Idyll #410 Last of the berries, first white snows...

prairiemoon2 z6 MANovember 19, 2008

"November comes

And November goes,

With the last red berries

And the first white snows.

With night coming early,

And dawn coming late,

And ice in the bucket

And frost by the gate.

The fires burn

And the kettles sing,

And earth sinks to rest

Until next spring."

- Clyde Watson

Still November...and it is cold in the house for the first time today.

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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Smacking myself on the head!!! Woody, indeed, I re-read your recipe as I wrote it dowm, and no almond butter.:-(
I just read it in someone else's post, and thought I would try it!!!! Dumb de dumb dumb !!!! I am getting closer and closer to needing a keeper!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 12:03PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...

Well...I made an attempt to catch up, but I found myself tripping over my tongue this morning. I am reading along with everyone's posts and enjoying them.

Clouds in Calgary, Alberta CA

Can't believe Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow!


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 1:07PM
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Marian, I was thinking (even though I don't care for bread's a texture thing) that almond butter sounded like a nice ingredient. I don't think you need a keeper just yet....

Hi everyone! I'm still plugging away at my project. This was a hard one for me because I'm feeling uninspired. I had to google pictures and look at some photos that I took at IU's to get in the mood :)

Kathy, I have beat myself up pretty good over the GG. I really bite off more than I can chew. I need a handy helper....

I've gotta go, just wanted to poke my head in. Mary, glad things got smoothed over for a bit....


    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 1:26PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks, Saucy, but not only is my mind going...when I got up from my daily nap my back has gone!!!! Poor Nolon is attempting to help me get in the wood, but it is almost more than he can do too!!! Thank God it is a warm day, and I may not even need a fire tonight. I took a low strength Lyrica, half a tramadol, and two extra strength acetamenophen...kill or I have done nothing abnormal to cause my back to do this. Darn, darn, darn... And I need to do some house cleaning, and cooking for my next week's company. Oh woe is me....

Pm2, I love that pic.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 5:08PM
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Such a grey day here, no sun in sight all day ,cold (by the Kathy definition) and bit misty this morning. I continue to blow my nose , but have moved out of the coughing phase for the present.

I know that Barbie dress Chelone, it was black , like the one Rosemary Clooney wore in the nightclub scene in White Christmas (though Rosemary was considerably more Ruebenesque than Barbie ) and featured elbow length black gloves !

Mary, glad your relocation issues are postponed for the present, what a merry-go-round youÂve been on ! Hoping all the Idylls will be able to hold on to what we got for the upcoming year, which promises to be a challenge.

IÂm ready for another round of odd-job home repairs around here myself, dealing primarily with electrical and plumbing. Nothing expensive, but nothing that I care to do myself. At least I can help keep a contractor dude working for a day or two.
Marian, just for future reference, I have started to buy things like oats, flour etc in the bulk foods dept at Whole Foods (and we have another grocer here that carries bulk grains etc as well) since I use so little I can buy only what I need. It used to be that you had to go to a Âhealth food store to find the bulk grains, but they have become much more common at traditional grocers in the last few years.

PM, I always love the poetry you dig up , and how timely your November poem..

I will post this photo that I took on Saturday. This to me says California.

Later dudettes !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 19, 2008 at 8:25PM
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I carted a load of wood upstairs last night thinking of Marian and her ailing back. I sure hope it's OK, or at least better, today. Sometimes all you have to do is twist the wrong way. Do take extra good care of yourself until it's back to normal.

Saucy, I think we all know that feeling of getting in a little bit too far over our heads, lol. What's gotcha down about the GG? settle back on the couch and talk to us. ;) Are you just not getting the preliminary work done or are you now dissatisfied with the overall plan? I'll put the Pollyanna ribbon in my hair and say that you have a nice, long winter to look at the site and play with your plan on paper. I think it's going to come out great. And I can't wait to see some of your "homework"; it's all very exciting. (That goes for you, too, Woody).

Kathy, that's how I think California would look if it actually existed. Just beautiful. And yes! that was the Barbie dress! Do you think they had a cigarette holder to complete the look, too?? I was thinking about Barbie yesterday, and when did she go from being that frighteningly svelte sophisticate to the present iteration with big, doey eyes, and not a trace of the femme fatale? Barbie used to "rock", but she's a bore now!

'bug, Mary said it best, these are indeed "dark days" for you in spite of the "more sky days". Right now it's important to just stumble through the days, just keep your eyes on the horizon and remember that we're here when you need us. Be patient with yourself and increase the frequency of Phoebe's beatings, that will help a great deal. I particularly like the Chelone-like reply about the lack of black socks, too! as for the washing machine... that's definitely a drag, but it's the tiniest stone in your shoe that can really irritate. Hang tough. What fun and creative project are you working on now? any knitting?

I left work two hrs. early yesterday, pushed out by too much clutter. I looked for plastic pomegranites (unsuccessful) then came home and put the first coat of pickling on the stairwell posts and rails. It really soaked into the wood and will require a second before I topcoat it with the clear finish. I asked the helpmeet when he'd have the ballusters ready for me, looks like Monday, but could be sooner. Realistically, that's fine since I have to vacuum up the Tick's diorama of the Gobi sometime this weekend! (No need to subject the helpmeet to a series of gruelling late night woodworking stints).

OK, gotta get rolling, I have a big, heavy job to start this morning. It's really cold outside (15F) and I'm glad I have my hat and gloves at the ready. I think I've missed the opportunity to bring in a geranium or two! c'est la vie.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 5:23AM
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Good morning

Chelone - it's chilly here with 4 ins of snow but no where near 15F - brrrrrr! With DH travelling I have taken to setting the thermostat to 55F at night and when we are gone in the day, saving the heat for the late afternoon and evening. David actually loves sleeping when the air is cold enough to make your nose feel cold and begs me to turn it as low as possible LOL! Californian bred DH is miserable at those temps and hikes up the thermostat as soon as he is home, much to Annie's delight. I'm in the cold temps camp and in DH's absence find a down comforter and warm Brittany all I need to stay warm and toasty.

I have an appetizer question. In England we do far less snacking on appetizers before a big meal, but might include a starter when everyone sits downn to the table. In fact I don't ever remember having anything other than a few nuts to accompany drinks before occasions like the Christmas and Easter feasts. I still feel this way, much preferring to save eating for the main meal. To me, lots of appetizers belong at a cocktail party where you can indulge freely. What is more disappointing than to spend the day cooking turkey and all the trimmings only to find everyone has sated their appetites with too many chips and dip?

However, I don't think this is the American way and with guests coming for Thanksgiving I'm wondering if I appear cheap not having an array of appetizers to greet people when they arrive. Rather than too much sitting around before dinner I prefer to let people relax, then linger together over the meal at the table. This is followed by a brisk walk then music or games by the fire.

Thoughts anyone?

your not completely Americanized friend,

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 7:37AM
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Marie, I was sure the sock mystery was going to be related to the washer mystery, as in: all of my husband's socks are lost inside the mechanics of the wash! Seriously, isn't that where socks go?

Last night's class was a hoot. I did the same old presentation that I've been doing in all the classes, but some folks got really creative and pitched to a commercial property, or imaginary homeowners with a good dose of humor sprinkled in. We brought food and wine for our last class, too, and all decided that we should stay in touch via email. I'm really hopeful! I sat in that class pretty bummed that I wouldn't see any of the participants again....and then we swapped emails.

Chelone, I can't seem to elaborate on my frustration with the GG without coming to tears. It has a lot to do with having no help and feeling like there is not enough time for me to do things at my snail's pace. And now winter is here. So that kind of puts the whole project on hold anyway, now doesn't it?

Kathy, that picture is gorgeous. Golden hills. I'm going to start calling Nick "contractor dude"...that's pretty funny.

PM, that poem is a perfect match for November around here!

Well, this post has been interrupted by a bus and a telephone....gotta go.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 7:52AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Brenda...I think you are being *very* objective.....your DD looks lovely! I love the dress; its delicate femininity flatters her lovely, delicate frame. Oh to be young again! Pardon my asking, is she a future DDIL or is she a DD? I thought she was your DD and I think I see a resemblance of you in her, but now Im confused?

Marian, yes it was the pic you posted that made me think of you and your talent! I appreciate your quote, but I have to say, *I* watered and nothing came of it! :-) I think there *is* a talent to it too and I just dont have it. :-(

Marie...hugs to you...I cant imagine how hard it is, but youre doing the best you can do...I admire the strength and will you possess. It must be equally hard on you because I imagine you must feel the need to be strong for DD and the rest of the family too? I hope there is someone nearby that you can talk to too...someone you can share your pain and tell your fears to? I wish we were all closer...Chelone said what I was thinking myself.

PM2 I love your poem too...its one of my "keepers"....LOL! I think of myself as someone who is not a collector/pack rat. Theres nothing stored in our garage except for a couple of cabinets full of auto tools and fish food; nothing at all in our attic except DDILs wedding dress; and our basement is nearly empty except for suitcases; one shelf of Christmas decorations; and plants under lights. Well I do have a shelf full of glass vases with silk arrangements that I should probably let go. And oh... *shhh* I do still have my little suitcase full of poems, cards and letters from admirers in a previous life. Dont ask me why I saved them...LOL! I guess partly because some of the poems were very beautiful, but also I guess secretly its nice to remember that someone did admire you once...LOL! :-) Oh, and I have one more box full of memories of DS, which I hope to pass down to him once he has kids of his own. After the flood we had many years ago, I had to learn to let go of many things. There was a small blessing in that, in that I learned how to let go of things that were just "things" and amazingly; discovered I could function without so much...LOL! Luckily nothing of sentimental value (like family photos) was ruined. But, Im laughing at myself because in my own way I guess I still have my pack rat potential. :-) I save all those "cute pics" that are giving Marians computer a problem these days and I have notebooks full of poems and quotes that have moved me in some way. Do you save all those beautiful pictures and poems you share with us? Youre cloud picture is "a keeper"! :-) BTW, Im with you...I was stunned yesterday when DH said to me "will you be shopping for Thanksgiving dinner supplies this week?" For some reason I was thinking I still had two weeks! :-O

LOL sound just like me and Paul talking about Scout! :-)

Chelone...I cant get over Mary Poppins! Your mom thought of every little detail...what talent! I see your moms charm, whimsy, and great skill expressed in Mary Poppins. What a lovely remembrance for you! How did you manage not to damage her over all the years...LOL! Im afraid it would have been too tempting for me as a child....Mary would have had to sleep with me! :-) I love that pic of Wrecks and your comment about him. I dont know why, but I get such a kick out of a dog who knows how to relax and get into the Zen! :-) Scout was very hyper in his young days (and though I wish he were still young)I also enjoy his old age mellowness too. Hes much more snuggly now! :-) Sometimes when Ive had a hard day or its really cold outside, Ill lay on the couch and pull him up next to me and we both unwind...its very comforting to me. Scout has never been a bed dog...he does not like sleeping in our bed. Oh hell humor you and lay there for about 5 minutes, but then he wants "off". Come to think of it, none of my dogs have been bed sleepers. I think Im gonna get a bassethound next time; one that I can drag around and put into bed with me and who just wants to lay there...LOL...just kidding! Of course, I hope that "next time" is a long, long, long way away.

Norma...I bet its very satisfying to "plunk". I fantasize about learning an instrument...I bet it brings you lots of pleasure and I imagine its very relaxing and also a good release of emotion. I think thats what I would like best about playing! :-)

I have more Id like to say, but that will have to be another post. I want to tap the enormous potential here regarding a conundrum Im having. I know you guys will be able to come up with a solution, but its too long to post now, so Ill try later and Ill try to keep up too Kathy! :-)

P.S....LOL...I just read your post Mary...maybe the next one (thats a long, long way away) will be a Brittany!:-) Im with you...lingering over the table is what I enjoy most about holiday feasts too...



    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 8:49AM
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Morning all,

Mary, our tradition is no appetizers before a meal. Christmas Eve though is all appetizers and a very small meal. I think that by the time you make a Thanksgiving meal, who has time to prepare appetizers?

Saucy, the class sounds like it was fun and some new gardening friendships started. Invite them over to the Idylls ;o) Just remember that all gardens need lots of tweaking and work before they arrive at your hopes for them. For me at least that sometimes takes years. If you need a reminder look back at my "In the beginning" post.

Pm, I liked the poem, but prefer the red berries to the white snow ;o)

Marian, sorry about the back issues. Most times when I have problems with my back I dont recall doing anything significant to injure it.

Cindy, your dad sounds like mine. When they moved into their latest house, which is just down the street from the cemetery his comment was that his next move would be to the cemetery.

bug, I hope the pendant can also remind you of the love and friendships that you have here as well as the support that we are all willing to give in any way we can.

Brenda, your DD will make a lovely bride. The dress is lovely as well. Enjoy!

Ei, thanks for the pictures. Those kind always get a chuckle out of me.

All this talk of Barbie dresses reminds me of a little pink "real" sewing machine that I had as a small child of 5. I made a wedding dress for Barbie. It really did come out great, only because mom helped me and probably did the majority of it but did it in such a way that I believed that I had done it almost by myself. I wonder what became of the little pink sewing machine.

I swam my laps on Tuesday night and was pleased that I was the only one in the pool for the first 15 minutes and then was joined by another middle-aged woman. I plan to go again tonight. Hopefully, I can make this a habit.



    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 10:51AM
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Some Thursday morning sparkle on a lovely foggy morning here:

(A species gomphrena, supposedly a two-footer, that gained in size all summer, but no blooms until November. Had cut it down to 5 feet at least twice during summer. Luckily planted it near Betty Corning's trellis, which it has commandeered from Betty. This is a gomphrena with sharp elbows!)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:00AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Very bright and cold here today. I am feeling a little weepy as I have just been informed that a forum member from another garden site has died in a car accident. She had quite a sense of humour and was holding onto her cheerful side while struggling through tough times...she had a dream to keep her sad. I wish she had been able to live her dream...*sigh*

Oh Marian, your poor back! DH went through years of back agony, but wouldn't see a doictor because he had been diabetic for twenty years, on insulin, and didn't want some orthopod. messing up his diabetes control. His back finally got so bad that he entered a diabetes insulin pump trial in order to have someone to champion his control with the back surgeon. Turns out that he had delayed the back surgery so long that his spine was fusing itself and the surgeon told him he would be fine in another 6 months or so. He was, and twenty five years later, still is. And his insulin pump works great!

Sorry to get off topic there - it was meant to tell you to hang in there, things could really improve over time..

Saucy, I am sorry to read that your GG project has caused you so much misery! Maybe if you stop looking atit for the winter you will be reinspired come Spring?? Maybe I will try to find your posts from before my time to see what I can say to cheer you up!

Oh Dear, Marie, one thing after another! I wish I was there! We could really laugh at some things! And cry together over others....Hugs again (((Marie)))

Mary, are Brittanies cuddlers? My Boston is a bed lover - and a bed hog! He wants the whole thing, under the covers, pillow for his head....Wonderful on a winter evening, PIA in the heat of him to bits! I can just imagine a Basset Hound as a bed baby! You would need a super king-sized bed! And what about Wrecks (love that name, I can't help it!) My brother had two Danes, and they had their own bedroom with twin beds! I wish I had a photo of that!

Eileen: post away, our advice is free and you cn accept what you like and forget about the rest!

Norma, I have been inspired by my seven year old grandson, who regularly practices his jazz piano every day; I have at least FOUND my guitar, now to see if I can manage even ten minutes. I know that once you stop practising music you lose it, but it also comes back fast.

Better run, regular housework awaits, and today's JJob is trimming the dogs nails. One thing. Every day.



    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:08AM
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psssst...sneaking here...

Got a giggle out of Julies minor puntuation issue advising Saucy to look 'atit' at the GG. Must be the congestion..
Fear not Saucy, all gardens are works in progress-I have yet to finish one !

Chelone, no cigarette, but a pink scarf I beleve !

Sneaking back out...

Kathy in the 'Awfice'

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A snowy time here at the farm still. Moments of sun add a bit of cheer. Here are some photos to accompany the poem...and a few others just because.



Ms Phoebes

Julie, here nail clipping takes 2 people and a week's time....

Thanks everyone for kind thoughts, gorgeous photos and support of every kind.

I'm contemplating what dinner might be...I think maybe an upside down cornbread cake we enjoy occasionally.

This morning I managed to make progress on answers to health insurance questions about naturopathy coverage and also coverage on orthotics. This is not how I dreamed I'd spend my days. ;)

Lots of juncos here, some goldfinches, cardinals and bluejays too.

By the way Saucy, the GG is in MY mind this winter even if you aren't picturing it yet.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 12:11PM
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Hi Ei, Good to have you posting again. Your pictures are sooooo cute. The one of the little girl and dog reminds me of one I have of a grandaughter and one of our past dogs. I should find that and show you.

And Denise, we saw a corgi yesterday at the vets that was so round you could barely see his legs. Hey thats a cool picture of the gomphrena.

Brenda, the dress and your DD are lovely. Nice setup with the mirrors to show the back too.

Kathy a reading/dining room sounds just right to me. Our kitchen-dining-living area is all one open space. Which is ok most of the time. But sometimes I wish it were separate. That would have made for really small rooms in this house though. After two days of looking I haven't seen anything I like yet. Something tells me it won't get done before the holidays. Oh well it doesn't bother me to much, I remember a thanksgiving in our early years that was ate off a makeshift table and it didn't bother our guests either. It's all about sharing with family and friends , right?

LOL Chelone, I am one of those "fuller" (Rubenesque?) figures", and have only worn a strapless dress once, at prom, and until recently have never had a decent fitting bra in my life. Before the last grandaughters wedding I found some at L B that have made me a much happier person.

Saucy, I'm sure the GG garden will turn out even better after some longer contemplating. I often find that things sometimes things turn out better for the waiting. Sounds like you have made some new friends from classmates.

Bug, I hope the washing machine is only temporarily tired. Ours is so wierd. It has a problem advancing through the wash cycle and we have to stand there and assist it (holding the timer knob just so) It gets terribly tiresome. We checked on getting it fixed and it was more expensive than it was worth, and it's really not that old. But the wierd thing is, it will do this for weeks and then not require help at all. Go figure.
I agree, a bunch of women can be quite witty together. I don't get out nearly enough. Could be because I don't like sales parties and such. I am invited to one soon though and I just might go for the companionship.
On the other hand we were out with best friends yesterday evening , and on the way home we began discussing our spouses annoying habits, which started getting pretty funny after awhile and I laughed harder than I had in quite awhile. It felt good to laugh that hard.
I hope that after the mediation is over the family will be able to move forward to a happier time. I want for you all to be able to enjoy the new little life that will be part of your family and to enjoy the fond and happy memories of Little Reed. I think he embraced life and enriched many peoples lives.

Julie, I'm so sorry to hear about your friends tragic accident. Very sad indeed.

Good for you getting the guitar out. It really is a good outlet. Sounds like TCS's really enjoys his Jazz panio lessons. He must have a talent for it.

Geez, it's noon and I've not accomplished anything. Later Taters. Norma

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 1:06PM
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Very appropiate pictures Marie.
That snow looks so cold. It is cold here today even without snow. Norma

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 1:12PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Brrrr! Pretty cold out there this morning. Thankfully the sun is out, not a cloud in the sky. So have we started talking turkey yet? :-) Here is our turkey day menu:

Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato Casserole, Cranberry Sauce followed by Pumpkin Pie and possibly Chocolate Trifle.

Very, very traditional. We have experimented the past three years with changing the menu, so we are all ready to have our old favorites for a change. I heard my DD and son are trying a different stuffing recipe with sausage. The sweet potato casserole is topped with toasted marshmallows. The Trifle is very rich and probably no one will have room until later in the day. [g]

There's so much I want to comment on, but I am imagining the size of the post I would have to So I am just going to try to hit the highlights....

Definitely happy to know Gardenbug, you are getting some comfort from at least one side of the necklace, for now. :-) I am missing photos of Phoebe and always enjoy snow photos...and there they are! Really found those just because of the Idyll Tydll, didn't you? [g] Ooops! And there's Phoebe. I love to see a dog enjoy the snow!

Marian, same with DH, frequently he can't figure out what caused his back problem. Sometimes it was just a sneeze. What bad timing, I hope you feel better soon. Take care of yourself, the more you rest now, the more you will be able to do next week. Is there anyone you can call to give a hand?

Yay, Mary that you get to stay put for awhile.

Brenda! What a sight your DD is in that dress!

Julie...have you ever read 'The Mystery of the Missing Red Mitten'? See link below. So sorry about your friend's passing.

Saucy...I was beating myself up about some garden projects in the spring and had about three weeks of feeling depressed about it. Everything that we accomplish in our garden is very slow, slow, slow. I'm always waiting for help of one kind or another. But I just chip away at it and try to break it down into manageable pieces. It's a process and nothing happens as quickly as we want it to. It will come together, you'll see! That's what I keep telling myself. [g] Plus, I am trying to focus on what has already been accomplished and find satisfaction and encouragement in that. the photos! The dog, the cats and the sweet little black chicks! Yes, I am an official pack rat. My family teases me about it rather than pulling their hair out. :-) Fingers crossed for Anita's test results. Very happy to see you posting again, I missed you!

Michelle...all my mums are brown and mushy, yours dried like that?!

Norma...some of our most memorable holidays were with mismatched chairs with a few folding chairs thrown in. :-)

Denise....are you the only one with good weather still?

Kathy....we buy from the bulk bins too. Hope your cold let's go of you soon. :-) That is a little more green than what I think of for California. Excellent shot!

Chelone...I thought you had plastic pomegranites? The Huge One reminds me of a brindle horse. :-)

Mary.... we also have the temperature wars here...I am the cold one. Last year, I bought a heavy duck down comforter rather than goose, to save a little money and it was one of my best decisions. I LOVE it! I am rarely cold any more. Of course, we still need hot socks all winter, too. We are also of the 'save the appetizers for another time' camp. Your plan for the day sounds perfect to me.

Off to make a few calls....picturing Norma and Julie serenading the Idylls in the Salon next summer. [g]


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 1:22PM
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I'd skip the appetizers, too, Mary. We typically have a bowl of nuts (in shells) and the requisite equipment to extricate the meats, and MAYBE some crudites, but the main event is DINNER. (being "Americanized" ain't necessarily a good thing, lol).

I'm off to the Salon to undertake the next step in the process. Wish a few of you clowns were going to join me for some laughs...

Julie, I'm very sorry to learn of your friend's death. It's always a shocker to lose someone in an accident.

Beautiful photographs, 'bug.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good aternoon all...

Thank you all for the sympathies on my back. It is really much much better today. I took gobs of pain pills yesterday and last night, and have not taken any since 4 this morning.
I took Nolon to town for a follow-up appointment with his Doctor this morning. His chest was x-rayed, and an EKG ran on him, and both came out aditional problems. He is scheduled to return in April for his next blood work.
When we got home I layed down for my usual afternoon rest. About 45 minutes later the phone rang. It was Nolon's youngest sister telling us that his oldest sister had passed this morning. She had been in bad shape for some time. I am not grieving, as it was a toxic relationship that I had with her. I do not think Nolon is grieving much either. We first said that we would not be attending the funeral, but the burial will not be too far from us, so we may go to it. Her family is a very disfunctional family, and I am not at all looking forward to being with them.

Anyway, while I was pondering it all, I decided to sweep down some of the worst cobwebs on the ceiling over the wood stove. It has that 'cottage cheese' acoustical stuff on it, and it falls all over when I try getting the webs down, but the floor needs vaccuumed anyway. Then one job led to another, and I dragged my dad's antique kitchen chair in under the ceiling a wet rag, and cleaned gobs of dirt off of it!!! So far my back seems to have not suffered from that. :-) And I am so happy to have it done.

Now, to the Thanksgiving Dinner. I have never made appetizers, and my meal is basically the same as pm2's. I would love to have Brussel's Sprouts, but our Tim hates them, so it will just be the usual green beans, seasoned only with bacon grease, salt, and pepper. I will probably forego the usual sweet potatos since they hardly get eaten , and I hate to throw out good food. I have tried differant ways of fixing them, and it is always the same results.I may just fry them. I think at least Nolon and I would like them that way. No Trifle here, but probably 3 differant pies...pumpkin, mincemeat, and Chess pie. I have never tried the Chess pie, but read about it on another forum, and it sounds good. :-) And is easy to make. I may make a Cranberry salad, if I can find the recipe that I made before, that was so good. It is made with jello.
And I still want to make Woodie's Plum Pudding...:-)
I LOVE mashed potaoes with turkey gravy! The gravy recipe I use comes from one of my old recipe books, and is very simple, with no milk in it. I will make my homemade bread stuffing.
Pm2, the way you fix sweet potaoes sounds like my mother did. Do you put brown sugar on them too? My family hardly touches them.
I do not set a fancy table, but I will use our dinningroom table this year for the first time with the granddaughters. We have always used the kitchen table, because it is on a vinyl floor and easy to clean. The dinningroom table sets on a parquet floor.
We ate on the dinningroom table last year, when our preacher and his wife were here. I may ask them again this year, but am waiting to see if one of the other families ask them. Another family did last year, but we already had asked them.

Denise, I like your gomphrena. It is sure differant than what I once had. LOL, "sharp elbows".

Julie, that is really great about your DH's back. Mine has been bad for years, and has it's ups and downs, but yesterday was one of the worse. My chiropractor of years back did not recommend surgery, and I agree. I know too many, espacially women, who were lots worse after surgery. You did not "get off topic" , and I appreciate what you told me.
That is so sad about the gal from the other forum. Was she on the one that Marie posts on? I posted on it for awhile, but that was some time ago.

Saucy, your GG project sounds like what happened to my raised bed project. I cancelled it completely, and had Nolon cut the boards into firewood, that I had dragged out there for borders. It was just more of a job than I bargained for.

Marie, your pics are great. Snow can create such beautiful scenes, and Phoebe is very cute with a snowy nose. :-)

Speaking of birds...I have a couple of bird stories. The first is the large flock of robins that came this morning, to see if the berries on the 'pink' dogwood were ready for eating. They decided they weren't but after tomorrow morning's temp in the teens they may be.

The most exciting story is the Bald Eagle we saw on the way to town this morning. It was dining on a couple of opossum road kills on the highway. A car in front of us had slowed way down to see it, and it flew away before we got as close as I would have liked to. We did get a good view of it, anyway. I told Nolon's Doc about it, and he said he saw one recently also. I will be watching for them now. Sure wish I could get a pic of one. I shouted with joy when I saw it. :-)

Speaking of Pomegranites, I have one in my frig. I hope I don't forget to eat it! I really like them, and frequently had one in my younger days. I like Kumquats too, but haven't seeen any for a long time.

Okie doakie, I think I have touched on many of the posts. Please excuse me if I missed something that deserved commenting on. :-(


    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 5:57PM
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Well, I think bugs photos of the snow-princess Phoebe are just fabu ! Is there any other dog in existence that looks as cute with snow on her face ?

Julie, how very sad to hear of your forum friends untimely passing. Had you ever met in person ? Its interesting how we have all incorporated virtual friends into our lives. Ive found it very enriching, and one of the things I enjoy the most is the geographical diversity and the things we can all learn about places we have yet to visit . Chelone for instance may be close to admitting that California really does exist , lol ! I too wish you had a pic of the great danes reclining on their personal twin beds.

Norma, I never go to women parties -although cocktail hour(s) at Idyllunion, was pretty close. We did have token men though ! I guess because I have worked in a very manish industry for so many years I find I am very uncomfortable in situations where there arent any . I am however *very* comfortable with gardeners, no matter the gender !

PM, I am trying to figure out a way of avoiding the cooking thing on Thanksgiving, although I will tell DS that if he wants to have the band over I will cook for them . Otherwise we may go out. We have done that from time to time over the years. When I do cook, I try to get a local free range turkey, not frozen, basted with beer . We have mashed potatoes-organic russets, fresh cracked pepper,/sea salt heavy cream, and chives . Mrs Cubbisons stuffing, doctored with extra sage, pine nuts and or walnuts . Veggies vary. SF bay area is the bread capitol of the planet and our choices for rolls or bread are unlimited. Thanks re the photo- the green is happening because we have had a couple of inches of rain. I would like to drive up in January and get a winter photo of that same spot; I will try to remember to do so.

Mary, we usually have a small group at Thanksgiving and dont do the appetizers- like Michelle we do major appetizers on Christmas Eve, and that is our meal.

Marian, Im sorry to hear that your time with Nolons family might be uncomfortable if you decide to attend the service. I never cook sweet potatoes here, when we were younger and went to the in-laws for Thanksgiving no one seemed to eat them .

Okay, time to go read the paper and finish my laundry chores. Shucks, only 6pm and its dark out.

Wave to all-so glad that Norma and Ei have been chiming in isnt it about time for Babs to show up ?

And hoping all is well with Martie..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 9:04PM
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Yes, I concur that it's interesting how we've all made a place for our virtual friends in our worlds. It's the best part of a "pen-pal", but with frequency that borders on immediate gratification.

I'm another who pointedly refuses invitations to things like "jewellery parties", "make-up parties", "naughty nightie/impliment parties", etc.. NO THANKS. I would have skipped my own bridal shower had it not been a well kept secret. And I flatly refuse to sit through baby showers, which shocks you all, I'm certain. Like you, Kathy, I work in a field full of men (many quite rough around the edges) and I prefer to see at least one rooster when I'm cooped up with a bunch of biddies... ;)

Phoebe doesn't like her manicures, eh 'bug? Neither did Wrecks when he first came "home". I quickly decided it was imperative that he get used to being "handled" since at his size manhandling him can be strenuous. I began by simply sitting on the floor with him, patting and just holding his front paws when he was relaxed. When he was OK with that I began massaging them, spreading his toes, tugging on the claws, etc.. It didn't take long to get him used to the idea that it wasn't going to be painful even if it did make him nervous. I can clip his nails by myself now an though he doesn't really like it much he's a good cooperator. He's fine with having his mouth examined, too. He is a perfect gentleman when he goes to the vet. in spite of his "high energy" personality. We owe it all to frequent beatings!

I have SOME pomegranites, but not nearly enough, lol. The helpmeet teases me that I keep the fake fruit manufacturers in business. But it takes rather a lot of it to make a nice, lush arrangement. Nothing worse than skimpy shirring on draperies or too little simulated fruit in arrangements, I always say. ;)

Missing Deanne (has she keeled over in the blind?), wondering where Martie is, and looking forward to the usual Friday greeting from Sue.

OK, I have to skeedaddle. Second coat of pickling on the posts and rails has given them the desired "ghostly" effect and I will sand and begin topcoating them this afternoon. Can't wait!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 5:46AM
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Okay, Phoebe is the cutest thing. She even cocked her head to the side so that 'bug would get her good side :) The snow might be a bit early, but with photo ops like that, who can resist the beauty?

Many nice things said, friends. I am going to keep on adding organic material and keep at the drawing board until it is time to work the soil again. I guess dreaming about plant material couldn't hurt either. I am hopeful....

I've got a busy morning...part of which involves a meeting with a vendor of the "smart thermostat"'s really cool. I hope it works out.

Gotta run, but be back later.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 7:27AM
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Good morning

What wonderful pictures of Phoebe with a snow moustache!

Brenda - did I tell you how wonderful the wedding dress is? I'm also in quiet admiration of your brother's strength and attitude.

Julie - what sadness to have a life cut short.

Add me to the list of people who politely decline any of the sales parties. As much as I enjoy socializing the feeling that I should be spending money makes me enormously uncomfortable. I'm careful when it comes to spending money, am thoughtful about choosing presents and donating to charity. Feeling obligated to purchase something I don't want or need because someone has extended hopspitality is not a feeling I enjoy.

Now baby or wedding showers is another thing. We don't have them in England so I didn't know what to expect when I was first invited to one. My sister threw a wedding shower for me when we were living in Chicago and neither of us knew to expect presents. Many of the freinds who came were Brits too who arrived empty handed much to the surprise of the Americans LOL! Living far away from any relatives those I've been to have been small gatherings for friends and a lot of fun. Some have even had a few roosters there too Chelone LOL!! One of my favorites was for a second baby and everyone was asked to simply bring their favorite childhood book. Usually I make something by hand which avoids any uncomfortable question on how much to spend and friends seem to enjoy more.

On the subject of making things I woke at 4 AM this morning and couldn't stop thinking about the bags I am making for presents this year. Sometimes creativity strikes at the wrong time. Rather than toss and turn unable to get back to sleep, I tiptoed out and fired up the sewing machine. Here is the result of my dawn endeavors. I think it could be a looooooooong day for me.

Have a good Friday everyone


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 8:04AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, yesterday at the awfice hit me before I even turned on the computer, so no checking in w/ idylls.... it went downhill all the way. O well, it's Friday now! yeha.

Ok, -- Im going to confess I still have that Barbie and the black dress, long gloves et al. (I think there's a microphone that came with it to - indeed must have been mimicing Rosemary??) -- My mother actually managed to keep my Barbie stuff and clothes together & gave them to me a decade ago; some of the stuff is a bit mouse/moth eaten from years in their attic; but it's in pretty good shape all things told -- and managed to be one of the dolls my sister didnt cut her hair off she was want to do even then...

Saucy -- take comfort in Kathy's words -- the garden projects are much the same for me - lots of grand ideas, but I run out of steam and energy doing it all solo w/ no help. I think it comes better in spurts in Spring for me -- Im full of energy and excitment and can whip those projects out much faster. So, just think on them and ready it for Spring.

Kathy - I love that gomphrena shot -- I never would have guessed it to be that; very cool.

Mary - glad to hear things have again smoothed down a bit re DH and job, etc. Re the appetizers -- my DM always served them but it was lots and lots - usually maybe 2, max 3 things -- she loved to offer shrimp cocktail (it became a tradition of sorts), maybe a cheese tray -- I think the concept of the hors d'oeuvres is mostly to free the hostess up to do her own thing while the guests are lazing about and relaxing -- out of her hair... I think it also depends on how long before the meal your guests arrive -- if you've invited them over a couple hours ahead, it makes sense to give them a bit to munch on. But it's so interesting to hear how everyone's traditions are different. And Americans dont always think of appetizers in the same way as "starters" (at the table usually right?).

I confess to going to the "gal" parties sometimes for socializing -- but I usually go to just closer friends that need the support. Im definitely not into the one a week/month crowd -- it would be too hard on the pocketbook. But it's similar to me in concept to all the hawking of goods that happens in the schools these days, and where kids are forced to sell goods to gin up money for activities/clubs/ptas.

Im lucky to have been invited to a friend's this year for t-giving so only baking a Black Silk Pie (chocolate, if anyone wondered what that is)to take as a contribution.

Off to Friday chores myself here....


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 9:12AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

YIPEE! I got the day off and so I'm going to take advantage of getting my Thanksgiving dinner supplies at the grocery store before the madhouse!

PM & Marian, your TD sounds very much like what I'll be serving. I *love* the greens Marian. My old neighbor Mrs. Shack got me hooked; along with fried green tomatoes. They're both southern recipes; right? Would love to serve brussel sprouts too, but I'd probably be the only one eating them. Will make a little bit of sweet potatoes cause mom loves them, I like em too. And will serve cranberry chutney, along with the cranberries in the can (my son *loves* those)...LOL...actually I like them too! :-)

Anyway, I have an emergency question here....Marian I hope you are around...can you tell me about chess pie and share your recipe? I am making an apple pie & 2 pumpkin, but my sister does not like cooked fruit, so I was looking for another pie to offer.

I'll check in again in a few to see if you read my post Marian and then I'll be off to the grocery store and will catch up with you guys later. If I don't see your post before I leave Marian it's okay. I can always pick up the ingredients later.

Other things I'd like to say, but will have to catch up with all of you later... Would love to hear from Babs too and wondering if Deanne is going to be having the full house again this Thanksgiving. I remember she had put out quite a spread for lots of family and friends in years past...would love to hear what she has planned this year...


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 9:45AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Good morning! I'm home today trying to burn off a few "use it or lose it" vaction days before the end of the year. Now that the leaves are done I don't have anything in particular that I have to do today, or the whole weekend for that matter. Usually that bothers me but I'm actually looking forward to some down time.

Lately my dogs have been a bit clingy. In fact they are both sharing the chair with me right now making it somewhat difficult to type. I know they're left home alone too much and want more attention but there really isn't much I can do about it. So I try to give them as much attention as I can when I am home.

I'm lol at the "foundation garments" discussion. When you're a 34A on a good day (that would be a water retention day), Victoria Secret is the way to go with bras. Many of their styles have padding in places where people like me need it.

Let's see...appetizers. When I used to have my Christmas open house I saw a direct correlation between how much food I had left over with how many appetizers people brought to the party. Something to nibble on is fine, especially if there is a cocktail time before dinner but lots of elaborate, heavy calorie appetizers ruin my appetite for dinner every time.

The new furnace seems to be working well. I'm still experimenting with thermostat settings. Tom always had the heat set on an automatic timer system but I'm finding that if I left it on that sequence, the heat would be coming on more than I feel necessary. Apparently I'm not as hardy as some of you because 60 F is about as low as I want to get up and jump into a shower to at 5:30 in the morning. Maybe Saucy knows for sure but it would seem to me that you would actually use more fuel by keeping a wide temperature range in the house because you would be constantly reheating from some low base point. Because I have recessed cast iron radiators in my house that continue to toss heat for an hour or two after the furnace shuts off, the highest I usually have to keep the thermostat is 64 F. Anyway, enough rambling about heat. Maybe a "smart thermostat" is just what I need.

Kathy, what a gorgeous picture!

Phoebe looks like Charlotte. Do you think so, Marie? People tell me they can't tell Nick and Zoe apart unless they're together but of course they look very different to me.

Mary, you are so creative. Where do you find the time? Do you think it would be difficult to reface and old brick fireplace with granite tile? For Christmas, now that I have natural gas in the house, I'm buying myself a gas log insert and fireplace doors for the unused fireplace in my livingroom. Some friends of mine have one of these and you cannot tell it's not a real fire. Today I plan to visit a fireplace store and get some information.

Next Saturday is my 30 year high school reunion in the Boston area. This past week I managed to get in contact with one of my friends who I hadn't seen since the last reunion (she was the maid of honor in my wedding so how bad is that?). We're going to hit the reunion together while her husband stays home with the kids. I'll be staying overnight at her house so that should be fun.

OK, enough blabbing from me. Speaking of which...where is Blabs, I mean


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 9:50AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Kathy...check out this link. :-)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 11:53AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Chilly here today....

The sky was gery pretty yesterday morning. I took this picture looking south out the 'office' window from my place at the computer. The neighbours' houses seem awfully close in the picture but aren't as crowded in reality as they appear here. The lots are all 75' wide.

Mary - that was a nice, productive bit of insomnia :-)

gb - I like the berry picture. My viburnum by the garage didn't produce any this year, which was disappointing. Phoebe snow pictures are always so appealing :-) Misty does a pretty good imitation of the snowy beard one - actually they have remarkably similar profiles, given the difference in scale!

Julie - my condolences on the death of your friend. Sudden deaths are so traumatic.

Marian - I hope you are able to get the pudding ingredients you were missing. I'd be very interested in hearing how it turned out for you and what people thought of it.

The references to pomegranites must be catching... At lunch I polished off the one that's been in the fridge for a few days...

Neither Misty or Chelsea before her are/were cooperative about 'manicures'. Fortunately, walkies happen mostly on paved roads and sidewalks here and that wears the nails down enough that when, during a visit to the vet, I request nail clipping, it usually doesn't need doing.

Saucy - hang in there re the GG.... A winter's worth of considering it in your head and on paper usually results in an improvement in my experience :-) Randy is usually cooperative in my garden ventures - although there's often a lot of eye-rolling going on! I do as much as possible on my own, which I think helps build up a reserve of 'guilt' which can be exploited when there is serious digging or hauling of heavy things required! One must approach these things strategically :-)

Randy is the appetizer person here. For big dinners like TD or Christmas, they are usually omitted. For company-for-dinner dinners, there's usually one or two things. New Year's Eve is heavy on appetisers - sort of... It's usually a get-together with his brother and family where he and his brother make sushi to start. Many oysters are also consumed (ICK!) before getting down to serious lobster eating (with steak as the alternative for me :-)

I'd better stop now and go do something productive....

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 2:04PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We just got a message from gb's dh that their satelite link is on the fritz again....

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 2:11PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ei, I will send a link for various chess pie recipes. I think I will try the #10 one, with the cornmeal in it. That is similar with the one I read about on the Texas forum on one of the other forums that I post on.

Woody, I have enough of the ingredients to make the recipe almost as you posted. I even found my whole wheat flour ( I thought I had some). It was in the back of the side by side out in the utility room.
Now all I need is to get to feeling better! Today, my ears are bothering me. The right one is making popping sounds, and feels full. It sort of hurts too. This is along with the rest of my 'complaints'. :-(

Last night was our coldest of the season...15 F . My rain barrels are frozen over!

Include me in the group who does not care for 'selling' parties. I used to be invited to various types, and, like Chelone, felt guilty if I did not buy something, whether I wanted it or not! I do have a nice pair of red glass candle holders that I got at a home inprovement party many years ago. I am sure I have some other stuff, but don't remember what.

In this area showers are mostly the drop-in type. I preferred the ones in Idaho, where we all went at the same time...played games, and had refreshments. There are still that type here, but not as often. Mary, that must have been very awkward. I had never heard of no gifts.

Neat bag, Mary. You are so talented!

Woody, I love your pic! Great glow of the early morning!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 2:55PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Here is another link for chess pie, and explains it's appearance...:-)

I may also make a cranberry apple pie. I did one TD and it was well received.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 2:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I ended up with the same link !!! Try, try again!

Okay, that worked.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 3:02PM
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Woody, I chuckled at your take on Randy's help in the garden. It is so simalar to my experience with Bob.

The morning sky shot is neat.
Bummer about Bug,s satelite.

Hi, Sue. Good to hear you have a little down time. Nice Christmas present you have planned. You will really enjoy that, and so will Nick and Zoe.

Pm2, Our DIL did the dinner to go thing last year and it was quite good.

Ei, I went to town today to beat the madhouse as well. The older I get the more I want the hard part (shopping) out of the way. Takes away some of the stress.

Cindy, I was unhappy with the "hawking of goods that happens in the schools these days, and where kids are forced to sell goods to gin up money for activities/clubs/ptas" , recently with Wyatt's class. It makes you feel guilty if your child or grandchild doesn't get the "reward" for selling. I rather just make a donation if nessecary.

Mary, I wish my 4 AM awakenings were so productive. Thats a pretty bag.

Marian , how neat that you saw a bald eagle.

Hi to all Idylls, including the lurking Idylls. You are not forgotten. Norma

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Thanks Marian! :-) I had fun reading over all the recipes...I think I'll go with your instinct and try the #10! :-) I think my sister will really like it...Thank you! LOL about the pie being ugly! Sometimes my pumpkin pies get those wrinkles in them too, but I hide it with my 1st class whipping cream skills! :-) BTW, I read *way* too fast the other day and forgot to mention how sorry I was to hear about your back (glad your feeling better)! How cool about the bald eagle...right there in the middle of the road? The wierdest thing is, I think I saw an eagle too. I didn't tell anybody here because I know they wouldn't believe me (we live in suburbia) and besides I wasn't *absolutely* *100%* sure I did. It was about a week ago and I was driving to work. I had the sun roof shade pulled back and out of the corner of my eye I saw this *huge* bird...way too big to be a crow or even the hawks I've seen here (besides his head and body shape seemed different to me). As I say this was all only in a seconds flash through the sun roof. By the time I had really registered what I thought I saw I could only see him from the back...but I *really do* think I saw an least that's what I'm going to keep believing! :-)

I have to agree Woody, that is the most beautiful "morning light" I've ever seen. I keep on thinking the light reminds me so much of a master oil painiting I remember, but I can't remember who painted it. I just remember I loved the painting because of that light, it was very magical to me...wish I could remember who painted it.

Cindy...good for you taking a little time off, you deserve it! :-) I keep on meaning to say what a kick I got out of your "awfice" word play. Mine feels like that some times too! :-) I got a kick out of you mentioning the Black Silk Pie too. Between you and Marian I'm beginning to feel a little dejavu going on! :-) Anyway, while I was thinking on different pies to make I was wondering if someone had a recipe for Bakers Square's (use to be Poppin Fresh...boy am I dating myself) French Silk Pie. My mom use to make a chocolate pie made with chocolate pudding, bananas, whipping cream and a graham cracker crust (but remembered Anita doesn't like bananas). So that got me to thinking of French Silk. Sorry I'm babbling. What I am trying to get to your Black Silk Pie like Baker Square's French Silk? I've committed myself to Chess Pie (anxious to see how that tastes) but would love a recipe for French Silk...maybe for Christmas.

Bug your berry pictures are perfect for PM's Idyll Tidyl. And Phoebe is a doll. I still have a pic of Charlotte with snow on her face it!

Mary...we need to figure out a way to capture your energy and creativity and bottle it....we'd make a million dollars! :-) The purse is beautiful...I *love* the colors. Is that silk (the handle and top) I mean? I love the antique "with a new twist" look of it. Who is the lucky girl?

Re the "gal parties". I love the opportunity those parties allow for get togethers with friends (especially those I don't get to see often), but I confess I really don't go anymore. It's all put on me by my own self (don't I speak great English...LOL) but I just feel pressure to buy something and most of the time it is things I really don't need. My friends will tell me right off when they invite me "don't feel you need to buy anything" and I know they are being sincere, but I just always feel guilty if I don't get at least some little thing, so it's just easier not to go anymore.

Saucy...we all suffer that angst. I feel that anxiety many times when I'm trying to create something, but usually I find if I take a step back for awhile and come back to it a new inspiration will hit me. Your GG will be'll know what to do.

Kathy your photo is *so* beautiful...who *wouldn't* want to live in California after seing that pic? Was that taken near where you live?

Okay...I better be going, Paul is waiting to do the Friday Pizza and a movie thing, so I have to get the pizza ordered...


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 5:47PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's been another busy week and once again I am behind on my idylling.

I had to chuckle at the discussions on "gal parties". I was reading before we went out for a quick dinner at a small local Mexican restaurant, and what did we stumble upon but a bachelorette party! I was happy to see the little restaurant so busy, but it was a tad noisy in there!

I think I'll finish folding laundry and do a better post in the a.m.!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 10:04PM
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Here's what I know about heating systems. If your house is heated with hot air (ducts that bring the heated air to grates in the floor) your system has a furnace to heat the air. If your home is heated by hot water (through baseboards, radiators, or tubing under the floor) you have a boiler to heat the water and the boiler is set to heat the water to a certain temperature (I think it's 180 degrees). Either system can be fuelled by heating oil, propane, natural gas, coal or wood. We have an oil-fired boiler in our home and an oil-fired furnace to heat the bahn. Our home's boiler feeds 5 heating zones, each with its own thermostat. When we raise the thermostat and call for heat the circulating valve for that zone opens and the water inside the copper tubing is moved through the boiler where it is heated before recirculating through the piping. This process is repeated until the thermostat registers the temperature requested. When heat is not required the water simply remains in the tubing of that zone and cools off. So, yes, while you are reheating "cold" water (or glycol if you use that), you are effectively heating only the water in the zone that is calling for heat. This is where good insulation and thoughtful layout of zones really makes a difference. Our 18 yr. old home consistently used less oil to maintain a comfortable temperature than Mum's home did to keep her comfortable in a smaller space; innovation has likely improved efficiency and comfort in the past 18 yrs.. I am unfamiliar with radiant heating systems, but wonder if a preset, "base" temperature is maintained with the use of a storage tank? Saucy?

Woody, your morning photograph looks COLD, a real winterscape. It's beautiful. There isn't any snow here but it's colder than it usually is at this time of year. There is ice in the little pond and the lawn is crunchy with frost when I go out to throw the ball for the Huge One. I, too, chuckled at "eye rolling" and the judicious use of guilt... great minds must think alike. :)

Oh 'bug, NOT AGAIN, with the satellite thing. You don't really need a redose on top of the cranky washing machine. Well, maybe you can put the "portable washing machine" in the sink and work off some frustration scrubbing clothes on the board! Nah, on second thought I think you should sit by your new stove and read... .

I have never heard of Chess Pie. And that's amazing for someone with a sweet tooth the size of mine. T Day fare on the Compound (I cook the bird and do all the clean up):
my home made bread stuffing (prepared the night before)
mashed potatoes and my flawless gravy (a source of amazement to the helpmeet)
winter squash
carrots and brussel sprouts from the gahden("little baby cababbages" as Dad used to call them)
baked onions in a cream sauce
cranberry sauce
pumpkin and/or apple pie
I confess that I love to set a pretty table. I've not yet decided what to do this year, but I know there will be silver polishing in the not-too-distant future. It's OK, though, doing it makes me reflect on family, values, humor, love and how fortunate I was to have received it in such plenty for as long as they lived to to dispense it. And it reminds me to continue to dispense it for as long as I'm able. This life ain't no dress rehearsal! ;)

Sue, could Nick and Zoe go to "day care" a couple of days a week? We have a friend who sends her dog to day care on the days they're going to be working late and he just loves it. She says he is absolutely thrilled when they pull into the parking lot, lol. He trots right in, greets his buddies and puts in a full day playing and napping. I've thought something like that might be just the ticket for Rex, but they're not conveniently located for the helpmeet. (Don't think they'd be welcoming me at 5:30 AM!). I'd bet refacing the fireplace in your home wouldn't be very difficult, Sue. I'm not even sure you'd have to fill in the mortar lines between the bricks. I went to a masonry place and asked about skimcoating the chimney and walked out with all the "ingredients" and good advice, to boot. All my project required was some thought, careful planning, and enough time to fiddle around clumsily before finding the "trick". After that, it was really very easy. You're a quick study, I know you could pull it off.

That bag is wonderful, Mary! I should ship you all my scrap fabric, you'd be "happy as a clam at high tide". It's fun to see what your creative mind and talented hands bring forth. Did you use a pattern for it?

Saucy, I hear you on the lack of support for projects. It can be so discouraging and that can really wear you down. Some things are just more "fun" for guys and gardening can be a tough sell sometimes, huh? I've experienced a certain level of success here by simply plugging along on a project and being VERY specific about what I need the helpmeet to do so I may continue moving toward completion. What I've found is that seeing progress tends to pique his curiosity and make him more willing to help me without a lot of grousing. I can't wait to see your project and hear what thoughts are going through your mind with respect to them. We need all the support and affirmation we can get!

Good to hear from you all, and am now wondering about Wendy, Martie, and Deanne. (and all unforgotten lurkers, good one, Norma!)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 7:46AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

HI all,

I've been busy, busy busy here and not had the time to check in for a bit. I'm in the process of getting ready for the Turkey Day celebration here. It looks like we'll have 20 for dinner this year again. I have to confess that I'm getting a bit tired of doing the big dinner every year as we've had a crowd in for the last eighteen years and I'm thinking I'd like to take next year off. HOpefully someone else will pick up the slack and host dinner.

I still have plants in the garage that need dealing with and I'm going to make a stab at finishing that up today. I've got a kerosene heater out there so the temps are tolerable. Most of the abutilons I've brought in are starting to leaf out, such hardy souls. LOL My large Abutilon pictum 'Thompsonii' was pulled out of its pot, left on the garage floor for six weeks or so, no water, no attention whatsover and I thought it was a gonner. Well I took my saw to the root mass, chopped it down to fit into a smaller pot, stuck it in the house under lights and within three days there were little green nubs showing. Amazing!

Anyway, Sorry to have been such a bad Idyller lately but I'll try to stop in more regularly after Thanksgiving.

Later all

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 9:43AM
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Good morning

Deanne - hope all your turkey day preparations go well. Looking forward to hearing more from you when you return.

Ei - did you have a good day off?

Norma - I am so with you on having kids hawk items to finance expensive activities and trips. I take the buy out option whenever I can or simply purchase the suggested minimum myself and give as gifts. I don't mind asking for donations for a cause that I believe in such as Water for Sudan or Heifer International (my two current favorites). But for extra curricular activites for affluent suburban kids - give me a break! I'm not a total Scrooge and do buy from neighborhood kids but refuse to let Annie and David go door to door. I'll get off my soap box now LOL!

Chelone, you are right about my love of fabric scraps. I'm a real bin diver when it comes to fabric/upholstery stores and have a wonderful stash of samples saved for various projects. Most were a dollar or less. I'd used a lot for aprons but the heavier weight pieces are perfect for bags. I did break down and buy a pattern for this one - its been years since I've used one. It's called the Frenchy bag by Amy Butler and I'd been admiring it on the net. For me was it was definitely a good investment as I've had trouble before getting linings to fit properly. These came out perfectly. I also learnt a much easier way to make straps. Chelone - I'm sure you could teach me many tricks of the trade. Summer camp?!

Here is this morning's offering. I'm rather addicted at the moment.

I favor the muted antique look and anything paisley. I rarely have enough of one fabric but love finding scraps that coordinate together. This one is for our grown neice.

Have a great day everyone


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:21AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Mary I love your bags! Perhaps for idyll summer camp, I'll throw my mom's sewing machine in the car and drive to Maine so you and Chelone can teach me to use it. I've taken sewing classes and am a reasonably intelligent human being, but I have this amazing inability to deal with sewing machines. :(

Last night at dinner I dipped my chip into a light green salsa, and then wondered if perhaps it had avocado in it. I really should have asked first, because the stomach cramps and other drama at 1:00 am were quite unpleasant. Not the best way to start a Saturday.

Last week we were offered an alternate schedule at the office. We can work 9 hours Monday through Thursday and then work only 4 hours on Friday. I'm loving it! I got all the laundry done yesterday, plus had lots of time and sunshine to work on two projects. I made a wine cork wreath with an accumulation of corks and put together the photo note cards that I showed earlier. It was quite a pleasant afternoon. I like having that block of time instead of an hour a day that seems to evaporate before you know it.

By the way, I'll post photos of the finished projects when the camera returns. It's in a tree stand at the moment, waiting for a photo of the trophy buck.

It was a full-tilt week here, but a couple of pleasant surprises tucked in here and there. I had to go to Springfield on Wednesday for a meeting at our state trade association. Since Springfield is just an hour south of DD's college, I stopped to have an early dinner with her on the way home. I also had grabbed a book on CD at the library for the ride, and had several pleasant hours of listening to Maya Angelou. Imagine my surprise when she was on the Diane Rehm show the next day!

I did not get to the store before the madness begins, so I'm off to Trader Joe's this morning. It will be a small zoo, I'm sure. Thanksgiving is at the SIL's house this year, but I am baking the stuffing at DD's request. I have my own recipe that uses sourdough bread and sage sausage. I'm not being secretive about the recipe; it's just that the rest is somewhat improvised from there.

OK, traffic is NOT getting better as I sit here, so I'd better move my tush.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 11:04AM
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A shivery good morning. It is freezing cold with wind and a good day to enjoy the sunshine from inside. Went Thanksgiving dinner shopping and figured that is my outdoor activity for the day. LOL

It's been an incredibly discouraging week. Rich heard from his potential client that another contractor is offering a lot more for about the same money. Problem is, the other contractor is not a remodeler -- he's a builder -- and what he wants to do involves plumbing that is entirely out of Code. Yes, it could be done with new construction; no, in this case 32' of additional pipe with four 90deg turns to the outside drain is not a good idea coming out of two upstairs bathrooms. It's hard to be tactful when dealing with a client who's obviously going to get ripped off but this builder is "the" guy in the particular town and all we can do is sit back and hope that they come to their senses before signing anything. Rich has pointed everything out and it doesn't seem to phase the wife who wants "the" guy's sign on her front yard. If I've preached nothing else, remodeling and building are two entirely different things! Chelone -- your brother and Rich would get along wonderfully.

Unless everything turns completely around from what it seems, there will be some serious decisions to be made in the coming months. Rents are, in most cases, more expensive than our mortgage; our cars are paid for but mine is definitely on it's last breath and I thank it every time I park; college loan payments will be going up as of Ky's graduation in January, etc. etc. etc. We're in no different situation than half the country, I think, but it's horribly frustrating to sit and watch such a talented and honest person be out of work because the "big guys" who had no interest in jobs like these for years are all of a sudden experts and choose to double talk clients .

So, we've been sorting all of this out and decided that for today, we can be secure in our home and prepare for our favorite Holiday.

I stick to the fact that there's Always Something for which to be grateful.

Loving the chit chat and wishing I was on Mary's list for the pineapple bag :-) Glad that Sue has heat supplied by working furnace and clingy dogs. Hoping that no one forgot anything by shopping early (me included). And have yet to tell Brenda how absolutely perfect that dress is for your daughter.

Wishing all good thoughts and warm toes (or iced beverages depending on the Zone your in):-)


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 11:18AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Yes Mary...I did! :-) In fact, I was a little goofy and giddy when posting last night...LOL! Sorry Guys! Guess I was heady with a day all my own. :-)

BTW, the girls are all going to love their bags!



    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 11:50AM
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Yes, Deanne, do take a break from be the hostess next year. It will be liberating.

V, hope you can show us a trophy buck. We have DS's game camera here and got a few shots but nothing very big. There are to many good hunters around here and I think the herd has been thinned down quite a bit from previous years.

Mary, another nice bag in my favorite colors.

Martie, I can see why you might not be pumped up to post. Very stressful. Just remember we are here through thick and thin.
My toes are warm but a bit painful. I said a few choice words at 4AM when I dropped a good size piece of firewood on my foot.
I definitely will have to make one more trip to the store. I will want some fresh greens for the salad and can pick up whatever I forgot the first time.

Have a good day all, gotta go fiddle with that blasted washing machine knob. Norma

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 12:17PM
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I'm in from the bahn and the completion of the first half of the second coat of clear finish on the posts and rails for the stairwell (got that?). I am alternately spooning leftover Minestrone soup into my mouth and typing. No dribbles on the keyboard... yet.

Martie, I'm sorry it's been a discouraging week for you and Rich. I was hoping you'd been wrapped up in something exciting. Finesse and practicality are required for good renovations. It's that way for repair work, too, and it doesn't matter if it's alteration/repair work on clothing or awnings. You really have to be well versed in the basics of good construction before you can effect a proper, long-lasting repair. As I read your post there is still an outside chance the work will come to Rich, yes? I will keep my fingers crossed for him (and you!). I'll keep the Logee's date in mind if you'll remind me again when it is ;). I'm not sure how long a ride it would be for me.

I have to get the living area vacuumed today, you guys. It's disgusting (and yes, the dead tick is sill under the couch!). With that goal in mind I've picked up all the (I mean HIS) clutter, located the new vacuum cleaner bags, and moved smaller pcs. of furniture to the rugs so I can do the floor. I'll do the rugs last. Then I will ask the brindle beast if he'd like "go for a ride?" and ride to the store with the back windows of the car open so he can enjoy the air. I will return with 1/2-1/2 for coffee and few other items, stopping to drop off coffee for the helpmeet. and then I will complete the other half of the second coat of clear finish on the posts and rails. (who the hell am I kidding?)

And on that note, I'm off to retrieve the vacuum cleaner from the Salon.

Deanne, good to know you've not succumbed to the elements in your blind. I can't even feature having 20 mouths sitting around my home... you are a brave woman! but who wouldn't be with dauntless Douglas by her side? :)

Mary, you're gettin' me interested in making something like that for myself. Sewing machines are a breeze, ladies. I could, theoretically, get 7 of you set up and sewing at Idyll camp, lol, more if some of you BYOM. (perish the thought).

Gotta go.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 12:47PM
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Work today, but our last inventory of the year has been done and I can get at least part of my life back. Yay ! What a spectacularly beautiful drive it was this afternoon back from Healdsburg, Im so sorry I didnt have my camera. It was around sundown and the light on the fall colors of the vineyards was just about heart-stopping. I wish I had all of you in the back seat to share !

(((Martie))) , I surely understand your frustration. With very little new construction going on , the home-builder/framing contractor has suddenly become a remodel guy, thrusting remodel contractors into a heavily competitive environment. I could tell you some storiesbut Im sure youve heard many. Our saving grace here in Napa County is the incredible wealth of many of the citizenry-however that too can be threatened if the consumer does not wish to spend money on premium wines. I hope you can make whatever adjustments are needed to get through the next several months.

Mary what a beautiful bagit made me think about our very own Color-Coordinated Cindy at IU5 with all her matching ensembles and bags ! A new bag is something I could easily carry back from summer camp !

Deanne, 20 people for dinner might just bring me to my knees, especially after my run of 6 and 7 day workweeks this fall. I hope you at least have a crew to do the dishes...

PM, one year my BIL did a takeout dinner from Safeway , but it was not too great-seemed very processed. I have seen the Whole Foods menu when there and I would certainly opt for that if I was going to go that route. DSs b-day is the day before so I feel somewhat obligated to honor what his wishes might be for the occasion.

V, I would be devastated if I could not tolerate avocado ! Would probably have to turn in my Californian badge.

Im interested in what the experts say about thermostat temps ..I turn mine all the way to what amounts to off at night. It takes a looong time for the house to warm up in the AM, although on workdays I dont even bother to turn it on in the morning. When I come home from work sometimes in the winter the house is under 60 would I have been better off setting it at 62 or so ?

So glad to see Eileen and Norma hanging around..

Ok, all for me tonight Peace Out

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 9:32PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

A rather quiet Saturday on the idylls; it mirrors my own day today.

I got off my duff and out to do my errands. Surprisingly, I could have set off a cannon in Target and probably not hurt a soul. At 11:00 am on the Saturday before Turkey Day, it should have been a minor mob scene but nary a soul was to be found. Trader Joe's was a little busier, but I've seen it far more crowded on any random summer Saturday. So where did everyone go - Walmart?

When I got back to the house, I found that I had to put a quarter cow into the freezer. No, that's not a quaint exaggeration - we split a half a cow with friends from church and three large boxes of frozen beef were dropped off this afternoon. Since, rather conveniently, it is deer season here, I got the job of finding room in the freezer for 162 pounds of beef in various sizes and shapes. It's more of the grass-fed beef that we get from a local farmer.

I did get a chuckle - the farmer emailed the bill and said we could send a check or pay by Paypal. DH looked at me and asked if Paypal was hard to do. A few minutes later I told him the payment was completed. He was amazed that I could find the farmer's Paypal account. ;) Gotta keep them amazed every once in a while.

Well, I just let the world wide web ensnare me, and now I need to post this and head to bed! Perhaps tomorrow will be a busier day!


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:05PM
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Happy Birthday Marian (a day late)! I was searching for a picture for your birthday card and ran across this picture I saved that Da had taken back when she used to post here. I chose it because I thought you would enjoy something from the old days of Idylls (and I think it's really pretty too!) Hope you had a great b-day!


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 10:32PM
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The ground is slightly white today. We drove to town which is 12 miles but is actually in a different state. Of course we only live 2 miles from the state line. We enjoyed breakfast out which is something we never do. We did a little shopping at mostly local stores. Somehow we managed to blow the a.m. and most of the the afternoon as well. We talked to Kenzie and family and then off to a birthday party for DH's grandson who turned 5.

Mary your bags are lovely, you are so talented. I like that you use several fabrics.

I believe I have saved somewhere a shot of Charlotte that is remarkably similar to the last shot of Phoebe.

That's all I can come up with for the night.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 11:43PM
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Happy Birthday Marian !!! From sedona

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 12:01AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


Hope you are going to do something special for yourself. :-)
Since you enjoy trees so much, thought you might enjoy this one....

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 6:02AM
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I'm awfully glad someone besides me is in charge of birthday reminders!

Here is my offering of birthday cheer:

Many happy returns, girlfriend.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 7:27AM
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Happy Birthday Marian!!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 7:52AM
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It's a new day, and reading the Idylls has done much to improve my ability to look forward and still be able to see some light. Thank You!! Ei, can't quite post to your thread since I couldn't see through the tears. You hit it, girlfriend!! Julie -- I'll be over to your thread, too.

So, in that spirit, yesterday afternoon I dug out all the "stuff" I've accumulated over the years that's been used willy-nilly and put together some Thanksgiving decor

The pineapple will be secured to the mailbox. The wreath just kind of fell together and I felt very Cheloneish for a moment!! LOL These kinds of things just don't happen to me most of the time :-)

Today I'm going to the orchard to pick up several pounds of "drops" for sauce and butter, then coming home and making the house smell good. Being a regular customer has its benefits -- the owner sent me an email saying that her thirds were really fourths, but real apple lovers would find a good use for them, anyway. How sad is it that an orchard owner calling me a true apple lover would make my day?? LOL

Will be hopping in and out over the next several days. I'm officially on vacation but have a major presentation tomorrow (worth the few hours of work, believe me, if it goes thorugh!!!). Yes, Rich still has a shot at this job but it has so much to do with personalities rather than facts that it's a tough call at this point.

For the West Coasters -- it's 15degF here and already we have wind. Just thought you'd like to know :-)

Best to everyone!!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:02AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:13AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

How great to get up and see that I am having an extended birthday! Thank you all. Eden, I love that beautiful Peony pic. Michelle, the white Lilies are beautiful also. Kathy, you know I love those type of scenes. Pm2,YES! Lovely woods pic. Chelone, Dafs and a stone kitty! Neat! And Martie, the Viburnum is one of my favorite shrubs.
Again...thanks,all. I have now passed the 3 quarter century point in my life. By reason of strength I just may reach 4 score. ;-)

I did nothing special for my BD, but it was a good day, and ended up being a great day, because my 3 granddaughters and our son all talked to me over the phone that eve. My dear sister, bless her heart, was a day late with her phone call, and her card...:-), but at this stage in life...who cares! :-)

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:19AM
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*-*Happy Birthday Marian*-*

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:41AM
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I spent nearly 4 hours vacuuming our living quarters yesterday and I was beat when I finished! I would never have guessed it would have taken so long, but the place was a total "pit". I vacuumed the baseboard, the mopboards, the chair rail, the raised panels on the doors, the inside of the closets, under the rugs, etc.. "the whole 9 yds.". I vacuumed the rug pads, the back of the rugs, and did the tops of them a second time to complete the "sanitation". I still have to vacuum the upholstery and the draperies and do some dusting, but that can wait. Today I am going to address the first floor hallway and the Biddy Suite.

I did get the second coat of clear finish on the posts and rails, but did not get to the store for the missing necessities. The helpmeet returned home (with a grocery bag under his arm) to find me tediously vacuuming the staircase. He had beer and cookies in the bag, but no 1/2-1/2. After expressing profound admiration for the improved condition of his home he took pity on me, loading the dog in the car and retrieving the needed items. What a team, huh?

I had a comical vision of V. attempting to jam a side of beef into the freezer using a block and tackle. Where are you going to store the trophy buck after it hangs from the tree in the yard for the requisite time period? I can't remember the last time I had venison (I like it). I heard several shots yesterday and have to keep an eye on His Hugeness whose nose works overtime on windy days. I hope someone was lucky! I completely "get" the appreciation of the "block of time"! A lot of people think I'm out of my mind to insist on a 6 AM start time, but it's what allows me large blocks of time to do the the things I need and WANT to do. Wishing you continued "profitable use" of your newly found resource.

Interesting observations on the state of retail, you guys. I'm not, by nature, a "shopper", so my visits to stores tend to be rather specific or to the sorts of places where you buy "ingredients" to make things. And this is probably because I don't have children. My favorite stores are places like Goodwill, the Dollar Store, and those local merchants that buy overstock items or the inventories of failed retailers, lol. The relentless bombardment of advertising (and the attendant temptation and cost) aimed at kids and relayed to parents flies right over this household, by and large.

I wanted to tell Martie that when I reordered tile the other day (the one I wanted is no longer available) one of the women pressed her husband's card into my hand, suggesting that if I need a "handyman" he would be a good guy to call. She was a little embarrassed when she realized I was planning to do the work myself. I tucked it into my pocket and will pass it along to someone I know who is looking for just such a guy.

We keep the thermostats set at about 58-60 degrees and we use fires in the stove to keep the house cozy. The thermostat in the Lab. is left at about 50, as is the Board Room, since those areas don't see daily use. The thermostat in the Salon is fully programmable (by someone!) and the fact that the heat is hot air means there is no danger of frozen pipes. The furnace takes the chill off the space very quickly and it's our hope that the woodstove will keep it equally comfortable without using much oil.

Time to face the dishes and plot my attack on the rest of the cleaning.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:46AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I'm always late....!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 8:46AM
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(If you've ever tacked up a missing pet poster to a telephone pole, you'll appreciate this interview with NPR Ketzel Levine's beagle, Starlet Blue Levine, who had been missing a week. Her Great Dane pal inadvertently knocked open the French doors, and Starlet escaped without her collar and ID, which was in the wash.)

Exclusive Interview With Runaway Beagle

Hi, I'm Brooke Gladstone, host of On The Media. Ketzel has overdosed on so many M&M's during this last week of worry over Starlet, her beagle, that I suggested she pass out for the weekend and let me do the heavy lifting. My involvement's not all that far-fetched since I am a distant relative of said beagle. Ketzel is my second cousin and our grandmothers olev hashalom were sisters.

And while I too like dogs very much, having grown up with a memorable Great Dane named Eurydice, I don't exactly share my cousin's sometimes excessive allegiance if not over identification with animals. I'm hoping this detachment will play in my favor, as I ask a few questions that may help us fathom why Starlet Blue Levine left home.

Poised somewhere between disdain and apathy, Starlet (left) wonders why she and the thing (Zoe Mae, right) are being addressed.
photo credit: Ketzel Levine, NPR

BG: Hi there Starlet, thanks for getting on the sofa.
SB: Are you here too? Are you eating something?
BG: Actually I wanted to talk to you about your recent disappearance. I understand that you took off Monday evening while Ketzel was out of the house.
SB: Does she have food in her pockets?
BG: In fact she does. Ketzel left and Zoe Mae opened the side door by putting her paws on the handle and jumping. Is that what you remember?
SB: Does she have a bowl outside?
BG: Yes, her bowl is outside. Is that where you were going?
SB: She smells but not much. But there is a smell. I remember now. And the smell gets closer and then it goes in a direction and I go in a direction.
BG: Right. Now from what we've pieced together from eyewitness reports, it seems you were following smells for about two hours before you were picked up. Do you remember where that was?
SB: BIG. SMELL. EVERYWHERE. I eat the smell.
BG: Exactly. You were eating garbage at the KFC on NE. MLK Blvd. Do you recall the people who picked you up and put you in their car?
SB: Are they here too?

Joyce Crabbe and Mike Smith found Starlet at a KFC and brought her to their home. A few days later they took her to the vet's office to be scanned for a microchip, having worried that if they brought her to Animal Control the dog might be confiscated. Turned out Joyce and Mike used the same vet as Ketzel, and so! another victory for the kindness of strangers.
photo credit: Ketzel Levine, NPR

BG: Do you recall anything about your four-day stay with the people named Joyce and Mike?
SB: Cat. Food. Drawers. Vomit.
BG: That's what they tell us, too, that you had issues with their cat and that you went through every cabinet in their kitchen. My guess is that you found food and ate it but that it didn't agree with you so you threw up. Does that ring a bell?
SB: Are you here? Do you have food in your pockets?
BG: As a matter of fact, I do have a little something, a blue peanut butter M&M I picked up off Ketzel's bedroom floor. But let's focus for a sec on you. Since coming home and hearing about your friends and family's sleepless nights, the hours of searching, the hundreds of lost dog posters and the paid ads in The Oregonian, what do you think you've learned about running away?
SB: (Stretches.)
BG: Starlet?
SB: (Grunts, circles and lands, curled. Looks at interviewer out of one eye.)
BG: Indeed, Starlet. From your mouth to God's ears: There is no place like home.
SB: (Snores).

A final word: It may be that no one understands Starlet better than the cat who watches her every move. So it's not all that surprising that literary agents are all a-twitter about rumors of a manuscript now making the rounds Watch these pages for more news about STUDIES IN ATTACHMENT DISORDER: My Life With A Beagle, by Lulah Levine.

(And Ketzel mentions in her blog that Lotusland did not burn!)

Happy birthday, Marian!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 9:47AM
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Frost this morning on the roofs, will wait to see that damages , if any. Ive already pulled up most of the Zinnias, but many begonias etc remain outdoors, most in protected areas. Doobie is sleeping right in the dead middle of the Sunday paper, so I came in to Idyll a bit before I head off to Trader Joes. It will be horrid there, but I am targeting ½ hour after they open for my arrival after the first rush has died down I hope.

Once the temps warm up outdoors I will venture out to continue the Cecile Bruner project.

Enjoying our various Idyll thread annexes

Later !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:47AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Hi! Here I am once more at DH's office trying to catch up.
Quickly, I have no working washing machine, no working satellite...and 20+ guests coming for Thursday night dinner. Oh joy!

My furnace expert told me that when setting your thermostat, make sure to never have more than 5 degrees difference between your high and your low. (That is 9 Fahrenheit)

Last night was French Club out at our local Mill's restaurant. Before that we did various errands, 9 pair of black socks for DH as well as a pocket calendar for 2009-2011 . I'm always surprised that I have appointments so far in advance: doctor, dentist etc.

Enjoying Mary's sewn bags. Personally I love paisley and pineapples...but hate carrying purses. I loathe parties where stuff is sold, though I confess to having had some of my stuff sold that way years ago when a few of us made machine knit baby wear. That was back in the days when we were called "Usually Upside Down" to reflect the chaos of our lives with little ones.

Enjoy reading Ei's entries and seeing family, which includes Scout of course. As to Phoebe, she resembles Charlotte, but I must say, "so not the same!"

To Marian, happy thoughts as we get into winter now, but sorry I can't contribute a birthday card this time. Who knows when that will become possible again!?!

V, back in 2006 DD received a deer from a friend while DSIL was out of town, and she discovered that it had to be skinned before the butcher would carve it for her. So, with baby strapped to her chest, she hoisted the beast into the garage to complete the task, then cart it off to be prepared for their freezer. A woman's work.... Their diet makes use of a great deal of game given them by friends from both of their work places.

OK, I'm off but thinking of you all until I'm able to return!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 11:54AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

The activity level is just picking up around here this morning. [When I started this, it was morning (g)] DD is visiting and DS is getting ready for work, DH has already been to see his Mom this morning and Thanksgiving preparations will probably consist of making sure we have everything for the table and getting all the food shopping done. Fitting that in around getting a spare bedroom ready for company at Christmas time and watching the Patriots play. It's cold here, but sunny.

Marian.....glad your back is better!

On that sweet potato casserole, we whip them with a little bit of butter, half and half and brown sugar and then heat in the oven for another 30 mins, then put the marshmallows on the top and return to the oven until the marshmallows brown. Not as easy as it sounds, because we do it in that last 10 minutes before the dinner gets on the table and there is a lot going on. We have been known to forget them and burn the marshmallows, once or twice. [g] We used to have butternut squash, which I love, but no one else does, so we skip it. We used to make turnip every year for my Mom, but she was the only one who ate it. Oh and I forgot the pearl onions.

Martie....I'm very sorry to hear that Rich is still looking for more work. I wish you lived closer. We are planning to do work around here when we can manage it and would feel very lucky to find someone like Rich to help us out with it. I'm glad you can put away your worries long enough to enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving. :-)

Kathy...if it were anyone else, I would be surprised that you baste the turkey with beer? [g]

Saucy...We have a programable thermostat and I think it is the best thing since sliced bread. It is set to come on before we get out of bed then lower when people are gone for any large portion of the day, comes back on before they get home and goes down at night to a low of 63. All without ever thinking about it. :-) Is that the same as your 'smart thermostat'?

Mary....What neat bags you are making....I hope whoever is on your list knows how lucky they are. :-) I also love anything paisley. I am happy to see more of that style fabric than there used to be. You are also inspiring me to start doing something crafty. Last year, I was looking for nice potholders and kitchen towels for my DS's new apartment and aprons for my DD who has developed a keen interest in cooking. I was so disappointed by what I found that I would really like to make something nice. If I can drum up enough energy and get my sewing machine repaired, which I hope turns out to be something minor.

Cindy....I hope you will post your recipe for Black Silk Pie to the Holiday Baking thread. I am curious what is in it. :-)

Gardenbug....I'm beginning to think there are gremlins at your house. [g] You must be thoroughly sick of it! Sounds like a busy week with so many expected for Thursday. I will be glad when your satellite is fixed, I depend on your daily postings. :-) brought up a good point about how your helpmeet becomes more curious and I assume more willing to help out, as he starts to see progress. That was something that I noticed with the menfolk around here too. I wasn't expecting that. My DS who does a lot of the heavy lifting and digging, would much rather be watching sports. Lately though, he has been expressing much satisfaction in how the garden is developing. He was even telling me the other day that he is looking forward to the spring to see further growth on the shrubs. I had to pinch

Sewing machines I can manage, if they do what is predictable and expected, if I am just using the basics for straight sewing, beyond that, I can get into trouble quickly. I would have really enjoyed growing up with a mother that sewed and been able to soak it all up.

Norma....having the kids selling items for fund raising at school was always a pet peeve of mine. I would also have much preferred just giving a donation. happy for you that inventory is over just in time to celebrate Thanksgiving without that hanging over your head. So DS would prefer a home cooked Thanksgiving meal? Well...I hope he helps in the kitchen. :-) Maybe you could have some fun with it and help for the clean up for sure. Yes, I was going to suggest Whole Foods, but I went to their website and didn't see a mention of it, so I wasn't sure if I was remembering it wrong. your morning sky....and sunflowers! stories always welcome here. I used to watch the Dog Whisperer a lot and now I find myself watching 'It's Me or the Dog'.

Deanne....our days of 20 for dinner are nothing but a memory. I miss them really. I enjoyed having a crowd. It was a lot of work though. We used to have to set up banquet tables and one year, we had a terrible snow storm that morning and no one could get to our house and we had a dinner for 23 with the 5 of us to eat it. I can laugh about it now. [g]

Eden very thoughtful to post some old Idyll days photo for Marian. :-)'s getting too busy around here. OH! DH and DD are getting the spare bedroom ready and they just found a box with all our family photo albums in it that I've been anxiously looking for, for the past 4 months! Yippee! I can't tell you what a relief that is! I couldn't imagine where they went.

Well....have a nice day!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Without further ado....

I am so bummed that I missed your birthday Marian! Hope you find the poem appropriate...I have many fond memories of you, forget-me-nots being one of them! :-) Hope you had a good birthday. I'm sorry I'm so late, but yesterday after spending a couple hours posting my long post I thought I'd better do something finishing all the garden clean up I hadn't got to. I over did it and hurt my back (I'm really starting to feel like we are living parallel lives :-) I'm better today, as long as I don't bend over...LOL!

I will have to catch up with you guys later, as I need to get things like laundry done so I'll have something to wear to work tomorrow.

Good to see Bug!

Have a great day all!


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 1:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

(psst..V, in my message, I meant 2007 for the deer operation)
I'm off to the farm to play with Phoebe.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 1:42PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)



    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 1:46PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Denise, thanks for the interview with Starlet. Not to be forgotten, we have:

The Further Adventures of Mystic the Wonder Dog!

Mystic was let out last night after his dinner. It was bitter cold outside and I was too comfortably warm to go outside with the dogs, so Mystic's nose took advantage of an opportunity to follow a smell. When I called for him after only a couple of minutes, there was no sign of him anywhere. For the next thirty minutes or so, we took turns calling for him, to no avail. Finally I went to the kitchen to start dinner. Just as things were heating up in the kitchen, I thought I heard a frantic bark from outside. Running to the door, I saw my crazy black lab tearing towards me like he had a pack of wolves on his tail.

Since things were at a crucial point in the kitchen, I let DH handle the job of talking to the wayward animal. A few minutes later, I noticed an odd black heap on the far side of the kitchen that had not been there a few minutes before. Closer inspection revealed that it was a rather large pile of deer poop. Since I had not seen a deer running through the kitchen, I'll leave the rest to your imagination...

(And thank goodness I had the excuse of a pot on the stove that needed tending! DH got clean-up duties this time.)

So far, no trophy buck or even pitiful doe has been claimed here. Since we will be out of town for the second weekend of hunting, it looks like my freezer will have a reprieve. Now to find out where the camera ended up.

GB, I'm amazed that your DD had to skin the deer before they would butcher it. Not a requirement here, and thank goodness because it could end up on my to do list!

I got the last of the pots into the garage today. DH, the man of no patience, told me I had waited too long on the rain barrel and that it was frozen solid. I was a touch amazed, as I had gotten a can of water from it yesterday and had checked to see how frozen it seemed to be. Well, I opened the tap and walked away, and less than two minutes later the water was pouring out.

I'm getting inspired to make some handcrafted ornaments this year. The idea is simmering in my brain right now; I shall have to go scrounge in the storage room for what I need to make these.

Saucy, I keep forgetting to offer my encouragement on the Goddess Garden. Take your time and let it develop as it feels right to you. I've found that my best projects, garden or otherwise, are those that I allow to develop on their own timetable. You mentioned not being able to do anything over winter, but this is a great time to think about your plans and figure out a plan of attack come spring. Do you still have brush to clear? Winter is a great time for brush clearing - just ask me!

Lucnh break is over so I'd better hit the coalmine again.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 2:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good afternoon all...

I am a little late getting back here. I have been doing some on-line research attempting to locate the cemetary where Nolon's sister is to be buried, and where the service is to be. I think I found the right one. The service is to be tues afternoon.

More great BD pics! Sue , that is a very enticing spot in your pic. Where is it? Mary, I love the 'cottage garden' look of your pic. It is your own garden isn't it? Woody, very pretty sunflowers. Thanks Denise and Marie. Marie. I will pretend one of the pics of Phoebe with the snowy face is my card. :-) Ei, I love the pic, the poem, and the post. :-) V, that is a wonderful pic! I love the ripples in the stream.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 2:38PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Hi Marian,

The picture was taken at St. Edmund's retreat on Enders Island in Mystic, CT. My summer cottage rental looked across the bay at it. Gorgeous spot. Sorry to hear Nolon's sister has passed away.

Chilly weekend here. Yesterday was the worst though. Starbucks has become a scheduled stop after my walks for an eggnog latte. Spent the last couple of days doing some indoor cleaning. Today I decided to steam clean the grout in my kitchen floor. Problem is I only have one of those little hand held steam cleaners and the room is over 500 square feet. Needless to say, I ended up triaging the worst areas, then vacuuming and swiffering the rest. No sooner did I finish when Nick proceeded to hurl a stinky river of vomit throughout the space. I need a

Oh, and speaking of Nick. I came up from the basement on Friday only to find him walking around on the kitchen counter. Yes, this is a dog we're talking about-one who is about to get shipped off to Chelone's for repeated beatings along with Mystic and all the other wayward mutts. He's always been able to get stuff off the counter by climbing on a boot bench I have underneath, but climbing onto the counter is a new trick. Now I have to move the bench away every time I go out.

Yesterday I scored on the fireplace setup. The same place that installed the self contained gas unit I have in the breakfast room handles the whole deal, gas logs, custom glass and steel doors and granite hearth and facing. They're coming tomorrow to measure and give me a quote. The facing is not done with granite tile but with granite slabs fabricated similiar to a kitchen counter. Merry Christmas to me.

Martie, wish I had some work I could toss Rich's way. The next item on my hit list is replacement windows but that won't be for at least a year. I can't imagine cheaping out home improvement, or letting someone do something to my house that wasn't up to code but I remember seeing an awful lot of shoddy remodeling when I was looking to buy this house. It actually decreased the value of the homes for me. Hopefully something good will come his way soon.

OK, time to stretch and toss some weights around while I watch the news. Guess I'd better hide the filet I've got defrosting on the counter...jeez, I might as well have cats around


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 5:54PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I spoke too soon. DH went out for one last try in the afternoon and got a doe. Since she was up in the area where all of our trillium grow, I don't feel sorry for her. I did tell him he was in charge of finding freezer space!

I decided to continue my baking streak and made some thumbprint cookies to take to the office gang tomorrow. Four weekends in a row! If I keep it up, I may end up making Christmas cookies for the first time in eons.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 6:42PM
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2pm Saturday afternoon beer, one day and about an hour late. We have had some mighty fine weather this weekend-too bad I only got to enjoy one day of it. The frost this morning was very light and there was no destruction here. I was able to pick yet another bouquet of zinnias and roses this morning-I cant imagine Ill be able to do this much longer. My Moonlit Madness daylily has thrown up 7 scapes that are loaded with blooms-a few opened this week. Crazy ! We have rain coming in this week so it looks like no frost on the horizon for several more days. Im going to close the office on Fri after a vote from the crew we all decided to take it off. I think the day after Thanksgiving has become a de facto holiday-most of my vendors are closed.

I realized today that I need to do a Deanne Duty (this would be the container gardening version of a Julie Job) but ran out of time I had planted my Escargot Begonia in a mixed planting this summer and I will have to extricate it from the clutches of a large Plectranthus and a coleus if I want to keep it alive over the winter. It did great on my kitchen counter last year , as long as I was careful to water sparingly.

After reading of Chelones very thorough vacuuming exercise I felt a mite guilty that I was spending yet another day outdoors at the expense of the home interior. However , I made a dent in Ceciles girth today, and have way more light coming into my kitchen now. Isnt it nice when the sig other actually notices a job well-done ?

Denise, really enjoyed your story of Ketzels lost dog.. I used to enjoy listening to her back when she was on Sat ams with Scott Simon. I think I may need to check out her blog. I meant to ask many moons ago the name of the culivar of that Gomphrena pic you posted ?

I want one of Vs cookies.

Taken this morning, a sure sign of winter weather in Northern California !

Kathy in Napa From mushrooms

    Bookmark   November 23, 2008 at 7:13PM
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Good morning

An early one here - Annie left for NYC on a school trip and we needed to be at school at 5 AM. I was happily padding about in my PJ's but thankfully thought to ask if I could just drop off from the car. I found out I needed to come in and sign off at the bag check (yes, it's like airport security) so had a quick scurry to dress. Few things could be more embarrasing than for a teenager to walk into school with her mother attired in her fleece jammies LOL!

Denise - I too enjoyed the Ketzel beagle story and always enjoy her pieces on MPR. I'm looking forward to checking her blog out.

Cloussea is in awe of Nick walking on the kitchen counter and Mystic's antics.

I have never been given any deer but love to cook venison. Skinning one is not something I'm sure I'd be up for though.

I thought of Chelone vacuuming this weekend as I surveyed the accumulated dust and grime here. However, both days were filled with Annie and David's activites (a recital and a concert, sledding, shopping for concert clothes and socks). With company arriving Wednesday night I know it WILL get done, just not sure how and when.

However, the food for Thanksgiving is purchased and as DH had made a Traders Joe run on his last trip to Long Beach my baking cupboard is well stocked.

Just two days of work this week - its going to go quickly.

Happy Monday!


    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 6:00AM
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The cleaning continued yesterday abated only by the take-down of the deck canopy mid-afternoon. Yesterday's project was the entry hall. I had big plans to move the white tornado through the Biddy Suite, too, but that notion proved a trifle too optimistic. Bear in mind the hallway takes the brunt of the tracked in sand and organic debris and it also has 8 (count 'em!) fully cased doors in it, not including the under staircase storage area. Try as I might, I couldn't recall once cleaning the woodwork since I painted it, "pre-Mum" so prior to 2003 and I'm reasonably certain the helpmeet never has! It looks nice and I was able to get a jump on cleaning the lower portion of the walls (think of happy, wet dogs with active tails, about Copper's size) in preparation for a fresh coat of paint this winter. The helpmeet once again noticed the level of activity remarking that the woodwork really IS quite arresting when its high gloss finish is allowed to shine.

I have a short day at work today and will move into the Biddy Suite this afternoon. For nearly 2 yrs. now I've barely gone in there as it breaks my heart thinking of how unhappily Mum's life ended in that dreadful nursing hole. Some days I'm overwhelmed with guilt over sending her away and on others I'm just unwilling to patiently sort through what remains of her clothing and get it to the thrift store. But it's time to do it. Funny how certain aspects of a death affect you so profoundly you simply can't take the next step until something inside you says it will be OK to do so. :( Still, though, there is another something deep inside me that knows the exercise won't be nearly as wrenching as I've convinced myself it will, that's usually how it works. Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to finishing that chapter.

The helpmeet went shopping yesterday evening and our larder is stocked for the holiday, too. I will pick up the turkey on my home tomorrow afternoon. Which reminds me I have to pick up a loaf of cheapie bread, too, and a cheapie roasing pan. The latter is one of those things I've managed to forget every time I've visited THTTF, and the last disposable one received several enthusiastic puncture wounds from Wrecks when it was turned over to him last year.

Wrecks would be amazed at the gall required of a dog to surmount the countertops since he has only to make a small "pop" to snag his quarry from one. He really is very good about that, showing more interest in the trash usually. We have one cat who will get on the counter, but she uses it as a stepping stone to the sink. She loves to get in one of the bays and roll around in it, joyfully batting the faucet, making chirping noises, and generally looking too cute for her own good. We don't encourage it, but do rather like to see that special part of her personality reveal itself. ;)

I like the image of Mary signing in the bags in her jammies.

And congratualtions are in order to V.'s DH, even if it was "only" a doe. My memories of hunting season in northern New England are of kills in the back of pick-ups at the registration station or hanging from a tree out in the yard for a few days. They still had their heads, legs, and hide at that point and I don't really recall how long they "cured" before skinning and butchering for storage. Maybe you will enlighten us, V.? (and I am not the least surprised that Sarah was willing to skin one, 'bug! I'll bet it's really pretty easy once someone shows you the trick).

Nice to see a nice newsy post from Sue, too. I applaud your decision to give your fireplace a "make over". Merry Christmas, indeed, and I'm certain it's something you will enjoy for a long time to come. I'm with you on the renovation thing, too! Many moons ago when the helpmeet and I were looking at homes we always deducted the cost of removing/redoing "renovations" from the asking price of a home... and we made sure the realtor knew why. Who wants to pay a premium price for someone else's taste for "new" when you know right well they did it as cheaply as they could to move the house?

Time to pull on some raiment, fold some laundry, and think about a leisurely drive to work. I suspect it will involve another large project in a dreadfully cluttered space. Oh joy.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 7:09AM
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What a great surprise to see Mary up and going so early! I gave up caring what I had on for early school trip days. It was a collective decision by all the Moms that short of brushing one's teeth, one was acceptable in anything one happened to have on. The power of a group of Mom's overrode anything our kids said :-)

Today marks the start of my annual Thanksgiving week vacation. That said, I have a major presentation of my own at a local agency this morning. They are new to me following the layoffs, and the guy and I seem to "click" so it'll be more learning and fun than work.

Yes, there are stories I could tell about phone calls from folks who "got a great deal and I don't know what happened!!" for Rich to come fix things -- some of them quite major. Rich's firm answer is "if someone else pulled the permit, it's up to them to fix it and I don't sub myself out." "If there is no permit, I would be responsible for anything the hacker did and thanks, but no thanks." In other words -- You made your choice not-so-bright homeowner and now you have to live with it!!

The only exception he made was when a porch roof was literally going to fall in and there was a safety issue -- the town inspector called him and assured him he would not be responsible for any of the other work. Rich couldn't just let a roof collapse, but he did make sure the Inspector wouldn't let the "contractor" back on the property for the sake of the homeowners.

Anyway, enough of That!! It's a week to be grateful and eat and play!!

You will be fine going through the room, Chelone. Just let what happens, happen. Look at it as a treasure hunt!

Logee's is Saturday, January 17th (if that's a Saturday -- no calendar nearby). LOL

Cruising but will see you all later!


    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 7:35AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

That's a Happy Belated, Marian! Stretch these days out as looooong as possible!

Sue, great idea about giving youself a log insert and doors - some warmth and cheer on a cold snowy evening without having to tog up and go lug in some wood...I remember those days, sometimes with nostalgia but more often with a shiver.

We are expecting the white stuff tonight.

"Gal Parties" - no thanks. Unless it is a plant exchange or garden-related stuff - love those!

Saucy, I get lots of support for projects - it's the ongoing never ending daily C**P that's mine, all mine. *sigh*

OoooMary, love the bags!

Oh Martie, how discouraging for Rich - one shouldn;t be penalized for doing the job right...We were very lucky over the years to mostly find men like him to do our work. You pay for quality, it's true, but our reno's sold our house, and we feel that we did right by the old place. Up here we can't find anybody to do anything. We are lucky to have DS for many kinds of work.

Oh, Sue, my DD has a service come in to feed/walk/play with Raia, the little beast, on the days she pulls the twelve hour day shift. With a 1 hour commute each way she would be gone 14 hours, too long for the pup. This occurs about 3 shifts every two weeks and is a great service for her.

Chelone! Hey! You're doing all your JJobs in one go! I am impressed!!I was in a snit about my picky eaters last night so I marched off to the Lace Reader immediately after this morning, NOTHING was done - table not cleared, dishes left, nothing organized for TCS for school. I am discouraged. Anyone read that book "Women Who Do Too Much"? I need to find it...

But...I did manage to grab a ticket to the Perth Christmas tour for next week. This is a tour of huge mansions, mostly very old, all decked out in their Christmas finery. It takes all day to go through the homes and I adore old houses. I haven't been in Perth long enough to know much of the history of these beautiful residences, and often during the inside tours you get lovely little bits of history that you wouldn't get otherwise. Looking forward to that immensely!

Well. gotta run. We'll be eating out of the dog's dish if I don't do something soon!



Today's JJob: pet beds. They are GROSS!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:59AM
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I see I have missed a birthday! Look what just opened up at my house (just in time, I might add) From Idyll Birthdays!

Now I have to finish reading this Idyll. Sarah had her slumber party over the weekend, and I'm a little under the weather....


    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 10:03AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

How nice to have 2 more Birthday pics! Julie, I love the Clematis fence! When I first saw the pic, I thought " She has Clems blooming in November"...:-)! I get a lovely Phal pic from you!

Thanks a bunch you gals, and everyone else that posted pics and good wishes.

I am working on grubbing out some of the grime in our house. I will definitely not get it all done. Tomorrow I will be driving Nolon to the service at the cemetary where his sis will be buried. But first, I will run to town and get my last minute groceries. Thank goodness the service is in the PM. Between the two, there will be no time for household chores tomorrow. So...weds. will be a busy day. I will need a burst of adrenalin to get all done that I hope to.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 11:51AM
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Not like a gal party? Folks, this is my gal party. After two brothers, then two boys of my own, working independent since 25, I've led a life sheltered from my own sex.

Lots of cleaning going on coast to coast. The kitchen got a massive wipedown of floor, walls, cabinets. After that rain of ash, the grime was unbearable. Marty is working on the plumbing which involves going into the "netherworld," the crawl space under the house, a truly scary place, while I scrape and sand the siding and hand tools and moral support through the vent. All this work may or may not lead to the latest incarnation of the "bathhouse," pending some new unforeseen obstacle. Which is fine since it's all work that needs doing anyway. We've been eating Guiness stew all weekend, which was fabulous but I think I'm done with stew now, thank you very much. I'd never bought or handled oxtails before (much less skinned a deer!)

We did make it to the Maltese Falcon at this gorgeous art deco theater, the , but the unanticipated hour of lecture (Dashell Hammett's granddaughter) and student films took its toll, and we walked out mid-picture. I'd completely forgotten I'd been up since 3:30 and hadn't stopped all day until I hit those old, hard seats. Marty was snoring softly, so definitely time to go.

Musing out loud: Ever have a really sweet relative find an inclination for risque humor when he hits his 80s? I mean, the jokes he tells are tame by today's standards, but it's still a shock to hear them coming from this quiet Southern gentleman. No Alzheimer's, still very lucid and otherwise his old self. Must be the thrill of the transgression for him...

Martie, I'm hoping some work shakes loose for Rich soon. Maybe temporary travel to a busier location is a possibility? And is there a busier location? New Orleans?
I'm wondering how Nick vacated the counter, if he jumped as Sue entered the kitchen. Ein seems to understand the concept of guilt, lol. The granite fireplace will be beautiful.

And V, my imagination comes up way short in attempting to envision how a huge pile of deer scat ended up in your kitchen, and maybe I really don't need to know, lol...I'm also thinking of something crafty for holiday cards, possibly involving including a bay leaf from my little tree. Cheesy? Be honest now.

Saucy, email those former classmates friendly, cheery notes all winter...and then recruit them in the service of the goddesses this spring. Think of all they would learn under your direction!

Julie, the description of the state of your kitchen this morning uncannily applied to my own. And we could swap picky eater stories all day. I think it was Ei who noted the passing of Paul Newman. His salad dressing is the only kind Duncan will use. He's called it the "happy face" dressing since he was 3, and of course that's what we put on shopping lists to this day. Hope things smooth out today.

Speaking of Mary's beautiful totes, here's one my SIL gave me last week, that an 80ish-yr-old friend made from upholstery scraps, festooned with little glass ornaments I found at a nursery yesterday when restocking on tazetta bulbs.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 12:05PM
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The smart thermostat is wi-fi and can be handled from the pc - it makes it easy to program (because they're a pain!) and it will also send you an email or phone call when you have an emergency (great for vacation or while at work....though I don't think any emergency is great). I'll be a beta tester and let you know what I think!

I think we should all keep our thermostats set at a place that makes us happy, and that's all I'm saying on the great thermostat debate :)

I am envious that Mary has an operational machine that she can scoot up to and crank out beautiful bags when she feels so inspired! You amaze me! Annie's trip sounds like a big one if she had to leave so early.

Sarah had her birthday sleepover party. A total of 4 girls. They were fun. Asleep at midnight, up at 6 am. I should've had Chelone chaperone, lol!

I've got a barky cough and sound worse than I feel, but I do feel tired. Luckily all I have to do is go spread my germs at Nick's aunt's house! Really, I won't.

I don't let my kids sell door to door either...don't we have child labor laws in this country? I always buy the minimum, too. They did come up with a good idea this year, though: they sell pies that come in the week of Thanksgiving! Good if you don't bake, I guess.

My I am chatty :) Just let your eyes glaze over and skip to the end :)

Martie, I am excited about our trip to Logee's. Nothing like a trip with some Idylls to brighten up the calendar :) I like your decorations.

I am off to sip some tea!


    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 2:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Woke up this morning to an inch of white stuff on the ground. My benchmark for a bad winter is snow that sticks around before Thanksgiving. Fortunately, this all melted before the end of the day. We'll see what the next few days bring; it has been colder than normal for November.

Had a meeting out of the office this morning. Even the not-for-profit world is looking very glum these days. I'm trying to remain positive, but that's getting to be a more daunting task. Anyway, I dragged my camera to a very photogenic location only to find that it was a gray, drizzly day there with little beauty to be found out in the biting wind. But I did get pics of the finished note cards. I'll add them to the end of this post.

Denise, let's just say that sometimes labs have appetites for rather disgusting things, but that some of those disgusting things don't agree with them. Thus, a pile of deer poop was transported into my kitchen and redeposited. Glad you asked? Want a lab?

As for hanging the deer, I don't have all the answers. Ours hung only until this morning when it could be transported to the butcher. It will likely hang for up to two weeks there, but in a cooler instead of outside. I think that our weather is too variable to want to hang your deer at home for too long. In fact, DH opened the garage doors for a while to cool off the garage. I then asked (with a smirk) if he still wanted me to put his hunting clothes in the dryer, which vents into the garage. He decided I should wait to finish his laundry.

Okay, here are the pics. The first is an overview of all the cards:

And then a couple of close ups. Most of you will know where this photo was taken:

And these milkweed pods were right off my driveway.

The "bits and bobs" of ribbon are the result of my saving any interesting scrap of ribbon that has crossed my way over the last several years.

DH told me today that he took a close look at the cards and was quite impressed.

Now I shall impress him again by cleaning up a couple of his messes. He gets dispensation tonight, as he is visiting his BFF's mom, who is in rehab after a very serious stroke last month. (And DH would die of embarrassment if he knew I called his buddy his "BFF"!)


    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 7:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

V, I am VERY impressed with your cards! The matching ribbons are an exceptionaly nice touch.

Our Tommy made a couple of deposites in and by Nolon's chair, but they were not deer poop. LOL. Both of them were mostly catfood. Apparently he snacked on something outside that did not agree with him. Poor kitty...he seems fine now.

Denise, I am thinking your 80 year old relative has a touch of senility. It can affect a person that way. They lose some of their inhibitions. Vulgarity is one of the things that shows up. I am sure all who knows him will understand.

I got quite a bit of cleaning up done. I hope to start baking when we get home from the funeral tomorrow. I have 5 or 6 pie recipes I want to make, and at least one bread recipe. I want to make a molded cranberry salad also. The main meal will be cooked Thurs. forenoon, if all goes well.

We were reminded, by a phone call from Nolon's cousin, that there is a run-off vote for county judge. I will feed us when I get back from groc shopping and then we will go vote before going to the services.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 8:15PM
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Im now the proud owner of a Waterpik and 4 more dentist appts between now and end of Feb. I have an abscess, and we are starting on the next phase of my mouth construction project sooner than expected. Fortunately, the nature of my procedures allows them (and the $$$) to be spread out over several months. Perhaps I should consider a seminar on Dental Office Relaxation Techniques as my contribution to IU Summer Camp..

Fog this morning and no sun today. Fog is a very common November-December weather feature all along the coast and central valley areas of our state. NO fun to drive in, and I have done many an Interstate 5 run between Nor and So Cal over Thanksgiving that was a fog shrouded mess. Those days are past thank goodness.

Nice cards V!

Okay, thats all for me tonight, some undone chores are calling

Wave to all ..
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:11PM
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I won't even try to explain the convoluted and coincidenatal way I came across this photo, but it is Marties angel with wings intact. I just had to post it...

Kathy in Napa From Nature

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 11:09PM
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What a creative bunch! V., your cards are lovely (my fav. is the milk weed pods), I love the T-Day wreath, Martie, and the "festooning" on Denise's bag pleased me, too. Somehow vinyl mooring covers "festooned" with #1 spur grommets leaves me less than fulfilled.

I will commune with Kathy this very morning as I recline supine and have plaque scratched from behind my lower incisors. I'd be all over Dental Office Relaxation Techniques; give me an OB-Gyn exam any day of the week, lol. Is the abcess painful? (tip: you can elicit some marvelous acrobatics by aiming the waterpik at unsuspecting felines).

It's wicked windy and rather warm this morning, evidently, it's supposed to get messier as the day progresses. I will double my efforts to ensure the litter pan is kept very clean today as I suspect the Great Outdoors will have few takers. :) It will be a perfect day to get last minute items from the grocery store and then come home and push the vacuum around the Biddy Suite.

Speaking of which... I made a call to the thrift shop and will drop off the useful clothing items on Saturday morning. I've packed the prettier ones into a bag and will ask our Meme upstairs if she might be interested in any of them. She is always grousing about the state of her wardrobe and the nursing hole staff didn't steal every nice item! Poignant discoveries in the "scarf drawer" included: my first pair of black veleveteen shoes (about 3" long!), my brother's baby shoes, his monogrammed sterling silver baby brush and comb set, and a Christmas Card I made when I was Bella's age lovingly stored in a waxed paper bag. I shed few tears, but found my mind mulling over 45 yrs. worth of memories that are now only mine. You were right, Martie, it was OK. ;)

A dog's appetite never ceases to amaze me. Manure of all sorts seems particularly attractive to canids, either for snacking or rolling. Carrion? NO PROBLEM, pass it this way, please! I've even seen Rex steal live prey from the cats and down it in one gulp. So, V., what does regurgitated deer manure look like... a tad slimier than the stuff in the field? (time to shovel in the last of my egg, kids). ;)

Julie, you are very dear and patient soul! Suffice it to say, had I found a completely abandonned dinner table replete with the previous meal's carnage I would NOT have cleaned it up. In fact, I would have rousted every offender from bed and told them to get busy with the clean up and consolidation. Anyone who prepares meals, serves them, and faithfully cleans up should not be treated with such "familiar" contempt and disrespect, IMO. I clean up the trail for the helpmeet who is the "chef", but that doesn't give him leave to be an unmitigated slob. A communal effort provides each of us with more free time to do things we want to do and a feeling that we're a team. Hang tough!

I had a dear friend (now deceased) who once told me we are treated the way WE permit people to treat us. Her husband was an alcoholic and in desperation she attended an AlAnon meeting. The next time he came home and passed out on the stairs in his vomit she stepped over him and marched their kids past him on their way to school, explaining what had happened the night before. She left the vomit on the stairs for a few days, too, repeatedly telling him it was HIS mess to clean up. He finally relented and cleaned it up, attending his first AA meeting that night. Their marriage was a loving and very respectful one until her death.

In the spirit of teamwork, I returned home yesterday to find the helpmeet diligently rounding over the sharp corners of the ballusters for the Salon's staircase. When the nasty case of itty-bitty water blisters on the backs of my hands clears up I'll be back at the pickling and clearcoating (should be gone tomorrow... thinking that dry skin, too much water, and Simple Green may have been the culprit).

Time for the morning "mining" operation and then departure for work. Make it a productive one, you guys! and be sure to have some laughs, too.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 5:38AM
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Good morning

I woke this morning wondering how Annie's trip to NYC was going and found myself missing her.

Denise - the bag from SIL is great. I hope I'll still be making things when I'm in my 80' (rather than telling risque jokes.) Love the glass ornaments.

Martie - your Thanksgiving wreath is perfect and your table will look very festive. Those things are so much fun to make and enjoy aren't they? Especially when you can use materials already stashed away. I'm keeping toes and fingers crossed something unexpected will come up for Rich to help through these hard times.

V- those cards are fabulous!! Are destined as gifts for others or for you to send? The lotus flower is just lovely.

Today is a yukky mix of snow and rain. But the good news is it's a half day at work. I'm planning on coming home and starting the pre-holiday clean up in earnest. I'm already psyched that the bathrooms will need little more than a quick wipe of the surfaces and a vacuum up of spiders in the powder room (I counted 6 in there this morning). After all my hard work everyone is being very diligent about keeping things neat and clean, hanging up wet towels, cleaning sinks and removing toilet paper rolls. As I'm not sure how long this will last I'll enjoy it all for the time being.

Julie - hope those men treat you well today. I'm a great believer in telling those around me calmly but firmly how behaviour like that makes me feel. I'm sure the response will be that they didn't mean for you to feel taken for granted, unappreciated, treated like a maid, etc after all you do for them. But it's important for them to know what an impact it has. These are all teachable moments and I'm sure with your positive outlook you can use them to advantage.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 7:55AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Well I'm behind again...there is so much to read and I don't want to skim!

I'll have to catch up some more later. This chair is not comfortable on my back.

But did want to say Thanks Denise for the Ketzel Levine story...I love that kind of humor and laughed out loud (several times).

V - you cards are *so* really put your heart into them. They are almost too beautiful to send out...I think you should frame them somehow and give them as gifts!


    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 11:20AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I'm at DH's office once more...searching for those laughs Chelone assigned us for today.

The pets seem to do better making me laugh than people. Reading about Julie's Phils really makes me boil. But I guess it is about attitude, and mine is really low these days dealing with DD's & DSIL's situation, and grief still too. But Skyler's wish for a "telephone to heaven" has really touched me.

I have finished the book on the fourteenth Dalai Lama by Picco Iyer and am now reading Lawrence Hill's The Book of Negroes which is not a bit cheery, but with my West African experiences, is certainly interesting. Both of these will be discussed in January with my book club.

Today is a special day for a friend...her wedding day. I am happy for her too. She is having a civil ceremony, marrying a woman with a young daughter. My friend has had a terrible two years and now has a great present & future to look forward to.

The snow has been here for ages now. It seems like March to me, drab & dreary and cold. The roads were dangerous yesterday and DH had a near miss. He said he really didn't want to drive into a ditch! On the home front, while walking Phoebe, he stared into the eyes of a muskrat who was coming in the opposite direction across a foot bridge. Fortunately the muskrat dove into the creek, not DH!

I too enjoy the mental image of Mary on fleecy PJs registering Annie's baggage. :)

I'll be back whenever the satellite company allows it...Sue will no doubt have her new fireplace crackling by then!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 11:42AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good rainy morning!

I know, I am a bad Idyller, I just realized it has been some time since I posted. I do skim through from time to time at work, but usually no time for replies. I don't get much computer time at home, there is usually someone hanging in the background waiting for their turn for some school purpose.

Marian, I tried to post a picture for you, but darn Comcast has changed the photo stuff yet again, and I have yet to figure it out. Happy Birthday, in any case.

V, glad you cleared that up about the deer poop. I was wondering how you could be unaware of a deer in your kitchen, especially if it paused long enough to leave a deposit.

I want to wish all of you a nice Thanksgiving, and know that I do think of you often.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 11:43AM
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Hi Wendy!

Happy Strecthed out Birthday Marian. I was hoping to get a picture up, but no such luck.

I was so pumped up, thinking I was going to get wireless internet service and really bummed when the signal tested out to low to be of any use. CR@#P

I want to wish you all a "Happy Thanksgiving".
I probably won't get back here with so much prep to do.

My eyes are driving me nuts too, so I don't want to be on the computer much right now.

Skylar's remark is very touching Marie. If there were telephones to Heaven I imagine all the lines would be busy.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving. Everyone enjoy. Norma

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 7:15PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

A rather tiring day. I rushed to town and got the needed groceries. Rushed back and had some 'free' time before we had to leave, so I relaxed at the computer. After lunch we went and voted in the run-off for our county judge, then headed to the cemetary for the service for Nolon's older sister. A lot of his family were there, many that we did not recognize.Those that we remembered as children are all grown and have their own children and even grandchildren. How time flies!
When we got home I was too tired to accomplish anything, and there were no new posts to entertain me, so I snacked a little, and layed down for a late rest. Hopefully I will be rejuvenated by morning, as I have a very busy day planned.

Wendy and Norma, it is the thoughts that count. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to all....I hope the company, the food, and all that goes with, it will be a blessing for all.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 9:14PM
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Good Tuesday friends,
One of my staff informed me that rain was to arrive at 3pm today. Other staff and I looked out the door at 3:30, no rain. He revised his prediction to 9pm. Temps are in the low 50s.
I have totally disregarded any T-giving preps. If you were to look in fridge right now you would assume I was having lettuce, cantaloupe, parmesan cheese and grapefruit juice for dinner on Thur ! I have 4 hours of meetings tomorrow, but will try to hit Whole Foods at some point-since they are expensive they should be the least crowded. Time is money for me.

Chelone I hope the hygienist didnt torture you too much. I must say that since I have been on my current treatment plant the cleanings have been far less painful. I have had my 3rd crown installation moved up from Dec 9th to tomorrow at 1:45. That makes two trips to the dentist in one week. Re: the abscess, I have no pain there and it was only discovered because the hygienist noticed something not quite right during my cleaning and took an x-ray. The involved tooth was one that has already been targeted for deletion, but this infection issue has moved it to an asap schedule.

And Julie, wow..there would have been hell to pay around here for the mess encountered in the am. Might have even been a few F-Bombs flying about. Thinking Marians b-day pic may have been a segment of the wine deck ? We have a Candlelight Victorian tour here in Napa every year. I have lived here over 20 years and have yet to attend ! The date always seems to conflict with something else. Our downtown has some fabu old homes and bungalows too.

I hope all have a fun holiday , I really look forward to doing as little as possible-Its been a long time since I have had days off that did not involve travel or chores !and Wendy, you are hereby not a Bad Idyller.

Later everyone..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 11:05PM
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Kathy, the dental practice the helpmeet and I visit is very small; the good doctor, his trusty assistant (not a hygienist, but a patient he trained for the job!), and the charming receptionist. That's it. We're all on a first name basis, having known each other for nearly 15 yrs. now. They entertained me with a thorough explanation of how dental implants are accomplished, a useful way to keep my mind off that dreadful "fingers on the chalkboard" scratching that goes (ahem) "tooth and jaw" with plaque removal. I have a deep respect for what you and Cynthia (I miss her) have committed to.

It was a wet and wild day yesterday; wind gusts of 50 mph, coastal flooding and erosion, and several thousand power outtages etc.. Harbor Masters earned their salt yesterday. I'm not sure what the seas were yesterday, when it's very windy it's tough to judge accurately, but suffice it to say that it wasn't a fit day to be out on the water and I'll bet there will be lots of pots and gear on the beaches today. :(

I have everything required for tomorrow's meal on premises and had little trouble fitting it in the the 'frig.. The big question is: will she or won't she make pie crust and a pumpkin pie?

Norma, man! I'll bet you were disappointed that your move from the stone age to the space age was thwarted. is there any way to accomplish a "signal boost"? I smiled at the thought of all the 'phone lines to heaven being "busy". That's a good one.

And a nice treat to hear from wayward Wendy! you oughta know by now that there are no recriminations for those "missing in action". ;) No one knows better than I how hard it can be to get back in the swing when time is scarce. It's just nice to see you pop in.

I meant to say how much I enjoyed the Ketzel Levine story, too. I love "smart" journalism! And tomorrow we will hoist a glass to those reporters who refuse to "dumb down" for the mouth-breathers of the world!

Nice to see 'bug pop in, too. I'm irritated that your satellite connection has left you isolated at a time when you least "need" it. If you concentrate really hard maybe you'll be able to pick up the messages I've been sending to you everyday?

Julie, I have a full slate of JulieJobs on the docket for the coming long weekend. I have many ballusters to pickle (2 coats each), a few small painting jobs, and there is no shortage of cleaning that could be accomplished should the spirit move me in that direction. I hope the collective Idyll outrage was a needed dose of feminine solidarity! You rock.

Marian, I think it's nice that you and Nolon went to the funeral. I recall how surprised I was to see the smile creases on my cousins' faces when I attended my aunt's funeral some years ago. I'd not seen them in many years, but within minutes we were laughing and remembering our parents and funny family episodes. I'm fortunate that I genuinely like all my cousins. Only the helpmeet's step-family have proven to be complete idiots, something we completely expected. There is, indeed, an ass for every seat! I suggest you toss back a couple of Geritol shooters in preparation for the holiday preparations. :)

OK, gotta decide how to proceed with this day... I have time to kill before heading to work and I'm not really sure if I want to work a full day, either. There is no shortage of piddly things to get done here.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 6:25AM
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My fridge looks like yours, Kathy! I have to figure out what to bring to the feast....I'm charged with that appetizer that no one is going to want :) I usually bring something light, and this year we're thinking proscuitto wrapped melon.

The kids will be home at lunch time...they both are happy about that!

I have a dentist that puts headphones on me with nice "musak" so that I can't hear what is going on...mind you, I can feel it, but no hearing makes it much better. She has a little shop on the main street and I walk to my appointments. She's the only dentist I've actually liked.

I have been keeping busy with house and work and The Lace Reader, as well as trying to shake this chest cold that I have. For some reason, Sarah and I repeat the same chest cold over and over again, Spring and Fall. Even though I don't feel "bad" I feel tired.

I've got a little tune stuck in my goes something like, "happy birthday to me...." :) No cards necessary....just nice to have some friendly faces to come visit without having to get out of my pj's.

I'm almost done with TLR, so I think I'll go finish it up today!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 8:26AM
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Happy Birthday Miss Saucydog! Hope it's a great one...


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 8:56AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning... :-)

Thought I would post while it is quiet here. We don't get started in our pre Thanksgiving preparations until after 6pm when DH and DD arrive. It will be our first holiday without our whole family here, with DS not able to get home. It is disappointing but he will be calling tomorrow, so that helps a little. DD is making Chocolate Trifle. I will post that recipe over on the Holiday Baking thread. Our DS that will be home, has already cooked pumpkin pies, since he will be working tonight. We should have a quiet day tomorrow which I think the kids and DH will appreciate since they all have been working a lot lately. Something to be very thankful for. After dinner, there is always football, but we hope to throw in a few games. Has anyone ever played CatchPhrase? That has been one of our favorite group games. Lots of laughs.

Hope everyone is pleasantly busy getting ready for tomorrow....looking forward to lots of holiday photos.


Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

~~Author Unknown.~~

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 9:44AM
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Happy Birthday Saucy

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 9:49AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Saucy! Your Birthday is SO close to Thanksgiving, do you ever get gypped? [g] Well...Thanksgiving and Bees came together in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, so hope you enjoy some Birthday celebrating! I would love to know whether you asked for any garden related items for presents this year?


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 10:14AM
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Good morning

Saucy - hope you have a lovely day today and enjoy some quiet time in your PJ's this morning with your Idyll friends.

I am feeling like a real housewife this morning having got up early, make a quick grocery run and then emptied and cleaned out all the shelves in my pantry cupboards. I also spent an entire 25 mintues (yes 25) scouring the bathtub so that is was spotless and streak free enough to match the new decor. Wow, am I glad this urge only hits once or twice a year as this sort of cleaning is exhausting and time consuming. I still have the rest of the house to dust and vacuum, guest beds to make up and then all the food to prepare (is it too early for wine?) As our guests are coming fom out of town I don't have the bonus of anyone bringing dishes. However, the cooking part is what I look forward to after the grunt work is done.

I'm rather excited as this year I'm trying a Kugel in honor of DH's relatives who are Jewish. Looks easy and hopefully will taste good. I'm making my signature Pumpkin Cheesecake, creamed onions, cranberry orange relish, andouille sausage cornbread stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts, chipotle sweet potatoes, a big ole turkey and oodles of gravey. I'll have helping hands to chop and stir and leave all the cleanup to the troups so it should be fun.

Our 30 year old nephew is flying in on the red-eye from LA and arrives noon Thursday. I'm keeping fingers crossed that his flights go smoothly as he has to leave again Saturday AM. When he sent details of his flight arrival I was shocked to see what he'd had to pay for the ticket and flattered that he wanted to be with us enough to make that sacrifice. He is a great young man and Annie and David adore him. One of the many things we are thankful for.

Annie is still sleeping after an action packed couple of days in the Big Apple. They certainly had fun.

Time to get back to the grind. I'll be stopping in during my breaks so I hope there are lots of diverting posts to entertain.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 10:16AM
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Sorry about the eerie flash effects. This little pot reminds me of a bee skep, which always reminds me of you ;)

Happy birthday, Saucy.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 10:41AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Dreary and snowy here today, but not excruciatingly cold...

House needs some tidying, but it's bill-paying day today (we just call it "money transfer day" - our penions get direct deposited, I pay the bills on-line. Pfft! Done in half an hour...).

Thank you for your collective outrage directed toward the Phils...however, in their defence....we take turns here putting the little guy to bed (music practice, homework, bath, snack etc.) and cleaning up the kitchen. The other night it was my turn to do the clean-up. If I am sick or tired or going out, one of the adult Phils pitches in and takes my turn at whatever, and vice versa. But the other night I was not sick, or tired, or going anywhere, I was in a snit and just didn't take my turn. So....not excusable but maybe understandable...They did, however, pull out all of the Christmas decorations and help Adrian start his note to Santa and hang hs stocking (already! He can hardly wait!).

I spent half an hour at the school yesterday looking for wayward mittens, snowpants (two pair gone already!) hats, fleeces etc. To no avail. His name is in everything....He came home with two pairs of the three snowpants that have gone to the school in the last week, and one pair of ski mitts without the liners...Saw the principal in the hall he asked if I had any insights on the lost stuff problem - I told him the real problem is that the kids are seven years old (grin).

Busy week coming up. Today - music and parent-teacher interviews (report card was good). Tommorrow - DH has his physical in the town we moved from (can't find a doctor here) so I might tag along and shop..Friday Professional Development day for teachers so TCS has no school - he and his Daddy are making a gingerbread house, I am volunteering at the school book fair for three hours. Christmas stuff, volunteer stuff, trying to get an appointment to look at a very large old house for sale three blocks from here - likely a pipe-dream but...

I will be taking out the dishes this week-end too - so a photo will be forthcoming...

I hope you all have (or had?) a great Thanksgiving and are ready to leap right into the Christmas spirit!

See you tomorrow...



    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 10:58AM
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Oh what fun, it's going to be a newsy day. Hope you're out there, Eden! :)

Happy Birthday, Saucy! (maybe you'll get a picture later on).

Dishes are done. The bread for the stuffing has been dried in the oven and will be perfect tomorrow morning. Kitchen has now been "sanitized" for our protection and is ready for the next phase of Thanksgiving dinner. I am heading down to the Biddy Suite to shove the Kirby around for awhile.

The Phils should have atoned for inciting your frustration by cleaning the table. But it does seem they've somewhat redeemed themselves... we ladies have to stand shoulder to shoulder, Julie. :) Lol about the real problem is they're 7 yrs. old, pretty funny. I hope the pricipal laughed, too.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 11:29AM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Happy birthday Saucy and happy belated birthday Marian!!

I'm hopelessly behind with birthdays, so I'd thought I should at least chime in with non-photo birthday wishes at the very least. I don't seem to have time to find, crop and upload photos lately.

We're off to my mom's tomorrow where we'll hopefully see my brother and his family for the 1st time in 1 1/2 years. Long story.

Happy Turkey day to everyone!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 1:01PM
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