Idyll #289 The Halloween Idyll

gardeningmaryOctober 31, 2006

My two are out trick-or-treating so I'm grabbing a few minutes Idyll time between the door bell ringing. Happy Halloween everyone.


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What an interesting ride home from work. About 9 miles from home I was at a 4 way stop when I saw a hiway patrol. I knew that I had a headlight out and dreaded getting stopped just because its time consuming and somewhat embarrassing. It was so funny, he just couldnt catch up with me. First a construction truck got between us and he couldnÂt get around him, and then I was able to pass a slow moving tractor and he couldnÂt. I felt like I was "outrunning" the police. Finally I was almost ready to turn on our gravel road and was wondering if he would follow me down it and I met another guy with a headlight out. I believe he went after him instead. Needless to say I stuck to the speed limit.

Chelone, I spritzed the cattails with hairspray and it seems to be working. By the way, I love tassels.

Norma, the cattails, celosia, sea lavender and sedum are from here. The orange berries are from Hobby Lobby ;o) The pumpkins are from the pumpkin patch.

Just where are Deanne and Sue? I hope that they arenÂt without power.

T, I hope the poor goat is ok. JamieÂs costume is adorable too. Did you make it?

Taryn, I have a pedometer and have enjoyed seeing just how many miles I put on a day at a "desk job"

Cindy, thanks for the Halloween humor. Be careful, you just might get a house full of Idylls LOL

I could go for the book club. I love to read, but life sometimes gets in the way. These days I just donÂt get to it much.

IÂd love to see some of the little Idylls in costume.

Poor little Halloweeners, itÂs pretty cold here tonight. My pea soup sounds pretty good.


PS I didn't check for a new Idyll and posted on the old one as well.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 7:14PM
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We have never had a trick or treater here in almost 20 I ate all the candy already. :oP

Michelle, good for you on going the speed limit. Hard to do isn't it? LOL I always want to creep up 2 or 4 miles per hour faster...

I found Jamie's tiger outfit about 2 years ago at Joann Fabrics after was around $9.00 so I bought it. This is his second year wearing it (I don't know that he remembered wearing it last year?). He was going to be a Power Ranger with that outfit that I bought him about two months ago.....but Gramps told him how much he liked the photo of Jamie when he was dressed up like a Tiger and how he had the photo in his office at work........well, Jamie wanted to be a tiger again. It is a cute outfit.

It is going to be really cold here tonight again -- I feel badly for the kids (and their parents) who will be going out for their treats.

Hope everyone isn't being frightened by the ghosts, ghouls and goblins coming to their doors.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 7:30PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Returned from physio very cautiously because it is awfully dark out for those trick or treaters darting about in town. Here we get no one.

I agree about missing our New England ladies! Hope things are going smoothly for them!

Today I planted the Anemone blandas...and so am done with bulbs for the season. Now I can concentrate on the anticipation phase. I have a few muscari to plant indoors. I'm told to put them in the freezer for a couple of weeks first. Any thoughts on that? Yesterday I seeded the muddy area left by the workmen, hoping rain and snow don't make a mud bath out there. Not sure if any of it will take though.

Today was not so terribly cold, about 55F. But now it is down to around 40F. Still lots of garden clean-up left, but progress has been made. The raspberries are cut back! More tomorrow! If it gets too bitter, there's always knitting!
DH is now off to hockey once more.

Goodbye October! I'll miss you!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 8:04PM
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Chelone, I've had trouble with your mail, too....I have an addressed letter for you, but I can remember if you're 7 or 3....I've got all the other info. Am I wrong on both numbers?

Tricks and treats went off without a hitch and the kids have turned in.

I went to a friend's house and gave out candy with her and got some much needed woman time. Why is it that women get it and men have no clue about what we need?

No one trick or treats at my house either.

Well, we had wine as you can probably tell, and I should not comment on anything else and join the children in a slumber.

I honestly don't know why you all put up with me.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 8:32PM
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Hi All! I bought dum-dums today and some sort of taffy thing that is more conducive to young teeth. Whatever I have leftover will go to the contractor sales dept at my company-those guys will eat anything ! Never buy chocolate, thats my policy.Don't want to eat all the leftovers.. It is just about 5:30 here , so darkish, and I expect the really little ones will be around soon. I had to come home at 4:30 today so I could block off my half finished brick path in the front , which in it's present state is a tripping hazzard. Sure feels chilly tonight here - hope I don't get caught sort by any unexpected frost-I just haven't hardened off yet I guess. We are actually expecting a bit of rain tommorow.

I will start the book thread this weekend . Maybe we try to read two or three books this winter ? We'll see how it goes !

Just had my first customer-guess I'll go work on the Sunday crossword, it's easy to jump up and down from !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 8:52PM
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I just came in from riding with DH in the combine. Our 16 year old grandson came over and I thought he might want my spot.

When I lived in town we had many trick or treaters. I do have a stack of quarters ready, just in case. One year someone did stop by and I had to really scramble to come up with 2 apples, which they were probably disappointed with.

Kathy, whenever I bought chocolate I found that it was gone before the kids came ;o) So I stuck to the junk that kids like and I didn't.

A Halloween from my memory, could it really be 14 years ago?

Happy Halloween

    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 10:26PM
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Good morning

The door bell kept ringing last night so I didn't get back to post again. It is so much fun seeing the little ones. Our neighborhood doesn't attract the big crowds of older kids - they seem to prefer the newer subdivisions of MacMansions which is fine by me.

Annie and David - (a ghoul and vampire) headed out with the two girls across the street. The oldest is 14 and for the first time the foursome went solo. They had a great time and came back in high spirits loaded with treats. One of the best parts seems to be emptying out their bags afterwards and entering into complex trade agreements. Fortunately our school collects excess candy to dontate to one of the shelters/missions in the city so I had them each contribute to that. I'm feeling rather glad I'd taken the plunge and bought an electric toothbrush as it will be getting a work out these next few days.

Michelle - what a cute picture. I hope there are some of Mackenzie and Bella for this year.

T - I thought nothing could be cuter than those two peas in a pod till I saw them with Tiger Jamie. How adorable and what a lucky Grandma!

Kathy- I'm with you on never buying chocolate - I love it tooo much. This year we had gummy body parts which were a big hit, but nothing I'd eat in a thousand years. By the way, your book selection looks great - is it a go?

Saucy - glad you had some girl time and enjoyed a glass of wine.

Taryn - I bet the boys had a lot of fun together. Did you sort out what was drawing out all that electricity? I have a pedomemter I got on sale during the summer and you've inspired me to start using it. I'm sure I have a short stride too as I'm such a shortie. This year I've added a few pounds very slowly but steadily so I want to check the process while I can and am hoping more exercise is the way to go.

Cindy - LOVE the cartoons! Your vacation sounds both relaxing and productive - even though I hate cleaning there is nothing I like more than a spotless house.

GB - do you have photos of the wool you've chosen?

Martie - you sound like a great neighbor to have. Wish you were here on our street.

I too am missing Sue and Deanne. I don't think they've ever been gone from the Idylls at the same time and it leaves a big hole. Hope everything is well with all our absent friends. Sue, even though I'm telling myself not to worry I'm not doing a very good job. Hope you're getting different suggestions from some new doctors.

Time to run and a wave to eveyone I've missed.

have a good day Idylls!


    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 7:42AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all, Not missing just VERY busy getting ready for my color theory presentation this evening. It has taken more than a week of preparation, I shudder to think of the amount of hours I've spent on this which is basically a volunteer thing and a one time only. Distilling the gigabillions of bits of information into something that would make any sense and be useful to gardeners was quite a challenge. Anyway, on top of that I'm teaching the next four days and have to get ready for that also so I'm thinking of you but must be 'outta' here.

Carry on

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 8:32AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I still havent caught up on all the garden threads & skimmed (& missed Im sure) a lot of news... so please forgive any mistakes I made (or will make!). . . . Hoping tomorrow I might sneak a few peeks at ofc to catch up while the bigwigs are off on "retreat" for 2 days...

Marie I had luck last year w/ just putting muscari and tulip bulbs in my frig drawers for 2 months I was afraid to put in the freezer it took longer, but I got results; w/ blooms in March once they were potted up.

T I thought of you last nite as I lay awake until at least 2 a.m. my time. . . . almost (!) trudged to the computer to see if you were lurking. . . . . dont know what it is about not sleeping but it sure is fatiguing and annoying.

Sue yes, I changed GYNs in the last year & found it a terrible challenge (esp. getting my paperwork from my former one that Id had for about 15 years I was terribly pod about the ofc staff at her place over the all ordeal of getting the paperwork). I know my DD tried to find a new primary care dr when she was ill recently and no one would see her!! She ended up going 20 miles to her old one (& figured out she had to start hunting for a new one closer when she got better). The old health care system is extremely scary these days. . . . ok, another political topic probably best not spoken of.

Kathy count me in on the book thing but Ill be off to my PA parent visitation this weekend Ill have to check when I get back Sunday nite. Im up for any book should be diverting to try this out.

Im lovin the costumes whether theyre 14 yrs old or not. I didnt get home til after 7 pm so I missed most of the hords in my neighborhood. I just couldnt take time off to leave early which is the only way to see the younger cuties.

Now see, Deanne if youd come to the IU this past summer, you could have been all prepared for your color theory class & no more prep work would have been needed!! Hope it goes well for you Im sure it will that color wheel was sooooo coool.

Ok, back to the slave mines here.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 9:03AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm sitting at my computer and the kittens are licking my empty cereal bowl. Outdoors it is frosty, sunny and quite pretty...though not yet inviting as far as me getting to work on clean-up! There are slate coloured juncos, birds which only appear when the temperature drops.

It is a tough act to follow Mary's postings. She usually says what I wish I were capable of writing. I do agree about the clean house too!

I just took this photo of the knitting swatch I made for a Jacket for DD. I chose these colours because I thought it would go either with jeans or with dress pants for hearings she attends for work. I also thought it matched Deanne's art!

And a few more from this morning:
Fall clean-up

Cotinus in the light

The last of Astrid Lindgren

Hydrangea Limelight in the sun

Happy Wednesday!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 9:24AM
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Good morning!

I slept very well last night (my condolences to anyone that didn't)...I think it was exhaustion that helped me do it, but whatever the reason/cause I was very thankful to feel rested when I was awoke by DH's alarm.

I'm babysitting the twins today from 10 to 6 or so. I've not watched them, alone, for a couple weeks and they've had a fussy couple of weeks---I'm hoping they'll have a 'good' day and then I will, too. They are still having trouble with reflux so they still aren't able to sleep in their cribs. They sleep in their car seats. DD is planning to put them in their cribs as soon as they are able to roll over well and strong enough to lift their upper bodies in case they were to vomit during the night. It is scary when they have the forceful reflux as there isn't usually any forewarning that it is going to happen (it happens often). Apparently most babies have difficulty with varying degrees and it should right itself by the time they are one year old. One year old????!!!! I was hoping they'd be done with it by now. Patience is a virtue that I'm a bit skimpy on.....

It was 23 degrees when I got up this morning and now has dropped down to 22. I still have my 3 apple trees, sitting in pots and not in the ground. I hope they will be okay.

The goat is still not using his leg. DH has been rubbing DMSO on it each night, but that has been difficult as he cannot tell 'exactly' where is the area that is injured. The goat doesn't like to have his legs handled, so we lock his head into a feeding station, give him grain and while he is eating, DH tries to apply the DMSO. Hopefully he will regain use of it. I'm hoping it is muscle strain or tissue bruising instead of a break....I'm guessing we would see swelling and extreme reaction to touching/moving it, if it were broken. Always seems to be something with these animals.

No trick or treaters here last night (would have been shocked to have any show up). It was so cold that Jamie didn't go out, but instead helped his mom hand out candy while he was dressed in his tiger costume. She did walk him around to a few neighbors after he awoke from his nap, so he did get to do some more 'grrrinnngggg' (scary growling) to surprise people. ;o)

I was telling DH that our calendar is filling up in the next couple of months.......with babysitting, for the grandkids, requests. He said 'be happy, it will only be for another 8 or so years'. LOL It will be longer than that......but I do love getting to interact with these little ones so I don't have any problem in enjoying saying 'yes, we can watch him/them for you then'. I feel blessed.

Well, November 1st....Only 60 more days until Jan. 1st and a new year. I've got lots to get done in the next 60 days if I'm going to fulfill my 2006 resolutions. ;o)

Marie, I love the yarn you've chosen.....beautiful colors!

Hello to all.......


    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 9:48AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Loving those wee pee pods and the little tiger is too cute! Michelle, I can only get the bottom half of your pic to load (arggh, dial-up!) but what I see is very pretty in pink! Mary where are your scary kids?

We had fun last night, trick-or-treating in town with the next-door-neighbors' grandkids. Then we went back to their parents place for a drink, then their eldest Josh came here for the night for a sleepover. Not a single bag of chips was gone, so it was deadsville here in the boonies. Teachers got smart and scheduled a professional development day today so I have them buzzin' around on sugar instead of the teachers! a few pics:

This place glowed:

Neighbor's DGD:

The gang (my two zombies and Grim Reaper all on far right, with neigbors' grandkids:

Shane's ug mug:

He scared a tiny Ninja Turtle into a screaming fit with that face, lol! I don't know if I felt worse for the tyke, who must have been all of two, or Shane, who kept saying "sorry" which only made the screaming louder! LOL, a little too scary!

Mary re our outrageous electric bill, DH and I went breaker by breaker Sunday for a couple of hours, labelling everything (none of the breakers were labelled!) and checking the hydro meter with each one. The culprit is the hot water heater! Meter was spinning every 6 seconds with JUST that on! I'm pushing for a more expensive but more efficient tankless electric heater, while Glenn is wanting to pay less now on a traditional (though newer) hot water tank. In any case the old one will be out of here pronto! A big relief to find the problem. Meter maid came Monday for a reading so I took one too just to be sure they aren't adding to our woes. BTW Mary did you get my email? I need your snail mail addy again!

Marian, I couldn't get all your pics to load, but what I saw was wonderful! I did read the text, and hope you will take a wee break if you need to, then jump back in when you're ready. None of us lead magical, moviestar lives, and it's the everyday, ordinary events that make the connections so special. Ever read Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach? Please reconsider.

Deanne, hope everything goes smoothly for you, and that you can use/sell that cool colour wheel again!

T, glad you got some sleep, and hope you manage with the peapods today. How's the poor goat?

Saucy we adore you, tipsy or not...

Hi Cindy! Loved the funnies! Sorry you had bad weather for your vaca, but gotta admit I also love a clean house! Shall we all decend on you while it's lookin' good? LOL!

Well I did manage to send off my Resume to six companies yesterday, and heard back from one within an hour. Am interviewing for a marketing coordinator (inside sales) position at a leading financial planning company Friday at 11:00. Yikes! What to wear??? What to say?? Will pop a couple of Relora for my nerves, but as luck would have it I should be at the height of hormonal hell that day, arrghh! Wish me luck...

Well, these four guys are bouncing off the walls and I didn't get to unpacking my garden shed yesterday so will escape now, though will get them out for fresh air too soon. It's 50F and sunny! And my pedometer is showing shamefully few steps so far. Have a good one..


    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 11:58AM
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Happy Belated Halloween, Great to see all of the kid's pics, still waiting for a few though...hint, hint Babs and Mary and Norma did you get any of your grands? The kids and I went down to my sister Kelly's for sloppy joes and Halloween cupcakes and then took Bella out trick of treating to a dozen or so houses. It was brisk weather but could have been much worse.

I checked and my local Borders has a copy of The Invisible Garden in stock so I hope to be able to pick it up this weekend. I think this will be fun. Thanks Kathy for putting it together.

Deanne, I would SOOOO love to be at your color theory lecture. I know it will be spectacular!

Taryn, good luck on the job search. I hope you find the perfect one. That's a scary group you have there, lol.

T, lol on the full calendar! Funny how as we get older we'd RATHER stay home with the grandkids, at least that's the case with me usually. Cute tiger there with the pea pods.

Michelle, how cool to see a picture of your kids at Halloween. Great costumes! I should get David to scan one of our old ones and post it.

Marian, I think we all take a break occasionally when life gets in the way but if we don't contribute, no matter how boring we think we are, lol, pretty soon there will be nothing here to read. I've been trying to make an effort to get here every few days and at least say something, even if I have to keep it short. Hope you stick around.

Here are a couple of pictures, first Bella last night with her entourage (David's the photographer)...

Here's one of Bella and Meg...

and a morning after picture when she got to my house today...


    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 3:07PM
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I love Halloween. When I was a kid the planning and waiting for THE BIG NIGHT was nearly excruciating. The "kick off" was the Halloween party in class at grammar school. Mum adored making costumes, too. The only "rule" was that we had to be something scarey (several of my costumes are still in the cedar chest in her home). We don't get any trickortreaters here... :( . All those pictures are just precious. Silly and wonderful, just what the doctor ordered.

I bought a can of something called "Stone" by Krylon today. I hauled out the icky plastic windowboxes we use for overwintering the Geraniums in the south windows and gave them a coat. I rather like it, but wish I'd bought 2 cans! Any of you ever tried it? I have the topcoat, too, but will add another layer of the "Stone" before sealing it.

It was GORGEOUS today... mid-60s! freakish, really. And I jumped on the chance to spray paint outdoors. Tomorrow won't be nearly so accomodating. But I have to get them ready before Jack Frost kisses the Geraniums to death.

Saucy, e-mail or snail mail? Snail is 530, if you want my e-mail maybe e-mail 'bug and she'll connect us again (I'd like that); unless you have a telephone number. I yanked my e-mail addy following the the buy out of Spike. I was suddenly inundated with requests to calculate drapery yardages. Ugh. ;) . Whine or no wine, your's is a distinctive voice in the "peanut gallery".

As expected, the cleaning of curtains was all that I remember. I did 5 this morning before opting for something else. They're between 8-9'H x 10'W and you have to clean both sides and look them over carefully for required repairs, esp. fastening hardware. BORING. "Wax on, wax off" stuff for anyone who remembers the "Karate Kid".

Mum goes to the ear/nose/throat guy tomorrow to have the "ear potatoes" harvested. I am absolutely screaming at her now, and even with her hearing aids she is deaf as a hake. It's bad enough to have to repeat a simple request 2-3 times because her memory is shot, but add 4-5 times to deal with the deafness and you can see why I'm ready to get in the car and keep on going. (I can't wait to see what they ream out of her ears!)

I also took down the Christmas lights under the deck canopy. I have to deal with the zip on screens next, but not right now. The awnings will be down in a day/two. It makes me sad to see that happen. After that, we'll need to wash the outside of windows AND get the nose prints off the inside. :)

'bug, do you have "new" kittens? Or is it the "seasoned" crew? Your knitting combination looks smashing. I tried knitting once, but I'm probably just too tightly wound... I could knit control top pantyhose. I wanna see some booties, damnit!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 4:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

First thanks to Cindy for the hints on planting up muscari indoors. I'll stick them in the fridge tonight. Today I was busy dumping chopped up leaves on the gardens by the barn, where the soil is miserable and rocky and full of broken glass. Things are almost under control. I'm hoping that next week gives us a break, that I can actually work outdoors again for a day or two...please!

Well Chelone, I just have to make something to keep DD warm first. Later I'll try my hand at baby things. I wonder though, DD is NOT a pink or cutesy gal, and probably would never put booties on her child. Fortunately this will be a summer baby, so I guess it won't be an issue. DD probably wants me to knit hiking boots! Oh well, I'll think of something, but probably not pastels. Oddly enough, she wrote me today and asked what kind of sweater she could knit ME for Christmas. Oh my....

Phone call interruptions...

MUST go now to get dinner going for DH and the beasties.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 6:12PM
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I did not take one single picture yesterday! Worst mom award goes to me.....I did have a blast painting Sarah's face so that she could be "the Spider Witch". She wore black and covered herself with fake spiderweb and attached little plastic spiders.

Jake was just plain spooky and I don't know what he was :)

We are having a scarecrow contest in town and my gardening neighbor is doing "Pirates of the Scare-a-bean"....he's going to be cute. The harvest festival is this weekend, so I can't wait to go.

The siding guys are driving me nuts....I desperately needed to use the bathroom today, and I ran to the upstairs bathroom - they had their scaffolding right at the window beside the toliet! I had performance anxiety and ran down to the powder room - there was another guy outside of that window!

I decided that everyone has to use the bathroom and they'd get over it if they found out that I had to go :)

I'm in a mood tonight. A fun one :)

My girlfriend gave me some insightful bits of information last night and I feel liberated. Now I'm sure that you all are in on this little secret, but somehow I missed out.

You can't choose the situation you'll be put in, but you can choose your reaction to the situation!

I've been getting sucked in for NO REASON! I've been miserable! I've let people push my buttons! How liberating to think I can control these situations by not reacting, or reacting in a different way!

I can't wait to try it....wait, yes, I'm not looking forward to confrontation, but I still want to try it.

Well, that's psych 101 for the evening. I've already got everything put to rest for the night - I think I might go soak in the tub before I put the kiddies to bed. Nick's at a firefighting meeting and those things can run 'til 9 or so!

Night all....thanks for putting up with me.


ps - Chelone, I was sure that your snail mail address was between 1-9....most likely the two I mentioned. You're gonna love the card I got you....I picked it up because I like your sense of humor and it instantly said, "mail this to Maine." It's subtle, but humorous.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 7:14PM
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I STILL want to see some booties, 'bug. Sorry. Knit them in brown and make them a little higher, maybe you could do the bottoms in grey/black; Sarah won't miss the joke; c'mon humor me, there's a joke for the ages here somewhere. Every baby has to have booties! (isn't there a law on the books in one of those "red" states?) :) Mum was always all about WHITE for babies, or a soft, pearl grey. She loathed pastels in general, preferring to make things in neutral colors so that if they were "passed along" to a following generation they would be "unisex". My rather practical nature is the result of two VERY dominant genes. ;) (ya think?)

I'm unsure about the "Stone" spray paint. It was "dry", SORT OF, but a light finger touch removed some of the finish. Weird. The can said it would be ready to "handle" in 5 hrs., so I'll be interested to see if it "feels" different in the morning.

Saucy, you are the WORST mother on the face of the planet. NOT! But I'd give a yen to see Sarah all painted up. I laughed aloud at the your "performance anxiety" crack (bad choice of words). There has been a ton of work on the building that houses the shop. We ended up tacking scraps of vinyl over the bathroom window... I was nearly "caught" while wee-weeing a few times. I told the guys (who use our john) if I called out the window they HAD to get off the ladder or swear not to peek... or there would be no more indoor peeing for them. They cracked right up and it's been a standing joke ever since. I'll miss them when they finish the job. It has made me think that some nice shades from fabric I have kicking around the "lab." might be a fun "surprise" project to build winter morale.

OK, so I'm back to my simulated fruit dilemma. I'm appalled at the price of fake fruit. I want to flesh out the Williamsburg decorations for outdoors. Do I "suck it up" and pay the price, or do any of you have any bright ideas/links to save $? (I SO suck at searching for things online... am I dense, what's the trick?).

I have to go put her highness to bed. Deep breath, renew my patience... fortify my sense of humor... wish me luck.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 8:12PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK. I have several assignments now:
a) Locate a copy of The Invisible Garden. Forgot the author already.
b) Woody tells me to pot up the muscari, keep them outside until the end of Nov.
c) knit booties, perhaps in brown with gray soles to immitate hiking gear. Neat idea!
d) Start and complete knitting DD's jacket.
e) visit DD with my old friend :)

And there's plenty more too, less exciting though:
Visit friend Bruce, probably for the last time :( This will be a tough one.
deal with plumber and electrician
finish tidying garden, empty flower pots
empty rain barrels and put away for the winter
foot exercises......
work on repairing basement room

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 9:24PM
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Here you go Marie..if you could find something like this for knitting instead of crochet, the little tennis shoes or the ones in the center look like hiking boots might work.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 9:40PM
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Bruce trumps booties.

Sorry things are grim, 'bug. You will know what to say and just your face and warmth will be good tonic. (((hug)))

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 10:13PM
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Happy November everyone-is it possible that it is November? November is a pretty good month. Nice crisp fall weather, maybe a little frost, maybe a little rain-dont have to water anymore , crush is over and you dont get stuck behind truckloads of grapes on the road. Our vineyards here in the valley are beautiful in November-I should borrow DSs camera and take some pics for you.
Ok Chelone, fake fruit: ..? Looks like they have the fake fruit market sewn up. Pretty cheap too. Good to do a little research though before plunging in with a unfamiliar internet merchant. Your spray paint issue could have to do with the surface involvedsometimes paint doesnt stick well to certain surfaces and you need to rough them up a bit with sandpaper first .Maybe you know this already? Also the air temp and moisture can effect drying time.

Saucy, so so true, choose your reaction, attitude is everything , glass is half full etc etcThere are many things in life you cant control or manipulate, but if you choose to be strong , and you choose reject the negative, maybe this gives you a little step-up.

bug, youve published your to do listbrave ! I can help with one.. Author is Dorothy Sucher. Amazon has it, and think they have it used too. Nice pics by the by..

And tonight I will open the read thread

Hellos to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 10:13PM
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Marie, I sure like that yarn. I would love to see the hand dyeing process she does to acheive that varigation. And you are right it will look good with either jeans or dress slacks.

T, one of our GDs had that forceful reflux thing. I can't remember how old she was before it stopped but I'm guessing at least nine months or more. Sleeping in the car seats does seem like a safer alternative. Poor little guys. I wish they were more comfortable.

I didn't get to see Wyatt dressed up. I'm sure his mom took pictures but I haven't seen them yet.

Taryn, that is quite a crew there. Your boys don't seem to be missing a beat at having fun considering the move and all.
Good luck on the interview.

Eden, Bella is such a cutie. She looks like she is ready to give grandma a run for the money. LOL

Chelone, Ah windows. That is one of the things I have to do yet. The dogs and I took a hike this morning and my intentions were to work in the yard when we got back, but somehow I ended up cleaning the garage. It has been a disaster all summer. Ever since we had the floors done in the spring. Even though it wasn't what I planned to do, I am so happy to have it done. I have learned to go with the flow and do whatever works for me on any given day.
I did use some of that Stone look paint on part of the basement wall where it only goes up a short way and then is drywall. It worked fine for that.

T, I was one of the ones that didn't sleep well last night, being awake for a long time in the middle of the night. Anyway I am ready to crash now.

So is it definete on The Invisible Garden? Norma

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 10:17PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Yea!!!! Hip, hip horray!! And yaba-daba- do!!! Done, done, done and the lecture was a resounding success. Id gotten a call about two weeks ago to make sure I kept the presentation to one hour or less and then when I was running out of time they asked me to take my time and finish up regardless of how long it ran over. Good news was that I didnt need my notes either.

They also asked if I'd mind if they gave my name to other local garden clubs. Neat.

OK Im toast and have to be up really early to get to class. Ill be back later to comment.

Did we pick a book?


    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 10:17PM
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Way to go Deanne. I was thinking about you doing your presentation. N

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 10:21PM
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Eden, the last picture of Bella is just a blast. The glasses and those tights are just so fun.

Chelone, Ive looked at the spray "stone" several times but just havent had anything to try it on. I did use the spray called hammered metal on a brass light fixture and it really turned out well.

Taryn, the boys are looking quite scary. What fun!

T, my DD had the projectile vomiting as a baby. It only lasted a couple of months, but isnt a pleasant thing. It is actually amazing the amount of force there seems to be.

bug, I really like the cotinus picture. That must be your Golden Spirit? It seems to be a great all season shrub. A last visit sounds pretty tough.

Deanne, I knew you would be a hit. It appears like you might be embarking on the lecture circuit.

I guess Kenzie caught on quite quickly last night. She could even say "trick or treat candy and then thank you

Id better get this posted. My computer already shut down because of an error. Its acting a little flaky. Word was able to recover my post though which I was happy about.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 10:34PM
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Good find-the-bright-spot day. Looking out at totally grey skies and totally dark-bark woods and Boom!!! there is the stand of bittersweet.

Saucy: If you can really ingest and use what you've learned, your life will be so much happier! It takes practice, but you can do it!! No, the Bad Mom award goes to me for completely forgetting that Kyle needed additional financials for school. Panic phone call mid-afternoon yesterday and land speed record breaking drive to the college last night Juuuuuuuust met the deadline. Tell you what -- We'll Share!! LOL

Love that yarn, 'bug. What does she use to dye the wool?

Also love the Booties book. Where was stuff like that 20 years ago?

Will be picking up "The Invisible Garden" this weekend. Thanks for the author, again, Kathy :-)

Glad the presentation went well, Deanne. I had no doubts!! The color wheel has already been put to practical use by me. I know what I like, but I don't always know how to put it together. If you need one, I'll be your anecdotal reference ...."I never could figure out color placement in the garden until I used Deanne's color wheel!!!" What makes it Not funny is that it's true :-)

Doctors Note: How lucky am I? Being too involved with the medical system at this point shows the glaring changes that have happened over the last 10 years or so. I have doctors that I've been with for a long time, take good care of "Me", Listen, and respect my wishes and apprehensions. Seems that this is happening less and less. Sad, IMHO.

Also IMHO and keeping it short and sweet: If the politicians used all the money spent on signs to do a community project instead, there'd be new buildings everywhere.

Love, love, love all the costume pics. We had a bunch of kids and we got to hold our six-month-old neighbor for a whole 45 minutes!

The muscari info will be invaluable. I can't tell you how many bulbs I've sent to mush as a result of freezer methods.

Rich surprised the heck out of me by telling me that this park won't be what we want until there's a water feature. Since I banged into him that hardscape comes before plants, he is now on a mission to learn everything he can about water gardening, including fish, and build one in summer of '08. He figures that by that time I'll need something new to work with. Yes, my friends, my husband is coming out of the gardening closet! We think we'll do something combining a fountain and pond rather than a waterfall type style.

First, he's gotta get his veggie garden under control. Between what he wants and the commitment we gave to the kids for their community service project, we're going to end up with a garden that will easily feed the entire district and have some left over for my parents. Showed him a lot of references that talk about new veggie gardeners overplanting, but he is convinced that he can run his business, take care of the grass, go motorcycling, practice drums, And properly care for a 40'x50'(!!!!) veggie garden. Next year when I'm whining about weeds, please show some sympathy.

'bug - My thoughts are with you as you see Bruce. With each new life.....

Know there's more but --

Needing to go (no windows in the main bath turns into a good thing after reading this thread!!) -- Hi To Everyone!!


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 7:25AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning, just a fly by post, vrrrrooom, vroom as V says, speaking of whom, where is she? Im got to hit the shower and get ready for class. This getting out for work in the mornings is the pits. ROTFLOL.

Its a nasty, ugly day out there this morning, a coldy, blowing rain. Brrrrr

Its supposed to get down to 28 in the next few nights and I still have ten or so fuchsias outside in the hayracks and various containers I didnt have time to drag into the garage. It is all seeming like a bit too much at the moment.

Michelle, and Norma, Thanks! I wish you could have been there. That would have been so much fun to have my Idyll buddies with me.

Kathy, Doug and I were in Napa one November and Ill never forget the look of the vines in the fall. Gorgeous! Do, please post some pics for us.

Sue, you never said how your visit went with your Mom last Friday. Did she bring her dog?

Saucy, really good advice. Ive been trying to practice that for years with some limited success.

Eden that pic of Bella is just TOO CUTE! Love the socks and the sunglasses. I also love how the look of your living room these days. Where do the cats hang out now? ~~ RE the color theory lecture, if youd like I can mail out my copy of my notes to you? They arent in the best of shape but the info and a small photo is there.

Taryn, great trick-or-treat pics. ~~ Good luck with the job search.

T, those peas in a pod costumes are absolutely fantastic! How clever you are! ~~Hope the goat is doing better today. I agree with hoofed critters it seems that there is always something afflicting them. When I boarded my horse in the various stables over the years there was always one horse in the barn down with something, be it colic, navicular changes, stone bruises, arthritis, pulled tendons, splints. Well you know what I mean.

Lovely photographs Bug, that sun through the cotinus is really beautiful. Do you have fothergilla? I dont remember. ~~ Love the wool! Those shades of blue are right up my alley. I was some surprised to see my blueberries on the thread.

Cindy, thanks for the well wishes. Even though the work should have been finished for IU3 Im thinking I wouldnt have had it done in time. Even if I do it again Ill probably spend another week tweaking the material.

OK Ive seriously got to get out of here if Im going to have time to stop into Starbucks for coffee on the way to work.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 7:26AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Taryn wow you are to be commended on those make-up jobs on the ghouls! Im so impressed. Altho Im also impressed by all your energy w/ all the bulbs & gardening tasks youve managed to accomplish. Neat that you already got a response to a resume that is REALLY impressive! You go, girl.

Eden I love the "morning after" photo even better what a great shot!!

Chelone yes, Ive used that Krylon "stone" and like it too altho its a wee bit too lite I think; but I tried without sealing (lazy me) a few resin pots in the Spring & theyve held up really well I was impressed with the stuff.

Gardenbug I love that yarn & color it will be stunning & cozy. Good luck on your visit w/ friend Bruce. I know there are number of different methods for forcing various bulbs - whatever works and is easiest, I say.

T- that must be tough having 2 babes doing the power frup (old family name for throw-up, LOL) thing as if one needed more bodily fluids to clean up for 1 baby! And another Boo the "goat abuser" story poor guys!

Deanne congrats on a successful presentation as if there were any doubt. . . . . I bet youll be doing the NE circuit garden clubs before we know it.

Well, I have to get some stuff accomplished off the desk but hope to have a more quiet day w/ the bulk of the big honchos out of the office (altho sometimes theyre more "needy" when theyre away as opposed to in!)


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Brrrrr! Cold out there today. There was a coating of ice on the birdbath and Bud's water dish. Time to plug in the heated birdbath I guess. We have a woodpecker visiting the feeders this morning that's been fun to watch. I've been collecting bags of leaves from the neighbors yard waste trash and have around 30 sitting in my driveway that need to be shredded. I'm hoping the weather cooperates this weekend and Brad can run the shredder while I spread them. I'm planning on doing some indoor gardening this afternoon. The light garden needs tending. Those coleus are growing by leaps and bounds. Time for a good pruning for them and the begonias need tidying up too. Now that the Halloween decorations are packed away I'm starting to think about Holiday decorations and gifts. I'm really looking forward to this holiday season with Bella. It's going to be so much fun to enjoy it all through her eyes. I bought a kit for making snowman s'mores Christmas ornaments with her. They're made of craft foam and require mostly just glueing together so I think she'll be able to do most of the work herself. Then I'll let her decorate gift bags for them and she can hand them out to everyone on Thanksgiving. We're going to have to start working on them soon. I've also started accumulating little gifts for her advent calendar in the last few weeks. My mom had her last chemo treatment yesterday and will have a scan in a couple of weeks to see how things are. We're hoping she won't have to have another round of treatments. I'm so proud of her...even with the cancer and lupus she is keeping such a positive attitude and pushes herself to keep up with her quilting and sewing. Even when she's not feeling well she keeps fighting. No whining or complaining from her!

Grandma story alert...this morning I found little play dishes of plastic food that Bella must have "served" to the cats yesterday under the day bed in the livingroom. I love how children use their imagination when they play.

Deanne, no surprise to me that the garden club loved your presentation. I would love to read your notes on the presentation if it's not too much trouble to send them. Thank you! Remember, your the boss of those plants and if you're feeling overwhelmed by them just let them go. I tend to stress myself out by thinking I must save them all and have to remind myself that I only need to do as much "gardening" as I find enjoyable.

It was so great to check into the Idylls this morning and see such bright and cheery posts from both Martie and Deanne. I've been missing those.

Marie, the yarn you chose for your daughters sweater is really beautiful. I love hearing the excitement in your posts about her new life. I'm sorry to hear that about your friend Bruce. That will indeed be a hard visit.

Cindy, sounds like you had a nice break during your vacation week. I'm another one who loves a clean house. I just wish mine would stay that way on it's own a little longer after I clean it, lol.

Saucy, wish you had gotten pictures of Jake and Sarah too! We haven't "seen" them in a long time. I bet they've grown so much. Maybe you could post a recent picture of them soon?

Norma, I've been meaning to tell you how much I liked your autumn photo with the little scarecrows.

Kathy, I loved your wise words to Saucy. Life is what you make it. We're all thrown some rough stuff, it's how we react to it that counts! Sounds like November is nice in your parts. It's not one of my favorite months here. Lots of grey days weather wise. But the way time flies by it'll be Christmas and then Spring before we know it.

I think I've run on enough here for one morning. Hope you all choose to make it a GOOD day! I baked a chocolate cake yesterday and think I'm going to allow myself a piece for breakfast.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 10:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I WILL maker this a GOOD day Eden, it will just take a little skill!
It began with a fight with my freezer. Every time I added some of the new dog food delivery, it spit it back out at me. My hands were freezing and nothing would fit or stay put. grrrr
Then the bank was late in depositing my monthly money, so people I'd paid for work couldn't cash their check.
All that was settled. Finally I found time to look out the window:

Oh well, I guess it is pretty in a way!

Last evening a young friend, Lynn's daughter, sent me photos of a young woman I hadn't seen in over 15 years as well as a photo of her 11 year old daughter. She was a playmate of DD's and it was amazing to see her as a woman. Somehow my memory keeps people at the age I knew them at! That was a treat!

Michelle, that cotinus in the photo above is in fact a dark one, Royal Purple I believe. The sun really plays games with it!

Okay, maybe I should go look for that clean house....or at least clean laundry!


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 11:38AM
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Here's what went on at our house this afternoon...

I even joined them for a little while. It was a good afternoon for snuggling up with warm kitties.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 5:22PM
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My God Eden, how many kitties do you have anyway??!? I'm very attached to mine , but three all trying to get on your lap and under the covers in bed is about all I can handle !We have always kept an "inventory" of three, though we had 4 for a little while.I have one that is quite elderly and when he goes I will probably just keep two-for now.My dog is diabetic and I have to give her insulin shots twice a day, so the vet bills and pet meds take a bite out of the budget !And how energetic you sound today with all the decorating and craft projects. I'm in awe :)

We got an inch of rain today , but it's not particularly cold.

I need to have some dinner, read the paper etc, so maybe I'll check back in later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 8:26PM
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Eden , Those snowmen are cute. I think Bella will have fun with those.
The kitties look totally content. We only have the one and she can get quite mouthy sometimes. At least now that the wood stove is going in the basement she stays down there mostly.
I spent the day working on the light garden. I need pruning /pinching lessons from you and Deanne.

Marie, you take the most creative photos. They are pretty.
Thinking of you and your friend Bruce.

I was headed to town this afternoon to get dogfood and when I tried to start the car it turned over once and then wouldn't start. I had left it outside last night because I was cleaning the garage. It was cold out but not that cold. I looked in the little cells that hold water in the battery and they were all but dry. I filled them and called a friend for a jumpstart. It is working fine now but will probably need replacing soon. My car is a 2001 and we have never replaced the battery.

I can't believe I have had energy to get things done for several days now. Can I squeez out a couple more?

Later Norma

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 9:13PM
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Gotta quickly be in and out -- looking forward to a quick trip north to Brattleboro.

Laying it all out for anyone who thinks there's only one choice out there for women: Test results are back and everything is benign. But -- I have a clotting factor that lets my body think I'm practically delivering small babies every month. Jeez, ya think that pain was "real"????

Anyway, I've opted for endometrial ablation on November 14. Yes, the docs think sooner is better, and I agree. I'll spare details but suffice to say that there are several methods, all are considered relatively "safe", the recovery time is about a week as opposed to six, and organs stay intact.

My only angst is that I had planned to have Thanksgiving week off and now I need to use that time the week before and doubt I'll feel like cooking for 20 a week early.

My BIL to the Rescue!!! He's a CIA (not the gov't) trained chef and has volunteered to come to my house the day before the holiday and cook with me! I'm really looking forward to that as we've not had a lot of time to spend together and getting to know him in my home but his element will be fantastic.

That hangover pic is priceless. May I join your cats, Eden?

There's a lot I want to say to everyone but it'll need to wait.

One last thing:

My Mom sent this to me and just had to share:

>>>>> The computer swallowed grandma.
>>>>> Yes, honestly its true.
>>>>> She pressed 'control' and 'enter'
>>>>> And disappeared from view.
>>>>> It devoured her completely.
>>>>> The thought just makes me squirm.
>>>>> She must have caught a virus
>>>>> Or been eaten by a worm.
>>>>> I¹ve searched through the recycle bin
>>>>> And files of every kind;
>>>>> I¹ve even used the Internet,
>>>>> But nothing did I find.
>>>>> In desperation, I Asked Jeeves,
>>>>> My searches to refine.
>>>>> The reply from him was negative,
>>>>> Not a thing was found 'online.'
>>>>> So, if inside your 'Inbox,'
>>>>> My Grandma you should see,
>>>>> Please 'Copy,''Scan' and 'Paste' her
>>>>> And send her back to me!

Have a great day, everyone!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 7:11AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


The sun is shining. Enjoy!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 8:20AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


That's what I heard emanating from the shower this morning. Sigh.

Can someone help me? I was sent a few dahlia tubers and don't have a clue what to do with them. Refrigerate? Plant? I wasn't paying attention when all this was discussed before...and now I'm paying for it.

In other excitement, the plumber/electrician is coming this morning. Then tonight, our young teenage friend plays flute at the Mill, so we'll grab a bite of dinner there too. Such exciting lives we lead...;-)

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 8:45AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Curious morning - it was actually light when I left to drive to the metro station. What's w/ sun at 7 a.m.? It is indeed clear, crisp, cold - broke out the woolie coat for sure today. And I get to skip out early because of early office closing which is perking me up.

Unfortunately, last nite shortly after midnite there was a domestic disturbance in my neighborhood that continued on & off for about 2 hours, police & all -- my neighbor 2 doors down. So sad, but they all were very noisy & selfishly Im cranky 'cause I lost all that sleep - and asleep I was. Plus it drags up some memories I'd prefer not to recall.... But reminds me to be thankful for my boring, quiet, peaceful, mostly content life.

Martie - glad to hear it's a go for the "minor" procedure and all is looking good - so neat that in fact it's offered you an opportunity to work w/ your chef BIL - altho I guess a bit daunting to have a professionally trained chef in your own kitchen, uh?

Norma - yes, I think 5 years is about all you can more than expect out of car batteries these days -- don't get stuck somewhere this winter! I've had that happen (more than once I confess...).

Eden - wow, I guess I didn't realize you had that many cats -- but they all look very content -- wish I were snuggled up on a sofa myself right now. No kitties here -- only the 1 very spoiled princess pooch.

I stopped at B&N on my walk to the ofc this a.m. to see if they had the book; no luck - guess I'll order -- but I just HAD to check out the gardening mags to start daydreaming (haven't even planted my bulbs yet but Im daydreaming of spring already, LOL) -- no new issues on the stands yet though, so I'll have to be content w/ other ways to amuse my garden dreams.

Hope all have a terrific Friday and weekend - I've got to hit the road tomorrow a.m. for the PA jaunt; hopefully there won't be a lot of traffic, but at least I dont have to rush to be there; I just get there when I get there.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 9:09AM
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Good morning! This has got to be quick as the coffee cup is empty and I'm feeling a bit frantic to get that second cuppa poured in it. ;o)

Martie, loved the little Grandma ditty. Too cute. Good for you on finding a solution, you are comfortable with, for your problem.

Norma, my car has been turning over hesitantly during the cold mornings we have had. I do park in the garage, so it hasn't been as cold as if it were parked outside.....but I'm a bit concerned about whether it is going to leave me stranded somewhere. Guess I should keep my cell phone charged (yeah, I'm one of those that lets the darn thing run down to no charge because I turn it on so seldom) so if I need to call for assistance I can do so.

Okay......gotta get the coffee......I'm watching the twins today so will need that energy from the coffee. ;o) Hope the day is a good one for everyone!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 9:09AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Oh 'bug, I liked yesterday's snow pics much better, the little dusting on the flowers was lovely, especially the clematis seedhead. Those above look serious! I am just not ready for winter!

We were at 29 degrees here early this AM, but the elephant ears and canna have still not been frosted. We are on a bit of a hill, I don't think we get as frosty as the nearby low spots. I dragged the abutilon in last night, and DH helped me with one larger one. He looked at me funny when I asked him to bring it into the basement - he said "and put it where?" I explained I would cut them back this weekend; I think he is wondering about me now. I should take him up to Deanne's and show him her indoor garden! The 2 brugs are taking up a lot of room right now, I don't have the heart to cut off the few remaining flowers so the basement smells pretty sweet.

Saucy, you are not a bad Mom for not taking pictures! I have found for most of the important events in my kid's lives I am so busy getting everything ready that I forget the camera. My mother is the designated photographer. She even gave me her old digital camera, and I have taken more garden pictures with it than anything else.

Deanne, I know your lecture would be a hit! Glad everything went so well.

Martie, so nice that Rich is getting interested in gardening! I love it when it starts to rub off on them. Sounds like you are on the road to resolving your health issues.

Eden, your kitty pics made me sleepy. That is quite a crew!

Have to run off now, hi to everyone else!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 9:16AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Morning! I am as prepared as I'll get, and have opted for the navy blue suit with cream-coloured knit top that sort of hides the bloat. Aunt Flofromhell has held off so far, a major blessing. Martie, glad you have your options decided upon. Delivering small babies sounds familiar. Time to see my ND and find out if there are herbal concoctions that can cure this nonsense, or at least speed it up and make it all go away faster.

Shoes are polished, answers rehearsed. Been 18 years since I've interviewed, aside from weedy workplace boss a couple of years ago. Yikes! Thanks Cindy, I'm trying to go. Wish me luck...


PS Dahlias, the short answer: search Google "storing dahlias"

PPS LOL the sleeping beauties Eden! Also loved the Halloween pics. Wish Babs would pop in with her scary clan, and what were she and Chris going as this year??? I don't remember if she told us. BABS, HELLLOOOO!!!! EI? V?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 9:21AM
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GOOD LUCK TARYN!! I'm sure you'll do great. I'll be back later to read and chat.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 3:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hope all went really well for you Taryn!
My goodness, a suit! Been a long time ....

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 4:37PM
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It's supposed to get down to 18F here tonight. I hope this isn't a preview of the winter to come. If so I'll be hibernating. Not much going on here today, a trip to the book store, the post office and I made an appointment for the dog to be groomed next Tuesday. Exciting stuff, lol. I found a couple of holiday events that I'd like to take Bella to. One is The Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for Children's Hospital of MI that runs over Thanksgiving weekend. They have a whole auditorium full of professionally decorated Christmas trees and wreaths done in just about any theme you can think of, a gingerbread village and a children's area too with Santa. We used to take our kids when they were little. I think she'll really enjoy it.

Well the real reason I popped in was to see if there was any news from Taryn as to how the interview went. Hope she drops in and lets us know.

Marie, I don't think I tell you often enough how much I enjoy your beautiful photography!

I'm missing Babs too!

Time to start dinner...


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 5:03PM
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Good luck, Taryn! The key to success in any interview is to simply relax and be yourself. Years ago, I interviewed with a guy only a little bit older than I. He actually used the, "tell me about yourself..." question! I was quiet for a moment and then replied, "Give me a break, we both know why I'm here.". He laughed, and we began to talk about the position and what it required. I was offered the position, but declined it; I made more money operating a sewing machine with less "hassle", and I told him so. Now, when I "interview" it usually involves a stitch test. :) You'll do fine!

LOL, Eden. I like the way you've accessorized your home. We have 4 cats and now that the weather is beginning to turn cold they are less inclined to regard the yard as the Serengeti. Nicer to be cuddled up on their favorite "woolies", following the sun around the house. All of that means more frequent cat box mining for me. ;) I smiled at the image of Bella's toys under furniture... gee, I can STILL see the building block corrals and the Breyer plastic horses and Tonka trucks that were permanently set up on the living room oriental. Fond memories. (Still have the horses!).

'bug, your photographs are lovely. I hope your time with Bruce was/will be warm and will be a fond remembrance for both of you. (((hug)))

I finished the two window boxes, following up the clear, sealant afterwards. I haven't been down to touch them to check. Funny, I'm usually really anal about "prep. work", but this time I simply wiped them down and "had at it". The finish is sort of "nubbley", seems to break down readily under fingers. Now I'm wondering if perhaps I ought to have really scrubbed the daylights out of them... eh... I had to get moving on it. I don't have many days left before the Geraniums in the exterior windowboxes are reduced to mush. I like the look of the finish, though. I'll try to get some shots for you.

Have done NOTHING about the book, but have to visit Amazon soon... once I get the music list compiled.

Deanne, congrats on the presentation. I hadn't realized it was for a garden club. What fun, and I have little doubt you were a hit. We had some terrific speakers at our club... before I became too delinquent with my dues. ;) I need a more "redneck gahden club"; you know, the kind of club that has workshops on how to make planters out of worn out snowtires on the rims. :)

I just had the battery in the car replaced, too! The greatest mechanic in the world takes care of me by taking care of my car. I trust him implicitly. The car is serviced religiously, I drop it off the night before my day off. He has it for the day. I leave him a list of things to check out, tell him to take out for the coffee run and if there is something really expensive that needs attention to call me. Other than that, do it. I'm never surprised by brake jobs, exhaust systems, tires. I'm big on providing cookies routinely and gift certificates around Christmastime. A good mechanic is a woman's very best friend.

I'm delighted by Martie's good news from the doctor. I'm quite certain you're not looking forward to it, but compared to the alternative it's pretty good! Relax and go with it, things will be so much better afterwards. I hope Sue is graced with equally good news (or that I've missed the good news!). I was shocked at what what extracted from Mum's RIGHT ear; looked like tar, about 1/2"L and hard as a rock. The LEFT ear is still plugged and we're using hydrogen peroxide and drops to soften it up for 2 weeks. At that time I will miss ANOTHER DAY of work for a convenient, mid-day appointment. Oh well. She fussed about the drops last night and I wanted to strangle her. :)

Work was very dirty today, restitched a 60' canopy for a very posh business (Stonewall Kitchen). But all the curtains are cleaned and ready for winter storage. We have another huge account coming down next week (can't wait), so today's haircut was a nice treat. All about ME, something uncommon these days.

I sure can prattle, huh?

Goat update? I love goats, I'd love to have one.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 5:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, no new kittens here. The young ones are over a year old. Having three is quite a lot of entertainment and responsibility though.

The visit with Bruce will be in Buffalo on the 15th of the month. Since he comes from California, he has it all set up with various friends. I think this will be a good arragement. We can spread the hugs and tears around. I've done this once before and it was a corker. We all belted out Auld Lang Zine one New Years, knowing it was the last time together, tears streaming down our faces, saying things we felt but that we normally are unable to share. Phew. Heavy stuff.

Chelone, I love it when you prattle. Keep it up. Your hair looks great by the way!

The lady who makes up the wool and dyes it has a show this weekend, so I must wait until NEXT weekend. I asked if I could take photos of her at work, so Norma, I hope that works out for you!

Tonight's plans are all switched around, but at least I don't need to prepare dinner. Supposed to be around 20F tonight, digusting! Waaaaaaa!

Hope we hear from Honey, V, Ei and others soon.
Eden, your home decoration is the very warmest and most fun of any I know. Your kitchen is TOPS! OK, so I said it before. It deserves repeating.

Make something fun of your weekend - each one of you!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 5:38PM
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I just got this picture in my email. My mom would have my head if she knew I was posting this of her with no hair but I wanted you all to SEE how great she's doing. She's been working hard to get this Christmas quilt pieced so she can take it to the quilting lady tomorrow and have it finished before the holidays. I'm so proud of the great attitude she's kept even though it's not been easy for her.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 6:29PM
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I forgot to mention, she would want me to make sure to tell you the quilt is still without it's borders.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 6:34PM
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You should indeed be proud of your mother!

And her "cue ball" is her badge of courage. I hope she bears it with great pride. I know several women who've "gone bald" and wear "do rags" only to protect their heads from the sun. Whenever I see a woman bare headed or with a "do rag" I think, "Wow, sister, you have guts I only dream of!".

Gorgeous quilt. What is the planned border? and what quilting pattern was selected for the fields?

How many kitties do you have?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 7:33PM
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Eden - seeing your mother and that beautiful quilt has made my day!! What a wonderful lady! Please tell how how lovely it is and how much I enjoyed seeing it. You must feel enormously proud of her.

Chelone - its a pleasure to hear you chatter. I think a haircut is the very least you could do for yourself!

GB - the wintery pictures are beautiful even if they feel a little too early. I've never had luck overwintering Dahlias despite much reading on the subject. Hope Deanne can share her method. I'll be thinking of you on the 15th.

Wendy and Saucy - I'm with you on often being too busy in the moment to photograph some of the children's events. I was proud of myself for having my camera with me at David's Halloween parade until I noticed the red light flashing telling me I had no memory card. Guess we'll have to rely on the actual memories instead. I did snap a few photos when we got home.

Cindy - we had a sunny, clear morning here too. Definitely coat weather. Hope your trip to PA goes well.

Martie - glad your news is good.

Hi Michelle!

Taryn - how did it go?

Sue - still thinking a lot about you.

Norma - its great to have those high energy days isn't it?

Deanne - I'm sure your talk was fabulous though I imagine its a relief to have it behind you. Perhaps you could give us a rerun at the next Idyllunion - I know I'd learn a lot.

Tonight was Annie's last swim practice. Her team are undefeated for the season which was a good feeling. The last meet against their closest competition was very exciting. The scores went back and forth, in the end Annie's team won by just 2 points. I have never heard so much cheering (screaming) in a closed area - my ears are still ringing!

The girls have relays tomorrow (they have to be at the bus at 7 AM - much grumbling), a pizza party Monday after school, then its over till next year. I'm delighted Annie decided to join and its been a great experience, but I'm also mightily relieved we will have our evenings back again. One nice thing for me has been the time I spent getting to know the other Moms on the bleachers. It turns one of Annie's friends has a mother who has published a novel which I've just finished reading. She has a PhD from Berkely and speaks fluent Swahili - none of these things I had any idea about.

Tonight we have a roaring fire and I'm about to join Annie and David for a Friday night movie. Its Wallace and Grommit's Revenge of the Were Rabbit. The quirky British humor has appeal for all ages.

Hope we hear from V, Babs, Honey, Ei and Brenda soon. At least to know they haven't forgotten us!

Have a great evening everyone


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 7:39PM
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Hello everyone , and so glad its Friday ! I took off at three today since I ve been chained to my office this week when you run out of clothes because its been two weeks since you had time to do laundry its time to turn off the office light and go home. Leave the piles, theyll still be there on Monday ! I came home and cut a bouquet of whats left of my roses after the rain yesterday , did the grocery list for tomorrow am , and read the paper..

Martie, glad that you have a solution, and a short recovery. You should have an awesome meal for Thanksgiving with your BIL and his CIA training ! We have a CIA campus here in Napa County food is very important here as you can imagine- housed in the old Christian Brothers winery a beautiful historic old stone building . And you brought up gardening mags, boy do I have a problem with that ! I have them stashed everywhere! But I just love to get them out and re-read them during the winter. I think I have Country Living Gardener going back 10 years, also Horticulture and FG. Also every one of the Better Homes and Gardens special interest publications on garden topics that they do several times a year---there are a lot of mistakes in those so I can feel superior !

bug, you dont want to put dahlias in the fridge-they are native to southern Mexico and tender. You should store in peat moss or vermiculite in a cool dry place until soil temps are 55 degrees or above, then plant out and stake when you plant . At Swan Island in Oregon (a commercial dahlia grower) they mound them like potatoes. I am going to try that this spring. I love dahlias!

Chelone. I must have missed something i.e. the music list? What is that ?
Funny about your redneck garden club I am in Napa Co. master gardeners and last fall we had Felder Rushing in to talk to us he was absolutely hilarious, and did a demo for us of an old tire planter that he managed to make look like an urn.
Eden what a beautiful quilt, and a beautiful Mom , hair or no. ! And what Chelone said-how many kitties ??

Lots of activity over on the book thread and we havent even started reading yet !Think Ill get dinner going and then toddle over there Im having a fresh Calif artichoke tonite, along with a glass of cheap red wine. Well, maybe two glasses of cheap red wine.

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 8:32PM
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Kathy, the "music list" is the one I comprise for the helpmeet and my dearest friends (for whom I buy Christmas presents). I listen to NPR, and a few other "shows". I make notes. And then think about who I know might like the tunes but might not ever hear them.

Planning is KEY. I love Amazon.

The "Stone" finish has cured nicely. Maybe it was the "clear coat". At $6.99/can it ain't cheap. And to be frank, next time I'd probably prime the article first. I've applied 2 coats over a md. blue and the coverage isn't anything close to "complete". After 2 cans. Sooo... the effect is great; but if you're trying to cover a darkish color PRIME FIRST, and make sure you seal it with the clear coat.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 9:01PM
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Ok Chelone, I 'm with you- NPR,you listen to Fresh Air and there is often some cool stuff there, and Weekend Edition-which is what turned me on to Black Keys , and we have a local station out of SFO that has a program on Sunday AM's called Acoustic Sunrise , and cool stuff there too. I listen to a station out of San Mateo, KCSM which is a jazz station that I really love (also an NPR affilate). I have music playing in this house all day long, all night long.Last xmas I made a CD for each of my bro-in -laws featuring stuff I thought they would like; one had Ella, Dan Hicks,Bob Dylan, the other was heavy ELO ,Boston,Moody Blues etc..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 10:01PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

My comment/question for the night is "What is the big deal about an MRI?" My mom takes valium, I had people tell me to close my eyes and don't open them until it was over and that they could never have one without freaking out. Hmmm...I had one tonight and haved lived to tell about it. Throughout the whole thing I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Did you get whisked into the bowels of the machine at some point? Did it flip you upside down? What? What? When it was over I asked the technician if this was the "real" MRI machine or if they had another more sinister model stashed somewhere. She said this was it but that some people are really bothered by it. Well, I'm here to tell you all that if you ever need an MRI it's a piece of cake.

****OK, Rant alert*****

Please don't worry about me. I have a very, very common condition-fibroids. The trigger here was that mine apparently have increased in size from my last ultrasound. Supposedly I'm the equivalent of a 16 week pregnancy. A fact I keep that in mind every time I button up my size 2 jeans. Unfortunately, as I'm learning or having to learn, many GYNs think the only way to treat fibroids is with a hysterectomy and don't offer the varied, much less invasive alternatives or do so by dismissing the alternatives with a biased opinion. Lucky for me I have no symptoms so the usual scare tactics just made me more skeptical. It also helps that I'm the type of person who rarely does what someone says without questioning. Being like that hasn't always worked in my favor but it seems to be coming in handy now. Having symptoms doesn't necessarily make the condition any more serious but I can see why it might scare someone into doing "whatever the doctor says". Another "small" fact my doctor left out was that fibroids generally shrink after menopause so at my age you really only need to shrink them or manage the size for a couple of years. Alot of what you read out there suggests the whole business is all about money, and if that's true then it makes it all even more apalling. My doctor did encourage me to get a second opinion and at first I told her to set something up but the more I thought about it the more I felt I should pick the second opinion doctor. Wouldn't it make sense that she would just send me to someone who would validate her? Did I mention before how much I hate doctors?

At any rate I see the interventional radiologist on the 15th. If he tells me I'm a candidate for embolization, I'll schedule the procedure and be done with it. Embolization is a procedure I learned about on the internet (apparently not unlike most women). It's an outpatient procedure where they use a catheter through an artery to cut off the blood supply to the fibroids causing them to shrink and in some cases die. It is being done in all the top hospitals in the country and is very popular in Europe where the hysterectomy rate is far, far less than the US. Condileeza Rice has actually had fibroid embolization. What in the world did people do about healthcare choices before the internet? Trust the doctor, I guess. Based on my experience, I shudder at the thought. And you know, up until this point I thought I had a pretty decent GYN. She's my age and seems to be pretty hip. Needless to say I have been very disappointed with her attitude and advice over this whole business.

Dinner was out tonight. It's been a long week so I guess I'll get ready for bed. The book discussion group sounds interesting. I'll lurk and see how it plays out but I basically read fiction thriller stuff off the best seller list when I'm on vacation. An hour after I read it I don't remember what I read and in most cases can't even tell you the title of the book. Guess I don't read to retain.

So, aren't you all glad I popped in? LOL!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 10:25PM
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Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks?! do you like Hot Tuna, too? ;)

I'll be all over Maria Muldaur's new CD (I think she's great, have since "Midnight At The Oasis"), and a number of "country" artists who are eschewed by the boring "Nashville" hierarchy (we love country and bluegrass, but not the pabulum on commercial radio).

Helpmeet is a musician, I can't carry a tune in a bucket (that's why I like to dance). But I LOVE music. All sorts.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 10:30PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Quickie~~thanks guys, it went really, really well! I was in with the CEO (small company) for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and there wasn't a dull or awkward moment! We clicked, I LIKE this guy! The job, hours, pay, location, everything would be perfect. He's just posted the job and started interviewing so now the waiting game begins. He says he will make a decision by month end. I have an idea and am going to put it together in MSpublisher and email it to him. Trying not to get my hopes up--oops, too late, they're up! If it's meant to be, it will be...Thanks for the good vibes!

Glenn took us out to "the Moose" (remember my whipped cream in the face birthday??) at their other location, which is 20 minutes from here. Great food! I'm stuffed, caesar salad, bloody caesars, and shrimp and scallop fettucini with garlic bread (wheat! I'm gonna pay for this!) It was great though. I think Glenn and the boys ate about 5 pounds of wings and ribs!

We just finished watching "The Lakehouse" with Keannu Reeves and Sandra Bulloch. Nice flick, with Paul McCartney tunage too. Did anyone catch his live "The Space Within" concert last weekend? Priceless to me to see such a legend performing the best of the old and the new, and seeing 3 maybe 4 generations enjoying it. Our guys were suitably impressed too...

I can possibly squeeze in a nightcap glass of merlot, then hitting the hay. My family are all coming tomorrow, we'll number 15 in all, and I need to clean a bit yet. Making a proper English Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings, so at least that will be easy1 Thanks for all the good wishes!


PS Eden, your mum is a very brave and special lady and both she and her quilt look WONDERFUL! Hugs to you both!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 10:38PM
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I, for one, Sue, am DELIGHTED to see you pop in. Moreover, I'm impressed with the information you posted and your thought process. Praise be "skeptics" such as yourself. The more "we" require information of our HIRED doctors and require they treat us as PART OF THE SOLUTION, the faster healthcare will evolve. I was 12/13 when Roe v. Wade was decided and "women's lib." was a dirty phrase.

"Our Bodies Ourselves" c. 1984 The Boston Women's Health Book Collective (Simon and Schuster) No woman or preteen should be without this book! Each and every one of us must carry the torch and require that WE be part of the process.

I so very much hope you're feeling better. Really!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 10:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Eden, that is one amazing quilt. I love the motion of the petals which sets it apart from the very geometric quilts I see here in Mennonite country. It is a fine piece of work, even without its border. Now what I like best though is the photo of your Mom displaying it. What a beautiful shot! I hope you save that photo. It is a keeper and speaks a thousand words.

Sue, YES! I'm always thrilled when you pop in. Now, want to hear about my fibroids? LOL!

Deanne, are you going to mail out colour wheel calendars this year? Hint Hint. OK, I'll give you a break! LOL. I'm just not able to do a barn calendar and was going to get you to take over! Now if we lived next door...we'd be in deep trouble! Hope your teaching worked out well. Tonight we were out listening to friends young and old singing and playing flute, guitar, etc. One woman I've heard before and she reminds me so much of you. She accompanied herself on keyboard and needed to take off her rings because they disturbed her somehow. Anyway, she said "That's OK, I like to think I'm not married when I sing these songs." What a hoot she was. She has a very lovely voice and manner.

OK, beddy by time-

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 11:58PM
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Eleven cats. Some of you know the story so skip this. Back in '97 we had a feral mama cat and her husband in the neighborhood. We eventually caught the 4 kittens and the dad but by the time we trapped the mom she was pregnant again and had 4 more kittens the following week. Long story made short, we ended up keeping them along with our 2 original cats. That made 12 but you all probably remember that we lost Abraham, the dad, a couple of months ago. It was a zoo when we had 8 kittens running around. Their antics were great entertainment. Now they're all just a bunch of old, fat, lazy kitties. So that's the story of Jake, Esau, Abraham, Eve, Isaac, Xerxes, Esther, Chloe, Fezzik, Inigo Montoya, Wesley and Buttercup.

It's a little warmer here today. Tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday are supposed to be near 50f so I'm hoping to work at putting the gardens to bed at least somewhat. On todays agenda is trying a new Apple Caramel Bread recipe that I saw over on the Cooking Forum and playing with Bella.

Sue, I was glad to hear from you. I have to admit I was a little worried. It sounds like you're making sound, well informed decisions. I agree that you have to question the Drs. and be responsible for your own health care decisions. I agree about the MRI, I had one a few years ago and got the same stories from others before hand, but didn't have any problems with it either. I wonder if any of your back pain has been caused by the fibroids?

Martie, glad you found a good solution for your problem too. And how great that your bil will help you with Thanksgiving so you won't have to give that up. I know you've been looking forward to it for a while.

Taryn, the new job prospect sounds promising. I agree that it will all work out the way it's suppose to.

Chelone, I don't know the pattern name or border plans for the quilt but I'll ask my mom. My sister used the spray on stone finish you're working with on some cabinets in her bathroom and it held up well. Will you show us pictures when you get them all planted up with the geraniums?

I wonder where Michelle is? And hope Deanne is back soon. I miss hearing from everyone!

Time for coffee and backgammon. I've been losing all week so I need revenge today! Make it a good day everybody.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 8:37AM
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Morning all, not a lot of time this a.m. Its been a wild week. Kenzies 2nd birthday party is at noon today. She is having a fiesta. I would like to go back to the nursery that I went to last week and look over the remaining shrubs and do a few errands ahead of time. It is actually supposed to be pretty nice today. Of course her gifts aren't wrapped yet. Why do I wait until the last minute?

Eden, your mom's quilt is lovely. Great news that the treatments are done, hopefully a 2nd round isn't needed.

Sorry to see the white stuff at 'bug's house, but the pictures sure are pretty ;o)

Taryn, it sounds like the interview went well. I hope that if the job is a good fit that you get it and if not something else will come along.

Good to hear from Sue and good to know that she is in control of her health issues. I could take a few lessons from you I'm sure. I haven't had one, but I tend to think that a MRI can't be much different than a tanning bed.

Kathy, I too keep gardening magazines. I usually haul them out to make the winter go faster. As I mature as a gardener, I find ideas and info that at one point wouldn't have interested me.

Hi to all that I've missed, but I really must run.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The muscari are planted and outdoors on the porch (30F)with nettimg on top to discourage chipmunks and squirrels.

The dahlias are in vermiculite in a cool but not cold room.

DH is back in bed bothered by a stiff neck and shoulder.

(Mom didn't think anything about her MRIs. No big her anyway. I was on the nervous side for her sake.)

I'm pondering books for 7 year olds these days. Any suggestions? Also thinking of Spider Magazine and Ranger Rick. Not quite ready for Cricket Magazine yet I think.

It's a sunny-brrrrr day, and I must decide what to make of it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:37AM
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Whew!!! Saturday Morning At Last!!!! The frost is making everything sparkle. Glad we're not yet to Marie's variety of sparkle, but the pics are beautiful and Charlotte looks like she's saying "My Kind of Weather!!!"

Eden - The eclectic mix of cat names cracked me up. Bella will love the trees. We have something similar here and the sponsor opens it up for a special hour just for little kids. I gasped when I saw the pic of your mom and her quilt. The quilt is on the same idea of one that a good friend of my Mom's made while going through similar procedures. Must be the "I Will Be Bright and Bold No Matter What" attitude!! Good for her, and lucky you to have such a woman in your life.

Wendy: LOL re: the "Where??" Rich and I were moving stuff around in the cellar last night (including 24' pieces of scaffold that my ankles would gladly forget existed) and he said: This'll be plenty of room! Five or six trips to the cellar with plants later, he was sketching out yet another area. I have four potted tender Lavs that I will NOT cut back again this year :-) His gardening interest, I believe, is coming not only from the heart but the interest in the pocketbook aspect :-) LOL As in "Hey, if we're spending all this money, I might as well have a say!!" Whatever the motivation ..

Sue: I think the fear of MRI's comes from antiquated equipment. The first one I had 15 years ago took two days to get over -- the one I had last year was a breeze!! I'm so glad you got the appointment and so glad that there seems to be a solution for you. Also wanted to check in about the mag pics. Were they ever done?

Taryn: You Go, Girl!!! Any CEO who gives anyone 1.25 hours is interested, big company or not. AND - your diversity of experience gives you a distinct edge over "typical" interviewees! If this is what you want, all good thoughts are out there for you to get it!! Just be darn sure you get Everything In Writing. Glad you celebrated with dinner out.

'bug: I throw my dahlia tubers in a paper bag with some wood chips and keep them in the cellar for the winter. Fancier methods haven't worked for me.

Kathy: I'm ordering the book right after writing this. Somewhat like Sue, I read when I know I'll have a bunch of time, but will try to keep up. Something to do while recovering!! Didn't know CIA had a western branch but that makes sense.

Cindy: Sounds like you and I have similar histories. What the heck took two hours? Laws in CT have come a really long way in protecting everyone, including neighbors in the middle of the night. If you want to do something tangible, there is a huge underground for deliverying predialed cell phones. Email me if you want more info ....

And .. Yes, it will be somewhat daunting to have a pro chef in my kitchen, but I've made him several meals in the past and he's just glad to have someone else cooking. Having catered myself through part of college, I have a fairly good stock of equipment (old but good) and am very willing to take the back seat. He's excited about it all! Called yesterday to see what I had in the pantry so that "once we get rolling we won't have to stop." Have a feeling my job will be chopping and setting the table. Works for me!!

Chelone: Did you find suitable fruit? I'll probably be going back to JoAnn's where I found mine and will be glad to get some for you if needed. The offer is still open to switch houses, BTW. You'll appreciate this: I grew up listening to Skitch Henderson, the "father" of folk, IMHO. Step back one: Kyle (DS) collects old vinyl and unwittingly brought home a SH album because "I liked his beard but I really like his sound!!." For the holidays, he'll be digitizing it for my parents. Funny how great music never stops being great. Have you started your holiday topiaries yet???

T: Glad you liked the ditty! Thought it suited this group well. LOL

Marian -- where are you again? Have you started to use Nolan's wood pile?

Today's excitement includes cleaning the oven, ordering the book, making something warm and mushy for dinner, and taking down spider webbing. Woopee!

Know I've missed someone and apologies up front. It was a crazy week going into the holiday phase of advertising* and planning surgery and getting Kyle's paperwork set for England and pulling a few more plants in every night. Oh, yah, Halloween happened, too! I'm grateful for it all, though.

*Kudos to my workplace. We had a big meeting talking about the perpetuation of the retail and commercialization of the holidays and collectively decided that we would not run any holiday messages until after Thanksgiving in our market. This means a loss of $$ and some of our clients aren't really happy, but it's good to know that a huge corporation has some kind of heart, even if only on a local level.

Later, I'm sure ...


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:41AM
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'bug - Just saw your request and looked in Amazon and they have it:

"The Littlest Tall Fellow" by Barry Rudner is a must. I read it to every U9 soccer team I ever coached. Check it out!!


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:46AM
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Marie, All of my favorites seem to be in the 9-12 year old range, but I read a lot of these books out loud to David when he was younger than that.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

My Side Of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George

The Indian In The Cupboard series by Lynn Reid Banks

The Borrowers series by Mary Norton

The Redwall series by Brian Jacques

Roald Dahl books especially The BFG and James And The Giant Peach

The Fudge series by Judy Blume

The Harry Potter books

I bet Mary and Babs can give you some good suggestions since they're still in that stage with their boys. It's been almost 14 years since David was 7 and I know I'm forgetting a lot of them.

Bella gets Babybug. It's the mag for the youngest, 6mo to 2 years, from the Cricket magazine group. You know they have one called Spider that's for your grandson's age group too. David just ordered Bella a subscription to Highlights mag. We just got the first one in the mail last week. I think he ordered it because he still likes reading it since she's not old enough for it yet, lol.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 10:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Too funny! I just asked DD if DGS would enjoy Spider Magazine because he's a bit too young for Cricket I think, but maybe not. There's also Ranger Rick.
Martie and Eden, maybe I NEED a trip to the little book shop in town this afternoon. :-) On the other hand, I still have loads of DD's books left to share with him. He loved "Leo, Zack and Emmy", a book he was easily able to read by himself.

Thanks for your suggestions!!!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 11:06AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Im so far behind here now, Im not sure if Im ever going to get caught up again! Ive just been scanning most days, looking at the pictures.

Halloween is pretty quiet here we usually get less than 30 kids. Were in an older suburb with relatively large lots, so that means the kids have to walk further to get the same amount of candy! (Ever notice what efficient little economists kids are?! Theyve got efficiency and marginal costs/marginal returns theory down pat by age 3 or so!)

The Monday was a madhouse here though. Barbs (one of my helpers) middle daughter is in first year university and was in a panic over a big project due on Tuesday. She didnt get it and was in tears, ready to quit university! So they spent the day here while I tried to calm her down, get her focused and explain what the project was about and why it was important. I suspect she wont get a great mark on it but should get a pass at least. Like many first year students, her marks have slipped relative to what she is used too and its been a big blow to her ego, pride and confidence.

Tuesday, DHs parents arrived on their way home from a month in France. They will be here until tomorrow, when they go back home. His mom was in better shape than we expected but she was very tired-looking. On Wednesday and Thursday mornings, she got lost on the way from the bedroom to the bathroom. And she forgot who my SIL was within minutes of her leaving when she stopped in on Thursday afternoon. So thing are moving downhill. It must be a big strain on my FIL because he watches her all the time to make sure shes not doing anything odd. She gets very restless if she finds herself alone. I thought several times this week that Id have time to put together a post, but those times also coincided with times I was alone with my MIL and I found that I needed to sit somewhere where she could see me and know she wasnt alone. Her main activity these days is sitting watching TV. Since the TV is in the living room, and the computer isnt, I didnt have the opportunity to type up a post. This post had a long interruption in composing as I had to go sit with her until DH and FIL came back from food shopping. Its certainly easy to see why Chelone cant post as often as she might like! MIL is having some difficulty verbalizing and doesnt do any writing at all so that causes communication problems with me. I think she forgets that Im deaf because she seems confused when I dont always respond when she speaks to me. Shes also not eating enough. She eats less than me and shes 6 tall! Shes lost a lot of weight recently and is definitely becoming shaky on her feet. She hasnt been to a doctor in a good 20 years and youd have to knock her out to get her to one! Were all concerned about them going back home where theres no one closer than 90 minutes away. We really think they should move back here where there will be more of us close by to help out as things continue to deteriorate. Its probably not going to happen until a crisis occurs and then there will be chaos for everybody!

On the positive front, we got the first quote on the cost to demolish and rebuild the garden shed its going to be affordable! And, if the weather stays reasonable (GB dont send that snow this way please!) DH bought a box of mothballs this morning so well put them down the skunk entrance under the shed later today to try to encourage the skunks to move out so the shed can come down. Yesterday, we moved some plants out of the wet corner area. The compost pile is behind the shed and it has to get moved to allow room for the construction work. The easiest solution is to spread it all on the wet corner nearby. Some of the plants there might not survive getting a few inches of compost spread over them so I moved some of them. The rest will have to take their chances. That area needs reorganizing/replanting anyway. Next spring Ill see what survives and either replant entirely or rework the area around the survivors. DH was initially reluctant to do the shed project but her likes both the contractors we are getting the quotes from. (They have both done good work for us before.) And Im pretty hard to stop once I make my mind up to do something! Yesterday DH was making suggestions for changes to the plan ones that would actually increase the cost by making things a bit fancier. So I take that as a sign that hes now fully on board having the cost come in at a lot less than we feared undoubtedly helped a lot!

Sue I think you were asking about my zone on the fall picture thread? Were probably something like 5b/6a because of the lake. The lake is a two edged sword gives us longer, milder falls but late, cold springs as the lake takes a long time to warm up again in the spring. The long term Environment Canada weather data shows that southern Ontario has actually been cooling over the recent past so much so that some areas have actually been down-graded a half zone under the Canadian zone system (which is a bit different from the USDA one) Im lazy so I go mainly with the safe route and focus on plants hardy to zone 5 or less. Im not willing to do extra work to protect vulnerable plants so, while I could probably try zone 6 plants, I generally dont bother. Probably the most borderline plant in the garden is the Clematis montana on the south gate arbour. It bloomed this year. The arbour is on the south side of the house, with a window at the top and the base (heat leakage sources), and is sheltered between the house and the neighbours fence. I figured that, if it was going to bloom at all, that would be the only location here where it would. The real test will be whether the C. montana blooms regularly from now on or not last year was a fairly mild winter.

----- A few random thoughts from skimming

Some very creative/cute/ scary (Taryns boy!) Halloween costumes there!

Chelone have the ear potatoes been harvested yet? Any improvement in hearing? As frustrating as it is to try to communicate with someone with a hearing loss, remember that it is probably more frustrating to be the deaf one trying to figure out what is being said! That is probably even truer if there is brain damage affecting thought processes. A hearing loss is a very isolating, depressing experience and, in a confused mental state, shes going to be less able to cope, probably making her mental state appear worse that it might actually be. I often wonder how many people in old folks homes are diagnosed as suffering from dementia when what they really have is, at least in part, an undiagnosed hearing loss!

Kathy Ive never been part of a book club before but I gobble up books, particularly garden ones, so Ill have to check that one out Itll be interesting to see where the book thread goes.

Taryn I hope the interview turns into a job offer it sounds like a good possibility.

Martie and others re forcing and the freezer Im definitely an anti-freezer advocate. A freezer is very dry cold of an even temperature. Natural freezing that bulbs would experience is moister and the temperature fluctuates. The crisper of the fridge is better because it's usually a bit moister there - but the best option is to pot them up and leave them outside until near the end of November, then stick them in the garage until January. Bring them in the house in early January, preferably during a 'thaw' unless you have a transition place that is cold but not freezing. Works for me...

When I pot up bulbs and leave them out until late November to get their
natural cold treatment, I tuck chicken wire around and over the pots to keep
the squirrels out! Our garage is unheated so, when they are in there, they go through freeze/thaw cycles but a bit less so than they would outdoors - the garage gives them the equivalent protection I think to being in the ground.
Leaving them in the pots outdoors once it gets really cold would likely freeze them too hard but the garage gives them just enough shelter. Youd need to adjust the process to suit your particular local conditions, aiming to give the bulbs as natural an exposure to fluctuating, moist cold temperatures without freezing them to death!

Thats the advice I gave to GB. I decided not to bother with forcing bulbs this year no room for them in the house when theyd be ready to be brought indoors! I use the same general principal though for seeds. It always annoys me that the seed package for delphiniums says to put the seeds in the freezer for 24 hours before planting them. I store them in the crisper until a day or two before planting them in the seed trays. Then I leave the packages out on the back porch for a day or two to expose them to fluctuating, moist freezing before planting. I always have good germination and I grow lots of delphiniums each year.

Eden great, cozy kitty pictures! But the one of your mother with the quilt was greater! Thats a definite keeper picture that will be sure to produce fond memories for all your family in the future. Bravo for your mother!

Sue I share your attitude to doctors! Question everything thats certainly the best route even though its one that drives 90% of them crazy! The remaining 10% are the good ones! As for MRIs, Ive had enough of them now (probably about two dozen) that they are no big deal. But it sure helps to have that panic button thing Ive never had to use it but its reassuring to have it! The worst experience Ive had with an MRI was once when the internal fan on the machine wasnt working without that cool breeze blowing past your face, it gets pretty uncomfortable in there! The tube is small enough that someone of a larger size than either of us would probably find it pretty hot, stuffy and uncomfortable in there. I always find it amusing that, every time, I have to convince the technicians that I really dont need the ear plugs!

Time to go do a bit of work outside.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 2:26PM
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I did 3 loads of laundry today and it's hung over all the crown moulding in and around the house, with the dungarees drying out in the furnace room. Cleaned the kitchen, after administering Fosamax to Mum and supervising the waiting period before making her breakfast.

I organized and paid all the bills, taking the huge dog for a ride in the car.

I selected 8 of the nicest geraniums from the windowboxes and transplanted them to the newly painted ones. I have not cut them back, this year I think I will do it gradual stages... I love having flowers, even if only a few.

A friend came over and we dug a peony for her. Last night was the first "hard" frost we've had and I always wait for that before cleaning up the gardens.

No work yet on the holiday topiaries. I haven't yet acquired the necessary fake fruit, but think I'll scope out And, Marite, we have a JoAnn's in the area, I'll check them, too... and Ben Franklin.

Woody, I so appreciate your insight into hearing loss. One "ear potato" was removed, but the other is proving stubborn... drops for 2 weeks. And then another "go" at it. I know how terribly hard it is for Mum... I try very hard to look directly at her and speak clearly, even when the hearing aids are in and working up to snuff. I've learned that many people who seem gruff or unfriendly are often suffering from hearing loss... usually undiagnosed.

I know nothing about children's literature, but I think a nice, illustrated copy of Aesop's Fables would be a great gift to a bright, insightful child. I know how very much I adored my own copy!

I'll check back in later, and see what's new. OH, Eden how many catboxes do you have with 11 of the "little varmints" trotting around?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 4:48PM
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LOL Chelone, I meant to address the litter box issue in my last post. People are usually curious about it. We have a empty closet in a spare bedroom set up with a kitty door for their access from the hallway. They have a light/ exhaust fan combo that has the exhaust fan set up on a timer to kick on for a few minutes every hour. The light stays on 24/7. The closet's 8'x2' so there's plenty of room for 4 large litter boxes that I scoop morning and evening and scrub and change once a week. We have a pretty big cat litter bill every month.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 6:22PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good chilly evening!

I am laughing at myself now, I guess I have to read more carefully - I thought Martie's BIL was a spy/chef, and I was wondering why she "leaked" his identity - I guess there is more than one CIA! Lucky you, Martie, to have help; please share the menu with us. I have never done Thanksgiving dinner, my Mom takes that one. We had it here a few years ago when her kitchen was being remodeled, but she came over the day before to prepare the stuffing, all I had to do was get up at an early hour to put the bird in the oven, and prepare the side dishes. We have Christmas here, usually a roast - DH's specialty. I can't believe Thanksgiving is less than 3 weeks away!

Our low temps will be around 25 tonite, that will finish off the rest of the tender stuff. The shrub-sized abutilon and the large canna in the front are still looking good, I think the brick from the house is keeping them warmer.

Woody, glad your shed project is a go. Is the new one going to be larger than what you had? I've read that rags soaked in ammonia will deter animals as well, or your could try some of the predator urine mixes that are out there.

Taryn, congrats on the interview - sounds like he was impressed with you if he spent that much time on the interview. Hope it all works out for the best!

Eden, that pic of your mother with the quilt made me smile. She looks very proud of her work, and she should be - it is beautiful. My mother quilts too, so I know how much work is involved. That talent, along with the knitting gene, were not passed on to me - I'm lucky if I can sew a button!

Marie, you were looking for book suggestions - my DS (age 9 now) loves non-fiction books; his favorite topics are science and animals. One of his favorite authors is Gail Gibbons, her books are the kind that explain things like the solar system and weather in easy-to-understand terms. Also, many early-reader books labeled with a system of levels - a 7-year old would probably read Level 2 (ages 5-8, beginning to read) or Level 3 (ages 6-9, reading alone). You could also try contacting a local elementary school library for ideas. DS gets Ranger Rick and he enjoys it, but he doesn't read it over and over like he does with his favorite books. One last thought - the Harry Potter books are wonderful, I love them and so does my DD, but they are not for everyone. I was reading the first one to DS a few years ago, and he made me stop when the unicorn died. He never expressed an interest in finishing the book, or even watching the movie.

Deanne, I have some cutting questions for you - I put a piece of fuchsia in water, and it has 2 roots, almost 1" long - when should I pot it up in dirt? What about the coleus? Do you use regular potting soil, or something lighter? Do you root abutilon in water as well?

Have a great night all!


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 7:58PM
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Saturday greetings all! What a nice day it has been here , very mild temps, a few clouds , no wind . Our day of rain this week washed off the summer dust and everything looks very perky-still no frost here. Impatiens are going strong, zinnias look like h**l but still blooming away. I did a horrible job this year of keeping the snails off my dahlias, they are really a mess. Resolved to do much better next year-remind me

The rain was just enough to make my digging project much easier , so I worked on that for awhile today. I was out in my gazebo this morning and lo and behold there is a big fat flower spike on one of my cymbidiums very exciting ! This particular one was given to me a couple of years ago by a friend who was dividing hers and this is the first time it has bloomed for me. She didnt know what color it was at the time so it will be a surprise. Ive moved it out of the gazebo and closer to the house. Cymbidiums can stay outdoors here in winter (most years) but usually dont spike this early .The plants can take the frost but the flowers dont go for it. Im going to bring it in the house when the flowers open so it will be safe from the frost.

This morning when I went to Trader Joes I ran into two friends in the cheese section (who had just run into each other ..) and after stating how annoyed I get with people blocking the aisles at Trader Joes when they stop to chat, we proceeded to do so ourselves ! I dont know what it is about TJs but for a grocery store it sure is social..anyway my friend Leslie was really excited because she has been accepted into UC Davis horticulture program (Davis , Berkeley , and Riverside are the three top Ag/hort schools in the UC system) .She wants to teach eventually- this is a second career for her, she presently manages an estate garden here in the valley. We hung out there in the cheese section for about 20 minutes all conversation was plant oriented !

Eden, loved your cat story. They are a lucky bunch . One of my cats was feral too, my late DH found him in the vineyard at the winery where he worked and brought him home in his shirt pocket-he was so tiny ! Thinks hes about 15 now. 4 litter boxes ! wow..

Chelone, the sad state of "country music" is one of my pet peeves. Give me Doc Watson, Patsy Cline, and Asleep at the Wheel any time! And yeah, I know Hot Tuna-they recorded with G Dead sometimes right ?

Sue, good for you and your pro-active approach. I rarely go to the Doctor-in fact I only get check-ups every other year. I am very thankful for my good health.

I am making potato leek soup tonight and will put some jaxx in the trusty CD player and read did my weekly movie last night (Match Point).

Later !!

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 8:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thanks Wendy and Chelone for the added suggestions. This afternoon I went to a nearby bookstore and came home disappointed in the state of affairs in the book world. Children's literature was my life before gardening...and Toronto had magnificent children's book stores. My son was a bit like Wendy's, wanting factual reading. He liked dictionaries and catalogs and maps...things that explained the world. Even today fiction is not for him. My daughter loved many things: fiction, animal tales, biographies of women, etc. She loves reading to her family, all heaped in bed together for the next chapter each evening along with the dog. They've been reading Danny, Champion of the World lately. It is a book she loved long ago.

This afternoon we also tested guitar amplifiers for DH. He selected one, but it goes on sale on the 25th, so he's waiting. Then we had a Chinese lunch, I picked up some more bamboo stakes, potting soil, Christmas decorations (birds and fruit@.99 cents each), and even some tulip bulb dregs on sale as well. (I'm downright insane!)

Cindy, I've been looking for Horticulture Magazine for months. Do you know if it still is around and how frequently it conmes out? Maybe it doesn't make it to Canada any longer. I guess they're all waiting to issue their fat ad-filled Christmas publications soon.

So T, are you sleeping off your day of babysitting or maybe shoveling compost. We want goat news!

Waiting to hear if Saucy is testing out her new wisdom and selecting her responses to challenges. Like anything, I think it takes practice but leaves you feeling far more in control. Tell us! :-)

I want a magic fairy to come clean my house for me....what a mess.


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 9:36PM
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'bug, I subscribe to Horticulture and it is published 7 times per year.You can subscribe in Canada but it is more expensive.Their website is, all info is there...
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 10:07PM
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Marie, that's too bad that you were dissappointed in the bookstore. We have a wonderful children's bookshop here called Halfway Down The Stairs that we've been visiting since David was around 2. It has a fireplace, polished wood floors, rocking chairs and a great staff that's always so friendly and helpful. They have great special programs for the children on Saturdays that Bella will soon be old enough to attend. Another place I thought of you might want to check out is I just ordered Bella some things from them for Christmas this year. Oh I thought of another author we like too, Shel Silverstein. He has a really cool website ( Send the magic fairy to my house next when your done with her ok?

I get Horticulture, so yep it's still around. They publish every other month.

I was supposed to go to a friends house for wine night tonight but by the time I made dinner, did Bella's bedtime rituals and cleaned up the kitchen, laying on the couch mindless watching tv sounded better since it required NO energy. So I've been dozing all evening. Talk to you guys tomorrow...


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 10:15PM
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I was just looking on the Halfway Down the Stairs website and they have a nice list of book reviews. Quite a few for 6-8 year olds. Might give you some ideas on some you want to look for. OK I'll leave you alone now, bet you wish you'd never asked?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 10:29PM
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Hello....almost time for bed but thought I'd pop in to check on how everyone's days went. We spent the day looking around in hobby stores for helicopter fuel and other various bits and pieces needed for same machine. We also went to a couple of malls to try to find some shoes for DH. We did find some that he liked. I did get lunch out of the deal....and he paid. LOL Hey, it is those little things in life that make or break a day! ;o)

We came home through a downpour and wind....not a nice drive on the freeway but we made it and the drive was enough to underscore how lovely it is to stay indoors (and home) on a day such as this one was.

The goat is improving, thank you very much, and was laying near Boo's hooves this evening when we gave them their grain. Silly thing!

Mulch has all been spread (since last weekend) but the apple trees are still in their blessed is so wet that I'd grow 6" taller as I trudged, through the clay, to get to where I want to plant them. :o\ I guess I will wait until things dry up a bit before getting them in the ground. grandbabies are doing fine. I watched them Wednesday and Friday this week so got to spend a lot of time cuddling and talking with them. They are doing the wonderful cooing and baby talk---so, I'm in love a bit more than I was before...if that is possible. ;o) They still look like little bald old men but don't tell my daughter I said

I decided to just stay logged in and upload a photo of the new front bed so I wouldn't put it off any longer. I couldn't find a photo of the new backyard beds that I liked and wanted anyone to see :oP.....I'll work on getting one another time. You've already seen photos of the new front bed, but I did put another 6" or so of the mulch on most of it (it is obvious in the photo where I ran out) and it looked so 'pretty' with the fresh dark mulch. So much of it had worked/sifted down into the chips that it wasn't looking very nice any longer. I'm afraid to look outside to see what these past days of heavy rain has done to the area. Oh well....I put 24 yards of mulch on the new beds and I refuse to shovel more mulch for at least 6 least!

The wheelbarrow in the photo is an old one that my parents had when I was a has some holes rusted through, but I plan to tip it on its side and make a cascade of flowers coming out of if they had tumbled out of it when it fell over. I have the to get some follow through, come spring. ;o)


    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 11:10PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning friends,

I woke up early this AM so Ive got a few minutes to pop in before I have to leap into action here. The class is going very well, in fact, I think they are going to finish up around lunchtime at the rate they are painting. All the ladies are doing a superb job with their paintings and I couldnt be happier about the quality of the work they are putting in. Im feeling a bit stressed that they are going to finish up a half day early because theyve paid for a full day but they are all happy at the prospect of getting out early for their travel home. One gal came in from Omaha, NB for the class and another is from NJ so theyve got to be out to catch their planes anyway so I guess I should just chill out. Three of the other ladies have three plus hour drives home so they wanted to get out early afternoon so they wouldnt have to do the bulk of the drive in the dark. So I guess I need to go with the flow. It just feels strange to know Im going in with only a half day of material left to present.

I showed the students the color theory presentation I did for the garden club and they were very impressed with the material so Im planning on expanding the text and working it into a booklet form next week. Ill offer it for sale on my web site. GB, I hadnt thought of putting it into a calendar but so much of it are photographs of nice looking gardens that that isnt a bad idea either!

Marie, Im bummed that you didnt get a chance to work on a barn calendar. Im not kidding about that. Your barn is so darned photogenic that it would be perfect to do a whole calendar with photographs of it. I can see it in my head, some with the bridge and tree framing it, the gorgeous fall colors, maybe a close-up of your KMOTGG using the beautiful aged wood as the background. Yep, Ive got a million ideas.

Norma, I have to thank you, You gave me the best idea of the century. Remember when you asked if I could use the new camera with my scope and I said no? Well, I bought a new walk around lens for the camera, a fairly inexpensive 50mm F 1.8 which is a good optic even though inexpensive. Anyway, just for jollies I decided to see how far off the mark it would be for the scope eyepiece, well! That lens is compatible unlike the one that came with the camera. So now I just have to find a gizmo that will attach this camera to the eyepiece of the scope and get a cable shutter release of some kind. I know Canon makes one for their digital SLRs. Here are a couple pics I took while hand holding the camera to the eyepiece of the scope and depressing the shutter manually, which as you know, is just impossible to do without any motion blur. I cant imagine the detail Ill be able to pick up when I get the camera attached to the scope. Im also going to start shooting in RAW mode so I have more control over the settings. Ive just got to get some software that will read the RAW files and transfer them into Tiffs.

Now this is pretty sharp but it would be sharper if I wasnt hand holding the camera with these magnifications.

But look at the detail I can bring up because Im working with the ten mpx camera. Talk about a kid with a new toy!

T! Wowza! Youve been a busy, busy person. That is one incredible amount of work. I love your idea for the wheelbarrow. Cant wait to see it next year.

Wendy, Once the fuchsia have some roots you can pot them up any time. I normally wait until they have a nice collection of roots. Water them in well once you pot them up but then be careful not to overwater. I always pot them fairly loosely so there is plenty of air for the roots. Yes, I root abutilon in water as well but I have a limited success rate with them. They develop this slimy, sappy stuff that I think is a bacterial thing. Try getting cuttings that are totally green and not woody. Im actually thinking that Im going to try them with rooting powder and a soiless mix as I think they might do better. Maybe Eden can give us some insight into rooting abutilon? And yes I just use Miracle Grow potting soil I get in the huge bags at HD. Nothing special. ~~ BTW I must get a photograph this week of your Cape Fuchsia. It is just beautiful! Do they normally bloom all winter?

Kathy, LOL about Trader Joes! We do the same thing and our store is just like that. There are ALWAYS people chatting in the aisles. That is just the best store! I love their non-fat pasta sauces and the brown rice pasta. Good stuff! Oh yes, we also just found this product that is like a pretzel but is made of soy so it has a decent amount of protein in it. They make a terrific afternoon snack. ~~ Too cool about your cymbidiums! I sure wish I could grow mine outside all winter! LOL They are such enormous plants and I have only limited room in the house for them with all the other stuff I bring inside.

Eden thanks for the reminder about me being the boss of the plants. You are so right!!!! Ive been beside myself about what needs to be done and I just need to let some of it go and buy new for next year. ~ That photograph of your Mom is fabulous! I guess we know where you get your positive attitude from. ~~ I read your kitty post about the litter box arrangements to Doug last night and he was impressed with your creativity. Now those are special cats for you to give them an entire closet but what a great solution. I was wondering how you managed to have that many kitties with zero cat odor in your house.

Woody that is great news about the shed. You must be pretty pleased about that. ~~ Is Misty all healed up now?

Mary, sounds like youve been really busy lately. You are right, Im relieved that the color presentation is done. ~~ Congratulations to Annie with the swim team success.

Hi to Marty, Chelone, Michelle, Taryn, Cindy, Sue and where is Marian, V., and Honey???? Must run for now. Ive got to print up a few things for the students and get to work.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 6:56AM
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More frost on the lawn this morning and a lot more ice on the pond. Even the cats hesitated before venturing forth, usually they bound right out. Last night was the first fire in the soapstone stove, too. I was appalled at the even coating of dust over the stoveipe; doesn't speak highly of my attendance to housekeeping.

T., that bed looks wonderful. What a lot of work, you must have some shapely shoulders and arms, m'dear. And I'm glad the goat seems to be employing the leg a bit more. A sick or injured pet is always a worry. I have never been particularly enamored of babies and tend to share your assessment that they look like little old men. I have chuckled everytime you've said that.

Hey 'bug, what about the wonderful series by the magnificent artist, C. W. Andersen, "Billy and Blaze"; I always loved horses and they were great stories with beautiful illustrations. Really classic stuff. And I think a nice Atlas for children might be good, too. We always had good ones and whenever we'd read we'd flip through it to "find" the faraway places named. Sadly, when I asked Mum about books for that age group she couldn't really remember many (she was a librarian for many years).

Eden, the catbox arrangement is brilliant. Our 4 go outdoors, but about this time of year they begin to turn a deaf ear to the "call of the wild". You know who sees stepped up "mining". I go from once a day (in the morning) to 2-3 times/day (morning, after work, and evening). It's not a big deal and while it certainly ISN'T my favorite activity I've never really understood why people are so grossed out by a catbox. Properly managed they DON'T have to smell.

Wow, Deanne! that camera of your's is a marvel. The detail of the feathers is great; one of those things most people don't get to see very often. When Larry is loose and maneuvering around my shoulders or on my hand I have the opportunity to really study the feathers. I am reminded that they are actually "bird shingles", layer on layer placed just so to shed water and provide air space for insulation. Amazing! I'll bet your classes are a blast and you really ought to contemplate the color theory calendar; that's a great idea.

As for country music, Kathy, we love West Texas Swing so "Asleep at the Wheel" is a staple! Leon Rausch, Curtis Potts, George Strait. I know that country music often makes people roll their eyes but that's just because they are force fed what Clear Channel Communications and similar mega-corporations send out over the airways. And it's a bore! The helpmeet has a new computer for his home recording set up (a musician buddy of his custom built it for the task) and he uses the internet to "stream" music, selecting from a whole array of genre specific stations. I'm thinking of replacing this machine, too, and having the "perfesser" (BIL) help me wire it into the nice speakers in the living room and maybe down into my "lab.". It's amazing to see what's available, and no commercials!

Speaking of commercials, Martie, good for your company! it's nice to know the media blitz that ushers in the "holiday season" will be postponed for even a little bit.

Time to harvest the laundry and enjoy the quiet time before "her highness" awakens and I'm on call. ;)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 7:56AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

What a nice wake up read this morning. I'll no doubt be back later to respond. :-)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 8:42AM
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Not much "quiet time" this morning. Rats! I heard the timid, pathetic, "hello...?" from below. She was wandering around holding the jug o' pee by the tubing (dangerous) I ushered her back into her room and directed her to the printed directions for unhooking herself. I was irritated, I've NEVER, EVER left her alone in the house when she's in bed! of course, she can't remember that fact, but it still irritated me. The monotony of it all irritates me, frankly. Now she's washed up, dressed, and working on the "most important meal of the day". I'll remind her of the pills in a bit... even with the pillbox right in front of her she never even bothers to open it, let alone ask about what's in it. Most of the time I am barely able to recognize the person who is my mother. But every so often there is a glimmer of light and a bit of her former self manages to shine through.

OK, so what to do today? planting bulbs doesn't sound appealing. Nor does outdoor clean up. The remaining shade for the "lab." seems like too much work, washing the outside of the easterly windows seems cold, vacuuming a bit too boring. Maybe I'll strip beds and wash bedding, needs doin' and is pretty mindless. And I'll pay Mum's bills.

Do any of you ever feel that all you do is work? I know that sounds dumb, but when I'm not working for pay, it seems I'm always working at some dreadfully routine, boring CHORE. And by the time I'm finished with them I either don't have the energy, or WORSE, can't think of something utterly frivolous I'd like to do. Sometimes I feel as though I'm being pressed to death by responsibility; that my ability to "screw off" has finally been wrung out of me, utterly and completely. I have no reason to complain when I look at the state of the world; it's not like I risk physical safety to go get water or something like that. Maybe it's the time of year, or the time of my life... dunno. I suppose the best "cure" is to simply tackle one more boring thing on the list and turn the music up LOUD. On a more humorous note I think the way I feel presently is the ultimate punishment for the typically stoic, hard-working New England yankee... retribution for a life of diligence. :)

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:20AM
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LOL, Chelone! Yes!!! I know exactly how you feel!!! "There is no such thing as boring" was a mantra in my life and now I wish I knew how to feel it!!! Keep the sense of humor and all will be well. And find your fruit! Holiday topiary planning may be somewhat frivilous but for you is a necessity, so combine it and have some fun! Is there anyone who could watch your Mum for a few hours so that you can go fruit hunting?? If not, doesn't JoAnn's have a web site?

Good morning everyone else! I went to bed with all good intent of getting up early, having food shopping done by 9a, bringing in the remaining della robia and other assorted pots, and making an apple pie, all by Noon. No Way! Woke up at 9 (a very strange thing for me), feel like there's a grapefruit in my abdomen, needed to talk with my Mom to assure her that Thanksgiving will be okay, and had to remind Rich that he had Promised to help me lift Before he started drumming. And it's only 9:45. Like I said: Boring might be nice!!!

Wendy -- Thanksgiving dinner always starts with a simple plan and then expands depending on what looks good in the stores. Since BIL is helping and I want to have everything he needs, the menu has been set in advance and includes:

-Raw veggies with various stuffings and dips
-Granville Cheddar Cheese (locally made and the absolute best) with monster herbed bread croutons made from scratch
-Locally drawn Cider
-Brandywine Tomato (from my garden) and Balsamic/Parmesan salad
Then the good stuff:
-On the Weber Grills: Turkey and Ham
-Herb (from the garden) bread stuffing
-Apple (also local) and walnut/apricot glaze for the ham
-Scalloped hard squashes
-Homemade cranberry/orange chutney
-Homemade smooth cranberry "sauce"
-Boiled Onions (from the garden) in cream
-Mashed Potatoes (Rich's specialty)
-Corn, frozen earlier this year from locally grown
-Green Beans, ditto
-"Snowflake" rolls
-Homedone Wheat Bread
-Homedone Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Pie (Kyle's specialty)
Apple Pie (everyone makes a great one so we'll draw straws)
Pecan Pie (BIL's recipe that uses lavender honey made locally by a guy who uses lav cutting plants from my former garden -- nice coincidence!)
Roast Walnuts
Brownies (SDIL's specialty)
Maple Mousse (family recipe dating back to at least 1856)
Whipped Cream for topping
Vanilla Custard for topping

Can't Wait!!

Wish I could have you all here. There's plenty of room AND you can help me further plan plant placement (say it three times fast :-) for Spring.

Rich is breathing over my shoulder to get on a Google metronomes. Since that's quieter than a seven piece drum set at this point, I'm going to let him have at it.

Will be back later -- hopefully After a few things get done!

Best -


    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 10:03AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Garfield said:
Eat and sleep
Eat and sleep
There must be more to life than this
But I hope not!

I could enjoy returning as Garfield in my next life. Meanwhile Chelone, it is work and chores with the Idylls in between. I try to do the chores in small dribs and drabs. So I load the laundry, then run off to find stamps for letters, clean the litter box, pay a bill, then dry the laundry, etc. I certainly procrastinate a lot. I hate changing sheets. Dusting? What's that? The problem is I like a very tidy house, but it seldom happens. Things have been a mess since the basement upheaval, and the rehab work there is long and drawn out. Meanwhile, all the furniture, books, clothing etc is strewn about. Aggravating.

So like you, I get to pick a task that appeals somewhat more than the rest. I think tulip bulb planting is next! Later the great escape to the grocery store- which was postponed from yesterday's list of fun things to do... And by the way, drab and grey is no help at all for the outlook!

Eden, I love talking children's books. Never too much. It is like plant talk, all consuming for me. Chelone, I think an Atlas is a wonderful gift, but it is a bit early yet for that I think. I had a poor sense of the universe etc at that age, but maybe I'll ask DSIL about his view of things and also think of a globe sometime. I'm afraid they will need to move to accomodate all the things I have in mind!(And move closer to us too!Hehehehe.) Actually though, I am quite anti "things". Our kids did fine with books and the likes of wooden spoons for toys, very basic stuff...and lots of outdoor activity.

I was surprised Martie to see creamed onions on your menu. I've not had those in decades, but they sure were a part of my upbringing! I liked them too! I don't think I've ever made them in fact.

Deanne, I have no idea how to start making a calendar, even when I do have time. I suppose un-resized photos need selecting. But then what???? We are all benefitting from your new toy! Thanks! I was serious about the colour wheel calendar...but was afraid to push it. Perhaps a dull March day might have you setting it up for next year's Christmas gifts?

Well you see I am an expert procrastinator. It's about those last tulips that need planting! Off I go!


    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 11:23AM
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Deanne: Realized I didn't comment on those amazing pics! The technology behind them is way beyond my limited digital comprehension, but I'll look at your results all day long. Thanks for the rooting tips -- I may just have a few fushias to start next season! BTW: One of Rich's pending projects is a bedroom-over-garage addition. I told him about your setup, especially the French Doors, and he loved the idea. Not sure if it'll work on the house he's dealing with, but congrats to you for a Rich-thinks-it's-neat design!! Since it felt awfully mushy before I sent it, do you think the brug will live??

Marie -- In our world creamed onions are as much a part of Holidays as any meat :-) They are So Easy and the one thing I absolutely splurge on, fat-wise.

While I like to use fresh onions, the jarred kind found in stores are okay, too. I just blanche the onions to get them soft, put them in a casserole dish with enough heavy cream (Yes!! Go For It!!) to come up about half-way, cover them, bake them at 375degF for about 20 minutes, uncover them to thicken the cream and bake them for another 10 minutes. Sometimes I use a pounded sage leaf in the cream for additional flavor, but not when there's a lot of sage in the rest of the menu.

Old-fashioned food is best, sometimes, IMHO :-)


    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 1:20PM
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"There's no such thing as boring"... ahh yes, THAT one! In our home, "Muu-umm, I'm bored" was inevitably followed by: "Dear, only stupid people are bored. Are you a stupid person? I rather think not.". Raised with the adage that "idle hands are the devil's workshop" I am woefully loathe to have Idyll hands... . I'm tellin' ya, it's the curse for diligent yankees.

Beds stripped, recyclables redeemed, bills paid. The second of Mum's meals has been served up, and she's been outdoors. Now all I have to do is get her to put away her clothes. (a test of wills invariably).

I have taken off the screen panels for the awning in the dawning, remarked the weight rods, removed the two other canvas pieces, as well. I don't quite have it in me to apply vaseline (using a Q tip) to the snap studs. It's supposed to be warmer later next week and I'll try to get the screens scrubbed down (they need some small repairs and you'd be amazed at how dirty they can get over a season). There are 2 very different schools of thought regarding cleaning canvas. Some say, do it, others don't advise it. I am of the former mindset, but I do it gently and I always retreat for water repellancy. Washing will remove the factory finish. I hate seeing grimey drip lines from rainwater, leftover leaf resin stains, or old cobwebs/egg cases. I like to start the new season off clean, mended, and ready for action. Remind me that I need to make a storage case for the whole shebang, too... OK? Along with a grill cover.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 2:31PM
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Sunday Greetings..
It sounds like all anyone did today was chores and projects . That was certainly the drill around here. Great weather so I got lots done outside..I got my Regans Nursery bare root catalog in the mail yesterday , so tonight I will go on to thier website and decide what I will order.
Took my doggie to the vet today for her annual exam and blood work, got her insulin prescription renewed. All in all is was a pretty mudane day..

Chelone, I definately feel all I do is work ! I feel guilty if I goof-off during the day- so I don't. I do read the Sunday paper though - My Sunday AM indulgence. All summer I kept telling myself I was was going to take off and spend the night at the coast in a nice room with a fireplace and an ocean view , but never got around to it ! Next year...for sure.

Deanne, those photos are great. I would love to learn more about photography. We are getting a Whole Foods in Napa next year and will be right next to TJ's.Hope they have wider aisles !

Martie, maybe if I read your menu over and over I won't need dinner ! It will just be my DS and DD and me this year , and it's funny how they insist on certain dishes, and get quite uppity if I try to change the menu . I always order a free range turkey from Sonoma County , and doctor up Mrs Cubbisons stuffing. And mashed spuds with chives and whipping cream instead of milk.

'kay, time to start dinner..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 7:34PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Jeez, T, can I go nursery shopping with you next year? You're going to need a few plants to fill that curvy bed. Have you started formulating some ideas?

Deanne, I'm looking forward to the photographic treats you no doubt have in store for us. I really wish I could have gotten my bum to your color presentation but four hours of driving on a school night just wasn't in the cards.

Yes, I feel like most of what I do on a daily basis is mandatory task related. Since I decided to put working out at the top of the priority list a year ago, other things like cleaning and desk maintenance have just fallen further and further behind. Most nights I spend between an hour and a half and two hours every night on my treadmill or stairmaster, followed by stretching followed by either Pilates or weight training. By the time I get home from work and finish the workout it's time to start dinner. We usually eat between 8 and 8:30. Tom cleans up then I spend a little time on the computer. Bills usually get paid between sets of squats or Cleaning only gets done for company or when I get so disgusted I can't stand it anymore. Grocery shopping gets done on line and delivered. I did that tonight while preparing dinner. Gotta love laptops and wireless internet. Rarely am I not doing at least two things at once.

From a garden standpoint it was a productive weekend. As much as I enjoy gardening, I don't enjoy fall cleanup at all. Leaves have to be dealt with here because there are so many and they would just smother everything. We shred them and use them as mulch but they still need to raked out of all the beds and it's almost impossible to do that unless the perennials are cut down. As far as time goes all I have are weekends so I feel like I'm under the gun for the entire month of November and into December. If it rains on a Saturday or Sunday you're screwed. If it snows you're double screwed. Right now I'm in pretty good shape though. Most of the front garden is cut back and we've done one pass with the leaf shredder. All of my pots are cleaned out and put away. All of the tender stuff that will be wintering over has been repotted and is under lights in the house or is going dormant in the garage, all the cannas and dahlias have been dug and are drying in the garage, everything from the plant ghetto is planted except two shrubs, a tree and a couple of perennials. Next weekend looks decent so we're good.

Martie I wish I could come to your bountiful Thanksgiving feast but it's a holiday we got in the tradition of hosting here. Usually we get about 10 for dinner and that is plenty for me. Turkey is one of my least favorite meals so I don't get creative but everyone raves and so far no one has fallen ill or died so I must be doing something I can't believe it's only two and a half weeks away. Time to start cleaning the house. Agh!

Hope this doesn't qualify as a political argument but I'm so looking forward to the elections on Tuesday. The TV has just been filled with nothing but negative campaign ads from the various candidates for what seems like months. Good grief! Is anyone else sick of this? I watch the news when I work out at night and that seems to be peak bashing time. Of course the downside is once the political ads are gone the pharmaceutical ones will come back...side effects include cancer and kidney failure but hey, your acid reflux is gone.

Wine is also gone. Time for yogurt. So far no curdling issues.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:20PM
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Well Sue it sounds to me like you have all your ducks in a row-giving high priority to the excercise can only be good-so what if things get a little dusty ! Maybe you'll come into an unexpected fortune allowing you to hire a cleaning service.I give you brownie points for strength of character.

And political ads ? I only watch TV during baseball season, and only watch baseball. If there is a commercial on I switch to another game. I get my news from NPR, print media(newspapers, magazines )and a little internet.I have received several junk robot junk calls though . Especially in the last few days. Do you think anyone actually votes based on robo-junk calls? Kinda scary.
So, I'm going to go read for awhile-I'm having a Mozart evening tonight on the stereo.Tommorow is Monday . There are a few precious hours left !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 9:41PM
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Here's a picture of the birthday girl. I can't get pictures of her because she is so fast. She just doesn't understand "smile for the camera" so this was the best. She had a Mexican style fiesta. Her dress was picked up when her parents were in Cancun. We had taco pizza, tamales and cake. She's really into Dora the Explorer. So one of the books that I gave her was a Dora book, the other was about the ballet and came with a puzzle in which the puzzle pieces fit into the book also. My DD was really into all kinds of dance and gymnastics all through high school. She can hardly wait for Kenzie to start.

A fantastic weekend with today hitting 70 with sunshine. What a great change after the cold, windy fall we have been having. Yesterday I picked up 6 more shrubs after the birthday party. They are 75% off. All new varieties for me. I planted them today and only have 3 shrubs left in the pot ghetto. Turning the massive compost pile was on the to do list today. The skid loader makes quick work of it and the turning sure speeds up the process. We actually don't have a lot of deciduous trees so leaves really aren't raked around here.

As I took a little break this was the scene before me. Harvest was wrapped up here on Sat. Although, Rick will spend some time on fall tillage. This isn't our field, its across the road. Notice the round corn stock bales. They will be used for livestock bedding.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 11:34PM
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Happiest of Mondays!! It's a scrambled day -- Doc's appts first morning thing and last afternoon thing, major presentation in between with Big Boss in tow. Yes, yes, yes I am sick of political ads and I work for a company that runs them. This year in particular the politicians are particularly scowl-faced and it hasn't been much fun. With CT on the major political national map, it's gotten out of control, IMHO. Enough.

Yanked stuff yesterday. Took down tomatoe plants, wrapped the remaining good fruitage in newspaper and put it downstairs for ripening, mulched the roses a bit more, planted 80 bulbs and a few ghetto shrubs, scrubbed pots and crashed when the sun went down. Didn't feel like doing any of it but Yankee that I am, am now glad it's done.

The pic of Kenzie is great! I like the idea that at age 2 she doesn't know how to sit still. Too much to see and explore!! I'm beyond the Dora generation, but know that it's wildly popular. Congrats about the end of the Harvest!

Kathy -- having not been to Napa and living in a state where you can get to six others in a matter of two hours, are you within drivable distance to Forest Farm? How are your pansies doing? Looking forward to pics .

Glad my Thanksgiving menu is inviting. They'll probably end up being more. We did the table arrangement test last night and I need another tablecloth. Shucks, another trip to Joann's ;-)

Sue - I don't envy you leaves. We have a very open lot and so leaves we get are blown in and easy to handle. Our compost pile turning is getting yucky!! Woopee!! The plants are gonna love it next year.

Inside, haven't lost anything yet. Did need to shower-blast a Hibiscus to get rid of some mites but don't think they spread. Keeping my fingers crossed ....

Hope everyone's weather remains stable long enough to do what you want to get done. At this point as long as there's sun and nothing coming down from the sky I'm content.

Best to everyone -


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 7:45AM
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Good Morning, Busy day yesterday but we got a lot accomplished. The weather was beautiful here too. We're actually supposed to have a pretty decent week ahead weatherwise. We got the front gardens cleaned up and mulched with shredded leaves, set up the aquarium in preparation for bringing in the fish hopefully tomorrow. Brad also got some painting done and I spent an hour or so watering the indoor plants. I ended the evening sharing a bottle of wine with the friend I skipped out on Saturday night. Today and tomorrow will be more garden cleanup since Bella won't be here again until Wednesday.

I often feel like my to do list is growing faster than I can get things done. There's always work to be done around here. And since I have Bella 3-4 days a week I try to fit all of the big jobs into the days she's not here. I'm always behind but keep trying. I try to get in some down time to just do something fun and relaxing every day but truth be told I feel better at the end of the day about the things I can cross of my list than I do about the "fun" stuff I did.

As for the political ads, I'm glad tomorrow will be the end of it. I'm tired of it all too. And the ads have been really negative here this year. I'm more inclined to vote for someone who tells me what they'll do to make things better than someone who's slamming their opponent. But I'm not sure that person exists these days, at least not around here. Brad has tomorrow off, paid, due to it being election day so that's a nice bonus for us.

Love the little birthday girl in her fiesta dress.

Martie, your Thanksgiving menu sounds great. I've never done Thanksgiving. That's my sister's holiday since 1985 and before that my mom did it. I do bake and bring the pies though.

Deanne, the detail in those photos is amazing. Can't wait to see what your going to come up with next.

I don't remember who was asking about abutilon cuttings. But I just dust the cuttings with rooting hormone and stick them in soiless mix and keep them moist. They'll lose most or even all of the leaves but tiny new ones will start taking their place soon. I'm not much for rooting anything in water but that's just what works for me.

It's the beginning of a new week so let's all get to work, lol. I know we all have lots to do but that's what keeps life interesting isn't it?


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 8:37AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK Eden:
dishes out of dishwasher
dishes into dishwasher
laundry in
laundry out
locate stuff for trip to DD's: recipes, books, etc
prepare something for dinner
plant last of bulbs
Give leftover insulation to friend
change least fave job!

I'm sure there's more on the list, but when it's done, I'll be back!


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 8:49AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning everyone,

What a treat it is to be able to sit a bit in the AM and read the Idylls with a good cup of coffee. Ive got about a billion things to do today after being out of the house for the last four but dont know how much of my TO DO list will be addressed today. I do not know why eight hours of teaching wipes me out these days. I can work in the studio and do a ton of stuff and not be fried at the end of the day but demonstrating and working with ten people for a work day is mentally and feels like physically exhausting for some reason. And this wasnt a difficult group to work with. These were all very nice ladies and in fact most would fit right in here only their passion is painting and not gardening. I really cant figure it out to be honest.

Anyway the garage is still full of plants and Ive not dug out a single dahlia yet. If I dont get to that and plant the bulbs very soon, like this week, it is going to be too late. For some reason I just run out of steam this time of the year and can barely keep the cuttings going. Thank heavens I dont live in the warmer climes where Id have to garden year round, or maybe it is the bringing in all this stuff thats the problem.

Political adds and phone calls? Dont get me started.

Eden, thanks for the info on rooting abutilon. I dont have consistent luck with rooting them in water although I do have good luck with just about everything else. Any particular rooting hormone you use? And any specific soiless mix you use and prefer? Do you ever have problems with fungus gnats? Im always trying to eliminate their populations here and every time I think Ive gotten rid of them a new crop pops up.

Martie, what kind of mites do you have on the hibiscus? Id read that you can kill off Broad Mites with a water shower of 110 degrees F. The other types of spider mites Ive found to be dreadfully difficult to eradicate. If anyone here has a sure fire way to get rid of mites Id like to know about it. ~~ Your Thanksgiving menu sounds delicious! Dougs family always loved creamed onions and I make them most years if there is time. I just get the tiny onions in the jar and make cream sauce for them. I actually fix them with skim milk (the Simply Smart brand that tastes like is has some fat in it) and an olive oil butter substitute and you really cant tell the difference. Ive also been making my pumpkin pies with the same low fat or no fat product and Splenda so it isnt terrible bad for you either only I cant make pie crust without shortening! LOL I do make it with half whole wheat flour and everyone loves it. Oh yes, Id love to have that recipe for the maple mousse if isnt a family secret. LOL

Michelle, love the photos. That Kenzie is growing up so fast. It really has been fun to see the pics of Kenzie and Bella as they are growing up. It will be fun to see the progress of Ts new Peas in a Pod here too. I just cant get over how fast time is moving on. It seems like yesterday I was complaining about the wet and cold spring. What ever happened to this summer?

Sue, we always host Turkey Day here as well. This year it looks like we will be having 23 people for dinner so we will have to take the couch and easy chairs out of the family room and stretch out the old table in the corner. Lots of work but lots of fun is always had by all. We are planning on having champagne for our beverage of choice again this year. It was lovely with the turkey and fixings last year and was a hit. ~~ You are so far ahead of me with the fall cleanup! Im jealous! Did you wind up bringing in that wonderful acalpha? My cuttings are looking really great right now and are just beginning to look like they will be getting some roots soon. Most of the abutilon are leafing out again after their serious pruning. Im going to put them under the basement lights and keep the upstairs for the coleus that like warmer temps. ~~ So where did you wind up putting lights? I bragged about your gardens to the garden club Wednesday night. I wish you could have heard the sighs of wonder when I put up some of the pics from your and Moniques gardens. I told them about yours being on the Garden conservancy tour next year and told them they all will have to make the trip down to CT.

Kathy, Ive never heard of Whole Foods. Is it like TJs? ~~ One of my favorite places Doug and I ever stayed was in this fancy schmancy B&B in Mendocino. The room had a hot tub and fireplace and a fabulous view of the ocean. It is up on a hill overlooking the ocean but not right on the bluff. Dont remember the name of it though. Wed love to go back. I love the area.

Marie, I just use the calendar wizard in Word to get my templates for the calendars and print the calendar on one side and the chosen photographs on the other. I normally size the pics about 8 x 10 at 250 dpi for printing. I use IBM heavyweight photo paper and then bind them all together with a comb binder which I have here. ~~ Youll be the first to know if I make a calendar with the color theory material.

Chelone, I know what you mean and sometimes feel overwhelmed with all that needs to be done all the time. I do this to myself though. I just wish I didnt make myself feel guilty when I make the time to take photographs though. But that feeling that I dont want to do even the things that I normally enjoy, I know that well. I do believe it has a lot to do with the time of the year. I just cant seem to get motivated to do anything when the days are so short. ~~ You are so right that feathers are like bird shingles. Neat stuff to see them up close.

OK must run and get to the gym. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 9:32AM
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Today is supposed to be a fabulous day weatherwise.

Speaking of cuttings, I find that some are easier to start than others. I have one pelergonium that I cant get to root. All the rest are so easy. I have also notice the coleus Show n Tell doesnt want to root for me either.

I have hosted many Thanksgiving dinners. Every year we have Ricks children and families, which amounts to 18 people. They will be here the Sunday after Thanksgiving this year. I have my family some years too.

So much to do and so little time a statement about my daily life, but then I am just so thankful that I am able to do it. Ive learned that its OK to have a less than perfectly clean house. Now that it is dark so early, I will get into my winter routine. I started a little housecleaning in the kitchen Friday night. I will also get on the treadmill now that it is getting too dark to do much outside walking.

Deanne, awesome bird shots, my new camera is an 8 pixel, but I dont really know how to take advantage of what it has to offer. Another winter project. LOL

Across the street from my office is a funeral home. The lawn maintenance people are there doing fall cleanup. One guy grabs all the foliage of a hosta while the other trims it with a hedge trimmer interesting.

Enjoy your day and dont feel guilty for "me" time.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 11:08AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here we go looby loo
Here we go looby light
Here we go looby loo
All on a Monday morn
You put your laundry* in
You take your laundry out
You give your self a shake, shake, shake
And turn yourself about

*Substitute dishes, sheets, casserole, annuals, containers, groceries & garbage, dog, etc.
Repeat, repeat, repeat....

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 11:35AM
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We've got rain and more rain.......according to my 'weather center' that DH bought me for Christmas last year....we've had 3.67" in the past 24 hours. Miserable weather unless you are a duck.

I'm hopefully staying indoors and home today. I have plenty to do to keep myself busy---as always. :oP

I hope it is a great Monday for all who are at work...


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 11:36AM
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Taking a far, have the deck cleared of all leaves and debris, have taken all of the ornaments that aren't winterproof out of the garden and have stored away the pots and urns. Still lots to do but it's a beautiful day so I don't mind at all being out there working today.

Marie, don't make yourself dizzy "turning yourself about" so many times with that long list of chores, lol.

Wow, T. That's a lot of rain! Wanted to tell you the curvy beds are looking good. Wish I could come out there and help you plant them all up next spring. What fun that would be!

Breaks over, back to work...


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 11:57AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

T- thats one impressive new garden bed! Are you planning to start a lot of seeds this winter or clean out a garden center or two next spring ?! :-) What fun to spend the winter planning what to plant in that!

Deanne - those are pretty amazing bird shots. DHs only real hobby has ever been his cameras so I suspect, when he eventually gets around to retiring, that he would aspire to do fancy things like that. Youll have to give him long-distance lessons and advice

Martie thats a pretty impressive menu! You must be very good at logistics :-)

Chelone I get tired just reading your posts you work too hard! Ive managed to shake off a lot of my east-coast frugal, hard-working up-bringing (maybe Canadian east-coast traditions are milder than Yankee ones) but not the guilt that comes with not dealing with the things on the chore list!

Kathy Ive ordered that book so you may see me on the book thread A Whole Foods store opened here a year or so ago I gather one of its nicknames is Whole paycheck' because of the prices!

Michelle cute kiddie picture. Im sure Ive asked this before but have forgotten the answer (memory like a sieve these days) but what kind of farm do you have? Grain? Or cattle too?

We got the second quote on the shed last night. It looks good too I was expecting it to be the more expensive one but it wasnt. Were not trying to get in touch with both to sort out some uncertainties and make a decision about which to go with. DH cleaned out the shed yesterday and I drilled holes in the wood floor and dropped mothballs through and scattered more over the floor. Hopefully, that will encourage the skunks to move out! It sure encouraged me to leave the shed pretty fast! The shed will have the same footprint as the current one 10x8, with the wide side facing the living room at the back of the house. It will also be sited on exactly the same spot as the current one so it doesnt change the survey or force me to move paths or beds!

DHs parents flew home yesterday. Now were waiting for the first of the inevitable crises that are sure to come with MILs declining mental state. I got a bit of a shock at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. I was awakened by my MIL patting me on the hand and shoulder! Spooky! I turned on the light to see clearly and could she that this was another episode of getting lost on the way to the bathroom. I wanted DH to see it too, so I woke him up. He took her out of the room - to the bathroom I supposed - and came back and went into our bathroom. Thirty seconds later, MIL was back in the room. I thought 'that was fast!' and thought she needed to go back to the bedroom but, when I took her there, that's not what she wanted. So I realized she hadn't actually went to the bathroom. So I took here there and turned on the light for her and she had an AHA! moment. DH hadn't turned on the light for her and, without it, she hadn't recognized the bathroom. I think she was tired from the going-away/her birthday dinner earlier in the evening and that made her more confused. Her previous lost-on-the-way-to-the-bathroom episodes Wed. and Thurs. morning were probably affected by still being tired from the trip back from France to here.

I was awake for a long time afterwards. My thoughts were running from the silly (what if DH and I had been making love at the time she walked in?!) to the serious (what if she had wandered out the front door in her search for the bathroom?! What if she had wandered into the living room but went too close to the basement stairs in the dark and fell down them?!) FIL slept through most of it. He doesnt seem to be aware of how frequently she seems to be doing this she did the same thing at DHs brothers place a month ago when they were there on their way to France. Was she doing it in France? What if she does it when they get back home and ends up wandering the corridors in the condo building? Or wanders out in winter in her PJs? What happens if she doesn't find the bathroom? i.e. is this the start of serious incontinence? I see such problems coming - real soon.... and the nearest family is 90 minutes away Chelone any advice for us?!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 2:33PM
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The birthday girl is precious! the look of rapt concentration on her little face is just wonderful. She's workin' so hard every day to understand and make a place for all she sees. Enchanting. (and tiring for those of you with little ones; I'm in awe, frankly!).

As for cutting and overwintering... again, I am in awe. It takes about all I have to get the Geraniums transplanted to the inside windowboxes... the fact that I managed to paint those planters is truly amazing. Maybe sometime I will have more time to do those sorts of things; sure would like that because nothing is more awe inspiring that beautifully "grown on" annuals!

Polictical ads and calls. Groan, I'm weary of them too. And like Eden I'd rather hear what the candidates' platform and PLANS are than all that petty crap about this and that. We have serious problems to be solved... I want to know how they plan to solve them! I'm gentler with the callers now, though. And that's because the helpmeet has volunteered for I listen politely and thank them for their willingness to volunteer. Pre-recorded messages get the hand up and deletion. the only live "red" call I've gotten was squelched quickly when I asked several specific questions about how, EXACTLY, the candidate planned to cut taxes and still meet the state's budget... the caller hung up on me, lol. I'll be glad when it's over, too. President Abraham Lincoln was elected on this day in 1860, BTW.

Helpmeet and I cleaned up the front of the house this morning. I cut down the flacid and slimey Hostas, Solomon's Seal, and the stalkier things. I raked out the the beds and then we began "leaf detail". The Club Cadet and the "Cyclone rake" facilitate the chore nicely. But I was all tuckered out after 3 hours of raking. There is plenty more to do around the other 3 sides of the house, but little bit by little bit gets you there faster and in better humor.

To celebrate the completion of the task I WENT SHOPPPING. I had a list of items, stores to visit, and I overcame my RAS (retail aversion syndrome). I've yet to buy the book, but DID stock up on simulated fruit today. In a MAJOR WAY, too... close to 80 pcs.! I scored big at Wally World, (JoAnn's was too expensive, so was Michael's), apples, lemons, limes for .97/ea.. I then did a quick cruise of the Odd Lots store (nothing) and then the Dollar Store where I again hit the jackpot. Holiday "picks" with "candied fruit"/pinecones and boxes of "candied" apples and pears for $1 and $4, respectively. I was like a dog after a bone... and will continue to "hit" those stores in the coming weeks.

I replaced my completely roached wallet, too. I don't love the new one, but for $10 I no longer have to worry about credit cards falling out without my knowledge.

Woody, I sympathize. Your MIL will need LTC, she seems more advanced in dementia than Mum is, but maybe not. Her "routine" is non-existant, Mum's is basically rock solid (to my overall chagrin, but it's what keeps things moving relatively smoothly here). You were absolutely right to TURN ON THE LIGHTS! whenever Mum awakens in the middle of the night she usually has the presence of mind to hit the "call" button on the room to room intercom. I bolt out of bed, race downstairs and turn on the lights. I ask her what's wrong and then let her "come up to speed", helping her as required, reminding her of what she has to do. Usually with her, it's a freak accident; urostomy tube comes unhooked, etc.. She doesn't "wander". Your instincts are correct, this is serious stuff. Make sure the basement door can be locked (up high!) for her safety. Do the same thing with the main entrances/egresses of the house. What about motion sensitive lights? that would come on and "lead the way" to the john? Routine is KEY. Do the daily routines the same way, every day, and at the same times during the day. I know, with Mum, this is helpful. She had a pretty good idea about what "to do" because she'd done it that way so many times. I feel for you. The hardest part of it all is getting the other family members to accept the limitations and step up to the plate. I know the last time Mum was with my brother was a real eye-opener for him! He wasn't thrilled when I mentioned LTC for her, but he understood. Make sure your husband "gets it", every time she appears in your room, wake him up and specifically tell him HOW TO DEAL WITH HER, make sure he waits to be sure she's done her business, too. I hope this is a bit helpful and not too frightening for you.

prattle, prattle, prattle...

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 5:25PM
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Fortunately the post that I'm sure I posted earlier in the day that now seems to be lost was a short one.

T, I posted to tell you how impressed I am with your beds. What fun to have all that space to plant in. Is it a sunny spot?

Woody, sorry to hear about your MIL decline. DH's mom got Alzheimers when she was in her mid-60's. It was very tough. His dad kept her at home with him for a very long time.
We have just corn and beans on our farm. Before DH and I married he had a dairy. He sold the dairy cows a few months before we married. In recent years we did have holstein dairy heifers. Life is easier without livestock.

Chelone, did I miss what you are doing with all the fruit?


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 7:42PM
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Uh, no, Michelle, you missed nothing... (Saucy will appreciat the performance anxiety). ;)

I have a sort of grandiose vision of Williamsburg inspired swags for the windowboxes on the front of the house. NO GUARANTEE that they will come to, uh... fruition, mind you! A quick tabulation revealed the necessity of a s--tloat of fake fruit to effect the luxe and lush result I'd really like to see. As I said, I'll be haunting a variety of stores for the coming weeks and I'll get some of my "retail obsessed" friends involved, too. I'm hoping the use of fresh greens and native pinecones will flesh out the first year fruit crop...

When did you pick the cattails in your lovely arrangement? I've wanted to use them for years now, but always wait too long (they've started to open). I've thought harvesting them in July/August might be perfect... and then hit them with laquer or hairspray. Thoughts? do your's "explode"? of do you do away with them before that stage?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 7:57PM
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Monday Hellos
No gardening today ! Dark when I went to work, and pretty close to dark when I got home. No frost on the horizon. I have a reprieve on all the winter protection chores I have yet to do !

Martie, I always used to get the ForestFarm catalog but reasonable driving distance they are not ! Think they are near Eugene? Or maybe a little north of there. Anyway , its about an 8 hour drive to Eugene .Going south its about a 10 hour drive to San Diego. I think if you started at the bottom of Calif and drove to the north border it would take about 14 or 15 hours ? Pansies are doing well, but definitely have not finished planting. Im hoping to pick up another flat tomorrow or Saturday. They wont look like much till Feb!

Eden- whats the fish thing all about ? You have a pond with fish that you bring in over the winter ? How big are the fish and how big is the aquarium? I am a horrible fish parent.

Deanne Whole Foods is a chain of organic grocery stores- not sure how broad a geographic area they are in, but they are really a great store- much bigger than TJs and all organic. But, they are not cheap ! I ve found though that the less processed stuff I buy , I can justify the expense of more organic stuff. For example, I make my own peanut butter , buy the bulk organic peanuts for 2.30 a pound, bring em home, grind em up and I have p-butter with no funky chemicals, sugar , salt etc ..

T- 3.67 eeks! My BIL in Portland was complaining about a week of rain when I was talking to him on the phone yesterday. Sure puts a damper (so to speak) on the garden chores. Hope your compost didnt all wash away !

Woody, wow the MIL stuff is scary..I think in a previous post you said she has a doctor aversion? Is FIL in denial mode? What a hard thing. Much as I avoid Dr.s I think it may be time to get one involved. Best of luck to you. And yes, as I said above, Whole Foods is not cheap. Since its just me and my DS here , I try to offset the higher costs by economizing elsewhere. No heater yet this year ! (the plant budget is, however, sacred !)

Chelone, I am confident that you will be posting photos of this Christmas Fruit-O-Rama.

Time for dinner and the newspaper and the glass of wine ---

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 9:22PM
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Really, really good morning, here. Last night Rich FINALLY sold his pumpjack/scaffold set up and 24' lengths of steel are no longer in our basement! My ankles are grateful and so are Rich's ears from the raggin' I've been giving him. LOL

Woody -- My thoughts are with you just as they are always with anyone who needs to care for someone who can't quite do it themselves. Yes, logistics is me. I can usually get everything finished and on the table within five minutes, though it's best to stay out of my way :-)

Love the idea of Williamsburg inspired swags, Chelone. This weekend will be assembling the pineapple arrangement for outside and think I'll do a second one down by the mailbox. Using real fruit will be okay at this point given the temps, but inside will be using my bargain basement fake stuff. Rich promises to send a pic ...

Deanne: Not sure the exact species of mites but the shower blasting seems to have gotten rid of them. Those and scale are my worst nightmare for indoor gardens and I keep alchohol swabs near the light garden for that reason. Early intervention is key for both buggers! I understand about your tiredness after teaching. Being "on" takes a lot of energy!! When you can work on your own in sweats with a big cuppa nearby, it's very different than being the "one they paid to come see." I get it. Right before major appts I do a breathing thing: "Re" on the in breath, "Lax" on the out breath. It actually helps for about 30 minutes!

Darn -- wanted to say more but just got a call from an agency wanting to reschedule a program that starts in 2 hours.

In the 'bug tradition:
Hi Ho, Hi Ho
It's to the phone I go!!!

Maybe some Hokey-Pokey thrown in will make the chores go faster????

Best - Martie

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 7:20AM
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Hi everyone

A quick peek in before leaving for work to comment on the incredible hard work and dedication everyone in the group applies, whether to making giant curvy beds (well done T!), caring for family members old or young, losing weight, working out, pursuing creativity or just rising to meet life's challenges.

Chelone, I can't wait to see the Williamsburg Swags. Our library has a couple of nice books on the subject I've checked out a couple of time and thought what fun they would be to make. Good luck finding the fruit. Could you make paper mache fruit yourself? Its fairly quick and inexpensive, if messy, but can yield some neat results.

Woody - I'm so sorry to hear about your MIL's condition and can only imagine what a worry it must be for you both.

Kathy - I LOVE Wholefoods. We don't have one here which is a shame as they have some good Gluten-Free items.

Martie - what a fabulous feast you have planned. So what time is dinner?

Oops, need to run so I'll finish my comments when I get back. Tonight is a meeting with Annie's French teacher - they are planning a trip to Quebec City which sounds a lot of fun for the kids. I can't wait to hear more.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 7:39AM
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