Idyll #406 - Fall Clean-up

deanneart(z5Southern NH)October 24, 2008

Morning all!

WEll I finally have my computer back, again. I'll start this thread before we have duplicates.


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Smoke signals in the form of air vapor from me this morning. A very chilly 19degF. Everything that should be is toast in the gardens. This weekend's forecast is lots of rain, so pasty mushed foliage material will be cleaned up sometime around Halloween.

"Restructuring" at work this week. 13 of 40 people (not including me) in my office will not be there after next week and then mid-December. Fortunately, for a behomoth company they were as personable as they could be -- ie; no security guards escorting anyone to their cars -- but really sad to see such good and talented people not do what they do.

So, I'm dealing with the excitement of much increased workload = more $$, but also feeling somewhat guilty for feeling that way. And the beat goes on...... We'll make it through.

"Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew, Rodale Press, 1981, companion to the PBS Series of the same name, is what I used as a starting point for my raised beds, Denise. Took some liberties and ended up with a practical yet pretty veggie patch.

Hydroculators are my back's best friend, PM2. Hope you have one handy.

Also hope to catch up with offshoot threads this weekend and absorb thoughts other than work and $$.

Still smiling,


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 7:12AM
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Good morning

Deanne - so glad you have your computer again, I'm sure we will all benefit. Are you photographing birds right now?

Hi Martie!! Sad to hear you are loosing so many people at work. Hard times indeed.

Chelone - you are so right about worrying about Clousseau's gastric reaction to the raisins. I too was very concerned. However, he didn't have even the teeniest squeak of gas or gurgle of distress. (Flatulence is usually the giveaway sign that he's stolen something, that and leaving the wrappers in his crate LOL!). The animal has obviously developed a cast iron stomach. Picking up after him that week I felt as if I kept at least a dozen rabbits rather than one ill-behaved (but much loved) dog.

I'm about to struggle off to work. Getting up this morning was hard after a late night and probably too much wine at book club. Plus, I've taken to setting the thermostat to 55F when DH is out of town which is fine when you are up and moving, but chilly first thing. Tonight we might have our first wood fire of the season.

Have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 7:32AM
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Good morning!

Clousseau must have a cast iron stomach. That is NOT the way to macerate, Julie....It just so happens that more apples made their way into this house, so Mary, your recipe is timely.

That lobster looks eerily similar to the one I saw in the Carribean while scuba diving! Hopefully Marty will be able to one up his nemesis, soon. Mine is bigger than yours is a popular game with the male crowd, huh?

I am doing payroll this morning and a couple of small filing jobs, and then I'm going to buy a spade (much noise was made about my missing spade, but no one (read: JAKE) coughed up it's whearabouts) and play in the garden. I have got a half baked lasagna garden going, and I'm thinking about creating another! I need to plant some things still, too!

Well, time for the bus!


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 7:36AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Well the growing season was officially over this week with two mornings, including this morning solidly in the upper 20s F. Since I neglected to get many plants in, I will have very little to take care of this winter. Just as well.

Still no new furnace but the town is coming in this morning to inspect the gas lines. Last Saturday at seven AM the gas line diggers made a surprise appearance. At 7:05 they fired up the jackhammer and went to work making me a shoe in for most popular resident of the neighborhood. Minimal damage to the garden except up near the house-that is a mess. Unfortunately my Acer Aka Shigitsu Sawa was in the way of the crew so I had to run out and quickly move it. I'm not sure it's going to survive but the option was to let a backhoe run over it.

Let's hope my canine rats never get their paws on a pound of raisins. The other night I was working out upstairs and heard some shuffling and growling going on out in the hallway. All of a sudden Zoe and Nick galloped into view playing tug of war with a pair of my underwear. I had pulled the clothes out of the hamper and left them on the bathroom floor. Nice! Zoe had another seizure Saturday morning and she may have had one out in the yard last night. Vet says to watch and call if they become more frequent.

OK, better get going. For some reason I'm thinking a hot lobster roll would be a good idea for

Carry on.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 8:17AM
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Saucy - I had exactly the same scenario with my spade. I searched high and low for it, asking everyone if they had borrowed it. I finally decided I must have left it at a garden job and bought another. Two days later I saw David retrieve the original from under a large yew where he had been using it to fish out tennis balls. I had already muddied up the new one so no returns. It is interesting that newer models do not come with the nice foam padding around the top of the handle so I shall no doubt be using my old faithful for many years to come.

Denise - is that lobster to be eatern? It's rather like something from a sci-fi movie.


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 8:19AM
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Zeus, not to be left out in all the fun, ate the corner off of his goose down comforter (what was I thinking? I saw it at a yard sale and thought, "Zeus!") while I was sitting here in the office.

The kitchen looks like it snowed feathers and he looks like he ate a canary.

Didn't Phoebe start this with GB's quilt?


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 9:13AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Morning all! Very heavy frost out there this morning - temperature is below the freezing point. Lots of mushy stuff will be harvested here after Hallowe'en too!

Today is party day *groan* TCS bounced out of bed at 6:45 yelling PARTEE!PARTEE! Oh gosh, was I thrilled. He then ran to the piano to pound out his latest Jazz assignment. I love to hear him play but I really would have liked to wake up first!

So today it's off to the next town for last minute stuff for the two parties - he will get off the bus, get cleaned up (!) and race off to his birthday party, and the second it is over he will race off to the Hallowe'en party, costume and all. I think I'll buy a bottle of wine this afternoon....

Yesterday was gorgeous out here. I moved a bunch of dirth (that's dirt and earth) into one raised bed and planted the garlic for next year. Went and imported two bags of leaves from the farm to mulch the garlic. Finally took out the chard, celery, lettuce and peas and hammered in the fence posts so I can reattach the chicken wire. Veggie beds are done! But not much else is...although I did borrow a "real" lawn mower (as opposed to my "reel" lawn mower and completely do all the lawns and little nooks etc. The last cut of the year, thank heavens.

It is supposed to rain here for the next four days so maybe we will get the baseboards on and the furniture moved back. Then the house will be ours again!

No JJob today - but the ceiling fans are gonna get it tomorrow!

Cheers to all you busy folks - and PM2 - ohhh, look after yourself!


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 9:17AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well, well, well..... I only THOUGHT my computer was back. I used it for about five minutes then I got another notice that there was a Microsoft update to install. I felt like I really should be careful with that because that is what hosed it last week. Doug insited that I install this update as it's supposed to be a prevention for some nasty hacker/virus stuff. So, I followed all the instructions and POUFF! the lap top's operating system is hosed yet again. Can you all hear me gnashing my teeth. Doug has no idea what the he - l is going on. He installed both the updates on his lap top with no problems so he'll be spending the weekend trying to fix my computer AGAIN. Grrrrrrr......

Jerri, do you know of any reason why I'm having issues with installing the recent Microsoft updates?

Yesterday I got all the dahlias dug out, rinsed off, dried in the lovely sunshine we had and they are all in the garage for another couple days to air dry then they'll be put into peat and cold storage for the winter. Phew, another of the big jobs done. I'm still not too sure how the heck I'm going to get the banana down the cellar stairs. I think I'm going to need a refrigerator mover. That thing weighs a ton. I might just bring my bathroom scale out there and weigh it. LOL

I have the garage filled with all the fuchsias, abutilons and acalyphas and most of them need repotting. I've probably got another week's work out there then I'll be ready to get going with my bird photography.

Mary, oh dear about the spade. ~~ No, I'm not getting into any bird photography yet. I'm afraid that if I start I'll let all the two billion plants in the garage die because I won't get around to finishing potting them up and getting them in the house for the winter.

Martie, I can't believe how much colder it is there in CT than here in NH. We were only down to 29 last night. ~~ Scary about the lay offs.

Denise, that lobster is amazing but looks funny to me because of the lack of the big claws. Do you guys eat those dudes? That's a nice looking tail there.

Saucy, ROTFLOL about the down comforter. I can just see the image of the feathers flying.

Julie, I thought of you yesterday when I was washing windows and cleaning out the humidifier in the livingroom. It's funny how I get this 'nesting' thing in the fall where I like to clean the cracks, so to speak.

OK I've got to get upstairs, get on the LifeCycle and then go run some errands. A busy day on tap here. Waving hello to everyone!


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 10:42AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a pop-in to say, "Idyll folks rock". Thanks to all for the inbox full of hugs. You're the best!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 10:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Quietly observing/participating here.
Bug & Ms Phoebe (recently shorn)

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 11:29AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Autumn vista of the Sneffels Range and its numerous golden aspen groves, Colorado - October

Did you ever see a wild area look so neat? It looks like an army of landscapers just exited left with their leaf

Yippee! It's Friday!


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 2:16PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

So don't let me touch anything. It seems that everything I touch today gets broken. I was mounting the Suburban to run to the grocery to pick up provisions for the dinner party tonight and the key just made an ominous clicking sound when I turned it. So now the battery in my car is dead, it's after 2:00PM I have company coming for dinner tonight and nothing in the larder..... more teeth gnashing here..... doesn't seem to be doing anything to fix the situation though... LOL

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 2:19PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Deanne, at least a sliding glass door hasn't fell into your face yet ( I hope). That is what just happened to me. I noticed the sliding door was working worse than normal. I went out on the deck to fill my watering pitchers from the rain barrel. When I brought them back in, I pulled the door shut and it fell off of the upper track! It didn't hit me 'cause I caught it immediately and pushed it back. It is closed and locked now, but will definitely have to be fixed before it can be used! Nolon says he will work on it when the weather warms back up. My word...what next?!
It appears the board underneath it has rotted.....

Pm2, I am sure sorry about your back. Although I have a lot of pain in mine, it has never got me down like that.

My main problem lately is a digestion problem. I am thinking I may have an ulcer. I get pretty sick, and hurt in the stomach area after eating. A headache usually accompanies it.

My beef stew turned out very good, but the pain and sickness followed it,too. :-(

Pm2, that is a beautiful pic, but I am thinking it has been color enhanced. So many of the pics on computer programs are, anymore.

All the dog stories have convinced me that I made a good choice in having cats. :-)
I am picturing in my mind Zoe and Nick and the undies, and Saucy's feathered kitchen! LOL.
Zeus "looks like he'd ate a canary", so funny....


    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 4:05PM
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Silent smoke signals from here. Not caught up on reading.

But Pm2 that photo is breathtaking and Deanne don't touch anything. LOL

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 4:08PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Well, Saucy, at least this was somewhat confined to the crate. $60.00 heated bed....

The carpet you see outside the crate (Ajax was thinking outside the box, I guess) is the one that he unravelled: Hence, bamboo flooring....

    Bookmark   October 24, 2008 at 9:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Phoebe also had a mat...$40....I guess she wanted a heated one? The lady who sold it to us emphasized that no one had ever reported them getting chewed. Right. Afraid to report I guess, of being the first failure.

Clean up of anything is on hold. We both have colds. Yes, I'm up at 4:30am, gargling and taking tylenol. Oh what fun... Grieving is a very slow process here too and saps me of energy and concentration, among other things. Sunday we are invited out to dinner. I sure hope we are not contagious by then.

I'm back to bed now. I'll think about orange and purple borders as I drift off.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 4:55AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning.... :-)

Thank you all for the well wishes and tips for my back. I was icing it for awhile and have to stay away from meds that mess up my stomach. Martie, my Mom used to use a Hydroculator. I don't seem to respond well to heat, which I would much prefer. It is improving, but feels like it is taking forever, which of course it is not. [g]

I was just thinking about you the other day Martie and how I miss your more frequent posts when you were home recovering. Pretty cold there...your camelia is indoors, right? Any photos?

Laughing at all the canine shenanigans. Our son with his 5 cats and 1 dog, informs me they are very hard on his blankets. I was thinking of getting him an expensive down comforter to stay warm this winter, but I've ditched that idea. [g]

Sorry to hear about your continuing computer woes, Deanne. I can't remember if you are due for a new computer?

Gardenbug....Sorry to hear that cold season is starting early at your house. I thought of you the other day, when I came across a Hellebore called 'Phoebe' at Heronswood. See link below.

Hello Norma....yes, I love that photo too, but taking another look, I guess I have to agree with Marian, it does look 'enhanced'. I rarely enjoy my own photos when enhanced, although I do try it with a photo that is not up to snuff. It's still a great shot, I think.

Marian...sorry you are not doing well. I feel for you, I often have digestive woes and it takes the fun out of your day pretty quickly. I often will try small amounts of blended smoothies with a frozen banana, non fat yogurt and strawberries or other fruit and after a couple of days of that, which is easier to digest, it will sometimes turn things around for me. Hope you feel better!

Last weekend before my back going out, we had some tree work done. One of our neighbor's sycamore trees had a few huge branches coming into our yard quite a distance and it has driven me crazy for years. They also had a dead crabapple tree whose canopy was 3/4s in our yard too. It has been there at least 4 years. It is finally gone!! I was so happy with the finished result and it makes me smile every time I look at it. See if you can find the Tree Person...[g]....

Have a great weekend!


Here is a link that might be useful: Hellebore 'Phoebe'

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 7:02AM
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Ajax has been a very naughty boy, I see. More beatings! beatings for all! Rex became Wrecks after his early "seperation anxiety" manifested itself in chewing things that weren't for chewing...
1.) one very nice Early Warm wool blanket from Wales
2.) the right slipper only of my Acorn slippers.
3.) the right slipper only of the replacement Acorn slippers. (I have since learned my lesson)
4.) the top of my first pair of garden muck shoes.
5.) several pieces of plastic, resealable food storage containers that evidently had essence of food left on them.
6.) heaven knows what else!
...mercifully, two obedience classes and a lot of structured "quality time" with Mummy and Daddy convinced him that being left alone at home was not the end of the world and that we would return (that, and numerous beatings). We understood that his chewing/destructive tendancies was partially waning "puppyhood" but mostly anxiety; the result of being surrendered to shelters at least 3 times by age 1 1/2. He's pretty much over it now, but trouble will occasionally still find him. I hate dogs.

I'm sorry to have missed you this morning, 'bug, sorrier still that you and the mate are under the weather! Time to "cozy up". I was awake at 4 AM and watched the US Farm Report, with Spencer purring away (and drooling) under my chin), lol. It's the strangest show it seems to broadcast on a local Maine station, clearly aimed at the large farms of the midwest. I always think of Michelle and Brenda whenever I happen to catch it. There was discussion of lower crop yields this year and the delayed harvests in Iowa and Illinois, the soaring price of fertilizer, and worries that the credit crunch will impact planting for next spring. Also a reminder to "safen up" (as Homer Simpson would say) as a man was recently killed in a combine accident in either Indiana or Illinois... . They feature a local church or two at the end of the program, but my favorite segment is the vintage farm equipment... today's featured piece was a 1948 Avery tractor, fully restored. It's definitely a glimpse into a whole different life, just as a show on fishing would be for you stalwart heartland folk.

Sue cracked me up with the comment that the 7 AM arrival of excavating equipment guaranteed her "most popular neighbor" status. :) Let's hope the new furnace is installed soon, it's gettin' too cold to postpone it much longer, wouldn't you say? I bet the Jap. maple will be fine. My friend Sui always maintains that plants would rather live than die! Nice move with the annuals, too. ;) So the good docs have no clue what's up with Zoe? when she has a seizure what happens to her? The Springer we had had a stoke while out walking with me. I turned around and she was sort of thrashing around on the ground, then she lay very still for a moment before getting up and continuing on as usual. It was pretty weird, I was concerned about how I was going to carry her home as we were a long way out on the golf course at the time. But she recovered. She had another a few years later that left one side of her mouth droopy and she drooled a lot after that. The helpmeet used to tenderly wipe her mouth for her after she ate.

Wow, Marian, I know how heavy the sliders on our home are, you're lucky that sucker didn't knock you over or break on you. Maybe you should consider wearing a football helmet the next time you decide to open it. And get that stomach thing you've got goin' on checked out soon, willya? Eating should not involve discomfort, but you already know that. Bread pudding is so easy even I can do it. Put torn up stale bread, doughnuts, hamburger rolls in a buttered baking dish. Cover with a basic custard, bake in a moderate oven in a water bath until a knife inserted in it comes out clean. You can vary it by adding sliced or dried fruit. I've been debating making a savory variety, eliminating the sugar and replacing it with cheese... a sort of crustless variation of quiche. Puddings and custards was how Mum used to get milk into me when I was little. To this day, the very thought of a glass of milk makes me want to vomit; I like my milk "disguised", thank you! (does anyone else find it funny that I'm sharing a recipe?)

I want to know how Deanne's dinner party turned out. :) I hate days like the one you described, though they do provide fodder for a good sense of humor. Did you call for take out chinese food and have one of your guest drive you to pick it up? Hope your electronic cottage is on the mend today!

Nice to see Martie pop in, too. I'm certain watching the axe fall all around you is disconcerting, esp. in light of the trends in the building trades, too. The best we can do is keep our heads down, pay attention to doing a good job, and hope for the best, huh? The temperatures you and Sue have shared have really surprised me. We've had only a few mornings below Freezing and while the Hostas are sagging they have yet to turn to mush. The neglected Impatiens in the first floor windowboxes are outta here today... they succumbed the other morning. Hard to believe it will be time to think about evergreens soon.

Norma, do you have DSL for your computer or are you using the same line as your telephone? I always think of you whenever there are a lot of pictures on a thread. Hope you're caught up on your reading soon (know how that can be). The floors here are ripe for winter sowing, lol, but I have no intention of dragging out the Kirby until rain begins to fall from the sky. Maybe I should just water the rugs and mow... :)

In the purple and orange color scheme... Campanula glomerata provides a lovely, electric purple in June. But it needs to be contained as it likes to "run". I've allowed it to do as it pleases around Sanitary Ridge, it's very pretty with the orange Asiatic lilies.

Thinking of Brenda and hoping her spirits lift soon. And of Jerri down in the OC, and Eden, too. Warm thoughts to all.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 7:40AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good???Morning !
Heavy frost on my car's roof and back window this morning. Low was 36F.

My stomach is better...after lots of belching and medication. But the upper portion of the digestive system is still hurting. I didn't have the ingredients for pm2's treatment, but did have a couple of low fat yogurts (a little out dated, but still good). I had the peach for breakfast. Belching helps, coughing hurts...:-(
A lot of it is due to my hiatal hernia and acid reflux. Some of it is due to arthritis in my ribcage.....I'm a mess!!! :-(

Chelone, the slider has now become just a large window until next spring. The repair will be a major job, with the total removal of the door and framework. What I would really like (but you know how that goes) is for french doors to replace it. I am afraid our finances can not handle that. Since there is not a very good connection at the top of the door, Nolon will caulk it today when it warms up out. It is to get up to about 60.
I wonder if bread pudding would hurt me? I always have lots of left over biscuits that I feed to the wildlife.

Julie, that IS a cute pic of Ajax..:-) I notice he has one brown eye and one blue eye. Strange how dogs are that way frequently. I think cats may be,too?

Marie, sorry that you and yours have colds. We have both had our flu shots for this season, but of course that does not stop colds and other virus'. I have been having a rather runny stuffy nose lately, but think it is an allergy.
I hope you have a nice dinner tomorrow. If I am not feeling better in the morning, I may sit the 'going' out, for the day.

Pm2, I do not do to well with heat treatments either, but the chiropractor's heat helped loosen me up for treatments. (I haven't been to him in years.)
Yep, I see the treeman..just to the left of lower center. The new look is great. I can see why you smile when you look at it.

Sue, at our place the early morning racket is usually hunters. It is muzzleloader season for deer, and those are very loud shots! Thank goodness, they generally are not very close to our house.A herd of deer came thraough in front this morning. Our yard is a refuge in hunting season. :-( I have heard 2-3 shots this morning.

LOL, LOL...Chelone! "Floors ripe for winter sowing", indeed ! Mine are frequently sowable...espacially the livingroom carpet. Between Nolon and the two cats, lots of debris accumulates! Now it has had 20 Mule Team Borax added to it to kill the fleas! We have had the worst influx ever. I think it has pretty much got them. Now I need to vaccuum it all up.
I bought a flea comb for the cats, and Nolon spends a lot of time each day combing them out, and drowning the fleas in a bowl of water setting on the table by his chair. Tommy, espacially, is coming regularly for his combing. Nolon has used tweezers for some time, in the flea picking, but now is doing both. It keeps him occupied..:-)
The silly cats have taken to drinking the water from the bowl...drowned fleas and all! LOL
I can put the Frontline on Trubby, but not Tommy. He goes berserk when I even approach him with it, even though I hide it behind me until I get to him. He is a differant kind of a cat...

Brenda, I hope you are perking up. Maybe you have 'postpartum' from your sky diving??

The low is predicted to be in the upper 20s by Tuesday morning. Goodby to all tender stuff outside! Here is a pic of the door/turned windows:

Deanne, I broke down and brought in the geraniums. ;-)


    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 11:18AM
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DHs kids will be here tomorrow so the pumpkin cheesecake is cooling, cookies were baked last night and thereÂs an apple pie in the oven. The pie is for our pastor and his wife as October is Pastor appreciation month. I need to get outside now, the sun is finally shining after a week of rain or clouds. I need to start some garden cleanup. Not much can get done in the evenings with darkness setting in so early these days.

WeÂve alraady called DD and wished her a happy birthday this morning and reminded Kenzie to be extra nice to mommy today.

PM, good to hear that your back is improving  no fun at all.

Âbug, sorry to hear about the colds  there seems to be a lot going around. I always think I should freeze some containers of chicken soup to be taken out when sick but I never seem to get around to it.

Chelone, noon on Sundays finds DH in front of the TV Â his favorite is Market to Market on IPTV.

I wonder if Julie survived the party?


    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 11:33AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

By doze!!!
By Throat!!!

What a drag... I don't even feel up to reading. I guess PM2 feels worse though. So Sorry!

I managed to get to the dump, empty the cat litter, buy a few groceries and meds, feed the kitties and heat up a pizza for dinner. Fresh fruit and a cookie for DH's dessert.

Outdoors things will hard freeze I think before I get to tidying. Oh... I took a few photos too:


Geranium foliage




Tamarack and Cotinus

Variegated wallflower


    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 8:19PM
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I feel it necessary to set the record straight on the "winter sowing" comment about floors... that funny line is a NORMA ORIGINAL. I laughed and laughed when I first read it and it crosses my mind every time I look down and see a lot of dirt on the floors or the rugs. And naturally, I think of Norma!

'bug, I hope the cold doesn't linger too long. It's too early for "cold season" to start, but you certainly have been productive for one afflicted. Your pictures are wonderful, as usual I suffer intense Monkshood envy :(, do you take singular delight in tormenting me with pictures of it?? And I'm particularly taken with the varigated wallflower, what a pretty thing that is! A man down the street potted up a Larch for the helpmeet. It's just teeny right now (maybe 18") but I've been pondering where to put it since it will become very large in time. Aren't they the neatest trees? the fall color is fabulous.

I would like to be at Michelle's house, some of that cheesecake would make a mighty tastey accompanyment for my coffee this morning... . It's nicely on the way to dark here by 6 now, but since I start work in the pre-dawn hours I'm out earlier in the day than you are. Still, though, I have to hustle to get the Huge One out and suitably exercised and the "thises and thats" attended to when the days are at their shortest. So how's the harvest going for you after all that rain?

I dilly-dallied yesterday morning, listening to Morning Edition, feeding the fleabag, and cleaning up the kitchen. When I finally stepped over the threshold I wished I hadn't tarried so long at my "chores". It was beautiful! warm and very pleasant even if it was overcast. I cleaned up the "dooryahd" and front beds yesterday. All the perennials are cut down, the tender annuals removed from the windowboxes, and the beds are raked AND weeded. I even wiped the residual grime off the windowboxes, the window sashes, and I washed the front door and wiped down the surrounding woodwork (this was my daily JulieJob). It looks greatly improved. I took a bunch of "before" pictures, but when I picked up the camera to take the "afters" the battery was dead. Maybe I'll get some today in between the raindrops.

I am in awe of the size of the stand of Polygonatum commutatum. I really have to dig it and thin it out before it completely overwhelms the area. Its rhizomes have interlaced roots that rival a Brillo pad. Good thing its closest perennial neighbor is a very large, stout Krossa Regal Hosta or nothing would keep it in check, I fear. Kathy had remarked on a very pretty clematis I had next to it, Maidwell Hall, that has since died. I fear it simply couldn't compete with those two lusty neighbors and its absence leaves me with a vacant trellis. So, I have to address the division and make a commitment to defend the rights of any clematis added to the site in perpetuity. I'm thinking of eliminating one first floor windowbox, too. It is looking sort of "lost" next to the Holly.

I also made little markers out of surveyer's tape and marked the new line of the front bed, using galvinized nails to hold them in place. Do you find your sense of scale has changed over the years you've been gardening? More and more I find myself looking at earlier garden projects and thinking, "hmmm... that curve is too sharp. The scale of the bed is too small and looks chintzy in comparison to its surroundings". This is the case with the front bed. It's neat, but I would like to increase its depth, bringing it out to follow the curve of the driveway rather than having its front edge parallel with the house. I'm also more willing to use a limited plant palette, increasing the size of the stands, rather than trying to add more variety. I'll be interested to see if some of you are evolving in a similar way at your homes.

I REALLY wanted to get the Holly trimmed up, too. But have decided to wait until we're closer to Christmas so I may use the clippings for decorations. It's covered with berries and it's getting really big. I have always harbored a desire to trim it in a very formal manner, a tall "column" but have chickened out repeatedly for fear I will be overzealous with the pruners and wind up with an evergreen, ever present beginner mistake, lol. Know what I mean, jellybeans? ;) Hey, in the spirit of seasonal decorations, would any of you "locals" like to come here for a leisurely decoration making day? say early December?

I've begun reading "The Great Mortality" by John Kelly. Trouble is, I begin reading when I'm getting sleepy... zzz. Helpmeet has found the subject matter sort of funny, teasing me that if I'm not rooting around in the 16th. century I'm following up on an equally "light" topic. :)

Not much more to say aside from the fact that I'm quite certain all my far-flung Idyll friends are engaged in fascinating and industrious pursuits and I'd like to read about them... maybe later on today?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 6:51AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Quaking aspen trees in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains are resplendent in shimmering foliage and white bark.
Photograph by Roy Toft

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 7:07AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back again...having fed the cats, taken more tylenol, restocked on tissues.

DH leaves soon for an early Gravel Watch meeting. I will rest- I hope- then later gargle and shower. What a life!

Chelone, my garden thoughts do evolve lately. I am more inclined to make the gardens EASIER. This sometimes means more shrubs than perennials. I do like natural, given our environment, and that means ornamental grasses- even though they require dividing every 2-3 years. And what a job that is! I also like larger masses of things. I have lots of hellebores, lots of anemones, lots of Camassia and tulips, ferns too. Many hostas and heucheras which are low care. The curves of the beds change quite a bit, yes smoother than ever, mostly to make mowing easy. There's still way too much care required though, too much weeding and edging. How to eliminate and still enjoy? I'm working on it.

We are supposed to dine out this evening. I hope I'm up to it!

Beautiful quaking aspens!

This was yesterday's breakfast:

What do you like on yours? DH likes jam, I like butter & brown sugar, sometimes syrup.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 7:46AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We spent yesterday evening from 7:30-11:00 at the emergency vet. Misty came down with a urinary tract infection. She's on antibiotics and an anti-imflammatory now and is feeling a bit better, especially since she has Jasper and Blue for company today.

gb - I hope the cold goes away soon! You are certainly more energetic with a cold than I would be! I love the tamarack and cotinus picture. I make egg white waffles a lot - they freeze well so I make a big batch and freeze them for easy breakfasts and lunches later. Maple syrup and/or fresh fruit is the usual topping here.

Chelone - my garden and planting style evolved together over the 9 years we've been here. In a lot of areas I'm limited to smaller beds just by the shape and size of the space. I've always preferred large swaths of things. Although the garden at our previous house was different, I now plant predominately monochrome color themes (as opposed to the 'riot of colors' approach) so I go for lots of color for a long period but in a limited palette of colors). I have always preferred smooth curves or straight lines rather than 'wavy' edges and that hasn't changes at all. This spring I did what I consider the best thing I've ever done in the backyard - I changed the shape of the back lawn form being just the residual shape leftover after the woodland beds were developed under the skirts of the trees. I made the back lawn a rectange with a 3' wide bark path around it. It is amazing what an improvement that is! The lawn is now a feature on its own - a serene and calm space that is restful to the eyes. The contrast between the somewhat formal-looking lawn and the 'wild' woodland is great and the path between the lawn and the garden beds eliminates the need to edge.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 11:01AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Ooo Oooo! Chelone, I have fascinating AND industrious covered for ya. I'm washing work clothes :)
Just a pop-in to say howdy. We've been rained out of the fields this weekend, so today is my day to pull my household act together. Tomorrow, we'll be back at it. Let's all hope for dry weather so we can get this earning a living over with for the season!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 11:51AM
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It's a relief to know I'm in good company on the laundry and cleaning front, Brenda. Same thing goin' on here in the Pine Tree state.

It poured last night and was really windy. The overcast blew out first thing this morning and it's been absolutely beautiful all day long. I've had my head in the laundry closet for most of it, too. It was too wet to do what I wanted to do outdoors so Ive been coolin' my jets with a JulieJob that will ultimately make my life easier. :) But now I think it's time to WALAT with his Hugeness, maybe even toss the tennis ball a few times, too. (Daddy is going to take him grocery shopping in a little while, so a boring day is going to end on a high note for Rex).

Oh, Marian, we keep all the pet medical treatment in the laundry closet. I hit the mother lode of tick and flea products, wish you were next door! We had one infestation of fleas in this house and it was just awful. It took over a month of treatments to really stamp out the problem. You have my sympathy.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 2:35PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi everybody! I see that you are all busy doing wonderful things - JulieJobs galore, I am honoured!!!

You will be pleased (I hope) to know that I did survive the party and I have but one thing to say: "Don't try this at home!".

Nine little boys plus DS who is seven years old at heart - in a bowling alley - no other people - for two hours. Bowling for about 15 minutes, balloon fighting for about 45 minutes. The little hockey players are a bit more used to boistrous play so a great deal of peace-keeping was required. TCS has had his name changed to THD - three (count 'em, 1,2,3) hot dogs! Cake and presents, give out the goodie bags with pumpkins, and then a mad dash off to the Hallowe'en party. That lady is nuts - they had FORTY kids - all in costume - played spooky games, made little ghost decorations....DS went home and went to bed, DH and I went home to drink. A great Friday night was had by all.

AND - today - the floors, baseboards and trim are done! The extra bamboo has gone back to the store and credit received. Furniture is where it is supposed to be. My JJob today was to reclaim the laundry room, which had become the bedroom catch-all space and tool and woodscrap storage.

Geez, today was a big anniversary service at our church and the junior and youth choirs sang with the senior choir. I must take a photo of THD in his gown - he just looks like the proverbial angel. He sings very enthusiastically at practice, but is practically mute in the church. So what, he's six, right, for another week anyway? After church today everyone was complimenting on the singing and one lady came up to Adrian and said " I was watching you the whole time and your lips didn't move. You weren't singing with the choir at all." I found that a little mean for the littlest kid...My response, with a smile, was, "Well, all of God's critters have a place in the choir, and some just hum along", to paraphrase the junior choir's favourite song. It was the right thing to say for Adrian because he at first looked stricken, but hummed the God's critters song all the rest of the day...

It has been cold, miserable, and raining like the devil here for several days. Not a chance to get into the garden. This are pretty well frosted by now so it would just be the clean up stuff - it might still be there in the Spring! I did get the last of the lawn cutting done on Thursday and the garlic in. I need to tidy up our "dooryahd" too, it's pretty ugly out there. Maybe that will be tomorrow's JJob. And stupid me, I volunteered to go to a pumpkin farm with the Grade two's on Tuesday. It better not rain!

I'm reading book from the library, called Company Man by Joseph Finder. Can't put it down, wonderful for a rainy afternoon.

Well, off to do battle with the fruitflies/fungus gnats so I can put my coaster beneath the wine glass instead of on top...

Cheers all.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 7:58PM
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Yes Chelone , I have dial up and on the same phone line. Sometimes the pictures only partially download, but don't anyone hold back on them because what I do get to see is worth the wait.

Marie, I don't make homemade waffles anymore, but I like peach yogurt on my wholewheat eggos. Kinda like desert for breakfast, and quick too.

Yikes I just got a call to come stay with Wyatt tomorrow beacuse he is sick, and I only have two days left to whip this house into shape because DD and DSIL will be coming in from FL on wed. Thats what I get for procrastinating. I could have had it done already.

I drug some plants in today against my will to take care of them this winter. Tomorrow night is supposed to be our first frost, and a freeze too.

On top of everthing else I feel like I might be coming down with something and I rarely get sick. Oh well, one day at a time. Right? Hey to all. Norma

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 8:09PM
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Well, off to do battle with the fruitflies/fungus gnats so I can put my coaster beneath the wine glass instead of on top...

LOL Julie, and I don't envy you the boistrous boys at the bowling alley. Wyatt's parties have always been at home family type, but he says he wants Chuckie Cheese this year.

Nice response to the rude person. Norma

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 8:20PM
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Marian , that is making lemonade out of lemons. If you can't use the door for going in and out, it makes a great window for plants.

Speaking of windows I have found a sure way to get little visitors. It never fails that when I wash windows small children visit and leave hand and nose prints. I think last week everyone I know with toddlers was here. LOL
I think I'm done now. Norma

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 8:31PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The wind is a-howlin' tonight, the temperature is dropping and the ever-dreaded "s" word is in the forecast for tonight. It may be a two dog night in my bed!

When the college told us it was family weekend, we took them quite seriously. Five adult parents headed to the school to spend the weekend with the three girl cousins, and we had a marvelous time. Friday night we had dinner at a local microbrewery. Several of us tried the flight of seasonal beers, which had five smaller glasses of different beers, including a pumpkin beer that was interesting, but probably not one to be consumed in great quantities. Then we ordered a round of appetizers, including beer-battered asparagus, cheese curds from a local farm, and blue cheese quesadillas with steak. My entree was macaroni and cheese, but quite a gourmet version. Capatelli pasta, black beans, green chiles and grilled chicken! Half of it went back to DD's fridge, then came home with me for my dinner tonight. At the end of the evening, the waitress came over and told us we had been a very fun group to serve. She did laugh at herself, saying she knew it sounded like brown-nosing but she really wanted to thank us.

Saturday morning we started with omelets at the hotel, went to the farmers' market and bought gourds, and then headed to the nature preserve for a great fall walk. (I need to have DD email me some of the photos.) This was the same preserve where we saw the amazing wildflowers in the early spring. We had time to explore a little more, and even saw some native callicarpa in fruit.

DH, DD and I were about to head to the college's lunch when one of the cousins called and said they were headed to Medici, a wonderful little restaurant and bakery. We scrapped our tickets and met everyone there for another wonderful meal. (Good thing we took a longer hike!) Medici has a second location in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, and one of their regular customers is in the news quite a lot lately. Over lunch, we talked about how we wanted to handle dinner, because the football game was from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm. We decided to do a little shopping, and gathered a small selection of crusty breads, a sausage, four cheeses, some olives and some wine.

After the (very cold) football game, we went to the eldest cousin's house, spread out our goodies and feasted once more. Then we cleared off the remains and showed a house full of college kids that the old geezers could hold their own in a couple of intense games of flippy cup. It was a lot of fun, but I couldn't do a weekend like this more than once a year!

This morning, DH and I had to leave fairly early as he had a flight out of O'Hare. He tried to leave the car with the car keys in his hand. Then I only got about five miles down the road and I got a frantic message from DH. He had left his cell phone in the car! So I backtracked to the airport and handed off the phone. Silly boy...

The dogs also had a great time this weekend. They were quite well-behaved on their trip to S & J's home. J's parents had owned Sunrise's mother and had kept one of the male puppies for themselves, and S said he could not get over how much Sunrise was like her brother, both in looks and behavior. They have a small Yorkie, and the two labs got along just fine with the Yorkie. S's son, who is about 8 or 9, must have said good bye to Mystic at least five times, and broke my heart when he asked me if I knew of any labs having puppies soon. He really misses their dog, who was from the litter prior to Sunrise. It was sad to take the dogs home, but nice to know that all around, everyone had enjoyed the time.

Julie, now that you have mastered photo posting, you need to post that picture of Ajax on with a silly caption.

I did manage to get all the annual pots except one very large one dumped out. The empty pots are stacked near the garage door, ready to go inside. I was going to move them in, but opening that door let a small hurricane into the garage, so I decided to defer that job! Couldn't believe how strong the wind was blowing.

Mary, I sympathize with the shovel purchase. We have many duplicate items on hand because the first one was never put away in the proper place. I have a new phenomena cropping up lately - food items that I didn't purchase. Tonight I found a half full container of Ben & Jerry's Vermonty Python. I rarely buy ice cream and have no idea where it came from. But I do know where it went!


    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 9:09PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Great to see Norma posting...and posting...and posting LOL ! Is DSL not available there? We have it out here in the boondocks.

Speaking of fruit flies/gnats, I hate those little buggers, and we have them frequently. (I don't have to cover my wine though...LOL)

My digestive saga continues. Hurting all day, but didn't let it keep me home. Drove right on by the One Stop coming home this noon, because I felt too bad to stop. We missed a meal there with friends. A couple of the ladies from church followed us, with that intent. :-(
I am going to try eating only oatmeal for awhile, and see if the discomfort goes away. If it isn't gone by tuesday, I may call on my doctor. I really hate to, because I think it will mean a trip to the hospital.

A freeze is predicted for in the morning...30F. I was hoping to cut back the tender plants outside, but was ailing too much....oh well. I hate black mushy plants! They smell bad too...

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 9:12PM
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Another quick drop in from the road. Got a small glass of wine and am tonight at a Best Western in Ashland Oregon, awaiting time to walk a few blocks to the theater for our viewing of A Midsummer Nights Dream.Today we drove for about 5 hours, and will be the same tommorow, though only scenic for the first two, and then it's back into to the un-lovely central valley of California.We have had beautiful weather for our trip, but have taken very few pics.The fall colors in NW Oregon were fabu ...BILs Brug in Portland was covered with flowers.jeesh.

Kathy in Ashland

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 9:37PM
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PM, I meant to comment on the lovely photograph of the Aspens you posted. Lately I've been quite taken with yellows and melon colored foliage. And the tree work you've had done makes a huge difference in your view, no wonder you smile every time you look at it, I would, too! Never ceases to amaze me how doing something like that can really add some "spit and polish" to a yard.

I have a nagging suspicion that Deanne is again suffering the woes of 'puter deprivation. I can only imagine the frustration involved. I thought of you this weekend, wondering if you were busily at work in your yard, soaking up the deliciously warm weather. I'll bet both cats were really diggin' the "safari scene", mine sure were!

The helpmeet has to help me move the washing machine this morning. It was in nearly perpetual use yesterday (6 loads, including some long postponed blankets!) and even empty it's a tad too heavy for me to move easily alone. I can only imagine the state of the floor underneath it... shudder. Once the floor is washed I will have the satisfaction of crossing that chore off the list. Helpmeet has yet to finish the fibreglassing of the deck, having abandonned it several times since it was started in late July... . He has become increasingly testy about its status, there has been a lot of sighing and repeated frustrations about how uncooperative the weather's been, the fact that the supply house ran out of the fabric, etc., etc.. Yeah, right. I have managed to keep my lip buttoned on the subject, too, refusing to even "go there" ;) . Maybe today will be the day.

I chuckled at the comment about putting the coaster ON the wine glass and not under it, Julie. Where do Fruit flies come from, anyway? They're ubiquitious... I even saw two lonely ones in our kitchen yesterday. Good to know the PARTEE! was a hit. I can't even feature 40 of the little urchins fully costumed, seems more like a recipe for disaster than a Halloween party. (what letter(s) does the apostrophe in "Hallowe'en" replace? Hallowed evening or something similar?). Congratulations on the completion of the floor, you must feel like a million bucks knowing you may now reclaim your home!

Sounds as though V. had a terrific "homecoming" experience, as did the dogs. I have a silly vision of her toolin' down the road toward college-land with "The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" crankin' in the car, but I know that's not accurate. I'm impressed that you actually sat through a football game, in the cold even!(you couldn't pay me enough to sit through a football game or a Nascar race, and that's sayin' something!).

I hope pestilence vanishes from Idyll households soon. Nice to see Norma's posts, too. I have to come up with some sort of container soon if I'm going to drag in any of the "germamiums" in for some winter color. At present I still have no houseplants. ;)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 7:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

"pestilence " indeed. I'm very sick of it....

Tea and oatmeal cookies for breakfast this morning, sitting at the keyboard with Phoebe gnawing at a bome by my side. Eight in the morning and I'm ready for a nap!

Had a nice visit with friends last night and good food, talk and NO dishes to wash. ;) Between the 4 adults present, there are six children ranging from 19 to 37, so lots of catching up on their lives. The condo where we assembled is newly purchased and recently painted by our friend Margaret. We were the first (least intimidating) guests. For the first time ever a condo doesn't seem so awful to me. On the 5th floor, it has a lovely treed view, many windows, and a decent layout. (About 1400 square feet) Very nice and personal.

Tonight (late!) the gang returns from their holiday. I'm both excited and nervous about all this entails.

Soggy weather here today...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 8:14AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What a beautiful day it was yesterday. Got outside for a very short walk around the yard, but feeling it today. Not feeling like I am making enough progress, so call to the Doctor today. *sigh*

More yellow foliage trees from National Geographic, Chelone.. :-)

Hellos all around!

Maple leaves catch the sun in a hammock's-eye view of autumn foliage in the Fox River region of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

(Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Hemingway's Many Hearted Fox River," June 1997, National Geographic magazine)

Photograph by Jay Dickman

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 8:37AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well it seems that finally my lap-top is up and running again. Three times now Doug has had to do a major fix on my computer. All three times have been because of installing Microsoft updates. When I did the required reboot somehow the updates corrupted or lost some of the operating files. So, the system was hosed. The last time Doug was able to do a restore instead of having to re-format the hard drive which he had to do the first two times. Jerri has been kindly helping me out with this and told me that some of these Microsoft updates have Vista code in them. Hmmmmm. Now that really makes me want to get a new computer with Vista on it. NOT! Anyway, I do have my large PC downstairs in the office/studio but I rarely go down there in the mornings so Ive just not made the time to post. Anyway, lap-top is back again and Im hoping it stays this way. I told Doug that Im not going to download any more updates from Microsoft, Ill let him do that.

Im about 75% done with my fall de-potting chores and the garage is starting to look a bit more organized and less like a chaotic, messy greenhouse. Most of the fuchsias are pruned back and the ones needing repotting are done. I just have five containers left that have to be taken apart. I get to this stage and I feel like chucking them in the compost but one of them is at the top of my favorites list and I do want to save the Billy Green fuchsia, Plectranthus and Acalypha that are in there so Ill be back at it today.

The oak trees are starting to look gorgeous with those rusty, red, and sienna tones they get in the fall before turning brown. If I had to choose Id have to say the oak colors are my favorites. The climbing hydrangea is turning bright yellow and the fothergilla is also getting its fall color. Lovely!

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is only a month away! Id best start planning. It looks like we are going to have another crowd here again this year. Its a great party but piles of work. So worth it though.

Chelone, we had a roast turkey breast dinner with mashed potatoes, butternut squash, fresh steamed green beans and tossed salad for dinner Friday. I called Doug and asked him to come home early and stop by the grocery on his way home so the day was saved. ~~ I LOL over your zipping your lips over the unfinished project. I have to say absolutely nothing about stuff like that or its the kiss of death. If I complain even once about something hes left undone it will never be finished. So 36 years of marriage has taught me patience. Actually, I guess it isnt patience rather its seething quietly. LOL

Bug. Your gardens are gorgeous! I love all the pics but especially the cotinus and tamarack.

Michelle, Ill bet your house smelled divine with all that baking. Are you done with fall cleanup yet? Ive not really touched the gardens and might wait for most of that until spring except picking up the mushies.

PM love the new sky view. You must be so happy about that. ~~ Im not really due for a new computer yet as this laptop is only a couple years old. Im thinking of getting a new larger hard drive though as I only have 17 GB left of a 142GB hard drive. Too many pictures LOL.

It sounds like Kathy had a terrific time in Oregon, V a great weekend and Julies partygoer had a ball.

I surely hope all who are not feeling well get better soon.

Have a great day all, Im off to get some exercise and to try to finish repotting the rest of the plants in the garage.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 9:30AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Our low apparently stopped at 32F this morning. There was no heavy dew, due to the strong winds yesterday, so there is no frost on the car. And no ice on the rainwater tub. I bet there will be tomorrow morning.

The elephant ears are drooping. I expect blackness of tender plants when the sun hits them. :-( And it is about to top the hill as I type.

Marie, oatmeal and 50% coffee for me this morning. And a glass of water to wash down all my morning pills! Probably shouldn't even have the coffee. The oatmeal was the type with fruit (peaches) in it.

Pm2, I forgot to tell you....Aspens are native in the area where I was born. I am with Chelone on their beauty. I wish they would grow here. My sis had one in her lower land Boise yard, and some friends in Jerome had several in their front yard. BTW, I do not think the NG pics are enhanced. They probably do not want enhanced pics?
Sorry your back is still out of whack.

I was up at 6 and restoked the fire, then went back to bed until 7. 7 will be 6 in a week, and that is when I will get up. I am SO counting the days to when we get back to "God's time" :-).
Tommy spent a greater part of the night snuggled up against my stomach. Maybe he has some healing power that he was trying to work on me???? (g)
Trubby was warming Nolon's bed.
It was still 60F in the livingroom when I got up at 6, and again at 7.

Kathy I hope you are taking pics of your NW visit and will share with us. My brother lived in Portand over 40 years, and is now in Albany. That is a beautiful area.

Woody, sorry about Mysty, but glad she has company to lift her spirits. I hope the meds are helping her.

Julie, I do not envy you at all with all the partying. My family was never involved with such activities. My ex-DIL and the granddaughters are. I do not feel as though I have missed out on anything. :-)
Your bamboo flooring sounds and looks lovely, but I am with Woody on passing due to it's slickness. I am not good at 'skating' on slick floors. :-)
Yes, good response to the rude woman. Such people amaze me. It reminded me of several years ago when we used to go to area wide singings at neighboring congregations. At one, the women all sang alto. I am a first soprano. I noticed some whispering going on in the pew in front of me, and some sideways looks. After the singing was over, and we were outside visiting, a small boy came up to me and said, "Lady, you don't sing good" ! If I had been having a better day it may have been funny, but it hurt! I knew his remark had came from his mother. I just told him I was singing to God the best that I could. (Even middle-age ladies can have their feelings hurt.) :-(

Norma, I forgot to tell you...I hope Wyatt isn't very sick.

V, quite an interesting time that you had at the college anniversary. Lots of good eating going on !
I am with Chelone on the football and the Nascar...I'll pass.

Okay...more 'memory road"...the 'lost shovel' stories (finally) reminded me of when I was a child. I broke the handle in my father's shovel. I hid it under a shed ! I never heard it mentioned. Maybe he thought he had lost it ? lol..

Chelone, I used to be able to move our washer. It sets on a cement floor, so I don't have to worry about damaging the floor. I walked it back and forth to get it out of it's 'spot'. I think I still can.... Out there, I don't worry about what is under it. :-)

Okay, sun is up, and things look droopy and blackening. Yuck!


    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 10:08AM
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Good morning all, waiting for DS to arise while enjoying my hotel continental breakfast and bad coffee, lol.
Chelone, you need to describe to me the purpose for fiberglassing the deck ? Try as I might I'm not envisioning the procedure involved or what the result is supposed to be ? And I must say, moving the washing machine to clean under it sounds like the ultimate JJob to me.

All for me this morning , time to beging to get the vehicle in readiness for travel...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 12:28PM
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We fibreglassed the deck to make it waterproof, Kathy. That way we had additional "dry" storage area underneath it, since the deck is quite high. There is a very pleasant sitting area there that looks out over the backyard (when it's not filled with junk). For some anniversary I made a series of screen panels that snap on to enclose it.

Fibreglassing begins with a gallon of resin and a little vile filled with "hardener" that is added in proportion to the resin to get the hard finish. You roll the resin out and place fabric on areas that need reinforcment, continuing to roll over the fabric with more resin. Not difficult, just sort of fiddly. The result is a smooth, waterproof finish that can be laid down in a variety of colors (we've gone with grey). The downside is that it can be slippery and also that it can crack in really cold weather.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 1:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi folks!
My brain is out of commission this evening, but I thought I'd give you some light reading instead of my typical scintillating report. For Saucy, the last item might be of particular interest.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 8:42PM
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Good evening friends, back in Napa and watching the series and relaxing after a flurry of watering. It was obviously not as warm here as was predicted because the fried plants I feared did not happen. However, all the summer annuals look uniformly crappy after several days without deadheading. No frost predicted on the horizon, but I think I will do a pre-emptive strike and pull a few of the rattier looking stuff up in the next few days. There is actually rain in the forcast for later this week, hoping it arrives.

Chelone, thanks for the splanation on the helpmeets fiberglassing project. I am familiar with the products you mentioned as we carry them at my place of employment , and most folks I think use them for boats or other vehicular-type items. It had never occurred to me that one would use them on a deck. Most decks here are either redwood or composite, and of course we have no summer rain .

Norma, so nice to have you hanging out with us on a more regular basis. I lold about the coaster on top too ! If I dont finish a glass of wine in the evening I always put the coaster on top and frugally conserve for the next night. It doesnt seem they are as interested in white wine does it ?
I have also pledged that I will never step inside another Chuckie Cheese as long as I live. Beg me, bribe me, it will be to no avail. I remember when we had one of DSs b-days at a local bowling alley. This worked out well for me because I LOVE pinball, and the bowling alley seems to be the only place in Napa that has numerous machines. So I left DH with the screaming meemies and I hid out in the arcade playing pinball.

V , coincidentally the best ever mac and cheese for me occured his summer at a restaurant in Chicago whose name I can never remember. It is on Michigan Ave on the river, NW side in the shadow of the round buildings and the name sounds like it shoud be a law firm. Mac and cheese had truffles. Hideously expensive, really really good !

Deanne, it was interesting to note the different tones in the fall color as I moved north on this trip. I really noticed what you were referring to to re: the rusty red tones in the extreme north of California in our high plains country at the base of Mt Shasta. The colors there were very like that, and as we moved north the yellows and more fiery reds prevailed. We took very few pics on this trip, I think because we actually took a full day off each end and there was just not much time.

Marian, the best fall color we saw was in the Willamette Valley in the Albany-Salem-Corvallis area. Do you remember what area of Portland your brother lived in? I love how all the neighborhoods have names i.e Bridlemile, Selwood, Parkrose , etc..

Can anyone (Marie??) identify this Clem ? Flowers are smallish and this is a fall re-bloom. I found the purple color to look slightly muddier in person. There is a slight red stripe, and the flower is smallish..2 to 2.5 in diameter From portland oct 08 From portland oct 08

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 11:24PM
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Its going to get cold here tonight around 15° I finished the final 2 containers tonight and everything is organized in the basement. Rick added another 8 light for me. Ive done very little garden cleanup other than the potager, pots and cannas and elephant ears, as everything has looked so good. Im sure tomorrow will be a different story. I really like putting the garden to bed in the fall. Everything seems so much more in order in my mind for the winter.

I dug the last of the carrots and came away with more than a 5 gallon pail full. There were also a few kohlrabi left as well. Dinner was grilled salmon with you guessed it cooked carrots and kohlrabi. It was nearly 9 pm when we ate but that is typical farm life. Rick wasnt in yet so I used the time to get the webcam set up and spend a little time with Kenzie and family. They are in shorts and tank tops. Im sipping cappuccino since its so cold here. The left over whip cream from yesterdays dessert tastes great with cappuccino.

bug, fabulous pictures! The monkshood looks great with the gold tree in the background. Were the grasses by the pond all planted by you?

Deanne, I know the feeling about the last pots. The last 2 that I did tonight of course had the pelargonium that I sent you, a fuchsia Sunray and a e. Diamond Frost that I just needed to keep LOL

The fall containers only have their rust colored mums left. Frost got the rest so I pulled those out and piled some extra gourds around the mums.

Yesterday we had some ferocious winds. When we went to church there were numerous large branches down in town. I think it blew all the way to Chicago.

V, your weekend sounds like it was jam packed with fun and good food.

Today involved an emergency dentist appointment. I broke a tooth on Sat. night. I lucked out and it was an easy fix with no novocaine involved.

Norma, lucky you to have visitors from FL ;o)

Im glad to see Julie survived the Partee!

My JJ for the day was to enter 2 months worth of farm bookwork into the computer. I always get behind during the summer, only 2 more to go to be caught up.

Hey Brenda, I make DH was his own work clothes meanie that I am!

Good to see Norma and PM. Good thoughts to all who are under the weather.

Thats all my brain can come up with tonight. Sorry the post is so disjointed.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 11:27PM
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The helpmeet is no happier about the status of the deck than he was a few weeks ago. He "ran out" of resin so the portion nearest the door is as yet without the final coat. The tools for the project are still in the dining area this morning (it's been nearly 3 mos.). Perphaps they will be put away when I return home this afternoon. I moved everything off the deck for him yesterday morning, schlepping all the iron furniture (4 chairs, the table base, and its top) down the stairs and around to the area under the deck. I moved the little side tables, too. The couch was a joint effort. Not a word of thanks, so intent was he on the task at hand... . This is the sort of thing that drives me nuts; doesn't it make more sense to form a plan, organize the requisite tools and materials, and then get it DONE and clean up the trail all in one fell swoop? What do I know? (I just do that sort of thing all day, every day I'm at work). I suspect the JulieJobs I've been crossing off the list have simply underscored his own inability to "get it out of first gear". ;)

We "went to town" yesterday afternoon. I picked up a mason's towel for the chimney project as well as a 7" pointing trowel for loading the stuff onto the bigger one. I have all the ingredients, as well as two fact sheets that clearly explain the mixing and the process. The only thing missing is a watertight wheelbarrow, the pressure sprayer, and the mason's hoe (has a hole in the centre of the blade). Helpmeet volunteered to round up the pressure sprayer and see to the watertight part of the wheelbarrow issue.

My project for this afternoon is to get the doors for the bahn's attic area stained (first coat). I'm really tired of looking at plastic tacked over the opening and it probably won't survive the winter as is.

I have a large, boring project to finish this morning at work. And then it's on to my favorite seasonal work... cleaning, polishishing, mending, and bagging all the big curtains from the commercial jobs. "Wax on, wax off", say I, waxing nostalgic for all the times I've done this before.

Gotta get rolling now, though.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 5:34AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Marian....I have never seen an aspen except in photos. They remind me of our canoe birch, but look very different up close in a photo. Sorry your stomach is still bothering you. Hope you don't wait too long to check with the doctor.

Gardenbug...hope you are getting your cold over with for the whole winter. :-) Look forward to hearing how S&W enjoyed their trip. Hoping for a smooth 're-entry' for them.

Kathy back in how about a trip report? I hope a separate thread with photos is coming soon.

Michelle...sounds like the Webcam is working out for you, with Kenzie. Getting used to it?

Deanne...your turkey dinner has my mouth

I can't believe Thanksgiving is a month away either. We made our Thanksgiving plans on Sunday after dinner. I think we are going to stick to traditional Turkey with all the fix'ns. Christmas is still up in the air. Last year we did a rib roast but goose is being considered this year. DS will not be able to make it home for Thanksgiving, but will for Chirstmas.

Norma...I've noticed gnats since I brought the houseplants in. I forget what the cure is, I thought it was a layer of gravel or sand or something on the top of the soil? really know how to enjoy a weekend. :-)

Chelone...enjoying your chatty posts.

I'm sorry, I've run out of steam...hellos to Woody, Martie, Sue, Mary, Saucy, Julie and those in 'pause' mode. [g]


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 5:58AM
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Good morning! Quick post from me this morning - I'm headed to the Boston Museum of Science with Sarah's I'm not looking forward to traveling by yellow bus to Boston, but I'm excited to go to the museum, so it all evens out in the end :)

We had a busy weekend. I poked my head in here, but could never quite get myself to post. Feeling a bit down lately...luckily no colds in our house, GB!

I had heard the allergy/local honey thing quite a while back. I also used to know someone who ate another bee product (propolis?) and I thought it tasted terribly bitter. I'm not sure why they were ingesting this horrible concoction.

Michelle, I thought of you yesterday as I cleaned the husks from from castor bean seeds. Of course I would love some cardoon seeds. I will try to think up a fair trade!

I guess I'd better go and get showered and put on the suitable museum attire, approved by Sarah. I am heating up soup for our thermos now! It's supposed to be raw today!

TTYL friends!


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 6:32AM
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It's still absolutely dark here and I'm with Marian, I can't wait for the time change!! Also pouring rain and the "S" word is in the forecast for about 50 miles north of here. Winds that will knock little kids over are also expected.

Funny Hallowe'en chaos on Sunday: Saturday was blustery, to say the least. I had a witch's hat affixed to the plant hanger with a pumpkin underneath to look like it was wearing it. I digress.... Anyway -- in the wind the hat blew off, and I spent the rest of the day imagining some little munchkin finding that hat in their backyard and their poor parents needing to explain.....

Guess you can all guess that it's been serious around here lately if this is the main means of humor?????? LOL

For Michelle -- first off, glad you can "see" Kenzie and am hoping she enjoyed/will enjoy her trip to the Princesses. Second, Rich and I cracked up the other day at the thought of how little work it will be to do business books this year. "A lot easier than last year, Mart?" "Ya, Hon, when there's no income it's *really* easy!!"

The benefit is that my tax deductions are acting more like a savings account this year. For that I am grateful.

Ignored my own advice and brought intact Pineapple Sage, Black and Blue Sage, Bonfire Begonia and a uniquely colored New Guinea Impatiens into the garage. First time using the east facing window there, and all seem quite happy. Cuttings taken "in case", of course.

Waiting for pics of travels.

Sounds like a lot of partying and happy voices out there! Very cool.

Work will be a trial for a bit. Very, very hard to conduct biz as usual with three "goodbye" parties (use the term loosely) scheduled for people I will truly miss. Also getting used to a new s-l-ooooo-w pace of getting stuff done with minimal staffing behind us. Clients seem to be smooth with the whole thing. One inherited client kindly told me that he had heard that if he had to give up X, he was glad he got me. Still hard.

Best to everyone! Sharing in Holiday planning with this group will be especially delightful this year. We've just started, too.

Waving to Everyone from Continental coast to coast!


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 6:54AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Yesterday I got all the dahlias in their bags of peat and then got those bags nestled into their boxes for winter storage. ( I was thinking of Honey as I was doing the dahlias and wishing she was still posting) The brugmansias are in their garbage bags ready to make the trek down the cellar stairs and I could actually fit one of the cars back into the garage if I rearranged things. Ive still got a massive amount of potting up to do. Earlier I just pruned things back, dug them out of the containers and set them aside to do later. Well later has arrived and I need to get potting today if I dont want to lose things. It amazes me just how much abuse the abutilons, acalyphas, geraniums and fuchsias can tolerate. Then I need to get some things cut back in the borders and Ill call it the end of garden year 2008. Well maybe not, one of the nurseries locally is selling off their trees and shrubs for 50% off and Id like to see what they have for evergreens. Most anything thats hardy to a zone 4 does well in pots here. Im thinking of adding some green to the west fence border in the back yard for the winter if I find something nice and cheap.

Looks pretty gloomy outside this morning but the temp was 50 when I got up! I think its supposed to rain later but what a surprise to wake up to such a warm morning. The weather forecast originally predicted 33. Tonight we are also supposed to get those winds Martie was mentioning. Time to batten down the hatches.

Saucy, have a great time at the Museum. Its a great destination.

PM we always have the traditional roast turkey dinner for Thanksgiving but also have a smoked turkey breast and a ham. Twenty-four people eat an amazing amount of food on turkey day.

Chelone, sounds like your deck project is on the Never-Never Plan. He never plans to finish..LOL

Michelle, I think that part of the problem with disassembling the last pots is because I tend to keep my favorite pots together for as long as I can so of course they have my favorite plants in them that I really want to keep. Id almost decided not to save any of the Diamond Frost this year as they really are a messy plant in the house but I had one mono-pot of it that I decided to hang onto for cuttings. I swear its a disease.

Kathy, glad youre home safe and that the gardens didnt fry in your absence. I hope you get the predicted rain. ~~ That clematis looks like Etoile Violette.

OK time to get in gear and get to work. Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 8:44AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The cold is different the chest and ears, less in the nose. You wanted to hear that, right? ;)

Kathy, that clematis is one I wouldn't dare make a guess on. Just too many out there like it. At this time of year the blooms would be small. Could be EV, among others. The colors never come out right in photos....

I am anxious to hear from S & W of course, but their re-entry will no doubt be very complicated. I hope they manage well!

Michelle, the grasses by the pond itself are all natural. I was told leaving tall grasses/weeds there would prevent geese from taking over. So far it has worked pretty well. Very near the pond is an island bed where I have planted ornamental grasses and mostly Fall perennials. That has been my most successful planting ever I think. Huron Sunrise and Morning Light are two of them...and unfortunately I can't recall the others.

Today promises more adventures on the insurance front, chimney stuff, toilet repairs and carbon monoxide detectors. What fun!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 9:28AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The Ginkgo has started doing it's thing. I took a pic of it at 8:30 A.M., and in just an hour, half of the leaves had dropped! So far there is no wind, so they are all nicely gathered at it's 'feet'. :-)

It was 28 out this morning. Ice on the water containers. Fire in the wood stove. ;-)

I am improving, healthwise, but am staying home today. I have narrowed the ailment down to mostly a gall bladder attack. I have had lesser attacks in the past, and had sonograms, but nothing shows up.

Chelone, I gave up a long time ago in expecting Nolon to do what needs done around our house. He is only motivated by disasters, and when the spirit moves him. I have become quite adept at accepting seeing the place fall apart. :-(
As long as the roof remains over our head, I will wait it out! If I were strong and healthy, I would have probably done more of it myself. But it is just not my expertise! ( I'd rather grow
If I ever struck it rich, I would have a deck built outside the master bedroom, with a door going out there for an emergency exit. Also, I would have a plantroom built on the southeast end of the house, with a door going out the diningroom into it. It would be a place that I could keep my plants in year around.
A body can dream, can't they??


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:57AM
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PM, the webcam is nice but not crystal clear when I use full screen. DSIL says its our internet connection. We have the only high speed available to us other than satellite. I doubt whether that would improve it. It works better if Kenzie just stands and talks to us rather than bouncing around which is more her norm. It is still better than just a phone call. When you mentioned the holidays, I was trying to remember how many children you have, 2 DD and 1 DS? How close do they all live? All the tree pictures have been awesome. The last ones were a neat perspective looking up. The aspens were just starting to turn when we were in Colorado.

A little Halloween story while on the webcam my glasses were reflecting my computer screen and it did look weird. Kenzie says "Gramma your eyes look like a monster" I removed the glasses and looked like Gramma again.

Saucy, email your address. Ive been trying to get all the seeds collected, mostly those that Ive had to send for and cant find locally.

Martie, sorry to hear that things have been so slow for Rich this year.

Deanne, do prune back all the plants you bring in? What about the fuchsias? I actually have several that got to a good size this year. I pruned 2 back but havent the 3rd. Ive tried the dormancy thing a couple years ago and didnt have good luck. I do that same thing leaving the pots together that are my favorites.

Thanksgiving plans are in the works here too. We will have DHs kids the weekend after. With one DIL that is a RN and all the "other sides" finding a date is tough. My family (siblings/parents) will get together on Thanksgiving Day.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 11:41AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Michelle, yes I do prune back most everything I bring in the house except for sansevieras, dracenas and the cordylines... But, all the fuchsia, acalypha, euphorbia, alternanthera etc do get pruned back to the nubs and I strip off all the leaves. The one coleus, the standard, that I bring in whole also gets that same treatment. I'll get a photo of that standard for you the next time I get the camera out. I've found that most of those leaves that were grown outside will fall off eventually anyway and I have less of a problem with insects when I don't try to save any of the leaves.

I didn't prune the Rex Begonias or one of my large cane type begonias back that severely and it will be interesting to see how long it takes them to erupt with a colony of aphids. LOL


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 1:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

After a dark and rainy day, the sun just came out! The air is balmy and our front Maple is finally showing it's colors.

Michelle, we have a Webcam but haven't tried ours yet. Yes we have 3 children, 2DS and 1 DD. Our youngest will be 26 in 2009. Only one son lives away in New York going to school. We all miss him and wish he were closer, so we could see him more often.

Deanne...That's a lot of people over for Thanksgiving, is it at your house? I brought in cuttings from my one and only coleus and they rooted in water. Do you keep yours in water all winter and pot them up in the spring?

Martie...also sorry to hear things are slow for Rich. I wonder if things may improve after the election?

Marian...what a riot how that Ginko drops their leaves so suddenly!

So, what I really want to know is what everyone is eating with their turkey this year? Tried and true traditional side dishes, or something new? Are desserts the same every year? Pies?


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 3:46PM
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Break time.. looked at several pics of EV this morning and it could be the ticket. I will suggest to BILs and they may care to go where they can see a tagged specimen in person to confirm. I spent the morning laying in food supplies-had not been grocery shopping since I began my 10-day work marathon . The cupboard was bare. I took the opportunity of said bareness to perform a JJ of cleaning the pantry (wipe down and all) and a reorganization as well.

PM, you will be doomed to disappointment on my trip pics, as I only took 13, and 4 of them was the afore posted Clematis. Will see what DSs photos look like, though Mr. Baby aside, the fast majority of them were taken out the car window while barreling up or down Interstate 5 !

More later
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 4:00PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Michelle - We have a webcam here too. Randy got it to keep in touch and play guitar with a friend in Switzerland who has unfortunately been battling early-onset Parkinson's disease and cancer too. I agree that it works best if you're not moving about too much but it's a great way to keep in touch over long distances.

PM2 - that maple is certainly showing color :-) It's incredibly windy here today and a lot of trees are now rather naked - including our ash. I like the rusty gold colors of the ash leaves on the patio. Randy is not amused though by the copious volumes in the eavestroughs!

Unlike Martie and Marian, I do not look forward to the time change. I'd rather it stay lighter in the evening than in the morning. I can't walk safely in the dark so once the time changes, it's too dark by the time Randy gets home to go for our usual evening walk with Misty.

Chelone - here it's usually me with the unfinished projects. Randy is very good about finishing things he starts - getting him to start is another matter... :-)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 4:16PM
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PM, the pumpkin cheesecake that I made this weekend would be a great addition to Thanksgiving Day desserts. Fairly easy too. I haven't thought over my menu, but usually stay with the traditional fare. Although, I thought of substituting candied carrots for sweet potatoes after my huge haul last night.

I'm another who likes it lighter in the evening. I can get up in the dark, but garden cleanup and walking are no fun in the dark.

Kathy, I'd love to see a recent Mr. Baby pic.

Deanne, back to the nubs and stripped sounds scary to me.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 4:31PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes Woody, I imagine the wind is the cause of our power outage this afternoon. It messed up my laundry activities as well as dinner prep. It is nice to have the heat back on. 37F isn't a great indoor temperature.

Well, I did manage to begin The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry and I am certainly enjoying it so far! Reading takes no electric power thank goodness.

I spoke briefly with Sarah this morning, but certainly not enough. Indeed their week is filled with terrible stuff to accomplish. There's a Bob Dylan concert in there somewhere (which they'll enjoy) and several doctor appointments too. Fingers and toes crossed for them over the next few weeks please as they face more challenges.

These are tough times for me as it seems everyone I know has a crisis going on. We'll plod on through...

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 4:38PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Gardenbug....Not feeling good always makes everything worse, too. Do hot baths help? Maybe with some essential oils? I hope you will feel better soon and things start looking up. You could use a break!

Michelle...glazed carrots are a favorite way of serving carrots here. Steamed, then sauteed on the top of the stove in some butter and brown sugar. We also do a Sweet Potatoe casserole that is really just whipped sweet potatoes, with marshmallows on the top and put under the broiler for a minute. A once a year treat. Pumpkin Cheesecake sounds good! Does anyone have room after dinner? [g] Sounds like a great breakfast, too! I look forward to Ricotta Pies at Christmas time and those are great for breakfast, too.

Woody...thankfully, our oldest son doesn't mind getting up in the gutters once all the leaves are down. I would enjoy some photos of naked trees [g] and a close up of the ash bark.

I'd rather it be light in the afternoon and if it has to be dark, in the morning. Doesn't it end up being dark in the morning and dark by dinner time anyway? [g]

Kathy...sometimes it's better to just relax and enjoy the scenery. Especially coming off a 10 day work marathon. :-)

Saucy...DH has always enjoyed the Museum of Science. Were there any special exhibits?

Chelone....I almost forgot, I think I saw you mentioning what a pudding lover you are. So am I. We grew up on Bread Pudding, with raisans and whipped cream. My Mom used to make a Grapenut pudding too. Actually they used to sell it in restaurants a lot when I was growing up, but I never see it any more. Love Chocolate pudding with whipped cream and Indian Pudding is my all time favorite with Vanilla Ice Cream. They have a pretty good one at Faneuil Hall in Boston and I've had it at the Maine Diner. I've tried making it at home and it has been good, but I am still looking for a better recipe.

For some reason, thinking about the holidays, I suddenly have food on the


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 5:31PM
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I'm thinking of the holidays too, but I have visions of simulated fruit, evergreens, boards and staples dancing in my head. :)

Trees are quickly being denuded by the whipping winds here too (your maple is beautiful, PM). I was really surprised to see the sun come out this afternoon, wasn't expecting that at all. Mr. Weatherman has said we will receive another round of wet, raw, and windy tonight and into tomorrow. We have the stove going and it's really cozy in here now, with the animals sacked out in a variety of locations.

We had chicken soup for an early dinner, it was perfect. Thanksgiving is one of my days to cook. I make my own stuffing (herbed bread). I prepare, stuff, and tend the turkey, and make the gravy (a source of wonder to the helpmeet who never learned how, believe it, or not). I prep. the potatoes (mashed), and the vegetables which we generally prefer steamed to a nice snap (add your own butter, etc.). Typical offerings are carrots, broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts from the gahden. And there is always some sort of winter squash, nicely seasoned with seasonal spices (add your own butter). The helpmeet "brings it on home" since his timing with vegetables is leagues ahead of mine! I have been thinking about making baked onions with a nice cream sauce this year. Mum used to make them and they were lovely. Generally, there is an apple or pumpkin pie (sometimes both), but I've been thinking about a nice custard pie (my favorite) for some time now. I like to really set the table nicely, too. I will spend a good deal of thought thinking about the table linen, the dishes, the stemware, the serveware, and the silverware. We extend an invite to BIL, my brother, and sometimes to a couple of friends. The whole idea is that the day is relaxed and FUN and all everyone has to do is just hang out and enjoy a nice meal at a pretty table. A lot of work for me, but it's fun and I get a kick out of using all the "family stuff" that's come my way in the past few years.

'bug, your spirits must have lifted immeasurably to hear Sarah's voice this morning. Yes, the coming weeks will hold untold challenges for them, but hopefully their time together away from the hub of home has given them the time and privacy necessary to recharge themselves a little bit. I think of you often and wonder if you've been able to do the same thing in your own way.

I put the first of two coats of bleaching oil on the doors that will go on the bahn. The insulating panel is installed over the pull-down attic ladder in the Salon so the heat won't just go up through it and into the attic space, and I fired up the furnace out there. The programmable thermostat is going to be a bit of challenge at first, I think! The next project out there is the skimcoat on the chimney (gulp). All masonry tools are on site and the only thing left is to summon the gumption to "make mud pies". I know I'm being stupid about it, it's not as if it's brain surgery or something... what a ninny I am!

That's all for me, now. Time to polish the teeth and spend some quality time with the Black Death... (timely for Halloween, yes?).


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 7:31PM
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No plans for Thanksgiving yet here, but I have been coaxed into traveling to Oregon for Christmas again this year. I am truly trying to cut down on travel with no success ! Probably Orlando in Feb, and several more un-firmed up travels in the works, business and otherwise. (IU6 summer camp is top priority ).

I am the designated gravy maker in the family. Not sure how I perfected this, but I am always pressed upon to make the gravy, whatever the meat course happens to be. Family members peer at me as I work, though no one has ever asked me to write down a recipe-pretty sure they know that gravy making cant really be written down and is a processafter you finish with The Plague Chelone, I have a great book on the Cholera epidemic in London . The book is upstairs so I dont have the title or author handy but will post tomorrow. Might as well get all the death and destruction out of the way at once !

Bread Pudding always reminds me of the infamous True Value trade show salmonella outbreak at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago- traced to the raw egg glaze on the bread pudding. I ate but did not get sick, though all my co-workers did.

bug, good vibes out to S&W as they work through the next months.

DS will download his Oregon pics soon , and I will bestow a Mr Baby pic at Michelles behest!

Deanne, I bring most of my begonias inside for the winter , though some of them are getting quite large and there are a couple that I take the risk leaving out in a protected location, with cuttings taken just in case". Ive been taking coleus cuttings too, since I keep re-purchasing them every year and that is just plain stupid with a plant that roots so easily.

Dont be blue Saucy ! Go look in the mirror and view the cheekbones everyone wishes they had, then go visit the bees, and if all else fails close your eyes and think of gin and tonics accompanied by a straw concert at IU5

Thats about all for me tonight, going to watch a movie as I await resumption of the series

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 8:45PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I never finished last night's post as there was nothing of any substance to say. And not much more today, but here goes!

DIL-2B has picked out bridesmaid dresses - pale lavender with a chocolate brown sash. I'm thinking that pots of Heuchera Mocha with blooming lavender and some Diamond Frost thrown in for froth would be fun. There is a patio to decorate, you know!

I swore I wasn't going to try and save the variegated geranium on the front porch, but on Sunday it looked so I nice I took pity on it and saved it. It was a chilly 28 degrees when I got up this morning. Amazingly, the purple petunias still look good, as do the Iris Immortality. The Iris has been blooming non-stop since Labor Day weekend.

'bug, I sure hope that you are feeling better soon, and that S & W are faring well. "Re-entry" is always tricky, and even more so in their case.

So here's one of the reasons that I am occasionally grousy about life at the awf-ice. (HEY! where's Cindy?) Two of the employees that I work with are married to each other. On top of that, this couple is good friends with the owner and his wife. So I feel very awkward whenever there's any issue with either of these two; I'm sure that whatever I may say is discussed after hours. Today, the wife called me with a question on how they were signed up for the health plan. When I started to explain what her husband had decided, she interrupted me and said that I made them sign up that way to save the company money. Huge, uncomfortable feeling ensues. I put something together to show her that what they had done had no effect on how much the company paid, and told her it had been her husband's decision. Cold silence. You see, now that their son has had ortho surgery, the decision they made last year is costing them money. But apparently it's my fault. Le sigh - tomorrow will be an interesting day.

On a happier note, we have Thanksgiving plans underway. We'll be going to SIL's new house. I'm just waiting for my assignment of what to bring. It's fun to host, but it's also fun to be the guest!

Well, it's time to go pack my lunch for tomorrow and pick up a bit more of the daily detritus.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:05PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Sugar maple branches meet over a country road on the Gonyaw farm in Vermont in autumn. Maple trees like these produce a sweet, amber syrup that is enjoyed all over the world.
Photograph by Michael S. Yamashita

Have a great Wednesday!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 5:22AM
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The morning newslady has a cold, 'bug. You can hear that her voice is not its usual melodious self.

The wind appears to have blown out of here and there are many power outages "downeast". High wind warnings are in effect for the area until noontime. Gusts up to 38 knots have been reported! (chinstrap winds).

I don't feel like breakfast right now and will have to put something in a bag for a bit later on. I'm up a bit later than usual this morning but have completed the important morning stuff: feed and water the cats, make coffee, mine the catbox, personal ablutions, Idyll... :)

Lavender and chocolate brown, eh? I love your patio plantings, V., they sound really pretty. I have "Immortality" here, too, but it's in a site that is probably a bit too shady now and the soil is a bit on the rich side. It reblooms occasionally, but didn't this year. Time to re-site it to a less inviting area.

I want to hear about Saucy's ride on the "big yellow taxi" and the delights of the Museum of Science. That oughta shake of the "blues"!

Time to have coffee and pack breakfast.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 5:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is dark dark dark out still...but that should change soon. Today is the mid term exam for DH's 8:30am course. I wonder how many students will claim their alarms didn't go off?

V's talk of lavender and brown reminds me that my friend who attended the quilt exhibit with me has a daughter getting married next June. They are enjoying making all the arrangements for dresses, flowers, food, tent, etc. They are also doing all those things that we never get around to: garden up-dates, new deck, etc...A busy and fun time for the "girls" of the family. The bride has two brothers as well. The reception will be at their very lovely property.

V, the situation with co-workers certainly does sound uncomfortable. When it comes to money and trouble of all sorts...well it always seems as though people want to blame. The point is to move forward. Blame isn't going to improve their little one's health issues.

I tried to avoid medication last night, but this morning I feel dizzy and full of cold once more. Back to pills I guess. :( This afternoon I go to the hospital for some tests. What a drag.

It is time to cage the shrubs and roses against rabbits and mice. I'm hoping for some help with this soon! Snow appears on the forecast a bit too frequently for comfort these days.

We continue to work on insurance "recommendations", which it turns out are a euphemism for "requirements". Who'daknown? No problem changing the fuses to 15 amps or renewing our carbon monoxide detectors. The chimney is the hard part because all the experts are overbooked at this time of year. Also, there's lots of nonsense with regulations not being in line with what is wisest for our situation. Grrrr.

Had a nice chat during dinner with Sarah about their travels. I finally cooked a good meal and she phoned just as we were about to dig into it. So she got put on speaker phone and we heard about their first week of travels. Can't wait for more! They were off to pick up Skyler when we said our goodbyes.

Love the Gonyaw farm in Vermont!!!
Hmmm, STILL dark here...

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:01AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I took a brief look at the photos in Idyll #405 and some really nice ones that I missed.

Denise...congratulations on the birth of Ellie! OMGosh...what a cute photo! Could Katie look more excited and Ellie's head of hair, wow!! lol Now that is a photo that you can't help but smile looking at. :-)

Looks like I missed Cynthia's belated good wishes Cynthia, wondering how you are doing? Any photos of the garden or the animals?

Sue...those two lounge chairs look very comfy and inviting!

Kathy...your photos of the Trefethens vinyard were very good. Especially the one with the balloons in it and the ivy covered wall.

V.......Congratulations! I love the site for the wedding coming up, how exciting! June is not that far away. Have they decided where they are going to be living after the wedding?

Deanne...I've never been to the NYBG, so your photos were a treat. Especially liked the second photo with the asters and dahlias.

Michelle...I really liked the photo of your 'Frosty Morn' Sedum with the Oat Grass. I am about ready to give up on my 'Frosty Morn', it has been flopping and making a nuisance of itself. Is yours in full sun? That sedum in the lower right of your photo is a gorgeous color and looks like velvet. Very nice!

Nothing new happening here...planning a quiet day.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:02AM
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LOL! I just woke from the kookiest dream! Sue, Les, and Monique were there....and lets just say we all got arrested! Sue was a lawyer. It turned out that Les was the "real" culprit. And my bee's hive was torn to peices in the process (by machinery, not my friends, lol).

So that prompts me to wonder: how are Les and Monique? :)

Thanks for the vote of happiness, Kathy :) I will take your advice. I had to delete the long paragraph explaning my frustration over the lack of manly help around this all can just summon up your own somewhat mirrors what I've been hearing out of the Chelone household.

I thought quaking aspen grew in the eastern one has any? I saw them on Rebecca's Garden one day and decided I had to have plant them in a tight grouping like birch so that you can enjoy the sound that their leaves make!

V., I do not envy the situation you are in! Health care benefits have been scrutinized here, too. They went up 200/per family per month for us. That's an insane increase for us to "eat". I have to tell you, the flavor is kind of bland and it's very chewy and hard to swallow.

I hope that everyone involved realizes what an asset you are, and that you get to hear that sometime soon!

T-day sides will be of the Italian sort....a little eggplant parm, an antipasto to start, etc. Shh...please don't tell anyone I know how to make gravy....I have quietly avoided it :)

I see that Marian has another fall thread, and I'm betting there is a naked gingko pictured there :) I am going to go see.

And with that, I will talk to you later....

(who was in charge of 5 kids on the field trip, didn't lose any, but another mother did.....I was so glad that wasn't me.....)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:48AM
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Good morning

Yesterday was one of those days there should never have to be. It began with a crisis meeting early in the AM. One of our teachers had been found dead in his house Monday night - no other details (though no evidence of violence) but many unaswered questions. He was a quiet but popular young man, someone I liked very much, and my heart has been filled with sadness. The day was spent helping the children with their feelings. I was so drained last night I don't even remember going to bed, but I did wake up there this morning. Hopefully today will be a little easier.

Saucy - I have been a chaperone many a time and like you have always been relieved to report back with the same number of kids I started with. I have however taken to driving rather than the dreaded bus whenever possible. The last one I took had obviously been the scene of someone not feeling well and when the heat was turned on the smell was overwhelming. I have never in all my life felt so glad to get off a vehicle. The thought of throwing up in front of my son's third grade class was too horrible to comtemplate.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:07AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a quick pop in to say good morning. It's time to pick the corn. We had a rain delay yesterday, so I imagine the boys will try to make up for lost time today.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:14AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Out my wndow...
Bah Humbug!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:10AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

(((Mary))) that must have been such a hard day for everyone.

A naked tree picture for PM2 - compare this one with the one I posted on the 14th at the begining of the last thread. The ash doesn't quite lose its leave as fast as Marian's ginkgo but it's pretty fast, especially with the help of a windy day or two:

A neighbour's maple (seen here from our front porch) still has it's leaves and is very colorful this morning:

The Chinese wisteria 'tree' at the bottom of the driveway hasn't even started to change color:

And a final picture showing some of the ash leaves on the ground in the backyard. I love the rusty golds. Randy did a final mowing of the back lawn on Sunday so he blew a lot of the leaves from the lawn onto the border path with the lawnmover.

It's not as windy and cold here today as it was yesterday - thank goodness!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:19AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Morning everyone! There has been a lot of "action" on the forum since I was last here - took me ages to read!

Absolutely awful weather here this morning - freezing, north winds, horizontal snow in the air and frozen ice/snow on the ground. Adrian was thrilled - could hardly wait to get out for the school bus this morning, which, of course, was twenty minutes late in arriving. He was out playing in the glop for almost 40 minutes. I can just imagine how nice and cosy his hat and mitts will feel at recess...

Yesterday was the forerunner of this weather and that was the day I stupidly volunteered to go to the Pumkin Farm with about 60 grade two's. It was freezing rain all day and all the activities were outdoors. The kids loved it but everybody was just sodden on the bus on the way home. Yes, I rode the Big Yellow Bus with screaming kids, three to a seat...nice and quiet and comfy as you may well imagine.

I too ended up with the same number of kids that I started with - tried hard to lose a couple but to no avail!

Two of the four that I had showed up (now remember this is almost winter in the frozen north) for a day outdoors, when the morning temp. was -6C (21F), wearing crocs (it rained icy stuff all day), no hats, no gloves, one with an old dirty jacket with a broken zipper, the other with a nylon shell. These kids are 7 years old at best. I wonder what Mom amd Dad were thinking, if they were thinking, or if there was a Mom and Dad....I had dressed Adrian well and he was warm and dry all day. I had also raided our winter clothes basket and had brought along four toques and four pairs of gloves - all four went to underdressed kids for the day. One kid asked if she could keep them for the winter - I said no, they were all brand new stuff I had just picked up last week at Wally World...The teacher took me aside after the trip and advised me to wash everything in hot water on a long setting and dry in a hot dryer before putting them in with any of our stuff at home....Makes me both angry and sad....Poor kids.

Monday must have been Environment Day in Perth: at 10 a.m. Hydro One arrived to install our Smartmeter, which reads not only how much electricity you use but also when you use it, and adjusts costs accordingly. I was disappointed to learn that this program will only begin in 2010. We are already getting into the habit of using the dishwasher, clothes washer, occassionally the dryer, and very occassionally the vacuum, after 10 p.m. when the cost is 7 cents a kilowatt hour less. I have reset my plant lights to come one at 10 p.m. and go off at 6 a.m. - the plants don't really care when they get the light, do they?

Also on Monday morning the town workers arrived to drop off our new Green Bin composting system and to explain how our garbage will be handled now. We now have a small compost bucket in our kitchen. It can take almost every kind of kitchen leftover with the exception of plastics. All bones, meat, dairy, veggetable, bread and paper type products can go in there. Even pet waste (yick, not in my kitchen thanks!). The small bin can be emptied daily into a big Green bin outside. The outside bin has a locking lid to discourage the raccoons and bears (!). The Green bin is on wheels and can be wheeled out to the curb at 7 a.m. on Tuesdays for emptying. (7 a.m. What's up with that!) We still have the regular Blue Box recycling program here, with four bins for sorting our recyclables: cardboard, plastic, glass/cans, and newspaper. Then we have the 'regular' garbage which is picked up every two weeks (After all, the smelly stuff is in the green bin and the stuff that takes up the room is in the Blue boxes). Each bag of "regular" garbage must be tagged and tags cost $2.50. A certain number of tags are given to the homeowner for "free" when the tax bill is paid....In addition, we have a drop off depot where you can take such things as paint cans, construction debris, plastic bags and anything else that isn't accepted by the Blue box is open every second Saturday - and it costs $10. Believe me, we need a bigger garage as one whole side is lined up with boxes and bins. I must admimt we will be sending almost nothing to the ladfill, which is a good thing. Just takes some getting used to, and some education of the Phils....

Well, sorry for the long post, but these are the things on my mind just and the environment....both worthy of attention, right!

I hope all you that are feeling down see a little ray of sunshine today. I hope all of you who are sick feel just a bit healthier today. I hope all of you who are stressed see a little relief today...You are a great bunch and I am happy to be in your company!


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:29AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Mary....awful news. Something you don't expect like that can sure hit you like a ton of bricks. Not really being sure what type of school you teach in, I am wondering how old a man he was. I hope you have an easier day today and that there is some news soon about what might have happened to the poor man.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Julie, I sure enjoyed your post! I am wishing our State would adopt some of your area's things...such as the electric deal, and the recycling. Our trash men do pick up some recyclables, but not many. We have to buy white plastic bags for them. All acceptible items go in the same bags. The bags used to be 10 cents each. They may have come up now. The black trash bags are $3.00 each, but I seldom use one a week.They are picked up every weds. and I failed to remember to put my filled bag of trash out at the head of our drive. :-(
I burn all burnables.

That is sad about the children. Too bad you didn't have used items to give them.
I looked up a pic I took of our son when he went out in similar conditions, when we lived in Nevada. The pic I took of the photo did not come out too well, but you can see...he is well bundled up! :-)
He has on padded snow pants too.I found them when I was doing my spare bedroom clean-up the other day. The mice had not got too them, and they are in the metal trunk now.

The red at the bottom of the pic is a reflection from the red sweatshirt that I have on. :-) The original photo was taken with my old Starflash Brownie.

I have refreshed, and no longer see everyone else's posts so will limit mine to what I remember reading....which (I am sorry to say, is not much! No reflection on what was posted.)

Saucy. You did not comment on the 'naked Gingko' ! LOL

Oh, I remember the beautiful tree pic that Pm2 posted. Gorgeous!

And I remember V's work woes. Sorry that some are like that. Hope it doesn't lead to added problems.

Marie, so happy to hear of your phone visit with Sarah. I hope they have happy memories of their trip, and will share pics of it.

It seems there is more I need to comment on, but am drawing a blank.....something Mary said, and Martie, and....

I'll try again later.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:06PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA have some of the strangest dreams. [g] I rarely dream and when I do, I swear it is like reading a novel without illustrations. Very dull. When we were small, my brother used to tell us some funny dreams he had and the one I remember is that he dreamt he was climbing this tall ladder and when he got to the top it was a huge vat of jello and he jumped in and started swimming around in it. lol

Our health care benefits just changed due to cost cutting measures. The HMO we were part of is not even offered any more and it was the largest one in the State. Our premiums went up as well.

We haven't had an Italian component to Turkey day for awhile. We used to do stuffed shells as a side dish, but no one ever had any room and there was just too much food, so we stopped. Last year we had Chinese Food for Christmas Eve, but everyone is sick of it, so this year we decided we are going to have Lasagna instead.

Gardenbug...! Snow?! How horrible! I hope that dusting is all you get and it warms up enough to melt it tomorrow. It's too early for snow! I hope you are treating yourself to a lovely lunch and a good book in front of a fire today!

Woody...not sure if I ever mentioned how much I like your house. I've always liked that type of roof and I like the porch and such a nice large front window! I couldn't even see those pines when the leaves were on the Ash tree. Do I see roses, still blooming? That is a very pretty maple across the street. Is that an Arborvitae on the side of your garage? Does that wisteria 'tree' look even larger than it did in the spring? [g] Yes, the fallen ash leaves make a pretty pathway, for sure.

Julie...I hope you don't catch a cold after being out in the weather yesterday. Your trip with the 2nd graders reminded me of when I volunteered as a room mother when DD was in kindergarten. What a wonderful time I had, actually. She still knows a couple of the same children and when she talks about them, I always remember what they were like at that age. They were all so adorable, but what chaos! lol

Well...I am starting to feel some better. I am getting more mobile so I guess before you know it, I will be as good as new. Trying to keep the blinders on to whatever negativity is in my 'universe' and trying to find something pleasant to think about instead of pulling my hair out with this inactivity. I have had to call a halt to all things gardening and DH did a little fall clean up without me over the weekend. I still have 15 pots that have to go in the ground and I hope we will get to that. If I just had a place to put them. [g] Then if I can get the 60 bulbs I ordered planted, I will be happy. Very envious of all of you able to do cleaning and repairing around the house. I'm sure you didn't realize how lucky you are! :-)

Off to have some minestrone soup with grated parmesean.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 12:44PM
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Bonsoir, ladies! Nice to see the idylls firing on a few more cylinders, with PM feeling strong enough to post again. Weather report here is still high 80s, and you'll be pleased to know that hot, dusty work is still being accomplished in this corner of the land as cooler weather rolls in for so many of you. This past week has seen a couple mornings of dense, drippy fog as nights get cooler. The front garden is nearly level enough for a gravel mulch. I hesitate to gravel, since it inevitably becomes intermixed with the soil and changes the consistency, but there's not much chance of it becoming cooler and rainier here as time goes on, so gravel it is for this mostly xeric front garden. The weed cloth interface stuff is useless for keeping the gravel out of the soil. The aloes and other winter bloomers are beginning to stir into life.

As with any newly excavated areas, the pets flock to it as the Great Undiscovered Bathroom Land, or in Chelone's vocab, the Unsanitary Ridge. It'll be nice to get gravel on it pronto.

And if Cindy would pop in, I'd breathlessly inform her that my Raspberry Truffle mexicana salvia has buds! After watching this bug-eaten behemoth gather size all summer, squashing all neighbors, I resisted the impulse many times to yank it. Now with the cooler night temps, we've finally arrived at flwr buds and are the best of friends. I've stopped growing these ginormous mexicana salvias for just those reasons, but this one I HAD to see in bloom. One more week should do it. Deanne would weep over the chartreuse acalypha crushed under its weight.

Oh, and Deanne, we definitely do eat these West Coast lobbies, tho we won't be having any of that fellow's kin. Word spread around town, divers came in under cover of darkness, buzzed in through the security gate by an accomplice at the dispatch desk, and all lobbies were wrested from their hiding places. Not even breeding stock left. There was great gnashing of teeth by the boat crew when news of the infamy spread.

Planted the last Chalkhill clematis today, an eriostemon/viticella hybrid 'Heather Herschell,' after being stymied for several weeks, believing there was no room left. Like the other clems, it needed a spot near the hose with the requisite sun requirements, increasingly rare accommodations. Amazing how a little breathing room from employment constraints gives a new perspective. Finished a transcript around 7 a.m., emailed it in, grabbed a cup of joe, bit of a shuffle here and there, and she's nicely tucked in. The only downside is I'm going to be seeing a lot more pink and orange closer together than I'd like...such is life in a small garden.

My reading speed these days, outside of political news, is "Novels in Three Lines," by Felix Feneon, translated by Luc Sante. Felix was a Parisian newspaper editor around 1906 famous for encapsulating news stories in a few brief sentences: "Someone slipped a mickey into Charles Boulard's drink, took the sleeping messenger's case, and cashed the checks lying therein." Some do get a bit grisly, so I'm sure even Kathy would approve ;) If only my posts could be as concise...

On the home front, I struggle with the maternal nurturing that needs to be recalilbrated when the kids hit their 20s. Now, there's a novel in one line...

'bug, it's good to hear the travelers are safely home. Hope that congestion leaves you alone soon. The recent farm photos were stunners, as usual.

Mary, what an awful, tragic day for you and your school. I hope you're not too overburdened with the emotional fallout.

Julie, I'm so envious of your civic recycling program. Green waste too! Wow!

Woody, I got a good visual on that edging treatment you did of your lawn, which sounds like a very nice effect.

Michelle, it's good to hear the webcam is helping to bridge the distance a bit.

V, sounds like a no-win predicament to be in work-wise, esp. when dealing with people who put unreasonable expectations on others while asking very little of themselves in terms of forethought. (Wow, good thing I'm not a supervisor!)

Has anyone grown begonia Bonfire's sister Bellfire? Supposedly less flowers but a good dark leaf. (And if anyone answers I'll know they actually read to the bottom of this overly lengthy post)

Enjoying all the posts, menu plans, fall color photos, and dream reports. My dreams tend toward the novelistic (big surprise, huh?)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 4:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Marian, no relaxation by the fire going on here. DH is home early, and now is walking Phoebe.

The chimney man (#2) arrived and gave a whole different report on things, so now there's more to consider. Nothing is easy, no one line encapsulations here! No using the fireplace at all until this is resolved.

I went to my appointment and returned with medical concoctions in preparation for a colonoscopy next week. Oh joy! Met an old neighbor who talked and talked and talked about her daughter's eight children, her cousin with 15 children , all married with offspring. Sounds like a nightmare....but she was proud. At least I get to go to the theater several days after the procedure to celebrate it being OVER.(Shaw's Caesar & Cleopatra)

I have assembled a dessert for this evening, an old college dining hall favorite of alternating chocolate wafers and whipped cream. Easy and sweet...and DH likes it. I'll toss together chicken, sauce, rice noodles and pea pods in a few minutes and call it Pad Thai.

I wish I had Julie's flare for reporting an ordinary day in dramatic or at least exciting terms!

I really want to read my book, but life interferes...

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Unfortunatly Denise, the post-20 maternal nurturing tends to be of a financial nature !

Kathy, sneaking at the awfice

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 6:50PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Oh bug, I hate to hear about the colonoscopy news. You drew me out of lurking with that one. Did you get the awful liquid meds or the bottle full of pills? Let me know how that goes. LOL
I have a gastroenterologist appointment on Dec. 10th and I know that will be the first thing he orders.
I have been dreading it. My neurologist (don't ask) did a blood test last month and it came back positive for
Crohn's disease. That holds so much emotional baggage for me since my Mom had a severe case her whole adult life.
It was before there were treatments but I seldom let logic interfere with emotional baggage. ;)


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:09PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Too bad you we don't live close Bug. We could have a pre-colonoscopy 'shot' party the night before. LOL


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm going for the liquid stuff Jerri, the gelatinous glop that doesn't taste too bad I'm told, but the texture is off-putting. The day & night before are the bad part. The test not tooo awful and the post experience is supposed to be great. Hahaha, I'll tell you the real truth next week.

Dinner was good! Two nights in a row! Amazing.

DH is grading course projects tonight. He's done 5 out of 6. Then on to today's mid term exams.

Maybe I'll get to read a bit...(if I skip doing the dishes)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:55PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Denise, I grew Begonia Bellflower this year. Unfortunately I didn't happen upon it until early July when most of the annuals at the nurseries are overgrown and stressed but I potted it up right away and it recovered nicely. It does have darker foliage, maybe less flowers than Bonfire but still plenty, same draping habit. The flowers are different-more salmon colored than orange. I will definitely pick it up again next year.

Reading but not much else to add.

Carry on.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 8:43PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - I think the colonoscopy is one of those things where the anticipation of the unpleasantness is probably as bad as the actual event! Have fun :-( I hope it all goes well. My doctor has started threatening me with the prospect. He says now that I'm over 50, it needs doing.... Since I'm Miss Fussy Eater, the idea of drinking huge quantities of awful stuff is a non-starter! Somebody once tried to get me to drink that Barium stuff for a test - it definitely did not go down!

Jerri - That's a scary diagnosis you have. Two people where I first worked when I moved to this area had it and it was not pleasant! From your comment, I assume there's better ways to treat/control it now? I certainly understand why it would be an issue that would upset you to find out you are at risk for/have. I hope it either turns out that you don't have/get it or that it is treatable for you without too much difficulty.

PM2 - thanks re the house. It looks quite different now than when we bought it. We did an extensive renovation and addition. The contractor didn't seal the attic space properly and we had some big problems with moisture. We will probably need to repace some of the roof sheathing at some point in the not-so-distant future but in general the house turned out well we think. The bow window in the front originally was the living room but it's now the dining room as the living room is in the adition in the back. The roses you see are the Queen Elizabeth ones but most of the roses are still blooming - they bloom well into November usually. The cedar is actually not near the garage - the view foreshortens things. The cedar is at the back of the main front bed and is about 25-30' from the edge of the driveway/corner of the garage. It's an interesting old tree - one trunk but four tops. I quite like it.

Denise - here are two views of the lawn border paths we did this spring:
Looking south from just off the pato/end of north alley path:

Looking north from the end of the south alley path:

We really like how organized it made everything look and the contrast between the 'wild' and the formal-looking lawn. I think it was the best thing we've done here.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 9:16PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Woody, that's quite a transformation on your house. The "after" version is much warmer than the "before". Nice job!

I haven't had to chaperone field trips for a few years now, but two stand out in my mind. There was the toddler trip to the apple orchard where I ended up with five kids to watch. I think I counted, "one, two, three, four, five" endlessly until we were back in the cars. The second was with the fourth through sixth grade class. One of the sixth grade boys was taller than me, bigger than me, and wanted to be any where else on earth other than a conservation area on a beautiful fall day. He was a consistent trouble-maker all day and keeping him in check put a damper on an otherwise pleasant day. He has since served jail time for a series of burglaries.

A quiet day at the office, as the boss was out sick. 'bug, I think you hit the nail on the head - they want someone other than themselves to blame. Their anger may dissipate before the boss gets back.

The dogs are a little unsettled this evening. The corn next door is being picked, and the combine makes a low, rumbling noise as it passes near the house. The pups aren't quite sure what is making that unusual noise.

Mary, sorry to hear about the teacher. Those are such hard things to go through at a school.

Julie, no need to apologize for the lengthy post. The info on Perth's composting program was very valuable to me - I'm on my town's environmental commission and I am supposed to write a section on household composting. Your comments have been a huge help to me! I've already looked up your town's website and am getting some great info. Thank you! By the way, we signed up for the variable rate electric program last fall and it has saved us quite a bit.

Denise mentioned reading time, and I'm going to try and sneak in a little extra tonight. My library book is due tomorrow; I was losing interest but now it's getting better. I have to decide tonight if it's worth 40 cents to keep it until Sunday!


    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 10:16PM
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Back from attending an hour of DSs gig tonight, just in time to see the last inning..did I mention that his band got a gig at Applebees (of all places)..It was kind of strange , with the retirees etc streaming in to dine ( term used loosely) and DSs very edgy and very loud band playing on the patio. They are not a cover band and write their own music .

1st day back at work, spent most of it dealing with all the e-mails , and trying to prioritize the rest of my week. We are expecting rain starting tomorrow night and through the weekend-I surely hope it really shows upwe are in such need of it. Maybe Ive drug out my last hose for a few months. No frost on the horizon for at least the next week.

We have single stream recycling in Napa Countywe have a 55 gallon blue toter and there is no need to separate glass, paper etc;all goes in . I put way more in that than I do my trash can, which is much smaller (30 gal I think) and we also have 55 gal yard waste. I fill that one up almost every week, lol ! The yard waste goes to a composting facility, and county residents can buy finished compost for 7 dollars a yard (you pick- up, think its 25$ delivered) All are collected every Wednesday, so I wheel them out Tues PM. They ask that we not put the blue recycle tote out unless it is at least ½ full. I put mine out about 3 times a month. My neighbor and I joke over the fence about how much glass (i.e. wine and beer bottles) it sounds like we have in our respective bins.

I certainly admire the stamina of our friends of the far north- 21 degrees is not unheard of here , but only once in my memory can I recall it being that cold after sun-up..that would be the year of the Big Freeze. Typically it only freezes in clear weather , and the coldest temps are between midnight and sunrise. If it is overcast, it does not freeze. This is why we have no snow to speak of, except in high elevations, where it is appreciably colder. The snow is usually 3 or 4k elevation or above. We have had snow here on the valley floor maybe 4 times in the twenty years Ive lived here.

Woody, I love your lawn with the paths around. That is a really nice size , easily mowed and maintained. Is this the only lawn you have ? The link you posted asked me for a log in , so I could not view. Perhaps others experienced the same ?

I went one and only one field trip, when DD was in 3rd grade, to the San Francisco Ballet. I had a splitting headache when I got home and vowed never again. Kept the vow. I was an unfit mother.

(((Mary))) and (((Jerri))). I had a co-worker who had a child with Crohns, it was very rough for them as I recall. This was many many years ago- hoping treatment has improved for you ..

I hear you loud and clear Denise, on the giant proportions attained by Mexican Salvias. I finally yanked my beloved "Limelight" , after enduring flopping and no blooms till Oct for many years. And if there is an early frost you can almost forget seeing the blooms at all.
Felix has made the reading listFilm Noir in print is right up my alley ! James M. Cain gets reread every few years.

Ok, Ive rambled enough for tonight , and am sending out a search warrant for Babs, Eden, Cindy, who else?

Kathy in Napa

A bit of fall color from Oregon. I like the way this came out with the red pelargonium and the maple. From portland oct 08

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 11:05PM
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Wow! such fun, newsy posts to greet me this morning. What a nice way to start the morning.

Woody, I saw only one "before" picture of your home, but it was enough to convince me that you and Randy have put a lot of thought and effort into "feathering your nest". It looks terrific, and loving all things formal, I particularly like your cool, inviting lawn area. Wouldn't you just love to be able to see a "bird's eye view" of everyone's properties? where is the shed in relation to the lawn shown above?

'bug, everyone I know who's had a colonoscopy says the prep and the waiting is far worse than the actual test itself. The helpmeet is going to book one soon, seems his co-workers have been leaning on him heavily as he's the only one there who hasn't had one. I cross the magic threshold very soon and will have to schedule one, too. Dad died as a result of cancer that started in the colon and spread to the liver. It won't last very long and as someone who's had a lot of experience with the reality of rerouted plumbing in the past few years I commend you on "signing up". Hang tough!

Mary, what a very sad event at your school. You're right, no one should have a day like that. How old are the children that were in his class? Kids are so resilient, though; given good information and allowed to experience the emotions surrounding a death in their own way they will be able to file it away successfully and make it part of life's experience. You will know exactly what to say to help that happen, I know it. ((Mary))

Jerri, the son of a friend has Crohn's Disease. He is able to control a good portion of the symptoms by watching his diet, I believe. I will ask some more about it when I see her. But the knowledge that it was a chronic condition was tough on him for a time, took awhile to accept and adjust. I know you will pragmatically make a place for it, too. Speak to me of puppies (which I hate), shelters are bulging with unwanted animals up here, mostly cats, though.

The blame game... all too common these days. But a natural reaction to worry and frustration. And if anything is going to get people wound up it's health care. :( I want to throw up every time the premium arrives in the mail. I fear the tension in households will only increase with the deepening economic issue. But what a sticky place for you to be in at work, V.. It must be hard to steel yourself and simply present the facts without allowing hurt feelings to color your presentation. :(

Denise, I cracked up at the Unsanitary Ridge comment... I actually have a shot of Spencer using The World's Largest Catbox here on the Compound, lol. It's blurry, but confirmed semi-adult that I am I simply couldn't resist snapping it...

I have to get going. Hi to all and be productive today, 'K?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 5:31AM
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Sitting in the semi-dark watching the sun just begin to hit the bittersweet in the woods. POP!!!

What tribulations amongst us of late! Thinking of all who need extra strength for themselves and others.

A few "cleanup" pics:

The beginnings of our Thanksgiving bouquet

After one whole week everything is still alive

If I'd bought this it would've been tossed, but these Geranium were started from seed last January and the color is unusual

Outside, various spooky objects have landed in our yard as a result of the wind -- also several huge orange bows. Sent the neighborhood kids out on a mission to discover where they belong. Rich will reaffix them as they find out.

Oh, V. I'm living through watching an otherwise sweet, smart and professional person become something quite other than that work during her last week of work. "No, I'm not giving you any information about my clients that will soon be yours but shouldn't be." "Keep your voice down!!! You've always bothered me!!!" "YOU should be the one goine!!!!" Everyone needs someone to target and I'm trying really hard to just gracefully stay away from the whispered conversations and hateful glances. As much as I "get it" I wish I could have a break for a few hours...though I wouldn't wish it on anyone else.

The food talk has gotten a list started at The Park for our upcoming soire'. Traditional is the easiest with a few twists thrown in. Great produce at the markets so it'll be interesting to see what one can do with squash.

Rich signed a contract for plans this week that WILL (power of positive thinking, here) result in a three-month renovation project. Fingers, toes, eyes, legs, you name it crossed, please. If this doesn't come through some very major changes will need to take place in Rich's life, and neither of us want that to happen.

Off to post my topiary project on the other thread. Everyone keep Denise's 80deg temps in mind :-)


    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 7:32AM
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I had a post in mind and half typed, but DH is bugging me to death about radiators and what sizes they need to be. Guess I'd better go pay attention before I get something I don't want.

This job has been on hold for 2 winters....and I still don't have a/c in this house.....


    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:19AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

The oak trees are glorious right now. The Japanese Maple is turning its brilliant red and the climbing hydrangea is a beautiful yellow, a bit deeper than the color of the birches. Soooo.. pretty. Ive been doing a bit of bird photography in the last couple days and having a ball with my yard birdies again. What fun. Ive been bad though as Ive still got a garage full of plants that need potting up. If I keep this avoidance up I wont have as many plants to winter over.

RE: colonoscopy, Woody you are completely correct. I did the deed last fall, November in fact, and the prep is the worst of it. I was really dreading it terribly and had nightmares for days before and felt a bit of a fool when all was said and done. The hospital personnel couldnt have been more professional and caring. I was fortunately given a clean bill of health and dont have to have another for ten years. Um, nine years now

Denise, I grew that Begonia Bellflower last year too but had no success with it unlike Sue. Ill give it a try again this coming season as its such a good color. ~~~ LOL about the Unsanitary Ridge. My kitties are kind enough to use the bark mulch under my hemlock trees. The breeder we got Rahjii from actually used a fine bark mulch mix in her litter boxes and Im wondering if it imprinted on the kittens that was a good bathroom area? Dont know but I never find any presents in the newly dug gardens. ~~ What a bummer about the lobster rip-off!

Jerri, so sorry about your diagnosis. I know youll be OK when you get treated but its always such a kick in the rear when you hear youve got something that isnt going to go away.

Kathy, Im really enjoying hearing about your trip and that maple/pelargonium shot is lovely. ~~ LOL about the post-20 maternal nurturing being about money. Ive found the post-30 nurturing to be exactly the same.~~ so about those begonias, do you prune them back at all? And if not how do you treat so as not to bring any aphids or other buggies in the house? Ive found that a strong hosing just doesnt do the trick.

Bug, sorry about your not being able to use your fireplace. Thats one of the comforts of the weather getting colder. How long it is going to take to fix? ~~Euuuuwwwww!!!! Snow???? Good grief! Its too early for that.

Mary, so, so sorry about the tragedy at work. Thats just awful.

PM glad youre feeling better!

Marian, great old pic! I love those old black and whites. I used to have a Brownie camera too.

Julie and Saucy, you deserve purple hearts for riding on the bus with all those children. That would definitely give me nightmares.

Woody, Im really enjoying all the photos of your house and gardens.

V. love the sound of that lavender with the H. Mocha, nice! And so now you are saving geraniums? Whats next?

Michelle, stripped and nubs it is here. If I dont do that I always wind up bringing bugs in the house regardless of how carefully I treat them and also, if I dont seriously cut them back they just wouldnt fit in the house. Some of those acalyphas were five to six feet tall this year.

Chelone, sorry about the never ending deck project.

Martie, sorry for the difficulties at work. I seriously wouldnt want to deal with that. The situation sounds dreadful. ~~~ Love your Thanksgiving boquet. Its so pretty against those teal colored walls.

OK I seriously have to get off this computer. Waving hello to one and all. Have a great day


    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

What is it about Fall??? Not only health issues, school issues, money issues but also house issues. Our whole perspective and attitude changes. There's an election and we worry about money. Thank goodness for Hallowe'en and a bit of foolishness. (Yes, that's the lette 'v' missing Chelone. I'm surprised you didn't know that!) Perhaps these issues are related to the melancholy of the season and the lack of light?

Saucy I recall the radiators at our first house and the dreadful accident of DS bouncing with glee on our bed and striking his head on the rad. It took DH and I over a minute to get him to breathe and we truly feared we had lost him. I look upon radiators differently since then. I also have painted many of them over time...yes, I know they should be left unpainted...but...

Martie, your companion story to V's about a co-worker is so sad. When DH works with a friend (a mediator) they talk about the "good guy/bad guy" scenarios. DH gets to be the bad guy, a hard one for his ego, but he understands it is a "role" not his actual self. He gets stroking in other areas of his life to compensate.

Oh, and guys, I am not worried about the procedure next week. I've known many who have gone this route before me and told me it has been no problem, only that the day before is unpleasant. In fact they say you feel really good afterward.

I must deal with DH's breakfast now(LATE!)

Today is sunny and I hope it warms up soon! I'd like to cut back the baptisia, phlox, ironweed, etc...

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:44AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

By late summer, the plants have seized all the sustenance they can from air and earth. Winds scatter seed from grasses turned scarlet, rust, even lavender. The goldenrod finally lives up to its name. Photograph by Jim Richardson

Yay for Rich, Martie! Love that Teal wall with all your garden material in front of it. What will you add to it? The tensions at work sound awful! Can only imagine how scary it must be to be looking for a job right now.

Kathy, whose porch with geraniums, is that? Very modern!

Woody...Love that lawn set off with the mulched path edging! It reminds me of a crochet field. Looks really nice.

Jerri....sorry to hear of the Chron's diagnosis. I just saw something about a football player who has it. I forget which one. I actually have had to have that ruled out in the past due to lots of digestive woes over the years, but while we were trying to figure out what was wrong, I found a group, that has had success with keeping it under control, with a special diet. I found a book at the library called 'Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health through Diet' by Elaine Gottschall. A very interesting person whose daughter suffered with Chron's for years and was very sick with it before finding a doctor who tried this diet with her. She stayed on the diet for 2-5 yrs, I forget and has been doing well ever since. So the mother was so impressed, she wrote this book for others. Her story is explained better in the book. She has quite a following and there is also an online support group. Her diet plan is called 'The Specific Carbohydrate Diet' or SCD Diet.

Denise...Your posts are always interesting, long or short. I should be reading 'Novels in Three Lines'. I could be a little more concise. :-)

Gravel gardens sound like fun. Have you read the book 'Beth Chatto's Garvel: Drought Resistant Planting Through the Year'? I really enjoyed her woodland garden book, so perhaps her gravel garden would provide some inspiration. Not that you need You probably have your plants already!

Can identify with 'recalibrating' parenting. Our DD is moving into her first apartment with roommate, this coming weekend. That's going to take some adjusting.

Marian...nice that you can scan photos into the computer. I bought a scanner/printer combo when we got the Apple laptop, but haven't tried scanning anything yet.

Sun is out this morning, yay!


    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:53AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Morning all!

On the colonoscopy thing: I went this summer, and all went well - they knocked me out for the procedure so I was kind of surprised to wake up and go home. A few days before the test, I jokingly asked the doctor if wine was a clear fluid. His reply: "sure, but only white wine". He was I was able to have a thimbleful the night beofre - no more than that because with no food in your system you can get pie eyed pretty quick and the last thing I wanted in the , well, second last, was a hangover!

*LOL* at the definition of Post-Maternal nurturing. I'm hoping to be through that stage by the time Inter.Phil is 30 so I can start saving for THD (also known as TCS)'s future...

Woody, your lawn area looks so neat and lovely with the mulched border. Much easier to mow too I bet. and it really defines the border gardens better than if it was left to grow righ up to the edges. Good thinking!

V., as much as EVERYBODY in town is whining about it, I think the green bin program is going to really make a difference. I have two concerns: one, is how stinky this bin is going to be in the summer (pet waste, don't forget, and not bagged) and I wonder if the plastic bin with the metal locking handle will become brittle and break in the cold winter - usually we get -20C or colder (-4F).
But at $2.50 a tag, our individual hand-it-over costs should certainly diminish. If you need more info. I can pick up a package to send you showing the instructions etc.

Mary, I hope things are settling down at school. Twice we had to deal with sudden deaths at our school at separate times - both were accidental deaths of students and it was very difficult.

Doger, the clem sure looks like Etoile Violet to me too.

Marie, are you going to the Shaw Festival or is it over for the season now? I haven't been for years.....I miss doing these things. What's up with the fireplace? Aren't things interesting when codes and rules change and you are still in a turn of the century, well I mean really old, house? I am in a turn of the century house too but the century I'm talking about was 1999 to 2000 ! (Our old house was built the century before).

The rest of you sure are dealing with lots of stuff - health issues, and their costs too, gardens that you can still work in, renovations under way, jobs that are just no fun right now, or no jobs. Wow, there is just so much to cope with all the time. Things are supposed to settle down as one ages, right? No? Well darn anyway. All the best to you guys.

Off to Costco for the whole day, our monthly day in the big bad city....




    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 9:46AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

V - I hope the issue with your co-workers has simmered down. That's a tough one to take the brunt of anger that is probably really about them wanting to kick themselves for making the wrong decision but directing that anger at you instead. The whole American health system scares the daylights out of me - in the current economic climate, there must be a lot of extra-worried people when they consider health costs on the top of job worries/job losses.

Martie - what an uncomfortable situation for you to be in too. Preventing a situations like that is undoubtedly one of the the reasons why it is usual to have people leave work immediately after they've been notified they are on the cut-back list. Too bad your company didn't take that approach. The benefit of having the person be there to notify customers etc. does not outweigh the added stress on the 'survivors' when you get an employee reacting like that! I hope Rich's contract for that job comes through.

Chelone - here's a picture that shows the shed in relation to the lawn:

The shed still looks a bit 'raw' as it will take another year or two for plantings to fill in around it and blend it into the woodland areas a bit more. The tree trunk in the picture is the ash that I'm afraid of losing to the borers.

Kathy - The back lawn is now our only stretch of lawn that looks like a lawn! The lawn in the front is now just grassy paths between the beds. I linked the house picture rather than including it directly because I've posted it before so some have already seen it. I'll include it this time so you can see it. I made a typo on the date when I linked it - the picture is from March 1999 just after we bought it:

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 9:48AM
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We are having some fabulous weather here. We havent even had frost after that one low night so except for the annuals everything is pretty much intact. Although, the wind on Sunday stripped leaves and blew down some perennials. I am working on taking the rattier plants out first. I have about 1 ½ hours to spend in the garden in the evening. Last evening I pulled all the annuals out of the Secret Garden so that area is pretty much done.

Woody, I really like the changes you made to your home 100% improvement.

Mary, Im so sorry to hear of the young teachers death. Hugs to you.

Jerri, sorry about the Chrons diagnosis. I hope its a mild case and you are successful treating it. Hugs to you too.

Im a little young for the colonoscopy but DH has had one and needs a repeat in a year. He has polyps that need "watching" lucky him.

bug, it certainly isnt easy keeping up an old house. We add to it 6 outbuildings as well. DH is going to add metal siding to our extra garage looking to no outbuilding painting as we age.

Martie, I hope the job pans out for Martie.

Kathy, lovely fall scene the deck is neat too.

Ive done my share of field trips too, no dramatic events but certainly glad I dont have to deal with it anymore. Fun at the time though.

PM, the Vermont picture is stunning. My Frosty Morn is in full sun and in a garden that I dont water. The one in the lower right is Purple Emporor and is somewhat floppy and slow growing maybe next year ;o)

Lately Ive noticed that Jaden does her deed nearer to the house. She used to go out to the wilds, but I think she doesnt have as much energy as she ages and this is easier. Im not liking it.

The leaf eater just went past. I was wondering if your cities have that service? You rake the leaves out into the gutter and daily during leaf season they come by and it gobbles them up. Of course they didnt have it when I lived in town.

Enjoy your day


    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 11:06AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Thank you guys for the support. As usual, you are the best! Even though Mom had Crohn's forever, I never realized it was an autoimmune disease. And that autoimmune diseases usually come in clusters.
Mine is accompanied by an autoimmune inflamatory spinal arthritis. The treatment is immune blockers which are as scary as the disease. I'm exploring alternative treatments. I am also learning a lot about stress management as well as environmental issues. Thanks for the diet link too. I will be checking that out.
You're right Chelone, it takes a while to deal with the fact that there is no 'cure' and you are basically trying to treat symptoms. :-\

Enough of that. Back to the fall foliage and gardens. I love the grasses in particular!


    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 1:52PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

To make up for the depressing news I will share the great news, although it is not totally finalized.
We finally have a buyer for my parents house!!!! You have no idea what a huge relief this is. Chelone, this house is the second HTTF. Dad buried himself in the gardens and the house was not kept up since Mom was unable to do it properly. Handling all that when none of use were close was just a nightmare. But the nightmare has come to an end. YIPPEE!!!!! I know there are other Idylls who are going through the same thing or have gone through it in the past. Hugs to you all. This too shall pass. ;)


    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 2:06PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Very nice news on the house Jerri! I like GOOD news!

I managed to begin some garden clean-up after lunch. Just a bit: yanked out the verbena bonariensis, cut back a large baptisia. Phoebe raced around like a wild Indian while I worked. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 60F so I'm hoping to make it a big clean-up day! I still have a few dozen bulbs to plant.

Julie: "Things are supposed to settle down as one ages, right?" Hahahahahahahaha...........

PM2, hot baths are a no-no for my present problems. I LOVE very HOT baths too... I do have a lavender candle i burn when I have a bath soak. It came from my Mom ages ago, so it is fun to think of her.

Today I bought popover pans. Woody knows how I love them...but last week when I made them they failed on me and resembled hockey pucks. After all these years of success, I was annoyed. So elevation can't be the problem, room temperature ingredients seems right, no over mixing of batter, hmmmm. I'm going to try again.

I also bought a duck for a nice dinner, maybe this weekend. I don't make it often, but it is fun for a small number of people. I wish Sarah's family could be here...but not this time. Phoebe has never met Indy dog!

DH gives a late class this evening. He enjoys this group of students a lot, which is always a nice bonus. There seldom are female students which is a mystery to me. This year's class is mostly Iranian and Chinese, with a few Canadians sprinkled in. The teaching Assistant is from Bangladesh. He is going to be leaving soon as he just discovered his Mom has lung cancer spreading everywhere. Although his wife and young daughter live here, he will be spending several months away with Mom. Boy, life is a soap opera for everyone!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 4:44PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - sometimes hockey-puck popovers just happen! Room temperature ingredients, well greased popover pans and a hot oven are important - but even then sometimes they just refuse to cooperate :- ) I always hold my breath until I actually see them start to 'pop' :-) When we bought a new stove recently, I made sure we got one with a convection bake function since I find that helps. I was not happy when the convection feature died on our old stove.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 4:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Deanne, I blame you and Michelle for the geranium that came inside this year! Next thing you know, I'll be buying fuschias...

Just spoke with DS and he may have tickets for a large gathering in Chicago's Grant Park on Tuesday evening next week. (was that subtle enough?) He didn't get the "no more tickets available" message on the website, so he's waiting to hear. It could be a rather exciting event to attend.

Another quiet day at the office, so I think that the ill winds may have passed. Woody, I'll try and stay off my soap box, but you are right - the health care system in this country is just bonkers.

Since this is probably the last day when it will be light when I get home, I took a few fall photos to share. The cabbage and kale are on sale for half-price, so I couldn't resist adding some to the gourds I bought last weekend.

Since I didn't have the heart to do fall clean-up on these, I will be "cleaning up" the results next summer. But they're sure pretty right now.

Another thing that the idylls influenced into my yard is callicarpa hybrid. This time of year, you understand the common name of beautyberry.

Pizza's here so I am gone.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 7:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK V... I get it!

I'll subtly slide by on #100 here so someone else can do a creative title for the #407 Idyll.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 9:39PM
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Hooray, its raining , and a real live Northern California rain it is too, with water running in the gutters and the snails waiting in the wings. Lookin like rain and showers through Monday. I can put away the hose, and get out the Sluggo.

What a nice bunch of posts today..perfect for a rainy evening with NO baseball, nor is there baseball in the foreseeable future. I have one big pile of books waiting for me. Since I will be forced indoors over the weekend I shall ponder the chores needed in that venue..I think some heavy duty cleaning will be in order, and maybe a bit of cooking . Ill be heading into another one of my ten day work week gigs starting Monday so a couple of dishes laid by will be helpful .

Martie, how very uncomfortable to have the lay-off victims still around. In our company they get their checks and a packet and are walked to their car, even if they are rehireable. It seems a bit cold ( and not pleasant if you are helping them pack and providing the escort service ) but it does limit the exposure of people who might be bitter, angry ,crying etc to the employees who still have their jobs and are also nervous and upset. I am in active finger crossing for Rich what tough times it is out there for those in his line of work. I LOVE your cool Thanksgiving arrangement !

Chelone, for your goulish pleasure : The Ghost Map , by Steven Johnson, the 1854 London cholera epidemic

Deanne, I only prune back the begonias if they are too ungainly for the location I have to put them in. It rarely gets below 55 degrees in the house over the winter and the biggest issue is the light. Our winters can be quite grey and the begonias tend to get tatty looking if they are not getting bright light. Im going to put the smaller ones upstairs in my boudoir this winter (i.e. those in 6 or 8" pots) because I have a western exposure there. I have never had problems with insects at all. My plants will be in the house from the first frost (still to come here) and I usually put them back out in March or early April.

We Catholic kids know that Halloween is All Hallows Eve aka the eve of All Saints Day on Nov 1st . The 31st is All Souls Day ..ergo the feast of ghosts, spirits etc.

PM, I love the pic you posted today do you know where it was taken ?
The photo yesterday was my BILS house in Portland. I wish I had b-4 pics to show you; it was in quite a state when they moved in. The photo below is from last Christmas, and the pic I took last weekend is to the right. This will give you an idea of the front of the house. It does have a modern look.

Woody, thanks for posting the b-4 house view , wow , what a difference. The bow front window is recognizable but thats about it. Wonderful transformation.

Marian, thats a neat little coat on your DS too-bet it was wool. I dont remember you living in Nevada ? Were you in the mountains or at lower elevations ?

Michelle, our street sweepers only manage to get to each neighborhood about once a month. This is a city revenue issue and since we have actual street quality problems (potholes etc) the budget tends to go in that direction.

Jerri, Im glad you are researching and seeking various methods of control for your health problems. Though diseases are real and often serious, it always amazes me what a positive and pro-active attitude can do to help people improve quality of life and enjoyment of life. I have seen so many people just give up in the face of such things, many of them minor. Though the things happening in our bodies are sometimes out of our control, the things in our mind are not. Stay strong and hang tough ! ..Oh and I am reassured to know that somewhere , someone is actually buying a house !

V, I love that chair. Sort of a contempo-looking wicker..very nice ! Following the drift of the Tuesday night gathering..very exciting. The last gathering I went to like that was at the Ambassador Hotel in LA in June of 1964 . We could not get inside. That evening did not end well.

Looks like this is number 100, and since you guys are probably all in bed, I may start the next

Kathy in Napa

Christmas Day 2007 From 2007_12_25

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 9:52PM
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