Idyll # 492 Finish Up And Take A Break

triple_creek(z5)October 19, 2010

I'm sure you are all ahead of me putting things away.

Chelone, I want to go see Secretariat too. I don't envy your having to choose a new computer. I always debate with myself on what to buy. I have had good luck with my HP laptop. You just have to make sure you have sufficient memory to run the type of programs you use most.

Kathy, it is funny how we acquire cats. Dogs to for that matter. Each has their own story.

Michelle, we did take the short cave trip because we had a couple of limited people. It was ok , but I think our caves in MO are better. I guess I shouldn't judge it since I didn't see all of it.

Your soup sounds good. I've been wanting to make some, but since it has been pretty warm here I've put it off for chilly weather.

Cindy so happy to see you were in the garden for awhile. One of my granddaughter's just got a new puppy that she named Stella also.

Saucy, it is interesting to see how the extended family evolves isn't it. I really notice how the kids go through their various stages from cute to obnoxious to rebellious and then turn into great fun people.

Not all of them go through the same stuff. We have some really fun caring young people in our family.

Bug, Leo looks so comfy in his papoose and hat. I love that you make cuddly things for him and Ivy.

Drema and Deanne, I am really not doing well with bringing things in this year. I know I will be sorry come spring. I do need to try a few more cuttings today as some didn't make it.

There was probably more I missed but I need to get out there again today . Then laundry any shopping.


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The vacuum in the Salon is a Miele "Neptune", and yes Kathy, it's a canister. Miele makes a number of models and I recall that were a couple of others that were more geared to carpeted homes. They were a little more expensive and since I knew I wasn't going to need the killer carpet attachment I didn't spend much time looking at them.

My brother's collection of cats has always included at least one who simply selected him. The best story is the big grey one who was a feral tomcat that hung around poaching meals from the bowl on the back stairs. It was over a year before he would allow my brother to touch him. And then another where they "got to know each other". He turned up one day, terribly sick and in dreadful condition. He was taken to the veterinary clinic where he was too ill to put up any sort of fight. He received massive antibiotics and was neutered and recuperated in the house for several days. Once he was feeling better he decided that there was not really much reason to leave again. He either hangs out in the house or in the small yard, but he's always within earshot and comes when he's called. Our most recent crop are from the welfare society; it's hard for me to believe that they've lived with us for 7 yrs. now. I can still see Mum's face as she watched the leave the carrying case one by one the day I brought them home. At that time she was terribly ill and in the throes of a terrible depression and they were tonic for a flagging spirit in snug-fitting fur suits. They were so dear.

I dunno about caves, you guys. I know they're really, really cool, but all I can think of is that haunting photo of hapless Floyd Collins trapped deep inside one. Shiver!

Anyone with a laptop... what kind do you have?

Last night was cold and I had to scrape the windshield before heading to work. I see plainly that I will have to flesh out the supply of turtlenecks and cozy wool socks in the not too distant future. (I don't like it!) And I have to make a decision about the "germamyums", too.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 4:44PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Hi. Found the camera-looking for the cord that connects it to laptop.

Love the kitty pics and stories.

Chelone, I bought a MacBook Pro last spring and I really like it, but if you get one, it is worth spending the $99 to get the one-on-one lessons, especially if you are used to a PC. I thought I could sign up after the fact, but you have to do it when you buy the computer. Chuck has taken over the MacBook these days, but I am about ready to insist he buy his own iMac. I want my laptop back!

So sad my Phillies lost today. :(

Night all.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 9:33PM
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My laptop is a Compac , the only negative being windows Vista , which is a ‘nanny’ platform if I ever saw one. I bought it for under 400 bucks , and it’s intended use wars travel and portability�"works on both counts. If I am home I work on my desktop most of the time.

When I have the time, I will share the raspberry scone recipe that I made for our awfice potluck breakfast this week-they turned out great ! I’m going to repeat for Christmas , and might add a drizzle of chocolate on top.

Norma, our rain last weekend set me back on my fall clean-up. And now there is talk of rain on the upcoming weekend too least I don’t have to worry about frost yet. I am trying to do some garden chores every evening this week after work, I still have a couple hours of daylight- I try to get home by 4:30 , but it doesn’t always happen. I go in around 6:30 this time of year , and it’s pitch black right now so AM garden chores aren’t in the cards. I actually took some cuttings last weekend, mostly Plectranthus of various types.

Chelone, my house is about 75% hardwood , and 2 stories. I have area rugs too. I have a Kenmore canister (which could be any brand since they are private labeled from various mfg’s ) but it is heavy and clunky to move around. I hated my previous vacuum so much that I made a way too impulsive purchase-should have taken my time.

Feeling your pian Cyn ! These da%n Giant fans around here are not being very nice to me ! I still believe the Phillies will prevail as the Giants offense is famously unreliable. But if the Phillies lose tomorrow ? Not good !

OK, later folks..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 10:44PM
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No laptops here. DH got a new PC a year and 1/2 ago. He decided you just get so much more machine for your money with a PC. The only reason I'd like a laptop is to sit in the recliner and Idyll ;o)

With the early setting of the sun, I'm accomplishing more indoors these days than out. Tonight was several months of bookwork. I was able to spend a little time outdoors enjoying the lovely weather we are still having. I've been potting up some of the rooted coleus cuttings each night.

Drema, maybe you could sell some perennial divisions. There have been some conversations on GW about people who do an annual sale, build up a clientele email list and make hundreds each year.

I had quite a scare at work the other day. Someone from the FCC called and asked for the owner. She stated that we failed to file a required annual report. When the feds call we all get a bit excited. Of course it was a report that I'm responsible for. Fortunately I'm fairly organized at work and had a copy of said missing report along with the UPS proof of delivery along with the name of the person who signed for it. Obviously someone there isn't organized or just didn't feel like looking for their copy and thought we would be more than pleased to email them another.

That's all for now

I'll leave you with a picture of the day. I'm loving the cardoons this year again after a 1 year absence from the garden. They are huge and look great at this time of year.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 11:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

About a month ago there were cardoons on sale. Much as I love them, I couldn't picture buying an annual in September. So now Michelle tells me that this is in fact the time to enjoy them! Remind me next spring or summer....

The garden cleanup has taken a back seat for a few days. I was ahead of the game, but not now! This week will be rain...and more rain. Also the stacking of wood - in the rain. UGH! I hope we get some decent gardening weather again, but there are no guarantees on that unfortunately. We have had frost most mornings lately.

Today is a PhD defense for DH's student. Tonight we celebrate and go out to dinner with him, his wife, and a gang of supporters. He's a very interesting and unusual young man.

At our house we have big old computers, but the price is right. The university discards are mine. DH also has a laptop for conferences. Our geographic situation, in a valley type dip surrounded by cedars, is a problem for the use of a laptop, so it really is no convenience for us. I must say that the rat nest of wires everywhere is a nightmare. DH's use of his computer is complex. Mine is mostly for forums, photography, email...which is nothing at all in the scheme of things.

This old farmhouse has a central vac., installed during a massive update in the 1980s. I hate it, but I also hate all vacuums. We have both rugs and wood floors...of soft pine. I avoid using any vacuum to be honest. The broom is my friend...with the occasional pass by with the fine vacuum tool for corners and edges. Phoebe is not a shedding dog, but the cats? Argh.

For some unknown reason I have been craving lemon crepes for the last few days. Maybe I'll do something about that soon. ;)

I miss V and many others. I still think of Da and her garden and crochet projects. Le sigh. I blame facebook for much of this. Although I'm sure life is just too full for many of us. Right Eden?

Enjoy your gardens! (All 10 minutes of them when it is light out!)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 6:17AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yum - would love to get a recipe for raspberry scones, Kathy -- I've got the itch to cook, but it dies every nite when I open the frig upon arrival from awfice and Stella is awaiting her food -- too bad I couldn't be content eating her food with her, LOL... it would be so much easier, altho she seems to be pretty finicky and what she loves one day she dislikes and sneers at the next.

Did I mention I cut the grass in the dark last week? It was that kind of week -- I cant say that I can see being productive in the garden in the dark -- usually I'm chasing Stella in and out of the areas where I can't really see what she's gotten into (there's no trusting a 5 month puppy as to tasting plants for food content) -- she thinks it's funny of course and usually darts immediately back to the area I've removed her from....

Vacuums -- a necessary evil in life -- but it's "against my religion" to pay hundreds of dollar for one -- Consumers Report usually rates a real cheapo one or two and I just buy one of them.... Who was it who had the attack vaccuum, Honey? I usually treat mine as tho it has a contagious disease and try to stay far away from it until it becomes vital to the continued health of the household inhabitants....

Great photo, Michelle -- your gardens have matured so much and have such tremendous variety and depth to them -- I love the cardoons. I actually planted a couple of them early on and had them the one year where they started to take over the whole back yard - they were very cool but boy they need room. That seems to be one of my continuing major mistakes, pretending that something is going to stay smaller for me just because my gardens are small, LOL -- I see more things that are likely to be removed or moved this year -- but it may wait til the Spring, as I'm in Norma's corner of being behind.

The zombies were swarming after me yesterday at the awfice and I'm plumb worn out today..... is it Friday yet?


    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 9:16AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hellooooooo, Idylls!

Finish up and take a break, oh I wish!

We have been very busy lately, with a full house for Thanksgiving, some birthdays, garden clean up, all the usual, but, I am sorry to say, also occupied with DS and DGS, both of whom are backsliding somewhat at the moment. I keep on slugging away, but there are times when I wonder if I was bad in a former life....a doctor friend once told me that October and November see a large jump in the sales of antidepressants....with the shorter darker days, the end of the gardens, and the cruddy condition of th house (as one has taken the summer to enjoy the outdoors) as underlying causes.

On the other hand, sitting by the fire with a glass of wine and a dear companion, either human or canine or feline, or all three (or four) can be a very nice way to take a break. Seeing things indoors come back together, albeit slowly, can be very satisfying, and of course, there's always Comfort Food!!Last night was potato-leek soup with bagels and salad, kind of a relief after the 26 pound turkey and the chocolate pound cake served to my Thanksgiving guests.

Heavy frost here now. Everybody that's coming is now in. I have planted my 50 Garlics and my two dozen other bulbs, mostly Hyacinths. I am covering my Wild Horses daylily every night now as it has recently decided to bloom a third time (what's with that?)

I have thought about Deanne a lot lately as I have had many beautiful birds at the feeder on the wine deck: Blue Jays, Evening Gross Beaks, House Finches, Chickadees, Mourning Doves...I am thinking of taking an on-line photography course to try to capture those and to better my garden photos also. BTW, I also picked a copy of FG with Deanne's article on containers! Such fun to see them in a mag and know that you've been there!

Sounds like most of us are still clicking along, getting things done, transitioning to winter. My family cracks up when I call this the "Rhythm of Life" so I do it on purpose *LOL*

We have a new HP laptop so we can keep an eye on DGS when he is on the computer and we are upstairs. Like it fine.

Cheers to all, Julie

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 9:21AM
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I miss a lot of the "old timers", too. But time moves on and things change. Wouldn't it be nice if they would put a reminder on the "personal calendars" to check in with the rest of the old fogeys every so often? Jeez! they don't call, they don't write... kids these days. ;)

I will be chuckling about the visual of Cindy and Stella chowing down on Calo together for some time to come. Lol. No -hit about that menu option making things a lot easier.

I made a chocolate cake last weekend and decided I would try the "german chocolate cake frosting" which, of course, was not in any of the cookbooks I've inherited. I rustled one up on-line. It was OK, not nearly as delicious as I thought I'd remembered, and I think it's time to buy a new hand mixer and return to my buttercream roots. Yeah, baby!

OK, so let's talk about hand mixers, shall we? I have the mondo Kitchen Aid stand mixer and its purchase ranks as one of the smartest cash outlays I've ever made (this the tantamount to the vaunted "13th. mortgage payment" that goes enirely to the principal of the note). But for smaller things ("demi" batches of frosting or meringue) it is overkill and a good deal more work, frankly, since the bowl is often too large to get a good result quickly. My elderly Hamilton Beach Skovill burned out last year and has yet to be replaced (Santa "failed", big time). Suggestions? (perhaps Eden will take pity on me and reply).

I have to disagree with the "cheapo vaccum" and take up a staunch defense of vacuum cleaners, in general, you guys. Do I really "like" using them? No. But I do rather like seeing a good result after I've spent the energy to use one. And breakin' my ass to get the job done isn't part of my plan. I dealt with cheapos/yard sale specials for a lot of years and I assure you, buying a nice one makes a world of difference. Really. I personally loathe the mighty Kirby (I didn't buy it and wasn't part of purchase in any way, shape, or form) but have to give the devil its due when it comes to getting the hair and sand out of the rugs. The shampoo attachment is wonderful, too. And our home teems with pets and all associated hair/tracked in grime. Suffice it to say, that the inherited c. 1952 Electrolux retrofitted by the helpmeet to ride on a castered, plywood platform paled in comparison. (I believe I called him Rube Goldberg for several weeks afterward). We bought a Kenmore to replace that model and I loved it, but the "harness" mechanism that connected the power wand to the canister was finicky and crapped out in about 5 yrs.. Repair was irritatingly expensive/necessary and HE replaced the entire unit with the Kirby. The Miele is MINE. And since I work in a total -hit hole, making sure the Salon does not become one is paramount. I can handle cheap wine, cheap cars, cast-off pets and clothing... but cheap vacuums that underperform? No way. :)

I think some Cardoons may find their way to this locale since fall lingers long here. Michelle, they're lovely! No hard frost yet, but probably this weekend if I believe what I've heard.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 3:40PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

I hope some of the absent Idyllers check in again soon too...

Liam is visiting for 10 days while his 'parents' are on a cruise. My foot is sufficiently back in shape that I've been able to walk him and Misty on about 2km. walks to return library books/DVDs twice in the last couple of days.

Chelone - I'm not familiar with German chocolate icing. I've been using an interesting chocolate icing recipe lately - I got the recipe out of a mystery book where the 'detective' character owns a cookie store! The icing goes on when the cake is still hot. It's very tasty :-) The other icing I find I'm using a lot these days is essentially a butter-cream type, using dark maple syrup to flavour it. It goes wonderfully well with spicy things like applesauce cake, boiled raisin cake, or the pumpkin cake we make. There's not a particular recipe for it - I just make the butter-icing but substitute about 2-3T of dark maple syrup for the vanilla. (Beat the maple syrup into the butter when you cream the butter, then add the icing sugar, alternating with a bit of milk until you get the desired amount and consistency...) My hand mixer is rather old - I've had it since 1977 and it still works fine. I have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer too that is invaluable - especially for regular batches of dog cookies! But the bowl doesn't have a handle - I really need the one with a handle as it's hard to hold onto the bowl to pour things into the pan!

Vacuum cleaners are a PITA! We've gone through a number of them over the years and have not found an 'ideal' one yet....

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 5:09PM
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Here's my proposal for the sorely missed Idyllettes: I'm reasonably certain there are enough of us that if they divied up the days of the week between them, each one could "take a day" to check in and we'd maintain some contact/semblance of continuity. As I mentioned, I'm reasonably certain they're capable of putting the check in date into their "crackberry" or whatever one uses for that sort of thing and it would be a relatively painless "chore". Sort of like calling your grandmother or your mother... . (how scarey is that?).

Nice to see you, Woody. Whenever the Wrecking Crew is here you flash before my eyes. And every single time I do the trek through the Fairy Forest I think of you, too. Mostly because it's my dream to have a reasonably level, "accessible" pathway through the "woods" that would allow more physically limited visitors a tour of the "wilderness" on our property. Mum would have loved that, but it was too rugged and the terrain a bit too challenging for her without "supervision". Go easy on the foot, m'dear, relapses in the winter would really be a total drag.

German Chocolate "frosting" involves butter (of course), brown sugar, pecans, cocoanut, and a few other things that I've conveniently forgotten since it wasn't all I'd thought it would be. Frankly? butter cream frosting blows it out of the water, Woody.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 5:58PM
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Been running around doing chores all day and boy I could use a nap right now. To late for that though.

Julie sorry to hear you have your hands full with the boys. Yes this time of year does get to a lot of people.
I don't do well with insufficent sunlight. I think thats why I enjoy my walks so much in the fall. I like to sit near the growlights in the bay window too.

All the talk about cakes and such makes me want something yummy, but after picking at all that kind of stuff while camping last weekend I'm back on the wagon. Bob's sisters really like to feed everybody and there was no lack of good food.
We will be eating out a lot in the next few days too so I better make smart choices.

So Cyn , now that you have found the camera we need pics of the new garden area. It was you that was working on one wasn't it?

I don't have a clue about Cardoons, but yours is pretty Michelle.

No frost yet , but soon I imagine. The dryness will take things out if frost don't.

The cats have been sticking to me like glue since we got back. I'm thinking they are going to get a rude awakening when we take off again.

I need to get up and move or I won't stay awake.

Later, Norma

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 6:01PM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Cindy, I love your Stella tales. Now, we need up-to-date pics (ironic coming from me, huh?).

Yes, Norma, I am will post pics of the not-quite finished garden as soon as I find the thing-a-ma-jig that connects my camera to the computer to upload the photos-periscope up-wading through the piles which are somewhat smaller now. I like picturing your cats following you everywhere. Sweet.

You all need to quit talking about desserts! Lemon crepes, raspberry scones, applesauce cake, chocolate cake. Jeez, I am drooling all over my computer.

Woody, glad the foot is feeling better. Take Chelone's advice!

Julie, sorry to hear DS and DGS are worrying you. A glass of wine by the fire sounds like a lovely way to take a break from it all. I love having a fire lit on cool evenings. We aren't quite there yet, but soon.

Even I, a newbie here, miss those Idyllers who have drifted off.

'bug, hope dinner was fun.

Michelle, pretty shots of the garden. Congrats on being so organized! Always nice to be able to tell someone, "oh yes, I did."

Kathy, a pox on those Giants fans!

Tomorrow is a busy day. IEP meeting for one of my kiddoes and I haven't finished writing it yet, so I bid you all a sweet goodnight.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 8:41PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, Chelone. Kathy posted your request to we missing members, on Facebook. I remain amongst the living, but had a few times this year that I was sceptical of still being here this fall ! I THINK I am on the mend......
Nothing much to report here, and no pictures of beautiful fall colors. The drouth in July and Aug left most everything in pretty bad shape. Then in Sept we got over 10 inches of rain, some of it all in a very brief period of time. Some things revived, others didn't.
Our son is helping with the installation of propane heaters into our house, to suppliment our wood heat. Hopefully I will not have to stoke the stove during the night, this winter. There was a period of time this summer when I questioned whether I would even be able to carry in the wood this fall and winter. That is looking more feasible now.
I have brought in almost all the potted plants that spent the summer outside. We have not had a frost yet, so more will probably end up inside , dispite my plans of not doing that ! We potted plant people know that it is an addiction !
Nolon is still going, but very slowly. He has spent a lot of time out in the woods cutting and stacking wood. Tim has cut down a lot of trees out front for our winter's wood, and Nolon has cut a lot of it up, as well as dead wood from the past ice breakage. He takes a chair with him, and spends more time sitting, than working, but that is okay. Now we need someone to haul it into the wood shed. I am thinking that is beyond Nolon's ability this fall.
I do check this site every now and then, but feel I have very little to offer of interest.
It is good to see you all sticking together here.
Oh, yes....congrats to Marie. I am so happy about the growth of your family. Ivy is getting to be quite the little girl, and so cute.
Also very happy to know that Susan is on the mend. Your pic of your place is so pretty, Susan.
Waving to everybody.....

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 10:02PM
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Chelone, I pasted the 1st paragraph of your post into my FB comments..maybe we’ll get some slackers to stop by !

I must say Cyn, I thought the Phils would crush those orange and black dudes very quickly(after Lincecums start of course) but it looks like it’s going to go down to the wire.

Julie, I bought a new zoom lens for my camera and was pretty excited to be able to get some decent ( though miles from Deanne-like) pics of the birds at my feeders.

German chocolate cake was a popular dessert in my childhood household, but I’ve never made one. I am much more of a pie person actually, and I rarely make cakes. I always made banana cream pie for DH’s b-day as that was his fave-he was lukewarm on cakes too. I was going to give a testimonial on my hand mixer but I can’t find it ! I’m going to guess that it’s either Sunbeam or an Oster.

Are you still in the boot Woody ? I don’t remember if you had been released yet , so to speak. Clearly if you feel up to a doggie guest things must be looking up !

Ok, nothing more from me, back to baseball.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 10:04PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Kathy has posted Chelone's chastisement over on FB and I have drug my sorry butt over here to check in. It's not you, it's me! I am guilty of what I have scolded other folks about over the years. I got behind, realized that I would never catch up and then got embarrassed about trying to jump back into the pool.

So I am completely and totally out of the loop and that's that.

Life is moving along here. We've had yet another round of paycuts at work, and the Clueless Wonder finally quit, so those of us who are left are again working harder for less money. The company financing is up for renewal in the next month; que sera, sera!

My chickens are doing great. We haven't lost a single one, and I'm now getting close to 2 dozen eggs a day. We're selling the excess at $3 a dozen and they are selling at a steady pace. We won't get rich at this, but at least we can pay for the feed.

I have to post a better update soon about an amazing garden outing we had at the beginning of the month. But I really do need to get to bed. I've had a couple of long days and I am doing a garden club presentation tomorrow evening.

And Chelone needs to know that I bought a paper calendar today because some minor technical glitches with my electronic device have convinced me to return to basics.

V. the wayward

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 10:16PM
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Once an Idyll, always an Idyll !

    Bookmark   October 20, 2010 at 11:00PM
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I have exactly 1 1/2 hours in the garden in the evening if I don't eat dinner when I get home. I grilled chicken, sweet potatoes and mushrooms after dark which is about 7:10.

I'm bummed that there's a 50% chance of rain for Saturday.

As for the cardoons, I grew mine from seed that I ordered. The ones I grew 2 years ago actually bloomed which was quite cool. I have several this year that are around 4' wide but no blooms. I tried saving the seed but got no germination.

We've only had a tiny touch of frost so far. Just enough to turn the edges of the zinnia foliage dark.

I've started cutting back the foundation garden in preparation for the roofing crew. I'm not sure on a date but Rick mentioned November, which is unbelievably right around the corner.

Concerning mixers, I own only the Kitchen-aid stand mixer which I love. I really do very little baking so it isn't overused. Rick is on a perpetual diet and has become very anti-sugar. You know the whole health food thing. We have lots of weird stuff in our refrigerator these days.

You sure can't beat 'Purple Dome' aster for fall show.

Nighty night


    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 12:05AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I started to post these yesterday but got "caught" in work and never returned -

Stella in a 'do from the groomers - looking very woe begone; she does not usually look this sad; I do think it has something to do w/the foo-man-chu beard she's been given too, LOL (NOT my favorite look):

Chelone -- turn your head. Drema requested this; it should have gone on the moments thread but the doggone computers were all against me last week:

From the Grand visitation of Great-grandmother, great-aunt to Isla and family:

It's almost Friday!!!!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 9:36AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Hi Marian! The heaters for winter sound like a very good idea. I'm impressed that Nolon is still out cutting down trees - how old is he? It brought to mind my grandfather who was still out deer-hunting in his 90s. I hope you have a healthy, not-too-difficult winter.

Cindy - Stella is adorable! (The Grands and baby are cute too, but it's dogs that really appeal to me:-)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 9:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OOOH ! Cindy, I love shots with the generations. Just look at the amazing Chanel-type suit g-grandmother is wearing. Wonderful. Oh yes, and of course the sweet look on Isla's face!

Stella is looking very clean and fluffy. Phoebe has taken an extreme dislike to the groomer....(Charlotte never did.)

Terrific seeing Marian, V...and maybe others drop by? Sue? Eden? Honey? Babs?...


    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 9:56AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Woody, Nolon had his 84th birthday Aug the 31st. Since he has a very bad back and legs, and emphysema, most everything he does is with difficulty. I am happy for what he is able to do, and the fact that he still wants to. It is good for both of us....his getting out of the house. :-)
I had a doctor appointment today, so I took him in to his doctor to get his flu shot. I got mine last month. His doctor preferred to wait another month. I still get monthly B 12 shots, too.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 5:46PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Helloooooo! Long lost idyller here to check in. I won't pretend to have a clue about the details of what has been happening in the lives of the non Facebook crowd but I do stop by occasionally as a lurker for a quick skim.

Where does the time go? We had a fabulous IU in CA with Kathy this summer. I tacked on four extra days in San Francisco to spend time with an old college friend. We hiked along the coast of Marin and explored the city. I was gone for 10 days. Have any ideas been tossed around for IU8?

Most of my summer was spent getting ready for a garden tour I agreed to do for the CT Hort Society. It was a brutal summer weatherwise here-beastly hot and humid. The heat beat me up bad but I got it all done and hosted 124 guests. It was fun and people seem to appreciate the effort but remind me not to agree to any garden tours next year. I just quickly turned down the Garden Conservancy before I had a chance to change my Below is a link to some pictures from my garden this year. It's a facebook album but the public link should allow all to view.

So time marches on. Between work, taking care of Nick and myself and keeping up with all the home maintenance I stay pretty busy. Tonight I shoveled a dead, partially eaten rabbit out of the backyard, took the fresh man for a walk, and worked out. I have a pot of homemade split pea soup on the stove and I'm sipping a glass of good wine. Life is good. I'll try to be a better idyller going forward.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sue's late summer garden

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 8:28PM
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Another stellar day! Too bad the daylight hours are getting so short.

I'm nearly finished with week 3 of training the new employee and couldn't be more pleased. The title of DQ doesn't appear to fit anyone in the office these days - yoo hoo!

Cindy, how special for the generations to get together - nothing like a cute baby to make it happen.

Marian, good for Nolon to do what he can. I know just what you mean about dragging in too many plants. The longer this mild fall lasts, the more I bring in.

I'm shot for the night. My sleep is being rudely interrupted these days with night sweats. I'm sure this too will pass.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 9:59PM
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Damn ! All we need now is a TGIF from Sue tomorrow and life will be complete ,lol.And thanks for the Norcal plug Sue..anyone who missed the boat is welcome here anytime.

Oy Cindy , fu-manchu not withstanding, that Stella is cute as hell, what a sweet little face !

Michelle, I keep thinking I need Purple Dome and then I forget about it- Aster season is so fleeting.

V, maybe you need to open a breakfast cafe !

Baseball calls...

..and thanks to those who checked in ! Might be time for an official amnesty thread.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 10:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Why do I have to be the first?

"Wet flurries ending early this morning "

Yes, snow here on the rooftops, the arbor, the benches... At least it will go away, but...what a rude awakening it was.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 7:31AM
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Good morning! I got Chelone's "memo" to check in. I'm up early this morning mostly because I'm fighting a cold that's not letting me sleep well. Just what I don't need at this busy time of year. Looks like we may have gotten our first frost last night. I've been hauling in plants for weeks. Deanne's been a good inspiration for that. Now it's time for the dreaded fall garden clean up.

We've been busy with the grandkids. Seems one or another of them is always here or Brad and I are there. Bella and I have been decorating for Halloween and doing Halloween crafts for the last few weeks. We've all been to the Festival Of 1,000 Pumpkins and Brad and I took Bella to see Disney Princesses On Ice last weekend. The plan for this weekend is Upland Hills Farm where they have hayrides to the pumpkin patch and lots of farm animals for Bella and Kate to pet. Wally tags along too of course. Next weekend is a family Halloween party and then tickets to the circus the weekend after that. Wally's growing by leaps. He was 17 lbs. at his three month check up. That was a month ago. We're waiting for his 4 month weigh in at his check up next week. He's a big, happy boy! Kate's talking up a storm and Bella's loving kindergarten and ballet.

Marie, congratulations of your new grandson. I know Sarah's really busy now. Isabella's getting a little sister who will be named Julia in a few weeks. We're all very excited about that here. Just hoping things go more smoothly for her arrival than they did with Bella's. They're giving Megan until her due date to deliver and if that doesn't happen she's scheduled for a c-section the next day, November 11th. We're hoping that doesn't have to happen.

I know this has been a totally "Grandma" type post but that's my life these days. :)

I'll leave you with a photo of Jenni and Kate from last weekend when they were up visiting my dad.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 7:44AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So nice to read updates from our Facebook friends! Sue, your garden is just wonderful! I studied your photos for a long while last night. Yes, a surprise TGIF would be fun every now and again!

Eden, I'm sorry you have a cold and sleep problems. We've had such troubles here as well. Poor DH is still suffering from throat problems after his January cold!!!!The specialist figures it may be forever....So exciting to hear about little Julia. I remember well the scare at Bella's birth and hope all that will be avoided this time!

Marian! I'm glad your son is helping figure out how to ease the load of work involved with heating things at winter time. I haven't brought in any plants this year, just too much work involved. I did take wallflower cuttings, but I'm not sure how well they are doing even now. (No less come April or May!) We have firewood to stack, but DH is muttering about his back and I am waiting until things warm up a bit before I try even a small bit.

Michelle, your new employee sounds fantastic! Keep her!!! It must make a huge difference in your outlook, turning the awfice into an office!

At the risk of turning this into a grandma post I thought I'd share this from DD. Think of it as linguistics Chelone!

"Baybee!!!! Meeeeo! BayBEE! (Baby Leo)
Mammee! Mammee!
Daddy Daddy Daddy Daddy!!!! (usually accompanied by lots of barking from the dog and a run full-tilt to the front door. Daddy's girl?)
Uh Oh! Oh No!
MEOW! (hence the cat halloween costume)
Didy Doh (Indy Dog)
Eyes, No(se), Mou(th) - but she doesn't quite get ears yet, though she can point them out to you.

One of the really cute things that she was doing the other night was reading a book with DH. Then, on one page with lots of things on it, she grabbed DH's index finger and pointed it at various things which he'd identify for her. "Man" "Boat" "Duck" etc... It was fun to see how she used her entire hand to grab his finger, and they must have been doing this for about 10 minutes straight! Unfortunately I didn't have my camera handy...

She's been doing all sorts of new sounds this week, but hasn't quite put them together yet..."

We are all smitten by her charms....

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 9:56AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Cindy, love the pictures of Isla with the greats and Stella, too. Perfect start to the weekend. Much better than the actual start-coming home from school, huge amounts of smoke ahead of me-looked like it was at the Seminary across the street from us (Virginia Theological Seminary). Unfortunately, DH and I walked over with the dogs as soon as I got home and what a heartbreaking scene. The chapel built about 130 years ago was totally in flames. I have pictures, so will post one or two over the weekend along with the pictures of the new garden. All the stained glass windows are gone (one by Tiffany) and I suspect the historical plaques (Francis Scott Key among other members of the Revolutionary leadership were among the founders of the seminary) are as well. By the time the fire was discovered (at exactly the time I was arriving home which means the fire had been burning for quite a while because the smoke was visible all the way home), the flames must have been through the roof and there are no hydrants nearby, so that slowed the efforts. For the longest time, there was only one hose pouring on water. The flames inside just keep burning and burning despite the water. Very odd. Most of the fireman were just watching. Nothing they could do. We are all anxious to find out the cause-not that that will help. I hate losing pieces of history! It is a place we visit often as we walk the pups.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 9:23PM
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Rain is on the agenda for the duration of the weekend here, so it looks like time to start the winter indoor chores. Not really pouring, it’s that drizzley PNW style rain, but we need it �"I just wish it had waited till Monday, lol.

Thanks to all you Idyllers who checked in ! Feels like old times for a couple days anyway.

V, we have had two pay cuts last year , but we are feeling good about recovery. I think it will be 3rd or 4th Q next year before pay is restored though. I sure hear you about more work less pay ! We used to have clerical staff in our dept but they are long gone. This summer we were given a helper from accounting for 20 hours a pay period and she has been a godsend-those folks are generally fast and accurate when it comes to data entry.

I want ‘Purple Dome’ and ‘Winston Churchill’ Michelle, but I always forget to pick them up. Maybe I’ll put that on my list for next week (even though I’m not buying anymore plants) before the Aster selection dwindles down.

Cindy, Stella is absolutely adorable ! And what a sweet multi generational family pic !

Marian, I really believe that the activity level that you and Nolan maintain is so important �"sure it’s reduced , maybe not as strenuous, but I can tell you my late FIL absolutely would not even get out of his chair to walk around the block when he hit his 70’s and it sure sent him downhill. He had no chronic illnesses either, really a shame …

Sue, I think the Buffalo Garden Walk and PNW are the top 2 for IU8 that have been discussed thus far. If I had to guess I think most folks would vote for the east coast in 2011, and the PNW in 2012. We’ve never really floated Socal as an idea, but it would have to be really early because the weather down there can be pretty miserable in summer. Guess we’ll need to start a discussion thread and an e-mail chat about it in a month or 2. I’m in wherever it is !

Cyn, how dreadful about the seminary fire. Sites like that can never be replaced �"

OK, all for now waves to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 9:36PM
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I spent a little time this evening picking all the remaining peppers and digging a few carrots. Here we are in late October and we are still reaping the benefits of the garden. The alpine strawberries are still producing and the herbs are still intact as well. Seed collecting was the rest of the evening along with a quick walat. I figure you have to enjoy it while you can. So I try to walat some every day.

Oh what fun - Miss Ivy is beginning to vocalize. With Kenzie I get a kick out how she tries to expand her vocabulary. Sometimes the meaning is correct but the pronunciation a bit off or the pronunciation is correct but the meaning a bit off. She tried for big impressive words.

The picture of Jenni and Kate exudes such joy. Eden, you and Brad do such fun stuff with your grandkids.

My parents watched Kenzie one evening and she told my mom that she was so much fun. My mom just loved that. They are very fun grandparents and now great-grandparents.

Oh, Cyn how awful to loose a wonderful old structure.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 10:03PM
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I promised this didn't I ? I was really happy with hoe these turned out, and they weren't over-sweet. Bet you could still cut the sugar a tad. I think drizzling chocolate over the top might be good too !

Here is a link that might be useful: Raspberry Scones

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 10:23PM
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Nice to see a couple of "old timers" drop in. Does my heart glad. ;)

I echo Kathy's sentiments about Nolon's effort to keep moving, Marian. As my late aunt used to say, "it's important to get up every morning and lace up your boots". And my late FIL was a strong advocate of "having a project". Mum was spry right up until the end, too. So, while the productive aspect of "work" may dwindle, the simple act of doing something reaps untold benefits.

Yesterday was downright blustery and cold; the helpmeet was wearing his knitted hat as he went about blowing out the irrigation lines. What remains of any perennials are quickly devolving into yellow-y mush. We fired up the stove again last night; not an every night occurence yet, but a nice way to postpone the official onset of "heating season". Excellent move with respect to the propane heaters for you, Marian. I love wood heat, but when it's the only thing you have it can get old really fast... esp. in an older home or with a stove that is not one of the new, super efficient models. No doubt about it, it's work.

I very much enjoyed your lovely gahden tour, Sue. The compostition of your borders is really wonderful, and I love the "punctuation" the very large annuals lend to things. I was particularly taken with the cobalt blue iron chair echoing the color on the garage door. Very, very pretty. I was, however, hoping for a shot of the half eaten rabbit... :(

One of the things about maintaining a child-free existence is that the passage of years is marked largely by the arrival and departure of pets. Kate is so big and Wally seems to be only too happy to pack on the pounds, too. And now there is another on the way... I don't get it, personally, but as long as it's not here, I'm happy for you, Eden. ;) I hope your Dad is doing well, it must be great fun for him to enjoy his great-grandchildren and note similarities to their parents, but also differences. I am now faced with the purchase of a quality hand mixer... should you see this any suggestion you may offer would be appreciated.

I love the generational shot from Cindy, very tender and something to treasure for years to come. Fu Manchu, lol. I have always had "a thing" about dogs with sticky mouths... and dogs that slobber. I don't suppose the groomer would give her "close shave", huh? :) My lawyer friend has taken a new position and told me the most important thing she needed to do during her last week was take her treasured secretary to lunch. She has staunchly maintained that "her" secretary is the lubricant that keeps the office humming along smoothly. And wishes she could take her along to her new position.

Excellent news on the chicken front, V., speaks volumes for good husbandry. It made me wonder about Mary, too. Have you had any unwelcome nocturnal visitors looking for breaches in coop security? Do you let them "free range" when you're out in the yard? Some people down the road had chickens and I would occasionally see them along the side of the road and invariably cracked up when they saw a car and peeled out for the safety of the yard. "Clueless Wonder" elicited an audible laugh, too; not much worse than dealing with someone like that... unless of course, it's a pay cut and more work. :/

OK, that's it for me, time to get crackin' on the day's work. Time's a wastin', you know.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 6:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well I SHOULD get crackin', but have been delayed. It all began when DH said he'd like crepes for breakfast. Now I'm stuffed...

Last week I got involved for the first time in creating photo books using the web. I wanted to create gifts for the grandchildren. It took me a while to figure out the Canadian site and DD helped me a bit. There were stumbling blocks and frustration...and I still don't know how to find where to work on the dpi which is supposed to be 300 for each photo. In any case I was able to come up with my first small book for Ivy and have been told that it is in the mail already. The next one will likely have more in colored and textured pages and so forth. I now realize that I could have added pages too, and therefore simplify each page layout. I like clean and simple! So here is page one:

We have done several loads of firewood stacking, but there are many more to follow. Rains begin this afternoon.

It is a busy weekend with meetings etc... so I must go now and deal with dishes, laundry and cat litter....


    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 11:08AM
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It's not busy here. Firewood is stacked. Laundry is done and folded. Dishes are done. There is still some cake left and a couple of chocolate tapiocas in the 'frig.. No lawn mowing required, and not enough leaves down to require raking. The helpmeet vacuumed yesterday. Not, frankly, quite sure how to busy myself about now... . (can you say, Loser? suffice it to say that "recreating" is not my strong suit).

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 11:43AM
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cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Wow. I have had to relearn Picasa all over again. Not sure how successful I will be. It is different on the Mac than on a PC. Here goes with pics of the garden. I don't seem to be able to pick and choose, so there are too many photos which really aren't too exciting. You can't even see the blooms on the anemones. *sigh* new garden

Okay, well it seems to be that if you click on the photo, you will get to my Picasa site and can run a slide show from there. Not sure I would bother!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 4:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cyn! A beautiful beautiful shade garden. Seems funny to see the sprinkler going on this rainy day.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 5:06PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Tim has spent the day finishing up all the installation of the piping for our propane heaters. He is now laying on our couch, sawing logs!! LOL. His next and final step on that job, will be the hanging of the heaters and hooking them up. If all goes well, I will contact the propane company Monday, and they will bring out the tank that I purchased a while back. It was so strange....he had just finished the job, and had covered up the buried pipes, when a rain came! So timely. And we needed it.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 5:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Tim has spent the day finishing up all the installation of the piping for our propane heaters. He is now laying on our couch, sawing logs!! LOL. His next and final step on that job, will be the hanging of the heaters and hooking them up. If all goes well, I will contact the propane company Monday, and they will bring out the tank that I purchased a while back. It was so strange....he had just finished the job, and had covered up the buried pipes, when a rain came! So timely. And we needed it.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 6:00PM
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Nice roundup of the FB crowd and so glad to hear all are well. Photos of babies and puppies and cats playing in fallen leaves are fine by me, but I'm sappy that way. Great photo of Jenn & Kate. What awful news about the chapel fire, Cyn.

Michelle, your cardoon photo, all your photos are wonderful. It's great to get Kenzie updates. I'm sure the image of her in my mind's eye is no longer current.

We returned mid week from a trip to my relatives in Holyoke, Massachusetts, my first time back in over 25 years. So close to many idyllers but time was short, 3 days with relatives, a day in Pennsylvania for Longwood, two in NYC -- my first visit ever to NYC. Everyone says the fall color is disappointing this year but to my unfamiliar eye it was amazing. A cousin's 25-year anniversary party was the instigation for the trip. What an enormous family! There's eight remaining of my mom's nine siblings, so it was time for a visit. Her oldest sister is 82 and danced up a storm at the party. She looks and acts about 60 and seems mystified as to why getting old seems to have passed her by.

Turning the 20 year old fireplace faux gas heater on today cracked the glass, so we'll be needing a new one since it's the only heating system we've got. I'm finding all the talk of vacuums ironic, since many of my aunts on the east coast are zealous neatniks, not only cleaning the obvious dust and dirt but going on seek-and-destroy missions for unseen dirt under fridges, just nonstop cleaning every day. That level of cleanliness is a marvel. Leaving our house to Duncan, Ein, and four cats for a week was a rude awakening! In NYC we stayed at a cheap, very cheap hostel in Chelsea, a bed and a bathroom, clean, but wish I'd known we needed to provide our own towels!

Sorry to read Cindy is kept overly busy by the awfice. And I read references to a 94-lb load of concrete Saucy took on board but will have to re-read for the details. Good to know V's chickens are thriving and glad Rex made it back from his impromptu walkabout.

Here's a photo of Marty at the Garden of Remembrance at the Battery in NYC, planted by Piet Oudolf. I saw so many plants for the first time, including toad lilies which were as big as shrubs. I had no idea what so many of the plants I've read of actually looked like.

Happy weekend to all and stay warm!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 6:58PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Marty looks fantastic surrounded by Oudolf. He's actually watching the boats I suspect as you take close ups of Tricyrtis.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 7:47PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Marty looks fantastic surrounded by Oudolf. He's actually watching the boats I suspect as you take close ups of Tricyrtis.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 8:00PM
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Rain and more rain this weekend, but I am still resisting turning on the heat till Nov 1. The tough skins of the red wine grapes will prevail but whites that remain unpicked are vulnerable to bunch rot in these conditions. We are supposed to see the sun on Tuesday , with more rain predicted late in the week. I’m dying to get out with my camera , hopefully next weekend will co-operate , included will be a visit to DD .

So I spent the day on grocery shopping, finances and moderate house cleaning. The Julie Jobs are piling up .

Denise, your photo of the battery reminds me how cool fall gardens can be with a little advance planning. It’s just a whole different look, I find it really appealing.

‘bug I love your book ! What a great idea ..I’ve made photo books for the family but never anything with a text and a story of sorts.

Marian, how nice that you will have some consistent heat this winter. When my DBILS lived at the coast they had radiant floor heating that was propane fueled , but they almost exclusively used the woodstove. The house was a very open floor plan and that seemed to work well for them-of course the winter temps there are much warmer than what you experience-it is very damp and grey however.

Ok, got dinner going and trying to watch some baseball---later friends !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 9:04PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello all. I was going to start out with "Happy Saturday" but I see that it is Sunday already.....

Marie, I guess someone has to be first, but I am a close second. White stuff this morning prompted us to take a trip to the city as TCS needed winter boots and new shoes. No place here that carries anything of decent quality in that department for kids, so off we went. Got shoes (now he has to learn to tie laces!) and boots, duvet covers at Ikea, a bunch of staples (not the kind you use in paper *LOL*) at Costco, took TCS and DS out for lunch, Quick stop at the LCBO, and finally home in time for dinner and a nap.

We have so far managed to not use the furnace, but we do have a gas fireplace that works very well for us on the main floor of the house, and we have used it for the last few mornings. I too recall the joys of using a wood burning stove for heat, and also how much I appreciated the switch to a more conventional system in terms of ease. Marian, you will likely find that your house stays cleaner too. I agree that it is important to stay active. I feel it now in the hips when I walk downtown and back so I try to do it often. DH doesn't walk anywhere but on the golf course, but he has noticed a signifigant difference in how he feels if he gets to the range at least every second day weather permitting. DS walks everywhere as he has little money for transportation, and DD is an athlete. I often marvel at Woody who seems to get around all over the place in spite of physical challenges. I hope the foot is fine now Woody!

Saucy, your leaves are wonderful! I have a few that turned out well but I have saved the painting for a winter activity. TCS did one all himself, from selecting a Hosta leaf, casting, and spray painting it two shades of green as a gift for DD's birthday. I looked at your album and am so inspired!

It may be a hard winter here if one can tell by bird activity. I have had feeders here all five winters with little activity, but this year I am overcome by the variety and numbers I am getting. Juncos, purple and house finches, red wing blackbirds, mourning doves, Jays, Cardinals, chickadees, are all almost daily visitors on the wine deck. They are accompanied by several squirrels and chipmunks as well. One poor little tree rat has been named NT by DH, standing for "No Tail", obviously caught by and escaped from some dire circumstance. I don't begrudge the poor thing a few sunflower seeds or peanuts; I am such a softie.

Gee Kathy, it almost sounds like you are having Eastern Ontario/Western Quebec weather: drizzle predicted here for the next week. All the Julie jobs will be done by the time we get any more garden weather. I think we are done with the lawn mowing, but I still need to dig the Cannas, Elephant Ears and Crocossmia (sp?) before the ground freezes.

The banana will reach the ceiling in about three weeks. What to do, what to do......Probably just decorate it for Christmas...

Tired and rambling now, must be bedtime.

Waving to all!



    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 12:39AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good Sunday morning all, I’m completely out of touch with what’s been going on here as well. Sorry I’ve not been a good Idyller lately. I’ve been busy, busy with getting the gardens put away for the season and still have a lot left to do but the good news is that I’m about 75% done. For some reason I’ve been dragging my feet on getting to that last 25%. I think I’m just tired and the house is so full of plants at the moment the dining/family room looks like a conservatory. I’ve been saving some pretty large plants that I was thinking of letting go with the frost but then couldn’t bear to let them die…. I’m hopeless! LOL Another bit of news is that we’ll be on the Garden Conservancy Open Days next summer which is another reason I’ve been saving the big plants I otherwise would have trashed. The coleus cuttings are all thriving under the lights and I’ve gotten a nice crop of Sanchezia cuttings going but what I’m going to do with eleven of them is a mystery. For some reason I have a hard time pruning a plant and putting it in the compost when it could be rooted?! I guess I’m a plant hoarder. LOL

We have had LOTS of birds through here this fall and tons of Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers, a new garden bird, Eastern Phoebe, lots of woodpeckers, a large flock of Black-capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice. I still haven’t seen too many finches but there are more around now than there were last fall so that is a good sign. Also, Some of the local birders are reporting Pine Siskins so I’m hoping to get some in the feeders again this winter.

The climbing hydrangea is gorgeous at the moment, covered with its beautiful gold fall leaves before going to sleep for the winter. I’ll have to get a few pics as it’s really spectacular.

I’m hoping to have enough time to add some bulbs to the gardens and shuffle a couple shrubs around before the ground freezes so still lots to do here.

Take care one and all and have a great day!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 10:07AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

After much frustration I have painfully figured out how to save photos with the proper dpi. Too bad I had to create and order books in order to practice. Every time I thought I'd saved them correctly, the dpi would be altered and reduced without my knowing it. Sigh.... But no more!

Last night I finished reading The Mistress of Nothing. I really enjoyed much of it and disliked some of it. Hard to explain. DH has stacked a bit more firewood. I have disposed of rhubarb leaves and weeds. I also planted a few Spring Green bulbs.

We have the furnace set now to 15 at night (59F) and 17 by day.(63F) We have also begun using the wood stove most mornings in the one large room.

We were supposed to mail in our voting envelopes by October 16th it seems. DH conveniently lost those forms until yesterday evening. ****grrr....... After much research it seems we can hand deliver them tomorrow. What a pain he can be! And then to top it off he asks me who to vote for.

I'm not sure about this growing old together for the companionship thing... I have an indoor clematis producing shoots now. Now that is a fine companion!

Off to change my mood-

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 4:49PM
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Lol to our grumpy-‘bug, my DH used to ask me who to vote for, to the extent that I marked his sample ballot for him before he went to the polls. I signed up for vote by mail this election-a hard choice for me as I like the ‘ceremony’ of going to the polls and voting.

It has been raining steadily all day, and only let up about a half hour ago, it felt good to go out and walk around a bit after being cooped up all weekend. Still no sun and viewing the sky to the west and north it looks like more rain is on the way soon. To my chagrin, I left my Muck shoes outside and they are soaked ! I have a 2nd pair of the high top style that is safe in the garage . The rain did force me into a few long put off tasks, one involving my ‘family business’ file cabinet which needed substantial attention nice to have it all organized with the unnecessary stuff in the recycle.

Deanne, how soon will you know the date of your Open Day ? I hope you won’t have to miss IU again , though if we come back east again I expect it will be easier for you to get away provided they aren’t at the same time. If we do Buffalo we already know the date for that.

Cyn, that garden is going to be really nice when it fills in-and I love the lines of your birdbath!

All for now my friends..stay warm and dry !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 7:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I was wrong. Still can't save photos with the desired dpi. SO MADDENING!!!!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 9:54PM
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Today is the day to replace the worn out foundation garments. They have served me well but are now too tattered and the elastic has definitely lost its "pop". But I will get to meet a friend after stimulating the retail economy and that will be fun.

I have been to NYC only a handful of times and my most vivid memory of it was that my eyes bothered me for a couple of days from all the air pollution. But I found the good citizens affable and not without good humor, contrary to what so many have been led to believe (I liked Parisians a lot, too). We've toyed with the notion of a few days there and maybe a show, but have never pulled the trigger. I hope no bedbugs made the cross country flight to diversify the gene pool indiginous to sunny LA. ;)

No snow here, no plants have made it inside, and none have been removed from windowboxes or cut to the ground, either. Just don't feel like it, but I'm not "on the stick" for a garden tour next year, either. I figure I'll wait until the oak trees give up the last of their leaves and do it all in one fell, gardening marathon swoop. Yeah, right.

OK, gotta get crackin' and organized for my big shopping blitz. Later.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 7:44AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It’s a dull and dreary day outside but is brightened by the fall foliage outside the windows. It’s always a delight to see the show the trees put on every year. Soooo pretty.

LOL Grumpy Bug… sometimes the DH’s can do that to even the most patient of personalities…. ~~ sorry for your photo frustrations…

Kathy, the Open Days here should be the end of June. That is what I was told. I just don’t yet know what weekend the end of June but if it shifts to conflict with the IU in ’11 I might have to decline participating. I don’t want to miss two years. ~~~ It is supposed to be cloudy and raining here over the next few days. Perfect for me to spend quality time in the garage finishing up winterizing the plants.

Chelone, have a great shopping day….

Here are a couple pics from this morning, that climbing hydrangea is a star!

Just love the color of this sedum in the fall

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 8:44AM
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I just got fitted, Chelone, and the sales woman surprised me by saying, "would you mind if my manager checked my work? I have to have 4 more good fittings..." LOL, I obliged her. The manager said, "you could be a model for this bra" and I wasn't sure whether I felt flattered or not. I bought 6 because they were buy one get one 1/2 off.

Not much going on here. The weather is going to be right for making more leaves even though there are few large leaves left.

I'm reading right along, enjoy all the chatter. I'm going to go and whip the house into shape before it gets warm enough to play outside. Have a good day, all!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 8:47AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Voted, but still grumpy.

Received some photos and took some as well- and that helps my mood!
Ivy loves linguini...and is wearing a tiny pony tail.

Daddy returned from a week away and here he toasts his return with fruit wine...

Leo enjoys the hot tub

Planting Narcissus poeticus.

Bridge Garden at the farm.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 3:51PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

It was nice the see missig Idylls check in - we just need a few more....

Very mild here today - perfect for dog-walking! Liam has been here for about 10 days while his 'parents' were on a cruise. He kept me company while Randy was in Calgary last week visiting his parents. Liam was supposed to go home last night but his 'parents' had a nightmare return trip - cancelled flights; lots luggage etc., so he ended up staying another day. Blue needed day-care so Misty had two big 'brothers' today. Blue and Liam are our most frequent visitors so they have met before and are good buddies.

We desperately need to get out and do some leaf raking and other clean-up but weather and other things have kept us from getting to it. Wednesday maybe...

The Angel roses have a fabulous display of hips this year. Queen Elizabeth has also set hips this year so we've been leaving them in place to see how showy they turn out to be. It would be neat if they make a giant-sized display across the driveway from the little ones:

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Laying the propane line:

The propane company is scheduled to deliver the tank monday. :-)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 6:08PM
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It was rainy Saturday so we headed to the city for some shopping. We ended up with .7' which was needed. I had a heck of a time digging a few carrots on Friday to put with my roast.

'bug, you mentioned the loss of barns. In Iowa there are matching funds to restore barns. They also have an All-State barn tour where the barns are open to the public each fall. There are several in our area that are on the tour.
The books will be a special gift indeed.

Cynthia, a new garden is always so exciting. It appears like a path will run through it. You will have to post pictures as it develops.

Deanne, you have some awesome plants, I can see why you want to save them all. Now I need 11 cuttings since I may end up with only 1 or 2 by spring. I've brought a lot in too and still have 1 container to dismantle.

Saturday we got the sales pitch on a Mac Pro. DH would have bought one for me right then but I need to know more and ponder a bit. I was inspired to even start looking by Chelone and Drema's conversation.

This evening we came home after dark and there was a deer lounging on the front lawn - arggg!

Below is a link to a few fall garden pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Colors of Fall

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 8:45PM
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A few more comments:

Marian, it looks like your son is working very hard. I'm sure this will make your winter easier.

'bug, love the little ponytail. Leo looks like he's filling out nicely. What is the shrub by the bridge that's such a nice chartreuse color?

Deanne, you have some awesome fall color.

Woody, I love the rose hips. Someday I'm going to have to try growing those Angel roses.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 9:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, that is a kind of Amsonia, not a shrub. I almost cut it back but decided to keep it for color for a couple of weeks.
Here's a closeup. Sorry I'm not sure of the variety.

And this is Amsonia Heubrechtii:

And yes, we are losing many many barns in our area. It really hurts to see them collapse around me. They are a huge expense to keep in good repair. We spent a huge amount just to keep ours standing...and hardly anything on the house itself. The next owners may well tear it down....

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 10:10PM
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Wonderful photos here over the last couple of Marian , I see Nolan is ‘supervising’ the laying in of the copper pipe.

Woody those rose hips are wonderful. I only have two roses that get nice hips, and they are both more orange in tone. This may change as I continue to edit my rose collection in the old-rose direction.

Thumbs-up to Ivys jaunty Pumpkin hat !

Over and out ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 11:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Glad to see Randy's guitar is still out...and in use!

Marian, how deep does the propane line need to be? Here it would be VERY deep. I can't wait to hear how you like it!

Deanne, the colors this Fall seem more spectacular than ever here. I think it is true in your garden as well!!! I'm not seeing as many birds as usual this year though. I'm not sure why that is. As to critters though, they are doing their regular "dig up the lawn" thing. Ugh.

So Julie, what are you going to do about the banana? Raise the roof? I hope things improve soon with DS and TCS.

Chelone, I thought of you yesterday when I passed by a sign which said "Sew Original". That had me thinking of many similar names: Sew Wonderful, Sew Complicated, Sew Perfect, Sew It!, Sew What? Just being silly, not really fond of this direction...

On with the day,

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 8:49AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Remember that unidentified clematis for the clematis swag? This is what it looks like today:

I still have no idea of what it is but it's certainly pretty - and floriferous and vigorous. I've never had a clematis bloom so well at the end of October.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 5:45PM
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The big Bra Bazaar trip was a true bonanza, Deanne. I arrived shortly after the door was unlocked was promptly greeted by a young saleswoman and I gladly put her expertise to work for me. I'm all for bargain hunting, but when it comes to bras... I feel full service and letting the specialists do their thing is worth every penny! She was charming, began by measuring me and then set about searching their racks for the perfect something for my "rack". :) I left with 4 comfortable, good looking, perfectly fitted "foundations". I suspect Saucy and I were in the same store... as the pricing was exactly the same. I was in and out in under 40 minutes and I tried on a lot of bras. Best of all, in a trip to a really "down and dirty" odd lot store later in the day with my friend I found 2 more of the same model I'd just purchased... for under $8/ea.!

My friend and I spent a fabulous day together doing all manner of piddly errands that she needed to do before her impending out of state move. :( And I actually felt a pang when we went to a very nice shoe "warehouse". I love shoes and handbags and I looked longingly at some really gorgeous shoes, shoes the like of which I USED to wear daily. Pretty ones, with highish heels and discreet details that nicely highlight toe cleavage... . Le sigh. I wilted at the sight of my Merrills, complete with grass stains from the last mowing venture. But it was a fun way to while away a grey day.

Fog has descended now, banishing the beautiful sunshine of today. But it's warm. The most vivid foliage is now mostly on the ground but there are still some handsome displays of tawny grassess and bronzed oak leaves. I was struck by an overgrown Yew hedge that has been invaded by bittersweet because the latter was bright yellow and in handsome contrast with the deep, vibrant green of the Yews. Our CH has turned in a respectable fall show, too, even though it sustained a terrible wound in an ice storm; one that split the main trunk right to the ground. We bound it together and it seemed to limp through the season, even flowering, but I have serious doubts as to its longterm vigor. It is still trussed up and relies on metal stakes to keep it in a upright position.

I've enjoyed all the pictures and all the news you've shared. Very exciting, Michelle, that you've been computer shopping, too! I don't think I can justify the expense of a MacBook, I'm afraid. There are too many other things that would be more professionally useful at this time... think hand tools... and the difference between a PC laptop and a MacBook is nearly a grand. Fear not, 'bug, that's not the direction I would wish to take. ;)

Warm thoughts to all.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 6:00PM
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Lots of pretty fall color going on in everyones gardens.
Love seeing Miss Ivy helping dad plant bulbs. I agree Leo seems to be filling out. I'm guessing he is eating better?

Deanne, I like the fall color of that sedum too.

Michelle I wish my Tiger Eye would color up like yours. Mine tend to lose their leaves befor the have a chance to color up. I'm seriously thinking of yanking them out.

Good to have everyone checking in. I enjoyed reading the updates.

We made another little trip over the weekend. This time to Branson for a family get together to celebrate our sons 50th birthday. Silver Dollar City had a fifty year celebration going on this year and if you celebrated a fifty year birthday or anniversary this year you got in free. So since we had our anniversary and both DS and DDIL had birthdays we all got in free. Only the grandkids had to pay. We also went to The Dixie Stampeed performance. I really enjoyed that, because of the horses. The food they served was tasty, but it was served without utensils and That was pretty messy.
We had a really nice cabin to stay at that had four master suites so everybody had their privacy but there were common areas and a screened in porch with a view.
All in all it was a good way to spend some quality family time.

I liked this metal work

and this lady who made fiddles

This young boy was enjoying learning about mules

This was a neat water feature I saw downtown

I still have lots of flowers blooming but not for long. Maybe one more day. We have done tons of leaves already and they are still blowing in. Keeping us busy. I'm feeling whipped.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 7:31PM
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Cyn the new garden area is looking good.

And Cindy Isla looks so tiny. I imagine the grands were thrilled to get to hold her.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 7:37PM
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I really like mules. They're hybrids and generally are sterile; and there are all kinds of mules out there! depends entire on what two ingredients are bred to each other... some are quite delicate and small, others are huge and very, very strong. Best of all, mules are SMART. They aren't "spooky" like horses, they tend to be more "practical" and easy-going and that's why they've gained a reputation as "stubborn"; they aren't, they'e smart!. And amazingly sure-footed... that's why they use them as pack animals and to tote tourists along the frighteningly narrow, winding paths that lead to the floor of the Grand Canyon. Like oxen, they are hugely under-appreciated in the lore of our country's founding. Horses have always been the "glamor boys", but they weren't the "go to" animal. Oxen and mules carry the cache of comparing a stripped down Hyundai or Toyota to a luxuriously appointed SUV. "Handsome is as handsome does"!

I love the faucet handles as flowers. I've always thought that door handles and faucet handles were delicate, pretty, and looked like flowers! Charms me to see them used so prettily.

Thanks, Norma. Woody, I've never had a clematis perform so nicely so late in the season. Lovely.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 8:04PM
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Hurriedly deadheaded rose tonight after the awfice and before the sun went ‘over the yardarm’ , our weekend rain (5 inches I hear) turned the fall flush into blobs. The rose foliage right now looks better than it has since the 1st spring flush, so I guess my labor day mini-pruning paid off. None the less there will be some serious sp’ing this winter.

On top of that we have a frost warning for tonight, so I had to rush around feverishly moving aeoniums and kalanchoes into the garage, begonias on the kitchen sink , and cuttings were hastily taken from favored coleus.I had already taken cuttings from the plectranthus . My pop up greenhouse still sits in the receiving dept at the awfice, plans were to bring it home Friday and set it up this weekend.

What a fun trip you shared with us Norma; I’ve only been to St Louis several times on business and never had the chance to visit some of the other towns in Mo. I too love the whimisical treatment of the gate valve handles. Very cool.

Glad to hear that all the bosoms have been safely stowed in new garments-you gals obviously shop at better lingerie establishments than I do !

Dinner !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 9:39PM
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Just so you know. I'll probably be out of the loop for a while. I've used up my broadband allowance uploading to many pics for family on facebook. So will be laying low. :(


    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 9:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I haven't blown away yet!

Wind southwest 60 km/h gusting to 90 diminishing to 30 this evening.

Wind southwest 37 mph gusting to 56 mph diminishing to 18 mph this evening.

It makes weeding and raking challenging, but the sun is nice. Maybe we'll get more wood stacked?

Last night I had to proofread "Submissions of Planning for Sustainability: A Provincial Policy Statement Collaborative in response to the on-going review of the 2005 Provincial Policy Statement, Environmental Bill of Rights Registry Number 010-9766 October 2010" - I've read easier stuff in the past....and would have preferred my book club read! A girl's gotta do what she's gotta do though...


    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 9:52AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie, the copper line only has to be deep enough that something running over it does not smash it! Ours is about 8 inches, since it is not in an area where anything other than the riding mower will be going over it. We will have to put boards over it temporarily, for the delivering of the tank. The fuel truck will not be driving over it.
I am hoping it will really cut down on my job of carrying in firewood. I may enlist the help of a neighbor to carry in a week's supply, into the utility room.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:59PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Marian, a week's supply in the utility room would mean fewer plants! ;) DH has rubbermaid containers where he stores kindling and wood - not far from the stove. Not exactly "House & Gardens" decor, but what can you do? This morning we stacked a bit more, but still lots remains.

I hesitate to drive to town for errands in this wind, so I guess dinner will be a strange mix of things. It sure is noisy out there! I hope branches don't come crashing down. One of my heavier obelisks did!

DH is in town for meetings this afternoon so now is MY time to do my thing at last. I sorted old plant seeds this morning and will give most away to my friends who are opening a nursery. Off to do a few chapters of my Book Club reading.

I am getting more and more nervous about DS's Haitian trip, especially the malaria and cholera aspects. He's a big boy, but man, motherhood never ends.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 1:46PM
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Not much going on at work today and it's gloomy, gloomy, gloomy here. But very warm. Tomorrow is supposed to be a corker but the cold air will blow in on Friday. It's OK with me, though. It's the time of year for it to get cold and since there is no way to avoid it, bring it on. I'll deal with it.

We have plenty of firewood, most of it seasoned for nearly two years. Two years is really the time required to fully season red oak and swamp maple; both are dense hardwoods and tend to retain moisture for a long time. Last summer was perfect for curing, too... warm and sunny. The helpmeet and I trekked through the Fairy Forest not too long ago and we noted trees that we'd like to remove to thin out the canopy, there are a lot of them and I think this fall/winter may be the perfect time to get it done. Oftentimes, however, what I think about something doesn't carry a lot of weight, if you know what I mean. ;)

Marian, I loved the shot of Nolon doing "the heavy lookin' on". It made me smile because it reminded me of how Mum used to mill around whenever we were doing something outdoors. And the same thing for my late FIL. There were a lot of interesting conversations and some fun memories shared and made during those times. Regulations for burying gaslines here are a lot tougher than they are for you! consider yourself a lucky woman. I know you will when it gets cold and you don't HAVE to carry firewood into the house. :) You are going to love that.

I am off to pickle the folding support legs for a drop down leaf on a table. The helpmeet graciously chamfered them last night and failure to accept the baton and run the final "leg" (sorry!) could be perceived as "taking advantage". Besides the hinges arrived today and the sooner it's done the sooner the entire project will be finished.

Woody, my friend that's moving out of state is the mother of the Wrecking Crew. The Crew was so happy to see me on Monday (I don't know why) which only serves as proof of their foolishness... greeting someone who hates their species? don't get it, at all. And I've noticed that the only leashes she now uses are the nice 6' leather ones I purchased for her when I first had the Crew for an extended visit. She no longer bothers with the "anti-jump" harnesses, either... since they offer no control when the fools decide to bolt and "greet" someone else's dogs. I loved the shot of Randy and the guests, it's what reminded me of the Wrecking Crew. Also, I have thought of his parents every so often and have utterly failed to ask about them. How are things in that corner, or is that somewhere you don't "want to go"? either way, know that such things are never all that far from my mind.

OK, time to ponder the next move here.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 2:17PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Chelone - Randy's mom has been in a nursing home now for a year or so. It seems to be a good one and she's doing well. Randy says she looked better this time than she did when he was out in June. His father is doing well and spends about 5 hours every day at the nursing home with his mother. Until recently, his mother was not eating well and his father's 'job' was trying to encourage her to eat! She seems to have moved past the fussy-about-food phase and is now eating everything she is given. Randy says she struggles to 'string five words together that make sense' but he feels that she is more aware of what is going on than she has the ability to express. She has a lot of restless energy and spends a lot of her time pushing herself around the place in her wheelchair. Randy has a 'girlfriend' out there - a one-eyed 90+ year old Belgian lady who sits at his mother's table at meals. She has no family and rarely has visitors. She remembered Randy from last time, probably because he can speak to her in French. She strokes his hand and says he's tres gentil...

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 4:57PM
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Le sigh, Woody.

It's so hard. Mum has been gone for 3 yrs. (last Monday) and I can't say that I "miss" her, frankly. I miss the vibrant woman but the one that was merely a husk of her former self? Nope.

Hang on tight and focus on the bright spots. (((R&W)))

"Tres gentil" is tres important et tres elegant. Speaks volumes.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 5:10PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Woody, a week's supply of wood in the utility room wouldn't diminish the plants in there, but it would make it difficult for me to get to them to water them. I'll "burn that bridge" when I get to it. :-)
BTW, since we still have not had a frost, the plants are still coming in ! I pulled all of the Bengal Tiger Cannas out of their huge pot, this morning, and they are in a black plastic bag, in the utilty room.
The pot of banana plants is in also. And various other pots that I was not going to bring in. :-(
This friday morning should put a stop to that foolishness! It is predicted to get down to 31F.
Chelone, I have to smile at your comments about the "Wrecking Crew". And the one about Nolon's "heavy looking on". He is a watcher, just like his uncle B was. I wish I did not dislike being watched so much.
Woody, that is good about your MIL, and about your FIL.
Marie, I do not let the unsightliness of my living conditions bother me. I maintain orderliness, but am no longer good at housework. I do not see as well as I used to, and seldom notice the dust and debris unless the sun shines in just so. :-) I think I know now why my dear friend, that I called my adopted mother, kept her shades pulled all the time. Not only did she live to be 97, but she had glaucoma. Her daughter that lived not far from her, would come and do housework for her. As you all know, I have no daughter to help me.

We have been having the brisk winds here, also, and it has brought down more of the broken limbs and twigs from the 2009 ice storm. I take advanage of them to get more kindling. :-) I keep mine in plastic 5 gallon buckets, out in the storage area on the woodshed. We also have lots of kindling from other sources, on shelves at the south end of the woodshed. I have various containers back of the stove for kindling and iron magazine holder, a copper thing that we cannot remember the name of (I think it is a magazine holder also..... it is an antique), and an icecream 'bucket' from an icecream maker that I inherited from the aforementioned elderly friend.

Some of our neighbores have mules. One has a burro. I prefer the burros. :-) I always wanted one.

Michelle, is was a hard job. I am sure you can see all the roots he had to cut through. And, of course, rocks every now and then.

Kathy, Nolon said very little towards the installation of the pipes. He prefers to just sit and watch. :-)

The fall colors here are the poorest that I have seen, in the 36 years that we have lived here. Too much just turned brown, and a lot has already fallen. The Ginkgo is lovely though. :-)


    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 6:00PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello everyone! Marian, this is the first year our Gingko has turned the promised shade of yellow since we planted it five years ago. When we were in Nova Scotia earlier this summer, we saw a Zonkey - a cross between a donkey and a zebra. He was a lovely animal, pretty and sedately friendly. TCS has a few photos in his room; he was in love at first sight!

I am quite a good housekeeper, if I do say so myself, but I spend about a half day every week day at it. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth doing, but then I recall my childhood in a less than well-kept house and I keep going. Still in the throes of adolescent rebellion perhaps?

I have spent the last two days trying to assist and comfort our best friends. Their niece and great nephew were struck by a train on Monday. The boy, aged twelve, was killed on impact and his mother is in critical condition with horrendous injuries, with no hope of recovery from some of them, a severed arm, multiple fractures, spinal and head trauma. We just met this woman at a family wedding in August. It is a terrible time for this family, and there is very little that we can do to help.

It has been unseasonably warm here for the last few days. We also had a windy night last night, but the warm sunny weather of today will turn to cool and rainy tomorrow. All of my plants are in. I hope I can cut the lawn just one more time before the onslaught of winter. The more work you do in the fall, the better the spring I guess. DH and I sat on the wine deck today for probably the last time this season.

So things are pretty quiet in my neck of the woods. Gearing up for Hallowe'en and a birthday party at a local bowling alley for TCS, turning nine already! Then it's full steam ahead for Christmas. Gee, it's almost Spring already!!



    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 7:45PM
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World Series tonight, so a brief hello.. the frost didn't happen though it got down to the high 30's.Now the rain is back in, so the frost scare is over for the present. However all winter gear including scarves, gloves , rain rigs and hats have been dug out of summer storage. The rain and the woodsmoke are fragrant !

'bug and Marian, I think here it would be required to install rigid copper pipe as opposed to soft copper tubing, but the depth is probably not an issue since our ground doesn't freeze. Marian, I'm happy to see you here with us, I missed your posts .

All for me ...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 11:10PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Julie...what a terrible accident! Were they crossing in front of the train ? I am afraid it will be very hard to comfort the family. My mother was a vry good housekeeper, in fact a little too picky! If we so much as dropped a piece of lint on the floor she would demand that we "Pick that up!". My lapse in doing my housework is due to the constant pain in my arms and shoulders. She did not have such problems. She didn't even have headaches.

I do not think propane gas freezes. Fuel oil does, if it gets a ways below 0 . The fuel oil, at the ranch in Nevada that we lived on, froze up when the temps went down to around 50 below! The gas lines to the tank are exposed from were they leave the ground to where they are attached to the tank. Gasoline does not freeze either.

Our Ginkgo:

Only a few of it's leaves have dropped since I took this pic.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 10:30AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Well now, I have read this idyll and feel a tiny bit caught up! I feel like I need to chime in on vacuum cleaners and computers. We gave in and bought a Dyson "Animal" upright a few years ago. It was not cheap by any means, but I have not once had to sit down and clear out a mass of dog hair, which was a regular occurrence with other vacuums. It sucks up the dog hair well and does not choke on it.

My computer is a Dell laptop that I bought reconditioned for a pretty reasonable price - in fact, it probably cost about as much as the vacuum! It's worked very well for me. I just replaced the battery last week which is the only thing I've had to do. I think that the laptop is over three years old, but I'm not positive about that. I keep thinking that I should try a Mac, but since this one is working just fine I don't feel the need to make a change.

We had a couple of days of extremely nasty weather, with terrible winds that just didn't stop. Fortunately, the warnings began to appear late Sunday afternoon so we took the time to walk around outside and secure everything. All is well. The funny part is that the Hamburg chickens, who have insisted on roosting on top of the run every night, finally went into the coop on the second night of wind.

Chelone, after some initial trepidation I have been letting the chickens free range every day, whether I am here or not. I only keep them in when the weather is really nasty, like it was the last couple of days. We're far enough from the road that they haven't come close to wandering out into traffic. I'm now alternating breakfasts of oatmeal and poached eggs.

Speaking of chickens and eggs, have we heard anything from or about Mary lately? I miss her!


    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 9:41PM
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I miss Mary too V ! Your winds were the stuff of national news (heard about them on NPR no less) and I'm glad to hear Chez V was spared any damage.

Marian, one of the streets I drive on in and out of my neighborhood is lined with Gingkos, and all along that street the fall color is very inconsistent. I guess the watering or lack thereof and very micro-micro climates are to blame.Our color is late here.

more baseball...

    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 10:29PM
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A quick pop in here. I've spent quite a lot of time on Amazon ordering some fun things for Kenzie's birthday and a little something for me too.

We had 2 days of incredible winds also. Along with it rain and even some snow. Today was much better. I was even able to do a bit of garden clean up after work. Warmer weather is on tap for the next little while.

Marian, your ginkgo is quite lovely.

Norma, I enjoyed your pictures from Branson.

Julie, what an awful accident. Sorry to hear of it.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2010 at 11:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

No freeze..but our first light frost. It is on rooftops, and a lot of the honey locust pods. I had brought in more potted plants yesterday, not to keep all winter but to get through this frost. I will put them back out on the deck, to enjoy for a little longer. The next possibility is predicted for weds next week.
Michelle, thank you....and I see you have the spelling correct. :-)
My shoulders, and now my neck also, are so bad I may have to get help getting those pods off of our yard. As one friend said, "Getting old is not for the timid" ! :-(
I am sure looking forward to the propane heaters....more and more.
Nolon appears to have fizzled out on his work with the firewood. So....I am thinking help will be needed finishing that job also. Frankly, if it were just me, I would put this place up for sale, and move to a less complicated place to live. Closer to town, and a much smaller yard. I would want a greenhouse also; attached to the house. :-)
Kathy, I imagine the Ginkgo on that street are all male. If I knew mine was, I would like to have a few more, but I don't know, and I don't want the smelly fruit. Of course, as slow as they grow, it would probably not become a problem for me. :-)
I notice that one of my Moth Orchids is putting on flower buds. That is earlier than usual. I wonder if Deanne still has hers? I get awfully tired of fighting the scale on them.
My african violets got really tacky, as they usually do in the summer, and ....just as I was about ready to toss them, they are setting on blooms.


    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 9:40AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Gb - I hadn't thought to check on fall color when I planted the fringetree in the patio hosta bed. I really like the yellow so I hope the tree survives and thrives because I think it'll be a good tree for this spot all year.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 3:41PM
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Not much to report here. There are a couple of Gingkos in the park I pass every day and one is female. A year/so ago I stopped and gathered up some of the dropped fruit, but it didn't smell particilarly bad to me. A little sour, but nothing too gross. Since the preference seems to be to plant only males won't genetic diversity become a problem? I love the shape of the leaves and bright yellow autumn foliage. Very cool trees. I love yellow fall foliage; beautiful Fringe tree, Woody. Lately, I've been really digging a particularly red Vaccinium corymbosum with a tiny Blue Star juniper at its feet.

Yesterday was a lovely, warm day. I spent the afternoon outdoors with the Pride and that fool dog. Figured I'd best soak up the warmth because it may be some time before we get another real strong dose of it. I cut down the Asters (agree that Purple Dome is a fall delight), the peonies, the Baptisia, and the phlox and think moving some of the Asters to a location near the road would be a nice splash of color for passersby next year. I also debated whether or not to remove some grass and straighten out a portion of the lawn that is difficult to mow; it would give me more room to add some groundcover evergreens and big, no-nonsense perennials that are easy. Dunno. I noted that Magnolia stellata is sporting decidedly yellow leaves now, seems to have happened overnight; Magnolia "Butterflies" gave up its leaves last week.

I like the notion of free-ranging chickens. And I like that they roost on top of the coop in all but the crummiest weather, V.. I, too, thought of you, Michelle, and Brenda as I heard tales of the "the Bomb" that swept through the midwest. Yowza. It's sending chilly stuff our way for the next week. But it's time for that stuff.

Julie, what a horrifying accident. Were they in a car? Where I grew up all RR crossings had gates and the number of people who routinely "ran them" always scared me. I remember Mum and Dad both saying to never do that. Around here there are a number of crossings without gates and now that train service is being reintroduced there are public service ads on TV about looking before proceeding across tracks. Hang tough with TCS and good thoughts to your family and to you. Come here and clean with me when you need a break, lol. :)

What sorts of things are going to light up Kenzie's board on her birthday, Michelle?

(told you there wasn't much to report!)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 6:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My, how early it gets dark now.
The trees and shrubs have turned the corner in the color department. Most leaves are gone. It is cold too. Here is my Enkianthus bush from last week. It has taken years to reach this size and I'm very pleased.

I'm in a "mood". DS leaves for Haiti now. I realize that he is almost 40, that he is doing what he strongly believes in, but I remain a mother and am very nervous. I'll remain nervous for weeks now as he travels and works in a miserably sad spot of the world with a cholera epidemic and more.

The photographer who took photos of DD's family before Leo's birth has made a poster in support of midwifery in Haiti, the Ghislaine Francoeur Fund. The photographer wrote:

"Madame Francoeur was a midwife in Haiti, and after her death, CAM (Canadian Assoc of Midwives) started a fund in her name to help reduce infant and maternal mortality in Haiti. The midwife's idea was to photograph midwives’ hands, which I loved. As I was doing the pictures, I came up with the idea of putting together a poster with all their hands." You can view the poster on her website at the top:

I have spent time reading about cholera, midwifery and Haiti and am very emotionally tired as a result.

DD has phoned with the good news that Leo now weighs 9 pounds 9 ounces. Many babes are born this size, but this is large for her children. Her DH returns tonight after 2 weeks away. We spoke of Christmas plans, Skyler's activities, about child custody issues which drag on.

We hear very good news about our friend's grandchild, but he is still not out of the woods.

Lots of heavy stuff, so photos and reading about Idyll activities is a big help.
Thanks friends,

Here is a link that might be useful: Enkianthus

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 7:59PM
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Not much to report here either .. Friday night after an intermittently rainy day, more rain on tap for the morrow, and then a few days of sun. The pop-up greenhouse came home with me today, and I hope to ‘install’ on Sunday. Clear weather ahead can point to frost, but the nighttinme temps for the next week are predicted to be quite warm. And I also will have an Idyll �"kid /young adult visitor this weekend as Denises DS dutifully performs a plant exchange , an Agave from the Bancroft for her, and some cuttings for me !

‘bug, I don’t know Enkianthus this a member of the heath family ? Sure is pretty.Probably one of those things that needs more cold than we can offer here. I can feel your anxiety re:DS , on the other hand where would the world be without people like him? I wish him a safe journey .

Marian, what a pretty shot you posted today, you always have such nice color on your land in fall.

See y’all tomorrow …TGIF !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 9:10PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I woke up grumpy this morning after a bad night's sleep. Spent the last two hours in bed tossing and turning, worrying about various family members, various projects, the characters in the book I'm reading. Bah! Sleep would have been much better.

We had dinner with the in-laws last night and we were right behind their car when they pulled out of the parking lot - right in front of another car! The other car braked in time and all was fine, but it was unnerving. You can tell their reaction time is slowing down and this is worrisome. We were at a spot where you have to look to your left for cars and then GO, but he must have looked, slowly turned back to his right and then pulled out slowly; in those several seconds a car had come over the hill. I'm thankful all is well, but now we worry about the next time.

Our fall color here was pretty nice. Here's photo from a couple of weeks ago. DH was on a fishing trip and I watched the sunset from the deer condo.

I have a Callicarpa hybrid outside my kitchen window that has a great berry display. I've tried to get some photos but have not had the right combination of light, wind (as in none) and available time. I hope I can get some shots this evening.

Kathy, how fun to have an Idyll Child visit! (I like the sound of "Idyll Child" even is he is an adult!)

Alright, time to get it in gear!


    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 9:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Friday night, from DS Adam's friend's blog.

Materials arrayed at my feet, awaiting my carry-on packs, ready to leave tomorrow at noon. There's a calm that comes when you see the time when decisions are over. When I get on that bus, I'll have everything I'll have, and no more.

This morning started with a terrific call with the head of school at JP/HRO, the Sean Penn camp outside Pétionville. Lisa sounds very interesting in having a pilot there.

Talked details with Beth and Adam. We're pretty amazed that we've arranged as much as we have in so little time. Eleven organizations want to hear more, with five more awaiting responses. We couldn't have hoped for a better result three weeks ago when this autumn trip first became a possibility.

Today was printing day ... mentor certificates, English & Creole lesson books, waveplace intro letters. Went a couple of rounds with Staples and picked them up tonight. Aside from choosing too light a weight for the intro's (trying to save money), they all came out well. I'll have good stuff to hand out down there.

Went trick-or-treating with my daughter and wife, then to a Halloween party to chat with friends. Told the Haiti trip thing a few times. Just now thinking how odd it must seem to people first hearing about it. It's like any truly experiential process, like raising children or starting a business, etc. Unless you've done it, it's pretty much impossible to describe.

Haiti, with eyes wide open. I'm ready to go.

I hope he'll be able to post daily while they're away.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 11:36AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good morning Idylls! Cold, windy and rainy here this morning, but nothing like the "bomb" some of you have had!

I hate lying in bed while dire thoughts race through my mind, V. I kind of smiled about concern for characters in a book, though. I'm sure we all have enough to think about in "real" life *LOL*. I sympathize about the in-laws. Been there.

Yes, Chelone, my friends were in a car. She had driven over that crossing every week day for twenty years. There is a safety arm and flashing lights. We have no idea why she ended up on the track, but we do know that she tried to swerve and her wheels got caught on the actual metal track. The woman is not conscious right now so no one really knows what happened. Sure I'll come and clean - it's a funny thing to enjoy, but I do. And the company would be a huge bonus!!

Hey Marion, this is the time of year that I really miss my attached greenhouse. And in February too, when the winter sun is strong but the weather is still cold up here. I should search for a photo of it for you. We made the move five years ago for exactly the reasons you have: the old house was too much to manage, too many leaves,too big, the pool desperaely needed work, DH could no longer do some of the things we needed/wanted to do, and the time was right concerning the house market. It was a big adjustment, but a newish smaller (well, not really as the basement is completely finshed and is very nice) house with much less work is much less stressful.

Oh, Bug, I would worry myself sick too over your DD's plight (possibly soon to be my DD's lot in life too) and DS's trek to Haiti, although tinged with pride in them both. Like you said, once a mother.....

Kathy, it sounds funny to me to hear a Californian talk about frost at the same time we have the same concern. We up/over here tend to think of "Sunny California", with perpetually beautiful summer-like weather and everybody is blond and on the beach. Hold over from the Beach Boy era, we still remember most of the words to their songs. Talk about stereotyping!

Quiet day planned here. Took the beasts on their daily "forced march" - a Chelone phrase that was very apt for Tucker this morning. He was definitely not amused at wearing the dog coat for the first time this year, and the rain and wind did not thrill him either. Nor me. I walk them separately because they are not nice to other dogs when they are together, but they are fine when one on one with me. What's with that? Any ideas, Chelone? Woody? Cesar Milan is appearing at a big facility in Ottawa next week. On one hand I would like to go, but on the other, I can tune in to the National Geographic channel every day at five if I want to see what he has to say.

Chelone, I believe that you will miss "The Wrecking Crew".

Thanks for thinking of TCS and his shenanigans. His teacher stomped on his behaviour hard and early and surprise! Everything has been fine since. We have changed things a bit around here too, with good results.

Well, have a happy Hallowe'en everybody! The New York Times Crossword is calling!



    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 11:36AM
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Everything will be fine, 'bug. I know you will still worry, but no good will come of it, really. He's a big boy, and certainly smart enough to take the necessary precautions to guard against disease. But I know (well, no I don't!) but I do remember Mum and Dad both saying that it didn't matter how successful my brother and I were... they still had moments of concern. It's that very thing that makes you such a wonderful parent with such intrepid and committed kids.

V., nothing is more disturbing than noticing "changes". At first they don't seem like much, but then you start noticing more of them and patterns emerge. It's scarey; no doubt about it. But you have to maintain your cool, speak rationally with each other and find a way to bring up those concerns in a non-threatening way. And, sadly, sometimes there is no way to bring concerns to the forefront without ruffling feathers. It was that way with Mum and it made everything a whole lot harder than it needed to be. I understand and I sympathize, believe me. I am watching the slow deterioration of the elderly woman who lives over the shop; and she's one of the "difficult" ones. I don't envy her daughter one iota. All of this reminds me of wonderful EP. She was such a dear woman.

You know Julie, we never know when our "number will be up". A moment's inattention, carelessness, doesn't matter... sometimes really terrible things happen to really good people. And the best we hope for is to carry a lesson away from it all and hope for the best. I'm so sorry. But I'm glad to learn that one "hard ass" teacher has had a good effect on TCS. Sometimes all it takes is a savvy one to nail the bad behavior, "call you on it", and then move on to make the point in a lasting way. Isn't it funny how saying just the right thing at the right time can make such a big difference? to any of us? :) Communication and empathy are amazing things; in concert they can be magic.

I'm not much of a "ball of fire" today. I managed to put the "bumper" on the chimney out in the Salon (keeps the stove tools from bouncing off the side of the chimney) but the masonry bit was too large and the screws securing the bumper to the chimney are loose. Irritating! and I was unable to install the hook for the fork (allows you to open the stove's door when it's hot) because of that. Half done and half-assed... I hate that. I have started pickling the folding legs for the leaves on 2 of the tables, too. But they're too wet to finish just yet. I have windowboxes to clean out, but don't feel like dealing with the screens or the garden waste. L A Z Y. But the laundry is done!

I don't understand dogs. Probably why I hate them. The Wrecking Crew does not respond to their names on an individual basis. To them, they have 2 names and they respond as a "team". But I think that's more a function of never having been formally "trained" independently of each other. I've noticed that this seems to be a reCURring theme is multiple dog households. This "team mentality" with the Crew manifests itself most dangerously when it comes to things like waiting to use the staircase, or enter/exit a building/automobile. They invariably "make a run for it" and are fully capable of taking you out at the knees unless they are put in a firm "down/stay" and the release is strictly enforced. I'm "big" on that, because a 100 lb. mongrel and a 100 lb. elderly mother were the perfect ingredients for a serious accident. So, Rex knows how to "wait" because he knows his name and I have insisted on specific protocol with respect to the staircase and doorways. I grant you, he is still a real dink with other dogs. He's not mean, but he's all about making sure the other dog knows he's "large and in charge"... he lacks politesse on first introduction; once they've played (and they've worked out who's "boss" and sometimes he isn't the "boss") he's perfectly content to just hang out with them. I don't really understand how they do that, either. :/ . But because he knows his name and knows his commands he's controllable... still a dink, but a manageable dink. ;)

Can you tell who doesn't really want to do any work today?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 1:02PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Julie - I keep forgetting to say 'what an awful accident'! It's one of those events that remind you how life can change so dramatically in the blink of an eye - scary stuff. And the rehabilitation from an accident like that can be as bad as the accident itself - that's when she's really going to need the support of all her friends and family. My best wishes to all involved.

On the subject of behavior of two dogs vs. one... In addition to Chelone's points, I think there's another factor at work - pack instinct of a predator species.

One thing that I've noticed is how different dogs in a pair or group are than horses (prey species). My horse, Nutmeg, was pretty 'bomb-proof' when I rode her alone in the Provincial Park near where she was stabled. But if I rode with 1 or more other horses and one of them spooked, Nutmeg would spook too. The 'flight' part of 'fight or flight' was very strong and if another horse signaled 'flight', all of them immediately responded the same way. Riding alone, she largely trusted me as the one to give the signal. As long as I kept my body language calm, she stayed calm, even on windy days in fall or winter when there was crashing in the woods from falling branches etc. She only once spooked on her own - I had let her nibble grass and I think she disturbed a snake or something under her nose. She lunged about 6' forward and then stopped when she realized it was not something that was a serious threat. I usually rode alone because it was actually safer (although I made sure Randy was familiar with all the trails I usually rode - so he would know where to start looking for me if Nutmeg came back without me or we didn't return. No cell phones in my riding days :-)

Dogs, on the other hand, are predators. In pairs or groups, they also pay a lot of attention to each other's response to what's happening around them. But the 'fight' part of 'flight or fight' is the apparent default response. If one of them responds to the sight of another dog by barking a challenge, the other one usually takes a supporting role. But the hierarchy is stronger with dogs so the response of dominant dog of the pair carries more weight. If the dominant dog can be made to sit calmly in whatever the situation is, the lower status dog is easier to calm. Mind you, if the dominant dog is going nuts, you've really got a problem!

So, when you've got two, it's important to be aware of which one is likely to take the lead and what their response is likely to be in most situations. Often, if you can anticipate a problem and get the dogs in a 'sit' or 'down', it'll save a lot of effort. Chelsea was like that - she had a very dominant personality and challenged all other dogs, especially ones she didn't know. But, if I saw a dog approaching before she did and got her in a 'sit', all I needed to when she saw the dog and started to react was say 'ah-ah' and she'd settle down again. Misty goes nuts when she sees other dogs, but Liam is a very social guy so he reacts less. Misty is much calmer when we're walking with Liam because she takes her cue from him.

So identify which of the two is the dominant dog and put a greater part of effort into training that one and that will make training of the subordinate dog a bit easier.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 2:53PM
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I am so bummed that Woody doesn't live next door. :/

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 4:02PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Ditto, Chelone :-)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 5:04PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Me too. Chelone on one side and Woody on the other? I would never have to say a word to my dogs....

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 8:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

And Julie would no longer need that awful fence!!!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 8:49PM
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Woody, I so enjoyed reading about you and Nutmeg. Funnily enough, I was just thinking about an episode involving my childhood friend, who was, and still is, nuts about horses. When we were teenagers, her boyfriend was walking her horse down a quiet city street, arrogantly practicing a "mind meld" with the horse, not holding on to the bridle, kind of a macho experiment, just walking side by side. Of course, something spooked the horse, and it ran away wild down the street. I was terrified it would run into busier streets, but all ended well. The boyfriend was chastened, my friend furious, but most important the horse was OK. Great stuff about the dog pack mentality too.

'bug, that's good news about Leo's weight gain. And I'm so impressed with your DS, if that's any consolation. I heard on NPR the Nepal UN relief workers are being blamed for bringing in the cholera, and the finger-pointing is quite intense, though no source has been definitely identified.

V, I was tuned into NPR too when Kathy heard about your storms. Mitch was flying from NYC at the time, and the pilot gave grave warnings of expected turbulence. I remember that great deer condo! So cool you still visit it. Elder driving has been on my mind the past few years as well. Never gets easy, does it?

Julie, so very sorry about your friends. There's so much that can be done for such injuries today but what a tough rehab lies ahead.

Beautiful gingko, Marian, and nice to see you posting. What a range that gingko has for once being so rare. I saw lots on the East Coast, and they color up well in the parkway on my street too.

I can hear Steely Dan wafting down from the attic. Marty's been up there the past few days working on small, 20-year-old projects like fixing the doorbell, getting the fan in the bathroom hooked up, reinforcing a sag in the roof. Have I written that we have no heat? Still looking for a replacement and it's tough going. Must be gas-powered, small enough to fit in the faux fireplace 30x30, vented, etc. Not too cold yet so there's still time.

Kathy, I missed or have forgotten news of the pop-up greenhouse. Splendid idea. The Idyll Child was very pleased to meet you and is speeding this way with Cornelius the agave. Thank you!

Chelone, you sound busy again with pickling. I'll never forget the walk-through you gave us of the makings of the salon floor.

Happy weekend to all, and stay warm!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 9:22PM
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The west has a yellow glow that I think may actually be the sun. I’m hoping for a dry and sunny day tomorrow …lots to do . I did the grocery shopping this morning and have realized that I neglected to purchase Halloween items for the little buggers that will visit tomorrow night. Guess I’ll have to rectify that.

And what a nice young man our Denise has provided the world, the plant exchange was completed successfully . He asked permission to take photos , and it was naturally granted ; it will be interesting to see what a professional can make of a soggy blobby garden on a rainy day.

I think it will be a go for my trip over the hill next weekend to take some photos and make a visit to DD. I’m not sure the fall foliage thing has peaked, but I think it will be close.

Enjoyed Woodys’ excellent analysis of the pack-it makes complete sense .

Time to make some dinner and pay better attention to this baseball game..nite all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 9:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The firewood is all stacked and the raspberries cut back. HURRAY! Still lots to accomplish, but I'm so happy to tick a few things off "the list".

DH is off to Mississauga (nearer to Woody) for the day tomorrow where he conducts the discussion of some incomprehensible technical paper. Four people are driving together...and DH must arise at 5:15. (Chelone will probably be up already and can make the wake-up call) I do not plan on making breakfast this time.

I'm glad V verbalized something that I've never put my finger on, namely the angst about characters in a book preventing slumber. I'm reading People of the Book. What's your book V? And yes, driving for the elderly is a very tough issue. My parents never drove, so it was simple in a way, though Dad rode a bicycle and that too had its hazards. My friend tried to have her Dad's doctor require him to be retested, but the doctor refused as it would take away his independence. By that time he drove strictly by following the white like on the road as he could see nothing else. He even damaged his daughter's parked car...

On the dog front, Phoebe has been acting differently for the last few months. I'm not sure what it is all about. The tricks she used to perform and the rules of discipline are just not the same. All I can say is she is "different". Perhaps that she is older? Not better trained though. Taking her into town is not something I can do. She is not trained for city life. Julie would not want us as her neighbour.

The hunters began their nonsense today. First they parked in the middle of our drive, and wandered off. I honked the car horn many times as I thought I'd like to exit and get errands done. Too bad for me. Finally Phoebe barked and I saw them emerge from the woods. Drove up to greet them and...well you may have heard my anger! How rude! "Who gave you permission to park here on private property???" "The guy over there" "And what is 'THAT GUY'S' name? "I don't know" ...and on and on I went. I was so p....., I mean angry! I still am. Then later were the gun shots. Good thing we don't have trick or treaters here.

DSIL returned last evening JUST in time for both Ivy and Leo to throw up. I suspect he wasn't thrilled.... They both are feeling well today.

I just learned that the time change in England and beyond is tomorrow morning while ours is November 7th. I wish they'd just ignore the entire thing. Fortunately I have no clock in my car. DH always struggles changing his....

I wonder what Sunday will bring?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2010 at 10:35PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The good news is that DH was as concerned about the driving issue as I was, and he has "alerted" his siblings. Fortunately, all three siblings are close at hand and there will be a lot of support if needed.

'bug, I'm reading a non-fiction book, "Traveling with Pomegranates" by Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter. It's a good read, and some of the struggles that the two women are going through strike close to home, although I don't think my own life is quite as angst-filled. But it did weigh on my mind during a night of insomnia.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 9:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Traveling with Pomegranates was an "alternate" on our Book Club list. Generally I am not fond of books with double authors...but The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was an exception.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 9:28AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Oh wouldn't I LOVE to have any/all of you as neighbours! But I would still need the chain link fence, both to corral the dogs and to meet the municipal requirements for TCS's pool. But the chain link is rapidly being covered with Clematis (of course), Variegated Honeysuckle, and Virginia Creeper. A dense planting of daylilies is already beginning to hide the weedy growth between my fence and my neighbour's 6 foot board fence. Works for me.

You guys have hit the nail on the head re:dogs. Each of mine know their own names and are getting to the point of listening for my command by name. They have learned that their name followed by "Wait" means to sit quietly while the other dog has attention, food, affection, gets the leash on etc. DH also simply calls "Dogs" at around 10:30 every night and they both respond right away by going to the door for their nightly whatever. If they are being rowdy, we can call their names, say the command "Chill" and they will quiet down, although they will go back at it when released with "O.K.". When they are in the yard, I can call "Bostons" and they will usually both come running. Of only one comes I can call the other and get the appropriate response, usually. This all happens on their home turf of course; here we are higher up in the hierarchy than they are. When together on other turf however, they seem to lose a lot of their responses in the heat of the moment (ha ha, no pun intended!!). If I see another dog when I have one or both of mine on the leash on the street, I try to walk up a laneway for about twenty feet and make them (or it), sit and wait. They will still be excited but most of the time they don't come across as aggressive. Off the leash, well, let's just say that I don't do that outside our yard. We affectionally refer to them as "The Brats" - much like "The Wrecking Crew" or "The Huge One".....

Hey, I think I am going to try "Travelling with Pomegranates" if I can get it at the library. I have been reading reams of murder mysteries but many, if not most, are not realistic and are only mildly entertaining; after a while they all seem to be the same, and lately I've been chucking them after a few chapters. It's time for something new. Maybe the "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society" will also go on my list.

Our Hort Society is falling to pieces with cliques of the "Ins" and "Outs" forming within the executive. I was an "In" but I sympathized more with the "Outs", so I was not unhappy to tender my resignation when I injured my neck last Easter. Two "Outs", one "In", and myself have been meeting for lunch on a regular basis: We refer to ourselves as the Perth and District Ladies Poker Club. None of us play poker. But we are gardeners and friends.

We are having a quiet Sunday. As it is Hallowe'en, we will roast our pumkin seeds (from the orange pumpkins), do the Trick or Treat thing, and sit back with a glass of red by 9.00 tonight. Speaking of seeds, does anybody want to try the seeds of white-skinned pumpkins? We call them Ghost Pumpkins. I am saving some seeds for TCS to grow next summer - should be a hit in our little suburban back yard!

Cheers, Julie

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Trick-or-Treat is in full swing here, much more laid back than the days when my kids were little-the neighborhood has grown up and there aren’t as many children. I’m Idylling, watching the World Series and jumping up periodically to open the door. Historically by 8pm Halloween is a done deal.

So wet and drippy outside this morning, even though the rain stopped sometime last night I didn’t go out to work in the garden till after 1pm, it took that long for things to dry up a bit. I got the space cleared for the pop-up, but didn’t erect, the ground is soaked and slimy and I am hoping to give it a couple days to dry . I was able to sweep the Succulent Alley , as it dried out sufficiently by about 3pm to scoop up the debris. Beautiful weather is on the agenda for the next week, so the trip over yonder to Sonoma county will be happening.
Julie, the neighborhood adult trick-or-treat-er escorts often carry their glass of wine along. Sometimes there are refills offered along the way..

Denise, I am pondering the locations of my new acquisitions , however I disposed of the baby snail that hitched a ride !

All for now ..waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 10:43PM
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Heading into the final turn with respect the clear coating on the legs for the table leaves. By my estimation I should have the final coat completed by around 10 AM. Also on the docket is a trip to Orange to purchase 3 sheets of melamine.

My windowboxes are still uncleaned, with tenacious annuals still clinging to hope of yet another "warm up". Unlikely, I fear. Most of the last planting of produce has been brought in from Vegetable World; I believe there are still some paHsnips and some beets yet to come. And shortly, I suspect.

No trick or treaters here, sadly. It's just too rural. There was a chamber of commerce Halloween extravaganza in a neighboring town last weekend. And some of the businesses really went whole hog with fabulous displays of dummies and jack o' lanterns. The carving was brilliant; and the drive through town after dark was very much worth the squandered fuel.

Farewells today to the Kathy's hitchhiking snail (lol) and Pontiac. So much for the mighty GTO... no more "wind it up, blow it out, GTO! Reminded me of Eden, our MoTown representative. Bet Halloween was in full force at her house, huh?

Hunting is in full force here, too. Has been for over a month; first the bow hunters, then the muzzle loaders, and finally the rifle brigade. Wrecks has been on a very "short leash"... visions of him following the scent of guts on the breeze and being shot by some trigger happy fool could keep me up at night... if I didn't hate dogs. ;)

It's time to confer with the helpmeet and determine the course of the day's activities. After I brush my teeth.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 8:44AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Mornng folks.

TCS has been dispatched on the school bus, dogs have had their first walkies of the day, paper is read and my second coffe is at my side.

Major indoor clean up this morning and then a Chelone afternoon of sewing, mending, altering, etc. I don't wear half the clothes in my closet because they need a little something with a needle and thread....

Trick or Treating was over at 8, and Kathy indicated that the same thing seems to happen there. We had a blast. Now to try to get rid of the haul. What a civilised idea, taking your glass of whatever with you, and offerings being made! Here, you had better not take one step off your own property with open alcohol or someone might complain. I have a neighbour or two....but you've all heard that story. One reason this house was for sale - the previous owners felt targeted by a neighbour. Sad.

Hunting is in full force here too, the result being that many deer have taken refuge in the subdivision, where it is quiet, and therefore any plants that you haven't protected have been snacked upon.

Off to play catch-up on the home front.



    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 9:45AM
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Clear coating finished.
Windowboxes cleaned along with the bed along the front of the house.
Helpmeet showering in preparation for our supply run.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 10:23AM
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No trick or treaters here either. We actually returned home around 8 last night from a weekend trip to the capital city for a family wedding. When my children were young we had to go out as soon as possible so that they could get back to hand out candy. I think they had more fun giving it than getting it.

The wedding was held at a lodge on a lake because of the size, we watched the ceremony from our tables.

The last of the garden peppers have been roasted and frozen. I also made an apple crisp with the last of the apples. All that’s left are a few carrots in the potager.

I also spent some time in the basement with the plants. So far so good! I decided to bring in my potted spearmint. I enjoy pinching it each time I water down there.

The fierce wind that we had last week for a couple of days blew my galvanized pails filled with sand and dried flowers right off the pillars. So I reconstructed them after work.

Kenzie wants everything under the sun for her birthday Chelone, A doll, some books and a CD is what she is getting from us.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2010 at 12:24AM
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