Idyll # 290 The Beaver Moon Idyll

deanneart(z5Southern NH)November 7, 2006

It was a beautiful moon last night. Technically not the full moon, that was Sunday night, but close enough.

Full Beaver Moon - November This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

I was thinking as I was setting up this photograph last night that if it wasn't cloudy every one of the Idyllers could be looking at the same view. How neat!


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Just a lurker here, Deanne, but just had to comment on the picture of the moon. Fabulous; makes me think of a spotty melon, even has the strips running up from the bottom.

That new camera is something else! and your mastering of it is showing.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 7:46AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Brrrr... another frosty morning today. The weather guys said it was only supposed to go to 36 degrees last night so I didn't bring in my mini dahlia, I guess this is going to be the end of it. Doug thinks it is about time! LOL I'm going to have to try to get some more work done in cleaning out the garage and gardens today. It is supposed to be in the 60's and then rain tonight and the next two days.

Kathy, I've never heard of that store. Wish we had one here. I know what you mean about the cost of organic and whole foods. We don't eat any processed foods, no white flour, white rice, no sugar (well except at Thanksgiving and Christmas)nothing that comes out of a box. Only lean protein, whole grains and lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Our grocery bills are off the charts. I've got to get to the grocery store several times a week to get our veggies. It does take extra time and money to eat well. I wish I could find and afford organic everything. That would be even better. ~~ So you actually get frosts there? ~~ Have you gotten out to the vineyards to get some photos of the vines in the fall yet?

Chelone, cant wait to see your swags. How are you going to attach the fruit to the swags? Also are you going to weather proof the fruit so it doesnt lose color in the sun? I did some grapevine wreaths with fruit one year and they faded pretty badly after one season. ~~ Did you take some photos of the indoor window boxes with the geraniums? Inquiring minds would like to see them.

Woody are you thinking you are going to be able to get the new shed in before winter? Im looking forward to seeing what you are going to do with it. Doug built me some great window boxes for ours. They fit a standard plastic window box so that the flange of the plastic pot sits on the edge of the wood sections and the wood is open on the bottom so theres no problems with drainage. ~~ So sorry about your MIL. That is going to be a difficult situation to deal with no matter what happens.

Eden, you are way ahead of me in the gardens. ~~ Ive not forgotten about sending out the color theory materials to you. It is buried in my class stuff at the moment and as soon as I sort that out Ill get that out to you in the mail.

T, cant believe all that rain you are having. Wasnt your summer hot, hot, hot and dry?

Michelle, I agree that some varieties of plants are easier to root than others. I had a bear of a time getting a variegated pentas to root but it finally, after two months is forming enough roots to pot up. And its true that some coleus take longer than others. Seems strange.

Martie, yes, you do get it! Neat! Many people dont. You have to be on even at lunch. ~~ RE the mites thing. They can have eggs in the soil and on the stems etc. so even if you dont see any mites on the plants you probably should do the shower thing at seven day intervals for a few weeks to make sure they are all gotten rid of. The blasted things are the bane of my existence and they seem to winter over in the gardens too. I always get them on my buddleia every season. Maybe it is the garden plants that infect the plants in the containers. All I know is that it makes me crazy. ~~ Isnt it great when you get something cleaned out of the house that has been taking up room that you want/need for something else? Ive been trying to get Doug to clean out his shop of many old computers, printers and even a couple old laptops. He likes to putter about with them but hasnt touched them in years and the technology is old and we will never use them again. The printers are toast and I have no idea why he saves things like that. Makes me crazy but it is his shop. But, when he complains about not having enough room I gently remind him that all that old stuff can go to the dump.

Ok time to be off and running here. Id like to get to the gym and be home before lunch today. Ugh, abs day I was reading an interesting factoid recently that said that women dont normally use weights heavy enough to increase our metabolism. It said that you should use weights that you can only accomplish a set of eight to twelve reps. Ive been doing fifteen to twenty reps in my sets so I guess Im going to up my weights today.

Have a good one everybody.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 7:46AM
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I am posting our Halloween pictures eventhough they didn't make it in the Halloween idyll.

Deanne, your new camera is great! I especially liked the bird picture and the one with the bee in it. Amazing detail. I brought in my fuschia, and hope it makes it.

Skip put lights in my basement, and we brought in all of the tropicals. They are now basking in the gro light. I have never done this before so will probably have to tweak it a little to make it work.

Michelle, Kenzie is adorable! How fun to have a theme birthday party. Skip told the kids he is starting a food club and that we are going to have a different theme every time we do it. This Sunday is Oriental. Each person is supposed to bring a dish. They seem like they want to do it. Could be fun.

Last weekend we bought a bread maker. Mine always made the crust too brown, so I quit using it. We made pizza dough, banana bread, and regular bread. I am going to try some of the Artisan recipes next. The guys got an iguana. He is growing on me. Cute little guy, but he looks so fragile, and I worry about him. Dumb huh?

T- you are going to have the curvy bed to beat all curvy beds! That is beautiful, and I am drooling over the unweedy-ness of it. You are so smart to do it right the first time, unlike me without patience, who couldn't wait to start digging holes.

Bug, I can't remember if I said congratulations on your new grandchild! How exciting for you guys! Babies are wonderful.

My coleus cuttings are failures. I am not doing something right. I am sort of thinking I will just buy new ones next year.

Mary, this bread maker has some gluten free recipes. Do you ever make that? or even like it? See.. I am thinking ahead to a time when you might come over.. planning the menu already.

Taryn.. I hope you get the job! That is a pretty good response for 5 resumes. You must live in a good area to find jobs.

Cindy- How is it going? I think about you a lot when I ride the train. I was thinking you could listen to a book on tape even if you have vertigo. I do that on my way to the rapid... Much better than the radio. I just finished Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. One thing I noticed was that I must always look at the end of the book to see what happened, because I couldn't do that while I was listening, and it was driving me nuts. I didn't realize I was that bad about it, but I must be. You know when you go online to find out what happens in the end you have a problem.

Chelone, I can't wait to see your Williamsburg creation. It sounds gorgeous.

Babs, how is it going over there?

Well, must run right now... will try to check in again before too long. I hope everyone has a great day!


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 9:17AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Deanne wow that is one amazing photograph at first I looked at it & thought "where did she find that print" and then I realized you had taken it --- you are so talented in so many ways I am astonished every time I see one of your photos. You have already mastered the camera; Im still playing w/ auto features on mine, lol.

Count me in as one who loves Whole Foods weve had them in this area for a while (they actually bought out a couple of local chains to expand their market Sutton Place Gourmet, etc.) theyre pricey but love their items. Its a treat that there is one opening about 3 miles away in a month I look forward to "indulging". But why is it it costs soooo much more to eat healthy? Isn't something wrong w/ that picture? How did we become a country of "instant" processed, unhealthy food eaters?

Love those new beds, T youve been working soooo hard & it shows theyre going to be gorgeous in the Spring.

Chelone I look forward to seeing your Wmsburg arrangements its been one of my "goals" that one year Im going to do one for the pediment over my door; but Ive never managed to do it. Thats funny, I was going to suggest you check out a dollar store re the fruit sometimes Im amazed at the things they carry in those stores!!!

Woody thats great that youve gotten a reasonable estimate for a new shed; its always holding your breath on these things isnt it? Im sorry to hear about your worries over your MILs condition. . . . old age is so hard on all of us.

Speaking of old age, I had a pretty pleasant visit w/ my parents Dad bought a wheelchair conversion van (boy are those things expensive) but we decided it would be worth it to be able to get Mom to drs appts, hosp. visits., and just generally out and about, etc. and what a change in their outlook/attitudes I think a whole new world has opened for them. But its so tough on Dad he takes care of her from 7 pm on every night til 9 the next a.m. and the nites are rough. I think I may have to buy a "recliner" chair for him for Xmas Mom always "forbad" them in their house; but he needs a comfy spot nearby to rest and that seems a good solution. The weather was great (leaves were lovely even if a bit past their prime), traffic (I-95) horrible as usual & I had a migraine by the time I got there Sat., but it was nice to see them in such excited spirits. We took a couple "quick" jaunts to work on getting them into a routine w/ a wheelchair patient its just like preparing to go on a road trip with a baby or toddler, you know? I hope it just becomes a quick routine for them so they can not avoid going out because its "too much trouble."

And if you remember, I told you my brother was a budding "garden addict" well, its now an obsession conifers, conifers, conifers! Wow -- but hes got a big property. And now Im excitedly pushing him to consider some trees (Sue, you'll appreciate this, hehehe) -- an oxydendron or fagus tricolor - I was raving about them to him so I could enjoy them vicariously when I visit I think Ive got him intrigued about them, LOL told him theyd add a lot of punch to the conifers. (I will work on giving him the "lecture" on woodies next Spring w/ him). Like most of us early learning folks, he seems to buy stuff without knowing anything about them & brings them home to figure out. A reader he is not; I think he'll be learning from doing and talking to nursery folks.

Voted early this a.m. will be thankful for the end of all the tv, calls, etc. I sure hope we get Changes however, whoever it is that is elected.

Im sooo behind in garden cleanup I guess Ill have to cross my fingers & hope this weekend is pleasant enough to be an "Energizer Bunny" and get it done & plant bulbs. AAAEEEIIII


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 9:23AM
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Good wet morning! Still is raining here! :oD Our weather center rain gauge (always have to add that as I don't wnat to give the impression this is 'offical' amounts) shows 8.44" since November 1st. It believe the rains are suppose to taper off a bit, but the forecast is for rain all week. Guess I don't have to worry about those potted apple trees getting too dry? Sugars!

The curvy front bed is on the west side of the house so the plants will have to enjoy the sun. I have not begun drawing up a plan of what I'd like to plant and I'm very intimidated by the prospect of having to make those choices. There will be a tall fence (probably see-through wire of some type) up against the backside of the bed, running from the house to the area where the flag pole is. The area behind the flower bed will be where I move the raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and such so that I can protect them from the elk, deer, bunnies (I hope), etc. I left that strip of flower bed pretty narrow (maybe 24" wide? 30" max) and I will make it wider once the fence is in place. I'd like to have an arched gate and pathway through that bed. I have NO clue as to what I'm going to do........I did draw up a plan for where I wanted the fence, gates, fruit trees, raised boxes for the strawberries, etc. But as for what plants to put in the curvy bed? Nope. I dread trying to figure it out.

The back beds are on the east side of the will be baked up until 1 PM during the majority of the summer. We have a well and we've never gone dry but I also do not run sprinklers nor have I watered a lot. I'm cautious and careful with using water during the summer and have no clue if I need to be as miserly as I have been or if our water supply would hold up to whatever I think the plants would enjoy. I've just figured that if a plant cannot make it with the water supply that is naturally available then I shouldn't have planted it. I do not know if I will continue in that same mindset or if I will do the drip irrigation. I know that I will not be standing outside twice a day or even once a day with a hose and watering so that plants that are too tender for my environment can struggle through a summer. Remind me that I said this when you hear me complaining about dragging hoses about some day? LOL No, truly, I would like to stick with drought tolerant plants unless we get some large cisterns to utilize the rain water, roof run off or the year-long springs/streams that run through our property. I do not plan on testing our well to see if it could provide sufficient water for both the house needs and the garden needs. 20 years ago we paid over $9,000 for the well drilling and it took 2 tries to find water. I do not truly understand how wells go dry enough to need a new site drilled......but the thought (and expense) scares me enough that I am frugal during the summer.

Deanne, love the moon shots. Your talent with the camera along with the extra equipment you've chosen gets some awesome pictures. I know that my Christmas present is the zoom lens I've been wanting since getting my digital SLR for my birthday. We couldn't afford to buy the camera and the zoom lens at the same I've been eagerly awaiting December as the lens that came with the camera doesn't allow me to take the photos I'd love to take. Ultimately I'd love to have some of the extras that you have....what fun you must have with the scopes and such and what awesome photos you are able to take. Seeing individual feathers and the minute feathers, that look like lashes, around the bird's! Now, just because I get some extra equipment doesn't mean I'll have the eye or talent to take the same type of pics......but it will be fun to give it a try.

Well, the coffee cup has been empty since I started this and I want another bad enough to quit typing drivel. ;o)

Hello to all!!!


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 9:37AM
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Well, all my outdoor plans for today are scrapped. It's raining again! I got so much accomplished yesterday though that I'm not feeling so behind now. All that's left is cutting back and mulching and I can do that a little at a time here and there. I've got until Spring, right? Brad does have to capture the fish and bring them in today. That's always quite an adventure. They're wily! Bud's at the groomer this morning so he'll come home smelling good and with a kerchief around his neck (which he hates). He's not much for looking dapper. Since it's wet out he'll probably be looking for the first pile leaves he can find to roll in so I'll have to keep an eye on him. Only other thing I must do today is vote!

Kathy, we have a small, shallow pond that freezes so we have to bring in the gold fish for the winter. We only have 4 but this was they're 5th season in the pond so they're pretty big. We keep them in a 30 gallon aquarium over the winter.

Woody, so sorry to hear about your mother in law's confusion. I'm just starting to get a taste of what it's like to have aging parents. Not easy, as Cindy and Chelone can attest.

Drema, great costumes. I especially like the picture of the whole gang. Is that Dev with the machine gun? Very cute. The theme dinners sound like fun. I need to do something like that to get the kids all together with us periodically. They spend alot of time together among themselves but it seems like it's hard with everyones busy schedules for all of us to get together at once. That would require some advance planning. My bread maker broke a couple of years ago. Now that you mention it I should look into getting a new one. Everything you've been making sounds delicious. Just curious, have the bread makers changed much since the first ones came out? Mine was one from those days.

Deanne, I've never had a problem with fungus gnats. I use a potting mix that a local nursery mixes themselves that I love. It's light and fluffy but holds moisture without being wet. I use it for everything, seed starting, propogating, and container gardening and then spread it on the garden when I'm finished with it. Anything to help break up this clay soil I have. I just use whatever brand of rooting hormone they have available at the store. Your moon shot is spectacular!

Chelone, I can picture the fruit swags on your house. They'll be perfect. Will you still do your pediments? I've always loved the way they look on your house too.

Cindy, how great that the new van will give your parents more freedom to get out. Cool about your brother and his conifers too. Wish I had room for a serious conifer collection. There are so many really interesting ones to collect. I remember there were a couple of people on the other garden forum that posted pictures of their gardens with lots of conifers and japanese maples last winter. They were just beautiful!

Michelle, I went through your pictures that you had linked over on cottage gardens. I enjoyed them so much. Beautiful! You should post the link here.

I'm a Whole Foods customer too. It's the only place around here you can find decent produce once the farmers market is out. They have a four berry pie that's my favorite at the one here too.

The morning's slipping away so I need to get off this computer. TTYAL...Eden

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 10:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Durned beavers! Love the moon though! ;-)

DH is home today with stiff neck and resurgence of hernia problems. :( I had about one hour of sleep.

The field near my window is being tilled this morning and it makes me very aware how farmers are organized and I am not as far as outdoor duties are concerned. I've still got tasks to tend to out there! It's coming though.

Drema, what a hoot your Halloween was! Amazing work put into the costumes! I like the idea of the food club with the kids too. Yes, the baby excitement is quite something. I'm a bit like Chelone with dogs, not much of a baby person...EXCEPT THIS TIME! A very long time to wait, but I rather hope they decide to be surprised by the male/female issue. One of the amazing surprises left in our impatient world!

DD is off in Fort MacMurray, above and beyond just about everywhere! She participates in environmental hearings there. She hopes to fly back by Wednesday, but we'll just have to wait and see if that is a go. Meanwhile DSIL manages the home front: meals, school pick-ups, karate, swimming, homework, bedtime.

I found the tiny pink beaded hospital necklace from DD's birth and thought I'd take that out to her when I visit. Other little mementos too.

T, I'm on a different planet from you. I would be in heaven planning those curvy beds! Sue and I will have to come out together for the big SHOP & PLANT season.

Well, it is now raining and I MUST get something accomplished here, but I know I've missed comments to many.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 10:16AM
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It is supposed to be in the 70s again today, too bad it is almost dark when I get home. Saturday of course is only supposed to hit 45. What a bummer to sit in the office all week with super weather.

Deanne, when I was taking Jaden for a walk last night, I did look for the moon, but it was slightly cloudy. Your picture is stunning.

Not a beaver, but I did spot a muskrat the other evening in the pond. I had never seen one in there before.

Drema, you guys look so cool! I love the feathers. The theme dinners sound like fun, you and Skip have some really great ideas for family time. (I remember your newsletter)

Chelone, you absolutely must post pictures of your swags. I love that idea!

Cindy, the van should be a great help to your Dad. The recliner sounds like the perfect gift.

T, do we need to send you a row boat? We have a well that I use to water the gardens, but I try only to water when it gets extremely dry. I like them to get deep roots and I dont like too many watering chores. Most summers I only water a few times. I do have a full sun bed that I like to consider my xeriscape bed as its too far to drag a hose. Its amazing what I grow out there without extra water, even this summer when we were considered in a moderate drought. Dont stress too much about what to plant, thats all part of the gardening process. Remember most plants can be moved if they dont work out like you plan.

As Eden mentioned I put together a group of pictures from 2006. Ill put the link below for anyone who is bored.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 11:45AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, you know how you feel so confused when one idyller starts commenting on something & ya think, dang, where was that? Hehehe... Drema, I think we must have been posting at the same time -- 'cause I was totally at a loss about you and "costume" pics!

But it was good, in that I slipped back to the other thread and realized altho I hadnt read it all, I had definitely meant to tell Eden that that was such a terrific photo of her Mom & the quilt - the quilt is lovely, the woman even more so. I have been meaning to say how great it was to hear that her spirit/will is so indomitable & it shines thru in her photo.

Back to you Drema - fantastic costumes - what fun! Hey, I think about you too as we are probably the "city commuters" of the group, right? As I was running the political sign gauntlet at the metro station yesterday - sheesh.... And yep, I confess Im "back of the book" reader too - always have been ! Even mysteries.... I always feel like Im cheating but have to know whether Im gonna like the book! I've tried books on tape; but Im such an inveterate "hard copy" reader, I just dont find it the same experience at all - for one thing tapes are way too slow for me. But I do like people watching a good deal - and there's always something guaranteed to be of "interest" on the metro - boy, the stories I could tell....

I also managed to catch a question from Gardenbug re Horticulture mag - yes as far as I know it's still in circulation ( - you can get back issues there as well I think.

O, T - I think your weather is headed in our direction....
Im sure there are a ton of idyllers & lurkers who will be delighted to offer suggestions for your wonderful full sun borders - what excitement!

Oky back to work - now that I know I'm not totally out of it....


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 12:35PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Oh no, Deanne is mooning us...hehehe. Wow, what a shot!

Bravo Michelle! Thanks for posting that link. I just toured your garden while eating my lunch. What a great space you've created-mixed borders, containers and tropicals-right up my alley!

Drema, what are you a cave couple? You could be Fred and Betty

We eat mostly fresh foods too and I'm also finding the grocery bills are through the roof. None of the Whole Foods, Wild Oats, etc. around here are convenient for me but I wish I could find a better alternative to the run of the mill grocery store produce. It always looks good but is often tasteless.

OK, back to my month end closing. I stopped to vote on my way into work this morning so that's one item I can check off the list. Last night I decided to get the checkbook balanced and Quicken updated. I was shocked when I saw unreconciled bank statements back to February. It doesn't seem like that long ago....


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 1:32PM
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I was outdoors scopin' out the moon, last night, Deanne. It was beautiful over the ocean, which was just like a bathtub. The tide in the river has been really high the past few days, too. The detail in your photos is just amazing. It would take about 45 minutes to load one of them if I was still on dial-up. I know how exhausting it can be to be "on". It's the same way for me in the shop during busy season. When my boss is out of the shop I'm the face of the business! and it has to be all about the customer, even when you'd rather keep your head down and just sew. Being "on" is what gives you your edge and it's what makes you successful.

Eden, my boss's former business partner came in today. She was diagnosed with Parkinson's a few years ago and is undergoing "deep brain stimulation" surgery tomorrow. She had to shave her hair off. She came in with a real "GI Jane" look, and she looked FANTASTIC. She's fit (really into yoga), ready for the next phase, and we took pictures to mark the occasion. SHE said that having her hair buzzed off was actually liberating for her, the start of something that will make her life easier. We rubbed her head for good luck and hugged her long and tightly. She's had such a tough row to hoe and this procedure has proven a godsend for many with Parkinson's.

I was listening to NPR today and they were talking about the amount of rain that T. is enduring... I guess the land is so waterlogged there are rock/mud slides and even mature trees are collapsing as the soil liquifies around them. I know how much damage was wrought in this area last spring... there are still several roads that are closed because they haven't been able to rebuild the bridges. We have irrigation here, but I'll only use it when things are REALLY, really dry (after a month). I agree with your thought process and Michelle's... most plants are able to roll with the vagaries of rain/weather if they've been given a decent home. I think you'll be "home free" by the looks of things! Wish you were closer, I'd give you my Perovskias! They're really pretty, but I don't have enough sun for them... I could ship them if you'd tell me how... I have 3-4, I think! ;)

We shop the perimeter of the store, too! Not much prepared stuff in this house, either. Just lots of ingredients. And good, nutricious food COSTS MORE. Sure, Wonderbread is cheap... but who wants to eat it?! And it bugs me that produce isn't priced to reflect the toll its mass production takes on the earth, and pay those who pick/process it enough so they can live. It makes no sense to us that farmers struggle while agri-business prospers. We have a bountiful vegetable garden and have only recently said goodbye to its bounty; we never regret the cost of eating well. The cost of eating poorly is far higher, in the long run.

Aww jeez... the pressure is now on for the Williamsburg swags. ;) I'm not sure how to pull them off, frankly. I'm thinking about galvinized chain and wiring on the fruit, adding greenery to the ends as required. I tried using floral picks but it was virtually impossible to get them to penetrate the foam innards. I'm thinking about galvinized screws, some hot glue, and my trusty power screw driver. Some experimentation is in order. I hadn't thought about spraying a protective layer over the fruit, Deanne. I'll have to check the rest of the stuff I'ved used for the past coupla years to see if the fronts are faded relative to the backs. The roadside facade of the house faces due east, so winter light is severe. What would you use? lacquer? I have no idea...

I returned home after performing my "civic duty" to find the awnings are all down! I hired the guy who helped me with the "awning in the dawning" to do it. He is starting his own business and while it's something we can do ourselves, I want to give him the business. The helpmeet will be SO THRILLED, lol. It's sad to see the house stripped of its summer finery, though. :(

I cracked right up at the Halloween shots! I don't know what it is about "grown ups" in wacky costumes that kills me, but it does. My boss tells a funny story about a party many years ago... she passed out in her costume on the floor of her friend's home. She'd walked to the party. And she refused to walk home, hung-over, in full view of the neighborhood (!) the next morning. LOL. (Her willingness to share things like that because they are FUNNY is what makes me love her most). Your costumes were wonderful!

No shots of indoor windowboxes; too lazy, but I'll try. They're nothing to write home about, trust me! Just Geraniums in spray painted planters. Michelle, I was thinking about your suggestion of the Hammered finish. I've used that, too, and it came out great. Looking at the planters I now wish I'd done that and then "guilded the lily" with a quicky spot stencil to simulate Tole work. I think the effect would have been nicer.

I have to hang some laundry. Mum left her urostomy pouch open to day and I can't leave clothing that smells of pee to marinate until Saturday... eewww.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 5:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Odds and ends were accomplished yesterday and today. The birdbath is put away, the fire pit has been tended to, the plant ghetto has been parked in the veg garden, leaves have been ground and tossed on some of the flower beds.
Picked up a new cookbook, some ventilation pipe for the stove, receipts for my physiotherapy, etc. Also handed in our voting materials at the township offices. These are only due next monday, but the votes are cast! Tomorrow the hose must be stored for the winter months.

Here is how the front fields looked while the neighbour was working them this morning- before the nasty rains began.

And this is the window swag in my study ("Sue's room"). It is old, but had good use. It is made of braided rafia with various leaves etc added, ribbon ties at each end.

We have a dinner invitation now for December 24th. My goodness, how organized some people are!!!

Poor DH feels no better and is missing his hockey game tonight.

The satellite is failing, so I hope this will post.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 9:08PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi idylls! I miss you all so much. It's so nice to be mooned by Deanne.

I did have a nice view of the moon last night - actually saw a rather amazing and spectacular moonrise while I was letting Sunrise out. (little wordplay there) It all happened so fast there was no time to get a camera, but the moon had a lovely yellow glow and it was rising above a layer of clouds - very nice.

I was supposed to go to a meeting tonight but as I was changing clothes, I sighed and said, "I'm just too tired..." and stayed in. I don't like to run myself down and risk getting sick.

Okay, I need to share my VERY BIG NEWS. A couple of weeks ago I bought a raffle ticket from my boss's wife for a local school fundraiser. I kept telling her I knew I was going to win the top prize. Well, call me a monkey's uncle, but I did! Would you believe - $10,000! Yowzers!!!!!! After I give Uncle Sam his share, I have no idea what I will do with the rest. I've had a lot of great ideas but not that one that grabs you and says "do this!"

So I guess that's enough news from this corner of the world. I'm going to go clean the kitchen, fold the laundry, and go to bed with thoughts of all my idyll friends.



    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 9:21PM
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Tuesday evening and all is welltrash is out, doggie is fed, the suns going down. Im not in much of a chore mood tonight think I should take the night off ??

Deanne- do you do a veggie garden ? I used to have one every year but I kept planting more perennials and roses and pretty soon there was no room left. I always grow a tomato or two and lots of herbs. Next year I hope to have some concrete removed which will give me about 200 square feet to do a "potager" . Your moon photo is really beautiful ! I have a 4.5inch Orion reflector telescope which I really enjoy on the rare occasions I get to use it- mostly during the winter . Its pretty nice for planets and moon viewing.
If I dont get some fall foliage vineyard shots this week it will be too late. I really , really need to get my own camera instead of borrowing DSs all the time, which is not always available. Just spent 250 bucks on a vet bill could have bought a decent one for that !

Cindy, good for your Mom and Dad and their new van getting out and about is so important! My BIL is really into conifers too, especially dwarfs ; and they live in Oregon which is conifer paradise. I love going to garden centers up there and looking at the varieties of cypress, pines, spruce etc. So very cool.

T- looks like we may get some of your rain tomorrow down here. Sounds like you are getting soaked. Designing a new planting area is one of my favorite things. ! I dig up existing areas often to get a clean slate and then re invent plants, new color scheme if you are worried about water dont leave out the salvias , penstemons, sedums, euphorbias, gaurasso many really great drought tolerant plants and lots of great books out there too. How about planting three groups of three of everything with an occasional feature specimen plant- cant go wrong !

Chelone-this swag thing sounds very cool and very East Coast...One of my employees and I today started conspiring about an over the top floral display for the office, most of which will require missions with the felcos into parking lots, parks and the riverfront.It will be cheap but ooo the drama ! We already have a tasteful fall display on top of the bookcase.

Well hi to everyone else , I need to eat dinner and then hunker down for some election returns and some readingand our book club will start in less than a week now ! By that time the weather should be really crappy just about everywhere except LA, San Diego, Cabo San Lucas and Maui and reading will be a logical occupation

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 7, 2006 at 9:26PM
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Good busy morning! I love it when it takes a long time to read Idylls!

Drema and Cindy: I don't envy your commutes. When I need to go into Boston or NYC I swear I don't breathe until I get back to my car after riding the train or "T." Great costumes and great idea about the food club!! Though not an end of the book reader, I must admit that I'll listen if someone else is talking about it .....

T: Don't fret the beds! All of mine looked like your pics just two seasons ago, and now I'm parceling out room! When I see something I know I like and can't live without, I get it and know I'll find a place. I'd say that only 40% of my beds will be actually designed and that's the bones -- paths, pots, fences, stepping stones, hard-to-move woody plants, etc. The rest will be evolving dependent upon what strikes my fancy. Like Kathy, I like to change the "look" occasionally. My only rule for plants: The majority has to be low maintenance. Enter Lavandula!!!! Your spot sounds perfect and you've got some of the best growers in the business in your backyard. Take Advantage!!!

Deanne: Suffice to say I just stared at your moon for a few minutes ... It always amazes me that with all the "stuff" one can use for bugs, the best elimination method is strong water bursts. LOL Hope you have some "off" time, soon.

BTW: For me the best "good" food sources are the small markets rather than the megamarkets. Years ago I made a rule that rather than meal planning, we would eat whatever looked best that day. The cost doesn't deter me. I understand that it takes money to get unprocessed things to market in a timely way, and stock loss is higher as a result of that food not being enbalmed. And, of course, the best method is to grow it yourself. I have a great veggie container book that I'll send your way. It'll be right up your alley!! You'll even be able to grow watermelons that match your moon pic!!

Kathy - LOL, San Mateo works for me! Today 3" of rain is predicted but it should be warm -- at least in the low 50's. Of course, I have a full driving day but in anticipation, gave myself an extra 15 minutes to get everywhere. Can't wait for my book to arrive! Told Rich I planned to read during my brief recovery period and he asked if maybe I'd rather wait until I was coherent. Nah, say I, it'll be much more fun to interpret the essays in an altered state. LOL

'bug - I envy you your efficiency in cleaning up. Every time I think I'm close to done and pat myself on the back while reminding myself that in a few years things will not quite be so easy, I find something else to do.

As always, liked reading everyone else but am running out of time and have a plant issue:

Some of you may know that Ky has been into formal Bonsai since he was small. Growing those small plants brought him a lot of sanity during his Dad's and my divorce. It all started with a small Leptospurnum scoparium that I had gotten to bloom. Ky was entranced and the addiction began. Now, I am faced with having to care for these babies as his school work load is miles high (Good!!!) and he's not getting home quite as much these days. Please Send All Good Thoughts for Healthy and Happy Bonsai!! He claims they're easy, but so are cactus, which I continue to kill routinely :-)

Since I'm giving myself extra minutes this morning must get a-going and turn "on."

Everyone enjoy quieter phones and less screaming from the screens!!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 7:26AM
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Almost forgot -- Way To Go, V!!! In our house $10K would instantly turn into a bigger and badder greenhouse! (Or granite countertops, or a WOW trip to visit Kathy and T, or siding, or ........) Have Fun With It.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 7:28AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning, Im a bit late getting going because I started reading this book some internet friends recommended. LOL Anyway, its a dreary, rainy day but that isnt a bad thing. I noticed that the beds looked a bit dry yesterday when I was out attempting to photograph some birds. (not enough light, no luck) Today I have to get my act in gear and get the rest of the plants in the garage dealt with. Theyve been in there for several weeks now and its time to finish up preparing what Im going to keep. Im going to take the easy way out with a few things and just put the whole pots in the basement for now. Then I have to go to the bank and get to the grocery and give them huge chunk of money. Is anyone else here appalled at what you spend in the grocery store lately? My monthly grocery bills are more than my first mortgage payment used to be.

Kathy, no veggie garden here anymore. I used to but got really tired of fighting off the bugs and critters and diseases. Ive always said that if there is an insect or disease that can attack a plant it lives in my gardens. Even if it is a plant specific thing and Ive never grown the plant its own unique bug shows up within weeks of my planting it. Makes me crazy so I gave up with veggies about ten years ago. ~~ Yes, you really should have your own digicamera! They are a marvel and so much fun.

Cindy, great that your parents have gotten their new van and have mobility again. ~~ So do you have any pics of your DBs conifer collection?

V. I just knew that the moon shot would drag you out. !! WAY TO GO! Wowee and neato and all those wonderful exclamations of surprise and delight! Good for you. Youll have to let us know how you used your windfall.

Chelone, My photos shouldnt take that long to load because they are all downsized and compressed before I put them up on my ftp site. So even though the original file sizes are huge the compressed images are only about 54K or so. ~~ love your description of the ocean looking like a bathtub. The reflection of the moon in the water must have been lovely.

Martie, interesting about veggies in containers. Ive been thinking of planting eggplants in some of my container designs for a few years now as I think they are lovely plants.

Marie, It is amazing what a view you have when that tree by the bridge loses its leaves. Most of the leaves are down here too except for the oaks which lose them in dribs and drabs. ~~Im contemplating leaving most of the garden cleanup for spring or a winter thaw. The last couple days when I was out trying to do some bird photography there were quite a few little warblers poking about the gardens. If I clean the gardens out now they will have nowhere to look for goodies. Ill wait until they continue their migration I guess and if it snows before then, Oh well!.

Drema, great costumes! What fun. It has been years since Doug and I dressed up for a costume party.

Michelle, I just LOVE your garden gallery. Thanks very much for posting that link. Your container with the Pretoria canna and the Sweet Caroline Bronze is beautiful. Its my favorite too. There is so much there to look at Ill be going back for a while to enjoy the pics.

Eden, I sure wish I had a local nursery that made a good potting mix. Im afraid that the bag I got from HD is the culprit RE: the fungus gnats Im dealing with at the moment. I had them all eliminated from the house then I potted up some new cuttings and two days later the lights were swarming with the darned things again. Im going to have to figure out how to sterilize the soil before using any more of it. What a pain in the neck. If I dont get a handle on the things the larvae can destroy the roots of the cuttings and it is just downhill from there.

T. Im hoping for a telephoto zoom lens for my SLR for Christmas as well. Like you I couldnt afford the entire rig at the same time. Ill bet you cant wait to get that lens!

OK I really, really have to get off this computer and get to the gym. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 9:01AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I dont have much time this a.m. but I wanted to be sure to tell Michelle that I had a chance to look at her garden photos Michelle, its a wonderful garden A+ "Country Life" worthy of a magazine layout. I truly adore your lovely vignettes youve created you and Eden seem to have a natural eye for combining plants & decorative accessories. Truly stunning & charming.

V thats amazing! Ive never known a real "winner" of big bucks like that!! So neat! O plan a trip that youve always wanted to take w/ the whole family, just DH or some friends - create terrific memories thats my vote!!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 9:06AM
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Did I tell you guys that last week the Botanical Garden had a used book sale and I went over there on lunch? I got a whole bunch of Fine Gardening mags for 50 cents each. I found a plant that I want to get next summer, but can't find it online. I am wondering if it might be mislabeled. Anyway, they referred to it as aromatic orach (Atriplex). Have any of you ever heard of it? It is tall, dark red with dark foliage. When I looked online, all I came up with was a weed. Tony Advent is coming here in January for a seminar. I am going to try to plan to attend.... Babs.. want to come? It is at 7:00 PM. Thanks for the nice comments about the costumes. Skip loves to go to Halloween parties. Tommorrow I am going to the doctor because my sinuses have been bothering me, and it doesn't seem to be going away. Half the people I know have sinus problems, headaches, etc right now. I don't seem to remember this being so prevalent years ago. Must be environmental causes.

V- congrats on the big win! Whoo hoo! How exciting is that? Skip knew someone from work whose daughter bought a scratch off ticket and won $200,000 last week. I won $500 once years ago.

Michelle, your gardens are really nice! Thanks for the photo.

Martie, I am with you on the commute, but I do get to read while on the train. It isn't too bad, but I don't like waiting in between trains on the windy platform. I bought a new full length down filled coat with a heavy hood. It gets bitter cold. Last year when I took the job I had been at the same place for 13 years and was ready for a change. There are always trade offs I guess.

Well, better run! Happy day all!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 9:58AM
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I hate grocery shopping. I left home at 11am. Ran into an old neighbor, who I couldn't get away from in one of the aisles, finally escaped, had all of my groceries loaded onto the belt when the register quit working midway thru the person ahead of me, loaded all of my stuff back into the cart and followed the cashier to a new lane, finally got my groceries home and realized I didn't have a bag with about $20 worth of items, drove back to the store, they'd put everything back ( a couple of things were from the refrig. section), went and recollected these items, made it home again and just finished putting the last of it away. It's 2:00 now. Oh, I forgot to mention, they gave me a coupon worth $2.50 on my next shopping trip for my trouble. Lucky me. I hate grocery shopping!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 2:05PM
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I must tell you all that I just returned from my walk to the bank and it is 77 degrees.

Thanks for the nice compliments. Coming from such great gardeners it means a lot to me.

Sue, Im not sure if I told you or not, but I spent quite a bit of time viewing your photo albums and Moniques as well. Talk about inspiring! I have learned so much about gardening since I started hanging out here.

We mostly fresh foods here as well. One reason we enjoy at least a small veggie garden. I guess I maybe havent noticed the high grocery bills as they were much higher just a few short years ago when the kids were home.

Deanne, I wouldnt be without at least one eggplant. They are cool and Ive never had a bug problem with them.

V, congrats on the big win. Have fun with it.
Chelone, how close to the ocean do you live? I was 36 years old before I ever saw the ocean.

bug, your first picture tells the story of what my DH is up to these days (and nights)

Dwarf conifers one was among my bargain shrubs I purchased last weekend.

Martie, how interesting that your DS is into bonsai. Good luck with it.

My book just came last night and we had friends over but I still managed the first 26 pages.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 4:50PM
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Have done nothing about the book.

I live 400 yds. due west from the Atlantic Ocean. from the ridge of our roof I can see it! I can hear it, smell it, and enjoy its mitigating effects; "warm" winters and "cool" summers. But because I have to walk (climb a ladder) to see it, I don't pay waterfront taxes. A very good thing in the highest taxed state in the country!

Michelle, I have to share this with you. I live on a very scenic stretch of road. Traffic is heavy, esp. in "peak" seasons and the speed limit is between 25-30 mph.. But tourists drive more slowly (who can blame them?). It can be frustrating for those of us who see the damn thing every single day and just want to get HOME. ;) After my father's death and a friend's suicide I began to too look at the present very diffrently. More forgivingly. I was eager to get home for the WE and found myself riding up the bumper of the car before me. It was a gorgeous afternoon and I reminded myself to BACK OFF; I wondered if the person with the "landlocked" license plates had ever seen the ocean before? what a "moment" for me! And I realized that being kind, thoughtful, and accomodating means as much to ME as it does to visitors to my scenic area. Did you see the Atlantic or the Pacific? (I've never seen the latter... don't frankly, believe there really IS a west coast... so there!). What say you to that, Kathy?! ;) (a left coast conspiracy).

V.! how long do you thing it will take you blow the proceeds on plants or hardscaping? What fabulous news! you must be so thrilled, and I couldn't be more delighted for you. What a wonderful windfall. I can't wait to hear what you decide to do with it. Do we get to vote? ;)

I was thinking about grocery bills as the helpmeet returned from the grocery run... . Most of what I "offloaded" could be classified as "ingredients". With the exception of some soups, salad dressings everything else has to to be "prepared" somehow to provide a meal. Eating well requires planning, time, and effort. I am in awe of the helpmeet's assiduous attention to this "chore". I have to do nothing; and gripe only occasionally about "wasted" food. I'm tough about that!

Cindy, I meant to comment on the conversion van. I think it's purchase was money well spent. Taking an infirm, S L O W person out requires great forethought and patience. Mum is just slow, but I have great sympathy for those who are wheelchair bound. I automatically multiply my own frustrations by 10! Getting "out" is so important, and making it easy greatly benefits those so limited. Having 3+ yrs. experience with a sickly/elderly/frail parent I have a more patient outlook. I ask how I might HELP. I look those in wheelchairs in the eyes. Nothing is worse than overlooking them. I hope you will continue to share their experiences with us. Have you checked out "Caregivers" on THS? maybe you could offer some insight.

I'm wondering about the proposed W'burg. swags... maybe I want to do individual plaques... . I'm so confused. I'll try to rustle up some photograps and come up with some sketches to give you the big picture.

I have to go, helpmeet has Salmon and assorted other lovelies ready to eat.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 6:17PM
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OK I'm over the grocery thing. Chelone I envy you. Brad will gladly do the grocery shopping for me but I have to make a detailed list and then go over it with him and I still sometimes get surprises. I guess it makes a difference that he's not the one cooking. He's usually not even home for dinner. I mostly make dinner for Bella and myself. Sometime David too if he's not working. If Brad's home those are the nights I usually let him take me out and if I'm home alone I'll just eat whatever I can scrounge up. I cook for Bella though, no prepared stuff. Tonight I made her quiche and blueberry muffins. She usually eats about 3 bites, lol.

Brad captured the fish today and they're inside now. Funny, now that they're old they're not really orange anymore. One's white with orange spots, another is almost all white and the other two just look very faded. Another rainy and even foggy day here but tomorrow's supposed to be nice. The weather man says it will probably be the last day we see temps in the 60s for quite a while. I'm going to shoot for getting some garden cleanup in.

V, what great news! Can't wait to hear what you decide to spend your windfall on. My neighbor won $250,000 in '03 and it was great fun watching her spend her money.

Martie, we have a nursery in the area that specializes in bonzai and even offers classes. I've been tempted but figure I have enough plant addictions.

I have to do a talk for the local garden club on propagating plants for overwintering next Monday. I really have to get working on what I'm going to say. It only has to last around 20 minutes. Any ideas on what I should include would be appreciated. Help!

Time for Bella's p.j.s, stories and bedtime soon. Hope you all had a nice hump day. Where has this week gone so fast?


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 6:52PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

So good evening,

Eden, you arent the only one who had a frustrating day.

About two weeks ago I lost my drivers license. I kept hoping that Id find it or it would turn up as things normally do but nope, it didnt turn up and I wasnt one little bit happy driving about without a drivers license. So today I decided to bite the bullet and go to the DMV and get a duplicate issued. So the first thing I did was go the State of New Hampshire web site and find out what the process of getting another license would entail. I read through all the material, followed the instructions, printed the form, filled it in and went to the office in Merrimack as directed by the web site. (The nearest DMV office is about a 25 minute drive from here in Merrimack, NH.) Anyway, I don t know what the process is in other states but here, unfortunately, there is ALWAYS a long wait in a couple lines. So, I wait in line for a half hour or more and finally get to the front of the line, hand the woman my form as instructed by the state of NH web site with the $10.00 fee and she tells me I need a birth certificate and that if Im married I need to have a marriage license. Hmmmm.. I handed her my old drivers license that expired a year ago and it has my photo on it and asked her if that wasnt sufficient. It was a photo ID issued by the State, but nope, I had to bring in my birth certificate and a marriage license. I asked her if a passport wouldnt be sufficient as I have NO idea where the he - - my marriage license is. She gave me a hard time about accepting my passport but eventually decided that she guessed it would be OK. I asked her several times why the he - - the state web site didnt say you needed a birth certificate and a marriage license to get a license reissued. Also, why the he - - werent there signs in the office so when I first got there Id have realized I needed to go home and get the required ID instead of having to wait in a line for a half an hour to get that information. Well, no one at the office had an answer to that. Not their problem.

OK so I drive home, get my passport, drive back to Merrimack and lo and behold, I have to wait in another line, this time for an hour to get to the front of the line. (I wasnt too receptive to the woman in front of me when she asked me to save her place in the line so she could go and fill out her forms. The signs when walking in the building say to fill out your paperwork BEFORE getting in the line) Anyway, I finally get back to the front of the line hand the woman my passport, the required filled in form and my ten dollars and guess what? I did not have to have my photograph taken again because they already had my license with the photo theyd taken a year ago in their computer. So they ALREADY HAD A PHOTO ID! Issued by the state of NH a year ago. I asked her why if they already had a recent photo id in their computers why I had to waste two freaking hours of my time running around and jumping through hoops. So the photo ID in their computers wasnt valid to identify me? I think that takes the cake as the most STUPID thing Ive heard of in the last 25 years. Arrrrrrgggghhh!!!!!! I think you all probably heard my screams of frustration throughout the US and Canada.

So anyway, Eden, I feel your pain!

Im off to grumble and grump around here for a while longer. Ill be back when Im in a better mood. LOL


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 9:12PM
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Wednesday Salutations-
What weird weather we had today, rain was forecast and it never showed up ;instead we had warm winds and needless to say I had to water stuff thought I was done with that for the season. I came home at 4 today since its going to be a 6 day week for me-and I did buy 4 more six packs of pansies . I noticed last evening when I was walking my dog that my next door neighbor has installed lots and lots of Iceland poppies in her front yard. I must rise to the challenge !

Martie, I have a couple of friends who are into bonsai-we have a Napa Valley Bonsai club and I love to go to their shows, and always visit the bonsai exhibit at the San Francisco Garden Show. I love to look at them but dont think I am patient enough to actually grow them. Its really an art form.

V how very cool ! I never win anything !! Lets see, Id put 2 grand in an IRA , Id spend 500 at the book store, 500 at the garden center and the rest would go to house repairsprobably window replacements. Oh yeah, and the camera.. So fun to think about..

Deanne, I have to tell a potting soil story.. My late DH worked for a winery and when they discarded some of their oak barrels (unused) because the winemaker didnt like the species of oak used , be brought a couple of them home for me to use for veggies in the RV parking space. I work for a company that actually sells potting soil so I get a very attractive employee discount, and we only carry high quality stuff-expensive if you have to pay full retail. I was on vaca when he brought the things home and I never go near the office when I am on vacation because I invariably get sucked in ! So, I went down to Home Cheapo , where I rarely shop and bought about 8 2cu ft bags of the cheapest potting soil they had-didnt want to spend more that my employees price on the good stuff. Filled up the barrels(the soil was rather coarse) and planted crookneck squash, a dwarf cuke, peppers, sungold tomato among others. These plants did not grow an inch in the first couple of weeks after planting. I came to the conclusion that the potting soil had an unacceptable ratio of uncomposted forest products and was still in the process of using the available nitrogen to break down. I ended up dumping all of it into the garden , and replacing it with the good stuff. I replanted the same plants, and they took off almost immediately. Moral of the story 1.The soil is everything. Moral of the story 2. Sometimes stuff is cheap for a reason !

Michelle..I really enjoyed your pics, hope you will keep them coming.

Drema, Atriplex is a desert plant out here-(saltbush) , almost always silver-grey foliage, kinda woody. Needs virtually no water.

Eden, I do my grocery shopping at 6:30am on Saturday mornings. The only people in the store are the bread guys, the beer guys and a couple of other customers that I see almost every week. No lines , no crowds it ! Ive done my share of propagation talks/workshops maybe do a demo on rooting cuttings in both soil and water . Some rootone, some sterile potting mix, and a little advice on temps and light . Ive found that adults like to either a little hands-on or a demo rather than just straight lecture-show and tell yknow?

Chelone, have you thrown out the east coast is more scenic that the west coast gauntlet??
I cant put forth an opinion because my east coast experience is Baltimore, and I dont think that counts ! But I would drop a few names like Big Sur , Mendocino Headlands, the Lost Coast..If we were all independently wealthy (or won 10 grand like V) we could do a coast crawl and then vote! You may need some Dramamine for our coast how about yours ??

Well, Its time to go read the paper , and read a little

Kathy in the Napa Valley


    Bookmark   November 8, 2006 at 9:42PM
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Good green grass morning. We got nearly 2" of rain yesterday and the grass has responded. Should be really warm and sunny today and I am jumping for joy! Driving around in a perpetual car wash yesterday wasn't much fun, but I did happen on a new nursery .....

Michelle - Those pics took me through a very long wait for a client yesterday. Sitting in the pouring rain in my closed up car with cold coffee and Poof!! wireless where I thought there was none!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing. (Rosa 'Sharifa Asma' is on my must-have list, now.)

'bug -- Your barn could become famous. In my CT hometown there is a barn that is photographed, painted, appliqued, you name it. It is somewhat of a local landmark since it was built very near the oldest Oak tree in the state. While in Florida at a flea market, Lo and Behold!!!, a watercolor of the barn! Had to get it, of course, along with a note from the vendor confirming place of purchase. Good views travel fast!

Haven't gotten my book, yet, but if Deanne the ever-mover got to page 82 in one sitting, I figure we'll be choosing a second selection within a few weeks!!! LOL and all in good fun, friend.

Last pre-surgery ultrasound is today. I'm getting more and more excited about having this procedure done on Tuesday and am thrilled that my docs tell me I'm probably in the 50% of women who have Nothing Happen Ever Again except for shrinkage of offending fibroids and cysts. All Good Prognosis! There is an amazing amount of trust between me and these folks and again, I feel incredibly lucky ...

No Bonsai death, yet. They really are pretty cool little plants and I have specific directions to Not Touch the Wiring!!! Also learned that the conifers need to stay outside and live a natural winter under cover. Only if it gets below 20degF am I to bring them inside. Do Bonsai qualify as Grandplants? Fortunately, Ky will be home for a few days during Thanksgiving and thus can resurrect any that are looking piqued.

So, since I used to be formed plant/topiary nutcase have decided to go on a hunt for a good, unpinched plain old Myrtle and see if my skills are still there.

RE: Potting Soil. I've given up on anything from Big Boxes. Great advice from a premiere grower: If you can smell it, leave it alone! LOL I've come to mixing a lot of my own stuff using Pro-Mix #2 as a basis. A bale 4sq of the stuff costs $30 and is a great base for a bit more vermiculite, green sand, fine compost, etc. And, as we learned at Logee's, the PH is far more adjustable with a non-amended, fully set base. Trial and error and a lot of lost plants talking, here :-)

Everyone have a great day -- second cuppa and quick bill paying are awaiting.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 7:20AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idylls,

Well Im done frothing at the mouth. Poor Doug, he got to listen to me vent for an hour or so with minor eruptions throughout the evening. Im mostly better now. I still cant get over just how stupid the whole thing was. Today Im going to have to contact the appropriate person or persons at the state offices in Concord (another enterprise guaranteed to leave me frothing at the mouth) to see if they wont consider updating their web site and at least put some signs in the DMV office to spare other poor suckers the kind of day I had yesterday. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that the office was heated to the temp of 80 degrees in November! So all those cranky people waiting in line with their coats on became even crankier because they were sweating like pigs. Why is it OK to spend our tax dollars heating a building to steaming temps in November? Im sure in the summer the office is kept at 68 or some such. Grrrr Stupid.

So Kathy and Eden I wish I could get my hands on that lovely potting soil you use. I have no options except to buy the Miracle Grow stuff at H. Cheapo or Sams club. I told Doug Im going to have to save those three cubic foot bags I bought for next spring for the outdoors pots and buy something that is totally dry so no fungus gnats. My plants do grow well in the stuff though. I just dont want to bring in any gnats this fall. They are a total pest to get rid of.

Kathy cant wait to see your pansy display when we are still in the depths of winter here.

Eden, I took your advice re the plants to bring in and I actually let the Cavendish banana go. Im sad but relieved that I dont have to store that behemoth over winter.

V. Personally, I think you should save some of that moola for a trip to NH in February??? Ive got to check my calendar and set dates. It might be more toward March this year as I have a seminar scheduled for Feb next year.

Chelone and Kathy, Hmmmm East Coast vs West Coast. Been to both and Im sad to say (Im an East Coast person after all) Id have to vote that the ocean drive in northern CA is beyond spectacular and would have to win that contest. Also it just goes on and on and Ive not even been up Rt. 1 in Oregon and Washington which I hear are just as beautiful. The only other coastal drive that I thought was more beautiful was the Road to Hana on Maui.

Eden, had to laugh about making a list for Brad for groceries. Doug is the same and I can get the same uncertain results when he goes shopping. It is normally just easier for me to go myself as much as I hate it. ~~ I still havent brought my fish in for the winter and in fact cant even see them under the dying water hyacinths and leaves. Ive GOT to get them in this coming weekend. I dont even know if I have any babies from this year. Ive got to give away another four or five fish as the babies from two years ago have gotten way too big to bring them in with the original fish which are now behemoths. The largest one, (now called Big Bertha) is almost a foot long and almost five inches deep. I seriously didnt know goldfish got that large.

Michelle, what dwarf conifer did you get???

All righty, must run for now, have a great day everyone.

PS a few bird pics from the other day. The little Goldfinches are pretty cute and weve got a ton of them again this fall.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 7:44AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Chelone - I too have never been to the West Coast (love your coast though!! I'm in love w/ the Maine Coast - I'd love to retire to New England coast somewhere (altho at 80 I'll probably gripe about the cold, the snow, the expense! LOL). Thanks for the info re the Caregivers forum; unfortunately I have so little time to browse I usually (if lucky) hit here & then that's it for web-browsing. Im lucky in that my Dad has managed to take on the lion's portion of care for Mom, but I do worry that it's going to kill him early. But I think the wheels are going to indeed make a world of difference for them no matter how much time they have "left" & Im happy they did it. The nursing homes we went thru the first 2 years after her stroke were horrible; long story -- not worth repeating -- so it's a testimony to their determination that they're actually out in a van "taking a drive"!

Martie -- that's neat that you're into topiary (I love & have only played a wee bit but am a sucker for any of it; I lust after it). And even neater that you've got a "green" son -- bonsai is a challenge I truly believe.

Deanne -- that DMV story - holy moly - it's stuff like that that makes you wonder how we survive as a country isnt it? I've encountered problems like that in my own state encounters; yes, we have huge lines here in VA -- I waited for 2 hours to get my driver's license renewed (mandatory at certain ages) this year....& no rhyme or reason to the waiting lines. Im sure my blood pressure was high by the time I left.

Kathy - I really envy and am impressed that you can grocery shop at 6:30 a.m. -- I am not a morning person; & I live for the weekends (to sleep in) -- I think even if I managed to get to the store at 6:30 I'd forget half of what I needed. As a single, I confess I've gotten to the point where I try to shop as little as possible and consequently I seldom cook anymore, despite the fact that I used to love to cook. Am having T-giving dinner this year at my house -- my DD & her DH are vegetarians however, so that is always a challenge. It's really hard to get excited about cooking a "turkey" dinner for them!

It is going to be 70 here today & tomorrow -- I so feel a 2-day flu coming on...LOL. Unfortunately, I've got some deadlines tomorrow & know it would be NOT a good idea... Unfair!!!! Well, hopefully at least somewhat nice on Sat so I can get the bulbs in.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 9:10AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! I know I've promised this before, but I think that things are starting to slow down a tad, and I am also getting more settled in a new routine. I hope to resume idylling at a safe speed once again!

Deanne, sorry to hear about your DMV agony. It is so frustrating, especially when so much of the inconvenience can be avoided. Long lines and surly employees seem to be a requirement in our state. As far as "old business", I was glad to hear that your color seminar went well. You do know that you can charge those other garden clubs for your presentation?

I don't recall if I have mentioned this, but last month Peapod finally started delivering to our area. I haven't set foot in our grocery store since! The service is great, they have a nice selection of organics and natural foods, and while the price is a little higher, it's worth it to me to save the aggravation of the grocery store. We don't eat a lot of prepared foods, but we tend to lack in the fresh veggie department. DH doesn't eat a lot of veggies and is super-grumpy about throwing away food, but I get tired of eating NBL (nothing but leftovers) so lots of times I fix only what I know he will eat also.

We are having Turkey Day festivities at our house, so I need to get serious about menu planning very soon. We'll have 17 all together - not a mob, but still a decent number.

Amazon shipped my book yesterday, so it is on schedule to arrive tommorrow. I'm looking forward to reading this weekend. Last weekend, we went to DD's school for family weekend. A nice visit, and she was very excited to show us around campus, but we also spent a lot of time on the road. A quiet weekend is in store this weekend!


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Good morning!

Congratulations V!!!! Oh heavens what a lovely windfall that is and a way to help whittle down the list of 'if we had extra money I'd do this and that and....'. I hope it stretches further than you expect and allows you to do some fun things that you didn't think you would get to do this winter.

The rain subsided for part of a day and then yesterday afternoon began again. I think no rain is falling right now so things are slowly looking up. Our rain gauge shows 9.44" since Nov. 1st. I went to help with the twins yesterday but didn't think to look at the streams and rivers as I drove (duh!). I was keeping my eyes and mind on the drive as there was a lot of spray from other cars and trucks is my excuse (still a duh moment!).

All of this rain has stripped the majority of the leaves from the trees. Things are looking a bit ugly (yellow and brown leaves littering everywhere, looking like bits of wet paper bags) and bleak.

Today is grocery shopping, errands, bill paying, trip to the post office and various other 'jobs'. Tomorrow is babysitting from 7:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. or later (most likely). A much longer day than normal - I just hope the boys are in a good mood? The twins will be here on Saturday so that DH & I can watch them while their parents go off on a 'day date' without them. Their first 'get away' since the boys have been born. Them staying here is only going to work since DH will be here with an extra set of arms to help me. Otherwise, when I watch them alone, I need things, like their baby swings, to help me. The boys are still not able to lay flat (reflux) they either nap on a shoulder, in their car seats or in their swings. Sometimes the swing seems like a lifesaver! They are getting much stronger and like to sit upright on your knee. They still do the bobble head thing that infants do, but their necks are getting stronger and soon they'll be more steady which should make things a bit easier---I hope so anyway.

Our family is going to grow a bit bigger in the late spring.....Jamie is going to have a new brother or sister. He'll be 3.5 when the baby is born so, hopefully, will be a big help in caring for his new sibling. Jim and I are feeling pretty blessed with these grandchildren.

Well....more coffee needed.......

Hello to all!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 9:48AM
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Good Morning, It's a sun shiny day here. I really appreciate them lately as it seems they are few and far between. I'm headed out to do some garden cleanup but had a few things I wanted to say here first.

Martie, does Ky bonsai japanese maples? I got a timberpress newsletter in my email yesterday and it features a book called Bonsai With Japanese Maples by Peter
Adams. I'm thinking about getting it. I used a few japanese maples in my container gardens this year and working with them sounds interesting.

V, I'm glad to hear Peapod's now in the Chicago area. Gives me hope they'll soon come to MI. I would love that!

T, does you guys have bumbos for the twins? If not get them! We had one for Bella and used it alot. The twins are probably a little young for them but they'll be big enough to use them soon! Glad to hear the anouncement on the new baby. Congrats!

Deanne, I can relate to the dmv story. It always seems to me that the employees there and at the post office too are cranky and deliberately move as slowly as possible. I lost my license about the time Bella was born and on the website here it gave a list of documents they would accept when applying for a new one. I took them all, like 5 different things, so I wouldn't have to go back again.

Kathy, You're smart to do your grocery shopping early. I'm a morning person too but usually I creep quietly around the house in my pjs until Brad gets up at 8:00. He works afternoons and so I try not to wake him up before that or I'd be dressed and out of here early too. Thanks for the suggestion for my propagation talk. I will do that. You gave me the idea that I can demonstrate to them how to propagate begonias from leaf cuttings too. Though I don't know if any of them are begonia nuts like me.

Ok have to run now. As usual I have lots that I'm aspiring to get done today.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 10:14AM
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Deanne, I've been sitting here studying the bird photos while I ate breakfast. They're just beautiful. Thanks! Ok I'm off to the garden now...


    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 10:50AM
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Howdy all,
Thursday, cooler but sunny. Im trying to shake off my feeling of dread for yet another physical inventory tomorrow-Ive been running these d%#n things for 15 years and still get stressed out the night before worrying about what might go wrong. After tomorrow only one more and then done for the year..

Great finch shots Deanne- I love my bird visitors my feeder for the finches etc was not up this summer because the branch I had it hanging on fell down and couldnt figure out a new spot that would not have seed falling where I didnt want it. I feel bad too, because I had a pair of evening grosbeaks that came here for several years and I had nothing for them this year. I am actively seeking a new location. My blue jays are very happy however, as are my hummingbirds. Hey, thanks for the California coast vote ! The road to Hana ! yikes, that is REALLY Dramamine territory..LOL

T- heres hoping you get a few days of dry weather ! We are expecting rain here on Saturday , but not heavy. Congrats on the new Bun in the Oven

Eden, I bet it doesnt matter if they are begonia nuts or not- demos always go over great with gardeners gardeners love to learn new things. Thats because (have I mentioned this before?) we are intelligent, witty, glamorous and can meet adversity head-on !

Yoo -hoo Marian, bet youre out there lurking, hope all is well with you !

Think Ill be-bop over to the book thread

Au Revior
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 9:40PM
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77 degrees on Wed. and this a.m. the ground is white - you gotta love this Iowa weather!

Congratulations grammy T!

I sure miss Ei.

Eden, funny but a bumbo seat must have been the only piece of baby equipment that Kenzie didnt have.

Deanne, love the new birdies. I will have to remember to show them to Kenzie since she is really into birds. We have a finch feeder that hangs from the eave of the house right in front of one of the kitchen windows. I take her and stand in front of the window and when they come feed they are really just inches from you.
I got picea abies Little Gem for $6.50.

Chelone, it was the Atlantic in Florida. How neat to live so near the ocean, I envy you. Were pretty landlocked here in the Midwest. DH has taken the whole west coast drive from WA state to LA and loved it. He would like to do it again, but work seems to interfere with such a long trip. I would really like to get to the east coast, but he has this crazy idea that theres a lot of traffic out there. LOL

I went grocery shopping today after work. I really dont mind it, but I stay away on Friday & Sat. as it is much busier. Actually Tuesday is a good day to go.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 7:34AM
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Good warm!!!! morning. Yesterday was in the mid 70's and today AND TOMORROW will be mid-sixties. All garden stuff Will be done!!

Congrats, T. about the newest addition to the family! Sounds like our Spring/Summer will be filled with new baby stories. Doesn't get much better than that.

V: Good to hear from you!

Drema: My parents are getting on but all my sibs excepting one brother (Ohio) live in close proximity. We've decided to "do" international nights at my parents house where each of us will bring something to share. My sister, who is a wonderful person but lousy cook, will bring a reading as her contribution, the rest of us will bring edibles. Thanks for a wonderful idea!!

Not J. maples, Eden, but he did work on a self-sown sugar maple for awhile. His crowning achievement is a self-sown oak that he's had for nine years. His Japanese language professor at college has offered to bail me out and keep his plants in her office that has perfect sun and a sill where outside plants can be outside. I'm relieved, actually. Though not a gardener per se, he adores these plants and if someone else contributes to any demise, that's okay with me :-)

Left vs. right coast. Baltimore does count, Kathy, as long as you had crab someplace at the Inner Harbor. LOL I've not been on the left coast other than on business where all rooms look the same, so I'll vote for the Northern Great Lakes as a compromise. Absolutely stunning and so different from anything else!! Having seen most of the East Coast from Maine to Florida at some point in my life, I can say that the part I like best is the North Carolina Outer Banks. The National Seashore on the Cape runs a close second.

I thoroughly empathize with the DMV/State Agency horror stories. Dealing with my brother's stuff taught me all about assertiveness and fortitude! Like Eden, I've learned to bring everything I think can possibly help to wherever I'm going.

Short day today! We've hit our quarterly budget already and my great boss (even on days when he doesn't spiff us) told us to hit the road home as soon as we could to enjoy the weather. Yippee!!!

Found a piece of granite that I love for our kitchen, but there isn't enough to do the entire counter. SO -- I'm negotiating with the guy to cut it up for me to use in my herb garden that will be started next year. Don't want to bore anyone (oops, Chelone, that awful word!!!! :-) so won't wax on about how much herb gardens and herb gardening in general means to me. There are a lot of deep-seeded reasons to grow them. You'll hear more all winter long, I'm sure!!

Best to all. Wondering how Sue is feeling and if Taryn's boys have permanently confiscated the 'puter!!


    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 7:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good cloudy morning to you all! Here it is expected to reach a high of about 48F, which is superior to the high of 8F expected at DD's! Fortunately her DH is not allowing her to ride her bike to work anymore. The latest news from them refers to Cletus the fetus. I certainly hope the name does not stick! I'll give it to T to use, OK T?

Well Martie, one of the issues we've been working on these days is the questioning of the opening of huge mines along the northern shore of Lake Superior. The area is a gorgeous unique spot known as Michipicoten near the town of Wawa. The American group hopes to mine the area and ship the rock, stone and gravel by boat to pave Michigan roads. There are many reasons that we feel this plan is poorly thought out.

My book for our reading group has not yet appeared, even though mailed on November 2nd. I hope it arrives today because we do not have Saturday mail delivery in Canada, which means I'd not be able to start with the others. That's OK though if necessary, because I have read it before....wherever my old copy is!

DS left for Frankfurt yesterday for his holidays. He will be traveling about eastern Europe and will be meeting one of my favourite forum people in Berlin! That's just so cool IMO. What an age we live in!

Deanne, maybe I should be thinking of that March visit at your place since I will likely be in Alberta during Idyllunion time. Why wasn't I born wealthy so that I could travel more frequently? In a different world, I'd love to help the kids out buying a home too. House prices are insane there, as they are in many areas. Our first home cost $30,000 and was a 'handyman special'. We thought we should have a circular drive and servants for that amount! Well today there is no such thing as a $30,000 home anywhere nearby.

Hi Marian! I hope you have guests at your place to share your favourite holiday, Thanksgiving.

On with my day. Enjoy your Friday- full day or half!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 8:26AM
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Good morning! I'm leaving here soon to go babysit the twins for the day. I don't usually begin babysitting until 10 but today it is 7 a.m. that I'm to take over the duties. It will be a long day. ;o\ We've got a storm warning for strong winds and another 1 to 2" of rain today. The weather center alarm went off at 3 a.m. to tell us that. Nice. LOL We both are awoke by the alarm, say 'what is that?' I mull over in my head where I've heard that noise before and it sounds like it is coming from the dining room/kitchen area..... DH stays in bed while I go looking for the source of the noise and then after finding and turning it off, I kick a piece of exercise equipment on the way back to bed. Oh but it was a rude awakening! ;o) We've got a high wind watch for Sunday---gusts to 60 mph are predicted. With the saturated soil all along the coast and inland it will be a bad deal if the winds do come. Hopefully the storm system will not come ashore, don't know what the chances of that are though.

The twins do have Bumbo seats, Eden. DD found out about them from another mother of 18 month old twins who said they were very helpful. This grandmother ;o), picked up two for an early Christmas present to the boys. I figured anything (!) that would work and make watching them easier for their mom & dad (and me!) was worthwhile. Kind of spendy but it sounds like they can be used as high chairs if an adult is right there (no straps to hold the seat to the chair or the child in the Bumbo). Thank you for mentioning them as if we hadn't known about them, I'd definitely want to.

Well, I've only got 30 minutes and I need to gather all the dogs' 'stuff' to take along. I try not to leave the dogs alone for more than 8 hours and this looks to be a 12 hour day so they have to go along with me so they can have potty breaks.

Hope it is a good day for all....


    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 9:00AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


It's been soooo long since I've blown out of work early or have even taken a day off at all, but with sunny temps in the 60s, today may just be the day.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 9:43AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

An extremely stressful day yesterday involving lawyers. (No I didnt get in trouble with the state of NH. LOL this is a property issue we inherited unbeknownst to us when we bought this hour back in 1978) Enough said, about that but Im a bit maxed out with the stress quotient at the moment. On the way to the lawyers office DD calls Doug asking for a loan because apparently since she lost her job her checking account was hideously overdrawn and the charges just keep mounting. So Im wondering just when will she grow up? Breaks my heart and makes me crazy. I need a day to completely chill out. Im thinking of spending the day outside with my camera and scope and pretending all these issues dont exist.

So happy you like the bird photographs. I enjoy taking them and sharing them with you.

Cindy, the NE coast is lovely but crowded and ME is beyond expensive. Ask Chelone. If I had unlimited resources though Id love to have a place on one of the beautiful islands in Penobscot Bay, mid-coast Maine area. Hope you get some quality time in this weekend.~~ Warm here too, today is supposed to be in the mid to upper 60s.

HI V! so great to hear from you more regularly again. ~~ RE doing garden club lectures. Ive been thinking about that also and will probably make that a branch of my DDA business. Id like to start doing some magazine articles for the industry as well. Ive written for the decorative arts industry for twenty years I dont see a reason I cant expand into this new venue for me.

T. Congratulations!!! How neat is that? You must be so thrilled. ~~ Wow I cant believe that weather youve been having. We are supposed to have another front zip up from the south and dump a pile of rain on us by Sunday again. If this weather pattern continues well be buried with snow this winter.

Eden, Im with you on padding about the house in the mornings this time of the year. I have a real problem getting out early when the days are so short. ~~ Did you do your demo and talk for the garden club yet?

Kathy, how very neat youve had Evening Grosbeaks. Weve not had one here for many years. We used to get huge flocks of them during migration and I dont remember the last time I saw one.

Michelle, what a score on that Little Gem! I just love dwarf evergreens and am becoming more fond of them as time goes by.

Hi Martie! So how are you planning on using that granite in your herb garden?

Marie, definitely plan to come in Feb if you can. The more the merrier!

Sue, I was thinking of you this AM and wishing we lived just a bit closer. It would be great if we could get together for dinner and conversation this weekend. Ah well

OK Ive got to get off this computer before I fritter away this entire day.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 10:02AM
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Martie, we won't be bored by the herb garden talk. I'd love to know what you plan to do with the granite.
You should get 'Sharifa Asma' it is a wonderful rose. Extremely hardy, good clean foliage and and blooms all summer and fall.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 12:11PM
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Hi Idylls

A day off from work - Yay! but an even busier one than usual. Amongst various activities with the children, (lunch with friends, tennis, a sleep over for David, taking Annie and her friend shopping at the Mall) I'm up to my eyeballs preparing the garden talk I'm giving on Thursday. In case you're wondering why I've been asked to give a horticultural talk I'm doing the same myself. However, it's through our Civic Garden Center which usually attracts beginners rather than the seasoned Garden Club crowd. "Growing English Cottage Garden Favorites from Seed" is a subject I'm comfortable with and I'm hoping to explain the different methods for starting from seed (Direct seeding, Winter Sowing and Starting indoors under lights) and the results that can be achieved with each. I think I have all my photos resized and into powperpoint, but I still have a lot of rearranging of images to do and handouts to prepare. Deanne or anyone else - I might email you, but how many images is reasonable for a 1 hour talk? DH thinks I have way to many.

Hope to catch up sooner or later and hoping all my comments reach you all through telepathy as I might not have time to write them down for a while.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 3:45PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi Mary, I had 47 photographs in my presentation for the one hour talk and I was only a bit over my time limit. If I'd talked a bit less in the beginning of the presentation it would have turned out perfectly. I'm of the mind set that I'd rather have too much material than too little. I had things arranged in the presentation so I could have finished the talk at any point after slide number 25 or so if I'd had to and it all still would have made sense. I have a phobia about running out of material. I'd done something for a painting lecture one time and I was really short of material and I vowed that it never happen again.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 4:16PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

In my experience you can give your presentation with pictures at your own pace to begin with, then add beautiful photos for as long as time allows at the end. People never tire of pretty flowers, grasses and combos!
The presentations with only 10 photos and lots of talk and no demonstrations wear thin with most audiences. I've seen them work though with historically based topics.
Only photos and no content is tough too. This is what speakers from nurseries do to sell plants...and put their audience to sleep.
You are so lively and informed, you'll be a winner!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 5:09PM
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Kathy, Kathy, Kathy... stop looking to the ground for the landed gauntlet. I was teasing. I've never seen anything left of the Mississippi River, therefore "it doesn't exist". For all I know, every single one of you who SAYS they live "left" of the Mississippi may be "pulling my leg". I have a wonderful LP (also CD) by a guy named Joe Sample; a talented jazz pianist who played with the Crusaders, called "Carmel". One of my very favorites! but how do I know the cover art featuring waves in the background wasn't shot in Maine?! ;) Errol Garner's tour de force, "Concert by the Sea" has some alleged left coast scenery, too... . Factoid: Maine has more miles of coastline than the rest of the country put together... read that somewhere; may be bulls--it. Don't know, don't really care.

Maine IS expensive. Most highly taxed state in the country. Yeah, really, and it's a huge issue in any election year. Real estate varies wildly depending on where you want to buy. Aroostic county ("The" county) is dirt cheap, York and Cumberland county are very expensive. Mid-coast Maine has been increasing greatly. Waterfront is premium and the state is working very hard to control development and preserve the "working" waterfront, so the fishery industry won't be priced out! Maine has two faces, the affluent south and the impoverished northcountry. Where land is "cheap" there is virtually no work and limited services. Double edged sword, NH deals with the same issues.

Eden, I know virtually NOTHING about propagation short of division, so I have nothing to offer in the way of advice. Maybe one day I will; until that time I'd be one of those slack-jawed fools lapping up whatever you offer up, lol. I'm a TOTAL morning person; I'm about "done" by 3PM. It doesn't matter what time of the year it is, I am always awake by 4:30-5AM. Alway have been, probably always will be. You're not alone. :)

Martie, I always heard bonsai was about trimming the ROOTS first and then dealing with the "canopy". It's a really cool thing, but anal as I may be, I don't have the direction to maintain such a "captive". I'd be wicked scared of screwing it up, too. LOL. Of all the places I'd like to visit on a sailboat, the Great Lakes is my first choice. I can't even feature expanses of FRESH water so large they're able to swallow large freighters. Baltimore and Chesapeake would be another destination... on the way to the Carribean, thank you very much. :)

Lovely surf today and yesterday, BTW. The phase of the moon was "right" (full/thereabouts), and a passing storm left big swells to break on the rocks... the offshore wind really whipped up the crests and made for some very scenic moments. The gulls were going mental eyeballing yummy treats turned up by the intense wave action. Lots of seaweed on the "beaches".

Had a tough couple of days this week with Mum. Very confused, and I had to repeat myself a lot. Strokes are really tough, and I know what you mean about not wanting to talk about the "care" in nursing homes!!! I have to make that decsion very shortly and remembering what I saw right after her stroke has made me really gunshy. But I also know I can't continue to put "me" on hold indefinitely to facilitate Mum's existence. It's a nightmare too many of live every day.

Pant! I think I'm "caught up"... yeah, RIGHT!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 5:43PM
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What a horrible day!!!! Wind knocked down a power pole near the twins' house and we were without power from 8:40 this morning until 6 this evening. The temp in the house dropped to 63, they are on a well so no power means no water. It was a very long day and as the temps dropped lower so did the daylight. I found 2 small candles in jars and 2 flashlights. Ended up placing a flashlight between the cushions of the sofa with the beam shining on the ceiling to get enough light to keep an eye on the boys. Put their fleece hats on them, footed pajamas and wrapped in blankets. It was one of the longest and most stressful days I've had in quite awhile. I would have loved to bring them here, but I kept expecting the power to be restored and I did not know if we had power here. Awful day. It was so cold that I changed diapers less than I normally would just so I wouldn't have to undress the boys. Hindsight, now that I know how long the power was out, I wish I had brought them here this morning. Even if we didn't have power here, I have two woodstoves and could have kept the house warmer for them. Sugars! It turned out okay.....they were warm enough with their little hats and the blankets. Glad it is over though.

T. (hi everyone! lol)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2006 at 11:28PM
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Evenin' everyone.. I'ts almost 10pm here and I'm sure most of you are tucked in your nice warm beds-I just got home from work so I have to wind down a bit. The inventory went smooth but a long 12 hour day and I'm pooped. Have to be back in at 7am tommorow.
This morning all the roofs in the neighborhood were frosty white, but no frost on the ground. I am definately bringing my begonias- it's supposed to rain tommorow so it will warm up which gives me a reprieve.(Here in our climate it is cold when it is clear and warmer when cloudy-we have frost only on cloudless nights for the most part)
Martie- I love to grow herbs and read about them. I have them incorporated into my flower gardens-sages, thymes (4 kinds) tarragon, basil, couple of kinds of oregano,amoung others. When I do my veggie garden plan for next year (I hope) it will be heavy with herbs. Please keep us posted !
Deanne, a stressful lawyer day sounds very unpleasant indeed..I hope you were able to diffuse with a pleasant meal, an adult beverage , and a hot herb infused bath...

Mary, I like the topic of your talk- I'ts been my experience that if a talk is slide heavy it is good to break it up with demo's or hands-on..stick something in the middle.

Chelone,looked for the gauntlet but it never turned up ! Someday I will visit the coast of Maine-this is something I have always wanted to do .What really intrigues me is there is this cultural romanticism out here involving the sundown over the ocean-I have seen many ocean sunsets, but never an ocean sunrise !

T-you have just had the worst weather ! All I keep hearing is more rain predicted. Sounds awful with the babies and the cold house..I turned on my heater for the first time this year last night-put the thermostat to 64 and it clicked on.I usually do about 64 all winter unless I have guests. Right now it is pretty cold in the house (63)but it's just me and the dog and the cats ,DS is at work , so I'll just tuff it out and get under covers very soon- bedroom is upstairs and western exposure so it's always a few degrees warmer up there...

Well, time to call it a night....Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 1:47AM
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Man, T. when are you gonna catch a break out there?! I saw something about a snowstorm, too? Losing the power is inconvenient for us, but we're pretty well equipped to deal with it. (Oil lamps, a woodstove, gas kitchen stove), but we're on a well, too so that puts the kibosh on any water. 63 degrees is chilly when you're just sitting around, and there are only so many layers you can put on kids as "fresh" as the twins. You're a trooper! (I'll bet you were a Girl Scout).

Deanne, you have my heartfelt sympathies with the mindless beaurocracy that pervades "state" or "government" jobs. Do you think they make it a point to hire simpletons or do you think the nature of the work creates them? ;) As "free" time is at a premium for me these days I'm rather adamant about who gets to squander it needlessly... I am the one accorded that priviledge, thank you very much. You're entitled to periodic "eruptions".

And lawyers... I love and respect the profession, but it seems whenever you HAVE to see one there is something stressful or unpleasant in the offing. I remember when the helpmeet's step SIL sued him over the provisions in his late father's will (she was POA for his senile stepmother). What a horrorshow. Not something I care to ever repeat in my lifetime. Again, you have my sympathies.

I've decided my morning treat is to go to a "bow making seminar" at a local business. It's being put on by an interior designer and I need to do something foolishly frivolous. I also need to begin networking with interior designers; I've long entertained ideas about doing more drapery work/cushion work and I think it's time to start moving in that direction. I've been working on a large mooring cover at work (25'Lx13'W). It's heavy, cumbersome to handle, and I've had to lay it out one half at a time because the support colums in the shop preclude a full, flat layout. The specifications are non-existant, and even when finished it will be ugly. I spent most of Thursday doing the layout on my hands and knees. Frustrating, tiring, and it left me irritated. Hrrummph!

Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, so maybe I'll direct my attention to the remaining shade for "lab.". It would be really nice to finish the entire project and focus on the something else with full attention. That sounds considerably more exciting than the much needed "deep cleaing" the house desperately needs, don't you think?

I measured the swag length for the exterior windowboxes at about 36"/each. I have 16 pcs. of fake fruit for each one, and a couple of Christmas wreath "picks", too. I did a very quick "mock up" on my cutting table the other night, and rather liked the overall effect. I think using open linked chain is the way to go. I want the fruit to be clustered together tightly and it will be pretty easy to wire it onto the links. I'll scrounge around the "board room" (helpmeet's workshop where we keep the boards) to find a length so I can play around with it.

Oh my! I hear Her Highness rustling around downstairs (too early!)... well I may as well "face the music". She's been doing really stupid, forgetful things like leaving her pouch open (not following the directions on the wall in front of the toilet), and then spilling tea all over herself yesterday. Maybe today will be better. ;)

OK, gotta go.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 7:07AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well, I had a marginally productive day yesterday. Cleaned up the first floor, prepared a dinner party for six and I got all the orchids watered and the window cleaned up. The really great news is that all the phalaenopsis are spiking up and many are throwing double spikes. I dont know if it is the summer outdoors or the new Maxsea fertilizer that Kathy recommended to me that is making the difference but the plants are really happy at the moment. All the cuttings and plants under the lights are flourishing as well and it is so neat right about now when they start settling in and looking really pretty. Im going to have some lovely flowers from my Bella hybrid abutilons soon. The one with the large pink flowers is throwing a ton of buds at the moment.

Im thinking today I have got to get all the dahlias dug out as Ive not done that task yet and if I wait any longer Im going to lose them. For some reason I get to this time of the year and my frantic preparations for the upcoming winter months come grinding to a close and my attitude turns into Que sera sera. LOL

The thin watery daylight this time of the year seems so insufficient somehow. The sun hardly ever gets over the house to warm the sundial garden and the front of the terraces. I cant wait until we are over the hump of the winter solstice. Somehow the same amount of daylight in January seems more cheerful because we are on the side of the days lengthening instead of getting shorter.

Chelone, Thanks! Im planning on finding the name of the official in charge of our state DMV offices and web site to complain about the lack of pertinent information and their cavalier attitude about wasting peoples time. Im still steamed about it. I still cant get over that it was OK to use my passport for my photo ID which doesnt look like me at all anymore. (In fact I think I need to have that re-issued with a new pic, its that bad) and they couldnt verify my identity from the very large photograph of me on their computer screen. Did they think I had a face transplant? ~~ You are going to have fun at the bow making seminar. I learned to make fancy bows years ago and I use that skill every time I wrap a gift. Its fun to embellish the gifts with pretty bows. ~~ Youd do super at custom draperies and from what I understand there is good $$$ to be made with that. ~~ BTW do you know someplace with a real good concentration of shore birds out your way for me to photograph?

Kathy, Wow, you are working again today after a 12 hour day yesterday. Will you be finished with the project after today? ~~ I did wind up de-stressing with a couple frozen margaritas. They are an indulgence I almost never allow myself and that tasted sooooo wonderful. We went to Outback for dinner after the meeting from Hades and I had one of those delicious dishes with grilled chicken artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes. Yum.

T. your day sounds like a very stressful and difficult situation. So sorry! Id be crazed taking care of two babies but to have to do it without water and heat. Dreadful. ~~ I cant get over the weather youve been suffering from and I just saw that another storm is headed your way. I sure hope the weather pattern breaks soon.

OK time to hit the gym so I can get home and get to work digging dahlias and finishing up cleaning up the pots. Ive pretty much decided that Im going to leave the gardens as they are for the time being except where I want to plant bulbs. The birds are just having way too much fun zipping about looking for goodies for me to cut it all back and take it away. Sounds like as good an excuse as any to be lazy and leave the cleanup until spring. LOL

Have a great Saturday all,

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 8:54AM
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Good Saturday Morning in it's Fullest Regard!!!!

Today I am chillin'. Short trip for essential chores (gas light is on in the car :-), to parents to check in and drop off brother's check, to invitation-only bench clearing special at local nursery, then home to hug Rich a lot on this U.S. Veteran's Day.

Then bulbs. For some reason I've acquired about 300 that now need to be planted. Many I haven't grown before and just how does one keep a 40" Allium in bloom upright? LOL It'll be a lot of fun next Spring and bulbs are so darn economical that if they fail, they fail.

That said, my Amaryllis are finally dying down so into the dark cool of the cellar for a few weeks. Gotta love the season.

I'm with you, Deanne. Winter Solstice can't come soon enough.

My herb list currently has 117 varieties and I'd need to use the whole park to plant everything. Think I'll narrow it down to about 30 and do a "collector" garden. Given that all other gardens are generally being massed, going back to what I know well will be a relief. The granite use is as yet undecided, as is the purchase at all given the sky-high price the guy wants to gut it. Why does it cost more to cut it in pieces in their shop than to cut a sink hole on-site in a kitchen? He must know I really want this ....

Read everybody's everything and empathize. No water, kitchy lawyers, bad gov't operations, mines near serenity ... Glad this group is here to remind us all that Life Can Be Good!!

Marian - come out, come out wherever you are!!

Later, friends.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 9:53AM
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Things are moving slowly here, today. Not sure how the "old lady" will be today... . At present, she is contentedly eating her pineapple and banana mix, sipping her tea. I've just put the "toad in a hole" down (a fried egg contained by the circular hole cut in the piece of bread which you cook all at the same time). I'm trying to maintain cautious optimism. ;) I'm well ahead of the required schedule to get me outta here by 10:15.

Kathy, if you like jazz you would probably like "Carmel", Joe Sample (1979-80). The theme is all about Carmel/San Francisco; it's really a great recording. I had to laugh about the sunsets; it's precisely the opposite here. I see the sun rise every single morning and never cease to marvel at the variety of colors the spectacle provides. In the darkest months the moon and the stars are amazingingly bright; esp. when it's REALLY cold. I am a morning person. I can't imagine sleeping through sunrise! I used to pay more attention to sunsets when I lived in NH and watched it set behind the mountains. Now, they're pretty, but they occur beyond the tress and I manage to miss the "show". Interesting how where we live affects the way we view such routine things, huh? Whenever I view the coast of Maine from our boat I usually think about those poor Pilgrims... landing in New England in NOVEMBER? now that's a "welcome mat", lol. The coastline of Maine is very rocky and forbidding... not something I'd like to see in cold weather with scanty provisions. At the time they landed Massachusetts was only somewhat "better" (warmer). Ugh! I've never really spent much time thinking about it, but do you think there really is a difference between the east coast and west coast mindset?

When I return from the bow making thing-y I have to get the awnings off the frames and get them ready for laundering. I still have to deal with the screen panels, too. Never a shortage of "chores", is there?

Listening to NPR; Martie, was it you who read the biography of Marie Antoinette (I loved the one by Antonia Fraser)? Have you heard about the new biography of Louis XIV? I can't wait to read it. I love biographies. I love reading about the royal families of Europe and the political alliances they formed with each other. It's fun to see the same names surface again and again. I need to read up on Jane Dormer, Countess of Feria, and more of the French royal family.

OK, now I have to consolidate things and get ready to learn about bow making . :)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 9:57AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A slow morning here, no sunrise to speak of, but rain and sogginess. DH is suffering from his hernia again (still) and so moves in slow motion. The doctor says it is nothing serious. Hrmph... Reading along about my garden friends and their lives is very enjoyable today.

I keep finding more old photos for DD, after having put together an album for her. Now I must decide whether to start over again or what. DH suggests removing the old boyfriends...but I think not. You don't easily erase your past. Heck, I still exchange Christmas notes with my old flame.

Today I hope to watch the dyeing process of the wool I'll be using for DD's jacket. The battery of my camera is charging now, so maybe there will be some successful shots to share with you later.

Another citizen's group meeting on sand, stone and gravel tomorrow morning. Whoopeee. ;-) Perhaps Monday's weather will allow me to be back in the garden? I really hope to get things cut back soon. I want to do other things come spring!

Just heard from an old friend from the 60s this morning. That is so much fun! She's a Peace Corps friend, a minister and a psychologist. Wish she lived next door. She's amazing. Then yesterday another friend from my teaching days phoned and we talked for over an hour about our families. She's an elegant beauty, from Tobago, who home schooled her 4 children while they lived in Tanzania for 11 years. It is hard to imagine this perfect lady having normal children who stress her out periodically, but she does! There's something special about old friends....

Off to make something of this saturday before it escapes me.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 11:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Old friends, old friends,
Sat on their parkbench like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
of the high shoes of the old friends

Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sun
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settles like dust on the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a parkbench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends, memory brushes the same years,
Silently sharing the same fears

Simon and Garfunkel

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 11:37AM
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The ground is still white and its a brisk 26 degrees but sunny. Ive been puttering around the house. All the plants have been watered, a few Christmas gifts wrapped and some wash done. Im thinking I could go out and put away lawn furniture etc. Last night we walked in to a restaurant and ran into one of DHs coworkers and some friends of theirs. They asked us to eat with them. It was a fun evening. I ended up buying some clearance sale narcissus and crocus. Youd think I would quit when there is snow on the ground.

bug, I think when the Idylls are 70 they wont be sitting on the park bench, theyll be planting a garden around it ;o) Sorry to hear that your DH is in pain. Poor guy.

T, what a miserable day. Im not sure I could handle twins in ideal circumstances. I remember clearly how much work it was to take care of Kenzie at that age. I hope your weather straightens itself out soon.

Gosh Deanne, Eden and Mary all giving garden talks, now I know Im in the company of experts.

Chelone, actually Maine is a state Ive always wanted to visit. Since it isnt a long drive, we have enjoyed vacationing around the Great Lakes many times.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 12:38PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hi Idylls,
Too busy to comment right now, have to catch up on my reading here. But I'm not too busy to honour all our soldiers, past and present. Check out this video by Terry Kelly, a singer/songwriter from Nova Scotia. The story of how he came to write it is great too. Have your kleenex on hand...

I am so thankful to all the brave men and women who have fought for, and continue to fight for, our freedom. Two minutes a year seems really a pittance...


    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 1:34PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

link below

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 1:54PM
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Had a good time learning to make bows. No brain surgery, for certain, and pretty hard on the hands. No wonder they invented a machine to do it! They were just starting to put out the evergreens for arrangements. I asked about boxwood and told them what I do with it. They were very interested, and asked if I'd be interested in demonstrating it. Sounds like a lot of fun, but I have to wonder about the logistics of pulling it off successfully. I was thinking of Deanne, Eden, and Mary and the preparation required for a good presentation that keeps everyone organized, on task, and INTERESTED! Lotta work, ladies.

They advised me to wait until the first/second week of December to buy the greens. Boxwood typically comes from Cindy's neck of the woods (Ol' Virginny), and they asked me where I found the fake fruit; told 'em I scored BIG at WallyWorld and the Family Dollar store! We laughed about the difficulty in locating pomegranates and pineapples of adequate size (a 3" pineapple won't be "cuttin' the mustard"!).

I bought a frost-proof planter for the front stoop, shoulda bought some paperwhites, too (but caved to the 30% discount the helpmeet gets at work...) . The planter was an extravagance, but it's a wonderful nursery, and supporting local businesses is important. I'll take a couple of shots of it and when the camera is full I'll post 'em.

Mum is not very happy with me. I made her go outdoors. It's 60 degrees outside right now and sunny; so out she goes! She get pissy about going outside this time of year, but she needs the exercise, the fresh air, and sunshine so I simply ignore the grousing and send her out the door. I reminded her of all the times she made me "go out and play" over the years. She wasn't thinkin' that was too funny,lol. To quote her when I was a kid, "Tough! get outside." hehehe...

I have to get the large dog outdoors now, so I'll talk atcha later.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 2:09PM
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Sorry I was doing the 'snivel and whine' thing last night. I was very overwhelmed yesterday. Watching two this young as been busy but not stressful. Yesterday was challenging and stressful. I felt horrible for the babies and pretty sorry for myself. I do have extra car seat bases in my car.....but they are not buckled into place and they do not 'fit' well next to Jamie's car seat (it is buckled in all the time). My car's back seat is too small to have 3 car seats buckled into it.....and I never expected to take the babies anywhere--if there was a medical emergency for one of them, I'd be calling an ambulance, not trying to drive them anywhere.

Yesterday, after the power went out, I did consider removing Jamie's car seat and buckling just the babys' seat bases in place. But that would have taken me out of the house and away from the boys for 5 or 10 minutes--I didn't want to do that. It was too rainy, windy and cold to take them outside with me and I was concerned with taking them in my car during the stormy conditions (I live 30 minutes away from their house). was just best to stay put, but staying put wasn't ideal either.

Tomorrow the forecast is still calling for 60 m.p.h. gusts so I'm making sure everything is put away here. I need to go find one of my compost bins. I found one down in amongst the cedar trees but haven't located the second one yet. LOL Oh well.

DH is going to fire up the generator to make sure it will start when needed (it should) and we're going to be bringing a couple days worth of fire wood closer to the house. Maybe the storm won't hit here but we're going to plan on being prepared as possible. I imagine there will be lots of mudslides and trees falling if the big winds do hit anywhere in western Oregon or Washington. Twill be interesting.

I'd better get back to it......

Take care!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 3:26PM
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Yo Idyll-ers
Saturday night-got home from work today about 4:30 and yippee, no work tomorrow ! As soon as I got home I ran outside and moved all my most vulnerable begonias into the kitchen, moved my plumerias under the patio cover, and picked the rest of the tomatos. We had rain this am and last night but it is crystal clear right now and cold, so frost may be on the horizon.

CheloneLove that bow thing.. a couple hundred years ago I worked at a garden center that also had a floral dept- this is where I learned to do we now have a gift wrap contest in our family every Christmas and have lots of fun deciding who has the best paper/bows etc. DS won last year. I am now divulging to the Idylls that I have ordered pink flamingo in Santa hats paper for his year , and may send all of the relatives down in flames!!.
I will look into Joe Sample-thanks for the recommendation.. a lot of my jazz is older stuff- Bud Powell, Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, Nat King Cole Trio, Stephan Greppelli, Ella, Dave Brubeck, .etc etc I bet you listen to Marion McPartland/ Piano Jazz on NPR? love that show..
Now about the coast-I think that the North vs South is a bigger divide than East vs West.
Lets just take California for exampleI guess our coastline is over 1k miles if you do Hwy 1. As you travel up from So Cal to Nor Cal, you start to experience the difference between the Beach and the Coast. Up here in Nor Cal you do not go to "the beach" which infers sun , surfing , swimming, beer, hamburgers etc.In Nor cal we go to The Coast which infers beachcombing, tidepools, collecting driftwood, and very warm clothes.(and fireplaces). I bet you have the same dynamic between Maine and Florida-do people swim in the ocean in Maine ? They sure dont up here in Nor Cal, but I grew up in So Cal and spent all summer swimming in the ocean, and hanging out at the beach.

T- I called my bro-in-laws in Portland tonite, and they got out their generator and prepped it just in case. They are expecting 80mph winds. We are in a "partly cloudy" mode which can mean just about anything.

Okay, gonna sign off now.
More tomorrow!!!
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 10:46PM
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Went to town today and found a wonderful, magical mirror......sorry, but I bought all they had.

T. :o)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 10:48PM
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LOL, T. I did a double take and laughed aloud, first chuckle of a new day and it's courtesy of you. Thank you muchly. For what it's worth, I certainly don't think you were being whiney. Babies are a lot of responsibility and dealing with a power outage/no water at the same time is definitely worth some grousing.

I love Marian McPartland catch her show sometimes, but mostly a hit or miss proposition. We have another good local show, on our Maine NPR station, "The Humble Farmer". The guys's a sketch, plays great music and does all the commentary with a Maine accent. If you can stream off your computer, you ought to see if you can pick it up. It's funny. I have tons of old stuff, too. And a pretty fair sampling of more "modern" stuff (Joe Sample, The Crusaders, Dave Grusin, Bob James, Earl Klugh, Jean Luc Ponty, Diane Schuur). The joke at work is the only artists I can update anyone on are the dead ones. :)

I put some bulbs in the ground yesterday. I had a couple of clumps of daffodils that weren't performing well and I lifted them. My original planting of a dozen had turned into close to 80 over the past 10-12 years. Granted, some were pretty small, but they ought to be happier in their new "digs". I relocated a clutch of Camassia, too... and I'm testing the theory they will prosper in moist soil... they're now in a sunny local on the higher ground near the little pond. I have one more bag of narcissus to interr, "Mt. Hood", but they have to keep until mid-week when the gloomies and the rain finally clears out.

The coastal thing; yeah, people actually swim in the Atlantic, but they're the hardy sort. The ocean here usually maxes out around 72 degrees, too cold for me, thanks! But there are some very lovely sand beaches in southern Maine. Mostly though, the coast is rocky and the sea floor falls right off, so the water is deep, probably much the way it is in your area, Kathy. Interestingly, the water off Cape Cod in Ma. is warmer. I have never been swimming in warm sea water. The few times I've been to Florida the weather wasn't great for swimming or the beaches were overwhelmed by jellyfish! So, I remain a freshwater/lake devotee. We made a side curtain for a local fisherman a week/so ago. He related the story of going ove the side after dropping a trap. A line had wrapped around his arm. Long story short, he spent close to 2 hours holding onto a trap bouy, waving his arms (in safety orange clothing), trying to get the attention of another lobsterman. The water is now in the high 40s-low 50s... it doesn't take long to succumb at that temperature.

And, Deanne, I've been thinking about places for you to shoot sea birds. If you're interested in shore birds you'd probably do well at Ogunquit Beach, but you have to pay attention to the tide, since the most action occurs as the tide is ebbing, and if there is good wave action and more goodies are tossed up. I haven't really noticed if the Eider duck flotillas are on the waves now, I know the Canada geese have been massing on the golf course and in the salt marsh down the road for me. I'll pay more attention to that and give you shout.

'bug, I so enjoyed the tutorial on dyeing and wool production. I'm rather relieved I haven't gotten the knitting bug... expensive fabric is bad enough, I'd be in big trouble with yarn. I love the color and I can't wait to see the finished product. About those booties for the feetus of Cletus... ;)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 7:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A fly-by post...

Now, a quiz for Kathy and Chelone. Who is the guy on the left, next to my happy buddy Jack on the floor of the California Senate?

Off to a meeting. Hope I wake up first. I don't even dare to look in T's mirror yet!
Later gators!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 7:41AM
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Good productive morning. Finished grocery shopping started yesterday (what I get for going without a list plus the need to really stock up), laundry, two shrubs in the ground, 260 bulbs planted and then rain. Good excuse to make an espresso and hang with my Idyll friends.

The bulbs went in really quickly as my 4yo neighbor (brother of an 11yo) decided that what I was doing was interesting and came to help. I punched holes, he put the bulb in "pointy side up, right Mrs. Martie???", and then with his other hand swept the soil back in. His mother got out the hose -- it's almost 60degF -- before he went back in the house. A helper!! Yippee!!

One of my fav friendship memories is when my best-in-the-world girlfriend moved from right next door all the way down to Citrus County, Florida. We made a pact that on her 50th birthday, we'd spend the night in Daytona and watch the sun rise, then scoot across the peninsula and watch the sun set at Crystal River the same day. To this day it is a "how cool was that?" thought. For my 50th birthday she wants to do it again, and I just may take her up on it.

LOL the mirror, T. Took me a second to "get it" but what a hoot! I'm sure the babies are no worse for the wear, though if I were you I'd take a few deep breaths and pat myself on the back for fortitude!!

Okay, Taryn, you made my eyes well up and had to blow my nose, then 'bug posts about old friends and I'm Really glad I'm not sitting in my office right now :-)

Bench-clearing sale was "fabu-fabu". I say that specifically because the owner pulled out his personal fuchsia collection and was giving away cuttings. I declined since I've never had luck with those beauties and wasn't sure I could get them to Deanne or Marian or Eden or others that make them live in time. Did get a new variety of Eucalyptus (I now have three) and two teeny Alberta Spruce seedlings that will be perfect for Christmas containers. A few begonia tubers later and I was outta there. The crux of this "sale" is more to get all of his [too] good customers together and share some cider and garden stories. It is always good to see familiar faces and meet new ones. Interesting!!!

Found someone who brush hogs and hired him for next Spring as soon as the ground can support the equipment. Now, of course, need to start thinking about a woodland garden for 2009 since 2008 will be spent on water and 2007 has been booked for two years. Maybe CT can host Idyllunion again in, say, 2010??? LOL

This heart-jerker for all the dog lovers out there and you, too, Chelone. My mom got me a Beanie Baby dog and made a sock sleeping bag for it. She and I rescued her Cairn Terrier about 1.5 years ago and I've been really tempted to go rescue another for my house. Resounding "NO" from Rich so no, go, but I keep my eyes open. Mom thought it would be good to have a dog to cuddle with since her Murphy brought her so much comfort after her kidney was removed. Moms never do stop being Moms, do they??? Whether they're a pain or a joy or a hassle or interruption, they're still our Moms.

Rambling on here and want to reread the new book before tomorrow.

Everyone enjoy Sunday afternoon ....


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Hi everyone

Happy Sunday!! Thanks for your input on giving a talk. I really like the idea of some hands on in the middle and thought I'd bring some containers, soil and seeds to have participants prepare "wintersown" pots to grow on at home. People love freebies and being able to leave with something fo their own. Deanne, I'm sure you'll agree what a mind boggling amount of work it has been preparing this. I'm so glad DH was here to coach me through Photoshop and using Powerpoint but I'm still slow as molasses. It's been quite a learning experience, hopefully not one I'll regret.

Yesterday was busy in a different way. I had a group of parents coming over at 9 AM to discuss the Odyssesy of the Mind Competition I've agreed to coach a team for with David. I'd planned to straighten up first thing in the morning so that things looked vaguely presentable for the parents I'd never met before. I woke at 4.30AM and started to read, then decided I'd get up and get the cleaning done before coming back to bed with a coffee. At 8.30 I was still hard at work, not having taken a break - how sad is that? And I didn't even get to the basement or bedrooms. The main areas had a much needed, head to toe cleaning while I pondered on how the things we all enjoy (pets, wood burning fireplace, crafts, plants, cooking) all contribute to the general mess. Oh well, there's nothing there I'd want to give up so perhaps once a month I just need to get up early and whip things into shape. It did make for a long day.

Back to the grindstone - have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 2:43PM
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I don't recognize the guy on the left of the photo you posted, 'bug.

Quiet here, today! Doubtless you're all off doing fun and exciting things, at least I hope so.

I do not have the book, so there was no reading for me today. Instead, I fiddled around with the length of chain and 16 pcs. of fake fruit. I inserted the screws into the them, adding some glue "because I could". I wired them onto the chain and took the the mocked up swag out to see how it looked. UNHUH. The fruit wanted to roll down and the whole effect wasn't pretty, at all. So, I've prevailed upon the helpmeet to cut me 8 lengths of wood and I will simply revert to the basic "plaque" motif. It will be pretty and perhaps carefully arranging the produce will yield a result that will please me more than the swag. The whole thing required more overall support than the chain provided.

All is quiet here on the homefront today. Helpmeet returned from marketting and I put the foodstuffs away. Mum is in her room, reading, sipping coffee and munching on a cookie. Assorted felines are recumbant in a variety of locales. Dog is with Daddy.

I should be doing something productive, but have opted to fritter away my time, instead.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 4:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK, Martie and Chelone, the mystery man is Dave Brubeck. Jack was thrilled to meet the legend at work. Things can be pretty boring on the senate floor usually.

Just received more wedding photos from early September. I'm a junkie for romance and weddings and babies these days. (good grief, what has become of me???)

The vows have been exchanged:

Will they come up for air?

Cake nonsense

I will have to fritter away my afternoon on a different book since the Invisaible Garden has not appeared here yet. Enjoy your Sunday too!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 4:48PM
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LOL, NOW I see. But (perish the thought!), the esteemed Mr. Brubeck has never been one of my very favorites. I'm not much for "Bebop", either. (how do you dance to that stuff, anyway?)

Romance is what makes life worth living, 'bug.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 5:00PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

OK, so where did the weekend go? Where do they all go? Yesterday I focused my efforts on fall cleanup and Tom "processed" leaves. Believe it or not but not all of our leaves are down. The oaks and sycamores hold on to them well into November. It didn't take long to fill both trash barrels with garden waste but I am making a dent. We had to cut the afternoon short to get out to my MIL's for dinner. At 83 she doesn't cook as much as she used to so when she says "sauce and meatballs" you dash the hour each way.

Today was a washout from a garden standpoint so I frittered it away doing other things. One of those things was to nuke the upstairs bathroom. When you get disgusted by your own house it's time to take action. Gone are the little spots of mold on the ceiling, the soap scum on the tub, and the hairy Yuck! The downside is all that work and it will probably only last a week, if that. Hopefully with a little touch up it will get me through to Thanksgiving.

Despite the rain I was able to get in a nice long walk. Armed with a gore tex suit and umbrella I can walk in just about any level of wet the weather tosses my way. Stretching and Pilates followed. We ate grilled lamb chops while watching the 60 Minutes tribute to Ed Bradley, my favorite 60 Minutes correspondent. Such a loss.

This afternoon I stopped at my local nursery where I usually clean up on bulbs this time of the year for 50% off. The selection was pitiful so it looks like I'm out of luck. I had hoped to get some large Alliums for the patio garden. Got home and checked John Scheepers and they're sold out too.

Deanne, you're going to be proud of the way I've been tending to my plants under lights. Tom bought one of the modular steel shelves at Lowe's and outfitted it with flourescent fixtures. We found a spot for it in the guest room. I have three shelves each three feet wide. It's just about enough space for what I brought in. So far everybody looks happy. Even the Acalpha that I cut back to leafless sticks is starting to sprout again. Only 6 more months before it can all go back

Hey, where has Honey been lately? And Ei? And Brenda and Saucy vanished again. Oh well, I should talk.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 8:40PM
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Sunday evening and all is well...
One day off is better than no day off right? I did my grocery shopping and made spagetti sauce this afternoon. I wonder if there are numerous excellent spagetti sauce recipes out there in Idyll land ? If I don't have fresh toms in required quanities I use Muir Glenn organic . Ingredients include (but are not limited to) onions, celery ,green bell pepper , hot Italian sausage, mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, mollasess, a tad 'o sugar , red wine -flavored with garlic, Herbes de Provence, basil, oregano, marjoram, celery seed, no salt no pepper. C'mon lets hear some secret recipes out there . I swear I'll never divulge the origin...

I worked a little on the pansies today-mostly to keep the biggest pansy display on the planet from becoming the biggest snail feast on the planet.Jeesh. I planted a couple more six packs today .
Martie, love the florida sun-chase idea ! What Eucalyptus did you get? They have become pretty ubiquitous out here, but I love you need to protect them over the winter?

Ha 'bug, I was going to guess Benny Goodman because of the glasses ! I think he's been dead for eons .. and who is Jack, how do you know him ?

I'm going to go have some of that spagetti now ! See you all on the reading thread ...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 9:12PM
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Yesterday was a bust for gardening. The wind was just too cold and it never got above 30. I did get a walk in today, but it began raining this evening. I do have a pretty clean house to show for it.
This afternoon was spent putting pictures on CD's. I'm not printing pictures anymore. I'll have CD albums instead of photo albums.

My mother called tonight and announced that we are doing our Christmas exchange on Thanksgiving. Nothing like short notice.

Kathy, these days my spaghetti sauce comes from a jar, sorry ;o)

Sunday night is popcorn night. DH is always in charge of making it. I like mine with a little fresh parmesan cheese melted on top.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 9:45PM
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Sue -- check Stop and Shop for tall Alliums. $1 a bag yesterday morning.

Marie -- I'm not a jazz nut, much prefer music I understand (LOL, here, I like a good strong beat) but I'm impressed that you know someone who met Dave Brubeck. Anyone who is a master of their art is esteemed in my book.

Kathy - This Euc. was tagless, but I got it because it has a more red than pink tinge to the leaves and it's been in a greenhouse so the red isn't autumn coloration. Here, they need to come inside but are great for large pots and fill in large gaps quite nicely. I just like them, and not many people out here have them which makes for interesting plant tour talk.

Will get to the book thread tonight. Reread yesterday afternoon and i'm sure we'll have a lot to discuss.

Big Admission: Martie-the-ever-Bold is getting nervous about tomorrow. Reputable and highly qualified surgery center, incredible docs, absolutely supportive DH and family, larder stocked with good carbs, everything is in place except my head. What didn't help .....

Yesterday afternoon got a call from a surgery center volunteer asking if, when I came in, I wanted to mourn the loss of Menarch. Darn (and other things) I thought, I just want to feel better. Then ... Am I playing with nature a bit too much??? Am I letting the technological capabilities available to Help Women get in the way of ions old cycles? Didn't need to get on that track and think I'll mention this on my survey .... It threw me and I don't know why.

So, today I'm getting really dressed up and shining my shoes and going out to nail the close of a big contract. Et tu, volunteer!!!!

Those pics catch the spirit, Marie. Keep them coming! We all need romance.

Mary - You'll do fine with the presentation. I start a lot of them with: "I'll take 45 minutes unless you want more." Participants like the idea about when something will end, and usually ask questions well beyond the alotted time when they think they have some control. Hands-on works. Good for you to coach "Odessey." Both of my sister's kids were involved and as a teacher she's coached many times. She feels it's a very easy assignment as one of the rules is that the kids have to do the work. Let us know how it goes. What is the theme this year??

Sounds like wood is the way to go, Chelone. Down here I'm still waiting for it to get cold enough outside to do my fruit thing, so yesterday pulled out the table decorations and cut fabric for a while. It feels good to be working with fabric again. The simple things....

Sue - You walked yesterday???? Don't know whether to congrats you or think other things. LOL

Everyone keep on keeping on.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 7:11AM
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Good morning

Martie - I'll be thinking of you today.

T - it sounds as if you did a grand job keeping those little ones warm and safe during the power outage. What can be a fun challenge with older children is downright scary and possibly dangerous when the very young, old or infirm are involved. Hope the latest storm wasn't too severe.

Chelone - now you've got me interested in making bows! Did you have a book to learn from?

GB - love,love love those wedding photos! I was also fascinated by the wool operation and hope to be over to comment there.

Deanne - did I tell you how stunning the moon and your latest birds are? I showed them to DH who was very impressed, and he's a hard one to please when it comes to photos!

Sue - and I thought I was the only one with a hairy floor lol! (had a few of those mold spots too before my assault with the cleaning supplies).

Kathy - I'm afraid I'm with Michelle - home made spaghetti sauce it wonderful, but my crew are happy with a local organic brand so its been ages since I've made any. I did make a traditional English meal last night - Shepherds Pie and stewed plums with custard for dessert. It took me right back to school days! Hope to be over to the book thread after work.

Speaking of which, I need to run. Have a great start to the week!


    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 7:54AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Think the other things, Martie, everybody else

Good luck today. I have my consult with the radiologist on Wednesday. Unfortunately I got the results of my MRI and started doing a little advance research on line. We'll see what the doc says but based on what little understanding I have of what I'm reading it would appear I may not be a good candidate for embolization. My largest fibroid is a type they won't embolize. But until I hear it from the experts I won't flip to plan B.

Manic Monday here I come.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 8:01AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well we had a productive weekend, Saturday I finally got 99% of the dahlias out of the ground and cleaned up and they are currently in the garage drying off so I can store them in peat for the winter. Also got the Weigela French Lace moved to the corner near the wisteria and planted one of the H. Little Honeys. Perfect that it rained buckets after transplanting. I still have a huge box of bulbs to get in the ground and I still havent finished up the garage. Oh well, Im hoping for this week. The plants under the lights are looking absolutely wonderful right now and Ive had to pot up a few of the coleus.

Sue, do you remember that purple one with the green in the middle of the leaf? I think you had it planted somewhere near the hot tub. Anyway, that sucker is HUGE. The leaves are enormous, the plant is enormous and Im going to have to start chopping it back soon or Ill have a coleus shrub before the end of the winter. ~~ How great you found a spot for a light cart!!! That is too neat. You are going to be so happy you did that come the spring. I was talking to Doug yesterday about letting a lot of this go. Then of course I wouldnt be able to find some of these plants I cant live without in the spring and Id be sad I didnt save them.

Martie, Hugs to you. Ill be thinking of you today. I know everything will be fine. ~~ My PCP wanted to know if I needed counseling when I hit the big M. Same reason mourning the loss of what was. I just looked at her like she was a crazy person. Why on earth would I miss that? Hmmm why would I miss being sick (really, really sick) one week a month and having a crazy person inhabit my head one week a month. Nope I havent missed it or mourned it one little bit. In fact, Ive never felt better in my adult life than I have since that was all over and done with. ~~ OH yes, I almost forgot that I love the FL Sunrise/Sunset coast to coast trip. What a neat thing to do and I think you should celebrate your birthday that way.

Mary, no kidding it is an enormous amount of work to put together a one hour presentation. I guesstimated that it took me about 80 hours of prep work to put mine together. One of the reasons Im hoping to be able to do it again. It seems a shame to do all that work for only one presentation. ~~ Congratulations on coaching the Odyssey of the Mind Competition. That is such a neat program. ~~ Im so pleased you liked the photos! And if your DH liked them Im really flattered as he is the best photographer I know. Here are a few more I did this weekend. These are all Dark-eyed Juncos the Slate Colored variety. You know we are in the winter season when these guys appear.

Michelle, parmesan on popcorn sounds pretty good to me. ~~ Christmas at Thanksgiving! Id be crazed. Between getting ready for 20 for dinner and finishing up with the last minute garden stuff there is NO way Id be ready to exchange gifts the end of this month. Why so early?

Kathy, surely hope you get a digital camera for Christmas so you can take photos of your pansy display for us!!! Ill bet it is gorgeous.

Sue, I know, where the heck is Honey, Eileen, Brenda and Saucy? I know Brenda has a HUGE Thanksgiving family dinner to prepare for with lots and lots of extended family so between harvest and that she is probably pretty busy. I sure would be nice if they could just drop in and say hi.

Great wedding pics Marie. Im afraid I dont believe in romance at all. I used to but then married the lease romantic man on the planet so Ive given up on it.

Chelone, Im looking forward to seeing your Swag/Plaques. After youve figured out how to do it I might make a couple.

OK, Ive got to go and get this day started. Have a good one everybody.


PS Sue did I tell you that that great acalpha has finally gotten roots? Whats it been, a month? I was afraid Id lose that one but it is finally rooting up and putting on some growth. Im going to get the two cuttings in pots this week.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 8:16AM
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Usual round of "day off" chores, plus the twice weekly routine Mum now requires. Another gloomy day here, and the rest of the wek is forecast to be pretty much the same thing, with a tiny respite midweek. :( My boss will be severely crabby on account of it... has a large restaurant canopy and curtains that were slated to come down this week. "Take downs" and rainy weather don't mix well, at all. A shop full of wet canvas is not a good thing.

I did some major league banking today; a savvy teller at the local bank processed my transaction on Friday and looked at the screen for some time. And then asked me why I didn't have a certain type of account with them? I didn't know about it... seems it offers a very nice interest rate with a very reasonable minimum, FREE checking and checks (and free overdraft protection), FREE ATM use anywhere in the country, and Free debit card. I'm all signed up, don't really need most of it, but the boost in interest sure is a nice "perk"! Anytime I can make money for doing nothing is fine with me, lol.

Mary, no book on bow tying... went to a quickie "workshop" at a nursery on Saturday. Deanne, Mary, Eden... she sure didn't put in much time preparing for it, either. ;) It was fun, but could have been more. You know what I mean. it was fun, anyway.

Helpmeet is scrounging around the boardroom for suitable pcs. of wood, as I type. I'll have to prime and paint them, but so be it. The screws and glue in the fake fruit seems to be just the "ticket". So far!

Those juncos are just as cute as they can be, Deanne.

Martie; I'd be nervous, too. But you'll be fine and it will be all finished tomorrow night. Keep your eyes on the prize! Tell them you want only the "good drugs". ;) I'm not sure about this whole "mourning" thing, frankly. Seems silly to me, but never having had a baby I've never really given menarche much thought aside from the regularity that confirmed my attention to detail and the requisite purchase of necessary supplies. Perhaps I'll feel differently when it's all said and done for me. Dunno.

So long from another home with speckled tub surrounds and hairy floor, lol.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 12:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Ever so gloomy here too, but I've dealt with the cat litter, emptied the dishwasher, removed dishes from the sink, answered email, fed the zoo, etc.
I have NOT made the bed, washed the kitchen floor, "cleaned the hairy bathroom floor", made up the guest room for coming friends, removed the clothes from the dryer or considered the dinner menu.
Shocking I know, but there's this book I've begun and want to I think I'll spoil myself.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 12:52PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Sue, was it Comstocks you went to? I was there on Saturday and they had hardly anything and the pitiful selection wasn't even on sale to tempt me. Went to City Fish first to stock up on fish-Sea bass, mussels, scallops, etc. We had lunch there-their fried seafood is fairly good. Hit Lowes after that for a few bulbs and potting soil. If we had done all that on Sunday, we might have seen ya. I'm thinkingof getting a shelf unit also b/c I brought in too many plants this year. Some are in the basement dormant on the etagere I had on the deck. However the small shelf unit in our one guest BR isn't that large and I have too many large pots that are on the floor. Need a larger unit and we'll put it in the second guest BR.

Michelle, I really enjoyed your photo album. I saved some of the photos to my computer so I could look at them anytime. Beautiful combinations and lovely garden beds.

We got the remainder of everything brought inside on Saturday. I'm so glad that it's done but the yard and deck look a little bare.

Deanne-wonderful bird photos. My coworker enjoyed them also LOL.

Marie-what nice photos of the wedding.

Martie-hope everything goes well with the surgery tomorrow.

T-loved the magical mirror-we all need one-can you buy one on ebay-you know you can get everything there LOL

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 12:53PM
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Hi Everybody, Just a quick check in from me. Deanne and Mary are correct. It does take a lot of time to prepare for a garden club talk. I've spent hours putting together handouts and getting items together for demonstrations, and my presentation doesn't require a power point presentation but I can imagine how many MORE hours that would entail. I think I've got everything together at this point, so wish me luck this evening. Unluckily, Bella gifted me with the miserable cold that she had last week. Isn't that the way things go though, LOL? Talk to you all later, Eden

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 1:25PM
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    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 2:40PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Eden, you are going to be fantastic! I can't wait to hear all about it. (Bummer about the cold)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 5:16PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Good luck Eden! I'm sure it will be fantastic!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 5:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Wouldn't it be fun to attend them all! Oh my!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 5:48PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Drive-by post.

The ugly garden shed as of 4:00 this afternoon!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 7:04PM
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Eden, I hope it all goes well.

Woody, whoo hoo!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 7:43PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just back from picking up the wool and needles. Ready to go!
Now I have too many neat things I want to do. My book for the Idyll club has not arrived yet, but I am so enjoying my other one that this is a good thing I guess.
Woody, that was fast! You not only decided who would do the work but started zippity quick!
Eden must be speaking this very minute. I hope her cold disappeared!
Kathy, you asked about my friend Jack. He's so nice, I wish he lived next door! He was one of DH's room mates in grad school at Cornell back in the 60s. We still keep in touch. In fact he visited here a few years ago and that was so cool.
That Honey has me worried. Where is she now?
Thinking of Martie. Calm thoughts. :-)
Hi Marian!
I'll let Chelone wrap this up with a sexy bow...I can't.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 8:43PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

While we're on the subject, where is Babs?

Good luck, Eden! I hate public speaking in any shape, manner or form. Unfortunately my boss is making me give a short synopsis of the October financials at the weekly executive staff meeting tomorrow. I'd rather be facing a friendly group of gardeners than this target missing bunch.

Hey, hairy bathroom floor owners unite!

Nite all!


    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 8:52PM
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Salutations.. A rainy Monday here, all day long.
Wow, I went trolling for a secret spagetti sauce recipe and came up empty !! Shucks. Bet I could get a good recipe for compost tea though,LOL !

Martie, interesting how you use the Eucs.. My favorite is E. ficifolia. This has very dark green leaves and beautiful showy coral-red flower heads. It stays a bit smaller than others too. Unfortunately it is tender my zone so you don't see it around here, it's mostly in coastal SoCal zone 10 areas.

Deanne, the heck with Audoban --how about "Deannes Field Guide to Birds of New England." I may have to buy myself a camera for Christmas..But if I don't I will still borrow DS's to get pics of the pansies-though I'm starting to worry I may have exagerated just a tad. I think Disneyland actually has the Biggest Pansy Display on the Planet. I may have the Biggest Pansy Display on the the Block ! I still have a whole flat yet to plant.
Hello to everyone else-I need to go over to the book thread before bedtime !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 9:42PM
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Good coffeeless morning. The Big Bummer of surgery days.

Thanks for the words of support and hugs. I'm ready to get this over with and home with the "best" drugs, my brand spanking new heating pad, some soft pillows and Rich by my side. He's been amazing.

Kathy -- when I was in Z5 I found all kinds of great uses for plants that don't belong in New England :-) Eucs became an obsession after I spent about $5.00 for a tattered bunch to make a wreath. They are so quick growing and are so pretty in their own right, but hard to find around here. Will need to do some more research and figure out what I have.

I'm sure that Eden rocked the room!!

Need to bop into the shower and take a few minutes to try and wake up sans caffeine.

Thanks, again, for the support!


    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 7:05AM
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Good Morning, thanks for all the good wishes for my talk last night. It went great. Everyone was really interested and said they learned a lot of new information. Some people came up to me afterwards and asked where I had learned some of the techniques I told them about. I just told them I learn a lot on the internet, but was thinking to myself how I've learned so much information here on the Idylls that I'd have never run across otherwise. You all are a gardener's secret weapon. lol! I have the day to myself today. The garden is cleaned up, cut back, and all the more tender stuff is mulched and protected but I still have 5 large construction trash bags full of leaves that Brad shredded for me and I need to spread around. That's about it though other than mounding the roses and that won't need to be done for another few weeks. I guess I can turn my attention to my hairy bathroom floor!

Martie, I'll be thinking of you today and hoping everything goes smoothly.

I'm a little behind here and need to go back and read what I've missed. I'll be back later...


    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 9:44AM
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Martie - hoping all has gone well today.

Eden - I'm sure you were fabulous! Wish I could have been there too. I agree about the Idylls providing a wealth of information in a way I never dreamed possible. I'm in the home stretches of my preparation and am stopping in at the Civic Garden Center tomorrow to do a dry run. My biggest fear is a technical snaffu. I went to a talk this spring when the speaker's lap-top would not open up the photos for the presentation. He gave the whole talk without visuals - given it was a talk on pruning techniques this was no easy feat.

The book thread has made for fascinating reading. I doubt I'll get over there before the weekend but hope I can still chime in. Lots I'd like to add - I just wish I were a better/quicker typist.

Have a good evening if anyone is out there


    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 9:22PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow! What a quiet day here. I figured I'd better post before I join the ranks of the missing again. Babs? Saucy? Marian? Honey? All-ee all-ee outs in free! (That was our version on the Sout'side and I'm sticking to it!)

Eden, so glad your talk went well!

Kathy, DH finally nailed down details on our trip and we will be in Napa the first weekend in December. If I just drive around town and knock on the door of the house with the biggest pansy display, will you answer the door?

I am SO relieved to learn I am not the only human on the face of the planet with a hairy bathroom floor. On Sunday I gave both of the dogs a good brushing and DH vacuumed the bathroom floor, so things should be a little better for a bit. Mystic got into something nasty Saturday morning and he had a shower Sunday morning, so the floor cleaning was an absolute necessity.

Sunday weather was decent, and I spent a good part of the afternoon clearing off the deck and the potting bench. Everything out there is now put away for the winter - well, everything except for the backpack sprayer that DH left out there three weeks ago! Then I puttered with the plants inside for a bit, until I started spilling water all over the place and decided to sit down with a beer instead.

Okay, I have to load up the dishwasher, fold a load of laundry and cart some stuff down to the nether regions of the house. What I really want to do is curl up in bed and finish the book. Oh yes, I was very bad this evening! DH asked me to pick up a book he had reserved at the library, and I left with said book as well as three more from the book sale rack for myself. Hey, a hardcover and two trade paperbacks for $2 - how could I resist?

Oh! Martie, I hope all went well today and you are resting comfortably. Whenever or however the "time" comes for me, I will not be mourning, unless it's in the manor of an old-fashioned Irish wake! A couple of months ago, I got up from my desk to get something from the file cabinet and ended up grabbing onto the file cabinet for support. The moment passed quickly, but this stuff can just pass as well and I will get on with the rest of my life. Enough V ranting! Rest up and feel better soon.

Sweet dreams to all,


    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 9:25PM
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Hello Idyllers,
I swear I am going to bed at 9 tonite. I just need to get through this week in a waking mode.

V... Panises are in the back yard! I have two more flats to plant and the display will not come to fruition till Feb.
So where are you staying ? In Napa , St Helena ? Yountville ? Calistoga? Is this a business trip ? What are your dinner plans ? My bathroom floor is hairy every other week and clean every other week. Unfortunately I have three bathrooms.

Martie, good vibes out to you...

Eden, so glad your talk went well, there is nothing more gratifying than sharing our garden knowledge-people just suck it up don't they ?

Need to go read for a while-the book thread is calling.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 10:55PM
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Well, Kenzie's garden has begun. The area where I want to put it is near the potager and behind the blue spruces that back up the butterfly garden. Kind of a "Secret Garden" The problem is that this is an area that DH has used for storage of old farm equipment etc. so alot of cleaning up needs to be done. It is backed up by some old trees that need shaping up and there's a dead one in there that lost the whole top this summer, which looks bad. This evening DH was in a "project" mode so we moved a 5 bottom plow and a stalk chopper. We also hauled about 10 old electric poles out of there. They had been there for probably 30 years. Some were pretty rotten. One was huge at 50' long. The skid loader and some chains make this kind of clean up possible.

Here's Kenzie checking out the proposed garden spot.

Here's a before picture with the utility poles, the 5 bottom plow and some old barrels. Doesn't look like much does it?


    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 11:52PM
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Good relieved morning!!

It doesn't get much better than it did yesterday as far as yucky medical procedures go. Best example: I woke up from general anesthesia to find Rich, my very handsome GYN, and an anesthesiologist that looks like he walked out of GQ standing by my bed discussing water gardens. No kidding. A dream by any measure!!! Rich got dibs on some water lilies from the anesthesia guy as soon as our water spot is in. Go, figure. Swapping of cell phone numbers ensued and somewhere in there they thought I might be thirsty and a great RN came to my rescue.

Very little pain compliments of Percocet and a huge heating pad yesterday. This morning feel no worse for the wear but also know that things can change fast so plan on Doing Nothing all day but read and sleep. No mourning, here, I assure you as I already feel a difference in the abdominal area. This isn't unusual for this procedure when it's successful, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Kenzie looks so serious, Michelle. Just like any good gardener would when scouting out a new bed. I'll pledge to send out some Alpine Strawberries to her next year. No kid's garden is complete without them.

Have to LOL about hair on the bathroom floor. It's the one thing I make sure disappears when company comes around. Yes, we do clean, but the hair finds its way back pretty quickly!

I'm so glad the talk went well, Eden. Being ever in awe of the exceptional knowledge shared by this group, it catches me off guard when I realize I know what I know, and have a whole group to go to when I don't know what I need to know.

Bows: LOL, Kathy. My bow-learning experience came after I learned how to "green up" Holiday arrangements at the florist end of my part-time nursery job. Never thought I was crafty but I can make bows.

Good For You, Chelone to take some time for You and do something as fun as frivilous as working with ribbon!! It is a lot of fun for the first 10 ;-) Who's your bank??? I want a bank like yours!!

So V. gets to see Kathy's pansy display in person. Still waiting for pics as I have an idea to do a large Spring planting. Do you mix the colors up, or clump them, or group them, or drift them, or do like bulbs and just put them in where they land?

Drugs are now kicking in -- I'm "encouraged" to take narcs for a full 24 hours so that'll bring me up to 1pm. Don't want to end up apologizing for anything, so will sign off for now.

And, words can't tell you the good vibes I felt yesterday from some pretty incredible people both close to home and all over two countries. Very, very cool. Thank you All.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 7:24AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sounding ever so good for Martie...and the water garden!!! :-)

Michelle, I am so familiar with scenes like your "before" shot. Unfortunately we do not have your equipment for removal of "stuff" and it is a tedious process flattening barrels etc and getting them to the dump. The poles would no doubt end up in our burn pile, after hours of sawing. But the real treat would be the machinery for tackling the soil and weeds. The twitch grass and other weeds are a permanent feature of my gardens and require more effort than in other gardens. (I really believe this, but maybe it is not so?) Sigh. For that reason I create no new beds. (Hear that? I THINK that's true!)

I saw Jerri over on the book thread. Was that for real or a figment of my imagination? Still no book from Amazon, but reading The Custodian of Paradise (by Wayne Johnston) is beyond gripping. If anyone has already read this I'd love to share thoughts!!! What talent this author has....

This afternoon will be our trip to Buffalo to visit our friend Bruce. But first all the chores before the get-together. Unfortunately, what I'd really like to do is more knitting and finishing the book!

Already aphids on some clematis seedlings that are under lights. Darn! What is your solution for this?


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 7:44AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Michelle, way to go! Can't wait to see how the garden develops.

Martie, glad to hear you are OK. Thanks for checking in with us. Get LOTS of rest.

Must run

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Take heart, chocolate lovers!

Canadian Press
Perhaps being a "chocoholic" isn't such a bad thing after all, at least when it comes to your heart.

It turns out that some chocolate aficionados taking part in a study investigating blood platelet clumping couldn't stick to a promise to temporarily give up their sweet of choice and they inadvertently ended up doing medical science a favour.

Their dietary offence led researchers to uncover what may be the first biochemical explanation underlying the confection's effect in preventing cardiovascular disease: just a few squares of chocolate a day can cut the risk of dying from a heart attack almost in half.

"What these chocolate offenders' taught us is that the chemical in cocoa beans has a biochemical effect similar to Aspirin (ASA) in reducing platelet clumping, which can be fatal if a clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack," lead author Diane Becker of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said in a statement.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 10:14AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Good Morning,
Thought I'd better get in here while I actually have the thread loaded and time to read it, before that opportunity escapes...

Martie, so glad you checked in and are feeling good. Thought about you often yesterday. Listen to your own advice and take it easy.

Eden, knew you would be great at your seminar! Congrats! Mary will be too.

V, congrats on your unexpected bonus! I'm very happy for you! So, are you headed to Monaco as well as to see Kathy in Napa, CA for vaca this year? I'm with Martie, a greenhouse would be my first purchase (after the required hot water heater).

Deanne, the detail on your birdies and the beaver moon shot are astounding! Very cool what talent and technology can accomplish. Kids loving all the pics. I'd have been extremely peeved at the license bureau too. Talk about wasting your time.

Drema, you and Skip were hilarious in your cavepeople get-ups! Thanks for sharing that! Search atriplex hortensis rubra on Ebay and see if this is the plant you mean. One of my fav annuals, though it IS weedy, seeds about like perilla, but easy to hoe out extras. If you don't find it search completed listings, everything is ending tonight. Email me your snail mail addy & I'll send you some seed if this is the one you mean.

Re Ebay, seems superior to Amazon for prices and shipping speed on the Invisible Garden book. I had it one week from ordering. Was a bit surprised at the lack of open response when I shared some great sources for bulbs. But want to thank the 5 lurkers who emailed me privately, and hope you got some great deals through those sellers and others. I was so pleased with my finds, especially the variegated Silverstreams, that I wanted to share with everyone, despite the time it took to upload photos. I had hoped others would chime in with sources they were happy with, but I guess it's late in the season. I was glad to hear some of the lurkers were still looking for bulbs, though I understand their reluctance to post in "idyll-land".

Re hairy bathroom floors, I am thrilled with the Swivelsweeper I got a couple of weeks ago. It is rechargeable, weighs only 2 pounds, goes in any direction, gets the corners easily, and is fantastic at picking up hair! I have only two rooms with carpet, and sweeping the hardwood/laminate/vinyl in the rest of the house was a pain. My vac was too heavy to lug around and didn't pick up on floors that great anyway. (Plus Im leery of it attacking, lol!) This thing is perfect for bare floors, getting crumbs, hair, dead wasps, wood ashes, etc, easily. It works well on carpets too for quick pick-ups, though doesn't go as deep as my regular vac. I bought it for $39.00 and free shipping on Ebay, but the seller isn't registered any more. But there are other sellers with it, or check out My only caveats are that I used it before it was fully charged the first time so the battery has a memory for that and needs charging faster. I couldnt wait to try it! It really picks up the hair, but then it needs to be removed from the rotating brushes. They provide a little tool for this. And it needs emptying every few minutes in my house, but with 3 kids and 2 cats that's to be expected. Otherwise, I love it! (No, not affiliate in any way--again, just sharing information on a product I like.)

Michelle, I really enjoyed your photo tour! Thank you for posting that. I love photo bucket with dial-up, as the thumbnails load easily and I can open one I want to see large in another window and let it load while Im looking at the others. Cant do that here, though its always worth the wait. Kenzie is a lucky young lady to have a grandma making her a private spot to garden in! Youll make lots of garden mentor memories for her as well.

Where is Babs? It is not like her to miss Halloween. And Eileen? Honey? Norma? Saucy? Marian, we miss you! Brenda is probably busy, but I thought Janie was going to check in here? And Julie, would be nice to see a rara avis as well as Deannes birds. Yeona? Hope life is settling down with your DS. Barb? You havent checked in forever! Jerri, I saw Jerri on the book thread too! Wonder if Cynthia and Da even lurk any more. There are more MIA who are due to say helloand did I see GLDNO pop in here briefly? Why dont you join us! Hi Monique!

T, I want (some would say need) that mirror! LOL! Sorry about your bad day, and hope you had good dark chocolate and/or merlot to recover. Your new beds are looking wonderful! Are you interested in growing from seed? I could send you someself-sowing annuals help fill in large spaces until the perennials and shrubs reach their proper size.

Chelone, so where did you find your fruit? Looking forward to pics of the finished swags.

Thinking of two different friends named Bruce today

Been a crazy couple of weeks. Had blast with my family here the weekend before last. Great time, great meal, lots of fun. DS played piano and sang for us. DB had too much wine and attempted the same. Lots of blackmail material on the memory card I videotaped there, lol. Cousins had a blast playing together for two days.

Worked on and sent in a sample flyer in MSPublisher for the marketing aspect of the job I interviewed for. Havent heard back yet, but he said end of the month so am still hopeful. Have found one job since (today) worth applying for and will fire off the resume soon.

Been battling the bees/wasps and am pretty tired of it! We found the huge nest, under the roof of the sunroom where it joins the floor of the second level. DH has used 3 cans of that foam stuff you can spray from 6 feet away, and it is killing lots, but since the actual nest is under shingles, hasnt killed them all. We are getting 10-20 inside the house per day, through cracks in the floorboards as near as we can figure. I woke to one on my pillow yesterday, and nearly stepped on one when I got out of bed today. Didnt think Id ever be wishing for a killing frost to strike, but I am!
But first, have to finish putting the shrinkwrap on all the older windows and the patio door off the family room, and weatherstripping the doors. Even with the fireplace as a secondary heat source, this is a lot of house to heat, and is old and drafty. I did the sunroom windows first. We are going to see if its feasible to keep it at 55F with the door to the house partially open. I hope so, as I have a bunch of houseplants in there, and with all the other windows soon to be shrinkwrapped, no windowsills left. Until we get the electric bills under control, fluorescents for houseplants is not an option. Hope to have it figured out by seedstarting time.

Well it is a gorgeous, sunny day out there, and 60F already, up from 36F at 8:00am. Im going to plant some bulbs and sow some poppies over top, the Laurens Grape that Eileen gave me at IU3. Creating new invisible gardens is fun! Then its off to the library, grocery store, post office with Ebay packages. Sorry out of time for more comments, but hi to all Ive missed!



    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 10:33AM
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Martie, good hear you sounding so perky this a.m. Take it easy and pamper yourself. Im sure Kenzie would love some strawberries.

Taryn, I looked at your bulb thread and was sorely tempted, but I was strong and resisted when I saw the packs of bulbs I dont have planted yet and the snow that covered the ground. Fortunately, the snow has now melted, but with it being dark when I get home from work, I dont get much done these days. Hopefully, Saturday will be a decent day.

I got my book through Amazon and had it in less than a week and for about $5 total with shipping.

bug, Ill be thinking of you this afternoon. Your visit will be difficult Im sure. DH & I love when we hear good news about chocolate. I failed to mention that those barrels were filled with cement, which someone must have used for weights. These things will be moved to another obscure spot on the farm. LOL about no more new beds. Havent we all said that? I said it not that long ago and look what I am doing. I did tell DH that I wouldnt encroach on his "space" anymore and he just laughed. I deal with twitch grass here as well, especially in the beds that dont have edging. It is my worst weed.

Deanne, the garden is shaped like a quarter of a circle. Any ideas would be welcome. I will probably spend some time sketching and reading about childrens gardens this winter.

I am thinking about the area of trees behind the new area and think I may do some kind of a path through there, you know a woodland garden. LOL


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 11:41AM
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Hello to all!

The wind is blowing hard but it isn't raining. I sat down to write but then began thinking how foolish of me to be sitting here when I had those 3 fruit trees that needed to go into the this truly is a fly-by post! LOL I'm going to go out, grab a shovel and get those 3 apple trees planted before the rains begin again.

Hope the day is a good one!


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 2:30PM
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Bella's playing so I'm jumping in here for just a moment. Yesterday was a bit crazy. Megan cut her finger at work opening a bottle of wine and had to get eight stitches. Luckily it was her left hand and she's right handed. Also more worries with my mom. She's having headaches the last week and has been in to emergency twice. We're also concerned because she's forgotten things a couple of times and seemed a little confused. That can be a side effect of the chemo or could be due to the morphine they gave her for the headache but she went in for a cat scan today just to make sure there's nothing else going on.

Martie, I'm so glad everything went smoothly for you yesterday and that now it's OVER! I wanted to tell you too that I love it when you talk herbs. Herbs are what first got me interested in gardening. I'd have a herb garden if I had room but have to make due with just tucking them in here and there. I do have a collection of about 15 or more different mints in pots though.

Michelle, It's going to be so much fun watching Kenzie's garden come together. I can't wait.

Taryn, I haven't had time for bulbs this autumn. I was lucky to get in the one package of narcissus and one of snowdrops I did buy. The ones you chose will be beautiful in the Spring though. It was so nice to have a long post from you this morning!

Bella's wanting a story before naptime so gotta go though I have more I wanted to say. I'm going to join her for a nap. I'm still trying to kick this cold though it is much better.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 2:49PM
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Martie, I'm delighted that things went smoothly for you. I'm sure today is a bit different, maybe a little more sore? But it's over and how great is that?! How funny that the "boys" were talkin' water gardens, what a great story. When I broke my wrist I received a 'scrip. for painkillers. The wrist was sore but too swollen to cast so it was in a brace and ace bandage. The druggist gave the pills to me, explaining how often to take them, when the helpmeet chimed in, "Or, darling, you could hoarde them and we could use them recreationally.". The druggist cracked right up. ;) Kennebunk Savings Bank is great.

Kenzie in the garden is just wonderful. But, Michelle, she's gotta "lose" the white sneakers! I wonder if you've thought about erecting a large tri-pod and planting it with beans, cumcumbers, squash, etc.? I saw that on "Rebecca'a Garden" once and though it was the neatest idea! great lesson for kids... start with "nothing" and end up with the coolest thing! I know just how it can be with "those" areas... we have a few of them ourselves. The helpmeet would be out of his mind with all that "equipment" at his disposal.

I knew you'd be a success at your talk, Eden. I read what you write and see your keen eye in what you share with us. No surprise to me that your presentation was thoughtful, well-prepared, and probably full of fun. :) And like everyone else here I'm truly in awe of the knowledge and insight that is shared daily. I'm amazed at the extent of knowledge so many of you have for the propagation of plants. I know nothing about that. I so hope your mother is OK; it's scarey to see a decline when cancer is involved. I understand.

I'm missing Saucy, Babs., V (the drive-by poster), Honey, and wonder about Marian, too. Are they too consumed with "hairy floors"? or what? And I miss Cynthia's updates on those pointy-nosed dogs and her grounds, too. And Da's latest crochet projects... . They know where we are, just as I did when life outpaced my ability to tend to it AND post here at the same time.

Mum's remaining "ear potato" was removed painlessly today. THANK HEAVENS. I was ready to lose my mind trying to get her to keep her head cocked to one side for more than 30 seconds at a time. :) But it's over now... and the next app't for wax removal has been made. My hope is that I will cancel it, telling them she is LTC. But just in case... . A part of me is stunned when I reread the above passage. But I know it's time. I know I'm worn out and tired of the MONOTONY caring for her requires. And I know I want to explore, once again, the things I USED TO DO. But dotting the "Is" and crossing the "Ts" is important, and I'll "suck it up" until such time as I'm comfortable that all is in place before submitting the financial forms to a LTC center.

I'm sure there was more I wanted to comment on, but it's long since gone now.

Later, friends.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 5:23PM
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Wednesday Greetings
Expecting some rain in tonight but it sure doesnt look like it right now ! My DS and DD and I are planning a little trip to Monterey for DSs birthday Monterey is a three hour drive ( providing you are strategic about what time of day you traverse Silicon Valley ) and we will visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is on Cannery Row , and a very cool place. We will go the Sunday after Thanksgiving and think the traffic will be heading in the opposite direction.
Michelle, a public garden here in Napa (Copia) has a childrens garden, and as Chelone suggested , there is a rebar teepee there planted with gourds. They love the funky shapes and colors of the gourds hanging down inside the teepee.

Martie, glad to hear all went well with you ! More good vibes for a speedy recovery and enjoyment of an excuse to sleep as long as you want and do no chores .

Tayrn, Hey that Swivelsweeper sounds like just the ticket. I bought a Dirt Devil cordless broom when I got my hardwood floors and it was the best thing I ever got. Ive used it in the bathrooms a couple of times and it picks up har well too, but does not get into smaller spaces.

Eden , best wishes to your Mom

Im going to hit the book thread nowlater all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 8:39PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Hi Folks!

Driveby post here. Martie, so glad to hear all went so well for you. How long are you expected to be "down and out"? Funny about Rich and water gardening doctor. I found out my new doctor likes photography and has maltese

My appointment today with the interventional radiologist went well. As it turns out I am a candidate for the embolization procedure. No rush...we discussed doing something in February. In the meantime he wants me to see a GYN and gave me a name of one who he works with routinely. I looked her up on-line and one of her listed interests is gardening so that should go Obviously doctors are trained to not comment on the actions of other doctors but you could tell by the way this IR was reacting that what I was telling him about my former GYN was not something he had never heard before. The moral of the story is do your own research and question your doctors. I'm lucky to be in an area where I have access to world class medical care. If I didn't get satisfaction around here I was prepared to go up to Boston to Brigham and Women's but at this point it looks like I won't have to.

Eden I hope all is OK with your mom. I imagine chemo can really screw up your system even after you're done with it so hopefully her problems are all just side effects of that.

I've been lurking on the book thread and I have to admit it looks and smells too much like homework to Maybe next time.

Allrighty then. Time to hit the rack.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 9:52PM
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