Idyll #409 - Martie's More Sky Days

saucydog(z5MA)November 13, 2008

Here's the text from Martie's post:

This is how my kindergarten neighbor described Autumn since he can "see through the trees to the sky 'cause the leaves re gone." Perfect!!

Carry on....


Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. I was truly thinking "409, 409, 409" when I started the Idyll but my fingers went elsewhere. Promise to all: I Will Wait and let other's start threads :-) This is why I don't paint -- my attention to detail is mostly zilch.

Good trip to Baltimore this week and excellent crab cake for lunch. Got lost on the way back to the airport (took 83 instead of 695 from Hunt Valley, Cindy and others in the area) and got a non-tourist view of parts of the city. Made it to the flight just as the last folks were boarding. Nothing like running through BWI in stocking feet. Good excuse though, since one must remove shoes, anyway for security. LOL

Think I'll sign off now before any additional typos or mind slips. :-)


You can't go around waiting until others start threads, Martie! We'd miss out on the good Idyll Tydlls :)


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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Good morning, Idylls! I'm just popping in for a quick hi. I've been MIA, and just wanted to let you know I'm still here ;) Harvest is going along, I'd guess another 10 field days and we'll have it whipped. Can't happen soon enough for me!
Yesterday, I took DB for chemo. This is his second round of treatment. They do 3 days every third week. The doc was really happy with the results of his blood work. His attitude is amazing. I've always admired this man, and true to form, he's being my big brother and handling it all with an upbeat attitude. He was really tired when we got back from treatment, so he took a nap for a couple of hours, then got up and we had a wonderful visit and laughed our heads off.
Sorry about the "all about me" post-I'm behind reading, but you're all in my thoughts, and I'm looking forward to catching up and getting back in the swing around here.
Have a good day, my friends!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 7:52AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Nasty rainy morning here....not the sky I want to see. I NEED blue skies in order to complete outdoor clean-up, but indoor activity it will have to be today. Hearth activity it will out the wood stove for removal tomorrow. Glad it isn't my back that will take the abuse.

Had a long phone call from DD last night with lots of talk about their current issues, which are many. I can't wait for resolutions!!! Step grandson(9) has been manipulating and whining once more and DD is in no mood to deal with that. He also is making her late for work in the mornings and got a lecture about being considerate of others. Little Amanda from across the street, age 7, is a delight though, and when the neighbourhood boys play games that include her, things change dramatically from wrestling and shouting to creative and imaginative play. That girl is super. She'll turn around and go home if they start playing like boors because it is no fun, and they really want her to stay and play, so that's a treat for everyone. DD is hoping some of her approach to life rubs off on him.

Martie, "seeing through the trees to the sky" is one kind of "lace" in the Lace Reader book.

The cats are fed, but in Chelone's words, "It's time to mine the cat box".


    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 7:55AM
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I like it when it takes two to start a thread ;) Nice assist, Saucy. Martie, I can do without the mad dash through the airport in stocking feet, but those crabcakes sound mighty fine...

Brenda, that's great news about your brother's blood tests. I'm a big fan of reading others' all-about-me posts. I bet lots of city folks would love to participate in a harvest, like paying to participate in a cattle drive. Of course, we'd probably just get in your way....

From #408. PM, I enjoyed the Whittier poem. Anyone who is christened with the middle name of "Greenleaf" just has to be a poet. And you mentioned long ago Beth Chatto and her gravel gardens, and I do enjoy her books, so thanks for that.

Chelone, I love to read your thought processes on your approach to work, family. So analytical and methodical. Gardeners are a contemplative lot, that's for sure. Maybe bring some music along when you and your brother tackle the THTTF? I'll have to google the infrared quartz whatsit.

V, the cards are turning out wonderfully. I've got a stack of odd sizes of matting stock set aside for something similar, so I'm paying close attention.

Woody, your course sounds like the perfect winter assignment.

Mary, I did enjoy the piece you linked that David is currently studying. What a warm instrument the guitar is. This clip of Paco de Lucia is for David. The bathroom came out beautifully, what a great job. Almost as impressive is coordinating a chicken&veggie dinner after a complicated weekday!

Happy birthday, Kenzie. I've linked a song my boys enjoyed when about your age. Mitch had just emailed me this clip. Michelle, you certainly had a long fall this year. I bet the late-season perennials were gorgeous. Any photos? Did all that rain translate into a good year for the farm in '08 or did it hurt the harvest?

Eden, I know how much tenacity it takes to see projects through with all the interruptions you deal with. Amazing how much you get accomplished!

Kathy, you're entirely too indispensable at work. Can't you at least pretend to be a slacker so they leave you alone for a couple weeks? ;)

Cindy, I don't believe you when you say "not much to report," having just come off a hot political campaign. Got any insider stuff to dish? I'm all ears...

'bug, I am intrigued by The Lace Reader, googled the author and read of her amazing self-publishing success. I just might put in an order to Amazon. I don't think I own a single article of lacework. Nice to hear you're back in regular contact with S&W.

Ever feel like the lowly dung beetle by week's end, dutifully pushing a ball a dung ahead of you all week?

Sounds like snow photos can't be far off...

Here is a link that might be useful: Simon Smith & The Amazing Dancing Bear

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 12:41PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

V- those are neat cards and nice agave! (I now think of a couple of mine that are not looking so great as yours; for some reason they seem to want to brown out all the lower leaves and they're dying off -- do agaves "shed" themselves? is this some hidden fungus or something? I did so well for over a year; it's so frustrating when these things beset one's prized possessions...

Glad to hear Brenda's DB is doing well -- Brenda, again, I echo the concept of the all about me posts -- that's the only way we'll know what's going on with each other, LOL.

Hmm, re local political dish -- I swear I think it all gets blogged about these days; no need for back-up sources! Im personally waiting for the clothing re-count myself... I will say that the grassroots/net working groups were amazing in concept and practice -- total strangers (concerned citizens) all getting together in one place -- one had the same worries as showing up to the first idyll union -- wondering if there were any ax murderers or pedophiles amongst the group, LOL....

Chelone -- I feel for you re the work you and your DB have to do - it sounds a great plan to do together & get some quality time together - Im terribly envious that you can do that - so just keep that in mind when you are doing the hard work.

It's rainy, rainy here - but that's good - we need it. Just no freezing stuff such as Michelle mentioned.

Glad you made it thru BWI, Martie ! I can just see the sock slide you had to do.

'bug - I love your storm windows & wish I had some -- another thing on my house list, but not this year; economy too scary right now. Too bad you cant recycle that wood stove -- my brother has an old one in his den (which is an addition and has no other heat) & loves that stove but I hate it -- it soots up his entire first floor - but as he's a dedicated smoker, I dont think he can tell the difference as to which smut/soot is which...

I am sure Sue is rejoicing w/ her toasty new working furnace and hot water...


    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 2:03PM
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Cindy, that's really the stuff I'm interested in hearing about, the political at that personal level. Cindy's POV. Must have been an amazing experience. Re your "ax murderer" comment, Marty bought a radial saw from Property Room, a police property cast-off site, one of his first Internet purchases. The saw was a total, rusted-out dog, and Marty kept saying it looked like it had been buried in someone's backyard. Couple days ago he got it oiled and running and decided it wasn't such a bad purchase after all. He did find a tag on it marked "involved in felony" or some such while working on it...creepy. (Anyone seen Fargo: Is that your accomplice in the chipper?)

And on that happy note...

My spiral aloe shedded itself into nonexistence. Old agave leaves get woody and can be trimmed off, tho sounds like your agaves are maybe too wet?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 2:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Here's another happy note for Denise:

Here is a link that might be useful: Eat Eat Eat

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 3:07PM
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I just had visions of a 4th grader trying to do her report on a dung beetle and a google search sending her to Idyll.

Eden, I don't see any posts from you in October of '03....though I think that is odd because we showed up at your house the next July :)

Denise, that was a wonderful visual of Ann the landlady! Nick says anything infared is good...not sure what that means. If you google images of the heater, there's a picture of a cat sitting on top, lol!

Woody, we have Landscape Design offered for the next semester. I think I am going to go for Plant Propagation (you get to bring home cuttings from the orangerie, I hear) and Woodies. Again last night, it was mentioned that we should visit RBG and a rock garden that is near.

Cindy, I'm interested in the grass roots part, too.

Brenda, I'd pay money to come harvest! Glad your brother is in good spirits.

GB, I'm thinking of you and your family. 9 years old is tough....but letting them work it out amongst their nine year old selves makes things easier :) Girls rule :)

Well, I heard the oven. It's preheated, and I'm hungry. Tonight is cajun haddock. Fresh pineapple for dessert.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 4:38PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Just a quick hello...not feeling well today and after two doctor's visits today, I'm beat. I found myself missing my mother today, I think because I was up all night and not feeling well and it just came out of nowhere. It's been ten years since she passed and I can still miss her like crazy sometimes. It made me think of all of you and all the losses that we all seem to have in common. So it was nice to see the usual lovely posts from all of you this evening. :-)

I am feeling better this evening and looking forward to a quiet night. Broiled chicken, string beans and cole slaw for dinner and hopefully a good night's sleep. I'll be back to catch up in the morning.

Have a good night...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 5:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

There are always times when we want Mommy. I wish I could at least phone her sometimes! ;)
Sleep tight PM2!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 5:39PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Bring on Mommy!

Book club due in 20 minutes. The house is clean, the chairs, wine glasses and candles are staged. The fire is laid.

And my temperature is 99.9...

V., who was pretty sure at 1:40 am that she was getting sick but wouldn't admit it

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 7:40PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Hmm... I think there's something contagious in Idyll-land.... Headache, queasy tummy and general lethargy all day here.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 8:16PM
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Tomorrow my friends, is Friday-along with Sues weekly greeting, I look forward to installation of two crowns and day off on Saturday. As promised I took photos along the road on my drive to Healdsburg today, but they arent the greatest ! IÂm posting a few of them anyway.

Enjoying all the activities herein, but too beat to come up with any words of wisdom tonight . A wave to all, and enjoy the short drive through Sonoma CountyÂ

Pulling out of the parking lot in St Helena, on our way. From alexander valley drive

The tree tunnel (Dutch Elms) that line the road in front of Beringer Vinyards From alexander valley drive

After our rains the hills are gradually turning green-this is Knights Valley
From alexander valley drive

Alexander Valley
From alexander valley drive

Roadside Agave grouping From alexander valley drive

Jimtown fact this is the entirety of Jimtown ! From alexander valley drive

A nice entry to a winery ..Stonecrop Cellars I think From alexander valley drive

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 9:02PM
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It's soggy outdoors. I can hear rain drumming on the filon roof outside the kitchen window. A gloomy November day on tap. More of it for tomorrow, which is OK because many JulieJobs await.

This is a momentous day for dental reconstruction, I see, Kathy. It's all very exciting and you've certainly hoed a long row to get to this place. I'm a veteran of 6 (count 'em!) crowns, a heavy price indeed for penny candy! This is the easy part of it all and I'm happy for you. YAY. I thought of you as I looked at the uninspiring floor tiles at the Orange place... they're cheap for reason. Maybe I'm being too picky, but I'm certain the selection is better at "your" store. (ya think?)

And I'm sorry to learn that plague has overtaken at least 3 Idyll homes. "Bummer, man". Drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, wear your jammies, and wallow in some self-pity. Feeling crummy carries a few perks. ;)

I chuckled at the idea of newcomer Eden welcoming the gang a few short months after joing the Idyll contingent. Sometimes you just know when the "fit is right". :)

I would clean the scissors delicately. Can you take them apart (they look nice enough to have a screw holding the blades together)? I'd probably try a daub of penetrating oil on a rusty spot and very delicately work at it with some fine steel wool to see if it had any effect, repeating with clean "wool" and "rinsing" with a solvent. Steel wool can be a toughie with finely tooled parts (a no-no on sewing machine innerds) but I think in your case, 'bug, it would be OK, since scissors don't have many moving parts. When finished I'd give them a loving rubdown with some stainless oil and then have them sharpened and adjusted.

I would love to have some time with the "old" Mum, just as a reminder to myself that she was once bright, mentally vigorous, and the woman capable of making things like this:

Can you tell me who this is?

I have a haircut app't. this afternoon (where's Anita?), have to get to the bank, and have to pick up some masonry screws so the helpmeet may "complete the mission" tonight/tomorrow morning. I have an appointment tomorrow morning and would like to get the priming of the chimney accomplished over the weekend, too. But for now, I have to face another day in the trenches, this time doing more menial work that will be decidedly unsatisfying.

I like the "behind the scenes" observations, too. What a difference a day meant, huh?

And so I must away... my dung ball awaits. :)

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 5:30AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

It was one of those cool and damp rainy days yesterday that go right through you. If it hadn't been for the doc appt I would have stayed in. I am not complaining though because I have enjoyed our weather for most of August, all of September and October and even November so far. I'm sorry you are already having freezing rain, Michelle. I would rather have two feet of snow than freezing rain. It ruins all the tree branches when it gets bad enough not to mention the horrible driving and walking.

Saucy...when you mentioned smashing pumpkins, all I could picture was a segment on Chronicle about somewhere around NE, where they have a giant sling shot and shoot the leftover pumpkins across these football length fields. have some interesting memories...a woman living in a ghost town, with plastic wrapped furniture and a houseful of cats? lol Happy for you that Tim is coming for Thanksgiving weekend. I hope you take photos.

Denise....did I mention I also found your story of DH helping DS with his job reminded me of a Norman Rockwell painting. I can just picture the expressions on their faces as they worked on it together. I agree w Chelone...DH could have handled it other ways but I think he chose best. Thai food and Van Morrison tickets just proves the old saying, all's well that end's well. :-) Quite a shocking estimate for moving the meter, interested to hear what Plan B turns out to be.

Woody....your course sounds like a great way to make the winter go by faster. Gee you might have all new plans for the garden by spring. [g]

Eden...Picturing Bella reading to the cats, remembering her reading to Bud...such a lovely age. We renovated our kitchen about 12 years ago. We gutted the whole thing and it took the contractors about 3 months to complete it. It was very stressful being without a kitchen and dealing with unexpected complications, like having to reroute a pipe to put a window in and having the wrong custom window show up and waiting another 4 weeks for the right one. We have been very happy with the results and it was all worth it in the end. I have before and after photos but they were before we had digital cameras and are not on the computer.

Well...I'm running out of Fall Foliage photos, but I saw this one today, which wasn't a wallpaper but was so pretty I had to post it. It was from an article on the National Geographic site...

More catch up to come...


    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 5:34AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary Poppins I'm pretty sure!

Acadia Park is a gorgeous place! Lots to see and explore, but some dangerous parts as well.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 8:29AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Im still trying to juggle getting all the plants in their winter quarters and playing with the new lens. LOL The plants have lost the battle for my time but today is going to be very wet so Im thinking it will be a good day to spend in the garage getting the rest of the little darlings ready to come inside. The weather fellow on NECN (New England Cable News) said we could get up to two inches of rain in the next 48 hours or so. What a wet year weve had.

Im so glad to hear that Sue finally has a furnace. What a bother! I cant imagine going without a furnace for that length of time.

Chelone, that is Mary Poppins of course!

The kitties have been driving me crazy with the in again and out again behavior to the point where if I had a door to put a cat flap in Id do it!!!! Luke (new nickname is now Butterball) has learned that I feed Rahjii aka Skinny Boy the wet food when Luke is outside so hes taken to asking for the door just to check to see if there is any wet food leftovers. As soon as he runs over to the food station and ascertains the absence of food he is interested in he runs back for the door to be let out again. And yes, Im a fool and open the door yet again.

Ive been having such a great time with my garden birds lately and have an enormous flock of Goldfinches. Ive tried a count and there are at least 35 birds and probably more than that. Along with them Ive got a few Pine Siskins, which are a new yard bird for me. Apparently this is going to be an irruption year for them so they will show up in places you dont normally see them. I was really pleased to get a few shots of them. Im hoping they stay the winter with the mixed Finch flock. The greedy things have eaten nine pounds of sunflower hearts in three days!!!! At this rate Im going to have to budget for bird seed.

OK waving hello to all, Ive got to get on the exercise cycle and get out to the garage. I just wanted to check in and say hi!

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 9:11AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Mornin' all! For all those willing to pay to charge, just come ride in the combine and keep me company :) You have no idea how hungry I get for normal conversation, lol! Farmer talk all day every day starts to wear thin by the end of the season. Last night, we picked until 11:30. It's drizzling this morning, so as soon as I get official word, I'm off to the grocery store. We're out of dog food, and the people food is none too plentiful at this point, either.
DB called me last night while I was picking. He said he felt really, really good, and just wanted to call me with some good news. Yesterday was the last day of this round of chemo. From what I understand, he will probably feel pretty crappy today, but I was really tickled to hear he was having such a good evening.
I can remember when I was a kid, sometimes my Mom would say she wished she could talk to her Mom for just five minutes. I sure know what she meant now.
Sorry to hear a bug is making it's way around the Idylls. Thus far, we've had no fall sickness..yay! Lol, I guess that's the upside of seeing only 3 other humans day in and day out. As long as those three aren't sick, the odds of getting exposed to something are pretty slim. (Can ya tell I'm getting sick of spending all my time with these three knuckeheads??)
Tomorrow, I get to go with DD to pick up her wedding dress. I'm so excited to see her in it. The wedding has been moved up to December 27th. They've decided they'd rather have a small, intimate ceremony at their house. Works for me. As long as they have the wedding they truly want, I'm on board with just about anything.
Okay, looks like no one is going to call me with an official "It's not happening", so I will rattle the chain of one of the guys and find out if I'm "allowed" to go to town. Frankly, bed was a pretty good place to be this morning. Hm, wonder how DH would do with a grocery list, a kiss on the forehead and a promise of eternal gratitude??
Take care, all.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 9:34AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone....your Mom was certainly not only talented but creative. I LOVE that doll! I've never seen anything like it and nothing as nice. You're so lucky to have something so wonderful that she made by hand just for you. It started me trying to remember if my Mom had hand made anything and I did remember that I have an embroidered piece or two of hers. She sewed more when she was younger, made her own curtains and lamp shades, but was so busy with work later, that she rarely had time to do that. I think the few pieces I have were done when she was semi retired. I have a pillow that I will have to get a photo of.

Also thought the solution that you and your brother came up with so you can work at THTTF together was great.

V..and Woody...Is flu season starting early this year? So sorry to hear it, hope it is a 24 hr bug.

Michelle...your Mom's cakes sound so homey. It must be a nice memory to have. We had store bought cakes for the most part because my Mom worked, but we didn't know the difference [g] so we were excited just the same. She made up for it with her enthusiasm and we never went without a nice gift.

Sue...Finally, heat! 'You can get anything you Alice's Restaurant' Nice friend! :-)

Brenda....I look forward to hearing about what your Harvest was like once you are done. It's nice you and DB are using the time together to enjoy being together. How long will his treatments last? Hope you get a break from harvesting today.

Denise...glad you enjoyed the poem, I hadn't thought about his middle name, but you are right. A poet and maybe a nature lover too. I haven't had the conditions needed to do a gravel garden here, but I do enjoy Beth Chatto's Woodland garden books. I like her compositions. I really enjoyed that You Tube link for David and see a few more there to try.

Kathy...Yay! Crowns today! You have been very patient and I imagine you are thrilled. Well with that good news, I hope you have finished with the paperwork detail and things at work start slowing down but not too slow. :-) Is the English Primrose you bought... Primula vulgaris? That is one of my favorites that Beth Chatto has used so effectively in her gardens. I saw Becoming Jane and I am trying to remember it and having a hard time. I think I watched the 'Jane Austen Book Club' right after that and now I have the two mixed up. If you haven't seen that one yet, I thought it was pretty entertaining. The Corsican Mint is only hardy to zone 7. :-( But now I see, Eden has wintered it over in z5, so I think it might be worth a shot.

I enjoyed your trip through Sonoma County. My favorite photo is that last one [what is that growing there, Salvia?] Also thought the view through the metal fencing in your album was one I wouldn't mind looking at through my window.

Martie....thank you for getting the number on the Idyll post mixed up, now I don't have to feel like the only one. [g] Your Idyll title was worth two starts. Did you have a nice visit with Kyle? I hope you managed to get some rest this weekend. Sounds like you've been doing a lot of traveling, are you still feeling well since your surgery? How many guests are you feeding for Thanksgiving? I love Pumpkin bread!'ve been holding out on us...look at all those great garden photos!

Cindy... I would like to see a photo of Chloe in her jacket. [g] I would find it interesting to hear more about your stock club. I need to get back to reading more this winter too.

Gardenbug....we have switched from peanut butter to almond butter too and I think I am liking it even better. We just tried Cashew butter last week and that is good too. I've read almonds are much better for you than peanuts. I really like the photo of your window. Your windows look like they are in great shape and surprised to still see foliage. I like the distant view too.

Deanne...looking forward to bird photos soon. I was wondering how you attracted a flock of Goldfinches...that's a lot of birdseed! We were going through a ton and couldn't keep up, so we decided to fill the feeders once a week and when they are empty they have to wait. They were emptying in about 4 days during the summer but right now they are lasting the whole week. were very patient with DGS about the last minute notice for the BD party. One of mine used to be like that, would forget to bring home notices about parent night at school and I would find out the 'day of' from one of the other parents, etc. You seem to be pretty easy going and take things in stride. :-)

Well....I am caught up with another mega post. Nothing going on here worth noting, so thanks for the entertaining reading and have a great Friday.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 10:19AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I can't seem to get myself in gear mentally to make any responses to all the posts...but I DO have clean fingernails again! LOL

Pm2, since you expressed an interest in the Ghost Town, I am posting a link for you. :-)

I do not remember what the 'cat' lady's house looked like, but since it was 46 years ago that we were there, it may not even have been inhabited when these pics were taken. I see many of them were taken in 2001.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 12:03PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Ooops, I'm late...


I took the day off ftom work to move leaves. My town makes the last pickup on my street next week. This will be the fourth weekend in a row that I've been dicking around with these %^$(*@% leaves and you should see how many of them are still out there. It's drizzling now and is supposed to rain all day tomorrow. At least it's fairly warm. All I can say is LOL because it's either that or cry. At least the end is in sight.

OK, lunch is ready.



    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 1:28PM
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Still painting...


    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 4:09PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

It smells like Christmas here today - plum pudding steaming away in the crockpot...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 4:29PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

They just left. It was a total surprise. They came to remove the old wood stove and decided to install the new at the same time instead of on the 20th! They'll be back next week to attach the ceiling piece which needs to be cut to size.

The fellow who did the work fell in love with Phoebe. He use to have Bouviers, now has Dobermans. He is a dog trainer, used to train attack dogs. That makes me nervous, but he said that there is no way you could detect that his dogs were attack trained. They played with children and were sweethearts too. We shared photos.



Woody is baking, Eden painting, Sue raking, PM2 being diligent about responding to us all... V, I hope you have gargled and conquered the cold symptoms.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 5:16PM
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Sue - Did you feel me raking in sympathy? I had to wait till after work and just finished in the dark. Neighbors must think me nuts. I'll have to do the final sweep in daylight but was determined to make tomorrow's pick-up.

I'd MUCH rather have been making Christmas puds. Woody - we should compare recipes.

Chelone - yes I go the whole hog with suet, add lots of brandy, steam for 8 hours and serve with hard sauce (or brandy butter as we call it). The doll is wonderful and would have captured my heart as a child. My Grandmother made beautiful handmade toys I treasured - she was an amazing seamstress too and tailoress by trade.

Handsome stove GB. When can you test it out?

Hope those with colds are feeling better. Honey and lemon with boiling water is my favored remedy, or a hot gin toddy:0)

Today was actually a pretty rotten day. DH is beside himself with worry about work and the dreaded prospect of a move is raising its head once more. Much is up in the air and my stomach in knots. There would be little positive about this one (timing, location, everything stinks.) However the tanking economy is taking its toll and we will simply have to find a way to make things work. My immediate plan is to open a bottle of wine and head off with DH to the movies for an evening of escapism.

Waving to you all


    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 5:57PM
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Sneaky office post:
Envisioning Mary and DH smuggling thier bottle of wine into the movie theater in a brown paper bag and passing same back and forth taking swigs !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 6:03PM
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Hallelujah, I am at liberty for two whole days. I have more teeth than I when I woke up this morning,(but less $$) and its 73 outside right now at 5pm. The box from Amazon with The Lace Reader was on the porch when I got home.We expect an unseasonably warm weekend, of which I intend to take full advantage. All in all, not a bad Friday.

Chelone, we do not carry flooring at all at my company- though there are two very good flooring stores locally . It takes a fair amount of square footage to present a good selection , and that is not a niche we have chosen to take advantage of. When I bought my hardwood floors a couple years ago, I gave H-Cheapo a shot but I found the prices to be competitive at the specialty stores, and the fact that they were locally owned tipped the scales for me. They sent me a variegated Ficus benjamina as a thank you gift when the job was done, which I have since some close to commiting botanicide on . Everything was done on time, as promised. I always recommend themOpen to buy ? I told my boss that everyone in the department has so much PTO time left that we could all take the rest of the year off, nothing would be bought for 6 weeks , and we would undoubtedly reach our year end 6.5mil inventory goal. ..I LOVE Mary Poppins. She is beyond fabu-fabu. She was obviously well taken care of.

PM, the plant you are seeing in the last photo is a Penstemon, pretty sure its "Garnet". Im pondering driving back up through the Alexander Valley this weekend to get some better photos. I was on business so had to be quick and did not get all the shots I would have liked to. So sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Indeed, it is Primula vulgaris. We typically put them in here in the fall-they dont care for our summers.
Becoming Jane was a period film about Jane As romance with a charming but impoverished young man, , I believe the JA Book Club was a present day flick ?

Denise , it sounds like fire season is upon the Socal region. I went on to LA Times website (god, I still miss that paper after 21 years) today , I confess for baseball news (one must be shallow upon occasion) and read of the Montecito fire. Hoping the weekend weather does not create more bad scenes.

Deanne, I dont seem to get Goldfinches anymore used to. I probably should put up a thistle feeder since that is their food of choice for those in our area. Pics are forthcoming, right ? Fooling cats at feeding time is an exercise in futility around here . Id have to go into a soundproof room to open the can. Fortunately, my boys have no obesity issuesyet ! lol.

Brenda, hope your harvest wraps up and is a good one ! We are down 30 to 40 % in tonnage here because of the spring freezes.

Marian, I hope to spend more time with your Ghost Town linkI love the ghost towns of the west. When I lived in AZ I was about 30 miles from Jerome, a GT on Mingus Mountain which was a copper mining town that started to slide down the hill. My photos are not digital , but maybe Ill see if I can find some info on the web.

bug, you new stove is very pretty ! I love that basic old fashioned stove look, and it fits in well with the brick.

Sue, so could you find some neighborhood victim to rake the leaves for 50 bucks ? Maybe even 25 ? Might be worth it. Time is money. I will be raking tommorow, and again a week later and that should do it for me-however I dont live in NE.

((Mary)).. hope your situation resolves itself . I think many of us are in for a rocky road. A bad location clearly is not helpful-you can almost justify the disruption if you are going somewhere interesting. Good vibes your way..

DS finally put his pics up, so as requested, here is Mr Baby as of October.. From portland oct 08

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 9:51PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Kathy, I had the same vision of Mary smuggling wine under her coat. Also, I'm envisioning Deanne trying to pedal her exercise bike into the garage. One should not scan the idylls when one is less than 100%.

Book club went quite well. It's so much easier to get ready for guests when there's no DH underfoot, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. And the ibuprofen kicked in shortly after everyone arrived so I didn't feel bad. I had eight women show up, and five bottles of wine went empty.

This morning I felt better when I got up, so I went to work, but after a bit I began to shiver a lot. Since I only had to work half a day (revised winter hours) I toughed it out, but instead of using the afternoon to catch up on errands, I put in some serious couch time. Knock on wood, my temperature finally seems to be back to normal and I have no other symptoms.

Mary, sorry to hear that life is topsy-turvy once again.

Cindy, I have to admit that my agaves seem to thrive under a strict regimen of benign neglect. Perhaps it's too much love on your part?

Deanne, my DD had brought home a dendrobium this summer that was completely dried up. When I was cleaning house last weekend, I grabbed the pot to dump it out, and darned if it hadn't started to grow! I don't know if it will amount to anything, but I will start to water it again.

Lots of loose ends to tie up on this computer, and I have a full slate tomorrow since nothing was accomplished today, so I shall sign off.


    Bookmark   November 14, 2008 at 10:14PM
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Hmmm I dont recall insisting that there be any photographs of "meems", Kathy. But as long as we are not deluged with them, I suppose one will be OK . I have to say youve shown remarkable restraint. Look at that perfect skin, it must about kill any new parent to see it cut, scraped, bruised! And those chubby little "fingies". What must be goin on inside that head as he cruises around tasting things, leaving a sticky little trail on everything he touches ? He must look very different now, a whole month later. How about some information on the fleabag in the background, you know I hate dogs but toss Woody and Sue a bone, OK? :) "Open to buy" is the term used for the budget allotted to store departments for the purchase of merchandise for the season.

I will raise my paintbrush and/or roller in a salute of solidarity to you and Michelle later today, Eden. The helpmeet was less than thrilled that I remembered to pick up the masonry screws on my way home yesterday. (I even purchased a 5/32 masonry drill bit, just in case). Now Im obligated to get the priming done, lol.

bug, I really like your new stove and what a nice treat to have it installed before it was scheduled! Thats got to be "the spoonful of sugar" to help the "medicine" of cost go down, even if it wasnt "in a most delightful way". I agree with Kathy that the cast iron marries well with the brick surround. Have you "touched that baby off", yet?

Im really curious about the Christmas pudding, you guys. How do you manage to steam it for 8 hours, Mary (I think Woodys use of a slow cooker is brilliant)? Do you use a mould for yours? I think we need more details, perhaps a photographic tutorial on a separate thread . Sorry to hear the tension is rising again and there is more talk of moving, thats got to be tough on you and the family. Hang in there and come here when you need some moral support or some strong shoulders.

Brenda, Ive been completely remiss in not commenting on your brother, Im sorry for the oversight. Chemo. can be a tough row to hoe and Im sure it is terribly draining for you to watch the process unfold. You are wise to make the time to support him and Im glad he called to tell you he was having a good day, knowing that must lighten your load immeasurably. I watched the Farm Report this morning and immediately thought of you and Michelle, they said roughly 71% of the corn harvest was in. I want to see a picture of you behind the wheel of a Combine! I chuckled at the vision of Idyllettes driving Combines in stately procession through the fields around your home. Now theres an interesting visual. Wouldnt we have some laughs over that! I like your attitude toward your daughters upcoming nuptials, too. You have much excitement in your near future.

You know, Cindy, I did think of you after speaking with my brother the other day. He related a dreadful tale from a friend of his who went to a deceased parents home only to find a sibling had changed the locks. He and I have "locked horns" a few times before (I even hung up on him once!), but we really like each other and no amount of "stuff" is valuable enough to justify destroying our affection for each other. I hate to hear stories of family rifts in the wake of death. Id like to hear more about your investment club, too. And Chloe in her jacket would be a good shot, too.

Ive wondered where Deanne has been lately, but chalked it up to being busy with work. I suspect this time of year can be busy for you. Lots of people interested in making Christmas gifts, etc., yes? Man, girlfriend! you are going to have to begin budgeting for birdseed greedy little winged hogs, huh? Id like to see a shot of a Pine Siskin. And I laughed at the mental image of your cats and the food. Ours recognize the sound of the cap coming off the whipped cream and come running for their "blast". Or rather, their "dribble".

OK, gotta go jam some spackle into the countersunk screw holes. Later.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 6:22AM
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I wish I could put things into words as beautifully as Chelone. Gush, gush.

I hope everyone who is down with a cold feels better soon. So far, my bunch is healthy.

Today I'm going to put in some serious time at the drawing table. If I pull together a project, would you like to see it? I know you asked before, so I'm going to take that as a yes. I get busy sometimes, and sadly, this is a corner I cut. That sounds terrible, friends.

Kathy, I have been looking around me and observing the state of the economy, here are some observations: The company/plant next door say they are at their slowest in 30 years - they make the sand that goes on sandpaper (I kid you not!) and the contractors are not ordering as much sandpaper. The embroidery shop that we order our company uniforms from has seen a very marked slow down in orders. However, the mall (which we just wanted to quickly go to and get out of) was overwhelmed by shoppers on Veteran's Day. Nick and I are still doing okay, but we're worried. Luckily most of our work is in the service end of business and not the installation of new equipment (though we do that, too). We looked at office space yesterday, but we're afraid to take that next step right now. I think a lot of people are holding their breath, and their money.

I told Nick that if I watch/read too much news, I get an urge to buy a freezer, or stock up on canned goods, lol, but that doesn't seem reasonable either. I've buttoned up the house good for winter, and taken steps to save energy and "cut the fat" in the check book. Is anyone else thinking this way? I'm thankful that we've been sensible through the years! I wish I'd saved more, but hey, who doesn't?

Okay, Brenda, what should I wear for my day in the combine. Want me to bring The Lace Reader and read it to you like books on tape? I can see me being left in the field to be picked up after


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 8:36AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good rainy morning all,

Well we are supposed to get a deluge of tropical downpours sometime today with 60 degree temps then the cold front will come through with thunderstorms and the temps will fall into the teens at night in a couple days. Very strange weather. Im planning on trying to get the rest of the plants that need to be under lights in the house today. Theres still a ton of things to pot up outside but Im suspecting that Im going to let a lot of it go into the compost. The foolish banana is growing at light speed in the garage and Ive not watered it once in all the time since its been brought in. That base of the plant is completely filled with water and the stupid thing still weighs over a hundred pounds. It might just get left to die because I dont have the strength to get it down the cellar stairs. LOL

My flock of Goldfinches continues to attract more members. Yesterday I counted 45 birds in the various feeders and that didnt get any in the trees. They must have a flashing sign that there are good eats at this address. Its interesting that the large flock of Juncos I had here a couple weeks ago have moved on. Ive only seen about ten birds or so when the flock comes in to feed where earlier there were about thirty or more. I suspect the earlier group moved on south and my winter flock hasnt arrived yet. I normally have quite a few White-throated Sparrows in with the Juncos and Ive only seen one to date. Its interesting to see how the populations shift from year to year.

Mary, Im so very sorry to hear of the unsettled times youre dealing with. I so know how that feels. It will all work out but for now I know its a high anxiety situation. Thinking of you.

Eden, have you posted pics of the kitchen project and Ive just missed them????

Brenda have fun picking out wedding dresses with your DD. Sounds like a great day. ~~ Sounds like your DB is a terrific upbeat person.

Sue, I dont envy you that leaf project even a little bit. Im lucky in that Doug likes using the shredder and has taken care of the raking and shredding for the last few years.

Woody, how was the pudding?

Bug, great new stove! When will you be able to use it?

Kathy, great news about your teeth!!! You must be so glad that is done! ~~ Mr. Baby is adorable of course. ~~ I swear that even if I opened the can of food in a hermetically sealed room the Buda/Fat Boy/Butterball cat would still come running. His instinct for knowing when there are choice eats is uncanny.

V. hope you are feeling all better soon. ~~ RE dendrobiums, Ive never had much success getting them to re-bloom but my friend puts hers out on the deck all summer and the thing is smothered in flowers. Im thinking of trying them again after seeing hers.

Michelle, I received the seeds!!! Thanks so much.

Chelone, I dont do any classes for gift type projects anymore. Many of my students do craft shows though. The class I taught last weekend was a painting of a White-breasted Nuthatch. The students did a fantastic job of it.

Saucy, interestingly enough the mall here was absolutely mobbed on Veterans Day too! I couldnt believe the amount of people out shopping in this economy.

Chelone, here is a photograph of a Pine Siskin I took the other day Such a pretty little finch!

And here is a photo of the male Purple Finch who was around for a few days, another new yard bird for me.

OK time to go and get to work in the garage
Have a great day all,


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 9:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good reading this morning ladies!
I'm full of emotion on various topics: Mary's uncertainty about where home will be, tension about the economy and savings and the future, chemotherapy and what it means to be family...

I received one of those beautiful, long, forwarded, saccharine emails from my French cousin this morning. They leave me conflicted: well intentioned but...just not in line with how I look at life. Of course I thanked her.

The initiation process of the wood stove must be carried out slowly and carefully. The first fire is to be kindling only, no more than 400F. The second fire, with wood, no more than 400F. The next, up to 600F. Each successive fire begins at 800F and is then turned down to between 400-600F. Perhaps we'll start today. The ashes from the front are to be emptied periodically while those in the back are to be smoothed toward the front. There's science to it all.

Spoke with DD last night, which was good. Day one of negotiations went rather well for them. We'll see how things go next week with the more difficult emotional stuff.

And now I must move forward with this day. I have a lot of baggage in my life that I need to work on. Housework is easier. Sigh

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 9:17AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My Dendrobium is never loaded with blooms, but does bloom yearly since I started putting it out on the deck. I have to bring it in as soon as I see a bloom stalk because it is bug candy. It had one stalk last month that had several buds on it. The first one opened on the 25th. A couple of them shriveled up and fell off! Today there are still 3 blooms. This pic was taken a few days ago, but they look the same today.

Another bloom stalk is slowing coming up from the new shoot (not proper name of it), so it will eventually have more blooms ...maybe by Christmas. Shoot, I just checked it, and the tip of the new bloom stalk has shriveled and brown!!! What a drag! I wonder what caused that....

It isn't nearly as long blooming as the Phals. I notice some of them are starting to throw up bloom stalks.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:28AM
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A gracious Saturday to all.... The front edge of Deanne's storm is just reaching us and we've battened down the hatches. Made sure Della Robia was placed to get a good rinse before moving inside, and thwarted the idea of putting some wintering over plants back outside for a good drenching. Visions of chasing wind blown Black and Blue Salvia bush through the neighborhood did nothing for me. LOL

Today is kick back and realize I'm a wife/partner after a few crazy weeks of work. Physically I'm feeling Okay, enough that my last post-op appointment was cancelled and I'll just need a checkup in February.

Given my jello state of mind lately, during the cancellation phone call I said, "but what about my annual pap smear?" The gracious young and too-chipper receptionist very calmly said, "Martie, you realize you'll never have to do that again, right??" Red doesn't describe the color of my face, I'm sure, but after 35 years of same old same old one does get habitual. LOL

So today Rich and I head out for kitchen cabinet samples, final materials pricing, and trim sample looking for the MAJOR contract he hopes to sign on Monday. He's particularly pleased because these folks are quite, well, anal and spoke with many good contractors but chose Rich to do plans and hopefully, work. It will mean financial solvency for at least six months for three months work and I've gotta say that some new sweats sound like an absolute luxury at this point.

Thus, as a result of the enormous personal economic downturn we've experienced, we've comfortably brought ourselves back to the truly important things in life.

((((Mary)))). Could DH make one of the requisites for a move a fantastic music school nearby? I don't envy you these worries.

Brenda -- I'm coming with Saucy to work and while she's reading to avoid the farm talk, I'll do a documentary on just what friends will do to get each other through trying times. Nice try on the shopping idea, but doubt it'll work :-( Good news about your DB!!!

Marie -- Every single day when something stupid happens and I get pissy I think of what your family has been through and then realize how truly trivial a lot of angst can be. I love your stove, and it looks like they did a good, clean job for you. Interesting that stoves need to be seasoned. Haven't ordered Lace Reader yet -- it's not at my library so we'll wait to be sure Rich gets this job before visiting Amazon.

V: Couch time is far more useful when one is feeling like total crap than any amount of other kind of thing you could've been doing. I've gotten into the habit of saying to myself, "Re" when I breathe in and "lax" when I breathe out and the benefits of the couch seem to amplify.

Sue: I have visions of your head sticking out of a humungous pile of leaves and the top of the rake just moving back and forth trying to make a dent. I'm all over the idea of hiring a local kid or someone to do that for you. Yes, there are days when nearly treeless yards are a plus.

Deanne - A plant at a time.... a plant at a time.... Have you always "done" birds in classes or is this a new form of your art? The goldfinches must be a hoot to watch. I love how they swing around on anything hanging just for fun.

Marian: Thought of you when I saw my first Christmas cactus bloom forming. Also when a friend announced that she's getting a movable chicken pen. I wonder, while the pen is being moved what does one do with the chickens? Anyway...... LOL

Kathy -- Is it pansy time? Some day I'll figure out who you work for :-)

Denise -- Stay away from those fires. They look awful on TV. Did Mitch's work situaton resolve itself?

Eden -- Meant to tell you how happy Jen and Randy look in the Halloween pic, and how one can "just tell" that they are going to be incredible parents. How do you think Bella will react? My guess is that she'll love that baby better than anyone.

Need the second pot of coffee started so will end this tome and see everyone later!


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:31AM
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Chelone, you'll have to hide that doll during idyll summer camp...there's MP's magical carpet bag too...and the hat is even detachable. One of my favorite movies, tho the feminist politics Disney overlaid are too pat. (Never read the book, so maybe it's faithful to Travers?) I love Mr. Bank's opening paean to smug upper class Victorian domesticity. And of course the actress playing Jane Banks was also in another fave, The Three Lives of Thomasina, with Patrick McGoohan. But I digress..

Has the blind been set up yet, Deanne? The birdies are magnificent, including the scalloping detail on the purple finch's breast. It's hard to be a slave to the garden when those gorgeous birds are calling you out with the new lens, isn't it?

Mary, no, not after all your work on the bathrooms! I hope this crisis passes like the last one and you stay put for a bit longer. All four of us trooped off for some movie escapism last night too (Bond).

Gratifying to learn Sue has had it "dicking around" with those leaves. I use that expression all the time, lol.

Kathy, Aiden is beautiful (hopefully I'm remembering correctly Mr. B's name). It's supposed to get into the 90s today. Funny, your affection for the LA Times, which I shared until the latest change of hands, losing one of the best book review sections in the country. We did finally cancel our print subscription, which felt like a queasy milestone, but no more papers stuck on agave spikes and stacks unread laying around. New teeth and two days off, what could be finer? The valley photos were great, brought back memories of riding my bike from Petaluma to Sonoma, with my dog in the front basket.

'bug's new stove fits that corner perfectly, and what a precise regimen to get it on-line. Must be a favorite spot of Phoebe's to curl up by. I'm wondering if your cousin's letter is an unreal litany of family accomplishments or too faux-cheery.

Saucy, until you mentioned it, I thought smashing pumpkins was just a surreal name chosen for Billy Corgan's band. Wouldn't it be nice to be Brenda's Harvest Reader? The cat on the quartz heater is infamous -- Marty mentioned him too. Apparently heats like the blazes but cool enough for the cat to sleep on top. Sounds like you and Nick are running a tight ship, ready for most anything thrown your way.

Marian, I'm sure your "gift of gab" will return shortly. And hoping everyone feeling less than 100% is back to it in short order.

Does finding two matching socks and an unwrinkled shirt for work count as a Julie Job? Or grabbing fistfuls of corgie fur rolling across the floor while dashing out the door? Brushing your teeth and toilet at the same time? (different brushes, of course) I've been robbing Peter to give Paul more garden space, removing a couple courses of brick from the already smallish pathway, gaining maybe a foot. Plants on order, some small kniphofias and odds and ends. Heading out to breakfast, then to buy more gravel. May or may not get dragooned into a trip to an air show, depending on how compliant I feel...though I'm finding that I get nicer as I get older ;)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:44AM
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Just missed you, Martie & Marian. I'll do a Mitch update later, but the short version is positive. He did get us comp tickets to the Getty in Malibu, the dear boy. Wow, no more gyn will take a while to wrap your mind around that.

Marian, you are a wizard with indoor plants.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:53AM
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(Meant to tell Cindy I can send a replacement medio-picta out in spring. Eden too. I've got eight homeless agave pups.)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:59AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Marian...thanks for the link, I find these ghost towns so sad and can't imagine anyone still living there in such isolation.

Sue...I am wondering if you keep any of your leaves for compost? You do have a lot of trees there, wow. We don't rake our leaves, we leave them where they fall in the beds for the winter and use the mower on the lawn to collect them and have a wire bin hidden away to store them in where we also just add grass clippings to over the summer. We don't turn it but just leave it for a long time to break down on it's own.
In the spring, I rake out the sunny perennial beds and add it to the compost bins but for the most part, the shade perennials come up through the leaf litter and I leave them all there except for about a 1-2ft section along the front of the bed that meets the grass, where we lay down bark mulch. I find this way of doing it so much less work and good for the soil too.

Woody and Kathy....I am very curious about what the plum pudding tastes like, and would be fascinated to see how it's made.

Pretty new wood stove, Gardenbug. Nice that they got it done sooner than expected. I was curious why you decided not to use the old one on the patio? Firepits are so popular these days, I suppose it's not the same thing though?

Mary...I like that cold remedy too. Sometimes I use freshly juiced lemons, with a half of an unpeeled, washed, organic lemon, blended in the blender added to the lemon juice to get the benefit of the rind. I forget if I strain it at all? Then add enough water and honey to make it tasty and keep a pitcher of it in the fridge and drink it through the day any time I am sick. Great source of vitamin C and the rind adds the Bioflavonoids.

Sorry to hear about work worries. I hope some decision will be made quickly since, for me anyway, most of the anxiety is over the 'up in the air' phase. The financial atmosphere is very scary right now. I can't even put on the news any more, but somehow, some of it still manages to find me. The latest about General Motors and another possible bailout was on the home page of my email provider yesterday and I am just doing my best to ignore it.

Kathy....looks like a very pleasant weekend shaping up for you. You need it! Wow, great shot of Aiden! He is getting around, how old is he now? Does he like the dog? Does he still find the fish tank entertaining?

I like that Penstemon 'Garnet'. I am just starting to try some Penstemon. I bought some 'Pike's Peak Purple' in late summer at a sale and it has continued to bloom right through a few of the light frosts. It reminds me of the 'Garnet'. I am looking forward to a whole season of it next year. I started Penstemon 'Iron Maiden' from seed this year and planted 1st year seedlings in a bed with grasses and the other Penstemons and a few other things and they should bloom for me next year. They are supposed to attract Hummingbirds, so I hope to have fun with that next summer.

Chelone....I am picturing you standing at the fridge squirting whip cream in the mouths of the cats lined up for their turn. lol Oh boy, I have to tell my DS that one. A new treat for the kitty cats. I suppose you have to keep it to a minimum if weight becomes a problem. :-)

Well....gosh ! Lots of posting this morning! I started this post right after Chelone posted, and had to interrupt for about an hour and I refresh and there are six of you that beat me to!

Well...I will have to come back later. :-)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 11:02AM
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Since the sun is finally shining after several weeks without, I really need to get out and get some fall cleanup done. The combine has just left for the field and fingers are crossed that it is dry enough as we have had quite a few rainy days. Im hopelessly behind and I really dont know where the week went.

Chelone, Mary Poppins is fabulous and a wonderful keepsake for you. Your mum was obviously extremely creative and talented.

I dont envy Sue with her massive leaf cleanup. Here we dont have a lot of deciduous trees near the house and gardens most are in the grove. We do have quite a few large evergreen trees. What leaves that do come off the 8 trees that are on the yard blow away.

We did finish the bedroom painting job and I was quite pleased with the paneled wall, one would never know that there is paneling under it. New lights will come eventually. In the LR I bought some sheer panels that Im contemplating. They are a taupe crinkley sheer. I basically have only valances in my house. One advantage of the country is that minimal window treatments are necessary.

I was trying to think about something for fall to put on those front pillars. I told DH they cry out to be decorated year round. What I came up with for now is galvanized pails, raffia, sedum and lavender sea statice with gourds. They look kind of blah though. I need something with more color. Now a couple hours later I have added some purple mums which have livened them up quite a bit. My thoughts are on a little Thanksgiving decorating. Who in their past did ceramics? Well, I did and I still pull out the ceramic pilgrims and turkey each year.

I sent Kenzie a email birthday card from Smilebox. It had several pictures of her and music. DD said her reaction was "that was cool" I see there are some Thanksgiving ones, so I'll have to make another. You can do them with video also, so I'm contemplating making a video with DH and I wishing them a Happy Turkey day.

PM, the Acadia picture is stunning.

Kathy, everything is so colorful in your photos. Around here things are looking pretty blah already. Of course all the gray days certainly didnt help that. Thanks for the shot of Mr. Baby, I love the pudgy little hands and what I always call "marshmellow cheeks"

bug, the new stove looks great and seems to fit your farmhouse. Sorry that it was necessary.

Mary, sorry to hear about the distressing news. Hopefully, things work out.

Deanne, wonderful shots of the birds. I just put out the winter feeder today and added the heater to the birdbath so hopefully Ill see some. As for taking photos, I think Ill just enjoy yours.

Im in now for a little warm up break. Not a bad day but it is only 30 degrees.

More later, but Ill leave you with a few shots from this mornings garden.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 1:04PM
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Linens are changed out, oatmeal cookies made, final pricing gotten, close eye on the weather forecast for possible basement flooding, and snoozed for a bit. What more could one want from a lazy Saturday?

Aiden is just a peach, Kathy. He looks so intent on grabbing whatever he's got his eye on and tasting for certain identification. Go, Mr. Baby, go!!

Glad Kenzie liked her songs, Michelle. "The bread loaf went away, before Thanksgiving day, said he, 'they'll make some stuffing out of me if I should stay.'" will be going through my head for the next three weeks.

Does anyone remember All the verses????? I, too, digress LOL.

How about we tentatively set the third Saturday of January (17th) as a weather-dependent Logee's and Lunch meeting date? I contacted them yesterday and they don't have any tours planned, so my guess is we'd have the place pretty much to ourselves.

They also confirmed that if we pick plants for those who can't get to Danielson, they'll ship them for us without the catalog upcharge. So, if you're looking for something special, even if it isn't in the catalog..... PM2 can attest that if there's material "in back" that's better than what's on the benches, it magically appears thanks to folks who can "spot plant people."

So, this will be an informal gathering for anyone who can get there. Does this work??

For some reason I got absolutely emotional looking at the Mary Poppins doll, Chelone. She's "practically perfect in every way." Chim, chim, chiree!!

Why is it that ornamental cabbage looks so incredibly elegant for such a humble plant? That pic is great, Michelle.

Watching what's left of the leaves whirl through the air and into the woods. Hear the wet-vac going downstairs and that doesn't bode well for Rich's dyke building success :-(

Off to be sympathetic. Later, again!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 2:38PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Wow - such a lot going on here and I can't possibly keep up! Some comments from a quick skim... MP is a treasure :-) gb - the stove instructions sound complicated - did they give you a thermometer or does the stove have one?! Brenda - I'm glad DB is feeling reasonably chipper. What do you do to occupy your mind while making endless trips around a field? Do you keep track of mileage - how many miles do you go in harvest season I wonder....? Kathy - Mr. Baby is a cutie - and what kind of dog is it stretched out beside him? Deanne - the first bird is my favorite - the gold highlights really light that one up. Mary - how stressful to have the move possibility pop up again! I hope you get to stay put! Martie - I got a chuckle from the pap test response. I hope Rich gets the job you refer to.

And that makes me think of economics... The economic slowdown/recession or whatever presents an interesting dilemma - because of jobs losses and expected losses, the real estate bubble collapse and the stock market tumble, everyone its starting to 'hunker down' and spend less - which, of course, slows the economy more and you get into a nasty negative feedback. I have not slowed my spending but I have become more targeted in my spending. I think we're in one of those times when there's starting to be an important paradigm shift. When we bought a new dryer and a new stove in the past few months, the deciding factor for us was which one had the best energy rating given the features we wanted. And I made sure the store knew that that was an important selling point. If the 'market' gets the message that such things are important, it helps move production in that direction. Times of economic turmoil are rough but offer opportunities to get a lot of things done quickly if there is focused and thoughtful direction. One can only hope for the best.... (I'll get off my soapbox now...:- )

I got confirmation yersterday of my registration for the course I'm taking this winter and materials will be couriered to me in the next few weeks. It'll be really interesting to see how the course is conducted over the internet. It sounds like at least part of it is in a chatroom sort of format to provide an opportunity for classroom discussion. Here is part of what the FAQ for the distance education says:
'Students log onto the course web site several times per week to study the course material, talk with classmates and instructors in the course discussions, submit assignments, and check grades.'

It is cold and raining here today. When we got back from the usual Saturday morning shopping today, our neighbour across the street (an avid gardener) was weeding in her front garden - wearing a raincoat, rain pants and rubber boots! Crazy gardener...!

Gray , damp, cold November - I think tonight is going to be a good night for cocooning by the fireplace, watching a moovie.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 2:50PM
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A pleasant Saturday out to the Idylls, Im taking a short break from the tasks du jour. Trying to feel simpatico with Sue, and am raking leaves, though I am sure mine are a drop in the bucket compared with those of the NE folk. I went on a drive this morning and took some more photos up in Sonoma county and will share them later. I though I was done sporting short sleeve shirts for a few months but had to change into one todayits very warm indeed in the sun.

Lol Chelone, I believe Aiden pics were requested by both Eden and Michelle, I take no responsibility ! You know how those two areone must humor them .

PM , I have a similar Penstemon to your Pikes Peak Purple, but the tag is long gone. I ve also grown Midnight which is another purple. Aiden does still love the fish tank- think hes about 9 months old, I dont remember what his birthday is !

Ok, I need to hit the trenches againback later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 2:59PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A busy Saturday indeed! Chelone, I too immediately recognized Mary P. and am impressed with the most excellent job your mother did on her.

'bug, the new woodstove looks great but I do not envy you the break-in process. It does sound like a process that a computer-oriented professor would follow to a tee.

I spent the morning at church for a mini-retreat and found it to be quite refreshing. After a round of errands, I came home and did laundry, hand-washed all the good wine glasses from Thursday night, baked cookies to take to DD tomorrow and made chili for dinner. I feel like I have had a day well-spent!

I've got a couple things I want to read tonight, so I think I'll call it a post. The bell choir plays tomorrow morning, so I want to be at Starbucks at 7:00 am to be properly caffeinated!


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 7:02PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Batten down the hatches, there is a Tornado Watch for all of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island..... Good grief!

Michelle, love the fall garden photos! As always your arrangments are beautiful!!!

V. I want to have dinner at your house. I've not had any chili for ages.

Denise, so happy you like the birds. Yes I've set the blind up for the season. I've almost gotten all the plants taken care of, I just need to take apart four more containers. I brought in most of the abutilons and acalyphas today along with the pelargoniums I'll be keeping. The rainy day was a big help! LOL

OK I'm off to re check the weather.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 7:28PM
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My extravagance for today was to visit the olive bar at Whole Foods. My (small) container is open before me, redolent of garlic and Sicilian herbs. Im thinking I may suspend all manual labor for the rest of the day, even though I didnt work all that hard today , preferring to attend to my chores at a snails pace. The felines are in heaven, moving from one sun-dappled napping spot to another, and ignoring the presence of Psycho-kitty who has come over for the day . Doobie spent the morning sleeping on my Nepeta it is squished flat. Pulled up about half of the Zinnias . I observed that our recent rains have been a boon to the weed population-they are sprouting everywhere.

Denise, I glad to hear that the Times has gone to h#*l. I feel better about my deprivation. It took me literally years to warm up to the SF Chronicle , remembering my teen years distaste for Hearst papers-notably the Herald-Examiner.

Yes Saucy , indeed we would like to see it ! I think the prudent, non panic type steps you are taking to conserve funds is just the ticket. Im thinking Im going to postpone the active marketing of this house till the second quarter 09 . I feel very uncomfortable with the expense of moving in this environment. At least gas is down to 2.69 here. Ill also put of any big ticket purchases (such as the final quadrant of my mouth reconstruction) and hopefully nothing expensive will break this year .

Marian, I have never been successful at re-blooming a Dendrobium. Maybe your move it outside technique would work, but I wonder how it would enjoy the lack of humidity . Do you move your Phals outside too ? Sort of like sending the orchids to summer camp !

Martie , I planted pansies last month and they look horrid right nowbecause of the autumn sun pattern they will be in almost total shade till my neighbors Norway Maple loses its leaves. I should have just waited . You may have a challengeing time figuring out where I work , though if you and your "building professional DH lived in this county you would be quite familiar with , and probably (hopefully) be a customer of my company. We are regional, locally owned since 1953 , with 5 locations, 3 of which pretty much live or die by the housing market. Tough times. Fortunately we also have an agricultural irrigation and vineyard trellising division, which is thriving. Fingers crossed that Rich gets the job ! LOL Sues head sticking out of the pile of leaves ..

Michelle your fall container turned out great ! Did you do one for each pillar ? You can just keep changing the contents as the season progresses.

Woody , Im not sure what kind of dog that isDD and her partner are fostering (though I suspect the foster will become family) him . He looks like about 10 different breeds to me ! Hes extremely sweet and surprisingly well behaved for a young dog. Cant wait to hear about how the class goes !

Deanne, hope the bird blind doesnt end up in Oz !

Thats all for me , waves to all ,missing those absent

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 7:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, The Dendrobium is the only orchid I set outside. The credit for that goes to Deanne. I am sure she said she puts her's out. I have one slipper orchid ( from Ei). It is putting up a bloom stalk. I have seven Phals, the largest one is from Ei, and will have it's second blooms for the year, before too long. Some of the others are just starting to grow new bloom stalks.(I should look up the proper term...I don't think 'bloom stalk' is the botanical term.) :-(

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 8:14PM
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Deanne, good luck with that tornado watch. It's been the Last Days of Pompeii here, with ash swirling in the air, covering everything. Truly awful air quality. I've heard rumors that Lotusland near Montecito has burned but can't get firm confirmation. What a loss if true. Oh, the cycads!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 8:54PM
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Marian, I think the term is 'spike' !
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 9:14PM
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Hi everyone, I'm exhausted tonight and just waiting for Meg to pick up Bella so I can go to bed. We painted again today, only one more row of cabinets to go. The end is near! Tomorrow Brad and I are taking Bella to the Ringling Bros. circus. I think that will be fun!

Kathy, how nice to see Aiden. He's really growing and always looks to be such a happy little guy. So cute! Thanks for indulging me and posting his picture.

Denise, that will truly be awful if those beautiful gardens have burned. Can't wait until spring to get the aloe! Thanks so much!

Deanne, No I haven't posted any kitchen pictures yet. When it's finished I will. I enjoyed seeing the bird photos and am looking forward to seeing and hearing more about your backyard flocks.

Saucy, yes we would love to see your project.

Mary, fingers crossed that you don't have to move.

Chelone, loved Mary Poppins. What a special doll to have. I have a Holly Hobby around here somewhere that my mom made me. In answer to your question I studied architecture in school.

We had pizza delivered for dinner tonight. Still no real cooking going on. Oh and Bella's decided we must make a gingerbread house this year. That'll be a first for me :) In regards to the economy and spending we haven't really cut back on day to day things but if things were good I'd be out buying new kitchen appliances. The way things are though I'm waiting.

Good night, sleep well.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 9:50PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks Kathy. I did a little research and found that 'spike', 'stem' and 'stalk' are all applicable. :-)

Denise, that is so terrible about the fires. I have been seeing it on TV. I sure hope that gardens was not destroyed.

It is my bedtime. The stove has been stoked up for a rather cold night. I will don my pjs (sweats) and hit the sack.


    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 10:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The computer was off for a good while because of SNOW on the satellite dish! Phoebes was in heaven dashing through the soggy mush. The trees looked beautiful for a while, but then it all began to drop off the branches. I heard a loud crack and wonder which tree I'll find on the ground tomorrow!

Friends came by for a spontaneous dinner here this evening. They have 2 daughters who are musical, talented and charming. Really sweet guests!

Off to beddie bye....

    Bookmark   November 15, 2008 at 11:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good Morning!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 7:41AM
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I slept late this morning, until just before 5:30. I made the coffee and went out to the Salon to add another bead of painters caulk to the joint between the trim that bridges the masonry and the ceiling. It requires 2 hrs. set time before painting and that will give me time to address the usual morning JulieJobs. I have big plans to sand and formally prime the faces of the skimcoated masonry today. J

As usual, Michelle has come up with a simple way to convey the Harvest Season theme to visitors to her door. Very appropriate and very pretty and let me say again, how nicely the entry way turned out! I think that Kales looks rather as though it could be a sub-marine dweller, you know, like Kelp and Anemones. You know, Michelle, Ive always wanted to take a ceramics course. Theres just something about painting "greenware" and making something individual that really appeals to me. Ive long harbored a desire to decorate a nice, big platter. When are you going to trot out the Pilgrims and turkey for our enjoyment? I love the fun computer stuff you do for Kenzie; not quite as nice being with her "in person", but a good outlet, nonetheless. Are we going to see the "boudoir" project? dont you just love it when a quick fix for something you find homely works out well?!

Have you worked officially in the field of Architecture, Eden? We have FILs books here and I just love poring over them. One of my favorites is an oldie, "Handbook of Ornament" by Franz Sales Meyer, Verlag Von Seemann & Co., Leipzig. And there are a few others that fascinate regularly; it doesnt hurt that we live in a very historic area with many notable architectural styles spanning many changes in "taste" and vogue. No wonder youre always cooking up some sort of interesting "project" on the home front! I thought of you yesterday as I was patiently filling, waiting for it to dry, sanding, and applying shellac to seal knots. It will be fun to hear about the Circus, it conjures memories of Toby Tyler, and Jeanette and performing acrobatics on horseback. J

Deanne, I think youve lucked out as far as weather goes. It was so warm yesterday that spending the day in the garage couldnt have been torture. I shut off the heat in the Salon and opened the window to get let in some fresh air. And that Pine Siskin is just beautiful! I stared at the color and the barring on its feathers for a long time. Im guessing the shape of the beak is what distinguishes it as a member or the Finch community? and its only fitting that the NH state bird would stop by so you could snap its picture for all of us. One of the perils of second storey living is the necessity of going up and down stairs to let animals in and out. To that end, weve rigged up a series of ramps and "switchbacks" to allow the cats access to the slider on the deck. The helpmeet now has to come up with something similar so the Mummys Precious Little Baby-kins may access a designated window in the Salon. ;) , you would get a kick out of the way we indulge the little darlings.

Ive not paid much attention to the leaves swirling around the Compound, but noticed theyre pretty much off the trees now, even the oaks. We do a basic clean up in the fall and corral them in a fenced area for future use as leaf mold. But we have more space than you do, Sue, and not nearly so many trees in close proximity to the house. Well have to get after them pretty soon.

I checked out the Lotusland site and heard more news of the fires in Santa Barbara this morning. I know fire is part of a natural cycle, but wonder how much we humanoids contribute to the destructiveness of them with thoughtless planting, overcrowding, etc.. Oh well, its still a shame to see such beautiful things destroyed and the faces of stricken homeowners never fails to tug at my heartstrings. Whats the latest update from our "on the ground" reporter, Denise?

As for the economy, weve been expecting this to overtake the country for at least a year now. Not because were particularly well educated in economic matters or possessed of gloomy natures, but because it was simply unrealistic to expect real estate to continue its meteoric rise, foolish for lending institutions to loan money to people without requiring documentation/income verification, were a country of negative savers, and the average revolving debt is over $8K/household. Raised as we were by parents who grew up in the Depression of the 30s, the helpmeet and I grew up discerning the difference between "need" and "want". From the time my brother and I were little kids "want" was properly identified for what it was and the necessity of careful choices was made very clear. We fit the profile so many have of the "austere New England yankee". "Fat" weve trimmed:
1.) Cable TV. Too much money for too much junk.
2.) Electricity. All electronics are plugged into strips. When not in use the strips are switched off and the "vampires" dont suck up electricity to keep the little clocks and lights aglow. All battery rechargers are treated the same way. I managed to shave the best part of 40% off the bill in the first few months of this!
3.) The boiler is turned OFF when exterior temperatures allow it. All the thermostats are set low, esp. in lesser used areas of the house.
4.) We worked very hard to get the firewood split and stacked. We use the stove to take the chill off the house in the evening or on days off.
5.) We have trimmed the grocery budget greatly, cutting down on packaged food, polishing off all leftovers, and planning meals more carefully.
We are simply not big "consumers", nor have we ever been. With the exception of the bahn, we dont finance purchases. I dont spend $4-5/day on coffees, I pack "left-overs", and I go to work and then I go home. Shopping as a recreational activity? Unhuh. I am relieved that I insisted ALL the supplies for the completion of the Salon were purchased last year. Ive purchased the masonry supplies out of my own "privy purse". I expect my work week may well be cut from 4 days to 3 after Christmas and while I dont like the thought much, there is no shortage of projects on the Compound to occupy "free time", Ill just be workin for the household. Like you, Woody, when its time to purchase new appliances energy efficiency will be of paramount concern. And I share your belief that we are on the brink of making significant changes that could well benefit the world if we choose wisely. I am uncomfortable about the changes in our retirement accounts, but those are the breaks when you invest in the "market" and because we have chosen to live "lean" were in better shape than many and worse shape than others. Lifes a crap-shoot and there are NO guarantees.

And so, I shall away to the kitchen to clean up the "trail", wondering if bug and DH have begun seasoning that spiffy new stove, if the snow is off the "dish", and if alltharestayas are getting set of a leisurely day!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 7:57AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - UGH! :-)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 8:30AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well we got a good bit of rain and wind but no severe weather here. It looks like the squall line dissipated as the evening progressed and no tornados were reported as far as I know. Today is still cloudy but Im really hoping for some sun before the day is over. I feel like Ive got chronic mildew. Need some sunshine here. I continue to make progress in the garage and have one of the bays clear so I can get one car in the garage again. I wont move the dormant stuff down to the basement for another couple weeks though.

Bug, cant believe youve got snow! Ugh! Its too early for that.

Chelone, so happy you liked the little Siskin pic. Yes I do believe the beak shape helps determine what family the birds are in although the Siskin beak is longer and pointier than most other finches. ~~~~ LOL about the kitty highways youve engineered. I totally get that.

Eden, sounds like you are going to have a fun day at the circus with Bella. ~~ Im looking forward to seeing your finished kitchen project.

Denise, those fires are just horrible. I surely hope that Lotusland wasnt destroyed. That would be such a loss.

So has anyone heard from Wendy lately?? Waving hello to everyone, have a great day

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 8:46AM
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No tornadoes last night but we were ready nonetheless. Looking at the forecasts and radar, we were smack dab in the middle of the watch area and I was admittedly quite nervous having lived through a 10/79 tornado about 10 miles from here.

I can't bring myself to put this piece in "discard." She was a purchase right after my divorce, and my BGGF Virginia thought that a tired angel was most appropriate at that point. Problem is, I don't have all pieces (Rich knocked her off her perch and didn't save the little scraps). So what do I do???

Thanks for all the good Rich/contract wishes. They'll help.

Blue sky is visible through the clouds at this point but the wind hasn't died down at all. Small children on roller skates with a big sheet would have a blast. LOL


    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 11:06AM
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Wow, Martie, I think I would be inclined to see about removing the broken wings and leaving her as just a pensive "pre-'teen". I think further "distressed" and placed cleverly in the garden she'd be great. I wouldn't have a clue about how to repair the wings.

Remembered I wanted to tell Saucy that I'd love to see all her hard work as a "real-live plan".

I'm off to wash the brushes and the roller pan in preparation for round two. I hope that will be later this very day, but a lot depends on how long it takes thirsty compound the dry! I may have to give it another coat of primer before getting to see the "finished" color. But the wait is usually "worth it". :)

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 11:42AM
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Hey Martie, remember, Venus de Milo doesn't have all her parts either !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 11:50AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

For all its historic value, Buffalo's architecture has for decades
seemed strangely frozen in time.

One of the most cynical cliches in architecture is that poverty is
good for preservation. The poor don't bulldoze historic neighborhoods
to make way for fancy new high-rises...

Buffalo is home to some of the greatest American architecture of
the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with major architects like
Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, Louis Sullivan and
Frank Lloyd Wright building marvels here. Together they shaped one
of the grandest early visions of the DEMOCRATIC AMERICAN CITY...

Now the city is reaching a crossroads...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 12:24PM
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Martie, she looks like she is contemplating her broken wing. I wouldn't be able to part with her either.

Waving hello to all! I want to get active here again, but I can't seem to get it in gear. You all are more interesting to read than my daily life.
Still your friend though. Norma

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 2:26PM
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2pm beer (Full Sail Pale Ale) I started the Cecile Bruner Project today. This will probably take several sessions to complete, she has attained Kudzu-like proportions, and I am going to take her down by about 2/3rds. This will involve taking out entire canes (which are inreality trunks) and wearing the pigskin gloves- shes a mean one, right up there with The Fairy . Filled two 32 gal cans today , and stopped as I was out of yard waste containers. The operation will eventually require me to get out the Sawzall.

DS has advised me that the band will be cutting a real CD that is performed in a recording studio instead of my closet . They have arranged for time in a studio in Sacramento . When they make it big I will inquire into the position of Official Band Gardener. I will retain Saucy and Woody as design consultants.

I have contracted rhino-virus. No clue where it came from; dont know anyone except Idyllers who have had a cold lately and Im pretty sure you cant get one via the internet, lol !

Hi Norma !

Ok, here are a few more pics from my travels this week.

Crossing the county line.

Thought of Martie and pulled over to get this pic of a Victorian farmhouse framed with some very large Eucalyptus. Think these are very old E. citriodora.

A hillside vineyard

Back in Napa county, a cool sculpture garden..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 6:29PM
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Yesterday was sunny at least by November standards, but today we are back to gray. The garden is pretty much cut back and all the furniture is put away. I need to straighten out the garden shed and I will call it quits for the season. I did realize this a.m. that the birdbath with the heater is behind a large evergreen branch and I cant see it from the window so Ill have to reposition it.

Im glad you liked the containers and yes Kathy there is one on each pillar.

After church we stopped by Ricks sons place and took a peek at the St. Bernard puppies. They are growing like crazy and are so cute to watch.

bug, bummer about the s*** but it sure is a pretty picture. We had a scene like that not long ago, but fortunately it melted. I enjoyed the Buffalo link, lovely architecture.

Woody, I was out yesterday in snow pants, boots and winter coat to stay warm. It was sunny though ;o) Crazy I know but now its mostly dark when I get home in the evenings.

Denise, hopefully the Lotusland rumors are just that.

Eden, the gingerbread house will be lots of fun Im sure. I think Ive mentioned my kids annual graham cracker houses. One year though my mom made a large house. It probably stood 2 foot tall. My kids thought it just wonderful. Are you going to get a kit?

Martie, I had similar thoughts as Kathy about your angel or you could site her in a leafy area where the wings are partially hidden. My very unprofessional thoughts on repair is to use sand mix that would mixed thickly and smooth over and try to build up the left wing, glue the right one on and smooth over the cracks. You would probably have best results with painting it again. I use sand mix for stepping stones as its much smoother and doesnt have all the gravel in it.

Im off to order a Christmas gift online.


Here are a couple of boudoir for Chelone. The furniture was purchased by DH after his divorce, not exactly what I would pick. The wall behind the mirrored dresser is the paneled wall. You can't see the window, but I put a darker bamboo blind on it. I've tried to keep the decor simple as I'm getting tired of cleaning so much "stuff" Sorry about the quality, I have a hard time getting good indoor pictures.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 6:39PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We got the birdbath, and hoses put away. The snow is here still and we have storm windows and the rain barrels yet to deal with. Two preliminary wood stove fires have been completed. Mr Baby would be cold here in that attire! Deanne's photos reminded me to de-ice and fill the feeders as well. The bird bath is now in the barn.

As to the 1 1/2 winged angel, my inclination would be to leave her in "distressed" mode, perhaps put a unifying cement colored finish on her. Like a well used book, there's a charm to well used artifacts, at least for me. I like to think my entire "distressed" house has some charm too. Hehehe.

Hey Norma, get your act together and come join us. You don't always have to be witty, brilliant, observant, literate and creative to participate here! That would be awfully stressful for me!

Kathy, more than beer, vineyards or sculpture, those blue skies really appeal to me!

Martie, a couple of weeks of angst going on here in addition to the grief trip. There WILL be an end to this, PLEASE?

Michelle, the "boudoir" pictures are great. I love white. Unfortunately Phoebe loved my white bed covering too...:( But with your pastel walls, everything looks clean, neat and lovely. Almost inspires me to clean a room a week....

Would like to see Saucy and Eden's projects soon...

We need some funny banter these uplift things for me as well as to combat winter's onslaught. This is my contribution from another forum. Suggestions for a Divorce Party Menu:





cracked eggs

finger foods... crudities, dip, nuts

split milk


sweet and sour soup

bangers and mash

fire roasted beanies and weenies

rump roast

end cut prime rib

gooseberry fool ... made with separated cream

crumb cake

rocky road

banana splits with toasted nuts

bittersweet mousse

death by chocolate

Nighty night!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 10:33PM
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With the thought that even angels can get distressed and still be beautiful in their way, Good Morning!!

Kathy -- I had No Idea that Eucs could get so big. Thank you for thinking of me!! Do they all have fragrance? The craft shops here are jammed with dyed branches and only the untreated ones have a "real" fragrance. Though it would take one heckofa sun house to grow it, the addition of a few palms and perhaps some Carolina pine would make the effort worth it. Wondering why I'm enamored with Eucs.....

I'm battling the same head cement sickness as others, here. Warm coffee cups held between the eyes elicit comments like "only aliens can drink that way" but man, does it feel better! Am going to try and not stay at work today but will have an extra box of tissues just in case.

Well, 'bug, perhaps you could look at it that with s^(* if Pheobe's happy, everyone's happy. We're expecting just flurries this week and if nothing else, it may freeze up the lawn enough to get the Della Robia in without major damage. Yes, it's only been five week since I first asked. LOL

Love the divorce menu. I might add Anything with Cracked Pepper and Salt rubbed in.

Any takers for Logee's, yet? If I go in alone a search party may be needed.

Have been watching the path of the fires in Denise's realm and am hopeful that she's okay.

The color that you painted the bedroom, Michelle, is the we'll be covering up. I loved it for as long as it's been there and used purple/lavenders as accents. We also have the same coverlet on the bed.

Yes, Idyllers are meant to be!!!!!

Today is Rich's Big Pitch. Neither of us slept well last night.

'bug -- It's horrendous that getting through feelings takes so long, sometimes. I have lots of ways to get me through awful situations and moments, though nothing to compare to what your family has needed to feel for the past several months. Grief is so fickle and I remember my Dad counseling folks for years after an event. Though it may not always work, remember that how you are any given moment is "just" a feeling and that eventually it will give way to another, hopefully better, feeling. Hope this gives you some comfort for even a moment.

That first CD should be dedicated to "Moms", Kathy.

I need to go restock Kleenex. Later!!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 6:51AM
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I thought that snowy picture from 'bug was beautiful, though I do agree it seems a tad early for snow (and it reminds me that the canopy over the deck must come down soon). What room in your house offers that view? I loved the photograph you put up some time ago that showed the storm sashes in the foreground and the view to the outdoors. Your patient seasoning of your brandy-new stove has reminded me to check the directions for "breading in" the Salon stove. Is it necessary for the stove to cool down completely before firing up the next stage? And tell me, is the firing process to burn off the toxic aspects of stove blacking or to help temper the cast iron? I know the blacking is some seriously nasty stuff to withstand the high temperatures the stove will generate and there ae usually cautions about the necessity of good ventilation for the first few fires.

Yesterday morning it was really warm and humid and the air was very still when I went out to the Salon to apply a bead of caulk to the chimney/ceiling area (5:30). There was a low overcast and a misty fog. A few hours later there were breaks in the overcast, the wind had picked up and the temperature was on its way down. When Rex and I went out to play ball it was necessary to wear a fleece zipped all the way up! The kitties were busy chasing leaves, too.

I've done pretty much nothing outdoors for some time now. My focus has been elsewhere, lol, and I've been rather like Rex with a bone in pursuing the goal. The helpmeet has made noises about leaf collection occurring today. After yesterday's windy conditions it's really starting to look like November out there.

I have to chime in and say I'm missing several of the voices absent of late. Ei, Honey, Drema, Cynthia, Anita, "t", and I know I've forgetten someone so if it's you, don't take it personally, OK? I think you're pretty witty, Norma... I think of you whenever I vacuum up "potting medium" from the rugs, lol. :) (I laugh everytime I think of winter sowing on the floor). Julie, you haven't been "gone" long enough to raise alarm. :)

Michelle, the "boudoir" looks terrific. I love those pillows and your bedspread reminds me of the one on our bed. I chuckled about the furniture comment, it's looks like "guy furniture", would you like it better if it was lacquered in black? ;)

I loved the tour of Buffalo's manifest architectural treasures, my favorite was the shot of the brick grain silos. The 'rents were always very big on understanding the history of a place and time and we always talked about that when we'd go places. New England is full of communities that have crumbled as Buffalo has, the loss of the textile and shoe industry left in its wake massive brick mill complexes (powered by the areas many rivers) and workforce housing that has decayed over the decades as economic conditions have changed. Even when they were boarded up and silent my parents would point out the wealth required to erect them and the way they enabled the workforce to better itself and build communities. They were unsparing in their criticism of workforce exploitation, too. So, I learned early to look past boarded up windows, broken glass, peeling paint, and grafitti to see the handsome lines and detailing on buildings. It makes me sad to see them razed and replaced with cheerless complexes that convey nothing of the owners.

Kathy's shimmering tour of her roadtrip was fun, too. I meant to tell you that when I was in Orange looking at the cheapie tiles there weren't very many people in there. In times past I'd walked in and not spoken to a soul, even "cashing myself out"! But at least 4 people smiled, spoke to me, and even asked if they could help me. It was the same story when I went to Wally-World. If that isn't a sign of the economic times, I don't know what is. And, I might add, I was unable to find a smallish trash can with a snug fitting lid in which to store bird seed.

OK, time to get out to the Salon and slap on another coat of paint.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 7:19AM
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I'll go to Logee's Martie....I just keep forgetting to say so!

I'm still plugging away at my project. I allowed myself to be distracted a couple of times. The kids are out of school today for parent/teacher conferences, so that will be another distraction :)

Mr. Baby always comes across as carefree, I hope his mother is having the same experience! He's a cutie that would fit right in amongst our family photos.

Norma, we'd like to hear more from you, too. See, I don't think my life is all that interesting either.....

Michelle, another beautiful room redo! I didn't even realize that you had gotten past the drywall mud phase!

Seasoning the woodstove sounds romantic....and cold! We still have a bunch of outdoor things to wrap up, too, GB. I need to make Nick a list (so he can lose it, lol).

I've been reading along here, and nodding my head in agreement with you, but I've also been preoccupied by the latest assignment and The Lace Reader and a Surprise 40th Birthday party (and boy was he surprised...) Hopefully things will quiet down a bit, but I don't see that happening because the holidays are just down the road a bit, aren't they?

I'm going to go finish up my coffee, go to the gym, and hopefully get my head screwed on straight!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 7:37AM
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We have a light coating of snow on the roofs and lawns and checking the 15 day forecast more snow and ice forecast. I'm so not ready for it. Bella on the other hand squealed and laughed all the way as Brad carried her to the car after the circus last night. Big fluffy snowflakes were falling on her face and she loved it :)

More kitchen painting to do here today. We're down to the last lower bank of cabinets. I'm hoping we'll be done just in time to give my house a thorough cleaning before the holidays begin.

Michelle, your bedroom turned out really nice. It's so serene and restful. Just what a bedroom should be. I find myself wanting to pare down the clutter these days too. I'm having a hard time with that in the kitchen though since there's so much stuff that I use in that room. Thanks for reminding me about the graham cracker gingerbread houses. Those would a perfect project to do with Bella this year.

Marie, I enjoyed your link to Buffalo's architectural gems. We have so many in this area too. I love to see the detail that went into just about every aspect of those old buildings. My sister went to an art show that her godson had a piece in up at U of M. She said that he lives in a fraternity house that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. She said it was a very cool house but just trashed by all of those frat boys.

Martie, my best thoughts will be with Rich today as he makes his presentations. Hope your nose unstuffs itself soon! I just hate that feeling.

Chelone, no I never worked in the architectural field. I didn't finish my last year and a half of school, got married instead and haven't worked since (except raising my babies). I loved the artsy parts but not so much the math, physics, strength of materials, etc. Those are Brad's strong points in his job though. Guess opposites attract.

Speaking of babies, today's the day for Jen's ultrasound to find out the baby's gender. She's been excited about it all weekend. We'll know later today if they were able to tell.

Julie, I did the stove/oven cleaning job the other day when we moved ours back into it's place. And the refrigerator too!

Hello to Norma. Just jump right back in. You know how that goes. You've got to take the plunge. Just give us a post telling us what's been going on with you. We miss you!

Deanne, so do you now officially have all of the plants in? I brought in more than I comfortably have room for and really need to get rid of some of mine. My bananas are growing like crazy in a dark corner of the basement with no water too.

The circus was such fun. I just love the age Bella is. Everything is so magical for her and she's learning so many new things every day. I'm just having a ball with her and I know the Christmas season will be so much fun with her this year. I'm really looking forward to seeing it through her eyes.

Well, time to get this day started. No Bella today or tomorrow so an opportunity to gets lots done with no interuptions. Have a great Monday everyone!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 7:45AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick Good Morning to all! I've got to get back to the plants and the birds. LOL I finally have some sunshine to take pictures with today. Can't wait to get outside.

Eden, nope the plants aren't 'officially' all in the house yet. I still have four more pots to take apart and bring in things from them that will go under the lights. I've a few very large abutilon and acalypha in those pots and I think that's why I've been putting it off. Their roots are like steel cables and are a chore to deal with. Hopefully this week I'll finish that task off. Then I still have all the fuchsias and brugs etc. in the garage. I left all the dormant stuff up in the garage so it can get a good dose of cold before I bring it into the basement where it really is warmer than I'd like for them. I'm thinking I'll bring in the dormant stuff at the end of the month.

So in the meantime, I'm off to the exercise bicycle then do some work in the garage and no, V., I'm not pedaling myself down to the garage on the exercise bicycle. LOL

Have a great day all!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 8:17AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

After yesterday's architectural tour of Buffalo I decided to visit Google to revisit my past at Buffalo's Central Terminal. In my youth, traveling by train to my grandmother's in New Jersey, this single building was the most remarkable. Keep in mind that I had already visited Europe and taken in chateaus, like Versailles, cathedrals like Chartres, but they were nothing compared to Buffalo's train station. My last trip by train from this station was in university years,1960-64, visiting a girlfriend over Christmas holidays in White Plains New York. Because of snow, we spent the night sleeping in the station with thousands of others until service resumed the next day.
And so, this morning's viewing of this video brought real tears to my eyes. Watch it and you will see why. Google offers other films as well....

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 8:35AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

I love that song Bug! And it brought tears to my eyes too...for two reasons; because of the moving video and because that was the song my son & I danced to at his wedding.

I'm late to work, but hope to catch up later and read all about what's going on with all of you...

Have a great day!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 9:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Starting out here with bird seed containers for Chelone. DD buys pop corn in metal lidded containers which the kids eat and then they use those for bird seed. Maybe you could find something similar.

As to the wood stove, we do the initial heating in separate stages, cooling things in between. We vent the room because the finish emits terrible fumes we are told and so the first 3 times you must be sure that no one inhales them, including pets. I was surprised by this because we do not see an obvious finish...certainly not a red enamel one as was popular 15 years ago.

The snow is a bit too deep to do garden work unfortunately, because there is some sun already out there. Yet, with 24F temperatures and 60% chance of flurries, I am not inspired.

This blog is my son's all time favourite WORLDWIDE, so I will include it here for any architecture buffs:

There is a group called "Infiltration" which explores derelict structures in Buffalo, Toronto and more...and is also featured on Youtube.

DS loves the abandoned parts of cities and is drawn to them like a magnet. Chicago is another favourite spot of his...and when he travels in Europe, architectural photos are a large part of his emails.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 9:19AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Wow everybody! I can't even begin to keep up with you guys - I was only "gone" a day or two! O.K. Inhale on RE - exhale on LAX.

This week-end was cold, miserable and rainy. Just grey and dark the whole time. Should have done some JJobs - but didn't feel like it so I didn't. Back to the salt mines today however. Number 1 on the list is the oven. With baking season coming along, I can't have the breaker turned off all the time to disable the smoke alarm *grin*

What to talk about?

A million years ago somebody asked what colour I am painting the various hallways: Soft Sage Green. That is the original colour but the contractor used something akin to ground up chalk and dust for paint, so now I am slowly repainting the house with the same colour and decent quality paint. And filling in little holes and dents and removing the twigs and crap the the contractor just painted over....

Horrible controversy going on at the church I have been attending -absolutly appalling.... I may just stick my head under the covers on Sunday mornings for a while...

Ick 'bug - white stuff! It is slowly sifting down here too as I type. TCS had to wear the whole winter regalia today - boots, snowpants, jacket, neck tube, toque, thick mittens. This adds greatly to the time wasting of our morning routine...Also it is unusual for him to bring all this stuff back home at the end of the day...or if he does bring the requisite number of things, half of them aren't his...Joys of winter and little boys!

DS has just about completed installing all of the baseboard trim in the basement rooms and has only two thresholds left to do in the bamboo bedrooms. Nice to finally get finishing touches done.

Man my life is boring!

Deanne, how are your orchids? Mine that were at death's door in the Spring are now blooming their little faces off under the basement lights. DH says that he is going to build me a sort of plant stand for the large living room window as it gets the perfect light for orchids. I think I will stick to the routine we discussed on some distant post - a little more benign neglect for the winter...

I have over 30 geranium cuttings rooted and growing like gangbusters! I thought the Mother plants were just too huge to bring look at what I've done! Instead of about 6 large ones to look after, I am going to have about 30.

'Bug, I really sympathize with you right now: the grief, the negotiations, the whiny kid, the snow and cold, messing around with the stove...You really need a treat! Have a Hug ((Marie))!

Well, I'm off to see the wizard...oh yeah, I ushered at a stage production of the Wizard of Oz for two nights. It was very well done! They used a real little raggy dog as Toto - his owner told me that the actors all had little bits of dried liver stuck to their costumes so that the dog would trot over to where he was supposed to go - very cute and funny too! I also had the joy of preparing 300 hotdogs at the school on Friday for "hot lunch" day. I think the teachers all need abbaccus's so they can count correctly the number of hot dogs they need. What a zoo! Not real thrilled with TCS's school experience this year. Having another teacher conference on the 26th. It's just easier to do whatever myself...*sigh*

Gotta go. Love to you all!



    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 10:15AM
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It's a little girl! And I was a bit wrong on the name. It's Kathaline Joan, hereafter to be known as baby Kate.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 12:26PM
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Quick pop-in to thank 'bug for the Buffalo train station links. The first one I couldn't get all the way through, just heart-wrenching. The second one (the Goo Goo Dolls lead singer was it?) seemed to indicate the station is being rehabbed, not demolished, so that carried me to the end of the video. Union Station in LA is one of my favorite buildings too, but that Buffalo station, wow. And to have actually traveled from it...Train travel is just the best mode there is. I confess I share your DS's love of grungy old downtowns, lol.

LA has a lots of Art Deco bldgs, like the Eastern, which just recently had its clock tower lit again, stunning to see at night. There's also a huge supply of old movie palaces At the Warner Grand in San Pedro, listed toward the bottom, we're going to see The Maltese Falcon this Friday night.

Yesterday was nonstop garden cleanup, awful air quality notwithstanding. Long anticipated bloom of salvia came...and went. Misnamed. So entire area cleaned out, replanted with leftover potted summer stuff like iresines., mulched most everything, more gravel in front, etc. By nightfall I had that slow shuffle going, where you bend as few joints as possible for locomotion, lol. Where's a bath tub when you need it?

Reading the sky, the fires seem over this morning. The roof over my mom's pool, strangely enough, burned last week, so she's pool-less the month of Nov. It's an arthritis foundation pool where she attends water exercise classes. Water temp is kept at 88 deg. I'm going to call a local YMCA and see if her group can't move there until the pool is ready again.

Exciting news today, Eden! Michelle, that room is c-l-e-a-n, just the treatment this office needs. Beautiful harvest arrangements. Martie, that angel is a keeper! Seems you and I have the same stuffy head but for very different reasons. Kathy, I think my feet caught that rhino flu. The hillside vineyard photo was esp. lovely.

Lots of great stuff happening in the salon, Saucy's drawing board, and Eden's kitchen too. And the first snow photo of the season already in the bag. Will have to check out Woody's baking thread.

Waving to all.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 12:30PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Congratulations Eden! How great, I can just see Bella reading to baby! It's a very pretty name. Another potential gardener and Idyller! :-)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 1:33PM
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Congrats to Kate's entire family!!

Chelone -- another bird seed suggestion: Old coolers work and you can pick size.

Yay Saucy!!

Never got to the office. Pass the steam over here, please :-)


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 2:13PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Back from the Feed Mill for Puppy Chow. "Are they easy to train?" he asks. Guffaw...says I.

I found a refund check in my kitchen drawer for $9 this morning, so that got cashed at the bank. I was amazed it was from August!

I'm sipping hot cocoa at the moment. My fingers needed to hold a warm mug!

I need an "odd job" man I think. The toilet is still not repaired, the bathroom fan needs replacing, more rain barrels need to be emptied and stored in the barn, the dock also needs to be stored away. Too cold to clean the remaining storm windows. I hope we can do that in the next week or so. I need to throw away things in the barn remaining from Mom's estate. The mice have got into them...Gutters on our drive shed are twisted out of shape from last winter and are useless. I think the propane people need reminding about delivery so we don't end up on empty like the last 2 times. :(

Denise, I fear the renovations to the station have ended. I've sent an email to those involved, but I think they ran into legal nonsense. They were all volunteers and the finances were in the many millions...with road blocks in their way at every effort. I hope I am mistaken about this. I'll let you know if I get a reply.

How exciting Eden! Sarah does not like to have the gender tests, so I must wait it out. I don't think children have any idea how wanted they are! Well, I guess some aren't, but gee, there are many very lucky babes out there!

Spare ribs defrosting now for our evening meal. That should make DH happy. Ribs seem to be a very male dinner...just like hostas and dahlias seem to be a male thing too. ;)

This day is going very slowly for me. I want it OVER!
Time to hang up the laundry now.
'bug again...

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 2:18PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

A sluggee checking in... I probably fall into the same feelins as Norma's -- I fear being verbally uninspired and missing too many important things on which to comment in others' lives...

If it makes you feel any better, Sue, I have yet to rake a single leaf ... bad bad me - but we dont get any county pick-up, so I figure if I want to I can rake at Xmas (in the meantime hoping winds blow them all to the industrious neighbors' yards - the ones who will be cursing me Im sure) - I couldnt get excited about chopping them into compost and no stealing neighbor bags this year -- funny how I can go from one extreme to another!

We had the rains for Saturday -- Deanne, I love your "chronic mildew" remark - that's a bit how the atmosphere here is doing. Of course, it was about 20 degrees today, so we've moved beyond mildew status.

Love seeing Mr. Baby's dewy visage, all those travelogue pics Kathy's sharing, eeewww... snow at 'bug's house? Guess that stove got put in just in time, TG!!

Denise & V - thanks for the words re the agaves; I am going to attempt to be lots more attentively neglectful - whilst water was being withheld, perhaps not enuf... I will hold out for another pup, Denise, if you've still got homeless ones -- I am all for adoption.

Speaking of adoptions, seems my Dad has decided to give the nurse aide/"friend" the heavo -- and substituted a dog -- frankly a bit more to my liking - isnt that terrible of me? The aide was pleasant enuf, but the 40 year difference really did bother me, I confess. So, apparently Samson the chihauhua has come to reside for company -- he's a yr old, freebie from friend of a friend who brought the poor pup into a household w/ 2 toddlers -- not a good combo. He'll have lots of primo attention and places to run at Dad's at least -- Chloe may possibly look forward to meeting him -- but at her age, she'll no doubt look upon him with disdain - altho liking his size, if not his energy... A week ago, Dad was researching about Wheaten terriers -- but "free dog" makes one amazingly flexible, LOL.

Mary -- I hope you and DH enjoyed that bottle swigging leisure time -- one has to find laughter where one can; hope you guys didnt get booted from the theatre, LOL - in the meantime, I'll hope finances change such that you dont have to really seriously consider another move at this point in time.

Deanne -- gorgeous bird photos - more bird education for me - I'm sure I've never seen either of those types before - really cool.

O - Eden - what great fun news to lift everyone's spirits!! Very wonderful...

Ok, i know I've missed lots and lots to comment on - not much exciting going on here - just successfully avoiding leaf raking, cleaning house, etc. - to be primo sluggee of the weekend - no excuses even for any sickness befelling me. I did manage to go grocery shopping yesterday - and even ended up at 3 !! stores because the first 2 did not have lemons, and I had decided to shock my system (and oven) by making Greek Chicken and potatoes for dinner... cooking something not out of a box for a change. Altho, if I'd visited the local olive bar at WF, like Kathy, I would have been totally content w/ a heaped containers of those things - yum! Ok, off to rest of lunch now.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 2:19PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I cooked a large pot of pinto beans and ham hocks a few days ago. They were delicious, but the remains have now been turned into a large pot of bean soup...sort of like chili...but not. I will need to put a bunch of it into the freezer for future meals. Nolon has cut way down on his noon eating, and is into snacking every hour or two! Beans, or bean soup, is not on his snacking list. :-(

Marie, The snowy pic of your place is beautiful, but I hope that does not mean you will continue having snow covered ground the rest of the cold season.Your new stove looks great. Glad to hear that you are getting it broke in.

Kathy, I am enjoying all your pics. The scenes are quite differant than around here, although there are grape vineyards up around Springdale. Mr.Baby is adorable! He is reaching the age that he is really huggable. :-)

Chelone, the doll your mum made is a really neat doll, but I was never into dolls. I always prefered teddy bears. :-)
Naturally, if I had one that my mom had made, I would treasure it.

RE: 'the plague' has hit this area too. ( Maybe I already had it? ) Some of my friends have it now. One, that emails me frequently, said that her DH made her some tea that is supposed to cure her. LOL. She is hoping to be able to attend the Thanksgiving Dinner at the Golden Year's class tomorrow. She had told her Dh that she didn't think she should go. He told her to go, but just stay away from people!!! She is wondering how she could do that! LOL

Deanne, as usual, your bird pics are extra great!

When I am reading all the posts I keep seeing interesting things that I want to comment on, but when I go back to find them...I can't !:-(

Anyhoo..about the work woes... I really feel for those who are contending with downsizing. We are way past having to worry about that. It doesn't take much to supply us with our needs, and we have no monthly bills except utility and insurance.

Michelle, I am enjoying your pics also, both inside and out pics. :-) I wish my bedrooms were so neat, and uncluttered!

OOps, I almost missed Ei's brief post....

I was going to suggest the same type of container for birdseed that Marie did. I have a large one that I got several years ago. I notice the ones in the store this year are even smaller than last year, but the price isn't!
I have one that is shaped like a milk can, but I don't like the way the top comes off. It is too inconvenient. I have 3 smaller regular type cans, that I set around and usually have potted plants setting on them. (I put "pooted" plants...glad I saw that and corrected it!!!)LOL!

Congrats on the new grandbaby-to-be, Eden. I know several 'Kates' that are short for longer names. :-) I get the Kates and the Kathys mixed up. :-(

Okay, I know there were neat things said that I was going to post about, but there is too much reading for me to find them again!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 3:21PM
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Very exciting Eden. What a lovely name. I've always preferred to be surprised.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 4:25PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good afternoon.... :-)

Norma assured that I could give you a run for your money in the 'least interesting' daily life contest. [g] Come back!

Cindy....a sluggee....I would say that was verbal inspiration par excellence. :-)

Very pretty orchid, Marian...I am down to 1 Begonia, 2 Boston Ferns, 2 Asparagus Ferns and that's it. I am managing to take care of these but I'm going to be careful of adding more. I hate to neglect them and end up throwing them out. I start out with the best of intentions but it never fails something interferes with my ability to keep up with them. I would enjoy another Begonia or two but other wise, this year at least, I am content. I might go for an Amaryllis this year and when the potted Hyacinths come out in the grocery in late winter I usually get one or two.

Martie...will keep my fingers crossed for January to Logee's! I would like to pick up those couple of Begonias I am in the mood for. When will Rich know about his big pitch?

Mary...whether you decide to move or not, all the renovations you have done will pay off either way.

Denise...I got a chuckle from your version of JJobs. [g] Oh....I just saw a photo of Orange Kniphofias planted with Orange Iris and Purple Nepeta in the front of them that was gorgeous! I also immediately recognized your reference to the 'slow shuffle' after being in the garden. I don't often have that problem, but poor DH gets very stiff and was looking exactly that way Sunday night.

Michelle......are the purple Mums in your container, still living or dried? Love the galvanized pail. I have always loved Saint Bernard's from afar, they would be too large for our household, but would love to see photos. What is cuter than St Bernard puppies!

Kathy....I have just discovered the olives at Whole Foods. I will have to try a few different kinds. How exciting about DS's upcoming CD! Will it actually go on sale? In that last photo, are those sculptures or mobiles? I saw a fascinating segment on 'Cultivating Life' the other day about Tim Prentice who makes these incredible mobiles. See the link below.

Gardenbug, such a pretty snow photo! Is this the typical time you start getting snow? That is such a nice line of evergreen trees, what is on the other side of it? Really enjoyed the photos of Buffalo...I was totally unaware that Buffalo had so many examples of great architecture. All I know of Buffalo are weather reports of the most snow of anyone. [g]

Chelone...I enjoyed reading about your cost cutting efforts.

Hello Ei!

Absolutely nothing to boring as it gets!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 4:59PM
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Rhino virus may be a PIA, but it does afford one the excuse to come home from work an hour early and do no chores. Guilt free slacking.

Wow, I am just blown away by all the cool architecture being posted..thanks so much Marie for bringing up this topic. What a travesty the condition of the Buffalo train station ! Ive been to a couple of cities where the downtown train stations have been rescued and turned into hotels, Indianapolis and St Louis come to mind. Denise, I cant even tell you how many of those movie theaters Ive been in ! In high school my friends and I always drove up to Hollywood to go to the movies since the theaters were bigger and more comfortable. I was devastated when they tore down the Cathay Circle-think in was on San Vincente. Im thinking it would be fun to start a thread where we can post photos of some of the interesting architecture in our towns-we have some very beautiful old buildings here in Napa. Chicago has always seemed to me to be the ultimate architectural destination, but Denise has reminded me of some of the great buildings in LA from many periods.

Deanne, we have the House Finch here which is like your Purple Finch in coloration, but the bird seems a bit slimmer. I sure wish I could get the Goldfinches to come back, but I think I need a thistle feeder and cant figure out where to put it.

Martie, the E. citridorea means lemon scented eucalyptus. I cant think of one that has not been fragrant of all the varieties Ive been in contact with. The E. citridorea gets up to 90ft tall with a 65 foot wingspan according to my Western Garden Book. Eucs are planted commonly as windbreaks in farms along our Hwy 101 (the Ventura Highway of Eagles fame) and we have some large stands here in Napa too. Ill have to get you a photo or two. Cmon out and Ill give you a Eucalyptus Tour of Norcal ! My favorite is E. ficifolia, which is only marginally hardy here . Its a smaller tree with very dark green foliage and fabu-fabu corally red flower clusters.

Waaaah , I want to go to Logees too!

Cindy, Dad is probably better off with a Chihuahua than any sort of terrier they seem high maintenance to me. Your concern with the age issue doesnt seen too awful-theres a gold-digger on every corner, right up there with toner salesmen. So where is the recipe for Greek Chicken ?

PM, try as I might there is no way to avoid the gravitational pull I feel when near the olive bar ! Funny you should mention Amaryllis, Im thinking of getting several (an employee discount is a factor) for Christmas décor this year. Ill be in Oregon for Christmas , so this would be longer lived than greens and flowers. Enjoyed the sculpture link very much ! Yes those I posted are mobile. I took photos in the morning, typically if we get wind it comes up in the afternoon, so I did not get to view them in motion.

OK time to go eat some food and retire to the couch , fingers crossed for Martie !

Nite All !!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 8:33PM
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I'm shuffling along tonite, but it's from cleaning house not gardening. Something about vacumning and mopping just really gets to my back.
I did a boo boo while cleaning too darnit. I usually sit my wooden chairs on top of the table when I do the floors. (hold over from working in restruants long ago I guess.) Anyway I accidently knocked a chair off and when it hit the hardwood floor it busted up the back pretty bad. DH says it could be patched up but would look rough.
I was just thinking about getting an oak bench before thanksgiving to round out the seating, but may now consider a new table and chairs. I've been wanting something more comfortable for quite a few years. I'll have to give it some thought.

Well Eden, it's kind of nice that Baby Kate will be able to use some of Bellas things. How fun for everyone. Was your mom able to do the quilt she had wanted too?
I imagine you will be really happy to get your kitchen done and the mess cleaned up.

Kathy, I really like the hillside vineyard picture and I've always thought that type of sculpture was neat. I would like to have one. How neat that your sons band will be doing a real recording.
MR Baby looks really interested in the camera being pointed at him. LOL He is a cutie.

Bug, the new stove is nice. I bet you will enjoying seeing the fire. That is glass in the front isn't it? I know how you feel though about having to replace the one you had when you didn't want to.
Our weather here is doggone cold and DH has been keeping the stove in the basment cooking. I did tell him today that he needed to put a pan of water on it get a little humidty in the air. We have a lot of wood in this house and I don't want it to get to dried out. I almost felt that the chair I broke today may have been too dry.

Chelone , the doll your mum made for you is really detailed. I got a kick out of the shape of the eyes. Not round, but diamond shaped and seemed to twinkle. Just like MP.

Deanne the detail in your bird shots are second to none. You haven't slowed down a bit have you. I'm happy you will be able to teach at home now.

Mary, so sorry things are up in the air for your family again. Just when you have made some great connections with your gardening jobs and The kids are so into there music groups. I really liked the guitar piece you linked a while back. I wish I could play like that. I hope you will video David again for us when he has it down.
You did a good job on the bathroom remodel. I have a half finished one that needs tile, but I am reluctant to tackle it.

Michelle, the bedroom looks nice too. I'm with you on less clutter to clean. I really want to redo my bedroom sometime this winter. Maybe after the first of the year.
Kenzie looks happy enough in FL, but I bet she sure would like to come to grandmas house. Is your DD and DSIL liking it there?
Wish you had taken your camera when you went to visit and saw the puppies. I bet they are cute.

Deniese, I hope the air has cleared up for you. I also hope you can work things out for your mothers group at the other place.

V, I enjoyed seeing the picture of you and DH at Grant Park. That is something you will always remember.
I like your note cards . That is something I need to do. I need some and haven't found any I like at the store.

Cindy, I'm glad you are checking in again. Are you and Chloe enjoying your newly decorated digs? Do you have new neighbors now?

Martie I hope Rich got good news today. We are having" more "sky days here now too, since the leaves have vacated the trees.

PM, I hope you are feeling better these days? You always give us something new to look at or something to think about.

Woody, good for you, taking a course this winter. I always feel better when I am learning something new.

Marian, Are you keeping up with all those plants you brought in? I have already pitched a few of mine. Today I found some green worms were destroying my geraniums. So they all got a bath and deleafing. They look pretty pitiful now.

Julie , it must take some doing to get TCS in and out of all that winter gear. I'm glad I'm not responsible for getting anyone out of the house in the mornings anymore.

So Saucy, how far did you get with the Goddess garden area? Did you get the trellis up?
I have several unfinished projects because I ran out of steam. But theres always next year. I hope anyway.
DH says he is going to bulldoze it all when I'm gone anyway. LOL

Hey to anyone I missed. I'm gonna go plunk on the guitar for awhile. Trying to learn The ST Louis Blues and it's been running through my head all day.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 8:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

(As of tonight I am wearing a silver necklace with Reed's name on one side, picture on the reverse. I'm not up to the picture yet, but the name is just what I need now.)

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 9:10PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Male lurkers may want to skip my first paragraph. Crummy rotten cramps tonight! And it's cold outside and I had to walk the dogs, carry down the garbage, and lug in other stuff instead of crawling in bed. Grrr...

(parenthetical posts make me wish I could really send a hug to you!)

Not up to much else tonight, but thought the music lovers would enjoy this story. We drove to DD's college yesterday for her choir concert. First part of the program was the chamber choir. They entered from the back of the auditorium, arranged themselves in a circle around the room and sang a capella arrangements of two short hymns. It was quite nice, but after the second hymn, one man in the audience leapt to his feet while applauding, with a huge smile on his face. He was an older man, wearing jeans and a football-style jacket, and I was somewhat surprised by his enthusiastic reaction.

Later at dinner, DD cleared up the mystery. The man was the school's piano tuner, and he had arranged the two songs! Now I understand his thrill at hearing his work performed.

I think I shall wander off insearch of comfort food...


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 9:47PM
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Thanks for the bedroom comments. Im glad it looks soothing as that was the intent. Last Christmas someone gave me one of those metal signs that say "simplify" I keep telling DH that needs to be my goal. Of course I have a long way to go LOL

Kathy, we have our finch feeder hanging from the eve right in front of the kitchen window. We can watch them as we eat. The grandkids enjoy that as well.

Norma, DD and DSIL love it in FL so far. Of course when they hear that weve been having such cold, gray weather that reinforces it. I mentioned to DH that we should have taken the camera, maybe next time. We have to hurry though since most are sold and will leave mama in a few weeks. Too bad about the chair, but fun that it may lead to a new set. I got a new one a few years ago and comfort was big on my list. Ours are padded.

I spoke with Kenzie tonight and she told me she was playing the game "Sorry" and she was going to win and not daddy or mommy.

Kathy and Chelone I believe asked about the chair that Kenzie was in. It was in Mickey and Minnies house at Disney.

PM, the mums were cut from the huge plant I posted earlier, they seemed to have dried on the plant that pretty color. I thought they really added wonderful pop of color. Isnt Cultivating Life a fun show?

Cindy, how nice for your dad to have a four footed companion.

I stopped and signed up for a 6 month pass to an indoor pool. It is nicely located right off the expressway that I take to work so it will work well to go right after work.


Good night

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 10:27PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hello Idylls!

Well, I surely havent caught up, but I wanted to say "Hello" anyway! Ill catch up slowly; but a few things I wanted to comment on were Marians orchids. Im just so impressed that you grow them so well...let alone get them to bloom! :-) I think orchids are really tricky, at least Ive never had any luck getting them to rebloom. Im a little green! :-)

Also wanted to say Congratulations to Eden and family, how wonderful that there will be a new addition to the family. I love that name Kate; reminds me of one of my favorite female actresses, Katherine Hepburn. I just loved her comfortable in her own skin. One of those kinds of ladies I think Paul Newman would have also called "one of the last great broads"! :-)

Speaking of Paul Newman; it was with great sadness that I read about his passing. A truly genuine, unaffected, caring man and a brilliant actor too. I dont know who will ever fill his shoes....

Also wanted to tell Deanne, what a real gift I feel it is that you share youre beautiful bird pics with us. I love the opportunity to see them up close and personal and you certainly have a way of capturing their charm....Thank you!

You guys have been on my mind for weeks (yes, I think of you often, even if I am MIA). When I *do* get the chance to read your posts, I always smile. I think its so wonderful that there is such a place as the Idylls. Ill sum it up with a song (surprise...LOL)!

When I'm feelin' down
You're there to pick me up and help me to carry on
Aww, little things mean a lot
When you need a shoulder to cry on
I'm there to ease the pain and chase away the rain
Aww, darlin', I just gotta say

Oh, it's so nice to be with you
I love all the things ya say and do...

Mary...Im sorry things are so up in the air on the home front and hope that things will be looking up soon. I also read about Annies friend, the one who was quitting violin....I hope that any hurt feelings have smoothed over with Annie and friend? I dont know why, but its been on my mind a lot....I feel bad thinking Annies feelings may be hurt. I was just wondering, maybe Annies friend was avoiding telling Annie about it because she may have been embarrassed? Its hard for kids that age to say things like "My mom says I cant..." Or maybe she lacks confidence and doesnt believe she is good enough to keep playing? Maybe she took her moms comments about her "not being good enough" to heart and was embarrassed to admit that too? Anyway, Im sure whatever her reason for not telling Annie, it had nothing to do with how she feels about Annie or their friendship. Anyway, I sure hope her mom changes her mind about letting her play. Its too bad when one thinks that you have to be the best, or its not worth doing. Whats worth doing is anything that helps you express yourself creatively, I think. If I have any regrets in my life...its all those things I told myself I would never be "good enough" at and so I didnt pursue them...I hope to get the chance to change some of that! Oh and one more thought about the whole thing and then Ill shut my mouth. I was also wondering if perhaps their family is feeling the strain; I mean I know we've been watching our pennies here lately. Could it be possible that its an expense (the lessons I mean) that they feel is a splurge they cant afford right now? Anyway, I saw your bathroom but haven't had a chance to post there did a beautiful job! Its so relaxing and very Zen like to me. If it wasnt a bathroom I think Id like to get in my yoga stance and just sit there soaking up the peace. :-) Really, I think you did a *wonderful* job.

Anyway, this will have to be it for tonight...I have a blistering headache, but wanted to "jump back on the horse" before I get too behind again. Work is slowing down...Id say we have maybe about 3 or 4 weeks left and then all will be off until about mid February. I dont know where Ill be with those plans. I will probably start looking for another job when were off for the season and dont know if Ill go back when the new season starts. I guess it will depend on if I actually find another job that I like while Im off! :- ) But secretly Im hoping to have a few weeks with no work before starting another job. I really miss being a regular here and miss talking to all of you. I have not figured out how to keep up and work and mom and sis and life in general, but I would like to try... And thank you to those who asked about mom and sis. Mom is plugging along, but is really tired. Sis (keeping my prayers) should have her last chemo next week (depending on what the latest scan shows). I hope she gets a good report...I don't think Anita is up for another fight - at least that's what she tells me. :-( I can't say that I don't understand...but I selfishly want her to be here for a long, long time.

Thinking of you Marie....and of course all of the Idylls..."Hello Everyone"!

Oh and Saucy...I just got a book called "Keeping Bees and Making Honey", but havent had a chance to read it yet. I cant think of bees anymore without thinking of you! :-) Ive become friends with an older man out here who sells honey. He is such a dear man and always makes me smile when I visit. Last time I was there I told him (just casually) that I thought it would be neat to keep some bees. Boy, did I give him an opening. "Well", he says, you know Im 86 years old and I wont be able to do this forever." "It sure would be nice if some of you younger kids (gotta love a man who calls me a younger kid...LOL!) would take an interest." "The bees sure could use your help and I could set you up with a man who teaches a class on bee keeping." LOL...he was so funny and a little pushy too...LOL...but in a good way. Anyway, I would really love to try, but dont know if I could actually do it...still, I am thinking of taking the class which starts in January. Oh and speaking of bees, Dottie and I saw the movie Secret Life of Bees the other day. I think it was very good, though not as good as the book. I don't know why, but it always seems that if I've read the book first, I don't enjoy the movie as much...maybe because imagination is better than reality...LOL! Anyway, I still enjoyed the movie.

I needed a few smiles tonight, so I pulled out the file I save of all the emails I get with cute pics. I may have shown you guys some of these before, but I hope they make you smile anyway...

Are they the cutest or what? comment! :-)

It's all a matter of perspective...

I love how this gentle moment was captured...

And I thought Denise would appreciate this one...

Good Night All!


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 12:20AM
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It's Ein! flying to the rescue. And another chicken Conga Line, this time with Foghohn Leghohn (the Maine version) leading the way, lol. Here's the Huge One in his supervisory capacity:

Not much time to comment on anything this morning, spent too much time putting up another shot of the lamp on the Wanna thread.

I don't want to go to work this morning. I'm having too much fun here on the Compound, frankly, and am dreading the clutter and accumulated filth that will surround me when I get there, not to mention it will be cold since much of the baseboard is entombed behind piles of crap. I'm SO tired of everything being "hard", and the way it sucks the energy out of me. You know?

((('bug))). Can't do anything more that that but I'd rather be able to just sit quietly beside you and stare at the new stove.

Nice to read some "new" boring news from far-flug Idyllettes. Hi everyone!

Eden, big news at your house, and I was wondering about the quilt, too (thanks for askin', Norma).

Gotta get rollin', now. It will be a memory in a just over 8 hrs., lol.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:34AM
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((Hugs)) Marie

Chelone, I think you might want to have Rex's tail checked out, lol, you got both "knees" fixed, but there's a crick in his tail! He is a huge one....

I had a weird dream that sprung me from my sleep...ants were pouring out of the ceiling through a tiny hole, and somehow they were covering my legs, and I just wanted to get them off.....

I like poking around old architecture, too. I enjoyed the tour of Buffalo, but the station was really sad. I laughed at the thought of documenting my town's architecture, then I started thinking of some cool places that the kids have showed me.

When we travel to Boston I'm always afraid I'll get hit by a car or fall in a pot hole because I'm looking up at the buildings. I like to ride the train because I can stare out the window and really "see."

How nice to see Norma and Ei! Ei, you can definitely keep bees! I would see if the beekeeper would let you go into the hive with him next spring! You don't need a fancy bee keeper's outfit, just a veil, and they're pretty cheap. I have been avoiding the movie of Secret Life, because I know my imagination was far better....but I will see it soon. Glad you went with Dottie!!!

Norma, I keep trays of water around here for the plants and they dry up really quickly! I wouldn't doubt that your wooden chair was dry. The trellis is not up in the GG. Truth be told, I start doubting myself and then I don't want to do anything "permanent" (though, what's permanent anymore? Sharpie even comes off with certain cleaners!). I am kind of bummed with myself. A broom and mop give my back pains, too.

Denise, I was glad to hear from you. Too bad about the topless pool! Hope your Y finds some space for the classes...that'd be neat.

Hi to the restayas!


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 5:57AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Good Morning! What a great time I had this morning scrolling through all the photos posted on this thread: the agave, wineries, the MP doll, the warm stove and the cold snow, the babes, birds and flowers, the angel, the renos, the photos to make us smile, and last but not least, The Huge One! What a nice window on the world! (I think I am afflicted with Mary Poppin's Disease, or Pollyanna Flu!!).

I HAVE sneezed seven times this morning....hmmmmm.

Well TCS got off the school bus yesterday in t-shirt and jeans, carrying his coat, sweatshirt, snowpants and mitts - lost the hat already - in the SNOW - crying his head off because he had taken his favourite little Lego dwarf to school and couldn't find it at Home Time. Poor little guy - I found it in two seconds zipped into a jacket pocket. Who would let a child in Grade Two out of the door and onto the bus in that condition??? GRRRR! It is WINTER in Canada. I may find myself trudging down to the school at 3 p.m. when I can just to make sure the kids are dressed. *sigh*

Well, I am back in the groove! The oven is clean (I bless the inventors of the self-cleaning oven at least twice each year!) and today the dishwasher gets its door gunk scrubbed off. After seeing the crud that was under the stove yesterday, I may get the Phils to pull out the fridge - but that is a JJob for another day. Only one each day. Only One. I keep telling myself. Do the regular stuff and only ONE extra thing.

My neighbour told me she was going to grow sunflowers on her ceiling fans (smile). She said she doesn't turn them on any more because the crud flies all over her kitchen!! Made me think of the winter sowing on the kitchen floor comment *LOL*

Congrats on new baby Kate! One of my favourite names too!

It's nice to work at home Deanne....a nice transition to retirement too, if that is where you're heading.

I hope things work out well for the rest of you and your spouses in terms of employement. What a stressor these things are. We are retired and our income is fixed - both a curse and a blessing I guess. But costs and prices sure aren't fixed....Where's the P Flu when you need it??

I'm rambling here, and my day was to officially start 8 minutes ago - that's when I rouse TCS, start the breakfast/lunch making/ teeth brushing/ winter dressing routine - might see you later - after the 8:30 bus and before my 3 p.m. dress-the-kids trip...



    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 7:41AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Morning, Idylls! There's too much SNOW to pick corn this morning. Yuk, I am so not ready for this.
Saturday was a wonderful day! I know I can't really be objective, but DD is a vision of loveliness in her wedding gown. Lol, the pictures aren't the greatest. I'm not the world's best photographer in the first place. The shaking hands and streaming tears didn't help ;)

While we were away being girls, the boys picked corn. In the rain. One of the guys ran a BICYCLE up the corn head. Yes, a bike. A RED one. I have no idea who it belonged to, why it was in the cornfield, or how you don't see a red bike before it gets into the corn head. They had to torch it out and replace several chains. Not a lot of progress was made that day. I am now back in the driver's seat where I belong, and things are ticking along nicely again.

Saucy, dress in layers. Odds are, you will just sit in the cab all day. Pays to be prepared, though. Sometimes you have to stand outside and watch the boys fix something and offer moral support and quippy remarks. They like that ;) Lol, a live book on tape..that would be great! We have a pretty cozy set-up..we can have snacks and drinks and it'll be grand! OH, and if you have a really goofy looking hat, by all means wear it. I like to lighten the mood whenever possible.

Marie, that video is so moving. Thanks for posting the link to it. The song chokes me up anyway, and the
I'm so behind on everything, but you and your family are in my thoughts.
I'm sorry again for another me post. I'm hoping for my time to be my own in two weeks or less.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 10:28AM
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Brenda, she's beautiful! (And apparently doesn't have to "make weight" for the wedding, wow. I told Marty couple days ago I feel this summer took it's toll weight-wise. His diplomatic answer? "Nah, you look...strong.")

Ei, love the photo of the most beloved beast in this household. (Ein has to only walk into the room and one of us will comment, Look at his ears, they're straight up today! No, wait a minute, they're sideways. Hey, he winked at me! Did you see how he did X, Y, Z?
We're nuts about that dog, no two ways about it.) Hoping for good reports all around for your family. What a lot you have to worry you.

Norma, I called the Y about use of their pool for my mom's group, didn't get far but got some names and numbers, then called my mom to let her know what I was up to, and did she think her group would transfer over temporarily. She didn't think most of the group would anyway. So I cancelled the fire-breathing second call I had intended to make. First person I spoke to said they'd all have to get memberships, which is insanely costly for temporary use of the pool. The old pool is supposed to be ready again by December, so we'll see how repairs go.

Thinking in lyrics, like Ei, since yesterday's architecture links: "All of the buildings, all of the cars, were once just a dream in somebody's head." Anyone guess the source?

Marty's birthday is Friday, and I found a recipe yesterday for...drum roll...Guinness Irish Stew. A bit more meat than we're used to, and I've never cooked with oxtails before, but whatever it tastes like, it'll be perfect. Hope I can pry four pints of Guinness away from him...

Glad you got your groove back, Julie. ;)

Marian, no kidding, I made ham hocks and pinto beans last week too.

Thinking especially of 'bug today. Thanks again, V.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 11:21AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Wow - Brenda, that photo would bring tears to anyone's eyes - she's just lovely and special in that dress. It shows off everything loverly.

Norma, you did a very heroic post -- I think you commented on everyone - I always fail in that department. I do hope your misadventure w/ the chair turns into some lovely new furniture opportunity for you. Yes, Chloe & I are enjoying our new "digs" -- kind of a tropical look I gave the redo and I was just enjoying it last nite, thinking how it looked in February; or how it looked at this time last year w/ the houseguest/dog still ensonced. Chloe however seems to still like the routine of retiring to the boudoir earlier as we did last year; Im working on breaking that so we can have more R&R in our family room again at nite. Yes, I do have new neighbors -- they rented the place to at least 2 single guys -- so far, it's not been bad in that regard and it's better than if I'd ended up w/ multiple families in there as I greatly feared. And I havent seen a mouse or bug since they moved in (which I had w/ the empty house there), so that's reassuring too. Havent really gathered much more than that on them so far. Im keeping my fingers crossed that it stays relatively quiet over there.

I hate awfice temps at this time of the year -- we had outside temps go almost to 20 last nite and so it was pretty chilly out; you dress accordingly in layers & bundle up -- but after 30 mins in the ofc, you feel like it's 80 degrees and it gets hotter and hotter... Well, I've taken as many layers off as I can decently do; they're not ready to see a swimsuit on me.... Im sure it's got NOthing to do w/ any sort of hormonal issue, LOL, -- just wicked high furnaces. Unluckily I am in part of the bldg that runs hot; around the corner, it's about 60 & people have their jackets on... Im sitting here thinking I have to order some new "summer" clothes to wear now... and all my wool garments should be given away - I probably havent worn them in 3 years...

Great to see you check in, Eileen - I was just thinking of you yesterday! I hope your sister gets good news too; I know how heartwrenching that whole biz is for the entire family. And I have an appreciation for the working problem - not enuf time for R^R and idyllying. I hope you find another job that suits you during the lag time after you've taken a little rest. Im hoping to take a couple weeks off around Xmas and do some relaxing and cleaning myself.

Michelle - love that arrangement; you are so clever. Clever with words too - I too much prefer 4-legged companion for my Dad I confess; much as I'd like to see him downsize and move somewhere where he'd meet some folks more similarly aged (at least within 20 years of him!) and have fun, rather than in a big house w/ upkeep on his own; but he's pretty resistant to the idea -- he says "those places are for old people" despite the fact that we've toured some lovely combination over 55 complexes. I figure he'll make a move in his own time, if at all -- so a dog will at least keep him occupied on things rather than his health issues.

Glad to hear you've got your groove back, Julie -- maybe it will rub off on me to get going on some j-jobs. That's terrible that you have to police that the kids are adequately clothed in winter at school.

'bug -- I hope you sometime can come to think of friends as well as little boys when you wear that pendant - in joy -- if it's too soon, you can put it away, til it's a better less painful time -- you'll know when you can remember the joy and smile of various antics.

Well, off to contemplate disrobing in the restroom to cool down and re-dress for work this p.m. How's that for a visual....


    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 1:43PM
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Good Tuesday all, reading between sneezes and nose blows. Very few visitors in my office today , as I am branded the Typhoid Mary of the place. I got a lot done, thanks to decreased interruptions and a decent Nyquil induced sleep. I dont usually pop any cold meds during the day-they dont seem to do much, but I do have a belt of Nyquil (drowsy formula) which puts me out in about 20 minutes.

And lo and behold we have substantial posts from both Norma and Ei ! Great to hear from you both no matter the word count ..

Norma, I sure would love to get a new dining set too, but wont happen this year or next. Mine is antique and could probably sell it , what I would really like is and antique table and new chairs- padded as Michelle mentioned. I always sit in the dining room to read the paper, magazines and sometimes work on my laptop there. Ive seen schemes where the dining room does double duty as a library and I would love that. My current bookcases are maxed out. If I ever actually sell this house and move I will consider something of that nature, especially if I can swing more comfortable chairs.

((Marie)) Take what you need and leave the rest , right ?

Michelle, does your thistle seed for the finches germinate ? I would love to put up a finch feeder if I could figure out a spot. It has to be cat safe which isnt too hard since my cats are pretty darn lazy.

Ei, thanks for the cheery photo montage! I peeked at them at the office today and it gave me a nice respite. Stick around , ok?

Saucy, I hope you arent beating yourself up too bad over the GG..changing ones mind in the course of a project has always been part of the gardening gig to me not to mention changing ones mind after completion and then ripping it out and doing it over., lol. Wish I had a couple bucks for every time Ive done that over the years.

Julie, I guess youve had to close up shop on the wine deck for the season ? Hopefully you have suitable indoor substitute..

Brenda, how pretty the DD looks in that gown ! Im glad I didnt get hitched when the strapless action was popular, I could never have pulled that off without a lot of incredibly uncomfortable support undergarments ! The dress is really elegant looking.

Denise, hoping for a full report on the Guiness Stew- it sounds great ! I rarely eat beef , but this is something I would try. I am afraid you have totally stumped me on your quote.

Cindy awfice temps are a constant source of discussion ..since Im the boss I suppose I could pull rank but I dont let the majority rule ! We had to turn on the a/c at about 3 today , and I have what I refer to as my Air Conditioning Sweater which I keep in my office year round. Ironically, its much colder in summer than in winter.

Ok, all for me tonight, off to have some grub and retire to the reading room

Waving to all.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 18, 2008 at 9:11PM
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Wow, what a mohnin' montage, glittering dresses designed to securely hug shapely contours as well as bring tears to the eye's of the photographer, discussions of "manly" birthday stew, combination kitchen/"li-berries", and epic posts from those thought long lost. What could be better?

That is a pretty dress, Brenda. My first Barbie (I still have her) had an evening dress (which I no longer have) that was similar in silhouette. It must be a trifle overwhelming to see your baby girl all suited up for her nuptials, but very special, too. Nice to indulge something besides Cat. diesels, huh? When's the big day? I didn't quite understand what happened in the cornfield with the bike. Did they impale it with one of those pointy things on the front of the combine? How about a shot of the Combine and a basic lesson on what the parts of it are? that will prove important next harvest when the Idyllettes descend on the your farm like Grackles on a lawn.

And "ladies foundations" are indeed the order of the day for those with "fuller" (Rubenesque?) figures, though they should NEVER be uncomfortable if they are properly fitted. Many moons ago I was an alterationist in a very swanky dress shop that also sold ladies foundation garments. The women in that department were all older and were "corsettieres", they knew exactly how to measure and fit undergarments and specialized in prosthetics for mastectomy patients. I learned A TON from them and found the niche fascinating and very rewarding. Every woman should go to a good lingerie shop to be properly fitted for a bra; and drive right past some place like Victoria's Secret. ;)

The discussion of awfice temperatures made me smile, Cindy. I see that as the next potential conflict in the shop, since there are a lot of windows (that are drafty) and all the baseboard is covered with used pattern material, dust, etc.. It's chilly in the morning and sweltering in the afternoon when the sun streams in the windows. My "office sweater" is a fleece-like arrangement with a zipper up the front and a snowflake motif on a black background. It was left in the shop by a worker who "couldn't take it" after realizing that sometimes sewing can be downright frustrating. Anyway, it has bits of foam "dust" stuck to the front of it and the visiting cat frequently sleeps on it when it's not in use. I cut quite a picture in it.

'bug, I'm to open all windows in the Salon for the first few fires in the new stove and not touch the painted castings as the paint becomes soft with the initial heating. I have a ways to go before "firing that mother up", though.

The helpmeet put up the trim pieces that cover the edges of the pulldown ladder to the bahn's attic yesterday. I've dutifully filled the finish nail holes and will sand and finish it this afternoon. And he has all the posts and rails for the stairwell finished, too. I went over them yesterday evening, removing errant pencil marks, filling the deeper, more jagged areas and generally "distressing" the sharper edges. They're made of Hemlock and the wood's grain is quite pronounced and tends to be sort of brittle. It's not ideal for any sort of woodworking for that reason, but it is pretty when it's pickled (I did a sample last winter) and I'm willing to fuss over the parts to get the splintery parts sanded into submission.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about your individual trials and family worries, lately. Sometimes it's hard to know what to say, but do know that I try to send good thoughts to the cosmos for each of you and understand that sometimes the toll can be very high. Sometimes just knowing someone understands is helpful. So are "boring" peeks into someone else's mundane existence. ;)

I have to "suit up" for the chilly morning. Unlike TCS I'm pretty good at bringing all the accessories home. And like TCS, I sometimes misplace things in safely zippered pockets, too. And it's confession time, Julie. Yesterday I peeked under the couch as I was on my way up the stairs (the railing around the stairwell is open and you can look across the floor at eye level). A scary sight, indeed, with tumbleweeds of animal hair and get this: a full tick, dead as doornail, about the size of kidney bean. She must have succumbed crossing what must have seemed like a tick's equivilent of the Gobi...

And on that note, mes amies, I shall head off to work (very late!). Be productive and have some laughs, OK?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 6:01AM
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Ohh - I'm so behind. But just quickly, we didn't actually take the wine into the movie theatre but had a glass before and after. But you've got me thinking....LOL!! DH had an important meeting Monday and got some great feedback from his boss. Things are not as dire as he thought - future location somewhat uncertain but for the time being we can stay put. Phew! I hate being on this type of roller coaster.

Great to hear from Ei and Cindy and Norma as well as our regulars.

But the real reason for me peeking in was to tell GB that we are here, and we care. These must be dark days indeed. Many hugs.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:16AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all..
Thanks to the following: "when the Idyllettes descend on the your farm like Grackles on a lawn." And: A scary sight, indeed, with tumbleweeds of animal hair and get this: a full tick, dead as doornail, about the size of kidney bean. She must have succumbed crossing what must have seemed like a tick's equivilent of the Gobi... ",
I have already had a couple of chuckles!
I had one yesterday morning with: "Here's the Huge One in his supervisory capacity:" LOL!
I need to compile all these, along with other's from others in our group, to re-read on down days. :-)

Marie, if you find a good "odd job man" send him on this way when he gets your jobs done. I could probably fill a legal tablet page with all that needs done here, and absolutely no prospect of getting them done! Maybe the day will come when I can move out and leave them for a fixer-upper???
I wish I could help you bear your burdens, but words are not sufficient. Only time, faith, and strength can heal such wounds.

Ei, I loved your post, and the cute pics. I recieved them in a e-mail also, but it was some time ago. I have probably deleted them...just too much stuff in my folders, and a message keeps coming on asking to compact all my folders! I started the deleting process monday.
Ei, I am assuming you saw my post about the blooms on the Moth orchid, and new ones coming on both it and the slipper orchid. Sort of paraphrasing...but someone planted, I water, and the master gives the increase. :-)
I hope you can continue to bear up with the situation of an ailing mother and sister. At least you can be very thankful that they are close so you can help them, and visit with them. I was with my mom, and even had her in our home at the last, but if my sis needs me, I will not be able to be there. :-(

Oooo, Saucy...what a dream. My nights are always full of dreams, but usually they are either quite benign, or even pleasant.

Julie, I enjoyed your report on TCS's clothing problems, but so sad about him "crying his head off". I guess there are just too many children for the teachers to moniter whether they are properly clothed when they exit the building...or maybe the clothes were shed on the bus?
Hmmmm, sunflowers on the ceiling fan...That reminds me I surely do need to clean, mine that is in the livingroom. I wish I were more stable at doing over the head jobs like that, espacially from standing on a chair!

Brenda, your DD is truely lovely in her wedding dress! I cannot imagine how proud and sad you are, not having had a daughter of my own.
Yarrgh, on the red bicycle in the corn picker! I have not witnessed one in action, but am familiar with other harvesters of years past.

Denise, it IS ham hocks and pinto beans time. isn't it ;-)
I hope your were as tasty as mine. Mine are not always that good. It depends a lot on the quality of the ham hocks, I think. The stew sounds good, but I guess I will pass on attempting to make it.

I tried to find all the ingredients to make Woody's Pudding recipe, but failed to find several when in town yesterday. I may need to go to a health food store to find them???

Cindy, don't feel badly about not being able to comment to every one here. It is quite an overwhelming job!

Kathy, your Typhoid Mary remark reminds me of one of my best friends. She has the crud that is going around, and thought she ought to stay home from the Thanksgiving Dinner at the Golden Year's class yesterday. Her husband talked her into going, just told her to stay away from people!!! I vnever heard her cough, sneeze or blow her nose once while there, so I doubt if she was 'toxic' :-)

Okay, I'd better sign off, and get this posted, so I can tote in more firewood. The stove is about to go out, and it is getting chillier in here!

Excuse any mistakes...I don't have time to edit it.....


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 9:15AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Brenda - your DD looks fabulous!

Chelone - euww! That tick sounds very icky! Do you check the Huge One for them? The neighbour behind us found one on their Golden last summer. I should be checking Misty more closely than I do. I make sure I'm well covered when I work in the woodland areas of the garden, even in the summer. (Actually there are so many mosquitoes under the trees, I largely try to just admire it from a distance most of the summer!)

Liam is visiting today - it's become a Wednesday routine. He's alone at home during the day all weeki which is not good for an active dog like a Border Collie. So a mid-week play-date keeps him reasonably satisfied - and keeps me exercised because walkies are much longer, more vigorous affairs when he's here!

((gb)) You realize that Phoebe is now a member of our extended dog pack - and membership has its cookie privileges....:- )

Marian - what ingredients can't you find? You can probably substitute other things for whatever you can't find.... (e.g. you don't need Omega-3 eggs; regular will do fine. If you can't find mace, just increase the rest of the spices a bit or add some allspice.)

Mary - having the move put off until the (hopefully distant) future must make everything so much brighter!

On the weekend we were talking to the neighbour whose beautiful old malamute died earlier in the fall. He's expecting to get a new malamute puppy in January. Malamutes are supposed to be one of the hardest dogs to train so he's going to have his work cut out for him! Especially since he's still weak from his own cancer treatment. He's looking a bit better now but still very gaunt and the future is still very uncertain for him. The puppy contract has a clause that the puypy gets returned to the breeder if the owner is at any time unable to care for it. I hope he never has to use that clause.... The puppy comes from a breeder who breeds competitive working dogs - one of the puppy's relatives (not his father...) won a hauling contest earlier this year - he pulled 1530 lbs.! Can you imagine taking that one for a walk?!

Snow in the forecast here for tonight. If we get it, it'll be our first snowfall of the season. Ick, winter's here I fear....!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It still looks like a white Christmas here today. Very cold at 10F. I expected people to be shy about posting so near the end of the thread because they'd need to begin a new one! But no, lots of input this morning.

Enjoyed getting out last night with friends for our book club and I never cease to be amazed at how witty women can be when together.

DD and I spend much time dissecting the events of DSIL's mediation with X. It makes me sad to the core that X cannot grow, change, progress, have empathy, put her son as the focus of communication, listen, etc. DH & I try to be constructive...but it is very painful stuff.

Today when DH commented that he hadn't seen any black socks lately I suggested buying some. The washing machine refused to start for some unknown reason: the fuses are OK, there is power and so on. So...yet another roadblock needing attention. So far this Fall it has been a new dishwasher, work on the toilet, the wood stove, and now this. I'm sick of it!!!

At the moment, the new wood stove is cooking away. I started it high (800F) and then turned it off to finish the wood. There is still some scent involved in the burning, so I have a window open. I'm eager to sit in the same room with a fire and a good book!

I must go get inspired to wash dishes. ;)

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:08AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Woody, The Omega-3 eggs were no problem. The produce man said he asked about them, and the other higher priced namebrand eggs, and was told there is little differance in them and the regular eggs...except the price! I did find mace, but it is over 4 dollars for a small container that was still a much larger quantity that I would ever use. The whole wheat flour was only in too large of a bag, and I seldom use it, so it would be wasted. I could not find almond butter, or currants.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:29AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Marian - ? there's no almond butter - just coarsely chopped walnuts. I think someone else mentioned almond butter as a substitute for peanut butter, but that's something different than the pudding recipe. I'm surprised that you couldn't find whole wheat flour in a smaller bag. I really don't think you should substitute regular flour for it - can you check with friends to see if someone has some whole wheat flour that they could give you enough for the recipe? Omega-3 eggs have a bit lower cholesterol - they add some flax seed to the chickens' feed... It does make the eggs more expensive. The recipe uses them because it's supposed to be a healthy recipe but the quantity is so small, I usually substitute regular eggs without feeling guilty :-) I guess very few people use currants any more - they can be a bit hard to find here too. Unfortunately they are important to the taste and texture so maybe that's another ingredient to check to see see if friends have some...?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 10:46AM
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