Idyll #285 - Singing in the Rain

martieinctOctober 4, 2006

Seems an apt Tydll given the recent weather many of us have had and our village-esque ability to get each other through not-so-great times. Not to mention the recent NE gathering ....Carry on!!

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"I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain.
What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again!!!"

[to the tune of na-na-na-na in a smirky way] -- I get to use the camera, I get to use the camera!!! Talented neighbor has offered to show me the ropes. Expect photo heavy postings as I need some wise advice and counsel now that the pathway is in!!!

I'm too freaked out to even mention Marian's snake in the house. Kyle knows "the scream" and has been conditioned to get to where I am, take my hand, and slowly lead me away. LOL

Also haven't mentioned Brenda's weight loss. What a powerful thing to do for yourself!

Thanks for the hugs and understanding. Rich was blown away when he read your posts. He has some experience with my cyber gardening friends as a very best girlfriend is one I met several years ago on the AOL Herb Board. Another poster from Texas suggested we hook up and meet at Caprilands. It's been "good buddies" ever since. I'm even her dog's godmother!!

As for me, I'm a survivor and always manage to make it through "garbage." This will be no exception.

Thanks, Mary, for the corn advice. It's Indian corn so tonight I'll completely yank it and let it dry in the garage. And, we're up to four pounds of tomatoes a day. Luckily, they're good keepers!!

Yes, Deanne, now would be a good time to start hardening off the lav. You won't believe this, Kathy, but I gave Deanne a 'Goodwin Creek'!!!. I love dentate foliage ... Anyhoo, it'll need the brightest window you've got or to be under your lights. Don't expect much in the way of growth over the winter -- it was a cutting in Spring and might need to rest after establishing itself. Next year, use it more for foliage than flowering. Remember -- benign neglect!!!! (Okay, Deanne, you can breathe now :-)

Must hop to, so greetings to all not specifically mentioned. Thought of our friend when I looked at wreath-making stuff collected and dried over the summer ......



    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 7:11AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Kathy Welcome! YouÂll have to keep the color going when us northern folk descend into winter (horrible season that is coming up too fastÂ)

Marian  IÂm happy to hear that youÂre getting over your illness. I hope it wasnÂt anything too nasty. The snake  now thatÂs nasty! How did it get in? I sure hope none of those copperheads that youÂve talked about decide to follow it in  yikes!

Ei  A very belated Happy Birthday to you! (I hope I havenÂt used this picture here before  I wouldnÂt want to send stale flowers for your birthday! J

Martie and Rich  I entirely empathize with Rich! It is very hard for me to force myself to go out for social events, especially if IÂve not met the people before. On the other hand, itÂs usually not as bad as you imagine itÂs going to be. Corrective surgeries etc. help with confidence. My face is far from normal but much better than it was before some substantial corrective work. So fill that social calendar you two!

Mary  very cute photo  David should ace that assignment!

I feel bad that IÂve not commented on so much. IÂm such a slow typist with a memory like a sieve that, by the time IÂve commented on a few things, I forget most of what I planned to say to everyone else!

The weather has been alternating between damp and sunny here but itÂs been quite mild Monday and Tuesday. Also, the mosquitoes largely seem to have fallen into hibernation, thank goodness! Monday we cut down all the elders - I will use Round-up on them in the spring because they are too hard to dig out. They were spreading too much and not flowering enough so out they go! (More planting space for next yearÂ) The ones by the shed needed to go anyway because we need to either tear it down or rebuild it. The fall bulbs arrived Monday so hopefully weÂll start planting those soon if itÂs dry enough. Bailey, the Âorphan dog seems to be enjoying her Âdaycare visits. We started working on some training yesterday but itÂs going to be quite a while before she learns to walk nicely on a shorter leash. She hadnÂt been walked much before so, for the next week or so, sheÂll just be getting used to walking, using the retractable lead.

Big line of thunderstorms went through this morning early. I managed to get Misty to go out to do her early morning Âbusiness during a lull. I hate thunderstorms because I canÂt tell they are happening until the lightening starts  and, by then, you donÂt want to be out in one! Fortunately, if IÂm out walking, thereÂs always a dog along and the dog usually starts acting crazy, which is a good clue that it is time to head home ASAP!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 7:36AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh the drama! 5am and there I was running around outdoors rescuing a few pots. You see, not only was lightning flashing all about but there was very loud thunder and heavy rain - and yes, V's hail too. As I ran out the door, (no, I will not describe what I was wearing) young raccoons darted from my path! DH told me later that a skunk was lurking about as well. Back to bed...and then all of a sudden DH's alarm went off to prepare for his 8:30 class. Now, at 7:30, DH is off to lecture and all is calm...indoors and out. SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH ENDED, but our first frost warning is given for tonight.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 7:46AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning! We're we're currently cloaked in fog but are expecting temps right around 80 F. The frost warning for Thursday night has been lifted so I've been granted another week of pot tending.

As usual I'm pressed for time but wanted to bop in and say that I've met Martie's Rich and you would never know he was apprehensive about people he doesn't know and uncomfortable in crowds. As soon as he gets through with all the dental work I expect to start seeing more of him...Martie too.

So my meeting with the Garden Conservancy representative went well last night. I tried to get Monique in for next year too but apparently the deadline is next week and the woman is going out of town. But look for Monique and Les in 2008. I have some fairly extensive paperwork to fill out-garden description, directions, etc. Should I name the garden? Most of the people on open days don't-they just use their names. Maybe I should call it Idyll

Kathy, is now a good time to confess to you that my husband is a baseball nut too...Yankees. Is that a dirty word to you? It is to many-especially Red Sox fans.

Do any of you grow Catalpa bignoides 'Aurea'? It supposedly makes a great mixed border plant if you coppice it regularly. I told Monique where I thought you might be able to get one and she said Les is threatening to sneak over at lunchtime and buy it first...LOL!

OK, time to get down to business.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:16AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good beautiful morning everyone,

It is absolutely lovely out today and is supposed to top 80 degrees before 5. Incredible! Im feeling a bit mellow about the gardens and have decided to let things go until the frost and then begin the big cleanup. Until then there is no point in trying to keep up with the falling pine needles, oak and birch leaves. Ill water the pots and thats about it. I took a bunch more cuttings yesterday and still have some more to go. Every time I think Ive gotten one of each I see another one that I just have to keep over. At some point Im going to have to cry uncle and give up. There will be nursery trips in the spring. I keep telling myself that.

Michelle, how do you winter over your geraniums? Do you keep them in a window or let them go dormant? Ive got those geraniums you sent me that Id like to keep as well as that lovely zonal one in with one of the cordylines.

Oh yes, I wanted to tell you all that I found a site that said you can get lantanas to go dormant and it sounds like much the same procedure as for a fuchsia so Im going to try that with my huge Tropical Fruit lantana.

GB oh my word! You are on the receiving end of way too much weather in too short a period of time. What will be next, snow? Thank goodness you didnt run into the skunk.

Woody, what a pretty photo for Eileen. ~~ What a huge job getting those elders out. Do you know what you want to plant there instead? Glad to hear Baily is still working out OK.

Martie, thanks muchly for the info for winter care for the lavender. ~~ So is Caprilands still there? I went there with a GF many years ago for lunch and a lecture with Adelma. Wonderful lady!

Mary, did you hear me screaming with laughter ???? That photograph is absolutely the funniest and cutest thing Ive seen in ages. You are too much! ~~ I dont remember if I told you that you can use any of the photos of your gardens you want to for your lecture. No worries. Did you want me to send you a CD with the uncompressed images? ~~ So how did Annie do at the swim meet?

Babs, just hate it when I get webbed. LOL Another new Idyll word for our vocabulary. ~~ RE Halloween, yes Ive got my pumpkin collection out in the breezeway now. I put them out for our get together last weekend seeing as it was the first day of October.

Honey, great to hear from you. Bummer about the storms messing up your internet service. I can do without a phone now but dont take away my high speed wireless. My how things have changed in ten years! LOL ~~ So sorry about your neighbors son. That is just terrible.

Michelle, loved to hear about you standing out in the rain. It must have been really warm! I guess that warm weather is what we are getting today with T storms predicted for tonight. Hopefully they wont be a severe as what was out V and Eileens way.

Marian, interesting about your plectranthus. The common Swedish Ivy I used to grow were trailing plants and not upright so Im wondering what variety you have there. The flowers on yours are very much like my P. Mona Lavender. Neat plant. ~~ BTW I noticed the first new spike on my phalaenopsis yesterday.

Kathy, I got my MaxSea fertilizer yesterday. Did you know it is recommended for Orchids? Im looking forward to seeing how my plants like it. Thanks for the recommendation.

Wendy, that brug is just gorgeous! Are those flowers peach? Wonderful. I guess Ill keep mine over the winter if that is what its going to look like when it blooms. LOL Hmmm seems Ive heard that before.

Eileen, glad to hear you had a great birthday.

Brenda, you made me smile when you said Id motivated you to lose weight! Thanks! It is a never ending journey though. Every day is a new opportunity for making the right choices.

So, speaking of which, its time for me to get to the gym.

Have a terrific day everyone,

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:40AM
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Good morning!

I did not haul any more of the stinky soil/mulch (it contains composted chicken manure---not really composted enough according to anyone catching a whiff of it) yesterday as we ran out of gas and my riding lawn mower with little trailer is just sitting, dead, in the side yard. I do have a very nice, big, Rubbermaid wheelbarrow that I can use until we get the gas cans filled---but it has flat tires (inner tubes are ruined--the filler jobby dealies popped off of the inner tubes during the spring time and DH hasn't replaced them yet). I was busy for most of the day yesterday, away from home, so it wasn't a big deal to not have the gas for the lawn mower--and today looks to be another 'pulled in all directions' day. I did tuck two 5 gallon empty gas cans in DH's bed of his truck last hopefully he'll remember on the way home and fill them.

Martie, please add my thanks to Rich for his service and bravery to our country. I would be honored to meet & dine with him---with corrective surgery or without. I hope it all works out well for him so that he can feel more comfortable in any situation that he may wish to be in. Interesting how many of us, who can write a lot online, are quite tied in knots when it comes to meeting others face to face. I can talk your ear off (or write until your eyes fall out?) but I am quite nervous and uncomfortable when meeting people for the first time. Watch out when I get comfortable though........ :oP .

Kathy, welcome to the group! I'm in SW Washington state---zone 8. I'm just getting new beds made so haven't much in the way of plant photos to share. My speciality (if one can call it that) is elk photos as we have them visiting with us quite often throughout the year. After saying that, though, I've seen them very little for the past 3 months or so.....which is unusual. Maybe it is because I've been home less in that time.....or maybe they are changing their routes for travel. If they are changing how they traverse, the surrounding area, then I'll soon have no speciality.........sigh. ;o) I always go by T. in my posts, you'll never see me use my full name---it is just something I've done forever. There is a little confusion at times as sometimes Taryn uses T also. :o) We're just keeping everyone on their toes. Taryn is a 'real' gardener (I just play one on the Idylls, not one in real life) and she is Canadian, has 3 sons and a new home.......none of which I have. So if you see a T talking about her sons, her new home or Canada OR making intelligent remarks about plants.....then it is not me. I'm the old lady T with grandsons in Washington who can't recognize the difference between a rose and a petunia....

Okay, I have tons more to write but I need some more coffee.........

T. ;o)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 9:02AM
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Oh the life of a gardener...I had already taken my shower in getting ready for work...but I noticed I just had to get out there repot and bring in some more of my fuchsias before the cold sets in....job done,washed my hands carefully to eliminate that dirty fingernail thing we get-then I went to finish drying my hair. Had I not been drying my hair I would never have noticed as I looked in the mirror that I had potting soil trailing up the back of my forearm!!...can you imagine if I had gone to work like that?

I'm actually a bit pensive today-a little first grader who goes to a school a few miles down the road died from suspected bacterial meningitis(I don't actually know her). A tiny little 1st grader! It hurts thinking of her parents and what they are going through. This little girl was acting normal and playing on her soccer team only the day before-it just is so unbelievable.

Okay I need to get going-have a good one-enjoy warm weather-it's about to end they say with big storms.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 10:30AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Honey, that's just terrible about your neighbor's son. I can't imagine what they must be going through.
Gee, we must have the same parenting style ;) DS got to spend several hours in jail, and told him that was the one and only time I'd bail him out. When we saw the crowd in court, I asked him if these were his people. He said NO and had the good sense to look ashamed, rather than ticked off because I said it. I guess if it was gonna happen, better sooner than later and nip it in the bud.

Mary, that picture is so ADORABLE!!!! Wow, you can still find toe socks?? Those were "in" when I was in high school!

Woody, that's a stunning picture. Is it Culver's root in the back?

Bug-DOH! I hate running out in my unmentionables to do plant rescues--usually a pretty invigorating experience, lol!

Babs-how terrible about that little girl. I had no idea that bacterial meningitis could take someone so quickly. Her poor, poor parents.

Looks like more rain for us today. I've still got peppers to clean and get ready for the freezer. Jim and I went out yesterday and pulled all the stuff out of the raised veggie beds. He was lamenting all of the cherry tomatoes that still could have been, but it's my experience that if I don't do that kinda stuff before harvest starts, it doesn't get done. Then, that whole area just looks nasty all winter. And, I'd like to cover them with clear plastic for the rest of the fall to solarize the soil. Hopefully, it will trick a bunch of weed seeds into sprouting and dying.
I was up at 5:00 this morning to exercise-Bug musta woke me up when she went out to chase the coons :) I need to get my body clock adjusted ASAP. If I don't exercise in the morning before I get in the combine, it won't happen...and I shudder to think what six weeks of sitting will do to my progress if I don't keep up with the exercise. Actually, I really liked doing it so early...Jim and the dogs were asleep, so it was nice and peaceful.
Okay, gotta chop more peppers!
Have a great one, all!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 11:13AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Wow, what an appropriate tidyll to this idyll! Just popping in for a moment. Its storming to beat the band here. Intermittent strong thunder and lightning, high wind, black skies.

Here are some updated pix of our progress on the front landscape:

The pie shaped area in front of the courtyard, left side 11 x12, has 9 boxwoods and 5 double knockouts.

On the far right side, note Magnolia Jane. Shes 10 tall! She didnt look that big at the nursery:

Heres the boulder wall I struggled with. Man, those stones were heavy!

Heres the view from the driveway. I really like the Varigated Japanese Iris:

Im off to mend some jeans before this puter gets zapped! Hi to all.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 11:38AM
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Poor T, that chicken manure is the worse smelling stuff.

Mary, what a laugh I got out from your picture. It made my day.

Deanne, I cut mine back by 1/3 and put in a sunny window. Many years ago I did store them bare root in a cellar and it did work quite well. I may try this again this year as I have collected many more this year than ever. You could also take cuttings as they root quite easily. I dip in rooting hormone and pot up, keep slightly moist until you see new growth.

Babs, that is so tough when such a little one dies so suddenly. My sons friend died from it last winter he was 24.

bug, arent you glad you live the in country where you can run out in whatever and not worry so much about who will see you. LOL

Honey, sorry to hear about your neighbors son, how awful.

We went to the city last night so Rick could get new lenses in his glasses. We met my son for supper together. It's always nice to spend time alone with him. When other family members are around we don't get nearly as much info out of him. His friend that he bought his house with is moving, so he will be buying out his 1/2. My baby is growing up.



    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 11:42AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Still below par here, but will attempt to post.

I am envying those who are getting rain, but will pass on the hail and wind. We could use another rain here, but only have a very slight chance in the forecast, and it is for today. High temps continue. I forgot to close the sliding glass door last night, so am happy that we had no nocturnal visiters indoors!

Michelle, I hope that wasn't a black widow...:-( Probably not.

Honey,sorry about your outages, but so glad you are 'back'!
The 'culling' of clothes sure is something I need to do. Sometimes hardships brings on good things...:-)
What a horrible thing about the young man! Do they know the cause of his death? What a rough time your DD had. I'm so glad that is all in the past. Growing up can be difficult, even in good times...which this is not! Your 'tough love' is the best kind. I admire you for it.
LOL on the "mouse in the upstair's vanity." I have caught at least 6-8 this year in my live trap. I think they have a 'highway' in, somewhere, but I don't know where. Our 2 house cats are ether slack with their 'job', or else they don't leave any evidence! :-)

Mary , that pic is too cute! I hope you can share more pics of David's book. That is such a great project for him.
You have 2 wonderful children. I pray that they will have great teenage years. Anne is 13, isn't she? I forget how old David is. I hope Anne did well at the swim meet. I never had any dealings with school sports. Tim was never into any, and my GDs are too far away.

Babs, this is 'web-time' here too. I am not a very neat house-keeper, and have them indoors also. They don't freak me out, but I hate the feel of them on my skin! Nolon has been intertained for some time, this late summer and fall, with a spider outside the bay window building and rebuilding it's web. It diligently cuts out all the unwanted stuff that gets in it's web. The small leaves from the honey locust is really keeping it busy!
I have nevr heard you speak, but can almost imagine you reading that book to AJ...:-) My word, homework in kindergarten? I guess that is to compensate for the parents who don't spend any quality time with their children?? Yarrgh...sorry the deer are chomping your plants! Re: pet snakes... I 'did' have a couple in a terrarium for awhile, some years ago. A green snake and a ground snake. I didn't keep them long, for fear I'd kill them. Contrary to most people's beliefs, they are not 'slimy'.

Martie, neat that you "get to use the camera" ! :-) Now bless us with lots of pics. You will do fine. Remember how well Marie has learned her new one,and even I am catching on to mine.
I, too, appreciate your Rich for his sacrifice for our country. I'm sure you know my DH spent 10 years in the military...first 4 in the Navy, and the rest in the Army. He had some pretty 'hairy' experiences, but no service connected injuries.

Woody, I may have brought the little 'visiter' in when bringing in my plants. It could have been snuggled down in a pot. I'm afraid I was not too diligent in inspecting them. I have various other critters indoors, that are not welcome. The froggy is managing to escape our detection. It gets very loud, but hushes every time we approach where the sound is coming from. I have searched and searched, but can't find it. I do want to put it back outside, because I want to bug-bomb the plant room.
Speaking of 'copperheads', one was eliminated up by the cousin's sawmill this week. Last week it was a rattler! I haven't seen any in our yard this year.
Your pic for Ei is lovely!
Have you tried opening the page twice? One to type on, and the other to read? That is what I do. I just go back and forth from the task bar at the bottom of the screen. It works great. I have absolutely no typing skills, and a very short memory.
I'm glad the mosquitoes are letting up there. I discovered the chiggers have returned with our warm weather. I have aquired a few more bites with my wanderings in the yard.
Your elder removing job sounds like hard work.I sure have let everything go to pot this year! I need to rip out all kinds of stuff, and mulch real well, but I don't see that in the near future! I am wishing I were into planting more bulbs. Them, and ground covers, are what my beds need most.
I admire your patience and determination with the 'orphan' dog.
RE: thunder and lightning...doesn't the lightning always come first? I frequently start counting after seeing lightning, because the space between it and the thunder is an indication of how close it is.

LOL, Marie! At least you and I do not have close neighbors that can see us run out in our night clothes! Glad you didn't encounter the skunk!

Sue, that is such an honor! Congratulations. Idyll Haven is a neat name. :-)

Deanne, I know what you mean about the cuttings. I keep taking more, even of ones that I already have!
I'm not Michelle, but I will add how I carry my geraniums over. I keep them alive in their pots, and usually have blooms in winter. They are very easy to root by sticking cuttings in potting soil and keeping on the dry side. Usually it's best to let the cuttings dry some before potting them. I just stick pieces in with other plants that have a blank space in their pot. I'll see if I can find a name for my plectranthus. A google search should come up with it.
Yey! on the Phal spike! I didn't cut the 2 spikes off the one Ei sent me, and both are putting on new buds! Also the Dendrobium has a spike with lots of buds coming on! I can look froward to those beauties later on. The Slipper orchid has lots of new leaves , but no sign of a bloom stalk. I am happy with it, anyway.

T, I literally laughed out loud at your " filler jobby dealies" ! Not funny that they "popped off" though.
That's odd that the elk are not so visible lately. I wish our deer would find a new 'feeding ground'.

Hey, Babs, a little potting soil on the back of your arm shouldn't be a problem...LOL.
How awful about the little girl and the meningitis ( or whatever). Poor poor parents!( Oh, I see Brenda said the same thing.) My heart goes out to them, (and to Honey's neighbors).

Brenda, I 'sort of' envy you your farm chores...sort of! :-) And I do envy you your vegetable garden. :-) Did you freeze a bunch of the cherry tomatoes?

Honey, your new beds are so 'neat'. When my 'boat' comes in I'm going to hire someone to fix mine! LOL! I absolutely love all the colors you have incorporated. ( The 'ghosts' are cute, Please, do be careful with the rocks lifting. Prolapses and hernias are no fun.

I got so carried away with this thesis that I almost forgot to get our noon meal. Luckily I had leftovers to heat up.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 1:33PM
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Helpmeet and I took down 3 small white pines this afternoon. Our attempt to interr the 2" caliber Amelanchier ("Robin Hill") was unsuccessful... . Life along the rocky Maine coast is fraught with subterranean difficulties. Ledge. Several test drives with rebar showed no more than 20" of depth, we need 24". Several other test "soundings" revealed a likely spot. The backhoe guy is coming tomorrow and will stump out the pines and dig the hole for the Amelanchier. But it was a frustrating afternoon.

I have to put the "biggie boy" on his string and capitalize on the remainder of this freakishly warm afternoon. The front is to move through tonight and usher in chillier and normal air. I'm sad about that. Fall has always made me sad, and my present plateful only magnifies it. I have only dim memories of the times when I was "fun". :/ Seems all I do these days is remind Mum to "finish your water", or ask, "have you emptied your pouch?". Although, "why don't you go outdoors for a while, the weather is beautiful!" is another common refrain.

Mary, that hamster picture was priceless. I wanted a rodent for YEARS (not allowed), and still think they're precious. What are Annie's events?

Gotta go, sun is falling quickly.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 3:43PM
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    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 7:55PM
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My apoligies idyll friends, I am way behind here. Thanks for all the additional Birthday cards. I have enjoyed them all. I hope I haven't missed wishing someone a Happy Birthday.

I did catch up on reading this afternoon, and wanted to add comments, but I have a heavy heart this evening. I had to say goodbye to my loyal companion (Keebler) of fourteen years today. Not nearly as devastating as losing a child(God Bless those that have) but heart wrenching nevertheless. Norma

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:25PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:38PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Heart wrenching indeed, Norma, and we've all been there.

Hugs to you,


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:40PM
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Good evening everyone

The day is slowly winding down. We're back from David's Karate class, dishes are done and homework finished. What great posts to read today! As I won't manage individual resonses to everyone tonight, here are a few thoughts.

Marian - I really enjoyed your "Thesis" LOL! David is 10 years old. I'm hoping we survive the teenage years too. We've had a few ups and downs already, but I feel Annie has such a good heart and sweet nature we'll weather the rough spots. We're trying to turn problems into life lessons and keep communications open. This is the stuff there isn't always an easy answer to. By the way, congratulations on your orchid buds!

Cindy - I think a digital camera is a wonderful investment and hope you have a lot of fun with it and share ALL the results!

Deanne - hope you enjoyed your 80F weather!

Brenda - are you spending hours and hours on the combine again? I too really admire your weight loss and commitment to exercising. Way to go!

Honey - your front landscaping is STUNNING! I can't wait to see 'Jane' in bloom.

Woody - I just love the photo for Ei. Is that Russian sage and cimicifugia(sp)?

Babs - what sadness to lose a child so suddenly. In a similar vein I found myself crying on the way to work, thinking about the terrible loss of life in the Armish school. NPR did a segment that had tears rolling down my cheeks.

Michelle - it sounds as though you had a nice dinner with your son. My brother is rather similar, at times hard to draw a word from, but at others incredibly funny and interesting. Its a great contrast to my two sisters, we call each other at least once a week and can gab forever.

Annie had a great time at the swim meet. Her team won against one of the strongest in the area which was a nice way to start the season. Annie swam the 100M breast stoke, and was last swimmer in the 100M freestyle relay. The coach is going to rotate all the swimmers so that each girl has swam everything over the next 5 weeks. Annie didn't win any of her races but her strokes looked good and for her very first competition held her own. The nicest thing to see was the way the girls cheered (perhaps I should say screamed) and encouraged each other - my ears are still ringing! Even the last swimmer to finish on either team was given a huge round of applause. Tomorrow is an away meet and from what I gather, the fun on the bus rivals the excitement at the pool.

I'm up to my full hours and enjoying my new job. It's different being in a more senior position but I'm feeling my way. I'm still in an administrative, screening stage and I can't wait till I start seeing children again. Only one major problem - there is no decent coffee to be found at the school. Being in a rural area there isn't a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts for miles. I have a coffee pot I can bring from home, but with all the safety/fire regulations there is nowhere I can plug it in. Somehow microwaved instant just doesn't do it for me. Its awful being a coffee snob:0(

waving to all I missed,

Nite all,


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 9:12PM
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Oh Norma - I just read your post. Here is another hug from me. ((((((Norma))))). You must have a very heavy heart right now. Please know we're thinking of you and understand how hard this is.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 9:21PM
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Hi Ho everyone from the west coast !
Kind of cool to come home from work, do a few chores and sit down to chat with a bunch of gardeners !
Sue, you had warmer weather today than we did- and we actually had our first rain of the season today, and it's 58 out right now. Your hubby and I will not be in the same camp this post season ! My team is the Dodgers , my back up team is the A's. And in fact I have the rain-delayed Yankee game on right now with the volume down !

Thanks for the welcome Woody-I may not have many flowers to report on this winter, but I will have lettuce and arugula !

Deanne, I use Maxsea on my orchids too- In fact I use the acid food for my cymbidiums, and the regular 16-16-16 for the Phaels and oncidiums.

T, hi ! You've got to be a real gardener because you are in the Pacific Northwest/gardeners paradise!Since I'm having rain I bet you are too-or else you had it yesterday..My brother in law and his partner live in Portland and we are planning a trip to the Seattle Flower Show in 07.

Babs , I hear you on the fingernail thing. I usually get mine clean by about Wednesday. I just keep my hands under my desk if anyone comes in my office. I always hated wearing gloves (got to feel the soil) but I started to this year because my hands were starting to actually hurt -Anyone remember those old dishsoap commercials from the 50's
"Would YOU Hold Hands With A Scrub Brush ???" That's me.

Honey, I love those ghosts !!

Okay, so I called my son because I had new floors put in my house and when I packed everything up I lost my instructions for posting photos. I had to grovel and ask him to call me back if he remembered them by heart (which I have no doubt he does).

And Norma, so sorry ! I lost my friend Phoebe last year , and still keep her photo on the fridge.

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 9:32PM
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Norma I'm so sorry about Keebler-he might not have been a child but a pet is certainly a family member and it's still a loss that's been over twenty years since I lost my two dogs and it still hurts to think about missing them. I hope you are doing OK-it's not easy.(((Norma)))

HOney-that's so sad about your neighbor's son!!I just can't imagine how his parents are doing.
How is your DD doing now since her surgery?
It's a weird shift in topic but I do want to say I like your walkway-I have a star mag that grows quite a bit each season-yours looks perfect for it's location...hopefully it behaves for you: ) I like your selection of foliage I think T would approve of your curvy beds; ).

Wow what a strange change of climate-we had balmy 70's then by dinner time the temps have plummeted by 20 degrees. It's not supposed to get out of the 50's tomorrow here. Luckily I had time to take coleus cuttings so hopefully I can keep them alive. Deanne it amazes me to think the fuchsia cuttings you sent me in spring were just six inch sticks then and now they are three times as tall and shrubby: )

Brenda I think that's great that Deanne motivated you-congrats on your weight loss!

I have to say that the pics for all these bdays have been really beautiful-thanks to everybody. I just wish I had more pics to share-I really didn't take the amount this season I normally have in the past so I'm afraid I will run out for bdays.

Marian I do have to add that while spiders do creep me out-they really are so interesting to watch. That's great that Nolon enjoys watching that spider. Some really are neat freaks about their webs and will rebuild each day. Lol the spider I moved from my garage seems to really like the garage-I had to remove him again to open the garage today!(maybe it was a sibling)
Isn't that funny about us imagining how each other speaks-I imagine you with a southern dialect(am I right?). Reading out loud here is pretty fun-especially with Harry Potter I do enjoy adding a British twist to my words and the kids love that....Ryan is our man of many voices-I imagine him doing voice overs someday for cartoons.

Ryan has finally settled in(I think)at school-he keeps getting complimented for his good behavior(the rest of the class must be pretty bad!lol just kidding). I was happy that he behaved well for his first church mass without me. I warned him beforehand to pretend I was sitting next to him as a way to remind him to be such a controlling mom I am: )

Chelone -it's good to have you back here. You've endured so much as you care for your mom-she's lucky to have you and your helpmeet.
Hey while you're at it I have a few 60ft. spruces for you to take a stab at lolol.

Well idylls I need to get a move on...the days go too fast!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 9:34PM
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Okay here it is ..a photo from out west. This is Comte de Chambord, a portland rose from 1860.Very, very fragrant. Just an over-all attractive fellow !


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 10:11PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Babs, that really is a good question as to what my dialect is. I was born in a very Idahoan community. My dad was a mixture of Lower Dutch, Irish and Swede (I think). He had quite a strange way of pronouncing some words. My mother was from mostly German ancestry (I think). I was 12 when we moved to a small town that was populated with mostly Missourians and Arkansans, even though it is an Idaho town. Many from 'back here' moved there during the depression, and never left. When I was a late teen I worked at a 5 and 10 store. One customer thought I was from Georgia because of my speach. Another thought I was a German war bride!! LOL ! So who knows? Ask Eileen what she thinks. We have talked on the phone. Anyway, none of the 'native' Arkansans have any problem recognizing my voice over the phone. I apparently have a distinctive laugh, too. :-)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 10:19PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy ! That is gorgeous! Looks good enough to eat !

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 10:22PM
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    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 11:49PM
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Good windy-wild morning. I'm sitting here watching the corn stalks get closer and closer to the ground. Neighborhood kids are all excited because now they can pick the corn and see what colors emerge! Yesterday was picture-perfect for weather. Warm and sunny and further north the leaves are turning and well, it just felt like an October day should. Today the complete opposite. Welcome to New England!!!

So cool for me to read about everyone's kids school/sports/ group activities. I remember the days ..... Talking -- just talking -- was key to my relationship with Kyle.

When he was in 6,7, and 8 grade I drove him to school everyday on my way to work. For that 20 minutes we had just each other and neither of us could escape. Sometimes we were absolutely silent, other times we'd get on a roll and end up driving around for an extra 15 minutes to finish the conversation. After about the 4th time of that got a call from the Vice-Principal asking if there was a "problem" at home that necessitated hastily written excuse notes for Ky being late. After explaining the situation, I got reprieve from writing those notes, as the V-P "got it" and wished everyone would do the same. It's not as hard as we make it out to be, sometimes.

"Idyll Haven" is PERFECT, Sue!!! Given your town's history in this state and the fact that it was a "haven" for weary travelers, and the fact that it's brought so much peace to all of us via visits and pictures, a more appropriate name would be tough to come by.

Thanks, again, for the support to Rich and me. We're fine, and getting better every day :-)

Interesting to read about everyone's critter encounters. "Half Naked Woman Gets Skunked" or "Snake Journies Back to Its Namesake" would probably pop up on a website, somewhere!!! LOL

I love that rose, Kathy. Now that I'm in Z6 I'm tempted to try some more of the heirlooms. Keep those pics coming! Even arugala and lettuce will be welcome when there's 2' of snow outside :-)

Scooting out early, today for 8:30 appt in Southern Vermont. Everyone have a great day, give your kids an extra hug, and yourselves an extra reason to smile.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 7:06AM
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I only have but a moment but I wanted to send hugs to Norma. It is extremely hard.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 7:42AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well, the weather doesnt know whether it wants to be fall or late summer. Yesterday was just scrumptious in the 80s! I took some more cuttings and I think I almost have all the coleus I want to winter over. Today Im going to get the last couple varieties and start on the plectranthus, iresine, strobilanthes and abutilon. Then I have to begin chopping up the fuchsia. I just hate it when I have to do that! LOL

Oh Norma, Im so very sorry. Hugs to you.

Babs, LOL about the potting soil on your arm. I went to have my nails done one time last spring and when she took off the old nail polish I had potting soil left under my fingernails. Yeesh I was pretty embarrassed. ~~ So sad about that little girl.

Barbara, neat idea about the plastic on the garden to get the weeds to sprout. I never heard of solarizing the soil before.

Honey, wow! Great pics! Your front landscaping is looking wonderful! Youve done an unbelievable amount of work there and your boulder wall looks terrific.

Michelle and Marian, thanks for the info on the geraniums. Im going to give it a try to get them to go dormant and make cuttings as well.

Marian, great that you have a spike on your dendrobium. Ive never been able to get dendrobiums to rebloom for me. Good job!

Chelone, I have my share of subterranean difficulties here in the Granite State also. I feel your pain and frustration. Ive got a huge chunk of granite sitting in the middle of a garden that has been sitting there most of the summer because I dont quite know what to do with it now that it got dug out of the ground.

Martie, I love the story about your driving around the block another couple times to finish your conversation with Kyle. Good communication is the basis for all relationships isnt it?

Yea! Kathy has pics up! That rose is just lovely. The one thing I just cant get over anytime I get out to your neck of the woods is just how fantastic the roses are. You must have the perfect climate for them. I wish we could post the fragrance too!

OK time to water the pots and get to the gym take cuttings; dig, prune and repot some fuchsias; paint a bowl and if I can get all that done in a day Ill be superwoman! LOL


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 7:44AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good morning!

Martie is right-the wind is gusting here this morning but the sky is a brilliant blue and we're expecting temps in the mid 60s. A quintessential fall day. I may sneak out to a nursery at lunchtime again today. Yesterday I scored a couple of huge nice quality decorative terra cotta pots for $25 each at a place I sometimes frequent. It seems like the price was screwed up on them but Monique tells me Les bought the same ones last year at this place for the same price. On Monday I bought a miniature ornamental peach tree Prunus persica 'Bonfire' for 40% off. It's deal time out there folks.

Jeez, Honey, you ought to go into the landscape design business! Talk about curb appeal. What do your neighbors think? Although I appreciate the look of similiar plants used in mass, I don't have the discipline to plant like that myself. Drifts of one

Chelone I'm confident you will rediscover your "fun" self. I still see it.

Beautiful picture Kathy! Glad you figured out the image posting thing. What is it about roses and the west coast? Lower humidity and warmer temps maybe? The only roses I've had decent luck with are the Knockouts and Carefrees. I recently bought a Scarlet Meidelland for my curb garden-we'll see how that goes.

Well off to a day of financial statement prep. Our monthly financials here number about 100 pages. I hate month end.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 8:47AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Sheesh its been taking me two hours each day to commute into DC lately I usually leave a lot of "wiggle" room for the morning commute and get into work early, which gives me free time to chat at the Idylls but w/ it all eaten up this week w/ commuting hassles, etc., Im having to jump right into work what a jolt and boy, I miss being able to keep up here... bummer. . . .
Sure hope it gets better soon. . . . it doesnt bode well for "winter commutes" though. Shudder (cant bear to dwell on that notion!). I guess I should try to add more "free" time but I just am not a morning person and cant bear the thought of getting up earlier (cant even get up early to exercise or walk like I should; hence no more weight loss for months. . . . Im in a slump). Brenda, Im soooo impressed by your commitment to exercise & willing to forego sleep to achieve it!

Deanne I think you inquired about the pink oriental lilies I believe its either Le Reve or Rosy Wonder (not sure which; Ill have to look at my records). . . .

Martie I want to belatedly note that I think it is tremendous of you and Rich to both acknowledge a "hang-up" and then decide to do something about it, i.e., the teeth it takes tremendous courage and fortitude to bear that for so long. But we all have foibles, etc.

Mary what a delightful diorama how clever - & boy, yes, Beatrix Potter would be impressed. What a hoot.

(((Norma))) we feel your pain not much comfort to be had but to know that we all know how you are feeling now... It IS like losing a family member.

Honey wow, I just love, love love the final look you are a true landscape designer and I am still in awe of the fact that you & DH did almost all the work. Incredible. . . . . Yep, I really love the Iris (but Im a variegated freak. . . . it just makes my heart sing to see that stuff!). I know youre gonna have people knocking on your door to inquire who your "landscaper" was to get referral!

Kathy wow I can almost smell the fragrance on that rose!! Gorgeous. . . .

Marian, sorry youve not been feeling well --- but sounds like youre keeping up with the houseplants just fine you and Deanne will be having a contest in the orchid department before you know it!

Mary glad youre enjoying all the new hours & job but I feel for you re the coffee I just cant go instant either (unless Im in terrible desperation at some point!)...

Sue - it's weird - in this area there are just not very many "deals" yet on stuff - if you're lucky you might find 20% off on some perennials but that's it.... Boy, arent you running out of space for trees, LOL? I saw the prunus Bonfire at Lowes recently but had to resist....(& definitely not at that good a price!).

Ok, Ive really run out of play time gotta get serious here.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 9:37AM
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I'm sorry for your heart ache Norma. For whatever pain they bring in their death, nothing beats the time they're with us.

I'm not really up for posting. Just wanted to read and keep up. I'm enjoying just reading for now.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 10:02AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls!

I am in a rush, but wanted to thank Woody & Norma for the birthday cards. Woody...that's such an artistic pic...I too want to know what's in there. I thought maybe perovskia and?? The foreground plant has me a little stumped. At first with the cottony seedheads I thought butterfly weed, but looking at the foliage and flower form I knew it wasn't. I'm thinking Veronicastrum? Anyway it's very neat....just love it!

Norma you always have such great color in your gardens. I would love to see your garden someday too and your ponds! I'm so sorry to hear about Keebler. To lose someone you love is a very painful thing. It really is the hardest thing about owning and loving a pet, that they can't live as long as we do.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 10:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Reading recent postings shows how incredibly sad a place the world can be...yet, looking at the "half full" approach to life, the gathering of empathetic friends here and their kindnesses is remarkable.

The sun is shining here once more.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 10:58AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Ah, finally sun, but cool. Good weather to start cleaning up the garden, put compost on and mulch the other side of the front landscape. Ill need every one of the next 4 days w/o rain to get stuff done.

We went to the funeral home last nite for our neighbors son. It was just so sad. We found out that they suspect he had ingested something. Theyre still waiting for the results of the autopsy. I gave the father a copy of, The Bereaved Parent, a book I found helpful in understanding my parents mourning years after my DB died. There will be tough times ahead b/c this gentleman is retired, divorced and lives alone. Hes very introverted and only lately since getting a golden retriever puppy, has interacted with the neighbors. I hope it helps and he finds it meaningful. Its such a tragic loss of a bright, handsome young man.

Babs, I was stunned to read about the sudden loss of that child. How scary. My heart goes out to the family.

And Mary, I, too, found myself in tears over those poor children in PA. BTW, I love hearing about Annie and David and am sure youll do fine w/them as teens. Its trying, but staying involved w/them as you are is so important. Congrats to Annie on a successful swim meet!

I took advantage of the weather yesterday and shortened some pants, replaced buttons and mended, and worked on my clothes closet. I shopped in my basement stash and found several items I can now wear YEAH -- and removed items that are now too large. Ill bet Brenda and Deanne are doing or will be doing the same. I have plenty of grubbies to wear, I just didnt have any dress-up clothes. I still have more weight to lose to get into some things, so this was a great incentive.

Marian, it was so great to see a long post from you. Im glad you felt up to it. Im hoping that means youre feeling a lot better. Thanks, about the front project. As you can see, I love Sedona, too. It really brightens up the area. Im sure it will be a staple in that container. I just need to work it out. About moving those boulders, I was very, very careful to do it slowly. If I was tired, I did something else so I didnt strain myself. I used a heavy iron prybar against other stones to shift them around; dug around and under them to either roll them down the mound or inch them to their new location. I also shoved GDs snow saucer under one of them and towed it to its new home. The snow saucer worked the best!

Im sorry the pix arent crisper, but the brick pattern becomes dizzying. I know I need more evergreens, but I want to see how it looks this winter and note bloom times of what I have out there already. I also want to add 4 more Juniper Limeglow. All that empty dirt is bugging me!

Michelle, I planted the Iris Denim" you gave me with Brunnera Looking Glass in front of the Acer Fireglow and cant wait to see them bloom together in the Spring. Thanks, Ei, for the combo idea!

I thot the "lettuce as DH calls it which is Bergenia Baby Doll and iris on the other side of the Acer" really helped brighten that area up:

Its a good start and Ill probably shift some of the perennials. I still want a small ornamental tree in the courtyard by the front door. Id love to put a Sambucus Sutherlands Gold there but I dont want any berries on the walk. Well see.

I wanted to comment about the snake. I hate snakes. Any kind, anywhere. But DH tells me that farmers put a black snake in the barn to control rodents and keep out other poisonous kinds. Id never make it as a farmer.

Chelone, its great to see you back posting. I know its a really difficult time for you. Hang in there.

Martie, Im still learning my camera and photo program. Its on my to-do list for winter. Youll probably do just fine w/it. Im looking forward to pix from you!

(((((Norma))))). Im so sorry you had to say goodbye to your furry friend. They give so much love to us and its so hard to let go of such faithful campanions.

Woody, I forgot to welcome you back! Ive missed your sage advice and friendly Voice. And I loved the bday card photo!

Kathy, I love those roses! Please, please, please, give us photos like that thru our long, dreary winters. Re the ghosts, theyre are a hit in my neighborhood. While I was working on the front landscape, I had inquiries from kids and adults walking their dogs as to whether or not I left enough room for the ghosts! Funny thing, tho, there are 2 golden retrievers that are terrified of them! In fact, the neighbor across the street has to coax hers outside.

Babs, thanks for your comments on the landscape project. I, too, thot of T and the curvy beds. Ive really been making a conscious effort to vary the texture and color of the foliage. I love what Les and Monique have done w/their front landscaping and was hoping some of their expertise would rub off on me! About Jane, from what Ive read and was told by several nurseries, the Star Magnolia series grow much faster and get much larger. I wanted "Leonard Messel for its gorgeous pink star blooms, but it definitely would get too big for that area. Im hoping Jane has read her label and stays within those bounds. Well see.

Martie, we used to do similar w/DD. You were wise to take advantage of whatever opportunity presented itself. As DD got older, we found that we often had long meaningful conversations when we went out to dinner. Once, we got real disgusted looks from fellow diners. DD was trying to learn something and we had the opportunity! At that time, DD was working at a mortgage company and was trying to understand how fed interest rates and policies affected the economy. While she had it in school, she never understood it and how it applied to real life. It doesnt matter how young or old they are, if they trust you enough to ask and want to learn, who cares?

Deanne, please show us what you do with that piece of granite. I thot of you each time I had to inch those rocks around, or dug a hole only to find a treasure buried there. Thanks for the comments on the front. It doesnt look like theres that much work in it, tho. But then again, Im pretty slow at it.

Thanks, Sue! Im learning as I go here. Im getting all kinds of thumbs up from neighbors. I really appreciated your reminder to save room for annuals and a container, which I did. Now I need to take out some more sod on the other side to make room for more annuals and color to balance it out.

Wow, Cindy, thanks. I dont know about folks wanting my designer, lol. So far, its been 1/8th the cost of what the nursery proposed even using larger and more expensive plants. Thank goodness I had DH to help dig out the junk we encountered.

Hi to Saucy, Marie, Ei, T and anyone else I missed. Gotta get to the market. TTYL,


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 11:29AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chilly and overcast here, but no rain in sight. Had to close the house back up, and may have to start the fire tomorrow morning.
Nolon is taking daily treks up to the sawmill, with his pickup and chainsaws, to cut up more firewood. It is an obsession with him...:-) I know he has more than we will need this winter, unless it is a record breaker ( and that wouldn't surprise me! )

Martie, I hope your ears of corn are mature enough to have developed their colors. "Fall" is living up to it's name here. Some leaves are showering down. A couple of days ago the honey locust were still full of yellow leaves. Today they are all on the ground! But they are the first to go.
That is great about your talks with Kyle. And what a nice understanding Vice-Principal.

Deanne, you made my day with the info about the dendrobium! I can't imagine you failing with any plant.
We also have "subterranean" difficulties. Our soil is poor and shallow, and much of it is over bedrock.

Cindy, you must have the patience of Job to put up with a two hour commute! Are you near Alexander? Or farther into Va.? Yep, I am keeping up with the houseplants. I watered all the ones in the plant room day before yesterday, and the ones that are still outside yesterday. It is easy in both places, because I don't have to worry about wayward water. In the house I am frequently mopping up spills.( I have become rather a clutz!)

Mary, I have never lived where there was a Starbucks or Dunkin' Doughnuts, so have never become addicted to anything except the store bought, and cafe', coffees. I use Hills Bros 50% most of the time, and a cheap decaf in the evening.

Still thinking of Norma's loss, and wondering how I would/will react when we lose Tommy. The others won't hit me as hard, but I am very partial to him. I don't believe we should adopt any more pets at this stage of our lives, unless it is not a young one. My house would be lonesome without the cats, but boy!, do they add to the debris! Cat hairs everywhere! I found the remains of their night's catch on the front porch mat...yuck! Thank goodness it never made it into the house!

Saucy, be sure and keep reading, and post when you are up to it. :-)

Good to see others passing through...Ei, Marie, etc.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 11:43AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Good morning Idylls,
Been a crazy week here, but finally have time and mental energy to jot a few words now. I survived the sleepover with 8 kids, but Sunday one kid managed to poke a gash requiring stitches so close to his eye my heart stopped for a second, so I spent a couple of hours in the emerge dept of the local hospital with him. We were "next in line", they had given him the analgesic gel, when a call came in that a 17 year old girl had hit a cement wall drag racing at a local track and was being airlifted to our hospital momentarily and we were advised they would be busy for hours. So we left, and his mum had to take him to the hospital in our old town after all, and he missed his hockey tryouts. Small potatoes compared to the the young girl, who sadly did not survive and was front page news the next day.

Babs how terrible about that little girl! We had a meningitis scare in my old town a few years ago and its very frightening. Especially since the symptoms, like a sore throat, are so common,yet it can escalate so quickly. Honey how awful about your neighbors son. Very sad for all parents who lose a childjust not natural.

(((Norma))), Im so sorry about your loss. It is very real, as many of us know from sad experience. I placed the pot of Boomers forget-me-nots that were over his grave at my old house in my new curvy bed Tuesday, and felt sad all over again.

Loved all the birthday cards, and yes Babs, they were fun-giis lol! Loved the supermarket story Ei, and glad you got some smiles from the cards.

Jerri, how wonderful my idyll tityll drew you out! Great to hear from you, and boy it sure sounds like you have a large furry menagerie happening! We should nominate you for Extreme Home Makeover and get them to build you a kennel, lol! Please do pop in more often, even if its only a quickie. Quickies are better than nothing at all and its nice to know how youre doing.

Sue, Idyll Haven sounds perfect!

Thanks Wendy for that song, which was cute, but I need a new theme now please! The real thing isnt so cute, and Im getting very tired of this d*mn poison ivy! The original rash is drying up and scabbing over, and looks like it might leave me scarred for life, so Im applying pure vitamin E oil (messy!) to try to help it heal without scarring. But Ive got a whole new wave happening, just as bloody itchy, so those areas are still getting the anti-itch gel. Im tired and irritable after 12 days of either tossing and turning half the night in itchy agony or being comatose and feeling like a zombie if I cave to the Benedryl. Enough already! I sure hope it came in on the manure and isnt on my property, as Im obviously very sensitive to it. Apparentely it can last up to 3 weeks. Wahhh

A big welcome to Kathy! Looking forward to hearing about your gardening experiences and seeing lots of pics to carry us through our northern winters here. Just dive in whenever you want, and dont worry about "keeping up" with everyone, which is next to impossible now our group has gotten so large. Love that rose!

Honey your new beds are just beautiful! I wasn't kidding about getting a job replacing the designer you fired--take pics and show the nursery! You should be very proud of your hard work!

BTW T your new curvy beds will be fabulous too! It is really impossible to mess up a lasagna bed, you just use what you have and let the earthworms go to work. I wish I had until next spring to plan mine but need to just plop everything in the ground before the snow flies, though hoping some combos magically turn out well. :)

T, thank you for your kind words, blush, blush, though I think you give me more credit than I deserve, lol. If I was that intelligent about plants I wouldnt be covered in Poison Ivy now, would I? Lol! And I noticed in going through my pot ghetto the other day that many of the tags have faded to oblivion (despite using Sharpies that arent supposed to fade) and I have NO CLUE what some of the plants are, lol! But thank you for your sweet words, they gave me a boost.

And I needed a boost this week. Its been raining, gray and dreary and Ive been teary, gray and dreary too. Time for a light box? Had to fill out many pages of questionnaires from the counseler for our 2nd session Tuesday, and my answers made me sadly aware of just how far apart weve become, and put me in a foul humour. But our session went well and Im hopeful well resolve some issues and open the lines of communication. There are rules about communicating now. We cant say "you" or use words like "always" or "never". We must say "I FEEL blah, blah, blah and I NEED blah blah blah". Then to show weve actually heard the other person correctly, we must repeat that back; "I HEAR you saying that you FEEL blah, blah, blah and you NEED blah blah blah. Is that right?" Harder than it seems in reality, because often what we think we heard is not at all what the person said. Which leads to the problems. But we are both trying hard. Its been a h*ll of a stressful 12 months for us, especially taking a year for the moving process. Yes, we put an offer on that first house Aug 25th, 2005 and closed in Cambridge Aug 15th, 2006 so it was actually a year less 10 days! Unbelievable! And Bruces illness and passing was also a tough one to deal with. Looking forward to a fresh start here, in many ways.

Mary, your adorable pic gave me a boost too, and made the boys giggle. I wish I could hear you play the violin, but though Sues clip eventually loaded, it is all choppy with this dial-up connection, and I havent seen a way I can download it and hear it offline. I did see your lovely garden pics though! Please save some seeds of those datura for me if possible. I have sheet music to send for Annie and will email my seed list (same as last years lol) and include any youre interested in. Going to try to load some of the other photo threads overnight to view tomorrow morning.

(((Martie and Rich))), that must have been hard to write, not to mention go through, but Im so glad you shared. This is a very supportive bunch as you know, and positive feedback always helps. I hope the surgery gives Rich his self-confidence back. What an awesome gift he gave to his country. Martie also loved hearing about your plans with the veggies and the 11 year old gardeners. My guys would love to have a neighbor like you! Me too!

BTW Martie, we also have Thanksgiving here in Canada, though for us it is the 2nd weekend in October, so THIS weekend for those north of 60. (Very sensibly IMHO as we actually have time to use up the turkey leftovers before cooking the Christmas bird, lol!). Anyway, to complicate things further, in our family we do "Christmas at Thanksgiving" with DHs sisters families, as they both live quite a drive away and in the snowbelt, so ACTUAL Christmas visits are always a crapshoot. This year Im having it here as neither sis has seen our new home. I am THRILLED that 3 of the trees I thought were Black Walnuts are actually Chestnut trees, so Ill be making Chestnut stuffing this year! Things have been a bit tense with his sisters since a year ago when I shared our marriage woes with them. In their family if you don't acknowledge a problem it doesn't exist and they would rather they just not exist, so they didn't want to know. So I'll be truly thankful if it's a relaxed and enjoyable weekend.

So yesterday I took Marties advice, and despite the horrible weather that had me down, put on makeup, dressy clothes and yes, perfume, and went shopping for Christmas gifts for 6 kids, and birthday gifts for 6 kids, one SIL and my FIL. Only 3 now left to get, plus the turkey and other foodstuffs for the dinner, but that panicky "too much to do" feeling is waning. Felt good to be dressed and out of the house and accomplishing things! Also inspired by Brenda, (Im so impressed Brenda!) Im going to take 20 minutes NOW and do some yoga in the loft room that Ive set up for exercising but havent as yet used. You guys are very inspiring, thank you!

Loved both the brugs on the last thread! That variegated leaf is really cool. I tried them a couple of times but just as they were about to bloom wed get frost. Deanne & Wendy, whats your secret? BTW Deanne, you ARE kidding about whether Im going to wait to plant my new bed right? I have over 200 plants in the pot ghetto I brought from my old home and Im just hopeful I can FIT them in the existing beds + new lasagna bed! A LOT to plant!

On that note, it is actually sunny today, though only 50F so Im going to get out there and continue placing pots this way and that and see if I cant get some in the ground. Next 3 days are supposed to be in the 70s and sunny, so hopefully will make real headway before the clan comes on Sunday (Monday being the holiday). Martie you asked about stepping stone materialfor now I just took pavers and decorative stepping stones from other areas of the propertyfunctional, if not aesthetically pleasing. Just gotta get them puppies in the ground soon! If I can get all planted in the next week I think Ill hunt down some marked-down bulbs and give myself some more work to do. :)

Hi to Marian, Chelone, Cindy, V (did you get a new job V??? I missed something!), Woody (great pic!) and all Ive missed. Ive blabbed too much already. If I dont get back here again before the weekend, happy TG to the canucky Idylls, and have a good one to everyone else...


the pot ghetto (side view--note the wheel barrow and trees for perspective):

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 11:44AM
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Hi Idylls, Thanks for the hugs and kind words. I only wish I were as well spoken as everyone here. I think it is why I don't post sometimes. I can never seem to find the right words. But I love it here.
I have much to do today. I posted some pics of Keebler on another thread. Not for sympathy, but just to share his life. Be back later. Norma

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 12:48PM
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Good morning to all in Idylland. We have had the craziest weather. Tuesday it hit 90 degrees and yesterday 57. We did some painting on the house last night, but it gets dark so early these days.

Saucy, Im glad that even if you dont feel like posting, you still pop in and say hi.

Cindy, a 2 hour commute is really the pits.

Honey, what a fabulous job you have done. Its incredible the amount that you have gotten accomplished. The large magnolia and other shrubs sure give it an established look. We want to redo the front entry of our house, will you come? Please LOL
What fun to see a piece of one of my plants in your garden. It should look fabulous with the brunnera.

Kathy, I love the rose picture and the raindrops make it even lovelier.

Mary, bummer about not being able to get a good cup of coffee. I dont drink it which is good because there isnt a Starbucks around here ;o)

Sue, I am definitely a Drifts of One person too. The first time I heard him say that on some gardening show, I thought "ah ha thats me"

Taryn, good to hear from you again. I hope that the counseling is productive and helpful for the two of you. My first husband would never consent to it, which is really a sad statement. You guys have had quite a year, theres bound to be stress.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 1:44PM
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Hello Idylls,

It's cold but sunny here. We really need to dry out. The slugs are getting the best of my garden again. I'm battling them with homemade slug traps. It seems to be a neverending battle. I've been on a cleaning and organizing trend this week, preparation for nesting through the winter I guess.

Mary, I loved David's picture. Reminded me of the Redwall books with all of the little woodland creatures.

Hi Kathy, nice to meet you and have you join in. Can't wait to see more beautiful pictures from you and get to know you better. Welcome!

Honey, WOW! You've done a great job. Just fantastic. I keep meaning to ask you, is your Enchanted Double White brug blooming yet?

I have to keep this short. Just wanted to drop in and say HI. I'll try to get back for a longer and better post soon.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 2:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Norma, fabu-fabu shots of Keebler. I certainly hope those are framed and on the wall! We never forget our furry friends....

Cindy, I'm worn out just thinking of your commute to DC. I guess you could finish War & Peace on tape though....

Saucy, I'm so glad you are reading along. Fall can be such a struggle and finding time for yourself is a necessity! I think Taryn will find that 'alone' time spent outside digging her plants into the dirt. But doing things together is a prioroty as well.

Lovely rose Kathy...I'm envy-green. I have a few stragglers left today still though.

Well Honey, what an accomplishement! Your "together time" has been so successful from my point of view. Not sure how Tom feels, but he must be proud of the new look! This sure is the time to work with color! Things will expand by leaps and bounds, so don't worry at all about blank spots now.

Hope your doggie is learning new tricks Woody. Labs are eager to please, so I am hopeful!

Here at the farm the vitex is just starting to gain some colour, the sumac is lovely, the witchhazel has a few blooms, the viburnum berries are a rich red, the 'kiss me over the garden gate' is heavy with pink blooms, the ivy on the barn is purple and the rose hips are shiny and bright red. It is certainly Autumn.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 3:07PM
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The helpmeet just extracted a tick from my flesh. It was happily feeding on my left side, nicely tucked out of reach under my bra strap. I have a nice red spot and it's a little tender right now. Dutifully marked on the calendar, I'm hoping the redness goes away... I don't really need another case of Lyme Disease right now!

We couldn't face planting the Amelanchier today, either. I want to work the site a little bit, removing root debris and seeing if the water in the newly dug hole soaks into the ground or remains at its present level. A low lot and lots of ledge present a host of planting difficulties. Sigh. I was noting the many outcroppings so plainly visible on the golf course this afternoon.

I felt the cold front sweep through between 1:30 and 2 AM this morning (awake, worrying about Mum and the decision I know is looming in the near future). It began with the gentle rain, and then got harder. The winds picked up afterwards. I could see the remaining clouds retreating east, far out to sea as I drove to work this morning. And it's a lot chillier! We're getting close to a frost, but I don't think it will be this weekend.

I managed to cut out two shades for the "lab." today, get the dog out for an hour, and take a call from a friend who will in town for a few days. She will be "crashing" here, and I'm looking forward to seeing her and catching up with her news.

60' tree is good size, Babs.! Sounds like an expensive proposition to remove something that size from a small yard... . Even before the price of the new roof is factored in. ;)

How was the concert, Saucy? we played some EC in the shop the other day. I thought about you and want to tell you I hope things are looking up in your corner of the world right now. Sometimes it's hard to just keep plodding along when the path ahead looks so hard.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 6:25PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Ei and others - the flowers in the picture are Russian Sage and Veronicastrum. DH took the picture, not me all the good pictures are taken by him! I just point and shoot and grow the flowers for him to photograph. I love the way the Veronicastrum flowers in that picture looked like vivid candles.

Deanne and Marian it was pretty easy to cut down the elders. I wielded the loppers and Barb dragged the result out to the street the next day was a brush pick-up day. The real trick will be killing the roots with Round-up in the spring when it starts to re-sprout! It would be impossible to dig out all the roots so chemicals are called for Im afraid. Im not sure what Ill plant in their place. First we have to decide what were going to do with the shed tear it down and build a new one, or attempt to repair/modify this one. I favor the first option and DH is leaning towards the second. I think a bad winter with heavy snowfall might bring all or part of it down which would settle the question rather effectively! So well probably end up waiting until spring to decide what to do.

Honey thats an impressive looking project you completed there! It will be fun to see it as the plants fill in so youll have to keep posting those views next yearI would not want to find rocks like that in my garden digging and I certainly wouldnt want to play with digging them up and moving them around. Ive always thought those dancing ghosts are the best Halloween decorations Ive seen. That was a dreadful thing that happened to your neighbours son. Im sure a Golden is poor comfort for him at the moment but I know a Golden will do its best to offer generous comfort. And having something young even something canine that needs his care and attention might go a long way to keep him from retreating too far into unimaginable grief.

Marian Im typing this response in Word and flipping back and forth from that to the Idyll thread but I know Ill miss something anyway cause Im skimming too fast! Sometimes I only realize I missed something when I see someone else comment on it and go Huh? What was that about? and have to go back and find what they were talking about Re the thunder and lightening my problem is that I cant hear the thunder at all. Usually, you would hear thunder in the distance that would warn you that a thunderstorm is approaching. I have no warning until I see lightening. I usually check the weather radar before going walking and, if it looks like there are thunderstorms in the area, I dont go out. But sometimes things change very fast so I rely on the dogs to warn me of thunder once Im out walking.

Chelone you chopped down white pines?! You naughty person Theyre my favorite trees! (I do understand, though, that it is possible to have too many if you dont have a very large space for them) I admire immensely your care for your mother. You must be exhausted! There are good care facilities out there so, when the time comes, I hope you find a good one. DHs mother is now on the downward slide mentally and it is distressing to see. Everyone is trying to talk them into coming back here from out west. So far, they have resisted because they dont want to be a burden. But the time is not too far off when his father is not going to be able to cope on his own. We think they are softening about the possibility of coming back here as long as they can move into a place of their own. They are in France this month and weve all got our fingers crossed that they make it back home safely his mother is getting fairly shaky on her feet and a fall is probably in her future soon.

(((Norma))) re Keebler! Such a beautiful dog! Definitely some Golden in that boy. 14/15 seems to be the fatal age this year for dogs. A friend lost her beautiful long-haired German Shepherd at that age this spring; we lost Chelsea at 14-almost-15 in May; another friend lost her 15-year-old Sheltie two weeks ago. All such sad losses your tribute thread brought tears to my eyes. The poems were very true. While another dog will never be able to fill the hole Chelsea left, there is a general dog-shaped hole in our lives that a new dog can ease into.

Mary clearly what you need to get is a coffee roaster; roast your beans and grind them fresh to take to work. Microwave water hot, put the fresh ground coffee in a drip filter and, ta-da! instant, great coffee! Thats what DH does (I dont drink coffee)

Sue I vote for Idyll Haven as a name too.

Cindy ugh! A two-hour commute! I thought the 1 hour + from here to Toronto was bad enough. Im glad I dont have to do that anymore, but DH does. He leaves at 6:00 am to avoid the worst of the morning rush.

Apologies to everyone else here Im only about 2/3 of the way down the thread and my typing arm has given out! So just a few last comments from here

Cool and sunny today here and supposed today that way for most of the (Thanksgiving) weekend. We got about half of the fall bulb order in the ground today. We had some good training sessions with Bailey this week. She was walking nicely at heel for me in the house today and walking reasonably well for Teresa outside. Next week Ill be trying her at heel outside at the nearby church parking lot to begin with, before trying her on the road. I also still have to introduce her to going up and down on the lift with me. She was checking it out today but not while it was moving. Most dogs dont seem to mind it and Liam, friends Border Collie, thinks its some kind of amusement park ride or something he loves it! (see picture below) Im certainly hoping Bailey may eventually become a permanent resident here because shes a very nice dog.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 8:34PM
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Honey, your new landscapeing has really moved along and looking good. You really have worked hard on that.
I keep thinking of your neighbors loss of their son. It is the sudden and unexpected things that are so hard to take.

Saucy, please don't go away again. I always enjoy your posts and am sorry you are so troubled. We have been there many times through the years and probably would have called it quits if not for the kids. Today I am thankful we stuck it out. Nobody knows me like he does or him like I do. We are comfortable together. Not to say there won't be bad days yet. But it is worth it. I sometimes see the crankiness our kids and their spouses are exhibiting with each other and think, ah yes I remember those days.
To be fair I do understand there are some things in some marriages that are not acceptable.

Taryn,I can't wait to see that new curvy bed in bloom next year. I'm glad you brought Boomers forget me nots along.
I'm hopeing you and Glenn will benefit from the counceling. I'm betting the next year will be a good one for you.
Hate to hear about the injury incident at the sleepover. With that many active kids in one place there is always that chance.

T, bummer that you ran out of material for your curvy beds. Just remember the little engine that could. You will get them done if you keep chugging along. So you are going to pitch in with the babysitting? Its great that you can help. It just wasn't feesible for me to do it with Wyatt and I hated him having to go to daycare. But he did just fine and I keep him if he is sick.

Bug, our daughter has always lived far away and I feel your anquish at not being a part of your daughters life. We were fortunate that are grandaughters always remember us from little on.They usually spent a couple of weeks with us when DD was at reserves. They always talk about the times they spent with us. Hopefully your new grandson will get to spend time at the farm with you too. I love my DD very much, but frankly we do things very differently and would surely get on each others nerves if together to much.

Ei, the flower in your birthday card is a mexican bush sage. I don't know if you have ever seen one but it is like velvet. I am not able to get the crisp closeups that Babs and Bug achieve. For one thing I don't ever take the time to drag the tripod along. I hope your life gets uncomplicated soon.

Babs, I'm happy you are taking time from your busy scheulde to check in once in awhile. We love hearing from you

Sue, it's great you are getting some recognition for all your hard work on your gardens. I know you must do a lot of planning and research on plants as well. It does look great and the style of your house and shed fit perfectly.
I would love to tour some gardens. I need to see if there is something like that in the St Louis area.

Eden, we have been the oposite of you weather wise. Warm and dry here. Although the warm is easing up again. I almost turned the air back on the other day. Our leaves are turning fast and starting to fall. It will be a constant battle to keep them off the new grass in the front yard. The squirrles aren't helping matters digging around for the acorns. They were chattering so much last night it sounded like a jungle full of monkeys. Not a pleasant sound at all.

Hi Jerri, Sounds like you have a full house again with all the furbies. We are always up for pictures.

Mary, what a cute picture of NuNu in the dollhouse. One of the nice things about having kids is getting to do the silly things with them.

Woody, I hope the lab learns to walk on leash for you. They are lovable dogs. Rebel has a tendacy to push on us. I don't know how it started. I know he is just trying to be affectionate. I have to knee him away. He is so big it doesn't take much to get you off balance.

Michelle, our weather has been back and forth too. Sometimes feels to hot to work or maybe to blustery out. I'm just wishing all the winter prep was out of the way so I could just enjoy the fall.

Oh Chelone, I hope the tick didn't infect you too. I hope you find the right spot for the tree. I know things are tough with your situation but I hope you stick around. I do love to hear tales of your area.

Welcome Kathy,

Hi Cindy, Wendy ,Marian and all others. Isn't it time for Drema to drop by?

I'm outa words and Deal or no deal is on. I didn't sleep more than five minutes all night last night. I'm hoping tonite will not be a repeat. It is a full moon though. Norma

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 9:15PM
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Happy Friday eve all, flushed with triumph after my succesful rose pic, I am tring my luck with a twosome..
This is my friend Ted, he likes to drink out of things that are not water dishes-I often have telltale kitty footprints on le pissioir

He's either dozing off or winking!

Glad you all enjoyed the rose pic..I am a rose-aholic and have crammed 60 plus into my dinky garden, all planted too close to everything else! I have to fight blackspot every spring but thank god we don't get japanese beetles here-I've seen some pretty gross pics of those dudes over on the rose forum.
Cindy, that is one ugly commute, I can't imagine a two hour stint-I live exactly one mile from my office.I am however at my desk at 6am or earlier and not home till 4:30 or 5. Hate those days when it's dark when you leave and dark when you get home.

Honey, I am insanely jealous of your Brunnera "Looking Glass" I have been trying to find Jack Frost around here for years and have yet to see it anywhere. I think I'm going to have to break down and do mail order.
Eden, the slugs we have out here are both the regular garden variety type and the steroidial banana slug which is very large and very slimy !

Ta ta for now folks, I have a ball game to watch !
Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 9:43PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Ah yes, Kathy, I was paying attention to the sports news when I was on the treadmill tonight and do know that the Dodgers are playing the Mets.

Is anyone else watching Survivor this season? For some reason I can't get into it for the first time ever. The personalities just aren't compelling. Too many gen-xers maybe, I can't put my finger on it.

Norma, have you ever been to the Missouri Botanical Garden? Their website comes up frequently when I'm researching plants. I checked the Garden Conservancy website and didn't see any activity for Missouri. St. Louis does appear to be somewhat of a garden hotbed so I can't imagine there are no tours. Keep your eyes open in the spring when the garden clubs start posting their schedules.

I don't know Marie, I think you're liar, liar pants on fire when you tell us you don't have color in the garden this late. When I was at your house I took a picture of that KMOGG plant only with a wider angle (no surprise there, right?)

I also loaded up one Deanne took of me hanging out the window of my "room". My goal is to get to all your houses and gardens. You can run but you can't

Idyll Haven it is, folks!

"See" you all tomorrow.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 10:08PM
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I collected more coleus cuttings tonight. I also walked around and video taped the garden. I love watching those videos during the winter. Its just like walking the garden. Im surprised how much is still blooming. I actually have quite a few roses in bloom. The most fragrant being "Sharifa Asma I have this one planted by the shed door so each time I go in I can smell it.

I hardly dare say it (believe me, my fingers are crossed) but I dont have Japanese beetles or slugs here.

Kathy, the cat winking is just too funny.

Chelone, did you clean the bite with alcohol? I think I have heard that recommended. They only seem to be a problem here in the spring, the nasty little buggers.

bug, great pictures. What is the last one? I grew the variegated Kiss Me over the garden gate this year. The leaves are much bigger and the flowers a somewhat lighter pink.

Sue, thanks for the wider views of Maries place. I love the house and barn.

Sleep tight and well Norma.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 11:05PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

((((((Norma)))))) I'm so sorry about Keebler. It is so hard to say goodby to a good furry companion. I still think of my Pepper and Kailey cats, and they've been gone for 7 years and 5 years respectively.
Deanne Belated Happy Birthday.((((((Norma)))))) I'm so sorry about Keebler. It is so hard to say goodbye to a good furry companion. I still think of my Pepper and Kailey cats, and they've been gone for 7 years and 5 years respectively.

Deanne Belated Happy Birthday.

Norma Belated Happy Birthday.

Wendy belated Happy Birthday.

V belated Happy Birthday.

Eileen belated Happy Birthday.

Chelone sorry about the tick. Sending positive thoughts your way that you don't get lyme disease. Leah my dog got lyme disease and we have to watch that she doesn't get a tick again as, I'm sure you know, the disease gets worse each time.

Taryn and Saucy sorry about the relationship struggles. Ei sorry about your struggles, too. I don't know if you have DH problems too, but we all seem to struggle as couples some times. It's hard to decide what to do when it seems that the partner is striking out against us. It's even tougher when someone is doing something we don't like. Viewing Internet porn seems to be a hugely growing addiction and I think is destroying some marriages. So sad. Richea and I don't have that problem at all. Weekly dates have helped us to stay connected in this chaos called life. We also connect on the phone regularly during the day, and have always done so. I hope time, counseling, and Idylling can get you all on the path to more peace and harmony in the family. Best of luck.

Hi to everyone else. I'm busy with our business, and struggling with anxiety to boot these days. It seems to paralyze me with regards to friendships and social interactions. I wish I could just snap my fingers and make it go away. Oh well maybe it's time for a visit to the doctor. Take care all, and I wish you all well.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 4:16AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

Well its a chilly 44 degrees and I can see the coleus outside shivering. It really must be the cold that makes Sedona get splotchy and dark as the more cold evenings we have the darker the splotching has gotten on that plant. The weather gurus are saying we should be frost free here for another week or so but if you look at the map there is supposed to be frost just 25 to 30 miles north of here so Im getting nervous. There are still way too many things outside for my comfort. Im thinking of having Doug set up my cold frames and tuck some of those containers into them to give me time to get things dismantled. I can see that this weekend is going to be a major rip up the container weekend here. The White Pines are making their yearly HUGE mess all over the place. Sorry Woody but I absolutely hate the pines here because of the mess. Too many needles, pine cones, pollen thingys and then lets not even go into the pitch issues. Yep, I really hate them here. I think they are beautiful out in the woods and on the hillsides but not in my back yard.

Yeona, sorry for your anxiety issues. Ive always dealt with it but it only rarely gets incapacitating. Yes, you really should get to a doctor if it is affecting your life.

Sue, LOL I love that piccie of you from that Sunday AM at Maries. Youre a hoot!

Kathy, love the kittie in the watering can. My boys will drink out of anything that contains water here so I have to always make sure to keep the bird baths clean. LOL

Woody, what a cute pic of you and the puppies on the lift. I can just see Misty peeking out the bottom. What a sweetie. ~~ Good luck with the shed project.

Chelone, sorry about the tick. I sure hope you dont wind up with Lyme. Thats pretty nasty. This was a pretty bad year for them. ~~ I agree that a frost is looming soon but the weather report as of this evening still gives us another week in the forties at night. But that could change without notice I imagine.

Bug, love the autumn pics. I just love those rose hips on the roses on your bridge.

Eden, My Rex Begonias that I brought in a couple weeks ago are in the process of losing most of their leaves is that normal?

Here is a pic of those lovely red rose hips from Maries bridge over her creek.

OK I think Ive got everything covered here. Have a great Friday


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 7:09AM
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Buenas Dias Muchachas y Muchachos!!! I have the mini United Nations sleeping downstairs with two international students, Kyle, his multi-lingual friend from southern CT, and the promise of a few more popping in for dinner tonight. The common language amongst all of them is Spanish so last night became interesting fast as the first sentence is about all that I can say fluently. I'm learning more though!!! It was suggested after a few heartfelt attempts that the next thing I learn to say is "I'll go get someone who speaks Spanish." LOL

Everyone does speak English but they've gotten into the habit of speaking Spanish at the dorm for maximum understanding. Very, very cool how 20 year olds can figure out what most nations can't.

It is to be chilly here, today, maybe reaching the mid-50's. This weekend will be used to finish up late-Summer stuff and start putting the gardens to bed. Definitely will start mounding up the roses (Kathy -- I'm insanely jealous of 60 plants) and will also reinforce trellises and arbors. Where Did this Season Go???????

Honey, if I haven't mentioned how much I appreciate your work-in-progress, here it is!! With building my current park I've learned how different landscaping is from gardening. Yes, there's a bit of both involved with every plant, but planning out the entire shebang and then making it happen is HUGE!! I, too, will be using masses of plants for the simple reason that there's too much area to be viewed from afar with have masses of one. I've had collector's gardens until now, and am actually looking forward to the less maintenance that masses will provide. Okay, of course I have some "oners" that I can't live without. Don't we all???

Am thinking of everyone this morning and, in honor of the current basement inhabitants, wish you all a cooperative day.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 7:22AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Also, Happy Birthday Marie! I can't do a proper greeting til I get home tonight but didn't want to wait that long for the well wishes. Enjoy!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 8:27AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Just enuf time before the work starts to give the greetings of the day to Gardenbug --

Happy Birthday, 'bug:


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 9:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 9:19AM
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Happy, Happy Birthday Marie! Enjoy your day!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 9:34AM
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Bella will be arriving any moment so just a quick post to answer Deanne. Rexes are so finicky. I don't have the best of luck with them always either but I'd say that yes they do drop some leaves when adjusting to being indoors and caution you to be careful not to overwater them. Let them dry out to the point they start to droop. They seem to do better with some measure of neglect. Do you have them under the lights? Mine do better there than in a window. I'm becoming less enamored with the rexes and collecting more of the others. I'm finding that all of the other types I'm growing are so much easier than the rexes.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 10:01AM
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Marie, That is a wonderful picture of your barn from Deanne.I also enjoyed Sue in the window. Have a great day.

Wecome to the Idyll pets Ted! I love your french discription Kathy.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 10:06AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi everyone! Sunny but chilly here. Im hoping the frost holds off for a couple weeks, too. Wish I could send some of the rain weve had to Marian and those that need it.

Happy Birthday, Bug!!

Marian, I forgot to respond to you -- you asked about my DDs recovery. Shes cranky b/c she wants to be back to normal but doing fine. About your adopting another pet at your age I think when the time comes its a good idea. Perhaps a middle-aged cat from the humane society. They say that folks w/animals live longer, healthier lives. Besides, youd be lonely w/o a furbie around. I know I would be. Bullet will be 15 (old for the breed) just after xmas. Im so attached to him that I simply cant face the thot of losing him. He seems to have become more animated and is letting us see how smart he really is. (Not to gross everyone out, but were amazed that lately, hes been depositing furballs in or next to the litterbox!!)

Michelle, I thot youd like to see that iris. Thanks again. It had been tucked away in the back so I thot Id try giving it a starring role in the redo. And thanks for the knid words on the landscaping. Im learning a lot, such as using multiples of the same plant to balance the façade so the design doesnt look spotty. I knew what I liked when I saw it or did it but didnt know why.

Oh Mary, no good coffee place nearby?! Can you buy the premium brands at your market and bring some in a thermos?

Taryn, nice long post from you! But no, no, no, not another xmas reminder!!! Im getting tons of xmas catalogs in the mail now. Its tooooooooo soon. Im not ready. I have an out-of-town guest next week, so let me wish you a happy turkey day AND a Merry Xmas.

Eden, no the Double White did not bloom for me. Boo-hoo. Charles has 8 blooms on it in front of the window inside the garage. Its too big for its pot. Should I repot before storing it? Thanks so much for both plants. Ive really enjoyed the adventure of having them. Now, if I can only keep them alive!

"Bug, Tom is well past done with landscaping and outside work in general. But he really likes the new look. Last nite, I sent him for more compost from the twp. in his car b/c were well over the limit per resident w/mine. He wasnt happy but didnt fuss b/c I used the guilt thing, "While I get dinner ready, would you please." Then after dinner, I cleaned up the chaise lounge chairs and had him carry them to the basement. I knew I was pushing my luck. He knows well be mulching, etc. this weekend.

(((Chelone))))) It sounds like you need a hug this am. You have a lot on your plate right now, but Im sure your Mom appreciates all that you do for her, even if she doesnt tell you. Has your DB been helping? I hope so.

((((Saucy))))) (((((Taryn)))). Im so sorry about your marriage problems. One of the things I learned from a failed first marriage is: "Dont sweat the small stuff." Altho my X was a no-good, cheating, gambling so and so, I did my part. Life is just too short to spend it arguing and fighting. I make sure I tell Tom just how much I appreciate him as often as possible, overlook short tempers, socks laying around and the like. I focus on wthe wonderful person he is and what he does do, not on what he doesnt. We both strive for a quiet, comfortable, harmonious life. I hope both you guys get to this place. It takes work but is so worth it.

Woody, thanks about the rock wall challenge. I knew I could do it if I was patient and persistent enough but am glad its done. I agree with what you said about my neighbor. We dont know him very well, but all of us are concerned about the depth of despair for him during the depths of a cold, dreary winter. I think we all need to try to make a point of staying in contact.

It sounds like youre making great progress with Bailey! Im sure as you spend more time w/him, hell sense what you want him to do and respond to your attention and loving care. A trainer once told us that dogs prefer to be trained. It makes their lives orderly and comfortable and they feel safe. Itll be interesting to see if he goes on the lift w/you.

Of, Kathy, I just love that pic of Ted. He looks so sweet. I wonder why you dont have Brunnera out there. I like both Jack Frost and Looking Glass but prefer the latter. Im hoping they do well there. I wanted to repeat the blue of the Montgomery spruce.

Wow great pix from Sue and Deanne! Hi to everyone I may have missed. Lots of stuff to do before my friend arrives next Tuesday. TTYL!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 12:23PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a quickie-the harvest has begun..woo hoo! Yesterday, I picked corn all day. Today, the guys are running beans, so I figured I'd have the day off. Went to town for a hair cut, and when I got back, I ended up chauffering the guys around to get the combine, dump cart and trucks moved. Now, it's 3:30--too late to start any of "my" stuff, but I think I've got the weekend to myself, and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous!!

(((Norma))) I'm so sorry about Keebler.

Taryn, yay for you, and I'm more than flattered that you said that I inspired you. Frankly, I think a BIG reason I'm so good about exercising is the fact that I have my own special place to do it. Feels really good to make time to do something just for you. Wish I had tried yoga years ago-great tension reliever!!!

Happy Birthday, Bug!

Marian, I didn't freeze any of the cherry tomatoes, but did a BUNCH of Romas, and a bazillion peppers. A few years ago, I gave up the big veggie garden and went to two 8'x4' raised beds built from 2x4's that were hanging around in the barn at MIL's for years. They're right outside the back door, and give Jim something to fiddle around with while he's out there grilling. Lol, pretty slick way to trick him into weeding, don't you think??? Now, I'm starting to think I'd like a "regular" garden again, so I can do green beans and stuff. Nowhere near the scale of the old one, I bet that one was 1/2 acre or so. WAY too big, and ended up full of perennials waiting for their "permanent" location and the ever-present quack grass. The weight loss has resulted in a lot more energy, so I might be able to keep up with a little garden. I can just see Jim rolling his eyes when I tell him I want a garden again. I've always heard it's a woman's perogative to change her mind!

I know there was more I wanted to comment on, but I do need to figure out what we're eating for supper. If I don't get something out of the freezer first thing in the morning, I forget about it altogether. I really don't want to dip into my stash of frozen pre-cooked meals, so I'll have to see how creative I can be with whatever is hanging around in the fridge. So, HI to everyone I missed!!
The pictures are all just gorgeous--I keep hoping some of your photography skills will rub off on me, but so far no luck. Guess for one thing, I need to get the camera out and USE it. I've hardly taken any pics this year.

Have a good one, all!
PS-Deanne, I forgive you for calling me Barbara-you had no way of knowing that's my MIL's name, lol!! :) Solarizing is a great way to get the weed seeds to sprout and die, and is also supposed to help kill off disease organisms. That's important in my raised beds, cuz I don't have enough room to really rotate things the way I should.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 3:38PM
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My fondest good wishes for Marie's birthday! I picked this shot because this was the first year I've ever had any luck with lacecaps. My wish is that "Tokyo Delight" delights you, too, tres chere 'bug. :) :

The tick bite is a teeny bit sore, but it's more about worry and timing the duration of the redness than discomfort. A minor annoyance, really. And a reminder to reapply the Frontline to feline and canine room-mates. Maybe to me, as well?

Mum is beyond appreciation. She lives from one moment to the next. Please and thank you are now puntuation; she couldn't tell me my brother's name yesterday, the day before she didn't know I was her child. Incontinence is becoming more frequent, 2 episodes last week. My brother had her for 2 months this summer; was shocked at how much work she was, but didn't hesitate to tell me he wasn't comfortable with putting her into a nursing home. Truthfully, neither am I. But I'm not comfortable taking care of her any longer, either! At this point, I'm not entirely sure it would matter if it was him/me/or a staffer that tended to her needs. Maybe I'm wrong. We are buttoning up final financial details and we've visited several nursing homes. Pending the trust lawyer's assessment, it will only be a matter of time before she is moved to a nursing home. I am alternately wracked with guilt/resentment over the time I've "served"/and gleeful anticipation of the "liberation date". Most days I don't know how I feel, I just get up, lower my head and pull into the yoke for as long as I have to.

I offer the following nugget for those who will face this in the future. I understand completely Norma's feelings about her daughter. I love Mum dearly, but she would never be someone I'd select for a friend. She was always remote, a bit formal, and had the unnerving trait of never letting on when she was angry. It was as though it gave her the "upper hand" (it did!), but it made for some tough times in my life and her own marriage. It was a shock for her to discover that I don't try to gloss over hurt/anger with a veneer of "politesse". If I'm mad, or you've offended me you will be second person to know it. I was done with BS the moment I moved out of the house. And I don't tolerate BS in my home. That was tough for her to accept when she came to live here; there were some "prickly" moments when I simply told her to "knock it off, we don't play that game here", doubly shocking when the helpmeet took her aside and told her the very same thing. Interestingly, the very same rule holds in my brother's home. We both live in bull**it-free zones. Anyway, traits that can be hidden quickly come to the surface when mental capacity wanes. More and more of her self-centered nature shines through because she now lacks the ability to camouflage it with smooth talk and a "poker face". But I still love her and always will. And I quake at the notion that what I have dealt with is what I will become, too... . The past 3+ years have changed me immeasurably. It's frightening and the reflection that shines back at me is not always pleasant.

I need to hang a load of laundry and take the "biggie boy" out for a "forced march". Woody., I a devotee of obedience training! it's the only thing that allows me to live comfortably with a dog (I hate dogs). It's about time (15-20 minutes/day), patience, consistency. And PRAISE, praise, praise... but, smaHt cookie that you are, I've little doubt you're surprised by that. :) I'm STILL dealing with Rex's lack of socialization with other dogs, but he's getting better! My go-to commands are "Heel!" or, "Leave it!" (my favorite). Compliance gets a "good boy!" and then a "watch me! GOOD BOY!" and a loving pat/hug and some time to play with the leash. He's great with people now; still would like to jump but knows that 4 on the floor gets more of the attention he really likes. I believe dogs prefer to be trained, too. Training gives them the attention they crave, and a trained dog gets to spend more time "hanging out" and interacting... something dogs love to do. Training defines "their job" and they're wonderful "employees". You'll get there!

Chatty Kathy here has to put Biggie on his string and get outdoors.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 3:46PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

(((Chelone))) good for you for the no BS zone! My FIL was the same way, and it drove me nuts. If you're ticked at me, tell me why, and we'll figure it out. You've done a great job taking care of your mum-I'm not sure if I would rise to the occasion as well as you have done.

What I popped back in for was to tell Sue..I don't think Survivor is as good this season, either. I haven't found my favorite person that I wanna root for yet-the people just aren't clicking. Tho, I was glad to see what's-his-face get the boot last night. He just rubbed me the wrong way. And, there's one guy (can ya tell I'm not into it..can't remember any names) he got sent to exile island once, and always wears a hat. Anyway, next time he's talking...close your eyes and try NOT to think of Alan Alda, lol! Drove me NUTS until I figured out why it seemed I knew that voice.

Okay, now I really GOTTA get off my butt-we're NO closer to having anything for supper ;)

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 4:13PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post to wish Marie a vibrant birthday!

And some other vibrant color on this cool, sunny October day:

Chelone - I don't think you have any need to feel anything but proud of the care you have provided your mother. When 'liberation day' arrives, enjoy it to the full!

I agree with your dog training approach. Misty has been a real challenge and, while she is still pretty crazy at times, she's at least half-way civilized now. Bailey is a piece of cake in comparison!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 4:13PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening, just wanted to pop in for a second. Brenda! I can't believe I did that??? Holy cow, I must be losing it. I've been typing half of my post at night before hitting the sack and I guess my brain is not 100% functional. Sorry!

Eden, Whoops, I guess I've overwatered one of those Rex Begonias and it probably is toast, or mush. I should probably can it now and cut my losses. Thanks for the input. They looked so beautiful all summer that I can't believe they've gone to pot so quickly and yes I do have them under the lights. Oh well, can't succeed with everything I guess.

OK I guess dinner is ready. Later all

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 6:43PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARIE ! and many , many more!

Chelone, I truely believe that when all is said and done you will be very glad that you have done all that you could for your mother. I do not think I could do as you have, for anyone. I am proud of you.

I have a lot more to say to each of you, in response to your posts, but I suffering from 'brain-fog' at the moment, so will attempt it later.

I drove us around a loop this morning. Nolon needed a haircut, I needed to go to Jasper for some business. His barber is in Harrison, so we went the loop. I was hoping to see some fall beauty, and took all three of my cameras. I never took a pic because there was NO fall beauty except in very isolated spots. The summer's drought has left the woods vegetation sparse and browning. Normally this area comes close to competing with the North Eastern States in fall colors....but not this year, unless something changes drastically. It is quite disheartening. When we got to Harrison I found they were in the middle of their annual Harvest Festival. The square was full of craft and food venders. Interesting, but I didn't linger long, since Nolon's barber wastes no time giving the haircut. After I got some groceries, we headed back home...stopping at the One Stop for lunch. I had a 1/2 thin crust pizza with everything on it. Nolon had his usual hamburger and fries. :-)

A nap felt good this PM.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 6:51PM
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Happy Birthday Marie! I guess I'm going to have to figure out how to get some pictures back online, huh? You've received some lovely cards.

We have a planned leaf peep for this weekend, perhaps I'll find card making material :)

Just want to let you all know that most of my problems with Nick are problems with myself. The things that bother me about him, bother me about Jake - that lets me know it's my own control issues. Now if they'd just conform to my little army, I'd be all set. I'm suffering major hormones this past few months, too....makes it tough to get things in perspective. Anyway, we talk really good after I "lose it" so he's doing what I need right now, and actually seems to be enjoying my happy reaction.

Just didn't want you all to think that he was sitting on the internet enjoying his porn and poker, LOL!!!

I took an indulgent shower today and what a dummy - I forgot to rinse the conditioner out of my hair! My hair looks wet, but it's not! We're having company, so I have to go take another shower. Geez!

I'm still itching to get out and plant the stuff I received from Deanne and Wendy. I had lots of reporting to do for Nick's company this week, then I had to go and get 8 copies made and sent out. At last it is DONE.

I'm dog sitting and he's SO ANNOYING! He follows me everywhere and sits at the door if I close it behind me! He sits facing me and stares! (He's reading this post right now :) If my big Zeus did this, I'd pull my hair out. Hanging out is one thing....this guy is weird :)


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 6:58PM
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    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 7:08PM
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Happy Birthday Marie

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 7:55PM
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Hi everyone

Just getting packed up ready to leave for Camp Testosterone. (For those who didn't see my earlier lament, I'd signed up to accompany David on a Cub Scout Camp and discovered (too late) that I will be the only female there.) I'm seriously considering smuggling in a little wine to sip in my sleeping bag. Oh well, at least the weekend promises to have gorgeous weather. I'll try not to think about how much I'd rather be gardening:0(

It's lovely to hear from everyone and see all the beautiful cards. I'll catch up with you all upon our return. I need to help a very excited Cub finish packing his fishing tackle and mess kit.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 8:16PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good luck, Mary. I sure do not envy you. You are very brave to go through with this.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 8:31PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Better you than me, Mary! Maybe I'll take an extra sip or two of wine tonight in your honor...oh what do you know, I already My excuse is it's been a looong week.

So, I guess the BD girl plans to swoop into this party fashionably late?


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 8:41PM
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Happy Camping Mary and David, Looking forward to big fish tales. LOL

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 9:03PM
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I think I did a boo boo on Bug's card. I just remembered she does not like red flowers. Sorry Bug.

Yeona Thanks for the Birthday wishes.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 9:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I don't know about "fashionably" late, but late I am! It is wonderful to see all the great flower photos..the red ones too...and read all the kind wishes. Really lovely when life gets it still does when you reach your 'Beatles birthday', the 64th.

Had a wonderful phone conversation with new GS (7) who tells me his goal is to be a millionaire. He assumes you simply go to the bank and they hand out money. I suggested there were a few more important things.
"Naaaw" says he laughing. "Money is everything!"
I asked, well what about tickles? Wouldn't the world be empty without tickles? Silence. "OK, tickles and money are both important!" I don't know if I won or lost that round! :-) Anyway, the trio sang HB to me. DGS asked what I was thankful for for Thanksgiving, which they will celebrate on Sunday. I suggested having him in my life.
"Oh brother! No really, tell me!"
"Well I meant it, but also for Charlotte too."
"Will you send me a picture of Charlotte?"
"Absolutely! Look for it in a few minutes on the computer, OK? Before you go to bed."
"Really? Oh good!"

Thanks for everything friends!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 10:43PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hope she likes red skies at sunset...

But in case not, here's the scene from my back deck a few minutes before...

Glad you had a good bbday gardenbig

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 11:08PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Norma, I meant to tell you how lovely I think your wheel barrow of red salvia are ! I wish I could grow them like that.

Brenda,raised beds would be just the thing for me, if I could keep the varmints out of them. I would like to still be able to grow tomatoes and peppers. I love using green peppers in casseroles, and sure do miss having my own.

Chelone, I love that Hydrangea. It looks an awful lot like my Blue Bird. I am concerned about that tick bite! I sure hope you put triple antibiotic on it. I don't know if that would prevent Lyme disease, but it couldn't hurt.

(((((Yeona))))) I wish I could help you with your anxiety attacks. I can imagine how miserable that makes you.

Martie, it sounds as though you are having an interesting evening. We haven't had young 'non-family' house guests since our son was a teen. I don't know how I would handle that. I am such an old fuddy duddy anymore.

Deanne , I have tried rex begonias more than once, and never succeeded with them. I think they are very finicky.

Honey, your BD pic for Marie is gorgeous! Is that a current scene?

Kathy, cute kitty. I am afraid to leave my large watering can full of water for fear one of the cats will get it's head caught in it. They like to find the most unusual places to drink. :-)

Woody, your flowers are beutiful! Thanks for sharing. And the butterfly! I could not get the one in the pic that I posted for Ei's BD to open it's wings. It would fly away everytime.

Hmmm, it's past my bedtime....night, night, all !


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 11:15PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

bbday gardenbig

translation: Beatle birthday gardenBUG lol!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 11:21PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

The Beatles - When I'm Sixty-Four

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine.
If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.
You'll be older too,
And it you say the word,
I could stay with you.
I could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride,
Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more.
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.
Every summer we can rent a cottage,
In the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera Chuck & Dave
Send me a postcard, drop me a line,
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four.

A little birdie told me someone was having a birthday today....

Happy Birthday!

Sorry I'm so late, but so glad you had the kind of lovely day you deserve...Happy Birthday!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 11:28PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

I was in such a rush to make sure my card got here in time that I didn't get a chance to look at all the beautiful bd cards when I posted. What a many gorgeous birthday pics for Bug! Of course I knew there would be lots of eye candy to enjoy, that's the main reason I came back! :-) I love Idylls Birthdays! :-)

Marian...I *loved* my butterfly! Although Woody's is gorgeous too! :-) BTW Babs, Marian's voice reminds me of my Mrs. Shack, a sweet little bit of southern, but not very strong, just enough to bring a smile to your face. And I *love* your laugh Marian! :-)

Will try to pop in and write a post this week-end, but tomorrow Mom & I are going through Dad's stuff in the storage shed (I guess it's time). I can't believe Dad's been gone for almost been a year now. I guess I try not to think about it. Sunday will be a cheerier day. I am looking at a hall with DS and his Fiance & future MIL. :-)It will be a busy week-end, so if I don't catch up with you guys until Monday...Have a great week-end all! I'll be thinking of you!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 11:46PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oh and Bug...I couldn't go to sleep cause I got to thinking...I hope Bug heard the song in the spirit in which I was sending it...I *love* that song, so when you mentioned it, I just wanted to post it for you.

Okay, gotta go to bed and *stop* thinking!

Good Night All! Ei

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 1:19AM
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Good morning everyone. It's all peace and quiet here; 3 kitties have ventured outdoors for their morning foray. The fourth is, I suspect, cuddled up with our attorney friend who arrived after we'd gone to bed. Yeah, I guess the place will always be a bit of a "flophouse"; not unlike Martie's digs :). Anyway, I hope she's enjoying a nice snooze, cuddled up in flannel sheets under a down comforter... with an affectionate kitty.

I have windowbox maintenance planned for today; I'll keep the flowers going for as long as I can. And then there will be some lawn mowing. It looks like green velvet right now, lovely background for the yellow birch leaves that are scattered across it. And I'll spend some time pulling roots and neatening up the area where the Amelanchier will go.

So what's the traditional Thanksgiving meal for Canadians? turkey? haggis? ;) I suppose the real trick is to simply count your blessings and that could be done with saltines and a glass of water, huh?

The forecast for the weekend is lovely. That will be good news for area merchants, but it will make Rex's "forced march" difficult. The traffic will be heavy on the road and that takes a lot of the enjoyment out of it. And the golf course will be teeming with recreationists. All will be back to normal on Tuesday. The foliage is really rounding into splendid form, if the weather holds I think it will be hitting peak in the next week/two.

I think I rustle up last night's dishes now. And think about what to serve my good friend for breakfast. She has a busy day of painting planned on her home in a neighboring town (it's rented, so she "flops" here when she's in town).

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 7:25AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning everyone,

Well we just dodged a bullet last night and came within an eyelash of our first frost. They werent predicting it so I just wasnt ready but tonight is probably going to be the end here so Ive got a VERY full day of dismantling containers and chopping back and repotting anything I want to keep like my half a billion abutilons, iresine and plectranthus, fuchsias. (Well maybe not half a billion but it seems like that many)

Marian, if you cant grow Rex Begonias then I should just forget about trying! LOL Oh yes, Im planning on bringing in that lovely Streptocarpella and perhaps taking a few cuttings if youre interested.

Bug, I LOL about GS thinking that they just hand out money at the bank. When DD was that age she wanted something and when we explained that we couldnt afford it she told us to just go to the bank to that machine. ROTFLOL. She thought that anyone could just go up to the ATM and ask for moola and theyd hand it out. WE still laugh about it.

Sue, that banana is flipping enormous!!!! Im just panting to get my hands on that orange splashed Acalpha. LOL Ive been thinking of it for a week now and planning on what to plant it with next year. You do know that Im absolutely hopeless. It is a sorry state of affairs now that I crave an orangey Acalpha more than I do a nice piece of bling. Te he

Oh Mary! This is that weekend. Ill be thinking of you and wishing you luck. You are such a trooper and fantastic mom. Id have found a way out of that dilemma.

Saucy, hang in there lady! It really sounds like a round of counseling would be a good idea right now. I worked with someone at one time in my life and it made a world of difference for me. Sometimes getting a different perspective on our situation really helps a lot.

Woody, really beautiful pics and I especially love the butterfly photo.

Chelone, nice lacecap. Ive never gotten one to bloom so I gave up on them a while ago.

Brenda, how about a picture of you up on your big machine???? Do you think youve have a moment to get your DH to snap a pic. I love hearing about your very different way of life and cant ever imagine myself in your shoes.

Honey that fall photo of your back gardens is beyond gorgeous! What is the silver plant between the Cotinus and Chamaecyparis pisifera filifera? Anyway that whole composition is just lovely. ~~ RE Brugmansia, last year I took mine into the garage, withheld water, let them drop all their leaves then brought them into the dark, cool corner of my basement. I repotted it in the spring.

Norma, love that wheelbarrow!

Ok Im off to start hacking things back. Have a great day. Hmmmm maybe Ill take a couple pics before I cut stuff back so I can remember what it looked like.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 8:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Gorgeous sunsets and wee birdies are always a treat too! Thanks Taryn and Ei! The frame of your bird photo is amazing!

I'm off to my 9am foot doctor appointment, but thought I'd share the view from "Sue's window" this morning...FROST on the grass and the swamp beyond the pond...
Guess I'll have to post that later as the university computer is not working this morning. Blargh....

Got the pie made last night, but when my brother phoned I forgot about it and it is a very rich brown color... ;-) Hope it tastes OK tonight. This afternoon I prepare a Maroccan beef stew.

DH goes flying with a friend in his small plane this morning...a beautiful day for that.

Yesterday I forgot to tell you that friends cleaned up the vegetable garden. Bundles of peppers and eggplants now...what to do with them all??? Anyway, all the messy melons, vines, nasturtiums, weeds and things are gone and the rosemary is potted up to bring indoors soon. :-)


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 8:20AM
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Good Morning, Crisp autumn day here. David and I are going to take Bella to the apple orchard later today if it warms up. Bummer that Brad has to work. Looking at the weather forecast it's going to be getting cold next week so tomorrow will be devoted to getting the rest of the plants inside. I'm so ready to be done with that.

Deanne, I know you can grow the rexes. You just have to get the hang of it. Anyone who can grow orchids and fuschias like you can do just about anything.

Mary, you are an awesome mom. Honestly I have to admit I would have backed out. I bet you have fun though once you get there.

Time for coffee and backgammon. If I get any good pictures of Bella on our field trip I'll post them later.

Here's to a great Saturday.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 8:30AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Oh come on now, Deanne, even Monique and I can grow rex begonias Put them in the bathroom for the hunidity. They don't need to be under lights...minimal water. Yes, they will drop leaves and lose some of their brightness but will take off again when you put them out in the spring.

Still no frost here and none in the forecast. Tom is off for a day of golfing so I have the whole day to myself. I'm thinking of dashing out to a nursery about an hour away-maybe stopping for lunch at the Vanilla Bean. Although it's chilly now, we're supposed to hit the mid 60s F and the sun is shining.

Deanne, the banana is big but I doubt it will make it to the top of the garage roof before frost gets it. Tom was looking at everything around the patio this morning and said he was thinking what a shame it seems to be that all this just disappears and that how amazing it is that it all grows back from nothing in just one season. He's right.

Allrighty then, get out there and enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 8:52AM
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Its quite windy here and supposed to hit 80. I'm really supposed to be outside painting the house. The plan is to finish today, so I'd better keep it short. I sure enjoyed 'bug's birthday with all the great pics, I hope she did. Its good to "see" so many this a.m. Other than the painting, I plan to bring in all the potted up plants to be held over and bake an apple pie (frozen crust)

Eden, the secret is to take lots of pictures. I hope you have as much fun at the orchard as we did. Give Bella her own container to pick apples because they tend to want to pick the ones from the ground that you'd rather not purchase. LOL

It sounds like gramma 'bug is enjoying her new role ;o)

I have one rex this year. We will see...

Later friends

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 9:39AM
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Hola!!! The masses moved themselves back to college this morning in time for homecoming weekend. None of them have classes on Friday but they all had major reading/thesis work to do and appreciated a place to spread out. It's too quiet, all of a sudden!! Rich is at three appointments (more about that later) and I have the whole day to focus on nothing but "chlorophyll laden matter." (Compliments of the Bio major who had some really good suggestions for companion plant combos.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARIE!!!! I'm sending you the gift of gratitude for being such a steward of your property. Each picture I see reveals more and more astonishing views!!!

Scored a bunch of deals yesterday while on the road. Found four Viburnum carlesii babies that had been nurseryed then forgotten for $2 each!! Also got an apple tree grafting lesson at the UMass research orchard because I got there just as a field class was starting. An older woman in business clothes couldn't just join in unobtrusively, so I asked, "If I get a bushel of apples can I listen??" Will probably never use the knowledge (it's painstaking work!!) but it's fun to know.

Also -- to Deanne especially -- stopped at Goodwill and found a Pendleton wool suit, great condition/color/right size and fluffy light sweater to match, for a grand total of $10.

My head is bowed that I did not remember that Canada has a Thanksgiving. Hope you don't eat Haggis as the main dish! As a child was determined to be one of the "big people" and try it, despite my Grandmother's stern warning that it may turn me off to it forever. She was right. When faced with a ceremonial Haggis offering, I admit outright that I pretend :-)

To all my Canadian friends: Happy Thanksgiving! Since it's my fav holiday I've decided to celebrate right along with all of you this weekend, and will do a ham on the grill :-)

I'm so glad, Taryn, that you spiffed yourself up and went for some retail therapy. It's a struggle to be "up" sometimes, I know. Been there, done that, do everything in my power to avoid letting myself slip to true "down."

Marian: Get an animal. My mom, at 72, adopted a year-old Cairn Terrier. Animated doesn't begin to describe this dog. He is a true benefit in her life and she has made sure that if "something happens" to her he has a place to go. My dad, who hates dogs just like Chelone;-O, even lets him climb all over him and uses a lot of energy to resist smiling when that happens.

To all who have started harvest: May it be Abundant!!! It is a tradition here (don't know if it came from the Caribbean culture or if it is a New England thing I didn't know about) to leave one small patch of harvested plants standing in the middle of the field to thank the earth for the harvest. I find that very cool no matter what beliefs one has.

Rich and I are breathing again. While still pursuing Florida licensure as a back-up, he has booked contracts that will take him through Christmas and has a lot on the back burner for Spring. WHEW!!!!! His teeth are coming along nicely (three hours in the chair, yesterday. SHUDDER!!!) He extends his appreciation, again, for the warm wishes send his/our way. He knows from Logee's that this is a "safe" group and really wants us to be more involved, but it takes a lot to set foot out the door. I'm hoping against hope that the next few months will make it easy to take that step.

Just realized that it's warming up enough to get outside and get going. I plan to be covered with mud, dead stems, and corn stalks in just a few minutes.



    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 9:50AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Marie!

Hope you enjoyed your day!

Pretty chilly here this AM, and the house was chilly too - 62 when we got up! I refrained from turning the heat on since the guys are spending the weekend camping in the woods with the scouts and will sleep colder than that tonite. DH said it was 32 up in NH where they are headed this AM. Had a very excited Cub here last night too! One of the planned activities is BB gun shooting, all I could think of was that Christmas movie with that little boy "You'll shoot your eye out!" but DH assures me it is perfectly safe and well supervised.

Deanne, I thought of you when I saw the frost advisory on the forecast last night - I ran out and took some coleus cuttings before dark. You do have an awful lot of work to do! So beautiful all season though, definetly worth it. The brugs will survive a light frost, won't they? I know the abutilon will. I'm not ready to deal with them yet - have to make room in the basement.

Ei, that salvia in your b-day card is perennial, salvia forsskaolii. It is also called the woodland sage, it will grow in part shade. I got it at a plant swap and it is the only perennial salvia that does well for me.

Norma, so sorry to hear about the loss of Keebler. I enjoyed the pics of him, he looked like a great dog.

Honey, your new front beds are stunning. What a lot of work you have done, and it has really paid off.

Well, I have to sign off now - the "late seating" (DD) is asking for her pancake breakfast. Then I'm free for the day! I asked DD if she'd work in the garden with me today, she said "only if you pay me". Maybe I can get her to rake up the pine straw for $1?

Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 9:55AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Someone please help me out because I need an intervention. So we went to HD to pick up another six cubic feet of potting soil to get me through this fall's potting up activities and lo and behold, they still had those three and a half foot phormiums that were only $39.99. Well, I'd been drooling over those babies since they first got them in but talked myself out of buying them because it was the end of the season and the very last thing I needed was yet one more plant to bring in the house. Well, guess what? They were marked down 50% off!!!!! Holy cow, HUGE pink stripe phormium for $20.00!!! I simply could not resist putting that on my cart with the potting soil so now I'm faced with findind a cool window to winter it over. It really is one handsome plant and just imagine how good that is going to look planted with some fuchsias in the spring? LOL I did good though, I didn't buy the other larger one that was the chartreuse color. Heaven help me if it gets marked down even more.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 11:32AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Deanne, you aren't going to find intervention folks on this forum my friend! I had to smile when I read your comments to Brenda about her very different way of life and how you cant imagine yourself in her shoes. What comes to mind is the photo of you taken years ago driving the huge horses with skill and pride. You chose a different road, but you would be skilled at any path you took.

I am home with new insoles in new shoes. They say I can slowly work into treadmilling again, but that I shouldn't expect more than 50% recovery in the next month. I can deal with any % recovery!

DH is off flying with his buddy above our house. I can hear them, but the tree leaves are still hiding them from view.
DH also delivered a bunch of sunflowers [still stretching out the wedding mood...:-)] and a huge chocolaty nut filled diet catastrophe of a cake.

Better start cooking soon..

Enjoy this fabulous perfect autumn day!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 12:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well off I went after skating practice with DH to a nursery. This HUGE phormium jumped out at me and said, "Sure, you have room in your house for me!" So for $12 I am the new owner of a plant I know nothing about. It is beautiful, repotted from its bursting container, and about to come indoors along with the rosemary.
OK experts, how does one care for this guy???? Temperature? Light? Watering? etc....

A few 50% off astilbes followed me home as well.
Now I MUST make that dinner.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 4:04PM
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Dear Marie,

I'm sorry I missed sending you birthday wishes on *your* day. I hope you had a wonderful birthday!!!!

My best,
(Hello to all---haven't read since Thursday night, but scanned and saw Marie's lovely cards.....hope to read and play catch up later tonight).

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 4:59PM
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Happy Saturday all from pacific time !
Sounds like there has been lots of shopping going on today!I'm having my 2pm Saturday afternoon beer(Scrimshaw from North Coast Brewing Co. in Mendocino today)after a busy morning of grocery shopping, farmers market and double digging.I pulled up few of my basil plants to make room for lettuce and arugula which I will plant from seed tommorow.They will become the edging plants on one of my perennial beds. I also got my Maryotts daylily order in the mail yesterday and potted them up in gallons while I finish digging and soil prep in my front yard.

What great birthday cards you guys come up with ! That close-up brug shot is very cool Wendy. I better get my own camera and quit borrowing my son's so I can practice at will.
Deanne, I had over 25 fuchsias till this spring when I tossed all but 3 of them (Voodo, Winston Churchill and Featherduster) because of the terrible problems with fucshia gall mite we have out here. I decided to keep only those that seemed to be resistant and then start over again next year. Grrr...

Well, my beer is done, so I need to go back out and finish up the chores. Must be about cocktail hour for most of you !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 5:26PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, everybody!!
Another quickie.........
Deanne, yes, I'll get DH to get a pic this year. I really meant to do that last year-lol, oh, well, this year I'm skinnier ;) Oh, you'd have no problem being in my shoes....they're 11W, LMAO! Just too bad you guys aren't in the area-I'd give ya all a ride!! There's a buddy seat in the combine, so you can have someone ride along and be comfortable. I've taken a LOT of little kids (and a few big ones) and they love it. My mom came and rode with me a few years ago-that was a pretty cool day.

Martie-we don't leave any crops standing out in the middle of the field, but I always leave a little around the woods' for the deer. Figure they'll miss their free food source once we've got all the corn picked!
Wow, 3 hours in the dentist's chair?? Bet he was glad to get outta there!

I didn't get any outside time today. DD came over for a while-well, we did do a "flower walk" and sat outside for a while. After she left, I was faced with a whole beef rib-eye and two pork loins to hack up and get ready for the freezer. Lol, they may WORK me to death, but I ain't gonna starve, anyway!
Gotta run, DD is on her way back over. She meant to borrow my three hole punch and forgot it. It amuses me how she'll drive 1/2 hour to get here for the least thing. I avoid "road work" at all costs :)
Have a great rest of the weekend!
PS Marian, you'd LOVE the raised beds! The only critters that give me any trouble is our one dog, Sarah. When stuff is small, she likes to get up there and stand and look around. She's a pretty good jumper. The beds are sitting on an old concrete slab, so nothing has been able to tunnel under far, anyway.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 6:58PM
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I tried to open two pages and comment on everyone's posts and it felt so forced for me. I'm sorry. I wish I could do that, and I admire those who can.

The stuff I came up with was pretty funny.....funny enough to delete.

I went shopping today which was fruitless, but I got a lot of good ideas. My empty house is starting to scare me as we go into the cooler seasons. You need creature comforts to get you through. I don't know if I told you, but we kind of gutted our first floor.

I hear bedtime stories going on...don't mean to be short but I'm not feeling chatty.


PS, not only does the dogsat dog stare, he snores (rather obnoxiously)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 8:54PM
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Lol Deanne and Bug,still buying plants eh? I have to confess I bought pansies yesterday. I had to water everything today. It is so dry again. I still haven't brought much in yet but it got pretty chilly last night.

Marian, would you believe all those plants in the wheelbarrow are volunteers from last year? I even transplanted a bunch of plants out of there. While going through snapshots the other day I ran across a picture of another planting I had in it years ago with marigolds. I haven't planted it every year but someday I would like to find pictures of all the different versions. Bob thought I was crazy when I payed $20 for it at a yard sale. But if you look at the prices of flower containers I consider it was a bargain.

Ah ha Kathy, another beer drinker. While I enjoy a little glass of wine like several others here, I love a good cold beer when I'm really thirsty. I don't do either in excess. (anymore anyway) LOL

T did you babysit yet? I can't remember if you were to start this week or next.

Wendy I like the artistic view of your brug.

Martie, I'm happy to hear that Rich will be able to work near home. I hope many more jobs line up for him.
Did you take pics of the shucked corn?

Sue sounds like you have converted Tom into a gardener. Or at least a garden appreciator. Bob and I had a good laugh the other day. I am always getting him to help me move big rocks into the gardens,he sometimes grumbles about it. We were driving by a landscaped area the other day that had a lot of big rocks in it and he said "that looks neat". I did a doubletake then laughed out loud. He hit himself in the head and then said" oh my lord now you got me doing it.

I did a little work in the yard after I watered, but I'm having a hard time being motivated to do the dozens of things that need to be done before frost.
Guess I better try harder. Norma

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 9:37PM
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So Saucy just comment on what you want to and that is fine with us. Did you mean you just got rid of most of your furniture? I had a terrible time finding stuff we liked, but finally did. We redid our floors this spring too. I really like them. I don't always feel chatty either. Norma

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 9:46PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I bought plants today too, well only one-a Japanese maple 'Fireglow'. Now to find a spot. It wasn't the most productive day as weekend days go. After pooping around the house for most of the morning I went out nursery hopping. The selection wasn't great so the maple was the only puchase. I spent maybe an hour in the garden then went out for my walk. Unfortunately, an annoying cold seems to have settled into my head and the runny nose and post nasal drip is driving me nuts. Since I rarely get sick I have little tolerance for it. Time to swill some Nyquil and hop into bed.



    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 10:21PM
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Good Morning, It's very foggy here this morning but is supposed to be a warm day and no rain in the forecast so I plan to work on bringing in the rest of the tropicals and getting Brad to plant a few shrubs that I have lying around in pots. It seems that I've hurt my foot. Yesterday when I woke up it hurt a little to walk on it and today it's worse. I don't have any idea why though. Very strange. So I'll be hobbling around on it today.

Saucy, I've been getting a chuckle out of hearing you talk about the dog your sitting for. I keep thinking of the dog that used to be on the TV show Frazier that used to sit and stare at him. How's Jake's arm doing?

Marie, your grandson sounds like such a sweetie. I hope you're able to find a way to spend time with him. Maybe he could come and stay on the farm sometimes during school vacations and come over the summer for visits.

Deanne, no intervention here. In fact I think I'll run over and check out our Home Depot this afternoon. I think all you'll find on this forum are enablers.

Martie, I'm so glad that Rich is getting work near home. I just hated hearing that he might have travel so far away. I hope the trend continues. Great news about his dental work too. I really hope I get to meet you both in person one day. You're such a great couple.

So T, how did the first week on the job go? I know those babies kept you busy. They are fun though aren't they?

Sue, sorry to hear you have a cold. You're getting quite a collection of Japanese maples aren't you?

Norma, it's much harder to get motivated to do the autumn garden chores than the spring ones isn't it. I just loved the wheelbarrow planter!

Brenda, looking forward to seeing the picture of you on the combine.

Kathy, I looked up those banana slugs you mentioned and I don't want any of those, lol. They're monsters. Bet they're able to eat a whole plant in just a couple of bites!

Honey, My dbl. white brug didn't give me but a couple of blooms last year when it was new either but this year it's bloomed well. I would just wait and repot them in the spring. I have a pink one called Isabella I can save a cutting of for you if you want. It's very fragrant!

Wendy, just about every weekend you make me want pancakes. Wish you were here to make them for me!

Ei, I hope yesterday wasn't too hard a day for you. Have fun with your son and his fiance today.

Chelone, beautiful lacecap! So how'd you get it to bloom? No luck here with those unless we have a really mild winter.

Michelle, I took all of your advice at the orchard. Thanks. Did you get all that you'd planned done yesterday? Painting the house, bringing in all of the plants and baking a pie should have kept you busy.

Hi Marian, wondering what you're up to this weekend?

Ok gotta go if I'm going to get things done today. Oh I almost forgot to tell Mary that I'm thinking of her on the camping trip! Hope she's having fun!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 8:42AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A few photos are possible at last! Here is how yesterday's frost looked. (It looks very similar today too!)

And with the sun, there was then mist:

Fortunately we picked the vegetables before frost struck:

I'm not the expert on what is typical Canadian Thanksgiving food, but there is usually turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, vegetables etc and pies. Turnips seem to be an essential aspect of the meal, but I never grew up with that.
We celebrated yesterday although the holiday is actually on Monday. Ours was very un-traditional, with hors d'oeuvres of fresh figs stuffed with cream cheese, watermelon bites and a drink of choice. Dinner was a very good Moroccan stew (a new recipe for me) with crusty bread. Dessert was an apple/cranberry/raisin pie, although some folks also wanted birthday cake before their coffee. A fire in the fireplace too. A good time had by all.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 8:45AM
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Saucy: For the first year we were in our new house, we had cheapo plastic lawn furniture in what is supposed to be our formal dining room. Instead of trying to fill the house up, we rearranged. I made some humungo pillows to throw on the floor, got some cheapo ugly tables and covered them with pretty cloths, and was grateful for the house itself. As we found what we wanted on a more permanent basis, we actually started to miss those big pillows ..... You're right, an empty house can be darn depressing, but so can spending too much money on stuff purchased just for the sake of filling rooms up. The right stuff will come .......

Sue -- I HOPE against HOPE that you don't have the four-week cold. I'm just now feeling truly better from the nasty that started on Labor Day weekend. Water -- drink lots and lots of water -- and take whatever time you need to take off work to rest. People who did that were only sick for two weeks, those of us that didn't, four. Do the two.

Plant Purchasers -- Good for You!! Intervention???? Here????? Are you out of your minds???? LOL Did a bunch of bulbs yesterday and pansies, here, too!! Moved some annual-type daisies that last year didn't get frost bitten until November, cleaned up, put out pumpkins, generally decorated the house for autumn. Am saving the big scary spiders and other Halloween stuff for later -- No hints to the kids about what might be around that corner!!!!

Hope all "up north" have a wonderful rest of the Holiday weekend.

Marie -- Loved the story about your DGS. Did he get is picture?

Kathy: Having been brought up in an avid Mets fan family on my mother's side (my great aunt got the first New Jersey vanity plate every issued: METS 1) my sympathies to you for yesterday's game;-) The REALLY GOOD NEWS is the Yankees are Gone and Outta Here!!!! Who'dathunk that I'd ever be rooting for the Tigers? In the midst of worldly chaos, I'm glad we all have something relatively inane to cheer about! (Sorry, again, Kathy for thinking that baseball is "inane." We live smack dab in the middle of Red Sox/Yankees territory and are Red Sox fans at heart, so this year the playoffs don't hold as much dazzle :-)

Need to get food shopping and then to my Moms and Dads for weekly tomatoe drop off. Expect to take some pics this afternoon and if I can figure out how to upload them, there should be some design questions waiting for all of you tonight.

Best -


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 8:55AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all, Well there is a white coating of frost on the lawns on the hill across the street but it looks like most of the plants here escaped by a thread. I was so tired last night we ordered a small pizza for dinner. You know, I didnt even really like it and it used to be my favorite food and then I got heartburn when I went to bed. Well, I havent had a problem with heartburn for four years so now I really have no desire to eat any pizza again. Today is going to be another heavy cutting back and disassembling the pots day here. Doug was such a peach yesterday and helped me dump the old soil out of the pots then he washed them out and put them away in the shed. That saved me a ton of time. Im hoping I can lure him out to help me again today. Im in a quandary as to whether or not Im going to save my original Abutilon pictum Thompsonii. The trunk on it is about the size of my thumb and is going to be enormous next year if I keep it over. Will I or wont I? Do I need a variegated abutilon that size? Im having a real problem throwing away all those potential nice looking cuttings. Im telling you, Im hopeless. Today is going to be worse when I start really cutting back my large fuchsias.

Sue, bummer about your cold. Ive used the Zicam rapidmelts the last couple years and Ive never been sick longer than a week. I hope you get better really soon. So now where the heck are you going to put another Japanese Maple? You are too funny. Advice please, Ive got that JM Viridis that I bought with you last spring. Well it was in that pot on the patio and I need to find a place to plant it in the ground. Where do you think that would look good and do well here? ~~ BTW I think that is absolutely terrific that Tom thinks its a shame that the patio garden disappears. I think he is enjoying the gardens more than he lets on. LOL ~~ So next year that banana will get to the top of the garage you think? Just in time for the Conservancy tour?

Eden, just love the apple orchard pics from yesterday. So much fun with the littles. So maybe you can get someone to snap your pic with Bella sometime? ~~ Sorry about your foot. If that doesnt get better really soon you should have it looked at. My mother actually broke a bone in her foot once and didnt even remember how it happened. Just woke up with a sore foot one day. Hope it heals up soon.

Norma, LOL about Bob admiring landscaping with large rocks in it. Our guys certainly are good sports arent they? ~~ RE beer, I only like it when the day is really hot and Ive been working outside in the heat and at the end of a day an iced cold, I mean frigid cold beer is the very best thing on the planet. ~~ RE the phormiums after hearing Bugs story I decided that it was a great phormium conspiracy. Ill bet we arent the only ones who were lured into buying phormiums yesterday.

So Saucy, how long are you going to have to take care of the annoying, snoring dog?

Brenda! 11Ws!!! Wow, I thought I had large feet. Im just a size 10 medium. Interesting factoid, my feet used to be a double wide but have gotten smaller since I lost weight. It is so nice to be able to fit into a medium width shoe now. ~~ Id love to come out and have a ride on your combine!

Kathy, I googled the fuchsia gall mite!!!! OMG that is just terrible! Thank heavens we dont have that horrible thing here. They just ruin your plants. I did read about one person who was able to save her plants by spraying with SEvin on a four day schedule for three weeks. So once you eradicate the mites can you get new fuchsia and they will stay free of the pests? Id be devastated.

So Marie, I laughed so hard when I read your post about buying the huge phormium! I have NO idea how to winter it over but we can share our experiences this cold season. What kind did you get? Ill have to get a pic of mine with the pink stripes. It really is a pretty plant and Im thinking Im going to put it on the landing on the stairs to the second floor. ~~ So what are you going to do with all that eggplant? Im still drooling over that grilled eggplant Mary fixed for us when we visited. Speaking of Mary, I sure hope she is doing well with her camp out! ~~ Just love all the photos of the farm especially the on of the sun streaming through the fog. Lovely!

Wendy your brug photograph is beautiful! You are a tease though, we can only see small glimpses of your garden behind it. Id love to see more of your gardens. Is that a Ligularia Brit Marie Crawford I see peeking under the flower? ~~ The house was 61 degrees this AM here too. We still havent turned the heat on either. The longer we can put it off the better.

Martie, how great to hear that Rich has gotten work locally! Poor guy with the dental work. I have such a phobia about dentists just hearing about three hours in a dentist chair gives me the heebie jeebies. So maybe you both can come up for our February party in 07? ~~ You rock lady! A Pendleton suit and sweater for $10.00! Woohoo!

Hi Michelle, Im looking forward to seeing some fall pics of your gardens??? ~~ Did you finish painting the house yesterday?

And last but not least for our northern Idyllers


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 9:27AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Martie, does more nursery crawling today qualify as rest? lol It's all relative I guess. The option is planting and moving stuff. Unfortunately I'm not good about sitting around and I can't take any time off from work this week til at least Wednesday. I'm supposed to have the financials done by the sixth workday and that's tomorrow. Oh well I am moving slower than usual so that's like rest too, right?

Ooops, Marie, I guess it's all over for you til next year. Since last night was the full moon and we only got as low as 42 F, we may have just bought ourselves another couple of weeks. The downside to that is I have trouble cutting stuff back when it's still green and need to get started on cleanup. I always wait to long and end up decorating for Christmas with one hand and raking with the other. Deanne is coming down next Saturday to take plants and cuttings so that seems like a good time as any to start dismantling the containers. Of course we have to fit eating and drinking in there somewhere too...

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends! Before you know it we'll be celebrating it here too. Egads, did anyone ever figure out where the year went?


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 9:46AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Sue I SO know what you mean. I'm having a heck of a time making myself cut down these beautiful plants but if I don't get this done soon I'll be crazy trying to get it in at the last minute.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 10:09AM
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We painted all day yesterday except when I had to run to the store for more paint. It is finished though. I was wishing that I had Marie's brick house yesterday. What a terrible wind we had yesterday. The temps were very pleasant, but the wind blew like crazy. Today will be colder with a strong NW wind.

The plants didn't make it in yesterday, so maybe today as it is supposed to get cold this week with frost predicted for several nights. The end has come. No pie got baked either. I always plan more than I can accomplish.

Marie, have you thought about getting web cams for your computers? It's a more interactive way to communicate. Your produce looks just lovely. We just love eggplant. We got very few this year for some reason. The picture with the mist is just wonderful.

Deanne, my gardens have gone downhill after the frost, dismantled containers and lots of leaves around. I did take a video with my digital camera that I uploaded to Photobucket that I thought I might share but I'm not sure. I should have done it when the garden looked better.

Deanne, Sue and Bug, you are all beyond help. LOL

Saucy and Norma, sometimes I don't feel like saying anything, but that is rare. LOL Actually, I'm not nearly as chatty in person.

Brenda, it sounds like your DD likes to find excuses to come visit you. That is really nice.

Wendy, I second Deanne's request for more garden pictures.

Martie, you do seem to find the bargains. That wouldn't happen around here.

I'm cooking a turkey breast for dinner today and will think of the Canadian Thanksgiving while we eat it.

Waving hi to all.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 10:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well Saucy, I'm not the one who opens a second window and manages an individual response to each one. I hope you all realize that I love you each in your own way. Sending a line to each person, at least from me, just sounds dull and repetitive. So I write what my old brain thinks of at the moment.

I took a few photos of my phormium bargain plant. Looking at Google, I have no idea which one it is, but like it no matter. I'll post a site below for you to read up on them, but I didn't really find great information. So here is my new baby:

The coleus here are all soggy and gone. There are lots of odds and ends to plant, perhaps this afternoon. I need a huge saucer to put under the rosemary plant. Maybe I'll go check out the only nursery around that might possibly have one. I should mow as well, but somehow, on a holiday, I feel like just having fun!

We have loads of wasps and other insects enjoying the sun and trying to get inside. Lots of spiders too.

DH is trying to figure out what's up with our basement heaters...and we have turned the heat on occasionally when it gets just too cold. Basically the three cats have been our heater so far this Fall!

I'll confess to eating the last piece of pie for breakfast, but I did start back on the treadmill for 15 minutes. We'll see how that goes.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 11:07AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning!

Deanne, we will only enable you here...can't wait to see what you & 'bug do with your phormiums next season! I have a book called "Hot Plants for Cool Climates" and it says re: phormium "plants may be overwintered as houseplants in a cool, sunny setting or kept dry and cool in a low-light setting." I had one in the basement last year, dry and low light, and it survived but it sort of shrunk. The cool, sunny thing might be better.

I cut back and re-potted some fuchsia per Deanne's demonstration, and it was heartbreaking - they still looked good! Now they are sticks in a pot. I left a few still flowering, couldn't bear to cut them all down now.

DD did come out and try raking pine straw yesterday, but it was like doing yard work with Goldilocks - "this rake is too tall, these pine needles are too pointy..." and so it went. She raked an area about 5' x 5' and gave up. She says she'll do more today, but we'll see. She'd much rather clean inside, which is not a bad thing.

I opened up some potpourri that my mother gave me and filled a glass bowl in the dining room with it. The flavor is "paperwhite", and it may be a little strong - I can smell it in here, 2 rooms away. Will it fade after a while?

Deanne, that plant in the pic is a sweet potato vine called 'Ace of Hearts' - it has overflowed the pot and spread out for several feet along the ground.

Saucy, I find it hard to comment to everyone; especially when I don't check in daily and have a lot to read. I do "talk" to you guys in my head when I have down time, like sitting in traffic. Then by the time I get back to the computer, I forget what I wanted to say!

Martie, glad Rich found work close to home. Hopefully he'll be able to stay nearby, but the Florida thing sounds like a good back-up.

Marie, the web-cams are a good idea - you'd get to actually see your family while you talk to them. I like your frosty pics, and the striped eggplant are cool.

Sue, nursery crawling is more restful than digging - make sure you have some soup at the Vanilla Bean. Hope you feel better soon.

Kathy, roses, daylilies - you are changing my perception of gardening in California. I love daylilies too - which ones did you get?

Why do I have a strange urge to go to Home Depot?!

Well, I think it is time to head outside - I'm going to do some digging today and see if it is a large rock or ledge in the weedy area that I cleared in back. My neighbors found ledge and huge rocks when they had the foundation dug for an addition. There were some rocks so large the dump truck guy refused to move them, said they were too heavy. Wish me luck!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 11:15AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

'bug, those pictures are gorgeous-you really have a good eye for a photo op!

Deanne, I'm pretty sure me feet have gotten narrower since losing weight, too. DH looked at me like I was crazy when I said I thought my feet were getting smaller, then gave a meaningful look at my feet. CREEP, lol! I've always "gotten by" with the biggest shoes I could find in the store, which is usually a 10W. Of course, I've always had problems with ingrown toenails, corns, etc. because of it. So, I got my feet measured and 11W it is. I'm ending up ordering all my shoes online, cuz I can't find them in the stores. What did I ever do before the internet????

My hat is off to those of you still buying plants. I'm hoping to get the last few pots stuck in the ground today. I haven't even checked any websites to see if they're having sales, and drove right past the big nursery sign that said perennials were marked down.

I'm expecting DD again today. My mom called her while she was here yesterday, and said she knew someone who had lab mix puppies for free. Christina had a puppy that died of either parvo or e. coli just a little while back. She had decided she wasn't going to get another until spring. So, when grandma called, she was all fired up about going and seeing the puppies today. Then, when she came over the second time, she said she had decided to wait until spring. The vet had told her that unless she really got everything disinfected really, really well, the next puppy could get it if it was parvo. And, they said that it can live in the environment for up to six months. Christina said she just wasn't comfortable with putting a puppy at risk like that, and just couldn't take losing another one. I was very good...was noncomittal about the whole issue. I think she should wait, but didn't tell her that. Lol, of course, she could change her mind and pull in the driveway, ready to go get a puppy today. Who knows?? Yesterday, when she left the first time, she was going to go home and scrub the house down with the bleach solution the vet reccommended. Don't know if she did that or not, and I don't know what you'd do about carpeting. Wouldn't think a bleach solution would be a good idea there. Pretty sure her landlord wouldn't appreciate it.
Okay, gonna get outside and play in the sunshine-have a great day, everyone!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 1:50PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Well I opted for working in the garden at home today. With all there is to do it just seemed like the sensible choice. Usually I spend all kinds of time shuffling plants around but this year I decided to get ruthless and have been tossing stuff right and left. All the short bloomers, crappy foliage, no impact plants have been hitting the trash-a bing, a bang, a BOOM! All the stuff that wants more sun than I can provide...goodbye! It actually feels good. I feel liberated! lol

Time to get back out there...


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 2:20PM
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OMG, someone else wears an 11 (I'm ready to go to 12 for walking shoes!) and why aren't I at Sue's with a trash bag???

I did the coolest yard work today! Remember when I used to post pictures of the view overlooking the wetlands when there'd be frost or fall foliage? Today we bought our first chainsaw and cut a "window" into the woods.

My new bay window has a nice view now :) It will need a bit of sprucing up, but the major removal is done. We can now see a beautiful hill side on the other side of the wetlands (think lots of cat tails) and there are no houses to "spy" on us :)

I don't think I told you all that I lost my pear tree about a month ago. It fell into my garden - nothing lost - it was a garden that the guy before me planted, mostly orange ditch lilies. Anyway, I've never seen anything like it, the tree was hollow down to the stump! We sliced a piece. I'm thinking that a bird might like one tacked to the tree for a house.

I'm about to come down from my yard work high into my "I have to cook dinner" low :) I'm roasting a chicken, but we'll call it a mini turkey for the really northern bunch :)

Lemon thyme and lemon zest are being stuffed under the skin! My own version of lemon chicken.


ps, he poops tootsie rolls in the house after a 2 mile walk. He goes home tomorrow. He and I will be happy :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 5:20PM
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