Idyll #291 - What I am thankful for Idyll

michelle_zone4November 15, 2006

Carry on...

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner here in the US, I just want you all to know how thankful I am for my Idyll friends. Some Ive met, but even those I havenÂt are so dear to my heart. I have learned so much from you all. I have kept a gardening journal since I began gardening and I was looking through it today and realized that the majority of my growth as a gardener has come in the 2 ½ years I have been Idylling.

Eden, I hope things turn out ok for your mom. I was actually thinking about your mom, VÂs brother and EiÂs sister this morning and wondering how they all were doing.

Chelone, I keep telling my DD to bring Kenzie in old clothes. I actually saw the cutest pair of wellingtons that I thought I might have to get for her next summer. The teepee idea would be really cool. There are just so many cool ideas that I know the area wonÂt be big enough, but I could change it each year. I have collected pictures of the childrenÂs gardens at some of the public gardens weÂve visited for future ideas.

Sue, glad to hear that you seem comfortable with the direction things are going for you medically. ItÂs always nice to have choices. A mere 3 hours away from here is the world renowned Mayo Clinic. We were referred there for RickÂs neck surgeries and feel fortunate to have such a place so close. If the new GYN is a gardener she already got something good going for her.
The nice thing about the book thread is homework isnÂt required, only if you feel like doing it. IÂll bet a lot of kids would like our kind of school. LOL


    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 10:16PM
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I happened upon the Idylls just by dumb luck. I've been reading or lurking on gardening forums,newsgroups and mailing lists for years. I feel very thankful for the welcome I have received here..and I am thankful to live in a beautiful place like the Napa Valley, and to have my two children who have "circled the wagons" after DH passed away, and we formed a little family group , just the three of us with common memories and common traditions. And, of course, Thank You to Mother Nature whoever she may be ...she has given me a garden..
Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 11:16PM
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Good morning

I agree with being thankful for Idyll friends. I feel fortunate to have so much in life to be thankful for - family, friends, a home and garden, pets, being able to pursue my passions. But I'll also be thankful for this week to end - things have piled up so, I'm having trouble crawling out. I'm especially sad as I think I'll have missed the boat on the book discussion.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 6:40AM
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Mary, throw your comments in about the book at any time, we can keep it going for months ;o)


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 7:53AM
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Good, good, good morning! Just got out of the shower and right this moment am most grateful for warm water :-)

I've so much to be thankful for this year. For the first time in my life I feel "settled." I have a DH whom I adore and who adores me back, a talented and charming DS who has his head in order, a wonderful home complete with enough land to build a park of my dreams, good friends -- cyber and in-person -- who "get it" without me needing to "say it." A job that brings me financial and ego resources without killing me, and at the same time helps businesses grow in an area of the country where growth could've stopped decades ago and no one would've noticed. Gratitude is such a strong emotion and feeling, and even in my semi-narced state it is overwhelming sometimes.

Sue -- Today is my last really "down" day. Have a private client appt tomorrow but it's with a good friend who happens to be an attorney and needs some simple print placement. A good way to ease my mind back to thinking, again.

Physically I am a little sore but don't feel I'll need more narcs today. Add to the grateful list: Advil Liqui-Gels!!!

Tried to read yesterday but got laughing instead when I realized I hadn't a Clue what was on the page. So turned to some old Herb Companions and Horticultures and looked at different design ideas. Don't remember much of them, but somewhere in my brain there are images implanted.

Thinking of everyone's family and themselves who are going through medical "stuff." Mine is/was easy in comparison and the outcome is likely to bring me to a much better place.

Chelone -- Don't be shocked, be proud. It takes a lot to realize what you've realized and takes a very strong person to know that it is OKAY to feel the way you're feeling.

And on a lighter Chelone note: Started to put together the Thanksgiving centerpiece yesterday. My neighbor stopped by wondering why the car hadn't left the yard for a few days (I kept quiet as I didn't want any kids to be nervous) and she suggested I wait a few days before handling a hot glue gun. LOL A cup of Lemon Verbena tea later and I agreed :-)

Missing Marian, Ei, Saucy, Cynthina and other missing Idyllers, but understand ....

Have been upright for a few hours and need to crash. Thanks again for all of the support. BTW: Rich is pretty pleased with himself about the water garden idea. Both my GYN and the Anesthesiologist turn out to be avid water gardeners and Rich now thinks that this will be "his" thing along with veggies. Works for me as long as there's a fountain involved! Any good suggestions for a Water Gardening Book to stick in his stocking???? Shhhhhhhhhhhhh.......

Bye for now!


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 8:17AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

What a dismal day we have on tap here today. It is about as gray and foggy as it can get. The temps have been strangely warm, in the middle to upper 60s with the nights not getting below 40 for the last week or so. The weather persons are predicting strong T storms with three inches of rain overnight and into the morning. I think Ts weather has made it way to our coast.

I was pretty thrilled this week because I received my first check for licensing work. This was for those canisters that Sams bought. Ive not seen them at our local store so dont have a clue as to what they look like. To be truthful, I dont really care. LOL My name isnt on them and Ive been paid for the use of my designs. Anyway the really great thing about that paycheck is that I was finally able to order that telephoto, zoom lens Ive been wanting for the Canon SLR. Its supposed to be delivered today. Woohoo! Wouldnt you know that it is supposed to be raining for the next two days so I wont be able to go out and try it out. Bummer. Im thinking that Im going to pack a picnic and head out to the beach on Saturday and try to photo some shore birds though. Im feeling like I need a road trip.

Martie, so glad to hear that you are on the mend. A question for you, should I put the lavender under the lights for the winter? I dont really have a window that gets enough sun this time of the year.

Sue, great to hear that youve found a doctor you are happy with. That is so important. You are 100% correct in that we all have to be totally proactive about our health care. Our PCPs dont necessarily have all the right answers.

So T, did you get those trees planted?

Mary, its GREAT to hear from you. Please, please comment on the book thread. I was so looking forward to your observations. In fact, I just asked to keep that thread active as we hadnt heard from you yet.

Eden, so great to hear your talk went well. I knew it would. Now I want to hear about Marys presentation. We could make ourselves a roaming garden seminar. LOL ~~ Sorry to hear about Megans hand and that your Mom is having problems. Please let us know how the CAT scan turned out.

Taryn, we had wasps under our siding of the breezeway one year and kept trying to get rid of them with the wasp spray stuff and never did get rid of them. We had to call in an exterminator to do it. He told us that using that kind of spray kills the ones on the fringes of the nest but drives the rest of them further under the siding and that you cant ever reach them all by spraying from the outside like that. You might consider calling in an exterminator? Id be freaking out if I found that many wasps in the house.

Bug, yea!!! I knew chocolate was good for you and one of the basic food groups! LOL

OK must start my day here. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 8:55AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I too am thankful for all the good friends I've made her. Chelone alluded to this on the other thread, but it's nice to have a group of friends who wait for you when life pulls you away temporarily and then welcome you back with open arms when your time is more under your control.

My brother seems to be recovering well from his bout with esophageal cancer. His voice may be permanently hoarse but it's a trade-off he's happy to take. He and his family are joining us for Thanksgiving and I'm pleased that they have decided to come. Thanks for asking, Michelle!

The wind is really howling here this morning. I'm watching a clump of Chasmanthium latifolium being whipped about outside the office window and I'm thinking about how many volunteer seedlings I will have at home next spring, since my plants are being whipped about and shedding their seedheads as well. Tonight, I get to go to the grand opening of a garden center's new location. While the drive into Chicago should be tedious, the event will be a lot of fun.

Chelone, last night I had the opportunity to observe a friend of mine from across the room. Her DH suffered a severe stroke a couple of years ago when he was only in his mid-forties. He has had a long recovery, and while he is not at 100% he is much, much better than he was shortly after the stroke. The sad thing is, my friend looks like she has aged at least a decade in the last two years. So Chelone my friend, can I motivate you to make a decision before your mother's situation takes too great a toll on you? None of us are getting any younger.

We had a marathon bell rehearsal last night with the vocal choir and small brass ensemble for the Thanksgiving Eve service. Our music director is notorious for adding "interludes" for the organ and brass between verses, but not informing the other folks involved with the music about these little additions. Our running joke last night became "beware the interlude" and I finally said, "beware the interludes; they're more dangerous than the quaaludes." Only those over a certain age will chuckle at that one.

My other laugh this morning was my two silly dogs. I had to take a change of clothes with me this morning because of the event right after work. Well, when I pulled out the duffle bag, the two of them immediately went into sulk mode - they think I'm going to be gone for the night! Mystic usually heads right for his kennel as soon as I finish dressing, but this morning I had to call him three times. Silly dogs! They can understand so much of our routines.

I'd better get cracking on the routine here. TTYL,


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 9:16AM
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What a great Idyll title Michelle. Your plans for Kenzie a garden area sound like they are going to be a great place for her and you to work and play together.

I did get the trees planted yesterday. It was quite windy all day. We lost power for about 90 minutes in the evening. It is amazing how quiet the house gets (and how dark) without any electricity making refrigerators and such, hum in the background. I have some 'wind up' flashlights (no batteries needed) so we sat and read using those. I was behind on my daily Bible reading so was glad for the time to focus on doing that and getting caught back up. I'm such a procrastinator that I don't even keep up with 'daily' things.

I'm making a ham for our Thanksgiving dinner and I think the kids are all able to come. I wasn't surprised that Thanksgiving is in a week......but when I began thinking that it is almost time to pull out the Christmas decorations??? WOW! Where has the year gone?! :o)

I am thankful for the very special friends that I've made here ...... and I'm thankful for Sue telling me about the Idyll group.

Eden, I hope your mother is okay. I'm glad you are beginning to feel better and that your talk went well.

Mary, best of luck with your presentation. :O)

Sue.....things are sounding very good!! I'm glad you found someone you feel comfortable with.

Hello V!!

Deanne, congrats on the check and on being able to buy your telephoto lens. I'm sure you'll take great photos with it.

Well, my copy of the book that was under discussion still has not arrived. I had to laugh about Sue saying it was looking like homework as I was thinking the same thing. I love to read and I don't mind talking with others about what I've read but when I have to answer specific questions about something I have the testing phobia and freeze. I wouldn't have done well in sharing within the group. Another thing I cannot put on my resume....'does well in group discussions' -- sigh! It does look like it was enjoyable for many though and conjured up some memories.

Kathy, you must be glad that your inventory overtime is done! :O)

Martie, sounds like you are bouncing back quickly!

Well, it is light out now.....time to get myself out of my chair and on the road.

Take care......hello to all....


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 10:21AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I am thankful for so much but cannot easily share those things. There are the usual joys to make a soul happy, but there are also extremely tough patches along life's journey. So let me just say that the ability to roll with the punches is a gift I am grateful for. Needless to say though, our group friendships play a big role.

Our visit with Bruce was very nice, all attributed to his joyful outlook on life and his attitude toward death. Life until 85 was his plan, but that will not be.

V, I am so happy to hear that your brother and his wife will join you for Thanksgiving. In the past you said that it was not easy to relate to each other and I hope your caring has opened his eyes a bit. My own brother is extremely difficult, but I now feel a closeness I never felt when we were growing up together.

I have finished my own 'gripping' book but still not received the one mailed 2 weeks ago. I am happy to have read it in the past so that I can follow the thread easily. I am sorry that Sue and T feel it sounds like homework, and truly feel that they would feel otherwise had they been able to read along. Kathy's questions are not assignments at all, but guidelines in case you have no idea how to begin responding to what is a very easy and fun read. I miss your input, both of you.

Ever so gloomy here, back to knitting.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 2:06PM
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I am thankful for courage. Courage to face things head on and deal with what requires attention. Regardless of how frightening or inconvenient it may be. And the courage to make choices/decisions that will make the inevitable easier to stomach when the time comes. And the ability to see the humor in even the grimmest of times. And I'm ever thankful for nice friends who understand and tolerate my need to "spew" periodically, even after long absences.

And I'll echo Martie's mention of hot water, and one I'm sure T will understand only too well... electricity! :)

Hooray for Deanne and the check! what wonders will she present us after the purchase of new gadgets?! If the storm rolls by Friday night, check for favorable tides. After stormy weather there is generally a lot of bird activity... gassin' up on all the treats the surf throws onto the beach, esp. after a day of tough feeding conditions.

Oh so very gloomy today... lots of fog. They brought a freighter up river this morning and even under 50 yds. from the shop we COULDN'T EVEN SEE IT! We heard the horn and the series of toots the tugs use to communicate with the pilot on the bridge of the ship, but we couldn't see a thing. Spooky.

I lost my temper with Mum this morning. She was having a slow morning and was doing the "stoo-pid" routine; refusing to read the directions and try at all (she is really stubborn and can get really pissy and manipulative). I yelled at her and unhooked her myself (I can count the times on one hand I've done that in the past 3 years), told her get her ass in gear I needed to get to work. She hustled after that. Every so often I hit the breaking point and give it to her with "both barrels"; sometimes we all need a "dope slap" and an attitude adjustment. Every so often she needs reminding that she now lives in a bull--it-free zone. The "little lost lamb" routine brooks no sympathy from me at 5 AM. I have to change the urostomy this afternoon as I was in NO mood to attempt it this morning, lol.

I just didn't have it together enought to get the book and haven't even read the book thread. :( Maybe next time I'll be more "together".

Good to hear everyone with medical issues is feeling upbeat.

More I'd like to say, but I really want to just veg. out for a bit, right now, before exercising my stoma nurse skills.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 3:56PM
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Staying on this thread today. Tried to read again but the brain is just not ready to take in much more than nursery rhymes at this point. LOL

Did, however, start to play with a new garden design in the shape of a triangle. Herb plants lend themselves well to either straight lines or circles. Curvy beds won't work. This will be my fourth designed herb garden and I've done round with intersecting paths, absolutely square for knot, and rectangular for a sitting area. I want to think out of the box a bit and so triangle makes sense.

Going a level further, I have a fascination with pyramids and their energy, and would like to do a three-sided obelisk in the center with three plants representing earth, wind and fire.

No, friends, I haven't had any narcs until about 30 minutes ago. Not any "interludes" either. LOL What I did come to was the realization that I've earned the right to do whatever I want in my herb garden, that I've followed great advice and design standard. Now, I want to take all I've learned and put it together in the place in the park that will be "mine."

A good friend the mathematician will be calculating angles for me relative to the sun. I'll not use a Feng Shui approach to design, per se, but will pay attention to direction.

If I'm losing anyone here, you're not alone. Rich blanked out after reading the first few sentences.

Anyway -- Now I Know how I want the granite cut. Just need the dimensions and angles to make it come together. On paper, it looks like some kind of Cyber-Shield. Appropos!

Taryn -- Meant to tell you that I did look at your thread but was really afraid that if I delved into any discussion I'd end up ordering. After years of trial and error, I can now make winter bulbs rebloom and my display outside will be fairly impressive next Spring. Any more right now and I'll need to cut back on green in the Spring. Really pretty proud of myself for not diving right in but boy, did you make it tempting!!

So glad for you, Sue, that you found someone you like and don't need to go to Boston. Also glad that they feel the procedure you think may be best for you is one they could agree to. The testing will sound like a lot, but every time a result comes back you're closer to taking care of what you need taking care of. Good for you! I'd be interested to know who you ended up with. Email me, if you'd like.

Chelone: I think it's the stubborn season. In the midst of dealing with me, I've also needed to deal with my brother who was absolutely certain that I'd get more attention than him from my parents so he started his "I fell and hurt myself" routine for the first time in several months. I Made the nurse put him on the phone and basically told him that for a week, he needed to "grow the H820 up and cut this Crap (not the word I used) out." The nurse called a few hours later to let me know that he was "fine." What a surprise! A good old talking-too is something everyone needs -- and has coming -- occasionally.

Rich is telling me dinner is ready. After almost burning down the house last night because I was Sure I could cook, he thinks it best to keep me out of the kitchen while anything electrical is running. LOL It's not as bad as it sounds, really, but I now truly understand why they tell just-anesthized patients not to cook.

Boy, am I looking forward to having this garden to focus on. Being "not great" is for the birds!!!

Best to all - Martie

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 6:20PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Like Marie, I am so thankful for so very many things ... both good and bad. The bad is what has made me strong.

Today I am espacially thankful that I am still able to do what must be done. I took Nolon in for an unscheduled Doctor appointment today. I had taken him in Monday for scheduled lab work. Tuesday we went to the Golden Year's class and then to the doc for the lab results. He was given a pneumonia shot while there. On the way home he started having some minor coughing, but it continued all that night. Wednesday(yesterday)he complained of a sore throat. He had a lot of congestion and coughing,shortness of breath, and was hoarse. So, today, back to the Doc we went. After the exam and x-rays, he was given a nebulizer treatment, and a prescription for a take-home nebulizer. We went to the American Homepatient place ( where a dear friend from our congregation is employed), and gave them the prescriptions for the machine, and the meds to use in it. This evening the friend delivered the nebulizer. We had a nice long visit with him.

The Doc seems to think Nolon's problem is caused by his emphysema, and the cold winds that we have been having. He was given a very painful shot, plus the breathing exercise.
He seems to be much better this eve, but is scheduled to return to the Doc tomorrow. I hope to get my flu shot while in town. ( I have tried at least 3 times, but they have ran out each time before I got there. )

I am doing okay. Have adjusted the pain med to where it helps without the side effects.

I am reading everyone's posts, and rejoicing with the blessings, sorrowing with the sadnesses, sympathizing with the pain and discomforts, laughing with the humor. I am espacially enjoying the book club thread.

I appreciate those who have asked about me, and I am missing the other absentees also. I hope Honey is okay. I hope Ei is only too busy to post...also Saucy, and al.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 7:57PM
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It's Friday Eve! Yipee...

Marian , great to hear from you and glad you are enjoying our book thread, glad your meds are helping, hope Nolan is doing better !

Deanne, how much better can your pics get?? A trip to the beach sounds like fun , but cold ! That's a wimpy Californian talking..

Sue and T, 'bug was right on about the disscussion points on the book thread- I've found that sometimes people don't know how to begin or sustain a discussion ( though now that I think of it that is unlikely to ever be a problem with this group LOL !)and so one throws a few things out there to get the ball rolling. Others may find different perspectives or find other themes in the book more interesting or compelling than I do. And certainly there will be those who just enjoy reading along. so Sue and T we'll just give you a cyber wave once in awhile :)...

V , pretty smart having a garden center grand opening in Nov.. gives them a chance get the kinks out before the madness of the spring season.

Martie, like your garden design idea, and you are right geometric shapes are very pleasant for an herb garden.You better write it all down so you don't forget your concept after the drugs have worn off !!

Chelone, I surely admire your care of Mum , and you earn the right to get a little p.o.ed once in awhile.

T ..we are finally getting some rain down here our way- Glad it held off long enough for you to get your trees planted. Another couple of storms and I won't be able to dig a hole till Feb ! I already pre-dug a hole for a rose I am going to move when (and if) it goes dormant. I have one more inventory to go I'm afraid, but will take acouple of extra days off early that week to make up for having to work all the following weekend.

Well, I'm off to make some dinner, I have a little sniffles issue so I've been popping the zinc and think I will just have some soup for dinner.

See ya' !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 9:13PM
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Oh and Mary ! Please stop by the book thread anytime - We would love to have you - remember, no demerits or F's on the Idyll Book Thread, and no tardies either !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 16, 2006 at 9:21PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

The boss man has me on the trot this morning so this will be quick (and appropriate)


Have a good one!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 8:32AM
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Good Morning, Great Idyll title Michelle. I'm thankful for all of you here on the Idylls. I feel so privileged to be part of such a special group of people. There's not been much going on here. I've been busy, but not with anything interesting enough to tell you all about, lol. It's been rainy and is supposed to turn colder for the weekend. We'll put up our outdoor Christmas decorations this weekend. We always do it the weekend before Thanksgiving while the weather is still decent. We haven't gotten the results of my mom's CT scan yet. Hopefully today. Bella had her Christmas pictures taken a few days ago so I should have those to show you soon.

V, I'm so glad to hear your brother is doing well. That's great news.

Sue, glad you've found a Dr. and medical procedure you're comfortable with.

Martie, glad you're having an easy recovery.

Michelle, I can't wait to see how Kenzie's garden evolves. That will be such fun!

Time for backgammon. Have a great Friday!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 8:52AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Im very far behind again! Some random thoughts about what I remember reading on this thread.

Martie Im glad the surgery went well and the recovery seems to be going well too! Youll definitely need to post pictures when the herb garden gets under way. A triangle/pyramid is an interesting twist. Where will the herb garden be in relation to the house and rest of the garden i.e. will the shape of the herb garden drive the shape of the rest of the garden too? I love the formal, organized herb garden look even though my personal garden style tends to loose and messy!

Deanne Neat! - re the licensing income. Im hope there are lots of other opportunities to market your work in that way. Ill look forward to seeing your work on products in stores here some day I think your designs could make great ornamental tiles for kitchen backsplashes, or tile floor inlays like the rug in our front hall, or fireplace surrounds in the Arts and Crafts tradition. I remember looking at something on your web site a few years ago and immediately thinking of a fireplace surround in tiles with one of your designs.

Eden it sounds like you put a lot of work into that presentation and Im sure the audience appreciated it!

Chelone your fortitude and stamina are impressive! An occasional outburst is not surprising or unwarranted! When the day comes that other care options become inevitable, Im sure you will continue to ensure your mother gets high quality care by keeping the LTC staff on their toes! (Barb, one of my helpers who also works in a LTC center, says sad-but-true that residents with active family oversight get more attention=more care than those residents with no family or family that rarely visits.)

Marian nice to see you again And your comment "I am reading everyone's posts, and rejoicing with the blessings, sorrowing with the sadnesses, sympathizing with the pain and discomforts, laughing with the humor." expresses where I am too.

We had almost 2" of rain here in from Wednesday night to this morning so work on the shed is at a standstill until next week at this point. Wednesday they were working on putting in the gravel base.

They got a good understanding of why I call the area near the shed the wet corner as they compacted the gravel, it kept disappearing into the ground! So far, theyve used 3x the amount of gravel they expected to and will have to assess whether they need more. The rain has drained away quickly but the ground is quite soft there so Im not sure if they will need to add yet more to firm it up further. Time and materials could add up quickly.

Yesterday we made the Christmas plum pudding. Where has the year gone?!

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 11:36AM
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Happy late morning! What a luxury to sleep really late and have it not matter. No pain, no headache, color in my face and sunshine all in one morning seems a bit much. LOL

Worry not -- I documented all thoughts and design ideas for my herb garden. The triangle comes from the shape of our lot which is one of eight "pieces of pie" that make up the cul-de-sac. The driest spot is in the dead center of the front yard and that has been designated for a large tree, so the garden will be set to the right and behind the house as you're facing it from the street. I'll do a sketch and see if I can scan it in. Though it won't be prominent to the look of the landscape, it will be prominent from the house and will be viewed from above if on the deck. It's important to me to include some fluidity, so a small knot of Santolina and green Germander will encircle the obelisk. Otherwise, it will be straight lines with slightly rounded "points" to mimic the center knot. Can't wait to get started and plants reserved!!

Not much else going on here, today. Very grateful that no pain meds are needed as I have a short appt this afternoon with a private client. Then, roast chicken for dinner with Rich and Kyle. Ky will be spending the night and tomorrow morning we'll do our annual Thanksgiving shopping. His muscles will be needed as my ever-wonderful butcher found a fresh 23 pound turkey and has put my name on it. It's a bit larger than I expected, but will fit in the grill so that's all that matters.

Really enjoying the warm weather and didn't get too much if a hit with the storms last night. All the house windows are open!! Yippee!!

So good to hear from you, Marian. Good, bad or indifferent, this group will always be here :-)

I feel for you, Woody, in the time and expense department. It will be worth it the first time you walk in and realize that it's Your Building!! Nothing ever goes quite as planned in the building department of life.

My soup is hot and sitting here looking out the window is making me want to go outside and get the rest of the bulbs in. Bad, bad idea, so will see you all later!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 11:57AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good afternoon! Last night's grand opening was a fun event. The garden center is located in a redeveloping section of the city and the store is a glass greenhouse structure imported from Belgium. Quite the sight! To give you a perspective on the neighborhood, until the last couple of years this area had been pockmarked with vacant lots that were largely the result of the arson fires set during the riots after the killing of MLK, Jr. in 1968. yes, this is an area of the city that had been down so long it no longer knew what up looked like.

when we pulled into the parking lot, there were several serious looking people dressed all in black that I thought were there to manage parking, but they had very little interest in me or my car. So we parked, and as we were approaching the entrance a large black car pulled up and Mayor Daley himself emerged. For those of you who know me, I want to tell you that "Da Mare" is at least a head shorter than me!

The store was wonderful, and amazingly enough the prices were very reasonable. They were pouring wine freely, but the food was incredibly elegant and extremely scarce. I bought an orchid for my DD (Deanne will kill me but I need to look at the tag again to remember what kind), a small clay pot for myself, a little bitty baby echeveria and a lovely bar of lavender soap as a gift for my hairstylist, since I had to bump my haircut appointment two weeks in a row because of work stuff.

Kathy, I keep forgetting to respond to you! We are staying in Napa at the Napa River Inn. I saw you mention Copia somewhere else; is that worth visiting? I looked at their website a bit and it looks intriguing. We will probably plan to tour wineries one day, but haven't figured out all of our plans yet. Would you like to try and meet at some point? Let me know.

DH just emailed me. Today is opening day of deer season (my apologies to those who are anti hunting) and when he and his buddies came back in the house after lunch, Sunrise had destroyed a box of something all over the great room rug. Yes, it was a box a tampons! Oh, that dog...

Hi T!

Good to hear from you Marian!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 2:18PM
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Hi everyone

My presentation is over and done - I haven't felt this much relief since finals in college LOL! I think it went well, the monitor for the class told me it was one of the best talks she'd been to as I involved the audience rather than lecturing at them. No one fell asleep in the slides, everyone joined in the hands on demo with enthusiasm and seemed to enjoy the hand out of free seeds at the end. I turned the Q&A into a more general discussion and after 90 minutes it was hard to get anyone to leave. Even if they didn't want to be home in front of Surivivor, at that point in the day I did! After the hard slog of getting everything prepared, the actual talking part was fun. However, it will be a long while before I commit myself again.

Today our school secretary was leaving at the end of the afternoon for her last chemo treatment. To show caring and support we all wore pink. It was neat seeing so many shades around the building. To women everywhere, those close like Eden' Mom, and so many we don't know - we're thinking of you all the way!

Tonight I have Cub Scouts with David, then a 6 hour training on Saturday for my role as coach for Odyssey of the Mind. After that I'll finally have a little time for myself again and will be able to comment once more.

Waving to you all


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 3:03PM
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Gee, you guys, I just wanted to say that reading little snippets of your lives really bouys me when I'm havin' a "bad spell". I'm very thankful for that.

So happy that Mary's presentation went smoothly. Engaging speakers are a real treat. We had some really great ones back when I was in the garden club, and some that were just DREADFUL. Preparation is key, but the best preparation in the world is nothing without passion for the topic. So, I have little doubt that so many of our friends here are successful! :)

Woody, the shed is going to be great. I know what you mean about "wet corners". Our whole lot can be sodden, lol. But the gravel and good drainage are key components and without a solid foundation any building will fail. I can't wait to see pictures of the progress. How's Misty doing and what's up with Beagle Boy?

I hate losing my temper with Mum. I know she has trouble with some things and I try really hard to be patient and give "hints" or point her in the "general direction". The whole idea is to keep her using her mind so it doesn't disintegrate more rapidly. But sometimes she has a "tantrum" and refuses to do anything for herself. On the weekend or a day off I simply leave the room and leave her hooked up to the collection jug. It doesn't matter to me (I know the pee is contained) and she knows if she wants to get up and dressed she'll have to do it herself. But I can't do that on work days, we're busy at work and I take my commitment to my boss very seriously. Bull--it-free zone! I'm not interested in attending "pity parties". :)

Martie, I have LOVED formal gardens for all as long as I can remember. I was in "hog heaven" when I visited France; the parterres are ubiquitous and I never tired of the seemingly endless variations on the symmetrical, formal layout. And paths... I'm a huge fan of nicely laid out, gracious paths that lead you around beds, properties. "The stroll" is waiting to be rediscovered... . I don't have enough sun for most herbs... maybe a variation on the theme with hostas, asarum, epimedium, etc.? whaddya think? Was it you who just read the book on Marie Antionette? which one?

V., sounds like a very exciting opening. I love seeing blighted areas "rediscovered" and given new life. Portsmouth, NH was once dreadfully rundown and is now the ultimate yuppie playground. But it's wonderful to see the historic Strawbery Banke area preserved and abutting neighborhoods lovingly maintained by devoted owners. What a difference a few decades make, huh? Wouldn't it be great if the new greenhouse could get some community gardens started on other vacant lots? No anti-hunting sentiments, here! I grew up in a rural area and hunting was a rite of passage for many of the kids in town. I'm comfortable with a hanging, gutted deer. And I love venison, and REAL mincemeat made with organ meat. It's delicious. I must have missed the discussion about your brother... cancer of the esophagus? I'm glad things are looking up.

Gotta fix the ol' lady some tea... done.

It's been rain-city here, too. It pelted yesterday and this morning. It was sort of creepy, too... too warm for mid-November and even with the wind right off the water it's still not COLD the way it ought to be. Pretty surf, today and the sun is really starting to come out. I could see the edge of the clouds and the strong blue sky behind it to the west as I drove home this afternoon. Living by the ocean really gives a nice perspective on the the passage of low and high pressure fronts. I never noticed their passage as keenly when I lived more inland. Interesting thought to ponder.

My former boss is in surgery now. Today is the day they are inserting the wires deep into her brain to control the dyskinesia associated with her Parkinson's Disease. I've been thinking of her all day long. We had lunch and some quality "laugh time" yesterday in the shop. She was very much "up" for today, but afraid, too, as she was to be fully conscious for the entire 5-6 procedure. I so want this to be the answer to many of her woes... she is vibrant, fit, active, and fun and deserves the opportunity to continue with the pursuits she so loves but can no longer do with any reliability.

Thinking of Eden and hoping all results are what you want to hear. I loved Mary's insertion in pink to the same effect. One day I'll have to learn that trick. ;)

Taryn, I've been meaning to comment on the wasp thing for a long time now... but have repeatedly "blown you off" (because I'm stupid). Sorry, 'bout that. Man, talk about a DRAG! I'm pretty cool with bees, wasps, yellow jackets as long as they're outdoors and I know where they are. If they're too close to the house (like the canteloupe size hive of yellowjackets on the terrace) they get ZAPPED; farther away, eh, I'm fine with "live and let live". In the house?! NO WAY, sorry boys, you're OUTTA HERE. Have you considered some of those very sexy netting things to cover the beds? ... probably wouldn't be a hit with the boys, huh? I thought of you today when the sports update mentioned an overtime win over the Maple Leafs by the Bruins. (I saw the Bruins play the Leafs in the old Garden... Jacques Plante was in goal for the Leafs, early '70s; Bruins won 4-3, it was good game).

Has 'bug fallen on a "knatting noodle"?

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 4:13PM
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No time to say much right now, but just wanted to tell V, I couldnt help but snicker at the image of the guys discovering Sunrises prize. LOL

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 4:22PM
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My mom's scan was normal. We're all very relieved. I so appreciate all of your good thoughts. Mary, your comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. She has the whole body scan soon. Now if that one comes back clear we'll really have reason to celebrate.

V, I couldn't help think when I read your story that it's better Mystic got into tampons from the box and not the wastebasket, lol.

I have to run. Bella calls!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 6:52PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

What was I thinking! I forgot to describe the food! The catering was by Wolfgang Puck Catering, so it was very chi-chi, high-end stuff. I called it "urban minimalist" hors d'oeuvres. One was caviar served in a Peruvian potato box. Now the potato "box" was a tiny cube only about 1/2" square, and it was purple. There was a dab of sour cream, a tiny piece of chive and about half a dozen little black caviar eggs. It was completely delicious, but very tiny. The other thing I had was a very thin parmesan crostini with a small slice of extremely tasty beef tenderloin on top, garnished with a little bit of horseradish sauce. Another yummy bit!

Okay, DH is back and he has spent the day thinking of stuff I need to do, so I guess I'd better run.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 8:04PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I wish I could voice my struggles with my ailing aging DH in the same way as you voice yours with your mum. But , as you can see, what I post is not nearly as interesting. I do feel many of the same feelings as you do, only mine are towards a husband, not a mother. Perhaps it is a fearful thing to most of you, to realize that someday it may be you and your spouse who is going through what I am!
I can't turn back the 'pages' and live the life that I lived when I was the age of most of you.
I am doing a pretty good job of finding other 'escapes' for my humdrum days, since I have lost the interest of the majority here.
I can't keep coming up with 'exciting' things to post !

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 9:24PM
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Friday Greetings.

Im under the weather I have been enveloped by the common cold. Jeesh. Havent had one for maybe two years so I guess Im due ! I came home from work at three today, and have been blowing my nose ever since. I can take another Contac in ½ an hour.

It was pretty warm here today, though overcast. When I came home I took a a turn around the garden and lo and behold I have another Cymbidium producing a spike !!
Moved it to a protected location.Its really crazy we have had only one frosty morning so far , and only on the rooftops. I still have impatiens, zinnias, coleus, brugmansias..Im going to pull up the rest of the zinnias this weekend so I can finish planting the pansies.

Martie, cant wait to see pics or drawings or whatever you can come up with . We are getting a freebie turkey from the winery where my daughter works- hoping it is a Williebird which is an organic free range turkey farm in Sonoma County. Great that you are feeling good..

V- the Napa River Inn is about a mile and a half from me.. One of our best restaurants is in the same complex (Celadon) .I always enjoy Copia, and the wonderful gardens there, only costs 5 bucks to get in so if you have ½ a day I think it is worth it. What are your dates again ? I think you are here the weekend of the 2nd/3rd? I have to work Sat the 2nd evening and Sun the 3rd am. (our last physical inventory ) but if you are here Friday or Sunday eve maybe we could have a glass of wine ? Maybe even dinner ? Some really great restaurants in downtown Napa Whats up with Wolfgang Puck catering a garden center opening??? Is this in the neighborhood where Cabrini Green used to be or the area along Clybourn Ave ?

Mary so glad your presentation went well. There is nothing more gratifying than an appreciative audience !

Chelone, Our weather has been quite warm here too Looks like this is going to be a mild, wet winter. Last year Napa flooded which happens here every few years, and since I live close to the river my neighborhood often gets evacuated even though it does not flood because of the levee.

Eden , best wishes to your Mom and subsequent scans.

Time for me to have some food and more Contac.

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   November 17, 2006 at 9:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I've enjoyed reading along and catching up.

Last night was French Club fun and DH and friend Dominique played guitar ensemble very nicely. Dominique has a wonderful voice. (He sang at his own wedding years ago!) Reminded me a bit of a lovely musical evening here last September with Deanne and Mary.

Went to a craft fair and saw fun things. They have gathered many tasteful artists of all kinds at this show: fabric, wood, pottery, wire and metal, leather, wool... I was surprised to see several people I know there, one of whom is a friend who makes clay garden pots that are weatherproof. "Come visit and we'll bring out the wine!" said he. So that is an offer to look forward to. It was a nice day with a needy friend and also I managed to buy myself a Christmas present...something I've ignored doing for ages and still manage to feel guilty about money-wise. I also bought some interesting bean packages for chili, salsa, etc. My friend collected Indian spices for her DH who cooks. I also found a small wooden toy for DGS. I don't like a kid with too many toys, so why am I doing this???

Today, haircut before my friend arrives, food shopping, etc.

Gloom and wet here still and so the gardens haven't been finished this Fall. I am beginning to suspect it will never happen. :-(

I wish I had been able to run off and attend all the presentations by Eden, Mary, Deanne...I used to select speakers for our hort society. It was a difficult task finding fresh talent that wasn't horrendously expensive. Frequently a speaker demanded $500 a shot. Few deserved it.

V, loved your Mystic tale. I have one to match...which I'll have to save for our next visit. Not here!

Eden, any news from Honey? Enjoy your decorating with Bella. Hugs to your Mom. :-)

Chelone, I'm here! Knitting too. Should be cleaning and packing though.

Soon will need a MIA thread. These next few months will be so looooooong! We need Da to crochet along with us! Ei to sing. And more.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 8:40AM
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Good Morning, Brad's putting together a little table for Bella which gives me opportunity to check in here. We're off to the Farmer's Market to buy the swags and wreaths this morning after we finish our coffee. And then housework is planned for the rest of the day here. Brad's working this weekend and Bella won't be back until Wed so it's a good time for me to get some work done.

Kathy, I hope your cold isn't any worse than mine was. I don't get them very often either and this one only lasted 3-4 days but that was enough. Hope you're feeling better this morning.

Marie, I did email Honey a couple of days ago but haven't heard back yet. Maybe I'll give her a call. Uh oh, you don't like kids with lots of toys, guess you wouldn't like Bella then, lol. That's one of my downfalls I must confess. I love toys!

I have to run as usual lately. Make it a great Saturday everybody. I'll try to get back later this afternoon.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 8:56AM
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Good morning (and a lazy one here on the compound!). I've just mowed down my "toad in a hole", cleaned the kitchen, and have laundry load #1 in process. I've called the pharmacy and "reupped" the Fosamax for Her Highness (who is slumbering still). The catbox has been successfully mined and I'm thing a nice, leisurely shower might be in the offing, but only AFTER Daniel Schorr's weekly commentary on NPR.

It's sunny and more seasonal today. Maybe I'll get the remaining Narcissus into the ground. I'll try to get the large dog out for a "walkie" today, too. It's been a long time since we've been to the golf course and I'm rather hoping the latest round of wet weather has coincided with the official closing date. The site is quite low and frequently some of the fairways are downright spongey.

I ordered the turkey yesterday and a nice dessert, too. Today I will put together a small shopping list for the helpmeet. I loved creamed onions, too, but in recent years we simply bake them along with the turkey. I love onions.

I'll see what interesting things the restayous post this morning, bye for now.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:00AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning! There's a mist hanging over the fields this morning, but I do believe that I see the sun poking through. I have errands to run this morning, a haircut at 1:00 and a son to be picked up from the train station at a time yet to be determined. And in between I will clear some clutter from the tabletops and finalize my thoughts for Thursday's dinner.

Kathy, we're flying in on the 1st. We get into SF about 10:00 and we're thinking of lunch somewhere there (I haven't been to SF since 1969 - do you think it's changed a bit?) and then heading to Napa. A glass of wine or dinner would be great. I'll send you and email through your member page and we can figure something out. Hope your cold isn't too bad.

Deanne, the orchid I bought for DD is a Dendrobium. It stills looks healthy after being in my care for 24 hours.

Actually, all the plants in the house are looking great and I have the bug to get more. Marie, that phormium that you convinced me to buy is looking just wonderful in the house. I think I may swing by Homegoods today and see what they may have in the way of plant stands. I'm thinking of moving a few to the bedroom but they need to be raised up on something.

Okay, my to-do list (and Starbucks!) is calling me!


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:03AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good Saturday morning! Hopefully this will be one of my last mandatory garden Saturdays. My plan for today is to get the rest of the perennials cut down and the leaves raked to a spot where Tom can zip around and shred them. All the trees are bare now so it's safe to take the shredded leaves and put them back down on the gardens as mulch then kiss it all goodnight until next March.

Ooooh, I want to take a trip to Napa. One of the vacation packages that has always caught my eye is the one where you bike from winery to winery and spend every night at a different bed and breakfast. Kathy, do you know anything these? We're trying to plan our annual March ski vacation right now and have already had to scrap the original destination (Telluride Colorado) because we can't get flights. We've never had this problem before but I guess all the airlines have cut back on the number of flights and sizes of planes so there are fewer seats available to just about everywhere. Personally I'd prefer substituting a week on an island somewhere for a week out west but I doubt that would fly with the rest of the group.

BTW, I'll be sending a private e-mail but for those of you who are local my annual Christmas open house is Saturday night December 16th this year. Yikes, that's less than a month away! Time to start planning.

Okey dokey, better get this show on the road. It looks like a great day for a late afternoon walk so I need to get the garden chores out of the way. The two new Pilates DVDs I ordered from Amazon arrived and I want to preview them before attempting to do the workouts. We finally made a reservation tonight at this great Spanish (as in Spain) restaurant called Costa del Sol that I've been wanting to try for dinner. A co-worker took me there for lunch a couple of months ago and the food was fabulous. We tried to get in without a reservation two Friday nights ago and had no luck.

How did it get to be Thanksgiving so soon?


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:16AM
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You might all be ordering turkeys, but since we are having Thanksgiving here on Sunday and I figured everyone will be turkeyed out, I am serving rollade. This is a family tradition in Ricks family. We always had it for Christmas at his Dads house. After he died, we havent had it. It is spiced rolled beef and if done right is so good. Ricks sister had a "trial" one made up, so her and I and the butcher are all conferring to try to get the proper level of spices.

It is supposed to be in the mid 40s today, sunny with little wind. I really need to finish cleaning up, put away some things and plant the remaining bulbs.

LOL, Marie you will find its completely different with grandchildren. You just cant help yourself.

Marian, we are just glad to hear from you, dont worry about only posting about "exciting" things. Gosh if it had to be exciting, I never would post. I hope Nolon is feeling better.

Eden, what wonderful news for your mom. I hope the next scan turns out as well.

Chelone, it sounds like caring for your mother is similar to caring for children. I know I didnt always keep my cool with mine.

Mary, I knew youd be a hit.

V, the bells along with the vocal choir and small brass ensemble must sound fabulous. I wish I could hear it. I love watching them play the bells on PBS.

Martie, what fun it will be to see your herb garden develop.

I wonder where Deanne is, she must be trying out her new lens.

Ive slipped behind the others with the book, we were gone the last couple of nights. Im glad the "teacher" is so easy going. LOL

I must get going, have a great Saturday.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:47AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks, Michelle.

We didn't go out for breakfast this morning. Nolon had another bad night, coughing and full of congestion.
It is cold (30F) and cloudy.
Yesterday , after his dr. appointment, we drove to the place where the flu shots were being given. There was a long row of cars going there. Lots more already there, and more coming. I didn't stop because I knew it would be a very long wait, and Nolon was with me. So, I opted to drive to the health unit in our county, thinking they would have the serum also...NOT! ( And they are never that busy.)
It was noon, and I was hungry, so we went to a new place called " The Boardwalk Cafe'". What a mistake! The service was extremely poor, the food was expensive, and wierd. The coffee was very strong. We stuck it out, but were much the wiser. We joked about it being a learning experience.

While I was taking my afternoon rest, Nolon was out walking with the cats. That may be why he was worse last night?

He is to return to the dr Tuesday afternoon. Hopefully he will be better, and we can go to the Golden Year's class's Thanksgiving Dinner first.

I have not heard from Tim, so do not know if he/they will be here for Thanksgiving. I hesitate to call him on his cell phone for fear he will be driving, and it may put him in danger. ( I am such a worrywort about such things.) I have e-mailed him, but no answer so far.
I bought a turkey yesterday, and will cook it even if no one comes.

I have no idea what is going on with Marvin. He is obviously still alive, or else we would have heard.

I am amazed at the many people that are fighting cancer. They are of all ages.

I am enjoying the blooms on my Dendrobium, and the Phal that Ei sent me.There will be more Phal blooms later. I bought a greenhouse Cyclamen awhile back. It is still covered with pink blooms, and more coming on. I splurged on a handsome indoor chrysanthemum yesterday.It's many blooms are red-orange on the top and yellow on the back. The large Penta continues to put on blooms. It is in the bay window.

We had over 3 inches of rain a couple of days ago. The ground is really soggy! It remains colder than average, and I have had to keep the stove going day and night. Lots of carrying in of firewood, which (of course) I am doing, and carrying out of ashes.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 10:29AM
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Oh brother! I'm with Michelle on the "exciting" stuff, lol. If it weren't for the mundane my life would consist of very little, indeed. :)

Here's my "exciting" list of things for today:
Hang second load of laundry
Remove awnings from their frames, launder them.
Hose off the screen panels for the canopy and hang them to dry.
Wash the windows.
Make a new cushion cover for a customer.
Do alterations for another customer.
(none of those things sounds exciting to me, even though every single one of them needs doing!)

I would like to be taking a trip like the one V. has lined up. It would eliminate my skepticism that there is actually anything beyond the Mississippi River... . I would also find great enjoyment in crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary II either going to or returning from some time in Europe. It would include a performance of Lippizanner Stallions in the hall of the Spanish Riding School... . I know my time will come, but it seems a long way off right about now.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 11:15AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ooops, apparently I had another 'foot in mouth' problem with the "exciting" remark! When will I ever learn? It was obviously misconstrued...I didn't say, " 'I' can't keep up with 'your' exciting things" !
Where is the duck tape when my mouth needs it? Oh, here it is........

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 11:58AM
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Duck tape, LOL?


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 2:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Maybe 'duct' tape would be better??????? ;-)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 2:09PM
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That's ok. I wrote 'cat' scan instead of CAT scan in a post the other day...

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 2:28PM
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And I ought to have written, "Lipizzaners".

My list is largely intact... I have dealt with the 2nd. load of laundry, though!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 2:47PM
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All of the evergreen roping, lights, and bows have been purchased so now Brad just needs to get outside tomorrow morning and do his Santa's elf routine to get everything up. He's gone off to work now so it looks like I need to face the music and get some cleaning and laundry done.

I heard back from Honey and she's just been really busy but she said she'll try be back on the Idylls after the weekend. Babs also emailed me to tell me she was thinking about my mom. She's such a sweetie! I think she's just having a hard time keeping up with us here since she's so busy but I hope she just jumps back in! Bab's we miss you!

Chelone, great that you got such an early start and so much accomplished this morning. Being a morning person, if everyone leaves me alone, that's the time of day I can get the most done too. I'm going to try your toad in a hole with Bella next time I make her eggs. I think she'll like that!

Michelle, my friend's family, who are German, always have roulade for Christmas Eve. I've never tried it but it sounds good!

Sue, good news that your garden cleanup's about done. I'm glad to be done with mine too! Now to start making plans for Spring after the holidays are over.

V, I envy you your trip! That would be so cool if you and Kathy could meet up. Don't forget to take lots of pics of sunny California for us sun deprived people!

I've failed miserably on the book club thread. I've read some but just haven't had time to finish or write on the thread. Maybe there's a good reason I've never belonged to a book club, you think?

Well, the house isn't taking any initiative and cleaning itself so I'd better get after it!


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 3:05PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

The garden work is done for the day. I filled both large trash receptacles with cut back waste and raked another zillion leaves. Tom shredded my zillion leaves and raked another half zillion of his own and shredded those. I also got the hardy banana cut back, caged and filled the cage with two loads of the shredded leaves. Although I still have quite a bit to do I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow I'll spend some time, in the words of Deanne "decanting the garage" I still have all the cannas drying in there and the potted, dormant fuchsias and tropicals. Soon it will all need to be moved somewhere into the house.

Gotta run and get changed for my walk. Sunset tonight is 4:28 so I need to get trotting by 3:30 so I can finish before it gets too dark. I'll drive down to the historic district of town and walk my usual loops through the Cove, in and out of a few neighborhoods and around a large town green. It usually takes about an hour and 15 minutes.



    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 3:08PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Well, I didn't even make it outside today. I had so much paperwork and bill receipts that needed to be sorted-once I got started I couldn't stop. So, I guess I was productive in a way. I'd still like to get outside for a couple more hours-maybe tomorrow.

Yesterday a group of us got permission to leave work early (a postponed "summer" outing) and went to a Duckpin bowling facility in a nearby town. I bowled a couple of times as a teenager and that's about it. However, I'm willing to try anything if I can get free time off of work LOL. So, 8 of us tried our luck at the Duckpins. I joked about how I would prefer to have the bumpers up to keep the ball out of the gutter just like the kiddies had a few lanes over. No luck. Anyway, I got the high score the first game, so I guess I didn't need no stinkin' bumpers :o) I did well in the second game, but a couple guys scored a bit higher than me and by the 3rd game my score was in the middle of the pack. I had a blast! Hubby is lucky b/c he joked that he could've taken me to the lanes to practice beforehand b/c he loved the game as a child. I might take him up on it now. How sad is it that the back of my left thigh is very sore today from all the lunges I did as I released the ball each time? Pitiful. The one problem is that I have tiny tiny hands and the ball (which is like a Bocce ball-no holes and smaller than a bowling ball) was too large for me to maintain a good grip. I'm lucky the ball didn't fall out of my hands on the backswing. I gravitated towards the magenta ball that had a nice indent in it for my thumb to grab onto. Probably made the ball roll funny, but I did get a couple of strikes.

Eden, smart idea about putting up the Xmas decorations early while the temps are still reasonable. I wish I had more energy this w/end. I bet your house looks gorgeous around the holiday season.

Kathy, have we seen photos of your garden yet? I'd love to see some, especially at this time of year when almost everything is finished in my neck of the woods. I still have a few flowers in bloom-Aster 'Fanny', 'Lucie's pink' mum, Daphne 'Summer Ice', but that's about it.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 3:44PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Maybe it was the stop at Starbucks that motivated me, but I got lots accomplished this morning! I found a nice plant stand at Homegoods, then got craft supplies at Michael's for my Sunday school class to make ornaments tomorrow. The Opera House has an annual Christmas Tree walk and our church along with lots of other groups decorate a tree each year. It's always interesting and the kids really enjoy making the ornaments. I also bought some reindeer moss and a package of shiny stones to decorate my orchid that is under the samll glass cloche right now. Hmm, wonder if I can get a photo when it's done or if the glass will reflect too much?

Then it was off to Target and Trader Joe's, and back to town for the dry cleaning and a haircut. Can I take a nap now? Nope, there's still laundry to deal with (I have to get ahead of the game there before the two college kids get here with their mountains of dirty clothes). And the de-cluttering awaits!

Ooh! TJ's had a baked brie wrapped in brioche and topped with apricots, cranberries and walnuts. How yummy does that sound? Be here about 1:30 on Thursday if you want some!

Sunrise has decided to sit in my lap as I type, and it's making Mystic insanely jealous. You should see him "talk" to me!
I'm going to fix a warm cup of chai and then get back to work.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 4:43PM
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Good weekend evening. Drums are in the background (as much as drums can be in the background) and I actually feel good. A gift of homemade peanut-butter and chocolate patties helped a lot.

Marian: Saw an Arkansas truck today with this bumper sticker and thought it was a hoot: "Don't Litter. Fix Your Critter."

Chelone: The bio is "Marie Antoinette: The Portrait of an Average Woman" by Stefan Zweig. I like that it was first published in 1933 before the age of techno-information. This is a true text so be ready for some slow but necessary parts. He did something on Mary, Queen of Scots that I'll be picking up, soon.

V: My sister taught me that Angels really, really like bell choirs!! The opening sounds fun and posh. Wolfgang Puck food! The Mayor???? What a memory!

Sue: Green with Envy here. It seemed a perfect day to do the last garden "stuff" and I behaved. Did manage to get some J. Maple leaves stuffed around a few roses. Isn't this warmth bizarre?

Was joined by Kyle this morning to do food shopping, and food shop we did. Our number has dwindled to 13 (at present). We now have everything we need. Let the preparation begin!

No drums in the background all of a sudden so will take advantage and venture forth from the closed office.

Best to all-

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 7:05PM
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Saturday Evening and all is well
I cant believe the nice weather we have had, in between brief rainstorms.. Worked in the garden to day but it sure doesnt seem like I did much. My most exiting even today was getting rid of The Lady At The Well, a fountain that was here when we moved into this house 15 plus years ago that I have never liked! Yesterday one of my employees asked me if our companys garden center upvalley had any drastically marked down fountains-I said no, but I had one he could have for free if he came and got it-mind you I have offered this fountain free to numerous people over the years. Lo and behold he called me this morning and he and his friend came with a truck and took the Lady At The Well to a new home where Im sure she will be appreciated. I just hope he doesnt call in sick on Monday from throwing his back out, she weighed a ton !

So bug what was your Christmas present to yourself ?? I confess I always buy myself one present too. Have not decided what its going to be this year.

Eden, I didnt feel any worse this morning so that is a good sign ! I believe this thing has peaked , and will start to fade away in the next couple of days. Its kind of ironic because the company I work offers free flu shots to all the employees and my staff was accusing me of being needle-phobic since I declined to get one; the reality is I never get the flu, and of course I was bragging about my immune system and how I hadnt called in sick for 20 years, and what happens ? I get a cold. I had to submit to a lot of good-natured jibes on Friday

Chelone, a person can not be too rich , or have too much garlic or onions.

V, Yknow, Im not sure San Francisco has changed much since 1969 ! It still retains that unique charm, although it now has a beautiful baseball stadium , and really, really expensive real estate prices . Traffic is worse though ! Look forward to getting together ..

Sue, there is a lot of biking that goes on in these parts, the valley is relatively flat . Some of the trips Ive seen include both Napa and Sonoma County. You dont have to go far to get to the next winery that for sure !

Marian, hoping Nolan is feeling better. How frustrating to try to get your flu shots to no avail.

Monique, Dont know if I have posted any pics , but here are a few, though not recent. I really realy to get my own camera instead of borrowing DSs all the time.

These are two views in my garden during summer.My garden is extremely small, and of course over planted !!


See you all later- time for dinner and glass of wine-for medicinal purposes of course !

    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 8:49PM
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Hi everyone

Kathy - you have a beautiful garden! I love the lush, colorful plantings. Perhaps sometime you could post a picture of yourself - it's always fun to see what soemone we have got to know looks like in person.

Today seemed to go on forever - the Odyssey of the Mind training was long and intense, but certainly worthwhile. I then rushed over to David's tennis lesson and met DH who had arrived home this AM on the red-eye for a cuppa Joe. It was nice to have a few miutes to catch up. After tennis I swung by our favorite Indian restaurant for a take-out and enjoyed the first evening in ages with nowhere to rush off to. What bliss!

Tommorrow I'll chip in on the book thred, for now my eye is on the sofa and I'm looking forward to vegging. Wake me up when it's time for bed LOL!


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:12PM
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Oh yes, Kathy, you've most definitely found the correct place for you to be on gardenweb. That is the garden of an Idyller if ever I've seen one! Beautiful...thanks for sharing the pictures!


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 9:13PM
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The day was absolutely the best it could be in late November, sunny and mild. The bulbs are planted, more garden cleanup done and new shrubs watered. We spent quite a bit of the day in Kenzies garden. We hauled away the poles and then used the chain saw to cut a lot of dead branches out of the trees. The big dead one was cut down and hauled away by the tractor. We discovered an old rock pile so I pick a lot of those up along with lots of branches, old lumber and misc. There are still a lot of saplings that will probably have to go and more branches to be cut. We will probably wait until next spring when things have leafed out and see if we missed dead stuff and evaluate what it looks like.

I also caged my Endless Summers. Sue can I have some of your leaves? It is really pathetic how few leaves we have here. It seems like because we are so in the open that the leaves blow into the fields. Ill have to go to the grove to get some.

Supper was at a local Mexican restaurant. We took Ricks son, DIL and grandson out for their birthdays.

What fun to see Kathys garden fabulous!


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 11:03PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

HI all,

Had a great day with Doug. We took the day off from doing anything around here and headed out to the beach so I could try out my new lens (you were right Michelle). Well there weren't scads of birds where we went but we had a lovely day anyway. We got home in time to get gussied up and go out to Surfs for dinner with MJ and her DS Justin. I ate WAY TOO MUCH and loved every bite of it but I'm feeling a bit too full even now and won't feel like overeating again any time soon. LOL

Anyway, we did find a couple nice flocks of Sanderlings on our way home on North Beach in Hampton. These photos were all hand held at 400mm. I was probably at least 30 ft. away and these are small birds, only about 8 inches head to tail tip. How fun! They are incredibly fast and don't stay still for a second so I really didn't think I'd get a single good photograph so I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and opened the files on my computer.

Tomorrow I'd better get the garage finished up and get the bulbs in the ground or I'm going to lose my window of opportunity for getting them planted. It's supposed to go back to seasonably cold temps next week so its time to wrap this up for the season.

Nite all

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 12:22AM
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Another rather gloomy morning here... supposed to be cloudy today and tomorrow, but only a scant chance for rain. GOOD!

Deanne, I love the Sanderlings, and I know what you mean, they do move like "greased lightening". They're to cute the was they zoom down to the receding waves and zoom back up the beach to escape the next one coming in. It's hard for me to believe they can eat enough to justify the activity! It was a nice day to get outside.

I have yet to swaddle the Tokyo Delights and the Nikko Blue hydrangeas, Michelle. It simply hasn't been cold enough to do it. The Tokyos are pretty much bare of leaves, but Nikko is still quite green... I was going to wait until the all give up their leaves and we've had a couple of weeks of "normal" November weather. Like Sue, we have plenty of leaves!

I called my brother yesterday to tell him there would be an avian carcass on the table on Thursday and if he'd like to show up he would be more than welcome. I suspect he will be vegging out on his sofa with the remote close at hand. :) I also e-mailed him some questions about the application for the LTC place he's scoped out for Mum. We've decided to buy some of her lawyer's time to go over it with a fine-toothed comb before submitting it and getting Mum on the waiting list. I have said notheing to Mum about any of this. At the present time I see no point in it, and will wait until my brother is here to do it. I do not wish to be the one to break the news to her.

Martie, I very much enjoyed the bio. of Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser (her bio. of Mary Queen of Scots is excellent, too); Marie A. has to be one of the most misunderstood women in history. She grew from a silly teenager to a thoughtful, compassionate woman who comported herself with grace and courage in the face of brutally unfair treatment by a mob. You might also be interested in the works of Alison Weir; I've read several of her books about the Tudors; I believe she has done one on the murder of Lord Darnley, too (second husband of MQS). I am a history nut.

V. has reminded me to get my winter coat to the drycleaner... dummy here forgot to do it last spring and I will need it this season, I'm sure. And I have to get Mum out for her flu shot, a mammogram, and some bloodwork... maybe a week from tomorrow for the bloodwork (have to fast for 10 hours).

I've begun thinking about how to decorate the table. I get a kick out of doing it. I have a feeling I will be spending some quality time with the silver polish. I have yet to convince Mum to help me with that particular duty. :)

Time for some chow and then get the laundry folded and put away. Oh the excitement of it all.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 7:29AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Indeed, the excitement of it all.

Well today I must accomplish something rather than knit and read, which I'd much prefer. There is cooking and laundry to do, beds to change, hostas to clean up as well as other things to cut back. I have yet to complete the photo album for DD which I am taking with me on Wednesday. I am happy not to have to wear Marie Antoinette's garb to accomplish all these tasks!

I know how Chelone loves to "do" a table. I remember new place mats and a runner for the table - last year I believe it was? I do not own silver, and I always hope that there will be enough matching pieces of everything for an occasion. This year I believe we will be ten people at the max. Of course I have only eight matching dishes...but I think I can blend several things successfully. There are a max of 8 seats at our table. But it is the menu that has me worried. Our celebration will happen AFTER Christmas once people have already gorged themselves elsewhere. I was thinking of resurrecting the paella theme, but certain guests are very "meat & potatoes" and it would be difficult for them. I think this will mean me preparing several things- something I don't like to do because I like to spend time with my guests, not cooking. We'll see how it goes later.

Well my book finally arrived in the mail, but now I have no time to re-read it. I'd like to start another, but it just won't be possible for a long while with my travels and frantic knitting for the Christmas deadline.

I've been enjoying your bird shots Deanne. I should SAY it rather than simply think it. Here the juncos are about, a sure sign that autumn has ended and the long term cold stuff begun. Juncos are adorable, as are chickadees, no matter how common they may be. I also love the nuthatches.

Oh V, baked brie. YUM. Low-cal it is not....

Kathy, your garden pictures are amazing, but at this time of year, even beyond that. All the colour is strange to my eyes these days when things are shades of beige and grey here. As for my gift to myself, it is a sweater, excessively pricey for my budget, from people who hand knit them nearby. I have covetted one for years and finally just went for it.

Eden, I think you know what I meant about too many toys. Of course you love to shower BellatheBall with things she adores and which challenge and teach her. I think what disturbs me are the kids I've known who were inundated with toys but not with the time together that is required. These are kids who whined when gifts were NOT brought, when they had so much but could not select something to occupy themselves, did not enjoy time alone as well as time together, could not concentrate. They were never asked to clean up, and puzzle pieces, coloured markers, computer games, lego and more were one big mess strewn throughout the home. Sometimes a walk in the woods seems a better gift to me!

I am jealous of Monique for finishing up the paperwork, Sue too for attacking the garden clean-up with such vigor. Chelone is about to clean her windows, and here I sit with a list I can never hope to complete all winter long... Well, things won't get done if I sit here, so away I fly!


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 9:02AM
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Good last morning before real life kicks in, again!!

Okay, Kathy. When did you and Deanne go plant shopping together? While at her garden her variegated Phlox jumped out at me and she is duly proud of that particular plant. What do we see first from your garden??? The same plant!! How very cool. Some ID, please: On the far right in the second pic, is that a variety of Rosemary? Your roses are astounding to these Z6 New England eyes :-)

Deanne: Perfect beach day yesterday, IMHO. The shots are amazing from 30 feet. The pic of the three birds and their obvious intent to get to where they're going reminds me of Idyll-types descending on a nursery ... The lav would love being under lights. (Say it three times fast. LOL)

Chelone: It sounds like plans for your Mom are moving forward. This is a good thing and the dollars for a legal review will be well-spent. I was thinking how fortunate you are to have a choice about where she may/will go. In my brother's situation there was no choice as there's only one place. Agree that there's no reason to talk to her about this, now. My feeling is that it will upset you and your brother more than your Mom who sounds like she's at the point in her disease that once a routine is set, a routine is set and the location of that routine will matter less and less. No, I don't mean that what you're doing for her doesn't matter, but I do think your timing is right. Good that your DB is involved and let's hope everything comes together just as it should.

'bug - Meant to ask what the book list ended up to be for your DGS?? I asked Kyle if he remembered any books in particular that he liked. He said no, no books in particular, but he does remember us sitting in his room every night to read and particularly liked it when I read to him about Space. It's always about the time spent, isn't it??

Sue -- When you crawl out from under your leaves, could you repost the source of your fountain?

Monique -- Good to hear from you! A friend's Hibiscus "The Path" is getting ready for it's autumnal explosion. Did you ever get one?

Michelle -- Take lots of pics of what you're doing in Kenzie's garden and start a scrap book. She'll be in awe in ten or so years, and it will be a great reminder of just how much her GP's love her. So good you got to have company for dinner.

Mary - Snooze away!

Need to get chopping up some apples for pie and attempt to work my way through the Martieless-for-four-days kitchen. It's actually not in bad shape, but please don't ask me where anything is. Very grateful for the cooler weather as the garage is doing double duty as a veggie/fruit crisper. Also want to get mulch ready for some Hydrangeas and Roses. Chelone is right -- it's too soon weatherwise to really pile it on and I have visions of mounding roses on New Years Day.

Best to everyone -


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 9:03AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

All right already! I'm sorry I used the "excitement" word!!
Message recieved!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 9:16AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

PS: Martie, I decided to take along some of DD's old books instead of seeking out new ones yet. She had a fabulous collection and re-read them often. In fact, she will enjoy reading them again now at age 30. Children's books were my addiction before gardening took over, so many of these books cannot be easily found again. Unfortunately many were in French and DGS will probably not be learning French, at least for a while, due to his hearing difficulties. As you say, he LOVES reading time together each night with Mom, Dad and the dog. He also is beginning to enjoy reading to himself. An exciting stage! Indy the dog, though extremely bright, has not learned to read yet.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 9:19AM
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We've got some sort of light rain/sleet thing going on but the decorations are going up. That is exciting to me! More interior cleaning for me today though, not so exciting.

Marie, I did know what you meant. I was just pullin' your leg, lol. I totally agree with you. Bella gets out one puzzle at a time and we always clean up and put things away before naps or bedtime. She's very good about putting away and also putting things "exactly" where they go. I think she has my organizing gene. There is no better gift to give a child than spending time with them, IMO.

Deanne, glad you and Doug had such a great day yesterday. It's so nice to just get away for a day and have fun isn't it? Good for the soul I think. Thanks for the pics too. I enjoyed looking through them this morning.

I have h. the path and it put out blooms over the summer but none since I've brought it inside.

I've caged the musa and hygrangeas but am still waiting to do the roses.

Have to go before Brad comes in and catches me Idylling instead of cleaning, since he's out working in the cold!


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 10:19AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I just knew Deanne was off yesterday enjoying her royalty check in some way or another. Great pics as usual! When I was a kid we used to vacation at Hampton Beach quite frequently. Of course this was the 60s but we each used to get a daily allowance of a dollar in dimes and be allowed to roam at will through the arcades. You could get lost for hours with a buck in those days.

Ah, Kathy, you've been holding out on You do have pictures and a lovely garden to boot. Keep 'em coming!

Martie, link to my fountain supplier is below. They weren't cheap but had quite the selection.

The restaurant last night gets the thumbs up. If someone hadn't turned me on to this place I never would have tried it. It's located in somewhat of a strip mall setting in an obscure part of Hartford but is surprisingly high end. Dining among us last night was CT's newly reelected Secretary of State. Marie, by observing what just about everyone around us was eating I would say paella is the most popular menu item. They offered it with a variety of options even vegetarian. We didn't get it because they only served it to a minumum of 2 people and we wanted to try other things. Next time. Monique, you and Les would like this place.

Yes, fall leaf cleanup here is a real drag. If I didn't garden it would be easy. Like my neighbors, I could just spend one afternoon raking or blowing them all out to the curb and let the town come and vacuum them up. A leaf blower doesn't work in the garden areas because in addition to the leaves it also blows off all your mulch and good top soil layers. Since most of my yard is a garden it all has to be raked by hand. Cutting back the perennials makes the the raking job much easier and eliminates unnecessary damage but the cutting back process is a job in itself.

Anyway, today I'm bagging it all and taking a ride to the Clinton crossing outlet mall to do a little shopping before the Christmas rush starts next weekend. For those of you who were at IU2 for the Sunday festivities, we'll probably stop for lunch at Lenny & Joe's for hot lobster rolls. Yum!



    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 10:29AM
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Taking a break from figuring out the pattern width of a fabric that will soon be table runners. Decided to go against my grain and not use interfacing or line the thing. This week expediency and "bang for the energy" matters more :-)

Thanks, Sue, for the link. N.E.G.O. is in my professional neck of the woods so I'll be stopping there, soon. Glad you found a new gem in Hartford!

'bug: I like your idea of using DD's books. Was unaware that GDS had any kind of hearing difficulties. Sign language has a special place in my heart and is what I consider my "second" language. He may not be able to learn French speaking quite yet, but if he learns sign he won't need to since it's such a universal language. Knowing that makes the pic of GDS and your DH with the guitar all that more special!

Back to work!


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 12:59PM
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Sunday morning, I ve had my coffee and its foggy and cold out. Thought Id sit at the computer awhile before tackling household chores while waiting for the fog to burn off and the sun to come out.

Thnaks Mary, Eden Michelle for the nice comments ! bug, I took those pics last summer-it certainly doesnt look that way now ! I borrowed my DSs camera last nite to take a couple of shots of the same views today to post, but its too gloomy out there right now ..I will wait till later and hopefully get them up on the forum this evening.

Martie, some ID for you, In pic one you correctly pegged Nora Leigh, to her left is Salvia guaranitia "Black and Blue", and next to it plain old Autumn Joy still with green flower heads. The mauvey color is Eupatorium "Gateway" which I have no business having since it gets way to big for my garden ! I love though because it is such an architectural presence with its big leaves and maroonish stems. In this shot you cant see the two roses which it has all but engulfed..and below Joe is a Echinacea White Swan.
The rosemary in pic two is "Tuscan Blue " , white rose on the fence is Sally Holmes, red rose in the foreground is Prospero (one of my faves) ,red rose on the fence is Blaze which I would get rid of if I could dig it up-too many tree roots !

Deanne , love the bird shots as always. Sounds like a fun day..

I better go switch the laundry and clean the kitchenfun !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 12:59PM
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I'm feeling particularly virtuous at this moment having washed the inside AND the outside of 9 windows and the slider to the deck, as well as the inside of the picture windows. We live on the second floor of the house so the picture windows are second story... helpmeet can break out the sqeegee on the extension pole for those! They were filthy. It's hard to believe they get washed spring and fall.

I've primed the boards for the new fake fruit displays, too. And went to Orange to purchase some necessary hardware for them as well as some paint roughly the color of evergreens. I'm going to let them dry a bit longer before hauling out the paintbrush to hit with the real color.

Now... fold laundry or watch TV? the Forsyte Saga is looking more tempting than the laundry...


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 3:19PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

The excitement continues here today (sorry We did drive down to the outlet mall. Apparently either it's always mobbed down there on Sundays or the holiday shopping madness has already begun. The lack of spaces in the huge parking lot should have been our first clue. In some of the stores the lines were so long we ended up not buying even though we had stuff we wanted. I'm generally not big on crowds and on the few occasions I do shop I prefer to do so leisurely. Today was not one of those days.

I did end up feeding my boot addiction at the Liz Claiborne shoe store. Did you all know I had somewhat of a shoe fetish? Well, I'm coming clean. In the summer it's Born sandals and in the winter it's boots. Tom would have you believe I'm in Imelda's league but you know how men exaggerate. Anyway, even Tom had to do a double take at the deal I got today. Most of the shoes were half off the outlet price and in addition to that some styles were buy one get the second pair at half price. When the last pair of dress black leather boots I bought rang up at $27.50 Tom went over and checked the sign in the window. When we got out of the store he asked me how those boots were that cheap when the sign said they were $110. Well they were half price, $55 and then half price off that. I did have to buy another pair at only half price to get that price but in the world of shopping there are often certain sacrifices you have to make.

At any rate, we high tailed it out of that madhouse and headed over to the hot lobster roll joint. Monique, do you agree that Lenny & Joe's have the best hot lobster rolls? It's a good thing they aren't closer or I'd be over there a couple of times a week. Tom had fried shrimp and that was excellent too.

On the way home I stopped at Starbucks for a caramel macchiato (Deanne's influence-whenever you're with her in the afternoon she stops at Starbucks) then to the grocery store. Just to say I did something garden related I bagged a dahlia tuber and a few cannas. The rest need additional drying time. Since I didn't get home in time to walk outside I'm about to get changed and hop on the treadmill. After that it's stretching and weights. For the past few weeks I've had some sort of tendonitis or something in my left elbow so have had to modify my usual weight training routine. So far it's not getting better though. Some days I feel like I'm falling


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 4:54PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

It's a cool, sleepy Sunday here. I do a litte clean-up and then take a loooong break, rinse and repeat. The breaks are definitely outpacing the accomplishments.

The ornament-making project went well this morning. The boy who ended up with the most paint on his clothes had the foresight to strip off his outer shirt ("it's my Jeff Gordon shirt!") so that the paint ended up on his white tee shirt. The project was simple - clear glass ornaments with paint squirted into them and then swirled around. The kids enjoyed them and the other teacher and I were still sane at the end of class!

Then I stopped at Starbucks and waited grumpily in line as the nice young man ahead of me kept telling his two young children to be careful as they touched all of the many things on the low shelves. I wanted to ask him what was wrong with "Don't touch" but held my tongue. Held my breath too when the five year old carried the large glass mug across the store to play with it in front of the expensive expresso machine. Oh well...

Still waiting for DS to arrive home - he's decided the person he is getting a ride from is not the most reliable. But my giant Christmas wreath arrived today! Yes Sue, the holiday frenzy has started - I noticed that yesterday.

Okay, time to keep shoveling out the house.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 5:29PM
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Stopping in before I toddle over to the book thread--my everyone has been som much more productive today than I have ! Clearly I do not get the same chore production out of myself since I joined the Idylls forum ! I need to start typing faster..(or thinking faster)

Here are a few pics from today


This is todays view of the 1st pic I posted yesterday


and todays view of pic 2 including a sneak preview of the biggest pansy display on the planet

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Almost Thanksgiving and I still have tomatoes !!

Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 7:11PM
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Good evening

Kathy - I do indeed have tomato envy!!

Martie - wonderful to hear you are up and about and full of energy. What fun preparing your feast will be.

Today I think I'd win the prize for the least accomplished. It was a slothful day that felt very good. My major accomplishment was a trip to the library to find a mystery book for David's next report. I too stopped into Starbucks - DH had given me a gift card so I splurged on a latte. As we had wet snow falling the treat was even more welcome.

I'm heading off to bed, looking forward to a short work week. We have friends joining us for Thanksgiving so I should probably think about getting a turkey soon. Thank goodness tomorrow is another day.



    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 10:49PM
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Since we've been in the city all day, I haven't had time to read. What a busy Idyll day! I'm ashamed to say that this was the 3rd time we ate out this weekend.

I must say that every time I think I've seen Deanne's best, she shows us more. What great shots, the last would be my favorite. Frosty here this a.m., but I went out with the camera and took a few shots of yesterdays work.


On the right is a pile of compost that I didn't get spread this summer. In the back you can see the stump of the tree that was cut down. A lot of the brush in the first picture is actually low hanging branches that we cut out.
There's not much interesting left in the garden but this sedum 'Angelina' is so pretty right now I thought I'd share.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 11:44PM
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Good morning! What a great send-off to a new work week with pics.

Michelle: I, too, love this Sedum and will get one or six (;-) as soon as I know where I can use them as an edging. Your work is impressive! When can you guys come out to CT with your equipment? Food will be good, you can easily see Sue and Deanne and Monique, and I'll leave you room under my lights. LOL

Kathy: Is that a rosemary? Now I see the bloom and gotta know because if it isn't, I need to find a plant like that to container. Wow! the tomatoes. I checked my cellared Brandywines yesterday and think I may be able to get four or five out for Thanksgiving.

Chelone: Avian carcass???? Of the turkey variety? LOL when you said that because for the first time we're having a bonafide vegan for dinner and I had to do research to be sure that person would have enough to eat. When I told her that yes, we would be having turkey, she asked if she could be seated as far away as possible from the "bony bird." We'll take that into consideration, of course.

Looking forward to going back to work but managed to get some things done through my haze. The herb garden is doable and the sketch has been sent off to Kyle's Math-Wiz friend for granite cutting calculations. Then the big question -- can we afford it?

Found a fountain we love, and is affordable, on the website Sue sent and will be contacting them today to find out about Spring delivery. Also think we'll end up getting a few good-sized containers from them since they'll be delivering, anyway.

The reading group has been fun and non-stressful. I will reread the book at some point to catch some things I obviously missed, but all in all it was the perfect "read" for the week.

Table decorations just need to be side-hemmed and tassled. It will Finally be cool enough to put out the fruit arrangement featuring, of course, pineapple. Candles have been purchased, fake fruit arrangement developed, and knives sharpened.

Most importantly, today. Thank you, everyone for your support and understanding during these last few days. No need for sappiness in this group, but having the computer as a diversion was a great help in keeping my spirits and body upright. Already I can feel a physical difference and think I was probably sicker than I knew. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 6:58AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Grumpy checking in here -- I dont believe you've missed me but I miss you!! I've been a totally enslaved at the office having to work both weekends & fighting some germ in between.... this week looks to be no better -- and I have yet to do grocery shopping or food prep for Thanksgiving. I tried to swap working Sunday for having Weds. off so I could do something personal but have been refused.... it's starting to look like Im working for the Grinch.... And he doesnt understand the word "NO".

the good thing is that I only have 5 people coming for T-giving & somehow it will get done; they're just gonna be happy w/ whatever gets slung on the table. I went to 3 grocery stores last nite in search of small pumpkins to stuff for the 2 vegetarians coming - ended up w/ one lonely small may be acorn squash substitutes.

I havent had time to read anything anywhere -- but I wanted to at least drop in to say how much I miss you all!! I read thru most of the book but never had a chance to partake of the book thread - Im really bummed.....

Maybe come Friday I'll have a chance to catch up again. I do hope nothing untoward has happened to anyone & I quickly saw Martie's name so I know she's doing okay after procedure.

Thinking of you all.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 8:52AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Driving alone to and from the evening service was a long,dark, lonely drive.... The morning drive was all right, since I am used to going places alone in the daytime. Even though we seldom talk while riding together there definitely was a void. He seems to have had a better night, so hopefully this spell is almost over. Now if I can just get a flu shot and nip a spell for myself in the bud.I was chilly in bed all night, so hope that doesn't mean something coming on.

I had a talk with Tim on the phone. He is still spending each week day at Marvin's. Dispite the Hospice prediction, Marvin is still up and around, and helping on the house building. He is also still in denial.
Unless an arrangement is made between Tim and the girl's mother, there will be no company at our house this week. There is a slight possibility that Tim and the girls can be here Sat. and Sun.
I will go ahead and cook the turkey, and do some other preparations. Nothing out of the ordinary.

As I was setting in class last evening I was thinking how drained I feel...then afterwards I was asking about the absence of on of the wives. Her DH said she was "overwhelmed". I told him about my "drained" and he thought that was a good word to add to her condition. With me, I think the "overwhelmed" came first, then the "drained". I was rereading the last year's posts and see that I was much more upbeat. No wonder I am coming close to being "voted off the Idylls" :-(

Everyone needs to go back and read those threads, from the earliest on. It is very enlightening. One thing that I discovered, and reqret, is that I failed to thank Cynthia for the lovely Birthday card she posted for me!

The oldest thread goes back to mid-October 1005. I was amazed at how much more active I was that fall. What a differance a year has made. I still pray that 'this too shall pass'.

There have sure been a bunch that have come and gone in that year's time. It would be great if they would all check in and give an update. I am thinking even farther back, when Jacqui, (and others) were here. Cynthia started an "amnesty" thread. I think we need another one.

I wish I could touch base with all of my friends of years past, but so many of them are passed on, and most of the rest have moved or married/remarried and I have no way of finding them. Sorry...I guess the accumulation of years is affecting my mind! Maybe this is a normal process?

The responding to everyone's posts has been too 'overwhelming' for me lately, but I do want to tell Martie that I am glad she is recovering from her surgery.
I am thankful that modern procedures have improved the surgical processes since I had all of mine. Some of the improvals are astounding.

I am enjoying all the pics. Deanne, yours are wonderful of the birds, but no surprise, since you excel in all that you attempt. Glad that Kathy has joined in with her pics. They will sure fill in for our winter drabness.
Which reminds I drove out yesterday evening I could see the sunset all along the western horizon. All of the leaves have fallen from the trees bordering the mile long country road in that area, and revealed the western horizon through the bare trees. Pretty! There were low clouds, and they were dark red.
As I stopped at the end of the road, before entering the highway, there was a dark vehicle with no lights on, waiting to turn into the country road from the right of me. I would not have even seen it if it hadn't had it's turn indicator on. I turned my lights off and on again, attempting to give it a message, but with no response. Maybe it's lights had failed.... dangerous!


    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 8:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


I appreciate your comments on the silent drives that are nevertheless companionable. Well put!

Sorry- must run!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 10:27AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hey! Thank you Marie! Tomorrow will mark another year racked up for me.
I love your pic. Lavender is one of my very favorite colors.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 10:40AM
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A hearty birthday salute to Marian!

I'm not certain the thrill of Hydrangeas will ever leave me, Marian, so I'm sending this along as something that brought me great joy over the summer. I hope you will have some birthday cake! (you would probably like the living area and library here if you like the color lavender).

I returned to a sparkling house this afternoon. The helpmeet vacuumed... and thoroughly, too (not just around things, but UNDER them)! The place looks like a million bucks, what with clean "winders 'n' all". And the larder is full... all I have to do is pick up the bird and the cake on my way home Wednesday (and scour the bathroom). Talk about a well oiled hinge... these oxen have learned to pull equally into the yoke of marriage. :)

I have nearly finished the green paint thing. Last coat on the final side will be tomorrow morning before I leave for work. I'm hoping to play around with "simulated fruit" over the weekend... when it would be fool's folley to attempt to venture "off the compound" (are you listening, Sue? uh, I mean, Imelda).

I worked on the roll down curtains for the B&B today. I have one more to finish and then some small "thises and thats" and the job will be ready for installation. I rather like making curtains, though they can get to be quite tedious when there are a lot of them. This enclosure requires 6, all in 8'H range and varying from 70"-113"W. There are fabric skirts, and clear plastic "windows". And a variety of flaps to connect them to the supports of the open porch. They look good and my contribution to aesthetics has been employed... that is, that there be one complete panel of plastic at the center... as one would join panels for drapery work. Heretofore, no great attention was paid to the placement of seams... something that drove me nuts, offending my somewhat anal sensibilities. ;) It's nice to have my expertise receive "the nod" every so often.

I want to see the "tasseled" runners, Martie. I'll probably go with last year's linens since the bathroom needs considerable attention and some pressing is about all I'll be able to pull off in the given time, lol. Whatever I do will be special... a bachelor (BIL) and Mum... who wouldn't remember anyway, :) !

Michelle, your site prep. is AMAZING. You go, girl! I'm with Martie; you need to take "that show on the road"... when you're done with Martie, Sue, Monique, Deanne, you can come here. The helpmeet is a great cook, and we'll take you sailing afterwards... how's that?

Cindy, STINKS that you could "trade out" your time off. I have it pretty "plush", but rumor has it my preferred hours may be yanked... I'm not getting my knickers in a twist just yet, but am formulating an alternate plan that will allow me to move into areas of expertise that interest me more (aesthetically) than my present line of work. I'm fortunate that I may take time off anytime I wish (save the busy season; when I wouldn't ask, anyway!). My lovely boss is great that way; but I've worked very hard and very loyally for a long time to gain her confidence. Keep yourself well until you can "come up for air"... I know how that can be! Everyone waited for me, so we'll wait for you. :)

Kathy, your garden is marvelous. How much space do you cultivate? I love seeing pictures of the peak bloom and the "down" time... . I'm really interested in "bones". There is a lot of time analyze a "skeleton" here in Maine.

Pant, pant.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 4:48PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thank you Chelone. That is lovely. It looks like my BlueBird Hydrangea. It survived this summer's drought, but had only one cluster of blooms. No birthday cake for me, but tomorrow at the Golden Year's class they will sing Happy Birthday to me, and there will be gobs of yummy deserts following the Thanksgiving Dinner. :-)
I baked a store bought mincemeat pie, and a peach pie ( also store bought) today. We have already eaten half of the mincemeat one.

My word, I had better comment on the date I posted as to the oldest Idyll thread still available. I really don't think it goes back to 1005!!!! LOL LOL LOL !

My Brother and SIL sent me a birthday card. I got it Saturday. My sister called today to wish me HB, and to say she would put a card in the mail tomorrow.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 6:48PM
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I'm so happy to learn of Marian's birthday on this date.

It was on this day, 13 years ago that my friend, Bobby Stevens, died by his own hand. I "lost my innocence" that day. I've looked at life very differently and with a much less foregiving lens in the years hence... I'm able to hone in on bull--it from a hundred yards; if you're a phoney, you'd better run for cover or muster a good defense, if I haven't sniffed you out immediately you'll be unable to conceal your "trail" for very long.

It's especially nice to learn that someone else was BORN on this day. :) I know that birth and death often coincide, but this reminder has been especially meaningful. And comforting.

Happy, HAPPY! birthday, Marian. :)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:03PM
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Happy Monday Everyone..and there is no happier Monday than than the one that begins a short work week !

Michelle, Isnt it great that we have cameras to record the befores and afters ? We can document our accomplishments and give ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done .
Love the shot of the Sedums too-Im very partial to sedums and have quite a few different varieties-most of which look pretty bad right now . Maybe well need a World Of Sedums thread this summer..

Martie, yes it is a Rosemary "Tuscan Blue", which is an upright variety. It blooms late for me, but I also trim it back a lot so it doesnt encroach on its next door neighbor Rose de Rescht . I grew Brandywine two years agoloved it ! The things are the size of a cantelope ..(okay well that might be a slight exaggeration ) . It is late though and I only have room for one tom , so the one in the pic is Early Girl. They are smallish but tasty. When I get my veggie area in (a 2007 infrastructure project) I will plant three varieties.

Hi Cindy- sorry you did not get to join in our book discussion ! Well read another after the holidays, and I can relate to your long hours , 6 day weeks. Ive been experiencing some of that myself, though in my case I am the boss so much of it is self imposed. At least I could give myself the day off if I wanted to !

Marian, well Im a newcomer but I sure dont think anyone would want to vote you off the Idylls ! This group of people seems to be very supportive of one another , and we can share our wisdom (such as it is, LOL) and experience in a way that might provide , even temporarily, some respite , empathy, encouragement and point the way to the beauty around us. This natural world is our common bond .

Chelone, wow there is nothing better than coming home to a clean house ..unless it is coming home to a clean house and a well cooked meal , with a glass of wine poured and waiting. I would say my garden is about 1500 square feet right now , and I hope to add about another 200 when I get rid of half of the RV parking area. And you are right about the "bones " Ive started to pay much more attention to that the last few years. For one thing you can design so that you have something to look at besides mud in the winter, and there is a backbone too offset the herbaceous stuff in summer.

Gonna go check out the book thread Tra all

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:03PM
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    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:07PM
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Happy birthday to youuuu, happy birthday to youuuu, happy biiiirthdaaay dear Maaaariaaann , happy biiiirthday tooooo Youuuuuu !!!!


Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:11PM
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    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Michelle, those are gorgeous Iris! Thank you!
Kathy, both your roses and your singing (lol) are beautiful...Thank you!
I'm rather tired, I missed out on my afternoon nap due to my sis's call, so I'm going to check-in early. Tomorrow will be a busy day.
Tim called and will be coming in the evening to bring me a BD gift. Sorry to say, but he and the girls will not be able to come for Thanksgiving.

G'night all....

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:35PM
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Happy Birthday Marian.......I hope you enjoy your day.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:38PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, That is such a nice thought, thank you.

Norma, Lovely, lovely mums. Thank you!

'See' you all tomorrow.......

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:39PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hey, How can I get to bed when all these dear sweet messages and pics keep coming!! ??

T, cute art work! Thanks :-)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:42PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:42PM
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I am thankful for many many things. Among them, the fact that the Idyll's move along and give me something to read and enjoy even when I am in silent mode.

Gorgeous photos everyone! Thinking of all. Norma

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 9:49PM
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Happy Birthday Marian

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 10:28PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Well, even though I feel badly about it and know you guys probably are not happy with me and my "disappearance", one of the things I *am* most grateful for is time I've had to spend with *all* of you. You really are very special people - my time here at the Idylls is something I will always treasure. Priorities in my life have made it hard to post here much and trying to post anything with such large gaps of time in between just didnt seem right. Still, I hope you don't mind me posting here today, as I couldnt let the day pass without wishing Marian a very Happy Birthday! Marian, I hope you know I think of you often. You hold a special place in my heart. Im so glad you will be spending your birthday with the ladies from church! :-) I hope your day will be filled with little moments of great joy and happiness. I also wanted to say how sorry I was to read that Nolon hasnt been feeling sending good thoughts. Anyway, just wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I admire you Marian and my good thoughts always to all of the Idylls...


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 12:40AM
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Happy Birthday Marian! I'm going to follow Chelone's lead and send you some hydrangeas. Hope you enjoy them. Have a good birthday and hope Nolon feels better soon too...


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 12:52AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 7:11AM
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One of the good things about posting early is that I get to extend Marian's birthday to two days. Happy Birthday, Friend in Faith!!

May have posted this pic before, but it is the only one with enough Lavender to let you know you're thought about all the time!! Next year when my Lavandula comes in, I'll have a slideshow for you ....

Kathy: Thanks for the ID! 'Tuscan Blue' is mail-order only in my neck of the woods, but is already on my list for the herb garden from Papa Geno's, who will be my "exclusive" supplier of herb garden bones in 2007. Wowza!! And, one can never have too many varieties of tomatoes.

Anyone else get their Pinetree catalog??? Is the cover a "great minds think alike" example or is Deanne secretly designing catalog covers on the side :-)? Have a date with the cul-de-sac kids this Saturday to do preliminary selection. Personally, I'm thrilled that they're offering Paprika peppers!!

Sue -- I would've never taken you for a shoe-gal. I own exactly 6 pairs of shoes in the basic color palettes and three pairs of boots. Guess I'd really rather be barefoot. LOL

Later, friends. Though it's good to be "back" at work I'm still moving slowly so everything is moved up 30 minutes.

Bye for now, but never forever (hint, hint, Marian :-) -


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 7:14AM
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Good morning

Marian - I think we've all enjoyed your birthday - thank you for sharing it with us.

Ei - its great to hear from you and completely understand life's priorities pulling in other directions. It concerns me that you feel we are "unhappy" with you for not being around. I think V put it well when she said

"it's nice to have a group of friends who wait for you when life pulls you away temporarily and then welcome you back with open arms when your time is more under your control. "

Some of us post every day, others once a week and some whenever they can - that might mean every few months. We still love to hear from everyone. There is no judgement going on, just a group of friends ready to share with whoever is around, and have fun Idylling together.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 7:46AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning all ! Wow, what a bunch of lovely 'cards' ! Thank you all.
It's espacially wonderful that my BD Has drawn Eileen out!Hi, dear friend.
Deanne, your card is very beautiful. A great combo.Thank you.
Mary, I am envious of your Passiflora. I have wanted one for some time.Thank you.
Ei, the Anemones and Cleome are so pretty, and the frame looks like the one that frames my paternal grandmothers's pic!(How did you know?) :-) Thank you.
Eden, I 'do' love hydrangeas. Thank you.
Sue, pics of your lovely gardens are all so beautiful.Thank you.
Martie, those are gorgeous petunias...the type I look for each year. Thank you. Actually, I love most flower colors, but lavender is one of my favs. Salmon is another.

BTW, today is my Birthday...11-21-32 !

Yes Ei, The Golden Year's class will be singing Happy Birthday to me today( both men and women). We will all be sharing a Thanksgiving dinner following the class. Nolon will be going, also. He has another doctor appointment afterwards. I hope we can have his cough under control. I'll stop at a drug store and get more medicine for him. He isn't contagious, so we won't be endangering anyone.

I asked Tim to join is, but he said he would be too dirty since he will be on the job this morning. I really doubt that he will be 'that' dirty, but he is extremely picky about his appearance. We frequently have workers drop in for our meal, and they are very welcome. The class took up a collection to buy the cooked turkey and ham for today. One of the local grocery stores prepares them for us every year.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 8:21AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good sunny morning here,

Ive got about a million things to do today to get ready for Thanksgiving and not enough time so Im going to have to make this short, as V says a fly by post, zoom zoom, hit and run well you get the picture. Today is my baking day and I need to make four pies, cranberry nut and pumpkin bread and anything else that grabs my fancy when Im into the flour and baking stuff. I found this cute recipe Id like to try where you take a bundt pan and make two pumpkin cakes then level off the bottoms and stick them together with frosting that is dyed orange and voila, you have a pumpkin cake. Too cute, Id like to try that but dont know if time will allow for that. Then I have to start scraping the layers of debris out of this house. Then we have to move all the family room furniture out of the dining room and squeeze it into the living room and get the old kitchen table stretched out and ready for company. I also have to borrow about four chairs as the final count for dinner will be 22.

I still havent finished cleaning out the garage and Ive GOT to get the tender stuff inside immediately if not sooner. The temps are supposed to go down to 18 degrees out tonight and last night was 26 so serious cold is here. Im hoping it doesnt stay cold enough long enough to freeze the ground because I still have not gotten the bulbs in the ground. How on earth did it get to be the end of November?

OK Im out of here and into the kitchen for the day,

Chelone, I love to set up and decorate my holiday tables nicely too but with so many people everything is mismatched. I wish I had enough of everything to make a pretty table but then I'd have to store it all so not worth it I guess.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 9:03AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Thanks Mary! I didnt mean to make it sound as if you guys would be upset with me...its probably my own guilt talking. *I* feel bad that I cant contribute; its just where I am in my life right now. I really spend very little time on the internet anymore for personal reasons which I dont want to make public (but I think I sort of told you guys about it awhile back). Anyway, I knew Marians birthday would be coming up (though I wasnt sure of the *exact* day) and didnt want to miss wishing someone who touched my life, a very special Happy Birthday. I guess I was trying to say that even though I cant be here, it doesnt mean that I dont think of all of you with a smile and hope that life has been good for all of you and always wishing all of you the best. I treasure my time here with you and meeting you in person, well that was very special. I love all of the personalities here, all so different and yet all so much alike. I didnt want you to think that since I am not posting or reading, that I dont appreciate how special this place is, how special all of you are, how much I appreciate your generous hearts, and how much I wish you all the best. Though I know I sometimes I come across as a little sappy ("wearing my heart on my sleeve" is what Dad always called it) it always been important to me to let those who have touched my life know what they have meant to me....always important to me to acknowledge my blessings, of which I have had many, and knowing all of you would be on that list.

When life settles a bit as Im sure it will, I hope to be a regular again. In the meantime...just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you all. was wonderful seeing your beautiful mom and her *beautiful* quilt. You have good reason to feel proud, as does mom...I wish her all the best. My sis has about 1 inch of thick, white hair and you know it looks absolutely *beautiful* on her. I told her how beautiful I thought she looked and now shes thinking she may just keep her hair very short! :-) I just love it on her and if I had straight hair, Id be tempted to do it myself. Bug rejoicing in the happy news...exciting times for your family and congratulations to V too. Whoo-hoo...I really dont know *what* Id do if I had won that kind of money. Well, maybe a beautiful stone or brick court yard with an outdoor fireplace would be top on my list (though not for this house) Or if I had a big lot like yours and that fire pit your building, I think I would make a Jens Jenson style Council Ring around it...Ive always wanted one of those! Mary, Eden and Deanne congratulations on your talks of course I wasnt surprised at all that you would be received so well. If I were in the audience I wouldnt want to leave either...LOL! Deanne your photography skills are just amazing and congratulations on all the new camera serve them well! :-) I often imagine how some day I would like to do my family room in all your bird pics put them all in Craftsman style frames and just fill the walls with them. I think it would be awesome (not teenage awesome but awesome as in splendid, grand, awe own little Deanne Gallery! :-)

Anyway, I did some reading to catch up, but I know Im not commenting on so much that touched me, so much I wanted to comment on (one of the reasons I dont like to post when Im away too long). But I am rejoicing in all the good things going on and sending all my good thoughts for the rough spots and wishing you all a Happy *Thanks* *Giving* with the ones you love. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY Marian...I hope you have a wonderful day!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 10:09AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Hi Idylls! Im back! To chime in late I, too, am so greatful and thankful for friends, family, health and the friendship of everyone here. You guys are the best!

I FINALLY have everything planted, 140 bulbs put in the front landscape, the back garden put to bed, dahlias in the basement and the garage cleaned so DH can once again, park in his spot! I still have 8 bags of shredded leaves to spread around, tho. All my tropicals are under lights in the basement, xmas décor is up inside and out, half my xmas shopping is done and hosted my first holiday party this weekend! Phew!

Also, during these busy weeks we had our gutters and downspouts flushed out and "Gutter Stuff" installed. Its a low-tech, less costly alternative and seemed to DH and I that it would work and solve our problems with helicopters, seed pods and wasps nests. So far, it seems to be working as advertised. The helicopters sit on top of it, dry out and blow off.

I got roped into working the polls this year during the election to help bring the average age of volunteers down from 74 yrs. old, lol! It t'was interesting. I got to chat with former colleagues and catch up with them.

This fall has been really busy and strange. I still have a few things Id like to do in the garden such as move the forget-me-nots around and am hoping to do that this Friday. NO, I will not be shopping that day.

Speaking of which, Im feeling quite obsolete. GD wants an iPOD and other electronics for xmas. Were going out tonite to the stores to check out our options. To put it mildly, we dont have clue one!

Also tonite, is another township meeting about the proposed development of 442 acres next to our subdivision. The proposed plan is abnominable and will forever change this area. We dont need more retail, another bank, another drugstore, another shopping center (bigger than the one you guys stayed in when you were here). It is just awful and we want to make sure our voices and opinions are heard.

Ive been trying to catch up here but its almost overwhelming! But congratulations to V on her winnings! How exciting. And congratulations to T on the upcoming new addition! Bug, Deanne, fabu, fabu pics! Cindy, how great that your parents got a new van and new lease on life! Eden, Im so glad your talk went well but how could it not?!!! And it sounds as if your Mom is doing well, too. Martie, Im so glad your procedure is behind you and seems to have gone well. Sue, keep us posted.

Happy Birthday, Marian! Sorry I missed it. Hi to all. Thats all my pea-picken brain can remember for now. Gotta run and tackle that fuzzy bathroom floor!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 10:54AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Happy Birthday Marian!

Marian, I truly hope you enjoy your day. Hope Nolon is feeling better soon as well.

Hi everyone else! Been pretty busy here, and kids are using the computer for schoolwork (can you imagine?!) so I don't get a "turn" as often as I'd like. I also like V's thoughts about a group of friends who wait for you - I'm glad you guys are here!

I'm home "sick" today; after a day of snuffling and coughing at the office yesterday, SIL told me to take today off. She really wants me to rest up for tomorrow - she is leaving for Florida, so I need to be at the office, and able to talk! I tend to lose my voice when I get a bad cold; one time I worked for two whole days with no voice, SIL was out for a medical thing so I had no choice. The receptionist was my "voice" on the phone, I'd scribble notes or whisper what she needed to say. The few clients that came in during that time I whispered to, they were very patient. I even made one young man blush with my whispering - he must have been picturing that seductive perfume ad "if you want to capture some one's attention, whisper"!

Martie, I'm so glad all went well with your procedure, and you are getting back on your feet. I can't picture a vegan Thanksgiving, but I'm sure you'll pull it off. At our dinner, the whole bird stays in the kitchen, there's no room on the table - we just bring the meat on platters. I have to say that the stuffing is actually my favorite part.

I am enjoying all the pictures above - I love birthdays here! Deanne, your bird photography is especially stunning - such detail! What a fun new camera to have. I can't wait to see your garden pics next year.

Well, that is about all the energy I have for now, my head is starting to feel swimmy again. My fleece blanket is calling me.

I want to wish all of you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. I want you to know that I am thankful for each of you, and for all the wisdom, gardening and otherwise, that I have picked up here.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 11:40AM
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david_5311(Z 5b/6a SE Mich)

Picture gawker checking in. I did not expect to find much given the lateness of the season. But there are loads of great pictures. Hard to pick out favorites, but being a "bird person", I have to be in awe of Deanne's magnificent pictures of sanderlings. They are truly birds of the world, found on every continent except antarctica I think. Those in the western hemispere move back and forth between the northern and southern continents. One must truly be in awe of how these beuatiful little creatures, with their plantive peeps, can possibly travel thousands of miles across oceans and continents to carry out their lives. For me, their sight and their call notes bring back beaches I have been to everywhere, the Great Lakes, the Atlantic and Pacific, Costa Rica, Europe. Thanks for these great photos Deanne.

I love the others too, especially the Sedum angelina (Hi Michelle, great plant), also Marie's wonderful backlit picture of the romantic pinks and mauves and blues of the summer garden. I can't wait till that sense of rich lushness returns to my garden. Makes me think that I MUST come and visit you in summer the next time Marie, not in October or November.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 11:57AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick post to say....

Like Wendy, I've been battling whatever nasty bug is floating around at the moment and I have zero energy for anything!

I'm hoping the shed base will be finished today so they can start building it tomorrow - while the weather is fine! There has been vast quantities of gravel compacted into the site to make sure drainage is good and the site is level and stable. I feel sorry for the kid that has been running the compactor - he's probably thoroughly bored by now!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 1:09PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Boy there's nothing like a birthday around here to bring all the wandering idyllers home. Stick around, we have a couple more coming up in the next week or so. I'm with Mary, although there have been a few disagreements here over the years I don't recall anyone ever deliberately saying or doing anything that would offend anyone enough to make them think they need to leave. We only miss those who "disappear" and always look forward to their return.

I guess I should start getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. I envy all you people who have your days free to do this stuff. Since turkey doesn't rank up there as one of my favorite meals I don't get too elaborate and serve the basic turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, dinner rolls and peas. Luckily my MIL still bakes all the pies. We only have 9 for dinner this year but that's about all I can accomodate in the diningroom. Can't wait til

Last night I had a Peapod delivery but for the first time they left off some items and by the time I realized it the driver was gone. We need to go to the store still anyway but it's a good thing I noticed the lack of stuffing. That would not have been on my list and would not have been a fun discovery to make Thursday morning.

Tonight I am taking my first night off from working out in nine days. I have a pedicure scheduled for right after work. Gotta keep those feet happy. Martie, I would prefer barefeet also but since it's rarely practical I found the next best thing in Born sandals. I wear nothing but sandals from early May til about mid October.

Gotta run. Marian, enjoy your day!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 1:26PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Im taking a much needed afternoon break. Well I failed in my mission. Here is it 4:00PM and Ive not touched the baking yet. Im going to be up late tonight it seems and I guess Ill have to beg Doug to do the grocery shopping. I wound up starting a cleanup on the second floor and it hadnt really been cleaned to the nooks and crannies in way too long (you know getting behind and under the washing machine and dryer etc.) The problem with starting something like that is it takes too long and when you are part way through it seems a waste not to finish up the project. Sooo the sitting room upstairs, laundry closet, my closet, and master bathroom are clean, clean clean maybe my allergies will stop bothering me so much since Ive taken about ten layers of debris out of there. I almost got the bedroom done too but I couldnt get the dratted mattress cover on by myself so I decided to leave that until Doug gets home and then ask his help to finish up the bedroom as well. Seems fair to me as he makes half the dirt up there anyway. LOL.

Anyway, I realized that I needed a bit of a sit down and made a cup of coffee so here I am. LOL As soon as this is done Im going to get some baking done. I think we are going to have to get take outs for dinner as Ill be too wiped out to cook. Thats my story and Im sticking to it.

Im so happy to see so many familiar faces here today. Wonderful to hear from David, Eileen, Honey and Wendy.

David, thanks very much! I appreciate your feedback on the Sanderling photos. Coming from such an accomplished bird photographer that is quite a compliment. They really are the neatest birds. Never still for a second following the water in and out with the waves on the beach. I could spend days just watching them. My next trip will be to Plum Island to do some more work with the new camera and lens.

Eileen, anytime youd like some birdie photos let me know which ones strike your fancy. I was thinking of you this fall when the Robins were in the Mountain Ash tree eating the berries. So great to hear from you.

Wendy, bummer about the cold! Hope you are well soon. I think of you often, in fact every day when I check my coleus under the lights I enjoy that gorgeous ruffled, chartreuse one you gave me cuttings of last time we saw each other. Do you happen to know the name? It looks like it is going to be a large impressive plant. Gorgeous!

Honey, so glad to hear from you as well.

Kathy, love, love, love the photos of your gardens. They are just beautiful. I was so tickled to see the pics of Nora Leigh! You have great taste in phlox. LOL

OK coffee break is over and Ive got to go and heat up my oven and get some pies baked. Have a great evening everyone.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 4:15PM
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Hi everyone

I'm cooking Thanksgiving for 10 on Thursday - we have good friends coming over so it should be fun. I do think though I should go buy a bird and the rest of the fixings before the night is out. I love roasting a turkey - I've found brining really works well to keep things juicy. I also have a great recipe for cornbread and andouille sausage stuffing. As we're dropping to 24F tonight I can also use the garage as an extra fridge which is a big help.

Once again, it was a real treat to hear from Cindy, Ei, Wendy, Honey and David. We just need Taryn, Brenda, Babs and Saucy and our roll call will be pretty well complete.

Hope you had a good day today Marian!

I think I need a cup of Deanne's coffee to give me strength for the grocery store.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 5:09PM
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Good Evening everyone ! Wow, as I read through the posts this evening I could really feel this flurry of energy, all of Marians b-day wishes and the many reports of busy Thanksgiving preparations.My Thanksgiving will be extremely laid back this year, but on Sunday DS,DD and I are off to Monterey for two nights, and will celebrate DS's birthday with a visit to the aquarium there, some seafood, and maybe breakfast in Carmel. Monterey is a great little city -definately worth a stop if you are visiting Northern Calif...

Wendy, Woody I am sympatico with your sniffles, no one wants to come into my office this week for fear of germs which I guess is good- I get a little more peace and quiet that way !

I'm off to make dinner, even though I can't taste it or smell it !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 9:33PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good evening all. It was a good Birthday! It started out with us going to the Golden Year's class. Happy Birthday was sang to me, and a couple of other November birthday gals. The class was on being thankful ( of course). The Dinner was great, with enough food for Cocksey's army...:-)
Afterwards we went to the Health Unit, and I finally got my flu shot! Then it was soon time for Nolon's Doctor appointment. He got a good report. I did some grocery shopping and we got home around four. We had been gone 7 hours. Although it was late for my nap I did manage to get one...which I knew I'd need so I wouldn't be dragging when Tim came. Around 6 PM a UPS truck delivered the meds for Nolon's nebulizer.
Tim came around 6:30 and stayed until 8. The girls called while he was here, to wish me a Happy Birthday. All three took turns talking to me. They were at a restaurant waiting for their food to be served! It must have been a long wait, because we talked quite awhile. The last to talk was the middle one, Brianna, 11 years old. She ended her talk by saying she needed to get off the phone before they ate up all the chips! LOL! That girl loves to eat!

Eileen, you are so kind. Thank you again. You boost my spirits.

Honey, How great to see you back. I have been worried about you. Glad you are okay. You didn't miss my BD. It was today.

Wendy, I love those geraniums. Thank you.Sorry that you have been sick.

Good to hear from David (even if he didn't wish me a happy BD...LOL).

Woody, sorry to hear that you have been sick. I hope you get your strength back soon. Thanks for the lovely pic. It is a wild rose, isn't it?

I will go ahead and cook a Thanksgiving Dinner for the 2 of us. I enjoy having all the leftovers. If I am feeling really good I may ask some of the neighbors in to help us eat it. I have to take one day at a time.

The weather was ideal today. No wind, no clouds, and warm in the sunshine. It is supposed to continue that way through the rest of the week, with increasing warmth through Thursday. Would have been perfect for having the girls here. :-(


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 10:19PM
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david_5311(Z 5b/6a SE Mich)

Well Marian, I have to say that after I hit the post and sent the message, I did think of that. I am REALLY guilty of mostly just looking at the pictures. But I felt bad anyway. Even more now.

I have forgotten how to post pics here myself, and I can't do any of these fancy graphics the girls can all do.

But maybe I can send you a big BD kiss across cyber-space....


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 10:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So nice to have people return here for holiday time! Cindy, I've been missing you! I think your approach to Thanksgiving is just fine considering what you've been through. It's the companionship that is important after all.

David, you and Jim are always welcome. So is warm weather!

Deanne, Plum Island brings back great memories of DD's university days. We all took a break out there. I remember her old BF discovering a beached whale there, a huge chunk of charcoal we retrieved and have used as a Christmas joke ever since, blue skies, birds and berries and grasses, trails and a neat bridge, heck, a really great spot!

I must go. It is 11pm and I leave for the airport at 4am. You think I'm excited? YOU BET!

A very happy week to you all!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 11:10PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 11:25PM
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Safe journey 'bug. Enjoy your time with your loved ones.

Marian, what beautiful cards you've received, both here and on the other garden site. A wonderful showing of caring and well wishes for you. I'm glad that Nolon is feeling better. I hope he continues to improve.

My best to all who are fighting illness right now. :o\ Hope you're feeling better soon.

Ei----love seeing you pop in!!!!! Miss you a lot and hope all is well in your life. I think of you often.

David, I enjoy seeing your name!

Honey, oh how good it is to hear from you! Tell your Tom that DH & I were thinking of him the other day......we're still laughing over his quality TP story---and I was scolded for buying an inferior product (didn't mean to! lol).

Hello to all......and I hope you have a very nice Thanksgiving, enjoyed with family & friends. :oD


    Bookmark   November 21, 2006 at 11:43PM
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