Idyll #338 - Once upon a midnight dreary

gardeningmaryOctober 31, 2007

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -

Only this, and nothing more.'

Not quite Halloween but spooky never-the-less. Without googling, does anyone recognise it?


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This might be rather disjointed as I'm up and down to answer the trick-or-treaters. Dorothy was adorable - hope we see Kenzie, Babs' guys and perhaps some of T's boy's in their outfits. And maybe GB's computer will be fixed. I'll try and get some photos up later - Annie and David are out on their own right now and the weather is perfect. I think they'll have a good evening.

Cindy and Woody - great to have you check in. Cindy, it sounds as though you've had a rough few weeks but the news that your friend has found an apartment sounds extremely positive. Good wishes for your Dad.

Woody - Randy is a dab hand with the pumpkin carver:0) DH too never tells me his flower preferences beyond Star Gazer lilies, but says he loves everything. As he's yet to photo anything except at my request I'm left a little in the dark so garden entirely to please myself.

Hope everyone is having a good evening


    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 6:51PM
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Without googling, that has got to be my good friend,
Mr. E. A. Poe. musing over ornithological matters.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 7:47PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Denise, I just read your post on the last thread and want you to know...I am your fellow 'Halloween grinch'. :-)
Many years ago when I lived in town, I would leave the lights off until I knew all trick or treaters were safely back at their own homes. I have never had a trick or treater since we moved up here. The rest of the family all know where I stand on the subject, and so does the longtime neighbors. I think most children are taken to town where there is more access to homes. ( Homes are too far apart here to make the effort worth it.)

Here it is the last day of October, and we still have not had a frost. Unusual, but not unheard of. Still very little fall color, and lots of drabness.

I 'do' have a couple of blooms on my Henry Clematis.

The spring order from Vernon Barnes was delivered Monday evening.It is a very skimpy looking package. I haven't opened it yet. Just not really interested. Wish I had cancelled the order.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 8:01PM
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I'll try to get back later, we are just ready for dinner.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 8:09PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 8:32PM
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A few almost halloween wedding pics.

Callee waiting to get the show on the road

Callee and new hubby

Callee and me. Why do I suddenly feel so short?

I love this one of Callee and Wyatt. She had kissed him on the cheek. Note the garter on his sleeve. I'm not certain but I think Bobby made sure it fell short since he was in front.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 9:51PM
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Halloween Hello..Pretty groggy right now but I think I can get off a few lines. I hereby include a spelling and typo disclaimer !
In spite of my claim to be Halloween Grinch (Greench ? Hallowinch ? ) I must tell Eden I made my daughter that very same Dorothy costume when she was about 6 or 7 as I recall.DH was in charge of glittering up the slippers.
Good show with the Raven exerpt Mary !

Marian you should reveal the the contents of your package, perhaps the Idylls can help you whip us some enthusiasm with our ooos and ahhs !

Did feel the quake last night Denise, but it was pretty tame here. Hanging lights swinging a bit-which I neede to see to verify that it had actually been one. It was pretty short in duration --ok by me !

Okay, thats all, time to do my ice pak some more...all went well by the way the biggest challenge was no coffee this morning and no food( appt was at 11:30). I dined tonite on applesauce and split pea soup.

Kathy in napa

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Eden, I imagine Dorthy is tuckered out by now. I love the way they photograph kids these days. So cute.

Cindy, good to hear from you. Hope you get some me time soon.

Denise thank you for posting the succulents in the hay rack. I have an empty one and I really like yours.

I need to go back to last thread to catch up I know there was more I wanted to say.

DD arrived back in florida today. She said she was ready to come back here for the cooler weather. LOL

I just had the smush test, and the bone density one. And yes I am getting shorter. When I was young I was 5,5 1/2. I am now 5,3. The gal that did the bone density said that most everyone that comes in there has shrunk in height. I told her it was to bad we don't shrink the other way too No results on either yet. But blood work was all normal.

We added one more trick or treater this year. The neighbors ten month old and she was in a pink poodle costume. Very cute . She made a total of five.
One of the other older neighbor girls used us as a practice audience for her horsemanship speach. She has won state and is going to nationals friday in Kentucky. She was a little nervous but should do well after a couple more pratices.

I love the fact that these kids take the time to include a couple of old fogies in their halloween. Its not like we are right next door. And we always get hugs.

More tomorrow, I hope. Bedtime now. Norma

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 10:24PM
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Norma - fabulous photos and great to "see" you again. Your niece and her new hubby make a very handsome couple and the picture with Wyatt is simply adorable. It must have been a fun wedding.

Nice print Deanne!!

Kathy - hope the pain is kept at bay. Enjoy your coffee tomorrow.

I spent the evening knitting while we had a slow but steady stream of trick-or-treaters. All were in costume and I think every one said thank you (one of my pet peeves is impolite chidlren, especially when a parent is in attendance.) Annie and David arrived back with a massive haul and proceeded to barter just as Densie described. Out schools collect surplus candy to donate to the homeless shelter and I think a lot of ours will be heading that way, but it's fun for one evening to survey the loot.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 10:28PM
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Im having a hard time cutting back the garden this year, as things really look quite good yet. I did spend a little time doing that tonight, but it was cool and windy and I got chilled fast. Last night my goal was to get all the remaining bulbs in the ground.

Deanne, whereÂs the dirt in your depotting area? You should see mine. I love your Halloween container display. Those pots are very cool.

Norma, your GD is simply beautiful. I had to look at my DDÂs wedding picture after seeing your pictures. Her dress was nearly identical to your GD and veil as well. ItÂs an elegant dress. You look quite lovely as well in your fallish outfit. The picture of Wyatt is adorable, it looks like heÂs blushing. As I looked back at the picture of the cake, I believe she has the same cake topper as my DD did. They must have similar tastes.

Dorothy is as cute as can be. Love, love those shoes, I want some.

Mary, my DD called and said that Kenzie told each person who gave her a treat, "thank you for trick or treat and Happy Halloween"

I guess Kenzie was so tired that when they went in the car to some friends to Trick or Treat she fell asleep and was out for the night. She was a yellow Care Bear.

Kathy, hope you arenÂt in too much misery tonight.

Cindy, great to hear from you. I was just thinking of you tonight as I cut back the iris that you sent me last year.

Cynthia, good to hear from you and the pups too.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 10:55PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well its 6:48AM and still pitch black outside. I dont really want the dark at 5:00PM either but I guess Id rather have the light in the mornings these days. I think Daylight Savings is this weekend isnt it? I was supposed to be painting yesterday but made the big mistake of going out in the garage and I never came in the house until 3:30! I potted up a bunch of things Id left bare root from digging out on Sunday and they really needed to be dealt with, especially the acalphas were looking unhappy. Im down to only seven containers to prune, repot what I want to save, clean and store them, then Ill be done!!! Then I just have to deal with digging all the dahlias out of the mailbox garden and Ill be really done! I should be able to finish everything next week. Then it will be time to start getting the house ready for Thanksgiving.

Kathy, hope youre feeling better today and can enjoy your coffee.

Michelle, I so know what you mean about having a hard time cutting back things when they still are looking good. How many bulbs did you plant? ~~ Even though the pics dont look it Im a neatnick in my work areas. I sweep every couple hours when Im working out there. ~~ Glad you like those pots. They were a Home Goods find and were only $5.00 each. Love it!

Mary, what are you knitting? Inquiring minds would like to know. I sure wish Maries computer would get fixed so we could see what shes working on.

Norma, terrific wedding pictures! And how great to see you! Love your outfit. BTW Ive shrunk two inches myself. I used to be 59" and am now only 57".

Marian, Ive still got a couple flowers on my Henryii also.

Denise, interesting equipment. Ive always thought that what you do is an amazing skill. ~~ I went out to dinner with a couple friends instead of hiding from the Trick-or-Treaters. Normally Doug and I do the Halloween thing but with him out in Rochester this week I didnt feel like dealing with it. I usually have more fun watching Doug ooo and ahh over all the childrens costumes and I couldnt get enough enthusiasm to do it myself.

HI Cindy, nice to hear from you. Glad to hear your roommate will be moving out. So sorry about the damage to your gardens. Also, hope your Dad is OK.

Woody, how cold does it get in your garage? If it goes below freezing the brugs wont survive out there. I have to bring mine down to the basement when the garage temps get too cold.

Eden, Dorothy is quite fetching! Did you make that costume?

OK time for me to head out to the gym. Today I have to get ready for my class this weekend.

Have a great day everyone

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 7:29AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im bummed I can't see Norma's pics -- I seem to have a filter at the ofc that blocks picturetrail photos any more - the nerve of them! Ha - one more reason to look & wonder at home....once I get my space back, I hope to do so.

Yep, Denise - I too have always really admired your profession -- what skill and speed, to say nothing of incredible talent to sit in small rooms w/a bunch of maniacal, neuro attorneys for 6 to 8 hours at a time!!! Whew - and leave to go home still standing....& not drink your dinner every nite, LOL.

'Course if you HAD to imbibe, you're in the right state for it, arent you?

I have barely set foot in my gardens to mourn or clean up -- they have just been too sad w/ the damage caused by a loverly , energetic big 3 yr old cocker who's not housetrained or trained in much of any fashion -- I've got big bare trails running thru borders & places that used to have plants.... piles of dog business (even on the brick patio!) The grass path is gone, slimy bare mud now (since our big rains of last week). Im hoping to do some damage correction, and clean up on Saturday as my visitors wind down their stay.... Chloe wont even step off the brick patio to investigate her yard anymore, that's how bad it is. But your talk of clean up is making me feel like someone needs to kick ME in the butt to get going! & a bunch of bulbs to plant --

Kathy -- ouch -- still yet another dental surgery? You've got a lot of stamina to keep going thru that.

Count me in on demanding politeness from children -- Halloween or otherwise - it seems to be a vanishing courtesy or learned skill. But we can hope civilized society will win the day again at some point.

Well, Im behind in getting to the chores of the day, so I best check in later -- I have yet to read up the other threads I miss - I imagine there's lots I've missed.

Dont eat too much left-over candy to make you sick today!!


    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 9:47AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, Kathy...I'm afraid my 'no-name' plants will elicit no "oohs and ahhs". As best I can tell...the order consists of the following:
One each,
Japanese Redleaf Maple
Japanese Viburnum
Old Fashioned Lilac
Pink Flowering Dogwood
P G Hydrangea
Smoke Tree
Green Weeping Willow

There was no packing list enclosed, and I can't find the marked catalog that I ordered I presume that is the entire order. There was supposed to be several free items also, but if there is, they must not be labeled..or they are in the bottom of the packing material. I opened the package, and unwrapped down to the roots.
They are the smallest plants that I ever got from VB. (It had been years since I ordered from them.)

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 10:33AM
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Mornin allwouldnt you know it , here I am at home and the newspaper didnt show up. I had great plans to sit down with my luke-warm cup of coffee (no hot stuff allowed for 24 hours-but its still coffee ! ) and read the paper in leisurely manner , since I have to stay quiet and avoid activity today. Ill be chomping at the bit by noon. I dont feel much discomfort this morning but I look like a chipmunk ! I called in my missing paper , and decided I might as well do a morning Idyll! Thanks for all the well wishes !

Marian, I will hereby ooo and aaah over your PeeGee Hydrangea which I have always wanted, but never had a spot for. Im hoping I will in my new digs in Oregon. Im looking for ¼ to ½ acre- my present lot is about 6500 square ft .

Deanne what is your Dahlia storage method ? I have never had to dig mine up , but I will this fall. Ill divide them and give some tubers to DD and BILs . There wont be much point in planting them here next year . You will wait to dig till they are frost-killed right ?
So do you actually park any vehicles in that garage or is it just plant storage ?

Babs, nice to see ya,even though youre on the wrong thread ,lol ! Loved the vision of all the witches in the teachers lounge .

Denise, cool looking machine ! Do you wear any sort of support to prevent carpal tunnel or undue strain on your wrists/forearms ? I guess you can adjust the height of the stand to accommodate for comfort based on the chair you are in ?

Cindy ! glad to see you back in the fold and on the road to solitude. Your description of your garden with the torn up lawn and the gifts from the canine guest sounds infuriating ! Your patience is admirable. I cant imagine staying with someone for even one night and not cleaning up after my dog. I guess when people are in a bad place mentally the mundane day to day stuff flies out the window. I hope your weather holds up for you to be able to get out and do some therapeutic clean-up .

LOL Norma on the mysteries of shrinkage ! I suppose you could just characterize it as a vertical to horizontal redistribution. ! I need to get rid of 20 lbs and will use this dental thing as a lift off. I wont be able to eat much of anything in the next several days . I was up to 25 miles a week in my walking regimen at one time, but I have been working so many hours in the last year its been really hit or miss. Now winter is coming and with the time change it will be harder to walk after work.

Speaking of winter , we are entering our fog season now, weve had a couple of evenings and mornings that were fairly socked in. Our temps are now getting down to the 40s at night but we are forecast into 70s for the daytime for the next few days. Typically it will be 70s for about 2 hours between about 2 and 4 pm , and only if you are standing in the right spot

Michelle- I dont blame you for your reluctance to do much cutting back as nice as your garden looks right now! Mine is just plain untidy , especially in the back. Im hoping Ill be up to some pruning when Saturday rolls around.

Okay, time to do the cold compress thing or I won't be able to open my mouth to get soup spoon in this afternoon, hope everyone is having a great day !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 1:16PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good afternoon all,

Well Im in primo procrastination mode and am back on my computer instead of preparing for my class tomorrow. Soon, I keep telling myself, soon.

We had another lovely sunrise this AM and Ive just uploaded a pic from it that I thought youd like to see.

This time the red sky in morning quote is accurate as it is supposed to rain tonight. I hope we get a good soaking as things are getting dry again. I also snapped a pic of the hill now that the fall color is showing in the trees.

The hydrangea petiolaris still hasnt turned color and the fothergilla is just beginning to pick up its fantastic color so there are still a few things to look forward to. Id like to plant another dwarf fothergilla somewhere as it has such beautiful color in the fall.

Kathy, Glad to hear you are doing OK today. ~~ RE dahlias, yes, I wait until we get a frost to kill back the foliage then dig the clumps up. I cut off the dead foliage and leave a neck about three or four inches long on the tubers. Then I rinse them off really well with a hose and check for any rotted tubers and remove them. I dont normally do any dividing until spring just before planting. I let the tubers air dry for several days then bag them up in a light plastic bag (like a Home Depot plastic bag) in peat. I tie a loose knot in the top of the bag then store the bags in a large plastic box with a loose fitting lid. Ive done it this way with variations for years and last year I added storing them in the plastic boxes. I didnt lose a single tuber over the winter last year. In the past Ive stored them in the plastic boxes in peat without bagging them or in the bags in peat but in a cardboard box, with both of those methods Ive lost some tubers to desiccating too much. IN the past I didnt use to rinse them off, just let them dry and brush off the excess soil. I used to lose tubers to rot and wire worms when I didnt rinse them well. ~~ RE garage, The garage is only temporary plant storage because it does go down well below freezing out there. The temp in the garage is normally only ten degrees warmer than the outside temps in mid winter. There just isnt enough sun to heat the cement floor for any radiant heating in mid winter. So ALL those plants have to go down into the basement. (I just made myself tired thinking about it! LOL) And yes, we do park BOTH of our cars in the garage in the winter time.

Cindy, I cringed when I read about the damage to your gardens. How awful! I dont know how youve tolerated it this long. You are going to feel so much better when you get your space back and are able to fix things and have them stay fixed. Glad to see you around again. Ive missed your posts.

OK I guess Ive procrastinated long enough and I really do need to get my class prep done.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 3:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy post-Halloween. I'm at the in-between stage - no kids at home celebrating Halloween, no grandkids to ooh and aah over (and no hurry for that, either!), and no trick or treaters venture down our driveway, so it's quite a non-event at this house. But I'm always happy to help out my coworkers who find themselves with leftover candy!

Norma, lovely photos from the wedding! My fave is your niece with Wyatt; the look on his face is priceless. Is your skirt from Coldwater Creek? It looks very much like the one I bought a few weeks ago. Mine is very soft, like suede, and I really like it.

The squishing has been scheduled. Unfortunately, I had to schedule it in the middle of a work day. Otherwise, it would have been the week after Christmas, and I didn't want to lock myself in to something when I don't know yet when the kids will be around that week. I hope the time out of the office is not an issue. Once again, I can't figure out what is up at the office. The boss is leaving me in the dark on certain decisions, and I can't tell if this is deliberate or he just doesn't realize that he is doing it. There was a meeting with several staff yesterday, twice he wondered why some changes had not been implemented, and many of us were unaware that the decisions to make the changes had been made. (Is that too oblique or am I making sense?) Anyway, my point is I'm not the only one being left in the dark currently, but it sure is not a place I like to be. I'm starting to polish up the old resume just in case.

DH was home last night. He looked at his travel schedule for the rest of the month and admitted he did not know what he was thinking when he booked so many back-to-back trips. i won't be seeing a lot of him until turkey time.

Cindy, I hope life gets less bumpy soon! Perhaps your dog tracks would look better if you came and saw the destruction in my front yard? I'm hoping something besides weeds will come up there in the spring.

Tomorrow the new heat pump gets installed, with a promise of a temporary thermostat so that we have heat through the weekend. Sometime next week we will be on full-fledged geothermal heat! (but I'm crossing my fingers that all goes well tomorrow, as it will get down to freezing tomorrow night)

I had better go fix some dinner. I've been a little lazy about it when DH isn't home. I think I shall make some gnocchi (sp?) tonight.

Hi Blabs! And I forgot to tell Mary I enjoyed her choice of "The Raven" to start this idyll. Quoth the Raven, Nevermore!


    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 7:56PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

All the class stuff is in the suitcase and ready to be out the door with me first thing in the AM.

Such a day, not only did we have a spectacular sunrise we had a spectacular sunset as well and then the surprise on top was a beautiful rainbow in the eastern sky as the sun was setting. Amazing!

and the western sky

I don't think I've ever caught a sunrise and sunset on the same day before. Fun!

V. that's a worry about work. I'd be paranoid about it. Glad you're polishing up the resume. Hope it's just that the boss is absent minded for some reason. Thanks for reminding me again, I've got to schedule my 'squish' also.

OK Doug just walked in through the door so I'm off to welcome him home.

Nite all

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 9:35PM
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Thanks for the nice comments on the wedding pictures. I will leave them up a little while for Cindy to maybe see them at home and then take them down so as not to slow things up.

Michelle, I thought the gown was pretty. Simple but elegant. I also thought the cake topper was neat. She wanted things simple , didn't want a big wedding at all. They were married in a small church by his grandfather. The same as his parents. Her sisters wedding in April will probably be a different story.
Looking forward to seeing the little house in the childrens garden.

V, the skirt was from Coldwater Creek. I like it but should have gotten one size smaller. I stepped on it walking up some steps and about pulled it off. LOL
Its a good thing you have the dogs to keep you company with DH gone so much.

So Marian, no frost yet? We have had a couple now. Some things are hanging on but a lot has been nipped. Time to start cleaning it up.

Mary I think you asked how I was doing with the guitar. I'm still working on it. Our little group hasn't got together for awhile. Everyones been busy. I'm looking to get a new guitar soon. Have you found a new one for David yet? I really should take a few lessons this winter.

Deanne what a neatnic you are. Wish it would rub off on me. I am a bonefied slob, until I can't stand it anymore and then do a major cleanup. I'm sure it would be much easier to clean up as I go.
The fall colors really set off the new seating area. Our colors are nice right now but probably won't last long since everything was so dry. I walked in the woods and fields for a couple of hours today just enjoying it.

Kathy luke warm coffee yuko. Hope you heal fast. You have me curious to go find Babs post.
So I guess it makes sense that if we are getting more compacted from shrinkage in height we would be rounder right? Thats my story and I'm sticking to it. ha
Having DH home doesn't help matters any. He instigates me into eating when I normally wouldn't.

Hi all. Norma

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 10:27PM
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Oh Duh! Thanks for setting me straight Denise-so far any of you newer people here probably think I'm the biggest airhead...shh idyll longtimers! The post below was posted by moi and I was definitely not paying attention: )....

Mary it's good to hear of your kids getting to do the traditional Halloween kinds of things~parades,parties and sugaring it up lol. As I mentioned way back we have a new principal who has been good for the school BUT what a shock to find he doesn't condone Halloween hoopla at school! Our school has had a tradition of the all-school parade and an afternoon of fun.[he cut the party time down to 50 min at teh very end of the day-it was a 'turbo skim'-style party-no kidding I was a helper] Our faculty actually gets more into costumes than even the kids so yesterday was an adjustment. Last year almost all the teachers were witches-seeing them lined up in the teacher's lounge for lunch was so fun to see-as if they were at a witch convention. I've deemed our principal the scrooge-grinch ; )

The last thing I've felt like doing is sewing elaborate costumes for days on end so I opted to make a pretty serious werewolf mask for Ryan using faux fur-pics will be forthcoming. As for Aj he was a demeantor from Harry Potter-I will admit I cheated and bought a costume from Target,hey it was 50% off and the same cost as buying the fabric so I went for it. Mind you I come from a family where my great grandmother would hand stitch full Halloween costumes like a clown suit/hat with hand made pompoms and the whole nine yards. I wonder how long it took her.

Deanne I love your garage setup for over wintering-I really need to make-over my garage so I can fit my stuff in there. 'Dark Eyes' looks fabulous! Yes this is perfect weather for those fuchsias. I did bring almost all mine in but love that despite we had a freeze, my 'Gartenmeister' didn't even blink. The deer are ascending upon my gardens now due to the idiot nextdoor-(I don't usually label people with that name but I'm so irritated with his feeding of the deer)when they run out of whatever he's feeding them they check out my yard and seem to be inhaling the plants.

Eden! Bella Dorothy is a cutey!! That earlier pic with the Mr.Potato Head glasses is a crack up-we have several pics of kids in our family through the years doing that same thing with the glasses-funny how kids think alike: )
Actually I'd love to know what any of the Idyll kids/grandkids were as well. Saucy?
Mary I read about David as the pirate-what was Annie?

Chris went to work as Gilligan-the nursing school goes nuts over Halloween dress up & has a two hour party too.

V good on you with the cholesterol!Now go have a scrambled egg and bacon breakfast with biscuits and sausage gravy and a milkshake to celebrate...: )

Cindy-wow you've had your hands full! I'll be thinking of your dad-I just survived my mom's hip replacement recovery-she's halfway into the outpatient rehab & driving now so things are good. I hope your dad's goes smoothly too.

Denise-how's your mouth?
Gee,First fire in CA now an earthquake: ( I hope the ground settles down over there.
BTW at my bro's house in San Diego all they had was some soot entering nooks and crannies-not anything complicated to clean up. My bro didn't think the house smelled like smoke but then again,if they've been breathing that stuff maybe they were used to the smell?

These last few days I've been thinking of how Chelone is doing.

'Bug must be going nuts with no computer!

Wow am I back in true form? I'm a blabfest.


So that was earlier today and I can't tell you when the last time was that I made it to the idylls to read let alone post twice in one day.This is progress. Parent/teacher Conferences are next week so we only have 2.5   
days of school next week!!! I am twirling with happiness\-ouch. 

Norma\-I'm so happy to see you and your niece's wedding pics\-she's so pretty in that dress\-I like the simple elegance of that style. That cake back there is very nice looking too\-was it octagonal? Wyatt is looking so mature\-love that expression on his face!!   
Norma I hate to tell you this; ) but in an aging course I took once I believe they said we shrink up to three inches in height as we age. 

Mary I liked your thread opener\-Didn't Vincent Price do a short film of Poe's "The Raven"? Gosh that brings back memories\-as a kid I loved any scary book or movie I could find. 

So my life now is PTU(Parent/Teacher Union)hmmm it's essentially PTA but we have no teacher's involved in it\-what's up with that?   
I need to construct a faux fireplace for our Breakfast with Santa\-it's the backdrop for photos with Santa...I need to get my hands on a large box so I can create this thing,I really want it to be three dimensional rather than just a flat scene. 

Have you guys gotten flu shots? I just don't know what's best to do. I've never gotten a flu shot and I really can't say I've ever gotten the flu but Chris gets a shot yearly and he gets something that resembles flu right after getting his shot\-I don't see the logic in getting a shot if my immunity seems pretty good anyway... 

So I just got an invite for my high school class reunion\-25 years! Sheesh. Is it just me,or is that nuts to pay 40 bucks a person for a 2 'free' drinks and some appetizers? I am stingy: ) OK I am cheap. There I said 

Better go wet my whistle... 


    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 10:30PM
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Cool photos Deanne.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 10:31PM
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Hey Babs, Yes the cake was octagonal. It was also listing a little to the right LOL. I cropped the photo so it wouldn't show.

I'm glad you reposted, so I didn't have to look LOL.
I think Wyatt was the black spiderman? I didn't get to see him though.

I got a flu and pneumonia shot for the first time since I happened to be at the dr anyway and I am at that quote "age". I think I had that reaction too. I certainly didn't feel good a couple of days.

I've heard a lot of people say the same things about the expense of class reunions. Norma

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 10:52PM
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Dear Babs, I've noticed you mixing the identities of the two Calif. idyllers up before. I was getting kind of used to it.
I think Kathy got the short end of that stick ;> Hello to all. Gotta keep my head down and work for next four days at least but I'll be checking in. If a transcript is needed for trial next week, I lose a weekend. I'm thinking of Katie in her jammies and hope Chelone isn't too miserable and poor 'bug living the Luddite's life w/o computer, not to mention Kathy's mouth. What a world of pain (Big Lebowski anyone?). Marian, my fellow Grinch, that's a first-rate plant order, but they go in pots, right? No fall planting for you, I expect. And I wonder what the rascally armadillo will be up to when it freezes?

Norma, what gorgeous photos. Your GD has exquisite taste. I definitely wasn't one for ceremony when I got married. Ours was in front of a judge, with a kindergarten class on a field trip witnessing our vows, spontaneously erupting in applause at the "I do's." To this day, I wouldn't have it any other way.

V. what exciting stuff happening, technology wise. I'll have to check old idyll threads to get the back story. Possibly male menopause for the boss's forgetfulness? Let's hope so.

I've yet to take a photo of a rainbow, Deanne. Yours is a beaut. We seem to be getting a resident flock of parrots in the neighborhood. Global warming? Not only loud and exuberant in color, they easily match that in noise.

Hello to Mary, Eden & Michelle, Cindy, enjoying your posts. Might have missed someone there but signing off. G'night all.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2007 at 11:43PM
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Hi Everyone,
I missed saying Happy Halloween to all of you. We never have any trick or treaters here. Our road is very dark, no street lights or side walks. When our DD was younger we had a few of her friends stop by.

I finally was able to get my DD out of her apartment on Tuesday. She is doing well with her crutches. We went out for breakfast and to a movie. Since it was close to Halloween we saw "30 Days Of Night". Yes, I did jump off my seat a few times but the movie rated a C by me.

Today I'm picking up my DD and taking her for her Xrays. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that finally healing has taken place in her foot. We'll probably go out for breakfast and then I'll do some cleaning for her.

We haven't had a frost yet. I have so much yard work to do I don't know where to start.

Mary-I watched "The House Of Usher" on Halloween. Interesting that you quoted Poe how appropriate for this time of year.

Deanne-I can never get enough of sunrises and sunsets.

Norma-The wedding pictures are beautiful. I think I'm getting shorter too. Don't know why but my feet are getting bigger. I'll be scheduling my bone density testing this month. Last year I had a 5% bone loss. I take Miacalcin and Calcium.

Have a great day

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 7:41AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good morning! It looks like we have a crisp fall day on tap today. Still no frost at my house though. Clocks go back on Saturday so I get a bit of a reprieve from leaving for work in the dark. Now I get to come home in it.

One week with the new boss. At this point I haven't spent all that much time interacting with him but my early assessment is there are both strong and weak points. One of the weak points is he seems to have the opposite personality of the old boss who we have so much fun with. Yesterday I cracked out the straw in the armpit trick for our outside CPAs when they came in to meet with him. The outside guys are a couple of hoots. One was going home that night to practice. He's got five kids. I told him to teach them all and his wife will love

Anyway, the saga will continue I'm sure. V, maybe we can work on our resumes together.

Norma, great wedding shots. I love the dress and the picture with Wyatt is adorable.

Deanne, I heard the sunset we had here was on the news last night. I didn't see it but am certain your depicted version is better.

Cindy, glad you popped in. Hopefully you'll get your life back soon and find some time to get the garden back up to par. I imagine this situation has put a strain on whatever relationship you have/had with your friend.

Hi Babs, Mary, Marian, Kathy, Denise...where's Chelone?

OK, must run.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 7:53AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yea its Friday 2 more days and Im free at last. . . . ..

Ive got a squish/smash session to schedule myself. . . . been having a hard time finding personal time for those mundane things in life for myself as needed.

Deanne gorgeous shots. Have a great trip & successful class.

Denise good luck on the work deadline. Ive consoled myself many times in the last month pondering that perfection of the agave m.p. alba present and think of you every single time!

Kathy hope you get to enjoy the lukewarm java we addicts will take it in any fashion wont we? Geothermal heat now thats a neat one I dont think they offer that here on the East Coast; I have an aged 20 yr. furnace I need to replace another item on the to-do list in the next month estimates on a new one.

V do you think your boss is stressed or overwhelmed w/ work somehow? I find that is what my one partner tends to do weve had an extremely high maintenance, 24/7 type of case for the last 3 months that he devotes about 20 hours of his days to and Ive found that all too often he asks me about things that I never heard I was supposed to be doing I tell him my ESP must be failing... this has happened on numerous occasions lately. I decided hes so overbusy that he only Thinks hes relayed some instruction to me or request but he may have meant to but forgot due to another more pressing urgency... Ive tried to be more patient and just pretend its my fault (haha that ESP, what a problem)...

Did anyone happen to see the NY Times Garden article yesterday about how even in New England & NYC no one has done their autumn garden closing/to bed chores yet because of the weather? And that things are continuing to bloom so, that no one wants to cut anything back yet. So I guess were all laggards and can feel better about it.

Norma you and I have similar "neatnic" habits that tends to be my housekeeping/living style also but I discovered w/ the houseguest that I found I do have some higher standards than I thought I did I require dishes to Not be left dirty in the sink overnight, or dirty foreman grills to be left sitting out unscrubbed for days; many other things its been an interesting discovery to me to find Im more "neat" than I thought!

Babs, those costumes sound just fine and dandy to me working Moms have to cut corners somewhere like cooking maybe it comes out of a box that you "spice up" sometimes... the kids still had a blast w/ those costumes I bet. But I can see where you felt like you were letting down the dynasty, uh? I always had the mantra as a single parent "I am NOT Superwoman; I do not Want to be superwoman" and I think that applies to most working parents today. . . . Glad to hear about your Moms hip success Im hoping Dad rebounds quickly he suffered a severe bacterial infection from the earlier procedure that really knocked the "wind out of his sails" so to speak but I do think hell feel tons better once he gets the hip too hes so limited right now and in a lot of pain its overdue but some other medical issues had gotten in the way unfortunately, I think due to years of caretaker duty that seems to be a common problem for caregivers to neglect their own heatlh or do things to the detriment of their own. . . . so now hes paying the price. But I have to keep telling myself once we get thru the hip surgery, maybe this will be it and hell and all of us will get back to a bit more "quiet" life...

Sue Ive been thinking of you the last couple of days wondering how the new boss was doing aah the straw event that should break some ice w/ the new guy, uh? How did he react?

Yep, some strain and insight with the friendship its really hard for me to watch people continue to repeat really really stupid mistakes but I guess my learning lesson on this one is some people arent capable of learning new things and we have to let them go and accept them as they are --- I probably would have accepted her visit still, but should have been harder sooner on her I guess; altho Im not sure that would have speeded things up any. . . .

In my defense re my yard, I will tell you all that I did confront my houseguest about the need to pick up Daily those presents left by her dog (to say nothing of the death that continual urine deposits leave none of which she seemed to comprehend), and the fact that the poor thing needed daily(try a.m. & p.m.) lengthy walks but my upset & confrontation only produced one "good" day immediately thereafter before falling back to her same excuse/routine I tried taking Biscuit along w/ Chloe on walks, but poor Chloe has been overwhelmed & in a funk by the invasion, so Ive tried to give her some "one on one" time and our walks often are part of that. I cant tell you the number of times Ive gotten home & taken Chloe out on her walk while houseguest takes her dog & puts her outside in my back yard most times I keep muttering to myself "whats wrong w/ this picture?!!!"

Ok, enuf of that - Im closing my mouth and moving on -- it's been an experience -- I apparently enjoy my own alone space & routine more than I recalled, LOL. 2 Days and it will be a memory -- Im hoping I dont have to take Chloe to a doggie shrink for therapy though -- boy, it's been tough, tough on her too, poor thing. We may do a dance in each of the rooms and outside (after cleanup) to celebrate - think of us doing some celebratory woofs and sounds of joy on Sunday afternoon!


    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 10:06AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all.....
STILL no frost or freeze ! The weather man missed the call for us, and now the possibility has been moved forward several days. We just may make it to Thanksgiving this year. That is a very rare occurance here. One year we had roses blooming at Thanksgiving day.
I dragged in the tall potted Pineapple Sage from the deck yesterday...guess I will drag it back out. The plant is pretty sparsely branched, but I love the blooms.

The driveway Sugar Maple is coloring up nicely.

The Ginkgo ( my favorite tree) is yellowing and should be pretty for at least another week. The big Tulip poplar is nice and yellow also. It looks like the front yard Sweet Gum will be nicely colored,and there is other color, so all is not too drab.It will be nothing like last year's beauty. ( Remember my color tour thread? )

Norma, Nice pics of your niece and her wedding. I wish them the best.
I am with you on the 'neatnic' business. I used to be pretty good at such...but time and tide have taken their toll....:-) I generally don't find it that important anymore.

Kathy, so.... you and Denise are BOTH Halloween grinches?
Thank goodness the quake caused you no damage.
I hope your mouth is soon all better. My tooth is still causing a problem. I guess it is a sensitive nerve ending. It is activated mostly by cold...not good with winter coming on ! My problem is small potatoes compared to yours.

Funny about your newspaper not showing up! The same thing happened to us yesterday. :-( , Nolon gets pretty upset when that happens. It doesn't bother me too much. I can always go to the computer and look up the current news. My theory on our missing paper is that our disfunctional mailman thought Oct.31st was a day for the paper to not be printed!!!???? ( Since our paper is delivered by the mailman, it is always a day late. )I didn't call in....I figure it will show up today.

The PeeGee Hydrangea is another try for me. I have planted one before with no success.

V, I envy you your new heat pump. We had one in our new house in Idaho. I really liked it, but am told they are not too successful here ??? I can't imagine why.

Sorry about all the job uncertainties. Thank goodness that is all behind the two of us.

Deanne all your sunrise/sunset pics are gorgeous. I haven't seen such beauty here for awhile...just small snippets.

Cindy, so sorry about your dog/yard damage. And to think you will have to wait so long for new growth to repair it....

Good to see Babs back up to speed ! LOL
Re: flu shots...we always get one and I do not think they in themselves have caused any after effects. Sometimes something coincides with the shot, but isn't caused by it. A few people may have an allergic reaction or sensitivity to it. It has been twelve years since either of us had a bad case of flu. I can't remember whether we had had a shot that year...if we did, it was some time before the illness. I sure prefer to get the shot and lessen the chances.

Denise...yes, I plan on potting the new plants. Guess I'd better get that done ! Fall planting is a good idea here, but I am not up to it, and besides, I think the plants will do better if grown on in pots for awhile. They are pretty small. Anyhoo...I still think I will past most of them on to our son, or someone else.

Mariann, good to hear that your DD is doing well on her crutches.I hope the Xrays show good news.
Yep...not only do we lose height, we also get bigger feet ! I used to wear 5-5 1/2 size shoes. Now I wear 6-6 1/2, and even an occasional 7 (depending on how they are made)! I used to be I probably do good to reach 5ft. ( I wonder why Drs don't measure me??? )

Speaking of missing members...what ever happened to our 2 Oklahoma gals? Jerri and Lisa ? Also many other MIA's. I espacially miss Chelone, and Ei. No one answered my query about Ei, so I presume no one has heard from her.And then there are Drema, Da, Barb, Honey ( oh yes, I miss Honey !),Janie, Lauren ( in Tas ),Julie, Sylvia, Taryn ( I miss you), Yeona( I miss you too), Vegangirl( I miss you),and more recent absences....Monique and Saucy....
I am sure I have missed many....Where are the other 2 men, Bruce and Blackie! ( Good that David pops in now and then. )


    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 10:46AM
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ID question. Anyone know what fern this is?

And since lots of you are packing up your gardens, I thought a few photos might ease the pain.

This is plectranthus 'Blue Yonder.' I wasn't sure if plectranthus bloomed before frost for you or not. This guy was squashed by the succulent orb hanging above when it lost orbit, so big branches were broken.

That plectranthus w/Salvia 'Waverly.'

And a little Cuphea 'Totally Tempted.'

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 12:24PM
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Denise, it's a Pteris fern....I'm doing the ice pak thing this morning so no hands free for a lengthy back later ! Hi to all !
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 12:29PM
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And hang on to that ice pack!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 12:38PM
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Probably unnecessary to add I'm completely fern-challenged.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 12:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi folks! Once again I'm at DH's office and the bad news is that "human error" means they forgot to send the part! So another week waiting for the part, and hoping that it solves the problem! This is very tedious indeed. I have a hard time without Google, Amazon, email, forums, etc.

I enjoy all the pets news: Cynthia's elegant hounds, talk of Wrecks, Corgies (which my sister in France breeds), even the news that Cindy's pup will have cause to celebrate this weekend. Charlotte is a frequent topic of conversation still, and we have visited the Bouvier kennel together last Sunday. Spring seems a long long wait!

Halloween talk was fun to follow as I was catching up on all the news. Dorothy was quite the charmer. I have seen no photos of the grandchildren due to our computer failure, but DD was very busy sewing Harry Potter capes for Skyler and his friend as well as a cape for her own witch attire. DSIL also decided to learn to master the new sewing machine and made a jolly fellow to decorate the front lawn. He sewed old pant leg bottoms together and filled them with leaves, also shirt sleeves stitched and similarly filled with leaves. Then he made a "head" with plaster of Paris....quite an adventure. Skyler was hyper excited by the occasion and was also enthusiastic about the school parade. Reed was a brown teddy bear. And then the excitement of Christmas will begin. We hope to go to their home to help them celebrate the beginning of new traditions there.

At the farm all sorts of upkeep items have landed in our laps: the garage doors need maintenance, the computer too of course, the mower is leaking transmission fluid right after a $500 repair job, and this morning there was no water! At least the water problem was quickly fixed by adjusting a fuse in the basement. I have painted one coat of the basement steps, one more to go. Also stained the handrail. DH is researching geothermal heating, so I guess I need to contemplate garden destruction on a larger scale than the house painters provided V?

In the garden I have done LOTS of cutting back and cleanup, but tons more remains. We have had several beautiful days for outdoor work but there is frost almost every evening and it is too cold to work until about 11AM. The skunks are still doing massive destruction to the 'lawn' each night.

Yes, I have been knitting a sweater for Skyler for Christmas and hope to sew it together this weekend. Then I'm eager for another project. I've also read two of the book club books, so I'm set until January. Anyone else read Digging to America by Ann Tyler? Just need to order a few of the next ones on the list.

That's all for now. I miss the give and take of more frequent postings, but this is what time allows.

Fond thoughts to all,

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 1:18PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks) sorry about your woes, espacially the loss of your computer! But your post reminded me of a picture that I was going to post the other day and couldn't due to PT's idiosyncracies...:-(

It is a pic of the 2 main dogs that were in my family when I was a child. The smaller one is a corgie that was apparently lost by a tourist at the neighborhood country store. My oldest half sister brought it home, and claimed it. She named it Queen or Queenie. The other was the family dog. We called it Colley ( like coal-ey)

I think I posted this pic a long time ago. The object to the right of the black dog ( Queenie was brown) is my dad's tractor's smokestack ! The snow was on the level in that area. The tracks are probably those of one of our sleds.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 1:50PM
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Im reading with interest the Eastern Idyllers angst over whether or not (mostly not) to do fall clean upI struggle with this every year. Nights can be frosty or not in late Oct , and our one frost so far was a rooftop only event. If the rains start in earnest it becomes harder and harder to get out and do anything so right now is my window of opportunity. I took a couple advil this morning after my applesauce and lukewarm coffee breakfast (yum!) and spent some quality time with the icepak before venturing out to do some light chores. Very light they were- bending over at all made my face feel like it was going to fall off ! I did manage to pull up my tomato-which is still growing well but at this point is only getting about 2 hours of sun a day in the very late afternoon. I also dismantled my tomato support structure.

Deanne, loved the sunrise/sunset shots. And catching the elusive rainbow to boot. Hope your class goes well !

What a nice long post from you CindyHopefully Chloe will be so thrilled with the departure of the doggie interloper shell be back to her old self in no time !

Mariann, nice to hear from you too- what a long road to recovery your poor DD has been on. I hope you get some good news from the Dr. and x-rays.

Marian, I remember your foliage posts from last fall. Did you take that pic of the pineapple sage in the last couple of days ?? Everything looks still so green in that photo. My crepe myrtle in the backyard is bare and the one in the front is still green. As is the birch tree. One of the streets in my neighborhood has several Ginkos planted as street trees. I just love them too, but they grow so slow ! I planted one when we lived in the house next door almost 20 years ago and its still not very large.

Sue, I concur it will be nice to go to work when the light is up-although I go in so early it wont be that way for long! I try to come home at 4:30 but that doesnt always happen.

bug, glad you could stop by and get us caught up, but how aggravating to still have your computer woes. It sounds like youve been productive though during your downtime.

I took a few pics while out today, the light was a bit sideways

This coleus planting is still going strong. I had 'Blackie' in with it but the coleus got so big they crowded him out and I finally just yanked him.

This is 'Moonlit Madness' one of three of my Daylilies that are reblooming this fall..

Since Denise posted a Plectranthus today , I decided I would too..This is 'Zulu Wonder' , a bit past his prime right now. I love the bronze stems.

This is why we sometimes get the monniker 'fungus corners' This is one of many patches on my backyard right now. These are very large too, the size of a hefty portabello..

Hello to all !
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 8:03PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Quick howdy to everyone! We got done at a fairly civilized hour tonight, so I thought I'd check in and see what y'all have been up to. Great pictures posted...Norma, love the wedding shots, and it's so good to see you!
Eden, Bella is just the most adorable Dorothy!
Deanne, I LOVE those sunrise/sunset shots.
On the subject of photos, I have a question, as I'm really challenged in this area. Last year at Thanksgiving, I took one of the whole gang (minus the one sister that didn't show) BUT I had the resolution set too low on the camera to get a print any bigger than a wallet. If you can...imagine a wallet shot of 70 people :( Anyone know if a photography shop could do anything with it?? I'm just sick about it. Mom is gone now, and that's the last family picture there will ever be.
We're making good progress with harvest. We're down to about 500 acres of corn left to pick. Then, I can get back to feeling human again. I feel like the Dunkin Donuts guy, meeting myself coming and going. Michelle, are you guys finished picking yet?
More I should comment on, but am in dire need of a hot shower, and still have to rustle up something to eat. We seem to be in the habit of having supper around 10:00...I don't care for the schedule, but like going to bed with a growling tummy even less ;)
Have a good night, everyone!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 8:49PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A quick word since I'm supposed to be doing something else.

Denise, last year I overwintered my plectranthus, and the combination of the jump start and the longer growing season this year resulted in wonderful flowers. I never knew that plectranthus bloomed! And I had just decided to let it go this year when it worked its way back into my heart...

V., off to search for recipes

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 9:38PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, I took that pic of the pineapple sage the 20th of Oct. Most of the trees have started turning since then. Here is my latest over all pic., taken the 31st:

The Ginkgo ( seen on the right front of the house) has turned more yellow since then. The honey locust in front of the house is almost bare. The tulip poplar ( tallest tree on the left)is more yellow now. It is still a rather pretty sight, but not nearly as nice as this time last year.

I looked for a pic of my Plectranthus Mona Lavender to post, but don't have a good one. I brought it indoors, and hope to enjoy it's lovely lavender blooms for some time yet. Your blue flowering plec is lovely! My common Swedish Ivy has lots of pale blooms right now.

I love your fungi pic. I take pics of all that I see...:-)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 9:57PM
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Mariann, I have not heard of Micalcin before. I used to take Fosamax but my stomach couldn't handle it.
My report come back with some decrease in bonemass in my hip but an increase in my spine. I wonder out that happens.
I hope your DD xrays showed some improvement.

Hi Sue, Maybe the boss man will come around after he gets used to things.
It got down to 24 here last night and really wiped things out. Even a few things on the porch that I was going to bring in got hit hard. And Rebel wanted to come in the house this morning.

Cindy I can't stand dishes in the sink either. After Dh retired he thought doing the dishes would be an easy chore for him. Ha after two weeks he was tired of it. But the thing was he would wash them and then leave them in the drainer whereas I always put them away. I told him I would rather do them myself than be angry with him for the way he does them.
I can picture you and Chloe doing a happy dance when the guests exit. LOL

Marian, that sugar Maple is gorgeous. That snow in the picture must have been pretty deep.

Hi Bug, I imagine you are missing those frequent pictures of Reed. Good to hear you will be visiting at Christmas.

Denise and Kathy, nice shots. I didn't know there were so many varieties of plectranthus.

Brenda, are you trying to print the photo yourself. It might have something to do with the resolution you are printing at. It would be worth a shot to see what a photo shop could do with it.

I went out to clean up some of the mush and empty pots this afternoon. I need to get an earlier start in the morning.

The neighbors through the woods are having a barn dance tonite. I can hear the band from the front porch. We used to go, but the music is so loud you can't even carry on a conversation with the person next to you. So I will listen from the porch.

Eden, I forgot to mention how cute the picture of Bella in the Mr potato head glasses was. Anyway Hi to all including all those Marian mentioned.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2007 at 10:01PM
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Hi everyone! I am so far behind....I am going to put idyll-time on my daily calendar again.....I've been rolling out of bed and putting on my gym clothes, going to the bus stop and off to the gym. While it's good for my physical being, the other parts of me miss idyll :)

I am reading with deep interest of the idylls getting geo thermal heat! It is a great heat for any part of the world, but it's cost up front frightens most people off.....I think if I were building a new house, I'd insist! V., please post more about it as the colder weather sets in.

Not much going on here besides work.

I do have my gym clothes on now, so I am going to go and think of you all and perhaps have something highly entertaining or exceptionally interesting to say later in the weekend!

Don't hold your breath, though!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 8:50AM
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Good chilly morning! I went out at 9:30 and it was 34 degrees. There is no wind, so since I am dressed warmly, its actually quite pleasant working conditions. I plan to button up quite a few projects today including getting all the containers washed and put away, getting the shed back in order, some cutting back and putting away furniture and some of the garden art.

Nice to see Marians lovely fall colors. Good to hear from Saucy, Marie and Babs.

Brenda, we finished up this week and now DH can work on fall tillage with his new tractor.

Denise, I had that same fern this year. It caught the attention of several visitors.

Deanne, your sunrises/sunsets are stunning. I probably planted around 200 bulbs.

I'd better get back at it.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 12:47PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Mary - The title poem is Randy's favorite! He used to be able to recite the whole thing. I wonder if he still remembers it all....

Marian - it looks like your fall colors are coming on nicely. Here, it seems like fall colors are slow to develop this year. Most things are changing - or have dropped their leaves entirely - but some are still completely green. The oak tree in the backyard has just started changing this week. Once it's completely in its fall colors, it's quite spectacular viewed through the living room window. It's one of my favorite fall events.

Deanne - my garage does get below freezing in the winter. I figured there was only a small chance of the brugs making it through the winter - which would save me having to decide whether to grow them again next year or not :-) but you've made me feel guilty so we (with great difficulty!) wrestled them out of their pots and removed 3/4 of the soil so they would fit in pots that Randy could carry into the basement. They are now residing in the plant hibernation area along with the elephant ears, a dark canna and amarylis bulbs. I still have one more pot with small elephant ears and acidanthera bulbs to wrestle into submission, hose off the bulbs and spread on the remaining empty shelf to dry. Here are the plants in the hibernating area:

The pot with the pink brug is in the laundry sink and will join the rest shortly. I watered them in the new pots to settle the soil around the roots. What watering do I need to do over the winter? Are they cut back OK?

(Some day we'll get around to finishing the basement....:-)

Randy's family is having a bit of a Christmas reunion this year. His parents and his sister and her son are all coming for Christmas. It will be the first time they've all been together for Christmas since 1996. His parents will stay here and his sister and her son stay at his brother's so the cousins can spend time together. His sister's son and his brother's daughter are 4 months apart in age. Which is sort of neat because his brother and sister are twins... When the three kids are together, they all look like one family. Randy's mother likes to watch TV a lot and complains because we don't have cable. So we broke down last week and actually suscribed to basic cable just so his mother wouldn't feel too deprived at Christmas!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 3:12PM
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I've been going round and round with a mail order nursery I'll call "Waylaid," a minor saga that seems to have achieved closure today. Briefly, ordered summer 2006. Noticed summer 2007 that a clematis (forget which one but really special! lol) was never sent. With much difficulty, finally advised a human of nondelivery. Pick another one, she says. Arabella sounds good, sticking with blue since I've got so many gold-leaved plants. Fine, Waylaid says, will ship in spring. Although customer service is nearly nonexistent, their web designers are at full throttle sending me emails nearly daily of gorgeous never-before-had in-the-US plants. Guess what weak-minded consumer couldn't spot a come-on if her life depended on it and ordered a Buddleia 'Silver Anniversary'? Two wks ago I spot said buddleia locally, a gorgeous plant, healthy, in a gallon, cheaper than mail order. I pass it up, mine's in the mail.

Mine arrives in the mail last week, dead.

I relayed this mini tragedy to my largely uncomprehending family, to which they respectfully listened then left on some errands, including fixing a flat tire on my car. While they're gone, a box arrives from Waylaid with two Huvi clematis with a note of apology that they're out of Arabella. I can't grow clematis, period, but thought if it was really, really special to me, like Arabella, I'd watch it day and night, nurture it beyond all reason. On top of everything else, I NEVER allow substitutions for mail order. Surprises are what local impulse shopping is for.

Family returns from errands...with Silver Anniversary buddleia, from nursery that I casually dropped name and directions of lol. Never again will I be waylaid by Waylaid and will advise to stop sending those seductive emails. You'd think I was an addict or something...

And I did plant the two Huvi clematis near the purple-lvd grape. It's supposed to be quick to bloom.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 6:16PM
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Hi Saucy, good for you doing the workouts. Its a good thing.

Michelle , hope you got lots done today.

Woody, looks like you did a good job of cutting back the brugs. I like your drying rack. I have some caladium bulbs drying out downstairs that I probably need to pack up tomorrow.

I didn't buy any new bulbs this year although I can think of several spots I could use some. I got one whole bed cleaned up today and part of another. I hope it is as nice tomorrow as it was today. Chilly but sunny. Good working weather. I sure am tuckered out though.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 6:19PM
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Denese, what a fiasco. But nice that you now have a healthy buddleia. Bummer about the clem. Norma

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 6:23PM
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Well Denise, here is a link to Chalk Hill--if you've decided to break up with Waylaid you might like to venture thier way; I've ordered from them more than once, they are about 30 miles as the crow flies north and west of me near Healdsburg (home of awesome Zinfandels) and lo and behold, they have Arabella..Chalk Hill has a very good reputation..and it would not surprise me to find that places like Waylaid were actually purchasings liners from them and growing them on to sell at retail..enjoy this website if you've never visited...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 7:14PM
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That's the word for it, Norma, a fiasco.

Oh, Kathy, that's one of the most beautiful catalogues in existence, and I have ordered from them before. Have been debating whether to try these New Zealand clems like Joe and Avalanche, and I think the tanguticas should do fairly well here. You do know the American Clematis Society is based 8 miles away in Torrance? So I know the clems CAN be grown here. I do tend to keep the garden on the dry side, though, and that can't help. I think pots might be the answer. I've got a florida sieboldii in a pot with buds on it. Should be open in a few days.

In truth, the order started way back in 2006 because they had a foxglove no one else had, so I tacked on the original clematis to that order. In spring 2007 they shipped a different foxglove than the one I built the order around and never sent the clem at all. It's so true, there's one born every minute...

Hi to Saucy -- "gym clothes" makes me wince and think of junior high! So good of you to make the effort to exercise. I've been sitting nearly two weeks straight and getting all kinds of new pops and squeaks from complaining joints.

What a squared away basement, Woody. Nice work.

Must be fun trying out that new tractor, Michelle. Have we seen photos of it yet? Maybe when your DH gives it a spin.

V, glad you liked the plectranthus photo. The nurseries in fall put out gorgeous blooming specimens of plec.

Marian, the gingko is one of my favorites too. We've got a couple planted a few streets over that color up really well. The gingkos and liquidambars are what comes to mind as far as reliable fall color trees here.

Nice to hear from GB, busy with knitting and reading projects. We've got Tyler's Accidental Tourist from Netflix lying around. DH finds it very depressing but watches it cuz there's a corgie in it. No, Edward, no! he shouts as the dog leaps on him, broken leg ensues...I notice my night stand has an art book, mostly text though, by Kenneth Clark called The Nude that hasn't been leafed thru as yet.

Happy weekend to all.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 8:45PM
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Reluctantly Ive made the rounds around the house closing the windows and doors that have been open all afternoon- a very pleasant day here indeed but once the sun goes over the yardarm it cools down fast, it was 39 out when I got up this morning. I also have about 7 antique clocks to stop for an hour as we fall behind.
Made a run to out household hazardous waste facility this morning with old cans of paint, motor oil etc in my on going effort to get things cleaned up. Also took two bags of books to the Friends of the Library donation box.
Im paying close attention everyones winter preparedness tasks , knowing that my future will hold slightly colder winters. Basements are very uncommon here in Northern Calif, found usually only in old Victorians, but seen more often in Oregon, and those are typically daylight basements. They dont seem to be putting them in the newer homes .

Saucy, good for you re; your discip[line with the exercise thing- hope you can make time to work out and idyll both ! What you need is an apparatus at the gym that lets you dictate to the forum while you are excercisinghow about that ?

Woody, Ive seen that rack in your hibernating area in mail order catalogs-theres a plastic cover for it right ? Do you put that on when it gets colder ?

Denise, I didnt think there was anything in Torrance except for North High and South High (or is it East High and West High ??) How did a Clematis Society end up in Torrance ? Im afraid youve shocked me , lol. When my BILs lived in Huntington Bch they had a couple of pretty nice Clems, as did a couple of their neighbors. Maybe the issue for coastal zone 10 is lack of winter chill.

OK, Im off to watch disc 2 of Angels in America---

See yall ! Eden ? Chelone ? T? Honey ?

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 9:16PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hello. It's been an up and down day for me. Some fun stuff, but also trying to get things ready for a dinner tomorrow and I am finding new and creative ways to mess things up. :(

The interesting part of the day was going to buy some (frozen) chickens from a local farmer. He's got a little bit of everything on his farm, mostly heritage breeds. We ordered a turkey from him, and got 2 dozen eggs that had just been gathered. Two interesting tidbits (he was a talker, but it was fun and I could watch the pigs while I listened): he gets "throw-away" produce from a near-by Whole Foods store which is in relatively good condition when he gets it, so his pigs dine on organic produce. Also, he had two donkeys in with his turkeys - they guard the turkeys against the coyotes! He loses about one turkey a year to the donkeys stepping on one, but he would lose far more to the coyotes. Brenda, I should have remembered the breeds of pigs he had. I do recall Tamworths and Durhams, but there were a couple of others. Anyway, that was fun.

Then we got home and as I was patting Sunrise I decided she needed a quick brushing. I was trying to get her out and keep Mystic in when suddenly she yelped and started limping. Long story short, she ripped off a toenail. The vet only charged $15 to clean it up and bandage it - I knew we'd get that "frequent flyer" discount eventually. She made me a little nervous for a while afterwards, but she seems to be doing fine know.

Alright, how about a short dissertation on geothermal? We have about 250' of pipe running at 15' underground in long loops. These loops are parallel to the surface. They are filled with a temperature-sensitive liquid similar to the antifreeze in your car. The ground temp at that depth is a pretty constant 58 degrees. So this time of year, the liquid goes out, gets warmed up and comes in across the blower fan. There are also supplemental electric coils for really cold weather. In the summer, the effect is the opposite - the liquid gets cooled, and at 58 degrees you don't need any supplementing. Right now, the big stuff is in and they need to do some finishing work. The electric for the supplemental coils needs to be installed, and the sheet metal to connect the ducts needs to be complete. Right now, the heat is coming out of the top of the furnace and kind of going in the general direction of the duct. Even so, it's toasty warm in the house.

Ran into someone this morning who told me how nice the article about our geothermal was in the local paper - oops, she had read it because she proofs for the paper, it hasn't been published yet! Anyway, Saucy's comment about the upfront cost is dead-on; it is expensive, but over enough time it will be paid back.

Gotta run,


    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:00PM
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I'm with Norma - tuckered!

I never cut back a bed all at one time. I selectivly cut back the worst looking plants first from each area and then go for round 2, 3 etc. I worked on the area that I added to the butterfly garden that I had edged in brick earlier. I added more cardboard, then a layer of compost, a layer of chopped leaves and topped off with a layer of mulch.

When we brought the playhouse here, DH asked if I knew where I wanted it. I told him it would be like a new couch, we would have to move it around a few times. Well, the 3rd spot seems like the best one. He really does have a lot of patience.

I got the pots all dismantled, cleaned and put away. The shed is much more organized as well.

Woody, ordering cable for your MIL is really very sweet. How is she doing these days?

"Waylaid" LOL Sorry Denise.

I think I'll take these tired bones to a comfy chair to read the latest English Garden magazine.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2007 at 10:25PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I meant to tell Denise that "Waylaid" is somewhat infamous in certain circles for making their photos just a little too pretty and for making "exclusive" claims that are not valid. When their main catalog comes out each year, someone usually brings one into the office and we all have a good chuckle.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 7:40AM
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Mary, I think Poe is buried in nearby Baltimore city, which is a pretty scary place anyway.

I hope Denise can keep the Waylaid adventure going for a few more years as it has great entertainment value! I had a good laugh over the latest installment. Do you remember what the original foxglove was that started it all? I probably have seeds of it somewhere, and always looking for something to start in winter :)

V, thanks for the description of the personal geothermal system. I see 'geothermal' as a potential source in the annual disclosure from the green electric company I use, but it's never included in the list of sources actually supplying me. I pay a few cents more per KWH at this point for green electric, but ok with that. I am in awe of your environmental approach to your home!

Norma, the Wyatt and bride photo is a precious and love your outfit :)

Eden, 'Dorothy' is adorable. The original red shoes are at the Smithsonian and one of the most popular exhibits.

Cindy, do you have your life and yard back yet? You are kinder and more tolerant than I am. I would have boarded the dog the first time she left the house without it.

Kathy, hope your mouth is feeling better. I had all of that done 5 years ago, and learned I can't take narcotic without passing out. I actually need a little work now, but putting it off til winter when the house will be cold and I won't be able to feel anything anyway.

Deanne, your sunrise and sunset photos are stunning! I'm in some sort of a valley and never see a sunset here. Thanks to the return of standard time, I may see sunrise again.

Woody, if you finish the basement where will you put messy plants? I have a mostly unfinished basement and enjoy being able to make a mess there. I've cut my brugs down to the ground and left them to turn to mush outside. The cuttings are in the gh, but under benches so not much light. In spring I just poke the cuttings back into the outdoor pots.

Brenda, Um. A picture that small would have everyone looking good. I don't suppose you can get them all back together for another photo op?

Well, After 7 months of tests, tests and more tests. Meds, meds and more meds, the neuro vet has agreed to do back surgery on Katie. She'll have a lumboscaral laminectomy on November 26th. He'll remove the top of the spine in that area and replace it with the jelly/foam substance that will be stitched to her muscles. It's major surgery and he'll do a brain biopsy at the same time. Her personality is full throttle Katie at this point, but her body can't do much, so though there is risk and she may die of something else in 6 months, she could get a few good months or years as a normal dog. It's worth it, as it's not right for her to be living in this partial state. At least 4 days in the hospital and then 8 weeks of crate rest at home. If Monty is a remodeled bathroom, Katie is a remodeled Kitchen, but I spend more time with them so easy choices :)

I have a long list of things to do today, very few of which are outdoors, so I guess I'll get moving. Hope you all are enjoying the week-end!


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 9:16AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Morning all! Today is a day off from the fields-yay! It's been requested that I make fried chicken for Sunday dinner. Haven't made it in ages, so I hope I'm not out of practice and disappoint everyone.

Marian, the picture of your fall colors is beautiful.

Norma, no, I'm not trying to print the picture myself. I was ordering a print online. Going to be a real bummer if there's not something that can be done about it.

Michelle, glad you guys got the crops in. It looks like it's going to be a good year for fall tillage here, too. The boys are mentioning my name and the disk in the same sentence quite a bit. Hope your DH has a good time playing with his new tractor. The guys got a new skid-steer, and I can see where it would be a really useful toy for me to borrow..I just love new farm toys!!!

Denise, lol @ Waylaid...too funny, and sadly, too true. I've stopped ordering from them. I tend to get what I order, but it doesn't live :( I'm also not a big fan of surprise substitutions. When I order online, I ususally have something specific in mind for the plants I'm ordering, and I never seem to get a sub that's even close to being similar. Yay for your family for getting you the buddleia!

V-the longer I'm associated with the ag industry, the more I want to raise my own meat. Great that you have someone local you can buy from! DH mentioned yesterday that we should raise chickens to butcher again. Fine by me...he feeds them, then they go away to be butchered, come back packed on ice and we wrap and freeze them. There's a world of difference in the taste of them, compared to grocery store chicken.

Cynthia..Mom passed away in March-that's what makes this particular picture so important. It figures I'd manage to screw up the photo-my photography skills are almost nil...point and click is about the extent.

Gotta get dressed and get moving. While it is a day off, I have lots to do. Jim needs help hanging a new curtain on the hog house. Picture a GIANT sheet of plastic and a breezy day..should be fun!
Have a good day, everyone!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 9:50AM
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Friday night was a bit of scramble to take down the deck canopy; it was about time for that chore anyway, but the looming nor'easter hastened the decision by a few weeks. We took down the awining on the north side of the house, too.

Writing the obituary for your mother is a strange thing to have to do. How do you summarize all that a person was in a few paragraphs? All of her personal property, with the exception of roughly 1/3 of her wardrobe has been "lost" by the nursing home... . I wonder when the degradation will end?

I finally lost all patience with the helpmeet and the electrician the other day. I figured 3 MONTHS of prevarication was enough and called the electrician myself. I politely documented the dates of calls, the lack of returned calls, and told him, "we've been more than patient, but frankly, MY patience is now at an end. We have contractors breathing down our necks and you are the lynch pin. I expect the common courtesy of a return call and you need to extend my husband and I that simple courtesy.". He called at 8 AM the next morning. He will be here to finish the job tomorrow morning.

I "sleepwalk" through the unpleasant days... turning a deaf ear to the whining of my boss and so many others. My smile is mostly wooden, my facade of composure melts away in slightly over 8 hrs.. And my patience for "excuses" is wearing painfully thin.

I need to read the Idylls desperately, but being now so terribly behind, the prospect is largely overwhelming. And will likely remain unfulfilled.

It'll be OK, it always IS, but right now I'm not having very much fun... thank heavens we're back to daylight the way it was always supposed to be, lol.

Your "lark" in the god-forsaken hole of Maine...


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 10:11AM
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Cynthia, the foxglove was 'Spice Island,' the only source I could find at the time, though I think Big Dipper has it now. Waylaid sent 'Spanish Peaks.' There's good garden porn (Gardens Illustrated) and bad garden porn, and Waylaid falls into the Hustler category IMHO. Great to hear you've come to a decision on Katie. I'm thinking of crate toys for the postsurgery recovery period, nothing terribly exciting, just comforting. Let me know what she likes.

V, thanks for the treatise on geothermal. I was thinking Iceland for some reason but see it can be successful anywhere. Fascinating stuff and best of luck getting online. I'm looking forward to piecing together how everyone's animals are cared for as the weather changes, horses included.

Brenda, finally a day off. Sorry about that photo. Assuming it's digital, I don't know how you'd enlarge it without distortion but I'll check with my DS when he returns on Tues in case he has some bright ideas. I've never made fried chicken in my life so you're one up on me there.

Michelle, I loved the "new couch" analogy with moving the playhouse. I don't remember details of how big. Is it getting a complete makeover for Kenzie or is this a garden folly? Maybe both of course. I would SO love to have an outdoor bathhouse. We removed the original clawfoot tub from the bathroom when the boys started mostly showering since it's a tiny bathroom to begin with. Do I miss baths though. I always make sure to get a room with a bath when I travel and bring the salts, etc.

Chelone, sounds like progress on the electrical, but what a time you're having. I expressly posted for you some photos of my writer at the end of the last thread when you feel up to checking them out. Funny, but I often think of writing obits and enjoy reading them in the newspaper. Yes, I can see how idyll chatter might grate on the nerves at such a time.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 12:10PM
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Funnily enough, it's not that Idyll chatter is grating, at all! it's just that the sheer quantity of it can be daunting when you've had to stop reading and want to join back in. :0 And, "I know, I know" how many times everyone has told someone to "just jump right in".

I shall have to look at the contraption you sit behind, Denise. It was thoughtful of you to post shots of it for me AND to let me know you had. :).

We split about 1/2-3/4 cord of wood this afternoon and then promptly schlepped and stacked it all under cover. I figure we have about 2 cord ready to go for the coming winter. Heaven knows how much more is in the mountainous pile of rounds "out back". Yikes.

I managed to remove the 3 large stains of what loked like calamine lotion from the front of one of Mum's favorite cotton sweaters. I had to soak it in cold water and detergent for nearly 4 hrs., but the stains came out! I'm not really sure why I felt the compulsion to go after the stains, but it was gratifying to see them banished.

A warm hello to all my Idyll friends in case I don't get to read all the fun stuff that's happened in your "neck of the woods" any time soon.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 3:29PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, no happy dance Im sorry to report in my world - the deal fell thru on the apt because she doesnt have a perm job (just temping) and the ex-hubby who co-signed her initial lease application decided not to follow thur & co-sign for her on the apt lease (seems his newer wife might not like seeing this show up on their credit reports - gee, how surprising).... so we're all stuck - it's been a very disappointing weekend, but I was pretty sure this was gonna happen when she mentioned the ex wasnt signing after all - she didnt think it would be problem, but my alarm bell went off.... le grand sigh....
we're stuck w/ each other for a while longer. I just dont see how I can throw her out on the street - im going to be optimistic things will get better & she'll get a perm job soon and that May change her possibilities.

I have managed to see Norma's lovely photos here -- how gorgeous you all were at the event -- so much joy. Thanks again for being patient and waiting for me to see them here at home.

I did also still get into the yard and try to pull some annuals, rake the grass and lay seed, and dog guest is banned from back there for a week to see if we can get some sowing done. It's pretty bare and slimy; i suspect I will have to reseed the whole grass section in the spring. But it was fulfilling to get out in the gardens again; i've got lots more to do - I realize how far behind I am. Probably got about 300 bulbs to plant too!

Denise -- I stopped ordering from Waylaid too - i had a similar saga to yours -- too many dead plants.... I guess you could write a short story on it, couldnt you?

Chelone, nice of you to check in - it is somewhat daunting to try to review the idylls when one's been out a bit - i know exactly how that feels; but ya just jump back in is best, right?Funny you mention re your Mom's clothes - we had same problem w/ loss at the LTC facility; we learned to leave nothing of value there, but stuff still "disappeared." I have to work on tackling cleaning Mom's closets out soon -- unfortunately, I have the psycho sister who wants to take most of for herself and I confess I find that terribly creepy -- so I've been avoiding the fight. I just find it sick to think that one would want to wear one's dead mother's outfits (& frankly most of them would be too small for sister, so it's just plain bizarre). I much prefer to donate them to a worthy place. Maybe Im the oddball here though?

Wow, Cynthia -- poor Miss Katie and the planned renovation -- I hope you've got a great surgeon and lots of confidence in him -- I hope your sister enjoyed her new present of those wonderful slippers -- what a jolly laugh they must give her whenever she sees or wears them. I hope she's doing better.

Well, I suspect I've missed commenting as usual on lots of other stuff; I enjoyed the quickie geo-thermal lesson - lots to think about.

Kathy, glad you've graduated re drink & food! hmm, might be a nite for a couple glasses of vino myself.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 6:37PM
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Denise...or was that Kathy; )just kidding! I am as weird as you(but then you're not weird)I really do like to read obits too-I read them daily as a habit. Partly to see if I've lost anyone from the past but also I just find it interesting to read about people's lives. Sometimes I think about writing my own. It's odd when I see lots of people much younger or at my age dying and I think,when will it be me-odd, but I do think that. I remember as a kid thinking how strange it was that my dad would always know somebody listed in the obits but he was a teacher so he did know many people/families. Now that I'm at that relative age it makes sense though I was astounded as a kid: )

Hang in there Chelone-it's just like jumping rope-you'll jump in and get into sync when it feels right. Since I'm so limited on time I can only comment on a couple things and sometimes have to let many comments pass until I'm back on track. I'm just glad we know you're there and if you need to let anything out the idylls are here for you.

Cindy-I don't think it's weird either way unless the clothes really don't fit. I do have some of my dad's sweaters but I think it was for a means of comfort when he first died. I haven't worn them in a few years now but they are good just for knocking around in at home.

So uh KATHY,how's the chompers?? : )

A very productive weekend here-most of my plants are ready for overwintering in my unheated porch-now I just have to make room indoors for the most tender ones. I also gathered leaves,chopped them for compost and tossed the extras on the garden. A beautiful sunny weekend.
Do you guys stand and just stare at at an annual deciding whether it gets pitched despite it's beauty? There's just not enough space indoors. Oh man,I have such a hard time tossing perfectly good plants even if it does help the compost: )

Better go get Ryan ready for his bath...


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 7:33PM
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So today marks the end of my 5 day weekend- Face is still a little swollen on one side , so I did not get any of the hard-core manual labor things that were on my list done. Silly me, I figured I would be able to dig, weed and cut back but that just did not happen ! I did sit down and start to sort out the gardening magazines. Im a horrible garden mag pack-rat, and have Horticulture, FG, now defunct Country Living Gardener , and Country Gardens going back to 1999. Not to mention English Garden and assorted old catalogs. I will however never part with my Heronswood catalogs. I also climbed up into the attic (this is a pull down ladder in the garage leading to a very small under-the eaves storage area) and was pleasantly surprised to find only a tent and one box of household items . I have made a serious dent in the garage and the closets. I made some spaghetti sauce this afternoon, and chopped everything up quite small; hoping I can slurp it down- soup is getting pretty old.

Re, Waylaid and others- I always use the photos of Aster Frikartii and Johnsons Blue geranium to gauge how accurate the mail order catalog photos are. Some never fail to blue up these photos , and that raises a red flag for me.

V, the geothermal set-up sounds very cool(so to speak) I admire those who are able to tap some of these under-utilized technologies. I have a co-worker who caretakes an estate up in our east hills that is off the grid , using solar to generate all electrical .

Cynthia, wow what a procedure that sounds like for Ms. Katie how great it would be to add years to her days with you. I am as always impressed by your loving-care of your fur-kids, they are lucky indeed. Nov 26th is my DSs birthday .

Chelone, I wrote the obits for both my MIL (was asked to do so by the family) and my DH. Though it was hard in a way, it was also cathartic and helped me to focus on the accomplishments and positive impacts each on of them had on me and others in my familyI hope you are taking some time for just you, and it is great to have you posting no matter how brief. All good Idylls need a Chelone Fix upon occasion. And glad to hear you got the electrical thing going..

And Cindy, jeesh, what a let-down for you with the guest thing optimism will hopefully see you through. Good for you that you were able to get out and do some chores. I hope you will have some beautiful photos to post in spring , and that this episode will be a distant memory..

Brenda- hog-house curtain indeed ! I eat very little meat but when I do I try to buy locally as possible- your are right about the flavor. I always buy my Thanksgiving turkey from one of the Sonoma County free range turkey farms.

Babs, I remain cautiously optimistic re: the chompers !

Sure is dark out ! Time to go try to slurp down some of this pasta I made. Tonight is a reading night ( Anita Brookner) and tomorrow a work day., the start of a six-day week.

Ta to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 8:18PM
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Good evening

Great to have so many posters this weekend, even though I've barely had time to skim. Chelone - it happens to all of us from time to time, and as others have put it, it's just good to have you back.

It was a nice weekend here but it flew by all too quickly. Combined with the rate the work weeks are zipping by I'm coming to the conclusion I must be getting old:0(

One of the highlights of the last few days was finding and purchasing a new guitar for David. He is thrilled to bits with a rather nice Canadian instument with a great tone and played for hours today. Fortunately a decent student guitar can be had for a lot less than a violin. He and I have been working on some guitar/violin duets by Pagannini which have been very cool to play together.

Like Babs I made a lot of headway getting things cut back and brought in for the winter. A heavy frost caught me by surprise on Friday night so many decisions on what to keep were made for me. As luck would have it I'd been dragging numerous pots in and out all week hoping to to keep my options open but misread the weather report that evening. Still there were enough survivors to keep me busy. My Salvia Black and Blue had made nice juicy tubers I'm hoping I can store over the winter - has anyone had luck with that? I also made a major dent into leaf raking, enlisitng the help of the kids and splashing out on a new rake and tarp.

I was able to add a few inches to my knitting, a deep purple woolen cardigan. GB - are you making anything right now? I read two disimilar books by similarly named authors, Songs without Words by Anne Packer, and Run by Ann Patchett. Both I thought were excellent reads. I wonder if there are any other Ann P... writers I could try.

On the social side I had fun visiting with a friend Friday, first afternoon tea and then a trip to collect Osage oranges for fall decorations. We found a good crop and they smell sooooo good. Another friend and I made our early morning market run Saturday where I enjoy the chat and coffee as much as shopping. This evening I just got back from a pot luck supper - three Moms, 7 kids and a fun time was had by all. I'd baked a ham and we had lots of autumn side dishes including butternut squash soup, homemade apple sauce and baked sweet potatoes. Very yummy.

I'm just contemplating the last load of laundry I have to fold but curling up under the covers with a new book is much more tempting.

Have a good evening everyone.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 9:47PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

We hosted our Harvest dinner this evening and it was a very nice time. We started off in mid-afternoon with a prairie walk, then had appetizers and warm pumpkin wine at the fire pit. The appetizers were two types of cheddar from downstate IL, smoked walleye that DH caught in the mighty Miss, toasted bread rounds made from a homemade whole wheat baguettes (and the flour was organically produced in downstate IL), and venison pate from a very local deer. Our soup course was smoky pumpkin soup, served from a real pumpkin, followed by a salad of homemade fresh mozzarella and oven-dried garden tomatoes. The main course was grilled rosemary chicken, mashed potatoes, and winter squash. Dessert was kept simple, with fresh pears, apples, roasted black walnuts and port. All of the fruits and vegetables came from our farmers market and all of the wine was produced in Illinois. It was a challenge that led us to discover some sources for local foods that we did not know existed, and it made me try some new things. And since we had donated the event to an auction for a local conservation group, we helped a good cause in the process.

The morning started out on a little rougher note. The first Sunday of November is always marked by our church as a day of remembrance for all who have passed away in the last year. As I stood up to go light a candle for my brother, I found myself in tears. I didn't think that it would be so hard for me. Only the presence of the world's tenth* most adorable baby just in front of me was able to distract me from a total meltdown. (*tenth because Bella, Kenzie, Reed, Wyatt and five other idyller grandbabies that I am forgetting are cuter, of course, and not necessarily in that order) (Whew! did I do that without offending anyone?)

Cindy, I'm so sorry to hear that your freedom has been delayed.

Chelone, as one who has had absent stretches, I know it can be daunting to jump in again but please join us as you can. Hang in there, it will get better eventually. Add me to the list of obit readers. I read the ones in the local paper to see who's related to whom (sometimes there are a few surprises there) and I read the news obits in the Trib. They often feature those folks who are not famous or fabulously wealthy or important but who were just really nice people who cared deeply about some aspect of life. I remember reading one a while ago for a man who I should have known but never met. We were involved in several of the same things, but never at the same time. It was a little odd to see how many times our paths had almost but not quite ever crossed.

I need to do a token amount on clean up and then off to bed. Why di I feel like it's later than I think?


    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 9:54PM
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Good morning from coast to coast. Count me, Chelone, as a fellow absentee of late and I actually feel good that no one missed me or I would've felt guilty ;-0

Sometimes nasty colds/sinus/ear/throat illness are a Godsend, as I've had three whole days and today to Hang Out!! I haven't just "stopped" for so long that I forgot how, but am getting back in practice pretty quickly.

A few things before I forget -

Yes, Mary, overwintering B&B Salvia is as easy as yanking, cutting back to about 6" tops, potting in REALLY light material, keeping it barely damp once in a while, and replanting after ALL danger of frost.

Re Waylaid: I stopped ordering from them years ago after they tried to send some plants "at the proper planting time for your area" in late February. Must admit, though, that I haven't yet found anywhere else that routinely carries Rambler roses. They have a purpose in some gardens, and I'd love one for my back trees. I also got a bit peeved when they were selling Lady's Slippers (latin escapes me at the moment) for about $100 ea without saying that it takes five years to properly prep soil if it is possible at all. If it's that "exclusive and sought after" I certainly don't want it sent through the mail.

But I do like the ramblers.

All the gathering menus sound luscious and having just started to construct a Thanksgiving menu, will take all into consideration.

Hurray for the "Be a Local Hero. Buy Locally Grown." campaign in Massachusetts. It's carried over to Connecticut and I find it just a bit amusing that the up-nosed town's local rags are "discovering" 75 year old cider mills. Hey, it's never too late!

Halloween was a non event, but I did scare the patoot out of the cul-de-sac kids by sneaking up behind them and saying "boo." Ahhhh, the simple things.

What hasn't gotten done in the garden won't get done at this point. The spinach is up!! Ice in the birdbaths a few mornings. It's really November!

Cindy -- I was so excited for you reading along and then KABLAM! There's got to be a shelter somewhere that will help this woman out. You have certainly gone above and beyond and at some point things are gonna hafta blow. Feels to me like she's taking the easy way out at this point at your expense. Not Fair nor Good For Healing.

Beautiful bride. Even cuter Grandson :-)

Have also enjoyed the pics of nature in different parts of the continent. Our leaf season was somewhat of a dud, but there are still leaves on trees here. Very late and a fizzled hurricane in November is just strange. Glad for the rain.

Am rambling as my cold medicine is kicking in, so everyone have a great day, HI to everyone I missed but think of often.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 8:44AM
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My sympathy is extended to Cindy. You must be crestfallen. It's been a long time since you and Chloe have had your own place to yourselves. Doubly galling, must be the disregard for your lovely garden and the lack of attention paid to a dog who desperately needs it! I seem to be on a bit of roll with respect to getting things done and saying what needs to be said... would you like me to have a turn with your "guest"? :)

V.'s harvest supper sounds magnificent. I was thinking the venison pate sounded particularly good. I like the idea that your church picks a day to honor those members who have died in the past year. Very touching and I'm quite certain you did tear up... it's all part of it. I bubble over at the silliest times and for the silliest little reasons. Count me as an admirer of your gentle approach to your home's impact on our world; most impressive. I have missed the work thing, care to point me in a direction or do a quick recap, or not! Nice work sidestepping the minefield of the cutest baby on earth, V.. You could leave Reed out, though, as we all know he's the world's most perfect baby (TWMPB). ;)

I have gleaned that Kathy has had yet another round of rather intensive and invasive dental work. I hope the swelling is down and the marinara hit the spot. "Water-y gruel" could indeed get old pretty quickly. You must have been delighted with the vacant attic space... I am not really looking forward to going through Mum's house. It's amazing how much you can accumulate over the course of lifetime.

Lovely wedding and Halloween photos. We get no trick or treaters here which sort of makes me sad, but does make the evening pretty easy.

We've still to receive a hard frost here. The Impatiens in the window boxes are looking a bit tired and today may be a good day to put them out of their misery as the rest of the week is looking notably chillier. I'll probably hold off on the geraniums for a bit, but they will provide some mid-winter cheer.

I've been walking Rex regularly and the sunshine and fresh air is a good tonic for a melancholy soul. I realized it is time to indulge in a new pair of "good sensible walking shoes", too. I have a blister on the ball of my foot as proof of what worn out insoles can do over the course of 4 miles. OUCH!

Am I correct in my assumption that 'bug's 'puter is no the fritz? I have a dim recollection of such, and her absence would speak it it, but am not sure.

Missing Honey, Drema, Ei, Da, Wendy, as well.

Good thoughts for Katie's impending "ordeal". It will be a long recovery, huh? The analogy of bathroom and kitchen renovations made me smile (not a wooden one, either).

I have some of Mum's clothing that I will wear, too. I wore a brown cotton sweater when we had dinner with friends the other night, and one of her scarves. She loved pretty clothes and I indulged her with them, along with regular chic haircuts and manicures. Perhaps it that knowledge that makes the loss of her clothing and her "institutionalized" appearance at the end so terribly upsetting. Oh well...

Well, off to write a couple of letters, call a few contractors and think about transferring some money to send out deposits, etc.. Exciting day!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 8:59AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Count me in on the garden mag horders (as well as old Gourmets and Victorias - altho I seldom seem to cook any more or decorate... go figure). It is truly hard to part with those. Sounds as though you're making great inroads re cleaning house, Kathy -- I truly need to do that, especially once we get into the breaking up of my parents' household things that should occur in the winter - as Im surely likely to not resist some items.

V- it's only 8:45 a.m. but I am now dying of hunger -- your menu sounds wonderful - I love how you had such "very local" items....LOL.

Mary - sounds like you had a nice social outing. Im always so impressed w/ all the things your children are doing.

Well, more excitement in the nite for us - the CO2 monitor started "chirping" at 2:15 a.m. - but it was not a strong signal, just chirps every 3 seconds or so... it totally freaked me out; I woke the houseguest on the lower level and we ended up driving the local environs for an hour & half to find more batteries as I couldnt decide if the monitor had gone bad w/ back-up battery in place (it's an electric plug-in kind) or if my aged furnace was giving off dangerous fumes. We opened all the windows during our absence, turned off the furnace - so the house is this a.m. a nice "bracing" 50 degrees (sure felt colder) and we lost a couple hours sleep in the antics. I am hoping it was malfunctioning monitor and not furnace. Gotta get new monitors tonite at el cheapo or somewhere & test them out; if not a new furnace w/ no estimates for cost replacement may be in my future too --

Not a good way to lose sleep over but we breathing fine. I guess I should have taken those cautions to check the batteries at daylite savings changes. Frankly, I dont think I have ever changed the battery in that electric model.

Okay, just got the news I've got to hit the bricks & start the running for the day.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 9:03AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cindy - how disappointing re your guest that has overstayed her welcome. I really think you should let Chelone have a chat with her to straighten her out! :-) I hope a new battery sorts out the CO monitor situation - much cheaper than a new furnace!

Cynthia - that sounds like a complex surgery for poor Katie. I'll keep my fingers crossed that all goes well and your twirly girl gets back into fine shape quickly.

Re finishing the basement - true, it's easy to make a mess down there and not feel guilty about it! Too easy! If I did finish down there, I'd use terrazzo for flooring - no grout to suck up dirt if I was potting things. Anything that's tough enough to use as flooring in a mall should be tough enough for the basement! A gray/white terrazzo would look good down there. And I'd make the rest of the plant area into a work area with lots of counter space, storage and work table extending out from the counters and storage. I have a very clear idea of what I'd do - I just need to win a lottery to pay for it! Also, since this house is a bungalow, the basement is as large as the house. If it was all finished, it would add 2200 sq. ft. to the finished area of the house. That's a lot of extra space for two people. Also more space to clean! It would also probably significant increase our already high property taxes. So the basement will likely remain mostly unfinished unless a winning lottery ticket comes our way... :-)

Chelone and others - re clothes and longterm care facilities. I gather that clothes in good shape left behind when a resident dies usually end up being provided to other residents who cannot afford to buy new clothes and have no family to bring them things. I suspect that items in the laundry without identifying labels to get them back to their original owner probably end up being used that way too.

Kathy - You've certainly been having a rough time with the teeth. I hope you were able to enjoy your pasta sauce.

Yes, that shelving where I'm drying the elephant ears etc. is one that has the plastic greenhouse cover. In the spring I put the shelving unit out on the back porch with the plastic on. It becomes the hardening off area for seedlings. But, this time of year, in the basement and without the plastic it is a great drying rack. I'm not sure whether the empty last shelf will get used or not. The acidanthera bulbs in the last elephant ear pot on the driveway just won't stop blooming - even though we've had at least 4 hard frosts and the elephant ears in the pot are toast! I'm thinking I might just move that pot into the garage when the bulbs finally stop blooming. If the bulbs or EEs survive the winter in the garage, great, but, if not, I've got lots of other EEs and the acidantheras are cheap.

When I cut back the brugs, I did keep cuttings - although goodness knows what I'd do with them if they decide to root... One of them from the pink brug had buds on it that never got around to opening. I left the buds in case the largest one flowered. I was curious to see what color it was. Yesterday this was what appeared on the living room windowsill:

Very pretty (but no scent - the lady at the farmer's market that sold them to me in July said the pink one wasn't scented but the yellow one was. The yellow one didn't set any buds.) I can see the attraction in growing brugs. But the water and fertilizer requirements still bothers me so I remain undecided about what to do next year. In case I do decide to keep growing them, how often do the hibernating ones in the basement need to be watered over the winter?

V - the geo-thermal heating sounds like a smart idea. Not too practical for a 1960s-era home in a suburban setting like mine though :-) I'm hoping that, by the time our roof shingles need replacing in another 10-15 years or so that someone will have refined the idea of a sheathing that doubles as solar panels as well as roofing material. I read somewhere, not too long ago, that someone is working on that. We have a large roof in terms of square footage and a roofing product like that would be ideal if it was practical and not too outrageously expensive in comparison to conventional roofing.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2007 at 12:00PM
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Another one of those windy, raw, rainy, November days is on tap. Doesn't look promising for an afternoon walk with the big dog. Perhaps I'll sort through the accumlated detritus on the desk... .

The cats were beginning to switch to their "winter" routines but turning the clocks back really hastened the change. Yesterday Vera and Polly were in by 4:30 of their own volition, and I made one quick pass around the yard calling for Spencer. He came bounding across the lawn, asked to be picked up, and I carried him indoors in state. After his dinner he promptly curled up and went to sleep for the night. They had a big day yesterday, supervising the electrician and investigating his van thoroughly. "Homeland security"!

The flourescent lights for the garage are ordered, as are the exterior fixtures. The cost is appalling. We are now waiting for the rough wiring inspection, a visit from the furnace man, and the insulation guy. The gutters should go up the end of this week, weather permitting. Next up is scheduling the drywallers, and then, FINALLY the installation of the garage doors. The helpmeet has begun whistling the theme for "Ghostbusters" when I'm ready to make telephone calls... only he substitutes "ballbusters". Nice. Sure you don't want me to have a chitty-chat with the mooch, Cindy?

Woody has the cleanest cellar I've ever seen.

Meant to mention to Brenda that I know well about very large "curtains". We have made several as "doors" for the sheds at marinas and it generally takes at least two of us to manoeuver them in the shop. We also pay particular attention to fastening them securely as the wind can wreak havoc on them if they come loose. And repairing them is no fat lady's dream. Usually, we have the pieces heat welded together, but there is still a fair amount of stitching to do to add reinforcements, zippers, etc..

Definitely no walk today... I have to stop by the polls and perform my civic duty. Just remembered that.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 5:05AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good rainy morning! Can't complain though, we need the rain. I've packed up most of the tender stuff and ferried it to the basement. The chopped fuchsia are in the cold frame, they'll probably come in later this week. The canna are still out, the foliage hasn't been frosted yet. The variegated brugs is still going, I think it is in a sheltered spot. No more flower buds though, probably too cold. I took cuttings and I'm going to let the larger brugs go - I'm reluctant to invest in the size pot they need. I did keep one Charles Grimaldi that was a cutting from last year - I plan to grow that one like a biennial since it is so much better in year two.

DH and I planted 300 bulbs (he is really getting into the helping lately, I think the little boy in him likes the digging in the dirt). He doesn't offer design advice for the most part though, which is probably a good thing.

We had the two large oak trees which flanked out driveway removed. According to the rings on the stump they were over 60 years old; I was a little sad to see them go. The roots from the one closest to the house have been buckling the driveway, and the landscaper that put in the new path and the wall told us the roots would disturb those as well. The crane operator pointed out that the other tree was leaning towards the house slightly. That whole area looks empty now, I did't really realize how much the trees sheltered that side of the house until they were gone.

I've started getting up a half-hour earlier in the AM to exercise. I found a cable channel with exercise shows "on-demand", you can start them whenever you want. DS has appointed himself my cheerleader/coach; although he means well he is driving me crazy. He has finally realized that I won't carry on a conversation while I huff-and-puff, so he has decided to coach me instead. He reads the helpful comments on the screen (like "take break when needed") or echoes the TV instructors direction to "Watch your form" and "March it out". If he runs out of things to say, he simply breathes with me - very loudly. He had done parts of the routine with me, but he can't resist the talking. I suppose he thinks he's helping, but I had to chase him from the room today because he said my butt looked funny (it probably does, but I don't need to hear it from him!). I can really see the value in a gym membership, but I'd have to go there at 4am in order to be back here by the time the kids wake up.

I have to learn how to post pictures to my online space again, our internet provider changed the format on me. I'm sure it is improved somehow, but I don't like it when the tech stuff I do understand changes (does that mean I'm getting old?!). I guess I'll have to spend some quality time with the helpful directions, someday.

Deanne, I still want to have lunch soon, maybe one afternoon next week?

Have to run and get ready for work now - late start this AM.

Waving hello to all!


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 8:56AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Helloooooo......Where is everyone????

Chelone, it is so good to see you posting in a more 'Cheloney' tone. I hope this means you are accepting your loss with less anger and sorrow.
Speaking of cats....Nolon said Tommy came out to his shop meowing loudly, then headed back to the house. Apparently it was his way of getting let back into the house, since I was not home to let him in ! :-) He is not too happy with the cold snap that hit here last night.
I see the 31F nipped the Elephants Ear.The 20s tonight will finish the job. I am ready for it.
Good to hear that you and Wendy are getting rain. We sure need it again.

Our fall colors may have reached their peak. Still not outstanding, but better than last month.

I hope the silence here is due to busyness, and not illness or worse.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 7:03PM
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There is nothing quite like Chelones descriptions of goings on around the compound. How apt that the cats supervised the electricians.. It gave me my first afterwork giggle of day envisioning them viewing the activities imperiously ..

Martie, if you are looking for Ramblers you might try Ashdown Roses which is in NC and has a good follwing amongst Rosarians. Also Antique Rose Emporium in Texas and Heirloom in St Paul Oregon. I just love spinach, always have. Like it raw and cooked with a tad of lemon juice. I could grow it here almost all winter but have not done so in several years. Hope that cold has run its course. I havent had one in a couple of years so I am probably due this winter. Who asked about the flu shots ? Babs maybe ? I dont get one, I dont know that Ive ever had the flu . I know lots of folks at work (our company offers free flu shots to the employees) who get the shots religiously every year and get it anyway. Im sure it must have something to do with cheap red wine.

Wendy, sounds like your DH has decided to become your personal trainer ! Do you suppose the highly paid pros in the field dare to comment on their clients butts ?? Ive had numerous trees removed either by me or neighbors in the last few years, its always such a shock at first to see how different everything looks

Hellooo Marian !

Hey where has Eden got off to ? Seems like we havent heard from her in several days.

Thats all for me tonightPeace out..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 8:40PM
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There is a lot of attendant work that follows a death, as 'bug can attest. As my late aunt succinctly stated, "it's not easy getting out off this planet". Marian, I'm nothing if not a realist. Mum is better off now; for a woman whose life was about books, literacy, and learning it was tough to watch her evaporate in a few years. Humans are innately selfish creatures and I'm no different; the bulk of my sorrow is wrapped up in my own inability to permit her to die here. Regret is part and parcel of the "grieving process" (I hate that phrase, too trite) and it will pass, it always does.

Wendy, losing trees is hard! It takes awhile to get used to the "new" vistas, but their removal really can open up new possibilities. Did the tree guys give you a break in return for the cordwood? I think you made a good choice, it would be fun to see pictures of the before and after. I laughed about your husband coaching you... apparently, he is unaware such an action is fraught with danger. :)

The fall take-downs are in full swing now. Greeaat... I spent a thoroughly dull day yesterday cleaning and mending the curtains for one of our accounts. I managed to get about 1/2 of the 15 done (they're big) and hope to despatch the remainder before the next account (even larger load)arrives on Thursday. "Wax on, wax off".

Rough electrical inspection today, and also a visit from the drywall contractor. Then the insulation guy can come back and reassess the cost to insulate the ceiling of the second floor space (recessed flourescent fixtures have him rethinking the original quote), and maybe, JUST MAYBE the grainless garage doors can be installed?

There will be no racino/casino in Washington county, mercifully, but the bond issues all seem to have passed.

Mum always got a flu shot. I'm in Kathy's camp, I never bother to, either. Maybe this year will be the one I get walloped for my insolence.

Well, time to think about getting to work. Can't wait!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 5:19AM
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A stunning good morning! It is so bright outside, and so nice to wake up with light. I can take the dark at night, but getting up in the dark just ain't natural.

Thanks, Kathy, for the rambler leads. Will pursue.

Good, Chelone, that your garage is making progress. Doors before snow, doors before snow, doors before snow.....Mantras do work :-)

My cold is leaving and I am grateful.

It's slowed to a crawl at work and it's really strange. This particular type of sales slows waaaaaaaaaaay down for 4th quarter and Q1 of 08 isn't on the books, yet. Heading to New York on Friday and am hopeful to to get to the Met Museum of Art (MOMA if you're a native, I've learned) to wander and breathe. Feel very lucky to have just one meeting but a whole day.

Kyle is having the time of his life to date in England. He's fallen in love with northern Scotland, and chose to spend his 21st birthday at Inverness visiting Fort William. He met some folks with which to party, and called the next morning no worse for the wear. "Oh, Mom, classes are going well, too." It's all in the experience :-)

Rich is indefinitely not working. The economy for housing in general is bad, and contractors are lowballing prices right and left. He's already gotten a few calls to come fix things others have done in haste. "Perhaps you should've been willing to spend the extra $____ in the first place." We'll be okay, and I'm looking forward to No House Cleaning (since it is the season of wayward vacumns) for a bit.

Does anyone know anyone who plays the French Horn? I've been reintroduced to this wonderful instrument and am looking for something upbeat to add to the travel CD collection.

Hoping all is well with everyone.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 7:25AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yesterday was another trial at work, and I think I was suffering from too much "CO2 failure" fun of the other nite -- I crawled home and retired to my boudoir -- I dont have to worry about the houseguest being talky these days -- she barely says a word (we're sharing the commute these days to D.C.) & closes herself & Biscuit up as soon as she's given her a 15 minute walk -- I suspect she's drinking privately -- since I made some comment to her that she drank too much, all overt signs have disappeared. Well, at least she's not raucous. Chelone, much as I admire your forthrightness & championing, I confess I just dont have the heart to be ruthless with her -- I am trying to boost my optimism that soon, soon, she'll get the perm job and be able to find her own place -- altho reality tells me it's unlikely to be before the first of the year now. Perhaps this is to be a lesson to me in forebearance and tolerance....

I share in the process w/ you Chelone re the grieving biz - i guess most everyone here at the idylls has had the experience in one fashion or another -- it is a long, slow and individual one for each person -- like you my Mom lost most of what she enjoyed most in life w/ the stroke too (reading, conversation, cooking, wonderful communicator-wicked humor talents)and so it was hard to see the changes. But one misses that smile or special expression ...

Re flu shots, I in fact do get one now and am a believer in them - since suffering a horrible horrible case of it about 2 years ago from a visit to the nursing home where Mom & Dad both caught a horrible version of it. After suffering a debilitating week off, I vowed to start getting the shot & havent had a bout since. Cross my fingers - I'll be getting one in a couple weeks.

Well, just got a emergency call of some work I have to do for an attorney even though Im not supposed to be working yet. Gotta go.

Back later if I can. P.S. -=- Wendy -- you go, girl!!


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 8:50AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good ( but frosty ) morning.

Chelone, I do understand, but wonder if you would prefer that I (we) go on, and do not comment any more on your state of mind pretaining to your loss????

The weather man was right on about the freeze. My landscape is white with frost this morning, and ice on my rain water containers. The elephants ear has collapsed. The Ginkgo is rapidly losing it's leaves. I have very little to cut back since I had already done most of it....or brought it in.

I picked a cold day to get my fall perm. I will be nursing a cold neck for a while. My hair is longer than I normally let it grow. I'm hoping this perm will last until spring.

Our county health dept. is supposed to have the flu shots this friday. I plan on getting us both there for ours.

Cindy, I am sorry the plan to have your home back to yourself didn't pan out. I hope your patience can hold out a while longer...but not until the first of the year !

Martie, the name 'Inverness' brings to mind the movie "The Quiet Man". We rewatched it for the umpteenth time a few days ago.It is one of my favorite John Wayne movies.
How wonderful for your son. I think I would love that country too. I may have roots there.
Sorry about your DH's job situation. Been there, done that.

I paid $3.08 for gasoline yesterday. Probably be higher today ! I hope Kathy and Denise are not having to pay around $4 ! I am espacially sorry for commuters and those who want to take long vacation trips.
Three trips to town this week will take a bite out of my pocketbook. :-(

I hope Marie is soon getting her home computer back. I would be having major withdrawal if mine was defunct. It would definitely put me in the mood to work on jig saw puzzles. Besides the 2 Marie sent me, I have 4 more "new' ones waiting to be put together.

Woody, I hope yor MIL is improving. I can see that the B 12 shots are helping me. I am not nearly as tired when I get up in the morning. I hope she can be tested to see if the shots would help her. I regret that it took over 30 years to get the local Drs to recognize my need for it. So many years lost! If I understand right, once diagnosed and started on shots, they need to continue for life, And that the damage done from the deficiency will never be totally repaired. :-(


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 9:48AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Hey guys -

Just had to set the record straight - my 10 year old SON has become my trainer, not my husband. DH knows better than to make comments about my butt - he definitely would not get away with it!

Chelone, I got a good chuckle from your helpmeet's version of "Ghostbusters" - good for you though, you have to know when to stroke 'em and know when to bust 'em. Re: the tree, I got two wildly different prices - my regular tree guy was charging almost double what the landscaper's tree people wanted. I went with the less expensive one, maybe he was giving us a break for the wood. DH said the oak is probably worth something, and those trees were probably around 3' in diameter.

Another magazine hoarder here: I have 'Fine Gardening', 'Horticulture' and 'People, Places and Plants' going back at least 5 years. I just offloaded all of my 'Garden Gate' at a plant swap recently. I actually do refer back to them for specific articles, and I will pull out a stack to thumb through during the winter doldrums.

Martie, glad you are feeling better. It sounds like Kyle is having a wonderful time - what a great experience! Will he spend the rest of the school year there?

I don't get a flu shot, though I probably should. DD got one this year, she was in for a physical last month and the Dr advised she should. She had to get a tetanus booster before school started, and we also started the series of vaccines for the human papilloma virus (something new - the vaccine prevents the virus that can cause cervical cancer) DD will be 13 next month - give me strength!!

Duty calls!


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 10:00AM
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Hi Everyone:

I thought I would take a minute to check in. I haven't been able to read as much as I would like, let alone respond. But that is all going to change soon.

First, I would like to tell Chelone how sorry I am to hear about your mom. You were a very nice daughter to her, and if I won't be treading on your toes, I think you were exactly the daughter she wanted you to be, after all, she had a lot of input into your nurturing, and it seems to me that you and she were alike in some ways.

I will give a quick update on me, then from now on will try to check in more often. A lot has been going on around my neck of the woods. Work: Monday they informed us that all of the Administrative staff at work have been reorganized. Which means as of Jan 3, I will be a free agent to do as I wish. So you know you will be seeing me on the idylls alot more:) No more 1 1/2 hour commute, no more getting up at 5, leaving my house at 6 and getting home at 6:15 or later:))I have no idea what I am going to do, but I would like to work for myself, I think. Lately I have been trying to truly focus on trying to enjoy each day, and bring as much fun and joy into my life as possible. Good thing, since I am going to need that attitude. Anyway, I bought a new car because my old one was not reliable enough for the drive to the train station anymore. Have been having to be rescued too many times lately. It is a 4 door 4 wheel drive Jeep Wrangler. I have an old 1993 Wrangler that I have always loved, and thought I would need something to plow through the roads this winter driving to the train station. Last year it was very scary driving in the Taurus. Sunday was Mary's baby shower. Very nice, pics to follow at some point. More news, my daughter Jen, whom you met at the idyllunion in July is going to have a baby in May... so I will have them all over the place. I am going to be very busy holding little ones soon. The other thing I did was sign up for a program at the gym that gives me personal training for 8 weeks, a nutritional consultant, and they are going to measure my resting metabolism. This will be interesting. My garden sort of got put to the side this fall because Skip is starting up a new business, and I have been helping him with that. Which is also why I haven't had a free minute.

Hopefully after the holidays, or sooner I will become a regular again, because you have all been a big bright spot in my day.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 10:20AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, great to hear from you Drema - I have been wondering how you were doing since you last checked in -- it sounds to me as though you are taking the change in job status in a wonderful positive light and I hope it all works out for you - you will get some quality of life back and hopefully figure out a job you want & enjoy.

Even more exciting are all those grandbabies you're now in line for - wow!

Wendy -- now that I have more time, I'll finish what I meant - which was that's great re the workout program; I so would like to find some time in my life to do that - that's just terrific. I sympathize about 2 trees coming down - I bet that was an "oucher" in price - I continue to be flabbergasted on prices for cutting down trees.

Martie - Im sorry there's such a downturn in biz for you; I have this pessimistic feeling that there's lots more trouble out there for our economy than we're being told and I wouldnt be surprised if your work is affected by it -- I think we will see that $4.00 gallon of gas too - I hope Rich finds some alternatives to help you guys during the drought re home improvements.\

Got my latest issue of Horticulture last nite -- another article on the trendiness of Agaves in there -- we are so good at sleuthing out those new hot plants, LOL. Im still enjoying mine altho Im starting to worry that I need to move to a warmer part of the house as it goes get chilly where they are at present.

It's definitely gotten cold here; tonite we're supposed to get 20s; Im still wondering where summer went myself.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 12:46PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

agaves? did someone mention agaves???

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 3:02PM
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Well, I'm delighted to finally catch up with Drema! it's been hit or miss for me, too, and mostly I've managed to "miss" you. Remember me to Jen., such happy news from her.

Marian, c'mon now. You know me well enough by now to know that commenting on my state of mind about Mum's death ISN'T going to offend me, hurt me, or "tread on my toes". I've said it time and again, if anyone pisses me off they'll be second person to know it, lol. ;) As Cindy sagely pointed out, enough of us have been through this to understand that the ups and downs are varied and appear at maddenly inopportune times. Of all things, it is my hope that some of what we've shared here will strike a chord with one of the legion of lurkers and provide some comfort at a low point.

The forestry program at the local universtity has a yearly pool on when the Ginko will drop its leaves; as they generally all drop within 24 hrs.. I love Ginkos, too. I wanted to plant one here, but the helpmeet lobbied hard for a "rescue" Mt. Ash ( read: FREE, but blech!) and that's what was planted.

The last overhead wire to the house is GONE! and the electric company is now on board to remove the offending pole. I can't wait to see the redirection of the driveway completed. Already, the feedback from neighbors and visitors has been uniformly positive.

Wendy, makes a lot more sense to hear it's your SON doing the coaching (I need to read for "comprehension", huh?). I can just picture it now, lol (he cracked me right up), if Rex could speak he'd probably have some choice comments for me, too. Good move on the HPV vaccination; availing yourself of something so useful is a smart thing. Yeah, she's 13 now, but sooner or later she'll be 16, 17, 18, and every thing you've done all through her life is only going to be helpful in the big picture. A smart, practical, honest approach to things is what teaches "common sense" to kids. My brother and I have spoken about Mum and Dad a lot recently, and their "no nonsense" approach to subjects that obviously made them uncomfortable make a huge impact on both of us. You and Saucy will survive. I know it. :)

Cindy, I think you are a brick! your poor houseguest is really "up against it", isn't she? Should you change your mind, feel free to enlist me. ;) I share your feelings about what's to come in the economy. Much of what comes into the shop is repair work, and the "new" things are scaled down from past years. In my own workroom, I'm seeing more repairs (new zippers, etc.) and restyling. I like that kind of work; it requires skill, imagination, and good training. Fuel prices have me nervous (I hate to be cold), but I've been good about "brown baggin' it" for years and "makin' every trip count", so while it will cost more it won't be as debilitating for me as it will be for others.

Martie, we're seeing the same thing in the building sphere, here, as well. Things are going up, but not at the "mushroom" pace of a few years ago. That's what made the whole electrical debacle so irritating for me. I could still be whipped into a frenzy over it when I realize all it took to resolve it was one, "straight shootin'" call from me. :) My mantra is ceiling drywall. And then, LIGHTS (flush mounted flourescents), INSULATION, more dry wall, and doors. My heritage is mostly Scottish and I would love to visit the country. I especially enjoyed the Alison Weir book about the murder of Lord Darnley. Fascinating country... never conquered by the Romans or the British. I think we need to rent "Rob Roy" sometime soon.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 3:58PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I like your way of spelling Ginko,Ginkgo,Gingko best. I think the botanical spelling is a little weird ( Ginkgo)....actually Gingko sounds more proper than Ginkgo.:-) I like the history on it:

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 5:36PM
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Funnily enough, as soon as I hit "post" I thought about the way I'd spelled it! I had a nagging suspicion there was a "g" somewhere in the spelling, but I just "blew it off" anyway. ;)

There are a few large ones in my area. And I'm pleased to note that several have been planted in the median strip for the access road to the turnpike. I just think they're the coolest things goings... I'm especially partial to the yellow fall foliage.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 5:45PM
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Hello everyone

Drema - great to hear from you and the news from Jen is wonderful. Please pass on my congratulations too. Sorry to hear about your job coming to an end though I'm sure you will turn it into something even better.

Cindy - your compassion and patience are remarkable - I wonder if your friend realizes how lucky she is to have you. I'll be hoping against hope that she soon gets herself together and can move on. You would be very welcome here if you ever needed a little time away, although I'm sure what you want more than anything is your own house to yourself (and Chloe) again. (((((hugs)))))

Wendy - I'm taking part in a fitness challenge at work recording steps per day and fruit and veggies eaten. I'm doing less well than I expected on the walking front - perhaps you could send your DS here once he's done coaching you. So far the bus transportation department are in the lead which was quite a surprise (those drivers never looked all that fit.) I've come to the conclusion that early mornings are the only time left in the day to exercise but when I am up early it's my precious violin time and I hate to give that up.

Martie - how fabulous that your son is discovering so much of Great Britain. Scotland is my DH's favorite place in the world. I haven't forgotten your seeds - I have a few more drying before sending the package off. Don't buy any new ones yet!!

We had snow today - yuk! I enjoy winter but am simply not ready yet. Fortunately it melted immediately. I've been trying to remember what temp we usually set our furnace to - I've had ours at 60F but Annie told me that despite having 3 quilts she thought she might sleep in her coat tongiht. Perhpas I'm being a bit scroogish and might bump it up a little. We now have the option of buying entirly green gas and electricity and I'm looking into the cost difference. If we are able to swing it I'll be feeling a lot better every time the furnace cycles on.

Need to run for karate - a warming ham and split pea soup is on the stove for our return and perhaps our first fire of the season.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 6:29PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

A pic taken before sunrise this morning:

And one taken at sunset this evening:

Do you reckon it will be totally naked by morning?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 6:49PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well the class this weekend went really well and the ladies all went home with mostly completed projects. That is a very good thing. Six of the girls got together on Friday evening and had a jewelry making session and they completed these beautiful sterling silver bracelets with semi-precious stone clasps. The bracelets are made with silver jump rings and are assembled into a very intricate design. Youd love them. The lady who taught the class gave me the class sample! How wonderful! Its really quite lovely. I want to have her make me a necklace to match.

The sad news is that my friend who hosts my seminars in her studio is just not doing well. That ankle break she suffered two months ago has never healed right and they had to go and do more surgery on her leg a few weeks ago so she is looking at another eight weeks in bed. She cant use crutches because she is so very heavy and she is alone at home all day and doesnt want to get in a wheelchair all day so stays in her hospital bed. Her insurance wont pay for any more rehab or in home nursing so shes really in a lousy situation. Ive been getting up there to visit once a week but shes way out in the boondocks and its quite a hike. I dont know how she is ever going to get back on her feet at this point.

Today I potted up another forty coleus cuttings and have almost gotten most of the rooted cuttings in soil. Im looking at the hundred or so coleus plants I have going now and really have to cut that number in half. For some reason I just cant seem to toss a good looking piece of plant material in the compost. Ive got about fifty or so fuchsias rooting in water now and am wondering where Im going to put them! LOL

Ive also been in a fall cleaning mode and have finally give the second floor a really thorough cleaning. I love it when everything is all clean all at the same time! Doesnt happen too often. LOL

Wendy, yes, Id love to see you for lunch next week some day. What day works best for you? I hope you want to take a bunch of cuttings home with you! LOL ~~ You go girl! Good for you with the exercise program. Ive been trying to get back into the habit of getting to the gym every day again and that kind of self-discipline is difficult.

Cindy, my heart goes out to you with your difficult house guest. Sounds a bit like what Im going through with my DD. She is still here and I dont know when Ill be able to get her to move. It was only supposed to be a couple weeks and she moved here in April.

Hi Drema, congratulations on the grandbabies. Give Jen my best. ~~ Sorry about the job but youll find something that works out much better for you instead of that horrible commute.

Chelone, sounds like you are going to have that garage completed before the snow flies. I just have to get my plants out of the garage so we can get the cars back in! LOL

Mary, Doug told me about the snow today. Good grief! Its way too early for that. Ive only been turning on the heat for short periods of time to take the chill off. I did today to take my shower and also turned it on a bit when I got up. The downstairs was down to 58 this morning and I had to turn it on for a half hour or so. Brrrr. Other than that Ive just been adding another sweater to my layers.

Marian, interesting about the ginkgo. I didnt know they lost their leaves all on the same day. Neat. Youll have to let us know if its done shedding its leaves in the morning.

OK Ive got to go and put a load of laundry in the dryer and get ready for bed. I did my hour on the Stairmaster this morning and Im running out of steam.

Nite all

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 7:34PM
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Cynthia, I certainly hope Katies surgery will be a success.

Well Cindy to bad things didn't work out for your friends apt. I hope the situation will be resolved soon.
What a pain to have to get out in the middle of the night. But better safe than sorry.

Hi Babs

Mary how nice that you and David can play music together. I would love to hear you both, and Annie too.
Perhaps you should do something on You Tube. I really enjoyed the link that Bug posted of the boy and his father singing The Boxer.

V, what fun your harvest dinner must have been.

Martie , Hope you are feeling better. Do you have to yank the Black and Blue before the frost hits it?
Good to hear about Kyles adventures. Sorry to hear things are slow for Rich.

Chelone, Even though the dogs are free to exercise themselves here, they still practically beg me to walk with them. I love this time of the year for walking the trails and they get so excited.

Woody, I like the idea of a roofing that would provide solar energy.

Wendy, I will take some of that rain. I was trying to plant some hostas the other day. It is so dry here I don't know how anything is alive.
You made me smile with the bit about your son coaching your exercise. I always hated for DH to be in the room while I exercised. For me it is a solo sport. LOL

Marian, our cat, who gets banned to the backporch in summer , has decided its time to come in again. Our nights have been in the 20s for a couple of nights.

Kathy, I was wondering about Eden too. I hope her mom is doing ok.
Eden if you are just taking a break come back soon.

I bet Sue is getting those evening walks in. Hope the Lyme thing is not causing to much trouble.

Hi T, are you still finding time to read Idylls? I imagine you are busy with all those grandsons.

Hi Drema, big changes huh? I'm happy to hear you will be getting away from that commute. That eats up a lot of your time doesn't it? Grandbabies, how exciting.

If your name is not mentioned above, doesn't mean I don't miss hearing from you. Its a senior memory lapse. Hope all is well. Norma

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 8:40PM
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Hiya all,

I had to drive upvalley today and was noticing how beautiful the vineyards look this time of year with their fall finery. Some vines are still totally green, others are yellow, orange, red or combinations there-of. I really will have to get a pic or two and post them for you. I have to go back up to St Helena on Friday and Saturday so Ill try to remember to take my camera with me. The vineyards around the corner from me are still green. This will be my last fall here so I am sentimental ! I will however be in close proximity to many prime Oregon wine growing regions.

Martie, the business I work for is a contractor supply among other things, and we are certainly seeing a downturn here, especially in our tract business . The custom home builders here in Napa County seem to be holding their own, and this is likely because the custom home buyer here is unaffected by the mortgage situation.

Marian, love that pic you posted of the Gingko ! I must say that Its been a couple of weeks since I had to buy gas and I dont remember what I paid at the time (sometimes I dont notice , especially if its before 6 am !) but I am really fortunate to only live a mile from my office so it takes me awhile to go through a tank. And if I have to drive on business I get mileage $$. The Quiet Man is also one of my fave Duke movies, along with The Searchers and believe it or not "Hatari..I think it is the cool Henry Mancini score ! I wore out that record in my youth, listening to it over and over.

Wendy , lol, the confusion on the personal trainer ! Reading the back issues of gardening mags in winter is exactly my m.o. Got the fire, got the wine, and if I pace myself I can make the piles last all winter ! I have to keep reminding myself that movers charge by weight.

Drema, I think your attitude toward your future is great. I would imagine this re-structure was not a total surprise ? I cant imagine that kind of commute on a daily basis , although I suppose one gets used to it after a bit. I thonk the longest Ive ever had was in the 30 minute range, and rarely in high traffic situations. There are certainly plenty of people here in Napa who dive into San Francisco every day-an hour if there is absolutely no traffic, and that is certainly not the case. Unless you go to work at 3am .

Chelone, we all await the detailed photo thread that will be forthcoming on this garage project !

Mary, one of my male co-workers had a bet with a female co-worker to see who would loose the most weight in a month. If the guy lost he would have had to wear in pink dress to work, and if she lost she would have to wash his car. She lost, but made home-made tamales in lieu of the car wash . I am still disappointed that we didnt get to see him in the pink dress !

Deanne, Glad your class went well and Im sure you are fixin to post a pic of the bracelet !
All those cuttings ..maybe you need a roadside stand , 2 dollars a pop-Christmas gift money !

Ok , time to go, Had my tooth stitches out today and Im celebrating with a baked potato! Squished up of course. My chewing function is not up to speed !

Later all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 9:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Remember me? I think my computer was just repaired this evening. We shall see!

My routine has definitely changed without the computer at my finger tips. You folks do not know how I've missed you. Just because I don't mention you by name is no indication of what you mean to me! So Chelone, Cynthia, Norma, Woody, Mary, V, Eden, Cindy, Deanne, Drema, Marian, good to read your updates- no matter the news within them.

Yes, I'm knitting. I completed Skyler's Christmas sweater, a "Baby Surprise Jacket", and am now working on another blanket for my friend Lynn's new grandson.

Charlotte still lurks in our hearts..but it may be spring before we get a new puppy.

We are hoping to see Reed in Alberta for his first Christmas, and hope that Skyler will be there at that time as well. Time to start some family traditions!

No time this evening to chat, but be it known that SNOW was lingering on the lawn today. :(


    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 9:41PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Its a chilly good morning here with the temps going down to 28 degrees last night. The heat is on to get the house temp up to 65. I can tell the cold weather is here because the kitties go out in the morning to do their business but then want to immediately come back in and curl up on my lap. Im currently typing at the table with Luke sitting in my lap and marching on my chest. I cant type with him on my lap when Im sitting in my favorite chair because he sits on the keyboard. The things we do for the kitties. I wonder what makes me sit still for the cats to march and essentially poke holes in me with their claws. Is their purring a sedative that allows them to do whatever they want with their humans when it is engaged??? LOL

Ive still got ten or so containers to finish cleaning up and have to get those dahlias dug up, washed and put away. Im hoping to have that all done by the end of the weekend. Well see. ~~ Ive got some great compost cooking away in my large bins on the hill. This time of the year is great because we still need to mow the lawn and can add lots of shredded leaves to the bin every time we mow. The grass and shredded leaves combination makes great compost that cooks really quickly. I should have a nice supply come spring.

Bug, your copper wreath is marvelous. Where did you get that beauty? Glad your computer has been fixed. You must be happy to be back on line from home.

Kathy, LOL about a roadside stand for the coleus. My neighbors always ask when Im going to start selling in the springtime when I get all the plants outside in the driveway to harden off. It does have a bit of that overabundant nursery look. ~~ Some year Id love to get out to Napa to see the vineyards in the fall. Ive seen pics and it looks beautiful. Hope you can post a few photographs for us. ~~ Glad to hear your mouth is healing up.

Norma, I agree with you that Id love to hear Mary doing a duet with David. How wonderful to be able to do music together. ~~ I sure hope you get some rain soon.

Eden, hope you can check in soon.

OK Ive got to get motivated and get myself to the gym. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 6:36AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

I don't want to hear any more about snow! Winter is my least favorite season, and I prefer that it snow only on weekends, preferably Saturday night into Sunday so that cleanup is finished for the Monday commute, and I don't have to drive in it! They had a snowflake on our five-day weather forecast, but it seems to be gone now.

Drema, nice to hear from you. Glad you are seeing the loss of your job in such a positive light. Congratulations to Jen - that is wonderful news!

Deanne, that is so lousy about your friend. I remember you talking about her difficulties when she was first injured. I can't imagine spending that much time being immobile. Yes, I think I can give a home to some of your cuttings. A lot of my coleus cuttings are rotting, I think I may have waited until it got too cold to take them. A few are doing well though, and they were all on the same windowsill. Go figure.

Marian, is the ginkgo bare yet?

Wish me luck, I'm taking DD to a Fall Out Boy concert Friday night; also playing are the Plain White T's and Gym Class Heroes (where do they get these names?). It is general admission seating, which I'm not crazy about - I like to know where my funny-looking butt will be seated. DD is bringing her best friend, so I invited the friend's mother too so that there would be 1 adult per child. We are also arriving AFTER the doors open, I'm too old to be trampled by a bunch of teenagers. No pit either - we can watch the action from above in the balcony. Word is that the pretty-boy bass player broke his foot jumping off part of the stage a few weeks ago (video available on YouTube) and is wearing a boot. Should be interesting to see how he modifies his usual energetic performance style.

Well, back to work I suppose.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 1:31PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

O, no, -- that SSSS word, Mary???? tell me it was a nightmare? yucko Im so not ready for dealing with that stuff. . . . Thanks for the offer of space one of these summers, Im going to just come see your garden if nothing else! I will say that going to PA lately has taken on a new charm Chloe gets to be top dog and solo again; and I get some space too.

You know, I missed the reference to Scotland another error w/ those turbo skims Martie, I LOVE Scotland one of my favorite places took my child there (her request) years ago and we still have fond memories the people are so so friendly, and so many towns/cities are very walkable wonderfully charming. Edinburgh was indeed a favorite and as Chelone mentions, aah, the history I really savored those Mary Q of S spots gives me chills to think of standing in those places that History really took place. You can see, Im a frustrated historian and closet archeologist (true confession I have followed Egyptology for years; many books, articles, etc. now Thats History it was my penultimate dream come true when I spent 3 weeks touring Egypt on a study tour (too many years ago now to think of) anyone ever hear how the Great Pyramid of Cheops is actually extremely Stinky inside? Too many homeless or tourists made pit stops there, I tell ya. Can you tell Im in a weird mood, LOL?

Deanne yikes -- I have thought of you often re the probably similar situations and your DD I wondered if shed actually moved; so we are probably having much in the same conflicting feelings ya cant kick them out to be homeless but you sure do want to see them get on their feet. In my houseguests case, we did just learn that another domestic violence charge was levered against this lower specimen of mankind and he apparently got arrrested and overnighted so I try to remind her that she did the right thing escaping and somehow the money problems will get solved at least she has her life, her dog and some of her possessions!

Yes, V - agave, agave, agave.....

Yeah, Gardenbug has a puter again!!!!!! It does feel like youre missing an appendage when youre away from the idylls for more than a week, doesnt it? O I love, love that wreath!

O,k, lunch time over back to dealing w/ finding a new hotel for a new attorney who was told by another attorney that the NYC hotel we Finally had booked after much roundaboutting, the other atty is sure has bedbugs. . . . . this after going round & about over about 5 other choices of hotels. . . . see, the things I get to have fun with making sure there are no bedbugs in a hotel. . . . sheesh. . . . Aint life grand? worrying about bedbugs, LOL.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 1:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Wendy...the Ginkgo looks about the same as my last pic. I had heard the theory that it drops all it's leaves in one day, but have noticed that mine does not do that....close, but not entirely right. It is very still out today, and sunny. If a breeze comes up it may denude it.

Deanne, our Trubby does that same thing, but I call it 'kneading'. He loves to sit on Nolon's tummy and knead. He isn't my lap cat, and that is fine with me. Tommy likes to sleep on my chest, but doesn't puncture me too often. I definitely discourage that sort of behavior. I yell "ouch" and move his claws to a more protected area ! Neither of them ever set on my lap at the computer, or set on the keyboard.Such actions are definitely a "No no". It is also rare that Tommy is on me...I am up and down too often to encourage that.
That is so sad about your friend's injury, and her immobility. I hope she has more friends like you.

Kathy, I have 107 differant John Wayne videos ! They include the 3 you mentioned. We rewatched "The Searchers" recently. The video that I bought has a lengthy addition about the filming of it. That is interesting in it'sself.

Yey! Marie is back into the computering at home ! Wonderful!
Interesting wreath. Who made it? That is one way to recycle cans.
I read that my childhood area in Idaho is expecting snow this weekend. I hope you (and the other's who got some already) will not have to put up with it very long...yet.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 2:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


And last but not least...

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 2:35PM
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I'm not sure if I've had the pleasure of partipating on a thread with Drema before so will just say it's nice to hear from you amongst the other newsy posts. My monitor once again beams Reed's cherubic face, so hurray that GB's puter is back online. The dusting of snow is beautiful -- sorry if I take the romantic's view of the stuff!

Re Scotland, a great country, no mistake, but my DH & I nearly got into the one and only bar/pub fight in our life in Kircubrie (sp?), mainly because we couldn't understand a thing the locals were saying. Somehow, the language difficulty ended with a feisty local accusing us of stealing his coat. Still can't figure that one out. We were dipping into Scotland to see the Logan Botanic garden just over the border from England. Language difficulties started AT the border. Those who've been know what I'm talking about.

Gosh, Wendy, I've never heard of those bands, which makes me oooold. I've inflicted my Mahler, Radiohead, Elvis Costello and U2 enthusiams on my kids from a young age, but once you share music it goes both ways. I get most of my music from them nowadays. My oldest saw Talking Heads in concert when he was 3 and loved it, which amazes me now but not then, apparently.

Marian, is Trubby his real name? I ask because earlier today I was trying to think of the original name of our male cat as he was harassing me for a third can of food. Couldn't remember his name. It gets embarrassing at vet visits. I basically call him Joseph, but aka Professor Joseph, JoJo, Joe. B. Tiger, Tiger Beebop, Tiger Bee, on and on. Finally remembered in the shower he was named after the cat on Alien, which is the name the vet has him filed under. I go well past the three names from Eliot's poem:

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isnt just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first Im as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.

Gotta run to an afternoon job but just want to tell Cindy that I'll be keeping count on her too. I've told my sainted mother that when she performs her third miracle, I'm nominating her for sainthood. It IS a complex business to help out, I agree.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 4:15PM
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Hooray - GB's puter is fixed and Reed is back!! I can't get enough of those baby smiles. I love the baby jacket - the site has some very neat patterns.

Wendy - as the mother of a teenage daughter I do know the bands you're going to hear and even like some of the Plain White T's stuff. Hey, the kids have even got me hooked on My Chemical Romance - perhaps I'm not so old after all:0) (But I'd choose Bach in a second.) Annie is very selective about who she wants to go see and I haven't had any requests lately (breathe sigh of relief).

Norma - you planted an idea and David and I just spent the last hour creating an account and making a video for Youtube (just him for the moment). It was fun to do - he is quite a ham when it comes to performing. We're waiting for it to be processed right now to see how it turned out.

Marian - cool tree photos!

Deanne - how sad to hear about your friend who is laid up in bed. When there is little or no progress the outlook must be incredibly bleak. I'm sure your visits mean a lot to her.

The kitchen is calling to me, Annie asked to be quizzed on her spelling words and I've only walked 8,000 steps today. It might be a busy evening.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 5:15PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Denise, Trubby started out as "Trouble". He was a stray...probably dropped off along with his sister because someone didn't want them. He fought a lot with our previous cats...hence I called him "Trouble" "Here comes trouble". I decided I wanted to keep him, but not the female. She went to the humane society, he went to the vet to be neutered. That was about 7 years ago. His name varies a lot Trubby-dub, Strubby-dub, Trubby-doo, and some really wierd things that Nolon calls him....:-(
Tommy's main 'other name' is Tommycuns.

The naming of cats has been quite a thing around here. We have had Simon and Garfunkle; Casper; Muttonhead; Duke; Mouthy; Squeak; Tadpole; Mugglyother; Dandy; and on and on...I have lost count of how many !

Phew ! It's hot in here! I stoked up the fire this morning, and the sun shining in the bay window has added to the heat. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer.... no wonder we ail so much....we never know what to wear. Now that the tender plants are frozen or indoors it will probably turn hot ! That is par for the course here.

Marie, your skift of snow makes very pretty pictures. I would almost welcome it right now!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 5:40PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Lets see if I can do the read & comment drill here.

I have a ginkgo/ginko/gingko (and I agree that the right spelling looks wrong) that we planted four years ago. Its finally starting to hit its stride in the landscape, and true to form dropped its leaves within 24 hours. DH, who is traveling a lot this fall, came home and commented that the ginkgo really didnt have fall color this year. I showed him the scattering of leaves on the ground and told him he was home on the wrong day!

Drema, all the best to Jen! What great news.

Chelone, somehow I also thought it was Wendys DH who was doing the coaching, and I couldnt quite picture him doing that. Thanks for having my error pointed out to me!

I predict a large migration of coleus to Massachusetts sometime next week

So happy to see bug functioning again! Your voice was missed. And your darling grandbebe. But youve got a bad case of "powdery mildew" going on there!

Cindy, there has been an unfortunate rash of cases in the Chicago area of women turning up missing as they were trying to leave bad relationships. One womans body has been found but two others are missing. So although the path is rocky at times, your friend definitely has her life and that part is priceless. Go to and read some of the articles on the Stacey Peterson case. Very sad.

As for band names, I personally like Death Cab for Cutie. And their musics not bad either.

Mystic/Mystie-Moo/The Moo Man has no idea why there is all this fuss over cat names.

I stopped quickly at Trader Joes yesterday and was rewarded with a potted amaryllis with two buds for only $8.99.

Off to bed early tonight. I have to leave at 5:00 am for a trek to our state capital. A day of meetings there, then I will head over to DDs school and spend the night there. She has a concert Saturday evening and it makes no sense for me to drive all the way home Friday and then back to her school on Saturday. So I will enjoy a hotel evening, a leisurely breakfast with her on Saturday, and a little time shopping and otherwise dinking around the college town during the day. Sunday, it will not be allowed to rain as I need to dig up the tender bulbs and plant the hardy ones.

Can you believe I have to pick up my Thanksgiving turkey next week?

The local paper came out with the article about our geothermal project. It was a very flattering article (I mean, Al Gore just called and offered to split his Nobel Prize with me) and the contractor has already gotten responses from it. They dont have the article on line; otherwise I would provide you all with a link. It might turn up on the authors website, but I noticed that she has not posted her columns since August so Im not sure how soon that will be.

Okay, must get ready for the road. Back on Sunday!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:35PM
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Cats names! Teaser, Stinky, Itty Kitty, Big Fat Kitty, Boo-boo Kitty, Zelda, Phoebe, Bob, Ceasar, and currently Ted and Doobie.
One the climate front, our lovely warm temps came to an abrupt end today- no sight of the sun all day , and cold ( in a California type way) and when I came home for lunch today I grabbed my food and took it back to the office;the house was too cold. I dont turn the heat on at all over night or in the morning- I just get up, get ready and go to work so there really is no need to heat the house up for an hour. Tonight the thermostat clicked on at 62 and I put it up to about 65, which is what I try to do most of the winter unless I have guests in which case I do the 68 thing. We are not having particularly cold nights yet.
Marie your snow dusted pics are really beautiful-count me in with Denise on the romantic view. The rare occasions when we have snow here are events .

Deanne, You are indeed industrious- I can put off many chores because of the lack of killing frost here. Now that it basically getting dark when I get home from work I hope I dont get caught short ! Ive moved a few things into more protected areas , but thats
about it.

Cindy have you read "The Egyptologist" by Arthur Phillips ? Its in my pile for this winter.

Wendy, my winter preference is for it to rain overnight only on Mon, Tue, and Wed and then dry out by the weekend. Ive never heard of any of those bands you mentioned either ! My DD and DS are in their 20s now and had a few bands they liked in their teens that I liked too such as Sublime and Green Day, but they also listened to my music, and I started them on show tunes, standards and jazz when they were very young. They didnt seem to get into that teeny bopper band thing (DD did like Boyz 2 Men) so I was never called on to take them off to a concert- thank god !
I remember when I was 12 and me and two of my friends went to a Beach Boys concert (this would be about 1964) that was my first rock concert . As I recall one of our parents dropped us off and then picked us up when it was over. A Beach Boys concert in 1964 was pretty tame. ! The ultimate though was seeing the Beatles

Wow Marian , Im impressed at the John Wayne collection ! You must have some pretty obscure stuff .. another one I thought of that I really liked was The High and The Mighty" but I havent seen it in years and there is no way I could tell you what the plot was ! Have you ever been to Monument Valley ? (thinking of the Searchers here and maybe Angel and the Badman)

Okay, time to sign off

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 9:48PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, The High and the Mighty isn't easy to come by. A friend taped it for me from TV. It is interupted with ads, but is better than not having it.
Yes, I do have many obscure ones, and no, I have never been to Monument Valley. Producer John Ford espacially liked that area for filming.

I always liked the music from The High and the Mighty.

Oh yes...Kathy, Henry Mancini is one of my favorites. I have several of his albums.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 10:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This morning I heard proof that Reed is ticklish! He also "talks". Seems he stares at the phone while I speak to mama.

Samantha (Sammie) was actually Sambo at birth. She produced Dick Tiger (who became Tiger Lily and went to Harvard!) and Stokely (all black of course, also called Doozie). Then there was Chatouille (means tickle in French, a pun because chat means cat.) She was also called "2E" which rhymes with "touille". Then there was Grace who was a clutz so became Grey or Greypo. Next came Bailey, whose name was changed to Sweet William. He was a perfect uncle for our rescue cat MeToo, who still lives with us along with others deposited here: NouNou (Minou) and Vita (Vita Sackville-Pest).

MY FIRST and ONLY DOG (so far):
Then of course there is/was Charlotte, named for the Queen Charlotte Islands as well as my Dad Charles and my cousin's daughter in France. She is remembered as Charlotte, though she also was called "Puppy" in a sing-song voice and "Goofus" too at times.

Deanne, this week I've been a saint on the treadmill and at meals. I am nervous that my feet won't last though and that the problems will return. I DO want to lose some pounds before arriving in Edmonton for Christmas. We scheduled our trip this evening. YEAH! Thinking lots about you and DD. Bon Courage!

Time for sleep! Tomorrow evening we go to a concert (I don't even know which one!) and on Saturday DH's voice teacher performs in Beethoven's 9th.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 12:19AM
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Mercy me, lots to read this morning. And that's a treat because I have to go into work late this morning :( ! and this will amuse me until I departure time (7 AM).

Count me as another admirer of that nifty wreath. Please tell me about the plant with the amazingly colorful buds/seed heads... is that color for real or a trick of the monitor? The baby jacket is wonderful; I am not a knitter but perhaps I'll give it a whirl as Mum was very accomplished and there are scads of pattern books (dating from the late '30s-early '90s) as well as countless sets of "knatting noodles".

Cat names: Sir Thurston Bottomly, Sam, Fred (slept in the basinette with me), Thomasina, Tosca, Millicent Friendly (Millie), Oliver Orange (all over orange, Ollie), Nicolette, Salvatore, Floey (Florence Griffith Joyner), Robert E. Lee (Bobby Lee), Mr. Sleek (Junie, short for Junior), Polly, Spencer, Vera, and Minnie Pearl. Nick names are too numerous to recount without putting you all to sleep. Hey YOU asked! Smitten with kittens we are indeed.

Wow, Drema, I had forgotten about your daily commute. I'd hasten a bet you won't miss that too much. I have between 15 and 25 minutes, depending on which route I take, but it's early in the morning and is unfettered by clogged roadways. Gas is just over $3/gallon and my usual route takes me by all the places I need to visit routinely, so I accomplish much "on the way home". I don't joyride much these days. I hope the impending "vacation" doesn't add too much stress to you life. Any thoughts on what you might do as a "second" career?

Mary, have you ever heard of LAGQ, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (or quintet, never can remember)? I occasionally hear something by them when I'm allowed to listen to the classical program on NPR (workers generally veto that selection, sadly). Anyway, they're terrific, Deanne would probably like them, too.

Bedbugs! uck... who would ever have thought we'd be revisiting those detestable creatures? Shudder. I'm not particularly squeamish, but they give me the creeps (ticks, leeches, included). OTOH, I have to confess to a certain grudging respect for their adapability... . Sounds like an intersting research project for you, Cindy. :) There have been a rash of grisly domestic violence incidents in our area over the past couple of years... the weirdest was the guy who killed his wife and entombed her fibreglass at a marina. What's up with THAT? I sympathize with the worries about friends/children and the loss of one's "space". Having had one dreadful room-mate some years ago, I know how it feels to come home and see their car in the driveway when you were hoping for some ALONE time. The best I can say for that idiot was that he paid off our mortgage for us! haven't seen him since and don't care if I ever lay eyes on him again. Hang in there, you guys.

The seamless gutters were in place when I returned from work yesterday. The estimate for the drywall came in yesterday, too. I still don't understand how anyone can do that sort of work for that price. Sheetrocking and insulation rate as the most odious of home improvement tasks, at least to me. Rich will understand, huh, Martie?

Rex has become quite a pest when I get home. He follows me everywhere, sitting directly in front of me and staring at me with imploring eyes... are we going out for a walkie, Mummy? WHEN, pleeeaaase? Jeez, I can even use the bathroom without him. He apparently missed the memo that I hate dogs.

Time for the "rain locker" and raiment selection and then off to an interminable day at work. I'll probably be alone (mercifully) but will be faced with the final round of huge curtains for the largest of our commercial accounts. Greeaat.

Hope your day is a fine one, everyone.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 6:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Its a chilly 28 here again this AM and is not supposed to go over 42 today, with clouds. I told Doug (he got home from Rochester last night around 8:00PM) We MUST get that kerosene heater for the garage up and running tonight or we will be ferrying hundreds of plants into the basement before we sleep. The garage is getting too cold for my plants out there and will be colder yet tonight with no sun to warm things up during the day today. Yesterday I finished attaching the privacy reed fencing to the chain link on the left side of the back yard. The neighbor rented the house next door. The house was vacant for years and prior to that the woman who lived there NEVER ever went out in her back yard so weve never had to worry about privacy on that side of the back yard before. Anyway, Im not unhappy with the results and actually like the look of the reed fencing. It makes it quite cozy looking back there. Ive also been getting the bird feeders cleaned out and hung in the back in prep for my winter bird photography. Im getting the itch to get my blind out and start snapping pictures. Ive had a lovely pair of Red-breasted nuthatches in the feeders for a month now and am looking forward to getting some nice photos of them as Ive not gotten any of that species yet.

Ah yes, kitty names. ROTFLOL! Rahjii, Rahjiikins, Rahjii-doodle-bug, Buggy, Buggy-buggy-doodle-boy, Bug-manNext cat, Luke, Lukie, Buddha, Fat-boy. I wonder if Luke is jealous because Rahjii has more names?

Bug, good for you with the exercise and diet! Its so darned hard to maintain the self-discipline to stay healthy. Be careful of your feet! Ive been getting back to the gym every day again and yesterday I did my ab workout for the first time in a while. Ouch! Im a hurting puppy this morning!~~ Lovely photos!

Kathy, I really prefer to keep the thermostat at 62 in the winter. Anything warmer and Im too warm in my winter layers of clothing and I like to bundle up in the cold weather. Like you though, if I have company I have to turn the heat up to 68 so I dont freeze people out. LOL

V. enjoy the time in the city and the concert! Great to hear from you with a nice chatty post.

Cindy, yes indeed Im still here with my live in who Id prefer would move out. Its a very fine line to be walking between helping out and enabling and I think Doug and I are teetering over onto the enabling side but he wont hear of it so Im just enduring until he comes on board.

Wendy, how many plants can you take?

OK Ive got to get ready and get to the gym. Time to put in my hour on the Stairmaster. Then hopefully Ill finish the pots today and get those dahlias dug up.

Have a great day everyone!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 6:45AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Oooops, I almost forgot...


Unfortunately that's all I have time for this morning. I'm trying to get the financials issued under the watchful eye of the new CFO boss. So far, so good.



    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 10:59AM
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Hello everyone!

I have the twins here today so fast reading and writing will have to be done. They are both playing with push toys (the one that has the colored balls that 'pop' when the wheels turn).

Interesting that cats have been talked about. We had to say the final good-bye to our big white cat on Wednesday afternoon. He was 17.5 years old and we believe it was renal failure that took his health so quickly. He came to live with us in October 1991 when he was 18 months old. His owner had died in a car accident and her DH did not wish to keep her cats.

It was one of those truly awful decisions to have to make, but I know it was the right decision at the right time. His quality of life had decreased greatly in the preceeding few days.

So......this morning before the twins arrived, I was emptying the litter box to ready it for storage. I burnt his bed (there was so much hair embedded into the fleece that it wasn't feasible to consider donating it to anyone. I washed his food and water dish one last time and vacuumed the carpets thoroughly----not that I don't expect to be finding his long hair every where I clean for a very long time.

Honey's stories of Bullet reminded me of our guy. He had tons of personality (not quite as much as Bullet did though in his interacting with us). He loved to be vacuumed (to have his ears, paws or tail sucked up into the wand of the vacuum). Loved attention, loved baths and having the water from the tub spigot pound on his head.....he was a great companion for 16 years.

Anyway......he's going to be greatly missed.

I'm glad to put this at the end of an Idyll....I wouldn't have shared it at the top of one where I would run across the post for days.

While typing this the twins went down for a now is my time to do some fast (and quiet) cleaning.

Hope everyone is well.....


    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 12:11PM
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T, Sad to hear you had to say goodbye to your cat.How nice that you could give him a home. Sounds like he was a unique cat. I'm amazed that he liked baths and vacumning.

Good to hear from you too. I've been thinking of you. I imagine the boys are really fun now.

Bug, its so good to have you back too, and pictures of Reed to boot. The snow on the colorful buds and foliage is pretty.

Mary, can't wait to hear David play.

A quick hi to the rest of you. I have some other things I need to finish right now.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 9:01PM
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By the way our cat Jasmine has no nicknames other than DH sometimes calls her "That D#&@* Cat". LOL

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 9:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

My MIL had a cat called "DamnCat"....
T, so sorry. I do know how you feel.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 11:54PM
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