Idyll # 459 Fall Clean Up Time!

saucydog(z5MA)October 17, 2009

I'm going to be bold and declare it Fall clean up time! Except for the West Coasters who can feel free to plant for the cool season :)

I'm working on the last mow of the season and making some hot compost. Time to think about decorations for the season.

What are you up to in the garden?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well, in the garden today we brought in the bird bath. It was full of ice. :(

In the barn, this is how things looked:

I think you get the picture!

Here's the front porch:

And this is the view from inside the lower barn.

I hope to start cutting back things when the temperatures rise a bit.

Dessert is made and folks arrive in a half hour. See you later gators!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 6:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Seems to be a plethora of Julie Jobs in process today..mine involved the garage which seems to sprout crapola the moment ones back is turned. The ground is still pretty saturated from last weeks rainstorms , but I did some digging around anyway, planting a few of my new acquisitions and moving some Quinalt strawberries and Dittany of Crete to new homes. Cosmos and Tithonias have been pulled up (befitting Saucys Idyll tydall) Zinnias will be the next to go. Speaking of which, I think others besides myself planted Green Envy this year did they do for you ? I was solidly unimpressed. Liked the color but the flowers were sure scrawny and infrequent. Im thinking too of growing some lettuce this winter, I know I have seed somewhere, and it would give me something to look at after everything else bites the dust.

References to the Fertile Crescent are confounding me- where in fact is this spot ? Bordered by Sanitary Ridge perhaps ? Please advise- I always need my bearings when virtually touring The Compound. Funny about the packrat thing-one would think that the insistence on keeping the stuff would assign a value to it that would favor the careful sorting and deliberation before it hits the recycle pile.

Âbug, perhaps you need a twin bed wedged into the boudoir for the felines sole use ! Not that they would use it mind you, since they much prefer laying on or near the humans of the house. That is a handsome woodpile you have there Âperhaps Chelone will post pics of hers and we can compare.

Hi Norma ! A barn dance sounds fun- maybe the dance-action will keep the cold at bay ?

Time turn on the slimy Yankees and cook up some grubÂ

More driftwood.. From Mendocino From Mendocino From Mendocino

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 7:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Re Phoebe:
The vet could feel a stretched outer ligament in Phoebe's back right leg, at the knee. This will cause her some discomfort, but she suggests not treating her for pain so that she is aware of things and does not push herself too much. The vet feels that likely the problem will heal itself by mid November if only we can keep her calm. We made an appointment for Nov 15th and will try to keep things low key when possible. Between squirrels and turkeys and wood delivery and lots of company, this is no easy task.

Kathy, those are some mighty obscene pink flowers there...LOL. I enjoy the blue bottle birds and driftwood shots very much!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 11:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm pleased to say that Kenzie spent a little over 24 hours with us. In her words "Gramma and I had a sleep over" That meant her I and picked a room upstairs and slept together. We had lots of fun, including spending time in her garden. Her playhouse is no longer that, she wants to call it her garden shed. We played Barbies, made cookies, went to Mickey D's, read and went for several "adventures" which were walks through the groves which she likes to call "the forest" She came with just her dad and I find out when I pick her up that she got hurt at her other grandparents acreage and ended up with a broken foot. So she sported a pint-sized boot. I feel there is some nasty business brewing. Which saddens me greatly.

I stopped at a nursery when I took her back. I ended up with 2 epimediums and at 'Autumn Brilliance' serviceberry deeply discounted. The sun came out so I quickly made for home. I planted the three and tried to do some cleanup along the edges as its really muddy. I emptied pots and other misc cleanup.

My Juliejob was to vacuum upstairs and cleanup the toy room. I may need to clean out my jewelry case as Kenzie was digging through it looking for treasures. She went home with a "magic seashell" which was an old gold seashell scarf clip from the 80's on a cheap chain. Funny what kids think is treasure. She also found an old watch of DD's that had a flip top with Belle from Beauty and the Beast. It was digital and no longer works. She kept flipping it up and saying that she was talking to her "boss at the firehouse" It sometimes pays not to get rid of too much stuff.

Kathy, love those blue birds. Not sure on the zinnias, I had plenty of flowers, but I planted both 'Envy' and 'Benary's Lime' and don't know which was which. I also had quite a few of the "Queen Lime Red" seeds that came up plain lime green. I believe there is one named 'Lime Tequila' also that I might have to try next year as I use them quite a lot in arrangements.

'bug, I like the barn door looking out picture. I've done some like that from my shed.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 11:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Michelle, I grew Benarys Purple and Benarys Orange ..they were top notch , great for cutting and no mildew till this month;I can live with that. I will look for the Lime next spring.
So sorry to hear of the bad stuff in Kenzies world. Stability is so hard to grasp these days.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 12:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You're slippin' Michelle. I thought you'd at least host Kenzie in an "under the dining room table tent". ;) You must have had a blast with her, and I'm sure it did the two of you a world of good. :) Bet she's changed already from the last time you were with her. I chuckled at rooting through you jewellery box and all its treasures. How did she break her foot? what color is the boot (girlie pink?).

Overcast this morning but no rain so far. Forecast seems to indicate a slow deterioration over the course of the day and crummy tonight/tomorrow. I'm glad I dispensed with the lawn mowing yesterday. I watched the helpmeet studiously ignore the pile Dumb laid this morning; he was plenty surprised when I asked him to remove it to the woods, lol. It's nice to have that behind me. Now it's on to cutting down perennial foliage that's getting rattier with every chilly night.

Saucy, I'm with you on the seasonal decorations, though I don't do much with a "fall/harvest theme". I'm big on the Christmas/Solstice theme, though. Anyone interested in getting together to do some of those when the time draws nearer? I could host the event in the Salon if you think it might be fun... . Your comment also reminds me to begin adding to my simulated fruit and vegetable collection... .

'bug, good news on Feebles. I hope. One of the hallmarks of the torn ACL is that they limp and then seem to get better, but the limp/favoring always returns. How much wood did you guys receive. By my guess we have in the neighborhood of 5 cord slit and stacked in various locations around the Compound. And there is more to be split on the ground. Your barn is incredibly neat and tidy. I'm envious. ;)

Blue birds on driftwood is fabulous! Love it. Generally speaking I tend to prefer more classically inspired garden art, but I really like that piece a lot. The Fertile Cresent is the area between the bahn and road, Kathy. There is wide path that goes around the bahn and a small area of lawn in a cresent shape that border the planting that I hope will someday provide a measure of "cover" from passing traffic. I added the name to provide some distinction from other areas of the Compound. I did take some pictures yesterday but haven't downloaded anything in so long I'm not sure I quite remember how to get it accomplished.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 8:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Michelle, what a super Grandma you are! You offer Kenzie so much! It is so painful to watch our kids struggle. I hope you can share with your daughter and SIL as they work through their difficulties. It is easy to feel helpless at such times... Hugs to you!

" 2 epimediums and an 'Autumn Brilliance' serviceberry " Those are exactly the therapy items I would choose! :) :)
I don't think I will try the green zinnias again. They were small, very oddly coloured. The pinks were superior.

The refrigerator is filled with apple wine, other drinks and lots of leftover desserts from last night. It will be an effort to eat sensibly today!

I hope to attack the cutting back of the blue & yellow garden today. It is way too cold so far to begin though.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 9:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yes!!! The sun is up and there is not a cloud in the sky!!
There is a widespread frost, and a thin skim of ice on the water containers. I think the most of what remains on the deck was spared. The deer will have to brooze elsewhere for their treats. :-)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 9:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cornfield Park is alive and well and so are the people who live here. It's been a wild ride, one that has brought peace and a sense of contentment that hasn't been felt for a long time.

The business is closed, lots of options are available to Rich, and I survived a third round of layoffs.

We've managed to get a another look from the Governor about closing my brother's hospital. "Recovery" and facilitation of that are great, but I think her people might now be seeing that not everyone has that ability given the gravity of their illnesses. If nothing else, public awareness has certainly been raised!

Rich and I are doing really well, despite all odds.

Kyle is working hard to be able to afford Forestry classes at UConn in Fall '10, and he and Lauren, with whom he's been best friends since the first week of college, are finally officially "dating". Could someone please tell me what that means these days?

All of a sudden Photobucket isn't working for me, so you'll have to take it on faith that the zinnias were fabulous, especially the cactus ones. Cut and Come Again, State Fair, some selfsowns that didn't come true but were delightful, anyway, and little red ones that I'm saving seed for were fruitful and landed on lots of dining room tables.

Also, our newest breathing addition to The Park, Boo II, is spoiled rotten more by Rich than me (ET TU!!!!) and just plain fits in. His blue eyes haven't fixed, yet, and are sometimes grey or green or blue or a mixture but never brown.

A special note for Marie: It makes my heart so happy to see the smiles of your family. Ivy is a gem!!

And Michelle: Kenzie will need a rock, and I'm really glad she has you.

Kathy -- Never in a million years did I think we'd be doing tandem cheers during the ACLS. You were in New England long enough to understand the passions :-)

Chelone -- Regular Boo beatings occur and he knows not to climb on any table, to not bite, not to spill his water and think it's fun, not to climb into the refridgerator, and will sit still to have his "long hair" brushed. Not bad for 12 weeks.

Mary -- The stories of your chickens are delightful! So glad the kids seem well. What will be going on for Halloween?

To everyone who asked: My mom's neighbors were on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" on October 11. They can finally have people in and truly feel that it's "home."

Saucy: Clean up has consisted of not much more than yanking frozen annuals and digging out instructions to overwinter canna. Yes, I tried it and it's staying!!

Deanne -- All summer long I've been looking at pics of your gardens and they have brought immense beauty into some not so beautiful moments. Thank you for the work you do so that so many can enjoy.....

Marian: Got a really good chuckle out of deers 'broozing.' Kinda sounds like what everyone should do on a Sunday afternoon!!

To all -- Waving and knowing that this group is always here. On my way to cuddle up and avoid thinking at the 38degF rainy weather outside.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

DD and I had a great trip to Vegas this weekend. I have to say that the highlight probably was the simple fact that it was warm and sunny there. A nice change from all the cold and dreariness that we had for the first half of October.

I'm not a huge gambler and DD appears to be following in my shoes, so no giant jackpot came home with us. But we had some great food at a couple of very nice restaurants. It's funny to travel with a member of the "Food Network" generation - she knows more about some of these chefs and their restaurants than I do. I told her that I'm going to a luncheon this weekend and Rick Bayless would be the speaker and she let out an audible gasp.

My brush with celebrity this weekend was Eric Holder, the US Attorney General. We were leaving Caesar's Palace just as his motorcade was pulling out. The multi-car police escort tipped me off that it was not Paris Hilton, LOL.

Kathy, I did spend a little time sitting in the sports book at Caesar's, watching Saturday college football. That's just sports geek heaven there!

We also saw a Cirque du Soleil show. We had third row seats on the aisle, so we had performers next to us and literally right over our heads throughout the show.

DH came home from his hunting trip late Friday night, and the house is a small disaster. I think I need to go crack the whip so I have a spot to sleep tonight. Yes, it's that bad. He even managed to break my bedside lamp last night, and just remembered to tell me about it after the house was dark.

bug, your story of the cashier touched me. When I picked up DD on Friday, we stopped at a Starbucks and there was a couple about my age sitting at a nearby table, and I suddenly realized the woman was crying. I don't know the reason behind her tears, but it was a haunting moment. I hope all is well for her now.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sunny but windy and cool today. Hopefully, we have lots more sunshine so the harvest can get under way and hubby out of under foot.

I'm not sure I mentioned that my DD is planning on starting school after Christmas. She is working as a PCT (patient care tech) and plans to go into nursing. I'm quite pleased even if the road will not be an easy one. She is a very determined person when she sets her mind to it.

Chelone, I have a horrible table for tent making. It's a double trestle. I sure could use your help with curtains for my living room. I bought some that I would like to somewhat remake. Hmmmm

Martie, how nice to hear from your world again. Good to hear that things are looking up.

It sounds like V and DD had a fun and regenerating vacation.

Re: the serviceberry - it has the nicest orange color and the leaves are still intact after temps down to 20F.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 11:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Wrecking Crew's mother came down to claim them yesterday and we had a very nice visit; it involved nachos, turkey BLTs, and white wine. Lots of laughs, and bones for the canids. I am down to one dog for the next couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to the break. Our friend has expressed gratitude over and over for the care we've extended to her and the Crew in the past couple of months. We, in turn, simply stand by our assertion that that's what friends do for one another; I believe the term is, "pay it forward".

Martie, how nice to see your face pop in. I've been wondering about you for awhile now and I'm glad to hear that all is not grim. It was mighty raw and chilly here yesterday, too. Big, fat, juicy snowflakes last night, as a matter of fact, but they melted as soon as they hit the ground. Good to hear that Boo is settling in nicely; it's nice to have an animal around.

V., how was the spouse's hunting trip? was your lamp the only casualty? And I'll bet the two of you had a very good time in Vegas. Lol about Paris Hilton (what a waste of plasma).

Time to get down to the business of the day, I suppose.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 7:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, Martie...that should read "browse" !!!! I really need a bigger print dictionary! They may have been "boozing" also???

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 8:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Quick update:
I met up with the cashier again late on Saturday. Her name is Lydia and she is a beautiful (slim!) woman. She says that the trip to the hospital will be a daily event for some time to come. It is about an hour's drive each way. She thanked me for my concern but didn't want to risk tears again and so we chatted about my ring which has a moonstone in it. It seems she and her husband collect gems. I think once you are able to visit, talk and take action the picture changes somewhat. I wished her well.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 8:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Early morning muzzle loader hunters in our woods. I invited them. My best friends's son and his wife. I hope they are successful. Maybe they can get a bear also. :-)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 8:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The box spring and mattress are now stowed on the 3rd. floor of the bahn. The block and tackle worked like a charm, although we need longer straps and a cargo net to make it even easier.

We laid out the fence for Vegetable World, marking where the posts will go along the driveway and the back corners (near the hedge). The main entry to the garden will be 6' wide and the gate will be in two pcs., to swing out of rather than into the garden. If they swing in you cannot easily clear snow to create a path to the bird feeding station. There will also be a 4' opening on the southeast corner of the garden area, so one may get out of the garden and to the road quickly if necessary. The present plan is to rent a post hole digger and set the posts (pressure treated) in concrete. The rails will be recycled from the last iteration of the fence, we have loads of them. The arbor is history, and I may recycle it to a different part of the yard, but I'm not sure about that. Right now there a bigger fish to fry.

I have a couple of calls to return and then need to finish up a few things to round out the day. It was nice to get and update on Lydia. And muzzle loading. :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 1:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kathy, your cold remedies sounded interesting but I went the chocolate route. For medicinal properties, of course, not that I love it or anything! (yeah, right ;-) And I have to say your photos are still knocking me outthought Id get used to them by now!

Im guessing you have a wood burning stove, GBthat looks heavy duty heating and not supplemental fireplace material. How do you ever haul those big logs inside?!

Nice to hear you had such a pleasant getaway, Va jackpot would have been great but the anticipation had to be fun and good weather is always a perk.

Michelle, hope the road wont be too rocky for Kenzie if the situation doesnt improve or at least smooth out. Your daughters plan does, indeed, sound like shes determined and thats an enormous step in itself. Just making decisions can be very much a stumbling block. Glad you got to visit with Kenzie, even if it was only 24 hours but you packed it full of special things, good memories and lovethe best Grandma gifts in the world!

I finally gave in to the season and put our flannel sheets on the bed; makes quite a difference when you first jump in at night! Also splurged and bought a new comforter, the downside being I must take it to the Laundromat for washinga task I loathebut Im one of those who has to wash anything new out of the bag. At least I can read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle while it cycles through and dries. Two thirds of the way finished with the book; it's making me feel restless and I think I'll be glad when I'm done and move on to a new book. However, I must admit all the dog training has brought you, Chelone, to my mind several times!

Oh, and Marian! If you ever see a bear do try for a photofrom the house, to be sure! It sounds like you are in a rather remote area with beautiful scenery and an abundance of wildlife.

Hi to Martie, who must have been on hiatusgolly, must be more Idyllers than I first thought.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Candy - I got impatient with Edgar Sawtelle about that point too - and returned it to the library without finishing it! Like you, I thought of Chelone in the dog-training bits, but the overall story just didn't grab me much for some reason.

Marian - I've never heard of muzzle-loading hunters... pictures(with or without a bear!)...?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, Candy, there are LOTS of us; probably some who are as yet a little afraid to introduce themselves. ;) We come and go as the mood or the need for gentle, settled, acceptance and a dose of humor dictates.

"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" has been recommended to me by a couple of people now. They apparently do not understand that I hate dogs... . I'm interested to read your reactions to the book. Maybe I'll give it a whirl after I finish "The Prince and the Lily". Emilie LeBreton (Lillie) Langtry was a fascinating woman and I'm enjoying that book very much with about a quarter left to go.

My next move is to go down the the Lab. to remove the binding set up from my old Singer 31-15 and return it to the basic set up. I have a zipper to insert in a rather bulky fabric and I think my old workhorse is going to be the machine for job. Funny how the one machine I haven't moved to the Salon is the one I need for this application, huh? I still have the racks that hold my zippers and other hangable pcs. of equipment in the Lab.. I just haven't quite figured out where I want them in the Salon and it's been really easy to just "blow off" the decision making. :/

I agree that making the decision is often the hardest part of making a change. It's easy to get stuck in the "flow chart" fussing and worrying over whether or not the decision is a good one or even "do-able". I think nursing is an excellent profession, though my own experience was that there was too much "pencil pushing" and excuse making and not nearly enough "nursing" that actually accomplished anything. I witnessed a HUGE gap in the availability of stoma and wound care nurses; I see that even a skilled tech. willing to work in the field would be snapped up immediately and never suffer a lack of work. Ditto Nurse Practioners and midwives. It's my personal opinion that that's where health care in our country is heading, if we can get the AMA to shut up and listen.

I love flannel sheets. And our's are getting a wee bit thin, so it's time to replace them, methinks.

And we have to spend some quality time with our house stove, re-cememting the vertical seams that have endured 18 seasons of heating this house and have a few chinks missing here and there. I have e-mailed the stove company for some tips on how to accomplish the work quickly and easily, since working inside the firebox is going to be sort of fiddly and probably messy.

How's the roofing going, Woody? everything else OK given the circumstances?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 4:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Roofing work is finished Chelone. There was quite a large crew so they were only here Thursday 8:30-2:30 and all day Friday. They had to come back today because they ran short of ridge shingles on Friday and needed to add three more. We used those 'architectural' shingles rather than the common '3-tab' ones because they seem to be what's expected now on houses in the price range of this one. But, on the whole, I prefer the look of the regular ones...! The cost difference wasn't a lot so it didn't matter much from a cost point of view. If I was doing it over, I'd stick to a high quality 3-tab style.

On the in-law front, we're waiting to hear what the doctor told FIL today - they were supposed to meet for an overall assessment of were MIL stands at this point and what's to happen next. FIL is still in denial and thinks she'll be coming home - not likely and not desirable from the feedback that SIL has been getting. SIL is in Toronto on business this week so, unfortunantely, she won't be part of the medical conference or there to be support if FIL is depressed at the news. The in-laws really, really needed to come back here about 5 years ago, but we couldn't talk them into it.

10 more days until we find out what happens next for me. Headaches are the biggest issue for me now - hard to tell if they are due to stress or the tumor(s) - probably both!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

For Susan and anyone else who is not familiar with muzzle loader hunting.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 9:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A Zinnia bouquet was gathered for the awfice tonight; it has been raining on and off all day and the Zs look uniformly like hellmost of them are laying down and I can almost see the mildew spores growing . They have bravely stood up to heat and drought, but the rain and cold has brought on the last gasp .

Well bug, I just cant imagine trying to keep a young active dog quiet ,but I wish you well in the effort.

Martie ! So great to hear from you with a report on the happenings at Cornfield Park. Folks in the building trades and related industries have surely been through some ugly stuff. My hope is that this winter will see the bottom. Glad to hear Rich has some options.
Yankees are slime.

Envisioning Deanne in her garage surrounded by cuttings like a mad scientist in the labor-a-tree.

Chelone: The Fertile Crescent ?(Not a very good pic I'm afraid)

Kathy in Napa
From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

Waving to all, must attend to baseball...

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here is the booklist we decided upon tonight for the rest of the year. We discussed the Guernsey book this evening after our soup and dessert meal chez moi.

The Little Stranger- Sarah Waters to read in November

Water For Elephants- Sarah Gruen to read in December

An Audience of Chairs Joan Clark to read in January

The Art Instinct Denis Dutton to read in February

Through Black Spruce Joseph Boyden to read in March,,9780670063635,00.html

Champlains Dream David Fischer to read in April

The Help- Kathryn Stockett to read in May

Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson to read in June

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 10:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The lamp turned out to be a minor problem - the pull chain had snapped off inside the lamp base, but DH was able to fix it. Last night, though, I did not need a reading lamp next to the bed!

I've emailed my homework for photography class in two installments and got good reviews on the photos I sent in yesterday. Deanne, we are working on exposure compensation for tonality - heady stuff for my brain, but I can see improvements in my photos based on what we are learning. I'm not posting anything as I'm taking very boring photos that emphasize certain color tones. Not exciting stuff to view outside of the color.

DD cut her finger trying to slice bread and currently is at the ER waiting to get stitches. The initial report is that it's "just a flesh wound" but the worried mom would like to have that phone call that she is back home and fine.

Marian, my DH has a muzzle loader. Those guns are really loud!

The moose hunters decided to settle for one moose among the three of them. I was quite relieved because that means I won't end up with a couple hundred pounds of moose meat in my freezer (I like venison but am not enthused over moose) AND I don't have to argue over where the moose head will go.

I grabbed a book on impulse for my trip and really enjoyed it. It's called "The White Garden" by Stephanie Barron and it's a historical fiction mystery that revolves around Vita Sackville-West, Virginia Wolfe and the Sissinghurst White Garden. I really enjoyed it, but of course what gardener would not appreciate a book that mentions Echinacea Coconut Lime?


    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 10:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bless you, Woody! for all these issues you and Randy are having to deal with at once. In a way, it was probably best your MIL needed fast intervention for immediate care. FIL may be in denial but that initial step was taken and perhaps he can be eased along with the fact she needs monitoring and periodic evaluations of her condition and the medications until he gradually accepts the situation. So sorry to hear youre plagued by the headaches and hope youre able to get relief from pain relievers when they occur. Sending sincere wishes that the outcome holds promise. Im glad youre posting and have really enjoyed your photography and comments about the side trips! Thanks also for your thoughts on Edgar SawtelleI thought it might just be me! Normally, I have a ready opinion with books one way or another but I cant quite nail this down; just leaves me with an uneasy feeling as I read. Dont want to spoil the book for anyone else, however, Ill be curious to hear more discussion on it.

Go for it, CheloneI know you hate dogs; you should read it on that principle ;-)

"Time for me to go check out those other threads in earnest and stop darting back and forth," said the scatterbrained fledgling.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 11:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's funny how some books leave you cold or don't draw you in at all, in spite of good reviews. 3 in that category for me are listed below:

A Prayer for Owen Meany (I could get into it, at all)
The Other Boleyn Girl (so historically inaccurate I put it down with something close to disgust. The real story is gripping.)
The DaVinci Code (finished it, but it's really pretty trashy)

I have been urged to try "Prayer" again by my HS english teacher and will give it whirl someday...

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 5:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

No sleep for the wicked, so I've been up with Chelone all this time it seems!

Last night a friend presented a talk for a local Hort Society on the topic of "Are you a Plantaholic?" Too bad I couldn't attend, but I know the answer for me already anyway! I think the fact that all the nearby
nurseries know me by my first name is a clue....

Candy, yes, we have a fairly new wood burning stove which is used for heat in one part of the house sometimes. We waffle back and forth about it though. If we are centered in that part of the house, then we use it instead of the electric baseboard heat there. If we are using the upstairs studies, then we use our furnace (propane heat) and leave the downstairs cool. (under 60F) The very large logs in the barn will need to be cut before use indoors. Most aren't very good burning wood, rather wood from the property cleanup which tends to be willow etc

Chelone, I nixed the Edgar Sawtelle book for our club reading. A trustworthy friend who had already read it really was in agreement with me and found it disturbing on several fronts. Besides, there was no problem finding other good things to read. In fact it was funny business last night. We finally had to draw from a hat to decide on the last book of the season!

Too much on my mind I guess. Today I'll try to do more in the garden, get to the bank, walk Phoebe many times, all the time pondering the anxiety of DSIL's ex who has decided to rear her ugliness once more. Frankly I think she is afraid....but her bullying is something else! A mother feels so useless, but I guess allowing DD to vent is a help? Maybe?

DS may be visiting before the end of the month. I hope it works out!

Later friends,

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 6:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I liked Edgar Sawtelle and passed it on to Jake :) It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but I found it an enjoyable story. Funny, I think Cynthia is the one who suggested it.

Not much to say here. Things are busy as the new bookkeeper hasn't worked out as great as we'd hoped. That means I'm back in the hot seat until we find a new solution.

I'm off to the gym and then hope to find some time in the sunshine.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 7:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

DD ended up with four stitches in her left index finger last night. It sounds like she is doing fine other than trying to get used to not using that finger for a few days.

Chelone, I was a big John Irving fan, but could not get through "Owen Meany".

'bug, I think letting DD vent is one of the best things you can do. It's such a tough situation for her to be in, and I'm sure having someone to share with is a great help.

The junior high-like atmosphere at the awffice has reached a new low today with an anonymous note left in my mail box and my boss's. The funny thing is, when there are only four of us here today, how hard do you think it will be to figure out who did it?

So I think I'm going to apply for the bookkeeper position at Nick's business. :)

Photography class again tonight, so it will be a late night.

No offense to our Philadelphia natives, but I wish that Kathy was happier this morning!


    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 12:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Marian - there were some intimidating-looking muzzle-loaders on tha link!

Michelle - Kenxie sounds like she had a day to remember at grandma's house...! Just what was needed, no doubt, if there are storms in Florida. It sounds like your DD is a practical and determined sort who with weather the storms. Hugs to you all.

gb - thanks for posting the book list - I'll have to keep those in mind for winter reading... Chelone - Prayer for Owen Meany was one of the better books by that author I thought. His books seem to make better movies than books!

Has anyone heard from Eden lately? She hasn't posted in a long while and I can't remember if she said she was going to be away for a bit or not.

Martie - good to hear from you, especially that you were sounding chipper and things seem moving in a positive frame.

I was doing some clean-up in the backyard this morning but had to stop when I gave myself blisters cutting back big stuff! Randy is doing clean-up (sort of...) in the gardage today. When we renovated here, the garage was widened to make a double garage. We left it mostly unfinished as the garage was not a priority for time or money as things were running late at the end. Randy has been wanting to finish more of it for a while now so this is his first significant 'retirement project'. The (now retired) contractor who built the shed for us is helping out. The gray drywall on the bottom is the previously finished bits.

The ceiling will probably be left unfinished because that makes for easier storage. I'm not sure what they are intending to do to 'bridge' the line between the cement block walls of the original garage and the drywall of the extention to the garage.

Yesterday the doctor told FIL that MIL will not be going home. She is currently in the regular part of the hospital because she had a bad bladder infection and was put on IV antibiotics. She's off those now and they've started her on meds that are supposed to help slow down the mental decline a bit. FIL says she's now more alert/aware. They will be moving her to the geriatric floor of the hospital while waiting for more permanent arrangements. FIL is upset of course, especially as now MIL is aware enough to want to go home too. The next hurdle is FIL's knee surgery on the 29th and how well/fast he recovers from that. Aging sucks!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 12:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bladder infections wreak havoc on mental acuity in the elderly, Woody. (ask me how I know). And they are horribly under-diagnosed and are, sadly, perpetuated by slack attention to basic hygiene on the part of hospital staffers, in additon to mentally compromised patients. Most staffers have no idea at all to consider the possibility of a UTI when an elderly patient is acting "loopy". Mum was hauled off to the psych. unit several times after entering the Nursing Hole only to be diagnosed at having a UTI. And I will pretty much guarantee UTIs will be the on-going nightmare for your family when she's institutionalized. Just so you know and aren't as blindsided as I was.

I'm sure the days drag by for you right now and I'm sorry about that. Low grade worry is sometimes worse than a full blown crisis because you have too much time to "think". It would give me a headache, too! I was thinking that the garage looked awfully familiar, but the helpmeet has shown no such diligence in taming it! Send Randy down here, willya? and take good care of you!

V., I sympathize with the stupid stuff at work. It's possible to laugh about it on one hand, but it grinds away at you and sucks the remaining fun out of everything. Sucks. That's why I kick dogs, you know. Fingies with stitches must be no fun, either.

I have to go out to the Salon and finish something up so I may deal with collecting and organizing the toxics for the Universal Collection Day... . What fun that will be!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 5:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody and Chelone, my mother in fact did NOT have bladder or UTI infections though she thought she did and insisted on wearing Depends. It turned out that her mental condition caused her to feel a lack of control in every part of her being. Poor poor soul! She signed herself into hospital emergency herself when the residence would not assist her in doing so. The doctor there was kind and thorough and just spectacular. He phoned me long distance and discussed every test he had performed on her to find the source of her agitation. He was so frustrated at not being able to help. The psychiatrist was also superb and solved the problem (unfortunately) with his observations and diagnosis. Aging certainly can be the pits. Short and quick for me please!

Today I made progress in the veg garden and removed old vegetables and parked some plants there to overwinter. A lilac was pruned back to allow more light to enter the barn garden. More weeds, mostly chickweed, were removed. It sure is hard to deal with!

Today was a busy day for DSIL's ex, whining and accusing and blaming and threatening. She sure is miserable and thus I feel the same way for all she comes in contact with. I think DD and DSIL are doing spectacularly well, but it is a terrible strain.

DH is evaluating class projects this afternoon. I'm sure it is fun for him. :) I hope they are making good progress.
One thing DH is good at is helping students with presentation skills and pronunciation too. (Mostly for foreign students.) They often express thanks for his help and request more practice sessions...much to his surprise.

I think dinner out sounds like a nice break.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - that is good to know re UTI. One of our concerns is that FIL was not atuned to MIL's personal care/hygene issues e.g. he either was not aware she was in trouble or not taking the necessary steps to address it (i.e. get her to a doctor) until it got to the stage where she needed to go to the hospital via ambulance! So, while there are likely to be issues in an instutional envioronment, we know there are issues if she stays home. I suspect that the fact that she was allowed to get into the current state weighed heavily in the doctor's decision that she not be released back into FIL's care. (The fact that he is due for surgery on the 29th undoubtedly played a role too.) FIL desperately wants to care for MIL but he's just not capable of doing it. It's unfortunate but some sort of care environment is necessary. If they had come back here, there would be more options because there are more of us here and, for instance, this house is disabled accessible. Some sort of independant living situation might be possible for another couple of years if they were here where there is more family support. SIL may get transferred here at some point and, if that happens, there is no family support out there for them at all. Depending on what happens with FIL's surgery and if MIL improves a bit with the infection under control and on the new medication, we might raise the issue again of them coming back here. Everything is so topsy-turvy for us all at the moment it's hard to make sensible plans.

Gb - that all sounds like a never-ending stress for Sarah and all. Hugs to you all...

Somehow all these things keep bringing the 'Now is the winter of our discontent.' line to mind :-)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 6:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

GOod evening

GB - I enjoyed reading your book list and will be interested to hear thoughts on any of the selections. Edgar Sawtelle was voted out of our list too though I am curious to read it on my own. I just finished The Madonnas of Leningrad which I thought was rather lovely and poignant, though I felt somewhat detached reading it. I had recently read City of Thieves by David Benioff, also set during the seige of Leningrad. City of Thieves was impossible to put down, historically accurate, but quirky with a dark humor which always appeals to me. Before those two books I new little of what happened in Leningrad/ St Petersburg during the war and it was interesting reading to read two novels with such different perspectives.

V - I would give Alice Hoffman's "The Story Sisters" a definite thumbs up. For me it doesn't match her best work such as "Blue Diary". But her prose is as beautiful as ever and I was totally drawn in by the characters and her blending of real and imagined worlds.

I am now in the middle of Someone Knows my Name by Lawrence Hill which is stunning but sad, sad, sad. Despite the heartbreak I am absolutely loving reading it.

Woody - I am so sorry to hear of all the challenges with your ageing in-laws. Tough decisions indeed.

GB - how rotten that one sad adult can continue to make life so much harder for DD and family.

Martie - how fabulous to hear news from your neck of the woods!

Waving to everyone else. David is building a working scale model of roller coaster and needs my help. It's the sort of project thats right up my alley:0)


    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The garden is getting sleepy thats how I explained the fall garden to Kenzie. I felt a little sad about the fact that we had such a early freeze this year. Most years things are looking pretty good until at least the end of Oct. She didnt seem to mind though and we still found flowers to pick.

I spent time clearing the vegetable garden. The only edibles left are carrots, parsley and sage. Kenzie and I made sure we dug and ate carrots. She was quite interested in the parsley and thought it was broccoli. That girl does love her vegetables.

Woody, it sounds like such a difficult situation with your in-laws on top of all you are personally dealing with.

"Are you a Plantaholic?" hmmm, isnt that why we are all here? I admit it.

Lovely shot of the "Fertile Crescent"

A few shots of the Friday fun. My DD took dance classes all her growing up years. Kenzie now enjoys the fun dress up clothes. This one makes her feel like a mermaid. Notice the "magic seashell" around her neck. Here you can see the "Wee Walker" the name that was on her boot. She looks really cute with one of my socks on the other foot. LOL

A walk in the "forest"

I'm glad I hadn't picked the ribbon corn. Little did I know that Kenzie would be able to help me with it.

I'd best quite before Chelone gets the willies with too many kid pictures ;o)


    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 10:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Terrific Michelle! I love all three, but maybe the one with Rick the most.

Is it true that there's one piece of "silk" for each kernel of corn?

And Brenda, you there???

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 10:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Quickly skimming through, I see two stories involving stranger's tears and how it touches an Idyller. Reminds me why I like it here, knowing that kindness and compassion do indeed exist. Thanks bug and V for sharing.

I've been putting the garden to rest little by little. I've been ruthless in chopping things down this year, as I'm trying to get a jump on the Four Lined Plant bug. I've heard it deposits its eggs in plant stems for overwintering. So my thought is if I get rid of the stems, do I get rid of the bug? The damage doesn't kill the plant, just makes the foliage very ugly in the spring. We'll see. But I am enjoying the fall foliage, and the last bit of warm weather.

Candy...hate to break it to you, but you will never get used to the excellence of Idyll photos. I'm still not used to it after several years of visiting here. So just sit back and enjoy. :)

V...glad you and DD had a nice Vegas trip. Sounds like your seats were excellent at the show, close up viewing is the best.

Michelle...Kenzie is really growing up fast. I bet she will treasure that photo with her and grandpa walking in the woods. A great fall shot. I like how you described the dwindling gardens..."going to sleep" it is! I hope things are looking up for DD.

Woody...hugs go out to you and DH as you enter this new territory with your DMIL's health issues. I know chelone will be a comforting source of information and advice for you in the near future. I can lend an ear and a shoulder, but do not have any practical advice dealing with aging parents...yet. but I am taking notes for when the inevitable happens. Good thoughts go out to you regarding your health too.

chelone...good luck with fencing in Vegetable World. Sounds like a big project. Will you get it done before winter? Digging post holes in frozen ground is no fun at all.

'bug...Your book club has been busy. While I'm familiar with most of the books on your list, I've only read "Help." You will enjoy it, a very interesting read. Sorry to hear that DSIL's ex is rearing her ugly side again. Such a bother, but it sounds like they handle it well. I'm glad Skylar has them for moral support.

I know there was more to comment on, but the eyes are getting tired. A wave to all I missed.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 1:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I forgot to tell Kathy that her shot is of Sanitary Ridge, not the Fertile Cresent. And she will doubtless appreciate that I looked at it and thought it looked sort of familiar!

The boat is hauled and is tucked into its cradle for the winter months. Yesterday was beautiful and a perfect day for that sort of thing. It was warm and I believe we may get a reprise of sorts today.

Lol, Michelle, I was hoping for a shot of you in dress up clothes... . Does Kenzie take dancing lessons, too? I am partial to the "Forest" shot and the studied contemplation of "cohn".

I wondered where you'd been, Anita. Hunting the Four Lined Plant Bug, I see! I've cut a few things down, but that still looms for me. Dunno about the post holes, maybe next week, but I'm not sure. We have the better part of a month before the ground will venture into its frozen conditon, but it would be more comfortable to get it done sooner than later, esp. when water and concrete are involved. Brrr...

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 5:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's supposed to hit 70degF here today and it will be a welcome respite from the December weather we've been having. The first layer of junk is out of the garden, with liberal shaking of seed heads 'cause one just never knows what might spring forth.

Woody -- So good to see you! Those darn little rose bushes threw hips this year and some kind of little brown bird thinks they are just the best food ever. You're right about them becoming a thicket but I'm going to let them go and do their thing for at least one more growing season.

Next Spring will be the first true purge the plants time at The Park and it doesn't seem possible that it's been five full years since we've been here. Anyone need many, many Shasta daisies that started at Sue's and have now self-sown into every crevice imaginable?

Dittany of Crete, Kathy, back to the herbie "must try everything unusual" mode. Managed to get Corsican Mint to establish between the steps in the main garden and that was my out-of-zone herbal coup for the year :-)

Kenzie looks sparkly and fabulous and wonderful, as always. She'll remember those forest trips, for sure.

Welcome, Candy, probably really belatedly. You'll get used to the ebb and flow of the Idylls and come to realize that nothing here is really "immediate" but a years-long conversation that folks come in and out of at their whim. I've been away given some chaotic life happenings but ALWAYS know I can stop in here and be with some of the best friends a gardener can have.

Does anyone want bittersweet for Autumn decorating? The weather has produced an abundance of the stuff and I'd gladly eradicate any and all of it -- it's a nuisance invader in New England woods. Since it's here, we'll make the most of it and wreath-make to our hearts' content.

Books of late have been the State and Federal Statutes as regards residential mental illness mandates. The Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services quietly "left" the position and we're waiting to see what happens next. Some federal inquiries have been made regarding the adolescent facility that is proposed to be shut down by the Governor despite the Legislature keeping it in the budget. What happens there will overflow to my brother's hospital and several other budget line items.

So, have often been scratching my head trying to figure out why one of the "richest" and "most educated" states in the union are going backwards on this issue. And the beat goes on.

Am going to make a concerted effort to get back here more often. As Rich's tool and equipment inventory gets dissolved (hooray for Craigslist!!) and my bossless office becomes less of an anarchy and more of a team, my mental state will surely improve and I'll be fit to read :-)

Good vibes to all...


    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 8:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Morning Idylls!

Wow, miss a few days and there's just no catching up!

Here are the things that have stayed in my teeny little brain after a quick scan:

Kenzie looks adorable, and I feel sorry that things may not be looking adorable on the home front. How nice for her to have such a loving and happy environment to escape to!

Skyler is hilarious with his "on the toilet" comments. Little kids can be so darn funny! It sounds like the ex is looking for attention again....

V, it sounds like someone very juvenile works in your office (and I don't mean you *LOL*) This whole thing about pay cuts and job losses and inhospitable work environments makes me realize how lucky I am to be retired, even if it isn't quite the retirement that we planned. 4 stiches, ooowwwww!

Oh Woody, your plate is really full just now. Are you suggesting that the in-laws move in with you? Would you all be able to have help? I was lucky that my Mom was in a very small excellent nursing facility in her last few years. Only one UTI in all that time, and caught right away. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, she was pretty sharp right till the last day - she herself told me that "it isn't always a blessing you know".

I'm with Marie: just shoot me.

Sounds like lots of work going on at the compound. If you are putting in fence posts you might consider using limestone tailings (stone dust) instead of real cement. I'm not really sure exactly how it works, but our fence guys told us this summer that it is easier to do than cement and is just as strong and stable. Just a thought....Hey, any pics of the changes in the landscape? It sounds like you folks have been working your heads off!

Gee Martie I would love some bittersweet to grow on the Spite Fence - but I think I'll have to find it in Canada *LOL* Right now I have planted three clems and ten Viginia Creepers hoping to cover the whole length in one or two seasons. I may to regret this....

PCS (the child formely known as TCS; his name will likely change at each successive Thanksgiving!) is having a difficult time at school - being bullied a little, not responding well to a strict disciplinarian teacher, having a hard time with the actual work in grade three as he
wasn't taught a lot of the basics in grade two; currently undergoing a slew of psychological testing to see what can be done to address some issues, hopefully his disgraphia (fancy name for not being able to write properly), attention issues and some self-esteem stuff. Lots of $$$$, I won't be attending IU 7 for sure.

Anyway, that's it for now. I am so pleased with myself for not expounding on Juliejobs yet!



    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 10:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Showers are predicted for the rest of the week but so far this morning nothing serious in the rain department. Before eating breakfast I eradicated bunches of Lady's Mantle, cut back some bunches of iris and goldenrod, removed delphinium stakes, seeded grass in a spot where Heavy Metal grass once grew and was transplanted, and then moved an herbaceous clematis to a brighter location where mildewed phlox were removed. Yesterday I removed lots of eggplants from the veg garden. There's plenty more to do, but it was getting wetter and I was getting hungry!

I'd like to take a few days off for mental health, but there are many things to be done. Doing some knitting and reading would be so nice though...

Today DD will head off with her DH and Ivy for a job of his out of town. I hope they can get away from harassing phone calls and spend some of the time together in their camper. Poor DSIL feels terrible that DD is embroiled in the present state of affairs.

Thinking of many...including Martie's brother. Maybe I need to post a photo of Phoebe for him. I wonder if he knows that Charlotte passed away.

Autumn is such a busy time...and people's lives seem especially full of turmoil to me this year. Hugs to all!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 10:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi you guys! Seems like a long time since I've been here. I was expecting to do some much needed garden cleanup this morning on what was promised by Mr. Weatherman to be a beautiful day.'s raining, so I find myself with a bit of unexpected free time. I've done a quick skim to catch up a bit but won't even attempt to comment on all that's been going on here with you all.

On the homefront, it was a busy summer here. Bella and Kate have kept me hopping, but it's a been such fun, and it seems the summer flew by with limited gardening time. Bella's going to preschool 3 mornings a week this year, this is her second year of ballet and she's taking a pottery class and swimming lessons, which she really loves. Kate's 6 months old today, in fact. She's just the sweetest baby. She rarely cries but is quite a talker and babbles all day long. Brad's still hanging in there at work. We're grateful he still has a job at this point. We're all excited for Halloween, especially Bella, and have up lots of decorations here. Jenni's having a family Halloween party that we're all looking forward to.

I talk to many of you on FB daily but miss those of you not there. I know FB isn't a good fit for everyone but has been a great fit for my busy lifestyle lately. I can comment quickly and posting pictures there is so fast and easy compared with Picturetrail and GW. I'm hoping things slow down with the end of gardening season and I can spend more time here idylling with all of you. I miss you all and think of you often.

I did see some really cute little girls in my quick skim. Ivy is adorable, so smiley, and Kenzie looks beautiful and sweet as always.

A few pictures of my girls...

I think the rain has abated so I'm out to the garden. Hoping to do better and be here more often.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 11:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Julie, just saw your post!
Take a look here and see if any of this makes sense to you:
When the problem came up with us we found this article helpful.

"What Causes Bullies?
by Jane St. Clair

Psychologists used to believe that bullies have low self-esteem, and put down other people to feel better about themselves. While many bullies are themselves bullied at home or at school, new research shows that most bullies actually have excellent self-esteem. Bullies usually have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others, and lack compassion, impulse control and social skills. They enjoy being cruel to others and sometimes use bullying as an anger management tool, the way a normally angry person would punch a pillow."

I do feel that the school needs to develop an overall policy about name calling and other forms of bullying, including helping kids understand that they must be supportive of anyone being demeaned in any way. This would not mean focusing on any one incident or person.

#7 in particular....

DD has been doing 1/2 hour daily [every other week- :(] of catching up math and pronunciation exercises with Skyler. He has a good attitude about it at last! He thinks if he can move ahead that he will be able to help others in his class, and that is a delight to hear! School is FINALLY paying attention to his disgraphia after 2-3 years of Sarah's requests. He was fitted out with special pencil grips assist him and his left handedness. Then he broke the grip because he fiddled and fiddled with it. He had to buy new ones with his allowance. (They come in $25 sets!) His teacher was very firm with him about it, but he seems to respond well now to that firmness. He likes the fact that she gives no homework but insists on no nonsense in class. I was very impressed by her when we met. I think that Skyler may in fact be understanding what his lack of focus is about: wiggling, looking out the window, paying attention to others, squirming in his seat, not doing his best and not concentrating. It would be amazing if this year things could improve for him!

Yesterday DSIL wrote this (among other things!)to Skyler's mother:
Both Sarah and I are extremely overjoyed and proud of Skyler and his accomplishments. He is a thoughtful and caring brother, a humorous, intelligent 10 year old, a caring and sharing friend, a responsible household participant, a student and servant to lower belt level students in Tae Kwon Do, and so much more. In short, hes a great and happy 10 year old. We are proud of Skylers accomplishments and abilities, not in spite of his seeming disabilities, but due to his nature and the loving, caring and responsible upbringing hes had from his parents and parental figures.

Wouldn't anyone want that praise? I hope Adrian gets loads of praise for his efforts too!!!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

What a wonderful post! Love Bella's Halloween garden and Bella reading to Kate.
Please stop by more often if you can. So glad Brad is hanging in there!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 11:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

How nice to see a bunch of min-idyller cuties here --

Michelle, -- you got some quality time w/ Kenzie - I personally love the dress-up photo (I had some like that w/ old clothes of mine DD used once a upon a time) -- dance recitals are the very best for dress up, arent they? Kenzie sounds as though she's growing into a lovely young little lady and still appreciates her Gparents & their wonderful home -- I hope things work out well for all in Fla whatever the difficulties.

Laura -- you've got some real delights there as well - my how Bella has grown! I can appreciate how FB works for your fast paced busy lifestyle.

Nice to see other check-in's - Martie - glad things are working out okay and things are good at Cornfield Park.

Cyn - I did manage to see you're from Gladwyne - talk about small worlds, LOL - and I suspect we've been on the same road trips many weekends doing the duty thing -- good luck on unloading stuff - hard to know how best to dispose of things and feel others will partake, rather than throwing things out.

Things have been hectic and crazy at the awfice and new programs on 'puters, etc., increased some difficulties in doing lunch fantasy visits - I hope they will be more available once this chaos is out of the way in the next few weeks. I hope to do some garden cleanup this weekend - it is in the 70s, crazy, crazy, but due to go back to the chillies on the weekend.....

V- what a neat visit to LV and I hope all are well in your household -- got a flu shot myself today (altho the swine vaccine is not yet readily available here)....

Waving to all and trying to keep up...


    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I find it terribly sad that penmanship is given such short shrift nowadays. I loved it, an "easy A". Does Skyler turn the paper around so he needn't cock his wrist uncomfortably to put the correct slant on his writing? Lefties are special; they have a different perspective on things and instead of trying to mold them to the Right Way, better that we should encourage and foster all that their perspective has to offer. My father, a "southpaw" with perfect penmanship, insisted that there was NO excuse for poor penmanship. I agree. It takes practice, persistence, and patience. And so it is with so many things, it seems. A training collar properly fitted to a dog makes a "P". "P" is for pummel... :)

Tell me the background behind Bella isn't your cellar, please Eden! Would that the board room and our bahn were half so organized. I blanche at the lax attention to basic housekeeping here. Lol. Kate in sunglasses elicited an audible laugh. There could be little doubt that any kid of mine would have been used for humorous fodder from the moment they drew their first breath. ;) I thought of you some weeks ago when I dropped a saucepan and dinged the finish on Bruce. Also when the helpmeet plaintively asked me, "are you ever going to make another cake?". I had a chocolate one waiting for him when he returned from work the next day. How's that for spousal devotion? Nice to see a post from you and I'm glad things are OK at work for Brad and you've remained contentedly busy. I figured as much.

As one who did my share of bullying and was in turn bullyed terribly for my first year in a new school I have the benefit of both perspectives. My thoughts:
1.) It sucks to be "picked on". End of story. I was roundly punished for every rotten and mean thing I ever did (or thought of doing) to another kid in that tortured year. And you'd better believe I "got it" within a month! lol.
2.) Kids basically suck. They're mean and they're perpetually jockeying for position. Just like dogs. Which is why I hate both.
3.) You have to learn to "stick up for yourself" or you have to learn to "shut up and put up". Either carries consequences and you have to decide which set of consequences you wish to shoulder. It's all well, fine, and good for adults to dictate "policies" but it's all basically BS in the realm of the school bus or the playground. Kids sort this crap out on their own, just the ways dogs do. And it ain't always pretty, but it's necessary and it gets the job done.
4.) There is nothing better than knowing that people like you. For that awful year it was older citizens in my town who were my best, devoted, and unflinching friends. No appearance on the honor roll was ever overlooked by them. No award for participation in 4-H was missed. There was always a kind word about achievement or how well groomed I (or my horse) was. They reminded me that the hardship would pass. Knowing that people "saw" me, sought me out for conversation, and liked me made me feel less alone. It wasn't the same as friends my own age, but it was every bit as fulfilling and a good deal more enlightening.
5.) I learned to stick up for tormented kids because of that horrible year. I learned to sniff out -ssholes from 50 feet away and I learned that being alone wasn't the worst thing in the world, either. Most importantly, though, I learned that one voice raised in righteous opposition to the din of the mob carried the force of an entire chorus. Especially when you levelled the perpetrator with "lazer eyes". I learned to NEVER look away first. There is great power in "staring someone down" who's being a jerk. It works!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 4:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Yes, I'm here :) Reading quietly along. I spent some time yesterday and today working in the yard. I've got stuff sitting in pots on the porch (NO!!??) that needs to be in the dirt. It's been a hard thing, getting back into the garden. Actually, doing many of the things that DB always enjoyed. Is it survivor guilt of some sort??
It's always so comfy to come and read, if not chat. Good thoughts to everyone. I'm doing a pretty good job of at least keeping up on the reading. A big HI to everyone, hugs to those that need them, and to those that don't ;)
PS. I'm on probation with my internet provider for uploading too many wedding pics, lol! DD and DSIL have the nursery decorated, and as soon as I'm free of the chains that bind me, I'll get them uploaded and posted here.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good evening to my imaginary friends, and a pleasant one here , mild and golden. I had to drive up valley today and observed some nice fall vignettes, so I think a photo drive might be in order this weekend. More ugliness today at the awfice with a wave of RIFs , no doubt an attempt to batten down the hatches for what we expect to be a hit-bottom winter in our industry. It was a sad day .

So glad to see you posting Eden ! All our non-FB friends sure missed you. I have a similar Mr Cool pic of Aiden sporting shades , but its on my phone and I have no clue on how to get it from there to GW !

Penmanship: we Catholic girls were all schooled in the Palmer Method and I still recall the humiliation involved with Sr Ann Roberta , as I was busted back to pencil from the fountain pen the use of which was a milestone for 3rd graders. She was not a nice person so very long ago and seemingly such a minor thing but I have never forgotten it. I produce a pretty nice cursive now if I dont try to write too fast

Martie, I have clearly become a collector or ornamental Oreganos; I realized this weekend when I was planting my numerous acquisitions of the last month that I had a stockpile of Os and much time was spent in determining the perfect placement for each one.

A brief post tonight as I am going to torture myself by watching more post-season baseball.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 8:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I still remember Miss Lark in 4th grading pulling me aside to tell me that my h's were not very clear. The things we hang on to!

Chelone, I had that same thought about Eden's basement. I keep thinking of all the things that need to be decluttered, but I don't seem to get beyond the thinking stage.

Kathy, sorry to hear about more RIF's. I sure hope that this winter is the bottom. Unfortunately, when a key employee was laid off there was not a clear discussion about who was taking over his various duties, and one particular job was taking aim at my already over-flowing lap. I finally came up with a Plan B that did not involve me canceling a scheduled vacation day. I know things are much worse elsewhere, but the additional chaos sure adds to the stress.

DS may have the H1N1 flu. He's feeling better tonight but was pretty sick today with a fever over 101. The bug is making mincemeat of our town right now; all of the pharmacies are out of Tamiflu for the moment. I waivered back and forth about going for the group dinner at church this evening and finally decided to take my chances; I laughed pretty hard at one of the men serving dinner who was wearing a pig snout along with his apron. Yes, we're all a little nervous right now.

And the best way to avoid getting sick is plenty of rest, so I'm off to do that!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 10:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Things are really getting to me at work - I came home today and asked Rick if he knew how much a wig costs - because I may need one if I keep pulling my hair out. I'm not used to this supervisory role.

Miss Bella's hair is amazing! Miss Kenzie is sporting very short hair due to her own hand. Love baby Kate's glasses.

Oh, no V, hopefully your DS can get on top of it and that no one else in the family gets it.

Brenda, are you not in the field these days? It is raining again today, we haven't even started beans. Those that have are drying them and the combines are getting stuck as well.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 11:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Propaganda Garden Design

I just popped in to say hi to Marie (hi Marie!) but I wanted to say to Kathy in Napa I loved your album of Mendocino shots. It has been 6 years since I did my internship there and I was there the year they installed that fancy deer fence and when the brightly pained Adirondack chair first made an appearance. Your pictures reminded me that I have to get up there again soon.

Anyway hi Idyll peeps. I hope you are all well!


    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 4:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Push, pulls, and ovals... ahh the Palmer Method. Mrs. Penny and Mrs. Simard were excellent teachers and I found penmanship really easy. We used ball point pens, but as soon as Santa put a cartridge pen in my stocking I used that nearly all the time. I loved being able to change the color of the ink. :)

The chenille slipcover was delivered and it fits very nicely. I'm pleased with the result and would even have put it in my own living room, so that says something. :)

Ah, Brenda, the year of "firsts" is the pits. It's hard to face the fact that someone you love isn't around anymore, it's just plain hard. But it gets easier. I think of my friend, dead now 16 yrs. every time I look at the ruffley orange Hemerocallis, the Sibirian iris, and frilly patch of Narcissus that began as one lone bulb in the daylily divisions. And I hope the new Viburum will bring a smile for my newly deceased HS friend. Sucks to be sad. I won't beat you up too badly if you post nursery pictures, as long you exercise some restraint. ;)

Has Kenzie gotten into the habit of coiffing her own hair? seems to me she's done that before. I like the tidy little bob thing she's got goin'. How many vegetable farmers do you have to "supervise", Michelle? Hang in there.

Bates College in Lewiston has reported that roughly 15% of the student body is reporting flu like symptoms and they've already had a number of Swine flu cases. So, lets all cover our noses and mouths when we cough or sneeze, keep our finger out of our noses and eyes, sing a round of Happy Birthday as we properly and thoroughly wash out hands up and over the wrists. A one and a two and a...

OK, gotta go to my own little slice of chaos now.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 5:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Of course I thought of you Kaveh as I checked out the Mendocino posts.... :)


    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 7:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Having always been a printer as a direct result of not adhering to the exact shapes above the blackboard, here's to those who are noncompliant!!!! LOL Somehow my 3rd grade teacher thought that making me print would make me conform. Fat Chance!!!

Marie, not only does my brother remember Charlotte, and know she's passed, he keeps the pic of her with the "snow nose" in his locker. I showed him pics of Phoebe as a pup and his response was "she's one lucky dog." I agree :-)

Oreganos never hooked me like lavs, except the ones I wasn't supposed to be able to grow, of course. At one point trialed an O crawler that had literal blackish leaves and was supposed to be culinary. In food it looked like dried up ants and the hybrider gave up.

Your gals are lovely, Eden. All that reading Bella has done to animals is paying off! Love the book selection for the time of year.

Running today -- a good thing -- and am meeting with a chimney cleaning company owner as well as a fast food franchisee then a major medical facility. Gotta love diversity!

Best to all - Martie

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 7:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sarah was sitting with me last night as Bella's mini Halloween garden was revealed and she exclaimed, "that is cool, how did they do that?" So I may have to help her start collecting minute things for her own garden :)

Michelle, I hope things ease up at work soon. Supervising is no fun (for me).

V., our entire High School is out with "flu-like" symptoms. We made the local news last night with so many absent. My fingers are crossed for Jake and especially Sarah. With her newly diagnosed asthma, I worry for her. She seems already compromised.

V., I'd hire you in a heartbeat....and you know, the last person worked remotely conceiveably.....

Brenda, I still have a couple of plants to plant. I'd really like to finish that up today. Maybe I'll grab some bulbs too.

That's about all from me this morning. I'm going to come home early today and play least that is the plan.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 7:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, DH has left for a Toronto meeting, then must return for his class later this afternoon.

I have various errands to run later on, including buying the first new Book Club read. This annoys me because it is a hardback book only so far, and because it is over 400 pages and because it costs $30.

This Fall I only purchased one bag of bulbs...on sale at the grocery store: 25 narcissus for $4. Looks like Sunday will be the first day, in terms of weather, that I'll be able to plant them.

Martie, Phoebe has one downfall, she lies. She told me that DH had not fed her this morning and that was simply not true! She has also taken to barking since her wild activity has been reduced. She looks like a woolly mammoth these days with her winter coat.

I was a product of Palmer Penmanship. I converted to French style writing when schooled there (sort of grade 3) and used ink pens, but reverted when I returned to Buffalo. My sister resisted and still writes in the French way. DH printed in true engineer fashion until he reached grad school. Too bad too, because his writing is illegible and his printing handsome.

Managed to finish knitting Ivy's sweater last night and it is being set to shape on the ironing board today. My main concern is the neck opening which I enlarged, but still appears small to me.

Off to start the day, again!

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 8:08AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Kaveh!!! Long time no see! (I'm jak 4 on the other site). Thanks for stopping by; I remember your stint in California - it was great entertainment!

Bullying - well, our school is excellent in managing this but as Chelone so aptly pointed out, kids can be mean and are not always in school. PCS is basically o.k., he is small and not the most mature for his age and is a little over sensitive to some things. He does open up to us, and we have not intervened. We have discussed options for handling situations and were pleased that he asked another child to join his group in the playground when some children were being especially unkind.

Penmanship, yes, I remember when we had printing books and writing books and time was devoted to that each day. That no longer happens - some rudimentary instruction is given and if the product is even halfway legible, it is accepted. PCS has never held the pencil properly and has had specific intervention since jk - this is now five years of attempting to correct his grip, OT on a monthly basis this year, all kinds of different pencils and added grips, to no avail. I insist that work he does at home be legible, and it takes him forever. So a half hour of homework takes an hour and a half, 30 minutes of whining and procastination (*LOL* some of it mine!), and an hour to laboriously get the work down on paper. To compound this, PCS doesn't get his work at school completed so it is sent home along with the regular homework and thus he has more to do than many of his peers. He is seven years old.

One more comment" Eden's basement! Zowie! I might take a photo of mine to illustrate the concept of opposite-ness.

BTW - out of commission for a few days as the Computer is going to the hospital for a check-up. Not behaving properly.

Cheers, all!


    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 10:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Can I whine a little bit? It's cold and it's pouring rain and it would be a great night to curl up with a book and a fire, but I have to go to a work-related dinner meeting over an hour away. Mommy, I don wanna go!!!

OK, I feel better now.

But I do need to go :(


    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 6:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cold, rainy and windy once again. It seems like its rained the whole month of October.

I'm not buying any bulbs this year, its just too wet.

Interesting day, after five weeks of training, my trainee up and quit today. It was for the best for all. Back to the drawing board with an interview for tomorrow morning. So Chelone I'm down to one underling, who has survived for 7 months now.

DH is off to sleep at the sleep clinic tonight. I made a pot of chicken and wild rice soup tonight since I feel a slight sore throat coming on. I went to the garden to dig a few carrots for it, they were pure mud.

I'm off to work on the new living room drapes.


    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 9:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here's hopin' the sore throat is not a harbinger of worse to come. Chicken soup sounds good to me. And you could always try my boss' technique for employee management: when you're feeling stressed keep ALL information that could be used to help you to yourself. Add a little dollop of sarcasm to everything you ask your employee to do over the course of the day. ;) Bummer about your carrots; the helpmeet brought one in the other day that looked like a set of legs... we called it Yosemite Sam. And promptly ate it.

I hope the dreaded dinner meeting was uneventful. I don't blame you for whining, I'd hate to roust myself out of a nice, warm house to go to one, too. Esp. given the present environment at work. Kick the dog, works for me.

I have quite a collection of paint to go to either the recycling day tomorrow or out to the kerb on Monday (after I add dryer to it). It will barely make a dent in the accumulated crap in the board room, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and if I hope to emulate Eden's cellar I have many steps to go... . It's been extremely entertaining for the cats who can't believe their good fortune to have Mummy hanging out in one of their favorite rooms!

I was thinking about how much energy and effort it requires to be a little kid. Every day there's something new you're asked to learn, practice, do. And when it gets a bit overwhelming you're asked to take a deep breath and try even harder. Exploding or collapsing under the weight of it all is frowned on. It sure ain't easy. And, from experience, when you're a kid who is in the company of adults alot of the time you often end up scratching your head at how mean/destructive your playmates can be and how many really dumb rules there are to try to thwart that sort of thing. I used to particularly seethe at "group punishments", one kid is a dink and the whole class pays the price, that sort of thing. They sure are resilient and they sure do put in a long day. :)

I'm glad it's Friday. I've had enough "thinly veiled contempt" and sarcasm for the week, thanks. It's time to call it a week, return to the Compound and decompress with my mess. Let's see, how many hours until it's over?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 5:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is a rainy windy day here at the farm and the leaves that I so carefully mowed to the side of the laneway yesterday are now strewn about. Phoebe is excited by the blowing leaves and parks herself by the windows for much of the time. We have had two walks this morning and "HEAL" is harder and harder to enforce when she feels the need for greater exercise. She does not think it is all for the best.

It is a good day for hot soup, and fortunately there is some left from Monday's book club dinner for my lunch. I think this afternoon I will take V's advice and knit or read by the fire...and officially declare it TGIF. Here is the sweater (for Ivy) that I completed the other day.

I picked up the book club read yesterday and it seems appropriate for the season, a ghost story. I hope to attack it this weekend. (The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters) We also have one of our environmental meetings on Sunday and loads of garden cleanup to tend to should there be some dry moments. (raspberries to cut back, verbena bonariensis to remove, shrub caging to begin, Jerusalem artichokes to haul away....)

I have many projects I want to do, some centered around Christmas gifts. This is a very busy season I find, combined with much worry on my mind. A friend describes his outlook in a fine way I think and I thought I'd share.

"In most situations in life (marriage, work, etc), you can only realistically expect 80% to be exactly the way you want it, the other 20% will always be a work in progress. And you have to consciously focus on (and appreciate) the 80% while you work on the 20%. Unfortunately, many people focus on the 20% and take the 80% for granted....and that's where trouble starts. I know it may sound simplistic, but I really believe when you cut to the chase, it's true. So, when I'm miserable at work or find myself worrying about my son on the road to/from school or any of the other things that make up the 20% that isn't perfect, I really make myself focus on how great the 80% is. And I usually feel much better.

I don't believe you should ignore the have to work TOGETHER on those things that aren't right. But work on them through the prism of the 80% that is great. We have this funny little habit....whenever we're fussing over something that isn't what we want it to be (kids, work, whatever), one of us usually looks at the other and says "I love you". We don't do it consciously or in a calculated way, I think it's just our way of reminding ourselves of the 80% when we're working on the 20%.

Happy 80%!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 12:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
chloehoover(z6b VA)

Happy Friday to all - including Kaveh - nice to see you check in -- as a one-time lurker I recall your posts fondly over the years of your various stints at garden locations and your personal garden as well.

Michelle - Im glad to hear the intern quit - better now than in 3 months or something horrible. But Im sure you'd prefer to just hang up that trainer hat entirely -- soup sounds like a great idea for most cooking menus this weekend -- we're to get some rain, chilly temps and back to autumn. We havent had the rainy mush you folks have had and in fact need more moisture to make up for the shortage.

I have ordered bulbs and got some lilies that arrived the other day so I hope to plunk them in at least; the spring bulbs to come shortly - I often dont get them in until about T-giving time, believe it or not.

Kathy -- so sorry to hear of more grim business at your awfice -- the voluntary #s are due to be finalized today; then the involuntary head chopping to happen in a couple weeks -- RIFed or survivor - it's no fun for anyone is it?

Purty sweater - bug - you always make glorious wee garments.

Hey, Chelone -- what is the "dryer" ingredient for old paints? I've got several cans and the slow-dry in the outside is not working very well - I'd love to unload 'em all on the county but they too want it dried before delivery.... let us enjoy our respective R&R time at our abodes this weekend -- Im as excited as going to Europe -- yeeha... down time.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 1:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm home early today. I finished up a big curtain for a local business and two zip on slings for fold up berths on a large sailboat. And when offered the "early release" I jumped at the opportunity. I am definitely an "ant" (think Aesop's fables) and tend to be very organized, regulated, and conservative when it comes to maintaining my work schedule. But since learning of my friend's suicide I've really begun to question the whole point of it. Sure, I could use the pay for the "missed hours", but time is a commodity so precious we too often fail to avail ourselves of it or squander it foolishly. So, today IL'm blowing it off and thinking that being an "ant" is what has gotten me to a point where the hours missed are less important than the opportunity to use them for something that is more important on a deeply personal level.

With respect to 80%, I agree. Even when the sky looks black and menacing I know that coming home will give me a break from it all. I know I'm loved, respected, and when I need to be "taken care of" every member of my family will pitch in and do their share. It may be the baleful eyes imploring me to "go for a walk", throw a tennis ball, or deliver a beating. It may be the little chirp of a certain brown tabby or Doodlekin Boy-boy sprawling on the desktop or across my shoulders, or it may be Bangers and Mash on my dinner plate. Too many people have no such security or fail to appreciate it while fixating on 20%.

'bug, do you use a training collar with Feebles? I know you were using one of those "halters" early on. Maybe it's time to graduate to the training collar. It's extremely effective and it doesn't hurt them a bit when it's put on properly and used correctly. This term of confinement may be the perfect time to introduce it and really knuckle down on the basic "on leash" manners. Funny that this came up because this is the time of year I really like to get out and do some "roadwork" with the Huge One; good for my waistline and good for his "leash manners". The recuperative periods after the surgeries were really hard on Rex, too. So hang in there and put that mind to work by introducing something new to her. I love the sweater! She's a little fashion plate, isn't she?

Wrecking Crew arrives tomorrow night and will spend Sunday with me while their mother attends to some professional obligations. The thought of them sitting in a car waiting for their mistress when I could be assuming my alpha role as doginatrix doesn't seem quite right... . I believe it's important to sieze opportunities when they present themselves.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Yesterday we went in to Toronto to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) and meet up with Randy's sister (who was in town on business) for a late lunch. The in-laws situation was, of course the main topic of conversation. Julie - yes, we've actually thought of having them move in here if we could get them here. But it's now too late for that. On the 1-7 scale for Alzheimer's, MIL is rated a 6 and rapidly heading for the 7. So, on the assumption she probably has, at most, 2 years left, FIL is becoming the issue since we don't want him out there alone once MIL is not there to provide him motivation to keep active. If at all possible, we want FIL to move in here after MIL passes on. We may also look into whether it would be possible to arrange a transfer for MIL from a nursing home there to one here, but that might prove difficult or impossible at this stage. SIL says FIL now regrets not moving here when we tried to get them to come! Grrr - let us hope we're all more sensible when our time comes to be the focus of such issues!

Randy has been diligently working in the garage on the finishing of the interior. It's looking much better but it's getting darn chilly for working out there. When that is done, the next project will be painting the kitchen - assuming my surgery doesn't throw too big a spanner in the works :-) I've had paint chips taped to the wall in the kitchen for the past 2-3 years but we never got around to choosing one and getting on with it... I now have a lot more sympathy for the owners of those houses you see when house-shopping that have not been redecorated in the last generation or so! I'm begining to feel we've been heading in that direction... :-)

Blue will be keeping us company on Sunday. Misty hasn't had a friend over for a while so she will be particularly happy with that.

gb - cute sweater. And I agree with Chelone that a training collar, if you're not already using it, would be helpful in keeping Phoebe focussed during this frustrating perion of enforced inactivity.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 2:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, glad you got to the ROM. That trip to Toronto seems enormous to much planning involved.

Lost my post that responded to Phoebe collars etc. The upshot is that firm repetition and more firm repetition along with time seem to produce the best results. The Gentle Leader wasn't bad when she was little. The collar, which we used for Charlotte, was OK, but Bouviers are so strong and willful that you can lift them off the ground with it and they notice nothing and continue on their way. Phoebe begrudgingly listens to us. But she needs more time with us beating things into her head. Did I say beatings???! DH is a softy with her and that means she gets away with stuff I wouldn't allow. Both she and DH enjoy humour...

Cindy, try this!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 3:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I guarantee that no Bouvier will be able to ignore a properly applied "corrective jerk". I suspect you've never been taught how to properly and effectively use a training collar and you're not alone! You have to trust me on this, 'bug. Rex is 100lbs. and I know from whence I speak because he was that weight when we adopted him, completely untrained. (consider that he is GSDxBull Mastiff/maybe Boxer or Pit Full). Our first obedience instructor had a Bouvier. One never uses a training collar to overpower the dog, you use it to redirect the dog's attention and enforce a voice command. One properly administered "corrective jerk" will get any dog's attention, and a second one will likely stop them in their tracks. Learn how to deliver it properly with the necessary voice command, and be amazed. This is how police departments and the Army train their dogs; dogs considerably larger, more powerful, and more naturally "aggressive" in temperament than Bouviers. They work and you already have several lengths advantage because Phoebe listens to you and responds to your voice. Any obedience classses in your area that might prove a pleasant diversion for the enforced leash time?

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, I know how to use a collar and have been to classes with both dogs. The vet on the other hand ALWAYS returns the dog with the collar reversed. I tell you, it's the husband. I haven't found a collar that works on him.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 4:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sounds like you're screwed 'bug. Bummer!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Woody, you have my sincerest sympathies. I didn't have your own particular issues but I have plenty of ready memories of missed opportunities and several post mortem insights. I'll "spew" intermittently in subsequent posts and you may deal with the "spewage" as you so choose.

Mum steadfastly refused to deal with the likely eventuality that she would require LTC in the years following my father's death ('94). Any mention of "planning", etc. evoked an immediate, "it's NONE of your business!". Ummm, OK. We dealt with the "fear factor", quietly shouldering the worry Mum refused to acknowledge. But the money issues were more ticklish... . On one hand she wanted us to inherit everything seamlessly, on the other hand she wanted to maintain her "independence" until her death. In the USA you can't have both. She never understood, or at least refused to accept that. In the USA it's important to draw a distinct line between the person requiring LTC and surviving family members. The sooner that dreadful thing is done the better! We barely made it in under the falling flag. It was awful. And every single bit of it could have been avoided when my father died! but Mum was completely ignorant of inheritance law and the value of the property she owned and how her unwillingness to transfer it while she lived would make it all easier when she died. In short, we had the added tension of the "last minute scramble" with respect to estate planning to cope with when it was time for Mum to go into LTC.

I know your experience is vastly different than mine was. But the attendant sentiments are the same and of all things, I want you to know how often I think of you and wish you well. How are the headaches? I will think of you this WE as I beat some sense into those stupid Labradors...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 5:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Happy Friday friends, another week of turmoil at the awfice has thankfully closed out, and Im looking forward to what should prove to be a very pleasant weekend , with many chores in the pipeline. Tomorrow I will cut my last Zinnia bouquet of the season and they will be subsequently dispatched to the yard waste, and replaced with a drift of Iceland Poppies, all white this year. Looks like its time to break out the leaf rake too.

Thanks to Kaveh for the nice comments on my Mendo pics- you must be from before my time here on the Idylls . It will interest you to know that MCBG has also moved their nursery/plant sale area to the opposite side of the facility, just to the north of the entry deck; more space and sunnier there too. Maybe youll drop by and see us here once in a while, pacific time is under-represented !

I tried in vain to find a DH Training Collar for bug. What a useful implement that would be ! Ivys sweater looks very suitable for a chilly day in the north, and I also enjoyed DSILs treatise and affirmation of Skylars best attributes. An important encouragement for a child with a foot in two worlds.

Woody, sorry to hear of the worries for you and Randy re FIL etc. What a struggle it must be for FIL to contemplate the future and try to come up with the plan that will give him the best quality of life .

Well Michelle, its probably just as well that the newbie gave up on the job before the job gave up on her. Such a crapshoot when hiring folks from outside the company, there is always that element of unknown .

All for me tonight. I hope to do a short fall foliage drive in the early morning tomorrow to take photos they will be shared of course ..

Nite all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 9:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


(I'm preparing the next volume of photos for Skyler)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 9:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Wow-dangerous to miss even a day here! I just skimmed through-so many pictures of beautiful little girls!

Chelone, you always make me laugh when you talk about the Wrecking Crew coming for a visit!

Kathy, I am sorry about your Dodgers. Now, however, I can cheer for the Phillies without feeling guilty.

DS and I have been working on cleaning out the garage and doing some planting. He was laid off a while back, so I told him I would pay him to help me. I thought we were making great progress until DH balked at recycling boxes and boxes of old political science journals. He did agree to donate five boxes of leftover tee shirts from a 20-mile race he directs every year (some dating back to 2003). He was so sure that everything taking up the space (can't even get the cars in now) was either mine or DS's stuff-humph. Lots of parents' furniture is going to the curb for anyone to take. I just want it gone. Anyone want a seven foot tall grandfather clock???? Lovely, but no room. It looks as if we accomplished nothing. How is that possible? Oh well.

BTW, like Skyler, my DS is a lefty, too, and being a special educator, I am always looking for fixes to issues my kiddoes have. Although it won't solve all the issues, an easy thing to help with writing is to angle the paper the opposite direction from the way we righties do. We usually angle it from left to right. Lefties should angle it the other way. Also, there is a program called Handwriting Without Tears. You can google it I think and order the workbooks for left-handed kids. I don't know if his teacher would allow it or if he would like it, but sometimes my fidgety students like to be able to stand to do their work, so we use a music stand as an alternative for them when they want it or they can just stand at their desks. Squeeze balls are good for times when they just need to listen and not be writing. It isn't easy being 10.

Woody, it must be so very hard for your FIL. It isn't easy being old either.

Well, time for sleep. I am sending good thoughts everyone's way. I am trying not to think about returning to school on Monday!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 10:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)


The dinner meeting last night turned out to be quite nice despite my whining. While it was work-related, I was the only representative from my office. It should have been a lovely fall drive down to the restaurant but the weather was windy and rainy, so the fall colors were lost on us. It was nice to be able to carpool with someone local for the long drive there and back.

Today I took a vacation day to go to a luncheon in Chicago for Openlands, a conservation organization. Rick Bayless, the chef, was the featured speaker, and Sen. Dick Durbin showed up to speak as well. I even ran into a couple of customers; I wonder if I can claim it was work and not use the vacation day? Oh well, I had a very nice day!

Chelone, I was MIA when the wrecking crew first started to visit you. Could you recap the details of who they are?

Bug, great comments about the 80/20 split. Now if I just could remember that when the 20% is really annoying me!

Tomorrow we head down to DD's school for a visit. Have a great weekend!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 10:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I drove to work in snow/rain yuck! I drove home in sunshine though. I spent a little time shopping for brithday presents for Kenzie. One of the things that she wanted was her very own locket with pictures in it. I had shown her mine. I would have liked to given her mine, but the chain is too fine and she just isnt old enough. I found the perfect one for her, pearls on a stretchy string with a locket that has room for 2 nice size pictures, which will be of Rick and I. I also got her some jeans reminscent of the 70s with "love" "peace" hearts and flowers on them, a Little Mermaid and a horse with a girl that can ride it. She is very interested in horses these days.

Kathy, I havent forgotten about your seeds. Im looking forward to your pictures.

bug, the sweater looks like just the thing for cold winter nights in the north.

Julie, it certainly is hard to be a little kid I think you are doing a great job of parenting TCS - not sure what the new acronym stands for so Ill use the old one ;o)

Cyn, I had to laugh about the grandfather clock as I have one that Ive been trying to get rid of for years. The time is nearing I do believe.

Sleep tight and stay warm.

Michelle (anticipating a sunny day tomorrow)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2009 at 10:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Making some pumpkin pies today. Also bought some knitting supplies for making Christmas gifts. The weather is ugly, so no garden chores for me! Here are a few shots from this morning:

Saw a beautiful male pheasant across the road this afternoon. So much prettier than turkeys!
Waiting for a sunny dry day here...

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 2:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Surely is a slow news day around here ! Ive had a productive day outdoors , with the main 2 accomplishments being the removal of an old and unsatisfactory lace cap Hydrangea, and the removal of the Zinnias. And I acquired 2 6-paks of snapdragons. The Hydrangea removal was a bear- hopefully step 2-which is digging up PeeGee from its current location and moving it to this newly created space- wont be quite as difficult.

Things look pretty at the farm bug, though I am happy here with our 70 degree temps this weekend !

Took a brief drive this morning to get some fall pics. I will have to make another trip in a couple of weeks, there is much that has not turned.

These were taken at Franciscan Vineyards, they have done a really nice job with their plantings around the winery to get a nice fall show. From Napa Valley Fall From Napa Valley Fall

Thought of Michelle when I saw these pillars at the entrance to the tasting room From Napa Valley Fall From Napa Valley Fall

Waving !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 7:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There's a great glowing orb in the sky and it's bringing warmth and light that haven't been enjoyed for some time. Garden Day!

Kath, you've got to start a moon garden on the western side of your lot if you can. Even just a little one. White poppies belong there :-)

Have lots of cool dried stuff to cut down and some plant purging to be done. Too wet for bulbs here, too, but need to get self-sowns out from beneath shrubs and between pavers, and want to get everything into some semblance of order. Lime for the lawn (which I'm actually beginning to appreciate but please don't tell Rich).

80/20. There have been many moments when it's been the other way around, or 50/50 at best. Separation from the downfalls has helped. Not to ignore it, but to take a break. Nothing is so immediate that it needs to have narly attention and energy placed on it, particularly one it's completely out of one's control.

To help get through, this year I've concentrated on yellows. If there were a name for all the shades it would be mind boggling (like paint chips?????) The yellows with the faint lime green hues are my favorites, I've decided. It takes me away just long enough to count to 100 (10 having gone by the wayside a long time ago) and get to the heart of matters.

Reading through, I am feeling extrordinarly fortunate that my parents are still completely intact. They have taken steps to prepare for when they aren't, and my sister will be their go-to. It's a huge relief to know that they have the foresight to do this and yes, it was scary, but now that everything is "done" there's a sense of "Let's get on with the life we have" that brings peace and contentment.

All that said, I hope it's a long time before plans need to be executed.

Ahhhhhhhhhh, awfices. Three rounds of layoffs. Lots of lame duckers hanging on with their last day being the day before Christmas Eve. My boss and his second-in-command were among those escorted to the door so now I'm working for a guy out of Boston who is wonderful but very absent. We're all thinking that our little piece of the corporation will be gonzo after the 1st of the year so contingency applications to other positions in the company are pending.

Yes, I would miss direct sales but ya know.....there are jobs that are much more geared toward the young and running around New England is probably one of them. Alternatives include lots of supervisory stuff and management. Don't know how much I'd actually look forward to going back into that realm, but if it keeps us financially solvent and me occupied it'll be worth it.

So blathering on about me isn't why I came here but it sure feels good to get some stuff outta the brain and onto the screen.

'bug, I've been meaning to tell you....My niece is a shareholder in a sheep farm that produces fine wools on Martha's Vineyard. She is getting enough material to make herself a sweater, the first one she's attempted. Up to know she's made every style of socks one can imagine. Is there something similar up your way you could join?

Cyn -- Welcome! Lots of special ed history with me as regards my very ill brother, as you might have been able to tell. Also, Sister is double Masters and in charge of a local autisim/other unidentifiable maladies classroom for ages 6-10. She paid her dues in integrated classrooms for years. Her sense of humor is contagious and without ever hindering confidentiality, some of the stores that come out of "her kids" are really, really funny. Not so much the parents who think their kids will be cured in a matter of weeks. Good for you, and Thank You for What You Do if no one else thanks you this week :-)

(((((Idylls)))))) for whatever reason needed, even if it isn't any in particular, and have a Great Day!!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 8:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah Martie-a Moon Garden ! would love to have the space to execute that , but instead I try to incorporate a shot of white everywhere., and one grouping is developing into a white-purple-lime combo. Quite by accident too. I rather like it and will move some stuff around to make it a bit more obvious. And in the realm of yellows you are spot on there so many to choose and clashing is easily done . I gravitate towards the primrose pale yellow tones , but enjoy most all of them..

Anyone else out there ?? PM, Chelone , Mary ,Deanne ? Etc. ?? Yoo-hooo !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 10:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The weather was nice enough on Tuesday to take a walk with DGC, Antonio. He likes the scooter, so I'm glad there's never a lot of traffic.

Here's the road at the end of my street that's my favorite for deer deer that day, though.

Spent the day mulching leaves and cutting the grass. Will round out the day for family appts. at the salon. (and color for me...who gray? No, it's my natural color. :)

Only read Kathy and Martie's post. I started from the bottom, but wanted to say hi while I had a few minutes. Love the photos, Kathy, and am a bit surprised that the fall color in CA looks the same as in IL. Nice!

Sorry to hear the awful awfice news Martie. It sounds like you have a few options, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for ya. Your sister sounds like a neat person, and that she's in the right profession.

Have a nice evening Idyller's,

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 6:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cyn427(z7aN. VA)

Thanks for the kind words, Martie. Your sister sounds wonderful-you do need a sense of humor in special ed-or, come to think of it, in any job! Sounds like yours isn't too much fun. I hope it turns around and the new year is much better-for everyone!

Antonio is such a cutie! What a great street for walking-or scootering (scooting?)

'bug, what are the pink flowers with the orange berries-love those colors! Also liked the pheasant link. We had pheasants in our yard outside Philadelphia when I was growing up. They are beautiful-we'd see them every morning. I guess development drove them out. Too bad.

Kathy, your pictures are always so spectacular. Hope the wine lived up to the surroundings! BTW, loved your note to us, your "imaginary friends"-wonderful!

Michelle, instead of getting rid of your grandfather clock, I hear the newest trend is to display them in pairs and I have just the one to round out your collection...teehee. Seriously, it NEEDS to be gone before the first snow (which may never even happen here, but as a teacher I am ever hopeful), so I can get my car in the garage.

I am having a hard time with the realization that I have to go back to school tomorrow. I have so enjoyed this two weeks. It will be nice to see my kiddoes again, but the rest...well, nevermind.

Time to empty the dishwasher and then to bed to work on the Sunday crossword, read a little.

Happy Sunday/Monday all.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A wee bit of sunshine again today and no rain whoo hoo! Went to the city and picked up 4 new windows for upstairs and DH picked up a new piece of farm equipment that he had purchased recently.

Yesterday was a good day in the garden. I got lots of clean up done. Its very muddy so I worked on the garden around my shed. That bed is around 3 deep and mostly annuals. The gardens that have a lot of perennials in them still have lots of color and I usually go around and just cut back the things that longer look good.

Cyn, our grandfather clock was made by my husbands son. Dont get me wrong its beautiful. It was made from a walnut tree from our farm, but Im just tired of dusting it and believe it belongs in their home.

Anita, your street is lovely and your GS adorable!

Kathy, love the pillar arrangement and have saved the picture. Did you check out how they had it held together? Our neighbors always have a hayrack sitting along the road filled with interesting pumpkins etc that they sell.

bug, wonderful pictures I like the second one best, what is it? Pheasants are plentiful around here and hunting them is very popular. We see flocks in grove of up to 30 or 40.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 10:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Michelle, I plan to go back to Franciscan in a couple of weeks and will inspect the pillar display --I was unhappy with the crooked issue on the pic anyway and want to take a new one. I have to go up that way for a meeting on Wednesday and I will take my camera.

Anita, both Antonio and the country road are very pleasant to see-could one be named Antonio and not be suave and charming ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 10:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What an adorable collage of little girls! Anita, great picture of Antonio on that scooterquite the handsome little guy already. The area looks heavily wooded; do you have problems with deer getting into your gardens?

We actually had some sun for half a day; DH and I managed to do a little yard work today. Weve already accumulated a dozen yard waste bags that are awaiting pick up. Im not planting bulbs this year unless its to add a few Star Gazer lilies I dont have the patience to let the foliage die back properly. Tomorrow though, Im going to prowl a couple of nurseries to see whats left on clearance in the shrub lot. I just feel like digging a hole and theres still a gap along the property line. Something tall and narrow because it might have to be sacrificed in a few years when the other shrubs mature. My immediate concern though, is for privacy next spring!

Hoping Cindy, V and Kathys upcoming week at work isnt too full of drama!

The Brookside is really starting to show patches of color

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 11:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Very nice photo Candy ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 11:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning

Kathy - I heard you calling:0) Ive enjoyed reading along, some lovely fall photos, smiling grandchildren and wonderful leaves.

The weekend here was filled with activities with the children, working outside, a couple of craft projects (I made myself a chicken apron) and fighting the end of a cold. I cleaned up the area within the pool enclosure where I grow our veggies. As the pool is closed for the winter I was able to let the chickens in to help me with the work (a large body of water makes me nervous as chickens sink like a brick). The girls were wonderfully busy eating the last of the fallen tomatoes, scratching in the dirt for bugs, fluffing the soil and generously fertilizing. Chickens are the most prolific poopers you have ever encountered!

It was fun working side by side and as we got the work done so quickly I rewarded myself by planting 200 tulips for a blaze of color in the spring. It is the only deerproof area I have so I put them in on mass. I love deep colored Darwin tulips with the acid yellow/green of Euphorbia Polychroma.

After much online reasearch and browsing DH and I bought a leaf sweeper that hitches to the back of the lawn tractor. I actually enjoy raking leaves but this fall I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Amongst others we have a huge pin oak at the front that showers the front yard with leaves. DH is travelling as much as ever so we are hoping this will make life easier and give me time to clean up the borders instead of just the lawn. So far it has been the opposite - it took DH 4 frustrating hours to put the thing together. This afternoon after work we'll find out if it works.

Hope everyone has a good start to the week especially those with challengiing work situations.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 7:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning! Reading along and enjoying all the fall foliage and grandkids too :)

Nice to see Martie again...keep 'em coming! Sounds like your life is busy these days.

More time for a real post later (and it looks like Saturday's post disappeared!)...


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A nice day here, a little damp, but not too chilly. Tomorrow will be even better. I have a few minutes to catch up here, then will bake a pumpkin cake, which is a family (and anyone who tries it) favorite. My DD esp. loves it, and will stand in for her birthday cake. If anyone wants the recipe, let me know and I'll post it.

cyn, Do you teach in a year round school district? It sounds like you have a great teaching style, and teach to the indiviual. I like crossword puzzles, too, and focus lately on the patternless ones. I wish I could find more of them, and not only the daily newspaper one.

'bug, What is the yellow conifer in the photo? It's either dying or a Larch, right? And what's the name of the gorgeous plant with pink and orange blossoms?

candy, Yes, the deer can be a problem here. I spray Liquid Fence and spread Milorganite around, and while it helps some, there is still some damage. I don't mind it as much as the raccoon visits, though. Their droppings bother me more due to the high bacteria count. Love your Brookside. I need to get one.

Michelle, You're getting new windows? Hope you pick a nice day for installation. Hope all in going well in your DD's world.

chelone, your mentioned earlier about hating whole class punishments. That has always been a pet peeve of mine. Whether in school, or dealing with your own kids, I've always been bothered when I witness everyone getting into trouble because of one or two bad apples. If the adult in charge can't figure out who the culprit is, then the innocent shouldn't have to pay for it. I still get steamed when I remember my own kids coming home to report when it happened in their class.

Mary, Sounds like you will have a gorgeous tulip display come spring. I didn't plant any new bulbs this year...not yet anyways. There's still time, though. I didn't know that little tidbit about chickens sinking like a brick. So they would drown in a pool or pond? I would think by flapping their feathers they'd stay afloat? Hope your leaf sweeper works well. Anything that helps with leaf pickup is worth it's weight in gold. All the hours doing that yesterday, and I can barely tell today in some areas of the lawn. Maples are the worst.

kathy...what team will you be cheering on in the World Series? I know what you mean about the name just feel good saying the name. My almost 4 y.o. DGS, Will, calls him 'Tone. So cute.

Lots of missing Idyllers...although, it's still been busy here. Hi to all.


Here's a before and after to keep you in the Fall mood...(the first one I've posted before)

Earlier this year, waking up...

And today, getting ready for sleep...

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 3:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cyn427(z7aN. VA)

candy and anita, love your pics.

anita, yes, I am in a year-round school, but this is our last year for it. The superintendent says it is too expensive (only six elementary schools out of a total of 196 schools schools in our district have the modified calendar-137 are elementary schools). The fact that it is the best thing for our low-income, high risk kiddoes seems to be beside the point. They start so far behind that the extra five weeks of school really can make a difference (our test scores have gone up every year since we started this), so I am really upset that we are going back to the traditional calendar. I will also miss the breaks at the end of every quarter! Wish I could afford to retire.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi all
Not much going on around here. Rain,rain and more rain. I did manage to get my breakable pots in in case it freezes. We haven't even been able to start on the leaves.
Have been enjoying the fall colors out the windows, and when we drive somewhere.

Candy love the colors of your Brookside. I need to go look at mine and see if it has color. My Rozzanne is still blooming.

Anita,looks like you have some color in the woods there. Antonio has a great smile.

Marie, I like the color of Ivys new sweater. I'm curious too what the pink flowers and buds are.

Kathy, I really like that fountain in your photos. Sounds like you are enjoying the fall season in your garden. I think the rest of us got screwed out of the fall season to work in ours.

Eden and Michelle, I enjoyed seeing pictures of Kate, Bella and Kenzie. I hope Kenzie is getting along ok with her broken foot.

Mary, I hope the lawn sweeper works well for you. We need to see the chic-0+++++++++++++++++++++++=3222222222222222222222220
uhmm that was supposed to be chicken apron. Niki just jumped on my laptop trying to get to my lap.

My coleus cuttings have rooted so I need to get those potted up. I still would like to stick some pansies in for spring color and oh yes I have a few bulbs to plant.

Other than that I am trying to learn to make a variety of the same food stuffs for DH. He is only one point over not being diabetic. No prescribed pills yet so we are trying the diet approach to get it under control. The benefit being I am dropping pounds too since he can't be demanding all the junk foods, and I definitely need to drop pounds.

Need to go get the curious kitten out of trouble.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 9:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just a quick hello to all. Thinking especially of Woody and Randy this week...

I've been busy with many things, including a doctor's appointment, investigating flu and what to do for our various households, listening (and sometimes even laughing) to DD vent about her circumstances, a friend's back troubles, another friend who left suddenly for East Germany to deal with parents, etc....

Cold weather is expected to start in earnest I hear, next week. :( I must deal with that NOW. Also DS is expected here this weekend, but perhaps only for a dinner and then onward to various other duties.

Antonio is obviously an Italian film star. ;) Gorgeous. Anita, your Autumn garden has beautiful colour!

And Cyn, it is easy to burn out as a teacher, not so much because of the students, but because of the system! That was certainly true for me at least on several occasions. The kids are the good part!

Phoebe had a visitor come take her for a walk today and was delighted. I instructed him on how to walk her at a HEAL, with the leash loose. I know she'll test him though...

Good night!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 9:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hello all,

The weekend was busy as we went to visit DD at her school, but I took my camera and took lots of practice photos. We drove to a dairy farm that makes Jersey milk cheese that's out of this world. The calves were moving too much to get a good photo, but Mr. Turkey was willing to pose for me.

Her school considers the entire campus to be an arboretum and they have a number of great specimen trees. There's an espaliered ginkgo that it just starting to turn color.

And this small tree had brilliant orange foliage.

We got home Sunday afternoon with enough time to take a walk in the prairie. There were several blackbirds sitting in the cottonwood tree.

Class again tomorrow night, including feedback on the photos we've taken this week. Wednesday night I have to do a garden club talk, so I may be gone until later in the week. I'll try to keep up on my reading over lunchtime.

I'm trying to keep a good attitude at work, but I'm not doing a very good job of it. I'll keep trying! :)


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The awfice sustained no drama today, but morale is low and rumors of more dire doings continue to circulate-mostly instigated by those who are in no position to know anything and would be better off just sticking to the job at hand. So it goes in the world of workplace gossip.

Nice weather continues here , no frost and warm temps- I had to water containers today . I had enough water collected from the last storm though, so the hose was not called into service. My black bamboo seems to need water a lot; I think I will need to repot it this fall. Im going to nose around for a pot this Wednesday when I am upvalley. It will have to be big, so I may go the wine barrel route.

Anita, I love the seasonal comparison shots you posted how nicely you have planned for fall in that area ! I bet you cant wait to see how thinks shake out next year when the shrubs put on another year of growth.

Norma, nice to see you check in. I wish you could see that fountain in person , it is beautiful even when seem zooming by on the highway. Lol Niki and your keyboard.

Great photos V ! I await my photography class later this winter.

All for tonight

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 10:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Anita, please do post your recipe! Im looking for a tried and true pumpkin cake and I dont want to experiment with spice for this occasion. Also, I have to ask what those two conifers are in your photos - I love the structure and am curious as to their age. Lovely yard, I envy the fence but do the deer actually jump over it?!

Norma, I think you should post a picture of that laptop kitty!

I did find a great shrub sale today and bought a Chicago Lustre Viburnum at 70% off. Unbelievable! Of course it was too big for the intended area so I dug up the Helianthus Lemon Queen, put it in a holding pot and planted the shrub before the rain began. DH came home to find me grubby but smiling, happy to have a last fling before winter. Tomorrow, Im going back to see what I might have overlooked. I love planting shrubs in the fall, they just seem to get a head start over spring plantings.

V. Glad youre enjoying the photography class; youre certainly taking some fantastic pictures. I can almost count Mr. Turkeys feathers!

Thanks for the nice comments regarding the Brookside colors. I wanted to share those because Im thinking of Woody, remembering she grows them, also. Sending good, positive thoughts

More rain expected this week; the pansies dont seem to mind. Ive learned to appreciate these little plants for helping me transition into the fall and again in the early spring when Im starving for color. This one is wearing her chilly, beaded crystals without complaint

    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 11:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yikes! Sorry my last two photos have been so large. Normally, I size them 640x480 but obviously I was playing around instead of paying attention.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 12:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good morning

Anita - your gardens are lovely in all seasons!

Candy - I love orange pansies and haven't planted any for a while. How neat to see yours in the ice.

V - Mr turkey is fabulous. Anything that ugly has to be photogenic.

The leaf sweeper worked like a dream yesterday. The leaves were light and dry and flew into the cart. It was easy to dump them curbside for pick-up for the town's compost. What would normally have taken 3-4 hours was done in 45 minutes - yay!! Today my labors will be less visible but it is great knowing I can save the hand raking and dragging for my beds and borders.

In the mood for something autumnal for dinner I made (what I thought) was a delicious Butternut Squash and cashew curry. Annie and DH, who run a mile from anything in the sweet potato, winter squash family were out so I thought David was a good bet. He pronounce the sauce excellent, but that the dish would ahve been much improved without the acorn squash LOL! I know what I'll be eating for lunch this week.

Norma - I'll post a pic of the chicken apron when the straps are finished. I love having a selection of pretty aprons in the kitchen.

Thinking of sewing I have decided this year's Christmas presents will be quilted casserole carriers. I always make my sisters and close friends something by hand, and particularly enjoy the sort of retro, kitschy items that were popular in the 50's and are hip once more. I've found a pattern online and will have fun choosing fabric for each person (I'll do a prototype with chickens). But after the leaves are swept...


    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 7:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Candy, here's the recipe. Even the picky eaters like this.

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil
16 oz. can real pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda


3 oz. cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup butter (softened)
2-3 cups powered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy.
Combine the next five ingredients ; add to pumpkin mixture a little at a time.
Mix thoroughly.
Spread into an ungreased 15 x 10 pan (or use a 12x9 and 8x8)
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Cool. When completely cool (this may take a few hours at
room temp.) apply icing. To make icing, just combine the butter, cream cheese and vanilla,
then add powered sugar a little at a time until smooth.


Note: I use the 29 oz. can of pumpkin...a little is left in the can. I've never tried it with
only the 16 oz, but that's the original recipe. I'm wondering if you can also pour into
cupcake tins? Also, I like to refrigerate after icing to chill it a bit. Either way, it's great.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 10:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello Idylls!

After being without the computer for a few days, I hardly know where to start! It was filled with dust and dirt (I am not surprised), and, in spite of our virus prtoectors, there were 400+ active viruses. No wonder the thing wouldn't work!

While it was gone I cleaned and tidied up the office, and made an especially good area for TCS to do his work. We refer to it as his office, and as there are not t.v. or toys there to distract him, he is doing a little better at getting the homework done.

Garden chores are finished here now, with yesterday emptying water barrels, turning off the taps and covering the air conditioner. Time to turn my attention to the inside of the house.

The guest room will be completed today, finally, and DH will do necessary repairs to the antique furniture that is going back in there. Gee Chelone, our very own Biddy Suite! Next week he has agreed to help me do a real big clean up and decluttering of the storage. Finally.

I too hate the idea of one kid causing trouble for all. I haven't run into this yet with TCS but I recall this with my own two in elementary school. I think the poor teachers often just give in to frustration - and I don't blame them either.

A big first here this morning: Tucker and I had a leisurely stroll around the block with a neighbour and her pup. Tucker was not socialized in his original home, and so is very excitable with other dogs, and sometimes aggressive. He has come a long long way. It must be the beatings....

Mary I am glad the leaf sweeper worked so well. I remember all too well the huge Norway Maple and the extra-huge oak at our previous house...Working on the gardens is so much more enjoyable. And with your chickie friends. Sounds like a peaceful, pleasant experience. If I just say the word "squash" here everyone runs for cover.

You are one busy lady, V. It's amazing how much you manage to fit in to your life! My Gingko doesn't turn at all = it just drops the leaves, all at once, still completely green. I kind of wanted the yellow in the fall, but I guess it just gets too cold too fast here.

Cyn, retirement is certainly a less stressful way to live, but things aren't always the way you think they would be. I sent this to my ex-co-workers a month after retirement:

When I retired I thought:

I would sleep later.
My house would be cleaner.
My money would go farther.
My DH would drive me nuts.
I would have lots of free time.
I would miss working.
My gardens would be meticulous.

I didn't think:
That jeans wear out a lot faster when you wear them everyday.
That everybody else in the neighbourhood would still be working.
That the words "week-end" would lose all meaning.
That staying home all day with a little kid would be fun (TCS was a baby then).
That there are least 40 kids under the age of five in Merrickville (where we lived then).
That COSTCO shopping would fill up a whole day
That I would read a book a week just because I feel like it.

I'll leave you all nw with those thoughts! Waving to the many that I have missed! Don't forget your Juliejobs! Gives one a sense of progress, no matter how small!



    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 10:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Candy, the evergreens are seedlings that I've just let grow. The larger one was here 9 years ago when I moved in. This is my side yard (I'm on a corner) and was very woody, weedy and overgrown with invasives. I believe they are eastern red cedar, AKA Juniperus virginiana. They self seed, but not horribly. The smaller one is the only seedling I've let grow to adulthood. :) There is no fence on two sides, so the deer can easily get in and out. I'm on a corner lot.

'bug, thanks for the euonymous info. I'm going to look into those, and the americana one. The fruit is so showy.

cyn, What a shame that the district decided to go backwards. Bad thinking on their part, but money is the name of the game, isn't it? The kids suffer once again.

norma, Niki sounds like a playful toddler. Your DH is lucky to have you fixing him healthy meals. Diabetes is on the rise, so I hope he can by pass getting it.

mary, Glad the leaf sweeper works so well. Whatever will you do with those saved hours from not having to rake by hand?

Loving the photos...V is so going to ace her photography class, as will kathy when she takes it this winter. You both could teach it with no problems.

Special wave to woody.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 10:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Julie, we were posting at the same time. I love your retirement letter. That should be posted in every office lunchroom. LOL. Very true, though, especially about "weekends" losing its special meaning. You've been busy, haven't you? TCS will love his new study room, I'm sure.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 10:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Mary, a nice vignette pic featuring the chicken apron and the chicken casserole holder would be just the ticket. I still remember those love bags you made for Christmas a couple of years ago.

And thanks for the recipe Anita, on the agenda here !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 6:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

bug, I hope that there was not wine involved in the mysterious flying cat incident !

Winds are up this evening, I came home to find the umbrella prone, wilted containers and after liberally applying Burts Bees lip balm I rushed around watering and picking up rolling 5 gal buckets. Glad I never got around to raking leaves or sweeping this weekend, it would have been an exercise in futility.

My friends Ted From Garden Fall 2009

And Doobie From Garden Fall 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 8:47PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Agapanthus - where to buy?
I want to grow Agapanthus - the white one. Anyone know...
Trying any new perennials this year?
Just wondering what new perenniaks everyone is trying...
Sun Lovers in Shade---Shade lovers in Sun?
Have you placed plants in a location contrary to what...
Plant of the Year
FWIW I see The Perennial Plant Association membership...
Echinaceas in my Rain Garden
In a rare stroke of luck I just finished my rain garden...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™