IDYLL 241: Holiday Homographs

cynthia_gwDecember 3, 2005




There must be others. In case you're wondering where my mind is, I just read Martie's note and the word 'beat' caught my interest....

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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 9:41AM
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    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 9:57AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:39AM
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not a 'holiday' homograph but my favorite:

sewer (one who sews or where the water goes)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:56AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

Well Im procrastinating painting on this sunny day. The kitties are pretty funny right now when they have to go outside to do their morning ÂdutiesÂ. They aren't out five minutes then they zip right back in the house because of the cold. When the sun comes up they are content to go back outside and resume their backyard patrol. Doug and I were commenting last night on how much we love our ÂboysÂ. What fun and humor they add to our lives.

Chelone, great news about the sewing machine. IÂll bet you canÂt wait until it arrives. Maybe if I get some new painting Âitem IÂll want to paint again? How have you kept from being burned out with your sewing over all these years? ~~ Yes we did learn the underarm turn with the Promenade. IÂm having a bit of trouble with being a bit ahead of my position when I finish the turn. Need to check with the instructor to see what IÂm doing wrong. Doug and I watched the dancing program on PBS last night as well. No Twinkle yet. I think we are going to do a Friday night social dance next week. It will be a bit scary (IÂll feel a bit stupid because we donÂt know much)but youÂve got to start somewhere. There isnÂt enough room here to really practice and we need to do it on a dance floor.

Martie, what a great idea about giving ÂGift Certificates that will really mean something. I love the idea about your fixing dinner for your parents for a week. That is way too cool. I think IÂm going to borrow that for my MomÂs birthday which is coming up. ~~ Thanks! IÂm really looking forward to meeting you also.~~ I wish I could get enthusiastic about my work again. I attended a meeting of some local women business owners on Thursday noon time and IÂm hoping to get re-inspired to get creative with my business again. IÂve completely lost interest in the creative aspect as well as running the business end of things. Somehow I have to find a spark to fuel my imagination to get some new energy going. It was interesting at the meeting. I didnÂt think IÂd have any valuable input at this meeting as many of these women are pretty high power, high paid, executive types but they were pretty impressed that IÂve been in business since 1983 and were interested in how IÂve changed the business over the 22 years IÂve been doing this. They meet once a month and I think IÂm going to make a point to attend future meetings.

EP Best Wishes for your Anniversary. How wonderful to have had a meaningful relationship with someone for 54 years. What an accomplishment. I really admire your outlook on life and dedication to family.

GB, love the heart in the snow. ~~ Hope your day isnÂt too difficult and that your spirits improve.

T, glad you had a good shopping day with Jim. Must be so fun for all you grandmomÂs shopping for the littles.

Cynthia, have you talked to your sister yet?

Mary, your pyramid project with David sounds like fun. I just realized the other day that I never got your dahlia tubers out to you so it will have to be spring. I have your shipping label all printed but never got it packaged. Where does the time go? ~~ WeÂve only been to Maui in Hawaii but loved every second of it. Here is my favorite pic from our trip. It is of Haleakala Volcano. Such a stunning place.

OK I really have to go downstairs and get some work done today. Enjoy your Saturday everyone!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:57AM
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Homographs - its too early on a Saturday for me to think, but I did like T's :oD

Martie, is your DHs name Richard? Funny, but this is my 2nd marriage and both are named Richard. My current DH goes by Rick though. Birthday wishes to both Richs.

EP congratulations on 54 years. Thats fabulous.

Mary, how wonderful about the trip.

T, Kenzie is doing great. She really likes the Christmas tree. DD put the unbreakable ornaments down low and she likes to take them off and try to put them back on.

T and Chelone, I bet you guys would be very excited to own a 25 Kenmore sewing machine like I do ;o)

Taryn, nice to hear that things are getting a little better with DH.

Ei, great Hawaii pictures. With a foot of snow on the ground right now it looks very good :o) I loved the Teddy Bear picnic also. Kenzies favorite toy at my house is one of those old windup Fisher Price radios and it plays Teddy Bear Picnic. She likes to dance to it.

Mary, the pyramid project sounds like fun. I really enjoyed "projects" with my kids.

One of the projects that I remember with fondness is each year we made gingerbread houses out of school milk cartons and graham crackers. Of course lots of candy to decorate with (and eat)

Deanne, guess who I am done shopping for? Of course the most fun one ;O)

Hi to all. Id better get this place cleaned up, decorating finished and 8 doz. Cut out cookies made (for the grandkids school)


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 11:58AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)


DD told me that they are learning "Deck the Halls" for the holiday concert at school. Her music teacher must have been struggling to find a politically correct way to explain to 5th graders that this is a pub song; he told the class that a bunch of people were "irresponsible" and put some liquor in their punch, and proceeded to get "jolly" and sing this song.

I love on-line shopping, especially Amazon. I spent a good part of the morning pointing and clicking there, and now my shopping is close to being done. I actually dragged myself to the mall Tuesday afternoon, and ended up buying nothing, and it was way too much walking for me. (I later found out that the mall has valet parking - who knew?) My foot is still sore sometimes, the Dr last month said the fracture is still not fully healed because circulation can be slow to the feet. No more x-rays though, I probably glow in the dark at this point.

My "gutter guy" is coming later today - actually my brother - Mr. Last Minute. He is blowing in ahead of the front that may bring us some snow tomorrow and Tuesday. I shouldn't complain, I love it that he does it for me - DH's knees shake when he gets up that high!

Mary, how great about that trip. Hawaii is someplace I've always wanted to visit.

EP, congratulations on 54 years of marriage.

Martie, I like your gift certificate idea. It is hard to think of things to give my parents. Last year I gave them a good squirrel proof bird feeder to replace my father's contraption with aluminum pie plates and a greased PVC pole. The old contraption worked, but it looked like heck and drove my mother nuts; the new feeder was a big improvement. I haven't had any similar brainstorms yet for this year.

Deanne, I won't be able to make Sue's party, we are celebrating Christmas with my in-laws (the northern contingent) the same day. The adults have a Yankee Swap, which is fun. Any great ideas for a $25 swap gift?

Eden, I meant to tell you how much I loved your Christmas decorations! Your house is like the houses that we drive several towns over to see - the whole neighborhood goes all out. I don't have the skill or ambition to do anything on that scale here, but it sure is pretty.

That reminds me, I am supposed to be cleaning today so that we can decorate the house tomorrow. Must be a day for procrastination - the dust rag is here next to me, but there is no dusting going on! Better get to work so that I look terribly busy when DH comes home in a little while.



    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 1:59PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I need all your good thoughts . We had a phone call this morning from our son , Tim . He is in a hospital in Little Rock being treated for blood clots in his lungs . The fact that he has survived , thus far , is a good sign . According to the research I did , such clots frequently take the life of the one afflicted , but if they survive a few hours , and are getting treatment , the odds are very much improved . AS much as I want to be there , it is difficult for me to go now . I may still do so ...maybe tomorrow . At least he is not alone . His lady friend is there with him .
I must leave the computer off in case there are more phone calls .


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 2:46PM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Oh Marian

I am so, so sorry to her about Tim. How terrifying and what a terrible shock it must have been to hear that news out of the blue. I hope he continues to pull through and will be thinking of him all afternoon as he fights for his life. Many, many thoughts for you all and strength for what lies ahead.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 3:01PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Hugs and prayers your way Marian!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 3:32PM
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Marian, hope you can find back up for Nolon and hit the road. Thinking of you. EP

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 3:55PM
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Marian, thoughts and prayers for you and for Tim.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 4:05PM
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Oh Marian, you must be worried sick! Try to keep yourself calm and remind yourself that medicine works wonders once they know what the problem is. I'll be sending good thoughts into the ether for your Tim, and YOU. Hang in there.

Deanne, do you count the dance rhythm when you dance? It sounds like a really dorky thing to do, but when you are still getting the basics in place it is really important to do so. We had a terrific instructor and he used to get on EVERYONE'S case to do it. The helpmeet thought he deserved a dispensation because he is a musician, but NOPE! he was required to count, too. :) It's really hard to practice the travels in your home, but if you work on the box and the underarm turns, counting as you do so, you will be less inclined to rush through the steps. Counting reminds you that you have PLENTY of time to complete the move.

I'm not always so good at remaining "fresh" with my sewing! In fact, lately, I've been pretty stale. I haven't made any clothing in a long time, the shades for "the lab" are as yet unmade, and I've yet to undertake the draperies for our bedroom. I had more fun making those silly little placemats for Thanksgiving than I've had in long time, lol. I also had a great time making the "awning in the dawning" and getting the cushions for the fake wicker sofa covered. I find I tend to get too caught up in "professional" stuff, and don't make nearly enough to indulge myself with the fruits my skill can provide. I'll bet it's that way for you, too! Yes?

I took the little blindstitch up to the mechanic. I will probably get between $200-300 for it. I paid $495 for it in 1985. There's something to be said for taking care of your tools, I guess. I did a quick tally; I have 12 machines left now that the mini-skipper has gone bye-bye. I told you, I'm a very sick woman. (My 25 year old Kenmore zig-zag is a GREAT machine; runs like a top and does beautiful buttonholes).

Test drove a couple of cars today. Eh... nothing too exciting; I'll look some more tomorrow and after that, probably call my boss' husband who hits the auctions. I am SO not into dropping a ton of cash on a silly car. I'm going to check out the place that resells old police cars, too. I'm thinkin' a "Canine Unit" might just suit me fine... mats instead of carpet (easy clean up), no handles in the back seat... yeah! that would be SO me... lol.

I have to get Wrecks outdoors for a squirt and then go pick up Daddy.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 4:25PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Marian - I'm sending good - healthy - thoughts your way for Tim. I hope the news continues good!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 4:29PM
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Marian, you must be so worried. My prayers and good thoughts are with Tim and with you.


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 4:44PM
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Hi all..Back later to post after an absence of over three months..Deanne..I e-mailed you twice yesterday about your procedure for bringing your fish into the house. Maybe you didn't recognize my address but I need help since in 23 years of ponding never had the need. My 1100 gallon pond is leaking and we just put the emormous koi in the small concrete pond but have a kiddie pool rigged in the basement for all their babies. Help me w/ details. I don't know how to care for them or set it up. Little pool is 4 by 6 by 1 foot and I have a 30 gal aquarium ready as well...Any other ponder w/ advice??? I did go to the pond forum but they said patch this weather????? It's 29 now and snow coming and impossible to do,,HELP, please anyone!!!..Marian , my thoughts are w/ you and hope Tim is well soon..Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 4:49PM
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Marian, thinking of you and prayers for Tim! I'll be watching for any updates on how he is doing.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 5:05PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

AAAAW Marian! Big hugs and high hopes for you sister! Please keep us posted! You must be jumping out of your skin. Soothing thoughts going your way.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 6:09PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hi , dear friends . Tim has been released after shots in his stomach . He has to have 10 more of the shots , at $300 a shot ! He will give them himself , but a home healthcare person will be checking on him every day for a week .
I called his hospital room right at the time he was being released ( about 5:15 PM) .His friend has been with him since he was admitted , and is driving him home .I am a nervous wreck , but so thankful he is well enough to go home .
His ex didn't think he was bad enough for the girls to be taken to see him !!!!!( She is a registered nurse ! ?? )
He did talk to them on the phone .

I think I need to 'break ' into the 18 1/2 year old bottle of wine that 'lives' in my refrigerator ! ( How do you open a corked bottle if you don't have a cork screw ?)

Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts . I had called several close friends in this area , for prayers , too .


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 7:37PM
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You break the neck and use a very fine strainer... ;)

Oh Marian, that's great news! I've been thinking of you since reading your post. You must be relieved, but still worried. Hang in there; no good will come from too much worry. It's hard, I know.

It was clear and cold (winter!) and I was thinking that regardless of how "perfect" or "pretty" the day, someone, somewhere is enduring turmoil. And if we all kept that in mind in our daily interactions the world would be a gentler place for all of us. How's THAT for some real "Christmas" spirit?

I have a goal to get the windowboxes started tomorrow! I will load up on "brush" when I drop the helpmeet off at work. I will cruise the property, taming the Pfitzers (2) with clippers, also the perfectly dreadful Yews that were reclaimed from the compost heap at work (and shouldn't have been!). I don't think I'll be able to get the lights on the greens, but I will haul them down from the attic and give them the "plug in" test for viability. Maybe I'll get to the nursery that sells bunches of boxwood, so I'll be able to "condition" the greens for the pediments (I bet Martie will really like them). It will be a good outing for the "old lady" and Wrecks. I need to make the most of the weekend, next week could be really busy with a car purchase and the delivery of the new machine. And the threat of crummy weather. Yeah, REALLY.

The "lab." is a disaster. Everything that I haven't had time to deal with has been unceremoniously dumped in that room; the results are predictable. ;) And I'm overwhelmed at the prospect of hoeing it out and organizing it all. But if I have any hope of Christmas sewing, I'd best "get busy". Gulp. This car thing has really been a huge PITA. Jeez, I wish there was a bus.

It's nice to see Lily again. Sorry you're playing "beat the clock" with respect to bringing in the fish from your pond. I'd be really stressed, too.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 8:02PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

(((Marian)))...I just got home after a long day and saw your post. I'm so sorry to hear about Tim's frightening episode! I will keep him in my prayers. The good news is that his friend *is* a registered nurse. Will she be staying with him until he recovers? I will be thinking of you all and sending positive thoughts as well as prayers.
Now, as for the wine...Do you still have all your own teeth...for pulling out the corkscrew I mean! :-) Just a little levity...I know *very* little! I know you are worried...what mother wouldn't be?...but I assume it is a very good sign that they have released Tim.

Need to go, lots of things to do here right now so can't stay and chat, but I will be peeking in to see how things are going with Marian.

And best wishes for a Happy Anniversary EP...*54* years that is fantastic! :-)

Hi to all and good to see your *face* Lily!

Will try to catch up tomorrow. Oh, and one more thing...I meant to tell GB what a kick I got out of her card to clever and very sweet! Well, all of EP's anniversay cards were beautiful, naturally! I love celebrations here! :-)And Taryn thanks for suggesting storing an item from Dad...That's a great idea. I never realized my dad has his own smell, but once I smelled his jacket, I knew it was *dad* and it brings a big smile to my face every time I sniff! :-)

Deanne your Hawaii pic is gorgeous and that pic is from the same area where I was sitting in my pics! :-) Maui is where we went's just beautiful there; isn't it?

Okay, I really gotta go now. Have a good evening all and Marian I'll be thinking of you and keeping you & Tim in my thoughts and prayers!


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 8:29PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ei , it is his ex that is a registered nurse ...not his friend . I wouldn't be surprised if the friend stays with him while he recovers , but they live in the same town , and not far from each other .( it's not a big town . )

LOL , Yes , I still have my own teeth ! ( I guess I could do what Chelone suggested ! LOL )

BTW , I used to sing 'Teddy Bear's Picnic ' to Tim , and to myself ! Your Hawaiian songs are familiar , too ,( I love Hawaiian music , and have several stereo albums , and more bookmarked on the computer ), and the pics lovely . I have the one of you on my screen !

EP , Congrats on the anniversary . Our 49th will be in March .

Hi , Sylvia . Good to 'see' you again .


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 9:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

An 18 1/2 year old bottle of wine that 'lives' in your refrigerator probably tastes of vinegar Marian....You may have to spring for a new bottle or have some comforting cocoa instead! ;-) I think chocolate solves many problems!
Your update is very encouraging. I hope Tim does exactly what they suggest and doesn't rush his recovery.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Marian, you and Tim will be in my thoughts and prayers. Glad to hear he's home and I hope he continues to recover.

I've tried the approach of pushing the cork into the bottle, but this can be very messy if the bottle is very full. And be forewarned that if the bottle has been upright in the fridge for 18 1/2 years it might have turned sour!

Had a very lovely day with DD but now we have a lot of snow falling. Driving this evening was a challenge!

I've only done a smidgen of decorating - hung the needlepoint Christmas banner. Tonight Mystic noticed it and was frightened! Guess I'll go easy on decorating. ;)


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:21PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL , the bottle has been laying on it's side all those years ! I still haven't touched it ! ( It was given to Tim when he got his Master's Degree ! )
I am going to bed now . Sweet dreams to all .


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 10:44PM
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There's a Bing Crosby "Christmas" song in Hawaiian that has been getting some local airplay. Cracks me right up everytime I hear it. I can't help envisioning Dorothy Lamour in her sarong... it's really catchy, but I can barely pronounce the greeting, let alone spell it!

I sifted through the accumulated detritus in "the lab." tonight while the helpmeet snored in front of some dreadful football game. One advantage to no cable is you either agree on the program or find something else to do! I found a folder of my aunt's... tomorrow is the one year anniversary of her death. We were never close, but she was a decent, honest woman who provided for her mother, one of the aunts, and my uncle (severe epileptic destroyed by the "latest" method to "control" epilepsy... shock therapy! and infirm from the mid-sixties until his death in the early '90s). Her's was not an easy row to hoe. But she did it with grace and slavish attention to detail. In her folder were a myriad of inspirational quotes and cartoons! I was enchanted. I see so much of Mum in those quotes, too. And me. I was reminded that the frosty aunt I remember was a very vibrant and involved woman and I will try to share some of those quotes with you in the coming months. It was a bit of an epiphany (timely, yes?) for me. But it made me sad that we never really "connected". Overall, my lasting impression of her was of a very selfish woman, unable or unwilling to acknowledge that her mother was MY GRANDMOTHER (the only grandparent alive at my birth). Consequently, many of the lovely, inherited items in her home where sold to dealers when she had to move out of the apartment that she'd inhabited for over 60 years. I never even had a chance to "bid" on them. So, it was nice to find little bits of her humanity in the folders I removed from her bureau, a little over one year ago. Tomorrow, I will drink to her life, her eternal rest, and what would have been my parents' 57th. anniversary. There's a lot left to clean up and throw out...

One of the things that really astounded me in my time in "the lab." was just how much equipment and how many very specific tools I've amassed over the years. I've never really thought about it before. But I have SO MUCH STUFF that is so trade specific, it's scarey! I have presser feet for every model of machine in the room; each machine has feet designed for very specific purposes. I have 5 pairs of shears, and at least a dozen different types of scissors, each with a specific "job". I have measuring equipment to suit any job, be it big or small. We haven't even ventured into the stapler, hand tools, etc.. I gotta tell you, it freaked me right out and I became painfully aware that it's time for photographs, an inventory, and careful scrutiny of our homeowner's policy... . I've been buying things over the years and have never really stopped to take a long look! Whew...

OK, it's Saturday night... I can't do anything about that stuff... but I CAN focus on decorating for Christmas.

And making sure Tim and Marian get as many good vibes as I'm able to emit while doing the things I must do...

zzzz... pickin' up the vibes through the very fine strainer, Marian?


PS: no sooner had I begun to proofread the above message when I heard Mum's door open. She had had an explosive attack of diarrhoea. I got her into the shower, put the her undies in the sink, and got the sheets into the wash. Sat her on the john while I remade the bed. No sooner was she back in bed than it happened again. It's gonna be a really long night, my friends. And we have no Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate in the house...

my chin is on my chest.

This will be funny in few days... please remind me it will be... please remind me to buy Kaopectate, OK?


    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 11:39PM
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Am I all alone?

Please, nooo...

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 12:04AM
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Marian, relieved to hear of your son's recovery. I agree that you need a green house. Your knowledge of plants is remarkable.

I have a few other photos of corn husk scenes I've done thru the past 25 years. This was my favorite but I donated it as a door prize for a Christmas home tour. I've always planned to make another to keep.

I covered the 'lamb' with lamb's ears leaves and then colored it white. It's fun to do creative things. Saw some beautiful corn husk doll ornaments at the craft fair on Friday but didn't get one right away and when I went back they were all sold. I appreciate seeing how others do similar things. Chelone, Babs..good to read that you are so successfull with your sewing... appreciate reading of ...T's quilts and all the creative things Mary is doing with the children. It's interesting to see the varied things created for fund raising. Winter is here but so far it is cold and dry. We appreciate reading of what everyone is doing in the various locations. Also appreciate all the beautiful pictures and good wishes. Thanks to all. EP

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 12:51AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Hoping Cheleone is getting a little sleep!


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 7:34AM
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Good snowy morning. Just got the "Tim" news (((Marian))).

And, Marian, know that you will be a hit this afternoon at brunch. I modified the apple/cranberry filling recipe by using a cup each of the fruit, 2/3 cup water, 2/3 cup sugar, a few grates of nutmeg, a squeeze of orange juice, boiled it down, added a few fresh crushed lemon verbena leaves for the last few minutes, and came up with chutney that even tasted good out of the pot. It's been mellowing for a few days and Can't Wait!!

Chelone: In addition to the Kaopectate, try the Potassiam liquid that is given to infants when they have diarehhea (?sp). The name escapes me right now (need another cupajoe!) It's only a few dollars a bottle and works wonders. A pharmacist will know what I'm talking about.
Good Luck Car Hunting! Love the idea of a former K9 car.

Left but now I'm back. Brother is having a horrible time with the holidays coming and is in his "call and scream and then hang up" mode. My parents went to see him yesterday and my still-close-to-angelic-mother simply said "things were a bit bumpy." At least now they can be in the same room as he and be safe. The tough decision to have him Not come out for Christmas has been made. My head says it's the absolutely right thing, but my heart breaks.

My sewing projects for the house are sitting staring at me. When will I learn to not get materials for the next project until the current one is even started. LOL. Translation: six pieces of wonderful fabric waiting to become window treatments. Sewing machine buried under terra cotta in the basement. Good-sized table being used for entertaining. Can you help me come up with any more excuses?????

The expected snow has started and seems to be accumulating. Am looking forward to a quiet day here until the throng arrives. Must turn the French Toast and make glaze for ham.



    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 8:18AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning !
I had a good night The relief from the good news relaxed all my anxiety . My faith has been reinforced .

Ahhhh ! Poor Chelone . I am so sorry for your bad night . I certainly hope your Mum has a better day ....which will give you a better day also .

EP , My knowledge of plants came about from my physical inabilities . I spent many many hours poring over garden books , because I was unable to do the things I wanted to do . It is probably similar to your interest in crafts . I am not too good at working with my hands . My ability to read hadn't suffered .
Your cornhusk scenes are very nice , and I can see that they require much skill .

It is strange how things occur . I read in our local paper that a handicapped daughter of friends passed away Thursday . She was 32 , and was born with cerebral palsy , but had a very sharp mind . I was drawn to her .
Then I read on the computer , that another handicapped friend in Idaho had passed . He was 69 ( but much younger when we knew him ). He was mostly mentally handicapped .


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 8:42AM
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Good SNOWY Morning, It snowed all night here and we've got a good covering of a few inches on everything. I haven't left the house since Thursday morning. Bella was here until last night and it was just easier to stay in. It's so cold out there. I'll probably venture out this afternoon and do a little shopping. I have a 30% off coupon for Borders that I don't want to go to waste. There doesn't seem to be much of interest going on here which is the reason I haven't been posting as much. I have been reading along though.

Chelone, hope things settled down and you got some rest last night. I remember nights like that with the kids when they were small. It seemed like they always got sick at night, never during the daylight hours. Usually at least 2 of them at a time too. Ah the memories, lol.

EP, thanks for sharing your projects with us. I love the earrings and that creche is just beautiful.

Mary, the pyramid project sounds like lots of fun. Will you share pictures with us of the finished project? My kids all had the same 5th grade teacher over the years and each had to make a model of a castle. By the third one Brad and I were starting to run out of ideas but those were fun times. Congratulations to your dh on winning the trip. When will you go?

Cynthia, thanks for sharing the pictures of the track dogs. I always assumed that they were treated badly. I'm so happy to learn from you that's not the case. Have you broken the news to your sister yet?

Babs, how did the party go yesterday? Pictures??

Marian, hope Tim's doing well this morning. Does he know what caused the problem? I hope you're doing ok too after having such a scare. Please keep us updated, OK?

It's so hard to keep up on comments here if you're not posting every day and I know I forgot to mention a bunch of stuff. I'll probably be around more for the next couple of days while I'm Bella-less so TTYL, Eden

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 8:43AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I hope we get an update today on how Tim is doing. And how Marian is doing too!

Oh Chelone...What can I say? Just that I am so sorry for you both! I remember as a kid having similar experiences. Should I wake up Mom and tell her? What if I didn't? Ughhh. Then when I had children of my own I of course had to deal with these things, so I guess that was pay back time. When Charlotte gets sick I am the one who cleans up, certainly not DH! Why he even calls me to do it! (grrrrr) I hope you both get rest. I have pepto bismol in pill form for Charlotte. Always have these things on hand. I guess you will now!

Your talk of the items collected in your 'lab' made me laugh. Here we have about 5 pair of scissors which are all awful. They are all used for cutting food, string, wire, the dog's hair, my hair, and all other sorts of things imaginable (and not imaginable). My kitchen knives are all blunt and therefore dangerous. Even if I cared to have the right tool for the right purpose, how could I keep other paws away from them? It is hard to live with padlocks on everything.

It is a cold morning with confectioner's sugar sprinkled everywhere outside. DH is preparing for his hockey game.


Attached is an item I found interesting on continuing problems with FEMA.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 8:44AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hah ! I posted at 8:42 , Eden at 8:43 , and Marie at 8:44 !
How wierd is that ?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 8:58AM
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Ahh, my virtual friends, there is no rest for the wicked! I had Mum back in bed by 1AM, and the bedding washed and hung to dry a bit later. The poor thing was standing, dumbstruck (deer in the headlights), half asleep and not knowing what to do. I felt so sorry for her. After the second bout I opted to put her to bed without hooking into the night collection jug. That meant I had to to check her every 2 hours so the pouch didn't overfill... she slept like a baby... I was ridin' the couch, fitfully watching late night infomercials. The animals were terribly confused by the "disturbance in the force", sleeping assignments were muddled. I gave Mum some orange juice and some dry toast. She gamely consumed them... she's still sleeping, so I'm hopeful the crisis has passed.

I was pretty stern with her during the first bout, ordering to do what I said until we had "containment". Then we begand to laugh abut it... I put her slippers on her feet, a cozy cardigan over her shoulders and told her she was not to get off the commode or I'd turn her out on the streets. Then I sang her the silly song we used to chant on the schoolbus when I was about 7:
Diarrhoea, UH-UH, diarrhoea UH-UH!
Some people think it's funny,
But it's really brown and runny!
Diarrhoea UH-UH!
She was in hysterics, which of course, moved things along. I told her she would have to wear her underpants on her head if she soiled another pair... "Oh my! that's a thoroughly revolting thought, dear..." . If she didn't retain her sense of humor I don't think I'd be able to deal with this sort of thing. (I TOLD you it would be funny with some time). Thanks for the tip on the Potassium whatever it is, I'll ask for it today! After nearly 3 years taking care of Mum and learning the "hard way", I'm seriously entertaining the notion of a handbook for those who take a parent into their home for care. I think something humorous might be very useful as my own circumstances will become more common and entitlements are inevitably cut.

I dropped the helpmeet off at work and came home with two bundles of brush to start the windowboxes. It won't be enough, but it'll be a start. I have to wash the outside of the windows first, though. It's snowing and it's really very pretty. We shouldn't get more than a couple of inches, but there've been noises about more during the week. Just what I need with two junk cars that need to "go away" in the yahd... this will be funny in time, too. But right now it's a PITA. :)

OK, sleep deprived as I am, it's time to get crackin' on the windows, and keep an ear cocked for Her Highness in yonder chamber...

EP, I LOVE your coHnhusk nativity. It's just wonderful. So many warm, creative, supportive people on this forum... just blows my mind.

Martie, so sorry about your brother. Mental illness is such a cruel affliction. It must be excrutiating to know the frightening behaviors and cruel words are those of internal demons that keep the loving person you know in chains. (((hug))).

Marian, today will bring more good news for you. Please keep us updated on Tim, you're in my thoughts.

I have been wondering how Yeona is faring and how her sister is, too...

I'm dilly-dallying.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 9:14AM
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Good Morning!

Marian, So glad that Tim's problem was manageable! Sometimes the medical system in this country works well. It must have been quite a scare for you, and I'm so glad that you got good news quickly and could sleep last night. Is he at any risk of recurrence, and is there a known cause? Next time you're out do get a new bottle of wine and a corkscrew ;-)

It snowed just a touch here last night while I was sleeping but above freezing when I got up at AM so the ground is just wet. I think I've finished outdoor cleanup for the year. Just need to compost the pumpkins and get wreaths up. I was out most of yesterday and when I came home from a friend's last night the neighbor's house was lovely with white window candles and mine looked dark and dreary. I'm going to do the candles right after this post. Nothing will interrupt me this time!

EP, I always so enjoy your photos of things you and your husband have created. Everything is so personal and special. Wonderful memories and a wonderful legacy to your children and grandchildren.

Chelone, Rippie had the big D yesterday at an open house (yes, indoors.) He is so confident and energetic and happy at 'home' and gets nervous in other places. He is sensitive. Hope your mom is doing better today for both your sakes.

I see Jerri came out for a moment :-) Hi Jerri!

Give me courage. I always talk to my sister on Sundays. By the way, I don't drive up there. It's 8 hour trip without traffic! After 9/11 I drove up with a friend to avoid the airlines and it took 12 hours in holiday traffic. Then two hours from my sister's house to the Cape on Christmas day.I usually fly up Xmas Eve and back Christmas night. So have always minimized the away time, but this year I want to eliminate it! There was something else a few years ago that I didn't participate in, and it was awful. Sort of a
'choose your poison' kind of decision. Ackk. Things are going to be 'a bit bumpy' as Martie's mother would say :-)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 9:21AM
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PEDIALYTE!!!!!!! I called my pharmacist who has an awesome sense of humor, explained the situation of me being half brain dead this morning but really needing to get this off my mind. "You want to know what it is to tell a friend in Maine??? Well, it's you, Mart! Tell her any Rite Aid will have it!" Duty done.

Stock up on this stuff. It's basically Gatorade without the sugars and is known to "plug up" what ails folks rather quickly. Just don't give her banannas for a few days or you'll have the opposite problem :-)


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 10:02AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Hah ! I posted at 8:42 , Eden at 8:43 , and Marie at 8:44 !
How wierd is that ?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 10:04AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I lost my connection , and when I restarted this is what happened !

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 10:07AM
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Good morning. Thinking of everyone. Thanks for the comments on our creativity. Friends have taught me to do most of the things I enjoy. I learned to sew on my mother's treadle sewing machine using chicken feed sacks to practice and learned to crochet to use up the twine that used to be used to sew together the tops of produce sacks with a chain stitch that could be unraveled to save the twine intact. I would make dish clothes. When I was a child during WW 2 every scrap of everything was saved and reused whenever possible. Now, our daughters ask for dish clothes made of the pretty cotton yarns. The friend who taught me the corn husk doll making did it for income as her husband was disabled. Her husband helped. They could create a scene to depict just about anything the buyer requested. The husks need to be soaked for a few minutes to make them pliable. She would add a little glycerin to the water to facilitate softening the husks. They retain stiffness when dry. I incorporate other plant materials such as I used a mullien leaf for Joseph's cloak and some blades of our beautiful varigated cane for Mary's bodice. I've seen similar products made of raffia. Have found instructions on the internet. Meant to search for some to share but forgot. If I do it now would probably lose the post. For the hair, I use sewing thread wrapped around a cardboard, then tied and cut to desired legnth and glued on head with craft glue secured with a pin until dry. Raffia could also be used. Styrofoam balls are used as forms to drape the husks over to form the heads, then tie at the neck. Anything round and light would work. Husks are rolled and tied on ends to produce the arms and legs... light wieght wire or pipe cleaners inside can be used to make the limbs bend. Anyway.. it is fun to do... Don't mean to take up so much time explaining...I appreciate learning from all of you.Can relate to many of the experiences shared here thru either personal or nursing experiences. Sooner or later, enough is enough of anything unless one is doing it for income. Have a bag of yarn I need to focus on using up during the winter. I try to keep current reading the daily posts. EP

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 10:22AM
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Very poor quality, but sent a bunch of pics to my brother to cheer him up a bit. He called back to say it looks like a feathered Charlotte. Lucidity??? Thanks, Marie, for having such a wonderfully therapeutic dog :-)

BTW: Would it be considered rude in cat-owner-land to ask that the neighbors add bells to collars to forewarn the birds? The bluejays usually will gang up and get rid of them, but they got a goldfinch this morning and it just isn't fair.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 10:29AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

It is cold and snowing today. This yo-yo weather is so strange. I can't believe we had a couple days in the 60's last week.

So sorry for the troubles from yesterday and last night. Marian, I'm so glad Tim is doing better. Do you know what caused the clots??? That is really strange that someone his age would have that problem crop up out of the blue.

Chelone, oh dear... So sorry for your stressful night with your Mom. I can't imagine being in your shoes.

Sylvia, I did not receive any emails from you. Don't know what that is about. I've emailed this information to you but then after I did I wondered if you'd get an email from me if I wasn't getting any from you so I'm posting it here also. When I bring the fish in the house I put them in a large bucket with the pond water they've been in. Bring the bucket into the house and let it warm up to room temp for several hours until the bucket water is the same temp as the water they will be put into. Then I greadually take about a gallon of water out of the bucket and replace it with the water from the aquarium where they will be going into. Each time I give it fifteen minutes or so for the water change to go gradually. After doing this until I've changed out about half the water I net them and put them into their winter home. I don't have koi so my experience is for goldfish care. My goldfish are OK in my 150 gallon aquarium. Large koi don't do well indoors. I had a couple small koi indoors for a couple winters but one was taken by a heron and the other I gave to my DB when it got too large to bring in for the winter. I run two undergravel filters with power heads and two Aquaclear 500 box filters. Even with all this filtering I still need to change out 10% to 15% of the water twice a week to keep the water healthy for the fish.

I normally buy all my filtering material from Drs. Foster and

Koi and goldfish are cold water fish so you don't need to have an aquarium heater but they are 'dirty' fish and do need to have frequent water changes. Also pay attention to the PH of the water. You can get PH test strips and keep the PH from getting too acid. You can get product to raise the ph in the tank. The process of breaking waste product with nitrifying bacteria in the tank causes the ph to drop so you will need to pay attention to that. Also when your filtering system is just getting started you will have an ammonia spike in the tank within the first week and you should probably get a product called Amquel that neutralizes the ammonia. After the filters get working the good bacteria will turn the ammonia into nitites then into nitrogen which isn't harmful to the fish in smaller concentrations. YOu can get test kits to check the amounts of nitrite, nitrate and ammonia. I'd recommend getting a good basic book on keeping koi and goldfish in aquariums. HOpe all works out for the best.

Eileen, I thought the background in your photo from Hawaii looked familiar. Mauii is wonderful and we'd really like to get back there. It is hard to believe that it has been eight years since we've been there.

Cynthia, I hope your sister is understanding and that your conversation is not stressful. ~~ Sorry for Rippie's problem yesterday. jeeze... seems like problems cropping up everywhere. I hope this idyll isn't contagious like the one with the plumbing leaks.

OK I've got to get to the gym. I wasn't able to work out for the last couple days because I was coming down with a cold. Zicam to the rescue again. I simply cannot believe how well that stuff works for me. I started getting sick on Thursday and I'm better today. Incredible. I used to always be sick for a month any time I caught cold. Three days of a bit of coughing and a bit of sniffles is not bad.

Anyway, time to get back to my exercise.
Have a great Sunday all,

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 10:31AM
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Just after I posted the 'phone rang. It was the helpmeet who forgot totake his rain suit out to the car when I dropped him off, would I please bring it down? No problem, I'll be right along. YEAH, RIGHT. It's snowing here I didn't think much about it, I'm NOT a weenie about driving in crummy weather. Off I went, slowly, carefully, tested the brakes and slickness on a straight flat stretch of road. VERY slick. Slowed down some more. Even so, I came within a yard of a telephone pole, there was no steering out of the slide! barely made it up the hill and then down the other side without going off the road. I dropped off the clothing and took the long way home, still though, I never cracked 10 mph on our road and was still sliding around. There are cars off the road everywhere (mostly 4WD, lol)! I sat down to type here and my hands were still shaking... . I just called the helpmeet and if the roads don't see an improvement by late afternoon he will simply take one of the big dump body trucks home tonight. What would normally be 15-20 minute roundtrip took an hour.

Winter's here, friends! So "be careful out there!". Martie, I won't be sashaying on out for PEDIALYTE today, and weren't you a dear to get the info. for me. But the old girl (still sleeping) will be eating whole yoghurt (needs those beneficial bacteria!). I was worried she would wake up alone in the house; she really benefits from contact first thing and a strict routine.

Time to hang the first load of laundry, fire up the stove, and then get going on the windows... feel as though I've run a marathon already.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 10:32AM
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Here is a link for some simple basic instructions. Re the holiday travel, my feeling is if it is reinforcing or necesseary go but otherwise be true to one's self. Have learned from past experiences to have a credit card (even if it is never used for anything else) or some cash put aside and a car tank filled with fuel and air in the tires. That is always common sense but sometimes can be vital in unexpected situations. We prefer visits when there is not a challenge involved. When others work and are busy we try to respect the committments. Mothering or having a parent is a work of love and commitment with treasured moments for reinforcment. Have years of photo albums as testimony. Hope all will have pleasurable reinforcing moments. EP

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 10:55AM
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Sorry for the all caps - this is cut and paste from an email. Thought you would enjoy too ~

4. ADD 1

You should recognize the answer. Just silly. Isn't math fun? :-)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 4:07PM
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I washed the outside of all the roadside windows (8 double hung windows). Then I went out (on clean roads) to buy boxwood and cedar for the pediments. I need to smash the stems and get them soaking in water to condition them. I stuffed the 3 groundfloor windowboxes, using all the brush I brought home this morning and some I cut in and around the yard. No lights up yet. I'm hoping there will be more brush available when I pick up the helpmeet later on.

My hands are starting to warm up and I need to hang another load of laundry, fold the bedsheets, and put some things away. This little chicken is actually wishing she could tuck her head under her wing and nap for a bit...

Our cats do not wear collars, Martie, and I would not put a collar on them because a neighbor asked. Neither would I be offended by such a request, I would simply say, "No". We have a little under 3 acres and they are allowed to go out whenever they like, but are required to be in at night. Here's another take on the predator/prey thing. Most carnivores make several attempts before they actually make a kill. So it's not really unfair... the cat had to work pretty hard to get that goldfinch. And probably would be less successful if the birds weren't being lured to feeders in the first place. Don't get me wrong, we, too, feed the birds (Audubon counts them in our yard), and I hate seeing our's with a bird, but in the grand tally, birds account for a very small portion of what is left outside the slider at our home. Our cats fill a vital role here (they have a "job"), keeping the rodent population under control. Along with that comes the inevitability that they'll get an occasional bird, or be lost to a larger predator (Bobby Lee) or the road (Minnie). That's "life in the food chain". Many are aghast at our outlook; opinions are like noses, everybody has one.

Rex went to buy greens with me this afternoon. I asked the owner of the nursery if it would be OK to have him with me as long as he was leashed. Yeah, sure. I selected my items and was told he could go in with me when I paid. He did a very nice "sit/stay", but sort of lost it when the help began hovering emitting excited comments about his size, color, and mass. He did a magnificent "down/stay" and then rose to another "sit/stay" to earn a "cookie". It cracks me up that EVERYONE wants to touch him... there must be something about really big dogs, or maybe it's his brindle coat. But I sieze every opportunity to take him out in public and I so appreciate the people who are willing to "meet" him on MY terms; in a controlled atmosphere where he MUST obey me before there will be any contact. I get a lot of "hairy eyeballs" about that and it makes me self-conscious. But a lot of people tell me that THEY appreciate seeing a dog owner working hard to train their dog. I very much want to get him to a level where he could go visiting in hospitals/nursing homes. There is something about the combination of robust physical power and a gentle, loving/affectionate nature that enchants people when they meet him. I think he'd be a natural for such visits. But we have a ways to go before that goal will be attained!

OK, I have to deal with the laundry and then the greens. That's all there is to it.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 4:21PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Here's another Cynthia:


This is pretty neat.
It takes less than a minute .
Work this out as you read ...
Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out!
This is not one of those waste of time things, it's fun.

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate
(more than once but less than 10)

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

3. Add 5

4. Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1755 ....
If you haven't, add 1754.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number

The first digit of this was your original number
(i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

The next two numbers are

YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!)


Hi Sylvia! I was wondering where you've been. Deanne's given you very good instructions, so hope your fish do well inside.

EP, love the nativity scene.

Marian, so glad Tim is on the mend!

(((Marty))), hugs to you re your brother...

Chelone, been their done that with the kids. Thank goodness you and your mum both have a sense of humour about it. When my dad was in diapers in the hospital he was just mortified when the nurse asked me to leave so he could be 'changed'. It would have been more merciful if his stroke had left him unable to comprehend just how much he'd lost. Hope you both have a better night tonight.

2 and half hours into our 13th weekend of open house, and not a single person has shown, nor did anyone last weekend. I know, it's Christmas time.

Homographs for today?



I need chocolate now. Or wine. Or both! Be back when I'm more cheery...


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 4:30PM
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I just got back from a rare trip to the grocery store. Brad usually does it. I had decided I was in the mood to cook tonight. It was packed as was the parking lot. Now that I've got everything put away I'm too tired to cook and am seriously considering ordering a pizza, lol.

Taryn, it must be getting very discouraging for you. I sure wish that perfect buyer would come along pronto.

Deanne, you make me feel like a really bad fish caretaker. I just plop mine in the 30 gallon aquarium straight from the pond, change the filter once a week and feed them some goldfish flakes each evening during the winter. I always figured that since they're goldfish they can take about anything and I must have toughened mine up because they're on their 5th winter and still going strong. They're pretty big now, about 10" long and quite thick. My neighbor brings hers in and somehow kills them off every year and I always wonder how she does that?

Hi Sylvia, good to hear from you!

Chelone, going to have to agree to disagree on cats being allowed to roam freely on other people' s property. I just don't think that's responsible pet ownership. I don't think I should have to put up with my neighbor's cat under my birdfeeder or pooping in my gardens anymore than their dogs or children being obnoxious or destructive on my property. And I also think it's up to me to keep my pets as safe as possible. Just my opinion though...Glad you made it home safely today from your slippery trip and can't wait to see your decorations when you get them finished.

Marian, have you heard anymore on how Tim's doing? When I bought my wine this afternoon I thought of you and smiled.

I'm going to order that pizza now. Have a good evening everyone.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 5:21PM
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Marian, glad to hear the news about Tim. Will he have further tests to find the cause? I have a friend that has a blood abnormality that runs in their family. It causes blood clots. It is something that has just been discovered in recent years. They were all tested some have it and some have it in a different form.

One time DH and I had a bottle of wine at a motel and no corkscrew. We used a pocketknife to dig the cork out. There were some pieces of cork in the wine though.

Sylvia, good to see you back. Dont be a stranger.

Chelone, bummer about the poor night. I always have Pepto tablets in my purse. It sounds like lousy driving weather out there. Sorry you had such a miserable trip. I hope your DH makes it home OK

Fun math games Cynthia and Taryn. I'll have to print them out for DH's granddaughter, she's 8 and likes tricks.

Taryn, I just made mixed nut clusters (peanut clusters but with mixed nuts) I may eat my chocolate allottment for the whole week today.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 5:27PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Better late than I went outside today after the snow to see what I could find

Marian, glad to hear Tim is doing better.

Busy ordering online for my niece and nephew-I dislike most shopping (except home and garden) but I hate it even more in December, so online is perfect.

Was busy all last w/end at the Springfield, MA dog show and Oliver got his third "leg" and now has a AKC Novice Rally Obedience title! First of our breed to get it.

Happy anniversary EP!

Mary, wonderful news about Hawaii!!! We went there on our honeymoon in '88 and loved it. Traveled to Oahu, Maui then Kauai. Maui was my favorite-road to Hana and the 7 sacred pools, Haleakala volcano(great photo Deanne), and the Tropical plantation with the tour looking at fruit groves and restaurant. I think we hit almost all the botanical gardens on every island also, and I wasn't even a home gardener then.

Cynthia, I think I mentioned this before, but my CT friend who has my dogbreed also adopted a greyhound a few months ago who formerly raced at the CT racetrack. She loves her and she gets along with all of the other dogs. She traveled to MD the first w/end of October for some huge grey event.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 9:00PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Marian, I'm so glad everything worked out with Tim. One of my neighbors died from something similiar out of the blue a couple of years ago. She was only 51 so I guess being of a younger age doesn't protect you from these types of things. If you want to make room in your fridge BTW, toss out that 18 year old bottle of

Happy Sunday evening to you all! Winter seems to have arrived here-at least for the time being. We had a few inches of snow this morning and it never got warm enough to melt off. Tom and I took advantage of the situation and went to the mall this morning before the roads were fully cleared. For our efforts we were rewarded with a front parking space and minimal lines. I needed a short wool dress coat and was having no luck at the local discount stores. Filene's had sales and additional discounts so I was able to score an acceptable coat for 50% off. While there I also picked up some items for the giftbags I give my staff.

We solved the tree dilemna too. A piece of furniture got moved out to the screen porch and I was able to get the big tree up in the livingroom as usual. I decorated it this afternoon while playing Christmas CDs. It would all be good here now on the decorating front if my local nursery was selling the matching wreaths to the swags I get every year for the patio doors. I will now have to get creative and design something myself using a plain wreath. Since I don't feel particularly creative these days, I'm not looking forward to that project.

Despite the less than desireable weather I decided to take a stab at my walk this afternoon. Most people clear their sidewalks around town so I was pleasantly surprised and ended up hoofing for an hour and 20 minutes. I should have brought my camera-light snow, Christmas lights, quiet streets...despite the below freezing temps I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

How did the lunch go today, Martie?

I'm sitting here thinking garden fish should not be in my future since I just got all the dahlia and canna tubers out of the garage this weekend and still have a couple of rex begonias out there in need of repotting. Yesterday I cleaned up some of the curb garden but barely made a dent. For the first time in my gardening career I think I'm going to have to toss in the towel and wait til spring to finish the fall chores. Since I made the decision to get back into shape there just aren't enough hours in the week.

For some reason I'm really tired tonight. After my walk I had to drag myself through stretching and free weights. So I guess I'll close everything down and head up to bed.

Enjoy what's left of it.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 9:02PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

On the issue of cats and birds and bells:
I feel that since Chelone is on a 3 acre property the issue is not the same as on a smaller one. I too would hate to have neighbour cats and dogs on my property. They would affect more than my feelings about birds and my gardens- they'd bother Charlotte and me. Soooo, I'm really in no position to comment since I'm in the country and my cats are indoor animals. I love my birdfeeders and if a hawk grabs his lunch here it does upset me, but I understand too. I had a cat years ago who grabbed baby jays one by one from a nest. It made me sick and I could do nothing about it. It took me a long time to forgive him, but eventually I couldn't blame him, that's how he was wired. Bells don't really work though...I've used them to no avail.

This will now be a tough week for I may come blather and whine here...but hope to return to a more normal self soon folks.

Winter despair hit me suddenly and hard this year. I'm working on it. As for Taryn's chocolate game I want chocolate more than 10 times per week so couldn't take the test.

Today we set up our Fraser fir. It will be decorated by the French Club people on Friday night IF I can find all the decorations! I'll need to look up the French for: pinecone, bells, birdnest, angel, etc to share with them as well as copy some French carols to pass around. I also promised my vegetarian cheese/currant/carrot/onion/cheese phyllo casserole. The piano tuner returns for round two on Thursday. Gradually the appliances are getting back in shape which is a relief. (I was able to wear clean clothes today! The washer is fixed! The new toilet works! The tub drains!)

This has been all about me. I apologize and truly am thinking of my Idyll friends, one and all! You have so many gifts and talents! I mean YOU, no one excluded.


    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 10:44PM
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Hi Idylls!

Marie, I'm sorry to read that you are already feeling the 'winter blues', I've been fighting it too and have been a bit concerned since winter has just barely begun. I wish you the best and hope that you'll find things to lift your spirits often.

I was thankful to read that Tim was discharged and it sounds like he will recuperate fully.

Monique, congratulations to you, Les and Oliver!

We had the little guy yesterday and through the night. He had a cold and didn't sleep well. Poor little tyke.

I've enjoyed the sharing, the photos and I'm feeling sorry for those under the weather or dealing with illness (Chelone, I felt BAD for you and your mum!).

Sleep well......


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 12:03AM
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As promised, I'm back. I haven't been here at all since August, I think. It was at the time of Katrina, I think. It was nothing that was said here...You guys are terrific and I missed all of you. I suffer from inherited clinical depression and the events of the past year really brought me down. I feel I shouldn't complain because of the weather events that devastated so many poeple, but it's still been a rough time. My cousin was killed exactly a year ago today and then six months later my aunt and uncle died w/in two days of one another . They were like second parents to me and since they were childless, my cousin and I took care of them..And that cousin just built a home on a golf course in SC, so I won't be seeing her much. Then my pet problems seemed to magnify this year. First I had to put dear Emma to sleep even tho I was expecting 16 year old Louie to die for over a year. He's still here, thank heavens, but last month Emma's sister, Minnie died. And of course this horrid gardening year was a bust w/ NO rain from July to October. I was still watering until about two weeks ago..seriously..Then when I thought it was all over the large 1200 gallon pond developed a leak...DEANNE...Thanks so much for your advice. I'm scared now..sounds complicated. I have no idea why you didn't get my 2 emails. I didn't receive any from you either. I went to your garden web profile and clicked on email...This is the deal. Since all my birdbaths but one are shut down for the winter, animals come to the pond to drink. One knocked a big rock and it slid in the water and knocked the pump over. And the leak started. Luckily we removed all the fish and frogs today because husnand found the slit on the bottom. My gorgeous pond is a big dry hole now. He carried buckets and buckets of pond water down to our basement in the furnace room where the cats can't go. I borrowed my neighbors 4 by 6 by 1 foot kiddie pool and filled to the top w/ pond water. It was in the 40's and rose to 50 degrees.I hope it goes no further because I don't feed them at that temp.. The two koi who are 2and 1/2 feet long are in the small outside concrete pond along w/ many of their 2004 babies. It's crowded but they just hang on the bottom in the winter. But it got dark yesterday and there were two more of those 8 inch babies in there. He netted them today and then bailed the water real low to catch the 8 tiny babies who only equal one of the other fish. There are 10 in there w/ a pump w/ filter running. Do you think they need darkness? Unfortunately the light in that room is hardwired and so the pump and light are on at the same time. I think they need a period of darkness. I was hoping not to have to feed them. They are still acting like they did outside..not swimming but hovering on the bottom. I filled the 30 gallon aquarium too as well as two huge pails of pond water. We test w/ the strips in the summer but glad you reminded me to do it now as well. We get a lot from Foster/ stuff too. Good service. They will be here for 3 months because we fill the pond w/ well water but can't use the pump to the well till spring. It was traumatic finding my two big bull frogs and running thru the snow down to the small pond to drop them in. They went to the bottom . I hope this didn't upset their metabolism.... ..

I'm sure I have bored every one to death by now. I didn't mean for my first post to be all about me..but I guess it turned out that way....Marian..So happy Tim is okay. What a scare...Cynthia..I'm sure your sister will understand. We used to do a lot of traveling mostly on Xmas day. This was when my mother still lived in her home and we would go up and son and daughter separately would drive and it was stupid so now we stay put!!!..Chelone...Your mother sounds like she has a sense of humor...You're a good daughter. I'd like to think mine would do all that some day but kinda doubt it...I am going to agree w/ Eden on cats in my yard.. As one who has a houseful of cats..I do NOT like any in my yard. In fact one I have now came into my yard three years ago and I chased her. Then I saw altho real skinny, she was pregnant..I rethought and called her back and the rest is history. She is now fat w/ an even fatter lookalike tortie daughter..snug as two bugs in a rug in front of the woodstove. I will close this novel now. In those 3 and 1/2 months I only lurked once, so forgive me for not being "caught up"..But I remember that time reading about shoe sizes..The reason being all you bigfooted felt like a freak w/ my size 5 shoe size...Actually I wore that all my adult life but now more like 5 and 1/2 and a 6 in Nikes..and a real strange size in Birkenstocks!!!!Stay warm...Sylvia....PS Hope I dodn't put anyone to sleep...Thanks again Deanne..I'll keep you posted..

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 3:07AM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Belated Happy Birthday Mary. And congrats on your DH winning the trip to Hawaii. Say a prayer to Pele for me, lol. Do people still get colorful shirts and buy pooka shell necklaces in Hawaii? I hope you have a fantastic time.

Belated Happy Anniversary, EP. Your partner and you are an inspiration, with your staying power. As always really enjoyed your craftwork. To me that is the most wonderful thing, to be able to express yourself in crafts and art. I'm not very crafty myself, unfortunately, but greatly admire those who are.

Thanks for asking Chelone. My sister is now staying at my other sister's house. We're all waiting with bated breath for her meds to kick in. Of course our breath will be bated for another 3 weeks, as the meds take that long to kick in. I've been trying not to be depressed about the situation, but it's hard to keep an even keel about things.

Sorry about the struggles with your mum, and her confusion, and er well, politely, stomach upset. I hope you're finished with that for a while. I'm glad you've seen some improvement with her cognitive responses. Raising family never seems to end, whether it's children, sisters, mothers, fathers, (yucky to some) dogs, or great cats. We all seem to end up the middle of a sandwich, for a while, especially if we're not prepared, lol. Gaelic shrug. Life is about loving and learning after, all.

(((((Marian))))). I'm so glad for you that Tim is home. The shots sound painful, but I'm glad he's there to have them. I'm still sending healing thoughts and prayers his way. I hope he comes out with a clean bill of health quickly.

Martie I'll see Taryn's hugs for you re your brother and raise them by ten. I'm glad he had a few moments of lucidity. Very hard on parents and sibs to cope with mental illness. We all hope for the best for loved ones, but it hurts when the best, and safest is being locked away from harm, theirs and others'.

Deanne I just wanted to say you are my poster woman for when I go to the Y and add more time on the stairmaster and add on more weights. Thanks for continuing to inspire. Is your thyroid under control with meds now, again? I hope so. How's the cals increase going for you? I'm glad you have exercise and nutritionist guys to talk to, to help you with your goals. I love that about the Y. There are people there to help us set our weight program and guide us in our cardio stuff. It's a great facility and it's even got ping pong. I love ping pong.

Taryn I'm glad you and Glenn are turning over a new leaf. Tough to do, but if it works, life can be very good. Thinking good thoughts about the house situation still.

Hi to everyone else. I hope you know I just don't have the time I used to have, but think fondly of you all, even if I don't write.

Take care all,


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 4:28AM
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This will be relatively quick. Mum is up, dressed, I hear her performing her "Toilette" and her breakfast is on the table awaiting her arrival. No sound from the helpmeet, though... who is supposed to drive me to work this morning. Perhaps I'll just take the car and he can have is brother drop him there later on to claim it.

Monique, I have missed the Oliver and Obedience work story; but I'm all ears. Would you please fill me in on his breed and how long you've been working with him?

This is going to busy week for me, too. I HAVE to get a car (still not jazzed about anything, but then cars don't mean that much to me, anyway!), and get "the lab." cleaned up. I need to finish the windowboxes and get the lights on them. I need to follow up on the car donation thing today. Get the bills paid. All that sort of jazz.

I'm amazed to learn just how many people are hit with seasonal blues. For years and years I thought it was just me! Hang in there, Yeona, I remember it took Mum fully 3 weeks to see a benefit from the Zoloft, and the waiting was just dreadful. It was like living with a 84 lb. ghost... she would drift around the house, not getting dressed or doing ANYTHING, getting her to eat was a major affair. Then one day, she got up and got dressed. A few days later she announced she was hungry. After that, she was horrified by how unkempt her hair and nails looked... . Zoloft spared me the commission of a felony, lol.

I really have to go now. Carry on my faraway friends!

bell-la cloche
angel-un ange
je ne sais pas les autres!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 6:03AM
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Good sparkly morning. The sun is just trying to rise and with the snow still on the trees, the woods are all a-glitter. My mood has gotten considerably better in just these few minutes.

Brunch was wonderful. I was a bit apprehensive about the people mix, but step-daughter's (Jen) mother-in-law whom I had met via their wedding but not much else, was a blast to be around. She, too, is a gardener and we posted some stuff while she was here so that she could see how forums work. Try the Chutney Recipe!! It is so simple and was a hit. Thanks, again, Marian! Both Rich's said it was a great birthday for them and, given that, I would deem the day a success.

In reading about depression and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) it heartens me to know that the world is FINALLY talking about it. It is estimated that up to 80% of humans suffer some physiologic form of depression. In the winter, in addition to my regular stuff, I eat a lot of Vit C and take supplemental Vit D to combat the "dark." When it hits, it hits hard, though, and half the battle is recognizing that there is a problem. Brother is on the down side of his roller coaster and needed to be restrained just as I was serving dessert yesterday afternoon. Blessings that he is there and not in the community.

Thanks for the input on cats and bells.

Hope everyone's cars, kids, relationships, pets (including fish), jobs and homes stay on the level today. For me, I'll be in training all day (advanced marketing research so it Might be fun) and haven't been in a conference room for 8 hours in several years. My mantra for the day: The Clients Will Like What I Learn ....

Best to all -- sparkles abound!


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 7:08AM
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Another really cold day here. Looking at the 15 day forecast it looks like that trend will continue. Now more days in the 40s or 50s in store for us for quite awhile I'm afraid. We'll be lucky to get into the 30's here. The next 3 months will be hibernation time for me. I'll stay in as much as possible and get all those indoor projects that I don't have time for during gardening season finished. That's the plan at least. It sounds good on paper, lol. I have painting to do, seeds to start and a whole garden in the basement that needs attending to. Also a stack of books to read, gardens to design and a sweet little baby to play with. Yesterday I got a couple of Christmas cds, Handel's Messiah and Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty Ballets, both done by the London Philharmonic. I put them both on last night while I was doing things around the house and really enjoyed them.

I hope everyone here who's feeling down these days finds something to cheer them today. I've got to go outside and help David move cars around in the driveway so he can be off to school now. Brrrrrrrr! Make it a great day everyone! Eden

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 7:38AM
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I just ran across this in my email and thought I would share it here...

What's Right

Think about what's right with life. Think about the good and valuable things that you sometimes forget to even notice.

Think about the positive possibilities that are real and present in this very moment. Think about all the worthwhile things you can do with this day that is yours right now.

Think of how you can take action and cause good things to happen. Think of how you can set an ambitious goal and work with persistence to reach it.

Think of all the good people who quietly and reliably work to make this world a better place. Think of how great you feel when you give of yourself to others.

Think of the opportunities you have to live a life that is filled with richness. Think of how fortunate you are to be able to experience and appreciate the beauty in this world.

Think about what's right, what's good, what's valuable and fulfilling. For the more you focus your thoughts on the good things, the more abundant they will become.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 7:59AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning,

Martie, I need some of your 'get up and go' this morning. I've got to get cracking and get a magazine article done today and I can't seem to pick up my brushes. No sparkles here as the sun still hasn't come up yet. ~~ So sorry about your brother. It is heartbreaking and there is nothing you can do to fix it. I know the feeling.

Sylvia, Can you keep that indoor pool for the fish pretty cold? That will keep them dormant so you don't have to feed. I'd recommend you getting a book with more detailed information than I gave you on keeping your water quality in good shape for the fish. I'd be particularly concerned about water changes over the winter to keep it healthy for them. Also be aware of the whole ammonia spike thing that happens to a new tank set up.

Eden that is probably why your neighbor loses her fish. The ammonia levels can get to lethal levels before the bio-filters kick in and start working well. You are right, goldfish are pretty hardy souls but they can only take so much ammonia in the tank. They can also get sick from the ph dropping too low.

Yeona, nice to hear from you and thanks! The calorie increase didn't do anything but make the scale start upwards again so I've nixed that idea and cut back again to 1,500 cal per day. My blood work came back and said my thyroid levels were normal but that has happened every time they are low, they wind up being right on the border line of normal/low. Ive got to make an appointment and discuss things with the doc again.

Monique, congratulations to you and Oliver. That is a terrific accomplishment. You must be so happy. ~~ I can't believe you still have a flower to photograph outside. All is frozen here now.

Sue, your walk sounds like it was fun. I agree about the time it takes to stay fit. Some things have to go. I never finished my fall cleanup here either and it just is going to have to wait for spring. Que sera sera...

OK must run and get to work. Have a great day everyone.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 8:05AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

We've gone into the deep freeze this morning at -2F. Someone told me that it's a record low temperature. I don't recall it ever getting below zero this early in December.

Yesterday is being erased from record. It was NOT a good day. I hit my husband's car. :( :( :(

At least he was nice and hugged me and told me it could be fixed. There's a triangular piece of the front fender that's no longer there. Since it's a plastic body, the piece cracked right off, so there isn't a dent to pull out, just a hole in a piece of the car. Can't wait to find out what that will cost to replace. :(

But since yesterday really didn't happen, let's talk about Saturday. DD and I went into Chicago to the "One of a Kind" show and sale - think craft fair big city style. I had two free passes so the admission price was right. It was an interesting show because of the wide price range of the items on display. Everything from serious art at serious prices down to fun rings, earrings, notecards. And they had some very pleasant live music. We bought a little jewelry and I got a cute litte item for a future hostess gift ( so I won't be dusting off a bottle of wine at the last second!)

After the show, we went to lunch at an Italian restaurant. DD has to do a restaurant review for an English class writing assignment, so she photographed everything we were served and made lots of notes. We had a pleasant ride home until we were 10 miles from home and found the snowstorm. That last 10 miles was just a little tricky, but we made it safely.

Sylvia, glad to see you posting again. I can't offer you any fish advice but I can wish you best of luck with them!

Martie, glad to hear the brunch went well. I had an uncle who had an undiagnosed mental illness and was an alcoholic to boot. He could be a wonderful man at times, but he also ruined many a family gathering with his rantings. One of my cousins who was a policeman had to remove the uncle from my brother's wedding, and thank heavens Joe was willing and able to do that! DH was upset with me once when I refused to invite my uncle to a family gathering because my uncle was in one of his heavy drinking cycles, but I held my ground and insisted I had seen too many bad scenes in my lifetime and I didn't need to inflict that on my kids. I think some folks who have not gone through this don't understand just how difficult it can be when you are holding your breath all day, hoping that no one says the one innocuous thing that sets off the person off.

Deanne, back to your brushes right now, girl!

Eden, I emailed your "What's Right" to a friend of mine who is having a hard time staying positive right now.

Cynthia, the math trick is fun!

This post has been sitting here for a while so I'd better post it before I lose it. Stay warm!


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 10:07AM
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Can you see my eyeballs zinging around in their sockets?

: )

I'm so way behind I don't know what I've read! I am missing info on the new leaf Taryn & Glen are turning,and what has happened to Yeona's sounds like she's battling depression?Hugs to you-I've missed you. I also didn't catch that Mary(her DH?)won a trip!....ugh I'm not being a good idyller.sorry.

Sylvia with all that you've endured it's a hard road coming back from family loss and dealing with depression. I hope day by day you find yourself inching back to all that you enjoy. Keep plugging away.

My heart also goes out to you Martie with what your brother is going through. The holidays really are hard even for those who aren't having serious issues so I can only imagine what it's like dealing with his situation.

Yikes and I wasn't here when Marian needed me most-for uncorking her bottle of vinegar!(lol) Michelle had a good idea-I've used that one. I suppose if you have a drill you could drill a hole into the cork...where there's a will there's a way. ANyway-I'm mostly glad that you don't need the wine now-good that Tim is doing better. How scarey though especially when you couldn't just hop in the car to be biggest suggestion is to spring for the new bottle of wine even if it's a twist-off cap; )...get a corkscrew too lol. We've corrupted Marian!

Chelone hope your mom's fine now-that isn't fun by any stretch of the imagination.
I can't even remember what you asked me back an idyll ago. I will only be doing the construction part-the pattern maker cuts out the garment and I just zip the things together.

Everyone pause now and digest this....MY HOUSE IS CLEAN. ; ) All four of us cleaned like fiends on Fri. night-both boys cleaned their room and I even could see FLOOR in there. The party was nice. The turkey (if I do say so myself) was succulent. I may ditch traditional roasted turkey from now on. Marinating the cut up turkey made it SO juicy my mom is still talking about it days later. Eden yes,I have a pic of the cake which I'll try to get up soonish.

Busy day/week. After school today we have to take the tree we cut for my mom to her house. We put our Norweigian spruce up yesterday and we got her a Canaan(sp) Fir. Tomorrow Aj has a band practice for a band festival concert and it's two hours long,He's got no school though so he's happy. I imagine myself a puddle of tears on Sat. for his first concert. First because beginners sound so cute with the squeaks and dissonant intonation but also I so wish his musical grandpa was with us physically to enjoy Aj's accomplishment.Must not wear mascara that day.

I'm hoping I haven't broken my toe! I think because I'm not sure it means I probably haven't. A music cabinet door fell square across my toe knuckles(good term eh?)when I was cleaning before the party. I have a black toe. Now I can't do my power walking for the next couple days-I was hoofing out two miles at a shot too. When the snow gets too deep I'll likely start back on the bike trainer(walking's more fun)

Because I cleaned so much I haven't been able to find a *thing* around here: )

HI to Michelle,Taryn,Deanne,Ep...well everybody.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 10:32AM
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Good Monday to all...

Dear little tyke 'fixed' Gramps' alarm clock and Gramps woke 2 hours after he should have been to work. Oops!

The day holds has to get better, right?


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 10:44AM
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I like 'What's right.' Think that's why I'm stupid happy most of the time, even though winter can be a notch down on the scale. Who doesn't prefer sun and warmth to chill and darkness? But there's so much richness in life that you can hand to yourself just by recognizing the mundane as a privilege. And there are always opportunties to change things (not just 'our' things) for the better.

So Chelone, when did cars become part of the food chain???Knowing I can't change you :-) but wishing your cats long lives free of poison, cars, and wild animals.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 10:55AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

The sentiments of Eden's 'What's Right' don't work for me. This depressed person cannot make that work. It looks like idiocy to me, sorry. The bad so far outweighs the good that I hardly recognize good. I feel a part of the bad. Ignoring the evils and walking around chirping seems lunacy. I'll get over it, partly. But it will return.

Here's an amazing show. It takes forever to load for me here in the boonies, but may not for you. Patience. Don't have the volume at off- nor at high!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 11:35AM
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janie_on(z6a Ontario)

was I missed? has gotten horribly busy here. I changed my shift for last week and got absolutely nothing done. BUT my shopping for Christmas is almost done!!

Quick post but I just wanted to say to mom had the same clots in her lungs. They developed about 5 years ago after many repeated bouts with pneumonia. She ended up in the hospital for about a month and we were very scared as mom was a horrible shade of purple. Now, we must be really careful that we stay far away when we have colds and she isnt allowed to get over-tired. Mom was back in the hospital last Christmas for 2 weeks again. She takes anti-clotting meds .and that is fun stuff too.

Anyhow, I gotta fly..time for a walk around the block with Holly! Besides, my computer is on the fritz!

Hugs to all!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 12:31PM
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My holiday homograph: stocking

If you're a Harry Potter fan you might be ale to figure out this cake sports a magic wand-chocolate of course; ) and the red swirling is a spell(according to AJ). Where did I get a chocolate wand? I made it! Foil and a wooden spoon handle shaped the form and melted chocolate chips poured into the form makes a nifty wand. I've found the right shade of purple is difficult to make with ordinary food coloring but black cherry Kool-aid works pretty well and it makes the frosting taste fun.

Marie I think you NEED a piece of this

Good to see you again Jane.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 1:20PM
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Babs, What a cool cake. Your are SOOOOO creative. How did you think of all those creative touches down to making the frosting color with the KoolAid. I'm impressed.

Hi Jane, How's Holly settling in? Glad you found time to check in.

If anyone's interested in an Isabella overdose I'm posting a link to the proofs of her Christmas pictures below.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 1:27PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)


V, thanks for reminding me. OK Ill get back to the brushes as soon as I post this. Te he. ~~ Bummer about the car but neat that you had a great day with DD.~~ Please come and help me clean my house as the cleaning desire has completely abandoned me and I need to get things in shape here.

T,,, Oh dear about Gramps alarm clock. I hate it when things like that happen. Hope the rest of the day is better.

Eden, I like to try to focus on the positive and deemphasize the negative. Im not always successful but I do try. I like your Whats Right post. Thanks. ~~ Those pics of Bella are as cute as it gets. I love her expression in the first one.

Hi Babs!!! How terrific to hear from you. I love your cake! You always have so much creativity in everything you do. Thanks for posting the pic. ~~ Did you have any problems over who was going to get the magic wand??~~ You can come and help V clean my house too LOL

Jane, great to hear from you.

OK V, Im off to exercise my brushes.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 1:50PM
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It's a cold day here in PA, and more snow tonight..More later but this is for Deanne since we can't seem to trade emails...Do you really think I'll get an ammonia spike since nothing has changed except their location? All the water in the pool is the pond water they came from ,and I have more to add. They are acting dormant. It's very cool down there and the water temp is 50. I had a real tragedy last night which exacerbated my anxiety. I periodically went to basement to check them using a flashlight since I didn't want to whip on the big over head light on them. I saw my favorite of my 2004 babies..Little Pinky(her mother is my favorite big one..Big Pinky) laying out of the pool on the floor. I haven't a clue how long she was there but I almost discarded her body but put her back in the water. I saw brief gill movement and began uprighting her and "swinmming" her around the pool. The others flocked around her. She tipped upside down and I'd repeat the "swimming". I didn't go to bed till almost 5 because I made 8 trips down and this morning she was still alive"hanging w/ the others. Koi are jumpers altho I never had one do it before. This baby eats from my hand and lets me pet her like her mother does. Others aren't as tame. Vic is down rigging a light thing up w/ extension so I can give them darkness for 8 hours and still keep pump running. he's also rigging up a net over the pool....More later...Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 2:36PM
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Eden, the pictures of Bella are absolutely adorable.

Babs, the cake is very cool.

V, we are in the deep freeze too.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 4:38PM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Hi everyone

Can't stay to chat as I have to lead a Cub Scout meeting tonight (the boys are making a bird feeder from a soda bottle and garlands of cranberries and popcorn).

Just wanted to throw an idea out for Sylvia and wish her luck with her fish. A local water garden center here breed Koi and they board fish for owners who are away (in their tanks an ponds). Would this be a possibility in your area? Otherwise it sounds as if you are doing the best you can - I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.

Babs - fantastic cake!!

GB - thanks for the FEMA link. You sound very down at the moment, I wish there were an answer to feeling depressed. I'm sending you the biggest hug.

Marian , so glad Tim is doing better.

V - bummer on the car. I did the same thing myself, a tiny bump getting out of the garage, but hundreds of dollars to fix. Glad your DH is so understanding - mine was too.

Gotta fly, waving to everyone else.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 5:50PM
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I love the colors on that cake Babs. You are just a well-spring of creativity :-)

Eden, my favorite Bella photo from the proofs is the one with the profile of her chubby cheek and no sign of a nose. They're all wonderful, but that's my fav.

GB, Sorry you're feeling down. Maybe the french tree trimming party will give you a lift? I agree, we can't ignore evil, but important not to ignore good things either.

V, did you exchange drivers licenses with your husband or just hugs :-) Bummer!

Yes, Janie of course we missed you. Hope you're enjoying that garage assuming that you have snow now?

It's snowing here, and there were too many 'shakes' to do much walking with the dogs tonight. With three of them it was constant stop and shake and not much 'go go go.'

Sparkles to you too Martie - I like that ! Hope your class was worthwhile.

Deanne, I've missed what you're working on at the moment. Always enjoy looking at your work in progress - if you get a chance to share.

Ok - I have the Chiltern's catalogue to enjoy.... and a warm bath. And yes, I did get all of the candles in the windows yesterday just in time for snow! It was pretty to be outdoors tonight.

Hi to everyone that I've missed! Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 6:23PM
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Cake... a subject near and dear to my heart. Above all else I prize "baked goods" as the most sumptuous of treats. It doesn't matter how great the cake LOOKS (and your's looks great, Babs.!), it's the TASTE that matters. I want to hear about the frosting... buttercream? ;)

I called the insurance company and the now defunct Taurus is off the policy. I have retained the registration to redeem the "unused" portion of it for the "new" car. (I'm so "tight" I squeak when I move). The auction is tomorrow and I'm hoping my "broker" will turn up something decent for short dough. No call from the donation site today. If there is nothing by tomorrow afternoon I will call the toll-free # and take agressive strides to get the parking area cleared out... snow season is coming. :/

Have all but one windowbox filled with greens. I'll do the last one tomorrow afternoon. I still have to get the greens for the pediments into some water and "conditioned" before the assembly of the pediments. BUT, the helpmeet didn't drag out the frames, so I'm not feeling too guilty today.

Ahh, Cynthia, I AM incorrigable. I really like being outdoors and having "the pride" gravitate to my side. Within minutes of pulling into the driveway any kitty who happens to be outdoors magically appears to greet me. I really like that. I also like seeing 2-4 voles outside the doors to the house. I really "dig" calling "kitty, kitty, kitty... where are Mummy's kitty-kitty-kitties?" in a sing-song lilt and having them come running within minutes. None of our neighbors have ever complained and I've thought it was pretty cool that a neighbor's cat (Elvis) came over and rubbed against me while I was gardening one day. I was stunned to find a "strange" kitty next to me... but he became a regular, too. I was sad when he relocated to Cumberland. I guess I'm OK with cats, dogs (even though I hate them), kids (hate them, too) in my yard. Cars are part of the "food chain", too... the mechanized one, it's nice to know there's another smart-a-- out there...

'bug, this is a technical question. I was thinking about negations in French while I was working. I have a dim recollection that whenever a negation is used the plural is dropped in favor of the singular. I posted, "Je ne sais pas LES autres."... but reflection makes me think I ought to have posted, "Je ne sais pas L'autre." Could you offer your insight, please? I also want to know "pinecone" and "bird's nest"! Aides-moi, s'il te plait.

After dinner I have to spend some time in "the lab.", cleaning.

Oh! I received the call that the mantel is ready to be picked up!!! I am so excited. It will really be the last detail to finish the chimney. After that, it will simply be a question of hanging the artwork and "accessorizing"... . I'll put up some pictures when it's done, PROMISE (you had doubts?).

Later, dudettes...

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 6:42PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Evening all .

Latest reports from Tim is that he is apparently doing okay .I had the shot giving wrong . It is every 12 hours , for 5 days . The home care person didn't show this morning ! He was supposed to be supervised on the injection . He went ahead and 'played it by ear ' . He was waiting to hear from the doctors ...both the 'family' dr. and the heart dr. , and planned on going in to work . ( I hope he didn't . It's an hours drive just to get there . )
Thanks again to all for your good thoughts and prayers .

LOL , Babs ! Yes , where were you when I needed you ? LOL , again ..." We've corrupted Marian " ! Nah , it's okay to take a little wine for infirmities . Could I use my 'vinegar ' for cooking ?

I went to the funeral of the 32 year old this morning . It wasn't a sad event . She is now free of her afflictions .

The wintry precip is in our forecast for Wednesday .Low tonight to be around 14F. I'll have to keep the home fires going at a good pace . Sweats feel good in bed !

Sorry about the setbacks some of you are suffering . This is a bad time of the year for many . Marie , I am espacially sorry for your depression . I hope you can keep your thoughts on good things .

It seemed like there was a lot of disgruntled people in town today . I went to 3 differant stores , and didn't see much 'good will' . For a small town , the traffic was horrendous . I would like to not return until after the first of the year .

I don't remember if I mentioned that my only brother was being treated for cancer . He has been given a clean bill of health . I am very thankful for that . ( He lives in Portland , Oregon . )


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 6:54PM
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Good Evening, It's so quiet here tonight. I'm all alone and loving it. The house is clean, the laundry done and I'm considering cracking open a bottle of chardonnay, on a Monday yet, and just sitting and enjoying the Christmas lights and music.

Marian, I'm so glad Tim's doing ok. Also that's great news about your brother. I'm with you on not going out until January. What ever happened to peace on earth, goodwill toward men?

Cynthia, I like that picture of Bella too. I meant to mention that the red dress with the lace color that she has on in some of the pictures was my oldest daughter, Jenni's, first Christmas dress 26 years ago. My mom made it. Thanks for the nice comments Deanne and Michelle too.

Mary, when I was a Girl Scout leader we decorated a tree for the birds at Christmas time. It was lots of fun. Have fun with the Cubs tonight.

V, what a bummer about the your little accident. At least hoping that it turns out to be little. When David first got his license, I was backing out one car so he could get his out of the driveway and I had to stop because a car was coming down the street. He wasn't looking at all and backed right into me. The horn on my car wasn't working and there was nothing I could do but sit there and let him hit me. I guess home car wrecks are more common than one would think.

I'm going to go and enjoy my solitude now. Hope you're all having a nice evening too.


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 7:24PM
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Most likely won't be having a lot to comment about . Oklahoma cold and dry. Our (big) 'little darlings', near and far, have their trees up and doing thier best to become healthy, wealthy(?), and wise. I'll be snuggled up (somewhere) with yarn, paint, cloth and thread, a book , or Partner. If I'm not 'visible it don't mean I'm not lurking so y'all behave. EP

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 7:32PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I forgot to comment on the 'cats in other folk's yards ' . I have never had any problem with that , except when it is a tom cat that choses to attack our cats . Our 2 house cats are former 'neighborhood' cats . I am so proud to now own them , espacially Tommy . I have had much more problems with dogs , and children (Me too , Chelone ) . I even had a problem with a pet rooster !! lol .
Of course we now live on our own 20 acres , but we lived in town several years . It was there that we had the most dog and child problems . Now it is racoons , deer , armadillos , opossums , etc. etc . Either you learn to live with them , or you rant and rave all the time ! I prefer to live with them . By the way , the raccoons get more birds than any cat , and so do some predatory birds . Some of the guilty birds are not ones you would think of . Snakes get a lot of birds , also . It is a cruel world out there !


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 7:38PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Chelone-"Je ne sais pas LES autres."... but reflection makes me think I ought to have posted, "Je ne sais pas L'autre." Could you offer your insight, please? I also want to know "pinecone" and "bird's nest"! Aides-moi, s'il te plait.

Both phrases make sense. 'Les autres' for more than one, 'l'autre' for singular.
nest is 'nid'
evergreen tree is 'sapin'
You see, I'm fudging because I don't remember.
When you give a command, the final 's' usually disappears. So "Aide moi" would be fine.

I don't seem to have any of my text books. All my dictionaries are French only. Maybe I should remedy the situation soon, unless Google has a translation system to offer.

Marian, I do remember worrying about your brother. Amazing that he has done so well so quickly! Good going! As for good thoughts, there are of course some, but I'd feel very badly if I ignored the difficult subjects that need addressing. (I've already wolfed down three pieces of AJ's birthday cake!!!!What I want to know Babs is how did you arrange the zillion red at a time by hand?)

Mary, RIT phone interviews this week...and maybe more later. I suspect not much will come of it, but we could be neighbours, you never know.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 8:13PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I forgot to tell you , Babs ....that is a very 'neat' and lovely cake !

Marie , yes , I agree , there are lots of difficult subjects that need addressing . Many of them can not be mentioned here . I agree wholeheartedly , "Ignoring the evils and walking around chirping seems lunacy " . It's like the perverbial ostrich burying it's head in the sand . It would be good if we could face them all , and conquer them , but many will never be conquered .It's rather like the wild beasts that surround us here , you have to learn to live with them . Good and bad comes and goes , I just pray that the good will overshadow the bad , but then ...I believe that eventually the good will prevail .
I am sending hugs your way .

Sorry about the various car woes . Chelone , you have the same attitude about cars as I do . Mine came through a car auction . In 8 more months it will be paid for , and I hope it lasts a good many more years . It's not a fancy , rich person's car , but it fits in with the average person's around here .


    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 8:39PM
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My ancient Larousse provides the translation pomme de pin.

Bird's nest has to be nid d'oiseau...

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 8:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Merci Blue Bird. Come visit us here 'at our feeder' more often!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 9:04PM
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'bug, when you post vocabulary please make sure you include the gender.

"Nid", c'est masculine ou feminine? et "sapin"? Je n'ai pas d'une dictionnaire... aidE-moi, s'il te plait.

"Pomme de pin", ahhh.. c'est ca.

Merci beaucoup, Bluebird! :) (I LOVE French, it's such a pretty language).

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 9:25PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Un nid
Un sapin

'Mon Beau Sapin' est une chanson que nous chanterons pour Noël ce vendredi soir. [Chelone will translate that for you I think. ;-)]

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 9:47PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Hi Guys! I'll have to keep this brief as I'm going to bed, but wanted to check in to see how Marian's Tim is doing (glad to hear he's doing okay)and that I'm so flattered about you having me on your screen, Marian!:-) Some day someone will have to tell me how to do that. Oh, and wanted to tell Babs I *loved* her cake! And Deanne your card to EP is just stunning! And I'm still not 100% certain that that is a painting and not a photo! You are *so* talented! And to tell Chelone how much I admire her spirit and her humor! And to say Hi to Yeona and to tell her she is in my thoughts. And to tell GB how I loved the music/light show and to tell everyone how much I enjoyed reading everything they have to share.

Stuff going on here with mom that I don't want to get into, but I'm sure it will all work out, so no worries. Just may take me a few days to get back here. In the meantime I'm thinking of you all.

Oh, also wanted to mention a movie I just saw the other day...March of the was *so* beautiful! The nature photography was fantastic (I have to admit I was especially thinking of Deanne, Babs, and GB when I saw that photography). I was thinking how good you guys would be at that and wouldn't that be a fun life? Anyway, it was a fascinating story about their trek and I was so touched by the tenderness and affection the males and females show each other during courtship! :-) And the penguins are *gorgeous*...the white of their fur? skin? is pearlized and just glistens. Definitely worth a couple hours of my life to watch that! :-)

Well, I gotta go...have a wonderful night all...
Oh and P.S. Taryn I loved your Balsam that also called Touch Me Not? I think I had that once (not varigated like yours), but I remember how fun it was to touch the seed pods and watch them burst! :-) Oh...and two more things...EP your corn husks dolls are just beautiful. Admire how you find so many creative and crafty ways to wile away the hours...good for you! :-) And Mary, in my excitement over your trip to Hawaii, I forgot to say Congratulations to hubby on winning the prize! You all must be very proud and excited. Will you be able to share the pic with us sometime?

Okay, forgot one more thing..."Hi Lily" good to see you, but sorry to hear about the pond. And Martie...thinking of you too and wishing good things for your brother.

Okay, gotta go now...Good Night All! Ei

Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Stars shinin' bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you"
Birds singin' in the sycamore trees
Dream a little dream of me

Say "nightie night" and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars fading but I linger longer
Still craving your kiss
I'm longin' to linger together
Just sayin' this...

Sweet dreams till someone finds you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

    Bookmark   December 5, 2005 at 11:40PM
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Seems like the deep freeze has hit us all altho we aren't too cold yet...about 32 now. But for awhile that will be the high for the day, so winter came quickly. I think it was just last week that one day it was almost 70...Does anyone think that this was the freakiest weather year ever???There is still a hurricane out there and I forget the number but it long ago broke the record...We didn't get the snow tonight that was predicted..I am not in a holiday mood this year and am not doing my usual newsy thing I send w/ a family picture. Figured it would make everyone as depressed as I am reading it....
Babs..What a delightful cake..Too pretty to eat..
EP..Your cornhusk creations are quite good. I took a class once w/ a neighbor and I must say I was a tad slow in getting the drift. I did manage to make two which I still have. The stupid thing I did was cut up my daughter's smocked dress for the fabric..~~
The fish situation will drive me bonkers. It's a little ironic that I will eat grilled salmon for dinner and then stay up till 5 AM to try and revive a baby koi...You need to have them to know how attached you can become to a fish. They are clowns in the water..distructive to plants but fun. I really hope I can keep them for 3 months . I have the window open in that room to keep it cold, and he rigged up an extension cord so I can turn off the light and not turn off the pump which can't stop running. It pumps 250 gallons a hour thru a filter. I'm getting too old for all this nonsense..time to downsize.......Time to go..Phoebe is walking the keyboard...Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 2:59AM
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"My Beautiful Evergreen" is a song for Christmas we will sing on Friday evening." Oh, I miss being able to speak French! it's such fun to work at it.

Years ago, I worked in a store and there was a charming Italian couple shopping. I asked if I could help them... nervously, they waved their hands, "No English". I smiled at them and asked, "Parlez vous Francais?". BIG smiles, and enthusiastic nods... . I didn't have what she wanted but I knew exactly where to send her to find it. Language shrinks the world and make it a warmer, friendlier place. Sigh.

I hope Tim is doing well, too. Is he injecting a blood thinner, or what, Marian? and he has to do that for how many days?

I want to enlist your good thoughts today... I'm really very tired of not having my own car (how spoiled am I?!), the logistics of two working people and one set of wheels is tiring. :) Mostly, though, I just want to get this problem solved and the junker out of the yard. It's getting "old", if you know what I mean.

I'm running a little late this morning. Don't you hate it when you oversleep? always makes me tense. Anyway, I've simply decided to proceed at my usual pace and get to work a little late. This was urostomy change morning and that eats up my few moments of "alone time" in the morning. I can be very crabby without adequate "alone time". With that thought in mind, I don't know how those of you with kids manage!

I want to see "March of the Penguins", too. And the one with George Clooney that is about Edward R. Murrow and that idiot, Joe McCarthy. I have a CD that features Count Basie playing "Dream a Little of Me" on the Hammond organ (unusual for him) with the vocal by Ella Fitzgerald. It's one of my favorites. Lovely tune.

EP and Marian, I was thinking of you two yesterday. Diane Rheme (sp?) interviewed a man who's just written a book about the Dust Bowl in the '30s. It was absolutely rivetting. I'll have to pull up the NPR website to get the title (and learn how to spell Diane's name, lol!). Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas panhandle were just "toast" for years. One of the dust storms actually hit Washington DC and NYC!

OK, I have to go now. Make it a great day, my friends.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 6:04AM
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Good morning!

I was unable to sleep so I got up around 1:45 and have been looking at quilt magazines and twiddling my thumbs. I don't know what is up with the 'not at all sleepy'...but I sure hope it doesn't stick around. Only problem is that I don't have a blanket set out and I'm bundled in a microfleece jacket, trying to stay warm. I can't go get firewood to stoke the stove without waking all the dogs & cat (concerned about them barking & caterwalling) plus the woodstove door creaks loudly. If I get firewood I might as well grab a big metal soup ladle along with a big soup pot and beat it to wake DH.

Besides, if I sit in the dark, awake, feeling very cold....well, that just makes a better story, okay, better whine, when I tell him how rotten of a night I had. :oD

One does have to think of these things (good stories & whining).

Okay, so I'm a wuss and I gave up.....turned the furnace up a tad. I couldn't turn it up much as I don't want to roast the poor SLEEPING fellow who is under the down comforter SLEEPING now would I? Would I? Nah....

So.....what has everyone else been up to? :oD

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 6:43AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Wow! T is up very early. I'm just finishing up my "alone time" this morning (I'm with you on that one,
Chelone) although I'm not too sure how alone it is with the two dogs wandering about.

I thought I was so smart this morning as I stood out there in the bitter cold, blowing on the clip of the dog lead to unfreeze it. It worked, I clipped Mystic outside and ran for the warmth of the house. A few minutes later when he was ready to come in, guess what? The clip had re-frozen even worse than before. Solution? Pull the dog's collar off, beat a hasty retreat for the warmth and let DH deal with it later today!

Time to hit the shower.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 6:58AM
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Good, serene morning, everyone.

Very quick stop in to wish everyone a plus-side day with a reminder (originated by Sue) that the days will start to get longer, soon. If I had my druthers, I'd curl up somewhere and go right back to sleep. No such luck as work beckons, as do the bills it will help pay.

Here, winter has officially begun as pics of roses are now pasted to windows. It's a tradition I started years ago and sometimes I can trick my brain into thinking it's June :-)

Thanks for all thoughs re: my brother. It is an ongoing saga and I feel d*%m lucky every single day that our situations aren't reversed. My thoughts to out to everyone who deals with/has dealt with the same thing. "What doesn't kill us only makes us stronger". Wish I could believe that 100% of the time.

Best to all -- hope to drop back in for comments later. A lot of Good stuff is happening in this group, too!


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 7:11AM
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Chelone and Marie.. good for you for practicing your French. Chelone, I hope you will eventually read 'Aristocrats' which includes some French vocabulary, being a very profound personal history of a French/English/Irish family. I read it twice before passing it on to our daughter who lives in England and has visited some of the significant areas. I don't want to think about the 'dust bowl' or 'depression' but agree there are a lot of unpleasant things that we all have to learn to deal with at some point in life. There is nothing worse than pathological depression. Have been thru the 'no car of my own' challenge too. Also the 'no home of my own' challenge. Growing up the parent's home was a place for just about anyone to 'hang thier hat' and find temporary shelter. Privacy and self determination means a lot. So does reinforcing friends. It is going to be a cold week here. I'm grateful I can soak in a tub of hot water or snuggle under an afghan or have a choice of a hot drink or a nice hot bowl of soup. Previous winters have been milder than 'normal' and this one might result in having to replace a lot of plants in the spring... if so... probably with annuals that will grow fast and give color. EP

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 7:12AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

A quick good morning,

Sylvia, I don't know if your indoor koi pool will have an ammonia spike or not because I'm only familiar with keeping goldfish in an aquarium with the filtering set up I have. I think your pool/koi situation has gone beyond my ability to advise as I don't have experience with your filtering set up. I'd forgotten about the jumping fish thing. My recommendation would be to put a netting over the pool so they can't jump out. A couple years ago we had a fish jump out of a 1.5 inch space between the hood and the filter. Go figure? We put him back in the aquarium and he was OK within a few days.

Martie, what windows do you paste the photos of the roses in? I'm intrigued. My lights keep me 'in the pink' during the winter months. I had another little success story yesterday. I'd dug out an ipomoea tuber and it was the 'Sweet Carolina Bronze' variety that I especially wanted to keep (Thanks Michelle for recommending that one)so I potted it up. Well it just sat there since but yesterday it had a new fat sprout coming out of the pot!!! Woohoo!!! So now, how am I going to keep that vine happy all winter??? I crack myself up.

The UPS man already knows me by name and thinks it amusing the amount of packages I get. (I order all my business supplies on line). Anyway, I can't wait to see his reaction when the Christmas packages start arriving. I'm thinking of leaving the garage door open and have him leave them in the garage. I told Doug I was going to open up one of my folding tables and making a 'staging area' to open the packages and recycle the cardboard.

Eileen, thanks muchly! Yes that is a painting. Speaking of which - time to paint. Later all.

Hope everyone has a great day.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 8:08AM
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Just a quick jump in here. It's only 11F outside this morning. Too cold!

Deanne, my ups guy delivers so many plants and seeds to my door that he asks gardening advice of me, lol. How great to have all your Christmas shopping come to you. Good news that your Sweet Carolina Bronze lives, Plant Mama, lol. I really like that one too. Hope we get to see the new painting.

Martie, Tell us more about the Rose pictures on the windows. What a great idea.

T, I was having problems waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep. That was pre-Bella though. Now days I sleep like a log thanks to her.

Marie, my four years of high school French is very rusty. I can read it better than speak it. My favorite french memory from school was reading The Little Prince en francais. Just from reading the little you've written here on the Idylls it does start to come back to me "un peu". I've had fun figuring out what you're saying. When David was taking French a couple of years ago we would play Scrabble using french words. That was fun too.

Ei, it's so good to have your bubbly self back. I really want to rent March of the Pengiuns. Thanks for the review.

This has taken longer than I planned so hi to all until later...Eden

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 8:39AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Santas run off to the Caribbean
He's dreaming 'bout boat drinks and fun in the sun
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Just a quick clip from my current favorite CD-Jimmy Buffett's Christmas Island. Play it while covering your windows with rose pictures. Usually I don't go away to warm places in the winter but a quick trip to an island in January or February may be in my future this year. Anyone care to join me? It sounds like a few of you could use it.

OK, back to reality-statements and budgets. At least we don't seem to be getting the snow that was predicted last night (just the usual weather geeks whipping people into a frenzy with their 'noreaster speak) but can you midwesterners keep your frigid cold out west please? Supposedly that comes next.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 8:45AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Brrrrrrr! A cold Good morning to you all . It didn't get quite as cold as predicted , and is presently about 22F .

V , do you have a portable hairdryer? Use it to thaw your dog's leash clasp . Or take a very warm , DRY , cloth to wrap around it .

Ei , the way I save pics is by right clicking on the pic and clicking on 'save picture as ' in the little box that comes up . Another box opens and I click 'save' . That puts it in my 'pictures' folder , in 'documents' . Then to put it on the screen , I right click on the computer screen and a little box comes on . I forget what the bottom word is , but I click on it and another box opens . It has all the pictures ( In the 'picture' folder ) that can go on your screen . Scroll and click on each one until you find the one you want ...then click 'okay' . That is how it works on my computer ...maybe differant on yours .

Sylvia , I agree . It has been a very freaky year ...maybe not the "freakiest ever" , but very freaky ! Sorry about your fish problems .

Chelone , The injection Tim has to take is Lovonex or Levonex ( depending on what you Google ! ) . It's to be injected twice a day , for 5 days . Then he will (presumedly ) go to oral meds only . Coumadin is the one he will be using , as of this time .
I find the history on the 'dustbowl' years very interesting and have reasearched it quite a bit . We who lived in Idaho at the time , and farmed , were not too affected by it as far as I know . I was too young to give it any thought . We were affected much more by the rationing in WW2 . An awful lot of people in Arkansas ( and other neighboring States ) moved West during the Depression , and never returned .

Teresa , sorry about your sleeplessness . I understand about the wood in the stove thing . It doesn't bother Nolon any . He has a separate bedroom and it is the farthest from the livingroom where the stove is . I have learned to wear warm enough bedwear to not freeze when I get up to stoke the stove . ( Sweats , and socks ! ) Aren't you fortunate to have a furnace to turn up !

All these French lessons have left me completely in the dark ! LOL . I don't think there are many French speaking folk in this area , nor were there in Idaho .

Ooops , time to get ready to go to the Golden Year's class .


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 9:47AM
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This joke was in my email this morning and I thought I'd share it since we've been discussing this topic of late...

Little Nancy was in the garden filling in a
hole when her neighbor peered over the fence.

Interested in what the cheeky-faced youngster was
doing, he politely asked,

"What are you up to there, Nancy?"

"My goldfish died," replied Nancy tearfully, without
looking up, "and I've just buried him."

The neighbor was moved by the little girls emotion.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. But that's an awfully big hole
for a little goldfish, isn't it honey?"

Nancy patted down the last pile of earth and then

"That's because he's inside your **** cat."


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 10:01AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

EP's post reminded me of another book suggestion. Almost French is a memoir by Sarah Turnbull, an Australian journalist who married a Frenchman and moved to Paris. It's an interesting story of how she learned to cope with a very different culture, and it has just enough French scattered throughout to keep those French brain cells working. I was pleased that I was able to translate Marie's sentence all by myself at a very early hour this morning!

The little brain spasm in the driveway Sunday night will cost $900 to repair. Ugh! And as Chelone can tell you, even more than the cost will be the inconvenience of being without a car for however many days it takes to repair. And DD's car is going in for brakes tomorrow. What is it about the Christmas season that brings out the car problems? It was this time last year that I found out my car needed major overhaul work.

Marie, the website below offers free translation, but it helps to have some understanding of the language as Babelfish has a hard time handling idiomatic usage. My husband tried to translate something into French for my daughter but he used the verb "get" a lot (as in "you need to get this done") and Babelfish translated all of the "gets" as the verb "to obtain". Also, he referred to my son's room and it came out "la piece de DS". If you re-translate that on Bablefish you get "the part of DS". You must say bedroom, not just room, to get a good translation.

On an another topic, Marie, I sympathize with your comments about severe depression. I agree that this is not something that you can work yourself out of with "happy thoughts". But some of us have a tendency to be worn down by the little stuff of life and tend to forget that in the long run it is just little stuff. (for a good example see my very own whine about cars above!) We're the ones who need to remember what's right every once in a while.

On that very topic, I just got an email from DH. We are trying to work out plans for the end of the year with another couple, and it looks like we will be able to spend two nights at the Drake in Chicago courtesy of DH's Hilton points. While it's not always fun to have him gone so many days, it is nice when we can enjoy the benefits of his travel once in a while.

Babs, I forgot to tell you how cool your cake was! Great work, and I love how you created the wand. Did you remember to put a phoenix feather inside?

Like Eden, this post has taken too long, so I'd better post before I turn into a babelfish myself!


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 10:01AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Sue, name the island and the date. I'm busy the first three weekends of January but could do something after that!

not joking - who else is in?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 10:04AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

I'm in! What island? Must be warm, tropical, have those chaise lounges on the beach where a girl can order a pina colada from an attractive wait person.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 10:47AM
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-14.6 this a.m. Thats right 14.6 below 0! That is abnormally cold for the beginning of Dec. Although, they are talking 30 for Sat. a real heat wave. The unbelievable part is that it is still fall.

Deanne, I have Sweet Carolina in the house as well. Last year it never looked very good, in fact I thought it dead. I kept watering and in spring it really took off. Don't give up if it doesn't look too good.

T, you really are a dear wife ;o)

Ei, thinking of you and mom. Its a difficult time of year to adjust to a loss.

The guy I used to work with that has the brain tumor is deteriorating fast, he won't make Christmas. Just turned 42 with 4 children ages 13 and under. A very difficult situation.

Eden, Bella wearing her aunt's Christmas dress is so special. I'm so sentimental, I just love stuff like that. I took a picture of Kenzie this summer wearing the dress that I had my one year picture in. I think I posted it here.

As for cars, I am quite happy yet with my 8 year old VW Passat especially with the higher fuel prices. I get close to 50 mpg. You don't have to go to the gas station very often either.

Stay warm

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 11:46AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Shucks! I'm saving my pesos for Idyllunion, a new mower and spaying the cats. Otherwise I'd be there pronto. I wonder if our medical plan would pay for it as an emergency....

Deanne...back to the dungeon woman! (What is the painting this time? Show us!)

Thanks V, you are on the right track there with depression. While for some of you not having wheels is a big nuisance, I, who have never owned a car, am frantic about the disposal of the old vehicle in environmental terms, about families with more than one car, etc etc. The issues are huge in my mind. We have friends with EIGHT cars and only 2 drivers. It makes me panicky. Imagine the things that drive me wild. No, I don't sleep. The basic issues of lack of resources for an increasingly greedy population, not to mention the disposal of crud, is ever so frightening. You've all heard of battles over fishing rights and lumber between US and Canada, but things we take for granted, like air and water, will be causing wars in the very near future. I think I had children before having brains and experience. I couldn't have children in today's world.

Sunday DH got $300 from the bank machine. The problem? The receipt said he received the amount, but he did NOT. So he tried again. Same result. Life is certainly full of challenges.

Saw March of the Penguins over a month ago. Good and beautiful and incredibly sad to me. All that effort and heartbreak FOR A ONE YEAR RELATIONSHIP. I suppose a study of any animal, human included, would have its very sad aspects too.

Chelone, je prépare une soupe aux tomates et légumes pour mon dejeuner. Bonne journée tout le monde! Gros baisers pour toi et le frère de Martie- de Charlotte.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 12:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Michelle, so sad about your coworker. I've heard too many stories lately of parents with several young children passing away. The latest one was a mom of four who had strep throat, got an antibiotic from her doctor and died of an allergic reaction. (Can I spell anaphylactic shock?)

And here comes my sermon for the day. One of the reasons that she could not be saved is when she realized something was wrong, she called a neighbor who was a paramedic. Yes, a paramedic but an off-duty paramedic with no lifesaving equipment at hand. He called 911 but by the time they arrived, too much time had been lost and they were unable to save her.

So please, friends, if there is an emergency don't hesitate to call 911. And remember before you try to drive someone to the hospital that the ambulance is equipped with all sorts of life-saving equipment that isn't in your car.

Sermon over. Now for the happy news! Can't believe I forgot it earlier!!!

DD received acceptances from 2 more colleges yesterday! She is now 3 for 4, and the 4th college will not make a decision until she auditions in mid-January. But this is a load off her mind, because at least she feels like she has a place to go. One of the 2 from yesterday has invited her to apply for the honors program and possibly a full scholarship! (The sweetest words a parent can hear!)

Sorry, Babs and Drema, but she has decided against Oberlin. She would rather stay closer to home. These two schools are both within a three hour drive.

Okay, back to work where I am slaying dragons, well, at least slaying network support guys. I have officialy canned one this morning and am cleaning up his messes myself. No, I'm not a tech guy but my rate is affordable. ;)


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 12:13PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

"Chelone, I made tomato vegetable soup for my lunch. Have a good day all. Big kisses to Martie and her brother from Charlotte."

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 1:08PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

A+ Deanne!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 2:52PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Marie , you are depressed over the lack of interest of future life on this earth . I am depressed about the lack of interest in the hereafter . At least you are allowed to discuss your concerns .

Are 'legumes' any vegetable , or just those of the bean family ?

Charlotte looks too zonked out to be interested in kissing anyone ! LOL


    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 3:06PM
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T..I have the same problems w/ sleep. I have fibromyalgia and that is part of the problem..Marian..Does this affect you as I know you have fibro too?..My doctor prescribed Lunesta but I hate taking meds. I might take one tonight because I have gotten very little sleep and then I doze off watching Law and Order....Chelone..Saw Good Night and Good Luck..It was very good in black and white..I want to see the other Clooney movie this weekend. ..Bug..I too fret about the immoral consumption going on today. My cousin has 5 cars for 2 drivers and lives in a Mc Mansion which has absolutely NO appeal to me..Too cooky cutter But then she probably thinks my place is "quaint"!!...Deanne. husband did build a contraption to fit over the kiddie pool. He fitted the netting w/ wood strips and laid it over in 2 sections. I put two baskets upside down and they seem to huddle there together. Pinky is still alive. I salted the water and might again tomorrow...V..You know I agree w/ you about the small stuff..I do tend to get thru major bad events but it's just daily living that gets me down. When you live in a big white elephant that was built 165 years ago, and have pets and ponds and 1/2 acre and two other outbuildings to deal with, something is always going on. Monday it was the sewer backing up in the basement because of the massive tree roots. It needs rotor rootered every year at $165 a pop and it would be $375 if they used a camera..But what's the alternative? I have lived in a house since the day I was born,(except for college) and only lived one year in an apartment when I was first married. Bought first house at 23..Something to worry about..downsizing which I can't see happening...Keep warm..Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 3:04AM
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Good morning, everyone. I'm tired; it just dawned on me that it's probably the cumulative effect of about 2 hrs. of sleep last Saturday, dealing with Mum, duh.

I solved the car problem yesterday afternoon. The auction turned out to be a bust. The cars were all high mileage and many of them were actually quite old (10 yrs.) so Mike decided there was nothing he was interested in bidding on. The few that caught his eye didn't meet the reserve. So, I went to the local used dealer and purchased a car I'd already tested. Paid more than I wanted to for it, but it is in nice shape, drove nicely, has new brakes, and new skins. Has some power "toys", and the bottom line is, I don't have to juggle one car with the helpmeet. Like it or not, I have to have wheels. It would perhaps be different if this was a one income family, but it isn't (I could commit a felony if I had to remain here with Mum all day long... ;) ). Wouldn't it be wonderful to live in an area with public transportation? I will drop the big rig off with Daddy this afternoon and then walk down to the dealership to claim "the prize". Any bets on how long it will take me and Rex to crap the interior up?

I received a call from the car donation place last night. Seems they don't have anyone in my area to tow the car away. So, it's back to the drawing board on that count. I'm less than thrilled, but this too shall pass. It really IS small stuff. Essentially, so was the death of my car. A PITA, but beyond that. I was thinking of terribly fortunate I really am. I have lived frugally, saved responsibly, and have worked hard for good credit. It all makes things like this less stressful. Would that it was so for many others.

The helpmeet put the hydrangeas to bed yesterday. They have wire cages around them and they're filled right up with oak leaves. It ISN'T how I was planning to handle them, but he had a bee in his bonnet to get some outside stuff done yesterday, so I was "overridden". Not sure how I quite feel about that, but right now I have bigger fish to fry (sorry Sylvia), so I'm lettin' it go. (How mature of me).

Time to go wake Sleeping Beauty. I have to give her a lot of credit, actually. She gets up with me and goes to bed when I do. Occasionally, she gets a little crabby, but usually she's fine; more interested in talking to the cats and the dog. And remarking how nice it is to see the sun wake up.

I picked up the mantel yesterday. I went to the bakery and purchsed some cookies for the guys. They put the soapstone in the car for me and then they ALL came out to thank me for the cookies (8 of them). I was interested that they suggested I rub the stone with mineral oil to deepen the color and really accentuate the veining. I'm not sure, though, I really want to do that. I'll try to get a shot of it up soon so you can see for yourselves. I still have to find a hook and get the helpmeet to install it, so I can hang some artwork over it. It's all about accessorizing, ladies! :)

I know I've missed things I wanted to comment on, but I really have to skeedaddle now. The chilly air will be spilling into our area today and tomorrow. Winter is here. I noted the sunset was 4:14 yesterday afternoon, but soon the back of winter will be broken, friends!

That one is for YOU, 'bug... :)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 5:26AM
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Good frigid morning. Not below zero yet but it's coming ...

Marie, thanks for the kisses from Charlotte to my brother. And thanks for being forthcoming about how you feel. There are so many "levels" of depression that the AMA is considering renaming degrees of the illness to differentiate them. A good idea.

Roses on Windows: When Kyle was about 5 he got a really severe case of the flu and had to stay in during a wonderfully kid-friendly snowstorm. All his friends were out and he was understandably bummed about not being able to join them. We decided to pretend it wasn't snowing, but was a sunny, warm day with flowers blooming.

I pulled out my Wayside Rose Catalog (remember when they did one separately?) and had him cut pictures out. Then, we took clear contact paper, cut that to size, and adhered the rose pictures to the windows. It was enough for him to feel better about being "in". It took a while to detach the pictures from the windows some weeks later, but it was worth it.

The tradition stuck the next year when we had an ice storm that paralyzed our area of Connecticut. Kyle found the Jackson and Perkins catalog and away we went. Believe me, it is nothing but humorous to look out a window, see a picture of a rose, and then realize that everything is snow-covered. Just some winter whimsy ....

I don't speak any other verbal language well, though I can ask people to "wait a minute while I get someone who speaks Spanish", in Spanish. Also am fluent in American Sign Language which comes in handy at the most unexpected moments.

Glad Chelone got a car. We couldn't live without two. Rich needs his for his work, I need mine for my work, and Kyle needs his to do the school/work/home thing. It irks me that the donation site doesn't tow ......

Also glad Tim is receiving good care. Hope you can exhale, soon, Marian.

Sue: I love the chanty. Wish I could join you on the island but new job, new garden bones to install, and a college tuition bill make it not doable. I will be with you in spirit, though -- someone bring a laptop for pics!!

Did I miss her or has Taryn not been around? I'm interested to know if her sellers agreed to the deal ....

V: Thanks for the book suggestion. I'm a biography nut and have read most credible ones (and auto--s) of prominent women. Haven't heard about this one and will find it. A storm is coming this weekend -- perfect excuse!

Cynthia: I, too, have a propensity for being "up" even when I feel like crap. I'm so grateful I have that power, in recognition that many others don't. Was thinking of you yesterday when I realized that two years ago Ky and I went to U of Maryland where it snowed 3 inches and shut down the state, thus eliminating his bonus points of attending an info session. The stupid things that run through one's mind .....

Have thoroughly enjoyed all pics of cakes, kids, and rooms. Traveling with "the boss" today so must get my professional act together and move it.

Stay Warm, Everyone!!!


    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 7:20AM
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