Idyll #295 - Joy to the World

martieinctDecember 14, 2006

It is so easy to feel gloomy at this time of year. Me, too. ... but isn't there always reason to feel some joy??? .....

Carry on ..


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Woke up this morning to fog, fog, fog. So Good Foggy Morning.

Decided I'd lift my spirits by going to the one place where I know people will give me the straight scoop. Sounds like we need something fun to think about so here's you're opportunity :-)

Now that the Bluestone catalog is here, I need plant selection help. Attached (so everyone can get into the Idyll :-) is a pic of the newly completed path hardscape. To the right where the grass comes in to meet the walk will be an arbor with roses on either side. Clematis mixed in, too.

Exactly opposite where the arbor goes on the left is a path head that will split.

Walkway base stone will be left in for drainage. Soil will be even with pathway.

So, suggestions wanted for planting along the walkway. This will be the "formal" part of the park so want it to be a true edging plant.

Any and all suggestions welcome, oh perennial friends of mine!!!

Will catch up more, later.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 7:11AM
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Good Morning, I'm here early to squeeze in a post before the day gets too busy. Martie, I love your title. I agree, there is so much of life to find joy in and it seems to me it's usually the simple things and the giving of ourselves that brings the most joy of all.

I've been working on a cookie list. I need to decide what goodies to bake for Christmas and have narrowed it down to around a dozen varieties of cookies, bars and candies but don't think I'll have time to do that many so I need to give it more thought today and make out an ingredients list. The decorating is done. I'll finish up my shopping on Friday morning. I can't believe that Christmas is only a little more than a week away. Time flys! On Saturday they are having a special reading hour for little ones at the children's bookstore we frequent. Here's the description of the event...

From Cookie Mouse to the Nutcracker's Mouse King, who's busier at Christmastime than mice? We'll visit the mice tiptoeing through some of our favorite holiday stories then pass out mouse ears and dance and march to music from "The Nutcracker Suite". (Afterglow cheese crackers will be served!)

So Bella and I will be going to that. My neice, Rachel, will be Clara again this year in her ballet companys production of the Nutcracker and that's Saturday night so the weekend will be busy too. I'm loving the mild weather we've been having and it looks like it's supposed to stick around for a while. I'm one who would rather have a warm Christmas than a white one so that's A-OK with me.

Martie, Rich did a beautiful job on your walkway. For formal, the first thing that comes to my mind is boxwood, like Honey did with her new walkway. I got my Bluestone catalog yesterday too. I would love to find a place for a few of those Northern Lights Azaleas but where oh where would that be? I probably won't be ordering much if anything from anywhere this year. I've run out of room. I envy you the excitement of planning your park though!

Honey, Sorry to hear your mom is giving you fits. That's a lot of work on you and shame on your siblings for not doing their fair share! I hope things quiet down for you soon. Remember to take care of yourself and I know Tom will take care of you too! I'm so sorry to hear Bullet isn't doing well again.

Kathy, you're braver than me. I put my "office" project on hold until after the holidays. I have great admiration for those of you who work full days and then come home and get so much done there too!

Sue, glad to hear you passed your physical and hope your mom did well with her procedure too. You're another one who I can't believe how much you are able to fit into your days. I liked your advice about keeping busy and you certainly do practice what you preach in that department. Have fun at your party this weekend!

Marie, sounds like preparations are coming along well for the family visit. Is the sweater nearing completion?

Chelone, smart of you to take a break from work if you needed it. Sometimes a good day of housework is good for the soul. I hope you take another day off if you feel you need it too. Bella's good with the Christmas tree. She's always been good about not touching things she's not supposed to. She loves looking at the decorations though and her favorite is a Grover ornament, the character from Sesame Street, that I've had since my kids were babies.

Deanne, hope you're over whatever bug you had and are feeling better!

I just looked at the clock and can't believe how late it's getting. Have to run now. TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:05AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Well, I get really busy at work (whats new at that) and trying to finish Xmas stuff up so I can make a trek to Phila this weekend and all of a sudden, things get hoppin again here!

Are we trying to make to Idyll 300 for the New Year?

Kathy  love to hear about your roses  I think weÂre garden freaks about most any plant or woodie, etc. . . . In my very small garden, IÂve managed to cram in Heritage, Zeph., Viking Queen, Wm. Baffin, Parade, Iceberg and a couple others I donÂt recall at present! and am always swooning over others. . . .

Sue  glad Zoe is doing well  I hate unexpected vet bills at this time of the year! ChloeÂs "teeth" visit turned out to quite pricey  so Santa is probably not getting his new computer for Xmas. . . . le sigh... always something!

Martie  dibbles! what a hoot  loved that story. . . . sometimes our minds are not where they should be, always suspicious, right?

Mary  that teacup is wonderful!! And the longhouse  so neat! Thanks for sharing.

Re "rejected"  I find that terribly I very often (esp. when IÂve been out of loop at bit) read the most recent posts First (scroll to the bottom and work backward)  so all too often I donÂt see the earlier post  YEONA!!!! Truly  itÂs the carelessness & skimming that probably get us all into trouble here  and itÂs so hard to find time to reply/comment on everything when it gets busy here! IÂve had same thing happen to me  where I post a comment to someone/about something and never get a reply  but I figure more likely we just never had time to read everything thoroughly. . . . Chin up, Lady please.

I love olives too! I confess to being adventuresome about most food  the downfall of my existence  I love most any food  but will try anything once; there are a few things that fall on my "donÂt bother list". . . . I particularly love "ethnic" foods  always trying some new type  Ethiopian, Russian, Laotian... yum!

Martie  Im going to look your walk over and get back w/ some ideas  but youÂll be filling a notebook w/ help from all these able gardeners.

Im enjoying the Joy in the World of  the Idyller friends  they always have something to pick you up with!!

Tonite is our firm party at a local "swank" restaurant called IndeBlue  mostly French cuisine; should be interesting  in recent years past itÂs been at the same old hotel (typical buffet Marriott fare) so Im interested to see how much better this will be. But itÂs in the 60s here so no cahnce to wear that red cashmere sweater I can fit back into... too stinking hot!

Know IÂve missed a bunch of comments to people  thinking of you all!!!!


(p.s. - I see I've taken over Ei's mantle of !!!! points... hope it makes you like me more? - LOL... everything/everyone on this forum is a superlative in my book).

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 9:13AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Joyful foggy morning here too! We may get enough sunny moments later on to get outside and decorate the wreath on the barn. I hope so. The high muddy waters of the creek are deminishing a bit too.

Good to hear V's update! Yes, if only we had perspective on the things we do we would not make ourselves discouraged at times. The goal of making others happy is a fine one methinks, at any time of year. You can do that by being a dairy farmer as well!

Rich's new walkway is beautiful! I remember that stage from last summer. Because it was the first year I simply planted nasturtiums there until I could give it more thought. Last fall I transplanted thyme there instead.

Eden, something about time flying today. DH just left the house at 9:15 for a 9am meeting. It takes at least 25 minutes to get to the university from here. I too have a filled up garden. My friends laugh at me and say I'm the only person who rejoices when something dies and I can replace it!

Charlotte is hungry and there are many tasks big and small awaiting...

Oh, just a silly thing here. I have been keeping gum in the kitchen. I find if I chew gum during all the food prep time that I can't munch on food simultaniously. That is important for me, especially at holiday time. Not an attractive habit, but better than smoking I figure.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 9:39AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The flowers in my garden,

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and
always delivered a full portion of water, at the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home
only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the
woman one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your
side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?" "That' s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we
each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

SO, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to
smell the flowers on your side of the path!

A friend sent me this by e-mail. I thought it was applicable to this forum. We are all "cracked pots" in our own way...just as my friend said I am. I took it as a compliment. ( She was attempting to cheer me up...and did. ) :-)

V, good to see you again. Thanks for your comment.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 10:29AM
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Good morning.......We're under a wind warning today as a big storm is expected to come through. Of course today is the day that the farrier is coming to trim the horse's hooves. Always works that way. The only areas under cover, out of the mud and away from the goats' helpful ministrations, are the I've cleaned out DH's side of the garage of anything that might spook the horse -- plastic garbage sacks with aluminum cans, coiled up ropes/extension cords...anything that might look 'scary' to him. He is usually very good about not being spooked, but I want to err on the side of caution as I really don't need any extra drama in my day. ;oP

It is raining hard right now, I cannot see the hillside across from my window, but the winds haven't begun yet. Gusts between 60 and 100 mph are being forecast for the coastal areas and possibly up to 60 mph here. I don't know if they will materialize....but am walking around picking up things (like compost bin covers) that might become mini missiles if we do get the strong winds.

Other than trimming horse hooves, cleaning out garages and battening down the hatches there isn't much going on here. I thought Mary & David's creation was extremely well done and I liked the tea cup gift she received. It was great that V could pop in....just like old times. I miss Bab's posts and also Eileen..... I hope Taryn got good news about the job she interviewed for, but am guessing that it didn't turn out (or she hasn't heard) since we didn't get a happy message from her that she is now even busier with the new job. I enjoyed seeing Woody's new building although I don't think I've mentioned it yet. It looks like it is going to turn out to be another one of the lovely little garden sheds that Idyllers have and I envy. ;o)

Well, I've written much more but deleted it.....time for me to quit yakking and get myself busy.

Here is a little bit of fun, if you are mindlessly sitting around for a few minutes......enjoy.


Can You come Up With the More Traditional Name for each of these Christmas Carols?

1.Expect My Arrival At My Domicile For Yuletide
2.The Primary Carol
3.Tinkling Chime Stone
4.My Singular Desire For the Impending Yuletide Season A Receipt of a Pair of Central Incisors
5.Precious Metal Inverted Cups With Clappers
6.Righteous Darkness
7.Celestial Messengers From Splendid Empires
8.The Yuletides Dozen 24 Hour Intervals
9.Im Fantasizing concerning A Celebration Day Without Color
10.The Even Manifest Itself At the Onset of A Transparent Day
11.The Diminutive Male of Less Than Adult Age Who Plays A Percussion Instrument
12.The Seasonal Tall Coniferous Plant
13.Proclaim It To The Hills
14.Diminutive Nazarene Municipality
15.During the Dark Hours When Herdsman Supervised Their Charges
16.An Asian Triplet of Queen Mates
17.The Manikin of Crystalline H20
18.The Event Occurred At One Minute After 11:59 PM Visibility Unlimited
19.Tinkling Cup Shaped Metal Pieces
20.Loyal Followers Advance
21.Are You Detecting the Same Aural Sensations As I Am?
22.I Apprehended My Maternal Parent Osculating With A Corpulent, Unshaven Male in Crimson Disguise
23.Delight For This Planet
24.Please Permit Crystalline Formations To Descend
25.Aged Matriarch Plowed Under By Precipitous Darlings
26.Our Desire Is Your Yuletide Cheer
27.Castaneous Colored Seed Heated In a Conflagration
28.Season Without Color
29.Listen, The Heavenly Messengers Harmonize
30.Caribou With Vermilion Olfactory Appendage
31.Soundless Nocturnal Period
32.Happy Elderly Martyr Without Five Cent Pieces
33.Bipedal Traveling Through An Amazing Acreage During Mother Natures Dormancy
34.Omnipotent Supreme Being Tells happy Males To Relax
35.In Another Place Meant For Bovine Storage
36.Tranquility Upon The Terrestrial Sphere
37.The Approach of the Holiday Commemorating the Birth of Christ Is Becoming Evident
38.What Offspring Abides Thus?
39.A Visitor Is Coming To the City
40.Embellish the Corridors With Large Sprigs Of Berry-Bearing Evergreen

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 12:27PM
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That was fun T. I got 30 of them going thru quickly while Bella was eating lunch. How's Claude?

Marie, those are some big clumps of nasturtiums! I search my garden for plants that are under performing so I can try something new. Problem is I already have things in pots waiting in the wings so to speak, lol.

Cindy, Have fun at your party tonight. Congrats on fitting into the sweater!

Kathy, my Abraham Darby is an own root plant that I got from David Austin a few years ago and it's still my weakest and smallest rose. When it does bloom though it' a beauty. I keep hoping it will come into it's own some day. It holds a special place in my heart since it reminds me of my kitty Abraham that I lost last summer.

Marian, I liked your story. It also says to me that we all need to learn to work with what we have instead of complaining about what we don't. And a flaw is only that if you perceive it that way. It could also be one of our greatest strengths. Thanks for sharing!

I'm typing on borrowed time here while Bella's playing. Must go...


    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 1:11PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Marian, your timing is perfect! So, from one cracked pot to another...
I'm glad you found my response helpful.

OK, Ive lost it. I just discovered its Thursday, not Friday. And Im not 83 like Mom.
She said she thinks shell be OK today and asked me not to come over. Shell just nuke the xtra meals DD pre-cooked for her.

Speaking of micros, I snagged the very last micro that was on sale as a special promo at my local appliance store for $30. While my built-in is still working, its 25 yrs. old and I dont know if it will last until we remodel the kitchen. So at least I have a back-up.

Ive been hand feeding Bullet again. He doesnt want it and cant afford to miss any meals. Yesterday pm he ate a can of regular food. Now nothing. Its so frustrating.

OK, news. I got a call from another local garden club this am. They want me on their garden walk -- their first one!! In their zeal to publicize their event, they sent publicity feelers to some major natl magazines and were flabbergasted when one seized the day. Now they're in a pickle to locate/select gardens. This magazine wants to do a photo array and article on gardener's gardens, not professional gardens.

While Im honored to think theyd consider my garden, Im not anywhere in the same league as many of you and I have tons of work to do on it. I concentrated on the front landscape this fall and just literally threw in plants willy-nilly in the back. I doubt I could be ready by mid-June. And Id certainly need to pick all of your brains for ideas for a hedgerow in the back border. Heres a reminder of how sparse it looks.

At the moment, with the holidays and inside projects, it seems a bit overwhelming.

Martie, I love your new walkway. Your DH did a great job on it. I agree with Eden, for a more formal look, check out boxwoods. I used Green Mountain b/c it can be kept really small here. I've noted they're using them alot these days in the pricier home landscapes and they 'green up' and define a space immediately.

'Bug, Your arbor walk is just gorgeous!!! If you were closer, Id steal it. Incredible!

V, I'm fortunate that I'm not into olives. I hear they have mega calories, particularly the ripe ones, which my DD loves. Give me chocolate instead!

Sue, glad to hear everything went well for you, Dr's visit and all. I, too, marvel at how much you accomplish. However, I remember I used to do the same when I was working. Often, Id do errands at lunch and make 2 or 3 stops on my way home from work so I could have weekends free. So multi-tasking my whole life was a must. I like this pace better and I get really cranky when I have to multi-task at home.

Eden, Michelle, I love hearing about your xmas adventures with the little ones.

T, stay safe. Hope all goes well with the farrier. BTW, time for more elk pix from the PNW!!

Hi to all I didnt address specifically. Im way behind here. Gotta run.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 3:50PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just popping in quickly to say Go for it Honey! When we were asked last year to be a host garden in the local tour for this year, our first thoughs all ran along the lines were not ready; the garden is not mature enough and other such nervous thoughts. The north alley garden was dug out/set up and the copper fence and gate built last fall just so that area wouldnt look dreadful on the tour! All the planting there was done this spring so then I worried it would look too empty for the tour added a bunch of coleuses and begonias to fill in. We were sure that the other gardens on the tour would be better than ours so were afraid to go see the other hosts gardens on the day before the tour. We did end up going - and liked our garden best! Im sure all the other hosts had the same worries and felt the same (i.e. that theirs was the best!)once they had seen the other gardens. All the gardens we saw had their own strengths and weaknesses but all were worth seeing. (My garden shed currently under construction was inspired by a gorgeous shed in the garden of one of the other hosts.) We all see the weaknesses of our gardens more clearly than the strengths at times. The visitors see the strengths and overlook or forgive :- ) the weaknesses! The picture you just posted of the bridge makes me want to see the rest of the garden The pictures Ive seen you post say to me you can participate without feeling doubtful about it. So go for it! Its a bit of work but lots of fun. A side issue to consider I took out extra liability insurance and made sure the insurer was aware there was a tour on a specific day. No one had any accidents in the garden, but it doesnt hurt to cover off the possibility. One older woman had started feeling faint in the heat. We got her to sit on the bench in the shade on the patio and gave her cold water. Her daughter was with her and stayed with her until she was feeling a bit better and then took her home.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Oh my! the pressure is really on now... lots to read, lots to TRY to remember to comment on. Sometimes, when I'm feeling really stomped on by circumstances, I can get sorta insecure, too. But not very often. I'm going to be really honest; frankly? I don't have time to wonder if I'm being ignored, so I very rarely "look in that cupboard". ;)

I'm missing Babs., Saucy, V., Taryn, and Ei., several others, too... those who jumped the train while this hobo was "on sabbatical".

Olives. A favorite of mine! but not the black ones... I prefer the savory, "salty" ones; Kalmattas (sp?) and the green jobs. :) A fussy eater as a kid (it was rumored I once ate a pea), my favorite sandwich for lunch was creamcheese and olive on good hard, SEEDED rye bread! I loathed cooked vegetables (except cauliflower and broccoli), so ate my carrots, green beans raw. And there were always some olives with pimento on my plate. Go figure! Welcome to the olive fold, V. ;)

Perhaps because I was born a "crackpot", Marian, I loved your story, esp. the part about the flowers on one side of the path. Tickled me. No flannel lined jeans for me. I'm a long underwear kinda girl, personally... but prefer the woodstove to them, too.

T., when're you gonna get a break from the weather? seems every time I watch the weather you're getting socked with some nasty front that brings wind, rain, snow. Are your skies ALWAYS grey? I've been meaning to ask about Claude, too. I have a fondness for goats; when I was a kid there was a big white one at the stable where I took riding lessons. His name was Rufus, but I always wondered if it was spelled "Roofus" because of his penchant for hanging out on the rooves of cars. One day, he was atop an expensive automobile, the owner was not amused, and when shooed off he let a stream of dung pellets go that rolled down the windshield as he bolted off the roof onto the trunk (I remember thinking they looked like Raisinettes) and then to the ground in 2 bounds. I thought he was great. I used to love watching the farrier work on my horses, too. It's a fascinating trade. Do you have to have the goats' hooves trimmed, too? My parents were horrified when I expressed an interest in learning the trade... only college would do, you know!... but I always wanted to learn that and welding. My interest lay in the shoeing of Tennessee Walkers and 5 gaited American Saddlebreds. Also Morgans and Arabians. There is great skill involved and the service is priced accordingly. LOL at the encoded Carol names... the helpmeet and I missed a few of them, and cracked up over several others. That's a good one.

Roses. The bane of my existence. I love them, but am too much of a reactionary gardener to be successful with them. I had the most gorgeous fenceful of Henry Kelseys some years ago, but an exceptionally cold December nailed them HARD, and I've been forever turned off. Too much work! funguses, bugs, wintering... forget it! I'd rather put the effort into Hydrangeas, frankly. I have one New Dawn (pathetic compared to Ei's), that performs reasonably well IF I spray for aphids. I'm impressed with your willingness to "fuss". Or maybe it's just that with my time so occupied now I'm unwilling to risk failure on the gardening front.

'bug, I hope you garnished a lot of salads with all the flowers from those Nasturtiums. They're so pretty! Have any of you had any success inducing them to climb?

Honey, DO PUT YOUR GARDEN ON THE WALKING TOUR. I was reluctant to put our home on "tour", too. Worried about all the same stuff you are... but I did it anyway. And the response was uniformly wonderful. Visitors are not looking for the omissions! they're interested in combinations, colors, and how you've used your plant material to make the most of your property. You have a lovely garden and you really ought to show it to others.

OK, I'm tired and want to watch the news and stare are the Christmas tree and the lights in the windowboxes for awhile. Work was OK today. I finished 2 curtains for a large porch enclosure and will cut down another curtain for another job tomorrow. I have the option of not working at all next week; I'll see how I feel.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 4:45PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My introduction to olives came while at a grade school picnic. Someone had brought the black olives. One of the 'older' girls loved them, but said it was a learned taste. I thought they looked and tasted too much like what Chelone said rolled down that limosine's roof!!! LOL
I have learned to like them, but not the green ones.

T, I am praying that those high winds do not get to your place ! Stay safe

Honey, if you feel up to need to go for the garden walk. I am sure your yard will be lovely, and all these excellent gardeners will help make it so. :-)

Eden, I liked your take on the cracked pot story. You got more out of it than I did.

Wow Marie! Your nasturtiums did wonders! I've never had any do so well. I'm sure the thyme will be very pretty there also. I like thymes.

Woody, you are so right about how we see our own gardens, and how others see them. Although there are a few 'others' who only look for the flaws...:-(
There was a women in the Extension Homemaker's Club ( and a former neighbor) who always honed in on any weed that the hapless gardener missed, and gleefully pointed them out!

I am expecting a busy day tomorrow. I am going in early ( fasting) to get the blood tests that I couldn't get the last trip to the Dr. I will also get a pneumonia shot. Then I am scheduled for a bone density scan.
In the PM I have an appointment with our new Medicare insurance agent. I hope we can stay with the policies that were given us back in the summer.
It is to be a warm day, so I won't have to be concerned about Nolon staying warm, even if the stove goes out.

Chelone and Honey, maybe we can start a 'crack pot'


    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 6:02PM
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Hi there

just another cracked pot saying Hi! (I'm sure there's a pun lurking somehwere in ther V might uncover). Marian thank you for sharing the story.

Martie - FANTASTIC job on the path! Love the porch with chairs too.

T - you'll keep me busy with those songs. Do the twins have a Christmas picture? They'd make some darling little Santa's elves along with big cousin Jamie!

Honey - do go for the garden tour. I know first hand what a treat visitors would be in for. The festive bows on the bridge are a great touch.

I know I'm missing half the poeple I'd like to talk to but a long day is winding down. I had an Odyssey of the Mind team meeting after school, then cooked a quick dinner, tested both Annie and David on spellings and practiced the violin with Annie (she's studying a Vivald Concerto so that I really enjoyed). I just have to run through David's guitar pieces and I can collapse on the couch in front of survivor. Perhaps I'll open my weekend bottle of wine a night early.

I'm done to a turn - have a good evening everyone


    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 7:34PM
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THESE are the things I wanted to add...

I am NOT always cheerful, Honey. Lately, my mood has been decidedly dark. My perspective seems to be nearly always in shadow. I find rays of sunshine here, in the antics of the cats, and by FORCING myself to take Rex out for a walk/ball game. I have kept my eyes fixed on the furrow in front of me for so long now I've become hypnotized by its monotony. I do what I have to do to get through one more day as smoothly as possible. Every so often I see the REAL world and realize how much I've given up to get through one more day. I don't recognize myself any more... . Monotony is mind-numbing, and it's really frightening to realize that you've become numb to life because it's what gets you through. I've had a "wake up call" in the past week. And it's scaring the hellouttame. But I'm no coward. So, you see... I'm not always cheerful. But I am a pragmatist.

We don't have a real microwave. No kidding! What we call a "microwave" is actually a Black Angus, counter top combination broiler/oven that was "purchased" with S&H Greenstamps c. 1967! Really. It works fine, is rather a curiosity to many, and nicely highlights the 24" gas stove that we've had since we moved into this house in 1991. LOL! We live "retro" with the original stuff.

Mary, your miniature in the teacup is precious. And the Long House is wonderful, too. What fun the two of you must've had putting it together! where did you manage to find the figurines and the corn? I'm so impressed; it's the finding, the placement and the DISCUSSIONS of it all that really fosters the understanding and appreciation of a subject matter. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy with memories of my own; and then sad, because that part of Mum went away with the stroke... and Dad has been dead for nearly 13 years. But thanks anyway, because right now I need to remember those things. :)

That's why I like this forum so much...

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 7:53PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I can so identify with what you wrote. When I have a rare good day I think :" This is what normal people feel most of the time ! "
I am so thankful for the glimmers of happiness that I have.
Thank God I have hopes of better days eventually.
I do try to lighten the atmosmere in our house, but it is becoming increasingly difficult.
I pray that both you and I will find that what we are going through will lead to a good ending, and we can go back to living a full happy life.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:11PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Chelone, I need to add...I admire the ability that you have to put down your feelings, and they come out so well. My head is crammed full of thoughts, but when I try to put them down, they just don't come out right. It is another of my concerns. I did some research and it appears I have a form of dysphagia. I have to constantly correct what I put down. So many of my words come out jumbled on 'paper'.I think maybe my speach does too. I didn't use to be this way...:-(

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:51PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Another olive lover here for roll call! Love 'em in salads, in a bean and tenderloin casserole, in antipasto, straight out of the jar. They've even been an item under the Christmas tree here.

I finally decorated the barn wreath during a sunny moment.

I realized that Babs' kiddies were omitted from my wish list of photos. PLEASE forgive me. There must be others I forgot too. :( Mary, thanks so much for your first installment with David. Do we get to see Annie practicing Vivaldi? She must be at the age where she does not want to be photographed....

Very pleased to hear from GW buddy Kaveh today. He is out in California once more. Sounds good to me!

The wind is howling outdoors and I am thinking of V's daughter getting home in this weather. I hope the computer survives this!

I must tend to my knitting. I'm working on the last sleeve, then must crochet the edges. I'll try for a photo after that. I need time for many more things before the company arrives! It should be fun though.

Wishing everyone well! That means YOU too Deanne as well as Sue who is working away. I am imagining Michelle all beautified for her party last night. :-)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 8:56PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Marian checking in to the crack pot club! Surely, Im a bonified member, lol. BTW, if you can figure out Medicare, more power to you. Altho I have a few more years until I get there, Geez, Louise, I have no clue. It seems that I have quite a learning curve ahead of me and its a moving target.

Woody, thanks so much for your perspective on your garden tour. BTW, Im thrilled youre back with us and posting. Yea, Woody! This is the first you really talked about your garden tour and I loved your sharing your experiences. I was on a local tour a couple yrs. ago. It was a lot of work. Yee gads, it was a lot of work. There were 1000 guests touring my and my neighbor, Ruths gardens. That also was the first IU year and it was here!!! Now, thats pressure. Ruth says Hi to everyone..

The problem now is that my conditions have changed drastically due to maturing trees or loss of them. And Im O/C like most of my friends here, lol. Also, my eye is more critical than a couple yrs. ago and I need more (expensive) woody plants. So Im just not sure I have enough time and $ to bring it up to snuff. Les, Monique, do you consult???

Oh dear, that mustve been a worry about the woman who was unsteady. We have mega-liability insurance, so were Ok there, but thanks for mentioning it. Its always a concern. The other problem we have on this site, is wind. If the weather isnt cooperative, everything can be flattened in a heart beat.

Chelone, lolololol! I got to the "Raisinettes part and just howled! OMG!!! And
You go girl. Youre absolutely right we gotta get those errant posters back!

OMG, Marian, I really howled about what black olives looked like to you. Just too funny, you guys.

About the garden tour, I need those plant plaques from Gardeners supplyyou know the ones titled, "Weedis Victorius", "Peakus Lastweekus", Coata Fortunii" and "Plantus Unknownus". Ive got many places for them in my garden, lol.

Chelone, Im sorry you had a wake up call. Im not surprised with all you have on your plate. Do take a minute or two to smell the roses when you can. You surely deserve it. There is comfort in monotony and it can be good for your soul, particularly when you have so many "opportunities" that present themselves with your Moms care. That you overcome and still post here as often as you do, indicates an incredible character strength, courage and determination. I admire how well youre handling this lifes curve.

Bug, gorgeous wreath! OK, tapping my footwe need a pic of Michelle all done up in finery. We also need a post from Taryn and Babs. Where are you guys?????! And where is Deanne?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 9:18PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I find joy in being surrounded by so many fellow crackpots! I'm thinking that Marie may be a double crackpot, since she has shown us that there are flowers on both sides of her path! (Cindy, I'm borrowing a few of the !!! that you stole from Ei.)

I was out of the office most of the day, but came back late in the afternoon to find the voice of an idyller on my voicemail - what a pleasant surprise. (trying to hold back on !!!)

'bug, how do you get your nasturtiums to grow like that? My are(were) about 1/10th that size. I have nasturtium envy...

Chelone, (by the way, I'm baaack!) you have a gift of perserverance. Lesser folk would have been crushed by the burdens you bear long ago. So hang in there, woman, and you will turn the corner some day. Okay, I thought this was a really dumb thing when I first read it, but then I tried it and it really does make you smile on a really cr***y day. Look your dog right in the eye (not hard with Rex, I think he's big enough to be eye level?) and tell 'em that you love him. Every day! It's so comforting to see that total acceptance in their eyes, no matter how badly you feel you've screwed up the day/the week/the life.

I'll ask all my crackpot friends to marshall their good thoughts and prayers for my DD, who is a bit stressed right now. She has her toughest final tomorrow, and her car needs a new water pump. Right now, she isn't sure if she will make it home tomorrow. This afternoon, she got lost trying to take the car in (we've run into several problems with mapping programs being wrong for that town) and then the car started making bad noises. That was about all it took to bring her to tears on the phone. I calmed her down (what else can you do from 150 miles away?) and told her to call the place. A woman there drove over to where she was, checked the car and told her it was okay to drive, and then led the way back to the shop. Anyway, there's much up in the air right now and she needs all the good vibes she can get sent her way.

And DH is sitting on a runway somewhere in Michigan, hoping that the plane will actually take off tonight.

Martie, the walk looks great. I agree with the boxwood recommendations, and how about some calamintha? It's one of my new favorite plants right now.

Who mentioned admiring those who worked all day and came home to accomplish a lot? I work all day and come home to do a slug imitation. I'm getting pretty good at it, too. Except I don't drown myself in beer. I'm so whipped after 9 to 10 hours at the office that I don't do much beyond the essentials when I get home. I need to start doing one small project a night so that something gets accomplished!

That said, I'd better load the dishwasher. T, stay safe in those storms - I'm just hearing 85 - 100 mph winds in Oregon.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 10:05PM
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I picked myself up a new Kenny G Christmas CD that I am enjoying as I read here.

Honey, I just love your bridge, the greenery and bows really set it off. I told Rick he had to come and take a look. It gives me ideas of decorating my arbor with some Christmas greenery and bows.

T, we were at a Christmas party on Sat. night where we did a word game similar to yours. Ill have to print it out to work on it.

Eden, I have a somewhat funny Kenzie story. DD has been putting pull-ups on her in the potty training effort. She seems to dislike the dirty pants now, so shes catching on. One day she must have dirtied at naptime so she took the pull up off and hid it behind the bedroom door. So when her dad got her up he couldnt figure out why DD would have put her to nap with a bare tush.

Roses, I love them too, but with my cold zone and desire not to fuss, I have done a fair amount of research on the ones I have added to the garden. I never spray and usually dont get around to mounding. Id like to add more. I just got the David Austin catalog. It is such a lovely catalog.

I often think I should get rid of my oven and just have 2 microwaves. Tells you something about my cooking, huh?

Put me down as loving the green and liking the black olives.

Bug, the wreath is wonderful, so natural looking. Perfect for the barn. Last night I wore a black patchwork jacket that was very expensive but I picked up for less than $10 last spring. The patchwork is velvet, satin and squares that are embroidered. We have DHs office party tomorrow night at a restaurant called Michaels. It had been in business for like 40 years and then closed about a year ago. It was recently reopened under new owners. It was one of the classiest places around. Im curious to see if the new owners are doing it justice. Rick proposed to me at a corner table there on December 16, 1995. I remember walking in and seeing a large vase of roses on the table that Rick had delivered there for me. How could I say "no"?

Honey, Ill try to get Rick to take a picture tomorrow night. LOL on those plant markers I could use those too.

I hope Deanne is recovered from her flu.

Im so sentimental I remember a Christmas 21 years ago when my DS was just 3 ½. He loved hearing the poem Twas The Night Before Christmas" I had read the book to him so many times that by Christmas he and I both knew it by heart. That poor kid was asked by every relative to recite it. It was just so darn cute.

Here's another Christmas memory. The kids just loved making and eating their very own gingerbread (graham cracker) houses each year. Mary's miniatures reminded me of this picture.

Night all

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 10:30PM
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Yow-zer, this has been one busy place today ! I have given myself a three day weekend (carpet installation in the home office tomorrow) and have made myself a very ambitious list of what I hope to accomplish this weekend. Ill feel good if I get half of it done ! We are supposed to see the sun on Saturday; more rain tomorrow. I will visit the nursery on Sat and purchase what roses I can.. I also ordered the replacements for my hated Korean boxwoods today- I will get "Buxus macrophylla ""Green Velvet", but will not get for awhile- the garden center will not be ordering much in January . With all the rain we have been having there are weeds coming up everywhere- thinking I might cover my bare spots in front with newspaper and then a top dressing of compost to smother them.

Martie, nice walkway ! I hope to post pics of mine sometime this weekend . I would put dwarf alberta spruce at the start of the path , one on either side-sort of an entry statement. I think these are okay in your zone? I like the boxwood suggestions that others have mentioned. You could always edge the path with boxwood and then put taller items behind. So fun to design isnt it ?

Eden, Im doing a cookie list too, but as I look at it I am horrified by how much $$ its going to cost to buy the ingredients for the cookies Ive selected . How come I never choose the cheap stuff?? I hit up DS tonight for a contribution for Christmas groceries and he was every agreeable. How nice that you will take Bella to the reading at the bookstoreThese are the things that instill the love of books from very young age.
And as for the office project- I need to get it going now because some years we have spring in February and at that point I will no longer want to be doing indoor projects.

Mary, I wanted to comment on the Longhouse-I just love to look at that kind of stuff ! Have any of you ever been to Miniature World in Victoria BC ? Its touristy but really cool. Here in California 4th graders typically are given a "Mission Project" and have to re-create one of the California Missions in 3d. My kids both had to do so. I dont remember what our projects looked like, but I think one of them was made out of lasagna noodles !

bug love your nasturtiums; has Giverny written all over it !

Marian, I cant tell you how I loved your cracked pot story. I found it very moving .Thank you so much for posting it. Hope all turns out well with your blood tests etc . Yknow Marian, I always really enjoy reading your posts .I think you have clear view, and a big heart. Our lives can be complicated but there are some simple truths, and I sense in you the ability to expose these.

bug-love the wreath !

Woody, I concur with all who said to go for it on the garden tour. I have never been on one, but have many friends who have and I think the experience will make you feel really good about your garden. Its so nice to have all your hard work supported by the great feedback you will get from the folks who come to see your garden.

So many more posts to respond to, but the chores are callingIll check in tomorrow. Ill catch you then !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 12:04AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

While the merry bells keep ringing
May your every wish come true....

May the calendar keep bringing
Happy Holidays to you!!!

While the merry bells keep ringing
Happy Holidays to you!!!

May the calendar keep bringing
Happy Holidays to you...

Happy Holidays!!!

Happy Holidays!!!

Good Evening Idylls! Marian...*please* don't be offended....I love you and *do* understand and respect your feelings, but just wanted to send a little of my silliness along to all of you...I hope you don't mind. Besides I was just so tickled about how my elves came out, I had to show you guys! :-)

I have a lot to catch up on and hope to do that tomorrow, but it is now 02:00 a.m. and I have to get to bed....
Good Night All! Ei

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 2:58AM
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Quickie before I race off to work...'bug your baHn wreath is beautiful. Please tell me what the berries are...

More for therestayas later this afternoon.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 6:27AM
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Good dark morning. Yes, almost 7a and dark outside. 5 more days!!!!

Thanks for the suggestions! I, too, love box and it will survive in my zone. Caprilands (homestead of Adelma Simmons and the place that brought herbs out of the closet) has them used a lot. My only problem with box is that I'd have to plant them on 10" centers to make a true hedge and the walkway is 40'long. May have to do it in phases if I want to get anything else. LOL Love the Nasturiums, Marie!!

So much to comment on and so little time! But quickly:

V: Yes, Greek Columnar Basil is a tremendous plant but not even PapaGeno's has it. Logee's has cornered the market. Sorry for your DD -- scary, for sure. Wish her luck on her finals from my DH who's trembling at the thought of three in one day.

Marian: What a great story! Forwarded it on to my Mom for her Round Robin/prayer group.

Honey: Go for the tour! One of the best gardens ever included, IMHO, was one that was tiny and in a raised bed but done by a woman in a wheelchair. Serious gardeners will recognize the effort and design -- lookers will recognize that you are one great gardener, period!!

Chelone: I've had days when "home' didn't extend beyond the couch. Good for you to keep going. Monotony is numbing, but nothing will be monotonous when the entry into a LTC for your Mom gets rolling. You'll be ready to throw paperwork out of the window and think I'd just be easier to go live in a cave, but at least a decision as been made and acted on. I envy your hot glue gun ability, BTW. I end up with glue on everything but the thing to be stuck.

Eden: How great you get to see Christmas through Bella's eyes!

Great Kenzie story! At exactly age 2y1m Ky came downstairs with a clean diaper in his hand, none on his body, put said diaper in the garbage, looked at me and announced "No more those things Momma." How lucky was I????

Pics of all kids welcome!!

Any olives do fine for me as long as they're not stuffed with cream cheese.

Just looked at the sky and it is a true dusky lavender. I can hear it now: "Boss, I'm late because I was looking at the sky and it turned purple." Reply would be "It ain't the 60's anymore, Mart." LOL Joy for having a great person to work for/with!!

Ei - Love those elves!!

Kathy: Three Days!! No more needs to be said, friend! Was surprised that you do NO mulching but then thought -- She probably thinks I'm nuts to mention it!!! This is what comes from living in max Z6 for all my life. LOL And secretly ordered a Souv. de M. I miss it!

That said, it's to the point when if I have to I can sneak plants into the garden without Mr. Scrooge checking over my shoulder. We did the rest of the hardscape budget the other night and I can see his point, but hey!!!! I could be addicted to something a lot more expensive and less permanent!

All Holiday greenery is awe inspiring! Wish I had that talent.... Give me fabric anyday.

Sue: Looking forward to a status report and have great fun with the party!!!!

Deanne: When you crawl out from under the covers hope you check in. I was trying to describe your mailbox garden to a friend and am sure I missed something. Do you have a plant list?

Okay -- I know I've missed someone or something I wanted to say but really need to bolt outta here. I'm with V., I move around a lot and get a ton done but am incoherent anytime after 8p during the week.

Joy to everyone!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 7:18AM
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Good morning

Ei - your Elves gave me the biggest smile and the best start to my day!

Michelle - fond memories indeed.

Bug - the wreath is a perfect addition to your handsome barn.

Chelone - the little figures and corn I made out of Fimo clay - the type that bakes hard in the oven.

T - are you safe? - without power?

Heading off to work thinking of all my Idyll friends, those present and absent.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 7:21AM
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ooh, and good vibes for V's daughter.

Till later,


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 7:24AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Sorry I didnt get back sooner. Thanks to everyone for their concern, Yes, Im better from the flu. Lost five pounds. Not a good method of weight loss however. Busy, busy, busy here. Getting ready for Christmas and Sues party tomorrow. ~~ This weather has been bizarre! Were running around in shirt sleeves. Today the day is starting out at 45 and supposed to hit the 60 degrees. I wish Id believed that it was going to stay this warm for a week because Id have shipped a few plants out. Ive got toooooo many coleus and Ive got to get rid of a few of the duplicates to make room for the keepers to grow.

So many lovely photographs here! Im loving it.

Marie, love your wreath.

Eileen, wonderful holiday greetings. The best present for me would be if you had time to pop in a bit more often to post here! Miss you.

Martie, I actually dont have a plant list for that Mailbox garden but the only perennials in there are a carpet and fairy rose, Ajuga Black Scallop, Clematis Miss Bateman, Alium Gladiator, Nepeta Dawn to Dusk and I just planted a Miscanthus Morning Light. The rest of the garden is planted with dahlias and this year I had Fuchsia Billy Greene in there. Some of the dahlias are Ottos Thrill, Le Baron, Breakout, Minnesota, Lilac Time, and Claudette. There are also a couple shorter varieties that have white flowers that I dont know the name of.

Michelle, I just love your story about how Rick proposed to you. Wonderful! Im smiling.

V, best of luck to DD with her finals. When Im stressed to the max I can be reduced to tears by the straw that broke the camels back thing too. Glad the garage helped her out. I just dont trust map directions from the internet.

T sorry for the weather youve been dealing with! And official winter hasnt even arrived yet.

Eden, hope we can see pics of the big baking project. Did you say how many you were going to do? I missed that. BTW I ran across my notes from the color lecture for the garden club yesterday and realized that I never sent that out to you! So sorry, the notes are now on their way.

All righty, must run, have a great day all,

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:27AM
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Hello to all!

Last night was a windy one. We lost power 3 times from 3:30 PM until some time this morning.

I'm babysitting the twins this morning but thought I'd pass on a little smile maker....

'bug your wreath looks lovely.

Michelle, your kids look so intent upon their projects. What wonderful memories they must have about those house making days!

Ei, so LOVELY to see your name (and your tree with pixie elves)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Miss you!!! Drop me a line and fill me in on whatshappening?

V, I hope DD will ace the test and that the stresses will be lessened considerably. :oD

Deanne.......glad you are feeling more betters. ;o)

I'd better get outta this chair and get moving!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:38AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I have taken my shower and am now waiting for my bushy hair to dry before heading in to town. All that has gone into my mouth this morning is my 2 pills and enough water to wash them down. :-)

Eileen..dear kind friend...of course your post didn't offend me ! Your elves are so cute. They look pretty delicate. Will they pack okay for another year?

Okay...I've got to finish getting ready, and hit the road.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:49AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Sorry, no time to chat.

Yay, Ei's back with her photojournals of fun!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 10:43AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

V, it really sounds like youre putting in the hours. I remember how hard it was to do that and try to get holiday things done. Sending up a few prayers and good vibes for your DD. Im sure shell ace her finals.

Michelle, the local garden club had a 60 garland for sale at a phenomenal price. I only needed 40 for the front so decided to give the bridge a little holiday décor. Glad you liked the pic. Its spotlighted at night. The bonus is that we get to see critter antics out back, too. About 11 pm Wed. nite, there were two huge bucks fighting it out on the grass behind my garden. These guys were huge and had incredible racks reminded me of Ts elk.

How sweet and romantic Rick is! And how special that you can go back to that same spot to celebrate. And I just love those little gingerbread houses! Neat idea that they each get to make a little one!

Welcome back, Deanne. So glad youve recovered. You were missed.

Grrrrrr Kathy. Winter is over in February for you?? I have serious zone envy.

Hi Ei! Love, love, love your elves and tree. Happy Holidays to you, too.

Thanks everyone, for your support on the garden walk. I think Im not going to commit until I think about it more thoroughly after the holidays and make a rough guestimate of what it might cost for the plants Ill need. I thumbed thru some garden books this am and have some ideas. Im going to have to so more research, make plant lists and draw it out. Whether I do the walk or not, I still need a plan for several areas. So perhaps this is what I need to get it in gear here.

Martie, LOLOL. I, too, get more glue on everything else but where it should go.

T, glad youre safe! Hey, I didnt know you could move like that. Way to go, girl.

Time for me to deal with the dreded paperwork Ive let stack up here, get some food ready and take it out to Moms. Hi to all. TTYL,


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 10:51AM
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Back from work early today, too. I altered a curtain for a winter enclosure this morning, cutting it down to 100" from 112" wide. It's about 96" tall. It was a pain! I had to:
1.) peel back the top and bottom zipper pockets to about 15" past the center of the curtain.
2.) detach the top and bottom fabric panels from the clear plastic for about 18" on either side of the center.
3.) cut the excess clear plastic away and reseam the pieces.
4.) cut the excess out of the top and bottom fabric panels, reseam, and topstitch.
5.) rejoin the fabric panels to the clear plastic and topstitch.
6) remeasure the zipper pockets, shorten them the required amount, shorten the zippers, and then reapply the pockets to the curtain.
7.) replace the center grommet at the top edge.
8.) clean and polish the inside and outside and roll properly for an easy installation on Monday.
Took the better part of 4 hours!

I have a little soiree to attend tonight. Just girls, no boys allowed. It's some Christmas cheer for my boss' former partner. She has Parkinsons and is the one who underwent the procedure that facilitates Deep Brain Stimulation to relieve the tremors that come with the disease. She can't drive yet, and was pretty "down in the dumps" so we decided a couple of weeks ago that we were going to bring holiday cheer to HER. I had forgotten about it! don't feel like making merry, but this is a "command performance" and it won't kill me. I have large purple grapes, Saga blue cheese, Lemon pepper hommus, and a selection of nice crackers. I was BUMMED that there was no pate to be had at my favorite place to buy it! I also purchased a nice bottle of Pinot Noir and a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider. I have to put it all together artfully on some sort of platter next...

Thinkin' good thoughts for V's daughter on exams, and all others facing the same thing. Poor dear! nothing pops my cork more quickly than car trouble. And it's not so much about the money (though I hate spending it on things like that!), it's the stress and worry. What a bummer.

Jeez, T., I was listening to NPR on the way home and they were interviewing people on the coast "out there"... they're using SNOWPLOWS to clear the downed branches out of the road. I hope you, the twins, the dogs, the goats, and the horse are all safe and snug in your home.

I have not (shamefully turning away) looked at Miss Martie's project or at Kathy's new front yard... will do that next. Not that I will have much to offer with respect to plantings, mind you.

Martie, I have decided that I WILL NOT do the paperwork required for Mum's move. I made it very clear to my brother that it was HIS turn to do the work. I rounded up all pertinent bank statements and mailed them off to him. When he suggested I do thus and such, I simply told him I was too busy at work, home, and with Mum's daily care to shoulder another chore. DEAD SILENCE. I don't care; I've seen more "combat duty" than he has and I'm ready to drive into an overpass abuttment about now. So there! I love him dearly and won't jeopardize my relationship with him, but fair is fair and it's HIS turn to "deal with it" now.

Photographs have made me smile, giggle, and I thank each and every one of you for that. Most sincerely, too.

Party down, Sue, Deanne, and all the other CT regulars. Can't wait to see some pictures.

Need to scrutinize links now...

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 2:14PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Computer is not behaving so this will be short.

Chelone, the berries on the wreath are faux mini-cranberries from the sale bin of the nursery. I hope I can use them next year too!

The knitting is DONE but the crochet part will also take time.

Honey, admit it, you must do the garden walk thing. Don't be such a perfectionist, do as much as you enjoy! My tours were always "take it as it is" and everyone had a fun time.

French Club dinner tonight at someone else's place, thank goodness! I'm bringing the cheesecake for dessert.

Glad to see Michelle's historic pictures of gingerbread making.

Hi to EI and Sue and T and Mary and everyone. Thinking of "little V".


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 3:02PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Thanks everyone for the comments and advice. I love the kindness here. Right now I'm torn, in typical Yeona fashion, between relief and embarrassment. Relief that my imagination was the culprit, not what I said to people, and the embarrassment of airing my insecurities online again, and also of being so insecure! I put the blame of my feeling rejected squarely on my own shoulders. Is it any wonder Im such a loner, lol. I battle this garbage daily. It started as a sadness that Deanne and Chelone might have been hurt or bothered by my posts to them and built up until I ended up with a feeling that no ones talking to me now, waaaa, and that means that no one likes me any more. I should really know better! As usual you came through for me with your wonderful responses. I do miss Cynthias buck up responses though. Theres that Idyllers writings sounding like music analogy that always comes to mind. Many of our tenors, baritones, sopranos, mezzo-sopranos or violins or bass or guitars or flute oris missing in the Idyll orchestra. Im probably a moody bass. No according to the link I'm a violin. Huh. I think my tastes are too eclectic for the thing.

Michelle What a comfort you are. Bad days and fear, not based in reality all the time, are what build on my insecurities.

I love your Christmas tradition of you children picking out a decoration for the tree each year. What kind of stuff did they pick out? I think Ill suggest that idea to the family. Who cares if I end up having lots of little computers on the tree. Its never too late to start a new tradition. :)

Your kids are such cutie pies and they do the same as Evan and Alena used to do, or at least the second part, eat the, in our case, gingerbread house.

Weird about the immigration raid. Im glad the local church thought about the kids. It must have scared a lot of them. And six packing plants across the country. Thats a lot of frightened kids.

The romantic in my loves the way Rick proposed to you. I absolutely love roses and wouldnt have been able to refuse, either. I wish I could say Richea was a romantic, but hes not! He asked, so when do you want to get married. I guess my answer to any question was a given. Thats the way he is, supremely confident. Oh well, I gently remind him its time to be romantic and he complies.

Marian, thanks for the commiserations, and for the offer of emailing. :) I might have to do that at some point. Down to a one you Idyllers are there for us. Unbelievable! I may not show it here but I am constantly at war with my mouth. I have to rein in constantly. I dont think it starts as bad things to say, but they come out sounding bad to me.

Youre right about Idyllers not being able to speak to each poster too. I just forget that when I go into wrong thinking mode. I think part of what I need to do is to learn to laugh at myself when I make a faux pas, before I start to take myself too seriously. Being teased and verbally abused at home has made me hyper aware of what I say and do, and also to other peoples reactions to me, so thats why I react so strongly to perceived rejection and so on. This preprogramming from childhood is such a bear to overcome. I keep trying, though.

Glad youre getting some new clothes. I need new sweaters. Mine are all old now. I have to hunt hard to find what I like and what fits, though so Im procrastinating about it. I hope your back gets better soon.

I loved your cracked pot story too. Very moving and a great analogy about people. Yup Im indeed and in deed a crackpot, lol.

Eden thank you for the good advice! Yup thats my thinking too. I need to post more! Also, I need to lighten up and expect what I give. When I post less I get less. I hate reality sometimes, lol, and dont think Im good at accepting it.

Eden you almost make me wish I had a grandchild to share the season with. I said almost, lol! Im not ready to let my DD be old enough to be married and a mom yet, because that would make me old enough to be a grandmother, of course! I am old enough to be a GM, but theres that reality thing that I hate sometimes, lol.

Mary I know that its not this groups fault!!!! I felt those feelings based on not being able to clearly read situations. I am solely to blame for what I feel, not you or others here. I am so sorry to sadden, even for a moment, a sweet person like you. I hope you understand that for me, acknowledging that feeling, and then even being here after having the feeling of rejection is a good thing, even if the initial reaction to my misguided thoughts werent. Please try to see it as not sad, but a step in the right direction for me, to feel bad, but come back and post anyway. Mary just look around you at the other regular posters here and realize that YOU dont need to do anything but to be the sweet caring person you are. It is incumbent upon me to do the doing, lol. I have to participate, and put myself out here, you just need to respond or not as you see fit! I hope that helps to make you feel less responsible. You arent responsible for other peoples feelings.

BTW thanks for the gluten free link. Ill put it to my favorites folder and get cooking. :) My table is covered with paperwork and Christmas decorations. I need a bigger table!

Mary that longhouse is fabulous! David gets first prize and an A++++ for that one, and of course you get the same, lol. I love the care to detail. Of course such a project deserves a great big huge mess, and a mom tolerant enough to have it, lol. Motherhood and messes go hand in hand, dont they?

Your teacup Christmas scene is sooo cute and cozy. It makes me want to step in and light a fire in the fireplace, and have a nice cuppa.

Deanne I wish I could plead the 5th on this one, but here goes. I thought you were mad at me for how I worded my comments about the loss of your neighbor. I couldn't bear the thought of hurting you and took a molehill of fear of being not wanted here by you, and built it into a mountain of fear of rejection by all. I wish I could use the SAD as an excuse, but it unfortunately is not contagious. Richea would gladly give up his SAD to me, though, lol.

I probably could have saved us all a lot of conversation about this, had I just said Ive sent you an email right when I sent it. At the best of times clear communication is difficult, lol. Like slogging through sand for me, and worse when Im down.

Marian I have chronic foot in mouth disease, which doesn't bode well when I have to deal with clients. Today it was a fax sent to the wrong client! They kindly laughed it off, but it was embarrassing. The other day I thought I had done some tax reports wrong and spent a frantic 3 hours poring over numbers and double checking, only to find that they had paid it to the wrong acct, even though I had sent the right paperwork. That kind of thing happens to me all the time, so I check everything twice and make copies and date everything. I must have some kind of weird karma thing happening to me.

Deanne I'm so sorry you were feeling ill. I'm glad it didn't last. I hope this finds you completely mended and with no coffee headache! Alena, my DD, used to get them, but since she's drinking water in place of coffee, doesn't any more.

Chelone I dont think I expect to be spoken to by all. I do hope to hear a reply when I direct a comment at someone, but should know that I might not. There-in lies the rub, what to do when not heard, repeat or feel rejected. Ill try to repeat a question next time and see if that works. I guess its a question of being proactive, rather than reactionary. I think Im inclined to the latter, rather than the former and am weakened by it.

Im sorry life is tough for you as a primary care giver. It must be overwhelming at times, but I hope the thought of her placement will ease the burden, and that you also take comfort in the fact that you did more for her than many would have done. She needs to be in a full time care facility, and youre doing the right thing and the best thing for her.

GB I do hear you about giving and sharing. Thats a good thing to remember in general about life. I do apologize if you think what I vented was inappropriate at any time, but I dont worry about people knowing details of my life in general. I just hope people here arent put off by my style. It is different given my different outlook on sharing, as keeping things bottled up is worse for me. I am a loner so sharing is harder to do. Maybe youre saying this isnt the place for it at all? Or is it just that you wouldnt talk about feelings of rejection here?

I love the arbor walk. Absolutely gorgeous and very fitting for your space. Id love a yard big enough for such a wonderful hardscape. The barn wreath is very pretty. I love the berry color.

Sue I also need to be reminded to keep busy. I am mostly, with the business, but in the quiet late nights my self imposed exile/isolation and bad pattern of insecurity hits me.

Glad youre healthy as a horse. Slim people are supposed to be healthier on all counts, so I guess youre just proving that. I have low everything too, but bad kidneys, hypoglycemia, and low energy have me struggling to not gain even more weight. Im trying though. As I get closer to Christmas though I find that the gym visits diminish.

Honey I love the egg analogy. My Xparents were and are emotionally incapable as well. I learned to do the self kudos thing too, but apparently am not as successful at it as you. I must work harder on this.

Sorry about your moms fall, and the lack of family support. I hope your mom gets the Med Alert system, and that it eases your mind. I would have been frustrated too, had I come to help with something and it was done. It really is too bad that she didnt phone you on your cell, at least, to warn you. It is awful to tread between helping a reluctant person and not being able to convince them to do whats needed to be safe. I dont envy you such difficulty.

Im sorry to hear that Bullet is back on food watch again. I hope he eventually gets strong enough from the hand feedings to eat more and gain strength.

Oh creepy about the call from XXs. I sure hope that she was just a bad telephoner, not a joint caser, so to speak. Very nerve racking when someone seems to threaten your home in any way. Last night, at around 10 pm, I had a fellow knock on my door, looking for Ruth. Even with two big barking dogs at my side, and me refusing to unlock and open the door, he still insisted I tell him where Ruth was. I insisted he go away and phone Ruth, as I didnt know her. Finally he did. A little nerve racking, but with the dogs there I feel relatively secure. I think its wise to keep your alarms on, and Im glad you called the police.

I think your garden will be wonderful for the tour, and that you will enjoy the experience. Plus you get to meet other gardening enthusiasts. Whats not to love about that! Your bridge is something Ive always admired, BTW and I loved the way its dressed in its Holiday Finery.

Martie thanks for the levity! Just what I needed. Imagine that, a Dibble as a Christmas gift. Bright child.

Im thankful that you have healthy, happy parents too. It gives me hope for the world. I hope Im described as such by my kids. Im not interested in floating away on an ice berg, though and being eaten by goodness knows what. Plus I hate being cold! ;) I prefer mother Earth as my final bed and blanket. Not that Id know the difference.

Richs walkway turned out great. I think it will look fabulous no matter what you do there. What Ive always wanted is a Greenhouse along the walk I regularly use at my house, so I could visit with my plants as I, come and go. The plan would be to just uncover the greenhouse every spring and re-cover it in the fall. No moving of the plants and to have a year-round plant fix, that's my idea of a perfect walkway. Probably not quite what you had in mind, but there you have it.

Kathy, thanks for reminding me of how superior we are, (or our gardens are, anyway)! ;) :) Yes I have a longer gardening season and yes I love that. The rain impedes me a bit in the winter, and lately the wind storms have been quite frequent, but I still see the green, not winter white.

V thats what this group generally gives me, perspective, with all the varying lifes experiences and sensibilities. I usually find perspective, but lately it seems to be lacking, along with my energy. I am so glad for people here who go on and post here in spite of what they have to handle in life, or maybe they post here because of lifes burdens. Regardless, Im glad youre one of those posters.

Lol about Martie being the neighborhood Dibble pusher. Pushing gardening is a good thing to coin a Martha phrase. Congrats about the coleus cuttings thriving. Im a self proclaimed cuttings killer. :( Never had a cutting I couldnt kill.

Sending my best thoughts to your DD on success for her test. Both of my college students are done their tests as of today, thank goodness.

Glad your DD is getting her car fixed, and that someone showed her a kindness and fetched and led her to the fix it place. If she can come home at least youre sure shes going to be safe on the road, not stranded. I worry about people driving alone for long distances. Ive heard too many horror stories.

Woody nothing you or anyone did contributed to my bad feelings. Its what I thought I did, misspoke to Deanne and Chelone. I saw you were sharing about your experiences with the personal alert thingy and was happy once again that we have such a wonderful diverse group, with you in it. Its why I want so badly to stay here, in spite of being just a little too much me, lol. No apology necessary.

Cindy I dont expect everyone to comment, I just had been used to Deanne especially always talking to me so I thought Id put both feet and both hands in my mouth with my comments to her. I blame me for every feeling I have. I blame me for my poor communication, as said before; for not just saying, Deanne did you read what I wrote and did it offend you. Thanks so much for thinking of me. I am overwhelmed by the response. I used to be a total crybaby as a kid, but its been a while. Today Im crying, with relief and for release.

Its so wonderful to know this group. I figure if we put our minds to it we could garden the world. Today our gardens tomorrow the worlds.

T lol at the fun list. I did okay, not great though. Im no good at crosswords or that sort of thing either.

We have a high wind warning in effect as well, so were battening down the hatches. Weve had quite a few windstorms, which have resulted in lots of blown down trees, and downed power lines. So far no power problems here at my home, but the cable is down. I hope this finds you and yours safe and sound.

Ei how nice to see you and see that you have lots of elves helping you. I hope you have a wonderful Holiday too. Sending pics works as a great communication method, if posting needs to be kept to a minimum. You are missed by me and all.

I love both the green and the black olives with different foods.


PS. I seem to have caught the exclamation point. Is there a cure, lol.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 3:03PM
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Jeez, Yeona... I have way too much on my plate to waste time being pissed off at people I "know" via the internet. LOL. Quit sweatin' the piddly crap... willya?! You may rest assured, if I am ever pissed off at you, you will be the first person I'll tell. ;) I'm pretty "low maintenance" that way.

Martie and Kathy, I haven't had time to look at your photos... phone rang, had to put together the hors d'oevres platter, and get Mum's snack and tea ready...

Later, friends.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 4:44PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Ei you look firmly in the Christmas spirit there! Very cute elves.

Im definitely in the crackpot category! But Im not in the olive-loving group Im afraid :- (

GB your sweater project motivated me a few weeks ago to drag out a sweater I started for DH about 6-7 years ago but never finished. My tendonitis and motor control issues make it a slow process now as I can only do a few rows a day. I was hoping to finish it for Christmas but its not going to happen Plus I need another ball of wool and its not going to be easy to match yarn that old. Fortunately the sweater has stripes so small differences shouldnt be too obvious. Im waiting impatiently to see your finished product I need more motivation!

T Im glad you didnt blow away!

Yeona I got a chuckle at your DHs proposal. It reminded me of my DHs we had just bought some decent cutlery and he said I guess this means we should get married now :- )

Honey - I forgot that you are an experienced garden tour host. Now you really have no excuse not to participate! Itd be a piece of cake for you

I also forgot that I wasnt posting here when we were in the local tour. If you want to see pictures from the tour, Ive provided the link below.

Since I wasnt posting over the spring and early summer, some of you havent seen some of my favorite things from this year. I was just printing pictures last week to send to my sister. Here are four of my favorites:

The wisteria tree/bush, just as the flowers were dropping in early June:

Three pictures of the south alley gate the first on June 2 (note Clematis Montana spilling down from the top of the arbour on the right side); the second on June 25 is a bit bland but nicely scented with mockorange and New Dawn roses; the third is July 2 when the south gate was the main entrance to the backyard for the tour:

Im keeping my fingers firmly crossed that this winter will be kind to both the wisteria and the Clematis Montana so they will both bloom again in 2007.

Yesterday the shed guy was back (he hadnt been here in a week or so) and they started putting up the vertical cedar siding on the back of the shed. It will be left to age naturally to gray. Today he finished the back wall. The picture below is just before he finished. The gable trim boards that you can see in this picture are just temporary (needed something in place when they were doing the roofing) The final trim will be cedar boards.

Youve all been posting too fast and Im too slow a typist to comment on everything but Im enjoying the pictures and holiday memories.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 4:46PM
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Hi everyone

T - you are quite a dancer!! It's the day for Elves:0)

Woody - lovely to enjoy shots of your garden and more of the shed. All are beautiful but the Wisteria dropping is a favorite for me.

Yeona - I hope our collective comments brought a little reassurance and even joy to your day. Many people are thinking of you so even in your bleakest moments, keep that thought nearby. I did the instrument test and came up as a violin. That tickled me as I love to play the violin in real life.

The first part of my evening shift is done - I just returned from the Opticians after Annie's one week check-up for her new contact lenses. She loves having them, and while I think she looks great in her glasses, I do enjoy seeing her pretty eyes up close. At thirteen she has glasses, braces and a heavy dose of acne to contend with, yet she is practical and positive about each and still has a good sense of herself and happy disposition. Seeing how thrilled she is with her new contacts, and the delight in the trendy sunglasses she chose that were part of the package made my day. GB - I'll try for a photo of her this weekend.

I'm stalling a little about cooking dinner, but then we're off to a student production fo the Nutcracker that friends are dancing in.

Time to throw something together for supper - I have some organic ground beef defrosting and thinking of turning it into spaghetti and meatballs. We've had an almost vegetarian week - with DH gone we tend to eat lower down on the food chain, but tonight calls for something quick and easy.

have a good evening everyone


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 5:17PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hello Idylls!

I'm sitting here with a appena fatto la tazza caffe'....Italian for a fresh made cup of coffee (if I translated right). Anyway, have already taken mom grocery shopping, brought her home and unpacked her groceries, came home and unpacked my own, all the presents are bought, the tree is up and I have nothing hanging over my head (for the moment) so I thought I'd take some time to work on Deanne's Christmas present and try to catch up with all of you. I haven't been spending much time online these days, but when I can I *do* peek in here. I will try to be better than I've been. In fact, even though Paul & I have made the pact, I've decided to squeeze in some of my computer time during the day. I'm sure I can work it out - I just need to organize better. You can imagine what a mess my email is, since I only look at it once a week.

Deanne, I was sorry to hear about your lovely neighbor and that you had the flu! Glad you are feeling a bit better. I do want to tell you how much I thoroughly enjoyed all your birdie pics! You are a pro with that camera and I could never pick a favorite. Though I would have to say that the I treasure the Robin you sent to me a couple of years ago. I *love* robins...such harbingers of spring (my favorite season) and I love their "Cheerio, Cheerio" song...such optimistic little fellows! :-) I also love watching them when they take a bath (does that make me a voyeur?) They crack me up! I can still picture a particular robin I caught taking his bath here a few years ago...he was all puffed up and had a Buckwheat "do" going on and he looked absolutely perturbed with me! :-) Wish I had taken his picture. He had that expression on his face like the popular "Mad Bluebird" picture. Seems I never have a camera ready when the opportunity strikes and then, even when I do, my pics are always a disappointment. Anyway, back to my point, I am totally serious that some day I would like to do my whole family room in your bird pics Deanne. I think that would be so wonderful and welcoming! I mean, how could anyone be anxious, uptight or unhappy surrounded by pics like that? :-) In the meantime, I have saved all your birdie pics and would like to make them my screen saver. I would like to have them rotate. Does anyone know how to do that?

Marian maybe you can help in that department??? I know you make a lot of screen savers for you know how to make them rotate from one pic to the next? I probably need some special software; right? Speaking of birdies...Marian, I have been searching my files and cannot find the beautiful pic you posted a long time ago of a bluebird? Do you know which one I am talking about?(he was in a tree - that's all I can remember). I *love* that pic and think he is a "must have" for the some day "birdie" family room. If you come across it at some point, would you mind posting it again? No hurry, just if you come across it. I will save it properly labeled this time! :-) BTW, I loved your "cracked pot" allegory (you're impressed with my choice of the word allegory... aren't you?) LOL, don't be...I looked up the word "fable" and found "allegory". :-) Anyway, it's a great story and wonderful food for thought. In fact, I have copied your post and emailed it to all my gardening girlfriends. BTW...I was so tickled to read that you treated yourself to a little bit of "girly girl" stuff. That's fun; isn't it? I love *all* your necklaces, but I think my favorite may be first one. I love the look of amber and of tortoiseshell. Very pretty and very feminine did good! :-)

Honey, sorry to hear about the troubles with Mom and with Bullet. Sending good wishes for that beautiful Bullet and a hug for you! It *is* *so* *hard*...I know. I hope things will get easier with your mom too. My mom has fallen more than a few times lately (luckily none as serious as the one she had earlier this year) but it *is* a big worry and I try not to hover around her whenever she is walking with me. :-) I talked to the doctor about it and he tells me that is a common problem with the elderly. I *hope* your mom will consider assisted living. My BF Anita set that up for her dad when he was declining, but still able to mostly care for himself. Anita said she was so glad she was able to convince him to give it a try. Turned out her dad *loved* it, made many friends (while he was pretty much isolated when living alone) and enjoyed all the activities, personal grooming, parties, etc. that the assisted living place had to offer...not to mention the peace of mind it gave Anita! I'm really hoping that my sister and I can keep mom with us until her time comes though because sssisted living wouldn't be practical for mom who now has pretty bad dementia and cannot hear (even though she has hearing aids - the doctors believe it is a problem with processing what she hears, not the actual hearing of the words). And, though she said she would want to go into a nursing home rather than be a burden to me or sis, I don't think she would fair well at a nursing home. Unlike your fiesty (albiet sometimes frustrating) mom, my mom is *way too* unassuming and undemanding. She will not ask anyone for anything for fear of putting them out. As much as I love her and she *is* as sweet as they come...this too can be a burden. I have felt guilty many times because I didn't predict something mom might need or want, but wouldn't ask for. Because of this, there have been times when mom has gone without something that I would have been happy to have provided...if only she had told me she needed about guilt! Mom is the kind of person that would *not* say a word if she were in pain, as she doesn't like to "complain". So I find myself constantly asking myself, am I missing anything? is mom needing anything? She thanks me *every* single time I take her grocery shopping (even though we do it every week) and I don't mean just thanks me, she says stuff like "Thank you Eileen, for putting up with me." It kind of makes me feel bad when she says stuff like that and if it were anyone other than my mom, I might think it was a form of manipulation, but I know it *isn't* with mom! She just thinks everyone but *she* should come first. I think it was just the way she was raised. Oh well, I guess I should be grateful, I've been hearing from friends that sometimes people with Altzheimer's/dementia can become very nasty (mostly out of frustration) and mom is still a sweetie pie.

Bug...I too loved your wreath on the barn....I love the natural feel and the simplicity of it and I agree with whoever said it, it *is* the perfect ornament for your barn. BTW also want to tell you how much I enjoyed the pics of your visit with DD & family. Precious pic of you and the sweet GS reading together and I especially loved the pic of DD and DSIL sitting at the table (?) looking into each other's eyes. I remember thinking to myself...if someone wants to know what "love" looks like, all they have to do is look into the eyes of your DD in that picture...wonderful, wonderful, picture! Alas, no "wedding talk" to speak of at the moment...we are taking a little Christmas hiatus in that department. But in January we are going to meet with one of my girlfriends who runs a flower shop and discuss flowers for the wedding...I'll keep you all apprised in my low key way...LOL!

Chelone...wanted to tell you too how much I *loved* your windowboxes and stunning fruit arrangements. I *love* that look. There is a catalog company called Williamsburg...have you ever seen their catalog? I *love* it... gorgeous stuff...although a bit pricey. I have never ordered from them, though I have been tempted by their "decoration forms". Obviously, you wouldn't need their help, but for the fruit decorating challenged like myself, I think their decoration forms are quite clever. I've included a link at the bottom of this page. Re the brother....stick to your guns are *absolutely* right...Fair is Fair!

I'm glad you guys got a kick out of my elves...pixies! Believe me there have been days during this holiday season, when I might have been tempted to give those elves the raspberry if they weren't *mine*...LOL! But you know what? just have to smile and enjoy the fun things and try not to let the bad things take over. We'll be having a "dysfunctional Christmas" here this year, but so far I'm handling it just fine! :-) The holidays are usually my responsibility, but Paul will be ripping out our kitchen floor and putting in a whole new floor (including a lot of places where floor board needs to be replaced). The kitchen will be a disaster, as all appliances will have to be removed from the room. Naturally, he has decided to do this on the week-end of Christmas...LOL! Actually, *I* do understand why he chose that week-end. He is trying to miss as little unpaid time from work as possible. Putting in the new floor will be a major project as the floor is uneven in the kitchen and the tilers we hired to replace the tile many years ago, decided to just add a lot more cement to the areas that were too low, rather than fixing the problem. Now it will be trying to knock out all that excess cement and replacing floor boards and leveling out the floor. We've decided on the Pergo Boathouse Pine for the room. It looks like a very weathered white painted wood floor. Anyway, since the holidays are my usually my responsibility and since I cannot do it this year, so far, *none* of my siblings have offered to pick up the slack. So for now, not sure how we're going to celebrate. :-) Oh well, I'm sure we'll get together one way or the other and I remind myself that Christmas, though a wonderful holiday, *is* really only one day out of the year. I mostly feel bad for my mom because I'm sure she will be missing/thinking of my dad and a nice holiday surrounded with the family would probably go a long way in comforting her.

Mary...I'm glad I made you made me smile too! :-) I enjoyed seeing the development of David's project (and amazed at the detail) and the teacup scene you made *really* put a smile on my face. It looked so cozy and inviting, I wished I could shrink myself up and jump right into the scene! :-)

T - I was distressed to read about your goat? Is he okay now? I've been meaning to write you and catch up. I hope all is well with everyone? I've been thinking of you too. The only reason I haven't written sooner is that I'm afraid to go to my email box....I know there are pages and pages (of junk mail mostly) that need to be got through and am dreading getting to the task, so have been avoiding the email box altogether. T - you hit the elves/pixie nail right on the head. They really *do* look more like pixies than elves anymore! I think I may have got a little carried away with the soft furry feathers and jeweled buttons...LOL! :-)

Speaking of which...thank you too Marian about the elves. Actually, they didn't start out life as delicate, though I guess they are now. I've actually had those elves for over 20 years. They started out as simple white felt elves, but over the years I changed their decoration to suit whatever Christmas decorating was going on in my house at the time. Let's see, they've been traditional green and red, they went through a disco phase too when they insisted upon gold and silver lame' trim for their outfits. My favorite "costume" however, was probably the time I dressed them in burgundy and forest green, with natural acorn and "woodsy" adornments to match my family room colors. They looked very "boyish" and "elf like" at that time, but we decided that we would put the Christmas tree in the front window from now on and so I wanted them to match the decor in there. Now, I guess I've softened them up a bit too much and they sure *do* look more like pixies than elves. Nonetheless, this will be their last costume change, I'm afraid. Their little felt bodies just will not be up to another ensemble.

I think the thing I like best about Christmas is the delight in the eyes of the little ones...thinking of Michelle, T, Babs, Mary, Taryn, and Eden and all of you with young ones in your life - what fun you will all have...and you too Bug! :-) Enjoy! Enjoy! BTW a kick out of your kids as youngsters...what special memories! I used to make ornaments with my son every year too, when he was young. I *do* miss that. We also picked out an ornament every year that was his alone. I now have 23 of them in a box down in my basement. I'm hoping some day he will come and collect them and put them on his tree...maybe when he has little ones. Some day in the not too distant future maybe there will be little ones to share Christmas here again too! Anyway, I still love to decorate a many wonderful memories come rushing forward when I do...

Here is one of my grandma's ornaments:

Here is one of my ornaments from when I was a very little girl. There use to be three of them; one had a santa and his reindeer and the other had a snowman and the sweetest little house with smoke coming out of the chimney. But alas, they were broken over the years and only the little church one remains:

Here is one of the many ornaments my mom made when I was a little girl (she made many different types of sequined ornaments over the years):

The angel tree topper Paul & I bought for our very first Christmas as husband and wife (25 years ago):

And of course I've saved *every* ornament my son ever made me. My favorite may be this angel (sad as she may appear). She was the first ornament he made without me (at school) and he wrapped her all up and gave her to me for Christmas...I *love* her and the warm memories she brings of "my little boy"! :-)

Oh, back to the kitchen. So I haven't taken any pictures yet, but plan to post some of the tiling job/backsplash I did *all by myself*! :-) Okay, so Paul was the one who figured out how many tiles we would need and how to lay them out using the least amount of cuts (I am not good at math). But, I'm sure you will all be astounded and amazed at my work! :-) LOL! Just kidding...but I am kind of impressed with myself, it turned out pretty good. Of course tiling now days is much easier than when Paul and I attempted it many years ago. The materials are less messy (no mixing) and wet tile saws make even the finest cuts a snap to do! In fact, it was so easy with the wet tile saw that I would *not* hesitate to battle another tile project, should the occasion ever arise.

Hi Yeona! Great to see you too! And great to see someone posting a lengthy post that can compete with mine! ;-) Funny, I was thinking of Cynthia when I posted my elves/pixies. I was thinking I wish she were here and could see them...I think she would enjoy them. I remember when I posted my little ceramic Josef elves many moons ago, she thought they were very cute! :-) I had to laugh when you mentioned sending off the wrong email. I have to share a little ha-ha (and I know my garden friend Sue won't mind). You guys know about my original group of gardening friends (we call ourselves "the garden girls" when we referring to the group)? Well, now I also have this newer, younger group of gardening friends. I teasingly had commented to them that I don't know what to call them, since I already have my original "Gardening Girls". So one of them (Sue) said, "well, we need to get a name for the new group" and teasingly suggested the name "Garden Hoes". A couple of weeks ago we all got together for a little night out of dinner. While out to dinner we were brainstorming on how we could use all of our talents to come up with a way we could start a business together and work for ourselves...instead of for someone else. Anyway, Sue took notes and told us she would email all of us about what we had discussed, questions, comments, etc. from our brainstorming session. Okay, now to get to the point. Last week Sue finally decided to email us with the meeting minutes. The letter greeting was "Hi Hoes" (she was being lazy and didn't put in the "garden" part of the name). In her letter she mentioned how we need to come up with a list of our goals and interests and went on to mention some of the titles we were thinking of for our business. Sue again...she's a little bit of a stinker ;-) teasingly suggested "Five Hoes Talk Trash" and included that suggestion in her email to us all. Well of course it was only meant for *our* eyes and *we* knew she was just funning us. But, as it turns out she checked the wrong "group" to email to and instead sent the email intended for us, to all of the parents involved in her son's Boy Scout Troop! YIKES! Poor Sue, she was so upset and worried what these people would think of her! I tried to cheer her up and told her I was sure they would understand (at least I was secretly hoping they would). Anyway, she finally got up the nerve to email all the parents and explain what had happened. Thank goodness, all of them had a sense of humor about it and *were* very understanding. Here are some of the comments they made back to her:
"That's ok - but I have to say that it did make me want to go to more committee meetings..."

"LOL!! That explains so much... I was really dreading having to call to find out what REALLY happened at the pack meeting that initiated me as a"hoe."

"Now what I am supposed to do with my list of goals and interests??"

Well, in any case, needless to say, I don't think Sue will be calling us by that affectionate name anymore...LOL!
I know I've missed a lot of things that I meant to comment on, but did remember that I wanted to tell Sue she looked *fabulous dahling* in her holiday frock (adored the picture of you and your baby too) and I don't know, I'm kinda liking the suggestion of the tattoo (on *your* fab body, not mine) :-) Oh and Cindy...please return any of my !!!!'s your not using...I'm afraid I may run out! :-) BTW Bug, also meant to tell you how touched I was about the story of your bunny too. I have a few special mementos too, one being my grandma's teddy bear and the other something I received from my mom this year that has a lot of family history and sentimental feelings attached, but I'll have to share about that some other time. Gotta go now...I've used way more than my fair share of air space and it's almost time for Paul to get home. "Hi!" to anyone I missed.

Oops...I remembered as I refreshed and saw Woody's post...that I meant to tell you guys to count me in as an olive lover...any and all, in fact. Did everyone put black olives on their fingertips as a child or was that just my weird family tradition?...LOL! Woody the shed is looking beautiful...but "shed" hardly seems a fitting word for what is sure to be a lovely building. And I positively "ohhhed" and "ahhhed" when I saw your arbors...just lovely!

Okay...going now, but will be back to check out all the different links you guys have been posting lately. I hate to miss out on anything...besides Yeona's "instrument" has my curiousity! :-) Bye!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 7:04PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

"Relief that my imagination was the culprit, not what I said to people, and the embarrassment of airing my insecurities online again, and also of being so insecure!"

Yeona, are you my long lost sister??? I always think no one likes me! :-\

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:04PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ouch ouch ouch ! This isn't one of my better evenings. I wonder if the pneumonia shot activated my fibromyalgia ?

Just pass right over this post if you are looking for something cheerful........

Actually the entire day just wasn't 'my day'. I got in for the bone density scan on time, and all went well there, except it showed my right hip has deteriorated since the 2001 scan. Then I went back across the street to the main part of the clinic. I asked if my dr wanted to see me, and if she thought I needed the fasting blood work. The first answer was 'no' to both. The nurse took me back to a room and gave me the pneumonia shot. Then she said the dr decided she'd see me after all, to discuss the last week's blood tests and the bone scan.
I sat in that little room over an hour before she came in! I was right at the verge of leaving. The blood tests showed that my potassium is low ( I opted to eat lots of raisins for that). The bone scan diagnoses is that my hip is in danger of a fracture! I chose to take Calcium and D for that.
As I finally left the clinic, I was thinking I didn't have much time to shop before my 1PM appointment with the insurance agent.
Naturally that was right at the time a funeral procession was headed up the road I was on. A police car blocked off my lane of traffic, until it passed.It was quite lenghty.
I took my sis's check to the bank and deposited it, then I went to Nolon's dr's offtice to get a prescription for more cholestral medicine for him. The nurses gave me a supply of sample pills...enough to last until his February appointment.
I went to the Country Mart's little cafe 'for brunch. By the time I finished eating I only had a little over an hour left. I went to Wal Mart and got some OTC meds for the two of us, and a jewelry chest for my jewelry ! :-)

On to the Insurance agent's. She wasn't there ...had been called out to an elderly couple's home to set them up with the new policies. While waiting, and chatting with her assistant, another woman came in ( a drop in). When the agent came in, it ended up that she spent so much time with the 'drop in' that it was after 2 when she got through with me.

I headed straight home , with out the grocs that I had on my list, because the sun was low enough to hinder my vision on the mountain. It was after 3 when I got home. I layed right down for my afternoon rest ( after taking my belated pain pill). I am tired, and hurting!

Sorry, this is an 'all about me' post. I'm fishing for some sympathy...;-(

Oh. to top it all off, now I have to get Nolon in to the ins agent so she can get his "John Henry" on all the papers, and so he can tell the ( foreign ) woman at the company that is is truely him that the new ins is for! He will not be able to hear ( or understand ) the woman on the phone...I hardly could. I don't know how we will handle that...? What a hassle !


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 8:40PM
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Happy Friday Idyllers
I got to cross of items from my list today- I got the bathroom primed , got the Fabulous Mantle Display done, got the grocery list for tomorrow AM done, made a pot of split pea soup, wrapped some presents..all in all I feel pretty goodSo much to comment on today !

Chelone, no need to feel about about not looking at my front yard pics since I havent posted any yet (except the befores about three threads ago !) You have a reprieve ! DS got his new camera and I will borrow tomorrow to take the pics, provided it is not raining-rumor has it it might.

Ei, those elves are way cute ! I noticed the bluebird ornament in one of the pics. I would love to have some bird ornaments , Ive seen them around but very expensive. I think timing is everything-hit those sales that happen about two days before Christmas and two days after. And of course these are the days I refuse to shop! Oh well

Martie, LOL sneaking plants into the garden. My late DH was an accountant. I frequently had to be sneaky, but he always enjoyed looking at the garden-just didnt want to know what it cost. Id get cash back at the grocery store and then head over to the nursery he didnt care what I spent for groceries !

Deanne, hope you are feeling better-best to lay low and revive for the Holidays.

T and Yeona, Talked to my BILs in Portland this eve and they had no power for about three hours yesterday, but all is well now. Hope all is well with you !

Woody ,I loved looking at your garden tour pics. Very refreshing during these gray days we are having..

Many more comments I would like to make but have more chores to do, and will check in in the AM ..nite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 9:24PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

WOW! I can't believe how much has been posted since last night! I shal contribute a quick update and then see how much I can read before I crash for the night.

DD survived the last final. Her car won't be done until Monday, but she was able to get a ride home with her cousin so she is home and has been well fed for the evening. You should have seen her face when I first told her we were having hot dogs and chips for dinner. She liked the steak much better!

She had to leave school today because the dorms are closing, but DH has to go out of town on Monday and will go right by the town where the car is, so getting the car back will not be too tricky. The good news is that she has been asked to apply for a resident adviser position in the dorms for next year, which means - free room! She's very interested in the job, as are her parents. We won't know until sometime next year, so I will have my fingers crossed for a very long time.

The news from DS is that he has a new girlfriend, and her name is Martie! That's about all I know right now. He gets home tomorrow afternoon. Believe it or not, he is riding home with a cousin also.

The latest Mystic trick - he is drinking the excess water from the saucers on my plants. Except he tends to be messy and spills on the floor quite a bit.

Marian, I'm sorry to hear that you are ailing today. I hope you can get a good night's rest and that you feel better in the morning.

Yeona and Jerri, HI! (Just so you won't feel ignored, wink!)

Okay, the fingers are tired. Hasta manana,


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 9:59PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Good Friday evening from party central! I'm currently baking whoopie pies for the second night in a row. Last night I made them for a luncheon today in our vehicle sales and service department. Since they're a requested favorite I always have them for my party too. Earlier in the night I put together a recipe for crockpot chicken marsala that I found on-line. Usually we have turkey breast from the Honey Ham store but I wanted to try something different in the poultry department. It's probably not the greatest idea to try a new recipe out on company but what the heck? Last night Tom made sauce and meatballs and tomorrow he'll make lasagna. The party lasagna is his first and last culinary attempt every I cleaned the dining room and set the table. Still have bathrooms, the livingroom and guest room to go. Luckily I have all day tomorrow because I'm starting to poop out.

Honey, go for the garden tour! Wasn't your combo with Ruth's a favorite on your last tour? I can see why. If I can do Garden Conservancy then anyone in this group is a tour shoe-in. Look at Woody' wonder everyone loved it.

Ei, I realize I do miss alot with my speed reading ways but you haven't said how your sister is doing? Wow, your house seemed perfect to me. Do you really need a new kitchen floor? Tom thinks all women do is dream up stuff to change around the house. And what might I ask is wrong with that?

Marian, sorry you had such a challenging day. Put your feet up and relax.

Oh, my consultation with the new GYN went well yesterday. Her initial advice (pending reviews of the ultrasounds and chats with a couple of colleagues) is I probably need to do nothing. Good grief! Can you see my shaking my head in disgust at a certain cross section of the medical profession? How in the world can you go from life altering invasive surgery to nothing? Find the right docs I guess.'s pretty scary.

OK, gotta finish up the baking.

Nite nite!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 10:04PM
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Martie-thanks for the uplifting tydll. I have joy in that the weekend is here and we're finally getting our live tree tomorrow.
YOur(Rick's)walk way is so nicely done!

Eden I will overlook that you said Christmas is a little over a week away because I will then hyperventilate and things could get ugly; ). Instead I will wish you happy baking and let us know what you made. I have biscotti and those graham cracker pecan thingys coated with butter and brown sugar on my do bake list. If I get just the biscotti made I'll be happy.

Cindy I hear you about the warm weather and holiday clothes--I just don't have Christmasy clothing that's lightweight. All week they keep telling us we can dress down at school and wear festive holiday clothes...all my holiday clothes are wool sweaters lol.

'Bug-that's a fun bunch of nasturtiums there. Great idea about chewing gum while cooking. Your wreath is very pretty with the variation of greenery-you did a nice job on that.
Funny that you've had olives under the tree on Xmas-we did too and once a hunk of Velveeta cheese(OOO did you hear that?My ateries just hardened up)

Marian,from one cracked pot to another,I bet I leak a lot more than you do!!!!! I liked that story-thanks I'm saving it.

Hi T! I hope you haven't blown away yet! Thanks for saying you miss me.

Honey-good to see you! I'm a bit behind but I hope your mom is improving-so sorry you are immersed in such worrisome things with your mom. I also hope Bullet is going to be OK-do you know what is wrong with him?
Eh-em, but I do think you are a professional gardener; )That's great that you have been asked!
Your Bridge decorations are perfect-I'd expect nothing less(did you make those bows?)

Woody-nice job on the garden shed and I really enjoyed seeing more of your plantings-that wisteria is stunning.

Chelone-ah yes the Kalamatta snob; ) lol. I like all olives and if my fingers were skinnier I would still eat them off of all my fingers and maybe even my toes. OK maybe not: ) My neices and nephews and kids do that though. Not their toes....nevermind.
Your holiday decorations on your house exterior are beautiful. You guys would die laughing if you saw how simple my decorations are-no 'Martha' here this year. The squirrels did a lumberjack job on my pines so I took the boughs littered everywhere and tossed them into my window boxes. No fruit-no bows-no nothing-hey I have another week to come up with those details. My big wreath is at least up on the house and quite naked-I guess I can slap a bow on and whip out the spotlight....yeesh.

Mary-still friends? David did an excellent job on the longhouse-such detailed workmanship. I think that's so great how you work with minatures-such a fun teacup.

V! Hope DD aces her exams and the car behaves. Why are you staring into your dogs eyes hm?? just kidding: )

Yeona-don't be embarrassed I've said tons more stupid things than you(read above) and yet here I type. Did you know that I am a violin even if I change my answers around? Eventually I became an oboe: ) Ironically though I do play clarinet I really wanted to play violin when they had instrument tryouts in 4th grade. Nice to see you 'babble' for a change lol.

Hi Ei! YOU MADE THOSE ELVES?! Too cool and funny! I love the elf Vegas look: ) and I think that's wonderful that you change their wardrobe over the years. I wonder if there's a way you could salvage their heads(love their faces)and remake their bodies to continue the tradition?
I would kill Chris if he decided to renovate just as Christmas approached....then again he'd never think independently of renovating anything so I guess he's safe lol. BTW I did get my wainscot and instead of doing tile I might try doing mosaic(as in teeny tiny)for the breakfast bar. If I do tile the backsplash I would love to work with transparent glass tile. So many ideas....time?
Thanks for sharing your ornament pics-I have a very similar one like your Grandmas but in pink(it's my favorite from ornaments Chris' Grandma gave us)

No-No Jerri *I'm* the one they don't like: ) I have been loving the dogs you've been posting-those pics alone nudge me toward dog ownership. I just love terriers.

I missed where Deanne says she is sick but Deanne get better soon-stomach flu is really bad here. Two schools have closed down for a couple days. Ours has been OK-just droves of pink eye going around-yuck.
Your birds are amazing-funny how they know to go to your yard lol.

Sue-Hope all is well with you-everytime I see pics of you you get younger-what's up with that? lol must be the party clothes.

OK so I just attempted to speak to everybody-maybe I'll just have to read each thread once and do a mass response-it could work.

Michelle you thought I forgot you-huh. Never! What a great pic of your kids making the houses! I like that they are small-I think large gingerbread houses are a big job for a kid to stick with(unless you are Mary's David making a longhouse; ) Is Kenzie ready for Santa? AJ's asking about the realities of Santa this year... I know he knows-I think he likes that I haven't eliminated the possibilities. If we are willing to share and give of ourselves to others Santas pretty much alive and kicking,I say.


I hope I can drink some wine-last weekend I developed laryngitis-couldn't talk audibly for two days and I'm still sounding husky and everytime I try to drink wine I get a coughing attack. Good heavens what if I'm allergic to it now? not nice.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 11:02PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Allergic to wine, Babs??? Good grief...perish the thought! Isn't wine one of the four major food groups?

Well, it looks like we're headed towards another December day in the 50s F, warmer tomorrow. At least there will be no chance of my party getting snowed out. If that ever happened my neighbors would be eating It has been difficult finding clothes that work in this weather. I have a good size collection of Icelandic Design sweaters and it's just been too warm to wear them most days. I keep putting cotton clothing away and dragging it back out again but I'm certainly not complaining.

All you olive lovers are welcome to mine. That is one food I've never been able to develop a taste for.

Okey doke, I'm off to finish my coffee and start the cleaning.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 8:52AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good sunny morning,

Doug smoked the salmon last night and we are getting ready to head to CT this afternoon. Woohoo! Im really looking forward to this party. We havent seen Sue, Tom, Les and Monique since October when we did the Cutting Run. I got all the plants watered yesterday and have to finish up some other odds and ends before heading out. We still havent put up the Christmas tree but am hoping we get to it sometime soon. Where will I put all the presents that will be wrapped if I dont have a tree to put them under? LOL

We saw MJ last night and she had some sad news. Her kitty was diagnosed with sarcoma. He had a tumor on his back in an injection site from a vaccination. Apparently this occasionally happens from Feline Leukemia and Rabies shots. So how come didnt know about this? And how come when the vets have given your cat cancer you have to pay thousands of dollars to treat it????? What a racket.

Babs, how fantastic to hear from you! We miss your cheery presence and quick wit here. Sounds like youve been beyond busy so thanks for taking a minute to check in here. Hope you can get back more often.

Honey, really and truly, you should go for the garden tour. Your gardens are lovely and with Ruths next door for borrowed landscape it doesnt get better than that. ~~ So how is Bullet doing? Hope hes still eating and OK.

V. good news about DD. I hope she gets the resident adviser job. Free room and board sounds pretty terrific to me.

So Kathy, where are the photographs of The Fabulous Mantle Display? Inquiring minds would like to see this brilliant arrangement.

Marian, sorry to hear about the diagnosis about the bone loss in your hip. Did the doctor describe any other measures you could take to prevent any further bone loss? I know that regular walking, weight training and calcium with D can help that. I was diagnosed with osteopenia in my hips the last time I had a scan and I was some surprised. Ive been doing the treadmill a couple days a week instead of the stairs every day because that is a higher impact workout and also started taking calcium with D. Do be careful, hip fractures are bad news.

Eileen, how lovely to have another post from you and I love all your ornaments. Im so pleased you like the bird photographs. Do you know that I think of you every time I see a robin? Makes me smile. You are so right that they sound like they are saying Cherio, Cherio when they sing. And you are so right that birds in the bath are pretty amusing. A fellow on a bird forum I participate on posted a photograph of a Coopers Hawk in a bird bath splashing away and that majestic bird looked just as silly as a Chickadee in the bath. ~~ Unfortunately I dont know how to make the wallpaper on the computer do a slide show but Ill bet Jerri does.

Mary, I believe that Annies practical and positive attitude and good sense of herself come from her most practical and positive and fantastic Mom!

Woody your garden photos are lovely and that shed looks like it is coming along great.

Yeona, Yeona, Yeona, Good Grief!!!! My dear, if I was upset, angry or had any issues with you, You would be the first person to know about it. Wed have a discussion about it then be done with it. I dont read things into the way people say something and look for stuff to take offense to. Im not put together that way. My family likes to play those kind of mind games but I dont. So NO WORRIES MATE.

Bug I cant wait to see this sweater. Are you sure you dont want to adopt me and make one for me too? ROTFLOL

Chelone, better that you have your job and I dont! I hate to sew and the description of the job you did with that winter enclosure curtain gave me a stomach ache. LOL ~~ Hope you had a good time at your party. You like pate??? Neat, I do too and Ive not had any for five years. (too much fat) but, Im thinking that I might have to have a taste of some soon as a treat. MJ and I were talking about it last night as a matter of fact. I used to make a killer chicken liver pate with sherry and whole green peppercorns that was divine. I might just whip up a batch for Christmas even if MJ and I are the only ones who have any.

T. how are you surviving that hideous weather. Every time I see a weather report I think of you. Hopefully things will improve soon. From what I saw this AM things have calmed down out there.

Sue and Monique, see you tonight!

OK Ive got to get to the gym and then get ready for this great party Im going to in CT tonight. Later all,

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 9:19AM
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Good Morning, I'm being bad today and waiting for Brad to return with a McMuffin for my breakfast. Then Meg is meeting us to drop off Bella at the bookstore and we'll have some Christmas fun!

Sue, it's a great day for a party! The sun's shining. Enjoy yourselves!

Deanne, thanks for sending the notes. Can't wait to read your thoughts!

Ei, it was so nice to hear from you! Stick around?

You too, Babs!

No more time now but I'll leave you with this...


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 9:21AM
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Mornin' all! Little Miss SmaHty Pants here typed a perfectly brilliant message for you first thing this morning... and managed to lose it to the wilds of cyber space. Sooo... I'll try again.

Yeona, Yeona, Yeona... what are we gonna do with you? There's no such thing as "too much" imagination, but too much worry and too much fretting is not good for you, at all. As I said above, I'm pretty "low maintenance", pretty easy-going, and far too busy with my own "sichyashun" to spend much energy on "what someone might have meant" by something typed on a fast moving discussion. Remember that, OK? I am a violin, too. But will share that two of my favorite LPs are: "Eat A Peach" and "Live at Filmore East", both by the Allman Bros. Band. (favs. inc.: "Blue Skies", "In Memory of Eliz. Reed", "One Way Out", "Statesboro Blues"). ;)

Good to hear that baby V. has returned to the nest, triumphant over exams and that the offending automobile in in triage, as we speak. I'm sure the sunrise will put a whole new shine on what was a stressful situation the other day. Animal eyes are great, arent' they? I feel as though I'm looking back in time when I look into them (esp. the cats'). It's hard to remain grumpy when 100 lbs. of fleabag is following you around, looking directly into your eyes with pricked ears and a tail in perpetual motion... . And when I settle into bed it's comforting to feel the plop that indicates feline companionship... I particularly love the "curlie" under the chin... the purring and soft, clean fur under my nose.

Ei, your decorations are simply wonderful! I cracked up at the notion of the elves in disco clothes, too funny. Your tree topper is great. We have a stupid little St. Nick, all of 5" tall. At present, he looks as though the tree has been rammed up his a--, lol. We definitely need something more significant (less sophomoric) for the top of the tree!

I'm glad medical issues have been resolved so smoothly, Sue. And it really DOES give one pause to reflect on differently medical people can assess any given situation, huh? Whoopie pies are very nearly as much fun as whoopie cushions... sounds as though you ought to move into catering when you tire of gardening... yum, yum, eat 'em up! Can't wait to see the pictures.

Sooo, Babs.? are you EVER going to tell me about your job... or is it a state secret? Somehow, I've managed to miss the entire discussion. Were you able to suck down a glass of wine without sounding like Kim Carnes, or what? And you have to fill me in on the "hot" gift for your two boys. I chuckled at the squirrels' assistance with your decorating endeavors, practical as ever, I see. And also laughed at your comment about Chris never undertaking a renovation without some prodding... it's like that here, too.

I had a good time at the little get-together last night. No one, though, except the guest of honor like the Saga blue cheese I brought... . Hommus was more popular; esp. the carrots I dug for the occasion! They were remarkably sweet and delicious. It was nice to get out for some fun with people who don't repeat themselves, too. :) And the evening ended early; good for me, since I had to get home to put Mum to bed in a timely manner.

Woody, the shed looks great! you must be very, very pleased. And I loved the pictures you posted, will have to go back and look more closely at the link. Ditto Martie and Kathy (which will require scrolling back, and back, and back... :/

So much more I want to say, but now can't remember and have to face the prospect of some early-ish Christmas shopping and some banking. Gotta scoot, later Idyllettes.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 9:24AM
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Good Morning of Relaxation!!!!

Rich just got back with our tree and our "house" gift: A new garage door opener!! How truly romantic is that??? Since he gets home before me most days, he's had the one remote from the 20yo machine that was here when we got the house. Now, no more wet Martie getting to her car!!! Wait a minute .... I thought "we" had decided no tree this year??? Ah, the man does have a big heart :-)

It seems that all three 11yo asked for garden stuff. Doyathink they got together on this? One the dibble, one a "good trowel not from the dollar store", and one a spade. I'm very, very proud and happy that we can have this kind of influence .....

Chelone: Good For You Girlfriend and Stick to Your Guns with your DB!!!!! I was glad to do the paperwork for my DB as others were caring for him physically, but I can't imagine trying to keep that and meds, care, etc. straight. Don't worry about looking at the walk, we've got a few months before anything will be planted. LOL

Kathy, I like your style. Rich wouldn't notice the "cash back," either!! Pics of the mantel, please!!

Woody: If you don't look out the C. montana will take over the fence and your yard and your town. At my old house we had a sun porch that was kind of thrown up by a former owner. The C. found it's way through cracks in the boards and after I left the house, former DH let it grow to the point where they almost had to take said porch down to get rid of the tendrils tangled up in the siding. Love the pics....

T: I'm still laughing and found myself bopping along to the beat!

Mary: Your craft projects are exquisite! I wouldn't have the patience nor such a deft hand to create such wonders. Tell David that when I build my backyard shed I need him for design work :-)

Hope the NEer's have a great time tonight!! No one will be worried about snow, that's for sure!

As soon as I say "Later, friends" I know I'll think of everything else I wanted to say, but a fresh tree beckons and I hear kids outside whom I could use to tell me how additional outside lights will look. I truly wonder what Rich had during the last few days to throw him into The Spirit!

Oops, Marian!! I'll bite -- Sorry for Your Day! Sorrier still for the folks who didn't get to enjoy your company.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 10:28AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eileen, is this the picture you want ?

Hey ! I 'know' Deanne has some much much better pics of bluebirds ( At least I think she does? ). But I am happy that you like mine. :-)
Your ornaments are lovely. I no longer have any, but I did have at one time in the long ago past.

Yeona....applause, applause! What a great post ! I don't think you missed anyone. Between you and Ei, I can pretty well recap all of everyone's posts ! :-) But each of us find a differant perspective on what has been posted. Each of us picks up on something someone else may have missed.

Ei, ( again), My computer automatically runs all the pictures in My Pictures as a screen saver. If I haven't been active on the computer they come on in about 10 minutes, and run until I either move the mouse, or they go off to a black screen. I think there is an option, when you right click on the opening page...the one where you have a desktop picture, and all your icons.
Thanks, on my choice of necklaces. Now I need to spend some time organizing all my stuff into the jewelry chest.
( lol..."allegory" is a good word...)

Speaking of words...I wonder if my usage of 'big' words turns some people off ? I always have liked 'words' .

Martie, I didn't comment on your idyll title...It is a good one, and you are so right " It is so easy to feel gloomy at this time of year. Me, too. ... but isn't there always reason to feel some joy??? ..... " Joy can be found in the simplest things, like a bird, or a cloud, or an unexpected blossom. ( Hmmmm, I see Eden said the 'simple' word also...I wasn't copying you , Eden. )
BTW, thanks for "biting", I NEED sympathy ! LOL

I am skimming over all the food posts. Sice we are having no company, and we do not need all that 'good' stuff, I am not planning on any cooking, other than the day by day normal meals.

I need to find more stories like the Cracked Pot one. It got much better responses that my boring posts...:-)
I am very happy that so many liked it.

Woody, I remember your part in last year's garden tour. As usual, I really admire your tenacity. Your latest pics are great. I love the Wisteria. Your shed is coming along great. While I was gone yesterday, Nolon did a bunch of cleaning up in the 'island'. All of the spruce is gone, except for the main root and the top.He removed all the horizontal roots. He even pulled the old oak stump. It was rotted off enough that it came out easily.

Marie, I love your barn wreath. It is beautiful. Everyone else's are lovely, too, but yours is so fitting for the location.

Honey, yes, the Medicare situation is a real mess! Thank goodness I have a good agent to assist me. She is very thorough in explaining it all. As of the 1st of the year, we will go from Secure Horizons, to Today's Options. Our Medicine policy will stay with Humana.

Michelle, I like the pics of the kids making the gingerbread ( graham cracker) houses, and the fact that they enjoyed eating them...:-)

Kathy, thank you very much for your kind comment to me. I needed that !

Mary, I always enjoy hearing about what David and Annie are doing. They are very talented and creative, but then, they have a great mom to pattern themselves after. :-)

Jerri, I like you...:-), and I admire your rescue efforts with the doggies.

Hi..V ! Actually, I wasn't 'ailing' I was hurting ! I am better this morning, but had an uncomfortable night. Now why did I have the nurse put the shot in my good arm??? Now both of them hurt...bummer! Difficult to find a good way to lay in bed!

Sue, you got it right. It was a "challenging day" . I had started out with such high hopes of having plenty of time between appointments, to shop....NOT ! Sorry about the mixed prognosis from your GYN. It makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Hi Babs! Great to see you again ! way can you leak more than I ! I am quite a blabber-mouth.

Deanne, I do hope you are recovering okay from your flu. I am surprised to hear that you have problems with your hip bones! And after all your exercising, etc! I think osteopenia is what my dr said. I am doing most of what is suggested, but do not walk enough in the correct way. As the arthritis dr said, that doesn't apply to "around the house" . lol

Chelone, I like your analysis about the feline on your bed. I miss Tommy when he choses elsewhere, and that is what he is doing now. Nolon is being blessed with both of them ! ( Like bookends! lol ).

OH MY ! I had such high hopes of responding to everyone, but am overwhelmed! My brain is fizzling out!

Hi to all that I missed....


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 11:04AM
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Back sooner than expected by trying really hard to stay out of the tree erection process.

We have 14' vaulted ceilings and Rich being Rich, got the "biggest baddest" Balsam he could find. Getting it out of the truck and into the house caused curiousity amongst the neighborhood boys of all sizes.

So, in the newly dubbed Pine Room, there is my contractor DH, civil engineer neighbor, fire fighter/software programmer neighbor, auto mechanic neighbor and a various assortment of kids trying to get the thing straight. You can imagine. I left when the pulley came out.

Boy, am I glad I have all of you to escape to!!!! My job is making sure the chocolate is hot and the cookies thawed :-)

Forgot to thank you, Yeona, for being so honest in your long post. I think you clearly said what all of us feel at some point or another. It's a matter of what you do with those feelings that matters in the long run.

I've been beckoned for final straightness and sturdiness approval. If I don't get back for a few days, it's because I'm buried by branches or have gotten stuck on the ladder I'll need to reach half-way up. LOL


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 12:17PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Morning Idylls!

Marian! You are such a sweetheart! Thanks for posting the bluebird for me...Hes beautiful. I love the gnarly branch he is sitting on too. I think you did an *excellent* job of capturing that little fellow. You are so good at spotting things others (like me) miss...thinking of all those little tree frog pictures you posted, back when. So where is that tree located in relation to your house? Was the bluebird close or did you have to use the zoom on your camera? I am sending my sympathies for your trying day too Marian! I was wondering too, why was the "drop in" waited on before you? Or, did you offer to let her go ahead of you? Thanks about the advice re the screen saver. I guess Ill have to investigate a little better. My computer may have that option and I just dont know about it. Btw, no; big words dont turn me off. I *love* big words and love to learn new words too, unfortunately, as quickly as I learn them, I usually forget them......LOL! I admire people with a good vocabulary, would love to be able to speak a foreign language fluently, and *do* find language and the origins of words and phrases very interesting. Did you ever hear the saying..."Dont throw the baby out with the bathwater"? You may know this, but Ill tell it anyway, cause I thought it was interesting. Anyway the story goes.."Baths equaled a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water" LOL!

Kathy well you *do* live in gorgeous California (always makes me think of Jain) and in the heartbreakingly beautiful Napa Valley no less; but everything is more expensive in California; isn't it? (at least thats what Ive always thought). Do you have a Kohls Department Store out there? Anyway, that is where I got a lot of my Christmas birds over the years. The thing about Kohls is they start discounting the Christmas stuff by the 2nd week of December, with discounts as large as the other stores have at the end of Christmas; like 60%. I have also found the birds in little art shops along the way. Since they have less foot traffic, you can still find discounted Christmas ornaments in the little shops; even a few weeks after Christmas. And the Maxx is a good place to look too (though there you have to look *early* ....everything moves fast at the Maxx). I found two of my favorite bird ornaments there. BTW, I vote for a peek at that mantle too!

Martie...I must have missed it, who are the three 11 year old future gardeners? How exciting! :-) I tried to put the bug in my son when he was little and while he enjoys and greatly admires gardens, he has no interest in working in one...guess he takes after his dad in that respect. LOL on the big, bad Balsam. Funny, I was thinking the same thing about Yeonas post and glad you told her that. I too have said/asked things, that got no response and always wondered in my head, did everyone just miss my question? Should I ask again? And have thought, exactly as you have Yeona..."There-in lies the rub, what to do when not heard, repeat or feel rejected." Worse yet, *Ive* thought, what if I repeat the question again and get no I just being a pest about something that no one knows the answer to or doesnt care about? LOL! Yes Yeona, it took a lot of guts to be that honest and forthright.

Hey Sue...Thanks for asking! Sis is doing great. Her hair has started growing back and is about 2 inches long now and curly (her hair was straight as pin prior to chemo) and looks absolutely adorable on her. She has a nice, soft, loose curl, not crazy curls like mine. She has been back to work for over 3 months now and is just loving it. Alls well with all her follow up tests so far and were keeping those positive thoughts. LOL about the kitchen...isnt that funny? The homeowner sees all the flaws and thinks *everyone else* sees them too, but in reality it is only the owner who sees them and thinks they are a big deal. Actually, the kitchen is the only room that we didnt do during the reno and subsequent flood seven years ago (cause it didnt need it before the flood). The floor in the kitchen has a decided upward slant as you head to the family room and has driven us crazy over the years. Because the floor slants, there are many tiles that are cracked and now breaking pretty badly, so the floor really needed replacement. We are keeping all the old appliances. I imagine any buyer would replace them, as they are outdated looking, but they still run well and I am "use" to how my stove works and think I would have a hard time getting use to a new one. We also put in a new counter top, replaced the tile backsplash, and painted. It was the oldest room in the house and hasnt had anything done to it in about 10 years, so it looked kind of "dated" compared to the rest of the house. Paul is still hanging onto his "lets sell" thoughts and the kitchen was really done in preparation for that. While moving is not big on my list, I have come to seeing his side, in the fact that we really dont need a house this big and could save lots of money on heating, electricity, water, taxes, etc. if we moved into a smaller place...not to mention a lot less cleaning for me. :-) Glad to hear the new doc feels everything is a-okay, but I can imagine how frustrating to hear such opposite opinions. It really makes you wonder...

LOL Eden, I can think of a lot of people who would get a kick out of that White it a coaster? or a tray? Hmm...why did seeing your pic make me think of this young lady.....

Babs...congratulation on the wainscotting! Are you going to show us pictures after the project is complete? Funny, I was trying to talk Paul into the small glass tiles too...I love them and think they would look fabulous! :-) But Paul is pretty traditional and wasnt big on the idea. If we do move, I may push to have them in a bathroom though...maybe he would think they would look more traditional there...LOL! Great idea about the elf heads...maybe there still *is* another fashion show in their future. :-)

Thanks Deanne! That is scary about MJs kitty. I have never heard that! Is it only the case with cats or can dogs get cancer from inoculations as well? Im such a worry wart when it comes to Scout.

Mary...Annie sounds like a girl who knows herself and knows her worth...Good for her and for you (Im sure it has to do with your parenting)....wish I had been more like that as a young lady.

Chelone...I was a violin too. I think it might be cause I voted for the filet mignon and lobster...LOL! Funny you mentioned the Allman Brothers. Aint Wasting Time No More and Melissa were two of my absolute favorites as a teen...which brings me to....

V...Melissa was one of your favorite songs too; right? Glad to hear DD is safe and warm and home! LOL on the hotdog trick...youre a fun mom! :-) So, is DD loving college? That Mystic is quite a character; isnt he? :-) Hey....has that Dominicks commercial been playing all the time by you? You know, the one where they sing Are you Having any Fun? I cant help it the song is very catchy and makes me feel peppy when I hear it! :-) It is a constant in my head these days. :-) Oh well, I could have worse songs stuck in my head and its such a cheery little tune that I find myself singing it and shuffling around the house as I work....Im incurable....LOL!

Tony Bennett - 1958

Hey fellow with a million smackers
And nervous indigestion
Rich fellow, eats milk and crackers
I'll ask you one question
You silly so and so
With all your dough....

Are you havin' any fun?
What ya gettin' out of livin'?
What good is what you've got
If you're not havin' any fun?

Are you havin' any laughs?
Are you gettin' any lovin'?
If other people do,
So can you, have a little fun

After the honey's in the cone
Little bees go out and play
Even the old grey mare down home
Has got to have hay....HEY!

You better have some fun
You ain't gonna live forever
Before you're old and gray, feel okay
Have your little fun, son!
Have your little fun!

Why do you work and slave and save?
Life is full of ifs and buts
You know the squirrels save and save
And what have they got.....NUTS!

Are you havin' any fun?
What ya gettin' out of livin'?
What good is what you've got
If you're not havin' any fun?

Lest you guys think I have no deep thoughts...I do have a serious side, it just hasnt been surfacing lately...LOL! :-) And with that I will sign off for now. Paul is waiting on me to help with painting the kitchen trim. P.S. Hope I didnt miss anybody, but if I did, you know its not personal; right? Actually relieved Yeona put that stuff out there. "Hi to all and TTYL!" Ei

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 1:18PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Oops! I *knew* there was something I forgot...I wanted to thank T for all the great Christmas fun she has been posting. I'm still working on the word challenge. BTW, was that really you? If so, you make an adorable dancing elf! :-) And I have saved the crooning Santa one (my favorite). It was so cute, I played it over several times and have saved it...I *love* that kind of music. Okay...gotta go now, Paul is hovering over me! TTTYL! Ei

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 1:35PM
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Back home and Bella's been fed and put down for a nap. I should be cleaning I am instead. We had fun, Bella was a little overwhelmed with all of the other children, there must have been around 30, from some younger than her up to age 5 or 6. She is almost always with just adults so really liked watching all of the other kids.

Ei, Brad has my screensaver set up so it rotates all of the pictures in the "my pictures" folder. I like it because I have so many pictures I've saved from all of you in there and then some of Bella and my garden too, all my favorite things. I'll ask him how he did it.

Michelle, that was a cute story about Kenzie and the pull up. And it made me think how much more clueless dads can be with kids than moms are. Brad would have wondered the same thing, lol. No potty training going on here yet...

News flash!!! I LIKE EVERYONE HERE! Just so you all know! I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't. I really do think if people don't comment on something it's just because things really do go at a fast pace on the Idylls and certainly not deliberate. Truth be told, it doesn't bother me a bit if I don't get comments. I just KNOW you all read every word I write and how much you all love me, lol. I am perfectly happy just to hear what's going on with all of you. My wish is that everyone feel welcomed and comfortable here and I really think there's no reason that shouldn't be.

Martie, have fun decorating the tree. Take a picture for us?

If I get this place cleaned up I may take a few pictures of my decorations for all of you this weekend. I have the cookie list narrowed down to about 1/2 a dozen varieties and will begin the baking in the next couple of days too.

Brad's home with groceries. Got to go, Eden

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 1:41PM
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Ok Ei, here's how you do it. Right click on your desk top screen. Then click properties. Then choose the screensaver tab and choose "my pictures slide show" from the list. It will then rotate whatever pictures you have in your "my pictures" folder.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 1:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yep,Ei, Eden gave you the complete advice :-) Mine was incomplete. :-(
Do you know what this is?

There is another flower yet to open...just the 2 of them...but WHOOPEE!
The tree with the bluebird in it is the Honey Locust in from of our house. I did use the zoom. The twig broke completely off, and there is no longer a perch for the blue birds. :-(

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 2:05PM
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Oops Marian! I didn't see that you'd already told her how to do it...

Pretty pic! I loved your bluebird too! I wish we had them around here. I remember my grandparents had nesting boxes for them when I was little.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 2:18PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Eden, I am glad you gave Ei the full info. Mine was very brief. Unless I'm looking right at the instructions I forget. I don't think my old computer had that option.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 2:27PM
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I meant to commiserate with Marian over a long, trying day. Nothing in the world cheeses me off more than ... w a i t i n g ... . I request the first appointment of the day whenever I schedule anything like the doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant, etc.. If it's "last minute" I accept whatever is readily available and gladly accept calls to fill in cancellations. I'm OK with "hold", but don't do "call waiting" with friends (last come, first served? UNHUH). I sympathize with having to take Nolon in and the trouble with someone with an accent... that's hard for Mum, too. Mum takes Fosamax every week, Marian. She has osteoporosis; used to be 5'5" is now 4'9"! Chalk it up to a pack a day for 60 years, no weight-bearing exercise (due to respiratory impairment), and a diet that was uniformly lacking in essential vitamins/minerals and VITAMIN D. Please, please, please, do whatever your doctor advises and be extra careful when out in the yard... esp. when it's slippery! It's good that you've gone for a bone density screening, Mum goes every 2 years now. I hope today is better for your aches/pains.

I scooted out early this morning and shot over to my favorite nursery where I purchased another of those wonderful "plastic" urns. This one is the same, tallish shape of the one in the picture I posted, but it looks like rusted iron or brownstone. I did another arrangement in it and placed it outside the slider that leads from Mum's room to the terrace. I thought she might enjoy some seasonal ambiance from the comfort of her wing chair... she like to sit there, read, and soak up the sunshine through the glass... it's a convenient place for her to let the cats in and out, too. :) I've also toyed with the idea of putting some lights on the Hydrangea standard, too, and rigging them up to the timer that governs the windowbox lights. We'll see.

It's beautiful today, in the 50s! Rex and I played extended "ball" and he "helped" me as I cruised around the yard clipping greens for Mum's arrangement, the door sway I have to make, and the arrangements I like to place around the house (reminds me to soak the oasis, asap). I was thinking that the real trick to owning a dog is INCLUDING them in your most routine activities and requiring them to mind their Ps and Qs. Tired dogs are always easier to train and more willing to comply quickly, lol. Probably the same for kids.

The stories of toilet training made me smile. I remember a friend who was at her wits' end with her son. Couldn't get him to pee into the john... in desperation, she put dish detergent into the bowl and told him to "make bubbles". He never peed in his drawers again, lol. I love that you share those "kid things", otherwise, I'd never have anything approximating a clue!

So, Martie, NO TREE? hehehe... the helpmeet is the driving force behind the tree in this house, too. But I have to admit, I've really gotten into it in the past few years. I love buying ornaments (bought 6 good ones today, and got one free!), and I get a charge out of scrutinizing them and rearranging them. I HAVE to get a topper that will be less proctological for our poor St. Nick... ;)

It's time to sit on my can for a bit, methinks. And listen to some Beethoven, today is his birthday; he was born in 1770 and was subjected to dreadful abuse from his musician, drunkard father... . I'm particularly fond of the transition from the second to third movement of the 5th. Symphony...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 2:56PM
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I just came across this link for something fun to listen isn't new to the internet, but perhaps you, like me, would enjoy hearing it again.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 4:48PM
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We're all alive and well, including the tree.

The conversation went something like this:

"So whadya think??? Isn't it gorgeous???"

"Yes, and it smells good, too. How about someone turn on the ceiling fan." (Sometimes I can be evil.)

whoosh, hack, hack, hack

"Someone shut it off!!!!"

The tree quickly came down, had the bottom 2' sawed off, and while the kids were spreading the boughs around the garden, the tree was reerected.

It is now a proud and manageable 8'.

Off to grill some steaks and get dressed for a quicky party we'll be in and out of.


Martie, who is entirely envious of Marian's orchid. Name, please????

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 5:01PM
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Chelone, entirely ignorant that it even IS an orchid, would like to know, too.

LOL, Martie; you routinely crack me up.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 5:13PM
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And another one that may make you smile........

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 5:27PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL-ROF...Martie, I love your continuing saga of the mammoth tree, espacially the 'fan' part! The Orchid is a gift from Ei from a couple of years ago. It is a Slipper Orchid, Paphiopedilum ( Nulight X Gigi ). Isn't it great !

LOL , Chelone, yes it IS an Orchid.
And thank you for the commiseration. That is what I needed....;-)
And for the report on your mum's spine problem. My word, you mean she lost 8 inches in height!? Now that is right down scary! I am only about 5 foot now ( used to be 5'2") I'd be a dwarf if I lost 6 more inches! Besides that, if I keep walking all stooped ( stupid ) over, I'm going to look like an Egor dwarf!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 5:37PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ei, I didn't answer some of your questions. Re: the walk-in, no I didn't offer for her to go first. After all, it was I who had an appointment, and I had already waited about 1/2 hour for the agent to show. I though it was rude that the walk-in didn't protest that I wasn't getting 'first billing'!
Yes, I had heard that expression, but don't remember the entire story. I hate the thought that the poor baby had such dirty water to bathe in! We bathed in a galvanized tub, when I was a child. Our father and mother each had a separate time to bathe. We 5 children shared the smae water, starting with the oldest down to the youngest. That put me 4th down the line, and my DB was last! ( Maybe that is what is the matter with him ! LOL ).

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 6:06PM
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Yeah, Marian! Mum and I share virtually the same shape she sported before menopause. I'm 5'5", and I'm too heavy at 150#. We both have fair skin and (had) auburn/red hair and "light" fraimes... . So let Mum be an example to you... . The only thing I've ever smoked has been "grass". I've always been active, never shied away from "hard" work, but I've been lax about taking vitamins and calcium + D. I'm not NOW, let me tell you! Ask your doctor about Fosamax, Boniva, etc.! if you don't ask they may not tell you. Don't let Mum's fate befall YOU. Please. ;)

Another one who cracked up at the "visual" the fan and the over-sized tree provided. Seems to me, if Miss Martie hadn't enough brush to fill windowboxes/planters before she ought to have PLENTY 'bout now.

Just wanted to add that this is truly an amazing group of people. Quite an extended family... . I'm proud and humbled to be considered part of it, frankly. Just wanted you to know. (you, too, Yeona... ;) or maybe it WASN'T you behind that curtain...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 6:08PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

T- I finally went back and checked out the dancing elf link very cute! I just refreshed and now will have to check out the new link...

Marian be very careful with that hip! Nolon sounds like a handy sort of guy to have around stump removal and all his firewood activities are pretty impressive. It looks to me like he does things that he thinks will please you an inarticulate mans way of saying he appreciates you? (Ive come to the conclusion that it is a rare man who can find the words to say that but most feel that doing something they know/hope will please you counts for the same thing!)

Martie that sounds like a huge tree I hope you have LOTS of ornaments :-) And I hope you plan to post a picture of the finished splendor! I just saw the fan installment when I refreshed - you're a great storyteller!

I do know C. Montana can be a monster. It made repeated attempts this summer to take over the mockorange around the corner but got cut back each time. In the spring, DH will have to cut some of it out of the neighbours Purple Sandcherry. Its easier to see it when the branches are bare. They keep saying let it run because they liked the flowers, but they dont understand what a monster it could become. I was thrilled that it bloomed, since its not really supposed to be bud-hardy here.

I figure, while its in a very sheltered location, probably at least 1 winter in 3 will kill the flowers. In years when it doesnt flower, Ill prune it back hard. In other years, Ill just keep it within bounds by trimming off new growth that wanders too far from where I want to limit it to. Every couple of years Ill need to clean off the top of the arbour quite drastically anyway. You might have noticed that I have both group 1 (the Montana) and group 3 (Jackmanii superba) on the south gate arbour. The Jackmanii is planted on the front while the Montana is on the back. I cut the Jackmanii stems off at about 12-18" in spring and cut down the stems as far up the lattice as I can easily reach. But I cant easily clean off the top of the arbour because of the Montana and the roses being there too. Some dead stuff is going to start accumulating up there. Im counting on the Montana not flowering every year so I can get DH to go up and cut all the clematis stuff off (while, hopefully, leaving healthy rose canes intact). Its going to become a tricky maintenance issue at some point and it may eventually make me decide to eliminate one or other of the clematises. Time will tell

The New Dawn rose canes are getting very long and extending down the alley. I think Im going to try to put in some posts to make a rope or chain swag to tie them to. Have any of you made a rose swag? If so, Id love to see pictures and hear tips/suggestions about how to go about it successfully If I can get the swags set up properly, I may let the montana share the swag with the roses to give the montana some room to roam but make it easier to manage if it tries to stray.

Were feeling a bit Grinch-like here. No Christmas decorations up we may get around to it tomorrow. There are no small kids in the family here so that takes a lot of the incentive away re making a fuss. And, one of the odd things about being deaf - it makes me realize just how much the music even the in-store Muzak variety - contributes to the festive feeling. The complete absence of the music makes all the rest of the hoopla seem depressingly nothing special.

Yeonas concerns made me think about why I miss things when I skim and dont comment as much as I feel I should be to fully participate. Thinking about what I do when I skim posts, I figured out that I frequently skip over whole chunks of posts where someone has responded to someone else by name. When I thought about why I do that, it occurred to me that reading that part of the post feels a bit like eavesdropping! I know thats silly and it leaves me prone to saying Huh whats that about?! to myself where I later see someone comment on something interesting that I totally missed, and then I have to go back searching for the post that I missed

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

Woody, when I respond to someone's post, I frequently add thoughts that are not to her in particular. Take my last post..addressed to Ei, I added info that is probably of interest to all of you.
I like , and agree with, your take on what Nolon does, and why. I hope I can remember that, and apply it. If only I could see things in a differant light. I'm afraid my chronic pain, lifelong disappointments, and inferiority complex, has colored my view. I did used to be better at figuring at why people act as they do, and much more tolerant. Please God, don't let me become a bitter old woman!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 6:43PM
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I thought I'd share a few pictures.

The day began with a beautiful sunrise:

Here are the newest goats.....Tall and Wide:

The new backyard flower beds with the many devices that I'm using to keep/hopefully train the dogs to stay out of the beds:

Recent elk damage in the front beds:

and they stripped a plant they've never bothered before (I am not happy with them!)

DH flying his RC helicopter...a few minutes after I took the photos of him flying, he came indoors to look up some parts to repair it. "One thing about helicopters", he said, "when you crash them, they just keep on running and beating themselves to death."


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 7:09PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Bows and bridges, tall and short elk, wisteria, elves, orchids, longhouses, bluebirds, back aches, rc helicopters, Tony Bennett, brick walkways, white wine Christmas, whoopie pies, exams and car maintenance, giant Christmas trees tumbling down, bubbles in the toilet bowl, olives both black and green and on finger tips, WHAT NEXT???

Well I hope to have a finished sweater to post one day soon. Maybe by Monday? In the meantime my DH has managed to accomplish much of what was on his "honey-do" list: mistletoe is up, 2 storm windows installed, rain barrels stored in the barn, the dock out of the pond, the Christmas tree is in its stand (though still outdoors), the hose put away, and more!

On my end, the Christmas shopping is DONE except for food of course. I had one of DD's wedding photos framed as a gift to myself too. Lots of work yet to do in food prep and cleaning up the guest areas, but bit by bit things are getting finished. Charlotte and I even have appointments at the hairdresser's for the 28th. (not the same one!) I must stain some quarter round for the new basement floor too before the kids install it.

Little DGS spoke to me on the phone yesterday and asked if there'd be LOTS of presents under the tree. I was honest and said there'd be a few for him but that after all, this would be a second Christmas for him. I said I hoped we could make a snowman if only the snow would come. He is a bit confused about how far away we live and the fact that our clocks are different.. He has snow at home. He asked if it is winter here. How can it be winter if you have green grass? Anyway, he asked if we could make a Spiderman snowman. We shall see!

He's bigger than Bella and Kenzie, but the excitement is still there. I'm sure it is for AJ and Ryan too. Having him come this year will make things very different for these two old crackpots. :-)


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 8:58PM
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Marian!That is a wonderful blue bird! What a nice composition with the lichen covered bark and the way the distant background gives the shot depth. I have always been fascinated by blue birds(they're just so BLUE)and have yet to see one in my lifetime so far. I think they like to live by Lake Erie which I don't visit often enough. I'm glad you put that up here.

YES Eden we do love you: )lol
Chelone-hmm Ok I guess I can complete my job cliffhanger...but it will be pretty anticlimatic lol. In Aug. I started a job as the health aide at my boys' school. It's just 15 hrs a week but I'm on the exact schedule they are so when they are off I am too. At the moment I am in the middle of vision and hearing screenings and in a few months I'll be doing the scoliosis screenings. The rest of the time I tend to kids who need first aid for cuts,bumps,bloody noses and bruises. I also have to deal with sending sick ones home and figuring out the psychosomatic things kids come up with. Just on Fri. I had two girls walk in together(2nd gr.)declaring they feel like they will throw up. As I take temps they are giggling about exchanging phone numbers so they can call each other while they're home sick....Hello?! No fever? sorry you get to stay here dears. The big clue off is laughter-when you feel like tossing your cookies you don't usually giggle and smile: ) really is rewarding and scary too since you never know what's going to come in the door.
You'd appreciate that I sewed my own lab coat after seeing the ugly ones at the store-the supervisors at my placement facility perked up their ears when I said I would make my own coat...that could be a gold mine(they have over 400 employees plus numerous health/psychology associates). I already had two inquiries but I honestly don't have time these days.

So we found an Xmas tree! It's a cute little Canaan Fir and it's up and lit,now we just need the decorations-hopefully tomorrow. The Canaans are nice because they have softer needles and firm branches. I am always drawn to the blue spruces but they really are so prickly when putting the lights's also safely away from the ceiling FAN!!! Oh Martie: )sorry But I did LOL.

Oh Dreeeema? Where are you? Even Chris is worried-he sees you every so often(with your cell pasted to your cheek) when he's zipping through the cafeteria at work but he suddenly asked me today if you still work at the university....what's up? Time to check in!

Hope the eastern idylls are having fun whooping it up!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 9:46PM
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Ive been loving all the great links. I even took time to paste my mug on the dancing elf.

I suppose about now the party at Sues is in full swing.

Ei, I love the blue and white elves and I loved hearing from you. I hope your holiday plans work out and someone steps up. Your floor sounds like it will be lovely. For anyone who wasnt at IU3, Ei is a fabulous decorator. Your elf dressing sounds like fun. I have a fairly old Angel also so today I bought some white feathers to cover up the lace that is over clear plastic wings. The plastic behind the lace has yellowed.

Chelone, good for you for expecting your DB to handle a little part. You really arent asking much.

Yeona, how wonderful to have a nice long "Yeona-style"post. As for the decorations, DS had trains, a mirrored disco type ball and a trumpet and DD had a couple of ballerinas and some cats along with the more traditional Christmas things. Another tradition is the dill pickle ornament that goes in the tree on Christmas Eve. The kids had as much fun looking for the hidden pickle as they did opening gifts. I guess I seem to be a violin as well.

Woody, that picture of the petals covering the ground under the wisteria is just so cool. I really like your arbor a lot also.

Mary, good to hear that Annie is adjusting to her teen years well. It can be a tough time.

Babs, I just love your sense of humor. Thanks for such a fun post. Allergic to wine, lets hope not! I just cant imagine how hard laryngitis must have been on you ;o) I can remember those years of wanting to believe but knowing what the reality was.

Martie I dont believe I mentioned what a great job Rich did on the walk. That has to have been the most fun tree erecting party I have heard of.

Marian, you are so right about finding joy in little things. Yesterday for me it was the sunrise that reminded of a huge navel orange.

T, Ive used chicken wire with success with the cats.

I just love hearing how Marie is getting drawn into Grammahood.

I love the screensaver idea.

After a day in the city shopping, Im shot. I believe the shopping is done, food is planned and most gifts are wrapped. Now I can relax this week right?

I love each of you my dear friends

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 10:43PM
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Greetings everyonethere sure have been a flurry of posts the last couple of days. Its fun to keep up with everyones holiday preparations and traditions. DS and I had dinner together tonight and I am enjoying a glass of Hess 2000 Cab reserve that DD brought over today tasting room leftovers. Always nice to have a relative in the wine biz ! Today I started working on the guest room, which was a disaster area with c**p piled everywhere. I made some serious progress there. I also finished coat one of paint in the home office, and started the cookie baking . I decided to make Scottish shortbread. I think it is named shortbread because it only stays around a short time. DS and I have already eaten half of it !

Chelone, glad you had fun at your social engagement, and I would have loved that bue cheese.! When I was a child in the 50s blue cheese dip was an absolute staple of all partys. I cant think when the last time I saw it was ! One of our local restaurants does an appetizer that is a pile of home-made kettle cooked potato chips with melted maytag blue cheese. I love blue cheese. Bring it over to my house any time. And you are in a Beethoven mode tonight ? I have a 6 disc magazine in with Tom Petty, Santana, Camera Obscura, Elvis Costello & Allan Toussaint, and Squeeze.

Love the bluebird pic MarianIm with Babs, I have never seen one in person.We have a western bluebird out here . I do have lots of Blue Jays though.

Ei , we do have Kohls, but it is not close by for me . But how nice that you collect the bird ornaments. I will be extra vigilant and keep my eyes open- I would love to have some. I dont know if things are more expensive here- but real estate certainly is ! 20 years ago when I moved from So Calif to Nor Calif I noticed right away that plants are higher priced up here.

Woody, Ive never seen a rose "swag" as a trellising solution.. It sounds interesting.

T, love your goats! You sure have lots of great planting areas ready to go-your soil looks fantastic.!

So as requested , here are a few pics courtesy of DSs new camera..

The new path and arbor. I will prime and paint the arbor white t match the trime on the house.


DS and the arbor


The Fabulous Mantle Display


The sphagnum moss reindeer display


G'night y'all. Time to read a bit before I turn in...
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 12:26AM
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Oooo laaaa laaaa, Kathy! Just beautiful. Your path is stunning! Did you just get the arbor or is it something new for the path?

Michelle -- Great picture and great decorating!

Don't elk have anything better to do at this time of year??? Aren't they related to Reindeer?????

Hi everyone else! This will be quick because:

Joy to the World, My Brother Can Go Out!!! It's only taken 16 months, but got word last night that I can take him out this morning to Dunkin' Donuts for a latte. A staff person will be coming with us but I know most of them and they are great people. This is major, folks, and I give DB and all his support folks every credit in the world for getting him this far. Though he can't get out of the car, I plan on taking him for a quick bunberry to see some Christmas decorations. They've given him 45 minutes out so I'm planning carefully. My Mom burst into tears when I told her. True Joy!!!

Hope all Idyllers had a great Saturday evening. Love hearing from Ei and Babs and Yeona. Where's Taryn? And Others???

Martie, off to the hospital with a bounce in my step :-)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 8:11AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Charlotte concurs.

Must I get a haircut for Christmas?

Can't I go out for a doughnut instead?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 10:11AM
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Good Idyll Morning

How FABULOUS to have so many lively posts and pictures. I love them ALL!

Babs - welcome back. Hope time allows for a few blabs over the holidays. It's too bad we don't work in the same school - frequent flyers to the nurses office are often candidates for the social/emotional program I run. We let DH choose our tree this year - a pine with long needles the children call "Hairy". It's a little harder to hang the ornaments, but smells fantastic and hasn't yet started shedding.

Michelle - you and Ric look wonderful and Christmassy.

Charlotte is looking a lot like our tree!

T - are those Elk or Bigfoot?

Kathy - your decorations are just beautiful and love the arbor with the pic of your DS.

Martie - time out with your brother sounds the best gift of all.

Hope Cindy had fun at her Friday party, and the NE revellers enjoyed Sue's bash.

I've missed many - but this needs to be quick. It struck me today I hadn't written our Christmas letter and need to get that done before the day is out. I also have my sister's knitted bag to finish, a holiday brunch and even a bit of cleaning to do. Need to skedaddle.

Hope Taryn, Drema, Jerri, Saucy, Brenda and perhaps even Cynthia will chime in too before the holidays are out.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 11:07AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Today's blooms on my 'Ei Orchids' :

I don't know why the pic has the 'ghost' effect ?? Maybe the shadows from the flash ? Or a shaky photographer...
A third bloom stalk is on the left hand side of the Moth Orchid. Unless a disaster happens, it quarantees blooms well into the summer!
My purple Dendrobium is still in bloom also.
Four more Phals (Moth Orchids ) have bloom stalks, but will be somewhat later with their blooms.

T, great pics...lovely sunrise, wonderful beds ( with protection that reminds me of my beds ), and humorous story about your DH's helicopter. I hate it that the elk not only tramped through the new beds, but also snacked on your plants ! That is a bad bad thing !

Marie, you are one very busy lady ! I hope you don't overdo it. Your excitement is contagious. :-)

Why, thank you Babs ! I just pointed and shot ! No special tactics taken . I am surprised to find that the bluebirds are not more widespread.

Michelle...great pic of the happy handsome pair ! LOL on the "huge naval orange" sunrise ! We are having some nice sunrises and sunsets lately, but nothing that spectacular.

The Bluebirds are common here, and stay all winter. They come through in sizable flocks when berries are ripe on trees and shrubs. I have seen them gather to spend the night in our birdhouses in cold weather. I enjoy their 'song', but they can be pretty sad sounding when they lose a mate.

Kathy, I don't remember seeing the western variety in Idaho, but I wasn't into bird watching very much then. I missed out on a lot. :-(
Your pics are really good. The path and arbor are great, and the interior decorations are lovely. ( The DS is pretty neat also ). :-)

Yey ! Martie ! I hope the outing with your DB went well.

LOL ... are a hoot ! I am rather partial to hairy dogs...:-)

Mary , everyone in your household is so busy, and talented !


    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 3:31PM
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Quiet here today. Are you all busy getting ready for the holiday? I finished my shopping today and just need to finish the wrapping now. I also assembled some of Bella's toys this afternoon. We're going out looking at Christmas lights in a little while. I always enjoy doing that. Then I think I'll come home, crack open a bottle of wine and get that wrapping finished. I wrote a nice long post commenting to all of you this morning and somehow lost it and just don't feel like repeating it all tonight. I hate when that happens! I was hoping we would have heard from the party girls with maybe a few pictures by now...


    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 6:01PM
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Good Sunday evening-we've gone from feast to famine around here in the posting dept! Crossed yet a few more items off my list today. I only work two days this week so I should have time to get all done-in theory .The two days I work we have lunch dates with vendors so that will take a two hour chunk out of the day.!

Michelle what a nice photo in front of the tree !
And 'bug love the doggie shots!

Marian, I'm jealous of your Lady Slipper. I lost mine to mealy bug this year. Grrr! I'm going to get another one though. I just love them . Mine was a very dark maroon color with spotted foliage. It was never very vigorous, only one flower per year.

Martie, the arbor is a twin of one that my late DH built for me to my design over a gate that goes from front to back yard. I had my worker dudes copy it. When I get it primed and painted I will plant Cl La France at it's base.We are expecting dry weather here for several days so I hope I will get a chance to do that painting project- If I don't do it now while it's dry it may have to wait till spring, as we are expecting and El Nino winter , which translates to lots of rain!

Eden, sorry you lost your post! I do mine in MS Word and copy paste it into the GW dialog box. Learned this trick from Deanne-it works pretty slick ...

Time to have some dinner and get in a little reading...hello to everone wherever you are!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 9:39PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Hi ho all! I just wanted to check in real quick. The party was a huge success as usual. Everybody must be getting old though because except for that party hardy couple Monique and Les, the house was a ghost town by 9:30. Deanne and I stayed up yakking til about 1:30 AM and were up by 8. We relaxed over breakfast then soaked in the hot tub. Deanne and Doug left just after noontime. Both Monique and Deanne took a few pictures so maybe there will be some to share.

Today was the first day in months I haven't had anything I had to do. I've gone from garden maintenance to fall cleanup to Thanksgiving to holiday and party prep. It's just been run, run, run. A couple of weeks ago I injured some tendons or something that support my right heel and have been having trouble walking. The smart thing to do is probably to stay off the foot but when it comes to sitting around I don't do well. Yesterday I was on my feet all day so the foot was not happy today. Anyway I ended up taking a nap this afternoon that lasted for hours. I don't even remember how long it's been since I've napped but I'm guessing years and years. Of course after the nap I worked in a stretch and Pilates workout but the treadmill, walks around town and stairmaster are off limits for now. Harumph!

So, as usual, another weekend bites the dust. Hopefully it's been as enjoyable for all of you as it's been for me.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 9:42PM
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Happy Monday! And indeed it is. Got most of the remaining decorating done yesterday and just hung out with Rich. There aren't many days to do that.

My brother was amazing yesterday. The staff person who came with us was a huge guy - about 6'3" and at least 250#. My brother is almost that size so the entire trip started with a laugh about the humans weighing more than the car.

No interest in Christmas decorations. "I want to see cows." Okay. Off we went in search of cows and found some. It was fun and I'm hopeful whatever "better" exists stays for a bit.

Gifting this year has become simple. Small things. My fav so far is a donation to my fav charity in honor of the neighborhood kids and my niece and nephew to supply fruit trees to families in Honduras. On the extreme opposite end of the scale, found Pink Floyd boxers for Ky. Ho, ho, ho!!

Kathy -- How wonderful that you found someone to duplicate your arbor! I think it'll look great in white. Here's hoping el Nino is gentle this year.

Quiet day here yesterday. Hope that means that all are Relaxing!!

In advertising sales land the week before any major holiday is usually quiet. I'm hopeful.

See you all later,


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 6:53AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A quick fly-by...

Off to the vet's for cat food again. Then I hope a day of gift wrapping and tidying up around the pig pen.

I wonder if I can get the book on time this round? We shall see.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:34AM
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GOod morning

A quick peek in hoping for partiy pictures - perhaps later today?

Sue - the evening sounds fantastic and I can imagine how much fun it was yakking with Deanne into the wee hours. Good for you for taking a restorative nap on Sunday - everyone deserves one from time to time.

Martie - wonderful that your special time with your brither went well. I think small gifts are the best. I'm amazed at the excessive spending that goes on with colleagues and other families and doubt it brings any more joy than a well thought item.

Marian - your orchids are absolutley stunning - the Lady's Slipper is incredible and I loved the red orchid that was on my birthday photo. You have a real gift and I hope the flowers will light up the gloomy winter days for you.

Yesterday we had our delayed wedding anniversary celebration and went for the most amazing brunch at a large Italian restaurant. We took Annie and David along too as our time together is so limited. The buffet was everything you could imagine plus more, and included a whole leg of lamb amongst the usual meats, interesting salads, fabulous veggies, seafood, and many pasta dishes. The desserts featured both a chocoalate AND a caramel fountain for dipping - the kids (and adults) were in heaven. It was the most fun, festive time.

In the evening Annie had a party at her BFF house (best friend forever). They had great food, (it was a day for eating) a couple of games, and then the group went carolling in the neighborhood. But biggest of all, there were boys invited!! Annie hasn't been to a party with boys since we invited all of Mrs Hall's Kindergarten class to our house for her 6th birthday party. I think they all had a fun time together and I couldn't help thinking what a nice goup of young people they are.

Well, what I should be doing is getting ready for work - can you tell I'd rather stay home today?

Have a good start to the week.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:39AM
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GB - that is incredibly beautiful!! It came out beautifully and I'm sure will delight your DD for years to come.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:41AM
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T., I absolutely cracked up at the audio of the accident. I've listened to it a couple of time and the visual it conjures is just hysterical. I've only had to deal with an occasional deer raiding the perimeter of the yard, I can definitely see that elk could put whole new spin on a gardening experience. :/

Ei, the helpmeet and I have visited Colonial Williamsburg twice and it was a total blast. If you've a chance to do it, I heartily recommend it. There were some nice items in that catalogue.

Sue, will there be documentary evidence of Christmas revelry? (probably no drunken debauchery, though, huh?).

I hope all went well for Martie and her brother yesterday. It's been a very long haul for you and you must be absolutely thrilled with how far he's come.

Kathy, your walkway and arbor are very pretty; a nice way to welcome people to you home and spruce up the front yard. And I like the "fabulous mantel display" very much, too. I've been eyeing the top of the two bookcases I hauled out of the storage unit with new eyes...

I never seen Bluebirds here, either, Babs. (great shot, Marian!). Something sticks in my memory that they like open areas, typically the houses for them are positioned in fields. Congrats on the job. And I smiled at the notion that any little, snot-nosed kid could "fake you out", lol. Hang tough! our very own Nurse Ratchett, ;)

'bug, I think Charlotte could use a clip. She's looking sort of "sticky" around the mouth... sorry. I can't wait to see the sweater. No snow here, right now... and we were remarking this morning that we appreciate brown winters more and more with each passing year. ;) Sure makes walking the dog easier!

I did some shopping yesterday, and a most UNfulfilling trip, it was. I had my list, but had trouble finding the size I needed for the helpmeet's lined slacks. I settled for a less than desireable color, having verified there would be no more in the store before mid-January. I bought some wrapping paper and ribbon, and a few assorted kitchen items, too. We don't go crazy here; there isn't very much we need/want. My car is in the shop today (inspection and routine pre-winter service), so I'll "hang around" while the helpmeet heads out on his own Christmas foray.

So... here's the burning question: should I work this week or should I opt to take it off? Helpmeet suggests I take it off. If I do, I could sew and clean (which would be fun and fulfilling), if I work I could put the entire paycheck into my SEP account... thoughts/opinions?

Time to get rollin' on the day's chores.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:54AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Get your a** to work, Chelone. You can always sew and clean when you retire.

Happy manic Monday to all.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 8:59AM
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Good morning.

It is a brisk 24° this morning, the deck is furry with frost and I think I need a new battery for my car as these cold mornings make it more of a struggle for it to fire up.

Michelle, the photo of you and your husband is a lovely one. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Charlotte looks like such a wonderful dog. I enjoy seeing the photos of her and hope that Martie is able to share those photos with her brother since he got such enjoyment out of seeing her before. 'bug, the sweater looks great--what a lovely gift it is!

Martie, how great that your brother was up to an outing! Cows......a nice choice. I hope you were able to find some out in a big, lovely, green pasture.

Babs, your work day brought back memories of when I worked for our local elementary schools. During my substitute/fill-in days, I often was the health clerk and enjoyed reliving some of the moments with the children that would come in. It sounds like a very busy time in your life but I'm so glad you've carved out some time to spend at the Idylls.

I had no doubts that Sue's party would be a fun success. She and Tom have that hostess/host thing down pretty darn wonderfully. I have a coronary whenever I consider trying to be hostess to anyone other than my kids....

Both Kathy and Martie have beautiful walkways.

I'm enjoying seeing the Christmas decorations but haven't anything done here yet. If I keep putting it off for another 8 or 9 days it will be a moot point. I would be tempted if we weren't having all of the kids over on Christmas................ I was going to set up the 9' tree, but DH suggested the 6' tree instead. I went up into the attic to get the 6' and came down with one of our 3' trees. LOL I didn't bring down any ornaments or lights so multiple attic trips are still necessary.....and I am having trouble embracing the idea of a 3' tree being 'it' I think I'll probably end up with the 6' or 9' tree. We shall see how much energy and ambition I can 'find'......

Marian, your orchids look like they are loving wherever you have them in your home and the care you are giving them. 3 of my 'Christmas' cactus' are either in bloom or have buds......I love seeing them bloom.

Well, instead of continuing on with remarks about stuff everyone already knows......I'm going to enjoy another cup of coffee and get some slippers on my feet. It is a cold one!

Oh! Chelone, it sounds like you could use some mental health I suggest you 'do whatever floats your boat' --- make it 'your' decision and then which ever way you decide to spend the majority of your day will rest easy on your mind.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 9:18AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Kathy the path and arbour both look good! Will there be a garden bed along the path? If youve already said, I missed it I did see that you are going to have clematis on the arbour (Ill have to look that one up) When we did the north and south alley gates and arbours, we stained/painted the wood before the structure was built. It was easier to paint the wood in the garage and then only had to do touch-ups after the wood was cut and assembled. Were doing the same with the shed trim. The guy who built the south gate suggested that approach it was a handy tip and weve kept doing it for outdoor painting projects ever since.

GB Great pictures of Charlotte! I love the hairy look but I can see that a Christmas trim might be in order. Misty is due for a hind-end shave today! (Doing her business gets challenging in winter when her hair gets a bit too long, so regular shaves on the back end are called for.:- ) That sweater is beautiful! I like the pointed ends. Your DD is going to love it and Im sure DGS will be requesting something for him too

Martie it sounds like you had a great outing with your brother! I heartily approve of his preference for cows over Christmas displays :- )

Chelone Ive long since given up on being a workaholic Id vote for the week off as the best option. What did you choose? What is a SEP account?

T I forgot to mention how great your new garden beds looked but it also looks like you need some serious fencing! DHs sisters first place in Banff had chainlink fencing around the front garden plus additional wire strung between tall poles, all to keep our the elk that wander through town there. Anything that grew outside the fence was neatly pruned off! It wasnt the most attractive of fencing but it was the only way to keep the garden in existence!

This morning the Ocean Gray shingle samples for the shed arrived. Its a bit of an odd gray I think there must be a fair bit of yellow in it. I laid the shingles out on the kitchen table with the shingles set at the 7" exposure and lined up gray color samples on one side and white paper on the other. The window, door, gable and eave trim will be white but I want the door to be a darker color than the shingles. Its not going to be easy to pick a door color Any opinions from you guys?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 10:52AM
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Woody, a SEP account is short for "Simple Employee Pension", effectively an individual retirement account (IRA) that has a small employer "match". Monies contributed to it are PRE-tax dollars, so contributions not only build retirement savings but also reduce taxable gross earnings. I'm one of those dogged New England/"ant" types who has always thought about the long winter ahead. Pulling into the collar has never been a struggle for me... on the contrary, "recreating" has proven the difficulty. :/ Mercifully, much of my "recreation" happens to fall into the category of work for many... gardening, working on the house, etc..

Our home was stained with a 50/50 mixture of Benjamin Moore's "Silver Grey" and a product called "bleaching oil". The siding has been untouched in nearly 16 years and needs attention. I keep hoping we could combine the house staining with a GARAGE, but helpmeet is dragging his feet... We've done the same thing with respect to painting/staining BEFORE assembly, Woody. Works SLICK. How about a nice teal or a plum for the door? for something brighter, what about red or a nice muted "pumpkin" sort of color? (We have Ben. Moore #712 on our door, the darker shades on the card are great... their palette now has names, but if you ask they will give you the name for #712).

2 votes from my most esteemed Idyll collegues for "blow it off". Helpmeet says the same thing... HMMM... only Sue recommends work...

'bug, the sweater is lovely! any chance you'll persuade your beautiful daughter to model it for you (and then sneak the picture onto this site for our enjoyment)?

Oh HEY! I had just finished changing Mum's urostomy appliance this morning and wanted to get it out with the trash. I trucked out the door (in my jammies) and was greeted by 4 women in serious outdoor weather gear. Big waves, smiles... they were conducting the Christmas bird count for the Audubon Society! They've always stood in the road to count, but last year I e-mailed the Society and urged them to come into the yard for a better look. I'm so delighted they did. I thought of you, Deanne and David! they were sporting some pretty serious camera equipment. And two of them "confessed" that they'd "stolen" some shots of the Christmas decorations, too. One woman said it was the prettiest display she'd seen in a long time. I asked her if she was able to detect my puffed up breast feathers... :)

OK, I've got to see what I can dig up to contain some more "seasonal" arrangements for the tops of the two little bookcases (thanks a lot, Kathy!). Speaking of books, I put the one for the group read on my Christmas list!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 11:26AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi everyone,

Just a quick post here to tell you what a great time we had at Sues party on Saturday. She and Tom are the host and hostess with the mostess!!!! Good food, beverages, company, conversations and the best of friends. Everything was perfect. I wish you could all see Sues house decorated for the holidays. It is marvelous. Every room is decorated for the season. Even our guest room had its holiday touches. What fun it was to visit with Les and Monique and have a late into the evening gab fest with Sue. Sunday AM we got up to leisurely sip our coffees over good conversation. Sue even went out and bought Starbucks French Roast coffee beans for my breakfast! What a pal! A nice soak in the hot tub then we headed north to NH. I surely wish youd all been able to join in on the fun.

So many lovely photos here recently! Kathy love your mantle display and that arbor is terrific!

Marie, are you sure you dont want to knit me one of those sweaters???? That is right up my alley. LOL LOVE it!

Michelle, you are looking wonderful! Fantastic pic!

T, those beds are looking great even with nothing planted in them yet. I cant wait to see them in bloom.

Marian, lovely orchids!

Eileen, I dont know if that is a problem with dogs as well as cats. Im wondering if you could Google it.

OK my lunch hour is over and Ive got to get in gear and get some stuff accomplished.

Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 12:46PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA


I was doing a search for Christmas gift threads on GW this morning and stumbled upon the numbered Idyll thread #294. Then I went to the Perennials forum but didn't see it and finally realized it must be under the conversations section. Now I see there are quite a few numbered Idyll threads and I am just wondering what they are all about? Also if the latest one is #295, could there possibly be 295 of them?! [g] How did they get started and how long have they been running? I'm figuring there must be some neat story behind them. [g]

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 2:55PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Phew! Wrapping things takes a lot of time. I used to be more careful about it, but now I just try to get it done! I'm about half way through.

Well Deanne, I won't say "never", but I'm booked with booties and baby things for the next while! Now that I have the right needles and things, it would make sense to make this pattern again. It might be boring to repeat it right away though.

Just had one of those ultra long sales pitches on the phone. Now how did I get into that? All I wanted to say was GO AWAY!
Time for a break.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 3:44PM
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Prairie! how wonderful to see your name here!!! Yes, indeed there are a TON of "Idylls". They've been on going for a few years now. Any and all are welcome, though, I grant you, it may take some time to "get up to speed" and get a feel for the "regulars" and the overall theme. Jump right in if you feel so inclined. :)

No pressure, Prairie., but should I WORK or take the WEEK OFF? An unbiased perspective would be greatly appreciated! Step up to the mike, take a stand, introduce your wonderful self and help me out...


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 3:49PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Chelone I reconsidered...screw work!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 4:02PM
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Chelone, another vote for blowing off work from here. I say take some time for yourself and enjoy your week.

Marie, I love the sweater. It turned out great and dd will love it too. Bet you're excited to give it to her. They'll be there to visit before you know it now!

Kathy, your holiday decorations are very nice. Love the walnuts in the vases holding the branches. Nice touch. Your walkway turned out great too. Your ds looks to be about the same age as mine. Quite a few of us have sons around 20 or so. Drema, V, Martie and David too.

Deanne, your color talk notes came today. I can't wait to have time to sit down and go through them. Thanks!

Babs, glad you've had time for a couple of recent posts. How's Chris's mom doing? How about an update on what AJ and Ryan are up to these days. Bet they're excited for Christmas to get here too!

Martie, how great that you got to spend some time with your db!

T, what great soil you've got going now. It makes me want to dive right in and get planting!

Bud has an appointment at the groomer on Friday. Looks like all of the Idyll dogs are getting spiffed up for the holidays!

Norma, if you're out there pop in and say hi. Miss hearing from you!

Breaks over, back to my vacuum! TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 4:17PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Careful Eden...NOT the vacuum!

Prairie, yes! Dive right in!

Chelone, it's unanimous. Whoop it up! :-)

Whoosh....I'm outa here!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 4:52PM
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I was hoping for party pictures.

My Christmas cactus isnt blooming for the 2nd year. Maybe Marian will tell me what Im doing wrong.

Yesterday I put up my grandmas nativity. When I was a kid, the thing was to buy nativity pieces at the dime store and they were sold separately. I remember my mom adding a few pieces each year. Grandmas was one of these. The pieces have the price stamped on the bottom ranging from 10 cents to 29 cents each. It is somewhat mismatched but that is part of the charm.

Marian, the orchids are lovely. I cant tell you how many times I have had one in my hand at the store and then put it back asking myself if Im crazy.

T, Id go for the 9 tree, Jamie will love it.

bug, the sweater turned out great, the perfect gift for an expectant mom to stay warm and feel special.

Kathy, your arbor and walk turned out great. I love your interior decorating as well. You have a lovely style.

Hmmm, clean and sew or work Id choose work personally. LOL

Mary, the anniversary celebration sounds very nice. I would have taken the kids too. The years with them are so short.

Martie, Im so glad that you were able to spend time with your DB. I hope things continue on a positive path for him.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 4:56PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi Prairiemoon, and welcome ! I like your name. I was born and raised on an Idaho prairie. I am the elder here....the old fogie! :-)

Marie, your sweater is a lovely gift for your DD. It will keep her and her precious cargo nice and comfy.
On second thought...I agree with Chelone about Charlotte...:-) Her mouth area does look rather 'sticky', lol.

Sue, I am envious of the get-together at your house. I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who poops out around 9:30, but when Tim is here, I am more like you and Deanne.

Michelle, my jungle cactus never fail to bloom, but I am having lots of problems with die-back. I put most of mine outside when warm weather gets here, but both the ones that go out, and the ones that don't, bloom. I think the cool fall temps, and the shorter daylight hours are what prompts them to bloom. Are yours getting artificial light?
(T, does yours get artificial light?)
About the orchids...go ahead and get crazy! Who knows, you may be an expert at growing them.

Chelone, I like the 'birders' story. Did they figure out what species of bird you are ? LOL
My advice about your week's choice is to chose the one that you will enjoy the most.
And you are correct about blue birds. They definitely prefer open areas. They were getting less frequent in our yard, but with the loss of the 2 evergreens, there is more open space!
Sorry about your unfullfilling shopping trip. I am with you on the 'not much that we want or need'.

Woody, I am with you on the choice of cows versus christmas decorations. :-) I'm afraid I have no advice about your project. I don't have much of an eye for such things. I know it will end up lovely. You have that knack.

Kathy about the meally bugs on your orchid. I will keep my eyes open for them. Scale is what I am having trouble with.

Martie, I am so happy that your day with your DB was so great. I like his choice of what to go see.

Mary, mmmm, your delayed wedding anniversary brunch sounds so yummy. Annie's party sounds fun. I hope my same aged GD gets to do things like that.

T, I loved the accident report. I had never listened to anything like that on the computer before.

Deanne, it is kind of you that you are not picturing your gorgeous orchids. :-) I am sure they would put mine to shame. ( smile )


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 6:47PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Good Afternoon Idylls!

This will have to be a quickie, as Ive been out all day with mom. I took her shopping for some Christmas presents. Well, mom mostly sat (nice store with chairs *everywhere* and great customer service) and I did the actual shopping for her, just showing her stuff and getting her approval. Anyway, I think mom had a good (though exhausting time). On the way to the mall I was playing a "40s station for her and she really enjoyed hearing "her" music. Xavier Cugat sp? came on the radio playing a jazzy rumba and I started pretending I was rumba-ing, while driving the car...LOL! I think she was a little nervous at first (worried that I wasnt being careful with my driving dont worry I *was*). Anyway, she finally loosened up and started should have seen the twinkle in her eye...for a moment I got a glimpse into her past...the twinkling eyes and bright smile, for a fleeting moment I saw her at 18! Well, I guess somewhere buried in all of us mature, dignified woman a carefree young girl still lingers! :-) You know, the nice store we went to had me thinking. Like I said, it was great because there were chairs everywhere to relax...even at the checkout counter which certainly went a long way in making the experience more pleasant for mom. But what I was thinking was wouldnt it be nice if these big department store could offer a a doorman (but not so formal) that could sit with your elderly mother, while you ran to get the car or wait for her while you go park the car? Thats always such a worry of mine whenever I take mom out. She cant walk far so I always walk her to the inside doors of the store before I go to park the car. My heart is in my throat the whole time Im looking for a parking space though, with thoughts running through my head like "what is someone singles her out as vulnerable, knocks her down and steals her purse, or what if she gets faint or what if she trips while Im parking the car, now days with the dementia getting worse I have the added worry that she may start to wander off if Im taking too long. Heck, Id be willing to pay some reasonable amount for that service, just for the peace of mind and added security.

Hey thanks Eden & Marian! I am relieved to see the instructions are so easy too Eden. Please thank Brad for me too, will you? :-) Ill give it a whirl tonight, but first Ill have to load the pics up in "My Pictures". I have them saved right now in Image Expert.

WOW Marian! I cant believe the ladys slipper...she looks wonderful *and* happy. Well I do believe I heard her breath a sigh of relief, when I was shipping her out to you...LOL! Im so glad that you are enjoying really tickles me that they bring you pleasure. You really do have a gift. I have *never* had an orchid repeat bloom for me and I have finally given up on them.

Woody, I love Chelones suggestions, especially the teal or plum! I was also thinking periwinkle might look lovely too (or maybe not, it could be its just cause I love the color periwinkle...LOL). Anyway, funny, after I closely re-read your post, I realized that there was only *one* arbor. The arbor looks so different through the season, depending on what plants are in focus and with the gate open in the one pic and not the other, I just assumed you had *two* arbors! Anyway, your plantings are just beautiful!

Deanne Well, I did exactly as you suggested. Very scary stuff indeed. I gather that it is fairly uncommon for cats to get cancer from injections, but it can and does happen. As far as dogs are concerned, while I didnt get any "hits" on the internet re dog vaccination and cancer, I did find some articles that said there is a possible relation to autoimmune hemolytic anemia in dogs receiving innoculations. According to one the articles, which I linked at the bottom of my post, there is reason to question annual immunizations (except of course rabies, which is required by law for dogs). Interestingly, my vet has had Scout on an "every 3 year vaccination" and previous to going to this vet, I use to have titer tests done to see if he still had immunity. Interesting article and I definitely plan to show it to my vet the next time Im in and ask what he thinks. Anyway, heres a little excerpt from the article "According to Dr. Schultz, protection against canine parvovirus and canine distemper from successful vaccination is long term, probably lifelong. (Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XIII; 2000; "Vaccines and Vaccinations: Issue for the 21st Century", Richard B. Ford and Ronald D. Schultz; (Kirk's Current Veterinary Therapy XI, "Canine and Feline Vaccines," Phipps, Schultz; R.D. Schultz, "Considerations in Designing Effective and Safe Vaccination Programs for Dogs," May 2000; (Schultz, "Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know."). So then, *why* do our vets recommend continual immunization? Anyway, the author does state that he is not saying immunization is a bad thing, just saying that we should be more informed. Also, the lepto virus, Ive never given to Scout because he had an adverse reaction. Interestingly in the article it states that lepto is a common "problem" shot and that it is not very effective anyway, since there are so many strains. Okay, Ill shut up now... Anyway, glad you all had such a great time at Sues (of course I knew you would).

Michelle, neat story! You are right, that *is* part of the charm and the special memories! Funny you brought that up cause that is the sentimental gift I received from my mom this year. :-) My mom gave me her nativity set! She made it when I was a small child and its just beautiful...all hand painted, There is Mary, Joseph & the baby Jesus, an angel, 3 camels for the 3 wisemen; a cow; a donkey; 3 sheep; and even a goat. Hey T Ive got a goat now too! :-) I was so touched when she gave it to me (I remember that it took her a whole year to make the whole set and I know she was very proud of it as she should be)....I will cherish it always! BTW, thats a lovely pic of you and Rick. And your jacket is so pretty! Thanks too for the compliment Michelle. It was such a nice thing to say and you really made me smile! I guess sometimes we all need to hear stuff like that, even if I've never been able to handle compliments well! :-)

Speaking of T...that *is* a gorgeous sunset and I smiled when I saw Tall and Wide...simple names and yet so clever! :-) Your beds are looking gorgeous. I agree you have *some* beautiful soil, in fact, it would be an insult to your soil to call it "dirt". :-)

Kathy, the mantle is stunning. I really love the what you did with the vases too. How clever to fill them with walnuts and then add the simple and yet so natural and well designed...BRAVO! I may steal that idea for next year! :-) The new walkway and arbor are really lovely too.

Gorgeous sweater Bug! I love the colors and the "cut" of it. Funny about Charlotte...that little cutey! The other day when you were mentioning that the two of you had "hair appointments" I had a visual of Charlotte sitting under the dryer in a Beauty Salon...LOL! You know she is so human looking, she could probably pull it off! :-)

LOL Bug...hope Eden's wearing her crash helmet!

Uh oh, Pauls pulling up and the pork roast is in need of checking. TTYL! Ei

P.S. Hi Prarie Moon! You're going to love these people! :-)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:16PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

I don't vaccinate my dogs at all except for rabies every three years which is required by law. Instead I have blood titers done to check protection levels for distemper. Lepto is not usually given to miniature schnauzers for the same reason Scout doesn't get it. If your pet has a reaction to any vaccine it should never receive that shot again. I believe all of the veterinary colleges in the US have now changed their vaccination protocol from every year to every three years. In most cases, puppy shots and one year boosters are all that should be required for most dogs for life. Not only are annual vaccinations totally unnecessary but as Ei's article link points out, over vaccination can lead to serious health problems such as autoimmune disease. Like most things it's all about the money folks.

Michelle, you raise a good point about the sewing vs. cleaning vs. work. Work is looking better to me again but if you ask me tomorrow around noon I will probably be back on the screw work platform.

Woody, I can't help with the colors. I'd be looking at bolder accents. As soon as it gets warm we're going to paint our shed a caribbean blue. I haven't decided on the door and trim color yet but I can guarantee they will be

Tonight all the remaining party leftovers got tossed. We've had them for dinner two nights in a row and I've made myself a few lunches. We sent lasagna home with a few people. I brought a load of sweets into work this morning and will make split pea soup from the hambone. What's left of the meatballs and sauce is destined for the freezer. Back to normal eating tomorrow. I don't know about everyone else but I get sick of too much rich food.

Hi Prairiemoon! Welcome.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 8:43PM
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Dare I show up thrice in one week? I just wanted to vote for loafing in Chelone's case...: ). As EP would say,'Go for it!' So Chelone I'm trying to figure out how you are getting so much time off and picking and choosing what days to go in-this is slow season? What,no one wants sails for Christmas? : )
Thanks about my Nurse Ratchett didn't take long to figure out which symptoms go with what antics. I'm actually so nice that many kids tried at the beginning of the year to fake me out but it's pretty interesting how those kids showed up less and less as time went on. I bored them?lol.

Sue-how confusing is that to have the Dr. tell you yes to surgery and then no!...I'm glad you've had the sense to investigate further-imagine how many people have major things done to them that are uneeded.Scary thought.
Good to hear the party was a success(like it wouldn't be?lol)and everybody had fun.

Michelle I tried to paste my mug on the elf too but it didn't work.Oh well
That is such a nice photo of you and Rick.
Today was the first day in over a week that my voice sounds normal...I will have wine tonight! If Chelone can loaf I can drink wine.

And speaking of-how lucky you ARE Kathy to have family in the wine biz! Hey you have a nice undulating path! I like the curve of that and you must show pics when you plant that area! Same goes for Martie's path...between Kathy,Martie and T we'll have tons to watch in pics for 2007.
Now that mantle mirror is unusual-is that an antique? Very pretty holiday displays!

T I appreciate you efforts to steer the dogs away from your beds-all looks well and it's going to be so fun for you to finally plant all those areas!(And fun for us to watch I hope: )
I bet elk have much bigger stompers than our deer-I do hear you about them trampling over new beds-I try to think of it as them aerating the soil-: )
I want to get a goat! My neighbors would hate me lol.

Marie that sweater is amazing-how lucky that you can knit so fast!(hey I can't knit a stitch so to see a whole complete sweater-it overwhelms me) Love the colors too.

Marian-it really is amazing(I'm using that word too much!)how birds like their specific settings. There must be something about where I live-more dense forest? that isn't inviting to the bluebirds. But I can go 1/4 mile down the street to an old abandoned horse pasture and the birds there are completely different than in my yard-bobolinks and others I haven't ID-ed yet. I wish I had more time to explore birding(sheesh like I need another thing to do lol)but someday I want to.

A big reason I am here tonight is that I have to stay away from Chris(!) He's got the big interview in two days and he just started practicing his presentation so of course I am nervous-he is calm. I will be a wreck by Wed. The thing lasts from 8:30 am till 8:30pm because he has to be interviewed by the complete staff,give a presentation then go to dinner.

Sue did you watch any of Survivor this time? I did here and there but I always liked Yul and I'm glad he won.

Hi Prairie! That's neat to hear how you stumbled upon us. we're just a bunch of gardeners who started talking about our Idyllic lives and one thread has lead to another bringing us to 295 so far! Some of us have even met!

Time to go test the wine!



    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 10:39PM
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A frosty Monday hello- we are expecting several nights in a row of mid-20s temps , it was mighty nippy when I left for the office at 6am today. Since I only drive a mile to work the car heater barely even gets a chance to kick in ! I brought my cymbidiums in for the night. Dont want to loose the spikes. The ones that were out in the gazebo do not look very good today. They are supposedly hardy to 28 degrees so hopefully I will have just a bit if foliage loss and theyll bounce back.

Thanks for all the nice comments on my arbor-path-christmas décor pics..!

bug , that sweater is so pretty- love the rich colors maybe we need a pic of you modeling it to get the full effect !

Chelone- funny you should mention the top of the bookcase-thats exactly what one of my employees and I did in our office. Very dramatic ! Hey, what better praise than to have the Audubon Society compliment your houses finery .
As far as work goestis the holiday season- So take a holiday! Im working 2 days this week and then off till the 28th.However, I've worked at my company for 20 plus years so I get mega-vaca days. All I am taking off is paid or comp.

Wendy, I am going for a cottage garden type look in my front yard. The Cl La France I spoke of is a rose not a clematis- the Cl I abbreviated for "Climbing" Sorry for the confusion ! La France is considered to be the first hybrid tea rose, but still has quite old fashioned looking flowers (pink) and is extremely fragrant.If I recall correctly the rose was introduced in the mid 1800's. I may however plant the clematis on the opposite side. I already have several daylilies ready to go , and along the path will be the daylilies, Geranium "Rozanne" , Silene uniflora, and I will be planting several roses , and dahlias as well. I am also very partial to both oriental and asiatic lilies and will probably stick a few in here and there-I have lots in my back garden.
And youre right, I should have at least put the primer on before the arbor was built. The timing didnt work though, and the redwood had been out in the rain so it was wet.
I would opt for a dark door color to make it stand out as a detail- especially if the door will have features i.e. raised panels etc. That gray does seem to have a warm tone to it, so that color at the bottom of the first pic might be good.

Eden, I did pomegranates in the vases last year but they are just to expensive this year so I opted for walnuts. In fact , the walnuts are all I purchased, the greens are redwood from the park , eucalyptus from behind the grocery store, extra branches from the Christmas tree , and the sticks in the walnuts were gathered on the river trail across the street.. I moved into several areas of town, felcos in hand. I am a Christmas greenery pirate! Ahoy matey And yes DS just turned 22.

Thanks Michelle for the nice remarks. I had a nativity scene when I was growing up with little ceramic people and sheep etc .Dont know what ever became of it..

Aw cmon Marian, you may be an elder, but you arent a fogey !

Ei, what a charming story with you and your Mom! You know when I was a child, growing up in Los Angeles (pre-mall the 50s) my Mom would take me shopping downtown, and there were doormen at the better department stores like Robinsons and The Broadway, and Bullocks Wilshire, and there were elevator operators, and women wore gloves and hats. I found the underground parking lots to be unspeakably exciting, and the little alleyways between the dept stores had flower sellers .
Feel free to steal any and all mantle display creations ! I have used cranberries in the vases also, but you have to put the sticks in first one does not want to pierce the cranberries.

Prairemoon, nice to see you, I am relatively new here myself and this is by far the most enjoyable forum Ive ever participated in in many years on the internet. If you are so inclined tell us a little about yourself and where you garden ..

To anyone I missed a happy evening-

Oh and T , I talked to my BIL in Portland tonight and looks like all us west coasters are getting 20s at night , no rain , lots of frost. He talked to out mutual friend Jimmy in Palm Springs and he is getting temps in the mid-30s down there too. How are you faring Yeona ??

Nite all ! Kathy in the Napa Valley

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 10:45PM
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Yo Babs, the mantle mirror was my first Christmas gift from my late DH the year we were married.DH and I were married for 25 yrs before he passed away in '03 so that is how long I have had the mirror. I think it is English and I think it is walnut and from the late 1800's. I also think it was attached to something at one time-maybe a vanity or sideboard. This was also our first antique and we have collected many more since then. It is a very special possesion to me.

And you should always show up thrice in one week ! Maybe even a daring quatro !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 11:00PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Okay...just a quick pop in...I had to share this with someone! :-) So Paul is watching a football game (Cincinnati vs. Indiana?) anyway they go to the sportscasters box and there is Matthew McConaughey talking with the sportscasters. Im looking at him when all the sudden what pops out of my mouth? "*HES* *CUTE*! I look at Paul in shock! OMIGOSH...I couldnt believe I actually said that *out* *loud*...LOL! I was so shocked that what I was thinking in my head came out of my mouth, that I couldnt even make a recovery...LOL! Paul says "Well, hes okay, but I think he could use a shave"...LOL!

Anyway, a few other things I thought of that I wanted to share with you guys....First, I wanted to tell Martie how happy I was that she had such a positive day with her brother. Its so nice to hear such news and made me smile to think how you must have been feeling. Thanks for sharing that.

Also, have any of you watched the T.V. series Rosemary & Thyme? My BF Anita recommended it to me (says she imagines it is us...LOL)! Anyway, its about these two woman who own a gardening service and they end up solving mysteries. Anita *really* loves the show *and* the scenery. So I checked our local listings and its playing here beginning on December 31st on Channel 20 WYCC, starting with "And No Birds Sing". Cant wait to see it!

Also, wanted to introduce you guys to the newest member of our family! :-)
Bert II:

Sadly the first Bert (you guys met him) passed away last summer and I was surprised at how much I missed him. The new Bert is acclimating well and already comes to the top of the vase when I tap it to get his food. :-)

Also thinking of Eden...I have quite a brood of squirrels that come to visit here now too. I was trying to keep this one guy from eating at the birdfeeder, so I started feeding him peanuts...well he blabbed to the whole neighborhood and now I have about *6* regular visitors. They arrive about 12:00 for lunch! :-) Im getting a bit attached to one I call Nappy Head...he comes right to the door looking for me. He is *so* cute! If hes standing on the deck and I wave to him he comes running to the door! :-) The other day it was so funny! He had been to the door at least 3-4 times and I decided that was enough, so I started ignoring him. Suddenly I look out the slider doors and there he is...I am *not* kidding you, with one hand leaning on the windowpane and the other on his hip. I *cracked* up. The only thing missing from his act was the foot tapping...LOL! Here's a pic of him...Not a good one. I think he's a pretty old squirrel (for some reason) and he's got a scar on his head that kind of makes his hair stick up (although you can't tell in this pic):

Okay, one last thing. Now be forewarned, I *know* I am not an artist, but anyway, as I was telling you guys we are re-doing the kitchen and I needed some art for the walls, but since money is a little tight these days, no funds to buy anything. Anyway, I decided to create my own little "art" projects. So here are the finished products. Well, they're not going to be hanging in any gallery...LOL, but I do kind of like the fact that they are so personal.

This is a "memory" box. I call it the "Things that I Love" box! :-)

I did my decoupage thing and if you look closely you will see that there is a picture of Paul, me, my DS and Scout inside the two decopage pieces in the box:

The other project was based on the fact that I do love the four seasons and wanted to express them somehow. So I combined that idea with a poem Ive loved since I was a child. Sorry the pics are a little blurry...I'm lousy with the camera, but if you can't read them, it's that poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer..."I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree", etc.

Can you see the nest of robin's eggs at the top? :-)

Okay, well, just wanted to share that, I will probably take them off tomorrow, cause by then Ill be embarrassed that I showed them...LOL!

Anyway, I still need one more "something" for the long wall in the hall and it needs to be big, so I was thinking of taking one of those Marimeko? (sp.) cloths and having it stretched and framed. Either the Tuuli one in brown (under Botanicals large scale if you go to my link) or Blowing Rock Night or Day cant decide which one (under large scale if you go to the link). If you do go to the link, let me know what you think of them. :-) I think I can get the Tuuli one for $45.00 or less, but dont know the price on the Blowing Rock ones.

Okay, thats it for me....

The Beatles - Golden slumbers

Once there was a way to get back homeward
Once there was a way to get back home
Sleep pretty darling do not cry
And I will sing a lullabye
Golden slumbers fill your eyes
Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep pretty darling do not cry
And I will sing a lullabye
Once there was a way to get back homeward
Once there was a way to get back home
Sleep pretty darling do not cry
And I will sing a lullabye

Good Night All...


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 11:20PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Babs! :-) I'm so glad you dared. Wish Chris Good Luck for me! :-) Ahem, actually, I'm thinking "Hot Lips" myself! ;-)

P.S. I *loved* your story about shopping with your mom Kathy...I remember feeling just like that when my Aunt took me for the first time to Marshall Fields in Chicago during Christmas time!

Well, I'm off to bed, it's been a fun, but exhausting day...Good Night All!


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 11:33PM
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Goodness Ei but you are talented!!! Just thought those up and made them?! They are wonderful!!!! BertII is very pretty and the squirrel ---- well, for a tree rat he is kinda cute.....just like Eden's Tim. ;o)

Thanks for the remarks on the flower beds. The 'soil' was that truly stinky mixture of chicken...stuff, lol, and various other composted materials. It is covering up some pretty big pieces of ground up wood/branches. I haven't dug down to look at how well it is breaking down, but I'm guessing it is not a pretty sight and will not be broken down enough to put plants in it without pushing it aside and replacing it with a true 'soil'. The beds 'look' nice, but it is just mulch covering up a mess of huge shredded wood. I still have my doubts about how well it is going to work out. ;o)

Tomorrow I am getting to go with Jamie & his parents to see if he is going to have a brother or a sister......He says it is a brother so we'll see if he is right or not.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 11:43PM
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OK Ei, I just think your collages are awesome.Think about it...not one other person in the universe has them.They are totally unique. They aren't at Target, they are not at Wally's,they aren't at Macys
And then you throw in the gets me to thinking, so are there other Idyll Beatlemaniacs out there?? Did you see them in concert ? Did you go to the airport ? Do you remember thier birthdays ??

Thats all for now...
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 12:43AM
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