Idyll Banter--240 pages

taryn(S Ontario Z6B)November 28, 2005

Carry on...

Here is a link that might be useful: Idyll Banter

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Good morning everyone.

May the week hold many blessings for you & yours.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 8:54AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Very cute T!

((((Yeona))))) I just caught up on yesterday's postings--I'm so very sorry about your sister, and what you are going through...

Eden, love the lights!

Mary, your room sounds great--before and after pics?


    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 9:02AM
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The family is gone, everyone is stuffed and I am bushed.

Raining right now. Temps in mid 40s It is supposed to turn nasty today. I was supposed to go to Sioux Falls for a car appointment. It is supposed to be worse that way. Rain changing to snow and high winds. I am going to cancel, I donÂt want at repeat of 2 weeks ago and the white out. I think IÂll run to town and pick up paint for one of the upstairs guestrooms. Nothing major in there, just a freshening up.

Mary, I was thinking of trying the stick on tiles in our upstairs bathroom which badly needs updating, but since we donÂt use it much, I really donÂt want to stick a lot of money into it. IÂd love to see pictures of what your room turns out like.

Deanne, I think jealousy could be the main reason that no one commented. I must say you both look fantastic.

Electric trains are such a fun. As a child we were allowed to set up my dadÂs childhood set in the LR in the winter for a couple of weeks. What fun we had. My DS dearly loved them when younger. He 3 sets and many accessories. He also enjoyed riding real trains and several vacations involved taking train rides.

Eden, you go all out! It looks so festive. I walked past 2 of my lavendar plants on the way to the compost yesterday and thought "wow they are getting huge" They must like their spot.
Grandma doesnÂt spoil Bella, does she? ;o)

VG, sorry that you didnÂt get the quality time with your DD and SIL.

Good life thoughts Chelone.

Cynthia, now thatÂs a hilarious thought AARP and VS.

Taryn, it looks like the kids are having a blast. The first snows of the season are so much fun (for kids that is)

T, the picture with the shovel is precious.


A few pictures of the room that I painted the paneling. It really is more of an office now days than a family room. It is kind of hard to see, but I put a darker glaze over the paint to give it some depth. It is kind of an antiqued look.

The adult Thanksgiving table. As you can see nothing fancy:

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 9:09AM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

(((Yeona)))) so very sorry about your sister. I sure hope she gets the help she needs.

It's 44 and raining here this morning. What with the rain and the hectic weekend, I'm quite lazy today:-)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 9:16AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all, it is a foggy and gray morning outside here today with temps in the low 40s so far. I guess all this snow is going to melt in the next couple days. Maybe Ill be able to pop those last four plants in the ground somewhere. Now that would be a great thing.

Im pretty pleased that the strobilanthes I hacked out of the pot, root pruned and cut to the nubs is sprouting new growth. Cool! Also the abutilon that received similar treatment is also sprouting. Then the cuttings I took of the abutilon when I hacked it back are sprouting roots. So anyone need some Abutilon pictum Thompsonii? Im going to have about ten plants or so. LOL

Chelone, thanks for the advice. I really think we needed more than two weeks worth of lessons and practice to be able to do anything well at the party. We had fun in our old bumbling dancing style anyway. So when are you going to have another break from care giving? You and helpmeet should make a date to go dancing.

Sue, wow, 650 in your HS graduating class? That is a huge class. We only had 550 in ours and you are so right, I totally remembered the folks who were there who went to my grade school. ~~ Your silk cashmere wrap sounds lovely. Im looking forward to seeing a pic of you in your finery. ~~ Christmas tree on the patio is a fabu idea. We have one of those trees (a nine footer) with the lights already installed on it and it is fantastic. We bought it after Christmas a few years ago at Sams Club. As I recall it was under $100 marked down from $350 or so.

Martie! How neat, your lavender looks great. What are you going to do with it now? ~~ I have always envied folks like you who have difficulties gaining weight. I cant even imagine it. Wish I could give you those fat transplants LOL that would be a terrific way to get rid of that last ten pounds.

Mary, that mud/guest room sounds terrific. You are so creative. I hope you post pics of the guest room when it is finished.

Wendy, we did get snow up here the other day. It was only supposed to be flurries but we wound up with a couple inches of flurries. It is all supposed to melt off today though. ~~ Dont you just love your light in the basement? It can turn into an obsession and I actually think working under the extra light has to be good for your mood mid-winter when all is gray and dreary outside. Youll have to let me know if you want any more coleus varieties. Ive got fifteen or so here and they will be ready to cut back again the first of the year.

VG so sorry DD had to leave early on Thanksgiving. That must have been disappointing.

Eden , wow! Love all the decorations! You guys really get into it. Weve only occasionally put lights up outside. They really do sparkle things up though. Maybe I can talk Doug into doing something this year.

Cynthia, love the Santa coat on the grey! How cute is that. Too funny that Katie already has two red coats. ~~ RE seeds, I have to admit my favorite plant success story this year was my Cleome Linde Armstrong. I just loved those plants and especially since I collected and started those seeds. The plants from this year did not set any seed and all I have are a few left from last year do you think they will germinate a year later?

Yeona, Im so very sorry about your sister. I can completely understand the range of emotions you are going through. Like Martie says, it is really difficult to separate the person from the illness. I have a sister who is bi-polar and she is the most self-centered person Ive ever known. It makes me wild sometimes. She fortunately takes medication and is completely functional but any kind of relationship is a roller coaster ride.

Martie, so sorry about your brother. My youngest brother is also mentally ill and it is almost impossible to get correct medication and treatment for him. He was violent in the past and attacked a girlfriend, several doctors in the emergency room at our local hospital and he also attacked Doug one time. We had to have him committed for a while until they could get his medications where they needed to be. He was doing very well but had to change medications about five years ago because he was having liver problems with the old meds and he hasnt done as well since. It is heartbreaking.

Michelle, what a lovely warm room with the fireplace. Every time you post photographs of your home I always get the feeling of Very Cozy. ~~ Such a nice Thanksgiving table! ~~ I probably have to agree with you and Sue about the jealousy thing. Pretty sad state of affairs really. I always thought that if I lost weight people would like me because I wasnt fat anymore. Silly me. I should have known better. The people who liked me when I was fat are the people who still like me now Im not and those who only look as far as the packaging arent worth knowing. Enough said.

OK now that I"ve spent way too long writing this post Ive got to get to the gym and sweat some of that Thanksgiving feast off my person.

Have a good day everyone,

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 10:03AM
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Chelone.. loser girl? No way!!! You're not only a 'winner' but you are very talented, creative, and supportive. I do understand the challenges that everyone is sharing tho... That 'goes' for everyone. I always wanted to learn to dance and swim well... and learn to paint flowers... Ended up being a good 'floater and walker' and admirer of flowers... Never learned to sail a boat either...or speak French... or sing in a choir... oh well... I can crochet a pretty good hat... Have enough hats now and have given away quite a few...The children have grown up and the pets are memories.... is it time to 'walk around and hum?' duh.... I do that 'a lot'. Also pretty good at giving and recieving hugs. Thanks T... I needed that. Here's one back....I sometimes 'skim thru' especially on weekends because we would hate to miss any of the chit chat. We care about everyone and everything that is shared. Where else can anyone sit down at any time of day or night and listen to a conversation. Sometimes I 'sit in the corner and listen'. Partner just commented "The juncos are here" so that means winter is here too. It's 35 F and still windy. I want to get those narcissus bulbs into the ground. The originals were given to me by someone special. Something must have tunneled underneath them and heaved them to the top of the ground. When I found the bulbs on top of the ground I picked them up and got them into the refrigerator. Then had to decide where to replant them. Decided on the corner of the bed around the black walnut stump beneath the west windows where I can see them. They had been along the sidewalk above the south terrace. Hope they will always stay where ever I put them if they ever get there... Taryn.. that author reminded me of years ago when I read the books of Sinclair Lewis and Thomas Wolfe. They lived in worlds so different from mine.. reading expands the mind and perception. Interesting to read about what all of you are reading... Mary.. good luck to your sister.. And yours too, Yeona... Hope all goes well for all.. EP
I was reviewing the previous thread and forgot which thread I was reading so posted this there so attempting to copy and paste. It would be # 104 on the previous thread.
Anyway forgot to comment on the pictures, which we always appreciate.. Nice to see everyone's surroundings and activities. Sue.. wish I could come to the party... EP

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 11:53AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good Morning! What an appropriate idyll tydll for me. I just finished reading Chris Bohjalian's latest novel, "Before You Know Kindness." And I was reading "Idyll Banter" at the last Idyllunion. I have a copy that I'll send to the first idyller who asks for it!

(((Yeona))) I'm so sorry about the situation with your sister. I can understand your mix of emotions. I hope that things even out for your family soon.

Deanne, I would guess that some folks were jealous, some were afraid to say something since it implies you were fat before, and some were just too into themselves to notice. My son's roommate lost a lot of weight recently, and when I saw him for the first time after the weight loss I didn't ask about weight but told him he looked wonderful. He then acknowledged that it was due to the weight loss. One of the best things I learned from a former boss was the importance of compliments, and I try to remember to hand them out frequently. Too often we think to ourselves how nice something was, or we mention it to someone else, but we neglect to tell (or thank) the person who did all the work.

Sue, I'm thinking of you today and hoping that your day is going well.

Our weather is late November weird! We had a thunderstorm last night and woke up to find it much warmer (56F) than when we went to sleep. And it rained most of the night and half the morning. Now the wind is blasting at 26 mph (that's the STEADY wind speed, not the gust speed) and the sun is shining.

Tonight I think I'll concoct a turkey casserole to kill off the last of the bird. All of the other leftovers are history. My daughter wants me to write down my stuffing recipe, since it is my own version that I pretty much do out of my head each year. I'm taking this as a compliment!

For those of you who need a good laugh, try the quiz below. Have a great Monday!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 11:53AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all .

My word , but you were busy with your posts while I was entertaining our Tim ! It took me all evening to read and take notes of responses . But first I want to say :

Oh my ! Dear, dear ,Yeona , I am so sorry . But you must not beat yourself up over your DS's illness . One of our church families has an inherited tendency for manic depression . The father died with it , but not by his own hand . I know the children live in fear for their futures . So sad --- several of them are my dear friends ., and I will be supportive of them - whatever . Another family had an older sister take her own life at the oldest sister's home . Thank goodness there were no children present . One of that woman's DDs is bipolar , and will not stay on her meds ... sad , sad . As others have said , feel comfortable with coming here and letting us be of comfort to you . You are important to us .

EP , How close is that lovely pond to your home ? ( I'm sure you have said , but I forget ! ) . I'd love to have a view like that from a window . I still have 100s of narcissus that need dug and divided . Hopefully I will get that done next year . A large spreading juniper has overgrown them , and they hardly bloom anymore . That is very interesting about the Dutchman . I like the idea of having his ashes scattered in his flowerbeds . My survivers can do that for me , if they will . BTW , I enjoyed your post from Sat. evening .

Brenda , your camera snafu sounds exactly like what I have done ! I didn't even think to take pics while Tim was here , or when he and the girls were here a while back . Dumb de Dumb dum !

Neat elk pics , Teresa , and that grandson is such a sweetie ! I can imagine how much fun he had sloshing around ! LOL , on the kitty litter/ cat food trade . I'm afraid the only litter I have is used ! LOL . Trubby pees in it occasionally but goes outside to do #2 . Tommy goes out for both . I have never found an accident indoors . ( Now I've probably jinxed myself ! ) We stopped at the local store , on the way home from worship , and I got a sack of cat food .

Sue , I had to really study that pic of Zoe to figure out what I was seeing ! LOL ...what a hoot !

Deanne ...Looking good !I think it's weird that none of your former classmates mentioned your tranformation . I'm sure some of the others here have hit upon the reason.
BTW , you know you really do not have to do all that X-mas decorating . I quit doing it over 30 years ago , and don't think it has diminished me in any way .
I love the pic of Rahjii . He looks so comfy .
Sorry , no pics of pies . The pumpkin just looked like a normal pie . The cranberry apple was a disaster !It came out of the oven looking beautiful .... but it was raw inside !!! Poor Tim took the first slice . I didn't realize the filling was uncooked ! He diligently ate it , ( topped with whipped topping ) , without a comment . He was very kind about it . When I found out it's situation , I was very contrite , but he assured me " The crust is very good " ! ( It was homemade ). LOL , so sad , and yet so funny !I debated about tossing the whole thing , but scooped out the filling and nuked it before returning it to the shell . Even though it was far from great , he ate two servings of it !!! LOL . I think I will let the Opposums have the rest . Thank goodness , the rest of the dinner was fine , and most of it was consumed except for a lot of turkey and dressing . I think the pie would cook okay in a coventional oven . I sure hope so , if any of you are trying it ! I don't think I will ever try it again !

Taryn , your "doughnuts in the empty parking lot " reminded me - we called it " cutting cookies " . My oldest sis was driving in town with her pre school son when her car "cut a cookie " . Her son was delighted , and shouted " Do it again ! " Scary for her - fun for him .

V , I take it that the buckthorn is Ceanothus , New Jersey Tea . It grows here too , but isn't a problem . Now , buckbrush is ... Symphoricarpus orbiculatus , better known as Coralberry . It suckers all over the place and is difficlt to eradicate . How nice that you could recruit young people to help you clear the unwanted brush .

Cynthia , Bummer that the gutter people came while you were gone . But great that they did such a good job , and did no damage to your plants .I was the same about the 'DS' in Yeona's post . Sometimes it takes some sleuthing to figure out what the initials stand for !

Woody , I enjoyed your Canadian expressions . I think I understood most of them .

Yeonna , thanks for the belated BD wish , and the grape juice toast ! ( I like grape juice . )

Chelone I'm glad to hear that your Mum is getting out for a stroll , and it is easing your concerns . Funny , and sad , about her forgetfulness . She is so blessed to have you . I'm glad you recognize that the time will most likely come when you must have regular help ... either in your home , or in an appropriate facility .

VG , I can well imagine your disappointment at not getting 'alone' time with your DD . I hope she can come visit you more frequently than our son gets here . His drive is close to 4 hours now . I am rather worried about his drive home yesterday . There was severe weather on the way . I will e-mail him at work , and hope he is fine .

Eden , I am like you in that " I believe what I believe strongly and don't change my mind easily . "
I also will not compromise my conscience , or my understanding of what is right and what is wrong .
That precious Granddaughter has sure changed your life ... but so worth it !I never had the opportunity to have my GDs with me like that It may be a good thing , considering my age when they arrived , and my ailments . I do wish they were where I could see them more often , and have them pop in frequently .
Interesting that so many of you call your mother 'mum' . In my family it was 'mama' , but on here I usually say 'mom' . I called my MIL 'mom' . My grandparents were always 'grandma and grandpa . Aunts and uncles were always "Aunt' and "Uncle ' . I notice our son still does that . It just always seems like a matter of respect to me .

Marie , your DH continually amazes me ! " Singing for Dummies " ! LOL

Mary , That is wonderful that your mum can spend an entire month with you and your children this year . David and Annie will have plenty of time for 'bonding' . That's something I don't have with my GDs . A couple of days , a couple of times a year , just is not enough ! How nice that you are preparing a room for her .

Martie , I am so sorry about your brother , and for you and the rest of the family . I hope the facility that he is in is comfortable for you all . My oldest half sister is pretty slow , mentally , but I don't think she is bipolar . She is 78 and apparently functioning okay without help .

Michelle , I'm glad you are not venturing out on the wintry roads . Stay safe !
WOW ! you have a writing desk that looks a lot like mine . It was my Dad's ! Mine has 4 small drawers , and legs in place of the lower drawer on yours . I imagine yours has cubby holes in the desk top ,like mine . Very interesting !I like your computer desk . It looks very convenient .

BTW , our visit with our son was very good . Besides going to worship together , we talked and talked , ate , and watched 2 of my videos . The only disappointment was that the 'new' moniter that he brought for my birthday wouldn't work here ! It may have got something jiggled out of place on the trip . It would not even light up ! He felt so terribly bad , I did my best to allay his upset , but I'm sure he is still fretting over it . He is always feeling like he is such a born loser ! It sure isn't from any way that we've treated him . We would never say something that put him down .

Wow ! Aren't you sorry I didn't 'stay gone' !?

Oh , yes ... it is cold , cloudy , and VERY windy here .


    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 11:54AM
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Marian, you were posting while I was trying to get mine onto the current thread.. The pond is within an easy walk of our house. I was standing on the core wall of the lake east of the pond. The highway is in between. You once mentioned that you came thru here years ago, so maybe you can recall that the highway curves around in between the residential area and the creek rec area. I guess it is about half a mile to where I was standing from our house. One of my 'blessings' is being able to walk and enjoy our surroundings and make it back home within 'about' an hour. I wear my watch and turn around after a half hour. I tell Partner which direction I plan to walk so he can 'find me' if he needs me or if I take longer than he is expecting. I used to walk 4 times the distance when we first moved here. The pond has been developed since we have been here. It used to be a large marshy area filled with marsh mallows. It was developed to promote better run off. It drains into another small 'lake' before draining into the stream. Good to read of everyone. We are planning some fun things for the week. EP

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 12:20PM
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I have the tree up now and the lights on it. Just need to put on the ornaments. My goal is to get this tree finished today.

Marian, how nice to have a long chatty post from you. I'm so glad you had such a nice visit with Tim.

Michelle, your family room/office turned out so nice. It looks so cozy and inviting. From one grandma to another, have you seen these FP little people Christmas toys? I thought they were really cute and ordered Bella the Christmas Story one. Check the link below...


    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 2:45PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Thank you everyone. You are the best group on the planet. I agree, I find it so difficult to separate the person and the illness, particularly when the pain they're causing never ends. My sister, as with both my xparents, cannot have a 'normal', non abusive and non manipulative relationship. As a matter of fact, she can't really have a relationship, as it's always stopped dead by either her less frequent manic phase, or her all too frequent depressed phase, as she cycles through her illness. I don't know what's going to happen to my sister from here on out. Trying to kill yourself is illegal, but it doesn't stop the very ill. What this attempt does do is get her hospitalized, fully evaluated and gets her meds re-evaluated. So hopefully they will find something that works. She does take her meds most of the time, but does struggle with them, as they don't make her feel better, just less manic. The depression is the part that still isn't controlled, and she feels more disconnected from herself on them. I do know that with my very messed up family, there but for the grace of ...., which makes me want to leave no stone unturned in getting her some help. Even six full months of peace of mind would be a blessing for her, as she really never has had that. Again you have my many thanks for your understanding.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 2:59PM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Hi Yeona

I just got back from work and read about your sister. What a hard, hard situation with so much pain and suffering. Please know my thoughts are with you, your sister and your family.

Marian - so glad you had such a good visit with Tim and the opportunity to talk. Hopefully that close time you shared will offset disappointment for him over the monitor.

I need to pick David up from Cubs but hope to be back later.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 4:10PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I recieved an answer from Tim on his drive home last evening . He passed through 4 , yes 4 , differant tornado warning areas !!!!!! But got home safely .In one of the areas , the tornado hit the freeway after he had passed . One person , in one car , was killed ! His lady friend was also on the road , returning home , and had to wait while the debris was cleared from the highway . Scary stuff !
Such occurances are unusual at this time of the year .

EP , It was so many years ago that we went through your area , I remember very little of the terrain . I do remember passing through Tulsa in rush hour . I was driving our car , pulling a large U-haul trailer . Nolon was driving a Rider truck . I well remember the Oklahoma panhandle ( we went through it more than once ) , and all the horse-head oil pumps . That was fascinating to me . I also remember the antelope we saw along side the highway .
I remember the terrible accident we saw in Oklahoma city .

You are wise to tell your partner what way you are walking . Every now and then Nolon disappears , and I have no idea where to look for him should he not come back . AS long as he doesn't leave our 20 wooded acres , he shouldn't be too hard to find . It can be a worry , though .

I need to debone the turkey , and make chowder with the bones and trimmings . I love it .


    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 4:36PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hi Marian, glad to hear Tim and his lady friend both made it home safely despite the storms. I don't ever recall hearing of so many tornadoes in November!

My buckthorn isn't the Ceanothus (New Jersey Tea) but Rhamnus cathartica and it's a real pest here. If left unchecked, it will fill in the understory of most woods and then shade out all of the wildflowers. I have some New Jersy Tea that I try to grow as a low hedge, but it's somewhat of a marginal grower for me and doesn't fill in very well.

Now I'm familiar with Coralberry's cousin, Snowberry. I invited Snowberry to come over when I first moved in. Snowberry just never wanted to amount to anything; in half the places I put him he just died out and the other half never shaped up to look like anything. So I finally evicted him. Hah! I've been yanking those suckers all over the place ever since. The moral of the story was the V. learned that not all native plants are garden-worthy plants.

So this weekend I had to do the children's sermon at church. This weekend's sermon was about waiting for something (Christmas) and not being distracted by other things (do I really need to list the distractions?) Anyway, I was supposed to leave the sanctuary and tell the kids to keep a lookout for me coming back in another door, and then stage a distraction in the other direction. So I used other family members and had their cell phone ring in the middle of church! It was quite funny because the kids weren't too distracted by it and most kept watching for me, and the adults went from being incensed that someone allowed their phone to ring to laughing that they had been taken in by the trick. It ended up being a memorable sermon.

When I was young and foolish and fresh out of college, we would do donuts with rental cars up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. There was this nice, big parking lot...

Mary, for a minute I was wondering why you were converting your mudroom to a guest room, and then I remembered that you were rather fullup already! But it will be great fun for you and your sister to be together with your mum.

The Idyll Banter book has been claimed but T may pass it on to someone else when she's done.

I'm mulling over ideas for the buckthorn trellis that I want to make. I saw one photo that I was going to copy, but now I'm thinking I might make a low and wide one instead of tall and narrow. I'll have to noodle on this a bit and sketch some ideas. I have a couple of great curved pieces from two trunks that intertwined with each other.

Made a turkey casserole tonight, and since there are only two of us home now, I have lots left for lunch tomorrow. Time to go pack my lunch and clean up.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 9:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yikes ! A belated Happy Birthday to Saucy where ever she is !

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 11:05PM
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Good morning everyone. Predictably, I was interrupted in my ready yesterday and was only able to skim. But I want to add my voice to the chorus sending hope and good wishes to Yeona. Depression is such a very frightening thing, and something we really know so little about.

Hope Sues's workday was better than my own! (big, dirty, and HEAVY items). I have decided I will not do the curtains for a particular commercial account next year. They're simply too big, too heavy, there is no surface suitably large to permit "easy" cleaning. My shoulders ache, my wrists and hands hurt and are getting chapped. This the fourth year running I have done EVERY SINGLE curtain for all the commercial accounts as well as the residential ones and I specifically asked for help with them this year. None has been forthcoming, so "no more Mr. Nice Guy".

The helpmeet weedwacked the ribbon grass back yesterday. The front of the house looks a lot nicer right now. I'm still hatching a plan to stuff the hydrangeas and wrap them to prevent the dessicating winds from zapping the buds. I love hydrangeas and I'm willing to lavish a little attention on them to see if it will encourage more flowers next year.

Maybe I'll be able to catch up on my reading later this afternoon. Hope so!

Carry on!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 5:22AM
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Good morning! Yesterday took a ride through my new selling area. I'll be in Franklin County, Massachusetts which is a beautiful part of the great Bay State. Unfortunately, fog made visibility zippo, so I didn't have a chance to see any of the scenic views which make this part of New England so special. It did help keep me concentrating on driving, though. I love exploring unfamiliar territory, and have great respect for all business owners who function in such lightly populated areas. Found a small place that makes Cider Donuts to die for .. Bonus!

Hope for you, Sue, that your day was good. Work garbage is the worst.

Marian: In your pic for Saucy, is that an orchid behind the Amaryllis? I'm going to give them a shot this year -- finally!!!

Chelone: Though there are many things I want to do, the one thing I WILL do before my end is travel to southern France. I have no idea why, but the area has always held a certain fascination for me. Hope the curtains get lost in transit ;-)

Taryn: Donuts!! One of the best moments I ever had with Kyle was teaching him "how to steer out of a skid." LOL We still talk about that he thought I was kidding when I woke him up one night during a storm to take him to a mall parking lot. We got caught, but the Police Officer (who had somewhat of a sense of humor at 3am) accepted the explanation that us being there, then, was better than Ky not knowing what do to and needing to respond to an accident. Remember this when Shane turns drivers age ... Very Happy Memories

Yeona: I am relieved for you and your sibs that your sister will be hospitalized for a bit. This year, I will be testifying at the State Legislature level about funding for mental illness. It'll be the same old song and dance about "better to spend the money up front for care than after for crisis response." This time, though, I'm going to deviate from the planned script and get straight to the point: It Wouldn't Take Three Heart Attacks to Get Someone Into a Cardiac Unit. Isn't it amazing how many people these diseases affect?

Marie: Is Charlotte feeling better? I printed out a pic of her with snow on her face for my hospitalized brother, who loves animals. It'll make his day.

V: It's always been my feeling that adults get more out of kids sermons than kids. Preachers of the world, take a cue :-)

No much going on, here, ???thankfully??? while getting acclimated to new job and the weather. I wish it would make up it's mind. We should hit 60degF today and I'm half expecting plants to break. The Lemon Verbena stump has stopped throwing new growth so maybe this time cold weather will be "for real."

Received these familiar words on a card, yesterday, from my all-time favorite nursery. They also printed it on their December newsletter. It does say it all, no matter what the time of year:

"...Til ringing, singing on it's way,
the world revolved from night to day,
a voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
of Peace on Earth
Goodwill to Men."
- Longfellow


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 7:07AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

What a dreary morning here today. It has warmed up and the fog is so thick you could cut it with a knife. The temps have warmed to 40 or so (which is why it is foggy) Im going to try to finish up a couple things outside today rain or not. The ground isnt frozen yet and there are a couple things I really need to get heeled in somewhere.

The bad news from yesterday was the new insurance doesnt cover my prescription and the generic just is not the same thing regardless of what they say. That sucker is terribly expensive and Im probably going to be forced to make do with the generic medication regardless of how well it works. Another case of the insurance companies dictating health care. When did they get their medical licenses?

The good news from yesterday was my new copy of the Decorative Artists Workbook came out and their new two-page spread for the step-by-step articles I do for them looks awesome. Last year was one page and I cant believe how much visual impact the extra page has.

We had a great time at our dancing class yesterday and learned the basic promenade then learned to do it with a turn. Im getting better at following and was able to do the promenade with a turn the second try. Doug is really getting the hang of this and enjoying himself immensely. Who knew? The instructor is encouraging us to come for one of their social dances on Friday evenings. Doug surprised me by saying he would like to do that sometime soon.

V that childrens sermon was well thought out. How fun they didnt lose focus through your distraction. ~~OK so I was a dufus and took the quiz Ahem

Marian, sounds like you had a lovely time with Tim. How awful he had such an interesting drive home. I cant get over the tornados this fall. I dont ever remember a November with this many severe storms.

Yeona, still thinking of you and your DSs situation. Im in the same boat as you giving thanks that it isnt me.

Martie, Im wildly impressed that you will be testifying before the State Legislature. Good for you! Yes it is amazing how many families are affected by mental illness. Almost half the people on my fathers side of the family are afflicted. Pretty scary. It is interesting to me that my dad and aunt who were mentally ill are both gone now and the two older sisters who were not are still alive. My father and aunt who have passed away were both alcoholics and didnt take care of themselves. The alcoholism was a form of self-medication and as Im sure you know is not uncommon.

Eden, you are like the energizer bunny. I cant get over how much youve accomplished in the last few days.

Sue, I hope you are having a better week. Please check in if you have a moment. Thinking of you.

OK now it is time to get to the gym. Yukky! Dont feel like it today.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 8:14AM
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Happy Birthday Mary! I wish only the best for you in the upcoming year....

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 8:17AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

YES ! HAPPY BIRTHDAY , MARY ! and many moooore !

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 8:36AM
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Happy Belated Birthday Saucy!

YOU are missed!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 8:41AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all .

Awfully quiet so far . If it is as brisk there as it is here , you are probably trying to get warm !It wasn't exceptionally cold here , but the strong relentless wind made it feel that way .

Yes , Martie . The flower back of the Amaryllis is an orchid ....a gift from Ei last year . It is last year's picture . The same orchid is putting out two new flower stalks ! Yippie ! ( Did you hear that , Eileen ? )

Saucy , I agree with Teresa . You ARE missed !

I forgot to tell you all . I cross pollinated the Easter and Christmas cactus' that were blooming at the same time last May . I have a nice seed pod on the Easter cactus ! When it is ripe , I will sow the seeds and hope for an interesting development .( It takes a year or more for the seeds to mature ).
I have three hanging pots of blooming Thanksgiving Cs in the bay window , and two more pots on the dinningroom table .
I have 20 or more 3 year old seedlings that need repotted . Some of them may bloom next year . ( Have I told you , I sure need a greenhouse ? )


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 9:18AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Ooh, lovely pics! Happy Birthday Mary and Saucy--be back later with some colour for you, and to catch up here.

Please send good vibes this way. Got a call last night about an offer coming in--on the house we want to BUY not the one we're trying to sell. Apparently they wanted to rent it, not buy it, but the sellers won't do that. So our agent is expecting another offer. Our offer expires tomorrow unless they extend it again. If they do agree to extend it, then if they accept the other offer, after the conditions come off we have 48 hours to drop our conditions or we lose it. This is turning out to be quite a ride. But I was on MLS for over an hour last night--nothing else appealing at all right now. I really don't want to lose this house! If they extend our offer we'll reluctantly drop our price. If not, we may go off the market for a while, then try again in winter if we find another house we like. Don't want our listing to get stale.

Pouring rain, gray and dreary today. Good sleeping weather, and considering I didn't get much last night, going to attempt a wee nap before Ebay stuff beckons. Thanks in advance for good thoughts...


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 9:23AM
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Happy Birthday Mary to a very sweet and very special lady!

And Happy Belated Birthday to you Saucy. We miss you!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 9:49AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A quickie note to Deanne. Have you tried calling your doctor's office and telling them that your insurance won't cover the prescribed medication? They may have samples that they can give to you. Several years ago, DS fell off his bike on the gravel driveway and got a lot of gravel in the heel of his hand. The Dr. prescribed an antibiotic but the pharmacy subbed the generic (without asking, I might add!!!) Four days later, of course on a Sunday, the hand started to get infected. When the Dr. found out what the pharmacy had subbed, she gave me samples of the prescribed drugs for half the ten day course, so I only had to pay for the other half. It was still quite expensive, but you know, I'm one of those over-protective parents who thinks that her son's hand is important. I called the insurance company and complained but to no avail. I actually asked them if it would be cheaper in the long run to let the infection get worse and amputate the hand. Don't get me started!

Ask your doctor and check with the insurance company on their appeal process. Kick and yell and get what you need!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 9:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

It is a very wet and squishy day. The creek has flooded and we moved a bench out of the way so that it wouldn't float down to the Grand River.
I have been playing "sorceror's apprentice" in the basement, mopping up water on an hourly basis. The cats enjoy the show for some reason. We have a window well on our patio that must be repaired, but it won't happen in this rainy snowy weather.

The washing machine is not spinning as of yesterday. Seems everything happens at once, contributing to low morale. I was hoping to do more caging today, but the ground is too wet to walk on.

Charlotte finally got more of her food delivered, so her upset stomach should be cured right away. Just the slightest change in diet irritates her.

Tomorrow I'm off to Buffalo to deal some more with Mom's estate. Oh joy. :-( My brother nixxed the Bell Choir idea- for good reasons- so that may have to be done by me alone later.

The piano is tuned and repaired, for a reasonable price even! It will be adjusted once more on the 8th of December.

This is one of those days with DH hanging around until his singing lesson. I can't get things in motion when he's here, so maybe this afternoon something will be accomplished.

Thinking of Saucy and Taryn and especially of Yeona.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary, for you!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:33AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

And belated wishes to Saucy wherever you are! Miss you!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I hope you are there, knowing how we think of you...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:44AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

I am lucky it has warmed up to 50F and I don't have to worry about my plants in the GH for the moment. Glenn is lucky he doesn't have to shovel snow. The boys are lucky they can go back to skateboards off the picnic table instead of snowboards. We're all lucky...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY!! Lucky bamboo for you:

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY SAUCYDOG!! Lucky purple shamrocks for you:

Crisscrossed, thinking positive and very lucky...

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 1:30PM
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Wishing Mary and Saucy lots of fun times. EP

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 3:08PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Happy Birthday Mary!

((Yeona)) What a tough situation to deal with!

Taryn - sending lucky thoughts your way....

Rainy and mild here today - definitely indoor activities only today. Cold returns tonight. Ordered seeds from 4 places this morning - my wallet says Ouch! Roasted some tomatoes, red peppers and red onions for pasta sauce for tonight and have rosemary focaccia rising in the kitchen. Exchanged some more curry recipes with a friend so have some new ones to try later in the week. I hope to play around with Deanne's cookie recipe this week too. Winter is cooking time!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 3:44PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

If you read too fast, you find yourself wondering how Woody ordered seeds for roasted red peppers!

Sending lucky thoughts to Taryn!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 4:20PM
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I took the quiz, too, Deanne. V. I haven't laughed out loud like that in a long time; silly stuff like that always cracks me right up. (simple things for simple minds).

Birthday felicitations to both Mary and much missed Saucy.

I bought new slippers yesterday afternoon (Acorns, the best slippers in the world). I returned home today to find Wrecks living up to his name. He was systematically disembowelling one of them. I was furious. I snatched the slipper away from him, and said, "NO!". He cowered respectfully. I actually hit him with the slipper. He slunk away. I ignored him for 10 minutes then we went out for a walk. But I didn't let him off the leash (meanie). I'm still trying to figure out how to restuff the sole and patch the hole... maybe I could dissect my old pair and perform a transplant. (one more reason why I hate dogs).

I made NEW curtains today; a series of 4 that will comprise a windbreak for the doorway of a very posh restaurant in town. Evidently, the patrons freeze their tails every time the door is opened on a cold night... can't have that at $25-35 plate A LA CARTE, now can we? :)

Michelle, your project turned out GREAT! you must be so pleased. I'm envious of your flat screen monitor, too. Tell me about the photos, is that your farm in the arial shots? Looks like a very neat patchwork quilt. You don't see things like that here in New England, at least not very often!

Count me in as another wanting to see before and after shots of Mary's project... (goes for Michelle, too... any "befores"?).

No decorations up here, yet. But I'm THINKING about them! It was freakishly warm today, and we're supposed to receive a ton of rain tomorrow and then it's supposed to get cold again. Maybe I'll be more in tune with decorating then...

Well, time to fold the laundry and get that out of the living room. Talk atcha later, kids.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 5:21PM
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Happy Birthday, Mary and Saucy

Wishing you both the silver lining ...


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 7:34PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Hope you had the great day you deserve! I didn't realize you were this much younger than me-almost 6

Happy Birthday to the much missed Saucy too although I have a feeling she isn't following the idylls right now.

Temps hit 62 F here today and tied the 100 year high record. As the weather guy on the new tonight put it though, "It's all downhill from here". I say shoot the pessimist.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 7:42PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy Birthday Mary!
Happy Birthday Saucy!

I'll admit that at the moment I have having minor technical difficulties in uploading new pictures, and I'm just a tad burned out from solving everyone else's computer woes to deal with my own, so no photos for now!

Chelone, glad you got a good chuckle from the quiz. Totally silly, I agree. I'm tempted to send it to the folks who always send me the sugary-sweet chain emails; you know those ones that end with "Send this to ten people who are really special to you before the day is over or you'll be dead by morning." Can you tell I'm not a fan of chain emails?

The dogs are demanding much attention tonight. Mystic was playing with the kong and somehow managed to flip it so it landed in the middle of the set of fireplace tools. He kept trying to very delicately extract it but the poker kept swinging in a very menacing way so he gave up. I was nice and got it out for him.

Totally changing tracks, but here's a question that's been bugging me for a few weeks. There's a couple in town, I'll call them Rhonda and Vince, and I have butted heads with each of them on different occassions for different reasons. I've been amazed that the two of them are married to each other as they both seem to be bullies to a certain extent. A few weeks back I was at an event and someone pointed out an elderly lady and told me that the woman was Vince's mother. Then she went on to say that the elderly lady had told her, "Well, I'm Vince's mother AND Rhonda's aunt." So my question is doesn't that make them cousins? I actually opened my mouth, inserted my foot and blurted "Gosh, is that legal?" before the brain had worked all the way through the relationship and concluded that quite possibily it's NOT legal in this state.

I should finish cleaning up from dinner but there's a nice warm dog on my foot. Almost as warm as an Acorn slipper...


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 9:22PM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Good evening

Thank you all so much for the cards and birthday wishes from everyone. They were a delight for the eye and very special. I had a very nice day. Ruth cooked a delicious birthday dinner with a boneless leg of lamb stuffed with anchovy, garlic and olive paste, rolled up in fresh rosemary. We had a stew of chick peas and swiss chard, and mashed potatoes on the side - so delicious. I had not only seconds and thirds, but I think fourths! I'm about to retire to bed with my birthday present book of Emily Dickenson's gardens.

Night all


    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 10:45PM
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Happy Birthday Mary!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:22PM
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Mary, Im glad you had a nice day. You are very special and deserve it.

Chelone, I didnt think to take before pictures, but Im sure somewhere there are pictures of this room. Organizing photos is next winters project ;o) Oh, no about your slippers. I havent heard of Acorns, Ill have to check them out. Im a slipper person.

Ive finished the guestroom painting and went on to the hallway and stairway.

EP, did you make the cornhusk dolls? I have done that many years ago.

Missing Babs, Ei, Honey and others.

V, Im impressed about the childrens sermon. You are a braver woman than I ;o)

Eden, those FP sets are adorable.

Marian, Im glad that Tim and his friend made it home safely.

Thanks everyone about the room pictures.

Sleep well

    Bookmark   November 29, 2005 at 11:37PM
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Yes, making the corn husk dolls is one of the fun things I've done for years. V.. the 'aunt' probably meant she was married to the 'uncle' of the person.. (i hope).. (aren't people 'interesting' ...'sometimes'....) Fun to read what the little ones are getting for Christmas. They outgrow clothing and toys but always keep the memories of special things. Nice to have the 2 newest little ones in the 'cyberfriends' this year. Been watching the others growing for the past 3. We are ad libbing along.. little by little and enjoying 'whatever'. EP

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 12:18AM
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And I forgot about Norma's and ... T's grandsons... fun to read about all of them.... EP

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 12:23AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Sorry I missed your birthday Saucy...hope you had a wonderful day!

And sorry I'm late in getting my wishes out to you too Mary...I'm so glad you had a lovely birthday... Found this poem and thought it very fitting for such a warm, bright and gentle soul as you...

I have heard the Mavis singing
His love song to the morn
I have seen the dewdrop clinging
To the rose just nearly born
But a sweeter song has cheer'd me
At the evening's gentle close
And I've seen an eye still brighter
Than the dewdrop on the rose
'Twas thy voice, my gentle Mary,
And thine artless winning smile
That made this world an Eden,
Bonnie Mary of Argyle

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 12:41AM
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I would like to know why sometimes after a picture is posted the text extends off the side of the screen and you have to scroll sideways to read the entirety of the message. I absolutely hate that. Can any of you "smahties" 'splain it to me?

It's pouring out. I yanked the now defunt geraniums (and the vinca which I typically leave for the winter for "effect") out of the upper windowboxes last night since they'd thawed out. I'm hatching a plan for the greens and the decorations. While following the cur on the golf course yesterday, I noted the groundscrew (who know and like both Wrecks and me) had cut down a lot of white pine... methinks, clippers in hand I may just do some collecting (perhaps I'll take the wheelbarrow).

Mum has an appointment for a haircut and (sort of) manicure this afternoon. I'm less than thrilled about heading out at 4PM, but I'll live and it will give me a chance to either read a magazine I'd never buy or read another chapter in Marie Antionette's biography. Times are getting bad for Louis and her. The economy (thanks to the American Revolution) is tanking, the harvest has been bad and it's nearly June 1789... . I'm struck by the tragedy of her life, wrapped though it was in the trappings of a lavish court life.

Loved the "cohn"husk dolls, EP. Around here, you see alot of apple head dolls... as the apples wither they create wonderfully wrinkled "old" people. Things like that always make me wish I had more "free" time to try my hand at them. Won't be any time soon, I fear.

Time to get "motivatin'"... work awaits, Mum is up, dressed, washed, "wired for sound", and is grazing her way through fruit and tea. The helpmeet will prepare an egg for her before he heads out for work. The "bath lady" is coming this morning, so she will have company before helpmeet returns at lunchtime.

Off to the saltmines, have a pleasant day, my friends.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 5:30AM
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Happy Birthday Mary!

(....Yep, it's 'Mary Rose')

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 6:27AM
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I like writing in pink script, it's very cheering!

Ok, I'll stop. color>size>face>

V, I just took the quiz and was really in the mood for it,
selecting 11 when it asked for number between 1 and 9.
Thanks for a good laugh, I needed it!


    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 6:43AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I like your idea, Cynthia! This pink brightens up a very gray day here. We're due to get an inch of snow overnight.

EP, I think you have given me the answer I was looking for. Perhaps his mother married her uncle after her first husband passed away?

I spent last night studying Ebay. I've decided I really need to sell some of the clutter that I've accumulated over the years. I will start small with a couple of books and then move on to some bigger things. I hope to have my first auction up by the weekend - we'll see! (Who's in charge of nagging me to see if this really happens?)

Hope you all have a cheery day!


    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 9:00AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

It poured rain here last night and it is 60 degrees out as I type this. Incredible. A few AM's ago it was 22.... Crazy, crazy weather. Kitties are loving the warmer mornings though. A little bit of sunshine would be nice about now though. I finally planted a couple things that NEEDED to be in the ground yesterday and am feeling a bit better about things. I don't know if I'll get any more garden cleanup done until spring now but at least the things that needed planting are in the ground.

Mary, so happy you had a great birthday.

Sue is that a Fothergilla in your pic? I love that against the Acer. Lovely photograph.

So many beautiful photos for the birthdays around here. I love it!

Chelone, sorry about the slipper. What a drag.

OK I'm late, late, late and have to get to the gym.

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 9:06AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm off to Buffalo today....flurries here.

Don't know how to do pink...

V, maybe one of the "kids" was adopted?


    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 9:10AM
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Marie.. will be happy for you when all of this legal stuff is settled. Chelone... so good that you have a supportive 'helpmeet' and a little reinforcement. It is tough to be a full time care giver as much as we want and need to be loving and supportive to loved ones. Marian.. good to know you have supportive people around you there and that Nolan is near his 'kin'... for whatever support that might be.... at least you have space and privacy... but you have to work hard to maintain it. We acknowledge the reality that as much as we love our home that neither of us could take care of everything without the other. However for now it is the best choice to keep stabile for as long as possible. Deanne.. I could share a lot about my feelings on 'prescription medicine' but I would probably be 'banned forever' for presenting a 'controversial opinion'... Right now I feel all the 'tranquility' I can maintain is the best thing for myself and everyone else.. we need to try to stay aware. I feel I have always been a little more 'preceptive' than the average person. Someone once told me that it is the way things are 'percieved' ... It would be nice if we could skim thru life trusting everyone and never having any adverse experiences but have learned that 'fate has no favorites' and we can't trust everyone , as Chelone's historical studies are demonstrating. I have also benefited by studying history and feel that everything that happens to anyone and how they handle it will influence the future. Perfect people have not determined the history of the world .. but as Marian continues to remind us there was at least one who tried. Anyway... we feel very bonded with all of you and hope that you will be able to meet your challenges and enjoy your reinforcing qualities. Right now, my 'reinforcing qualities' is trying to do something creative with a lot of left over yarns and materials. Enough is enough of everything. If I feel I'll never use something I try to dispose of it some way that it can be useful and appreciated. I might not be posting for a few days. Tomorrow we plan to attend an event in Tahlequah and get some insight on what other people are doing creatively. I always enjoy being with the people in the cultural environment. It's been a joy to live here and have the experiences only this area can provide. Thinking of all. EP

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 10:08AM
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    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 11:11AM
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Chelone, the pictures are indeed of the farm. I believe the dates are 1965, 1977 and 1992. It is very interesting to see how things change with the trees, building and the house. We should do another to show the gardens :o) I dont know if I want any more. Maybe Ill try a more close picture of each.

V, I have thought about the Ebay selling also, but never get around to it.
We are still trying to do some decluttering. Last night we emptied another dresser and hope to find a home for it. I counted and realized that we have 12 dressers in our house! For 2 people. We have even gotten rid of 3 lately. Can you imagine 15 dressers? Actually we dont have a lot of extra other types of furniture, just dressers.

Lovely pictures for the birthdays. They really brighten up a dreary November day.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 11:37AM
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I am also having some difficulty with posting pictures. The URL code is coming up instead of the photo. That also happened when I tried to post the corn husk scene but when I tried later I succeeded. Have just mailed off a check to renew PictureTrail for another year. Won't have anything different for a while but wanted to share some things I have shared previously with the 'grammies' who haven't been around 'forever'. Maybe later. EP

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 1:08PM
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Oh the rain is coming down in sheets and torrents, has been all day long. At least it isn't cold enough to freeze! I can't imagine how much snow this would be... yikes. The helpmeet filled in the low areas of the driveway with stonedust this morning. The rain ought to help pack it down nicely, huh? :)

Paid the rental on the storage facility on the way home and brought the nice lady at the desk a pecan triangle and a lavender shortbread cookie from the bakery. It's a good day for cookies, she was delighted. She waived the late fee the month I completely spaced out the rent on the grounds that I'm "a good payer". I could probably consolidate the stuff into a smaller unit, come to think of it... eh, some other day. I picked up the 'scrip. for Mum's Metoprolol at the hospital... NOT looking forward to venturing out in the mess to take Mum to the "beauty pahlor". Oh well.

The latest curtain job is finished and I came in well under the time estimate and used less than the estimated yardage, too. I'm pretty good at layouts in general; spending 15-20 minutes fiddling around with alternatives rather than plungeing in "willy-nilly". I didn't feel like moving on the the 7 curtains requiring repair this afternoon, so they'll be my project for the morning. We have rather a lot to get finished before we call it quits for Christmas. :/

I had the same issue with Picturetrail not too long ago, another time it posted the wrong picture for the highlighted url. I repeated the process with the same results; ended up deleting the shot and uploading it again. It worked fine afterwards. Weird...

I called the finest sewing machine mechanic in Maine today but he was out on the road, so I'll call him tomorrow. I need to go see him for a new V belt for the 31-15 and to talk about a new machine for me. I've been hemming and hawing about it for over a year now and it's time. I have some very distinct "wants" (high speed, automatic backtack and undertrimmers, and it must be needlefeed) but other than that I'm open to discussing different manufacturers. I suspect I'll be looking at Juki, Brother, maybe Mitsubishi. It will be interesting to hear his take on the relative merits of what's available. Rest assured, you'll hear ALL about it, lol.

Wondering if Babs. has pulled the trigger on an overlock machine yet? How is MIL?

I'll be thinking of 'bug and the legal wrangling. I hope everything goes smoothly and it's finalized with minimal hassle. That would minimize anxiety and frustration.

Mum has remained in a bit of a fog since returning from my brother's. I THINK she washed the dishes today, though. But she's done some pretty strange things repeatedly. Like getting "ready" for bed and not bothering to put on her nightgown or failing to hook into the nighttime jug. ("Oh, I haven't had to do that for a long time, dear..."). She doesn't remember to close her bedroom door and the thermostat calls for heat continually when she doesn't. She's been dicey on emptying the pouch and has reverted to emptying it down the sink. I'd be fine with that, EXCEPT she doesn't run the tap to flush the pee out of the trap... with predictable olfactory consequences. I have a gnawing worry that once we've passed the legal "look back" period I will be looking into long term care for her. I so hope she "rallys" mentally, but I suspect my fears for her future will be realized. It depresses me immeasurably, but the reality is, I can't quit my job to stay home with her (and I don't WANT to) and ... oh, I don't know. Not a good topic for the "holiday season", is it?

Time to do something "piddly" to keep my mind occupied and accomplish some little thing that needs doin'.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 3:00PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Testing 1 2 3 ?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 6:22AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! No evening posters here? Or was GW down? I'm confused.

Hope everyone is well!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 6:25AM
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Happy December 1st!

If anyone is having trouble with Picture Trail, try Photobucket as an alternative. Me with little knowledge has had no problem.

Marie: Hope all is going well with Buffalo and that everything is settled, SOON!!

Sketchy posting .. hope all are just happily busy :-)

Chelone: Haaaaaaaaaang in there. All supportive thoughts are headed your way.

Today Kyle is going out scouting for his "Druid Bush." This is a huge event in our home and it usually takes no fewer than 5 trips out to find the perfect tree. Decorating is done a piece at a time -- no small fete since we have cathedral ceilings and, therefore, the "bush" can be 14' tall. Of course, it has to be that or wouldn't look right ..... "And how are you going to get a 14' tree back on your two-seater car, hon?" "Minor detail, mom -- I have duct tape." My part of it is to find places we didn't know about before up "nawth" in Massachusetts. Sometimes I look at him and still see a 3' tall kid :-)

Martie, who doesn't know how to do pink, either

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 6:57AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Babs, I have to pop in and say that your tricyrtis picture is absolutely!

Lesson for the day


(b)(font size=6 color=pink)PINK(/b)(/font)

Substitute for the ( ).

Happy December. Enjoy the day. The good news is that we're at the darkest evening point of the year right now-at least here. Sunset sits at 4:20 now til about the 14th then starts to go the other way.

Oh-oh, boss is summoning.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 8:20AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Number 3 on my top 10 list of "Things I DON'T Want to Be Thinking as I Drive to Work": I think I'll miss the telephone pole, but how the heck will I get out of that ditch?

The snow that was supposed to start at midnight did not show up until 5:00 am, so the drive to work was interesting. I did keep the car out of the ditch, but just by the skin of my teeth.

Does anyone here watch Fox & Friends in the morning? I can't get Fox so I have never seen it. A friend of ours will be on tomorrow morning as the latest semi-finalist in a contest sponsored by Jake of Body by Jake fame. Eric's the kind of guy who always has an angle on something, so it will be interesting to see how he does in this contest.

Hope things aren't too "piddly" for Chelone.

Martie, we usually try to keep our tree down to a mere 12'. We started "growing our own" when we first moved in and now harvest a tree every year. So some of them have a lot in common with Charlie Brown, but it's fun!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 8:34AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thinking of SUE meeting with her boss.

One step forward with things in Buffalo, perhaps. Once my sister and brother get papers notarized, the seven month waiting period begins.

Snowsqualls expected all weekend long, a nuisance as we have a large meeting planned for out of town people on saturday.

Errands to run now, later!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 8:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I think we need to start SPRING today. Too quiet and gloomy here!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 1:28PM
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It is snowing.........

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 2:01PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I can do spring!

So where is EVERYONE?

Gloomy is the mood of the day, even though the sun has broken through. The drought contiues to take its toll; today it claimed the life of our holiday party. C'est la vie!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 2:03PM
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I've been having computer trouble lately. Haven't been getting any new e-mails, but narrowed that one down to the fact that hotmail now requires a subscription, but think the other account is working OK because the message I sent myself managed to get through. Yesterday I received one error after another whenever I tried to get on line. It was weird this morning. I figured it was machine since I didn't see any posts after the one I submitted yesterday afternoon. But it seems to be working now... (so far).

I believe I just blew the motor in my car on the way home from work. Temperature guage began jumping around, the car idled very roughly at the stoplight and I careened into the driveway with the car basically overheated. Just talked to the mechanic; my car is, for all intents and purposes toast... not worth as much as the cost of repair. I so DON'T want to go car hunting. Blech.

Hope 'bug's sojourn in scenic Buffalo was worth it.

Right now I have to call the junkyaHd. I'll be back later. Characteristically, the helpmeet thinks this is very exciting... I do not share his zeal at this point in time.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 2:43PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Idylls! I'm digging pink too! :-)

I've been meaning to post for a couple of days, so I'm behind, but here's what I've been meaning to post:

Cynthia... Princess Katie really *deserves* a coat like that - she would be enchanting...don't forget the tiara! :-) I think she needs a Dr. Zhivago look too...are you a good seamstress? :-) I'm with's inspiring and exciting to hear about what you're growing from seed. Think I'll try the cyclamen. I've always wanted a nice patch in the old fairy garden. I vaguely remember reading about a variety that is hardy to my zone and have been meaning to give them a try. How long does it take from seed to flower? While I've grown tons of annuals from seed and cuttings, I really haven't grown any perennials from seed. Think that would be a fun winter project. Any recommendations for a beginner? Perennials that grow easily from seed and mature fairly quickly? BTW, How long will it take your hellebores to get to flowering stage? Speaking of Hellebores, I have niger & orientalis, but looking for a good real red and lost my foetidus a few years ago, but ready to try it again. Do you know of any seed companies that carry selected varieties of hellebore seed and do hellebores come true from seed?

Hi Taryn! Loved hearing about your fun week-end and all the great pics of the kids in the snow...brought back lots of fond memories of my little boy. :-) In fact I have been going through old family albums and feeling a little nostalgic. In fact, last night I played my son's favorite album when he was a child "There's a Hippo in the Bathtub" What a wonderful little album. I smiled and sang all the way through all the while picturing my little three year old dancing with his teddy bear! :-) Okay, so he's 25...I can still pretend; can't I? LOL!

Speaking of great kid pics... T that Jamie is too adorable! Must be hard to *ever* say no to him and gotta feeling hes got grandpa wrapped around his little fingerhow could he not? LOL!

Mary so tickled for you and the family about Mum coming to visit. What a lovely family you have and really enjoy hearing about the day to day goings on...looking forward to seeing the new guest room too! :-)

Michelle you did a wonderful jobI love the colorsit feels so warm and inviting

Hi Babs great to see you pop in...I *love* your birthday card to Mary. Anxious to hear and keeping my fingers crossed about the possible new career?!? :-)

And EP I *love* the beautiful sandwich loaf! Think that would be the *perfect* thing for a garden party. If I do a garden club tour this year that will definitely make the menu! Thanks for the link! Beautiful photos of the enchanted place too!

Eden your Christmas decorations are so charming! What a magical home you have made! :-)

Marian I've been drooling over all you've been whipping up in that new roaster. It's been fun hearing about all your delicious meals. I really ate too much this holiday - especially with the in-laws staying here. Well, they will be going home tomorrow I *think*, and then I will have to get back on track. How do you manage to eat so well and still stay slim? That Amaryllis is *gorgeous*! I love that shade of pink. Glad you and Tim had a nice visit.

Sue You reminded me how much I enjoy walking and how therapeutic it is...In fact, I was so inspired, I had intended to walk this a.m. before work, but we are having thunderstorms, so I guess I will try tonight instead. Hope today went smoothly at work.

Deanne... you look fabulous and I *love* your skirt...very feminine and flirty in a sexy but sweet way. I have a similar skirt and I just love it! Love the way it bounces and floats when I walk! :-)

So that's as far as I got the other day, but today I'm not working and finally had a chance to post it... any of you know if it is possible to post *29* Pics in one post...a separate post of course! :-) Would like to post special thoughts to the Idylls! Or maybe I should post it as link to my PT album? But I don't know how to make my PT album accessible to others and only accessible for the albums I want to share? What to do?

We've got that sn.. here by the way! Oh well, it is already melting off the sidewalks and I have done nothing today but put together I'm off...Hope you all have a great day!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 3:04PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Bummer Chelone! :-( I was just checking my post when I saw yours...hope the day goes better from this moment forward.

BTW I've been meaning to tell you how much I appreciated your post and your advice about my dad. Yesterday my mom gave me an old lined windbreaker that my dad wore all the time! :-) Worried though that I'll take all the "sniff" out of it though! :-) Thanks again for such a thoughtful idea...

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 3:09PM
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Wheeeeee! Still snowing here and it cut off my internet connection (snow sticking on the satellite dish). I finally went outside, hooked up a garden hose and blasted that snow off of the dish and *voila!* I have internet again. :oD

How much snow? Well I bet there is about 1/2 inch so far! LOL Yep, half an inch.......maybe an inch if I were a fisherman and stretched the truth a tad. ;o) Very little considering it has been snowing for a couple hours. Oh well, it looks pretty on the trees and as it falls. I have Christmas music playing on the television (Sirius Holiday music channel) and I'm playing with some sewing......all makes for a 'nice' afternoon.

Michelle, what was the yellow flower in your photo? It was a beautiful photo and a lovely flower. I feel like I should know what it was......but no name comes to mind. (your name was suppose to be in dark pink.....doesn't look like dark pink to me) ;o)

So many beautiful birthday cards! I feel like I should mention each and every one of them.....they deserve recognition!

I just glanced outside and it is still snowing. I'm going to go make some cocoa and pretend that there is nothing stressful happening anywhere for as long as that cup of cocoa lasts.

My best,

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 4:37PM
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    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 4:51PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Gray and gloomy day here - the forecast this morning was calling for 2-4" of snow, then it changed to calling for just flurries and now it's back to snow but no prediction on amount. I expect we won't get much (cross my fingers...) Can I just hibernate until about March 1?! :-)

We did some cooking this afternoon - a new curry and then played with Deanne's cookie recipe. We made a number of changes, including adding some canola oil. We used a mix of oatmeal and Red River cereal, which definitely improved the texture over straight oatmeal in the first attempt. They turned out much better for me this time, although I made the cookies too big so one of them is very filling! I think next time I'd use regular raisins instead of golden and add lots more raisins and dates.

I seemed to have missed Michelle's pictures that everyone is talking about - were they on this thread or the last one?

Chelone what does the 'look back' period you refer to mean? A new car for winter...? Probably best for the old one to have died now and not in the middle of a snow storm!

Deanne - here's what we did to your recipe:

5 Grain Cookies - modified

¾ Cup uncooked Red River cereal
¾ oatmeal
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. all spice
½ tsp. baking
1 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup unsweetened applesauce - made from Granny Smith apples
¼ cup canola oil
3 T. egg whites
¾ cup chopped almonds
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup chopped dates

Heat oven to 375F. Lightly coat cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Combine dry ingredients and mix well.

Stir together egg whites, maple syrup, oil, vanilla and applesauce. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients mixing thoroughly then stir in raisins, dates and nuts.

Place rounded spoonfuls of blended ingredients onto cookie sheet. Bake approximately 14 minutes.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 4:54PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, you had TWO emails from me since Buffalo. Perhaps they are lost in cyberspace.

The caging of plants is DONE as of today and I should now be able to relax a bit...unless I think of the other 10 or so items that are worrisome. I need to buy groceries, feed DH's students dinner one evening soon, have the French Club dinner here too, spend a day at a meeting Saturday, and still figure out how to pay for the 2 cats getting spayed and how buy a new mower...The washing machine still doesn't work, the toilet in the back room is still not replaced...and I let these things all agitate me.

That is why spring seems like such a good idea. Everything is easier when there are flowers and foliage about! OH! By the way, DS has returned in one piece from his 4 continent 17 day tour [with a woman in each port... ;-)]

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 5:03PM
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Found one of them, 'bug!

Woody, "look back" is a relatively recent move by government to prevent family from last minute transfers of valuable assets OUT of an elderly person's estate for purposes of "protecting" them from seizure and sale to fund long term care. Presently, it is 3 years from date of transfer to fulfillment of "look back", once that time frame is fulfilled the assets are no long "fair game" with respect to sale for the funding of long-term care. This is terribly important for those with elderly parents who hold large amounts of liquid assets or LAND/REAL ESTATE. In effect, those who do not transfer the deeds to family members or establish trusts cannot "shield" those assets when/if they require long-term (read expensive) care. Many people think this is sleazy, but the reality is the wealthy do it by establishing trusts. But many elderly people have NO clue about the grim realities of what will happen to their estates in the event of long-term care. Mum sure didn't, and she was HORRIFIED when she learned what was going to happen to the family property. This is particularly difficult when relativey low income elders own substantial tracts of land in "trendy" communities; a big deal in many farming communities, too.

Mercifully, she is doing better today. I'm still concerned, but she was much more lucid and being with her over the weekend may help more. But it's still a huge worry for me and I'm overcome with guilt when I actually consider the realities of what I'm contemplating. I have the added worry of her urostomy and the apparent inability of staff in any facility (hospitals to "skilled" nursing facilities) to maintain it properly.

I cleaned out the car today. Called the junk yard guy, but have been told to research DONATING it? to whom, for what purpose? anyone heard of this? Help? I will take Daddy's "bad ride" to work tomorrow and will hit the local dealership on the way home. My borother is on the prowl, too. I have the weekend to scare up "wheels" and cash to pay for it. So while it's inconvenient, it ain't the end of the world. Things could be worse... (repeat after me... things could be worse). This WILL be a funny story in a month/so and a pretty good sense of humor will carry me through it. I'm better now. Thanks!

Ei, I'm so glad you have a windbreaker of your father's. I know it matters that you will lose his scent RIGHT NOW, but just having something that he wore and is familiar is comforting when the smell is gone. Have you gotten a really special ornament for the tree, too? I was feeling pretty low when I got home today and it was so nice to know something I wrote (but had nearly forgotten!) has made a difference for you. Made me feel good and reminded me that my present slate of worries is really small potatoes in the BIG picture. Thanks. :)

(just)T, great snowy shots! I laughed at the vision of you blasting the dish with water to regain "connection". LOL. Do you ever get enough snow for your grandson to make a snowman?

The computer problem seemed to be directly related to a download suggested by the Juki site... not necessary to view their offerings, but I didn't know that! BIL bailed me out once again. The greatest sewing machine mechanic in Maine is going to contact me with prices tomorrow, the link will show you what I'm loooking at (the one with all the features, thank you very much!).

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 6:35PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good evening!

It poured rain here too yesterday, but better than the frozen alternative!

T, your snowy ride sounds awful - I've had many like it. I have a long commute anyway because of traffic, and the snow just makes it more harrowing. Glad you stayed out of the ditch! Do you get much snow out where you live?

Ei, some perennials that are easy from seed (for me anyway) are coneflowers, columbine, delphinium and heuchera - I winter sowed them, which means sowing them and sticking them outdoors around January-February for their cold period. Check out the FAQ's on the winter sowing forum.

Chelone, bummer about your car! Car shopping is no fun, glad you have help with that. Charities like the Special Olympics and the Kidney Foundation take vehicles as donations, but as best I know they have to be in running order. Check the classifieds in your local paper. I've been thinking about you and your mother - what a hard bunch of decisions you are facing. I watched my mother go through it with my grandmother. Nana was always very independent, and even after my grandfather passed away she wanted to stay in her own home. She was always mentally sharp, but after a car accident she became increasingly frail. She lived alone a half-hour away from any family, and my mother had a lot of worry taking care of her, shuttling back and forth between Nana's home and her own. Nana was a proud woman and wouldn't ask for help, and often resented it when it was offered, which made my mother feel bad. After a while Nana had a stroke, and the people in the rehab center told my mother that she could not live alone any more. My mother decided that a nursing home was the best alternative, since if Nana moved in with her she would be alone part of the day. My mother felt guilty too, but she went to visit Nana in "the home" every day, and I honestly think it improved their relationship. They were able to return to being mother and daughter, not caregiver and patient.

Sue, thanks for the quick lesson in color. I was wondering how you guys did that!

Well, DS is standing behind me waiting patiently for me to read a book to him - tonite is a story about a coyote!



    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 7:43PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Chelone - thanks for the explanation. I don't think we have anything equivalent to that - but I'm not sure... We're at the age where the elderly parent issues are popping up among many of our friends and may be for us too as Randy's parents age - his mother's mental state is starting to decline and that is going to be a problem as she's a very proud and independant woman who does not even consider herself a 'senior' although she just turned 80! My mother died before there was any need to consider things like long-term care but she had a very sensible and down-to-earth attitude and had told both my sister and I that, if she ever got to the point of not being able to care for herself, she wanted to go to a nursing home. She had looked after her mother and both her grandmothers and did not want us to have to do the same. It also may have helped that she had worked in nursing homes so they were familiar places to her.

I bet that nursing home staff are more experienced with the urostomy than staff in a regular hospital as nursing home staff likely encounter them more often.

The issue of seniors and assets sounds a lot like the property tax issues around here. A few years ago, the province went to market value assessment for property taxes and that has caused a lot of issues for older people on fixed incomes in areas where property values have risen substantially. Parts of our town have been hard hit by market value assessment. Our assessment for next year is up by about 30%! In theory, the actual taxes wouldn't necessarily rise that much because, with a higher assessment base, the tax rate could drop and keep the tax increase to a lower amount. Of course, it never seems to quite work out that way....

That's some fancy sewing machine!

T - very pretty snowy picture. The first snow that coats the trees is always the prettiest snowfall I think. But then it needs to fast-forward to March 1...:-)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 8:29PM
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Why thanks, Sue!

Sorry I haven't been here but I'm doing life right

Doing a deep house cleaning for Aj's bday party on Sat. He turned TEN yesterday.

Started a new activity as lunch/playground monitor at Aj's school...will it be fun? hmm.

Eden-yes I will get to work from home with this new job prospect-that's why I am going for it.
Chelone while it's a good paying job-it isn't one of those extremely ritzy boutiques. The fact that good sample makers are hard to come by is to my benefit;I can practically name my own price: )

Gotta go clean...For Saturday I made creamy mushroom soup from baby portabellos and porcini 'shrooms and I've been working on my marinade and glaze for the turkey I will roast. I wanted to do a nontraditional turkey recipe so I'm making Glazed Bourbon turkey. I'll marinate the meat in a bourbon marinade then glaze it as it roasts. Also made some chutney(never made it before). The first try and my own comination of ingredients(and the kitchen sink) flopped or so I thought-BUT it's delicious after a day of marrying flavors! I also made a backup using peaches,blackberry preserves and shallots,etc. Need to make a bday cake...if Aj were a girl I'd make that cute purse from an idyll or so back; ) Instead he wants Harry Potter-something with a wand and glittery sprinkles-easier than other years(yeehaaa)

This time of year is always hard for me to idyll since I get stuck between Thanksgiving day and AJ's bday.

OH AND I have managed to buy all the kids gifts online with almost no shipping!! I figured I am saving gas by shopping online too. So besides the aforementioned stuff Chris has also been taking up my idyll time running his analysis for his dissertation on 'my' computer(I gotta share,right?[he's laughing right now because his employer bought us this computer lol]'s OK I'll let him use it then; )

I haven't read anything idyllic so bear with me if something big happened recently and I haven't seemed to notice...Luckily the big bday pics are pretty hard to miss-Mary I hope it was good. Say hi to mum for me; )

Eek! Chris is demanding the computer...(not really-he saw me type that!)


    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 9:54PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Chelone! No I havent found a Christmas Ornament yet, but Im keeping my eyes open...I just know the perfect one will jump right out at me. :-) I always enjoy your posts and find the things you say interesting and valuable. BTW, been meaning to posted "Nooks of Grannies"...Is that the *real* saying; not "nooks & crannies"? Is there a story behind that? Been wondering ever since you posted it...

I'm posting a link to a story I heard the other day on NPR (couldn't find it at their website but found it at this other). Scroll down to where it reads "There is no Lord of the (Fire) Flies", then click on to where you see the "listen" icon. It's all about fireflies and ants and I found it terribly fascinating. In fact I was mesmerized and continued to sit in my car even after arriving home so that I could hear the rest of the story. Seems there are these fireflies in Thailand that light up in synchrony, so that when they are in a tree the whole tree lights up at once, then goes black, and then lights up again - just like a Christmas tree (there are a couple of pics at the site too). I was telling my mom about it and she said it happened once to her while living in Tennessee. One night she looked out her window, down the valley and up to the hill and she said the whole valley was lit up with fluorescent light from the fireflies! She said it was beautiful and something she will never forget. But the part of the story that *really* fascinated me was about the ants. Said to have zero brains, but when working as a unit they can achieve anything. I was totally amused, but then you guys may not find it all that fascinating...I am easily amused! :-) Also have a bit of a soft spot for ants. When I was a little girl I *loved* the little black ants and would pretend they were my little family and I would play with them for hours on end (when your poor ya gotta use your imagination) LOL! So, maybe I'm the only one who finds ants interesting...but I thought it was a cool story. BTW, you can listen to the story without staying at the website *and* you can push the story forward by sliding the little button.

Also wanted to mention a movie I watched the other day called "Millions"...has anybody else seen it? I really enjoyed it...Here's the review:

Also, been thinking of you today Michelle. I saw on the news how they had a snowstorm in Indiana with some pretty bad accidents...hope that wasn't anywhere near you. BTW, been meaning to tell you I sympathized with your horrendous ride home in that snowstorm. That happened to me once while going with a girlfriend to Michigan. You're afraid to move forward cause you can't see *anything* and you're afraid to stop because someone down the road behind you might not see you and ram right into you...scary, scary, scary. Believe me, I cried when it happened to me too and never want to go through something like that again, so I totally understand!

T guess we're sharing the same weather...very clever with the Satellite dish! A cup of cocoa sounds yummy! :-)

Well, I guess I better be heading out. The other day I mentioned the children's album that my son use to listen to "There's a Hippo in my Bathtub"? It really is a lovely children's album and I listened to it again today (I *told* you I was easily amused) anyway, I recommend it to anyone who has kids under the age of 6 or *grandkids*...hint, hint, Michelle, Eden, T!:-) Decided I would say goodnight tonight in honor of the kiddies...

The Teddy Bears' Picnic
Words by Jimmy Kennedy, Music by John W. Bratton

If you go down in the woods today
You're sure of a big surprise
If you go down in the woods today
You'd better go in disguise

For every bear that ever there was
Will gather there for certain because
Today's the day that teddy bears have their picnic

Picnic time for teddy bears
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today
Watch them catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday
See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout
They never have any cares
At six o'clock their mommys and daddys
will take them home to bed
because they're tired little teddy bears

Every teddy bear who's been good
Is sure of a treat today
There's lots of marvelous things to eat
And wonderful games to play
Beneath the trees where nobody sees
They'll hide and seek as long as they please
Cause that's the way that teddy bears have their picnic

Picnic time for teddy bears
The little teddy bears are having a lovely time today
Watch them catch them unawares
And see them picnic on their holiday
See them gaily gad about
They love to play and shout
They never have any cares
At six o'clock their mommys and daddys
will take them home to bed
Because they're tired little teddy bears

Lullaby Written By: Johannes Brahms
Lullaby, and good night,
With pink roses bedight (bedecked),
With lilies o'erspread,
Is my baby's sweet head.
Lay you down now, and rest,
May your slumber be blessed!
Lay you down now, and rest,
May thy slumber be blessed!
Lullaby, and good night,
You're your mother's delight,
Shining angels beside
My darling abide.
Soft and warm is your bed,
Close your eyes and rest your head.
Soft and warm is your bed,
Close your eyes and rest your head.
Sleepyhead, close your eyes.
Mother's right here beside you.
I'll protect you from harm,
You will wake in my arms.
Guardian angels are near,
So sleep on, with no fear.
Guardian angels are near,
So sleep on, with no fear.
Lullaby, and sleep tight.
Hush! My darling is sleeping,
On his sheets white as cream,
With his head full of dreams.
When the sky's bright with dawn,
He will wake in the morning.
When noontide warms the world,
He will frolic in the sun.

P.S. Babs the job prospect sounds very exciting and very cool that you will be able to work from home...I wish you Good Luck and a Very Happy Birthday to AJ!!!

Good Night All!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 11:02PM
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Busy, busy, busy this morning!

Coffee made
Catbox mined
Morning ablutions/dressed
Awaken Mum, changed urostomy, disinfected jug
Water, fruit, tea ready for Mum
Check written for "bath lady"
Cats fed

I have a lot to do today, yet! Will be making two big windbreak curtains for a store front today (will be CLEAN), have to get the # for the guy who hauls dead cars away FREE, have 2 places to visit to start the replacement process. Have to go to the town hall to get the application for a replacement title as several searches have been unable to unearth it... DRAG.

Then, I have to set a time to get together with the greatest sewing machine mechanic in Maine to really work out the details of the options for the new machine that will best suit my needs. And also the feet I will need (left and right cording feet, possibly a scroll hemmer/2. I'm also considering the addition of a binding assembly for the new machine as well as the walking foot machine I already own. I am actually looking forward to that! even though it represents a lot of money. But, it is unlikely that I will be "going back to school" to prepare for a "real job" at the advanced age of (nearly) 47. ;)

I received a wonderful call yesterday afternoon from a designer friend of mine. She is going to reupholster her couch and asked me if I'd make the cushions for her. We had the nicest talk and I can't wait to see her... she had me laughing about the car situation in no time flat. I am also going to hit her up to use her "to the trade discount" for the purchase of the drapery fabric I want to use in "the boudoir".

Haven't read much about poor Marie Antionette in the past few nights, but have to get back to it... the storming of the Bastille is looming large on the horizon and things are about to take a major dive for the Bourbon dynasty.

I have to crank up Daddy's "bad ride" and get going.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 5:41AM
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I've been a lot less than busy busy busy this morning.

Made coffee.
Told dogs & cats to go back to sleep.

Admired and appreciated T's evergreens in snow.

Then I thought maybe there was an elk or a baby deer hiding in her photo so I took my glasses off and squinted a lot. That reminded me that I need eye exam in December. Most important because I way over funded my HCRP this year. So in addition to getting my regular annual new glasses, I will get a pair of 'reading only' glasses to get rid of the excess dollars and be able to inspect photos from the northwest without getting nose prints on screen.

On the subject of money, 401K max for 2006 is 15K, and the catch-up for over 50s is another 5K.

That's as far as I've gotten today. I am thinking about getting the box of broken down cardboard boxes out to the curb (it's paper day), but there's a cat in my lap and the coffee is so good :) Dunkin Donuts Sue! They are having 2 for $10.99 sale for the holidays so I stocked up.

There is something hanging over my head and maybe you all can help. I have decided my Christmas present is not having to travel to New England. I hate traveling. I hate leaving my animals. How do I do this without totally upsetting my sister?

By the way, for those of you who have Comcast, there is an issue right now with sending email to hotmail or MSN accounts from Comcast. Just thought I'd mention that as for two days I was getting 'denied' message when I tried to reply to a friend who has hotmail account. This may be restricted to Eudora based email based on web search of the problem, but message on Comcast site doesn't specify that.

Chelone, my sister's car had a stroke a month ago and she was in your spot and very dismayed. But once she got her brand new car it turned out that 'pre-winter' is a wonderful time to have new wheels. Check with your animal rescue groups, mine accepts donations, and the value is tax-deductible. They tow the car then sell it for parts or whatever. It doesn't have to be running.

Ok, I have to get back to do 'nothing' with my morning :-)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 7:27AM
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Good Morning, I just had to move a car to let David out and had to scrap snow off of it first. Yuck! I don't like snow. It's too cold and wet. Yuck! I'm looking at it as 90 days until I can get out and start gardening again. That doesn't seem as long as 3 months to me. I have all the Christmas decorations up now. I've been working on them for the last couple of days off and on, with Bella's help of course.

Ei, what precious pictures. Thanks for sharing those. They brought a smile to my face. My oldest daughter, Jenni, collected teddy bears when she was little. She must have had at least a hundred or so. We saved the really special ones and gave away the rest when she got older. Is the album by Anne Murray? I'll look for it when I'm out shopping. I almost always have music playing for Bella. We play childrens albums, show tunes and classical stuff. I got out the Christmas books yesterday and read her The Grinch and one of my favorites, Jolly Old Santa Claus. It's so much fun having a little one around for Christmas again.

Babs, I echo Sue on your tricyrtis photo. I loved it and made a note to plant some coleus near mine next year. It sounds like you're having fun preparing for AJ's party. Don't forget to take pictures of the cake. I always enjoy so much seeing your creations. The menu sounds delicious too.

Marie, I totally agree that things breaking around the house are less agravating if you're not trapped inside with them. Hang in there! It will be spring before we know it. At least that's what I keep telling myself, lol.

I think I'm going to borrow T's idea and go make myself a cup of hot chocolate. Then I'll sit and look at the Christmas tree lights while I drink it and maybe pet a kitty. Have a good day everyone.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 7:59AM
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Ei.. you just made my morning. I sang 'Teddy Bear's Picnic' to our grand daughter (still do). I printed out the lyrics and will share it with her along with photos of our grand children and their Teddy Bears.These have been living here for quite a few years. The life sized one was recently donated to a good cause. Nice to see PictureTrail being cooperative this morning. How do you like the magazine rack Partner designed and made for me when he remodeled? There are so many personal touches we love about our home.
We planned to go to Tahlequah yesterday but had other commitments so we are going today. Planning a fun day so will look in later to read the daily news. Hope everyone has a good one. EP

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 8:12AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 8:18AM
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Cynthia, if you figure how to break the news to your sister without upsetting her I'd love to know how. Every other year we must trek up to my parent's place for Christmas and this is one of those years. I love my family but being stuck in a house with 14 other people and 4 dogs in the middle of winter is not my idea of fun. I'm not a traveler either, only for very special exceptions like Idyllunions, lol. I like to sleep in my own bed at night. The best I've been able to do is get the time down to being gone for only one night. We leave at 5am on Christmas morning, get there around 10am and leave the next morning to come home. I still dread it but that makes it tolerable and the cats aren't alone for very long that way. It also satisfies my mom and dad that I made an appearance. Sorry,I don't have any suggestions to make it easier for you. I can only commiserate.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 8:20AM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Good morning

Thanks once more for the rest of my lovely cards.

Cynthia - would your sister come to you and do something special together, perhaps you could split the cost of her ticket?

Snowed under here literally and figuratively but wanted to share something fab.

DH entered a competition with United Airlines submitting some of his photos and he's won a weeks vacation at a luxury resort in Hawaii for 2!! I can barely think about it I'm so excited.

Off to scrape snow off the car while dreaming about tropical beaches.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 8:49AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

G-g-g-ood m-m-m-orning! Only 11F this morning which is well below normal for early December. This morning it hit me that I have no trip, however short, planned for a warm location this winter. With the cold settling in so fast, I may have to work on plans to change that.

Last night we ventured out in the cold to enjoy Ladies' Night on the Square. MIL, DSIL, her DD, my DD and I started with dinner at the new crepe restaurant. It was quite delicious, and the girls fell in love with Frank (pronouced like the French franc) who is handsome and has a lovely French accent. (And an American wife.) Then we moved on to the stores. I bought a couple of small gifts, we browsed a lot, we munched on the goodies offered in the various stores and ran into a few friends. Although it was bitter cold and we had to walk into the wind to get back to the car, a good time was had by all!

Saw a woman I used to work with who has always had "interesting" relationships with the men in her life. She is divorced from her first husband and now separated from number two. The latest twist is that #1 and #2 have now moved in with each other! Many years ago when she was newly divorced, she was dating a somewhat wealthy guy who bought her a very expensive jacket (which she declined as too expensive a gift given the newness of their relationship.) The ex was jealous and showed up with a less-expensive jacket that she had admired at a local department store. A month later, she found out that the ex had asked the store to put it on HER store charge card! Last night, she was trying to interest one of her sons in my DD, but I think DD should avoid the men in this family! ;)

Chelone, sorry to hear about the blown engine. I did that once upon a time. At least we had been planning to replace the car in a couple of months and had decided what we wanted to get.

Also, I understand your thoughts about eventually having to move your mother to a care facility. My mother used to always "joke" that she didn't want to end up in a nursing home, but when her cancer became advanced, leaving her in her home was not practical (she almost broke her arm first thing in the morning and sat in a chair in pain until I arrived as scheduled at 1:00 pm because she didn't want to be a bother!) She was adamant that she didn't want to move into my house because it was too far from her friends, and I had two small kids so moving in with her was not an option. There wasn't much else to do besides a nursing home. :( It was tough and I still feel somewhat bad about it, but the options were limited...

Just noticed cat tracks in the fresh snow outside my window.

Cynthia, I would vote for sooner rather than later so that your sister doesn't feel like she passed up other possible plans. And I would couch it as "This year I really don't feel like travelling..." And then I would be sure to get a very thoughtful present for her.

The greyhound photos were very interesting. Good to see that the trainer has such obvious affection for his charges. I love the photo of the puppy embrace.

Ei, I enjoyed the illustrated song this morning!

I think I shall do some work while my mind thinks of warm places that I probably won't see this winter...


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 9:38AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Mary, you posted while I was composing my lengthy post.

How fabulous! Can I go with?!?!? Pretty please?

V., who is jealous

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 9:41AM
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V & Mary, You're right, I need to bring it up soon. Thanks for your pointers. This is the regular family event so it will not affect her plans in anyway. I just know that my other relatives will accept it, but my sister may be upset...and I want to upset her as little as possible. The entire family is in New England, so coming here is not an option (though I did suggest that for a few years!)

Hawaii Mary!!! That is a wonderful surprise and gives you something to look forward to this winter.

I see Sue has the TGIF all decorated, so her house must be all festive too.

Back to work! Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 11:09AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Just a quick drop in here. I've almost finished ALL my Christmas shopping and am feeling a huge weight off my shoulders. The internet is a terrific thing. I much prefer shopping from the comfort of my kitchen with a cup of coffee at my elbow rather than fighting the crowds at the malls, waiting in line for hours etc. I've found that if I do this before the end of the first week of December 99% of the stuff I want to order is in stock and it arrives in a timely fashion.

Eileen, how great to 'see' you today! Loved your post.

Cynthia, I'm afraid that no matter how you tell her your sister will probably be a bit upset that you aren't coming. Do tell her that you love her lots and lots but you just can't come and you can't leave your furbie family. If she can't understand that she probably does not understand you and is putting her needs in front of yours. For years I've wanted to just hunker down here at home with Doug and DD drinking mimosas and lazing about with the kitties. I've never found a way to do this without totally alienating my entire family.

Mary!!!! Hawaii!!! I'm so jealous. Good for you. That will be just wonderful.

Babs, great photo! I'm looking forward to seeing the new birthday cake. ~~ I really wish you could come here and do a 'deep' house cleaning when you are done with yours. I'm lost all momentum on that front.

V. love the idea of 'Ladie's Night on the Square'. How fun. I wish we had something like that here.

Eden, I'm so with you on wanting to sleep in my own bed at night. After we put this addition on the house I have zero desire to travel anymore. I could very easily become a recluse. Also like you though I can't see missing an Idyllunion!~~ Good for you with getting the Christmas decorations up. I think Doug and I will be doing that over this coming weekend.

Bug, I found the most DELIGHTFUL charminbg houseplants I've ever seen. They are clematis! Aparently these have been developed to bloom indoors for several months. I'm going to grab a couple pics of these sweet things when I get the camera out. You must have these. What fun to grow these beauties under lights in the winter and especially for someone who is a clematis addict. You must have these. I wish there was a way to send one to you. It would definitely brighten your winter days.

Woody, cookie recipe sounds great but I can't use the oil in mine. Glad you found some substitutions that worked for you.

Hi Wendy, nice to hear from you. Are you planning on coming to Sue's Christmas party??? that would be so great if you could then there would be five Idyllers at the party. How is your foot doing these days?

OK short has turned into long and I've got to get to that magazine article that was due yesterday. (Yes it is late yet again).

Have a great day

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 1:49PM
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New ear decorations from Cherokee Craft Fair

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 4:09PM
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The car saga is perking up. I didn't find anything today, BUT, my boss' husband is whiz mechanic and regularly goes to auctions... will be looking for a likely prospect on my behalf on Tuesday unless I find something between now and then. My brother is also calling in a few favors from his friends in the automotive business... . I have decided I'd like a smallish wagon (Biggie Boy can't fit comfortably on a seat, ANY seat, and needs a carpeted deck for real comfort on the road). I prefer automatics and would like something with 6 cylinders, maybe some "toys" (cruise, power doorlocks/windows), but won't have a tantrum if those aren't present. I'm too cheap to spring for a PT Cruiser, but I really like the looks of them... ;)

The sewing machine I linked above has been discontinued. In its place they offer something a bit more updated. I gave the greatest sewing machine mechanic in Maine the go ahead to order it a few minutes ago. New to the model is the inclusion of what had previously been an "option", when programmed, the machine will automatically lift the presser foot when you've finished the seam. I added the "low bobbin" option; when the bobbin is about to run out, the machine emits a warning beep. I have wanted one of these machines for over 20 years now; and I'm amazed at how the price of the technology has declined in that time.

So, Babs., will you be making samples that will be sent to off-shore factories for production runs (where someone else will do the assembly procedure for the line), or will YOU be responsible for the procedures that will dictate production runs? what's the verdict on the equipment? Will you be buying industrial machinery or going with home models since you're not faced with the necessity of speed required for efficiency in limited production runs? If industrial, will you opt for used (I swear by it) or new equipment? This sounds like a wonderful opportunity, I'm excited for you. I made samples for a lady in the mid-'80s; it was a TOTAL blast (esp. seeing the garments professionally modelled in very slick advertising layouts!).

Years ago, the helpmeet used to have a comedy act. Included in it was the performance of the "Teddy Bear Picnic", and the theme from Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. He always performed them "straight" and nearly every bar full of drunk/stoned patrons would smile and sing along. To this day, he can sing both! LOL (I can't!)

I'm thinking about getting some decorating done this weekend. Not sure it will happen, but I'm definitely THINKING about it... . I'd love to get the greens in the windowboxes before they freeze solid (easier, that way). I'll try to haul the lights down from the attic and give them the "test" plug in.

Thanks for the insight on "donating" my junker!

Cynthia, no matter how you handle it, it will be tough for your sister to hear you won't be coming. But be loving and firm. AND STAY HOME. We laughingly joke that our surviving family shares a similar level of dysfunction, so nobody gets their knickers in a twist if a face is "missing". I quit driving for holidays YEARS ago, substituting invitations, instead. Sometimes there's a pretty full house, other times not. Either way, it's OK with me. You speak warmly of your sister and I suspect she'll understand... your father?

As chauffeure, I must now take my leave and collect the helpmeet. Later!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 4:44PM
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I made it to Sioux Falls for the car appointment yesterday. Snowy roads on the way up, they cleared off during the day, but then it was foggy on the way back. I did have a nice day shopping. No crowds at all. 785.00 for the car, ouch!

It is snowing again today. So thats Monday, Wed. and Fri. this week that it has snowed. In South Dakota there are 17000 customers still without power. The temp dipped to -10 which is quite a problem for those people.

The house is decorated, but all the boxes and totes are still sitting around. No outside decorating is done, but then we don't do much.

T, I don't know what the yellow flower is. It was one of my photos from the Dallas Arboretum.

Woody, since I had my pictures on the beginning of the post, I took them down.

More comments later, its busy at work.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 4:44PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hawaiian Charm

Silvery light, a pathway bright
The moon in a starlit sky
Soft summer breeze, languorous trees
Hawaiian evening is nigh

On beaches of white in the silent night
Waves croon in a soft lullaby

Blue holoku, ukulele or two
Gold hula moon on high
Softly croon a kanaka tune
Hawaiian evening is nigh

Coconut palms, lingering charms
A smile, Hawai`i, a sigh
Bending so low, that I but know
"Aloha" our evening passed by Silvery light, a pathway bright
The moon in a starlit sky
Soft summer breeze, languorous trees
Hawaiian evening is nigh

(cheated with this one...that's actually sunrise)

Song Of Old Hawai`i
There is a melody
Forever haunting me
A thousand time retold
A theme that's never old

There's the perfume
Of a million flowers
Clinging to the heart of old Hawai`i

There's a rainbow
Following the showers
Bringing me a part of old Hawai`i

There's a silver moon
A symphony of stars
There's a hula tune and
The hum of soft guitars

There's the tradewind
Sighing in the heaven
Singing me a song of old Hawai`i

Oh Mary...I'm so excited for you...been reminiscing about our trip to Hawaii and fantasizing about going back again. What a beautiful, relaxing, spirit-restoring place and I *love* the native Hawaiians, such gentle, calm people! I've also added a link for you to listen to some Hawaiian music and get you in the mood (though I know you hardly need to get in the mood...LOL)! I hope you have a wonderful trip...I'm just so excited for you...Can me and V tag along! :-)

Wendy Meant to thank you yesterday for the perennial seed suggestions. I'm excited to hear that delphinium grows easily from seed. I have some seed from Blackmore & Langdon that's kind of old, but I stored it well and am going to give it a try.

Eden Yes, that is Anne's a wonderful little album with sweet songs, I'm sure Bella would love it! Paul & I would play it all the time when he was little and dance around to the music and march through the house with his teddy bears too!...lots of fun memories. The Grinch is one of my favorites too...isn't that little Cindy Lou adorable! :-) But I always felt so sorry for the poor dog...LOL! I bet it *is* a lot of fun having a little one around at Christmas...every thing is *magic* to them... I do miss that!

EP the magazine rack is beautiful...hubby did a great job. I smiled when I read about "loving your home because it's designed around you"...that's one of the great things about living in a home for a long time, it becomes *you*! :-) Your teddy bear looks a lot like the one my son is sleeping on in that one pic. I use to collect teddy bears (young Paul too), but I've given most of them away to nieces and nephews. Except of course my son's "Bedtime Care Bear" (he doesn't know I kept it...plan to give it back to him when he has a child) and then the black and white panda bear you see in the pic next to the *real* teddy bear Spike. That Shuco panda bear was given to me by my grandma when I was very little and stayed with her one summer. It was *her* bear before she passed it on to me. It's very special to me and has been my constant companion for over 40 years. I also kept the Steiff bear that my hubby gave me when we were dating! ;-) Other than those I'm bear-less! :-)

V Let me know how Ebay works out for you...I've been toying with the idea myself. Have some items here that I will never use. Would particularly like to sell a power point presentation system that I have never used. BTW, have you given any more thought to selling your handmade jewelry or wine charms on Ebay? Think you would do great. The charms you gave the girls were just beautiful!

Well, guys and girls, I must be off. I need to shower and get ready for a small "girls" party tonight at my girlfriend Sue's.

TTYL! Have a wonderful night all! Ei

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 4:51PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oh EP those earrings are *gorgeous*!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 4:52PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

DD's school had a blood drive today. They were just about done drawing her blood when she announced that she thought she was going to faint, and did. The nurse told her later that most people don't announce that they're going to pass out.

But she said she'll still sign up for the next blood drive!

V. dreaming of Blue Hawaii

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 7:49PM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Good evening

Ei - thank you for the lovely Hawaiian photos and song! I also loved your teddy bear pictures - so touching.

Deanne - congratulations on finishing your shopping. I've barely started mine, but as we mostly exchange small gifts, often books, a quick blitz on Amazon should remedy the situation.

Babs - Happy Birthday to AJ! Hope his party is fun. The job (is it yours yet?) sounds perfect for you. Hope you'll be able to post pictures of your creations.

EP - the earings are stunning. I also loved the corn husk doll arrangement and printed it up hoping to try something like it ourselves. Hope you won't mind.

T - your snow shots are so pretty, especially your lovely German Shepherd looking out at the view.

Woody - what curry did you try? I'm in the mood for cooking a batch of Indian food and would enjoy trying a new recipe.

V - good for your DD for giving blood, and being willing to go back for more! Last time I tried they would not take mine as I'd eaten beef in England a few months previously. I wonder if that is still in effect.

Chelone - hope you enjoy your new machine. Will you sell your old one?

It was such a busy week here, yet I feel as if I've barely got anything done. My "to do" list is still long and overwhelming. Tomorrow I'm hoping to finish the tile in our mud/guest room and any touch up painting, leaving DH to fit the floor molding. Today we bought a very nice futon chair that folds out into a bed and I'm eying some nice fabric to make the cover. While Mum's here we will keep it made up as a bed so I don't have to worry about that for a little while, though I do need to make the Roman blinds for the windows before Thursday.

As well as our usual activites David and I are in the middle of making a Pyramid as a project for school. Each family was asked to make a structure together and bring them in for a structures fair next week. Ours will open on one side to reveal an inner burial chamber complete with casket and mummy. David is painting and texturing the background and I'm making miniature palm trees from cut up silk leaves and florists wire. Its been fun to do together, but has meant other things going on the back burner so I'm hopelessly behind.

I'd like to say I'm about to do something useful with the last few hours of the evening, but the fire is beckoning me and the sofa looks so comfy. I think I'll just stretch out in the warmth and maybe even close my eyes just for a moment.....

Have a good evening


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 8:39PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Mary - Have fun in Hawaii! Ei - those were great pictures... DH has been there (on a conference...) but I've never been. Mary - the curry we made yesterday was a butter chicken - but unlike the ones in the Indian restraurants we go to. Those ones are usually in a pale, creamy sauce. This one is in a tomato sauce. My friend, who gave me the recipe, is originally from Tanzania and this recipe is from an east African cookbook so that may be why it's different. It was REALLY good! The crushed, fried onions in the recipe (see below) are something you buy in an Indian grocery store. They're basically deep fried onion bits that have been dried. You need to crush them for the recipe. Oddly enough, the ones in our local Indian grocery were made in Denmark for one brand and Germany for another. I bought the Danish ones because they had no saturated fat. The onions tasted really good - we munched on quite a few as snacks while we were cooking :-)

Butter Chicken curry (Naznins)

1 T. oil
6 ¾" cinnamon sticks
6 green cardamom pods
6 cloves
1 ½ tsp.cumin seeds
1 ½ tsp.crushed garlic
1 ½ tsp.crushed ginger
1 tsp. crushed hot pepper or to taste
2 lb. skinless chicken, cut into pieces
¼ cup butter
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes or 4 cups pureed fresh tomatoes mixed with 2 tsp. tomato paste
5T. crushed fried onions
½ tsp. cumin powder
½ tsp. coriander powder
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. salt
2 T. chopped coriander leaves
½ tsp. garam masala

Heat oil. Add cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves and cumin seeds. Sauté for ½ minute. Stir in garlic, ginger and hot peppers and sauté for another ½ minute. Add chicken and butter and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, fried onions, cumin, coriander and turmeric and salt and cook for 10 minutes.

Add half the coriander leaves and cook until the chicken is tender and the oil separates. Add the garam masala and the rest of the coriander leaves.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 9:20PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Ei, WOW I'm just loving your posts and pics! Teddy bears and tropical climes, can't compete with Calgon or Merlot. So great to see you posting here, you leave a conspicuous absence when you aren't around.

Mary, I'm SOOO happy for you and DH! How wonderful, to have a romantic getaway, at no expense and because of DH's talent with the camera! That is just so cool, and karma at it's best, you guys SO deserve some couple time together. Can you post pics of his pics? Would love to see them...My bro and DH's sis have both offerered to take the kids for a weekend. While we wouldn't be going to Hawaii, we could certainly use a break, so will see what we can come up with. Hockey games NOT allowed!

EP the corncob dolls and the earrings are so special...I was thinking of you a lot yesterday and hope you and partner had a WONDERFUL wedding anniversary! I was also thinking of my Dad, 7 years gone, so just couldn't get my head around to post and congratulate you.


Sorry I'm having to go into "stock" garden photos as there are no new ones out there, but I know you love garden balsam. LOVED your post on Wednesday! Hope you had a wonderful day yesterday..

Babs, way cool Tricyris! It may have taken forever to bloom for you but WOW worth the wait! Have fun with the volunteering with the school. Been there, done that, after a while when no one else comes to the plate it got annoying for me so I gave it up. Hope you aren't all alone with your contribution!

Ei, you may have missed my post before, but I have a 'bag full' of Dad clothes, in a plastic garbage bag, and the 'scent' is still there. Is there another piece of clothing you can "preserve in plastic" while wearing the other one?
Cynthia, I don't blame you at all for not wanting the winter drive, but agree you need to tell her soon and be prepared for upset. But you have valid reasons, and you and your sis are close right ? (Sunday phone calls) so she shouldn't be mad at you for long.

I need to call my sis, been over a month, but I hear from Mum she is madly in love. Since I'm not on the same wavelength I haven't wanted to jinx it. But DH and I actually had an "agree the past is past and we'll stop this nonsense" talk tonight, so perhaps there is hope. We are offering the sellers on the house we want to 'top up the home price' with whatever they are continuing to pay for it, when we close. IF they have some equity and it's not a ridiculous amount. Plus enough (oil) heat to keep the pipes from freezing. I just cannot keep this up knowing there may not be a house to buy, once we sell. We were very surprised that they didn't sign back on our offer asking more, which we were prepared to pay, so will do so now to make sure we get the house. I'm using Benadryl for the eczema on my hands, which has become a very scary living entity. Is helping with the itching and the lack of sleep. Wake up feeling like I've hit a Mack truck in the night, but waking UP, instead of staying UP is a plus...Everything is relative, could be a whole body rash, lol this IS positive thinking...

Martie, just LOVED your sky photo! Silver lining indeed...And you are the go-getter girl to make a difference for your brother and all the others who suffer needlessly. You go girl!!!!

Chelone, sorry about the car dying. But hey, CASH to buy a new one? Hehehe, only in my imagination! Glenn got his FIRST new car in 2002, Kia Rio, but it was at the time the cheapest car in the market. And we have a couple of years of payments left on it (GONE as soon as we SELL, God willing!) I will need to make the 1993 Aerostar live for a bit longer. New nubby snowtires and a new battery will help. Still has lots of life left, and does great doughnuts in the right conditions. :) Need those tires quick though. Doing doughnuts for fun in an empty parking lot is FUN! Doing involuntary doughnuts on highway 97 at 8:35am rushhour is, well, less fun...I have enough grey hair, no?

Best to all,


    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 9:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


From the Great White North

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 10:18PM
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Hi everyone!

Mary, congratulations to your hubby for winning the contest! How wonderful that the 2 of you will be able to enjoy a week at an Hawaiian resort!

Michelle, ouch on that auto repair, 'tis the season for things breaking I think. :o( How is 'Kenzie doing?

V, thankfully you didn't 'kiss' the ditch with your car...and that you missed the telephone pole as well. Your evening out sounded wonderful.

Ei, I missed your photos but enjoyed reading your posts and seeing you once again. You've been greatly missed.

Babs! Congratulations on the job or should I say 'jobs'?! The sewing sounds like it should be very interesting and the job at AJ's school.......well that sounds like it should be just as interesting but in a much different way. ;o) I love seeing your posts...heck, I love reading your posts after I see them, too. ;o)

Cynthia, I have the link to the greys open right now and I skimmed it very quickly. I'll read through it more thoroughly in just a few minutes. How did you feel about the article? I do hope that you are planning on attending the next Idyllunion, I know it is awful to leave your home and pets.....but I do hope that you are planning on attending. Fingers crossed......tug thei takse ore tpioi rywohg (but that makes for tough typing).

EP, the earrings are very nicely done---did you make them? It must have taken some time and concentration to get the V pattern/colored beads placed just right.

Chelone, I'm doing the drool over your new Juki. It looks/sounds like a very nice machine. I've never sewn anything other than clothing, quilts and crafts so have had no experience with industrial machines such as yours, but I like sewing machines and do have the Juki TL98E. It is a workhorse and I've heard that the Juki industrials are wonderful. Rotten about the car and I hope you find a great replacement soon.

Deanne, good for you on getting your Christmas shopping done from home! Jim took the day off today and we ventured out to do some shopping. Weather was horrible, traffic was nasty but we found a few things for the little guy. We also had lunch at a great brew pub so the day was counted as a success by both of us. ;o)

Sue your TGIF was festive. I hope your week went smoothly.

I was hoping we'd see an update from Taryn soon about the houses and what is happening with them.

Eden, I've not even begun to get any decorations out. You sound like you are a wonderful grandmother.

Honey? Where are you?

Hello to Martie, Wendy and Marian.....

'bug, I'm in mower envy...I'd love to have one of those small tractors to mow with. Jim has the big tractor with brush hog mower but it doesn't fit between the trees. My Craftsman mower just isn't durable or powerful enough to tackle all of the mowing we'd like done around/between the trees. I've been watching to see which model and horsepower you decide to get.

Geez, sewing machine envy, tractor envy, gardening ability envy, beautiful greyhound envy, pretty renovations envy (Michelle), done with holiday shopping envy.........the list goes on and on. Maybe I should quit being envious and get busy so that I have something done around here? Nah!

'night all.....

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 10:19PM
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Taryn, I was writing when you were writing I guess. Glad to see that the new house is still a definite possiblity. I hope your home will have a buyer soon.

EP, I hope you and your partner had a wonderful anniversary! I'm so sorry that I didn't remember yesterday. Please remind us how many years it has been.


Ok, truly leaving this time. :o)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 10:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

T, whatever we get, it will be a Kubota. (The owner of the store is on DH's hockey team, and the shop is close enough that it can get there for repairs when needed.) I'm hoping the diesel model GR2100 with mulching kit. Too expensive though...

V, I fainted every single time I donated blood. We tried chatting and waiting 30 minutes before I'd get up to leave, but even then...

Very tired...and the gloom has me in nasty spirits. I'm working on it though. The new toilet is installed and the washing machine repaired. Even the bathtub drain is operational now. Next, housework. :-( Another day.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 10:36PM
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Thanks to all for your best wishes and photos for our 54 years of 'endurance'. We've been enjoying it and planning to attend another craft event tomorrow. They are all for Christmas fund raising. I haven't been very creative this year and never have made anything to sell but it is fun to go and see what others do. I am working on a few things now just for fun. Partner has lights strung across our front fence and one of the weeping yaupon hollys, across the deck rail and the nandinas , and the hollies at base of west terrace near the road. We are empathetic with all who have the stress of travel, and social committments, and work schedules, especially in the wintery environments. Fun to read about the children and activities. Forecast here is cold and dry. Everyone is special and hope all will be safe and content for holidays. EP

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 11:50PM
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Marriages without humor, patience, and respect don't last 54 years... EP, your's is an inspiration. Wonderful that you had such a nice day together. :)

I'd love to see the prize winning photograph, too! Mary, you'll have to read James Michener's "Hawaii" (all 800 pages of it) before your trip. I read it in high school and loved it, even though parts of it are rather grim.

Ei, those pictures were a real treat for someone in the November greys here in Maine. The wind is howling now, the sun isn't up, and today is supposed to be really cold.

I so admire the spirit of volunteerism so demonstrated by all of you. Mary and family with the pyramid project (sounds like such fun), Babs. at her son's school, V. at church, ditto Marian... the list goes on. It is truly refreshing to be permitted glimpses into such vibrant lives. Keeps me going when I'm running low on spirit.

Deanne, FINISHED with Christmas shopping?! I'm still trying to extract the list from the helpmeet. I have some ideas but haven't put anything in the back of the closet yet. I meant to comment on your new steps... I love the Promenade, do you have the underarm turn you can add at the end of it? (you mentioned "turn", but I wasn't sure if was the underarm one). Have you learned the Twinkle, yet? That's another useful move. There was some dancing on PBS last night and the helpmeet watched it with interest, remarking that we knew all the steps they demonstrated... . "I miss dancing with you." was all I said, then I went to bed. We'll see if anything germinates.

(just)T, I started out with clothing (home ec. was required in Jr. High), worked with tailors for years in alterations (which I love, and always have), then moved on to manufacturing. I worked "in the line", then moved up to making samples, and helping out with procedures. Later I helped set the piece rates for the different operations involved in moving a garment from pieces to finished product. I've worked on furs, too. It was quite by accident that I fell into canvas work. But I like that, too. It's exciting to make things that cover decks and patios; the sewing is easy, but the planning and measuring is critical. I also love drapery work and would really like to do more of it, but it takes a lot of room and that's in short supply for me. I have never really tried my hand a quilting, but the myriad of patterns never ceases to amaze me, and it looks like great fun, exacting in a different way than clothing construction, or canvas work. I would love to see some of your work.

I'm not sure what I'll do with the machine the new Juki is slated to replace. It's very old (1929), a 31-15 Singer and it doesn't have reverse. It's effectively worthless in the trade, but I have a sentimental attachment to it. I really have a "thing" for old sewing machines; it's on the same level as people who loves old cars, motorcycles, boats. You could describe me accurately as a "junkie". Trouble is, I'm really running out of room in "the lab.". There are 5 industrial machines in that room now (all in benches), the Juki will make 6 and that's not counting the button sewing machine or the lovely White Rotary in the Martha Washington Cabinet, or the Chandler Mini-Skipper (hemmer)... as you can see, I have a problem. :) I had actually forgotten about the little hemmer, that could bring some nice cash in pretty short order; think I'll haul it out, oil it, adjust it, and find it a new home!

Interesting link on racing greyhounds, Cynthia. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, though. I have the same feelings about horseracing. It's exciting and glamorous, but there is darker, uglier aspect to it. The glamor of the Stakes events comes at a terrible price for the vast, vast majority of the horses. So it is with dogracing, I fear. I hope your desire to stay home for the holidays will be respected by your sister and family; I suspect it will be, but there will be some ruffled feathers for a day/two. Stick to your guns... you should be able to wake up in your own bed, if you so desire. Good thoughts coming your way.

I was hoping to get some outdoor decorating done today, but I have a lot of piddly things to do before the (ahem) banks close at high noon. And this is Fosamax day for Mum and I like to let her sleep in on the weekends. I'm feeling pressed for time already, or maybe it's the coffee kickin' in?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 6:52AM
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OOps. I didn't realize that the link to beautiful happy dogs would bother some of you :-) My dogs lived at a track and raced, and they would not be the happy healthy dogs they are today if they had been in any way mistreated. That doesn't mean there aren't bad racing owners or shoddy kennels, but that's the exception not the rule. In 21F weather this morning, my dogs flew down the steps like water and raced and leaped for 15 minutes. They are beautiful doing what they do. They wear their muzzles when they run because they get excited and they get nippy. Katie's muzzle is pink. Nippy dogs with lots of fur don't need muzzles. Nippy dogs with fur like velvet and thin skin do. They are not obese barky dogs like we see on our walks in the vet's waiting room. They are runners and nippers and lovers. The story showed them the way they are. When people ask me if my dogs are 'rescues' I say 'no, they're retired.'

A dog that needs rescuing lives around the circle. A beagle/shepherd mix, he spends all day outdoors barking, and is fat and lacks for exercise. He has no companions and nothing to do, and there's rarely fresh water for him. That dog has a lousy life. The dogs in the photos do not. I don't have a position on the racing industry, or the pet industry. I do have a position that all animals should be treated well, and know there are plenty that aren't.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 7:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today will be a difficult one...
This is what will be occupying my day.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 8:29AM
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Good, cold, windy but exciting morning!

Quick run through of posts before shopping and prep for brunch tomorrow to celebrate Rich's (DH) birthday with step-daughter, her husband, his parents (his dad's birthday is one day from Rich's and his name is also Rich -- hmmm), and a friend of theirs visiting for the holidays from California. Kyle will be my bar back and I can't wait!!

Christmas decorations are on hold until after the brunch so it doesn't become a Holiday event. Rich says that when he was little, his bd was tied in to Thanksgiving or Christmas, so want to NOT do that. Ah, the joys of the newly married :-)

Donate the car, Chelone. Down here they bring them to technical schools so the kids can fix'em up and then they're sold at auction. My very dead car netted me a $500 tax deduction, was towed away, and kept several teenaged boys busy for a few weeks before being sold to a family in desparate need of transport. This is one system that seems to work.

Glad that you have brighter hopes at this point, Taryn. Keep them.

EP: 54 years. There's nothing more needing said than: All faith blessings ....

Mary: I'm not talking to you right now. LOL :-)))))) Will you be overnighting in California on the way?

Deanne: Can I hire you do to my shopping? This year I have absolutely no energy for it but do have the giving spirit. Think I'll do something different this year and give "gift certificates" for things like Rich changing my sisters front door, making dinner for my elderly parents for a week, etc. And .... I will never get over your work. It is stunning. Look VERY forward to meeting you at Sue's party.

Cynthia: I had the same situation a few years back and it involved just leaving the house, driving 10 miles, staying for two hours and going home. I just didn't want to do it. Called my sister and told her that after agonizing for a looooooong time. Her response? "I'm glad to love me enough to tell me the truth about how you feel."

There's much more to throw in -- Marie: Glad your DS made it home intact -- but need to get rolling. Rich and Kyle (he's up this early?????? must want something .....) are heading out to finish moving della robia in out of the cold and I should probably supervise so that they don't end up on top of each other like last year.

Best to everyone -- stay warm if that is an issue -- and keep the beat going!!!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 8:47AM
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I pulled the blindstitich machine out, checked to make sure everything was complete in the original shipping carton (it was) and put it in the car. I have the manual for my industrial blindstitch machine out (need an assortment of different size needles for different applications), and the belt for the 31-15 that must be replaced. Also a folder for a binder that requires a new mounting plate.

I have to feed Mum in a half an hour (Fosamax has to do its thing on an empty tummy for 30 minutes), then head to the bank (quaint enough for you, Cynthia? ;) ) and hit the highway for beautiful, downtown Biddeford.

The link you posted, Cynthia, wasn't particularly upsetting for me. It simply reminds me that racing is a business and the dogs are simply "capital". That is not to underestimate the affection trainers, handlers, grooms feel for their charges, obviously, if they are mistreated or poorly cared for they are rendered, effectively useless, but to believe every trainer or owner cares as much as the one in the link is hopeful, IMO. And it's the same thing in Thoroughbred or Standarbred racing. But the dirty secret in horseracing is that the the vast majority of "retirees" do not live out their lives frolicing/mating in the bluegrass of Kentucky. Those that haven't been rendered hopelessy lame/unsound by the gruelling campaigns required to pay the bills may find homes as pleasure hacks/camp horses/etc.. Those that don't are destroyed, or sent to European meat markets where horse meat is routinely consumed and relished. It's the dirty little secret of the industry, since there are very few slaughterhouses left in the USA that routinely deal with horses (flightier than cattle in the slaughter process). One would hope every animal that is part and parcel of an "industry" would find a loving home after their career is through, I wish I was able to share your optimism with respect to the business aspect. I couldn't agree more with your assessment of "pets" who live lives on ropes in back yards. You're right, that's NOT a life and is the antithesis of how a canine is "wired" mentally. We routinely remark on the level of comfort our adoptees/"rescues" experience under this roof. Would that every unwanted/"used up" animal received such a reprieve, not to mention every CHILD...

'bug, I clicked on your link and instantly realized I did not have the time to really scope it out with the attention it merits. I'll have to save it for later in the day. BTW, I loved the heart in the snow you sent EP. How very thoughtful, talk about using whatever resources you have at your disposal! :)

I have to get crackin' on the breakfast routine now that Her Highness has risen, performed her "toilette", and "Dr. Fosamax" has nearly finished his job...

See you later on.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 9:59AM
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