#463 The Thanksgiving Idyll

Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)November 25, 2009

I'm thankful for imaginary Idyll friends. I'm thankful this is a virtual FRIDAY! What are you thankful for?


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I'm grateful for the ability to glean:

Boo's Windowsill Domain is taken over for the Holiday. "What'd you guys do with my furniture?????"


    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 4:03PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

No doubt about it, FAMILY! (and digital cameras!)
And many many other things as well.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 6:45PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Today the 16 turkeys showed up again on our front lawn. Do you suppose they are US escapees and Gloria Gobbler is among them??

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 7:32PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Wishing everyone so much joy and laughter for Thanksgiving. Just looking at your pic 'bug has started my Thanksgiving with a huge smile. She is truly the cutest little babe!

woody, I added a message/quotation at the end of the previous Idyll thread for you-a fellow teacher and I always buy two lottery tickets every week-hope springs eternal-lol.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 9:27PM
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Hooray for gleaning !

No turkey here, but very pricey local organic grass fed beef twice baked potatoes, garlic bread and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Saving the more elaborate stuff for Christmas..

Thankfulness: I have a roof over the head, non-leaking and owned by me, got a garden, got a job,got kids that are nice people , and got some pretty cool imaginary friends !

Glad to see you Jerri !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 9:29PM
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Happy Birthday Saucy !!! From Idyllunion 6 July 2009

Wishing you a very special day indeed !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 12:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Kathy, Terrapin Station must be drooling over that card of yours! Wonderful!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 7:08AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

And Happy Thanksgiving to all my idyll friends! We have snow on the ground, and the world's largest turkey is about to go on the grill for the next several hours.

I am thankful for family, for all my idyll friends, for dogs past and present.

Now I need to get serious about cooking! Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 8:40AM
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Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes. Sarah said upon seeing the box turtle, "hey, isn't that Tower Hill?" Good girl :)

I am thankful for all my friends, invisible and not!

It's time for me to make the potato: sour cream and chive.

The gluten free cake covered in ganache is in the refrigerator. It actually came out very tasty (as far as I can tell from trimmings and licking bowls).

Have a great turkey and trimmings to all my American friends, and a beautful Thursday to all my friends to the north!

GB...we must see the cat/bear puppet, too. I'm very curious now! How about felt eyes?


    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 9:09AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I am thankful for the many, many, blessings that we enjoy everyday. Too many to list. I am espacially thankful that I am still able to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends....wherever they are.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Saucy and Sarah:

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 10:08AM
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Right now I'm thankful for being an hour ahead of myself and able to wish you all a wonderful day before the throngs descend!!

Saucy -- I jumped the gun a bit with your birthday wish. See previous Idyll :-)

Kathy -- Sounds pretty darn elaborate to me and hope your company is as good as the food.

Must agree that a smiling Miss Ivy first thing in the morning is a day maker :-) Looking forward to lots of Idyllkids pics on this thread.

Since I joined with our Canadian friends for their Thanksgiving this year, hope you all will celebrate with us down south!!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 10:58AM
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Happy Thanksgiving friends! Im thankful for so much, but IÂd like you all to know how thankful I am to know each of you. You have all enriched my life so much through your friendship and support.

The turkey will be devoured at my parentÂs house today. Saturday will be the turkey at our house for Rick's kids. I hope I'm semi-prepared. I have to work on Friday. I usually take it off and shop with my mom and sisters, but I feel I need to conserve vacation time for the things that are happening in FL. Besides only one sister is here and my mom won't be doing much shopping because of her knee surgery.

As I went out this a.m. to empty the compost bowl, the thing that caught my eye in the garden is the lovely Thanksgiving color of the 'Anthony Waterer spireas. Most of the other shrubs have no leaves anymore. The sun just came out this a.m. after several rainy days. Hopefully harvest can resume soon. We usually aren't this late.

Our furnace quit working yesterday sometime.

The Thanksgiving Day links brought a smile to my face  thanks.

Cindy, IÂm glad to hear that some of the office drama is now a thing of the past for you. Mine is just beginning IÂm afraid. The new woman is nothing short of a drama queen  the world revolves around her and every I need to address an issue with her work IÂm just waiting for her to have another melt down. She seems smart and I think could be a valuable asset, too bad the personality isnÂt the same.

Julie, it may seem that life should be all in black and white and everyone should follow the script, but it simply isnÂt that way. People make mistakes, bad choices or just donÂt have the capability to know what is right. I applaud you all for doing what was the best thing for TCS in the circumstances. IÂm sure it was not an easy situation.

Wow, Âbug, the raccoon is fabulous! I can see a puppet with that type of yarn in all black as a Phoebe puppet. IvyÂs bright smile is sure to perk up anyone feeling down.

Norma, I got a chuckle out of the cat that had to be shown the new digs. IÂm with you on the mix of emotions. Sleep doesnÂt come easy these days.

Drema, what fun to find a potters wheel. It sounds like youÂve made some pots already, please post pictures. By the way I figure the pictures are the right size as long as they donÂt cause the whole post to be made wider and everyone to have to scroll back and forth to read. LOL about the missing undies. IÂve done that too, but I had an extra suit in my bag so I wore that. IÂve also forgotten my towel and had to dry off with paper towels.

Eden, IÂm encouraged that my day didnÂt involve dog poop and a 4 year old. Your peach cobbler recipe reminded me of my grandma  it was a favorite of hers to make. I havenÂt made it in a long time.

Martie, beautiful gleanings.

The furnace man has arrived - wonder what a holiday service call will cost?

Don't eat too much - I'm off to see a bit of the parade. A tradition for me.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 11:10AM
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Well hello Miss Ivy! She's a darlin'! And what a mover. Kate's finially rolling around and is thinking about crawling. She's a bigger baby that Bella was, well taller at least. We tried a Christmas dress on her that my mom made for Jennifer for her first Christmas and that Bella wore her first but it was way too short for Kate, looked like a top.

What am I thankful for? Pretty much everything in my life. I've got it pretty good. Health and happiness, a great husband, family and friends, a warm home and of course my garden. I'm content.

Happy Birthday Lisa! and Sarah too:)

I'm off to get ready to go to Thanksgiving dinner. Appetizers at 1pm and dinner at 3.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 11:14AM
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Happy Thanksgiving Idylls!!

Major computer woes have kept me away - it takes 20 minutes just to boot up and another 20 to try and load anything - Ack! Good news however, we will have a new one (actually DH's old puter but a huge improvement on this one) in a couple of weeks. Yay! I've never been away so long and really miss everyone. Otherwise we have been kept busy with foot surgery (DH), the H1N1 flu (Annie and myself) and much activity related to work, family and friends.

We are lucky to have SIL, and our grown neice and nephew with us right now and we just ate a wonderful meal together. As stuffing is our favorite part I made three different types this year, all of which met with great approval. In addition to a large bird there was the usual cast of characters and a family tradition - the big bowl of creamed onions. The rest of the day will be spent playing games, perhaps a walk, talking and possibly even a nap before the Pumpkin Cheesecake makes its appearance.

So much to be grateful for here - we always begin dinner with each of us sharing what we are thanksful for. It ranged from family, friends, pets, creamed onions to Sarah Palin (don't ask LOL!)

Happy Birthday Saucy and Sarah!!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 3:34PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So good to hear from you Mary!
"...creamed onions to Sarah Palin (don't ask LOL!)"

But I must!!! WHY HER?


As per request, more hand puppets:
#4 is declared a bear. (But who knows, really.)

#5 is a black cat (with a white star on its belly)

The entire gang.

Need to finish my book for Book Club, entertain tomorrow night...and then just maybe I'll make one more puppet. Ideas so far are a bunny, a mouse, a tiger... Not sure yet.

Michelle, so sorry about drama queen. So little time for that in life

Is that Chelone humming "Home on the Range"?
I hope the champagne arrived for Deanne's event today!

Cheers to all!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 4:19PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

(I loved Kathy's turtle b'day card but the best I can do is a penguin that has travelled the world for the last 25 years or so and our guardian frog...)

(Is that a better picture gb...? :- )

Cyn - cute Dorothy Parker quote! Can we update the money for inflation since she said that line?!

Gb and Chelone - I was talking to Zoe (rottweiller)'s owner this afternoon. Zoe has the same problem as Phoebe and Rex does/did. I thought her problem was hips but he said no, it was the ligament in one back leg. They're choking on the cost of the surgery and are hoping to keep her more restrained to give it a chance to heal on its own. Zoe is unhappy with the idea of not charging about like an idiot!

gb - love those puppets! I've been inspired by all your knitting to drag out an unfinished sweater that I started making for Randy about 18 months or so ago! The back was done and I finished the front today but it's going to take a month or two to do the sleeves. With my tendonitis, I can only do a few rows a day and it's relatively fine yarn. It will probably end up in the unfinished projects basket again when this burst of enthusiasm wears off again!

Nice to see you pop in Mary. I hope the bouts of flu in your house were mild ones...

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 5:44PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Happy birthday, Saucy! Hope it is the best ever and happy day to Sarah, too.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 7:07PM
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Good Morning Idylls..I am staying safely at home , not caring to join in the Black Friday festivities. I will have to venture out to the grocery store later , since Im dangerously low on kitty treats Doobie would be particularly annoyed if he did not get his afternoon snack. My day other than that will be spent performing a series of Julie Jobs involving the kitchen drawers, the garage , and the downstairs loo. Good times !

This morning I went out to get the paper and noticed a group several of birds on my roof, drinking water out of my (apparently clogged, lol) rain gutter- I stood still and watched them for awhile and realized they were Cedar Waxwings a bird I never see at my feeders as my back garden is I think too enclosed a space for them .Ive never even seem them in my neighborhood before. I stood quietly and watched them very cool ! All the birds are very active this morning , and saw a couple of Western Bluebirds in front tooanother that does not visit my feeder.

Bug those puppets are fabu, and I hope they are kept well out of Ms Phoebes reach-on can imagine how enticing they would be to a young dog on restriction ! I believe the black cat is my favorite ..

My Spireas are just showing color now Michelle, the Gold Mound being the showiest at the moment. Ive really edited the quantitiy of Spireas in my garden this year , there are so many other flowering shrubs I want to try and I have limited space for them. I bought two Nikko Deutzias in late summer for an area that needs low cover , and they are turning a beautiful red. Sorry you are having awfice angst , my co-workers and I were discussing last week for fortunate we feel that we all actually like and get along with each other-it surely helps in an otherwise stressful environment. New hires are such a roll of the dice-you can give them personality tests all day long but you never know how they will fit in till they get there .Ones wishes the drama queens and kings would just leave it at home.

Okay, waves to all , and time to do something productive

I took this photo yesterday, though it was kind of interesting, this tasting room had trained two olive trees into columns on either side of the entry. They were both roof-line high. From Napa Fall 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 12:24PM
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I haven't booted up the computer since I shut it down last Sunday.

Of paramount importance is that you, DENISE, know my condolences are hovering in the air above your home. I was very sorry to learn of your father's death and hope you know my best wishes are with you and your family.

All will be OK (as it always is) but for the present it's anything but. Hand on tightly, allow yourself to be sad, and know others are thinking of you.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Good afternoon

Denise - I'm hopelessly behind here but much saddened to read about the loss of your father. Please know I too am thinking of you and your family. I was 19 whan my father passed away and I still miss him and think of him often. He was a plant pathologist and I would love to show him my gardens - what a fine time we would have talking about plants, propagation and vegetables. He also loved children and I know how much he would have enjoyed Annie and David.

GB, those puppets are fabulous! The Sarah Palin comment is a little too political for this forum. I'll email you privately!

Saucy - how was the gluten free cake? It has become a tradition that Annie makes one for our birthdays, her speciality is a lemon curd cake - delicious!

Today we had fresh eggs for breakfast (thank you chickens) and the troups went out for a shushi lunch. I stayed to keep DH company and finish sewing the oven mit sets I've made as holiday gifts for SIL and niece. I had a lot of fun choosing fabric for everyone. I am also nearing completion on my crewel embroidery cushion cover for Mum and it has been very cozy sewing in front of the fire as the evenings draw in.

There has been a request for turkey enchiladas for supper tonight and a few rounds of Scattergories. We are also hoping to watch one of our favorite movies - Cinema Paridiso and I have a feeling some wine will be opened.

Sewing and cooking are a much more enjoyable alternative for me than a consumer Black Friday, but what ever your pleasure, hope you are having a great day off.


    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 2:50PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Thumbs UP on Cinema Paridiso!!! I'll be humming that for days now....

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 5:16PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good evening! We had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner yesterday and lots of leftovers for the next several days. I pretty much stuck close to home today. I did venture over to our neighbors' Christmas Tree farm to buy roping for our balcony; I've learned that the nicest stuff sells out on the first weekend.

My DD did her bit for Black Friday, though. She and her cousin went to a large outlet mall about 45 minutes from here and they arrived at midnight. Would you believe that the main parking lot was already full? They had to park in an office complex across the road and hike through a muddy field to get to the mall. She did get some nice deals, but I didn't see anything that looked as nice as my warm bed. ;)

I was puzzled when I got up this morning and saw her muddy shoes in the laundry room!

This evening we went once again to the Lighting of the Square in town. It was a crisp, clear night and there was a great turn out. We got rum-spiked cider from La Petite Creperie to keep us warm and had a nice time.

Turkey-Wild Rice soup is ready, so I'm signing off!


    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 9:26PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Student party here was very very nice. It always is but I hate preparations for it....Anyway, one student sang 'I Will Survive' and I had to keep myself from laughing and telling about our Idyll tradition. LOL. (DH showed him the YouTube version later.)

Dishes washed and 25 more pages of my book I want to finish before hitting the sack...

Nighty night!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 12:10AM
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The happiest of Saturdays to all. No shopping here, yet. Kyle and Lauren ventured forth at 4am on Friday for "amazing deals" and, like V's daughter, were delighted with their haul. This must be for the young !! We spent the day dealing with our mortgage company and eating spaghetti at my sister's house. Even dealing with a screwed up bank seemed better than squirmishes for gifts. LOL

So good to see you, Mary!

I'm loving the puppets, 'bug. No rabbit, yet?

As a topiary fanatic I am in love with that Olive, Kathy. Is that it's normal growth pattern, do you think? Logee's has starts and I've always been tempted.

Such a relaxing day, today. Nothing planned though food shopping will probably sneak in for such necessities as ice cream. Tomorrow my last day off before heading back to the broohaha of work.

General Question: For long-distance flower/plant sending, what vendor does everyone find reliable and that will deliver good material? Aunt and Uncle in FL love getting stuff like that and my local florist who would take care of getting them something wonderful retired. Help, please?

Woody -- That's one handsome man, and the oysters are just the icing on the cake, so to speak!

Best to all, and I'm sure I'll be back!


    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 10:19AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Im thankful to be perfecting my slugging -- where have the days gone?

Glad to hear folks had lovely days w/ family and friends -- went to a lovely celebraton myself at DD's inlaws and have been enjoying being unmotivated - but that doesnt help w/ caloric dropping.

Glad to hear you're feeling better, Mary -- flu running thru families is enervating among other things.

Happy birthday, Saucy and Sarah -- Im not even sure I remember how to post photos so heartfelt felicitations....

Beef on turkey days seems revoluntionary to me, Kathy!

No Black Friday shopping for me other than web surfing...

Sadly the cold seems to have set in here - I have enormous amounts of bulbs to plant having missed all the good weather -- I may have to get off the couch today and go in search of soil for pots - I think I may be planting a lot of bulb containers! Gotta swish some dust around and seriously consider cleanup too.... Dear o dear, where have all the days rushed off to?

Sounds like lots are really getting into holiday spirits already tho -- right on schedule.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 11:02AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello to all,

I've been beyond busy the last several weeks with fall house cleaning, still getting all the plants re potted and ready for the winter in the basement (I still have a garage full of plants that need to be brought to the cellar) and of course getting ready for Thanksgiving celebration.

We had a fabulous day with friends and family as always thought you'd enjoy a couple pics of the table

This year we had a 21 pound bird and all the trimmings including a broccoli/mushroom/cheese casserole that disappeared. OUr friends brought a ham from a local business that smokes them and it was brilliant. Yum, yum, yummy!

An interesting thing in the Northeast this year is that because of abundant natural food supplies there are only a very few birds in the feeders. My normal flock of finches, siskins, sparrows and juncos are just not here so I've missed them. I added a peanut feeder to attract the Blue Jays and that has been a rousing success. The birds arrive in what seems like squadrons when the feeder gets filled in the morning and in fact if I'm late they perch on the arch where the empty feeder is and call for their breakfast. I've had a great time photographing them and the exciting news is that I won a photo competition with one of my Jay shots.

So sorry it seems I missed a couple birthdays so a hearty Happy Birthday

OK it is now time for me to get out of my comfy chair and do something with the leftover turkey and perhaps finish up with the rest of the plants in the garage. Have a great day everyone and I hope all had a marvelous Thanksgiving.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 11:22AM
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No Black Friday shopping for me. I avoid the stores that day. I've got most of mine done anyway. I do more and more online every year. So much easier and much better selection. I really only had to buy for the little girls this year. The adults in our family are adopting a family from my sister's church to provide with a nice Christmas instead of buying gifts for each other. My sister's and I will get together and do the shopping from that family's list in the next week or so and then shop for groceries for them closer to Christmas. I'm excited to start decorating and doing some Christmas crafts with Bella. I found a website with tons of cute Chrismas ornaments that she'll love crafting.

Mary, great to hear from you. I loved reading about your Thanksgiving. Such a laid back fun time at your house. Glad you're feeling better.

Marie, the cat puppet turned out great. They are all so cute but I think he's my favorite. My cat Isaac looks just like your puppet. Next you'll have to start thinking about a puppet stage.

Martie, I used to use Teleflora alot for my mom. Easy to order online. They have lots of choices and we were always happy with their quality. I took a quick look at their website and they have some beautiful Christmas arrangements this year.

Cindy, sometimes we just need to have some down time. I say take what you need. The house and garden won't go anywhere. Housework always seems to wait for you:)

Not used to having Chelone this quiet. What's up girlfriend?

Gotta run. We have a wedding reception to attend tonight and I've got some things to do beforehand. Till tomorrow...


    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 11:39AM
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Deanne, what a beautiful Thanksgiving table and WOW! a spectacular blue jay photo. I can surely see why you won. Must have blown all the other entries out of the water with that one. My plants are all suffering in silence in the basement. We'll see who's strong enough to survive until spring under my care. I wish I had more time to work with them. I need you to post pictures of all your beauties through the winter for inspiration to keep mine going:)


    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 11:48AM
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I woke to very high winds this morning and though it is short of seeing Toto flying through the back yard, I expect to see some fences and tree limbs down around town. This was going to be an all garden day too da**it ! Hoping it will die down later this afternoon, and the power doesnt go.

Martie, I think those olives were trained into submission I should have looked at the base , but is must have been multi-trunked to have all that new growth so near the bottom. See the 2nd one below. Does Logees mail gift plants ? Ive used FTD.com several times and was pleased with the service.

Cindy, I plan to put all my tulips in pots this year-I have a bag full of them in my fridge as we speak. Waiting for the temps to get more consistently cool , and of course I am continually changing my mind about which pots tall, squatty etc, etc.

Deanne, I love that peanut feeder- do you know who the manufacturer is ? I used to put the peanuts in a platform feeder, but now I put the sunflower hearts there , and I have a terra cotta pot on a stand for the peanuts. What a shame that you are not getting some of your regulars- maybe they will turn up as the weather worsens ? Blue jays are sure entertaining though, and your eastern version is beautiful. Congrats on the award ! Im certain none of us here are the least bit surprised !

Ok, Julie Job awaits the pantry will be cleaned this morning before I venture out in the gale

Kathy in Napa From Napa Fall 2009

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 11:56AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Some comparison photos for your entertainment.
Here's Charlotte from November, 2005

And this is Phoebe in November, 2009

And here are the grandkids...

And what Ivy resembles to me...

Off to run errands now. Enjoy your weekend, whether loafing on the couch or rushing around frantically to catch up on things. :)

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 11:59AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi again,

Thanks Eden and Kathy! so glad you like the pics.

Kathy, I bought the peanut feeder at Wild Birds Unlimited.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 12:29PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Deanne - I was wondering where you had disappeared to... That Blue Jay picture is fabulous! Randy was mightily impressed - he keeps talking about getting a fancier camera and taking some courses. Pictures like that will help push him in the direction of doing something about it. What did you win in the photo contest? The T-Day table is beautiful too!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 3:08PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Deanne, your Blue Jay photo is incredible! It's no wonder that you won. Congratulations! You table is lovely too. :)


    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 3:32PM
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Broke my own rule today and pulled out the seed catalogs that have already started arriving. Usually won't do that until the granddaddy of them all, Burpees, gets here. The arrival of B. was a really big deal in my grandmother's house, decades before hundreds of catalogs were out and about. But couldn't resist. Anyone ever started Osteospermum from seed?

Funny story, Kathy ~ My A and U are well into their 80's but unless you knew you wouldn't "know." Sent them a Logee's plant a few years back and the thank you note basically said: "We really appreciate the gift but according to our books this will take 10 years to mature and we'd like to see it flower before we die. Next time pick something faster growing. Love, Your ancient relatives." Since then, it's been Jasmine or Hydrangea or Amaryllis or something that's in bloom when it arrives. Just never gave it a thought..... LOL

Tried to get beyond WALATing but the wind is wicked out there, so instead got the roller blading kids a huge sheet and they sailed around the cul-de-sac for a bit. All families have insurance, rest assured :-)

Will send the Charlotte and Phoebe pics to my brother, 'bug. How neat!

Are you Samosa'd out yet, Woody?

Hadn't thought about the lack of birds, Deanne, but looking at the mega-crop of bittersweet at the woods line, I "get" it. Have also not noticed squirrels, yet. Hmmmmmmmmmm

I want an Olive topiary. Actually, I want two.

Later!! Martie

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 3:51PM
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Wind is dying down a bit, so I went out to view the damages- earlier when I did errands I saw numerous municipal trucks rushing about , and limbs and whole trees down all over the place- when I was walking from the parking lot into Staples and large limb came down from an oak right on top of a parked car in the lot (I parked in a treeless area ) . I had to laugh at the sight of my neighbor across the street (he who knows not a tool unless it has a motor or an engine) with his leaf blower what an exercise in futility that was. Several small limbs are hanging on my birch no surprise there, that poor thing has seen better days, and a very large limb came down on the Liquidambar and is laying across the fence- Ill have DS help me extricate when he gets up. No loss there , as the fence is newish and sturdy, and the tree is scheduled for a major limbing-up and heading back in January-one less branch to pay to remove ! Another small section of my fence between the back garden and the utility area is leaning . It will have to be demolished , thereby hastening the utility area re-do that I had on the back burner. I would not have liked to have been driving across the Golden Gate Bridge today !

Thanks Deanne- There are 2 Wild Birds Unlimited within an hour drive from me, but I think I will order one of the P-nut feeders off their website. I think the store will be worth a visit though. By the way, your photo of the jays at the feeder is way better than theirs !

Going to slap on some chapstick and head outside.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 5:04PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Deanne -- such a lovely table you set and I know the food was equally exquisite. That jay photo is a stunner - is that the one that won you the award too? You soo deserve it. Really magnificent...

We had winds here too, Kathy, but no damage like you had -- yucko on fence removal - the temps have definitely dropped to winter season. I did manage to go get some bags of soil in anticipation of potting some bulbs up tomorrow -- I confess I have way way too many to use in just pots - hundreds that have yet to be planted - hopefully some will get slung in tomorrow w/ the temps a bit higher and less wind.

Managed to move some dust dust bunnies around today - major victory -- just cant figure where all the holiday has gone tho - surely there are 3 or 4 more days to loll around and work into the Xmas spirit, LOL?

Love those puppets, 'bug -- I bet Phoebe does too, LOL... Does she ever get into your yarn?

Im spending the evening sorting thru some ancient baby pics of my Mother and other ancient family photos -- even have a box of carefully kept baby congrat cards and first birthday cards that were hers - it's cute to see cards from 1931 - my DD and I are getting back into geneological stuff and pondering identifying some of the folks in the early 20th C photos -- it will be a nice wintertime hobby.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend - I hope to meander thru the idyll pasttimes I've missed in the last weeks. Another great way to enjoy catching up with you all.


    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 7:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

What fun to catch up with Deanne's doin's! Where will the winning photo be published? Yes, I knew you way back when... before you were famous ;) Your holiday tables are always amazing and I bet you could never wiggle out of being the hostess by now. But after all the preparations, I bet you sit back and enjoy a marvelous time!

Today we ran various errands, one of which was making copies of some family photos for DD's Christmas gift. Tonight DH framed them. They have a wall of such photos from DSIL's family and she asked for some particular favorites for her side of the family. One is of Mom at age 4 1/2 (in 1917 in Philadelphia), one of Dad around age 20 in a rural suburb of Strasbourg, another of their wedding in Strasbourg around 1936. So Cindy, I know the kind of things you and your DD have been sharing.

Phoebe has not been a problem with the puppets or yarn - and I knit in a different part of the house from the cats. I have started yet another one today...not quite sure what it will be yet, but it is yellow!

Kathy, I've looked through the seed catalogs that they throw in our mailbox, but frankly, I see nothing that I 'need'. Perhaps the spirit will move me in the new year. And speaking of that mailbox, DH stuck his hand inside on Friday and felt something move! There was a nest inside and he thinks, mice too. They had started munching on an envelope already too. LOL!

In the meantime, an "annual" clematis that I brought indoors to see what would happen is now in bloom!

Tomorrow is another day....

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 9:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

We had lovely weather here today, and we took the train to Chicago to visit the Christkindl Market in the Loop. It was very crowded, but I did enjoy a cup of gluhwien and bought some stocking stuffers. Then we went to Berghoff's for our lunch and followed it with a long stroll through the Loop. Of course, I took my camera for some photos.

The tree in Daley Plaza is much smaller that in previous years. Usually they create an enormous tree by lashing together many smaller trees. There was no budget for that, but a suburban couple had a large tree that needed to be removed from their yard and they donated it to the city.

The new Trump Tower. Um, yeah.

I'm calling this "Solitude".

And here are some holiday lights on LaSalle Street.

Lunch at Berghoff's was wonderful. It had been one of my favorite places when I worked in the Loop, but then it closed for a couple of years. This was my first time back since it had reopened, and it was just as wonderful as before.

Dinner was - three guesses! Leftovers. Still yummy, though.

Cindy, nice to see you again!

'bug, beautiful clematis flowers.

Deanne, great blue jay photo! Tell us more about the contest, please! and congratulations on winning!!

Martie, I enjoyed the tidbit about your aunt and uncle.

Chelone, we need to hear more from you!


    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 10:26PM
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V, I love photos of Chicago and I love to visit there. The latest I have ever been there is October and have experienced both good and bad weather, but my worst experience was in April.So where is the Trump Tower ? Likely that I will be there on business next summer, and the camera will be ready.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 10:48PM
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Today I am thankful that Kyle called yesterday, asking if he could please come over and put up the Village!! Is it okay????? Well..... (Mom doesn't want to seem too anxious so I wait a whole second before saying) SURE!!!! Will post pics. Seems lots of the Idyll DD's and DS's are feeling their heritage and that is a Very good omen for the future of our kids.

Trump sure isn't a wallflower when it comes to buildings. I really didn't think much of him as a developer until he fully funded and directed the renovation of a major skating rink in Central Park that the city had completely discombobulated over the years. Since then, it's been constantly used and to bring such a simple pleasure takes someone with at least a cell of a heart.

Wow!! about your wind, Kathy. Local news reports similar damage to parts of CT and it gets my wonderment going that on opposite sides of the country with completely different topography, the same weather can happen. Nothing more damaging here than a few large branches that, as you said, probably would've come down with a saw anyway.

Good to see you Cindy!!

What is your centerpiece made of, Deanne? I've not seen anything like it and covet-mode has kicked in.

Ordered the Osteospermun seeds from Vesey's, along with a few pansy varieties that also need early starting. Cringed to pay shipping for so few things, but return-on-investment is still pretty darn good if I had to buy growing plants locally. Also splurged for Boo and got Hordeum vulgare, alledgedly the cat grass of choice for felines :-)

Last day of vaca so will loll around while Village assembly takes place and will use up the rest of the apple thirds for a crisp. Feel the gastronomic need for something other than poultry, so steaks on the grill for dinner, it is!!

Also, all good vibes to Rich today as his license officially expires tomorrow after 26 years and there is a sense of mourning involved on his part. My feeling??? Huge relief that we can 100% move forward now .....


    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 11:00AM
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Julie Jobs continue..wind died down and then picked up again, but nothing like yesterday.Morning chores inside, a couple of errands and then I plant Sky Pencils, 2 Hebes, (I tore out a spirea yesterday afternoon ) and chop off a bit more of Lady Banks. Lip balm and hand lotion in heavy use.

Jealous of 'bugs pretty clem, It reminds me that I want a passion vine.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 12:47PM
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Good afternoon

Deanne - your jay picture is absolutely stunning and most definitely a winner!! Congratulations:0) Your Thanksgiving table is a work of art too and I'm sure the meal was fabu-fabu. Your friends and relatives are very lucky. I'm excited as I finished my first crewel cushion cover today and blocked it out. I can't wait to see what it looks like made up.

V - some fabulous pictures from you too. I remember enjoyed lunch at Berghoffs when I worked downtown.

Today our guests left and we were all sad to see them depart. We had a gorgeous day and after working in the garden for a couple of hours headed out with our neighbors for a long walk. It was most enjoyable. I now have a few chores to get ready for the week ahead, then cake to look forward to after supper.

Have a great evening


    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 4:52PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The visit with Tim and his new lady from Alaska was a total success. We hit it off immediately, and my only regret is that they did not stay long enough. She instantly loved the interior of our home, saying... more than once, that it reminded her of her mother's. She looked most of my collection of stuff over, and was delighted with it all. In the afternoon, we took a trek down below the bluff to the pour-off. She loved it also, and took gobs of pics. In the evening, for relaxation, we watched my VCR of Second Hand Lions....one of my and Tim's favorites. She had not seen it, and apparently loved it also.
It is a wonder I am not hoarse, we talked and laughed so much. Nolon enjoyed her also, because they discussed Alaska where he was based in the military, long before I knew him. I heard stories of his experiences that I had never heard before.
She returns to Alaska later this week, but plans on visiting again, at some other time. I will definitely welcome that.
She and Tim even did our accumulated pile of dishes this morning! (I don't have a dish washer.) Tim washed and she rinsed. He said he actually likes to wash dishes!
I was not too empressed with my turkey pot pie, and my turkey chowder, but they seemed to like them, and almost cleaned up the rather large bowl of deep dish pot pie. Both were my creations. My dessert did not go over as well. It was a fresh apple cake, but my "new" range did not cook it well, like my old one did. When I had made it before, I had written "delicious" on the recipe. It was much too gooey, and much too sweet. :-(
I should have stuck with a pie....espacially pumpkin!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 5:50PM
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I skipped Black Friday this year, but do usually go. Not for the bargains as I usually buy very little, but to spend time with my mom, sisters and SIL. Things were quiet at work, which allowed ultimate productivity for me. Ricks kids and grandkids came for a traditional Thanksgiving meal last evening. The house is cleaner than its been all summer and it really is a good feeling. Im not talking closets or windows though LOL

I spent the afternoon doing our outdoor Christmas decorating. I keep it pretty simple with a couple of large wreaths, lanterns with greens on the pillars, a topiary by the door and greenery around the arbor. No climbing on ladders or stringing extension cords for me.

Interesting that both coasts had wind but nothing much here in the middle.

Cindy, nice to see you resurface. How neat to share a winter project with your DD.

Mary, so glad you are feeling better.

bug, Lady Liberty certainly is stern looking compared to Miss Ivy.

Eden, I can identify with your plants suffering in silence. I look at them and wonder how any will survive until spring, but I usually have enough that do.

Deanne, your table is fabulous. I think I have that same tablecloth in my collection. Yes, I have a tablecloth collection. The blue jay picture is wonderful congratulations on the contest. I just put my feeder up last weekend and have quite a few jays and I noticed a few juncos this morning. Of course most of the hours Im home these days its dark out.

Marian, it sounds like you had a wonderful visit with Tim and his friend.

Ive been trying to upload a few photos but seem to always get an error message. I think our internet connection is a little flaky. It wasnt working at all earlier today. Ive tried to upload them to several sites.


    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 11:10PM
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Good evening Idylls, hard to believe that this 4 day weekend is about done for. Our temps hit the low 70s today, global warming at it finest. Got stuff planted but still need to get some clean-up and mulching done- the weeds are sprouting everywhere. And it looks like the Fence guys and Tree guys are going to have their hands full in the next several days. Fence issues on either side of me , but all is well here. 50 MPH winds is the consensus- pretty unusual especially since the winds were not part of a winter storm off the ocean-they came from the north, and our winds here typically are from the south or the west.

Martie, looking forward to the photo essay on the villageseems like Its been awhile since it made an appearance here ! Hoping that Rich is not enduring separation anxiety over the expiration turning a corner can be scary in a way, but energizing too.

I did clean up today on the felled Liquidambar branches from the windstorm ..I believe portions of the downfall will feature in the Fabulous Mantle Display..I found myself inspecting lichen and mosses clinging to the branches as I was cutting them up for disposal, envisioning them grouped with Pomegranates and Cedar.need to find cheap Pomegranates-Trader Joes here I come !

Marian , I am so happy to hear of your positive experiences with Tim and the Ladyfriend this weekend. Anyone who likes the pour-off is a winner in my book !..I wonder how your Tim knows a lady from so far off ? It must be a challenge to manage a relationship over such a distance. Alaska is way far from even here !

Michelle, we will expect a photo of the pillar display !

The wind blew a lot of the leaves off , but I took these the evening before ---Friday night I think.

This view is pretty much gone after the winds.. From Garden Fall 2009

The Camellia provides a green note here, it will be in bloom in a couple of weeks. From Garden Fall 2009

I'm enjoying this view, the 'Goldmound' Spirea next to the 'Tuscan Blue' Rosemary with the fall trees in the background. From Garden Fall 2009

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 11:58PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

What pretty shots, Kathy, of your late Autumn. All the leaves are gone over in this area - esp w/ the high winds and lots of rain we had -- it even forced leaf drop of my pin oak that usually retains its leaves thru most of the winter -- nope -- Sunday it was nekked.

How nice to hear you had a pleasant holiday, Marian, and Michelle too - visiting w/ relatives. I did manage to spend most of the afternoon on Sunday out in the yard, frantically trying to plant the hundreds of bulbs I had - got about half of 'em planted and the rest may go the way of the pots this year -- currently having unfrozen container soil riding in the trunk of the car as we're expecting more rain and cold temps this week.... Last year when I tried to do pots at Xmas, many of them were frozen over as were the bags of soil I'd left outside - so this year, Im trying to outsmart Lady Winter and keeping new stock/soil at the ready for perhaps a marathon container bulbathon this coming weekend...

Of course, the exterior workout made my out of shape body and bones feel ancient today -- great way to start back to woik, LOL.... But definitely a sense of accomplishment. Altho I will say that one neighbor came by (after he'd blown the few leaves in his yard yet again away) to ask when I was going to rake leaves - I think only half-joking.... I told him I was waiting for them to blow into his yard but if that didnt happen maybe by Xmas I'd be out raking -- and that I was sadly very very behind this year.... It seemed more urgent to get the bulbs in the ground before freeze than to worry about the sanctity of an immaculately shorn and leaf free garden/yard.... He didnt seem motivated to want to do it for me, so I guess it can't be bothering him too much ya think, LOL?

So tell me, where did September and October and November go?


    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 1:35PM
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Wonderful Thanksgiving here with the kids home and an extra guest or two. And, yikes! hard to believe theyll be back for Christmas in barely three weeks time. After a brief downtime (no Black Friday here) Ill be jumping aboard the Holiday Express as it picks up momentum and the days seem to speed by. I am thankful for my family, friends (new sisters included!) and health. And grateful my life is on an even keel without crisis at this point. It seems we must all cycle through phases of personal and family issues, so hang in there for those who are dealing with them and know many of us have been there.

Catching up between the last two threads I see Eden is making a comeback of sorts! Thinking if youre home most of the day, you must rate up there as a 4 star Idyller. I love how you can pop in and out with comments and stay current with the conversation. Glad to see Mary back, too, and hope you have some pics of the winterized chicken house and updates on how theyre faring with colder weather. Can you tell Im still very taken with the novelty of those chickens? lol.

Cindy, nice to see you back after the weeks of awfice stress. Good to hear things have eased up a bit; the mention of a Toaster (germ) Woman" grabbed not only my attention but my imagination as well. Maybe that story was before I arrived in Idylland or I just missed itplease do a recap when you have time! Deanne, lovely Thanksgiving table setting but I confess to yet another gasp at the Blue Jay photo.. Surely this shot must have won the competition? I cant believe there was another with better lighting or detail!

Puppets all turned out very cute, bug and will bring more delightful smiles from Ivy. She looks so happy in the tunnel picture I bet she was laughing out loud or squealing with joy!

Woody, are those samosas Randy is holding? I confess I have never eaten them but am now anxious to try some! Wonder if I can find them carry out?.hmmmm.

Marian, great to hear your visit with Tim and his lady friend was such a success. Dont you just love it when something turns out even better than you dared dream? She certainly sounds like a very nice person!

Loved everyones seasonal photosKathy, Im still shocked when I see so much color in your region!

Well, I need to get in the kitchen and start up a pot of ham and beans. Something entirely different than last weeks menusand easy, minimal cooking. Cornbread, butter and strawberry preserves to go with it, yep!

Health tip of the day: Read to exercise the brain

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 4:28PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So nice to hear about the visitors at Marian's home. After all the worry, a fabulous get-together with decent weather!

Also nice to have dog photos shared with Martie's brother. Whatever brings him a high moment, go for it.

I am doing very little in terms of Christmas, partly because we will be away. There are many parties to go to, DH's exams to grade, Phoebe to care for, and more. I will be wrapping a few gifts for the grandchildren (hand puppets)
and a thing or two for DD, DSIL and DH. DH already bought me a sweater of my choosing a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure it will be a happy time, but I hope not over the top in terms of toys. They usually have family and friends and food...which is what I think it all should be about. I hope Skyler will be able to skate with his grandfather. :)

Today I have chills and an upset stomach. I hope this passes soon. DH is once again at meetings in Toronto. But DD sent more photos, so I'm content.

And from my sister in law, a snow moose (albino) from Michigan just north of the Wisconsin border:

Be healthy!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 4:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Randy heard on the weather report this morning that this is the first November in 70 years that we haven't had snow in this area!

Marian - it sounds like you had a great visit with Tim and his ladyfriend! I, too, am curious about how they met/meet!

Candy - Those are oysters Randy was holding (ICK! for me, but a holiday tradition on Randy's side of the family...) Samosas are easy to get take-out from any Indian restaurant. But I guarantee that they won't be as good as the ones we make with Naznin! Onion bahjis (spiced, battered onions) are another nice appetizer to try. And popadoms are very tasty too and a good, healthy substitute for potato chips - we use them as party food and I've never understood why they haven't 'crossed over' to become North American snack food. I have seen them in an Indian food store in a container like Pringles. If you want to venture gently into Indian food, try any or all of those things....

Kathy - more wonderful fall color shots from you....

gb - great Ivy pictures! I hope you're not getting the flu... Did you get the shots?

Randy's mother is having another bout with UTI and his father is currently in the emergency dept. - the pain in his lower leg appears to be due to blood clots forming so that is being investigated urgently.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 5:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

For all the curious...Tim and Nellie met on an on line "Mate Finder" site. Out of several million, she picked him! They are both boat people. She pilots a ferry/cruise ship in Alaska. She has one son and 2 grandsons. She raised the son alone. She built her own house in Alaska, and has lived in it around 30 years. She was originally from Oregon. She is very 'down to earth'. I am hoping it turns into a permanent arrangement. I think she would be very good for Tim. Also, they are the same age, which is good.

Marie, as others have said, Ivy is getting cuter and cuter. I love the pic of her in the tube, and the last one of her draped over the chair rung. :-)
I love the Moose pic too.

Candy, that cat looks very intent on it's reading. :-)

Kathy, I am jealous of all the color at your home.

Nellie brought us all some of the fish from Alaska, frozen Halibut, smoked salmon, and canned salmon. I finally got around to sampling the smoked salmon. It is much too salty for me, but I guess I can wash some of the salt out of it.
Did you ever hear of mixing salmon with cream cheese as a spread? That is what she suggested. She said it could be done with both the smoked and the canned.

Hi to all.....

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 6:29PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Wow, where to begin?? Happy belated Thanksgiving to all of my friends in the U.S.A. Sounds like great festivities marked the last week for most of you. Sounds happy!

Kathy your yard and garden look fabu, to coin a phrase learned here! 70 degrees at Thanksgiving, that is just amazing!

Deanne, your beautiful table is no surprise to me - I remember the "little snack" we had at that table at IU6. And the Jay is gorgeous! You have a wonderful talent, my friend.

Ivy is such a sweetheart, 'Bug. I bet you can hardly wait to be wih her again. Such a nice sweater too *LOL* And the clems... Florida Seiboldi maybe?

GeeV. your day in the city sounds great! It has been long time since I spent any time in a city. Your photos really give me a sense of a day in the big city!

DH and I are giving each other a French door between the kitchen and Living room this Christmas. This will keep the doggies away from guests who are not dog lovers, keep them away from the table at dinnertime, although they don't beg, they just sit quietly and look woeful, and will allow us to use the fireplace to heat only the sitting area of the house in the winter.

We have all had our H1N1 shots and our seasonal flu shots. I had both of mine on the same day, and my histamine level was clearly elevated by the combination. It has been more than a week and the itch has just today eased from my left bicep. Fabulous excuse for doing a whole lot of nothing for a while - a lot of reading.
For a few laughs and a great time waster, I've been reading the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Also, the latest J.D. Robb in the "Death" series is out. Nice way to pass an evening, light reading, glass of red, cosy fire..Winter is upon us. Today we woke to a white world, just a teaser for the weeks to come.

We have had a very busy few weeks with TCS. He has been diagnosed as ADD, but not hyperactive, and has some cognitive issues. We have had a merry round of psychologists and Pediatricians, and family doctors, not to mention meeting after meeting with his school. Although I thought the move was not a good one, I agreed to trying a drug therapy for him. In terms of school stuff, it has been absolutely amazing. The child who spent the better part of a week doing half of a book report completed it on his own time one evening in an hour. I was spending hours on homework every night with him; now he tells me that I can go do something, he will bring me the work when done. And it is done in usually less than an hour. But more astounding, he could not write in the past. His work was completely illegible. The psychologist told us that he scored at the 2nd percentile for the cognitive ability to see or hear something and then translate that into the written word. But now, his printing is amazing....I would not have beleived this to be possible for him. But, of course, there is always a down side; the meds interfere with his sleep. All three doctors assure me that this will pass as he adapts to the meds, but last week he was up after midnight three nights in a row. Things are evening out now, 10:30 is about his sleep time for the last three or four days. I'm still not completely sold, but DS is taking the same medication (at age 29!) and assures me that it is the best of several that he has had in the past.

The school is providing him with a laptop as well, and is allowing hime to type some of his work. He is having a great time experimenting with Word - changing fonts and size of lettering is his current interest. He will be trained next week on a speech recognition software also, we will be permitted to load it at home, and he will have a memory stick to transport between home and school. I am impressed at the efforts that I am seeing on his behalf. The Psychologist even brought a recomendation document to our house on Saturday - he was just "going by".

Anyway, too much information, I'm sure. Sorry, but such a big deal for us!

I'll sign off now. I am very pleased to read that many JuliJobs are getting done in various homes - I better get my whatever in gear and do some myself.

Till next time,



    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 9:36PM
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The return to awfice duty today featured computer woes that lasted about half the day, thinking it was the phone lines (the mother ship is off site) perhaps the tail end of the windstorm effects. I guess there was quite a bit of downtime over the weekend too.

Got the SF Garden Show brochure in my mailbox today- the show as bailed out last spring at the 11th hour , and so it lives on. Your ticket will give you admission all 5 days of the show- a new feature I would love to take advantage of if were a closer venue.

Well Cindy, I hear you on the aches and pains, I dug out 2 mature shrubs over the weekend and am working on the trunk of an old overgrown buddleia that I planted in a ridiculous location many years ago. My only excuse was that the spot was supposed to be temporary, but here it is, years gone by, a huge fat trunk and branches that block a gate and a door , and the wrong light exposure so the thing leans and stretches like mad. I may have to tie it to the hitch on my car to get it out. I fully support your prioritization of bulb planting over leaf raking !

Julie, I think French doors to the dining room sounds most elegant- pics will be needed of course. Glad to hear that TCS is responding well to his meds. Hopefully he can be weaned off them at some point ?

OK, waves to all , all for me tonight !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 11:21PM
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Happy Tuesday to All!

Candy - Thought you'd get a kick out of the fact that a family member was part of the original "healthy things" pic email: ">> Please note---9 and 22 are Libby--- For those who don't know Libby is my 7 yr old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel---love---PatWhat a small world the web makes!!

Marian -- The obvious delight you have with Nellie is just a marvelous thing! She sounds like quite the woman and must really adore Tim to come all the way from Alaska to see him. Had they met face to face before? I'm hopeful that their relationship finds a path to happiness for all involved, especially you!

Kathy -- Your Camellia is humbling, as I have a three year old little Logee's start that's just starting to throw its first round of bloom. Since its name is "April Tryst" I guess its supposed to bloom in April. Friends have said to treat it as a Rhody and that I will. Also supposed to be hardy to Z6 but until it gets its roots it'll stay in the pot where it's content. Right along with Eucs, I have West Coast envy!!!! Please, please, please post pics when yours blooms. Take it easy on that back, friend!!

'bug - Must say, with a slight bit of 'should I tell 'bug' involved, that the first thing I thought when I saw the Ivy over the chair pic was how much she'll enjoy Reed's Playground. Her Mom looks better than I've seen for a long time. Some very strong folks, for sure.

Julie -- HOORAY!!!!!! You know my advocate heart is just overflowing for you and TCS and the rest of the family. I'll bet he is going to just blossom out of his skin with his new tools, both tangible and not. GOOD FOR YOU to not give up and do what needed to be done and make sure that the folks in charge LISTENED TO YOU AND RESPONDED! As much as you can muster, please don't be afraid of the meds. My nephew has used similar formulas for years and years (he was actually in one of the trials) and no adverse affects have come from it except for, yes you guessed it, the occasional inability to sleep. At age 22, he has said numerous times that it's a small price since he knows himself that he'd be pretty non-functional without them. That DS is on the same med is right in line with recent genetic findings. I am just so happy for all of you that you are on a much better path, and please keep us up to date with progress!

There's more, I'm sure, that I should write this morning, but I'm back to work and very happily busy. Everyone have a great day!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 6:58AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good morning to all,

So happy all had a nice Thanksgiving. And Im loving all the pics. Kathy, your autumn colors are so beautiful.

The kind comments re the Thanksgiving table and Jay shot are much appreciated. Thanks all.

V. and Julie, the contest was the monthly photo competition on Bird Forum, no prize except the pic is posted in the permanent winners gallery.

Mary, hoping to see a photo of your crewel project.

Martie, that centerpiece is hand carved from a gourd. My dear friend bought it for me at a crafts store in ME.

V. love the Chicago pics especially the Solitude image! Lovely!

OK must run, have a great day all

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 7:46AM
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Good morning

Marian - I loved reading about Tim and his new companion. She sounds a treasure! Glad you had such a good time together.

Woody - David would swoon if he were presented with those oysters. Raw oysters are one of his favorite things in the world to eat. I used to love them, but had an evening when I consumed too much vodka and raw oysters together and have never felt quite the same about them. Vodka on the other hand I have no aversion too.

Julie - what progress you have made helping TCS - congratulations to you!! Hope things continue to look up for him. You would have been proud of the number of Julie jobs I accomplished before the holidays:0)

Today the chickens had their first encounter with snow. Two were very excited and came tumbling out of the henhouse, thinking the snow was food and pecking everywhere. The others were more cautious, clucking away together and not quite brave enough to venture out.

The one problem I will have is that the snow brought down my bird netting that protects the girls from the hawks. I will have to rethink how to keep them safe. Instead of floating on the trees the net was weighed down to 3 ft from the ground and I had to tunnel under to get to the henhouse like a gopher.

Yesterday my return to work was brightened with another homemade gluten-free cake and a bag containing a gift certificate to my favorite wool shop, some hand made gluten free recipe cards and a selection of poems. Considering I have only worked at this school since September my colleagues have got to know me very well. I was touched.

Hope there is something that brightens each of your days.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 7:51AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Julie, maybe you have an inkling about how pleased I am with the very rapid successes TCS is having? His father must be happy as well as he really understands the frustrations involved. Anyway, HUGS to all!

Martie, never worry about "should I tell" as far as Reed is involved. He is a very real part of our lives. Yes, DD & DSIL are remarkable. They make a point of laughing and crying together, always addressing issues. They will spend a maximum of 10 minutes on ugly issues and then move on. They are indeed very strong, but realize life is short and they are going to enjoy it! Of course there are very tough Reed moments, but sweet ones as well. Ivy is a joy and, as they promised each other, they love her no less than her brother.

We have snow here this morning...but now it is time to feed DH!


    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 7:52AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Happy December, all.

Love the pics everyone has posted. That Ivy certainly is a pip. She will keep everyone hopping once she is truly mobile.

Spent the weekend cleaning closets. Such a good feeling to have everything organized. Now, if I could just get to the piles of papers everywhere and the guest room full of the detritus of my childhood...

I have had a little shadow here at school all day-huge behavior issues, so he has been out of the classroom working with me. With luck, he will be better behaved tomorrow in order to stay in class and I'll be able to go into my classes to work with my other kiddoes. We'll see about the next day. I am not entirely hopeful. Have to come up with some way to get him to control himself. His teacher is ready to quit teaching and it is only her second year! I have suggested she move to another school next year-this one makes for a tough job.

No more time. Catch you all later.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 3:20PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Julie, how wonderful that the medication has helped TCS so much. That is the amazing thing about ADD and meds. When it is truly ADD, the meds work wonders. Nothing less than a miracle and just think what a difference it will make in his self-esteem! Also glad to hear of the accommodations the school is giving him. As a special ed teacher and a parent of an ADD kiddo, I am dancing with joy for all of you!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 9:29PM
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Oh dear, have I been away too much and become a poor idyller of late? Hopefully the new computer will change that - arrival expected sometime next week.

I'm experimenting this year by growing my paperwhites in a mix of alcohol and water. Research shows the flowers are the same size and just as fragrant, but stems are 1/3 shorter and less floppy. My first batch are almost ready to open and I'm looking forward to seeing the results. Has anyone tried this?


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 7:35AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I woke up (late) to a gorgeous moon, setting outside our bedroom window. I think this will be our last warm day of the year, somewhere around 50F!

Paperwhites that don't flop? If it works Mary, post the percentages!

My server isn't allowing me to post photos now, but later I'll have another puppet or two to show you. I've got carried away with these...

Yesterday I was on a mission to collect "inexpensive" awards for members of our organization. I managed to find 5 that suit the people well, but have another 10 or so to locate still. I think I have almost finished with family gifts. Next, wrapping them!

Phoebe is doing well, but very antsy about not having her freedom to run and jump about.

Later sisters,

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 8:06AM
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Im feeling somewhat abashed about the pet photo connection with your family member, Martie! I received those (there were25) in an email that had been forwarded more times than I wanted to count; everyone loves to share pet pix and they do tend to circulate the web with regularity. Knowing one a day would be fun here, I impulsively posted without thought to ownership! Thinking I should hold off posting anymore until I learn some web etiquette from my techy sisters, lol.

Mary, have you had any inspiration as to the netting? Just what you need at this time of year - a spur of the moment outside job! Cant visualize how big the area is but you did mention trees so at least you have some structure to work with. Would it be possible to build some kind of lightweight frame using furring stripsa staple gun to secure the netting over it? No fun working in cold weather so maybe you can rig something quickly, like a lattice panel for a quick fix to keep the girls safe.
Nice to hear about those thoughtful gifts you were given, a positive sign youre in the right place!

Very happy for your news, Julie! Cyn is correct, when the meds are right its the wonder drug. Most of all, Im glad your little TCS has a great weight of frustration and dread lifted from his school day.

Kathy, I hear you on the buddleia trunk! Last summer, I dug out a Black Lace Sambucus that was only 3 years in the location and could not believe the root system. I could literally see my perspiration dripping off and hitting the soil as I labored over that gnarly trunk before going in to search out my sweatband. I vote for the hitch.

Laughing at the pic of Ivy doing the chair gymnastics; they are so flexible! A few weeks ago we were at a picnic and I decide to test my arm strength on the monkey bars (dropped like a stone on the 3rd one!) and climb the jungle gym justwell, because. It was invigorating and satisfying to know I still have enough agility to keep the FuddyDuddy label off me, however!woke up the next day and found bruises on the back of my thighs where I sat on the rungs too long. LOLyou cant fool the skin!

Must head out for weekly supplies and menus so I can begin gift shopping tomorrow. Did I mention we have 2 December birthdays to keep things extra lively this month?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 11:17AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Too tired to string together coherent thoughts at night, so I'm doing a lunchtime post today.

Julie, what great news about TCS and his progress. Nice to know that something is working for him, and how wonderful that you and your husband are there for him. Too many of today's struggling students don't have the support system to get them past their problems, and the overwhelmed teachers can't fill all those needs.

'bug, heartwarming comments from you about S & W and how they are dealing with life.

Marian, so glad to hear that the visit from Tim & Nellie was a good one! I hope their tale continues to be a happy one.

Not too much news here. I'm in a Jacques Brel mood lately - "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off". No, no - not in a permanent sense - I just want things to slow down and stay put for say, a month or so, just until I can get caught up on neglected organizing projects, Julie Jobs, and rethinking what I want to do for the rest of my life.

I'm not asking for too much, eh?

Lunchtime is over and no one stopped the clock, so it's time to carry on.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 1:42PM
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My internet finally crapped out on me totally, but I'm back on line as of yesterday. I can now upload pictures again. Since I'm at the awffice I don't have much time for comments but will leave you with a couple of decorating pictures. There are lights on the topiary but of course they failed to work. I won't forget the pillar displays for Kathy now that I can once again upload.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 4:46PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Your doorway looks wonderful Michelle! Are you able to keep your birdbath outside all winter? I cannot...and it is heavy to move too.

I seem to be ok in terms of flu Woody. I think it was a problem of acid reflux. I have had the seasonal flu shot but not the H1N1. I'm told many have a bad reaction to it, but that the real thing makes those reactions seem like nothing at all. So I'm reconsidering...

Mary, I'm wondering about using hardware cloth for your chickens' safety. I use it for everything and always have a big roll of it. You can even sink it into the ground in case critters decide to dig their way into the chicken hotel.

As promised, some photos:
The morning wake-up moon today.

The most recent hand puppets, a duck and a mouse.

I still have 2-3 more "awards" to buy for the Christmas event, but have caught up quite well on that today. I also bought more wool for a baby blanket, an easy project, colorful and relaxing.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 7:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Forgot to mention Marian, that I have heard of cream cheese mixed with salmon. I've used it for dips with crackers etc...

DH likes salmon with a salad for a meal. Puts lemon on it. Skyler loves salmon. One of the only foods besides Kraft Dinner he is enthusiastic about.

Skyler is confused because the hat he chose (the one Ivy wore above) made him the object of teasing. One of his teachers said, "hey, you like that hat don't you?" "yeeees" he replied. "Then wear it. Who cares if X likes it or not?" This is a hard one for him. He paid for it himself and likes it, but wants to please his peers. We'll see how it unfolds. Could be a really helpful lesson now that someone besides DD supports this point of view.

And DSIL has his nose out of joint (slightly) because Ivy is saying "Mamamama" a great deal but only "Da" once. I'm sure she'll have a cell phone before she's two!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 7:55PM
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Michelle - your Christmas decorations are fabulous! We've been struggling here too with computer and internet woes.

GB - I've used a lot of hardware cloth to keep the chicken's henhouse predator proof and their electric poultry fence keeps out any four legged critters. The problem with the area they free range in during the day is it is simply too large to cover with anything with rigid supports. I might have to enclose a smaller area as Candy suggests with something like furring strips. However, I love the chickens having freedom to roam and different areas to scratch around in amongst the trees and shrubs. @#$$%^ Hawks.

We were commenting on how beautiful the moon was last night. I love your picture of it this morning.

Candy - yes I do feel lucky to have such supportive colleagues. The funny thing is my birthday usually goes unmarked at work with lots of cards here. This year it was the complete reverse. I think I need to become less of an Idyll slacker if I want to celebrate the big 50 next year.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 8:25PM
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Oh!Mary, did you just have a birthday? Im sorry I didnt make the connection with those gifts you received. I associated it with a little celebration gift exchange related to teaching at your school. Heres hoping you still had a very happy birthday in the midst of that cluster youve been caught up in including foot surgery for DH (was he a difficult patient to tend to? ) and computer hassles!

I was looking for garden pix featuring your signature lime green but this was as close as I could come up with on short notice!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:30PM
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Hola Idylls..

I got up this morning thinking it was Tuesday, and it was pleasant to discover upon my arrival at the awfice that it was in fact Wednesday . I psychologically shortened the work week by one day. What could be better.? I am buried though with pre-season orders for our garden center. We really missed the boast last spring , all the RIFs and resultant upheaval sent us a bit off course. We are also starting to have winter here- it was cold all day today ( my usual wimpy zone 9 disclaimer inserted here) and we expect heavy fog the next couple of days-actually dense fog is the term. The fog days are cold ,damp and grey , and the warm house with the lamps lit is especially enjoyed on these evenings. And more rain next week-we need it badly.

Mary I will add my request to Maries, I will be awaiting the anti-flop results. Its fun to learn about the chicken logistics with youIm thinking of lodge poles securing wire fencing around and above with gate of some sort. Im sure in your region this would be a spring project.

Candy, the one dig out project that has failed miserably is the da*m Joe Pye ..a plant that I love the look of but is unsuitable for my small garden space. I wait till it goes dormant and dig out chunks as best I can to reduce the size of the thing. This will be the 3rd winter that I have tried to get rid of it ! I think it was Eden that gave me some great advice a couple of years ago relative to JP eradication. I have successfully made it smaller , but not gone.

Oooo Michelle, I love that front door urn display ! Is this a growing plant or did you cut stuff and build it ?

Marian, I had a friend who used to serve little shrimps on crackers with cream cheese and dill , it was mighty tasty ! I think dill is a really nice seasoning for fish.

Time to sign offhere is another couple of pics I took on my drive Thanksgiving morning.

An old clunker in Oakville From Napa Fall 2009

Vineyards From Napa Fall 2009

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:30PM
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Oh No ! Candy is spot on , we missed Marys Birthday..Bad Idylls..

To our favorite Mistress of the Poultry ...

From Roses 2009 Happy Birthday Mary !!!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Of course that baby duck puppet could also be a baby chick for Mary's birthday, couldn't it? ;)

Happy pre-50 sister! (Oh to be young again! Right Marian?)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:56PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Well fudge and super fudge and grumble, grumble grumpity-growl!!! How did we miss Mary's birthday?!?

I thought about reposting the Trump Tower photo and telling you there was a sign in the window on the 49th floor, but you're too smart to fall for that!

And as one who has had her own birthday consistently overlooked at the awfice (where birthdays have been a big deal) I understand what it feels like to be slighted. So sorry!!!

Happy Birthday, Mary!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:20PM
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Didn't we do this last year, too? Fudge! Who's in charge around here?

Happy Belated Birthday, Mary!

(I posted here this morning but I must've forgotten to hit the submit button again!)

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:34PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

It is time for me to go to bed, but I must post a belated Happy Birthday to Mary! I am so sorry we missed your BD date! I hope you have a clear view of the moon tonight.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:53PM
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Mary, Im not sure who holds the Idyll birthday list. I dont and Im not sure if I did that Id be good at remembering. What fun, Im only a few months older than you are and I believe Sue is a month older than I am. Its so much fun hearing your chicken stories. Ive thought of getting them many times but have always decided they would be too much work. Im enjoying them vicariously through you.

If anyone has the birthday list, email it to me, Ill sure try. We would hate to have such a fun tradition die.

Thanks for the decorating comments. The greenery in the urn is supposed to be a spiral topiary. I saw one that was extremely expensive and tried to recreate it. The main greenery spiraling up is fake, but Ive added real greens around the bottom. Its supposed to be lit, but the string of lights isnt working.

I like Skylars choice of hats. Kids can be cruel and its hard to buck the crowd. bug, the newest puppet creations are so cute. I do leave that birdbath out in the winter. It is just too heavy. Ive probably had it 10 years and it has survived. Its fairly scooped which may explain it. (I hope I didnt jinx myself)

Kathy, your fall color is amazing and at the end of November no less.

Julie, I echo the sentiments of others on TCS and the progress that is being made for him.

Some Queen Lime Red Zinnias for Mary's birthday.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 11:12PM
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Happiest of Birthdays Mary! We're all a bunch of silly chickens for forgetting. But all of us chickens love ya:)

I read about your celebration at work and I don't know why it didn't click. I thought they were welcoming you back from being ill. Duh!

Who's in charge of birthdays, well...Cynthia used to have the list and then I think T took over for awhile and then Deanne, but she lost it in a computer crash I remember. I tried to keep track for awhile after that, but I lost the list when my laptop died last spring. We have been getting kind of hit and miss lately. Maybe we need to compile a new list and all send Michelle our birthday dates? Thanks for offering Michelle! It is too nice a tradition to let it die I think.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 2:42AM
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Quick good morning but wanted to absolutely assure Candy that I just thought it was really cool to see pics that originated with someone I know end up on Idylls!! And, that it is a small world the web makes. No breaches here!! Only if topics sway to religion or politics, a long-held agreement amongst all Idyllers, does anyone's nose get bent :-) We're all gardeners and that's the common bond ....

Happy Birthday Mary!!

Business functions for the end of year and various Holidays are in full swing. Today I have three and I must say that I feel like it being zero. What to wear that will be suitable for a casual lunch, agency late afternoon party, then formal party at the new CT Science Center? Hmmmmmm, best pack lots of bling to add along as I go.

Also -- An admonition to all Idyllers to watch how they feel and act on what may seem like "nothing other than feeling crappy." Yesterday went for my annual physical and discovered that I was running a low grade fever and had a "raging" ear infection that had probably been there for weeks. Boy, did I feel like an urchin!! Does explain the low energy and daily dose of ibuprofen for headaches!! UGH! Antibiotics are on board and I'm curious to see how I feel when "healed."

Have a great day, everyone~


    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 6:54AM
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Martie, there's a little bug going around leaving it's recipients with an ear infection. Take care of yourself!

Michelle, maybe I could be a back up bithday calendar keeper? Let me know what you think.

It's rainy here but I have the office all to myself today and I'm planning on getting the filing done, once and for all! I am also going to do a bit of reorganizing. I'm planning to turn on the radio and enjoy the day.

I hope you enjoy your day today, too!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 7:11AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

All the best Mary, so sorry this is late!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 9:28AM
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Happy Birthday Mary!!!
Hope it was a great one.

This is my little chicken. She lives in my potager, and Charlie always moves her to the corn. She always makes me smile.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 11:18AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Criminy... another slacker/bad idyller here --

Happy Birthday, Mary, belatedly:


    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 1:15PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Since Im vaguely recalling how to post photos, another Belated Birthday to Saucy and Marian -- hope they were great. [since critters are the photo op du jour]


    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 1:20PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I forgot how to post immediately after one's other post and so had to re-resubmit... gosh I need to do this more regularly, obviously! (like exercising but so much more pleasurable)....

Glad to hear so many folks making progress whether it's meds and learning or reorganizing or anything that let's us put a few steps forward right?

We're having a glorious day of sunshine after the torrents of yesterday (& I should be out walking at lunch and not idylling) -- they're mentioning that four letter word for Saturday here tho -- just to keep us in line.

Candy - your mention of wrestling that Sambucus Black Lace caught my eye - had the same issue - such humongous root system and this past summer it did not take well to the new spot - likely because I had to chop the heck out of it to get it moved in the first place - Im hoping next spring will show some recovery for it - it was gorgeous but overwhelming in the first location.... more bad planning on my part.

Your holiday decorations are a wonder as always, Michelle -- I could not tell that topiary was partially artificial - wow - great to mix -- and that arch is a wonderful idea -- I have to get in the mode to do something this year (so I say again, LOL).

I listen to the heart-tugging struggles of the children here and am so thankful I dont have any to worry about right now -- from bullying and teasing to struggling w/ learning issues -- it's a tough world isnt it? But I guess early struggles are to help us when we grow up....

Cyn, was it you who asked about my "Toaster Woman" ? I dont know if I actually told the story here -- but I have a habit of nicknaming people and a very bizarre co-worker whom I had the misfortune to have to bear to sit next to for over a year, I labeled her that because she had a plugged in toaster that sat at her feet under her desk and she would toast bread daily -- but not just for breakfast -- all day long (sometimes 5 or 6 pieces)..... Since our large ofc is located in middle of inner DC w/ its usual city problems re pests (roaches, rats, etc.), and there are indeed fire codes and hazards (like no space heaters in one's area, etc), the toaster was indeed very forbidden.... but she refused to take it home. [It got unplugged once for about a week when the ofc mgr told her it was illegal but came out again soon thereafter). She kept her loaf of bread in the file cabinet along w/ butter, mayo and jam in jars -- she ate Continually all day long.... enuf to drive a person like me (who lives to eat but knows one needs to count calories) nutz... so it was easier to refer to her as TW when I to think of her. Not sadly, the toaster finally disappeared [read, someone swiped it) while she was on vacation for 2 weeks in August... I have many more bizarre tales about her, but the working by toaster is humorous.

Well, gotta do some xmas shopping in the few minutes left to lunch.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 1:58PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 5:07PM
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Thursday evening greetings to all ! Glad tomorrow is Friday, and the punch list for Christmas prep continues. I want to get all the heavy duty house cleaning done well ahead of time .I have so much accumulated PTO that I could probably take from now till Christmas off and still carry a few days over.

Thanks Michelle for offering to be the keeper of the B-days !

So where is Chelone ? Come out and play !

And Norma,and Anita ...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 8:49PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

and Brenda and Ann....

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 9:56PM
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Bug, looks like Ivy may be a gymnast! It is so heartwarming to see how much fun Skylar is having with his little sister. Devin is really good with Nina too, and he is 12, and is also excited about the new baby coming in June. Nice boys.

Marian, how nice for you that you enjoyed your visit with Tim's new friend. She does sound like a keeper.

Cindy, I have worked with some strange people, but I think TW might possibly make the top 10 list. Did she ever offer to share a piece of toast with you? Everytime I think of it I laugh out loud. Thanks! Wonder what it was about the toast in particular? Did she use different types of bread for different days of the week? I have many questtions, probably never to be answered. I

I want to comment more, but my eyes are getting blurry, can't see the screen without squinting, and I really don't want to get any more wrinkles, lol. so it must be time for bed.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 10:16PM
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Michelle, Im sure youll do fine as keeper of the birthdays! I believe Julie mentioned she and I share July 3rd so weve done our part in being helpful, lol. And I meant to tell you last night I thought the whole topiary was real. Looks fantastic even if the lights arent working! Is the arbor yours, too? Just wondering because it appears theres neighborhood houses in the background and I thought you lived on a farm.

And Martie, thanks for taking the time to reassure me about the pet pix. I did understand you thought it was pretty cool but I was more concerned about the the owner. Must be OK though if you know them! How did you do with your bling at the progressive functions? Wowmust have been quite a day! Science Center sounds like a very interesting evening.

Cindynope, not Cyn, it was me asking about Toaster Woman. That name is too funny in print; I cant bring myself to use the abbreviation TW just yet! I can understand how annoying the situation was but your descriptions had me cracking up. I kept thinking about all the crumbs!!a toaster at her feet!and mayo in the filing cabinet..LOL! Is she still there after the awfice upheaval? I await another chapter in the saga of Toaster Woman.

Marian, I loved that photo of the moon! It looks huge, and starkly beautiful behind those bare branches

Health tip of the day: Dress for the weather

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 12:14AM
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Thank you for all the lovely cards everyone!! Idyll birthday cards are the best whenever they arrive and they all put a smile on my face. I know what a cringe making thing it is to miss and Idyll birthday (I've missed a few myself) and think Michelle and Saucy being the keepers of the birthdays is an excellent idea. In fact I'll pony up mine first - it was actually on Sunday.

Woody - I think I have the very same mini penguin and just put one in a miniature Christmas hutch I'm making for a friend.

In the words of our old (or not so old friend as we are the same year) TGIF.

Have a great day


    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 8:02AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Whew - I was afraid the idylls couldnt stand 3 "posts" in a row from me and I'd virused this thread, LOL...

O my - talk about cracking up -- that "Dress for the Weather" has me rolling and of course how appropriate for my area's first possible "flakes."

Drema - without going on and on, I can honestly say that Toaster Woman has to rank in my Top 5 of freakly annoying co-workers - she might be one of the Top 2. I know that's cruel and I suspect I have some personal habits that may be annoying (altho I have requested the atty who sits across from me to please let me know if and when I do anything bizarre and annoying). Glad I could offer some humor - she was good for the telling -- Im blessed however that she is one of the folks who took the buyout. The crumbs may still be in that area however - she actually did not use a plate to eat off of but rather the desk surface -- butter and all - if you can only imagine that. It really got that it was so gross I could not look when I walked by. She was also (I guess) a congenital? liar -- she would tell someone she was a vegetarian but this would be 2 hours after she ate a fully loaded hot dog from the corner vendor -- maybe it wasnt certified as beef (mystery meat) and didnt qualify... I never could figure out how she said that with a straight face.

And there was the "little lie" about her age -- she started telling folks this past year she was 46; I was astounded because she'd talked about retiring about 5 years ago and frankly she looked older than me and I felt insulted - so I googled/white paged her and found out that she was in fact 63 !! - go figure - there was no way she looked 46 -- she seemed to think she could say or do anything outrageous and get away with it -- very very strange person - but the eating habits were the worse because she ate all day long and kept all the food and every meal on her desk from 9 to 5:30 -- even glasses and bottles would sit there for days at a time - one time I counted 5 glasses, 3 bottles, 2 cans. As I said, however, this was a positive outcome to the awfice layoffs -- she went with 'em.... just left her crumbs behind -- and I asked for a hazmat team to clean the area, LOL.

Kathy -- enjoy the day - I've got mucho leave too but finding it hard to just take it off; dancing carefully w/ the new assignments and their work and dont wanna p.o. them. I would like to take a day off to go get an Xmas tree earlier than later this year tho.

Happy Friday -- I can personally atttest that a recommendation from the "dark side" of a Starbucks caramel brulee latte is magnificently smoothe and just what one needs to celebrate a Friday!


    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 9:01AM
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I read out loud Cindy's description of TW, and the response was, "Does she file the bread under B?" etc, etc. Cindy, your pain, our humorous gain. Sorry that's how it always works, but so nice to hear from you. I did pot up my refrigerated tulips a couple days after Thanksgiving, so it's wait-and-see now if I get any flowers.

Happy birthday, Mary! From the Balinese fruit bat:

I'm spending a lot of time with my mom this week but will need to get back to work next week. The holiday puppets and Michelle's decorations are delightful. Julie, your advocacy on TCS's behalf is so interesting to read about, and it sounds like you're making great progress. I'd never heard of dysgraphia before, and now that it's on the "radar" I've seen it come up elsewhere too. Enjoying the posts from Martie again and Cyn and Candy. Nice to see Marian pop in more too. Keeping you and DH in my thoughts, Woody.

Drema, nothing keeps a household young like a new pup. What a great idea. Ein doesn't have Maggie's temperament for newcomers, unfortunately, or we'd have a couple more corgies underfoot. Waving to all.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 12:10PM
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I've set up a calendar in hotmail that will email me about the birthdays, but Saucy the help would be great in case I get swamped and fall down on the job. With the plans for growth here at the company, its looking like things won't slow down for some time to come.

We now have a light dusting of snow and its gotten cold!

Candy, I do live on a farm and the "houses" you see are my garden shed and my DH's machine shed.

Cindy, Toast Woman sounds pretty entertaining. I've not had one that odd but our newest does come up with something unusual each day. I've nicknamed her DQ. I'm wondering what her nickname for me is. LOL


    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 5:11PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Love the stories of Toaster Woman! Can't say I've ever encountered anyone who kept a toaster under their desk. I did work for a while with a woman who was a congenital liar which was interesting. She swore she owned a motorcycle and finally one day drove one to work. Except I had to start it for her at the end of the day - and I've never, ever driven a motorcycle. Sure honey, that's your bike!

Today's chuckle was from the coworker that I will call "Clueless Wonder" or CW. CW was working on an Excel spreadsheet and couldn't figure out how to build the formulas, so she called a friend. She described two of the symbols in her formulas as "you know, the happy and sad signs". Yes, we old folks call those parentheses! :)

I think I did a little whining, um, venting, here back in the spring about the employee who bailed out for a new job just before the rush. She called first thing this morning to say that her position had been eliminated. I do feel very sorry for her and I've already sent her a lead on another job.

Denise, I love the Balinese fruit bat! Awesome photo.

Michelle & Saucy, August 25 for the record.

Also for the record, it's really cold here. I started a nice fire as soon as I got home.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 8:10PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Drema, love that chicken and Candy, that pug is absolutely the funniest!

Cindy, your TW stories are funny, too! Glad you told them even though I wasn't the one who asked about her. Whether it is school, work, the awfice, home, family, whatever, it is being able to laugh (at least after the fact if not during) at our goofy world that keeps us sane-well, maybe not quite that, but close-:)

V, "the happy and sad signs"? Wow...am I feeling old...and much better educated than CW! teehee.

So glad it is Friday. It was a long week-we have a new little guy who was just placed in foster care with the grandparents of a student who was in our class last year. Very angry and sad little guy, but there are flashes of sweetness and he seems to be quite the artist, so I am sure we will be okay. It has thrown the whole class out of whack, however and we just can't ever be sure how long he will stay. What he needs is some stability and a safe place and that always seems to be what no one will provide. His foster parents are great, so I will remain hopeful.

Happy belated birthday, Mary!

We are supposed to get some snow tomorrow. Can't wait! Unfortunately, can't get a snow day off school for this one-oh well. I will try to get pictures of the wacko pups in the snow and post them.

Gosh, I LOVE weekends.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 9:29PM
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I believe I may begin phase one of Christmas décor this weekend. And phase 2 of housecleaning.
I received my registration confirmation and reciept in the mail today for the photography class I enrolled in ..not to take place till March unfortunately , but it fit in with my overall life schedule so March it is..at least Ill have an emerging spring garden to practice on, This is only a 3 night series of classes , given by the community education arm of our local JC..

Nice to see Denise check in, and what great photo! Who doesnt need a Balinese fruit bat ? Essential garden art ..love those grape cluster looking thingys too.

Also loved Dremas chicken , Woodys penguin, and Cindys peacock..always love what emerges on Idyll birthdays! Speaking of which, its April 7th here Michelle . And thanks for offering to take on the role of birthday diva ..Hope we dont forget yours. Lol !

Ive done my share of awfice nicknaming I must confess. There was The Hypo Man (short for hypochondriac) the The Three Sickateers (3 employees on whom we placed a dime bet every Monday, picking which one would call in sick), Squeaky (voice related) and Whiney Wille , among others. One does need some sort of entertainment value at work !

That all folkssee yall tomorrow !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 4, 2009 at 10:00PM
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I think of you while I'm out with the Hugest of Dogs, you know. Thoughts (in no particular order):

1.) Michelle's doorside topiary is brilliance itself and I may just "rip you off", girlfriend! Fantastic.
2.) Begin the beatings immediately, Drema.
3.) TCS is experiencing academic triumph and drugs can be useful (not just recreational, lol). I foresee a bright future now that he has a foot in the door. :)
4.) UTIs are the bane of the eldery in facilities. I am so, so sorry that this has visited your home, too, Woody. I know you and Randy will figure it out, but I also understand how very disturbing and unsettling it can be. (((Woody))).
5.) I see Martie has been more "regular", too. Pineapple on the mailbox this year? I want a kitten. two?
6.) Looking forward to Christmas decorations/Fabulous Mantel Displays/bird action shots/etc..
7.) Marian's "Reed Moon" shot is beautiful; I watched that same moon rise over the ocean ; it hung low and large in the sky about 3-3:30 and because the sky was so light it would have been easy to miss. I thought of Reed and all of you, as I do whenever I see a full moon. :)
8.) I wonder about Feebles and Zoe and how they're doing. Rex is really enjoying being out on leash. He's much more cooperative with other dogs and people. Beatings, I say!

The deck canopy is down and stored. I'm plugging along at work and am really pulling into the collar here on the Compound. Many things to get done in the coming weeks to get the new year off to a good start.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 10:11AM
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Good morning to Chelone and Idylls across the land..upon perusal of my I Google weather gadget this morning I note that rain and or snow is in the forecast for some of the NE folk, while our beltway friends have the white stuff, the Midwest tends toward sunny , and very cold ( zone 9 definition of cold: 55 and under, very cold :40 and under ) and the sun shines today here on the west coast I doubt we will break 60 but Denise will lead the pack in comfortable temps.

I will need to head outdoors this weekend as a good sized storm is on the way and the ground will be saturated and muddy next weekend. Not good for pulling weeds-and the winter weeds are popping up at an alarming rate.

So, to chore-land I go see yall later enjoy your Saturday !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 11:27AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Yep, indeed we have white stuff here in the mid-Atlantic region - there's at least 2 inches now of fat, heavy stuff covering my entire area -- so Im hunkered down for the day; I guess I may contemplate some clean-up chores altho still in slug mode.

Love that fruit bat, Denise! Enjoy the time w/ your Mom - it may be she will recall only a little of the whole time in another year past, but you will take comfort from the quality time.

I hope Randy's parent woes will settle down soon, Woody.

O, gee, V - you got me w/ that happy/sad face person -- I guess it's too much to hope that she was having a "senior moment" early???

Glad to hear others nickname folks -- Michelle - I love the DQ idea (altho the ice cream is yummy) workplace Drama Queens are definitely not. I have also been known to call them Camille... Think Im most fond of your 3 Sickateers, Kathy, LOL....

Hope everyone has a mellow weekend -- back to contemplating the white scenery from my slug sofa (in tropicland - the family room).


    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 12:11PM
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WAAAHOOOOOOOOO!!!! It's Saturday at it's best. Jewelry is back in boxes after parties (just two -- third was reportedly a drunk fest according to a phone call from a Sr. Director who said 'stay away if at all possible -- can I come to where you are?') Took the hint and headed home.

No pineapple on the mailbox, but one firmly affixed to the patio pole, much to the glee of neighborhood kids who thought I'd gone wacko and forgotten. We're making plans for Winter Solstice as candles to celebrate the shortest day of the year has a novelty factor. Oldest girl who shared the evening with me last year has rallied the troops. Need to read up and make it as authentic as possible. Anyone with Wican experience that can help?

Just today took down Thanksgiving stuff and am trying hard not to push the December 25 decorations. The village is enough for now, and my three-year old neighbor is just the right height to report on exactly what the elves are doing in those little houses. This is the same kid who absolutely believes that fairies live in Digitalis until the flowers fade, then go to be safe in Baptisia pods. His mom is in full support and it's a delight to see his imagination at work. We're careful that it isn't truly lying.

Nicknames at work have got me cracking up, as I think every office has every one of the personalities. No toasters, but a small refridgerator under one desk. Whiners aplenty. The ones that really "get" me are what I call the Big Kid Wannabes, who are young and know everything until they get asked to do something they've never done and freeze up. Then tell anyone who will listen why this new thing is just a waste of time. Then miss a deal. Sr. Rep and I get some good laughs and he finally told one of them "if you want to play with the big kids, start acting like one." There are advantages to being on the road most of the time.

Today grateful for a warm home -- in every sense of the word -- in which to write testimony for the State Appropriations Committee on Friday. Yes, Governor has suggested that another hunk of money come out of services for the mentally ill, particularly adolescent care, to help balance the budget. Also grateful for the skill to get a point across. I'm hopeful I can be of help. Though I'm not directly affected, nor is my family, I'm honored that they called me and asked that I do the "keynote" testimony.

June 10 Bday here.

Good to see you back, Denise!

Hello, Everyone!

Waiting for the snow.....


    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 3:08PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Glad to see Chelone resurface.

Now I'm wondering where my Saturday went?


    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 3:44PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Yippee-we are getting our first snow! Of course, very different for us than for those of you up in the frozen north-it has been snowing for almost five hours with no accumulation on the roads and grass still poking through, but the bare trees look lovely and the flakes are beautiful as they fall. Since it is not a school day (and therefore no chance of a snow day doggoneit), I am glad the roads are just wet. Clouseau loves the snow and we have already been out in it. Then, we cleaned out my side of the garage, so I can get the car in-almost. We are making headway and I will get the car tucked in Tuesday after the Vets pick up the boxes full of stuff we have for them. With luck, we'll get DH's side clear by spring. DS has a bunch of old car parts from his teen years that stay here b/c he has no room. He sold some on ebay and Craig's list, but we keep finding more. DH is finally parting with some of his stuff-not the old political journals, of course! They are just too valuable to trash/recycle. The fact that we could not even give them away on Freecycle means nothing. Some grad student is SURE to want them...and so on and so forth. He is a little slow to accept that most students today actually use *gasp* computers to find information. Imagine that! Gotta love a man who makes you laugh!

I love all those nicknames, too. Wish I were as clever. I'll see what I can come up with for our teachers-there should be a good name for our administrators at school. I am not sure anything can top Toaster Woman, although one of our admins could be called Twitchy Woman-just a tad high-strung.

Martie, what fun you must be having with your little neighbor. We have new neighbors with a three-year old daughter and I was thinking of going over one evening to create a little fairy garden for her with a door and furniture at the base of one of their trees. Kids are magical, aren't they?

Later, all.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 4:09PM
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Cyn has reminded me of a few other thoughts. (because while I'd never see a kid go hungry I am very deeply resentful that I must pick up the tab for "parents" who clearly cannot take care of themselves). And I know you "get" the sentiment completely and live the awful reality daily.

I think our light speed communication has robbed us of the importance of T I M E. We now seem compelled to do everything faster and more efficiently. To our detriment too often, methinks. For example, the necessity of time when it comes to grief. Doubtless 'bug will agree, and so will Brenda, and pretty much everyone else. I think grief and its observance is vastly underrated these days.

And let's not forget the hidden benefits of good ol' SHAME. I remember the awfulness of seeing Mum's "laser eyes" and hearing, "I'm ashamed of you! you know better than to behave that way. I'm embarrassed for you. Shame on you!". Let me tell you, nothing made the point that I'd transgressed more quickly. I am sick and tired of being denied the right to bestow shame and disapproval when conduct in the young warrants it. It's high time we, as a society, rediscover "shame".

Snow just beginning here, mixing with rain. I took the deck canopy down this morning (just in case and a trifle late!) and the stoves are cooking along pleasantly in both the house and the Salon. Cozy in either place.

V., I'm hard at work trying to get my "escape route" adequately mapped out, how about you?

Need to go back and soak up the nickname thing... know it will crack me up and this household will have a few choice ones to add, too.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 4:27PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

I absolutely agree, chelone, both on the parents who don't take care of their kids, time, grief, and shame! As far as the parents go, I find I am pretty impatient at times and always when the children are the ones paying the price for their parents' selfishness, self-centeredness, immaturity, whatever. I have a quotation on the fridge-no idea where it came from-"It is better to build children than repair adults." I try to tell myself that it is what it is, but how do you tell that to a child? Our little fellow who came to us when his family had to move to the homeless shelter was pulled out, came back three weeks later and is suddenly out again. No chance to say goodbye or tell him we would miss him. I really could throttle that parent. I had him in my office/classroom one day when he was acting out pretty severely and as he sat there, the tears just started running down his face-no sobbing, just silent tears. All I could do was put my arms around him and tell him that if I could, I would make it all better, but I couldn't and we both knew it. I am afraid that will happen with our new little foster child. Life just keeps beating these little guys and girls down until there is no sweetness or trust left.

Can't wait to hear the nicknames you come up with-you are really so clever (mongrel horde and all...).

Hope everyone is warm and cozy this evening. I think I may have a little fortified eggnog or a glass or two of red...or maybe both and settle in to watch "My Fair Lady" which started 30 minutes ago!


    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 5:38PM
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