Idyll #489 ..August Wrap-Up

dodgerdudetteAugust 26, 2010

My garden always looks spent in August, 3 months or more with no rain. This weekend I'm going to hack back anything that doesn't please me , and hope to have a nice September regeneration.

Carry on Idylls !

Kathy in Napa

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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all, Just a quick hello to one and all. I'm teaching today so have to run and finish the watering. I'll check in later. Thanks Kathy for starting this thread. Yes indeed August starts to look pretty tired around here too. Thank goodness for the annuals! LOL

Here is a close up of my big hanger. I'm really liking this combo this year

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 8:21AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

My garden is reflecting me - tired and spent too, LOL..... we can't say that for Deanne!!!

I think your combos of colors and plants this year, Deanne, has been the most incredibly, synched, echoed, etc., ever.... It's lovely and refreshing to see.

As Deanne will attest, the majority of my gardens are indeed tired, nasty and they went from brown to soggy -- with the 5 inches of rain we had within a week -- and lots of things seem to have been terribly stressed (like me) and promptly inherited either pests or pestilence. [I inherited 5 more attorneys of the pest variety to care for for two weeks while another person went on vacation -- I think I could wish pestilence on at least one of them, a young prima donna associate who needs to un-snot herself -- counting the days.....]

I hope to get some time on Sunday to treat, whack back mercilessly andjust plain clean up.

But Saturday is the next visiting day to see the new "chic-let" and so I have to grab these times when I can - the gardens will just have to suffer.

I think I am really learning to love caladiums -- Deanne, yours look amazing, and just the little variegated white one I have is pleasing to the eye. Now if only to figure out how to overwinter easily w/ no fuss, no muss.... I will have to cut back on any houseplants since unless they are up at least 3 feet, Stella the menace is going to be after it or at least trying to. She's keeping me on my toes -- a good thing.

Happy Friday all -- we are having lovely lower temps to enjoy for the weekend -- with summer heat to return next week --


    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 8:59AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

AC is off, windows open, perfect last day of vacation!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 1:48PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hello, Idyll friends! I have fallen behind once again, but have a good excuse-I was in the land of no internet connection for a week.

Candy, hugs to you and your family. I can only repeat what the others have said, keep that passport handy. I wish you all knew how many times I've come here to read, just to be comforted by the fact that you're all here, going through the ups and downs that make up life. Even when you don't have it in your heart to post, it is a homey place to pop in, sit quietly and listen to the others talk.

Congratulations, Cindy! Isla-what a beautiful name for a precious little girl! I imgaine you're bursting with pride, and rightly so!

Bug, good thoughts are heading your way. Good thoughts are always headed your way, but..some extras are being sent out. I hope your brother's surgery goes well. My chiropractor's wife just went through that a couple of months ago. It went wonderfully, and she bounced right back. Hoping your brother's goes as well. I love the cap and papoose you knitted. I can't think of anything more snuggly than something Nana made ;) That is a wonderful shot of your beautiful daughter-so peaceful and serene.

Oh, shoot! I missed V's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, V :D I have no stunning garden picture to insert, as the gardens are the farthest thing from stunning. It's the lost summer/year 2 of neglect around here, I'm sorry to say.

Oh, golly-Deanne's getting older, too, lol! Happy Birthday to you as well, my friend. As always, your pictures are stunning! This is such a great place to come for a smorgasboard of photos of anything and everything :)

Ooo, Michelle! A new desk-how cool is that!? I am such a nerd, a new desk and office supplies are thrilling to me, lol! I remember every year when I started school, I was always excited about arranging things in my desk. Hm, looking at my desk now, it seems I should get excited and clean and organize it ;)

Chelone, I wish you good luck on your computer woes. If I was there, I might very well be able to fix it, but I'm totally useless at giving instructions on how to do so :/

Hmmmm, this post seems to be a little sketch and out of order. I've been back to the last couple of threads and scrolling up and down. In case you're wondering, no, I have NOT been drinking, lol! Well, I did have a beer with lunch, but it was a fish fry-I HAD to, for crying out loud!

Oh, and another thought to 'bug. My oldest sister is also a hypochondriac. She's "had" everything from emphysema to fibromialgia. Just a couple of weeks before the one year anniversary of Chuck's death, she came over to break the news that she's been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's. I had never done any research on it, and know very little about it, technically speaking. When I asked how they diagnose it, she said, "Just from things I told the doctor." I have no idea what to do with this news. It's like the little boy who cried wolf. I do NOT want to be insensitive to her, but I find it harder and harder to get worked up when she "gets" something. She said that the doctor told her it may be 10 years before she gets really bad, and I have to wonder about the timing of her announcement. I honestly think I'd have kept it under my hat for another couple of weeks, and let everyone get through that "year of firsts" before smacking us all in the face with something new. Guess it's hard to say, since I'm not in her shoes.

I've been away at skydiving school again. I was there for a week. The first couple of days were a wash-no jumps because of weather. Over the course of the last week, I've managed to get 15 jumps in. My progress is much slower than the "20-something" crowd, as I expected it would be. One of my instructors said it's perfectly normal because at my age I am much more aware of my own mortality. In the long run, he says it makes for a safer skydiver. Somehow, I seem to find it difficult to relax when I'm falling through the air at 120 miles an hour, lol! Relaxation makes for the perfect arch, which makes for stable body position. When they let go of me, I always seem to turn right. I'm working on it, and they gave me some activities to practice at home. They assure me that I can totally DO this, though. I was also highly complimented on my persistence. I repeated level 3 several times, and that will often frustrate people so much that they give up. It's a common place to get stuck, as it's the point where you have to learn the perfect body position to fall while not moving forward, backward, or turning. So, I will continue to work on maintaining my heading, and sooner or later, will be a card carrying skydiver :)
I'll post some links to some small video clips. My instructor wears a camera on his helmet so that when we land we can go over the freefall and correct what needs correcting. Also, what you THINK you did is totally NOT what you did. Often times, my brain told my body to do something, and I assumed my body responded. Many times, it did not, lol!
I can't for the life of me figure out how to post multiple links so that they're "clickable", so there will be a couple posted by themselves.
This one is my first unassisted exit. It went pretty well, other than I keep turning when I'm not supposed to ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Unassisted Exit #1

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 6:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

***********What a gal our Brenda is!*************

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 6:53PM
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I have the whole weekend to myself. Rick went up to Mpls. to help his son with his deck. His wife who is a RN has to work this weekend. Since I've been gone the last 2 weekends, had Kenzie the weekend before that and next weekend is our famiy camping trip, I decided home and in my garden is where I wanted to stay. I have a lot planned in my head for the weekend and I will probably be disappointed with what gets accomplished. Contrary to Kathy's belief that I get an amazing amout of things done after work. You should see my house - obviously housework goes by the wayside in the summer. Actually the night I worked on the leaves I was able to do this because my sweet husband pulled a lot of weeds for me that day.

Brenda, I didn't realize skydiving was so complicated - here I thought you jumped and pulled the cord. Good for you for persisting. You show those 20-somethings.

Cindy, my garden isn't what is has been some years with Kenzie coming about every other weekend, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Enjoy the "chic-let" How far away do they live from you?

Deanne, I only have one calidum this year and it doesn't look nearly as fabulous as yours do. I really like the markings on that one.

I'm trying to upload the vacation pictures, but the computer keeps burping, so we shall see if it finishes.


    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 7:51PM
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Well this Idyll thread has sure started off with a bang ! One of Deannes fabulous combos and our sky-girl Brenda.

I hear you Michelle- I know I wont get everything done that IÂd like this weekend either. I started tonight on the deadheading Âif I get half of it done IÂll be happy. Tommorow night IÂll be going to see the DSÂs play (Taming of the Shrew)so I have a full agenda. I noticed that there is a holiday weekend coming up too, so that will be helpful as I have nothing planned and I might pledge to perform at least a half day of indoor stuff Âmy follow through on indoor chore pledges is pretty dismal though , lol. . The weekend after that IÂm going to the coast and I have business trip the following week. Business trips in Oct too, and somehow IÂm determined to squeeze in the concrete removal job, I want to be able to plant there this fall.

Well Cindy I hope youÂll treat us to a few more photos of the lovely family , and Stella too !

Brenda, you rock ! Re the hypo sis, I had an awfice mate in days gone by that was pretty hypo, though there were no Âmajor diseases involved, just a steady stream of minor complaints, and a frightening regimen of drugs. Never ever called in sick either Âbut my theory is that she needed the audience to hear about all Dr visits, all symptoms was part of the gig. If another individual mentioned a Dr, sheÂd been to that Dr, a drug, sheÂd taken that drug, a disease , sheÂd either had it, or had a ÂscareÂ. In any case , I hope the sis is exaggerating the diagnosis, I think getting attention is the goal for most hypo folks.

Time to check out some baseball, and do a final WALAT Â

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 10:11PM
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Hypochondria... dunno what to say about that, mystifies me frankly, right along with anorexia nervosa and bulimia... and cruelty to animals or anyone who "can't fight back". The constant nagging worry about whether or not the afflicted is indeed sick must be a terrible burden. But, one more of those puzzling, maddening, and sad things we have to cram into life's luggage.

The Great Drainage Caper begins this morning. The Nashiki willow has been trussed up as have the 2 Cornus racemosa, swaddled in fiery red burlap that has been with us for over 12 yrs. now. At last a use for it, lol! The white perforated drainage pipe and landscape fabric are on site and I'm prepared to be the "go fer" and extra set of hands. I am chargeing the camera battery, but that's no guarantee I'll be able to get pictures into the computer and out to you any time soon.

I seem to become cross more quickly lately; likely it all stems from work frustrations and a few over/underactive hormones, but I'm keeping it well curbed. TGDC is a perfect example, the problem is to be solved but I'm irritated that my original plan to this very thing 3 yrs. ago was poo-pooed and the benefit it will provide has been delayed because of it. Ultimately, the irritation is with myself for not insisting we do it "my way" from the "get go".

I've decided the computer BS is a temporary bump in the road, and will be solved in due course. It's not as though I don't have other things on my plate to keep me busy these days, you know? So a step back and a wider perspective is probably a good thing. As they say, "Rome was not built in a day". (I'm right on schedule with the "several hundred years plan, lol).

You lead such interesting lives. I am frequently in awe, though Brenda's stout-hearted bravery leaves me shaking my head in amazed disbelief. :)

An aside for Cindy, when we adopted the most recent crop of kittens they weighed about the same as Stella. And they were so tiny! Does my heart glad that you've added a household companion (even if it is a dog). Lives are infinitely richer when shared with "betes domestiques". The picture of your daughter with the fruits of her labor is beautiful; your life will forever be changed with a new dimension and depth. Think about that when the self-important "legacies" rub you the wrong way and make you cross. I'm so happy for you.

And the documentation of 'bug's lovely daughter and her last weeks of pregnancy is charming, too. Photographic stills of such moments carry hidden importance. Wise are they to document them for posterity. Would that every pregnancy was as savored and every child so anticipated... gives me hope for the future.

All about "me" but that's what you get sometimes, kiddy-os.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:14AM
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Hi Everyone! I have been an absent idlyller lately, but don't want to get too far out of the loop.

I really appreciate the pictures you have all been posting. It provides me with inspiration and hope. Has for the past 8 years. I live in hope that I will be able to achieve half of what you are doing with your gardens. Every year I think I will get ahead of the game, and do make some progress, but never seem to quite accomplish it. But, I am determined. This year I am going to mark all of my plants with markers, so next spring I can move the overgrown hostas before they get so big. I just couldn't do it this summer in the heat. But I have plans for next year.

I want to send a shout out to Betty Corning clematis. My plant is probably 4 years old, she was damaged in some way this summer at the roots. I am not sure what caused it. Anyway, I cried when I had to trim her down completely. This was in July. Let me tell you that she sent up new growth, in that heat yet, and is now blooming her heart out at around 3 feet high. Amazing plant, and I will never be without it. I can't pamper my plants, they are lucky to get a 30 minute sprinkle of water once or twice a week.

Kathy, how exciting for your son to have parts in two plays. That is wonderful news. And lucky you to be able to go to Swan Island. I have purchased Dahlias from them in the past, can only imagine how cool it would be to visit.

Bug, looks like Sarah is getting ready to present you with a new grandbaby. You must be so excited! Love the knitted outfit.

Chelone, good to "see" you. Hope all goes well with your project. I am sure you have it all planned out as well as can be. And I wish you peaceful contented days. Will it get better as the season ends, or is there a big rush right before the boats go to winter storage?

Michelle, I bet you will enjoy your weekend. I got so used to Skip traveling all the time, that the weeks he is home, I find myself not accomplishing as much, I tend to rearrange my schedule to fit his wants/needs. Sometimes it takes me a week to adjust to him being here, then he goes away again, LOL.

Brenda, I am in awe of you tackling your goal. And you look really good doing it too! Good for you!

Cindy you have had a lot going on lately! New puppy, new baby, new people at work to deal with. You are taking on the new tasks admirably. Hope you enjoy your weekend. Are you having fun watching/holding the baby? Can you take a close up pic? My little Anna's face is filling out. I noticed yesterday she is starting to plump up a little. She just reminds me of a baby bird the way her hair sticks up on top. They all have such different personalities, it is very interesting to me.

Cyn, hope things went well your first week back at work. This weather has been wonderful!

I hope all of you have a lovely weekend! I hope I can get to the county fair, tommorrow is the last day I think. We have a lot going on, so not sure. If I do I will take some pics.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 10:34AM
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I'm in for a little cool down. It's 86 and breezy. I've been in the sun pruning the containers. They grew like crazy while I was gone. Saturday is also container fertlizing day. I set just a couple out in the gardens since they will need to move back to the potting area on Wed when we leave for camping. The pillars just look too bare without them. Next is the picnic table that I'm staining. Tying up a rose, deadheading, whacking back, picking produce and making notes of what needs to be moved or divided are all on my to do list for the day.

I guess I'd best get going.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 3:53PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Michelle, I did some of those, but mainly dragged the hose about. I did finally plant some heucheras, a fern, a tricyrtis, a pretty leafed violet, a salmon coloured hellebore, 2 heucherellas, and I don't remember the rest. Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to reach 85F and then 90 for a few days after that. As long as the humidity stays at bay, I can deal with it. The nights are quite pleasant and cool. What I noticed last night though was that it was dark by 8:30, and that is discouraging. I was impressed that Rick assists with the weeding Michelle!

Today we helped our friend with his kayak, dropping him off and picking him up 7 hours later. It was a fine day for it! I did errands, picking up cat food, took garbage to the dump once again, bought gas for the mower...all that boring stuff...yet good to have it done. Also bought my ticket for Alberta later in September. Wonder if baby will cooperate with my timing?

I collected snapdragon seeds for a friend too and got an anniversary card ready to mail off to DD&DSIL.

The cats are begging for dinner now, and then off to move the hose just once more.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 8:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sunday morning and what a beautiful start to the day, cool and sunny and the hose is already sprinkling too.

Tomatoes are in the oven. Perhaps I'll use them with pasta for dinner.

Email from my sister in France tells me that she had a fall in town yesterday and went to the hospital. All appears to be OK, except that there seems to be no reason for the fall and also that her partner was frantic because she was late and he had not been contacted. He is in his 90s. She is in her early 70s. When it rains it pours in my life. I'm waiting for some boring moments to arrive soon.

I need to prepare some sort of dessert for tomorrow evening when we have a meeting here. Any ideas for something to make for the end of a hot day? It is expected to reach 90F and there's a chance of thunderstorms.

Thinking of baby names these days...not that I've been asked! Finished knitting some leg warmers for Ivy last night.


    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 10:38AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

'bug, how about the last strawberry shortcake of the summer?

You really are being hit these days. Hope your sister's docs can figure out the reason for the fall. Scary for her partner! As always, sending good energy out to you.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 12:29PM
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Michelle's heat arrived this morning. The backhoe guy finished up with the stones over the 4" drainpipe wrapped in landscape fabric and spread the fill around neatly. The helpmeet came home with 3 yds. of top soil which we dropped in two strategic sites. We sited the Cornus and the willow and then began backfilling around them. Hot work! we got them basically set in and then had a late lunch and shovelled some more when shadows overtook the area. At present, they look rather like volcanoes, but a few more yards of soil and some judicious grading and it will look better. We will finish up tomorrow morning before the sun gets too high. I did take pictures, but have about 4 million others on the memory card, too. A winter extravaganz, perhaps?

Gotta think about ordering bulbs, as per 'bug's reminder. It may already be too late.

I'm beat.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:39PM
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Ive realized I need to buy more containers .Ive also realized that I only really needed to plant 1 Pennisetum Bunny Tails , not 2, that the Birch tree in my front garden has exit holes from bark beetles all over it and its time to get the thing taken out. Im ok with that though, Ive been thinking about getting rid of that tree for years; its not healthy and it sucks up all the water in the immediate area. And tree removal is always an opportunity !

Went to DSs play last night , its the Shakespeare Napa Valley annual production, which is always free , and this year took place in our downtown riverfront park/amphitheater. The play was Taming of the Shrew , with the added twist that characters were pirates. The freebie outdoor venue is a great way to allow families to expose their children to the bard and to live theater as well. Naturally, DS performed his supporting role perfectly ! Tonight is closing night and rehearsals for Aladdin have already started. Even though I am an unfit mother I am bragging relentlessly to whoever will listen about DS having won the title role.

Not too late Chelone ! Order the bulbs Im going to do tulips and try Alliums yet again.

And in case you were wondering what to do with that old pick-up From Portland 2010

Taken on Sauvie Island on the way to Cistus.
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 8:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Kathy, this afternoon we went to the antique car show held on the museum grounds. There certainly were vintage pickups there! If there had been any with flower displays I'd have considered the $2 entry fee worthwhile. DH rebuilt a Model A Ford years ago, had a Triumph at one stage of his career, before moving on to family vans and Volkswagen campers. So he deserved to have his afternoon there.

We also had lunch at "Mom's Fries". The hamburgers were awful, the fries good. We sat in the shade where 2 bulldogs were transfixed by our presence. One was Dolly (French Bulldog) and the other Merle (English bulldog). Dolly salivated and blew bubbles. Merle simply begged. I have no desire to be owned by one of those! Eeeew.

The grass is getting more and more parched....

Chelone, your weekend sounds tough but oh so worthwhile and satisfying! So glad you have recorded it for later inspection! You know I'm a big fan of photos! I think you should get DBIL or DB to photograph you and the helpmeet with Wrecks and a feline or 3-4.... As with Sarah, I think it is important to have a record of things at different stages!

I hope V has recovered from her birthday festivities! She is one overworked lady!

Perhaps Deanne has finished her classes and gone biking with DH? In any case, I hope you are enjoying the weekend too.

Yes everyone, enjoy the evening because monday is TOMORROW!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 9:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I wish I'd seen Cyn's post about strawberry shortcake earlier! I've been craving it for a couple of hours now! Earlier I bought several varieties of fruit and some brownies and cookies. I'm sure it will do...but I'll have to make that last shortcake later this week!!!! Maybe with peaches too?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 9:04PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good evening, Idylls!

Ooo, Michelle-a weekend to yourself!! Jim went on a fishing trip a couple of weeks ago, and I got SO much more done than when he's in and out of the house all day.
There IS a lot to learn, just to fall out of the sky, lol! I was pretty surprised myself. The 20-somethings were awfully nice to me. They said they wish their Mom was that cool. Little do they know I was NOT a cool Mom with my kids ;)

Kathy, it sounds like you'll meet yourself coming and going in the not-too-distant future! Around here, it looks like no one has lived here all summer, as far as the gardens go.
I'm sure DS's hypo issues are about attention. It just baffles me that she doesn't realize that everyone used to like to hang around her before she started all this. She has a very defeatist attitude that I just don't understand. Frankly, I think she should have played with the boys more as a kid...she'd be a lot tougher ;)
Congrats to DS on his starring role! Lol, unfit mothers turn out the most self-reliant children..ask my two!
Wow, Sue needs that pick-up in her garden-it's just the right color of blue!

Chelone, I'm baffled, too. To have one sibling who constantly complains, and one that soldiered through the hardest thing imaginable...makes me wonder if someone wasn't adopted!
I feel your pain with TGDC. I get a little tired of waiting for one of my suggestions to become Jim's idea. We've still got a mess in the back yard from the drainage tile the guys put in a year ago..or was it two??

Good heavens, bug! I hope you get a good long patch of utter boredom ASAP! Fruit, brownies and cookies sound yummy to me. We've got cantaloupe and watermelons ripening right and left, so there's little question of what's for dessert around here.

We spent yesterday with the kids, and it was just what I needed. I got terribly homesick last week. We went to Miciah and Christina's, Phillip came over and we had a cookout. We managed to foist one of our watermelons off on them, too, lol! Jude is growing like crazy. He's sitting up, and getting from place to place by rolling. He hasn't got all the "steering" down yet, and finds himself where he didn't mean to go. He gets pretty frustrated about it, too. I commiserated with him, given my recent skydiving experience. I've got some pics to upload, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. The ol' eyelids are getting heavy. Only one more really hot day, then it cools off to the mid 70s for the weekend. Sounds wonderful to me!

Take care, all and have a good night!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 9:43PM
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Slow news day here ! Thank goodness Brenda showed up,lol. My day at the awfice was pretty mundane, though my co-worker returned from visiting her Mom in Florida, so the workload has re-distributed back more evenly. There are so few of us anymore, planning time off takes quite a bit of effort so as not to put an undue burden on those left behind. She held up the fort for me while I was in Oregon , and I reciprocated when she was off last week.

bug there is an antique car show here every Fathers Day, my DH and I used to go. I love looking at the old coupes from the 30s and 40s , so beautiful and had to imagine what it would cost to produce something like that today.

All for now, waving and still missing Mary, Martie, and where the heck did Ei go ???

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 10:50PM
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Yesterday as we were leaving the beach Kenzie spotted what she thought was a "funny looking" car. My dad identified it as a Model A. It was a good day to swim in the lake and play in the sand. She almost caught a little turtle but he escaped.

We are on day 3 of heat and wind - yuck! The beach we chose yesterday was sheltered from the south by a point jutting out. The lake had white caps out beyond that.
We could use rain, but our lawn is still nice and green which doesn't always happen in August.

Kathy, we only have 3 of us in the office, so we have to be pretty considerate when taking time off. We are once again interviewing, but I've convinced the boss that a full time person is necessary. The colbalt pickup truck is so fun! It reminds me of my grandpa's truck when I was growing up. It was dark green and had the coolest little fan on the dash. Congratulations to your son on snagging the lead role.

Brenda, I got a chuckle out of the image of Jude and Grandma each trying to maneuver their bodies.

'bug, don't be too impressed with my garden helper. It occurs rarely.

Well, Michelle the night owl ;o) best wrap this up.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 12:00AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

good Morning Idyllers!

I think I missed the whole last thread! So belated Happy birthday to V and Deanne - I hope your days were blessed!

I seem to see a lot of the same thoughts this time of year: my gardens are scruffy and so am I. And my house too, as I have spent all summer tending the gardens and taking holidays. September looms and it's back to business, and I note that somewhere along the line while some of us have been casting leaves in concrete Kathy has been starting on JulieJobs already!

Very hot here these days, but the almost daily short and fierce thunderstorms have kept the lawns thick and lush, not the usual parched brown look that we often see this time of year.

My Mandevilla is huge and covered with flowers, I don't know how I'll get it inside nor where I will put it. Ditto for the Hibiscus, and again for the three Bananas that I grew from seed. At least I think I have homes for two of those! No geranium cuttings for me this year (last year I took about 50 but then couldn't tend them due to my neck injury). All new for me next year. The tomatoes were a disaster with blight, the chard grew into "standards" and the painted lady beans were huge, ugly and tough. I need to rethink....

We spent a whirlwind three days in Toronto at the wedding of our best friends' son, a very elegant and gala affair with a pre-wedding dinner, wedding and reception, and a post wedding brunch. It was held at McLean house on the Sunnybrook estate, for those of you who know Toronto, a beautiful venue and I enjoyed myself immensely.

We have also been doing the school evaluation and decision making concerning DGS and much to our surprise he is quite in line with our thinking that a new start would be of benefit. And so it begins....another adventure in education. I have been nerved up about this for a month.

Today we are making cookies to decorate for our local fair. Not as grandiose a project as Kathy's de-cementing, Woody's tuteur, or Chelone's drainage construction, but seeing as my assistant is eight years old, it will seem just as complicated!

Another "all about me" post I'm afraid.

Cheers to all,


    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 8:02AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A busy day on the agenda here. Thinking of my Idyll friends and eager to hear how Adrian's school year pans out!

Troubles with DGS's Mom these days. Of course, with a new baby on the way, that was to be predicted.

I'd love to order bulbs today. Maybe I'll find a moment at lunch time.

I too wish Mary were around. I enjoy sharing book club lists with her as well as other crafty things and proud Momma moments.

Going to be a hot one today!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 8:25AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yes, Hot Summer is back in full force in this area as well... I'm really tired of it - altho I think I heard a squib on the radio recently that 49 of the U.S. states got snow last winter, so I guess it will be hard to escape severe weather of some sort and stay state-side.

Been overwhelmed with all the "new" in my life -- it's a good exhaustion - Stella is growing and challenging by leaps and bounds - gained a pound in 3 weeks, the oinker - guess I dont have to worry about her eating, LOL....we're working on figuring out what a leash/lead is and she's basically plunking her butt down and saying no will be interesting to see how quickly she decides it's worth the "noose" to have more freedom.

Got to hold Isla and see her awake last weekend too which was great - the parents are looking a bit combat-fatigued but have bonded well together over it all. They settle on their house today (fingers crossed) and move on Sept 11....

I wont get into the awfice - Im just trying to think about the 3 day weekend coming up! Yeeha. Some garden chores got done but much more needs to be done and I'm hoping a cool down will enable that altho this is likely the Lost Summer.

Isnt it amazing, 'bug, how predictable problem people can be? You Knew the ex would start kicking up dust for "me time" - people like that have to create drama to keep the focus on life about "me" all the time... sometimes it's so much better just to ignore them if one can.

Sounds like Chelone is kicking up the yard too -- I bet you'll feel such an accomplishment to get taht all re-done and the shrubs back in, etc.

I hope you decide on whatever suits Adrian best re school, Julie -- it is tough to make a change, but sometimes a change is good....

Kathy - that is so neat re both your offspring and their recent career successes! Taming of the Shrew has always been one of my fav "bard" plays..... it's such great fun. I'm glad things have calmed down a bit for you at work - yes, we're all covering for a lot of folks these days it seems...

Counting the days til weekend and some R&R -- the heat will be the big challenge for this week I think.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Done! I sent 35 narcissus to DD's new baby. DD adores Poeticus, also known as Pheasant's Eye. She's delighted. Good.

Then I bought me some tulips, anemone blanda (whites and blues)as well as a very few Raddeana Fritillarias. YEAH!

In addition, we ordered a new bike for DS from his cousin's bike shop in LA.

I'm happy their birthday gifts (last June!) are finally settled. Since they had no expectations, their delight is very appealing.

Corn on the cob for dinner tonight. The weather has me beat I'm going to lie down until DH gets home.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 5:23PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well here we are back in another heat wave. It was 98 degrees out here yesterday and they are predicting 99 for today. Yukko! Im really hoping this is the end of the high temps for the year. Just when the fuchsias were budding up and happy because it was cooling off they get slammed with too much heat yet again. Arrgh. I dont know what the fall display will be this year but who knows, sometimes things can be pretty resilient. The good news is that Saturday is supposed to start a week of mid 70s weather. Cant wait! The perennial beds and borders are all getting to that raggedy, yellowing foliage and dying off stage but the containers are still putting on a great show and add lots of color so overall its still looking good around here. I must say Ill be ready to get things put to bed this year and begin my winter vacation from outdoor gardening. Ive got to get started doing cuttings etc and Ive promised myself that I dont do as many this year. Well see how that goes. LOL Has anyone here every successfully overwintered caladium bulbs? Ive got a lot of really beautiful caladiums that I dont want to lose but Ive never been successful storing them. Hoping I can figure this out this year.

Nice to hear from you Julie! That is so cool that you started bananas from seed! What kind are they? And Id love to see a photo of your Mandevilla.

Bug, good for you for ordering bulbs. I really should get my act in gear and get some bulbs in here. I say Im going to do it every fall then I get engrossed in getting things in for the season and never get around to it. Id really like to add some more allium and also plant the dahlia bed in tulips for spring color. Well see how it goes.

Cindy, I so laughed when I read that Stella just plunks her butt down when on the leash and declaring that shes so not into that. Too funny! Well Im sure its frustrating for you but I can so see her little self with the huge personality taking a stand on a leash. She definitely has her own opinion on things. ~~ Wonderful that you got to hold your lovely Isla. Hope the house closing and move goes well for them.

Michelle, hot and windy here again today too. We might get a bit of rain from that hurricane coming up the east coast but Ill bet that doesnt happen. ~~ How fun to spend a day at the lake with Kenzie.

Brenda. Cant believe you have to foist watermelons on people. I love watermelon and they are really expensive. Wish we lived closer! How big a veggie garden do you grow? Melons take tons of room.

Kathy, LOVE the pickup photo! How fabulous! Ive never been able to grow petunias well. I always get these terrible caterpillars this time of the year and they eat all the flowers to nubbins. ~~ So when do you think youll have that tree out? ~~ Congrats on your DS getting the lead! Very cool stuff. PS love The Shrew at the top of my favorites list.

Chelone, great that youve gotten that drainage problem solved. Huge job! You must be happy thats done.

This Saturday we went to CT for Sues Connecticut Hort Open Days tour. Her gardens are looking fabulous. Shes added even more tropical containers and her colocasias are enormous and gorgeous! Id decided to add more to my collection next year. They really add a lot of punch.

OK waving hello to one and all, Ive got to get my day started and get the watering done before the blast furnace temps overtake the day.


    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 7:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Deanne, with our humidex readings, we are at the 98F temperatures too. The hoses in front and in back have been doing their job since 6:30 this morning. The lawn has begun to turn brown. It has been lush up until the end of August which is most unusual here.

September is the start of our new "smart" power system in our area. That means that between 9am and 9pm our rates will be at their best. In summer, the worst rates are in the day times when air conditioners are in use, and so we are encouraged to do laundry, dishwashing, baking, etc at night. Great. :( I turn my computer off at night lately. It just generates too much noise and heat....

I have several plants that I should take cuttings from (wallflowers mainly) and a few delicate ones that I should try to keep alive indoors. I'm just so bad about indoor plants though...

One thing I've noticed this year is that the goldenrod has been beautiful, but is almost over with and yet the wild deep purple asters have not begun yet! I miss that combination. It is one of my favorites.

There are some major garden jobs I'd like to get done this favorite gardening time! I hope the weather cooperates. I have shrubs to move/remove, a few ghetto plants to deal with, clematis to plant in permanent locations, etc. It would be so nice to get that done! But first, baby time in Alberta. Then bulb planting!

I hope it is cool wherever you may be!


    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 8:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sorry, for our "smart system" I meant to say "between 9pm and 9am our rates will be at their best."

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 8:16AM
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Good morning all! It's been quiet around here. Everyone must be very busy. The kids got off to school this week, but I still haven't found any time to myself and they're out of school Friday to make it a 4 day weekend. I am hopeful for next week, lol...and Deanne's weather forecast would make that a nice time.

I need to make some leaves, and I have some projects I would like to work on so that I can have some things to do over the winter.

I'm glad you got to hold Isla, Cindy, and that she woke for the occasion. I am enjoying the new babies in our family, twins, Josephine and Ava. They're about 7 months old now - perfect age for just getting repeat smiles. They are Nick's cousin's children.

Julie, I found that bananas make an excellent houseplant and they seem to like my bathroom conditions best. I figure the shower makes it jungle like, at least in the morning.

Michelle, how's that new desk? I know I've said this before, but one of the times I was most happy at work was when I had an ergonomic study done of my surroundings and everything was retrofitted to fit ME! It truly made me happier. I'll bet if you google you can find some tips if you're interested. Of course, my height knocks me out of average anything, so maybe you don't need ergonomics :)

Deanne, I actually have a couple of begonias, too! I'm totally surprised that they've made it this far. I'll try to overwinter them as houseplants, I guess, though by March everything is half dead around here and looks pretty dreadful.

GB, what a nice gift for daughter and son! I need to plant bulbs, too. Every year I say I'm going to and every year I get busy. School season is in full swing, I guess, and I get busy with that and all the holidays. I'm going to try, though. I would like to see something early next year...

Sarah planned and had a Luau for a back to school party with all of her girlfriends. She had a 20 dollar budget for decorating and was able to pull a lot of things together from past parties or dress up. They figured out that the Limbo was pretty hard, so they decided to just jump over:

Time to walat with my morning decaf :) Happy day to all!


    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 8:20AM
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The Great Drainage Caper is a weight off my shoulders. But it's not looking like much right now, frankly. 3 "volcanoes" that are the new homes of the two Cornus racemosa and the Nashiki willow, and a lot of bare ground. The cats have been delighted with the newly expanded litter box, and their newfound delight has spared the most recent lettuce planting from utter degradation. Salad anyone? I have no illusions about how much hard labor is on the docket for the coming months and my irritation for the procrastination of what's proven inevitable is still pretty close to the surface. But I'll "get over it".

Love the BTS luau; priceless (even at $20). Was it Chubby Checker who sang "The Limbo Rock"? we had it on "45" and it's a great tune, even if you aren't struggling with the "Limbo". Great photo, Saucy! More kids need to be that active and show such abandon. Kudos! (I loved "Pata Pata" by the wonderful Miriam Makiba, too).

Not sure when the little rodents go back to the school hole... maybe they already have... I saw a few buses but they were devoid of cargo. Hehehe... their time will come, fun and games are over and it's back to work. Until the next "teacher conference" or "workshop". Wonder what Cyn will come up with for a refreshment, lol.

I've looked at bulbs, but have yet to pull the trigger. As usual I'm more focussed on shrubs and cleaning up blighted areas. Story of my life.

Cindy, try leaving Stella hooked to her leash when you're home. If she drags it around she won't be so freaked out by its presence. If you call her to you while she's wearing it, then pick it up and move away and give it a tug while calling her she'll get it quickly. If she doesn't you can always beat her to within an inch of her life. Either way you're a winner! :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 2:55PM
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Another scruffy garden here. Things are still green but tired looking. I have worked so hard most of the summer but have hit my late summer wall as I usually do. Frustrating to me because there is still much to be done.
I went out and watered some things this morning and then started feeling yucky so I'm taking some down time. I think it probably has something to do with the mold count being so high.

I finished reading three books in the last two weeks and have decided to not get into anymore until I get some of these projects cleaned up.

Brenda, Jude is growing and changing so fast. These babies just don't stay babies for long anymore. I'm so glad you have been making your skydiving dream come true.

Michelle, I hope to see more of your vacation pictures even if it is later on.

Julie, good to hear from your corner. Hope the school issues work themselves out. How about a picture of the spite fence daylily bed? I seem to turn a deaf hear on my Julie Job list.

Cindy, it's good that you have Stella and Isla to take your mind off the Awfice issues. I imagine the little family is looking forward to the new house.

Well I started this post yesterday and got called away. Today It has been a slow steady rain all day which I appreciate very much. I should be cleaning but as you can guess I'm not. LOL
Sounds like a lot of you have high temps today.

My Sweet Autumn Clematis today

Yes Saucy it has been to quite around here so I'm going to try to do my part. I've been a bad Idyller lately. I do so enjoy reading everyone.

Sarahs party looks like it was fun. Summer is so short for kids these days.

Kathy you have certainly crammed your summer full of activities and I appreciate your sharing your photo journals. Thanks also for posting the link to your blog.

Woody, I like your turtle. I added a turtle planter out by the front pond this year. You can barely see the turtle now for the plant. I would love some of those large pots in your picture.

Deanne, I am with you on being ready to rest from the garden, but I still have lots to do and I do enjoy fall so I'm hoping with cooler weather I will get remotivated.

I'm going to post before I lose this . Norma

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 3:03PM
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LOL Chelone, Niki and Jasmine think all fresly dug dirt is just for them here too.

Here is another picture i tried to post.
A little nest lined with Rebels hair. DH thought hummingbird nest but I'm not sure it is quite that small.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 3:11PM
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Norma, that's just darling. I love that you are so tuned in to things like that. :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 3:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes, attaching Stella to her leash around the house is one of the basic techniques. Go for it! Lots of leash training and command recognition were done indoors with both Charlotte and Phoebe.

News from DD:
"Today was Skylers first day at school. Grade 6! Hes excited, for sure. He was ready super early this morning too, which was nice. He did need some help getting organized, but that is fine for the first couple days. We made a deal with him that if he can get himself organized and out the door with no nagging, complaints or reminding until the end of October that he can have his radio and CD player back You see, we got him an alarm clock for Christmas last year to help him get himself organized before school, and it has a radio and CD player attached. What ended up happening was that he moved it downstairs so he could use the radio, but then he never brought it back up for its intended purpose getting him up in the morning. I brought it back many times, reset the time for him, etc no luck despite many requests and warnings. So one day, it just disappeared. Now its a new year so well try again. This time, he starts out with just the alarm clock, and he gets to earn the radio and CD player once he shows he is responsible."

Did I tell you about Skyler's hearing aids? They went through the washing machine. That's a serious no-no. Although Skyler must take some of the responsibility, DSIL felt terrible. He was the one who did the laundry at 11:30pm and neglected to check pockets.

Well this update:
"Good news!

We blew off the excess moisture we could see, took the ear moulds off, then left them on the counter for the day. When I got home from work, I called the nearest pharmacy and asked if they had any extra desiccants (the little packages in pill bottles to keep things dry). I went and picked some up. In the meantime, it occurred to me that a diaper is a pretty good desiccant, so I put the hearing aids in a diaper in a ziplock bag. It also occurred to me that putting them in a container of rice would be a good plan too. Later that night, it occurred to DH that when he got the new hearing aids in January that they gave him a special "drying out" container with a sealed desiccant in it. We then put the hearing aids in the special jar with the desiccants and left them overnight. They worked the next morning! Woohoo! In fact Skyler said they worked better (huh???!?!?). "

This morning I picked up one more obelisk on sale. Also a couple of sale plants which are just great.: mukdenia for me, some variegated blue iris for DD.

I finished stitching the knitted leg warmer seams and am about to start the hat for Ivy.

Norma, we have a phoebe's nest. Lots of hummingbirds and monarchs here these days!BUT, the weather is horrid!!!!

Ivy on the move

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 3:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I am now dealing with my brother having a "small" stroke. They cannot care for the strokes until they deal with his aneurysm.

I am trying to keep myself busy but available...

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 9:24PM
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So much on your mind these days Bug. Staying busy is usually the best way to cope.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:47PM
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I can now feel somewhat simpatico with my east of the Mississippi friends, we are having a heat wave ! My plants are in for a rude awakening after all the mild temps of this summer, but no help for it. Mother nature is calling the shots and what she says, goes.Everything looks pretty bad right now anyway, so a few days of high 90s cant make it much worse.

Made my reservations for my trip to the coast in a couple of weeks, and got my e-mail notification of the Ruth Bancroft Garden plant sale on the 18th ..I MUST go to this ! Its the day after I return from a business trip , but at least said trip is in the same time zone so I wont have jet lag issues.

bug, I bet you could go for a couple of weeks of boring non-activity .

Saucy, begonias overwinter very nicely as houseplants, I have one that I have never taken back outside this year it looks so good and is growing so well in the house. Kudos to Sarah for staying under budget and looks like they are having just a fine time !

OOOh Norma, that Clematis is beautiful ! I have a little table in my family room with 3 birdnests that Ive collected from my garden this year . Its always interesting to recognize some of the materials

Ok, Im really tired tonight so this is about I can manage, I have a bit of a cold , which arrived last night . Hope its a mild case, I hate having colds in hot weather ..just not right !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 10:56PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Geez - poor 'bug -- You too could love the mantra "I love boredom" -- folks used to wonder why I said that, but it's true -- boredom to me is a sign of things and life going so smoothly one thinks of it as routine.... there is a lot of small pleasure in no-news, no life crises.

I can't see Norma's photos (here at the awfice) -- but I can imagine them - I bet they're precious! Yep, another one in that late summer doldrum, garden is crap mode.

Last nite, Stella's adventure was that she'd eaten a cord on the paper shredder I'd left in the kitchen -- at least it was unplugged. I'd in fact tape the cord to the top of the machine, so she ate it at the bottom where it connects into the machine.... I have got to get some better Real chew toys for her, obviously! She's got some but they're not keeping her attention long enough. So back to the pet store (again) tonite.

I hope you feel better, Kathy - I imagine your cold is from so much running around.... I hope the next two trips are easy on you.

Saucy -- what a great idea for your DD and I love the concept of a party budget for her age - it helps w/ the economics learning and the creativity -- looks like they had a fab time!! I remember the limbo......

Well, 2 more days of purgatory til my awfc colleague returns and she can take back "custody" of her 5 attys so I can return to just my own 4 -- most are very adult and independent; but she's got one prima donna..... who will be happy to see her return as well, I suspect.

Norma, forgot to mention - I've got a sweet autumn seedling that's about to bloom -- I keep ripping 'em out but they pop up - this one actually got close enough to the arbor that I kept (I'll probably regret next year) - but they sure are pretty at this time of the year.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 9:10AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Boredom sounds wonderful:
Dishwasher repairman is coming soon.
Brother has changed hospitals
Daughter may be in labor. "Mommy, can you change your ticket?"
Haircut at 3:30
Flight at 6:15? Maybe?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 10:41AM
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Oh man, 'bug. I'm sorry to hear about your brother, what a worry. But something tells me that DD will be just fine. Thinking of you, you know. And wishing you well, as always.

Home early today, so hot at work and nothing is so pressing I needed to "sweat it out". I'm so "over" toughing it out, you guys. There was a time when all I saw were $ signs, now not so much... not to trivialize their importance by a longshot, but it's not as though I'm "chasing the bills" so time off is pretty appealing. Considerably more so that toiling away in a hot, stuffy, cluttered and filthy shop.

We forgot to bring in the birdfeeder last night. I was awakened by a racoon arguement in the wee hours and failed to get back to sleep quickly. Rex and I noted the savaged Droll Yankee feeder, cap half off and the feeder off its hook... not much seed was missing. No wonder they were so pissed off, lol.

BIL called last night to report that one of the grey and white feline units was chasing a groundhog over the bridge from his yard to our's... . Not sure which one it was, I suspect Spencer, but we had a good laugh about it. And Rex was VERY interested in the ditch area this morning, so Mr. Chuck-Chuck is definitely in the vicinity. Any bets on when Mr. Greenjeans will finish the fence around Vegetable World?? (has had over a year to get it done already). Pity will be in tough supply should he be foolish enough to seek some. ;)

Things horticultural look pretty crappy here, too.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 10:53AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I'm getting behind again - have been skimming and enjoying pictures of gardens/plants and the Idyll children and grandchildren, including the new and pending arrivals (I hope you got a flight out gb...)

We've been doing the rounds of medical facilities and doctors' offices again. My 6-month post surgical MRI looked good on Monday. Now the big issue is trying to get a good handle on what the mass is beside/behind my heart and right adrenal gland. I've had an ultrasound and a CT, neither of which was able to provide sufficent information to determine what the next step should be. We are now waiting for an MRI. An added complication is that the specialist who I've normally seen for this sort of stuff is out of the picture with a redurring bout of cancer and the neurosurgeon who has been my primary specialist coordinating everything is mostly retired - still seeing some patients, including me, but has been away all summer and will not be back in the picture until later in September. So my brain surgeon is temporarily our coordinaion point. The options for what this mass might be range from relatively benign to pretty nasty. In all cases, surgery is the first option so I'll likely be out of commission at some point this fall.

On the positive side, Vyvyan Pennell has continued to recover. She looks a bit ragged but has made it to the top of the lattice - and is spilling down over the top! This picture was taken this afternoon from behind the lattice, from the lift:

(The late summer blooms are single.)

The 'hot' section of the herb bed where I've been adding orange and red things is looking good. Some of the things I planted this spring have disappeared or at least not bloomed, and some have finished blooming. At the moment Helenium 'Lysder Wieck' and Kniphofia 'First Sunrise' are making a nice show:

I've never grown a kniphofia before because they never fit my color schemes. I like this one and I hope it survives the winter and adds more stems for next year.

The front garden is a ragged mess at the moment. The 'Fireball' hibiscuses are pretty eyecatching. In a few years when they get bulked up a bit, they will make a nice show, holding the fort until the heptacodium blooms in a couple of weeks. Everything desperately needs another good rain - I hope the rain in the forcast actually arrives sometime soon!

(the heptacodium hides the tuteur in this picture.)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 2:03PM
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Well dang it Woody, I hate that another something has cropped up. You have done so well from the last surgery. I pray this can be taken care of too.

I'm so glad Vyvyan is recovering, and the rest of your garden is still looking good. If it weren't for the rain we had yesterday and last night mine would look sad indeed. Now I really need to get after those weeds.

Thoughts going Bug's and DD's way too.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 7:52PM
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It has just become dark an hour early. Storm clouds rolling in.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 7:54PM
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I wonder if it was a false alarm or if GB is flying over now?

Woody, life sure isn't taking it easy on you this year! I hope you get good news when you can find a doctor to give it to you. Your gardens are looking glorious - not tired looking like mine (at least from your photos).

Today was brutal at the Farmer's Market - so hot and humid - my clothes were just gross and I'm ready for some quiet time.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 8:14PM
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Hot again to day..and I confess to buying 3 rather large pots, one a celadon-ish colored ceramic ,and 2 terra-cotta. And as I drove upvalley today I saw Fall Foliage here and there on the native trees along the road. I love fall , but we all know what the downside is !

((Woody)) .. Sincere hopes for the mystery masses to be non-important, and for a speedy recovery from whatever procedure is called for.

bug, are you still here ?

Lol Chelone, Mr Green Jeans ..glad to see your humor is intact though you probably are tempted to go out and hire someone to finish the gd fence, I know I would be.

Waving !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 9:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm here, having decided to at least wait until tomorrow night. DD hates being a watched pot...and who can blame her. I don't know what the situation is exactly, but DSIL worked from home, and the hot tub was being cleaned and refilled. Birth is very quick for her, so anything may happen in the next 24 hours. Tomorrow is their anniversary, so that would be a cute touch.

My hair is cut, one suitcase is packed, one more to go. I need to collect a few recipes to take along as well. DH may come with me. We'll see. The pet sitters are a problem because they are out of touch, no doubt away for the long weekend! What a pain....

Things with DB are uncertain still, but he sounds good on his cell phone. They are talking of releasing him with medications. This makes me very nervous because he lives alone and I think vigilance is important at this stage. After all, it was only Tuesday that he was not able to lift a glass of water or dial 911. He is slowly learning that he is loved...a good lesson, if late in life. We are in daily contact.

We had some rain! It is a great thing, that! Tomorrow is supposed to be wet and so is the weekend. I'm fine with that if I am to be away.

I'll start a Moments thread...and hope you fill it for me while/if I am away. I can probably view it even if I cannot post on it!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 9:27PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idylls and happy Friday to one and all,

Today is finally supposed to be below 90 after a brutal week of high 90s temps. Im so DONE with that. I made myself sick on Wednesday by working outside for four hours in the heat and didnt drink enough water. Im finally feeling back to normal this AM.

The gardens always remind me of a gracefully aging beauty queen this time of year. The good bones are still there and the evidence of great beauty can still be seen but the season is definitely turning and there is no hiding the fact that autumn and winter are on the way.

A hearty congratulations Bug to your familys new arrival. How wonderful! Did you find a pet sitter so DH can join you in Alberta to welcome the new addition? ~~ So sorry about your brothers health issues. Thats pretty scary and I cant believe they are sending him home.

Kathy, three new large pots?! Woohoo! What will you plant in them? I too have a couple new pots that Cindy had picked up for me a month ago at her Home Goods but wont plant them until next year. Id like to find some more interesting Elephant Ears after seeing Sues gardens last weekend. She really has outdone herself with their culture and placement in the gardens. Bummer about the heat, if youve had a cool summer your plants are probably frying in the temps since they arent used to it. I was surprised to see I had roses blooming in the high 90s weve had this week and they didnt look too toasted like they normally do. I guess theyve just given up hope of cooler temps and bloomed anyway. The flowers are much smaller than normal though and only last a day or two.

Saucy, I cant believe you were outside working at the Farmers Market in that heat yesterday! How dreadful. Hope you are OK. Have you had a chance to make any more leaves yet? Im looking forward to seeing your new creations. ~~ Love the party pic and LOL about jumping over the limbo sick

Woody, Im so dreadfully sorry to hear that you have more medical issues looming. Hugs my friend. ~ Your gardens look pretty great from the pics and dont look ragged at all. Love that kniphofia. Ive always wanted to grow them but like you dont have space for that color in the borders. And, how fantastic that Vyvyan has made a rebound! I love how youve really filled in the front area so the house is glimpsed through the foliage. Thats what Id like to do here and finally have permission from the lawn guy to add more plantings to the front.

Chelone, I dont know how youve managed to work in the shop with the temps weve had this summer. Its been so brutal. Hope you enjoy the long weekend and that your DH gets that fence up.

Cindy, Oh no! what a bummer that Stella chewed the cord on the shredder. Naughty girl! They are going to hand you keys to the pet store at this rate. Enjoy your long weekend and Ill bet youll be glad to return to your normal work load.

Norma, love your pic of the Sweet Autumn Clematis! What a beauty! That nest is probably some small warbler or some bird like that. It doesnt look like a hummer nest.

Ok Im off to get some breakfast then get outside to water. Have a great day all

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 6:18AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O my - a busy friday already --

Woody I'm so sorry to hear of your other medical issues -- I hope you get some good answers and quality coordination among the specialties. Your kniphofia and helenium (I thought it was an echinacea it's so pretty and smallish) look lovely together.

Deanne -- geez, don't overdo! These temps are excruciating and dangerous -- take care of yourself. You're so right - I should just buy a pet store (or work there to make money and get discounts) -- another hour last nite fingering and reading labels on most items at a dog store - turned out I knew more about the stuff than at least 2 sales folks - so annoying. I'm trying to be careful about buying grainfree things and other stuff as NO rawhide (things the sales folks love to push)...but I still ended up buying a few experimental things to try. Looking forward to having some quality time with her this weekend.

Kathy - LOL, you've gotten the big pot bug - it's hard to resist cheap prices that seem to be happening with them these days - but the place to store is my biggest concern (and below that, daily watering needs of such things and then one has to plant them up too, LOL)....

Well, I see 'bug has exciting news to report -- this was the month(s) for early babies and how nice that DD gets thru labor quickly - that's such a blessing if it happens. I bet Skylar and all are over the moon about having another brother now - what fun. Have a great trip.

Gotta hit the slave line -- I had a meltdown yesterday and feel a bit better - at this point today, I dont give a ..... but hopefully many folks will be gone and I can re-group and do some cleanup ...



    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:07AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

To top thing off, this is the message I just sent to some friends about what happened here last night:

'Avulsion fracture of my right foot/ankle'

Just what I needed! I fell last night when we went out to walk Misty and now have an avulsion fracture of my right ankle/foot. Essentially its a severe sprain where the ligament involved is stronger than the bone it is attached to, so when the ligament twisted, it pulled off a piece of the bone it is attached to. We spent about 4 hours in ER last night. I have a split running from my toes to my knee, wrapped in tensor bandages. They would have preferred to put me in a plastic boot brace but Id need to be able to bend my ankle enough to make a right angle between my foot and leg. Last night my foot was so swollen, that was not possible. I have an appointment at the fracture clinic on Tuesday morning. Because of my balance problem and weak/partially paralyzed left leg, I cant use crutches. Itll take at least 6 weeks to heal and Im not allowed to put any weight on it for awhile yet. We managed overnight by using the walker as a wheelchair Randy is heading out shortly to rent a wheelchair for the next two months.

The bone loss I experienced from the anti-seizure drug I was on after the February brain surgery undoubtedly contributed to problem (broken bones was listed as a rare side effect of the drug). One of the possible causes of the mass that is near my heart is also something that causes bones to deteriorate. My biggest fears at this point is that I might have another fall and break something else (transferring into and out of bed and on and off the toilet is very tricky at the moment) and/or that 6 weeks or more in a wheelchair will weaken both my bones and muscles enough that I wont be able to ever get back on my feet again. And its very likely that Ill be needing chest surgery this fall so Ill be weaker going into that and that surgery will add to the difficulties of recovering from both incidents.

Im not a happy camper at the moment!

gb - yesterday i would have said 'bring Phoebe here' - today, that's not really possible :-(

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 10:17AM
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Arrgh! Woody! When it rains it pours!!! And as I understand it, it is the ankle on your good side that is injured? Your upper body is certainly going to get more of a work out now, isn't it?

I'm so sorry this happened to you now. You didn't need another worry.

That was fast for new baby, GB. Have a fun trip out to meet the wee one, and don't forget pictures (we know you won't).

Stella is so little, I can't imagine what her chew toys look like for size. For a big dog I always see a kong used - something you can hide peanut butter or a treat in. Not sure how to handle Stella except to put her in your pocket and bring her to work, lol.

Organizing here and then off to lunch at Sunny D's. The school system here negotiated the Friday off before the big holiday.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 10:37AM
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TGIF indeed Cindy, gotta love those 3 day weekends ! Lots of chores lined up , but only time will tell how diligent I will be in discharging them. I will be at the coast all next weekend .Really looking forward to it- total relaxation, my favorite Inn, and open house at Digging Dog. I splurged and got a better room than I usually do, but what the hell, its only 2 nights and this will be an island of tranquility in the midst of a few very hectic months. Of course the laptop and camera will be along !

And good news from Nana Marie..I wonder what the name will be ?

Lol Deanne, I am in serious search mode for a turquoise pot , but these ought to tide me over till the dreamed of one presents itself. I know if I went to some of the pottery yards in Berkeley and environs I would probably find what I was looking forthe container ships from China, Vietnam etc. into the port of Oakland have bred a whole network of pottery sales outlets in the east bay area; I continue to hold out for the employee discount though. The mark-up on containers is robust and my discount is significant. The terra cottas are destined for the front garden , and the celadon number will be in the back , I expect it will have succulents. Ill get a photo this weekend.

Woody, my goodness what an unfortunate new development ! Maybe the Drs can suggest some sort of exercises that can be done from your wheelchair to keep the muscles toned ? Thank goodness you have Randy around to provide help. (((Woody)))

All for now.. see yall tomorrow..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 9:54PM
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Oh no! Woody. That's just not fair. Very painful too I imagine.

Congratulations to Nanna Bug. The boys are catching up to the girls on the Idyll's.

We had a beautiful cool day today after storms overnight that brought 4 and a half inches rain. It felt so good to do a little work outdoors without extreme heat.

Off to bed . N

    Bookmark   September 3, 2010 at 10:22PM
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A reference to this on a blog, and thought of Cindy !

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 12:16AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

OH WOODY!!!!! ((((( )))))

Cheers, Julie

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:13AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Holy moly, I thought my week was bad, Woody -- geez o pete -- what a drat turn of events. Kathy's idea of tring to keep some tone while in the wheelchair sounds as tho it has merit -- and I echo the sentiment of you're having the unique DH and so glad he retired at a good time. Take care of yourself please!!

Kathy - I had forgotten about that tanacetum's name, LOL - I've looked at it and contemplated buying at some point, but it's a bit more yellow than I usually like. I may have to find a spot for it no matter what. How I envy your next R&R - what a lovely spot that was and I'd spring for that extra view too - you deserve it - especially since you had to forego your NE Leaves trip this year..... I need some serious days off myself.

This was the week I want to forget at the awfice - luckily it's over and my memory is losing cells so fast these days it seems to take the memories too, LOL...

We had nary a single drop of rain out of H. Earl here so it was early morning sprinklng -- Stella sure does love to get soggy - I'll have to try to have a camera at hand (which is dangerous w/ me - water, camera, spaz....not sure the camera/or cameraphone would survive)... She's off to get her first 'do this a.m. and leash event this p.m. Think I found a type of chew stick that may work, w/ her but I'm trying to be careful re her digestion so must go slow....keep the fingers crossed!

Okay, off to water the burnt up stuff out front.... it was still 90 all day yesterday; a typical DC sauna day...

But am luxuriating in the 3 days of peace -- I had to go to bed at 8:30 last nite to end the week -- altho Stella and I had a 2 a.m. play foray, after my long "nap" - so feeling a bit more human today.

Looking forward to hearing of the events re 'bug's newest GS!!


    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:14AM
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Hi everyone.

Woody, I hope you are doing better today. You have a lot on your plate, and I wanted to let you know I am thinking of you. I hope your ankle heals quickly with no lingering issues, and that your upcoming surgery gives you some positive answers. I think of you often. I bought a couple of kniphofia this year on sale. Their blooms were done, but I have always wanted some. I hope they come back next summer. I like the color combos you have.

Bug, looking forward to hearing/seeing the latest news on your grandbabies. Glad everything went well for Sarah's delivery. You must be excited to get out there. I hope your brother continues to recover as well as he has so far.

Kathy, you lucky dog! I love Swan Island dahlias, thank you for sharing your trip with us. Oregon has always seemed to me like a wonderful place. Definitely on my dream travel list.

Cindy, glad you are having fun with Stella, and that you have a long weekend to look forward to. Also glad to hear that your daughter got the job, and a new house too, right? You have has a busy month and a half.

I bought a smoker at a garage sale and plan to make something in it for the family when they come over on Monday for dinner. My daughter Mary Kate was really sick a couple of weeks ago. Terrible pain in her stomach. After a few days of me being over there all day, she went to the ER because she was doubled over in pain. We thought it was flu or iritalble bowel. She got the results back Thursday, turns out she tested positive for salmonella. They are very careful about food, never eat out. Charlie has never had fast food in his life, and they do not buy eggs from the companies listed on the contaminated list. They buy organic milk, eggs, meat. She is a clean freak, doesn't leave food out. The only thing we can think of is the family reunion where everyone brought a dish. But she only ate pizza and veggies.(just to be on safe side) I am thinking cross contamination. Anyway, she is okay now.

It is only 70 degrees and very breezy here today. I almost forgot what chilly felt like.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 11:02AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thanks for all the good wishes!

Returning from morning walkies today...:

(the bean towers in the background are finished for the year and need to be ripped out...)

My foot feels pretty good now that the swelling seems to be gone (can't tell for sure because of the bandages). I'm hoping that at the fracture clinic on Tuesday I'll be switched to the 'boot' brace and maybe be allowed to start putting weight on it and walking a bit.

Cindy - you definitely need to figure out how to get a picture of soggy Stella :-)

Drema - I'd bet the samonella was on the veggies - if they came in contact with something that had the samonella on it, the moist environment of juicy vegetables on a warm day would be a perfect breeding ground. Did anyone else that attended the event get sick?

It's cool and windy here today - a perfect day to work outside. I definately need to get back on my feet asap so I can work in the garden this fall. I think there's some deadheading I can do from the driveway. We did get a bit of rain on Friday so the paths are wet. I don't want to try to take the whelchair on the paths or it will track mud and dirt into the house. I have a walker that I keep on the back porch for gardening, another that I use for walking outdoors, and one in the house that is never used outdoors, which helps reduce the amount of dirt that normally gets brought indoors. But I can't keep that sort of segregation with only one wheelchair, so the house is going to get pretty dirty I think! Another incentive to get back on my feet asap...

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 11:44AM
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Reading about Woody taking a tumble was NOT the news I expected. Babies, yes. (And congrats to 'bug! and congrats again to Cindy.) Woody, you and Randy can figure out how to safely exercise. Resistance exercises with those big rubber bands maybe once the swelling goes down. So sorry for this setback.

Norma's SAC is spectacular. Deanne, I can't believe you're still out in the garden in these temps!

I've had that Isla Gold tansy for a while. It grows wispy for me, even with cutting it back constantly and hasn't bulked up into a nice clump, but I've seen photos where it has clumped up. It's completely obscured by a Solanum pyracanthum at the moment or I'd grab a photo.

Lots of visitors last week, but it's quiet again. I did nothing yesterday but read Howard's End, taking breaks to dig and move things around in the garden. Everyone seemed shocked at the level of sloth I can sink to. Made a quick dinner just for the two of us then watched an old PBS series on 5th century Greeks, then a long bath until bed. It does feel good to shed the 21st century for a day!

In the unfinished project dept, the house is half painted but what's painted meets everyone approval, kind of caramelly colors. Lots of interruptions but it'll get done.

Love hearing about little Stella. Ein can see out of the surgery eye, the cloudiness is replaced by a bright, mischievous glimmer again.

Drema, glad to hear your daughter is on the mend. Sounds like some good food at your house this weekend.

Enjoy your weekend!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 11:53AM
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One of the unattractive features of my garden this time of year is the copious amount of leaf and petal litter underneath the roses. Its tricky to rake up without removing unacceptable amounts of mulch. Some of the roses are positioned so you cant really see the ground beneath them, but those in the gazebo garden (still referred to as such even though the gazebo is only a memory) are very exposed to view from all sides. I guess I could just bury the leaves with more mulch ! Wouldnt be a bad idea since the blasted oxalis is robust. And of course there are several daylilies in this same bed - we all know what they look like after they bloom-out. I need to just view this area as a blank slate and re-think the whole thing. If I have to move a half dozen roses , so be it. So you now have my ponderings for the day, such as they are.

Cindy, I guess its a good thing your babysitting gig at the awfice ended in a three day weekend-sounds like extra recuperation time was needed! So do I understand that you have someone come and walk Stella on workdays ? Will you continue this or will it be a feature of puppyhood only ? That seems like a good option for someone who is away for such a lengthy time during the day.

Hi Drema ! Always nice to see a post from you .. You should start an IUPNW travel fund, I really think Seattle/Portland will be an IU in the future, we sure seem to talk about it alot. Bad deal for Mary Kate...

Well Woody, you look none too happy at your wheeled confinement. At least walkies are still on the agenda.

Denise, my BILS just had diabetes related cataracts removed from both eyes of their mini-Australian sheepdog, it was a resounding success , though he is still confined to the Cone of Shame til next week. Hes now on insulin and a special diet too..if I ever have another dog I sure will re-think the whole feeding thing. Glad to hear that Ein is doing well..

Wonder what bug is up to this evening ?

Here is a pic of the purchased pots from Thursday, with the 5 gal bucket for scale. I have one additional of the terra-cottas, and they will be artfully (!!) staged in the front garden with seasonal plantings , the ceramic number will likely have succulents that are winter hardy, or maybe even a yucca. From Garden Summer 2010

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 8:03PM
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Ooh Kathy I like those terracotta pots and can envision the trio. I have a yucca Color Gaurd that would look great in that pot. I planted mine in a half barrel because it had to be something I could leave out all winter.

Woody, going for walkies? I should have known you would'nt stay put for long. Be careful please.

Cindy, I hope you get the R&R you need this weekend.

Drema, I'm glad your DD is better. One has to be really careful about food these days. But it seems she is and was.

I had another great day for working outdoors today. I just wish there were ten of me for a few days to get caught up.

Denise , so good to hear Ein is seeing good again.

Thinking of Bug's family with the new baby. I to wonder what his name is.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone. N

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 10:27PM
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I tried to post earlier this morning but "things wuz plugged up solid" on the internet super-highway.

Woody, I'm very sorry to hear about the spill and the resultant injury. It's terribly frustrating to be sidelined when there is so much you want to do. Has anyone else noticed all the drug ads.? we've been talking about it and at one point had a list of over 20 drugs we'd "seen on TV". Anyway, we listen to the side effect warnings and are amazed by some of them. Sometimes the "benefits" seem questionable. Bone loss scares me. Anyway, I think we should change "walkies" to "rollies". :)

Drema's DD and Salmonella is another thing that makes me pause. I'm glad she got it taken care of, but it does get me thinking about our own exposure and how we handle food. We are big on hand washing and we recycle a lot food through the dog, so there isn't much that sits around long enough to go bad, but there are bound to be items from the grocery store that are tainted in some way. I did not know stomach pains were part of the symptoms, figured it would be from the other end. ;)

We laughed and laughed at the "Cone of Shame" and the tags that permitted dogs to speak english in the movie, "Up". We also got a kick out of the dogs heads hanging out the windows of the airship. What a charming film, right up there with "Wall E". Good to know that the West Coast Corker is on the mend. I missed whether or not his cataract was diabetes related, though.

I had a cat that used to chew on eletrical cords, Cindy. I was very relieved when he "out grew it"! I can't even imagine a dog so small, but no matter what the size all dogs "have the same moves". Time to get busy with the beatings. Wrecks has been keeping very good watch over me as I've toiled away on TGDC; he rumbles when he detects a "pedestralian", but hasn't gotten up to bark or gone out the "greet" them. He pulls that crap with the helpmeet, though. Hehehe. Beatings I say! Will you be attending puppy classes?

I am keenly aware of gluteals that received a brisk work out yesterday. I've just come in from some more work, so I'll either be better tomorrow or unable to walk. Any bets? TGDC is a stern reminder of why it's called, "sweat equity". I have been looking around at plants that are either not flourishing or could be used differently and for better effect.
1.) Clethra "Ruby Spice"; poor thing has languished for years with never an established site. It's leggy but still quite healthy and it flowers ever year. I wonder about buying a couple more and massing it in full sun. My plant has underwhelmed me, but I've seen it used very effectively and it smells nice. Thoughts?
2.) Juniperus "Blue Star"; this is a couple of years old and is shaping up nicely. I have another that I just love in the cold seasons.
3.) Juniperus horizontalis "Blue Rug"; languishing in too much shade near the mouth of the driveway. Love the color, but am not sure of how to use it effectively as it's very prostrate and will attain 6-8'. Do any of you have this plant in your gardens? I would like know how quickly it grows and if you prune it to keep it within boundries.

Things that please me:
1.) Comptonia peregrina is taking off and colonizing nicely under the highbush blueberries.
2.) Vaccinium corybosum (2) that were yanked out of other sites and moved to the roadside are doing well. Lots of sprouting from the roots and trimming back the tops gently each season is having a nice effect on the size and fullness of them.
3.) Chamaecyparis "Nootkatensis" is really lovely. I love watching it in the wind and it's starting to fill the area it occupies. This is a really great plant.
4.) Corunus kousa is was beautiful this year and is growing nicely.
5.) I will never again ever turn my nose up at good ol' Arborvitae. In the right place they are superb screen plants.
6.) Viburnum rhytidophlloides(!); this one lanquished for a year, also but has responded nicely to it's new site. The foliage is magnificent, though flowering and fruiting has been less that wonderful so far. Next year. I would like to add 1 or 2 more but am running into spousal opposition.
I have pictures but haven't put any time into organizing them and sharing. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

I have to hang laundry now. And will wonder about names for brand spanking new baby boys. Homer, Euclid, Dwight...

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 12:01PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - 'rollies' are 'pushies' at this point :-) Randy dresn't trust me not to roll myself into the ditch! (no sidewalks here...)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 2:05PM
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OK, I'm fine with "pushies", lol. But I don't expect that you probably are!

Your home looks so pretty. I just love the yellow house and all the "front yard interest". I particularly like having places that are not visible from the road. I think looking at the road and traffic from the front lawn is vastly over-rated, personally.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 2:23PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Back at school and was told half-way through the first week that they were switching me from special ed second grade back to sped fourth grade-back inside the main building and upstairs. had to repack and move everything. Spent all day today there unpacking in the room I will be sharing with two ESOL teachers (once upon a time, I had this room all to myself-lovely), so I am tired and this will be a very quick drop-in.

Woody, how miserable for you to be going through all this now. How discouraging it must be to have to work around all those doctors. I do hope the MRI is good news and gives the docs the info they need. I must say, though, that except for the cast, you are looking pretty gorgeous these days!

I have read everyone's notes and enjoyed all the pictures. It will be fun when 'little' Ivy is the big sister!

Despite the fact that it is only 7:23, I am going to get ready for bed. How pathetic is that! In the olden days, I would settle in with a glass of something red. Ah well. I'm a big fan of grape juice these days and that is fine. :)

Waving and wishing all the wee ones, four-footed ones, and all of you sweet dreams and a happy Labor Day. I think of you all more often than you imagine and always with a smile!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 7:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Names have reached the silly stage: Cyrano, Hawk, etc

Ivy is the real surprise for me. Photos simply do not capture this enchanting Miss. She's a busy girl, filling and emptying her purse, pouring things from one container to another repeatedly, playing with hats and shoes and all sorts of clothes. Yesterday she dressed herself in PJs with animals all over them, a Mexican dress on top of that, her red clogs and a wool hat. What a hoot! She kisses baby frequently and is very sweet and touching. My goodness how she charms us!

I've been cooking and weeding and pruning and planting. Moved hostas, planted dwarf iris, variegated iris too. Removed some other things. Tomorrow I may remove poppies and daisies that are everywhere.

We are planning a Reed walk for Wednesday.

My brother is not in hospital now, but returns Thursday for more testing. They allow him to drive. He hoped to attend meeting today. (Quaker Friends Meeting)

I'm keeping up with your news Woody. Honestly....I'm so sorry. I agree that's a super photo of you...except for the cast....

I'm mighty tired as well Cyn. Only 8pm, but...


    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 10:15PM
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Hola, a pleasant good evening to all. DS and I have returned from the theater , "Rent" at a repertory theater in Healdsburg ( some of you will recall the macaroni and cheese at the HB bar and grill) and boy was that town hopping this afternoon. I was luck to find a parking place. "Rent" is a family favorite , and a pretty good cast all in all for this one.

Well Chelone I hesitate to make any comments re: your various plant dilemmas as my zone is pretty irrelevant to your situation however, that blue rug juniper would be lovely cascading over one of your rock wall areas. It sure would be a b*#*h to move though . And I seem to recall a fabulous Clethera in Sues garden , that Cindy and I oood and awed over. But I think it was in a partial shade location ? My usual directionals are off for Sues, but it was on the side of her house opposite the driveway.

Ooh Cyn, 4th graders seem more challenging than 2nd graders to me you like this switch ?

Alright, see yall tomorrow, Im going to get in one last WALAT before its too dark to see.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 10:47PM
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Between the two of us we've moved nearly 6 cubic yards of topsoil in just about one week. We spent the morning contouring the "volcanoes", using a second load of 3 cu.yds.. It looks pretty good. The plan is to turn in a lot of organic matter as we add shrubs. My wish list for fall planting:
1.) 2 more Viburnum rhytidophylloides (I forgot the y above). The foliage is handsome and they get big, will hit 10x10 with time. I have gained clearance from the tower to "mass". ;)
2.) The helpmeet wants to add Viburnum carlesii, too. We tried one last year that didn't survive the winter, but I think with the work out there we'll give it another shot.
3.) After spaces are allotted to the Viburums I will reassess relocating the Junipers. I would like to use the Blue Rug to anchor the sunny, roadside slope of the berm and help secure the soil. It would be attractive to cyclists and walkers and with time will widen and become "winter interest mulch".
4.) I would like to tuck some larger scale, no-nonsense perennials in and round the new shrubs, too, along with some bulbs. But I've promised myself to focus on the shrubs for the next few weeks.

Inevitably, whenever there is gardening or landscaping here there is a bountiful harvest of rocks. I had them stockpiled near the Picea omorika. We moved them into the woods this morning, using them to bridge an ankle wrenching "cross over" of a very mucky area in the wooded area to the south of the house (the Fairy Forest). We placed the biggest ones first, then used the potato sized ones to fill in and then topped it all with 3/4" stones. We now have a dry, reasonably level "bridge" on our path through the Fairy Forest. This has been a longed for project for the helpmeet, so we started making his dream come true today. ;) (leverage for fence completion? hmmm).

Been reading of Kathy's theatre visits. We enjoyed "Spamalot" very much, howling at the marvelous dialogue of the French Taunter. The shameless use of Anglo-French antipathy is absolutely priceless.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 2:51PM
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Hot today, but I guess its supposed to be hot on Labor Day, right ? Unfortunately this also is the peak day for this dratted cold that showed up last week. At least I hope its the peak day. Glad it was this weekend and not next when I visit the coast, hard to drive windey roads and blow ones nose at the same time.

bug, Im not voting yes on either Cyrano or Hawk ! And are we not to have photo ? I smiled at your description of the industrious Ms Ivy . her ability to occupy herself is probably a great benefit to DD and DS as they occupy themselves with the new member of the family ..Mr X !

And speaking of industrious, what a flurry of activity at the Compound and there seems to be some compromise going on as well-

All for now

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 5:51PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

$@#!! I was hoping to get promoted to a 'boot' brace today and be allowed to start walking on it. No such luck :-(

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Ah yes, but purple suits you, Woody!

It's been quiet on Idyll, as it's been quiet here on the homefront. The kids are back to school and my neighbor and I have a full plate for the month of September: a couple of garden installations as well as Fall planting at her place.

I'm thinking of a surprise party for my husband who just turned 40. I wonder if I can pull it off? I'll need the aid of his friends to wisk him away and keep him preoccupied. We'll see.

Thinking of you, GB...


    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 9:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Almost 8PM here. It's been a busy day with me grocery shopping and cooking. (Moroccan Soup) I accompanied DD who went to the chiropractor's to get her guts shifted into place and will go again on Thursday.
Baby is still not telling his parents his name....and Ivy is continuing to delight. DH took her to the park where she rolled in the sand and enjoyed the swings.
Tomorrow we get to see Skyler for the first time this trip. We plan on a short Reed walk followed by dinner out and then we must return him to his Mom's place. Cool and sunny here, very pleasant.

I'll only be able to post photos once I return, so keep yours flowing while I'm away!(Ahem....that's you too Chelone.)

Thinking of you too Saucy, and Woody and Cyn and many others too. Where are Mary, V, Eden, Ei, Marian, Marty and others? We need a catch up from Sue every 3 months or so too!

Ciao for now,

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 9:56PM
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Lol, bug, we FBers can try to nag Sue about an update, we see her every day ! But no sign of Mary anywhere .

I went to the eye doc today, as Ive had my current glasses since 2005 , a record for me , I think the longest Ive ever gone is 3 years. Im squinting like mad .

Saucy, I hope your DD is not secretly reading the Idylls and therefore tipped off about the surprise B-day party ! Got your e-mail today-no worries, I was thinking I had some browser-blocking issues , but sounds like all is well on my end.

Woody, you do look color coordinated with the purple top, purple cast, and a bit of purple in the skirt ? Bummer that you didnt get a hall pass. Next time ?

All for me, still under the weather and need to get extra sleep tonight.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 7, 2010 at 10:51PM
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The annual family camping weekend went well. Kenzie was able to join us this year and had a fabulous time with her cousins who are really her mom's cousins. I have nieces and nephews who are any where from 3 to 9 years older than Kenzie. We hiked in the woods. We have a contest boys vs. girls to see who can spot the most interesting things. The tiny chapel in the woods is always fun to "find" along with the bridge. It was a bit cool here so the beach wasn't as appealing, but we went twice since you just have to go when camping.

I returned to work to find 3 others out of the office this week. Which makes catching up twice as hard.

The new desk is taking some getting used to. I cant find a thing. We are so busy and with my two recent vacations I havent had time to properly move, so theres lots left in the old one and I just traipse over there to get things which makes me hugely inefficient.

Woody, I'm so sorry to hear of all your health issues along with your foot problem. I can see your concern about the time of inactivity being a further detriment.

Saucy, we just had a surprise 75th birthday party for my dad during our camping weekend. My out of state siblings are never usually around for the birthday but this year we did it over Labor day so this was the year to surprise him. He never had a clue.

Chelone, your rock bridge sounds like something that we have across the creek. Rick used rocks that he has picked up from the fields and has added to it for a couple of

Norma, the picture from your garden looks anything but scruffy. I found a tiny little nest in a rose bush that has an egg in it that never hatched. It is made from very fine materials.

Kathy, Im envious of your trip to Digging Dog.

I suppose 'bug has flown off to meet the new little lad. I'm happy for them all.

I just got off the phone with my son who tried to remove 3 of his fingers without success. He ended up with 21 stitches. Phone calls from him are always filled with lots of interesting happenings. His significant other landed a job at a Dallas TV station which is a huge relief.

School has started for McKenzie with today being day #4. She is enjoying it.

There is much more I could comment on but I must get to bed. I'm a little behind on sleep these days.

I'll leave you with a few shots from the garden.

Caryoptris 'Summer Sorbet' just getting started.

Rudbeckia 'Cherry Brandy'

Lots of these little guys around these days

My little nest

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 12:16AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Greetings, folks -- coming out of hibernation mode, I think; altho the garden may be going into that permanentaly this year.... the best weekend weather we had and no time to do a lick of gardening - blech. I did manage to lug hoses around and tempt to keep things from dying off - but Stella is not much enamoured of really wet, soggy grass - it's funny to watch her tiptoe on the brick garden edges to get around. Then she decides to plunge headfirst into the beds themselves - discovering shortcuts here and there. She is also in love with a carex variegata and leaps into and out of it and sniffs all around continually - I guess we've had some other garden visitor there. Luckily, she is not the size of Cynthia's "pups" and does not seem inclined to make shrubs disappear (yet)....

Michelle -- you were away a week or more and your plants blooming are still amazing. That Cherry Brandy rudbeckia is so much prettier than the 3 plants I got - they all seem to have adapted to a mud/brick tan look - dont know what the issue is.... very disappointing. I know I saw them in person at WFF and was entranced. I really should think about getting the Cary. summer sorbet instead of the others I've got - altho they all seem to be fairly short-lived in my borders. I end up pulling them after 4 or so years as they just getty woody and frail.

'bug -- those names seem indicative of a proboscis issue, LOL. I hope Baby decides he has a better idea of a forever name he can grow into.

Norma - I finally got to see your photo of the autumn clematis in bloom and wow, your vignette is just lovely! I wish I had a spot like that in my garden.

Lots going on at the compound -- you're making great headway it sounds like, Chelone. Yes, I do plan to take Stella to puppy class altho not for several months (6 months is usually minimum recommended age; and this time I need to find one that is a bit more geared towards her size; I contend Chloe was scarred by the humongous animals in her class -- she was about the only one under 3 feet tall and it was pretty hairy....). Yes, Kathy, I did take out a second mortgage to have a daily mid-day walker for Stella (just kidding, but I probably need to do to cover the bills - or take up the lottery).

Saucy -- I am glad to hear you're enjoying your new quiet time altho I understand Cynthia's not feeling the same way -- geez, talk about disorganized - moving you the day of from 2nd to 4th grades -- shaking my head. It just gets worse and worse everywhere we go these days.

I have to find my camera to take just a few shots that seem decent and are enjoying the cooler weather - the Honorine Jobert anemones are showing off now and it's so refreshing. Maybe time this weekend - taking Friday off to help w/ more packing at DD's place - the big move is this weekend and then they can sigh a big too!


    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 1:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Checking in. I've done 4 loads of wash, am drying the 4th. Made 3 different lunches for three people...
DSIL is at work, which is a smart move so that he can get time off after we leave. DD has some serious pain and infection, so is miserable and useless. I guess she will not be on our walk this evening...or there may be a change of plans.
DH got a haircut and so is ready for his return to school and meetings starting Sunday.
Ivy charms and charms us.
Cindy, your help with the move will be appreciated I'm sure. Then, just your own chaos to deal with. ;)
I need a nap...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 3:24PM
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A quick message to say that while activity continues here on the Compound it's mostly "nuts and bolts" stuff that doesn't photograph well and doesn't "feel" like anything substanitive (even though it is taken in the "long view"). Right now it feels pretty much like a "whole lotta nuthin'".

So it's nice to read that Ivy charms daily and that families pull together to get to a better place. (I pretty much do the same thing, you know... moving accumulated crap from one place to another, lol; clearly Ivy is more evolved than I since 50 yrs. later I'm still doing the same thing, lol). If we don't pull together to make things better for those we love, what good are we in the big picture?

My thoughts echo Cindy's about the foolishness of switching Cyn. from grade 2 to grade 4 with one day's notice... . Who are the jackasses runnin' the show? maybe we need fewer jackasses and their collective salaries could be divied up between those "in the trenches" (or to buy toilet paper and cleaning supplies)? Dunno, but that sort of abject stupidity would result in an immediate job loss in my trade (and good luck finding another position). Pisses me off that tax dollars from hard-workin' slobs like me perpetuate that foolishness. :)

I have to take the brindle fool outdoors. I hate dogs.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 4:43PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Saucy - yes, I was feeling kinda purple yesterday... :-)

Michelle - Post a picture of the caryopteris in full bloom please... I love them, but it's one of those plants that refuses to grow for
me :-( A neighbour has a fabulous one that is in full bloom now. She has given me seedlings several times and I have bought different varieties over the years - they all die out promptly!

Chelone - we definitely need a picture or two....

GB - pain and infection doesn't sound good! I hope she gets better ASAP!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 8:11PM
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We had a close encounter of the black and white kind this morning. It's basically dark at 5:15 now, the time I take the huge one outdoors for his first wee-wee of the day. Last night the helpmeet noted a very robust skunk vacuuming up dropped birdseed while he was on safari for the cats. It crossed my mind this morning when Wrecks was very interested in going outdoors, but I basically "blew it off". Shouldn't have. We'd circled the Fertile Cresent and had headed across the little bridge to BIL's yard when he picked up the scent and took off toward the compost pile. I saw the white tail beacon, lol, and it was coming toward me. I authoritatively commanded, "NO! LEAVE IT!". He did, but not before skunkie left a gentle, atomized puff of stink as a "shot across the bow wow".

Some gentle spritzes with the skunk neutralizing solution was all we could do. The dog doesn't stink much, but there is a lingering odor in the house. Not bad... but a reminder that Mr. Leash will become our companion in the morning for a some time to come... that is, IF we can find him. Helpmeet managed to "lose" it somewhere on the Compound some weeks ago. 6' leather leashes command the best part of $45 in our neck of the woods... this is our third to "go missing" and I'm thoroughly irritated by it, too.

Woody, how long do you have to wear the cast? :( But you look terrific in purple.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 3:47PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - we go back to the fracture clinic on the 21st. They'll remove the cast then and assess whether I can move to the 'boot' support or not. It was still quite substantially swollen and very colorful on Monday. It's feeling marginally better so I hope it will be OK by the 21st. I'm thoroughly sick of the limitations!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 7:26PM
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Sure is quiet around here this week ! Im spending my evening watering and packing for my road trip that commences after the awfice tomorrow (it will be an early exit too) but none of it is too frantic-I opened the road trip staging area a few days ago , and Im only gone for the weekend. And the weather ! Usually this time of year Id be watering like mad even for such a brief trip, but its pretty much just the containers, everything else will wait till Sunday. There will be morning fog and afternoon sun at the coast-which is ok, Im hoping for a bit of overcast at Digging Dog for better photos.

Aw shucks Chelone, those black and white encounters are no fun. I had a friend back in the 70s in Arizona who had a pet skunk, named Hepzeba. She had been de-skunked , and was extremely cute and friendly. There were many pranks played on unsuspecting visitors. Tell helpmeet to drape the damn leash around his will also be convenient if he requires restraining, lol.

Dont you just love that Summer Sorbet Michelle ? This is my first year and I think Im going to get another one, it has looked great all summer, and the blooms are just a bonus. I have Worster Gold too, but though it grows well, there are lots of crispy brown leaves and areas of reversion. I remember that Cherry Brandy at WFF too, I think Cindy and I must have been standing together , it seems like we took some similar photos. ..hopefully your disappointing result is weather related Cindy! I have it on my list for the purple and red borderI was on the lookout all summer for Coconut Lime , and finally there it was at Portland Nursery when I was there a couple weeks ago..but it was 20 bucks for a gallon plant ! And you have to get at least 3 , so I tabled that not going to fork out 60 bucks for 3 frikken Echinaceas! Im going to ask my garden center ladies to find them for me, the employee discount will be helpful in this instance.

Free Woody !

Will check in tomorrow from the coast, night all !

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 10:17PM
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LOL , Free Woody! Kathy.

Another rainy day here, I'm still trying to trick myself into cleaning house. Blech!

Just put a frog back in the pond that Niki brought up on the back porch.

Grocery shopped this morning so I would have kid friendly food in case Wyatt and Jacob come over this weekend. We haven't seen much of Jake since he had a summer job and is now back in school.

We've been experiencing mechanical problems here. First the pickup which is pretty well shot, and then the lawn tractor which is 25 years old. It's always something.

DH grilled chicken breast for lunch and they are ready and so am I.

Later. N

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 1:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Busy admiring Ivy's accomplishments, though she should be napping. I think I caught a few pictures to share next week. I know Chelone can hardly wait!

Good to see you popping in Norma!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 3:43PM
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We're just back from the visitation for my aunt. My uncle died just 4 months ago. She found out that she had cancer 2 weeks after he died.

I don't believe I mentioned that the nursery in the town near where we camped last weekend had 40% off their perennials. I gave in and got echinachia 'Hot Papaya' along with a few other things. I got them in the ground and we've had 2" of rain since. So its been cool and rainy here lately.

Tomorrow I need to paint our living room and get the furniture back in place since we are having guests on Sunday. All the wall repair has been done along with the priming. I will need to go to town for paint in the a.m. as well as food for the guests. I'm planning a nacho bar.

Chelone, it sounds like you are getting lots accomplished. Maybe next year can be the "fun" year.

I'm looking forward to pictures of the new baby, Ivy and Skylar. I hope Nana is having a great time.

Norma, I got a chuckle out of "kid friendly food"


    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 12:20AM
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I am back from an early AM cruise to a norther nursery. I have struck out completely locating 2 more Viburnum rhytidophylloides... if I want them it will be next year and they will be in 5-ish gallon pots. So not so large or so well established.

BUT, I discovered a cache of field grown Viburnum lantana "Mohican" (they are b&b plants). The foliage is not a perfect match, but the deep green and deeply veined leaves are of similar size and character, though not quite so leathery. The plants are robust and at nearly 4' already they are clearly waiting to "take off". I'm thrilled, they are superb screen plants that will attain 8-10' with ease and should be perfect for the site and purpose. I spoke with the nursery owner and he loves them... one reason he has undertaken growing them himself instead of just buying in commercial nursery stock. Now, if the helpmeet were only home to help me plant it right away... (he's sailing). :)

As for baby pictures... I suppose I'll have to "suck it up", but I certainly hope you'll exercise a modicum of control, 'bug. I hope the infection is on the run and DD is perking up at this happy time.

It's a beautiful day and since I don't have anything of great import or insight to share I'd best get out and shove the mower around for awhile.

Woody, I'm sorry you have to be rolled around; gotta be a real "downer" for you. But just keep thinking how great it will be to upgraded to the boot. Hang tough.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 11:56AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Whew. Made it through the first week and now it is Satuday. Yippee.

Chelone-too funny that you mentioned toilet paper and cleaning supplies. The teacher bathroom on our hall was out of tp for two days (thanks goodness for a forgotten tissue in my pocket-heehee) and now we are out of soap at the sink. It boggles the mind-our custodians won some award over the summer. I am actually liking 4th grade and my case load is way easier than it would have beem in 2nd grade this year. Helps that I know these kiddoes from when I had them two years ago. Still, education is getting a little bit old-switching back to traditional calendar left all of us without a paycheck this month and our salaries are frozen for the second year. I am feeling quite broke at the moment, so I can't imagine what the young teachers with fewer resources are feeling! Hope the Eau de Skunk fades quickly and that you find the leash so it does not become a regular aroma around the compound-although maybe we can eventually get used to anything, you don't want to go there, I imagine.

Cindy, I am so enjoying the mental images of Stella in the garden. I imagine you wouldn't want to trade, huh? It's a good deal-two for one special!

Michelle, I am envious of your sale purchases AND your rain. Come October 1, I will hit the nurseries to see if anything is left. What color are you painting your living room?

'bug, sorry to hear DD is feeling so bad. Hope the infection is under control and pain gone by now.

Woody, yes, I agree the purple is SO much better, but wish you didn't have to deal with one at all.

Norma, speaking of "kid-friendly" food-to add insult to injury, our school cafeterias no longer offer chocolate milk! What is up with that?! It was one of the treats I looked forward to when I didn't bring lunch. Oh well. Hope Jake and Wyatt make it over this weekend.

Saucy, I think a surprise party sounds like fun. I bet you can pull it off.

Like 'bug, hoping all is well with our absent Idyllers and that they check back in here soon. I imagine Brenda is busy leaping out of airplanes. Oh, and 'bug, whatever you do, do NOT pass on Chelone's name suggestions for the wee one! ;)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 1:46PM
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How nice that you know the kids from a couple of years ago, Cyn.. I hadn't considered that might be a positive thing in the "big picture". Make the very best of it (know you will), this may just prove to be a pivotal year for some of the little brats. :)

The lawns are finished, with the exception of the Fertile Cresent, which has been ravaged by pick up trucks and machinery with tracks recently and deserves a break. The Viburnum is out of my car and rests in stately repose in the shade of the bahn. I will procure another one tomorrow and we will plant them on Monday. I have a couple of little things I very much want to accomplish sooner rather than later:
1.) Finish the ring around Magnolia "Butterflies", add a layer of compost, some newspaper, and a topping of mulch. I don't particularly like that "look", but it's the quickest way to ensure regular feedings and it makes mowing and trimming easier.
2.) Clean up along the edge of the pond. We have decided to bring the lawn right down to the edge of the pond. It will be easier to keep neat since canine visitors always bomb through whatever is planted there to get in the water. KISS (keep it simple stupid). I hate dogs.

I keep seeing teeny weeny dogs these days. Reminds me of Cindy, Chloe, and now Stella. there are two kinds of little dogs... the kind I hate and the kind I hate less. ;)We gave Rex a spritzing of the anti-skunk stuff the day it happened and then kept giving him the "sniff test" to zero in on the remaining stink. His undercarriage was given another "z-bart" treatment today. Along with the rug in front of the woodstove and the foam from his bed. His bedding went through the washing machine. This encounter was nowhere near as bogus as the last one.

I have to say I am totally cool with the indigenous wildlife. Doesn't bother me that skunks and racoon have us on their nightly rounds. In fact, I kind of like knowing that the night shift is on duty. I figure as long as we're reasonably careful with trash they pose no great threat. Rex and Mr. Skunkie was entirely my own fault. I knew there had been a skunk siting and I didn't think he'd still be farting around the yard 8 hrs. later. NO sign of Mr. Leash, so the helpmeet needs to go shopping. I'll repeat your suggestion, Kathy.

What is kid-friendly food, Norma? crustless Fluffernutters? (mmmm). I recall that fresh fruit was a big part of immediately available snack food when I was Jake and Wyatt's age. So was Junket... anyone remember that? I would never have permitted milk to pass my lips if it hadn't been chocolate (or Strawberry Quik); to this day a glass of plain milks makes me want to gag, isn't that funny? My Thermos always had chocolate milk, apple or pineapple juice in it.

William, Philip, Stephen, Robert...

...Cecil, Ruprecht, Clyde

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 4:32PM
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Kid friendly food here is a cereal they like. Cheerios work. Pleanty of milk. Cheese slices for Wyatt. He is a cheese head. I usually like to have ice cream and cookies for a evening snack.
Jake did come over without Wyatt. Drove himself in his truck. I think he was ready for some time to himself for a change. I am thankful that at almost seventeen he still wants to come to Mimi and Papas for a weekend. We went out to Pasta House for supper. Yumm, haven't had that for awhile.

I finally got the house cleaned. Well mostly anyway. Still have some dusting to do in my room.

More rain overnight. Things are really wet now so I hope to get some weeds pulled and my hostas planted soon.

Michelle, sorry to hear about your Aunt and Uncle passing. I think it happens a lot that once one goes the remaining one doesn't last long.

Chelone, I like the KISS acronym(sp?). Glad you found some suitable viburnums. Clean edge on the pond sounds ok.

Niki brought two frogs this morning. I thought they were both fine when I put them back but noticed one was injured on it's belly. He swam off though. I will have to keep an eye out to see if he made it. She doesn't want to kill them. Just likes to play with them.

Cyn I know they are trying for better food choices for kids at school but I don't see anything wrong with chocolate milk.

Cindy, Is the new house any closer to you or further away?

Bug, I hope DD is getting better. She is going to really have her hands full with two little ones. My two oldest were only eleven months apart. At least Ivy is good at entertaining herself.

Hope Kathy is enjoying her weekend trip.


    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 8:07PM
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Hola idylls !

Checking in here, while I watch the fog roll in from the Pacific. Had an awesome time at Digging Dog today, but the photos were crapola, I went at 2pm, bad time for pics.

Here is my view this evening From 2010-09-11

I hope to go out with my camera in the AM ...

Kathy in Mendo

    Bookmark   September 11, 2010 at 9:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Quickly..Kid friendly food for Skyler is Edam cheese, hash browns...but most of all, Ethiopean food! That is what we had to celebrate Reed's day last week.Chelone, Clyde was DH's uncle, a name that DD strongly favors...but not DSIL. I believe that names are being narrowed down. Today we go to Skyler's camp reunion. He is thrilled. It has been a very hard week for all of us with dealings with his mother.DH is back at the farm and off to meetings and the start of school. Iwill fly home on Thursday.later,'bug

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 11:44AM
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Kathy, that is a gorgeous view. Even with the fog.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 12:12PM
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Back home tonight, working on mental re-alignment. Hard to move from the coast to the awfice !

Here are a few photos from the trip.

From Mendocinio Sept 2010

Borders at Digging Dog From Mendocinio Sept 2010 From Mendocinio Sept 2010

From Mendocinio Sept 2010

Street scenes in the village From Mendocinio Sept 2010 From Mendocinio Sept 2010 From Mendocinio Sept 2010 From Mendocinio Sept 2010

Night all...Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 10:50PM
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What a nice treat to enjoy with my morning coffee. I love the way the mist rolls in along the coastal areas. We get a lot of that here, too. I was particularly taken by the fun use of color on the window casings and the trim of the pharmacy building, works nicely with the plantings.

I have the Wrecking Crew until Wednesday sometime. The cats were naturally horrified and steadfastly refused to come indoors for a long time. Vera was the last hold out but finally caved and cried at the bedroom window about 1 AM. Upon gaining entry she promptly wormed her way under the covers and curled up by my ankles. Spencer was in by 9 and spent the night in his usual location, right up next to my head. Not sure about Polly, but she brooks no foolishness with dogs of any kind in her home. A nocturnal yelp offered audible confirmation of a dispute in the dark hours... ;) They seem to have forgotten proper door etiquette and a stern, "NO, wait" combined with a check and a collar grab has been necessary a few times. There is nothing worse than large dogs chargeing by you to get outside. Meanwhile Wrecks just patiently waits and looks at me to see if it's OK to proceed.

Today is planting day. We are going to put in the 2 Virburms I bought this weekend. The Picea omorika will be transplanted in early spring, just as it's emerging from dormancy, but I will clear and clean up the area this fall. And then our attention will be turned to the small planting area along the eastern side of the bahn.

Time for more coffee right now, though. "Family names" are wonderful, but I'm not sure I'd saddle a child with Clyde, personally, perhaps for a middle name. Even though I've known 2 of them, both charming men.

... Hollingsworth, Phineas, Delmore...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 7:08AM
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Hello friends!

I'm reading along and enjoying all the baby chatter and news going on in Idyll. The weather here has finally changed back to a New England weather, and it is quite enjoyable. We've begun to plant the perennials that won't sell this year and prepare the beds for winter.

I'm enjoying this Spanish Flag vine, a first for me this year:

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 9:31AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Big garden activity here yesterday was removing seed capsules from the hardy hibiscuses. Randy wheeled me up close to the one along the driveway and then up to the one at the south edge of the main front bed. He did the inaccessible side and ones deeper into the beds. It was disappointing to see that the two 'Crimson Wonder' I bought earlier this summer are pink, not crimson :-( It was nice to actually do a bit of gardening! But, oh, the weeding that needs doing....!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 10:34AM
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Woody, you were in my thoughts as the Wrecking Crew wrestled a path through the Hydrangeas. There were also a few occasions where they were distinctly "underfoot" and yelped when they were stepped on. They quickly realized that insinuating themselves on the humans was not a quarantee of the sort of physical contact they were seeeking. :) But mostly, I was reminded of the rule that the plants should grow into the site over time. I may have pushed the spacing a bit, but the fact that I can still see plenty of road tells me the shrubs have lots of room to grow and attain a pleasing mature shape. I have moved some ground cover things, too; including the "Blue Rug" juniper, and two Archtostyphylos ursa, all of which were languishing in too much shade. I'll bet you have the best lookin' hardy Hibiscus in Ontario. :)

The Viburnums are in the ground and while the immediate tableau is dischordant because the Picea will remain "in the way" until springtime, the long view should be quite nice. Mellowing, softening, and providing ever more screening in the years to come. And I believe I have finally "found a place" for the (so far) unappreciated "Yellow Ribbon", an arborvitae-looking rig that is growing beautifully and is clearly a very robust plant that has earned its stripes and deserves better placement. It will likely take the spot presently occupied by the Picea, in between the two new Viburnums. It will be a really big step for me... that "gold"/yellow tipped foliage is not a favorite of mine. "Summer Sorbet" Caryopteris leaves me cold, you guys. (Sorry, Michelle).

Next up will be bulbs, some "important" perennial bastions, then the "frosting": compost, sodden newspaper, and mulch/kitty litter.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 1:49PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello Idyllers! You have not been Idle!

I had to scroll through this whole thread to see when I posted last; great reading about all of the fall preparations. I note that Deanne has not yet started the annual fall relocation yet; Saucy, how do you manage to keep a Banana in the bathroom?? Your bathroom must be humungous! I have moved mine into the living room beside a floor-to-ceiling window where I hope to keep it happy. Unfortunately my two banana foster poarents have reneged now that they see how big the plants get. What am I going to do with three banana plants in the house???? Deanne mine are plain green Banana Ensete. I bought the seed from Vesey's and planted them March 13. The biggest one is almost as tall as I am now, and wider that I am *LOL*

Norma, I envy you the Sweet Autumn clem. Mine died of unknown causes last year and I miss it. Yours is just gorgeous!

Bug, I guess you will be home again soon. I hope Sarah is better, Skyler is enjoying school, same for your DH, DSL is weathering the ex-storm, Ivy is wonderful, and I must say that "Hawk" is kinda growing on me.....Any more news on your brother? Do you ever get to rest?

Kathy you have really been on the move. The photos are beautiful; good for you to just pack up and go and have a great time, although I know that it isn't always just a breeze! Did you de-cement?

Saucy and Michelle, I have been busy casting leaves too. I like the zucchini and hollyhock ones the best, byt the leaves are fragile and don't peel off the concrete easily. Keeps me occupied picking all the green off. Next comes attempts to paint. Maybe I'll ship them all to Deanne to keep her busy all winter....

Wow, Chelone, you and "Mr. Greenjeans" have been really productive. I can picture that area and I bet it is looking really attractive, not just from your side, but also from the road. Big job, and, as you say, the biggest part is sub-structure that doesn't "show" but allows the dressing and frosting. Great metaphor. Reminds me, how is Bruce? And I recall that you bought him a super-cool buddy not long ago.

Kid friendly food here is Ceasar Salad, devilled eggs, pizza, yougurt, raw veggies, and Adrian is another cheese head.

Cyn, we did decide to change schools this year, and so far we like what we see. Lots of thought went into the decision, but a fresh start seemed to be appropriate. Every morning I tell him: Good manners, cooperation, participation, good work. I point out to him at home when he exhibits these things, and he is trying harder to manage school. Meeting with the teacher and the special ed. teacher this week to get things started off on the right track. He is in grade 4.

Just starting to get into the EAT program (Eliminate Annoying Things) and the first thing to go is this crappy hair cut. What is so hard to understand about "short on the sides, back and front, longish on the top"?? Julie jobs will soon begin in earnest. First of those will be Removing Fingerprints.

Cheers to all, and waves to those I have missed.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 10:29AM
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We had a bit of a scare this morning when the Wrecking Crew "went missing". We called and called, nothing... so, I did the rounds of local business, construction sites, called the cops north and south, etc.. Nothing. The helpmeet is out bushwacking the wild hinterland behind the Compound sporting his blaze orange safety vest (bow hunting season). Guess who was trapped in the board room all morning??? yup, the Wrecking Crew. How they managed to get inside the house I have no idea... but how dumb were we to not thoroughly scour the house for canines, lol. What a couple of dopes, lol. :)

We've begun thinning out the understory to the south of the Compound. There are a lot of small white pines that have grown up over the years and now they've attained a size that requires thinning. I've marked those with poor shape and they'll be the first to go. Once they've been thinned we'll be able to stand back and determine the next round of culling. Lots of oak saplings have met their maker, too.

Interestingly, I've lost 2 Sweet Autumn clematis over the years. They were planted in a raised site with a north/easterly exposure and I suspect they succumbed to cold in winters that offered little in the way of snow cover. I was bummed right out, they are lovely plants. I should try them again, but in a more protected location.

OK, I have to get to the library to pick up a book and I hope the helpmeet gets home soon... the sight of those dogs will lift his spirits nicely. He'll get a good laugh out of the fact that they were right here all along.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 2:40PM
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Just a quick note before I get back to work. It seems like I've had no time for posting lately.

Kathy, what fabulous color in all your pictures. You've captured it all so beautifully.

Julie, spray your leaf with cooking spray before applying the concrete.

Later girls

    Bookmark   September 14, 2010 at 4:14PM
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Everyone is so quiet :)

Nothing much going on here. Tomorrow is the Farmer's Market, and I heard mention that we may not finish out October...that would leave me just a few more weeks working there. That would be nice because it gets cold just standing outside all day (if the weather is cool) and it's hard to get warmed up when you come in at night.

I have been motivated to put summery things away and try to organize some things that have been bothering me. It looks like we're going to finally have a concrete floor poured in the basement (we currently have a dirt floor) and I am worried about when my plants will need to come in.

Hopefully you're all just busy doing Fall things, too.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 7:36PM
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It certainly is quiet here. What have I been busy with? Well, I agreed to chair the committee that organizes our Bible study, which is 25-30 women. You pick out the material, decide on dates and of course there's a lunch schedule. I'm also teaching preschool Sunday School which began last Sunday. Work is absolutely wild. I believe we've narrowed down the applicants to one. Hopefully, she still wants the job and can start soon. My big project these days is working towards becoming a competitive telephone carrier in the towns that we offer cable and internet in. You wouldn't believe the red tape along with billing, networking and product offering issues involved. In the garden I finally got the pots moved back to their spots after nearly a month grouped around the sprinkler during our vacation and family camping trip. Last night there was rain along with fierce winds and many were tipped over. Even some that are quite large. I spent the evening in the vegetable garden. I was able to glean enough purple beans for dinner. I also made a guacamole salad with cherry tomatoes, yellow, red and lime peppers, cilantro and chives from the garden. Add to that jalapeno, garlic, onion, black olives, black beans, avocado and a lime vinaigrette - Yum!

The living room is painted and the woodwork washed. Most of the furniture is back in. I do have to put things back in the curio, but it needs cleaning first. What a great project to get done. I'm sure there are lots of projects left to keep me busy all winter.

I did pick up some bulbs locally. I would still like to get an order together.

I've never tried a Sweet Autumn clematis but really should. Remind me next year to keep my eye out for those sneaky morning glory vines. I have a fairly long tall fence that I planted morning glories on many years ago. I was unhappy with them. I decided roses and clematis were the things to plant next. It now sports 2 New Dawn roses and several clematis that in the last couple of years have gotten clematis wilt. In the spring I'm very diligent about pulling the morning glory seedlings, but it seems like when I go on vacation they grow 8' tall. Of course with the New Dawns in there its hard to pull them out and I get a hold of the clematis as well. I'm planning on different clems there. In fact I have a nice Jackmani that I would like to move there.

Saucy, I grew the spanish flag on my potager arbor last summer. I really enjoyed the colors. I tried a different annual vine this year. I think it was Painted lady bean vine.

Kathy, those are some gorgeous gardens and scenery you saw on your trip. The colors are just fantastic. Of course I love chartreuse.

In fact I painted one of my leaves chartreuse. Chelone, I take no offense at your dislike of my caryoptris, but I think its just beautiful!

That's probably enough rambling from me.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 9:48PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Heeeeyyy! I get to "wrap it up".

Thanks for the cooking spray idea Michelle; I never would have thought. I'll probably take one last kick at leaf casts tomorrow and will then have lots to do all winter.

The bad hair is gone and so are the fingerprints. Today's JJob is the under the counter cupboard in the main bathroom. Mostly full of outgrown bath toys...

Had a hard time getting DGS out of bed this morning, he drank his shake too fast and his stomach hurt, he whined and fussed and finally I told him to go back to bed if he was ill, but that is where he would have to stay. He miraculously recovered after the school bus was gone, so, in my campaign for the title of meanest Granny, I walked him to school - forty minutes through the entire downtown. I need notes from Littlegardenbug on tactics for handling a difficult child....

Speaking of, GB might be home today and we could see some Hawk pictures!

My main chore today is bringing in plants. A few are so large that DH will be spending the day making trolleys. Our weather is crummy so outdoor chores that need to be done will have to wait a bit.

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall.



    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 10:30AM
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