Hemmingway's Alpine Idyll 244

taryn(S Ontario Z6B)December 14, 2005

And the kids are gonna be late for school...

Here is a link that might be useful: Alpine Idyll--scroll for 244

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Glad I don't have to send children to school today.... and then curl up with Hemmingway. Partner is my play mate here ..... guess we'll go out and look for cheer. EP

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 8:54AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'm trying to find the cheer in dealing with a new(er) employee who doesn't get ANYTHING right on the computer.

Three inches of new snow so far this morning and more on the way. And this sinus thingie has been making my eye twitch.

I wish I was at home under a blankie, curled up with a good book. Not Hemmingway, though - he's never clicked for me. I just started the latest Ya-Ya book last night but I don't remember the full title.

Whine/rant over and I will post in a more reasonable mood later!


    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 9:28AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Kids made it to school on time, just barely, for the half-day they are there (teacher training day). Didn't they just have Friday off for parent-teacher interviews? Not to mention the Dec 23rd to Jan 4th stretch they'll be home for the holidays. Sheesh! So I'm fluffing this morning's Ebay stuff and idylling instead. :)

V's got the twitch, I've got the itch! The eczema on my hands is taking over my life. Dozens of teensy bubbles/blisters under the skin itch like mad, (usually worst around 3:00am), until I scratch it raw (usually how I wake up at 3:15am) then I'm left with weeping, flaking, itching blisters and stinging open sores all over my hands. Charming! It is laughing at Betnovate, a pretty heavy-duty corticosteroide I'd rather not be using anyway, and I'm halfway through a $15.00 4 oz jar of herbal stuff which helps with the symptoms but doesn't stop them coming. So I'm declaring all out war and am not letting ANYTHING, including the now-irritant water, touch my hands. Bought 50 disposable polygloves and a couple of pairs of cotton gloves at the buck store and am using them for everything. Cotton to keep the ointment on at night and go under poly gloves so hands don't sweat (ouch) during prolonged glove use, and poly gloves for everything else. Think about how often you get soap/detergent/moisturizer/cleaners/food and especially WATER on your hands each day and you'll understand how many gloves I'm going through. Probably wash my hands 15 times a day (not no more--just toss the gloves after handling that raw chicken). Just had a shower and it was a complicated affair. Cotton gloves coverered with polygloves, secured with elastic bands at the wrists. I looked like a burn unit victim! But my hands didn't get wet. ;)

So, does ANYone like HeMingway? I didn't even spell the guy's name right. Must confess I haven't read much of his stuff. Had the choice between him and Tennessee Williams in high school English and was happy to take the Streetcar Named Desire to the Glass Menagerie and not look back. We had to read the plays aloud in character and 'Ah do say ah made ah very fahn Blanche Dubois', lol. Into some lighter fair these days. Highly recommend Confessions of a Slacker Wife by Muffy Mead-Ferro and Better Than Chocolate by Susan Waggoner. Very funny, though Muffy hits some feminist buttons that aren't really so funny when you think about it. She makes it read funny though. Confessions of a Slacker Mom is on my list for the next trip to the library.

So my sisters new boyfriend is a winner! 'Boyfriend', not a term that fits a strapping over 6' hunk of testesterone with silvery hair who is probably pushing his mid-40s! I'm going back to the French 'beaux'. ENNYway, Matt is a super guy, and we had a relaxed and fun time just hanging out here, cracking jokes and telling Gayna stories, lol. I was good and stayed away from the beer they were sharing stories over, and didn't feel particularly deprived. I'm so happy for her, they seem really comfortable and happy together.

Good vibes required for my other sib and his wife though. SIL Angeline was complaining of tummy aches Friday and Saturday. There is a bad gastro-intestinal bug with wrenching cramps going around St. Catherines where they live, so they chalked it up to that. Sunday she was in tears so he took her to emergency at the hospital---her appendix had burst! But luckily not started going through her system yet. Poor SIL is still not up to having visitors or phone calls, and isn't expected to be released until the earliest Friday. And, you guessed it, when I called my brother yesterday he had contracted the stomach flu they thought she had, and was home alone with the three girls (6 yo twins and a 4yo) and feeling wretched. Poor guy. Wish I lived closer than 1.5 hours away, not that I'd be rushing into a flu pit. Chances are pretty good the girls will get it too, I'm afraid to phone. Send good thoughts please.

Also for my friend Dawn. Some were talking about being childless on the last thread. Childless by choice is one thing, because it is a CHOICE. Childless due to infertility is a whole heartbreaking other matter. Dawn and Jason have just gone through their 5th attempt at IVF, though the last two they didn't even make it to the plate due to complications. This time they did, but only 2 fertilized eggs, and they are graded 2 on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being best, so it is not likely (though not impossible) they'll take. She takes her pregnancy test today. Said she'd phone with good news, no news means no good news. So far the phone is silent. Sigh. Wish I could just bottle up some fertility and give it to her for Christmas.

Deanne, thanks for the compliment but the 17 pounds were in the wrong direction for looking terrific! Re chocolate, I didn't cave to the booze but have to admit I'm one box down in Carbolite chocolate-almond bars already! Oink! You should check them out, I'm down 7 pounds of bloat in 8 days after quaffing 12 of them so don't think they are hurting the diet a bit. :)

VG I'm pretty sure all this water retention was indeed the wheat. Maybe the insomnia too (though stress plays a part in that). But we still haven't sold the house and I'm sleeping better, except for the dumb eczema. Was hoping that would clear up with all the dairy/wheat/everything gone, but no luck so far. I feel for you being allergic to onions and garlic though, THAT would be tough! Those and my limited selection of spices I'm 'allowed' right now are all that make my food palatable. BTW forgot to tell you I loved your description of hand-feeding the birds too.

Wendy, thanks for the continued good thoughts (all of you!) re selling the house. Had an agent bring a couple by Monday night, but I think the basement turned them off. They asked where the stairs to the basement were, so I opened the kitchen pantry closet, pulled up the hatch in the floor and turned on the light, exposing the ladder and stone foundation walls. They declined to check it out. :) They did love the woodwork and the master and ensuite, but the phone hasn't rang since. Re homework, my guys have had homework since grade one also. They've always finished their schoolwork quickly and had time to complete their 'homework' at school, 95% of the time. They still do finish it at school most days, but the problem is the level they are at now, grades 5 and 6, they need to reinforce and study their work to really let it sink in. They are getting B's and even some C's when they are tested on the material, so it's just not really sinking in with one quick 'homework pass'. It's the studying I need to get them in the habit of. BTW I meant to tell you I was amazed your 5 year old daughter figured out the Santa thing that young! How perceptive is THAT? No pulling the wool (or fake beard, lol!) over her eyes eh?

Eden thanks for chatting back! ;) I'm thinking an early spring close too, though we've promised the sellers a two week close so don't want to drag on the bridging for long. I found chocolate covered cashews at the buck store, so am taking your idea but making Reindeer Poop instead, lol!

Honey and Michelle, so sorry about your friends. Very upsetting, so sad. Michelle those poor kids, losing their Dad right before Christmas, terrible. I've invited Gigi and Bruce to visit Saturday afternoon into Sunday and am feeling so blessed we still have him here, and in relatively good shape. Of course the chemo is awful and he has very bad days, but it has bought him a lot of good days too. 'Bug, hope Woody is right and your nephew has 'the good kind'.

Yeona, I was livid to read about that pitbull attacking the mini-dobie, and very relieved to hear he will be okay. So sorry you had to experience that. Ontario took a stand against pitbulls and outlawed them in August. Whether the municipalities enforce it remains to be seen. I saw a notice at the vets when I took Draquie in to be spayed. I'm hoping other provinces and states follow suit, and soon. See link below for more info.

Sylvia nice to see the kitties and finned friends. Your home and knicknacks are lovely. I just sent off the last of my Xmas cards yesterday. Only missed the year my Dad died 3 weeks before Xmas, didn't have it in me that year. This year I skipped the photos of the boys though. It gets expensive, it's time consuming, and 95% of friends and family who get cards from me are net natives, so I can easily send them digital photo cards with a lot less bother.

Sue and Monique, you both look fab in your Christmas Party get-ups! We decided to pass this year on the Toyota affair. Too much going on here, and it gets expensive, and requires my mum coming from Toronto to babysit. Not worth all the effort and planning for us.

Well, look at the time. I have less than half an hour til I have to pick up the kids again. Tummy's grumbling, time for breaky, then must wrap some Christmas gifts. Will take some pics of my girly-girl gifts for my nieces first. Found the coolest textured handmade giftwrapping paper at the dollar store, imbedded with flowers and leaves. Not Christmassy, but just beautiful! I couldn't believe it was a dollar, even came with jute ribbons. Going to go stock up on more before they are out. Kids want to buy teachers little gifts so we'll head there from the school and give Glenn another hour of sleep before the clan clamours though the door.



Here is a link that might be useful: Ontario Passes Pitbull Legislation

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 11:03AM
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Very snowy again here. The snow is extremely wet. It stuck to our garage door and we had a hard time getting it open this a.m. More predicted for today, tomorrow and Friday. I woke up with a sore throat.

My excitement for yesterday is that the highway that I take to work is being made into a four lane road and they opened an 8 mile stretch of it yesterday. The speed limit went up by 10 mph. It will also by pass the towns that I now have to drive through. It will definitely make my commute shorter when it is totally finished. Then I had to have dental work done. Give me Novocain :o)

Sylvia, I love your garden pictures. It looks so cool and lush. With all our snow here I appreciate the pictures all the more. My parents house was built around 1920 and the lady had some modern ideas. Large walk in closets, a guest bath downstairs and a very large bathroom upstairs. My mom spied the house and decided she wanted it even though there wasnÂt a for sale sign. The owner who was a widower was willing to sell.

Jerri and Marie thanks for the photo links. The wildlife shots are stunning and the old color photos are so interesting. IÂm surprised at the quality of the old photos.

Stay warm and safe

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 11:42AM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Another drive by comment:-) Re pit bulls. I have had personal dealings iwth only two of them in my life. One was at a place where we were camping in Ahoskie, NC for a tree planting job. I got out of the truck with one of my dogs in my arms to greet the landowner and his son and the son's pitbull instantly jumped and grabbed for my dog. A fellow treeplanter just as instantly grabbed the pitbull and threw him aside while cursing the young owner who quickly put his dog back in his truck.

The second pit bull was a sweetheart named Donna. Her owner was another fellow treeplanter. She had a litter of puppies that winter during planting season. Her owner asked me to check on her during the day while he was working. She was so good-natured even letting me pet all of her puppies without a qualm. This guy had had a male pitbull but he had been stolen a few weeks before. He was good-natured too. So having known Donna, I don't know what to think about the genetics of their mean streak. Maybe she and her mate were just exceptional exceptions:-)

Taryn, that eczema sounds most miserable:-( I do hope you can somehow get some relief from it. Oh, one thing about wheat allergy we learned with DS is that when he went off wheat, he would temporarily feel WORSE. It took him about 3 weeks to feel better. Then, being like his mother, he decided it wasn't the wheat after all and went back on it and for about a week felt great then the symptoms started again. finally allergy testing proved that he was allergic to it and many other things.

My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones and friends and to those who are hurting and ill.

Cynthia, I think I'm going to start a new thread with some healthy eating tips when I have a bit of time:-)

I've really enjoyed all the history stuff and what photos I could see. It has all brought back lots of memories. My paternal grandma was quite independent. She was the first in the whole area to own an electric refrigerator, radio, TV and then a color TV. I can remember extended family and neighbors coming to our house in the evenings to watch Westerns on TV. My grandpa's two sisters loved Westerns. The only problem was that they carried on a constant commentary so the rest of us could hardly watch the programs:-) As the show progressed and the tension built, they would say things like "Well, I wish to me drap dead" or "I wish to me never". The older folks here, most are gone now, had a very Scottish way of talking and I hate to see it dying out. Most of us are of Scotch-Irish descent or Scots-Irish as the Scots say it:-) I've been compiling some of the most interesting sayings so they won't be forgotten.

Well...my drive-by grew but I do need to go and fix lunch. Company coming for the weekend and I'm supposed to make some goodies.
Hi everyone!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 1:29PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

HI all,

Well Im slacking here and loving every minute of it. I havent caught up on reading the end of the last Idyll but will do so shortly.

Been exercising like a crazy person this week. Ive been spending two and a half hours at the gym so I can get in 1.5 hours of cardio (yes that is one and a half hours and not ½ an hour) so I can have fun at Sues party Saturday night. Im determined NOT to gain any pounds back over this holiday season! My new take on this is that the calories are like a bank account and I have to make deposits to my party calories before I use them. LOL Anyway, Ive been a bit tired this week. Hmmmm wonder why? Yes, I know it is all silliness but somehow Ive got to keep this weight off and not gain my traditional twenty pounds that I normally do between September and the first of the year. So far so good, Im only four pounds over my low in June and Im still 20 pounds less than I was last Christmas. I still want to enjoy some holiday goodies so the deal is I just have to pay for them.

Taryn, that is just awful about the eczema on your hands! Id be going crazy. Like you dont have enough on your plate right now. I sure hope you can figure out what is causing it and that it clears up soon.

V. Hope you feel better soon and that your new employee gets a clue really soon. ~~ Im with you on Hemingway. Never could get into his works. Too dark for me.

Sylvia, how neat youve learned to post pics for us. I do love all the kitty pictures and have enjoyed all the glimpses of your lovely old wood pieces and fabrics. Your home looks so cozy.

Sue, that is pretty cool that youve got a head hunter hunting you! Neat! ~~ How goes the party planning? Anything you need us to pick up and bring? Extra wine perhaps?

Marian, I forgot to tell you how much I loved the photograph of you and your siblings. What a neat picture.

Brenda, Great to hear from you. Dont be scarce.

Drema, congratulations on the job. That is terrific and what a good move so your DS can go to school there. Youll have to let us know how you do at hitting the gym on the way home.

Babs, sorry the job didnt work out for you but I know youll find something that works for you and your family. How is your MIL doing these days? Also, how is Chris doing with his dissertation?

OK I think Ive got to get off this computer for now.

Have a great evening all,

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 4:00PM
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Is it OK to scream now?

Nothing like 9" of heavy snow to create havoc in the world of canvas! awnings torn or frames mangled by the weight of it. Doesn't matter that the owners refused to take it down in November, or failed to brush them off... they have to be fixed; esp. when the awning doubles as signage.

Mum has not been out for any exercise since Thursday. She needs fresh air and sunshine, but our driveway is a sheet of ice right now and it's REALLY cold (mid-westerners will sympathize).

The heat went out in Mum's home (and hour and a half away from me, 2 1/2 from my brother) the other day. I refused to be involved, he can do that. I wanted to drain the house entirely and let it remain cold, but my suggestion wasn't taken. At least the driveway is plowed, huh?! I have worries about frozen pipes that will split, water damage, etc., also that a stranger was inside her home alone. I'm not generally one to be suspicious, but neither do I like inviting someone to "shop". I was especially irritated that the boiler wasn't cleaned and adjusted over the summer... I would have done that, but I'm not in charge of "operations".

I'll get over it, but I'm irritated and really don't need the gnawing worry right now. I have enough on my hands with Mum and her rapidly disintegrating mental capability. And the realization that I must begin looking into long term care for her. I truly hope she has a massive coronary is able to die in my home, but the odds are against it. It's so unfair to watch someone you love evaporate before your very eyes. So unfair. :(

I have the decorations completed outdoors. The tree is up, the old car is gone... but I'm really very tense. But this will pass and it will be OK, right?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 4:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone, it will pass and it will be different. I cannot promise OK. You are doing such an extraordinary job, you are very much admired.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 4:52PM
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hug.. Chelone ... hug...Taryn....hug.... V ....hug...Marie....hug... Marian...hug... Yeona.... where's... T... everybody needs you.... Cynthia... will you please pass the candy. One of each please... I ended up throwing out the cotlets. Too many for us to use... Peppridge Farm is doing our cookies...Daughter probably will share some... I am doing tamales, little by little... they can be frozen. So... the 'queen of tacky glue' has the ornaments hanging on the tree.. still working on a few... The tree is full. Beautiful day here. Watched squirrels carring leaves into a hollow in the big walnut tree on the south slope. "Oklahoma Gardening" host split some persimmon seed and predicted a snowy winter. Thinking of those of you in the frozen world. EP

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 10:09PM
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Just back from a Christmas party which was very special.
Hugs to Chelone, I can't imagine what you are going through. Difficult times indeed. Rick's mom had alzheimers for close to 15 years. She was diagnosed in her early 60's. His dad kept her home with him for quite a few years. He was very devoted to her, but I know that it was very hard on him.

Deanne, your bank account idea sounds like a good one.

Taryn, infertility is a very difficult thing, I hope you have heard from your friend by now.

Have a good nights sleep


    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 11:20PM
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Relax..no pictures tonight..I apologize for ending a thread w/ five kitty pictures because I had dial up till a few months ago..We have DSL now and it is much faster. Not as cold tonight ..15. Last night and yesterday broke all records by a whole lot going back to 1902!!Tomorrow is snow and then maybe ice and sleet. It's husband first day at his new winter job at a ski resort nearby. His summer job is on a golf course...His REAL job was a long career in state government in environmental dept..
Michelle..Your parent's house sounds WAY ahead of it's time. My daughter has a 1935 Tudor w/ a dear tiny powder room and two full size baths on the second floor all in their original tile plus another in the basement!!. My house has four large bedrooms..or did till they carved one up for a big linen closet and a teeny bath..They should have used the whole room and done it right..
Taryn..Your eczema made me itch to read about it. Is it caused by stress? I get poison ivy and it drives me nuts..I know the feeling of scratchiong till it's raw.
Deanne..can I say again how I admire your perserverance? It's remarkable. I've been running/ walking for 30 years.(And getting tired by now..lol) The running stopped a few years ago and now it's fast walking. I have always done two miles..hardly ever any more, but do it every day even tho it's a pain some days like today. Lucky we have a mall w/ in 3 minutes of our house and four times around equals 2 miles. Of course it means dodging Xmas shoppers but in Feb..I'll have the whole place to myself...Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 3:20AM
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I'm a little better this morning, although I'm running an hour behind schedule...OVERSLEPT (again! this is really not like me).

Mum is perking along downstairs, I heard the bedroom door open and know she is in the bathroom getting washed up. I'll check on her progress in a few minutes. Her fruit is in the bowl, the teabag is in the cup, the water and pills are on the placemat... the cat box is mined, my lunch is packed and as soon as she emerges I'm outta here. (To the relaxing world of work, lol).

Another bout of crummy weather tomorrow, starting as snow, then switching to the dreaded "wintery mix"... and then freezing rain. Calgon! take me away! :) I'm not even going to entertain the notion of working... my boss said yesterday, "Yeah, Friday sounds like the perfect excuse to claim a long week end!".

We've been listening to Christmas music on and off at work. I'm really impressed at the variety; BBKing, Etta James, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Beach Boys, etc.. And some really funny ones, too... perfect spoofs on "classic" rock songs... like the one done to Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze"... "...'scuse me! I got gifts to buy...", or the B 52's "Love Shack"... "Toy sack, baby, toy sack!". TOO FUNNY. I can't wait to bring it home and burn a copy for our personal use. We laughed and lauged over it yesterday. That sort of silly parody is so "me". We also listened to Cheech and Chong's version of "Santa Claus and his old lady". :)

Gotta check on my "old lady"...

Make it a great day in your corner of the world, the world could really use it!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 6:18AM
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janie_on(z6a Ontario)

Good morningIsnt this lovely to wake up to??



LOLgood thing I am on holidays this week . Also, good that I am done my shopping for Christmas. Just odds and ends to tie up and groceries to get and I am all ready for the big dayChristmas cards are donebaking is donegift wrapping is done.

I am very behind on my reading as things have been a tad nuts in my life.

Taryn sorry about the itchy skin. Brady has the same thing but on his feet. Poor thing at times he can barely walk.

Today is housework day.what better way to spend a "snow day"I am also sitting by the phone waiting to hear from my boss. I am praying that my transfer to another shift has been approved. That will get me off straight afternoons and back onto a rotating shift (give me my family life back).

Hugs to alltime to get the kids out of bed. Sorry for the "all about me" post LOL

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 7:01AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

What the heck is with this weather? Yesterday was nine degrees and this morning was 1 above zero. Tomorrow we are supposed to have another winter storm with icing and snow. Jane, I think we are probably going to get that storm you posted above. Criminies!

Chelone, so sorry for your situation with your Mom and her deteriorating condition. It is heartbreaking to read about and I cant even imagine what living it is like. I hope it helps you a bit to talk about it here and to know there are people here who care.~~ I know Im in a lovely calm spot in my life right now with my Mom in relatively good health, my DH in good health and my DD gainfully employed and self-sufficient. I count my blessings every single morning because I know how special this time is. It wont last. I wish I could share some of this calm and spread it around but it doesnt work that way.~~ RE oversleeping, Im finding I absolutely CANT get out of bed at a reasonable hour lately. I must be sleeping 9 plus hours a night. Happens to me every year at this time of shortest day length and I hate it. I wouldnt mind winter and the cold if we had more light!

Sylvia, thanks! ~~I really admire you for your running/walking program. Thrity years? Wonderful, you are way ahead of the game if youve always kept yourself fit. I know how much perseverance it takes to get yourself out every day to exercise, especially on those days where you just dont want to do it. I think that is what has finally gotten me over the hump of the yo-yo dieting, stuck in the obese mode is the decision to stick with it no matter what. Every day is a new slate and a new opportunity for making the right choices.

Michelle, glad to hear you had a nice Christmas party.

EP, wished I lived closer. I LOVE tamales and we simply cannot get them up here. People in New England dont even know what they are.~~ RE the "Gray Tree Rats" Grrrrr. One of them ate all the buds off my Yak rhododendron yesterday. I was furious. It has never bloomed prolifically where I have it planted but it really is lovely and there will be no flowers for me this coming spring. Those gray squirrels are cute except when they are ruining the gardens.

OK time to head out to the gym. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 7:53AM
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VG studying the work of Robert Burns has been interesting. My mother's maternal grandmother was from a colonial Scot family. Mother used a lot of the 'poetic speech' and sang songs written by Robert Burns. A few years ago a local historian here did a book of 'sayings' based on the frontier culture. I don't know if I still have my copy. A lot would phase out and be forgotten if it had not been written. The archives are full of personal letters and memoirs. There's a lot of information now on the internet. I try to narrow things down to what is specific to us and our children and hope that it might be of value to them eventually. We encourage them to focus on becoming the best of self determined individuals. The transitions of the different historical generations has been interesting. As Deanne states above, "every day is a new slate".. My daughter says her son speaks 'Engineerese' and her son-in-law speaks 'Medicalese'.. our youngest grand children speak their mother's Philipine dialect and the 2 eldest have spent most of thier childhood in England... I have found it interesting to be able to hear some of our nieghbors speak Cherokee as thier first language and and listen to my 'cousin' best friend tell stories of her Dad riding off to rodeos with Will Rogers. They 'rode the range' and played instruments at country dances as young women as depicted in the photo collection shared by Marie. I have shared here before that at the time my Cherokee great grandmother was living in Vinita, OK (1890's) Will Rogers was a motherless boy going to school there and living with relatives. He was never very interested in school but became one of the world's most respected and loved individuals.. Sense of humor has been vital to survival for many. I don't know if Hemingway had a sense of humor. Looking up his bio I see that he had 4 marriages and a profound challenging life and left behind some offspring. Wonder what they have become? I also believe in human nature and inherent tendencies and tell my nieces and children the 'same genes' don't fit everybody... so I just try to 'fit into my own genes' (and life's experiences) and respect others. It's very interesting to learn of others by sharing on the forums. Hope all can either enjoy or endure whatever is in our lives momentarily. Over extending one's energy and physical limitations (and emotional) can become a challenge so there is nothing wrong with making ourselves our first priority.. it helps stregthen us for caring for others. We care about all of you. EP

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:18AM
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OK cross your fingers that recess is indoors today...ice is expected here...sometimes they are wrong: )let it be today.

Taryn-that eczema sound very stress-driven to me with all that you have going on. Just winter dry air is wreaking havoc with my hands and I don't even have eczema! Around here we use A&D ointment for chapped hands-it's thick and smelly so it works well at night with gloves to protect sheets-not sure if that can help eczema. I wish I had an instant cure for you: (

I still haven't made even one Christmas cookie yet...I almost don't want to since I'll EAT THEM. Good going Deanne on your plan for keeping off the holiday gain...I am having a terrible time. My walking has dwindled with the snow cover. I'd rather walk than use the stationary cycle but I might need to hop on the bike at the rate I'm going.

Chris has his annual holiday brunch at work today. 'We' made cream of mushroom soup that is so good I hope there's leftovers. The secret is a good long splash of chardonnay with the broth.

Not much else going on here besides the usual holiday prep. Do you realize how close Christmas is? yikes.

Wishing those with icey conditions good traction; )


    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 10:02AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

EP, I believe one of Hemingway's daughters committed suicide. :( DH's relatives rode their cattle up to Dodge City. Even his uncle was a cowboy until he decided to become an engineer. He is recovering from surgery now, and living in a retirement home in California near his daughter. He is the last of that generation in our family. We are the old foggies now- and you are right, it is a major transition!

We got a call from DD last night. She was happy to talk about a new friend at work, a man with a son with major physical problems. The son has severe heart problems and is also deaf. DD was happy to have had lesson 101 in signing from Woody a few months ago and was able to sign "6" (his age) and learned his name, Skyler. The marriage fell apart over these problems and DD marvels at the father's calm attitude with his interactions with his boy and feels he is a wonderful Daddy. He took Skyler to the hospital for yet more check-ups yesterday and surgery is always on the agenda as the boy grows.

DD and her partner will spend Christmas week at a ranch in chilly Alberta with a friend and (jointly) their four dogs. I was curious what traditions they would start as this is DD's first Christmas that does not include us. We are hopeful they will visit in mid January when her partner attends a conference in Montréal.

It is snowing and blowing and I am indoors with Charlotte. How nice! I am doing cooking for no one...and it is very relaxing and good in terms of extra calories. ;-) OK, I'll confess, I'm sipping a mug of hot (diet) chocolate.

I hope V is feeling better today and that everyone is enjoying the holiday bustle! Take a moment to sit back, look about you at family and nature...and smile.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 10:25AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Earnest Hemmingway took his own life , in his Ketchum , Idaho , home . He had no daughter , but had granddaughters .

Babs , I feel for you with your 'winter' hands . Mine are like sandpaper . I have to wash them everytime I put wood in the stove , even though I wear leather gloves while doing it . I am sensitive to the wood ( probably the poisonivy on the wood ! ) . It makes my face itch , just from the 'dust' . I have hangnails , too , and that can be very painful .

Taryn , your eczema sounds terrible . The itching puts me in mind of what I used to suffer from chigger bites , until I discovered taking an antihistimine tablet before going to bed really helps . I don't suppose that would help your problem . I am thinking Babs is right about it being from stress .

I am still fighting a virus , with nasal problems and general yuckiness .

It's very windy , and cold , here , but mostly sunny today .


    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 12:42PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Margaux H was the one I was thinking of. Yes, the grand daughter. A very sad life which i won't post about.

Here's some 'legalese' for you all:

Please accept without obligation, express or implied, these best wishes for an environmentally safe, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, and gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday as practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice (but with respect for the religious or secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or for their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all) and further for a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated onset of the generally accepted calendar year (including, but not limited to, the Christian calendar, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures). The preceding wishes are extended without regard to the race, creed, age, physical ability, religious faith or lack thereof, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee(s).


Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter "the House") a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.

A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stocking, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter "Claus") would arrive at sometime thereafter. The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.

Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as ("I"), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter "Mamma"), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.

Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e., the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.

At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter "the Vehicle") being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.

Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter "the Deer"). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co- conspirator named "Rudolph" may have been involved.)

The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.

Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items.

He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.

Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stocking of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute "gifts" to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)

Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as "lookouts." Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.

However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" Or words to that effect.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 1:11PM
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Good afternoon peeps. I just came in from finally planting two bags of tulips. They may or may not bloom as they were sorta small bulbs and it is late to get them in. Oh well I can stop feeling gulity about not planting them now. It got cold so quick here and stayed for quite awhile that I hadn't had the chance to do it. It is funny because the leaves on my Japanese maple must have freeze dried on. They still haven't fallen off. They are a nice shade of tan now. I went out for a nice walk this morning. The sun was shining then and near 40 degrees. A real heat wave. LOL. Now it is gray again and much colder. I had to get out and get fresh air though. Yesterday I didn't do much but piddle on the computer. By the end of the day I was extremly restless. I was making some little gift boxes with pictures of past christmases for granddaughters, who want and need money more than presents this year. The boxes turned out kinda cute. I thought about splitting the money up into singles and wrapping each seperate for fun, but decided it was to much trouble. So I only had to shop for the boys this year. Lucky me.
Chelone hang in there girl. Dare I ask if the mantel is up and hung with stockings? Did I miss a picture?
I don't know if it made national news but here was a tradgey here in Missouri last night when a water resivior dam broke and flooded a state park called Johnson Shut Ins.
It washed away the rangers house and family. A wife and three small children. All of who were asleep in their beds. Destroyed the house and the state park. They found everyone and the parents have been released from the hospital, but the chlidren are in critical condition. My heart aches for them. I sure hope the kids survive. I can't remember if the oldest was 5 or 7, then a three year old and a seven month old. It is fortunate it didn't happen in the summer when the campgrounds would have been full. You just never know what will happen huh?

Guess I'll go see what I'm going to fix for supper. Right about now I could eat about a dozen christmas cookies. Good thing I don't have any. Norma

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 4:13PM
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Here is a link for Mexican food products. There are links on this web site for just about everything including the husks and steamer. We did about 3 dozen beef tamales today for a mini Christmas feast this coming week end. Will read and comment later. EP

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 5:40PM
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Good idea. Time to make mexican fudge (which is just fudge with cinnamon, but so much better!)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 6:08PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening everyone,

So is anyone else getting that hideous Ritz cracker video when you open up the thread and you can't stop it or close it????? I'm getting really peeved with this site. I tried five times to get on here and couldn't even get in to read. Grrrr...I'll MAKE VERY SURE NOT TO BUY RITZ CRACKERS AGAIN.

Norma, yes I'd heard about that terrible accident with the reservoir flooding. Horrible... Sometimes it makes you wonder what we think we are doing with putting levies around New Orleans and making reservoirs and dams that are doomed to failure.

Bug, that is pretty funny.

Babs, yes indeed, Christmas it just around the corner and I don't have a single gift wrapped yet. I dont' know what I've done with the last two weeks but they have flown by.

EP thanks for the link. I know you are going to enjoy those tamales.

Cynthia, did you say fudge??? Hmmmm???? I love fudge and don't think I've had a piece for four years. My Mom makes the best walnut fudge you ever tasted. I need to get that recipe from her.

OK I'm outta here. I hate to sign off because I probably wont' be able to get in again. If I dont' come back it is because the Ritz cracker commercial chased me away.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 7:07PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

So sorry Deanne, don't go away! I've never seen the ad yet, thank goodness.

Here we have major snow. DH had to walk in and leave the car at the mailbox. He also had to swerve around an idiot truck driver on an icy road. The guy saw him coming but charged out into oncoming traffic anyway. This is an aspect of winter I could do without.

The news stories are pretty awful- baby thrown to safety from burning building was a GOOD news story. I don't even want to think of the others.

The snow plow just cleared the drive!

I hope Sue will make her friday appearance tomorrow!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 7:43PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Howdy folks!!
Taryn, sorry about the exzema. DD had it for years as a kid, and it can be really tough to deal with. Zinc oxide ointment was the best over the counter remedy I could find. Finally, my pharmacist mixed up a special batch of stuff. Hers was allergy related.

'Bug, love the legalese. Had to take a second and forward that around to a few people.

We're nowhere near ready for the holidays. I don't even have the tree up yet. Have gotten some shopping done...online. I think Monday I will brave the stores. Jim is on notice-he's going, too. He's been ice fishing every day. Yesterday was our 14th anniversary, and he said he'd be home early. Yeah, right ;) It was after dark, and his supper was cold. Now he feels all guilty about it, so I figure I might as well take advantage and make him go shopping with me.

Chelone, I love song parodys, too. Weird Al is right up my alley. Also, there's a band called "The Electric Amish" that do spoofs of rock songs with an Amish twist. Might be regional humor, though.
You sound like the old army commercial "we do more before breakfast than most people do all day." Hang in there.

I have to say, I haven't been watching the news for a couple of weeks. I tend to watch too much of it, then have to take a break from it. NBC (I think) started running a series about people making a difference. Nice to see good news once in a while.

We've had some pretty decent snows, but then got drizzle on top of it, so the trip to the mailbox is an adventure every day. The dogs both trot ahead of me as I'm slip-slidin' along. Show-offs!

Not much new here. See, even when I'm gone for ages, you haven't missed anything, although I've got a bit of catching up to do on YOU guys!
Oh, I did lose 6 pounds, in a little less than two weeks. Sounds crazy, doesn't it?? I think I might be insulin resistant. Anyone ever hear of that? I read The Carbohydrate Addict's Healthy Heart Program-I think that's the name of it. Anyway, I could have written the list of symptoms myself. I eat no carbs until supper, then they are in balanced proportion to my meat and veggies. Also, dropped the sweetner and powdered creamer from my coffee. I feel great, the weight loss is a bonus. Let DD borrow the book to read, as she's had some problems with being tired, and occasional bouts with low blood sugar. She said her boyfriend said to tell me "thanks"...apparently, she's not as irritable-so it must be making her feel better, too.

I hear Jim stumping up from the basement. That means he's done cleaning fish, so I'd better go warm up his supper...again :)
Hope everyone gets only enough snow to make the holiday sparkle, and not enough to cause driving problems!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 8:08PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

We're on ice storm watch here. I'm hoping it holds off until after 10 because the dogs are getting groomed and I have to go pick them up and hate, hate, hate driving on ice. Usually I'm home by 10:30. At any rate the commute tomorrow morning will no doubt suck raw eggs for the second Friday in a row. What happened to fall? At least Saturday is supposed to be nice-no weather issues. I'm glad I had Tom snow blow the circle last weekend. The town did a crappy job of plowing and no way would any of that crud have melted before the party. Parking would have been a nightmare.

The good news is we gained a minute of daylight yesterday. By the end of the month we'll be up 10 minutes from the low point. I'll be able to start my walks later in the afternoon.

Other than that we're in party prep mode here. Tom made his sauce and meatballs last night and will make lasagna tomorrow night. Most of what I have to do is clean but I also plan to do some baking (whoopie pies of course) and always have set up and prep cooking to do. None of this stuff can really be done in advance so I've been able to maintain my workout schedule and clean my desk.

Funny, I still never see any ads on this site and never have any problems getting in. From what I gather though, all paid subscriber statuses will expire at the beginning of the year. It will be interesting to see what happens after that.

Brenda congrats on the weight loss. Based on what I've heard from others, the success and failure of some of those low carb diets are a direct result of whether you are naturally hyper or hypo glycemic. Since I started eating regular snacks of fruit, yogurt and cheese, gave up crap food and started exercising regularly I feel much better too. Hope I can keep it up.

Gotta run and get a few things done before going for the dogs. Still no precipitation so that's a good thing.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 8:45PM
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"I'll MAKE VERY SURE NOT TO BUY RITZ CRACKERS AGAIN." AHA! Deanne that's exactly what I said as I watched dancing crackers flitting all over the screen...I think I need to email the Ritz Company and share that bit of news(I buy Ritz faithfully each week)
I'm LOL because I am just happy I have the gifts in my possession-I don't realize I need to wrap them too until the day before Christmas lolol.

Sue the insulin thing Brenda mentioned prompts me to ask you how your bloodsugar level ended up being-you had that worry about diabetes a way back there. Is everything OK for you?

Norma I did hear about that reservoir breaking. I was thinking as I read it that if we ever moved I would seriously make note of what sky high man-made water basins are nearby...we all know structures age,it's almost inevitable that these things will happen eventually. It's just so sad it happened.

So far we are not iced up here.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 9:59PM
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Ice Idyll! color> size>

It was 20F something this morning but the temp keeps climbing and now it's 40 with heavy rain for the last couple of hours. I scraped ice off the car at 6PM to run to the store. The roads and stores were deserted! A little snow under the ice too.

Ok, here's a news story for you:

There is growing belief that Miss Etta R. Hines, the head nurse at the Gundry sanitarium, Relay, who disappeared December 2, is alive and may have wandered away, her mental faculties becoming suddenly clouded, to find her way into some institution or to be sheltered by friends. This theory, however, is purely on negative grounds, being due to the failure to find her body or any trace of her by the careful searching of the country and dragging of the river and ponds." Dec 16th, 1905 From the archives of my local weekly paper.

News just said the 'storm' we're getting today stopped in Atlanta first and did lots of damage. Headed up the coast to New England after it's down put a shine on everything here ~ sorry.

Taryn, your eczema was probably irritated by all those cleaning products you're using trying to keep the house spiffy!

I've got the dry skin thing going on, that's why the humidifier got moved into my office this w/e. It's helped, up to 40% in here at the moment, but it needs filling twice a day. Also taking oatmeal baths, and my back is a little better, haven't noticed any blood on my nightgown for the past couple of days. Good sign???

Had my annual eye exam and had to buy two pair of glasses to dump the remains of my HCRP. I went a couple of hundred over that but worth it to get every penny out, and save about 1/3 in taxes on pretax dollars tucked in there, so I'm more than even. I way overfunded it this year, so next year I won't have enough. Decided to get a pair of single lense reading glasses as think that will be nicer than the neck bending I sometimes do when reading or working at the PC.

Packages are rolling in here daily and everything is under control. Just a few more to wrap and then off to PO on Saturday. Had a call from conservatory to volunteer at the poinsettia show which opens Sunday. Unfortunately that's a conflict with an open house I'm taking Rippie too. And there's a couple I've hand picked for him that will be dropping by that day. Like everyone else they're waiting til after the holidays to adopt. I had done their screen for a second dog and really liked them as a good match for Rippie. Katie arrived last year on 12/19. I didn't know she planned to stay :-)

Sylvia, I really enjoyed meeting all of your kitties and seeing your house and gardens. Don't be shy about posting more! We are all nosey and appreciate the beauty of everyone's gardens and pets.

VG, looking forward to your healthy eating thread. My holiday recipe thread is not restricted to 'bad food' so you can contribute healthy meals their too.

Norma, I stopped at Quiznos after my eye appt and ordered the turkey on rosemary bread. Also ordered the BLT cause I was hungry and wasn't sure I'd like it. They were both delish, and I saved half of the rosemary bread for lunch the next day.

Hi to all! Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 11:42PM
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Weird , weird weather today..Like Cynthia said...This afternoon it was in the teens and now it's 35. It went up almost 20 degrees in not many hours. We had a delightful little bit of snow and it turned to sleet quickly and then to all rain. I needed to go to the store and it was empty which wasn't what I expected. We walked the mall again and it too was empty so that was a good thing. I even stopped at Big Lots because a friend called to tell me they had amaryllis on sale. I got a pretty white one. About four years ago I got one at Target and it bloomed three times but the last time it just sprouted leaves and not flowers. I might chuck it and replace it w/ this one. That one came w/ potting soil and this one has a dried dirt thingy you add warm water to, fluff, and plant.. $2.99..And guess what gang, they have their garden stuff out..planters and stuff for spring and it's not even winter yet..
Deanne..I said the exact thing you said to husband as I logged on and that darn Ritz thing kept popping up and I couldn't get rid of it. Do companies know how annoying that is? I think not or they wouldn't use them. It's way different than a commercial which you can flip off or ignore.
Deanne..You don't give yourself enough credit because I may walk 2 miles a day but you do rigorous workouts. I really should do something about upper body workout. I carry weights but would like to tone up more. You look very fit in your pictures..muscular, and that's a good thing. Did you ever watch "the Biggest Loser" on TV? I catch it ever once in a while and these people are amazing losing much weight and working out like you do. The winner a few weeks ago was a guy who changed so much..There was a doctor on there who weighed over 400 pounds and he didn't even look like the same guy at the end . He didn't win but they were ALL winners in my opinion. They all looked fabulous...It's still pouring here. I closed the cellar window and now will open again because I don't want the kiddie pool to warm up...Sylvia PS The IAMS ad is getting on my nerves too and I might not buy it for the cats any more.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 12:59AM
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Nasty weather has begun here, it's snowing. Later this morning the warm air will move in aloft and we'll get freezing rain. My favorite. :(

I've started the stove; chilly in the house this morning, and haven't quite decided what to do with myself since I'm not driving to work in the expected precipitation. Snow I can handle, ice I avoid like the plague.

I've done no shopping, but have my list. We don't go nuts here, at all. If the "big day" came and went without anything except the tree and a yummy dinner that would be fine, too. I think it will be mostly books, music, and some selected DVDs. Most important of all, though... catnip and real Spaulding tennis balls for you know who.

I have a funny for you. You know the helpmeet and I bagged cable TV a couple of months ago. The joke has become the fact that there are 3 TVs in this house, only one "works" now, thanks to the addition of a set of rabbit ears to its top surface. Wellll... BIL decided to step on up to the big league and buy a 60" HD TV (no kidding; he has the biggest, baddest cable package, too). We have inherited his 40" Sony Trinitron TV, complete with the matching Sony DVD player. It's huge! but the picture is nice, the price was "right", and it's great for DVDs. So, now we have 4 televisions and one set of rabbit ears, lol. I don't know why this strikes me as so funny, along the same lines as an old movie directed by Terry Gilliam... "Brazil"... lots of weird juxtaposition with antique keyboards and ultra modern computer stuff.

Brenda, the song parodies we've been listening to are off a couple of CDs, called "Twisted Christmas". The other one that absolutely sends us into gales of laughter is done to the old Black Sabbath song "I Am Iron Man" (remember that one?!); "I am Santa Claus". I'm chuckling just thinking about it. If you see them in the music store snap 'em up, they're priceless.

Maybe today I'll be able to catch up on my reading. Meant to mention to T. and Cynthia that my skin is terribly dry, too. And my hands have taken quite a hit with all the cleaning of curtains, the worry about Mum, etc.. It takes a lot of will power to not scratch them raw and keep them well oiled with benign lotions. My fingernails and cuticles are equally pathetic.

(Just) T., you haven't missed the shot of the mantel! I have to organize some pictures and put them up. I have some of the decorations and maybe I'll do that today, too... I've been thinking of that gorgeous bench your husband made out of the bed periodically and with longing. But I have so much furniture... I need more like a need a hole in my head. ;)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 6:29AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Good morning all! I've been up for over an hour now, listening to the ice hit the windows - it sounds like shards of broken glass. DH already left for work, he reports that it is slushy out, not the dreaded glaze of ice. School is not cancelled, which is good - they can't use up two snow days before winter even begins!

Marie, your politically correct holiday greeting was hilarious. I work in Cambridge, MA - probably one of the most politically correct cities on the east coast of the US. There was a big controversy here recently because the City of Boston website referred to the giant Christmas tree as a "holiday tree". Wishing someone "Merry Christmas" is a blessing, and I don't know about the rest of them, but I'll take all of the blessings I can get, from any faith!

Just wanted to pop in quickly and send good thoughts to all who need them...thinking of all of you.

Marian, I enjoyed the picture of you when you were small. Interesting to glimpse a different time and place.

I can hear the kids stirring, have to go do the Mom thing now. Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 6:50AM
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Quick good morning. Still wondering how to keep this Cyclamen alive (now set back from south window being kept moist and so far no overt signs of demise.)

AD NOTE: I don't get popups, either, but I also don't use Explorer. May get in trouble for saying this, but I have much, much better connection and navigation with Mozilla Firefox as my browser. It is easily downloadable and they just came out with a new version that has made things lightening fast. It is a bit more "techy" but the advantages are worth it. Popup blocker actually works. Check it out!

Crazy weather here - rain icing on the roads expected to melt by 10a. Hope Cynthia is not an ice queen at this point down in Maryland. Waiting for light to enjoy the woods view.

When my hands get to the point where clients don't want to shake them (okay, it usually doesn't get that bad) I turn to good old Olive Oil in a soak.

Much hilly driving today so best get all necessities for same into the car and get going.

PLEASE do help with my Cyclamen .... :-)


    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 7:01AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

My thoughts are with all who are experiencing nasty weather . I hope all will be safe on the roads , and that no limbs/trees fall on your homes !

RE: pop-up ads ....I have IE , and the Google bar , and am a contributing member , and I have absolutely no pop-ups here on GW .

I guess since most of my brief post yesterday was addressed to Babs and Taryn it went unread by others , so I will keep this equally brief .

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 8:27AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I killed my cyclamen a few days after it returtned from the nursery with me. Everyone else finds them a breeze. I can grow them from seed to plant outdoors though! Mystery...

I too use Mozilla. :-)

Gloomy day out there...and I am off to do the wife/breakfast thing.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 8:27AM
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Marian I hope your virus is gone soon!

~Babs in brief; )(not to be mistaken for Babs in briefs-I am fully dressed lol)

Sue what day is it today?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:06AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Mostly water here.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:09AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good morning all. I've done a quick skim but need to come back and read in depth later. Marian, I hope your virus/sinus thingie is clearing up. My sinuses seem to be continually irritated as the weather keeps changing here.

Okay, idyllers, I need some advice. DD is furious with DH. When I look at DD, I see a 17 year old who is doing well at school, who puts in long hours on her music and theatre work at school, who has grown and matured and developed leadership skills through these activities. In fact, that last part is almost word-for-word what her choir teacher said about her, and he is probably the most respected individual at the high school. On the down side, she spends a lot of time at school and does not do very much work around the house. But overall the two of us get along quite well and I am quite proud of her. (Can you tell? ;) )

As for DH, DD is convinced that he views her as someone who just doesn't do enough around the house. "Never enough" are her very words. I have to admit that I have felt the same way about DH lately; I can do 8 out of 10 things on a list and without fail he will comment on the 2 not done versus the 8 that are done. Now DD is very upset that she had two concerts this week and he did not make it to either one. I knew he had a work commitment last night, but I have to admit that I was disappointed to find out that he got home thirty minutes after the concert started. DD's portion of the program was well over an hour into the concert, so DH could have made it to the "important" part of the evening. As far as I know, DD doesn't know how early her dad was home, but she is just furious with him.

Sooo, how do I get these two to get along? I'm not sure where to go with this situation, what the next step should be. I'm feeling a little discouraged at this point, maybe because I finally decided that I could make some changes in my own behavior and let the rest of his criticism roll off my back, but I don't know if I have it in me to fix the rest of this.

And I don't want to make him sound like a monster. He's a really good guy. But sometimes I think this is a side effect of all the time he spends traveling. You know, you stay in a nice hotel and eat all of your meals out, and someone else cleans up everything behind you. Back at home, it's just me trying to keep up with everything, and I can assure you I'm not vacuuming the house and cleaning the bathrooms every day.

Sorry to whine for so long, but good ideas are appreciated!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:20AM
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Good for everybody who is making staying fit a priority. It pays off in our 'old age'. I used to be referred to as 'the race horse'. Now it's more 'the old grey mare' but after a knee replacement, losing a boob, surviving chemo, and low energy syndrome, I can still ration energy and try to avoid illness. If I indulge too much in tamales and other goodies I'll end up 'the fat old grey mare' so I try to be conservative with all things. My empathy to those who are not 'up to much' momentarily and those of you to whom driving in ice and snow is a necessity. We will be focusing on our family time thru the holidays. Wish the best to all. EP

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:37AM
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For those who have not 'seen' me lately, this is the most recent picture taken end of November. Some of the Cherokee style double wall baskets I've made are displayed on the right side of the cupboard. I grew and dried the plant materials in the large basket on top. I am wearing a necklace made of Job's tears seed beads that I grew and strung. The Cherokee women refer to Job's tears as 'bead corn' and it is used in traditional jewelry. The cupboard is a 'hand me down' once belonging to Partner's maternal grandparents. It was used as a utility cupboard in their kitchen. Partner does not wish to be 'displayed' on the internet but he sends best wishes to all. hugs to all. EP

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:54AM
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V., hang in there. Here's my 2 cents (where is the symbol for cents on a modern keyboard?): whenever anyone gets "nit-picky" about what ISN'T done, it's a statement about THEIR OWN "failure" rate. You may not be aware of it, but maybe DH is experiencing frustration in his own work and is giving it voice by being hyper-critical.

My father was like that. I was an excellent student, had a horse, was very involved in 4-H, and all he could "see" was that I didn't care a fig about organized sports at school, didn't go to dances, was (in his words that cut me to the quick, at the time) "an egg head". He grumbled all the time about how I didn't "wash the dishes for Mum", "do the laundry for your mother"... , never noticed that I shovelled the deck, the walkway, and cleaned both the car and the truck off BEFORE I went the bus stop (at 6 AM), though. Mum was my unswerving "champion" in those difficult years. She would smile at me, put her hand on my back and quietly say, "let it go, dear... he only sees what he wants to see. What I see is perfectly wonderful and I know you will do whatever I ask, IF I need your help. Ignore him.". But I couldn't ignore him and it's one more feather in your wonderful daughter's cap that it bothers her so. Continue being her "champion". You will know how to broach the subject with your husband, but consider that his own frustration at work may be clouding his perspective about what's RIGHT at home and with his marvelously talented child, and good-humored and grounded spouse.

Home is warm, contented even though it's foul outdoors. I'm so thankful for a frugal life style. On days like this I always wonder about people who live paycheck to paycheck and HAVE to get to work because a missed day could really put them behind the 8 ball. We are so very fortunate here "on the compound". Our struggles and hardships are "small potatoes" in the BIG PICTURE. Good reality check!

Hope Marian is feeling perkier, soon. Nothing worse than a sinus cold... being sick is a drag, but congestion and the "pounding" is really the pits. Plenty of rest, plenty of fluids... but rest is the key!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 10:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

V, can you find a calm private moment to talk with DH? Can you remind him that on his deathbed he will want to smile over his relationship with you and DD and not over deals swung at work? Successful men at work are often controlling types. My DH often thinks I am his secretary. He finds it flattering to have the ladies at work jump to his commands, admire him and try ever so hard to please. I see my role quite differently! Yet, when things are very stressful for him, I do not mind assisting of course. I also think it is a phase in life for men. They were brought up to be financially responsible for a family...whether or not that is really true any more. They are nervous about achieving success, and often for good reason. They begin to wonder "What is life all about?" And so, although I feel sorry for the role they have been assigned, I believe they need reminding of the big picture every so often. This is just my take....so don't think I'm preaching please! In our case, DH adored his moments with DD at sports activities. It was a great release of tension, a break from work routines. In your case, your DD is not sports centered, and so perhaps DH doesn't see how to fit into the picture with ease?

This morning I re-potted 3 bougainvillia plants and then cleaned up all the mess I made. Finally did the dishes which were accumulating too.

EP reminds me that I should wear purple! I always enjoy the baskets! My French grandmother wove baskets and the process seemed very complicated to me. I never learned how. The cupboard is lovely. I would prefer a kitchen with fine pieces of furniture instead of built-in cupboards, but live comfortably with what I've got.

How many days until spring?

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 10:36AM
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janie_on(z6a Ontario)

EP - the hoosier is lovely...looks alot different than the one that I have. It had been in hubby's grandma's basement since the early 40's. He did some work on her house before she passed away...when it came time for payment, she gave him the hoosier. Now, it did have to be refinished and I am still looking for the sugar bowl to put in it .

V - boy, can I really identify with your daughter! Mom went to every event when I was growing up - Dad very rarely...he was farming and never had the time. Funny how since the day that his grand-daughter was born (my DD), farming took a backseat and her soccer/swimming/school plays all came first. Maybe he realized that life is too short or maybe he is making up for what he missed the first time around.... ok that's enough! cause I could go on but I am kinda weepy today ...

Lots of snow here!!

Have a great Friday all!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 10:58AM
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Oh my! I can certainly relate to "weepy days", Janie!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 11:51AM
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Those darn Ritz crackers are making me hungry.

The sore throat seems to be developing into a cold. We are supposed to be part of a quartet praise team this Sunday a.m. The big question is what will my voice be like by then?
The office Christmas party was last night. A very nice meal at a nice resturant. Sorry Deanne, no pictures. I wore black slacks with a new chartruese green sweater with black and chartruese jewelry. Not nearly as fancy as what you all do.

Speaking of jewelry, I am trying to make some. I've never done it before. I'm making a grandmothers bracelet for my mom for Christmas. Its not finished, but looks quite pretty. I am also going to make a heart shaped wreath out of the some of the berry wreaths that we had around the centerpieces at the wedding and I will give that to Laura and Mike as part of their Christmas gift.

Brenda, great news on the weight loss.

V, I don't know if I'm the person to give advice, but I know that communication is important in a non-accussing way. My kids didn't get along very well with DH while teens, but then he was the step-dad. I also remember that DH didn't think that the kids helped as much as he thought they should. I had to remind him that times had changed from when he grew up on the farm and everyone had to work. My kids had jobs in town, school, sports, music and dance. I do know that it is hard to be the person "in between". They do get along great now. So remember that this too shall pass.

Norma, your idea of the boxes with pictures of Christmas past is very neat. I'll have to remember that for when Kenzie is older.

Need to get to work.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 11:59AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

"Pretty as a picture in purple" EP! I'm so happy you decided to share that lovely photo with everyone. You are an inspiration to us all, a courageous, interesting, giving, serene, wise woman making the most out of life, and I'm so happy you are part of this group. Best wishes and hugs back to you and partner...

V, when you figure it out, please let me know. DH is the same in one aspect, seeing what is not done rather than what has been accomplished, and particularly rides Devin hard this way. It is a serious bone of contention around here. He IS very supportive of all of their activities though, and drove Devin all over Southern Ontario last summer for travel soccer. I wish you luck...

Thanks to all for commiserating with the eczema situation. I am happy to report that 3 days of staying "high and dry" have completely stopped any new outbreaks, and my hands look 100% better, though still dry and wrinkled like prunes. I use the Betnovate with cotton gloves at night (so I don't rub my eyes again--remember they swelled up a few weeks ago? Corticosteroids are scary). I use this Derma E herbal stuff throughout the day, which is very calming, and the gloves of course, keeping everything, including water, off my hands. This is a hard habit to get into though. It's a bit like back pain, you don't realize until you have it how often you use your back for everything. You don't realize until you have to keep everything off your hands how often you get soap/detergent/food/whatever and especially water on them.

Janie & Brenda, I had it on my feet as a kid, along with styes and boils. Not at all fun, the toes just crack open along the creases and are very painful. Was told I'd grow out of all of them by the time I was 10 and I did. The eczema on my hands is different, and resurfaced when I was studying for exams in first year university. There are many types, see this linkIt is aggravated by stress as Sylvia, Babs and Marian suggested. Marian, I tried Benadryl, an antihistamine, but it just made me a zombie in the morning without helping to stop the itching. Cynthia is right too though, it is TRIGGERED by chemicals and cleaning agents, particularly any products containing bleach. Housework has never been my forte, and all these years of letting the dustbunnies gather I've just been listening to my body, lol! Having to keep this house ready to show at a moment's notice goes against my natural instincts and now my body is protesting! But I'm marvelling at the ability of the human body to heal itself when you give it what it wants/needs (or remove what it doesn't want/need) I can go months and months without it, then it comes and goes, so hopefully now I can keep it gone with my new regime. The last time it got this bad was when we moved into this house, again cleaning + stress. I'm allergic to cleaning!

Re pop-ups, I never get anything at all, other than the stationary ads across the top and down the side, currently Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Toys 'r Us. My paid membership expired last January so that has nothing to do with it. I use Opera as a browser though, "fastest browser on earth" if that makes a difference, with their pop-up blocker on. Pop-ups drive me bonkers, very annoying. Hope you guys figure out the problem and get it fixed soon. I would go to Ritz website, email them with a link to this thread, and ask them to search it for comments on Ritz. They are LOSING buyers, not gaining them, LET THEM KNOW.

Brenda congrats on the weight loss! Insulin resistance is very common, but can be reversed with changes to diet. I have it. It is a precurser to type II diabetes so not something to treat lightly. I just had all bloodwork done and discussed last week with my doctor. Still have high cholesterol (also a symptom of IR, also known as syndrome X) but nothing requiring meds and ratios are good. My 2 hour glucose challenge and hemoglobin (measuring glucose response over about 3 months) was normal, BUT I'm spilling sugar in the urine, which he could not explain, and is very strange. I'm a medical enigma, not something I aspired to. Doing far more accurate saliva testing first, then next stop endocrinologist if they don't reveal some answers. Please get checked out and monitor it, and hope the pounds continue to peel off.

VG when I first did this cleanse last March or April I felt AWFUL the first 3-4 days, withdrawing from everything. But since then I only occasionally have caffeine and very rarely sugar, and limited wheat, so didn't have the same problems this time around. I also make and drink Kombucha Tea which continuously cleanses and detoxifies and may have helped this time as well. Gigi will be taking a mushroom home for Bruce, to help his liver deal with the toxins from all his meds. Lucky that so far none of my kids have shown intolerances to anything.

So I've been on this cleansing diet 10 days now, am down 7 pounds and am going on a controlled cheat now, starting with real Colombian coffee with cinnamon my cousin brought me from Colombia in October, with a bit of real cream. It is delish, and dairy has never been a problem for me, but is not a big part of my diet anyway. Will enjoy a bit of cheddar and a yogurt now and then though. I'm going to steer clear of wheat though for now.

And vino, for the first time in a couple of weeks! Tomorrow Gigi and Bruce and kids Ryan and Reid are coming for the night. Have invited my neighbors Dave and Dianne and son Sam to join us after dinner too. Glenn, Dave and Bruce will be hoisting beers and cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I know Gigi, Dianne and I will have no problems killing a large bottle of Merlot, so I'm thinking I'd better start practising tonight. Ya know, work up to it with a glass or three, lol. I'm in a celebratory mood, having decided no new Ebay listings this week with Christmas looming, and having a clean house, nearly all my Xmas shopping done and wrapped, 7 pounds gone and some energy back. Have a few stocking stuffers to pick up and Secret Santa buck store gifts for Devin's secret santa at school next week, then just roast beast for Boxing Day dinner here for my family. So I feel rather FREE, free time being a scarce commodity around here.

Update on SIL, though she's still in quite a bit of pain from her burst appendix last Sunday she is being released from hospital today. Her parents are there to help out until tomorrow, and my bro is over the stomach flu, which mercifully the girls didn't get. I still need to wrap their gifts,but thought I'd share my girly-girl purchases first. Will remove pics later for the dial-up gang. My friend Dawn hasn't phoned, so I guess her pregnancy test was negative. Will call her when she's had some time to come to terms again. Sigh.

Chelone, hang in there. You sound a lot more chipper today, and I laughed out loud mentally singing Ozzy's "I am Santa Claus" intead of "I am Iron Man". Memories from the stoner days, (which ended long ago so I would have memories to retain, lol! See Ozzie now? Shudder!!) Had to check out Twisted Christmas and found Bob River's website, linked below. You can even listen to some of the songs. Those with burners and highspeed, Limewire has all of these songs,
though be forewarned, some are quite naughty and NOT kiddie material. I just downloaded a bunch of the kid-friendly ones.

Well I've said enough for one post, lol, so will leave you guys in peace now. Lunch then off to finish my shopping, if I can get out of the driveway. Evil snowplow has put a 3' ridge of ice/snow across it again...Hi to all I've missed, and get well those under the weather. I've yapped enough!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 12:29PM
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Great hoosier, but the even "hotter" "Hoosier"!

My hair has gone the way of most "redheads"... I am "salt and pepper", and the character of my hair is different than it used to be... much thicker, and the "new" grey hairs are coarser. I lament the loss of the glorious copper-red "crowning glory", but that was then and this is NOW. Nothing is more "fake" than colored hair against ageing skin.

It's tougher to pull off the wonderfully vibrant "acid" colors I really love; but the old tertiary "stand-bys" have proved more sympathetic as the hair has greyed... . Praise be lavender, periwinkle, "French" blue, and more "greyed" reds.

EP is right; keep MOVING; physical activity coupled with diet will add paving for the road to ageing. Mum in pushing 80. She smoked for nearly 60 years, drank too much for too many years. But she was naturally athletic... and she's still "kickin'". TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES, and your old age doesn't have to be that of your parents. My late aunt was nearly 85 before she succumbed to cancer. She was vibrant, active, and chipper until one week before her death.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 12:32PM
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gardeninbc(z8 PNW)

Hi V,
Had to respond to your situation. I don't know what the answer is...guess I would try an honest but non-accusatory chat with DH first and see what happens.

I'm with Taryn, if you figure out how to get him to see all the things that do get done would you also pass the secret on to me. My hubbie works long hours and I would say I take care of way more than half of the child care, household, family responsibilities. But forget to do something and that's all he'll see. Drives me crazy but I just ignore it.

I remember being your DD's age and my father missing band concerts and dance competitions...that stuff just didn't interest him. But swim meets and ski races, he'd be up at 5 a.m. to drive me. In school when I consistently brought home marks well over 90%, he would always point out where I lost the marks. Now that I am an adult though, I credit him with giving me that drive to compete to get results, and to maintain a high standard. It was my mom that always told me I could do it but it was my dad who drove me to do it better. That being said his methods worked on me but he did the same to my sister and she still feels hurt to this day and they don't have much of a relationship.

I'm sure it will work itself out.

Taryn, glad to hear the exzyma is a bit better. I had a bout of it years ago and so glad that it hasn't reappeared since but I am very careful now what I use on my skin.

Not ready for xmas here yet either. Tree is up and decorated but I need to get my shopping started pronto. Hoping to do it all this weekend in one swoop.

Sue - best of luck on your party. I'm sure it'll be a huge success.

Gotta get to work now. Hello to everyone.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 12:58PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Afternoon all,

Well the Ritz Crackers seem to be gone for now.

The weather today is miserable. Started out icing this morning but the temps got over freezing so there hasnt been any more ice build up for a couple hours. Just a cold, raw, winter rain but Im glad this isnt snow or wed have another foot here. Kitties are going stir crazy and Rahjii is looking for me to entertain him because he hasnt been able to burn off his excess energy running around the back yard. Reminds me of when DD was little and couldnt go out to play. LOL

Chelone, Im one of those fakes who keep my hair colored its youthful brown. So far I like the effect a lot better than the gray. Even against my ageing skin. Te he!

EP dont you look terrific in your purple outfit! A classy looking lady. Ditto everything that Taryn said.

Brenda, so Ive looked and looked and cant find your post about your weight loss. I must be getting blind. But congratulations on your weight loss. How did you do it?

Taryn, glad to hear it looks like your hands are getting better. I get horrible cracks on mine in the winter and should follow your glove regimen but Ive never gotten the self-discipline to keep gloves on all the time. I found this "No Crack Cream" a couple years ago and if Im faithful with using it every time I get my hands wet it makes a huge difference. It is the best product Ive found for my feet and hands in the winter time.~~ Where did you find the Bella Ballerina dolls and clothes? So cute. Has Eden seen those?

Michelle, so sorry about your cold! That is a bummer.~~ Funny but I going to be wearing a chartreuse top with a black skirt to Sues party.

V. so sorry for the unhappiness in your home right now. We started something we call our family meetings when there were issues to be resolved. Pretty difficult to do but several years ago when there were frictions here we had a sit-down with the three of us. (DD was in her 20s at the time so no longer a teenager but I wish wed started this sooner) Each person was to express their feelings about the problem (only one problem at a time should be addressed to stay on point) No one is allowed to interrupt the person speaking. Each of us has our turn at taking the "floor" to express our feelings about whatever issue is being discussed. No one is allowed to put down or minimize the feelings of the other person. Feelings arent right or wrong they just are. After everyone has had a turn to speak we begin discussion on how to resolve the hurt feelings. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree and move on and sometimes there are agreements about behavior modification. At least that way everyone has had the opportunity to voice their feelings and opinions. ~~ Does your DH know how hurt DD is because he didnt attend her function? Does your DD know how hard and long hours your DH works to put food on the table? Does your DH even realize that he is not acknowledging all that you do so that he appears hyper critical of the one thing that doesnt get accomplished? BTW who assigned you to be the person to get the list done? Is this something you have agreed to do? Does everyone know what the division of labor is supposed to be or does everyone have different expectations. It helps if everyone is on the same playing field. I know we all tend to view issues from one viewpoint, our own and if we all spend more time visualizing being in the other persons shoes we can get a better picture of what is going on. Anyway, sorry to be a bit long winded about this but life is too short to be at odds with the people we love.

Martie, sorry Cyclamen are some of the few plants I cannot grow. Ive killed every one I ever bought so dont even try any more.

Sylvia, thank you for your kind words. Yes I have watched that Biggest Loser a couple times but I found I couldnt bear to watch them vote someone off the show. Made me sad so I dont watch it.

Cynthia, so it is going to be Katies first anniversary next week. Do you have anything planned for her? LOL~~~ Good for you with getting all your wrapping finished. Ive not done one gift yet. I have them all they just remain unwrapped.

Hi Babs, so have you started wrapping your gifts yet??? Or are you going to be like me and have a marathon the day before Christmas?

Sue, Oh boy, Whoopie Pies!!! Im going to have to do some extra time at the gym Saturday morning. LOL Cant wait for your party.

All rightie, I guess I should get outta here and go wrap some presets You think?


    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 1:51PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Quickie before the boys take over the 'puter. Deanne I couldn't possibly wear the gloves all the time, would drive me nuts. Just when I would be getting my hands wet or would need to wash them again after otherwise. You know, when I wipe down the counters or am rinsing salad greens, prepping raw meat, etc. For any extended time like cleaning the bathrooms or showering I wear the cotton under the poly ones for aborbsion--sweat is not good for eczema. The cotton alone I wear overnight with the betnovate ointment, which I'm going to try to phase out now it's calming down. I'll check out your no crack cream though--thanks! The Derma E costs me $15.00 even at wholesale price through my Lakota supplier. They may carry it as well.

Of course I thought of Eden with the Bella Dancerella set, though Bella is young for it yet. It is actually not dolls but a bar, mat and video designed to teach little ones the first 5 ballet positions. See this link for more info. The dresses are made by Disney, and oh so girly! Those gifts are all I have left to wrap, then just need to pick up a Michael's gift certificate for my Mum's birthday on the 3rd and I'm done!

V I hope you can put some of the good suggestions here into practice. I like the family meeting idea of Deanne's.

Hi Barb! Nice to see you!

Oh and Brenda, forgot to say Happy Anniversary! Hope you got some great deals shopping, lol, you lucky girl you! We're not big on anniversaries around here either. I'm always rather amazed when another one rolls around. November 26th was our 17 year "when we met (again)" anni. We had an open house, lol, fun wow...

Happy Anniversary to Katy too!

OH MARTIE!!! I did actually comment on the cyclamen for you on the last Idyll thread, but it was way at the end and an afterthought p.s., so I'm not surprised you missed it. "P.S. Quickie to Martie, cyclamen DO die back and go dormant so don't feel bad. Link below on aftercare..." Link again below.

Gots to go, boys want their hour each on the 'puter now. Shrimp scampi in mind for dins, with Merlot, oh my I'm looking forward to it!



    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 4:55PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Sorry I forgot to answer, found the Bella Ballerina set and dresses at Zehr's, a Canadian superstore I doubt you have south of 60. It's one of those stores you can buy groceries, housewares, toys, seasonal goods, prescriptions, furniture, electronics, mortgages, caterers, have film developed, wine, homemade baked goods, health foods and 1000 other things at! Too expensive for everyday grocery shopping but great when you just need to pick up a few different things and don't want to stop at 5 places.

All the online sources I found seem to be out of BB, but if anyone's looking there's always Ebay...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 5:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Time for more spring!

Hope there are soon pictures of Sue's party with everyone having a ball!

Oh yes, I do remember (not fondly) those Family Meetings around the diningroom table with Mom ever so hopeful to resolve things, Dad not following the rules and dictating to us, we 3 eventually silent because it was no use. The discussions were always about the lack of money. Those meetings dissolved after about the third one. The family dynamics were terrible, so it is too bad we couldn't have had a therapist there and accomplished something! I've always thought the mixing of a wartime European with an American born wife produced some very difficult times.

It is very dark out now, but I am trusting Sue to make it get light sooner as the days go by.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 5:33PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Bug, how sad your "Family Meetings" didn't create some positive results. I know ours have made a difference in our relationships for the better. It's really too bad there wasn't a therapist there for you so that everyone would have to abide by the 'rules'. I know when I was growing up it wouldn't have done any good in my family either. It only works if everyone is willing to listen with an open mind.

So spring it is!

Ahhhh..... I think I'll go and play with my plants under the lights...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 6:44PM
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I can do spring!

Martie, somewhere on this site is a post I wrote to you about Cyclamens. It's probably in the pets forum. I swear I answered your question! Anyway, I buy a mini cyclamen every winter and it blooms non-stop until April/May. I keep it in the south facing window of kitchen. Kitchen is 55F on a good day, and windows are always colder than that. Once the room temp starts getting into the high 60s it's over, so if you keep your house warm, you're not going to be successful with these. They're like primroses, they need to be cool.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 7:11PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hmmm, spring already huh? Lets see, in this part of the world we have at LEAST 4 months to go before that happens. Get me through Christmas and then I'll welcome spring. Call me crazy...



Crazy, so crazy for feeling so lonely
I'm crazy, crazy for feeling so blue
I know, that love me as long as you want it
and inside I know you would leave me for somebody new
Worry, why do I let myself worry
Wondering, what in the world did I do?

Crazy, of thinking that my love could hold you
Oh I'm crazy for trying
and crazy for crying
and I'm crazy for loving you


Worry, why do I let myself worry
Wondering, what in the world did I do?
Crazy, of thinking that my love could hold you
Ohoh I'm crazy for trying,
and I'm crazy for crying
and I'm crazy for loving you

HATE nightshift...

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 11:46PM
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Talk about dying plants..I bought a neat rosemary topiary at Lowes a few weeks ago for Xmas. I have three rosemarys I've had for many years. Two are in the back bedroom and one is shoved under the growing light in the basement. This new one I put in my big new box window in my kitchen. When I lifted it out FIVE days later, it was dead as a doornail. Could not believe it and it was well watered when I sat it on the windowsill. They took it off my charge and I decided NOT to replace it.Probably got frozen on the truck!
V I'm glad your daughter has you. I had no one. Neither parent was supportive or kind and I was an only child. My aunt who just died in July was the only adult who gave me attention,,and an elderly neighbor. I used to dry dishes for my mother and I would chat about school. She'd never answer and I remember once saying..."Guess who got the second highest mark in the test today?", and she asked who got the highest. I could cry thinking of my loveless childhood. I think I went over board w/ MY daughter w/ constant praise. She was..and is very bright and driven and a little tense. I would have liked her to take some time when her son was born and raise him but she had an important position and he went to daycare. But ,V you sound like a very caring parent and even if your DH doesn't come around, your daughter will always remember how much you cared.
Deanne ..your family meetings sounded like they were worthwhile. DD and I are both volatile so we'd need a referee.lol..
EP..you're a vision in purple..Great picture and nice to have a face w/ the name!!
I have Mozilla as well and so far today no Ritz or any pop ups. Yesterday was wild and my hushand also came out and said he was tired of watching Ritz commercials...
It's warm today and H had a good day for his second day at the ski resort. He is charge of the tubing department. Tonight after we walked the mall we went to Friendly's for dinner and promptly was seated directly across from DD and SIL and GS. GS was extemely jealous that GP got to go tubing today. He had his 5th B-day party there. No discounts or freebies 'cause he is part time..They're bummed..want the old man to work full time. All are skiers,my son included, and GS skiied since he was three...Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 2:57AM
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The driveway is a skating rink this morning. And there is a lot of waterlogged snow on the Filon roof that is likely frozen solid now. :( This is not my favorite time of year, but I'd rather have straight snow than the dreaded "wintery mix". Oh well, maybe the sun will work some magic this afternoon.

Pictures of distant spring do bring a smile to my face. We have lost 6 hrs. and 31 minutes of daylight since 6/21/05, at least according to channel 6 in Portland, Me.. But the back of winter will be broken on 12/21/05, my friends.

I have to get Mum up earlier today (urostomy change, Fosamax, and then a half hour wait before breakfast) because I really do need to venture out and check a few items off the list. It will be crowded, but I know where I need to go and what I want to buy, so it'll be OK. I may put off the trip to the dreaded stretch of "mauls" until after work on Monday/Tuesday.

Hope you have something more fun planned for your weekend!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 7:21AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning everyone,

It is a balmy 27degrees out and looks like there will be sun and no precip today which is a very good thing. It is going to be smooth sailing down to Hartford today. I sure wish Martie and Wendy could join us tonight at Sues. Ill make sure to have a glass of wine for them and also pay attention that their whoopee pies get taken care of LOL.~~ Must get to the gym early so I can get a few things wrapped before heading south. Ill bet Sue and Tom are going to be pretty busy today.

Sylvia, sorry your rosemary plant didnt make it. I killed them several times so dont buy them anymore. They really made a mess when the needles all fell off so just stick to things I can grow. Maybe they werent in good shape when I took them home? I didnt think of that. ~~ LOL about you and DH being volatile, ditto Doug and I. As I said it was REALLY difficult. ~~ You are not alone here with the type upbringing you had. Hugs. That kind of indifference causes hurts that never go away.

Taryn, could that possibly be the Tolrem talking???

Cynthia, love, love, love your spring photos. Those azaleas growing through the bench are gorgeous. BTW those benches are wonderful. Are they antiques?

Quiet on this Idyll lately. Everybody must be busy with holiday prep.

OK time to get to the gym. Have a great day all,

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 7:28AM
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hmmm... never had heard a cabinet referred to as a 'hoosier'. learn something new here all the time. google found a Hoosier cabinet manufacturer in Indiana. link below. I think the name of the manufacturer is stamped on the back of ours but I'd have to pull it out from the wall to look.
Sad to hear of so many unhappy childhood experiences here. Discipline is necessary but some people don't know the difference in discipline and punishment or realize that negativity can pull others down. It's so essential to define issues and be in harmony when possible. Deanne's sharing is valuable. Hope everyone reaches their best potentials. Hope everyone is feeling better today. Looking forward to hearing about the partying. EP

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 8:26AM
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Good Morning! And it got cold in the night - 31F. I know that's not bad but I was enjoying the 40F even with the rain and now my fingers are cold. I want to put my hands in my pockets and read, but you wrote little last night peoples. Where are the night people besides Sylvia... Da? Yeona?

EP, so nice to see your purpleness :-) And GB's trollius, and Deanne's gorgeous compositions. Yes Deanne, the benches are antiques from that little antique shop called Home Goods. I spray paint them in a nice gray green that I've stock piled because it's a hard color to find.

Taryn finally included lyrics that I actually know for some reason. Patsy Cline. And now that song is in my head instead of holiday music.

I have to write up a phone screen for a potential adopter this morning. I usually do those as soon as I finish the call, but this one is hard so I've put it off. Maybe I'll vacuum first!

Have a great day everyone! Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 8:49AM
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Some interesting input on 'hoosiers'. Thanks for the 'enlightenment'. EP

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:06AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

A quick pre-party good morning! I'm just finishing my coffee then it's time to go into high gear. The guests will start arriving around 6. I still have errands to run, and cleaning, set up and prep work to do. Since I have my helper, Melanie, again this year I need to write a time table for the oven and food serving in general so I can leave the kitchen and socialize for more than a minute at a time. Eeeek. At least the guest room is all set for Deanne and Doug. I did that last night before I baked the whoopie pies.

EP, that was a great picture of you, BTW. Purple is one of my favorite colors also.

We have 7 dogs coming into rescue next week. It's a death in the family/nursing home situation for a couple who apparently have been back yard breeders for many years. Seven is alot for one time for our group. We're going to have to scramble for foster homes, etc. Stuff like this always happens just before Christmas.

OK, enough from me. Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:15AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ep , I'm am with you on the cabinets called 'hoosiers' . I Googled them , too , and found some that resembled my folk's kitchen cabinet/cupboard . I think mama's had a flour bin . I wonder what became of it . I don't recall it being in town when she moved there 17 years before she passed on .

Count me in with the rosemary killers . I have tried at least 3 times , in differant locations and conditions , but they always died . EP , it seems like I remember that you succeed with them .

Well , there is a possibility of snow for us this eve, and I am in need of groceries , so had better run to town NOW !
It is already cloudy , and not unheard of for the weather to arrive earlier than predicted !


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Time to get my day roilling. Dull weather, dull day. Now how to make it exciting? We shall see!

Another thought for V. Since we often tend to act in ways we are familiar with, that is the patterns of our parents, it is possible your DH needs to learn that there are other effective ways, uncritical ways, of dealing with his daughter and family.

My father never knew what it was to praise and my brother has been in therapy because of it for decades. In his late 60s, he still blames our father. I think it is beyond time for blame, but it does illustrate the extent of the hurt. My sister does not blame, but her life was seriously messed up by his abuse. We all were given physical punishment for mysterious deeds, not to mention verbal chastisement. No hugs, smiles or praise. He once told me that children are born as savages and need to be whipped into shape. Chilling. He was not raised that way so I wonder where it came from.

DH is practicing his singing in the background.: The Riddle Song.
The Riddle Song

I gave my love a cherry, that had no stone
I gave my love a chicken, that had no bone
I gave my love a ring, that had no end
I gave my love a baby, with no cryin'

How can there be a cherry, that has no stone
How can there be a chicken, that has no bone
How can there be a ring, that has no end
How can there be a baby, with no cryin'

A cherry when it's bloomin', it has no stone
A chicken when it's pippin'', it has no bone
A ring when it's rollin', it has no end
A baby when it's sleepin', there's no cryin'

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:36AM
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Thanks!!!! (and sorry for missing the posts sooner) for Cyclamen info. I've needed to skim and didn't pay close enough attention. Glad there are other house plant killers out there!!! If the C. stays alive through Christmas I'll be happy.

Best to all and Have Fun Tonight, NE Idyllers!!!

Quick to Taryn: I understand your "girly" shopping. Do the same thing for nieces even though they are too old for frilly. They get a kick out of just how obnoxious an outfit I can find for them, then get to return it for something they really like. If I got them something reasonable to start with it just wouldn't be the same .... :-)

And V: Empathize with DD. Think it's as much a power thing on DH's part as anything. Some folks just need to make others feel lousy to feel good about themselves. It stinks. Tell DD she is the "larger" person in this case if DH won't sit down to talk.

EP: Wonderful pic!!

Wonderful pics of Spring, too. So, Deanne, when are you coming south in April to help with design???? Hmmmm?????

Gotta run. Rich is home from an appt and we start our party circuit at 5. 10 hours of stuff to do, first, of course. Ugh!! Wishing I was heading to Sue's instead, but obligations are obligations. NEXT weekend is just ours.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 11:24AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

So Cynthia it was - 31F??? LOL And I love that "Antique Shop" we have one of them here also but I don't remember seeing those particular antique benches there.

Bug, I've loved and sung that song for thirty plus years. Neat.~~ You should be so proud of yourself for getting yourself beyond the abuse of your upbringing. Many people never do. As you said it is beyond the time for blame. Comes to a point and you have to just pick up the pieces and move forward or you never get anywhere. It took me a long time to get past the hurt part and then longer to get past being angry. I'm almost, almost able to put myself in those shoes and understand and through the understanding comes forgiveness. Then the last bit for me will be to accept and let go of what I can't understand. Almost there, and several times I've thought I'd arrived at that place where I could say I've completely let go of all of the baggage and then something catches me by surprise and I realize there still is a bit of that mountain left to climb. I do have to say though that lighter the luggage gets the happier I've become. (I might add here that the lighter my person has become as well LOL)

Marian, you are such a houseplant ghuru that I can't believe you've killed rosemary.

Martie, the NE Idyll group has gotten together here in Febuary for our "Thumbing our Noses at Winter" party the last couple years. Les makes the most amazing and fabulous guacamole and we enjoy summer beverages like frozen margaritas as well. Also, we've come south for spring in the CT Idyll gardens the last couple years as well so hopefully we can meet up then. We've done a couple events where we have appetizers at Les and Monique's and then dinner at Sue and Tom's, Mabye we'll have to start real early and wind up at your place for dessert. LOL

OK I've got to get my act in gear and get dolled up for this great party I'm going to tonight.

Have a great day and evening all. We'll be thinking of all of you.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 12:13PM
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Where did the morning go???? I cleaned all of the family jewelry that I'm giving to my nieces for Christmas, and then wrote a not explaining where everything came from. I literally got teary eyed, but I'd rather give things now than have people try to figure it out after I'm gone. My mother couldn't part with anything and after she died my father threw things out or gave them away. Hey, on the topic of childhoods - I've always thought that we learn something from our experience either way. So whether our parents set a good example or raise us kindly doesn't really matter, we make decisions on how to react to the rest of our live. If certain behaviour hurts us, then we learn that it hurts and don't do the same to others. My theory is that you can love your relations but you don't have to like them, and it's always been the privilege of children to reject their parents' philosophies.

Okie dokey, I'd better get off to the post office before it closes at 2PM. What are the chances they have extended hours for the season? Zilch.

Later, Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 12:48PM
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I've just returned from my foray to the "maul". I have boxer briefs, and a new pair of "lounge pants" for the helpmeet. I spent too much time at Barnes and Noble, looking for interesting DVDs for the "magnaTV", didn't find anything I really wanted. But I did walk out with 2 books I know he will enjoy:

"Iraq Confidential" by Scott Ritter
"The Politics of Truth" by Joseph Wilson

Looks as though I'm off to Amazon to find the DVDs I want... :/ I also added 4 more "bigga-biggas" to the tree, a pretty shell, a round glass one, and two unbreakables for the lower branches frequented by playful cats and wagging dog tails. I also ordered the cake for Christmas (Almond and Raspberry from a very luxe bakery, I'll claim it at 10AM on Friday morning).

Time to "hide" the booty until the wrapping is wrapped up.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 2:07PM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Hi everyone

Just wanted to peek in and say I've missed you all. Last weekend went well looking after Iris and Ivan, and Mum arrived safely after her mammoth journey Friday night. On Sunday we had a call at 4 PM from my brother who lives in New Orleans (his house was not destroyed and they are back there again) saying he was just changing planes at Newark and would be at our house at 5.30PM to visit for a few days. Fortunately we didn't have plans that evening!! He can be very, er..., spontaneous, but it was great to have him here! DB left Thursday and Ruth's husband arrived last night. I'm not sure if I'm coming or going, and have given up worrying whether the kitchen floor is clean but being together for us is the joy of the season. Somewhere in the middle of the blur of last week DH and I marked our 19th wedding anniversary which we will celebrate at a quieter date in the future.

Having completed an early morning market run and music lessons, I'm about to finish our Christmas cards in front of a nice fire. I think a cup of tea is called for - anyone care to join me?

Best to all. Have fun tonight North Easteners!


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 3:37PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Good afternoon,
LOL Deanne, no not the tolrem! I still am not ready for spring, sipping cranberry/water, and I still hate nightshift. Does anyone have pics of their Christmas decorations to share? Missing jain, remember all her handmade stockings?

Cynthia I love Patsy Cline. Funny how our thought processes work, which led me to 'Crazy' last night. The guy who bought my Szigeti postcard on Ebay wants to buy the entire collection of letters now, make a private offer, which will be considered. So I took pics and put them on a link at photobucket for him, which I also sent to Sotheby's and Doyle New York. Told my Auntie Anita (Ebay psychic lady) about it and sent her the link as she's into classical music, and she told me that Szigeti had given up his seat on the plane that later crashed and killed actress Carole Lombard. Technically he gave it up for servicemen, but at any rate it saved his life. Googled the story and found it interesting, link below. So then I started thinking about plane crashes, and how many famous people have died in them, which led me to Patsy Cline. Are you sorry you asked now Deanne? LOL!

Just skimmed here quickly, Gigi and clan will be here in 20 minutes or so. Back tomorrow for a proper visit. Going to don gloves and give the main floor bathroom a quick swipe. Enjoy what's left of the day. Mild and bright and sunny here...



    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 3:43PM
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The Ritz crackers are gone because I ate them ;o)

Ive been gift wrapping, making chicken soup and pecan tassies so far today.

No luck here with rosemary and cyclamen.

The party sounds like it will be lots of fun. Hopefully, Sue can enjoy and relax.

I have heard of hoosiers, SIL has a wonderful one in her kitchen. EP looks great in her purple next to hers. The dried flowers on top are gorgeous.

Mary, it sounds like your house is a busy place. Happy anniversary.

Taryn, what fun gifts you picked out. I have a huge box of fancy dance costumes from DD. She took ballet, jazz, gymnastics and tap starting at age 5 thru high school. Im sure Kenzie will love playing with them.

Thanks ladies for the uplifting spring pictures.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 3:46PM
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Mantel pictures! I still have to get a hook into the masonry to hang the art piece, but the mantel is up and I'm satisfied with the result, looks a lot better than it used to!

Now I just need to fine tune the ash collection system and consolidate the kindling. "Accessorizing" will come in due course... forcing that sort of thing only results in something that looks "contrived", you know?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 4:29PM
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Life is good:

I have the new Sue Grafton mystery - S is for Silence.

When I was out today I found a new Trader Joe's within 10 miles of my house !!!!! (No more 20 mile treks!)

I had Trader Joe Mushroom turnovers for supper (yum) and pinot grigio.

The dogs and I had a long walk because temps were in the 30s and there was more road than ice. Now we're all tired. Monty has a Santa pin on his collar :) I found it when I was looking for small boxes for my nieces' gifts.

My back doesn't hurt anymore from the dry skin.

There's a cat in my lap.

The radio is playing the Messiah.

What more could I want?

"The best things in life aren't things."

Hope you all have a lovely night ~


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 6:23PM
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PS: Mantle looks great Chelone! I like that print very much.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 6:24PM
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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....everywhere I goooooo...heh heh.(Imagine my operetta-like voice if you like)

So does anyone even read my posts?
I'll talk anyway.

Deanne-Yeah that's interesting the Ritz factory left. Now I've got Kohl's but at least it's short.
How did you know: ),I did start some wrapping today-but just stuff that AJ takes to school and things I can wrap in front of the kids.
We had a cool spontaneous ornament making session this morning. We like to get out our red clay and roll it out to make cookie cutouts that we decorate and give to people who we've appreciated during the year. This year even Chris tried his hand at the creativity. I'm telling you it's great for anyone needing to slow down and have patience-it's been so hectic here that we all found it theraputic.

Taryn-I like the girlie presents. I can't tell you how many times I stroll past the holiday dresses for girls and wish I was buying(or making)some. I keep thinking lately how grateful I am that your friend Bruce is doing so well-to think at one point you really didn't know what would happen. I'm awed by situations/miracles like that.

The holidays are proving to be difficult for my MIL-she's having probs with the insurance company and she also isn't doing her PT like she should be so they won't send out a PT person to help her unless she's showing progress. I'd say it's more of the depression factor entering into this lack of motivation. I feel a little guilty not going with the boys tonight to do her household cleaning/laundry but there's so much Christmas stuff I need to attend to that I will end up a frazzled bundle of nerves if I don't pace myself.
SIL is adding to the frustration since she won't lift a finger(as usual)and gets irrate as her escape tactic-then again she still doesn't do anything to help. Why are people like this? I don't understand why a person can be so detached toward their own mother. Maybe it's not for me to understand. Ignore me please since I'm just getting the hurt off my chest: )

Last night Chris and I did a shopping bonanza. We planned to hit Kaufmann's to shop but spent the whole night at TJ Maxx finding some pretty good items. The fun part was that he was shopping for ME but I was good and didn't look. Though I did give strong hints when I liked something then I'd walk away: )I wonder what hopped into his cart! We're a pretty good team.

Mary good that you are having more than your share of family time. lol about your brother-I think guys are like that sometimes. Hey it really is more about fun family times than how clean the floor is...(that's my excuse for not cleaning).

Loving the spring pics-REALLY. I found myself counting how many months till things grow again...soon enough we'll be counting the days....there's nothing like optimism to keep you going-there really isn't!

Michelle thanks for eating all the Ritz; ) I like them with wine...Mary do you mind if I have some shiraz instead? I am willing to share. Any takers?
Good heavens,I bought this specialty coffee called 'CAF-FIEND extra strong coffee for junkies' the package has this image of a computer nerd with the caffeine jitters and bugged out eyes as he holds a cup of the stuff....I wonder if it would make me type faster. Has anyone heard of this this? I haven't tried it yet-I think you'll know when I have...; )

OK enough crazy talk from me. Can you hear me?

I keep thinking about Honey~


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 7:09PM
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Hearin' you loud and clear, Babs.! please consider that I've been woefully out of the loop with respect to MIL. Please provide more background (have asked but sometimes things we post get "lost"). MIL is depressed because she's now minus one (?) leg... amputation at what point? Her PT is lagging and it's because of her depression... ? Other family members aren't "stepping up to the plate"... it's easy to "talk the talk" but "walkin' the walk" is proving a damn site more taxing... RIGHT? Oh man! I've done it all; mostly on my own. I understand, Babs . Your voice comes through, loud and clear. Keep on talkin', kiddo... REALLY. (what's up with the sample making? I've been wonderin' about that for some time now!)

Cynthia, the art piece ISN'T a print. It's actually a piece of metal work! I suspect the inspiration is springtime's cherry blossoms... . It's metal, and it was that aspect of it that came to mind when the whole black iron theme became more evident.

This one is for Cynthia:

Lovely, dainty Miss Floey is the matriach of the house. At nearly 15, she gets whatever she wants, whenever she wants. :)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:00PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just back from a spontaneous Chinese meal with garden friends. The box of chocolates from DH's student seems to have emptied itself...OK, I'm mostly to blame.

Enjoyed the mantle and cherry blossoms Chelone! My Mom had a print of cherry blossoms that was quite similar. Floey is a sweetheart.

I certainly can imagine depression slowing down PT. I hope this is a quickly passing phase Babs! As for SIL, I guess you will never change her. What a sad commentary though.

Thinking Spring!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:26PM
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I can't believe you mid westerners didn't know Hoosiers..We have them here at auction but I collect from an earlier period.~~After finishing up on the Xmas shopping went to Olive Garden for dinner and saw Family Stone..I love Diane Keaton and NOT because my friends think I look like her. I don't see it..
Cynthia ..I have TWO cats on my lap and believe me it's no fun typing. BTW..Quiznos is for sale. What's Trader Joes?
Deanne..How right you are . There gets to be a time when one should get over one's childhood..I'm trying...I am really hurting myself since every one else is dead now..
Had to run all over the place trying to find gift cards..None at TJ's and finally found them at the dollar store. No excuse now for not wrapping...Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 2:34AM
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Books were being discussed and I meant to mention but had a brain fog that I finished a good one..Panic..Jeff Abbott. I am now reading Mary, Mary by James Patterson. I put myself on the reserve list the other day and I was 255th. I was happy when the library called H to tell him the book was here so I cancelled my reserve since we read at different times..I also have the Andrew Weil book out..

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 3:16AM
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I have a wonderful recording of Handel's Messiah. It's performed by the Academy of Ancient Music under the direction of Christopher Hogwood. It's such pretty stuff!

Daddy is just out of the shower and I hear the blowdryer so the bird must've wanted to get under the water, too. He looks so cute perched on the shower curtain rod, peering down at you... and he LOVES being blown dry. He spreads his wings, chirps along and just totally grooves on the warm air and steady hum of the dryer. Too cute!

I'm hoping for action shots from Sue's party last night. You must've had a wonderful time. I cracked up at the the comment about listening to your arteries harden after consuming the casserole.

I have laundry to attend to and some basic chores, also some gift wrapping. Not feeling very energetic, frankly.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 8:20AM
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mybrainhurts(6, MI)

Spring? I can dream of spring.

~da, the quiet

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 8:33AM
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Sylvia, Quiznos is a private company that sells franchises and they are indeed trying to sell the LLC. I started researching them last week because I wanted to watch their stock and perhaps buy some, but they're privately held. What's interesting is that they were public on Nasdeq until 2001 when they went private with buy-back. I'll be watching this.

Hi Da! Thanks for sending some Spring and hope you are well. Miss you ~

Babs,no I didn't read your note. Keep the balance. I know it can't be easy, and get some decaf :)

Chelone, Miss Floey looks lovely, how about a pillow back there for her? Non-flammable of course.

I don't know what I'm doing today but I need to make some time for housework!

Later, Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:30AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Gravel pit meeting here today. UGH.
Enjoyed catching up with Cynthia, Da, Lily, Chelone etc.!
Waiting for Sue's party shots, after she's slept in a while longer that is.
Better go shower now....

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 10:04AM
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Is it quiet here this morning, or does it just seem quiet because I'm avoiding doing anything that seems like work? Maybe both :)

Rippie just had a bath and smells wonderful (Avon skin so soft shower gel). I had to rearrange dogs in my office so that he could dry nearest to the space heater under my desk. He's washing himself dry too. I should wash more dogs as it probably adds some humidity to the air in here. Short short fur though so will dry quickly. Grey's don't smell doggy when they get dirty, which is a very nice thing. I just figured it was time to fluff & buff him.

Now what can I do that's easy? Eat? Already did that. Need to clean up front guestroom, since all boxes are now at post office there's not much excuse for the mess that's in there, and the cats want that bed back!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 10:39AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

You can stop by Oklahoma City PetsMart and get Rippie's picture taken with Santa! I'll be playing 'Elf' and trying to get a couple hundred dogs and cats to 'smile' and look at the camera. :)

Hi all! Ho Ho Ho! Have a great Sunday.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 11:00AM
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Martie I love the idea of the outrageuos outfits. Sounds fun.

Cheers to the party goers.

Cynthia ,our postoffice here has extended their hours even on Sat. I think they were getting to much competition from the other delivery places.

Chelone. Barnes and Nobel was my last stop the other day when I went shopping. By that time I was on shopping overload and tired and didn't buy a thing. I will have to go back when I am fresher. LOL. PS I just saw the mantel photos. I like! Thanks for sharing. A bird? How come we haven't seen pics of him? What is his name?

EP I enjoyed seeing your photo. You remind me somewhat of my MIL who is gone now. Would like to see more of your basket work. I took a class and made a few. But didn't stick with it. Your native type ones would be of more interest to me.

Taryn, Hope your hands are healing and you had a good time with your friends.

V , I was always running interference between DH and our kids when they were teens. Many times he was less than fair. They all seem to be ok with him now. Go figure. Seems the moms have to take the brunt of it. Stinks.

Hi Marian, I don't know about you, but I'm already getting tired of feeding the wood stove. Sure feels good though when Its really cold.

Mary, Sounds like Grand Central Station at your house, but how nice you can all spend some time together, especially with your mom being there.
I guess your new job is keeping you pretty busy too.

Hi Yeona, Janie, Barb , Brenda, Sylvia and all others.

DH took me out to dinner at Pasta house tonite. Wouldn't you know , when we got home there was a message from youngest son to invite us for dinner.

Nice spring pictures everyone. I am starting to browse for new plants. Think I will have to add a couple of the new echinaceas and sedum angelina for sure. And Miscanthus Huron Blush. Isn't that the one you have GB?

Think I will go see if I can get DH to share the sattlite so I can watch a Hallmark movie.
Later , Norma

You betcha Babs. I read everyones posts. Just sometimes neglect to respond. I can hear you. Are you bug eyed yet?

Ooh la la Da. Beautiful spring pics.

Smiles Jerri.

As you can probably guess I started this yesterday and finished this morning. Need to go comb out this wet mop of hair. Going to go visit the boys today. Need some wee hugs. N

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 11:29AM
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Without further ado, allow me to present, Larry (bird). He is also known as "Lawrence of Australia", as cockatiels are native to that continent. He is a "normal grey" (natural coloring, not a mutation) and was a hand fed baby. He is fully flighted (we don't clip his wings) and has survived with 6 cats, 4 dogs, and 3 other parakeets, and two wacky humans for close to 17 years now.

He is in his "clubhouse" in this shot; high atop the shelf in the kitchen. He likes to hang out inside a very large stainless steel bowl, too. He likes the reflection and the way it "rings" when he pecks at the side of it.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 12:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone! I found his brother outdoors on our front step one day in Toronto. No one reported missing a bird. Finally I called the Humane Society and found a person who had lost their bird and was delighted to have that one. She had all the toys and cages already, I had the cats. Seemed a good deal for all.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 12:50PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Chelone - I gotta ask - is he house broken? :-)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 1:07PM
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Sorry, Woody, he ISN'T housebroken. Actually, it's an interesting aspect of birds that they have no control over their evacuatory process at all. When they need to void, they do! if they happen to be on top of your head or cruising around your dinner plate... well, you deal with it. (Never, EVER allow your bird's tailfeathers to cross your plate/bowl and you'll be pretty safe.) :)

Birds are amazingly curious pets. Larry loves to visit the dinner table. He cruises around gently pecking at things that interest him. He loves pasta, rice, and nibbles daintily on lettuce, hardboiled eggs, and shredded carrots in salads. He likes wine, too, and has more than one demolished wine stem to his credit... they are not designed to have a bird perch on them, so we tilt the glass for him now.

When we're done eating he likes nothing more than to cuddle up against your neck and gently preen your hair or clean lint off your clothing. He's a lot of fun.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 2:12PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hi Babs! I read your posts, just don't take notes and time constraints and memory lapses mean I don't always reply. So sorry to hear about your MIL's problems. That must be hard.

Speaking of memory lapses, forgot to congratulatin Drema on the new job! Congrats! Very gutsy of you to do a complete about face after 13 years. Hope you love it...

Hi Da! Hi Norma! Hi Larry! Very cute Chelone, and THANK YOU for posting some seasonal pics! Love the greenery, very festive. Back to birds, I had a long talk with Bruce last night about Cheech, the cockatoo he raised from 6 months of age and had for 15 years. He was his companion when Bruce was a long-distance trucker, and lived in the cab with him for the 1st 3 years of his life. Would not step down to 3rd in the pecking order after Gigi hooked up with Bruce and used to divebomb her, lol! When they had children and Gigi started daycaring they found a home for Cheech with another birdlover. Bruce says he's adjusted well, though was angry at Bruce for a while, but now cruises the neighborhood visiting various neighbors, lol. Walking, as the new owners keep his wings clipped. Many memories of my "hey buddy" friend Cheech...

Speaking of birds, where is Julie aka rara avis been lately?
And Ei? Hope everyone is well, just busy.

Kids had a blast last night. Bruce is doing pretty well. Gigi is not. Caregiver burnout happening after a year and a half. Also the "not knowing what the future holds" is getting to her. Gigi is the ultimate planner/organizer, and this incurable brain tumour just does not fall into a catagory that can be planned or organized, by any stretch of the imagination. She had me up until 4:00am, too many tears and glasses of whine. Hope the vent helped..

Speaking of too much wine, (previous pun intended) are the east coast revellers recovered enough to share some pics soon? Looking foward to an update from party central. Well, Brennen wants to check out Google Earth. VERY cool if you haven't seen it yet. At least it's more educational then stupidvideos.com or runescape. Hi to everyone...

Back to see party pics (I hop) later.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 3:51PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hi, all!
V-I can sure sympathize with you! There was a period of time when nothing DS did was right in DH's eyes. And, there ya are right in the middle, trying to talk calmly to both. Most times it included "I think he feels.....", trying to get them both to see the other point of view. It's tough, and I hope it all works out. I did put my foot down when the kids had something going on-programs, art shows, etc. Jim shut down the tractors and went. He's never regretted it. Sometimes he uses farming as an excuse to get out of things, but since I farm, too.....well, it doesn't cut much ice with me ;)

Taryn, I've always been a believer that cleaning is detrimental to your health, lol! I'm glad to hear that you've found something that helps you.
I had no idea insulin resistance even existed before I happened upon this book. I was so relieved to find out that I wasn't just a fat, lazy oaf...I actually got all choked up when I was reading the list of symptoms-I pretty much had em all. I had done a lot of beating up on myself because I was too heavy, and couldn't stick to a diet and get rid of the weight. And, I was scared witless when I found out what it was all going to lead to. Some very scary stuff! I'm having no trouble at all sticking to the eating plan, and I can't believe how good I feel. It's wonderful to wake up in the morning full of energy again! To have found an eating plan that I honestly believe I can live with is just too cool.
I think the Bella Dancerella looks so cool! My DD would have LOVED that when she was a kid! The dresses are so pretty.....should be very inspiring!
Thanks for the anniversary wishes. Bless Jim's heart, he got me flowers. He had dropped me at the grocery store while he went to the hardware nearby. Then, before he hunted me up in the store, he bought the flowers, took them out and hid them in the truck, so he could surprise me with them.
EP-so good to see you! I love your outfit!

Deanne-I'm down 7 pounds now. I read "The Carbohydrate Addict's Healthy Heart Program", and found out that I'm insulin resistant. Basically, all I have to do is leave carbs alone, except one meal a day. I chose that to be supper. Then, you just make sure that all the portions are the same size. Just eyeball, you don't have to measure or anything. Same amount of protein, carbs, and low/no carb veggies. I can even have something sweet if I want to. Frankly, I was headed a heart attack and/or stroke. I've got tons of energy now. The hardest part for me was getting rid of the sweetener and creamer in my coffee. I've adapted to that, though. As a matter of fact, last night for supper, I had a cup with all the fixin's, and it tasted unbearably sweet. And, I had been sipping on coffee all day before. The carbs and carb act-alikes are an insulin trigger, keeping my insulin levels up all the time. I just have a whole new lease on life. Not quite two weeks ago, I went and gave blood, then stopped at the library 'cuz I was out of stuff to read. Was tired of novels, so I wandered over to the biographies, and from there, stumbled onto this book. If I'd have stayed over in my usual part of the library, I'd never have found it. And, I've talked to my doctor a few different times about low blood sugar. He'd do a fasting glucose test, and tell me everything was fine. Turns out, not so much. I had gotten my cholesterol down with diet, but still didn't feel as good as I thought I should. I can't WAIT until the next time I see him, lol!
BTW, I like your take on the family meetings and feelings. It took several years, but I did break Jim of telling me "you shouldn't feel that way" when I would express my feelings on something. He was pretty much raised that "feelings" are for lightweights, and you should just buck up and move on. Translates to "ignore the problem and it will go away". He's becoming quite enlightened.

Sylvia-your Mom sounds exactly like my DH's mom. It's sad--not only are they hurting the people they love, THEY'RE missing out on what a truly loving relationship they could be having with people. Both of my kids are staging a revolt about going to MIL's for Christmas, because they just can't deal with her negativity. She's forever making remarks about how lazy kids are these days. My two kids both bust their butts, work overtime, and are incredibly responsible. Never a kind word.....

Marian, are you feeling better? And, did you get the snow??

Babs, I've said for years that I'll never regret time I spent coloring or whatever with the kids rather than cleaning. MIL is the opposite. The house MUST be clean. To each his own, but people seem to feel a bit more comfortable in my "slightly dingy" house. From what I've gathered, you do quite a lot for your MIL, so no need to feel guilty for tending to some of your own things. Seems like there are people in every family who try and do it all, and those who do nothing. And, those are the ones who usually critique the performance of the "doers".

DA!! I haven't "seen" you in ages!!!! Nice pics!!

Finally, the Christmas tree is up, and decorated. Did that solo for the first time ever. Christina came just as I was finishing up. She says I did good, but I just don't think that decorating is my strong suit. I had a good time, though. My brother had loaned me the first season of Arrested Development. I've always meant to watch it, and never seem to catch it. Pretty comical. And, I did laundry and washed a few windows. Feeling good feels pretty good :)

Okay, here's my contribution to spring. Can you tell I farm, lol!?! For some reason, I don't seem to get many spring pictures taken, and have posted this before, so for those who have seen it, sorry!

I think it's time for some coffee and cross stitching. Jim is off ice fishing, and won't be home until dark. The living room had to be rearranged to get the tree in there, and now I can see out the nice clean windows from my chair.
Have a good evening all!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 4:12PM
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Here is my paltry contribution to springtime:

It's hard to believe it will once more be warm enough to sit outdoors.

Nothing says "spring" more than irises.

This variety smells incredible!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 4:49PM
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Neat to see some spring photos!

Nothing much to share from here, but just thought I'd pop in to say 'hi'.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 5:12PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Finally had a chance to post the photo. Sorry for the delay.

We had a great time last night-plenty of good food, drink, company and conversation. Sue and Tom put on a wonderful party. I don't think either of them sat down until almost all of the guests left. We had to stay until after midnight just so we would get a chance to talk to them. Their house is so festively decorated and the Idyllers (me and my hubby, Deanne and her DH) took over the comfy livingroom for the evening.

I've been enjoying everyone's spring photos-keep 'em coming.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 8:45PM
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Last night we went and watched Kenzie while her parents went to the office Christmas party. We had so much fun. What a fun age. She is starting to talk. She can thank you, Lucky (the dog) nana, poppa, no, hi, momma, dada and several more. She also has learned to point at what she wants. I was rocking Kenzie and Lucky wanted up in the chair, so I let him. She keeps leaning over and kissing him and laughing. Pretty soon she lays her head on his back and they both fall asleep. She likes to kiss dogs but not humans.

A little more baking is done. I took a walk with Jaden, crisp and sunny. This evening at church was the Sunday school Christmas program. 2 of Ricks grandsons were in it.

Lovely spring pictures. Its nice to see Brenda and Chelones gardens.

Brenda, decorating the tree without the kids help just isnt the same to me, but I have been doing it solo for a couple of years. Maybe in a year or so Kenzie can come help me. That is what my mom did with my kids. She would have them over to help her.

Taryn, sorry to hear that life is weighing heavy on Gigis shoulders.

Chelone, I love your decorations. The fruit and wheat are nice touches. Nice job on the mantel as well.

That must have been some party. You all look lovely as usual.

I took these while walking by the creek. I'm lucky I didn't fall trying to get these. Considering I had Jaden's leash in one hand and the camera in the other.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:24PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good evening all,

Well, what can I say except that the party was Fabu-Fabu!!!!!!Sue and Tom are simply the most outstanding hosts and put on the best party ever. Their home is decorated wonderfully. Even our guest room was decorated for Christmas. The food was out of this world and into the next. Everyone had a terrific time. What a treat it was to be able to visit with Les and Monique and do 'plant talk' while sipping our beverages of choice and nibbling on Sue's whoopie pies etc. Sue and Tom worked all night long and like Monique said didn't sit down until most of the guests had left. Sue and I wound up visiting until 2:30AM! I don't remember the last time I stayed up that late. Doug crashed around midnight and Tom turned in around 1:00Am but Sue and I had a fantastic, long visit. What a great weekend. Thanks Sue and Tom! Les and Monique, wonderful visit with you! A real treat to see my Idyll friends.

So now we are beginning to plan our February "Winter is Almost Over Dinner" (Optimistic you think?LOL)party in NH, Heads up Idllers, party in Feb in NH. We'll check out the calendars and get dates set so hopefully more of you will be able to join us. BTW, we have two guest rooms here if anyone needs a sleep-over, first to ask gets the overnight accommodations.

OK, I'm absolutely toast and have a long day tomorrow. Tomorrow evening is our last dance class and I'm hoping we can retain what we've learned until we can start another set of classes. I'm thinking starting to learn Rhumba next time. What fun!

Have a great evening all,

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 9:52PM
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Chelone-MIL is minus two legs these days. Leg #1(6" below the knee) was removed March 2005 and Leg #2(6" below the knee)followed in Aug. 2005. She's been out of the hospital since October and basically a prisoner in her own home now(unless we are there to take her out-snowy weather limits things dramatically)-that's why I understand the depression she must be having. She's in the process of trying to sue the doctor who got the amputation process going after he debrided a foot wound that initially was almost completely healed. I still can't believe that his assistant debrided the wound without ANY antisceptic prepping of the wound and then proceded to debride the wound deeper than had been normally done(or should have been done)even after MIL protested that this was not the usual procedure for the last several years. This was a new doctor since her previous one moved and it's not even conclusive that the new doctor even reviewed her long history. We are SO lucky that she has a series of pics showing the progressive healing of her foot. What is troubling is that this will also thrust Chris into the legal process since his mom needs his support. Yeesh I bet you're sorry you asked: ) and this is all in a nutshell.
Does Larry(bird) act silly after he sips wine? I wonder how many sips it takes for a bird to get drunk...lol
That ironwork piece is unusual-where did you get it from? Thanks for posting your mantle. Nice job.
As for the sample job I did post about not taking the position. I learned the boss tends to butt heads and is difficult to work for mainly because she is fairly disorganized and will leave you hanging for weeks after a job ends. I also would have only been utilized when they had large runs of samples to do so I decided it wasn't worth it. I think I will try to make a go starting up the home business I did years ago unless something really great comes along.

Norma-no I haven't gotten buggeyed yet-I'm scared to try it! Actually I have about one more pot of regular coffee to go before it's time to open the bag of caf-fiend: ) did you have fun with the boys?

Taryn-I thought Bruce was doing well-is he not? I guess my last memory of the pics in summer are what I'm going by-he seemed to appear quite healthy then. I think for anyone not knowing when your spouse's inevitable time is up would be horrible and much worse when the caregiver is highly organized. How is Bruce dealing with it all?(I feel too nosey!) as I think of it my mom(who is VERY organized)had a real problem with my dad's lengthy illness and not knowing how much time he had left. She ended up deeply depressed-keep your eye on Gigi-would she get some counseling to help herself?(you are her therapist huh!) Hey just being a good friend who listens probably was a big help to Gigi. You really have been a sweetheart to her.

Brenda thanks for the pep talk! While I played hooky from visiting MIL I was able to get started on my Christams cards,made a batch of sugar cookie dough,and enjoyed Christmas carols with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir...they had a hard time fitting in my livingroom; )
I'm so glad you are figuring out the ins and outs of insulin-good luck for continued progress!
That spring pic of yours is beautiful-lots of great elements in that shot! I like the movement of the vertical trees jutting against the horizontal lines of the flowers and fallen tree stump!

Thanks for your empathy Cynthia & GB

Is this too long? it's OK, no one will read it anyway(lol). Do I sound like Eeyore? It's Ok, I'm just teasing you guys.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 11:20PM
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Do a Rhumba for me Deanne. Never learned it but wish I had. The 3 of you are beautiful and it's fun to hear about the fun. Michelle and other 'grammies' your posts sure bring back memories too! It's so wonderful when they come home even for a short visit. We had our tamale feast yesterday. Last night we watched 'Sound of Music' and then I googled for bios of the 'real' Maria. Nice to have a family talented enough to bring in income. Interesting to learn that they are continuing on at the lodge in Vermont. Nothing better to do here today than to crochet hats and sip tea enhanced with some of the rum left over from the dessert I bought it for last Christmas. Nice to see photos and hear of adventures. You've 'heard' and 'seen' most of ours. The dry cold continues. We prefer that to snow as our community has no snow removal equipement. The ones who have to drive out to work 'blaze a trail' for the rest. Yes, we've succeeded with rosemary but have never tried it inside. Our 'Arp' rosemarys have survived for several years and are now about 3 feet tall. I don't keep anything inside during the winter any more. I put a chaise where the plant stands used to be and now enjoy the sunshine myself when it is available. It's interesting to 'read' about all of you. EP

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 11:26PM
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Look at the festive idyllers! You guys DID have fun I can tell-what time was that pic taken?lol
Glad you had fun and as usual looked ravishing!

Michelle those are impressive shots even if you weren't juggling the leash and camera! Very cool ice crystals(no pun intended lol)


    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 11:29PM
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Michelle! Is that hore frost? Gorgeous photos, you did a great job, so glad you took your camera with you.

I see Sue already consumed her personal bottle of Korbel, while Deanne and Monique were still working on their's. Nice outfits all around! You guys look great (flushed) but great :)

Eden are you there? I finally put in my Chiltern's order. You didn't list what you ordered, and if I like to cheat and know what others have ordered so I don't miss anything good... tell me anyway. Here's what I ordered:


(*) Great Erodium, very neat, not weedy, terrific foliag and lost it the second spring.
(**) Google this one, it's really cool plant.

Lots of tenders, but that's best for me since I've run out of room, but still like seedlings indoors in winter :)

Brenda, what a beautiful photograph! And Larry, very nice to see you ~

That's it for me, have to read Babs now. (Hi Babs!)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 12:08AM
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Great party pictures. You all look fabulous and festive. I went to a quiet Xmas dinner at a friend's house. Unfortunately she has aggressive breast cancer and will be on chemo for one or two YEARS!!She goes to Hershey Med every Tuedays and is not feeling well at all as you would expect. It's a downer for all who are her friends as she actually doesn't know if she'll be here next year. But none of us do. Sort of like the movie I saw last night. Her sons saw it and we told her not to go. She has a fabulous cape w/ wonderful antiques, which is how I met her back in the day..28 years ago, and she decorated it all up much better than slacker me did..
GD called and found a kitten which she brought in their house. It sat on her lap all night and DS said absolutely it's not staying. They have two rescued cats, DD has two and I have 7 so it'll go to a rescue group. They sent me a pix. Hard to resist but I will...sylvia

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 1:25AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Looks like I'm not the only one up late...Well, definitely hitting the sack after this!

Enjoyed all the thoughts of spring! Everybody's pics were just gorgeous...Katie is a vision under the Magnolia! I know they're messy, but I just love the way the blooms flutter to the ground and lace the lawn...my yes, you *can* do spring! :-) GB those trollius are so luscious and Deanne your pics are stunning, as always! BTW, thanks again for sharing your "Driveway through the Seasons" plan, I really enjoyed it and you are so generous to share that with us, quite an inspiration! Da The Quiet...so good to have you pop in and share your lovely spring pics and Brenda your pic really made me swoon, then again I love bright and such warm colors like those are such a treat when all is in black and white here right now! :-) Oh well, I won't complain, I really *do* love all the season, though winter could be the month of December and that would be just enough for me! :-)

Hi Taryn! Thanks for the Patsy Cline song...I *love* that songone of my all time favorites...that's what I call a "belter" and very therapeutic! Have you ever tried singing along with her in your loudest voice? LOL! Boy I belt that one out and by the time Patsy and I are done I feel *so* good...Bessie Smith does that to me too! Nothing like a really good *blue* song to cheer you up!:-) Loved your Bella costumes too! You are the Ebay Queen! Did I tell you I was inspired after V did an Ebay to do my own? You guys may remember that I had a power point system I wanted to sell? It sold with the buy it now price!?! Whoo hoo some unexpected cash flow (pretty pricey item) and it couldn't come at a better time. I am totally psyched! The only thing Taryn, is the guy hasn't left me a feedback yet. What could that mean? Well all and all it was a good experience and if I ever have anything I want to sell again, will definitely try the Ebay route. Still worried about the buyer though...why wouldn't he leave me a feedback? It's been 4 days since he received it and even though it was an expensive item, he really did get a great deal - half of what Paul paid for it last year brand new and it has never been used. Oh well, I'll check again in a few days and see whether he left any feedback.

Speaking of the Bella costumes...Martie...I loved your story about buying over the top outfits for your nieceswhat a fun aunt! :-)

Marian you were an adorable little girl! :-) And I loved the whole family pic...so sweet!

Sorry I haven't been much up to posting. I have been down for a week with the nastiest cold I've ever had and the my sinuses were blocked...yuck! My whole right cheek was swollen for several days, but seems to be going down now. Tonight we went to a Christmas party at a friend and neighbor's. Fun time, fun house. They are really into the retro. The house was a 50's house to begin with and they renovated it back to its original style, pink kitchen walls with turquoise counter tops, even an old gas stove...very fun and brought back many memories of my childhood. Felt a little like the odd man out as everyone there was either an actor/actress or a musician, but they were all very sweet and funny and I had a good time. Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance (actually actor friends of theirs who had a gig at a childrens hospital and came directly to the party from the gig).

I think I'm almost caught up with the reading and know I will forget to comment on many things that I meant to, but wanted to tell Honey and Michelle how sorry I was to hear about their friends. I hope you are holding up okay Honey, I wish I could say something to comfort you, please know that you and your friend are in my thoughts.

Babs I'm so sorry you're family is going through such a rough time right now. It breaks my heart to think of your MIL "as a prisoner in her own home" and know it breaks your family's heart too! Sounds like your little family had a fun craft night! :-) You have a wonderful family and I admire all the special moments you make for your kids! When I look back, I never regret having not washed a floor and I cherish all the special memories I have of simple times spent with my son; coloring, decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies, working on jigsaw puzzles, reading a bedtime story...some of the sweetest, most profound memories of my life come from those simple moments. All in all it really is a wonderful life.

Okay, speaking of a wonderful life...yes, I watched that last week! Okay, so I'm a sucker, but I just *love* that movie...one of my absolute *favorite* Christmas movies. BTW, if any of you know when White Christmas is coming on, will you let me know? Sis and I need to bone up on our "Sisters" actLOL! I just wish dad would be here too to see us perform again. Have to admit, it's very unreal to me when I think about Christmas coming and dad not here with us. But I *do* have so many wonderful memories of him and *if* we are encouraged to perform the sisters act again this year (LOL)I plan to see dad there smiling back at me...in fact, I can see him right now! LOVE YOU DAD!

Wanted to tell Lily how much I loved her home..love the candles in the windows...so cozy and comforting! BTW, enjoyed all your kitty and fish pics too! :-)

Loved the pic of EP too...what a warm lovely smile and you *are* a vision in purple! Love your gorgeous baskets too and the Hoosier cabinet. I watched The Sound of Music too! :-)

Mary & Michelle have been meaning to tell you both for weeks how lovely your rooms turned out. Mary the room looks so warm and inviting...I bet your Mum loved it! Sounds like you're having a crowded, but warm and wonderful holiday season! :-)

Michelle I love the colors you picked for your room too...green is my favorite color in the world, but my favorite color combinations are browns with blues, something about those two colors together I find very soothing and natural.

Chelone I love your style and your little cockatiel...I've always wanted one. I think they have the sweetest faces! Loved your spring pics too. Do you know the name of that fragrant iris of yours? I am a sucker for fragrance and love irises...what a perfect combination! :-)

GB your song is stirring a memory for me. I'm sure that was the song in a movie I saw when I was a kid, cant remember anything about the movie, *except* that song and I remember I just cried when they sang the song...hmmm...wish I could remember what movie that was...

Hi Jerri! Hope you had fun at Petsmart today! I wonder if they are doing those pics at our Petsmart...would love to get one of Scout with Santa! :-)

Michelle - got such a kick out of your post tonight...I can *hear* the delight in your voice and it brings such a smile to my face to think of the smiles McKenzie brings to yours! She sounds adorable! :-) Ohh...love your frost pics!

Oh Deanne...you guys look so cute! Oh, and before I forget - been meaning to post these! Hope you like Dainty Bess, she really is a sweetheart...I just love her coppery filaments and she has fragrance too! :-)

Hi T! Hope you're okay?

Keep your faith in beautiful things;
in the sun when it is hidden,
in the Spring when it is gone.
- Roy R. Gibson -

Oh, and had to share these...Guess I've always had a thing for snowmen...

(horrible pic of me, I think I was sick when we took that picture - but the goof that I am, I gave my gloves to the snow man...LOL!)

I took a photo of the snowman Paul and I made the other day, but it came out all blurry...think there is something wrong with the camera; it *couldn't* be me...LOL!

Hmm, seem to be slipping...not nearly enough smiley faces...so here's a few more for you all... :-) :-) :-)
:-) :-) :-) and sweet dreams all!


    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 2:29AM
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We listen to 'everyone' who shares here and Babs has always been on top for bringing smiles and admiration, even through challenges. Everyone has admireable qualities. Reading the 'challenges' has also been 'character building'. Taryn, had been wondering about your friends. Shift work can be so challenging. Sometimes it is the root of a lot of stress. That and traffic. As an Air Force family we had to learn to 'adapt' (like it or not) but 'adapting' is continual as life changes. Making the right decisions for dealing with changes is also challenging. Teaches us the meaning of 'faith', 'hope', and 'endurance'. Marian has been such an example for that. Smiles and gardens are two of the world's most healing things. Hugs too. We are so glad we chose a 'retirement' home built by a singing, gardening, Dutchman who enjoyed it while he was in possession. We've 'personalized' it with positive changes and a modifications. I'm so glad I have printed off pictures of some of the smiles and gardens and the people who have shared them. BTW, our cabinet has a tag on the back of one of the drawers with name of a furniture Co in Leavenworth, KS but we didn't see any manufacturer's trademark. It's always interesting to be able to connect an object with the past and imagine who might have made it and used it. A Cherokee elder once told my father that we never 'own' anything. We pay for the 'privilege of use' even with 'relationships'. How something is used or appreciated makes the difference. We are born with family, choose friends, and build relationships. Thinking of all. EP

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 10:10AM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Geeze, Michelle...my pics aren't that sharp when it's just me and a camera...can't imagine if I had one of the dogs on a leash to hold as well. Lol, might make a fun guessing game on the Idylls, tho.

Taryn, I can't even begin to imagine what Gigi's going through. Too many unknowns are hard for a highly organized person. I bet she's SO glad to have you to talk to.

Ei-Some folks are slow about posting feedback on Ebay. I'm still waiting on one from several days ago for some embroidery floss I sold. I figure no news is good news. If they had something to gripe about, you'd have surely heard it by now ;) Sorry to hear about the cold-in my family we joke about having the "Warren sinuses". Unfortunately, they don't make Kleenex the size of bath towels!
Your pictures are great! The mirror behind the tulips is a nice touch.

EP-I like to know the story behind things,too. That's why I enjoy watching the Antiques Roadshow-they're very good about explaining how things were made, etc.

Babs, what a nightmare for you MIL! And, you and Chris, too. The amputation would be bad enough to deal with, but for it to be caused by incompetence.....there just isn't enough a court can do to make up for something like that.

Had the best of intentions of finishing up my shopping today. Bad thing about having more energy is that I'm easily side-tracked by little things I ought to do. The house is a bit cleaner, but by the time I got done fooling around the house, I decided I'd just wait until morning to go shopping. Since I'm awake really early these days, I'll head to the 24 hour Wallyworld in the morning.

Now, I'm going to attempt to make some flax muffins. Jim curled up his nose, but I bet he'll eat them. I started on milled flax seed a while back to help lower my cholesterol. Since I'm not doing oatmeal for breakfast anymore, I need to find another "hiding place" for it.

Have a great afternoon, all!

PS-Sue, Monique and Deanne-what a stunning group you all make. Deanne, you shouldn't have let the cat out of the bag about coloring your hair. I'd have never guessed. With some folks, it's obvious, others you'd never know. I've had stuff done to mine before, and have come to the conclusion I'll have to learn to live with going grey.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 3:15PM
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$269.00 | Bellacor
Bush Northfield Desk and Hutch - BHI295
$513.99 | Hayneedle
Kichler Lighting 15439TZT Textured Tannery Bronze Landscape Path Light
Littman Bros Lighting
Grohe Surf Actuation Plate - Alpine White
Modern Bathroom
Blue & Gray Reversible Down-Alternative Comforter
$29.99 | zulily
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