Idyll #286---Thankful for so many Idyll friends....

just_tOctober 8, 2006

I figured I'd jump in and begin a new Idyll Tydll (now watch, someone else has just started one, too. lol).

Jamie has been here for a couple days and seems to have brought with him a stomach bug.......not nice. Carpet cleaning and extra laundry are secondary to the heart break of a little one crying because they feel lousy.

Hope all are enjoying the weekend....


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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post weÂre just heading out for Thanksgiving dinner with friends (traditional turkey etc.)

Beautiful, sunny day here  perfect for a long walk by the lake.

The neighbourÂs maple is nicely vivid  hope to see more color at our friends place on the top of the Niagara escarpment.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 3:14PM
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Woody, The picture of the boat on the lake is wonderful. The trees frame it so perfectly.

I'm wondering how many Idylls back the instructions from Deanne about overwintering fuchsias was, now that I'm ready to bring mine in.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 5:34PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

I think it is ledge. I am re-considering ripping out the lily of the valley growing over it, I may not be able to get anything else to grow there.

It is quiet here without my guys. Found myself watching the end of the Nascar race - DH is a huge fan, and I figured he'd want to hear about it. He smuggled a wind-up radio on the trip to try to hear the race, but I bet they kept him too busy to listen.

Thinking of Mary - hope she is surviving! Plenty cool enough last night to keep the wine chilled!

Woody, that boat is wonderful Happy Thanksgiving to the northern bunch!

Saucy, I was thinking the same thing about Sue's throw-aways!

Michelle, found Deanne's fuchsia info on another thread earlier. Her response is dated Sept. 29.



    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 6:42PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Beautiful scene by the lake, Woody. Wow.

The idylls have been chatty... while I've been trying to conquer the new (first time ever) digital camera..... Yesterday it rained all day, soggy, soggy, so it afforded me some time to assemble & start making "baby steps" w/ the camera....

No frost here either - today it's a gorgeous fall day; I managed to chop and pull out the 18-yr old (dying) arborvitae (that's how saturated the ground was; I ended up sitting on the thing & moving it back & forth; w/ some choice chops of pruning shears to the roots & dying branches - what a relief to get that thing GONE!

Like Saucy, I sure wish I could be nearby as Sue hoiks stuff -- I've love to be her trash bag!! LOL....

Well, here's the first attempt at sharing a few pics of late color in No. Va....:

Honorine Jobert going strong:

Rose Heritage & Geranium Rozanne

Colchium & ceratostigma plumbaginoides:

I've definitely had some laughs trying to figure out where the USB (might) be on the old p.c.; what button does what, etc.... Just in time for winter. Maybe by next Spring I'll know what Im doing?


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 7:45PM
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Sunday Greetings !
We have had a beautiful day here in Northern Cal, perfect temps (mid-70's) sun , all the dust down down from the smidgen of rain we got earlier in the week. I hardly did anything I was planning on doing today-I even had a list which I completely disreguarded.I did do more digging in my front yard.This area used to be lawn so it's very compacted, and I try not to dig for more than a half hour or so at a time so I don't hurt my back- the top few inches were rototilled but I am incorporating compost a foot down.Hope to do a little each day and be done in a couple of weeks.
Martie, I don't feel too bad about my poor Dodgers , I had no expecation that we would actually win this round, but I was hoping not to get swept ! And it so happens my back-up team is the A's -when you live 500 miles away from your team it's good to have a local back-up so you can go to the ballgame and root for someone once in while. My daughter is a big A's fan so we try to go to a couple games a year. If the Mets get to the series I will root for them unless they are playing the A's!
Deanne, there are growers now who are trying to develop mite resistant cultivars - I have a couple of fuchsias that get them but seem to shake it off as long as I am diligent about pinching off the affected growth. I've heard the sevin thing but I am an organic gardener so the only thing I've ever tried is Safer no avail ! The other problem I have here is I am really in an area that is not ideal fuschia territory because of summer heat. So this puts alot of stress on the plants.

LOL Wendy ! I totally hear you about composing Idyll responses while sitting in traffic ! I write articles, letters, develop presentations , and as you say, never remember a thing. I just started collecting dayliles this year.I planted a couple in 05 and was really happy with them. I started visiting the GW daylily forum (and let me tell you , those people are REALLY into it!Go over ther sometime and check it out) and learned about sources etc.I went on a garden tour this spring over in Sonoma County and one of the gardens had an awesome collection. I of couse immediately became jealous. Anyway, the ones I got were Electric Marmalade Magic (orange) and Calico Jack (a yellow /plum combo) They gifted me one called Mexican Magic which they normally sell for 55 bucks-can you imagine ? I was flabergasted.The website is out the great pics!
Sue -I'm all for embracing your inner shovel-pruner. Filled up my yard waste recycle tote today, and the two back ups. Sometimes you just gotta purge !

Saucy- I have a recipe with under skin thyme and tarragon mixed and then beer poured over the top.Yum !

Woody, beautiful pics..

Wish you all a great evening...I have a great recipe involving heirloom tomatoes, grapes and armenian cucumbers to whip up..

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 7:52PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well, Ive gotten a ton of stuff cut down, repotted and sitting in the garage for the time being until it gets colder and they are ready to bring in. The abutilon, geraniums, plectranthus, iresine and a couple of the fuchsias are going under the lights in a week or so and the rest of the fuchsias are going to sit in the garage until just before the garage temps get below freezing at night. Im getting better at just hacking things down.

Wendy I know how hard it is to take a gorgeous blooming fuchsia and turn it into a pile of sticks. It just goes against the grain.

Bug, that phormium is gorgeous. I love the color of that one.

Brenda, nope tell your DH you arent losing it, your feet are getting thinner. One of the many benefits of losing weight you probably never thought about.

Kathy, What a bummer about the mites. With my luck Ill be the first person on the East coast to have a case of it. It seems every insect on the known planet lives in my gardens. I hate using Sevin but have had to resort to it early in the season to get a jump on the Asiatic Lily Beetles.

Yea, Sue, sometimes it is therapeutic to do lot of shovel pruning. It might even heal up your cold.

Great pics Cindy and Woody.

Cindy, you are going to love your digi-cam. They really are fun and visual instant gratification. ~~ That Heritage rose is gorgeous.

OK time to get ready for bed. Nite all

Oh yes, here is a thread on overwintering fuchsia on another forum. I've been getting some advice from a fuchsia expert. You might want to check this out. Do look at the link to Kath's web site in the fourth post.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 8:16PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Isn't it amazing that so many of us wear size 11 shoes? In recent years they have become easier to find but when I first discovered I was a size 11N I had to special order. For many years I wore only mens running shoes and clogs. Now I tend to be more of an 11M sometimes even a 10. The narrow part of my foot is the heel. In sandals I usually buy 10. Generally I don't toss shoes unless they're pretty much toasted so I doubt anyone would get anything worthwhile from my throwaways.

Kathy, I think Tom is still recovering from the Yankees most recent string of embarrassing losses. Oh well, there's always next year. I don't follow baseball but I laughed so hard last year when the Red Sox won the world series and the front page of the NY Daily News read, "Curse Takes a Year Off-See You in 2090". LOL!

You still have quite a bit of color there, Cindy. My dahlias are really revving up right now. They must prefer the cooler weather. Whenever you get a new camera there's always a learning curve. Our current camera is two years old. Since Tom overbought (IMO) we should get at least a few more years out of it.

So, once I got on a roll in the garden I tore through with a vengeance. Gone is the mildew covered heavy flowered Peony that blooms for a week or two in June provided it doesn't rain which it always does and drags the flowers into the dirt. I'm certain I'll get many more months of enjoyment out of the Phusocarpus 'Summer Wine' I moved into that spot from the patio garden. Gone is the blackspot covered white rose, the thorniest rose I've ever encountered. In it's place...a miniature Ginkgo 'Witches Broom'. Gone, gone, gone and more to go. The only downside to working in the garden this time of the year is snakes! What, do I live on a snake farm? The damn things were everywhere...everywhere! I know the stone wall attracts them but, jeeesh, cut me some slack.

Tom finished reshingling the shed roof. Best I get going on the paint color selection and ride the wave of enthusiasm for garden projects.

I can't say if my cold is better or worse. Maybe that means it's the same. Tonight I'll do the Nyquil thing again since that seems to have helped me sleep last night. Missing work tomorrow is not an option.

If you're bored and looking for a source of amusement, check out the little design challenge we have going on the New England forum. We're not getting too many participants so feel free to toss your name in the hat and join in. I doubt anyone would mind.

Nite all!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 8:40PM
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Well, I got the last of the containers dismantled and plants potted up to come inside. I have to get it all finished up the next couple of days since I heard there's S*** in the forecast for next Thursday and Friday. I ran across a half off perennial sale this afternoon and picked up a couple grasses, miscanthus little zebra, spodiopogon sibiricus (frost grass) and an anemone honorine jobert. I also got Brad to plant an ivory halo dogwood and a carol mackie daphne I've had kicking around here for weeks. My foot's feeling better tonight. I don't have any idea what I did but I'm glad it's getting better instead of worse.

Cindy, YEA!!! You got a digital! Great job on the first photos. Hope to see many more now. I smiled picturing you sitting on the arborvitae. It often think it's a good thing nobody's watching me (I hope) work in the garden, lol.

Wendy, thanks for the link to Deanne's fuchsia overwintering instructions. I need to tackle that job tomorrow.

Michelle, You would have had to be superwoman to get all of that done yesterday. Even so I am always amazed at all you accomplish.

Woody, beautiful boat picture. My parents live on Presque Isle Harbor and that looks like the view they have out their window. I love to look out in the early morning when I'm up there and see all of the sailboats anchored out in the harbor. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving dinner.

T, poor Jamie. That's just the worst! Unless you and Jim get the bug too! I got Bella's stomach flu bug over the summer. I hope Jamie's feeling better tonight.

Sue, I agree that hoiking all of those underachievers is liberating. I did that about 6 weeks ago. I found once I started it was easy to continue. And it opens up real estate for new and better stuff!

I'm tired from working outside all day. Bedtime will be early tonight. Oh almost forgot before I go I wanted to say...

We're all behind our baseball team,
Go get em Tigers!
World series bound and picking up steam,
Go get em Tigers!
There'll be joy in Tigertown,
We'll sing you songs,
When the Bengals bring the pennant home,
Where it belongs......
We're all behind our baseball team,
Go get em,
Detroit Tigers,
Go get em Tigers!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 8:55PM
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Sue-Peonies!! I was so excited when I moved to NorCal from San Diego at the prospect of winters cold enough to grow peonies. Did'nt take many years for that novelty to wear off! I just don't have room for a two week bloomer...but, I keep my tree peony (which is a ONE week bloomer here) because it has maybe the most exqusite blooms on the planet.As long as I'm not on vacation that week ! Too bad gardening magazines, mail order catalogs , etc. don't expose the short bloom time of herbacious peonies !
Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 9:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Out went the callicarpa. It was just coming into bud. Can you believe in October? So that means I'd have berries in February if the temperature held...
Gone to another farm are an armload of jerusalem artichokes. Also a hunk of vernonia, some nepeta and some lovage.
Bought a saucer for the huge rosemary container. For the price, I should probably just buy another plant next spring, but, well, you understand I guess...
Planted an on-sale hosta, another coreopsis moonbeam, a leptodermis that's been sitting around, a nice little grass I picked up for close to nothing...Miscanthus s.'Little Kitten'.
Tomorrow I'd best get those sale astilbes in the ground as well as some bulbs and such. Then there are those dozen or so clematis to shove somewhere- probably the veg garden- until spring. A few more heucheras from my containers, a fern, thyme, an echinacia sunrise, etc etc.
Rain begins on Wednesday they say, but at least night temperatures are around 40-45F for a few more days now. I just don't want the plants in the house yet. The longer they are outdoors, away from me, the better off they'll be!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 9:59PM
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Quick greetings. Sue is right -- we're designing a fantasy garden over in NE Gardening Forum(no critters is a "rule") and it'll be interesting to see how it turns out. Since it is a fantasy garden, we don't worry about how much work it'll be :-)

I'm past the point of blaming you guys for my Pot Ghetto!!! It's been so many years since I've had one that it feels good! On the way back from DP's yesterday I stopped "for a look" and ended up with a Sambucus c. 'Black Beauty', PJM Rhody 'Elite', variegated Obediant plant, a few very dark purple geraniums, Agastache (never knew it smelled like licorice!!), a Burnet (underused plant, IMHO) and a few other things that had great root systems and couldn't just sit there for $2. Everything 50% off. Not much left there, but I like the unusual at this point, anyway, so ended up with stuff most folks leave behind.

Also had a very long discussion with the patriarch of the nursery (went to Revay's, Sue, about roses. He is a master and it was a thrill to have him all to myself for a few minutes.

Needless to say, didn't get around to using the camera. Was having too much fun looking at my new babies!

I'm realizing more and more that a BENEFIT of starting over, again, is I doubt I'll be in much of a position to yank underperformers. With so many good garden friends around, why plant something I know won't work??? LOL Ease, ease, ease is the catchword for this park.

Happy Monday!!


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 7:19AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Good morning happy holiday (or not) the only nice thing about coming to work when I should be home w/ other holidayers is that I got here under an hour no traffic; hit the train just right what a breeze. . . . it soothed the agony of coming to the office. . . . [ to answer an earlier inquiry (from Marian maybe?) I leave near Fairfax Va which is about 25 miles outside of the DC & about 15 miles north of Alexandria. . . . but it might as well be West Virginia (LOL) when its a commuting day I drive to the nearest Metro station (about 10 minutes from my house but takes from 30 mins to an hour depending on traffic problems in the work week)... Yep, you have to have a lot of tolerance, patience and sheer teeth-gritting to do the daily grind. I used to people watch on the metro (now Im older & I just snooze for 35 mins...) boy could I tell some hilarious stories of things Ive seen on the metro trains used to say I was going to write a book about it. . . .

Well, I hear that we are having Indian summer today and tomorrow (to the 80s), then rain & cold into the 40s by the weekend. . . . hmm, that should kill any incentive I have to replant where the old arborvitae was...

Eden Im embarrassed to say that the tree was in the front by side of the house & there were several neighbors who definitely saw what I was doing but since I have a reputation for being crazy already Im sure (from the gardening outfits, to the ripping all grass up, etc.) they probably all just shook their heads and ignored me. Frankly, there were a couple of young guys who wandered by & I kept thinking sheesh I sure could use some of their strength to pull this sucker out. But they didnt offer & no one came by w/ a chain saw so sheer grit, patience, determination (& heavy weight), slow sawing w/ rusty saw & I conquered it! Felt like Id won the battle & should do a Braveheart cry of some sort. . . .

Sue, I cant quite give up peonies I just love them (& have a hard time resisting buying new ones) and I do love their foliage even when not in bloom theyre one of the few; a few get fried looking later in the season, but for the most part by then a lot of stuff looks really rough. So I keep forgiving them their real estate space. . . . I will say Im ready to yank a lot of phlox I think most of it really is pretty mildewy by August altho from afar the blooms offer a lot at that time. It seems like a lot of work to me re the tropicals with overwintering or using them as disposable every year but I suspect we all have different ideas of gratification and what justifies the plant "renter" for the real estate it occupies! You definitely garner WOWs w/ the lush look of all the tropicals that obviously like where you put 'em.

Kathy I love day lilies too because they are so low maintenance and you can so abuse them but they forgive you or ignore you! But after bloom, some of them too look ragged but if you chop 'em, they ignore you too...

Eden and Sue is that what you guys do w/ your woodies & trees you buy? Do you just envision getting rid of the tree when its outgrown its space? I guess I am going to start thinking about some major overhauling of my gardens too & reassess over the winter when I review photos.

Michelle wow, youre a demon worker I cant imagine painting the outside of my house. . . . .

Okay unfortunately I have to pretend to work at least. . . . when its a glorious day I should be home planting. . . . . Bummer.

Hope all under the weather are recovering -- Sue, Eden, Jamie, hopefully not catching it (T), and others.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 9:02AM
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Hi Everyone:

I hope you will allow me to catch up. I have been going through a "thing", feeling sort of reclusive.. and boring, but am soon to be over itwell, I dont know if I will ever be any more exciting, but I am fighting the whole introspective thing.. anyway..I am going to give it a shot to jump back in...

It looks like you all had a great time visiting the northern idylls. Ive had a few happenings. Part of a willow tree fell in my back yard, so we have been trying to get that cleaned up. It needs to come out completely, but it is absolutely huge at the base. I know someone who had it done and he only had the big uppermost branches taken off, not the trunk. It cost $7,000. I would never advise anyone to plant a weeping willow. Especially close to the house. It must be very old. The other fun project we have been working on is our back entry area. The roof has been leaking. One thing led to another, and the next thing we knew, the whole area, including a large portion of the windows and walls, ceiling, had to be rebuilt. It still isnt completely finished. Skip was able to use some of the original materials, but a lot had to be replaced. That has been the last three weekends, and hopefully all will be wrapped up this weekend. So, I was offered a job, it was less money than I make now, and the benefits werent that great, but it was with a seed company. It was closer to home, and the hours would have been 9:30 6:30. Skip didnt think we could take the hit financially, so I told them no. I have been struggling with it ever since. After I told them no, I called them back they next day to say that I would take it it took me that long to sell Skip on the benefits. Anyway, they had already posted the position, so were interviewing other candidates. I found out Friday that they hired someone else. This process took about 3 weeks and it was the not knowing that was driving me crazy. Now that I know what direction I am heading, I can get a grip.

On a cheerful note, this weekend we found 3 little baby squirrels who were abandoned. Sean wanted to keep them, he named them Nutter, Chestnut, and I can't remember the other one.. Jen came over and spent an hour on the phone to rescue services. I think they were almost but not quite old enough to take care of themselves. They were following us around the yard. So cute.Did you know that there are squirrel rescues? She found one about 45 minutes away, they are certified by the state. She said the lady was really nice. She is a vet, and had a fabulous farm with all kinds of interesting stuff. I didn't go with her, but the lady said that we can come and visit, because she won't let them loose until next spring.

Yeona, I hope you are feeling better. It is no fun to have panic attacks. Deep breathing helps me. I hope your family is doing well, too.

Sue, thank you so much for posting the video clip of the musicians. I love modern technology! How cool that Steve Silk came to visit you!

Babs, Im glad you are enjoying your new are a natural for that position, given your caring nature. So sorry to hear about your neighborthat is hard to take, isnt it? If you want me to take any cuttings to Chris, just let me know, I will be happy to do it. I am going to try to overwinter my coco loco and I guess all my other ones.. but I especially like that one.

Honey, your new landscaping project is amazing. That was a big job to tackle. Even Skip said that the front of our house needs something. And when he notices it, I know its bad. I think I will leave it for next spring. How is your daughter doing? I hope all is going well with her.

V.- Did I read that you have a new position? I tried to find that thread but somehow couldnt locate it. I bet you are enjoying getting out and sharing knowledge with various groups. You make a good teacher..

Bug! Your DDs wedding was so lovely! I really liked everything.. the poles, the flowers were gorgeous. What a cool outhouse your son built. Your new grandson is adorable. And your farm is looking so nice. I got a Solidago Fireworks after seeing yours and I really like it. And your farm looks so nice this time of year. Well, all the time, but you know what I mean.

Cindy, sorry you are feeling down in the dumps. I can relate. I have a list of things to do when you are stressed, and I find that they work for low points too. If you want it, let me know and I can send it to youDo you have to drive all the way, or do you ride the train? I have to leave my house around 6:15 and get to work around 7:45, so I sort of know what you mean. But I am riding a train for half of the time, so it isnt too bad. I can read or listen to music on my MP3 player. Sometimes I wonder what I was thinking, but a certain age does things like that to a body.

So, I was offered a job, it was less money than I make now, and the benefits werent that great, but it was with a seed company. It was closer to home, and the hours would have been 9:30 6:30. Skip didnt think we could take the hit financially, so I told them no. I have been struggling with it ever since. After I told them no, I called them back and said yes.. dumb on my part I know but thought I would give it a try but they have moved on to another candidate.I do hold out some sort of hope, but really need to let it go.

Mary, what an adorable picture of the mouse house! I love it! I am sorry to say that we recently had to catch 5 mice this week, at last count. EEEK! And your little guy is so cute. I am glad everything is going well for you, and look forward to hearing you play in person, now that I have had a previewCant wait to hear how your camping trip went

Marian, your fall pictures are so nice. I really like the patio/deck area. You live in a beautiful area. Thanks for sharing.

Deanne, your garden is so beautiful. I just love that red fuschia. What is the name of it? I only have one, but I started dismantling my pots yesterday, and hope to overwinter it. I took cuttings of my coleus and put them in water. I hope they take.

Taryn, your house and new garden look so cool. I bet you will have fun filling your beds.

Must run and accomplish stuff.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 9:27AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hello to Idyll friend Drema so good to hear from you I had to sneak in to give you my take on the recent job offer/not that you got what immediately struck me were 2 things: (1) I know from my personal experience that any time I have Ever taken a pay cut & benefits cuts (& there are been a couple times in my life Ive done the same) the job ended up being problematic whether from my attitude over losing the $$ or the opportunities they dangled as a substitute that never happened; and (2) it strikes me as very peculiar that just a day after you re-thought your position they decided to dangle you longer & find someone else something fishy going on there! So, frankly, much as you may regret it didnt happen, maybe it is a good thing it did not as this company sounds like it has some sort of problems if theyd prefer to not take their first pick (you) & look elsewhere after all. . . . . So in the long run, maybe fate or whatever is doing you a favor. So chin up, gal. I know youre going to find a better job closer to home & at the right price for you. . . . . In the meantime, its nice to know I have a fellow Idyller who shares an ugly commute like mine!! (hehehe). . . . Nope, I cant read get terrible motion sickness so people watching on the train is what I do if Im not napping. . . . it just feels sometimes like a daily "Planes Trains & Automobiles" trek which can be very wearing but Ive learned that no job is perfect and in this case, its the commute thats the tough part of the job and Im getting too old to keep job hopping -- so I've tried to tell myself Im sticking w/ this one come hell or high water for 10 years; but as we know, never say never....

Yuck re the willow I had to have a tree cut down about 8 years ago and I was so lucky to get it done for about $500 (what a steal) a neighbor near me is talking about getting the same kind of tree done now for $1500. . . . Yours must be gigantic. It seems like such a rip-off to charge such huge prices AND they always take the wood & resell as fire wood. . . .

Ok back to chopping the wood here at the office! Keep in touch, Drema!


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 10:15AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Fall color is a bit disappointing so far this year. Usually it is better by now at my friends place. Id love to have their property 10 south-facing acres on the escarpment with a natural pond in one corner of the pasture and a couple of acres of woodlot. The land falls away from the house in several levels, perfect for all sorts of garden possibilities. There is a sun room off the basement level which is all at ground level at the back, with large windows and patio doors. Theyve been doing a large renovation and expansion this summer so the garden was abandoned and/or torn up. They will need to start over next year. Here are two views from the balcony off the living room. The first is looking south east with the pony barn on the left side with the small riding ring for the kids at that end of the pasture. The second is looking a bit more southwest across the pasture. The pond is out of sight on the right at the back of the pasture. The pond is used as a skating rink in winter and deer roam the pasture most of the year. The gardens near the house are at the top of a vertical bank so the deer rarely bother them. There is lots of other food for the deer on the rest of the property and the two VERY large Goldens roam the (fenced) garden areas by the house so that adds an additional deterrent. Every time I visit, I fantasize for days after about the gardens I would create there if it was my place:-)

Cindy Im a peony fan too and like their bushy foliage after the flowers fade. The fernleaf ones go messy and dormant for me in August and Im not keen on those. I ended up with a beautiful pale pink single peony in the front bed this year when the herbaceous rootstock of a tree peony took over. The tree peony didnt do much but I dont care because I loved the single peony!

Deanne WOW! What a lot of work to ready all that stuff for a winter indoors! Im a fan of your containers but I stick with minimal containers other than veggies in pots and just a few ornamental ones. I cant stand all the hose-dragging pots require

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Drema, I bet the baby squirrels were adorable (anything baby is always cute) Except maybe baby snakes at Sues house.

Sue, I think the snakes would drive me in the house. I have quite a few stone walls and only saw one snake this summer. It was a baby garter.

Cindy, Rick actually did most of the painting earlier and I only helped on Sat. Our house quite large and tall. Im with you on the peonies. I just picked up another single flowering type for $2.50 Scarlet OHara I actually really love the red foliage that my peonies have in the spring. I think it looks great with bulbs. I have to tell you that your first pictures with the new camera are wonderful. What great clarity. Im still learning on mine too.

I have fed my compost pile more this year than ever as well. Since it all goes in the compost, I figure that it doesnt go to waste ;o) You all must be rubbing off on me, because I looked at the African violet that I havent gotten to bloom in the 3 or 4 years Ive had it and thought I think Ill dump it. If only Marian lived closer, Im sure she could get it to bloom :o)

They are talking s*** on Wed. but then in the 60s for the weekend. With a low of 22 predicted, I will be doing garden cleanup.

T, I hope Jamie is feeling better and that you and DH dont get it.

Wendy & Deanne, thanks for the fuchsia overwintering instructions. I printed them out. Now if I were only more organized that I could find these things when I need them. LOL Im thinking of letting some of my pelargoniums go dormant this year also. I have so many more than I have ever had. We have a crawl space behind one wall of the basement and I think that might be a little cooler area.

Even though it was lightly raining yesterday, I walked around and am amazed at all that is in bloom yet. I hauled quite a few plants into the mudroom where they get debugged and they will go upstairs to a few south windows. Last year I only put coleus cuttings under lights. Before that I never used lights. Most things actually do quite well in front of the windows.

Enough rambling from me for now.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 11:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mighty quiet day here! Between Mary being off with the men folk (!) and some of you stuck at work while others are on holiday...well no Idyll chatter.

On the home front, DH and I spent a large chunk of the day cleaning out the rabbit area of the barn. What a big production! Added the bunny poop to the veg garden and hope that will be a good thing. Then in other parts of the garden I planted some astilbes and echinaceas, weeded a bit and pitched dead coleus as well. It is super gloomy out this afternoon after a sunny morning. I guess rain is in our future for the rest of the week.

I've been doing short stints on the treadmill and wonder how this will work out. I certainly notice the insoles in the new foot gear. (Not size 11, but certainly webbed feet, meaning wide in front, narrow in the heel.)

DH and Charlotte went off to investigate where the beavers are living. Charlotte is full of burrs and stinks. PEEEEW!

As to web cam, I am told we cannot make use of it until we can get off of satellite. That won't be possible because we are in a dip and need an 88 foot tall free standing tower to reach above the surrounding trees. Not only would that cost big money, but the cranes and things to install it would likely not fit across the bridge. Besides, where would we place a 10 foot square concrete pad for an 88' tall tower? UGGGGLY! So, we wait until service improves in our rural spot.

Yes, DGS received doggie photos promptly and then sent me a few of him with his bike and helmet, reading with DH and with his former dog. We'll see how long his enthusiasm for writing email lasts.

DS is off setting up a conference in Dallas, but camping for a couple of days first to unwind.

'bug- on a lazy afternoon.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 5:06PM
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Today was one of those halcyon days that people dream of when they think of fall in Maine.

I was outdoors all day long. I have bit of a sunburn! Mid-70s, I wore shorts while working out back, removing root debris from the news disturbed area around the newly planted Amelanchier. The same one that Vera climbed twice today... good kitty! There is till much to do in the area, and fret not, Woody, there are other White pines "on the estate"; full grown and truly magnificent.

Now, if I can grab some time I'll go back and try to get some reading done... so forgive my lapses when I do pop my head out of my warren, OK?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 5:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all, I have gone into once of those posting slumps...again.
I keep thinking about several of you 'nominating' me "Houseplant Queen'. Such a nice gesture, but misplaced, unless you are referring to quantity. Many of my plants survive, but do not thrive. I have lots of pitiful specimens, but am too tender-hearted to trash them. Take the Africns violets, for instance, most of the time they border on being quite ugly, with sagging leaves. I keep threatening to toss them, then finally they start putting on blooms( usually in the winter), and I relent.

I have been thinking also about the 'enabling' of some of you. I am giving Deanne the credit for my courage in cutting things back, taking cuttings, and tossing the old plants. Some of the 'to be tossed' plants are still setting on the deck. I hope I don't end up bringing them in! :-)
If I refrain from doing it long enough they will be frozen, and the choice will be made!
I have rearranged the utiliy room several times, and 'have' gained more room for more plants. I think I will stop in at HD tomorrow and see if they can tempt me with some more...;-)

I had to laugh at myself yesterday. I took my small hand cart to haul in the large pot of asparagus vine with it's two ivy companions. I plopped the pot down on the cart's 'shelf'. The handle soundly whomped me on the left forehead! A nice 'goose-egg' popped out immediately. I went inside chuckling, to tell Nolon he could officially call me "knothead". :-) I put Aspercreme on it to ease the hurt, and by evening services it had gone down some, but was starting to get a little color. I don't think it will even be noticable when I go to town tomorrow...shoot!

This morning Nolon was doing his at least twice daily picking up of Chinese chestnuts. He came in to tell me there was a large blue racer ( snake) out there, if I wanted to take pics of it. I did, and was getting a bunch of it,(it posed nicely in the small tree it was climbing), when Nolon suddenly got quite excited about Tommy and a small RATTLESNAKE ! Tommy was reaching out and batting at it! ( What a duffous! ) I had to remove Tommy from that snake's area, so Nolon could dispose of it. The racer eventually came down and went on it's way. They are beneficial, and protected in some States. Believe it or not, I was rather disappointed that I couldn't find more snake species! ( Tommy's owner is a 'duffous' also.)

T, I hope Jamie is better, and that neither of you caught his virus.

Woody, that sailboat pic is great! I am partial to such scenes. :-)
The maple is lovely, too. The view from your friend's place has muted colors just as we do. The sumac is colored up nicely there, as it is here.

Cindy! Congrats on the picture posting! Lovely! The Heritage Rose looks like my Louise Odier (which is not blooming now).

I will add myself as a Peony lover. I 'do' prefer the Japanese-flowered types, because they hold up better.

Drema, Great to see you back !

Marie, I love the passing back and forth of e-mails between you and your new dear grandson.

Chelone, those pics could have been taken in our yard! Looks so familiar. Some of that White Snakeroot, Eupatorium rugosum, has volunteered in my yard and I am too pleased to have some flowers after this summer's drought,so I am leaving them. I have a bunch of Eupatorium coelestinum, Wild Ageratum, also. I think your asters are a differant species than what is blooming all along the roadsides here. I love them all. Great shots of the flutterbys.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 6:24PM
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Chelone, have you noticed a bumper of monarchs this year? I have :) It's nice to see your little part of the world again :)

Okay, you guys cracked me up today.

Sue, I don't want your used up size 11's. I want your used up garden plants that you mentioned chucking! LOL....I use up my own shoes, I think most 11's do because they're hard to find.

And Michelle, you'd better get a big shovel because I read that you were getting "manure" on Wednesday. Geez, it's too early for the s word.

Drema, I want to say what Cindy said goes double for me on the missed job. I later find those kind of situations tend to be a sign that better things are on the horizon, and that you needed a kick in the pants to get to the better spot in your life. I am stubborn and will stay or try when it's just not right.....I consider this kind of thing (your not taking the job) kharma.

My dad had a baby squirrel that he took with him to Military school (he was VERY bad :). I never asked what came of the squirrel because I like the romance of catching the squirrel in your ball cap and raising it at school. He said it made a nest in his wool sweater, but that's about the last I heard of the squirrel. I should make the grand kids ask.

Little dog is back home. I feel bad not liking him. He lost his dog companion a month back or so, remember? Maybe that's why he's clingy. It is not fun to have a personal shadow....LOL, he freaked me out a couple of times because he's short and doesn't move quick. My brain would scream, "ahh, there's a big black blob you're about to trip over!"

Well, we had (the radio says) 80 degrees today so we took the boat on what may be the last voyage. It was nice. I was surprised that the water wasn't as cold as I expected....not as cold as the Atlantic in July (ice cold).

Time to change the laundry from washer to drier and get these babies settled with stories and blankets. I have to get my fanny moving tomorrow....boy did I indulge in some junk food this weekend :)


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 7:43PM
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Hi everyone

We're back!! It was actually a great weekend, the weather was as perfect as Fall weather can be. The campsite was in a gorgeous setting, on the hills beside one of the Finger Lakes. The leaves are in the middle of turning color and some of the views were breathtaking. David loved every minute - archery, hiking, fishing, campfires and touch football. And joy of joys, another Mom showed up so I had some female company, though I enjoyed the easy cameraderie of the Dads and was impressed with their organization and culinary planning. We were all in a log cabin with a wood burning stove in the center which provided welcome warmth as the temps dropped below freezing at night. I was delighted to find a small room with a door and two bunks at the end of the cabin for the ladies. But even with a door between us, the masculine snores were something to be reckoned with. Next time remind me to pack ear plugs!!

I'll try and post some pictures another time. For now I'm running laundry and trying to get everyone ready for school tomorrow.

Hope everyone had a good weekend and Canadian Thanksgiving was enjoyed by all.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 8:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

BRAVO MARY! OMG, all those snores....

Would someone please remind me never to eat cucumbers again. The heartburn or whatever from them...gads. I just made myself hot chocolate with milk...someone said that milk soothes the effect of the cukes.

Lovely boat stories Woody and Saucy!

Sweet Vera and monarchs. We had many monarchs this year too, and small yellow flutterbies as well.

Good to have Cindy and Chelone posting photos now!

OK V, come out of hiding!


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 9:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Ok 'bug, here I am!

I've spent the last hour and a half reading Idylls 283, 284 and part of 286. I've still got all of 285 and most of this one to go, but I'm getting there. I guess I'll make this another me-centered post so I offend everyone equally!

Except I will mention that the one thing I did before sitting down to read the idylls was to dig out the phormium that I bought at 'bug's insistence this summer and pot it up to bring inside. Then I see that she has finally bought her own phormium! I think of you every time I see the plant, Marie!

All the tropicals are inside because the Thursday forecast is for snow showers! Yeesh... We had no damage from the hail storm other that losing 1 plug of the double outlet outside on the deck. The rain was driving straight into the wall and the cover was off the outlet.

I went to the wedding of my best friend from HS yesterday. A lovely wedding on a gorgeous fall day, but a little unusual. The friend and her now-DH are both devout Catholics, but he is divorced and was unable to get an anullment. So first they had a full Catholic Mass, said by a priest who had been a HS classmate of the groom's. The priest then high-tailed it out of the hall, and the responsibilities were handed off to a female Lutheran minister who performed the wedding ceremony. Then we had a wonderful Sunday brunch to celebrate. Except I realized several hours later that those lovely pear-brie quesadillas must have had avocado hiding in them, and I can't eat avocado. So my plant-moving duties went kind of like this - grab a pot, carry it to potting bench, run to bathroom, return outside, rinse and repeat. It was NOT a productive late afternoon. The problem with the avocado allergy is that I do enjoy the taste of avocados and sometimes don't realize that I'm eating them.

Since I'm talking food, I have learned this summer and fall that I like smoked salmon and almost-raw fresh tuna. DH has been trying to get me to taste the tuna for years and I always refused. Then a couple of weeks ago, a man who usually waves cool new heucheras under my nose instead held a fork full of barely seared tuna in front of me and said "You've got to try this." He was right, it was amazing! But why did I feel like I was cheating on my hubby? LOL

Work continues to be good, and all is well with the family. I just need to figure out a new "idyll time". I've cut short my morning time so that I can get to the office earlier, and my evening time has been limited. I'm also in the process of re-shuffling my after-work commitments. I feel very much like I am in a time of transition right now, but it's a good transition. I just have to create and settle into some new routines.

Welcome Kathy! I just found out (really - like in between this paragraph and the last the phone rang) that I'm going to be in Napa the first weekend in December. How soon can I invite myself for a visit?

Before the wedding, I hauled myself to Coldwater Creek and bought a new outfit for the wedding. Then I did something really shocking (at least for me!) I went to Victoria's Secret and bought my first-ever really expensive bra so that the low-cut sweater looked really good. Yikes! What am I coming to?

That's probably enough damage for one night, so I shall post this and go to bed. Then I can get up in the morning and wonder what I was smoking when I posted last night!

I promise (threaten?) to be back more frequently.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 10:48PM
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Wendy LOL, "gardening with Goldilocks". I would be content with her doing cleaning inside. Something I loathe.

Yea ! , pictures from Cindy.

Eden I was tired from working outside yesterday too. I fell asleep on the couch at 6:30 and staggered off to bed at 8:30.

Bug, I wonder if that Little Kitten grass is one I have been seeing planted in mass in a median strip in the city. It looks like it and the size description fits. It sways in the breeze from the cars driving by. I have been coveting it.

Martie great score on bargain plants. I love the smell of Agastache.

Drema , working on the house always snowballs into more work and money. When I hear you people talking about paying so much to have trees taken down I am so thankful we can usually do that ourselves. We have quite a few trees down around the property. Several have fell across some of my trails. Plenty of firewood waiting to be sawed up.

Woody thanks for sharing your friends view. The kids have a nice spot to ride. I sure miss my horses.

Chelone, Love the purple and oranges in your first photo.

Ouch! Marian, sometimes when I hurt myself I feel so dumb for doing it the way I did.
A rattlesnake! geesh! I guess I'm glad it was only a baby ringneck that fell on my head today. I guess the snakes are preparing for winter too. Need to be on the watch this time of year.

Mary, I can imagine the snoring LOL . Good that you and David enjoyed the weekend. Norma

    Bookmark   October 9, 2006 at 11:14PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Good Morning. No time to read. Just a quick note to let you know Ill be absent until next week. My good friend is coming in this afternoon from W. Palm and well be having a blab and giggle fest over Mojitos, taking a fall color tour, visiting the cider mill, etc. We havent seen each other in 4 yrs.! She made a sobering comment the other day "You know at our age, it might be the last time we see each other." Altho shes 10 yrs. older, I guess you never know at any age.

So Im racing the clock and weather to get my pot ghetto planted this am. S*** is predicted for later this week. And I need to do something w/this dump. myself, and stop at the grocery before I pick her up at the airport. Whew!

Love the idyll title, T. Hi to all. Back next week.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 7:57AM
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Howdy Idylls!

Just stepping in from that outer side of the loop...: )


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

I've got zippo time here so I just wanted to post these pics because several of you were asking and as they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here is the Beacon Rosa standard in August

And here it is again this morning after pruning and repotting

And here is another large container from summer

And here it is after top pruning but before root pruning. It didn't bloom well this summer because I never repotted it last year. You can see all those really heavy, brown roots. Those need to be cut out as they aren't feeder roots. The smaller white roots stay. My friend the fuchsia expert says that the heavy tap roots are only developed by the plant to anchor it but don't provide feeder roots for the plant. The object in removing the large tap roots is to force the plant to develop more of the fine white feeder roots.

Must run, I've got a busy day on tap here.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:28AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just back from picking up pet food at the vet's, then bark chips for the paths in the veg garden that never got finished. So I'm off to toss carboard and newspapers on the paths and top them off with chips. Then there's more to do of course before the rain/flurries tomorrow. YUK.
Tonight physiotherapy on the foot, then political meetings and DH's hockey game. Not my favourite kind of day, but a full one.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:35AM
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I spent the evening potting up more plants and hauling them into the mudroom, while the first batch went upstairs. I debug them in the mudroom and it isn't very big so that they all can't come in at once. Some are sitting in the shed also, but with 22 predicted for Wed. night, they can't stay there.

Deanne, it looks like you remove all the leaves? It does look like a drastic move. I have a euphorbia that I would like to overwinter. It seems to have a woody stem like the fuchsias. I'm wondering if I should try to use the fuchsia method.

Honey, have a great time with your friend.

Saucy, LOL it looks like Eden, Honey and V are all getting manure too.

'bug, I'll have to remember do ask DD about the webcam, she had one here when we were on dial up and we only needed the little camera which was fairly inexpensive. I know they use one when Kenzie's other grandparents are in Florida for the winter.

Chelone, I enjoyed seeing your pictures.

Mary, what a relief that you had another woman on the camping trip and a separate room too. I envisioned you in a pup tent.

Marian, at least your african violets bloom. Mine won't even do that.

I must get to work

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 11:54AM
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Michelle, I too envisioned Mary in the pup tent!

V., I love seared ahi (sp?) tuna and buy it from the fish monger when we get it fresh. Someone once said that as long as your fish smells like the ocean, not the dock, then you'll be fine :)

But I always think of Bette Midler declaring that she lost all of her weight by eating sushi - apparently you can get parasites from raw fish - YUCK!

Anyway, tuna can take some pretty heavy spice, so I put steak seasoning on each side and sear it in a hot cast iron skillet for 2 minutes per side (I set the timer, because I'll let it go too long if I don't).

Deanne, whatever you do, even when it's breaking the garden down, always looks so neat and tidy. I'd have dirt everywhere, clippings all around - you get the idea.

The siding guys showed up this morning. My house will go from white aluminum siding to Ivy Green with Beige trim. I can't wait!

Babs, don't stay gone too long, and don't hang "outside" the circle. I didn't think I'd fit back in, but I feel more and more "in" everyday....a lot of the welcome feelings goes to you :)

I've gotta go turn in my building permit application - this town will take money for ANYTHING that you do on your house. This one is to the tune of 35 bucks. Hope the inspector can get out here soon.

Jake's got an appointment, too, so cross your fingers - doc says they might remove the cast and put on a splint.

No food in this house, either....when it rains it pours.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 12:19PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Nine bags of chips does not go matter what the sales people will tell you. I need AT LEAST nine more. Darn. No car today either.

Also, no hot water. What's with that?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 12:37PM
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My sympathies on no hot water. A week ago last Friday we lost all the water. The submersible pump was fried, and there was hole in the bladder that allows the tank to maintain pressure... we replaced both. A somewhat less than exciting way to spent a lot of money!

Eden, I wrapped the lacecaps last fall. I swaddled them in burlap and then used copious amounts of oak leaves as insulation inside the burlap "jacket". I waited until just about Memorial Day to unwrap them; it's the late frosts that usually nip the buds. The 2 Toyko Delights, the varigated variety, and Nikko Blue were COVERED with flowers this year. Definitely more than worth the work!

We had a dog that snored, too, Saucy; drove me nuts. And she was a "follower" and would stare at me all the time, too. I prefer more "attitude" in dogs. Hope the word on Jake is good. I'll be the cast is gettin' mighty "old", for everyone.

Marinated tuna cooked on the grill is my very favorite. And the advice is right... if it smells "fishy" get rid of it! (the landlord at the shop is a commercial fisherman, and if we want fresh fish we place our order the day before or leave a note on his windshield).

Killin' time until 3 PM, when I take her highness to the beauty parlor... . I have her lunch prepared, but she's outdoors right now.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 1:38PM
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Well. I've been working my behind off for the last three days (not really, but I wish, lol) and the tropicals are FINALLY all safely tucked away. I just finished up the fuchias about half an hour ago, came in and within minutes it started raining. We're supposed to have bad weather for the next three days, cold, windy, and rainy. After that it will be time to start some autumn clean up in the garden and planting from the ghetto, which isn't really that big this year. I'm exhausted and have Bella for the next few days not to mention that I've totally neglected the interior of the house. Guess I'd better go get started on some laundry...


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 6:47PM
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I spent another day shoveling the mulch mixture over the beds in the backyard. I did get them 'done' and then began putting some more mulch on the front bed. I am not pleased with the shape (not curvy enough) of the back beds, but wanted to make sure I had enough mulch to cover the front beds completely before tweaking the back beds. My back, elbows and wrists hurt...even my fingers are sore (gripping the shovel?).....manual labor---it is hard stuff! ;o)


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 8:29PM
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Wow, everyone is certainly industrious in the last couple of days ! One thing about gardeners-no one can say we are lazy! One sits down with and adult beverage in the evening on a favorite garden bench or chair and ends up pulling weeds as the ice melts in the cocktail or the fruit flies take a swim in the glass of wine ! I got home from work late today and couldn'nt do my daily digging-got a ball game that started at five and I had to create a dummy for a cubicle decorating for a birthday of one of my staff tommorow (don't ask) !
I'm waiting expectantly for UPS-I ordered a new cd player -my Pioneer 6 disc player circa 1982 gave up the ghost at last. It went down during the summer but now that baseball season is ending I move my base of operations into the "reading room" where all my stereo equipment is , so I need to get all in working order for winter. Look forward to catching up on my reading, but not the rain ! And we do get after day after day.

Have so enjoyed the fall foliage pics on this and the other threads..My Japanese maples are just barely starting to turn, we won't get much fall stuff going on till next month.

Must go whip up some dinner...ta ta to all
from Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:18PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

T, all your hard work will pay off-it justs takes time. When I was installing all my curves I used to lay it out then go look at it from an upstairs window. It was much easier to see where you needed to make changes. Have you tried doing that?

My boss kicked me out of the office this afternoon to go home and rest despite me telling him that I rest at Earlier in the day I felt pretty lousy but don't feel so bad now. Maybe I'm on the mend already. One of my co-workers who is also sick called out today with a 102 F temp. I finalized my statements around 2 then headed out the door for an afternoon in the garden. Got the 'Fireglow' maple planted. The upside to knowing I've got this garden tour looming is it's forcing me to deal with areas of the garden that have been sort of hanging in limbo. Woody plant structure is the focus.

Oh-oh V, be prepared to be accused of having a mid life crisis. New clothes, new I think it was the toe rings that sent people over the edge around here. I buy all my bras at Victoria's Secret. It's the only place I can find them padded enough so I look good in clothes at all.

Mary, a whole cabin of snoring men? Good grief! Since I've had my cold I haven't been able to wear ear plugs at night so have been forced into the guest room. It sounds like the weekend was fun at least. Did you manage to smuggle in any wine?

Deanne, you're going to laugh but Tom cleaned out that cold closet in the basement tonight so I'd have room for plants. If I plan properly I should be able to fit at least the brugs and fuchsias. You will be here on Saturday ready to give lessons, right?

Honey, enjoy the time with your friend!

OK, time to pack it in. Hi to everyone else.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:19PM
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Busy days for everyone I see. I spent the day collecting cuttings and seeds. Moved some pots onto the covered front porch which is the most protected outdoor spot. Hoping to gain a little more time. We are to get down to 32 at night by the end of the week.

Michelle if you find out about the Euphorbia let me know, I would like to save mine too.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:26PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening everyone, I wont be able to be quite as chatty as my norm for a bit as Im on deadline for a magazine article and have a lot of work to do before the end of the week.

Sue, you bet, well be there. We need to make some plans for an itinerary for the day so we have plenty of sunlight to do what needs doing. I already told Doug we were going to be leaving early on Sat. LOL That is way too cool that Tom cleaned out the cold closet for you. Neato!

T. sounds like you are really making headway with those gardens.

Eden and Michelle, my house is an armpit right now because Ive either been outside trying to get stuff put away (not done yet and hard frost expected this weekend) or downstairs trying to get a magazine article painted. I need a maid or a self cleaning house. Eden, great job getting all those tenders put away. Im envious as Im not even halfway there yet.

Michelle, yes I do strip all the leaves off the fuchsias.

Chelone and Saucy, Ive had lots of Monarchs here this summer as well. More than Ive seen in many years.

Mary, great to have you back. Im so glad to hear you actually had a good weekend with David. You are going to get the best sport of the year award.

OK Ive got to get to bed so I can get an early start tomorrow.

Nite all,

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 9:56PM
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One more evening of plant shuffling. I'm almost finished. I'd better be as tomorrow night the low is supposed to be 22 and I have plans to be gone tomorrow night.

T, you wouldn't believe how many times I have reshaped a curvy bed. I look at it for awhile and then decide it needs some tweaking. One bed got tweaked every spring for about 3 years. So nothing has to be set in stone for your beds.

Sue, I counted one day during my commute (I tried to keep myself amused) and I came up with 100 shrubs that I have added to our yard. 60 are different varieties. Many are fairly small so I was really shocked at the number.

This may be a stupid question, but where does one buy burlap?

I actually cooked for a change tonight, I made chicken fajita pizza. Now if I could get in a cleaning mood. LOL

I just got off the phone with a neighbor who is having problems with depression. She has been confiding in me. I'm far from an expert, but am providing a listening ear. I did convince her to see her Dr. She is diabetic also and that seems to be out of whack too.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 10:20PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Sue, are you accussing me of having a mid-life crisis? LOL, the thought has crossed my mind as I seem more than willing to turn a few things in my life upside down. Oh well, if this is a crisis, at least I'm enjoying it. (grin)

We've got steady rain and 52 degrees right now. Anyone want to run over and go out with the dogs for me? The crummier the weather, the more interested Mystic is in staying outside.

My niece and her parents went to DD's school yesterday for a formal visit day. She really enjoyed it, and all three girls (there's another cousin there as well) had a blast. I wonder if we'll end up with three there next year?

The dogs are pacing, so I must bite the bullet and take them out.

Oops, one more thing, Sue - I see you have a cold. I keep sneezing and blowing my nose, but since I declared two months ago that I was not getting sick again this year, I know I don't have a cold. Denial is a major part of any good mid-life crisis.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 10:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks for all the rain V. Think of me spreading 12 more bags of chips in the soggy veg garden this morning.
Somewhere in my day I must find time for 5 sets of foot exercises too- before going for ultrasound treatments at dinner time.
It is 7am and pitch black outside. Time to feed the professor before he drives off to class.
Happy midweek activities for all! I have coleus that have rooted and need planting up before they rot. (I hate coleus...)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 7:04AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Mary glad you so survived the Testosterone Trip! Egads re the snoring . . . .

Sue, glad youre feeling better. Im enjoying hearing about all the DHs of Idyllers who are becoming enablers as well of the gardening addiction! Isnt it amusing? (but great!). I am so envious of those gorgeous small trees youve been planting I may take the leap but envision being totally swamped in darkness in 10 years in my yard (assuming Im too lazy to move anywhere...). . . . I looked at your Fall pic album & was amused to see what a pink! (for you?) variegated Japanese maple I LOVE those things that Harriet Waldman is stunning Ive had "Butterfly" on my wish list for years but have yet to buy a single Jap. maple. . . .

I cannot get over the 4 letter word thats cropping up in forecasts it isnt yet mid-October & were all going to get hit w/ S*** & cold???? Whats with this. . . .

Re cleaning I am planning to take a week off the week of the 23rd and yep, you guessed it to clean the house!! How sad is that? One takes vacation to clean the house???? Seriously, need down time, cleaning, need some maintenance done so that means service men (electric, pest, carpet cleaning) and I decided I might as well make a week of it to get ready you know how you have to clean so the cleaning lady can come? that concept (always wished for a cleaning service but too paranoid & poor to afford, LOL)... Hopefully some last planting of clematis that have been idylling all summer in pots & laying mulch, etc. . . . . Plus a quick visit to PA (long over due but Ive been too overworked and bushed to get there lately)

I took a quick walk yesterday at lunch to enjoy the wonderful last glorious "summer" day we had and took my camera w/ me to practice with whipped thru over the Mall & thru the Smithsonian Castle gardens & Butterfly Walk I am going to try to post a threat w/ them tonite (should have last nite but had to cut the grass in the dark! as it was about a foot high & has been too wet & soggy to do on the weekends but its going to start raining tonite & last nite was the last gasp) cant imagine what it looks like in the daylight but at least it got "done". . . . and Chloe can go out there again to run in.

Okie dokie time to hit the stacks of paper. . . .


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 9:15AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well it is 10:30 and I have spread newspapers in the rain and topped them off with 9 bags of chips...and then 12 more bags. Done by 9:30am. This is the perfect weather for anyone to be at work earning money...or in Deanne's case, down in the basement painting and earning too.

Laundry is in the dryer, several sets of foot exercise done too. Time to move ahead and empty the dishwasher, prepare some sort of dinner using eggplant and peppers, etc. Meanwhile I think of Honey and her friend off enjoying their time together.

I still think of Da and her crochet and other talents...though it looks like she has vanished. Maybe one day she'll surprise us along with other voices from the past.

Lots of rabbits around these days and evidence of hawks or owls grabbing a few of them. Also skunks and raccoons..which I hope Charlotte doesn't find!

Greetings from the soggy autumn farm!


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 10:53AM
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I wonder about Da every so often, too!

I went out on some errands this morning and stopped by the helpmeet's place of employ... to view the new kittens. OMG, they are too cute for words. 8 wks. old, about 4-5" long and, well... you KNOW. I sat on the floor and they waddled over to me and began climbing my fleece jacket. They settled in next to my neck and purred while I gave them little baby-cat "scritchies". (I melted at the sight of them).

A grey day here. High wind and lots of rain due in tonight. You can see the approaching storm if you watch the ocean, very "choppy".

Lovely garden shots, everyone. And Sue, I hope you're feeling better (V., too). I'm pleased to learn you'll be a GC participant; you will have such fun and it's such a good cause. When's the big day, or have they not settled on one yet? (I haven't been able to follow the saga... not much time to read, sorry). and I agree, the late season garden can be perfectly spectacular, but it requires a fair bit of planning.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 12:33PM
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Just got back from the grocery store. It's pouring out now and has been really windy for the last couple of hours. It's still warm out but that will be coming to an end tonight when the cold front moves in. Boy we've had crummy weather the last 4 or 5 weeks. So much rain, I read that we're 5 or 6 inches above normal. My garden doesn't take well to all of this water with the clay soil I have either. Things are looking really waterlogged. I have Bella this afternoon. She's playing with some wooden blocks I got her while I was out. Remember the old fashioned ones with the letters, numbers and animal pictures on the sides. She stacks them, knocks them down, collects them in their storage bag then dumps them out and starts over again. I read somewhere "It's not so much what autumn is it's what autumn brings." That's how I feel this year. I'd be enjoying it more if I knew winter wasn't right around the corner. Spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner tonight so I'd better go get the sauce started. Baseball update before I go...Our Tigers won last night! Second game is tonight. Have a great afternoon and evening.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 2:38PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Deanne Belated Happy Birthday.

I've written books to Da, which I've never posted of course, along with the books I've written to all the Idyllers. As Marie said, though, I tend to repeat what the person says, and I know I'll bore you all to death with those tomes I write, so they stay locked up on my Idylls MS Word doc. Plus I have to look up every plant discussed here and about anything else said as well. Case in point, Saucy's Sushi comment. Commercial places freeze all the baddies out of the raw sushi, so go to an established place. Our freezers don't get low enough to freeze them out, so don't make raw sushi at home. That's what the site I've linked says anyway. I hope Da as well as others return too. Once an Idyller always an Idyller.

I'll be going more tropical next year, thanks to you shameless plant hussy enablers, lol. Outside my thumb turns suspiciously green but inside it's dead plant brown, so I'll need a lot of thumb holding here! Oh yeah and I've been eyeing annuals in a different light too, so, again, thanks a bunch to you plant pushing Idyllers, I'll be getting Coleus and other annuals to experiment on too, lol. ;);));)

Take care all. I'm off to see a Doc about a teeny problem. I wish it were about a horse!


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 3:25PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We harvested the ornamental popcorn at the long term care garden today. It should ideally have been left out on the stalks to dry for another week or so but, with all the rain in the forecast, it didn't look like it was going to do much drying out there! Hopefully, I won't lose too much of it to mold while it dries out more in the spare bedroom over the heating vent! We only grew a dozen or so corn plants this year, just to see how they would do. If we try growing more again next year, maybe the harvest can be an 'activity' for the residents. It was sort of fun to pull the husks back and see what range of colors we got. I'll take them back up the week before Halloween so they can use them for decorating. Afterwards, if they're dry enough, they can be popped in a microwave. They need to be really dry to pop well so they probably need another month or two of drying for that.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 4:57PM
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A couple pics I took of Tim yesterday afternoon. Drema, this is what happens when you raise a baby squirrel. Three years later they will still let you know when their peanuts run out (by hanging on the back screen door or following you around the garden or as a last resort climbing up your leg if they really get desperate). They can be just a tad demanding, lol.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 5:11PM
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Spenc., Vera, Polly would eliminate your "reminder" in just about 36 hours, lol!

We cleaned up the squirrel damage inside Mum's home this past summer. Oh yeah... they're cute, until you've seen the damage they can wreak.

FEED THEM? areyououttayourmind??

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 5:46PM
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Extremely cold and windy today and I did see a few little white things in the air.
You should see my house, plants everywhere and Pampered Chef bags all over the table.

Woody, thanks for the picture of ornamental popcorn. Wouldnt that be a fun thing to plant in Kenzies garden and then later pop?

Eden, that first picture of Tim is just so cute.

Yeona, you are never boring!

Cindy, you really should plant some japanese maples in your garden. I would love to but my zone 4b keeps me from it.

Later, I must run.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 7:14PM
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Eden, is "your" squirrel a red squirrel? The coloring is quite red, but bigger than what I've seen here in NE. In TN my dad and I used to watch a pair of fox squirrels - they were HUGE! Sadly the mate was run over and we didn't see the other again.

Cindy, I think your way of cleaning sounds smart! Get it all done in one fell swoop! I'm trying to organize around here and I'm finding it very expensive to do what I want to do. The "containerize" part is hard without endless Target monies :)

Chelone, I NEVER EVER GO NEAR BABY helps :)

Going to meet a new neice on Sunday and I know Nick will say, "don't you want just one more?" The answer is no, but I know he'll ask.

Only one window got done on the siding today. I really wish we were independently wealthy and could do wood siding like we did at the old house. It's so much more appropriate on a 100 y.o. house, but you know, I'm learning to live with the vinyl option. I know I will be happy when it looks "new" like the inside.

It's fun running a job. Nick and I decided that it's easier if I run the show at home rather than them call the "man" to ask his opinion. I feel like the General Contractor :)

Nick's having surgery on Friday. I've got most of the prep done - clean bedroom, move DVD player to bedroom, set up creature comforts like extra pillows and blankets. Not to mention picking out movies and soft foods.

I'm good at taking care, but the broken arm and surgery are just a little too close....

Oh, speaking of broken arm....he had to get another cast. She squeezed his arm when the cast was removed and I saw the redness rise to his forehead from his chest. Then the tears started. She apologized profusely, but I thought the whole thing was quite barbaric....don't squeeze a broken arm until 6 weeks has past is what I say.

She was so backed up we had to wait for 1 hour and 45 minutes for our scheduled appt. Then we're in another kind of pain. I'm glad she's orthepedic surgeon of the year, but I'm getting tired very quickly.

I'm off....Yeona, thanks for that link! We're having Salmon tonight - we eat alot of fish (Nick, Jake and I - Sarah eats alot of rice and pasta, LOL!).


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 7:46PM
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Cleaning will be happening around here too. After I get all these cuttings squared away.
We have had a mixture of weather here today. I think we will escape frost tonite beacause of clouds and wind, but I bet the coleus and impatients bite the dust tomorrow night.

Eden, the first picture of Tim is really cute. I agree they can be destructive, but I understand why you feed him after raising him. I would too. Right now I don't appreciate them digging around for acorns tearing up the newly seeded grass. You have quite the bird feeding set up there.
You have had to much rain, we have had to little. They said this morning that we are 12" under normal for the year. We barely got anything last night. They also said it is an El Nino year and our winter will be milder and drier. If you can believe what "They" say. LOL

Woody, thats quite a variety of corn there. I imagine the residents will really enjoy that, knowing it was grown right there.

Michelle, GS Jake and I grew peanuts when he was three. He was just talking about it when he was here last. He will be 13 friday, on friday the 13th. Anyway I couldn't believe he even remebered it, but I know he did because he remembered me trying to make peanut butter with them, but I put to much oil in and ruined it. I had forgotten that part.

Yeona, hope the doctor thingy turns out ok. You will enjoy the coleus I think.

So Cindy is threating us with pictures. LOL. Sorry Cindy, I couldn't resist. I will be anxiuosly awaiting your picture thread.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 8:52PM
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Hi everyone-Another nice day here in the Napa Valley, but of course I spent it in my office...shucks. It is starting to get a bit nippy overnight(I define nippy right now as the mid-40's) but we probably won't have any frost issues for a few weeks yet.

Cindy, I am also taking time off work to clean-next week in fact! The garage is on my hit list this time, plus I hope to get the lions share of my front yard project done. I usually take at least two weeks of my vaca every year for heavy chores. I will however fly up to Portland for a few days to visit my brother-in-law and partner, so it won't be ALL work !

V-So where are you staying here in Napa ?(my son works at a hotel-be funny if you would be there !) Are you going wine tasting ?? Need some tips ?? Need an escort ? Too bad the gardens will all be over !

Eden love your squirrel-people think I'm nuts because I feed the blue jays ! I'm watching the A's-Tigers game as we speak. Rooting for A's of course (my back up team) .We got spanked last night- (however, will always have a soft spot for the Tigers for what they wrought on the Yankees !!)

Michelle-go somewhere that sells sandbags-they usually carry poly and burlap versions.

Must run--later all..
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 9:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well, Im making headway with my new painting and if I put in a long day today I should be able to finish it up. Then I just have to write the instructions, get the pattern ready and get it all shipped out to the customer. I wish I could show you guys pics of this one. Its looking pretty cool. This is a very large, 18" diameter bowl, and Ive painted plums, purple grapes and yellow apples on the very wide brim.

Weather wise it looks like we are going to get three nights in a row right at freezing starting Friday night. I still have a ton of stuff to get in and Im going to have to put it all in the garage until I can deal with it. Ill be so sad to see the dahlias go because they are just wonderful right now. Every time I think Im doing pretty good I remember another section of plants that I just cant bear to let go. I just remembered my Iresine Purple Lady in the front containers. Those have been so beautiful that I do want to keep them over. If I can bring in the I. herbstii Im sure I can bring in the Purple Lady. I still have about thirty fuchsias to bring in too. Arrggh!!! Well the good news it that I dont need to buy any new fuchsias next year. LOL

Cindy and Kathy when you are done with your houses will you come here??? Im in desperate need of a major overhaul in this house but I wont be able to get to it for another week or so.

Saucy, hope Nicks surgery goes OK. ~~ So sorry about Jake having to get another cast on and the wait at the docs office. I dont know when it became SOP for doctors to think it is OK to keep patients waiting for hours for their appointments.

Eden, That squirrel is too silly. Im glad he doesnt live in my garden. LOL ~~ So Im really loving the view of your gardens out the door. Do you have any more pics?

Martie, that corn is awesome! How cool you grew that yourself. Next year you should do some pumpkins and gourds to go with it. LOL

Yeona, why thanks for the BDay wishes.

Chelone, I can never resist a feline, especially when they are tiny balls of fluff and purring. Id have been hard pressed not to take one home.

OK time to hit the brushes for the day. Have a great day everyone,

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 7:43AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Just a quick weather report here from the frozen wasteland. It is snowing at this very moment. I don't mean an occassional flake here or there, where you're scratching your head wondering if you really saw snow or not. I mean flat-out, white sky filled with big swirly flakes snowing. The roof over the unheated porch has turned white. Okay, it's coming down heavy enough that the ground is even starting to turn white. It takes a lot of snow to do that in mid-October because of course the ground is still warm.



    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 9:20AM
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Good Morning,

Feels like winter here and guess what? More rain in the forecast for today. I'm so glad I got my plants in. They definitely wouldn't survive the next couple of days. I can't wait for the weather to warm up and dry up a little so I can get out and work in the garden for a change. I've been so busy with the pots and then with the rain that I haven't done anything significant out there in the last month. Bella's unexpectedly spending the day with Aunt Jenni today so it's housework for me.

Deanne, I'd so like to see your latest work. Could you maybe email some pictures to us? I don't really have much in the way of pictures of the garden recently. It's just been to wet to take any. Maybe I'll try to get a few this weekend.

Saucy, hope Nick's surgery goes well. How sweet and caring of you to get everything all set up for his recovery. Poor Jake, getting his arm squeezed like that. I miss the stories about you and the little dog, though I imagine you don't miss him much.

Chelone, thanks for the instructions on overwintering the hydrangeas. I'm going to try that on a couple of mine. I agree it's well worth the work if I can get beautiful blooms like you did as a result. I love kittens too. I like the way that even as baby kittens they have a "cattitude".

Kathy, The peanuts we put out for Tim attract the blue jays too. I enjoy watching all of the wildlife in my garden. But then we don't have anything too destructive. The squirrels are just the garden clowns here and have never done any damage. No rabbits or deer here in the city, thank goodness. I watched the game last night too. I'm wondering how the A's are going to like playing here tomorrow night. It's going to be cold!

Speaking of cold, I just looked out the window and it's S***ing like crazy! The roofs are white. How depressing.

Woody, love your corn. I didn't realize the small ears were popping corn. I'd like to try growing some of that.

Norma, I'm always pulling peanut plants that Tim plants. I'll have to let some grow next year and see if I get peanuts.

Cindy, I love to have big chunks of time to just concentrate on cleaning with no interruptions. You can get so much accomplished like that.

Yeona, I've always enjoyed your posts and the kind and caring way you talk to everyone. You are always so good at finding and linking us to such useful information too! Thank you for being the incredible person you are and don't change!

Marie, what a cool shot of the farm. It always takes my breath away how beautiful it is there.

Still s***ing, but not sticking to the ground at least. I'm going to leave you with this picture that ds David emailed to me. It made me smile when I opened it, hope it does the same for you all, even though it's very silly.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 9:51AM
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V, just read your post and I'm glad I'm not the only one. Misery loves company you know!


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 9:57AM
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Just snapped this so you all can enjoy it along with me...


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 10:04AM
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My sympathy V. If it were this time next month it would be ok but not just now.

Deanne, I have been rooting cuttings of Purple Lady in water. They are pretty easy.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 10:06AM
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Ah Eden you too! I like the picture anyway. N

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 10:11AM
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Snow? I'm jealous!!! Sigh........suppose to be in the mid 70's again today here. ;oP Okay, so that wasn't very nice and hopefully V likes me well enough to forgive me for teasing her so cruelly. I am always surprised at how quickly the weather changes for other areas of the country. We *e-a-s-e* somewhat slowly into the seasons, or so it seems to me, while most of your areas seem to have definite changes that happen within a short span of time. Maybe it just seems that way since I'm not seeing your weather daily. V, I hope the roads aren't treacherous for your drive to work.

This morning the farrier is coming to trim Boo's hooves. Before he arrives here, I've agreed to go hold a neighbor's horse while he (farrier) re-sets some shoes. The neighbor has an appointment in town and the horse doesn't like to allow the farrier to work on it's back feet. So, I'll go help wrestle a horse -- yeah right, like I know what to do to help make him stand still, I scold Boo soundly when he misbehaves....but I'm sure it just makes me look silly when I do it. ;o) This horse misbehaves enough that a twitch needs to be used sometimes (Norma & Deanne will know what I'm talking about more). I'll be the twitch holder along with the lead rope holder. Probably will allow the twitch handle to bonk me in the noggin.......maybe I'll start with the stern scolding talk and see if we can avoid using the twitch? Maybe the horse will be in an accomodating mood? sigh

So, speaking of noggin' bonking (bonking is not a nice slang word in some apologies if I'm sending anyone's mind elsewhere than having your head hit). I have a black eye. Yep, a shiner. It came about by doing housework. Vacuuming in particular. Remember Eden being attacked by her vacuum last year??? Well, watch out because they are uniting around the country. Housework is hazardous! What happened---well, I was vacuuming my sewing room when a small piece of fabric fluttered to the floor. I did not allow the vacuum to suck it up, even though I could tell the vacuum really was straining to go near it to do so... I bent over to pick up the fabric piece while holding the vacuum handle and banged my eyebrow area on the edge of my sewing table. Oh howdy did that hurt!!!! I let go of the vacuum (did I really feel it push me towards the table edge?) and held my eye while doing the 'pain' dance. I was so proud of myself.......not one dirty word was uttered while doing said dance. I later kicked the kitchen island, but that is another story....

I did not know I had an impressive amount of color around my eye until my DH came home from work later that day. I noticed him looking at me more intently than normal but figured since I had been shoveling smelly chicken compost/mulch that it was just my imagination and he was just overcome by the odorous rich looking mulch I was placing all around our house and not truly directed at me. Later, while washing up before making dinner.....I saw the lovely blues and purples adorning my face. People just aren't believing me when I say that it was caused by a vacuum and table in cahoots.

Well, the coffee cup is empty and there is daylight finally so that means I need to quit boring you. :o) Oh! Happily I can relate that I've seen elk two days this week.....a 3 point bull (antlers: 2 pointy bits down at the base of each antler, called eye guards, and then 3 pointy bits branching off of each antler at the top) anyway, a 3 pt. bull was in the yard a couple nights ago and then this morning there were two big tan shapes in the yard when I let the dogs out for their morning potty. It was too dark to tell if they were bulls or cows....but they didn't run when I stood on the deck......probably my 'morning look' scared them silly and they couldn't move. :o\

Hope it is a good day............... I'll be back to shoveling chicken s***, uh chicken stuff, after the farrier leaves. I have about 6 yards left to move.....and thank you to Sue & Michelle for letting me know that curvy beds sometimes need a new visual angle and tweaking to get right.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 10:18AM
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It's here. 32F : ( Anyone who has ceramic birdbaths-are you draining them?? To be safe I'm doing that today so I don't get a cracked bath. I've got pine needle heaven here-the good thing is that I made a new bed which is bare of plants right now so I'm tossing the needles on and more wood chips-the original chips were so fine that they are breaking down quickly. I was kind of disapointed to realize the tree that we had taken down will not be giving me leaves to compost anymore.

Saucy thanks for the encouragement about being out of the loop: ) I'm crawling to get to Saturday since after the last CC meet(Sat.) I'm a little more free-no more shuttling off to practices. The meet is at a lakeside park along Lake Erie where it will be wicked cold and windy. I have to dig out a thermos or two to hold hot chocolate(hmm I should fill one with java too!).

Eden-that pic of Tim(othea) is a scream! I probably *would* have screamed to find a squirrel plastered to my screen lol. I know your Timmy is tame but squirrels give me the willies-ours seem possessed and I sometimes wonder if they are planning a revolt against humans...remember The Birds? lol.

Norma-all those thirteens for your GS just have to add up to good luck: ) Does he worry about superstitions like that?

Saucy-I was cringing when you said the Dr. squeezed Jake's arm!!! Amazing that a Dr. would do that so soon like you mentioned. And that wait is just crazy.
Hoping Nick does OK with his surgery.
YOur house siding job sounds so exciting-your color choices will look great! I know exactly what you mean about wishing you could renovate with authentic siding materials...we're in that same boat-I imagine our house looked really nice--- once; )

Cindy-I can't wait to see your pics!!!

Yeona-since I read of your anxiety I've been so wanting to tell you I feel for you. I hope you are looking into a way to work through them-it's so worth it so that you can do all the things you love and be able to enjoy life. Keep in touch.

Mary!-eek snoring MEN!lol. I should have reminded you to bring the did you snore too? lolol just kidding; )

Deanne-I paused for a moment of silence when I saw the stripped fuchsias; ) Hard to imagine the process but interesting how beneficial it has been for yours plants.
You sound like you've been working hard with the paints-will we get to see it when it's done?

Work has been so busy but the nurse says I'm on track with the clinic tasks(state immunization reports)so I guess they can't fire me now(lol).

OK time is short-off to work.

hey Drema-cool that you saw Chris at Case!


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:04AM
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Norma, Ill take a little of your sympathy too. LOL Although, things are looking pretty decent for Saturday. Thanks for the info on Purple Lady I cut one back and potted it up, but will try the cuttings also. I felt so bad when I was cutting all these plants back, I just wanted to save all the cuttings, root them and send them out to all my friends ;o) Peanuts sound like a fun thing to grow too and what a great memory for your and Jake.

Eden, Im enjoying my own dusting of snow. LOL Your garden looks about like mine this a.m. It is a great shot, although the banana looks cold. Its supposed to be windy and cold here today too. It was 20 this a.m.
The invisible bike is a hoot.

Babs, I know what you mean about leaves. We dont have a lot of leaves here, but when I lived in town I had tons which were a nuisance since I didnt garden then. We have a lot of evergreens here. Stay warm at the CC meet.

T, you are a brave woman. Im scared just to sit on a horse. LOL Oh, no a black eye. You know how much ribbing you will get about how you got it and if DH is to blame dont you? I knew housework was hazardous.

Saucy, best wishes to Nick for a quick recovery.

Stay warm


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:24AM
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Something to share with you, this morning......I'm listening to it as I type this.......touched my heart this morning to read and listen to it and I thought perhaps some of you might enjoy it, also.

My best,

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:34AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

38F here. We got a light shower between 7 and 9 AM, followed by a pelting of snow pellets ! All of my potted plants are in (I think) including several of those that I meant to compost. :-(
I even dug up 2 of the lovely wax begonias from the wooden planter combo, and potted them up. I am thinking of doing the same with the remaining 2. (I still have room for them) :-)
Yesterday I ruthlessly cut back all the plants in the hanging-coleus pot, except the variegated colocasia, then today I dragged the pot into the vestibule!I just may let it regrow! ( Am I a nut...or what? )

I believe, well actually... I know, I was premature with my judgement on the fall colors. They are improving day by day. The Flaming Fall Revue will be the 20th. After tonight's frost/freeze they should hit their peak very soon.

I am surprised to hear of the accumulating snow to the north of us. I had heard that Denver got snow, but that is nothing unusual.

I did go to HD Tuesday. I brought home a Physocarpus 'Diablo', a 'Julia-Jane Boxwood, A Bird's Nest Spruce, a Variegated Box-leaf Euonymus, 2 small Chrysanthemums, and a Cyclamen. All totaled...$35 worth.
What a mob of plants they have there!

I also went to Goody's and bought a mole skin jacket. It was on special at half price. I found it was too snug so took it back yesterday and exchanged it. The sale was over. I payed $14.99 plus tax, now they are back to $34 !
Has any of you had an experience with a mole skin garment?

I am disapointed to learn that the Euonymus is borderline hardy here. Maybe if I plant it in a protected spot?


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:37AM
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Norma, I have been doing some searching on the euphorbia 'Burgandy wine' in regards to overwintering. I did find this info on the copperleaf plant and they are of the same family, so I'm thinking this will probably work for the euphorbia too.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 12:01PM
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MIchelle and Norma, I'm trying to overwinter some euphorbias, burgundy wine, faded jeans, flame leaf, and diamond frost. Also a couple of acalyphas, the copperleaf one and one called ceylon. I potted mine up and cut them back and so far the ones that I've had in for a couple of weeks are doing well. Some of them I just brought in over the last few days, so we'll see. I did stick the cuttings of my e. burgundy wine back in the soil when I pruned it over the summer and they took easily.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 12:48PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Potted up a dozen coleus this morning. We'll see how that goes.
There is white stuff falling from the sky, but the temperature is about 40F. The creek is high from yesterday's rains. It was ever so windy, but this is how my Fall bed looked in motion!

Glad to see that Marian has a devil (Diablo) in her garden! LOL I think you'll really like it too in 2-3 years. Mine is HUGE and gets pruned back every few years.

Reading about Babs' CC meet in the freezing elements brings back mixed feelings. I loved watching swim meets, soccer and hockey games, camp activities, skating lessons, etc with our kids, but all that chauffering was a real drag. Yet, all those hours were the times when they shared things with me at odd times...and I am thankful I was there and not some bus driver. You never know when quality time is going to happen!

Chelone, kittens are too much for me...If I see a litter of them I need them ALL, not just one! Oh heck, probably puppies too. And why do we have those 2 huge rabbits in the barn? Because once they were tiny and heart stealers too.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 2:12PM
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Oh Marie, I love the picture of you with your bunnies!

T, I warned you all that you must always keep one eye on the vacuum. They're evil creatures, lol. Hope your eye's not too bad.

It's so cold here. It's definitely a December night. I never remember having weather this bad in October. It's strange, we haven't had a hard frost yet so there's snow on roses, asters, cosmos, etc. It all looks very weird. And the m. basjoo looks so sad and droopy with it's leaves coated in snow and ice. I don't even want to look out tomorrow morning. My weather station says it's 32F right now so it will get very cold tonight. I've been in the basement working with my plants and cuttings for the last couple of hours. I counted, over 250 pots to water including the houseplants upstairs. Any bets on what the count will be come Spring, lol?


    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 7:27PM
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Happy Thursday-
After tommorow I'm on vacation,whopeee! I am getting ready to have a can of soup for dinner- how pathetic..there's never any food left in the house on Thursday.Ironically, I am cooking a chicken breast right now for my dog. She's not to particular on how it is prepared , so it's being boiled.She is blind and diabetic , so I have to make sure she eats very consistantly and she goes thru picky stages when all she will eat is chicken or ground turkey-I have to give her insulin shots and she can't have 'em on an empty stomach. So of course I panic when she won't eat her dinner and whip up the chicken , or cook some bacon etc etc. doggie is having chicken breast, I'm having cr***y canned soup, and I'm drinking a glass of extremely cheap Chilean wine -where are my priorites ???

T -thank you for convincing me that vacuuming is dangerous and a safety hazzard and I should consider never doing it again. Please let me know when you receive your first dusting injury.

Eden that kitty-bike pic is hilarious ! I like the wildlife in my garden too. I live very close to the Napa River and I especially love it when the geese fly over in formation.

Cute bunnies 'bug !

My condolences to all of you who are viewing the white suff and the temp readings in the 3-0's..I'm sure that hanging out with you all will give me more strength of character on the climate front.I am resolved not to get cocky about my weather. I grew up in LA so this Nor Cal stuff seems pretty extreme to me by comparison.In LA we had an average of 12 inches year rain, here we get 25 to 50 and up. In conclusion, I'm a wimp.

Yeona, I see you are in BC - so is that three of us in Pacific time? We get the last word !

Nite all, I'm off to eat my minestrone. jeesh.
Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 10:21PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all, well Im still not done the stupid magazine article. Arrgghh! That was a whole lot of area to cover and that bowl was bigger than I anticipated. I think there are around thirty leaves, ten plums, six apples and six clumps of grapes on the thing to paint. I should finish up the piece tomorrow and hopefully the instructions wont take more than a couple days to finish up. I consistently underestimate the amount of time these things take to do. I guess that makes me an optimist? LOL ~~ So if any of you are interested to see the finished painting why dont you fire off an email to me and Ill send you a link to a photo. I should have that by tomorrow night.

Oh nooooooo!!! Eden, V and all of you dealing with this early snow. That is just too depressing to think about. I guess that cold weather is supposed to be here tomorrow night which means Im going to have the last minute scramble to get stuff inside, yet again. Even though I promised myself that that wouldnt happen to me again this year.

Eden, 250 pots!!! I dont dare even think about counting or Ill start having panic attacks. Ill be curious how you do with the euphorbias. Ive got a nice rooted cutting of that I took from Sues plant a few weeks back and so far so good. I just hope it doesnt get too big. Id really like to find that Diamond Frost next year. ~~ That kitty photograph is a scream.

T. So sorry about the shiner. It is the truth that no one wants to believe the real explanation as to how you got a black eye. When I had mine last February I really didnt want to go out in public until it was healed. One other time I had a massive shiner with a scary amount of facial bruising and a lady at a store told me, "You really shouldnt allow him to do that to you dear!" No matter how much I protested that it was a horseback riding accident she didnt buy it. Do be careful with those vacuums! I know several of us had discipline problems with our machines last spring. ~~ So did you actually have to twitch that horse to get him shod? My guys were always good for the farrier and would stand on cross ties but my first horse was a real brat about getting onto a horse trailer.

Kathy, you are too funny that you are cooking chicken for your puppy and are having canned soup for dinner.

Marie that pic with you and the bunnies is just too cute! And your garden photo is beautiful.

Marian, wow! You really scored at HD. Im going to have to run to the other store in town and see what they have.

Babs, LOL about the moment of silence for the fuchsias. I know how you feel. It usually takes me a couple plants before I get ruthless about pruning them.

All righty, Ive got to get to bed so I can get up and do this all over again tomorrow.


PS you all should see the Charles Grimaldi, its still blooming its head off.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:48PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

"thirty leaves, ten plums, six apples and six clumps of grapes...and a partridge in a pear, sorry Deanne I couldn't resist. Can you tell it's


Kathy, I have you beat in the crappy dinner department last night. I didn't get home from the hairdresser til' 9 (6:30 appointment). This is what happens when your hairdresser works from her, dogs, friends, neighbors...jeez, it's like Grand Central station in that place. Anyhoo, we had our annual meal of Stouffers frozen dinners. I did add a salad and my wine was a decent CA Chardonnay but it wasn't a meal to remember.

Looks like we're going to get our first frost tonight. Since Deanne is coming tomorrow to take cuttings and help me save a few plants, my workout after work is going to consist of dragging pots into the garage. Some of them are too heavy to move so the sheet method may have to do. For some reason temperature dropped suddenly this morning-probably because a cold front moved in. When I got up to let the dogs out at 5 it was 42 F. Two hours later when I was getting dressed for work I looked again and it was 36 F.

Mary, was a dreaming this morning when I saw on the news this morning that Buffalo got 19" of snow? Yikes, it's a good thing we went to Marie's last month.

In light of all these unfortunate run ins with cleaning paraphenalia lately, I decided it's not worth taking a chance and will not be cleaning for Monique, Deanne and company tomorrow. Just as well, after last night being blown, Tom made plans to go out to dinner with friends tonight. I'll push them off til at least 7:30-8:00 to give me time to get all the pots taken care of. Maybe if I get up early enough tomorrow I can get blast the bathroom real you all just want to run over for a visit, eh?

My Fairweather Gardens order came yesterday. That was quick, I just ordered the stuff at the end of last week. I got some cool plants, Abelia 'Canyon Creek', Cephalotaxus 'Korean Gold' and Leucothoe 'Dodd's Variegated'. On Sunday I may take one last nursery road trip out to eastern CT then I'll be done with plant buying for the year except for bulbs when they go on sale in November.

OK, work beckons.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 8:32AM
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Morning, Just a quick post from me. It's still winter here. I placed one last plant order yesterday. We keep the season going as long as possible don't we? I haven't purchased any bulbs...yet. I want to put in more snowdrops for sure and should probably start looking to see what else is out there that I NEED. Gotta run, throwing beef stew together in the crockpot for dinner and need to get that going before Bella's arrival. Have a great Friday!


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I don't believe the talk of Buffalo's weather. Here we do have white on the bridge and a dusting on the grass, but that is all melting in the sun. Buffalo is but an hour and a half away....
The low was supposed to be 35F last night, but at 7am this morning, our thermometer said 30F. So you guys to the east, think COLD! I did cover the rosemary, but didn't bring it indoors. Every day outside means a better chance of survival in my case!
Received the Thompson & Morgan seed catalogue yesterday. I really should not study it before the bulbs are planted and the cleanup finished...which is likely to be December! I am already dreading the caging of clematis and shrubs against rabbit damage.

And so, to celebrate Friday the 13th, here's how things look today:

The veg garden and white roof:

Happy today! Off to do foot exercises...again and again.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:12AM
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Eden, how many baby squirrels did you raise? Your shot of him clearly shows the amazing capacity of their hind feet to grasp any available surface; amazing! Around here the grey ones seem to hold court, but there are some red ones, too. My dear (deceased) next door neighbor left a lovely "summer" home to a friend in his will. Sadly, the friend, a raging alcoholic, was incapable of seeing to its maintenance. It sat vacant for over 3 years. The pipes froze. Squirrels and other rodents managed to breach the walls... . I have never seen such destruction! and you certainly can't "blame" the rodents.

The story in Mum's home is not nearly so dire, but is pretty sad. Evidently, Squirrely-man accessed the house via the PVC stack that vents the bathroom! he wormed his way through the flush valve in the TOILET, chewed his way through the plastic toilet seat (which was down) and found himself utterly trapped in a fully contained, foodless environment. My brother went up to perform routine maintenance and thought the house smelled a little "dank", but chalked it up to the general mustiness of any long closed home. He found a pile of fur and perfect skeleton below a south-facing window... surrounded by maggot egg cases. Picked utterly clean. The chimney has been screened for years now, but now the two stacks are too.

I wondered if any of you were enduring the early snow I saw on the weather report... bummer. We received nearly 4" of rain the other night and yesterday was very warm (high 60s) and humid. Big rollers on the briney (broke at 6-8'), too. Today is much drier, and cooler; supposed to remain on the chilly side for the remainder of the WE. Makes me sad, I'm afraid to say... I love the colors of autum and the clear nature of the light, but there is a melancholy that creeps in with it. It wraps itself around me too stealthily. In my present circumstance I feel too easily overwhelmed, but that doesn't matter. I have to lace up my boots and keep on hikin'.

I have to get to the bank this morning to transfer CD funds to the checking account for transfer elsewhere. And then I have to make the decision whether or not to prepay the fuel oil for the winter or roll the dice and just pay as we go... .

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:13AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday brrrrr!

I echo the refrain 250 pots!!!! Talk about extreme gardening. . . . .
Eden love the Tim photos and your garden w/ the first flurries Bet Tim would be happy to "help" you w/ the care and feeding of some of those pots too, LOL. . . .

O, Kathy congratulations I am now counting the days til the following Friday for me and then home vacation!! Your priorities are much the same as any of us who love our animals, LOL. . . .

T ouch. . . .

Deanne good luck w/ finishing your painting project. Its tough sometimes to really "focus" isnt it?

Chelone wow that was one determined suicidal squirrel! Thru the toilet pipe? wow. . . . yuck on such debris...

I didnt get a chance to upload my all "summer walk" photos of 3 days ago, but definitely wanted to share for you "tropical" addicts look at this Brug at the Smithsonian Castle Garden:

Bet it's not looking that good today after temps of 32 last nite...

Happy Friday, all.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:39AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning, so Mary, I know you aren't in Buffalo but how much snow do you have on the ground???

Sue, nope, no bird in this one! lOL Wait until you see it though, You'll want one for your very own. ~~ RE house, do NOT spend any time cleaning. I won't feel at home if you do and you won't be any use to us tomorrow with major injuries.

Cindy that brug is amazing.

I think I've got about a hundred things to drag into the garage tonight and I'm getting panic stricken thinking about it.

My bulb order came last week and I haven't even had time to open the box yet to see what I ordered. It was so long ago I don't really remember. NO wonder I've never been god about getting bulbs in. There is just too much to do in the fall.

OK off to the paints.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:52AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Our first fall frost this morning. The tops of metalic objects are white. The temp is 30F.

Tim came yesterday eve. His life has become more complicated, but hopefully it will eventually be for the good. He is between jobs. The computer job with Ark.State came to an abrupt halt. He hated that job! He is now at the home of the terminally ill friend. They requested his help with completing the construction of a large house, and also want him to build 2 cabins to go with the ones they already have. The friend's condition has accelerated, and he has hospice care, but is still trying to help with the house building. Tim thinks he has only 3-4 more weeks at the best. His wife is valantly attempting to be stoic, but broke down while she and Tim were at HD the other day. So sad.

T, your black eye would be much more impressive than my greenish forehead. :-) I tried to do a 'number' on another part of my head last night, when Tim was here. We were 'surfing' the refrigerator and I made the mistake of raising up while my head was still under the freezer door! Bam! It's not even sore today. I enjoyed your post. Sounds like the 'old you'. ;-)

Marie, your bed looks good in motion, and the bunnies with owner is great. I don't have much left outside to look bedraggled like your latest garden pic. I do dislike the odor of frozen tender vegetation.

Woody, those are pretty ears of corn. I hope they dry okay.
Many moons ago I grew them. Can't now...too many varmints.

Eden, your Tim squirrel is cute. Our wood's squirrels have never came to our house, and not even very far into our yard. Hilarious cat pic. I added it to the ones I have in my "Critter" folder. :-)

BTW, I 'did' pot up the other 2 wax begonias, and they have joined the indoor plants, along with the copper pot of Sedonia and companions, that I 'was' going to leave out!
I am sure Eden has me bested in the indoor pot numbers. I haven't counted mine, but am sure it is not that many.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:59AM
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De car she no work!

No click, no spark, nothin'.

Just called helpmeet to get him home by noontime. I HAVE to get to the bank before 2PM or the CD rolls automatically for another 6 mos.. My blood pressure is rising steadily. If there was a branch just north of us I could simply walk, but they closed that one as a "cost savings measure". sigh.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 10:02AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh no! So sorry Chelone! It is a pain to be a single car family...I know!

Hard to guess on the fuel payments. Tempting to do the pay as you go route though...although I guess you do need to keep the temperatures up for your Mom.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 10:39AM
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Good morning! I'm skipping my morning walk (shouldn't), DH is home on a vacation day but will spend the day working on his van instead of vacationing, I'm heading out to babysit the twins for the day but wanted to share a couple of am resizing, editing and uploading instead of walking. Hey---any excuse to skip exercise.....'er rather "you guys are so important that I wanted to share some photos with you". :) Okay, so yes, I wanted to share some photos (finally) but I also would rather drink coffee in my jammies instead of go out and walk.

Here is the 12 yards of mulch that I've been working with (I put the wheelbarrow in the photo for a size comparison...this is the wheelbarrow with 2 flat tires--growl).

Here are a couple pics of the twins...this was taken last week when I babysat them. They were 8.5 weeks old when these were taken. Aren't they little chunky boys?!

I tease and call them 'chrome domes' since they lost most of their hair.....they have a rim of hair around their heads, ear height. Kind of like Friar Tuck. ;o) I just tease and say "this is what they are going to look like when they are 80 and mostly bald........

and the damage caused by the malicious vacuum and sewing table:

Heard on the news about Buffalo's 24" of snow and the very cold temps in Michigan, New York and surrounding areas. Hope everyone is keeping warm.....


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 10:45AM
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Oh, OUCH! that eye must be sore, T.! And Marian's noggin... and Jake's arm. When I broke my wrist I remember telling the ER Dr. that I had a very strong and very quick left fist, too. He was great, really gentle, but the break was clean and the bones never came out of alignment. But is hurt like hell, nonetheless (enough that I thought I was going to puke in the ER and again in X-ray).

The car is just one of those stupid inconveniences that inevitably arise when you're facing a deadline. Small stuff in the big picture, but it's the little stuff that is so frustrating when so much of the activity in your daily life seems so defined, required, and you're feeling as though you're an unwilling passenger on the "bus of life". Know what I mean?

Anyway, I've joined 7 drapery panels (2/2/and 3 for 3 windows), pressed the seams open and have enjoyed the music of Georg Telemann (JS Bach's best friend). And am reminded of how much I really love my fully automated Juki machine. Vera (kitty) has "helped", Rex is getting caught up on some "shut eye", the helpmeet will be home for lunch, and I've successfully "talked myself down". I'll deal with the "ride" after I deal with the CD. ;)

That's a serious mulch pile. Having spent many an hour shovelling, yanking roots, sifting rocks over the past 16 years I well know how much work is involved. Little bit by little bit... (OK, someone post the lyrics to "High Hopes", OK?) "everyone knows an ant can't, move ona Sue's banana plants"... (yeah, I KNOW!)

Back to the "lab.". (don't throw any more of the frostbitten vegetables, OK?!)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 11:18AM
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Hi everyone

A quick snow update from Rochester - we only had a sprinkling, though the water in the bird bath was frozen solid this morning. Less than an hour away there was 18 inches of the nasty stuff - OMG, we were so close! I don't have winter coats out yet, let alone emergency supplies. I'll put that on my 'to do' list for the weekend. Sue - you're right, we'd never have made to to Marie's if we were leaving today as much of the Thruway is closed. I'm also mighty glad David and I are not camping this weekend either.

By the way, I don't know if I mentioned that DH was on a plane leving for business the day we left for Cub Scout camp. He told me he experienced a huge surge of guilt that he was not the one taking David, but also a huge wave of relief that he didn't have to be there LOL! As you might guess DH hates camping!

I'm hopelessly behind on the Idylls but I'll look forward to catching up at the weekend. Despite having Monday off, this turned into a killer week. A lot was accomplished at work which is good, and made up for the lack of attention to domestic chores at home. Annie had two swim meets which went well, but it takes a huge chunk out of our evening time.

I caught glimpses of pet squirrel and bunnies, corn, frosty gardens, cute babies and a very green eye! I'll enjoy them alll later. For now I need to finish some emails for work and I'm free for the weekend!!


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 2:16PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

bug I loved the picture of your fall bed in motion wonderful colors there! (The picture with the bunnies was nice/cute too)

Michelle the corn is a variety called Cutie Pops perfect name for a plant for a cute moppets garden Ive not grown it before so this is a bit of an experiment. There was a wide range of color the ones I like best had dark purple husks and the cob under the kernels is dark purple too! (Theyre the ones where the husks look almost black in the picture.) Eden I dont think all small ornamental corn is popping corn. I think a lot of them have popcorn in their breeding though, so it wouldnt hurt to try popping it if you have any. I gather it has to be quite dry before it pops properly. I have had Strawberry Popcorn, which you can pop by putting the cobs into the microwave oven (cant remember for how long) Thats fun to do so will try that approach on these ones when theyre dry enough.

Great squirrel pictures Eden and great suicidal squirrel story Chelone!

Deanne add me to the list of people whod like to see the finished picture for the article Im amazed that you can paint something like that so fast!

T ouch! That eye Isnt it funny that you can help the farrier shoe a reluctant horse without much problem, but be viciously attacked by domestic furniture and appliances?! The horse tales make me nostalgic. Nutmeg was a pussy-cat about all that sort of stuff (A British ex-jockey who part-boarded her to teach his horse-fearing wife to ride called her Big Soft) Deanne- Nutmeg was easy to load on a trailer but a friends horse wouldnt load unless there was another horse on. So, when she needed to trailer Oscar anywhere, wed load Nutmeg, load Oscar, then unload Nutmeg! Worked every time

Thats a mountain of mulch there T! Hows your back holding up? Those are definitely cute, elderly babies! Makes you wonder what a comparison of baby photos of ones grandparents would reveal about ones own elderly future! Could be scary

Chilly here today but none of the dreaded white stuff (other than frost on the roofs this morning) Im sure glad it avoided us! But the jet stream weather map has the oddest circulation pattern Ive ever seen!

The Bailey (possible new dog) situation is still up in the air but she was here yesterday and so was Liam, a Border Collie we regularly provide daycare for. The two dogs had a wonderful time, chasing each other around the backyard (while Misty watched from the top of the back porch stairs and joined in the chase occasionally) The back lawn may never be the same again! And the paths have many skid marks and are no longer level! (All the dogs that visit here largely stay on the paths because we put the paths where we knew the dogs would want to run anyway) The two dogs are the same height and length but Bailey had a definite weight advantage! She clearly won the top dog title:

Queen Bailey; Prince Liam

On Tuesday, I played around with ideas for what a new shed might look like. Randy is still waffling about what to do/whether to tear down and start over or not. Im waiting to hear back from a couple of people to get quotes on what it would cost to build a cedar one that would look more or less like the drawing below. Id use cedar shingles, stained a medium charcoal gray, with lighter gray trim and a darker gray door. Wed probably not build it until next spring too late to do it now. But we might do the demolition now to encourage the skunks under the current shed to move out!

Possible new shed?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 4:03PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Ignore the jet stream link - it has now straightened itself out into something that looks like its more normal winter pattern (big bulge down from Hudson's Bay...) Most of today, it looked like a giant hurricane eye over much of northern Ontario. I'd never seen anything that looked like that!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 5:01PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Well, as all my co-workers said to me as they were leaving tonight, "Happy frost." It appears inevitable tonight and if not tonight, tomorrow or Sunday night. Say goodbye to the season. The temp right now is 40 F and falling. I've taken all my coleus cuttings and tossed as much as I could move into the garage. Deanne, I just covered the pot with the Cotinus with a blanket and snapped off the leader in the process. No worries though, I made a clean cut and put it in water. Your Acalphas should be OK-one is in the garage and the other is up against the house.

T, that is one heck of a shiner! Geez! We should make you a poster child for a "no vacumming" initiative. See if you can walk into a wall while dusting and we'll use that too. A clean house? Who needs it?

Woody, the new roof shingles on our shed have made a world of difference. Paint should really spruce it up. Of course I don't have a family of skunks underneath :(. One precaution we did take when the shed was moved a few years ago was to skirt it with chicken wire that extends below grade. If we did decide to replace it it at this point it would have to built from scratch because there is just no way to get a pre-fab building into our backyard anymore. Your day care dogs look to be enjoying themeselves. You'd better watch out or news of your doggie day care will get out and you may end up with a line of people at your

Tom caught my cold and ended up cancelling our dinner plans with friends tonight. Of course the cold didn't stop him from taking the day off for a golf outing. I was relieved actually. It's been a long week and I'm tired. Imagine how much more tired I'd be if I'd cleaned for Deanne and Monique tomorrow? Not to mention battered and bruised.

So, on that note. Nite all...


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:25PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Well, its official, Ive decided that Im totally, completely and utterly out of my mind. Doug helped me bring the containers in the garage and the truth is I have an oversized, double garage filled up, both bays, with GIGANTIC, HUGE, GINORMOUS, plants. I wish you all could see it. In a strange kind of way it really is pretty funny. The fuchsias are unbelievable. I knew they were big but when you put them indoors they are unreal. So I need to break out my pruners and really start hacking this stuff down. The truth be told I really, really need to let some of this stuff die! Yes, die! That way Ill have room for all those cuttings Im going to come home with tomorrow. He, he, he.

T, that shiner is unbelievable! Hope that heals up soon. ~~ The babies are just darling! Thanks for the photos.

Woody, love the doggie story! How fun to see them playing like that. Please email me and Ill send a link to the photo of the new painting. Yes, its done! Woohoo!

Mary, glad to hear you didnt get buried with snow.

Marian, I cant believe it was colder there than here last night. Too funny that you are bringing in even more plants than you were planning on. Te he! We are all hopeless you know!

Ok Ive got to get some sleep so we can get an early start to CT in the morning.

Nitey nite,

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 10:04PM
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Hello everyone- it's my favorite type of Friday-the one that begins vacation ! I just hope I get everything on my to-do list done . I still will have two more weeks of vaca left this year - Guess I'll take one in Nov and one in Dec.

T that shiner looks mighty painful ! But the shed looks good ! A nice climbing rose would set it off just fine -New Dawn maybe or Aloha or Awakening...thinkin' pink or white with the grey shingles.

Deanne , I have not purchased any bulbs yet this year, and I bet I won't get anything but dutch iris when I get around to it. I had grandiose ideas of a dramatic tulip display , but think that will have to be a '07-'08 thing front yard project is not far enough along for bulb planting. Once the rains come planting is a thing of the past-hard to dig holes in mud !

OK Chelone :
When trouble's found
and your feet's to the ground
theres alot to be learned
so look around..

Once there was a little old ant
Tried to move a rubber tree plant
Everyone knows an ant can't
Move a rbber tree plant

But he had hiiiiigh hopes
He had hiiiigh hopes
He had high apple pie in the
Skyyyyy hopes
So anytime your feelin' low
Stead of lettin go
Just remember that ant....
Oops there goes another rubber tree plant !

Movie was "A Hole in The Head"-Frank Sinatra , Doris Day ??
and a kid with red hair .

I must say Chelone, I so admire those who are patient enough to sew stuff ! I sewed alot when my daughter was little , but I can't even bear to do a hem anymore. You have the right idea with a little soothing Teleman ..

There is absolutely no food in this house, my grocery list for tommorow is about a mile long, the A's are going down in flames, and it's getting dark earlier every day.this is the whiney paragraph !

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 10:17PM
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We dined out tonight compliments of one of the guys that hunt on our land. Now that I am back home Im not very energetic. I should vacuum, but I think Ill pass. LOL

I may not have 250, but I am right at 100 and thats not counting the pelargoniums and fuchsias that I plant to let go dormant or the coleus cuttings that are sitting in water.

Speaking of bulbs, I did get about a 100 planted. Most were tulips with a few different alliums thrown in.
Last night I picked up a few more alliums.

Cindy, thats one impressive brug.

T, that sure is a colorful eye. I hope it heals up quick. The babies are so adorable, I would love to hold them. I got a kick out the first picture they sure dont look happy about the photo shoot. That is a mega mulch pile. I could use it. I plan to mulch some this fall, but it remains to be seen if it gets done. Thanks for the sweet link. Pretty nostalgic huh?

Marian, how nice that Tim can help out his friend and spend some time with him. If he is in the computer field, a new job shouldnt be too hard to find.

bug, nice to "see" you again.

Have fun Deanne and Sue.

Good night

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 10:59PM
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Good morning Peeps. I didn't read yesterday as a sudden bout of "something ?" hit me about noon yesterday and I was out of it the rest of the day. I was in the middle of putting a shelving unit together for plants. Anyway decided to read this morning with my coffee as Bob is working this morning. I haven't decided if I feel totally ok or not yet. I'm hoping it was just a short lived thing. We are supposed to go to Jakes birthday party later today.

After moving a lot of plants in Wed nite the rest came through only looking slightly worse for the cold. I don't know how though as it was quite cold. I think there may have been enough of a breeze to help out. I think I will put everthing back out today and hope things stay above freezeing for another week or so.

T, thanks for photos of the babies. Are they identical? In the first photo they do look it. How do you manage two by yourself?
We had a couple of horses that needed twitching for shoeing or vet care. I hated that part. I sure do miss having horses though.
I can close my eyes and imagine the smell of the hay filled barn and the way a horse smells when you are brushing it. The wonder of riding on a crisp fall day or a fresh spring one.
Woody sounds like Nutmeg was a pretty special horse.

There was more To say, but think I will come back to it later. Need to get moving on a few things. Have a good day everyone. Norma

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 8:13AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good morning because we have to hit the road for CT within minutes.

Norma, I so agree with you. I really miss having a horse. The smells of the barn and that incredible bond of trust you have with a good horse when riding. It is an amazing relationship. I never forgot that I was on their backs enjoying the ride because they let me be there.

Michelle and Eden, I have 130 pots in the house right now and like Michelle, that does NOT include any of the billions (ok a slight exaggeration here) of cuttings I have and am going to take today and next week when I cut back all the plants in the garage or all the pots that I'm going to store dormant in the basement. I must be a bit crazed.

Must run

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 8:25AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Allrighty then, the frost bullet has been sucessfully dodged for one more night. It only got down to 34 F here. By the looks of the extended weather, if we can squeek through tonight and tomorrow night then we buy ourselves another week. I'm not far off when I say we can usually garden to November here.

You people with the hundreds of pots in the house are out of Just about everything that comes in here for the winter will be dormant. I get excited when I find out a tender plant can be stored dormant. Maybe Deanne will take my Red Abyssinian banana home? Even if I wanted to save that, it won't fit in the house. I bought it from Brent & Becky's in the spring as a 4" potted plant for $10. It's now taller than me. Stuff like that I figure I'll just rebuy next year.

OK, off to get some things done around here before Deanne arrives. I'm hoping the temps get high enough so we can sit outside on the patio for lunch (low 60s predicted).

Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 8:57AM
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Good Morning, Still waiting for morning coffee here. We ran out and Brad had to go out for some. Marian, Deanne and Michelle, it's nice to know I have the company of other crazy plant people here to keep me company trying to keep all of these plants going over winter. Sue, I tried to be ruthless and threw out all of the common stuff I could get again easily next. I let my red abyssianian go too. I think the coffee's here so must run. You guys have fun at Sue's today.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 9:52AM
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Realize I haven't been here since Monday so probably missed a lot of good stories, but from the pic of the vacumn-eye also know I missed my chance to say: OUCH!! Hope all injured are feeling better, soon.

CONGRATS Sue!! Your pic thread is amazing and a testament to what can be done when you think about what your doing. LOL

Need to share this because the Idylls are increasingly far-reaching:

Was in a "warm pocket" of Northern MA visiting a client who also gardens. She as lamenting that she could never get her gardens to do well in Fall until she started looking at a thread on the Web. It turns out she's a lurker (Hi, Joy!!) and was going on and on about this wonderful group of gardeners who not only share their gardening stuff but also their real-life stuff.

She said that the group has made her see that even the very vest gardeners make foibles and come out of it smiling.

Then something clicked. She looked at me, looked at my "casual" card, and screamed: You're Martie!!!! Martie from CT!!!! Wasn't sure whether to laugh or run, but stuck around and we talked plants for an hour.

The Point?: We have an influence and again, I'm honored to be a part of this group.

My gardens are completely disassembled and nurseryed plants are relegated to a small area for the winter. Tried to start placing and it just wasn't "there." Think my design brain is fried at this point. A new outlook in Spring, knowing what will be new coming in based on catalog shopping, will be a huge help.

Containers are gonzo excepting one with Woody's roses involved. Those babies are still blooming -- actually better now than earlier in the season -- and I can't bear to yank them, yet. LOL with Deanne about full garages. My newly established ghetto has overflowed into the basement and the timers will be set starting next week.

Enough ramble for now. Getting ready for Ky's B-Day dinner tonight and need to get a final head count and make some semblance of a cake. (Have I mentioned that I have an aversion to measuring so my baking leaves a lot to be desired?????:-)

See you all later.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 10:53AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden is the winner! I counted all of the pots of plants that are indoors. There are 176 total...until I pot up the cuttings from 10 containers. :-) There are 11 pots and one cutting's container in the spare bedroom. 25 pots im my bedroom (the african violets have company), 10 pots in the vestibule, 14 pots and 5 cutting's containers in the diningroom, only one african violet in water in the kitchen, and 93 pots and 10 cutting's containers in the plant room.

The frost yesterday morning did no damage to the few tender things in our yard. This morning was a few degrees warmer, but there was frost on my car's windows when we drove out to the local store for breakfast.

Eden, I sure do get tired of tending all these plants. Before winter is over, and it is still too iffy to put them back out, I get to wondering "Why,why, do I do this?"

I am so glad that that dreadful storm in New York missed Mary's place. Mary, I didn't tell you how glad I am that you had another woman to share the room with at the camp.It sounds like it ended up being a good experience. I still admire you for going through with it.

T, you certainly beat me on the facial color. Mine is quite greenish-yellow on the left forehead. Looks jaundiced!
I need to start wearing a helmet. Last night I reared up under the corner of the kitchen counter, when I was goofing off with Trubby. No harm done to me or the counter. :-)

Our front lawn is covered with Honey locust pods, and more still on the tree. Sure wish I had known it would do that...I would have been more choosey what I planted there.
It will have to stay, because it's shade is badly needed. The one in the side yard doesn't have pods.

Whoopee! The Phal from Ei is putting up a 3rd flower stalk! And I am pretty sure the Slipper Orchid is putting on 3! Another Phal is adding a new one, also. I should be assured of lots of lovely orchids all winter.

Our forecast is improving for the next while...rain and warmer temps.But I'm not sorry that I have brought all the tender stuff in. Now I need to set out all the potted hardy plants...but where oh where will I put them!!!??? and am I up to digging the holes? I think I will put the ninebark where the old compost pile was. It was sunny enough to grow winter squash, so the shrub should do well there, and the soil should be mellow and fertile.

I am thinking there will be a fun time at Sue's today. Report all the happenings to us.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 11:02AM
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Its only 41 but sunny. I have the vegetable garden almost cleaned. I plan to dig up cannas today and go around to the beds and cut back anything that died from the frost. 20 degreees the other day and its amazing how many things still look pretty good. All the annuals are gone though.
I woke up around 7 this a.m. and decided to do at least a little housecleaning.

Marian, thats exciting about the orchids. I occassionally look at them and force myself not to buy them.
Norma, I hope you are feeling well enough for the birthday party. Happy birthday to Jake!

Martie, how interesting that you met one of the "lurkers"

I really need to head back out. You should see my enormous compost pile.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 1:06PM
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Marian, let's see who has the most pots at the end of winter. My bet's on you. You're a better caretaker than I

Martie, so you met a lurker. I don't really like to think about them. It kinda freaks me out to know how many people are reading about us in secret, lol. So hi Joy, come on in and join us! Happy Birthday to Ky! I think he's about the same age as my son David who's 20?

Michelle, I'm jealous of all you got accomplished today. Brad had the day off and we took Bella and picked up some apples at the orchard, didn't pick our own this time though. Then we went to Toys R Us and let her pick out a few new toys. Grandchildren are so much fun to spoil aren't they?

Norma, hope you're feeling better and had fun at Jake's birthday. Happy Birthday to him too! How old is he now? A teenager yet?

T, those are sure some cute little old men you have there. They just couldn't be sweeter. Like Michelle, I wish I could give them a snuggle. I think the vacuum got the best of you by tag teaming with the table.

Chelone, I just raised the one baby squirrel. He was enough. Some neighbor kids brought him to me in late Sept 2003 and we had him inside until late April 2004. He lived in a ferret cage and slept in a hammock. It was interesting and fun raising him but I wouldn't want to do it again. It was also lots of work.

Time for wine night so have a good evening everybody. Can't wait to hear about all the fun that was had at the get together today. My bet's on Deanne for most containers after her visit to Sue's for cuttings today. Wonder if she came home with the red abyssinian?


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 8:20PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Couldn't help but think about the visit at Sue's this afternoon! I still have a message on my chalkboard in the kitchen that says Thanks from when the gang visited here. Seems like bad luck to erase it!

This morning we went to look at laminate flooring for the basement room...remember the mildew saga? Well DH and I are having a tug-o-war about fixing it up. Of course we need to! However, he thinks we don't need to use that room at all and should leave it alone. NOOOOOOOOOO! Bit by bit it must be done IMO. Anyway we both agreed on one we like, but not on when/if to get it done.

Here is how it looks without the smelly carpet, the mildewed couch, closet doors removed, books and clothing gone.

And here is the area DH needs to add insulation to and replace the boards for the wainscotting.

DH washed the ceiling and walls with bleach, I disinfected all the wood. The fans and dehumidifier have been going since August.

We had rain, snow, sun and rainbows today. What a mix!


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 8:57PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden, just think of us as well-readed authors, and the internet is the library. Too bad we can't get royalities for each person that reads us!

Marie, I certainly do not envy you your decision and your job! It would surely be beyond me to tackle such. I did manage to dig a sizable hole and planted the "Devil"! The soil was as dry as a bone, even though it was in my remains of my old compost pile. I do hope the weather forecast is correct, and we get heavy rains Sunday night, Monday, and Monday night.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 9:14PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

No Eden, she didn't take the banana but between my house and Monique's, she left with a milk crate full of bottles that were filled with cuttings of various plants-coleus, fuchsia, salvia, acalpha...just about every unusual tender and annual plant we had Someone is out of!

Somewhere between the garden touring, cutting party and fuchsia wintering instructions we managed to whoof down quite a bit of good food. In fact, I'm still stuffed. Monique and Les served us mulled cider, homemade clam chowder, and stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer/lite lunch. A few hours later at my house we had grilled salmon, sauteed vegetables and one of Deanne's incredible salads that include everything but the kitchen sink. For dessert, Monique baked an apple cake and served it with warm caramel pecan sauce and vanilla ice cream. Not too shabby, huh? Deanne took a few pictures. Hopefully she'll share a couple of them.

Martie, how cool that you met one of our lurkers. It really is a small world, I guess. Maybe she'll Joyn us. C'mon out Joy!

Anyway, it turned out to be a fabulous day all around. Good friends, great food, perfect fall weather and lots of garden chat. As much as I'm a bit sad to see the garden going by I'm anxious to get started on cleanup and redesign for next year. Now is the best time to either make the changes or make notes for spring while the stuff that bothers you is fresh in your mind.

Right now nothing is fresh in my mind so I guess I'll go to bed. "See" you all in the AM.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 10:00PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all, Well, what a fabu-fabu day it was today. The fall foliage was just beautiful for the ride down with a perfect blue sky. Marvelous! Then we went to pick up Sue, drove down to Monique and Les for a light lunch that Sue has already described to you. Everything was absolutely delicious as always. Les and Monique are amazing cooks! As impressive as their garden is in summer it is even more impressive this time of the year. Even Doug, my non-gardening husband told me that he enjoyed touring their gardens today. Then we did a bit of fuchsia pruning, and taking cuttings of tender and unusual things I dont have then it was time to head to Sue and Toms for round two. Sues gardens are still amazing and impressive and her containers are incredible. I wish you could have seen that variegated abutilon. She has it in the garage and it is too tall to fit under the doors. It was also covered with flowers too. Then time to take yet more cuttings. Yea!!!! Lots and lots of new plant babies to play with over the winter. Sue has the most impressive collection of unusual tender plants Ive ever seen and now I have cuttings of them. How cool is that? After the cuttings it was time to eat again of course! LOL ~~ Tom fixed us some fantastic wild caught grilled salmon and Sue whipped up a veggie stir fry that was perfect. No doubt about it, we do eat really well. Then of course the apple cake with the pecan sauce and ice cream was out of this world.

Ok, Im beat, time to get some sleep, nite all,

    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 11:00PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Growing Old With Dogs

When I am old...
I will wear soft gray sweatshirts...
and a bandana over my silver hair.....
and I will spend my social security checks on wine
and my dogs.
I will sit in my house on my well-worn chair and listen
to my dogs' breathing.
I will sneak out in the middle of a warm summer night
and take my dogs for a run, if my old bones will allow...
When people come to call,
I will smile and nod as I show them my dogs...
and talk of them and about them...
...the ones so beloved of the past
and the ones so beloved of today....

I will still work hard cleaning after them, mopping
and feeding them and whispering their names in a
soft loving way.

I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat, like a
jewel and I will be an embarrassment to all...
especially my family...
who have not yet found the peace
in being free to have dogs as your best friends....

These friends who always wait, at any hour, for your footfall...
and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep, to
greet you as if you are a God.
With warm eyes full of adoring love and hope that you
will always stay,
I'll hug their big strong necks...
I'll kiss their dear sweet heads...
and whisper in their very special company....

I look in the Mirror...
and see I am getting old....
this is the kind of person I am...
and have always been.
Loving dogs is easy,
they are part of me.
Please accept me for who I am.
My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives...
they love my presence in their lives......
When I am old this will be important to me...
you will understand when you are old....

Author Unknown

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 3:59PM
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