Idyll #411 The Audacity of Hope

cynthia_gwNovember 26, 2008

Good theme for Thanksgiving?

And here are Hope's track photos.

She arrived November 1st, and I have exactly ONE photo of her at home as she's constantly in motion and looking for trouble when she's awake.

She has the same birthday as Katie, 8/18, but 3 years apart. She's 3. (Florida girl, so wearing nighties before the rest of the pack thinks it's cold. )

Miss you guys! Wanted to say 'Happy Thanksgiving' and hope to get back later as I took today off. Right now I have to hit Sam's club for homemade (right?) pumpkin pie before they run out or close the store. Happy B-Day to Saucy!


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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Duh, I wrote the following on the other thread w/o realizing there was a new one. So, here it is again.

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 1:03PM
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Ave Cynthia! all it took was some Hope. :)

And lovely to see Monique (and Les., too).

Kirby beckons for the mattress and box spring vacuuming session.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 1:17PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hello Cynthia! So nice to see you. Your new girl is so adorable. I love her face. Red is her color for sure. :-)
Happy Thanksgiving!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 1:52PM
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I don't have much time, Thanksgiving pies to bake, you know. I just wanted to say how great it is to hear from Wendy, Monique and Cynthia. Also a big Idyll pet welcome to Hope. Hi to the restayas! And I love the bee birthday theme of the day for Saucy. Hope her day is going good! I NEED one of Chelone's geritol shooters today!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 2:20PM
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What a wonderful surprise - Cynthia and Monique both in one day.

Cynthia - is Hope a foster for you or a forever companion? How neat that she shares Katie's birthday.

I've vacuumed, dusted, wiped surfaces and trim, mopped floors, washed sheets and made beds, dumped or recyled much clutter and I am totally and utterly exhausted. I've come to the conclusion I'm just not a good cleaner and we are a family of messies. Housework is my Achilles Heel LOL! DH is working from home today but I've nabbed him every time he peeked out of his office and put him on duty too. Both the children were assigned tasks, though only Annie's contribution really made a difference. The end result is the place is presentable and welcoming.

I even cleaned inside and behind Clousseau's crate. He was thoroughly perplexed by the procedure. It obviously didn't smell nearly as good to him when I was through - a bit like one of those baby's blankies I guess (he kept going in and sniffing). He has retreated there now though for a little quiet while I run around telling everyone not to touch anything, walk on floors, put things down etc. and generally mess up our hard work. Having a clean house is definitely NOT relaxing.

I've just soaked in the tub and found the Zen feeling of the new bathroom just what I needed and am ready to start cooking. SIL and niece are due to arrive any moment and I'm counting the hours till I can open that bottle of wine.

Happy baking everyone on KP! I treated myself to a silicon coated rolling pin I can't wait to try out.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 3:21PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Happy Birthday Saucy! I don't have any bee pictures - will a fish do instead?! :-)

Nice to see some missing Idylls reappear and I'm particularly happy to see Cynthia with Hope!

Liam is here today and the Copper beast returns tomorrow through to some time on Saturday.

I could use that Geritol shooter today too! We spent the morning running around doing shopping of various sorts. (Both dogs love 'car rides...!' - say those words and both Liam and Misty are dancing by the door.)

Tomato pie (quiche) just came out of the oven. I think tomorrow's effort will be an apple strudel. That's always fun - but messy since the 6 layers of pastry needs to be stretched paper thin and the heavy edges end up pulling loose and making a ring on the floor around the table the pastry is stretched on. I haven't made it in a while and I want to try using 'spreadable butter' between the layers of pastry to see if that works, instead of the original butter/shortening mix. I no longer use shortening in anything because of the trans fat. I'm always looking for suitable substitutes.

It sounds like most of you are all prepared for 'turkey day' - have a good one....

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 3:53PM
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In keeping with the bee theme.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Saucy, I hope you are having a great Birthday!

I have not got nearly as much done yet as I hoped to do today. I did get all the previously dirtied dishes washed, and now am accumulating more, due to my baking efforts. I have 2 loaves of Pumpkin Walnut bread cooling, and two pumpkin pies in the oven. I haven't heard from our preacher and his wife, so am thinking they will not be here tomorrow. If they should call saying they are coming I will pop a raisin pie in the oven just for is his favorite. :-)

It is great to see the MIA's back. :-)
And thanks for the belated BD wishes, Monique. I hope I haven't missed thanking anyone.....

It is an absolutely beautiful day. Warm enough that I have the front door open. Between the wood heat this morning, and the oven going all day, it is a little too warm inside!

Chelone, I too, am very glad we went to the funeral. It was much more 'civilized' than I was expecting. There was one near brawl between the 2 remaining sisters, when they disagreed with a statement that was published in the obit. I stepped between them and acted the peace maker. ;-)
I have been pondering times past that we had with the family. We haven't been around most of them in several years. I sort of wish we could have spent more time renewing acquaintances, but Nolon needed to get home to his nebulizer.
I said earlier, that I was tired when we got home....drained would have been a more apt word for how I felt. I am fine today.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 5:37PM
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Happy Birthday Saucy!!!!!!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 6:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have a minute while waiting for DD who should arrive in a few minutes and thought I would check in.

I am entirely impressed with all the cleaning going on! The baking too! I am wondering if anyone is going to have time to take photos of all their baked goods and their table settings? So many people baking pies. What kind of pies are you all making, pumpkin, apple, or something exotic? I remember the Black Silk Pie and the Chess Pie, which I am still scratching my head about. The ingredients made it look like cornbread in a pie crust, is that right? How many of you actually make your pie crusts from scratch? We used to make a lot of quick breads, Banana, Pumpkin and Cranberry Nut. Sometimes we have done a few pies but sometimes we end up buying them.

Monique and Wendy....I didn't notice that I had forgotten to say hello...I'm sorry about that! Glad to see posts from both of you. Sounds like you are busy busy...who knows, maybe in the new year, you will find circumstances might allow you to post more. I would look forward to it.

Hope everyone has a fun time getting ready for tomorrow and I am sure I will have some time to check in tomorrow at some point. Have a good evening!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 6:13PM
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Hope is beautiful in every single regard I can think of :-) So Good To See You Cynthia, Monique and Wendy. Any of you up for Logee's on January 17????

Marian The Peacemaker. Good for you! Memorial events are nowhere to be arguing with someone over something that REALLY probably happened 50 years ago. Hope your pastor has the courtesy to call one way or the other!!

Cornfield Park is Party Ready and we split an absolutely decandant(sp?) grilled Boneless Rib Eye Steak for dinner to reward ourselves.

While I admire Woody's steadfastness to honoring her heart, there are some moments. LOL

Wishing all of you everything wonderful tonight and tomorrow. Hope our friends in country north celebrate right along with us!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 6:19PM
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Happy Birthday, Saucy!

From your friend, Chelone.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Look at all the bees! You all have made me want to look inside my hive and see what's going on in there....

I took a picture of my hostess gift - what do you think? I made a little posie for Sarah, too :) From Saucy's Photos

It's so nice to see all the Idyllers coming out of the proverbial woodwork! And a new Idyll furbie - Hope!

I had a great day and saved the end of The Lace Reader for bed tonight. I'll be sad when it's over. I think I read it slow so that I could savor it :)

I took pictures of my projects, but I'm going to put them on another thread.

Enjoy your clean houses and baking smells. It paints a wonderful mental picture! hit my taste buds with the prime rib!

Off to put my feet my new penguin socks, lol!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 8:04PM
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Happy Birthday Saucy !!!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 8:46PM
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Happy Thanksgiving Eve friends.. and what a treat to see Cynthia , the lovely Hope, and a check in from Monique and Wendy !
Went to the dentist today (it only seems like I go to the dentist every day) and got my 3rd crown. I now have a full mouth of teeth at least for a month until the next extraction ! I left work at 4pm and hit Whole Foods-my strategy worked pretty well, it was busy but negotiable. I got a free-range organic local fresh turkey Âroast , organic Yukon golds, very fresh green beans from the desert, and Mrs Cubbisons to doctor up . And I am officially embarked on a 4 day weekend Âhallelujah !

Who asked about pie crust ?? I have strong feelings ! No home made crust , no pie ÂthatÂs my policy. My crusts usually look pretty bad but taste great ! The specialty is Kathys Famous Chocolate Cream Pie, which I havenÂt made for a few years.

Saucy, today is also my DSÂs birthday !

Mary, when holidays are involved it is never too early for wine (or beer) lol! Pumpkin cheesecake sounds really tasty ! One simply cannot be too rich, too thin, or have too much cheesecake (or garlic) .

Cynthia (so glad you came to see us ! ) Hope is very elegant looking, (although I confess I have yet to see a grey that is not elegant looking) and a luck girl to land at chez Cynthia..what do the other kids think of her ?

All for me tonight, going to view Saucys design post and might watch a movie. Since itÂs just DS and me tomorrow no house cleaning is needed ,,na-ner, nan-er, lol. Betcha Deanne is in a frenzy of prep for her hoards tooÂ

Nite all !

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 9:21PM
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Yesterday there was a lot of black ice on the roads when I went to work. I tend to be cautious about that and was glad I did the "jam on the brakes" test shortly after starting down the road. The car slid nicely and I poked along at what I felt was a comfortable speed. Sure enough, I came upon chaos about 5 miles from home; there had been a two car accident and the area was swarming with firetrucks, cruisers, and ambulances. I later learned it was a head on crash, the result of the SUV (what a surprise) overdriving the road conditions. Both drivers had to be cut out of the vehicles and the driver of the SUV may very well lose a foot as a result. What a sad way to start a holiday weekend.

Clousseau's disappointment in the cleanliness of his crate made me smile. Wrecks sympathized with his consternation, having fled to the security of the second floor when he heard the Kirby spring to life. I am pretty good about cleaning thoroughly WHEN I get around to it. It's just that there is so much that's more fulfilling than housework. ;) I can hear Mum now, "don't worry about it, dear. The housework will be there when you're ready and in the mood to tackle it.". To that end I'm endeavoring to keep the clutter picked up, though not always successfully. Feels nice when the place is all spiffed up, though, doesn't it?

I've not resolved the dilemma of whether or not to make pie crust, though I did wash two Pyrex pie plates in preparation. I honestly can't recall the last time I made it (so that's easily the early '80s) and confess to some "performance anxiety". My recipe calls for lard, so transfats are not an issue, Woody, lol. But it's time to get busy with some of the preparation since I have no idea what time my brother is going to roll in today, most probably this morning as he likes to get up and moving early too (clearly a family trait). I will try to get some shots of the day's celebration, as the tabletop is something I enjoy doing.

Saucy, your "unwanted" appetizer sounds delicious! just my idea of something tastey to enjoy before a large meal. And your hostess gift is lovely, too. Did you use oasis to anchor the greens and picks to secure the pears in place? and is what is the delicate, frothy white accent?

It's time to make my move on the bathroom and get myself "suited up" for the full frontal assault on that little room with water and a white enamelled box that can get very hot inside if you turn the knobs...

Later 'gators. :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 7:24AM
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"At Thanksgiving be humble and grateful for all,
Thus feast with thy neighbors, the great with the small."

A favorite phrase that gets repeated oftimes while I'm tripping over people to get to the bubbling gravy. LOL

Eat well, love better.....


    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 7:41AM
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Good theme any 'ol time, Cynthia. Hope is a real cutie.

Um, Julie, "trying to get an appointment to look at a very large old house for sale three blocks from here"?

Did anyone else read about the farm that opened up post-harvest to invite folks to pick the leftovers and 40,000 people showed up?

My mind's a jumble, which is okay today since I'm in charge of nothing but potatoes gruyere to take to my mom's. And then I have to eat and laugh a lot.

Happy thanksgiving!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 8:32AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Sorry I'm late...hope you had a wonderful day!

Making myself crazy trying to get all the Thanksgiving prep done, but wanted to wish all the Idylls a Happy Thanksgiving. I cheated with this's an old Cynthia submission, but I saved it all these years cause I got such a kick out of it:

and also to say's really wonderful to have Hope (love the name)! :-) She's a beautiful girl.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 9:22AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Cynthia, congrats on the new addition!

I just boiled a big pot of shrimp over on top of the stove trying to multi task too many things at once. As soon as I get it peeled and get myself a shower I'm off to Deanne's for her sumptious feast. Wish you all could be there!


    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 9:28AM
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Potatoes Gruyere sound devine! Maybe you'll share the recipe with me for the Christmas feast, Denise!

I love the farm story! How much food gets left in the field without the stragglers, I wonder. Our community barn/farm looks immaculate, but it is not that big.

The little filler in my arrangement is unknown to me, Chelone. Maybe in the stattice family? There's some boltonia in there, too. The pears get skewered! The red roses are too red for me, but that's what I had for a choice :) Besides, it's to match her house, not mine :)

If you don't make the pie crust today, make it for Christmas. I just saw a pie crust made with lard last night...he said the secret (as you probably know) is to make sure to leave some larger pieces of lard when you cut it makes the crust flakier. I saw a great crust made with cream cheese not too long ago! It did not have to be kept cold. Oh, I know, it was on America's Test Kitchen on PBS.

Happy Thanksgiving US Friends. And Happy Thursday to the restaya!


    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 9:28AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I hope Sue is taking a camera with her today! So nice to see everyone checking in. I love Hope's sweet face. I "hope" we hear lots of her antics in the days to come. (Cynthia, that was a not-so-subtle hint that I miss your posts!)

DD and I went to church last night for a simple Thanksgiving service and then all of us ended up at SIL's along with several friends for some Thanksgiving Eve wine. I'm about to bake a rustic torta for a late morning breakfast, then we are back to SIL's at 1:00 to start the festivities. But before I do that...

Happy Birthday, Saucy!

(sorry - not a bee to be found in the photo files!)

And Happy Thanksgiving to all my idyll friends!


    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 9:41AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Bday, Saucy, This is part of my front garden. (Please excuse the overturned kids BB net in the driveway - I didn't see that until I posted the photo *LOL*).

And Happy Thanksgiving to all you as well. For some reason (probably because I live in Canada) I thought Thanksgiving always occurred on a Monday...

Cynthia: Hope looks like such a sweetheart! Do you participate in something like Greyhound Rescue? Is that why she is named Hope? Or did she come with that name? And is she going to be a permanent resident in your family? I must say I love dogs...(sorry Kathy - are you the "more beatings" Idyller?)

Chelone: Hahaha, I had dogs on the brain I guess - I thought Kirby was yet another Idyll pet!

Mary: JJobs galore! and DONE!!! Congratulations - you deserve the silicone rolling pin ! Maybe we should make that an award: The Silicone Rolling Pin for most completed JJobs in one day *LOL*!

Woody - that fish is a hoot! What a cool garden decoration that is. I love it!

Martie: Yes, I will raise a glass to you guys in honour of your Thanksgiving!

And Ddudette: 4 days! Yahoo! and happy Bday to your DS as well. You have quite an eye for detail: The clematis (President and Sweet Autumn) are growing in a raised bed on a trellis that my DH built using lattice that used to be on the roof of the wine deck. We replaced that roof with a kind of sandwich of two layers of tighter lattice with a filling of greenhouse shade cloth that I had left over from the greenhouse that I had at our old house...The wine deck cannot be used now becuase we would freeze our patooties off, so it has been replaced by sitting in the house by the fireplace. Every day, 4 p.m. As it gets dark so early now I am thinking I need a drinking lamp like Deanne!!

Denise: I absolutely love old houses, in my mind you just can't beat the ambience that an old house provides. Now of course part of that "ambience" is often drafty windows and wet basements, but hey! We lived in a Century home for 27 years; moved here to this new house partly because DH's hips were in dreadful shape and the stairs and the upkeep were becoming almost impossible for him. If I were on my own, I'd be in an old house again. We both love the look of the house for sale down the road....almost afraid to look in case we love it, and we truly can't afford it. But looking's free, so they say!

Gotta go for now, all, as usual I have lots to do today! Enjoy your holiday!



    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 10:19AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

This group of domesticated turkeys resides on a farm in Wallenstein, Ontario. Some of these turkeys may have a future in the United States, where an estimated 86 million birds are consumed annually.

(Photograph shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Ontario: Canada's Keystone," December 1977, National Geographic magazine)
Photograph by Sam Abell

Hope you all enjoy the day and have all of your favorite treats with your favorite people and get a real break from the everyday wear and tear.

Lots to be thankful for, including the Idyll 'family'. Furballs and all. [g]

Happy Thanksgiving!! :-)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 10:21AM
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Can it be Turkey day without listening to this one a few times?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 11:31AM
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I did make pumpkin pie this morning, you guys. I have a picture of it, too! My brother brought along a very nice apple pie, so I froze the rest of the pie crust dough. I didn't know that you were to leave larger hunks of lard for flakier crust.

Da boid is stuffed and has been in the oven for about 2 hrs. now. The table is laid with freshly ironed linen and set with our "everyday" dishes and my own sterling flatware. All the serveware is washed and I'm officially off the Thanksgiving "hook". Helpmeet has graciously consented to take care of the vegetable side dishes. Lift-off is roughly 4 PM.

Lots of laughs so far with everyone relaxed and "kicked back". I've been thinking of Deanne and her "mess hall" today!

Party on, kids.

(thanks for your attention to that detail, Cynthia, wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it. An Idyll tradition.)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2008 at 1:22PM
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No doubt it will be Black Friday when most of you read this post- wonder if we have any participants in that tradition here? Not my cup of tea . DS and I had our dinner , listened to the annual 6pm radio airing of the Alices Restaurant Massacree,while DS did the dishes and then we watched Enchanted.. I had planned on watching Chicago tonight but was overruled. We enjoyed it ,but picked it apart in placespart of the enjoyment is always second guessing the director, writer, editor and I appreciate the fact that I have raised someone that has critical thinking skills.

I spent the afternoon cooking at a leisurely pace, and working on Christmas gifts for various family members-those of you at IU5 might remember a book that Deanne showed us. I am making books like this for members of my family as gifts. Thanks for the idea Deanne !!

And hoping that we get some photos from NH, perhaps featuring chocolate products presented by Monique ?

All for me tonight, going to read abit before I crash

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 12:23AM
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I have no intention of venturing off the Compound for any shopping today, tomorrow, or even the next day. I don't care how great the sales are, none of it could induce me to join the fray. Besides, retailers are so desperate this year the sales will likely have no end in sight. And going shopping without a list is a waste of time and money.

There was entirely too much video in the house yesterday. The helpmeet had that foolish thing on most of the day, mostly sophomoric comedies that are pretty funny; but I've no interest in a marathon of them. I heard repeated gales of laughter but mercifully, I was otherwise occupied. ;) We have a trial Netflix thing and he's managed to get about every stupid comedy out there so far. Suffice it to say his taste in video and mine are leagues apart.

I have a lot of dishes waiting for my attention this morning. I didn't feel like facing them last night so I simply "consolidated" them after putting the food away. Time for my coffee now, while I await the sleepy arrival of the menfolk.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 5:36AM
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5:30 and I'm leaving for shopping.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 6:25AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well...a sleepy good morning to you too. :-)

What a nice day we had yesterday! We had dinner scheduled for 2-2:30pm but didn't eat until 3pm. The bird took a little longer than the 5 hrs we estimated. Everything was delicious! The new take on stuffing this year was to add sausage, which was evidently a hit. [I am not a stuffing fan] We used to make stuffing with apples and celery for the longest time, but we have been experimenting every year for quite awhile now. Last year, they were quite in love with mushroom stuffing. They used the same recipe this year but added the sausage. DD has worked in restaurants in the past and stopped in to one on Wednesday to ask the head chef for his recipe for Brussel Sprouts, which she was very fond of. They were a big hit. One of DH's favorites. The Chocolate Trifle was excellent! Although we all agreed that more pudding and less cake next year, will be the ticket.

The kids enjoy teasing DH about many things since he is such a good sport, but particularly enjoy his humorous choices for wine at every gathering. Wine is wine to him. [g] Two of the kids have worked in better restaurants and were required to know at least the wines offered there. So this year, DD decided to pick up the wine. DS and DD just loved it but to DH, wine is wine. [g] Which I am grateful

We thoroughly enjoyed each other's company. There were three football games on and we kept turning them on and never watched a one of them, we were talking so much, we had the TV on mute all afternoon. Oh, we did catch the latest episode of Top Chef while waiting for dinner to be ready. We had a wonderful long phone call from DS who couldn't get home. We felt so bad for him, no turkey dinner! :-( He decided he needed extra money for an unexpected bill and they were offering double time and a half for working the holiday. So we gave him the pick of what we will serve for Christmas.

We went through all the ads for Friday's shopping, but we discovered that we didn't see anything we were all that fired up about. It would have had to be something irresistible to interest us. We rarely shop on Black Friday. This year, we find we are focusing on what two of the kids need for their respective apartments. No one needs or wants electronics. None of us have interest in upgrading to the High Definition or flat screen TVs, or collecting music CDs or DVDs. Everyone has a serviceable camera. DH and I are having a hard time coming up with anything we need or want. So it is a perfect year to cut back on gift giving.

So that's the story from here. Looking forward to hearing how the day went for all of you. :-)


    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 6:39AM
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Having coffee right along with you Chelone, but not waiting for anyone to get up here. Mornings are complicated as Monty has increasing trouble with the hardwood stairs and Hope's nails are still too long for me to trust her on them. The dilemma is which one to carry down first as either could have a pee accident while waiting in kitchen or hall. It's an exciting way to start the day! Dannie's the only one who can be trusted with the stairs and pee at this weird point in time. Monty's just old and losing his mind and his bladder control simultaneously. When I say 'come here' or 'stay there' he takes off on an urgent mission in some unexpected direction. Hope is more well trained than he is, and I think she could learn to stand on her head if it involved yummy treats. We're toying with meds to make him comfy and waiting on more tests to come back. He's old, so it's ok and it's normal but these dark mornings are a challenge.

The highlight of Thanksgiving day was the flaming sweet potato casserole. Something to do with bubbling over and ignition in the oven. Big flames and acrid smoke. A little tribute to the folks in Cali-fire-nia I guess. The hostess said 'what do I do' and I could only come up with 'fire extinguisher or baking soda?' before using the excuse of herding her labs to safety to get myself out of the eye stinging smoke. So I guess I can get her a new fire extinguisher for Xmas. That would fit neatly in a wine sack and right in line with my practical gifting approach this year.

Thank you for helping out the economy Michelle, I know you won't be alone out there. My contribution to recovery was to empty my overfilled HCRA at the optometrist's office Tuesday night. I had funded it to cover another dental implant this year (yes, Kathy it goes on forever!), but didn't make time to do that. It's been one of those years.

The only project I really need to complete this week-end is raking and mowing the back yard. It was warm here yesterday - 40F+ and I did get a few eyesores choppped back in the garden while Dannie & Hope raced around and Monty stayed glued to my hip looking happy but confused with stuffy in mouth.

PM, according to the NPR cooking people yesterday, a 15 pound turkey can be cooked in 2 hours at 450F (yep) and will taste better than the slow cooked turkeys. A listener had called in to find out how she could get dinner on the table in time when she still didn't have the bird in the oven.

Sun is almost up here! Let the long week-end continue.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 7:12AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Cynthia....we will have to try that with a roasting chicken and experiment a little before next year. Really good to know, thanks. :-) DD had a friend who decided to smoke his turkey this year in an outdoor contraption attached to his grill. He put it in about 2am and kept getting up every couple of hours to add wood or something. They weren't eating until 4pm! We are still laughing over that one. Ah, youth! lol
He did call after his dinner to say the turkey came out fabulous. It was his first time cooking and had invited 4 single friends from his work over for a meal and football.

We set the marshmallows on fire one year too. Very grateful to have a whole house fan to quickly vent all the smoke. [g]

DD stayed over last night and is still sleeping but poor DH had to go to work this morning.

Cynthia...bless your heart, the way you care for your dogs!

Chelone...sorry you have KP duty today. I hope this was a 'division of labor' decision. :-)

Michelle...great interest to hear how the shopping goes.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 7:46AM
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Count me among those that venture forth today only for fresh sandwich rolls and to replenish whipped cream. Hoping Michelle doesn't get trampled and there are short bathroom lines for the inevitable too much coffee :-)

Yesterday was the easiest Holiday we've had here. I had planned everything out and stuck a timetable to the stove vent hood so if anyone said "what can I do" I could say "if it isn't crossed off, have at it!" We ended up with just 12 this year but all family had a certain element of relaxation come with it. Yes, I actually sat down to eat my soup and had time for seconds. Rich was a charm and did every single dish.

So for the next three days I'm totally free and have no idea what to do. LOL

Waiting for Deanne pics, and have a few funnies to post when I unearth the camera cable (had to move the computer to use the table and you can only imagine after that :-)


    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 7:48AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Oooh, I just thought of it....I can start playing Christmas music today!!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 7:50AM
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I love it, Michelle! Do you get all your shopping done today?

Zeus decided that the banana bread that Nick's grandmother made was just too irresistable not to eat! I wonder how his cast iron stomach will react to that one?

His bed is full of crumbs :) Nick is unhappy that he has to eat the cranberry loaf! Jake looked upset, too. Sarah and I did not mourn the loaf :)

I have my heart set on getting the family out in the yard for a final pick up. The canoe is still in it's summer position and there are some things that need to go to the basement to make room for the snowblower in the garage. The patio set will finally get put away and the grill moved closer to the kitchen door for easier winter time grilling....I got pretty far into this year, didn't I?

Have a great long weekend. Kathy, thanks for the great gift idea! The kids have been taking pictures and making a video....I could take that video and turn it into a book!


    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 8:19AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am happy to hear of all the nice Thanksgiving Days that have been reported. Fortunately we had no company yesterday because my fibromyalgia decided to flare up. I was miserable all day....and still am. I did get the turkey stuffed and roasted. I had made two loaves of pumpkin walnut bread and two pumpkin pies Wednesday. Nolon and I did not eat any of it yesterday, except a slice of pie apiece. Today I hope to get the rest of the meal prepared, although the kids do not plan to be here until this eve. Maybe massive doses of pain meds, and other meds, will get me going again?? :-(

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 9:00AM
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Hey! Missing Idylls. Hiyouguys!

Welcome , Hope.

Mary, I treated myself to a new roasting pan. Little things mean a lot don't they? Enjoy the new rolling pin. I desperately need one. If you could see the one I still use from my bridal shower you would shudder. It is wooden with missing handles, and cracks that haved to be cleand out with a toothpick or something. Why don't I just buy a new one for pete's sake?

Happy Birthday Saucy. I haven't read the end of the last Idyll yet. I figured this one would load faster. I'll have to go back and look at the birhday photos.

Pm, I make my own pie crusts. I made pumpkin and apple. My food gets pretty good marks from the crowd, but I am definetly not much in the presentation of said food. I did buy new plates and no one had to use the chipped ones LOL.

We had a good Thanksgiving day. Everyone was in a good mood and hungry, so the food was appreciated. Makes me feel better after all that hard work.

Pretty arrangement Saucy, and how sweet of you to make one for Sarah. Wouldn't it be neat to make a collage photo of all the bee photos from the Idylls?
That makes sense to leave larger pieces of the lard for flakier crusts. I tend to really work it in.
I still have much clean up to do in the yard. I'm waiting for a warm day

Julie I like the front garden and it looks like you have a nice sitting area there too. Did TCS eat his carrots for thanksging? LOL I love his nickname, and I bet he and our Wyatt would have a grand time together. Oops! I forgot you live in Canada and had your thanksgiving earlier.
Wyatt was so sweet yesterday when before they left he said " thank you for inviting us Mimi", with no prompting what so ever.
I think Kirby would be great dog name.

No, shopping here today Kathy. What was Deannes book like? I didn't get to see it.

Martie, our family was pretty relaxed this year too and it seemed everyone was joining in on the conversations and laughing alot. As for the whipped cream, Wyatt managed the squirt can just fine, while his mom made a mess and got razzed about it. LOL.

Marian, sorry the pain flared up. I hope you are feeling better today.

I gotta get moving here and go help Bob with some wood splitting.

Hi to all. Norma

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 11:09AM
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I'm about ready to remove some of the ashes from the stove and start a fire. It's overcast and there is intermittant rain; raw and generally unpleasant outdoors. I know because the cats are all INSIDE.

Marian, I'm sorry you're experiencing a flare up. Bummer. Do up some drugs and let's hope that takes the edge off it.

How I've missed that practical and humorous recounting of the mundane, Cynthia (lol about fire extinguishers in the wine rack). You truly do have a lovely way with words. I must say I've compromised my general disdain for canids as they've aged. To compensate for such laxity, I've simply stepped up the frequency of beatings in their youth. ;)

The helpmeet is working today and it's going to be a long one. He had a fabulous day yesterday, sporting his "jammies" all day long. I did the lion's share of the kitchen work, happily popping in and out of the "lounge area" over the course of the day, and thoroughly enjoying the laughs and guffaws that drifted into the "galley", where I prepared pie crust and a pumpkin pie (forgetting the egg "wash" that give the nice sheen to pie crust) :)

This was served with UNsweetened, freshly whipped cream. Helpmeet's pleas for sugar in the cream was over-ridden. Nan-er, nan-er, nan-er. :)

Rex had plenty of attention, multiple "walkies" and a lot of "ball". My brother has just left for home with a complete reprise of dinner packed up for his enjoyment later today. We had a lovely morning together, chatting about this and that and remembering funny family stories. I told him I was glad he came up for dinner and he replied that it was nice to come here... nothing is expected, everything is relaxed, and it's fun to be with smart, happy, funny people. Ain't that what family is supposed to be all about? We all retired for private "quiet time" by 7:30 PM last night and no one felt as if they'd been "ditched"; it was just time to go relax and read with a cat and one's self. Similar levels of dysfunction make it all possible.

Courtesy of my beloved big brother, I now have a complete tile installation "kit" for the upcoming hearth project: wet saw, complete set of trowels for thin-set mortar, grout floats, diamond-tipped power saw, etc., AND enough mortar mix to glue down the tile! I went over my "battle plan" with him and watched the smile overspread his face. "You are going to really like doing it, Dink.". He was quick to tell me my fledgling attempt at masonry on the chimney put to shame much of the "professional" work he has to inspect in new homes. That made me feel really good because he isn't one to give indiscriminate praise.

I was especially touched when he told me how nice the table looked.

He asked where he was to sit and I told him to look for his napkin ring... big smile. Bigger smiles though when Rex and the cats received their holiday plates. ;)

Nothing warms my heart more than hearing similar tales from your homes, my friends.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 12:32PM
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Ahhh the brave Michelle sallies forth , pre-dawn ! I wonder what her report will hold ? Bigger crowds because more people are looking for deals, or smaller crowds because no one wants to buy anything ?
Today my goals are to do at least two loads of laundry and to continue chopping Cecile Bruner-we are expecting sun at some point ; yesterday was gloom all day.

Marian, hope you are feeling better today-

Cynthia, I need new glasses desperately, Ive started to have to hold my head in odd positions while viewing paperwork or the computer screen at the awfice Ive been putting it off in favor of the dentist bills. Eye strain headaches are just around the corner. I sheepishly wonder in my wimpy California zone 9 way, if characterizing 40F as warm was a typo ???

Chelone, I awoke this morning to completely clean kitchen , DS had put all dishes away overnight. A pleasant way to start the day I must say.

Ok, hello to everyone , I need to fire up the laundry equipmentback later

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 12:45PM
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Back again after lounging, eating, reading the paper, eating, and checking in with family to see that all survived dinner yesterday. They did, and I got words like "gracious" and "delectable" and while I love them all and love to have them, I'm glad that my DsD is having Christmas dinner :-)

Here are a few highlights:

The smells started early, and this year I added Pineapple Sage (thought of you, Saucy!!!) and a few people who "know" food knew it!!! Herbs in all seasons. LOL

This is probably my all-time favorite Thanksgiving picture from my house ever, because it really catches the essence of the day:

(I had no intention of doing a buffet, but while getting everything into serving bowls someone started a line and the rest is history. LOL)

"Cantja just drop one more little morsel???? Please???? We've been so good all day!!!!"

One more biggee for which to be thankful: Kyle Heard Back from a company in London about a real job. He finishes his BS in three weeks so is on the phone today to find out about permits and visas, etc. They are interviewing in New York so no expense involved for that purpose, thankfully. Just one more happy thing.

Marian: My sister swears by a tub of hot water when her fibro kicks up. Does that help you at all?

I want Chelone's placemats.

So good to hear folks had a good day. Let's hope Marie gets her connection back soon and that Kathy's Cecile finally concedes.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 1:49PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Happy Thanksgiving weekend all. Big hugs to Hope! Cynthia, she's beautiful and so very lucky to be a part of your home and life.
I'm so far behind it's hopeless. I did see I missed a few birthdays. So Happy belated birthday to Marian and Saucy.
It's so nice to see the Holiday photos from everyone.

The only thing Idyll worthy I've done lately was a really nice piano concert last week. The guy does all original music and it was very relaxing and healing in a strange sort of way. I found a piece of his on youtube and wanted to share it with you. Saucy, there is even a bee involved. LOL


    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 2:45PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Our celebration yesterday was relaxing and fun. The table was fairly simple:

The turkey was wonderful, but all eyes were on the suckling pig. The two nephews decided to try this, and they did most of the work as far as purchasing the pig and preparing it. The taste, thought, was a bit on the gamy side for pork, and we all decided that we preferred the turkey.

Now we're off to the lighting of the Square and of course more food!


    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 7:10PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today's news from Mumbai was especially distressing after a wonderful evening with many Muslims from DH's class sharing a meal and stories with us last night.

And speaking of hope, I am so happy to meet Hope Cynthia! I look forward to more photos and news of the entire household, cats included of course.

The turkey day photos and stories are wonderful. (By the way, Wallensteen, the town where the turkey photo was taken, is very nearby to our place.) Sounds like Chelone's stove is all installed in time for the holiday! I'm hoping Deanne will also share a few photos of the big day..although how she'd have time for taking them beats me!

Today I had my first meeting with a naturapath and she is delightful. We'll see how it all goes. So many small physical annoyances, I am hoping for getting a grip on things. Grief still has me in its grip though and today was terribly weepy.

Thank you for the annual "I will survive!" Now THAT was what I needed!!! :) :) :)

Sorry to be missing birthdays, but know that I love you all! There's a chance the repairman for the satellite will visit tomorrow.

OK, Phoebe is here at DH's office and soon will need to go outside. It is snowing still. Sigh...


    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 8:57PM
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Good evening Idylls, got some leftovers in the oven and am enjoying a glass of cheap white wine as I wait for them to warm up. The sun made a brief and very weak appearance here this afternoon at about 2:30, just in time for my clean up after battle with Cecile. I made substantial and noticeable progress today , and even did a bit of trimming on Lady Banks. She will be the next victim an the agenda and by the time I finish with her , rose pruning season will be upon me and it will be time to address Reine des Violettes.

Norma you asked about the book ? Walgreens website has a feature that allows you to make a hard bound photo book with pics you upload to their site. There are lots of options for layouts, covers, pages etc. I am working on these for Christmas gifts. Deanne made a fabu-fabu book of pics of her garden and brought to IU for all of us to view.

Chelone, I too love your placemats-homemade I bet ? Im very partial to yellow/red combos .We had a very demure table display consisting of a small vase of zinnias - they continue to live on in the garden bedraggled though they may be. I still have 8 English primrose to plant and since no rain is on the agenda I will tackle that tomorrow. More of the Zinnias may have to go.

Think that the dinner is ready, so I will bid you all goodnight-enjoying the tales of Thanksgiving feasts..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 9:11PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, remind me to show you my napkin ring...
I enjoyed your rooster/chicken table decorations too. ;)

Martie, your photos could have been at our house. (last October...)

V, my house has never been that neat and tidy...ever! I wouldn't mind though...

Off to read about traditions now.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2008 at 9:37PM
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Oooohhhh, that suckling pig is really something, V., talk about a show stopper! I'm full of questions about it:
How old was the piglet?
How long did it take to prepare and cook it?
How do you carve it?
Is it necessary to remove the skin before serving?

The napkins are indeed homemade. And they were made from scraps of the same fabric as the living room draperies. The Rooster ("Cockaloo") and Hen ("Henalee") were my maternal grandmother's. She was the only grandparent that was alive when I was born. I have several of her things here, including her silverware. She was a very creative woman, especially skilled at quilting and needlecraft.

I hope Michelle stayed away from WallyWorld yesterday.

I accomplished KP duty yesterday and that was about it, aside from removing some ashes from the stove. I did a great deal of "lounging" and reading. The helpmeet had a full day outdoors, arriving home all tuckered out and feeling less than optimistic about the overall intelligence of the shopping public. He went to bed early and has another two days of it ahead of him.

Today, I have to fill some nail holes, apply some painter's caulk to a few places and get busy on the next round of pickling. Today it will be the ballusters for the railing, and there are many, many of them awaiting my loving caress. My plan is to get them pickled and then clearcoated so I won't have to try to paint them after they're assembled. Helpmeet has tried to get me to deviate from this plan, but I'm having none of it. We're doing it MY way on this project. ;) Depending on my energy level it could prove to be a long day.

I'm crossing my fingers that the satellite doctor shows up today, 'bug. We need you and you need us. :) Don't you just hate the "weepy days"? sometimes it's the littlest things that trip the meter and set the tears bubbling over. But that's a good thing, too... it just takes time (and lots of it). Take it out on your dog.

I have some laundry to address today, too. It's going to be nice and sunny and things will dry nicely. To that end, I think I'll move toward the sorting phase right now.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 6:47AM
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"How old was the piglet?
How long did it take to prepare and cook it?
How do you carve it?
Is it necessary to remove the skin before serving?"

And what was it's name?

Thank goodness Martie posted pictures of food and people parts. The clean plate no spoons photos from Chelone and V are lovely, but I want to see the bounty and aftermath photos too! Cats licking plates on the table and gravy spots on those pristine table cloths.

Marion, is Lyrica one of your drugs of choice? Monty has been on Gabapentin (Lyrica is a Gapapentinoid) for 3 months and it's helped him. It's used primarily for relief of neuropathic pain but also helps for arthritis. Lyrica is marketed specifically for the pain of fibromyalgia so just wondering if that's something that helps you.

GB has snow. It's been cold November here with snow showers and then hail last week. Yes Kathy, 40F feels balmy compared to the 20s we had last week :-) I still have some roses pushing blooms, but anything tender has been mush for a while. Most years we don't get hard frost until December. This is NOT most years. Your battle with CB has me thinking I'll do the same but it will be a dirty fight. 12+ feet of it flopped off the arbor in recent winds and rather than put it securely back I want to just zap it out with a chain saw. Vrooommmmm.

This long week-end is evaporating too quickly. But ok because I needed a rest. Hope you all are getting a little break too.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 7:44AM
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No Wally World. I mostly go along for the fun. My 2 sisters and SIL all live out of state and this is our girls outing. My mom and my 18 year old niece go as well. I bought very little and only from 2 stores. At the sporting goods store I bought new shoes and swim goggles for myself. I did get quite a few things at Kohls and had to wait 20 minutes in line. The did have the perfect I Spy type of book for Kenzie so it was worth the wait. While we were gone my brother and BIL started remodeling my parents bathroom. Removing the tub and tiling it out for a shower. The floor will also be tiled and they found out that the stool was leaking when they took it out so they called and we also went stool shopping.

Nice to see Hope and I hope she brings much joy to your life Cynthia.

18 for dinner today so I must get busy.

The Thanksgiving tables look wonderful, but the piglet was a little more than I could handle ;o)

Later all


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 8:28AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi all...I won't linger here long because I have company..but I want to answer your question, Cynthia. The prescribing of Lyrica was a mutual thing between my Doctor and I. We agreed for me to try it. The first prescription was too strong a dosage and caused too many side effects. It couldn't be halved since it was a capsule. So I have a new prescription for a capsule that is half the dosage. Even then, I do not take it regularly, because of side effects.

I will TTYAL when our company is no longer here.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 9:03AM
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His name is "Dinner", Cynthia. ;)

Michelle, I'd love to get rid of the tub in our bedroom's ensuite. I'll suggest it when we make our move on "remodelizing" it. I can't recall the last time I actually soaked in it.

Dishes are finished, I've had breakfast, second laundry load is moving into the rinse cycle, I've plenty of moistened rags for the pickling operation, and now I'm procrastinating.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 9:04AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The piglet was four weeks old.
It took about as long as the twenty pound turkey to prepare. They started around 9 and it was ready around 4.
Carving was a bit difficult!
The skin was removed as it had a very gamy smell to it.

And the piglet was NOT named Wilbur or Babe...

The engaged couple are meeting with a florist, the caterer and the stationer today, so it will be a busy day. Yesterday they met with the photographer, someone who is not cheap but is extremely good. She has worked at the reception site before and seems to be extremely well-organized. I know from past experience that she is very good at quickly setting up amazing shots. The biggest problem I've had with her work is to try and narrow down the choices since there are so few "bad" shots in the finished choices.

My creative friends here need to know about Spoonflower, where you can upload your own photos or designs and have them printed on fabric.

Gotta run!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 9:07AM
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The bees have been busy cleaning out their hive. There is debris all around (bodies and excrement!) can see them flying around in the "warm" air. They're sited good for winter, as they're getting lots of sun on their entrance.

I spent yesterday cleaning out the office as the weather wasn't what I had expected. There is now more paper in the trash than on my desk, and that is always a good thing. I saved the data entry for this morning while I wait for the weather to warm to my liking :)

Michelle, your day sounds like fun, and I would've tagged along too if I had friends who liked Black Friday. And remodeling is the perfect idea for the men folk left behind :)

Everyone's tables were beautiful. I wish I'd taken a picture of my hostesses table! I was having too much fun talking...

It's nice that GB gets to poke her head in here every once in a while....I'll bet Phoebe likes to "go" to the office.

Chelone, I thought you'd get a kick out of this: Last night Nick went in to tuck Jake in (good lord, he's almost 15...I try to stay out of his room, lol!) and he had left Popcorn out of his cage. Nick got attacked by the startled bird who was sleeping on Jake's headboard! Nick and Jake were hysterical with laughter after they figured out what had happened!

Well, I'd better go...the phone has rang 3 times in the time that I have typed to you all....


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 9:39AM
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Good morning

How nice to share so many Thanksgivings!

Ours was lovely, food came out beautifully, guests arrived safely and everyone had fun.

This morning I am in a bit of a funk. I had taken great pleasure in shopping, planning and preparing not just the turkey dinner, but supper Wednesday for 8, breakfasts, lunches and a big turkey pie last night for everyone plus a visiting friend.

This morning 3 adults watched and one slept while I cleaned up the last of the previous evenings dishes. 3 adults watched and one slept while I made the coffee, took orders and drove to the bagel shop for requested bagels. (*note* bagels I am unable to eat myself). On my return I left them on the counter, poured myself coffee and retreated to our bedroom. There I ousted DH from his slumbers telling him I was royally pi%%ed off and would like to savor my coffee on my own. Surely there is one day of the year when someone could offer to do something for me unbidden? I'd said no presents but surely this is taking it a bit far. Ack!!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 10:00AM
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Happy Birthday to Mary!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 10:04AM
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We'r all sick with colds here.

Mary, just read your post and I hope your day improves. Knowing your family I bet it will.

Back to blowing my nose...


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 10:09AM
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    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 10:43AM
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Happy Birthday Mary!!

An English Rose for an English Rose.....


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 10:44AM
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Good sunny and bright morning! Mid-40's here today so might just get outside and hack down the rest of the stuff that just can't qualify as "winter interest." LOL

Especially for Cynthia, my beloved and devoted BIL who is always first up from the table to begin coordination of "leftover heaven". This is about half through the process. Everyone brings their own containers (have we been doing this for a while??????:-) and all but a tiny bit of this food was Gonzo within 5 minutes after the pic:

I think it's pretty darn good that you can have weepy days and really not think twice about it, Marie. Sounds like healthy healing to me, and though weepy is not a preferred way to be, letting out is a whole heck of a lot better than keeping it in. Does Sarah need her pregnancy sweater you made, yet?

Got to name a cat yesterday. Violet was discovered in a "left off" litter that a friend is fostering. Friend thought this particular cat would be perfect for Cornfield Park. Actually took more than two seconds for Rich to kabash the idea, but she is so sweet and her face looks just like her namesake and Friend is going to keep her.

So, my mind goes back to "if he doesn't like cats why should I like him" and then I remember true war stories about all types of furred animals in buildings and for sale as food and realize where the feelings come from. One can't conquer everything, I guess.

Happier note: This season of giving will be entirely based on what can come from the heart, but was delighted when I found two perfect, big and heavy chowder cups 1/2 price at the grocery store this morning. My dads shakes so much now that big and heavy is mandatory, and he was saying at dinner the other day how much he misses his clam chowder on Sunday afternoons in his easy chair. Situation remedied~~~

Later, everyone, and waving --

Hopeful others can catch their breath and check in, soon.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 10:58AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 11:18AM
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Happy Birthday Mary !!!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 1:08PM
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Happy Birthday Mary!
Sorry your day got off to a bad start. But knowing what sweet kids you have I bet it will pick up.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 1:34PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)



    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 1:46PM
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I think orange and purple will hit the spot:

Mary, I can totally understand where you were coming from....hope it turned around for you!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 1:49PM
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Martie. LOL about the things in the garden that can't qualify as winter interest. I have a lot of that .
We do the takasak home thing with leftovers too, but why didn't I send that last pumpkin pie along. It is my downfall and I eat way to much of it. We also had an anxious dog wandering about all day looking for handouts. DIL's chiauaua (you know what I mean, I can't ever spell that) will not stop eating as long as she can get scraps. Wyatt was happy to oblige her. Sorry Rich didn't go for the kitty. Bob used to be admantant about no cats, but eventually got overruled.

Eden , sorry to hear everyone has colds. I love the colors in your birthday card for Mary.

Kathy thanks for the info about the book. I am going to check that out. Right now I am looking a V's link to Spoonflower.

I am feeling headachy today,so not doing much.
Bob and I split the wood from a huge dead oak tree yesterday. We got a late start as he made three runs to town in the morning to get the right chain for the saw.
It made a huge pile of wood. Being someone who appreciates beautiful oak wood it seemed a shame that it was making firewood and not furniture. Rebel was so funny, as it was getting dark by the time we were finishing up and he thought we should be heading back to the house. He kept sticking his head under my arm and nudgeing me as if to say it's time to quit.

I think a nap may be in order to take the edge off this headache.

Have a good day everyone. Norma

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 1:59PM
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Happy birthday, Mary! After all that cooking, you deserve a dozen of Bouquet d'Or

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 2:47PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Happy birthday Mary!!!

We had a nice Thanksgiving with my mom, brother and his family. I made a pumpkin cheesecake with maple bourbon sauce and hubby made parmesan yam puff. We took home lots of turkey meal leftovers.

V-love the pig.

Well, gotta get outside with hubby to decorate our 4 front windowboxes, cement urn between the garage doors and the one pot on the deck. We bought some greens (cedar, pine, fur, juniper, and variegated holly) and will also use items collected from our yard (red + yellow twig dogwood, ornamental grass "flowers", pine cones, green holly, yellow Chamaecyparis, etc). Hubby is spraying all the greens with Wiltpruf first since they last a bit longer that way. I told him if there is any left over he should start spraying the broadleaf evergreens that he never got around to doing-especially the Magnolia grandiflora. It is looking gorgeous right now and I want to protect it as much as possible. I'm waiting for a frigid winter to come along and knock it back down to the roots.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 2:59PM
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Taking a quick break, after dispatching the zinnias and prior to moving base of operations from front yard to back

Monique, your casual mention of the Christmas décor project simply will not do, and I hereby impress upon all Idylls to join me in applying peer group pressure for pics of the results !

back outside

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 3:55PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Happy Birthday Mary!!

How about an island getaway after all the remodeling and cooking and gardening you have been doing? :-)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 4:08PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

(This picture was taken at the same Royal Botanical Garden garden/art show as the fish I posted earlier.)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 5:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I think we're back in business. Lots to catch up on, but wanted to say HELLO to all and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mary. :)

Marty, the only news (other than about x-wife) is that the midwife is optimistic that Alberta will cover the cost of her tending to Sarah as of April 1st. This may be a financial treat! Also, Skyler was very happy that he got to find baby's heartbeat last Monday.

And now off the reheat leftover lasagne. Blarghh!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 5:55PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Mary...I've had days like that, but that should *never* happen on your *birthday*!!! So I thought I'd share a little print I have that always cheers me!

Happy Birthday Dear Friend!


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 5:56PM
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Dear Idyll Friends

Your cards have cheered me no end. Thank you everyone!!

The day improved as it progressed. I announced I would like to read in bed rather than drive nephew to airport and another driver was found. David gave me a coupon book full of promises to such tasks as "emptying trash for one week". There were no presents but many phone calls which I much preferred. Annie baked me a wonderful almond and lemon curd torte that looked remarkably like a cow patty but tasted divine. DH made his mother's Beef Strogonoff which was also suberb. He and I are just heading out to the movies and life once again feels good.

Have a great evening everyone


    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 6:17PM
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Greetings across the miles, time zones and climate zones.

It was downright warm here today in mid afternoon, and as I was cutting back the felled foliage of various plants I noted a disturbing trend toward plants that should not, but in fact are breaking dormancy. We always expect the dutch iris, grape hyacinth, and freesias to poke up here after the first rains. They get to a certain point and then kind of hang-out till spring. I observed many plants today that usually disappear for the winter , such as my deciduous daylilies, Veronica Sunny Border Blue, Salvia patens, among others that are all throwing up new foliage. I did pull up all remaining zinnias today, but I still have Impatiens , tuberous begonias, and even an Aster frikartii that are blooming away.I am still harvesting tomatoes from Sungold. The Dahlias look like absolute crap , covered with mildew , but have not frozen back yet. 10 day forecast predicts no temps lower than the 40s. I fear I will be taken by surprise as I still have yet to bring in my begonias, and some of the tender succulents.

I wanted to mention to Julie how much I liked the pic of the front garden ( wine deck annex?) and that very cool boulder ! Was that there or did you move it to the site ? I believe one could easily set up a bar/ appetizer table on that puppy. Hope ypu will post more pics of your garden, as this was a very nice little teaser.

Eden, what in the world is the red-spikey thing in Marys card? Some sort of Salvia?

Denise, ahhh Bouquet dOr , covet, covet covet

Hoping Chelone got all the scheduled tasks completed, Deanne, Martie, Michelle, and others with large groups are in recovery, Marian is having a pain free day, Mary got to pick out the movie,Saucy got her paperwork done and bug is speedily catching up.

See yall on the morrow ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 29, 2008 at 7:46PM
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Oh for Pete's sake! ANOTHER birthday??

Well, OK then...

May the memory of your birthday be as pleasant as the memory of these lilies, Miss Mary. :)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 6:31AM
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It's the first hore-frost morning; the trees are covered in white and the lawn looks like it snowed. Waiting for a glimpse of sunshine for everything to sparkle.

Belated response to Denise and of interest to all, I hope -- Yes, I both read and saw reports about the farm that opened up it's fields for post-harvest picking by anyone. The landowner was almost in tears during the interview when he realized how many people would plan, travel, follow instruction into the field, and be civil about free food. From what I understand, hunger groups were allowed in first and individuals after.

Our local plant-a-row-for-the-hungry group (who granted the eighth graders veggie garden for next year, again, third year in a row) did something similar with local farms. It wasn't well publicized, in a way thank goodness, and other than a few retailers showing up to grab what they could (they were grabbed first) the days went extraordinarily well.

I also just heard last night about a California woman who organizes picking parties for fruit trees being grown as ornamentals. Immediately thought of Marian when they focused on persimmons. Guess this movement has nationwide proportions, and it makes perfect sense when one thinks about all the fruit that lands on the ground is is considered a nuisance by homeowners. Several tons of fresh produce has been donated to hunger groups far and wide as a result.

Today being the last official day of my vacation means hanging out, quietly celebrating Rich's b-day (rather than cake he wants milk chocolate brownies with walnuts - easy!!) and reorganizing my mind away from serving platters and to year-end forecasting and developing relationships with new clients.

Let the New Year Begin as far as I'm concerned. LOL

Best to all -


    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 7:04AM
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Oh my! I see Mary was feeling a trifle downtrodden by the houseful... next time I counsel the following: You beam out at your guests in your own special way, pointedly looking at their wrists and forearms, noting the absence of casts or slings. Smiling still, you pointedly say (preferably with a really bad accent), "well now, since yer arms ain't broke let's put 'em to use roundin' up the dishes!". That oughta solve it pretty quickly. Somehow, though, I knew it would all turn out just fine.

Hoping that Marian's day was not ruined by discomfort, it will be fun to hear about the festivities.

It was beautiful here yesterday, cold, but that's right and proper for nearly December, so no grousing from me. The sun is now very low in the sky and even so, the light in the Salon was very pleasing all day long. It's important to be able to see and enjoy the sun easily at this dark time of year.

I spent the morning and afternoon in the Salon pickling ballusters. There are nearly 40 of them, 1 1/4" square and it was a thoroughly boring, time-consuming task. I did two facets at a time, then went back to the beginning and did the remaining two. Then I did the second coat and sanded them later in the evening, after dinner. Today I have to apply two coats of clear finish to them. Years ago, stitching in a factory setting, I learned how to send my brain to "another place" and just let my hands take over and do the work. It took some effort to do that (I'm rusty), but I spent a not dreadful day stewing about the decorations for the house, the window treatments for the Salon, some ideas for the floor in the Salon, and some activities for Idyll Camp, etc.. I'll be glad when this part of the operation is finished, though.

I see a hopeful 'bug has returned. That's good. I'll cross my fingers that the satellite connection remains viable for a long time to come.

Martie, I love the list posted in the kitchen, that's brilliant! And the crowd milling around the food was a great shot, too. There were multiple trips into the galley after dinner, mostly to do some careful picking at the turkey. ;)

Our kitchen is so tiny that it's really easier for me to do the KP thing alone. I have a system (shocking to many of you, I'm sure) and can pretty much breeze through it, calling on Wrecks to "help" with pots and pans as necessary. The helpmeet tends to be a little rough with stemware and doesn't really understand that you shouldn't use the abrasive side of the sponge on the sterling flatware and then just dump it into the drainage rack with all the other kitchen utensils. Besides, I do some of my best thinking and planning with my hands in warm, soapy water. Lol.

I got a laugh out of Popcorn attacking Nick; when our bird used to do that, the helpmeet referred to him as "Rodan", one of those monsters from late '50s Japanese horror films. :) And I think it's great that Nick "tucks" Jake in; what a perfect time to talk with kids... whatever the age.

I see Norma was busy with the "logging operation" yesterday. It's a lot of work, but you'll really appreciate it when it's cold and you toss another split in the stove! We split and stacked the best part of 5 cord over the summer, most of it oak, too. Properly seasoned it is great firewood. We have many oaks on the Compound.

Eden, I'm sorry the grippe has overtaken your household. That's a drag, but at least it's a nice long weekend to recuperate. Are you going to show us any of Bella's hand turkeys? You know, don't you? that I'd be up the creek without you to hoist the birthday torch aloft...

Well, today is nicely underway already. I'm coffeed up, helpmeet is "in the can, man", the dishes await, and the ballusters are "on deck". Time to fold some laundry and get to it. It'll be fun to check in later.

I was really hopping for some action shots from Deanne, though. :(

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 7:21AM
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Chelone , those pink lillies are stunning against the color of your house.

We have a frosting of snow this morning. When I got up at 4:45 this am the door to the garage was standing open , AGAIN! and the furnace running away. DH has a disorder called , don't know how to shut a door, any door. If that door is not pushed until it clicks, it comes open. Instead of yelling this time (other than the well Sh#t, when I slammed it shut) I have posted a large note on the fridge ( a strategic location) to lock the door every night.

Nothing much planned for today.

Hope everyone gets some good rest before starting the weekly routine again.

Later Norma

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 9:40AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Such a gray Sunday out there....good morning :-)

Everything seems back to normal here. Most of the leftovers are history. Turkey is about the only thing left and once the gravy runs out, not sure what will be done with that. Shaping up to be a quiet day again. Still not getting in a shopping mood yet, but my mind is fully turned toward Christmas as it always is the day after Thanksgiving. We don't find doing the holidays easy so we try to give ourselves a good lead time without resorting to thinking about it before Thanksgiving. With a little gentle nudging, DH and DD have started 'de-cluttering' areas of the house still in need of it in preparation for Christmas company. Getting an early start so none of it has to be too much on any given weekend.

I have committed to sewing some aprons and pot holders for gifts this year. DH took the sewing machine in to be evaluated and yesterday, they told us that it basically just needs a tune up and taking apart the bobbin assembly and reassembling it and then realigning the needle arm. Their fee will be $79. and will include a year of service for the machine. I had looked online and found a post that asked the question, what were people spending on annual tune ups and it was between $80-$100. all over the country. So it sounds like that price is in line. I wasn't sure if I should spend that on such an old machine. It is a Singer, purchased in the early 80s and I'm guessing may have cost about $150.? It has been in storage for the past twelve years until recently. I asked the person at the shop yesterday for any information that would help with the decision and she said I had a very good machine that was metal and no need to replace it. So I take it some of the newer models have some plastic parts. I appreciated her candor, seeing as they sell machines as well. So I will have my old machine, hopefully ready to go to work, in about a week. Feeling a little rusty, so any tips sent my way, will be appreciated. :-) That will give me enough time to collect some patterns and materials. I'm really looking forward to it!

No photos this year, so I thought I could at least post a photo of the turkey and a flower arrangement from last year....

Marian....I was so sorry to hear your fibromyalgia is putting a crimp in your holiday fun. Having been diagnosed at one point with it, I have a lot of sympathy for you. I don't take medications, but I have been tempted to at times. The neurologist was recommending Neurontin at one point, but with the caveat that I could only expect about a 30% resolution of my symptoms at best and since I had known quite a few people experiencing unwanted symptoms on that medication it didn't seem worth it. What I did want to share with you, is that I have on two occasions found relief from at least the burning pain after making a point of getting more magnesium in my diet by eating a steady diet of nuts and seeds which are a great source of it. I found them easier to digest by grinding them into a powder with a coffee grinder and started to notice improvement within three days and the pain almost unnoticeable in three weeks. Very few times when things are that simple, I know, but thought it might be worth trying. :-) Hope you are feeling better.

Loving everyone's Thanksgiving photos and I will be back later...


    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 10:20AM
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I have the first half of the first coat of clear done. I've cleaned the brush, shovelled in some pudding (fought off Spencer who wanted the cream on top of it), and I'm ready to finish the first coat now.

Grey and dreary here, too. I may start a fire before going back out to the Salon...

PM, you and I have a similar approach to cleaning for Christmas.
Norma, Blushing Pink smells as nice as she looks, too. Does DH know how to turn off lights? (tough one for the helpmeet). ;)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 10:45AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone....I don't envy you the task of finishing off ballusters....such a lot of work, having to prepare and sand and precoat and probably two coats of paint after that? I don't mind painting and actually enjoy the easy parts, if someone else takes care of finding the right materials and cleaning up afterward and doing the tedious window panes. I don't mind the doors or the larger trim but ballusters, and unfinished ones at that? LOL Your approach for using the time to think through other matters reminds me of what I do at traffic lights and other delays. DH just hates traffic lights and I keep trying to get him to reframe the experience. [g] I keep telling him, 'Love the Light'! But there is where we are naturally different, he is an action person and I am the thinker. :-) He keeps trying but ...

I was wondering how much of your machine maintenance you do yourself and do you send it out annually for attention?


    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 11:20AM
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Fixin to venture out to Whole Foods for some produce that could not be had at the regular grocery store.

PM , Im going to make a casserole thingy with my left over turkey, involving corn, celery, green onions, fresh Anaheim chiles, cheese, and after reading the label on Cream of Chicken Soup (and deciding to opt out permanently of that particular product) I will concoct my own liquid ingredient with some broth, milk, and sour cream. There will be noodles or some form of pasta involved as well. Casserole item two will involve rice, black beans, red onions and mole sauce, frozen for future use

Cheering Chelone on here as she applies herself to finish work in the salon, and nodding in agreement with Riches choice of brownies for the b-day.

Back later !

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 12:26PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Since no one is posting at the moment, I thought I could add one of my novella posts... :-) did your apple strudel turn out?

Kathy....I liked your Thanksgiving DS and I are very much string bean fans and we all love yukon gold potatoes. We top our string beans with butter and grated cheese. Yum. Chocolate Cream Pie is my #1 favorite pie. Do you do something special to yours? We found an organic packaged pudding at Whole Foods that is SO good! No one here takes the time to make their own crust, sad to say. I haven't eaten pie crust for many years anyway. I eat just the What did Kyle get for his BD? Oh...and we used to listen to Alice's Restaurant every year, because DH really enjoys it, but the kids went from rolling their eyes to covering their ears in pain when it was turned on, so that is off the list of annual traditions. [g] One last thing...[g]...Eyeglasses....OMG....I just had to spring for two pair, for close up and distance and they are more than double since the last time I bought them about 3 years ago. I am treating them with kid gloves at this point.

[Kathy---my mouth is watering reading the ingredients for your leftover casserole! We enjoy a good mexican style meal here. We have weened ourselves away from the Cream of Chicken soup awhile back but we still use Progresso once in awhile. But no help for casseroles. Yum. Let me know how it comes out. Thanks for the ideas]

Chelone....I forgot to say the photo of your pumpkin pie was mouth watering! Very pretty table and the white linen, freshly pressed is a wonderful tradition. Gorgeous shade of pink on those Lilies!

V....such a pretty living room. Why was I expecting log walls?

Saucy...such a pretty BD card to Mary. :-)

Everyone's BD cards have been very pretty this time around!

Denise....I liked that Thanksgiving picture and the story of the farm was very surprising, thanks for sharing that.

Julie..what a very pretty front garden you have! Lots of color contrast. Is that a Ninebark Summer Seward Wine in the lower right corner?

Cynthia....I wonder if diapers might be of help at least in the morning, to make your morning routine a little less stressful with the furry ones. are very organized and I love your 'list' idea. I found when I married DH that MIL would not allow anyone to help with anything. You could not lift a spoon or a plate without getting a strong reaction. I found that uncomfortable. I've always enjoyed helping and the feeling of camaraderie of the team effort and a sign of acceptance and welcome to be allowed to help. Very pretty kitchen and so clean! I like the border on your tile. Sorry you didn't get to keep Violet...what a pretty name choice though.

Norma...I have to agree, that little things do make a big difference so often. I can get such a kick out of something new especially when it is something that has been needed for awhile. DS has become the official kitchen shopper here. DH and I were getting pretty oblivious to updating items so he started bringing home Kitchen surprises. One day it was a new set of knives. Then one of those hand held mixers that are one single piece? Then a new toaster. So I got the hint and went shopping last year just before Christmas and bought a new set of every day dishes and a new cutting board and ordered some new glasses and wrapped them as our family gift and put it under the tree. Everyone got a lift, because we were really dealing with the mismatched and chipped dishes for awhile. [g] Norma, I think I would feel more than headachy if I split wood from an oak tree! Also feel the same way about pretty wood that would make good furniture going for firewood.

Hello gardenbug....imagine it is still snowing there! Very nice to hear some good news about the midwife for Sarah. Glad to hear a little happiness squeezing it's way in there for all of you. You sound better. :-)

Michelle...your shopping outing sounds like so much fun! Needing a whole bath remodel at our house too, last time around we just did superficial updates. It's time. Not looking forward to it. to see photos of your winter outdoor containers when you have some. I bought some Wiltpruf this year and hope to do a little of that too. Every year I say I will, maybe this year. :-)

Hi was your Thanksgiving?

Mary....glad your BD turned itself around. :-)

Eden....So sorry you all have colds! Holidays have done that at our house once in awhile. Especially when the kids were small. Hope you feel better soon. :-)

Jerri...what did you do for Thanksgiving this year?

Wondering where Anita and Babs and Cindy are these days? Haven't heard from Drema or 't' in awhile. Brenda...hoping you are doing ok.

Enjoy your Sunday!


    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 12:44PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Gray skies and windy here, white and cold as well. Storm warnings in effect, anticipating 10 cm of the white stuff. No sun in the 5 day forecast for us!

This morning while walking Phoebe, DH saw a slight motion and then 4-5 deer leaving rapidly as they passed by. Phoebe was oblivious. Then he saw a muskrat on the footbridge as well. So far, unlike Ms Charlotte, Phoebe has killed nothing. I do think she deters critters though. Lately she has been "protecting" us from juncos! Silly girl!

Loved Martie's pot of cranberries cooking. They are a favorite here.

This morning I wrapped a few roses and clematis. After lunch DH helped me with 3 more. Phoebe was such a help, NOT. Many more yet to go, but I think time will not allow it. We will try again next weekend.

DS is off to Belgium on Dec 10th and has been also given a trip to Rome by a friend. (Yes, for those of you who remember, the one who knit the atrocious scarf that I had to finish!) Below is his Christmas message to all. He has been working so hard to keep this effort alive world wide.

Spoke to DD last night. She and DSIL have been participating in a retreat this weekend where people assist each other with various problems in their lives. DD feels it is OK but that there are better and faster remedies, yet she does not mind helping out others. DSIL spoke a bit about their loss as well. In particular DD spoke of a native woman who spent 11 years in a residential home. Although it was more recent than the ones I have read about and did not involve abuses of any kind, she grew up without family, role models for family living and child rearing, and lost native traditions. She did not learn skills such as cooking, socializing, etc. Actually, my mother went to boarding school and felt much the same way.

I'm physically uncomfortable no more sitting in this chair for me.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 2:30PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

We're waiting for snow to start here... We just walked the dogs to get that done before it gets messy. (The big Copper beast has been here since Thursday and will be going home in an hour or two. She has really matured lately and is becoming a very nice beast :- ) It doesn't sound like we'll get a lot of snow - it's still mild enough that it's supposed to be at least part rain. Randy is out moving the strawberry and blueberry pots into the garage for the winter so the driveway is clear for snow removal.

I hope the forecast snow for tonight doesn't take out gb's Internet connection again!

PM2 - the strudel was less than successful this time! Spreadable butter was too slick and it made the stretching of the dough very difficult, so the crust came out too thick and not flaky enough. So it was sort of an apple pie roulade with a tough crust! But the whole thing disappeared in 24 hours so it was edible! (I gave half to Barb and her 17 year old daughter apparently rapidly consumed most of it :-)

My sewing machine is an old Singer portable. My sister gave it to me in 1975 when I was leaving for university. I've periodically considered getting a new one but this one just keeps on going and I don't do enough sewing to justify getting something fancier. I have it cleaned and regulated every few years. It's been a great machine!

Chelone - when do the balusters get installed and we get to see some pictures....?

Cynthia - it sounds like you need to do some renovations for the dogs' sake - and your's! Is there a ground floor room that you could turn into a bedroom (maybe swap an office downstairs with a bedroom upstairs)? It would sure be easier on your back not to have to carry the dogs up and down stairs! If you ever slipped on the stairs while carrying one of them, there could be some serious damage done all round :-(

Martie - that shot of your kitchen looks very much like my BIL/SIL's! And the little dog on the right waiting for treats to fall its way looks like a Misty relative! What kind of dog is it? Who does it belong to?

It sounds like a good time was had by all for Thanksgiving. All those turkeys inspired us to have roast chicken for dinner tonight :- )

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 2:55PM
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I've cleaned my brush and am ready to embark on the final quarter of the clear coat caper. The helpmeet is going to install the posts and rails tomorrow. He will then mount the ballusters to two strips of hemlock and then insert that "unit" in between the rails. I am not sure how long that's going to take, but it has the hallmarks of something that could be both fiddly and frustrating. Pictures will follow, Woody, I promise. :)

PM, I do about 98% of the maintenance, basic repair, and adjustment to my machines. Over the years I've managed to accrue a certain level of competence... you pick it up with time and exposure and your fear of "going for it" tends to evaporate. I know the basics of what's required to "time" a machine, but have never been very successful at it. Anyway, my experience has been that most people are perfectly capable of routine maintenance IF they are willing to read the owner's manual. As for buying new machines... that's the biggest scam in the world, you guys. If you really want to learn to sew well the best thing you can do is work on a machine with only a straight stitch and keep a good basic sewing book next to you. It teaches you good technique and requires you to master the basics of solid construction. More cams, more stitches, more sensors are never going to be a substitute for strong theory and good technique. To quote "Pistol" Pete Maravich of the NBA, "you don't get there by wishin' it".

OK, well I have to haul my hindquarters back to the Salon and finish up my latest "sentance". :)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 4:51PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Well, the kids and the DH have all dispersed, leaving me home alone with a snoring dog on the couch. And it's kind of nice. :)

Snow is falling like crazy right now and they say we may get 6 inches by morning. Have I mentioned yet that I am going to Los Cabos on Friday? Is it Friday yet?

It was a long, busy weekend with a lot of wedding planning stuff on the agenda. Saturday we met with a florist, which was fun but the designer was a bit of a steamroller. She was not picking up on the fact that the bride to be (BTB) didn't always like her suggestions, but she steamrolled ahead and the BTB got quite nervous. So she will meet with a couple more florists next weekend. We also met with the stationer and the invitations are close to being finalized. The next step will be a mocked up sample to see if they are happy with that. The shop owner had pulled several more samples for them to look at, and they were very impressed with one. When I took a closer look, I couldn't believe my eyes - the father of the bride had been the soloist at my wedding!

In between these two lovely appointments, DH had me help him pull his duck and goose decoys out of the ice. Anyone want to guess what I prefer to do?

pm, you are right to expect log walls in my home. The photos are from my SIL's house.

Eden, I feel like I am part of your family now! Yes, I decided to come down with a cold late yesterday. I'm using up kleenex at a frightening rate.

I'm trying to distract myself as I wait for a phone call from DD. She had to head into some pretty serious snow on her trip back to school. I was glad that her cousin was riding back with her. I will be even gladder when I get the call that she is safe and sound. She even talked about waiting until tomorrow, but it's not supposed to get any better overnight.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 6:23PM
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Todays selection is Eye Of the Hawk from Mendocino brewing company, a good winter beer . 2 unscheduled Julie Jobs are completed, one involving baseboards and spider webs, and the other was the quarterly refrigerator purge and wipe-down. I found no mystery items in the fridge but did vacuum up two deceased June bugs from an obviously neglected corner. There is more clean up to be done outside , but I have filled up every yard waste receptacle I own, so that will have to wait till next weekend. The forecast right now calls for highs in the low to mid 60s, lows in 40s, no frost, no rain. I might actually have to do some container watering next weekend- dont believe I have ever watered in December since Ive lived here.
The 4 day weekend gig surely sped by.. I found myself sleeping 9 or 10 hours a night thinking I must have needed the rest and tried to talk myself out of feeling guilty about oversleeping every morning.

Pondering Marie wrapping her roses and clematis. What is used as wrap? Is a heavy layer of mulch involved , and are own root roses better able to withstand the winters ?

PM my chocolate cream pie is a from scratch recipe , no pudding but basically a homemade chocolate custard. I dont remember exactly where I got the recipe, but I think its from an old 50s era cookbook.

Norma, lol your posted reminder note for garage door closure. Im sure this personality disorder is related to the one that prevents people from turning off lights.

Pleasant Sunday evening to all, and a hopefully smooth return to the Monday grind

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 6:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Shrubs and roses and type 1&2 clematis are wrapped in wire "hardware cloth" or chicken wire to keep rabbits and mice away. I have not managed to complete the task of the roses. Mainly they need protection from temperature rises and falls which mostly occur in early spring. I do prefer to mound them with soil though, but haven't been successful yet this fall. Here roses die back to the ground pretty much, whether own root or grafted, but for some reason I keep trying to save more of the canes anyway.

Dinner was mango curry chicken with green beans, simple to prepare and easy to eat!

I'm nervous about V's daughter and am waiting for her to phone! Here the wind and ice are making fierce noises against the window panes. Yuck. Sorry Chelone, but I want sunny winter days.... Even Phoebe agrees with me today.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 8:10PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

She made it safe and sound!

But she was wishing she had worn her boots, as they had even more snow than she was expecting.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 8:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I think December first will be the day of our first snow plow visit...

Thanks V, I can relax now.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 10:25PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA me the filling is the best part, but having worked for a French bakery for awhile when I was young, I did come to appreciate their layers of buttered dough in their croissants. A little too I wonder how melted butter would work?

Last night I realized, that my sewing machine is a Kenmore and not a DH took the machine in so I hadn't laid eyes on it in years. I remembered buying it at Sears and that's when it dawned on me.

Chelone....I thought you were going to say that. :-) I got the impression from the repair shop, after describing the problem, that the timing is off on the machine too. My son tried using it and was having trouble with thick material. I was reading up on it and I didn't realize you could throw off the timing by just hitting a pin with the needle. Do you sew over needles or pull them out as you go?

Kathy....the refrigerator is a great winter job. We probably need to do ours before Christmas. Thanks for the reminder. NEVER feel guilty about sleeping 9-10 hrs a night. I would be so happy if I could sleep longer than 6hrs!

Happy Monday to all! :-)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 4:02AM
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Happy Monday! Like V kinda liking aloneness, I'm kinda liking the idea of going back to work. That feeling will be gone 10 minutes after arrival, I'm sure :-)

Woody -- The dog is my DsD's. Her license name is Winnie the Pooch, but we call her Winnie and various other things at certain moments. She is a cross between a Pomeranian (sp?) and a Shitzu and is the mellowist little dog I've ever met. DsD has her in training (thus the full body harness) to be a therapy dog, probably at a local physical rehab facility. Next to her is Murphy, my Mom's dog who we picked up at the Humane Society, a Cairn Terrier mix who thinks he's a German Shepard without the fear of biting. One canine extreme to the other in the kitchen!!

House is being prepped for the next round of Holiday finery, and because today is the first of December, the first decoration will come out. One piece a day for the next several days and then the whole shebang. Kind of an Advent calendar without the doors.

Sleep took up a lot of time here, too, Kathy. It's amazing that my body actually feels like it's caught up with the psychy. LOL

Everyone have a great day, keep warm and dry or cool and watered depending on locale.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 7:03AM
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One of my machines is a Kenmore, too, PM. It was a gift from a boyfriend and the only thing I use it for is making buttonholes. I oil it and clean it before using it as I don't haul it out very often. You can indeed knock a machine out of time by hitting a pin, but that's pretty unusual. Generally speaking, sewing machines are amazingly resilient and will suffer untold abuse without breaking down. The number one cause of failure is LACK OF OIL; coupled with accumulated fabric lint (which soaks up the residual oil robbing the moving parts of it) it can be really bad news. After that, the wrong needle is often used in a machine, or it's put in incorrectly (either will result in failure to pick up the bobbin thread, often mistaken for a timing issue). And then there is the often frustrating issue of properly tensioning the machine... which is covered in the manual and only takes some guts and some practice to master. In fact, when faced with a new hire, tension and proper needle installation are the first things I teach. To make sure the lesson is mastered I deliberatly monkey with the tension while the person is in the bathroom, lol.

I do not sew over pins. I tend to use only a few anyway, but sewing over them is asking for trouble. You ruin the pins (they bend under the presser foot and are harder to use later), you can break them or your needle, and when broken they often fly away from the machine. Flying bits of broken metal near eyes is a fully avoidable risk, right up there with not putting your fingers directly in front of the needle. ;) "Safen up!".

More warnings for black ice this morning. And I instantly thought of V.'s daughter when I saw the cancellations at O'Hare. I always wear my boots, a holdover from living in the "boonies" and driving home in all sorts of weather, often not passing another car for the entire 20 miles. Best to be prepared for a long, cold walk. I have not left the Compound ONCE since last Wednesday, though today may break the run.

On my list of things to do this week is buy some greens for the decorations, and some wrapping paper and ribbon. We don't have our lists ready and they won't be long or particularly tough on our wallets. I VERY much want to see the decorations from Monique and Less!! I love varigated Holly and haven't seen it available in my usual haunts. I'm actually toying with the notion of planting a couple of them... what do you think, too flashy or pleasingly sparkley for a dark time of year?

Tales of layers of pastry and butter made my mouth water. I could almost feel my hindquarters spreading across the seat of my chair as I read... . Back to watery gruel for me!

I have to get a coat/two of pickling on one more piece of wood in preparation for the helpmeet's assault on the stairwell railing. I'd love to hear from ailing Eden about her present project and it's progression. You've crossed my mind periodically as I've plugged away on my own.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 7:39AM
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It was a whirl wind weekend. Thanksgiving at mom and dads on Thurs., shopping on Friday, Thanksgiving with DHs kids on Sat. and visitation this afternoon for Ricks uncle who passed away. Sorry no photo of the tables this year as the first guests were here already at 10:00. DHs son and grandson wanted to do a little hunting on our land before dinner.

I still need to spray some Wiltpruf thanks for the reminder Monique. I guess Ill have to do it in the dark one of these nights.

Eden, sorry to hear you are all under the weather. You had asked about what I was getting Kenzie for Christmas. DD suggested the FP Arts and Crafts Studio. It works with the computer. I ordered it off Amazon and was able to have it shipped right to them. I also got a Disney Princesses I spy book, her annual ornament and a matching game. I think Im going to have a puzzle made of her in her garden also.

Mary, how nice that your hard work in the bathroom now gives you such rewards of relaxation.

Saucy, I love the hostess gift what a great arrangement.

Chelone, LOL "performance anxiety" If I make pie the crust must be homemade.

Ei, the turkey "lamp" is great!

Julie, your front garden is fabulous. Love the rock. I want to see more (hint, hint)

Thats all I have time for now. Talk to you later.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 7:59AM
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    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 8:02AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow, can't believe how much has moved along here since I was able to post! Seems I'm a bad Idyller and missed some BDays! Without further ado!

Hope everyone had a great day!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 9:19AM
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Where're the pictures of the food, Deanne?

(welcome back, stranger!)

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 9:21AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I was right. The snowplow came and left before 7am. PM2, I'm in the lucky to have 6 hours of sleep camp.

Later gators,

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 9:50AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

All the forecast snow came down as rain here. The lake is still too warm for much in the way of snow, or if we do get it, it melts quickly. Lake effect is very strong here.... The flip side to the late arrival of snow that stays is a late, cold spring because it takes so long for the lake to warm up. You win some; you lose some.... :-)

Martie - I though there must be some Shih Tzu in that little one! I'll bet it's a real cutie - any chance of a front-on, closer view? (I never particulaly cared for little dogs until Misty moved in; now I appreciate their finer qualities more - they all seem to think they are acttually big dogs!)

PM2 - I think barely spreadable butter would have worked better - not as slick as the 'spreadable' butter (which includes canola oil to make it spreadable when it's cold). I think the pastry needs the more solid fat in order to force the pastry layers apart in flakes when it melts.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 9:59AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I sorry, gals....I had a long newsy post typed up, and managed to wipe it all out!!!!! I am too discouraged to try again...maybe later....
I had worked on it for at least an hour!!!!!!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:26AM
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Your growing season is precisely what I experience here, Woody. It took me a long time to finally understand the subtleties of it. I am much more likely to lose things in a late spring frost; hydrangeas can (and do) disappoint regularly. But autumn is long, temperate, and delightful.

As you know, I hate all dogs. But it's not fair to discriminate against "big dogs" or "little dogs" for any reason. They're all just dogs (who wish they were cats). And size doesn't matter, it's the training that makes the difference.

Wonder when we'll get our first snow, 'bug? It should be cold enough later this week.

Back to painting and brush cleaning.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 10:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, yesterday we installed the last 2 storm windows. Today, as I was studying the satellite dish (covered in snow and therefor I was unable to make use the computer..) I observed the plane, a screw driver and a metal file all sitting in a pile of snow on our barbecue gathering rust. I should have left them there, but couldn't make myself...

On to the new threads!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 2:00PM
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