'm rambling : )

I miss Mary.

Time to get a move on...hi to those I missed.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 10:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thought you'd never ask! Hehehe
DH home from the office. Just in time for a family croquet game!

Hope of the future!

Lost tooth!

DS after his 11 kilometer run before work. He also does 800 sit ups each day and a few chin ups for fun. Rides his bike everywhere in Boston rather than driving too. (How his Mom worries!)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 11:24AM
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Bollixed that up pretty good, newbie that I am, but hopefully no more toggling back and forth between threads. I am so enjoying all these VW bus reminiscences. After reading 'bug's yesterday, I planted some bearded iris and thought up the idea of a photo-essay book on the buses, with DS doing the photos, of course. Huge Christmas nostalgia baby-boomer coffee table success. I really, really need to get back to work and stop this silliness. Work is ballast for me, lol, and I see you suggest the same, Chelone. We had a sewing team in town called "Bi**tchen Stitchen" that worked solely on VW interiors. I'm in awe of that level of sewing.

Mariann, it's never equitable how attention is spread through a family, is it? My dear friend & neighbor Angie nursed a gouty husband for decades who gave up and never left his tv chair until his death, then it was a sister's turn. After the sister's demise I thought at last Angie will get a moment for herself, but she died quietly at home not longer after, 83. We used to hear Star Trek reruns blaring out her screen door every evening. Grand lady full of stories. Her circa 1950 wire chair was put out on the curb by the new owner, now one of my prized possessions. Angie made the most amazing lunches on her patio, very genteel, gracious.

Cindy, agave.... I don't have a print reference but merely Google what I need to know. For gosh sakes, I think I've got that medio picta alba and an aureus variant too. I'm including a picture of the alba. It has multiple pups, but the leaves don't seem as wavy and reflexed as some I've seen. Is this the one you're looking for:

Those nice white splotches on the pot are courtesy of a house painter who did that to as many pots and plants as possible a few years ago by "air cleaning" his dirty paint brushes, even after several reminders. Just noticed them again on the photo and it still gets me PO'd.

Deanne, I owe you an email, as well as Bab's bulbs this week. And if Cynthia ever pops in, I'll get her out the crocosmia seeds (?) she asked for. You guys are such amazing technical gardeners, with the wintering over and frost watches. I'm learning heaps, ready for my move to the PNW, T., lol.

Brenda, you're such a hoot in print, I can't even imagine you live, on a Princess Weekend! Glad it was fun.

Who was talking refrigerators? I'm waitiing for the model that sets off an alarm when the freezer door isn't closed, or admonishes "A little early for that cold one, don't you think?" "Better rethink ice cream today, love." That'd be a useful appliance. Otherwise, the stark, smallish model we've got does just fine for this 1920-size kitchen.

Enough. Must come to a screeching halt. So nice to chat with everyone again. Hello to all.

well, one more photo, a pot bought yesterday, half off. No counting pots, just mindlessly adding more. Maybe I should ditch the cache pot and leave it empty? Cache pot has a kalanchoe, "mother of thousands," which the salesgirl informed me with a there's-one-born-every-minute look. Loose morals in plants is not necessarily a mark against them, in my book.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 11:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Where is the yard stick?
Where is the blue croquet ball?
Can I borrow a T shirt?
Can you hold the baby?
Can you catch the frog in the kitchen and show Skyler?
Where are the car keys? Where's the pass for the parking lot gate?
Where is the blue screw for the dishwasher?
Where are my sunglasses?
Are there any large zip lock bags?
Is there any dry dog food we can use?
Where is the pancake mix?
Anything I can take for lunch?
Then the workmen arrived and needed attention, but the questions never stopped.
DH decided to stay home and work on the dishwasher. (All chaos there now....and bad language too.)
DS left for work.
The kids and their parents went to Toronto to go for subway and ferry rides and to find Lake Ontario and eat Chinese food.
So I am left "alone" with the dogs, DH and the workmen. Tra la! Still no time for gardening. No car.
The workmen are repairing storm windows and such before the trim gets painted, so every few minutes the cats try escaping through a new hole....
Thanks, I feel better now.
Lovely day out there!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 12:13PM
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Lunchtime check in. I've completed the laundry, done dishes and played a few games of Don't Spill The Beans with Bella. She thinks it's the funniest thing when that bean pot tips.

Babs, sounds like some morning! Thinking back I don't know how I did it, getting 3 kids up and to school every morning. Now days it's all I can do to be ready for Bella when she arrives at 10am and I get up early. It's all what you're used to I think. Mom's run into a few snags this week. They've discontinued her chemo treatments until they do a CT scan Friday and her white blood cell count was really low so she sat through an all day transfusion yesterday. She's feeling OK though and I can't believe how positive she stays. Quite the example that I'll remember always. Thanks for asking:)

Marie, LOL! Sounds like when the whole family's up at my mom and dad's place. It'll all be back to peace and quiet for you soon enough. Great that Adam was able to make it too!

Denise, love the cache pot and that agave. I have a couple of striped ones but neither are that spectacular.

Hi T, I know just the feeling of having a whole day in front of you to yourself, baby free. I enjoy it even when I'm just getting errands and housework done with no interuptions. Hope you're able to enjoy your day!

I miss Mary too! And Cynthia! Hope the pups are OK.

Time for Bella's PB sandwich and chocolate milk and then it'll be naptime soon after, probably for both of us.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 12:58PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Wow, lotta drama going on around here. Sorry to hear it-a boring day is a good day, in my book.

It's okay, Babs...I took the tiara off. It got caught on the tank of the toilet when I had my head stuck back there cleaning the floor this morning. I had forgotten ALL about it until then ;) Reality strikes once again! Wow, I had forgotten how exiting mornings can be. It's been ages since the rat-race of getting kids ready for the bus every morning. I find that I really don't miss it.

Bug, what a lovely family you have. Sounds like your DS should be in the Ironman Triathalon--what a DUDE! I just love kids with missing teeth! My great niece recently lost one while eating an apple..and swallowed it! She was pretty worried that she'd get shorted by the tooth fairy for it, but ended up getting a dollar, anyway. Inflation--I think my kids got a quarter. I was tempted to tell her how she could "find" it and put it under her pillow, but my niece discouraged passing along that bit of wisdom :)
There's an old Warner Brothers cartoon where the husband asked the wife what she did all day. She goes down the list, and he says, "Is that all??" "No, dear, I did one more thing. I got a present for you." Opens a box, pulls out a rolling pin and beans him in the head with it. "Little man, I've had a busy day". Lol, sounds like that's about how your morning is going. I'm guessing at the end of the day, you're going to be exhausted, and not sure what you did to get that way, lol!

Denise, your pots are great! The painter should have either made more splotches or none at all. I'd be awful ticked at him, too.

DH is gathering up scrap metal. There seems to be an endless supply when you live on a farm. It's tradition for him to gather it up and go sell it for vacation money. Fine by looks terrible piled in front of his shop. I'm not sure why he displays it so proudly, but it makes him feel good when he turns it into cash.
The vacation will be a really good thing, as one of our little chicks is coming back to the nest for the winter. DD has decided to move back home at the end of her lease (next month) and explore options to further her education, and save up some money. She quit a miserable job, and got a much better one that pays less. She's in a good company with much more opportunity for advancement. You may know people who have some of their parts implanted in them :) She'll be taking over both her old room and her brother's. What goes around does indeed come around. I haven't done a thing with their rooms since they moved out, and she's cleaning, patching and painting. NOW she knows why I told them not to put stickers on the walls, put posters up with staples, and not to hang pictures with barn spikes. She had a LOT of spackling to do. It's going to take a lot of adjustment to get used to having one back in the nest, but on the bright side, the rooms will be painted when she moves out. If anyone needs some orange sculptured carpet from the's outta here! We're down to two areas that still have carpet. The upstairs hall, and the tiny office/junk room. We're just not carpet people, as I am terrified of the sweeper, lol!
I gotta go...I'm trying to get the house clean and laundry caught up before vacation. BIG hugs to everyone having a tough time.
PS....I DON'T SMOKE ANYMORE AND IT FEELS GOOOOOOOOOOD! Okay, it's only been a week, but it's a start!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 1:46PM
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Where's Deanne today? I can't find your email addy. The receipt for the plant was in the box, if you still have it. Otherwise, the dollar figure we talked about before will do fine.

Ah, the fast track to insanity, incessant demands...croquet with gin and tonics sounds perfect.

Babs, I think you mentioned one of your kids' classes being combined near the upper grades? Is that in a public school? Sounds like a small, private school situation, which was the case for our boys.

Hi, Eden. Bananas and honey in my PB sandwich, please.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 1:47PM
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I am ready to shriek. I left work early to come home and get the call to the social worker du jour out of the way. She called me at work, I was alone in the shop, in the middle of a very complicated jointed cushion, and had 2 Coast Guard guys staring at me. I returned home, prepared a sandwich and before I'd finished it the tree guys arrived. There is an aircompressor running on the north side of the house for the pneumatic nailer the guy siding the garage is using. There is a large bucket truck on the south side of the house and the CHIPPER is now running full blast. It's quite warm and I can't close the windows. The social worker is "not at her desk" and I can't go outdoors to DO anything for fear I'll miss the call. I really just want everyone to GO AWAY so I may collect my thoughts in peace. :(

I can't even focus enough to post anything... but there is kitchen full of dishes; THAT I can do!

Pass the cheese, willya?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 2:03PM
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Sorry to be a pest, but if someone could send Cynthia's email and/or mailing address to me at, I'd forever be in your debt. Today is the day to get plant shipments done.

Way to go, Brenda. One week down.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 2:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, I'll be glad to sit & wait for your phone call so you can get OUT. I have some experience with the likes of those folks. Besides, I'm tired of the dishwasher saga, the 'alfalfa being turned' noise out the window, the geese honking, the murder of crows, the drill of the workman in the bathroom window, the dryer,etc and would gladly trade for your noises...for an hour.

Brenda, I'm very proud of you and everyone around you must be too. Just keep saying NO. I've known so many on oxygen for emphysema that it just makes me cry when folks don't abandon their smokes. Every day without improves your lung capacity amazingly. No wonder you feel great! :) I'm really pleased for you!

Back to business....

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 2:48PM
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Social worker du jour called at just about 3PM (quittin' time for her) and was quick to say, "I can't talk now, how about tomorrow?". She KNEW I was expecting to speak with her between 2:30-3PM, I was very clear about that this morning. I will call tomorrow and tell her this NEEDS TO BE DONE tomorrow.

Mum is freaked out totally. She has no idea where she is, she has refused to take any medictions, and insisted on calling me. I was literally screaming into the receiver and she still couldn't hear me. I couldn't reassure her that it would be OK because she couldn't hear what I was saying to her (not that it would have worked anyway). This is a nightmare. I asked the nurse if I should visit or stay away for a few days... a thumbs up on the latter and a thank you for asking.

I am not stupid. I know how debilitated Mum is mentally, and neither my brother nor I expect any miracles this weekend. It is what it is, and it will probably get worse before she finally goes down for the "dirt nap". All we want is basic care that addresses the vulnerablilities her urostomy presents. Thusfar that has not been done.

The trees that provided cover from the road are now diminished even more. I'm sick about it; but all the while knowing it has to be done before the "final solution" can be implemented.

Brenda, ONE WEEK is great! "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". It takes guts and more guts to quit smoking. Mum smoked for 60+ yrs. and it cost her a bladder! The surgery to remove the cancerous bladder set her up for the stroke that has proven the worst demon of all. I'm here, pullin' for you. I can't help you with the longing, but I can tell you what a great job you're doing one week later. This will be the toughest thing you've ever done in your life and I admire your COURAGE. This is about courage, Brenda... don't let anyone tell you it isn't.

OMG, I wish it was Friday night instead of Thursday. :(

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 6:29PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Chelone - What a struggle your mother's situation has been/is! I hope things settle down soon for all of you (but it sounds like one of those 'don't hold your breath...' type situations unfortunately.)

Mariann - How's your sister doing now? That was a scary event. Perhaps she should see if there is an emergency call service there like the one I use. Our local hospital has a service called Connectcare. You get a little button thing that you wear like a pendant (or like a watch - there are two versions...) There is a communications unit with it. If you have an accident and need help, you press the button and the unit calls the office at the hospital. The unit has a two-way speaker so you can tell them what happened/what help you need. If you don't respond, they call a neighbour from the list you give them for emergency contacts. (You give the neighbours on the list a key to the house.) If none of the neighbours are available to respond, the office sends an ambulance. There's a lock box (like the ones real estate agents use) on the door with a key in it. The office knows the combination so the emergency workers can access the key in the lock box. I've been using the service for 9 years now. I've only once set off the unit by accident (an event which surprised both me and the neighbour who responded!) and have never needed to use it for real - but it's reassuring to have it. It only costs $35 a month and it's worth it just for the peace of mind for both me and Randy. It might be worth looking for a similar service. It's not totally foolproof - If an accident left you unconscious or otherwise unable to press the button, you'd still be stuck without help until somebody found you but it would have worked in your sister's case.

Honey - Randy is in the same uncertainty mode that your Tom suffered through. His employer's world office had announced earlier in the summer that they would be closing plants/reducing staff. The announcements for North America are supposed to happen by mid-September. So everybody is now in nervous mode. Randy's not sure what the outcome will be for him but, luckily, we're not too worried if he does end up on the 'cut' list. He went through the same sort of thing 10 years ago when the lab he worked for closed down.

I've enjoyed the VW stories! I never had the bus but my first car was a beat-up old 'bug'. It was orange - partly the paint color and partly rust! - so it was called 'The Great Pumpkin'. It lasted through my last year in undergraduate studies but died during the first term of graduate studies - it couldn't face another Montreal winter I think :-)

Eden - your and Bella's room looks great! And very neat....

Brenda - congratulations on the smoke-free week! Keep it up....

GB - great family pictures and stories....

Today we finished the brick edging for the front bed - finally! One small strip by the garage left to do and the front will be all done. Part of the stones arrived today to do the back areas. I now have the ones to ramp the two exits off the back patio but need more bricks to do the edging for the living room bed and the patio beds. I need to do the ramp parts first to confirm how many bricks I need to finish the rest. I hope I get it all done before winter...

The best looking things in the garden at the moment are hardy hibiscuses and Russian Sage. I think I'll be adding more of both next year. In the backyard the best thing is the Sweet Autumn clematis on the north fence. It has such lovely scent.

Hi Marian! What's new with you? Sue - I hope you're recovering quickly. And Hi to everyone else...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 8:09PM
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Pups (Agave):

I'll be aborting any future agave-ettes that spring forth. But this litter is in a holding tank til I can find homes for them.

Yep, I finally thwacked the clay pot that the variegated agave was in (plain old americana from VFN, sorry Cindy!); delivered all the pups then repotted the mother plant.

Pups (Grey):

I'm still holding my breath, but Katie is acting more and more herself. I may have to carry her up and down stairs for forever. I hope forever is 20 years :)

Isnt' my lawn awful???? We need a little balance to offset everyone elses manicured properties. I'll mow eventually.

The girls: Dannie left, Katie right.

More Pups: The newest foster, "Wicked Icky Extra."

Yes, that's her regisered name. I call her Wicky.

Long week-end so I will definitely be catching up here!

Hi to all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 8:50PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi everyone,

Well I had a long and chatty post all set to go this morning and like a nu-nu Id typed the thing in the message box and yes, you guessed it, I lost it. Rahjii the brat boy jumped up on the arm of my chair, bounced my mouse onto the floor and it closed the window. Drat and double drat. Oh well, Im done being irritated with myself and am typing this in Word. Youd think Id have learned by now.

Eden, Ive got all the same stuff blooming in my gardens right now. The Lemon Queen is looking pretty nice and the Anemone robustissima is starting its thing. The asters are budding up and should be blooming in another week or so. ~~ Thanks! Glad you like the plant and new container. I loved the pot the second I saw it. It was calling my name. ~~ I dont know about you but Im having panic attacks about how Im going to get all these plants in this fall. There are just SO MANY I want to save!

Brenda, how great to hear from you and GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Stick to it lady, you can do this. This is probably the best thing you could ever do for yourself and everyone who loves you. Congratulations on your successful week.

Cindy, so sorry about your dads hip and health issues. Thats so difficult. You are so right, life follows its own course regardless of how we plan things. Hope he improves soon. ~~ My Final Touch is still blooming too but is getting ready to finish up for the season. Ive got some Rosy Returns that have been really prolific this year that are still throwing spikes now. ~~ Hope you can score some quality garden time this weekend.

Saucy, great to hear from you!

T, great to see your post! My first car was a VW Bug too. We also rebuilt VW engines during those times. No kidding about the ice on the inside of the windows. NO heat either.

Babs, thanks! So happy you like the calla pic. Ive got a bunch of solid purple flowers coming up in that pot now also. I got the bulbs from Parks on sale in June. ~~ Sorry the boys are sick, hope they are all better soon.

Bug, great pics of the family. DS looks a lot like his dad.

Denise, love that agave! Youve got such a terrific collection of containers. ~~ I sent you an email through your page here. Let me know if you dont get it. I need to have your address so I can send you your check.

Chelone, Im so sorry for your continued problems with your moms caregivers.

Woody, dont you just love those perennial hibiscus? My Fantasia has been a blooming fool this year.

Cynthia, great to hear from you. I'm so happy to hear Katie's doing better! What marvelous pics of the puppies! and agave babies.

I finally got a few photos of the new rock edging strip Ive been working on. I really love piecing the rocks together. Its like putting a jig saw puzzle together.

OK Im starting to yawn so I guess Id better shut this down for the evening. I took a bunch of pics today and was hoping to do a photo thread tonight but its going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Nite all

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 9:05PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning!


Deanne, love that rock border!

Hi to all! Must run...busy day here. My boss is retiring and we've hired this search firm that profiles the staff and the position then goes out and seeks candidates based on that criteria. I'm on both the position development team and the consensus committee. What that basically translates to besides a bunch of BS is a crapload of lengthy meeetings. Yahoo!


    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 7:15AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Deanne -- what gorgeous borders!! That is simply stunning - isnt it amazing the great ideas one can glom from IU visits? I just love that - but boy I bet that is work intensive. I dont have those types of rocks readily available here - I look longingly at the ones I see in PA on Dad's property (but he always seems to find some place for them, LOL, rather than letting me put them in my trunk.).

Denise - yes, that's a. mediopicta alba - I'd love to have a pup whenever you go to repot it -- hard to believe I've been searching all over for it (I found 1 pricey specimen in the spring at WFF but just couldnt make myself pay $50 for it...). I'll email you my address for some time in the future when you feel so inclined to repot/replant those babies!! Wish I had something cool to send you.... That is a great new cool pot you got too - what a great eye you have!!

Well, Cynthia - how nice to see your green and grey pups, LOL! Im glad to hear your guys are doing better - I dont know how you do it w/ all th e fostering -- I guess Im much too into my own "routine" - the cocker we've got visiting I love, but she's 2 and a handful and it's a struggle for me to try to re-adjust Chloe's and my schedules to get her adjusted.... it's been an eye-opener for me - I didnt realize how inflexible Chloe & I had become, LOL. Isnt it funny that your agave we all have lusted after is the americana? I guess (I know) my memory is slipping! But you've been inspirational (as have the IU creative gardeners) and helped w/ the new addiction.

Chelone, chelone -- Hang in there, kiddo - I know how painful it is to hear of the decline -- and being some distance is such a huge trial -- you know, maybe you would feel better if you went there this weekend -- and your Mom might be reassured as well, despite the nurse's advice. They dont know our parents as well as we.... I found that sometimes altho it was upsetting to see Mom in the condition she was in, it gave me some reassurance to see she was getting the right meds (or not) - and those social workers can't escape you in person (there's got to be another person on duty at the hospital in her stead - there always is).

Babs - yikes what a morning - I fully understand the needing a cocktail hour - yucko, to have to boys ill already at the very start of school! They wasted no time, did they?

well, I see my boss eyeballing at me to start the day (he's "discretely" been putting things on my desk as I write this email, despite it not being the "official" start to the day yet....) gotta go.

Sue -- lucky you -- you seem to get nominated for more and more BS there, dont ya?


    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 8:53AM
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I LOL'd at that one, Sue. They got you all to pay them and do the work, too, huh? This person you're hiring has some pretty tall expectations to live up to :)

Cindy, I am sitting my MIL's dogs and I am all pooped out - pun intended. I have been up at 3 a.m. every night this week with them waking us up. By the time they get settled in to our routine, it'll be time to go home and settle back into theirs. You truly are a good friend! I wish your friend the best in her efforts. She sounds stronger (with your help of course!).

Chelone, I can't imagine what you're going through but I am in the camp that thinks that if she's dehydrated that she'd be out of it....and if she can't hear she's inclined to be irratated and frustrated which leads to raised voices and finally yelling.

And the last thing you need in your life right now is all that blasted noise....nothing bothers me more than noise.

Deanne, that is quite the little puzzle of rocks you've put together. Please tell me that you didn't harvest those rocks from your yard! You're such an artist in everything that you do :) Glad to read of your DD's apartment hunt!

Galium, I can't imagine that's actually pretty close to my nightmare of needing help and being naked. I hope she is better now and resting (with DH never to forget phone again!!!!)

I've gotta get to work. I am so proud....we got a huge contract! We may have to hire another guy soon....and maybe somewhere in the near future (year or so, but not unforseeable now) we can move into an office space! I am beginning to see into the future now instead of into the end of the day :)

Kids start the day after Labor Day and Babs has me shaking in my boots.....Brenda, pass the tiara, I need to be pampered :)


    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 10:12AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good afternoon all,

Saucy, Congratulations on the contract and the success of your business. That's just terrific! ~~ Yes indeed all those rocks are harvested from our yard and there are thousands more where they came from. LOL

Cindy, yes indeed, it is wonderful the great ideas one can get from attending an IU. Doug really was all about all those stone borders at Inta's so anytime Doug is OK with losing a bit of lawn I'm on it ASAP before he changes his mind. If you come up for a visit sometime you can put as many rocks as you'd like in your trunk. I think the rocks actually breed here over the winters because it doesn't matter how well I dig over a garden and think I've gotten them all out the next time I dig in that same spot there are more. LOL

Chelone, thinking of you.

I went out and took a bunch more pics this morning in the overcast skies which are my favorite conditions for picture taking so I'm off to check them out.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 12:25PM
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Deanne, I love, love, love that rock border!!!!! Beautiful!!! I'd even go around picking up rocks here, if I thought I could make something that gorgeous.

Sue, sounds like life is busier than ever. I hope they find a great person to hire.

Babies are here today, tonight and tomorrow morning. They are taking a nap right now (thankfully as it gives this old lady a break for an hour). Yesterday didn't turn out to be 'mine', I ended up going with the twins and their mother on a car ride for 4 hours to buy a double jog stroller. I bought the twins one about 8 months ago and their mother began looking for a used one, for me to have out here. I wasn't about to put out another few hundred to buy one, but she knew if she looked long enough she'd come across a decent one for under $100.....and sure enough, found a very nice used one for $50. So, we'll go for a walk about, visiting with the goats, the horse and just look at the sites, when they wake from their nap. I'm eager to see how easily I can push it with the babies in it, along with how well it goes over the rough ground. I'd love to be able to go down to the mailbox with them, but pushing it up the steep part of our driveway may be more than I can do..... I need a 4 wheel atv with a little covered cart for taking them around........LOL

Life is always centered around grandchildren any more, or so it seems. I visited with James & Thomas yesterday morning. Thomas is learning to roll over and he is such a happy little guy. Always smiling, laughing and cooing. James went to pre-school orientation last night. Met his teacher and saw the classroom, playground and some of the kids that he'll go to 'school' with. He called me just so excited about all that he saw and who he met. They grow up so fast!

Guess that is it for here......
Hello everyone (Babs, hope the boys feel better soon!)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 1:12PM
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Puppies and rock borders! Where else can I go to get a dose of the best things in life than the idylls? Wicky must look like a ghost when in motion. I just sent an agave amer. pup to Babs with the crocosmias, mostly to experiment with shipping techniques.

Saucy, that's wonderful news on the business front. I agree, since Brenda took the tiara off, it's up for grabs, fair game. Let's hope the idyllers' school-age kids land brilliant teachers with boundless enthusiasm this school year. My youngest DS is already switching around his college schedule because the logic prof was "retarded. And I don't use the word lightly."

Cindy, I emailed you about the agave MP. Maybe you need a little sign for your desk when you're there before business hours: "On my own dime." Or maybe something a little less confrontational, lol. All you law firms always lock up your wifi so I can't access it when working in your conf. rooms. Some spots in LA, like Koreatown on Wilshire, have strong wifi, and that makes such a difference in a long day.

Chelone, what utter misery, meted out drop by miserable drop. Hoping that this weekend will see some stabilization and calming of her condition.

T., sounds like the babies are flourishing.

Off to clean the office, the house, get the equipment ready for work, linguini at the folks' tonight. Too hot to attack the pergola with fresh paint. Our governor is urging us to keep lights off during the day and "Conserve, conserve, conserve," in that inimitable Austrian accent of his.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 1:22PM
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Now you guys have got me hunting down one of those agave americana medio-picta albas. I just ran across a nice 5 gal.sized one. I'm soooooooooooooooo easily plant influenced! This new Idyll agave addiction is getting kind of expensive. You're all bad, bad people:) That's why I hang around here...


    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 2:59PM
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Hi Everyone! I made a goal to at least check in long enough to do this today...

Happy Birthday Deanne!!! this is a standard I saw at a show this spring.

Hi Brenda:

This is one of my lilies that just popped with a ton of blooms.
Happy Birthday Brenda!

Hi V: Say hello to Hydrangea Little Lamb. He is a cutie, I just got him. Hope you like it.
Happy Birthday V!

Hope to post more to everyone sometime this weekend! Hi to all.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 3:24PM
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home office entry. My desk, mostly out of frame, was formerly my grandmother's kitchen table. Cabinetry by DH. Clutter all mine. Filled a large trash can this morning. Big decision whether to keep Hinkley's old Heronswood catalogues but decided to chuck them all. And all the useless phonebooks. Kept a huge pile of old New Yorkers and garden mags, but their days are numbered too.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 4:53PM
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You know what? I'm going to say "out loud". If there was one thing I could do for Mum it would be this:

I would take her out to have her hair cut and styled and her nails trimmed and buffed. We would go for a pleasant drive and stop wherever she wanted to "look". We would have an ice cream cone, too! Later, we would share a leisurely meal and I would help her bathe and get ready for bed. I would cradle her in my arms and listen to the "stories". And she would be dead the next morning...

No more "social workers", no more "caring" from staffers who really don't. No more stupid "interventions" that are pointless and do little more than "feed the pig" and keep a -ucked up system functioning to pay dividends to investors.

So there. That's how I feel, really and truly. And I'm appalled that so many regard that sentiment as amoral or callous. I don't understand THAT perception at all. She needs to get dead. And if you'd asked her about this scenario 10 yrs. ago she'd agree.

I dinked out of work early today. I finished up the articulated cushion (looked GREAT, but was a "dog" to do), a tee top, and a complicated console cover for a sport fishing boat. I paid the rent on the "you store it" space delivering a "treat" to the lovely woman who gave me a break on the late fee when I utterly forgot the rent), went to the bank, and visited a good friend. I helped him adjust his serger's tension, we talked politics, and he gave me some Iris rhizomes (nearly black flowers!). In return, he is to receive some Miscanthus, and some Polygonatum. I'll toss in some Asarum, too ;) . Great guy; his partner is a delight, too. Their home is absolutely a little diamond in the rough.

There was NO NOISE when I returned home. Less than 1/2 of the north side (a gable end) of te garage is left to side. The mason has placed the thimble for the woodstove on the second floor of the garage and there was a note that the guys MIGHT do some framing for the remainder of the chimney tomorrow morning.

I'm no longer freaked out by the loss of privacy from the road (once you take your clothes off you're naked, right?). I just want to see the driveway in place and the power buried.

Deanne, the border looks FABULOUS! what did you use beneath the stones to keep weeds and grass from infiltrating the "nooks of granny"? It SO pretty!

Saucy, congrats on the big contract. You must be delighted... good things come to those who work diligently at doing a good job. :) I laughed about the irrational fear of skunks. Like they just trundle around yards waiting for opportunities to spray? hehehe... (esp. about them wanting to smell that stuff, too!).

Cynthia, do your dogs EVER close their mouths? ;) Every single time I see a shot of them, their jaws are agape. Or they're asleep... . I like Denise's assessment of Wicky looking like a ghose while "underway". How's the Monty Man?

I'm so horribly behind I've missed the whole spiral fracture thing, Marianne... but a dear friend of mind suffered one and it was NO fun.

Babs., I chuckled about the "first day of school" chaos. But knowing you, you had it under control in about no time flat.

That's it for now... you still "clean", Brenda?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 5:23PM
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These pictures are really old. The handsome lamp has been exchanged for something else. The desktop was painted by your's truly. Not perfect, but "convincing" enough that it has (yeah really!) fooled people. LOL

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 5:44PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I am on your side !!! I understand very well what you are thinking, and feeling, although my situation is quite differant.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 6:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 7:08PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Lets see if I am up for a long post!

Deanne, I love your rock border. I also was impressed with the expansion of the container garden. Good job!

Saucy, congrats on the new contract and for being able to see the future at last.

T, life being about the grandkids is NOT a bad thing at all.

Drema, I like your little lamb.

Yours too, bug!

Chelone, you are not callous in your attitude. Im so sorry to hear that your moms suffering continues. Cynthias dogs mouths are always opening because they cant help but smile in her care. (Hows that for two unrelated thoughts in one sentence?)

Crappy end to the week at work. Within fifteen minutes, a truck blew its transmission at a customers and a employee (one of the really, truly nice guys in this world) fell off a ladder and got hurt. Not too bad, but we did have to call the ambulance. What a way to start the weekend.

So while Im on bad news, I have to tell you all that my brother lost his battle with cancer this week. He was only 49 and has three kids. Its been hard to face all those semi-strangers who politely ask, "Got big plans for the weekend?" I did have a very good visit with him two weeks ago and have had some good conversations with his wife since then.

Okay, I have to stuff a pig there was no way to "unwind" the plans for the pig roast, so its time to get the pig out of the back of my car and into the roaster. Gee, almost typed "toaster" wouldnt you all be wondering how I got a 215 lb (live weight) pig into my toaster?


    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 8:25PM
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V., I'm glad you got to have a nice visit with your brother...and nice talks with his wife.

I am glad you have your pig roast....sounds like you'll be around people which is always good at a time like this, at least I think....

I hope my children care as much for me, Chelone....I would love to have the "last day" as you described.

'night all.


p.s. I concur with V.'s observation that the greys always smile because of Cynthia and think that Wicky is very ghost-like.....Now Sarah wants one of those, too :)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 9:15PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

V-I'm so sorry about your brother.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 10:33PM
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Oh V, I'm so very sorry about your brother's passing.

My best to you,

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 11:03PM
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Oh V., I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. I have only one and I know how I'd feel if he endured cancer and succumbed to it. Maybe the pig roast is a good thing; family, food, and fond remembrances. Say hi to those crazy sisters in law for me, willya? I don't imagine you really needed a blown transmission and an injury on top of it all. Take good care of you, there's a real shortage of people like you in this world!

I like the smiling Reed shot. He's getting big, huh?

Nice to see you pop in Marian, been wonderin' where you've been. But then, I haven't been particularly diligent in reading the past few weeks so I may have simply "missed" you... passing like ships in the night, 'n' all.

I like the idea of smiling dogs... our's smiles a lot, too. And still smells pretty bad. ;)

This weekend is the last gasp of summer for the kids in our town; back to school on Tuesday. I'm noticing a pinkening of leaves on trees and many of the apple trees are dropping their fruit (means watch out for skunks, raccoons, and deer in the twilight hours). Doesn't seem as though the summer months could have slipped by so quickly. I think some of the nicest weather in our area is in September, even though the diminishing sunshine makes me a bit sad.

I will feel better when we begin to get some landscaping done around the garage; I'm tired of the dropped out the sky onto the lot look!

Drema, loved your lily shot (what variety is it?), and I'm a sucker for hydrangeas anyway. Even our plain old, "boring" PeeGees.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 6:54AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone! We are in store for a gorgeous weekend. This morning is 63 degrees and dry and the temps are supposed to go to the high 70's low 80's. Couldn't be better. I'm going to see if I can talk Doug into working on the shrub border area. I have a small yak rhododendron that needs moving so I'm hoping we can get to that today. I don't really need to buy too many shrubs for this area because I already have several in pots that need to get into the ground and if I measure things ala Sue there really isn't much space left.

Drema, great photos! Those lilies are beautiful. I can't believe you still have some blooming. Mine are long past done.

V, so very sorry to hear about your brother. Ditto what Chelone said about the pig roast and saying hello to your sisters-in-law.

Bug, that Reed is a cutie patootie!

T. thanks! Glad you like the border. ~~ Sounds like you could use the mailbox trip as your cardio workout for the day!LOL

Chelone, love the faux finish you did on your computer desk top! That's beautifully done.

Denise, beautiful cabinets in your office space. ~~ I never save any magazines anymore. We used to have years and years of National Geographics and Smithsonian but we chucked them a while ago.

OK I'm off to get another coffee and savor the morning and enjoy the view from the patio.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 8:07AM
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It's been high nineties all week but possibly dropping into the eighties for next week. The pergola may yet see paint, possibly today. Will clear the grape and morning glories off and see how far I get. Summer beats a constant refrain of slow down, slow down, or I'll make you sweat, flip one page over to Sept, and it's hurry up, hurry up, can't you see summer is over? I think I just made summer sound like an INXS song, lol.

Condolences to you and your family, V.; that is indeed a huge blow for a family. Kids and adults grieve in such different ways.

Marian, I hope it's not your FM making you scarce on the idylls. Nice to see you pop in.

I love the word "agape" and was pleased to see Chelone's use of it. I'm all agape at your handiwork with the faux treatment of your desk. Corgies never stop smiling but they are never agape.

Deanne, I am certain that we will be seeing photos of the completed shrub border after lunch, iron-willed person that you are.

Lovely photos, Drema. My regales, 6-footers thick as rebar last summer, were a no-show for blooms, but lots more spindly stalks. I'm not sure if I should reset the bulbs or what.

So nice of Reed to check in. He may not have much to say yet, but that face says it all.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 12:08PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I like your "like ships in the night". One of my latest pasttimes is watching the Miraflores locks live camera in the Panama canal, and researching the ships that I well as many more aspects of the ship and shipping world. It is very interesting, since it is one of my favorite subjects. I am also attempting to read one of my old books that I bought from the local library on the Mississippi waterways ("Voices on the River" by Walter Havighurst....a 1964 book. ) I say " attempting" because I keep getting sidetracked by going to the computer to research some name or occurance that he mentions. The last chapter that I read was on the New Madrid fault earthquake of 1811. Great info on a Google search !

Hi Susan ! I explained "what's new" with me in my e-mail...:-)

Yes, Denise, my fibro, plus other 'stuff' is making me scarce....Thanks for 'asking'.

We will find out Tuesday the results of the prostate biopsy that Nolon had this past Monday. His PSA count was over 11... and the Drs suspect cancer.
Yesterday was his 81st birthday. Nothing special, except for phone calls from 2 of his sisters, and from Tim.

Our temps have moderated, but the drought continues. Last night it got down to 58F . I had to put a warmer blanket on my bed !


    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 2:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thinking of V and Chelone and absolutely everyone!

DSIL and DGS are on their plane to Manitoba now. Reed & Sarah remain a little longer.

Last night DS did experiments with DGS and today he took us on a real train ride.

Last night's chicken dinner by DSIL was superb but the chicken soup he prepared for lunch today was 'died and gone to heaven' delicious. He made noodles for it too!

Enjoy this beautiful day!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 4:21PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

V- In so sorry; I hope the family event will help remind you of fun times and provide consolation and hugs.

It's wonderfully cool here today; but i spent it inside at the ofc (aargh... my fault for not being to reinforce the sentence called "NO....")... hopefully there will be others.

Chelone - I do understand what a lovely end that you dream of... it's a sad reality that we dont get that chance to make such choices..... perhaps your Mum will find the time when it's right for her to go... I had a DM who who was such a fighter she was happy w/ whatever time she got, even in a condition I personally would never wish for, but for her, she seemed to cherish every moment extra no matter how deary it seemed to me -- if you can, try to enjoy the simple pleasures -- take her some ice cream and enjoy together or something?

Hope all have a wonderful peaceful weekend in some fashion...


    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 7:27PM
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We arrrived home last night. I have only skimmed all the happenings here. Gosh you go away for 10 days and you are hopelessly behind. I did see your sad, sad news V. My deepest sympathies to you and all who loved your DB.

I see that I missed a couple of birthdays. Since we had around 10" of rain the week before we left, things are overgrown and out of control in the garden right now so your birthday cards are from our trip.

The rose garden in Duluth with Lake Superior as the backdrop. Would you believe that this garden is over the top of I35? Which is the same Interstate as the Mpls. bridge collapse, just farther north.

Split Rock Light House.

I see there was some talk of #'s of containers. Here are mine all grouped together in my potting area. There are 2 groups with a sprinkler on a timer in the middle. See if you can count them LOL


    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 6:16PM
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Hello All!

I am having a very happy holiday weekend. I have been unable to tell you all about things happening in my house over the last couple of years, but today (and lots of other days, too) I have been feeling as if I have my family back. I am very happy.

Jake is so grown up and so child like all wrapped in a ball, but we're finding that if we embrace his will to be "grown up" then we win as parents. Turns out that letting him do his thing isn't so bad. He's become handsome (and "cool") this summer to boot :)

Sarah is easy going and plays the "game" of family life and just slides right by....that's scary to me because we'll miss the deeper stuff if we're not careful, but I am attentive and try to call her on it and talk about it.

My husband is mine again...or I should say ours. I caught him brushing the dog today and I cried. I've had to do everything myself for quite a long time now and that just struck me as something that was selfless as well as on the bottom of the "to do" list and there he was in the middle of the back yard doing it. I am happy to have him back.

Nothing really BAD happened, but it was significant to me, and hey, I'm pretty important in my own little world. No more being didn't get me anywhere. Eyes wide open now....

I know you must've all taken me for a nutcase. My hiatus was directly related to my depression.....I wish I could have told one of you instead of shutting you out.

Anyway, It feels like the old days - familiar - but new and exciting. I think we'll survive, and be better for the experience.

Thanks for putting up with my rant.

After a long day in the sun and a well deserved beer in my belly, I'm going to go put the steaks on the grill and try to scrub the grub off my body. 'night all.


p.s. Michelle - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the lighthouse! Can I put my pots under your sprinkler?

and....the work I did today was to remove the rest of the hedge and the lilac stand in the back, Wendy and Chelone! I will post before and aft pix for all....

    Bookmark   September 2, 2007 at 8:05PM
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Good morning everyone

We're back safe and sound after a fantastic time in England staying with Mum in Kent, big sis in Wales, camping in Devon and the last few days in London. Our flights yesterday were for once on time and even half empty and we were met by DH at the airport. In many ways it's lovely to be back and especially to see dear old Clousseau again but I'm missing England and family terribly right now. Annie, David and I were all up at 4.30 AM with jet lag, no doubt to crash at a very early hour his evening. At least our bags are unpacked! The kids don't start school till Wednesday and I'm waiting to hear if I need to go in tomorrow. So far I've stocked up on groceries, started laundry and thought I'd treat myself with a quick read of the Idylls.

The garden is a semi disaster as we must have had continued draught and heat, things are looking very burned out and my sprinkler system for containers failed. Normally I'd shrug this off being close to the end of the season but I'd foolishly let myself agree to give a talk on seed harvesting and saving, and to let people walk through the garden to collect seeds. Yikes:0( I had a message that the talk is full already and would I be willing to do a second evening? - double Yikes:0( :0( I think I'll be busy between now and the 13th. Do you think I could ply the attendees with enough wine for them not to remember what the garden actually looked like?

I'm way too far behind to comment though in time hope to catch up with the birthday girls. It's great to see everyone's names again - I missed chatting with you all! Hope to be back soon with tales from our travels and photos.

Happy Labor Day everyone! (I'll be laboring in the garden trying not to spiral into panic)


    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 8:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning!

How nice to begin the day with a lovely gathering of containers at Michelle's! I'm not up to counting yet today though...;-)
Well Saucy, I'm so glad the world is looking good for you. I always enjoy your posts and love to hear about your gang and see photos of your home, but most of all I enjoy your thoughts and humor.
Depression is a nasty business I can identify with. As they say though, it is often our choice what attitude we adopt. We can choose to be happy, content or otherwise with what we must face. This becomes so much more obvious to me when I deal with my step-grandson's behavior. He is a difficult number, full of whining and tantrums and often makes life very hard for himself. He has improved some this year, so my hopes are high for more progress this coming year.

Have I missed news of Deanne's daughter's new apartment? Perhaps the search is still on? Deanne, your garden photos are better than ever...and I hope you get to sit down once in a while to enjoy them! I seldom sit down for more than 30 seconds and really need to change that!

Last night we drove to Buffalo to have a splendid dinner and drop our son off at the bus station for his long trip back to Boston. So the family visits are winding down. Sarah and Reed are still with us for a few more days which is terrific. Then the workmen should be finishing up various repairs and I'll have to tackle the chaos indoors, when it is the outdoors that is where my heart is. My poor gardens are a disaster area that has been ignored for over a month. I have managed to move the sprinkler on occasion, but not much more. Two foot tall weeds everywhere. UGH. I was just thinking how long it would take a team of 3 full time gardeners to attack the mess and I fear it would be over two weeks! Of course there's only one of me....and snow will probably arrive before I finish.

Marian, I hope things go well for Nolon tomorrow. Waiting around and uncertainty are horrible for everyone.

Woody, I'm glad you've gotten so far with your edging project. The last few days have been ideal for garden work...but I've not been able to take advantage of it. Hope you have!

I've been enjoying everyone's photos here lately even when I've not commented. Nice to have Drema pop in, Cynthia's furry friends too! Cindy, what a year you've had! You need a garden holiday- or TWO! V, thoughts are with you. Photos of your projects would be a delight...;-)

Today is Sarah's first wedding anniversary! She's packed so much into this year and they are doing so well! Too bad they are apart today, but they'll see each other on Friday.

Happy holiday to one and all!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 9:04AM
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    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 9:06AM
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I'm busy erasing mistakes in my yard (clippers, shovel, saw!)

Just came in to start chicken for salad. Since a few asked for the recipe, I'm posting while waiting for water to boil. This is the stuff I took to Chanticleer at IU4. I'm sure it tasted particularly good because everyone was starving by the time I showed up a few hours late:)

I follow the recipe very loosely. Using whatever amount of chicken is in the package boneless or not, and a big bag of grapes and extra pepper, extra lemon, extra dressing.

Cajun Chicken Salad with Green Grapes

6 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts

To cook the chicken, boil it in a pasta pot with:
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
1/4 tsp thyme

When done, allow chicken to cool, then dice into 3/4" pieces.

3 cups of green grapes, each cut in half
1 large red pepper, diced in 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves (I use italian)

Mix it all together and then add the dressing.


Toast 1 tsp paprika with 1/2 tsp thyme in the same pan you cooked the chicken in.

1/3 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of sour cream
A little salt - the recipe calls for 3/4 tsp, way too much!
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 jalapeno pepper minced (I left this out of the picnic salad, as some don't like hot pepper. Start with less jalapeno just in case.)

Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. I make extra dressing as it needs more once it's been in fridge for a bit.

Hope everyone is enjoying the terrific weather! I'm making lists of things to do later this fall or next spring but also biting the bullet and moving somethings right now.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 1:19PM
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I'm in for a quick break. Most of the containers have been returned to their proper place. The lawn is 1/2 mowed, but should really be raked as the grass was so terrible long, but I doubt it will get done.

Some people get a t-shirt or sweatshirt as a souvenir of their vacation. I came home with 2 pots, 6 perennials and a bunch of bulbs.

At the beginning of the trip we spent a night with Rick's son and DIL. She's a nurse and worked all night so she slept the next morning. Rick wanted to help his son make some shelves in the garage. He asked if I minded spending some time by my self at the Arboretum. Odd question I think. The theme of their annual plantings this year was yellow, white and silver. Here are a couple of containers that caught my eye.

I'm glad to see that Mary's back and I would love to see some pictures of her travels.

Brenda, I'm pulling for you for quiting the smoking, you go girl! Also, I wanted to tell you that DH hasn't bought that tractor but we did some searching on our trip. Luckily once we got in northern Minnesota there are no farm implement dealers. LOL

I've copied and printed Cynthia's recipe. It sounds yummy.

I'm enjoying the pictures of 'bug's family reunion.

Saucy, I admire how you are sticking it out and keeping your family together. It is really best that way. I'm glad to hear that things have turned a good corner.

I know that there is much more I could comment on, but that's all I remember now. Happy thoughts go out to each of you today.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 2:01PM
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Marian, I hope Tues brings good news. Even if it is CA, that's a notoriously slow-growing one, with plenty of treatments available. Fingers crossed for you both. I share your interest in ships and waterways but have barely explored it yet. The harbor is practically my backyard, and ships have wove in and out my life, first with my dad's livelihood, now my DH. I'll get some harbor pics for you, if you'd like. Modern ships certainly have had the romance knocked out of them in terms of design, now just floating warehouses.

Michelle, it looks like your pots sailed through your absence, while Mary's sprinklers abandoned their post. I had a little of each, with some pots suffering from too much water. My entire planting area is about the size of Deanne's container area, so it only took a few days to set things right. Mary, the vino couldn't hurt with your class, and another possible approach would be to incorporate effects of vacation/nonfunctioning sprinklers into the workshop, dazzling them with your erudition. Or just run a slide show of Deanne's pots and tell the attendees you shoulda seen my garden three weeks ago!

Saucy, what a lovely post. Those moments when everything clicks -- you are very wise to recognize them before they dissolve. A single day is bursting with the oddest moments. A quick trip to the hardware store for more paint yesterday, playing an old CD of La Boheme I've heard a zillion times, I find myself bursting into tears because it's so damn gorgeous. I think the docs would call that "emotional lability," lol. And I agree, it is indeed a shocking moment to realize your boy has morphed into "handsome."

Deanne, your plant artistry temporarily blinded me to the fact that your lawn looks incredible for end of summer. Is that all Doug's doing?

We're being promised the heat is almost over. These are the times that try those without AC in their homes. The shower feels like superman's phone booth, where you come out renewed and ready to fight again -- several times a day. Went to a pub last night to escape the heat, and the din was excruciating. Immediately felt old and feeble, although strangely some young hooligan "hit" on me while waiting out front for DH, seeing through "beer eyes," no doubt. I don't remember clubs being that loud, even in my brief clubbing days in Hollywood. The guitarist and fiddler were good enough but way overamped. Never did know what the lyrics were to Whiskey in the Jar until Google told me this morning.

Michelle, just caught the photos you posted, and there's my Miscanthus 'Gold Band' I've ordered this fall in one of the pots. Plants were my trip souvenirs too. Recipe has been cut and pasted.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 2:12PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We are going to have another gorgeous day here. Incredible how beautiful the stretch of weather has been the last week or so. ~~ Doug started digging a hole for me to move a shrub to in the new border area and, well, ROOTS AND ROCKS. Then more ROOTS AND ROCKS. Good grief! It took him all day to make a two by three foot hole and he hasn't cleared all the roots out yet. Maybe I'll just plant one or two shrubs there. LOL ~~ Sunday we took the club airplane and flew down to Provincetown on Cape Cod and went bicycling for three hours. What a beautiful day for it. The only down side was that the place was mobbed but what did I expect for a perfect 10 day on Labor Day Weekend? There are some challenging trails through the dunes there that got my old cardio system pumpimg though. Doug took the plane up to 7,500 feet so we could fly directly over Boston and the view was incredible as you can imagine. Unfortunately. I didn't bring my camera.

Denise, thanks re the lawn. Doug does the mowing and spreading of fertilizer and I do the rest; weeding, edging, watering, watering and more watering. This is the first year in a while that I've really spent some time trying to get it in better shape. We've got an infestation of violets in the lawn that I just cannot get rid of. There isn't an herbicide made that will kill those suckers. Last year I finally resorted to using Roundup on a couple patches and it killed the lawn and everything in the three patches I used it on then in the spring, yep, you guessed it, I had perfectly good violets coming up in the middle of the bare patches of dead grass. So the only thing for it is to weed them all out by hand. Tedious doesn't even begin to describe it.

Michelle, lovely, lovely photographs! I especially love the lighthouse picture. Wonderful! Thanks for the beautiful card! Much appreciated. So how many pots do you have? I'm guessing its around forty or so. Glad they made it through your vacation in good shape. ~~ So two more pots???? LOL ~~ Do you know what the topiary plant is in that last photo?

Cynthia, thanks so much for the lovely card and recipe for that yummy chicken salad. I'll have to try that soon.

Mary, how wonderful to have you back! I've really missed your cheerful posts here. Bummer about your toasted gardens. I'm sure you'll do really well with your talks again. ~~ So glad you had a lovely time in England with your Mom.

Drema, thanks for the card! Love that fuchsia standard. So pretty.

Chelone, I just used the gravel that was under the rock border area. The reason Doug really liked the idea is that he asked Inta how she kept the weeds out and she said she used Preen in the spring and it kept them weed free.

Bug, it looks like youve had a wonderful visit with your family. BTW that soup with the home made noodles made my mouth water. Yum!

OK Im off to start the day. Lots of watering to do here as weve not had any rain in about a month now and its looking like itll be a week before there is even a chance of any.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 7:44AM
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Dagnabbit! I lost my post....hope to post later. Grumble, grumble....; )


    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 11:12AM
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Good afternoon

For some reason I'm having a hard time getting over jet lag - my body still doesn't know whether it's tired, hungry or what to do. We did the school supplies shopping this morning - along with what appeared to be half the school district. I'm not sure why everyone else left it to the last mninute - were they all in Engalnd too? Fortunately we have a fairly large Staples which still had everything in stock - school lists are becoming more specific and expensive. The tab for Annie and David was over $80.

This afternoon I helped Annie give her room a really thorough clean to start the year off on the right foot. She "cleans" her room independently along with doing her own laundry but I've come to realize that her idea of tidy and mine differ considerably - and remember I'm far from a neat freak LOL! Annie, bless her, is a dedicated pack rat and cannot bear to part with a thing. This includes every card ever given to her, drawings, dried flowers, school work, magazines, the list goes on and on (and on). Her method of tidying seems to be shoving things from desk or shelf into a closet or drawer where they are out of sight but even messier. She also values her privacy and considers her room her sanctuary so I'm hesitant to go in and throw things out when she's not there. (I might also find one of those "I hate my Mom" diaries.) In the mode of those organizing shows on TV we emptied every surface and drawer and went through the gargantuan pile sorting to donate, keep, recyle or file. The good news is I think we've won - much has been tossed and recycled, everything is dusted and vacuumed and her room looks great. We didn't have even the smallest arguement. Annie has gone to celebrated with a bike ride with best friend and I'm putting on the kettle for a cup of tea.

Did any of you seasoned Mom's have to deal with messy teenagers?


    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 3:34PM
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Wow, the first day back to work after being gone and its a day after a holiday which is always crazy. I may be crazy by the end of the day. I did have a very productive day yesterday and the garden is much more orderly. For anyone counting, my containers number 58. In the pictures they weren't exactly arranged as a display.

Mary, you will probably be horrified, but that was a battle that I chose not to fight. Their rooms were upstairs and ours down so I really didn't have to see it. As for laundry if they threw it down the clothes chute, it got washed. Funny thing is that they both have turned out to be extremely neat, more so than their mom.

Deanne, I meant to mention how cool I thought your puzzle border is. Great use for Preen too. I'm not sure about the topiary, but I will check my picture. It was nice that they had a nice list in each container with the plants included.

Denise, I can't remember the last time anyone hit on me LOL

Back to the grind


    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 4:47PM
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I have jet lag too. Imagine how it would feel if I'd actually gone somewhere. So long week-end lag I guess?

Mary come help me clean my office. It's going to fall in on me if I don't do something soon. And I'm cleaning out everything else just to avoid it. Yesterday I tackled a row of kitchen cabinets.

In the last few weeks I've cleaned all of the upstairs closets including the dreaded linen closet. And turned the closet in the front guest room into a 'dog' closet complete with a shoebag on the door for their collars, and two rods to hang sweaters and coats on top and pjs on the bottom. Extra fleece blankets on the shelf :) I should take a picture...

Yes, I really like Deanne's puzzle border too. Just perfect as always.

Here's a photo for Chelone of one sleeping and one smiling :) I washed Monty's face after that!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 6:18PM
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The "sad cloak" has settled 'round my shoulders, my friends. It's partly the time of year (have always found autumn terribly depressing, sorry!), partly the circumstances of my mother, and largely my own inability to deal effectively with "the pig" (nursing home care in general; my brother's term). Weary of the interminable stream of noisy machinery and (lovely) tradesmen, too. I want my home back, esp. at a time when I feel so deluged.

SO! you can probably not imagine my delight in reading the hopeful, happy, and contented post from Saucy, the light-hearted room cleaning adventure from Miss Mary, Michelle's vacation snapshots, etc.. (Lazy reader, sorry!). My spirits are bouyed by mundane tales of familial triumph. Yes, really. :) And I smile broadly at the joy you share with us all.

Thinking of Marian and Nolon.

Will have to jot down the luscious chicken salad recipe, too, Cynthia. I really liked it a lot... was doubly impressed by the little fruit salads, too. Monty?

There were serious "man toys" in the yard today. The big excavator. The new course of the driveway was dug out today (the remaining trees were taken down last week and stumped today). Tomorrow the big boulder will be removed from its place next to the road and moved to the northern part of the site. Then we will wait for the electrician and connect the power to the garage and from there to the house. And the godawful pole and overhead wires will be eliminated entirely! I have waited nearly 17 years for that to happen, my friends. If fireworks were not illegal in my state, I'd set off several in celebration. (hmmm... sparklers are OK, though... ).

Wrecks and I have begun baby walks again. He has to go back for a "follow up" and an X ray pretty soon, but he seems to be doing well. It will good to have my walking companion back; esp. at a time when daylight is fading, I'm feeling generally sad, and need the "reason" to make myself go out for a walkie.

One day, Mary, I hope to visit your native land. Will have to look up Kent (reminds me that I need a good, basic map of the shires to help me as I continue to read English history). The helpmeet's mother was Welsh (used to mutter to herself in Welsh when she was irritated about things, lol). His grandfather died of blacklung after years in the mines, about 3 mos. after the national healthcare went into effect, lol. His mining lantern graces the mantel above the woodstove.

I have fond memories of cleaning my room with Mum when I was a child. Only she used to let me play "hookey" from school and we'd spent the entire day sifting through the accumulated detritus. She never made me throw anything out, though... it was about "consolidation" and organization. Funnily enough, the exercise actually DID manage to make an impression! As a teen I was very tidy, a necessity if I wanted to achieve good marks in barn management from my 4-H leaders. It has stuck with me over the years. Have faith!

I have to get the cur out for his post prandial wee-wee/dump and see if I can't round up the remaining "feral" cat (Polly; who ought to have been named Beryl because it rhymes with feral).

Hi to Babs. and thinking of V. and the weekend pigroast... wondering how the family remembered the recently departed. With great love and affection, methinks!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 6:30PM
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Chelone - "post prandial wee-wee/dump" has just become my favorite phrase. LOL!! Hope your spirits lift soon. Wonderful Rex is taking baby steps again.

Michelle - I'm not horrified at all at the decision to leave your DD's room alone. We've always valued creativity over tidyness, and family time over that spent on housework. However, there is a level of cleanliness I try to maintain for health reasons if nothing else, that Annie has no awareness of. Yet.... I'm very taken with Chelone's idea of taking a day off from school to clean - we could make it a fun one with lunch thrown in to reward hard work.

Cynthia - thanks for the chicken recipe. It brings back fond memories of how delicious your picnic was and how much fun that day was in general. Monty has a great smile!

Time to round up Annie and David for dinner and then coerce David into hair wash and bath time. The children are still out with a friend riding bikes, extracting the last moments of fun from the vacation. I too am sad its all over.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 6:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Susan, Denise, Chelone, and anyone else thinking of Nolon and I.....His reports were all negative !!!!! So...on with life. Maybe I will sleep better tonight.
And to add to the good news, we are getting rain. A nice shower today, and more in the next several day's forecast.
Also, the temps have fallen to a much more comfortable degree.
Chelone, how I wish I could help uplift your spirits. It is certainly no fun being at the end of your rope....I was there not long ago. Hang in there, there are better days a-coming.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 7:36PM
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Marian, that's the best news possible. And the blessing of rain too!

Here's a bit of silliness that's keeping our spirits aloft in this heat wave, like a reject from a '50s sci-fi movie. Eden's evil little gnome man would fit in nicely, climbing out, dripping, waving his trowel. It's actually a Christmas present, a fire pit I gave to BIL/SIL that was "regifted" back to me, since they wanted something larger. The cats hang out near it like a watering hole on the Serengetti. Us too. Just staring and twirling the fishing float.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 9:56PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hello to everyone. The funeral was today and I am spending a quiet evening on the coach doing nothing. The pig roast on Saturday was a great success - a lovely evening, a great turnout of good friends and one tasty pig! The "find of the year" was the farmstand that picked their corn at 6:30 Saturday morning and had 5 dozen ears ready for me to pick up at 9:00 am. It was hands-down the best corn I've ever had.

Monday was the vistation for my brother - a long day that at times was hard and at other times was simply amazing. A cousin that I had not seen for 39 years showed up! He had been estranged from the family for a long time but decided to re-establish contact. I never understood why the family had resented him as much as they did, but I learned a few pieces of family history last night that somewhat explained what happened.

It turns out that I had a cousin that no one had ever told me about. His name was Jimmy and he was killed in an army plane crash before I was born. Apparently Jimmy's death greatly affected the family, and our grandmother died a day or two after they were informed of his death. (Since I'm just learning all of this, I'm not sure what the entire connection might be here - did the news of his death give her a shock, or had she been ill and the timing of events just compounded the tragedy?)

Anyway, the estranged cousin was Jimmy's nephew, and his action that turned the family against him was to enlist in the army. I suppose his mom and grandparents (whom he lived with) were terrified of history repeating itself.

I'm still rather amazed to be learning all this so much after the fact.

Also found out that when there was a major plane crash in our neighborhood in 1972, my brother and his friend were one of the first on the scene, and my brother actually touched the nose of the downed plane. I'm sure he never talked about that because my mother would have killed him if she knew he had gotten that close to the crash. This crash had always rattled me, because I had been Christmas shopping and remembering stopping at a counter to look at wallets for my boyfriend. I looked at a couple but put them back, decided I had done enough shopping for the day and headed home. Had I taken a few more minutes and bought a wallet, I would have been driving past when the plane crashed. It was a rather infamous crash because it had links to the Watergate affair. More info below.

Today I decided to stop on my way home and do a little totally unnecessary shopping at IKEA. I found a small Sanseveria cylindrica and a cheery green pot to put it in. When I scanned the pot, it came up as an "Idyll flowerpot". Why did I feel like my friends were shopping with me? :) You can see my new pot at

Back to the grind - garbage to be taken down the driveway!


ps to Kathy - would you please take your Dodgers back home? signed, a distressed Cubs fan

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 10:06PM
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I remember growing up and having a walk in closet that became such a mess with 3 girls sharing one room. Finally on a Sat. morning my mom would send us in and tell us not to come out until it was clean.

Interesting when we were on vacation, I was browsing a garden book that I had recently purchased. I recognized a cute potting shed that reminded me of one that you all saw in Inta's garden. I checked tonight and sure enough it is hers. Also, interesting is one of her metal troughs looks just like a picture I snagged off the internet several years ago for inspiration. If you remember last summer I tried one but I wasn't real pleased with the results.

Deanne, the variegated topiary is euonymus japonica 'Silver King'. Its supposed be a fast upright grower.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 11:11PM
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Checking in to see if Kathy has returned and found V.'s moving account of the funeral. Our recent family funerals, too, have had startling reappearances of the long lost, and it is truly amazing how long family secrets, not to mention grudges, can be held on to. "Flights of angels," for your DB, V.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 12:31AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Condolences to V. ~~ RE cousin, Family dynamics are a mystery. So the family was afraid he'd get killed in the Army so they didn't speak to him the rest of his life? Unreal. ~~ So happy the pig roast was a huge success. Hmmmm... maybe I'll have to time my visit to you with the pig roast some year. LOL

Thanks Michelle for that information on the euoymus. I kind of thought it looked like that. I'm thinking of training a cutting of my Coprosma kirkii into a standard. It grows very fast also and would be a great specimen if I could pull it off. ~~ Interesting you found a pic of Inta's potting shed in a gardening book.

Denise I absolutely love that fire pit used as a water feature! You clever woman you.

I'm getting worried about Eden. I hope all is well with her Mom.

Mary, when DD was a bit younger than Annie her room would have been condemned by the board of health. One time she'd left the windows open and we got a summer thunder storm. When I went in there to close the windows I COULD NOT REACH THE WINDOWS for the accumulated detritus on her floor. I fell down tripping on something and needless to say was quite unhappy with the situation. Privacy is one thing but a fire hazard is another. I wound up starting the clean up with a snow shovel and oversized garbage bags. She got the message and finished cleaning her room.

Marian, great news about Nolan.

Well we are in for another beautiful day here. This morning it's 49 degrees outside and I'm afraid we are going to be in for an early frost this year. The mornings have been downright chilly for the last week or so. I'm getting anxiety attacks over how I'm going to get all this plant material in for the winter.

Cynthia, love the pic of the puppies! You realize you are engaging in PLAT behavior by cleaning out everything except what really needs to be done? (Perfectly Legitimate Avoidance Technique) I've been known to scrub toilets instead of painting. LOL

Here is a photograph of my 'on sale' cement pot I bought myself for my birthday. For some reason I had a hard time getting a decent photo of it. I just love the grapes on the handles and the leaves on the rim.

And a photo of my garden helper. Luke was pretty funny yesterday and followed me around for an hour or so.

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 7:22AM
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Good morning

V - I am so very sorry for the loss of your brother. How special that your long lost cousin made his appearance - I wonder how many family members recognized him. You've had quite a few days of emotion.

Marian - wonderful news that Nolon is in the clear!! Enjoy your cooler temps.

Deanne - that is a gorgeous urn. Luke has such beautiful coloring.

Annie has left already for the first day of 8th Grade. Her concerns were over who would be in home room with her, what to wear, and whether Physics was going to be hard. But she was cheerful and excited and when I peeked into her room her bed had been made and PJ's neatly folded. Yay!!

David's bus is almost 2 hours after Annie's (talk about a drawn out send off) but he has no worries about getting back to school and can't wait to see his friends again. I will probably feel quite lost when they are both gone as I don't start work till tomorrow and might even get something accomplished in the garden.

We are predicted several days in the mid 90's with not a drop of rain in sight so anything still looking decent should be suitably crispy by next Thurdsay's talk. Somehow being out there is not so much fun. Is it too early for Bailey's?


    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 7:58AM
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Good morning!

May I first say that it is NEVER too early for Baileys!! :D Gosh, I've not had some Baileys in my coffee for a very long time.....sounds delish.

School starting again. I believe the local schools are beginning today, too. I do miss those days of school clothes and supplies shopping...I loved when my children were little -- but that could be because as I've aged, I have a more selective memory and don't remember all the tough times with children? ;o)

V, I am thinking of you often these days.

Michelle, you took some lovely photos, thank you for sharing them!

Denise, how did you plug the drain hole in the fire pit? My brother gave me his old one and it sits out in my front flower bed.....just waiting for me to come up with an idea or plan to use it.

Deanne, the new container is a neat one and I wish I had a handsome garden helper like you have.

Mary it is WONDERFUL to have you back!! :D Missed you while you were gone.

I hope Sue is doing well......her garden weekend is coming up soon and she is often on my mind, too.

Honey? How are you?

Good to read Saucy's happy post. I wish I had something helpful to offer that would lift Chelone's spirits.

We just stayed home over the weekend and holiday. DH took yesterday off from work, so had an especially long weekend (Friday was taken as a vacation day, too). I had the babies here and they are very close to walking. The new thing is to stand up and then lift both hands in the air, standing/balancing without support. They then clap for themselves and grin. Fun little tykes (most of the time). I cannot figure out if life will be easier or harder for me when they get even more mobile....

Thomas rolled over for the first time last week. James tried to pick up a bumblebee -- and yep, got stung. He learnt a valuable lesson about listening to mom and believing her when she says something he plans to do is not a good plan or idea.

Well, coffee cup is empty (not a good thing) so I'm off to fill it up.

Hello to all.....

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 9:28AM
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Time to catch up on Idyllin' after a busy weekend that included Brad's birthday, a trip to the zoo with Bella, a family get together, and finally getting the bedroom finished. Also yesterday my mom got a good report from her oncologist. The CT scan showed that the chemo is working and the latest mass has shrunk. I haven't had time to catch up on what's been going on with you all. I'll go back and do that this afternoon while Bella's napping. I see Deanne has a couple of threads up too. Can't wait to get over to them and see! Be back later with comments and I'll leave you with pics from the zoo and of the finished bedroom.

Bella doing her tiger impression

Sizing herself up to a rhino

End of the day

Aound the room starting at the door

I love all of this dust free storage space under the bed!!!


    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 12:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Fabu-Fabu Eden! I love it all! The news about your Mum especially!

Good to hear Nolon's news!

Mary, when the gang leaves on Friday, will you come help me tidy up the house? Bring Annie along! It is a pig pen!

This morning I bought an oak tree to plant for our friend Ed who died of cancer early this year. Seems the right variety to honour him.

I'm really quite wiped out. DH is talking again with ministers in Toronto today about environmental business and policies, 2 more meetings nearby later this afternoon. The workman is making progress slowly on basement improvements and DH is also working on the lighting in our bathroom. Then comes the exterior painting. I suspect interior painting will be my winter activity. I'm going to NEEEED a trip to Edmonton though....

Tomorrow is supposed to be incredibly HOT and so next week will be cooler and time for massive outdoor efforts.

Later my friends,

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 1:35PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a quick pop-in.
V, I'm so very sorry about your brother. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Chelone, I wish I had something wise to say to you. I guess a hug will have to do ((Chelone)). Glad to hear "Wrecks" is up for a bit of a walk these days.
Marian, I'm glad to hear that Nolon's tests were negative, and that you're getting rain.
I have to cut this short. We're getting ready to head for Michigan tomorrow. Will be gone for most of a week, I imagine. It's been crazy here...pigs decided to get sick just as vacation time drew near, so we weren't sure what was going to happen there. They're on the upturn, so we're gettin' while the gettin's good :)
I'll catch up when I get back...who knows-maybe I'll even have pictures :) I've still got two disposable cameras from last year waiting to be developed. Sheesh!
Hi to all, see ya when I get back!!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 6:36PM
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V, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's passing. I'm so glad you did get to spend time with him. My thoughts are with you and his family.

Saucy, glad things are turning around for you. I think all marriages go through ups and downs. Someday you'll look back and be so glad you stuck it out. I remember reading once where they'd interviewed couples who'd been married 50 years or more and pretty much every one of them said that there were times through the years that they stayed together just because of the commitments they had made to each other and how glad they were that they had.

Michelle, looks like your containers sailed through your vacation with no casualties. Good to have you back.

Mary, ditto to you too. I missed you guys! As for the subject of the kid's rooms, mine were pretty good. Jen's naturally an organized person, Megan less so. If they got too bad I'd do what you did. Go in and help them get it all sorted out. David prefers that I just clean his room myself periodically. He's not too messy though.

Deanne, that rock border is a thing of beauty. Very nice and I also like how you have the hostas and grass arranged in the bed. I'm not looking forward to sorting out what has to be brought in for the winter either. Time to get working on it though. We usually have a frost by the first week in Oct. or so.

Denise, great use for the fire pit. I love the glass orb.

I picked up a sans. cylindrica over the weekend too. I love the pot you chose for yours V. AlsoI got another variegated sans and a new pepperomia. Like I need more plants:) I did end up ordering that new agave too.

Have a great vacation Brenda. Hope the pigs stay on the mend while you're gone.

Marie, the oak tree will be a beautiful memorial for Ed.

I usually don't look forward to the end of summer but it's been so hot today and I find myself wanting autumn to begin. Very strange for me. I'm just not in much of a gardening mode these days. I'm ready for it to be over for this year. Never ready for it to be winter though.

That's about it for thoughts from me tonight. Hope you're all having a good evening.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 7:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks to all for your good thoughts.

V, so sorry about the loss of your brother.

We have had showers and sprinkles all night and all day. Such a blessing!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 10:22PM
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Hello everyone !! I'm back in the Napa Valley, got in a few hours ago and just wanted to pop in and say time to comment till tommorow..I have been enjoying all the posts as a last hurrah of my vacation...
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 11:49PM
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Running short of time this morning but wanted to tell Eden how happy I am that her Mom's treatment is having the desired effect. You must be so relieved. Your new "dust free" storage/bed is terrific. I really admire the creative way you pull together what appears to me to be a rather small space (yes?). I think you send Angela Lansbury to Denise for a photo op. on the Serengeti... ;). Great shots of Bellatheball, too.

Marian, soak up some rain for me, too, willya. VERY dry here, too. You can see the very tops of the maple trees wilting ever so slightly and the few areas of our lawns that are prone to dormancy in dry times have "folded their tent", too. And terrfic news about Nolon! do you think we're on a roll with good stuff happenin'?

The construction trailer LEFT THE YARD yesterday! The excavator is still here, the huge boulder has been moved, and the scar that will become the new driveway entrance should receive gravel today/tomorrow, and the original entrance will be dug out and filled with loam to receive screen plantings. I am now worried about rescuing the daylilies and some host from the area... .

Brenda, I hope you have a great vacation, the swine a postcard, two. Sick swine doesn't sound very good, would worry me, too.

I have a bad case of urn envy... or, "urn yearn"? And wonder if Deanne selects her mulch color to coordinate nicely with her cats (handsome boy).

T.'s description of the twins made me laugh. It's amazing how fast they grow and move from phase to phase. As soon as they master one foot in front of the other I imagine she will be racing for the Bailey's.

Welcome back, Kathy.

I loved the image of the cats hanging around the '50s sci-fi reject. With the heat wave in your area how long does it take natural evaporation to make a noticeable effect on the water level?

Thinking of Wendy and Saucy, and Sue who probably hasn't left her garden for weeks now. How about a TGIF Lyme Disease update, m'dear?

Loved the smiling Monty and have to jot down the chicken salad recipe before I completely forget about it.

Now I really have to go... my toes are COLD, but the warm weather returns this afternoon.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 5:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Humid and 90 expected here today and tomorrow. Then I believe Fall weather is expected. I hope so as I MUST get out in the gardens and work miracles FAST.

Welcome back to Kathy. I hope she manages her terrible heat. She must be laughing at my 90F!

Marian, we need rain badly too. Perhaps on Saturday we'll get a bit.

Chelone, your reports on the building and landscaping sound like quick progress from my point of view. Here the work seems much slower. On the plus side, the basement room is ready for the painter (yeah, not ME!) and a new couch. (when I can afford it!) The main bathroom has all the electrical work completed by DH and plaster repairs to the wall done by the same fellow who did the basement work. Outdoors, the window repairs are being worked on today. When the outdoor painting is being done, I'm sure you'll hear grumbles about my plants being stepped upon.

Today is my last full day with Sarah and Reed and so I'm off. First the dentist for Sarah though...then lots and lots of packing! I know how tired T must be, but at least she gets to enjoy the progress of the twins. I am missing these guys even before they leave....Oh my heart! Boo Hoo.

Can you stand how happy my funny boy is first thing in the morning...without coffee?

Here comes the sun through my window!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 7:52AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It's only 50 this AM but tomorrow is supposed to hit 90. Yikes!

Bug that Reed is as cute as it gets!

Eden, I just LOVE your new room! Beautiful, beautiful, beutiful!!! You are one of the most creative people I know of and are ALWAYS thinking 'outside the box' when it comes to decorating your home and gardens. I love that railing on the wall. So very clever. That bed is a masterpiece of efficient use of space and so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. ~~ Love the pic of Brad with the sleeping Bella. So cute.

Chelone, sounds like good progress is being made. I can remember when we put this addition here and after four weeks I couldn't stand to have all these people at my house every single day. Made me crazy! I couldn't wait for everyone to leave and have my home back to myself again. ~~ "Urn yearn" LOL!

OK I'm out of here, my friend is coming to pick me up in an hour and I've not watered yet so I must run. have a great day


PS here is a pic my friend snapped a couple weeks ago. I thought it neat that it shows just how big that brug is

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 8:18AM
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Weve been hitting 90 for the last few days, but storms are brewing. I heard hail and wind mentioned, which is a farmers (and gardeners) biggest fear. Things are really supposed to be cool for the weekend.

I started working in the childrens garden. It is a pretty rough area. There many rocks to be picked up, but at least I started. The plan is to get a small playhouse that my grandpa built for my siblings and me when we were small. Hopefully, it survives the move. I thought it would be pretty neat for Kenzie to play in the playhouse that her great-great-grandpa built for her grandma.

I have also started some seed collecting and even took a few coleus cuttings.

Little Reed just exudes sweetness.

Eden, Brad did a wonderful job on the bed and you did a fabulous job decorating the room. The topiaries, chandelier, mirror grouping and spindle shelf are all great touches. Did you paint the dressers? I have a maple set in the guestroom that Im thinking of painting. The finish isnt the best anymore and its a bit dated looking. Im glad to hear that things are looking up a bit for your mom. That rhino is pretty realistic looking and Bella looks pretty brave.

How nice to see Deannes smiling face this a.m. The brug is really something. The new urn is lovely. One that I got earlier this year has a grape motif also.

Brenda, have fun up north. I love Mackinac Island. There are quite a few cute little gardens there along with the wonderful displays around the Grand Hotel.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 10:44AM
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I lit out for a job yesterday with no watch, dead cell phone, mistook the address on Wilshire by a few blocks on Mapquest, so yo-yo'd up and down Wilshire on public trans., first passing it ten blocks on the express, back again on the local, oops too far. I'd get off on one corner, run to the opposite side of the street and hop another one. Begged an astonished express driver to treat his bus like a local and let me off e-x-a-c-t-l-y where I needed to go, since all the construction was messing up the buses, and he did. In short, spread chaos everywhere I went, lol. Made it on time, though. And you all thought there was no public trans. in LA! The attorneys hated each other, and there was lots of "Stop pointing that finger at me! If you don't put that finger away..." Nice. My DH suggested I try, "He's rubber and you're glue, whatever you say bounces off him and sticks to you." Fits the general playground tone anyway. Had a bunch of young male Brits in the back of the train on the way home. Mary, I could listen to that accent all day. Every words sounds hilarious, ironic, unbearably clever.

Eden, your room is lovely. Wonderful news about your mom. Shouldn't the zoo be wheeling Brad out to the car, with an attendant carrying Bella? ;) Zoos are such guilty pleasures for me. The LA Zoo has been notoriously bad to its elephants, who exhibit that neurotic swaying syndrome since they don't have enough room to move. San Diego Zoo has amazing plantings, really first rate. I passed the LA Brea Tar Pits with their mired mastodons yesterday and wished I had a camera to show Bella. On my to-do list is find a purse big enough to hold what it presently does plus a camera, but the ones I like are $250 plus. That's a lot of plants -- my usual shopping calculation.

I can't think of worse abuse than having workers around the house, day in and day out.

Marian, I don't believe in rain anymore. I put it in the same category as Haley's comet, mid-day eclipses...

The firepit has no drainage hole. Maybe that's why it was regifted?? I was so sure I had that Christmas present nailed shut. Evap. rate seems negligible. Much scientific discussion on whether the float's constant movement keeps water mosquito-free. I was tempted to throw a few fish in too. Now that the heat's lessening, I'll be returning to my senses. Soon. Any day now ;)

That pot is stunning, Deanne. And lots of idyll reports of S. cylindrica coming in.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 11:04AM
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So Chelone, have you ever seen those websites where they mail a teddy bear or garden gnome all over the world and take pictures? Maybe that's what I should do with little creepy guy, mail him out to Denise for his first photo in an Idyll garden, lol? And yes my rooms are small. That bedroom's around 10x13. Sounds like that garage project is moving along nicely even if it's noisy. It'll all be worth it when it's completed.

Deanne, my favorite picture of your garden, one with you in it! That brug is amazing. What a great urn. When I was at Homegoods last weekend they had a couple of really nice ones with grapes and faces on them but both a little different from each other. I should have grabbed them right off. Someone else did before I decided. They were the first ones I'd seen there this year that I really liked.

Michelle, I did paint the furniture. It's maple too. Funny that you mention using the playhouse that you're grandpa built. I'm in the process of repurposing, to store dvds, and painting a dresser that my grandpa made for me when I was born. I'm glad you're working on the children's garden again.

Denise, love the image of you spreading chaos wherever you went, lol. The Detroit Zoo has an adopt a garden program. I have a group of friends who adopted one and go down day a week to work on it. I've heard the Toledo Zoo is really something and we're thinking of taking Bella there next summer. When my kids were small we always went to the zoo on my birthday. I've always loved zoos too.

Brenda, have a fun vacation. My neighbor went up to Mackinaw last weekend. Always a fun place to go and only about an hour from my mom and dad's place.

Marie, that Reed's a doll. What a personality. Love the goofy faces:)

Hi Kathy! That's one more Idyller back from vacation.

Cynthia, nice to see the sleeping/smiling pups and I've copied the chicken salad recipe. Sounds good!

Time to get Bella some lunch so TaTa For Now as Tigger would say:)


    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 1:16PM
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There was a couple in the local viewing area who had a cement frog taken from their yard some years ago. And yes... with a week of its disappearance the local TV station received a shot of him in front of the Eiffel Tower... and thereafter at several other famous sites throughout the world. He was returned to couple's home, unharmed, and they never found out who was responsible for the heist. So YES! I think Creepy (nee Angela) really must make the grand tour for photo ops. I think it might be a terrific way to pass the cold, dark months!

I was home no more than 15 minutes before the nursing home called to give me the report on what Mum ate today after returning from the psych. ward. THEN they told me her hearing aids are GONE. Vanished like a fart in the wind... no evidence of them at the psych. ward, in the ambulance, anywhere. I am incandescent with anger right now and was civilly COLD to the director on the telephone, telling her they were "on the stick" for them. She hung up on me, and I called her back, saying "we must have been disconnected" and to call me after my alteration appointment leaves later this afternoon. I have called my brother, too.

I hustled to make a large canopy for a retractible awning this morning (big! 14' projection and 18'8" wide), then recover a cardtable. Hunted for white vinyl (to no avail) and then cracked off two pool cover repairs. I am FILTHY; I think they're about the grossest job going; big, awkward, and DIRTY. But they "pay the rent".

I should wash my face before my customer arrives.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 3:17PM
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Hello everyone

First day back for me was productive but tiring - it was great to see all the work peeps again but I'm not quite ready to admit summer's over. Still, I enjoy getting my room ready and am excited about the thought of starting visits with children again.

Eden - your bedroom is as stylish, creative and comfortable as the rest of your house. Congratulations!! You and Brad are a great team. It was also heartwarming to hear that your Mum is making progress.

Chelone - keep us posted on the missing hearing aids - simply unbelievable:0(

I too love the idea of passing the ugly guy (gal?) around for a photo thread. I think we could all have some fun and provide a little extra entertainment as the evenings shorten and darken.

Denise - while an English accent is nothing I think twice about, British humour is something I really miss. I had many, many laughs with family and friends when we were home. By the way, DH spends a week each month in Long Beach - I imagine fairly close to you?

Deanne - I love seeing Idylls gardens, but even better, seeing the Idylls themselves amongst their flowers. Thanks for posting!

GB - Reed makes me smile every time I see him. I can almost hear the little noises he must make too. I can only imagine how much you will be missing everyone once they leave. I talked to Mum a couple of times this week and she is feeling the same way after we all departed in different directions following our last 3 days together in London.

I need to move as I have Parents information night at David's school this evening and I'm out of milk.

Hi to those I missed.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 4:26PM
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Reed is almost cross-eyed in pic #2. Keep it up GB and your visits will be restricted :) I love seeing pictures of him, thank you really for adding joy to my day everytime you post pics of him and the happy family.

The room is ge-orgous Eden! Who is that in the picture with Brad? Is it David with a summer do? The bed is such a great idea, and if I had a bed like that Dannie couldn't hide under there on stormy (or non-stormy) nights.

BTW folks, sorry I didn't caption well. That's Dannie smiling, and Monty in the background with the dirty face. Dannie is a big girl and Monty is a big man but very small of stature.

I want Angela-icky man to come here so I can outfit him in hearing aids and see how fast it takes to lose them. Get a Lojack for those things Chelone. Can't believe that woman hung up on you, apparently she isn't used to being held accountable?

Deanne, I hardly recognized you with a hat! It is indeed very nice to see you in your garden.

Enjoyed the trip to the zoo, Luke of the jungle, and Denise's swimming hole.

Dogs are ready for w-a-l-ks, gotta run.

Later all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 6:18PM
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The morning glories are now blooming with the golden hops -- I wish it was clematis! I've got Arabella on order, but realistically it's probably not meant to be. Yes, getting a bit fatalistic on clemmies. The golden clump is the 'Isla Gold' tansy, one of my faves, and the tall drink of water in the pot is African foxglove.

Babs & Cynthia, your checks arrived, and that's way too much for postage. My DH did NOT need to expedite shipping since it was only bulbs, so the mistake was at our end. I consider the ball definitely back in my court, so watch out!

Re sending Eden's Angela/gremlin, anybody see 'Amelie'? Big plot point was the garden gnome traveling around the world.

Funny thing about Reed's pix, I KNOW the reason he always seems to be bustin' out of his drawers is from the intense beams of delight focused on him from mom and nana/memere, which he's trying his darnedest to imitate and give his own spin when reflecting back. So the entire house is making googly faces! I made the gookie face to a stranger's baby in an elevator today -- impossible not to.

Master of gookie:

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 7:07PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow, how can I follow a gookie face?

Deanne, when are you going to fess up to the lurkers that you are only 4'8"?

And I am convinced that gb's daughter did not have a baby and Marie has been posing one of those lifelike dolls for all her photos. That's the only possible explanation for why "Reed" is such a perfect, adorable baby. Chelone hates dogs and I know that real babies can't be that cute. ;-)

Yeah, I'm in a weird mood tonight...

Lots to do, including laundry to wrangle and a suitcase to pack. I have a weekend conference for work, and I'm looking forward to two days that are so heavily scheduled I'll barely have time to sneeze. I have an intense need to be distracted right now.

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts, prayers and condolences.

Let's close with a photo from Saturday evening. We'll call this "Three chicks sitting on rocks with drinks" Do I see Les lurking behind that elephant ear?

I don't know if the laptop will make the suitcase cut, so in case I am without access, you all have a great weekend!


    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 10:17PM
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The first day back to work after vacation is kind of an ultimate Monday-especially if it falls on Thursday .. I was back one day and tomorrow I am off for phase one of the d*#m teeth ordeal. I better write this post now because Ill probably be drooling on the keyboard in 24 hrs.
Boy does my garden ever look like hell after a week with no dead-heading ! It was hot too, so there was a bit of that high-temp malaise that happens around here . I think my felcos are going to get quite a work-out this weekend if I can operate them while on Vicadin.(Do they qualify as heavy machinery ??)

V., so sorry to hear of your DBs passing. My best wishes to you and your family.I hope he is enjoying peace and freedom from pain in his new world. And fear not, my baseball dudes have blown the Midwest for the City by the Bay. I was offered tickets to tomorrow nights game but I will be enjoying my cold soft periodontal diet and viewing the game on the tube.

Denise, I enjoyed the mental pic of you dashing back and forth across Wilshire in quest of the correct locationSo I was at Portland nursery on Saturday and lo and behold there was a cart loaded with 8" pots of Sansiveria Cylindrica. 44 bucks each ! I passed on that So obviously Im dying to hear prices that others have seen/paid. They are just too cool looking. Love the "water feature" by the way.

Eden the bedroom looks great ! I especially love the colors of the linens and the three mirrors on the wall. Splendid !

Chelone, wow, this saga with your Mum seems to just go on and on with out much resolution. What a boat-load of crapola. I have enjoyed reading some of your brief yet eloquent tales of better days with Mum, it reminds us that Mum was once like us, and we all could be like Mum one day.

Marian, glad to hear that Nolan got a passing grade.hope hes feeling ok and you too-isnt it about time for you to post some pics of your famous African Violets ?

Deanne, if you dont mind could you please stop posting pics of that Brug ? Im sure that pre-oral surgery drool is not good for me! Funny about your DDs room ---my DD is an incredible slob to this day ! I was at her house in Eugene this week and she was giving me the tour-lo and behold she opened the door of the unoccupied bedroom and announced this is my closet. The floor was strewn with clothes piles everywhere. The rest of the house was neat though !

Cynthia, glad to hear from you and the 4-leg kids. That chicken salad recipe will be made soon here-thanks for posting it.

Ok, this about all I can manage right nowHi to all and thanks to all who posted photos of the Idylling stations

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 6, 2007 at 11:25PM
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Oooh, Kathy, more dental woes, huh? I'll be thinking of you. How long does it take the worst of the after effects to subside? Felcos as "heavy equipment" made me chuckle.

While my need for distraction is different from V.'s, I understand completely. It's been a tough couple of weeks for you and you certainly deserve some "decompression" time. I smiled at the tale of the missing cousin (and the plane crash!); EVERY family has a story like that (mine is that a grandfather didn't die of a heart attack, in fact, he was found swinging in a tree... he hanged himself!). I loved the shot of you ladies in the swimming hole.

No gravel was spread yesterday (mercifully), the noise may've made me even chillier than I was to the DIRECTOR. Cynthia, you nailed it; my greatest irritation is that not a soul in the place is willing to assume any responsibility or accountability for what I'm coming to see as slipshod performance. My brother has an appointment with the attorney on Monday.

Will be thinking of 'bug this day... maybe Angela should go to her house first? :)

"Time to make the doughnuts"

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 5:29AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Its only 64 outside right now but is supposed to hit 90 today. The plants wont know what hit them after a week of cool temps and a couple mornings in the 40s. Looks like we are going to have six over for dinner tonight so Ive got to get a move on and get the chunks taken off the house. Doug wont be home until a bit later as hes driving home from Rochester this afternoon so its going to be a busy day all around.

Yesterday we wound up with some really strong wind gusts and it blew over five of my huge plants and a couple of the smaller ones. What a mess! I had to prune off quite a bit of broken coleus, plectranthus, acalpha etc. etc. etc. What a bummer.

Kathy, so sorry the brug pics are causing you distress! LOL Its about to throw about two hundred flowers so youll have to excuse me when I post a pic of it in full bloom. Ill post a warning for you to avoid looking at that post. LOL ~~ sorry for your continued dental woes. ~~ LOL about your DDs closet! ~~ Bummer you are still dealing with oral surgery. When are you going to be finished with that?

Chelone, Good grief!!!! They lost her hearing aids again? Thats beyond belief! What a bunch of incompetent idiots, and they are charging how much $$$ for this? Unbelievable. Id be frothing at the mouth.

V. great pic of the pond! LOL about 48"

Denise, love the morning photo/tansy photograph! Beautiful! ~~ LOL about you zipping up and down Wilshire.

Eden, were those new pots at Homegoods? The last time I went there they didnt have any garden stuff left.

Michelle, LOVE that you still have that playhouse! I cant wait to see photos of it in the Childrens Garden,.

So Kathy, since Im not allowed to post brug pics how about a fuchsia pic? This is my Sunray which has gotten enormous this year also. This urn is about 20" in diameter so you can image the size of plant. This one is four years old now.

OK Im out of here for now. Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 6:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

GDIF! (Gosh darn it's Friday!)

V, hope you manage all the activity and then come back with time for recovery!

Kathy, good luck with the ordeal!

Unfortunately I believe it about the hearing aids, but how disgusting....We never found Mom's wedding ring which was on her finger when she apologies even. Someone no doubt collects these things and melts them down or sells them. GRRRR

Time to start the sprinkler. Then the workman arrives, then Reed will entertain me!!!

Hot and muggy once more here, waiting for some rain still. Busy busy day here. I'll try to keep up reading but no time for contributing much today.

All the best!

PS: Yes V, he's very real!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 7:50AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Another Friday already?

V, I was very sorry to read of your brother's passing. Forty-nine is just way too young. We should never take life for granted. In the words of Warren Zevon "Enjoy every sandwich". Love the chicks on rocks with drinks!

Chelone, I am also amazed at the incredible incompetency you are experiencing with your mum's care. Ditto what Kathy said. There's a good chance we'll all be on the receiving end of that some day. Hang in there!

The bad news here is my Lyme disease seems to be rearing it's ugly head again. On Monday morning I have an appointment with an infectious disease specialist. My upper back is stiff and I can't tell if it's Lyme related or I twisted something the wrong way but I'm not taking any chances. The throbbing behind my right ear came back about a week ago. That I know is Lyme related. Something tells me I'm going to be back on antibiotics soon.

With the Garden Conservancy open day looming I'll be running around like a nut. Last weekend I spent all three days working in the garden. I expect more of the same this weekend. Deanne and Monique have graciously offered to come and help me do a last minute spiff up next Friday afternoon. What a tremendous help that will be! Maybe Deanne can make my garden look more like hers...NOT! This was not a good garden year for me. Like Eden, I'm ready for it to be over. After the 16th, it can all go to sh** as far as I'm

Let's see...welcome back Mary! Eden, do you do decorating consults? My dining room needs help. Denise, what type of work do you do? And 'bug, I'm not much on babies, but I love the family joy that is so evident in every picture you post of Reed et al.

Enough from me-I took a lost afternoon yesterday to spend time with a friend right in the middle of closing week. Some offers you just can't refuse.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 8:13AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Oh crap, the pressure is on! My open garden day is published in today's Hartford Courant. Guess I'd better warn the neighbors.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 8:42AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

"Idyll Haven"! I'd forgotten that Sue. ;-)

I'd gladly give up the traveling gnome in favor of traveling Idyll garden helpers!!!! Boy do I need them....

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 10:16AM
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It's very windy here today. Cloudy too but no sign of rain which is needed. Bella's sitting here with me which will probably mean this will be a short post. I've had her the last three days and it looks like someone picked up my house and shook it. She has things spread around everywhere. Brad's off this weekend so we're sweeping out and cleaning up the basement. I need to get things down there situated so it's ready for the overwintering plants soon. Also hope to get some cuttings taken this weekend.

Chelone, it's unbelievable and unacceptable the way that nursing home's being run. Good luck on getting it all straightened out. Nothing more frustrating than dealing with that degree of incompetence.

Hi Sue, bummer that you're not feeling well again. Seems like you've been sick forever. I was hoping to see some pics of your garden in that link. Maybe after the tour? It's one of my all time favorite gardens you know.

V, great pic and love the title too!

Deanne, I haven't seen much in the garden department at Homegoods all summer that I was interested in until I saw those urns last week. Lesson learned to grab and then decide, lol. Beautiful fuchsia. Can't wait to see that monster brug in FULL bloom!

Here's a picture of my variegated one from this morning. Nothing like yours but the best I could do this year...

Kathy, the tag on my san says S.zanzibarica and I don't know much about them and haven't been able to find much info. It looks cylindrical to me, lol. It's an 8" pot and was $20. Here's a picture, the other san is S. Bantel's Sensation.

Denise, I've had my eye on one of those Isla Gold tansys all summer but haven't gotten it because I've been afraid it would be hard to keep under control. I've got a coupon for earned "bucks" from the nursery I've seen it at. If I spend $55 I get $55 in free plants. So maybe it'll pick one up. I put Amelie on my Netflix queue.

Those faces Reed makes are priceless Marie! Doesn't he ever cry? As far as the garden goes the frosts will come and take care of it all for you soon and there's always next gardening season for us to all strive for that elusive perfect garden with renewed hope. Right?

Gotta go.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:05AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Just a quick drive-by here, the interruptions are constant at work today - why aren't all these people at the beach?

V, so sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. Love your pond and the chicks on the rocks with the required red cups! DH tells me that the red cup signals that the adult beverages are out...

Saucy, nice to hear such positive things from you. Congrats on building the business, so glad it is all working out. You must be ecstatic that the rest of the hedge is gone. What will you plant there?

Chelone, thinking of you often. Hope things quiet down for you soon on all fronts. It might be a good idea to back up your conversations re: the hearing aids with a certified letter, and "cc" everyone and their boss (the director must answer to someone). A letter is harder to ignore than a phone conversation since it is "on the record". I noted that you are having your electrical wires buried on your property, that is awesome. Makes everything look so much nicer!

'bug, I am loving all the Reed and family shots - the happiness certainly does come through. That baby is suspiciously photogenic though...

I love the idea of a travelling creepy guy, I can just imagine where the Idylls might take him. When my DH's cousin got married, we caught the photographer staging a picture of the happy couple on the alter, with a garden gnome in the foreground (I believe it was kidnapped sometime during the bachelor festivities). Said gnome was also glimpsed at the reception, on the dance floor no less.

Mary, glad to hear you enjoyed your trip. I hear you on the school supplies, my children's lists were very specific too, including a certain folder available only at Staples. After school started, DD needed erasable pens for one class, and four colors of highlighter pen for another class - those particular items are teacher idiosyncrasies I guess.

Sue, sorry to hear you are still fighting Lyme disease. I'm sure your garden looks great now, but no doubt Monique and Deanne will put some finishing touches on it as only they can. I am still trying to work out a way to come down for the Open Days - I enjoyed the gardens of Steve Silk and Jan Nickel (and yours too of course!) so much last year. That day is also the NASCAR race in NH and DH will be gone from sunrise to sunset. He and his buddies like to get to the parking area early and have a tailgate breakfast to build the excitement.

Chelone, Saucy - are you up for a road trip to CT, Idyll style?

Everything is so dry here, I'm desperately hoping for rain this weekend. The forecast says chance of showers Sunday, I better do my special rain dance!!

Waving hi to everyone!



    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:44AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well, we worked hard to achieve a sad face! It took 3 weeks! He really is a contented fellow.

Here's the big lower lip:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 1:33PM
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I wanna see some damn booties! (w/o crack, thank you very much). I suggest using the cable ties electricians use to keep his hands off his feet for the picture... good to see that even the world's most perfect baby gets crabby every so often. :)

Sue, my own bout with Lyme involved the worst headache I've ever experienced. It was relentless and went on for a few days. I described it to my boss thusly, "my teeth hurt". It was then that I KNEW something was really, really wrong. You need to be on anti-biotics again! and you really need to keep on alert and follow the directions to the letter. LD is nothing to take lightly; it's absolutely insideous because it's so often misdiagnosed or not fully treated. I'm sad that your summer has been so curtailed by it. But, as all gardeners know, "there's always next year"! I know your open day will be a huge success. You worry too much, sistuh!

Yes, Wendy! I would definitely be "up" for a Nutmeg State cruise. Lord knows I need to get the hell outta Dodge before the snow flies, lol. And I DEFINITELY could use the laughs. Yoo-hoo... Saucy?

The preliminary layer of new driveway entrance gravel has been spread and it's QUIET here. I can even hear birds chirping. I have one final coat of paint to apply to one of the "man doors", but I'm tired, it's very warm, and I don't feel like it! I have to pay the remaining (mondo) bill for building supplies tomorrow. GULP. I'm growing increasingly irritated by the electrician who has been grossly unreliable about returning phone calls, but he gets one more shot before we find someone else... there're plenty of people looking for work right now... . You'll laugh at me, but we've taken our first tentative step into the world of "automation". Our mortgage is taken care of on the agreed upon date... not check writing, it just "happens". It worked fine the first time... we'll see how the next payment goes... . One down, 179 to go... but we are "rounding up" and paying one "payment" to principal every year. LOL

An employee of the ambulance company that transferred Mum found the missing hearing aids in the car they used, after my paniced call to them. I have his name and the address of the company and will have his thank you in the mail tomorrow. It's my chore to write my letter of complaint this weekend, e-mail it to my brother, and have it looked over by the attorney before sending it formally. What is so exhausting is the blase attitude that "UTIs are routine", and that we "expect too much" from the facility; that the care given in a home environment is always better. HUH? jeez, we did it for "free"... they're charging 9K/mo.. Please, my friends, tell me I'm not being unrealistic when I expect that Mum will be free of UTIs, instead of having one every 2 1/2-3 weeks! Is the world really upsidedown and I'm the only one who missed the memo? If I performed as abysmally at work I'd have been fired 7 1/2 yrs. ago. When I screw something up I take responsibility and I FIX IT. I change the way I perform the operation. Is this mindset peculiar to tradesmen, people who work in fields where errors and mistakes are more easily "tracked down"?

Right now, though, I want to go outdoors, enjoy the late summer warmth, and look at the devastation and dream about how I would like it to look...

You're good, true, and loyal friends. You make me smile and even chuckle when all around me seems so glum. I thank you for that and hope to return the same in time.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 3:31PM
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Enjoying all the posts. To clean up unanswered questions, Mary, yes! I'm very close to Long Beach! -- what's your DH do here for a month? As to what I do for employment, it's freelance court reporting, which entails obtaining different daily assignments through an agency, then shlepping myself and equipment to these sites, usually conference rooms in law firms, take down testimony from witnesses, which I later turn into a transcript that is sent in to court as evidence in the trial. For example, the three cases this week were a homeowner assoc. dispute, real estate transaction gone bad, and someone suing a car manufacturer. Most of the actual work is done editing the transcript in the home office I posted a pic of, researching terminology, punctuating, proofing, etc. While working at home, I'm mostly wearing the attire seen in the linked photo, taken by my son while on vaca. in Oregon, sans the sunglasses of course. Serves me right for wandering into a photographer's lair thusly attired.

About the movie Amelie, it has some "adult" situations, two scenes I can think of, in case of viewing near kids. No violence. Lovely film and great soundtrack.

Cindy, I'll probably get the agave out today. I received some plants today from High Country Gardens that had tire tracks on the mashed box but plants were still OK. Gulp! Let's hope they treat your agave with some respect!

Chelone, if you get any more wise, you will be insufferable, lol! ;>) kidding aside, you're doing a great job by your Mum, and I'm taking copious notes for future reference.

Breaking out the red plastic cups tonight...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 5:52PM
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What is up with this wind we're having? It's blowing over my pots. It even blew down the ensete maurelii which is so heavy it took all of my strength to set it upright again. That monster fell on some other pots and broke lots of plants. Good thing it's getting to the end of the season. I've had enough of these garden mishaps for one year. Oh yes, and Bud decided to make a bed in the middle of my patch of phlox David and Laura. Had to cut those to the ground too.

On the bright side the agave americana medio picta alba that I ordered came today. It's a really good size plant that I'm really happy with. I'll put up a picture once I get it potted up. Funny but I'm out of pots and have to go out tomorrow and purchase something to put it in. Imagine that!

I haven't done a thing today and Bella has things in even more of a mess than it was this morning. I'm in need of a break I think.

Marie, aw what cute pictures of little Reed. Love the pouty lip. How great that he's generally such a happy boy.

Chelone, glad the missing hearing aides turned up. Good thoughts for you regarding the rest of it.

Denise, love the picture!

Cynthia, in answer to your question, yes that's David with Brad in the picture on the bedroom wall. I think he was 5 there. They had that taken at the State Fair that year. I've always liked that picture of them together.

Hi Wendy!

Off to think up something for dinner.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 6:32PM
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Oh Denise you are a scream!-no,not a scary scream just a fun one lol. LOVE your uniform;I wish I could wear *that* to work! do you ever get mixed up and wear the wrong uniform to court?
Chris has spent the whole week in jury duty for the second time in three years. I'm afraid to say that I haven't served yet because we all know that means the summons will be in my mailbox shortly,right? He never even got on a case because he was turned down twice during the interviews. He just missed being picked for a six week trial!

Eden cheer up: ) I used to tell myself with Ryan that he'd grow up soon enough and I've have plenty of time then to clean...then I'll have too much time on my hands-maybe that will turn me into the neat freak I always wanted to be? I bet not. Join me in a class of wine: ) Cabernet sauvignon?

I'm going to guess that Reed was pinched for that teary mugshot lolol. Love that boo boo lip.

Sue I feel really bad that this thing is ongoing for you and I hope they can wipe it out quickly. I'm with Eden,I'd love to see your garden which I doubt looks as bad as you think. Can we twist your arm? If I lived closer I'd love to help you shape it up. All I can say is that this summer was really tough with big amnounts of rain coming way past when I really needed it...yep there's always next year.

Who has Calicarpa dichotoma? Does it send out lots of seedlings for you? Mine has gone bonkers-I'm glad though surprised. I also had two successful tip cuttings root en situ with little effort from me. Wouldn't an informal hedge of neon purple berried shrubs be a fun sight.

I better go-tomorrow we have a cross country meet early and I have to prepare.

Have fun

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 8:30PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

Eden, too weird about the wind because I had the same problem the day before yesterday. It knocked over five of my huge pots and just made a mess of things. I had to prune back tons of coleus, plectranthus etc. etc. Also knocked buds of the brugs I feel your pain. ~~ BTW your variegated brug is stunning! I cant get mine to bloom. Its about five or six feet tall and hasnt set one single bud. Im ready to hoik the thing. LOL

Babs, I got called for jury duty but never got picked for a trial. Doug wound up on an abuse case that had him pretty upset for the duration of the trial.

Denise, ROTFLOL!!!!! That portrait is way too funny. Love it.

Chelone, you are totally doing the right thing in expecting that nursing home keep your Mom healthy. It is beyond unacceptable for her to have continuing problems with UTIs.

HI Wendy! Great to hear from you. Hope you can get to CT next weekend.

Kathy, hope youre doing OK with the oral surgery thing. Thinking of you.

Bug, that baby gets cuter all the time.

OK off to water the gargantuan plants hereits supposed to be in the 90s today with a chance of T-storms and Im hoping we get some rain. Not a drop has fallen here in five weeks and stuff is bone dry.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 8:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It seems that there must have been some moisture fall during the night. I never heard any of it, but this morning i went to move the sprinkler and it is wet all around. Not much, but anything will do! There's nothing on the patio though...odd. It is sunny and cool at the moment.

Denise, your garb is perfect. I would not dare show mine! Great portrait!

Babs, a cross country meet this morning would do me in! Good for you getting the team up and out!

Well, so far I've put laundry in the dryer, put about 15 towels in the washing machine, emptied waste baskets, thrown away piles of junk mail and other stuff left by DD. There will be sheets to deal with later.

It is very odd around the house. Quiet with many jobs to do that I can't face: Mom's taxes, checking with Amazon about 3 separate books that were not sent out, weeding the 10 acres, etc. I think after taking Vita the cat for her check-up and going to the dump, I'll be up to planting the oak tree. Not much else. Feeling a bit glum.

The exterior work is drawing to a close (financially anyway!) and soon the painter should arrive to do his damage.

Meanwhile, at 66, DH is signing up for another season of hockey....Good for him!

Time for a bite of breakfast and then off to the vet.

PS: Hope this satisfies Chelone's foot fetish. These are not the hand knit ones though, but the soft ones with velcro fasteners.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 9:03AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK Chelone, here's an old shot from mid July. Search carefully for one of the booties! The blanket is by Nanamarie too. TWMPB is doing research on being diaper free.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:39AM
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No more coffee bean hunts...

Sorry, the bootie in the lower left quadrant of the "bankie" ain't cuttin' it!

I wanna see cable ties, duct tape, and some hand-knit booties. Just so's yaknows...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'll put in a request, but it will be a while...if ever...before I get a response. She's a busy Mama.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 12:05PM
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