Idyll #427 the slow descent to Winter

cheloneSeptember 29, 2009

Days are shortening, leaves beginning to turn, soon the crickets will be silenced. And so it goes.

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I'm waiting for the Loch Ness monster to appear through the fog bank out back :) The wetlands are still quite warm and the cool morning air makes quite an effect!

I don't remember seeing the completed bath house! It certainly feels like a spa to me. What a great idea. I am glad you did not remove your accoutrement :) They fit in perfectly to the scene.

GB, what a lovely picnic! I used to picnic a lot in CA, I should plan one here.

I'm not sure what today holds for me. We're moving the company office soon - signing a lease today. I have a feeling that I should start cleaning out my desk drawers :)


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 7:17AM
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We had thunderstorms last night. The cats were taken by surprise and immediately went under the bed before realizing it wasn't life threatening. :)

Much needed rain that helped settle the things I'd transplanted into their new slots. If the fates are with me I'll pick up a few things this afternoon though I suspect the nursery pickins will be thin at this time of year. There will be more quality time with the splitter this morning that should filnish up the last of the bucked logs. I am very much looking forward to dotting the i and crossing the t on that project! Just in time for the next round, lol.

I am appalled by the lax attitude taken by medical professionals about opportunistic infection rates. Rates of secondary infections should be posted for all to see, as they are in several other countries. I've watched nurses drop exam gloves on the floor and pick them up to use them, I've seen slippers under the bed for 3 days (indicating no attempt to clean under the bed), I've watched Dr.s examining a stoma with their tie brushing the patient's abdomen, I've been told that UTIs were "commonplace" and all that was needed was a prophylactic prescription of anti-biotics to "keep it under control"... . Umm how about washing your hands properly before running for the drugs? How long was your DH detained because of a largely preventable infection?

'bug is going to have a fine time with Ivy, though I cringe at the number of baby shots that will pepper the Idyll du jour for the weeks to come. And now I learn that Brenda will be joining the club, too. Is there no relief in sight?

Denise, I dimly recall preliminary shots of your bath house but the most recent set is really terrific. A most pleasant space, I must say. I'll have to get it together enough to put up some shots of the reno. here, too. The bathroom will be red to match the bedroom walls. Depending on weather/humidity and available time I would like to get the walls finished this week.

Our 'frig. is toast, the "thunk, thunk, thunk" is the death gurgle of the compressor. Replacing the compressor is in the $500 range and for an appliance pushing 12 yrs. old seems a dubious use of money. I was told the life expectancy of a household appliance is between 4-7 yrs., something I find appallingly wasteful. So, looks as though we'll get to shop for a new one soon. Perhaps one to match Bruce, with the freezer on the bottom... I wish they were available in a color to conceal grimey fingerprints.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 7:26AM
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Good morning

Norma - what sadness to hear of the loss of a dear friend. ((Hugs))

Denise - your bath house is fabulous and exactly my taste. Let me know when I can come over to try it out:0)

Chelone - our fridge is over 17 years old, was bought second hand and has been moved from 3 houses. I have a feeling it is horrible guzzler of energy but is soldiers on. We are looking for something energy efficient that will fit in a slightly smaller than standard space. I too would like a freezer on the bottom as it would save a lot of bending down. We use fresh produce several times a day, but things from the deep freeze only occasionally. Unlike most families I know (we live in the land of fancy sub zero fridges) we hve no desire for water or ice dispensers in the door - the water tastes of old tin cans and the ice dispensers are the first to break or make a mess. But an in freezer ice maker is a must (refilling ice trays would be similar to replacing toilet paper - something only I appear capable of.)

Here are the girls pecking around the first of the falling leaves


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 8:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


Our fridge was purchased by previous owners in the 1980s. I imagine it is close to 25 years old. It is one that I would not have chosen, with that ice and water dispenser Mary speaks of. Now our water is not quite potable, so why would anyone want such stuff??? Oh well, I truly like the freezer side by side with the fridge. The main problem is the fact that we have been unable to move the darn thing! It has never been cleaned under or behind. The fear? That all those appliances, purchased at the same time, will die on the same day. Yes, the life expectancy of appliances is terrible these days and they cost much more than in the past. My understanding is that different kinds of appliances have different life expectancies...none of them great. The throw away society thrives. Tired of avocado? Buy a RED one. Same with your car...

DD tells me that the carpet industry has changed in the past few years and that carpet is sold in sections with replaceable pieces for hard worn areas. I had not heard about this at all. She learned in her course that the industry actually BUYS BACK the used portions and that the new sections blend well with the old. This is the direction I like to see things move in. Incorporating the disposal cost of a purchase in the original price is the way to go IMHO.

So much for being quick here. I'll try to return later after I organize this house. If not, keep the home fires burning all you chicks!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 8:30AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning....have a few minutes waiting for DH to get home early from work.

Marie, we haven't had a picnic in many moons, looks like fun.

We had rain overnight too, but it's beautiful out right now. Sunny and comfortable in short sleeves.

Chelone, the hospital my DH was in for treatment of his infection was a different hosptial from where he had his procedure and developed the infection. It actually is a pretty good hospital in that way. The housekeepers were in every day. They had hand sanitizing dispensers everywhere. They actually are one of the first hospitals in the area that have come up to speed with the new regulations for a 'Rapid Response' team. I just learned about this. If you or a loved one are in the hospital and are just losing ground and not getting better and can't figure out what the problem is, you can ask for the 'Rapid Response' team and very quickly a whole team of personnel will show up to evaluate the situation and figure out what needs to be done. But I also watched the nurses and doctors like hawks when they entered DH's room. I had to correct one nurse who came and put gloves on to pick up dirty items and without taking her gloves off, went to pick up and refill the water pitcher. She got a quick correction for that and started to argue with me and then mid sentence, stopped and agreed she would change gloves, wash and get a new water pitcher. Another time there was a mix up in the antibiotic being used. I made a practice of asking every day which antibiotic he was on because they were adding and removing them faster than I could keep up with. One day I asked which one and the nurse told me differently than the doctor had just done the night before. She thought I was wrong, but agreed to page the doctor to clear it up. She was wrong and went back and looked and explained it was some kind of paperwork misunderstanding. It's bound to happen and you really have to protect yourself by being alert all the time and not being afraid to speak up.

We have an Amana refrigerator we purchased when we did our kitchen over, might be going on 15 years now. Before that we had a refrigerator that made many moves with us and was over 25 years old. Our stove is now having problems. The oven won't heat over 200 degrees and that is only 15 yrs old too. They just don't make them the way they used to and I think that is by design. Our Amana has the bottom freezer and I love it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 11:15AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oops! I meant to post this link to this touching story about a dog and what happened when the car he and his family were driving in had an accident. Dogs are so amazing!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lost Dog Gathers Clues to Find its Family

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 11:22AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, duh - I posted on the old thread - you can see how out of sync I am - I forgot to check this one first! no real news from me so I wont repeat here ....

Love that shot of the chicks, Mary!

Chelone -- yes, built in obsolescence takes on a whole new meaning for the 21st century - and not in a good way.

V - Im hope things at the awfice are getting better.....

Wow, Saucy - what a big deal -- the ofc is going off site from you? I hope that makes your life much much easier -- more time to play w/ garden goddesses...

Waving to all.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 1:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It's still "Eternal Summer" for Skyler. He's mastered a new art, a full flip!

And DD has been given a spot on a late night hockey team because the last person never called back. She's SOOOO happy!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 1:36PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Chelone, we are sending you back to remedial math. 456 + 1 equals 457, m'dear! Ah, yes, blame it on a slip of that finger that you are probably waggling in my direction right now!

I had my first photography class last night - Wow! I learned a lot about the camera and its capabilities. The guy who teaches the class has a background in mathematics, has done stand up comedy and now makes his living as a nature photographer. If you can imagine that combination, you can appreciate that it was an entertaining class. At one point as he was explaining histograms to us, he was using the example of a photo of a grizzly bear in the snow with a marmot on his head. Now if the bear eats the marmot, there's more white in the photo because the marmot is gone. Yes, replies yours truly, but now some of the snow has turned red. . . He liked that I appreciated his sense of humor.

Cindy, I'm trying to keep my head down and my mouth shut at the office. So far, so good.

Norma, my condolences on the loss of your friend.

gb, not only has Skyler mastered a flip but someone has mastered a great photo!

Our last fridge was somewhere around twenty years old when it gave up the ghost. We got a model that dispenses filtered water in the door; it improves the taste of our well water quite a bit. The filters last about a year and it has just about done away with the consumption of bottled water in our house.

Totally unrelated, but I love this photo of the mossy log with the fallen leaves and the, um, yeah. Enjoy fall!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 2:09PM
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Norma, so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend.

Denise, the bathhouse is fabulous! How cool is it that its right off the bedroom.

Âbug, IÂve heard of the carpet tiles. I believe some are made from recycled material and then and be recycled by the manufacturer when damaged or no longer needed.

Our fridge is 13 years old and we donÂt have the ice/water dispenser, but I couldnÂt live without the ice maker. We bought it shortly after we married since his avocado green one died while we were on the honeymoon and my harvest gold one was nearly dead. I really donÂt believe in replacing appliances unless necessary. Our 15 year old dishwasher just received a reprieve when my Dad came up with the exact same bottom to replace our rusting one. Maybe we will get another year out of it. I heard rumors of a "cash for clunkers" program in the works for appliances, so we will wait and see.

We spent the weekend in the Twin Cities with RickÂs son and DIL. They have purchased a home, so we planted some trees in the barren backyard. While the men built shelves in the garage, DIL and I went to the Arboretum for a nice stroll on a perfect fall day. I hadnÂt been there in the fall before.

I must admit that IÂve not had time to read much of the last thread. IÂve got a new trainee at work, which doesnÂt even leave time for coffee breaks.

Tonight I rushed about trying to get some coleus cuttings. We had a light frost last night and I lost my ÂSedona I had all the containers covered, but this was in the potager and obviously in a frost pocket. So when the containers need to be covered its time to begin winding up the container season.

Back later with birthday photos.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 12:30AM
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    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 12:44AM
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Now what the heck was going through my pea brain when I typed that, huh? Maybe I'd expended too much energy balancing my much neglected checkbook, yes? :)

We cleaned up more bucked logs yesterday and finished the stacks along the west side of the bahn and the north side. There is more to go, but we've learned that limiting the amount of time devoted to the project keeps it fun and out of the "chore" category. We will make sure the covering for the tops of the stacks is ready to go into place by the end of the week. And we chuckled that we're guaranteeing fertile hunting for the resident pride, although we didn't uncover any mouse nests yesterday. :)

Photography class sound like a good time, V.. Two former beaux of mine were into the whole math/physics scene and they were tow of the funniest guys I've ever dated. My BIL is a math guy and he's a scream, too. I love the picture of the log with the moss and the SNOW in the background... there's a lot of that sort of thing around here, too. Prime territory for salamanders.

In honor of my late friend I planted a Viburnum burkwoodii, "Mohawk", yesterday afternoon, moving the Clethra to accomplish it. I hope it like the site. We purposely planted it high as we've done with the other anchor plants in that area. The Clethra has been moved to a more remote site in the same roadside area and I'm going to prune it hard in March when I go after the climbing hydrangea and see what happens. I've ordered no bulbs thusfar but did dig a patch that had been growing but not performing very well and was amazed by the quantity that's accumulated over the years. Wowza!

I've spent a lot of time working in that area by the road. I've weeded a third-half of it thoroughly and will put down a layer of newspaper and mulch over it before calling it quits for the winter. I've been cleaning up along the base of the crumbling stone wall in an attempt to keep the weeds that have infiltrated it under control (multiflora roses and bittersweet feature prominently). I would like it to be a "territorial boundry" for the dog and it will make cleaning up roadside trash/debris easier, too. In the spirit of "rain gardens" we are going to maintain the slope down to that lowest area and provide a more adequate channel for the accumulated surface water to run off and down into the culvert that drains into the great swamp area behind BIL's property. Suffice it to say we have some major work ahead of us and I fully anticipate considerable spousal grousing.

That area has been the most discouraging for me. I loathe the loss of privacy and seeing every car that passes by and resent the short shrift it's been given when I've asked for help. So, I've simply set my jaw and decided that it will be done. Next on my list is a call to the tree guy to remove the offending maple trunk (part of multi-trunked tree near power lines). It's going to be expensive and I'm prepared to pay for it myself if needs be. I'll deal with that next week.

Grab bars have been ordered and are now on their way to our home.

We have done nothing about the 'frig. yet, though I fear we're playing with fire on that one. ;) I don't want the water/ice thing in the door, but an icemaker is nice. I smiled at Mary being the only one in her household capable of filling ice trays. Same drill here. The helpmeet was equally horrified to learn of the life expectancy for appliances and we speculated that the "frost free" aspect of modern refrigerators may require the compressors to run more than they did in the old days when defrosting a 'frig. was commonplace. Still, though, with that in mind you'd think replacements would be more readily available. And I couldn't agree more with you, 'bug, that the cost and portion of responsibility of disposal should be placed squarely on the shoulders of manufacturers. The planet is too small to absorb such toxic wastefulness without end.

OK, time to get rolling and pack up for a trip to THTTF. And more maintenance.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 7:28AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well the weekend class went well all the paintings were lovely. This time of year the borders are really winding down (note to self, more fall bloomers) but the containers are still looking great. The west container area is still amazing.

The Bronze Pagoda coleus is absolutely enormous this year and is probably four and a half feet tall.

Ive moved some containers into the first terrace of this garden for filler and its still looking nice. That Nora Leigh is such a star this time of the year and the Beacon Rosa fuchsia standard is larger than its ever been.

The dogwood and climbing hydrangea are starting to turn color for the fall and are looking pretty. That Phygelius in front of the bird bath is huge and Im going to try to store it as a dormant plant over the winter. Its getting too big to grow on under the lights.

V. Glad to hear you are enjoying your photo class. ~~ Now why did you take a pic of the pile on the long? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Michelle, oh dear, bummer you lost your Sedona I guess Id better get in gear and start taking cuttings.

PM glad to hear you DH is doing better. Hes lucky to have you as an advocate for him. ~~ As you can see from the above pics. Ive not put anything away yet. Im going to get caught out by a frost then be in a panic to pull stuff in.

Mary, love the chicken pic!!

Denise, love the bath house. What a great use of that space.

Bug, love the picnic, weve not done that in years and need to make the time to do it.

Saucy, how goes the leaf casting?
Julie, Ill grab a pic of the finished studio for you the next time Im down there with a camera.

Waving hello to Cindy, Chelone, Kathy, Denise, Julie and all the Idylls

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 8:32AM
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PM, Marty was telling me the lost dog story when he returned from work yesterday a.m., and then here it is on the idylls. Ein was getting his teeth cleaned yesterday, and we were all miserable knowing he'd be caged and anesthetized, gone all day, thinking we'd delivered him to his worst enemies. Yes, I know, if we followed Chelone's admonitions we wouldn't be such an emotional mess. I think we need more regular beatings, not Ein, lol...Cynthia fed her IGs raw chicken breasts, but I wasn't sure if it was also intended to help the teeth or not, and I so wished I could pick her brain on the subject.

Chelone, I agree that the screening/lack of privacy issues are the most irritating, take the longest to figure out, can be the most expensive, etc., etc.

Is it that time already? How sad there'll be no more coleus pictures for the year. I've got a couple coleus in the ground that are just now coming into their own, and I was trying to remember when they'll start looking really sad. I'm betting they last til end of Novemberish, then I'll pull them out for spring stuff -- unless the dry Santa Ana winds in Oct do their worst. Did you know that next to frost, nothing is as damaging to plants as hot, dry winds? I've read that the bonfire begonia can be kept dormant over winter, so I'll be trying that this year.

Michelle, they are really keeping you buttoned up at work, the scoundrels. We miss you! What gorgeous birthday cards. Love the swathe of grasses. I've got hundreds of seedlings percolating, and walking into the garden this morning realized I've got room for half a dozen plants for spring, not the swathes I see in my mind, lol.

Cindy, I noted your filial duty trip on the last thread. Good to hear your pater is doing OK. Tell me you stopped by the terrain store this time! Nice way to associate visits to the patriarch -- with a reward for yourself.

What a fun night out, 'bug. I love the old classic plays by Chekhov and Ibsen, all that sturm and drang. A Doll's House may get to NY this winter, and if there's any cheap flights, look out!

Another one annoyed with built-in obsolescence. Let's not even talk about the short life of computers, for those who depend on them for employment. We keep a small "short dog" fridge in the house that sits up high on a shelf and another in the garage that's still quite small by today's standards, not even an ice maker, lol. Our kitchen is the original 1919 footprint, never enlarged, and what I'd be interested in investigating are refrigerated drawers to build into cabinets for produce. I don't see the point of mammoth fridges -- for us anyway.

Saucy, got any other canoes for sale? ;)

Onward with Wednesday, last day of Sept...

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 11:22AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O great -- we have our first confirmed case of H1N1 flu in the awfice and of course because of HIPPA regs, they will not disclose who it is -- I've got two colleagues who sit in my hall (both right next to me) who are out .... they both came in this week, one went home in the p.m. on Monday after hacking all day (& no she never covers her mouth) and the other "stuck it out" for two days and left deatlhy ill last nite... but there are others out on other floors, so it's all a guessing game as to who is the infectee. I really do not think it's unreasonable to forewarn folks who may have been in contact with the individual or their "environmental objects" (read papers, printers, desk, etc.).... But apparently that would be infringing on that person's privacy (who likely doesnt care at all....).

Okay - divert me to think of plants instead... Wow -- Deanne, it's hard to believe you have all that magnificence still in your yards!! All your hard work really pays off even to the "end" of the season -- with all that glory and ginormous plentitude.... Thanks for sharing those shots.

I wont speak to my garden, hazard zone that it is. And oddly, I still have salvia and most mums still to open, full of buds no bloom - Im concerned they'll be zapped by a frost before any flowers - what a waste of anticipation that would be!....

I desperateley need to bring in the remainder of the houseplants and tropicals -- the breynia I scored on clearance a month ago, is not at all happy inside - I sure hope it makes it -- does anyone know if I should cut back or just let it drop its leaves and water occasionally? Im hoping to overwinter in the dim light of my front living room....

Golly, the winter is fast approaching isnt it? I do love your photo, V, but that white stuff - eek.....

PM -- your story re your DH's experience in the hospital does reinforce the vigilence one has to have from a family member or friend and continual presence to be one's guardian -- glad you were able to get all those things straightened out.

Denise - I am embarrassed to say no, no stop yet for a personal reward.... I was in a rush back to try to beat the traffic, to no avail -- sat in a 7 mile backup that cost me more than 30 mins and frustratedly thought I could have stopped at that store at least as it would not have made any dif.... but one never knows - I've tried to leave early/leave late, watch the traffic updates/computer updates, etc., and often the info is just not out there in time.... Im still hoping my next jaunt in November will manage - I think I also felt I should not be tempted on this trip - I keep trying to tighten the purse strings, just in case....

No instant ice/water in door on my frig either altho it is celebrating its maybe 12th birthday? I hesitate to speak of its age for fear of falling into an "idyll happening" -- we do seem to have similar fates happen to appliances and such, LOL. I do find the latest frig drawers/freezers inset into cabinets amazing concepts but doubt my small kitchen could ever handle such things. Shudder shudder to think of renovations....

okay, gotta scrounge some belated b-day photos....


    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 1:28PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Belated Happy Birthday to Norma -- I hope it was peaceful:

And Happy Birthday to Wendy - I think of you when I see this photo...


    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 1:35PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Sorry Chelone and Cindy, but the "unmentionable" in my photo is not what appears to be snow! The white actually is the water in the wetland reflecting a cloudy sky. Deanne spotted the pile on the log - I thought it was an interesting place for a raccoon to do his duty!

No frost this morning; actually it never dropped below the mid forties which is far warmer than the thirties they had predicted. Oh well - I took coleus cuttings this weekend and moved in all the tropicals because I knew it would be hard to get to this week.

Has anyone been following Doonesbury this week? Zonker is planting bulbs - it's worth a Google if you haven't seen it!

Speaking of bulbs, I need to get some myself. I have some bare spots to fill in.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 1:37PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cindy, that is very scary about H1N1. So did HIPPA actually show up at your office, or is the office just following regulations that they have been notified about? I'm wondering how they could confirm H1N1 so quickly? I thought lab results took awhile to come back? It upsets me to see there are still people out there who are not covering their mouth with a cough. I was just looking up recommendations for prevention and treatment, which I'm sure you've already been doing. The CDC has recommendations that include being treated as soon as possible [within 48 hrs] with zanamivir, especially for those at higher risk. They also recommend steps to prevent delays in treatment initiation, which includes ensuring rapid access to telephone consultation and clinical evaluation. I wonder if you could call the CDC? I don't work in an office, but if I did, I would have a bottle of alcohol at my desk and be wiping common surfaces down and washing my hands a lot. Boosting the immune system is important. Vitamin C., E, apple cider vinegar with honey in warm water every morning, lots of garlic, lemon balm tea, and organic green tea. Possibly echinacea? I'm sure there's a lot more to try as well. It looks like it's going to be a long winter.

DD works in a position that keeps her in contact with a lot of travelers. I am worried about how she will do this winter. Thanks for posting Cindy because I see I had forgotten a few things she could do to keep her resistance up. We've already started adding good multivitamins, fish oil & flax oil and Olive Leaf Extract.

I just woke up from a 2 hr nap for the second day in a row. Feels like I wasted the entire afternoon. DH had a short nap too. He did go to the office this morning for 3 hrs. He is not snapping back the way I hoped he would. Not a lot of energy or stamina. I'm wondering if I am expecting too much. Tomorrow will be a week since he's been home from the hospital.

Denise...I don't remember ever getting a dog's teeth cleaned. I didn't realize they have to put them under anesthesia to do it. What ever happened to chewing bones to keep their teeth clean?

Deanne...the weather has been so gorgeous, I can understand trying to keep things going as long as possible. Everything looks great still! I think we are usually ok until the middle of October here, what about you? I am not going to try to winter over my Elephant Ears so I'm just going to toss it. I'm also eyeing a large roof iris and a couple of Pennisetum 'Hamelin' that I will probably wait until the spring to give away. Do you winter over tuberous begonias?

We have a water filter for drinking water with it's own spigot at the sink but no ice maker or water dispenser in the fridge.

Saucy....are you going to have a lot to move to the new office location? You must be excited.

That really is a great photo of Skyler, Marie. They stopped the action very well.

I saw this funny photo on National Geographic.....

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 4:45PM
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Good evening friends, all is well here on the left coast, and the downside of the week has arrived. Next Wednesday night Ill be at the coast enjoying the fog and the sound of the surf. It has cooled off a lot here and the daytime temps next week are scheduled to be in the mid 60s at my destination. Pretty typical for fall on the north coast.
I have a water and ice dispenser of the front of my fridge-the water is filtered so both the ice and the drinking water taste pleasing. I dont feel like this is neccesary at this point, with only me and DS we could easily make ice and have a Brita pitcher in the fridge for drinking water. My last fridge lasted about 15 years and this one is maybe 2 years old. Our utility here in Norcal has an appliance recycle program which I took advantage of last summer for the old clunker (av green) in the garage they come and get it , give you a 35 dollar credit on your utility bill and all the innards are recycled for various uses.

Chelone, the roadside garden is a I think a good use of your time particularly since the traffic is such an annoyance.I can see why that would be a priority. I would do whatever it takes if I were in that position, but as a California girl, a fence would be my first choice. Hope your shrub border continues to develop and thrive. I still remember the limbed-up Arbor Vitae hedge at Braveboat Harbor.

Ok, this is brief, but all I can muster for tonight. Waves to all loved Deannes fabu borders and Marys feathered friends.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 10:38PM
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GOod morning

Denne - was a delight for the eyes your border is! Thanks for the photos.

Our book group met last night and voted on our choices for the year. They range from a graphic novel about a young girl growing up in Iran during their cultural revoltion (Persepolis), a fun mystery, interviews with the Dali Lama, a cultural history of the great depression, Graham Green and other far flung topics. It should be interesting.

The Madonnas of Lenigrad by Debra Dean
A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert
Someone knows my Name (also called The Book of Negroes) by Lawrence Hill
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Dancing in the Dark (Cultural History of the Grt Depression) Morris Dickstein
The Art of Hapiness, the Dali Lama by Howard C. Cutler
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Graham Green - the Quiet American

What is anyone else reading right now?


    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 7:36AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Thursday all!

Interesting reading here this morning....

Deanne, the borders still look wonderful! I can't think of another yard more beautiful than yours just now - certainly not in our neck of the cold and rainy woods!

Cindy, H1N1 already? DH visited his doctor this week and was given a prescription for Tamiflu (?). He was told that if he even thinks he has the flu to fill the prescription right away. He has been diabetic for most of his life and has some other health issues also, so nobody wants him to take any chances!

PM I hope your DH is recovering well from his infection. My DH took several weeks to bounce back after the infection was gone.

Fridges - hate them. We do not have ice or water dispensers, but we do have a reverse osmosis filter on the kitchen tap that makes water and ice taste great - that is, no taste at all, no chemicals etc. We really like that. The old fridge we left behind was a side-by-side, which we had to have in our old house because the kitchen was so tiny we didn't have room to open a full size door without impinging on the traffic pattern. I found the it was hard to find stuff because the shelves were so narrow...Our current fridge was here when we moved in and we do find it hard to keep track of the stuff on the bottom shelves. Also the little things on the door to hold smaller bottles are all broken and now are held on with duct tape. Very attractive. I think I would like the bottom freezer thing better. I wonder if there are any fridges out there with pull out shelves? That would be great. I guess I'll find out soon enough - all of the appliances here are seven years old, and get used a lot. Sobering thought, they could all pack it in at once.

V. I noticed the unmentionnable on the log right away - that's what having two dogs does for ya!

Geez Chelone, good for you to do the cheque book thing - I gave up on that a long time ago. I do peruse the statements and I keep a note book of bills paid, when and how, and often have questions for DH. Got a laugh last month - DH had a lunch at a local pub called O'Reilly's Ale House, which showed up on the bank statement as O'Reilly's Ale Ho - I didn't know they took debit cards *LOL*

I understand about having to set your jaw and get to it. That describes my attitude toward the basement storage here. There will be no help forthcoming in clearing up that mess, so I am simply going in there for 15 minutes every day and sorting and chucking. I hope our next house has absolutely NO storage space.

I am also thinking of bulbs at present. Never planted any before because of the deer and the squirrels; now the dogs keep the squirrels at bay and the yard is fenced so the deer go around instead of through on their way to the orchard. Yes!! I can have bulbs!

TCS is back on track. He decided to give music a second chance and came with a note from the teacher "Fabulous lesson!". He wanted to join cubs but was the only child in town (6,000 people and only one little cub??) but a friend told us of a small pack in the next village and off he went. They are camping out in tents this week-end - at -2 C and rainy. Although they were told to bring bathing suits for the hot tub... Doesn't sound like "roughing it" to me!

That's all the news that's fit to print from here. TTFN.



    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:42AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, it's a wee bit chilly here but no frost yet - I think it got high 40s last nite - hopefully the remainder the the houseplants will make it til I have time this weekend to give them a dunk and wash before house quarantine.

Mary, that sounds like a marvelously ambitious list for your book club -- I've tried to turn myself to reading some fiction lately - I seem to suffer from ADD and only want to grab magazines or other shorter articles -- so made an effort to place some new fiction on hold at the local library. It's hard for me to believe that 10 years ago I was reading more than 10 books a week; now Im lucky if it's 1 or 2 a month! Go figure.... I've caught up on Thomas Cook - mystery writer and some other folks lately... Im such a trash reader any more, LOL...

That's nice to hear, Julie, that DGS is working on 2nd chances for a few hobbies - I bet he loves the cubs! And definitely go for the bulbs -- even if it's only daffodils this year (they will reward you by coming back for sure... and deer hate 'em).

I place my bulb order back in July - I usually do that just so I am sure to get what I want, as I generally have a specific list of things each year - should be getting them this month (October - already?!!!)....

O, PM -- HIPPA is the federal regulation that prevents disclosure of personal and private health information -- hospitals and all organizations love to hide behind it - I have found it to be more of a hinderance than a help when it comes to getting information on many many levels... HR depts LOVE to abide by regs that "prevents" them from disclosing info about folks -- now adays, if one phones in for an absence, they will not even tell the people you work for why you have not come in (e.g., sick, heart attack, death in the family !!!) - I've learned that it's best to phone anyone in the ofc I think needs to know why Im out of the office... it's so silly, but necessary.

That NG Frog in Lites is just too Funny!!

It's sunny and hopefully hitting highs of 70ish for the next few days - chilly at nite - but not yet for the heat....

Okay, V - I confess it took your answer and a long hard look for me to spot the "evidence"..... I need a magnifier I guess.

Hope all have a cheery day.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 1:03PM
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Good evening all, and good tidings that Friday is just around the bend. And next week is a short one for me , as its off to the coast on Wednesday afternoon.

Very nice report from Julie on the TCS front- hopeful that the ups out-number the downs this school year. Your basement approach is similar to my garage regimen, though I am now in the maintenance phase, having pledged to never allow it to become the unholy mess it was prior to cleaning. I try to tidy at least some small bit of it every weekend.

I discovered this weekend that the gaskets holding the woofers in on my beloved Infinity speakers have disintegrated . Ive had the speakers over 20 years so I cant complain , they have served me well. So, time to start researching a new set. Would love another pair of Infinitys.

Cindy, when I sink into the attention span deficit phase regarding reading material, I usually read garden essayists or short stories. I try to keep a couple of those sorts of books around, and am most likely to read them during summer . I am thinking of doing tulips in pots this year- makes it easy to position them to best advantage and then spirit them off to the utility area when they start to look bad.

Mary, what a nice diverse reading list ! Believe it or not , my current read is The Golden Compass book one of the His Dark Materials trilogy (Phillip Pullman) My DS was very insistent that I read it, although I dont usually care for fantasy type books as a rule. I m not sure this really classifies in that category. I am enjoying quite a bit so far- a good thing with 2 more books to go.

Ok, I better go see about some food always slim pickens here at the end of the week..

Later all , waving

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:13PM
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This morning was cool and fresh, but the temp crept upward all day until I ultimately found myself sitting on a freeway ramp mid afternoon with the temp gauge reading 97. Sounds like idyllers are standing by to man battle stations when the first frost alerts hit. How nervewracking, but you guys are seasoned pros ;) Tulips arrived today and have been stashed in the fridge until potting time after Thanksgiving. I am going on the hunt for the Giant White Squill this weekend, a mammoth mediterranean bulb with eremus-type white spires in Aug/Sept. A local nursery carries them this year, brought in from a San Diego grower who's been growing them for decades, practicing a "dry" agriculture, since the bulbs require no supplemental water other than winter rains.

I'm a little sheepish to reveal what's on my reading table -- Henry Miller! No, not the Tropics, but one of my favorites of his, The Colossus of Maroussi, kind of ruminations on his trip to Greece which I picked up on a brief visit to City Lights, the landmark "beat generation" San Francisco bookstore. They still stock an amazing selection and are always worth a visit. My mom read the Cups of Tea book and enjoyed it very much.

Dinner is smelling nearly done, so I'm off. It's now cooler but very, very dry. I am so ready for the rain...Waving to all.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 10:56PM
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Cold, rainy and windy doesn't make for a very uplifting day. I swam, went to the eye Dr to be fitted for my first pair of bifocals (could be interesting) worked, walked with Jaden, perused the garden in a winter coat and make chili soup with some of the abundance of garden tomatoes.

Julie, my 13 year old Amana has pull out shelves and all the door shelves are still intact. Honestly though I never pull the shelves out.

PM, people in my office probably think I'm a bit obsessive. I just purchased a jug of hand sanitizer that must be 40 oz or so for the hand print time clock as well as several smaller pumps for other spots in the office. We also keep the clorox wipes handy. No uses my pen or phone either.

Cindy, lovely birthday pics. I'm curious about the lovely terraced garden.

Deanne, you have some fabulous color going on in your garden.

I've not ordered bulbs and really don't think I'm in the mood to plant any this year any way.

Night all, my eyes are droopy.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 11:08PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning! It's Friday! :-)

I ended my day yesterday in such a good mood and it seems to have carried over to this morning. [g] DH had noticeable improvement yesterday. He is sticking to his 1/2 day schedule at work and when he got home, he didn't look as spent and I found him puttering around later in the day, so I think he had a little extra energy . Best of all, he slept 8 straight hours last night which is rare for him.

Adding to my good mood, I watched a PBS show last night that was so inspiring. Has anyone caught the show called the 'Brain Fitness Program'? It was fascinating! Another PBS special series just starting this fall, is about the history of National Parks, which we are enjoying.

Julie, that is great that your DH is prepared for the winter. Great reminder for us too, that we might want to get a prescription for my DH. Great news about DGS...staying busy and having fun can do wonders.

Cindy, I thought of you the other day. I was planning to drive to a store south of us and it was during rush hour when I am not usually on the road. There had been a roll over somewhere along the route and traffic was backed up for miles. I canceled my plans and got off the highway and went back home. I don't know how you stand it to deal with that every day.

Mary, I really enjoy a good mystery. John Grisham and David Baldacci are favorites but I've read most of those already. I noticed on the 'top request list' in our local library network, that 'True Compass: a memoir' by Edward Kennedy has 663 holds on it. Naturally, I'm from Massachusetts. [g] I have a request list of items I am waiting for....a Canon Digital Field Guide, 'Acoustic Soul' CD by India Arie, another CD, '19' by Adele, a couple of mysteries and 'The Winter Garden'. Nothing all that fascinating.

Kathy, I would love to do bulbs in pots but our climate is different then yours. I'm not sure if I wld have to sink them in the ground for the winter. How do you get enough cold for them? .... Sorry about your speakers, guess there's no way to fix them? Maybe a post on craig's list for a part? We have had small Bose speakers for a long time and enjoy them. They take up so little space too. ....Have you been seeing more of DD and company now that she is closer?

Michelle...have you continued swimming all summer? Your soup sounds delicious! ....I talked to my DD more yesterday and she reassured me that she has her own office with all her own supplies that no one else uses too. Her company is very proactive about keeping the work place safe. They encourage people to stay home at the first sign of being sick, which they do. They have hand sanitizers installed all over the building. ....What's new with Kenzie these days?

Denise, we have not had enough rain yet either. I am deep soaking all of my evergreens with the hose until we get a freeze.

I'm still on the fence about bulbs.

Has Marie left for her trip already?
Saucy must be moving.
Waving to Woody, Anita, Brenda, Norma, Marian and V.

I thought Chelone might enjoy this photo....

Relief is a rolling back scratch in the brush for a hobbled horse freed of its saddle. Several outfitters guide clients into the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area in the Canadian Rockies, and some take hunters, who pay thousands of dollars for a shot at big game.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 6:59AM
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Good morning

Another Open House (High School) last night on the heels of David's bass lesson has left me feeling tired. I'm very glad there is nothing on after work tonight and I can come home and veg, perhpas light a fire. There were two things on every evening this week and with DH gone it was hard to keep up the pace.

I love hearing what is on everyone's bedside table. Kathy - I stumbled across Phillip Pullman in England before hiss writing became popular over here. I think the Dark Materials are wonderful - a definite departure from my usual reading. We have also listened to two as books on tape on car rides and they were mesmerizing. Annie particularly enjoyed reading the trilogy and didn't want to see the movie as she felt it would spoil her own images. She was right as the movie was pretty average.

Off to check the hen house


    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 7:42AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

Its another 40 degree AM and a frost cant be too far around the corner. Im thinking Im going to have to get serious about bringing in things I really dont want to lose. The extended forecast is still not predicting any temps below 37 for another week but I dont trust that. It can change in a moment and then Id be doing the running about with sheets routine. There are a few house plants that Id rather not lose so I guess Ive got to get on it ASAP.

Michelle, that chili soup sounds terrific. Do you have the recipe? ~~ Are you getting bifocals or progressive lenses? I still use the bifocals as I cant get used to the others no matter how long I wear them. ~~ I totally understand about not being in the mood to plant bulbs. I think by the time I deal with all the containers I have to energy left for bulbs.

Denise, 97???!!! Thats way to hot for me. And on the freeway no less Yukko. ~~ More pics from your gardens please???

Kathy, bummer about your speakers. Do you have any idea what youre going to replace them with? Weve still got our Empire Grenadiers we bought WAY back in 1976! And, we still love them.

Cindy, that H1N1 in your office is scary. Did they decontaminate the office afterward? ~~ I have to confess to being a trash reader myself and have read my way through the entire of Nora Roberts "In Death" series. Total trash reading! LOL Im also working my way through the Diane Galbadon Outlander series.

Julie, glad to hear things are getting better on the home front. So, a hot tub at scout camp??? Wow, times have changed. LOL

Mary, that is one fantastic book list. I should grab them and read along with you.

PM I cracked up over the frog pic. How funny. So I wonder if it didnt like the light bulb for dinner? ~~ Yes I do overwinter Tuberous Begonias. Just let the first frost take the tops off, then let them dry a bit and throw them in the basement in the pots. Some store the tubers in peat but I have better luck leaving them in the original pots.

V. Raccoon? LOL must be a territory thing.

Oh yes, refrigerators, ours is an early 1990s model and does have ice and water in the door and we love it. It makes crushed ice in the door and that is worth its weight in gold.

Im in love with this fuchsia.. What a star!

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 7:51AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

And a star it is -- that fuschia makes us all want to create topiaries, Deanne!! How glorious. I do love topiaries - something about their symmetry appeals to me -- Michelle, you need to share some of your early works in progress topiaries with us - how are they coming along?

Okay - Im getting the heebie geebies (sp?) -- TW (aka Toaster Woman) - the weird woman who sits in my alcove has come back to the awfice today -- out since Monday --- she says "o it was just a cold and it's gone" -- but she's coughing and hacking all over the place - blowing her nose, etc.... Im afraid Im likely to blow up at her today -- she's one of the most unsanitary, uncouth, ill mannered individuals I've ever had the mispleasure to work around -- this one trivial fact about her --- she never washes her hands after she's been in the restroom !!! Is that gross or what? When "caught" she tells you the soap is too harsh and she uses sanitizer (back at her desk -- ha, the bottle has been full and unused since January..).... Is that just gross or what? Never cover her mouth, etc... I guess I'll get my lysol out and start spraying on the ledge every hour and she'll get annoyed ....

Well, re "precautions" in the awfice - here they've located sanitizers in "local areas" - which are the copy rooms; there's supposedly disinfectant in the soaps in the wash rooms (they have signs posted to wash, LOL, TW doesnt think they apply to her...). They keep circulating the info the websites listing the info on the H1N1 and that's it....

Well, on to more pleasant topics -- Kathy -- sorry about your speakers -- but I bet you'll be excited by the new small ones -- the technology has changed incredibly in 20 years. Yes, I do read a lot of garden essays & have a few on my bedside table...

Deanne -- LOL - I love J.D. Robb and have read her in all her iterations of novels but will say my favs are definitely the In Death series as well - they're one of hte few books I splurge for in hardback any more. Have read all the Galbaldon ones too. Im a hard core mystery fan -- love the blood and guts stuff (not the charming English country town things) -- give me a good, nasty, intriguing serial killer any old nite...

Has anyone read the new Dan Brown book? I confess I did love Da Vinci Code and read it in one sitting - but Im not sure I would be as enthralled over a DC/Masonic codes hunt.... so I havent sprung for it.

(ooops -- Michelle, that photo of the house was a cute one we saw in York beach on the way to Chelone's -- Wendy was chauffeuring and giving us a tour and Kathy & I shouted when we turned the corner and saw that garden and made her pull over for pics -- I am just so amazed by the color coordination of the garden and the house -- such a perfect complement of colors and so original I thought - definitely out of the ordinary)

Well, it's that time -- gotta clock in and get rolling.
Happy Friday!!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 9:11AM
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Lantana topiary for Cindy & Deanne:

The photo is from Deborah Silver's blog Dirt Simple, linked below, landscape designer extraordinaire, owner of Detroit Garden Works. Maybe some of you already follow her blog. It really is one of the best I've come across (and she has corgis...)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 11:10AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

OMG!!!!! Denise, you enabler you.... I ABSOLUTELY LOVE that Lantana topiary, the Lysimachia, the container (must have one of those) and in fact the whole thing.... Arrrrggghhh, no more plants, no more plants, no more plants....Its not working. Ummmm,,, don't I see a 'D' and an 'E' on the right side on the sidewalk? someone was starting to write my name on that planter. ROTFL! Ok off to check out the blog.

Cindy, good grief, your co-worker is pretty yukko in her personal hygine habits. Can't you get your office moved? That's gross.

Later gators

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 11:19AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Denise -- that is a wonderful blog - I am unfamiliar with it -- I love these things but seldom get enuf time to read all the ones I want to follow -- add this to the my list! Gorgeous topiaries -- and definitely enabling..... she and Deanne make it look so deceptively easy, which is not necessarily the case.

Speaking of books, forgive me if someone posted this before, but I thought this was a really interesting test re books and reading.... the list itself is somewhat curious but still I thought very intriguing :
The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens


11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the DUrbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller.
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (or a good selection of them)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Travelers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot


21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck.
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll...
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame


31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma-Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corellis Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne


41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown.
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding.
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan


51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez


61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold.
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Joness Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnights Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville


71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno Dante.
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt


81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlottes Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton


91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare.
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo


Final Total:


    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 1:43PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Deanne, I tried the progressive lenses for 3 weeks and then took them back and changed to two pair of glasses. I just couldn't get used to them. I particularly disliked trying to read with them on. That fuchsia is looking so full. I suppose you will be pruning it to bring it inside soon.

Cindy....I think coworkers like yours might need a little beating instead of the dog. [g]

I've enjoyed J.D.Robb too. Sometimes they do her books on PBS. Deanne, I used to read Nora Roberts a lot, but haven't in years.

Denise, I am a Lantana fan. Love that combo in that nice tall container. I also think that Blog looks very interesting.

Cindy....I enjoy 'lists' of all kinds. [g] I am sad to say, I have only read about 25 of those titles, and half of those were required reading in school and I don't remember them well. But interestingly, I've seen either a movie, play or production of at least 46 of them. I wonder who decides which titles make this list? Editors, English teachers? I never liked F Scott Fitzgerald and I was not a fan of Alice in Wonderland. I still dislike Lord of the Flies and could never understand why they assigned that in high school.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 2:34PM
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I've read 11 and I'm not well read, lol!

Of course I've seen all the movies :)

Today the office is getting painted. Whisper White. I'm glad it's not my house....but my house will look great without office furniture in it :)

Deanne, I haven't gotten around to the basement shuffle, either, and I need to get moving. The pressure is definately on :)

Tomorrow they're predicting an inch of rain so SunnyD and some girlfriends and I are going to paint pottery. I think this sounds like fun.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 2:36PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I've read 38 (never actually finished Moby Dick, though), but The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is one of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia, so I'm not sure they should be listed as two separate selections. I agree about Lord of the Flies. Not my type of book.

Cindy, I have been thinking about those refrigerator/freezer drawers, too! Our kitchen is small, but I think those would work and give me more counter space.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 8:26PM
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I've read 19 of them and interestingly seen film adaptations of many more of them. Presently I'm reading "The Prince and the Lily" by James Brough. It's about the life and times of Emilie LeBreton, the famed Lillie Langtree, "the Jersey Lily".

I'm back from some work on THTTF. I spent the day before yesterday jamming cold patch into cracks on the paved driveway. Then I began sorting through all the sewing supplies there. Now they're here (to bulk up my own stock). As are several cartons of linen and some really lovely hand crocheted and knitted bedspreads.

The foliage was spectacular, the ride up and back was a real treat. I took Wrecks with me and he enjoyed himself greatly. When we got home the Wrecking Crew was already here so it's been an action packed adventure week for him.

Denise, I think the raw diet was aimed at promoting dental health, I recall Cynthia saying that one of the dogs (Monty, I think) had real trouble with his teeth. We substitue carrots and small marrow bones for Rex. He loves carrots, maybe Ein would, too.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 6:53AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well I've not even come close to reading the whole list. Only 24 of the 100 for me.

Kathy, thought you'd get a real kick out of this pic from June 10th.

Oct. 1st

Hard to believe just how much that papyrus has grown.

Saucy, have fun with the pottery painting. I'm going to go and do a bit of painting in the studio today myself. Got a couple orders to fill as well and that is a good thing.

OK must run and get on the Life Cycle and get a bit of exercise. Have a great day all

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 10:01AM
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We got a little over an inch of rain the last couple of days. The cloudy nights gave me a reprieve from covering pots. I hope to get cuttings and do a lot of disassembling today.

I did get the progressive lens. It seems to be going quite well already. I was doing mono-vision before and if I can adjust to that, this shouldnt be too difficult.

I think Ive read 22 of the books, but like PM I believe most were required reading. I read The Secret Garden just a couple of years ago for inspiration for my own secret garden. Another recent read was The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Bible. A lot of my "books" in the last few years have been on CD while driving. Somehow I dont find a lot of time for reading lately.

Deanne, the papyrus is amazing. Ive found that the hibiscus really grow fast as well. Ive been taking cuttings the last couple of years and Im amazed how big a plant can get from a small cutting. I have several in the ground because they are so great for fall. The fuchsia topiary is gorgeous! As for the chili I really dont use a recipe and it changes depending on whats in the cupboard. This one had chili bean and black beans. All the tomato juice and tomato chunks were from fresh tomatoes which I think gave it great flavor. Of course you can leave out garlic and onions and I used ground turkey instead of hamburger. I really dont get that much pleasure out of cooking but for some reason making soup trips my trigger.

Denise, I think I see a lantana standard in Deannes future LOL you enabler.

Cindy, my sympathies over the gross coworker. I really like the topiary form too, but Ive only attempted coleus so far. I do have a couple that have come along quite well this summer.

PM, Im proud to say that I have swam all summer. I get up at 6 in the morning and swim before work since Id have a hard time giving up gardening time for it. Good to hear that your DH is picking up. Im sure my DH probably watched the brain show - he loves PBS and that would be a show hed like. Im more interested in the National Parks. We picked up a could of Blue Rays - "The Best of the National Parks" and "Alaska & Hawaii Scenic National Parks" at Sams for winter viewing.

Kathy, I may just have to try some bulbs in pots, Im thinking the garage would be a good spot to winter them. Ill probably just get some cheapies to try it.

Chelone, THTTF sounds like a big project.

Id best get going.

Have a great Saturday.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 11:03AM
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Where did the pot go and where did the bee-like ornament go? all they need is Miracle Gro and sunlight... little nitrogen junkies. I think Papyrus is a very cool lookin' rig. :)

Another dead TV and some metal has been deposited at the transfer station. I asked about municipal compost... free for the askin' and they'll happily load up your truck/trash cans for you. I think that may be just the ticket for the new area/shrub border I'm trying to get underway.

Cyn., I loved "Moby Dick"! in fact, it was one of the first "classics" I read that really clicked with me. Ditto, "A Christmas Carol", "Pride and Prejudice", and "The Scarlet Letter". Do we have a new addition to the Idyll family in you? :)

I thought about TCS while cramming cold patch into the driveway the other day. I was thinking about how hard it is to be a little boy with lots of questions to which there are no easy answers. And how hard it must be to be a little boy with all the usual frustrations (plus some extra ones) and the usual amount of coping skills a young boy possesses. Sometimes refusing to cooperate is the only way to exercise some "control". How nice that he has decided to give music a second try, and how much nicer that his lesson went well. It's not easy bein' a little kid but regular beatings bring it back to sharper focus...

I wore my sailing foul weather gear this morning to take the resident idiots out for their rain romp. They couldn't care less about inclemency so I figured I'd best "suit up" and see that they were exercised (exorcised?) or the remainder of the day could be a real drag. The Pride is grudgingly accepting the fact that "they're here". They will now come in on their own and have taken small steps toward claiming their territory when the Crew is here. They have no shortage of raised areas to hang out and the bedroom, bathroom (catbox) are accessible only by cats, so they can flee there if it all becomes too overwhelming. I keep hoping one of the Crew pushes his luck a bit too far and either gets "faced down" or nailed just once. It would do them a world of good as well as the cats!

Who is going to get a 'flu shot this year? I don't think either the helpmeet or I will, neither will my brother. We don't work in heavily populated areas and frankly, I'm not willing to spend the money for them since it's all out of pocket for me.

I have to go out to the Salon and integrate the latest load from THTTF into the supply stock. There isn't enough storage to effect any of it neatly but at least I'll be able to list the storage items required, I guess.

I brought back several paintings I recall from my "first life". I have had 3 thusfar, I've decided. My first life in Mass., my second in NH, and my third as the semi-adult you know. Many familiar ousehold items from my first life went into moving boxes in the '70s and haven't see the light of day since. So, going through the cartons has been fun but also terribly fraught with emotion as I look at familiar items and realize there is no one left to tell me their histories. I have some bits of family lore to go with some of them, but much of the provenance has been irrevocably lost. And so, I am left with appreciation on an elemental level... I am also left to wonder why so little effort was made to bring those items out of their cartons and into the new home that defined my "second life". I will never have the answers to those questions, either, but keen adolescent powers of observation answered many of them. And so, here in my "third life" I am trying to figure out how to bring it all into focus and arrange it all to set up a vignette that pleases me and keeps tender memories alive. I heard "Turn, Turn, Turn" on the radio as I was driving home yesterday. I watched the splendor of the fall foliage unfold with every sweeping turn of the road and I (of course) began to cry. But then I put all the windows down, turned the radio up loud, and slowed down to savor the experience. And it was really quite liberating. Hard work, but necessary work nonetheless. :/

My friend's grave site is as yet unmarked. But there was a lovely carpet of thick moss (the ultimate in "perpetual care") and I took my shoes off to enjoy it under my bare soles. Rex rolled on it. It was OK to be there. And it made me think of Norma and Brenda. And others, too.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 11:29AM
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Hi ho Idylls, a quick visit before I head out to do some much needed deadheading- the mornings are becoming noticeably cooler here, no need of heat yet, I try to hold off on that as long as possible.

I totted up 39 of Cindys book list , like PM there are numerous that were read in high school , and I did not cheat and combine totals of those on the list that I have re-read multiple times., lol.

Michelle, I was envisioning a low bowl of spring blooming tulips artfully arranged, one on each pillar in your front garden. Since I dont have issues with craking pots over winter, Im going top put the bulbs in the fridge for a few weeks and plant them in November and just leave them in the utility area till they break dormancy.

Deanne, what a contrast ! I cant imagine the amount of water you must have to put on that thing, considering the amount of foliage ratio to the size of the pot- I bet the root are massive !

No flu shot here either Chelone, as I couldnt even tell you when the last time I had that particular malady- not as an adult that I can recall. Sensible precaution and clean hands will suffice for me. DS and I drive down the Palm Springs next moth to pick up the family mememtos from the late FILs abode, and I expect most of them will become the property of DS and DD lots of photos and some WWII memorabilia- (my FIL was a SEABEE ) and things from DH and BILs childhoods.

All for now, time to take the felcos out for a stroll through the front garden..

And for Cyn , we await the discreet bio and garden pics :-)

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 12:48PM
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Hello everyone

Deanne - that pot has gone from gorgeous to amazing!!

The book list is interesting but to me seems very media or film driven. I have a feeling it comes from a vote of reader's favourite books which might account for some of the omissions if a list of 100 best works of literature were compiled.

For instance, the children's writer Enid Blyton is considered very low brow in England. I remember reading her series about a girls boarding school, Malory Towers, under the covers with a flashlight so that no one could tease me about enjoying it. Bridget Jones Diary was an amusing read, but in no way should it appear on a list that omits Mark Twain or Ayn Rand (IMHO).

Either way, I find book lists fun as I love getting ideas for what to read next. I have read 59 on the list - the classics in school and many of the contemporary novels with my book group. Plus, I have read parts of but not all of several others which include the complete Shakespeare, the Bible and the Harry Potter series. So many books, so little time...


    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 12:51PM
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Cynthia, 38 is a great tally from that list. I've read all the Austen on it, all the Conan Doyle, loved Madam Bovary, the Little Prince. I think Mary's comments re the list are apt -- it is a bit of a mish-mash. I go maybe up to 30 titles completely read, then lots started and stopped, like Ulysses ;) And I quote all the the time from stuff I never finished, like Moby Dick: "From the depths of hell I stab at thee!" -- amazing how this stuff gets absorbed by osmosis (or old Star Trek episodes...)

Michelle, you are to be heartily congratulated for swimming all summer. I rowed for 13 minutes yesterday and told Marty I need 17 more minutes of exercise to fulfill the 30 min requirement -- that's how I measure rote exercise, not a minute more than necessary. Not the best attitude, right? As a kid, you couldn't keep me from running, jumping, climbing, but I do need more discipline to keep fit these days now that it's "exercise" instead of "raising cain" ;) Walking and biking I love, but they don't give the same cardio benefit, at least at my pace.

Thanks for remembering Cynthia's greyhound advice. Ein eats a boatload of vegetables, with cauliflower being a particular favorite, so adding carrots should be no problem. What a productive week for you, Chelone, on so many levels. We lost a 25 yo nephew two summers ago to suicide and the moment still feels frozen, like there'll never be any moving forward from it. You are such an elegant writer, why not pen some memoirs for yourself about the dimly provenanced stuff from THTTF? I bet a good deal would come back to you just through the process of writing. Thought of you yesterday when reading a NYT piece on an obscure maritime painter, Thomas Chambers, linked below if you missed it. Marty is gearing up for commemorating the death of Admiral Nelson on the deck of the Victory Oct 23rd -- the only question remaining being the pub he'll choose in which to raise our glasses.

Deanne, I tried to grab some photos as you requested, but the puter won't recognize the port and wants to be rebooted, so maybe later. Not much happening here that you haven't seen a zillion times...I bet you could literally hear water being wicked up by those plants in that garage pot. The pure gold lantana is in bloom various places around town, which I think is my favorite. A hillside of that with blue plumbago and grasses...yum!

My 2-inch pots just arrived, so I can pot on the multitudes of seedlings. Huzzah! Had to track down the 2-inchers through a mail order farming supply company.

Idyllers, have a great weekend.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 1:35PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

chelone, I have been lurking for a while. The title of the posts are what first drew me in. The wonderful writings are what kept me coming back.

Kathy, finally bought a digital camera when I gave up on expecting DH to lend me the really nice one I gave him for a gift years ago. The garden pics may need to wait until spring-I will practice downloading (uploading?)/posting pics during the dark days of winter.



    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 3:26PM
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Do tell us a little more about yourself. I sometimes have gaps in my reading so might have missed earlier details. It will help me as we have another absent but not forgotten Cynthia who used to be a regular here. That way I will read you with "your" voice when I see your posts.

A belated welcome if I omitted it before.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 4:22PM
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How fun! yes, a few details about yourself (special ed. teacher) would be nice. I will call you Cyn. since our first "Cynthia" appears to be on sabbatical and the distinction could be important...

I wrecked an umbrella shooing one of the Wrecking Crew off the Fertile Cresent to take his dump... now I have a ruined (very cheap) umbrella as well as a pile of dog crap to shovel out of the way. "Smooth move, Ex-Lax".


    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 4:33PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

That's so funny. For some reason, I thought Cyn427 was 'our' Cynthia, because I couldn't remember her screenname since it had been awhile. So, we have a second cynthia. Well, definitely have to use 'cyn'. Welcome! I look forward to photos of your garden. Or pets, or day trips, or anything that strikes your fancy. :-)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 5:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

This may be a short, disjointed post as I am puppy sitting this afternoon for Cooper. He and Mystic are getting on quite well and there has not been a single accident yet. However, I am quite well-trained and I run him outside about every thirty minutes. Ask me again when we return from an evening out.

We had 14 friends and family for a wine tasting party at the house last night. Good food and good fun. I spent a rainy afternoon today washing wine glasses and watching the geese mill about. I also stained the last boards for the deer condo, and the guys finished most of the construction work today.

Welcome, Cynthia! Nice to have another voice chime in.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 6:16PM
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Yesterday's rain seems to have stopped after some really pounding downpours last night. Not sure what the forecast for today is, but it'll be too wet for any digging. I went out several times yesterday to see how the water was being absorbed in the roadside area. There were some pockets of standing water but it soaked in quickly and I'm hopeful that careful selection of plant material could further assist in managing the "bounty" of a wet season. The "anchor" shrubs are all either adapted to wet soils or are planted high enough to get them through a particularly wet season. I don't see much opportunity for bulbs out there, save Camassia, but Woody's lovely hardy Hibiscus reminded me that I have two languishing in too much shade and they'd probably love the roadside site.

The Pride seems to be grudgingly accepting the invasion of the Wrecking Crew. They were even willing to stalk the floors cautiously last night keeping a wary eye on the dogs. Polly growled at one of them when he stared at her too long and when he failed to "quit it" she took a menacing step toward him which startled him into backing off a bit. Peace reigned thereafter. I hope V. has survived the rigors of Copper (how old is he?) and the housebreaking routine. I have had mixed success getting the Crew out to the woods before they react and drop a load in conspicuous locations. It may be practical for a city dog, but I'm fully in favor of not having to deal with dog mess at all!

I didn't get much done yesterday but there's not much harm in vegging out for one one day on your "vacation", is there? I believe today will be the day I attempt to organize the recent influx of sewing supplies and then look seriously at some work on my bench, and some unanswered e-mail that has required more thought and planning than I've been recently capable of. I would love to have next week off, too (I might even ask about it). It takes a lot of energy and thought to get organized, doesn't it?

Time to start some laundry and make a list of things to address in the coming week. Plumber, tree guy, grab bar installation, and consolidation of toxic waste for the universal collection date that's right around the corner! Praise be the JulieJob. :)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 7:28AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

An odd sunday post from me - Im avoiding doing my "homework" for my stock club meeting, LOL....

How nice to see a new "voice" - Cyn/Cynthia, welcome -- you and the absent greyhound owner Cynthia both live in Maryland (I think I noticed that about your moniker) - Im in No. Va/near Dulles airport and commute to the great metropolis each day, serfing away in a largish law firm.... as you may have guessed from my whines re coworkers and regulations....

Due to that reason and the fact that I take the metro each day, I am a believer in the flu shot -- luckily my firm does offer the regular one as a "bene" to which I will avail myself later this month. Im considering the H1N1 but dont fall into the high risk group and suspect it will be hard to locate... Having unhygenic coworkers increases my desire for some immunization. Metro riding has also turned me somewhat into a germo-phobe and I do my best to keep on top of hand washing,etc....

It turned out to be a lovely weekend here but I have only gotten as far as delousing the rest of the plants that need to come inside and cutting the much overdue grass back to under knee high... I notice sadly that the little bits of rain we've had have made many many weedlings happy to show their heads....

Chelone - glad you had an okay visit to your friend's final resting place... hope it offered a sense of peace to you. There are some other bulbs that take wettish conditions -- I seem to recall galanthus in addition to camassia - but a lovely patch of white and blue camassia would gladden your heart in spring - sometimes it doesnt take a lot of different types to make one's heart and landscape happy.... I had some good success w/ bulbs in pots last winter (most were extras I got too tired or late to plant) and while they didnt all make it (some got too soggy) the 3 pots I had were great to throw into the landscape in places to impress - I hope to try again this year.

Michelle -- that is so impressive re the daily swimming -- I so totally fail in the regular exercise dept - I never liked it even young and dreaded it as an adult.... I am much more in the same category as you, Denise, LOL -- if I can get the 30 mins Im doing well... course I'd like to count the daily commuting walks too - I did once wear a pedometer for a week at the awfice and found that I was most of the time way way over the 10,000 steps daily so I felt vindicated (any excuse not to exercise, LOL)....

Deanne - I think you need to bottle your feeding regimen and market for the plants -- that photo is definitely a show-stopper re the papyrus!!!! As are all your photos re the tropicals... I am envisioning you starting to lug those things back into the house though and it must be a marathon..

Well, guess I best think of club duties -- reviewing partnership agments, stock mgr reports, etc....and get ready for the long 3 hour meet - we're trying to cut down on the time of these things, but so far not much progress has been made.... it takes the chunk out of the day tho.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 11:30AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

What lovely messages form all of you!

Let's see, cyn is fine. No worries there. My DH and I actually live in Alexandria, Cindy, so not too far from you! I'm a special education teacher in Fairfax County and this year is not turning out to be one of the easiest, but the kids are great as always.

My DS turns 30 in November-a bit of a shock. He lives about five minutes from us, so that is wonderful.

I have just recently gotten serious about gardening. We've been in the house for 13 years now since right after we were married (2nd go-round-turning out better than the first, I'm happy to say!). Bought the house because of the trees (lots of oaks)and the potential I could see for creating gardens. Struggled for years with the backyard full of bamboo, ivy, vinca, Rose of Sharon. The previous owners never not met an invasive they didn't like! Cleaned it all out and started planting. Some of the stuff I planted was the wrong plant in the wrong place, but I'm getting better. Our yard is mostly shade or part shade, so I love seeing the pictures of all your beautiful sun gardens! Just in time for a Halloween scare, I noticed some of the bamboo is rearing its ugly head again. Time for noxious chemicals which a usually never use. Oh well.

Biggest gardening issue these days is my two slap-happy idiots (dogs, not DH and DS-teehee)who feel it is their job to dig up, trample, run through and sleep on everything I plant. They tell me they are simply trying to keep the squirrels and chipmunks away from the plants, but I am not buying it! They are rescue dogs from Friends of Homeless Animals-mother and son-border collie with some golden retriever and who-knows-what else thrown in.

Finally bought a digital camera, so by spring, I may have figured out how to post pics. Maybe by then I will have rerouted the dogs running paths, too and can post pics of plants and not just holes and dogs-lol!

Guess this has gone on long enough. I have to get to HD to buy new gardening gloves and then out to plant 18 hosta, four new heuchera, and some mondo grass and liriope to stabilize our eroding hill out back that becomes steeper with every rainfall-not that that has been an issue lately, I'm sorry to say!

I couldn't ask for a more splendid day to be outside. Hope all of you are having similar weather.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 12:02PM
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Good Sunday morning to all ! I appear to have tweaked my back a bit, so I am sitting out the manual labor today , unless there is no-bend deadheading to be done. I was surprised this morning to hear the drone of the wind machines when I woke up- my temp gauge read 38 outside ! A few weeks early for that sort of thing hereabouts and cant be good for the red wine fruit still hanging on the vines. Today I think Ill take the precaution of getting cuttings from the coleus and plectranthus that I want to save.

Welcome aboard to Cyn , I think youll find this to be a fun and knowledge filled group and thanks for the background info this morning . I am one of only 2 active west coast Idyllers, although our friend T lives in the PNW and checks in here from time to time.

Ahh, Chelone, I think hardy Hibiscus would look splendid along your road !

Where has Anita been ?

Im going to go out in the sun, its freezing in this house and I refuse to turn on the heat ..
Waves and greetings to all and hoping bug is enjoying her time with the kinfolk

I wonder if we will get a pic of Saucys painted pottery creation ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 1:06PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Welcome Cyn! You've got to figure out the picture-posting thing so we can see those beasties. Border Collies/BC mixes are high on my list of favorite dogs.

I'm dreadfully behind on comments - everybody is so busy and productive, I can't possibly catch up on commenting on things, but I am reading it all with interest...

A brug question for Deanne... - if we give ours a reprieve and keep them another winter, they will likely need repotting as the pots appear to be completely congested with roots. So, how often do you repot yours and when(what time of year) do you do it and is there anything special you do (e.g. root pruning) when you repot? Some of the buds that are there now are starting to split at the tips/flowers starting to descend. If the frost holds off for another week or so, they might actually have a chance to bloom.

Chelone - I wish I had been able to see your front garden/roadside area in person but I'm sure some nice hardy hibiscuses would be an attractive addition. It sounds like you've got good conditions for them. (I do find, though, that the can survive quite happily with far less water than one is led to believe :-) I particularly like the intense red ones we added last year. Randy also prefers them - there's something about red that appeals to males.... The hibiscuses are almost finished now but the last flowers are still eye-catchers. I'm going to harvest some seeds from both the red ones and the deep pink ones along the path inside the arbour. I figure there might be a chance for some interesting crosses going on there...

The new bed across the front has really performed well this year, both in terms of making the front bed 'fit' the house better as well as providing a nice long period of interest. The front is definitely looking better than it usually does by now although I wish the heptacodium would last a bit longer - the grass on the path nearby is starred with little white flowers falling from it....

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 3:34PM
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Woody, I have to say your home is really looking grand. I love what the addition of the new front bed has done for the overall feel of the front yard. I have also love the soft, mellow color of the house... so inviting and so cheerful in an area that sees a long winter season.

I first used hardy Hibiscus in the mid-90s when the recently cleared area hadn't filled in and cut down on available sunlight. They were breathtaking! But as the years rolled by and the trees filled in the late season sunlight was increasingly diminished and they began to perform less and less reliably, poor things. I had virtually forgotten all about their very exisitence until I was out with the Crew the other day and noticed some spent, deep red blossoms and you instantly popped into my mind. And I've resolved to relocate them to the site along the road which is both wet (to the point of mucky at times) and very sunny for the lion's share of the season. Should my effort bear handsome blossoms a year from now I will go to my grave giving you full credit for the success. :)

Cindy, I wish I could say a visit to my friend's gravesite gave me peace. But that's not the case, at all. Graves are just places; repositories for bodies/ashes, a destination for the bereaved, but little more. Any measure of peace or acceptance for a suicide comes from deep within the survivor and nowhere else. And getting to "that place" is a long, hard crawl that requires a lot of introspection, working through various scenarios, and ultimately a deeply personal and profound acceptance of the choice the deceased made. But that's cold GD comfort when you awaken in the night and the awfulness of the reality washes over you one more time. As Denise pointed out, the moment is frozen in time for the remainder of your life, but survivors learn to live with it and move on to find joy when it seems implausible that such a thing could ever again be part of your life. I will never look at thick, soft moss again without thinking of my dear friend. And that's the joy in the whole awful thing, just as a carpet of fresh powder in the yard and the precision of well constructed drawer reminds me of my other friend. Such deaths leave you changed forever, but that's not always a bad thing, either. You develop a deep appreciation of the importance of the here and now and how seemingly painful moments are really just a portal to accepting the horrible reality and finding a way to pack it into your "life luggage".

Woody and Cyn. would appreciate the acrobatic hijinks of the Wrecking Crew. Undirected they could quickly spell disaster for prim gardens with an ever watchful mistress(Deanne would have a heart attack). I have learned to keep the "important" plants safely sequestered in areas away from the head long romps required of active canids. ;) And I'm pretty successful at directing them to areas where their foolishness will leave minimal traces. Border collie cross?? I can't even feature such a thing, personally. But that's because I hate dogs. And kids.

Speaking of dogs, it's time to slop the hogs for the second time today, I guess.

Do any of you think 'bug has permitted Ivy to touch the floor since she's been there? and how long will it be before we're deluged with more baby pictures?? I applaud Kathy's restraint, though more shots of cross dressing Mr. Baby could be deemed acceptable under the circumstances.

Don't get any ideas, Brenda!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 6:28PM
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As requested, , a cross dressing bum-shot combo

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 6:40PM
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Preparing to innoculate the pool with coliform, no doubt...

What's the story behind the suit, Kathy?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 7:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I've survived puppy-sitting relatively unscathed. Cooper had only one accident, and it happened a mere two minutes before his owners arrived. Mystic really enjoyed the company, but it was a great opportunity for me to confirm that I'm not ready for a full-time second dog.

I was in a rather foul mood for part of the afternoon, so I took the camera out to find something better to look at. I was intrigued by the spent flower heads of the rosin weed (Silphium integrifolium); they are past bloom but have not set seed as yet. I love the symmetry of the seed heads - oh, for symmetry!

Then I experimented with the black and white setting on the camera. This is one of the last white cosmos in the white garden.

And I find a little more symmetry here in this Echinacea bud.

Well, it just ticked 8:00 and I am going to spend the next hour wrapped up in my book club reading. It's supposed to change my life. You think?


    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:02PM
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Well Chelone, much to our surprise there was not a pint-size blow up inner tube to be found at any one of the many retail establishments we tried in the greater Palm Springs-Calimesa area. I was a bit surprised by this-PS is a winter resort where pool activities pretty much occur all year round, courtesy of snow birds and plenty of sunshine. Apparently the corporate chain tsars have a hard time with regional/resort town product assortments veering from the norm. We probably could have found something at a locally owned and operated pool shop, but time was not available. This was Mr Bs first visit to a real swimming pool , and we thought a little floaty thing we could pull him around the pool in would be just the ticket. No dice. However, we did find a baby bathing suit, 50% off with floaty stuff sewn right in-the little boy selections were sold out. So, thats what we bought, popped him in it and it worked great . Made him somewhat buoyant in the water when holding him , which was helpful as hes a hefty little dude. Many photos were taken of him in the ensemble to torment him with in his later years.

The sun was out today, but long sleeves were worn for the duration, and fleece was donned for the first time in many months this morning. And in a real indication of falls arrival, the regular baseball season is over (not counting the Tigers and the Twinkies) and playoffs start Wednesday

Time to hit the mess hall

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 9:05PM
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Welcome, Cyn, great to have you .

Kathy, somehow a baby bum is just the cutest thing.

Chelone, it sounds like you are going through some pretty tough days with the loss of your friend and all the memories from THTTF. I like your analogy of "lifes luggage"

I just brought home a little desk with a drop down front that was in my grandparents home then my parents and then spent some time in my dads shed. I love things with family history.

Cindy, I have to clarify, I dont swim daily but try for 3 times a week. Daily would really be impressive though. The pool is near my work and I dont drive there on the weekend and it seems like a few days a week it doesnt work for some reason. I try to walk also, but I cant say I enjoy the exercise but like how I feel when I keep up with it.

V, you are getting some great shots with the new camera. Keep them coming.

Woody, the front garden is looking fabulous. It really has a nice established look to it. I planted a red hardy hibiscus in my front door garden this summer.

I dont plan on a flu shot, Ive never had one.

I spent all day yesterday unpotting containers and taking cuttings and dumping the rest. Im not done either. Last night got to 35 so I covered again. I was shot at the end of the day and didnt do much today.

Night all

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 11:38PM
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Good morning

Was that really the weekend that flew by?

Mine turned out to be quite productive though I'm looking forward to the long Columbus weekend for some down time. Deciding that the lights I jerry-rigged in the henhouse were not really suited to outdoor conditions I re-configured the wiring and installed outdoor junction boxes and a heavy duty outdoor timer. I no longer have to jump out of bed at 5.30 AM to turn the lights on and the girls are rewarding my efforts with a steady flow of eggs.

Yesterday I spent most of the day on a garden job. It is much harder to fit outside work in with my new schedule. Next Monday I will install a bulb garden and draw up plans for spring planting and I think I will be wrapped up for the year. On the other hand my own gardens are somewhat wild looking but so full of blooming anemenoes, grasses, cleome, asters and tall nicotiana they still give me great pleasure.

We spent last night with a homage to Jacqueline Du Pres (the brilliant cellist who died from MS) watching first the movie Hilary and Jackie, then an old video I own of Jacqueline Du Pres at the height of her career playing with Itzak Perlman, Pinchas Zuckerman, Barenboim and Zubin Mater. We were all mesmerized. I've linked Jackie below playing "her" piece which nearly always makes me tear up.

Have a great Monday everyone


    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 8:03AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Monday morning all!

Yet another wet and dreary day up here in the north! I will soon need a scythe to cut the lawns and I don't even want to think about the garden mess right now.

I am trying to put in a half hour each day between rain squalls, and have managed exactly once in the last two weeks. I have resorted to rearranging all the furniture upstairs to keep busy...

DH has me looking at houses in the country. He is bored with this one. Grrrrr....Yesterday we looked at an old house with an inground pool...I reminded him that we already been there done that and if that is what he really wanted we should never have moved in the first place. The evening was decidedly frosty. Inside, I mean.

TCS is doing well. He was camping with the cubs this week-end, in the cold and the rain. He ended up sleeping in the camper as he was weepy for his Nana (me!), and the leaders were thinking of calling us at 10 p.m. to come and get him, but he settled down, had a great time, and earned two badges. He is thrilled with this, and so are we. Chelone mentioned difficult questions from a small boy - well, here's Friday's gem: "Do skunks f*rt?" Grandad's reply. "Well, do you think they'd care?"

My recent bone density test was not as good as I had hoped. No fracture risk yet, but I now have to have another test each year. My mother had severe osteoporosis (sp?) so I am at risk. I guess the wine deck will have to repurposed as the milk deck!

Little else to report from here.

Your home and garden look super, Woody!

V., I must say that two dogs are ten times the work of one, it seems.

Welcome, Cyn. I have two Boston Terrors, I mean Terriers, and they have their own stone runways through the garden. If you can't beat them, join them. Although Chelone advocates beating....

Cute story about Mr. Baby, Kathy. I agree that these photos are cute now, and will be worth a fortune in about twenty years.

You are so resourceful, Mary! I can tell that you folks are really enjoying the chicks!

I am sure I am missing all kinds of things in my quick scan of the recent posts - I'll take some extra time today maybe to really read stuff.

Till then,



    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 9:50AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, I think I'm caught up on gardens, Fuchsias, chickens, TCS, Mr Baby, dog visitors and much much more. I am miserable without the use of a mouse so this must be short. I have not counted up how many books I have mastered from THE LIST but there are some in every section. I have done MUCH holding of Ivy who is a very happy child. DSIL & Sarah & friend installed a hard wood floor this weekend and I may have before and afters to share after i return. Their friend, a chief (First Nations) has been staying here since I arrived and he's quite the character!)

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 4:55PM
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The Salon is under a modicum of control and I've cut out the slipcover and am ready to begin assembling it tonight and Wednesday.

We're going to the fair tomorrow. We haven't been in likely 20 yrs. and I'm looking forward to it! Today would have been my friend's 50th. birthday and the trip to the fair and that milestone have me feeling that most ties with my misspent youth have been cut pretty cleanly. It's a strange feeling. And as far as THTTF goes I've come to the conclusion that I've still regarded it as my parents' home, not mine, and that has made me hestitant and a little uncomfortable going through the contents... but it's all mine now! My brther cracked me up when he came over to check out the driveway repair and remarked, "that's real pride in ownership!". And later, "yup... it's our mess now". And so it is. I think my new found perspective on this issue of ownership is going to make the next steps a good deal easier. If this has yet to happen to you, I warn you! it can indeed be painful and you will likely be surprised by the intensity of the feelings. I know I was blindsided by it.

I laughed at the story of the "float coat" for Mr. Coliform, Kathy. Wouldn't you think a savvy manager would be on top of stocking such simple items readily needed by visitors to a resort community? Go figure. And isn't that bum shot of him just purely representative of how little kids manoever themselves? Too funny.

Good to know that TCS overcame his homesickness and toughed it out to make it through the night. :) Good for him! and you. I have lingering fears of osteoporosis, too, Julie. I watched what it did to my mother (of whom I nearly a carbon copy). Gulp.

I will make an effort to check out the poultry, Mary. As I recall, there were always some really cool looking rigs in that exhibition hall. :)

Well, I suppose I'd best get out to the Salon and put in a few more hours to get things nearer completion on the slipcover front.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 5:23PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Today was one of those Mondays that are best when they are behind you. The boss started out the morning by blowing up his Outlook data file. And it was a scramble to get September closed, but I mostly got it all done. And I was home in time to take a nice walk with Mystic. I took the camera along and got a photo of the near-complete deer condo.

On the path, I spotted what I thought was a very cool rock. Since it wasn't too big, I decided to pick it up and carry it back to the house. You should have seen me jump when I touched it - it was a mushroom! It wasn't that I thought it was icky, but I wasn't expecting to feel something soft under my fingers.

And here's today's prairie plant seed head. This is round-headed bush clover, Lespedeza capitata.

I need to get another hour's reading in on my book club book or I won't have it finished by Thursday! TTFN,


    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 8:48PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Love your house and gardens, woody. Yes, the pups are great. Very amusing most of the time. They are loving the cool weather and have much more energy than in the summer-no small feat. I have plans for paths for them Julie-hope I can train them to use them. Not hopeful, mostly b/c of me-they are smart enough to learn, but my follow-through is pretty weak. I will work on posting pics next week when I am on vacation-after cleaning out the garage and after planting all those new things that need to be dug in before it gets cold here.

V, your b/w photo is amazing. Absolutely professional! I'll bet it would win if you entered it in a photo contest-really! Very funny about the mushroom!

dd-cute bum shot. Definitely useful for blackmail in later years. teehee.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 9:27PM
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Packing activities are underway here, and remembering Brendas snafu, I have already stowed the USB connector. The long johns and winter jammies are being laundered , and on review of the amenities of my cottage I have noted that there is a CD player so a few jazz and classical selections are in the tote with the camera , extra battery, and plenty of reading material.

V, I think you and I were simul-posting last night, want to say how great your photos are. I like to mess around with b&w too, but I have always manipulated the image after the fact in Picassa. I love the seedheads of the rosin weed, a plant I have never seen..

So Mary, are we to add electrical installations to your list of skills ? That is one area I stay away from, although I have installed a low-voltage outdoor lighting system (which is in dire need of a re-do by the way) I confess I hire out all electrical tasks. Thank you for the cello link. Wonderful stuff.

Hi bug !

Oddly Chelone, I find that I am often in that same position when getting up from sitting on the ground.Thank god there has been no one lurking with a camera. Full circle.

Ok, stuff to do..waves to all.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 10:25PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

It's cool here this morning! Time to break out the hot socks and flannel pjs. We are doing okay around here. DH is still plugging away trying to get back his stamina, but is still on half days at the office. I am trying to get into the garden as much as possible. I posted to Freecycle to give away a few shrubs & perennials and someone showed up to dig them out and off they went. Worked out great! We have a couple who clean our house every two weeks and I was able to arrange for the husband to come and work in the garden with me and he is scheduled to come today. I'm trying to get ready for the spring as much as possible and I have a few unfinished projects going on. We had to cancel our trip to see DS when DH went into the hospital but he called over the weekend and has worked it out to come see us next week, so I am excited! We haven't seen him or Noodles since March. And that's all the news that's fit to print. :-)

DH gets a flu shot every year because of his asthma. We asked about the H1N1 shot and apparently the first arrivals here are going to small children and emergency personnel. We are not thinking of getting it at this point though. I never get a shot. I react badly to lots of medicines etc, that most people don't, so I avoid it.

Cyn, isn't that nice that you live fairly close to Cindy. I am very sorry to hear you have bamboo. I hope you can figure a way to get rid of it. What a lot of work. ....Have you seen the movie 'A Dog Year' with Jeff Bridges? He receives a border collie who is out of control. Pretty funny. It was on TV a few weeks ago.

Kathy, is your back better? How old is Mr Baby now? Is he walking and talking yet? He's looking pretty mobile in that photo.

V....the spent flower of the Silphium is as pretty as some blooming flowers! Have you been deadheading your echinacea? Mine have stopped flowering. What is your new camera again? ...The deer condo is a more enclosed than I was imagining it. Looks great!

Woody....Border Collies are one of your favorite dogs? That must be a long list of favorites. Is there a dog you've ever met that you didn't like? [g] Your front bed is looking great! I can't wait to see what it looks like next year.

Chelone.... We haven't been to the Fair in at least 10 years. DD is going with friends next weekend and really looks forward to it. I miss seeing the draft horses and the other livestock exhibits. ....I was thinking of you as I was contemplating buying a new iron. I imagine you use an ironing board a lot? Do you have a recommendation for a good iron? Also, do you have a lot of padding on your ironing board?

Michelle...I can't believe you have kept up your swimming all summer! You should be very proud of yourself! I have always enjoyed exercise, but getting to a pool and all the rigamarole of the locker room is the part that is a real chore, to me. I am hoping to increase my walking this fall and we just bought a mini trampoline that I wanted to try. Not sure I still have the balance, but we'll soon find out. [g]

Sun is out and it looks like it's shaping up to be a nice day. Rain tomorrow, maybe. Have a won-der-ful day! :-)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 7:33AM
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Good morning

Kathy - as high schoolers here are often asked to bring in baby photos I'm glad to see Mr Baby will have a suitable arsenal from which to draw.

V- the deer condo is mighty fine and I'm loving your photos. My DH is a big fan of B&W and will enjoy the cosmos.

Cyn - looking forward to seeing some pictures from you.

Chelone - you write so eloquently and expressively about the loss of your friend and THTTF. There are times when I find just putting thoughts to paper (or keyboard) can be very healing. I hope in some way it is the same for you. I'm looking forward to hearing reorts back from the chicken enclosure!

GB - glad you are having some wonderful grandma time. Happy babies are the best! Having said that, mine were both colicky and screamers and there were times I thought I would loose my mind. But both have developed into the happiest, cheerful teenagers you could wish for.

I'm just off to check the henhouse. Here is a picture of Red Betty. All the eggs are named after her, whoever laid them, I think because she is everyone's favorite. We often ask "are there any Betty eggs?" or "lets have a Betty egg for a snack".

Betty used to be the biggest, but now the peeps have grown up we realize she is quite modest in size. Once the boss lady, she has handed over the crown to Henny Penny who is almost twice her size, but remains second in the pecking order. Fortunately each of the girls has a best friend so harmony ensues.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 7:35AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well yesterday I made my first real push to getting these containers put to bed for winter. Twenty pots done, 150, or so, to go.LOL I finally took most of the cuttings I want so Im ruthlessly tossing beautiful containers of coleus while they are still looking great but all it will take is a date with some frost and its done anyway. The ten day forecast here still shows no nights below 37 so we might just have more time but that could change in a second.

Has anyone ever divided a Sanseveira cylindrica? I seem to recall that Michelle did that at one time. How did you manage it? I had to do mine as it split the pot it was in and had five pups. The original plant is looking a bit worn because something chewed on it when I first put it out this year so I was planning on ditching it but the pups are attached by a half inch rhizome and I think Id better leave them attached. A couple of the pups broke off their runners and I potted them up separately. Hopefully theyll root.

Welcome Cynthia! Im looking forward to getting to know you. Sounds like you have the potential for some fabulous shade gardens.

Cindy, if I was in your position of spending that much time on the metro Id get a flu shot too. Im still thinking about it but I only have limited exposure to the public normally, especially in the winter. ~~ LOL about bottling the feeding regimen. I just give the pots Osmocote in spring when planting up then in about three to four weeks start a weekly liquid feed. I think a big part of it is the attention to watering.

Chelone, I agree with Kathy that the hardy Hibiscus would be terrific along your road.

Woody, RE Brugs, I already have mine in pots as big as they are going to get so in the fall I use a root saw to cut the plants out of the pots about six inches from the outer edge of the pots so it reduces the diameter of the root ball by a foot more or less. I put the root ball in a plastic garbage bag and snug it up and tie it up to the trunk of the brug. Prior to taking it out of the pot I cut the plant down to four to five feet or so and strip off all the leaves. Leave the plant in the garage until December or so when the temps in there will start falling below 40 then bring them down to the basement storage area. I bring them up and put them in the garage in April or so leaving the root balls in the garbage bags but start watering them when I bring them up(poke holes in the bags) After danger of frost is past repot them in their containers with fresh compost. ~~ I lol about Randy liking red, Doug does too! ~~ Love the photos of your new beds.They are lovely!!!

V, Im really enjoying your photos! ~~ Love that deer blind.

Michelle, I love those little antique desks with the drop front. I have one of those too. ~~ I lol over "Trips your Trigger" Ive never heard that before and it tickled me. Im a soup girl as well. Love this time of year when the temps cool and I can start making soups and chilis again. I make a dish with stewed tomatoes and lean pork where I simmer the pork chops in stewed tomatoes until its tender and can be pulled apart then add a can of turnip greens. Shred the pork then serve over brown rice. Doug loves it.

Mary, I dont know how you do all you do! Managing your own gardens and planning and implementing others gardens, two active children, pets, chickens, How is Clousseau btw? Your own music and running a household. Wonder Woman! ~~ Loved the Cello link. She was brilliant.

Julie, your DH is talking about moving after youve just gotten this place the way you want it????? Grrrrr.

Kathy, when are you leaving and where are you going? I completely missed that.

Saucy, whats up?

Denise, I enjoy any and all pics of your creative gardens whether or not Ive seen the views before. ~~ Love the Thomas Chambers paintings.

OK must run and get to work. Lots to accomplish today. Have a terrific day all.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 7:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just a quick hello to you dear friends!

Sunday a friend who is a Buddhist nun in Tibet came by for a visit. Interesting!

I've been cooking and washing dishes- non stop it seems. Tonight I get to babysit while DD goes to class. Ivy will be furious that I can't feed her. :(

Brenda, we watched a movie last night that you should share with your daughter: Away We Go! Lots of laughs after a slowish beginning. (John Krasinski & Maya Rudolph)

Does anyone know why DD's ficus tree is now producing sap from its leaves? It appears healthy to me otherwise. Yesterday I repotted two of her indoor plants and brought in her rosemary too. Her pineapple lily that she tossed outside last year, thinking it dead, is now gorgeous and has seven blooms!

OK, time to get things going here and then off to the chiropractor for DD's back. DSIL is off to Calgary for a few days. Carrying babies on your hip is dangerous stuff!

Enjoy your day!!!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 10:44AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - was her fiscus tree outside for the summer? Ours always do the drip sap bit for a week or two after coming back indoors. It seems to relate to adjusting to humidity and temperature changes. Keeping them well watered seems to help as the dryer they are, the more the sap drips. It's definitely some sort of stress response.

Deanne - thanks for the brug info. It sounds like a lot of work - another strike against keeping them! Last year I just had Randy put them in the basement in late October before frost and let them dry out and lose their leaves. I gave them a bit of water once a month through the winter. They started to put out new leaves in late January and I then started watering twice a month. Maybe - if we keep them! - I'll do the same this year but root prune and repot them in early January...?

PM2 - About the only dog I've met and didn't like was the beagle that attacked and bit Misty! :-) But I am partial to certain breeds(Liam is a Border Collie so that contributes to my affection for Border Collies...) As a general rule, I like big, hairy beasts like Phoebe and Copper over the short-haired breeds - but I'm not too picky... if it's canine, odds are good we'll get along well together...!

Kathy - I enjoyed the Mr. Baby bathing suit pictures and story!

Julie - we got a chuckle from TCS's skunk question and grandad's response :- )

Things are on hold here until Oct 29th when we see the new neurosurgeon - always a difficult decision whether to wait for the in-demand top ranked surgeon or go with an earlier appointment with someone less experienced. We choose to wait but it's a bit nerve-wracking. So I'm trying to pretend everything is back to normal for this month.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 11:43AM
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Just a quick note to Deanne, I did divide my Sanseveira cylindrica. I was fairly brutal with it. They seem to root effortlessly.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 11:49AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Thanks Michelle, that's good to know as I was pretty brutal as well but there is no way around it with those huge rhizomes.

Woody, you could try just leaving them in their existing pots if you don't want them to get any larger. I have one white one that has been in the same pot for three years I just throw it in the garage and then the basement after pruning it back to four feet or so. It still looked great this year and bloomed earlier than any of the others so you could try just maintaining the status quo.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 12:26PM
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Hi everyone. It's a raining grey morning here so the colors outside are starting to intensify. No frost yet but predicted by the week end. I took coleus cuttings yesterday. I want to get some of my angelwing begonias in since they can be pricey to replace and they give so much color all summer. Don't know what else I will try to save. I really don't care for taking care of plants in the house.
I've been trying to read along but haven't had much to say. I have stopped tearing up on a daily basis but not up to par yet.
I have been walking daily with the dogs. They downright beg to go and I enjoy it so much anyway. I always want to take to the woods and fields this time of year. I do wish DH could walk more than a block without his hip giving out so we could do some serious hiking.
V, that is an awesome deer condo. I am seeing quite a few tracks on my walks. Could you please post the link to your blog again so I can mark it?

Woody, the wait for your appointment must be nerve wracking. Wishing you the best.

We are awaiting test results for DH's glucose tolerance test.

I realy really need to clean house but have no desire to do so. Hey here comes the sun, no reason to stay indoors now. Right?

Welcome Cyn.

I'll be back later. Norma

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 12:55PM
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I'm waiting for clarification on the address for today's job since the one given makes no sense to me or mapquest. The low, slanty light of fall constantly snags my attention, but I'm making headway with the massive pile of tree cuttings and prunings in the southeast corner of the backyahd. We have no green waste recycling so it will be trashed -- a big reason I put off dealing with it until it's now almost fence high. Grace the smoke tree needs constant limbing up during the growing season, and the creeping fig on the back wall does its part to contribute to the pile, not to mention the wisteria coming from the neighbor, etc, etc. Grace really would be suitable for the dictionary entry under "hybrid vigor." Big plans in the offing for this little corner -- a place to possibly hide garden bins and stuff and possibly a compost pile, tho may be too shady. And still more brick path is being disassembled. The main dry-laid brick path that ran behind the big bed had the mid section removed starting last year, and now more this year to enlarge the bed, so now there's piles of bricks that might be suitable for enclosing the compost area. The path was more for the boys to run through, but it's mainly me and the plants back here now ;) Stepping stones for access will suffice. Lots of work but I'm glad to have it and will try to make it last for a month or so rather than rush through as I usually do. No need to hurry now that winter's here.

Woody, how beautiful your home looks. Waiting for the more experienced surgeon does sound prudent, but nervewracking...

Deanne, the detailed brug report was great and gives me the idea to root prune my big salvias while in the pot -- I like the way you think!

V, I posted on your blog re the silphium photo -- love it! Linked below is Noel Kingsbury's blog about his recent garden tour near your haunts.

Michelle, what trips your trigger caught my ear too. Nice score on the rolltop desk.

Lots more to comment on, skunks and little boys, the pecking order of Red Betty, but time to get crackin'.

A burst of magenta from a salvia bought as San Carlos Festival but is probably La Trinidad, if you follow this sort of stuff ;)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 1:19PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I love the glorious photos from V - you're becoming quite accomplished - I laughed over the 'shroom -- I've seen some amazing ones myself this year - including in my containers, of all places....

Was a downer of a day yesterday - the firm has announced voluntary buyout program to support staff and if enuf folks dont opt out with it, it's gonna be the ax type (involuntary) one after that.... oct. 23 is the deadline -- not something I contemplate as the job situation out there is just not healthy... but I fear having my head on the platter too - one just never knows these days. I've heard rumors of a very hefty 30% reduction they're looking to incur - which is steep. The "big boss" says if I were to go, he'd have to consider closing up shop, which is nice of him to say, but I know he'd manage without me. Im glad I held off on buying a new fence or paint jobs for the house this fall -- gotta keep that emergency fund pumped out for now for sure!

Deanne -- I wondered about your sans - I noticed it in the one recent shot and thought how huge it had gotten - extremely tall -- neat that you're going to have several now. I've had a few agaves kicking off a few pups; but I only took a couple as I still am concerned about overwintering all...

I look forward to seeing color from kathy's beach getaway -- cute story about Mr. B's suit & future torture photos, LOL.

Cyn - welcome again -- neat that you're in Alexandria and even neater that you're a special ed teacher -- I know tough times in the school system these days, but what a wonderful career that must be - I think that's similar to what Mary was doing...

Mary -- pretty photo of Betty, even if she's not La Prima -- Im glad those "girls" just all "get along"...

Temps here too are supposed to stay even and there's sun today - it's making me long for a day off to garden and clean up - Im pondering next Monday but wonder if I shouldnt stick to "Ms. Attendance" for the present til the turmoil at awfice shakes out...

Woody, glad to hear when you're next med date is -- I agree with all the raves all have said about your front yard and the new border - they look just lovely together -- I hope they give you some comfort to enjoy and divert you for the time being.

Ok, back to clockin...


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 2:08PM
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Well Cindy , Im so sorry to hear of the turmoil at the awfice.. not much help for morale is it ? The last 2 years at my company have surely been challenging and just plain sad when you see people youve worked with for years being let go in wave after wave of cutbacks. We all hope that this winter will be the bottom rung on the ladder of the downturn-we would be thrilled with flat business levels. I hope that your period of uncertainty is brief.

Deanne, in a fit of jealousy after Sues seashore vaca in August I decided to book one of my own . Im staying in an oceanfront B&B on the coast , just for a few nights but I am so looking forward to it ! This will serve 2 purposes , one of which involves reconnaissance for possible IU7 gardens , the other of which is solitude, decompression and the all important photo-taking .Reports to the Idylls on the road are to be expected-I never go anywhere anymore that doesnt have wireless internet , lol. Im working a short day tomorrow and hitting the road after lunch.

Hi Norma, sorry to hear that you are still feeling blue ..nothing is more curative than a walk in the woods is there ? Especially at this beautiful time of year. I will be driving through the Redwood forest tomorrow and if time permits I hope to pull off and take a few photos to share.

V, I must say I had no idea that the Villa la Venison was to be so cottage-y ! What a great getaway spot .

Woody, good vibes out your way , in hopes that the top-ranked guy will be worth the wait , and that you pass these next few weeks in relative comfort more distracting outings may be needed !

Good score there PM on the hubby of the house-cleaner. It will probably well worth the fee to get stuff cleaned up to your specifications before winter sets in. Thanks, my back is better I took it very easy for a few days, as I wanted nothing to jeopardize my trip to the coast. Mr Baby is about 1-1/2 he does walk , and he does talk however most of it is gibberish ! DD seems to know what hes talking about so I guess that is the important feature of his chit-chat .

Denise, here to tell you that sun is not a requirement of a compost pile- 50% green, 50 % brown and it cooks itself . A Salvia photo thread might be worthwhile here , provided I can get back from the coast before frost strikes them down.

All for me here, got to get back to the packing.


Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 10:33PM
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Kathy - How wonderful to hear Idylling will be part of your decompression and solitude on vacation. We can all look forward to it!

Denise - as a huge fan of Salvias I love your photo and hope to see more.

Norma - glad to hear you are enjoying your walks.

Today we have leaden skys, driving rain and gale force winds predicted for later. It's the sort of day that makes you want to crawl back into bed and read all day. I'm so immersed in Alice Hoffman's The Storey Sisters I've been racing to finish up whatever I'm doing and hiding myself away to read. I was reading till 1.30 AM last night, when common sense reminded me that to be up at 5.30 AM and function through the day I should turn off the lights. Today could be a long one, but one of the benefits of menopause appears to be managing with far less sleep than I ever thought possible. Or is that just aging in general?


    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 7:34AM
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Temps in the 50's for the rest of the week, but the high crazy winds are behind us, at least. The gardens are well watered, and I've started my fall cleanup. I'm not convinced if garden cleanups are better in the fall or the spring, but it seems that no matter how much work I do now, there's still a ton left to do in the spring. My main objective is to rid the garden of any disease or bad-insect laden debris.

No flu shots for me. I've never had one, and I don't think I've ever had the flu, at least not that I remember. glad your DH is on the mend and is able to slowly get back into his work routine. He'll be back in full swing in no time at this rate.

Woody, your front borders are looking so great! Everything is filling in as planned. I remembered that you had a heptacodium in there somewhere, and was hoping for a closeup photo. I think only you, bug, and I (of the Idylls) have one. I moved one of mine this year to more sun and am hoping I got enough roots. Glad to see you are doing well.

Kathy, have a great time on the shore. It sounds divine at this time of the year to get away and decompress. Can't believe the cold temps you've gotten in your area. Didn't think it ever got that cold there. Mr. Baby will offer big bucks for that pink bum shot in 20 years. LOL.

Norma and chelone, Hugs are being sent your way. No words, just hugs.

I'm enjoying every single photo on this thread. Stunning!

V, I love the deer condo. Will you be using it personally, or is it just for DH? I love your blog by the way, but I have to go back in the thread and find it again. This time I'll bookmark it.

Had a busy weekend with an overnighter that included all four grandkids. Then had Antonio for the usual Tues. stint, and today...I'm looking forward to going to work. LOL. Kids are wonderful, but they do take every ounce out of you.

Waving to all,

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 10:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

It's been pouring here this morning, off and on. I love the sound of it. Especially since it rained so little in July, August and September.

I have a request. Are you all ready for spring? I wondered if anyone has time to post spring photos? I was hoping to think through how I can improve my spring garden, so I thought of all of you. :-) I know you all have more mature spring displays than mine. I wondered if you could share a photo or two of your very favorite spring display? What do you think is your most successful spring planting that you really look forward to seeing every year? I thought that might help, while there is still time to order bulbs and maybe a few end of the year sales on perennials. I have a number of spring bulbs and spring perennials that I like, I just haven't put them together to really stand out yet. They are more or less scattered here and there.

Kathy, I had forgotten the gibberish stage. lol My favorite age for talking is three. They say the funniest things at that age and always asking why. I recorded our kids during breakfast one morning and sent an audio tape to the grandparents one year. We still have it and the kids love to listen to it. ..... Your trip sounds so wonderful, I bet you are excited this morning. Looking forward to photos.

Also sorry to hear of job woes Cindy. Very stressful to have to worry about that. I hope the decisions are made quickly so all can stop worrying.

Love that Salvia, Denise and I would look forward to a Salvia thread. ..... I have a compost bin under the canopy of a Maple Tree. It does fine. I don't know if it breaks down a little slower or not, because I don't turn it and it takes at least a year anyway, but it works fine and it uses up space that was difficult to plant anyway.

Norma, you've had a lot of rain this year, haven't you? Your garden must be loving it. I'm sorry to hear that your DH is not able to go hiking. Has he ever considered having his hip replaced? I hear of people doing it, but if it were me, I am not sure how I would feel about it. I hope you can find a way to go hiking anyway. What about one of your kids? I bet you could talk them into one afternoon of it. :-)

Woody...We also love the large brute type of dogs with the long fur. Although just about every time but one, we've brought home a short haired dog. [g] The shedding and slobering of some of the larger dogs has always held us back. DS is bringing his Noodles to visit next week and we have just heard that he is seeing someone now, who has a Great Dane. lol I will be interested to hear how that works out. They do have a 'dog park' near them, which I know he has taken the dog to before. He is also using rollerblades to take his Noodles for a walk. The dog has a lot of energy and has stopped chewing up the house, since he has started this. Every once in awhile, I have a few brief thoughts of getting another dog, but it never develops into serious consideration. One of these days! :-)

I thought this was such a cheerful photo and have no idea why it felt like a fall photo. :-)

At sunrise the balloons take flight over the Cappodocian moonscape. Photo and caption by Patrick Saunders

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 10:15AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

We've missed you Anita, but I can see you have been very busy! [g] Just think how those grandchildren keep you young though. :-) DH is starting to look like his old self the last two days. He's getting there.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 10:20AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Rather a boring day a work, so I'm sneaking in a post. I agree with Anita; it's nice to have those crazy winds past us, and I'm sorry for those of you east of here who will bear the brunt over the next few days. No damage here, but driving to a meeting in the country last ngiht was interesting.

pm, glad to hear your DH is perking up. Here's a spring shot for you of a combo I really enjoyed:

The shrub is a Mt. Airy Fothergilla, with Artemisia s. 'Nana' and an unknown white tulip.

Anther combo:

This is Phlox stolonifera, Phlox subulata and Mertensia virginica. Ignore that yellow thing, okay? There's also some foliage from Alchemilla mollis in the photo.

Yes, the deer condo is quite the glorified tree house. The beauty of it is that deer season is only two weekends every late fall, and DH and I can use it any other time we want. I'm planning to spend a little time there this weekend with my camera, my journal and some wine or hot chocolate. It won't quite be a week on the seashore, but it still will be a nice getaway.

Kathy, I hope you have a great trip. Sounds like it should be a nice getaway. Decompression is a great thing.

Cindy, sorry to hear of the turmoil at the office. That's such a stressful situation to be in. Thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed!

Denise, thanks for the Noel Kingsbury link. It's funny, but when I took that photo I was reminded of the cover photo on a book that he did with Piet Oudolf. And now I see that his blog uses the same layout as mine! I wonder exactly where they were visiting in those photos; for a little fun look at this photo and then the first photo on his blog. Very similar landscapes!

Mary, when you finish tell me how you enjoyed The Storey Sisters. I'm a big Alice Hoffman fan.

Woody, I'm thinking of you as well. Your garden improvements this year have been lovely.

For those who asked, I've reposted the blog link below. Thanks!!!!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:28AM
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PM2...One of my favorite spring bloomers is 'Little Lanterns' columbine. It's small, but really packs a colorful punch at the front of the border. Pretty close to it, and blooming around the same time is bleeding heart, another spring favorite. The colors don't really blend that well, but a tree separates them.

Bleeding heart:

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:34AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

V- love your blog; i was unsuccessful in commenting there -- the techno challenged person that I am... I love your photos so far and thoughtful prose. Good luck!

PM -- I commend you in thinking ahead already to planning and plotting for spring - you certainly are organized! Im thinking leaf raking and "the slow descent into winter" and you're thinking Spring, LOL... I do wish I could be a bear and hibernate til then...

It is however a lovely 70ish sunny day and one could envision it being an Indian Summer --

Mary, you certainly are amazingly busy 'tween your garden jobs and parenting, etc. You have so much energy, it's amazing!

Anita -- sounds like you've been a busy GM - I never seem to get enuf cleaning done in autumn either; I think part of it is that I have more energy and excitement in the Spring - in the autumn I feel in more of a "caretaker" mood - putting things to sleep....

I look forward to seeing Kathy's beach posts and musings... hope you have great weather for it!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 1:21PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Has anyone looked at their house on Google Earth street view lately? It is now available for our area and I just checked it out... The quality of this picture is bad because I printed it and scanned it at less than good quality and also shrunk it, but we were very surprised at the detail!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 4:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Very pretty spring combos!

V...I may break down and order some tulips this year. I haven't bought one in about 25 years. [g] I do have a similar Artemesia, 'Silver Mound' I think. And I have the Phloxes and one lonely mertensia with some Tiarella. I'm sure I have some of those yellow thingys too. [g]

Anita, very pretty columbine and covered with blooms. What is that on either side, campanula of some kind? I wonder how it would look with the white bleeding heart? I just bought two of those last spring and I hope they come back next year.


Woody, that is scary! It looks like DH in the driveway. Brother! Am I the only one that is driven crazy by this kind of technological wonder?

Cindy, there is also something to be said for enjoying the moment. [g] It's just that I've been disappointed a few springs already and of course, it's not easy to do anything about it at that point. I refuse to move plants when they are in bloom. I've never been much good at staying one step ahead, but for some dumb reason I keep trying. For one thing, I can't walk and chew gum at the same time. lol But I try to look at it, as I'm 'single minded' and 'methodical'. :-)


    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 5:29PM
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A quick tap at the door to say, Hello!

I stumbled upon the conversations side back in August when doing a search on combinations, Deanne's thread came up and I was wowed by the postings and photos! Kathy mentioned the recent IU6 so I promptly checked out the Idyll title only to find myself feeling intrusive with accompanying visions of the shadowy confines of...lurkerdom!...not for me, uh-uh. However, curiousity brought me back again. And then, yet again.

So many voices, faces and names - all sharing the joys, sorrows, humor, daily antecdotes that make up a tapestry of interesting and multi-talented lives. Photography that make me smile or gasp at the beauty of it! Still...there's that tricky, WALATING and SALATING code to break. But wait! Surely it must be what I do in the gardens, "walking (standing) around looking at things!"

To make this post even more daunting, I seem to have lost the first one and can't remember my other comments other than the fact I've only read 22 of the listed books. Time to hit submit and head back into the garden, nasty weather is coming I'm afraid.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 5:46PM
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Well, well, well... "Welcome to my parlor", said the spider to the fly. A new fly has blundered into the web, lured by the sheer genious of the daily jibber-jabber... .

Welcome, Candy. We're pretty much just regular, work-a-day slobs with pretty good senses of humor. And we're pretty harmless, fear not. :)

Yes, many faces, many names and the trick is to not be freaked out by any of it. Just start participating and see if it works for you. Remember that even for the old hands any notable absence makes getting back into the routine tough, so being daunted is pretty normal. It keeps us humble. Sort of.

Congratulations and welcome. Tell us something about yourself so we will have a way to get to know you (or ignore you... only kidding!).

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 5:59PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening all,

Well the winds were screaming here today with gusts to 45mph. Only a few blow downs but Im happy to report that Dougs clever bolting of cement blocks to the bottoms of the big Brugmansia pots really works! Im very impressed because the CGrimaldi is huge and it always got blown down this time of the year whenever we got any wind. Clever man I married. Speaking of Charles, here is a photo update as of this morning before the wind storm. I counted more than 300 buds on it over the weekend and its starting to put on the grand finale of the season.

HI Candy and welcome! Looking forward to learning more about you and your gardens.

Wow Woody! Thats amazing detail for the google earth. A bit 1984ish.

Cindy, so sorry for the upheaval at work. That must be pretty unsettling.

Anita, love that columbine too! Very pretty. So nice to see you.

V, I just adore that Fotherhilla/tulip/artemisa combo!!!! Gorgeous.

Mary, I seem to need more sleep than I did when I was younger. I wish I could function on less.

Kathy, Way cool, the beach vacation thing. Cant wait to see and hear all about it.

Denise thanks for the lovely salvia pic. Its beautiful! ~~ How many salvias do you have in pots? And yes, Kathy is totally correct, compost does not need sun to cook. All my compost bins are in the shade and do just fine.

And another pic from this morning. I just love those Castor Bean leaves dancing above the other foliage. Cool!

OK off to fix some dinner. Have a great evening all

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 6:36PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Today was the last day of our first quarter, so I bid adieu to all our little kiddoes for a little more than two weeks. They will be in school, but I will not! Yippee. The next two days are filled with parent conferences, and then relaxation. Can't wait. Cindy, I do love teaching, but all the regs and paperwork are a bit overwhelming. Also, not crazy about some of the things going on in our school lately. It seems that there is no room left for the art of teaching. Of course, I tend to manage to find ways to work it into my teaching nonetheless.

pm2, I will check out the Jeff Bridges movie. I'll bet it will have my DH guffawing. I love watching funny things with him because he starts out slow and then just gets more and more amused until he is laughing so hard that you can't help but laugh, too! He doesn't normally laugh a lot, so this is something to look forward to watching.

Mary, I really will try to learn to post when I am on vacation, but I will never top your chicken photo-love it!

Thanks for all the new welcomes.

Oh, we are still waiting for rain. The hose has been on all day and the pups are muddy. Lovely...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 8:00PM
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Well, It hardly gets better than sitting in a comfy cahair, facing the pacific, the good wine, Mozart on the CD player, and the ballgame on the boob tube with the volume off. (no volume needed for the slimy Yankees.)
Just a brief post tonight- with one hastily taken photo, but you get the idea. Tomorrow is Mendo Coast Botanical Garden..many pics there no doubt !

Hey Candy, glad you took the plunge ..two new Idyllers in one week ! Kiss that lurker goodbye and step into the sun ! You get the WALAT and SALAT down and youre in ..Please fill us in on your zone and approximate location ..

Here is where I am From mendocino oct 2009

Kathy at the Coast

The room comes with a decanter of sherry and nice fuzzy robes.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 9:09PM
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I went around at lightning speed tonight continuing to de-pot. Nearly all are safely tucked in the basement. They are talking about 25 F for this weekend. Really that is a couple of weeks early. Like Deanne, I threw out wheelbarrows full of wonderful plant material. Its amazing how much growth those little cuttings put on over the summer. Weve been having crummy wet, cold weather lately but today was a perfect fall day. I made the most of it.

Welcome Candy, since you cracked the "code" you are required to stay. What other forums do you hang out on? Your screen name seems familiar.

Kathy, what I wouldnt give to be out of the awffice and doing what you are doing.

Deanne, "Charles" is amazing. Ive never seen a finer specimen. Along with the banana it is quite the statement.
I was wondering which castor bean those are. 'Carmencita' has red seed pods but yours appear purple. The reason I'm wondering is when I was at the MN Landscape Arboretum a couple of weeks ago they had a cool large grouping of one called "Dwarf Purple"

Cindy, what a worry. Fingers crossed that the ax doesnt fall anywhere near you.

V, Im curious how big your mushroom is. The funny thing is I had never seen a big one before and low and behold the next day after you posted your picture I came across one in our grove. It was the size of a volleyball. I immediately knew what is was because of your picture. I had to touch it to be sure though.

Norma, I really should do some extensive house cleaning but like you I just don
t feel like it.

Woody, DH enjoys messing around with Google Earth. Ill have to have him check our place again. Last time it was a very distant shot. It probably still is since we are rural.

A couple of topiary picture for Cindy. They aren't looking all that great right now since its been so cold they are dropping leaves like crazy.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:25PM
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I thought it supremely funny that Chelone, of the regular beatings (a memorable quip!) should answer the door! :-)) We shall see how I do as a fledgling in the Idyll flow and regular postings. At the very least I could drop by like a distant cousin, lol.

Deanne, I'm not sure I'll ever get used to your jaw dropping plants and photography. I can't imagine how you create so many of these pristine container plantings.

Michelle, I occasionally check out the Cottage Garden, shrub and hosta forums but rarely post. Added a few comments here and there on separate threads in conversations. I'm sure it was an early glass of wine that lured me into posting on an actual Idyll title! Your garden chair makes me want to run out and paint mine tomorrow; it's just the old wood look I love but that splash of color is fantastic.

Kathy, your vista wins hands down - looking forward to the promised pictures.

DH and I reside in zone 5 in the vast midwest. The kids have graduated college and living on their own. Everyone makes it home for the holidays and family gatherings though. My gardens are much smaller in scale and I'm challenged by an odd shaped yard, no doubt the last lot marked off on the block. Five connecting yards, none with a fence, so it's a constant work in progress. The last couple of weeks I gathered up what still looked good into a few fall vignettes to stretch the season. I don't think they'll last much longer so here's a couple of photos before the big chill hits.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 12:11AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

How surprising, not one but two new Idyllers! Welcome, Candy! Glad you decided to take the plunge. It will be nice to get regular weather reports from the midwest. [g] We also have a small garden and we are connected to four other yards as well, only with fences. One fence line is a post and rail, so I have been busy trying to grow a screen. I love your pumpkin colored chrysanthemum with that dark coleus. Very pretty! must have been going at lightning speed, that was a lot of plant material to get into the house. I'm glad you waited for a nice day to do it. I always kick myself when I wait too long and it's freezing out while we're trying to get everything done. You did a great job on your standards this year! How long have they been growing? I love that painted chair! It is a very pretty shade.

Kathy....that view is really amazing! How did you ever find such a jewel? Looks like perfect weather too. I am imagining waking up to the sounds and smells of the coast. Ahhhh! If that doesn't revive you, I don't know what

Cyn...your DH sounds like enjoyable company. 'A Dog Year' is cute but not as sidesplittingly funny as say 'Beethoven' with Charles Grodin and Bonnie Hunt. was very windy here yesterday too. I hope all 300 of your Brug buds have a chance to open before frost. So, do you do a review at the end of the year and decide what you want to do again and what you want to do differently? ..... That really was a clever idea Doug had. You are very lucky to have him, Deanne! :-)

I followed a link on Comcast yesterday to and discovered a map that you can see how much H1N1 flu is floating around. For instance, in our state it is just a 'local' outbreak, but in California, it is now 'widespread'. The link is below.

Almost looks like a perfect day shaping up out there.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 7:22AM
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Good morning

Hi Candy - how nice to have you join us! As you can tell we love seeing each other's gardens and your fall vignettes are very cheery. Do you like chickens LOL!

Woody - the Google Earth technology is both fascinating and scary. I too thought I could identify Randy walking down the driveway, wearing shorts. I hate to think people might have an equally clear view of me skinny dipping in the pool or sunbathing topless in my lime green underwear. Yikes! Big Brother may well be watching.

V - I think some mulled wine would be the perfect drink for your deer condo.

Deanne - how stunning your photos are and how wonderful to go out in such a blaze of glory.

Michelle - those topiarys are still lovely despite the cold.

Today was a grumpy morning. Last night, after driving David to guitar lesson and ensemble and then cooking dinner I was beat. DH had promised to do the dishes but must have forgotten or got too tired. Left over chicken in gravy is not a pretty sight the next morning. I was greeted with David sitting amidst the disaster eating microwaved potatoes, telling me we are out of cereal. Yet there are four, yes four boxes lined up on the shelf. All empty. I informed the children I would only purchase replacements when the old packages had been removed to the recycle, but there would be no special trip. Ack! How long do you have to spell these things out?


    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 7:43AM
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Over and over and over again, Mary. And you have to turn a deaf ear to the whining. My reply to the whining about the lack of clean socks in his sock drawer? "Tough. There were no dirty socks in the hamper when I did laundry." I said nothing about the pile of them in the bathroom that I could have easily picked up and washed. Sorry! not my job to run around cleaning up after someone else's sorry ass. I do my chores reliably and cheerfully, I don't need to shoulder more work, thank you. Hang tough.

The fair was great. But I'm going to say something very politically incorrect. I was appalled by the numbers of grossly obese people I saw. I know obesity is epidemic in this country but because I don't hang out at the "maul" and my friends are not greatly overweight I don't "see it" on a daily basis. But I was shocked; esp. young women (17-30) who were easily 50-100 lbs. overweight. Wow! and it got me thinking about why this is so... . No easy answers, clearly, but we have a huge problem on our hands in this country, IMO. It really shocked me into reality and it freaked me right out, too.

I enjoyed the draft horse show and talked with a delightful man who used to show them. I received a primer on what the judges look for in a hitch that is competing in the ring and I also received some suggestions on good shows in the NE area that also feature the drivers' abilities. I've never had the opportunity to drive and have always wanted to learn. If I ever have a chance to own horses again mine will be versatile, under saddle AND in harness.

Time to head on out to the Salon and put in some time on the red chenille "rockpile".

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 8:05AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Its a lovely sunny day, breezy and perfect for tackling more of the containers. Im hoping to get another 20 or so decanted today. It just kills me this time of the year to chop off hundreds of fuchsia flowers but its time and past time. If Michelle and folks west of here are looking at temps in the 20 and snow that is most probably on its way here.

Mary, I ROTFL over the four empty cereal boxes. Sorry but I thought thats way too funny, but definitely never make a special trip out. The funny part is that they think Wonder Mom should go out and fix their oversight. One breakfast of potatoes is not going to ruin their health. Doug occasionally will yes me to death over some task Ive asked him to do then conveniently ignore it. He goes off to work and I have to look at the mess in the sink all day so of course I clean it up. I think its a guy thing.

PM Im really crossing my fingers with the weather and that brug too. Yes, I do a sort of mental review in the fall of things that worked really well and are worth repeating. And, yes, I know how lucky I am!

Candy, I absolutely LOVE your vignettes! That Ritz cracker can is perfect. You have a wonderful eye for grouping things.

Michelle youve done a fabulous job with those standards!!! They look awesome. I had an accident with my large Malabar standard a couple days ago. The stakes had rotted at the soil level and when I picked it up the trunk cracked off at the soil level. Wicked bummer. Time to start a new one but that was four years old. Love your fence line and that blue chair is marvelous. ~~ Ive no idea which Castor Bean that is. Sorry!

Kathy, Im insanely jealous that you are in Mendocino! Fabu-fabu!!!!! Looking forward to more photos. Its such a great spot!

Cynthia, I dont know how you deal with teaching. We have a couple dear friends who retired as they didnt want to deal with all the paperwork and crapola anymore.

Here are a couple more pics from yesterday.

Im so in love with my Saucy leaf casting!

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 8:44AM
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Welcome to Candy and Cyn! It's nice to have another midwest native join the Idylls, Candy, so we can commiserate on the fickle weather. Jump right in and yak away. We love photos, as you can tell, and some of the best photographers and gardeners hang out here. :) I like your vignettes, Candy. They are still puttin' on the ritz!

Kathy, looks like you're enjoying yourself, and with that view, how can you not? I am getting serious "mendonitis." That's AKA for coast envy. I kid myself that I don't mind Chicago weather, that is, until it gets cold. Then I'm reminded of the beauty of changing seasons, and I'm okay again. All in a day.

I just started reading "The Lovely Bones." Thought I should get it done before the movie comes out. It's slow moving getting into it, but I do like the plot's premise. Who wouldn't want the chance to look down on Earth and see how people react to our departure? Or maybe we can, who here knows?

Mary...The reminders are endless, never-ending, head banging, fruitless, frustrating...shall I go on, or do you get the picture? My youngest is 19 and I still have to remind her how things get done around here. I've only had to clean up after the females, hardly ever the males. That's a switch.

chelone...glad you enjoyed the fair, and that the scenery gave you something to think about. :) It's something that actually scares me from time to time thinking how widespread of a problem it is in this country. I think it relates to our quality of food and all the crappy additives.

I'm going to go now and check out V's garden blog again.

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 9:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I got out in the garden this morning with the camera for a change. Not much out there looking very good this year. It was windy again, but I tried to get a clear photo of the asters. The blue one has a much more intense color than the photo shows. Neither of them has Powdery Mildew, which makes me happy. I think they need another year before they are the size and fullness I am hoping for. This is the large and medium size in Picasa, I wish they had a size in between.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 10:13AM
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Cindy, that's awful news to get early in the week, but if anyone is indispensable, you are, and the boss knows it.

The light on the Mendo Coast, the cottage, the cliffs -- the perfect getaway!

Planning for spring is a great way to ignore the onset of winter. I'm digging and planting away myself, potting up seedlings, generally making messes.

Love how fall makes you guys reach for your cameras ;)

I did finally bring home a castor bean plant this fall. I think mine is 'New Zealand Purple.' It's an invasive roadside weed and is perennial here, not an annual, so I've steered clear up til now. We'll see if the multitudes of seedlings I get from it and the bronze fennel are deal breakers, but what substance and body they give to wispy stuff.

I posted a warm welcome last night to Candy, wandered away from the puter before posting and fell into bed around 8ish -- now I see the post evaporated overnight, which also included chatting with Cyn over laughing spouses and how Marty howls, wheezes, becomes utterly breathless over the disco scene in the movie Airplane! Of course I had to check youtube, found the scene, played it, Marty wanders in and looks over my shoulder and does a reprise of his laugh attack, so I had to confess to him he was being callously used for idyll fodder ;)

Mitch's hero Irving Penn has died at a ripe age -- very good obit in the NYT. Also on NPR intermittently yesterday was the winner of the Booker prize Hilary Mantel's book on Thomas Cromwell, Wolf Hall -- sounds right up the alley of idyll Tudor fans.

(A story for Woody about a terrier mix named Jen who runs the fuel dock. I may have posted before about Jen. Countless times Marty has come home to tell me about her shenanigans and his boundless admiration of her. As he pulls up in the pilot boat to the fuel dock, there's Jen patroling the five-fingered dock tirelessly, relentlessly -- I think we can say obsessively, all in the cause of keeping seabirds from landing and pooping on the docks. Jen literally doesn't rest all day. Her predecessor, named Diesel, had no such inclination, amiable enough but not a driven working dog like Jen.

So...we finally got the scoop on what makes Jen tick. Marty found out couple days ago that she was trained by the Air Force to keep runways clear of birds, at the cost of approx 6 grand. Somehow the fuel dock owner got ahold of Jen, and the rest is fuel dock history. Now Marty keeps a little bucket of dog biscuits on the pilot boat and slips a few to the hard-working wonder dog. She'll take the biscuit politely but immediately drops it and races off to catch marauding birds in the act. Not a drop of bird poop has landed on that dock since Jen's arrival. I can't wait to meet her and will bring camera for action photos.)

Off to slave the day away. Waves to all.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Afternoon!

I was very impressed by Kathy's view and the chairs on the deck, so thought I'd try to share the deck chairs here today:

I'm happy to see our two new arrivals and hope to catch up with everyone's news next week when I return to Ontario.

Woody, it looks like Ms Phoebe may need leg surgery, something DH has been carefully researching during my absence.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:28PM
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Thanks again to all for the nice welcome! And, yes, Mary! lol I love the idea of you having chickens; that certainly caught my eye and I had to go back searching out the beginning of the venture. What fun and how ingenious constructing the henhouse! Please post some updated photos of it and how they do this winter. Im at a loss on the lime green undies but it sounds hilarious; I think you should add a touch of the color to the henhouse as your signature.

Deanne, the photo with the Saucy leaf casting cost me another chunk of time for more container gazing (as a fledgling Im easily distracted and could disappear into old Idyll titles) and then double back for the origins of Saucys creations. What an exquisite piece of art and I truly admire the patience and time spent on such work.

PM, so glad you shared a description of your yard. Im slowly closing out the goldfish bowl effect with shrubs as a fence would give it a jigsaw puzzle piece appearance, plus the cost is far too great. Love to see what plantings youre using for screening and those asters look so fresh!

Hi Anita, yes the season I dread seems to be arriving early this year - Midwest Gray. The rain is here so its Wet/Gray, and we can look forward to Damp/Gray, Lowering Sky/Gray and then Windy/Chill/Gray which about covers the month of November!

OK, time for me to shift into overdrive. With weekend company arriving tomorrow theres much that needs doing.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:29PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Deanne, I am thinking of writing a book entitled, Why I Need to Retire...NOW. teehee. BTW, love your plant combinations, especially the first one!

PM2, Amazing shots. That blue aster is SPECTACULAR! I don't think I have enough sun for them. :(

Thanks for the welcome, Anita. It is nice to find such a wonderful bunch of people here! Really, everyone is terrific-give yourselves a pat on the back (teacher comment:))


    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:30PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Such great photos (except - I have to diss the one from you 'bug -- eeek, not the scary white stuff - no no no.... major hex signs)... You can tell Im not a mid-westerner...

Michelle - you've done great w/ those coleus topiaries and Im gonna put it on the list for next year's projects....

Welcome to Candy for taking the idyll plunge -- love your imaginative containers - puttin on the ritz, indeed, LOL.

I know Im pushing this idyll over its usual limits but thought I'd throw on my thoughts quickly (what few I retain..)

I LOVE that castor bean shot, Deanne -- it does indeed look like some fancy Inta art object in there - way cool.

Chelone - glad you had a good time at the fair altho I suspect it's one of those places where the cheap eats attracts all too many of us.

Okay, Denise - so Jen the poop deck dog got paid $6K to help the airforce out, LOL? I bet her former owners did not share the fair share of dog biscuits for earning that for him! What a story.... I think I'd like a week or two of her at my place to help clean my patio and discourage 'em from my car too... maybe they could "contract"her out on the weekends from the fuel dock?

Wavin at all; I know I forgot many..

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 1:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cyn that lilac colored aster is facing East. In the second photo you can see the morning sun hitting it and if you notice the tree branch in the upper right hand corner, that is where the sun will stop shining by late morning. So it doesn't get more than 3-4hrs of sun a day.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2009 at 2:28PM
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glaswegian(5b, Ont) the deanneart pot with the payrus, anyone know the other plants in there?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 12:42PM
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