Idyll #333 Continuing the Fall

gardeningmarySeptember 15, 2007

I love Chelone's title and hope she won't mind giving it an Idyll #.


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Sue - I'll be thinking about you this weekend. Did you have fun with the NE Idyllers giving the final touches to your already gorgeous gardens? Wish I were close enough to join you tomorrow.

Today's haul at the Farmers Market included a huge basket of peaches for $9. They will need a day or so to ripen - I have them lined up on the counter - all 47 of them!! Many will be made into Brandied Peaches to serve over icecream - a delicious and highly alcohlic winter treat for the adults. I also have a massive head of kale and some home-made sausage for a hearty soup - we're down to 38F tonight too. It's hard to believe we were all swimming yesterday evening. I should follow suit and drag in some coleus.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OOOPS! I was supposed to post here!

Yep, it says frost for tonight. So while DH goes to practice skating in prep for hockey's starting on Tuesday, I'll be hauling pots and taking cuttings. early!

I was astonished this morning that the "Awake" people who come to our door every month asked DH if we actually read their pamphlets and wondered if they should bother returning. He suggested a long leave of absence. Interesting change in their practices...

I've decided that the first week without Charlotte will be the hardest. Each day there is something that she did that appears as a reminder. Today it is the trip to the dump where she was regularly given a cookie. Last night at French Club everyone asked about her....Sigh. I think the cats are somewhat confused about Charlotte's bed. Usually they are chased off it but now they are permitted to sniff it and sleep there. I pitched her old water bowl, with a tear in my eye.

We are off to collect a new colour cartridge for our printer. I want to make a picture booklet for Skyler of his summer holiday here. Sarah phoned to talk about Charlotte and will need to explain to Skyler about her being put down. A tough lesson.

I've enjoyed the clouds lately. They are so beautiful, even though they often appear to be snow clouds!


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 11:05AM
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I just finished the frost assessment tour. The large elephant ears went and the cannas appear to be OK so far. The leaf of the musa that was above the fence looks pretty droopy but for the most part things look ok. There was a chunk of ice in the birdbath that is more in the open but the other two had none. Today is cool and very windy, but since I haven't had a whole Saturday to work in the garden for months, I'd better brave it. Its now 51 and the paint can says I can paint as soon as its 50 degrees. I'll be painting 2 of our big propane tanks. I have quite a list in my pocket that I hope to accomplish today.

I hope all goes well and the weather holds for Sue today.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 12:04PM
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Ok, I have to find clothes and I don't SHOP and I have no 'fashion sense.' I don't travel either but have to go to Florida in November and need something for a semi-formal dinner. I've looked at Talbots, Johnny's, Lands'End, can't find anything that looks comfortable and doesn't show a lot of skin. At ColdWater Creek I found this, this morning. It's more me than anything else I could find. Does it look too warm for evening event in Florida in November?

The skirt is only 33" so on me that's going to hit mid-lower calf. Would need strappy goldy sandals maybe?

Can you think of other on-line places I can look. I can't stand going into stores unless they sell garden things or pet stuff :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 12:24PM
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Michelle, thank goodness the damages are somewhat limited.
Cynthia, it's like I'm reading my own words re shopping/fashion. Then these big events come up, and I'm left scrambling too. That ensemble looks perfect for November. Florida has to make some concessions to seasons, for goodness' sake. Can't tell what fabric the jacket is made of, though. Did you check Ann Taylor online? That jacket could go with any sleeveless dress, not just a skirt. I like checking for average median temps in areas I'm traveling.

Glad to see a new thread has been started. Rereading my Fri night post, you'd think my son threw up his ethics class, and characterizing Mary's lecture as a "raging success" sounds sarcastic and catty, which wasn't the intent at all. Would have been better to go straight to bed.

Poor Mary, with endless requests for lists, recipes, etc., but IF you have half a mo', what seeds were available to the attendees for harvesting? Sounds like those 47 peaches will be keeping you busy for a while.

The poem I posted re Charlotte's passing is a little harsh on humanity, but I do share that fierce attachment to dogs. With our 13-YO Toby, I was a coward and asked DH to take him for the last visit to the vet. He cradled Toby to the end, and the poor man could barely walk out of the vet's under his own power. The staff let him leave by a back door and didn't even stop him for payment or paperwork, which makes us forever loyal to that vet's office. Toby was born in a rowboat in our garage -- fitting for a Newf -- the only surviving pup out of a litter of eight. We thought the whole litter was lost, but Toby arrived about 12 hours later, the last and only live pup to be born. Duncan was about 3 yrs old at the time, and we found him trying to bury one of the stillborn pups. How he would know to do that, I've always wondered.

Can't wait to hear news of Sue's tour. The autumn light here is lovely, and as usual it's one of our nicest times of year. All the accounts of heavy winds brings me round to the inevitability of our fall Santa Ana winds, a phenomenon I loathe -- lots of turmoil, riots, etc. seem to coincide with those foul winds!

Woody, I enjoyed your post with photos of your rock edging work. Thinking of all of you racing around gathering cuttings. What a precipitous end to summer!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 1:01PM
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Cynthia - I love the ensemble and think you would look great in it, especially with the strappy sandals and some Idyll approved nail varnish LOL! Perhaps a touch of gold bling too. Do you have a black "shell" you could wear under the jacket just in case it is warm and muggy? I really like Coldwater Creek although I often think their styles are better suited to someone of your height rather than a shorty like me.

Denise - I would NEVER have interpreted your comment as being sarcastic or catty though I must admit when I first read about your DS I thought he had barfed. Your posts are always fun and lively so don't change a thing. I'll try and come up with a list of seeds. Are you a seed starter?

Woody - I don't think I told you how nice your edging looks. It sounds as though you've been quite busy. I'll let you know on the Onion Bahji if I have any success.

Time to head out to Home Depot, unfortunately not for plants;0(


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 1:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cynthia, spring for it. It looks lovely and will be great on YOU with your hair and gold sandals. I'm a bit I see a black top, not a jacket, in the photo. I see a necklace needed there....

Ever notice how emotional stress leads to fatigue? We're pretty tired here. We did put-put out to run our errands though in DH's new car. Ate lunch at our nearby Vietnamese place. He's off skating now.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 2:07PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, I am glad you said that about Cynthia's picture of the outfit. That is what I was thinking too. It IS a lovely outfit, and I agree...a pretty necklace would set it off nicely.

Our low last night appears to have been 49F. It has not got much above 60 today, and is showering right now. I got most of the grass mowed yesterday, and some weedeating done yesterday and today. I also cut all of the smaller limbs off of an overgrown spreading juniper that was where I didn't want such a huge plant. Nolon took it on down to the ground with his chainsaw. Now I can see the much prettier evergreen that was behind it. ( It is a differant type of spreading juniper, and is a brighter green.)

Our dogwoods are turning rapidly. It may be another gorgeous fall for color.

Two more weeks, and I will bring in all the potted plants that I am going to carry over.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 6:15PM
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Tryin to catch up here, now that its Saturday and I have some breathing time.ItÂs nice and quiet today since DS is off to Laytonville in Mendocino county for EarthDance which is an annual hippie-esque festival event featuring drum circles, mystics, lots of hemp clothing and tie-dye etc etc.Basically a weekend long Love-In for those of you who remember those events(or donÂt remember them as the case may be) Although I have no frost to report , the weather is in a rapid change pattern, and my back garden is entering that period when the sun is sinking lower and the trees are still leafed out thus hours of sun become limited.I always start to see mildew, floppy plants and bloom reduction in mid-to late Sept. I will do some extreme deadheading on my roses and I should get one more nice flush in a few weeks. On Wednesday I came home from work and found that all the stuff in my freezer had thawed (including the ice) and that the fridge side was warming up . Jeesh ! Only had it 3 weeks ! I called Sears and they sent out the repair dude who diagnosed a sealed system leak, and recommended that they just give me new one. Fortunately this did not occur while we were on vaca , what a mess that would have been to come home to Âplus due to vaca and the tooth thing I had very little food in it. As all good Napa Valley dwellers I have a Âwine refrigerator out in the garage and I moved what I had out there. The new one comes Monday morning .
Finally finished my damn column-what a time I had with this one. I kept sitting down and writing one sentence and then staring at the computer screen for a half hour before giving up and walking away in disgust. For those who asked, Napa County Master Gardeners have an arrangement with our local paper whereby we provide them with a gardening column that runs every Saturday on the front page of the Home and Garden section, and in turn we get free publicity for our programs. ItÂs been very mutually beneficial, increasing attendance at our workshops etc. There is a committee of us who actually write the columns , and one of us is a Âreal writer for the SF Chronicle so she edits if needed. We started doing this primarily because the paper was running AP fed columns that were mostly irrelevant to gardening in our climate . The one I just sent in runs next Saturday, and I have signed up for one more next month . I have always enjoyed writing for my own entertainment since I was little. Always regretted not pursuing it career-wise. Shoulda -coulda-woulda

Cynthia, love the outfit ! I hate to shop too. I buy all my clothes online at either LL Bean or Lands End. Orvis has an on-line store but some of their stuff is a tad old-lady-ish .

Deanne, great story about the neighbor. I'ts amazing how many people stop to talk to me since I put in my front garden.Just one more way that we(and others) are enriched by our gardens.

Mary, brandied peaches over ice-cream sounds just yummy-wish I could drop in for dessert.

Michelle, a chunk of ice in the birdbath ! Way way to soon for that kind of stuff to be going on. Although in m y freezerless state I could probably find a use for it. Lol.

Martie, was it you who mentioned tulips ? I bought almost 200 on Thursday .They will go in the wine fridge till mid-to late November and then IÂll plant them along my front brick path, interspersed with snapdragons and some pansies. The drama !!!

Denise- those Santa Anas are one thing I surely do not miss since departing SoCal. There is a town along I-80 (Cordelia) that is constantly windy. It would drive me nuts to live there.

Think IÂll get a couple more chores done so I can watch some baseballÂ

The link below is to a column I wrote earlier this year ;the one I just completed doesnÂt run till next SatÂ

Enjoy your evening all ! Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 6:44PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Some written "snapshots" from today.

DH picked all of the remaining peach brandywine tomatoes, and I sliced them in half, cored them and placed them in a layer on a cookie sheet, filling 3 pans. Then I sprinkled them with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and drizzled them with olive oil. Into the oven on convection at 200 degrees for most of the day. Outstanding! They are now packed into a couple of containers, covered with olive oil, and they will provide wonderful flavor bursts for upcoming salads and other goodies. I'm picturing fresh mozzarella covered with finely chopped dried tomatoes and a little fresh rosemary. In a moment of insanity, I have ordered a kit to make homemade mozzarella. I'll let you know how it turns out.

DH and I spent a little time collecting seed from a prairie grass, side oats grama. It was a perfect morning for to do that - cool temps, no mozzies, and the seed just right for picking. Side oats was the first plant that I learned to harvest seed from and it is one of the easiest, since all the seeds line up on one side of the stem and they slide right off into your hand. A few will fall, which assures the future for the existing site, and many more end up in the bag to be spread in new areas.

More of the laundry is done than not. As I was folding our bedsheets, DH decided to make a phone call. Just then, my cell phone started to ring and he calls out, "V! your cell is ringing!" I set down the sheet as DH impatiently calls my name again, do the "doggie dodge" across the house, and get to the cell phone just as DH says, "Oh - never mind. I called your number by mistake." Le sigh!

I gave all the refugee plants a good watering today, including the two that did not have saucers underneath them. I just wanted DH to know he wasn't the only one capable of doing something dumb.

We're having movie night tonight and it's time to roll 'em. Enjoy the night!


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 9:08PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

We're back from vacation, and I'm nowhere near caught up reading, but had to come in and say (((Bug))) I'm so sorry about Charlotte.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 9:20PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I'm just getting ready to head off to sleep-tomorrow is going to be a long day, but I just wanted you all to know how awesome it is to get garden help fom Monique, Les, Deanne and Doug. My garden has never looked this good. No way could I have ever gotten it to this level of detail working by myself. They are an incredible talented crew! In addiion to the garden work we've also enjoyed patio happy hours, two delicious dinners, and lots and lots of fun. Idyllers are the best!

Below is a link to the listing for tomorrow on the Garden Conservancy website. It looks like the weather will be on the cool side-high in the low 60's but sunny and dry. I asked Steve Silk what he thought I could expect for a visitor count and he said he's had anywhere from 60 to 75 to as many as 200. Yikes!


    Bookmark   September 15, 2007 at 10:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sue, I'm so jealous of all your help! What fun! Have a stupendous day. Take photos and tell us all about it once you've recovered. :) Wish I could come.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 6:40AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Proof of frost this morning...

I'm off to visit Kathy and Denise....I like the "to do" list there much better than mine...

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 7:29AM
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What did I do yesterday? Took cuttings, dismantled containers, potted up plants and hauled them all into the basement. Anything I didn't get to I huddled together and covered with sheets. I don't think we got much in the way of frost though. No matter, it all has to be done and the frost threat got me going. I hadn't worked in the garden in weeks and it felt good to be out there. Today will be more of the same.

Enjoy your tour day Sue! How fun it sounds like the last couple of days have been. Idyll friends are the best aren't they?


    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 7:48AM
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Hey, Sue's garden has a name now! Very original. Ok, it warmed my heart, it's like a little bit of all of us will be on the tour.

Kathy, I like your list of resolutions, but think you should weave vague references to the idylls in there next year so that we'll be part of your world too. Maybe something about Angela Lansbury on tour. Reminds me I need to send my address to Eden.

No frost here GB, but frost on your property is so pretty I want some too. There are years when I haven't had hard frost until after Christmas.

V, I will never remember your dried tomato recipe next year, but it's a great idea and I have (I mean the dog's have) a dehydrator so it would be simple way of dispensing with the bounty.

Eden, I am so grateful I have another month before I have to bundle things up and drag them in. I was a sloth yesterday, doing a bit of clean-up on the patio and wandering about digging things out of the garden that I never should have planted in the first place. Hoping they wouldn't come back, but knowing that a wisp of root will morph into a resurgence next year.

I did a home visit with a nice young couple Friday night and took Wicky, since I thought I could trust her not to soil their carpet at this point. Turns out Wicky-politan has acheived cult hero status with her embarassing name. (Her bio is linked.)

The brugs are lovin' this weather!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 8:48AM
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A stunning good morning! The lightest touch of frost imaginable happened here last night, and the only thing affected is a huge double impatiens. Whew!! They said 40......should've known better.

Plan to try and get to Sue's today though she doesn't know. I'm lousy with keeping plans a lot of the time and that's just part of me and my life. Sue's only about 45 minutes tops and the drive is easy. Rich is encouraging so he can play drums in peace.

Cynthia -- Did you look at Chico's??? I'm insanely jealous of women who are tall enough to wear their things as they are incredibly comfortable but classy. Got a kick out of Wicky, and hope that the home will be forever.

Mary - Thrilled for you that the talk went well and am also wondering what seeds were collected. I stopped collecting years ago and want to start up again this year. First thing will be mini yellow pear tomatoes. Ymmmmm.

V - LOL the cell phone story. Do they think we can't hear our phones??? More often than not I'll tell Rich to just answer it and one of my clients Still thinks it's really cool that I have a male secretary :O Yes, you've spurred the hunt for agave space next year.

Cindy -- Welcome "home!"

'bug - I don't envy your DD talking to Skyler about Charlotte. Nor do I envy you and your next few days. Sounds like you're doing all good things for yourself. Lunches out are quite therapeutic!! Good for your DH to be playing hockey, still. Did DS ever get home? Wish I was closer to come up and help with your gardens. Working in something older than three years would be a welcome novelty!

Bulbs, bulbs, bulbs, cuttings, bulbs, divisions, cuttings and bulbs will be the Autumn order of the garden. Went out yesterday and made a list that may actually be doable if I stick to it and don't get distracted. Another ya, right :-)

Kathy - I remember love-ins to the point that I remember getting stuck on the New York Thruway with my parents and four sibs on the first day of Woodstock. Then the Boston Common was "the" place to be during high school and was close enough to go without parents knowing where I really was. And, lived nearby to Skitch Henderson's cousin so the beatnik influence was alive and well. Didn't know they still had such gatherings, and am glad because it beats the heck out of violent demonstrations. It is a cyclical world, isn't it.

Have actually spoken with Kyle. He's well, but hasn't found good "out" food except for fish and chips in pubs. His short internship with a Parlimentarian is this week and then classes start the following. Interesting that instead of the Tolkein course, he's opted to take a North America History from Colonial Times to the 20th Century course. The professor is "ancient" so it'll be interesting to hear our history from another point of view. He also has gotten hostel reservations in Marsaille for a long weekend. To be 20!

Smelling my pie almost done (nearby heirloom orchard predicts a huge bounty this year despite little rain) and fresh pot 'o Joe is ready to enjoy for breakfast. Some days are just plain good.

Hello to everyone!


    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 10:20AM
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Took a long walk mid-day on "bluff park" along the ocean yesterday and was surprised to see fog hanging at the shoreline. Today we're socked in. Love it! Enjoying all the links to garden conservancies, greyhounds, Kathy's pearls of gardening wisdom (winter chill needs, my favorite topic!) My trouble with iffy plants has always been distinguishing the settling-in period from the "no chance in hell will it grown in zone 10" period. Some plants are great pretenders, limping along but with no real intention of joining the land of the living. I've got a spindly one-foot, 5-YO callicarpa Profusion that comes to mind. Zonal denial works both ways, you know. Have duly copied V's dried tomatoes. Cynthia, just so you know, I'm weak minded enough to now want brugs again and a greyhound.

My "never again" list, along with roses, has dahlias added to it, that is until I came across an atropurpureas from Old House Gardens yesterday. Like their heirloom glads too. Always best to write these lists in pencil, I find. One rose did sneak past the list and is arriving this fall, Bouquet d'Or.

Mary, I used to start masses of seeds when I was a "market" gardener, supplying cut flowers for table vases to local restaurants. Fun, yes. Lucrative, no. I washed the vases out from a camper VW in the parking lot, first-born son at my side. Eventually I had to pad the vases with store-bought flwrs, so it was off to the downtown LA flwr market every Monday, 4 a.m. What a stunning vision to walk out of grey LA and into those warehouses full of flwrs. That was my exciting late twenties, lol.

Wherever Cindy is, I thank her mightily for the allergy tip regarding "spins." Might be the answer I've been looking for. Happy for Sue that all the work is done and there's nothing to do but watch the pleasure her garden brings to others. Wonder what the questions will be ("Is that banana REAL?")

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 11:24AM
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Good morning

A great start to a sunny morning here too with homemade GF Buckwheat Almond pancakes for breakfast served with sliced peaces. Six days a week breakfast is toast or cereal and fruit with coffee grabbed on the go - I love being able to make something nice and sit down together.

Inspired by all the abundant produce I'm still on a cooking kick and am planning on making a plum torte and quinoa and roasted veggie salad. It is also perfect bike riding weather - sunny with a high of only 62F so we'll be heading to the bike path on the Erie canal later.

I'll be thinking about Sue and her possible 200 visitors. Wow, it makes my 16 seem the tiniest drop in the ocean!

Welcome back Brenda - is it time to start the combine up?

Martie - is there anything you are looking for seed wise? I don't have a full list as I no longer trade seed but would be happy to so share anything I have. Participants seemed pleased to collect from my pink oriental poppy, various eryngiums, heliopsis Lorraine sunshine, daturas, sweet peas of many colors (now all gone) various colors of hollyhock, larkspur, different foxgloves and grasses.

GB - Brrrrrrr!

Cynthia - loved seeing your Brugs and reading about your pretty house guest. I'm sure your engaging descriptions go a long way to drawing in interest in the adoptees. You even had me wondering if we had room for another dog!

Kathy - thank you for sharing the article. Having spent the year with year round gardening in San Diego I had pondered on the same subject.

Eden - glad you enjoyed working outside - it sounds as though you got a lot done.

Yesterday, what with an early morning market run and busy morning and errands I didn't get into the shower till afternoon. As it was cold and rainy I decided to warm myself with a bath - our only tub being in the kids' bathroom. Just as I settled into the bubbles the door bell rang - David's guitar instructor was here to teach his lesson, a good 40 minutes early. Not really a problem till I looked around and found there wasn't a single towel in the bathroom, not even a hand towel or face cloth. As getting one would have meant dashing in full view across the upper hall to the linen closet, and David's teacher is young and male, I ended up having to dry myself with bits of toilet paper. AcK!!

Enjoy the day everyone


    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 11:39AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

(psst - Mary - there's a piece of toilet paper stuck on your, um, uh, oh, never mind!)

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 2:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just back from a GravelWatch meeting and these are VERY depressing stuff. Not the right time for me to have added depression. Anyway, DH drove us home and collected some winter aconites along the way. I also picked up some coleus that had been hit a bit by frost and decided I'd try rescuing it. I'm not sure the name. I'm sure Deanne knows which one it is.

I'm expecting my order of bulbs soon. I always look forward to spring green tulips and camassia which form a perfect combo, but get munched by the red squirrels.

The crows and starlings are making big noises....and the cats are enjoying watching from the window.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 3:29PM
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Well, the image of Mary trailing bits of t.p. in her wake brought a smile. How 'bout another? This clip preceded by "I can't make a speech, but I can do a little dance!"

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 4:13PM
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Well, Im fooling myself if I think Im going to get anything else done today, Ive been decidedly unproductive. I did make a list of things that need to get done in the next 90 days (my self-imposed deadline) but having a list and working the list are two different matters. Wish I had spent the day in a leisurely tour of Sue and her NE colleagues gardens ! It was cool and overcast this morning so I went upstairs to work on the guestroom closet for a little while, but ended up staring into it in disgust and leaving it for another day.
The San Francisco Chronicle Sunday travel section had a huge article about fall color in the Ozarks, complete with photos, lodging suggestions etc. I thought of you Marian ! The author was very enthusiastic and said the fall color in your area rivals that of NE without all the crowds.

V, you are mighty industrious, and would love to copy your tomato concoction ala Denise, however I have a woeful tomato crop this year with barely enough to chop up on my burrito last night.

Hi Brenda !

Sue, hope all went well today and kudos to your manual laborers..glad you all got some fun out of the prep time. One would expect fun with the Idylls involved.

Oooo bug the frost ! Looks kinda pretty, but I dont have the right clothes out yet. I should have another month before I have to contend with that stuff

Cynthia, Im stamping my foot and pouting over your CG Brugs. There is something to be said for humidity ! Maybe we humans dont like it, but the tropicals sure do ! I did in fact make a rather veiled reference to the Idylls in one of my columns this year .
And re: Wicky, Cynthia, we need about 100thou more people just like you and your fellow doggie rescue folk in the USA . I think your caring and commitment are just beyond admirable.

Martie, our place of choice for Love-Ins in LA was Griffith Park, which is just below the iconic Observatory (Rebel Without a Cause) and had a large Carousel that was a very popular pastime when ones mind was slightly altered . Love the fact that your Kyle will be taking No Am history across the pond. I have started reading The Economist which has news stories from all over the world- I enjoy opening my mind to those other perspectives.

I moved to Napa County 20 years ago specifically because of the colder winter temps Denise, and I absolutely concur that zonal denial goes both ways. I wanted desperately to be able to grow Peonies. So my first year here I was thrilled to find them in the local garden center and planted a bunch of them . What a learning experience that was! The bloom period here lasts maybe two weeks at the max, and if it rains or an April heat wave turns up, the Peonies are toast for the year. I have since dug them all up and given them to people who have more space and can contend with the risk factors. I kept my Tree Peony though the blooms are so exquisite, I dont mind the space it takes up, which is minimal. And you cant go wrong with Bouquet dOr or any of the Noisettes IMHO. Wish I had room for more of them. You went to Cistus , right ? They had many a cool single Dahlia in their display gardens when I was there last year. Gonna check out Old House Gardens. And , when I looked at your Charle Chaplin link today, for some reason that escapes me at the moment, I started searching for, and found old "I Married Joan clips. Anyone remember ? And when was the last time you heard the theme song ??

kay time to cook some dinner hi to everyone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 9:09PM
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Hangovers can be a good thing, especially when caused by the rush of seeing Sue's amazing gardens on a perfect day and seeing many Idylls at the same time!

I'm not surprised that no one else has reported the pure excellence of Sue's stop on the garden tour. The work that Deanne and Monique and Sue put in, and the travel that was involved for Wendy, Saucy and Chelone, and NE forum friend ShadyLady, probably konked everyone out last night.

Aside from [finally] meeting most of the rest of the New England Idyllers, I got to see firsthand that banannas can grow to about 15' and Cannas to 10'. Idyll Haven is a perfect name, as once one rounds the side of the house it's like entering a different world. One with tropicals and unexpected splashes of color. Variegation is everywhere and the fragrance of a blooming Dahpne in September is just plain cool.

What, Sue, is the larged-leaved variegated plant (hairy foliage???) on the right side of the garage. Dark middle with almost chartreuse edging; leaves about 18" clustered at the crown??? Gotta have it.

Not a weed or seeding flowerhead in sight.

Thank you, Sue!!!!!

Didn't journey with the crew to other gardens as Rich volunteered to root prune the momma plants that will be divided in a few weeks. Got a little nervous when I called him from the road and he said he was "having at" a Rugosa rose that I hadn't planned on moving, but that he thought was spreading a bit much and was taking the offshoots away. "To where??" "I don't know, yet." "How do you plan to keep them alive?" "Wasn't it you, Mart, who said these things are indestructible?????" LOL We'll find a place.

Mary -- I'll take any seeds that you want gone. At this point there's a spot for everything, with the possible exception of large and spiny Rugosas ;-) The poppies are a particular favorite and I have a bias against buying them as plants when they're so easy to start. Thank You!!!!!

More to say but no more time. Good Day to everyone!


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 7:08AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good sunny morning to all,

Well we had one fantastic, fabu-fabu weekend!!! Funny story, we arrived an hour later than wed anticipated on Friday. Dougs cell phone rang and a harried Sue was calling to tell us she was running late and we had to confess that we hadnt yet left New Hampshire for the two hour drive to Hartford so we were going to be an hour late to which she said GREAT! Well, she then called Monique and Les and told them that we were running (as usual Im ashamed to admit) and they said GREAT! So we all arrived at Sues around 2:00-ish and that worked out for everyone. After our hellos and welcomes we all spread out and just started buffing and polishing Sues beautiful gardens. Our work session on Friday was followed up with a lovely dinner of shrimp cocktails, grilled zucchini and swordfish, salad and corn on the cob. Dessert was another of Moniques brilliant baked goodies, the most luscious carrot cake on the planet. Worked out well for me as Sue doesnt like raisins and I do. Te he.

Doug and I stayed with Monique and Les for the weekend (Thanks so much Monique and Les for being the host and hostess with the mostess). I woke up early on Saturday morning had my French Roast coffee and oats then was able to have a beautiful hour in their marvelous gardens to explore and photograph. It was misty and raining but I had a bit of time without any downpours and the gardens were absolute magic in that early, misty light. What a delight! Then we were treated to Crepes ala Les with a mouth watering combination of apricot jam and cream cheese with a second one with fresh raspberries (from their garden) and Nuttella. I could have swooned! After brunch we dressed up in our gardening outfits gathered our tool and were off again to Sues by way of City Fish for a quick warm lobster roll for a lunch to fortify ourselves for the afternoon of garden work. Did some more sweeping, deadheading, staking etc. etc. etc. then had another marvelous seafood dinner of fresh, blackened sea bass, the rest of the carrot cake for dessert. Can you tell we always eat very well????

Yesterday we arrived back at Sues and with a beautiful sunny day and fresh eyes were able to enjoy the overall picture and let me tell you it was spectacular! I took another couple hundred photos there and am hoping to get them downsized and uploaded today sometime to show you all. The very best and most special part of the weekend was the arrival of Martie, Wendy, Chelone and Saucy! Wow seven Idyllers together for garden touring. It doesnt get better than that. Also, I got to meet a dedicated Idyll lurker and her entourage of gardeners who were all delightful. It was startling to meet someone for the first time and have them ask about my statue Windy and did I still have her. I promise to get a pic of her up soon.~~ After our tour at Sues Martie had to leave us but we all piled into Monique and Les car and went together to tour Steve Silks and Jan Nickels beautiful gardens. A fantastic time was had by all.

Kathy, Love your article! So well written and truly expresses my feelings about having bare soil in winters. Time to think, plan and refresh myself for the new season.

Cynthia, WOW! Your brugs are gorgeous! What a show stopper. ~~ Love the Cold Water Creek outfit. I really love a lot of their clothes and when they run a sale get out of my way.

Bug, that photo of your frost is HORRIFYING! And those of you whove suffered from one already, YIKES! Im so NOT READY for frost yet. ~~ That coleus is Tilt-a-Whirl.

Mary, you have again got me laughing so hard I have a stomach ache! The vision of youre trying to dry off with TP is too much.

Martie, I promise to get pics of the Jean Pascoe and Goodwin Creek as soon as I can.

OK, Ive got to get a move on here and get my day started. Have a good one everybody!


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A strange morning...but at least no frost!

DH will spend the day working at home. These sabbatical years are trying! Friends are here to do some weeding and console and reminisce with me about Charlotte.

But first, groceries and the bank!

Later! Thanks for the coleus ID. Can't wait for your photos Deanne...and Cynthia...JUST MAHVELOUS shots of your GAHDEN!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:59AM
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It sounds like Sues garden tour was a lot of fun for the NE Idylls. Im looking forward to some pictures. Deanne, I agree, you all do eat well when you get together.

My guess for bugs coleus was Tilt-a-whirl as I had a number of extras this year and placed them in the ground it is a fabulous coleus that gets nice and full.

The weather here is unbelievable. Saturday it didnt get above 55 and today its 90.

Mary, you have the greatest adventures ;o)

Kathy, thanks for the link to your article. I agree wholeheartedly. You have a very entertaining style of writing. Make sure to post links to any others that you do.

Cynthia, your garden shots just blow me away. Everything is just so lush and tropical.

We had a fabulous meal out Friday night. We had purchased a "Gourmet Surf & Turf Meal" at a fundraising auction. It was all very elegant with wonderful food.

It was somewhat cold and breezy on Saturday, but I did accomplish a few things. I had been wanting to add some bricks to an area by the outdoor potting area. It was a good day for digging. I also picked most of our apples. They are good for eating and I will probably dry some. We are still enjoying green beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions and eggplant from the garden. I think I will have to try some tomatoes in the convection oven. Im not into canning anymore, I really never cared to do it.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 4:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I make those tomatoes every few days at this time of year...though a much simpler version: Cut tomatoes in thick slices, place on oiled cookie tray, insert in 200F oven for 6 or 7 hours, eat. I just removed a warm tray of them a minute ago. YUM.

The garden weeding event was wonderful! Too bad my buddies can't stay for a couple of weeks!

Here's the weeded stretch so far:

I planted some Hakonechloa grass in front of the ligularia.

An unidentified frog visited.

In another area the sedum is looking fine in front of a purple sandcherry.

DH installed the new bathroom light fixtures and the holes are plastered. You can still see where the long strip (which held TWELVE giant lightbulbs)needs to be painted.

I hope your day was productive too. If not, then restful!


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 5:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm turning to my idyll friends for a reality check. I don't know if I am grumpy, or depressed, or petty but I'm getting a little po'd at the coworkers in general. First, no mention came up of my birthday last month, and for everyone else's birthday there is cake and a card. Someone else's birthday got missed the week before mine and I made sure that it was corrected, but all I've heard is a weak, "oh, we forgot..."

So then the response to my brother's passing has been muted. Yeah, I know most people don't know what to say so they don't say anything. But the kicker was today when someone reclassified my personal day for the funeral to a vacation day. It sure makes you feel good when you have to fight for your "condolence leave", you know?

When I write it down like this, it does seem petty, but I'm not feeling real happy about work right now. There are days when I feel like we have moved from an office of people who really cared about each other and the business to a "each man for himself" type of atmosphere. And I don't think it's my job to turn that part around.

Thanks for letting me whine, and I promise a happier post tonight or tomorrow!


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 6:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh V, that's rotten. I think that you are right that "each man for himself" is a rotten atmosphere, especially when you've experienced far better before. Of course many people have only known such an atmosphere... Anyway, I can't imagine it with you present! You are so smart and full of fun...They're NUTS! You definitely deserve pampering.

Enjoy some wine tonight friend!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 6:34PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I came home and immediately engaged in a little therapy. First, I turned a bare spot (formerly home to some scraggly Achillea that was shovel-pruned this summer) into this:

Here's a close-up of the hosta, which is called 'One man's Treasure'. True to its name, the red stems really struck a chord with me.

Finally, I spotted this on one of the pond plants. What a fleeting moment to be able to capture!

By now, I hope the dragonfly is munching on some of the mosquitoes that were trying to munch on me as I took the pic!


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 8:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

That last shot...INCREDIBLE!!!! I love these special moments.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:22PM
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And who will remember the dragon fly's birthday in a year?
(Amazing picture!)

I ate half a package of Pepperidge Farm Raspberry Chocolate Milano cookies for V. If anyone else is feeling a little out of balance, I'll finish off the package. Under the influence of cookies I can't quite remember the details of the analogy for what's going on with V, but it's the '3 legged stool' effect. Family/friends/work. When one leg is affected you get wobbly :) More sensitive.

Tuned in for pics of the idyll week-end and Sue's primped and polished gardens, but I can wait and guess I'll have too! Great narrative Deanne - maybe you could start taking photos of the food too??

Happy to see Bug's garden frost-free today. My goal for next year is to have room for mulch.

Time for more cookies.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:44PM
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I'm partial to the Mint Milanos myself.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 9:57PM
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I want to thank Mary for numbering the Idyll for me. (I'm such a dummy sometimes).

I want to thank Sue for her glorious garden tour on Sunday.

I want to thank Wendy for all the driving. And the laughs... Saucy, too. LOL.

And Les and Monique for their mini-garden tour, inspriational. Les and Doug deserve prizes for wheelmanship, too.

I want to tell V. that it's OK to feel that way... wish I could present you with a balloon, and some really good cake (none of those cheapie sheet cakes!), and silly card. Your brother's funeral was some "vacation", I'll bet. You can be "petty" here, we understand. The dragonfly shot is wonderful! I wondered why your hosta looked so good, it's brand new and the slugs haven't figured out it's in the neighborhood... .

And Cynthia's exactly right about the 3 legged stool... sometimes it gets wobbly for each of us.

'bug, your yard and garden look great, isn't it amazing what a quick "spiff up" can do for the soul? This time of year we have about a million of those frogs hanging out in the shady portion of the lawn (I mowed one yesterday :( ).

Wrecks and I did a little bit of obedience work yesterday afternoon; he needed some quality time with Mummy after being "ditched" on Sunday. And it was a good way to get in some "therapy". He seems to be doing really well in the recovery, and needs to go for the follow up X-ray soon. It's been a bit over 9 weeks now.

Gotta go. Hi Everyone Else!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 5:20AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idylls,

I had a marvelous, therapeutic day in the gardens yesterday. After polishing at Sues I thought I could use a little more of that here so I deadheaded, stripped dead foliage, staked and in general puttered to my hearts delight. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself to really enjoy these times and garden days as it wont last forever. All good times are so precious. For some unknown reason Ive been into getting the front lawn into better shape this year also so Ive been weeding, watering and feeding and that is looking better than usual also. But, as nice as it is, Im still trying to figure out how much more lawn I can dig up and garden for next year. LOL. Weve been battling the onslaught of the killer violets in the lawn for the last fifteen years and at times I think the violets will win. They are the absolute worst lawn weed to eradicate. Even Roundup doesnt kill them.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention our trip to look for on sale pots at this nursery Les and Monique know about. Well, as I was drooling over the fountains Monique was off finding some really GREAT buys. She came running over and insisted that I join her immediately. They had these gorgeous cement (very HEAVY) urns on sale for $50.00. Woohoo! Had to have one of those of course. We couldnt fit it in the car along with us and as we had to get over to Sues Les has most generously offered to bring it up this weekend. So, we are having another fun filled get together with the local Idylls here on Saturday. Anyone else want to come???? Let me know as menu planning in currently underway.

V. I completely agree with you about the indifference of your co-workers. I wouldnt call it whining, Id call it justified venting. So sorry, Id have my feelings hurt as well. Vacation day, indeed. Jeesh. How about a trip to NH this weekend, well cheer you up. Ill even buy you a birthday cake! ~~ That dragon fly pic is fabulous and the hosta is stunning. I need one of those. (Hosta not dragonfly as I had plenty of those)

Bug, your gardens are looking marvelous. The hostas look like they made it through that frost.

Michelle, I dont do any canning anymore although at one time I made everything from piccalilli to marmalade, tomatoes, peaches, all kinds of jams and jellies. One year I even made ketchup. Yum! But no more, I dont even grow a single vegetable anymore. I got tired of the bugs eating all my veggies and the only place I really have for a vegetable garden would be in the middle of the front yard. The back is too shaded.

OK Cynthia, next get together Ill try to remember to photograph the food. Usually were having to much fun doing "garden talk" (not to mention eating) and I dont even think of documenting the food. LOL

As requested, here are a few pics from Sues from Sunday

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 7:26AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I feel the day (& week) getting away from me again... so while I can:

1. 'bug - I am SOOO sorry to hear about Charlotte - how sudden and I am grieving for you -- she was such a noble companion.

2. V- this is the place to come for venting and therapy -- sometimes the workplace is a terribly unsensitive place (hmm, make that most times, uh?) --

3. Im wishin I lived in NE right now -- so as not to miss out on all these wonderful garden/food fest gatherings! But, hey, pics of lush gardens and food -- "like totally mag"... is that 70s slang? LOL?

4. Denise -- I hope the allergy/spins thing works out for you -- I suffered the last 25 years w/ those "spins" & only about 6 years ago did I get to the bottom of 'em -- I find if I get a head cold or flu too (anything that fills this empty head of mine up), it really messes up the ear and I get the horrible vertigo; in the worst of allergy season I even add to the regimen the Flonase squirts daily.... Good luck - I truly think that feeling of severe "spins" is one of the worst feelings in life - I go to any lengths to avoid!!

5. O wow - I adore those fish you added to the shed, Sue -- fantastic! What a quick & great idea. Ya just whipped 'em up, uh?

6. Deanne -- where the heck is Windy these days? I guess we havent seen her this year have we? She was wonderful.

7. I havent had a chance for any garden therapy; other things are in the way -- I may don a miner's hat w/ lite though this week to go do that at nite - even if it's 50! In the meantime, Cynthia, PLEASE eat some P' Milanos for me -- I've already endulged my fat cells sufficiently during these times of stress in the last week and feel awful but know I need more food therapy.

Ok, no more whining from me -- it's time for others -- equal opportunist that I am.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 8:58AM
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Good morning

Deanne - thank you for the wonderful description of the weekend and the amazing photos. I wish, wish, wish I could have been there. How neat to have the Idylls so well represented. And cool to meet up with a friendly lurker. Its funny, just before my garden talk I found myself wondering if any of the participants read the Idylls. But since they would then know the color of my underwear and that I'd just dried myself with t.p. I thought it better not to ask LOL!

Sue - I'm thrilled the day went so well - even the weather was perfect. What a gardening highlight for you and all who visited.

Hi Saucy, Hi Wendy!! Glad you all made it to the tour. Wendy - did you have a chance to add to your photo collection?

Thinking of missing Idyllers I hope Babs will have a chance to check in soon with tales from the nurse's office and Honey with updates from Missy. Or T with what her little men are up to. And has Ei's son had his wedding yet?

V - you are the LAST person to be petty or to whine. Now to wine as in "wine and dine" might be different;0) I can let many things roll off me but those behaviors would have hurt me too. Changing a condolance day to vacation is simply unspeakable - I hope it was just an accounting oversight. But combined with the tremendous hard work and long hours you've put in this year it must leave a very sour taste. I'm so glad you found something theraputic to lift your spirits - Mr Dragonfly is way cool and your new garden corner lovely.

Today I have a wonderful day to myself. I only work partial hours in September which I just love. I have a few more peaches to process and then some garden time. Martie - hopefully I can get some seed collected for you.

Enjoy the day everyone


    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:43AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I think Dr. Cynthia had the diagnosis right - I am wobbly. I decided this morning that it couldn't be serious depression because when I read this in my horoscope this morning I laughed out loud instead of setting off in search of a gun: "Check out of the world by late afternoon if you can, and hole yourself away in a nice quiet place." I never read my horoscope and I couldn't believe this one when I did read it!

I also appreciate Cynthia's heroics in downing all of those Milanos on my behalf. I think the dark chocolate Milanos are my very fave, but I might have to check that out to be sure.

Deanne, thanks for the photo tour of Sue's garden. It looks outstanding! I do love the island-themed shed. Thanks also for the invitation. I'd love to come but I agreed on Sunday to host part of our church's progressive dinner on Saturday evening. DH would be a little disgruntled if I wasn't there. ;)

Time to get serious about a little work.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:54AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This is as close to a three legged stool as I could get. (It is in fact a one legged stool)

Pass the cookies.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:14AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Hey, I've got quite a few Pepperidge Farm cookies left over from Sunday. It was the entertaining mint milanos but plenty of other variations plus chessman, pirouettes and a few others.

Thanks for the pictures and weekend update, Deanne. The day did go extremely well and I wish you all could have been there. My garden has never looked so good-like a clean house before company In the final analysis, I counted 118 visitors. I knew it had to be a significant number because of all the talking I did. Egads! The other gardens have all been open before and no doubt did as well or better so it was a banner day for the Garden Conservancy.

For those who are wondering, the fish on my shed were on loan from Monique and Les. They bought them while on vacation in Maine last week. However, I did end up scoring the one on the door as a gift. Thanks M&L! They were perfect. Now I know what kind of things to keep my eye out for when I'm shopping for garden chachki.

OK, back to work...


    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:33AM
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Good morning!

V, I'm so sorry that things are so hard right now. Sending you good thoughts and if I weren't dieting, I'd be right on the 'cookie consumption' in your behalf (don't doubt that one for a moment).

Cynthia, I loved the outfit and after seeing it tried to find it online. I found the skirt but couldn't find the cute top so didn't order the skirt. I need an outfit to wear for two events that are coming up and I liked that one a lot. So, back to the drawing board (aka the stores) to find 'some thing' to wear.

So glad to see the photos (thanks Deanne) and to hear how Sue's garden tour turned out. I love that so many Idylls were able to gather there, too. Hello to the nice Idyll lurker! :oD

The twins will be here soon and I've got to rush out to turn off the sprinklers (the timer just went off)...but wanted to share the big news here. The little ones are walking!! Took their first 'walk-about' on their own yesterday. Yep, both of them did it on the same day. LOL They just cut their upper front two teeth in the last week also (slow about getting those teeth--but so were my children). I'm hoping they'll do some walking for me today and I'm also hoping that life will become easier with their new found mobility.

Okay, I'd better get out there before the grass seed washes away (we reseeded last night)......Oh! Kathy asked what type of is just a pasture mix, nothing special, just an area where DH bulldozed flat(ter) and we needed to get something growing so we weren't tromping in mud all fall/winter/spring.

Hope it is a great day for everyone!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:43AM
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Wow, Sue, your garden looks great! What a fun day it must have been. The fish are a great touch.

V, aren't you glad you can come to the Idylls to find caring people? If nothing else Mary will entertain you with her hilarous predicaments. I can't believe the insensitivity to your brother's death.

T, oh those first steps are so precious. Your thinking things will get easier huh? LOL

I must go I suddenly have an urge for a cookie :o)

I'll leave you with my most recent creation.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 4:39PM
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Michelle, your arrangement is lovely. I am particularly fond of cattails. ;) spent any quality time in the mudroom lately? Nothing has changed here, let me assure you.

The garden tour was a lot of fun. And I have to tell you, Sue's garden took the prize, as far as I was concerned. And I'm "not just sayin' that". The attention to detail was evident at every turn; from the "carriage house" and the retaining wall to the finish on the fence that enclosed the back yard. The terrace was an inviting "landing pad", very private on what is a very small lot. There was just enough "whimsy" with the shed (and the "school" of fish). Now, "missy", what I'd like to see are some shots of the same area in the dead of winter... the "bones" are so pleasing I'd like to see a January/February shot. You really inspired me to get busy on the garage project here! Just beautiful. (it was fun to kick her dogs, too).

The conduits for the buried utilities from the garage to the house are in place now. There is not "juice" flowing through them, but they're ready to be buried. All the iris rhizomes and the clematis are on "hold" and awaiting replanting. Anyone want some iris??? (I'm shocked at the quantity of rhizomes, really!). They're old-fashioned, two-tone; lavender above, deep purple falls with the yellow beards and the "tiger striping". The foliage is washed with purple at the base. The driveway is taking shape nicely. Lawn has been carved away, gravel dug out, replaced elsewhere... once the utility pole is removed (10 days, thereabouts) the final curve will be defined and carved out. I'm tired.

Mum is not doing well. I'm worried sick; but can do little more than establish the "paper trail" even though I'd really like to knock a few heads together. I'm TIRED. I hope daily for one of V.'s "vacation" days. It's what needs to happen. :(

Caught a very quick glance at Cynthia's "outfit" and recall liking it! I wonder about purchasing a nice long-ish cardigan style sweater in one of the brighter colors in the skirt to brighten it up for Florida and give it a jazzier, brighter twist? Generally speaking, I don't like "outfits" I prefer "pieces"... things that can be combined in a multitude of ways to achieve diversity with a few pieces. My .02.. :)

I can't believe the little boyblobs are now WALKING... yikes. All stocked up on babygates, or what?! Stock up on the Bailey's... you're gonna need it.

I thought of both V. and Cindy often on Sunday... Mary, too, and Drema (where are you?!). Where is Nurse Ratchet? Is Brenda back from VA-CA?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 6:13PM
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Envy is such a petty, unattractive emotion. I hereby pettily and unattractively whine that I am not an in person Idyller who can help Sue weed and then have cocktails and Milanos and swordfish. Sniff-sniff, boo-hoo. At least I can look at the pics ! And read the dandy descriptions by Chelone and Martie et al. Deannes food descriptions were fabu-fabu.. I swear an Idyll vacation is in my future.

Thanks to everyone who had a kind word on the newspaper column. I have fun (though agonizing fun ) writing them.

V, everyone needs to whine upon occasion (see above) and who better than the Idylls-what simpatico creatures we all are. ! The best part about Idyll whining is that you write it down which is in itself cathartic. People dont always understand that when you lose someone even awkward sentiments can make the bereaved feel not exactly good, but reassured by the kindness of others. And by the way, that dragonfly pic is just awesome.

Deanne, will we get pics of the new godawful-heavy concrete planter ? Can you leave something like that out over the winter ? Your photos of Sues garden are great as usual-love the brug against the blue door.

Sue, bravo on your beautiful garden ! How fun that you got to share it with an appreciative audience. Hope you can sit back and relax now and get your health up to snuff.

T..not sure that walking babies will make your life easier ! I understand now on the pasture mix.

Michelle , love the arrangement-ever so stylish ! I love doing flowers , and its so fun to come up with cool combos involving textures and non-traditional bouquet plants.

Chelone, thinking of you and Mum. Peace is hard to come by .

Time to go cook some dinner. I wonder too about missing Idylls- Norma ? Woody? Honey ? Babs ? Anyone else floating around out there ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Michelle, there you go being creative once more! How nice!

I too laughed at T's comments about the boys walking. Oh boy. Better eat your Wheaties girl if you plan on keeping up with 2 of them!

Sue, Deanne's photos show what I expected...perfection. You must be so thrilled to have everything perfect all at once! WOW!

Mary, I wondered if you were going to start up your music lessons once more. I hope your teacher is still available. You must have quite the ensemble at your place. I remember several evenings of music with friends and family. We even had a conductor friend who went on to the Zurich opera later on!

Hugs to many stresses. Pause and breathe in the beautiful Fall air and color as you walk Wrecks.

Today I checked up on my investments for the first time since July 24th. My how things have changed! If only it could last....

I managed to print holiday photos this morning for my grandson and have them spiral bound for him. Mailed those off along with a CD for the baby, an article on the real Sam McGee for Sarah and a photo of her with her 2 cats from years gone by.

Some of you may recall me writing about the death of a young woman from a stroke, the daughter of a friend. Well that friend has completed an interesting quilt made from Julie's T-shirts! I'll try to attach a picture below.

DH is off at his first hockey game of the season, always a scary event when you are the oldest on the team. Each year he wonders about his sanity.

I bought a couple of recipe books on sale today. One on interesting lunches and another on single pot dinners. All I need is a new cooking pot now! ;-) Actually, I tend to make the same 19 recipes all the time and it just is time for something NEW!

The hose has been running all day long again. Water bans are on in nearby communities. The sun shines, the air seems clear and there are cool nights. I'm still working on selecting the paint color for the house trim. A scary thing! I'm leaning toward a gold color instead of the pale green....but who knows!?!

A demain mes amies!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:43PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Great fun to receive updates from Sarah. Here you see DGS happy to be reunited with his baby brother after a week at Disneyland. Then a photo of DH with the baby in silhouette. DH is in Ottawa for 2 weeks on a course in forensic interviewing.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 11:43PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

I went to bed very early last evening and so Ive been up since 5:00AM. I actually like the early mornings watching the light levels slowly creep from inky, velvet black, to gray light with shapes slowly emerging in the gardens and then to the lovely, misty, pink then yellow light of sunrise. Now if the darned sun would just come up a bit before 6:30AM that would be great but that is not to be for a long time to come. So here we are with another garden season coming to a close and Im wondering where, oh where the summer went? Pouff! Its gone. I guess Id better start thinking of putting things to bed and begin dreaming of next season.

Ive been working this week to get the gardens and yard here polished for our impromptu get-together on Saturday. Now I just wish I had the Green-Team to help. LOL Things here arent too bad but there are so many projects Id like to get going on and Im afraid that its just going to be next year for a lot of them. Ive decided that garden tours are very good and very bad at the same time. Very good because Im brimming with new ideas and very bad because I dont have the time or $$ to implement them. LOL

Kathy, Id be whining if I couldnt participate in the festivities here. We do have a great time and are so lucky we are so geographically close together. The year I couldnt attend the IU I felt like sitting in a corner and sucking my thumb for the weekend. You do know you are welcome to leap onto an airplane and join us? WEd all love to meet you in person as well.

Bug, great photographs! I especially love that quilt. How creative, and what a great way to remember someone.

Chelone, this too shall pass. Thinking of you.

Michelle, that arrangement is absolutely stunning! Love it.

So T, now you are really going to need running shoes. As I recall they go from crawling to running in about three days. LOL

V, that is just too funny about your horoscope. Weird when that happens.

Mary, you need to write a book about your adventures. BTW, Doug is in Rochester this week and will be going back Sunday evening. Want to hitch a ride?

Cindy, Windy is still in her nook with the ligularia. The plantings have not changed around her so Ive not posted any new pics of her but will the next time I do a tour with the camera. Hope you are able to get in some garden time in soon.

OKie Dokie, Im about talked out for this morning and there is now enough light to start working outside so Ill sign off for now. Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 6:34AM
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Good dusky morning! In agreement with Deanne, it is beautiful outside. The sky is a purplish grey with some orange thrown in. No more rain for at least a week, though, and the local pumpkin growers are worried. If no rain keeps giving us colors like this, I excuse the sky.

Uneventful trip to New York yesterday. Whew!!! The office I visited is right on Central Park South so had a few extra minutes and ventured in toward a large tree. Under it I saw an actual engagement proposal in progress so didn't get closer, but she obviously said YES!!!!

Find those happy moments while you can.....

Walking Twins = Walking Wounded Caretaker. Good luck!!!

Chelone -- it was particularly wonderful to get to semi-hug you at Sue's. I feel for you, and understand the confusion and anger you must be feeling. Modern medicine that extends life is sometimes not such a wonderful thing. My hope is for peace all around.

Thanks, Deanne, for those pictures. You are one of the few I know who can do a garden true justice with a lens :-) But for the drive, I'd be there on Saturday.

'bug - Your GS's burst my heart!! So obviously happy to see each other and so in love.

V. - Breathed hard a bit when I read your work situation. NOT at you, but with you. Why do people feel that at work it's OK to be insensitive jerks but if the situation were reversed all he)& would break loose? Vent On and Prosper!!

Mary - Thank you for the anticipated seeds!! How are the kiddens liking school this year?

There's more, I know there's more, but need to find something to wear that can go from 40deg to 80deg without being freezing or sweating.

Clothes, con't - What did you end up getting, Cynthia?



    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 7:11AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

These drive-by posts ensure that one misses a lot and misses commenting on even more -- I realize now that I never commented on the beauty of all of Woody's hard work -- those paths are really terrific and even more incredible when I realize how much effort you had to put into them!

I too had to wonder wryly if you were serious, T, thinking Walking Twins at same time is gonna be easier? O dear -- there's a whole new higher level for them to explore now -- get those baby gates out!

Michelle - that is a gorgeous arrangement, as usual -- I can't remember did you ever take a floral arranging course or is that your natural talent? They are always lovely.

V - meant to say how neat that dragonfly pic/flic was - worthy of our major photographers Deanne & Gardenbug here. I found too re expressions of sympathy at the ofc that a lot of folks just dont say anything because they feel so awkward as Kathy mentioned -- in my ofc, it's so large too that word doesnt filter around much -- altho I dont think that's your prob there is it?

It's a burden that parental worry, isnt it, Chelone -- hugs and good thoughts to you -- things seem to happen in their own time, and we can't rush 'em.

No more rain or water in this area projected either - I guess I may be pulling out the hoses just so things dont die - or assign the task to my house guest for a sunlight task - it's getting dark too early here to do after work - assuming I even get home at a normal time. I really have to go to PA this weekend to check on the remaining parent & his health status (shoulda gone last weekend but just couldnt find the energy); the other 2 siblings have not managed to make actual "drive-bys" so I have only Dad's word re his wellbeing -- by next week, we should more likely have a projected time frame for his hip replacement op, I hope -- I sure want it done before Winter sets in.

Hey, Deanne - any photos of Monique & Les's gardens to share with us or that they'd feel willing to share? I miss seeing their incredible collection -- maybe Monique would pop in w/ a little eye candy for us? Im sure they have some new delights they've added this year.

Well, unfortunately I best turn back to woik, altho I'd prefer to be back in bed resting!


    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 8:31AM
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Good morning

Today we're doing something fun and spontaneous. I'm taking David out of school this afternoon to drive to Ithaca college to hear a concert by Francois Rabbath. He is an extraordinary double bass player with the most amazing tone. With David's new interest in the bass it should be a great evening. As Ithaca is a couple of hours away we're heading down after lunch, stopping along the way (it is a pretty drive around the finger lakes with lots of wineries and nurseries) and will have time for a mexican dinner before the concert. The weather is perfect too - what more could you ask for.

GB - I managed a couple of lessons over the summer and am getting back in practice now ready to start up again. My teacher let me know she is happy to teach whenever I'd like to set upa lesson. With the garden tour over I'm enjoying having (a little) time to play again.

Martie - Annie so far is loving 8th Grade and told me she thinks it's going to be one of her best years. Monday was a good day for her as she got the first results back from tests and homework and she had aced them all. Math has always been a challenge for her but so far it's smooth sailing.

David has a really fun 5th grade teacher and gets to change class for a few subjects this year. He has come back full of what they've done each day. Whenever the work gets particularly challenging or tiring his teacher puts on music and has the whole class get up and dance for a few mintues before getting back to their task. I think school is much more fun now a days.

Deanne - I'm really tempted to head out with Doug this weekend but it would mean farming the children out (DH is gone) and having them miss Saturday's music lessons. I'm afraid I'll have to say no. I'll be thinking of you all. Is Rochester still regular gig for Doug?

Kathy - I think next year we should charter a private jet and have it swing by to pick you, Denise and T up for our next Idyll gathering. I guess one of us just needs to win the lottery first.

Time to make tracks and MapQuest my route


    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 9:21AM
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Who's talking about floaters? Nurse Ratchett here!...nevermind: )

I am just hating how swept up I've been with 'run here, run there,do that', blah blah.... It's busy season with Cross country practices three nights a week,parent meetings,AJ up to his eyeballs in homework-up to three hours a day and he's just in sixth grade. It's bad when his bedtime reading material is his health book. Also my mom has a new right hip as of last Thurs. so we've been to the hospital for visits-she's doing great and so well that they considered letting her out a couple days early but she really needs one of us with her the first two days home;they have stretched her stay till Sat.
Too much about me but here's what has been slinking through my brain on the days I wanted to post but didn't have time....

Marie I am so sorry about Charlotte-I was glad to see the pic of her with all the snow -that was always one of my favorites of her-I just loved her thick black furry face and her snowy snout. I imagine it's going to be hard for much more than a week.

Mary-how lucky you already got paid! I don't get the first check until Oct.: ( I bet you had a great time back in England with your family.(To be truthful I still need to do much reading here!) Relaxed and laid back is the ONLY way I envison you for a garden tour or talk~It's just 'you'!

Sue as I expected your gardens look wonderful and how lucky that you had a crew of Idyllers to polish up! Talk about a great spread of food to boot! Deanne I always love your descriptions of these get togethers-you need to do a food review column for an entertainment magazine.

V I'm appalled at the way you're being treated at your work involving your bereavement days off-that's just wrong. It makes you wonder what the heck is wrong with people to do that. Sorry they 'forgot' your bday-it's not fun to feel overlooked.

Michelle that's a pretty arrangement-you always do such nice ones.
I'm scared about how I'm going to find room for overwintering what I have outside in that it feeels like summer again I hoep I have more time to get things acclimated for indoors.

Chelone so it sounds like your mom has had yet another setback? The hardest part has to be that you have no idea how long and to what the extent this will go on for.

Really the only reason I was able to get here is that we had a compressed school day due to a faculty meeting. Unfortunately it's time to supervise homework and help quiz AJ for a test tomorrow. Have a great day everybody!

Denise-THANKS for the parcel! I will get the check in the mail for shipping by tomorrow. I am afraid I will kill the sans. because it's a neglect loving plant. I always kill those types...I will hold strong and try to ignore it as much as possible: ) How often do I water it at the beginning?

Hang loose.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 3:12PM
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We had an inch of rain yesterday, so I spent a little time in the garden shed messing with seeds I want to save, repotting some houseplants and straightening up. In the summer things just get dumped in there.

Thanks for the kind words about my floral arranging. I havent taken classes.

Chelone, I am going to attempt to recover the tractor seat of DHs recent purchase. It could be interesting. If it turns out somewhat reasonable looking, Ill post a picture. The mudroom is actually worse as some of the plants have made it that far and no further. I can see where your mums situation is wearing. My parents new house is ½ block from the cemetery. My dad told me that the next time he moves it will there, I certainly hes right.

bug, Im sure each t-shirt tells about an interest of the young woman. Hopefully, the process brought some measure of comfort. I find it interesting to see what people wear across their chest.

Mary, enjoy your day with David.

Babs, it sounds like life is moving pretty fast for you these days. Im glad you could pop in.

Hopefully, you all dont see my picture on TV tonight for strangling a coworker.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 4:36PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The mailman put a card in our box telling me that I have a parcel at the postoffice that needs signed for. I called to see what it is, and was informed that it is from _ _ _ _ in Canada. So thanks, Marie. I will pick it up when we go out Saturday morning....or maybe sooner if I get to feeling like making that rough drive on our dirt road.
The puzzle that I started the other day is almost finished...about 8 more pieces to put in.
Nolon is busy puttering around outside, and hasn't helped with it.

My Sis called, and we shared lots of laughs. I wish we lived closer. She is such a 'card'.

Our summer has returned. It is too hot again ! And dry.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 5:34PM
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Very glad to hear the Garden Conservancy tour was a success, as evidenced by Deanne's photos and commentary. Thanks for those informative posts, Deanne. I'm seeing that Miscanthus 'Gold Bar' everywhere now, including Sue's garden if I'm not mistaken, and am wondering how it had previously escaped my notice. No doubt due to swearing off the big grasses for a couple years, since it requires a team of oxen to split and divide. This 'Gold Bar' is said to stay small and is reputedly a slow grower. Two have arrived here and were planted in the past few weeks. Fall is our spring, so there's been lots of shuffling, planting, repotting, etc. Sowed some of the splashy swiss chard yesterday to dot around this winter/spring. I'm also expecting an order in a few days of some asters and Japanese anemones. It's bananas and agaves for the Eastern idyllers and the standard fall guys for me. Something about the grass is greener...That's so ironic about the peonies, Kathy. There's still the local diehards here who pour ice chips on peonies to eke out a pitiful flower.

By July I'm sick of looking at my own garden but haven't been successful in keeping garden-viewing dates. I did attend a self-guided Venice, Calif. garden tour a few summers ago, kind of an artists' colony just south of Santa Monica. Most of the gardens were attached to small, single-family bungalows (like mine) so were more about creative hardscape, gates, etc. One little bungalow had redone the front handkerchief-size lawn completely over into a pond, so the walkway to the front door was now a bridge, with koi swimming underneath, water plants, etc.

Mary, I enjoyed the link to Rabbath and wonder which recording of his you'd especially recommend. What nice flwrs, Michelle, and wainscotting too!

Sounds like everyone is swamped, struggling to keep the three-legged stool upright. Two memorial services this week, my da's birthday, a wedding trip looming, and the deadlines are piling up. Teetering but still upright, barely, and signing off for now -- Denise.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 9:41PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I was just reminded why it is fun to join this forum... The humor that is shared! Check out this news item...and don't forget to carry your ID next time you go shopping. It is so hard for people to lighten up.


Supermarket staff refused to sell alcohol to a white-haired 72-year-old man - because he would not confirm he was over 21.

Check-out staff at Morrisons in West Kirby, Wirral, demanded Tony Ralls prove he was old enough to buy his two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mr Ralls asked to see the manager who put the wine back on the shelf.

The grandfather-of-three said he had refused to confirm he was over 21 as it was a "stupid question."

Mr Ralls, a retired insurance firm regional manager, said he expected the store manager to resolve the situation but he was disappointed.

"I felt like saying 'What do I look like? Are you a fool?'

"He picks up the wine and, in the manner of a child taking home his ball, says 'Well, we won't serve you'."

The pensioner abandoned his shopping on the conveyor belt and left the store - but not before demanding a complaints form and phone number for Morrisons' headquarters.

Mr Ralls said: "It is bureaucracy gone mad. If the check-out lady, who was about 40, had asked me with a twinkle in her eye perhaps I would not have been so tetchy.

"But she asked me the question with a perfectly straight face and I said I wouldn't dignify the question with an answer.

"And if the manager had explained that all the staff had to ask everyone because they had previously been fined, but said I was clearly over 21, it would have been fine - but he showed no sense of humour."

Mr Ralls added that he felt embarrassed to return to the supermarket and wanted an apology for "the stupid and unnecessary confrontation."

He added: "I applaud any efforts to stop kids being served and standing on street corners getting drunk. But this was just totally stupid."

A Morrisons spokesman said: "We take our responsibility with regard to selling alcohol very seriously and all our stores operate the Task 21 scheme, which addresses the difficulties our staff face in being able to determine if a customer is legally old enough to buy alcohol.

"To further limit any element of doubt staff at the West Kirby store are required to ask anyone buying alcohol to confirm that they are over 21."

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 8:09AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning!

Yes, Denise, that is Miscanthus 'Gold Bar' and it has lived up to it's reputation of being a slow growing dwarf. Over the past couple of years I've evicted most of the large Miscanthus varieties from my garden. My part shade conditions just weren't to their liking and by fall they would be a floppy, unsightly mess. I still have a few-'Morning Light', 'Sarabande', and another that is supposed to be a dwarf 'Variegata' but needs to be cut way back in June and still gets large and flops. Grasses add such great texture so I try to use as many varieties as possible.

Mary, how did your day with David go? What fun and a break from the routine can never hurt. Wish you could join us on Saturday. Too much fun lately.

Babs, I mean nurse Ratchett, great to see you pop in. I don't know how you people who work and have kids can keep up. Does anyone else remember having homework like kids have today? I never did. What's up with that?

T, if I had twins who started walking I'd be running in the opposite

OK, must run. Enjoy your day!


    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 8:20AM
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I believe 18 yr. olds should be allowed to drink. I was! and then "they", in their infinite wisdom, decided 18 was "too young". Give me a break. Our country is one of 4 in the world that requires 21 yrs. on the planet before allowing someone who HAS THE RIGHT TO VOTE and DIE in combat, sign a legal contract, and operate a motor vehicle, the right to legally purchase and consume an alcoholic beverage. I think that's insulting to young people. I certainly don't think it teaches them anything about responsibility with respect to consumption. So, I'm not in the least bit surprised at the response of the thick-headed, narrow minded manager and staff at the store. They WERE stupid! (I roll my eyes every time I encounter such foolishness).

I don't believe in loading kids down with homework, either! too many kids wind up with the equivilent of a 12 hour work day by the time they finish it all. What does THAT teach? what toll does it exact on young minds? What toll does that sort of workload exact on family time? We wonder why there are so many fat little kids... we blame the food, we blame the TV, the computer... how much time do they actually have to go outdoors and run around? Like Sue, I don't recall that sort of out of class workload. Sure, there was some reading, "reports", and usually arithmetic and math. But not hours of it, every night of the week. All I can tell you is that friends from the shop were so exasperated by it all they yanked their kid out of public school and home schooled him; yup, well ahead of "grade level" after struggling in the mainstream for too long. And they have a lot more fun with their sailboat, too!

Grasses... among my very favorites. Now that the trees have been removed for the garage there is more sun and I'll be able to indulge in them more... evergreens, too. Unlike Sue, I have a "massive estate"... and can actually indulge in the BIG items. I'm still agog at the notion of pouring ice water over peonies to get a piddly flower... LOL. They're "idiot-proof" in my area of the country. Old Man Winter bestows some benefits, afterall. :)

My darling Spencer managed to get into another border skirmish the other night. Last night the helpmeet actually saw the other kitty. He called to it (grey and white), but while curious it was unwilling to come over to him. Looks to be in nice condition and we have an idea to whom it belongs so will ask about the name and whether or not kitty has come home with any "dings" in the past week/two. It will all settle out once they both get used to the notion that there's plenty of territory for everyone.

The garage doors look great. I haven't had the gumption to get painting just yet, but it shouldn't take too long once I get rollin' on a system.

Can't wait to hear about the concert, Mary. I applaud you on the special day with David... those are truly priceless and memorable times. I have fond and vivid memories of such times with Mum.

I should be mentioning more people by name and commenting on the many funnies that make me smile/chuckle, but well... YOU know.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 2:23PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a quick howdy to say I'm still on the planet :) Since we got back from Michigan, it's been a flurry of activity around here. DD is moving back home for the winter, so there's been painting to do. She did most of it, but I pitched in when we got back. Looks like an early harvest this year. They're running beans today. The guys decided they want to utilize the yield monitor in the combine the way it's MEANT to be used. That left me to track down software so I can plug the memory card into the computer, then plug said card IN, get the info from last year off, create the reports, and put in the new data for this year. I was notified of all this yesterday. I pulled it off, right up to screeching up to the combine just as they were beginning to run beans, jammed the card in the monitor, made sure my info was there, then ran for my life, lol! WHEW. I have a feeling it's going to be a crazy fall. Right now I have NO hope of getting caught up with everyone, but please know I think of you all, and miss chatting.
Take care everyone!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 5:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi Brenda! Painting should happen after the garden season, don't you think? Actually, I see some painting in my near future as well. DH leaves next week for Paris, NOT ME! So I think I'll try to get some walls spruced up while he's away.

Anyone here grow Vitex? Mine is in its second year and looks really nice. I hope next year is even better! I'll try to get a photo of it tomorrow. It must have liked sunny and dry this summer.

Supposed to feed my friend's 2 monster cats twice a day over the weekend.

In case you didn't guess, I still see Charlotte here and there in house and home. I wonder how long that will last. We also seem to have a mystery black & white cat outside. It's fine now, but I just hate wild cats suffering through our winters.

Glad you got your package Marian. That owl puzzle is murder.

So tired, that's all she wrote.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:01PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Chelone, I had an interesting discussion with a guy who grew up in Holland. The drinking age was 14, but the driving age was 18. As he put it, "you got all the stupid stuff behind you before you were old enough to drive, yeah?" (Can you read that with a Dutch accent?) There's a hundred thousand reasons why it wouldn't work here, but there is a certain logic to it.

I'm in a little better mood at work now, after a couple of good heart-to-hearts with the bossman. He agrees that there is an attitude issue in the office and is determined to get it turned around soon. I was pleased to hear that. I guess I'll work another day or two.

In Brenda's honor, I was admiring the color of the ripe soybean fields this evening. They're such a rich caramel color and they contrast well against a deep blue sky. But I don't think that Benjamin Moore will be adding "Autumn Bean Field" to their color collection anytime soon. No romance to that name!

Tonight the Cubs have the night off, so I don't have to go to bed wearing my lucky Cubs hat. DH gets to go to the game tomorrow - I am IMMENSELY jealous.

Just like you don't tell labor and delviery horror stories to a pregnant woman, I won't tell T about our friend at church whose twins started walking not too long ago. Brian (the dad)came to church a couple of weeks ago with his hair sticking straight up. We decided it must have been a tough night/morning. Last Sunday, it seemed like between he and his wife, they needed about six more hands. Brian's actually a couple of years older than me and these toddling twins are his first children.

Hi to everyone else. The dog next to me is snoring and I should prepare to do the same!


    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 10:15PM
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Good evening

Today was a full day at work, then Book Club where I was leading a discussion on 1000 Splendid Suns by the author Khallid Houssein of the Kite Runner. It was our first meeting of the year with a great turnout, good discussion and great food and wine. The book is certainly worth a read even though it is emotinally draining at times. We also voted in more books for the rest of the year which include a fictional account of the life of architect Frank LLoyd Wright.

Yesterday was fabulous. David and I had a perfect drive down to Ithaca, stopping on the way at a state park to admire scenary and the turning leaves, and skip stones into the lake. We arrived in good time and had a Mexican meal together before heading to the concert hall. The performance was simply one of the best I have ever attended. Rabbath is a master of the bass and achieved the most beautiful tones and effects. I never knew the instrument could be so moving. One piece sounded just like and Indian Sitar, another a beautiful rendition of Vivaldi, the next jazz. What talent!! The concert hall was packed to the gills and the atmosphere electric. At the end the applause brought the house down and Rabbath played 3 encores. David was completely mesmerized and told me afterward it was one of the best 10 hours of his whole life! High praise indeed from an 11 year old.

Denise, one of our favorite Rabbath CD's is "Around the World". I'm not sure if it's still available but it will change your understanding of bass playing. Cool stuff indeed.

I am totally fried and will have to save comments for tomorrow. Nite all.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 11:28PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Goodness, Im sitting here at 6:13AM and the sky is just starting to lighten up. No garden work at five for me for the rest of the season. I worked outside all day yesterday and went in the house at what I thought was about 6PM and it was only 5PM. Grrrrrr Ive just about finished polishing up the front of the house and will start on the back yard today. Its so sad to know its all going to be gone really soon! I wish you could all see the dahlias right now. Theyre wonderful. Its so fun to have this huge display of enormous flowers at the end of the season. Also, the CG is ready to BURST into bloom! There must be 200 buds ready to open in the next couple days. Hopefully it will oblige and do its thing for our get together tomorrow.

Well, Mary, what can I say except I surely wish Id had a mom like you! Wow, what a magical day for David. He will never, ever forget this for the rest of his life.

V. Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better about the work situation. Did the boss person say how hes planning on turning the attitude problems around?

Bug, love the pics from town! Reminds me of our visit last year. That pink brug is wonderful. ~ LOl about that story RE carding the older fellow. Believe it or not they carded Douglas at the grocery last week when we bought some wine. Give me a break! I agree, ridiculous.

Brenda, Great to hear from you! Im looking forward to hearing about the harvest.

Denise, Ive been planting a few of those ornamental kales about lately. I found this really neat one with huge, dark purple, ruffled, leaves. Ive also done a container with them(can you believe it?) One of my neighbors stopped and said that I couldnt possibly have any room to plant even one more thing. I told her there was always room for one more and if there wasnt there was a whole lot of lawn left to dig up. LOL

Michelle, I covet your garden shed and potting area. Have you done any new stained glass work recently?

Cindy, here are a few pics from Monique and Les as requested.

For Monique a close up of the flowers from Caryopteris Snow Fairy

Hi to everyone, have a great day


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 6:45AM
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Hi Everyone,
It's been so long since I've posted so much happening. I still need to go back and read all the posts at least on this thread.

My daughter is still laid up with her broken foot. It doesn't seem to be healing. She hasn't been out of her apartment, except for Dr. visits, since she fell. She just hired someone to come in and clean for her. I was going over there several times a week until she developed bronchitis. I can't be around anyone with a communicable illness especially when it involves the pulmonary system. I've been working diligently to clean and paint one of our bedrooms so that she can come here for a few days a week.

My little sister in AZ is doing well after her surgery. I'm so thankful that the mass wasn't malignant.

My posies look sad haven't had the time to tend to them. I brought in my orchids. Still have cuttings and other plants to bring in. I'm actually looking forward to the first frost. Hopefully it will kill the white flies in my veggie garden. They have devastated just about everything.

Pinetree seeds had a sale on some of their plants. I ordered 6 daylilies for $3.75 each. They were only one fan each but I don't mind small plants. The daylilies are 'Darly Anita', 'Night Embers', 'Siloam Double Classic', 'Storm Of The Century', 'Pinetree Grapa' and 'Crystal Pinot'.

I belong to the 'Barnes and Nobel' online book club. Since I enjoy Sci Fi and Paranormal I read those books recommended. Just finished 'Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy' what a hoot. Our local book club doesn't read any of the newer authors. How many times can one read the 'Iliad'.........

Thought I'd post a few pics of our Labor Day week-end at my sisters dairy farm in northern PA.

New born calf

Dinner time

Elm Brook Farm

Have a wonderful day

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 7:28AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Deanne, all the pics from Monique's are great but that one with the mirror reflection and the Persicaria is just superb. Suitable for framing for sure. Looking forward to tomorrow.

I was so impressed by my Charles Grimaldi that I was out taking pictures of it at 6:30 this morning. It's filled with flowers and the fragrance is heavenly. We're looking at a stretch of unseasonably warm weather here so the tropicals should keep on truckin' for at least a little while longer.

Speaking of labor and deliveries and older parents, a co-worker's wife is being induced this morning. He's 51 and this is baby #2, #1 is only two years old. Personally I think people having kids at that age is crazy but it seems to be becoming more of a trend. Wife is younger of course. Better them than me.

OK, off to see what lurks in the trenches.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 7:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm so glad for the early morning outing to Monique & Les' place! Thanks for sharing Deanne! The gardens have filled in so well since IU met there! The Cotinus Golden Spirit...the coleus tilt-a-whirl with the phormium, the containers. I love Snow Fairy even without the blooms. Someone please remind me of the name of the variegated plant in the second photo background. I am trying it in the flats here but forgot its name.

This is the Vitex I spoke of last night. I just took it's picture a little while ago before the sun was up all the way.

Here with the second round of delphiniums.

And here for fun, a photo of Reed being given a bath by Indy. He giggled and giggled.

Yesterday I brought home some shade area plants to try: palm sedge (Carex muskingumensis 'Oehme'), a bamboo nitida, kirengeshoma koreana, Chelone Pink Temptation, Tricytis Moonlight Treasure, Spiranthes cernua odorata...and others. I was given an Angelica pachycarpa but pretty as the foliage is, it is certainly not for my zone! (

Mary, what fun! I taught French for several years at Ithaca HS and of course took in lots of music at Ithaca College. It was a fun time we had there! Moosewood Restauraunt was opening at the time, we enjoyed the birding at Sapsucker Woods, camping , hiking and water falls...truly a special area for us. There are interesting gardens at Cornell University as well. I saw my first "fringe tree" (Chionanthus virginicus) growing there! I'm so glad the concert was a joy for you both.

The day begins!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 7:50AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all...

Marie, I still haven't picked up the puzzle fron the P.O., but your mention of it being an owl and "murder", is intriguing !
Ooooo, the sight of a dog licking 'anyone' in/by the mouth almost gags me !!!

Re older parents....My father was 54 when I was born, but then , my mother was 21 years younger. The 2 of them raised 5 children with no problem. I was the next to the youngest. Maybe it was easier then, since they were farm folk.( But it was also during the Depression, when we were all young.)

Mariann, I love the farm pics. Thanks. I noticed that some of our neighbors have new calves now...including the goat raising cousin. Also at least one new kid (goat).

All of the yard and garden pics are lovely. We still have a lot of beauty in the yard and on the deck....espacially on the deck. I dread having to lose that deck view, but most of it will be in the utility/plant room.

Fall is already showing some color:


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:44AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Images of a juggler sitting on a 3-legged wobbly stool come to mind here why would that be, LOL?

Babs how great to hear from you! and good to hear about your Mom & her new hip it gives me hope re my Dads projected new one too; Im a bit nervous I confess (as thats how my Mom had her stroke 4 years ago). . . . my head says okay, but ya just have that lingering worry, right? I truly hope he will spring back as though it sounds like your Mom is doing (I suspect shes a wee bit younger than he).

Great to hear you pop in too, Brenda hope youll enjoy your DDs stay with you.

bug Ive grown vitex for 2 years and in my zone 7/6 its done incredible. I just love it I think Cynthia grows it as well. It flowers on new growth like buddleias I think and Ive deadheaded it when I can; but it just has been stalwart for me, even in neglect & this drought. For its second summer it's about 7 feet tall now (from a little 12" twig I got from Forest Farm spring of '06) The one Ive got is cultivar "Shoals Creek" those great photos of yours look more purple than mine great color from both though!

Mary that sounds like one special day w/ David I bet its one he will remember forever.

Deanne aaah, breathtaking of Monique & Less gardens as always but you really have such a terrific eye to capture the unusual vignette I love that reflecting mirror pic w/ the persicaria! Has Les been painting more pots? Theyre all so matching & terrific colors! What fantastic shrub borders.

Mariann nice to hear from you Im sorry to hear your DD is still having such a recovery problem wow, all from foot, uh?

Well, gotta run Finally, Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:56AM
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Our world went instantly from green to golden with the frost last Friday. The harvest is about to begin and things are getting exciting here. The "new" tractor is what Rick likes to call a "big dog" Weve been cleaning it up, including recovering the seat, so with it getting dark by 8:00, Ive had no gardening time this week. We are having above normal temps here lately with a high of 88 yesterday. Its very breezy also, but that keeps the asian lady beetles from sitting on you.

I was looking through some garden photos from just last year and I was surprised how much things have grown and matured just in one season.

Interesting, Sues out taking pictures at 6:30 a.m. and its dark here at that hour.

Deanne, thanks for sharing the lovely pictures from Moniques garden. I really thought the mirror was a picture. It just shows how incredible her garden is. No stained glass this year, Im just not in the mood. Too many garden projects in my mind and not enough time. The childrens garden is at a stand still right now. I need Rick to do some work with the skidloader and that hasnt happened yet.

I need to find a place to add a mirror to my garden.

The vitex is lovely.

Enjoy your day


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 11:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

One of DH's many hobbies is playing the electric guitar. There are many things I like more....but he sent me these two URLs and I must say this kid has talent. So if you have a teen ager who just mopes around listening and playing music, do not deny that he has talent!

Try this Pachelbel Canon below.

Or Vivaldi's Four Seasons: Summer.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 5:01PM
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Hello All!!!

I am sorry I have been absent....lots going on here. Work is busy and school is in full swing and I'm trying to get back into my walking routine....

I sent my first collection letter today. Made me think of the comments here on collection calls. My letter was stern, but I used manners. I hadn't considered this part of the business.....I'm not a collections type if you know what I mean....

Tonight I did something fun for dinner - I went to the local farm and bought 3 ears of each kind of corn that she had and steamed them up for a taste testing....a newer variety called Marai won over Butter and Sugar, and Silver Queen. Silver Queen has always been my favorite but she might get knocked off for this new variety. We had burgers to compliment the corn :)

I have lots to catch up on....I am excited to go to an Idyll "event" two weekends in a row. Gorgeous weather, good food, and lots of garden walk and talk - what more could one ask for?

V., glad to hear that someone else recognizes the need for a morale boost....or team spirit....or whatever you want to call it.

Caramel fields and blue skies....I love it! I can picture it.

Wish I could see must be a flurry of excitement, and hard work, of course.

Everyone's gone up to read. I'm on my way up, too.

More in depth post coming soon, I promise.

'night all.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 9:03PM
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My day is knocked all out of shape if Deanne doesn't post in the morning and Kathy in the evening, lol.

My in-depth post is coming soon too, just behind Saucy's. I think 'bug's mystery plant is Fallopia something or other.

It is raining! Not gangbusters, but still it's water from the sky. Just googled rain chains. I want every drip of water from here on to be sculpturally significant.

Wonderful pictures, farm critters, stories of combines with monitors and memory cards. Who knew?

Meanwhile, it seems I have the doppelganger pot for Monique's shell pot, mine done with oak leaves. (Stretch of ghostly patterned fence might just need a bit more stain, maybe?)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 11:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This waking up at 4 am is going to have me exhausted by noon....but I'm tossing and turning with anxiety about all that needs to be accomplished around here. Still too dark to do much though.

NIFTY pot Denise! Fallopia it is! I've seen it growing in several places but it did NOT seem to be a problem. I need Monique's advice on it now, after reading this:
"The Variegated Fallopia is also known as Fallopia japonica (variegatum) or Japanese Knotwood. It is listed with the vine family and grows by rhizomes under the ground. Some people claim the Variegated Fallopia is an invasive species and once it takes root in your garden it will take over the yard, so be careful with this perennial."
So Monique, did you isolate your Fallopia somehow when planting it? Anyone else have experience growing this? It truly is lovely when in bloom! sympathies trying to collect money from clients. That has to be the pits. Maybe Michelle has experience with this from her business to guide you? I know DH had problems occasionally with book sales. In fact one time he went into the university bookstore with 2 students and they physically removed boxes of books from the shelves! The guy in charged was dumbfounded and didn't know what to do. DH suggested paying for them next time...Your corn tasting dinner sounds like so much fun! Great idea! I'm in a rut with meals lately.

Hope to hit the vegetable garden and make inroads there today. The frost we had did nothing for the basil, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, etc. OUT with it all!

Enjoy your get together New England friends! I'll be thinking of you!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 4:47AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Bug did you send me a wake up call? I woke up shortly before 5 and couldnt go back to sleep and am ready to finish getting ready for our get together today but, yep you guessed it, its too darned dark to do anything yet. The morning is very misty and foggy and you can see it swirling around the street lights. Ill bet the plants are loving it. So Mr. Charles Grimaldi has done me proud and today there will be about 200 flowers on it for the garden tour. Woohoo! Ill definitely have to get some pics and make sure to warn Kathy not to look. LOL

I didnt get anywhere near accomplished in the back that I wanted to but it will just have to be what it is. End of September is pretty thin pickings for color in the terrace gardens. Every year I realize this and have all these plans to add more fall color and every year I run out of steam once I start getting all those containers disassembled.

Denise, I LOVE that oak leaf pot! Where did that come from? I need one. And that agava and euphorbia (that is a euphorbia isnt it?) in it are wonderful!

Hi Saucy, looking forward to seeing you later. I think that corn variety you mentioned is the same one weve been getting and its the sweetest corn Ive ever tasted. Yum!

Michelle, bummer that youve not done any stained glass lately. You do such beautiful work. Id love to work out a trade with you for another plant stake? I can trade paintings? Let me know? ~~ I cant believe you went from a frost to 88 degrees! Good grief!

Cindy, thanks! I particularly love that grouping of terra cotta pots with the complementing colored plants too. Its so dramatic.

OH yes, I wanted to mention for those of you who like the mirror pic, I have to confess that I morphed two photographs together to get the depth of field needed to make that image. When you focused on the image in the mirror so that it was crisp the fence and persicaria was totally out of focus so I took a second picture and focused on the persicaria so that was crisp. I cut out the in focus image in the mirror and pasted it in the second image with the in focus foreground using Corel Photo Paint. Fun stuff!

Nice to hear from you Mariann. Great photos! That little calf is so darling.

OK I see a glimmer of light on the horizon so maybe I can get dressed and start the watering. Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 6:24AM
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Happy Saturday to Everyone! Thinking of the NE folks today and wishing that work hadn't had me traveling a lot already this week.

Here's the image: A large tour bus with accomodations for at least 12 driving around the country in search of home-elusive plants and containers. Bathroom and potting table also included, as well as wine cooler and built-in grill. We could do a literal round robin of the country, picking up and dropping off Idyllers as we go.

Okay, so it's Saturday and the mind is stretching a bit :-)

Woke up this morning to two little voices outside our window, one explaining that the strawberries need to be "all the way red" and the other just saying "mmmmmmmm." Our now five-year-old neighbor had a friend stay over and the cereal just wasn't the same, the strawberry stash was gone, and so they came to replenish. I'm grateful that the kids feel this way about us and our yard.

Today will be spent watering and moving major plants to new homes. Also need to divide and the weather will cooperate over the next few weeks to get roots established before hard frost. Have a feeling my muscles will miss Kyle before day's end. LOL

Enjoying all the pics and quips and good to "see" you Mariann! Rich was asking about you the other day when we started to talk about Logee's. Come back soon!

Our leaves haven't started turning quite as much as others, and I'm afraid that this year most everything will be brown. Not pretty soy brown, but just blah brown.

I, too, am amazed at the marraige of farming and technology. Do the sensors keep track of how much is harvested?

Off to move the water squirter and do some pies. Leaving you all with an interesting link. Candles at the ready!!!!


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 10:12AM
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Good morning

I'll be thinking of the NE Idylls having another fun filled garden day today. Drink a glass of wine for me ladies!!

Mariann - nice to hear from you agian. That calf is adorable.

Marian too, I hope the trees put on a good show this year. Hope you can share pictures of the puzzle.

Denise - fabulous pot and love the combo in it.

Babs - what a lot you've got going on. Perhpas later I'll come back with my thoughts on over burdening kids with homework, its a bit early to get up on my soapbox right now.

Today is gorgeous, and like GB and Deanne I've been awake since 5 AM. Feeling lazy I stayed in bed reading for an hour or so. I have the Amy Sedaris entertaining book "I like You" on loan from the library and it's had me laughing out loud. The quirky ideas and advice might not be for everyone but her deadpan manner and tongue in cheek humor hit my funny bone. Amongst real recipes and kitchen how-to is helpful advice for how to deal with all sorts of entertaining situations. But my favorite section has to be the part devoted to the ugliest, kitchiest crafts you've ever seen. I particularly enjoyed the section on what to make from old pantyhose or how to create a charming cat toy from a tampon and googly eyes. I'm laughing just thinking about it and can't wait to create some of my own.

Before that, we have the day's activities to get going on which will include seed collecting for Martie. Martie, can you get me your address? I'm afraid you cannot reach me through gardenweb but many of the Idyllers have my email.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 10:21AM
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a quick post before I head out for the day. It looks like it could be a beauty. I have some things that need to come out of the veggie garden and then I'd like to get out the electric saw and work on the fence or shutters for the garden shed's window that we put in last year.

Deanne, how great that CG is cooperating. I am so jealous that you all can get together so frequently. I'd love to do a trade with you, but I would be getting the better end of the deal. How very clever of you to combine the 2 photos, whatever you did, the effect was wonderful.

Saucy, in our business I send a nicely worded letter suggesting payment or contacting us to make payment arrangements, but then I inform them if I haven't heard from them by a certain date that I will turn them over to our collection agency. I really don't like doing that since they get 30% of what they collect. Sometimes though its better than nothing. Most of our bad debt is from customers skipping town which I wouldn't think would be as big of a factor for you.

Denise, I love your pot and its plants. My sister's name is spelled Denice so don't be suprised if you see it spelled that way.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 11:01AM
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Michelle, I bet your sister gets way more "da-niece and da-nephew" jokes than me . I agree, it's wonderful that Deanne's CG brug is exploding with blooms on schedule. If Monique attends tonight, Deanne, ask her where she got her shell pot. I'd never seen another like mine until your pic. I found the oak leaf pot at a farm stand in Oregon a few years back. Didn't notice the "church key" on the franklin stove until after I snapped that pic. How'd that get there, lol. Tricky stuff with that mirror photo.

Can't say again how much I admire those idyllers who commit to open their gardens, tough it out through all the weather vagaries, health issues, time constraints, and see it through to the end. End-of-season toast -- have one tonight, Deanne! Raise your glass too, Mary.

'bug I just ordered that vine this fall, but a new chartreuse variety. I'd be a little wary of it for your gorgeous, wide-open spaces. I think it may be spread by seed through birds tho not positive on that. Might get you on a conservancy "hit" list :( Definitely more research in order.

OMG, Mary, no, you didn't really put that image of a tampon with googly eyes in my head! Well, at least holiday shopping is done for the kitties, lol.

All this talk of bill collecting reminds me of the testimony I took down from a lifelong bill collector recently, suing for being injured on the job. He saw it as a craft at which he was one of the best and took great pride in his skill. Professional distance, wouldn't you say?

Martie, the "strawberry lady," what an honor. I had neighborhood kids at my gate shouting the other night as I worked in the outside office, blissfully unaware of the smoke pouring from the house from an unwatched pot, smoke alarms beeping. Hate to think of what my nickname is now...
(And who drives the bus, if everyone's busy at the potting table and minibar?? Details, details.)

Poured rain all last night, which should add maybe an inch to the year's total of 3 so far. A quick FYI, decided to watch a movie about 6:30 last night, checked Amazon's download list, chose Donnie Brasco, Pacino & Depp, mobsters, and it was downloaded to the Tivo and available for viewing by 9 p.m., for about 2 bucks. And no late fees!

Happy Saturday to all.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 11:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Drop by posting...
So far my friend Brenda's cats are fed, the tomatoes, eggplants, basil, & fennel are pulled out of the garden, the rosemary is potted up for bringing indoors later on.
Next is lunch, DH's skating, the dump, then cutting back the asparagus and rhubarb. All this work will leave me with tons of weeding afterwards and then parking my potted clematis for the winter where tomatoes used to dwell....but that is next week's work.
Michelle, I had heard that the Fallopia spread by rhizomes, which is a pain. Perhaps I can plant mine in a special container in the ground...? Wonder if Monique and Les did that.
It is windy and quite sunny, a very pleasant day out there! I do see Charlotte in the tall grasses at times. I wonder if that will last forever.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 11:53AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Well...the post Office was not open when we went for our saturday's breakfast, and I didn't feel like waiting another hour after eating....
So, I will get my new puzzle tuesday.
I called the P.O. and talked to the cousin's wife that mans the P.O. on saturdays. She said tuesday would be fine. I was hoping she would offer to bring it to me, but no such luck. :-( ( She is the goat raising cousin's wife. )

I am attempting to grub out the house, in anticipation of Tim and the girls being here this evening and overnight. I am hitting the high spots. It hardly seems worth putting much effort into it for such a short visit.

They spent the night at the home of the widow of Marvin, the friend that died of cancer this spring.Tim came to repair a toilet in her house.

I am already bringing in potted plants. Since I am feeling so puny this year, I figured I'd better work at it a little at a time.I have all the hanging plants in, and some of the ones from more distant spots in the yard. I haven't started on the deck plants yet.

Speaking of bills. We got a large one from the lab that read Nolon's biopsies! It seems they could not figure out who our primary insurance carrier is, even though it was printed right on the back of the bill ! Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble ! Who is running the affairs of businesses anymore ?? Has the entire world gone nuts...or is it just me ?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 12:20PM
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Hi Marian - yes, the entire world has gone nuts.

'bug, if Monique's plant is the silver lace vine, here's a link worth reading. Sounds like a supply of Agent Orange needs to be kept handy. Mine's already in the ground (gulp)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 12:40PM
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Here are a few pictures from today. The first is the hibiscus 'Maple Sugar' that has grown to giagantic porportions. This is the pot that keeps tipping in the wind (notice the bungees) Next year I believe I will plant it in the ground.

I'm particularily pleased with this container:

This is the patio garden with the combine in the background. Normally I try to keep the "equipment" out of the pictures, but since its harvest time I thought I'd leave it in.

Notice my inadequate attempt at growing fuchsia's in this container. I believe its time to give it up.

The yellow by the road is the wildflower area, which was just a weed area before. Beyond that is a corn field.

Back to it

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 2:41PM
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Nope! Not silver lace vine. It's Fallopia japonica variegata and doesn't even seed for me, and no runners in the 6 or 7 years I've had it. I like the generic so much that I got a named variety, 'Freckles' I think, from Plant Delights a few years ago, and that one is really slow growing.

Deanne, the photos of Sue's and Moniques are stunning. So glad you took and shared the photos with us. But no group photos of all of the idylls with wine glasses???

Michelle your containers match your shed! Just beautiful! And I like the combine in the background. Really, you shouldn't spare us the farm equipment. Those of us far away from that part of the country love to see it all. What is the difference between straight hibiscus acetosella and 'maple sugar'? I see the photos of maple sugar and no obvious difference to me.

Denise, your containter is stunning. I thought the ghostly images on the fence quite artsy actually.

GB, love the photos of your gardens and the little one with Indy giving him kisses. Yes, I have Vitex Agnus Caste. It blooms in late June or early July here. I'm actually surprised it's hardy for you, as I never saw it when I lived in New England. So I took it as a southern plant. Is yours a different type of Vitex? Not really familiar with it, just grow a couple and enjoy them. I don't usually cut them back, but thinking of experimenting next spring to see if I can increase the branching and blooming.

I know I've missed a lot, it's hard to catch up on a week of idylling all at once. So wavining hi to all, and reluctantly going to do some housework...


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 3:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks SO very much Cynthia! I was hoping that the variegated form was not the dangerous Fallopia! It's good to know that you have had yours for so long too. As to the Vitex, I believe it is V.Agnus Caste 'Abbeville Blue'. In this part of the world it dies back to nothing with frost, then looks dead and gone until late June or even early July. It then grows quickly, and if you are lucky, it blooms before it freezes once more. In other words, you need to be crazy to try it!! I guess I like a challenge.

I'm back from grocery shopping and cutting back the asparagus doesn't really appeal to me at this I guess that will have to be Monday's job. Tomorrow is a surprise 60th birthday party for a friend. I failed in my mission to locate a carrot cake for him, the one food I know he adores. Is carrot cake a thing of the past now?

OK, tell me I'm overly sensitive, (like V). While putting my groceries in the car I saw a green car with a shaggy dog in it. The doors were locked, the windows closed. It was parked in full sun. The car was parked at the far far end of the lot, so it was impossible to know which shop the driver was in. Seems to me that a dog could cook in about 10 minutes, so I was quite alarmed. I enlisted help from several people, but we determined that the police were useless here on weekends, the vet is closed, 911 would say I was frivolous and vexatious. I was panicked. Finally I remembered Animal Control and one fellow gave $2 worth of coins to try to find their number and phone. I called them and they explained that it was a very awkward and dicey situation involving privacy and rights. YIKES! The poor dog has no rights? I went back to the car to see if anyone else could help and fortunately the car was gone. I wish I could have yelled at the owners though. I would gladly have taken that dog....

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 4:39PM
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Working at the computer all weekend, so a nice distraction to see Michelle's lovely photos. Yes, include lots of farm equipment. What a lot of space to play with! Those containers are spectacular, opulent. I've got that zonal geranium too but forgot the name.

'bug, the reference to Fallopia you initially quoted refers, I think, to the vine, which made me think of the galloping silver lace vine. I think Monique's & Cynthia's is cuspidatum, a perennial. I've got a clump of the virginianum, a perennial kinda similar but smaller than cuspidatum apparently. Knotty nomenclature of the knotweeds. But there IS that nasty vine to beware of, and I've planted that one too...I do love the amplexicaule shown in one of Deanne's photos too. But that's a persicaria? Whatever, there's a white, pink, and red-flwrd and golden-leave variant amplexicaule planted here. I woulda done the exact same as you about the poor dog.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 5:24PM
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I hear you GB. I haven't even lost my dog and I get annoyed at people who don't take proper care of the healthy dogs they have.

I just sniffled my way through Sam's Club looking for something special for Katie. I've accepted she will never twirl or do stairs again and carrying her up and down has become part of the routine, so it doesn't seem tire me. I know I will make two trips up or down stairs every time. One with a coffee cup, and one with Katie. She has been feeling pretty good even with challenges and has been loving her half mile walks. Today she turned hoping some young boys were coming to say hi to her lost her balance and sat. Greys do not sit on hard surfaces. After that her back legs were crossing - she looked drunk - and we had to turn around. She wasn't in pain, just wobbly like V and GB.

Anyway,at Sam's, I settled on whipped cream in a can for her, but the nozzle frightened her. She is my fearless one, how things change. So I put it on my hand instead of squirting it in directly and then we went outside to split a hot dog between the three of them, since the whipped cream didn't go over all that well :(

They're smiling because they know the hot dog is coming and we're going to do sits and please and thank yous on the grass. (L to R, Monty, Dannie, Katie.)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 7:15PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

HI there, so Cynthia, is this the sort of Piccie you were looking for from last weekend???? This photo was taken just a few hours ago before the party broke up. I wish you could all have been there to see Les, Sue and Chelone crawling through the plants to get set up for this pic. Toooo.... funny.

More details to come later. I cannot tell you what a fantabulous time we had this afternoon. What a fun group! and OH the FOOD!!!!


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 7:59PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Jeez, Deanne, you don't waste any time. Where are the slithering Chelone butt shots and the pics of you and the screen? Doug and the cats? LOL!

To reiterate what Deanne said, we had yet another fabulous time today. Perfect company, weather, food and locale. The gardens are at their peak but it's all fading fast. On the drive home we were commenting on how dark it was at 7 when it seemed like just last week it was still light out at 8. Boo hoo!

Nice to see Michelle's gardens and Cynthia's pups. Happy Saturday!


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 8:39PM
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Got me a glass of wine and will make the attempt to get caught up with my Idyll friends . We actually had some rain today which was not measurable-thus the containers still had to be watered . Did all my grocery shopping and stocked new fridge #2 . The garden looks careworn despite my best efforts. No rain tomorrow so Ill get out there and do some fall clean up-since it is now officially fall ! What a nice selection of photos around here in the last few days-Les and Moniques, Marianns cute baby cows, bugs Vitex and baby shots and Marians first fall offerings.

Babs, no wonder you were awol for awhile- you are one busy lady ! Yeah, there is something wrong with the homework thing- I had 12 years of Catholic education and never had the kind of homework load my kids did in public school. I dont get it.

Nice to hear from you too Mariann, and I really enjoyed the bovine pics. It sounds like you got a great deal on your Pinetree daylilies ! I had lots of new ones this year and it was fun to see them come into bloom for the first time-a couple were duds , but thats the risk you take.

Mary, how wonderful your day with David sounds ! I am so grateful that I have children who appreciate all types of music. Its sad how many people are exposed to and thus only listen to one or two genres.

Denise, that pot is definitely fabu-fabu ! I can report that I planted a silver lace vine in 06 which never got above three feet tall and was finally yanked out in disgust. I always seem to fail in dry shade areas.

Cynthia, your pic of the kids just melted me. So sweet and expectant.

Okay, a glass raised to the Idylls congregation in NE and Marties version of the Merry Prankster bus.

And Michelle ! Beautiful garden! LOL the bungie cord hold up the top-heavy pot.Needs must.

Later folks, more on the morrow

Damn ! I just refreshed and there was Deannes brug .Stamping my foot and pouting.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 8:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wonderful photo Deanne!

Eden? Woody? How are things?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 9:02PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Sitting here finishing the wine from our dinner, but I saw that photo and was so sad that I couldn't be there with you all!

But my lasagna turned out great and we had a lovely evening.

Off to bed and more news in the morning. 'bug, I've had Fallopia japonica 'Variegata' for about ten years with no problems. I'll post more details tomorrow.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2007 at 11:01PM
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Good morning everyone. I've been up for hours but have been deeply engrossed in a book about Mary Queen of Scos and the murder of her second husband, Henry, Lord Darnley. It was the 16th. century equivilent of OJ and Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

Yesterday was predictably fun, fun, fun. Just the right mix of thoughtful discussion about life's trials (elderly, infirm parents, worries for our own futures, etc.), tales of child-rearing, garden talk, and down-right silliness. I drove home with the passenger's window open (won't be many more nights to enjoy that sort of thing!), listening to a silly '70s request show and croaking along in my off-key manner. I pondered the confluence of so many diverse lives on an internet site... who'dathunk that it would have endured for years (anyone know how many now?). And I wondered if anyone has taken it upon themselves to save the Idylls for posterity? Anyway, I had a FF time (is that the abbreviation). But 2 trips "off the compound" in two weeks is really pushin' it, you guys.

Back later!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 8:14AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Happy Autumn to everyone! Can you even believe it? Seems like yesterday it was spring and we were all planning all the summer festivities and here it is another summer gone. As Im looking out at the September gardens here I have to thank all my Idyll and Garden friends whove given me so much information and inspiration over the last four years. There never used to be this much interest in the fall gardens. Ive learned so much here not to mention making friends for life. One of my lifes many blessings.

So speaking of friends, I so wish you all could have been here for the afternoon yesterday. We started in a bit of a rush because Dougs cars battery died at the grocery store and he was stuck there for the longest time and got home barely in time to mow the lawn. I was running late because he was running late and anyway I was just finishing getting my hair put up when Chelone arrived. Normally Id be in a froth to be running that late but, no worries, these friends just are so laid back and mellow, no problems. Everyone arrived within twenty minutes of each other and Les and Monique brought up my bargain urn which took several of us to decant from Les minivan.

Here is a pic I love the egg and dart detailing around the rim. What a buy, $50. for this because the corner is broken off.

Detailing on the sides

Anyway, originally I was going to put this in the way back on a rock I have back there but Im thinking I want to keep this in the front of the house as its such a beautiful piece.

After we got the urn out of the car we had a lovely, leisurely tour of the gardens. As Ive said before and Ill say again, there is nothing as enjoyable as sharing the gardens with other gardeners. The high points were the Charles Grimaldi and all the lovely fuchsias are putting on quite a show at the moment. I was able to get some ideas for the new shrub border and show everyone the new pieced, rock mowing strip I put in a month ago.

While we were doing the garden touring Doug was making salad and opened some wine then caught up with us outside and brought us a beverage of choice. What a peach! After the tour we settled in on the patio for our al fresco dining event. We started with Dougs famous smoked salmon served with the diners choice of pickled ginger, sour cream with dill, capers or hot pepper jelly as a garnish. I dont know how he does it but it is seriously the best salmon Ive ever eaten. Saucy brought a lovely home made bean dip, and a brillian bruschetta, Yum, yum! Wendy made her splendid spinach/feta/lemon dip. (Recipes please ladies) and Les made his gustatory delight guacamole. So who needed dinner after those appetizers? Well, we persevered, took a short breather and did justice to the main course of a crisp, tossed salad, Chelone brought fresh tomato/basil/mozzarella salad, Doug prepared grilled, marinated zucchini and the piece de resistance supplied by Sue/Tom/Monique and Les, gigantic prawns, marinated in garlic, cilantro grilled to perfection. Monique took some pics of these brilliant edibles from the sea and I hope she shares them with you all today. They looked like little lobster tails on the platter. What a superb meal! Whoops, almost forgot the corn on the cob but maybe I was trying to because Im now the laughing stock of the group because I eat my corn one row at a time. So maybe Im a bit OCD. LOL

After another breather to make room (yes indeed there were home made desserts as well) we had Moniques magnificent apple cake with warmed caramel/pecan sauce and Wendys wonderful chocolate org - sm. (She assures us that really is the name of this decadent dessert.) Ahhhhh.. I dont think I need to eat for at least two days now. LOL As I said hopefully Monique will post pics of the food selections. (However, she really could avoid posting that unfortunate photograph of me and Doug with our faces pressed into the screen door. )

OK Ill post this then read the Idylls as there are lots of comments I want to make.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 8:31AM
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Yeah that's it Deanne! The pot garden and all the wannabe Angela Lansburys look happy. Nice that Wendy's glass matches her shirt. Easier than those ring thingies to keep wine glasses straight, just match em up to wardrobes. So I wonder if I ask for pictures of the food at last night's festival will they appear too?

Good Morning peeps. I am so enjoying September mornings with dew on the grass. Without rain to soak the ground at least some of the most desperate plants get a foliar mist at night. Kathy, I'm still watering pots twice a day too. The brugs are holding their blooms well with the cooler weather though. And the ginger is finally starting to bloom. I'm tired of mowing though. Now that it's cooler it's back to every week-end mowing just to keep the leaves off of the grass and I'm so tempted to skip it this week-end. It's such a time sync. Maybe I'll just do front and south side yard which takes about an hour. I put the grass catcher back on the mower last week-end as the leaves mixed in makes for good fast-food compost to dump around shrubs.

Does anyone have Hypericum 'Brigadoon'? I have it in mostly shade and it is short gorgeous yellow leaved thing spreading slowly in 4 years. It's almost made it to the Salvia Black and Blue and I may help it along today. The contrast of the yellow to bright blue really knocks me out at this time of year when things are looking worn. I'm moving things as I see them at this point.

Just refreshed and see that Deanne has served up descriptions of the bounty and Monique may be along with photos. Sounds like a perfect meal!!!

Great find on the urn Deanne. I couldn't pass it by either and would site it where I could see it from the house.

Later folks,


    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 8:50AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Deanne....what a food orgy!
I seem to have salmonella it all sounds awful right now, when normally I'd be salivating at the keyboard. I hope I recover soon, it's really awful. I'm feeling ever so weak...but I'll be reading all updates.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 9:44AM
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Good morning

How wonderful to see so many smiling friends peeping out from the CG and then to read Deanne's descpription of the days vittles. It sounds fabulous in every way - I'm so sorry to have missed it.

Today holds a new challenge (along with continuing to glue googly eyes onto inanimate objects.) David's interest in model trains has taken him from a set on the floor to collecting track and parts to build a real layout. Today I'm building the table base. As carpentry is far from my forte and DH stuck out of town on an extended trip, I've had to get a little psyched for this. However, I have the feeling compentancy with power tools will be empowering and I'm donning my safety glasses as I write. Last weekend I purchased the supplies for the 4x8 table top and grid that will go under. I was helped out at HD by the nicest man who made suggestions for which type of wood, cut everything to length, selected the size screws I'll need and tied the whole lot to my roofrack. What's more he was thoughtful and informative without a whiff of condescension. If I need to go back today I will fill out a customer service card thanking him for his efforts.

In addition to my foray into woodworking we have friends coming for dinner and I'm planning on making a salmon and quinoa salad with corn on the cob (which I might try eating a row at a time!) and pumpkin cupcakes for dessert. Best of all, its a beautiful day again and we'll be able to eat on the patio.

Well, Annie is out jogging, David working on his train tracks and its time to fire up the drill. Wish me luck!

Have a great day and feel better GB!


    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 10:21AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

I am way behind here, so I'll just jump back in.

School is back in gear, with the requisite homework and school activities. My kids are in two different schools (DS is in elementary school and DD is in middle school) so everything seems doubled. Both schools had curriculum night last week, thankfully on different days. We were able to see the classrooms, and meet the teachers. In middle school, we had to follow DD's schedule with 10 minutes per class - they rang the bell and everything! Her English teacher is a long talker, so we were late for French, which is on a different floor!

We have been having a wonderful time at Idyll gatherings, two weekends in a row! Yesterday was great, wish more of you could have joined us. Deanne described the menu wonderfully, it was yummy! BTW, the chocolate dessert is really called chocolate org - sm, the link is below. This bakery is locally famous, and I received the cookbook for a gift several years ago.

I will post recipes later, but must run now to finish laundry before heading off to my parent's house to help cover the pool. I know, we are predicted to be in the 80's this week, but the nights have been cool and the water is freezing. Dad wants to cover it up before he has to scoop falling leaves out of it.



    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 11:45AM
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Mary, power tools are very "empowering"! Good for you! It always cracks me up when men don't think I know about drills, saws, etc..

I do so hope 'bug isn't spending too much quality time "riding the porcelain pony" or praying at the porcelain altar? Maybe you could pretend it's your 21st. birthday? ;)

About dogs in sealed cars... (you know how I feel about dogs). Many, many moons ago I was in North Conway, NH and some dope left their dog in the car, window up, on a blistering day. The cop didn't hesitate. HE BASHED IN THE WINDOW WITH THE BILLY CLUB. And then he fined the owner. The surrounding crowd cheered as he wrote the ticket; canine deaths in sealed cars are pretty routine in resort towns... let's not even talk about kids. Ugh.

Wendy, YOU could make up something like that, lol. I'm going to miss you guys next weekend. Wish Monique would get out of bed and post the buffet table... jeez! by the time they roll their cans outta bed the day's half GONE. :)

Cynthia, all our pets respond to the sound of the cover coming off the aerosol whipped cream can. No kidding! The come running, in fact. Shake the can well, and begin "training" by putting it in your hand (I see you passed step one already). Then try dispensing it very slowly into your hand and encourageing consumption at the same time. Before you know it your pet will be receiving direct mouth "hits" with nary a flinch. Hehehe... kitties are daintier, though. They insist on the slow emission of the whipped cream, lapping it up greedily as it's dispensed. Rex, OTOH, will take the full force blast and look for more as soon as he's cleaned off his chops. GREAT "party trick", BTW.

So, got a call from the general contractor this morning, seems he's received more than a few calls about our "baHn". He wants to speak with us tomorrow morning (before Monique and Les. are out of bed). I'm delighted for him! Seems to me, proof positive that it's a pretty nice looking structure. Yeah... I know, I know! the damn pictures...

Time to go bac to work on the weeding along the road, kids.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 12:29PM
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Nice to check in and see so many smiling faces from Cynthia's pups to the NE Idyllers! I've been down with a cold all week and when I wasn't blowing my nose I was out cleaning up the gardens enough that I can begin spreading that mountain of wood chips sitting in my driveway. I also did some autumn decor out front, a scarecrow, mums, pansies and a couple of pumpkins. Got a new microwave this afternoon too. Ours was ancient, from the 80s. The new one's shiney red, kinda metalllic and reminds me of a sports car. Here's a sequence of pictures I captured of Bella reading to Bud yesterday afternoon that I wanted to share.

First she placed his paw on her lap

Here she is reading to him

And then she put her arm around him too

It was all very sweet.

I got emails from Chelone and Cynthia with their snail mail address. Anyone else who wants Creepy Guy aka Angela Landsbury to visit them on his tour needs to send me their addresses too. My email's lmcilhargie at I'd like to send him off asap with a list of addresses included.

Babs, I do believe I see the beginnings of buds on the clero!!! I've got my fingers crossed!

I need to go back and do some catch up reading. Hope you're all having a nice Sunday afternoon. The weather's been just beautiful here.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 6:05PM
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Aww, Bella and Bud -- Bud, will you please follow along!

Since two idyllers spritz whipped cream at their dogs, I'll have to chalk up my unfamiliarity with the practice as being further proof that I mostly paddle around in a shallow cultural backwater. Apparently, your dogs just have way more fun than Ein. As Princess Diana once remarked about the Queen's corgies, they can be rather "windy." So hot dogs are out too. He was running around yesterday with a prized chewy, a "pistolero," which Ein's groomer swears is a rather private part of a cow's anatomy. I don't believe it, but anything's possible, I s'pose.

If only one could spritz whipped cream at dinner guests and call it a done deal! What an incredible menu you guys brought together. That brug makes an amazing centerpiece to your party, Deanne, and thanks so much for the juicy details of your FF evening. Love the new urn -- prominent position a must. I was having dinner with my folks last night for my da's 76th bday.

About tools, one of my prized possessions is my very own "tool shed," where I keep, well, just about anything that takes my fancy, including pirating some choice tools from the main garage. Now whenever anyone needs matches, hammers, screwdrivers, flash lights, tea candles, bike pump, extension cord, measuring tape, plumb line, painter's drop cloths, they head straight to my little shed. Takes away the mininum 2-hour search for the same item in the garage, which usually ends with coming up empty-handed anyway. I really need about two more sheds at this point. Garden tools still stand outdoors year-round.

I need to ask Kathy what noisette roses she's grown. And also forgot to applaud -- I think it was Martie's -- book club's choice of Douglas Adams Hitchiker's Guide. Adams own audiotapes of his books have been invaluable accompaniment to long road trips when the boys were younger.

New fridges, microwaves. It sounds like Chelone's garage is going to hit the cover of "Garage World" any day now. We've decided the electrical needs a complete redo. Since 1919, through the various owners, this old house hasn't had a coherent approach to power, and it's long overdue.

Hope this week sees everyone back to full health, or a reasonable approximation.

Have barely stirred from the "compound" too and better get back to work.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 6:45PM
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