Idyll # 404 Soaring Spirits & Falling Leaves

dodgerdudetteOctober 7, 2008

More good news if you please Idylls !

Kathy in Napa

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Thinkin we need to keep the good vibes going here- Someone used the phrase soaring spirits  in a recent post and IÂve been carrying that around.(was it Martie?) Gardeners are optimists by nature; planting with the hope that we will see the results of our labors. Winter will come, we will have loss. But spring will come as well, and there is nothing quite like the moment when we see those first green shoots Âour moment when we know the joy of rebirth.

Chelone, I hope you were wearing appropriate Personal Protection Equipment when you went to battle with the grasses in the juniper. What a job . Love the kitty vignette ! That stone wall is fabu-nothing like that to be seen around these parts.

Marian, an interesting link on the wasps- I consider everything we have here that is not a yellow jacket to be beneficial. WeÂve had some pretty sizeable wasp nests here and we just let them be until they are abandoned, which always seems to be in 2 to 4 weeks. The paper wasps that I have in my garden are pretty laid back. Perhaps we have Zenlike wasps in Northern Calif ?

PM , I donÂt remember learning to read either, but I remember my 1st grade classroom vividly, and the Dick and Jane books. I know that I could read in 2nd grade.

V., you could not be more shocked that I was, never in my wildest dreams did I expect what happened to happen! Did you take the goat with you to BA or what ?

All for me tonight ÂBest wishes to all Â

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 10:07PM
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I'm running a bit behind this morning. I've had breakfast (one egg omelette w/ parmesan cheese and coffee), made the bed, fed the feline units, and I'm waiting for the boiler to cycle through to ensure hot water for my shower.

It was beautiful yesterday. I piddled around on the Compound, the helpmeet left work early and spent the afternoon plying the North Atlantic waves on what may be one of the last sails of the season. The wind was warm, off the land and there was plenty of it.

Quarterly statements arrived yesterday. I want to throw up. ;) . Oh well... . We're not yet reduced to Saltines and water or watery gruel, so it's not as bad as it could be. I'm debating reading "The Grapes of Wrath", however. I'm about half way through, "The Other Boleyn Girl" and every time I pick it up I think of Mary calling it a "bodice ripper", lol. It's tough going, though. I know fiction is all about "the willing suspension of disbelief" but when you've read as much history of the period as I have the inaccuracies and license taken (esp. with salacious aspects) can be disconcerting.

Boiler off and I'm off to the rain locker now. Later.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 5:16AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Another in the Wales series of photos from NG....

A wrought-iron entrance gate with a seal opens onto a path leading to St. David's Cathedral in St. David's, Pembrokeshire, Wales. The cathedral lies on the site of the sixth-century monastery of St. David.
Photograph by Jim Richardson

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 6:07AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy...It is so funny, I find myself trying to remember reading Dick and Jane and I do seem to have some sort of very vague memory of reading the lines but nothing connected to it. I definitely remember being very interested and happy with the simple stories. I am trying to remember first grade, but nothing. [g] I seem to remember in preschool, hating taking naps on cots and having warm milk for snacks. Third grade, my teacher embarrassed me teasing me about having a crush on a boy in class, and I remember what she looked like. A more pleasant early memory was walking to school in the fall with the leaves all turning colors and falling on the ground.

So happy for you that your post season is going so well. It is fun, isn't it?

V....hang in there!

I just noticed that Bluestone is having a 50% off sale on Clematis. Has anyone ever bought Clematis from them?


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 7:15AM
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Frosty good morning, here! Worked off a rough work day by yanking last evening. For now, I offer as a a good thought the da da dada.........

ULTIMATE ZINNIA BOUQUET!!!! (Frostbitten and just too dark to get the richness of the colors, but stunning nonetheless)

Seeds from these beauties should come true, so if anyone sees a color that would be perfectomundo in their garden, let me know and I'll gladly save for all of us.

You will note the buried little red wagon. I got truly misty when I looked at the pics and realized that my love of Zinnias came from my paternal grandmother, and the wagon was gifted to me by my father. Kyle swears his kids will use that wagon some day. Man, am I So Grateful to have those family feelings.

Back down to the shore today to meet with the smartest group of business people I've met in a looooooong time. A true pleasure to chat and throw ideas around. They also have the best office coffee imaginable :-)

Later, everyone!


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 7:22AM
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Chelone, that's why I worried that you wouldn't like Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette :)

Last night was Apple Crisp, and it is almost gone now that Jake took some for dessert :) On to the Apple Pie, I suppose. SunnyD suggested applesauce for the less than perfect apples....

Kathy, was it here we were discussing older gardeners or in my class? I suggested that perhaps people cling on to just one more year, every year, so that they can finish something in the garden's next season, lol! I imagine I will still be trying to get that viburnum moved!

An inspection revealed that frost just nipped a few coleus on the deck, but nothing around the front. A reprieve, since the weather is turning warmer ("warmer" is relative). I'm already tired of layering my clothes....Nick is really struggling with the no heat until Thanksgiving game I like to play....I've never actually made it that long before someone in the family whines me into submission :)

The family has promised yard work this weekend. All my trellis pieces (finally!) arrived and I am ready to erect it! but first I have to put it together (I saved $$$ if I bought it disassembled). Norma, I'm kicking myself for not snagging the plaque. I need to work on the path more, and now that leaves are falling, I can do more lasagna gardening.

Well, time to find some more layers and get to the bus stop.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 7:25AM
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PM's and my postings crossed. Get the Stuff from Bluestone! No matter what the plant, I've never had a problem with them.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 7:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

DH is doing breakfast and Phoebe's walk today, then he leaves for class. Today is his music lesson day as well. He has been working on slides for his presentation in Antwerp next week. DS is hoping to meet him there for a day after his business in Berlin.

Tomorrow DD & DSIL leave for Peru. No one deserves a new shared adventure more than this couple, anxious though I'll be. She promises a call here before they leave. Please cross your fingers and toes that nothing prevents their leaving. They are having a very hard time, but moving onward.

We are expecting sunny & warm weather for the weekend, Canadian thanksgiving. That should be a treat. But for today...rain.


PS: There is progress on the quilt for Reed. The last of the fabric has been collected.

Also, a book of the friends blowing bubbles around the world for Reed at the time of his service is nearing completion.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 7:47AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA nice to hear you in such good spirits! I love your red wagon full of zinnias! I think I am placing an order today....

Bluestone has Clematis in 2 1/2 inch pots for $4.97/$5.50/$6.50

I am interested in the following, any thumbs up or down?

Duchess of Albany
Ville de Lyon
Nelly Moser
Claire de Lune

I already have a white clematis, so I am leaning toward the Duchess of Albany, for it's vigor and long bloom season and Ville de Lyon for the color. Do I have that right?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 8:04AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Duchess of Albany is a fine clematis. It gets LARGE but takes a few years to reach that point, at least in my experience. This year mine is crawling all over the ground because I never got around to training it up its large trellis.

I also like Claire de Lune. Nelly is not my is a personal thing. Ville de Lyon is lovely but I didn't have good luck with mine.

The small pots of clematis starters can be tricky. My best success has been to overwinter them in pots (perhaps one size larger)in our vegetable garden and allow their roots to grow for a year or even two years before putting them in their final location.

On a side note, for those who remember, I heard from Kaveh (clematisintegrifolia) yesterday.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 9:04AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hello all!

Another frosty morning here. I will pull out the rest of the lettuce, chard and beans today, and drag in the iron trellis' for painting over the winter. Yesterday I managed cut the lawn, collect the 4 o'clock seeds and pull the plants, and cleanup the area where my pond was in preparation for the men to move the deck steps. Little by little...

The carpets are dry and Adrian's floor is in! It looks great - I am SOOOOO pleased. The carpet that was in there was the "builder's special" and after five years was looking ratty.

Chelone, the grass in the juniper thing is the bane of my front garden - one of my least-liked chores is cleaning it out. And like Deanne, I get an itchy ugly rash from juniper, so I do the clean out in the fall when I can be comfortable in long sleeves and gloves. A chore I have not yet tackled this fall.

PM2: I live with my husband, adult son, and soon-to-be-seven year old grandson. I often refer to all three of them as the Phils: Sr., Intermediate, and Jr. when I am slightly unamused at some kind of behavior that I feel is less than civilised. Adrian is the grandson. Most of their Philistine behaviour is minor annoyances: tossing dirty clothes in the general direction of the laundry basket, but not making sure they actually land IN the basket; refusing to eat Swedish meatballs because here is pineapple juice in the gravy, silly little things like that. Just my way of getting these things out of my system. Things that normally occur when you live with somebody else. And yet, using the term Phils is sort of an affectionate thing for me...Of course, I NEVER do anything that is annoying to them *lol*

Marie, I hope all will be well for S & W - a mother's concern never goes away, does it. Those two deserve a break...

I am going to search for my photo of the squirrel inside the protective cage of the birdfeeder -




    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 9:19AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks G'bug....I am going to go for the Duchess and skip the Ville de Lyon bc I don't need something that is not sure fire. I would really just buy the one, except I have little else I want to order and I hate to order one of something being shipped. I will have to go back and peruse their site again. Thanks for the tip on how to manage the small pots. I like that idea and will probably do that when they get here. I will have a place where the basil is growing soon.

I am sure that S&W could benefit from just getting as far away as possible right now. Three weeks in a new environment is a nice amount of time too. I know nothing about Peru. [g] I always forget how early Canadian Thanksgiving comes. What are your plans?

Saucy...I am tired just hearing how much you manage to do! :-)

Julie....what a challenge to live with a household of testosterone! You are definitely outnumbered. Therefore it must be even nicer for you than most, to immerse yourself here in all this estrogen. :-) Would love to see that squirrel photo if you find it.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 9:50AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - you sure have a well travelled family! We'll hold best wishes in our hearts for your travellers to Peru.... What's Kaveh up to?

Rain in the forecast here too for this afternoon. There was a beautiful 'red sky in the morning' when I got up. I'm glad we got the elephant ears out of their pots yesterday. Here's what the one in the front yard looked like just after we got it out of the pot:

It always looks smaller than I expect once it's out of the pot. I like the pink roots :-) We did the dismantling of that EE on the driveway (the other was on the patio in the backyard.) While sitting on the driveway separating the idividual EE 'bulbs', I noticed how colorful the pots of blueberries and strawberries were looking. They have more fall color than anything else in the yard at the moment!

Saucy - apple crisp was obvious the dessert of the day yesterday... I made it for dessert here yesterday and I was talking with a friend and she said she had made it for dessert too....

Chelone - I know what you mean about looking at anything stock market related at the moment! In my healthy days I worked for a major bank and a fair chunk of my assets is bank stock! It's been a rough ride the past week or so! I'm definitely feeling a little poorer these days... :-)

PM2 - Our town expects to lose most, if not all of the ash trees. I gather there are some possible treatments for individual threes - I'm not sure how effective they are or what they cost so will have to look into that - but it is not possible to treat forest trees. The trees I've been planting are smaller ornamental trees. They will provide a bit of shade for the woodland perennials but will never provide the sort of shade that the ash provides for the house. Over the past 5 years or so, in the backyard I've planted two white redbuds, a Cornus kousa dogwood and two Cornus florida ones and a serviceberry. They are all pretty small still - the first white redbud I planted is the biggest but still quite small - it shades the small bed it's in but nothing else. The young red oak that was here when we bought the place has grown substantially in the last two years and now shades most of the south half of the backyard. The ash shades the yard and house on the north and west sides. The white pines provide shade on the west too but they are on the edge of the property so don't shade the house and the beds closer to the house. I am strongly considering planting a Northern red oak as the ash replacement but it's going to be a bit difficult to figure out where to place it while the ash still survives. But I want to plant next spring so it'll have as much time as possible to grow before we lose the ash.

When Misty and I were walking this morning, Zoe's owner (Zoe is the nice rottweiller on the next street...) was just coming back from his morning bike ride. When he saw Misty and me coming, he let Zoe out of the backyard. Zoe came galloping happily across the lawn towards us. At that time of the morning, there's a fair bit of traffic on that street because there are two schools nearby and a lot of parents dropping off kids. There's a stop sign by Zoe's place and there were three cars just approaching the sign as Zoe came running towards us. I often wonder what it looks like to someone who doesn't know the people or dogs involved! It must look a bit scary to see this big rottweiller running at a small disabled woman with a walker and a 20lb. ball of fluff dog! Some people probably fear they're going to see a disaster unfold rather than happy greeting all round. A few years ago a new helper had started working for me in the fall. We were out on the front lawn planting bulbs and suddenly Hera (rottweiller x shepherd) bounced up to me, threw herself down and did the cuddle/slurpy dog-kiss thing :-) When I looked around to see where her owner was, his van was on the side of the road with the door open. He called Hera back and they drove off. I then noticed my new helper standing there looking scared and shocked. I said 'Oh, you don't have to worry about Hera, she's a real sweetie.' My helper said ' I though she was going to attack you - and what was I supposed to do?! I wondered what kind of person knows someone who sics a rottweiller on them!' I think she almost quit on the spot!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PM2, I worry about your health. Keep us posted on your doctor's appointment.

We plan on going to Toronto for turkey and companionship with friends on Sunday. DH leaves Monday for his conference. He didn't want to travel much this year, but was honoured as writing the most influential paper of the past 10 years, so must give an update on his activities.

With everyone in the family being in a different foreign land, a part of me wants to be with each of them. Yet, home alone (with Phoebe and the three cats) sounds good too.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:02AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, DSIL is a peace officer among other things and carries a gun for his work. The only time he had to use it was when a fool unleashed his dogs on him. He threatened to shoot them and the owner backed down. So there ARE sick folk out we all know.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:12AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well we didn't get a frost again last night and the temps are supposed to be over 40's at night for the next ten days so I've got another reprieve. I still haven't cut back even one fuchsia yet. They look so great right now I'm going to put it off as long as possible. Today is going to be another lovely day so I'm hoping to be able to get another ten to twenty pots decanted. I noticed that I heard Juncos in the hemlock hedge this morning but I've not seen them yet. So the 'snow birds' have returned to their southern wintering over digs. I guess I'd better start getting my bird feeders out too.

Even though we've not gotten a frost many of the coleus are looking pretty bedraggled and have leaves falling off. They just don't like to be cold. The White Pines are getting ready to shed needles and are all looking yellow at the moment. The maples are turning yellow and the dogwood has lost half its leaves. The seasons are well and truly turned.

Saucy, I LOL over your not turning the heat on. WE do the same thing but never even consider going as long as Thanksgiving! That's just cruel.te he... Once the indoor temps get below 58 or so we give in a turn it on but so far we've not touched the thermostat. I'm going to ask Doug to get the AC covers on the outdoor units today before the pines lose all those needles and require additional cleanup time before putting the covers on.

Woody, how do you store your EE tubers? I just stuck the whole pot in the basement last year and was considering doing the same thing again. I was surprised that it came back because it was outside for a couple hard frosts and I put it in the basement as an afterthought. They are pretty tough customers. I'm going to get the variegated one in soon because I don't think the Alocasias are as hardy. I've never been able to get a Black Magic through winter either but I"ve got a couple large ones that I'm going to try again. ~~ LOL about the dogs running at you and the reactions of people who don't know you.

PM2, I've had a lovely Ville de Lyon here for six or seven years now and it's proven to be a reliable and lovely bloomer for me.

Julie, glad to hear the floors are looking great and that the carpet is finally dry. How long did that take to dry? I was thinking of having my dining/family room carpet professionally cleaned and it will be a pain if it takes days to dry.

Bug, love all the fabrics for the quilt. What a special memorial that's going to be. What are your plans for your Thanksgiving? Do you do the turkey thing?

Martie, lovely wagon of zinnias!

Chelone, I so know what you mean about wanting to throw up when viewing the quarterly statements. To avoid that exact reaction I've decided to become an ostrich for the time being. I can't do a thing about it so I'm just going to go on with daily life and worry about it later.

Kathy, did those plectranthus cuttings make it? I've got a few more here rooting in case those didn't do well.

V. I'm tapping my foot in impatience waiting to see your pics from your vacation.

OK I guess I'd better get off this computer.

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:34AM
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Good morning! A cool 38° again this a.m. I covered the remaining containers. All this covering and uncovering is what spurs me to really get into disassembling. They really do look pretty though.

In keeping with the current theme, my parents who love garage sales and who are always looking for things for my garden picked up a small decorative pillow recently which says something like "Its a law of nature that the more dirt that gets under the fingernails the higher the spirit soars" I put it on one of the chairs in the garden shed.

Last night was a lovely evening so I took the opportunity to lay some cardboard and mulch along the back of the butterfly garden. When I laid the bricks I need to make it slightly larger in some spots so there was grass that needed smothering. It gives it a nice neat look as well.

PM, Kenzie hasnt been to Disney yet her birthday is 11-8. My mom is 71 and has always been an adventurous soul. After all us kids were in school she went to work in their local bank and retired as a bank officer and insurance agent. I like the creamy center of Medicine Bow. I dont have the cold frame although I think about it, just not sure where to put it. I think Deanne has one. I have Ville de Lyon which has done quite well for me especially since it planted it at the base of a spruce and trained it up the trunk. It is a fabulous color. Nelly Moser puts on a stunning show for me. I also have a very young Claire de Lune but it hasnt done much yet.

DD took her laptop with built in webcam around their apt. so we could "see" where they are living. Kenzie was especially proud of her new room. She has her bed and all her toys back after living for several months in the furnished condo.

LOL, my best memory of 1st grade was wetting my pants because I was too afraid to interrupt Sr. Jean Ann while she was teaching reading to another group of kids. I guess we must have been reading in 1st grade.

Martie, I like the wagonful of zinneas. I didnt get any planted this year, other than the Green Envys, usually I have lots.

Saucy, do you make applesauce? I do it the easy way. Wash, quarter and remove the blossom end and stem. I leave the seeds in. Cook with a little water, add sugar and cinnamon to taste. When soft run through a colander and freeze in meal size bowls. We finished up our apple crisp yesterday.

bug, I hope the Peru trip is beneficial to Wayne & Sarah. Do they have a special reason for picking Peru?

Have a great day


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:14AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - I remove the EE form the pots, separate them into individual 'bulbs', remove all the soil from the 'bulbs' with a jet of water from the hose and then put them (with the leaves still attached) in the basement on a rack to dry. In late January I remove the dried leaves and start potting them up and getting them growing again. That way, by the time it's warm enough to pot them up outside in the spring they are already good-sized plants. I started a few years ago with two 'bulbs' and new have about 20.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all...
Our company have come and gone. They left over 2 and 1/2 hours ago, right after eating breakfast. I was sooo drowzy I tried taking a mid morning nap, but Nolon was coming in and out too much, and I gave it up.

I didn't have to worry about their being late to get to the GD class, yesterday. They arrived before the class started. Was so great to see them walking up to the building. They were well recieved, and Ray even led one of the songs. Judy rode home with me, and Ray followed. She and I yacked our heards off, then at our house the talk was non-stop, until I finally turned the TV on to the debate. We all hit the sacks before 10. A bunch of tired old fogies! LOL.

BTW, neither of them were fat, and Ray still had as much hair as when I last saw him. I believe I would have known them even if I hadn't been expecting them.

We spent part of the afternoon wandering around our yard, and out into our woods. It was a beautiful day.

I am wondering if the "green books" that were mentioned were the " Everyday Reading" by Pearson and Hunt? I have two of them...both the same, of the Book Three. I gave some of my children's books to the girls. I don't know why not those. They are too big for them now...I think.

Woody, my EEs are in such large containers, I would have to dig them out, and I don't think I am up to that chore. They are easily replaced, so that is what I will probably end up doing.

Back to our company...When I was bookkeeper at the store that Ray was managing, he and I would occasionally go to lunch together. Our favorite day was when the restaurant's special was New England Clam Chowder and Lemon Meringue Pie. That is what I served us all, yesterday eve. He said he didn't remember that...but I am not sure he wasn't teasing..... He seemed to enjoy it okay. :-)

Pm2, I like the Wale's pic. I think if I could ever visit a foreign country that would be one I would chose.

No frost here yet, but down in the 40s again last night. So I fired up the wood stove this morning.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:50AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Wow, on that Elephant Ears, Woody! lol I know my limits, I could not struggle with a plant that size in and out of the house. I will enjoy the photos from the Idyll gardens, instead. :-) So sorry to hear the town will lose all it's ash trees. So very sad. You are right on top of the situation though. I love red oaks.

Thanks for the funny visuals of your doggy story this morning. I've listened to how you often try to think what the dog is thinking and they must feel understood and not a surprise in the least, that they see you as their best friend. Of course, home made biscuits don't hurt either. [g]

We have had small experience with a similar situation. A family member had a 15 yr old Doberman and everyone in the family was suddenly working, so we took the Doberman to our house. We had a puppy given to us 6 months earlier. So we were a two dog family for awhile. The kids were young and we were in the habit of taking them on outings on the weekends. Both dogs were very obedient. The doberman had been raised in a farm environment with lots of small kids, cats, horses and other animals and was a 'love'. Instead of being aggressive as you would expect, she would come over and lay her head in your lap. [g] But a stranger would not know that about the dog. One weekend, we took the kids and both dogs on leashes through Faneuil Hall in Boston. It was like parting the Red Sea how the crowd cleared and made room for us as we were walking through. lol Just on the basis of reputation of the breed. Such a funny experience. The dog could be approached and petted and bumped into and never batted an eye and appreciated any and all attention and we made many attempts to encourage people to feel comfortable with her, which they did throughout the day. Our kids had a great day. We miss her.

GB....the Doc visit was to a Naturopath who is trying to help me increase my energy and stamina. Just starting to follow a treatment plan so too soon to see much in results. Congratulations on DH's success! What was the topic of his paper?

Deanne and Saucy, we play the 'heat game' in the fall too. [g] I bought a thick down comforter for my bed last year and that has made it easier to hold off on the heat. We also use hot socks this time of year.

Thanks for sharing all the clematis experiences. I am going to put an order in today before they sell out. possibility of you joining the Disney trip? When our oldest son was about 10, we took him with two of his cousins and my Mom to Disney. What a wonderful time we had. Later when the two youngest were small we all went again and both sets of grandparents came. Once in a lifetime memories.

Michelle...I wouldn't say that was your 'best memory' of first grade!! :-) The one you remember the best, unfortunately, those are the kind that stick with you. I attended a school for awhile with a French order of nuns and I remember being sat in the hall for the whole class without my shoes on, because the sister was unhappy that I had taken my feet out of my loafers under my chair. It had to be fourth or fifth grade though. Our order of sisters were really pretty good for the most part compared to friends I had that went to a different school and received rulers across the knuckles frequently from sisters that ruled with an iron fist. Sisters can be pretty intimidating to little kids. My favorite memory of a teacher was the music teacher in this school. She looked just like Santa Claus's wife. Rosy cheeks, a little plump, small glasses and a perpetual smile on her face. She was just full of joy every day and made everyone around her happy just to be with her.

Okay....time to stop It's been fun! Enjoy the day ladies! :-)


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 12:14PM
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I remember a boy in Kindergarten, who wore overalls to school (I remember thinking that overalls weren't school wear) and on our first day in phys. ed., we were made to do jumping jacks. When he jumped up, his giant overalls came unclipped, or maybe just the straps slipped from his shoulders, but his pants fell completely to the floor. He was wearing nothing but his white undershirt and his white-y tighties :)

I remember feeling really awful for him. I wonder how his life has turned out? I hope that he moved on quickly from that day.....

I don't, however, remember learning to read!

Glad you had a good time with your company, Marian! They sound like good friends.

Better get back to work....


    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 12:33PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

For PM2:

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 8:59PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi all: sitting here practising photo stuff -

Meet the Phils:

This photo is a little old, but you get the picture! "Get the Picture"? hahahahaha! Sorry. Couldn't help it.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 9:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Julie, maybe he'll eat so much he won't be able to get out!
And as grandfather said in Peter and the Wolf, "What would you do then?"

About reading, I remember not being able to read. It really disturbed me and I tried very hard to rotate a book, look at it closer and farther, and still could not decipher the code. My sister and brother were no use in helping me, and Mom felt it was bad to teach reading at home and that only teachers knew how to do it properly.
Later I recall Dick & Jane books and thought they were stupid and boring. The family bore no resemblance to mine. I learned to read quickly, but didn't understand that reading for content was important. So I was the fastest reader in my 1st grade class, and it was only in highschool that they realized that I needed remedial work so that I could read for content. And this problem was conquered rapidly. In third grade I learned to read French. Later I was a remedial reading teacher, a literacy instructor and so on. It was also only in late highschool that I grew to actually enjoy reading. I saw others carrying books around for the fun of it...and that intrigued me. My parents read too of course, but they were different and that didn't motivate me.

Today Sarah mentioned that a large sum was donated by a garden forum to the North Country Fair. We do not know which one, but if you are one of the culprits, please know how meaningful and appreciated this is. Every card and kind thought has been a bonus on this journey for us.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 9:31PM
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What a lot of interesting chit chat on the Idylls today#404 already has 17 posts as I begin this. Beautiful weather here, but I remain stuck in the awfice for a couple more days. Hoping that my visit to our upvalley garden center tomorrow will provide the opportunity for more pansy purchases. No baseball till tomorrow, and the closet Philly fans at my place of employment are now outing themselves to me.

Martie, I agree with our Idyll pals who have mentioned it- you seem so energized and upbeat since your procedure..clearly you made the right choice. What variety of Zinnia do you have there ? Are they Cut and Come Again? I would love seeds of those if that is the case. Ill put my office coffee up against anyones-we have a French press !

Saucy, I think class was your venue for the older gardener discussion. What is that saying"Live as though you will die tomorrow, garden as though you will live forever."
When I was in 4th grade Sister Ann Roberta dumped my desk out in the aisle and basically publicly humiliated me in front of class , ( Ok so I was a slob and my crayons had come in contact with the front of my prayer book ) and after all these years I still hold ill feelings.I guess its a Catholic Kid thing.

Marian, Im so happy for you that your visit was such fun. One never knows what to expect with folks you have not seen for many years. Bet you had the dishes done !

Deanne, the Plectranthus are doing splendidly thus far ! They reside in the greenhouse window and are enjoying the mild fall temps.

All for now

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 9:51PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks Julie...perfect photo. I think the holes in our feeder are even smaller than yours and they still got in. You ought to send that photo to the manufacturer of the bird feeder. [g]

Isn't that great you had such a great visit, Marian! I did refresh before posting the last time but still didn't see your post. Hope you get some rest tonight.

Ordered three clematis from Bluestone today...Duchess, Ville and Claire. :-)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Class was on meadow or prarie gardens and I couldn't help but kick myself the entire class for not making it out to V.'s for IU. Anyway, we did a discussion on what it what take to create a meadow in New England, and I wondered (the entire class) why anyone would want to attempt this here if it's going to always be a fight against the woodland creeping in?

Then it dawned on me that my perennial gardens are actually the same sort of idea, and I don't mind tending it :)

My bulb garden was a hit, but so were everyone elses! I can't tell you how many ideas people came up with to get their points across (our first assignments just had to be plan view, as if you were a bird overhead). I must say that I did have the best color scheme, if I do say so myself, and that was part of the assignment!

My next assignment: Produce a garden in Traditional long border style - assume a model with a minimum of 150 sq. ft. and 20 named plants.


That is what I said until I sat down with the bulb catalog. And then you have to try to draw shapes of plants...

Anyway, in other exciting news: after two frosty nights, the bees decided it was time to kick the drones out (honestly, all I could think of was Julie and her Phils)...the drones are the only males in the hive, and their only job is to you don't need them over the winter, and all they do is lay around in their lazy boy.....oh the females carry them out by the wings and then stand guard and don't let them back in. The drones eventually starve to death. Such is life in the bee hive. Ahh, Eutopia!

Friday is bee day....I promise pictures! So close your eyes if you're sick of my bees....or me.

Okay, time to get some breakfast in Sarah!


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 7:06AM
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No frost but drizzle this morning and I'd rather crawl back into bed than do anything else, but onward we go!

Yes, Kathy and others. Since my procedure life has taken a decidedly positive turn in all the really important ways. I only wish I hadn't been stubborn and continually second-guessed medical advice from professionals I trust. The last several years would've been very different.... That said, it was the right choice for me at the best possible time, and the cool thing is that there is a right choice for almost everyone, including those that may be different from what I did.

The zinnias are Country Fair -- the precursor to Cut and Come Again. A bit smaller in bloom but the colorations are more varied and they stay upright. No mildew. I'll save seeds.

Blasting off, so to speak, and will read from top to bottom later today. I've missed my daily Idyll time!


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 7:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is 7:47...and S&W should be at the airport, on their way to Mexico City. Last night after dark we spoke and she asked where to plant her erythronium bulbs which arrived yesterday. The ground will be frozen solid there when they return in 3 weeks...You will no doubt be seeing lots of me here as I will be most anxious about them during that time.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 7:53AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

I don't have much time this AM but just wanted to pop in and say HI. Doug and I are heading north to the White Mountains and are going to take a walk through the Flume Gorge. The color should be perfect up there today. I'm bringing the camera equipment with me so will have some images to share later on.

Kathy, glad to hear those plectranthus are doing well. You are going to love that plant. It's a beauty

Julie, great pic of the phils and what a hoot about that squirrel in the feeder.

Saucy, looking forward to the bee pics. Sounds like you are really enjoying your class.

Woody, thanks for the info about how you deal with your EE's.

Michelle, I've been given dispensation from the 'lawn man' here to take a bit more of the front lawn so I'll be doing the cardboard thing soon myself. Do you have any other pics of that gorgeous arrangement by your potting shed? I'd love to see a few more photos of that.

OK I've got to run and get dressed and out of the house. Have a great day everyone.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 8:04AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a quick fly-by howdy to everyone. We've got a guy coming to talk to us about the cost of installing an irrigation pivot. I'm kind of on the fence about it, but I'm interested to hear some details.
Apple crisp, apple pie, BUTTER! It's been several years since I've been over-burdened with apples, but I used to make a lot of apple butter. I had found a recipe that used Apple Schnapps. I didn't have any, so I substituted Amaretto, and a fabulous new recipe was born :) Okay, quit that, I'm making myself hungry. I'm trying to behave so I lose the rest of my weight by DD's wedding next Sept.
There's a whirlwind of activity on the farm, so I'll have to catch up later, but hi to one and all!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 10:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

An Idyll wedding to anticipate next September! I love these shared events...Remember Ei's son's wedding? Mr Baby? IUs too. Next, Eden's newest grandchild! Even anticipating curvy borders, ski holidays, bee photos and next spring's bulbs is important to me these days.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 10:28AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Okay, irrigation guy is WAY boring, so....
I'm gonna be a GRANDMA! As I live on a steady diet of irony, it's not the one getting married. DS came over night before last and told me. Not intentional, but he is over the moon about it. He and his GF have been together about two years, and she's a sweetheart. Right now, I'm trying to digest the news, going between hopping up and down to being a nervous wreck. The baby is due in June. That works out well, I'll be out of the field in time to make myself a pain in the neck ;)
Grrr, now the guys are asking me for numbers..gotta go!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 11:01AM
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Congratulations Grandma! I know you've been wanting to join the Granny Club.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 11:34AM
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Congratulations Brenda! You'll love being a grandma. Now we have Idyll baby arrivals to look forward to in April (ours in due April 13), May and June. Looks to be shaping up to be a great spring.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 11:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I know many are far more interested in the rebirth of spring than in babies, but Brenda, you've got to know where I sit on this issue. Our spring baby is so very important to us all, though terrifying to the parents at the moment. There is time for us all to prepare ourselves! Congratulations Brenda!

A steady diet of irony is normal, isn't it? I think so.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 11:56AM
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Yippee Brenda!

You know, I spent a fair amount of time looking up the irrigation pivot (interesting reading, actually), but the other news needs no googling, LOL!



    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 12:05PM
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More babies? the only thing worse would be more puppies... ;)

It was glorious here today, you guys. I tried to get some foliage shots for you, but the battery in my camera was exhausted. Tomorrow is supposed to be a repeat of today so maybe I'll get out early and take some. The Flume gorge is just beautiful, you will be in for a real treat when Deanne posts her usual magnificent shots. I'm marvelling at the mosquitos that are still flying bloodsucking reconnaissance trips over the Compound. We've yet to have a frost and all the rain has given them a second shot at making us miserable.

I wore gloves while I weeded the grass out of the Blue Rug and suffered no rash or other ill effects. Interesting that some of you are bothered by junipers. The Magnolia is looking really good, the interior leaves are beginning to yellow and drop off, but it's that time of year and I don't think there is any cause for alarm. There certainly has been no lack of water! I have several very nice clumps of Asters thanks to Wendy (I think of you every time I see them).

And for another year I'm kicking myself for not buying any bulbs. I never have it together enough to order the more interesting varieties in the summer and wind up buying the 6/bag common ones. :( Someone remind me of this oversight next year, OK?

The "green books" are a family treasure. It's effectively an encyclopaedia for children of all ages. There are several volumes of literature, beautifully illusttrated and another of crafts, puzzles, etc.. I don't know how many books there are in set, I only have one of them here in this house. This is from the frontispiece: "The Home University Bookshelf, prepared under the supervision of The Editorial board of the University Society, inc.". They were printed in New York in 1927 and were purchased by my maternal great-aunts for Mum, her sister, and her brother. They grew up reading them and when my brother was born they were moved to our home, where they provided countless hours of reading and overall entertainment. They must have been very nice quality because they've survived 80 yrs. of use with minimal damage to the bindings! I learned to read with "Tip and Mitten", not Dick and Jane. My first grade teacher was also a reading tutor (she tutored my next door neighbor who had terrible trouble reading), she taught reading using PHONICS, the emphasis on letters and the sound(s) they represent. "Take your time, sound out the word; one letter at a time...". And lots of reading aloud.

Exciting news of your class, Saucy! are you going to put your plan up for us to see? It's hard to put together a good planting, some things just work right out but then are other things that present more of a challenge. Sometimes it's hard to think "outside the box" and see what could be instead of simply what IS.

I have to reread for comprehension... but right now I want to retire to my bed, finish The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and then move on to my book until the lids grow too heavy to defy gravity.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 7:19PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Congratulations Brenda! I wonder if you will be able to sleep tonight? How exciting that there are so many new Idyll babies due in the spring!

Julie...great photo of the 'Phils'. Now I have faces to go with the names. Very handsome menfolk. :-)

Saucy...enjoying your tales of class and interested to hear more on the bees. I would have loved prairie/meadow discussion. Have you ever seen the book Meadows by Christopher Lloyd? One of my favorites.

Chelone....very vivid color on that aster. DH also gets a skin reaction to Junipers. Your 'Blue Rug' looks very pretty with that aster.

Good luck tonight Kathy and V!

Last of the Wales photo series....

Seen from a rocky hilltop, low cliffs frame Whitesands Beach on the West Pembrokeshire coast in Wales. Situated west of England on the island of Great Britain, Wales has 750 miles (1,207 kilometers) of coastline along the Irish Sea, a mountainous interior, and breathtaking pastoral beauty. Comparable in size to Massachusetts, Wales is a regionally diverse land rich in Celtic history.
Photograph by Jim Richardson

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 8:47PM
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Hi Idylls...Just a brief hello here, I'm sitting in my chair watching the Dodgers/Phillies in game one of the NLCS .I had to water today..this beautiful weather we are having is sure enjoyable, but it is just so dry, the containers are wilto-tilto every day when I come home.

PM, I'm afraid poor V's team was eliminated in the last go round , unless she has decided to root for the Phillies !

Julie, your squirrel must be particularly svelte- and the Phils look fairly presentable (for Phils) .I hope that blue thingy behind them is not a porta-potty in your garden.

Saucy, your class assignment for the long borders sounds really fun ! We will need a full description.

Brenda, be advised that babies drool. And spit up too. But congrats anyway!

Ok, gotta go... baseball calls.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 9:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today's plan is for garden work, banking and washing the car. We'll see how it turns out though. It seems to be dangerous to plan too much as something always interferes.

Someone asked about DH's presentation in Antwerp. Well you'll be thrilled to know it is on software reverse engineering. Need I say more?

Today our virtual friend expects to begin the cutting of quilt pieces. A very exciting stage. If things work out well with her schedule, the entire project will be completed by month's end! It will be used as a wall hanging I believe.

I need a team of Molly Maids around here. Or Julie perhaps! Somehow it is not top priority though...

One more day until the weekend ladies...and the weather here is fantastic!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 5:37AM
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PM, that's Juniperus squamata "Blue Star" in the foreground of the shot with Wendy's Aster, not Blue Rug. BR is much larger and much more prostrate. Blue Star is a favorite of mine, I love the color and the dense,mounded character of it, mine is 4-5'wide and is about 15" tall, and I have another that is really puny now. I love the groundcover evergreens but it's an affection that has gradually grown on me over the years. I added them with more a sense of obligation than much understanding of how useful they would prove over time. I found it very difficult to picture the splendor of a mature specimen when I plunked the little guys into the soil. Winters here can be snowless and they really come into their own when the herbaceous stuff is dormant or just emerging in early spring.

'bug, I don't believe I've ever washed a car. I'm serious. I buy "junks", maintain them until they are pretty well "used up" and then they go to the salvage yard and I buy another one of similar ilk. My present "sled" is the most expensive car I've ever purchased... $5K, lol. Not much of an "American", huh? :)

I had my hair cut yesterday. I was 2 wks. overdue and was feeling decidedly unkempt, though the cut was still manageable and grew out beautifully, remaining stylish. I plunked myself into the chair and requested that she cut it "high and tight" around my ears, and other than that to just "go for it". She finished it and a number of the other ladies remarked that it looked great, so nice in fact, that "my" hairdresser asked if I'd mind if she had her hair cut the same way! (like I'd care?). Feeling less a "drudge" today as a result, which is a good thing.

Exciting news on the quilt, it's the time of year to do things like that and something so meaningful, too. Any chance you could share a picture of the lion plates, 'bug, or is it hard to have them out just yet? :(

Kathy, helpmeet tells me that the the Phillys won last night. The Sox take the field against Tampa Bay this evening, and I believe (from what the helpmeet has shared) that they'll have their hands full. They didn't fare very well against them in the regular season.

Meant to tell Michelle that she crossed my mind last week when I made my once yearly trip to Wally World. I've found that WW has proven to be the mecca for simulated fruit and I go each fall to stock up for Christmas decorations. I splurged and purchased a number of small gourds in oranges and russets, colors that will show up nicely on a background of evergreens. I was disappointed that there were no pomegranates; they are elusive as are properly sized pineapples. I kept picturing your lovely dried arrangement, and kicking myself for not picking cattails in late July and giving them a coat of lacquer.

Now it's time to do a JulieJob (dishes, laundry sorting, you know...).

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 6:43AM
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WAAAHOOO to Brenda and enthusiastic DS and darling DSGF!! Idyll group 2030 is getting larger every day! With Bella and Kenzie and Ei's boys and Saucy's Sarah at the helm, it'll be interesting reading in 22 or so years :-)

The quilt process has been really interesting for me to follow, Marie, and I'm so glad you continue to share progress. I just don't have the finite skills to accomplish a quilt and I'm in total awe of people who do. The fabrics are wonderful (I Do know a little about fabric ;-) and the end result will be warm in all ways.

Good News from a really lousy situation: The docs have been able to identify the reason for DSD and DSiL's miscarraige. Corrective measures are in the works. We all hope to be added to the "baby on the way" list soon. As I told my Dear Ones: practice, practice, practice!!!!! LOL

Kyle told me Wales was amazing, PM2, and know I know what he means.

Truly envious of Aster owners who get them to grow. Even when I get new plants they just sit there and dud out. What am I missing??

Get to be on the road for a bit today, though wish I was heading out to meet Deanne and Chelone and Saucy. Their colors are reportedly phenomenal this year. We'll have to wait about a week for our share of the beauty.

Great weather for the weekend predicted. Lots of yanking and cutting and dried stuff arranging on the list along with Julie Jobs that won't seem quite so bad when I can think "when I'm done scrubbing this bathroom I can go divide and conquer the Siberian Iris!!!"

Sorry, Kath, about your Dodgers last night. The Red Sox begin with the Rays tonight and though I haven't followed the season closely, it should be a fireworks series. My GF who is an avid Rays fan from Citrus County, FL have wagered a case of Florida oranges vs. a case of Connecticut apples. That is, if we're still speaking after this is all over, BIG LOL!!!!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!


    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 7:05AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good morning all! Gee, I thought I was an early riser but Marie and Chelone have me beat!

Deanne, I meant to answer your questions ealier: No, I usually don't have mite problems on the hibiscus in the house, but I keep my spray bottle of that homemade stuff handy and gently mist every week. I have few plants, other than the orchids, in the house so it's not too onerous a chore.

As for the carpets: We had them shampoo'd on Monday morning and they were fine by Tuesday night. The cleaner told us that he used a lot of water to extract everything (I wonder if he was commenting on my housekeeping???) so they would take a bit longer than usual to dry. Also these carpets are in the basement so it might have been a bit damper anyway. You would likely only have to wait a day for drying....

DD, thank you for the Porta Potty comment -ha ha - it is actually a swing set, that we don't have anymore. We replaced it with a small pool for Adrian. Maybe when he outgrows the pool we will consider the PP *LOL*

And Marie, I didn't laugh about the fat squirrel comment as that is EXACTLY what crossed my mind when I saw that little monster. What the heck would I do if he couldn't get out???? And software reverse engineering. Oh yes. And I have trouble just posting photos....

We put everything back into Adrian's room yesterday and DS is thinking of doing the bigger room this week-end. Probably a good thing as I intend to be busy doing the big dinner thing on Monday. DH has the steps off the deck now, a dangerous situation that cannot be left, so he will be out there today. All of this means that I must start moving stuff out of the bedroom, buy the Thanksgiving dinner groceries, and dig out and replant the Hellebores and primroses that are currently beside the deck steps.

I haven't managed any "JulieJobs" all week.

Wow, lots of activity on the wedding-and-baby front. Who was it that said we need more puppies??? After yesterday's exercise of cliiping toenails and bathing Jaxie, it won't be me!!

Better be off - it's a school day!



    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 7:18AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Brenda - exciting times there...!

It was a beautiful day here yesterday and the forecast is for quite a few more days like it - Indian summer has arrived I think. But the increasingly short days are really getting to me this year and I'm feeling very tired and apathetic. The erythronium and single peony that arrived on Tuesday didn't get planted yesterday so I need to get off my butt and get them in the ground today.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 7:22AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Well we're back in a warm, sunny weather pattern again. Still no frost here and none in sight. Some of my containers still look fantastic but I need to start breaking them down if I even want to have a shot at keeping up with the fall garden chores this year. Last night I walked for over an hour around town and it was just beautiful. More of the same through Sunday. I'll take it. Now if it would only stay light out past 6:30...

This has been another one of those weeks where I can't figure out where the time went. Yesterday I got an e-mail from the people who rented me the cottage a couple of months ago. They are starting to reserve for next year. I booked it again for August 15-22. Mark your calendars, it will be here before you know

OK, in keeping with the theme of the week, work is crazy so I'd better get cracking.

Later gators,


    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 7:39AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Aesop plates...a very special gift.

As to the car wash Chelone, my car is NEW (over 5 years new that is) and it is my very first car of my own. I'd like to keep it happy and clean. I'd even like to keep a vase in it! ;) Maybe a toy lion instead. When I met DH, $200 was the most he had ever spent on a car. In highschool years he had a '28 Model A and worked on rebuilding it. DS has never spent more that $1 for a car...That certainly does not include maintenance or parking fees though. Basically, he hates cars and uses a bike most of the time. DD drives a used Echo, like me. Not a new or flashy car in the whole family. Well, I guess mine is the flashiest, being bright RED.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 9:00AM
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Good morning.

I am taking the day off from the gym. It's a half school day here and I'm all geared up for beekeeping and garden help. Jake's gonna help me gather and shred leaves, I'm sure Sarah will find a way to watch us work, lol!

GB, your plates are very pretty. They will compliment your beautiful meals.

Julie, it was nice to see your family/phils :) The squirrels here are busy planting black walnuts in all my pots and all over the lawn....

I guess I'm going to get outside and get this weekend started!


    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 9:40AM
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Good morning all! I'm letting Idyll 403 load while reading the shorter and more current 404. I still have the end half of 402 to catch up on also, I think. :o\ Amazing how fast I can fall behind.

Life is moving along at warp speed here. I had the twins yesterday, overnight and they'll be here today, too. Other things going on that has me cranky, witch-y, and feeling mean hearted so I'll not say more about my life right now.

I do see in this Idyll that Brenda is going to join the grandma ranks. :o) Congratulations!

I hope S & W have a safe and enjoyable trip. I was surprised that V is already back (I was thinking the return date was the day she was leaving). I hope your time was enjoyable (still waiting for the page to load).

Twins have colds and short tempers. There have been many tears welling up in eyes and some of those tears haven't been the two year olds'.....'nuff said.

We're suppose to have a dry weekend and I'm hoping to spend some time planting some bulbs. The summer projects are winding up, there is only about 2' of the peak to finish siding and although the shingle shape isn't what I would have chosen (it doesn't match the front of the house but it is what DH wanted), I am very thankful to have the job (almost) completed.

Well, twin #2 is awake so I'd better go get him and begin the day.....

Hope all are well in Idyll-land....

cranky T.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 10:29AM
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Hi cranky T, nice to see you check in. I know what you mean about being thankful that things are nearly completed, lol. Proper weather and temperatures for fibreglassing are dwindling and the deck is as yet incomplete. ;) Hang tough, read the Idyll and you're guaranteed a smile or a chuckle.

It's beautiful today, warm and breezy. I'm in for a weewee, and a piece of reheated pizza, before heading back outside. I've been working on the two beds under the pergola. One is cleaned and planted, providing refuge for some of the tortured inmates of the pot ghetto. The other needs to be thinned of Dicentra spectabilis (there have to be at 5 big plants) and Echinacea. The clematis deserves a little room to breath. And then we'll see what we want to keep in there for next year.

Time to get crackin' and then go to the post office for stamps. Later!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 12:40PM
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I'm giddy over playing out of doors all day.

I made a decision about the hideous hedge between me and the foreclosed neighbor. I'm declaring it needing to be revamped, and I took on that project today. Honestly, it has to belong to this property, because it matched the hedge (that I ripped out) across the front....but I've been willing to call it someone else's to make it "not my problem" and because I had property line issues with the last neighbor....well, today I took charge :P

And I made a bittersweet and grapevine wreath for my efforts, lol.

And by lunchtime I was in the beehive:

Looking down into the hive, you're seeing the bees tending the honey (I love this picture!):

and I spilled a drop of honey....look, you can see their tongues!!! Now I'm not sure tongue is the correct word and feel the need to read more bee books:

I'm beat and need to pace myself for this long beautiful weekend.....

(oh, BTW, the bees have made enough honey for winter!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 7:25PM
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Hello everyone

Some birthdays have passed and I'm very remiss but will find something belated later. Happy Belated Birthday ladies!!

Saucy - how cool to see the bees and congratulations to Brenda - Woo Hoo!!

GB - those are beautiful and meaningful plates I'm sure you will treasure forever.

I been feeling swamped here but wanted to peek in to say HI. My regular job is up and running and keeping me hopping, plus I'm wrapping up details on the large house/garden/grotto project and one other smaller garden job. The big garden job has had it's share of stresses but both the builder and hardscaper have asked for my card and would like me to work with them again. The owners are also planning an open house and asked if I would like to be there to talk about my work so I guess things turned out OK. Perhaps I can stop worrying now - I just need to tell by subconscious. Last night I dreamt the owner had yanked out all my plantings and put in a rectangular vegetable garden instead LOL!! It was such a very detailed dream, I could tell you the variety of lettuce even.

When I haven't been working, the children's activities and the bathroom reno have taken up most of my free time. The little bit I do grab at the end of the day has found me addicted to knitting dishcloths - I think they will be this year's Christmas present. I just finished a series with dragonflies and am about to start a lime green one with a tree frog for DS (sister) who collects frogs.

Like Saucy, I got to be outside most of today. Even though it was work it had to be one of the most beautiful days of the fall and I loved every minute. On my way home I found a granite fabricator who will drill a two inch hole in the granite tile for the bathroom counter's faucet and sink. I just have to cut the backer board now before I tile which could be a test of strength. Something I'm leaving till tomorrow. The whole bathroom project is moving along at snails pace, but I'm hoping as long as some progress is being made it will get there in the end.

David is at a concert tonight with a friend and Annie and I just got back from a girl's night at the movies. We were planning to see "The Duchesss" but goofed on looking up the times, arriving to find it had stared 30 minutes earlier. Instead we saw "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" which was a fun Indie movie that Annie loved. Poor DH is having the worse evening - stuck on a plane and unable to get home tonight:0(

Hope you all have a good evening.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 8:32PM
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I'm sorry that DH is having travel troubles, Mary....I hope you two connect tonight.

On tomorrow's menu: Apple Turnovers.

'night all.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 9:06PM
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So nice to have visit with my Idyll friends this evening-what a week we had at work; yet another round of layoffs to prepare for keeping the company profitable for winter. We only lost one person from our dept, but was a key employee. Unfortunately every division was asked to take a hit . Anyway, I knew all this was coming down but my staff and some of the co-workers did not, so there was a lot of damage control today and not much productivity. I got to come home and watch the Dodgers lose !
Next week we re-group and figure out how to distribute the work load.

Suddenly we have nighttime temps predicted into the mid-30s with patchy frost ---So, I guess this weekend will be begonia moving time. I was hoping for another few weeks. The grape harvest is not quite finished either so that is not good.

Chelone, what do you mean you never wash your car ?? How can you see out the windows ? Of course I should talk, my car looks horrid right now. This definitely falls into the Julie Job classification. I was surprised by your comment about snowless winters there- your maritime climates on the Atlantic are so different from ours here, but we never have snow on the coast , and rarely frost . It also does not really get too hot at the coast unless you get much further south.. Baja California for example , where the ocean meets the desert. Of course, as you know this is all speculation as California does not in fact actually exist !

Saucy, the bee shots are terrific !

So nice to see T drop in , cranky or not. This is the Crankiness Diffusion Zone right here T (not to be confused with the Twilight Zone) and I find it to be effective much of the time !

Mary, will you also knit lime green winter undies ?

Love your plates bug ..Im always partial to blue and white.

Hi Martie ! Im in for seeds of Country Fair when the time comes.

Thats about all I can muster tonight, Im going to go hike the Flume Gorge with Deanne and Doug, after I change into a warmer shirt. :-(

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 9:19PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - those are beautiful plates! I've not seen that pattern before. I've always loved the blue willow plates and those looks like they come from the same era.

Saucy - Great bee photos. I'd vote to leave them their honey for the first winter....

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 9:21PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I sent Skyler this poem today. Do you know it?

Benjy met a bear.

The bear was bulgy.

The bulge was Benjy!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 9:54PM
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'bug! Mum used to recite that little ditty to my brother and me when we were little. She substituted "Algie" for Benjy, though. And she used to remind us that reciting little rhymes was good for our elocution, lol. Another favorite (for practicing rolling Rs) was this: "Rory get your dory, there's a herring in the bay.". Thanks for the smile.

The Aesop plates are beautiful. You have 8 of them? who makes them and how large are they? I love blue transferware, too. The "Green Books" (deserve proper noun status, I've decided) have the "The Story of the Willow Pattern Plate" retold by M. Alston Buckley in them. It's rather a tragic tale of love, but it was always one of our favorites when we'd sit and read together. I think of it whenever I see the familiar pattern or color scheme.

I vote the bees get the honey this year, too, Saucy. Think of it as an investment in your honey-making future. Or maybe a principle payment on a note... . Good move on the hedge; did you cut out the Bittersweet and the grape vines or have you cut down more the hedge (it's Privet, right?)? The helpmeet trimmed up our hedge last week and it looks much better, it was getting pretty straggley looking. Last year he really thinned it out and cut it way back in the spring. It's a big job and I've no doubt you're feeling virtuous. You are!

We get enough rain here to wash the big stuff off the car, Kathy. I scrub the windows when I fill the tank, about once a week. The interior gets a yearly once over, usually in preparation for an Idyll-union. I fear, though, some immediate intervention will be necessary to clean up the coffee (with cream) I spilt on the floor the other day. A closed car is often a hot car and the predictable outcome doesn't smell very good right now...

Mary, I'd be interested in seeing the BVM selected for the grotto if you could show us/link to it. I know you were hoping for something a little less "common" in form and I wonder if you were able to find something more "interesting" for your clients? I think it's great that you're developing a sideline in gardening. Such talent and creativity deserves to be "hired out". ;) Nothing of consequence has happened inside the "manor house" here on the Compound, though there are plenty of projects that need doin'.

I have a few "thisesandthats" to finish up on the 2 Pergola beds this morning then it'll be off to another neglected corner and I'm not sure which one it will be. My promise to myself is to make the best use of plant material I already have here and to move slowly and deliberately in planning the areas that are as yet in need of planting. It's not easy when so much is on sale! Like many of you, I was quite drunk on the lovely weather yesterday and suitably tuckered out when I'd finished working.

Marian, I meant to tell you I found the link on Hornets and Wasps very interesting. The picture of the nest in the Hydrangea standard is that of Baldfaced Hornets. I watched it for some time yesterday and didn't see any activity, so I knocked on the trunk... 2 or 3 "answered the door" and I backed slowly away, lol. We're pretty much a "live and let live" household, not getting too freaked out by hornets/wasps. We tend to take no prisoners when it comes to ground nesting Yellowjackets, though. They get a toxic eviction notice in short order since it's too easy to step in the nests. Nice that you had fun with your friends, too. Isn't it fun to see how friends change with time? I love seeing the changes in faces and hair color the years bring. Mum used to say there is no need to fear ageing, just take care of yourself and let the chips fall where they may. (but I do miss my chesnut hair, ;) ).

Kathy, winter weather here is a crapshoot, dependant on the prevailing wind and ground temperatures. If it's out of the E/SE (off the water) any precipitation is generally rain. Out of the W/N/NE we can receive snow, and a lot of it. The record for the Compound is just over 20" in about 48 hrs., but that was a very unusual storm. I've said this a thousand times before, but it took me a long time to figure out how the "marine thing" factored into gardening seasons here. I'm getting better at tweaking plantings to capitalize on the subtleties of the micro-climate. That's the adventure for me. I have MANY questions for you about how to resuscitate my New Dawn rose. It needs very serious attention and if a year must be sacrificed for long term gain I'm OK with it.

Time for some breakfast, methinks.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 7:19AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It's going to be another gorgeous day here and is supposed to hit 70 degrees. No frost in sight yet either. The night temps are supposed to stay in the 40's and higher until the 20th of Oct! What a long run I'm having here with time for cleaning out the pots. The down side of this is my urgency to get the job done has waned with the higher temps and I really do need to finish up cleaning out the pots and putting the gardens to bed. The fuchsias are all looking pretty wonderful and it's always a wrench to cut all those flowers off but I guess its time. I've promised myself to get that done by the end of next week.

Chelone, sorry but I ROTFL over your spilling coffee in your car. I'm infamous for that. For a while I wasn't allowed any open beverage in a moving vehicle after I'd spilled a very large coffee into the dashboard of my last Suburban. It was pouring out in the cracks everywhere including around the steering wheel. Douglas was not amused. That car always smelled of coffee after that.

Kathy, so sorry for the difficulties at work. Layoffs are brutal. ~~ I can't believe you are going to be getting colder temps there than we are here. ~~~ BTW the lovely begonia cuttings you brought me at IU are finally getting some new growth. I have to confess that I almost lost them at one point this summer as I wasn't paying the best attention to the cuttings in the house. But the silver leaved one is finally putting on some new growth and the other is really starting to grow. I've got hopes for nice sized plants come next summer. It seems I'm now collecting begonias as well as coleus, abutilons and acalyphas.

Saucy, love, love, love the bee photos! HOw fun. Glad you are going to let them keep all their honey this year. That would be my vote as well.

Mary, do you have photos of your garden projects? Glad to know they were a success. ~~ It sounds like you've hit the ground running with the school season this year. How are your gardens doing?

Hi Cranky T! Nice to hear from you.

Bug, those plates are just lovely! What a special gift!

Sue, great to hear you are going to rent that cottage again. I've marked my calendar and will plan for a visit. Next year you'll have to kick me out of the guest room! LOL

Brenda, congrats on the good news!

Woody, I KNOW exactly what you mean. The shorter days leave me feeling tired most days and it happens to me every year. I'm going into hibernation. I find I sleep more hours this time of the year too.

Julie, thanks for the info. I really do need to have my family room carpet cleaned professionally. That floor takes a beating as its the most used room in the house and is our dining room too. I think I'll wait until after the hordes of people come for Thanksgiving dinner though. It is looking like there will be 24 or so for dinner again this year. Last year there was a problem with some spilled cranberry sauce. LOL I'd rather clean the carpet after than before the company in this instance.

Martie, I've no clue as to why you have trouble with asters. They are no fail plants here. I just dig and divide them in the spring and then prune them back a couple times to keep them low and bushy. ~~ you are right about the fall color, it's just gorgeous up here this year.

OK I've got to get my day started. Have a great weekend all,

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 8:32AM
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Algie met a bear.
And the bear met Algie.

The bear had a bulge.
And the bulge was Algie!

Guess we both need those toddler-proof "sippy cups", huh Deanne?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 9:01AM
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Nick is in the shower trying to feel better....I hate it when you have to try to feel good! He's got that gall bladder thing going on again (though I don't think it is that bad this time, and I am suspicious that it is a bug, cause I was feeling a little queazy myself)....anyway.....

Jake's outside raking up leaves at our neighbor's for shredding. He's excited to use the chipper/shredder....something about boys and their toys. I won't enjoy the noise, but the end product will be nice for making lasagna gardens.

Chelone, the real reason behind the hedge clean out is that I finally see it for the valuable resource that it is....and it fits into my new long border assignment for class, lol. I'm going through it, cutting all the grape vine and bittersweet to the ground and then coating the stump with Brush Be Gone. I'll leave the privet tall until spring because my neighbor's house is so white that it casts a funky light into my house without the hedge. Does that make sense?

The bees were so gently that I worked them with no veil or gloves, but my neighbor's bees were feisty, and when I bent down to smoke the entrance, a bee got trapped in an...ahem....delicate area, and I took a hit, LOL! My inner thigh has a giant welp and it's painful.

Kathy, what a tough day at work....rough week, I'm guessing. I want some Country Fair zinnia seeds, too, and I forgot to say so! I think they would look cheery around the bee hive.

Gotta go help Jake. Later gators....


    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 10:16AM
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Good morning friends ! Its very windy here this morning it came up yesterday afternoon and has been gusting since. It blew my market umbrella over yesterday and snapped the trunk in half. Not fixable Im afraid. Fortunately the trusty employee discount comes into play and it wont be too expensive to replace. I can also take off the canopy and use it as a spare. There was also a smoky sky to the west, as this sort of dry wind in the fall before the rains come present a particular hazard for brush fires.

I hope to visit garden center today for more pansies, but this afternoon I will monitor the overnight predictions for temps and act according, and will start some coleus cuttings---clearly I am an amateur in the coleus dept compared with some however, lol.

Marie, thanks for sharing the interesting travelogue over-yonder

J.Job : Dusting the plantation shutters and vacuuming dead bugs out of the window sill corners.

Later !

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 11:46AM
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You mean cars can smell like something other than old spilled coffee???? The world has been holding out on me :-)

Much trouble getting motivated today. Food shopping is finished and a few loads of laundry are in progress, but darned if I can't just get moving and do stuff. So, will sit outside in the chaise and watch Rich mow the lawn while I say hello to all of you.

Bees are viewed a whole new way around here!! I find myself really watching them now, Saucy, and am beginning to understand feeding habits. My vote goes for honey in the hive for the winter, excepting maybe a spoonful to figure out how much lavender you'll need to plant next year ;-)

I've taken some cuttings of 'Grosso' for anyone who wants them ..... The Momma plants are all 3' wide and really full. They will need sun.

Saying that, Deanne seems to manage to baby her tender variety and have it grow so I won't preach about benign neglect. LOL

How have I missed those places in New Hampshire? Wrong thread but heartfelt thanks for the pics, Deanne. It's easy to forget the wonders we have within day driving distance.

I'll look forward to the pics, Marian.

Also have to comment for one moment on Julie's Phils: They are so obviously from the same family! All left shoulders droop slightly and the smiles are all the same shape. Very cool to "meet" them. They Look fairly harmless!! LOL

Kleenex moment for me when I looked at Marie's plates and raspberry tart immediately came to mind. Wishing you an especially peaceful Thanksgiving this year, Marie! I'm hopeful that somewhere in the chaos that must be your life right now there can be a moment when "all is well" for you on Monday.

And Happy Thanksgiving on Monday to Woody, Julie and all other northern continental friends!

More apple butter is making the house smell divine. I'm not bothering to can/process it since it disappears pretty quickly around here.

Elocution. The reminder that it exists is greatly appreciated, Chelone. Hopeful things are calming down for you?

PM2 -- We really hope you're feeling better, and stay feeling better so we can all meet at Logee's in January. My Camellia has no fewer than six huge buds on it. If it blooms for Christmas all be over the moon.

Sue hasn't had frost. None for Deanne, either. But The Park got toasted???? Non-protected valley living is a zone of its own.

Has anyone started Belamcanda chinensis from seed? They are great in the dried bouquet that is slowly growing in my dining room, but would love to plant some of them if they come true. Being a chinensis I think they might. Mary? Eden? Woody?

Mary -- You must be so proud of yourself and rightfully so!! Do you have cards? I'll need to get a pic of the Guara you sent to me. They stay upright here! Gotta love no staking.

Double wave and a whiff of apples to everyone :-)

I've meandered enough for now. With the hope that everyone is having a relaxed day...


    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 3:34PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Mary - put me on the list of people who would like to see pictures of the BVM project if you can share some. And it sounds like you've got some good connections going for a nice sideline business!

Martie - I've not tried those from seed. They sound interesting but I don't think I'm going to start much from seed next spring. I've really run out of room to plant things unless I rip something out. It was tough finding a place to plant the peaony root that arrived this week (I forgot I had ordered it!) and I want to plant at least one, maye two more Queen Elizabeth roses next year. I will have to evict more daisies and/or purple coneflowers to make room I think. I did collect a bunch of seeds from the pink Disco Belle hibiscus so if anybody would like some of those, let me know.

We will be having Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow at Randy's brother's place. That should be fun with Dexter running about (6 moth old Airedale). I think we'll leave Misty at home or else we'll spend the whole evening keeping the two of them under control! Cooking has started here - lemon loaf is cooking in the oven at the moment and I made the lemon curd sauce earlier this afternoon. Tomorrow I'm making yam crisp to take as well. It's very yummy (see recipe linked below).

On the learning-to-read issue - I don't remember learning to read but learned before starting school. We lived with Mom's parents when I was growing up and the evening activities, particularly in winter, usually involved everyone sitting around the table reading something. Grandma was usually knitting too. So, wanting to be like the grown-ups, I learned to read and knit too! I can't remember the name of them or the author but I remember reading a series of books where the main characters were animals. Not Beatrix Potter - the characters were more elaborate as I recall.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 4:18PM
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I know exactly what you mean about recognizing the value in a planting, Saucy. Getting rid of the grapes and Bittersweet will allow you use your newly discovered "backdrop" as well as decide if it needs to be rejuvenated over time. I thought of you repeatedly today as I was patiently relocating white Phlox and Echinacea, basically just swapping their positions in the Sanitary Ridge planting. Can't wait to see shots of your trellises.

Sorry about the Dodgers, Kathy. They're down 2 games now, aren't they? The helpmeet went next door to BIL's for the Red Sox game last night. He was home before it was over, but they won in spite of his desertion.

Did you really get a cold, hard, killing frost, Martie? We've had a few chilly mornings, but I don't think we've gone lower than 38/9 degrees. We can go until nearly the end October before getting one. Interesting.

The political telephone calls are in full swing. We've gotten to the point that we won't even pick up the 'phone until we are able to screen the caller. I'll be glad to see election day come and go! The other day I politely told the caller that 8 PM was my bedtime, lol. She probably had no idea I was telling the truth! :)

Rex and I have been working on the obedience stuff, too. I've been really "on his case" to "come" the instant I call, not after looking to see if I'm really serious. The helpmeet lets him get away with that one and it makes things more difficult in the long run. I keep little treats in my pocket to reinforce. I also keep a ball close by. He will do anything for the ball, lol. He will "sit" or "down" and not chase a thrown ball until I release him. I want him to pay more attention to me and take his cues from me, he's been allowed to make too many decisions for himself in recent months. And it has made him less fun to be around, at least to me. "When Mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy".

Interesting meal tonight; some sort of spicey red beans and rice pilaf, and omelletes with onions, peppers, and cheese. Salsa on the side. Quick and tastey. Now I'm ready to hit the sack and read/think about what to work on tomorrow.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 7:21PM
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Saturday afternoon beer, Bass Ale today, one of my faves but expensive so rarely bought-on sale at Whole Foods today for 7.49. More Iceland Poppies and orn kale were purchased today, to be installed tomorrow . There is a frost advisory for Southern Napa County tonight-Ill move the begonias next to the house and pull some of the succulents under cover. The beginning of the end I guess !

I almost bought a small fountain for the entry garden on Wednesday-I saw it at the garden center and then went into a meeting and when I went back it was gone. It would have only been 80 bucks , with pump and it was a perfect size- its been under a burlap mat the back of the nursery for months (I wouldnt be surprised if it was actually purchased by me ) so out of view of potential customers. I may order one next spring when we do our early season buy on that stuff. I would move a rose to make room for it, and its small enough easily transport when I depart this location.

Chelone, youve been quite industrious lately with all your flurry of shrub moving and bed cleaning. I always feel good about recycling existing plant material into new locations-most of the time for me it has improved the vigor of the plant involved, and if not at least I tried ! I dug up a lace cap Hydrangea today that I moved last year and has never recovered it looked dreadful all season and I finally gave up on it. Into the yard waste it goes. Assuming New Dawn is suitably hardy in zone (5?) I have found the best approach for climbers to be removing entire canes to the ground (the oldest) and leaving several of the healthiest at their full length and doing a very considered tie-down (or up if you will) approach . The idea is to train for laterals and the more horizontal the canes are, the more laterals you will have. Think of Woodys swag an excellent horizontal training device. She will no doubt have great input for the vagaries of your climate zone , especially in view of the fact that mine does not really exist

I have almost ruined at least three tops dribbleing coffee onto my bosom while driving a vehicle. I relate to all tales of woe in this arena. Nothing quite like going to a business meeting with brown splotches on your chest !

Deanne, glad to hear that the begonias made it through their rocky start ! I would gladly send more if they backslide. Im going to take several for the winter and will post the offerings to the Idylls.

I confess to a bit of a US-centric view of life when Julie mentioned buying her Thanksgiving groceries- I was taken aback , wondering why in h*%l she was shopping so early , and envisioning sprouting potatoes, a huge turkey taking up space in the freezer for weeks, and stale rolls. I soon realized my error with similar comments from bug and Woody.

Here are a few photos from our visit to the Renaissance Faire last weekendHope all the Idylls are enjoying their Saturday evening A special Hi to Cynthia ! We miss you !

The Queens Parade From NorCal Ren Faire '08

Swordfight between a memeber of the Scottish Hoardes and Sir Francis Drake-Sir Francis was of course the winner From NorCal Ren Faire '08

A Lady and her owl From NorCal Ren Faire '08

DS's fave, The Queen cleaning her teeth From NorCal Ren Faire '08

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 7:34PM
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Another special hi to Cynthia. I miss you too!

Chelone, I wonder if I were to keep treats in my pocket if it would aid in training Bella to come when I call? You and I have been doing the same work. I've almost succeeded in cleaning up all the gardens for winter. Tomorrow and Monday will be devoted to getting everything that needs to come inside in. I learned to read with Tip and Mitten too. Somewhere along the line I acquired a copy and was showing it to Bella just the other day. She's become really interested in knowing exactly where I am on a page when I'm reading to her these days.

Woody, I'll definitely try your recipe. Looks good!

Kathy, love the Queen shot, lol. I've grouped all of my collections in preparation for bringing them inside and the begonias are numbering around a dozen, maybe a few more, this year at my house.

Deanne, lol, on you having a begonia collection now too. I've got about a dozen different collections going. Let's see, off the top of my head, the salvias, the begonias, the abutilons, the succulents, the coleus, the bananas, even 3 fuchsias this year believe it on not. Yep, I'm going to try again with them.

I just got home from an emergency trip to Target. Bella had an 'accident'. The first time that's ever happened. I think she got too busy helping Brad set up the fish tank in prep for bring in the goldfish tomorrow. I didn't have any extra clothes here, so sat her bare bum on a towel, put in a Scoobydoo dvd, and was off to Target for Disney Princess panties and a pair of jeans. Now she NEEDS a peanut butter sandwich for a before bed snack.

Wine night too you know...thank goodness!


    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 8:19PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Ah yes, the coffee-in-the car-thing. For the first time in thirty years we have a car without coffee stains/smells. That's because we bought this vehicle when we moved here, into a town that has everything so not much long-distance driving is required; and since we figured out how much money Tim Hortons was getting from us and so we cut it out.

All of the Master bedroom furniture is out now, and it is all over the house. The carpets have been torn out and the new floor started. As a good deal of the Master stuff is now on Adrian's bed, and the Master bed is in several pieces around the living room, my main concern just now is "where will we all sleep tonight?". Not to worry. Adrian can sleep on the loveseat in the living room and DH and I can pull out the bed in the couch in the family room. and....well,( Inter Phil) Brendan's room is always a disaster so he is just fine....

It's Canadian Thanksgiving and the house is a shambles. I had contemplated inviting a few singles that I know to be alone this week end, but with eveything a mess, I have nowhere to seat them....

But the windows are clean and much of the garden work is done.

In trying to find my niche in this town, I have joined in a few things. I have decided that tomorrow I will tell the troops that the choir is not going to be my thing. The Hort. Society is fun, but I have not really connected there so much, but it is an outing once a month. I have decided to make the Museum garden my baby for this year. I will contact the Director of the museum next week to start getting a team together to work wonders next summer. This has me really excited so maybe this is where I fit???? We'll see.

Got to go and put the boy into the bath and find him a place to sleep! I hope you all have wonderful weather this week and get everything done in the gardens! (I know I won't, great weather or not!)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 8:27PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chelone - I don't have any insights into rejuvenating New Dawn I'm afraid. From what I've read, Kathy's advice is the right stuff - I've read that you take out a big cane at the base; repeating a couple of years if necessary, depending on how big (i.e. how many old canes) there are. My New Dawns on the south gate arbour were planted about 5 years ago. The one on the south side of the arbour is getting to have canes that look a bit like tree trunks! I can't imagine taking one of them out - the canes are in the neighbourhood of 20 feet long in some cases and they are all well entangled on top of the arbour and, now, tied into the swag. How we could ever remove a cane we cut out is beyond me! Building the swag is somewhat a response to all that. I figure by tying the canes onto the chains and keeping the laterals cut back, I may be able to defer the day when a major rejuvenating is required and, when it can no longer be avoided, I may just take my chances and cut it all down. But I hope to avoid the issue for as long as possible!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 8:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This will be a scattered mind is everywhere...

First, to whoever was concerned about asters: (Martie?) Fine Gardening's December issue has a short bit on this on the last page. (Read it in the store ;)
It was stir fry tonight: tofu, fresh pineapple, green onions, cashews, sweet red pepper, snow peas, etc...
Pumpkin pie for dessert with tea.
So much food lately, and tomorrow, TURKEY!

DH gave fatherly advice to a neighbor boy (Boy? He has his Master's...) while I mowed. They walked along the trail by our creek and DH showed him the young oak we planted in his father's memory last year. Sigh.... Then we sawed off suckers from our silver maples. A beautiful day, but there's melancholy here nevertheless. Lots of bee and wasp activity out there too. A fire in the fireplace and our silly big 'mutt' were really nice 'apres' our dinner. Now DH works some more on his talk for Antwerp next week.

Eden, I remember having an accident when I went away to overnight camp. I was 7-8. I was horrified and changed my sheets secretly in the middle of the night....The second week, when everyone had to change their beds, I took everything off and put the same ones back on and no one knew....

We keep making dents in the garden cleanup...but there seems to be so very much left to do. Ten acres seems enormous this year, unlike other years. And I didn't buy very much either, which is very strange for this old lady!

Tomorrow I will try to tell you what I'm thankful for. I need to think about that tonight. People have a habit of asking that trick question on this holiday and I need to be prepared.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 8:43PM
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Sometimes it's just being thankful that you have at least ONE thing to be thankful for...

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 8:53PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I know I'm thankful that I have this forum to visit, and that all my friends graciously wait for me when I find myself ridiculously over-scheduled as I was this week. Well, except I think that Deanne is still tapping her toe, waiting for the vacation pictures. They're uploading as I type, and I will add a couple before I finish this post.

I saw there was some discussion of coffee-spillage. This morning at the farmers' market, I was putting a sack of apples in my bag, and managed to dump my Starbucks all over my cloth purse. A little scrubbing and a good soak in the kitchen sink seems to have removed most of the stain.

It was truly a crazy busy return from vacation week, with lots to do at the office and obligations every single evening. The vibe at the office was a little strange this last week. I'm not sure if it's the whole vacation re-entry thing, or the effect of all the wonderful economic news, or if something else is up. I just don't care for the unsettled feeling.

OK, my uploads are complete, so here are some highlights. There is a botanic garden in Buenos Aires, so of course we had to visit. I loved the placement of this statue:

There's also a quite nice Japanese garden. Since it was early spring, there were a lot of blooms.

Here are two of the dogs at the ranch we visited. They were extremely gentle and sweet; obviously they have had many properly-administered beatings.

Since my camera is nowhere near as good as Deanne's, I can only get really great bird photos if I'm really close to the bird. Well, this egret stood between the path and a pond at the Japanese garden, and he graciously posed for photos.

I need to tweak my online album a bit more. I'll post a link to it soon.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 9:58PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Kathy, yes, it appears I did have the goat with me.

So I guess it's all MY fault...


    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 10:11PM
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That is tooo funny !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 10:23PM
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A lazy morning so far. I've addressed some e-mail, started KP duty and will assess the laundry situation next. It's still a bit chilly to begin "tilling the soil".

I'll try to get some shots of the Sanitary Ridge bed today. I did take some "befores", though. Yesterday's big challenge was getting some twine around two huge Miscanthus clumps. I was barely able to get my arms around them. They'd fallen "open" in the wake of all the heavy rain in September and were overwhelming everything around them. That, in addition to the fact that they're just too massive for the area in question has me contemplating using them along the road at the mouth of the old driveway (behind the newly transplanted Magnolia, actually). The site is a tough one; lean, boney soil that tends toward dry, and all the usual winter run-off atrocities in full sun. I think they could offer a nice "quick fix" to summer/fall privacy screening while other things attain size. Do you think I'd be out of my mind to cut them back and divide and move them this month since we never have much time in the spring.

I was thinnking about the work situation for Kathy. Were the lay-offs wholly unexpected for those unfortunate enough to be culled? I know the local news is full of lay-offs in a variety of businesses. Things at work are still steady, but what will happen as winter (typically the slow season) progresses is anyone's guess. To lessen our angst about discouraging quarterly statements we've ramped up our "hunker down" efforts even though Mr. Paulson probably wouldn't approve, working toward being ever more discreet with our discretionary money. ;) Hence my resolve to use what plant material I have in a more focussed and imaginative way. I am relieved (and the helpmeet even commented on it!) that I insisted all the wood for the trimwork in the Salon be purchased last year. It's good to know it's all here, all paid for, and at the ready when the helpmeet turns his energy indoors.

I will try to take some pictures of the New Dawn (reliably hardy for me), its trellis and the general site. I'm actually beginning to think it's probably too large and robust a rose for the site, but I'll wait and see what you guys think. Promise me you won't laugh at the poor tortured thing, OK? Maybe you could help me come up with a better way to use it, too.

Time to address the dishes. And the laundry.

I miss Cynthia, too.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 7:52AM
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Wonder if Cynthia still listens to the puzzler on NPR?

V., You crack me up....taking the goat with you to B. A. The botanic garden looks like fun, and naive me thought, "wow, how'd they get the tree to grow like that behind the statue?" I would've said it right here if you hadn't said "placement" first!

Julie, it'll be so nice when your master is done. I need to get in and spruce mine up a little for the upcoming season....extra pillows and such make it a little more cozy.

I am probably thinking cozy because I slept without covers all night....someone in our room is a cover hog....I won't say who....

Kathy, I need some pansies, too. Cheapo Depot had a sad selection of unwatered pansies....maybe the local nursery (hmm...I think I have a coupon now that I type this...) Doesn't the queen have someone to do that job for her :)

Chelone, the house next door gets light cast onto it's windows and then reflects it back into my house....I had to work with sunglasses on! I need some large columnular tree ideas, strategically placed outside of the windows that get the reflected light. That way if the hedge ever goes (I'd rather have a fence....the dog can't go through that :) I'd still have some protection. Anyway, today I'm moving over to the GGarden and hopefully erecting trellis'! I always get way ahead of myself....

Well, I'd better flip the flap jacks if I want any help from my crew.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 8:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


I have a family...that surprises and astounds me.
I have a son in law who was wisely chosen. He values and is attentive to his relationships.
I needed a friend...and have so many that I haven't even met them all in person.
I asked for a flower...and I got a garden.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 9:08AM
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Elegantly phrased, 'bug.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 9:16AM
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For the first time in I can't remember I'm just finishing "first thing" morning coffee at it's 10:30!! The days of hibernation are here, methinks.

Yes, Chelone, we got a killing frost the day after the Zinnias got semi-zapped. Only tender that made it through, other than the self-sown tomatoes which I swear could make it through snow, was my Pineapple Sage. Since it lives in a big pot, protected by lots of tall stuff around it, on the southwest corner of the house, I figure its probably a Z8 micro in that 3'x3' area. Everything else is in the process of getting yanked.

Did manage to salvage some basil for drying, though. Red Rubin looks mighty fine dried! If I could only get the leaves to stay on the stems :-)

Interesting BA pics, V! It's always Spring somewhere, yes? Don't let the work situation bring you down. I think it's a general malaise in attitude these days.

Great things to be thankful for, Marie!

Gonna go soak up some sun.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 10:32AM
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Walking Ein a couple days back, we chatted with the owner of a Saluki, so I've also been wishing Cynthia would pop in so we could discuss such elegant creatures. The owner was on a bike, and I asked (knowing nothing about the breed) how long/far could the dog run. I see lots of people dragging dogs along while they cycle, and it always concerns me. Apparently, no need to worry with Salukis.

Overheard conversation at botanical sale yesterday. (All manner of means to transport plants were seen. The sale provided some wagons but apparently not enough):
Excuse me, but that's my wagon.
Well, it was empty, you weren't using it.
No, really, it's my wagon.
But you weren't...
Ma'am, that's my wagon I brought from home! It's my wagon!
Believe it or not, this conversation extended for another two minutes. Some plant-obsessed folks get a bit thick-headed. And it ended with everyone glowering, the interloper grumpily removing her plants, but the wagon finally back with its rightful owner.

Looking at the garden yesterday, I decided it looks like the garden of someone who attends too many plant sales.

Buenos Aires -- highest number of psychoanalysts per capita, lots of dog-walkers, and a great reading town. This may all be imagined since it was not vetted through Google. Now, there's a fine-looking owl. The Renaissance's been years. Back in high school, a bunch of us would go and wander bemused among the gesticulating, oratorical flourishes of faux Elizabethans. It would always be scorching hot, and the becostumed folks in their heavy velvets would be noticeably sweating.

The Santa Ana winds are upon us, electrically charged and swirling full of all manner of junk which turns my brain to sludge. The mornings finally feel like autumn, slightly chilly, a relief after unseasonal temps into the high 90s last week. We don't change our clocks til Nov. 2nd this year.

Some neighbors are attending an afternoon lecture today by Dr. Helen Caldicott, the anti-nuclear advocate, and I may cycle over. Might as well keep the glum news coming!

All the apple talk has convinced me I need to do something with apples today. Good luck with the trellises today, Saucy. I heard on the radio yesterday (NPR Good Food) that your bees are also pollinating your neighbor's gardens up to 3 miles away! And that my Argentinian ants are part of a gigantic coastal colony that spreads from San Diego to San Francisco. I'd rather have your bees...

Happy Thanksgiving to Woody, 'bug and Julie.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 10:59AM
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Good morning

GB - what beautiful things you are giving thanks for!

BVM project will continue to next spring as the stone mason who will build a dry stone grotto for her cannot start till then. It will also help as nursey stock is pretty low right now and looking rather tatty. I'll have fun planning the plantings in the dark months.

Today is anything but dark - one of fall's most glorious days. I just finished making a batch of quince jelly and some gluten free french bread. I have fond memories of eating the two together in France a lifetime ago and am hoping to recreate the pleasure.

As soon as bread is out fo the oven we are heading to our local ski resort with good friends to ride the chair lift and enjoy the fall colors. The children enjoy climbing up and down the steepest slopes too - last year I thought I would pass out half-way up one of the double black diamonds. I'm not sure I'm in any better shape this year:0( Still, it's a fun outing and one we all enjoy. DH is home, recovering from too much work and jet-lag but willing to give the slopes a go.

Attention other sewers/crafters etc!! (wish Babs were here). David wants to dress as Mozart (from Amadeus) for Halloween. He's been perfecting his laugh for weeks. Any ideas for the costume?


    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 12:12PM
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A wee coffee break here..last cup for the day. Ive already planted Poppies , and am contemplating the kale. No frost last night. It was 44 when I got up-a long way off from freezing , but Im sure the embattled Brug was not appreciative.

Denise,there is no such thing as too many plant sales. Just buy six of everything and put three in one grouping and three in another. And of course who has room for this ? Not me ,nor you either I fear. Yeah, sweating Elizabethans-that would be in the Thousand Oaks days..right ? Rather horrid. Even when the Faire was in Marin we always went on the 5th or 6th weekend as it had the chance to be cooler.

How funny Saucy, that you mentioned the NPR puzzle in your post which I read not 5 minutes after listening to it ! Will the Pansies hang in over winter for you?

Lay-offs (officially Reduction In Force) were pretty unexpected I would say, there was a very small core of people who knew they were coming and an even smaller one who knew who was on the list.I heard virtually no buzz or gossip around the company ahead of time. There were even a few managers let go this time which has not been typical, but those folks did get severance packages and most are eligible for re-hire. This being California, one cannot just willy nilly lay off only the slackers, as there must be a correct ratio in the group by gender, age, ethnicity etc etc. to protect the company from lawsuits. So if you have 10 people you would really like to get rid of because they are c or d players , and they are all women over 50, you pretty much have to come up with another plan, unless your workforce consists of all women over 50.

Ok enough of this ! Going to go back out in the sun (and wind) and plants some Kale


Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 1:42PM
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I'm in from a rather full day outdoors (remembered the sun screen today). This is the third day in a row of glorious high pressure, cerulean skies, and temperatures in the 70s. It's been absolutely beautiful outdoors, just the sort of day my father always loved.

I dug out a rather large patch of Panicum "Prairie Sky". It was about 30" in diameter and it was rather like dividing a Brillo Pad. I have the best part of a dozen divisions parked along the north wall of the house's foundation, their fate hanging in the balance. They may just go to the compost pile since I can't think of place that would be good for them (dry and really sunny). The grass is very pretty, but it flops, probably because the soil is too moist.

I dug out a bunch of Stachys (Helene von Stein), divided it and planted it around the base of the Stewartia. There's plenty of sun there and the ground was vacant. :) I've shoved a couple of Dicentra spectabilis in some of the lower places, too. I have a lot of Echinacea waiting for the biggest Miscanthus to be evicted and have to figure out a way to house it temporarily. I'll probably just dig a trench and plop the plants in until it's time to move them to their new site.

I spent a lot of time fussing over the "Blue Star" juniper today (and my forearms are glowing from the pricklies). I shook the lower branches to get all the old, dead needles off. I cleaned them out from under it. I repeated the process several times moving around the shrub. Then I went back over the whole thing cutting out the dead branches deep inside it. I nearly filled the wheelbarrow with the trimmings! It looks a lot nicer now.

I laughed at the mention of Elizabethan dentistry. There was a funny story about an encounter she had with a dentist called in to address a persistant toothache. Seems dentists were largely toothless as a result of yanking their own teeth to show the patient how easy it was to remove an offending tooth! And sweating Elizabethans was probably a lot closer to the reality of their world than we want to know. All the ladies wore pomanders at their waists to cover the daily stench of the palace... eeewwww.

The boiler is now off and it's safe for me to enter the rain locker. I'm very dirty.

Oh! by any chance did any of you listen to today's "This I Believe" essay on NPR? It brought tears to my eyes as I listened to the essay and thought about 'bug. It was a beautiful essay. Check it out, it restores hope.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 4:38PM
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What a great listen, Chelone! Needed more Kleenex and remembered a conversation with my Dad a few days back.....

Dad: I need to thank you, Mar.

Martie: Why, Dad?

Dad: For having your surgery when you did.

Martie: Ummmm [or something similar]

Dad: You saved me a ton of money when I sold my stock!! LOL

Maybe you had to be there.....

For some reason was thinking about you a lot today, Kathy, and hoping that Oregon will be sooner than later. Your house is back on the market?

Good to hear from Denise!! I think I'll refer to you now as master information getter and call if I need research :-)

Gardens are taking winter shape.



    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 6:41PM
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I heard the essay this morning while taking a drive sometimes I do this on Sunday mornings when there is no traffic to speak of-I dont go far, maybe 10 miles each way on back roads.I took my camera this morning but the light was not right and I will wait till our fall color is a bit more evident. When the essay came on I was on one of my favorite stretches, a road through vineyards that is lined on both sides with mature walnut trees. Ironically it is called Oak Knoll Rd. I thought of bug too.

The wind was and is still blowing so I cut the garden chores short and came in the house to make chili. It is just bone dry the humidity must be about zero. Ive applied Burts Bees lip balm repeatedly. At least its not hot wind, which is what our Denise gets to deal with down in the LA environs. Dodger baseball comes on at 5pm, prior I will do a WALAT to pick up and put away the tools I abandoned when I came in out of the wind.

I thought of Martie today as I was ripping out Asters which have taken over pathways and even threaten a patch of bearded Iris if you can imagine such a thing. They are just everywhere. I decided to just start digging them up this fall to try to at least reduce the population by half.

Mary, a Mozartian wig is a must, correct shoes, tights , breeches, and a mole. I must say that in my many years of answering the door for trick-or-treaters I have yet to encounter Mozart !

Cant wait to hear how the progress on the GG goes for Saucy..

All for now A wave to all , Thanksgiving greetings to our Canadettes..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 6:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Long, tiring weekend, but fairly productive. Things have been hopping around here. Dear dear son decided last week that he was going to replace a few rails on our post and rail fence that runs across our back lot line. A few turned into half of them, then once he put a few new ones in, we both decided, let's go with all, then when he was trying to get the new rails into what looked like sturdy old posts, three of them snapped off, so it was back to the store for all new posts. So this morning, we have a brand new cedar post and rail fence installed. He has one section he is still working on, but he did a really great job and it looks fantastic. You don't realize how bad something looks until you have something new to compare it to. :-)

I remember my Mom would suggest to Dad that they paint the kitchen or the Living Room and my Dad would say...oh no, we will end up painting the whole first floor. And of course he was right as we proved time and time again.

If that wasn't enough excitement around here, Dearest Daughter after starting her first 'real' job about 5 months ago, has decided to get into her first apartment. She just signed a lease yesterday and will be moving out in three weeks. She would love us to be happy and excited for her and in many ways we are, but there is quite a bit of sadness as well.

So, that is what's going on here. Not feeling too with it this morning and DD would like me to go shopping with her for furniture. So...out to check the garden and time to get ready to head out this morning.

Sorry I am behind...Lovely photos and hope the Canadettes had a great Thanksgiving. Lovely sentiments GB.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 7:12AM
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Fondest wishes for a happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends. Sometimes it can be hard to see our many blessings for the trials we face, but they're there if we make the effort to see them. Kindly remind me of this truism in the future. ;)

I've never encountered a Mozart on Halloween, either. I suggest snagging some surgical hose for the white stockings that were de riguer in the 18th. century. I further suggest that the breeches and waistcoat be in a bright, vibrant color (tourquoise, yellow, blue, or a deep rich pink). Many people forget that such bright colors were a sign of status and wealth in that era. Naturally, the shirt should be fully cut; the cuffs should be gathered at the wrist with a lace trimmed frill. More lace should trim the cravate. And the shoes should really sport a heel, a shaped, stoutish one about 1-1 1/2"; if possible the shoes should match the breeches and waistcoat. Men really knew how to dress in those days! Wouldn't it be a scream if powdered wigs came back into vogue... imagine what that fashion statement would do to automobile design.

I have to admit I was surprised to find no new posts this morning. Must be that everyone is all tuckered out from being outdoors and squeezing as much recreation into the long weekend as possible. That's good.

Overcast this morning, but the sun should return later this morning. Not sure what's on the grill for the day, could be more gardening or more "lumberin'". I would like to see one pile finished and the next one begun. To be really efficient and less tedious it's really a two person operation. Do you find that once you get rolling on cleaning up a garden you get really involved with it? I am still working on a relatively limited area to the exclusion of other blighted parts of the yard.

Yesterday the helpmeet suggested a ride to a local orchard for apples (Martie!) and cider. I vetoed it, being unwilling to take to the roads with all the traffic. By our calculation every visitor to the area has driven by the house at least once in the past 3 days, lol. Maybe we'll go today or tomorrow afternoon.

I can't wait to see the trellises assembled, Saucy. And wonder if there will be any good tabletop shots of Thanksgiving chow...

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 7:23AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We're well stuffed this morning still - great turkey dinner last night at BIL/SIL's place. The kids are almost all grown up now - time flies....! Nephew is in first year university and niece is still in high school but suddenly looking very mature - and VERY tall! Puppy Dexter was boisterous and happy. He's going to be a lovely dog when he's grown up. He's going to be like their first Airedale. Hughie was a marvelous dog - big, friendly, loved people, other dogs, walkies and cuddles! Gracie, their second one, was adopted as an adult and she was nice but more aloof. Dexter is very people oriented.

BIL is a bond trader - institutional, not retail, so I was very interested to hear how last week went for him! I figured it was either crazy-busy or dead in the water. He said it was a bit of both; that bid and ask prices were very far apart. I hope this week is a bit more normal in the markets!

It's foggy out this morning but it's going to burn off soon. Yesterday was like that - we went for a nice walk by the lake. It was foogy near the lake but sunny and nice a few blocks away.

PM2 - pictures of the fence...?
Saucy - pictures of the trellis...?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 8:50AM
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Still working on the is beautiful, though! I am trying to figure how to get it in place - the elevation gently slopes, so we're going to work on that aspect today.

Just wanted to pop in and wish the northern bunch a Happy Thanksgiving. GB, those are wonderful things to be thankful for.....I hate being put on the spot for any question, and will try to remember to make my list before I go to enjoy turkey with Nick's family :)

I am feeling motivated, so I'm going to get outside! I have dirty birdfeeders to clean and a deck to whip into shape for winter.

I checked our leaf castings yesterday, and they came out beautifully....I'm hoping I can sneak another session in before this week is over and the leaves truly pass.....

I'll talk to you later....


    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 9:45AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes Woody, yesterday the turkey was stuffed, but today I AM STUFFED!

There was the bird, the cornbread stuffing, the gravy, the cranberry sauce, the sweet potatoes, the roasted Fall vegetables with rosemary...the wine too. Then the pumpkin pie and whipped cream... BURP!!!!


Big Bird:

Today I'll be ordering some books for book club. We were supposed to go on a Thanksgiving day hike, but there just won't be enough time for that this year. Too bad.

Vita the cat is curled up in DH's suitcase at this moment...She wants a vacation from Phoebe?


    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 10:05AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hmmmm...I wrote a great big long "Happy Thanksgiving" post with a little story about the origins of Canadian Thanksgiving, and about my little darling looking like an angel in the choir yesterday, and about getting up at 5 a.m. so that most of the dinner thing is ready...then lost it when I tried to insert the above photo. Had no trouble with the photos this time *LOL*

This little log building is one of the original homes on the piece of property. It is used as a storage shed now, and sometimes as a playhouse for the owners' grand kids. It is right behind our back yard and we love to see it in it's setting as the seasons change. I will try to remember to take phnotos of it as the seasons change to show you how cozy it looks!

I hope you all had a great week-end and the Canadian contingent is enjoying the extra day off!

I'll find some batteries for the camera and post the 'bird"!



    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 11:01AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Julie, it looks like you live in Finland! I just love the cabin. Don't ever let them take it away....

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 11:32AM
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I still dont have my computer back at home so when I get to work on Monday Im shocked at all the weekend chatter. Saturday was a lovely fall day with just enough breeze to keep the bugs at bay. The majority of plants are indoors and organized. I spent part of the day collecting seeds. We havent had frost yet so the garden is looking quite good, so because of that I havent done much cutting back. The most dazzling thing in the garden right now has to be the rhus Tiger Eyes with its orange, yellow and red mixture. Yesterday was windy and a little rainy, a good day to relax with a book, mess with the indoor plants, call Florida and nap.

I havent had a lot of time to read but I sure have enjoyed the pictures.

We havent had a bum shot for some time so heres one from the beach collecting shells. What a cute bum it is though.

This is from the nursery before they left.

More later

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 12:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Aaaw, I love the butterfly shot Michelle.

You asked about why Peru. Well they wanted exotic, far away, somewhat affordable. A complete mindset change. Today they should arrive in Arequiba. I hope they deal well with high altitudes. It seems to vary according to the individual.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 1:06PM
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What lovely photos this morning. Julie - the little log home is like something from a fairy tale!

GB - such a festive table setting and scrumptious looking turkey.

Michelle - how wonderful to see Kenzie. She is growing up so quickly! Do you have a trip to Florida planned?

I spent the morning planting 350 daffodils at the garden job. It should be lovely in the spring. I had purchased a huge sack from a wholesale nursery and they were by far the best bulbs I've ever seen. They were all double, many triple nosed, plump and not a moldy one to be found. My own garden has some very pretty areas right now with a mass of pristine white anemone, tender sages in full glory and lots of verbena bonariensis. Considering it has been so sorely neglected it is somehow holding it's own and still a pleasure to walk through.

I am achy all over right now, partly from this morning's endeavors, mostly from climbing the ski hills yesterday. However, I have 3 spare hours before doing the music lesson run and I'm determined to get a bit more done on the bathroom vanity before indulging in a long, hot bubble bath.

I'm hoping to work on Mozart tongiht - thanks for the suggestions! Chelone - did you finish The Other Boelyn Girl?

Have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 1:19PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I feel a need to post and let you all know I'm not ignoring you. I just can't seem to get out of catch-up mode - I'm talking about life overall, not just here on the idylls.

I'll sum up my work day by saying that I dumped my most-excellent lunch all over the office kitchen floor, had to run out to buy replacement food and was then short-changed by the cashier at the fast-food restaurant. I was almost in tears out of sheer frustration when the manager told me they would have to count the drawer before giving me my correct change. (There's many a day that I would have believed that I wasn't paying attention and had used a $10 instead of a $20, but for some odd reason I had checked my cash at least 3 times before I paid.) Well, I did have to drive back at the end of the day, but the manager refunded my entire lunch AND gave me a coupon for a free meal.

So I used a little of the "hush money" to buy brownies for the office tomorrow. They're the ones who had to listen to me rant this afternoon...

Tonight I pulled in about a third of the tender plants. If I do it in stages, it won't be as bad, right? I did all the small pots tonight. Tomorrow I'll do the big pots. The "heavy-lifting" job this evening was moving all the furniture in the family room downstairs because the carpet cleaner is coming tomorrow. It seems that the dogs expressed their displeasure at our vacation in this area...

And in my spare time I am putting together a photo book of our trip for my DH. Shh - it's a surprise.

The brain is telling me to say good night!


    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 10:32PM
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Wow, lot's to comment on this morning, even though last night was a tad slow around here.

Julie, how old is the "Hansel and Gretl" cottage in the picture? I'm always interested in how long an area has been "settled" (1600s for my area). And I smiled at a mental image of you serving dinner to guests with everyone seated on a bed, plates in their laps. ;)

I keep forgetting you are puterless at home, Michelle. How's that workin' out for you with respect to productivity at work, lol. Kenzie really is looking very grown up, of all the Idyll kids she will stick in my memory as the one where I really noticed the change from toddler to little girl. You must miss her a lot. And I have to say your borders have looked smashing in every shot I've yet seen. Late season gardens are such a delight.

Good to know the Canadettes enjoyed a delightful holiday. That table looked so cheerful, but I'm a sucker for pretty settings anyway. I even eyed Woody's Yam Crisp recipe idly (idylly?) thinking it might be a nice surprise for the helpmeet who loves yams (not nuts about them, personally).

Woody, I'd forgetten you'd been involved in banking in another life. I've really been trying to wrap my brain around the whole financial/credit debacle of recent weeks with questionable success. I've winnowed it down to a couple of critical issues: under capitalization, investment in "vehicles" that were not fully understood by those doing the investing/trading, and myopic focus on short-term returns to keep dividends up for shareholders with little thought for long term stability. I don't consider myself a dope but it's tough stuff to try to understand. And I'm once more aghast at the greed, unwillingness to assume responsibility, and long-term consequences for many, many people. I'll bet is was fascinating talking to your holiday host.

We worked on "lumberin' operations" again yesterday, cleaning up two more piles of cut rounds and getting them stacked next to the barn. It was a perfect day for it, crisp and cool. Looky at what I discovered on the tarp that covers the splitter:

This is the first of this variety I've seen here in 17 years. Usually, it's the black ones with yellow spots. He was moving pretty slowly until the warmth of my hands gave him an energy boost. He's back in the moist, rotted leaves to the north of the barn now. :)

I don't want to work today, but have to so it's time to wrap this up and get rollin'.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 5:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today is a slow starter for me. The skies are a mix of cloud and blue. It is cool, but I still sleep with open windows while I can. I'm often conflicted by having the furnace on and my desire for fresh air.

Because I am solo about the farm this week, I am unsure what the day will offer. I think I will ignore responsibilities for a day or two and "veg". I will only need to feed the pets and do some walks with Phoebe. We'll just wait and see. Maybe take a few photos of the asters and sumac that are so pretty at this time of year.

I wish Sarah were around to tell us more about your salamanders Chelone. Her undergraduate thesis was on salamanders. That was her life before turtles. ;)

The blue jays are making their NOISE!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 8:11AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ahhhh, Chelone ! It's a salamander! I saw a black and white spotted one years ago, before I had a digital camera.It was a lot 'fatter' than yours. When I was a child we had red ones beside our house where the water ran out from our sink.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 8:34AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, I'll just pop in before this idyll ends and say hello and happy autumn to all. Count me in as another that is finding life/work so chaotic, etc., that it's hard to find time for anything other than breathing.

It looks to me that I should ask to have Chelone or Saucy come visit me and they might get my bum out into the garden to do much needed chores there -- a wonderful weekend of 80 degrees/indian summer temps has been lost to me from over-scheduled appts and meetings/work last weekend - Im dearly regretting it -- I suspect next weekend will be 50, as I have vowed to take the weekend to try to do some of those garden chores.

So interesting to see some yummy Canadian t-giving and insect shots - as always, one never knows what to find here, LOL....

Hope you get some chill-time too, V, and sorry to hear of the RIFs, Kathy -- there's a bit of that starting up in this area too, altho not at my firm - Im just happy to have steady employment now, I believe.

Wave to all!!


    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 9:20AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's fairly quiet at the office so I took the opportunity to catch up. How about a few belated comments?

As to the discussion about first grade and learning to read, until I read someone else's comment, I had forgotten that my mother bought me some "learn to read" workbooks before I was in 1st grade, and my mom and dad had a big arguement about this - my dad thought that teaching reading should be left to the school. I also remember feeling like I was looking at something "illicit" when I did get my hands on those workbooks.

And the 1st grade nun impressed upon me so well that we needed to stand still by our desks when we prayed at the end of the day, that on the one day I had to throw up, I did so very quietly, right at my desk. Sister Albert was kind enough to tell me later that day that I could have "broken rank" and run for the garbage can in that situation.

And a belated Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians. Sounds like a lovely day was had by all of you.

Sometimes I think that gratitude is a muscle that we forget to exercise. At church this past Sunday, I unexpectedly pinch hit for the reader who was a no-show. If I had had the time to think about it, I would have been nervous about reading some lengthy passages cold. As it turned out, one reading was one of the rare passages that I know quite well, and the gist is to focus on the positive. (Rather timely for most people after last week, and these readings are set well in advance.) Anyway, I was reminding myself of all this on the way to work yesterday, but I still let a relatively minor incident (the lunch fiasco) all but unhinge me. So I shall try again today!

Kathy, sorry to hear about the RIF's. That's always an unsettling experience to go through, even when you are are the lucky side of the equation. I think one of the reasons I feel so out of kilter lately is that I think we are a bit overstaffed at the moment. The boss says we finally have the right team in place and he wants to have everyone still in place come selling season, but if it was my decision I would be very concerned about our level of payroll. So then I wonder that perhaps there will be a payroll reduction - as in me. There's an uncomfortable situation with an employee who is a good friend of the owners; this person has a habit of working quickly and not checking the results, and I end up doing a lot of clean up. Well, I made an error this year, which was easily fixed, but I've heard an awful lot about it. At another company, I once worked with someone who was trying to have me fired. I felt like I was being paranoid about it as it was happening; it was very hard to deal with on a daily basis. After the other person was fired and I had to clean up her files, I found some correspondence she had sent to someone else that actually said she wanted to have me fired. It was somewhat of a relief then to know I wasn't imagining things. But now those same little alarm bells are going off in my head. The owner here is far more ethical than at that previous company, but I'm still uncomfortable. Contingency plans may be appropriate?

So now I am looking back and thinking that this post is not in keeping with the Soaring Spirits title, but it does make me feel better to get this all off my chest. Someone take it away with a hew thread, and I promise to be upbeat on that one!


    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 12:41PM
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