Idyll #332 Countdown to Fall

vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)September 8, 2007

Despite some hot humid weather the past couple of days, I can see and feel the signs.

Carry On!

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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I've literally taken no pictures of the garden this year-just haven't been inspired I guess. Since my garden peaks in September, it's now or never. Here are a few I took this morning.

Despite my neglect, Charles Grimaldi is finally putting out some flowers. Unfortunately they're a week early for the tour.

Steve Silk says my Musa basjoo is the largest one he's seen in the area. It must be that zone 7 microclimate.

Path to the garage. That's one blackie sweet potato vine I planted in the ground. It's doing exactly what I wanted it to do.

Wall of pots on the patio.

For Cindy-the newly painted shed. Welcome to the Bahamas! Here is where I need an Eden touch in getting some additional details.

Love these Acalphas...and they're easy to winter over even for a serial indoor plant murderer like me.



    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 9:23AM
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Thanks for reminding me, Sue! I see it, too... the leaves are pinking up, and with the lack of rain many of the trees are already shedding leaves. It's very warm today, thunderstorms in the offing, methinks.

I have balanced my checkbook, paid the bills, and called the vet. about my doodlekin boy-boy. He managed to get into an territorial dispute with our neighboring kitty and has, what looks like a bite on his right front leg. He's been working on keeping it clean, but it looks a bit puffy. Kitties heal quickly and form abcesses just as quickly, so I asked if I ought to bring him in or sit tight and watch it until Monday. He's eating, drinking, and the vet. knows we aren't "nervous nellies", so we're gonna wait until Monday.

I called the nursery and have put off the planting of the shrubs/trees we purchased for a couple of weeks. We need the time to get the masonry supplies out of the way, the area weeded, and some materials brought in and spread. They were THRILLED to put it off for a bit, too.

So Denise, is that what's called "business casual"? ;) Would you show us a picture of the machine you use to record proceedings? I've never seen one and I'd love to know the basics of how the transcription is accomplished. My late aunt was an exceptionally well trained secretary (50 yrs. with the Dean of Admissions at a large university) and when I cleaned out her apartment there were all sorts of notes in shorthand; she used it all the time! I think that sort of skill is very, very cool.

I was called for jury duty but never seated. I was disappointed, actually. I believe quite passionately in the importance of stepping up to the plate and participating when called to do so. Our judicial system and our government are BASED on participation... without it, neither works effectively and we receive what we "deserve".

A couple came into the shop yesterday with a shredded jib. Evidently their furler malfunctioned and in 8-10' seas with really stout, gusty winds they had to struggle to drop it. I was impressed that they were wearing PFDs and were using their tethers. Actually USING the safety equipment is the truest measure of good sailors! So, Deanne, I'm not in the least surprised by the toppled planters... it WAS windy.

'bug... I'm somewhat mollified, but I want to see "your" booties on the world's most perfect baby (herein to be known as: TWMPB). I'm not surprised you're feeling a bit glum; it's always tough to say good-bye to much loved kin and friends after you've had such a good time. Keep busy with your "chores". :)

We saw "Hairspray" last night. It was the last play of the season and the air conditioning in the theatre was on the fritz. It reminded me of the theatres in Paris, where virtually nothing is air conditioned. The show was great! I was very pleasantly surprised and I'm actually looking forward to seeing the movie. One of my tasks in the next few days is the "re-up" for next season. I just love theatre!

I am uninterested in the sinkful of dishes, the load of laundry, and the still unfinished, "man door". What a lazy sack of -hit... . Maybe I'll water windowboxes instead...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 9:44AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Sue, your yard and plants are lovely. I see several that are the same varieties that I have. I am sorry that the Lyme has returned. It's a wonder I don't get it, with all the tick bites I get.

We had windy weather night before last and my Pretorius canna was tipped off of the stump on to the ground. I uprighted it, but left it off the stump.

Our over all total rainfall for this week was 1 and 1/2 inch. More is in the forecast.

Chelone, I am like you about the kitty ailments.
And I certainly agree that " we recieve what we 'deserve'".

Neat outfit Denise. ;-)

On our way to breakfast this morning we encountered a donkey on the highway. It went through an open gate into a neighbor's yard to join another. The store gal was calling everyone she could think of that has donkeys, to find their owner.( The unwelcome guests had been reported to her.)She was getting people out of bed, with glee ! LOL. She said if she was up they need to be too ...:-)
Nolon gave her the name of one donkey owner, another customer gave another name. We didn't see them on our way home.
Around here, deer are much more of a road problem than donkeys !

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good to see your lush gardens Sue! I love Fall gardens best too...just not mine this year. I'm eager to see an end to it for 2007.

The third load of laundry is running now and the dishwasher as well. Vita the cat is back home purring, but yowled the entire time in the car. The client before us left in buckets of tears, minus her cat. :( We've been to the dump and post office too. Before you know it, DH will be wanting lunch. I'm still doing superficial tidying up of the estate....Marian, would you use a 2x3 foot puzzle (water wheel landscape) even though it had juice spilled on a section of it? It's yours for the asking.

Thinking of DD's family who are visiting Winnipeg and going out with an old friend for an Ethiopian lunch.

I think I need a nap already...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 11:49AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie...not trying to be picky about a puzzle offer, but how much damage did the juice do ? Sounds like pretty puzzle anyhoo...:-)
I would want to reinburse you for the postage.
I have been meaning to tell you...Nolon has developed an interest in puzzles, and did almost all of the last one that I had spread out on the dinningroom table. It has been a while since I put out another one.
I got interested in the book that I mentioned, and all the research on things mentioned in it, instead of puzzles. I am only about halfway through the book, and it's not a very long one to begin with ! Now I am wanting a nice big framed picture (or pictures) of the old time steamboats on the Mississippi and it's tributaries! :-)
Boy! They were sure a dangerous way of traveling ! But they distributed people of all nationalities across the nation east of the Rocky Mountains. And so many differant types of merchandise.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 12:18PM
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Good afternoon

Sue - your gardens are spectacular - the visitors will be in for a real treat. Hope you get some relief from the Lyne disease so that you can enjoy the day.

Last night was David's Back to School Picnic and I helped make and serve what seemed like 500 snow cones - it was well into the 90's and they went like hot cakes. But talk about sticky work! By the time I'd finished with clean up I was too exhausted even for wine (and that's saying something.)

This morning was my early morning (6 AM) market run with two friends, where I had as much fun chatting as I did buying produce. I've already made two batches of salsa, cut up a basket of peaches and have tomatoes in a hot oven for a Roasted Tomato soup. I love cooking with locally grown organic produce, especially when I get to talk to the farmer too.

I need to spend some time cleaning the main part of the house as David's guitar teacher has offered to come here for lessons this semester. It's fabulous as it save a lot of driving for me, but I feel I should clear a path for two chairs and music stand. On the tidyness front, Annie's room is still looking great with no prompting on my part.

Hope to be back later and finally get some holiday photos up.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 12:44PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh yes. I forgot to mention....I am getting quite a kick out of the "booty" saga ! That last pic of Reed and the book is priceless !

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 12:48PM
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I had a migraine today. Haven't had one since San Diego (I know this because the memory was of a darkened room, and watching t.v. and thinking that Kristy McNichol was a boy in the show I was watching....LOL, she looks boyish). I had a bad night's sleep, not sure if that contributed.

SO...I took multiple naps today and decided to catch up on Idyll.

Kathy, I have family in Vacaville. We should talk. I wonder if he's infamous and you know him/family.

Marian...unknown donkey is kind of funny, being stubborn and all. I have puzzles galore and just need an mailing address....Jake and I have tested them out since we're puzzle junkies, too. I am glad that Nolon's tests were negative in a positive way :)

Mary, welcome back! I have to say that I am embarassed about the "Best Friends" book I recommended to the "chick lits"....I don't know the audience and it might've been kind of "out there..."....I'm reading "The Time Traveler's Wife" now and enjoying every paragraph! There is, however, lots of German and French references that need looking up....I'm an amateur :)

Your garden will be great as everyone appreciates the deal we've been thrown in N.E. regarding weather.

Brenda, hope you're having a good holiday. Hope you're still a quitter....quitting is cool :) Is it pronounced "mak-in-aw"? We definately need pix.

Bella at the Zoo reminds me of Jake at SD is something to go and see in person...very impressive. Jake was "attacked" by humingbirds...LOL....we were told that his hair was the color of their nesting material...if you New Englanders could see hummingbirds swarming in the Eucalyptus trees you'd laugh at how we wait their arrival!

GB, My husband and I concur that Jake was just that's a ploy to suck the parents into another child (good for YOU!).... I love the montage myself. Booties for Chelone!!!

My family thinks "Weird Guy" has lots to do in our area :) In first grade they had a bear that we had to send around.

I'm ready for an Idyll trip Wendy/Chelone....

I know I've missed many, but I say a fond HELLO to you all (it's actually a "y'all" I'm saying)....Thanks for all your positive response and always being there.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2007 at 9:44PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Yea!!!! We had rain yesterday and its raining again this morning. This is a very good thing. No sprinklers today for me. Woohoo. The large ÂCharles Grimaldi began opening its huge flush of buds yesterday and I canÂt wait to see it in another couple days. No worries Kathy, IÂll post a warning so you donÂt have to look when I post a pic of it. LOL

Sue! Your garden looks fabulous! I donÂt think you need us at all. LOL That Musa basjoo is beyond amazing. Did you winter over all those acalphas and is that the ÂRaggedy Ann acalpha I took a cutting of last fall next to the ÂPretoriaÂ? ItÂs all just stunning. Your Red Abyssinian Banana has gotten huge also. Mine is really putting on some size in the last couple weeks. The shed colors are awesome. CanÂt wait to see it all in person.

Saucy, so sorry about the migraine. ThatÂs miserable. IÂve only had one in my lifetime and hope to never have one again. Hope today is better.

Mary, IÂve been going to our local farm for corn, tomatoes and peaches lately. Speaking of peaches, I donÂt remember the last time IÂve had such good ones. TheyÂve been so sweet and juicy its unbelievable. Friday they had the first of the apples in there and I picked up a couple new varieties. I just love the produce in September. IÂd like to go out with Doug for a visit with you sometime before the cold weather sets in.

Chelone, IÂve been monumentally disinterested in anything to do with cleaning the interior of this house lately. WeÂre having company for dinner tonight so IÂm going to have to light a bomb under my bum and get some of the Âchunks taken off the dirt in this house.

OK IÂve got to go and feed the Brugs and do some deadheading.

Have a great Sunday everyone

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 7:47AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Morning has broken!

It is a grey and cool start to the day. I'm hoping for some of the rain Deanne spoke of...but who knows? Certainly not the weatherman.

Yesterday we planted the oak tree in honour of our friend. YEAH, something accomplished! I hope he's looking down on it with a big smile. Most of all I hope it survives our care in its brutal location!

Charlotte is operating in slow motion once again. I think perhaps some depression is involved...lingering jealousy over Reed and Indy-dog's visit.

Not sure what the day will offer, besides grocery shopping, but there's much that could be done indoors if it does decide to rain. I'm thinking of tossing mountains of old clothing out, cleaning closets, etc. That may have to wait, but it sure needs it now!

Deanne, I'm with you on the peaches. I don't remember such a long period of time with such a perfect crop. I hope to find more today! The other day I had the most wonderful tart and juicy apple too. I was buying the oak tree at a nursery and the fellow asked if I'd like an apple from one of their fruit trees. I chose one called Liberty - and it was scrumptious!

Saucy, absolutely right about cute babies being a plot to increase world population. Personally I'm in favour of decreasing population, but I know DD & DSIL are eager for a bigger family even though she also is keen on getting back to work. At the risk of sharing too much information, menopause for me brought on the worst migraines of my life. Thank heavens the years of that are over with!

Time for a late weekend breakfast with DH.
Happy today!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 8:50AM
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Good Morning, We had rain here over night. Yea! We still have gray skies but I don't think anymore is expected today. We'll be working more on the basement today. I want to start bringing plants in next weekend and will need someplace to put them. Those of you with a red abyssinian are you planning on trying to overwinter it or have you with success in the past? I've let mine go with the frost the last couple of years but I really would like to try it. I found a website that details how to do it.

Sue, how great to see your pictures this morning. Your gardens look picture perfect to me. I love the shed colors, just the right tropical touch and I have serious basjoo envy. I couldn't find one anywhere this year to replace the one I lost last winter. Yours is magnificent! Love the way you planted the Ipomoea in the ground. I'll remember that for next year. Everyone who tours next weekend is in for a treat!

I spent my nursery free bucks yesterday on grasses. Let's see I got Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah', Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus', Miscanthus sinensis 'Cabaret', Spodiopogon Sibiricus(frost grass) and a green panda bamboo. I'll put most of them in the sunny spot that opened up from the loss of the tree where there are burnt hostas now. I also picked up a couple of things from Goldner Walsh. They have a new tropicals guy and he walked around with me showing me so many cool things. I ended up with a jatropha and an euphorbia geroldii that has cute little red blooms. Also in my travels yesterday I got Bella a venus flytrap, her first plant.

Brad's ready to go out and get some breakfast so that's it from me this morning. Hope you all have a good day.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 9:39AM
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Eden, I love that site you linked. Besides the gardening advice, it's a good example of the British humor/humour Mary referred to. I don't grow any bananas, but my neighbor has one right at our shared property line that fruits. Really amazing to watch the "hands" form, which he has to prop up. They are Vietnamese, and boy do they know tropicalissimo, lol! Epiphytic dragon fruit with enormous white flowers covers a trellis over their walkway. Sue's banana looks magnificent. Day-o...

Saucy, I just clocked ten hours' sleep last night. I don't get migraines but do get a bad case of the "spins" a couple times a year and can tell when I'm verging on a bout. It's always when the weather/barometric pressure is shifting in spring and fall, so it must be related to the inner ear. Hope you're better soon, but enjoy the quiet time if possible.

I'm enjoying everyone's brug pictures, especially since -- sacrilege coming -- I cant STAND to grow the buggers year-round. When not in bloom, they are a huge, ungainly, not-in-bloom vegetative mass. Wish it came with wheels, to wheel it outta sight when not dangling trumpets. I'm beginning to sense the outlines of the differences in gardening in nontemperate vs. frost-free areas. Nontemperate, it's a heroic, bravura performance, ending in an exhausted heap. Here, it's just one long putter in a minor key -- and we get to live with our mistakes year-round, lol. A sprint vs. a marathon.

I bought some acalyphas in spring and they never budged an inch, just stayed a squat, variegated blob. Threw them out midsummer. Now I'm seeing huge, beautiful specimens at the nursery after the heat wave, so they must want massive amounts of heat/humidity. And my coleus are only just making size.

Kudos to those getting rain. Farmers markets rock.

Recipe for Roasted Tomato Soup? (unwritten rule - if you name it, you post it, lol)

KHEL/OEPB, EUL POEFT AEU TPOET/OE SAOPB -- "Chelone, I will post a photo soon." Of the steno writer that you asked about.

Linking Pavarotti peforming Miss Sarajevo with U2.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 11:40AM
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The marine layer is upon us this morning, no sight of the sun yet .I had my soft cold breakfast of applesauce, cottage cheese and a hard boiled egg. Ice cube in the coffee, amoxicillin chaser. Yum ! We have had yet another pet loss here, my little blind, diabetic dachshund ,Tasha, died peacefully in her sleep at home on Friday morning. We had a bit of confusion around here, my oral surgery appt was 8 am , and I discovered her a little after 7, having already popped the sedative pill for my procedure. I ended up having to take a cab to the dentist while DS took Tasha to our vets. She was 13 years old . Im glad she went at home , in her favorite place, under her blanket .Life goes on. Ive gone from 4 pets to 2 in a month. Think well stay at two for a while.
Other than that, my procedure went quite well, most of the swelling has gone down, I have very little pain or soreness today. Looks like I have no valid excuse to get out of getting the chores done . The laundry is in process as we speak.
Sue ,I tried to avert my gaze from your blooming CG, to no avail- that pot surely does not look too big, does it root into the ground through the drainage holes ? Your garden looks truly splendid ! Hope you are feeling better

Deanne, loved the photo of Sunray on the last threadIf I were to put a fuchsia out in direct sun like that here it would be toast in short order ! I have a golden Marinka that needs to move elsewhere too much shade in the am, so few blooms, too much sun in the afternoon so daily wilting which stresses it out. Im having trouble with my begonias too as the sun moves into its fall position they are getting too much hot late afternoon sun and the leaves are scorching.

Well bug, about time we got to see the pouty-face on that baby ! Re: peaches etc, we have had some of the best stone-fruit yields here in years because of the abundance of chill-hours last winter. And are they ever yummy ! My fruit tree crop this year will consist of about 15 satsuma mandarins on my potted dwarf tree. Think Ill have a couple of lemons too.

Denise, love the office ensemble ! Very stylish with the shades and all. Your pose could infer a saintly light from the heavens washing down , or a hovering spacecraft being viewed from beneath (thus the shades) , or a line-up. I like the spaceship scenario myself ..

Saucy, I am about 45 minutes from Vacaville hopefully your family is not infamous due to residency at the large institution there ! There are quite a few employees of my company who live in Vacaville because home prices are relatively afforadable compared with Napa. Hope that migrane went bye-bye.

Chelone, I meant to mention how clever your faux marble desk-top is ! How is Mr. Rex bearing up with the kitty-wound ? I dont even want to think about the vet bills Ive paid out in the last 6 months-though probably insignificant compared with Cynthias. Hoping my remaining pet family stays healthy for the rest of the year. Speaking of theater, DS and I saw a play on our way home from Portland-the city of Ashland Oregon is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which runs for several months every year . We wanted to see As You Like It but was sold out so we opted for Taming of the Shrew , which was performed on thier Old Globe style outdoor stage. I have not been up there for years and it was most enjoyable.

Eden, wow, I cant believe you are talking about moving plants inside already !

Mary, I missed the farmers market this week-we have two here, one on Tuesday am and one on Saturday am. However, while in Portland my BILs took me to their local FM, which was really a treat, and included at least 4 plant vendors ! What more could I ask for? I bought the coolest Nepeta Ive ever seen (pic to follow) and a Coreopsis Crème Brulee which Ive been looking for for two years. And the berries !

Marion, I always admire your research projects you must have quite a bountiful store of info in your brain !

Ok, I really must be off, the sun is finally peeking out and need to get out side

The link is to the website of one of the coolest nurseries I have ever visited, Dancing Oaks. I wish all of you could see it some day...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 2:11PM
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Kathy, how unfortunate to have to deal with Tasha's passing and your dental biz the same morning! Every time I read of an idyllette pet passing on, simultaneous with feelings of condolences comes the thought: Ah, there goes another lucky animal, who won the human lottery and managed to land some decent people to care for him/her. About that "usual suspects" photo, with a kid studying photography since 11th grade, I've learned it's much quicker to just follow directions, as in "Stand there a minute, will you? I've gotta check this light." For years I found many excuses not to "sit" for a photo session. I don't mind grinning for informal group shots but couldn't bear the idea of just me alone. The first time I relented and sat for a portrait, he ups and wins a contest with the results, with prize money! No argument from me anymore -- all for a good cause. Sounds like you had a great visit with your kids. And thanks again for the tip to visit the Cistus Nursery. What a beautiful little island it sits on too.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 8:20PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Kathy, I'm so sorry you lost Tasha. You're right though-a great way for her to go. Two pets is what we have here and it works just fine. No, the Brugs don't root into the ground. The worst problem I have is keeping enough water on them. Right now I'm watering them twice a day. Every other day or so I use a weak strength Miracle Grow solution.

Why are all the great nurseries in the PNW? Garden mecca of the world as far as I'm concerned. All within striking distance of T's house. In an attempt to spiff up around here for the open day next weekend I've been frequenting various local nurseries and the selection is woeful. Granted it's the end of the season but when I read about the great finds some of you are encountering I'm jealous. It's all about mums here now. Mums the word.

Can somebody come and take the heat and humidity away here? I've been slaving out in it for two days and have had it. September is supposed to be cooler and dry here. A little rain would be nice though-actually alot of rain. Despite a fairly consistent watering schedule, all my gardens are dry as dust. The sprinklers will be going non stop every night this week.

Thanks for all your positive feedback on the pictures. Just one more week of keeping up with everything and then as far as I'm concerned it can all go to sh** Tomorrow I see a specialist for the Lyme disease. Marian, to my knowledge I've never been bitten by a tick-at least not that I was aware of. I actually don't feel so bad today. On Thursday I thought the neck pain was coming back but so far it's just stayed a pinch in my upper back and who knows what could be causing that. I've maintained my walk and stretch schedule and last week I added back a lower body weight workout-lunges, squats and calf raises. No pain, no gain, right?

Wish I had a farmers market around here. We have a regional market in Hartford on weekends but it's in a warehouse district and a get up before dawn deal so I've never been. I'll have to look for peaches next time I'm at the farmstand getting corn.

OK, time for bed. How did Monday get here so quick?


    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 9:40PM
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Enjoying a really cheap Pinot tonight before a movie - what a nice evening it is here.
Denise, my BILs like to visit Sauvies Island to do the U-pick-em Marionberries.So are you going to post the prize winning portrait?
Sue, twice a day watering is no surprise-mine are on once a day and still wilt. Damn, those things can suck up the water can't they ?

..and yes, our Tasha had a good life-how strange it is not to regulate my day round her insulin injections. I put the cat food on the floor for the first time in 13 years, They don't know what to make of it.

See y'all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 10:07PM
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Just dropping in for a quick skim. Kathy I'm so sorry to hear about Tasha. That's how our last dog, Alice went too, in her sleep. It is the best way I think. I hope I'm so lucky. Glad your mouth isn't giving you too much pain today. I loved the pictures in the Dancing Oaks gallery. I saw a couple of things I'd love to have if only I was z7.

Sue, wishing you the energy to make it through the home stretch this week. I so wish I was close enough to come see the tour. Glad you're feeling ok today but don't overdo it.

Denise, you know, I don't like winter but I do like the fresh start in the garden that spring brings. If you all could only see how awful my hostas look now between the slugs and the dry conditions we've had this year. I can't wait for the frost to put them out of their misery. How cool to have a son so talented in photography. Does he take photos of your gardens and plants?

Babs, thanks for the pep talk the other night. You're right, they're only little for such a short time and how important is a clean house in the grand scheme of things anyway.

We took Bella to see the cows at the dairy again tonight. She just loves them. She was hoping to see the pigs too but their was a sign up about ordering your fresh freezer pork and not a pig in the pen:(

I don't usually start taking in my plants this early but with Bella at her age I can't take a big chunk of time all at once to do it if frost threatens so I'm going to start doing just a few a day. I'll start with cuttings and dismantling the combo pots. The tables are set up and ready. I just need to put in some fresh bulbs.

Well that's more than I was planning on saying tonight. I'm tired and have a lot planned for the next couple of days, both inside and out, since Bella won't be here. Good Night All,


    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 10:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

No peaches at the store this time. That's the end of it I guess.:( On to apple time now! I bought tomatoes instead. I like to oven dry them. Picked up a pot of asters for color, 3 Hakonechloa on sale, and some cut sunflowers and hydrangeas. When the garden is the pits, cut flowers sort of do the trick for me. I also bought a funny small Baptisia that's burgundy and yellow. (My favorite Baptisia here is my white one, but I have Carolina Moonlight and other blue/purple ones.) Tomorrow I hope to start planting my pot ghetto....which tells you that I've planted hardly anything since my April/May purchases. What a season it has been! Sue, with any luck you'll be getting the cool damp weather we've had today. (60F most of the day) I love cool. I'd prefer a real downpour and then cool sunny days for a while though.

I spent an hour or so throwing out tired coleus and other dead seedlings I never got round to planting. Also in the compost heap are an old jade plant and some other junk. Feels good to get rid of things and make way for the cuttings I usually make of coleus and wallflowers! I haven't counted the unplanted clematis at all....

I really should have a heart to heart talk with New York State tax people about Mom's taxes. She's dead, the lawyers have signed off, there's no estate any more and they still want me to deal with things. GRRRR. We'll see if I can deal with that tomorrow or whether I procrastinate some more. Tomorrow is another day.

Ta ta

PS: My Kirengeshoma palmata is looking fine once again this year...though surrounded by weeds.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 10:26PM
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A humble good morning as I've only had time to skim during the last few weeks.

Grandkids, brugs, gardens in general and vacations are what sticks in my mind. Fun for all! Also feel for those who have lost pets or are on the verge.

Since August 1st we've had exactly .97 inches of rain at the park. Last weekend I seriously watered 1" everywhere -- protecting the investment. Precipitation keeps threatening but doesn't get past the river to us. There are not-so-good things about living in a valley ....

That said, everything seems to be okay and I've managed to move a bunch of two-year-old shrubs (gotta love Bluestone's "sticks with roots") to their establishing places. Progress.... Also have all lavender and Campanula seedlings in the ground (added up to about 75) and am proud to say the whole deal is about 10% of what it would've cost to buy them.

Can't agree enough with Sue's assessment of local nurseries. Ugh. Not even any really good deals on hard goods.

Did, though, get a yard of well rotted manure and two more yard of mulch delivered. Finishing touches for this year.

Kyle is safely ensconced in his dorm in England and is exhausted but happy and getting oriented. Half of me wanted to do cartwheels, the other half of me wanted to put his Kindergarten name badge on his tee-shirt when he left.

Best to everyone -- will do what I can to catch up and get more specific with everyone's comings and goings.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 7:05AM
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V: Completely forgot (bang, bang my head) to send you my good thoughts during this rough time. I can't imagine .....


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 7:12AM
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I hope the cool air has reached Sue by now! it arrived here yesterday morning and I wound up wearing long pants for the first time in a long time. It was cloudy, clammy, and the wind was right off the water. Some change in 24 hours. We've had a few douwnpurs and some nice, steady rain, but we could probably use about 4 straight days of it.

I share Denise's assessment of deceased Idyll pets... wouuld that all pets enjoyed the same level of loyalty from their humans. Lucky Tasha, but I'm sure the "hole" is a large one, Kathy. My "doodlekin boy-boy" is Spencer, the fit and muscular feline; he apparently got into a border skirmish with a neighboring kitty... . He's been working on the bite diligently and isn't limping, but it looks pretty angry so I think a trip to the "doctor" might be in order. Rex seems to be coming right along in his convalescence. It is necessary to watch him like a hawk or he disappears quickly when off leash. To burn of excess energy he chases his tail, or lunges after the cats with feigned ferocity (who disdainfully leave him in the dust). Pretty funny, because he's pretty big for that sort of action.

Sue, your garden looks great. I love the shed, and it made me smile that you mentioned some "eden" input... . It's been a long summer to intensively care for a garden and I'm sure you'd be pooped even if you were feeling "tip top". Hang in there, only 6 more days to go. I do so hope you get some good news on the Lyme front.

We had a sensational crop of peaches here, too. I'm not sure of the variety, but they had very fuzzy little fur coats. I peeled them, in fact. They were sweet, juicy, and just delicious. They were turned into peach pie, and peach kuchen with great regularity. The contractors ate plenty of them, too, as did Rex. Now we're up to elbows in tomatoes... and fresh mozzarrella and basil. Mmmm. And it's looking like a bumper crop of Brussel Sprouts, too. ("little baby cabbabages"... a favorite of mine).

Well, time to tame my "bed hair" (which needs pruning desperately), and figure out what the helpmeet is doing in the garage BEFORE his breakfast. I'm curious, power tools before coffee and his first feeding? doesn't "sound like him".


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 7:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, brussel sprouts! DD loves them but her family does not! So she made them for us while here: parboil sprouts. Toast pecans in skillet. Then cut sprouts in half and stirfry with pecans. Add lemon juice. Yum! (Trying to satisfy the unwritten rule, Denise - "if you name it, you post it, lol") Actually, sprouts were the ONLY threat that worked in disciplining our son. He loathes them!

Lots of morning dew here today. I'll have to wait before starting garden efforts.

Speaking of kindergarten name tags...I think DH could use one too at times. But then, maybe that's a good thing for us all at times.

Waiting for the last day of our workman who will install repaired storm windows. I wish he could work here full time!

Later folks!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 8:01AM
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G0od morning

A cool, damp Monday here. We had major rain yesterday and it was fun to be indoors without feeling guilty that I should be outside sprucing up the yard for Thursday's talk. I'll be able to spend the day gardening today once this morning's showers stop. Having damp earth to pull weeds makes one heck of a differece. Hope the precipitation makes it's way to Sue's today (though I doubt she has any weeds to pull;0)

Yesterday a friend called to see if I was interested in going to a miniatures show. It was a lot of fun - tons of artist-made creations that have filled my head with ideas for winter evenings. DH took Annie and David to see Mr Bean's Holdiay while I was gone and we spent the whole of suppertime hearing about the movie, all three close to hysterics with laughter.

Kathy - so sorry to hear of the loss of your cat. We have only owned two cats and I remember the great sadness their parting left.

Martie - how smashing that you son is in England!! Where is he studying? I think I remember you mentioned you might get over to visit him?

Saucy - our book group is very open minded and has read some pretty challenging and "out there" books. We try to roatate them with easier subject matter. I have your recommendation on my "to read" list and will let you know when I get to it.

GB - EVERYONE in the family here LOVES brussel sprouts. I think a lot has to do with the cooking - I'm looking forward to trying DD's recipe. We often roast them at a very high temp, with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. They come out crsipy and sweet. Mmmm - delicious!!

Denise - your son sounds a talented phtographer. Do you have more of his photos you could share? DH works for a digital printing company (after many years of being a professional photographer himself.) His job invovles nation wide travel and his week a month in Long Beach is his time at the office.

Time to see David off to school and head out to survey the garden. Happy Monday folks!


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 8:37AM
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Good Morning, Just a couple of pictures to show you my new agave. I finally got it potted up. It's a nice size plant, that's a 12" pot it's in.

No time for chatting this morning as I've got a long list of things to get going on. Have a great Monday!


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 10:45AM
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Just checking in and I have to say that the only thing that comes to mind when I see that picture, Eden, is "FEED ME SEYMORE!!!"

Bella's fly trap has nothing on that one :)


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 11:45AM
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LOL Saucy! I have been a bit of a Little Shop of Horrors mode in m plant purchases lately haven't I. One more picture to share. I saw this idea on someone's blog and copied it. I have it hanging on the bedroom door. Has anyone else used chalkboard paint? Very cool stuff.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 1:01PM
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Mary, you didn't by any chance take any pictures while at the miniatures show did you??? That must have been so neat. I've never heard of one around here but would love to go!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 1:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

One category at the Toronto plant shows is miniatures. I'll have to ask friend Lynn about that.

I used chalk board paint to make a "green" board for the kids in the basement of our old house in Toronto. It was in the shape of a whale. Bella might like that in the shape of a cow! The kids drew and played tic-tac-toe while I did the laundry.

Here's Sarah as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors in Highschool- about 14 years ago. Seymour was a bit shorter, but what the heck. The kids she babysat for cried when the plant swallowed her. The performance lasted for 3 nights and that meant that 3 of my nightgowns were chewed up by the plant. That plant was fabulous! I wish I had a picture of it!!! And Sarah did a beautiful job singing too. It's a tough long role to play! The dentist stole the show. He was a professional actor even back then.

Back to weeding!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 1:56PM
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What a great idea Marie! For Christmas I can make her a cow blackboard for her room at home! I even found a pattern. I'm thinking about painting the front of my refrigerator with the c.b. paint too for her to draw on here. It's 28 years old and will be replaced in the next year or two anyway so why not? I'll have to be careful or I'll have chalkboards all over the house, lol. I've even seen ideas for globes or wine bottles painted with it. I guess the sky's the limit.

What neat pictures of Sarah in the play. Such great memories. Thanks for sharing those Marie!

I seem to be spending more time today on the computer than getting to my chores. I'm having fun though and I have been working on the laundry!

Here's a picture my mom sent me this morning. She had me trace Bella's hand and send it to her for this quilt block.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 2:19PM
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Your Mom is BEAUTIFUL, Eden. The inner strength shines right through the camera's lens. Does she hand quilt or use her machine?

And you, lady, have the right idea about using your 'frig. in such a novel way... bet you won't want to "trade it in" when the times comes. :) LOVE, the cow silhouette idea, too.

Little Shop of Horrors is one of my favorite movies. Steve Martin and Bill Murray were priceless... and the bass from the Four Tops (got that right?) was BRILLIANT. I have never seen it performed on stage, though the helpmeet has. He was in London and saw it with his mother and his brother, I think. He loved it! Thanks for sharing those fun shots, 'bug.

Spencer was simply beside himself in the cat carrier. I think the next visit he will simply wear the harness and be allowed to explore the car (within reason). I felt really bad for him; when I released him in the exam room he jumped right onto my lap and crawled up under my chinny chin-chin. The vet. laughed at that. I told him about all the little nicks I'd found on him (I didn't miss any!) and he shaved the area around the bite and showed me the two, neat puncture wounds. Spencer was doing a good job on it, it was open and draining, but looked pretty inflamed. He cleaned it, gave him an anti-biotic shot and some pills. He also remarked that it was nice to find a kitty allowed outdoors who was actually "up to date" on his vaccinations. Kitties allowed outdoors MUST be well vaccinated, dontchathink?

We worked along the road today, weeding. We have about 1/3 of it "finished" and it was brutal work. It had been thickly overgrown pasture for sheep (80-100 years ago!) and there are lots of roots left behind by the excavator, jewel weed, brambles, BIND WEED, and a generous crop of crab grass. We have 2 piles: compost and burn. We put in 2-3 hours and a sudden downpour and now steady rain has driven the helpmeet to his bed for his nap and me to the computer to chitty-chat with YOU.

The mason and his helper are packing up for the day, and should be finished in another day/two. Which reminds me I have to call about the delivery date for the GRAINLESS garage doors ;) .

Talkatcha later.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 3:02PM
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Six days ago it was 91 degrees and today its 61.

Eden, I have seen on HGTV where they painted under the chalkboard paint with magnetic paint so that you can use magnets on the chalkboard as well. Ive included a link to a beautiful kitchen that incorporated a fridge with a chalkboard. I keep a basket of letter magnets for the grandkids to play with on my fridge.

DH and I love brussel sprouts. How nice to have a couple of fresh ideas for preparing them. As for peaches we know someone who knows someone who goes to Colorado to get peaches each August. Those are 25 lbs. of the sweetest and juiciest peaches.

Kathy, sorry to hear of another loss for you.

Martie, how exciting for Ky, hopefully mom is doing ok.

Sue, your garden looks fabulous as usual. I can see your shed with lots of tropicals around it. Maybe another musa basjoo.

Im wondering what to do with my musa basjoo. I doubt that in ground wintering is a possibility here. Im thinking the garage.

I must get back to work.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 4:28PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Are AWOL Idyllers allowed back in? How long can they be absent?

All I can say, is my life has not been my own -- the new case at the office has sucked me dry lately so that I crawl home - hopefully after tomorrow my "leader" will be back in Utah for 2 weeks (o please o please....!).

Eden -- wow, that agave is sooo yummy! I did actually manage to get all 12 (eeks, can I confess from Yucca) potted up yesterday - and labored all day in the yard despite the 92 degrees -- at least I relaxed altho I can't say that it gave me back energy!

Just quickly skimmed the idyll happenings -- o wow, Sue, Im lovin the caribbean shed and I see a lot of Chanticleer echoes in your garden this year - neat - love that dicondra you made groundcover as well as the sweet potato Blackie -- you're probably on a great path that way -- I imagine in all our heat & dry gardens those things will still thrive. I sure hope you get some better meds for the Lyme - what a horrible thing to have recur.

Im sorry to hear of your latest sad parting, Kathy, from your pets -- even sadder to hear about the more horrors from the dentist ventures as the saga continues! Whew -- I think we all would love to see a photo of your new sparkly smile when it's done - you may end up being able to advertise for the dentist & recoup some of your monies, what do you think?

Im so glad to hear about Eden's mom's good med reports.

Chelone - Im sorry you have the constant aggravations, but those are kind of same issues we often had to "deal with." Re UTIs - I can tell you it was a continual problem for Mom once she got 'em -- the longest she was ever without was 2 months (& that was at home after great, great, wonderful care); in the LTC places, it was constant. I think chronic ones are almost commonplace in those places -- another reason we all do not want to live there long, uh? But Im glad to hear you're taking some respite from other things when you can - hoping kitty and Rex are doing better too.

ok, I've probably snuck enuf guilty time in here before getting caught -- I'm hoping to be back to a "regular" this week -- hope springs eternal!!

That might even include being able to take a photo of my agaves!


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 5:03PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I just can't seem to get my head together to post....but I do need to respond to some folks.

First, I appreciate your offer of the puzzles, Saucy. It would be fun to have some that I haven't already made at least once. Maybe some one who has my e-mail address can share it with you, so you can contact me for my mailing address. Or better yet,Deanne and Marie have/had my mailing address. I don't mind them giving it to you. As I told Marie, I would want to reinburse you for the postage.
I hope your migraine is all gone. Although I have frequent headaches I have never been diagnosed with migraine.

I am so happy for all who have recieved needed rain. We had a brief and very light shower today , to add to the 2 and 3/4 inch of last week.More is in the forecast. I am certainly proud of all of it. I haven't had to do any outside watering for over a week now. One of these cooler,dryer, days, I hope to work on the summer's weeds that have taken over all my beds. There are even some wayward mimosa sprouts that need tended to !

Denise, your 'spins' sound very uncomfortable. I understand inner ear problems can be very distressing.

Re: Brugs. The one that I managed to keep alive, that Deanne sent me, is still refusing to bloom. I will carry it over again, and give it one more chance. :-(
It is very pitiful looking compared to those that you all picture.

It is 3 more weeks before I move the potted plants back inside. Our normal first fall frost is not usually until mid or late October, but I find that the plants do much better if brought in well before artificial heating has to be done. That way I seldom have any leaf droppage.

LOL, Kathy...yes, I do have "a bountiful store of info" in my brain, but the problem is....I have having problems getting it back out!!!! I have a very slow dial-up in there !!! :-)
So sorry about the loss of 2 of your cherished pets in a month's time.

Sue, have you ever considered that you may have fibromyalgia? It is rather diificult to diagnose. The Lyme diagnosis may be a false one, as the other disease was. I sure hope it will all be corrected, and not become a continuing source of pain..... There are a lot of good web sites on Fibromyalgia Syndrome.

I am envious of all the talk of good peaches. There was not a one from the local market. All we can get are the shipped in ones that usually taste like nothing! I lucked out a while back and got some that were delicious. The next purchase looked the same, but were hard, and never ripened.I also had some beautiful store bought greenhouse tomatoes that acted the same way. I finally cooked them today and breaded them. Not bad that way.

Marie, sorry about the tax snafu, but the pics of Reed with the sad face, and the pouty lip are so cute!
Great pics and info about Sarah and the play.

Martie, sorry that you are still dry. Maybe the east coast hurricane will bring you some rain. The gulf ones are part of the moisture that we are getting.

The temps are to get down to about 50F Wednesday morning. That could mean the upper 40s for us. But they are to go back into the 70s and 50s for high and lows. My idea of perfect temps.

Chelone, sorry that you had to get a vets help for Spencer.
I was wondering if triple antibiotics might help...but he would probably just like it off. LOL on the "bed hair". I think that is what I have. Too long for an old dame. :-(
I have such I hard time getting myself to a hairdresser!

V, I can't remember if I sent my condolences for the loss of your brother. I hope you are coping okay.

Re: Brussels Sprouts...we both love them, but my preparation is very simple. I just boil them and butter them.Tim hates them, so I am sure the Granddaughters do too. :-)

Eden, I love that agave!
How wonderful that your mom feels like quilting, and such a neat idea for a quilt block.

Well....I did much better than I hoped to.....


    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 9:13PM
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I should be finishing my newspaper column but Im Idylling insteadand planning what delicious soft food Im going to dine on this evening.

bug, that Baptisia is very cool- Ive never attempted to grow them here-nor have I ever seen them growing locally, or offered in our garden centers. Ive always wanted to try them.

Ah- doodlekin boy-boy the cat ! I thought there was yet another moniker for the dreaded Rex those kitties do despise the cat carriers dont they ? Getting Doobie into ours requires Samson-like strength and gauntlets. And now you have pills to pop into the dude huh ? I always opt for the liquid stuff, finding that human tuna is a good camouflage.
Count me in as another Little Shop fan. Recently I added the non-musical Roger Corman B movie classic to my ever expanding Netflix queue;its been about a hundred years since I saw that one. I just love some of those old 50s 60s horror flicks-so campy. Anyone remember The Crawling Eye ??? House on Haunted Hill? The Blob ? The Incredible Shrinking Man ? I could go on and on. Hey , and speaking of horror, good luck with that bindweed !

Eden that Agave is so cool-and thanks for sharing the pic of your Mom. What a talent quilting is-and what a treasure that will be for years and years to come.

Mary, Its amazing how many folks have an aversion to brussels sprouts-I love them and have since I was a little kid. I cook them very similar to what you describe. Im definitely going to try bugs recipe this winter. Anyone ever tried growing them ? They are a winter crop here.

Cindy, Itll be months before I have a sparkly smile ! What a trooper you are planting away despite the heat- and you have that awful humidity to deal with-I wilt if it goes over 30% .

Marian, you mentioned mid to late Oct as your 1st frost, interestingly, ours is around the same time although it can be wildly variable here. Sometimes there is no frost till Thanksgiving. I think the difference here is the duration of the cold temps; maybe it dips below freezing for an hour or two from 4am to dawn, and areas of my garden will be unaffected. I hate going to the hairdresser too ..I always put it off till I look like the Witch of Endor. I cant stand sitting there and listening to some of the asinine conversations that go on in those places. What a grump I am.

OK, thats all for now, and thanks so much for all the nice sentiments re;our loss of Tasha. You guys are The Bomb.

Later all..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 9:56PM
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Kathy, very sorry about Tasha. It's been a rough year for Idyll pets and those who love them :-(

Eden, that agave is stunning! How could you post it without naming it so that I could jot it down for futures? Your mom's quilt square is special, and she looks so good! I do see the family resemblance :)

Sue your gardens look fantastic. I used to grow those profusion zinnias but obviously never knew quite what to do with them. They look really good for the fall garden, so they will likely end up on my seed list this year. I was never able to over winter an acalphya, so I gave up on them.

My brugs are loaded with buds but will never look like the ones in California! Here's a NIGHT shot of a CG I just took when I went out with the dawgs for last call at 11PM.

I rooted 'V' cuttings this year thinking that might make them bloom faster. Wrong, but it produces a very wide gate blocking tree. Guess I won't do that experiment again.

Very decent week-end here, and got a few things done on Saturday outdoors. Sunday was the annual greyhound picnic. 100s of dogs and no barking, it can't get much better. Here are Katie and Dannie looking a bit frazzled and tired by that point. Wicky and Monty were there somewhere having a very good time without me. We left early 'cause I didn't know how much Katie or Monty could handle without paying for it the next morning. No rain, so Dannie was a happy girl.

I'm not sure how you guys got on the subject of peaches, but it's nectarine season for me. I'm eating at least one a day, and having one now as bedtime snack.

Here's Monty man, trying to figure out which way is bed...this way sweetie...


    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 12:54AM
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Sue -- Your gardens never cease to amaze. Love the shed.

Cynthia -- That's some brug! Dogs and you look very happy, despite the existence of stairs in the world.

Marian -- "Getting the info back out" is sometimes easier when you use a little handheld recorder. They aren't expensive, and my Dad uses one when he remembers something he knows he'll forget later on. Good for Nolan and puzzles!

Marie -- I've gotten misty looking at "your boys." So happy and content! Brussel sprouts, "mini cabbage", are a staple for me, but not so much for Rich who remembers them being boiled with pork hocks and called a delicacy. I'd rather them with pecans, thank you.

Mary, Michelle and others - Kyle is at Central Lancashire University in Preston (UCLAN) taking socialist economics courses toward his History/Economics degree here.

He also managed to get into an advanced course on Tolkein -- thank his cousin the English at Mount Holyoke major for prepping him for the pre-test. Interesting!!!

He's applied to stay for the year and "do" an internship near Manchester. Right now he's set 'til mid-January. Me/us going there depends entirely on finances which depend on if Kyle stays or comes home for Spring semester. The experience can only move him toward his dream of saving the world. We're darn proud, to say the least.

LOL, Eden, on the plant theme of the week. Where did you find such a large Agave?? And, did you know that there is a cow shaped clock in commerce that moos rather than chimes? Worth an e-bay look. This interesting tidbit of info came from being startled out of my shoes one day in Walmart.

Where's Taryn??

Just looked out the window and it's RAINING!!!!! Or at least heavily drizzling!!!!!!! So you won't think we're completely nuts, Kathy ;-), our average August rainfall is around 4" and we count on that rain to get plants ready for freezing. Even the local apples taste dry, and in pies they need some extra sugar. The alpine strawberries, though, are thinking they've hit Nirvana.

The last note on the Aloha Rose: Its out by Weekes, no hybrider name on any tag nor description. Since I didn't get it from Germany, Cynthia, I think I'm safe, but have it in a Z7 micro anyway. In the meantime, picked up three more pity pile roses with some life left in them. Roses are running a close second to the lawn for Rich so he's glad to invest. YIPPEE!!

Leaves are already turning here -- same in other parts of the continent?

Best to everyone -


    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 7:20AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A bit of gentle rain last night. A help, but could do with lots more. Yes, red tinges to leaves around here as well. Masses of starlings are about, a sure sign of fall. The farmers are often heard with their guns, scaring them away from the crops.

Yesterday lots of weeding took place...a small beginning in the scheme of things, but it leaves me hopeful that more will be possible before snowfall. A friend came over and we chose where to plant lots of the shade purchases from last May! Today I'm sore in places I'd forgotten about! A quick study of the fruit trees shows that at least 4 of them need removing. :( They were a big draw to purchasing the property 10 years ago.

Eden, the chalk board I made in the whale shape was done on plywood. I cut the plywood with a jigsaw and then painted over it with the special paint. Easy! The legs of the cow might be difficult to cut out with the jigsaw. Perhaps you could do it with a large cow face? DH screwed the finished product into the basement wall.

Great to see Cynthia's smiling face and happy dogs!

Cindy, there's no such thing as a missing Idyller, only a missed one. Hope you have more time to spend with us this Fall. Da, Taryn and many others are still thought of by us and we'd love to hear from any of them when they can join in.

Heard from DD and Ittybittybug yesterday. They had a lovely weekend in Winnipeg and were at home in the hot tub first thing Monday morning! The time change meant that everyone woke up early. Today they are off to Little Slave Lake, about 3 hours north of Edmonton. DSIL has a conference there. That is also the site of an annual music festival they attend..and where they decided to get married.

Must start the day now..

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 8:23AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good raining morning all,

We are in for a lovely rainy day here and its a relief to see all that wonderful water coming down from the sky for free! Weve actually had a good amount of rain in the last couple days. There were spotty tropical downpours on Sunday and we were lucky enough to be in the right spots. Everything looks so much better for a good soaking. Doug and I went out to a nursery in Milford, NH to buy my last birthday present and Im over the moon with this. I needed his help to get it. We bought a beautiful new birdbath to replace the broken one in the driveway garden. The old one has been patched up for years now but its totally disintegrating and Ive been expecting the bowl to fall apart at some point. Anyway, here is a pic of the new one.

Martie, Congratulations to Kyle! Thats fabulous. What a terrific experience for him. One of my best friends worked at the American School in London for ten years and she is the best traveled person I know. During school breaks they always traveled throughout Europe and even Northern Africa. ~~ BTW the Goodwin Creek Lavender is blooming and the Jean Pascoe is finally setting some buds. Ill get some pics the next time I get out with the camera.

Cynthia, LOVE the pics of the greyhound picnic and especially love the photo of you with the puppies. That CG is marvelous. Mine is about to do its thing and Ill post a pic when its fully opened this flush of flowers.

Kathy, so sorry about Tasha but sounds like it was a peaceful exit. Seems like the Idylls have lost a lot of pets this year. So sad. ~~ How are you doing with the teeth thing? Hope you are feeling better. How long are you going to be on soft foods?

Cindy, how great to hear from you. I missed your posts. I hope things settle down for you at work soon.

Michelle I hear you about the temps lately. We went in a couple days from a morning temp of 48 to an afternoon temp of 95. The plants all got fried in that last 90s spell. Wed had a long stretch of cooler weather and then the hot temps just burned the flowers up. ~~ Love that fridge with the chalkboard on it. Neat idea.

Eden I love the quilt but especially love the photo of your Mom! Thanks for sharing. ~~ So now you are going to get me started on agaves? That is one fabu-fabu plant and I love the pot youve put it in. Marvelous!

Mary, wish I could be there for your talk on Thursday. I know what you mean about it feeling good to be in on a rainy day and no guilty feelings for not being outside in the gardens. ~~ Thanks again, so much, for that datura. It is simply gorgeous right now. Do you ever winter them over or do you start with new plants every year?

The Mariposa/Black Magic combination continues to get larger and larger. I thought it would be fun for you to see the progression so I put this together.

Ive already started cuttings of this coleus. Its such a beauty I dont want to be without it.

OK Ive about talked myself out and have got to get to the gym. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 8:45AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, Im trying to get back to idylling, even if its wee early for me. (started this before 8 a.m. but got called away).

Im thoroughly enjoying your precious photos, Sue and Deanne, Im returning again and again to yours such inspiration, as always they are. My poor place is pretty burned out. The color echos of the plants w/ your Bahamian shed, Sue, are terrific! I think you just need some neat logo for your shed and leave it at that something like "idyll a while here" or something neat. I bet our creative geniuses here could come up with something cool for it.

Denise my Wishes have Come True!! Thank you, thank you your present arrived and it is the most beautiful, indeed, perfect agave. Despite the one leaf breakage, the packing you did was perfect and its in great health. I potted it up immediately last nite but must find a special pot for it, at present a simple terracotta is its temporary residing container. I hope to get some photos of it and I hope to honor it by taking precious care. Thank you so much!! Aside from it being on the Want List, its so neat to have a special plant from one of the Idyllers. I sure hope I can return the favor in some fashion.

Eden, I saw the grass list you bought are you able to put them in the ground for the fall have have them return successfully? Just curious.

Kathy I love that Portland nursery you linked to I was looking at their gallery shots wow, what a neat spot. I think I even spotted a couple "greys" in the photos? My desire to check out all those Portland places grows and grows Ive got some friends who have been pestering me to visit them since they moved there 3 years ago maybe I really need to put it on vacation list for next Spring. Altho Im a bit "leave challenged" because of Dads impending hip replacenment surgery and the need to get him moved next Spring to a new place as well. But to dream of going to Portland would be a terrific daydream.

Denise do you have allergies of any sort? I had years of recurring problems w/ the "spins" as you call em and after going to specialists, ENT folks, etc., we figured out it was all too do w/ my seasonal allergies affecting the fluid in my ear I now take my allergy meds year around and try to be alert to the feeling of "fullness" if/when I get in my ears that is a nasty nasty feeling the vertigo. Yucko.

We Finally have gotten some rain overnight maybe ½ inch. Yahoo.

Re agaves newbie here, but is your new Agave, Eden, the a. mediopicta alba (or some form thereof?) that I coveted and that Ive now had bestowed upon me by Denise? Is that really a 5 gallon specimen you talked about, Eden? Wow o wow!

O, bug I meant to tell you I got that baptisia last year, but have yet to see it bloom. Im hoping that will happen next Spring now that it is established. It sure looks cool, doesnt it? I spent a bit of yesterday as well dealing w/ estate matters having to kick the estate atty in the patootie to get him to file the prelim. taxes in time aaargh...

Great to see Cynthia having a fun time w/ her greys thats a lot of greys, LOL!

Okay, for some reason, "Feed me Seymour" is echoing in my head I may be saying that to folks today, heehee.

I hope we can all enjoy Rain today!!


    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 8:59AM
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Good morning

Nice to have so many friedly posts espcially from those we haven't heard from for a while. Cindy - great you could stop by again:0)

Cynthia - its always a treat to see the Greys and anything from your gardens.

Deanne - fabu fabu!!!! The last series truely is a winning combo. I have no trouble overwintering Brugs but am failed with Daturas. I bet you could do it though.

Eden - the photo of your Mum brought tears to my eyes and made me smile at the same time. She must be a very special person indeed. I'm afraid I didn't take photos at the miniature show but I'm planning on attending another in Buffalo on the 30th. Any chance you could drive to Buffalo? It would be so much fun to go together.

I'll keep this brief as I have divided my garden into four areas and come @ell or highwater will get each part in shape between now and Thursday. Yesterday's assignment went well, though like GB I am feeling rather sore. Gardening is starting to feel suspiciously like work, especially as I am squeezing it in around my paid job and all the kids activities. However, the sense of accomlishment is there and after Thursday I will do little more than putter, rake leaves, plant bulbs and sit with a glass of wine and enjoy things again. Right Sue!


    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 9:08AM
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Good morning! Time is limited this morning but I had to pop in to say 'hello'. Loved seeing Eden's mom (and her stitching!), Eden your bedroom make-over is gorgeous!!!! Don't think I told you that already, forgive me if I did--and really forgive me if I didn't mention it immediately.

Deanne, love your new birdbath. Pretty and classy looking.

Cindy, lovely to see a post from you. I was wondering how your friend was doing in getting her possessions back. I hope she was able to get her things without any problems.

Cynthia, the brug, the dogs and their owner all look wonderful!

Sue, wish you weren't having to go through the illness & pain and I hope there is an end to it, soon. Your time spent away from work and with your friend sounds like a great prescription. :oD Just what Dr. T. would have ordered---had she thought of it. ;o)

Mary, it is sooooo good to have you back!!!! I hope your talk on Thursday goes wonderfully.

We've been having cold mornings and hot days so we've planted some grass much earlier than we had planned. I've got two sprinklers going right now on the area and a timer so I don't forget to turn the water off. Hopefully the grass will sprout and grow quickly so our walk to the barn won't be in mud when the autumn rains begin.

Maple leaves are changing color and falling already. Many of the vine maples are naked of leaves already and the grass under the big maples is littered with crunchy leaves. My tomato plants are huge and covered with fruit. I sure hope we get sufficient sun to get some red tomatoes--soon.

The monster zucchini plant is still vigorously growing huge zucchini. I've not made a thing with any of it yet.

Tomorrow I have the repairman coming to work on the oven, again. First repair visit, and tweaking, a couple weeks ago did not 'fix' it so now it is a $289 digital pad replacement (the entire clock & temp units) along with a $69 sensor. Gulp. Guess we won't be charged for the service call again ($74)...but still isn't the way I wanted to spend that money. I've got a $1200 hay order coming in a couple weeks, too. Heck of a way to spend hard earned money, isn't it?

Sorry that 'bug's time with her grandsons is over (do you have a webcam? Might be a fun way to keep in touch with Skyler and Reed)....I do feel quite blessed that I am able to spend time often with my grands....

I'd better get myself another cup of coffee to enjoy before the babies arrive.

Hello to all!!!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 10:03AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

LOVE that new birdbath, Deanne - it's going to look wonderful there! and those season progression photos of the container -- just like a Fine Gardening article !


    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 5:18PM
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The weatherman says a low of 38 tonight! A little too close for comfort. I guess I'll take cuttings tonight and cover containers :(

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 6:43PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thunderstorms & green grass! Amazing! Supposed to go down to about 45 at night this week here. 38 sounds a bit scary Michelle!

Well here is the area I got weeded yesterday. Lots more to go though.

And here is one of the windows getting repaired.

And this is my Kirengeshoma palmata. Still needs to be weeded here though. :(

More lightning, so off I go for now!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 7:55PM
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Yoo-hoo out there in Idyll-land

Ah Cynthia, such nice pics of the kids and nice to see them looking functional ..and yet another CG shot..I give up. I went out and gazed at mine for signs of flowers buds yet again. Nothing, nada, zero , zip

Martie, it would be pretty nice to get 4 inches of rain here in August-things look pretty sad and dusty around here about now. Yep, signs of leafs turning here too. My Liquidambar is starting to turn, as is one of my Japanese maples.

Deanne, what a pretty birdbath ! I have my follow up appt with the dentist tomorrow, so I guess hell assess my progress and give me new dietary guidelines. I have stitches in my mouth so the healing there is probably key. Isnt it fortunate that wine is soft ??

Cindy, Portland is a beautiful city and fun to visit , though I would recommend late May or early June for a good time to visit (from a garden standpoint!) .Rain is always possible.That nursery that posted the link to is actually closer to Salem that Portland, took us about an hour and a half to get to SW Portland from there. It is well worth a day trip.

T, hi ! My BILs vine maples in Portland were not turned yet last week- is it annual rye you planted for the winter ?

Ay-yi-yi Michelle, 38 ? Thats just wrong ! Sentiments from a wimpy NorCal dweller-but I bet Denise is wimpier !!

'bug, your garden looks so green and lush compared with mine- lovely pics ad usual..

I need to go cook some organic red spuds for dinner. Hi to everyone, see yall later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 10:05PM
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As you guys may occasionally do with non-idyllettes living with you, I recounted Cynthia's story of the greyhound meet to DH. Me: "100 dogs, all bred to run like the wind and not bark! Imagine that!" DH: "Well, if they can also breed them not to sh*t, they wouldn't be able to keep them in stores." I don't think DH has the delicate sensibilities requisite to be an idyllete, lol.

I appreciate 'bug's adhering to the unwritten rule, providing instruc. on brussel sprouts with pecans, sauteed, which I can do. Everyone seems to be roasting their veggies these days, and I definitely didn't get that memo. Great progress on the weeding.

Eden, your mom looks like a sweetie and that agave is gorgeous. So glad yours arrived OK, Cindy. And Cindy, very interesing stuff about the spins and allergies. I may have to jump through the Kaiser hoops to get an ENT on board with that idea.

Fabu-fabu birthday birdbath, Deanne. I think FF should be an accepted abbreviation on the idylls. Loved the card sent with the check! Good luck with that class, Mary, and your upcoming tour too, Sue. What brave souls you are!

I've been wracking my brain to think of the last play I've attended. Occurs to me that I bought a season pass to Sunday matinees at the Geffen playhouse a few years back and MISSED every single play due to work deadlines, gave them all away. The very last play actually attended would have been Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," and that's at least five years ago. Saw it at a tiny venue, though Wikipedia says that play did make it out East.

Wow, Martie, "socialist economics." John Maynard Keynes comes to mind but not much else. Fascinating subject -- prompting another "wish I was 20 again" moment for me, lol. Hope you do get to visit your son. You can scout locations for the idyll reunion across the pond! My oldest spent a few months studying in Paris, and when we visited he knew the city frontwards and backwards and was an excellent guide.

Mary, below is a photo DS did of an Egyptian friend, shot black and white with a little color added, using 4X5. Kathy, I agree about Portland. Was most impressed how they managed to keep an impressive stock of their old buildings. Back in the '70s, somehow Portland had the resolve to resist developers' notions of pulling them down, which wasn't the case here in Los Angeles. Though we do have some of the best Art Deco stuff west of the Mississippi, it's still a pretty miserable track record as far as preservation.

That last comment has gotta be a sign to call it a day.
Bonsoir lune!

P.S. she's wearing my mom's earrings.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 12:16AM
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Quickie good morning, and even quickier message. Lovely, steady rain yesterday (which leaked under the tarpaper covering the open place in the garage roof), I have hopes that the chimney will be completed today and the roof shingles and flashing will be finished up soon.

LOL, Denise... you guys all know I hate dogs, so DH's comment was perfect. Rex has taken to wild, silly barking when we give him "the look" (involves lowering the head, raising an eyebrow and looking directly into his eyes) he then quickly begins to chase his tail. FOOL. He gave the Jehovah's Witness a rather loud greeting on Saturday, too... they don't call the pamplet "Awake!" for nothing... ;) (cool photgraph!).

Tales from your gardens have deepened my despair with respect to our yard. I am about ready to give the electrician a rather pointed piece of my mind. He doesn't return calls and I'm not feeling good about the next phase involving burying the power to the house. Until that is done and the pole is removed we cannot complete the driveway. The helpmeet has a rope considerably longer than my own...

The (grainless) garage doors are in and we have set up a painting station for them in the garage. I have to call the company and schedule a time to have them delivered. They cannot be installed until the WIRING, insulation, and sheetrock have been, too. But I can keep myself busy with painting while I stew about the electrician.

I love the birdbath, too, Deanne. You know how I lap up that classical stuff, anyway... . Everything looks better swaddled in Acanthus leaves.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 5:28AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well, we are having company for dinner this evening and I've got three days of rainy weather to pick up and today is supposed to be VERY windy. There goes the brugs! And the CG is smothered in blossoms. Speaking of which, I had such a neat thing happen yesterday. My next door neighbor, the mother of the moron who likes to 'prune' my wisteria etc,, anyway, the neighbor who's NEVER been friendly to us in the thirty years we've lived next door to each other, came out of her house yesterday afternoon, in the drizzle, to talk to me about the 'Charles Grimaldi'. She is over the moon with the plant and can't get over how beautiful it is and just went on and on about it. Talked to me about my passion for gardening and in general was so pleasant I thought I was speaking to a different person. How incredibly neat that a beautiful flowering plant can open the gates to communication. Ive had more people stop by this year than ever before just to ask about that plant. Theyre pretty uncommon up here and so interesting that they really are a show stopper.

WE did get an enormous amount of rain yesterday. It completely filled to overflowing the new birdbath. Love that free water. Everything looks so green and washed this morning.

Chelone, LOL Everything looks better swaddled in Acanthus leaves. I couldnt agree with you more. Also lol about Wrecks greeting for the JWs at the door. I could use a recording of that for the aggravating bill collectors who keep calling here trying to find DD. I got into quite an argument with some guy last night and he said to me, "So are you her mother? Did you know shes a dead beat?" Incredible the things some people do for a living.

Denise, FF photograph! Love it! So glad you finally got your check.

Kathy, youll have to let us know how your appointment goes today. I hope you are healing at light speed and yes indeed, good thing wine is soft. LOL ~~ Also LOL about 38 degrees just being wrong. Were you Idylling last winter when I posted the pics of the birds in the ice storm????

Bug, love the pics of the farm. I need to get that Kirengeshoma palmata. What a lovely plant. Does that need a wet spot or can it tolerate some dry?

Michelle, let us know how cold it got last night please. That will be on its way here and it gives me the willies. Too soon for it to be getting that close to a frost. Im not ready for frost yet!

T, what a bummer about your stove! Sorry to hear that. ~~ The trees are starting to turn color and drop leaves here also. Fall is just around the corner I guess but the thought of cutting all those flowers off my fuchsias is so sad. It just seems too soon to put it all to bed for the winter.

Mary, when you tried to overwinter the datura what did you do with it. Can you take cuttings of them like a brug? ~~ How did you do with your schedule for your garden? As I said earlier, I wish I could be there for your talk. Ive been thinking of offering a clinic for overwintering tender plants to the local garden clubs. I get so many questions about how to do the fuchsias etc. I think Id probably enjoy the exercise and in the process Id get a bunch of plants ready for winter.

Cindy, I love the idea of having a logo for Sues tropical shed. Ill bet Eden could do something terrific with that. You should see the beautiful lettering she has in her house.

Eden, Any possibility you could post another pic of that lettering in your living room?

Oh yes, Cindy, re burned out gardens. Ive found that the best way to deal with that is to hack and whack the tired plants down and plunk temp fillers in their place. I keep a bunch of coleus cuttings going most times and I started sticking them in all over the place a month or so ago. The other thing I used this year is a cutting of that E. Diamond Frost and Im thinking Im going to use more of that next year. Its filling in nicely and goes with everything.

OK time to get in motion and get my day started. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 7:05AM
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Good Morning, Getting an early start today. I need to get to the grocery store before Bella's arrival. We had a good amount of rain night before last. It is amazing how the plants love a good soak.

For those who asked that agave I posted a picture of is the mediopicta alba. I hunted it down online at a place called The Cactus Store. I think my spiral aloe is due to arrive from Plant Delights today. Can't wait to get that one!

Deanne, I love the new birdbath. I've been looking for a nice blue one but all of the ones I've run across this year seem shorter than what I want.

Mary, good luck with your talk. Having something like that is always hard work to get ready for but the rewards of having it all done after the event are worth it. I didn't have any major events scheduled for my garden this year, thank goodness since we had so many disasters, but I've also gotten lazy and done hardly anything out there in the last month except water the pots.

Chelone, Rex sounds like a happy boy! We all despair about our gardens this time of year. Take heart, spring will bring renewed hope. Great news that the garage doors have arrived. You asked about my mom's quilting. She does hand quilting and has finished many quilts but has many, many more quilt tops waiting in the wings. Quilting is her obsession like gardening's mine.

And thanks everyone for all of the nice comments on my mom's picture. This is the second time that she's lost all of her hair. She keeps such a great attitude though. I'm really proud of her.

Marian, I agree with you that it's better to get the plants in before the nights start getting cold. Much less stress on them. Now if I can only do that. It got down into the mid 40s here last night.

Woody, I was wondering if you've taken in your ficus trees yet. I need to get mine in ASAP. They don't like the cool nights.

T, awful about your stove. That's why I've held onto my old appliances for so long. The newer ones just don't seem reliable like they used to be. Hope you get that grass growing!

Cynthia, enjoyed the pictures, especially seeing you and the pups.

Marie, love the Kirengeshoma palmata. I haven't found the right spot for mine. I've moved it a couple of times but it keeps getting overpowered by it's neighbors. I also think it needs more moisture than it's getting. Glad you're making progress on your weeding. I know that's been bothering you. I think Brad will be able to jigsaw out the cow legs ok. Remember he did those witches and cats a couple of years ago and they were more intricate.

Kathy, lol about wine being "soft". That it is and more! Don't forget about it's pain killing attributes too.

Michelle, so did you get everything in and did it really get that cold? I'd have been in definite panic mode.

Very cool photo Denise.

Hi Martie, great news about Kyle. I bet you do miss him. And who will set up the village for the holidays this year?

Cindy, so the truth comes out and you got a DOZEN of the agaves! Way to go girl! Proud of you!

Sue, only a couple of days left. I like the idea of lettering on the shed too. It's very easy to do. I'll get a picture of mine up per Deanne's request.

I've been working on getting the little creepy guy ready to mail out for the beginning of his journey. Mailing things takes me forever to get around to but he's almost ready to begin his Idyll adventure.

Gotta get to the grocery store. Later, Eden

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 7:50AM
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40 degrees this a.m. I did take many cuttings and covered the large pots and put some of the smaller ones in the garden shed. I think Thurs. night they are talking 36 and Friday 39. Hopefully, after that things will warm up again.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 8:43AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

First off the top of my head re Sue's place -- "Idyll Shac" (take off on Caddyshack or something...) or maybe "Idyll Work"? (oxymoron going on?)

Had to laugh, Deanne -- to make you feel better, my poor Dad has been getting bill collectors calling re Mom's medical bills! He got into an argument w/ a bill collector who was relentless about $50 co-pay that's overdue - apparently the guy doesn't care that she's DEAD! Dad offered to give the guy the estate atty's phone number and the guy didn't want it - he wanted Dad to take care of getting it paid.... incredible. The estate is major delinquent in getting bills paid, including funeral ones, but that's the nature of the beast such as Mom left us... it's taken time to move things & get it "liquid".... Yes, one of us could pay the $50, but why should we? they'll get it soon enough - it's not like they're starving for $50 that's 3 months overdue, uh? Definitely NOT a job for a kind, good natured person is collection agency work.

I think it's really cool that your green thumb wonders have mellowed even your nasty neightbor! It is amazing how plants and sometimes animals can thaw people out. I've certainly met more of my neighbors from crawling around in my front garden than any other way, LOL.
T, thanks for inquiring re my houseguest -- Im a wee bit frustrated but I did kind of know what I was signing up for -- she managed to get an atty & file all sorts of papers against the guy but he's still allowed to stay there as long as he pays the mortgage on the place (altho he doesnt appear to be doing that); she did get all her clothes and packed her car full of stuff (now living at my house) and is to be permitted to return sometime in next 30 days to remove all her furniture and other belongings.... but she's having a hard time focusing on getting a job (or better yet, temping so she's got SOME money) - Im trying to bite my tongue - and I know it's very hard for someone w/ chronic depression to accomplish these seemingly simple tasks.

Denise - I love that photo I second the "FF" comment!! new idyllism - your DS is very gifted - the others you've posted are so creative -- I loved your "work uniform" - it looks like my weekend outfit and the one I wear in the garden sometimes (can only imagine what my neighbors think as I cruise around in the pjs, uh?)

Well, I would love to overwinter & take cuttings of coleus & things, but I think Im gonna see how successful I am w/ my new agave/succulent collection first - dont want to overwhelm myself with responsibility or become a serial houseplant killer like Sue. But you all sure inspire one to get crazy and forget that concept.

Kathy - I like your medical diet of spuds and wine -- did ice cream top off that for dessert? Yum! But stitches in your mouth - major ouiee...

T - I sure hope you dont set off an Idyll epidemic of appliance repairs!

Well, I got "rained on" at the ofc - Boss man postponed his trip til Saturday - bummer! I feel the fire burning for 3 more days instead of being able to relax. Rats! Guess I better hop to.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 8:53AM
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Good cool morning!

Eden, your mom sounds like mine with her love of quilting. She just recently finished a quilt that her best quilting friend was making for her son for a wedding gift when she died suddenly of a heart attack. That was a tough one for her.

Deanne, the birdbath is lovely. What are you going to do with the old one? I found a nice sundial that sits on the base of a broken birdbath from Ricks parents. How nice that your neighbor is finally taking notice of all the beauty thats been right under her nose all along. If I were your neighbor, I'd be drooling over your fence all the time. We had a trucker here at 7:15 this a.m. delivering DHs new tractor. When I came out he said "holy cow you have a great garden" I got quite a kick out of that.
Your pot progression was a cool idea. Pots are like kids, starting out small and are full grown at the blink of an eye.

Kathy, even here 38 is just wrong. Our normal low for this time of the year is supposed to be 50.

T, bummer about the expenses, those kind of things are never fun to spend $$ on. We have tomatoes coming out of our ears here.

Mary, I hope your garden spiff up is going well.

I had Kenzie on Sat. afternoon and overnight. Upon arriving she announced to her mom "I need to go see grandmas garden" She walked around one area and touched each plant that was along the edge. I cant tell you how that melts my heart.

I hope each of you have an enjoyable day.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:39AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cindy, I sure commiserate on the bill collecting after Mom is DEAD. Yesterday I spent over an hour having a heart to heart with NY State's audit department, just as I did last year. Mom's estate lawyer has closed the account, moved to a new law firm. I am no longer POA, etc etc etc. But, they feel that I should handle all their nonsense from Canada. I actually managed to speak to a human there yesterday! Things are progressing. I have a letter yet to write (not in the mood yet...)but was negatively impressed by the first fellow "Charles" who didn't know his x from his y and was totally be polite! I'd be more than willing to hire the handicapped rather than these lazy pension-collecting jerks who won't find out basic info they're required to know to receive their paychecks. OK, I'm done.

Deanne, my kirengeshoma is a 10+ year old plant. They take a long time to reach any size. This one is a the flower buds never open. The K.Koreana version is different and some prefer it. I like both. Mine is in our 'flats' area and is in dappled shade. It is usually moist there - except this year of course.
As to the comments people make to others...I am astonished daily! Bill collectors are an unusual breed. (I hope!) DH had one phoning very rudely over a period of month or so one time...and the guy was at fault! DH owed nothing! Finally he called the police and they put a quick end to it. I gather that the officer, a lady, had been harassed once too often herself and knew just what to threaten the bozo and his agency with.

A woman I know in New Hampshire was recently in a silly situation at her son's school. Another mother criticized her for giving her son cashews as a snack several times a week. Even before thinking she came out with "Oh Sorry I will try to send him with more sugar drinks, pop tarts, greasy chips and chocolate covered junk like I see your kid you don't have to feel so bad not allowing your kid to have some nuts." Then she apologized for her knee-jerk response. But really, why do people have to judge others nastily all the time? You can choose to be negative but it might be wise to choose to be positive instead.

Mary, no webcam here, but lots of phoning & emailing takes place almost daily. Fortunately DD has free long distance calls! I'll share a site below that DD posted a film of Ittybittybug on. What a hoot! She is traveling and hasn't figured out the sound thing, but you'll get the jist of the percussionist in the making!

OK, I'm off to run errands once more. Does it ever end?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 11:04AM
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Beautiful day here "on the compound". REALLY windy, I noticed that the sailboats all had their mains reefed at least one point. If you were offshore and heading downeast or south you'd have made some really good time today!

Looks like one more day for the mason, and it will be a short one. They have a few more courses of the exterior brick to lay (the chimney is inside the building), the roofing material and flashing are still "pending", and then there's the final "wash" of the bricks. So the stageing will remain in place for a short week (I hope). The conduit for the electricity, cable, and phone lines is to be laid to the house next week. I am still very uncomfortable about the lack of communication but the helpmeet says he has it "wired" and I'm giving him the resonsibility on this one. I hope I am wrong in my feelings of doom...

I finished up some black out curtains for the wheelhouse of one of the Coast Guard Cutters today (this blackens the area that houses the radar and infrared equipment). And then moved on to a series of 3 vinyl cushions, duplicated from the fragmentary originals. I'm unsure about the placement of the snaps that will afix them to the boat, but if they're in the wrong place I'll be the second person to know! Snaps are tricky... they have to be in the RIGHT place or they are useless. And when you're copying something that's old and crumbling they're NEVER in the right place.

The fart machine I received for my birthday has proven a big hit in the shop. It's been most convincing buried under fabric, but today my coworker asked me if I'd tried putting it down my pants... nooo... but it was a tremendous idea! With the speaker toward the body the effect is very subtle... pointing away from the body the effect is more dramatic. We had an especially good time with the UPS driver (we love him) and another funny patron who we were certain would find it funny, too. I offer absolutely no defense and will probably laugh about that stuff until I finally drop dead. The 3 of us decided we need to acquire some fake puke and some fat -hit, too. ;)

No calls from the nursing home this week (so far!). I presume that means they either haven't allowed Mum to USE the hearing aids, or they have yet to lose them... OR, they have lost them but are afraid to call me and tell me... LOL (I like gallows humor, too).

I love Kirengeshoma palmata. It's a great plant, very understated and rather slow to establish itself. I have 3 of them, and one has really taken off. It is in nice rich, deep soil and it gets northeast sun... lots of sun early season and then decreasing to simply morning sun. I've found they like humusy soils that retain moisture (think Astilbes, Cimicifugas, Chelone, Hostas). I love the mottled maple-like leaves and the yellow flowers that you expect would open, but DON'T. Be prepared to wait a bit for it to return dividends, in my opinion.

Spencer had a down day yesterday. I think he was fighting the infection that seemed to have settled in over the weekend. He did a lot of sleeping and couldn't wait to cozy up with Mummy last night! He's fit as a fiddle today, and it's about time for me to shove another pill down his little craw. You know Eden, Wrecks IS a happy dog. He knows what to expect, when to expect it, and bounces right back when he gets "put in his place". He's good company... for a dog! ;)

I can't wait to see the cow blackboard. And would you please post a shot of the Halloween cats? I had forgotten them until you mentioned them and now I really want to see them again. I think your Mom is wonder; I have two quilts my grandmother made (Grandma's GaHden) and they're lovely. I also have 3 hand crocheted string bedpreads done by my great-aunts. My maternal relations were incredibly skilled craftsmen. I guess I inherited the gene, too... but it manifests itself in different way. I would also like to know about your lettering. Did you select a font and enlarge it... how did you do it? I have 5 cornices that I very much want to stencil with "sayings", but haven't really thought about how to accomplish it... maybe you could offer a suggestion?

I also want to learn more about how to ship little divisions of some of the bounty here, "on the compound". I don't know how to do it, but nothing would jazz me more than sending little morsels to people I know in faraway places.

OK, gotta go.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 4:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm not happy about Charlotte...
Will check out more tomorrow. Meanwhile, she doesn't even want to sleep on her rug, take meds or food of any kind, etc. She's not throwing up or bloated...but hasn't eaten in days. We've followed both the vet's advice and the homeopathic route.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 9:29PM
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GOod evening

GB - I'm sending Charlotte some good vibes hoping she will take a turn for the better. Hugs for you too.

Chelone - David has a very convincing piece of fake dog poop he enjoys tricking people with. He last left it for our pet sitter to discover...

Deanne - I've tried overwintering Datura like Brugs, letting them go dormant and storing in the dark. However, I was unable to revive them come spring. Perhaps I'll try cuttings this year.

The garden clean up has progressed according to schedule and I'm feeling pleased with the results. As the purpose of the talk is to collect seed rather than comment on my garden design, I've decided things are in OK shape. There is plenty for the hunter-gatherer to find and I'm hoping participants will go home happy. The weather looks as though it will cooperate and I've decided to serve scones with homemade blueberry jam and iced tea for refreshments. (I'm saving the wine for me when everyone has left). These are completely optional on my part but I love to entertain when people are in the garden so tomorrow will be no exceptioin. I've also finished preparing the talk I am giving (I almost forgot that part LOL!) Tomorrow's clean-up assignment is fairly light - just two small beds and a final sweep of the patio and I'm done.

Time to turn in for the night - I'm done to a turn.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:36PM
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I really, really have to finish my newspaper column tonight, but cannot resist a brief Idyll.My dentist said I can start softly brushing my teeth ing the gum surgery area-that means real food cannot be far behind. He told me to phase into it a bit. I wonder how long I need to wait before eating pecan sautéed Brussels sprouts? I am ready right now !

Denise.. What a great photo of your DSs friend- how exotic looking and beautiful sheYour DS is obviously talented- is he the next Annie Lebowitz ? Richard Avedon ?

Chelone.. I had an electrician in last week to fix a couple of non-operational switches and receptacles, and test some stuff in by garden lighting scheme and installed a couple of can lights where I had those 70s era globes. He was polite, responsive, and efficient, and the bill has not come yet ! I was pretty happy with the whole experience. I hope ypur electrical woes are resolved-I always feel so helpless in the face of an electrical issue, even though I have bought or managed folks who have bought those products for 20 years.

Eden, wow, so the creepy guy aka Angela is really going on tour ! Hope he/she can drop by here for a visit.

Hi Michelle, cool little tale about Kenzies garden tour ..

Okay this is all I can manage tonight---hi-ho to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:43PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, it's a bit late for me but I got out of bed frustrated from a call w/ Dad -- more psycho sis, stupid stuff - relating to material goods... Im a bit amazed at myself that Im so resentful and angry w/ her - i guess it's these times that brings all old family biz to the fore..

so I thought i'd find some more pleasant things to think of -- creepy guy Lansbury going on an idyll tour makes me laugh -- and tales of Kenzie lovin her grandma's garden makes me smile -- I actually remember doing that in my grandmom's garden - maybe it's how I ended up here, uh? She had mostly roses, a huge lilac and a whole sideyard of LOV (my birthday flower) -- yea, I know, invasive - but it was wonderful smell and scene to a kid - as I recall that side of the house was very shady, probably why it was a great groundcover for them...I spent many a summer and spring there digging and watching the flowers and inspecting things.

So Im thinking about Mary serving scones & jam in her garden while giving an expert talk on seed gathering in her charming accent and lovely hostess w/ the mostest -- and Sue getting ready for a wonderful blowout Conservancy gig...

And Kathy waiting anxiously for brussel sprouts w/ pecans!

I snuck around to look at my new agave collection - im pretty enthralled w/ it -- there's one called agave geminiflora which is just really cool (not the typical agave broad leaf shape) and I dont think there's a lovelier one than the mediopicta alba -- nature was really a genius when that one was created! Even my houseguest who's NOT a plant/flower person thinks these new agaves are pretty cool looking - she approves. Let's hope I can take care of 'em!

'bug - I hope Charlotte perks up - I had Chloe acting a bit weird tonite myself; but not as oddly as Charlotte's behavior. Let's hope it's the change in weather/seasons or something perhaps? Thinking good thoughts for her.

Well, now that I've calmed down a bit; guess I should go check out possible sleep again.

Nite nite all - Mary good luck w/ your talk - Im sure you will enchant them!


    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 11:24PM
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Charlotte, please pull yourself together. Maybe a little broth? I threw up last night in the closet, sort of out of the way and not in the foot traffic areas, which I think the bipeds appreciate. It was probably the bananas. Love and kisses, Ein, the corker.

I was googling a 'Flevo Party' purple gladiolus yesterday, which occasioned the funhouse-mirror effect of being linked to the idylls, March 2006, I believe. I forget if it was Eden or Michelle, but any info, thumbs up or down on this dwarf glad would be appreciated. Michelle, little Kenzie, "go see grandma's garden," touching the plants -- I'm reduced to a puddle, stop already!

Deanne, the first thing my wicked, cynical side thought about your neighbor's new-found interest in your garden is that she must have had her meds changed, lol. And that old broken down birdbath can be recruited for plant stand duty now, right?

Kathy, when you finish that interminable column will you please provide a link? What's mushy but wonderful? Pudding? It'd take a long while before I'd be tired of soup. Cream of wheat with cinnamon and butter (no raisins for you). Crab/parmesan cheese omelette? Twice-baked potatoes with gruyere cheese, sour cream, chives? This is no time for counting calories. We had lentils and couscous for dinner tonight, which would probably have been fine for you, though perhaps not your favorite ;>)

Talk of stenciling reminds me that at one time I thought "Gastronomia" over the kitchen doorway was a good idea -- maybe a little too much pressure on the cook, though.
Chelone, would I be correct in guessing that you had no sisters, only brother(s)? That would be correct for me, and I definitely have a frat-house sense of humor.

Mary, D-Day approaches -- well, that's probably not very helpful. You're going to be marvelous, I know it. I actually made scones too on vacation in Oregon.

Have we got big plans for the creepy guy, which is not to say that he's stopping here first necessarily...

Hi, Cindy. That's what the medio-picta is for, to stare at its geometric, poetic precision when all heck is breaking loose around you. Score on the geminiflora, one of my faves too.
G'night, all.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 12:06AM
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I could eat lentils and couscous all day, especially with some mushrooms thrown in. Lemon yogurt,black krim tomatoes chopped up in the cottage cheese, split pea soup, minestrone, and we are about to introduce black bean and rice burritos with lots of av and a tad of tom.Journalistic masterpiece will be linked by this weekend.Better get some smelling salts lest you faint from the excitement.
K in Napa

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 12:57AM
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Good green morning! Seems strange to see non-brown grass and am happy for all you got some much needed rain.

Datura: I had a field of it at my old garden and know with certainty that it reseeds in its non-hybrid form. Found the link below earlier this year. Scroll down past the BRUG SEEDS!!!! and you'll get to Datura. I can testify to the fact that seeding these babies is Not Hard.

Tender Cuttings: Hereby promise to make a concerted effort to not need to replace any tenders -- coleus, fushia, geranium, etc. -- next year. Yah, Right!!! If Deanne does the workshop, I'll be first in line!!

And speaking of Deanne overwintering -- gotta tell her/you that I'm incredibly proud of her overwintering 'Goodwin Creek' since it is a totally benign neglect plant and it must've been difficult to keep from babying the thing.

Love the idea of Eden writing ending up on Sue's shed.

And love the idea that Bella has so many wonderful females in her life.

Kenzie's comment hit me hard. I remember saying the same thing and looking at Zinnias which weren't much shorter than me in my grandmothers garden.

Had the first Brandywine for dinner last night. Nothing Like Those Tomatoes!!!!

Somehow I missed the journey of Eden's "friend." .... Fill me in?

Kathy -- If you ever want to be nationally syndicated let me know. There is a woeful lack of good periodical garden writers lately. The one for the local paper out here seems to have gotten into a rut and is running basically the same articles as the last two years.

Chelone: Shipping plants is easy and a friend of mine came up with a perfect way of getting them places intact -- she uses old coffee cans with holes punched in the lids for smaller plants or root cuttings. Water the bejeesus out of them before packing. Yes, a bit more weight but absolutely no chance of squishing. For larger, I also like wrapping the soaked plant in newspaper before packing. Unless something's going to west of the rockies, three day delivery is usually sufficient and doesn't cost much more than regular.

Thanks for all encouragement about Kyle. I'm beginning to appreciate leaving the house and coming back to it intact. LOL

Everyone have a great day.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 7:06AM
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GOod morning

Denise - your son's photo is stunning - what a great eye he has. The black and white with the splash of red is something my DH would really appreciate. Nice earings too!! It must be exciting seeing what DS shoots next.

Martie - I had my first Brandywine tomato last night too - the deer have figured out how to stick their noses through the fence to filch the ripening fruit and have got to most of them before me. This one escaped however and it was juicy and delicious! I also made Ratatouille with my asian eggplant, farmers market peppers and zuccinni. Mmmm - the tastes of summer.

Have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 8:19AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well we are in for a gorgeous day today. Perfect fall weather. Temps started out at 52 this AM and will go into the lower 70s. Ive still got more work to do to pick up after the wind yesterday. It seems no matter what I do to anchor the big brugs the wind can take them down this time of the year. Also, all those lovely flowers on the CG were toast and I had to remove every blossom that was open. Ive now got the thing tied to the fence in three places and hopefully it wont take the fence with it the next time the wind blows! LOL I sure hope Sue didnt have any damage from the wind yesterday. Oh yes, one of my fuchsia standards was lying on the ground also even though Id put bricks in the pot to anchor it down. Ive got to move that plant to a more protected location. Fortunately it only lost some branches but not the head of the standard that has taken two years to grow on.

Mary, Ive done a bit of research and according to info you supposedly can over winter the daturas or take cuttings. Im thinking Im going to try the cutting route with it and see how it goes. ~~ Sounds like youve got everything ready for your talk tonight. Wishing you all the best of luck with it and of course, have a great time!

Martie, thanks for the link to the datura seeds. I might give it a try even though Im not really a seed person. Id really like to have one of those double yellow ones next year. ~~ LOL about the Goodwin Creek. I really didnt do anything special I just kept it with the rest of the plants under the lights in the basement.

Kathy, you made me hungry with the food descriptions. Sounds like youre healing up. Yea! ~~ Whats the article about? I missed that one. Im LOL because when I have a painting deadline I do the same thing. Ill pop in here instead of sitting down with my brushes.

Denise, yes indeed the old bird bath is going to be recycled, Im probably going to plant some succulents in the bowl and will definitely use the stand as a plant stand. Ive got to chip off the knob that sticks up on the center of the stand though. ~~ LOL about changing meds.

Cindy so sorry about the family crapola. I think that kind of baggage seems to follow us around for life. Ive got a couple of sisters that get my back up instantly. I dont know if its intentional on their part but those knee jerk reactions never go away regardless of how many times I tell myself to just chill out.

Bug, I sure hope Charlotte perks up soon. So sorry shes still not well.

Michelle, if you were my neighbor we probably wouldnt have a fence between our properties but have one continuous garden from one yard to the next! Wouldnt that be the best fun? ~~ LOl about containers and children growing at light speed. Too true!

So Eden, where is Creepy Guy going to first? And how does one get on the list or is this going to be a big surprise?

OH yes I wanted to share this with you all for a good laugh. So Im completely in love with my new Sansevieria cylincrica, well last evening when my friends came over for dinner my dear friend Deb asked if Id already started getting the plants pruned back and ready to bring in because Id already stripped that one to the bone. According to her it looked pretty sad. I had to chuckle when I told her that no, that plant is exactly as it should be. She was astonished that I really love this plant that has no leaves or flowers. Te he.

OK Im out of here. Time to get things watered and get the day going.

Have a great day all,

PS Mary, I'd very much appreciate your recipe for Ratatouille?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 8:41AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

Mary, thinking of you giving your garden talk tonite. I'm sure it will be fine! Things are pretty toasty here too, even mature bushes and trees are showing signs of stress from the lack of water in August. We had weeks with no rain!

Chelone, thanks for the info on the use of the fart machine in your pants - I cracked up! I could use one here to lighten up some of our clients...

Deanne, I've grown datura from seed too. Tell you what, lets divide and conquer - you'll be in charge of coleus, I'll grow the datura. I want to try leaf cuttings of rex begonia too.

Well, back to work,

Waving hi to all!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:10AM
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I just read through yesterday's posts and so many things I need to comment on but no time. I've been working on bringing plants in. We've gotten down into the 40s the last two nights and the tropicals don't like that. Yesterday it was all of the vacationing houseplants. I had to get Brad to carry in the ficus trees this morning. Now my little livingroom looks like a scene from Where The Wild Things Are, lol. Today's goal is bringing in all of the begonias. Wendy, I've done the leaf cuttings before. It's so cool when those little plants start growing from just a piece of leaf. I followed instructions from the begonia forum, I didn't use the little cups though like they did. I just put the soil in the container. I'll link the info below for you. I've never overwintered the daturas but have started them from seed. I had to put them on a heat mat to get them going though. They're easy to find around here, even the double purple and yellow ones so I usually just fork out the $4 for a plant in the spring.

I especially wanted to say Good Luck! to Mary on her talk and tour this afternoon. I know everyone will be blown away by what they learn and see!

I'll be back later (I hope). Bella's here today.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well the first project of the day was getting Charlotte down the stairs. She slipped once, but made it! Gave her some meds and am to hear from the vet around 1pm after she finishes her surgeries. Charlotte did go for a walk with DH this morning, slowly, but no food passed her lips.

I swallowed my breakfast though, which included giant raspberries. YUM! Then I potted up a flat of wallflower cuttings. Dishes are now in the dishwasher making noise, and I am stealing a few moments on the computer. It is very damp outside, so too early for weeding.

I've only stenciled a little bit. Some of you saw the herb stencils on my back room cupboards. They were my first effort. But Eden's painting has super charm and originality, so I won't bother giving instructions. She's the boss for that!

My thoughts are with Sue and Mary and their tours and talks,(photos?) as well as with Kathy and her article on topic unknown. Gardening let's hope!

Cindy, family can be either the very strangest and difficult..or the very best. Guess which I've got? At least mine is at a distance.

We started the day at 45F. I had no idea how low it would reach last night so collected some coleus cuttings before dark. Can someone remind me if the lazy "shove 'em in water" approach is as good as the "stick 'em in earth" method? These are supposed to last until next May, so this may all be ridiculous to speculate on. Also, I've grown begonias from entire leaves in water but with the other method I managed to only rot them somehow.

Curious to know Mary's ratatouille recipe also. Each one is different! I have lots of eggplant still in the garden I could use for this. I use capers, olives, lots of things in mine.

Happy Thursday to all!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:44AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well the first project of the day was getting Charlotte down the stairs. She slipped once, but made it! Gave her some meds and am to hear from the vet around 1pm after she finishes her surgeries. Charlotte did go for a walk with DH this morning, slowly, but no food passed her lips.

I swallowed my breakfast though, which included giant raspberries. YUM! Then I potted up a flat of wallflower cuttings. Dishes are now in the dishwasher making noise, and I am stealing a few moments on the computer. It is very damp outside, so too early for weeding.

I've only stenciled a little bit. Some of you saw the herb stencils on my back room cupboards. They were my first effort. But Eden's painting has super charm and originality, so I won't bother giving instructions. She's the boss for that!

My thoughts are with Sue and Mary and their tours and talks,(photos?) as well as with Kathy and her article on topic unknown. Gardening let's hope!

Cindy, family can be either the very strangest and difficult..or the very best. Guess which I've got? At least mine is at a distance.

We started the day at 45F. I had no idea how low it would reach last night so collected some coleus cuttings before dark. Can someone remind me if the lazy "shove 'em in water" approach is as good as the "stick 'em in earth" method? These are supposed to last until next May, so this may all be ridiculous to speculate on. Also, I've grown begonias from entire leaves in water but with the other method I managed to only rot them somehow.

Curious to know Mary's ratatouille recipe also. Each one is different! I have lots of eggplant still in the garden I could use for this. I use capers, olives, lots of things in mine.

Happy Thursday to all!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good grief, that's what you get when the phone interruptions inundate you....Sorry.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:07AM
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Marie, good thoughts for Charlotte! I'm so sorry to hear she's not doing well again.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:37AM
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Mid 50s this a.m. which is fine with me, but the next 3 nights are supposed to be upper 30s. It is windy here and my one big urn with the massive hibiscus Maple Sugar tipped over. The container must be nearly 7 tall. I righted it only to look a few minutes later and see it tipped again. I left it. It is by the shed so I am thinking of a possible bungee strap to hook it to the shed. Its supposed to be windy again today but from the NW. After writing this I read about Deannes efforts to secure her CG.

With the sun setting so early these days, not much gets done in the garden.

Mary, Id be interested in your recipe for roasted tomato soup. I made some last night from a recipe that I got off the internet.

Martie, I think of my grandmother when I plant calendulas and snapdragons.

Hopefully, Charlotte starts feeling better. Little Reed appears to really enjoy the maracas.

Denise, my dog Jaden threw up in the car the other day. On my seat and between the seat and the door. It was horrible to clean up. The odd thing was I have never known her to throw up before.

One more little thing about Kenzie in the garden (hopefully you all arent too sick of it) She likes to carry a small basket to put her flowers in, but she just picks them and stuffs them in the basket. I guess Ill have to teach her about arranging.

As my parents are getting rid of things with their move, my mom gave me the tiny vase that is olive green glass and looks like a hand holding a flower that we used to fill with violets for our mom. Maybe Kenzie could put her flowers in it.

Cindy, sorry to hear about the family problems. I am fortunate to have a pretty normal family.

Kathy, Im curious as to the subject of your column. Is a regular column that you write?

Chelone, we had a UPS driver who came here daily who we just loved, he recently retired, but he would have definitely appreciated the fart machine.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:49AM
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I'm done - a few tools to tuck away and a quick clean of the downstairs lou incase anyone needs to use the facilities and that's it. I'm rewarding myself with a trip to buy some pretty paper plates and napkins for this evening - little things make me happy;0) I'll post recipes later tonight. The left over Ratatouille made a very nice lunch with some parmesan tossed on top.

Is there a sign -up list for creepy guy? If so, stick me on there somewhere.

Have a good afternoon everyone - fingers are crossed for news of Charlotte.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 12:07PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I say everyone who has a "normal" family - rejoice and count thy blessings -- I suspect they are much more rare than we think! You guys made me laugh about it though and I've got a small bit more perspective this a.m. -- Deanne, you hit it on the nose re the knee-jerk reactions -- I wonder how one gets rid of them? I confess mine seem to have changed from early years - then I would avoid the confrontations (hence some distance, like you 'bug - Yea for distance sometimes); but now I just find it hard not to go up in flames, LOL -- maybe I gotta get some lites in the garden so I can midnite hunt out there -- check out the wildlife that goes thru it if nothing else...

Put Chloe on the 'frup list w/ Ein -- she's been doing it for 2 days too; and we had horrible bouts of bile w/ Biscuit for the last couple of weeks (figured out after a vet bill that it was her food & she seems to be recovering). Miss Chloe I suspect ate some'fin she shouldn't have - Im hoping she's better today too.... Idyll pet contagions, surely it's not?

Wow re the winds in the midwest & NE -- we havent had that challenge here; I guess 7 foot plants would be an interesting thing to tie down. Sorry you lost your blooms of the CG, Deanne.

And boy, Im not ready for temps in the 30s -- that's just plain wrong, Michelle!!

Okay, getting thru the rest of the day here & tomorrow Im off for the GYN and another dentist... but at least it's out of the office. Yes!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 2:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'd rather go to the GYN and dentist. I'm off with Charlotte for X-rays.....

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Normal family, what's that, lol? I guess mine's pretty normal. We all seem to get along, now Brad's that's a whole different story.

I snapped a couple of pics of the wall lettering. I'm having a hard time remembering how exactly I did it, lol. It's been a few years. I used the banner function of a printshop program and printed it out. I just chose a font style and size from the program. Then I used old fashioned carbon paper to trace the letter shapes onto the wall and filled them using a paint brush and acrylic paints. The hardest part is taping the banner all together and then cutting it apart again according to how many lines you need and positioning and taping the pattern to the wall. Not sure how clear these directions are but it's really very easy to do.

Here's the photos of mine

On the livingroom wall

On the kitchen wall

A couple of questions about how you guys want to handle Creepy Guy's travel plans. I'm planning on mailing him out to Denise first since that was Chelone's suggestion that got this started and then let her figure out where he should go from there. I'll start a thread for him when I send him off and everyone can post their pictures to that. Does that sound OK or should I do more, like make a list of those who want to participate and include addresses etc in the package with him. I'd like to keep it as simple and spontaneous as possible, more fun that way and who knows where he'll end up. Your thoughts??? I'm totally open to however you all want to handle it.

Here's a couple of pictures of Bella breaking in the refrigerator blackboard this morning.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 2:42PM
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Eden, maybe everyone who is interested could email you with their address and you could include it in the box and then as someone has it they could cross their address off and they would select who it would go to next. That way no one would know until it showed up at their door.

It looks like Bella is quite an artist. What a great idea.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 4:11PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I seem to have lost the knack (if I ever had it!) of joining in the conversations here Im so far behind. I have been reading along but its been difficult, for various reasons, to sit down and write a post. Hopefully Ill get this one written and posted sometime in the next 26 hours!

V. belated condolences on your brothers death. So young

Kathy condolences to you too on Tashas death. Mind you, thats the way Id like to go when my time comes :-)

Denise your son is a talented photographer indeed. I loved the portrait in your working clothes :-) Re your work, how do you get from the gobblety-gook back to normal English? Are those machines used at all to do live captioning on TV? Sometimes the captions on a live broadcast deteriorate suddenly into meaningless garble and Ive often wondered if its because the live captioning is done with something like the court stenographers machine and something went awry in the translation back to English. Do you know anything about the live captioning process? I should look it up myself just out of curiosity.

Sue Fabulous pictures from your garden! That banana is amazing I love things with big leaves but would never grow anything that requires as much winter protection as that. Id rather just admire it in your garden instead :-) It looks like youre garden is in great shape for the open house day. I hope you will be too i.e. that the Lyme disease is well on its way out!

Martie your Kyle is doing something I fantasized about doing when I was university age. I would have loved to spend a year (or more) at university in England. Im sure hell have a great time!

Mary youll have to post pictures of any gardens you visited in England this trip. Visiting English gardens always seems so special somehow. Its been more than 10 years since we were able to do that and I miss it By the way, I still havent perfected a recipe for onion bhajis. I returned my friends deep fryer Wednesday so I pass the baton of experimenting on to you :-) If you come up with a great combination of spicing, post the recipe

GB speaking of recipes well have to try the Brussel sprouts and pecan one. We usually just cut them in half; separate the leaves and stir-fry with garlic. Drizzle with lemon, season with salt and pepper. Pecans sound like a nice alternative.

Ive got my fingers crossed for Charlotte. I started this post before the worrisome reports youve been posting. They remind me too much of Chelseas deterioration. Charlotte is younger so Im hoping for good news for your lovely big hairy beast. Maybe she just overdid it while playing with visitor Indy?

Deanne and Cynthia those brugs are always so amazing. Your pictures and the ones a neighbour used to have (she moved away two years ago) made me want to have one but I never saw any for sale anywhere. This summer I found two at the farmers market, bought them and plunked them in the pots that were empty after the peas were finished. They have grown well but not flowered and have started having a fair number of yellow leaves. I looked for information the other night on how to properly care for them and overwinter them. My conclusion is they need too much water and fertilizer to have a place in my survival of the fittest garden plus I dont have a place to keep them over the winter. So Ive concluded that they need to find a new home or end up in the compost. A neighbour (who has run out of room in her overwintering area) is going to ask around her fellow volunteers at the botanical garden to see if anyone wants them. Im impressed with the effort you must make to get them to such beautiful large plants. Its a much bigger commitment than Im willing to make Im afraid.

After this summer of endless watering of my limited number of pots, Im thoroughly sick of watering pots! I really dont know how all you pot mavens manage it. Is there some trick to watering large numbers of pots efficiently? If so, please tell me how!

Chelone the continuing saga of your mothers woes at the nursing home is distressing and discouraging. It definitely makes me hope for Tashas way out when I get to the end of my days! Ive been feeling guilty because Ive not spent any time at the LTC garden since the spring. My edging project here has consumed all my available surplus garden time and Ive not had any energy to spare to work in their garden. One of our garden buddy residents from there will be coming to lunch in a week or so. Shes a double amputee, a bit younger and more active than most of the residents. She complains bitterly about the food there. She particularly likes desserts so we regularly take her things when we do some baking. Since our house is accessible for her, she likes to come for lunch as it gives her a nice outing thats a bit different than her usual activities. She likes to have the opportunity to help with the cooking. Shes a very interesting character so shes a fun guest too. Id bet youd like her Chelone she keeps the folks at the LTC place on their toes!

I hope you will be able to post some pictures soon of the garage project. It sounds like its going to be a very nice addition to your property.

Eden I always aim to have the fiscus indoors by Labour Day and I never make it! Theyve now been sprayed and are ready for Randy to bring in tonight. We brought the rest of the houseplants in today. The two fiscus are getting far too large. Im not sure if they are going to fit in their usual spots in the house. The oldest one has gotten particularly large. I should have cut it back severely when it first went out I think. The oldest one usually goes in the dining room but its doubtful its going to fit in there and still leave room to eat!

The Creepy Guys tour should be fun. At the lab where Randy used to work 10-20 years ago, they had a traveling penguin. Since there was a diverse workforce and quite a few conferences, it was a well traveled penguin! And scientists have a very quirky sense of humor. The penguin generated lots of offspring too and we still have lots of penguin ornaments on the Christmas tree each year.

Speaking of Randy, he survived the latest round of ax-swinging at his employer this week. There still may be more tweaks to the organization structure apparently so nobody can really relax. Combined with additional workload from the cuts, itll make for a very stressed workforce.

The brick edging project has consumed all my spare time this summer. I started at the end of May and finished the front at the end of August. I hope to finish the back by mid October. That assumes my body holds out that long! All the pounding on the screenings and the bricks to level them has aggravated my tendonitis and seems to have recently given me tennis elbow too so I wear multiple support straps/braces and limit my work time out there (typing is a problem too)

There isnt as much to do in the back since only the living room and patio beds need doing. But I am ramping the 4" drop off the patio to the grass. And that is turning out to be a major undertaking as the stones (14"x8") are very heavy (for me) I quickly did a small ramp by the north alley to provide access while I work on the larger ramp area. The little ramp will have to be taken up and re-done when the larger one is finished as it is definitely uneven but better than the previous drop!

I expect Ill need to do a fair bit of adjusting/re-leveling in spring but, if it works to keep the grass out and eliminate the need to trench edge the beds, it will all have been worth it. Plus it is easier for Randy to mow; I dont have to worry about the walker wheels dropping into the trench; its a much more stable surface to step on when I need to lean into a bed to pull a weed or deadhead something. So far, so good Let me bore you with some pictures (which I may have posted before I cant remember)

The path from the driveway to the main front bed:

The back of the bed, with some of the rocks that got excavated at times, every time we tried to pound in a support stake for the metal edge, we hit a rock! So I planted a few to make a little rock garden for hensnchicks.

The path between the end of the driveway border/Chinese wisteria bed and a small bed with a Blanc Double de Coubert rose and Angel roses (amongst other things) Note the drought-stricken grass....

I didnt do a good job of making the lines straight/the curves nicely smooth but Im going to have to live with the imperfections. I figure Ill just make sure theres a lot of plants draping over the edges and hiding all the imperfections :-)

First steps in the backyard living room bed metal edge in place:

Temporary small ramp:

Start of bigger ramp:

There was a lot of other things I should have commented on but Ive run out of steam so will take my creaky body back into lurkdom..

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Tears at the farm. Charlotte is no more. Wish my parents' demise had been as dignified.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:06PM
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Charlotte is running free, no pain, and knows she was loved so very much.

Kisses from Katie and Monty and Dannie, and tears from me.

I am SO sorry 'bug.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:23PM
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I'm so sorry Marie. I'm crying with you too.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:26PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oh, Marie....I am so very very sorry.....I will continue to keep the pics of her, with her snow covered muzzle, in My Pictures. She was one of my favorites.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:46PM
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g'night, Charlotte.

Inscription on the Monument of a Newfoundland Dog,

When some proud son of man returns to
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of
And storied urns record who rest below:
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's
Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him
Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on
While man, vain insect! hopes to be for-
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee with
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship is all a cheat,
Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush
for shame.
Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn,
Pass on - it honors none you wish to mourn:
To mark a friend's remains these stones
I never knew but one, - and here he lies. --
Lord Byron

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:59PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Oh NO! I'm so terribly sorry Marie. Hugs from all of us here.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 8:03PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Marie, I'm so sorry about Charlotte. That photo is so special and made me cry.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 9:16PM
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Just home from a day away and have read nothing but the last post by Deanne & then found the photo of Charlotte & message....

Marie, I'm so very sorry! She was a beautiful lady and much loved.....what a rotten and difficult time for you & your DH.

My best,

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 9:21PM
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Marie, I'm so terribly sorry, I know how much she meant to you. I too have saved her picture. Hugs to you.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 9:35PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So sorry to hear about Charlotte.

I've returned from my trip but have been unable to catch up on my reading. I need to do a long post to tell you about my adventures on the road, but I also need clean underwear to wear in the morning. My coworkers will thank you that I've made the latter option my priority!

Also need to share that my dear SILs gave me a plant in memory of my brother - a simply enormous agave! I'll post a photo when I find more batteries for the camera that eats batteries. (did I just hear it say "feed me"?)

Hugs to everyone,


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:16PM
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Ah, Marie, my sincere condolences to you, peace to Charlotte,hope she ca hang out with my Tasha in the doggie here-after.
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 10:30PM
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Chris, Sally, and Peanut will be there, too.

I hate dogs. Esp. when they die!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 5:13AM
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(((((Charlotte's people, big and small)))))

Isn't it sometimes said that with every demise there is new life? My neighbor's dachsund birthed a litter of 3 yesterday. Without a giggle, they truly look like hot dogs.

With the high hopes that Mary's clean lou was an indicator of a clean visit!! I, too, love pretty napkins and plates, and have found that right after seasons and holidays one can stock up at major discount to save for next year.

Strange things happening here at the park. The infusion of warm water has brought forth an abundance of rose blooms and the herbaceous perennials are standing tall and screaming: Thank You!!!

Thinking of Sue and tomorrow and hoping the rain forecast ends before opening time. That is some bananna!!

It's bulb planting time and scored a bag of 50 hard and healthy plain yellow daffs for $12 at HD. Am sending Rich back for more as he needs to go there anyway. The movement of shrubs has left a perfect place for a cutting garden.

Also am going to put in lots of tulips. There are so many cool and unusual varieties that it's hard to resist.

V -- looking forward to the agave pic. You guys are tempting me beyond belief; next spring. Share the work/travel stories so I don't feel so inept!!

Chelone -- Hope that the electrician called and masons finish up soon. Have been thinking of you during this construction and tip my hat to all to GC projects themselves. Also, tassles are everywhere!! You've been a trendsetter all these years!!

Tall Plants and Wind: Love the idea of bungie cords! Will need to stock up.

Need to cut a bouquet for the monthly work birthday bash. Wonderful way to start my workday!!

Best -


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:22AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Oh no, Marie! What in the world??? Guess I didn't realize she was that sick. I'm so sorry. She's in good company-Zak was there to greet her.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 7:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today is already very strange with reminders of our big black friend at every turn. Your comments have been so sweet and kind and we thank you for them all. In case you have not heard, these are DH's words:

"A sad day at the farm. Charlotte took a one way trip to the vet. I'm not a cryer, but indeed I did, of course Marie too.

Charlotte was a delightful, brave, dignified, caring dog to the end, clearly a "best friend". Would that we could all go to the happy hunting ground so well when our time comes.

This morning, as I tried to take her for a walk, she lay down and told me that she couldn't make it any more.

Vet's X Ray showed a tumor the size of a softball, bigger than her heart, squeezing the esophagus.

I imagine she's already searching out the generations of Bouviers who have preceded her."

Thanks to Zak, Tasha, Chris, Sally, and Peanut for being there. I'm sure many others were there too. Boy, it still hurts tons though...

This is Skyler's favorite photo. He calls it "Bouncy Ears". How fitting! A bum shot!

It's a misty morn but the sun is slowly breaking through.
Thanks Idylls!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 8:20AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


On the run as usual this morning. I've got a meeting from 10-12. Monique, Deanne and company will be at my house around one to start the spiff up process. At some point I need to stop at the farm stand and fish market for dinner stuff. Tomorrow I have a free day of sorts, then the onslaught on Sunday. Guess I'm getting visits from Chelone, Saucy and Wendy as well. Better hide the hateful, ill behaved dogs in a closet Too bad the fix isn't as quick for the jungly, over grown garden.



    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 8:27AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Susan, great to see a nice long post from you, but I hate that all your hard work has taken a toll on you. I hope you don't get reduced to doing as little as I do ! Your edgings look fine to me. I need to dig my rock edgings back out of the grass and sod. I usually try doing that at least once a year, but have not done it this year. Fall would be a good time. If I wait long enough, the grass may not return until spring. I do not know if I will be up to it. I keep thinking I am going to do what needs to be done "when I am feeling better",...guess what....:-(

Marie that is a wonderful quote from your DH, and I love the pic of Skyler and Charlotte. It has been added to my pictures.
I have never had a dog to lose, but still remember favorite cats that are long gone. I dread the day we will lose Tommy. He is special.

Our temps haven't succeeded in getting into the 40s yet, but will in the morning ! Mid 40s predicted, then a return to warmer, more seasonal temps. The rains have regrown the grass, and I need to mow today. I did the "island" a couple of days ago. Need to weedeat also, and pull a billion weeds from flowerbeds. Maybe I can work up to it slowly.....

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 9:11AM
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Marie, your husband's words were beautiful and very touching.

I am so sorry for your loss. Charlotte was like a mascot of the Idylls to me.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 9:57AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

(((Marie))) Charlotte AKA the big, hairy beast :-) lives on in all the wonderful memories she leaves behind. I always find some comfort in how dogs (and cats too) meet their end with such dignity and grace.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 11:11AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Marie, so sorry to hear about Charlotte. I know she was a beloved member of your family.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 11:52AM
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GOod afternoon

GB - what sadness to hear about Charlotte - I am so sorry. I feel honored to have met her. She was such a warm, big hearted dog who brought joy to all who spent time with her. I feel she will live on in many hearts.

Today I had a sense of lightness when I woke up, remembering yesterday's talk is over. It actually went very well, the participants were a fun and lively group and even stayed half an hour after the ending time. I began with a talk and demonstration of seed formation, harvesting, storage, viability, trading, yada, yada, yada.... I demonstrated how to make a European traders envelope using just folds, no glue, so there was a little hands which I think is important. After refreshments the ladies took a tour of the gardens (which they pronounced as looking great) gathering seed. It was fun to see 16 people foraging through the borders and hearing cries of delight as they found unusual things. I recieved the nicest comments from everyone, the scones were almost all eaten and I was told it was fun because I was so relaxed. (I was even more relaxed when I went inside and downed a celebratory glass of Pino Grigio.)

Today was a busy day at work but I came home to my first pay check since the summer - yippee! We have friends coming over for dessert so I need to slap together somthing to serve - I'm thinking along the lines of a plum crumble. Fortunately they are close friends so the hosue can stay as it is, which for once is almost presentable. Even so I'd better get going.

Here is the Rataouille recipe - I add more garlic than suggested as we are all garlic fiends. Don't leave out the fennel, it rally gives it that little something extra. I'll dig up my Roasted Tomato Soup recipe later and hopefully comment to those I missed.

Serves 4.

1 onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 tablespoons olive oil
a 3/4-pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 small zucchini, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 pound small ripe tomatoes, chopped coarse (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

In a large skillet cook the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and heat it over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is softened. Stir in the zucchini and the bell pepper and cook the mixture over the moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture, stirring occassionaly, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the oregano, the thyme, the coriander, the fennel seeds, the salt, and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the basil and combine the mixture well. The ratatouille may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated before serving.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 3:45PM
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Sue, surely you have a couple of crates that you could put down in the cellar, next to the boiler? that would contain the canine miscreants quite handily, yes? ;) I can't wait to see your gaHdens... you worry too much.

I, too, enjoyed Woody's lengthy post. I know all about falling behind and struggling to catch up. Your edging looks wonderful, what a project. I'm doubly impressed knowing how tough that can be on your "person".

What impresses me most is the careful thought you've given to ACCESSIBILITY. It's an issue I'd never given much consideration before Mum moved in here... it's incredibly important (says she who lives on the second floor!). One of the things we're working very hard on is good pathways around the yard.. and I love the ramp idea. We have one out back (turf) and one in the front (stonedust and a bit too steep, IMO). We will be widening the paths around the garage to 5', instead of 4'. When our yard was on a tour, accessibility was noted by many. And touring the lovely gardens in July, I was mindful of the many "ankle-breakers" I saw.

I KNOW I have to get the garage pictures organized, you guys. The mason left today, the builder flashed the chimney (lol!) and replaced the asphalt shingles. Tuesday is the day the power will be routed from the garage to the house... but I'm irritated that the helpmeet did not ask when the final "hook up" and the REMOVAL of the pole will occur. (deep cleansing breath). I paid the garage door guys some more money today and told them they may not deliver the doors on Tuesday. :)

I pulled a few weeds this afternoon and in the process found a salamander! black with yellow spots and about 2" long. He was under the Japanese juniper (Juniperus procumbems?) and I put him back after "checking him out".

I love the shot of Charlotte and Skyler, 'bug. I've thought of you several times today... most of all when Wrecks greeted me upon my return from work. The first few days are probably the worst... but maybe I'm wrong on that count. But since I hate dogs, my observations should be taken with a large grain of salt.

V., you crack me up... I chuckled at the necessity of laundry. Please remember me to Dianthus... willya? And I'm wondering if you've thought about a planting as a memorial to your brother? I'm certain, if you have, that it will a "goodie". Can't wait to hear about your "adventures".

Marian, it interests me that your weather seems rather in line with mine for spring and fall. My spring and fall are shorter, though. Summer is not nearly so hot and dry for me, and winter is colder, with more snow. But what you're noticing with respect to evening temperatures is right in line with my own observations. And you live a really long way from me!

Eden, thanks for the tips on the lettering. I was on the right track, but hopeful that there was an easier way... I guess not... . I LOVE the idea of including mailing addresses in the box with the Creepy Guy... we'll never know where he'll surface next! I definitely think we could get some major "mileage" out of this one. :) (umm... now all I need your e-mail address, I couldn't find it in the address book even though it's probably there... somewhere).

Nursing homes. I can barely keep from bubbling over when I think of Mum in that awful place. My brother called the the other night and told me she is probably going back to the psych. ward... probably because of another UTI. I know she has "lost it" mentally, but I am certain they don't pay attention to the needs of her urostomy... it's been the same in every hospital and "institution" we've dealt with. Her condition requires specialized care and attention to detail. And that's in opposition to hospitals and institutions. She needs "Cordon Bleu" and she's gettin' McDonald's. Would that she received the care that Charlotte did... . I am consumed with guilt and sick to my stomach. I hope none of you ever have to deal with this.

Wanna hear about Mary's "talk". I'm certain you charmed them, utterly!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 4:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well, I can tell you Chelone, the first day is awful.
Can you sneak a kitty in to see your Mom?

Ha! It is raining! Neat-o. I spent the morning watering trees and the afternoon mowing. Mindless activities. No companion either.

I took myself out to lunch for a roasted veggie sandwich by the river....No doggie to greet me upon my return.

I hope the heart heals quickly.

V, you always manage to produce a laugh of delight. Thanks! Thanks to all of you!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 4:40PM
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Bug, I'm so sorry to hear that Charlotte is gone. I remember that she was your first dog and know she will be missed terribly. Its good that she doesn't have to suffer.
I know I was grateful that Keebler was able to make it on his own until the end.

Kathy I'm also sorry to hear about Tasha on top of having lost your kitty. Pets are definitely family in this household,as well as all Idyll homes.

Hugs to you both. Norma

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 5:00PM
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Hello everyone,

This may be the wrong place to ask, but here goes:

I've really enjoyed the Garden Web for a while, and love it as a great resource! I have a seriously naive question however, so if you can answer it, please let me know. If you'll hand me my crayons, I can maybe even come up with a reply.

What exactly is an idyll on the Garden Web? Who is welcome to join them? I know exactly what an idyll is in the lexicon sense, but I can't quite understand how they work in this place. I sure find many of them to be interesting, but as a newcomer I am reluctant to party crash a group of old friends and interfere. People might think I am trying to peek at their petunia!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 11:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The Idylls here began as a non gardening conversation place. We have covered many topics over time: pets, home renovations, travels, jobs, the environment, worries, stitchery, grandchildren, books, weddings....and much more.
Over time people come and go as their lives allow. Men and women, young and old are always encouraged, though lately it seems to be women mostly. Strong friendships have developed and many of us have managed to meet one another.
We are presently on our 335th entry, which means that at about 100 postings each, we have made about 33,500 entries over the past few years!
We are, quite frankly, an amazing group with varied talents and interests.
Do join in if the spirit moves you.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 3:04PM
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Thanks Gardenbug!

Though I mostly use the Garden Web for research as a gardener, at times I'd prefer to read or write reflective things among friends who might have common interests or life experiences to share.

If I ever write anything much, be forewarned that I am prone to being too sentimental, and sappy as a Maple losing it's blood in the spring. Otherwise I am no different or odd than anyone who's ever actually watered a heroic dandelion that intrepidly breaks concrete paving to blossom.

I take a lesson from God and nature. I try to be like that dandelion. There's something VERY idyllic in life when even a garden weed seems evidence of a miracle happening everyday.

Jim Palmer

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 4:40PM
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