Idyll #408 'Colors gleaming in the sun...'

prairiemoon2 z6 MANovember 6, 2008

"How silently they tumble down

And come to rest upon the ground

To lay a carpet, rich and rare,

Beneath the trees without a care,

Content to sleep, their work well done,

Colors gleaming in the sun.

At other times, they wildly fly

Until they nearly reach the sky.

Twisting, turning through the air

Till all the trees stand stark and bare.

Exhausted, drop to earth below

To wait, like children, for the snow."

- Elsie N. Brady, Leaves

Carry on... :-)

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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

V - It sounds like you had a good time - and you'll have such lasting memories of a historic event! (Cindy too...!) We were watching the PBS Newshour coverage and I thought of you where they showed the gathering in the park. I thought one of the commentators who was on the Newshour coverage made an interesting point. There were several references to parallels with 1960/JFK and this person commented on what an issue it was then that JFK was a Catholic - but, in subsequent contests no one paid any attention to whether a candidate was Catholic or not - the point being that there was a lot of commentary this time about race and maybe next time there is a visible minority candidate, it won't be a big issue.

gb - the grieving process undoubtedly accounts for your (occasionally explosive) ups and downs. Sorry to hear about the quilt damage.... Shortly after we got Chelsea years ago, she decided to chew the straps off one of Randy's custom-made leather sandals that he had had for years and was very attached to :- ) It was touch-and-go for a while whether we'd keep Chelsea! We managed to find a place that was able to repair/replace the damaged bits. Randy still has/wears those sandals....

Eden - that greenhouse looks good! I think someone asked already and I may have missed the answer because I'm skimming quickly - is there a frame of some sort under that? I.e. how are the windows attached together/will it stand up to winter snow?

Julie - I've never been to Winterlude but it always sounds like fun. Years ago we were in Perth visiting a former co-worker who has a cow-calf farm not too far away. It was a very pretty town as I remember. I was a big fan of Big Ben and was thrilled to actually 'meet' him at The Royal on his farewell tour :-)

On the issue of spouses with bad habits and the sharing workload issue - I'm blessed with a very good one. He has a few annoying traits - but I probably have more! He does more than his fair share of household chores. Laundry is mainly his responsibility; clean dishes is mine :-)

Kathy - I assume brugs survive in the ground there? That would definitely be an easier way to grow them!

PM and Eden - I hope your backs are well on their way to recovery....

Liam came to keep Misty and me company yesterday - and Liz forgot to pick him up! She had stayed up watching the election coverage and was 'sleepwalking' throughh work yesterday. She didn't remember he was here until she got home and he wasn't there! Since both she and her husband had meetings to go to, she ended up calling to see if we could keep him until tonight. We could so I've had his company today too - which has made Misty very happy. Liam met Zoe yesterday (actually they met last year when Zoe was only about 5 months old but I don't think either of them remembered...) Liz was a bit taken aback by her darling boy hanging out, sharing cookies, with a Rottweiler but they got along well. They greeted each other as old frineds when they met up today.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 5:01PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Some quick photo posts.

I had no idea what was in the background when I asked my son to take a photo. couldn't have been better!

Two happy couples:

Raised arms with cameras were the order of the evening:

Gotta run - more later.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 5:54PM
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Now that's a cool picture V. You couldn't have planned it better.

PM, I like your Idyll title. Most of our color fell to the ground today. We were in the 70s again. Tomorrow will still be warm and then the bottom falls out.

Michelle, we don't have a Hobby Lobby. I figure I have all winter to look though so I hope I find some good stuff. I hope you find some windows. We were lucky. The guy who was putting them to the curb said they go fast. A little conservatory would be perfect in the Secret Garden. I have some perennials that I had to dig and didn't get a chance to put in the new area I was working on, heucheras, iris, a hibiscus, and then a J maple and some sedums that I put inside the conservatory for the winter. Mostly to keep them from getting too wet and rotting. I think I'll have to put a shade cloth over the roof though. It gets warm in there when the sun's shining. Wonder if I could overwinter some z7 plants?

Woody, Brad says the conservatory is very sturdy so I hope it holds up to the snow. We'll see. There are some strips of wood framing it and it's screwed together.

Saucy, bet herb night was interesting. There's a herb farm that Jenni and I go to every summer that does some interesting herb talks. I agree that it's hard to be impressed by garden pictures after getting used to Idyll gardens and the gardens seen at the IUs. I've even gotten so many of the gardens in the magazines don't impress me as much.

Chelone, I've wondered how those converters would work. We've replace all of our tvs (3) in the last year or so mostly because of the coming change. Funny but I'm almost embarrassed to admit that we have 3 tvs in this small house so I have to say we rarely watch any of them. Brad's either busy or at work and the older I get the less attention span I seem to have for tv. I have a neighbor that has his tv on pretty much 24 hours a day.

Brad does have a few annoying habits and he'd tell you I do too. But he doesn't make messes. We're both most comfortable when things are organized. I have to confess that I've never been good at letting others do things around my house. I never made my kids do housework. I like to be the one to do the laundry and dishes. Then they're put away the way I want. Maybe one of my annoying habits is that I'm a control freak? They all seemed to figure out how to do housework on there own though. Both girls are pretty neat though David could use a maid.

The furnace problems continue here today. Brad couldn't figure out what was wrong. So the furnace guy came this afternoon and declared it a bad neutral wire. He has the furnace running but I have an electrician coming tomorrow to fix the problem.

We got a little further with the kitchen painting today. One step at a time I guess. Time to go take our frozen dinner out of the toaster oven again. Hopefully after tomorrow the stove will be back in place.

That's it from me for tonight.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 7:32PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

V!!!! Wonderful, wonderful pic! How neat!

Eden, I absolutely LOVE your new conservatory. It's marvelous.

OK I've got to run as I'm teaching this weekend and need to get to bed early.

Nite all!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 9:02PM
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A lovely poem to start the new thread.. thanks for that PM !

A few more layoffs today at my place of employment, but these were of a more seasonal nature as they involved mostly the garden center and the agricultural division, both see a big turndown in business during winter. In the good old days we would be able to keep these types of workers on over the off-season, but those days are gone for the present .

Woody, IÂm not sure what to think about that Brug Âhedge  it is at the south end of our town, and the further south one goes the warmer the winter temps and the cooler the summer temps. This is due primarily to the moderating influence of the San Francisco Bay. The Napa Valley is only about 30 miles from end to end and it is full of varied micro climates- the far south is virtually frost free. IÂm going to drive back through that neighborhood this winter and see what state the Brugs are in.Do they cover them or what ? Last winter I left 3 outside and lost 2 of them and came close to loosing the 3rd.

PM, our growing season can vary a bit, but typically it is considered March through mid-November. The absence or presence of rain is a huge factor. I donÂt have to dig up my Dahlias , we can grow lettuce , spinach and the like all winter. I would not say I never have basil growing in November, but it is the exception and not the rule. Most years I consider February to be ÂspringÂ.

I got my Saucy envelope today ! Very cool , and they fit in quite well with other inhabitants of my linen the fabric ! I would have a hard time with an Alpine Garden too I think, though I love dwarf conifers and Lewisias etc. The Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden has a very very cool heath/heather garden that always looks faintly alpine to me ÂI guess itÂs the low carpet effect.

Okay , time to cook up some grub and retire to the reading room.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 9:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Woody...Bluestone has a few things at 50% off, and I ordered a Lonicera Harlequin for $3.50. :-) I just received an email from Brent & Becky's that some bulbs are 25% off if you buy 50 or more of them.

Eden...thank goodness for Stouffer's! :-) I always thought some of their frozen dinners were pretty good, especially their mac and cheese.

V....that is quite a pic of the two of you.

Kathy...that's pretty good, ten months of growing and two months of rest.

Does this house look crooked to anyone else? [g]

Virginias Shenandoah Valley is ablaze with fall colorsthe yellow and orange of poplars, birches, striped maples, and hickories, punctuated with the red of sugar and red maples. The valley runs 200 miles (300 kilometers) across the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Barn and field echo the nickname given to the valley during the Civil WarBreadbasket of the Confederacy.
Photograph by Medford Taylor

"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."
- Elizabeth Lawrence

Going back to bed....*yawn*

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 3:24AM
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So two of our contingent are now dealing with furnace/boiler issues; good thing the weather has not been terribly cold, huh? I hope Sue gets her's installed on schedule and I'm glad Eden has identified the issue with her's. We've been using the woodstove to take the chill off the house in the evenings, leaving the thermostats set low.

Eden, you're CAMPING! :) Next time you heat up something frozen for you and Bella you should cover the table with a blanket and eat under it... let's pretend we're in a tent. I hope you have pictures of the "before", "during", and "after" to share with us. It'll be worth the wait.

I love the shot of you and the husband (such a pleasant face!) at Grant Park, V.. That's definitely a keeper. I think its so cool that we have our very own roving reporter to keep us abreast of the all things Chicago.

The converter box for our inherited TV also requires the purchase of a digital antennae. S'pose the geniuses who've orchestrated the enforced move to digital signals will be sending out coupons for the purchase of those, too? ;)

My "commute" varies between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on which route I opt to follow. There is never any "traffic", but were I to work from home I could "save" between 3/4-1 hr. every day, fuel, not to mention wear and tear on my "ride". I don't think I'm an agorophobe, but I'm becoming more and more desirous of being at home simply because I like it here. The "vibe" is good, I like having the animals milling around and the "saved" time would allow me to moved directly from work to "fun" without interruption.

I googled Big Ben, though I know who Ian Miller is. In the process I stumbled upon the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and quickly found myself exploring the amazing stories of Snowman and the Canadian bred Thoroughbred, Heatherbloom, both stories I know from childhood readings of CW Andersen's books. It was a fun diversion for a rainy evening.

The helpmeet reported some news of the First Puppy he heard on the radio yesterday. The American Kennel Club weighed in with its suggestions on what breeds the Obamas should consider. And then the Humane Society suggested they go to a shelter. Seems that's what they've opted to do. Maybe we should give them Jerri's name??? I am hopeful such a move will raise awareness of the homeless animals warehoused in shelters across the country, a welcome change indeed!

And yes, the building looks a wee bit slanted to me. Puts me in mind of an old standard performed by the Mills. Bros. about a shanty whose roof was so slanty it ... (can't remember the rest of it). I'll bet Maid Marian would know that one... you out there, girlfriend?

The interior job is finished and I'm nervous about the fit of the cushions as they were fully batted out. I do that so infrequently I've not yet fully refinded the amount of overcutting required to achieve the nice plump look without overdoing it.

We had a delightfully delicious Lentil soup last night and I rather fear I may have to spend sone quality time ALONE in my corner today, esp. since I've packed more of it for lunch. And on that humorous thought I'll bid you a good and "profitable" day in the trenches yourselves. :)

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 5:24AM
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Beano before Chelone....

Nick is on the road to CT this morning. I told him to wave at Sue when he landed in "town." He's got a two day seminar to attend. I reread what I wrote about him yesterday....geez, I was awfully harsh....he did all the dishes last night :)

I have thought alot about first apartments. I didn't really have a first until I was married to Nick. The place we lived looked just like the setting of Melrose Place, but the setting was Point Loma in SoCal. My landlady was a woman in her 70's who got made up heavily each day....and then she'd totally come "undone" - removing her wig, make up, and clothing, and swap them out for a headcover and robe. The first time I encountered this transformation was quite shocking. Ann took a liking to Nick and I (newlyweds) and she took to doing things like coming into my apartment and changing lightbulbs. I thought I was losing my mind a bit until she mentioned what she was doing. LOL...she'd always point out loudly to me that the handyman (who was a perfect match for her) who lived with her had "his own room." That was a fun place to live!

V., those pictures are pretty exciting! You'll be able to point out where you were on that night with proof!

Wow Kathy, the postman sure boogied to your house! As Julie can attest, it takes a lot longer to get mail to her and she's closer! I couldn't wrap my head around using linen dishcloths. Do you think that's what they are? Or napkins? Glad they "fit".

Well, if it is not a total wash out today, I'm going to go and work outside - I've got some pumpkins to add to the lasagna mix and some more general cleanup!



    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 6:47AM
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Good Morning, I've been up since 5:30. I have to be quiet though until time for Brad to get up around 8. He doesn't get home and to bed until after 1am. I'm anxious to get this kitchen finished. It would be great to have a couple of days with nothing to fill them but painting. Instead Bella will be here at 10am this morning and tomorrow she'll also be spending the night. Megan has a wedding Saturday afternoon and then they're going to see Madame Butterfly at the Opera House Saturday night. She rarely goes out minus Bella so I don't mind. I'll be tired by Sunday night when Megan picks her up after work. It's rainy here this morning and most of the pretty leaves are now wet and plastered to the ground. Almost time for the last of the outdoor cleanup for this year.

I talked to Jen last night. She's feeling really good now that her first trimester is over. Not so tired. She's excited that on the 17th, only 10 more days, they're hoping to find out if they'll have baby Wally, named Wallace Bradford after my dad and Brad, or baby Kate, named Katherine (not sure of the spelling) Joan after Randy's grandma and my mom.

PM, your photo reminds me of the delapidated garage sitting on the property behind mine. Those trees are beautiful.

Kathy, I forgot to comment on the brug hedge. Wow! I couldn't help but think that Deanne could pull that off.

Chelone, I'm content to be home too. All of my favorite things are here and my garden and pets. My kids like to call me a hermit.

Time to quietly get the day started. Have a good one everybody.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 7:20AM
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Good morning

Love the photo of V and her DH at Grant Park. You can almost feel the good vibes and hope radiating out. The feeling caught many of the students at both Annie and David's schools where there was much interest in the results.

Eden - the conservatory is wonderful. I have a mini me version of one very similar. Some day I hope to have time to make some teeny tiny conservatory plants for.

GB - I'm so sorry you are at such a low point. I hope there are soon some good things that bring joy and you can build up from there. Till then - we're all thinking of you and wish there were more that could be done.

Yesterday I was in rather a funk. A good friend and mother of Annie's BFF told me she was pulling her daughter out of the violin lessons and chamber group the girls had enjoyed attending together. This was disappointing but obviously a decision that is theirs to make. What was upsetting was the manner in which it was done. I am friends with the girls teacher who is wonderful and one of the best teachers I've ever met. Her students adore her and she makes each child feel their achievemnet is special. I had introduced Annie's friend thinking she would enjoy studying with her.

Lately I had heard niggliny criticism from the girl's mother and comments about resenting having to pay for lessons when her daughter was not going to be a professional musician. Then yesterday Mom told me she was stopping lessons altogether as she didn't think her daughter had time to practice. When I asked what her daughter wanted she seemed surprised that that would even be taken into consideration (daughter is 14, surely old enough for some input.) Annie was floored when I told her and hurt that BFF had not mentioned it.

Hardest for me is that the teacher was informed yesterday by email. Apparently she responded right back and made two phone calls to the mother hoping to discuss things. These were ignored, the mom telling me she didn't want to be talked out of her dicision. I feel a dedicated professional who cares so much about her students deserves better treatment. Using email rather than a real conversation is a cheap way out. The mother has just left for a 11 day cruise to Europe (finances were obviously not part of the decision) and I'm left with a sour taste. Fortunately this has not changed Annie's enthusiasm for the violin and we had some good talks about commitment and how you communicate with people in our electronic age. It does however double my weekly drives;0(


    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 7:57AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Here you go, Chelone....

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 8:19AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


No time to chat or comment this morning as I'm in the middle of month end closing and working short days to accomodate the heating contractors. My old furnace crapped out on Monday and although the new one will be installed today, the gas company is out of gas meters and can't get one out to my house until Tuesday. How does a gas company run out of meters? Plus they've been less than nice about it. So, no heat and hot water for Sue til Tuesday. Thankfully it's been warm enough to get away without the heat but not having hot water has been a royal PIA. Try to wash a dish in cold-even with soap. Yuck. I've been relying on the generosity of others to



    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 9:53AM
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Marian, I never heard the Shanty Town song before and found a version by the Ink Spots on You Tube. What a cool old song. I bet my dad knows it too.

Sue, no heat or hot water for the weekend. My sympathies and shame on the gas company! You need to find something fun to do to get you out of the house. Hope it all goes smoothly and you're cozy and warm soon. I just hate when things have to be installed around the house. Never seems to go quickly.

OK I've spent way too much time Idylling this morning and none painting. Bella will be here momentarily so I'm out of here.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 10:17AM
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V, the picture is marvelous. What an experience. The reported large crowds outside the White House brought a wicked chuckle too...hopefully, no pitchforks!

I have to agree with Woody, that my annoying traits more than compensate for any I encounter at home.

Eden, have I told you how much I enjoy reading you again?
(Chelone's camping comment brought a very big grin.) What lovely names Jen has picked. You've got me thinking of painting the kitchen cabinets before Christmas, a clear case of Edenitis!

Saucy, your first apartment description was a hoot, including your Gloria Swansonish landlady. Mine was a "mother-in-law" cottage behind a large house in Petaluma in Sonoma County, next-door to Kathy's Napa County, about 40 mi north of San Fran. What a hovel that was. Fondest memories were from the "Pink Palace," right off Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood, a Spanish-style apt complex with central courtyard, filled with mostly writers and artists, with the best Phad Thai I've ever had a short walk away.

Gorgeous photo, PM.

Sorry to hear that insensitive woman has thrown a wrench in such a nice arrangement, Mary. How's David's music scholarship going? It was for guitar, wasn't it?

Thanks for the weather tutorial on Napa, Kathy. Before reading your frost watch comments, I confess I had assumed the whole valley stayed above freezing. If brugs are planted in the ground here, they eventually become fairly drought tolerant. Deanne's do tempt me sometimes...but then it wouldn't be Deanne growing mine, would it? Big difference...

Gotta run.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 11:05AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

How many of you know what these are?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 4:22PM
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I have no idea, Marian.

Are they the sort of thing that one might stew, say for instance like prunes or apricots?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 5:57PM
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I have vague memories of a persimmon fight....and that when you step on the ripe ones, you can go for a slide!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 5:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA



    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 6:21PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ta da ! Saucy wins ! I told Nolon Saucy may be the only one on here that would know. I have been snacking on them for several days now. I went a little ways up our driveway and out into the woods to gather these today. They are very good...sweet, and no pucker. :-) I wish I could share them with you, Saucy, and with anyone else that would like some. We have several trees on our place, and there are may more on the cousin's, across the road.They have a good crop this year. I really should gather a lot and make fruit leather with them. I have tried making cookies and cakes with them, but find the taste too strong for my taste. I am thinking if they were mixed half and half with applesauce it would make good baked items.
Any suggestions, Saucy?
Chelone, most of them have lots of large seeds. We have one tree in the old chicken yard that had extra big fruits, that are almost seedless. Unfortunately, they all fell off before ripening. I think it was because of the excess rain this summer.
Usually opossums get most most of them, but for some reason, we have not seen a 'possum all summer.

I think Jerry ought to have them in her area also?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 6:22PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, you posted your pic while I was posting. Did you take that pic? Unless it is a tame variety, it is highly enlarged!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 6:24PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Just a Google image, Marian!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 7:00PM
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Todays developments , hours cut for all hourly employees- meaning we salaried schmucks will have to pick up the slack. More circling of the wagons for winter. The hope is that this will get payroll expense to a level that will eliminate the need for more RIFs.
My inventory related work-a-thon continues tomorrow- I had planned to take Monday off for the ATT dude, but, we have had no issues now for over 24 hours and Im thinking it was maybe a rain related problem .Guess Ill cancel it if all is well for another day, thus sealing my fate for more work

The garden is looking woeful..I need to spend about two days out there cleaning things up. I bought 5 6-paks of English Primrose for the front garden that will go in when I pull up the zinnias-which are looking rattier by the day. We are expecting a bit of rain on and off this upcoming week , hopefully it will clear by the weekendand such excitement ! I asked the garden center plant buyer to keep her eyes open for Sansiveria cylindrica for me and she has duly ordered both a 6 and 8in pot specimen for my viewing and buying pleasure .

A few more words about our weather patterns here, these micro-climates within a small valley is precisely why we are a premium wine growing region- the pinots, chardonnays and sparkling wines are grown in the south where summer temps are cooler, zins and cabs mid-valley and the far north where it is very hot in summer. As charming a town as Calistoga is, there is no way I would want to live up there in that heat.

How about a nice rescue-grey for the First Dog ? Pres-E says it must be hypo-allergenic as one of the rug-rats has issues-wouldnt you think a peach fuzz grey would fit the bill ? Cynthia can deliver since she is nearby and Im sure they would pass the interview (fenced yard, plenty of room to run, never left home alone, and lots of big upholstered pieces of furniture to lay on.)

Im afraid that as Denise was envisioning Gloria Swanson in Pt Loma, I was envisioning Magda in "Something About Mary" yet another completely tasteless movie that I found hilarious. Pretty sure they are dishcloths Saucy ..

Mary, very sad that your friend thinks that a potential career in music is the only reason one might wish to pursue lessons. I have always wished I knew how to play an instrument just for my own enjoyment.

All for now,

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 8:49PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good evening, idylls. The pleasant weather of Tuesday evening is only a memory now, as the temps have dipped near freezing, the wind is howling and there was snow flying earlier this afternoon. Amazing how quickly things change!

Adding to the tales of wayward DH's, mine left his good oilskin coat outside on Saturday. He walked past it many times before he left for his conference but never brought it in. I decided it was not my job, and maintained a neutral silence when he told me he had found it outside this afternoon (see comment above about snow!). I wasn't home in time to bring it in from the bad weather, as I had to make a stop at the county building to pay the real estate taxes that he forgot back in September. I found out about that when I had to make a trip to the P.O. to get the certified letter from the county... Just tell me you're not going to get it done; it's so much easier than making all these extra trips!

Mary, so sorry to hear about the music lesson issues with your friends. How sad that she had not considered what her daughter wanted to do! There's so much more to gain from music besides becoming a professional musician.

Kathy, sounds like things will be rather tough at your workplace this winter. I'm concerned that we are only delaying our day of reckoning, which will make it worse when it does hit.

Eden, I don't think I said how much I loved your conservatory. I am always impressed with the projects that you and Brad accomplish!

I'll close with a couple more pictures from Tuesday night. Now that I'm looking at the pictures I uploaded the other night, I know I was really tired, because I didn't upload all the photos.

Here's some of the amazing skyline of Chicago that night:

This probably won't show up very well, but the Conrad Hilton was festively lit on the top floors.

And a slightly blurry view of the masses exiting the park.

I think it will be one more early night for me, then tomorrow I will tackle the many jobs that have been peacefully waiting for me this week.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 9:24PM
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I had to google Gloria Swanson (most of the time I am right with you, Denise), and now have to agree that Ann Patsgow (that's how I remember her name) was more like Magda from "'Mary". I still serve hor d'oeuvres on the platter she gave me for my wedding, lol.

More memories served: She had all furniture covered in plastic...even a path on the carpet was covered in plastic! I was always late on my rent which is why I'd have to come by and see her "undone"....


    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 9:41PM
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Well if Eden has been "camping" then Sue is definitely reenacting an episode of "Survivor", a proud member of the Idyll Tribe (they're divided into tribes, right? I've never seen the show!). It's been uncommonly warm here (if rainy) and I hope all things meterological continue to favor heatless, hot waterless Sue!

I have a pail of joint compound ready to spread over the "structural skin" I applied last weekend. It goes on pink and magically becomes white as it dries. I suspect it will require several rather light coats to achieve a nice smooth surface. I have to do a scale drawing of the hearth, with a cutaway view of the framing that will support it. That should help me when I select the tile for it, salesmen are usually impressed when "girls" show up with plans and have a clue about what they want to do. ;)

Mary, what a shame Annie's friend will no longer be taking violin lessons. More than that, though, I can't even feature not encouraging a child to pursue something as terrific as music simply because she won't become a professional musician! So anyway (my two cents), I wouldn't rule out money as an issue. There are a lot of people "out there" who LOOK as though they're doin' just fine but who are, in reality, in pretty tough shape. A lot of people put things like vacations on credit cards and "pay" for them over the course of years... . I commend you for having frank discussions with your daughter about the proper way to handle the severance of something like music lessons. Like Kathy, I've regretted that music is not part of my life and couldn't agree with V. more that there is much to be gained from studying it, not the least of which is another outlet for personal creativity.

I hope too, Mary (or anyone else), you can answer some questions about cutting tile... . The hearth will have "clipped" corners on the front edge (to save shins that wander too close). So some diagnonal cuts will be required. Have you rented a wet saw for your counter project? I am not thrilled about the prospect, but have had very meagre success cutting tile in the past when using one of those little rolly cutters you use for glass. Any tips or ideas you can offer?

I miss you 'bug! I think of you often and all the sad things you have to work through and can't think of a worse time for you to be stranded in the electronic fahmhouse with no way to communicate with faraway friends and family. I think this is a tough time of year, too. I know how keenly I can feel the effect of dwindling light even under the best of circumstances. And I understand how something so simple can magnify the uncontrollable and sad things that affect us. I hope you do something indulgent daily, are consistently gentle with yourself, and hurry back to us soon.

Saucy, I meant to comment on the voraciousness of your home-grown Ladybugs. I just loved that little story and was reminded to comment on it when I saw one mooching up the wall in the bedroom last night. Your former landlady cracked me up, too. Especially the part about everything being shrouded in plastic, lol. "Sanitized for your protection"! when I was a kid, one of the families down the block had a house like that. The mother was always harping on "staying clean" and the kids weren't allowed in the living room. Our home was a study in contrast, building blocks and model horses littered the living room rug and the furniture usually sported a cat hair slipcover. No wonder I don't suffer from allergies, lol. Maybe the Obamas should do more "self innoculation"?

The cushion job turned out OK, the customers were thrilled, but my boss said she'd (like me) have liked to see the cushions a bit less stuffed so they'd settle in behind the coaming more easily. The fabric was pretty though, a soft beige and white stripe with a slightly textured surface and beige cording. The boat is a very nice one, too (a full keel and noted for seaworthiness)... a Pacific Seacraft in the 35' range. Full keel sailboats are not so much in favor now as they tend to be slower and the trend in recreational boating is more coastal sailing and not "blue water" sailing which is where a full keel and deeper draft really shines. I spent yesterday cleaning enclosure curtains for our commercial accounts (my favorite!), opting to remain at my post rather than leaving early. Seemed prudent as none of us know what the slowing economy may mean come mid-winter.

Eden and Honey flashed across my mind when I heard the appalling financial news from The Big Three yesterday and saw the unemployment numbers for Michigan. I sure hope The Big Boys are required come up with a good, solid business plan to dig themselves out the hole they've been digging for themselves for decades now before they get one dime from the Feds.. Didn't they read the memo they received in 1973 about mileage? (I did, and I was 14!). Talk last night over pizza was about how their failure would exacerbate the health care crisis in the country. Very sobering indeed. And heartbreaking for all the families who've worked hard for them and presently depend on them for their livelihoods. Very scarey stuff.

Marian, show us a picture of the Persimmon tree, OK? I don't think I've ever had one, but wish I could stroll over (with a Huge One) and sample a few while strolling your grounds. Nice to see you "surface", and I KNEW you'd know that song! I prefer the Mills Bros. to the Ink Spots, personally, as they tended to "swing" more than the Ink Spots. Dad turned me on to the Mills Bros..

Still no sign of the other missing pair of shears. I have a full docket of repairs for the morning (replacing elastic in the waistbands of slacks and shortening some things). It will be interesting to see how cutting the fabric scrim for the deck project has affected the edge on the smaller shears... ;)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 6:31AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Satellite seems to be working, mysteriously, this morning. We'll see if it lasts.

Chelone, we find salesmen like digital photos that we print out. It helps when getting toilet parts, repairing the dishwasher or furnace, showing where new lights are to be installed, where the new wood stove must fit, etc. Measurements are still useful of course, as in how much chimney is needed, how wide a spot is being discussed...all that.

Yesterday we saw a performance of Caesar & Cleopatra, of course very well done since Christopher Plummer was Caesar.

Not sure what today has to offer. There's lots of stuff needing to get done, so busy busy it will be: university business, toilet repair, storm windows (weather permitting), meal prep, etc etc etc.

I have only skimmed...but can't possibly catch up entirely. I loved V's photos, the slanting barn brings a tear to my eye, Mary's tale of cancelled music lessons saddens and angers me, Sue's dealings with furnace people annoys, talk of Eden and Brad's renovated kitchen brings a smile- slow progress and all, Marian's persimmons bring a smile as well. Wondering what ever became of Woody's husband's music teacher....

I must go deal with breakfast and Ms Phoebe.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:14AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, this is a pic that I took a few years ago of the male persimmon tree in our side yard,(yes, persimmon trees are male and female). The trees in the wild are not as well shaped.

That picture was taken before I took down the chicken yard fence behind it. So that was at least 5 years ago. The tree to the left is a pecan, and the one to the right is a tulip poplar. All are lots bigger now.

Persimmons have no fall color. The leaves just turn brown, and fall...leaving the fruit exposed. Many people do not think the fruit good to eat until it has been frosted. I have found, from years of sampling them, that they are sweet before a frost, if they are ripe. Otherwise they will really pucker your mouth up, and make it feel like powdered alum does.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:41AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

If you were the Archbishop, you would live here in your palace:

If you were just a kid, you'd thrill to this park slide:

Along the waterfront you'd enjoy this wall mosaic:

You'd be amazed by the tree pruner climbing the palms to do his work:

The cliffs along the waterfront, with DSIL on the left:

A Moorish Pavillion which I'd find quite enchanting in my Canadian garden...

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:45AM
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I wonder if I'd fit inside the chute of that slide? That would be a total blast and a fabulous Idyll photo-op. :)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 9:05AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I could picture Les sticking his head into the dragon's mouth!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 9:58AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I believe DD said she squished her way through. ;)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 9:58AM
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Or, he would get inside the chute and stick his head out. Lol.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 10:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

And how about the lighthouse? I'd climb that too.
Perhaps Chelone could have a dragon for quick escapes from the salon? Rapunzel needed one, but instead the silly prince decapitated it. Which reminds me of The Paper Bag Princess. Know that story?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 10:24AM
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So many examples of "gleam" to consider!! Chicago skyline, Peruvian marvels, persimmons (I had no idea they grew in the south and have only seen the big ones that cost $2 each at the grocery store), leaves, a wonderous journey this morning!

Sue -- Just Call if you Need Anything. Think I'm the closest Idyller next to Monique? You can sample gas heated instant hot water and Rich can tell you exactly the words to say to a gas company that has no meters?????? What??????

Mary -- My heart breaks for Annie's BFF. I wonder if she even knew her mom was canceling her lessons? The pics you've shared are so happy with them together, and I'm hopeful that Mom's crude manners do not rub off on her daughter. Maybe while they're on the cruise you could sneak the girls in for a last lesson together? Hey, it wouldn't be any more out of line than anything the mom has done.

Bennie Moore #338 "early dawn" for the kitchen and BM 1451 'violet pearl' for the master bedroom have been selected. Both are far more pastelly than I usually pick but they will be up against really strong colors (like the teal) and for some reason, these days soft colors are appealing to me. Rich is getting restless and wanted a "cheap but impact" project. This will be the third time in four years we've painted, and friends always try and guess what color the rooms are from week to week :-) Why Not?????

Kathy -- How very cool is it that on opposite sides of the continent, our valleys are so similar? Yours for grapes, mine for tobacco, neither of which grow most anywhere else really as well as where we are. (Okay, I'll give a nod to New York State but you know what I mean :-) Have been thinking a lot about you this week and am glad that I'm not in a managerial position during layoffs. Been there, done that, glad it's not "me" right now. Hang in there.

Thanks, Michelle (Loooong overdue) for the silo explanation. How far away can you be and still see them? It must be like a beacon on your way home.

V: I heard a gathering-goer who was in short sleeves being interviewed who said: "no one was cold, the heat of the moment was all we felt." You don't look tired, just mesmerized :-)

Woody: Rose seeds are being collected tomorrow :-) Hope all dogs in-house are behaving.

Marian: Your chicken yard keeps resurfacing so I'm wondering why the heck you don't just get a few layers for fun? It amazes me the variety of chickens out there that are absolutely stunning.

Deanne: Congrats on the Newly Developed Studio!! I'd say I'd come up for a class but trust me, you really don't want that to happen. LOL

LOGEE'S: Mid-January or so is fine, PM2 and anyone else. I'm really hopeful that Saucy and DS-the-succulent-lover will come. And, of course, nothing says Happy New Year Like a Carnivorous Plant!!

Today is stay at home and collapse, with maybe some food shopping thrown in. Kyle is landing here tomorrow for the first time in several weeks, and there's lots of BOGO deals around to help him restock.

Chelone: The wet saw is a "necessity" according to the resident expert. A HUGE HINT: Do Not set it up on cement, blacktop, or anything that saturated ceramic dust can adhere to. It solidifies and sticks to whatever it's on and DOES NOT COME OFF. Rich has included resealing driveways in his contracts if large tile projects are included. A lot less expensive and friendlier than the chemicals needed to remove the run-off. Rich sets up a channel for the water/dust to run off through into some kind of container, and empties the container way back in the woods, or in a dumpster if he's at a job site, or makes provisions for covering it up. Hope this helps.

I'm forgetting stuff and I know it, but am giving my feeble, worn out brain a break. Can tell you that on Tuesday I'm going to Baltimore for the day and, of course, insisted that the client find some crab house for lunch. Wahoo!



    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 10:29AM
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Chelone - for the ceramic floor tile I used a cutter I bought for $17 at HD that scored the cut, then had a lever you brought down to snap the tile in two along the line. It worked a dream and was actually the easiest part of the project. For the granite counter top tiles I worked out the cost of renting a diamond dipped wet saw and decided it was cheaper to pay soemone to make the cuts. I marked everything off (measuring and laying out at least 3 times) then took the tiles to a granite counter top fabricator. They agreed to do the work in two days and cut and drilled them all very accurately for a reasonable amount. I'll be back with more edging thoughts but must run now.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 10:56AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Martie, Neither of us care to bother with chickens. They require daily feeding and watering. Here is a pic of some the ones we had in 90-91:

Besides the other drawbacks, the fence would have to be completely rebuilt, and the henhouse restored where varmints could not get into them. The coons espacially, are death to any chicken they can get to.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 11:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Love the mosaic wall, Gardenbug, and it's really green there along the cliff. They must get a lot of rain.

Anyone have any ideas of what I can do with these two piles of leftovers? I need that space for planting in the spring.[g]

I have found myself enjoying reading November poems and I came across this one that I just thought Idyllers might appreciate. I was familiar with the author, but had forgotten he was from Massachusetts. It is a long one, which normally I might choose something shorter, I hope you feel it was worth the post...

The Huskers

by John Greenleaf Whittier

It was late in mild October, and the long autumnal rain
Had left the summer harvest-fields all green with grass again;
The first sharp frosts had fallen, leaving all the woodlands gay
With the hues of summer's rainbow or the meadow flowers of May.

Through a thin, dry mist, that morning, the sun rose broad and red;
At first a rayless disk of fire, he brightened as he sped;
Yet even his noontide glory fell chastened and subdued
On the cornfields and the orchards and softly pictured wood.

And all that quiet afternoon, slow sloping to the night,
He wove with golden shuttle the haze with yellow light;
Slanting through the tented beeches, he glorified the hill;
And, beneath it, pond and meadow lay brighter, greener still.

And shouting boys in woodland haunts caught glimpses of that sky,
Flecked by the many-tinted leaves, and laughed, they knew not why;
And schoolgirls, gay with aster-flowers, beside the meadow brooks,
Mingled the glow of autumn with the sunshine of sweet looks.

From spire and barn looked westerly the patient weathercocks;
But even the birches on the hill stood motionless as rocks.
No sound was in the woodlands save the squirrel's dropping shell,
And the yellow leaves among the boughs, low rustling as they fell.

The summer grains were harvested; the stubble-fields lay dry,
Where June winds rolled, in light and shade, the pale green waves of rye;
But still, on gentle hill-slopes, in valleys fringed with wood,
ungathered, bleaching in the sun, the heavy corn crop stood.

Bent low by autumn's wind and rain, through husks that, dry and sear,
Unfolded from their ripened charge, shone out the yellow ear;
Beneath, the turnip lay concealed in many a verdant fold,
And glistened in the slanting light the pumpkin's sphere of gold.

There wrought the busy harvester, and many a creaking wain
Bore slowly to the long barn-floor its load of husk and grain;
Till broad and red, as when he rose, the sun sank down at last,
And like a merry guest's farewell the day in brightness passed.

And lo! as through the western pines, on meadow, stream, and pond,
Flamed the red radiance of a sky set all afire beyond,
Slowly o'er the eastern sea-bluffs a milder glory shone,
And the sunset and the moonrise were mingled into one!

As thus into the quiet night the twilight lapsed away,
And deeper in the brightening moon the tranquil shadows lay,
From many a brown old farmhouse and hamlet without name,
Their milking and their home-tasks done, the merry huskers came.

Swung o'er the heaped-up harvest, from pitchforks in the mow,
Shone dimly down the lanterns on the pleasant scene below,
The glowing pile of husks behind, the golden ears before,
And laughing eyes and busy hands and brown cheeks glimmering o'er.

Half hidden in a quiet nook, serene of look and heart,
Talking their old times over, the old men sat apart;
While up and down the unhusked pile, or nestling in its shade,
At hide-and-seek, with laugh and shout, the happy children played.

Urged by the good host's daughter, a maiden young and fair,
Lifting to light her sweet blue eyes and pride of soft brown hair,
The master of the village school, sleek of hair and smooth of tongue,
To the quaint tune of some old psalm, a husking-ballad sung.
About the Author


John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) was born near the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts, not far from Hawthorne's birthplace. He had very little opportunity for education beyond what the district school afforded, for his parents were too poor to send him away to school. His two years' attendance at Haverhill Academy was paid for by his own work at making ladies' slippers for twenty-five cents a pair. He began writing verses almost as soon as he learned to write at all, but his father discouraged this ambition as frivolous, saying it would never give him bread. His family were Quakers, sturdy of stature as of character. He is called "The Quaker Poet."

Whittier led the life of a New England farm boy, used to hard work and few pleasures. His library consisted of practically one book, the family Bible. Later, a copy of Burns's poems was loaned to him by the district schoolmaster. Like Burns he had great sympathy with the humble and the poor. In his poems. Whittier described the scenes and told the legends of his own locality. Home Ballads and Songs of Labor, in which "The Huskers" and "The Corn-Song" appear, are among his most widely read books. They picture country life and the scenes of the simple occupations common in his part of the country. Whittier was intensely patriotic and religious by nature. His happiness lay in his association with his friends, with children, animals, and the outdoor world.

In these respects he was like Bryant, a man who found pleasure in simple things. Like Bryant, also, he was interested in public affairs. Any injustice to the poor he opposed passionately. He wrote many poems in protest against slavery. He wrote, also, ballads of early New England history, and some of our most beautiful religious poetry comes from his pen. His life was less filled with business cares than that of Bryant, but it was equally full of interests that made him happy and source of help and joy to others.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 11:28AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - that slide looks like fun (as long as you're not claustrophobic!:- ) The mosaic wall and the pavilion are appealing too. The pavilion somehow reminds me of Brighton.... Re Randy's music teacher - it was a 'domestic dispute' with his girlfriend (the 'girl' is ~60; the music teacher is in his early 50s). He was trying to move out - it was a temporary living arrangement after he got flooded out of his apartment. She didn't want him to move out; an arguement ensued that ended up with her heading to the bathroom to sulk. Teacher foolishly followed her into the bathroom. She called the police; he got charged with 'confinment'. The police asked him if he had a gun. He had an old hunting rifle in a storage locker somewhere so they took that and let him go after charging him. His court date is soon. The girlfriend is a bit of a neurotic flake and all the neighbours told the police that their sympathies are with the teacher! He requested - and got - a police escort to go back for his 20lb. cat and his possessions!

Marian - the chicken picture makes me feel like a kid - feeding the chickens and collecting eggs was one of my childhood chores....

Sue - what a major pain in the rear not to have heat or hot water! I'd be squawking pretty loudly to whoever was responsible for that situation - no meters?!

Martie - I'm not collecting any seeds from my roses this year. I really don't have anywhere to put more of them so I'd just have to find homes for them. The only seeds I'll be starting this coming spring are delphiniums, hibiscus and, hopefully, some of gb's roses. I could use some of your painting energy - we still haven't started the kitchen. Misty is the only dog in residence today. Liam will be back Wednesday for the day (assuming Liz doesn't forget him here again :-). The Wednesday day-care date is likely going to become a regular one for the next little while. The next longer-term dog visit isn't until January when Blue will come for a few weeks - Jasper is likely to have to make that final trip to the vet before then so Blue will likely be on his own. gb - are you guys planning on going out west for Christmas? The doggie spa is not yet booked for Christmas...

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 2:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Woody, they are mediating with DSIL's ex for a week or two at least...and Christmas will need deciding after that. DS cannot participate due to work.(OLPC may go on Amazon this month) DH is working frantically on several fronts and I must feed his class dinner. May be after mid December that we have time for a decision. I would love to go visit DS for Valentine's Day in Boston, then DD again at the end of April. Phoebe needs strict, firm treatment these days. So naughty unless outdoors with her Gentle Leader...UGH!
In the meantime I have my annual physical, the wood stove estimate, Book Club, etc and feel quite busy with a very messy house. Time for our furnace to die I bet....

Rose hips are drying for you in the back room these days. Hope my friends can help cage shrubs this coming week.

Cold and gloomy now.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 2:46PM
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Good Saturday afternoon,

Brad just left for work and Bella's napping so it's a quick Idyll check in from me. It's cold here today and feels like winter's on the way. November is one of my least favorite months but so far this year hasn't been bad. Today is classic November though, a gray day. I picked up new knobs and handles for my kitchen cabinets this morning and also a light for over the sink. Then I stopped at Borders and found The Lace Reader and a few Thanksgiving books for Bella. We had a whole stack of Halloween books that she really enjoyed during Oct but only 4 Thanksgiving books so I added to that collection. She likes getting out the seasonal books and decorations. After her nap we're making hand turkeys. She's looking forward to it.

Marie, oh I hope the ex isn't giving S&W more problems. The pictures were great. It took me a minute to spot dsil.

Mary, I've seen little mini conservatories and even have a book on making miniatures to go in them. I know you'd do wonders doing one up with all of your miniature creations. I agree with others that it's a shame about Annie's friend and the music lessons. I've always been appreciative to my parents for my music lessons and hope my kids feel that way too.

Nice poem PM. Very descriptive and I enjoyed reading it.

I want chickens. If I ever live somewhere that they're allowed they'll be the first thing I get.

Time to rouse Bella. Gotta go though I still have more I wanted to say. I probably won't be around again until Monday. Bella's staying over tonight.

One last thing, hope Sue's staying warm!


    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 3:48PM
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Bet that Peruvian highway washes out in storms just like Pacific Coast Hwy running through Malibu. Maybe the cliffs are covered in the Marvel of Peru (mirabilis) in spring.

Saucy, I was thinking of Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, Sunset Boulevard. Any likeness?

On the Mitch front, Mitch was asked in summer to re-mat the photo display of students' photo work at his city college, about 200 photos hanging throughout the college, for a nominal fee, to be completed before start of school in fall. Mitch agrees. Mitch has a very busy summer. Project languishes. Mitch picks up speed toward end of summer and completes project in time, except for 14 photos. The wall is so deteriorated it won't accept nails/screws. Mitch advises photo dept head and several others to get the maintenance dept to work on the wall so the remaining photos can be hung. Fast-forward to this week. Photo dept head is cursing Mitch's name for incomplete job, saying she'll never give him a good reference, etc. She doesn't remember Mitch advising her to get maintenance on the wall. Marty agrees to show Mitch how to get started, thinking to spend 15 minutes, max. (Like some of the idylls and their DHs, Marty is very "handy," his sons not so much.) Marty ultimately spends entire day Friday working with Mitch on the cursed wall and manage to get the last 14 photos up on the crumbling wall (building is to be demo'd in 6 months). Neither Marty nor Mitch wanted to discuss miserable day when they get home. Fine with me. Moral of story to twenty-somethings: get scope of work, deadlines, etc, no matter how minor project seems, in writing. Original job to mat photos morphs into hanging them and then wall repair, including buying necessary repair supplies. College budgets are tight, so tapping chumps like Mitch for cheap labor is appealing. Problem is, chumps like Mitch could care less how project looks when they're paid peanuts to do it. Marty had a rotten day, so I took him out for Thai food. Mitch had a rotten day, but he won tickets to see Van Morrison recreate the entire Astral Weeks album, with original musicians, at the Hollywood Bowl. And all 200 photos are now newly matted and hanging.

Duncan seems to have made out with the best Friday, hanging out in his spiffy new uniform with shovel-nosed guitarfish at the aquarium. Mine was spent in an eminent domain dispute over a mining operation with a very pleasant geologist giving testimony on behalf of the mine.

It's gotta be a two-dog night at Sue's until Tues. What a nuisance. Ein's been on fish oil supplements which have done wonders for his itchy-scratchy issues, and the patchy fur has all grown back. He might be just a tad more odiferous tho...

I started some Cirsium japonicum seeds that have sprouted, and some "blue pea," Lathyrus sativus, as well as other sweet peas. The "bath house" or "porch with a bath tub" project off our bedroom is getting revived. We put a call into the City's gas dept about possibly moving the meter, which is the main hang-up to getting started. If it can be moved, it's a green light.

Is it a visual trick, or are Marian's acrobatic chickens climbing up that transverse pole? Onward and upward...

Sending warmth to idylls east and north.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 4:01PM
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As gardening season wanes one certainly does begin to gather some interesting info on the Idylls, not the least of which is the photo of what is clearly a Chicken Conga Line.
Got home at about 3:30 today, another physical inventory under my belt todays featured a possibly catastrophic database issue which thank god, we were able to resolve. Having a beer and looking at the wonderful pics on the Gleaming Color thread- bravo to all the posters over there ! I hope to have a contribution in a couple of days. I will only work a half day tomorrow

I had a friend in childhood who had a plastic draped living room as well-I wonder if people do that anymore ? I found it very strangethe daughters were roughly my age and playmates , but they used terms like pop and tunafish , and were not Catholic so I found them to be odd but endearing ! They had a dutch door from the kitchen to the back yard, and for 1 year owned a chimpanzee named Beulah who lived in a very large aviary type pen in the back yard.

Paper fave Mills Bro tune.

bug thanks to you and the tribe for sharing some of the pics from DD and DSILs journey. Maybe there will be more ?

Jealous ---as I often am---re: a visit to Logees with the Idylls. If I am still in Napa next August (and considering the economy , this would not surprise me) I will be traveling to Boston on business. This conjures up some interesting scenarios for a road trip to environs not visited at IU6.

PM , mosaic stepping stones with creeping Thyme planted between.

And in closing, "Its the pictures that got small"

Signing off, waves to all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:08PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Today was a cold and wet November day. It spit rain or snow most of the day and the wind made the damp cold feel even worse. Since outside work was out of the question (at least in my book) I spent a good part of the day cleaning the job. More specifically, I spent the day rounding up almost all of the empty nursery containers, sorting them by size and stacking them by the inside potting bench. I refused to count the number of pots that surfaced because it was "ginormous"! And the more I cleaned, the more pots I found. Le sigh!

But a lot got accomplished, and DH even NOTICED!!! He even helped me later in the day.

Once it got too dark to work outside, I moved inside and baked another batch of chocolate chip cookies to send to a family friend in Mountain View, CA. MIL and her DH are going to visit him this coming week.

Denise, what a bummer about Mitch's job gone wrong.

Marian, I forgot to mention your persimmons. They look quite yummy!

GB, thanks for sharing the Peru photos.

I can tell I am close to doing something dumb and losing this post, so I'd better hit submit and move on to my evening reading.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:18PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hello and good evening all,

I'm two-thirds the way through a three day seminar and pretty tired but wanted to pop in and say hi.

Sue, what a bummer about the mess with the furnace thing. Wish we were closer so you could pop in here with the puppies until all is resolved.

OK time to hit the sack,
Nite all

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 8:35PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Evening.

Pm2, I failed to tell you, I enjoyed both your poems, espacially the last one despite its length. :-)
The beautiful pic with the colored trees and tilted barn is lovely, too. I suspect it is tilted with age.

V, that is guite an experience you had , and to get your pics taken in such a setting for posterity is great!

I love those neat little greenhouses. Nolon could have made me a similar one, with all the windows he brought home from remodel jobs. We still have a bunch, but a lot have got broken. Nolon is no longer able to do such things,soooo.....

Evaluating spouses bad habits...Nolon's worse is his bathroom nastyness, and the messes he makes in the kitchen. Every time I go into the kitchen, I wipe up crumbs and stickiness from the counter top. As for sharing the household workload, that has never happened, except he takes his plate, etc. to the sink and (half-heartedly) rinses them off.

Chelone, in all the ads on TV they never tell you that a person with an antennae will have to get a new one to go with the converter! I am hoping my new digital TV will work okay with the conversion. I guess we will burn that bridge when we get to it.:-(
I hesitate to admit it, but I really was not that familiar with the "shanty" song. I just googled it, and that is what I found. I think I vaguely remember it.
I love lentil soup, but after the smart aleck remark Nolon made in front of the entire congregation about his dislike for it, I don't guess I will be making it anymore (as long as it is for the two of us)! Here I was thinking he liked it! It was rather a slap in the face!I still smart when I think of what he said....:-(
I don't recall us having any problem like you spoke of. Maybe it was the ingredients I put in mine?

Sorry about the furnace woes. Our wood stove is several years old, but seems to be good for another winter.It could use some new firebricks, but may not get them this year.

Mary, sorry about Annie's violin playing friend. The mother sounds very insensitive, and self-centered.
I think your tile cutting is the same as wht Nolon did. He put the tile on one of our kitchen cabinets, and in the hall bathroom.

Sue is your cook stove gas also? I have heated water on the range for dishwashing many a time, and even for a 'spit' bath. The great thing about our wood stove, I can cook and heat water on it.

Speaking of furniture covered with plastic....A woman who lived at Tuscarora, Nevada (the nearest 'town' to the YP Ranch) had a houseful of cats, and all the living romm furniture was wrapped in plastic. We went there at least once (I don't recall why). It was interesting. She was about the only resident of that ghost town. ( The town is listed on line amongst Nevada Ghost Towns.)

Saucy, I take it you do not remember if you used persimmons in baking? Persimmon fights sound pretty messy. :-) I like the beneficial ladybugs. So far we have not been raided by the Asian ladybugs this fall.

Re: his and her tools. I have always kept mine in my kitchen tool drawer. Nolon has never bothered them. His are in his shop. I do borrow something from his now and them, but always return it to where I found them.

Marie, I enjoyed the pics of Lima,Peru. ( I did get the location right, didn't I? ) I see the man in the palm, and your DSIL on the cliff. :-)
I like the lighthouse, too. ( I am partial to lighthouses. I ended up with two new Lighthouse calenders for next year..both differant.) :-)

LOL, on Chelone in the dragon slide. I have a mental picture of that. :-)

Martie, The big persimmons in the store are oriental persimmons, and don't have near the flavor of the native wild ones.

LOL, Denise. The chickens are indeed climbing the bracepole. Chickens can be quite dorky!!!

Yep, Kathy...a Chicken Conga!

Okay, it is almost my bedtime. Time to prepare the wood stove for the night. It is predicted to get in the upper 20s, again.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 10:15PM
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Chicken Conga Line... that's pretty funny. I love poultry and the helpmeet has periodically threatened to get some chickens, even though they are technically banned in our "subdivision" as are other "farm animals". So are clotheslines, but do you think that would stop us? ;) . My favorites are Barred Rocks. They're rather upstanding chickens with "barred" feathers, I always think of a Radcliffe College class reunion when I see them... old biddies milling around in herringbones suits. (I know, I know, I am a thoroughly wicked soul who would create brutal animal caricatures had I any ability to draw.) Chickens are the original ATV. The combination of strong legs, clawed feet and wings gives them profound ability to cruise around with ease, except on pavement... not much traction to be had there!

A heartwarming story from Denise regarding family solidarity in the face of crisis. If that isn't what families are all about, I don't know what is. It's the little things that sometimes turn into much bigger things that often provide good opportunities for discussion, some laughs (after the fact!), and good life lessons. Warmed my heart, Denise. :) The thought of an outdoor shower makes me shiver (it's very warm here for November, but hasn't topped 60 degrees), but it will be a fun project for you and we will enjoy viewing the progress. The shot of Gloria Swanson brought to mind Carol Burnett (one of my very favorites) and the "great Nora Desmond...".

Rex receives good amounts of "grease" by "helping Mummy with the dishes". Whenever there is anything left in the cooking pans/dishes I place them on the floor by his water bowl while he's out for his PPP (post prandial pee). He gallops up the stairs and sets right to work on them (sometimes they don't even need washing afterwards). He is particularly fond of Salmon skin, too. His coat is really rather lustrous and he rarely has that sour, "dog smell". Usually a thorough once over with the shedding blade and thorough brushing banishes it. Aside from his encounter with Mr. Skunkie and few unfortunate (for us) rollies on nasty dead things we don't bathe him with any regularity. Which is good because I hate dogs.

I really want to sample a good, native Persimmon now, Marian. Thanks a heap for talkin' 'em up so good. :) And thanks for pulling up the lyrics to the slanty roofed shanty song. It's not included on the two anthologies of Mills. Bros. recordings we have.

Other favorite Mills. Bros. songs:
"Glow Worm" (great lyrics)
"Be My Life's Companion"
"Please Release Me" (best cover of it I've ever heard!)
I just love tight 3 and 4 part harmony and great lyrics. The Andrews Sisters, Manhatten Transfer, Boyz 2 Men, there are many others, but it's not a style that is commonly heard on commercial radio much any more. (The joke at work is that I can only update you on the dead singers.) Pass the Geritol, willya? ;)

Deanne, you're roundin' the turn and headin' down the homestretch. I assume you're travelling for the seminar you're presently teaching? what's the subject and how are the "kids" faring?

V., we have several of those nursery pots floating around the Compound, too. Last spring I decided we no longer needed the dozens that were stockpiled in the screen room under the deck. Are you able to recycle your's? Sadly, our town contracts with Waste Management and they don't do nearly as much recycling as I'd like to see. Certainly NOTHING as extensive as the terrific program outlined by Julie is previous post (where is she, anyway?). I'm envious. Those cookies sound mighty tastey, why don't you send some my way?

Primary skimcoat of joint compound is accomplished and it's turned from pink to white as promised. I will give it a light sanding this morning, vacuum the dust, and apply a second coat sometime today. I really forced the joint compound into the pores of the "structural skin" and it required firm application from tired hands and wrists. Today's coat shouldn't require so much work.

And I have another hem to do this morning... on chiffon. :/

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 6:18AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

I'm, here, I'm here!

I can't even FIND my last Idyll post!

I have been one busy little bee for the last few days. NO Juliejobs!! Went to DD's house to help her plant about 100 bulbs we had given her for her new garden; acted as an usher (usherette?) for The Wizard of Oz put on by the regional choir and School of Dance (they were very brave: they used a real dog to play Toto!); had Adrian's "real" birthday; on Ajax's one-year birthday we took him to visit the guys who we bought him from(they were absolutely thrilled); had children coming and going get the picture, just usual stuff.

And yesterday Jr.Phil (aka TCS or Adrian or DGS) did it to me again: while we were leisurely swimming in the community pool with about ten thousand other people at 3:45 yesterday, he says: "Oh yeah, I'm invited to Matthew's party at 4 today". ARGHHHH! Made it, but he has been sternly told that if he doesn't bring home the invite next time, he doesn't get to go. But it was nice to sit by the fire in peace and have a glass or two for two hours after swimming...

PM2 I absolutel LOVED the Whittier poem: I could just see and feel the scenes. Wonderful writing!

GB: Lima looks great! I feel for your family, having to go through so much, well, nonsense, with the X. I am going to check in at the library for The Lace Reader.

Eden: I must say I would hate to have chickens, except to eat. I like to see/hear about them from others though, as I really know little about the varieties etc. If you get any, let's see 'em!

And Brrrrr... no furnace ot hot water? I'd croak! No meters? Rent an electric heater and send the gas company the bill...(says I from my comfy roost - in defernce to Eden's chicks!)

Oh Denise, I guess we all have these family job issues! Brendan (aka Inter.Phil or DS) agreed to put in flooring for a neighbour. He breezily said "Oh Yeah, a couple hundred bucks" when asked the price. Well, you guessed it: much bigger job than he had envisioned (he didn't check it out first), lots of funiture to be moved (Help, Dad! aka Sr.Phil, or Don or DH). No tools (Let's just roll our table saw and whatever down the street in the rain) and not quite enough materials to finish the job...waiting for delivery today. *sigh*

I hope I can post some photos and maybe (!) even a link to Winterlude and to Ian Millar and Big Ben. Gotta get back into the JJob routine....Inspired by the kitchen reno and the salon, today I am going to fill all the little holes and chunks that have appeared in the hallway so that maybe tomorrow I can paint that hall - then the "bedroom wing" will be almost complete!

I might do an hour of clean up outside today too, and Mmmmm spareribs for dinner!

Cheers, all!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 8:53AM
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Good morning

I'm enjoying a coffee and Idyll right now having got up early to grout the bathroom vanity. I was thinking to myself that if I did this job three times in a row I could achieve a level of craftsmanship I would be proud of. Despite taking infinite care there are things I know could be done better. However, the overall effect is what I had hoped for and I'm hoping no one else will notice the imperfections (especially when splattered with toothpaste. soap scum etc.)

Chelone - Clouseau is the pre-wash cycle for our pots and pans too, especially the tasty gubbings after a meat roast. Sometimes they come up so clean I forget whether or not they have been through the next stage involving soap LOL!

I spent a lot of time considering options for edging the granite tiles on the counter top. Were money no object I would have gone with bull-nose or rounded edging in matching granite. But the cost was prohibitive and the edging would have cost 3 times what I paid for the tiles. There is a way to cut and grind granite edging yourself but I didn't feel up to that or have access to needed equipment. I consided metal edging (Schutter) but decided to use wood molding painted the same color as the cabinet.

Denise - how wonderful for DH to help out Mitch. When I worked in museums I occasionally took on outside jobs like that with a friend. They were never quite that crisis but always far more work than was ever envisioned and a crunch making the deadline. I can remember some very late nights. Very cool to win the Van Morrison tickets:0)

Thanks for sharing thoughts on the music lessons. What is so disappointing is that the mother is one of my closest friends and this makes me want to distance myself completely. When she returns from the cruise I need to tell her how her actions made others feel. Arggg!

Denise - David is loving studying with his new teacher and is playing in a guitar ensemble as well. He has just learnt the beautiful Receurdos de la Alhambra and I love hearing him play it. He is studying such challenging and advaced music yet seems to take it all in his stride and holds everything in his memory.

I have lots more to say but need to get going on the morning. For once the house is in decent shape so I'm looking forward to enjoying the paper whil admiring the lack of clutter. I came home from work Friday and went on a cleaning binge, including such Julie Jobs as washing the fronts of all the kitchen cabinets. I think I was working out some of my frustrations LOL! David came home and saw me with mop in hand and asked who was coming for dinner.

Have a great Sunday everyone


    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 8:53AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My apologies to Denise. I failed to read the account of the re-matted pictures. I think we need the address of that school so we can all send rebukes for their hatefulness. I guess about all your DH and DS can do is chalk it up to experience, and a donation to the struggling college. :-(

Chelone, the only way I could send you some native persimmons is if they were thoroughly dried. They do not transport well while fresh. You can bet your boots, I would send you some if possible.

Our granddaughter's first stop, when they exited from their parent's car on arrival at our 'farm', was the chicken yard. They were still small, even toddlers.
One time we were walking around the yard, and the chickens were out. I had the middle one by the hand (she was still a toddler).One of the two(red)roosters was near us. She beckoned it with her little hand, saying, "Here turkey,turkey...." It was so funny, because she knew it was not a turkey. :-) That was quite some time ago. She will be 14 in March.
Chelone, our first flock was a Heinz 57 flock.....Rhode Island Reds,(and/or New Hamshires), Plymouth Rocks, a black one, some yellow ones...Then when they all expired, we went to all white, because that was what Nolon's cousin has in their laying house. When the 'retired' chickens were removed, and before fresh ones were brought in, lots would be left behind. They were free for whoever wanted to come get them. We did that for seneral years, until Nolon grew tired of taking care of them. One year I dressed out a bunch for our freezer. They made good stewing hens.
We were getting more eggs than we could use, so I sold some to friends, or just gave them to them. It was nice while it lasted, and I did enjoy seeing snd hearing them.( except one dorky rooster that would crow in the middle of the night!)
LOL, "the original ATVs". Have you seen them try to walk on ice?

Remind me to bring my own place service if I should manage to go to the Idyll camp at Chelone's! LOL!
BTW, we do the same with containers of food that our cats will eat. ( But I do wash them well afterwards...) :-)

"Glow Worm" and "Please Release Me" were two that I liked too. I don't remember what artist, though. "Be my Life's Companion" was good too....but I can't think of the tune right now, nor the lyrics.
Of the 3 singing groups that you mentioned, only the Andrew's Sisters were familiar. My favs have been dead lots longer than yours, Chelone!
Ah yes...nursery pots. I re-use all of the larger ones. And I have not checked if there is a recycling available in this area, for all those small flimsy ones, espacially all the pacs...2, 4, 6, etc.

Brrr, it did get into the 20s this morning. 27 for our low. The rest of the forecast is for a slight warming, but we are to remain below 'normal'.

Tim has notified us that he and the girls will be here for the Thanksgiving weekend. Maybe not T Day, but the rest of the weekend. So...I plan the usual traditional dinner. I am hoping it will be lovely weather for their trip and their visit.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 9:05AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Another gloomy day here. Rain too. But there's plenty to keep us busy indoors too.

Chelone, that was my Mom in the herringbone suit! She was a "cliffy" in around 1932.

No chickens here! Too many predators, including Phoebe.

Yes Marian, Lima, Peru is the place. I think there may be more photos in a while, after the X business is settled. (If that ever happens...Sigh.)

My insides are not happy I think I'll go make some tea.

Later my friends. Thanks for being here.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 10:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good Morning!

Reading along this morning and getting quite a few chuckles and smiles on my face. Such a witty bunch. :-) The 'Chicken Congo Line' cracked me Our town allows chickens but no roosters. I have always wanted chickens or ducks or geese...something! But like Marian, we can't really take care of them. I have visions of Rebecca [of Sunnybrook Farm], and Timmy [Lassie] feeding the chickens in the barnyard every morning. :-) I have always thought some of the different breeds of chicken are very attractive and that is a pretty one, Chelone.

Woody...that was a funny story about Liz forgetting Liam. Did she finally pick him up? How do you manage to have so many dogs to doggiesit?

Saucy's ladybugs were surprising. Organic houseplant care! [g]

Eden...hard to believe you are having 70 degree temps in November. We are feeling a bit colder today, but still 55 degrees isn't bad. Are you ready for winter? I am under the impression that Michigan winters are a lot colder and longer and snowier than we have here, would that be right?

Chelone .... your 'camping' comment to Eden also brought a smile to my face. Making lemonade for sure. It did remind me of when I was a kid, my brother and I used to love to build forts all over the living room on a Saturday morning when everyone was sleeping. My parents seemed to encourage it as I remember. Why, I don't know, but they got a kick out of it. We would use every blanket and pillow we could find...why did we find that so much fun?! :-)

Also a Mills Brothers fan. I remember Glow Worm, but Paper Doll was a favorite. Also love all the groups with tight harmonies, even two part harmonies, like the Everly Brothers. Love the Andrew Sisters.

Lentil soups and all the bean dishes are usually much easier on the digestive tract if you soak the beans over night and rinse before cooking.

I envy you your access to the water and harbors and getting onto boats on a regular basis. I miss that. sorry this problem with the lessons has caused a rift with your friend. I hope it will get worked out when she gets back. Sounds like you have the right idea, to talk to her and be honest and hopefully she will be with you too, and you might be able to find out more about why she acted that way. Thanks for that Classical guitar link...enjoyed it!

Marian....have you ever made Persimmon Jam? How are you feeling these days? Lentil soup is so good for you, maybe you can make up a batch and freeze individual servings for yourself? I do that with Chili since I enjoy it more than DH.

Happy that some of you were able to read and enjoy the long Whittier poem. I was especially thinking of Michelle and Brenda and their corn fields. I imagine it is quite different the way they harvest now.

Martie....I love the 'names' of your paint colors. It is fascinating to me how much a name can influence my choice of And I meant to say, that if you want to go to Logee's sooner, maybe you could go twice? I read on a post that they are having open house this weekend with a sale on Begonias $5. each and other bargains.

Denise...I really enjoy your sense of humor. :-) That pic of Norma've seen that movie. Saucy's description of her landlady does fit a little. I had forgotten about Marvel of Peru, I wonder if they grow wild there? I grew one two years ago that was stunning. Thoroughly enjoyed your Mitch story, and I am sure it will be a lesson that will stick with him better than anything you could say to him on the topic. Been there with our own kids...[g]

Kathy... Another sense of humor I enjoy...Chicken Congo line! [g] thanks for the idea of what to do with my leftovers. I would love that, just not sure creeping Thyme will prosper in my clay soil. I've tried it lots of times and wintering over is the problem due to the drainage. I might have a location to do something in shade with moss though.

I had more to say...but DS needs to borrow the computer so I will be back later..enjoy your Sunday!


    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 11:35AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - I somehow missed your post yesterday... I think mid-Feb. should be OK if you need to leave Phoebe here for a bit. Ditto in Apr. I'll keep those dates in mind as tentatively reserved so we'll check with you first if we get other requests for time at the doggie spa :- ) We're waiting to hear the likely dates for Blue to come early in the new year. His 'parents' have a condo in Mexico. They usually go for Christmas but this year they've decided to wait until sometime in January. They're not sure exactly when or for how long. I doubt they'd be staying into mid-Feb. so I'd expect that we'd be available for a Phoebe visit by then.

Thanks for collecting rose hips for me. We'll have to schedule a curry dinner here sometime in the next while before the weather gets too bad so I can trade samosas for rose hips with you :- )

Dog dishwashing service happens here too... I'm sure the non-dog-owners among you are probaly grossed out! We do make sure that dog-washed dishes go through the dishwasher after their preliminary cleaning....

Cold, damp, gray, depressing November arrived yesderday! UGH! It's a good thing I took those 'gleaming' pictures a few days ago - there's a whole lot of naked trees and bushes out there now and not much gleaming going on! The neighbour with that fabulous red JM now has a naked tree and a red carpet on the lawn.

It I can get motivated, and if the rain is not too heavy, I need to go out today and put the tree guards on the trees for the winter. That's the last garden chore for the year.

What does one do with persimmons?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 11:36AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

One more...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 11:39AM
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It is a tea kind of day here, too. Finally some sun, stocked the larder and Kyle's, too, walked around and shot some pics, but can't seem to get the "smile" going, today. Think things in general have ?finally? taken their toll and might just sleep for the rest of the day.

We have the same chicken restrictions as Chelone, but the neighbors all think we should go for some exotic creatures. Too many critters in the woods negates the idea.

Speaking of critters -- Rich was greeted by a racoon in the garage who must've smelled the stored apples and thought: BONANZA!! He/she skedaddled the second it saw Rich, so I'm not concerned about it being rabid. We are leaving the garage door closed for now.

A 23# turkey is in the freezer (juuuuuuust fit) and people are asking what they can bring. I suggested some not so ordinary foods and was greeted with silence on all fronts. So, it'll be the norm but I insist on making my own maple syrup squash casserole. BiL is bringing corn chowder and DSiL's grandmother is bringing her scruptious pumkin bread.

Maybe I'll throw orange peel into the cranberry sauce to get a few raised eyebrows??????

Perhaps the "X" situation won't resolve now, 'bug, but in not so many years Skyler will be able to start to make his own decisions and undoubtedly will wonder about true motives. It just plain stinks. Being a pawn is no fun.

Eden, save some of the seeds from the roses. They are so easy and Bella can make a whole fairy hedge with them. Bud looks so darn content! Do you think he knows he blends in at this time of year?

Marian: Great chicken/DGD story! I have a new goal in life: eat fresh southern persimmons.

Denise -- Poor Mitch! It is that the artistic set are so flighty that a professor would threaten certain career ruin because of something like this? Sounds like at some point someone else dropped the ball and are using Mitch as the scapegoat.

Julie -- Your posts always bring a smile.

Norma: Well, hello!! So glad the FL crew saw some NW color before returning to the Land of Sand.

Eden, again: I'd think Z7 stuff should be fine in your conservatory. Very Yankee of you to put together something so beautiful out of discards :-)

Mary: Your guitar link has been a tonic for the soul while I've been writing. Thank You!! Asked Rich about the HD tile cutter and he's now on the lookout. Anything other than the huge mess wet saws can make. He did say, though, that if there are any curved or double angle cuts, he couldn't think of a better way than a diamond edge.

In all fairness, Woody, I don't paint. I've tried. I've tried again. I've had paint brushes permanently hidden from my view. While I'm great at choosing colors, getting them on the wall.....not so much.

Saucy -- Went to see a new client this week (privately owned nursing home -- one of six they have) and in the sunfilled entrance was a most exquisite series of Horai. Autumn was in full blown finery. They decorate whichever season it is. Kinda cool idea.

Three years ago in a fit of total lost tool frustration, I went to my local hardware store, plunked down $100, and told the guy to first pick a locked box and then fill it up with whatever I'd need to "do stuff." Result is a fully stocked kit that's All Mine. Have I used 3/4 of what's in it???? No, of course not, but it's nice to know it's there. LOL

Heading off to snooze. Later!


    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 11:56AM
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What did your Mom study, 'bug? She was familiar with the Boston area at the time my parents were growing up. She may even have passed my grandparents and great aunts and uncles as she made her way around the area. A fun thought! Hope the tea settles your insides. Beautiful morning here, the rain has been blown offshore.

I'll bet a chicken on ice is pretty funny, Marian. :) The past few days have been cloudy and intermittantly rainy but it has been very mild, nights in the low-mid 50s. But today it's breezy and I'd wager the chilly air will blow in tonight.

Julie, I laughed at the mental image of you and TCS floating in the water when the latest party bomb was dropped. You're a good sport. The glass of wine all alone was most deserved. I see you will be playing with joint compound/"spackle" today, too. (I always fill the holes before painting, too). What color are you planning to paint the hallway?

Speaking of wall colors (before I forget), Martie: I used Ben. Moore on the walls of this house, too. Interestingly, I used colors #1437 (Violet Mist) and 1438 (Lavender Blue) for the living areas of our home. The deeper one below the dado, the paler above it. We've lived with the colors for nearly 18 yrs. now and love it. I used alkyd paint in a satin finish. I will try to remember to look and see how close what you selected is to what's here. :)

I'm waiting for my alteration customer to come "get the goods". This will require a bit of ballet on my part. I must leash the beast and make sure he is completely under my control. Then I will bring the bag of clothing out to the customer's car while requiring Rex be a perfect gentleman. It's important that he be leashed when greeting people. He mustn't rush to people and/or jump on them. That's extremely important to me and I take pains to ensure he greets people pleasantly. He's big enough to knock people over. The helpmeet isn't as willing as I've been to "train" and require obedience at the arrival of visitors and the inconsistency has made for some uncomfortable encounters. I understand exactly how Phoebe can be, 'bug, Rex can be very "willful", too. :) One more lament that Woody isn't "down the street".

Thank you for the insight into edging, Mary. I am using flooring tiles under the stove (it's nearly 600lbs.!) and I don't know if "bullnose" edging tiles will be available in whatever I may select. We've used wood to trim out the hearth in the house (same design). The proximity of the wooden trim (a "combustible") to the stove has been a bit of "grey area", as all combustibles should be 36" away from the stove. I've thought about seeing a welder and having him cut and bend metal pcs. to use in place of the wooden trim. I would set the tiles flush with the top edge of the metal and grout up to that. The helpmeet and I are going to have a "board meeting" about the framing of the hearth area later this afternoon and that should address some of the nagging "detail" questions I can't presently answer. I also appreciate the tip about the tile cutting tool. We used a wet saw when we did the last hearth and I've not forgotten the mess, if I can avoid it this time I will!

The guitar has such a nice sound. It can be folksy and common, it can be jazzy and smooth, it can rock the house (and frighten parents), or it can be one more way to discover classical music. I think music and dancing are very fine pursuits indeed.

OK, what am I going to do now? (while I wait for pink to change into white and the helpmeet to get home). I'm not sure I feel like going outdoors and digging (Rex would like that, though) but it seems too nice to stay inside and tackle a JJ better suited to rain or cold. I'll have to ponder that one for a bit.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 12:08PM
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Here is the tile cutter I used though I would certainly go with the advice of a pro like Rich rather than a one timer like myself.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 2:35PM
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Chelone - one more option. The adavatage of the Schluter edging is non-combustability.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 2:40PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

DH picked up our digital converter box for $9.99 after coupon today. Since we have no cable, satellite, etc., we have been pulling in the big three networks, WGN and PBS. With the converter box, we get CBS. But it's the best picture we've ever had on CBS. So is this the double-secret economic stimulus package? I need to go spend more money to maintain what I found to be perfectly adequate before?

Grumpy mood as I just tried to follow up on two oh-so-easy "benefits" that I received in the mail, and neither one would work as advertised. Guess I'll take it out on cleaning the house. Outside, it's even colder than yesterday and more snow is falling sporadically.

V. the disillusioned

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 4:36PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Returned some dishes to neighbors who had fed us in our time of need. Grocery shopped too as I NEED berries in my diet. ;) Also bought DH 3 inexpensive sweaters at our only store, Zellers. (This is laughable, I don't know the US equivalent. Perhaps Woolworths?)

Chelone, Mom attended Swarthmore for undergraduate years. She also dabbled in courses at the Sorbonne. Her Mom wanted her to attend Radcliffe, so she went there for a year of grad school, but then later transferred to NYU which had the program SHE wanted, Art History. Then the rascal went off and married a Frenchman in the army and became a French citizen. My brother was born in France. Later my sister was born in NJ while Dad was serving in the war. Then he escaped to the US via Martinique, taught French at Brown University and then I was born once they moved to Buffalo NY. Later Mom taught Art History at the University of Buffalo until nepotism rules nixxed that effort. And now you know!

We've had liquid white falling from the sky much of this afternoon. Not a night for visiting Sue I guess. Tuesday we are supposed to get an estimate on replacement of our perfectly fine wood stove. Grrrr.

What's for dinner tonight? Another mystery!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 5:52PM
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Ever notice when working an unusual work schedule your feel for what day of the week it is becomes off-kilter ? Its clearly Sunday, the SF Sunday paper was in my driveway this morning..a benefit will be that tomorrow will not feel like Monday . I am considering treating myself to a 3 day weekend next Friday if I can swing it. We shall see.
Last night was a move night, I saw Becoming Jane , which I enjoyed though it had some flaws-the occasional contrived plot point, art/set direction that seemed stolen from the wonderful 05 version of Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley - wherein Judi Dench was a fabulously despicable Lady Catherine , Donald Sutherland was absolutely the best Mr Bennett in film history (IMHO) , the younger sisters were as vapid as could bewell I could go on and on. I do hope any Austen buffs in the crowd have seen this particular adaptation. But I digress ! I was speaking of Becoming Jane. I was also going to say that I find Anne Hathaway to be maturing as an actress with every performance. This one was not a particularly challenging a role, but I thought that any flaws in her development of the character were the issue of the director, maybe the writer. This role could have been more, and I think she could have pulled it off.

Ok , I really did not mean to write a full scale film review. Moving right along

I must say many Idylls seem to be in the throes of home improvement projects-Julie is painting, Eden and Mary are renovating, Deanne is re-purposing and Chelone continues the saga of the Salon. I dont seem to be doing anything but going to work !

Mary, my DS just got a new guitar and (he now has 4 I believe) and I am regaled with concerts on a regular basis- no classical however. He has certainly improved since he joined the band and experiments with writing his own songs. Enjoyed your link; I love classical guitar but have very few music CDs, mostly Segovia.

Julie- I confess I do not miss the constant parade of birthday parties that I had to transport to and buy presents for. You deserve a solitary and /or good company provided glass of wine on a more frequent basis. Now , as winter looms is there a Wine Room to replace the Wine Deck ?

PM, another tight small groundcover is Corsican Mint, which I think is more tolerant of drainage issues than Thyme. Dont know if it is hardy in your zone though !

bug, dont know what you are to dine on but I am having Hazelnut winter squash raviolis with pesto, and a glass of low-end cabernet. I have ordered The Lace Reader

OK, all for now

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 8:47PM
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LOL, V., your household and this one are on precisely the same wavelength when it comes to television, the selling of the airwaves, convertor boxes and the requisite antennae! I was shocked to scan by not one, but two, radio stations that're already playing Christmas music. I am by no means a Scrooge, but neither do I subscribe to the 24 hr./day onslaught of Christmas hype. Anyone else noticed the same thing in your area?

Yesterday was just beautiful and I was right, it's markedly chillier this morning than it has been for the past few. I wonder if Sue slept in her Union Suit last night?

Today is the day the helpmeet is going to frame the base for the hearth. I am going to double check a few details with the code enforcement office "because I can", though the hearth we built in the house is strong, safe, passed "code" when it was built, and we've never had a bit of trouble with it. Still, I defer to the old saying, "never give a bureaucrat a chance to say no". There was the usual grousing about having to go out to the Salon and go over the plan, but I said firmly I wanted "the expectations clearly stated and understood before beginning the project so we aren't derailed by lack of oversight". More grumbling, to which I replied that I was very excited about finishing the Salon, having a space for projects, and moving toward working from home. I've put a lot of thought and effort into it, I've worked hard to minimize his participation and make sure he has what he needs to do the things he can do more easily than I, and the hardest part of it all has been asking him for his help with certain asspects. I'm frankly very tired of the sour attitude and miserly effort put into projects that have to be done and I said so. Then I "dropped it". He's told me repeatedly I am the GC on this project and I've taken the job seriously, apparently to his chagrin. ;) It should be an interesting day.

Once again, this illustrates how differently two people can approach the same project. I tend to work backward from the finished result I want to see, making notes on what must be done first, second, etc.. I rarely "plunge right in willy-nilly". I will put together a list of materials, purchase them and get them on site. Then I try to plan the steps so each one is completed and I don't frustrate and exhaust myself trying to get the whole project done in one, two, or even 3 days. Sewing has taught me planning, patience, and attention to detail. And I'm OK with accomplishing one aspect of a project and walking away for the day. It has also taught me that attention to those things can bring about a great sense of accomplishment. I think this methodology is roughly akin to the benefits of studying music, dance, painting, or even creating beautiful gardens. It's the ability to be patient in the pursuit of goals and understanding that serendipity is a wonderful thing, but so is good planning. (I am clearly the Ant, and not the Grasshopper).

Martie, could you ask Rich what a "double angle" cut is? does he mean, for instance, cutting out a section of tile so it will fit snugly around the base of the chimney? I don't have "contractor speak" or "saw speak" down yet! Sounds as if you and the helpmeet went to the same painting school... "everything within a 5' radius", a la Jackson Pollack (sp?). :) Hope the "crash" yesterday was what was needed to recharge depleted workplace batteries. You've earned it. I wonder who was more surprised, the 'coon or Rich?

Rex was a PERFECT gentleman yesterday when my alteration customer arrived. I was very proud of him (the beatings have paid off!). He sat by the door while I clipped on his leash and I only had to reinforce the "sit" once. I opened the door and stepped through it, leading with my right foot and he REMAINED sitting, looking to me for the release command! We approached the car quietly (reasonably so) and he sat quietly while I handed over the goods. If Rex can do it, so can Phoebles!

I have "Pride and Prejudice" starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth on DVD. Will have to see if we can score the production you mentioned, Kathy (free trial of Netflix). Boston next August, eh, Kathy? hmmm...

Let's see some shots of your woodstove, 'bug. Perhaps it will better illustrate the tribulations you're presently enduring on that front. I've linked to the Woodstock Soapstone Stove site below. They provide excellent information about clearances to combustibles, chimneys, retrofits, etc..

OK, that's it for now. Time to eat, wash, and be ready to deal with code enforcement. Wish me luck.

And let's raise our coffee cups in honor of the marvelous Miriam Makeba who died after a concert last night. What a voice and what an inspiration for human rights.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 6:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Miriam Makeba! Oh my....
Pretty soon there'll be no one left.

I'm off to have blood extracted prior to my annual physical.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 7:10AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, good intentions and return to good habits were beset by too many things to do and catch up on (& it wasnt the idylls, sadly) this weekend....

With those suffering cold temps, it will hurt you to know it was 78 degrees here on Friday -- I managed to come to work, beg the ogre (who turned out to be a nice ogre) for a few hours to go play in my yard - and the wish was granted. I got more work done Friday playing hookie(sp?) for 3 hours than I'd done in the last 2 months, LOL... It was really a glorious weekend here. There are still odd clematis and salvia blooming; but most are drowning in fallen leaves now.

Cooler temps set in on Sat., but didnt stop the requisite Chloe grooming and stock investment club meeting -- that took many more hours than expected. Interestingly, we've only had one member drop (at Sept 30) out of the stock club - the rest of us are obviously more crazy or having more fun... but it really drains your brain after a 5 hr meeting! I bet Deanne is feeling the same way after her weekend seminar.

I hope to see pics of Deanne's inhouse studio - I bet it's terrific and very organized; and Chelone's finishing off major interior jobs -- what energy.

Kathy, glad you got thru another inventory relatively unscathed - that must be terribly draining, even if you know how to do it routinely.

Brr -- Sue -- I wish for a swift Tuesday to come for you -- geez, it's amazing the holdups that happen to projects you think are staples of a company's business. Missing gas meters -- wonder where they're made? Are they stuck on a boat from China or something?

Well, it's time to face the music - it's Monday & I know there will be payback for Friday's fun.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:14AM
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In for a break.

Got the thumbs up from code enforcement, have sanded the chimney one more time, gone back over it to touch up a few areas, and have spent time smoothing out the corners. The corners turned out to be the fiddliest part of the operation, but I've had good success with smoothing on the joint compound with moistened fingers, the "sanding" it with a moist sponge.

The helpmeet is using "manly" tools now (the ones that make a lot of noise and can really hurt you). It's best not to "hang around" and prove distracting. ;) So I think I'll shampoo the dust out of my hair. And think of showerless Sue. And all the other DIYers out there.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 11:37AM
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The weather went from upper 70's in the beginning of last week to 20's this weekend, the ground has a light dusting of snow and the sun is aol. Gardening and harvest came to an abrupt halt.

We decided to do a little shopping in the city on Saturday. I waffled on new lighting for the bedroom and came home with none. Sat. was Kenzie's 4th birthday and she called me on the way home from the Magic Kingdom and I heard things such as "Mickey & Minnie", "the teacups went round and round", "The Fairy godmother" she had a great time and was quite excited. We did go on the webcam on Sun. but its not the same as being at her party.

The first cake that my DD has decorated:

Sorry about the "me" post, I'll be back later.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:01PM
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It's Monday again. Same weather here as Michelle's having. Can I start the countdown to spring now Chelone? :)

We scraped and painted all day yesterday between keeping Bella occupied. I was so tired after Megan picked her up at 8 that I was in bed by 9 and slept until 7:30 this morning. I'm home alone today which means I can get lots done. More painting mostly. We're shooting for wrapping up the kitchen by the end of next weekend. I'm thinking I'd like new flooring and countertops but Brad says not a good investment since we're really considering moving if the economy ever picks up.

Michelle, looks like Kenzie had a great birthday and dd did a good job on the cake. My mom was always good at cake decorating. I've never tried. Not sure I'd have the patience for it. We have a bakery that does really cute birthday cakes that I order from for Bella. $$$ though. So what's Miss Kenzie into for birthday/Christmas presents this year? I'm having a hard time thinking of anything special for Bella.

I occasionally get corsican mint to overwinter here. It did last year. Great groundcover and wonderful smell! I use it in my fairy gardens alot but it somehow appeared and started growing in the cracks of the garden path this past summer.

Denise, I guess that's what dads are for? At least that's what I tell Brad everytime he has to go to the rescue of one of the kids. That's what family's all about I think! Good for Marty!

Kathy, I know the feeling of forgetting what day it is. Especially when Brad has a three day weekend or an odd day off. Hope your work schedule slows down but lots of work equals a more secure job these days too on the other hand.

Chelone, you've been so productive on your days off work lately. You are getting alot done!

Off to paint another coat. Hope to be back later for more chitchat.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:28PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Pm2, I see that you asked me a question that I failed to answer, about the persimmon jam. No, I have neither made any, nor tasted any. I don't think I even have a recipe for it. They are a real chore to deseed. If they were juicy, jelly would be easier.

Michelle, great pics of Kensie. I can hardly believe it has been 4 years since she came into this world, and onto this thread. How time flies! She is such a beauty! The nearest I have come to being at my GD's birthday parties is when they come here the month of their birth. I have never given them a party. Their mother is into doing that, and I try to never compete with her.

Chelone, I couldn't help but compare your Rex's 'training' with your DH's . :-) Can't quite use the same tactics on DHs.

Kathy, if hazelnuts are good with winter squash, I wonder how a glob of nutella would be on it?? I am still addicted to nutella, thanks to you gals. I think I am on my 5th jar. :-)


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:51PM
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A brief weekday visit this morning, as I went to the awfice for a couple hours and then came home to await the ATT dude, who will try to establish if water is getting into the phone lines . It was freezing in my house when I came back, so I had to turn on the heater and combine that with physical activity ..did the dishes to warm up my hands, and dusted two rooms and swept the floors . I have now warmed up sufficiently to sit still !

Chelone, admirable restraint in attempt to keep out of helpmeets way while he labors away at the dude-stuff in the salon. Who asked about the floor in there ? I dont remember the answer-are you going to carpet, tile , wood ? Combinations there-of ? I have also viewed the version of P&P you mention- I liked that one very much too.

Cindy, I had queued up the National Weather service this morning to see of I had to plan to buy more rain-related merchandise this week, and saw that we are expecting temps near 80 in the latter part of the week. This year fall seems every bit as fickle as spring. Good for the late bloomers though . I guess even ogres have their moments of generosity ..
Ok, back to the chores..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 12:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Good to see Cindy back here more frequently. Phoebe was embarrassed to show her haircut to Chloe, so no photos this time. And of course Ms Kenzie is fantastic to see too! All those adorable sleeveless dresses in November...doesn't seem right somehow.

Today the temperature has risen to 33F, which is mighty chilly. Lots of snow flurries here on and off. Maybe tomorrow more outdoor clean-up will be possible as there's no mention of snow so far. On the radio this morning was an interview with some expert on how to prepare your car for winter driving. OY...If it isn't the wood stove, the furnace or the satellite dish, they have to add on the vehicles. It's true, it is most necessary, but with all these things needing attention there's no time to do the dishes or floss my teeth! ;)

Chelone, last night Phoebe destroyed my t-shirt with the dragonfly on it. :( I told DH I was putting HIM in the crate because HE was not behaving, not disciplining our pet and that she will be destroyed by his inattentiveness and laziness. GRRR! So for a few hours he is correcting her behavior. Guess how long that will last....My bet is less than 24 hours.

I hope that Sue and I both have visits from our heat experts tomorrow. How are the doggies Sue?

As I look at our cotinus Golden Spirit and its beautiful leaves, I think of Monique who grew it and influenced me to buy one. Thanks Monique & Les!

Woody, I'm not sure how the inside of the hostel in Lima looked. Perhaps I'll be told some day. I can tell you it looks like no hostel I ever stayed in! Ours were way 'rougher' than this one! And by the way, I bought an actual popover pan, so we'll see what that does for success next time I attempt baking them.

Tonight I'll be making rice with almonds and apricots. Which reminds me of nuts. I've switched from peanut butter to almond butter and am enjoying the change. Anyone notice that Marian has gained a couple of pounds lately? ;) (Just joking friend!)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 2:10PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL..Marie. Actually I have lost more than a couple of pounds since first getting the nutella. Of course it is not the nutella's fault. :-)

Kathy, I think of dish washing in that sense, when the weather is cold. Besides, it helps clean the crud from under my fingernails....LOL.

We are getting a nice slow rain. That is good.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 2:21PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gb - that's what I thought too - pretty fancy-looking hostel! That's why I wondered if the fancy was only on the outside....:- ) Popover pans work best if well seasoned - spray it with non-stick oil and leave it in the oven for an hour or so on very low heat. When you use it for popovers, spray it well; make sure the oven is very hot (450F) when you cook the popovers; use room temperature ingredients of course; don't wash the pan - wipe it out well with paper towel so you don't lose the seasoning. The pan will eventually turn black with use. Some people spray the pan and put it in the oven to heat before you put the batter in - I only do that when I'm making the puffed apple pancakes because I do those in onion soup bowls which are not seasoned and the batter is heavier. We washed our popover pan a week or so ago and now the popovers are sticking again - it'll take a while for it to get re-seasoned. Because the popovers are cooked at high temperature, there is no need to worry about the not-washing-the pan! But do wipe it out well to clear the grease off - non-stick spray or canola oil is best. I'm sure you know never to use butter (it burns).

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 5:30PM
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Darkness is falling at 5:34. Le sigh. In spite of predicted warm temperatures, evenings, nights and mornings are getting appreciably cooler. I suspect if it does hit 80 on Friday it will be for all of about 15 minutes. The jackets, winter hats and scarves are out. Flip-flops are consigned to their winter storage area, and more sensible shoes are at hand. We march on towards December and January, our dreariest months. On Thursday I will be driving to Healdsburg, in the other valley (Sonoma) and will take my camera along as that drive is one of the prettiest in Northern Cal and I should be able to apprehend some great fall foliage pics.

I remember listening to Belafonte at Carnegie Hall over and over as a child. Miriam Makeba was a featured guest artist(along with Odetta) and we had a small collection of recordings of theirs and other folk artists of the 50s and very early 60s.

Michelle, Kenzie looks pretty cheery in her sandals and shorts in November ! Do you have some info on that yellow affair she is seated on in pic 1 ? I cant quite figure out what its made of and what the scale is-looks huge relative to Kenzie , but she is but a small tyke !

Eden, another good thing about Corsican mint is that one does not have to be quite so careful when trodding on it in bee season. I also like elfin thyme but I think it is even less tolerant of poor drainage than other thymes. You are so right about job security Eden-it pays to be able to do everything ! I told one of my fellow managers today that I may be a vegetable by the time this winter is over , but at least I will still have a job.

Marian, lol about dishwashing and the dirt under the nails ! I have a very hard time keeping my hands and nails clean in spring and summer, even though I do now wear gloves , I dont wear them consistently.

So lets see, what has become of Anita ? Babs and Wendy have not been heard from in a while .And of course Cynthia, Honey. Dremawho else ? Im surely leaving someone out.

Dinnertime ..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:20PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

What about V? Oh wait, she's right here.

I have major procrastination issues going on right now. There are jobs I should be doing other than idylling, but this is more fun (and more interesting!). And now it's almost bedtime.

Chelone, I'm beginning to think that it's the DH's, not the dogs, that would benefit from regular beatings. :-0 This morning when I got up at 5:15 am it was very dark, and I walked right into the case of bottled beer that had been left in the hall rather than carried downstairs. Last week, he lost his expensive sunglasses in the woods. Sunday, he decides we need to go look for them - after we've had a week a wind and rain. I found the glasses but one lens was gone. Just try and find a brown lens in a mass of wet, fallen leaves... Silly boy. He can send them in for repair, but I made it rather clear that this will be HIS errand to run.

Interesting experience at the office today. A Cooper's Hawk made a kill, then decided to eat his meal on the picnic table outside my office window. When my coworker walked out with the camera, he flew into a tree, so no good shots.

'bug, I've been in Zellers; you have my sympathy. Woolworth's meets Kmart?

I'm always amazed at how, more often than not, the two dogs will sleep in the exact same position. Right now, they are on either end of the coffee table, with their heads down and their left shoulder blades sticking up. Okay, I asked for that - Mystic just shifted to a completely different position.

Kathy, you want to talk freezing? It was 23 here this morning! I wore my Merrill clogs for the first time today - they're plush lined and quite cozy warm.

Michelle, what great pics of Kenzie! I love the excitement in her eyes. If I had 1/100th of that excitement, I wouldn't have these procrastination issues right now.

OK, who's good at making lemonade out of lemons? I wanted to have some of my flower photos printed as notecards, and I jumped and did something too fast. What I thought would be notecards are more like postcards, that is, they don't open. It wouldn't be too bad, except I had the option to print something on the back and I printed a photo credit-type message, which is now center stage on the flip side of the card. Soooo, they won't work as cards as printed. Do you crafty types think I could glue these onto plain stock notecards? The printing is beautiful; I'm just ticked at myself for not "following directions" better. (I think wine may have been involved.)

Chelone, cue the Christmas music. DH just told me he has scheduled putting up the tree with the kids. Glad he checked with me first.

I gotta go to bed before I get in trouble!


    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 10:42PM
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Kathy beat me to it, Michelle, I want to know about that chair, too! The first thing that flashed across my mind was that it is ceramic. Whatever it is, it's a darling shot of Kenzie. A lot can happen in 4 years! So, "what's the plan, Stan" for lighting in the boudoir? didn't find what you were looking for or did the whole lighting scene overwhelm you with too many possibilities (that happens to me)?

Edens's house sure sounds like a hive of activity, probably smells pretty new, too! Can't wait to hear about (see?) colors and improvements. You may begin the countdown any time you'd like, but I'll think you're completely foolish, Eden. ;)

It was nice to hear from our busy-as-a-bee, civic-minded Cindy again. You were very wise to steal a few hours on Friday to play in the yard. I'll bet it was great. As for the investment club... well, whatever has a front has a back and recessions are the times when people lay the foundation to become wealthier. It's a buyer's market! plan accordingly. :) Does Chloe have to wear a sweater after her grooming?

The framing for the hearth is in place. It's covered with 3/4" plywood and topped with cement board over which I'll lay the tile. The side boards that will close the space between the chimney and the wall will be put up today, as will the "crown" trim that will cover the rough transition between masonry and ceiling. It was a good day yesterday! The safety rails that span the bahn's attic doors are in place and the remaining construction debris was cleaned up, too. It's now time to select some not-too-pricey tile and bring the project on home. Helpmeet seemed quite pleased with himself, and esp. liked the coffee and brownie at "break time". ;)

Grungey upholstery job today, though a pretty easy one for a local eatery. Clean up will be easy, though... I'll just trot home and wash the dishes, lol. I'd rather stay home and work around here, though. ;)

Sending good thoughts to the Cosmos for Sue's timely delivery from the jaws of November's chill.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 5:30AM
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Good morning.

Can you believe they gave my kids Veteran's Day off? Nick absent mindedly woke Jake up and told him he'd forgot to set his alarm. I laid in bed with my book and chuckled :)

Cindy, I need a productive day like that to wrap everything in the yard up. Yesterday I smashed pumpkins and mixed them with leaves, but they never made it out of the wheelbarrow because there was some other "crisis" to attend to!

Chelone, you and Annual Man are plugging right along at lightening speed, too. I threatened to hire a handy man earlier last weekend. Guess I might have to call and get an estimate to get the fire burning under Nick's backside. If he calls my bluff, all the better :)

I can't wait to go on a road trip to Sonoma!

I think the chair looks like it belongs to Belle (of Beauty and the Beast fame) and that Kenzie is probably visiting her castle. She looks like she had a happy birthday.

Sarah is spending this MONTH celebrating her birthday and she is driving me nuts with the catalog shopping, party planning, and invitations!

Speaking of stationary: V., if it's not to late, I think you should trim the cards and glue them. You could even add a layer of tissue, lace, or maybe ribbon in between the layers! Change your name to Martha :) OOOOooooo OOOOoooo....I came to this before posting: easy: punch a small hole top and bottom and tie it on with ribbon!

GB, the scenery is beautiful! Thank you for sharing the trip with us. Count me in as someone who wants to stay in a hostel like that!

I've got a letter to type and get out before I can leave for my weekly beating at the gym :)

(I love the poem, PM!)

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 7:19AM
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Good morning everyone

How fantastic - a whole day to get caught up on things. I've just sealed grout on the bathroom vanity and hope to get the faucet plumbed in today. I'm taking heart from Chelone's description of doing a big job one step at a time as this has been my MO. The end is finally in sight.

Today David has a party to attend - movie and meal out at a Buffalo Wings restaurant. Annie and I have friends coming for lunch and I might take her to see a matinee. I'd like to see "The Secret Life of Bees" but "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas" looks interesting too.

DH is buried in his office - no Veteran's Day respite for him. However, he has been invited to write a guest article on the most read photo blog on the web and is psyched about that. I helped edit yesterday and it goes up tomorrow.

V - when I make note cards I always print the photos separately, then trim and glue them to folded cardstock, leaving a small border. That way I can use photo paper for the printing and a nice rag paper for the cards with matching envelopes. You can buy packs of folded notecards and envelopes from Staples etc. In fact I'm glad you reminded me as my Mum told me she has just run out of the poppy series I made her a while back and I'm thinking they would be a nice Christmas addition.

PM - I too loved the poem and really enjoy when we share things that have moved us whether they are written, visual or musical.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 7:48AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, my weather is much like yours now, Michelle - we went to almost into the 20s last nite and it's bbrrr today with those 70s a mere memory. I guess I need to feel that much more appreciative of the Friday afternoon Indian summer cleanup!

I know that I forgot to mention way too many things without creating a 5 page post! I meant to mention how anxious I am to see Eden's new kitchen -- I thought of you on Sunday at my club mtg, the woman's home we were in, had renovated her kitchen -- it was a typical 60s type split level house of the suburbia ideals; many of us probably grew up in one similar -- they took an entire year to "redo the kitchen" as they ended up taking out a load-bearing wall, moving the laundry room upstairs, ripping out walls to make it the more open concepts of today, etc. -- can you imagine living without your kitchen for a year? Egads.... Well, I know you'll move a lot faster than that and it will be very special.

Those pics of Kenzie are so special, Michelle -- Love that chair; I know you miss her -- I love that cake too; I still recall my mother baking a Barbie cake for my sister when we were little - I was jealous for years of that thing! Funny to see how they still have the same concept....

Chelone, yes, Miss Chloe sometimes wears a "jacket" for outdoors walks after her 'do -- she hates sweaters you pull over her head; I can only get her to accept things you wrap around her w/ velcro - it's a pretty hilarious scene to watch her with a sweater and see how quickly she can disrobe. I tried booties too to protect her feet when it's wet and snowy (espc because of the chemicals applied to the walks and roads) but she wont have any of them either.

Well, I've got some meetings I've got to attend to, so I best be off -- Winter has hit DC now too, brrrrrrrr...


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 9:08AM
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I haven't gone in to work yet as we had freezing rain and it's a sheet of ice out there. Maybe later?

I really don't know about the chair, but I do see a book on the armrest and the cottage decor, I'm thinking Mother Goose. I'll have to ask DD.
I was quite proud of DD for trying the cake, she always says she's not crafty and usually buys everything. I used to make cakes for my kids and they loved it. I reminded her that they were far from perfect but they never seemed to notice.

When we were kids my mom had a book that showed how to take a 9x13 or round cakes and cut them up to make different styles of cakes such as a teddy bear, swan, rocking horse, elephant and many more. I remember looking throught the book for weeks ahead of time trying to decide on which cake I wanted. She always used fluffy frosty and things such as gum drops and whip licorace for decorating.

Eden, for Kenzie's birthday I just sent a couple of puzzles and a book about letters as she is very interested in what letter everything starts with. I included $$ for Disney also. I really don't know yet about Christmas.

I love popovers and must make some one of these days. DH is getting pickier about things like that though, he wants everything to be whole grain.

V, I've done cards similar to the way Mary describes them.

Chelone, lighting in the bedroom just involves replacing 2 30+ year old fixtures one being a wall sconce. What do I pick that doesn't get too dated is always my delimmea.

I'm anxious to see Mary's bathroom and Eden's kitchen. Our downstairs bathroom needs some help. Lots of wallpaper to remove.

Kathy, you mean to say you aren't wearing sandals and shorts? Here in the cold midwest we think Californians can wear them year round.

Until later


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 9:54AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hmmmm.... having some difficulty in navigation Photobucket vs. Idylls.....trying to post my one autumn photo, but when I move back and forth between the two sites, I lose one...

I need to figure this out....

I think I got it...YES!! This is the view out of my bedroom window. This is the original farmhouse to which our current property belonged.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 10:32AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning...hope everyone is having a good day.

I only have a few minutes this morning. I'm waiting for DD to be here for a visit and staying for dinner tonight. Sunny here and I still have a few leaves on a few trees and shrubs. Aside from that, I guess I don't have anything much to share at all Bor-ing!

Nice view, what a really great tree Julie!

Michelle loved the photos of Kenzie! Also wondering if that is her bedroom in Florida? She really looks so excited in the cake photo. Glad your DD tried making the cake from scratch, it's nice when they surprise you once in awhile. ;-)

Mary...sounds like a lovely day planned. Sorry for DH, DH here had to work too.

Saucy...sounds like a pleasant day shaping up at your house too. Your Sarah is how old this birthday?

Marian...I guess that is why I never see Persimmon jam. :-)

Well...I am feeling very distracted at the moment, so I am going to come back later...I have missed a lot but am enjoying the general pleasant buzz of Idyll the past few days. Glad the poem was of interest. I am out of my own photos of the garden for the year.

Hellos all around...

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 11:01AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Lunchtime at my desk. There's a sleety rain falling right now; hopefully we don't get icy roads like Michelle is dealing with.

NPR just ran a Veterans Day story on the WWII song "Lily Marlene". My dad fought in the war and was a HUGE fan of the song. He even named his eldest daughter after it.

Thanks for the advice on the notecards. I'll hit the Office Max-pot (awful that I can never remember which it is!) after work. I also like Saucy's suggestion of lace or tissue under the photos. I'll have to get creative!

Back to work...


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 1:35PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Lili Marlene - English version

Underneath the lantern by the barrack gate,
Darling I remember the way you used to wait;
'Twas there that you whispered tenderly,
That you lov'd me, you'd always be,
My Lilli of the lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene.

Time would come for roll call time for us to part
Darling I'd carress you and press you to my heart.
And there 'neath that far off lantern light
I'd hold you tight we'd kiss goodnight,
My Lillie of the lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene.

Orders came for sailing somewhere over there,
All confined to barracks was more than I could bear;
I knew you were waiting in the street,
I heard your feet, but could not meet,
My Lillie of the lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene.

Resting in a billet just behind the line
Even tho' we're parted your lips are close to mine,
You wait where that lantern softly gleams
Your sweet face seems to haunt my dreams,
My Lillie of the lamplight,
My own Lilli Marlene.

I remember singing this as a kid. Perhaps it is in the Fireside Book of Folksongs?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 2:10PM
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Good Evening,

Nothing exciting to report from here. We're moving forward with the painting. I worked on the red bottom cupboard today. It involved using a gray primer first. Brad took me out to lunch. I spent some time shopping online for new counter stools and decided just to paint the ones I have. Painting is my life you know:) It's cold outside and I'd love to be able to make a pot of soup and mix up some 5min artisan bread to bake. Soon I hope. We got a new and bigger toaster oven that has a convection setting. It's great for reheating pizza. I read the first two chapters of Lace Reader last night. So far I like it.

Hope Sue got her new furnace today and is warm and cozy.


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 6:35PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Yahoo-heat tonight! Temp in the kitchen when I got up this morning was a frosty 56 F. Since I won't run electric space heaters when I'm sleeping or not home, if no heat had gone another day I probably would have moved over to my friend Alice's house where I've been having a whopping good time for the past week showering, eating, sipping wine and chatting. Nothing like dealing with a monopoly public utility company. I'd say the gas company ought to get it's act together but why would they? If you want gas they're the only game in town. Anyway, I currently have the dishwasher and washing machine humming away. My second layer of fleece has been hung up and I'm enjoying a glass of celebratory wine. Tom will be bringing the dogs back shortly. Time to get back to normal around here!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 7:17PM
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Came home from work at 4 ..I had absolutely nothing left of any value ! I went into lockdown today and spent virtually the entire day chasing ghosts and crunching numbers. Hats off to the bean counters out there who do that 40plus a week. Came home and changed and went directly to the garden for a stroll just to get a bit of fresh air. More of the same tomorrow.

Mary, I do hope that we will get a tour of the 2nd bathroom transformation ! Did you ever produce the wall fish for bath project #1 ?

Hooray for Sue ! And thank goodness for cocktails and conversation with Alice while the utilities dallied. As I am also enjoying a glass of wine I will raise it in your direction

Eden, we anxiously await the reveal here in Idyll land. You certainly dont seem to be dragging your feet on this project .

Julie, a splendid view ! Do you have tabbed browsing ? That is the easiest way to segue back and forth betwixt websites.

Very funny Michelle ! Flip-flops and shorts year round are the procedure for those people down in Southern Cal..see Denise for details !

Thats all for me tonight, I need to do something exceedingly mindless till bedtime.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 8:03PM
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Arrggggg! I hate plumbing. Having spent the whole afternoon hooking up the new bathroom sink I turned on the water to find the faucet (usually the hardest install) worked fine but water was gushing from under the sink instead of going down the drain. I can't for the life of me figure out what I did wrong. @#$%^%&

Sue - glad you have heat once more. Certainly something to toast.

Michelle - I'm not sure if I mentioned how adorable Kenzie is in those shots. The Barbie cake is fab and even more special given it was a first attempt. I loved decorating cakes for Annie and Davi when they were younger and remember some fun ones Babs posted. Where is Blabs these days?

Cindy - nice to have you Idylling again.

I'm trying to figure out if I have the energy or patience to re-do the plumbing. I will be soooooo glad when this is finally done. How late is Home Depot open?


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 8:12PM
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Mary, you sound like Brad about plumbing. It is his least favorite thing to do and always puts him in a bad mood. I think it just takes a lot of tweaking to get everything tightened and sealed properly. He always says even when you think you have it tight enough you don't. On the other hand you have to be careful not to overtighten and break something. When I get that frustrated I need to take a break and sleep on it. Good luck!

Oh Babs does make some really cool cakes. I miss her.

Kathy, I have been working nonstop to get this kitchen done. I don't like having it in a mess and not being able to cook. It will be at least another week before it's finished though. You've really been putting in your time at work haven't you? Nice you were able to unwind in the garden after.

Sue, good friends are worth their weight in gold in a crisis aren't they? Glad you're warm again!

Cindy, it is good to have you back!

I have to go take the trash to the curb and it's 36F . I wish I could order everything in until spring and not have to leave the house at all.

When I was in the basement painting cabinet doors this afternoon I was thinking about you all and realized it's been just about 5 years since I discovered Idylls. It was around Thanksgiving 03 though I didn't start posting until the following March. Time does fly doesn't it?


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 8:37PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A good plumber
Prompt furnace installation when necessary
Laundry that folds itself and puts itself away...
Is that too much to ask for?
(I guess it is...)

Today we got the estimate for the wood stove & installation. Lots of money for something we had no intention of buying. We're sleeping on it tonight...not that we have much choice.

I'm thinking about Christmas and what, where and how to celebrate. It's a tough call this year. My chirpy self is lost right now. Perhaps preparing for the party with DH's students on the 27th will get me going. Let's hope!

Phoebe is pleased that I have bought a new supply of treats.

I'm wondering how to restore a pair of scissors from my mother. They seem worn from being wet or something...They were used for paper only...and so I fear DH may have "borrowed" them for something. Maybe I'll take a photo.

Also curious, Chelone, about the 3/4" plywood backing behind the cement board and tiles. Isn't that considered a combustible? Call me "picky picky" I guess, but those insurance guys cause no end of nonsense. Our new wood stove (if we spring for it) can be placed 5" from a combustible. Things change....


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 9:15PM
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It's done, with modified success. Eden, you are so right about tightening things and plumbing. In my case I was not making a seal where I needed to with the drain. I've put in a vessel sink (one that sits above the counter) and installation is a little different. I bought the faucet and drain on Ebay. Their instruction booklet had a large title that read "WELCOME TO HAVE PERFECT SANITARY WARES... ENJOY EXCELLENT LIFE..." LOL! It included all the dots from I'm guessing a Chinese translation. Inside the diagrams and instructions were hopeless so I had to figure everything out myself. Hence the false starts. But things are no longer leaking, I need to buy a couple more nuts to hold things really firm but otherwise we are in business. Whew!!

GB - if you would like to consider something different perhaps you could come to use for a few days at Christmas. We will not have guests till New Years and would have room for both of you plus Phoebe. I make a mean Christmas pudding and we play lots of music and games, do puzzles and go for long walks.

I just have a few dishes to clear up then it's bed for me.

Nite all


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 9:47PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Phoebe and Clousseau having a Yuletide rollick? Now there's a photo I'd love to see!

Add me in to those who hate dealing with plumbing.

After you've had some sleep, Mary, we need photos of the completed project.

I did stop by Office Depot and got some card stock that will work great. I think this will be my Saturday afternoon project. Book Club is at my house Thursday night, so I won't have time until then. We're discussing "The Last Lecture", so I bought a brand new box of crayolas and will let everyone take their pick. This only makes sense if you've read the book!


    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 10:27PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh my, I'm pretty sure no one is up to chat at this hour...Sleep is evading me.

I think I know about "The Last Lecture" if it is about the 47 year old prof. Good discussion no doubt!

Hmmm. Mary, I'll need to ask Phoebe about your suggestion. She'll need a crash course at a "finishing school" though. Her enthusiasm is not lacking...

I look forward to so many photos: the salon, V's creative cards, Mary's second bathroom, Denise in flip-flops and shorts, Deanne's new teaching area, Eden's new kitchen with newly painted stools....something from Julie too I'm sure.

OK, back to the sleep effort,

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 2:29AM
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Plumbing is simple, here are the basic precepts:
1.) cold is on the right, hot is one the left.
2.) -hit doesn't flow uphill.
3.) payday is on Friday.
I'm enjoying "The Great Mortality" and there has been recent discussion of medieval santitary provisions, or rather lack thereof. Hooray for Mary! (the operator's manuals for commercials sewing machines are often similar to that which you received with the sink... they can provide hours of humorous reading since they're pretty thick).

And I'm quite sure our own little "survivor", Sue, is just tickled pink to wash out her flannel Union Suit and be done with the no heat phase. Praise be good friends! That's great news and I sure hope you realize improved comfort and savings in the coming season.

I would like to see Phoebles and Clousseau cooking up some mischief together, too. I suspect no counter would be high enough with the two of them in the same room, lol. Mary, do you make the absolutely sinful Christmas Pudding made with suet and steamed and served with hard sauce? Mum used to make that and I've not had it in years but it's so delicious (a cardiologist's dream/nightmare). The mould is quite old, belonged to my grandmother and quite possibly her mother, too... should look for it on the next trip to THTTF.

Eden, you and I share the same appreciation of just what a can of paint and some elbow grease can do. :) I smiled when you said you shopped for new stools and then decided to spiff the old ones up. We have that in common, too. If you lived down the road we could trade furniture when we tired of what was in our houses, lol.

'bug, the hearth is raised from the floor using 2x10s, 2x4s, and a layer of 3/4" plywood atop that to provide lateral stability. There is also a layer of 1/2" cement board on top of the plywood (non-combustible). Atop the cement board there will be mortar and tiles (non-combustible). The skimcoated chimney is inside the room and that is non-combustible. The stove will be positioned just over 36" from the walls and trimwork around the windows. This meets and exceeds the code requirements our town uses (they are very strict), requirements vary somewhat with the sort of fuel a "stove" uses, propane, pellets, corn, etc.. Additionally, the stove is outfitted with a metal heatshield on the bottom of it. When in operation the tiles below the stove remain cool to the touch. Interestingly, the company offers a complete line of heat shields for sides, back, and stove pipes to assist in more challenging installations. Our insurance company has been great; we've provided them with all the specifications of the stove, the hearth, and a copy of the signed inspection.

OK, gotta run and deal with those miserable restaurant benches. I managed to get a splinter of the plywood in the pad of my right thumb yesterday. It began to fester and became quite sore. I increased the discomfort by picking away at it with a pin, but I THINK I got it (tiny!). But "Thumbkin" is still annoyingly tender.

Make it a productive day, you guys.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 5:42AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I'm glad to hear that Sue has heat and that the water is flowing properly in Mary's sink drain! I'm looking forward to pictures of Mary's bathroom, Eden's kitchen and updated photos on the Salon project - and any other renovation/decorating going on in Idyll-land.

A Clousseau/Phobe Christmas party sounds like fun! I can contribute some of the magic dog cookies.... (if Mary sends me a shipping address...) I found that a cookie bribe was a fast way to calm Phoebe down when she got over-excited and didn't want to let Misty have private time to wander off in the backyard to do bathroom duties etc. 'Sit!' with the promise of a cookie reward held her in place and settled her down wonderfully well.

Liam is due to arrive shortly for the day. I have requested a supply of his kibble accompany him - so I can feed him supper when Misty gets hers and so I have some on hand in case he gets forgotten here again sometime!

I was inspired by Saucy's fall garden course. I have signed up for a winter course from the University of Guelph's Open Learning offerings (distance education - correspondence courses). I have signed up for Landscape Design I. It's going to be more about learning to do the whole draw the plan technical thing rather that the fun stuff of designing plantings. I figure I need something to make me think harder and keep my mind from going to mush over the winter! It should be an interesting experience - it's been a long time since I took an acadenmic course in anything.... The course has a DVD in the materials and I was sure it wouldn't be captioned. I inquired and it's not captioned but they will provide me with a transcript, so that is good.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 7:19AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Whew..... heat & hot water are working at Sue's house, Mary's water has stopped or been redirected more properly.... stay tuned to the next chapter of Idyll DIY -- Eden in the home stretch of kitchen reno, Chelone's chimney headed in home stretch as well... only 'bug's stove remains behind...

I personally am afraid of replacing a faucet these days for fear of entering into the big black home repair hole, LOL... I will live vicariously from your soap opera events.

It is truly amazing how quickly time fliesm Eden -- how come it goes faster as we are older? Im not sure what year I started lurking - I think it was right after the first IU...

Woody, how exciting that you too have signed up for a garden course - I look forward to hearing all about the assignments.

I have to start looking for some books to read; I realized bookworm that I used to be has somehow slowed down -- I need to restock for the coming winter hunkering down. I'll have to check out the Lace Reader.

Not much to report from this end - I arrived at the awfice to immediately overturn yesterday's coffee cup remains all over the top of the desk - that's what I get for (a) not enuf caffeine yet, and (b) not cleaning up before I leave... I hope it doesnt set the tone for the rest of the day - I am sometimes beset by clutziness waves that continue for days. I will attempt to stay away from dangerous machinery.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 9:12AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

OK Cindy, here are the before shots:

Friday they are coming to dispose of it. We decided not to use it on our patio... Do not tell the red squirrels or coons about this. We don;t need them moving in during the pause til the new stove is put in.

On the old farmhouse storm window front, four are installed and two more need attention. (washing by me...)

As for my mother's scissors, here's how they look. Any thoughts on cleaning and sharpening them?

Later gators,

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 11:40AM
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Did I accidentally hit the home improvement channel? ;)

Praise be, Sue's back on-line. Here's to generous friends and copious libations to see us through such "gasless" times. Marty is sufficiently impressed with the level of idyll heating expertise that he asked me to pose the question: What do the idylls think of an "infrared quartz" heater? First I'd heard he was interested in such a system (or that even such a system exists. Sounds slightly thermonuclear...)

Not to be left out, this house had no working heating system when we moved in, in '89. Most of the original 1917 cabinetry built-ins were intact, including the cabinets that surround the "fireplace" a bricked hearth which has no chimney but is vented to accommodate some sort of heater. (This is typical of the houses on this block, the lack of a chimnied, working fireplace, but now very few of the houses still have the original built-in's, which were demolished to accommodate placement of such 20th century essentials as tv's.)

So we eventually bought a gas hearth heater with the faux lava logs, kind of dorky looking, as Marian would say, and it's the only heating system in the whole house. Similar in shape to bug's but smaller, unattractive and modern looking. (The two newfs were a big part of the early heating system.) The bedrooms can get a bit chilly. Heater hasn't been turned on yet this fall and is a terrific pain to light.

Hate to disappoint 'bug, but I've had my winter uniform on, the wooly robe over my outer wear, for the past week. This will be my "pelt" while at home for the next five months. Sandals on my feet, tho.

More gas stories. Gas man came by promptly yesterday, Mike, and said it would be about 4K to move the meter. A quote seriously out of whack with such a whimsical notion as an outdoor bath house. Slightly different plan may be in motion, but the meter stays where it is. Mike also helpfully pointed out all the stuff that was not up to code. Thanks, Mike, but that was all the work of previous owners...

Deadlines to vanquish but hopefully a proper post later.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 12:39PM
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Denise, wow thats alot of money to move the meter. Hope you're able to figure out something else so you can have your bath house. I just love the idea of it. Like your Mike, when Corey the electrician came to fix our loose wire he pointed out a couple of fairly major things that he said we should update. Always something to sink your money into with old houses.

Speaking of which, Marie, can't wait to see the after with the new stove. Pretty view out the window too.

Cindy, I hope your day improved after the coffee spill. I hate when that happens. I think you did enough home repairs earlier this year to last you for quite awhile.

Woody, I've always wanted to take a class like that. I loved the old days in college when I was doing drafting the old fashioned way at a board and doing renderings for a project. Will you be doing that sort of thing?

Not much kitchen progress today. Brad had to work a 12 hour day and I had Bella. I'm putting fresh shelf paper in the cupboards as I go along and I got some of that done. Baby steps moving forward.

Bella's reading to the cats in 'her room'. It's too quiet in there so I'm off to check on what's REALLY going on.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 7:18PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Eden - it appears so... The link below is to the course description - that's all the info I have at the moment.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 8:16PM
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Woody - what a neat course. I'll look forward to hearing about it. Thank you for the offer for dog treats of things come to pass. I would have to keep them on a VERY high shelf with Clousseau the food thief around.

Denise - what IS an infra-red quartz heater?

GB - do you have a fabric store that offers knife and scissor sharpening? They look a very nice pair of scissors.

Today was a busy afternoon after work. Annie had an Otho appointment right after school. I just had time to get her home before turning around and driving David to his guitar Ensemble. I'd prepared a chicken, potatoes and veggies to go in the oven and they roasted while we were gone. The timing was perfect, everything nicely cooked but not burnt when we arrived back. (I have on occasion miss timed things and come home to a charred mess). DH and Annie had left for a meeting at school for an upcoming trip and they walked in the door just as I was serving. I love it when things come together like that and we can still sit down together and eat a home cooked meal at the end of a busy day.

I'm off to veg on the sofa watching Myth Busters with Annie and David before turning in for the night.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 9:09PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

You asked, I snapped - a photo, that is.

These are the cards in process. The photos are only laid on top of the card stock; I will obsessively position them within a micron of being perfectly even before the glue sets. The one at the bottom is how they arrived from the printer. The tab is supposed to be folded back as a support, but what I thought was going to be a credit line in small print on the back turned out to be a large message in the center of the card, so they were useless as actual note cards.

Here's a closeup of one with a tentative ribbon embellishment. I tend to save all sorts of little bits of ribbon, so I will play around with some odds and ends and see what works.

And how about an agave in a pot?



    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 10:04PM
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I spoke with my brother yesterday (it's been a long time) and meant to ask about infrared quartz heaters, since he's a building inspector and general contractor and is well "up" on things like that. However, after we spoke at length about THTTF I managed to forget completely. Sorry, Denise. Points of interest:
1.) He feels as sad and paralyzed as I often do about THTTF, finding it difficult to go there and work. So, we've decided to sit down together, work out a repair/renovation schedule and do things together. That way, we'll be on the same page and we'll have the opportunity to visit and enjoy each other's company. He liked that suggestion and so do I.
2.) He owns all the requisite tools for tile work, including a wet saw! I may use them for as long as I'd like. :)
3.) He is invited for Thanksgiving and may stay as long as he'd like. He is notoriously non-committal about holidays and I'm OK with that since both the helpmeet and I (as well as BIL) share similar levels of dysfunction with regard to "family occasions". ;) I suspect he will roll in for a relaxed day/two full of good laughs.

Lol, Eden, good call on Cindy and home improvements, she certainly did have a bellyful earlier this year. What did you study in college that involved drafting boards? We have my FIL's drafting board and all his tools here, as well as many of his plans for homes as well as public parks. Even at just under 20 yrs. old our home now features many things that are not up to "code" any more!

Woody, I'm very impressed that you're delving into landscape design. I will be interested to look more carefully at the course description later this afternoon (links are too "risky" in the AM, can get sidetracked too easily!). Isn't it funny how we get sort of silly about taking classes as we get older... worries about "academics" and all that jazz. I've little doubt you will distinguish yourself as an able student. :)

V., I love the pictures you're planning to use, esp. the milkweed pods. Very clever and very pretty. Should you ever quit your "day job" that Diva Felon will have to worry.

Kathy, I share your admiration for "bean counters", too. It takes a special sort of person, I think! I toiled through financial and managerial accounting, economics, and retail buying (setting up an "open to buy", determinining mark-up, mark-down, and maintained mark-up, etc.), I loved the latter, BTW. But the idea of amortization, balance sheets, profit and loss statements as daily fodder? unhuh.

I have to skeedaddle. More restaurant seating to recover today. Then to Orange to see about budget floor tile...

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 5:36AM
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