Idyll #334 - The Fall Equinox

gardeningmarySeptember 23, 2007

Yep, it's today. I always thought it was the 21st - did something change? In the language of science, an equinox is either of two points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect. For the rest of us, it's one of two times a year when the sun crosses the equator, and the day and night are of approximately equal length. Today this occured at 5.51 AM EDT.


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Yes, Mary, I thought the same as you...the 21st signals each of the seasons for me, but for some reason (I'm growing older?) it comes at a different time this year....

I was racking my brain for #334 as I watched the sky. It is a gorgeous evening in New England. The sky is not black, it is midnight blue with an "on its way" moon. I'll bet the full moon will be stellar this month!

I have uploaded photos...I have lots to comment but will have to put it off another day. I am beat...I will take pictures of my garden progress tomorrow! Big Day here.....

But I had FUN yesterday.....

Here's the spread:

And you wouldn't believe what the cat was doing to provoke this (you'll have to imagine....):

This is from the last garden we toured last weekend....I like the plants in the urn (URN YEARN) and promised Deanne the "globe" (which I forgot to bring to her, but meant to....who is that woman???? does she lurk, LOL!!!????):

'night all.


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

Today was the PERFECT day to get stuff accomplished outdoors! It was sunny and cool. But I somehow managed to be sick, so spent the entire day sleeping. I didn't even eat. Oh, I did manage to move the hose a few times though. DRY DRY DRY ! "Don't do today what can be put off til tomorrow" as they say....So I hope the energy returns for that!
Chelone, 21 isn't all that it was cracked up to be! I'll be glad to return to 'normal'.
I do love my kitties, but our house is very empty somehow without our doggie. Thanks for the dog therapy Cynthia!
Mary, I remember well my brother's train table set up in his walk-in closet. My favorite part was the little white 'pills' he would insert in the engine car that made smoke! Now that was DECADES ago!

On the baby front, Reed has begun to hand sign "toilet". He's not precise in the gesture, but close enough that he gets his message across and that is very useful! Other Moms have taught their infants to repeat a clicking sound to indicate that the little ones are hungry. Using the gestures and sounds is a real benefit as there is less unexplained crying, thus happier babies.
Here's a story Sarah posted on her website:
I astounded a poor mom the other day in Walmart when Reed started screaming because he needed to poop. I raced to the bathroom and there was a mom changing her little girl's poopy diaper on the change table. She said,"I'm sorry, I'm going to be a while. You know how it is..." I smiled and told her not to worry as I dropped my sling on the ground in the handicap stall. I then whipped off Reed's pants and diaper, picked him up in the pee position as I kicked up the toilet seat, and he peed and pooped in the toilet. Then, I carried him to the sink, washed his butt with some water, rinsed out the sink, put his clean diaper and pants back on, and left the bathroom. The poor mom's jaw was on the ground in awe!!!!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 10:17PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Hey Chelone, I'm already up for the day, bet I beat you huh? Well, I have to admit that I just had a 3 hr nap on the couch and am posting these photos then heading up to bed.

I'm way behind in posting photos-I still owe a couple bday shots and shots of last w/end. However, I'll start with the latest pics so I'm not too tardy with them at least.

We had a wonderful time at Deanne's place yesterday! The food and group shot have been posted already, so here are a few more photos to supplement.

The shrimp (BTW, Sue & Tom were solely responsible for this delicious dish)

Deanne eating her corn one row at a time

Chelone slithering into the jungle

Luke, the contortionist (luckily he was taking a quick break and I got this "clean" photo)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 2:24AM
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What a treat to see Deanne's garden through a different photographer's eye. Corn on the cob will never be the same.
Wasn't there a screen-door shot too? Luke must have been really feeling the effects of the fall equinox. That's his story, and he's sticking to it.

Massive lantana. And Chelone now owns the definitive bum shot.

Deadlines met and now off to bed too...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 3:04AM
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Umm... Monique... it's time to get out of bed, dearest... :)

I was pretty dirty as I emerged from the Grimaldi bower; the idea of getting into and behind plant material seems to be emerging as an Idyll photo-op. I slithered because I was afraid Deanne would beat me to a bloody pulp if I broke anything off the potted beauties. It was a really fun day.

I'm glad to know 'bug is feeling better. I've experienced the predictable and uncomfortable result that accompanies "bad food" once. And a thoroughly miserable experience it was! Go easy on the tummy for a couple of day. I love the story about Sarah and Reed. I never considered the possibility of "toilet training" at such a tender age, but since I know there is usually "more than one way to skin a cat", it makes sense. Definitely easier and more pleasant than scraping baby mortar from the crack. (nice visual, huh).

I finished the weeding along the wall next to the road yesterday and it doesn't look any better. It still looks like a bomb went off over there. We set some stakes to define the increased garden area the helpmeet will be claiming and toyed with some ideas for the planting area next to the garage. We have to address the need for a path there, so the oil man can easily get to the outlet for the tank. It's going to be "haul out the garden hose" time; The entire area between the road and the side of the building is about 50' wide and I'm not feeling confident about avoiding the "bowling alley" look.

We unboxed the garage door components yesterday (lots of packaging!) and they're awaiting my assualt with the paintbrush/roller.

Property taxes are due today. Yippee.

We're dealing with wiring too, Denise, but at least the walls are open. It's going to be a major undertaking in a 1919 home, huh? I have to mark the outlet sites, decide where the switches and the thermostat are to go, and do some research on the sort and quantity of flourescent lights required to light a workshop. LOL about your stool stash. I have my own tools and the helpmeet is on pain of a beating if he removes anything from my "lab." and fails to return it. I was perilously close to committing a felony when I discovered him cutting up a chicken with my brand new coating shears (about $50); "these are really sharp!". Of greatest irritation is the disappearance of my measuring tools. The aluminum rulers are VERY popular items. :)

Time for more coffee. And another scroll through the lovely pictures (esp. Michelle's garden and planters).

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 6:46AM
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Mellow Monday Morning. Spent the day with just the gardens and Rich yesterday, and feel like I can breathe. Today lunch with a resistent yet open-minded client at a wonderful little place on a River. How good can Monday's be????

The neighborhood dachsund brood has been named:

Males: Oscar and Mayer
Female: Franqui (pronounced Frankie but 'she's a girl') (if it's not proper French, apologies accepted?)

Neighbor whose dogs they are doesn't have kids but let the cul-de-sac crew come up with names. Funny and smart kids on this street!!


The main garden bed, the one that will be/is most formal, has it's white and pink and blue but needs some vivid purple. Upright would be great. Tried Mullein but it's too soft a color and reseeding became a concern so yanked it. Full sun, well amended soil, summer/fall-blooming. Suggestions? Have a clematis growing up into a Viburnum carlesii and Buddleia so something other than a vine would be nice. Not too much to ask, right???? LOL

Love the urn, Deanne. Creeping Thyme will cover the corner beautifully.

Mary -- I'll email someone to get you my address. Thank you so much! Great that you found a helpful HD guy. He was probably sick of dealing with male contractors in a rush and welcomed your questions with zeal!

Eden -- Hope the cold is gone and kudos to Bud for hanging in there with Bella!! Sweetness defined. I sent my address to you through your GardenWeb link but will send it again when my email isn't being occupied.

Chelone -- Could a tree go into the 50' space to undo the bowling alley look? Sounds like you're making progress and a small suggestion: It doesn't cost a lot to put in sockets and Rich always includes one about 5' up from the floor in case of any fluid cleanup with vacumn needs. Something to consider ....

Marie - Hope you're feeling better. Kudos to Sara and Reed for figuring out the poop signals! Sounds like your gardens are getting some wonderful additions, and I'm looking forward to pictures.

Denise: It wasn't me with the book club, but the title is a fav and one I go back to when I need some solid insight into this crazed world. LOL

Kathy: Thought of you when I heard about the flooding at Griffith Park. Coincidences -- love'em!

Marian: You need to get the puzzle because I'm looking forward to seeing what this looks like. The descriptions are intriguing. Hope you had a great time with Tim and girls -- I know that seeing them is a treat.

Looks like all had a great time at Deannes. I'd like to know how Chelone slithered through the mulch without messing it up! Lessons are needed. LOL

Still no rain in the forecast and it's getting serious. Fire danger is HIGH and that's really unusual. Watering with freezing cold water just doesn't cut it.

Happy Autumn, Everyone!


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 7:17AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

What a treat to wake up to party pics! Thanks Saucy and Monique! Saucy that photo of us hysterically laughing is priceless. And Monique, my Luke pic was not "clean" so I didnt post it. That cat was too darned funny. What fun to see my garden through another photographerÂs eye! I really appreciate your taking the time to post those. I agree with Denise, Chelone now has the definitive Âbum shotÂ.

Denise, are lantanas invasive in your neck of the woods? I wintered that one over last year and it has been gorgeous all summer. OH yes, I wanted to tell you that my Sans cylindrica is shooting up a pup! Must be a happy camper. IÂm going to have to think about getting some of this stuff indoors soon. WahhhÂ.

Bug, so sorry you were sick yesterday! ThatÂs awful. Hope you are well soon. Today is going to be another perfect day so I hope you are well enough to take advantage of it. Its really dry here also. They say we might get some rain by Thursday. That Reed is a perfect gentleman isnÂt he?

Saucy, thanks for posting that pic of the urn, yes, thatÂs exactly what IÂd like to do with mine. The only thing is to figure out where IÂm going to put it. And IÂd LOVE to have that cement ball. So when is the tufa demo?

Mary, Doug is heading out your way this afternoon. IÂll bet heÂd love to help with that train set-up in exchange for a meal. LOL

Michelle, I really enjoyed your pics as always. I really love that arrangement in the urn with the swirl pattern on it. I agree with Cynthia, I really like the pic with the combine. ItÂs so interesting to see that slice of your life. ~~Are you going to over winter your Euphorbia cotinifolia? The one I have now came from a cutting from SueÂs plant a year ago and IÂm going to try to keep it going again this winter. I donÂt think they can go dormant so it will be under the lights for it again. We saw a fabulous standard of that plant at Longwood this summer and IÂd love to give that a try also. ~~ Oh yes, re painting/stained glass trade, I had an idea IÂd like to run by you. If I designed a pattern with Brugmansia flowers on it could you make it up? IÂd like to have something I could hang on one of those wrought iron sign hangers. Is there anything I should know about the size of the pieces you need to use or anything else? Anyway, please think about it.

Cynthia, I LOVE that shot of the puppies! That expression on KatieÂs face in the middle photo is too funny! Love it.

Eden, that series of pics with Bella and Bud is priceless!!!! It doesnÂt get cuter than that. I love her Halloween outfit and those little sneakers sticking out from under the book. Jeesh! ~~ Yes, Indeed, IÂd like to get on the list for Âcreepy guy to come and have a visit. IÂll email you. ~~ HowÂs fall cleanup going?

BTW Denise and Kathy, we were discussing the possibility of coming to CA for an Idyllunion? IÂll bet there are lots of gardens and things to do out your way. (not to mention great wine)

OK IÂve really got to get myself to the gym and get my day started. Have a terrific day everyone.


PS It looks like weÂve had reprieve from frost for at least another week. Nighttime temps are not supposed to get below 50 for the next seven days. Phew!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 7:33AM
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GOod morning

How fabulous to start the day with pictures of glorious gardens, delicious food and laughing Idylls. Michelle - I'm not sure if I told you how lovely your gardens are - I felt as if I were turning the pages of Fine Gardening. These last few days have been a treat.

Saucy - did you have fun with tufa shapes this year? Perhaps you can show us some of your creations.

GB -hope today is better. There are some nasty bugs going around here - I think the kids get back to school and the germs fly. Annie was out Friday with a fever and our neighbors have soemthing nasty. I'm washing my hands every chance I get - right Babs!

Yesterday I completed the base for David's train and it gave me a huge sense of accomplishment and him a lot of pleasure. I really need a Carpentry 101 course - when I started drilling I couldn't work out why it was so hard to push the bit into the wood. I was considering borrowing another drill to see if that would perform better and then I realized it was in reverse LOL! Once I became familiar with my tools (which are unfortunately too old to still have instruction manuals) things went smoothly and the base is assembled, sanded, painted and in the basement. I can't wait to start making all the scenary - we're planning on mountains, rivers and lots of bridges and tunnels. I love anything in miniature.

We had a nice evening here with friends. As others have agreed, the corn this year has been the sweetest ever. The Gluten-Free pumpkin cupcakes were delicious and quickly consumed. As I still have half of the cream cheese frosting left I might whip up another batch today.

Speaking of cupcakes, David's school now has a rule that on birthday celebrations half the treats brought in can be cake, the other half must be healthy. Does this mean 10 kids get cupcakes and 10 celery sticks? Sheesh! I really don't think a school will turn kids into healthy eaters by denying them a treat on their birthday, do you?

Have a good start to the week


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 7:36AM
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Hey Deanne - I just read your post. Is Doug free for dinner Thursday? (Perhaps he could help us install the turntable!)


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 7:40AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Goodness, a flood of postings! How nice!

This morning has already been busy with moving the hose, washing and putting away dishes, hearing about friend Lynn's new grandson too! (born Caesarian after over a day of labor.)It's about time for breakfast! I'm still taking it easy on food intake, though feeling MUCH better.

How fun the weekend's photos are! It almost makes me feel as though I was there. Oh to have another round of Doug's salmon, more antics with Deanne's furbies, meet more Idylls in person...Oh, I eat my corn TWO rows at a time!

Martie, a suggestion involving your VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION. Have you ever seen or thought of Ironweed? It has deep purple blooms, always ready for our August flower show. It grows VERY tall and mine needs staking. There are several kinds, the main difference being foliage color...I believe some are shorter too. It always gets nice comments from visitors.

Chelone, so glad you are thinking about the oil delivery guy and how he'll mess up your gardens. Our propane guys are so terrible that nothing short of giving them the entire 50 feet would suffice. They once destroyed a Katsura tree by backing over it. They will not follow instructions about where to drag their hoses, driving on the driveway, etc... DH is considering Geothermal heating so as to eliminate the use of propane altogether. I hope this can be worked out. Of course it would mean trucks and trenches through the gardens....

OK, too much talk and no action from me. Off to start the week, if a bit slowly and gently.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 8:40AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I thought I'd asked about Marian's weekend in my posting. I guess my brain isn't functioning yet this morning. Anyway, I hope the girls enjoyed themselves at Gramma's place...and that Gramma and Grandpa had a pleasant visit too! Perhaps today will be spent recovering from all the activity. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 8:44AM
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Yes, I agree about the flurry of postings. I'm not quite ready to head outdoors for the next round of grunt work.

Good to hear 'bug is returning to "gastric" speed. Bein' sick is no fun, right Eden?

I was thinking of Ironweed, too. I also wondered about some of the Aconitums; the one I have here is very late (late Sep't.-Oc't.), but there are some that are earlier, though I don't know how tall they get and I'm not sure what their preference is for sunlight. Could you try a Rose of Sharon in the "blue" shade, or would the use of a shrub be completely wrong?

One of the things I learned from my late FIL (an architect with a specialty in landscape architcture) was paying attention to the practical aspect of yards, gardens, driveways. The lessons were rammed home efficiently with several notable oversights that we've had to correct over time. ;) We have refined the driveway, increasing radii in a couple of places, softening the sweep of the curves, and grading the driveway off to lawn level. We can't finish the process until the electric company removes the pole (week/so). The path for the oil man will make snowblowing easier and will allow us to install guards to keep the hose from destroying plantings. Martie, the idea is to begin a tree/shrub border along the road to give a modicum of privacy from a very busy road (that should consume 15' of the 50' in a few years' time), then there is the path (another 4-5, we are interested in a formal look that will allow elderly/handicapped people to enjoy the yard, as well) and the planting area next to the garage (depending on the depth of it, 6-10'), that leaves about 20' that will be lawn for the immediate future. I'm not wild about the idea, but it's easy to do and maintain and it keeps the weeds under control while still allowing access to the area with a pick-up truck or small tractor so we may easily add more shrubs without breaking our ageing backs. Ity's very important that there be free access to the area. It's hard for me to imagine what it COULD look like with some time for growth and my "fears" induce a certain paralysis when there is SO much to do before any of the "fun stuff" can occur. It'll be fine in the end, but for now it's not seeming like a really fun project. Everyone should labor under these "worries", huh?

How's the puzzle going, Marian?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 9:31AM
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I'm so excited! I bought tickets to see Wicked at the Opera House in Boston! I've been wanting to see it.....I bought tickets for Nick and Jake, too, even though I had planned for it to be just Sarah and I - the boys kind of looked sad at the idea of not being included!

I have been meaning to comment about homework. It is a big issue for Jake. His style of learning does not include traditional homework, so we have alot of frustration surrounding it....Sarah loves homework and sees it as an extension of school, almost happy to have it! I see homework as the teacher's need to squeeze the whole curiculum in when they have to spend so much time at school teaching to the TEST (the dreaded no child will be left behind, until of course, they get tired of taking the test and fall out of the system and don't get counted in the statistics anymore.....okay, getting off the soapbox!)....anyway, I HATE THAT MY KIDS HAVE puts such a damper on the end of our day. Kids should be playing outside after school if they're going to take Phys Ed away.....another subject for another day.....

So sorry to hear about Bug's bug...but glad you're feeling a little better. Hopefully Reed's communication skills with his mom will stay just as sharp in the long run! What a smart little guy :)

Bud looks so sweet listening to Bella....such a loyal friend! Sorry to hear you've had a cold, too!

I was so inspired by Deanne's and the tours the weekend before that I got motivated and did some work outside. I'm ready for more work today. I'm thinking I'll try to get my pond in before winter - just the bones: liner and edging. I'm feeling ambitious.

Mary, I did make lot's of pots earlier this season. I will try to take pictures, though I have to say I'm usually unimpressed with them until they're aged and potted up.

I'm glad you and David had a special day. My mom used to let us play hookey on a really nice day each school year and then we'd go on a picnic to our favorite place...I have very fond memories of those days.

I'd better get finished up inside so that I can get out and enjoy this gorgeous stretch of weather!


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:53AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all...

Yes, I had a good visit with the offsprings. They arrived around 8 P.M. friday. Nolon was not in bed yet, so got to see them before retiring. Yesterday morning was busy !!! Never a quiet moment once the girls were all up. For some reason, they think they all need to be in the kitchen while I am preparing a meal ! I always cook Nolon's and my breakfast before any of them are up, and we are done with it when they arise. Then I cook theirs. Hashbrowns, bacon, eggs, and biscuits ( yesterday's were leftovers from our breakfast), and juices, jelly, honey, and margarine ( for the biscuits).
After A.M. worship I was planning on all of us eating at the One Stop, but Tim wanted to go back to our house and eat there. Luckily I had a large bowl of chicken and noodles already prepared, so I reheated it and set out ham slices and cheese slices for sandwiches. I was amazed at how well the chicken and noodles went over with that picky bunch of girls ! The youngest had a refill at least 3 times ! ( Tim's reason for wanting home prepared food, was because neither he nor the girls get that very often.(The girl's mother and man friend apparently eat out most of the time..?? )

Anyhoo, I was totally pooped Sunday morning...having not slept well on the couch...:-( ....and after being wrestled around by 3 girls that are all almost as big as I am now.

At Worship I was flanked by the 2 youngest, and was amazed at how small I felt! I am shrinking, and they are growing !
None of them are plump, but our pew was really filled up !

They left for their homes around 2P.M., and I immediately layed down for a rest. After taking a half of my pain pill, I made it through evening service much better.

I am loving the laughing group amongst Deanne's plants. I added the pic ( and the one of the crawling Chelone ) to my pictures....:-)

Luke's activity is a common occurance here, and not embarrassing, unless there may be company who is unused to cats...:-) Tommy frequently freezes in the 'back leg in the air' position. I can't help but grab ahold of it in passing....

The food spread looks scrumptious ! Sure beats my usual fare ! LOL about Deanne's "one row at a time", I am trying to imagine how she gets the first one started ??? I generally chomp down 3 or 4 at a time !!! And work at it like an old fashioned typewriter

Re..the puzzle...Chelone , it is still at the P.O. Tomorrow is the day I said I would get it. I 'will' share pics of it once it is done, ( or before).

Chelone, you are such a hoot ! I love this quote " I slithered because I was afraid Deanne would beat me to a bloody pulp if I broke anything off the potted beauties"...LOL I am wondering about the mulch, too. Didn't you leave a 'wake' ? And did you emerge the same way ?

Re: property taxes...I sent the check for ours right after I got the statement in the spring. I usually fail to do the reassessing, so have to pay a small penality. Now my car's registration is coming due, so I still have to do the assessment ! Do any of you have to have your vehicles inspected before you re-register them ? That process was ended here a few years ago. Now there are all sorts of junky vehicles on the roads...with missing head and tail lights, worn tires, etc.

Michelle, add me to the ones who like the farm machinery in the background of your pic. But I suspect you already knew that...:-)

Everyone's yard and garden pics are lovely. But I think my favorite is Bella and Bud. So sweet !

Marie, I am so glad you are better today. Have you figured out what caused it?
Ironweed grows wild here. It is putting on a nice display right now. There are 2 varieties that are native here, V.arkansana with purple to reddish-purple flowers and grows up to 3' tall, and V. gigantea with purple flowers and grows up to 7' tall.

Hope this week is starting out well for all...


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:11AM
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I got so much done on Saturday. Speaking of power tools, I had the circular saw out and made the window trim for the potting shed. I also got it painted and just need to get it up. Then the shutters will be next. Much of the potager has been cleaned out. I did leave the veggies that are still going as I hate to give up the fresh, organic veggies. I have also been selectively cutting back plants that are looking shabby.

We have been having a lot of wind and the containers are starting to show the wear, the big one was down this a.m. still attached to the bungees. Im thinking dismantling will begin soon.

Deanne, the euphorbia is a 2nd year plant. I had it by a sunny window. Several times it lost all its leaves but always put out more. Im really a bad indoor plant person. I love the urn, its so classy.

Eden, the pictures of Bella are adorable. They would be cute in some sort of a triple frame in order.

"What is the difference between straight hibiscus acetosella and 'maple sugar'? I see the photos of maple sugar and no obvious difference to me. " Cynthia, I have no idea. LOL Proven Winners probably just added the Maple Sugar name to it to make people like me think its worth 5 bucks.

Im sorry to hear that Katies live has changed so much. I too had never heard of giving whipped cream to pets. The picture of the 3 of them shows so much love and adoration for their master.

The Idyll picture under the brug is fabulous, but the one of Chelone getting there is precious! Oh, and the food looks so yummy.

Mary, my DS had a similar train setup when he was young on an old ping-pong table in our basement. He had a lot of the extras. He also had a whole miniture 1/64 scale farm set up also. Those were fun days. How wonderful that you are making the table for him.

Wendy, it the dessert similar to Better than s_x cake?

"I mostly paddle around in a shallow cultural backwater" LOL Denise, Im paddling around there too. I learn so much here on the Idylls.

More to comment on, but I must get to work.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 11:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm really enjoying trying to keep up with all the newsy postings! What a neat bunch of friends!

Got the asparagus cut back this morning, rhubarb is next. Like Michelle, I have pots and plants that are looking less than inspiring these days. Even my Salvia Black & Blue looks just plain blah. So as i get to it, bits and pieces are either cut back and brought indoors or composted.

I've always wanted a KATsura and am thinking that perhaps that will be Charlotte's memorial tree.(or perhaps shrub form) DH says a DOGwood is more appropriate...No matter which, a spot to plant it is the hardest part.

Eden, I've been meaning to ask you what CD songs Bella enjoys most. Perhaps she likes Brad's playing the most though.

Off to the Post Office. I wish my bulb order would hurry up and get here!


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 1:21PM
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'bug I'm sure Charlotte would be pleased with which ever tree pleases you the most.

Darn, I wish it didn't get dark so early. We had a rain shower this afternoon netting .8". I dismantled the hibiscus urn, as it was on the ground once again. This time on a rose bush. The hibiscus went in the ground for the rest of the season. Cuttings were taken of the coleus and pelargonium. The melampodium was stuck in the ground along with the creeping jenny. The mother pelargonium and sweet potato vine 'Sweet Caroline Bronze' were potted up as well. That is the only sweet potato vine I am able to overwinter easily. I have had it several years and I don't see it each spring around here which makes it worthwhile saving. I did feel bad seeing those huge coleus plants in the compost pile.

I spent some time wandering the garden making mental notes on which plants still look great at this time of the year and which areas I need to work on fall interest.

At this point the 10 day forecast is looking good with no frosty nights.

Deanne, are you thinking of a flat panel? If so, hints on pattern design: no square or sharply curved inside curves. Glass likes to run when cut. Teeny tiny pieces aren't as desirable, because by the time you foil and solder them, you can barely see the glass. Here are a couple of links to stained glass stepping stones. You can see from them how the grout or lead lines add detail and divide the glass into pieces that can be cut. I tried to find some that had similar flower shapes as brugs.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:09PM
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Ok, all the party pics, complete Chelone aslither action shots and bottles of wine on display have made up for the refusal of certain Idylls to post pics of doings in room 208 ! (or was it 206??) All is forgiven ! And always way cool to see Deannes garden . Im starting to be immune to pics of the brug. What must have the neighbors thought ???

So, news from me-a little ironic in view of Deannes suggestion of a California Idyll. I am going to relocate in 2008. Kinda scary but kinda exciting at the same time. My closest family members have hi-tailed it up to Oregon so DS and and are going to pull up stakes and move to the PNW otherwise known as a gardeners paradise. Growing season is a little shorter(Ill need a greenhouse) but the area Ill be going to is still relatively mild and close to the Oregon wine growing regions (important factor) . Unfortunately , this is probably the worst time in the last 10 to years to try to sell a house, but I have so much equity that I can afford to be a bit aggressive price wise, and homes in the Willamette Valley are still substantially less than here in Napa. So, I begin a new journey. The town I will head to is Corvallis, home of Oregon State University, and situated on the Willamette and Marys Rivers. Very beautiful area. And the plants !!! So I will keep you updated as I move along. It will take me 2 to 3 months to get this house ready to put on the market and probably 6 to sell it. And , I need to mentally prepare to leave a garden that I have worked on for 15 plus years, and the house where my children grew up. Wow.
Ill be telling my boss this week-I have also been with the company I work for 20 plus years. This will be a shock to them, but an opportunity for one of my staff if they choose to pursue it

Ok enough about me.

Martie, does this purple dude need to be tall ? I immediately thought of May Night Salvia , but hes a shortie. What about Monkshood?

bug, hope you are fully recovered. I hate stomach stuff.

Mary, did you ever visit the mini RR museum in Balboa Park during your tenure in San Diego ? I used to love that place ! And there is a garden railroad society that I think is nationwide. Very cool to set up your RR in the back yard with dwarf plants etc.

Marian, it sounds like you had a good visit with the munchkins et al. It reminded me of when my kids used to visit their g-ma (regrettably no longer with us) and the breakfasts and meals served there. I never could make biscuits like my MIL ! As it turned out my DH ended up being the biscuit maker in the house-he was much better at than me. We are only required smog checks on vehicles here in California., and only every other year. New cars are exempt I think for 5 years.

Property Taxes ! I should be getting my statement soon. I usually pay half in Nov and half in April , we can do that without penalty. Some years I just pay the whole thing at once so I dont have to deal with it. Mine are over 4k so nice to split it up.

Ok, I need to be off. Ill try to post again tomorrow
Hello to all !

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:09PM
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Deanne, I forgot to mention that in place of the background glass on a panel you can use clear type glasses as well. There are lots of types of those.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 10:12PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow newsy group here yesterday. The weather gurus are predicting 92 degrees outside today. That will be the end of the CG flower show. I took more pics of it yesterday and if you can believe it, it was even more impressive than on Saturday, Ive still not pruned off any flowers. There are at least 200 blossoms open on the thing right now. Thats a WOWZA! Ive been working on another photo thread of the fuchsias here right now. I really wish you could all come here to see whats going on. I normally prune them back quite a bit in July. They dont like the high heat of summer so dont do their best then anyway. The result of the mid summer pruning is a gorgeous flush of flowers in September which is what Im enjoying right now. Anyway, I snapped several hundred photos of them yesterday and am still going through them.

Kathy! Thats a huge piece of news. Holy cow! Thats an enormous step. Best of luck with the moving process. The very thought of moving out of here and leaving my gardens makes me cringe. You are a courageous woman. ~~ BTW Wed all love to have an IU in the PNW too!!!! Now you will be in Ts neck of the woods.

Michelle, yes I was thinking of a flat panel and those links to the pics are exactly what I had in mind. Im so excited! Does it need to be in a wooden frame for strength and for hanging? It will need two screw eyes to hang on the wrought iron frame.

Michelle, please explain exactly what you do with your sweet potato vine? Ive never really successfully wintered one over. Do you winter the geraniums over dormant? Also, have you wintered over the ivy geraniums? Or just the regular zonal types?

Saucy, where are you going to be putting your pond? Will you be giving us before and after photos?

Mary, Doug will be driving home Thursday evening... Sorry he'll miss dinner.

Hello to everyone!

OK time to continue sorting fuchsia pics, go to the gym, turn the compost, water the pots etc. etc....


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 6:54AM
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Fun pictures of Luke & Chelone :)

I took Katie to her regular vet on Sunday. Precaution in case the neurologist couldn't see her for a week. Her rear end is really failing her since Saturday. The Neuro saw her at 11 yesterday and he's going to do more MRIs today. He promised if operable would schedule within two weeks. She's no longer in pain (this has been going on since April), and that seemed odd to me as symptoms are now so severe. He said it actually makes sense, the nerves are no longer firing, so no pain, but also results in poor communication to her legs. At least she is happy. She stood with me while Monty & Dannie were running last night and tried to join them but her body wouldn't cooperate of course and I knew that but she doesn't accept it. (Good girl!) Still she smiled and bounced and was happy just to have the excitement :) I love my little girl and needed to get this out so I could cry and be done with it. It worked.

So. I have meeting in DC at 1PM (work you know?) and MRIs start at 3:30 two hours north. The vet said I could drop her off at his office this morning and she can ride to the MRI facility with him, and I'll pick her up when I get back. They schedule a half dozen dogs once a week and usually we all caravan over with our dogs with their catheters already in. I shuffled my work yesterday and usually would take full day off for this stuff, but it's really unavoidable commitment and work does fund all of this, eh? I'll leave here at 9:30, go to vets office in one direction, then head south to make 1PM meeting. Reverse that in the afternoon/evening with a quick stop at the house to let my other guys and foster girl out. It amounts to spending the day on the road and getting no work done, ack! But closer to an answer for Katie-kins. Wish her luck. She can't even do the kitchen stairs now (4 steps, landing, 3 steps, ground) so I fashioned a hook this morning to keep the kitchen door open while I carry her in and out. Using the regular door mechanisms to hold it open was become a pain really fast, and I picture the two us falling down those steps. Not one of my critters knows how to dial 911 or take a picture of the disaster.

OK, thanks for letting me dump.

Cynthia and the wobbly girl.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 7:08AM
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Glad I refreshed to see Cynthia's message. Sounds like "a day" and one that should end with an appetizer dinner and copious amounts of wine :-)

Thanks for the plant suggestions. I considered Ironweed but it grows wild all around us and I think something a little more formal would be better. Also love the idea of MN salvia -- I probably sold more of it than any other plant during my days in the biz -- but yes, Kath, it needs to be taller and the lavenders take that shape. I'm thinking maybe Dahlias???? I know there will be suggestions LOL

Loving the news about in-school kids and think that homework should be limited. When Ky was finishing middle school, a group of parents got together and decided that 90 minutes was more than enough. Anything that didn't get done, didn't get done. Teachers resisted but we perservered and made darn sure that no one got bad marks because of it. The morning teachers said it made a difference in the kids' attitudes. Ya Think??????

Kathy -- You Go!!!! What a wonderful leap to take. Leaving the gardens won't be as hard as you think as long as you take all your ornaments and just a few plants that are too special to leave. Seems I'm the resident expert on leaving gardens and getting new ones going, here, and I can tell you that they just get better. What prompted the decision?

Mary - A friend has a very cool train setup and actually did a small knot garden in an "estate." I just think it's cool when the trains don't run into each other. I'll see if Ky has any Village stuff he can contribute.

'bug: Love the idea for a Kousa. There's always room for those beauties.

Saucy: Looking forward to the tufa pics. It's something I've always wanted to try. Closest I got was to try and build a trough out of cement. It wasn't pretty ..... LOL

Marian: Glad you had a great time and what an honor to have your son want Your food instead of "out." And, what kids don't want to be with Grandma while she's cooking? A full pew is never a bad thing. Hope you get to see them again, soon.

Denise: If our Fall is your Spring, do you start seeds now? Serious question ....

Michelle: Keep the farm photos coming. It is a different world from our tobacco farming and I find it fascinating. Your gardens are wonderful and seem just right for the setting.

Kyle's UK Message of the Week: Edinburgh Castle is a tourist trap. Wish I could know firsthand :-)

I'm heading NaWth today to a ski area that powers itself with a huge wind turbine. Am interested to see what a 100'+ blade (three of them) look like. My job is never boring.

Today is supposed to be a record breaking 88degF and am hoping that the watering over the weekend will hold everything. I don't like dry.

Best -


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 7:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Newsy postings are still flowing- How nice!

Still undecided on the tree choice. I've tried C.Kousa, and failed here three times at least. They sure don't like our weather. C.Mas became diseased, all three of them! Perhaps I'll simply go look at the nursery while DH is away next week. He's off to Paris, poor fellow. (grrrr)

Yesterday I got a ton of weeds out of the vegetable garden and managed to plant seven clematis. Eleven more to go, as well as tons more weeds. But with temperatures up near 90 today, I'm not sure what I'll actually accomplish outdoors. heart is with you and Katie, today and beyond. What a complicated day at that. Why can't things ever be easy?

Off for the basic three: food, clothing, gardening.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:14AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Cynthia, I'll be thinking of you and Katie today. She is happy at least. How lucky she is to have you and her grey buddies.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:18AM
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Oh Cynthia, My thoughts will be with you and Katie today. Good at least that she's painfree and happy. I hope the tests today find a way to help her.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:26AM
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Cynthia, hugs to you and Katie. Sorry that things have to be so difficult.

It sounds like you easterners are having the hot weather we had last week. This week is cloudy, highs in the mid 70s and lows in the 50s at night. I wanted to take a stroll this a.m. but I was out a few minutes and went back in. It was damp, cloudy, windy and cool.

Martie, we have literally hundreds of wind turbines around here. Its not uncommon to meet semi trucks carrying one blade at a time down the highway. Im not sure I like the look of them dotting the landscape, but I guess it is good use of a renewable resource. Check out the link below. This one is located just up the street from where my DD lives. Does that tell you what kind of wind I deal with here?

Deanne, I dont use wood around my pieces, but they can be framed in a zinc channel. Usually for hanging, wire is soldered into several of the lead seams and made into a loop and chain attached.
As for overwinter sweet potato vine, I have had this one vine several years. I cut back and bring in the whole plant and keep it in a south window. Some times it drops most of the leaves but perks up in the spring. I water lightly about once a week. Ive had a few Blackies also, and they always drop all their leaves and seem to take longer to sprout in the spring. As for pelargoniums, I usually cut them back and give the same treatment as the sweet potato vines. I did take some last year and put them in a paper bag, but the success rate was about 50%. I felt bad because I lost one that I had for about 5 years. So now if I do the dormant thing Ill make sure I have at least some cuttings of them. The cuttings do well under lights. I did ivy geranium cuttings last year and let the mamma plant go dormant, she didnt wake up, but the cuttings did well.

Kathy, your decision to move must be exciting and scary all at the same time.

Thinking of our missing Idylls and hoping they will pop in and say hi. Ei, I would love to see the dress you wore at your son's wedding and maybe some pictures of the wedding, hint, hint.

Have a wonderful day!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:26AM
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Just a pop in with a comment on overwintering ipomoeas. I saw Steve Silk demonstrating on one of the garden shows last year and used his method last winter. He took a stem cutting from a little further back on the vine, not a tip cutting. The cutting would start before one leaf and end after the next leaf. Then bury the vine stem horizontally under the soil with only the two leaves showing above soil level. Worked great for me.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:58AM
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Cynthia, I was working next to a Coldwater Creek store yesterday and did some research for your Florida trip. Much more fun than shopping for myself. Think I found that skirt you posted, which is lovely, but they have it teamed with a beige chamois jacket with small ruffles along the button placket. What a day for both you and Katie to get through.

Kathy, that's wonderful news -- lots of annoying stuff to get through but keep your eyes on the prize! Willamette is one of those "clemahtis" words I invariably mispronounce but a beautiful river valley to move to.

Marian's pictures were sheer delight.

I'm mulling over tree choices for Charlotte and enjoying just reading of the possibilities.

A hibiscus acetab. I found that's multicolored was tagged 'Haight Ashbury.' That Caroline sweet potato is my favorite too. I left one in the ground last year and it's back, but the ones in pots do so much better. I'm posting a pic of mine in the pot. Doggone if the job this week doesn't have a nursery across the street, and they've got Agave geminifloras in 4-inch pots, which is rare to find them at all local but cheaply in 4-inchers is remarkable. That's the slim spiky guy off to the left in the photo. I think Cindy just mail ordered one. It'll be amazing if I can get through the week without bringing a few more home.

Deanne, I've been taking you nursery shopping with me all summer, lol. Now I'm bringing home fuchsias and lantanas. The fuchsias are miserable right now, dropping their leaves. I've got a lovely golden Sharpitor that's almost defoliated. Not usually a big fan of lantanas but there's a new pure gold one out that I had to try. I can't warm up to bicolor flowers for some reason, but your single lantana in that urn is changing my mind. Bicolor leaves, no problem. Yet I do love the bicolored baptisia that 'bug brought home. It's probably just that old bias of mine not to grow any plants that are used for highway landscaping, lol, which lantana is. Yet another hwy plant I wish I had pots full right now is the plumbago. It's too big in the ground but would be gorgeous to have the powdery blue spilling out of pots.

Yes, seeds are started here in fall, preferably in August for winter veggies/flwrs. I do very little seed sowing, just sweet peas and some veggies not found local. Like borlotta beans! A fresh shelling bean. But that's for spring sowing. Anybody grow these?

I'm going to google this Steve Silk guy...

Michelle, that wind turbine project was so impressive.
Wish I could put a large propellor on my roof, like a Beany and Cecil hat. "Come on kids let's flip our lids higher than the mooon..."

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 12:52PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cynthia I hope theres a (positive) answer to Katies problems today. Good luck to both of you.

Kathy while its hard to leave a garden, a new garden is also a wonderful chance to start all over! I find the planning and creating new areas more interesting than maintenance so despite a few regrets about leaving our previous house and garden, I much prefer this one. Since you will be in garden heaven country, Im sure any regrets you might have about leaving your garden wont last long as long as you take the special plants with you. (There are still two irises I regret not taking because Ive never been able to find them again) I look forward to reading about the move and the new garden as your plans progress

gb why not go for both a Katsura and a dogwood? They would be a good memorial for previous kitties as well as Charlotte. That combination did, however, bring Eugene Fields The Duel to mind :-) Charlotte would never have been so rude to engage in such behavior though.

The Duel
(The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat
by Eugene Field

The gingham dog and the calico cat
Side by side on the table sat;
'Twas half-past twelve, and (what do you think!)
Nor one nor t'other had slept a wink!
The old Dutch clock and the Chinese plate
Appeared to know as sure as fate
There was going to be a terrible spat.
(I wasn't there; I simply state
What was told to me by the Chinese plate!)

The gingham dog went " Bow-wow-wow!"
And the calico cat replied "Me-ow!"
The air was littered,an hour or so,
With bits of gingham and calico,
While the old Dutch clock in the chimney place
Up with it hands before its face,
For it always dreaded a family row!
(Now mind: I'm only telling you
What the old Dutch clock declares is true!)

The Chinese plate looked very blue,
And wailed,"Oh dear! What shall we do!"
But the gingham dog and the calico cat
Wallowed this way and tumbled that,
Employing every tooth and claw
In the awfullest way you ever saw-
And oh! how the gingham and calico flew!
(Don't fancy I exaggerate!
I got my news from the Chinese plate!)

Next morning where the two had sat
They found no trace of dog or cat;
And some folks think unto this day
That burglars stole the pair away!
But the truth about the cat and pup
Is this: they ate each other up!
Now what do you really think of that!
(The old Dutch clock, it told me so,
And that is how I came to know.)

Mary good for you re power tools and the train table! Its a lot of fun to build things (and a good way to teach a young man that such activities are not just guy things :-)

Re homework I definitely dont remember having vast quantities of homework! I wouldnt have liked school if that had been the case. Ive forgotten who described the parent rebellion against homework but they did the right thing!

Great pictures of the NE Idylls playing in the plants (and with the food!)

Martie re the purple youre looking for, do you mean purple as in purple coneflower purple or purple as in royal purple? If you mean the first, perhaps some hardy hibiscus would do? I have them in various shades from soft pink to eye-popping intense pinks to lovely wine reds. The bloom times range from mid-August to now and Ill definitely be adding more next year to intensify and expand the fall blooms in the garden.

Im still slogging away on my brick project. The larger ramp off the patio is in place and I only have about 50 more feet of brick edging to go. Im not sure what the total will be when its done but somewhere in the range of 350-400. Im getting a bit slipshod I think as Im getting a bit tired so I expect Ill have a fair bit of re-leveling to do come spring.

I seem to be fighting off some sort of bug or something at the moment. Sunday we were walking Misty by the lake in the afternoon and I suddenly got so tired that I wasnt sure Id be able to make it back to the car. Monday I was really dragging my butt in the morning and had a bit of a sore throat. In the afternoon Barb and I went to Toronto as we both had appointment with my eye doctor. I was less tired after that than I expected so it looks like maybe whatever is bothering me is going to go away without too much trouble (I hope!) although I still have a sore throat. My next door neighbour was sick for two weeks with something. West Nile Virus is always a possibility around here so hopefully its not that. Once the days start getting noticeably shorter in August, I start getting apathetic anyway so this just seems like a greater drop in energy than usual for this time of year.

When feeling not-so-hot, a good dose of dessert is always in order :-) Ive been looking for a pie crust that doesnt use either shortening (I avoid trans fats like the plague) or lard. I found one last week that uses oatmeal and oil. I made a fabulous apple pie with a walnut crisp topping. Today Im experimenting with using it to make a blueberry pie with a meringue topping.

Ive got my fingers crossed that well get some rain tonight. It is soooo dry here - theres even sandy beach at the lake again and Ive only seen that happen once before when we had a prolonged drought. Its worse this year though.

Time to go make meringue....

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 1:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I think I'm the only one here who had massive homework assignments in high school. We were required 2 hours at home for every hour of school classes. One course (I took 6) was excluded for 1 night each week.) It was more than tough. (Back then there were still ony 24 hours a day...) I had a LONG bus ride to and from school, meals as well. No fun ever.
My French assignments were quick because I already spoke French, although the teacher made life miserable, saying that my mother did my assignments for me. She most certainly would not and did not. (She taught at the school)

Math and History and English were the hardest and longest. Impossible to do in even 2 hours. Oddly enough though, I respected both the history and math teachers immensely and don't begrudge the time spent there. Learning wasn't a BAD thing. English was a horror show, involving spitting back to the teacher exactly what she wanted. She told my parents I was dumb and it was hopeless. And so, mother took great glee in telling her that in university I was majoring in English and getting "A"s. Always good to have Mom's support! Gym was always terrible: "If Marie would only try!"....

Anyway, I AM a believer in lots of well thought out homework that challenges the kids: drawing maps for history class, truly creative writing, building things, going places like creeks or woods to do scientific surveys, filming and photographing things, setting up art displays, and on and on. I even believe in a little drudge homework that supports what the teacher did in class. One horrid assignment in my Ancient History course involved making a rigid outline of a chapter from our textbook. It was corrected thoroughly too! But what a help that exercise was in college years!!! I forgave that teacher. She truly had our interest at heart. As a teacher, I can't imagine reading through that assignment and grading it and reading the corrections! UGH!!!
Just to finish, I wish there had been more freedom to explore a thing or two about what interested me most then. Yet, I didn't even know what that might be in those long ago days. For Sarah, she got her International Baccalaureate by submitting a thesis on the building of canoes. No way would that have entered my mind at her age...and no way would my parents have allowed it. She has built a life for herself with the things she loves. Being a biologist, she not only uses her love of her wildlife studies, but her love of the outdoors and of canoing. I think that incorporating REAL LIFE issues into a curriculum makes homework lots more palatable. I'm all for the emphasis on environmental concerns.
Our son was truly academic...even beyond your wildest imagination. The school used him to collect awards and this caused massive burnout. These days he's still brilliant, very very VERY eccentric, but does not stick to a schedule ever ever ever, not even meals. He thinks WAAAAAAAAY outside any box, which is difficult for many, amazing to others.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 3:04PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just in to say a quick howdy. DD's room is painted, floors walls and ceilings and she's installed in them :) Of course, emptying two rooms for her uprooted a bunch of my junk, so I've been sorting, eliminatiing, and trying to come up with creative ways to store what stays.
We also have some beef being processed, so I have to sort through and organize the freezer. Fortunately, it's time for batch cooking, so a bunch of it what's in there will be turned into chili, meat loaf, veggie soup, beef and noodles, etc. DD is really exciting about getting in on the cooking. By the time that's all dealt with, I'll probably be in the combine, but at least the house will be as clean an organized as it gets, and there will be plenty of meals ready for the long days to come.
Big howdy to everyone, wish I had time to comment on all I've read!
OH, Woody! I LOVED The Duel when I was just little. I used to drive Mom and my DS's & DB's crazy wanting it read to me. I hadn't thought about it in years and years. It was such a treat to read again, thanks so much for posting it :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 5:22PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Sigh! The latest round of MacArthur genius grants has been announced, and once again, I did not win. Guess I'll keep working for a living...

Lots of good reading here lately. Gosh how I wish I could have been at Deanne's last weekend! Looks like you all had a wonderful time, and I can just imagine what Luke was doing.

Kathy, how exciting about your move. It will be a challenge, for sure, but it sounds like you are going to a wonderful place.

So in that photo of Deanne holding up a giant shrimp, there's a pot of coleus just to the right of her plate. I have the "sister" plant on my front porch right now. This pot is small but it was one of my faves this year:

I also was trying to capture the amazing beauty of the asters in my wildflower circle, but the light was not quite right. Well, I tried "auto correct" in Adobe and inadvertently (scratch that - it was a stroke of genius) created what I have dubbed "Monet on the Prairie":

So I'll leave you all with a good impression tonight!


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 7:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Just checking in to say I picked up the package from the P.O.. but it is not one puzzle...but TWO !
Hey, I REALLY have some 'work' to do ! :-)
The "Masters of Photography" puzzle is a beauty, and will sure fill up my table top !
As soon as I find out the conversion from Canadian money to U.S., I will send a check for the postage.
Thanks !

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Don't you DARE send money Marian. That was a gift, one grandmother to another!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 8:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, that is a wonderful gift. I will really treasure them. Thank you, thank you.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Phew, that's settled! :) ENJOY!

Wanted to share a photo that I think is fun. I bet you all did this as kids too! I was particularly pleased to see him colouring with his chalks because his fine motor skills are weak.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Waiting for Cynthia to report back on her chaotic day.

V, I'm impressed by your Monet! I LOVE this time of year!

I'm with you Woody, we need rain. Maybe I should go to the car wash or something to encourage it....

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:19PM
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Good Tuesday all, Indian summer has arrived here, it is 76 out right now and got up to the 80s today. The nice thing about these late Sept warm days is that the night seems to cool off quickly-dont mind warm summer evenings, but by bedroom is upstairs and a western exposure so you can imagine the sleeping environment
I have resolved to do a little moving related activity every day-this weekend I spent about 6 hours in my closet , sorting and discarding. I do not want to be overwhelmed with this stuff as moving day draws near, and the home selling situation is super competitive so I need to edit to a fare-thee-well to make my house more desirable than others in the price range. I think I will list the house in 30 to 60 days, depending on how much work needs to be done-the inspector comes on Monday and my agent and I will sit down and prioritize any issues he finds. I already know what some of them are and know I will have to spend some money. I expect it will take 6 months to sell the house .
Martie, I decided to do this for a couple of reasons; many of my closest family members have moved up that way , including DD and my BILs . I have no family in this area at this point. Also , I have substantial equity in this house which I can never retrieve unless I relocate where housing is less-and I want a larger garden and that is impossible for me with real estate values here. So, going up there I will be close to my family and be able to buy a nicer house with more land and walk away with enough cash to allow me to take a year off work and find a nice mindless retirement job , hopefully in the horticultural field. And maybe Ill write a book.

Woody, I am already plotting which plants I will dig up or take cuttings of ! It is really really exciting to think about starting a new garden, especially up there. I am mentally preparing myselfSo how is little Princess Misty doing ?? I think we need some updated pics !

Wow bug, what a grind it sounds like you had in school, but you rose to the occasion! You are spot-on about incorporating real life issues into the homework. I think only private schools have the flexibility to do this sometimes. I found the homework assignments of my kids mystifying and irrelevant . And they were and are totally ignorant of history and geography, classes which no longer exist here. These seem very important in our global world.

Denise, fear not, when my DD and her partner moved to Eugene they mis pronounced Willamette for quite some time ! I learned when I spent a summer picking strawberries on an organic farm in 1972 and living in Portland. You know you are in Fuchsia paradise Denise (except for the damn mite) and our fellow Idylls would be pretty agitated to see the miles of tables at Rogers gardens !

Cynthia , I so hope all turns out well for you and twirly-girl. I concur with Marties suggestion for medicinal wine.

Hi Brenda !

V, I really love your Monet-ish photo. !
Ok . gotta go, need to whip up some leftover BBQ chicken and organic fingerling potatoes for me and DS and then a little baseball

Kathy in Napa.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 9:20PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, you will almost be my brother's neighbor ! He lives in Albany. As you know ( I'm sure) it is east of the Willamette, so he is across the river from Corvallis. When we decided to move from Idaho, my choice of places to move were the Willamette Valley, the Yakima,Washington area, or the Centralia, Washington area. The Willamette was the top choice. I was glad we didn't end up at Yakima, because it was pretty well dusted with ashes when Mt. St. Helen's erupted ! My next choices were in Arkansas, and it won because it is Nolon's home state. I have always wished the Oregon area would have won....but then, I would have never met all the wonderful people that I know here. :-)
I think there is a reason we are here, and not there.

I think the Willamette area is a gardening paradise....which it certainly isn't here! Oh well.....

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:03PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Speaking of sieves, I forgot to mention my concern for the whirly-girl and her Cynthia. I hope they are both doing well and that good answers are forthcoming.

Male lurkers skip the next paragraph. I had the annual grin and bare it exam today, and at the age of 52 I get to go back on birth control pills. There were issues going on that were making me pretty miserable just a little too often. Wasn't this all supposed to go away by now?

But here's the kicker - I go to the pharmacy and have to turn the prescription in to the 20 year old guy who had two kids by two different girls by the time he was sixteen (and a third girl miscarried). He couldn't read the scrip and had to call the dr's office for clarification. (I KNEW he didn't know what birth control was.)

Yes, I have an evil sense of humor. I'm the one who said on Sunday, "How did they know Marcel Marceau died? Did he START talking?"

Go to bed, V...

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:14PM
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Katie had peanut butter for supper. I had cookies. Monty and Dannie and foster Wicky had balanced meals :)

Good news bad/news kind of thing. He could do the surgery on her spine (compressed nerves/the lumbosacral stensosis I expected all along), but she could die two months later if the white thing in her brain is a tumor. He wanted to do a neck view because he saw some neuro signs on the front end when he did exam yesterday. Neck didn't show anything so he decided to scan her brain too. I have the MRIs on DVD to send to a Greyhound expert I consulted with at OSU in July. We'll do the Azithromycin 1 week at a time. If it's a bacterial infection that may clear it. If it's a tumor he said there may be others along her spine that we can't see yet. She's only six. I want the back surgery, but I understand what he's saying.

It's like everything else, one day at a time and do everything you can to make every day special. Nothing's guaranteed anyway. I'm hoping for bacterial and that we'll be able to do back surgery next month. But not wasting time waiting for solutions. Katie is not in pain (just in wobble) and has fun things to do and people to see and places to go in the meantime. Every day is special anyway, we just have to figure out different ways to do things for a while....

Night all, Cynthia

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 10:54PM
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Hugs Cynthia. I didn't realize that Katie is so young ! How hard for her to contain her exuberance.My best vibes out to you. And wishes for Katie to enjoy and prosper...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 11:21PM
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(((Cynthia))) Wish I had magic words that could make you feel better and make Katie completely well. You both will be on my mind often.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2007 at 11:37PM
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Thanks for coming back today with that report, Cynthia. So she's a candidate for surgery, but it's a waiting game to see if she has a tumor vs. bacterial infection. I can't imagine she'd be unlucky enough to have a tumor AND spinal stenosis, which (since I googled) seems to be common in greys. And she's young for a grey! Whatever the case is, thank goodness she's in your good, loving hands. Lots of p.b. for the twirly girl.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 12:12AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow, what a busy thread this week. Loving it. Woke up this morning to a temp of 69 degrees. We were worried about frost just a few days ago. Weird! Today its supposed to top 90 degrees again and the Charles Grimaldi is going to lose all those lovely flowers that were set on when it was 60 degrees daytime temps out. Cest la vie. The last couple days it seems that someone stops on the street almost every time I go out to the front of the house. That plant is a traffic stopper! So Sue, are you going to let your big one go this year and take cuttings or are you going to try to winter it over again? It doesnt look like we are in danger of a frost for another week or so.

V. that Monet on the Prairie shot is brilliant! How stunning. And your coleus pot looks lovely. I love the purple growing tips on that chartreuse one.

Brenda, you are amazing! I cant imagine doing that kind of batch cooking so I could free my time to work a combine!

Woody, how did your blueberry meringue pie come out? Can you post the recipe for the crust that uses oats? ~~ Hope you are feeling better soon.

Denise, LOL about lantanas. I didnt use to like them either as Id never seen one without white flies and mites on it. I got this one a year and a half ago in the spring and its called Tropical Fruit. Id read that you can winter them over dormant like fuchsias and tried it last winter and this was the result. This plant also has a variegated leaf that is quite pretty. Now getting that urn in the basement this winter is going to be a challenge. ~~ Love your containers with the sweet potato vine. Beautiful!

Michelle and Eden thanks for the info about wintering sweet potato vine.

Kathy, your plans for moving sound like a really good decision. Especially the part about having a larger garden and writing a book! What would the book be about?

Cynthia, Im so sorry for Katies troubles. So sad. Im sending good thoughts your way. We love these furbies like children and it breaks our hearts when they arent well. I surely hope the antibiotic works and then she can have surgery for the stensosis.

OK must run and get to the gym. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 7:04AM
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Me thinks Dannie and Wicky and Monty might be a tad jealous of "I'm feeling lousy" meals if they had to watch you and Katie indulge, but I bet they are the best friends ever for you both right now. Good thoughts being sent southward, Cynthia ....

Woody, would you believe that I've killed no fewer than 10 hardy hibiscus????? I have one in the ground now that's budded and dropped before flowering three times. UGH!!! If I can find the right color, I'll definitely give it a shot. Thanks!

'bug: Love that Sara did what she did for school. Love even more that she was in a program that allowed the topic! Skyler is a leftie!!! As a mom of one, I can say without reservation that the world is made for right-handed people. Yet another small challenge ... will he be an architect?

I'm speechless, V. That pic was a Mistake?????? I think not. Suitable for enlarging and framing :-)

Okay, I'm taking the plunge. I have a bunch of beautiful Coleus that have grown at least five-fold since bringing them home. I'm afraid to touch them because I can get cuttings going but never can seem to KEEP them going. Please send good Coleus Cutting thoughts my way. Rich has offered to help, if for no other reason than he is the one who loves them most and likes the idea of not buying them again next year.

Making a list of things to keep has been fun, and it's even more fun to realize that I actually have started Collections again!!

Kathy -- Thanks for the explanation. It makes sense, and WAHOO to take a year off. You're going to be in garden denial for just a bit, but by the second year you'll hit your stride and you'll know there was more than one "reason" for the move. It's worth it.

Got into a long conversation last night with a guy who came to give an estimate on yanking and replanting some yard islands for a neighbor. He said something that made my brain look at things a very different way: "You're not just a gardener, you're a designer!! Knowing what to do with plants is sometimes more important than having healthy specimans." I about cried, wanted to maul him with a hug, but instead said "Thanks!! That was the intent!"

Relay this as it's really hard sometimes to look at everyone's established gardens and think .... mine will be that way someday! Because we're doing almost everything at once, it all looks a bit spotty. More room for more plants!!!

Saw the wind turbine, Michelle, and think it's just about the neatest way to provide energy. Certainly one of the most ancient! I didn't realize that the technology was used so much in your area, but it makes sense.

Brenda: Sounds like harvest season is in full gear. Cooking and Combining just sounds 'mostly' fun.

Hi to everybody, I will get addresses to Mary and Eden sometime before the end of the year LOL.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 7:20AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks V...for showing me how to spell 'sieve' correctly! I guess my spell check doesn't work in the title area? Anyway, I personally like being corrected.

Wind turbines look cool from a distance but I know many are irritated by the steady humming noise they emit. Can you make them out in the distance on the horizon here? This is Lake Erie.

A move to Oregon sounds like a wonderful new beginning to me. No geographic area is without its challenges, but judging by my friend in the Portland area, it is a wondrous spot. She is a clematis nut case like me, only more so! When she plants things, they thrive and are not simply nursed along as happens for me. We compare a great deal of the time and her plants tend to grow steadily and in a lush fashion, while mine have a very short window of opportunity to emerge and do their thing. I've visited her there twice and to tell the truth, there is more than gardening in the area! Lots of artistic stuff, wonderful sculptures, wall paintings, good food...So why am I here????

On the "amazing to watch your children grow" front, Sarah had quite the day yesterday. A friend brought over a deer he had hunted for their freezer. Since DSIL is away, it was her job to skin it and deliver it to the butcher! This would be beyond me, but to do this with a 3 month old who is grafted to her boob adds to the challenge. She accomplished it all, including lifting the darned thing into her car. Later she needed to run errands, so shopped about for curtain instructions at various shops, ending up buying herself a sewing machine! It was an amazing deal because someone was upgrading. I am astonished! She has never sewn before her recent visit here when she borrowed my friend's machine to make baby slings. I'm not sure of the make and model, but I hope Chelone approves! My biologist daughter is becoming somewhat domesticated it seems.
We actually had some rain and lightning last night! I may not be able to work outside today because of the wetness, but there are plenty of other duties awaiting!

A happy day to all, and that means doggies and kitties too!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 8:29AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

As usual, when I go away, the Idylls get busy! I feel pretty out of the loop but love all terrific goings on -- I seem to be stuck in my eternal rut of work/road to PA/work/blablablabla....

I just love the photos of the NE Idyllers - as others here, am terribly jealous I couldnt be there but love the sharing. It's weird, at the ofc, I can't see Monique's pics so I'll have to look tonite at home (I guess picturtrail is a "blocked website" from here now - grrrr - had the same problem w/ your IU photos).

Cynthia - Im so sorry to hear about Katie's woes, but am glad she's in no pain and still cheery. Next time you blow into DC let me know ahead & we can have lunch or something together!!!

V- I love your photos and your sense of humor -- it's wry and ironic and so totally on the mark! Love the irony of the prescrip guy w/ the no knowledge of b.c., Ha Ha.

Im kind of blurry today - it feels more and more like that's my usual state of mind - I sure would love to clear it up w/ a visit to some of your gahdens and Idyll food and wine.

Kathy -- that's amazing news -- good for you - a huge decision (& I was wondering what you were gonna do for a job) but I applaud it -- chance to garden while you can and love it in a fantasy world, OR, is as far as I can tell. We look forward to hearing more about it. I agree with 'bug that it's a terrific cultural area and you will obviously enjoy for lots of reasons - including close relatives.

Denise - my agave gemniniflora is doing well so far - I really do love it -- I did take photos a couple weeks ago of my purchase & your gift but havent had the time or energy to post 'em. Maybe if they're not too "old" I'll try to get to this weekend - my "R&R" - go nowhere - weekend I vow. My weekend in PA last was stressful for a bunch of reasons, the only one important being that Dad's health issues seem to becoming more and more - his hip replacement has been postponed for another surgical procedure on Oct. 11 that's more urgent -- not sure how to handle as I dont have enough leave to be the good daughter for both events - Im hoping Brother will come thru for at least part of one or something. And Work is total chaos...

So it's great to be re-energized looking & hearing of what's going on in everyone's busy, busy lives!

Deanne- I've had success w/ just overwintering the ivies (gerans) in a sunny window as well. I actually just keep them all over as a house plant and they seem to do pretty well. They get leggy, but you can take cuttings in the spring or cut them back if you wish.

Also, Deanne -- will it make you feel any better that I too eat my corn on cob one row at a time? I must have a wee bit of OC in mee too -- in fact you're the only person I've met who does it too! So there are at least 2 of us in the world that people laugh at when we eat corn. But we dont miss anything that way, right? And it looks very cool.

I guess I need to get to the chaos part of the day. I've got to find time to check back in more regularly. The desire is there but the time.....


    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 9:13AM
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I totally bailed on work today! it's gorgeous, this is MY idea of a summer day and the fact that it's nearly October means I HAVE to avail myself of a light workload and SOAK IT UP. Conceivably, this could be last time we see these temps. before we have to write 08.

We shared dinner with good friends last night "under the big top" (the deck). Haddock, green beens, tomato/fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and a rice pilaf. SUMPTUOUS and the aeronautic display the resident bats put on was incredible. I really do hate to see summer "go". :(

Cynthia, so sorry that the twirly-girl is still no closer to regaining her "spin" on things. I know how nagging things like that drain one's energy. I hope for the best and trust you will make the good choice. Hang tough.

V., you never fail to crack me up and your picture, a la Monet, was really lovely. How's Dianthus? busy with the drooling brats, no doubt... ;)

Brenda... I'm blown away by the notion of combines with computer chips?? (where the hell have I been for too long, lol). BUT, I want to know about the... you know... smoking. I recall you mentioning that smoking and endless rows of furrows were a bad combination. Just want you to know I'm thinking about that and about YOU. Wanna come here (smoke free environment) to do some painting? :)

Michelle, I am pretty much "bullet-proof" when it comes to snakes... really. I may jerk back a bit and squeal, but I have this "Crocodile Hunter" aspect that requires me to move right in for a closer look. Had I encountered one under Charles I'd probaby have chased Les. or Sue with him. (diabolical laughter). Now wouldn't THAT have been a great shot? :)

Love the shots of kiddos (I hate them as much as I hate dogs)... Bellathaball and Bud, and the crayon wrangling Skyler. My father was southpaw; in an age when pens were "fountain". He was forced to write with his right hand for a year/two. He dissolved into tears in or about 2nd.-3rd. grade when it was time for "penmanship". Think about it... you have to use wet ink and cock your wrist... you wind up smearing the still wet ink across the page. He cried because he knew he was going to fail. His teacher calmed him, and allowed him to try with his LEFT HAND, showing him to TURN THE PAPER around so the perspective was correct! My father had picture-perfect Palmer method penmanship and he was the first to say there is NO EXCUSE for poor penmanship. He was supportive of my decision to pursue a TRADE in spite of the fact that I was an excellent student. Mum was horrified. ;) Lefties think differently and we benefit greatly from their perspectives.

On homework, HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY... . I think too much homework is a way to make up for insufficient class time, poor teaching, and the inevitable "test" that will make sure no child is "left behind". Snort. I love history, always did. So did my parents and my brother. Ditto geopgraphy! whenever we asked questions at home the reply was inevitably... "go look it up!". Out came the Atlas, the Globe, the Encyclopaedia. It was FUN! and everyone got involved. But I suppose that's the product of educated adults with families who take their roles as parents SERIOUSLY. And now I'm more horrified than ever that so many littles enter this world so dreadfully "behind the 8 ball".

Sigh. :/

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 3:51PM
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I was thinking about how my garden has grown in the last few years and it made me think about how Kenzie has matured along with it. Here's the granddaughter progression photo series.

First summer:

Second summer:

Third summer:

Not much time for commenting today as I am covering for someone on vacation, but I enjoyed V and Sykler's artwork.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 4:19PM
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Time flies, "don't she?". Wow.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 4:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I remember all three Michelle! Thanks for posting those! :)

And yes Chelone, we couldn't get through a single meal without the encylopedia, unabridged dictionary and atlas. But spelling is no longer of interest to many, which horrifies me. I'm not good at spelling, but I do care! I suspect many are equally sloppy about their credit card records, checkbooks, and taxes.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 5:42PM
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I've been avoiding the discussion of homework because the trauma is still too fresh. I need the distance of at least ten more years, lol. I do think democracies need a strong public, not private, school system, but we did avail ourselves of private schools up to middle school, then with no other option after that point were flung into the public school system, in our not very illustrious zip code, with mixed results. The oldest was safely tucked away in the gifted program, the youngest's grades didn't make the cut -- the counselor noted dryly, looking at his test scores which were high, that he hadn't really "broken a sweat," performance wise, grade wise. Too true. I know they're both "hot house" kids, bright, but with an average school work ethic, not overachievers. We ended up homeschooling the youngest through high school. I think the angriest I've ever been in my life was over a bureaucratic school issue. I actually flung a briefcase at the living room window, the only time I've thrown something in anger. Better get back into avoidance mode on this topic, quick! Never even did say a word about homework (it's an overused crutch, revenge of abused teachers on parents).

I need to ask Deanne, if she has a photo of the dahlia Bishop of Canterbury, to please post one. Time to face the fact that I may never see this bloom in my own garden. I always shove dahlias in borders but now am finding out they have these touchy, shallow roots that do the garden equivalent of "He's touching me! Tell him to stop looking at me!" I'd also like to know about Sue's blue tudeur. Are these store bought, or are you guys making them yourselves? If anyone knows of a catalogue to order from, shoot me the name. This is what my rose needs to grow on. Otherwise, it's off to the tool shed.

The fuchsias are exquisite. I hear that Tchaikovsky/Fantasia in my head looking at 'em. I should ship all mine right off to you, Deanne, lol.

Funny about resource materials like dictionaries. We must be some of the last fools on the planet with a complete set of encyclopedias, purchased a few years before the Internet exploded. Even though slightly out of date, we still refer to them quite often, just for the sheer pleasure of holding a book in your lap and seeing what follows abbacas, architecture, acts of the apostles, etc. I'm surrounded by reference materials in the office but usually head first to Google these days.

What a pretty Kenzie flower in the garden. I think 'bug's daughter needs a superhero comic strip written in her honor. Cindy, work plus aging parents, my sympathies. My mom has had a knee and hip replacement and has done really well. She's 77.

Re Kathy's move and the PNW, you're living my life, woman! Just kidding. I've always wanted to live in a walkable city, lit out of LA for San Fran at 19 but it didn't stick. Huge fan of Jane Jacobs, New Urbanism. Fatigue is producing nothing but non sequiturs from me, so best to say g'night here.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 10:32PM
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Denise, Napa is highly walkable, but a 'small town' in many ways. Corvallis also walkable-and smaller. My BIL's live in the SW hills of Portland and remarked to me shortly after they moved there that there were no overweight people in thier neighborhood, and that virtually everyone walked...The SF Chronicle last year ran a column about a guy who walked every street in San Francisco. Think it took him a year plus. He did even the crappiest gang infested areas , just tried to pick his time of day (apparently the gang dudes aren't up at 8 am) and when he was done , he started over again. I thought that would be really cool to do in Napa.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 10:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

'bug, the worst part is that I didn't even realize that I spelled sieve differently than you. And this morning I remembered something else important that I forgot to post, but now I have no clue what that was.

Michelle, what a great "retrospective". She's a cutie who looks like she loves your garden.

Long day today - a trip downstate to do a career day, then two back-to-back meetings on the home front. On the trip home, I actually pulled into a rest stop and fell asleep for about ten minutes. Of course, when I woke up I forgot that I had locked the doors, so the alarm started honking when I opened the door. Woke me up fast!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 11:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

V, at least we bantered a bit with the "Impression" word.

DH and I took in a game of croquet before dinner tonight. Reminded me of Eden and Brad's morning games. Friday he heads for Paris. We "Google Earthed" his location....and da*n I wish I were going. Yet, I need to save up and visit my twelve pound true love as much as possible, maybe Christmas? I just don't know with house painting, mower repairs, etc. We'll see.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 12:05AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Just time for a quick hello this AM. Thanks to all of you for your kind words about the fuchsia pics. Ive had way too much fun with my camera the last few days. Its been too hot for heavy work outside so Ive just been watering and popping outside with my camera.

Eden, I think Ive got about 20 different varieties of fuchsias here, probably 80 plants or so. Yes, Im nuts, and yes, Chelone, I spend an enormous amount of time messing about with the potted plants but its a love and a passion. If I was gainfully employed I couldnt do this.

Michelle, Just love the series of pics of your little darling! What a sweetie! I took a bunch of brug pics in the last few days and Im getting psyched to design the panel. Ill have to send you pics of choices you have for a painting. Ive got several here you can choose from.

Denise, my Bishop of Cantebury also took its own sweet time blooming. I only have one plant out of four that is really setting a nice bunch of flowers. Im thinking next year when the tubers are more mature theyll probably bloom better. The BoC is in the center of this photo against the fence post.

And here is a close up of it

OK must run, have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 7:34AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yikes, V - sounds like you're overdoing it if you fell asleep at the wheel (luckily in a stopped position!) -- too much going on, eh?

Deanne, Im thinking what a wonderful obsession you've got and w/ the time you're able to devote to it, it still shines -- your compositions w/ containers, standards, etc., are all things to be admired and envied! Im happy you feel free to share them with us!

Michelle & Eden - it's so sweet to see the progression of your g-kids in age and gardens. Michelle, I dont know if you noticed or not, but I saw 2 pics of Kenzie on the garden bench & thought what a great memory to make - take one each year at that spot -- it would make a great memory book kind of thing! You're probably already doing that, but it struck me as I was admiring how amazingly quick they grow. Even watching Reed in this photos, bug - I guess you miss him a lot seeing only the photos.

Saucy, it sounds like you're going to have a great family memory too w/ the tickets you've bought - those are the kinds of memories they'll remember forever.

Mary -- I meant to say that I am in such admiration of you doing the woodworking tool thing -- I confess those big things intimidate me - I envision sawed off fingers and such -- it's something along the lines of I dont cut grass (well, I do; but it was something I never aspired to learn, LOL) -- but when needs doing, I try (usually). Now, Chelone -- yeah, I can see you hauling out those big power tools - you're fearless!

So, Chelone, when are we going to see garage progression photos?

It's another hot, humid day in the nation's Capital -- I long for rain -- luckily my house guest has been watering upon request but as she's not a gardener, I have seen things drooping that didnt get what they needed -- and it's too dark when I get home to do myself -- would love to turn back the clock to August frankly and pick up some days to have invested in the gardens. O well - maybe next year, uh? My usual mantra!

Heard an interesting tidbit yesterday - a friend is trying to meditate for 30 mins for a month to relax & energize herself for the day -- she said she was told by a psychologist recently that to learn new habits it takes 33 days (not 30) to get it into a pattern -- maybe that's why we all fail at adopting new patterns? We quit at 30 and not 33? Who knew?!! Actually, I'd like to know who/what study figured that out.

Time to start work in the trenches.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:13AM
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Good morning

I'm loving the grand child pics and gorgeous flowers - thanks Deanne. Michelle - I can so clearly remember just before Mckenzie was born, how did three years go so quickly?!

Cynthia - how wonderful that you are making every day special for your sweet twirly-girl. It must be heartbreaking, and as every pet owner knows, none of those tests come cheap. What lucky pets they are indeed to have such love and compassion.

Kathy - a move is incredibly exciting!! I'm a great believer in "going for" things in life even if it means huge changes.

V - your humor always cracks me up LOL! Love the Monet.

I had homework last night, an essay was due to Annie's 8th Grade English teacher before this evening's open house. The assignment was to write about your child in a million or less words. It's been a good 25 years since I've submitted anything to an English teacher and I sweated over this one, double checking spellings and grammar. But it's done, the attachemnt e-mailed and I can now just enjoy the fact that Annie's teacher is interested enough in her students to take the time to read about them. (Hopefully she won't grade the essays.)

I had a lovely surprise yesterday when the doorbell rang and there was a delivery man with the most beautiful vase of flowers. I could hardly believe him when he said they were me and I ran through a mental list of people who might have sent them. For some reason this included everyone but DH (not that I have any secret admirers, but friends, family etc). You can imagine my delight when I opened the card there was a note signed "the hub", thanking me for holding down the fort. DH's business trip has been extended so long I can't even remember when he was last home. The bouquet included our favorite lilies and smells heavenly. I smile every time I walk past them.

Hope something nice happnes to each of you today


    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:28AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh Mary, the essay on your daughter, how wonderful. We each should write one ...and give them to our children at some point. I think being on the same pregnancy forum with my daughter has been a fabulous bonding experience for us. I wish there were some way I could bond more with DS. At 36 and far away, this is so tough. He's a special guy.
I'd like to send one to Charlotte too....I hope she knows!


    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 10:17AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning! It has been in the upper 80's here for the 3rd day in a row - is it really September? It should cool off for the weekend so I can continue to dig in my garden, mid 70's with cool nights is my idea of perfect weather.

Michelle, your garden and your granddaughter both look wonderful! I love the progression shots of her, they just grow up so fast. I've never heard of better than s*x cake, but I'll bet chocolate is the main ingredient.

'bug, your twelve pound true love is beautiful - what a charmer! I'd choose him over France any day.

Saucy, I wanted to chime in on the homework too. My DS, who is in the 5th grade, is an "outside the box" type learner too. He is very smart, but he learns much better by hearing things out loud than by reading them. He also speaks much better than he writes, so written homework is difficult for him. He has trouble memorizing anything that is of little importance to him, like multiplication facts and state capitals. The 5th grade teachers told us that the kids should not be spending any more than 60 minutes per night on homework, and the teachers for each subject try to coordinate so that they do not assign large projects or test simultaneously. The teachers have told parents that if an assignment seems to take too long, the parents can write a note on the bottom of the paper or in the assignment notebook to let the teacher know. Have you talked to Jake's teachers and let them know that you think he is spending too long on homework? Maybe they can strategize with you.

Re: the geography, when we went to curriculum night at DD's school (she is in 7th grade) the social studies teacher told us that in the first week of school, she gave the students a blank sheet of paper and asked them to draw a map of the world, labelling the continents and oceans, along with the equator (easy one) and the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer. That is part of what she plans to teach them this year, and she said the kids are well on their way to being able to draw that map freehand. I was impressed! I'm sure most of the adults in the room that night would have trouble with that one (I know I would). She said she also wanted to make the students aware that the whole world does not live the way we do in the good ole USA.

Cynthia, thinking of you and your doggie family. Hopefully a solution can be found for Katy. At least she is not in pain.

Waving hello to all of you, but I really must get back to work...enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 11:13AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

And she SCORES!!!!!!!!

So I went over to Lake St. Gardens today to pick up a couple pots for Monique and I noticed these gorgeous urns that are replicas of pieces from Longwood Gardens. Anyway, just for jollies I asked the sales person if they were part of the sale and she said no, none of the cement was on sale but she'd ask the manager anyway, and, drumroll here, they decided to sell this to me for the sale price!!!! Woohoo! I'm still hyperventilating. The darned thing weighs 142 pounds so this fuchsia will never again get blown over by the wind.

Be still my heart....

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 6:14PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

My post tonight will be a cautionary true story. This just came from a friend of mine who manages trust accounts in a large city that none of us live in. His client is M.

"M has a friend, T, who has a friend (D) who is expecting a big inheritance she says. But she needs a little help. Could M help? Indeed, she can. She calls me in early June and tells me of the predicament D is in. She sees no harm in loaning D $40K. After all, T is a Harvard graduate, a lawyer, and a real estate investor. Surely he can judge whether D is a good credit. So we wire off $40K. I think nothing more about it until I am in DC on business in early August and I get a call from the office about wiring some more money. Unbeknownst to me, we have been wiring money frequently at M's direct request. How much has she lent, I ask? $250K so far. What the hell? I call M who is in Moscow vacationing and she says not to worry. The loan is secure. Well, September rolls around and we are in for $374K, we get a call from a person with a Mideastern accent asking for an additional $100K to seal the deal. Naturally, we take directions only from the client and turn them down but alert M. After some investigation on her part (finally) she discovers that D is hoping to get $10MM from Nigeria. Amazingly, T is on the hook for even more than M. Each day now for at least a week I have been hearing how they are so close to getting the proceeds. They only need one more signature. The money is now in NYC!. It is so close. I ask M wouldn't it be in D's interest to board a jet and fly to NY? Silence......gee, maybe she ought to. That was three days ago... D is an inventor who owns two companies and has registered several patents. You read T's pedigree. M has a Master rating as a bridge player and tours the world teaching. Go figure."

What scares me about this is I always thought that those email scammers would be content to grab 10 or 20 thousand from someone and then disappear into the ozone. But apparently they are highly skilled at manipulating their marks. So laugh at those ridiculous emails from Nigeria, but people are falling for them. Be alert if parents, relatives or friends sound like they may have been suckered by one of these schemes.

That's my sermon for the night. The day was wobbly as events conspired to remind me of recent unhappiness. I'm shooting for an even keel tomorrow. I could use a daily thirty minutes to get my head clear and my mind focused.

This weekend I will meet the SIL's at our collective daughters' college (does that make sense? 3 SIL's - 3 DD's - all at the same school) for family weekend. We're all headed out for a late dinner after the football game, and I'm predicting that the restaurant will never be the same.

Denise, I fall into your category on homework - give me another 10 years and maybe I'll be rational. My DS was reading Michael Crichton novels in 6th grade, but wouldn't write it down on the d*** reading log, and almost flunked reading. Is it true they're changing the name of the program to "No Childrens Left Behind"? (And none allowed to excel, either.) OK, no more politics.

Time to shake the lethargy and make some din-dins!


    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 9:52PM
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Thursday night usually ushers in Friday and thus the weekend, but there is no weekend for me this week, we have entered into our physical inventory season at my place of business and my dept is heavily involved in all locations. So, I will work Sat and Sun and then take off a few hours Monday afternoon . I ll chalk up lots of comp time so will take time off at Christmas, and probably a week off in January.

Deanne that new pot is wonderful and so Deanne ! You may however want to seek counseling for your pota-holism.

V, wow, I guess the Nigerian ambassador with the 12 mill in the trunk of the car must net some results from somewhere or those faxes would not keep coming. We always get a good laugh out of them when they show up on the fax machine in my office.

Mary, when I was cleaning out a closet this weekend I found an assignment that all members of the family had to write an essay about DS. Think he was in 3rd or 4th grade at the time. How nice that you got flowers ! And thanks for wishing all of us a happy event in our day !

Cindy, your garden cant look any more sad and droopy than Ive got mildew showing up everywhere-the dahlias look exactly like hell.

I am out of steam tonight so this is the best post I can manage..greetings to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 11:02PM
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Deanne, the urn is truly beautiful and it fits so well with the other garden art you have. I guess thats what I need are cement pots so that they don't tip.
Question for you, do you overwinter irsene 'Purple Lady', do you have luck with cuttings? Also, are you going to save your dwarf papyrus?

I looked over what I had taken for cuttings tonight and notices all the purple ladys were wilted.



    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 11:07PM
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Can't wait to read over posts in detail, but unlike last night's post, I won't write when utterly exhausted. Wrote about 340 pages of testimony today and my body is shot. Sounds like a rough weekend ahead for you too, Kathy. Deanne, you're a peach for posting the photo of the dahlia. That urn is FF beyond words. My dahlia came from Plant Delights and it was pretty small. I glanced and saw Tropic of Cancer and wondered if Henry Miller is on now No Child Left Behind reading lists. Must read more carefully later. Nite, all.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2007 at 11:39PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well we apparently got some rain last night so I can wait until I get home from the gym to do the watering this morning. Thats a good thing. ~~ I saw the strangest thing around 5:30AM when I got up, these two guys had one of those car trucks that have the ramp to actually pick the car up instead of towing it. Anyway, they stopped in front of the house, one guy jumps out and gets into his pick up truck which was parked across the street. They both speed off. The car on the truck was a big SUV, I think it might have been one of those Cadillac Escalades. Im assuming they must have done a repossession.

Denise, sorry you received such a small plant from Plant Delights. I also got a pretty lousy order from them this spring. All the plants were really tiny, havent amounted to diddly and originally arrived two months after I placed the order. Ill never order from them again after this experience.

Michelle, yes, indeed, cement is the way to go! ROTFLOL. Unfortunately it would need a professional crew and a forklift to move in a cement pot big enough for my Charles Grimaldi. I guess it will remain tied to the tree for the time being. Seriously though, Ive found some awesome buys recently. Id only had a couple pieces before this year because they were just so darned expensive. ~~ RE Purple Lady Ive not been over wintering it but did take successful cuttings of it in the spring. Ive found that some cuttings, like the fuchsias, root better in spring than fall for some reason. Have you tried starting them in gel or soil?

Kathy, so sorry you have to work the weekend. Thats a bummer but I know youll enjoy the time off at the holidays. ~~ RE mildew, Ive had a rash of it show up in the most unlikely places the last couple days. My Heliopsis Lorainne Sunshine has spots all over it. Ive also got some starting up on the dahlias again. Grrrrr. ~~ OK, OK I do admit that I might need an intervention with the pots soon. LOL

V. thats a pretty scary story and even more frightening is that people fall for that stuff.

Wendy, thats a great geography teacher. The students will always remember that lesson because they arent just memorizing it but drawing it.

Mary, how lovely about the flowers! That was so thoughtful of him. How neat about the essay! I know the feeling about grammer, spelling etc. I have a very dear friend who has a PhD in English! Every time I write her a letter or an email I get self conscious about my writing and expect it returned with corrections. LOL

Cindy, sorry about the drooping garden. I sure hope you get some rain soon. Here is a pic to cheer you up. As requested.

OK time to get my day started. Have a great Friday everyone.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 6:59AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A grayish morning so far here. I'm not sure what direction my day will take yet, but DH's is organizing for his Paris trip. I have decisions to make about paint color for the house trim, trees to be pruned or eliminated, indoor and outdoor tasks to complete while DH is away. I always hope to accomplish way more than possible. At least meal prep is at a minimum.

Tonight will be a dinner out with the French Club. A sweet retired lady I've only met once has sent out an invitation that includes the following:
light supper: Vegetable Soup, Crusty Bread, Cheeses and something with apples for dessert. I'll happily do the food, but suggest that people should bring the beverage of their choice, beer, wine etc.
Sounds very"Autumn" and wonderful to me.

Yesterday my bulb order arrived. Hurray! Tulips (three varieties), winter aconites, blue anemone blanda, Camassia, fritillarias....This should help me look forward to spring.

Lots of talk about dogs here. We aren't quite ready yet for a new one, but just thinking about this brings back wonderful puppy memories.

The Nigeria tale from V is such a sad one. These days it certainly is not Nigeria alone. I hear lots of similar Chinese tales along those lines as well. About 10-12 years ago I knew a woman in Toronto who was the victim of a bank scam. These were very clever dudes who convinced her artfully. This was an older woman who was tough, one you'd never guess would fall for such a thing...or anything! But she did! Too sad.

And continuing on the theme of sad news on greed and human nature, I fear Deanne witnessed the theft of an SUV. That vehicle is likely already on a boat on its way to far off lands. Beware girl, that same truck may be rehearsing to carry off your CG, pot and all!

OH! This morning I heard from Jane. Some of you may remember her from Idylls long ago. She is still camping with her husband and two children at every opportunity. Her daughter is in grade 9, son in grade 8. Her house is still being worked on (whose isn't?) and she is taking course through her workplace on "Stress management" and "Women in skilled trades and technology". And she still gardens too! That was such a pleasant surprise to receive.

OK, breakfast is next.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 7:49AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


How did it get to be almost October?


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 8:53AM
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Good morning

I'm savoring today as this was my last week of part time hours and today my last without work. I'm sad September had to come to an end. I'm planning on spending today shoe shopping (I have only sandalls and boots, nothing in between), playing the violin and stocking up on groceries. We had heavy rains the last couple of days and the gardens have perked up, somewhat dishevelled but in their last fling of color. I have some very pretty pink asters I'm enjoying this year mingled with the purple verbena and tall nicotiana. My huge mass of Sweet Autumn Clematis that covers a rather ugly arboviatae is in full bloom making a lovely background.

Deanne - I fogot how lovely Windy is.

GB - how neat to hear from Jane. Didn't she put in a new garage last time she was posting here? Nice to hear she is doing well.

Waving Hi to all.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:07AM
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Very quick happy Friday while doing rain dances, lighting candles, reciting mantras, and doing everything possible to coax moisture from those clouds outside.

Deanne -- How the heck did you get those out of your car???? Just beautiful as always.

Kenzie is a real little girl!! How fun to remember ....

More to say but no more time.

Best -


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:23AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Mary what a lovely gift from your DH its nice to know hes noticed your 150% isnt it?

Wendy re homework I had to laugh when I heard about your DDs 7th Grade assignment would you believe I had that one as a final exam in the 12th grade? That year was International History I recall and while I thought it was a bizarre exam, when it came time, it was one of the most profound ones I still remember to this day the names of the nations may have changed; but I still retain a sense of the globe, latitudes/longitude relationships, and all the inter-connectiveness of the world. One of the most useful things I was taught, memorized and retain (eeks) almost 40 years later...

Deanne OMG!!! Those are Campagnia urns (as Im sure you know) Ive been looking at those exact pots for a year longingly wondering how to afford. How fortunate you are I will have to visit to drool on them! I continue to be amazed that we love such similar things.

Yes, rain here! 2 inches Fa la la maybe the garden will be saved after all.

I am going thru some extreme irritation w/ my houseguest still unemployed and seemingly un-interested in temping to pay any of her bills I know shes an adult, but its starting to get to me; I fear her collection agencies are going to be calling me and harassing me (she forwarded all her mail to my address & Ive gotten the first call already trying to hunt her down). I value our friendship but am at a loss as to how to get her to make some concrete accomplishments in moving on landing a job and acquiring enuf to rent something if she continues to default, no one is going to loan anything to her. . . . and she cancelled out this a.m. on a 2nd interview at a firm because she decided the job was not the "one for her" (regardless of the fact taht the firm had NOT offered it to her... sheesh) -- okay enuf on that subject. The repo guy story, Deanne, made me think of that theyll probably be showing up on my doorstep for her car before too long. Ive decided Ive been too much of a hostess; I need to get back to my own routine and Chloes and let them live around it maybe that will be sufficiently uncomfortable.

Thanks, Deanne, for the meditation flower shots of the day! I can come back to look & calm myself down.

Marys talk of shoe shopping reminds me that I need to do that myself desperately.

V- that is a very scary story.

Happy Friday all Kathy, dont work tooo hard!


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 9:51AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Back from the gym.... Well I didn't do 60 steps per minute but I did do my hour on the stairs. Ugh! I wish I enjoyed the gym time but it still feels like penance even after all this time. LOL

Martie, te, he, that is the million dollar question. It took puzzling it out for an hour before I recalled that Doug has some car ramps in the garage, I set them up on the tailgate next to each other so I had a wider platform, slid a plastic bag under the urn so it would slide (I was a bit scared as it slid a bit faster than I anticipated) got it to the ground then using padding I rolled it end over end up to its spot in the garden. It only took an hour! LOL

Cindy, how cool you know about these pots! It's called the 'Longwood Arabesque Urn'. I've been looking at them on the Campania catalog for a while now so when I had an opportunity to ask if they were on sale I took it. I was hyperventilating waiting for the clerk to hear back from the manager. That Campania Longwood Collection is to die for! ~~ So sorry about your 'house guest'. She sounds a bit like my DD. It's sounds like its time to ask her to move on or she'll never turn things around. WE now have so many harassing phone calls from DD's bill collectors we are probably going to get rid of the telephone for now and just keep our cell phone numbers.

Mary, how great you've gotten some significant rain. I could really use a bit more here. There might be more today but right now the weather radar doesn't look too promising.

OK time to get showered and then get some deadheading done. I can't keep up with cleaning up the dying foliage this time of the year. I get to the point where I just want to weed whack the whole thing down!


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 11:37AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

V. that Monet photo is amazing! Id like to see the unaltered image too it looks like the wildflower area must be putting on quite a show The pharmacy story was very funny. I wonder if were having similar problems Im off to see my doctor next week because things are getting annoying!

Cynthia I hope has lots of days left to her for good times with you and her grey housemates. Best wishes to both of you.

Deanne The attention to detail that you invest in your garden is mind-blowing! The results are impressive too. The blueberry and meringue pie provoked mixed reactions. Randy liked it; I thought it was bland! I think meringue works best with tart fruits like lemon, rhubarb and red currants. I make meringue pies with all of those. Blueberries are too mild-flavored to offer enough contrast I think. (Plus I think I added too much sugar and made it too sweet...) Wednesday our garden buddy resident at the longterm care center came for lunch. She liked the pie and took the rest of it back with her to share with her tablemates for dessert at supper. I think maybe an almond crisp topping would work better with the blueberries added to the list of upcoming pie experiments I pre-baked the pie crust for the blueberry pie. Then I cooked the filling in a pot and added it to the baked crust, put the meringue on and just baked the pie in the oven at 350F long enough to brown the meringue. Heres the pie crust recipe for you:

OatmealPie Crust::


3/4 cup Flour

1/2 cup Quick rolled oats

1/2 tsp. Salt

4 T. Vegetable oil

3 T. Ice water

Combine flour, rolled oats and salt in mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil, mixing with a fork until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add ice water slowly until mixture begins to form a ball. Spray a 9 inch pie pan with on-stick spray. Pat the pastry evenly into the bottom and sides. [For baked pastry shell: Prick pastry with fork in several places. Bake at 400F 15-20min. until light golden brown ]

gb Ack! Your comment about bulb order arriving reminded me that mine did too when I was out taking pictures earlier this morning. I left it sitting on the front steps and forgot about it! I just ran out and brought it in. (If I hadnt read your post, it would still be sitting there when Randy comes home tonight :-)

Cindy is your friend/guest going for counseling of any sort? It sounds like she needs it.

Im still feeling dopey but not sure why. Its sunny now although weve had a bit (not enough!) rain in the past few days. It looks like I should be able to do more brick work this afternoon. Im in the home-stretch now, working on the last run of brick edging (which will likely take two weeks at least to complete.) Heres what the larger ramp looked like when I finished it last week:

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 11:44AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just popping in for a second here. I too wondered about Cindy's friend. It sounds like a case of depression to me...that needs attention. I'd suggest a trip to the doctor and/or a counselor to turn this around. I'm not saying she doesn't have reason to be depressed at life's events, but that she needs to perhaps add exercise and mental activity to her daily calendar. A job search and follow up are a necessity no matter how she feels. Simply moving on to camp at yet another friend's place and vegetate would not be a cure. I know from experience that you can deny depression for just so long.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 12:10PM
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I have laughed and laughed reading the remarks on homework! I basically set the "cruise control" for English, French, Geography, History, and Biology... but had to really work at Math. and Chemistry; Math made more a good deal more sense after they added Geometry (LOVED IT) and Chemistry was easier when I discovered it actually had significane in equine nutrition! But both were "work". I really do "tip my hat" to those of you who are parents! we chatted about this the other night and both the helpmeet and I think we'd either home-school or investigate a private education. SADLY, I share Denise's sentiments nearly EXACTLY. (I want to see that contraption you use, BTW).

Deanne, I have LOVED that container for about ever. I see my case of urnyearn has now entered the chronic phase.

Kathy, you have been holdin' out on us, girlfriend. :) I think your decision is a very exciting one, indeed! but probably a little unsettling, too? I understand the need to tap the equity in one's home and appreciate the angst that accompanies such a decision. But this will be a great move and once you're settled we'll descend on you like 7 yr. locusts. ;) it's very exciting... at least from Maine!

Reed is quickly leaving the "blob" phase behind, 'bug. It's almost scary. But you know how i feel about kids... which leads us to dogs... . It takes time to venture into the "pool" again. I know. But you will, and in your own sweet time. I will go to my grave being a tireless advocate of the pedigree-less cast-offs that languish are daily "destroyed" in the pounds across our countries. ;) Every single pet we've had (with the exception of Larry) was someone else's "cast off". We recycle, lol! Charlotte was a very, very lucky dog.

And how's Katy? I've thought of Cynthia and her pack/pride combo. several times this week. Do SO hope things are at least the same, if not improved. You need some late summer sunshine, my friend.

And Miss Mary! I can't remember the last time I received a bouquet. What a lovely, considerate, appreciative gesture from someone who OBVIOUSLY "gets" the effort required to keep the home fires burnin'. I can think of few as deserving. About train sets: my brother had one, too. It occupied 2-3 sheets of plywood in the cellar. Papier mache contouring, etc. Multiple tracks and electric switches all of which he did alone. I was 6-8 yrs. old? and instead of tellling me "don't touch!" he patiently showed me HOW TO USE IT, so I wouldn't do damage when I did the inevitable... "sneak". And that's why I love my big brother so much. I never broke anthing, either. My brother nearly failed to graduate from HS because of his "attitude problem". LOL :)

I need to shut up and let you guys come up for air.

How's the puzzle coming along, Marian?!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 3:36PM
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Afternoon all, I have nearly ended another week of covering for the boss and his wife as they vacation. Im beginning to think that if she doesnt want to be at work it may be time to retire. Either that or Im going to ask for a big raise. Fortunately things have calmed down today.

Chelone, you may have urn yearn, but at least you are close enough to visit it.

Mary, how fun to receive flowers. Although DH buys me flowers, he has never had them delivered. One thing I told my son many times after he began dating, was flowers are something most women appreciate.

bug, your bulb order sounds similar to my bulb purchases on vacation. The French club meal sounds simple but yummy. I made an apple crisp from the apples off our tree. I added walnuts and served it with ice cream and caramel sauce. A nice autumny dessert. (for the lurking English teachers, I know that autumny isnt a word)

Deanne, I wont worry too much about the Purple Lady as I do seem to be able to find it locally. Some of the other things that I like to keep I cant always seem to find in the spring. I was reading about the papyrus. I understand that to root new ones, you just float one of the flowers in water. I was also wondering about your eupatorium Little Joe. How does it look at this time of year? I have Gateway and it looks like heck. I really had hoped when I bought them several years ago that they would look good later into the fall.

Cindy, I actually did think about a picture on the same bench each year, but I dont believe I have accomplished it. She may come over this weekend to go to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch so Ill have to get one.

It now gets dark at 7:30 so that gives me 2 hours outside after work if I eat after dark. I did manage to put the trim on the shed window last night and take a quick tour to "enjoy" the garden this a.m. before work. Darn I wish I were independently wealthy. I have a purple dome aster that is absolutely huge this year and in full bloom. The Lady in Black asters are just getting started and they are so sweet. The roses have really taken off again. There are actually quite a few things that look so good yet.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 5:04PM
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Hmm... Michelle, I've never before considered the concept of "visitation"! :) (bet Deanne never did, either!).

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 5:07PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

What nice chatty posts to enjoy on a Friday evening along with my dirty rice and the Cubs game. Sorry, but the baseball addiction is getting very serious right now. Once I finish my milk, I shall move on to a celebratory glass of wine.

Mary, how nice to get the flowers! My DH is back into his heavy travel schedule. He won't be home until late this evening, and he is only home 1 weekend in October! I may have to tell him what your hubby did. ;)

Sue, I knew September would rip by, but it still amazes me that it's basically over. I'm still waiting for 2 people at work to tell me they finished August billing!

Deanne, I need to second Mary's comment on having forgotten how lovely Windy is. Your new urn is lovely, also. I put a link below for a handy little thing that I got this year. Unfortunately, it's no longer available at that site but perhaps a local garden center would (or will) have them. I think they are fairly new on the market.

Woody, the original photo was almost totally black - there was not much light. If I am home early enough on Sunday, I'll try to get a photo with enough light to show off the aster display.

Bug, how nice to hear from Jane. I was just thinking about Barb in BC recently and wondering how she is doing.

I stopped at the store after work to pick up a bag of dog food. Came home with two 44 lb bags (sale time) and a 5 gal tiger eye sumac. How do those things happen? Oh yeah, I picked up a medium size cast iron skillet also. Those of you who don't have farm supply stores in your neighborhood don't know how much fun you're missing!

Speaking of farms, I saw a great idea the other day of an outdoor "coffee table" made form a galvanized steel watering trough. The trough was planted with succulents, and there was a square of glass in the middle to use as a table. I couldn't tell from the photo what was underneath the glass - seems to me that plants would fry under glass in the summer. I may investigate this idea a little further.



I need to go fold some laundry and pack for tomorrow. I hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll be back on Sunday.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 10:09PM
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Yo-ho Idyllers, a brief stop by this evening after a long day in the inventory trenches. I am not operating at 100% brain power
Cindy, Im really sorry to hear of your difficulties with your rescue project. Its really crummy that you stepped up to the plate to help someone and could be taken advantage of. bugs comments about depression may be on the money- sometimes our troubles can galvanize us into inactivity. Your friend is probably so wrapped up in her own issues that she cant see far enough to recognize your frustration. Her own world is all around her; yours is not. Hoping she can see the way to help herself and things get better for you both
Woody, always so nice to feel a conclusion of a project is around the cornernow that I am putting my house on the market my projects have just begun-Im hoping for a 6 to 8 week flurry of activity .

Chelone, unsettling yes, but this wont be the first time I packed up and skee-daddled to a new place. Of course that was 20 years ago ! My mind is just going thousand miles an hour trying to anticipate any issues, problems, hidden costs, etc.

Hey Michelle, my Gateway looks like heck too, and in fact I have chopped it back because it was laying on top of two roses.

Thats all for now, time for some baseball.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 10:54PM
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Kathy, very cool that you're making a major move! But it's a lateral move and you're not getting any closer to Idyll Central (where ever that is.) If you're buying and selling at same time it doesn't really matter how hot the market is, because you make it up on the buying end. One thing that's worked well for me is to find the new house before putting the old house on the market. Takes a lot of stress out of the situation. Most people do it the other way, because they're worried about selling. Houses maintained and priced right will always sell fast.

I love the Kenzie sequence :) I remember when she was born too. Agree that a 2007 bench photo is in order!

Woody, do you have GB's blueberry pie recipe? It is THE best blueberry recipe. The oatmeal crust does sound really good though.

Deanne, that urn is beyond stunning. I must be behind in my gardener's education as I had not heard of Campania or the Longwood line. I googled a bit and love it all. Excellent score and the fuschia is perfect in it!

Cindy, You're a good friend. I hope your friend get focused soon so that she doesn't lose you. I do think that you need to have a talk with her about taking control of her life. You've been going through some changes this year too and need your life back.

I express mailed Katie's MRIs (366 of them!) to THE greyhound vet at Ohio State on Thursday. And neuro is sending her spinal tap results from July. I feel better just having more clues now. When she's sleeping in my office everything is normal like it always was. When I take her downstairs or outside I get teary because then it's so obvious something has changed. When I started carrying her up and down the stairs in April, I was impatient with it and wanted her cured. Then it became a comfortable part of the routine to carry up Katie and then go back for the coffee cup. (I adding kissing her back to the routine before I set her down.) Now I'm just happy that I get to carry her up and down the stairs.

She's started her meds regieme and the bucket of pills below will wipe out the thing in her brain if it's bacterial. If not, well, she gets to eat 270 pill loaded meatballs :) in addition to her regular supplements. Dannie and Monty are feeling unloved because they only get two pill loaded meatballs a day.

I call this one: "Valley of the Dolls Dogs"

It's already a beautiful week-end here! 55F when I got up and mid 70s today. A little rain this week which perked up the gardens some, but they really suffered from drought and I'll be glad to finish them off in a month.

Hi to all! Cynthia

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 8:21AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good sunny morning all,

WE are also in for a gorgeous weekend. Perfect for doing some heavy work outside. Im going to try to get Doug motivated to help me move the rock wall next to the shed. Weve been planning on making that path going next to the shed larger for a while now and this is a perfect weekend to do it. Well see how the motivation factor works. We are both on our lap tops in our PJs in the family room and its not looking like we are going to leap into action anytime soon. I wanted to post another pic of the Charles Grimaldi because yesterday I cut off 127 flowers, the day before I cut off 92 flowers. This is how many are left this morning. What an amazing plant!

Here is my little white one that was a cutting from Sue. What a beauty.

Cynthia poor Katie! Poor you! At least she gets to enjoy a meatball snack. That photo is heartbreaking.

V, thanks for that link. Monique and Les have that pot lifter and its a nifty contraption. Id decided when we were at Sues moving pots around a couple weeks ago that I need to get one.

Michelle, you can see E. Little Joe to the right of the brug in the first photograph. It still looks fantastic. I decided to try an experiment this year and have been deadheading it as the upper flowers passed. The plant keeps sending out new buds from the lower axels. It is still making flowers. ~~ RE papyrus, I just cut back all the top growth and put the pots under the lights for the winter. The ones in the pond have babies floating on the surface of the water and Ive potted up a couple of them and will probably do a few more. The one Im concerned with wintering over is the gigantic one in the container garden. That baby is about seven feet tall now and Ive no clue what to do with it. ~~ LOL about visitations! The Idylls are invited to visit anytime of course.

OK Im off to do something productive with this beautiful day.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 8:50AM
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Only have a moment and want to go back and read, but had to share this with you ... 'Grandpa Ott' morning glory sure makes it's presence known! Will be trying to seed collect from it as soon as I remember how if there is any interest ...


    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 9:57AM
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Now, a proper good morning. Rich is at DsD's painting her kitchen and I have all day to putz. Just how cool is that! There hasn't been a day like this in a bit, so plan on taking full advantage.

Love the idea of flowers delivered from DH, Mary. I haven't gotten flowers delivered from Rich since the 2nd day we knew each other. Feel he's made up for it, though, with tolerance for an ever decreasing lawn. LOL

Yesterday made a cold berry cobbler and was very bad and used lady fingers for the crust. Think I'm going to try a cold version of oatmeal next time. Makes sense.

Someone asked about if my containers were concrete. Yes. I have two authentic Della Robias and the rest are just plain old stuff that I've collected over the years. I can't bring myself to use plastic, yet, though my back wishes I would. My next major container purchase is going to be a tall iron urn for the end of the driveway. Iron so we don't have to bring it in and I love it when it ages. Friend of mine's BF runs an auction house and is on the lookout.

Kyle's UK tip of the week: When traveling the countryside and not thoroughly understanding diction when getting directions, ask again. He did report that he has thistle seeds for me as a result of the adventure. Hmmmmmmmm. Classes started this week so at least most of the time I'll know what country he's in.

With all my experience with depression and domestic violence and mental health and family rescue, the one thing I couldn't do was house an abused woman for more than a few days. It's clinical, and what happens is the victim takes on a victim status that swings as far as the abuse swung the other way. It becomes increasingly difficult for the woman to see past the victimization, and a certain feeling of "owing" comes into play. Though normal, it's not healthy for the protector at all. Congrats to you, Cindy, for being irritated rather than totally sympathetic. Is there anyone you can team up with to give her a good wakeup call? It sounds mean, but is truly one of the first steps in helping an abuse victim not be a victim anymore.

Kathy: Your attitude is going to make all the difference in this move, and it sounds right on. There will be a lot to do, but remember that buyers like to add personal touches, so don't spend money on decorating, per se. I've learned over the years that it's better to take $5K less on an offer than spend $2K and a ton of time making things look beautiful.

How cool, Marian, that you have all those old records mentioned on Chelone's "music" thread. If your record players work, they are coveted by collectors far and wide! Very neat.

Time for another cuppa and long garden walk. Gotta love lazy days.

Everyone enjoy! Taryn -- if you're out there I miss you!


    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 10:43AM
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ditto what Martie said re Grandpa Otts (please!) He's one virile old man. Lovely photo, Martie.

So nice to have a Katie report. If Dannie & Monty are feeling unloved, how's poor Wicky feeling? Bet he needs a couple placebo meatballs thrown his way. Can't wait to hear what the experts think after slogging through all those MRIs. Of all professions, I think I'm most in awe of the medical sciences. My middle brother had the congenital Legg-Perthes disease, potentially crippling, and a very clever Dr. Craig of Children's Orthopaedic Hospital designed some splints to wear for a year when my bro was 5 YO, gradually pushing the hips back in alignment, thus curing him completely without surgery and no future limitations. My mom has been donating to that hosp faithfully ever since, over 45 years.

Cindy, what a predicament to be in. Lots of good advice here. While she's waiting for the "perfect" job to line up (right!), any old source of income will do to contribute to your household. I have no idea how that concept is delicately communicated, especially, as Martie so eloquently put it, to someone whose "reality contact" is tenuous and muddled with victimhood issues. I heard that term from a psych doctor testifying yesterday and thought it was perfect. Maybe a refrigerator magnet with "Industria ditat!" -- "work enriches," loosely translated.

Great to hear that Purple Dome aster is a keeper for you, Michelle. Just planted one myself. I'm tentatively heading in the direction of focusing more on fall perennials as possibly more reliable here since we have such a long coolish fall. I've flip-flopped in this garden direction before. What few salvias I have are just now stirring into life. A smallish 'San Carlos Festival' has one intense magenta flower open with a few buds, so it's getting exciting...The gaura Corrie's Gold is infested with scale so may have to yank those. In a tiny garden like mine, this is a tragedy of epic proportions and means I have to rethink everything, lol. Kathy, just think of the size your new garden will be. It will be so exciting to go house-hunting with you. You'll be taking us all along, virtually speaking of course. Sounds like Cynthia's already got your back.

Re trains, a friend of my DH does an elaborate train set at Christmas that runs from the tree in the living room, out the windows at the front of the house then back inside. I think he may have redesigned the windows to make it work, lol.

I DO want some of the galvanized steel watering troughs and seriously envy any of you with regular access to feed stores.

My moral dilemma of the week involved the shopping ctr I was working next to all week having landscape plantings of the most exquisite agave, leaves nearly pure yellow with a thin green band at the margins, overgrown and congested with pups. No, I didn't but I was tempted.

Chelone's music thread has been most amusing. I was once so enthralled with a performance of Jackson Browne at the Roxy on Sunset Blvd. that I failed to notice my hair had caught fire from the table's candle. An alert waitress extinguished me before much was lost.

Trying to think what I'd do -- Paris or grandbaby...Paris or grandbaby...Kidding! that Reed's a charmer. So you've all been following along with Kenzie since that age? And probably Bella too. wow...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 11:51AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Did just a quick skim..I'm actually supposed to be hunting up info on a bonus daylily. Wasn't having any luck, so thought I'd pop in and say a quick HI to all. Anyone hear of JoJo? It came from Giblert Wild, but there's nothing on their site about it.
DD went to clean her old apartment and Jim is out running soybeans, so I've got some time to get plants in the ground. I've got company coming tomorrow, but I'm going to work outside today and am telling myself I'll tidy up inside tonight. Fortunately, the company isn't's my brother, so I don't REALLY care if he sees the filth. I can blame it on DD's move ;)
Just quick comments...LOL @ Valley of the Dogs :)
Cindy, good that you're irritated with your friend. I've been the victim, and came to the conclusion I'd rather be who I was MEANT to be, rather than the victim that he made me. Good friends and good family helped me get back on track. Far better for her to get any job until the right one comes along, and start getting her sense of self back. If it takes some tough love, she will probably thank you for it later. As a matter of fact, the DB that is coming tomorrow "tough loved" me, and we ended up being much closer than we probably would have otherwise.
Okay, seriously, I've got to get busy. Wish I could comment on all, but I'm doing a fair job keeping up with everyone, thinking of you often, and loving all the pictures!
Have a great day, everyone!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 1:24PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes Denise, watching the babies on the Idylls grow has been loads of fun. We're going to need a new photo of the twins soon too! I never thought of myself as a 'baby person'(rather like Sue & Chelone...) but things have somehow changed recently. :-)

Today is one FANTASTIC day! Clear, sunny, cool. Just beautiful. I had various chores which I zipped through (cat litter, dump, etc) and then ended up at the agility demo over at the vet's for a doggie fix. My friend who taught Charlotte at puppy school was there and she offered to go with me (when I'm ready) to judge a new puppy for temperament. How sweet is that?! She also remarked on what I already knew, that Charlotte had an extraordinary temperament. A wonderful companion indeed. There were kittens and prizes and neat people there.

Then I spent time at the knit shop buying needles and wool for winter fun by the fire. There's a famous pattern for a jacket that is knit in one piece that I've been eager to try, so I'm all set to start...that is once the blanket I've been working on is finished. Fall is the time I get excited about new knitting projects.

DH did NOT send flowers, but he did email from Paris that he arrived. Often he doesn't and that really infuriates me.

Off for some lunch and then the garden calls!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 1:48PM
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A fantastic day here except the extreme wind. I decided to work in the potting area as that is on the north side of the house and the wind is cut alot. I'm taking containers apart and potting up what will come indoors.

Kenzie spent the night and left around 12:30. It was rainy this a.m. and she was supremely disappointed that she couldn't go outside. We had planned the apple orchard and pumpkin patch for today but I'm sure it would be too muddy. I put an old oversized sweatshirt on her and let her go out for a while after the rain quit.

Denise, I joined the Idylls a little over 3 years ago and Kenzie will be 3 in Nov. She has informed me that she is going to have a Care Bear birthday party. Bella is several months younger than Kenzie and Eden has been around longer than me.

We did get some garden pictures, but with the extreme wind, she may have quite the hair do. This year it is much harder to get her to sit still for pictures so most are "action" shots. Did I mention that my dad calls her the Energizer Bunny?

Deanne, what patience it must take to deadhead that brug.

Martie, the MG is very pretty. Is Grampa Ott a big reseeder? I'm still trying to rid myself of some from years ago. I wouldn't mind one that doesn't take over my world.

I leave Denise with a picture of 'Purple Dome' which actually was several days ago and has many more blooms today.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 3:32PM
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Bella's playing so I'm going to try to squeeze in a post. We've been putting up Halloween decorations this morning. So what are the Idyll kids being for Halloween this year? Bella's chosen Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. She been watching the movie. I even found her a pair of ruby slippers at Target. I have most of my plants in, still a few to go, but it looks like this week will be warm. I still need to spread all of that mulch though. We'll be having the old maple trunk that held up the moon and clouds taken down next week. The back garden has had lots of changes to it's landscape this season.

Michelle, I loved the picture sequence of Kenzie. Hard to believe she's almost 3. Here beautiful big blue eyes don't change though. My Purple Dome's are just beginning to open. Yours is beautiful.

Marie, you asked about Bella's music cds. Let's see, she listens to Raffi, the Wiggles, some of the Disney movie soundtracks, especially Mary Poppins, also Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes, some of the Baby Einstein classical cds like Baby Bach, Baby Beethoven etc. She loves the Theme from the Mickey Mouse Club for marching and dancing, and sometimes I put on broadway showtune cds for her, Gypsy, Oaklahoma etc.. Oh and we listen to the soundtrack from Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella often. I like that one alot! Probably not for Reed though, lol.

Cynthia, Katie's pill collection reminds me of my mom's. I hope something in there helps! I too am more than ready to put my garden to bed for the season this year.

Deanne, love your new urns. I looked at that Longwood collection online last night. Oh my! So many beautiful things.

Cindy, I have to say you are a nicer person that I. I would not be able to tolerate a friend staying with me like that no matter what the circumstances I'm afraid. You are very kind! I hope she realizes how lucky she is to have you.

Here's the list of those who've indicated they want to participate in Creepy Guy's Idyll Adventure

Martie-I've got your address, no need to send it
Deanne-I need you to email me your address

If anyone else wants to be involved could you send me your address this weekend so I can send him on his way early next week.

Bella's ready to move on to something new so I've got to run. Hope you're all having a great weekend and your weather's as nice as ours is here. We're doing the apple orchard/pumpkin patch tomorrow afternoon, it's supposed to be in the mid 80s.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 4:57PM
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What a shrub that Purple Dome is! Thanks for posting that, Michelle.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 9:02PM
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Saturday and alls well, went to work at 6 this morning(had to drive an hour away) and got back home about 3:30. Not to bad for an inventory day. Tomorrow I go back but probably will only be a ½ day situation.

V, my best wishes to your Cubs. Ive always had a soft spot for them and will most likely root for them in the playoffs . Bet the poor old Brewskies though they had it dialed into after holding the lead for most of the season.

What strength of character you show Denise-resisting the urge to pilfer an agave pup. I would suspect that no one at that shopping center gives a rats a*** for that agave and that your theft would go unnoticed-however you didnt hear it from me ! (Betcha if you called the property manager you could get permission !) Well, I must say that even at my worst I never caught my hair on fire lol ! I did have my share of experiences in and around Sunset Blvd though. Do you remember Wallachs Music City on Sunset and Vine???
I will be sure to take the Idylls house-hunting with me ! Hey , did you ask about noisettes? The only one I have right now is Boule de Neige , and will absolutely have Madame Alfred Carriere one day. If I had to pick. Mme Alfred would win the day.

Martie, I have Star of Yelta which is quite similar to Grandpa Ott, and it re-seeds like mad. This year I was not diligent enough in my thinning and it has engulfed Sombrieuil and one of my Rudbeckias.
I agree that I need to be careful with how I spend my house sale prep bucks. My house will list in the 675k range. 2 to 5k is a drop in the bucket. I expect to spend 10, mostly in plumbing issues and kitchen and window upgrades.

Hiya Brenda-glad you checked in..sounds like you are a busy lady-its that harvest thing. The harvest season is quite intense here in Napa, and the company I work for furnishes many supplies to the vineyard folk.

Eden, Im all for Reed listening to Cinderella , especially the Rogers and Hammerstein version- I did not discriminate gender wise and my son is even more into show tunes now than DD. When we did car trips in their younger days the soundtracks were a great way to keep them entertained. Oklahoma was definitely a favorite ! The address for Creepy Guy has been sent. I am pondering his visit . (oh, and my kids were also very fond of a video I taped of Sweeney Todd with Angela in her glory-I edited out the gory stuff. !)

Ok everyone, I have some chores to do and some baseball to watch. Catch yall later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 9:47PM
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Happy Good Morning!

Ky's fav at age 3 was the 1812 Overture. He could stomp and jump and slither and by the time that winter was over, had it memorized and had a little dance thing that looked almost the same each time. He also really liked the Chipmunks Christmas record, even in July. Really, the roundedness of his musical exposure as made a huge difference in his willineness to try anything "once", except whiny country.

Kathy -- "One Meatball" is one of the alltime classic showtunes, IMHO, and is highly underrated. Perhaps it's because I was madly in lust with the guy playing the character when I costumed Sweeney Todd in college???? LOL

I have no idea of G. Ott will reseed since this is the first year I've had it, but I really wouldn't mind if it took over the mailbox garden. Remind me I said that next Spring.

Today is house cleaning time. All the windows are open and maybe the wind will dust for me? Wishful thinking :0

Later, alligators. AND THE RED SOX CLINCHED!!!!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 10:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks Eden, those CDs are food for thought!

Errands to run now, then the tree man arrives to give me an estimate...I KNOW it will be way more than I can afford. He won a huge lottery last year...I didn't!

Maybe I should pick up a pumpkin this time too.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 11:07AM
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Good Morning, Slow start here this morning. Brad's off playing racquetball and I've yet to do much of anything. It's a beautiful day though for a visit to the apple orchard this afternoon with Bella. She's such fun these days and says the funniest things. Her new word is "need". Megan told me she says "I NEED to go to grandma's!" She also NEEDS candy and every toy she sees advertised, lol. Michelle's post had me looking at old pictures of Bella and the oldest one I could find on this computer was this one from August 05, she was 6 months old

and one from May 06, a couple of months after her 1st birthday

Aren't those funny? It's fun to look back but unbelievable how quickly time has passed.

Kathy, for some reason I didn't receive your email. My address is lmcilhargie at so could you try again? I figure maybe you emailed me through GW. Those never come through for me.

Hope you all have something fun planned for today!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 11:24AM
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I feel terrible about my short posts on Idyll, I really do, but I am trying to squeeze it in and that must count for something.

I posted on Chelone's album thread thinking I'd post here next then we're off to breakfast....and pumpkin shopping....and then to unload the trailer of the lumber that will sister up the too-small rafters in the room to be the Glorious Four Season Sunroom.....I ordered my 6 22" wide skylights last night.

This project could take years ;)

I love Valley of the Dogs! Zeus likes a good chicken hotdog for pill hiding....cut it into 1" pieces and cut an X in the center - I can fit two large pills in there! Meatballs sound more tempting, though. I won't tell him what he's missing.

Bella's gonna have a blast in the pumpkin patch today (or did she go yesterday?) and Eden will have prime picture taking opportunities. I loved it when they were Bella's they want the biggest pumpkin they can find! Time to start growing those 900 pounders for fun! We're all talking about it....

I am working on the pond area today. I have to move some plants, but most is going in the compost. I may have to work on the rock wall and am aprehensive as I've never done a rock wall....

Gorgeous threads from all who posted. I'm taking notes on what to add to the fall garden. Woody, I'm especially impressed when you show pictures of your hardscapes...that's a lot of work! Deanne, you and Doug picked a perfect weekend to move that wall, and I know you two are the ones to accomplish such a feat!

I'm going to go outside now and get started....maybe I'll feel ready for Idyll Phase Two while I mull your postings over in the garden.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 11:36AM
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The huge dog and I are back to walking. He's up to a solid 3 miles with no hint of a limp or soreness. 'bout time blow out the other knee now, huh? It's interesting to watch him react to the road work; he's had it pretty easy the last few months and it's taken a few jaunts to get back into the "polite walking" and compliantly responding to "heel" when it's required. I have this thing about talking while I burp (I know, I know), and this morning I managed this: "Do you want a walkie?". He went totally mental, barked like a fool, and began to chase his tail before dashing down the stairs and repeating the performance in front of the door. LOL. (I'll have to practice that one some more).

Cindy, you have my sympathy, as well. I know how bad Mum was in 2003, after her cancer diagnosis. She essentially refused to get out of bed, get dressed, eat. She weighed a whopping 84 lbs. at her lowest. Clearly an anti-depressant was called for. As for waiting for the perfect job... she can't have it, because I WANT IT! Seriously, that's an excuse for continuing the present (in)activity. I can't recall the guy's name (big guy, played for the Philly Sixers, kind of a jerk) who refused to give panhandlers money. When asked why, he replied it wasn't any harder to ask, "would you like fries with that?". Sometimes, when you hit the bottom hard the best thing to do is "get busy", start doing something to change your circumstances. You are a very good and kind friend!

I went into the bedroom this morning and realized that the entire window seat was covered with the contents of the helpmeet's pockets... months' worth! I sorted all the pocket change, threw out the candy wrappers and rusty screws, organized the other receipts, tools, and assorted other goodies. I have decided that the window and the view through it are no longer going to be compromised by the clutter of sloth. I suspect this will not be warmly received, but I don't care. ;) (the request to declutter the dining table will not be met with great enthusiasm, either).

OK, time to hang the blankets out and contemplate a load of bedding... or maybe tomorrow morning...

(Just remembered the big guy's name: Charles Barclay).

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 11:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Seeing little BellaTheBall beaming reminds me that I spoke with DGS on the phone last night. For some mysterious reason he has been behaving like a charm. He's always good when alone with Sarah, but when with Mom or Dad, the impossible nonsense and whining begin. Dad returns tonight too, after a two week absence. But he was full of talk of being Harry Potter for Halloween, of enjoying the photos I sent him of his holidays here, of singing to his baby brother and a possible sleepover. Later I received a new email address for him. I hope he uses it a lot and that it helps his manual dexterity and creative writing skills. Just last week he was punished for playing computer games instead of math exercises during math class. Oh brother, what a kid! His Mom made him write letters of apology to two teachers, rake and bag 3 bundles of leaves in the backyard and stay grounded in his room for a full day. I don't agree with all of that, but I'm sure he'll remember it.

I finished off the blanket I've been knitting last night and now am trying to crochet scallops around the edge. Crochet isn't really "my thing".

Chelone...I'm sure DH will be thrilled to comply with your requests. He'll surprise you and say "I thought you'd never ask my darling wife!" Well, maybe not.... But when he's done, there are tools on the back room table here and a cluttered DR table as well. I cleaned up his sheet music last night. On the other hand, I do admit to being less tidy than he.

There's so much work to do in the gardens...I don't know where to begin! I've added three pots of mums to the front entryway. (sort of like using deodorant rather than showering...) Maybe I'll go deal with laundry first.

Wishing Ei would drop by with her news and PHOTOS!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 1:22PM
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The little girl two houses down who races with her friend up and down on the sidewalk in front of my house just informed me that she noticed my picket fence is broken. It's been hit and one of the pickets is split in half lengthwise. Now I wonder how that could have happened? She didn't know, lol.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 2:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Eden, one day long ago Sarah's tricycle went missing. The nasty kid across the street was the suspect, but we weren't sure. Why steal an old tricycle anyway?
DH decided to talk to the kid, appropriately named Damion. He was sympathetic. DH laid it on thick. The poor little girl was so sad and was in tears - yada yada yada. Damion said he'd look for it and amazingly found it 3 minutes later behind the apartment buildings at the corner of the block. I wonder how he knew to look there....

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 2:57PM
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I have not been very productive outside this summer. I've kept up with lawn and done some occasional weeding, but haven't really devoted any considerable to time to any one thing. It has seemed as though everything I've wanted to has somehow been linked to something that had to be done before. And let's face it, the attention around here has been focussed on other things.

I mowed a neglected corner of the yard today; on a high setting and then progressively lower, raking up the finest clippings. I have a bunch of rescued ferns from the garage site and I think they'd probably like it over there with their compatriots (Osmunda cinnamomea). I have a large stand of Polygonatum commutatum to dig and divide and figured some of that would probably like it over there, too. And 2 Astilboides tabularis that have been surviving in pots on the north side of the house since the end of July.

"Where's my stuff?" was the reaction to the clean window seat. I showed him where it was, and told him I washed the stash of the clothes that had been piled there, too. "But they weren't dirty...". They're cleaner now! I requested that the dining table be addressed this week and received the assurance that it would be. We'll see.

I'm pretty good at picking up after myself, actually. My desk is not lookin' so great, but the bulk of it is magazines that I need to either save or toss. And Medicare Summary Notices that I need to file away. The shop is a disaster, too, and it makes me crazy to have to search around for a pair of scissors (we have close to a dozen pair!), a stapler, seam ripper, or staple puller. It's also a hazard to step on scraps of fabric or recently removed snap buttons... they're SLIPPERY! I NEVER leave the shop without tidying up my space, but no one else does that for me. And it can really wear me down.

Balanced my checkbook today and had the pleasant discovery that there was more in there than I thought there was; evidently, I forgot to write in a deposit I made nearly a month ago. :)

Funny about the broken fence, missing tricycles, and whining kids... . Lookee at all I've missed. Not.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 5:00PM
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