CCCXXXV (335) - October Looms Upon Us!

saucydog(z5MA)September 30, 2007

Just for spooky fun, check out the Bell Witch. She sure stirred up a lot of fun in my youth :)


Here is a link that might be useful: One site mentioning the Bell Witch of TN - she's very famous :)

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I've made myself a little promise. I've been missing out on what everyone is doing. I'm going to start reading everyone's posts daily.

I have been so busy since my DD broke her foot. It took me a few weeks to paint and rearrange one of our bedrooms. The only thing that is missing is a day bed. I did this in case she wanted to come over for a few days. Well she did come over and ended up sleeping on the couch. She had her Xray on Friday and the Radiologist said that the bone looks the same with no healing. This broke her heart, she was in tears when she called with the news. Today my DH and I are taking her to her Dr.

All of my plants look pretty sad this time of year. I do have flowers on my Canary Climber though. Didn't think it would bloom. My Toad Lilies are also blooming.

Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 6:05AM
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Seems a little early to be talking about Halloween, but then... I'm not planning to dress up this year. ;) I think the inclusion of the Bell Witch story is most appropriate for this "spooky" time of year. I recall an interesting story out of Moodus, CT. from my youth...

It was a bit chilly yesterday and it was really the first time I "felt" fall. The air had that sort of spicey scent to it and the light more "golden" at dawn and sunset. The ferns have gone from green to chartreuse to gold in the space of 5 days and the sun is falling lower every day. It happens fast when it gets started, huh?

I've noticed that mowing the lawn on the south side of the house is getting difficult, there isn't really enough sun to dry it out and the little tree frogs are EVERYWHERE. I don't think I mowed any yesterday, but can't really be certain. Today will be the lawn in the center of the circle and Sanitary Ridge. Maybe the "bat cave entrance", too.

Missions to be accomplished today: fill the gaps in the garage doors, point out same to the company that delivered them while obtaining the wiring diagram. Finalize the electric plan in case we ever see or hear from the electrician again ( :/ ).

Lovely pictures of your gardens, and a quick note to Wendy that the Asters you gave me are doing beautifully, although I didn't place them particularly well!

Do any of you grow gourds? every year I have one of the "jeez, I wish I'd grown some". I love the little two-tone jobs... esp. varnished for a glossy shine.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 6:48AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone! We are in for another lovely day here. I smiled when Chelone talked of the golden light at dawn and sunset. ThatÂs so true as well as the rapidly shortening days. Things here are winding down in the perennial beds fairly quickly now with the foliage on the astilbe, actaea (racemosa group), lilies (Asiatic and Orientals) daylilies etc. fading away but there is still quite a bit of color from the heliopsis, phlox (I pruned them back hard after blooming and am getting a lovely re-bloom from many of them) nepeta, sedums, eupatorium, actaea simplex ÂBrunette (smells divine too) and the agastache ÂBlue Fortune continues to bloom on and on. I need to put some of that in the driveway garden. Add all the containers to this late season color and IÂm actually enjoying the gardens now as much as I do in July.

Yesterday Doug and I finished moving that wall in the shed garden and IÂm over the moon with the results. The bed is now about three feet wider at the hosta end and two feet shorter so you can easily get around it to the little Âgrotto area next to the shed. My hands are killing me today from the rock work but it was all worth it.

I also found the perfect location and use for the beautiful cement urn Monique found for me when we visited CT last. I put it on the end of the terrace bed and put the ÂBeacon Rosa standard in it. Perfect! It also will never blow over in the wind again. DonÂt know why I didnÂt think of that sooner. IÂm so glad Doug was home to help me get that up on the wall. IÂm really happy with it there. You can see all the lovely detail on the piece and that plant wonÂt drape over the sides and hide the egg and dart border on the inside of the rim.

I was sitting outside with the camera yesterday afternoon and Luke just sat there posing for me and I thought youÂd enjoy seeing this, what a handsome boy!

Chelone, IÂve often thought of growing gourds but the only place I have here to grow them is right smack in the front yard and Doug wouldnÂt be pleased. LOL

Hi Mariann, sorry your DDÂs foot isnÂt healing well. Hope the doctor can resolve that soon and get her on the road to recovery.

Saucy, great story about the ÂBell WitchÂ. Spooky! Reminds me that I need to start getting my pumpkin collection out and put up the fall decorations. ~~ RE rock walls, make sure you have a really good pair of gloves. Those suede palmed leather ones are best. WE also use a large bar and 2 x 4Âs for moving the big ones. I spend a lot of time looking at the big rocks and analyzing the planes before moving. Will your DH help you? It goes a lot faster with two people.

Eden those pics of Bella are a cute as it gets. What a sweetie!

OK its time to motivate and do something productive with this beautiful day.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 7:39AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Saucy I enjoyed the link. I have always been interested in such unexplained things....and know there is a lot 'out there' that we may never know the answer to. What has happened to all the UFO sightings ???

Mariann, That is so 'bad' about your DD's foot. I sure hope her Dr can get her to someone that will help her.

Chelone, lots of froggies here too. Maybe because I don't see as well as you, most of what I encounter mowing are larger than tree frogs. The tadpoles in the rain barrel are maturing, and tiny frogs are exiting regularly. On my last thread you mentioned all the critters you admire.Me too. I am always pleased to see the blue tailed skinks and the lizards that live around our house. I also love the frogs and toads, and the non poisonous snakes.

We got a nice shower during the night, but not the predicted severe weather. A repeat is in the forecast for tomorrow evening...including the possibilty of tornados !

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 8:47AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good Monday morning - I sure do miss it when I dont check in over the weekend. Despite my decision to re-take control of my house & habits, I still naturally find it hard to be intrusive of space where someone else is "living" -- which means my computer is off limits a lot near my friend's computer & space. Luckily we can "separate" - her to the lower floor, me to the upper one when we need (& that's more and more) space alone or on our own.

Denise -- yikes - setting one's hair on fire because one is enthralled w/ music is a first -- Im glad you never suffered any severe damage - that would definitely make that song memorable! I have done any number of stupid things in life from "not paying attention" but dont recall any of them set to music, LOL.

Deanne, I love that new spot for the fuschia & cement pot -- it will look terrific there, even in winter. I've got one big cement urn myself that's got faces (Medusa looking I guess but w/out the snakes!) but I have never found the right spot or place for it - it will come to me. I am dying to see where you put the lovely new acquisitions as well.

Cynthia -- it helps to retain one's sense of humor doesnt it in these health/medical situations -- you have to enjoy Katie & these photo moments -- Land of the Dolls/Dogs or not -- 300 MRI shots - wow - that was an investment.... as I am sure the meds are too. I do hope for her recovery -- or at least her enjoying 270 meatballs if she "has" to.

I got in the cleaning mode on Saturday (what a shocker for me) and only managed some clean up yesterday in the yard -- which included a lot of poop duty as Biscuit (the visiting dog) is a LOT bigger & heavier-duty than Miss Chloe - I was spoiled in that regard I guess. I had to remind my guest that we need to do daily pick-ups as my small yard really can't take the heavy-duty droppings. Biscuit needs more walking.

Re my houseguest - thanks for all the helpful advice - yes, she's definitely depressed (& was before coming here - has been on meds for a few years) -- but she's now got NO health insurance and so she simply cannot afford any counseling -- I've already provided some $$ for other things to be repaid, & frankly am tapped out there too. I am trying a bit of tough love - no more talking about the job interviews or personal situation -- I told her it was frustrating to me to see her pee these opportunities away -- and hurt other friends' feelings & embarrass them along the way -- which is what happened w/ the poor way she handled the cancellation of the job interview on Friday. She's pinning all her hopes on a job interview on Thursday - for a job not yet offered either -- I see that she truly doesnt want to learn how to make good decisions, financial or otherwise. I've decided that if she's still there and unemployed in 2 weeks, Im going to have to give her some sort of deadline to meet re finding another place -- if she does manage to get a job, I could probably bear to have her there a bit longer. I keep saying, we can't control others' actions, gotta control our own -- I am trying to remind myself of that daily. I know she doesnt want this to be a reason for destroying our friendship so Im hoping that is the "clincher".... I think she's going back to SC this next weekend to retrieve more of her stuff for storage so I'll have a break at home - I and Chloe are looking forward to it.

Chelone - meant to say that Im so glad to hear Rex is doing better!!

Well, onward and upward.... the Monday a.m. digging out calls to me.


    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 9:02AM
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As usual, I've not been nearly as productive as I'd've hoped. The electricity plan is pretty much in place save the switching from house to garage and the provisions for garden and driveway lighting. There were some sharp words exchanged this morning; I am about ready to ask the electrician for an itemized bill for what he's done so far and find someone else. Helpmeet is "kinder and gentler" and I'm sick of the whole damned thing. The juice needs to be DONE, and the jackassing around needs to come to a screeching halt.

Garage doors are caulked, the trim around the doors is sanded. We hung the "man doors" today and I will do the little "touch ups" when I get the paint out to begin painting the garage doors. I forgot I had an alteration appointment today until I looked at the daily calendar. That put the kibosh on digging and "dirty work" today.

I looked out on the south lawn today and counted no less than a DOZEN Robins hunting for bugs! I couldn't believe my eyes and counted twice. And the tree trunks were crawling with Nuthatches and Woodpeckers. There is no question that the nights are growing longer and colder and our little avian friends are making the most of every opportunity to feed.

I've also meant to share a few movies I've enjoyed on DVD.
"March of the Penguins"... fabulous (Marian, you'd love it!)
"The Hours"... a little creepy (so is Virginia Woolf!) but entertaining.
And an old favorite: "The Meaning of Life", need I say more? :) Marian, this is definitely NOT a movie for you! I particularly love Eric Idle's (Idyll's), Universe Song... LOL (Monty Python has killed me for just about forever).

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 5:18PM
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Chelone, I hope you've been following the piece the NYT did on the impact on nursing home care when nursing homes are bought as investments by private equity firms. The letters to the editors are always a huge source of optimism for me. One of the letters to the editor on this nursing home piece said, paraphrasing: There should be two types of nursing homes, those that provide excellent care and those that are nonexistent. Can't believe you called Virginia Woolf creepy! :>) I've read nearly every book written by her or about her -- well, haven't made it thru The Waves yet. Her letters and diaries saved my sanity as a new 20-something stay-at-home mom in the small fishing town of San Pedro, Calif, about as far as you can get from London during the Bloomsbury group's heyday. Which is the most one can ask from books. All great movies you list.

I stopped at a nursery over the weekend and checked out the gee-gaw section, which I usually ignore. There were some large disembodied head sculptures, and on closer inspection they proved disappointing but one, a woman with a dreamy smile, the head on its side, was really good. Checked the name and it was by the Campagnia (sp?) group who did Deanne's urn, who I'd never heard of before last week. Sheesh.

Cindy, so nice to hear you and Chloe are getting a breather this weekend. What's the old saying about house guests and fish...You are accumulating some major karma with this friend, lol.

I've got a couple feeble scary stories to share later, nothing hair-raising. One involves Long Beach's tourist flagship the RMS Queen Mary. Lovely ship but mostly a failure as a tourist attraction.

Kathy, yes, I remember Wallach's Music City. Funny thing about the old clubs like the Roxy, Troubador & The Whiskey is they're falling on hard times these days, since the young club crowd now flocks to dance clubs around the new Metro stop at Hollywood & Vine. Falling asleep last night, I noticed I was mentally reciting all the lyrics to Tom Waits Heart of Saturday Night and kept getting stuck half-way thru. No idea why. Haven't thought of this song in years. Probably Chelone's thread is to blame or remembering the hair-lighting Roxy incident. On the freeway today, punching radio channels, I come upon someone tuning an acoustic guitar, the melody very familiar, and it's a live recording from '74 of old Tom playing this very song, Mr. "Heart Attack and Vine" himself. Here's all the lyrics and a link I found to Tom playing it:

Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night - Tom Waits

Well you gassed her up
Behind the wheel
With your arm around your sweet one
In your Oldsmobile
Barreling down the boulevard
You're looking for the heart of Saturday night

You got paid on Friday
Your pockets are jingling
And then you see the lights
And you get all tingling cuz you're cruising with a 6
Looking for the heart of Saturday night

Then you comb your hair
Shave your face
Trying to wipe out every trace
Of all the other days in the week
You know that this'll be the Saturday
You're reaching your peak

Stopping on the red
Going on the green
Cuz tonight'll be like nothin'
You've ever seen
As you're barreling down the boulevard
Looking for the heart of Saturday night

Tell me is it the crack of the poolball, the neon buzzing?
The telephone's ringing -- it's your second cousin
Is it the barmaid that's smiling from the corner of her eye
Or the magic of the melancholy tear in your eye?

Makes it kind of quiver down in the core
'Cause you're dreaming of them Saturdays that came before
And now you're stumbling
Stumbling onto the heart of Saturday night

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 6:25PM
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Deanne, I must say that Beacon Rosa looks FF in that urn, but Ill put 5 bucks up for anyone that wants to wager that you wont plant something around the bottom next year, eggs darts and all ! I say after about a week in spring you wont be able to stand the sight of bare soil and youll figure out a way for the eggs/darts to peep out provocatively from betwixt the foliage. Ive got your number girl !

The Hours is one of my faves from the last few years, brilliant job by Ms Kidman. I was going to watch A River Runs Through It last night, which I somehow missed seeing when it first was released and then kind of forgot about it. I was so tired though from my 7-day work stint I went to bed at nine . No movie tonight, I have the one game baseball playoff on tonight. And thanks Chelone for reminding me about March of the Penguins, another I missed..

Okay, this is brief, but its time to cook something. Gonna sauté up some celery, baby carrots, onions, zucchini, bell pepper, throw in some kalmata olives and tomatoes and pour it over some ravioli.and a glass of Pinot on the sidebon appetit!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 8:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Spent the day watering, weeding, etc. My mower was returned in good condition, so I cut cut cut the 'grounds'. And now there is a light rain, but the sprinkler is still at work in the veg garden with the timer going.

Our painter called to announce he is starting our house trim on Wednesday, weather permitting. I fear for the plants, even though he did well last time! I'm also nervous about our change of colour,...but we'll see!

I friend wants me to go visit a Bouvier who is 6 months old and is training in Obedience. Because Felix is male, he was not claimed. Everyone wants females. I'll go visit, but my heart is on a Bouvier whose ears have not been clipped. There is a litter due in 8 weeks. Add 8 more weeks to that and I could have a puppy for the new year. It would be brindled, not black. Hmmm. Lots to consider. I know how you feel Chelone, but ever since DD was mauled by her adopted Max, I've been nervous about the hidden baggage that can come with a previously owned dog.

Received a written letter from DGS! Oh my, that really gets to me. Hand written letters are rare & wonderful...and one written about how perfect Charlotte was to him...well, you know. Just imagine the wobbly printing:

Dear NanaMarie,
We're very sorry to hear about Charlotte. We will always remember her as friendly. She was very goofy rolling on her back. I had good morning walks with her and Indy down by the creek. She was a great dog to cuddle withe. We love her and always will. Hope you feel better soon with lots of hugs and kisses. Love from Skyler.

PS from Sarah.
I have a feeling there's one more star up in the sky tonight. We'll put it next to Sirius, the dog star so she has company.

Boo Hoo. But things are getting better. We can think of her antics and laugh.

DH returns from Paris on Thursday. I've accomplished very little even though I've been ever so busy.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 9:23PM
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Any of you notice how Nicole Kidman really came into her own after Tom went bye-bye? I hadn't, but the helpmeet was quick to point it out. We have a lot of very adolescent movies here, come with being married to an arrested 12 year old. (Window cushion is still free of debris). For Denise, "A Portrait of a Marriage", by Nigel Nicholson. Read it years ago, and the memory has faded.

Good that you're moving toward another dog, 'bug. I understand the "baggage" issue, but don't the shelters your way do personality testing on them? That's standard practice at the ASPCA shelters and the battery of tests they're given surprised me. Not that that's a guarantee; they're animals, after all, and there is always an element of risk contained in them... even those bred for specific breed characteristics. ;) Why are females more sought after? I prefer Rex's temperament much easier going than either Sally or Chris; he's just all about FUN (kind of like the helpmeet). Interestingly, I have no problem with clipped ears, docked tails. I suppose it's simply because when I was a kid Boxers were all the rage and they were all clipped. Also, my introduction to horsemanship was with Morgans and American Saddlebreds, the latter generally had their tails broken and set to attain the high carriage usually only seen in courtship rituals. I wonder if that's still the norm, or if the showring rules have changed over the years.

I have read some of the series on nursing homes in the NYT. I find little to elicit "hope". Next week I get to take Mum to the urologist, which ought to be a real joy. I can hardly wait, let me assure you. I can think of exactly one person who has ever so used and abused me that I would wish the horror of my experience with Mum' declining mental status on her. Truly, the lynchpin in our experience has been the urostomy. Knowing what I know now I would NEVER recommend the surgery to any elderly person, EVER. Honestly? it is my greatest fear that I will suffer the same fate because the avenue of assisted suicide will still not be an option when it's "my turn" (think "Harold and Maude").

My mission for today is to get the foam roller and get a coat of paint on the garage doors. I believe the helpmeet's computer buddy is coming over today and that will be fun; perhaps I'll be able to master moving picture files to CD and then recalling photos from it to the computer to upload them. MAYBE. :)

I also have a "house call" this morning; a sleeve alteration for a woman down the road who no longer drives. That will make two sets of sleeves; fully placketed sleeves are among my favorite alterations to do, along with zipper and pocket replacements. I measured for awnings on the garage yesterday; came up with nearly 25 yds. of fabric for the second floor windows only, more if I opt to do the first floor and the east side of the building, too. The frames and hardware will add nicely to the cost, but are a "one time only" expense. This is the season I begin to turn my attention to the inside of the house, thinking about things that will brighten "the corner" and make it more enjoyable for the "housebound" months to come.

Funny anecdote about the RMS Queen Mary. As it was being built the King was told it was to be named for Britain's "greatest queen"; he instantly said, Queen Mary... sadly, she WASN'T the queen the builders had in mind... they had wanted to name it the "Queen Victoria". :) My brother has toured it and assured me I would love the sumptuous Art Deco interiors. My late MIL came to the United States aboard it in the late '40s..

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 7:05AM
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Happy October 2! It looks like October outside, and I needed to turn on my car lights last night at 6:30 because of dark/clouds combo. Feels Very strange since it's predicted to be in the 80's by week's end.

It's great to hear from you, Mariann.

'bug -- What a great letter! I remember sending notes to my Grandma and the best part was getting one back ;-) Had to google brindle Bouvier and wow, go for him/her!!

LOL, Denise, about Virginia Wolf getting you through early motherhood. There's an oxymoron in there somewhere. Anyway, this is for you and other California/West Coast friends. The perfect example of zone denial:

And some long shots with the caveat that there's a Lot of dividing to do as soon as it rains and next Spring:

You have all been teachers without knowing it, and as a result, I'm proud to present my very first "I got it this time" pic for the Idylls ...

Fire the d%*& electrician, Chelone!!! I'm ready to send Rich and crew up there ... no one should need to go through this crappola.

Thinking of everyone in a gentle way, too....


    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 7:15AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Marie, my experience with dogs, at least my breed is the males are much more fun. For some reason people do prefer females though. Even in rescue-we get more males surrendered and the majority of people looking to adopt prefer females. I'm not sure why-it may have something to do with the lifting of the leg to pee thing. The ear cropping is a debate in miniature schnauzers as well. I prefer cropped but many breeders are no longer cropping, even for the show ring. In poorly bred dogs uncropped ears will often stand up straight and make the dog look like a miniature version of

At any rate, nothing will work to heal your heart faster than the pitter patter of little Bouvier feet.

Deanne, perfect spot for the urn.

OK, must run...have a great day!


    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 7:31AM
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Harvest is in full swing. Yesterday was a beauty. I helped DH in the field and enjoyed the beautiful blue sky with the amber waves of grain. Has anyone been watching the Harvest moon? It was a little more than ½ last night as we watched it rise while we were combining. Friday night it was quite full and Kenzie was so interested in it.

We have been getting a fair amount of rainy days here. It doesnt amount to much in the gauge but slows DH down.

Martie, Ive been enjoying all your lovely photos.

bug, the letter for DGS is so sweet and certainly something for the memory box.

Deanne, are you sure that fuchsia standard is real? It is just so fabulous looking and the pot really sets it off.

Chelone, I plan to grow gourds in the childrens garden if we ever get it going.

Back to work


    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 11:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just back from the dump and from town. I took my camera along because I was interested in recording paint colours on houses. I posted it on another forum but want to share it with you too. See below.

It is humid here too Michelle, and it prevents me from doing the weeding that is ever so necessary. I did rake up some globs of mowed grass from yesterday though.

Last night I began emptying unused old clothing from my dresser. There's way more to go though. Perhaps I'll have time this evening for more clean-up along with more laundry.

Sue, the leg lifting thing with male dogs is no worse than the female approach to it as far as I'm concerned. As to the ears, it is not really a moral issue for me, since the tail docking is a good idea in our home, but the ears were so playful and fun. Skyler loved her "bouncy ears". Stroking them was very calming for her too. But the 2 kennels I've spoken to both clip them. I'd get $150 off if I select a puppy and don't have the ears altered.

Chelone, I agree completely about getting a pet from the Humane Society...but that is intellectually speaking. My emotional side still is not up to it. Sarah's dog gave no hints of his behavior until the deed was done. She was so lucky not to have nerve or facial damage. Max was lucky to be able to live out his days at the kennel.

Beyond time for some lunch here! Later!

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 2:09PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We had a tiny bit of rain early this morning (4mm). At least the cooler temperatures this time of year makes a little rain go further as it doesnt evaporate as fast. The bits of rain wed had in the fast few weeks has at least made the grass green again but you dont have to dig far to hit dry ground still.

Ive run out of screenings but hope Randy, on his way home tonight, will be able to get to the source before it closes so he can pick up enough to do the last 30 or so of bricks.

This coming weekend is Thanksgiving so Randy decided to take W-F off too to make a nice 6 day weekend. Were going to go to Niagara for one night, staying at the same B&B we stayed at earlier in the summer. I made a batch of (small!) dog cookies today to take with us. They had a cute little Maltese that liked our home-made dog cookies.

gb The letter from DGS is definitely 'a keeper'. A new dog is an exciting thought, whether the 6 mo. old or a brand new puppy. In either case, youll have to bring it to meet Misty (and us) to add it to Mistys doggie-buddy list of welcome guests at the doggie-spa :-) Mistys latest puppy friend is a neighbours ~4-5 mo. old Rottweiller. This is the neighbour who had the beautiful Rottweiller x German Shepherd, the nicest dog in the neighbourhood. Sadly Hera died this spring. Paul looked incomplete without a dog. Hes looking much happier since Zoe arrived. His dogs are always friendly and beautifully behaved so no one is worried about Zoe being a Rottweiller.

I think a lot of people prefer female dogs because they are usually smaller than the males. That would be the reason we would choose a female dog. Weve pretty much decided not to replace Chelsea weve been getting our extra doggie companionship by borrowing dogs from friends when they go on vacation :-) Randy hasnt totally given up on the idea of another Golden though

Chelone it sounds like that electrician needs to get his hind end in gear!

Martie I like the look of your neighbourhood as seen in that entrance shot. You have about 4.5 times as much land as we do. Thats just about the perfect amount of land enough to do all sorts of great things with but still within manageable bounds. There is one street not too far from here with lots that are 250-300 deep and widths from ~50-70 or 80. If one of them had been for sale when we were looking for this house, I would have bought it, regardless of what the house on it was like! The houses, at that time, were mostly 1950s bungalows in need of work. A lot of them have now been bought and replaced with big homes. Last years garden tour had two places on that street. The long narrow lot is a bit of a challenge but also presents lots of opportunity. Youre living my garden fantasy so make sure you keep posting lots of pictures, particularly long views and overviews :-)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 3:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just a PS here about Skyler's note. This was his first experience with death, so I think that writing the letter was a bit of a lesson for him with Sarah. When he spoke to me about this on the phone he wanted to know where exactly she died. I told him that the vet gave her a sleepy shot and then she died without pain. He thought that was mean of the vet, but I explained a bit more and he seemed OK with it.
On another issue, Skyler's Mom has told him he can buy a game boy (I don't know what I'm talking about here...forgive my ignorance) with the money he'll earn from distributing flyers for her. This is one of those vexing issues that arises with two households. Mom doesn't have time to take him to the library, but she can ship him out the door to do this for her. She doesn't play WITH him, but buys him THINGS. I know that T, Eden and Michelle are giving their grandchildren heart and time, not just things. Is this unusual? OK, vent over, but I don't want to say how all this upsets me to Sarah.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 4:22PM
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Hello Everyone,
Deanne-Your garden is absolutely beautiful. Does it get Full Sun?

Chelone-I've seen "The Hours" and it was very well done.
Right now I'm watching season 2 of "Rome"

I'm actually anticipating fall. We have 2 Silver Maples that drop leaves very early. I'll going to rake them up and have my DH mow them so I can mulch.

It's amazing I'm also getting started on my Christmas sewing. I have a difficult time finding fabric though.

We also have the little frogs. When I walk down from my veggie garden I see them hopping around. Somewhat like a greeting.

We took our DD to the Dr.'s yesterday. He said that there was a small amount of healing going on. Will probably be another 6-8 weeks. She's almost out of her mind with the enforced solitude.

Take Care,

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 4:45PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening all,

Well Im tired and beyond tired but Ive finished getting the new bed edged and lasagned so the rock wall is moved and done and the new line of the border established and Im very happy with how it looks. Now I just have to put in a rock mowing strip along the edge like I did against the back of the house and that will be the last big project of the year. Here are some pics of the finished project.

Cindy, you are a saint if you are picking up after your house guests dog along with providing her with room and board. Jeesh, she should be doing all the house cleaning and all the picking up after both the dogs. Glad you are going to get a break. ~~ Do you have any photos of your urn with the faces on it? Im a sucker for any kind of urn as you know.

Kathy, ROTFLOL! You SO know me. I was thinking of planting some moss or something at the base of the fuchsia in the urn. ~~ Wish I was there for the ravioli dinner last night. That sounds fabu!

Bug, that is a lovely note from Syler. How sweet.

Lovely photographs Martie! Beautiful butterfly.

Michelle, how neat that you are helping with the harvest. How do you find time to do all that you do? ~~ LOL yes it is indeed a real fuchsia. Thanks!

Mariann, thanks very much, that garden gets a half day of sun.

OK Im about to turn into a pumpkin so I need to get off this computer and get to bed. Have a great evening all.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 8:36PM
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Hi ho Idylls promised myself I would do something everyday towards relocation but I lack energy today ! I had my pest/dry rot/leaks inspection yesterday and I have a few issues, most of which I already knew about-or at least suspected. I will meet with my realtor in the next few days to try to prioritize and decide what I need to fix and what I can just disclose and maybe offer credits for.
The weather here has been wonderful! I just love fall. My garden looks pretty ratty right now-working 9 days in a row doesnt do much for garden upkeep ! I have accepted that nothing will get done till Saturday and I have to rethink my strategy towards the view of a potential buyer- this means I have to edit.

How nice Chelone , that someone will actually have something altered rather that go out a replace it..lots of cheap-o sloppily made clothes out there that are not worth the effort to fix.

Martie-love the pics you posted. Will you attempt to dig up the Rosemary and overwinter it ?

Marie-the houses in town are just wonderful ! Im a bit of an architecture junkie and love seeing different types of buildings-thanks so very much for sharing these !

OK, all for tonighthey and make sure if you have not done so, that you view Marianns cool post on Celones music thread !!

Nite all
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 9:21PM
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Tonight my job was to wash the windows in the tractor and combine. Not an easy task. The inside is fine but the outside requires a ladder and then climbing on the equipment. It was very, very windy here today and one of the remaining containers was tipped. They are talking 38 for Sat. night and 32 for next Mon.

'bug, I just love houses like the ones in your link. The 2nd to the bottom is nearly identical to the first house I lived in after being married in 1978. Ours was brick with the arched windows and a door centered in the front with windows on either side. That's part of what makes me so sad about my parents house being for sale that it has so much character, something our farmhouse lacks.

Deanne, your garden amazes me, where is the ratty stuff??? You ask how I get things done, you should see my house and garden right now (not a pretty sight)

Chelone, it would be mighty hard around here to find someone to do alterations. My grandmother did alterations from her home. My mother didn't care for it but did a lot of garment sewing for others while I was growing up. She just recently completed 3 baptismal gowns that someone asked her to make.

I on the other hand didn't inherit the love for sewing.

I need to get to my Pilates yet this evening, so I must go.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 10:33PM
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What exquisite photos from 'bug's village and Martie and Deanne's gardens. That village has houses to die for. Very nice to hear of tentative steps in direction of a new puppy. Not that this is in any way analogous, but it brought to mind my uncle who lost his wife recently who'd had a stroke quite young (60) and needed his constant care for the last ten years of her life. My mom and her sisters were burning up the phone lines because he started "seeing" a female friend within a year. More power to him, I say, but my aunts were scandalized. I've had very few years that I didn't share with a dog, and every one of them was unique and special.

Martie, I go spells without having any rosemary around. I gave cuttings of an upright variety I had to a neighbor (maybe Tuscan Blue?), got rid of mine, saw hers running rampant, and promptly reinstated rosemary back in the front xeric garden. It's not an upright but a variety with a yellowish cast called 'Golden Rain' that's just a bit brighter in the landscape. I'm always grabbing the leaves then running my hands through my hair. Smells good to me, anyway.

What sky you must have, Michelle. I so enjoy the tiny sliver I am allotted here. Mariann, I mean to catch up with that Rome miniseries one of these days. Better yet, I'd love to visit Rome in December, when it's cool and the churches are elaborately decorated and lit with candles and there's solemn processions in the street. Alas, not this year. Not a religious bone in my body but I love the pageantry, lol.

Kathy, I'm drinking a cab from your neck of the woods, 2002 Richard Perry, a gift from an atty last week along with some Godiva chocolates. I could get used to thank-you's like that.

Deanne, will you ever run out of rocks?

Indeed, Chelone, the Queen Mary is a touchstone for lots of people, soldiers who sailed her during WWII when she was ferrying troops as the "grey ghost." A few cabins have been left intact for viewing, and the fabrics used for upholstery are gorgeous. Funnily enough, V. Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell contributed to murals and other decorative items on the ship, and there was a little museum with her stuff in it, last time I looked. My boys and I spent loads of time visiting the ship when they were young, mostly hanging out in the dank engine rooms, of course, and marveling at the gigantic prop. Guy stuff probably your helpmeet would love, lol. When the Queen arrived in port for final berthing, there was a fire sale of all the furniture, china, tapestries, deck chairs, you name it, that is legendary around here.

I haven't bought a shirt in the past five years that didn't lose a button within weeks of wearing it. If I had loads of money, I'd have my own seamstress, bring her some of the fabrics I've been rat-holing away these many years, and have some FINE clothes made.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 12:00AM
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Wow! everyone has been so productive, I'm in awe. (it doesn't appear to be contageous).

Deanne, I think the new curve and continuation of your lovely gardens makes a good deal more visual "sense" than the original layout did. Nice move and a handsome change; the punctuation the mow strip will lend is really going to finish it off. Lovely! Clearly, Denise does not fully understand the nature of our native soil, does she? ;)

I hope Randy returned with the screenings requires for you, too, Woody. You have been nothing if not dogged in your steadfast pursuit of the edging project. How many pairs of gloves have you destroyed in the process? :)

One thing at a time, Kathy. Even in our home which is not that old (or is it?) at 17 yrs., there are things that require our attention. The soffits, rake, and side trim are in desperate need of scraping, scrubbing, and a new coat of paint. The siding needs a coat of either straight bleaching oil, or a combination of bleaching oil/stain. It never ends and picking away at the list is the only solution. You'll get there, but it's important to take some time off, too; esp. after a gruelling inventory.

Martie, it's fun to see a "park" take shape, isn't it? I don't have the setting for Rosemarys, too wet, but they are lovely. I particularly like the "Spanish" one with the little pink flowers that remind me of insects. It think your yard and grounds are just that much sunnier and drier than my own; I'll live vicariously through your plantings.

'bug, I loved the village tour. I live in the land of old Colonials and Shingle style "cottages" (with about 18 rooms!). I particularly love the used of strong color schemes on Victorians. Many people don't know that the sashes of windows were generally painted a dark color, the idea was to make the glass area seem larger and it draw the eye into the window. They also don't know that most Victorian homes had very little in the way of foundation plantings. Like Kathy, I'm a bit of an architecture "buff" and it breaks my heart to see lovely old homes razed and replaced with some god-awful "McMansion" replete with every sort of window available under the sun... . We have a huge development down the road full of them; we refer to it as "section 8 for the wealthy". It's interesting to note the distinct styles each area of the country is noted for, too, the materials used, and the "feel" of neighborhoods. What fun!

The note from Skyler is darling. One of the last pieces of advice I received from my father was about penning a note of sympathy to the recently bereaved. It does mean a lot. Clearly, I have no practical experience with kids in any meaningful quantity, but I am routinely shocked at how LITTLE time so many parents actually spend with their kids (or their pets, for that matter). Why, in heaven's name have them at all if you don't want to be around them? Plunking a kid in front of a TV/video isn't my idea of "time"; kids learn by watching and interacting with other people and being GUIDED by attentive, thoughtful, and gentle people. I can only imagine your frustration on this issue. And I can only imagine the tension and confusion it creates as Skyler travels between his "two worlds". No wonder I'm "unfit" to be a parent!

I have a portion of the garage doors painted, and some of the mysteries of burning pictures to CDs have been revealed. Sadly, my antiquated machine is not capable of that function. So, I will continue my pursuit of organization and then the hard drive will be removed and inserted into a machine with the capability and the files will be burned onto CDs. This will be a good exercise for me, albeit a bit tedious. My BIL is a great guy and brilliant, but his explanations are so long-winded and take so many detours I never really "get" the basic concept... the helpmeet's friend approaches things much more practically (like my brother); he LISTENED to what I wanted to do and let ME ask the questions, understanding that by so doing I was forgeing a meaningful framework on which to "hang" the basic skills required. I don't understand why so many "teachers" miss that point entirely. (He's also very, very funny which helps a great deal!).

My alteration appointment was a charming woman in her '80s who shared some wonderful town history with me. I can't wait to deliver her jacket and talk with her again. She has a very lovely Maine Coon Cat who eyed me warily but then sauntered right over and rolled over in front of me, chirping for a tummy rub.

I think alterations are important, often essential for a flattering fit. I find myself grumbling at the TV whenever someone like Oprah has one of those "style experts" on to help people select flattering clothing. NEVER do they touch on importance of proper proportion of tops/bottoms, the importance of proper sleeve and hem length. I assess clothing through the eyes of a tailor and sleeve length is probably my NUMBER ONE pet peeve. The meteorologist on our local channel is notorious in my eyes... his sleeves are invariably 1/2-3/4" too long and the result is that he always looks as though he's borrowed someone else's sport coat. Thanks for letting me vent. ;)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 6:56AM
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Thanks for the notes about the pics and gardens in general.

Deanne, I really like what you did with that garden. Do you have plants ready to go in?

Rosemary in CT: I've overwintered Rosemary forever. Living very close to Caprilands and having had the enviable opportunity to lunch privately with Adelma Simmons, how could I not have it in my garden?

It was Kyle who pointed out to me that every garden he's seen me do has included herbs of some sort. Since he's been around for the last 20 years of them, he'd be the expert. In my mind, they are indespensible for whatever plant need one has. A big regret this year was not putting in "Pineapple Sage" that at this time of year blooms a deep reddish/orange and is loved by all hovering insects and birds. Plans are for a knot garden some year, though by the time it gets in the maintenance may not be a very romantic thought. LOL

Chelone, the Spanish plant you like is a Lavender and does incredibly well in pots. Maybe it's something you could try next year .... Typically those referred to as "Spanish" are Lavandula stoechas and are worth the initial investment for a stick with roots :-)

'bug: What flyers does Skyler distribute? Does it equate to child labor? And who is with him while he's doing this? I, too, don't like the sounds of it. The consistency he gets with Sarah and family will undoubtedly go a lot further than an iPod. Kids inherently like to be near people, and given the choice Kyle would always opt to be "part of the group" if we went to people's homes and they said "the TV is yours to watch what you want while the adults sit and talk." In the long run, it is probably his mother that will be wondering when he is a teen about what she should've done differently.

All the talk of new dogs has gotten my heart stirred up and before I read Idylls looked again at our local Humane Society site. I've decided that if I want a dog, I'd rather take the money I would spend on a privately-bred puppy and build one heckava doghouse for a rescue. In CT, they are very careful about temperment, and I think that dogs are just gonna do what they're gonna do no matter what the predisposition.

Rambling on here trying to squeeze every minute out of pre-work. Big meeting this morning and lots of bosses running between closed doors yesterday. Working for an incredibly fair and ethical, albiet huge, company means I'm not worried, just want to get whatever is about to happen over with.

Since I need just about everything I buy other than tee shirts and jeans tailored, I've found a woman I love and told her she can come live with me when she gets too old to take care of herself. She has a wonderful Jamaican lilt and sings while she sews. A true gem in this world, IMHO.

Later, with everything I forgot right now :-)


    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 7:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

W. Wordsworth
CCLXXXVI. "My heart leaps up when I behold"
MY heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky....

Well today, my heart leaps up when I behold
2 painters in my flower beds.
Wish me luck! They WERE punctual... 7:45am!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 8:44AM
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Heretofore I'd allowed the helpmeet to deal with Mr. Electrician. But he called at 8 AM and I told him how delighted I was to actually speak with him "in person". I said there was too much "second hand information" and "timely communication was too lacking". I nailed him down on a face to face meeting and candidly told him it was HE who was holding up the progress on finalizing the garage, as no insulation or sheetrock guys can be scheduled until the wiring is in place. Dead silence. "How would you like to proceed?", I asked him. I THINK he "has the message" now, as I pleasantly told him I was adding those dates to my calendar and told him I was going to reschedule two appointments to accomodate him. But as of 9 AM next Monday, I'll be able to speak more definitively. ;) The helpmeet is just a tad too "accomdating", IMO, not willing to drop the hammer and require performance in a manner that is timely enough to keep the project rolling forward. MAN! I wish I'd studied architecture...

'bug, you're not a "red" person, you're not a "blue" person... does that mean you're "independent"? :)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 9:04AM
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I can't wait to see the results GB! I hope they're as light on their feet as ballerinas and miss every plant as they paint the days away!

Having a rough morning here at the Saucy household. We had middle of the night nosebleeds from Sarah, which woke me and kept me awake worrying about company business (Nick's at our first tradeshow today), and then I finally fell asleep and overslept (and so did she) and we missed the bus just as we were running for out of breath, I drove her to school. Nick just called to say he cut the heel of his foot pretty bad, so I'm off to the Centrum with bandages, and then to the gym.

I hope a piano doesn't fall on my watch, it'll be an ACME safe instead :)

Deanne, I don't know what to say! WOW! You and Doug must be wiped out! I didn't even make a dent compared to you two.

Chelone, having recently gone through the same sort of computer scenario, you're going to be quite pleased when you upgrade! I have been....things seem a little easier now :)

Michelle, I cringed at your weather predictions as your weather seems to move right into our territory with the present pattern.....

Denise, I think rosemary smells alot like whatever is in Nick's it's a nice scent to me, too. I don't like the little pieces in my food, but I like to infuse sauces with Rosemary, or use the branches as skewers. Martie, I'm partial to alot of herbs in the garden, oregano (a creeping variety, you know I never keep up....) has had a spectacular year next to the driveway in this dry season.

I'd better go....I have lots to do and the bus seems to get home extra early this year!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 9:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, the green party of course! ;-)

Saucy, really, have a safe day! No mishaps.

Denise, my rosemary is already dug up, but won't come indoors until temperatures are below zero C.

Oy, the ladder is in front of my window and they're scraping the top trim. I can't watch. (That's your room I'm speaking of Sue!)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 9:35AM
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Just spoke with my boss about next week's return to work. We are going back to work on Tuesday, but that's the day the trees are going to be planted. And I have to take Mum to the urologist at 9 AM on Wednesday. Sooo... I'll be a "slacker" until Thursday, the 11th.. I told her I felt bad about it (like I was "milkin' it") and she told me NOT TO! There is nothing pressing "on the books" and this is the perfect time to take time to get things done with minimal worry about work. And besides (this meant a lot to me), whenever it's time to "step up and deliver the goods" she never even has to ask me.

We may snarl at each other periodically, but we have a very deep, abiding respect and trust in each other. I think that's what has kept us good and trusted friends even when we encounter rocky terrain. For me, it's the equivilent of a nice Cabernet and Godiva chocolate. :)

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 9:57AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I must speak up in behalf of construction workers..including plumbers and electricians. It can be a real juggling situation. Lets say the contractor has 3 customers lined up: Customer #1 is scheduled for a particular day but suddenly ( he/she..the customer)cannot have the job done that day. Either the contractor has to go without a day's work( and wages), or else go to customer #2's job that was planned for a later date. If that customer cannot use the worker on that particular day he must attempt to move on to C#3. If the fill-in job overlaps the previously planned job...either the worker has to finish that job before going back to #1, or else put the finishing of that job on hold and return to #1. Also...there are frequently unseen emergencies in the lives of contractors. If a previous customer has an urgent emergency...he either can drop what he is doing and remedy the situation...or lose that customer. ( Put yourself in the place of a former customer with the emergency..i.e. busted pipes, damaged power connections, etc.) Self employed contractors do not get paid on days that they can not do a job for somebody! If they are employed by a company, they have to do that company's biding. In other cases, the ordered material to do the job fails to arrive. That is the shipper's 'fault' not the contractor's !

I lived in the position of the self employed contractor's wife for many years. I heard the voices of outraged customers. If I should have to employ someone to do a job for me, I hope I remember those days. Things happen....contracting is not a 9-5 desk job !

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 10:13AM
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Marian, the daughter of a plumbing/heating contractor I know well the realities contractors face! I remember more than a few very cold nights spent holding the blowdryer on a frozen section of pipe to break up the ice and save the remainder of the system from failure. WHY? because the cheapo DIY homeowner failed to drain the system before Thanksgiving and called Dad in a panic in mid-December.

I run a small business, too. The FIRST thing I do upon returning from my "real" job is RETURN PHONE CALLS, even when I don't really want to! If I don't return them I don't have a business... duh.

If my call is returned and a request is made for more time to set up the work schedule I'm FINE. But failure to return calls in a timely manner bespeaks CONTEMPT for the customer and an arrogance that is not remotely acceptable to me. I believe you and I understand each other completely; but I have a nagging suspicion the electrical contractor is woefully/blissfully? ignorant of my own background. Personally? I'd've fired him well over a month ago, and given him a complete reason verbally and in written form! but I have to consider the sensibilities of the helpmeet, too. I've given him plenty of latitude and in the ensuing month nothing "changed" until I actually spoke with the contractor in question. I now "have it in writing" and if the work isn't accomplished I WILL fire him. Helpmeet be damned! I'm that irritated.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 11:05AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ahhhh, if only I lived in the 'good old days' when we didn't have all these modern 'Conveniences' !!!!

Okie doakie...I have to speak in behalf of the " cheapo DIY homeower" also.Who knows what was/is hindering those folks from doing what is needed to be done ? It could be a multitude of very ligitimate reasons...many of which I am now facing.:-(

It is frequently difficult to see both sides of the story.
I 'can' understand both sides ( when I am thinking clearly). I am very prone to be impatient. I am really trying to work on that ! The situation that I live in day by day can really try one's patience. Perhaps that is the reason for teach me more patience ???

I hope all works out well for all that are coping with trials and obstacles....... As I like to think: "This too shall pass".

We got a nice shower earlier this week, but I had failed to empty the rain gauge from the watering that I had I don't know how much, but last night we got 1 and 1/2 inch more ! Marvelous ! And no damaging winds or hail. There is a light fog, so far today. and the showers seem to have come to an end.

I have most of the potted plants brought in that I will plan on wintering over. ( I'll always have the option to 'weed' them out as the winter comes on).
The utility/plant room is almost full. The bay window is full... and there is stll plenty of 'walking room' through the house. :-)

I am enjoying the farming reports. There is still haying going on here. That is the main crop that is harvested here. It was a very good year for hay.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 11:42AM
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Morning all, it was calm and cool this a.m. as I toured the garden, but the wind is supposed to blow 15-30 mph.

'bug, I know the feeling of someone on a ladder in your flower beds. DH did some painting this spring. He was pretty careful and only stepped on a small sedum 'Matrona' and it will survive.

Chelone, sorry about the construction woes.

Saucy, nosebleeds are no fun! I had them as a child and so did my kids. I remember as a kid spending a lot of time in the bathroom during the night dealing with one.

I agree about time with kids. I actually don't buy much for Kenzie as the other grandparents are well to do and she likes to shop. I told DH after her last visit it is so fun to see how much she enjoys being here with us on the farm.
When DD says that she gets to come here she says "I need to go to gramma's NOW!" When my kids were growing up, money was short, but time was always there. I tried to show my kids in many ways that there were a lot of fun to be had that didn't cost much or was free.

Yesterday I was at the farm supply store getting dog food and picked up some farm animals for Kenzie's upcoming birthday. They are made by Schleich and are very realistic. She loves animals. This is something that you can add to. They have zoo animals also.

Enjoy your day

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 11:58AM
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Hot water heat requires one of two things: either you are willing to maintain an ambiant temperature of 45-50 degrees in the dwelling, whether or not it's a "second home", or you make sure the system is filled with antifreeze and it's able to withstand an electrical failure without risk of freezing. "Cheapos" always think they'll drain the water-based systems themselves, but they frequently "wait" too long and then have to call in the "cavalry" in a panic. And then they grouse and fail to pay in a timely manner for the "save" that kept them from redoing the entire system. Sorry, Marian! I know ALL ABOUT IT. I've heard every excuse in the book and heard them from the same people, year in and year out. It's a PLANNING thing, easily budgetted for with some careful forethought and scrutiny of past expenses. I, personally, put it right in with having the chimney flues cleaned and the boiler cleaned and adjusted. Those are expenses that are lumped right in with the price of fuel to keep our home and hot water heated. And they're things we budget and pay for yearly.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 12:17PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

All the more reason for the 2 of us to be either put in a long term care facility, or having those caregivers who come to private homes, to come tend to it's needs ! Up until very recent years Nolon tended to all of the above needs... He did them himself. Now, due to age and ailments, most of it he cannot do. If it gets done, I will have to be the one who contacts the doer, and I am prone to forgetting!
I have never had to budget for such. My contractor worked for me/us for free ! ....:-) We own our own home, but we do not 'own' a large bank account ! Only one of us worked outside of home for our living. What brief enployment that I had added very little to our income, and nothing to our retirement. I would have contributed more, but ill health prevented it. I do not feel sorry for myself, but I do believe in reality. What I could do, I did.
I need to contact someone to clean our chimney, and reinstall a hover on it. Tim said he could do it for us, but he wasn't here long enough to get to it this past visit, and who knows when he will come again??? I plan on calling our local volunteer fire dept., and see if they have someone who does that. Friends would very willingly do it, but I am reluctant to bother them. They are too busy with their own problems, and none of them live close to us.
Nolon has always put the plastic on our windows for winter, but I really doubt if he is up to it this year. When he removed last winter's plastic he just tore it out of the frames, and left the remains and tattered plastic. :-(
Tim said he would do that also( put on new plastic)...but the same as above applies to that job.

We have plenty of food, clothing, a roof over our head, and lots of fuel for our winter's heat. What more does a body need?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 1:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A nice update from Sarah on Skyler. Today she is surprising him by going to school and reading to the kids. She has chosen a poem this time, and expects to go Thursday morning with a French one too.

This week she is so happy about a homework assignment of his. (grade 3) He is asked to find the water meter and record the readings each day of the week. She got to explain to him where the water comes from and why he runs out of hot water in his shower. He was amazed.

Yesterday she taught him his "elevenses". He can now add and subtract them. He is behind, but boy, with her on his side, it won't last long.

I just love these reports and had to share. By the way, the teachers are fighting over who gets to hold Reed while she is reading to the class.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 1:23PM
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Marian, in spite of my brother's and my own "harpings" Mum did zippo about the routine maintenance every single home requires. Whenever we asked about "specifics" she'd get defensive and very "ugly", and we'd "back down". We SHOULDN'T HAVE!

I'm a lot younger than you are. I'm the "kid" that inherited the accumulated "shoulda been dones". I really DO understand how overwhelming the list can be. Here's what I've learned the HARD way:
1.) contact a local plumber, electrician, and building contractor. You will need these people if/WHEN the -hit hists the fan. And it WILL hit the fan... that's a surety when you own a home! ;)
2.) much as you groan, every little bit of money you lay out as "prevention" will be returned in little bits over time. Maybe you won't realize the savings, but you kid(s) probably will. And YOU will be safer for it! I can't tell you how much I worried about Mum as winter approached and I was relatively certain she hadn't "dealt" with the boiler cleaning... it was worse when I'd call and be tartly told to "mind" my own "business". Yeah... the same "business" I've been cleaning up for nearly 4 years. Get it? (((hug))).

Call in the "recruits", Marian. Start consolidating things and DELEGATING things Nolon is no longer able to do by himself. It may be painful and cause some unrest, but having a PLAN is easier than not having one.

Of all people here, I'm the one who will "give it to you straight". And once more, I've done that. You're entering a very scare-y territory and I understand that.

So... how's the puzzle going? started yet? pictures?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 1:46PM
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Well Marie, I just wonder where Sarah learned to be such a great mom:) I have someone scheduled for working on a ladder in my garden today too, cutting down the old maple trunk. It doesn't bother me as much this time of year as I know things are on the decline anyway.

I probably buy Bella too many toys. But in my defense, they're all things that help her learn and expand her imagination. And I do play with her with them too.

Michelle, those are the same animals I buy for Bella. They sell them at Target, each animal from an individual bin. I like them because in most cases they have the mom, dad and baby animal of a species. I've been searching for a toy farm or zoo for her for Christmas with no luck. I remember when I was little the Penneys or Sears Christmas Toy catalog always had a cool miniature farm set.

Chelone, enjoy your vacation time!

As for contractors, I always feel fortunate when I get a good one and hold on to them with the bribery of home bakegoods. The good and reliable ones aren't easy to come by these days in my experience.

I've already started neglecting the tropicals I've brought in for the winter. Don't want them to get used to having it easy down there in the basement. They may as well realize now that they'll barely be hanging on until spring, lol. They'd all love to go live with Deanne I bet!

Deanne, wow, what a nice job you've done on that new bed. You know once you start connecting individual beds like that it's only a matter of time until there's not much grass left:)

Saucy, poor Sarah. I used to have nose bleeds as a child too. None of my kids did though. I remember having one at school once, but usually at night. Hope your day goes better!

Marie, I have a plum front door, with a black and white checkerboard border and stenciled with ivy as a matter of fact!

Time for Bella's nap so ta ta til later...


    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 1:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Need a photo of that front door Eden! The checkered pattern is in your kitchen too, right? Good luck with the size 15 feet in your gardens!

Chelone, I'll back you up completely as regards A PLAN. Not just for Marian, but for everyone here! My Mom had a very solid plan, with lawyers and an accountant....and it was still He!! to deal with stuff later. I hate to imagine if she'd had none! In fact, I'm still dealing with her taxes. She died in 2005. It was her action that had them sell their home, move to a retirement home, then to a second one where Dad died, then to a third one which included hospital care. We used to tease her that she lived to plan her death. I regret that teasing. She was one extremely smart and determined cookie.

These two painters are amazing. They've almost finished scraping and priming, in spite of large feet.!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 2:35PM
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I have done something brazenly in opposition to the helpmeet's "list" left this morning. Generally, I do my utmost to take care of the "list", but today it included watering the far reaches of the property. I would have complied readily, EXCEPT the north spigot is now effectively defunct. Has been for over 45 days now. Helpmeet knows that, and I've told him we could call a PLUMBER (imagine that!), but NO... .

My "hose wranglin'" days are long since gone, my friends. Unh-huh! not gonna do it. I suspect there will be sharp words tonight. I don't really care... there were things I wanted to do more than "hose wranglin'" and HIS failure to deal with a system failure isn't going to impinge on MY time. "LIFE" has multiple facades, darling... . ;)

I'm "cool" with dishes (without a dishwasher), laundry (with no drier), housework. I'm fine with 1/2 the household budget and more to our retirement accounts, but I WON'T DRAG HOSES AROUND THE HOUSE ANY MORE! No cookin', no kids, no hose wranglin'!

End of story.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 2:57PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Mariann I hope your DDs healing speeds up soon. Is she able to put and weight on it at all? Back in the early 1990s I broke both the tib. and fib. in my left leg. They took 6 months, three casts and a brace before they healed completely. It was looking like a non-union break for the first 6 weeks or so and the doctors were considering doing some sort of electrical stimulation that helps some people. Once a bit of healing started, I was told to start putting some weight on the leg when I was doing things like standing at the sink etc. (i.e. where I was standing still with some support). Once I started doing that, healing progressed fairly normally. I live in fear now of falling and breaking something. I could now not use crutches so would not be able to apply weight easily to broken leg bones. I hope your DDs outcome is a good as mine was slow start but healed completely eventually. A prolonged period in casts and with crutches is boring though!

Deanne in addition to beauty, your garden always looks so NEAT! Its sort of hard to tell at first glance what you did to change it because it looks so complete and finished. If we had done a re-work of a bed, there would be LOTS of evidence in the mess round about :-)

gb I forgot to say how much I enjoyed the architectural tour. There are so many houses out your way that are so unique and beautiful. Its hard to choose a favorite from those but Im rather partial to the stone ones probably because of spending a number of years in Quebec. There was a really nice, old stone house on the main street of the town where we lived. The walls must have been 18" thick. The ones with the bell-cast roofs were interesting too. Eastern Ontario along the St. Lawrence and the Kingston area also has appealing architecture, particularly in stone and brick. If we ever decided to move somewhere different when Randy retires, Id go for places with attractive architecture like some of those. Accessibility modifications would be problematic though!

It sounds like my mother and yours shared a realistic, organized outlook. Mom passed a lot of that on to us but I havent gone as far as pre-paying my funeral yet! :-)

Saucy I hope you had a safe day (and no falling safes!) and no nosebleeds for your DD tonight.

Eden I second gb need to see that door.

Randy wasnt able to get home yesterday in time to get the screenings so we got them this morning. So, Im back in business. I figure itll take about 10 working days to finish the rest but thatll be more like 3 weeks or more elapsed time Heres the home stretch (and I see I need to straighten out a few bricks nothing like the objective eye of the camera to find all the flaws!):

I thought you might like to see my essential tools for the brick project::

They include:

- kneeling pads. They are essential items for my seat of the pants approach, as are my garden pants with built-in knee pads!

- leather gloves. Those are the third pair and the fingers are getting worn very thin but I hope theyll last until Im done.

- level note that its red Theres a black one somewhere in the front beds. I dropped it and it vanished! Red is a bit more visible but a neon colored one would be better :-)

- hat with bug veil only needed that in the back where the woodland garden wildlife includes lots of mosquitoes!

- trowel for ladling out screenings into the trench for the bricks.

- mallet for whacking the bricks to level them.

- crack weeding tool my favorite multi-purpose tool useful for adjusting the width of the trench, shifting the bricks around and anything else that needs doing and for which there is no other specific tool!

- wrist brace I also wear an elbow brace and a knee brace.. Today I had my right hip x-rayed. I seem to be falling apart, joint by joint:-)

- garden walker a.k.a. portable tool shed. When not in use, this walker lives on the back porch. It carries all my garden tools that are small enough to fit into it.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 8:33PM
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A hastened good morning -- on the road again today:-) 84degF predicted through the week so no Rosemary pulling, yet.

Mary - I sent Sue my address to send along to you. Thanks, thanks, thanks! If anyone wants me to start seeds for them, let me know. It's the least I can do for this group and getting them to you isn't a problem:-)

Marie - As a stepmother and the mother of a person who was a stepson (Ky's DF is again divorced) I appreciate all that Sarah is doing, but do hope that she is keeping the lines of communication open with Skyler's mom. Perhaps her example will be recognized, and not viewed as taking over. It's a very fine line, and with my DsD at age 29 her mom still questions some things I do. That said, I think that what Sarah is doing is remarkable, and Good For Her!!!

Best to all-


Where's Fall????


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 7:36AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well I had such a strange thing happen yesterday. A lady with a young woman in the car with her stopped in the street and said they really loved the gardens and would I come and do hers. Well I laughed and said I didnt have enough time to take care of mine let alone do someone elses. I thanked her for the kind words and expected her to drive off as she really was parked in the middle of the street. Nope, she started asking questions as to whether things were annuals or perennials and then again asked me if Id come and do her yard. I again laughing said I didnt have time, energy or $$ to do more than one. Again, I expected her to leave, she again, in a more demanding tone of voice asked if Id come and do her yard????!!!!! Good grief, she was serious! I dont think this person has even a glimmer of a clue as to how much time, work and $$$ this takes. I cant even imagine asking a total stranger to come and landscape my property. Takes all kinds.

Michelle, I know you dont believe me but there is ratty stuff in the gardens here, especially this time of the year. I cant keep up with all the dead heading and stripping off the dying foliage. I just dont take pics of it!

Chelone, thanks so much! Its fun that you were here to see the before of this latest project. Ive always been so inspired by the lovely curving beds at Monique and Les. Im loving the line this one creates in the back yard.

Denise, I LOL when you asked if Id ever run out of rocks. The truth of the matter is that our little hill that we are situated on is actually part of a glacial moraine. There are several parallel hills like this in our area and they are comprised of all sizes and shapes of rocks. Anywhere you put a shovel you will find everything from rounded eroded granite rocks to angular, sheared pieces of rock. In some places at the low end of the property we have ledge. There is no getting away from it. I laugh when people ask me what my soil type is because there really was no soil here except what had formed from the debris falling over time from the white pine forest that once covered this area and there wasnt much of it. Over time as weve terraced the hill and made the raised beds weve brought in loam that Ive amended with compost etc. So we really are rock central and there is no getting away from it.

Martie, I originally was going to just plant shrubs in the new area but as I was getting the lawn out of there I realized that the entire area is so riddled with roots and rocks it will take heavy machinery or ten years to dig holes for them so now Im thinking I have to find evergreens that are hardy to zone 3 so I can grow them in containers. (More containers, imagine that?)

Saucy, I hope the rest of your day went better than the start of it yesterday.

Michelle, those Schleigh animals are to die for! Id have loved to have those when I was little. Those horse figures are a young girls dreams.

Woody, your project is really coming along great! I laughed at the red level. Ive now lost about ten pair of pruners in the last couple years and really could use neon colored handles on them.

Ok, Ive got to get going and get things watered. As Martie said its going to get hot here today so its time to get moving.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 7:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, I'm amazed that you are still persevering! The weather is good for it though. I love Fall!

Martie, I agree that Sarah's role is a tough one, but I think she is up to it. She has caught her DH making disparaging remarks about his ex in front of his son...and asked him to cease. In the past it was no problem because Skyler could not hear, but now he has better hearing and also is way more attentive. DSIL is also amazing at working to change his outlook. He can now say that without his first wife, he would never be who and where he is a very contented place. (He's been a month and a half without smoking too. I can't believe it!) Anyway, Sarah and Skyler's Mom speak frequently, but it is an uncomfortable relationship. Each tries to make Skyler the focus. His best interests are top priority. It is DSIL who must talk to her most...and that is very hard on him. She is very controlling.

Are you ready for an update?
Here is coat #1, started yesterday.

And here is the 'during' part, after scraping, sanding, caulking and priming the rough parts.

This is a bit of each colour.

DH returns this afternoon, jet lagged. So I must make a move now to get some tidying up accomplished as well as some garden work done. The painters return this afternoon, after completing another job this morning. This works well, because things are quite wet here in the morning because we are in a bit of a valley by the creek. By noon things dry off.

I hope you are all having a lovely Fall day.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 8:01AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all...

I don't have much to say ....but want to tell Deanne, that as soon as I read her report about the 2 women in the car, I thought " She (the asker) thought you (Deanne) was the gardener, not the owner". Did you tell her that that is your own home, and you do not 'do' landscaping elsewhere? I really think she thought she was speaking to the hired gardener, and she wanted to hire you . Sort of funny, but I would have been pretty annoyed at her persistance. I hope she learns the truth and is embarrassed at her behavior.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 8:24AM
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Back from the gym where I have vowed to add 2 minutes a day until I am up to 45 minutes of cardio. Presently I am at 32 minutes....I am considering dropping 2 minutes a day at this point :)

Guess where I am going for the very first time in my life? Fenway Park!!!! Nick scored us tickets for Friday night's game against LA Angels, is it? I've only ever been to Padre games and always had fun at the park....Fenway's got more history, should be fun.

I survived yesterday, but not without much frustration. Jake had a report due today that had not been worked on at all...need I say more? Oh, I keep forgetting to tell Wendy, we have a special homework "case" worked out for Jake, but I think homework is still too frustrating....home should be for home if you ask me. Now, I do think year around school might be better even given it's challenges.

Mariann might be on to something Deanne....take it as a huge compliment...did you invite her for a tour?

GB, I love the trim color you chose! Glad to hear they're careful - that's important in a contractor.

I've got to get in the shower and get moving...that bus will be here before I know it and there is all kinds of "business" to tend to....this long weekend coming up is throwing me for a loop - tomorrow's a half day at school and I've volunteered to watch 3 other kids on top of my own.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:19AM
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In the lexicon, omigod Saucy. Do you realize what tickets you have? I have clients calling and offering literally thousands of dollars for any seats that we have "left over." Our company's playoff seats were gone within an hour of when the Sox clinched and they went only to people spending well into the six figures. You will love, love, love Fenway. Be sure to have a helmet of chocolate ice cream. You'll see what I mean when you get there. I'm absolutely and unabashedly jealous!!

Marie: I'm glad that things between all parental units are working out for Skyler's sake. My biggest fear when I left Ky's dad was who he would hook up with next. She tried, but was a complete loser to Kyle and wouldn't take phone calls from me at all. Skyler is a very lucky little boy.

Deanne: Hmmmmm. I have a bit of a different take. I think it was a huge compliment that the woman wanted you to do work for her, and agree that she probably thought you did it for a living. If she didn't, and was just being insistent, my guess is someone said something to her about the shape of her yard. Perhaps you could open a side business???? Do the design, buy, hire the digging crew and leave it at that for her to plant and care for? While it was rude to be persistent, I just don't think she "got" it. AND More containers, who've guessed????? LOL I'll bet that something like Saucy's creeping thyme would do well there to cover the brown.



    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 11:58AM
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Good Morning, nope it's afternoon. Where'd the morning go?

Woody, you're progressing nicely on your project. Liked seeing all of your tools too! The edging in my front garden is similar to what you're doing.

Marie, I love the new trim color. Doesn't new paint really just freshen things up? Looks great and hope the garden casualties are minimal. Here's my door...

and a closer look at the design

and since I was out front taking pictures I snapped one of the witch and cats that Chelone requested

My tree guys still haven't made it here. They called late yesterday and said the "tall" ladder was on another job so they wouldn't make it. Hopefully today or tomorrow. I don't have Bella for a long 4 day weekend and want it down before then so I can get that pile of mulch in my driveway spread over the area. I've been waiting over a week now and am getting a wee bit frustrated with them. The owner had hip replacement surgery last week and I don't think things are running up to snuff without him there to be the "boss".

Weather's beautiful here today. I think Bella and I will go out for a while before her nap. Maybe eat lunch on the deck. Have a good afternoon!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 12:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK Eden, I need instructions on how to achieve the checkerboard effect! I love love love it! Is there a stencil pattern used for it? I also need a kick plate for another door which gets banged up frequently and looks awful in no time flat....

Painting is progressing...and DH returns in an hour or so. I hope he'll be OK with the change. Mostly I hope he'll go visit the parents of Bouvier puppies to be...I'm nervous about this. He thinks they cost $1.98, like everything else in the world, like groceries, clothing, etc. He lives in his own space!

A gorgeous day here too,

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 3:16PM
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Woody, I really admire your persistence with your edging project. Mine has gotten done over about a 6 year period. As for being straight, I have dug them up and corrected them a year or 2 after they were initially laid if I didnt like the look.

bug, the new trim color looks wonderful. I hope you will post a picture of the whole house when done. I believe Ive only see parts of it.

Eden, what a fun yard you have for Halloween and fall. Thanks for posting those.

About the animals I bought for Kenzie, I tried to pick all the ones in the Old McDonald song. She loves the song and calls the barn we have Old McDonalds barn. We have an old video tape from my kids of a bunch of kids singing on a farm and she love it too.

Eden, Im not sure about what kind of barn or farm you could get. Ertl has lots of sets but they are probably for older kids. Maybe 5+. My DS had a number of those. We bought a barn that someone made and thats in our toy room along with a machine shed that DH kids had.

I finally finished mowing tonight and the beans are all harvested. DH was kind enough to take the skid loader to the childrens garden and do some leveling. I can now pick up more rocks and branches there. He also used it to stir my compost and move the finished compost to an easier to access area. He is amazing with that machine.

We are going to town for a late supper.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 8:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Eden, take a look at these sites and see if you can find something for Bella here:,Farm,Country'

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 9:03PM
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Good 69th day of no measurable rain. When one gets really excited about fog, it's time for some precipitation :-)

I am loving the colors folks are choosing, and am hopeful that the checkerboard effect comes from taping, as this is what I recommended to Rich for a client who also loves the look. He is trying it next week so any help .......

Eden: Amongst all the wonderful things in your pic, what caught my eye was your window box. Do you replace the trees at any point or are they alpine varieties? Love the idea of a ladies' lunch on the porch.

Chelone: It's great that you had some extra days and hope that you had time to just plain stop. Is it any cooler in your neck of the woods? People I'm talking with in New Hampshire and Vermont are scared silly about foliage season being a huge bust (as in lousy :-)

Deanne: Where did you find Windy? I'm looking for something like that but there isn't anything local. Will undoutedly cringe at shipping, but a spot just needs something like her. You know the feeling. Am still impressed about you getting those containers out of the truck.

Michelle: I've never been to a huge farm, and think of you and Brenda just about every time I see golden waves. It didn't take long for bean harvest! Do you want some alpine strawberry seeds/plants for your children's garden? Maybe a brand new pot ghetto will be motivation.

At some point Bella and Kenzie need to meet. I can see them immediately connecting and leaving the Grandmas to do what Grandmas do while they scout out animals and plants and share a sandwich and lemonade. What fun that would be!!

The neighborhood kids have closed their project garden, and the seniors at the center gave them a nice certificate thanking them. They also gave them a grant of $100 to come back next year and do it again. Though not my "own", I'm incredibly proud. They calculate that they donated approximately 150 pounds of food to various sources, and at the same time learned and taught from/with many people. I heartily recommend this as a project for any kids who think they're "too young" to make a difference or "too old" to play in the dirt.

With the hope that everyone has a great day ...


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:12AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Martie is right-drought city around here. I wouldn't waste any money this year traveling to see fall foliage in New England. What color there is has sort of a dull cast. Lots of leaves are just crisping up and falling off. In addition, today will be the second of three in a row where temps are predicted to get into the 80s F-almost 20 degrees above normal.

Despite my vow to just let everything go for the season, I'm still watering pots every day. I just can't do it even though it means dashing out of work every night so I can get the watering done in time to walk before it gets dark. With the sun setting right around 6:30 now getting it done has been a challenge.

I'm enjoying all the pictures-keep them coming! Not much to report from here though.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:55AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

As Sue has said we are in for another summer day here. Yesterday got up to 85 degrees here and today is supposed to be 83. Good grief, this is October for crying out loud. Watering like crazy as like everyone else weve not had any significant rain for a long time. What we really need is a nice tropical system to dump several inches of rain on us from the Gulf.

Loving the pics! Woody, you are making great progress with your project. I want to get outside and get going with my rock edging project today but I dont know about working in the heat all day.Ill see how much I get done.

Bug love the trim color. That is going to look beautiful when finished.

Eden, wonderful entrance display and that door is terrific!

Marian, you are probably right about that. It never crossed my mind that they thought I was the hired help. LOL

Saucy, congratulations on those Sox tickets!!!! You are going to have a terrific time.

Martie, after turning my passion for painting into my business and now hating to paint Ive resisted all temptations to turn any aspect of the gardening into a job for fear the same thing would happen. ~~ I bought that statue Windblown from Design Toscano. I believe they might still have her and it is on sale.

Here are a couple pics from yesterday morning. The fuchsias are the high points in the gardens right now.

This begonia took a break for a bit and I pruned it back about a month ago and is now looking great again. Has anyone ever wintered over asparagus fern? LOL

Have a great day!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 8:36AM
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Good Morning,

What a treat to see your beautiful gardens this morning Deanne. Those fuchsias stand out like beacons throughout the gardens. I love how all of your groundcovers are draping over the edges of the walls. My mom overwinters two huge asparagus ferns every winter. I think she's had them at least 5 years now.

Marie, Thank you so much for finding those farm toy websites for me! That's exactly what I was looking for. The dairy farm looks so much like the one we've been visiting with Bella all summer. I'm putting in my order right away. She'll love it! As for the checkerboard on the door, I did that probably 8 yrs ago so I'm trying to remember how. I know I just used a level and a ruler and marked out the pattern with pencil and then filled in the squares with an artists flat paintbrush. I think they're 1" squares. It wasn't hard and really not as time consuming as it sounds. I think I did it in a couple of days.

Martie, You're going to love that Tuscano site. Lots of cool garden statuary. That's where I got my garden fairy too. Can't wait to see what you choose for the park. As for the window box, it's always been the bane of my existence, lol. It's on the north side of the house, under the roof overhang, and shaded by a big maple. I'm always trying to find something that will grow in there. Those are just Alberta spruces that I got for a dollar each at HD this spring, some coleus, and a couple of variegated vinca vines. The spruces seem to be doing ok in there. They've put on some new growth through the summer. I don't think I have to worry about them living long enough to outgrow the space though:) We'll see.

Michelle, I was excited to hear that some work got done of the Children's Garden. I really want you to get that up and going! Easy for me to say huh? I know it's going to be just adorable though! I'd LOVE to have a space to do something like that.

Almost time for Bella here. She was quite a character yesterday, wore Mr. Potato Head's glasses around all evening. I really need to get a picture of her doing that for you all to see. It's very funny! Thanks to her I slept well last night. Have a great Friday everyone. It's supposed to be SUMMER through the weekend here!


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:38AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Way back in my childhood, my mother had a large indoor asparagus 'fern'. She never put it outside, and had it for years. I had the same type, but now have a more ferny type, A.densiflorus "Myers", aka A. myersii, foxtail fern.It is a lot prettier than my mother's. I set it out on the deck in the warm months, and indoors in the cold ones.It did exceptionally well this summer, probably due to the cooler wetter July ?

Unlike "everyone else", we had a lovely rain recently, and more in the forecast starting Sunday. I hope it doesn't put a 'damper' ( pun intended) on our monthly 'dinner on the grounds' after A.M. worship.
Like Sue, we are having much above normal temps. I am hoping our fall colors will not be damaged by them. The Dogwoods, Black Gum, and Sumac are all showing good color. The Flaming Fall Revue tour in our county is always around the middle of this month. Cooler temps next week may help bring on the color.

Michelle, I love those farm animals. I wonder if my GDs are getting too old for me to get more for them ? They are ( soon to be ) 14, 12 and 10. As you saw on my recent thread, the oldest is still playing with what I have. They were all three involved in the setting up of the farm while here.

Marie, it is so good that you are having all that painting done. I sure wish I were up to it, or could afford to hire it done. So very much needs it, inside and out. How funny about your DH thinking everything costs $1.98,lol.
A friend tried to give us a pug. We told her "No thanks". We have lived over 50 years without a dog, and sure do not need to start now. These cats are aggravation enough, and they may well outlive us....all except Calliecat. She is 16 and 1/2 years old, but she is a fiesty old gal. ( She has never been an indoor cat.)
What a blessing for Skyler that he has your Sarah for a stepmother. I hope the man that my GD's mother has taken up with will be as great...but I doubt it. Tim consider's his lady friend too stringent with what she expects of them. I am not sure about that...I think he is too lenient, but otherwise a very good father.

Re: homework....I have very seldom heard my DGs mention it. I do remember the oldest bringing some with her in November a year or so ago. They are all A students. The youngest is ahead of her class to the extent that she gets restless from boredom, and disrupts the other students! They are working on moving her to a higher class, which means a differant school. The black female superintendant is reluctant to sign a release ( or whatever it is called). There is a lot of conflict over that.

I wonder what is causing the childhood nosebleeds. I had them as a child, and they continued until we moved to Arkansas. I presumed mine were due to the Rheumatic Fever that I was diagnosed as having when I was a child. ( I was in my early 20s when diagnosed. ) The worst one was one night when I was a teen. It started while I was in bed. I got up and went to the kitchen sink ( our only sink) to get a washrag. I passed out on the kitchen floor ! My mother found me there.

Martie, your yard is coming along great. ( And your photography skills) :-) .What fun to have so much working room.You certainly do have a lot of good examples here.

Cindy, I do hope all works out well with you and your houseguest. It is certainly more than I could cope with! I admire you for trying. I think you have been given very good advice on the "tough love". If nothing else, maybe she could go to a homeless shelter? Maybe that would motivate her to do something for herself. There is no children involved ?

Re: alterations....I could sure use that on all my slacks. I have never "filled" them out ! I prefer to wear long tops that help hide the lack. :-) I look more and more like The Born Loser's wife" ! LOL ....well, I'm not that big at the top, yet. :-)

BTW, the puzzles are still on hold. I haven't got into a puzzle mood yet. They will be great when cold weather comes, and the house is all shut up, and Nolon is back inside all day. He is presently engrossed in rounding up all the metalic recyclables,from his years of accumulation. He got a good price from the load of aluminum that a neighbor hauled in for him, and is now working on various other metals.He is spending hours at it...nice for both of us, but hard on his clothing! I just now loaded the washer with overalls.

Whew!!! That's enough for now!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 10:49AM
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Summer has come back here along with .8" of rain last night. Originally they had predicted a low of 32 on Sat. night, it has now changed to a low of 60.

What a joy to open up the Idylls to Deannes garden looking as fresh as a daisy. Even though asparagus fern is common, it looks great with the begonia. I have it in several in mono pots this year. I like the texture and like to add them to groupings of pots for a little break in all the busyness.

Eden, which farm set did you order? Weve been to Als Farm Toys store in the Mall of America in Mpls. Many times when DS was "into" farm toys. It was his favorite store. It took me a bit to realize what I was seeing in your porch picture, it must be your pile of wood chips. I would love to see Bella with her glasses. At her age, everything they do is so cute (almost everything!)

I had a dwarf alberta spruce in my container by the front door last summer. For Christmas I added little white lights, more greenery around the bottom and some fake fruit. It didnt make the rest of the winter, but I didnt really expect it to.

As for the childrens garden, I really hate do a lot until the shed gets in place. Im not sure when that will happen because we have been having a fair amount of rain and my dad doesnt want his lawn torn up getting it out of there and with Rick in the field when things are dry.

Marian, what a good project for Nolan, you get things clean up and some spare change in your pocket as well.

Martie, alpine strawberries sound like a perfect thing for the childrens garden. That would be fun to get the 2 little girls togethermaybe someday.

Stay cool


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 12:02PM
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I ordered pizza! I had planned to make lunch and then I thought better of it and decided that if they would've had pizza at school for lunch today, why not have it at Saucy's house? Taking the easy way out, I am :)

I splurged and bought myself some Red Sox wear. None of that pink stuff for me (for those not from the area, for some reason about 5 or more years ago, some marketing guru decided that the female red sox fans should have PINK)....I bought a nice plain red "sox" adorned tee. Won't even need a jacket tonight. I live around the corner from the commuter rail (can't hear it, though!) and will enjoy not driving :)

Wow, lots of nosebleeds, huh? It's called an allergic nose according to my doc....I always had them, too. They don't scare me much, and I've taught the kids to remain calm and how to quickly stop it.

Deanne, you sure are stretching out the season....though I know your garden has lots of winter interest too. Even a blanket of snow affords all those different elevations and then there is the colorful plumage of your bird visitors to look forward to....

I have mulled over the electronic babysitting "issue" over the last couple of days. I guess I think we do it okay. We try to participate as a family. I do think that kids today have too much structured time. I learned to solve lots of problems on my own while I was off in the woods with the gang of friends in my neighborhood. We mosied from house to house taking on snacks and bathroom breaks....ahh the good ole days :)

I understand today's structure, just not sure what the outcome will be. And I turned out okay with MTV and my TRS-80....not to mention my big hair.

Okay, enough from me. I'd better go find all those kids...


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 12:40PM
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Jake just walked in clutching his nose!

It's an epidemic!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 12:51PM
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That's right Saucy, you have "extras" this afternoon don't you? Have fun tonight at the game!

Michelle, I'm getting Bella the dairy farm. I'll also get her the set of 25 cows to go with it. It says age 5 but I think she'll be ok with it.

Marian, I think older kids like to play with toys they can "set up". I still like to play with that sort of toys myself.

I forgot to tell you all about the tree cutting experience. They came around 3pm yesterday and had it down in about 20 minutes. BUT, not without letting a piece fall about 8 ft way, into the middle of my helianthus lemon queen, putting an end to that plant for the season, and snapping the top off a little Japaneses Maple too. And I thought there wasn't much they could damage:( I hope that's the end of trees making a mess of my gardens for a long time to come though. That was the third time this year.

Time for Bella's nap and then Meg's picking her up around 4 so I may start spreading that pile of mulch that Michelle spotted in my picture.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 1:54PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Oh my!!!! I'm Rolling on the floor laughing out loud!!!! I was skimming and read "I got her 25 cows".... Of course I had to go back and re-read Eden's post. I couldn't figure out where the heck Eden was going to fit 25 cows. te he...

Thanks Eden, Michelle and Saucy, Sooo... happy you like the garden pics. So much fun to share with my friends.

Michelle, It's downright hot here today and is going to be tomorrow as well. I really could use some nice days in the 60's to get me in the mood to start cutting back all these plants.

Thanks for the advice regarding asparagus ferns. Michelle, I've got one mono-pot going with it and like it for the same reason you do. It just adds that extra softness and break from the rest of the plants. I've actually added it to a lot of my containers this year as it was in flats cheap at HD this spring.

Saucy, good grief, another nose bleed??? ~~ Have a ball at the Red Sox game tonight!!! I'll be thinking of you.

Marian, I've seen that type of asparagus fern and quite like them. Do they drop a lot of needles when you take them in?

Eden, OMG! I can't believe you've had even more tree damage. That's awful. So sorry, at least its the end of the season but losing part of a JM is sad.

This brug is a cutting from Sue and is looking quite pretty right now.

Okie Dokie, I'm out of here for now.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 3:16PM
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Wonderful pictures to scroll through. How nice to see more of Martie's place, Deanne's impeccable gardens, and Eden's witty decorating. Makes me want to go up to the attic and get out the big wooden pumpkin for the front door and few ghosts - no doubt with real cobwebs on them :) I admire Woody's diligence on the edging. I have brick edging on back and side gardens, but front gardens are nekked, except for years when I retrench the edges. And GB, I loved the green trim but think the new color will be a crisp change. Do show us a before and after when it's done.

I took the day off, hoping to take Katie to the beach- she loves the sand and I think it reminds her of the track. But she has been flat most of the week and barely more perky this morning. But not worse. More pred and to hell with the side-effects. I've given up on ever getting back the whole package :( So I'll take her on a home visit tonight instead and her job will be to lie there looking innocent and get some lovin'.

I haven't accomplished much today, but did google for refrigerator parts and based on model number was able to track down a new meat tender for the kitchen fridge. The plastic 'edging' broke on one side a few years ago, so it goes off of it's railing everytime it's opened for cheese. (Which is what meat tenders are used for here.) When looking up the model number I noticed I had bought it 1998. I fear that means that the new drawer will be installed and the fridge will die. That's how it works, right?

For those looking for children's gifts, I got an interesting catalogue in the mail last week called 'Hearthsong'. Neat stuff reasonably priced. Based on the cover I feared 'boutique'.

Chelone, I'm with you on the electrician or plumber or whatever you're waiting on. Small business is not an excuse for bad business. And planning is the best way to save money. Let the small things go and they become 'big' things. Reminds that me I need to schedule the chimney cleaning. I didn't use the fireplace much last winter, so it's more for the safety inspection.

I cooked a turkey this morning, have been wanting one for a few weeks. George kitty ate more turkey than he should have and I'm now wondering where it will be deposited.

Saucy enjoy the game!

Hi to everyone I've missed,


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 3:28PM
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I hope Saucy's team wins tonight!

Deanne, that brug is so pretty. I really like white flowers.

Eden, my DS had that same dairy barn set. He had at least a 1/2 dozen different ones. That was his favorite as Rick had a dairy when I was dating him.

It gets dark here by 7:30 so I did just a little cutting back of a few of the more ratty plants.

Night all

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:34PM
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Sues TGIF looked heaven sent to me today---finally I have two whole days off in a row ! Task number one will be to sleep in till at least 6:30.
Napa County is under a frost advisory tonightnot a good thing, we dont ususlly have our first frost till the end of Oct or early November, and the grape harvest is not all in yet. The late summer has been very cool and many of the Cabs are still on the vine. Think well be hearing some wind machines tonight. Some places even still have smudge pots. I moved by bloomless CG under the eaves of the house, along with my 3 plumerias and covered my lime tree. My begonias are all under cover already. Cut a big bouquet of Dahlias in case I am greeted by black slime in the morning. Got the Sox game on right now and waving towards Saucy wherever she may be in the teeming masses.

Deanne, you must be pretty adept at taking sleight of hand photos that hide the evidence of fall rattiness ! Im determined to get things cleaned up this weekend . What a mess I have right now. I concur with Marian on your encounter with the lady in the car. She could probably not imagine that anyone could design and maintain such a place without professional help lol about Edens cows..

Martie, we actually had rain here today, but I bet not measurable.. Our rainy season often begins in earnest late this month.

Eden, I checked out Toscano tooI love armillary spheres and Im always on the lookout-they had a couple of nice ones there. However, I do have to restrain myself from buying stuffmovers charge by weight yknow ? Alberta spruces for a buck ?? They cost an arm and a leg out here ! Love your Halloween display, even though I am a Halloween curmudgeon ! It must be the kitty s !

Marian, I liked hearing about Nolan collecting the metal- I think pack-ratting stuff like that might be a guy thing-most I know would be like pulling teeth before theyd part with any of it ! In Southern Cal where I grew up asparagus ferns (both sprengerii and Meyerii ) are extremely common. When I worked at the garden center we sold boatloads of them in hanging baskets because they took so much abuse. You would have to try really hard to kill one.

Cynthia- hope Katie enjoys her outing with you . I had that same issue with my old fridge-drove me nuts ! My new one has molded in tracks so I hope to avoid droopy drawer syndrome.

Ok, Im off to sit on my a** and watch baseball

Oh, here are two pics that my DS took a couple days ago

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 10:31PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all, we've really blown the birthday thing as I've just discovered we've missed two, yep, two birthdays!!!! So without further ado.

and I do believe tomorrow is GB's special day

So sorry Wendy and Norma for missing your day on the 26th.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 10:33PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Happy birthday to Norma, Wendy and GB! I've been bad about posting bday photos lately, but wanted to at least get the wishes out there. Hope you all had and have a great birthday!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 10:58PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

and last but not least...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 8:21AM
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Happy Birthday, Marie!!

Happy Birthday, Norma!!

Happy Birthday, Wendy!!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 9:54AM
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Our little state has been beset with many very public tragedies of late. This week, three teenagers were killed in an auto accident. The 17yo driver had just gotten his license back after a three month suspension for drunk driving. Let me say that again: A 17 year old, under the legal age for drinking and of the age where limited driving rules apply anyway, was killed along with his 14yo sister and a 15yo friend. It appears that he had an extremely good lawyer who found a loophole in the laws and got him his license back.

Why do I bring this up with this group? Because I seriously doubt that a 17yo would have the wherewithall to hire a lawyer good enough to beat a scrutinized system. His parents must now deal not only with the loss of two children, but with the knowledge that they put him back on the street.

With all of the conversations about parenting and the behavior of some teens, and the fact that our state is now dealing with horrific situations wherein Loopholes in the Law allowed perpetrators to commit horrendous acts, I ask that you all take a good look at what your state is doing to avoid something like this happening where you are.

Off the soapbox, but there enough great kids attached to this group that I want to do everything I can to keep everybody safe.

In better frame -----

I'm sitting here waiting for Ky to contact me through the computer via an alledgedly free program that allows people to use microphones to talk internationally over the internet. We'll see....

I'd planned on doing a bunch of plant moving/dividing today but "do not disturb the roots" keeps running through my head. I doubt with the plants in what amounts to cement at this point that good moving can be accomplished. So -- cuttings it is!!!

Other good news: There may be an alternative for a permanent home for my DB other than the state facility that almost lost its accreditation and is under scrutiny by every mental health agency around. I'll be visiting the place with his social worker, who should be sainted, and am hopeful that it will work out. The hardest part is not telling my parents, and I'm torn whether to get their hopes up when he's not yet been accepted in, or whether to give them hope that there's something better out there. Tough call. Insights, please?!?!

Okay, as you've probably guessed I'm in a very serious mood today so will use it and get some of Rich's business paperwork done.

Best to all!!

Martie, wishing I could trade the Napa weather for ours

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 10:12AM
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    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 10:33AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - that's definitely a more interesting, attractive door with your paint job than it must have been before! And you must have a LOT of patience to do that...:-)

Marie - it looks like your new trim color is a perfect match for the bricks.

We had a nice time in Niagara on Thurs. and Fri. - but it felt more like July than October - sunny and very hot (although nicely cool in early morning and evenings.) One can't go to Niagara without stopping at garden centers so a few things came home with us... nothing very special, just a Weigela 'Variegata' for the front bed, a clematis 'Inspiration' to grow into it, a caryopteris and a pot of pretty hens'n'chicks. They were all on sale for 40% off so were pretty cheap, but healthy-looking. Goodness knows if they will survive transplanting into the excessively dry ground out there, even with good watering. I've tried caryopteris at least 3 times before and it's never survived so I don't expect much from the new one! We're getting a bit of rain at the moment but it doesn't look like much - anything is welcome though. Of the birthday pictures, the mums are from my garden but the other two are from gardens in Niagara.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 10:43AM
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Happy birthday to all who've had 'em in the last month...let there be tables piled high with cakes! Your choice of filling. (But has to include raspberries and chocolate in some form)

and cookies!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 10:55AM
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    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 11:08AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Best wishes to all the Birthday girls....Marie, Norma, and Wendy.

Michelle, I sure wish Nolon's project 'would' clean things up ! He brought most of the debris home from fire jobs and remodels, instead of having to pay to haul it to the dump. His junk accumulation has continued to be a thorn in my flesh. I really hate the way he has trashed the land since we moved here. It seems to have been a tradition of many Arkies, and is hard for them to quit. I have managed to keep the area around our yard junk free. I must confess, I have my own accumulation of plastic bottles, plastic plant containers, and coffee cans, that I need to get sent off to recycling or the dump ! I used to save them for gardening purposes, but stopped using them several years ago.

Deanne, I brought the asparagus in at least 2 weeks ago, and there is no needle loss yet. I don't recall it being a problem.

Am I the only one counting the days until we get off DST ? I prefer the earlier light in the morning. ( 4 more weeks .)

A disturbance got me out of bed around midnight last night. I thought one or both of the house cats wanted in, but they were too engrossed in the yard

And here is a pic of some of the Eupatorium coelestinum that is happily taking over my flowerbeds ( where I let it):


    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 11:30AM
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Happy birthdays to all the gang... as usual, I manage to miss all the "good stuff".

Marian, those pictures are GREAT! I wonder what Rex would do if he encountered one of those babies on his post-prandial pee-pee run? :) I'm not sure if he or I would be more excited, frankly.

Struggling with landscaping issues in preparation for the planting next week... it'll be OK. Also working diligently on the painting of (grainless) garage doors. And soaking up unseasonable warmth and sun...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 12:15PM
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I really should venture off the auto settings on the old digital. When poor picture quality frustrates me more than the new learning curve, no doubt I'll do it. Marian, lucky you to have such wonders as an armadillo in the backyard. I hope you and Nolon are ready for the winter. Perhaps someone in your church group could help with some of those seasonal chores such as clearing pipes, etc? I found a link for a group that you may have already heard of, Faith in Action. I agree with you about junk around the house, and some people are just naturally "junkier" than others. I am always amazed, with the price of real estate around here, the year-round outdoor climate, and people will still make their outdoor space unusable with junk everywhere.

The wind blew hard yesterday, knocking enough "smoke" off 'Grace' to fill several mattresses. The Euphorbia cotinifolia tree was battered, with small branches broken, and I lopped off more branches to reduce the sail of the canopy. I've lost several of these trees to wind before -- they're exceptionally brittle. This one is a self-sown, multitrunk, so withstands high winds better.

Wonderful birthday photos, painting projects (creamy colors, 'bug!), a Katie report, great score by Saucy on the baseball tickets, bean harvest in -- so many interesting reports. A few more photos of some "scary," Halloween plants, the solanums, S. quitoense: (totally blanking on the purple leaved plant in front --I keep thinking "setacrease" but Google shows zip on that name. It's a large-lvd variety of a common houseplant)

S. pyracanthum:

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 12:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Denise, you are thinking Setcreasea. I am not familiar with any with that wide of a leaf, but there are so many new developments on the market now.
Yes, there are members of our congregation who would willingly and gladly do our chimney cleaning, but I have this wierd reluctance to ask them to do something that may endanger them. I is probably silly of me.
BTW, the armadillo is in the FRONT yard, but it has mined the entire yard. What has no armadillo holes has mole runs ! I prefer the holes....

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 1:18PM
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Thanks, Marian -- at least I was in the ballpark with that name. Old habits die hard, but try to start asking for help, Marian! Especially if you don't have family close by that can help out. My dad calls here all the time, to set up his new surround-sound speakers, whatever. My youngest son got that chore, wasn't looking forward to it, spent a whole weekend day doing it, but he was aglow with that virtuous feeling that comes from helping when he got home. Last week it was to replace a garage door spring. Took 5 mins for my DH to replace it, but it would have been utterly impossible for my dad to do, and a broken garage door would have been a serious hardship. I'm sure you've helped someone in the past; now let others help you and Nolon!

Respectfully, your So. Calif co-idyller,


    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 2:09PM
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There's no point in pretending I'm doing anything fun this weekend other than sitting at the computer editing mountains of transcripts -- or working at avoiding work. Chasing the dog, watering pots, playing with the camera. I finally pulled out the two roses at the base of the fringe tree, a grand experiment in fountains of rose bloom cascading out of the tree that, to me, was a failure. I like the shape of a tree, period, not stuff ruining the lines of the tree, even if it's Madame Alfred Carriere (sorry, Kathy!) Here's a shot of the fringe tree, Chionanthus retusus, which is covered in berries. Not the shocking purple effect of a callicarpa but more a solemn navy blue.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 7:08PM
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    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 7:56PM
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    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 7:59PM
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    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 8:06PM
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The frost came as predicted but was confined to the rooftops, so all survived in the garden. The high 30s are expected for tonight. Today as I was doing fall cleanup I was mentally starting to sort plants to give away, plants to toss, plants to pot up and take along. Much to think about !
Saucy had a successful baseball evening at Fenway, but Vs team does not fare so well- not lookin good for them at the moment.

Marian, I loved your pics of the armadillo ! They always look to me like theyve strolled out of a pre-historic time machine. What do they eat ?

Martie, what a tragic story.. I have a family member that had a problem at 15, but as it turned out the incident was learned from and was instrumental in turning his life around. This was several years ago, and I am confident there will be nothing of this nature in his life again. No one was hurt or injured thank goodness, but he paid for it in many ways , for many years . The key is that he got the help he needed, and the punishment he needed , and used both to his advantage. He has become a responsible and caring and sensitive young man.Re; DB, I would not want to inflate the hopes of your parents especially if this will be a long and arduous process . I assume here that he has been in the state facility for a while and that they have now at least somewhat accepted it and are used to his lot in life. In my family the elderly tend to fret about things. I would feel better keeping the good news under wraps until I felt that there were high odds that the new and better situation would come to fruition.

Denise, cookies aside, Im interested in that plate, and the view of the tablecloth ---are these repros or do you collect vintage linens and dinnerware ? Not to worry about your Mme Alfred, I have never even attempted to grow a rose into a tree. I like a structure that allows me more control over the canopy, especially in a small garden. Chocolate and raspberries-essential in my book. One very cool aspect of moving to Oregon is the quantity and quality of berries and berry varieties that grow there.

Time to cook some dinner and get ready for the Rockies game---Hi to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 9:28PM
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Awesome birthday pictures!

It was 85 degrees here today. We have rain predicted for the next 3 days. It has been a great fall for the things that I got divided, moved and planted in September.

Why is it that the washer decides to go on the fritz when its full of water & DH's extremely dirty farm jeans? :o( At least it was the last load.

I started an impromptu edging project. No doubt influenced by all Woody's edging. I started to edge the butterfly garden and thought why not throw some bricks in the trench? I got around 25' done before it was dark. I actually accomplished quite a few other misc. projects around the yard today. The nastiest was painting 2 propane tanks. I hate using oil based paint.

Marian, I'm glad you posted the armidillo picture. We certainly don't have them around here. Believe me we have our share of junk around here. That tends to happen on a farm.

I'd better go and get my butternut squash out of the oven.

For some reason, I'm hungry for a chocolate chip cookie...


    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 9:38PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Well...I learned a new word...thanks to Chelone. "Prandial": of a meal, usually dinner. :-)

Kathy, they eat grubs and worms. I love your picture ! Is it the same scene that I admired before? I am amazed that you have already had frost. We haven't, and it is getting up around 80 every day for the past 3-4 days. With the house opened up, I still needed only a sheet last night, and will again tonight. Wierd weather for this time of the year !

Hmmmm, Denise, I don't consider it "lucky" to have armadillos mining our lawn ! But it certainly is interesting ! I would gladly share them with you...:-)

Last week saw tragedies amongst the young in this area too. A 22 year old local girl swerved into the wrong lane, and wiped out a middle-aged couple. She is hospitalized in serious condition. Another teenaged girl was horseback riding and thrown , getting her foot hung in the stirrup and dragged some distance to her home. She is in serious condition. Another teen girl ( the girlfriend of one of Nolon's 3rd cousins) has been diagnosed with cancer in various locations of her body. I wonder who will be next in the disaster department.

Martie, I hope all works out well with your brother's placement in a better facility. I wish you did not have to be in such a sad situation. That is so tragic about the 3 teens. How on earth can the parents bear it.....

Mmmm, Michelle, I love butternut squash. Sorry about your washer.'s past my bedtime !


    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 10:48PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

Well we are finally going to get some rain. We got a small bit last night but it is supposed to be rainy and cloudy Monday through Wednesday. Hoping we get some significant precipitation out of this as everything is so dry right now.

Michelle, so strange that our weather seems to be exactly the same right now. We had three days in a row over 85 degrees and now three days of rain. Hard to believe its Oct with the temps weve been having. I cant seem to motivate to get anything in the house with the hot temps outside. ~~ What a bummer about your washing machine. I do hope this doesnt start a round of breaking Idyll appliances like happened the last time someone had a broken refrigerator. As I recall we had to replace our dishwasher in that go round. LOL ~~ Looking forward to seeing your edging project. I was supposed to start my rock edging on the new border but its been too darned hot to work with rocks this past week. ~~ I love that fall arrangement by your potting shed. Beautiful!

Kathy, I cant believe you got a frost in CA and we havent had one here yet! IN fact it didnt go below 60 last night. The lowest temp weve had so far was 38. Glad to hear you didnt have any damage. ~~ I cant even imagine moving away from here. The thought of moving so many much loved plants makes me cringe. Id probably decide that the whole thing was hopeless and just bring the containers.

Denise, that fringe tree is gorgeous! Love those blue berries. I also love your container plants. You have such a terrific collection of unusual plants. Did I tell you that my S. cylindrical is making a pup? Neato! ~~ BTW is that one of those variegated hibiscus that looks like Maple Sugar in that first photo with your birthday greetings? Ive got a cutting of that from Steve Silk and am hoping I can get a good plant from it.

Marian, Id be crazed if I had to deal with armadillo damage.

Woody and Cynthia, your callicarpas are gorgeous! Id love to have one here. I didnt think theyd get berries for me but if Woody can get them I should be able to also.

Sue, looks like your datura and Charles Grimaldi are still going strong. They look terrific in that photograph together.

OK Im outta here for now. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 7:22AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Norma!


Happy Birthday Marie!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 9:04AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Thank you everyone for the lovely birthday greetings! Had a pretty uneventful birthday here, I told my family I wanted to stop counting now - the numbers are getting too high. I celebrated the 3rd anniversary of my 39th birthday!

Denise, my DH did get two cakes for my birthday dinner - one white cake with white frosting since that is what the kids like, and chocolate cake for me. I guess I complained that we always get white cake, when chocolate is really my favorite.

I have to confess that the pictures above are from one of the gardens we saw at Idyllunion, not my own. We have been sooooooo dry here, many things don't look too hot. I'm not big on supplemental watering of established plantings, but we have had only 2 1/2 inches of rain since the beginning of August so I've had to water often.

Well, DS is pacing around behind me waiting for the computer, so I guess I'll give in. Hopefully I'll be back later to catch up!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 9:15AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yesterday we spent in the town of Stratford where we saw "Oklahoma"...a very good presentation. Afterwards it was dinner out with friends.

On the way home, lightning and rain...which is most welcome! We had more throughout the night. YES! So this was a fine birthday, except it is a difficult one. I am officially OLD.

I have so enjoyed the birthday cards for one and all. What a talented bunch of gardeners and photographers we have here! Sue, it looks like you have a Cotinus Golden Spirit now? I'm surprised you aren't picking bananas now to go with your breakfast! Deanne, that's a campanula, right? Martie, is that Josephine? Michelle, do you dry any of your flowers? Your card was very appropriate as I'm into orange in a big way these days. Kathy, that scene looks very familiar somehow, like one of my son hiking in Glacier Park. So beautiful! Armadillos are nifty creatures Marian...except in the garden. I enjoyed them in Oklahoma when we visited there. It seems they are rather recent arrivals as DH says they weren't around when he grew up there.

I'm planning a visit on Tuesday to meet the Mama Bouvier and see if she and her beau are interesting parents for a future pet of ours. I want to see their temperaments. I also want to learn a bit more about whether there will be children about to play with the puppies, which health issues are checked out, and various other things. I have a dog trainer friend going with me. Woody, these puppies are in the direction of Hamilton, so we may be visiting them several times. We'll see.

I've been a sloth this DH is protesting that breakfast is LATE!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 9:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks Wendy! Is that Gravetye Beauty? No matter, it's a beauty anyway! Oh!...catching up here, I see that it is not in YOUR garden. Maybe this should change!

And for you dear friend...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:12AM
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No time to read, yet, but thought you could use a Sunday chuckle. The cul-de-sac kids found this. I've completely missed it for quite some time, obviously!! There's much discussion about how it will be picked :-)


    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:54AM
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Sheeee's Baaaaaaaack!!! Am watering like crazy to take advantage of the miniscule amount of rain that actually fell last night. Rinse it through, so to speak ....

Denise: Chionanthus retusus is my second fav shrub after Viburnum carlesii. Can you tell I'm into white fragrance?? Anyway, mine doesn't have blue berries, but is also only three years old. Is it because of my zone or the plant's age? I want blue berries, and bet the birds would, too :-) Good suggestion to Marian, BTW.

Kathy: My feelings are the same as your about DB's situation. He's been in the unit he's in for just over two years and has made progress to the point where he can generally care for his personal hygeine, including laundry, but still is prone to getting way out of control if he doesn't get his way. That there is a unit where he could live permanently is a true dream come true, if they accept him. Fingers, toes and everything else crossed.

Marian: I can honestly say that I've never seen an Armadillo in it's own place. I didn't know they dug (like woodchucks????) and also didn't know they are nocturnal. Are the shells really shells? Do they bite? Do they have a useful purpose? Feel like a second grader, here. LOL

Okay Deanne: "This brug is a cutting from Sue ..." I think NOT!!! It is a miracle!! Darned if I can grow them, as you well know, and absolutely appreciate those that can.

Marie: Happy Mom and Dad visiting!! It'll be fun to Meet the Parents and take it from there. How did Sarah do at the school? Was Skyler surprised? Yes, that is Josephine who may have succumbed to wilt and dryness, but I'm hopeful she'll rebound.

Wendy: Remind me next time I see you to give you the recipe for Cake Pan Cake, the best-ever chocolate cake you will ever eat. If others want it, I'll post it, but be assured that it's full of fat and carbs :-) (No eggs, though!!)

On may way to start a new thread with some long shots that, I must say, didn't turn out too badly. Did some research on more sophisticated cameras and am horrendously confused, so will stick with what's working for now. Kinda like "always plant marigolds for certain success."

Best to everyone - Martie

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 12:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back from grocery shopping as the stores will be closed tomorrow...which I forgot about. A quick drive-by here.

Martie, Sarah did just fine at school. No surprise there. She managed to present four silly poems that they adored. The fourth was a French one which they also loved and the teacher begged for a copy. The only hitch was that while she was presenting, guess who marched into the classroom thinking it was time for an afternoon walk with the gang? Yep, Skyler's Mom. She'd got everything mixed up and then emailed Sarah that it was her fault. Yes, DD has her trials.

Last night when I returned from our day out, a wonderful phone message was waiting for me. It was the whole gang singing HB to moi! What a hoot.

DH has just finished puttying storm windows, so now he wants lunch. It never ends...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 12:41PM
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Good morning

A very Happy Birthday to all the birthday ladies - cards (belated though they will now be) to follow!

I've done the briefest of skims to make sure everyeone is well and safe and will look forward to returning to enjoy photos and details later.

My first full week at work was exhuasting, mainly due to being caught in the middle of a professional conflict and ending up as a mediator. All is resolved, relations smoothed over to the point where everyone can work well together, but I feel as if I've been through the wringer - yuk! On the pleasant side the Eastman school of Music was in the middle of a 2 week guitar festival so evenings were taken up taking David to several fabulous concerts and a masterclass. One of my absolute favorite classical guitarists - David Russell played and taught - he was amazing and simply the nicest person you could wish to meet.

DH has been home which is wonderful but means meals take a little more planning. He is still low carbing it which means my usual weekday standby of a quick pasta dish no longer fits the bill. Last night just the two of us went out by ourselves for the first time in many months - we saw the movie Eastern Promises (excellent, though way too violent to recommend without reservation) and had an Indian meal together after. After such a busy week it was a welcome treat.

This week I also found myself reading McCormick McCarthy's book "The Road" which was utterly compelling but at the same time sad and drepressing beyond belief. I've been pondering on it for days - for while being one of the most devastasting things I've read, it has some of the most beautiful prose I've ever come across. Not a book I'd feel comfortable recommending but I'd be really interested if anyone else has read it - Kathy?...

Today is rainy and grey and we're closing the pool - always something that always makes me feel a little sad. I think I'll call a friend to come over and drink wine this evening and laugh about silly things - it's a 3 day weekend thanks to Columbus and it's come at just at the right time. Anyone free tonight?


    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 12:48PM
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Wendy-Sorry, I don't like the card I made you! (That sounds bad) I need to get a better pic since my up to date flower pics are few and far between-that's a temporary card until I get a decent redo up : ) Hope the bday girls have had much fun on their special days.

Missing idyll time in Idyllland(yes,three l's to throw you into a dither; )


    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 2:04PM
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I am enjoying all the photos.

Wanted to share something with all of you. I mentioned previously that my DD broke her foot. We took her to the Dr.'s a week and a half ago. He said that the Xray showed only a small amount of improvement. My DD was devastated since she's been couped up for 6 weeks. Any way, one of the ladies in another group I belong to suggested that my daughter look into an Electronic Bone Stimulator. The problem is that she has no health insurance. The Stimulator costs over $3,000. When I posted this the lady that suggested the Stimulator offered to send me the one her mom used. Apparently her mother broke her foot, had surgery and the bone still wasn't healing. The Bone Stimulator helped her. I emailed her my address and the Bone Stimulator arrived on Friday. How kind and generous is that?

I see that there are a few birthdays happening. I'll need to make a few cards.
Take care,

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 5:33PM
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I have emerged from the abyss otherwise known as the Guest Room..Ai yi-yi! Im sure that many of you are familiar with The Guest Room.."Where should we put this stuff?" "Oh, just throw it in The Guest Room for now." So there it goes and there it stays until oh-oh, a real guest is coming ! So you shove it all in the closet and warn the guest not to open the closet doors under any circumstances. I spent the better part of the day up there, and have effectively sorted and purged . Filled the trash tote and have two more 32 gal trash bags full and waiting in the wings. Put together a huge pile of salvation army items and lugged them down to the garage. Also lugged down 3 pieces of defunct stereo equipment to take to the electronics recycling next weekend. Discovered that one of the twin beds is sporting two mattresses instead of a mattress and box springs-it teeters at an odd angle as a result.One can only speculate how that came about ! Found a box of 45s. Cleaned out the cedar "Hopeless" chest, which had only two items of any value in it. Its the smallest room in the house , and yet an absolute mountain of stuff kept emerging. ! So it was a productive day..and beautiful weather as I gazed longingly out the window. I did take a break for some watering and deadheading. Everything is just bone dry.

How great all the pics were for the birthday trio !

Michelle, I am going to get butternut squash next weekend at the farmers market and make a recipe I found for squash enchiladas. If it turns out Ill share

Marian , you and Marie asked about the photo, it was a pic from Yosemite , taken by DS. Marie, maybe you will have some pics of the Bouvier couple ?

Deanne- lol, youd probably need an extra truck for all your containers ! My DD is coming down for Thanksgiving and I told her to bring an empty car, because I am sending as many of the containers back up for her to babysit as I can fit in her vehicle.

Mary, I have not read "The Road", but had in fact made plans to read all three of his border trilogy this winter. I am so behind on my reading list ! I have promised myself that I will get back to my book-a-week pace this winter. Thank you so much for posting the David Russell link- I have always loved classical guitar and dont have nearly enough cds in my collection. I will definitely order a couple of Davids !

Babs, glad to see a post from you no matter how brief ! Hope all is well.

Mariann, isnt it nice to encounter the kindness of others ? I hope your DD is helped by the device that was sent to you ! I imagine that the protracted recovery period has affected your DDs attitude which in turn makes healing more difficult. I wish her the best !

Okay, time to take an evening stroll in the garden with a glass of cheap-o chardonnay. Greetings to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 7:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Our Thanksgiving dinner was eaten this evening so as to allow us time tomorrow to go on a hike with friends. We actually had a pork roast, something I've not made in years. I think they make pigs differently these days....all moist meat, not a trace of fat. There was some asparagus in the garden that shot up after I cut it all back not long ago, so we also ate that, along with rice and home made cranberry sauce. A fine meal.

The blues are coming to an end in the foggy Fall garden.

The second round of delphiniums:


Cuttings of wallflowers for next year:

The first coat of paint on the house trim is completed. I like it fine, but the second coat is very golden, and I like it less. :( This is coat #1.

I enjoyed finding this duet on Youtube today. I was so impressed by the youngster's talent! And watching their smiles meant that they were having real fun together.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 7:36PM
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Good morning

GB - sounds like a delicious meal. Love the new paint job!

Last night David had a friend for a sleep over - a lovely boy but he doesn't eat any of the food I serve. I made a roast chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes and broccoli. A nice meal I thought. The only thing he would touch was the chicken, but being a free range one it wasn't huge. Even after 4 helpings he was hungry after. I couldn't tempt him with bread (ours was wheat, he eats white), fruit or yoghurt. Worried he would be awake in the night I sent DH out for ice cream. This morning our sleep over guest wouldn't eat toast or bagels, had a little cereal, left the fruit again - and he's hungry. Sheesh! Perhaps it's time for any early drop off. I suspect it's fast food he's craving, little of which can be found here.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 9:39AM
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Good morning! Feels like life in the fast lane here, except I think instead of traveling in a fast lane I'm stuck on a roundabout! ;o)

Week and weekend flew by in a flash without much free time. Laundry, dishes and other housework has piled up. Whatssupwiththat?! Today will be spent taking dogs to the vet and then coming home to shovel out the house. I'm tired just thinking about it so will start thinking of white sandy beaches, crystal clear blue water and a warm soft breeze blowing as I sip on a lovely cold drink (with umbrella).......pull up a chaise lounge if you are inclined to join me...

Lovely photos for the birthdays! Happy belated birthday wishes to the 3 birthday ladies!!!

I guess I should quit daydreaming and begin working. Hope it is a great week for all...


    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 10:04AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I tried to find the date of the local fall color tour, but couldn't.
If anyone reading here is coming through Arkansas this month, here is a link that may be of interest to you:

    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 12:15PM
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Hello Idylls!

Lots going on here. The new room is without a roof, so of course it's raining....we should've stripped it sooner, huh? My skylights came in and without a roof I can see that it's going to be a bright room!

I am somewhat determined to have a better lawn next year, too. I have been overseeding, fertilizing, and patching and the cool rainy weather should work in my favor.

The game was a blast! Lots of good food (the peanuts were my favorite) and a GREAT game ending! I got home at 3 a.m. - the train ride home was LONG! I think I'll scratch that from my "must do" list and start figuring out how I'll get to a Patriots game :)

Mary, my BIL is a picky used to be amusing to see a grown man eat chicken nuggets off the kid's menu! This kid will have to learn to adapt rather than have everyone try to please him. BIL met a significant other who cooks beautifully and has added to his food repertoire :) Love'll do that, I guess!

GB, I think the color you chose is wonderful! and there is lots of gold in your brick color, so you'll'll be great!

Happy Birthday to GB, Wendy, and Norma. Babs, I really liked Wendy's card!

T., I'm right there with you on the beach.

Speaking of beaches. I cancelled my welding class for a SCUBA class. It starts Thursday. Nick was certified for the Fire Dept. (we have a couple of lakes in town) and we're thinking warm and tropical for our 15th anniversary. I will have to weld after the first of the year.....

Oh, and welding reminds me of this great little place that Nick and I found after breakfast this morning....lots of concrete statuary and antique iron work, arbors, all kinds of outdoor art for sale! It seems that Nick and I have very different garden taste.....he mentioned lions at the entrance to a path......

Gotta go start some dishes, laundry, etc.....


    Bookmark   October 8, 2007 at 12:29PM
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