Idyll # 456... Eternal Summer

dodgerdudetteSeptember 19, 2009

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart"

-Celia Thaxter

Carry on my friends !

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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)



    Bookmark   September 19, 2009 at 9:37PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

No time to chat just now but I did want to extend sympahy to Chelone at this sad time for her. (((Chelone)))).

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mist is rising from the pond on this beautiful sunny morning and the frost on the grass is melting in the areas where the light hits it.

This is the last day to accomplish outdoor tasks for a while as rains are coming tonight or tomorrow. On the agenda is potting up the rosemary for winter in our front hall, gathering rocks for the bridge area, weeding the bases of several shrubs and mowing the lawn. That's all there will be time for, but there are numerous other jobs yet to do before real winter arrives.

On a different topic, those who are curious about the North Country Fair which DD and DSIL participate in, there is interesting news. Last weekend was a meeting to assign jobs and plan for next season. Both "kids" have been elected to several committees and are pleased. But the most astonishing thing was the announcement that due to DSIL's asking the security people to handle the finances after some irregularities were observed, their income grew by $80,000! Several people have vanished never to be heard from again. No charges are being placed, but lessons have been learned. They are excited about their possibilities for next year's building program and the plan to turn the area into a conference centre in off season time.
June 2008

I have been thinking about the planting to honor Chelone's friend. I wonder what she has considered as possibilities. I think cornus alternifolia sounds nice. It is native here, and although slow growing is handsome and distinctive whether in variEgated form or solid green.

On this misty morning, I think of Woody's Misty and send a warm hello from our gang.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:36AM
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(((Chelone))) my sympathies. Death that way is just so hard.
(((PM2))) I hope your DH rebounds quickly.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:59AM
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Wow Pm, So sorry to hear of DH's ordeal. I hope it improves soon.

Chelone, am I mistaken or didn't you have another friend who ended their own life too, making this doubely hard for you. Take care of yourself and don't let this beat you down. He wouldn't want that.

Woody, I was wondering how you are doing. Can you at least let us know if you had a procedure. (((Woody))).

We have had a whole night of steady gentle rain and some early morning Thunder stoms with heavy downpours.
Not much on the agenda today.

Wishing all a good day. Norma

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 9:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A drive by here.

Just finished getting wallflower cuttings which are presently parked in water for later planting in pots.

Here's the knitting project for my "endless Summer". NOT PINK.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 11:20AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Norma - no procedures yet - my neurosurgeon's office was closed for vacation - we'll be seeing him this coming Wednesday and will know more after that re what will happen next. Radiation has been ruled out so surgery of some sort is really the only option now.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 11:21AM
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Warm temps here in these waning days of summer, hoses are in use as we speak. I have noted that the yearly fall mildew affliction has surfaced a few Zinnias and cosmos have fallen prey and the Pulmonarias whose powdery leaves were cut to the ground previously are sporting a new coat of white. Sigh.

I spent most of the day in the garden today, digging up more blasted Asters and planting the part of the stockpile IÂve accumulated over the last few weeks. The pruning saw has been applied to Lady Banks, I hope to remove half of her , as she is beginning to have some effect on the infrastructure.

One must have non pink in ones girlish wardrobe Âbug. The new creation is a pleasing color !

((Woody)) thanks for the update, we all hope for the best possible outcome for you.

A few pics from yesterday :

This shop was full of these wonderful natural shapes, both flat and bowls, but extraordinarily expensive. From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

This 'aqua' tree is a Sonoma County landmark .. From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

John Greenlees fabulous installation From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

What you are seeing here are little tillandsias wired to bamboo stakes with misters creating a fine fog. Very cool looking. From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

This was really beautiful - love the contrast between the agaves and the feather grass From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

The tire thing ala Felder Rushing From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

Our golden brown hills of summer, and a field of whirleygigs From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

The link below will take you to Mitches slide show of awesome photos. You may recognize a lurking Idyll in a couple of them ...kudos to Mitch, I would be in hog heaven if I could take photos like this!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 6:53PM
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Good evening

Chelone - thinking of you and the sadness you must be feeling.

PM - what a terrible ordeal - I do hope your DH is on his was to a speedy recovery.

Michelle - good wishes for your Mom's surgery.

Woody - I've thought of you so often, both when I'm over here to read and many other times during the day. I'll be hoping with all my might come Wednesday there are some reasonable possibilities.

Kathy - cool garden photos.

I can't believe the weekend has flown by. Much of ours was spent with friends enjoying the outdoors. Not terribly productive though I did get the flashing on the top of the chicken condo and the windows in to keep the girls warm at night. We also had an amusing discovery - Henny Penny had been laying her eggs in the old coop instead of the lovely new nesting boxes in the condo. We found 10 eggs nestled together - a treasure trove! Unfortunately with the warm weather I didn't feel they were safe to eat so Clousseau has been having some each night with dinner - lucky pooch. I'll be checking both from now on.

Other wise, all I can say is I wish I lived in Humbolt County. Check out the link below


    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 7:48PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm enjoying a rainy Sunday evening at the tail end of a whirlwind weekend. But the highlight had to be the visit from Brenda and her husband. They arrived around twelve-thirty, when the skies were blue and the temps as lovely as they've been all summer. We had a nice stroll around the garden and then came in for a late lunch. Slacker that I am, I did not take any photos except for one on the Blackberry, but Brenda took some pictures, so you'll have to wait for those. :)

Mystic decided to celebrate the occasion be coming down with kennel cough, so he periodically hacked up a portion of a lung and then looked pitiful. The kennel cough was courtesy of Cooper, the rescued puppy that DS and wife adopted 7 to 10 days ago - oh wait, that's the incubation period for kennel cough; Cooper visited us 8 days ago. I had not experienced this before and was reminded of when one of my kids came down with croup. You wake up in the middle of the night to this awful coughing and you're sure that there can be no good outcome from this horrible hacking, and then you find out that's it really not that serious. I spent half the night worrying that there was something dreadfully wrong with Mystic, and then in the morning DH says, "Oh, did I tell you that Cooper and Penny both have kennel cough?"

Yesterday I got to do something that I had not done for years - I went to a party that the police showed up at! Our friends had a live band play at the party, and while they invited all the immediate neighbors, it turned out that music carried for quite a distance. The band was scheduled to end by 8:30 anyway, and the responding officer decided that the kids were really pretty good, so he let them finish out the set.

In between all that, DH had me up and out at 7:00 am both mornings to do staining on the deer condo. I don't mind the work because I know I will enjoy this little retreat when it's all done, it's just that the starting time was brutal.

So that's the news from here. I'm thinking of many of my idyll friends who are facing challenges right now. Hugs to Woody as she deals with her health issues, to pm and her DH as he recovers, and to Chelone as she mourns her friend.

'bug, what amazing news from the North Country Fair. Glad that they realized there was a problem.

Kathy, did you and Denise meet at the Late Show? I too am envious of Mitch's eye - what fabulous photos!

OK, I've been "productive" long enough, and I bet that three or four more posts slipped in while I was composing this masterpiece. Hello and good night to the rest of yous!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 8:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary, the brillo-haired potato farmer in a failed Project Runway gown herding her pet slug is my favorite too...

Kathy, love the grasses and agaves, the John Greenlees installation and the delightful little girl in the blue frock! I have a fabulous huge rubber tire right here in the barn that I'd GLADLY donate to anyone for their chef d'oeuvre. I think Felder Rushing's plant material is far lovlier than the containers though....

So much accomplished outdoors today! Cuttings, mowing, rosemary potted up, Japanese anemones tamed back, Centaurea 'amethyst in snow' divided into EIGHT sections, 7 to be given away, apple trees and shrubs weeded at their bases, some watering, etc...Only the rocks have not been found for the bridge work. Time for the Salvia black & blue to bite the dust here. I'm hoping to give away my vast collection of plastic pots before the week is out and thus create garage space! And now, I'm hoping for rain! After all this, it was pizza for dinner- OUT!

We have been working on Phoebe to LISTEN to commands and stop anticipating her next move. It is improving... DH is annoyed that I give him dog training advice, but he does such goofy stuff I can't help calling him on it. Things like "No-No-No- Don't roll over!" just don't get the message across - in my opinion, DUMB! DH is improving though. ;)

Sweet Dreams to one and all!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 9:09PM
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LOL Mary, I hope you like fog and poverty-thats the gig in Humboldt County ! But how beautiful it is..We spread my DH's ashes in a Redwood grove there.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 20, 2009 at 10:29PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

I woke up at 4 and couldnt get back to sleep so Im doing my morning round of computer things then Ill hit the studio early and hopefully finish painting the latest fuchsia plate. I only need to paint a little skipper butterfly then it will be complete.

We had a lovely weekend but so sad we missed Saucys party. We had to go to my nieces wedding. It was a very unusual service but fit the couple perfectly, they wrote their vows, the service was outside and one of the brides friends officiated. She got here JP license in NH in order to do the honors. Pretty neat.

Doug is working on getting the camera set up for the monitor in the painting studio. Last evening we bought the larger tables and Doug installed another light fixture so other than upgrading the folding chairs the studio will be ready to go. Im debating on whether to upgrade the chairs with new ones or get the old ones recovered. I originally bought them in 1983 for my first studio here and the seat covers are splitting from age.

Kathy, how very neat you and Denise got together. Love your photos but I am blown away by Mitchs photo gallery. Fabulous images!!!! Wow, what a talent.

V and Brenda, how terrific youve gotten together

Bug, love the new knitting project.

Mary, sounds like you had a lovely weekend. The weather here was perfect for outdoor activities also.

Hugs going out to Woody, PM and Chelone

Norma, I sure wish wed get some rain here. Its been dry for weeks.

OK time to get some breakfast, get some exercise and get to work. Have a terrific day everyone.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 5:28AM
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Good morning

Deanne - I love unusual weddings especially when they reflect what is important for the couple. Hope you can post pics of the new studio.

GB - the knitting is gorgeous - you must have a great wool shop near you.

V - what fun it must have been to get together with Brenda.

Kathy - I actually had no idea where Humbolt County was and would have guessed somewhere here in the East.

David has a Dr visit this afternoon and we are hoping for the thumbs up for him to start running again. Then I'll be hunting out my googly eyes to dress up a few taters.

Happy Monday


    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 7:26AM
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Can you stand a wee bit of good news? My mom and dad sold the condo. The rumors that real estate is starting to move again are validated in their case. Now they'll be moving in approx 30 days or so to the 55 & over mobile home park, with lots of places to walk nearby and senior stuff to do inside the park. Sweet relief to get them out of that tri-level condo. Even with the stair lifts it was becoming more and more difficult.

Kathy, amazing you found Mitch's photos...what a small cyber-world gardeners move in. I wish I could take photos like that too!

We drove up Thurs a.m, back Friday evening, the cannonball run up the coast, so I didn't get a chance to hook up with Kathy on the weekend. Luckily, we had Marty's van. Doing those runs in my mini adds ten years at least. Highway 5 runs through the agricultural belt, and I saw many cryptic signs reading "Congress created the Dust Bowl!" and "No water, no jobs." More water wars stuff no doubt, but something I hadn't seen before. Must do some googling on that. (Any other idyll fans of the movie Chinatown? ;)

A bit of show gossip. I'll leave names out to make it non-googleable. The exhibit with the swooping golden panels. In one of Mitch's photos, all candles are lit except two on a table. That's because as the designer was lighting the candles at twilight, another guest came over to check out the exhibit. Feeling show fatigue at that precise moment, she sat down on a panel that swooped near the ground. Must have looked like a chaise, I suppose. I had lightly touched these panels because the material was such an odd amalgam, very thin, porous, neither wood nor fabric but a weave nonetheless, all panels interconnected as an organic whole. The sound of the panel ripping as her bum made contact sent shudders through us all. I froze stunned as this unfolded. The designer let out a soft curse, dropped the matches, muttered "I'm outta here," and left. I next saw her drinking wine and laughing with other designers in the food tent, so she managed to recover her poise. The guest/sitter then spent five minutes explaining to me why it wasn't her fault until I could politely back away and get the heck outta there. The photos were taken after the mishap, so the tear doesn't show unless you're standing over it looking down, thank goodness.

Am I to understand that someone was playing fast and loose with Reed's memorial fund? I wonder what circle in h*ll awaits that fool.

I hope Mystic stops barking like a seal soon.

Sounds like the studio is getting spiffed up for autumn classes, Deanne. Any hummingbird designs percolating?

Doctor, let's get David running this week!

Norma, you need to share some of that rain...

Changing a faucet at my folks is on tap this a.m., and possibly more packing. Hoping this week brings more good news, please!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 11:57AM
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Denise, the link to Mitches pics was put up on Garden Rant, a place I visit daily so not much searching was done on my part , and his name was right in the link ! I think you need to compell him to do a photo essay of your garden for the Idylls viewing pleasure-a reward for hauling him up the coast , right ?

Back to awfice stuff---and speaking of such things where the heck has Cindy been ?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 12:45PM
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I'm dying to know who sat down!

Mitch's photos are gorgeous!


    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 1:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The rain is here...thank goodness. I was able to run out and buy a new pair of jeans for my trip westward as well as a Halloween outfit for Ms Ivy without feeling guilty for slacking on outdoor jobs. I also found a lovely mug with ivy on it...but I think I'll be keeping it for me. At a hefty price, I think I'll enjoy it most and am less likely to break it. Also lugged home some potting soil for my wallflowers to grow in.

A while back I mentioned that Skyler was to bring to class 100 assorted items of different colors or shapes. That mystery was solved for me when DD explained that his teacher is working on percentages with them. He brought in Lego pieces and is now immersed in what percentage of them are blue.... Meanwhile, DD has been spending 20 minutes after school each day working on multiplication of double digit numbers. That is improving and next time he comes to their place they will work with 3 digit numbers. He claims to hate math, but once he actually listens and figures it out, things get better!

Denise, it was not just one person but a group of about 10 people who were "playing fast and loose with funds". It was not the money allocated for Reed's area thank goodness, but for the entire Fair. The Fair is a non-profit organization, but I guess some did 'profit' after all. ;)

Around here people decorate tirelessly with Mums and Grasses in containers. There seem to be no alternatives. For me, I enjoy all the wild goldenrod and asters. Nothing beats nature's yellow and purple combo.

Off to beat the dog,

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 1:30PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

It must have been that Kathy voice echoing Cindy and awfice in the same sentence... here I am.... and no excuses but awfice is awful and DC commuting is back to its September horrors which means that cuts into any early playtime upon arrival... two hour commutes each way just suck the life outta me....and take away idyll time - no fair or fun!

I have to keep my lunch idylling sacred so here I am back -- trying desperately to catch up!

There are so many things and threads to do that with, I likely need to book extra nite time too, LOL.

Nuthin important to report from my regions except the desire for some of that rain, still battling w/ rose roots (considering painting roundup now to solve that issue as brute strength doesnt work) and assorted other silly annoying things.

Yeeha for good news -- Denise's parents are moving on to easier things, and Im hoping PM's husband will be well soon.

I hope to see photos of the other mid-west IUnion....

Okay - Im back to elevating my mood by looking at idyll photos!


    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 1:43PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

This one's for 'bug:

I love the wild asters in particular at this time of year. Before I got on the computer tonight, I grabbed the camera and took a quick walk around to capture a few. The setting sun gives you some great light.

Denise, how great that your folks sold their home.

Mary, I hope things went well with David's doctor visit.

I got cough suppressant for Mystic tonight and am looking forward to a good night's sleep! No more coughing dog. I do think a coughing dog is even more miserable than a coughing husband!

Bring on Tuesday!


    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Still nice and rainy here. That should make things bright and green again.

Spent time working on the book club list, but it seems to be a different process from last year. We'll just have to wait and see. Several people are out of town, having therapy in Toronto, etc... etc... But we all still want to read.

Here are my new bed cushions. MeToo has found a good use for them:

And this is my new mug:

As to knitting, I've finished the back and now am beginning the front.

I hope all are well and not too exhausted from back to work Monday.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 9:56PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

We are going to have a beautiful day here and I think the temps are supposed to go up to the low 80s. That should confuse all the plants nicely after several early mornings of 42 degrees. The coleuses are starting to look a bit sad as they really hate the cold. Ive GOT to get my cuttings ASAP as they wont root well if I wait too much longer. My Charles Grimaldi is setting hundreds of buds at the moment and Im wondering if they will have time to open before the frost. I really hope so. Ive been battling a case of broad mites on my pink brug for a month now and its frustrating trying to treat a nine foot tree with mites on the terminal growing ends. Oh well, there is always next year. Im thinking Im going to prune it back and give it a good hosing down the beginning of next week and call it done for this year. LOL

Im hoping to be able to wander about and get some photos of the gardens today. There are some pretty things but so much is browned out after several weeks of no rain. Fall is definitely arrived in this neck of the woods. The Dogwood is glorious in its red coat of leaves and berries ad the Hydrangea petiolaris is beginning to turn golden yellow.

Denise, glad to hear your parents sold their condo, good news. ~~ Yes Im thinking of including a hummingbird on one of my fuchsia designs. Hopefully my painting ladies will think thats a good idea. ~~ Oh dear with the snafu with the panel. Good grief, what was she thinking?

Norma, I agree with Denise, please send some of that rain this way.

Bug, so sad about people misappropriating funds for the Faire.~~ I just love your Ivy mug. That is perfect! ~~ Luke and Rahjii also love to curl into the cushions on the beds. It makes a great kitty nest.

V. beautiful aster photos! And like Bug I love it with Goldenrod.

Cindy, how FABU to hear from you! Ive missed your posts. Two hour commutes????!!!!! Horrors! I dont know how you deal with that. To bad you cant work from home.

Mary, whats the verdict for David running? Crossing my fingers for good news here. ~~ Ill get some pictures of the studio as soon as its cleaned up from the latest round of renovations.

Woody, you are often in my thoughts, sending hugs your way.

OK Ive got to get moving here and start getting this house cleaned for the weekend. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 6:57AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

So much for good intentions.... well, maybe 5 mins at least here to retrieve my sanity....

I awoke about 3 a.m. last nite and immediately composed a msg for idyll posting - how weird is that? I never got out of bed, but had lots to say....

We are having the same confusing weather here -- autumn, now back to a few 80s days -- I had to drag out my hose to water last nite -and discovered - egad -- some "nice" neighbor had helped themselves to the sprinkler that was on it (had been hidden behind a bush in the front garden)... REALLY -- it was about 8 or 9 years old, yellow plastic, didnt work too well, but it managed to do the job for me.... I just have a hard time believing someone is that desperate... people are very strange...
Luckily I have one in reserve and managed to bring it out to get some relief for the shrubs and trees - it is Dry out there! However, the petty theft has reminded me that I really need to be cautious about what things I leave out - ornaments, etc...

Glad to hear you got Mystic some cough meds, V -- there is that horrible canine virus going around in this region -- cough and fever -- and the vets have put out alerts about it. I do imagine sick dogs are worse than sick husbands, because one really cannot yell at a poor dawg and feel human afterward.

Sounds like your biz is cranking up, Deanne -- that's great! and a photo cam in the studio? I think I missed what it would be for...

In fact, I think I have to re-read this thread and the earlier one because I know I wanted to say a bunch of things -- like

Hi, Honey - how great to hear from you -- Im so sad to hear you have to cut your garden area back - I cant believe your neighborhood would be so narrowminded as to not to love your lovely gardens or path even if it did encroach on common areas -- shaking my head at that one. I hope Tom gets some more good "bites" at jobs or contracts; hopefully things are picking up for folks.

I also need to thank Denise -- yoowhoo, Denise -- I managed to see your mention last month about the DVD The Art of Gardening by Penelope Hobhouse & I rented it from Netflix - I've been enjoying it immensely. To idyllers and lurkers - I heartily recommend this as one gets to see so many author gardeners being interviewed -- John Brooks, Nori and Sandra Pope,etc -- interspersed with seeing English and American gardens -- I saw Stonecrop & its director last nite in one episode and it made me think of our IU5 -- very cool!!!! It was the next best thing to actually visiting these gardens, private and public....

Love love your photos, Kathy -- so inspiring - keep 'em up.

Okay, well, that was the "tip" of what I can recall -- the memory seems to be going.

Thinking many good thoughts for Woody too -- and hoping PM's husband is on the mend as well as Michelle's Mom...


    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 1:45PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good afternoon, from the Perth and District Public Library.

Horrible virus problems at home so being careful not to invite it in to anyone's home or office.

Today I made my annual batch of salsa using all three varieties of tomato from the garden. A treat loved by all of my family...I really need to make another batch as one rarely does us the winter, but DH has been consuming the Tomatoes at such a rate that I doubt that I will have enough...

Also took all of the geranium cuttings this morning, and they are hopefully on their way to root development under the lights. Could hardly get there due to the guest room furniture in the storage. I am now determined to get the basement sorted out.

I also filled all of the dog holes with sheep compost, seeded them, and they are well paprika'ed to keep them from being redug. I have Virginia Creeper at every post and halfway inbetween, so come Spring I hope to have massive growth. Three sections have only Tangutica clematis - from Marie - and these are the three most visible sections. I know they will do well!!

Oh Woody, things sound less than optimal at your end of the world right now. At least whatever treatment will take place will be in the off-season for gardens! Best wishes to you and please come here as often as you can. You have friends.

Marie, the mug is gorgeous, even if it didn't have special significance I would want it!! I'm not too into the fancy fall planting decorations that seem to abound here. We put pumpkins into the hanging baskets and maybe a fall thing on the front door and that's about it. I used to buy the "hardy" fall mums but could never get them to survive so gave up.

How did the appointment for David go, Mary? It's been a long haul for you all, but you have done such a great job of keeping spirits up through it all. Hopefully this year will be a good one for you - return of health, job issues solved, lots of eggs!!

Cook photos, Kathy! So were you at the Late Show that used to be David Letterman or Jay Leno? I rarely watch now - getting old I guess, and late for me is like, 9:30. So how are we going to find out who sat down *LOL*

PM, I hope your DH is doing well. That whole intravenous antibiotic thing is such a nightmare. Luckily for us, after three weeks of it, and massive oral antibiotics as well, DH dodged that bullet and is now well. I kind of appreciate it when the medical profession grabs the bull by the horns so to speak and brings out the big guns to battle something.....

Time's up, so I have been sternly told. Our virus protection scan and whatever should be done by tonight or tommorow. Till then, keep well, friends.



Deanne, I can hardly think of houw you nmight have improved your studio area. It looked wonderful this summer! How are your orchids doing? They remained indoors this year, right? I once again fried mine outside, moved themn for the last month, and they have bounced back once again. Back in the house now....I think I will keep most of them under lights for the winter, rotating into the living room about once a month so we can enjoy looking at them .

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 2:02PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hello, from Marinette, WI!! We had planned on going to Taliesin (sp?) today, but woke to torrential rains. We were going to do the whole tour, but at $80 a head for the whole thing, I'd rather not have to swim it, lol!
We had SUCH a nice visit with Marlene, Hugh and Mystic! What a wonderful home you guys have made. Mystic was a little reserved at first...NOT! I'm in love with your dog, Marlene ;) Hope that kennel cough is history soon.
Dinner and wine were fabu as you would expect. Jim and I can't remember what variety of corn you said that was, but it was SO yummy! Jim was fondly reminiscing about the pork later that night. I think he wished he had a sandwich for a midnight snack. Thanks so, so much for having us. Now, I can hear your posts, and I hope to collect more voices in the future, lol!
"So you'll have to wait for those." I did take some pictures, but did not pack the USB cable for the camera. This is what happens when you let packing go until the last minute. You forget stuff like that, and the wine for Marlene. I want you to know, my feet hadn't been on the ground for 15 minutes before we were headed to find you the best Wal-Mart had to offer, lol!

The skydive was, of course, fantabulous! I didn't get a video this time, and my instructor did some turns and worked on my form and altitude awareness with me. We did several maneuvers in free-fall, checking altitude after each. At 6000 feet, it's time to lock in on the altimeter, wait for 5500, wave and pull. Right at 6000, we fell through a cloud, and were still in it when I pulled. It was absolutely amazing! We had a great dinner at the Tiki Bar, and I showed the boys how to drink beer. Then, Jim showed me where the cabin was, lol! Thank goodness for a good meal and a couple of glasses of wine at Marlene's. Just what the doctor ordered.

((((Chelone)))) I am so sorry. It is always so hard to lose someone, and I'm so sorry it happened that way. You're in my thoughts.

PM2,I hope to hear your hubby is well soon. I know a man dealing with the same thing, and it can be quite a battle.

I'll have to close now, the dryer is about to shut off. Even on vacation, you can't get away from laundry. As you can imagine, skydivers tell some pretty amusing stories. Jim got tickled and slapped his hand down on the metal topped picnic table and flipped a beer. My pants leg got the brunt of it. Stuffed them into the plastic laundry bag, and they've been riding around with us since. Not pleasant. Not pleasant at all!
Have a good evening, Idylls :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 6:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I came home this evening and took Mystic out front for his "constitutional". I heard a small squawk from the wetland, glanced over and was stunned to see about 20 white egrets on the wetland again! I grabbed the dog and ran inside as fast as I could, but I had been spotted and they all took off before I could get a photo.

Brenda, thanks for the nice comments (and the wine!) The sweet corn was Mirai, and I'm including a link below to the farm near us that developed it. They sell seed on their website now.

Mystic only coughed once last night and not quite as bad. He got into some pretty good hacking when I came home, but now that he's settled down he's fine. I will give him another cough suppressant at bedtime. He has excelled at schmoozing lessons and totally suckered Jim and Brenda.

I really should read slower. I thought that everyone at Julie's home was sick with a virus.

My computer tip of the day is that there is some malware floating around that is hard to get rid of. There's a free program you can download from called Malwarebytes that is very effective, but the worst cases of the malware will block Malwarebytes from running. The trick is to rename all the Malwarebytes .exe files to something else - I used "helpme" to replace the "mbam" in the file names. Bingo! The program runs and does its stuff. That whole process I just detailed is pretty simple, but if it intimidates you, show this to someone who is a bit more computer-geekish and they should have no problem with it.

I guess I should stop snacking and rustle up a real dinner.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 7:49PM
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I have spent WAY too much time on Farmtown tonight. However , I now have a river , which will soon have flower borders studded with pine trees. I did take a break to water the real garden since the first day of fall here sported 90 degree temps. More of the same tomorrow.

bug that coffee cup is fabu ! I love botanical serving/dinnerware,-have always pined away for Portmerion.

Ok Deanne I am reading your fall reports with interest timing the 2010 visit east .. I await all reports of fall foliage. Wonder what Les and Moniques is looking like about now, with all those great grasses.

There you are Cindy, it sounds like the awfice is wrapping its slimy tentacles around you. Take a breath and envision that little seacoast retirement cottage ! Watering is always in high gear here in Sept- so many months without rain and everything is bone dry. Thanks for the scoop on the gardening DVD, I must have missed Denises blurb on that one- itll go in my ever expanding queue ..I have watched very few movies this summer (baseball and daylight savings time conspire) and I have a serious backlog. I have 3 movies sitting here right now that Ive had for at least a month. Next year I need to be more organized and change my plan for the summer .

Hi Julie ! LOL, the idea that I would actually ever be up late enough to watch Letterman or Leno. The Late Show is the name of the garden show in Sonoma County I went to last Saturday. Im jealous that you got to see Deannes studio- I was so busy gawking at the gardens I completely forgot to ask her to see it .

Ahh Brenda , the smell of stale beer in the morning, lol. I would love to see Taliesin- hope the rain lets up and you get to visit. I have a permanent packing list that I pull out whenever I go anywhere, and it includes the must take items (camera, extra batteries, phone charger, wine opener etc. . I also start a staging area on the dining room table several days before I leave and anything I think of that needs to go with me gets put on the table right away. Next week I will start staging for my driving trip to the coast Oct 7. I hate to forget stuff when I travel. Its one of the few things Im very organized about.

A few more shots from Sonoma:

Thought of Cynthia :-( I miss her ! Aren't these cool ? From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

Loved this wind sculpture in John Greenlees garden From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

A lime green garden folly with fall colored grapevines From Late Show Gardens Cornerstone 2009

Nite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 11:02PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning.... :-)

I cannot believe it is the 23rd of September already, I feel like I have missed the entire month. This has been an odd year that way. Our weather has been gorgeous! Perfect days and perfect sleeping weather. Back to doing the sprinkler routine but that's okay, at least I don't have 20 inches of rain to contend with.

DH continues to do better. He is due to be sent home from the hospital tomorrow. We can't wait! :-) If this is the end of it, we will be very grateful. Thank you all for your concern and good wishes. I appreciate it. Sorry to hear that we are not alone in dealing with this.

Speaking of grateful, I liked your Idyll tydll and that was a quote I had not heard before, Kathy.

I'm sorry to hear about your friend, Chelone. I lost a friend to suicide once and I felt a lot of anger for some time. Not toward my friend, but just at the situation and feeling like if I had understood what was going on more I might have been able to help more. Much later, I came to a different conclusion, that I wasn't sure I could have helped even if I had known more. When I was younger, I believed every problem had a solution.

Marie...I love that photo of Reed!! Thanks for posting it. .... I find it very disturbing to hear of not one but ten people taking money earmarked for such a wonderful community project. Very discouraging to hear this type of thing going on way too often and I just don't understand it at all.

Kathy...You seem to be doing a lot of garden visiting this year and I am loving all your photos. So, were the photos of Late Show Gardens taken by Denise's Mitch? Gorgeous photos that really captured lovely shadow and light. My favorites were those of the planted table and the little girl.

Did I ever congratulate you on your new job, Mary? Hope it is going well. Wonderful you don't have to worry about healthcare. Your photos of the chicken condo with the newest 'member' gave me a smile.

V.....I loved your aster photos. I have one open now that is a gorgeous color blue but it is so spindly. It wasn't a good year for asters here.

Well...I need to get out and get the sprinklers going. I'm sure I've missed commenting on lots. Thinking of Woody today and hellos to everyone. Hope you all are enjoying fall.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 5:00AM
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Good morning

Monday's Dr's visit was very mixed. While David's femur continues to show signs of good growth and healing his Dr has revised thoughts on running, feeling the risk of the bone dying is still too great. He does not want David to run until next summer. You can imagine how devastating this was for him to hear - no sports, gym, racing around outside for another year:0( It is so hard watching your child hear difficult news, I felt my heart was being pulled apart.

It was compounded by the fact that in the physical therapy visit an hour before David was told the hard work he had done strengthening his hip and muscles had paid off and he was ready to run and get back to normal activities. For a few minutes he had the freedom of jogging around the indoor track. But I guess the physical therapists do not have the same knowledge of the risks of the avascualr necrosis and we will follow the Dr's instructions however hard they seem.

Today my thoughts are turned to Woody and all she has to face today, and that does put soemthing like this into perspective.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 7:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM does not live all that far from me...yet she is yearning for water while we are listening to the pitter-patter of rain outside as I type.

Kathy, funny you should mention your travel preparation area on the DR table. Mine is on the hide-a-bed in my study. At the moment there are very few clothes there, but a few things for Ivy, a book for Skyler and a small thing for DD. I leave next Tuesday. Time for me to do laundry and start adding to the pile.(battery charger for my camera, extra memory card,etc)

PM, I too love that joyful photo of Reed dancing with his Dad at the fair. Today Ivy begins a music class with her Mommy that was a gift to Reed. He only attended one session but the director has kindly passed on the the lessons to Ivy. It is quite wonderful how much a part of our lives and thoughts Reed continues to be. His short life had lots of purpose.

I am sorry that David must continue to live another year of caution. On the other hand, it is a good lesson on care for one's health, something that the men in my life can be lax about. Our son had a terrible accident when in his early college years and it was a wake-up call that he was not invincible. I'm not sure he still entirely believes it though...

I too miss Cynthia and those stone pieces somehow remind me of things Chinese...guarding the gates.

The morning was supposed to be dry, so now I must change my plans. Perhaps some knitting - and laundry...something even Brenda cannot escape!

Later my friends!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 8:27AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Sounds like some more positive news from various parts, altho Mary's DS must "exercise" caution - but I agree w/ Gardenbug that sometimes things like this in their youth will make them cautious and realistive about their health in the future -- will keep my fingers crossed that he continues to keep the muscle toned and good to go perhaps in the Spring - how lucky, lucky he was in most of his recovery.

Brenda -- that sounds like you had a grand time -- and it's great that Marlene can now confirm the reality of our cyber friend, LOL.... eeew on the stale beer, but glad it was spilled and nothing else! You obviously had a grand time doing the jump -- more power to ya!

Im hoping that as September draws to a close, things and commuting will improve - it strikes me that every September is particularly horrid for commutes in this area - I suspect it may be the only month of hte year when almost everyone has actually gone back to work for a month, LOL, until kids' stuff and school, and work travel and holidays start to kick back in and keep folks elsewhere....Let's hope so; as it's not a pretty picture otherwise....

The awfice tentacles do seem to have wrapped themselves around my lungs -- and they're set some new systems into place including software for tracking one's time - an electronic timeclock no less - I feel like a McD's worker - so much for professionalism and honor - it's very strange.... but one must go with the times in these days of challenge....

I adore Mitch's photos of that Sonoma show -- so dramatic, and did I notice a maman in one of those? The "Garden Porn" blog had a terrific write-up about the concept and explanation of some of the exhibits that helped to put them into context for me....Really a neat show!

Okay, back to clocking!


    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 1:47PM
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Just about the time I was reading about V hearing a small squawk from her wetlands, a jarring bird call pierced through the usual background soundscape of familiar chirps, tweets and caws. A bird with kennel cough was my first thought (still reading V's post). What surprised me was Ein becoming agitated too, barking and circling the house, looking up at the sky, so I know it was definitely a foreign sound. Grabbed the binocs but never managed a sighting through the thick canopy of utility poles, roofs and trees. I'm thinking a large parrot, maybe a macaw. Getting a bit too Amazonian around here for my taste...but I'll adapt ;)

Brenda & V, great to hear of your meet-up, and congrats to Brenda on another successful jump. And now through a cloud, you cloud jumper!

Mary, how disappointing for David, and what a year of growth for him on so many levels. Taking a cue from Michelle, would swimming in an indoor pool this winter be possible? Nothing to compare to the spontaneous running and jumping that he was looking forward to, of course.

PM, that is good news, you must be so relieved.

Julie, bravo for heroically posting from the library. My puter has been a bit testy lately too but nothing too alarming. Excellent advice from to hunt up someone savvy to translate ;)

Another fan of the Ivy cup.

From the No Good Deed Goes Unpunished dept. At their request as part of the pre-move purge, I boxed up all my parents old VHS tapes to take to a thrift shop. Had to repeatedly remind myself not to look at the titles as they were dumped into the boxes. Must not look -- wait, was that Captain From Castile with Tyrone Power? Painful, but out it goes since nobody keeps a VCR player anymore. At the thrift shop I was informed that they don't even accept VHS tapes anymore, to dump them in the trash -- (which I'm ashamed to say I promptly did, without even thinking to research possible recyling avenues -- not easy or cheap to recycle, but see GreenDisk below.) Now it seems every remark from my dad is prefaced by an icy, "You know those tapes you threw away?" And the coup de grace, he's now discovered that his DVD player does play VHS tapes as well! Aaagh...And then there's the endless, Do you want this vase? Do you want this vast collection of car care products? Do you want this old rotgut whiskey no one's gone near in 30 years? Do you want this _________? No, no, no, and no. There really should be a National Lampoon movie called Moving Day...

Cindy, that garden DVD also doubles as a great sleep aid ;)

Fingers crossed on the brugs, Deanne.

As always, thinking of you, Woody.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 1:55PM
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Cindy, if destroying morale is the goal, that timekeeper is perfect. What a brainless invention. Yes, I was recruited for scale in some of the photos -- does no good to protest anymore, but he never mentioned he was including them, the varmint!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 2:14PM
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Thanks for the good thoughts for my mom. Things went well and when I called this a.m. she seemed pretty chipper. Ill go over after work and check it out for myself with a bright, cheery zinnia arrangement in hand.

We had them stop on Sunday afternoon for a final garden tour, fresh apple crisp with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce for my Dads birthday and a trip to the apple orchard. When I saw the large fields of pumpkins I was reminded how much fun Kenzie had picking the perfect pumpkin 2 years ago. Those moments really tug at my heart. Im still working on my DVD, Ive decided to add footage of myself reading some books to her.

I dont think I mentioned that David had added a number of zinnias to his garden this summer too.

Sorry Denise but I did chuckle over the National Lampoon Moving Day movie idea. I was there just 2 short years ago - my sympathies - really. Mitchs pictures were awesome. I enjoyed them very much.

Mary, what tough news for David. Its tough to be a boy and not run. Glad to hear that it is progressing well though.

Cindy, I cant even imagine a 2 hour commute. A real bummer for you for sure.

bug, the ivy mug is precious and the picture of the laughing Reed is a great one. I'm glad you are able to see your family again so soon.

Kathy, I keep looking at the aqua tree and wondering whats on it beads? Great pictures and thanks for the link to Mitchs.

Heres hoping that PMs hubby is home by this time tomorrow.

Woody, thinking of you.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 4:56PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Thank you all for thoughts/good wishes - they are very much appreciated. We just got back from the doctor - we're still in limbo here more or less. Surgery was confirmed as the best option - but my neurosurgeon is retired from surgery now, so we discussed the best alternates and now have to wait to see what the earliest appointment we can get with our preferred person. I'm guessing that surgery probaly won't happen until late October perhaps. One good thing is that, assuming no serious complications (not necessarily a good asumption in my case based on my prior history...), it should be a less traumatic surgery than last time (which was 18 hours and resulted in a month's stay in hospital and another month in a rehab hospital). The best case scenario this time is 5-6 hours and a week in hospital. One can only hope.... It's all very exhausting...! I will try to get back into a more normal rountine if I can while we wait for the next step.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 6:57PM
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Good evening everyone! Im thinking about the shortening days as I see the long shadows now at a little before 6pm, though the sun is still up there it is not powered-up to high. I brought home my second light fixture today- the first is a cheap-o shop light and this one is designed for plants so has a much bigger reflector. I need to rig up a stand for it, DH made my current set up, and it is very rustic , but I think I might be up to the task of duplicating it. This will give me enough space to do some cuttings under lights too. What I wouldnt give for a nice 8x10 greenhouse .

Michelle, the aqua tree at Cornerstone is a dead pine , and the balls are ping-pong-ish thin plastic balls but more the diameter of tennis balls.

Cindy, we have a similar clock-in system but only for hourly employees ..ADP EZ-labor. I guess the only benefit I can see to tracking employees who are salaried is to uncover abuse, which I know we have at my company; reporting of time off is honor system and I know of at least 2 or 3 people who I dont think work even 40 hours and take more days off than they have accumulated. Very annoying !

Denise. Maybe you should buy the parental units a year of Netflix to make up for your indiscretion still have our old clunker VHS player hooked up to the boob tube but have not used it in years.

Woody thanks for checking in with us, and the surgery length and potential recovery sounds like an improvement for you- though surgery is always a serious issue, the techniques employed these day sure seem to be less invasive-my BIL had carpel tunnel surgery in August and he was back at work in a week.

OK folks, its taken me ages to type this with all the breaks I took , so Ill bid you farewell till tomorrow.. waving to Chelone

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 9:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Denise, you have my sympathy as you work on helping your parents move. I think downsizing the parents is one of the hardest things to do! That's why I keep telling myself that I want to declutter my life now, while I am alive, able-bodied and lucid (well, some days!) rather than sticking my kids with that job someday.

Cindy, bummer on time-tracking nonsense. Too often I think that the powers that be forget that the pennies they gain from such onerous changes are outweighed by the dollars lost to negative feelings.

Mary, sorry that David's news wasn't better, but I guess caution is a good thing. I know it seems like a lifetime to him now. I like the swimming suggestion.

Michelle, thanks for asking about the bubble tree - I had the same question.

Woody, I'm thinking of you as well. A 12 year old girl I know has a very serious brain stem tumor with a very poor prognosis. I did have to smile that her doctor told her to "Play the brain tumor card to the fullest extent!"

A few happy notes here lately. I've been bugging my boss since before the financial meltdown to talk to another lender that I had worked with in the past. Our bank has become increasingly difficult to deal with (above and beyond not knowing where in the world "The Netherlands" was located) and I felt that another option was needed. Well, he finally had the meeting yesterday and later in the day thanked me for suggesting it; the new lender will be much easier to work with. Score one for me!

And DD still is exploring her post-graduation options. The latest thought is to go to culinary school. The summer of bread-baking may have a lasting effect.

Okay, I took the plunge on FB earlier today and I will share with those who aren't on FB (and all you lurkers out there!) I started doing a garden blog earlier this year. I let it languish this summer, but I am re-committed to doing it on a regular basis. I'm posting the link below. Please feel free to comment on the blog; I really would like some feedback.

Now I need to go fold the nightly load of laundry. How do I get so much laundry with only two of us?


    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 10:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

V, I too was pondering plant successes today. Thanks for the peek! For some reason, most of mine turned out to be white!
Hydrangea Limelight
Rose Marie
White baptisia
Fringe tree
Persicaria polymorpha

and many more... ;)

As for the spreading grasses, I found putting the seedheads in a vase for winter interest worked well for me.

Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 11:11PM
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Good morning

Woody - thank you for the update. There must be so many emotions you are dealing with right now, please know you will continue in our thoughts.

V - your blog is awesome and will be a wonderful place for your writing. I was just pondering on the small handful of blogs I read regularly and added up that four of them have now been published as books. Perhaps yours will make number five:0)

By the way, David is considering culinary school as an alternative to either becoming a classical guitarist, roller coaster designer or orthopedic surgeon. In fact, he just begged money from me for a Food and Wine cookbook from the school book sale he is already planning recipes from.

Cindy - how demeaning on the electonic clock. I hate hearing about "advances" like that and wonder what sort of society we are turning ourselves into.

I just returned from checking on the chickens. I am the only morning person in this household. Annie gets herself up and into the shower by 6 AM but she hates early rising and prefers silence to breakfast chatter. The boys are hopelessly grumpy and even Clousseau has to be rousted from his snoozing to go outside. My chickens on the other hand greet me with enthusiastic clucks as soon as they hear the back door open, and charge towards me when I enter their pen. There are few things more comic than 8 ungainly birds doing their best to run. They crowd around, feed corn and make happy chicken noises. How nice that someone enjoys being with me before breakfast:0)


    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 7:43AM
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Woody, what a relief to have that appt behind you, even though there's still more waiting ahead. Thanks for the timely update.

Mary, your breakfast with the girls this morning had me smiling at 6 a.m. What a pleasure. I can't think of a cheerier way to start your day.

V, I love getting a more detailed glimpse of your prairie through your blog. So much of interest there. And what a weird coincidence -- Mitch "gifted" a blog to me yesterday, and I have no idea what to do with it. My garden is really too small to support a blog, and I doubt I have the techno-moxie to deal with it. I think the deer blind deserves an entry soon, and the birds, the wetlands...and then there's those amazing storms you get!

Michelle, so good to hear your Mom is doing well.

Kathy, how neat that you're getting a new growing setup.

The Limelight salvia has started to bloom, the one we wrestled out of its pot and into the aluminum trash can, (which I was relieved to find is au courant at the recent garden show!) This little summer staging area for pots was kept to a minimum this year, mostly mono pots, so it's been slim photo pickings waiting for the salvia to bloom:

Was it Deanne who wanted more shrubs? I definitely rely on shrubby stuff, even at the cost of flower color, which is relatively fleeting in such a long growing season. Now, if I had a bigger garden, I'd absolutely include more transient stuff. Right outside the office is my "agave gallery" in pots, only a couple showing in this photo, with plants in the garden beds behind spilling around them. The big grassy looking guy potted on the right is a dasylirion. The big green mass on the left spilling around the varieg agave is Salvia Waverly, about 5 feet across, budding up for fall/winter bloom, and the hummers check it multiple times a day as it begins its whitish bloom, a ghostly scene by the time Halloween rolls around. The silvery Teucrium azureum in the back is also starting its fall bloom, another favorite of the hummers:

And a little bit of fall color. The grapevine began to lose its leaves early this year. Yesterday's temps were a blistering 97, very dry, the dreaded "Santa Ana winds" -- fire-starter conditions. (The fine-leaved golden shrub behind the grape is a coprosma that's had a winter-blooming clematis, Wisley Cream, diligently threading through it all summer. Very exciting to find out if this is a clem that likes me! This is only its second year, so there may be no blooms this winter, sigh...)

Looking forward to seeing your fall color...

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 12:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today I noticed some of the Fall colouring. The Tiger Eye Sumac is beginning to change. Such a pretty sight! But mostly my garden day was spent bagging up Brunneras that had reverted from variegated or frosty to dull green. I collected FOUR bags of them to donate to a friend who will be delighted. I also collected some Dicentras and Pulmonarias that had gotten out of hand. I hope to continue this clean-up tomorrow.

I managed to plant the very last items from the garden bench as well. There were several foxgloves, 2 Meconopsis and some tiny Hostas and a Heuchera Lime Rickey. At last!

Yesterday I received an ad in the mail for a nearby tree nursery. So this afternoon I went to explore it and it is a wonderful find! So many varieties of trees: evergreens, fruit and deciduous as well as shrubs. From afar you would never know this local farmer is sitting on a wonderful goldmine! They told me the place is only 5 years old. It is very neat and clean and each tree is hooked up to a water system. Amazing...and huge! The prices are part of the amazing part too.

DD has been telling me many interesting things from her course. They had speakers on straw bale houses the other evening and the details were definitely interesting. She has bought all sorts of new lighting for their house and has changed many of her cleaning products too. It seems dishwashing detergent is the #1 poison in a household! I'll have to get some specifics when I visit next week.

Last night Indy was a real nuisance and woke her up with barking at 4am. She yelled at her to quiet down and sleep. This morning she discovered that her car had been broken into and that the bad guys had probably run off because of Indy's barking. There were 2 checks in the car, a camera and other things that were still there when she checked. She told me that Indy thinks she's not very smart today. ;)

Ivy is beginning to use individual fingers this week. Sarah believes she may be trying to sign for using the toilet as well. DSIL returns tonight from work in Peace River Alberta. They hope to remove carpeting at his Mom's house and install wood floors there this weekend. Next, new wood floors at their home.

Meanwhile, lots of debate here about vaccines against seasonal flu and H1N1. Those over 65 are top of the list here but in NJ, my brother says they are bottom of the list. Today they argue that those getting the first one are more likely to get H1N1. And on it goes. Meanwhile, what are the effects on kids with heart issues? On babies under 6 months? The doctors in fact disagree and accuse the medical world of being out for profit. It isn't easy is it!

That's it for tonight- so Ivy will sign off with her new cuddly Teddy Bear from France.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 10:30PM
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I'm afraid I am startled by the appearance of Limelight - how can it not be 10 feet tall ? Is this an optical illusion ? Limelight is a top-crave plant that requires more real estate and more full on shadeless siteing than I can provide at the moment. At one time the plan was to replace the Joe Pye with this , but I have been working on getting Joe out for about 3 years with limited success. That Dasylirion is right up my alley.Goes on the list.

Mary, I had to ponder the job market for roller-coaster designers ! I loved hearing about your morning visit with the girls ...

V I had posted a comment on your blog last night but I see now it's not there..perhaps I'll try again ! You are duly added to the blogs I follow- all garden related of course !

A brief visit tonight, the baseball is calling..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 10:43PM
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Like the stylish jeans and hot pink stripes sported by our Ms Ivy.

In response, I give you Mr Baby , and someday I might tell the tale of his swimwear. From Papa 9-09

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:07PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow! I have a comment and a follower. Can a book contract be far behind?

Off to bed to dream great dreams...

(and yes, Brenda, everything really is on YouTube.)


    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 11:22PM
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Good morning friends! Mary, your morning sounded perfect in every way. I am quiet in the mornings, but every observant and love being in the garden listening to the goings on of everyone else waking up - like the little red squirrel who works twice as hard as the gray variety - or at least she likes me to think so :)

V., I predict many followers in your future. Kathy, I'm trying to talk her into Gardening Gone Wild's photo contest!

Mr. Baby's pink lips match the pink on his suit, lol! That's a good one for down the road....

Ivy looks as happy as a clam! Indy is such a good dog. I'm sure that Zeus thinks I'm a dummy, too. I figure that I don't want to know what's going on out there.

I took a little walk earlier this week and took some photos of where I live - just the pretty parts! I'll try to put together a thread.

Thinking of you, Woody! PM, I'm glad you checked in here. Let us know how your husband is recovering.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 7:48AM
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How does that quote go Kathy - "real men wear pink"?.... .

Ms Ivy is as smiley as ever.

I quite agree GB on the complexities of the H1N1 vaccine. We have switched to a "green" dish detergent for the sink but found the ecologically sound soap for the dishwasher was a disaster, leaving everything covered in greasy slime. I'm thinking of expereimenting with a 50/50 mix of regular and phosphate free.

Last night was totally exhausting with David's Middle School Open House. Parents do a scaled down version of the 9 period day, with just 10 minutes per class to meet the teachers. I always forget how much walking there is from room to room, and it was super crowded and hot of course. The plus side is David has a wonderful group of teachers (just one disapointing one, unfortunately in Spanish) and I can see he is going to have a fun year. I have a week to gather my strength for Annie's next Thursday.

Have a gerat Friday everyone!


    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 7:56AM
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Seeing a few more pics of Aiden brings up the obvious comparison that he never smiles, which is adorable, and Ivy is always smiling, which is adorable. And Ivy's photo also reminds me that I really want a pair of overalls again. Since I need to go shopping for a new purse for work, I'm adding overalls to the list too, which adds zest to the dull chore of purse shopping.

Kathy, credit the idylls for the Limelight salvia. I figured if they can grow brugs in pots and root prune them for size, I can tame a giant salvia. And it worked beautifully (except for outgrowing its pot just before bloom.) Limelight actually needs protection from mid-day sun here. And I'm finding plants root-pruned in this way do need rich treatment. I'm trying a couple more big salvias in this way, iodantha and wagneriana, supposed winter bloomers here.

A good tree nursery nearby, what an asset! Keep on "dishing" more details from DD's course. I've been researching grey water systems quite a bit, and the soaps are an important part. Calif requires an elaborate and expensive system, but lots do it "below the radar." But it seems it's only useful if you dump the grey water into the landscape immediately -- can't be stored -- in a part of the landscape where there won't be skin contact or tracked on by shoes. Doesn't seem a good fit here but research continues. Possibly to water giant salvias in trash cans?

Mary, I did those school open houses even into high school, and it was nice to be reminded again...but you're right, so very exhausting. It does seem Revenge on the Parents night, making us rush around to the bells and squeeze into those desks again...

Hope to see some of Saucy's local haunts later.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 9:16AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Kathy, Mr. Baby seems to be saying "How dare you put me in this girly get-up?" - he sure does have attitude!

'bug, Ivy is adorable and that bear certainly does look cuddly! I bet you can't wait to get your hands on her next week.

Mary, we had both middle school and high school open house this week - it is exhausting! Some of the classes are pretty far apart. DD goes to the same high school I attended, and she has two teachers who were just starting out when I was there. I found my old yearbook this morning and gave her a good chuckle looking at the younger versions.

I thought I saw a frost advisory on the AM news, I'll have to investigate that. It truly seems too early! I think we had a shortened season this year with all the lousy weather we had.

Denise, I love that salvia and its companions. Such great color combos.

V, I'll have to check out your blog. We'll all be able to say we knew you before you were famous!

Waving a quick hello to all - must begin my workday here. TGIF!!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 9:22AM
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I did Know Your School last night, too. Observations: my daughter's desk and chair are very roomy, but I don't know how she gets a thing done WAY in the back of the class room - I could barely see the teacher over the other parents and I need to SEE....I wonder if this is a problem for my daughter...must inquire :)

It was torture, but I survived :)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 10:55AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, we 'sprung him'. [g] DH is home from the hospital and enjoying what he has been missing for the past couple of weeks. Having a quiet day and trying to pace the re-entry.

Temps have cooled here but pleasant, sunny and breezy. Wonder when I will find time to get back to reading and posting and get back to gardening too. Soon I hope. Nice to see more baby pics!

Hellos all around.... :-)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 12:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

As a former teacher, I remember well those parent nights. Yes, torture indeed. But the very worst of all was the ghetto school where not a single parent was ever seen... Meeting parents is a really big help for a teacher. You learn a bit about where s/he comes from, what support there might be, family interests and where this child is headed. It isn't so bad knowing what your kid goes through on a daily basis. Gives you more sympathy. After all, they say what teens go through would be called a nervous breakdown for most adults.

It is cold and partly sunny here. I made a mad dash to a nursery and bought things to brighten up my spirits: a bright red foliaged cornus, a caryopteris, 2 good sized grasses, a kirengeshoma. I should have weeded down in the flats though.

I noticed that the tiny rose that Woody gave me a while back has small pink blooms today!

Well Mr Baby, that is some pink outfit! My former neighbor in Toronto wore something similar when he went jogging. I bet your story is better than his though.

Happy to hear that PM's partner is HOME once more. Certainly one can't really relax in hospital. I hope he is interested in eating good food now!

Saucy, waiting here for your photo essay!

Wendy, we had one frost already. It is scary business too. All that work to prepare for winter...and I'll be away no doubt when the serious one comes. As to all the walking about in school, consider it practice for WALATing. And Cindy, I remember well the 2 hour trips to my highschool for 4 years, and then the return trip as well. The Buffalo transit system was terrible too. You have my deepest sympathy in that regard.

Lunch anyone?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 12:51PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Friday everyone!

This must be the week for the school tour - we had ours on Tuesday.

TCS 's teacher told us she had already hauled him out into the hall to tell him that she knows he is smart and he isn't doing any work....

My attempts to establish a good routine have backfired: he now refuses to do anything at all, so we are worse off than before. He is also acting very defiant this week, and has ended up being grounded until the end of the day today. Also he went to his music class on Wednesday and was sent out by the teacher and told that she no longer wishes to work with him and she will refund our money. Dear oh dear, what a miserable way to start the school year....Thankfully the pediatician sees him next Friday and the psychologist mid-October.

He told me he is having second thoughts about the music. If he decides to give it another try, he will have to call the teacher and work it out. I will tip her off first to avoid putting either one of them on the spot - if she doesn't want him back, then there is no real benefit in having him make the call, I guess.

Starting guest room painting today, finally. It is truly autumnal here now, pretty cold and lots of breeze and rain; predicted low of 2C (35F) tonight. Not a very garden-work inspiring kind of day. Lots of med appointments too - bone density this morning (DH calls it brain density and told me not to worry either way - take that any way you want *LOL*); blood work on Monday and mammo on Thursday; TCS has his appointment on Friday and I have a general check-up the same day. At least it gets us out of the house *LOL*.
This is the result of changing doctors a few months ago - this one wants everything new to start out...

DH is happy as his prize angels have laid their third batch of eggs this morning. They ate the first batch, raised the second to the swimming stage and once free they got sucked up into the filter, so now the parents will be separated from the hatchlings and there is a net thing over the filter intake. What we would ever do with a few hundred little diamond angels is beyond me, but it is an exciting thing for a tropical fish fan.

Got a call from DS this morning asking if we could pay for a prescription for him to quit smoking. YES!!!

TCS did make a huge effort to catch up on all of the school work last night so he wouldn't have to do it on the week-end, and he told me he had decided to be really nice to me for a few days...I think a phone conversation with his Daddy had a bit to do with this....

I would love to comment on all the posts and photos (special mention for Mr. Baby and Ivy) but that will have to wait until later...

Cheers to all


    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 1:44PM
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Happy Birthday Wendy !! From Winery Gardens 2009

Wishing you a great day !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 12:47AM
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Happy Birthday Norma !

From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 12:55AM
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    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 7:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Enjoy your special day Norma!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 7:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 7:46AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Birthday Norma!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 8:17AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy birthday Wendy!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 8:19AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Well TGI Saturday! Friday was the day that things hit the fan at the awffice. There was a overall rather minor incident when I was trying to print checks on a shared printer in the office, but it was the final straw in the ongoing struggle of working with two other difficult people. I went to my boss's office and confessed that I had lost my temper over the incident. I had been keeping my mouth shut with my gripes about these two, but when my boss told me to pull up a chair and tell him what I thought of them because they were making him nuts, well . . .

So the good news is that I am in alone in my opinion of these two, and things may be changing. It's a shame because we seem to have struggled to get the right person in the one position, but it's also no fun to work with the wrong person in that position. We'll see what happens!

This morning I'm off to my son's house to help paint pickets for the new fence they are building. This evening, we are going to an art show to benefit a local land conservation group. There is a photography contest that is part of the show, and yours truly entered it. It will be fun to see my photos displayed in a gallery setting! I'm not hopeful on the contest results because I was not very happy with the light the day I had to take the photos. In the contest, you were assigned to a specific site and had to coordinate a visit with the owners. They unfortunately got hit with a bad case of flu or food poisoning so we were running out of time and I had to deal with a bright summer afternoon. But I think the show will be lots of fun!

Well, it's 7:38 and DH the slave driver thinks I'm lollygagging so I'll sign off for now.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 8:39AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

V- sounds like a fun day at the awfice yesterday...! The photo contest sounds fun - show us the picture...?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:45AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)


No fun. Don't know what year your DS is in in school, but I had similar issues with my son. Sounds like you are doing everything right. As a special ed teacher, one thing I always try to remember with my defiant, non-performing kiddoes is that no matter how bad they make things for me, they are hurting more. It is easier to refuse to do the work than to fail after trying. It's exhausting, isn't it? Hang in there and be sure to take care of yourself, too!


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 11:02AM
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Happy Birthday Wendy! I was thinking that someone shared my day. Hope you are having a great day.


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 2:26PM
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Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and beautiful picture cards.

Woody I like your red hibiscus and the glimpse of the bench through the arbor.Your flowering shrubs are awesome.

V, nothing I like better than blue sky and wildflowers.

Bug are those anemones or mums? Beautiful either way.

Saucy , Coleus, or something more exotic? The pink stems are throwing me.

And Kathy, where did you find daylilys by water? Oh I see it's an IU6 shot. Nice.

I'm a bit bummed about more than my age today. My friend with leukemia is in bad shape doesn't look good.

Pm, happy to hear that your DH is on the mend. I think the infections and not the leukemia is what is taking my friend.

It has been raining again all morning, but the sun is shining now. I'm more than ready to share some rain with the rest of you that need it.

Later Norma

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 2:48PM
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Guess who is at my house? Photographic evidence to follow!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 8:05PM
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    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 8:45PM
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GB's son came by our house to look at buying our canoe! We had plenty of dinner (my favorite: flank steak, corn tortillas, and all the fixings!) so we asked him to stay. We talked about laptops for children, and canoes, and just good stuff in general! What a nice time we had, and he ended up purchasing the canoe!

I really cherish the little group that we have here, and it was fun to have one of you touch my life tonight in real life.

Norma, Chelone has been on my mind a lot lately.

I've had a nice day. I'm going to curl up with my Butter Pecan ice cream and get ready for bed :)


    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:15PM
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Hot weather for the weekend here, cooling down of course on Monday when I return to the awfice.
More asters were tossed into the yard waste today , and the Lady Banks trimming project continued. Tomorrow Im going to wade into the floppy Rudbeckia mess- this is R. fulgida, a Goldstrum I imagine-Ive had it (now them ) since the mid 90s I think, and Im hoiking it this year to replace it with one of the more polite R. hirta cultivars . The thing has spread like crazy and grown into areas where too much shade is creating pronounced flop. Also dug up the ancient Lavender that was becoming a woody-eyesore and planted a nice new L. angustifolia Blue River in its place.

Julie, sorry to hear that TCS is being such a pill, hope he makes good on his promise to be nice for a few days !

Norma, that Daylily photo was indeed from IU, taken at the Maine Coast Botanical Garden. They had a wonderful water course with lots of perspectives and changing levels.

Will there be a photo of the V. photo in the gallery ? I have signed up for a one night class at the college here in October on Getting More From Your Digital Camera" and then a week later there is another class specifically for DSLRs. .

Saucy, how fun to have visit from bugs DS .

All for me tonight, time for some dinner , and baseball.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 26, 2009 at 9:25PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

NO time as I'm teaching this weekend and have to run and prepare for class. I just wanted to wish all the best to our Birthday girls, Wendy and Norma!!! Cards to follow tomorrow when I have a bit more time.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 6:53AM
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I've been idylly reading along, alternately smiling, nodding, chuckling but not really able to muster much enthusiasm for contributing. It's been a busy week and my ability to concentrate on things has really taken a hit of late.

PM, I'm relieved to learn DH is home after his ordeal. The finest health care in the world and MRSA infection rate of hospitals is not posted by the doors for all to read... I wonder why? esp. since its spread has increased markedly and the simplest methods of prevention are too often overlooked entirely by medical professionals. I can only imagine how terribly worried you were about him. As the helpmeet says, "why would I want to go to a hospital, that's where all the germs are!".

And Woody. You've been on my mind since you first shared your present worry with us. I'm sure the passage of days seems glacial and the nagging worry sometimes incapcitating. That you remain as upbeat and positive as you do astonishes me. And inspires me by putting life's vicissitudes in proper perspective. I've enjoyed your photo essays, BTW. And I note that the Wrecking Crew will be back for a reprise of Heartbreak Ridge next weekend.

Yes, Norma, I lost a friend to suicide in 1993 and it forever changed the way I look at this thing we call life. As PM pointed out sometimes there are no difinitive answers and the road to reconciling such a death requires much stumbling and the occasion long crawl. I had hoped I would never have to revisit such a sad stretch of trail but that's not the case. The two friends in question were my best friends in HS, we were always laughing, joking, doing fun things. That both attempted to contact me before making the fatal decision has weighed heavily on me and will continue to do so for the rest of my life, but that's only because I loved them and still can't quite believe I'm now the only keeper of those fun memories. It will be OK because it has to be OK or else there is no point in lacing up my boots for another day. And there's too much to enjoy to waste a life marinating in sadness. But grieving is vastly under rated, and making the time to do it is what teaches us how to efficiently pack such sad experiences into the luggage of life.

Yesterday would have been one of those friend's 50th. birthday. I'm pleased to learn that he shared the day with both Norma and Wendy. And what a beautiful day it was here. Crystal blue sky, mid 60s, light breeze. I trust you both enjoyed your birthdays thoroughly. If there was cake involved I'd certainly like to hear the details.

Julie, is TCS making good on his promise to mind his Ps and Qs? There must be an awful lot going on inside his little head to bring out such revolt. But he'll be OK and gradually all the garbage that's weighing him down and making him unhappy will come out. He just doesn't have the experience to identify what's getting him down just yet. Let's face it, "grown ups" do the same sorts of things when something is bothering them. I particularly enjoyed Cyn427's response, though I still think you should increase the frequency of beatings. ;). I laughed at the description of the angel family dynamics... . It will be fun to hear more about your room project and I like the blush ceiling color very much. I've managed to get past the messy stage, all the wall work and drywall has been sanded and cleaned up and I have only a little bit left to prime before applying the final color.

I've been using the JulieJob concept to keep myself on an even keel. The bathroom project is an example. I've also been putting in some much needed time in the gardens. I've cut down the terrace gardens and New Dawn is even looking respectable, Kathy (if you overlook the whiteflies, lol). I've weeded the area out by the road and trimmed up the blueberries (which are turning red and look smashing). Need your thoughts on Clethra "Ruby Spice"; mine is decidedly "open" and looking scraggly, in no way an effective screen for anything. Would it fill in/flesh out if I pruned it hard in the springtime? I'm thinking seriously of simply shovel pruning it and replacing it with a fragrant Viburnum. I've never been wild about it and Kathy and V.'s list of garden successes and failures has me eyeing it with a potentially lethal outcome. Today is rainy and I'm glad of it since it's been very dry for some weeks now. I'd like to be weeding some more, but the weather is providing the perfect opportunity to get going on a slipcover that's on my work bench.

I'll try to be a better correspondent, but I'd better cut this short for now. Waving to all.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 7:36AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Waving back!

Typing is hard because several hours of priming pickets for DS's new fence left two fingers a little numb. Since my DIL has a numb finger also, I'm not too concerned at the moment.

The art exhibit last night was wonderful and a lot of fun. No photo - I thought about taking my camera and decided that it would get in the way. Then, of course, I was kicking myself because the renovated factory/gallery space had all sorts of interesting possibilities. We bought some small things and I will try to take some pictures of our purchases later. Two small highlights for me were shortly after we walked in the door and my son and his wife looked around and said, "Who needs Chicago?", and the fact that they were inspired to join the group and want to get involved as volunteers.

Julie, I hope that things level out for TCS.

Time to get rolling on this day!


    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 8:36AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I leave in a few minutes for Stratford Ontario where we will be seeing The Three Sisters, one of those Chekhov plays that I find depressing, but that the reviewers praise. We shall see.

Well Chelone! So good to have you join us when you are up to it! Your mix of tears and laughter and accompanying commentary is so welcome. Such is life!

Julie, I'm so sorry that you must go through the parenting issues a second time! You deserve to be traveling with DH in far off places at this stage, but then, TCS does bring his joys too. I hope that happens sooner than later!!! I so hope that DS conquers the smoking habit. His choice of course...

Saucy, I too guessed Chelone. Never crossed my mind that it could be my canoe guy!!! That now makes 3 Idylls who have fed my son: Mary, Chelone and now YOU! I hope he met Sarah and Jake too. What great connections we have made through our group!

More to comment on: Deanne's course, V's weekend, and much much more, but I have to leave now. Later!

Nice to hear from Marian on Woody's thread!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 9:20AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

No time for much of a post this morning. We are in St. Ignace, MI. I thought I'd have my morning coffee with you all, and see what you're up to. Lol, by the time I got side-tracked with pics...well, let's just say I'm all that's standing between Jim and his breakfast, lol! Time to dry my hair and start moving around a bit. Right now, he's distracted with watching G.I. Jane, but even Demi Moore can't take his mind off a Java Joe's breakfast for long, lol!
Today is supposed to be rainy and nasty, so I'll probably have lots of pool and computer time.

PS. We found out yesterday that we have a grandson on the way. His name will be Jude Harrison. Lol, Mom and Dad are both Beatles fans. Granny and Gramps each picked out a t-shirt for the little guy on Mackinaw Island, and walked around with goofy grins most of the day. I can't get home soon enough-there's a dvd of the sonogram. Word is, it's VERY cool!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 9:44AM
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GB, my husband can't stop talking about how he lifted that 80 lb canoe up and over his head and carried it away...he made quite an impression. It is a good canoe and will serve him well :)

I'm glad to hear from you, Chelone. I'm planning on some Julie Jobs myself! Time to reorganize the bedroom and get it ready for the cooler weather. I'm thinking of getting myself a new comforter for a job well done. A mini makeover.

V. the evening sounds like fun! I'm having the same problem with my camera - we need small "pocket" cameras for such occasions.

I'd better go get started. I slept in today, which was so nice, but now I feel behind :)


    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 9:44AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Belated Birthday Wishes Norma! :-)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 9:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

And to you Wendy... Happy Birthday!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 9:50AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Finally some rain this morning! Look at the time, I've been looking at photos all morning and now I have to run. I think I will have a chance later to come back. Good to see a post from Chelone and hope to hear more about how Marie's son bought Saucy's canoe. [g]

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Observing this morning that bedraggled garden beds are becoming the rule rather than the exception- and remarkably it will be October in a few days , the latter part of which can be the occasion of our first frost and our first real rain. Overnight temps are starting now to dip into the high 40s. Time to start rigging up a frost protection hut for the succulents.

So nice to see you this morning Chelone, and the report on the embattled New Dawn is encouraging. I admired the Cletheras I saw out in your neck of the woods last summer , but they are wildly unsuited to my dry conditions here- perhaps yours just needs a re-positioning ? Have we heard what the selected wall color is for the loo ? I am also pondering if winter at the Compound this year will find you in the Salon re-upholstering one of those fabulous chairs youve been collecting.

OK, time to eat a bagel and deadhead the waning ZinniasMore later.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:04AM
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Happy Birthday Norma

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 12:55PM
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Happy Birthday Wendy

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 12:56PM
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Hello Idylls

I hope both birthday ladies had fun celebrating.

Great to hear news from so many and to see Saucy's DH and GB's son smiling together. Thinking about members of our group and their relatives meeting up is so much fun.

Chelone - it must have been a hard couple of weeks dealing with all those emotions. I love the idea of Julie Jobs as therapy:0)

Julie - transitions can be hard so keep up all your good work with TCS and don't loose the faith. Despite a rocky start I'm sure with your perseverance things will improve.

Today we are getting some much needed rain and sorting summer/winter clothes and laundry is the order of the day. I'm holed up in the basement with NPR for company and mountains (I do mean mountains) of clothes.

Yesterday I rigged a light in the henhouse to ensure enough daylight to keep the girls laying. I hadn't realized how big an effect day length had on egg production, and we are enjoying our daily eggs far too much to have them disappear. The light goes on at 6 AM for an hour and I will adjust it earlier as the days shorten. Apparantly 14 hours is ideal. The chicks are finally enjoying their new quarters, roosting on the top perches and laying in the nesting boxes just as I hoped.

We too were at the theatre last night - this year I splurged for season tickets the for same series as some very good friends. We have the double pleasure of visiting together while enjoying the plays. For a regional theatre we are lucky to have some excellent productions. Last night we saw a comedy "Souvenir" about the singer Francis Jenkins, a phenonom in the 40's and 50's who achieved tremendous fame but who couldn't actually hold a tune. While there were plenty of laughs, there was also surprisingly appealing story of two people finding friendship.

Well, my Julie Job awaits so I'll wave to all I've missed and hope to be back before day ends.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 1:24PM
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    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 3:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

YEAH! Brenda's going to be a Granny!

Lovely photos here...Birthdays are a fun time here.

Off to bed,

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:17PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Happy Birthday NOrma

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:31PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Happy Birthday Wendy

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 10:36PM
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Thinking about my trip to the coast week after next ; the staging area has been opened and the first item was my trusty aloha print backpack and second was the camera battery charger and x-tra battery. Also included the Sunday crossword from the Chronicle. I will stockpile them for the trip. Many fond memories of doing the Sunday crossword with my BILs when they were Mendocino-ians.

Have taken note of Denises fancy b-day card upgrade, with the frame action and the text right on the photo .. pondering the daylight in the henhouse and wondering if they will spend the winter huddled inside, cranking out eggs as long as the lights stay on, envisioning Mary peeking out from behind a pile of parkas, and glad to see that PM is returning to her posting routine-Chelone cant be far behind.

But we lost Cindy again. Yoo hoo Cindy ?

Here is a container grouping from today with a bit of fall leaf debris

Another group of containers

My Iochroma is about 6 ft nowI wonder what winter will bring ?

Goodnight !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 27, 2009 at 11:15PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I started a post a couple of times yesterday, but, here I am this morning at least. Good morning! :-)

What a nice quiet day we had yesterday. It rained off and on but not amounting to more than an inch or so. DH is doing well and making progress but still lacking energy. No plans for a return to work today but maybe a half day on Tuesday. It has been an eye opening experience for all of us. I didn't realize that a lot of the antibiotic resistance is thought to be attributed in large part to the practice of giving routine preventative antibiotics to chickens and cows raised for meat. What is scary to me is that those working in infection control at two hospitals involved with us, seem to try to sell it as 'these bugs are everywhere'. The Department of Public Health on the other hand, are much more concerned with figuring out where someone picked them up. I hope they will be investigating further. These particular bacteria have developed the ability to produce enzymes that defeat most antibiotics used. The lesson learned for us, like Chelone's helpmeet, is to stay healthy and out of the hospital. We are definitely more focused on that as a goal this winter.

On the gardening front, I had planned on finishing up my Long Border in September to have it all ready to go for the spring, but, the best laid plans of mice and men... We will still get some of it done and some will wait for the spring. I do have all my houseplants back in the house for the winter though. Happy that I cut back this year. I only had six plants to repot and bring in. I thought of Deanne as I was doing it and still cannot fathom how much work she does to bring all hers in.

Congratulations Brenda!! How exciting, another Idyll grandbaby?! And they already have the name I imagine we have quite a wait, when is the due date?

Kathy that Iochroma is gorgeous! Are you going to leave your succulents out all winter? What is your next planned trip? Can't believe your Lady Banks is creating havoc, not very ladylike. [g]

Norma, so sorry to hear about your friend with leukemia. I don't know much about leukemia, or what kind of treatment they received, but if they receive some kind of chemo, I imagine it knocks out the immune system and yes, the infections must be very difficult to recover from. Are the doctors indicating it doesn't look good?

Chelone...There is something particularly hard about losing your 'best friends' from high school. Like you said, no one left to share those particular memories with you. High School is such an intense time in life and the friends you make are some of the closest you ever have. Very sad. Did they have kids? ..... I have Clethra 'Hummingbird' and love it. I also bought a Clethra 'Sherry Sue' last year, which the jury is still out on. I do use the 'Hummingbird' as a screen for a large compost bin and it is not quite high enough yet, but it is dense and good looking. I did prune it one year, I seem to remember. If you decide it doesn't work as a screen where you have it, I would encourage you to give it another try somewhere else.

Julie.... You certainly have your hands full. Like Cynthia, I had similar issues with one of our children. My sympathies for you both. I read lots of books and got a little something from some of them. One that helped me to understand my child better and to examine the way I was responding, was 'The Explosive Child'. I didn't think the title fit my child, but the author had lots of insight into child/parent struggles that helped. It might be at the library? I hope you can quickly get past this latest chapter.

Saucy and special that you have had a surprise connection with the canoe purchase. That was fun to hear about. Gee, we have seen a few photos of GB's son over the summer. Like 'Where's Waldo' you never know where he is going to pop It makes me think, wouldn't it be great if we had a reunion that included children one year?

V....what a break to learn the boss is understanding how you feel about your co-workers. You will get the right person for the position sooner or later.

Denise...have you any photos of your finished bathroom? How is your Dad doing? And how is the 'downsizing' going?

Mary....I am about to stock up on bird seed soon and it got me thinking of how much it costs for you to feed your chickens vs how many eggs you receive. :-)

Deanne must be busy busy with fall chores and painting.

Woody, you have a lot blooming still!

Marie, I would love to hear more about DD's course. Especially about the lighting and cleaning products.

That's that. Time to get moving... :-)

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 7:02AM
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Hi all, More lovely Birthday pictures and thoughts. I was going to try a more responsive post but no time right now. My friend Mike lost his battle yesterday.(I was secretly glad it didn't happen on my birthday, but I will always remember the day anyway). I am happy to know he is not suffering anymore. We will miss him greatly as we spent a lot of time together and have lots of fun memories.
Don't want to bring anyone down so thats all for a few days.

Take time to enjoy each day. Norma

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 9:26AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Dear Norma, take your time. Treasure the good memories!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 9:43AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)


    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 9:51AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Just wanted to pop in and thank everyone for the birthday wishes - Idylls are the best!

Norma, so sorry for your loss. He is in a better place now.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 10:09AM
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I'm sorry to learn of your friend's death Norma, but just in case I'll offer an arm around your shoulders in solidarity. It's hard to believe someone so well liked is now departed to... wherever. Guard those memories carefully because they are important. Deliver a beating or good swift kick to Rebel, it will help.

Beautiful day here and the helpmeet will be out on the bounding main this morning. My car is having a spa day so I'm "trapped", waiting for the refrigerator guy and puttering around. It all suits Rex and the pride to a tee.

I meant to tell Mary how much I've enjoyed her chicken tales, amazing how cautious birds are, isn't it? I also think your family would be a perfect place for a cage bird. Birds are very intelligent and very affectionate, esp. if hand raised. And what a drag it is that David to be kept to a walk for still more time. I'm sure it was discouraging news but by now his practical (and Rennaissance!) sensibilities are likely keeping his mind busy and soul nourished. That's a good thing.

I have to order grab bars for the shower today (don't have to leave home to get that done) and call the tree guy to address a wayward maple near power lines. Boy, more firewood!

Have enjoyed the photos but am too lazy to comment specifically. Unapologetic, too.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 10:41AM
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I'm sad to hear of your loss, Norma. Hugs for you. Rebel looks like a great comforter, and I've already forgotten the kitten's name, but she looks like she could cheer anyone, even if it's for a moment or two.

PM, let's not get any ideas about bringing children to IUs... :) Adam and I had worked out a prelimenary plan at The Compound, it just now came to fruition.

I never did answer your question about bee stings, and I always kick myself for not: there have been no more bee stings here in my neighborhood than before we had the hive. I'm the only one who has been stung, and I deserved it :)


    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 10:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm off tomorrow for a trip west where Nana duties will take over from my regular routine. Ivy has a cold and is quite unhappy about it, especially combined with teething. I hope to give DD some rest periods!

DSIL is off on business to Saskatchewan, an 8 hour drive today. He managed to complete new flooring for his Mom this weekend in her dining area and livingroom. She is thrilled! Next weekend he and DD will do their own wooden flooring.

Yesterday's theater outing was great fun. DH was at his meeting in the morning and met us at Stratford after lunch, just in time! I don;t get out as much as the others for such events, but it is good for me to occasionally get the straw out of my hair, the dirt out of my fingernails! There are some good shops in town there too. I fell for a tiny polka dot tea set for Ivy...something for 2-3 years down the road. But I know I'll have to be in charge of things pink and feminine while her Momma handles the other stuff. ;)

I will try to absorb environmental facts while I'm away to share with those who asked. Not sure how much computer time I'll have though.

Oh Saucy, Adam was a canoe guide when he was younger. He used to show off when others were watching and would portage a canoe on each shoulder! Always pushes himself. I'm sure a good meal in advance is a great help! So glad this meet-up worked out!

In the meantime, I'll post a few photos on a separate thread.

Happy trails!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 11:12AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hmm, I thought I posted last night? Was it me or was it Gardenweb - ah well.

We took another long prairie walk yesterday, and sure enough another unusual species was discovered - the amazing half man, half dog.

DH was keeping Mystic in hand while I took still more egret photos and the photo captures exactly what I saw when I walked back to them - no sign of DH's torso! Guess I'll feed the dog more in the future.

Off to my first photography class tonight. I'll fill you in on the next idyll!


    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 1:36PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Monday all!

Although I am sending a hug to Norma, who is not having a particularly happy condolences on the loss of your friend, Norma.

Kathy, that Iochroma is fantastic! Likely not hardy for me though....although you said that your gardens are looking a bit bedraggled at this time of year, they look about 100 times better than mine do just now!

Our temps. are falling, with -1C (30 F) with rain and wind this week....I'll be raking and seeding the back lawn for about the tenth time since we did our backyard "renovation". Once the leaves are down in the park, and therefore on my lawn, I will do the final cut for the season, chopping up the leaves and leaving (ha, ha!) them to compost over the winter.

Gee Saucy, I'm with you - I really wouldn't want to bring DS or TCS to an Idyll Union. But DD might have and be fun. After, V's daughter was a hoot at IU VI!

And belated birthday greetings to you Norma, and to Wendy also. I apologize for being such a slacker in the photo department...Wendy, was it you who provided the delicious lemon pound cake at Chelone's? If yes, would you, or anyone else, like a recipe for a killer chocolate pound cake? It's almost the only cake I make here now.

Today I finally got the gumption to start painting the guest room. I first tried the cutting in of the ceiling without taping. Just in case anybody wants to ask the question "Can you do that?" the answer is "NO!". So now it is taped and the first cut is done. I realize that the previous owner who did the work himself would not make it as a professional drywaller. When they decided to sell this house I think they were in a hurry to finish the basement. The walls and ceilings were all painted a kind of mocha colour - a nice colour but dark for a basement, and especially on the ceilings. I surmise that maybe they didn't want to spend a lot of time or money finishing things up - hence cheap crummy quality paint, and one colour in all rooms and ceilings. As I worked I was thinking that I don't remember the huge family room being such a chore to paint - and then I also remembered that DS was on unemployment last winter and living here, and he did the family room - three coats of white on the ceiling and three coats of pale yellow on the walls - took him three weeks. I hope to be done the smaller room in two weeks.

I think I will dedicate the whole winter to this dumb basement. Especially to sorting and chucking out the boxes of stuff that we shouldn't have bothered to bring here when we moved. Never unpacked some if it.

Yes, TCS has been minding his P's and Q's as promised. He is going through a rough patch just now....getting heck at school, getting tossed from music, and his Cub troupe is not getting off the ground as there is not enough interest. So just now he has no extra-curricular activites. A good opportunity for we adults to give him a little more attention - just when he probably needs it most.

Have to sign off now - I have pickles sitting on ice in the sink and cookie dough to make before the school bus arrives in half an hour!

Have a bon voyage, Marie!



    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 3:00PM
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Chuckling over cutting the ceiling without taping -- been there! New school years often get off to rocky starts until the routine has a chance to gel.

Mansquatch of the Prairie...Caninstein...Monstrous creature enjoys fall weather...V, that photo cries out for a caption contest.

Dear Norma, so sorry about your friend.

Hold on, Ivy, Memere is on her way...

PM, my dad is doing much better, thanks. One of the problems was that he'd been on Digoxin for years, with the ultimate toxic effect this summer of poor kidney function. Digoxin has been discontinued, meds adjusted, he's stopped accumulating fluid, dropped nearly 40 pounds (!), so it's been an amazing rebound. Just read that the MRSA is transferred from pets to people/people to pets. Very rare but possible. So keep close watch on pets' injuries, wash hands, etc -- not that you have any pets but just for general info. Amazing that your DH may be back to work Tues. I thought I posted some photos of the bath house already but maybe not.

It's a fairly simple arrangement ;) Looking out from the bedroom:

Very narrow space (should've decluttered bath junk for photo shoot...rats!)

Looking the other way. I grabbed a garden chaise for a reading spot. At night, it feels a lot like being on a boat:

Congrats, Brenda, on the imminent arrival of little Jude Harrison, a lovely name.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 4:30PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good evening from St. Ignace!
(((Norma))) I'm so sorry. I know that it helps some that your friend is no longer suffering, but it is still so hard. I, too am glad it didn't happen on your birthday. I wanted Chuck's suffering to stop, but don't know how well I'd have handled it if it happened on my birthday. Thankfully, it was 5 days later. Take care, and keep your memories close to your heart.

Bug, have a wonderful visit with Ivy. I'm sure a little "Nana medicine" will make her feel much better!

Denise, I love the bath house! Wow, 40 pounds-amazing! So glad to hear your Dad is doing better!

Julie...painting ceilings, taped or otherwise is one of my least favorite tasks. I always try to squint and tell myself that maybe one coat will get it. Never does :/ In the same vein, textured ceilings are pure evil, IMHO.
We do have a bit of a wait on young Jude. He's not due to arrive until Feb 8.

Mary, I don't envy you the task of keeping a young boy from running. That is rough! How disappointing for him!

ROFL! V, what a creature you discovered. I must say, it looks friendly enough, though!

Today, we had planned to go to a water-powered sawmill that also has a 1500' zip-line though the woods. It rained. It's supposed to continue to rain the rest of the evening, and possible severe weather. We can see Mackinaw Island from our hotel room. There are several ships anchored between the island and the mainland. A little bit ago, it was raining so hard, we couldn't see them or the island. Poor seagulls were lined up outside the door staring at us, lol! "Our" cafe opens for supper at 5:30. We're hoping for a break so we can escape to eat. If it doesn't happen, all we have in the room is chocolate, coffee and a couple of Coronas left from yesterday. I may be forced to arm-wrestle Jim for them. Hey! I can see the ships AND the island. May be time to make a break for food, lol!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 5:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PS: Here's our gang at the pre-theatre picnic. DH had not arrived yet and the other husband was taking the photo.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 8:32PM
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Ship Ahoy to Denise in the bathhouse and Brenda in the rainstorm you did in fact post photos Denise, but it was during the temporary floral window covering phase- love the white ! And thanks for the zip-line link over on FB BrendaI guess I dont get out much, I had no idea of the existence of such a thing. It actually looks kind of fun, but not to be attempted with a hangover !

Pm, some of my succulents are able to stay outdoors here in winter with no ill effects, but I have several that are frost tender. A few I can move into the house but the collection seems to keep mysteriously growing, so Im going to leave the marginal ones outside up against the wall of the house with a row cover canopy. I am going to the coast for a few days in about a week and a half- I have booked a little cottage with ocean view (and wireless internet, lol) and Im going to visit some gardens and mostly just relax ..

((Norma)) , thinking of you and hope you get all the support and care you need.

Nothing further to report tonight and apologies to all for my brief comments more verbiage on the morrow !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 11:05PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Norma, so sorry about Mike. Hugs to you.

Saucy, What was I thinking! My kids are all grown so easy for me to say. [g] Really my DD would probably be the only one that I could persuade to attend at any point.

Denise, I just love that open, airy bath! I had not seen it with the window shades and the sitting area. Amazing what you can fit into such a small space. Of course, with all the windows, it looks much larger. I can imagine it is quite wonderful to take a bath there. ....Isn't that wonderful news about your Dad! Your Mom must be so relieved. Imagine what just removing one medication can do. .... That is interesting about pets and MRSA. It's sad that our pets can be at risk from what is ailing us. DH did not have MRSA, I think someone else mentioned that particular strain, which I am told is worse than the one DH had.

Brenda, the beginning of February is not that long to wait! This is your first grandchild, right? If Jude waits another week, he could be a Valentine baby. :-) .... I've always wanted to see Mackinaw Island. Isn't that the island that has no cars allowed?

I am low on my own photos right now, and I saw this at National Geographic and thought of V....

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 3:42AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Welll, golll -ee - I no sooner think I've caught up than I fall behind - Im sure there's a name for such a slacker... I lost the weekend due to a zip visit to PA to check on the patriarch - okay visit and things fairly normal - but it put me outta undies, food, sleep, garden time, and R&R among other things....

I will attempt to check back in for some belated b-day cards to fellow idyllers -- I hope you all had good ones, despite the loss of your friend, Norma --

Brenda, I love your "go with the flow" kind of vacations -- you bend according to weather and opportunities --- and still have fun!

Sounds like some others are off on their various treks to family and vacations -- have grand times!!

Chelone -- I had a H.S. friend loss similar to yours decades ago and it stuck with me forever-- I hope you realize 'taint nuthing likely you could have done and we must accept that hopefully their pain is at end and they are at peace too.... so peace to you.... I hoiked my ruby spice clethra last month -- it had done much of naught for the last 5 years and I just wasnt impressed with it enuf. I think I hoiked the hummingbird one a few years before... I must say the only clethra I seem to think I'd like to re-invite to my garden would be the clethra barbenervis (Japanese clethra) that gets huge -- but wonderful - even not in foliage. But I dont have space for it....

That's great to hear your Dad's improving, Denise -- I think my Dad recently had fluid retention issues w/ his BP meds also -- it's amazing how just a re-vamp of something they'd thought was "standard" can make a wonderful difference. I thought of you too re the VHS tapes, as I attempted to discuss some housecleaning w/ my Dad this weekend (to no avail) --he wont even let go of 1954 tax records, or slide trips -- I realize they represent his "life" and he's just not willing to let go of it yet, le grand sigh.... I just love that cosy spot you managed to squeeze the chaise into -- terrific multi-purposing of a lovely retreat spa area...

Ok, back to awfice detention stuff... yes, I will ! check back in...


    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 1:32PM
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