Idyll #455--Fall, A Time of Hope

anitamo(5)September 8, 2009

I walked for Reed today with my DGS Antonio. I told why we were walking, and he understood. We picked up fallen leaves which will find their home into a scrapbook for him. The changing colors on the maples are beautiful already. Hope is alive today with promises of change. A time to dream...

Beautiful photos abounded on the last thread, with succulent, water and container gardens ready for the magazines. I esp. love the photo of Luke sipping from the fountain.

I hope saucy fills us in on details of her deck water garden. Fabu Fabu.

It was sheer coincidence that with all the talk yesterday of the Guernsey book, and what did I bring home from the bookstore? Yep, and I can't wait to dig in. I looked up the schedule for the American Master, but it looks like there won't be a rerun on Trumbo anytime soon.

chelone, Have you taken up dog training? I'm loving your stories of reining the Wrecking Crew in. Sounds like hard, but rewarding work.

I hope kathy is feeling better today, and martie is having fun getting to know Boo 2.

Here's to Hope!


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I walked in honor of Reed this morning too, on the woods trails and through the fields and creeks. Rebel went along. I love walking this time of year.

Hi Martie. So is Boo2 just a kitten or an older cat? We miss your posts. It's good your work is busy enough to keep you guys going. Hoping Rich is catching a few jobs too.

Michelle, can't wait to here more about your vacation.

Kathy bummer about the stomach bug.

Denise your succulent garden is awesome. Poor Mitch having to deal with the unorganized wedding.

V,I'm so happy Mystic turned up ok. LOL a chi SP? little dog named Rambo.

Geez, I hate my short memory. What else was on the last thread? Oh yes! cute babies, both of them. Hi Ivy and Mr. Baby Aiden.

I am trying to come up with a better plan for a garden bed that is right in my line of site everyday and is not making me happy. I think I have rearranged it at least three times in 12 years. I also have to decide where the purple smoke tree is going for sure.
I'm trying to work on weeds too, since the ground is wet right now.

Mary I hope you will enjoy your new job. I am proud of Annie too. She sounds like a great girl.

Hi Julie, Chelone,Deanne,Anita ,pm2 and all.
Later Norma

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 6:55PM
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Good evening everyone from the left coast. Back to the awfice tomorrow, but only 3 day this week and it will be the weekend again ! I had originally planned to attend the fall sale at one of my favorite nurseries in Sonoma County last weekend before other events intervened , so I will make it a point to head over there on Saturday.

My walk for Reed today was along the Napa River trail that runs behind my neighborhood. No substantial signs of autumn yet, but I believe it will be showing its face soon. I look forward to taking photos this year , as last I was still on the Âold camera .
Much better today, Âyukky feelings gone and only a bit of fatigue and little appetite remain. I am however having a small glass of white wine (for medicinal purposes of course) and will eat a baked Yukon Gold potato and some green beans for dinner.

Well, Martie , how in the world did you pull off the cat caper ? Do I recall that Rich is allergic ? I suppose they will just have to give one another wide berth  Sorry to hear that the herb biz is a no go for you- I didnÂt realize that the Park was in or near wetlands . I am required to have flood insurance here due to the proximity of the river to my house. A cool grand a year on top of basic homeowners .

Norma, I have an area that I can't quite seem to get right either..drives me nuts. I'm going to rip the whole thing out this winter and start over.

Denise, great combo at the base of the Âstairs of danger , I particularly like the different shapes and textures together. That desert stuff I think has to be in the bloodstream somewhere ..I love the desert , but would never contemplate living there on a permanent basis. I am very much looking forward to going back in November, when one can actually bear to stay outdoors for more than about 10 minutes Â

Deanne, the tropical border looks just fabulous- IÂm monitoring itÂs demise closely to pick the correct date for my journey east in 2010 ! IÂm hoping for the perfect juxtaposition of fuchsias and fall foliage .. What great shots of Luke as his watering hole.

Julie, I love the story of the fair and TCSÂs triumphs ! What was the big vegetable ?

Ok , thatÂs about all I have this evening  waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 9:33PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Kathy, I wonder if you sent your stomach stuff this way. I either had a bad burger or a really strong onion at lunch and the tummy has been out of sorts ever since. I think it was just the onion, which never bothers me so I hope this is not a new trend developing!

Denise, sorry to hear that Mitch had such a rough time at the wedding. I guess I will not fault my son for passing out a minute by minute timeline for their day! Yes, it's hard to take good shots of miserable people (read that any way you want to!).

Today was a Monday on a Tuesday - phone rang every three and a half minutes for the first two hours, the employee with the new baby decided that a new car was more important than health insurance for the babe, and so on. Throw in an upset stomach and you can see what a special day it was. But on the home front, my stepping stones look great and my new solar lights are aglow, and the pots look LOVELY on the deck, thank you very much MIL.

Off to bed!


    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 10:15PM
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My day yesterday in Chaosland was basically a drag. A good deal of work and erratic appearances by a co-worker who has too much on her personal plate have ratchetted up the tension nicely. I've tried to make it easier but efforts go unnoticed or seem to spark a defensive and very sour response. And so it goes.

I returned home, having thought about Reed on and off all day long, and decided that the cure would be to take the Wrecking Crew and the Huge One outdoors. We walked around and around the Compound, spending a lot of time in the woods. I studied the expanses of moss in and around the rocks and on decaying tree trunks and the appearance of bright red fungi popping up through the leaf litter. The light is different now, lower in the sky and more mellow, even though the trees have not yet begun to change in earnest. It was beautiful. And I found myself thinking about all of you and how nice it is that kindred spirits inhabit the woods and walkways all across our countries. :)

The Crew departed last night with a very grateful owner. She was amazed by several things:
1.) The "say it once" policy. A command it given verbally one time along with the hand signal. Compliance is ensured by a repeated hand signal and physical means and rewarded lavishly. She was susprised at how long I was willing to wait for them to do it (up to 10 seconds) but also that they actually DID it. Good boys!
2.) Door protocol. Automatic "sit/stay" by the door and again, the time and patience required to keep them in that position until released.
3.) They are now responding individually instead of in unison. They're listening for their names and looking to their master for direction before moving! The sight of all 3 sitting in front of the door and waiting for their release amazed her.

The training collars are now part of their wardrobe. She knows how to put them on properly and how to use them correctly for a correction. All it takes is 15-20 minutes a day, and a willingness to use and enforce commands before passing through a door, getting into or out of a car, being fed. I used no treats, either. They are already too food obsessed and focussed too much on the treat and not on listening and watching the handler.

No, I don't train dogs, Anita, I prefer to beat them into submission. But if there are going to be 3 of those idiots roaming the Compound everyone is going to know the rules of the road and follow them reliably. I hate dogs.

And now I have to go to the Land of Happy... hold me back. ;)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 5:38AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

There are a few clouds out this AM but its going to be another great day here. I actually wish wed get a bit of rain as things are pretty dry out there right now.

Kathy, You should be all set with fuchsias and fall foliage for 2010 because even though our frost date is Sept 21, Weve not had a frost that early in quite a while. Most years its well into October before that happens. The foliage is fantastic here from early to mid October.

V. sorry about the stomach thing. I cant eat a large slice of raw onion anymore as it causes that same effect on my system. I used to be able to but alas, no longer.

Ive got to get going here and get the watering done and make a salad for lunch with my friend Saucy! Woohoo! Visit with an Idyller. Perfect day.

Waving hello to one and all!


    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 7:55AM
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Good morning!

My thoughts were with you all yesterday, too. The full moon of last week brought about the same closeness. I did not take my walk, but rescheduled it for when my foot is better - the plantar fasciitis is back with a vengeance!

I am excited to travel up to Deanne's today :) Lunch with an Idyll....who can beat that?

Sorry some of you aren't feeling up to par! Hope you feel better soon.

Anita, there is not much to my water garden - was there something specific I could answer for you? I stacked the taller bucket on some left over pavers, and leaned it into the corner of the deck for stability. Last year it had a wooden base. The plants are fun and I overwintered quite a few in the basement last year (the reeds and cannas and water lily come to mind). I used mosquito dunks this year because the heron ate all my fish last year, so why chance it?

Thanks for so many nice responses. I am a messy gardener and sometimes don't share pictures because I always see the mess. I need to stop fighting it and just accept it :)

Time for me to get moving!


    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 8:22AM
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Anita, what a beautiful name your little grandson has -- Antonio. Four syllables! Which makes me wonder at all the nicknames we give our kids, some very private of course. An uncle has always called Duncan "Fagan," I suppose from Dickens, but googling brings up the Gaelic meaning "little ardent one," which definitely fits. Then there's the nicknames for pets that's endless in variety. Swinging it back around, I love the name Antonio!

No walk yesterday, with a doc appt ill-timed mid day, but there were raspberries with yogurt, and the reassuring thought occurred that all will be well for such a bright, loving, energetic family that gives so much to so many.

Chelone, I bet you'll have some "repeat business" as a dog sitter with the results you get! You'll be vying with Woody as a dog's next favorite place to visit. Walking a dog through the woods, through fields, along creeks...doesn't get any better than that.

Norma, I had the "better plan" moment yesterday too. I think I may have to remove a big Deutzia Magicien to make it happen, which is sad, but it just isn't a happy-looking shrub after a spattering of spring bloom.

So you get the timelines too, V? Everyone gets "debriefed" once they cross the threshold. I always thought it was because we're Irish, lol (they are mostly, mine mitigated by my French side.)

Kathy, I enjoyed the mid-Century home link. I have probably a very antiquated view of desert communities like Palm Springs as gross water guzzlers consisting of swathes of golf courses, swimming pools -- and I've never even been there! I hope my abrupt remarks didn't offend. The desert landscape is a lovely, subtle one that I enjoy very much.

Saucy, the mess, I see it here too! Yesterday we were asked to put our house on a historical tour, which we politely but very firmly declined. She said think about it...I think not! Your deck looks like a gorgeous spot, and I was glad to have a peek at it. Have a great time at Deanne's (and don't forget the camera...)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 12:30PM
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No offense taken Denise, and beleive me there are definatly wide expanses of water-guzzleing golf courses (which prompted lengthy and F-bomb punctuated commentary by DS as we drove in , lol) however, I did note that landscaping of residential properties and busineses has migrated dramatically out of the lawn mode and featured lots of nice groupings of actual desert plants --- thus the camera will be called in to use on my next visit.The coolest thing about PS is the 50's era retro architecture and the aura that hangs over the city of bygone mid-century sophisticated poolside martini swigging movie stars in the Sinatra , Ava Gardner mold. The desert is just not for everyone- seems people either love it or hate it. I love it, but not enough to live there !

Back to awfice crapola
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 1:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

In keeping with the Time of Hope theme, I forgot to announce that September 1st is the start here of bulb sales for a spring show. (That is, if you remember to plant them!!!) And so I am now officially asking you to buy AND PLANT those bulbs NOW. Have fun! I have bought more Anemone blanda so far. I know I sound like a salesman, but always buy more than you think you need. In spring you will wonder why you didn't get more.

Today has been a moody one for me, but I did manage to mow a great deal. I also harvested quite a bunch of eggplants and made stuffed rolled eggplants for dinner. The first blue plums appeared in the store yesterday, and so I also made a plum dessert for later tonight. I sound downright domestic...a false impression!

DD has reported in that they discussed mercury content of lightbulbs in her course last night, among other things. So for those of you who are interested, this is from her:

"A year or so ago an email was sent to me explaining the hazards of Compact fluorescent energy saving bulbs. Some unfortunate woman had one break in her house and the hazardous materials cleanup people were called in to clean it up costing her a fortune and a half. This is truly unfortunate and I wouldn't wish the pricetag on anyone. I thought I would clear up some of the unfortunate info that's out there about compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

Here's the truth about mercury and compact fluorscent lightbulbs (and you can read the original at

1. Yes there is mercury in a compact fluorescent. It isn't much. About 4-5 mg in old CFLs, and 1.5-2 in new ones. It's about 1% of what is likely in your house already. If you absorbed the mercury from one broken bulb, it is equivalent to eating a can or two of tuna fish (approved by the Canadian food inspection agency). In fact there is much more in other everyday items such as thermometers (500 mg), older thermostats (3,000 mg), and typical office lights (40 mg).

2. Even though CFLs contain some mercury, they actually reduce overall mercury pollution. How? CFLs require less energy to be generated by power plants, which tend to emit mercury. A CFL eliminates three-fourths of the mercury pollution of a traditional light bulb: 3.3 mg versus 13.6 mg. So using CFLs slashes the amount of mercury we put into our air and surface water. That means less of the toxin ends up in our drinking water and fish.

3. How much is enough to worry about? Well, a low level of exposure to worry about would be if you broke a dozen CFLs in your house every day for a couple of weeks - a highly unlikely event.

4. How best to clean it up? Open a window to clear the vapours. Clean it up as quickly as possible. Don't clean it up with your bare hands or a vacuum cleaner. Use a wet cloth, or a piece of tape to pick up the small pieces.

5. How do I dispose of them? Not in the garbage. Home Depot generally has a recycling program but double check with them first.

So overall, don't panic. Do your homework before you worry about compact fluorescents.

**Another tip is to write the date you bought your compact fluorescent on the base of the bulb and to use the warranty!

Here's some links if you want to know more:
More on mercury and CFLs:

* Mercury Risk in CFLs: The Facts - Our chief health scientist, Dr. John Balbus, gives details about why you shouldn't worry when a CFL breaks
* Mercury Poisoning from Light Bulbs? - Despite alarming news reports, we explain what to expect from a CFL break
* EPA's Frequently Asked Questions: Information on CFLs and Mercury [PDF]
* NEMA Voluntary Commitment on Mercury in CFLs - A number of CFL manufacturers are reducing the amount of mercury in their lights
* EPA's list of products containing mercury and recommended dispoal options.

More information on CFLs

* CFLs last longer in lamps that are left on for at least three hours.
* More CFL tips
* A note on light-sensitivity from our chief health scientist, Dr. John Balbus: All patients with lupus erythematosus or other conditions resulting in severe photosensitivity should consult with their physician regarding ultraviolet light exposure from compact fluorescent bulbs.

It has been quite wonderful to hear from friends everywhere in the world reporting in on their walks, thoughts and bubble blowing for Reed. Thanks to everyone for caring, from Berlin to Vermont, from Washington and Oregon to Provence. It has been terrific to feel the love. I hope to have the energy to move ahead on the grass garden tomorrow.
Here's a picture of the completed quilt from Sarah's friends.

Back, showing contributors.

Good Night to all,

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 7:13PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good evening everyone.

I forgot to mention my Reed walk - through the preschool section of our town library. Carpeted steps so everyone can sit and hear a story and see the book when it's held up. Large cuddly stuffed animals to hug while listening. Little square cushions if you find the steps a bit hard after a while. A large oval carpet in primary colours, with the letters of the alphabet in both upper and lower case all around the edges. And books. Low little shelves of every kind of small child book you can think of. And large Rubbermaid containers of library items relating to a theme - like one on Trains with a few Thomas cars, books, puzzles and a railroader's hat to wear. Parents, Resource people, schools and playgroups can check out the containers - there are about twenty different themes available. And some building blocks and animals and dinosaurs and a large table to play with them on. A computer centre with preschool programs. It is a child's delight. Perth has had the foresight to hire a full time children's librarian, with the result that most of the kids around here are very comfortable and familiar with the library...Reed would have loved it, and I bet Ivy would too, if ever she and her family get to visit!

Cheers, all.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Hopelessly behind here. Tonight I was presented the "Rural Beautification Award" There were photos taken for the paper.

Im enjoying my c. Summer Sorbet as an annual. It was pretty cheap at Lowes.

'bug, I'm thinking of you and your family.

Fun to see Mr. Baby and Ivy. Some how "Mr. Baby" doesnt fit anymore maybe Little Man. Im assuming that the little guys in the fall photo are Anitas grandsons?

Actually, there is really a fabulous bunch of pictures posted lately. Ive already jotted down rudbeckia Cherry Brandy love it!

Saucy, the water fall with the leaf castings is fabulous!.

I brought leaf castings for Honey, David and Ruth.

Not much else to say since I havent read anything, just looked at pictures.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 10:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

******"Rural Beautification Award"******

How very nice...and so well deserved!

I keep forgetting this in my posts...! It is SO nice to hear news of Ruth! I bet her gardens look amazing too.

Saucy, I hope your feet feel better SOON! I'm hoping for photos of your get-together!

Julie, I still like to read children's books. (blush!)

I spoke to Ivy and her Dad tonight. We're planning a get-together soon! YES!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 10:44PM
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Michelle, will you link us the article in the paper when it is published ? And I think we are about due for more photos of Michelle-World too--but the vacation, oh yeah we need photos of that too ! Guess you'll need to take a couple days off to get us up to speed , lol.

I still qualify Aiden as a "Mr Baby" if I can't distinguish his conversation..all his words seem to relate to food thus far !

The quilt is beautiful 'bug, so special and one of a kind. I know it will be cherished for many decades to come. (()) to DD and DSIL as they cross another marker in their path.

Waves to all, Idylls are the best..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 9, 2009 at 11:03PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We had a chilly morning here, mid 40s, yes fall is here and a frost cant be too far off. Ive got to get my coleus cuttings very soon. They dont like getting that cold and are hard to root after too many cold evenings.

I had a lovely visit with Saucy yesterday. I just loved chatting away the afternoon with a gardener and doing the garden walkabout with someone who gets it. What fun! Thanks for the visit Saucy!

Michelle, Woohoo!!!! Congratulations! That is fantastic and well deserved. Would love to see some current pics of your gardens and vacation photos as well.

OK Ive got to get myself to the studio and get working on that painting. I thought youd get a kick out of seeing these comparison shots. The west fence line is totally filled in and looks like a wall of color.

The hay racks in June

And the same spot on Tuesday



Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 7:08AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Such a wonderful quilt and special memory, Marie -- it's going to last a long long time.

Deanne-- boy, that is amazing the difference in less than 3 months - I can imagine you want it to last at least a couple more months... really glorious.

Add me to the folks w/ areas of gardens driving her nutz -- the latest one is where Im battling the roots of the Wm. Baffin -- it was great for a month of the year it bloomed (maybe 6 weeks) and then blech the rest of the time. I like the look of the espaliered effect of the canes, but that was about it... now to decide if Im going to try my "faux" garden door idea I'd been dreaming about or just add some shrubs like viburnum and a vertical conifer... or move the patio peach that's in front that doesnt seem to have gotten much sun this year (and transplant the cornus wolf eyes that scorches every august)... I think this is what Sue calls the moving musical plants game.... one thing leads to another and around and around....

V-- I'd love to hear about your solar lites you installed - I assume walk related? I had some about 6 years ago but they just peetered out and were never very strong - I know improvements in industry have occurred - you'll have to tell me how you like yours...

Michelle -- congrats on that award and we want to see the write-up -- definitely a much deserved award - your place is just lovely and sophisticated. What special presents to give to as host/hostess presents -- I bet they loved them! Hope you get a chance to download some of your photos -- I bet they were all stunning...

well, back to woik - luckily it's almost Friday!!!


    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 2:25PM
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Marie what a wonderful quilt. So colorful and beautiful sentiment.

Michelle,at long last we have learned what your award is. How appropiate it is too. Congratulations. How nice you gave your Idyll hosts cast leaves. Did you paint them? Have any pictures of them?

We are a picture greedy bunch aren't we? LOL

Deanne , amazing before and after shots. I need to take coleus cuttings too. So nice you and Saucy had some time together.

Julie , Your childrens library sounds wonderful.

I spent a hard day working on the bothersome garden bed. Took everything out of half of it and worked the dirt and amended it. Layed out a new path and reshaped the bed. It looks better to me. Now if I can just get the plants arranged satisfactory and rework the other half Maybe I will be happy with it for another three or four years. LOL. Seriously I don't plan on do it again!

I'm pretty tired so thats it for now. Night all. Norma

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 8:51PM
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Hola amigas, a very warm Thursday evening here,(95 right now) with the cooling trend expected to hit on Saturday (yay !) . I brought home my 3 Sky Pencils, Deutzia Nikko . Weigelia that turned out to be Variegata Nana , not My Monet as ordered, so I brought home only one of those and will hope to find My Monet at the plant sale this weekend, or at the Late Show Gardens event the following weekend. And an unexpected impulse purchase of Salvia coccinea Lady in Red . My Salvia collection seems to keep expanding.

Deanne, that fence line is just spectacular ! For additional comparison, here is my shot from IU in July .. From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

And remember this from Maine Coast BG ? It was near the fairy garden and some of us thought it was creepy ! What great art they had there ..I definitely want to go back next September, Ill bet its awesome in fall. From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

Norma, it sounds like you had a productive day . LOL, not planning to do it again ? Good luck with that ! Sometimes it makes me really happy to re-do an area , especially if I dont like it. This year I am tackling areas that have been static for several years and in desperate need of refurbishing. I dont suppose you took b-4 and after pics ? (picture greedy reference !)

Cindy, I vote for the faux garden door ! All you had to do is say the word dream , and I urge you to make that dream happen .. dont inhabit that place where you have to regret that you never did it , and give yourself the gift of something you would love. Go for it my friend .

Ok, a slow news day here for sure ! I hope for more news as we enter the weekend

Best to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 10:06PM
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Busy day here again. Rick helped me do a bunch of mulching. It works well when he helps, as he uses the skid loader to load the trailer behind the 4 wheeler. Sure beats the wheelbarrow. We made a trip to our local nursery to check out the end of the season sale, but didn't find much.

Cindy, a faux garden door sounds so cool!

Norma, your project sounds very ambitious. We need pictures you know. I did paint the leaves, but didn't take pictures. I still have one left that I want to give to my mom, I try to get a picture. They all seemed to really like them. I'm really still such an amateur.

'bug, I found Ruth to be a real sweetheart and her garden was very interesting. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me when we were in it.

Deanne, the container garden is looking fabulous! I was surprised how great my containers looked after we returned from vacation.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 10:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Skyler is in for a shock as Sarah & DSIL have revamped his bedroom. There are new curtains (that I will have to hem when I next visit), a book case removed and the remaining one re-arranged, the bunk beds moved to a different wall, a new desk installed and a new dresser as well. (When I say new, I mean new to him.) Clothes have been sorted as well. When you live at two houses, clothing is often difficult- with half the red socks at each place and so forth. Sarah is convinced that all the quality stuff remains at his Mom's place.

Here on the home front I have had to play drag the hose about today. The asparagus is cut down at last and weeding progresses in the veg garden. I expect by the weekend we can spread more chips on the second half of the garden and call it quits. I didn't get to start the grass garden yet because the grass circle has not completely died off. I hope it is ready next week for sure! I'm so tired of weeding this year and want to construct rather than remove!

Saturday we are invited to a brunch that sounds fun...en francais. Speaking of French, take a look at the French cat below.

I am reminded of our Maine IU hostess these days when I see the pink blooms on our chelone!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2009 at 10:37PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It's a squishy rainy Friday here -- and Im happy to see the moisture - things were looking a bit bedraggled of those things I'd planted last weekend so Im off the hook for hose dragging...

Thanks for the thoughts re the door - I had been looking for shutters for the last couple of years but frankly hadnt found any I was happy with or were too expensive for old (I decided shutters could look like a door if I put a handle on 'em & more in keeping with the dimensions I wanted) so I may end up just buying some & painting/shabbing them up - Im definitely leaning more towards that goal. I may take the winter to put the plan into action though rather than throw it together half-...

It's the stock club meeting weekend so I'll be busy doing "homework" in prep for it, etc.

Norma - you are way ahead of me in the re-doing - that sounds like a tremendous amount of work and time you've already put into it; Im great on the dreaming but short on the put the plan into action part unfortunately, but this may be the year.

It's interesting how we eventually turn a more critical eye towards our gardens....

Okay, Im dying for lunch to look at the other threads, but no time now to do, piffle.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable, stress free Friday....


    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 9:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well last night I managed to trounce DH at ping pong. That never happens so was an ego booster. ;)

The sprinkler is already doing its work today. Things are dry dry DRY, unlike at Cindy's. Insanity has caused me to order yet another clematis from a sale on the web. Oh my....where will I put it?

On the agenda for today is completing a book of photos for Skyler of his visit here in August, finalizing travel plans to Alberta, a trip to the Post Office to mail a friend a book, and weeding, weeding and more weeding. So off I go.

Deanne, I hope your painting is progressing nicely!

Have a perfect Friday!

PS: A photo to add. I'll say it is for Woody, but really it just makes ME happy.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 9:49AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Saturday morning all, and Happy Weekend. I miss Sue's TGIF...

We've not had rain here for a couple of weeks, so soon I am going to have to water all the gardens. I really only regularly water the pots.

Yesterday a friend came over and we managed to remove the huge rug juniper, and transplant it at her new place. Looks funny there becuase she has a half acre with not one garden plant. At least now she has this shrub anchoring one corner. It looked so nice in my garden when it was little *sigh*. Leaves me a nice big space where I think I will plant three different kinds of tall cannas next year - a little bit of a screen for the front patio.

And add me to the list to redo part of a large bed too. The doggies have taken to running through one end of the perennial bed in order to bark at the squirrels in the park. They come out right away when called, but they are such joyful pups, they leap and tromp all over everything there. I am thinking of a nice tall obelisk, about three pots a la Deanne, and some little black iron fencing sort of strategically placed to direct them to a little stone path just for them. Or I could get a water gun and just squirt them everytime they go in there :)

Bulbs! I seem to recall a discussion of bulbs last spring pertaining to a plan for this fall???Or did I make that up? Anyway, good reminder, I will get shopping!

Saucy, that plantar fachiitis is awful - my sympathies for sure. How lucky though to have lunch with Deanne! The photos once again show a garden that is almost impossible to beat! At first the photos didn't show here - the dreaded red X appeared instead, but today, there they are! The comparison shots are fun to see.

We won't have the CFLs in our house ever since the one that burned up.

The quilt is adorablwe, Marie. What thoughful friends Sarah has! I bet Skyler will be perfectly happy with his room. I often rearrange TCS's room, usually when I move furniture to clean, or when the seasons change. His room is oriented so that if you leave the door open,the light from the living room window streams right down the hall into his room. This is fine in the winter, but in the summer we have to make sure that his bed is located so the sun doesn't hit him full in the face at 5:30 a.m.

Congratulations Michelle, on the Rural Beautificiation Award. Like the others, I would love to see the article, and, of course, photos. Isn't it wonderful when the hard work that you do just for the love of it, is recognized as something special?

Our weather has been spectacular for about two weeks now, bright and sunny, temperatures in the low seventies, gentle cooling breezes. I often think how nice it must be on Chelone's deck now in the evening, sitting out at length becuase, of course, it is screened in, and listening to the sounds of the various denizens of the Compound. It is a lovely spot.

TCS is off to DD's for the weekend. Today DH and I are going to visit some close friends at their 12 acre property, where they will soon build their new house. I am taking wine, veggies and dip, and a humoungous Lady's Mantle to trade for some Virginia Creeper for the fence. I would love to take the pups, but DH is afraid that they would run away in the woods and we would never get them back,I'm still thinking....even on a long rope so they could have a walk in the woods for a change....

Better get going - coffee's ready and the paper's here!

Cheers, Julie.

Has Marion forsaken us???

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 7:36AM
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Good Morning Idyllsassuming there is anyone out there besides Julie ? Im having my coffee this morning before heading off to the Other Wine Valley (Sonoma) to hit the annual fall sale at Cottage Gardens. We are having totally uncharacteristic thundershowers this morning, which sport no measurable rainfall , but little spurts that dry off about 5 seconds after they hit the pavement.

Good call on the bulbs Julie- we did make a pledge to nag one another this fall, with friendly reminders about how we all regretted not planting more bulbs when spring came this year. I looked at some tulips on Thursday but left undecided with the color choices. I know I want to put in some white daffodils, Ice Follies or the like, and more Dutch Iris . Stay tuned.

All right friends, back later, hope all are enjoying their Saturday !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 11:25AM
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A quick check in. We got a refreshing 1.3" of rain yesterday and last night. We were needing it. Of course its a little wet in the garden, so I took pictures this morning. I also did another garden video for Kenzie. I was able to show her butterflies and a hummingbird as well as pointing out the vegetables and teaching her flower names. We also strolled through her garden.

We will probably head over to a county fair today. Its not our county, but near by. Its billed as the world's largest county fair.

'bug, I can see why the picture makes you HAPPY, it does me too.

Julie, I'd love to see pictures of your newly arranged garden.

Kathy, an annual fall sale at a place called Cottage Gardens sounds right up my alley.

Have a great Saturday!


    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 12:40PM
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Skimming along but not whole-heartedly since receiving very sad news about an old friend. :( Instead, I've been relying on JulieJobs. When the going gets tough the tough get busy.

Hurray for civic beautification and Michelle's "major award". Capital achievement! And we are getting a lovely gentle rain today, too. It's been nearly two weeks since the last rain, so we're due. I heard a story on NPR about signs in the hog barns asking people to use the sanitizer to keep from infecting the pigs with Swine 'flu! :) I wonder if you'll see any.

Noting to Saucy that I have sore left foot, too. But it's the ball of the foot, not the heel. It's a drag, though. I need to address footware for the coming season and will pay attention to proper fit and support. My present gear is old and not much use in that department. Definitely time for new Buster Browns.

JulieJob du jour was sanding and washing the bathroom walls and then applying a good coat of sealer-primer. All tools are cleaned and put away. Tomorrow I will tackle the ceiling and decide about if recoating will be necessary. It was a better way to spend a dolorous and rainy day.

Also thinking about routines, boot camp, kids and dogs, and how nice it can be to have a routine to fall back on when things seem so terribly wrong and out of sorts. It really is important to know how to establish one and TCS, Skyler, Annie, and David seem to be successful. I'm sure it's gratifying to watch it unfold. Big "life skill"!

Well, laundry to hang, maybe another JulieJob, or maybe some time with a book or a good video.

Also, is it too late to order bulbs form on-line sources? who do you guys use? I have a very good reason ot plant some bulbs this fall!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 2:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend Chelone. That kind of news is the kind that drags one down. We do our best to help others along, but really, it is all part of the hard stuff of life... Hugs to all.

I'm not sure how well Skyler is doing with routines. There are just so many with his two households, school, etc...I think that is part of why he abandons it all and simply plods along. But there is perhaps a change about to occur. His school has decided that in his grade 5/6 class, assignments will be written down by each student and then NOT get checked by the teacher. The kid will simply pay the consequences if he messes up. Sounds ideal to me, but when Sarah tried it last year the teachers and vice principal would not support her. We shall see how it goes I'm sure. I like making this HIS responsibility and not cause for argument between his parents.

Yesterday when Skyler returned for his week with his Dad he discovered his newly organized room. He was thrilled thank goodness! "My room is Totally Awesome. I LOVE my new room!" He asked if that meant he couldn't throw things on the floor any more and received a "look" in response. He was particularly delighted with the two laminated maps his father had found for him and attached to the walls. Sarah has planned a project with him for marking their travels on these maps. It is a small room, but nice. (The curtains have since been hemmed.) She also ordered some fine "new" books for him and the first one arrived. Chelone's Mom might have enjoyed these oldies but goodies by Willard Price. She thinks these will be good because they have lots of short chapters even though the books are long. She read him chapter 1 in 3 minutes and the action is pretty fast so maybe he'll get hooked? We hope so.

This morning DH and I sent off the latest photo journal of his holiday here. He should receive it by Wednesday.

I am cooking up a rice & cheese dish which uses grated zucchini. We of course have a surplus of it in our garden!

Beautiful weather continues here. :) I love it even though I have to water daily. I have plans now for my trip out west, and who knows what weather I'll find there in October?!! Could even be the nasty S word.

Enjoy this fine weekend!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 3:25PM
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Hello friends, a pleasant Saturday evening/night wherever you may be. It was a beautiful drive over yonder to Sonoma County this morning and several plants hitched a ride home with me. I actually planted some stuff this afternoon and wrote down some plans more planting tomorrow.

Scored these : Sedums..John Creech, Vera Jameson and pachyclados,. Hebes , Red Edge and Champion, Agave Blue Glow, Variegated Hakone Grass, Brunnera Jack Frost (after years of searching) and Euphorbia Blackbird.

I took the camera and got a few shots of their wonderful combos in the small display beds they have mostly succulents.

Thought of Martie- a grove of Eucs line the parking area

Fabu Combos

Olive trees underplanted with black Mondo Grass ..very effective !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 12, 2009 at 9:05PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow, fabu pictures Kathy!!!! What a neat place, I'd love those terra cotta balls. LOL

Busy day here, we're hosting a cookout and I've yet to clean the house or pick up the debris in the gardens after a rainy day yesterday.

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 7:13AM
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That picture of Ivy makes me smile, too :) They grow so strong so fast at that age! Earning new milestones everyday.

Skylar's room looks excellent and I would like to come home to a reorganization like that! Skylar sounds a lot like Jake. Most of his homework woes began when the teachers stopped the hand holding in the 5th grade. He does not have all the skills he needs to remember/retain the assignment and have it prepared two days from then. It is working better now that Jake has a class in which to do his "homework" at school with a teacher to answer questions. It is a long row to hoe - I have struggled with this issue for 5 years now. Some kids are not cut to fit the mold of the school model. My son is one of those.

The good news is that Jake is shopping for colleges and talking about taking SATs so it must not be dragging him down :)

Kathy, what a beautiful place to buy plants! Nice plant list, too!

Julie, isn't it fun to help a new gardener get started?

I reorganized my kitchen while it rained yesterday and now I am all set to play outside on this nice day. I took myself on a little shopping trip and replaced worn mats and dish towels and decided that Berry Red is my new color "pop" in my aqua kitchen. It looks nice :) I just need a sewing machine so that I can make the curtains that I want!

I know I meant to say more, but it has slipped my mind.

Later gators!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 8:36AM
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Lol Deanne, two of those terra cotta spheres came home with me too. After reading the step by step directions for creating concrete spheres on the FaireGarden blog (right up your alley Saucy !) I decided it was a project I was unlikely to do at the moment, and 30% off was too good to resist.
I forgot ro mention that I also picked up 3 more Dahlias of the Mystic series- I already have the yellow ( Mystic Illusion) and it has been hands down one of my favorite plants this year. I bought two pinks and an orange , Mystic Dreamer and Mystic Spirit.

Also thumbs up to Skylars new digs, love the map and the plans for marking journey taken- great interactive geography lesson .

I believe pink has crept into Ms Ivys wardrobe

(Chelone) hope your spirits lift soon

Later friends .

Kathy in Napa

New plants await a home ! From cottage gardens 09

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 10:46AM
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The bathroom ceiling now sports its first coat of "pink parfait", a very pale, "blush" sort of tone. One more to go, but painting ceilings is a drag so one's enough for today. I thought about my friend the whole time, which is probably why it's getting done. I believe crying is under-rated, esp. when it's sunny outside and you can wear sunglasses to hide the evidence. ;)

I learned the whole "organization and routine" thing by having a horse. No matter what, you have to take care of one, and if you can't do you must figure out the necessary provisions to see it's done. It takes time and patience to learn how to do it, and lots of practice. I was thinkin' Skyler's room looked pretty cool, too. I like the color. It looks like an inviting, cozy retreat when quiet time is needed.

OK, time to hang the laundry. And thanks for the smiles... Ivy looks very "in the moment", doesn't she?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 11:19AM
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We went to a family visitation this afternoon of a lady from our church who died at age 94. She's a model that I hope to follow. Active and interested in people, things and current events right to the end. She was just so much different than a lot of older people I know.

Kathy, the nursery looks like a very cool place with very inspired plantings. 'Vera Jameson' is one of my favorite sedums. I have several along the front the Butterfly Garden.

Chelone, sorry to hear of your bad news. Keeping busy helps a little. "Pink Parfait" sounds like a perfect color for a ceiling. Beats boring white.

Skylar's room looks very orderly but fun. I just recently painted over a very similar color that my DD had in her room.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 6:34PM
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Chelone, sorry for your sad news regarding your old friend. It's never easy.
I like the sound of a blush color for the ceiling. I painted some ceilings "White Chocalate" which I like very much.
I imagine you are enjoying your newly renovated bathroom. Is that the one you are painting?

We went to visit our friend who has leukemia the other day. At first he wanted no visitors other than imediate family. Then he decided he wanted to have us come but nobody else. Unfortunately he had had a bad night and was not in a good mood at all, but since we are such close friends we understood where he was coming from. He was happy to see us and insisted on big hugs.

I see why Skylar loved his new room. I like the maps and bookshelves too.
Ivy looks so happy and healthy. I noticed the pink shirt too. Can't wait to see her sporting those cute sweaters Nana knitted.
Bug, how nice that you are getting to make a trip sooner than expected.

Michelle , Things do go so much faster when the guys lend a helping hand don't they. DH has been so much more help this year since we bought the tractor with the loader on it. Sure saves a lot of backbreaking work.

Kathy , you and Denise make me want a suculent garden so much. If I ever get finished reorganizing beds, I would like to search out the hardy ones and make a gravel and rock garden.
What does a Hebe look like?

I took the plants out of the other half of the bed I'm working on and amended the soil. Worked on the path some more and am almost ready to replant.
I have two more areas that I want to get done yet this fall. I hope we have a long fall. But if it doesn't happen there's always next year LOL.
Forever pushing that rock up the hill.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 7:59PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm laughing at Norma's last words; they are so very, very true! Last night we had our annual pig roast here. The weather was absolutely perfect and we had 71 people for beer, pork, baked beans and brownies. It was a great party and the clean-up went fairly quickly this morning.

And by this afternoon, DH was starting to push his plans for the next big project. I glared at him and told him I was going to "bask in the glow" of a great party for just a few hours.

Yes, I too had more great thoughts in my head, but now all that's left is "My legs are really tired." So I think I'll take them to bed.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 10:14PM
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I've just finished the 2nd. coat on the bathroom ceiling and all is cleaned up. The color lends the room a nice warm glow. I like it. Yes, Norma, I'm finally getting around to painting the bathroom I tiled earlier this summer. Seems like forever since I've done anything in there; IUVI, then a short handed work situation, but I'm picking away at it now. There still remains some wall work before I can paint, but at least there is some forward progress.

I washed the window treatment and it basically disintegrated in the washing machine. After some thought, I realized the fabric was recycled from my very first apartment and was nearly 25 yrs. old. Doesn't owe me much, huh? I made an inside mount shade and it should get the job done until I get around to making the bedroom room draperies. Heaven knows when.

Where do you guys buy your bulbs?

I see chilly fall weather is slated to arrive later this week. I am never really "ready" but there's no use in whining about the inevitable. Autumn always makes me sad and this year is proving no exception but as Michelle sagely pointed out, keeping busy helps a little. So that's my goal for the immediate future. Heaven knows there are no shortage of JulieJobs to keep my hands occupied.

I would have liked to have some roasted pig and some brownies. Hold the beans and the beer, though. Bet it was a lot of fun, V.. I laughed at "basking in the glow" and I hope your legs are refreshed this morning.

I hear the sounds of trash being loaded for the trip to the kerb and that means that wood splitting is imminent, so I'd best get suited up for a morning work out. I would like to get all the wood split and stacked by the end of October, that includes some stuff that still needs to be cut to 16" lengths.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 8:14AM
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Spending yesterday and today dragging the hose around. Only one of a handful of days this season that I've had to do so. We need rain!

chelone, I've had good luck ordering bulbs from Van Engelen and it's parent company, John Scheepers. One is for larger orders (can't remember which.) I've also used bluestone perennials. ((((chelone)))) on getting sad news from your friend.

Michelle, Congratulations, big time, for the beautification award. You truly deserve it. I bet Kenzie loves getting garden videos from you. What a great idea to keep her in touch your gardens, especially the Secret Garden.

Skylar's room is great. I love wall maps, even though I don't own one. I have trouble remembering geography for some reason, so I would love to have a map on every wall for reference. I believe we learn better if you have a visual to go along with the discussion. Love the photo of Ivy. A beautiful smile she has.

Kathy, stunning photos from Sonoma. Great score on the plant sale, too. I have a 'Jack Frost' brunnera next to my hakone grass. Muted blues and yellow are so calming. Jack likes a lot of moisture to keep it from browning around the edges, at least in my zone. I haven't had any reseeding, but they don't come true, they revert to the species.

Hi everyone. Hope your day is great.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 2:22PM
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We cleaned up the lion's share of a remaining pile of rounds this morning; probably another cord, not much more. The helpmeet has to cut some 4' lengths down to 16" rounds and that should finish up the firewood until we take down another tree, or lose one to an ice storm. I have to say, the place is looking very self-sufficient now.

I have to chuck a load of very dirty clothes in the washing machine; the weather forecast is for chilly weather mid/late week and I have to make sure I have clean slacks. I also have a pair of dugarees scored at the thrift for $3 that need to have the thigh area taken in a bit and that may be the order of business in the next half hour. I started to "break in" my newest footwear purchase. A pair of "common sense" lace up Merrills that seem pretty comfortable so far. I was glad I'd decided to wear them since I managed to drop a large round on my foot fairly early in the lumberin' operation... no harm done.

Thanks, Anita, for your bulb source suggestion. I'll pull up the website and see if there is still time to order for fall planting. I requested some assistance to get a nice shrub/two in the ground in memory of my friend. I've not fully decided what to plant in his honor but it will have to be rugged, hardy, and handsome to do him due justice. I was thinking today that all he really wanted from life was a family and that he was unable to achieve that in a way meaningful to him breaks my heart.

I think it best that I feed the hound as the helpmeet seems to have disappeared and baleful eyes are surveying my every keyboard tap...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 6:27PM
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Brent and Beckys have a good reputation for bulbs too Chelone. I havent ordered from them west of the Rockies (there is land west of the Rockies by the way) the shipping charges escalate. I was thinking about how beautiful the winter view will be from the Salon, your diligently split wood cozying the place up a warm and safe treehouse ! Perhaps the handsome and rugged shrub will be on view from that lofty perch.

Anita, I have(had) a plain old variegated Brunnera that reverted to green years ago. I cant complain too much, I cut it back to the ground the second that crispy thing starts to happen and I have new foliage and re-bloom in a few weeks.

Norma, Ive become a digging machine here-quite ruthless in the demolition department. The next victim is a Lavender that I have moved at least 3 times , but has now become very woody, with an unattractive shape, so out it goes. Lavs are very common, available and cheap here , so I am a firm believer in replacing them when they are past prime.

On a seasonal note, when I drove over to Sonoma this weekend signs of fall were apparent, Walnut trees are turning, as are some vineyards . My Liquidambar is starting to color up, (it's only redeeming feature) and have seen others doing the same around town. The weather is fabulous. I am really stoked about my trip to the coast next month- fall is spectacular on the Mendo coast

Waves to alland where is everyone anyway ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 9:12PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm right here, Kathy! A little more to the right - there you go, I see you!

Here's my sign of fall, a New England aster in the prairie just starting to bloom.

Yesterday we got to go to the dedication ceremony for a new lakefront preserve on Lake Michigan. It was a perfect day, as you can see:

Today was not as perfect, as I spent a chunk of my afternoon unsuccessfully battling a malware infection on an office computer. More fun to look forward to in the morning.

Ah, there's the beep of the dryer. Fun at home too!


    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 9:50PM
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The beep of the dryer cannot compete with the crack of the bat..!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 11:07PM
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Good morning. Things are busy here. I'm enjoying the weather and getting things done. That feels good.

I'm busy casting leaves as often as I can move them through my work area and have some ready to paint:

This one is just HUGE (I left the door in the picture for reference):

The one I'm casting today is even bigger - I had to create a new work surface to be able to cast the leaf. I am working on a plan for a stand that would allow the leaf to float over the garden, the way it naturally would. I think I really have to take that welding class this year :)

Chelone, something for your garden to remember your friend sounds like a perfect idea.

I've been shopping for good winter boots...I'm planning on trying to enjoy the winter, lol, we'll see how far I get in this plan. For some reason cross country skiing sounds nice to me, and they allow it at Tower Hill....I'm thinking it would be a good place for me to start.

Marlene, I don't envy you facing computer woes at work. You sure saved my hide with the last advice. I wish I could repay you :)

It was football here last night, Kathy. I went to bed earlier than usual!

That's it for me folks! I'm off to the gym and then in the garden for the day.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 6:56AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, very busy here as I have three paintings to design, paint and write instructions for before the end of the month. Fall is definitely in the air, the large hostas are starting to fade to yellow and the dogwood leaves are turning red. Many of the perennials are browning out.

Kathy, looking forward to seeing fall photos from CA.

Saucy, those leaves are absolutely gorgeous! you are an artist!

Here are a couple of my Robin shots. They've been stripping the berries from the Mountain Ash tree.

OK must get off this computer and get to the studio

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 7:11AM
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Good morning

My new job (which so far has been good but exhausting) and the start to the school year seem to have squeezed out my Idyll time but I am determined to regain it!! I thought I'd start by peeking to say Hi and that I was thinking of all and especially GB these last few days. I can't wait to see Michelle's pictures but for now I must dash.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 7:48AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Afternoon all!

Autumn has arrived with a vengeance here today, cold, wet and windy. No garden chores today!

Instead two JJobs got done; the front bench that houses mitts and hats etc. and sits in the front hall got cleaned out today: mitts with no mates went to the trash, summer stuff like thirteen golf balls, one frisbee, one watergun, one football and three hockey ministicks went to the garage, and all the winter stuff got washed and hung up on a rack to dry (immediately made me think of Chelone with her drying rack in the boiler room!). One lonely mothball got tossed in there too - even mothball fumes smell better than the previous odors emanating from said bench!!

Job number 2 involved the large pantry in the laundry room. This got done in a fit of temper as yet one more thing fell off the top shelf and hit me on the head this morning. Unfortunately it was a mega box of Minute Rice, left here by DS, and which was open, of course, resulting in a cascade of dry rice down my neck and all over the floor....two hours later the pantry looks a lot better, is safer, and the trash bags are full.

I am glad to read that Mary's new job seems to be going well - I was wondering!!

and Saucy, those leaves are absolutely amazing! What a gorgeous addition to any garden!

Deanne, I am impressed by your bike-riding exploits. I have an old-lady bike - you know, a Cruiser, with no gears, a fat seat, and wide tires, just made for tooling around the neighbourhhod. I do so, following TCS on his new bike from the fair, as he does his "tricks", bumps over the is only a matter of time before he sports wicked road rash or a cast, I'm afraid!

The robins are lovely, but seeing as the robins here have eaten my entire grape crop, I am less than enamoured. Next year I will protect things.

Chelone, I am sorry to read about your loss of a friend, especially when one source of his sadness was the lack of something so many of us take for granted. Your idea of a tree or shrub having many of his stellar qualities sounds like a great idea.

And in spite of intentions to the contrary, it looks like Skyler has blue (his room), and Ivy has pink (the t-shirt!)*LOL*.

Time for the school bus to arrive! Pizza tonight as it is DH's last golf night and TCS and I are on our own!

See ya tomorrow!



    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 3:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good to catch up here!

I am loving the cool sunny days lately, but am concerned by the lack of rain. I've watered again and again, but it just isn't the same as rain is it...At least that's what the plants tell me.

I've not been feeling up to snuff and am not sure of the problem. Anyway, I think I'm gradually getting better. I've begun to eat a bit, and that's a good sign I guess.

DH is back to teaching and that's a fine thing too. I hope his students are a good crop this year! Each class has its own personality. It is hard for DH to know how to handle graduate students when he is unsure of when he will retire. It just isn't fair to sign up for 20 PhD candidates and then not be able to follow through with them. One possibility is to share them with a fellow prof and jointly advise them. That only works if they are in total agreement though. We'll see how it progresses.

This morning I weeded and edged the bridge area. It took a long time and wasn't easy either. Then I moved 3 clematis there, fertilized, staked and watered them in. Tomorrow I should find stones to surround that area and make it match the other side. It is all pink and blue...Yes Julie, like Skyler and Ivy!

There were errands this afternoon: the dump, gas for the mower, post office for DH's bills, a few food items.

The lady who organizes our winter wood delivery has been reminded, AHEM!, and the dental refund which we never received is said to be on its way, and other nuisance business has been dealt with.

My thoughts are with Woody and Chelone these days. I hope they know that. HUGS.

Here's Ms Ivy with her uncle Brad. (Her outfit is actually pale pink & brown!) She's holding Sophie the giraffe. I hope Eden knows how much little ones love Sophie!


    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 4:52PM
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Teenage robins apparently put away as much food as any other teenager, I see! Lovely shots, Deanne.

Saucy, your leaf castings are amazing. Tell me, when you get into the mega-leafs must you use some sort of reinforcment in the mix to assure strength? I love mine but hadn't figured out how to use it well and now... well, my mind isn't focussed on much beyond doing what must be done. I did not comment on your marvelous water garden... it has galvinized me to attempt one of my very own. ;) I applaud the purchase of warm winter boots! being cold is a drag and you won't want to get out if you don't have footwear that allows it. Winter is part of New England and there's no use grousing about it for too long.

I confess, Julie, I laughed at the mental image of rice cascading off the shelf and the ensuing mess. Bet you'll be finding stray grains of it for weeks to come. And I marvel at your steely nerves as you "trail in his wake" (a quote from V.) wondering when TCS will run out of luck with respect to bicycle shenanigans. You're a good egg!

Woody, I've failed you miserably in the dog sitting dep't. I have about 3 shots still in the camera and that's it. I simply wasn't able to manoever the camera, leashes, and maintain the severity of control that punctuates my time with dogs. I opted for two handed beatings instead of pictures. Those two dogs were classic examples of what can be accomplished with Exercise, Discipline (my favorite!), and Love. Active animals need to be active if you want them to cooperate with you!

Mary, lovely to learn your new position is panning out nicely. It must be a great relief for you and I'm happy to learn that major stressor has been removed from your life. How're the girls doing these days?

And Ivy certainly seems to adapt nicely to whatever set of arms she's in. I detect a party girl in the making. Love the feminine jail bird suit. "Breakin' rocks in the hot sun...". I hope you continue to perk up, 'bug. Being down is a real drag, feeling crummy is worse!

Time to take the load of laundry to the "walk in dryer"... the boiler room. It's supposed to be chilly the next couple of days.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 6:57PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all! A quick pop-in to catch up.
Bug, you and your family have been much in my thoughts the last couple of weeks. The quilt is wonderful, and Skylers room turned out great! I love that color of blue! Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Take good care of yourself, girl!

((Chelone))Something for your garden is a wonderful memorial for your friend. The garden seems to be a good place to find comfort. I have so many things that came from my DB's house. It makes me feel a little better when I'm missing him.
I've had excellent luck with Van Engelen and Scheeper's. VanEngelen is for large quantities, and the quality of bulbs is superb.

So, there any pork left, or do you want us to swing through McDonalds??

I'm trying to get our vacation planned. It starts with yet another skydive. From there, to meet Marlene. WOO HOO! My first in-person Idyll encounter! Then, on to Madison, WI and another visit to the gardens. I'm a bit stuck from there. The next destination is Iron Mountain, but I'd like to break up the drive a bit. It turns out, we're going on vacation at the same time as last year. Hopefully, this year, everything won't go down the crapper like it did last year.

Saucy, those leaves just blow me away! You are amazing! DH kind of gets a gleam in his eye when I show him the pictures. I think he wants to learn to play in the "mud", lol!

Deanne, that pic of the robin plucking the berry...very cool!

I'm being called to dinner. Hi to everyone, take care, and I'll be back :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 7:26PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi Idylls!!! Congratulations Michelle, on the Beautificiation Award! You didn¡¦t even mention it when you were here!!!

We so enjoyed having you and Rick here, all the things we did and tooling around the area. Did you get any pix of David¡¦s? I didn¡¦t bring my camera ¼, but WOW, WOW and WOW. What a gorgeous home and gardens to die for. If you have pix, please post them.

Ruth says Hi to all. She hasn¡¦t done much in her garden this year. She¡¦s got tons going on in her personal life and hasn¡¦t had time. GB, I¡¦m sure she¡¦ll love knowing you think of her and her gardens. I¡¦ll be sure to pass it along.

Since Rick and Michelle left, it¡¦s been chaos here. First, I really poked my eye. After pruning a shrub, I dropped a glove and reached for it. However, I was looking where the glove landed, not where my head was going as I reached for it. The eye poke literally knocked me off my feet. After Urgent Care and a subsequent visit to the Opthamologist the following day, it was determined that I took a 1/16th¡¨ chunk out of my cornea. Whew, that hurt. I just finished all the drops, salves, and meds, am healing well and can see to drive!

Meanwhile, DH has had a couple responses on jobs. One was in South Africa (not), the other he went on an interview for yesterday. He would be working temporarily in Syracuse, NY. It¡¦s a 16 wk assignment that could be extended. We¡¦re hopeful and have our fingers crossed. There¡¦s a possible job in Austria, too.

Today, I went with the Beautification Commission members to pick out benches we¡¦d like to purchase for the front of township hall. Two for resting on the walkway leading to the building, the other for the Hosta garden we¡¦re planning for the front of the building. Further, I met with a couple contractors to prep the area for the hosta garden and to help me redo my back garden. Some of my plants and divisions will wind up at the twp. planting area.

Michelle, the reason my garden looked so awful, is that I knew I¡¦d be tearing it up. I didn¡¦t want to get into it while you were here. Not only did I want to redo the area, but we have to. It turns out that the back portion of my garden is encroaching on the subdivision ¡¥commons area¡¦. While we followed the ¡¥line¡¦ used by neighbors on both sides, and there were errors by the sub association, we decided against fighting it. It would be costly. So we¡¦ll have to reduce the center of the pachysandra bed, and move in the back garden. Here¡¦s the view from our second story:

I lost two important anchor plants in the garden this year ¡V a prostrate blue spruce shrub and a laceleaf Japanese maple. And of course, I¡¦m going to have to shovel prune, move lots of plants and change some things around. And I have tons to divide and move.

Hugs to ¡¥Bug¡¦ on the memorial walk, to Chelone on her good friend¡¦s illness, and for anyone else stressed by losses, trials, office crapola, etc. And a big ¡¥Hi¡¦ to new Idylls. May you find warm friendships here amongst the sweetest, most caring folk imaginable.

On the next rainy day, I¡¦ll catch up on your pix and past posts. TTYL, friends.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 7:30PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Plenty of pork, Brenda!

Has anyone noticed that Midwest Idyll get-togethers have begun? :)

Off to the city council meeting with the environmental plan - wish us luck!


    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 7:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Brenda, wise choice of first Idyll encounter!!!

And Chelone, I too had a laugh about the rice shower at Julie's. These days at weddings they no longer throw rice but blow bubbles or some such thing. Anyway, just be thankful it wasn't a can of concentrated lemonade...which was a trick I pulled years ago and lived with for weeks afterwards. Sticky sticky!

Someone just came by for zucchinis and eggplants. YES!!!!!

I too want to congratulate you Saucy on your fine leaf castings! Just lovely. Wish I could send you some Rheum palmatum and other rhubarb leaves!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 7:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi V and Honey! You just snuck in when I wasn't looking!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 7:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I wonder if Brenda and Michelle have seen Google today? Their logo is of crop circles. Occasionally I have seen them when flying over western states.

Anyway, maybe it is time for Rick and Michelle to plan one of these? (Brenda is probably too busy jumping!) See below! There are 46 pages of them if you really get hooked...

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 8:04PM
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Yay, its Honey checking in ! Hope you can stick around for awhile. Fabu shot of your garden !

And an update from Mary too- thanks for letting us know that all is well , though busy in the Mary-world. Its been a looong time since I had a new job but I remember the mental energy it takes to learn the ropes and retain that knowledge from day to day. Exhausting for sure.

Saucy, those leaf castings are just double fabu-fabu (which would be 4 fabus in rapid succession) Is that last one Sues leaf ? I love your idea of floating it over the garden. I hope you give yourself a great big pat on the back! Id be hard pressed to say which one I like best. Lol, football rarely graces this house- I dont think Ive watched a game in 2 or 3 years.

What great bird shots Deanne ! I guess that Ash tree gets further reprieve when it provides such a nice staging area , huh ?

Julie, Old Lady Bikes are becoming very trendy out here on the left coast, especially if vintage (the bike, not the old lady) and one can see them restored and tooling along just like a GTO. The pantry is one of my favorite Julie Jobs, I completely rearranged mine last winter, and will probably do so again this year. The food bank is usually a beneficiary.

I do like that stylish outfit on our Ms Ivy and await the appearance of more hair. A nice pink ribbon will seal her girlish fate . I will be perusing your crop circle thread during baseball tonight.

Brenda, there better be cameras on this mini IU caper of yours- will V take you to the Lurie garden in the Big City ? We expect FB update ala Sue now that V is all Blackberried up.

Ok, time for a WALAT , a lovely evening for it too

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 8:40PM
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Hi Woody !

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 8:43PM
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Anita and Bug, I too have been trying to water things to keep them going. We really need some rain. It barely sprinkled here this morning. I almost didn't catch a couple of containers soon enough.

Honey good to have a post from you. Sounds like you have a major redo on your hands. Good luck to your DH on the job front.

Bug, I probably found all the rocks you need for your project while digging a hole for my purple smoke bush today. What a job. That baby better grow, for all that work. I think I will need to put FlexAll on my hands tonite.
Chelone, I was busting rocks in the sun. I told DH I was learning to be a jailbird. Maybe Ivy will lend me her romper. LOL

Woody, thinking about you.

Mary, is your new job very differant from the old one?

Deanne aren't you glad you didn't take that ash tree down. It is the perfect backdrop for the robins. I think the squirrels are beating the birds to the dogwood berries here.

Brenda have fun on vacation. Is Jim going to skydive too?
How nice you get to visit V.

Saucy, your leaves look so delicate. They look so nice showcased on the garage wall. I was wondering about reinforcement too. Can they be left outside during winter or do they need to be brought in.

All for me tonight. Norma.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 9:32PM
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Oh yes Julie, sorry I chuckled a little at the rice fiasco too. I do my best cleaning when I am ticked off about something.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 9:37PM
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Yoo Hoo ? Calling PM2 ? Please check in !

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 10:36PM
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Geez, it's been like Old Home Week this morning.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 5:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Indeed, Old Home Week!- Where's Drema?

For me the morning began a while ago. I've done 2 loads of laundry (washer & dryer) and knit 15 or so rows on a new Ivy garment. Next I made an impossibly long activity list for the day...which promises to be dry, sunny and cool.

It is Wednesday, the week is already half over. Enjoy today!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 7:05AM
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GB, I wish I could buy rheum palmatum! I looked everywhere this summer. It's on my must have list. Sue has been nice enough to share her leaves!

Kathy, that is not Sue's giant leaf, but a different variety of alocasia that my neighbor brought me. It's not my favorite leaf, but it is the biggest :) I think it will look better painted - I don't care for the "base" color of my concrete, but I haven't really found one that I do like, YET!

Norma, Ivy could let you borrow her little jailbird outfit, lol! She looks happy as can be.

Deanne! What a shot of that robin with the fruit in his mouth! I never see them in mid-munch - it's always down the hatch, so fast. Very cool shot.

Honey, it's nice to read a post from you! Your garden is beautiful. I'm sure there are all sorts of things you will creatively add/take away to create the NEW garden! It must be hard to deal with, but also a very exciting new challenge for you! I look forward to seeing the progress. I really love your path as it is somthing I'm trying to do in my garden.

Hello Woody! Thinking of you often, especially when I plot the pathway that I just can't seem to ever get to!

I began the process of painting some leaves. I am happy with my progress. I am hoping to just keep casting as space allows (I've limited myself to my "workshop") and try to create as many leaves as I can before winter. Funny thing, though, as I worked on a leaf yesterday, I thought about what I would like to create statue-wise, and started thinking about how I could work on some of those projects in the heated garage or basement. Sarah and I would like to try mosaics.

Thanks for all your nice comments. You sure know how to boost a girl's confidence. My party is Saturday and I'm hoping someone who told me I could hang some leaves in his greenhouse is coming...also the person responsible for putting together the art classes that I taught last year.

Time for me to get to work! Today looks cooler, so it'll be good for busting rocks and moving mulch, lol!


    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 7:42AM
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I forgot to add: I heard from PM yesterday. I hope she won't mind that I share that she's had a busy time of things, but I'm sure she'll be back soon. I will email her and let her know that we're missing her posts.

I see Marian on FB, but I think she is not feeling great these days!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 7:46AM
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Good morning

Well, since you asked Chelone here they are in the new chicken condo.

The green roof will be added next spring - the engineering required to strengthen the supports to hold the weight of soil and water were not something I could figure out quickly. However, winters are long here and it will give me something to muse on.

Those with sharp eyes might spot the intruder - we found an extremely realistic chicken at Michaels who stands guard atop the house. The poor birds thought it was real for quite some time.

Here is Chicken Ugly (formerly known as Chicken Little) getting to know the newcomer. Don't chicken's have the beadiest eyes?

We are getting one or two eggs every day which are eaten by someone in the family within hours or minutes of being found. They are most delicious, the verdict being they should be fried or poached rather than scrambled to fully appreciate their dark orange yolks.

Honey - GREAT to hear from you!!

Saucy - your leaves are amazing!

Norma - my job is actually very different. I am now part of the professional support in a special needs classroom and unbelievably busy learning all sorts of adaptive technology. The children (Grades 3-5) and staff are great and I think I will find the work interesting and fulfilling. At the end of last week I was told I was a gift to the classroom. This made me feel so good, especially after my last supervisor never took the time to acknowlege my resignation or wish me well (so much for 8 years of dedicated work). But as one door closes, another opens....

Big wave to all


    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 7:56AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

I just love fall weather! Its currently 55 and patchy clouds but the air is so lovely and crisp. Im still working on that fourth plate in the fuchsia plate series and will be teaching in the weekend after next. Ive got a lot to do between now and then including finishing getting the camera set up for the monitor.

Julie, I lol over Old Lady bike, I like them except they are a bear to get up a steep hill.

Norma, yes indeed, Im very happy I decided to give the Mountain Ash another couple years as Ive figured out the problem is with the amount of water it gets. It seems to lose most of its leaves by early August when the summers are hot and dry but this year it kept its foliage and made a bountiful berry crop with the wet spring and early summer. As you said, it is a bird magnet. I dont have too many squirrels around right now for some reason. Probably because the resident Red-tailed Hawk family whittled down their numbers. Last year the squirrels got all the berries off the Ash and the Dogwood before the birds got them.

Honey, how terrific to hear from you and nice to know Ruth is doing well. What a bummer you have to move your gardens around. Jeesh. Youd think theyd like having the plantings on the commons. Love the view of your gardens. So pretty!!!!

Kathy, yes the Ash tree will be here for the time being. ~~ How about some pics?

Saucy, Would love to see painted leaf pics when you get them finished?

Mary, those chicken pics are a hoot especially the chicken decoy they are all clustered around. Too cute. ~~~ Fantastic you are enjoying the new job. Im so pleased to hear thats working out for you.

Hi Woody, thinking of you.

OK must get to the studio, have a great day all

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 8:39AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

I am taking a break from cleaning the basement and thought I'd check in here. Things have been pretty busy here since school started, and to top it off the washer decided to quit. We knew it was going, but now it stops in the middle of the rinse on the main cycle. The perma press and delicate cycles still work, so I've been doing small, light loads. New machine (with looky-loo window a la Saucy) arrives on Saturday so a basement cleaning seemed in order. The washing machine area is also the winter plant area, so I've been washing pots and moving stuff around to make room for the delivery.

Saucy, I wish I could make your party this Saturday, but the kids have too much going on and DH is going away on his "boy weekend". He and three friends usually go to the NASCAR race in NH, but after being rained on for the last 2-3 September races, they decided to change. They are flying to Baltimore to see two Red Sox games this weekend. Should be a good time. He is actually giving DS and I a "how to hook up the new washer" tutorial tonite, since he won't be back until Monday. DD has band practice Saturday, and DS has a Scout event as well. Luckily for me band is in the morning, and Scouts is in the afternoon.

'bug and others, thanks for the bulb reminder. Chelone, I've used John Scheepers and Brent and Becky's and been satisfied with both. Scheepers is probably cheaper if you are buying a lot. I'm not ordering bulbs this year, I am hoping to have new front steps and a new front door done in the Spring, and I know that men in boots would probably step on any tulips planted in that area. I'll probably just buy a few bags locally for the other parts of the yard.

I love to see that midwest Idyllers are getting together - why should we New Englanders have all the fun?

Mary, glad to hear you are settling into your new job. I've been thinking of you since school started. Such a handsome flock, and so nice to have fresh eggs!

Honey, nice to see you! That eye-poke sounds awful. Good to hear you are on the mend now. Your garden looks fabu from above, and I'm sure it will be even better when you re-work the area.

Norma, "Breakin' rocks in the hot sun - I fought the law and the law won" - now I have my earworm for the afternoon. We have our fair share of rocks here too; you have my sympathy. Did you know in some parts of the country people actually buy rocks?

Deanne, beautiful pics as always. Glad you are keeping the ash tree, it is really making up for its past poor performance this year.

Well, back to work I suppose - time to do the final laundry load before the un-hooking tonite.

Waving hi to everyone!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 1:18PM
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I feel privileged to have visited Wendy basement BEFORE she cleaned it.

Basements are exotic here !

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 2:09PM
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Much needed smiles elicited by:
1.) those silly chickens. I love the way they turn their heads sideways to get a "gander" at something. :)
2.) Norma in a striped romper/"onesie". Lol.

Honey, many years ago I was weeding a bed and came into contact with a dried shoot on a Polemonium. It was unbelievably uncomfortable, though I didn't think it serious enough to call the optometric office. I was barely able to sleep that night and went in first thing the next morning. My injury wasn't nearly as severe as your's but I have never forgotten how awful it was. Your garden is just beautiful and I've regretted not having had the opportunity to see it person. It's nice to see that you're well. Kick the dog for me, willya?

Woody, I've just received a request for a reprise of Camp BowWow/Heartbreak Ridge. Can you believe it?? Apparently, the intensive nature of their stay with us had an effect. My "say it once and enforce" policy broke through their thick skulls and even penetrated their walnut sized brains... . I have not decided if I'll be able to do it since I have a stint at THTTF scheduled at about that time, but I may just say yes and take them with me. If the goal is to get them under control enough to go anywhere with their mother then I may as well take them with me. I know well that beatings can be performed anywhere or anytime! I have to say, I'm delighted that their time here was profitable. Young active dogs cannot be expected to behave reliably if they don't have adequate exercise and consistent discipline.

I will keep my eyes peeled for Rheum ... , Saucy. If I find one I'll scarf it up. Wanna bet you'll have about 7 of them in no time flat?

Wendy, I wish my Kenmore would give up the ghost. I want a front loading washer so bad I can just about taste it. But as long as our 17 yr. old trooper keeps running I'm hesitant to fork over the pork for an unnecessary replacement. Good to learn you're well; miss your voice as FB ain't really workin' for me.

Ditto Brenda. I know you'll have a ball with V.. If you feel comfortable enough, give her a hug for me, willya? How many times do you have to jump before you're allowed to do it solo? I followed a car home today with a "skydive" bumper sticker on it and I thought about you and the farm and your brother... . Funny how we have made impressions on each other over the years, huh?

Time to take the Huge One outdoors.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 3:32PM
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Afternoon Idylls,
A quick note during coffee break. It seems like its been many months since Ive actually had a coffee break. I start training a new CSR on Thursday so I will be more behind than ever.

Fall seems to be just around the corner it seems. The bean fields are taking on a golden glow. Some of the trees are changing as well. The garden is taking on a muted scheme with lots of burgundy, mauve or dusky pink tones. Although, there are the yellows that brighten things up. Last night Rick and I spent most of the evening (which are rather short these days) in the potager harvesting beans, tomatoes, peppers and beets. We were joined by several hummingbirds and butterflies. Funny, but they really seem to enjoy the potager. I guess it helps when you add the flowers. Favorites seem to be the nasturtiums and the salvia black and blue (in the urn)
Just when I think fall is here, they are predicting 80s this week and a predicted high of 87 on Sat.

Honey, what a bummer that you have to rearrange your garden. Its so lovely just as it is. Sorry to hear about your eye, it sounds like it was painful. The second story view of Honeys garden was the one we had from their lovely guest room. How nice to look out at it in the morning with the misty pond in the background. Did you end up with the stone benches we looked at?

Chelone, speaking of Idyll reminders, when we crossed the Mississippi River on the way to Michigan, I thought of you. I also remembered to look if they have a pedestrian crossing area and they dont, at least the bridge on I 90. I cant really get into the Facebook thing either.

Saucy, your leaves are amazing. I need to work on the thin thing. The castor bean one really appeals to me. Too bad mine are so small this year.

Norma, so sorry to hear that your friend has leukemia.

Brenda, what fun youll have V and hubby are fun and great hosts. Youll love their place.

Kathy, I laughed out loud about your basement comment. It reminds me of some of my CA cousins who came here to visit a few years ago. The wife was just tickled to see our basement as meager as it is.

Mary, I just love the first picture of the chickens it looks like it should be in Country Living magazine. All the colors are just so fun.

bug, Im sure Rick wouldnt go for the crop circles but they are quite interesting. There are a few around here.

Deanne, the pictures of the robins are fabulous.

Talk about the next big project, we are getting new gutters on the house and Im trying to stall it until the gardens are cut back. Not sure it will work.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 4:37PM
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Kathy, Sarah and I were looking through online pictures for something else, and I came upon this picture of the catmint. I wish I had a tag. I know I bought it at Bigelow Nurseries, and they always have a few gems among the usual perennials :)

This garden has changed so much since this picture, but here it is (I feel like it needs a drum roll):

Mary, I'm glad to hear the new job is rewarding, challenging, and that your hard work is being recognized! Those are things that make it worth while, I think. I did not pick out the "intruder" in the coop until you mentioned it!

Michelle, I grew the castor bean that is known for it's giant leaves, as well as the usual carmencita. I forget the name, of course! Most everything else is stunted in the garden after the rainy cool summer.

I've gotta go get cleaned up and figure out a dinner solution. I weeded a big mess today and found a baby turtle in the process! Rewards :)


    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 4:51PM
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Michelle, are you going to rig up the downspouts so they can be diverted to rainbarrells for the temperate seasons? I want to do that here, but we haven't even gotten near that level of completion. Every time we have a heavy rain (like very other GD day the past few months, lol) I think of the wasted water... . At least I'm thinking about it, I suppose!

I don't believe there is anything on the other side of the Mississippi River; in fact, the vaunted MR may well be nothing more than the coast of the Pacific Ocean. I'm sorry, I'll believe it when I actually see it for "my own self". I believe all that talk is nothing more than an elaborate hoax; further embellished by labels on wine bottles and lore from people who SAY they've been there. My guess is that Kathy actually lives about 3 towns west of me and her photographs are nothing more than copied shots with her own subtitles.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 6:06PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Kathy actually insisted on seeing my basement, and I was mortified since that is the catch-all area of my home. I wasn't prepared to have guests in that quadrant!

Chelone, I think you and I need to take a road trip, maybe drive to IU next year. I have flown to the west coast and to Colorado, but never seen the middle of the country. I remember Martie talking about renting a coach bus with a charming driver to drive cross-country and pick up Idylls along the way - maybe we should do just that!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 8:16PM
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Good Wednesday evening to my Idyll friends, and what a nice newsy day here ! #455 did need a kick into high gear. I was busy as h**l at the awfice today, and didnt have much mental energy left by quittin time.. a glass of cheap white wine and a stroll with the watering can have had a reviving effect.

Saucy, are you using a concrete colorant for your leaves ? Quikrete makes a liquid and a company called Davis Concrete makes tons of colors in powder form. I hope we will have photos of this social event on Saturday do we expect to see NE Idylls there ? Thank you for the update on PM That Nepeta looks very much like one that I bought at a farmers market in Oregon and has since passed away- the flowers were much larger that most and the leaves were greener ..can you refresh my memory on the name ? If you know it

Mary,those photos of the avian segment of the Mary house are just priceless ! I couldnt help but think of blow-up dolls when viewing Chicken U making eyes at the faux poultry , lol. How great that you got such nice feedback from the new supervisor. Sounds like the whole gig was meant to be after all uncertainty you had to deal with over the last months.

Deanne, fear not, pics are forthcoming. I am attending a garden show this Saturday- this is a new show, its 1st year and they sure have some great speakers(ie Ken Druse, Price and Withey, Kate Frey etc) and garden designers lined up and its in Sonoma county to boot, about a ½ (scenic)drive from my house . There will be display gardens and the all important plant and garden art vendors too ! The admissions are in benefit of The Garden Conservancy and the local Land Trust. Really looking forward to it, and hope its a huge success. I hope you will share with us your new design for your students when you get it finished !

Wendy, I remember talking to your DH about the new fall guy trip I guess this would be a Prince Weekend as per Brendas Princess Weekend ! My garage used to look very much like your basement before my two dumpster days !

Chelone, my washer is unlikely to die anytime soon as it is only 6 or 7 years old. It works for me. But, I hate my stove (also only 6 or 7 years old) and wish I had spent a couple hundred bucks more at the time and gotten something a little better. Oh well. Lol, would that all my Idyll friends were only 3 towns away ! Im going to be cranking out a few fake fall shots here quite soon. Start filling up that piggy bank lady, Saucy,Wendy, Sue and Deanne will be hauling your a** out here before you know it. A look at the Pacific is on the agenda- the Left Ocean .

Michelle, I hope you will share some fall shots of your beautiful garden with us !

OK time for the pre-baseball WALAT !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 9:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Row 1: Knit 6, Purl 3
Row 2: Knit 3. Purl 6

And so ends my day... ;)

I accomplished many of the things on my list but not all. I added lunch out with DH (who bought new shoes as well.)He then completed the transporting of the chips to the vegetable garden and is thrilled that is over with!

More rock, soil, water and shovel work planned for Thursday. It never ends, but as long as the sun shines, I don't mind. (I don't own a striped onesie either...)

I am also one of those who is not a good fit for FB. So I hope others will continue to let us know the special news of Sue, Eden , Marian and others...if they don't mind.

On the evil stepmother front, Skyler was scolded because he lied. He has been writing down what he wants for lunch at school and DD has been buying it if it is healthy stuff. Unfortunately, while he was emptying his lunch pack after school for clean-up, a note for his parents appeared. It stated that the young man has been giving away his lunches. DD was most disappointed because she had been buying expensive roast beef etc for him and he said he enjoyed it! When his Dad had the TALK with him after his Tai Kwan Do class, he said "But I didn't lie on Monday!" Basically Dad said "You have to tell the truth. You must eat your own lunch no matter what. I don't care if you like it or not, if you are hungry or not. You have to eat if you are going to perform well at school. Capiche?" And the 10 year old voice said "ok..." Stay tuned! (Hear that Adrian?)

Tomorrow is a difficult day for my brother who meets with a group of interested parties on the care of an 18 year old girl who is bi-polar, has borderline personality disorder (involving cutting) and more. He really REALLY cares about her care and progress and has been prevented from seeing or talking to her for over a year. That he is asked to take part is interesting and makes us more hopeful than we should be no doubt. I wish this poor girl well. She has 2 younger sister who will no doubt follow the same path...

So happy to see Mary's "poulailler" and hear the great news on the new job. Hope things fall into place quickly.

Wendy, your idea of a bus trip across the states reminds me of Little Miss Sunshine....!!!

Ivy and friend:

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 10:53PM
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Waiting for Ivy to look grumpy.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 11:00PM
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Kathy, I think 'Dropmore Blue' sounds right to me, but I don't see pictures of it that look like mine. I am terrible with names/keeping up with tags. I'm sorry I can't be a better help.


    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 7:22AM
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GB - giving lunch away must be a boy thing. David appeared to be running a small black market operation when it came to lunch last year (Middle school lunches are pretty much a free-for-all.) I would pack a few treats with his "healthy" sandwich. David would eat the sandwich and then use the Oreo's, pop-corn or whatever to trade for sizeable portions of friends' lunches, in particular from the girls who can be picky eaters. David told me he could negotiate a whole meatball sandwich for just a couple of Oreos. I have made him stop, thinking how other parents would feel and knowing that school lunch is not the time for free enterprise. I've also been packing bigger lunches for him. Again, we'll have to "stay tuned".

I too do not see whittling away time on FB in the near future when I barely make it to the Idylls which is my chief cyber pleasure. Please let us know how those that have left us are doing. I miss them:0(


    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 7:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary, (and others too!) could you share Book Club ideas with me for next Tuesday's gathering?

Off to the great outdoors!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 8:25AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good morning Idylls!

Ouch, Honey! I know exactly how that kind of thing happens. I did the very same thing with a Russian Sage I was pruning early one spring. Thank goodness it wasn't worse! Congrats on DH's job offers. Love the second story view. That's something I didn't even think about when I started gardening. Dumb luck has always been my friend, though, and we have a nice view of my favorite bed from our bedroom.

Bug, love the Google link! Someone made the coolest corn maze in a field by the skydiving place. It blew me away when I looked down and saw it. It must take some serious patience and vision to do that. As it happens, my instructor grew up on a farm. We did a "crop survey" on the way down, and he pointed out places where it had been really wet this spring. Fun to hang out over the crops with another farmer :)
Ah, the lessons on truth-telling! When DS was about Skyler's age, he went through a phase or...something! That kid would lie to me if I asked him his name, I swear! Taking a page from Chelone's book, constant discipline and regular beatings saw him through it ;)

Kathy, I will have my camera, and will update as much as possible without offending DH, lol! I think there are days when he would like to make both my cell phone and computer come up missing ;) Of course, I'm still Blackberry-less, so instant updates will have to wait until next vacation.
You'd LOVE our "exotic" basement. It was dug in the mid 1800s, and the foundation of the house is field stone. Interesting to look at and wonder how in the world they did that. Some of those stones are HUGE!

Norma, as far as I know, Jim has no plans to jump. I think he really wants to. He's afraid he'll throw up on the instructor ;) Of course, if he gets over there, and wants to...I fully support it, lol!

Mary, I never thought I'd say this, but what a pretty picture of chickens! Frankly, big birds kinda freak me out. I could never stand going in the chicken coop when we raised chickens. Everyone looks quite happy, and I wouldn't have spotted the intruder. Fits right in!
Lol, interesting that David trades Oreos for sandwiches. I would SO be the other way around :)

Wendy, have fun with the new washer. We got one with a looky-loo window, too. The first week I had it, I was just LOOKING for stuff to wash, lol! My friend, Diane and I stood and watched it wash for a good 5 minutes. Needless to say, the fascination wore off pretty quickly, and it's back to being a menial task.

Chelone-Oh, I'm a hugger. If there's any discomfort, it's on the part of the hug-ee, lol!
As a matter of fact, I passed my tandem levels on my last jump. To go solo, there is a one week course, that involves about 25 jumps with instructors. On your first solo, you jump with two instructors holding on to you to help you learn to get stable. I can jump as many tandems as I want, so that's not something that I have to rush to make a decision on, especially as DH is sitting next to me watching me type, and rolling his eyes, LMAO ;)
Yep, it sure is amazing how much of an impression we've all made on each other. I think of you all so often when something happens in the day-to-day that makes me think of one or the other of you. Lol, for example, I can NOT see a baby jumper a-la Miss Ivy without thinking of you!
For the record, I still think it sucks that I didn't get to take Chuck skydiving. Probably always will. That, and a million other things.
BTW! There's a picture of you doing the hula-hoop at IU. It's been driving me NUTS! Do you, or do you not, have a shirt that says, "Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society"?? I have the fridge magnet, and I can't read your shirt, but it looks like my magnet....and sounds like a shirt you should have :)

Michelle, I'm starting to see some yellow bean leaves around here, too. Not much in the way of fall color yet. We're hoping to see some as we go farther north on vacation.

Believe it or not, after only NINE months, I finally have a disk of wedding pictures. What a fiasco! The photographer left shortly after the wedding to travel to (I believe) South Africa on a job. Someone else was running the business end of things back here. He shot two weddings very close together. The other girl's check bounced, the lady taking care of things thought it was Christina, (my) check that bounced, and didn't send out the disk. Meanwhile, calls weren't being returned, etc. Once the photog got back, it was all straightend out, but SHEESH! I'm in the process of getting them uploaded to Photobucket. I hope to get them posted today. Lol, it occurs to this amount of time, we could have had a BABY :)

Gotta go. I've developed a nasty habit of sitting in bed with my coffee and laptop. That started at 5:00 this morning. It's now 8:30. The truly sad thing is that I've been "up" three times, and keep coming back. This time, it needs to be for keeps. I really need to get stuff together for vacation. Time to play with the fascinating amazing wonder-washer, lol!
Have a great day, all!
PS. For those interested in how they can teach you to skydive, here's a link to someone doing the AFP program. They video each jump, so they can go over it with you when you get on the ground.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 8:31AM
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Aha! Try this: nepeta sibirica souvenir d a. chaudron

I do believe that is it....amazing what you can come up with while mulching....

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 8:32AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

'bug and Mary, now you have me wondering what my son is doing with his lunch debit be a fly on the wall at that school!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 9:51AM
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It's still very dry here, and will be three weeks since we've had measurable rain. I'm not too worried about the perennials, but the shrubs need the water to put out their fabulous fall colors. I moved a two year old seven sons shrub (or is it a tree?) on Tuesday that had out grown its spot. It was in a very small pot from bluestone when I planted it. Boy, that thing grows fast. You have to be very careful when you site them, because of their rapid growth rate. I hope I got enough of the roots...

So much is going on with the not so idle Idylls. Too much to comment on, I know I'll miss something.

Honey, so wonderful to see your gardens. Gorgeous! Hope your eye is doing better. Ouch.

chelone, your dog whispering days aren't over yet, huh? Your services will be in high demand once word gets out.

kathy, I LOL on your fascination over basements. In some parts of the country, they turn into indoor swimming pools, so they aren't always a good thing. We have a dry one (right now), but we're always on high alert during heavy rains if we lose electricity. Even with a back up sump pump (you know what that is? LOL), they only last a few hours. I'd love to have a whole house generator for the peace of mind. Have fun on your Sonoma weekend. The garden show sounds great.

deanne, the robin photos are stunning. You get the neatest closeups of nature. Hope your class goes well.

wendy, Good luck with the new lookylook window washing machine. I applaud that you are going to hook it up yourself. No way would I attempt it myself.

Bug, I hesitate to offer book titles, since I'm not too familiar with your book club, but since you asked...:)
I've recently read, and enjoyed, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and All Are Welcome Here, by Elizabeth Berg.
The latest adorable Ivy photo brings to mind people trying to make the stoic Sentry guards in London crack a smile.

mary, the chickies are looking great, even the decoy. If you didn't point her out, I wouldn't have noticed. Glad the job is going so well. A Gift to the Classroom would make a nice plaque, don't you think? What a wonderful comment.

brenda, thanks for the link. I will look at it later and bookmark it. Skydiving is something on my "bucket list." Have a great visit with V.

Woody, thinking of you.

Hi to all I missed and to our missing Idyllers. I like it here much better that FB. Is it a privacy issue that they don't post here anymore?

Have a delightful day all,

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 11:33AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OH fuddle duddle. (to quote Pierre Trudeau...) I wasn't at all planning on repairing a flat tire on the mower today. I'm in the middle of a project and the back wagon is loaded with a dozen bags of top soil. @!*&%#**!^%*


    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 11:45AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

First of all, this should answer Brenda's question:

I'm trying really hard to keep up with the idylls again. I'm trying to be a little more productive in how I spend my time on the computer. Yes, I'm classifying this as "productive" time!

'bug, the look that Ivy is giving Indy is precious! Hmm, Ivy, Indy - I'm reminded of David Letterman's Oprah, Uma joke many years ago.

You know, Chelone, there's a middle coast too:


    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 10:06PM
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I like Thursdays. Kind of a wind down towards the weekend day even though Fris can get hectic as one tries to close out the work week.
Please note, I sent out an e-mail last night re: IU7 , and if anyone did not receive it please e-mail me and I will forward to you. I tested my GW e-mail addy and it worked for me. There seems to be momentum for IU7 here on the west coast , but Im sure we would entertain other suggestions.

Saucy. I think your ID on the Nepeta is spot-on---the only nursery that offers it out here that I can find is Digging Dog- they will have a booth at the garden show I am attending in Sonoma county on Saturday, and if they dont have it there, I am going to their open house in Mendocino when I do my coast trip in October.

Brenda, the east side of our hills are very stony here, and there are many old wineries in the valley that are built of stone- back in the olden days before A/C and climate control, stone buildings and caves provided the best protection from the hot summer sun.

LOL Anita, our last measurable rain was probably in February, maybe March. We usually expect to see rain in late October or November. Dragging the hose is a daily chore.

V., Idyll time is extremely productive. Particularly as it pertains to mental health. !

Later Friends !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 10:43PM
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Good morning

I've spent time on the Middle Coast too:0) I think I recognize that long hair.

GB - we are geting ready to vote on books for this year too. "The Help" that Anita enjoyed comes very highly recommended. I am 160th on our library's hold list so it is certainly popular. One of our favorites from last year was "Water For Elephants" by Sarah Gruen. Everyone I know who has read it has been touched by the book.

Right now I am in the middle of "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It documents the lives of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and the Home Front during World War II. It is a bit of a hefty tome but I am totally immersed and other members of the group gave it a big thumbs up.

Another book we are looking forward to is "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski. Have any other Idylls (or dog beaters) read that one?

Exciting news on the chicken front - yesterday Annie found 3 eggs in the nest box. Two were very small so they must be from the younger chicks. Big Bertha (the pretty white hen) squats submissively when you approach her which is an indication she is ready to lay (or mate). I'm guessing she popped out one of them. We all had fried egg as an after school snack with just a shake of pepper and sea salt. Their yolk was the darkest orange you could imagine. Annie termed it "liquid gold" and as a one time only concession David was allowed to lick his plate so that he didn't miss a drop.

Well, to quote one of our missing numbers, TGIF. Much as i enjoy my new work it is still totally exhuasting and i'm looking forward to coming home at the end of teh day and soaking in the hot tub.

Have a good one!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 7:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Once again I'm headed out to the garden. Showers predicted at last...for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Frost predicted for tonight! ARGH! So much left to do...(Think coleus...)

No IU7 e-mail here from Kathy.

Lots of Fall colour around in trees and crops. Before long the tamarack trees will be turning gold I expect. That means I need to plan for caging shrubs etc against critter damage this winter. (And it's only September!)

For those following the saga, my brother's meeting yesterday went quite well to his delight. Only time will tell about his friend's progress.

TGIF! And happy today to everyone.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 7:54AM
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I loved Edgar Sawtelle and loaned it to Jake.

Not much going on here this morning, just catching up :)


    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 8:20AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning no time to post but wanted to tell Kathy that I didn't receive the IU7 email


    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 8:48AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Friday everyone!

Warm and wet here today - the weather I mean (sorry, couldn't resist)!

Yesterday we decided to complete all major work that we wanted to be done outside before winter; the area around the shed was cleaned up, levelled, and mulched, and the composters moved into their final position. The remaining two Korean lilacs were relocated. The back lawn was cut, all of the Virgina Creepers were planted, the pool was emptied, cleaned and stored and the mosquito catcher was retired for the winter. Birdfeeders are up and full. We are getting ready....

Today the kitchen will be rearranged to accommodate our winter traffic pattern - really making room for the large planters that I want to bring in and keep by the sunroom windows.

Anything to keep feeling like something concrete is being done and I don't have to paint the guestroom....but I need to access my plant lights and the guestroom furniture is in the way. It is going to have to happen soon. DH calls these chores that I keep putting off "gumption traps". Chores that grow ever larger in my mind the longer I delay in tackling them. I like the sound of Chelone's bathroom ceiling colour and I may seek it out for that room.

Today's early morning excitement: as it is rainy I walked Ajax on the shortest possible route from TCS's school bus stop to home, a route I rarely take. As I was walking down the street, I heard a garage door opeing automatically, hear a huge crashing noise, and a moaning voice "Oh my G*d!". I ran into the garage to find an older man lying on the concrete floor, at the bottom of three steps, surrounded by blue box stuff, garbage cans etc. He had been trying to open the door at the top of the steps, found it locked, gave a huge tug to open it and had slipped and fallen. He struggled to get up, and then I noticed the blood. I helped him sit on the steps and checked him for cuts and didn't find anything, then noticed his sock was red....he had badly bruised and cut his shin. He had numerous other scrapes and bruises, but was not dizzy or shocky. I went to the front door to alert his wife, and then trotrted home to fetch DH, who is well trained in first aid, who would have the strength to help him up, and who would be able to take him to the ER if necessary. We stayed at the house for half an hour, administering ice packs and watching for any kind of disorientation or signs of head injury, stoke or whatever, and were relieved to find him in pretty good shape. We left him lying on his couch with ice packs while the wife phoned the doctor.

These folks are new to the neighbourhood - what a way to meet your neighbours!

Lucky that I walked that way this morning, and lucky that I had Ajax and not Tucker...Tucky would have licked the poor guy to bits! Ajax sits and stays.

IU VII. Would love to go, but maybe not possible as we have a family wedding to attend in Nova Scotia on June 26. However.....I wonder if there are timeshares near Kathy's house? Maybe....a bit too early for me to make a decision yet. But IU VI was such a blast!!!! Old stone wineries, hmmmm....Sounds wonderful!

Wow Mary, your feathered friends must be demonstrating their happiness with their new digs!

Would love to improve my mental health by staying around longer this morning, but my day awaits!

I'm off, to the school, to the library, to the grocery, to rearrange the kitchen....



    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 9:38AM
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Gosh Julie, you were in the right place at the right time to help the man. Plus you knew exactly what to do .

I am no where near ready for winter here, but I better get crackin. I did some stuff outside today but just couldn't get into the swing of it. I just hate that when I want to accomplish a lot.

We are due for a weather change and that may be my problem.
I hope we do get some rains as predicted.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 4:03PM
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Yes, to echo a few others...TGIF!

Julie, I would love to have you as a neighbor. You put new meaning to the term Good Samaritan!

Expecting rain here, too, late Sunday through Tuesday. I can't think about winter yet, but am really looking forward to fall. Even the never-ending leaves.

Just a drive by,

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 7:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Let me echo that TGIF! Only 8 more work days at 9.5 hours per day and then I get to go to an 8 hour day! Yay. Feeling a little bit like an indentured servant at the moment, but I know I am grateful to have a job.

Julie, you were certainly in the right place and doing the right thing.

Our book club got a good recommendation on "The Help". I read "Water for Elephants" and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite thinking at the very beginning that I would not like it.

I have to confess that all week I have been really, really tired and I am flagging now. I'll copy my haiku of the day and a photo to round out my post.

Fall sun on prairie
Ignites the Little Bluestem
Making all things glow



    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 9:36PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

HA! I KNEW it! Thank you, V!
I got the wedding pictures all uploaded, it took forever! I'll get some posted before the baby is born, I promise :) Gotta go, we're leaving tomorrow, and I still haven't finished packing.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 9:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Bon Voyage Brenda!

V, Little Bluestem appears in Reed's garden. :)

Still knitting.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 10:28PM
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Hola ! Just a quick wave here- thanks to saucys good record keeping I re-did the IU distribution list and hope that all interested parties received e-mails from me today. If you are wishing to attend or want to be updated on IU and did not get mail today , please let me know and I will add you to the list.

Wow V, an 8 hour day-that seems just like heaven to me. Ive been on 9 , sometimes 10 for 15 years. Im starting to think about winding down.

For book club folk, I submit The Music of Chance" by Paul Auster. This book is not new, (1990) but somewhat obscure I think . Good read if you want something a bit different, and short too.

Garden show tomorrow, pics will follow !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 18, 2009 at 11:03PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good almost afternoon!

We have lift-off with the new washer! The delivery people arrived promptly at 8:15 and by 9:45 we were washing. DS and I watched through the looky-loo window and were fascinated. We both thought the clothes would be floating in water like fish in an aquarium, but that machine seems to do its thing with very little water. DS actually found an old chair in the basement, and stayed to watch the entire cycle. He called me down for the exciting parts, like the super-speed spin at the end. The dryer takes no time at all now, the clothers are half-dry when they come out of the washer.

Julie, you win the neighbor-of-the year award. Lucky you were walking by at just the right time.

V, love the haiku - keep 'em coming!

DD is at marching band practice, and I am fighting the urge to drive down to the high school field and watch them. I was instructed again this morning not to be "that parent". The only public performance the band had so far this year I missed because DD was sick. I actually signed on to be a chaperone at a few of their events in October, so I suppose I'll get my fill then. The other band parents advised the chaperones to ride a different bus from the one their children are on; it is less stressful that way - you can be in just chaperone mode instead of parent mode.

A West Coast Idyll - I'm getting excited! I've been to California, but never north of San Francisco.

Brenda, enjoy your vacation! Kathy, have fun at the garden show! I'll just keep doing my backlog of laundry, and treat myself to a viewing of the rinse cycle later on...

Enjoy the day everyone!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 11:58AM
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In for a little break. We've been enjoying Indian Summer here with temps in the 80's this week. Today there is a slight breeze which is quite wonderful (read keeps the fall bugs away)
I've pulled a bunch of weeds. With vacation and missing the last 3 Saturdays and the evenings being so short, I've not spent much time in the garden other than pot watering and walating.

DH is at a 5th grade football game. I elected not to drive an hour each way and then sit through a game I really don't care for instead spending the day in my garden.

I've begun collecting some of the seeds I'd like to save.

I work 7 hours a day but have to add to that the hour round trip commute and that is plenty for me. In fact with all the changes occurring in the company with growth, I made sure the boss knew my desire to stay at 7 hours. He was agreeable.

IU7 plans sound interesting, but vacation time and vacation money will decide if its a possibility. With DD and family so far away, they are my first priority. DH loves CA and I've never been there.

My mom will have a new knee put in on Tues. and I plan to use some vacation time to be there. I'm glad my Dad is so good other than cooking and can really help her during the recovery. Especially since my siblings all live some distance and have young, active families. I plan on some meals for them so my mom will relax, which is not easy for her.

Julie, your neighbor was fortunate that you came by and are so caring.

Brenda, enjoy your vacation. Hint, you'd better get the wedding pictures posted before the baby, because afterwards the wedding seems so much less important. Advice from a grandma ;o)

Back to the garden.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 1:11PM
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What lovely, thoughtful people my Idyll friends are. Neighbors helping neighbors, family pulling together to get through unimaginably hard times, children stepping up to help ageing parents, and parents willingly "staying away" when they wish so much to be there... an amazing group you are. And it's my very great priviledge to be your friend. :)

I've been indescribeably sad these past few days. Intermittantly OK with the news of my friend's death and then absolutely overwhelmed by the knowledge that he opted to achieve it himself. Never, in my wildest dreams, as we sunned on the raft in the lake in the summer of '77 would I have remotely considered this end for him. I wonder if he did?

The compressor on the 'frig. seems to be in its death throes, too. There is a stuttering, "thunk, thunk, thunk" that occurs in a predictable rhythm lately, but I've not had what it takes to undertake an examination and the helpmeet has yet to address it, either. I don't care.

I have enjoyed the pictures you've posted. I have that grass, too, V. and 'bug. I love it. Mine is still in its pot but prospering, nonetheless. Which is good because the notion of time in the garden is remote and not in the least important at this time.

The Wrecking Crew was here last night and they are such idiots. I thought of you, Woody, as I ordered them to "sit!". They did so immediately after basically ignoring their mistress' command to do do. "How did you do that?", simple! I give an ORDER, there is no hint of gentle suggestion in my voice. Do it, or I will beat you to within an inch of your life... lol. Foolishly, I did not buy the requisite 2 6' leather leashes to go with the training collars... . I will do that tonight or tomorrow. Those foolish harnesses and 4' webbing leashes are for the birds! Geez, I hate dogs, so much work, all the time, and there never seems to be a break.

Michelle, good wishes to your Mom on her knee replacement. I know several people who've had them and are so, so glad they did the work required. Good move!

I've been reading and following along, but some days just don't have what it takes to participate.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 1:53PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon....

I had a minute and thought I would pop in to say hello. Our house is in crisis mode at the moment. DH had a medical procedure about 10 days ago and developed a serious infection and had to be rushed to the ER. After cultures came back it was discovered that it was a rare strain of bacteria. It has been a rough 10 days and he is still in the hospital. He's improved and is doing pretty good right now, but the only antibiotic he could take has to be given by IV. The kids have been helping out a great deal and have just left to go in to see him again this afternoon and bring him homemade soup and supplements.

All my computer time has been researching. It will be the middle of next week before DH can come home, so I will be missing in action awhile longer. Life can certainly change on a dime! As you all know.

Hoping everyone is doing well. Do some gardening for me. :-)


    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 2:30PM
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Swept along in a rush of who knows what but wanted to check in. Just got back from a bonzai overnight trip up north to accompany Mitch while he photographed the preview of The Late Show on Thurs evening (twilight or "magic" hour for photography, doncha know), same garden show Kathy attends on Sat. The speaker lineup sounded great, esp. mosaic artist Jeffrey Bale, but had to miss it. West Coast idyll plans sounds great, and maybe I can finally get to one, ya think?

I'm so very sorry about your friend, Chelone. Cause for sadness indeed to lose a friend in such a way. And a dollop of extra beatings for the Wrecking Crew for vexing you so.

Saw The September Issue, inside look at Vogue/Anna Wintour, and enjoyed it very much. Those who enjoy photography, fabrics and design might find it interesting.

Hurray to Brenda & V for meeting up and then telling us all about it, with the requisite photos (and haikus...)

PM, what ghastly news. Best wishes to you and your family in such stressful times.

Michelle -- your garden knocks me out, but you know that. Sounds like your Mom has all the support she'll need for the upcoming surgery, thank goodness, and from your brief description of her I bet she's the kind of patient that roars back from joint replacement surgeries. I know my mom was such a patient and has done fabulously well with two such surgeries.

I'm still missing lots to comment on with this scattershot approach. I did so enjoy the French cat who repeatedly dunked his head under the faucet, and so did Duncan -- I think 'bug may have posted that. Great shot of Mary's girls lined up on the henhouse, with the ringer in the middle. Two of my neighbors are in the special ed dept of the school district, so I know how exhausting that work can be.

Honey, sorry your beautiful garden has to have its boundaries redrawn and replanted. What a nuisance. But seeing what you've created, I eagerly look forward to the new "after" photos.

Deanne, the bird photos continue to astound, and I enjoyed the before and after photos of your container garden. What a surge of growth you get from those pots in August.

Temps continue to cool here, which is a godsend. Ein's fur is growing in on his back where he chewed himself a mohawk when the high temps hit in August, the little dickens. I'm up to my ears in little cat food cans of seedlings that are now sprouting and will need repotting, and it looks like the fall-blooming salvias might give a good show this year.

Have a great weekend.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 4:38PM
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Not much is getting done today , so I m pouring a glass of wine and leaving off pretending to be productive.

I will post some photos for you tomorrow from the Late Show Gardens..very interesting and thought provoking eventgreat potential for the future , especially if they fix some of the logistics type issues. The vendor booths were way too small making it difficult to navigate them or to see the plantsand there were awesome plants too , from some great nurseries. There is plenty of room on the property to spread those out a bit . And the venue for the speakers was too small too- SRO spilling out the door. The display gardens were wonderful- for the most part they werent places to be in so much as they were living art all speaking to the theme of sustainability and water-resource conservation. I bought not one thing though , though I spent some time gazing longingly into Marcia Donahues booth .

Wendy, I lold at your dramatic washing machine tale, envision the rapt attention of DS-reminded me of the to-do with the first family in my childhood neighborhood to get a color TV !

Michelle, you start charging admission to that beautifuk garden or your and you should have the cash for a trip out to California saved up in no time !

Sorry you are still feeling blue Chelone. Hope that innate sense of humor picks you up out of the doldrums upon occasion. Sometimes stuff just stinks, and hurts. Theres not much of anything that is worse than despair, not much harder that trying to help people who have it.

Denise, how funny that you were just over yonder on Thursday- was Mitch taking pics for the press or what ? Howd he get the gig ? Did you guys get the chance to meet Saxon Holt ?

PM, so sorry to hear of the scary med issues with your DH , it made me think of the stuff Julies DH had going on a few months ago. I hope he feels better soon, and you will be able visit us more often.

Time to go see about getting the Chuckwagon in gearnite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 8:07PM
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Closing out this thread of 100 posts of HOPE!!! Some days, it's all we have to hang on to.

(((((((chelone))))))) Even in your down days, you deliver such nice inspiring messages. Thank you.

(((((((PM2))))))) Wishing the speediest recovery for DH. My dad contacted MRSA after a hospital procedure, and it took forever to get well. The saving grace was finally calling in CDC. They got to the bottom of it. Hope DH does, too. We miss you.

(((((((michelle)))))) Sending out good thoughts to your mom for all to go smoothly.

brenda...enjoy your escape to V's prairieland.

'Nite all,

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 8:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The Autumn news around here seems glum indeed with sadness, surgery and rare strains of bacteria. I think of each and every one as I go about my days.

I thank you for your Book Club selections and have added all to my list. We'll see what gets voted in!

Today I evicted a 'native' witchhazel from the pond area and plunked it further into the wilds. I planted the Seven Sons Shrub from a deep shade area in its stead, where it should get more light. It is sulking, so I don't know if/how it will fare there yet.

DD is kindly keeping me updated with photos. That smile continues to astound. Haven't seen a grumpy one yet, but I know she cries heart wrenching sobs when she wakes up. She just hates to wake up for some reason. Here is a picture that produces mixed feelings!

Good night!(We had frost last night and expect a repeat tonight.)

    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 8:18PM
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