Idyll 247: Have you tried the newest craze?

just_tDecember 26, 2005


Yep, that is the name of the puzzle craze.

We've joined the ranks of those enjoying working on and mastering these number puzzles.

They are great for exercising the brain cells and just plain fun.

Try typing in any search engine the words: free Sudoku puzzles and you should come up with a number of sites. The come in 'easy', 'medium', 'hard' and 'very hard'. On some sites the 'very hard' ones are labeled 'evil'.

I'm not into crossword puzzles or games....but these are just easy enough to be fun and challenging enough to be addicting. I hope if you check it out, that you'll enjoy them.


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Marion..I emailed you. Tell me if you received it..thanks..Be back later tonight to report on a lovely Xmas but am short of time now. Need to go see DS's tree...Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 4:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Sylvia , I haven't recieved another e-mail from you ,only the one you sent at 2:48 AM .


    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 4:21PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

It just now came in , Sylvia .

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 4:26PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

T-I love those puzzles! I'm sort of a puzzle junkie. Logic puzzles are my favorite.

Babs, your pic on the last post for Monique is gorgeous!!

The mess from yesterday is all tidied up. I'm feeling bad for the trash man and the recycling guy tomorrow-I should be saving a whole FORREST with the carboard that's going out of here. Jim got to get back to ice fishing today, and he got a new lantern and some new fishing toys. A friend of his came over to go fishing with him, and they were comparing bait. A little gruesome to listen to them exclaim over how nice the maggots are.....yuk! And, Jim has taken over one of the crisper drawers in the fridge to store his bait. I can tolerate that, as long as they're in containers with lids that snap on tight.

The kids both called today, asking me where I like to do my clothes shopping. They got their heads together yesterday, and decided that since my jeans are getting too baggy, they want to get me a gift certificate to go buy some new clothes. They're sweeties :)

The dogs are going crazy, so Jim must be home. Gotta go warm up his supper. Hope he didn't go swimming, it's been a little warm and drizzly here the last couple of days.
Have a good evening, everyone!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 6:28PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Our household is heavily sudoku-addicted. DH plays on several websites daily, DS printed some to take on his flight, DD grabs the ones in the newspaper, and I've been known to waste time at some sudoku sites instead of posting on the idylls.

I've had a wonderful holiday filled with lovely family time, too much good food and some pleasant surprises. The highlight had to be the present from DD and DS. At the beginning of the month I was at an art fair with DD and saw an artist who made hand-carved tiles of leaves. I really liked his work but didn't indulge myself. DD & DS found his website, contacted the artist and bought one of the framed pieces for me. I was so pleasantly surprised! And it's beautiful. DH got me a hand carved stone birdbath and a couple of glass cloches. I have to wait for the cloches, though. He thought he could buy them at a garden center, and by the time he realized that he would have to order them online it was to late to get them delivered. He had me fooled because I was sure I was getting something from Farm & Fleet (our version of TSC).

The "lowlight" was late last night as we were taking DS to the airport. My cell phone rang about 11:20 and it was a quite hysterical DD. Mystic had broken his leash and run off. She could hear him barking over towards the tree line and she could hear coyotes also. I called my BIL and asked him to go out and help her, then called her back. She was convinced from the sounds that she was hearing that the coyotes were attacking the dog. We were too far away to get home quickly, and of course had to get DS to his flight. BIL finally got there, and at the sight of headlights in the driveway, Mystic came running up unharmed. Don't know how he broke the leash, and only he knows what really went on with those coyotes. There were lots of them howling on either side of us the night before, so I'm sure DD did hear terrifying sounds. Just happy that all turned out okay! And need to take BIL some beer...

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I have the entire week off, so I will have more relaxation time ahead of me.

VG, glad to hear your SIL is allright. What a frightenting experience for her!

I hope all the hurt feelings are being smoothed out. I was reading along but had no time to post, and didn't want to write something in haste that might come out wrong. But I like all of the idyllers for the different things we bring to the group. I hope for 2006 that we stay a strong group!

Peace to all!


    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 6:41PM
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Hi everyone,

I just did some searching around for someone else and thought I'd share the link to a tutorial on the puzzle game, Sudoku. There are 11 tutorials listed at this site, but I don't get into the game to the degree that I need/use/look at most of them.

The tutorials will explain how the puzzles are 'played/solved' though and then if anyone is a master puzzler then you might get enjoyment out of doing the hardest puzzles and will need to learn some of the tips/techniques for solving them.

Brenda, have you been doing these puzzles very long? I heard about them about 4 weeks ago. I'm not a games/puzzle person so it is a bit surprising to me that I'm enjoying and doing them as much as I am.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sudoku tutorials

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 6:48PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

T, did you get my email?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 6:50PM
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Jerri, see the note above for the link to the puzzle tutorial if you didn't get my reply.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 6:57PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Tired of all the negative news ? Try this link :

Here is a link that might be useful: news

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 7:36PM
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V-glad your pup is Ok-coyotes do make me nervous.

Veggirl sorry I didn't say so sooner but the car mishap sounded pretty frightening. I'm glad she's OK-certainly shaken up I bet. I worried for people out yesterday since it looked harmless here but then the rain tried to freeze up. We got our white day after Christmas today.

Michelle I didn't get to tell you how much I admire the bead work you did for your mom-that is so beautiful. It's more special though because of the thought and time you put into it-was she surprised and did she love it? You did such a nice job!

Collectively my siblings and I(six of us)bought a digital camera for my mom. It's her first. I am waiting for the tutorial phone call: ) She's the type that will read the directions from cover to cover...whereas I'm the trial and error and eventual consultation of the instructions type(I think it was three months later: )

I've been tired all day but now I feel like I'm coming down with something-chills and blahness: (

Brenda that is so great you got a garden ornament instead of the crowbar; ) It really sounds pretty. It really is nice to get a surprise that you'll enjoy-I bet you're proud of Jim! Did you ever tell him what you originally thought you were getting?lol

I'm excited about a window hummingbird feeder Chris gave me(OK so I ordered it and acted so surprised).It sticks to the window, so hopefully I can view hummers from the kitchen this summer.

The highlight of Christmas yesterday was being part of a musical trio playing carols;my niece and I on our clarinets and sis on flute as well as bassoon(not simultaneously of course lolol). Aj even belted out a few songs for us on his clarinet.

I can honestly say I did not EAT too much : )and I even stuck to my 2 cookie limit!


    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 7:51PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Never heard of this puzzle but I try to puzzle myself as little as possible.

It rained all day today and most of yesterday. We even had a bout of thunder and lightning this morning-ah, winter in New England! We had planned to go skiing tomorrow but my secret sources indicate that the rain has infiltrated southern and central VT (although you won't find any ski area weather report ever using the "R" word). So, should I go with the original plan and take tomorrow off or save the vacation day and drag my butt into work? Work may win unless I can come up with something productive to do besides sit around and surf the web.

This morning for kicks and giggles I decided to hit the shopping circuit. Although the crowds were out it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the stores had fairly normal lines except the Gap and Coldwater Creek-they were nuts. The selection and prices didn't impress me. I returned something to Eddie Bauer, bought a couple of things at Coldwater Creek and ended up spending a net of about 17 bucks.

Babs, I haven't been overeating for the holidays either. Yesterday I sampled my fair share of Christmas cookies but much to my MIL's dismay I refused to take home plates of brownies and other goodies because as far as I was concerned the empty calorie eating came to a screeching halt last night. Today I walked for over an hour and a quarter in the rain, then stretched and did a Pilates workout. Besides not overeating I've kept up my workouts since before Halloween, only missing the schedule once or twice. It's all a cakewalk now.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 8:53PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

OK, I'm only 1-1/4 idylls behind! We had a great holiday -- details later. Here's some decor:

I'm still catching up but here are comments from what I've read so far...

"Ive been trying to read up in-between chores here. My, yaÂall have been chatty! Re the hair color discussion, after retiring and the wedding, I stopped having my hair frosted and nails acrylicÂd. I had no idea how much grey hair IÂd have. Turns out, itÂs not too bad. Just a few here and there. My Dad died at 87 and his hair remained quite dark like Ronald Reagan. MomÂs hair is darker than mine (now salt and pepper), but she didnÂt start graying until her late 60Âs. So IÂm fortunate to have good genetics working for me in that department. IÂm enjoying my new au natural look.

GB, I just giggled when I read about NuNu taking the kibble out of MeTooÂs bowl and dropping it on the floor. When Bullet was little, the vet put him on special kibble and told me to mix it in with his regular. The first nite we were sitting in the condo GR (kitchen, DR and GR were one big room) watching TV when we heard the ping-ping-ping-ping. The pinging noise was the "bad" kibble being spit at and bouncing off the kitchen cabinets! I got the message.

I know youÂre worried/apprehensive about DHÂs retirement and the changes it may make in your lives including where you live. IÂm sure itÂs very unsettling for you.

Taryn, that eczema must be awful to deal with! My DD also had it on her feet when growing up. It finally cleared up for her in her 20Âs.

Chelone, so sorry to hear your MomÂs not doing well mentally. It has to be heart-wrenching for you.

Norma, thatÂs horrible news about the reservoir collapse. Any more work on how the family is doing?

V, I read your domestic situation with DD and DH with interest. I think every couple works out a system of sharing chores that works for them. What bothers me is when I see both spouses working and one doing the lionÂs share of home chores. What IÂm so grateful for is that DH is never critical, always supportive. It sounds like your DH has a lot on his mind. Glad to hear you worked out the difficulties.

EP, youÂre looking wonderful! So good to see a recent photo.

Hi Babs. So, sorry about your MILÂs depression and PT. I hear your frustration re SILÂs not pitching in to help. Perhaps Chris could put a bug in her ear? He should speak up. YouÂre in a tough spot.

(((((Drema))))). So sorry about JennyÂs miscarriage. IÂm so sad for all of you. I hope better days are ahead for her and your family. So tell us  how long is your commute on the Rapid? Is it easy to get to and convenient from work back?

Deanne, Sue, Monique  you all look so fabulous! What an incredible photo of all of you!

Janie, howÂs the garage? Cynthia, loved the poochie and spring pix.

Sylvia, how cool you met Harrison Ford. I always found it interesting that he seemed so bland when on a TV interview show. IÂm sure he must be so stunning in person who cares if he doesnÂt have much of a personality! IÂve met a number of celebrities thru work and found that the medium they work in doesnÂt do their looks justice. The one that just blew me away was Gene Rayburn (Family Feud). He was absolutely strikingly handsome in person, but so-so on-camera.

Deanne, lovely holiday décor! Oh and BTW, the dudes are lookin handsome! (Doug and Rahjii).

Ei, good to see you posting. Hi to Norma, Yeona, Barb, Jerri, Woody, Sylvia, Michelle, Brenda, Da, Eden, and T.

VG, OMG what an awful time your DH has had with his injury. I never heard of that type of injury before."

Have to go get ready for company arriving tomorrow. Mutual friends will be joining us for cocktails and dinner. IÂll try to pop back in if I have time Thurs. before second group of guests arrive Hi to all!
PS: Yippee. Another Idyllunion!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 9:01PM
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Brad's been doing the Sudoku puzzles for a few months now. My brain doesn't like thinking that way, lol. Guess what I did today? Absolutely nothing. I did take 2, yep 2, naps.

V, I'm so glad there was a happy ending to the Mystic/coyote story. Your poor dd, having to go through that.

Brenda, Jim did good. Anything garden related is an ok gift in my book.

Yeona, Yea you got a camera!! So we'll be getting to see pictures from you soon!

VG, forgot to say this morning I was also glad to read that your sil was ok. Driving on ice is just the worst.

Michelle, It looks like Kenzie had a very nice Christmas and made a great haul. I just love her little bangs. What a cutie.

Babs, I hope you're not getting sick with the kids off school this week. Good for you sticking to your cookie limit.

Sue, when you walk what kind of pace do you keep? I ask because I'm thinking about starting after the first of the year.

I just refreshed and see that Honey checked in. I love that snowball cat in your picture. Also the way you have the bulbs in clusters on your tree is neat and that red wall still takes my breath away. Glad you had a good holiday and that you and Tom are going to be going to the Idyllunion.

I keep meaning to comment on the hair coloring. I don't, even though there's more gray than not these days. My sister, the hairdresser, is always after me to do it though. I ran into someone I hadn't seen in a while a couple of months ago and they said they didn't recognize my with my hair blonde, lol. My natural color is reddish brown and I told them that it's not blonde they were seeing, it's gray. As far as celebrities, I saw Pamela Anderson at Target a couple of years ago with her kids. It's when she was with Kid Rock. He wasn't with her though. He lives not far north of here and people are always spotting him, mostly in bars. She sure didn't look in person like she does on tv.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 9:31PM
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Here's a couple pics of Bella doing her Christmas thing...

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 10:31PM
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I forgot to mention that my Mom got an electronic sudoku game yesterday from a gift exchange we had. She's an avid crossword puzzler but she's not the most electronically motivated person-I'm curious to see if she likes the game. I tried working one in the newspaper and well,it didn't get very far. Chris is the numbers guy here,not me.

Sue I'm puzzled by your puzzling lack of puzzlement; )[I have no idea what I'm saying lol]
You really are dedicated to the workouts-GOOD for you. I hope that if I feel better tomorrow I'll get back into walking. I had started a two mile/day brisk walking routine and it really is fun as long as it's not very snowy or icey-lately it's been the ice and Xmas prep keeping me from walking. CHris got an exercise ball so we'll be playing with that a while I bet. It works best to wear SHOES when using it-otherwise I look a bit like Carol Burnett doing one of her comedy routines(big laughs here). I seriously need ab work and I'll be through half the battle.
MIL & DM both loaded me down with cookie plates. I took them for the kids but they really don't want them-they still have stocking candy. Maybe if I freeze them they will be so hard I won't be tempted. I almost died when my neighbor gave me a box of chocolate candy-that will test my endurance for sure.

Honey your home looks so nice! I'm still in love with that wall color-such a regal shade. I like how you clustered the Christmas bulbs in threes-good idea.
You poor girl-you are WAY behind here just wait to see what's down the road: )

Taryn how ya holding up? Loved the Christmas pics of the kids and I almost cried when I saw the note to Santa: ( He knows,he knows. AJ's either pretending or he isn't sure yet. I think he knows but just wants to keep the fantasy alive-I was like that too. I keep telling him Christmas is in your heart,not under the tree: )

Aj has started the experiment part of his science fair project. I helped him make sugar crystals tonight. We'll see if the slow cooling method makes better crystals than the evaporation I sound really scientific? ok,whatever lol.

I'm sleepy...hi to Deanne,and anyone who's quiet...come out come out wherever you are: )


    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 10:50PM
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Did not see VG's post before submitting response on previous thread. We try to read and comprehend everything. We've had calls from several directions and time zones thru the Christmas weekend. More tired than usual. Nice day basking in sun on chaise and recuping. EP

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 11:09PM
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Had an exhausting two days..I'm kinda glad it's all over..
T.. I actually ran smack into a rack of Sudoku books at Target tonight. But it makes my brain tired thinking of actually sitting down and trying them..
Honey..your house looks lovely and I particualrly like your Santa and your fat kitty. I have some real ones like that.
VG..Scary about your sil car accident. Our family had a sad news altho I didn't know the person. My DD's SIL's father died in the shower Xmas morning. He was a doctor in VA and his wife found him. We had a hectic but fun day at DD w/ everyone in attendance altho that means only seven people. GD got her designer clothes and a flat panel computer and GS got amazing games that the adults all wanted to play.My DD and I are so much alike it's scary. She bought me a large moldy greenish concrete toadstool. The day before she bought that, I bought myself the exact same thing at the same place. She hadn't been to that garden center for a year and I hadn't been since June. And I actually considered giving it to her but already had gotten her a heavy iron planter....She got me some wooden garden ornaments and a Liz sweater and turtle which were too big. I told her just to go get me something she likes and I'd like it too. Once when she was living in VA Beach and I hadn't seen her since Xmas, she came for a visit after 4 months. I went to the door in a white Tee and blue and white GAP shorts and she had the exact same thing on AND in that time we both needed glasses and we both went to Pearl Vision and got the exact same frames. Neither even knew the other was going!!!!Hard to explain and there are other examples...
Marion..Thanks for helping me check my email system which is apparently working. I changed providers and once Deanne sent me advice about my pond and I didn't get hers and she didn't get mine. I used to get a lot from Garden web people particularly when I was doing my kitchen. I made a very good friend from the kitchen forum and we stay in touch...
I am drop dead tired. Needed a afternoon nap and that never happens...Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 2:02AM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Sylvia, that is SO sad about the FIL that died on Christmas day. My grandpa died the 25th several years ago. That's funny about you and your DD thinking so much alike. DS and I think enough alike that the family will never allow us to be on the same team when we play games like Taboo or Pictionary:-)

If its a number puzzle, I wouldn't do well at it: I'll have to check it out and see though. DH likes numbers. I like words:-)

Brenda, glad you liked your gift from TSC. Some of my most contented childhood memories are of going fishing with my dad and his buddies. I never fished. I read books and listened to their banter. I've never been ice fishing though. Brrr!!

V, so glad Mystic was OK. Oh I hate situations like that! I probably would have been hysterical too.

Babs, the window hummingbird feeder sounds like fun. I've been thinking of getting a seed feeder that fastens on the window. I'll bet your mom will have fun with her digital camera. I'm a reader of instructions too:-) My best friend is like you. She just dives right in and her hubby has to read everything first. They got their daughter a swing set when she was young and while he was reading the instructions , she put the thing together:-) Music is such fun and it's neat when families can share it like that.

Marian, a few threads back, you mentioned that you had some indoor plants blooming every month of the year. Would you mind sharing with me a list of what you have blooming Nov thru March? I would like to look for plants that bloom during those gray months. Our house can be very warm during the day but is usually in the 60's at night.

Sue, you did great!!! I think when exercise finally becomes a habit. it becomes more enjoyable. At least for me. Which won, work or play? :-)

Honey, your decorations are lovely and I just love that fat cat too. I'd never heard of DH's type injury either until it happened. I also learned that babies can actually be born with it. Well, it's a birth injury and they usually recover fully.

Eden, Bella is such a sweetie! Looks like she got lots of goodies.

Michelle, I don't remember if I commented on Kenzie's pictures on the last thread. That may have been all the comments I lost but she looks like a sweetie too. I'm glad to finally see a picture of her and I regret all the ones I missed.

EP, Ok, I understand now:-) Thanks!

DD and I are going shopping while DH has PT this morning. The sky is clear and I hope the roads are too. The high was 51 yesterday so they should be good.

have a great day everyone:-)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 8:51AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Work won and of course it's gorgeous out today but from experience I know that after a day or two of rain the ski areas need some time to recover. Also Tom seems to have hurt his back somehow and wanted to skip skiing for now.

Babs, when I walk on the treadmill I walk at 4 miles an hour. I assume I keep a similiar pace outside, maybe a little less due to uneven ground and what not. Yesterday was tough because it rained the whole time so I had to carry an umbrella and many of the sidewalks had standing water to navigate around. Even though the weather isn't always the greatest I think it's important to try and get outside as much as possible in the winter. Let's see how I feel about that in January when it's in the teens and

OK, I need to get down to business here...


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 9:05AM
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Eden I loved the pics of your gang hanging out with Bella investigating the loot; ) She's such a knockout in her fashion ensemble lol.

Sue though I don't have a treadmill I think I'd have a hard time sticking with it because I like having scenery outdoors to keep me going-so I think that's nice that you get to use the treadmill when it's yucky weather outside. We've got good hills here to make the walk interesting too.I could use the bike trainer during bad weather but Chris has to set it up(I'm making excuses: ) I'll grab Chris' pedometer next time I go out to see how fast I go. I figure it's also about 4mph. Hey any movment that gets you panting is all it takes lol. I do need to get some better shoes though-I think the toebox is too short on my Adidas'.

I just found out that Aj has a bit of writing to do for this science project and I'm kind of miffed. Christmas break should be about doing family stuff-now he is spending time writing plus he's got a quiz for this same teacher the first day back from break. It's just wrong to me. I feel bad for the parents who don't have time off from work this week-they're probably going nuts.

OK so I hope there's less going on here because all the idylls are playing with their toys??? Talk to me,peeps.
I hope Chelone is OK she seemed to suddenly disappear. Deanne too.

For those of you having time off from work-are you doing anything fun or out of the ordinary? At the end of this week I invited my niece and nephew over to have a sleep over with the boys(they're all around the same ages). We'll probably take them to see the Christmas lights at our town square and scarf down sleep-over food(JUNK food). My sister is very particular and strict about their eating habits so as a good aunt I must include some seriously fun food: )

With all the pageantry and fun of the holiday-it's sobering to recall the anniversary of the kind to someone today and appreciate who you've got(family,friends,etc.).I can't believe how much the hardest hit places still don't have a year later. Same for the hurricane survivors here in America~Christmas must have been rough.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 12:57PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

VG , The main plants that bloom for me during the winter are : African violets ; Jungle Cactus ( Thanksgiving , Christmas , and Easter ...with Easter being the last ); Geraniums ( Pelargoniums ) ; Impatiens , and Phalaenopsis ( Moth orchids ) , (they usually start in January and go 'til June ! ) . This winter the Dendrobium has continued until the last day or so . It is losing it's last blooms right now .
The ones that bloom occasionally and on , are : Chinese Hibiscus , Pentas , and Evovulus ( it is one of my favorites , but would probably not appeal to everyone ).

Others that have a rather set time to bloom are : Bougainvillea ( just starting ) , Plectranthus ( bloomed earlier ) ; the last usually are from Feb. on : Kalanchoes , Angelwing begonia , Bromeliads ( Billbergia and Neoregelia ) , Walking Iris , true cacti ( early bloomers ) , Amaryllis ( depending on when they are started ) , Episcia , Tradescantia , and Streptocarpus ( a lovely dangling blue flower ) .
Our March is so filled with spring flowers , I don't get as thrilled with what blooms indoors at that time .
I hope this has been of help to you . I'm sure others can add to this list .


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 1:54PM
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Taryn, the picture of the boys on Christmas is a purple doll dress - did you link the wrong photo? Nice to see Jain's decorations, but not a cat in sight - how did that happen?

Bella looks so cute in her junglewear! I like the chaos of the pictures. And Honey your house looks very elegant and tasteful. Thanks all for sharing.

V, horrible story about Mystic and very glad it had a happy ending. If the leash detached, I wonder if a carbiner would help as a backup to the leash clip? I want to see the stone carved birdbath please!!

Yep, I'm on 'vacation.' It is so relaxing to do a little bit of this and a little bit of that all day. I can't say that any one room is clean, but just the simple pleasure of wiping down windowsills and completely clearing the kitchen counters before cleaning feels so like luxury.... I've been throwing things or tossing things into boxes for the charity people. I seem to have gotten a lot better at doing that this year. Cleaned out the freezer too, and the hall closet.

Yesterday I got my 2006 prep done. Spreadsheet set up for bills and budgets and files set up for taxes. Went through 2005 tax files and got that organized too, so after everything lands in January I can file. Set up my seed files and figured out the germination for everything. Had bought blue hyacinths on sale from Van Engelen and packed in plastic bags with soil to chill. I love the smell of hyacinths blooming inside when there's still snow on the ground. Did lots of cat and dog laundry (pillow covers, quilts, even the spreads on guest room beds), and with the gray water washed over 100 8" pots and the green trays for the light tables.

I don't want to give the impression that everything's spiffy here, it's not! But I'm pecking away at it. Wanted to the take car for emissions test this week too, but figure everyone who's late for a Dec test will be there so I'd better wait.

The kitchen is ready to have the floor washed and I'm wondering if I should just permanently remove the chairs from the table in kitchen. Would be one less thing to keep clean, and I could just bring them back up when needed... The table stays 'cause it's pretty (!) and the cats like to sit on it while the dogs play racetrack around it :) A big kitchen is great until you have to wash the floor...and that floor is always a mess so worse than ever with 12 muddy feet coming and going.

Sylvia, funny about you and your daughter the 'twins.' My sister and I tend to buy the same things. We don't ever dress alike though, she's a confirmed 'red' person and I prefer beige or black.

Ok, I guess I'll go back to the joys of not working :-) Mid forties here today so should try to get a long walk in with the dogs too. I have no idea how fast we walk, but I do say 'let's go' a lot because they would rather sniff around than get the exercise!

Take care everyone! Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 2:51PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I spent a while yesterday afternoon working on cleaning out our little red barn . What a mess ! If I end up with that desease that comes from mouse droppings , you will know why . It was at least 10 years ago that I started piling stuff in there . I am amazed at the junk I accumulated . Now I have to buy a bunch of trash sacks to send the stuff off to the dump in . Our trash pick-up is payed for by the bags that we buy from them .I need recycle bags ,too . Some of it can be recycled .
I still have a lot to do in there . I have hundreds of plant containers of all sizes . Most came with bedding plants in them ...those flimsy plastic packs . I never threw anything away !

It is warm here . Much above average for this time of the year , and windy .It is drying out again rapidly .

Re: coyotes ...I heard a pack of them right close to our house the other night . I ran out on the front porch ( in my night clothes , and barefoot ) and clapped my hands as loud as I could , and they moved on .


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 3:54PM
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Yesterday it was quite mild, so we cleaned the garage and another one of our storage buildings. It was long past time for it. I installed a new printer and just enjoyed the day.

Babs, I agree that kids shouldnt have homework during Christmas vacation.

Eden, it looks like Bella got the Little People house for Christmas. Kenzie really enjoys hers, especially the lullaby that the babys bed plays. She looks so cute in her fur trimmed outfit.

Honey, I love the silver mirror on the red wall.

Thanks all for the nice comments on the bracelet. My mom seemed to really like it. I made one for myself as well. With my kids, SIL and Kenzies birthstones.

My mom made me a book thong and a purse. The purse was knitted out of wool and then washed and dried to shrink it. It has beads on the front. Very cool.

Brenda, how sweet of your kids to be concerned about your wardrobe.

Back to work

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 4:45PM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Hi everyone

Our welcome procession of holiday guests is winding down and tomorrow I drive with Ruth and her two children to D.C. to begin their new life. Her husband has gone on ahead with a van full of things. There will be tearful good byes all round. I fly back the next day to a much quieter house and hope to be able to jump back into the Idylls.

Christmas was lovely here, declared by the children the best ever. Hope to share photos soon.

I'm waving hello to all. I'm way too behind to ever catch up but am glad our special group will enter the New Year together celebrating friendship all round.

I ate FAR too much of everything over the holiday and only managed a few leasurely walks with Clousseau and kids. Am I a lost cause?! (or the only one?)


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 5:26PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

T-I first saw those puzzles a few months ago. Lol, I guess you don't read the tabloids?? That's where I first saw them.

Babs, I was VERY proud of Jim :) I always knew he could be taught!! I told him we were discussing the possibilites here. He laughed when I told him I was afraid I was going to be watching Apollo 13, playing with my new crowbar.

VG-I enjoy going fishing in the summer, I don't think Jim's going to have much luck getting me on the ice. He's out there today, and it's been pretty warm the last few days...hope he's still on top of the ice. I'm glad he wasn't going alone.

Eden, Bella is just a doll!! I miss having little kids around to open gifts on Christmas :)

V-Thank goodness Mystic is okay! We have coyotes around here sometimes, too, and Sarah is still prone to leave the yard if you don't keep an eye on her. And, she's got more attitude than size.

Michelle-DD could never understand why I'd rather spend money on plants than clothes :) And, my guess is that as I keep losing weight, I'm going to enjoy shopping for clothes a lot more.

Had some friends over for lunch today. Jim's sister is heading back to Texas, so the excitement is over around here. I'm ready to get the tree out of the living room, and start some of my winter projects. I think while Jim's all wrapped up in fishing, I'm going to go through the house and haul some stuff to goodwill. I don't know how so much stuff sneaks into the house, but the upstairs is just ridiculous!

Gotta go do the supper thing. Personally, a salad and lefttover chicken from lunch would work for me, but something about sitting out in the cold all day makes Jim hungry as a bear when he gets home :)

Night, all!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 6:16PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Marian, thanks so much for the list! DH is getting a good start on the African violets. Do you feed yours during the winter? He read that you should stop feeding them in Oct so he did but they don't look as healthy as they did when he was feeding them. We aren't sure if its just because it's winter or because they aren't getting any food. What do you think? I'm going to copy your list and do some research on the cultural needs of the plants to see which ones would do best in my indoor climate. We don't have that much blooming outdoors in March noramlly..snowdrops, bulbous irises. Most of my daffodils start in April. I hope one of these days to get some of the really early ones.

You, Cynthia and Michelle are really getting things done!! I have scarcely done a thing other than the usual cook & clean up that I do every day. Sunday, I sat here at the computer all day and made lists of goals and projects. Now I just have to get started with the actual work LOL! Yesterday I helped DH make the baseboard for the "powder room" and put it in. Then today we were shopping.

Cynthia, I am really impressed with all that paperwork you've done! I did our 2006 budget in October because we first started it in Oct so that's how our year runs. Taxes:-(

We have this old mobile home to clear out, tear down and haul away one fo these days. We still have building materials stored in it plus nearly all of our books and tons of other stuff. I don't look forward to the job of sorting but I can hardly wait to get it out of the way so we can make the circle driveway .

My kids loved the Little People toys:-)

Mary, have a safe trip! Glad your Christmas was such a good one.

Brenda, good luck with your sorting. It is amazing how stuff accumulates. DH and DS save everything but they end up doing something worthwhile with it. We just need a good place to store it all while it waits to become useful:-)

Woody how are the planter benches coming along?

Good Night!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 7:34PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

EP , I am concerned about you . Are any of those Eastern Oklahoma wild fires in your area ?
And how about Lisa ?
The Springfield , Mo. news showed a lot of them , from north to south .


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 7:46PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Cynthia - you sound so organized! I need to do some of that same re tax and general financial stuff this week too. The list of things to do this week is getting too long and won't get done I'm sure!

Marian - I think all those plastic pots breed in places like sheds and garages! There always seems to be more of them than there were plants bought....:-)

Brenda - are you going to post a picture of the TSC gift? I hope DH stayed on the right side of the ice! I've never understood the appeal of ice fishing.

DH likes those sudoku puzzles. I haven't tried one yet. I prefer word games like crosswords to math games.

Honey - beautiful pictures... I like the colors you use.

Bella looks like she was the center of attention there!

The three stooges are the center of attention here. Jasper is visiting for 2 weeks while his people are in Mexico checking out the progress of the condo they've bought for a winter retirement home. DH made the mistake this morning of putting the three of them out in the yard while he prepared their breakfast; he put the bowls on the floor in their eating spots; Jasper came in first and in the 30 seconds or so it took for the other two to follow, Jasper had cleaned out Misty's bowl and was working on Chelsea's! All three of them are four-legged stomachs but Jasper won the prize this morning!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 7:53PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I have never fertilized my african violets . I am soo slack about fertilizing anything ! My AFs usually perk up in the winter . ( I have 20 or more ) . I think they like the atmosphere in our house . Since me have no forced air heating , it is always pretty humid .
The plant I called Streptocarpus is also called Streptocarpella . It is very differant than the majority of the Streptocarpus species . I looked at their gallery and mine is apparently S. saxorom .
S. buchananii , S. caulescens , and S. glandilosissimus all look similar . Mine is in a large pot , and measures about 3' across and 2' high .


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 8:05PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Not a puzzle person myself, but will show the links to Shane, who is very into that type of thing.

VG sorry you lost your post! Hate it when that happens...

Loved seeing Bella and 'Kenzie in their Xmas explorations! Little kids are so funny, enjoying the boxes and wrappings as much as the contents. And yes, Michelle, LOL at how she is sitting! They also sleep in positions that don't look all that comfy to me. Also loved the bracelet, both the thought and the final result.

Honey so glad you checked in, and love the holiday cheer pics! Have been thinking of you often the past few weeks...

V, your gifts sound perfect! Glad Mystic was safe and sound. Coyotes would spook me out.

Babs, I know! Devin must know about Santa, and didn't say too much about Glenn's imitation signature, so not sure what he has determined about the situation. I know I too, was devastated. It's magic when they are little, but as kids get old enough to figure it out, it seems, well, sort of like a big lie/letdown. I like the Christmas is in the heart sentiment. Babs I'd be very annoyed if project homework was due now too. They (teachers) have a whole year to schedule it, meet the requirements for the year, and holidays should be family time.

Speaking of Devin, he is 10 today. Which means I have flown through the last decade! Where did it go? Happy BD to Yeona's daughter too, Elena is it? I'm SOO bad with names, so sorry if that is wrong, but please know I thought about her! Have you figured out that camera yet? So nice you'll be able to share with us soon...

Hi Mary! Looking forward to having you back here more often, and very happy that your family is starting anew, this new year. Hope this is a better one for all.

Sue, sorry Tom has back trouble. Monique too! No fun, as I know from firsthand experience. Knock on wood not for a while now.

Glad others enjoyed the pics from jain, as I did. I left them up as it was close to the end of the thread, but will remove these after 24 hours. Cynthia, one of us has had too much merlot, lol, no idea what purple doll dress you are referring to. Maybe Bab's card for Monique if you squint just right? LOL! My wrecking crew is still there last time I checked. But I have a serious doll in purple from yesterday for you, my niece Shianne:

And sisters Elisha and Justine:

They LOVED the dresses! Traded all evening so they all got to try them all on. And also loved the Bella Dancerella ballet studio. Funny thing is SIL Angeline was looking at all the same presents to get for them, but couldn't find the right sizes on the former or the product on the latter! She was as thrilled as they (and I) was! Fun!

Which reminds me, where is Martie and what atrocious outfits did she get her nieces?

We had a very fun time yesterday with my family here for prime rib and yorkshire puddings (popovers if I remember the south of 60 term). Dollar store gifts were fun and funny. Most memorable for me was the SECOND cell phone holder in 2 years from my brother. Think he's trying to give me a hint to get one? LOL! Also a highlight was the binoculars from my Mum, so I can 'find my children on that huge property in the country when I get it'. I hope to be using them soon!

Then my Mum handed out dollar store instruments to all the kids, and we had a blast singing Christmas carols with accompaniment by recorder, castenets, tambourines and cymbols. Also songs like Queen's "We will rock you" and Simon and Garfunkel's "Cecilia" (great castenet tune!). Was a lot of fun, though a couple of Advil required today! Too much of EVERYTHING Mary! :)

Fought my way through the traffic to the mall today with the boys and stood in line-ups at West 49 for skateboard stuff and EB Games for used Gamecube games. They got gift certificates and cash yesterday and were itching to spend it! There were a LOT of people out there today! But the guys are happy, and we made it home in one piece.

Tomorrow we are headed to Horseshoe Valley, couple hours north, for Xmas at Thanksgiving at Xmas dinner with Glenn's sisters. For those who haven't been around for years, we usually celebrate Xmas with his sibs at Canadian Thanksgiving, 2nd Sunday in October. But things were more than a little tense here then on the home front, and transferred over to relations with them as well, so we skipped it. Well, as it turned out, postponed it. Should be a blast. Sigh...

To end on a happier note, here a few more pics from yesterday. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and we'll start to see the regulars trickling back in soon...


L to R, Glenn, Mum (aka Nanoo!), Shianne, Elisha, sis Gayna:

Moi, Mum and SIL Angeline in our 'cracker crowns':

5/6 cousins enjoying Shari Lewis's "Lamb Chop" singing Numa Numa on

LOL, we are easily amused! And Brennen needs to get a new hat! ;)

Nite all,


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 8:48PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Good evening, just enjoying another relatively quiet day at home. Read a book from start to finish (My Sister's Keeper, courtesy of T) and went out and flagged some more buckthorn and honeysuckle for the next work day. Yes, we'll be flagging that stuff all winter long. We were going to take the dogs with us, but Mystic took off on an adventure (for the record I was in favor of leashing him) and so once we recaptured him they got to stay home.

I did hear via email from DS that he got to the town in Guatemala with no problem. He said the poverty is staggering but he is finding the experience to be very interesting.

I forgot the funniest story from Christmas. As we were opening gifts Christmas Eve, MIL told us that she had made up a very detailed shopping list for her big trip to the mall, but she was so disappointed that she lost it halfway through her shopping. She had a hard time finishing her shopping since she didn't have sizes, etc. any longer. Well, about five minutes after she tells us this, my niece unwraps a pair of shoes that MIL has given her, and as she is pulling them out of the box she exclaims, "Grandma, I found your list!" Somehow, it ended up in the shoebox!!! Quite a good laugh.

The last we heard from Marie, she was going to the grocery store. Do you suppose she got lost there?

Since I stayed upr eading late last night, I think I will go to bed early tonight. Until tomorrow,


    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 9:18PM
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There has been a challenge here today. A pop up keeps popping up in the middle of the screen asking if I 'want to install Macromedia Flash Player 8'. I click 'no' and it pops right back up. I think we'll just forget the forums for a while. Marian, there has been a recent fire in our county. The news reported it has been the dryest half year since 1923. We hate to think about 'what could happen' .. It has happened before.. We don't worry un necessarily about things we can do nothing about. We do our best to be prepared but we never know what will happen when. Since we know how concerned you are when someone does not post, we both feel we've had enough of the internet for awhile and most likely won't even use the computer much other than to check email or play freecell. We have a lot of other priorities right now. So... sending cyberhugs to all we are checking out. EP

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 11:49PM
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Greetings one and all. All the pics look wonderful and happy.

Great Holiday here; incredibly crammed with people, food and JOY! Also included a stint with no computer after a small flood. No harm done -- not worth the story -- glad it's over.

Be back, later!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 6:53AM
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Good morning.

It was great to see the young ones with their gifts and their cute outfits. I enjoyed seeing the decorations that others had....I didn't set out much this year so there was nothing to share from here.

I came across a Sudoku puzzle that just plain too hard for me. DH and a co-worker figured it out but I'm not as puzzle saavy as they are and it has me stumped. For those who are enjoying these puzzles, or who have spouses that are enjoying them, I've put the link to the puzzle that I'm finding very difficult. It is rated hard. Too hard for me, although I am not giving up yet.

I have been cleaning & organizing our attic. I'm hoping to get rid of a lot of things I should have gotten rid of years ago and then have the other things divided into areas. His, mine, ours, the kids' and whatever else. I love being organized and wish I was. ;o) I'm going to devote myself to getting organized......

2006 -- the organized year?

Hope all is well with everyone. I miss those who are quiet and those who are busy with other endeavors. I'm going to get away from the computer and be busy too! :o)


    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 10:46AM
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I got all the inside Christmas decorations put away yesterday. I love putting them all up but also am always ready to get them down. Once Christmas is over they start feeling like clutter to me. Today will be vacuuming and getting rooms put back together. All of you reporting on your organizing endeavors have inspired me to do some more work on the basement later this week. It seems I just get everything put away down there and then it all explodes again.

My sister who is into scrapbooking big time wants all of the women in our family to do a circle journal this year. From what I've been able to gather, everyone picks a theme, it can be about anything you want, and then each person in the group contributes 2 scrapbook pages on that theme. Each journal is kept by each person for 1 month to work on their pages and then passed on. We'll have 8 people in our group, my mom, my 2 sisters, me, my 2 daughters and my 2 nieces. So ours will be completed in 8 months. The group ranges in age from 17 to 70 so it should be interesting to see what everyone comes up with for their pages. I was doing some research yesterday on circle journals and I think I've come up with a theme for mine. I'm going to go with "Quotes To Live By", I think.

I'm off to put my livingroom in order before Bella's arrival this afternoon. Keep posting about all the organizing you busy bees are doing. It keeps me inspired!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 11:05AM
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Mary, have a safe trip and my best wishes to your DS and her family as they begin their new life in DC.

Tax info isnt too bad here since I try to keep our books up to date monthly. The farm is like a business and it is best to keep up with it.

Taryn, the girls look so pretty and excited in their costumes. What fun you all seem to have together. The band instruments sound like lots of fun.

V, your poor mom. I would be lost without my shopping list. Our big laugh was when my dad gave my mom a sauté pan that he had bought 6 or 7 years ago and had hid it so well that he forgot about it.

Marie and Deanne both seem to be missing, maybe they are shopping together.

I usually leave the Christmas decorations up until after New Years. I love how pretty the house looks with them. It seems like before Christmas, I am almost too busy to enjoy them, but afterwards it is more relaxing.
I fell asleep in the chair last night by 7:30. Of course I didnt sleep well during the night. I decided its time to start another project.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 11:38AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I just saw on the news that several homes have been lost in wild fires near Oklahoma City . Now I am concerned about Jerri !
I feel so bad about all that are losing their homes in Ok. and Texas .
I sure hope this is not the start of another Dust Bowl !

Jerri , let us know if you are okay .

    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 1:13PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

So here's today's funny story. DD and I went to Woodfield Mall for some post-Christmas shopping. One of her gifts was black boots, but I wasn't going to try and buy those without her there to try them on and approve. So we left early and made the 1 hour drive to the mall, getting there just as it opened. The mall wasn't very crowded yet which was nice. We stop at H&M, and who does she run into? Her ex-boyfriend! Our personalized version of that credit card commercial goes like this: Black strapless sheath dress at H&M - $34.95. Watching ex-BF's eyes fall out as he says, "Oh, wow!" - PRICELESS!

Wihtout even knowing T's organization theme, I stopped at Ikea and got some organizing aides. So I will try to tackle the closet this evening and make it a true "walk-in" once again. First I need to get a screwdriver out and do a little assembly.

Also found some great buys at Ikea. Would you believe a glass snowflake platter for $1.00? Re-stocked on gift wrap and bows for next year also.

Okay, I just tried to lose this post, so maybe I'll post it and start orgainzing my life.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 5:15PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

It has been a busy few weeks and I've missed all of you!

Jumping back in...

Brenda, ewwww re: the bait in the fridge. Tightly snapping lids are a definite must!

V, that is scary about Mystic and the coyotes. Glad everything turned out OK. We do have a few coyotes around here, but no pets to worry about.

I'm with Sue, I try not to puzzle myself any more than necessary.

Babs, that does not seem fair that AJ has a project to work on during vacation. The kids and the parents need some down time, the winter break should be for fun stuff.

Taryn, you all looked like you were enjoying yourselves in those photos! Love the crowns!

Mary, hope you had a good trip. I'm sure Ruth is glad to have company on that drive! It will be nice to see them settling in to their new home, even though you'll miss them. You are not the only one that over-indulged on the holidays, I was right there with you. Sweets are my weakness, and there are far to many of them around at this time of year!

Speaking of sweets, I have a funny Christmas story too. When we got together with DH's family before Christmas, we had a nice dinner, then went to unwrap gifts. Before we went into the living room, we put out all the desserts, planning to come back after a while for some sweets. Included in the offerings was a tray of creamy pastry, eclairs and such. Somehow, the pair of three-year-old nephews found their way to the dessert table while the adults were all occupied with the Yankee Swap. Newphew #1 politely helped himself to a cupcake and methodically scalped off the frosting. Newphew #2 was a little more enthusiastic. When we came in to have dessert, the tray of creamy pastries looked disheveled. My DD happened to catch nephew #2 in the act, and she told me "Mom, he was swimming in them!" I guess he actually put his face as well as both hands into the tray - his father found him in the kitchen covered in cream.

Have to go help DH clean his room now, I sent him up there to "get started" quite a while ago. Enjoy the day!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2005 at 5:25PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Good Morning,
Where in the world is everybody this week???

Woody, which dog is which in the picture? They look so shiny and healthy.

Marian, do you repot your AV's often then? I used to have a beautiful streptocarpus that a friend in Maine gave me. It did fine that summer but the following winter in the camper was too much for it I guess. We have a propane furnace but only rarely use it. We use the wood stove. That plant in the 3 ft pot must be gorgeous.

Taryn, the girls are lovely in their pretty dresses. Dressing up used to be such fun:-) You big girls look lovely too. Glad your Christmas was so fun and happy. I hope the meal and visit with your in-laws went well too.

V, sounds like Mystic has gotten a taste of th wild. He may never be the same lol! Glad your DS made it safely to Guatamala. Loved the lost list story!!

Eden, the circle journal sounds like a great idea! I saw the neatest thing on HGTV this morning on Crafters Coast to Coast. A man in GA make pop-up scrapbooks. He did a page for his trip to Netherlands on the show and made a pop up windmill. That was jsut so cool. It *almost* could inspire me to get into scrapbooking. Actually I think it would be lots of fun, I'm just not talented along those lines. Reminds me of a funny thing. DD2 was going to do a music concert at our church and I asked one of my SIL's if she could make a poster for it because she is so artistic. She said she didn't have time and her sister responded, "Well you know A (me) can't do it! She has no talent!" It kind of hurt my feelings at first but as I thought more about it I found humour in it:-)

Hi Michelle!

I will respond to everyone else later. My computer is in super slow mode and it's driving me nuts. i have to reboot.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 8:46AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning ,

A chilly frosty morning here , but sunny .

VG , The Streptocarpella is 3'wide , not the pot ! :o)

No, I don't usually repot my african violets , but when one gets a very long naked stem I either repot it , or cut it off , and put it in water until it roots ....then repot it . I am a very unconventional AF grower . I have even grown them in a glass of water for lengthy periods , then potted them . It works for me ! lol
I do admit , my plants would not win any beauty conrest ! But I enjoy the blooms . Sometimes they bloom better in the water than in the soil . ( I don't fertilize the water , either . )

We are having periods of unseasonally warm weather . I even let the fire go out in the heating stove a couple of days ago . It was a good thing I could , because the chimney's elbow had a hole in it that I patched while it was cool .
I hope we do not have too many warm days so early . It will cause the sap to come up in too many things .
A nice rain would even bring up the spring bulbs !

I noticed no one seemed to check out the link I gave , on happy news . It was about 'happy 'world news ....nothing else !


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 9:47AM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

VG - Chelsea is the Golden on the left - she's 14+ and we've had her since she was 3. She was being kept in a garage and was not socialized to either people or other dogs. She's mellowed a lot but will still snap at people if she feels they are crowding her. Misty is the little one in the middle. She's 8 or 9 and was abused by her original owners and learned to bite to protect herself. She was given/taken from there by Barb (one of my helpers) and lived with Barb for a few years. Barb didn't know anything about dogs and didn't know how to moderate Misty's behavior so Misty was good with Barb and her kids but unsafe for anyone else. I told Barb a few years ago she could try bringing Misty to work with her. It was 3:00 before Misty would even let me pat her on the first day Misty came, but a month or two later Misty was hiding when Barb left for the day and it soon became clear we had ourselves a second dog! We've had her now for about 3 years. She's still not safe with strangers but rapidly makes friends with people we 'allow' into the house. Jasper, the Black Lab, is the visiting dog. He's 8 and a big suck! He belongs to friends who were neighbours at our previous house. We stayed at their place for two months when this house was not finished on time and the sale of our other house had closed. They got Jasper as a puppy around the same time I had to stop working so I used to go to their place during the day to let him out/take him for walks so he's sort of part of our extended doggy family.

Rain again here this morning. Some electrical wires are being run under our lawn this morning to go to the house across the street so there's a Hydro crew making a mess digging holes out there - fortunately not in the garden bed!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 9:48AM
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Wow, it is really quiet here. Not that I have anything very interesting to say, but here I am.

Africian violets, I have one that hasn't bloomed since I bought. Healthy foliage, but no blooms. I don't know why I bother with houseplants. I don't think I have the right light.

Marian, I haven't checked your "happy link" but will when I have a chance. Sometimes I don't get around to checking links until we are into the next thread.

Woody, I hope they don't tear up your yard too much.

VG, even if posters aren't your talent, I know that you have talents. We all do.

V and Wendy both stories are cute and brought a smile to me.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 4:30PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I think that T has hooked everyone on Sudoku and no one has time to post!

Nothing new here.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 6:31PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Opps ...I goofed again ! VG , it is the Evovulus that is 3' wide and 2' tall ! Not the Streptocarpella . The Evovulus is in the morningglory family , but it is a bushy plant .

Woody , I hope the cable laying isn't making a big mess !

Michelle , is it possible your African violets have been overfertlized ? Mine are in various locations in our house . Some get a lot more light than others . They all get some sun , at some time of the year , and bloom eventually . Mine seem to like the colder months best , and get pretty tacky in the summer . I keep threatening to get rid of them , then they start blooming and I relent .

Has anyone heard from Jerri and Lisa ? I am worried about them . There are a lot of homes that have been burned in the Oklahoma wildfires . It's really terrible !


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 6:53PM
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Nothing new here either but I'll still babble on for a bit. I've just been cleaning up from Christmas all day. I did make a trip out to Home Depot and bought a play mat for Bella. It's in 6 large puzzle pieces that you put together to make a 4x6 soft rubber mat. Much easier on her little knees than the wood floor or carpet. I hung out on the cooking forum over on THS for a little while too and found a recipe for creme brulee french toast that I'm thinking of trying for New Years morning. I'll let you know how it turns out. It seems to be recommended highly over there. Brad's still on his marathon work week. He's put in 48 hours this week so far and has 36 more to go. I feel bad for him, he's looking tired and isn't his usual energetic self. Oh, I almost forgot, today's our wedding anniversary too, 27 years. The celebration will be put on hold until next weekend. Well, that's about it from here. Hope everyone's having a relaxing, peaceful and productive week.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 7:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Happy Anniversary Eden !

I checked out the suduko(sp?) , and will stick wth Jigsaw puzzles , and Cryptograms . I found some good Cryptogram sites on the web . I already had a couple of jigsaw sites bookmarked .


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 7:36PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Yes, it has been unusually quiet around here lately. Everyone must still be recovering from Christmas celebrations. I hope all is OK with our OK members. Fire is scary. It seems like every time you turn around lately, some place, some where is getting battered with a natural disaster or two. I guess that's why I like New England so much even when it gets frigid cold in January.

Tomorrow is my last day of sanity at work for at least a couple of weeks. As soon as I wrap up year end, the auditors will be chomping at the bit to get in here and drive me nuts for another couple of weeks. Luckily our old outside accountant sold his practice last year to a younger firm with a couple of really fun partners-the kind of guys you feel comfortable enough with to plant fart machines in their briefcases. lol

Happy Anniversay, Eden!

Marian I checked out your positive news link too just never have enough time to peruse everything and/or comment.

It was in the 40s and rained all day here. You would think it was spring or fall. You won't hear me complaining. Maybe this weekend I'll plant some of the stuff I have in pots in the garage and just mulch it well. Tonight I took advantage of warmer temps and gave myself a pedicure. Usually I can't have my feet bare for too long in the winter or they would need defrosting. Now I'll be good to go for another month or two.

We're getting 9 dogs into rescue tomorrow from one person. This makes 11 for the week. The oldest is a 13 year old male. Keep your fingers and toes crossed that they can all find good homes. It always rains rescues around the holidays.

For those of you who were interested in the mid winter getaway, I started doing some research and didn't like the ratings I was reading about a couple of the resorts I was looking at in Puerto Rico. So I switched my focus to Key West. The only problem there is they got hit with at least one hurricane this fall and I don't know anything about the area. Any other ideas? A place you can get to with one flight would be best and where beach weather in early February is guaranteed. Tom said he heard the fall hurricane damage in Cancun was overblown and the resorts there are doing all sorts of deals to get people to come back but I'm thinking you can't get there quick. If we're just going from say a Friday to a Monday you don't want to spend half of that time on planes or in airports.

OK, enough rambling from me. I can't believe tomorrow is Friday again so soon.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 9:34PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Marian I'm the same as Michelle I don't check links till later, but I appreciate the effort. I've never been able to grow inside plants. :( My xmother could and I admired her skill and the cheery rows of flowers in the winter. She grew AV and a number of other plants which I never knew the name of.

Is anyone doing something for New Years Eve? I'm actuslly looking at going out for the first time in years. There's a live band club here, which always offers a good band with a variety of music for the young and young at heart, and I enjoy dancing, so we'll go there. The tickets are not bad, considering it's live music and the dance floor is good. We're non drinkers, so the evening shouldn't be too expensive.

Hope all are well and just busy holidaying if that's what you do. We were at a party last night with one of our clients and had a wonderful and short and sweet visit. The party was really a drop in as all of the guests and the party giver are up early every work day. It was nice to visit with everyone, and the door prizes were great, too. :) Richea and I won a gift certificate to London Drugs. :) It's a nice Christmas gift.

Take care all. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. I hope I see you soon.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 9:40PM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Oops, I forgot.

Happy Anniversary Eden! I hope you have a great time celebrating this weekend!


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 9:49PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

I'll post an early Happy New Year's now while I have a chance. Tomorrow morning DH and I will head to Chicago for a couple of nights. We're cashing in some hotel points and will meet some out of town friends for a couple of days of shopping, dining and maybe some midnight fireworks on the lakefront - if we can stay awake!!!

In the meantime, I have 5 teenage girls in my basement for the night. Second time in one week! Wonder if I will sleep?

I wish everyone all the best for 2006. May your garden be filled with beautiful blooms and be free from weeds and pests, and may the same be true of your life!


    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 10:03PM
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To one of the sweetest couples I've met...

A match made in heaven: )

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 12:21AM
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Good morning! Happy Anniversary Eden! Any couple that can produce heirs like Bella have got to be good!

Christmas here was at once uproarious and peaceful. Lots of congrats for BIL getting engaged to long-time girlfriend, my parents celebrating the 50th anniversary of their engagement, soft lights while the last Advent candle was lit, little-boy happiness when Ky found the traditional stuffed animal in his stocking along with enough fav-clothes-store gift cards to completely replace his junky wardrobe.

And the food -- a 15# prime rib roast on the grill with simple sides but a killer Bouche de Noel dessert (forgive the ugly French, please). Fruitcake to die for (Really!) and frozen Maple Mousse and shortbread that would clog an elephant artery.

Decorations galore (camera got lost in the flood) and crackers and Everyone Smiling at One Time!!!! A blessed several days.

So love the pics of the girls, Taryn. My nieces each got a sequined yellow or lime-green or hot pink jogging outfit (what you can find in the bargain bins at the Salvation Army Store!!!) and they howled and found pics of when they were little holding up equally atrocious clothes and their "certificates" for a shopping expedition with Auntie.

My parents gift of dinner for a week was applauded and promised as a tradition from here on out.

All in all, it was what the Season is all about and I'm so grateful .....

Am still catching up with the posts but am loving the funny stories and links along the way. Have three days off from work without major activity and plan to get current, and finalize all plans for the Logees NE Gardening trip.

Good to be "back."


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 7:00AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)


Last one of 2005!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 8:51AM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

Wendy, Cute story about the nephews in the pastries:-)
V, and the shocked ex-boyfrined!

Marian, I'm sure that whatever that plant is and however big it is, that is is beautiful LOL!! I meant to chech out the happy news link too but forgot. I will though. I hadn't watched the news lately and didn't know about the OK and TX fires until you mentioned it. That is so scary. I hope they soon get them under control. Gorgeous lilies!!!

Woody, thanks for sharing the dog bios. So interesting. There are not too many things that make me as angry as animal abuse. We've had two dogs that apparently had been previously mistreated. Wags was a beautiful small collie-like dog but a rich chestnut brown all over. She must have had some corgi in her but she was more delicatly shaped. I found her at a dump and brought her home. We had her for 14 years. She was terrified of men with beards and glasses, and DH has both! It took her several months to warm up to him and I don't think she ever really trusted him the same as she did me. For example, she learned to jump into my arms and let me catch her in such a way that she would be lying on her back. she would never jump for him. My Dad had a beard but no glasses and she instantly fell in love with him:-) If any man with both came, she would hide until they left. Peaches was the other dog. DD1's FIL found her and we took her in because he had several dogs already. We only had her about 4 years and she disappeared without a trace. We put ads on the radio, at all the local vets, etc but never found her. I hate that because there is no closure. Glad no garden beds are being disturbed!!

Michelle, yes I do have talents but not artistic ones:-) DH's whole family are very artistic, creative, and unorganized:-)

Eden Happy Anniversary!!! Poor Brad working all those hours, but triple time is not bad:-)

Sue, have fun with the auditors:-) And best of luck with the dog rescue. That type of work must be quite a mixture of sadness at the conditions and happiness at finding good homes.

Yeona, we're having a family dinner on New Years. DD and SIL are coming today for the weekend. We always look forward to having them here.

V, have a fun and safe trip to Chicago!

Martie, it sounds like you really enjoyed your Christmas! It is always good when everybody is happy at the same time and no hurt feelings, etc. Big get-togethers with lots of family are always a little stressful for me for that reason:-)That's too bad about your camera though:-( The "dinner for a week" is a great idea! Will you be cooking the dinners or taking them out? Glad you're back too!! Oh! a trip to Logees? I'm envious lol! I'll be looking forward to hearing all about it in great detail:-)

It's cool and gray here today. The sun is supposed to come out later though. I have a bit of cleaning and cooking to do for the weekend so must get at it. I wish everyone a very Happy New Year. I hope to see all the missing folks here soon!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 9:43AM
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It's been pretty busy around here at home so I really haven't had time to do more than lurk. I guess I'm not the only one being very busy.

I had to say Taryn I loved the pics of the girls-they have such a fun auntie: ) I can see the joy in their eyes over their new frilly frocks.

Wendy I'm sitting here nodding my head over the little ones getting(diving) into the frosting-lol. We had a similar thing going on because the adults are so busy yakking that the kids know just when to strike the dessert table lol.
Thanks for your support on the science project woes-it still has me fuming,but we've been doing just a little bit each day so it's not overwhelming. We still have to study for the longitude/latitude quiz he has on the first day back(double grr-and yes, it's the same teacher!)

Ep I've been thinking about the fires a bit too since my sister lives in TX-tho I gather the fires aren't as south as she is. I hear there's concern about people deciding to blow off fireworks to bring in the new year-it's potentially an additional deadly fire hazard. I hope all goes well in both states.

On the flip side I can't believe the mild weather we're having. I know it only means the eventual weather will be that much more vengeful. It's never an easy winter ride here-just when you think it's going to be a warm/dry winter we get whammied.

Marian-pretty lilies. I hope the ones I planted this fall actually come up and the deer don't eat them. Yours have such large blooms!

Hi Yeona! I'm happy the two of you are going out for the new year-we used to do that before the kids(have fun for me; ) Our evening will be quiet and probably involve some champagne-I would have brie too but I'm trying not to eat high fat stuff so we'll see.

I'm a little melancholy because our favorite privately owned subshop is closing. It's been entirely run by the owner's family and we've loved their food ever since we've moved here. It's not the food I'll even miss-it's the woman who we've gotten to know there-she has cancer and the treatment has made her bones too weak so the doc said she has to slow down-she really does look fragile. I'm afraid of what this change means for her-I think it was her driving force but her body just can't handle it. I do hope the new year brings her improved health-who knows maybe a miracle too.

psst-Sue-good luck planting those fart machines(you crack me up!)
Wishing you an easy rescue!

V I was thinking of you last night about sleepovers-I bet the teen ones are easy since they fend for themselves? DId the girls sleep at all? I had my niece(9) and nephew(7) over last night and it went well-which means I wasn't up all night worrying whether our guests were afraid of the dark or of sleeping in a different place. When AJ's friends sleep over I'm always hoping they are comfortable so I don't sleep well.

MArtie that prime rib sounds wonderful! as well as your celebration of the holiday-very fun filled. Good for BIL and his GF: )

One present I LOVE is my new Shark chargeable mini sweeper-it's SO easy to clean up crumbs/stuff under my dining table and get the pine needles at the back door....who knew sweeping could be fun!lol(yes I am cracked)

I've been thinking of MAry and the new adventure her sister's family is having-I wish them the best and lots of happiness in their new home.

Chris got a new ironman watch for Xmas....the problem now is that he keeps timing us on everything we do! Since he's a stats guy I'm waiting to see our stats posted on the fridge too.

Well, I did check my gardens to see if the deer ravaged them terribely. Yep. They did. They ripped whole iris rhizomes out of the ground-grrrrr. Now that it's so warm out there I decided to apply repellant. Hopefully that will also keep the pesky wabbits away-they keep sawing down various young shrubs. Can I ever win? lol.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 10:51AM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

Happy Anniversary Eden & Brad!


Some Anniversary Thoughts:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved...

William Shakespeare

To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.
- Lao Tzu -

Two such as you with such a master speed cannot be parted nor be swept away from one another once you are agreed that life is only life forevermore together wing to wing and oar to oar.
- Robert Frost -

Love is like playing the piano. First you must learn to play by the rules, then you must forget the rules and play from your heart.
- Unknown -

My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.
- Winston Churchill -

And finally....

To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you're wrong, admit it; whenever you're right, shut up.
- Ogden Nash - :-) :-) :-)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 10:53AM
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Morning all,

Happy Anniversary Eden and Brad.

Babs, I have tons of rabbits this year and many shrubs have been "rabbit pruned" I think that since our dog needs to be tied up these days makes the difference.

Marian, I rarely get around to fertilizing indoors or outdoors, so I dont think that is the problem.

Eden, creme brulee french toast sounds delicious.

Sue, our bookkeeper here was just complaining about the upcoming audit season this a.m. I'm dealing with an unpleasant data request today.

Yeona, your New Years Eve plans sound fun. We will have Kenzie at our house. Laura and Mike are going up to Minneapolis for a Minnesota Vikings game on New Years day.

Martie, your Christmas food is making me hungry :o)

It rained last evening and then snowed a little during the night. The road was a little slippery this a.m. Ok if you took your time and drove sensibly. There was 1 car being towed and a semi jackknifed on the way.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 12:16PM
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Good morning!

Happy Anniversary (belated) to Eden & her dear hubby!

Babs' ornament card was lovely.

Michelle, we're spending NYE babysitting our grandson so that his parents can go out to dinner & a movie with some friends. I'm pretty quick to say 'yes' when asked if we want to have him for the day or overnight. We enjoy him a lot.

Sue's TGIF was a colorful one. I enjoyed seeing it....always enjoy it for some reason. I never have figured out why I look forward to seeing them....guess it doesn't matter. :o)

V, hope you & your spouse have an enjoyable weekend.

Ei, I liked your anniversary post. Some of those quotes were pretty great.

I've not seen anything about the fires on the news. I will have to go looking online for some maps of the areas that are involved.

DH is home today (another vacation day being used up) so I need to get off of the computer. I've continued with the organizing of the attic and am pleased with how it is going. Still plenty to do and many days still needed to go through things, reminisce and to decide what stays, what goes and how I can best consolidate things so they are readily found if I ever want to put my hands on them 'now'. It has been enjoyable to reminisce and to see the progress I'm making.

I'd better go........hello to all!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 12:52PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Happy Anniversary to Laura and Brad!!!!

Glad you liked the other pix. I, too, love the puffy white xmas kitty. And I'm thrilled with my red wall. Here are a couple more pix of xmas decor I forgot to post:

And on the ledge to the basement:

I'm with Michelle. I haven't had a chance to enjoy my xmas decorations so I'm not taking them down yet. Besides, I'm still weeding out stuff in the basement for the spring garage sale and can use the extra room to work in. And I want to organize xmas stuff differently. But HORRAY -- our outside lights are taken down, defrosted, labelled, bundled and ready for storage.

And just in time, too. We're under a snow advisory.

In the cleaning dept., I donated all the older-but-still-good canned goods in the pantry upstairs and "disaster emergency" supply in the basement. I'll refresh them as well as an emergency water supply over the next couple weeks. Before baking, I went thru my spices and pitched the old.

Now for the Great, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

GREAT NEWS! Our good friend and former business partner won a quarter mil. in the Mega lotto! We are absolutely thrilled for him! He's had such adversity these last few yrs. it's just wonderful to know it went to someone so nice and deserving.

There's more... I'm going wireless! DH got me a laptop for xmas. The geek squad was here to set it up. I just need to get used to using it! Also, our good friends and neighbors gave me the most fabu wire planter. It's about 3' in diameter and you can hang it from a tree. It'll be fun being creative with it this Spring.

The good news is that we had a wonderful xmas gathering at our house and was enjoyed by all. Also we really enjoyed our friends' visit and the gathering with other mutual friends.

The bad news is that my friend with cancer had surgery yesterday. I'm waiting until tomorrow (to give them some space as requested) to find out how she's doing. Thanks one and all for your support and for keeping her in your prayers.

the Ugly is DS's typical acting up over the holidays. She's always in a tussle with someone. Evidentally she and by DB got into it and are not talking. Next, she phoned while our company was here and demanded to know the name of Mom's lawyer. Good thing I have a terrible memory. I wasn't lying when I said I couldn't remember. I didn't say I could look it up! I suggested she ask Mom (LOL).

I've been reading up but don't have time to comment now except to say how great it was to see Jain's house. Hmmmmm, just how did she take all those wonderful pix w/o one critter in them?

V, have a great time NY Eve in Chicago. We're going to spend ours at a friends' home. Tomorrow, it will take me most of the day to make the decadent dessert the hostess asked for made. It has the most calories and colesterol of any dessert I've ever seen. But it's yummy.

Have a safe and Happy New Year, dear Idylls!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 5:48PM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Dear Idylls

I hate to post this, but friends here are always so generous in offering words of kindness and wisdom. I understand with holidays and company anyone who wishes to skip the note below and not comment at this time.

Yesterday was a day of terrible sadness. I was just getting ready to leave for the airport in Washington when I recieved a phone call telling me one of my closest and dearest friends and her two daughters (14 and 11) were killed in a fatal car accident in California. Susan was one of the lovliest people I know, full of kindness, generosity and honesty. She lost her husband 5 years ago when he dropped dead during a tennis game. It is incomprehensible that another tradegy should claim the rest of the family. Both our families were close, Annie had been best friends with her 11 year old daughter since 1st Grade and has taken the loss very hard. Last night Annie was too angry to talk or let any of us comfort or hug her.

Both of Susan's daughters were hard working, smart, gifted on the cello, good at tennis and just the kindest girls you could meet. Whenever I think of them I see them both smiling. The world is a poorer place for all they would have offered as adults.

Susan was the first person I would call with good or bad news, always understanding and practical. She had the greatest integrity, always remaining true to her values and never betraying a confidence, and a warmth that made everyone welcome. We celebrated our birthdays together, had dessert gatherings on Friday evenings, went to the market early Saturday mornings, cooked up big family meals and shared much of our children's upbringing. With my DH constantly travelling and her DH gone, we would often go together to school events, parties and even classes. There is a huge, aching hole in my life right now and I'm struggling to make sense of any of it.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 6:00PM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Oh Mary I'm so terribly, terribly sorry for your family's loss....Wish I had some words of wisdom to offer. All I can offer is prayers and cyberhugs to you all...


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 6:11PM
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Mary, I'm so very sorry.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 6:38PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mary , I am so very sorry . I pray that you will be comforted . Hugs to you and to Annie .


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 7:03PM
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Mary, My heart goes out to you and to Annie and the rest of your family. This has been such a challenging year for your whole family. May you somehow find the strength to cope with this horrible loss. I am so very very sorry. Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 7:58PM
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(((Mary))) my heart aches for you and your family. My deepest sympathies for your loss.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 8:53PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Mary, I'm so sorry about your friend and her family.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 9:23PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

((Mary)) and ((Annie))

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 9:30PM
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Full_Bloom(z5 IL)

*Dear* Mary...I've been sitting here for the last hour trying to think of what I can say to you and finally realized there is nothing I can say, nothing will make it right...make you feel better...comfort you, except to say how sorry I am. I can't imagine the pain you are feeling right now, doubly so because I know Annie's pain makes your heart all the heavier. Susan and her children sound like very special people, very special friends. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers and some how, some way, I hope you will all find some comforting...Ei

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 10:10PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

((Mary and Annie)) I'm so very sorry.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 10:55PM
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lily316(z5PA) heart aches for you. What a horrific, incomprehensible thing to happen to wonderful people. ..Sylvia

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 1:36AM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

(((((Mary and family))))). I'm so very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to all of you, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 2:42AM
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Mary I'm so sad to hear your news. This has been such a challenging year for you. I don't know what else to say except that you and Annie will be in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so sorry.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 8:14AM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

Mary, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Annie.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 9:48AM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Thank you everyone for your kind words - it means so much at a time like this.

Please don't let me stop the conversation - I'd love to hear what anyone else is doing for New Years. We have music lessons this morning and might see a movie later. We're picking up the threads of our lives again. I'm thinking of making Hoppin John to bring us luck in 2006!

Best wishes


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 11:03AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Mary, I'm so very sorry. (((Mary)))

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 11:24AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Oh, Mary, My heart just aches for you and Annie over this horrific loss. I hope the love and hugs being sent your way give you and Annie some comfort.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 12:49PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Mary I am so sorry for your loss. Such a horrible tragedy. At least the whole family is together now. Hugs to you and Annie.

I just came in from planting. Most of our snow has melted here and with more coming tonight I figured I'd better take adavantage and pop a few things in the ground. I think they have a better chance outside planted than in pots in my garage. Even in the cold zones gardening just never seems to end-at least for me. If I didn't have other things to do, I could probably stay out there all day.

We're going to a party tonight with some friends. It's appetizers only so we plan to have a light meal of my homemade split pea soup before heading over. I'd like to bring something but am at a loss. I was looking at Taryn's spinich balls on the recipe thread but hate to show up with a dish that needs oven time. Hopefully I'll be able to find a suitable option with a little google action.

Last night we tried a new restaurant (for us anyway) for dinner that is getting rave reviews from all the local magazines and other assorted food critics. Fish is the specialty and the food was excellent but the price was higher than what I think is reasonable for a nice meal out. Of course the joint was packed and I guess reservations can be hard to come by so the cost isn't keeping people away. At any rate, I always like to go somewhere different.

OK, my lunch is ready. If I don't get back here, Happy New Year to all of you!


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 12:58PM
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There's a 9 year old greyhound in Rhode Island who's taking a ride down the coast to Richmond Virginia today. 10 hours if the traffic is light. 6 drivers on the GUR (Greyhound Underground Railroad.) Her owner died in December and she was returned to the kennel. Her progress is being tracked like Santa's ride, but with camera phones, and website updates. Here she is leaving the kennel last night on her way to her new home:

See the graying muzzle? Monty's face is almost white with age, so she reminds me of him. It's a nice story to watch on New Year's Eve :-) She'll be in her new home by 6PM tonight.

I stayed up too late last night thinking constantly of Mary's friends. It reminds me of the importance of making the time to be with friends whenever I can. And I like this quote by Joan Kipling which is on my user page here: "Live as if you are going to die tomorrow, garden as if you are going to live forever."

My vacation is almost over and I'm not sure I've used it very well. There are a few closets that are cleaner, the plant room in cellar is cleaned (no small chore!) and ready for seeds. I discovered yesterday that the "waffley" shelf liner material I use is washable(!). I threw some soiled pieces in the washing machine and they came out sparkley clean :) So the area under one of the kitchen sinks is clean and organized again. I should do the same on the other side of the kitchen.

I hope all idyllers have a wonderful and safe New Year's Eve, and that the year 2006 (a very nice number in my opinion) is a happy and healthy one. Cynthia

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 1:13PM
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wendy2(zone 6 MA)

I learned a new trick today - how to burn a music CD. I feel so hip! We got a new computer for Christmas, and it does an awful lot that I haven't taken the time to learn yet. It even hooks up to the cable TV so it can be used like Tivo.

This time of year is when I usually try to clean and organize. I say try because I just found photo albums that I bought last year with good intentions, and they are still in the plastic wrap, photos still in boxes (sorted by year at least). My kids are getting old enough to be honest about toys and other stuff they don't play with or use anymore (they used to want to hold onto everything - I'd have to hide stuff in the basement for months before getting rid of it, because if they saw it they'd want it back). I hope to go through the toy boxes and cabinets soon and put some stuff aside for the Salvation Army and pitch the rest. I have a hard time throwing out stuffed animals and dolls though; they were like people to me when I was a kid. I can remember that when our favorites stuffed animals got really raggedy we had to "Put them out for Santa to give them a new coat" - took me years to get over that when I figured out the truth.

Sue, my favorite appetizer to bring along is a cold spinach dip in a bread bowl. No oven time needed!

Have to run, DS has his "twin terror" friends over, they are in the kitchen fixing a snack involving the microwave and possibly the stove.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 1:57PM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Rant! Just after putting the puff pastry for my dessert for tonite in the oven I saw eggs sitting on the counter. Yikes! I forgot to put them in. So I pulled out the baking sheet, added them, reassembled, etc., and baked. Well, it didn't rise as it should have and then I inadvertently put it near a draft to cool so it fell! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! So I sent DH out for more ingredients and just remade the pastry. I'm usually not this inept in the kitchen but today seems to be an exception.

For New Year's Eve, we used to go to the St. Clair Inn in St. Clair, MI -- a favorite destination in the summer on our boat, too. It's a quaint town on the river about 1-1/2 hrs. away. We'd go a day or two early to shop the boutiques in town and use their wonderful pool and hot tub while watching the freighter traffic on the river. The ships are so close you feel you can reach out and touch them! Their food was wonderful, music and dancing great and we just loved it.

Well, as time went on the city drove out the popular little boutiques when they raised the taxes and the hotel started cutting corners. The food went downhill, the service was awful and high-school bands were far superior than what was offered in the NYE package which was very expensive. So instead, 4-5 couples now take turns hosting NYE each year. Often, those that live the farthest spend the nite at the host home and the festivities continue on New Year's Day. We look forward to it every yr.

Well, the timer went off. Let's hope I didn't mess the pastry up again! If it comes out OK, I'll post a photo and the recipe on the other thread. It's a gorgeous presentation and yummy, but oh, my, the calories!

If I don't get a chance to get back here, have a safe and wonderful celebration, everyone!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 2:36PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Alright Sue, what is the name of the restaurant? Those of us within driving distance need names :o) BTW, we watched a DVD yesterday (Finding Neverland) and in the outtakes section the producers claimed to have used a fart machine to keep the kids laughing during an awkward dinner sequence they had to film. Then, they proceeded to show it-which was hilarious-the kids kept laughing and Kate Winslet started to crack up also.

Since we didnt go out for my bday on Monday, we went for lunch to Union League Café in New Haven yesterday for French food. Ooh la la. It was fantastic-hubby had cauliflower veloute (with pureed mushrooms)-it had a nice earthy taste, then scallops sautéed in some sort of light truffle sauce alongside homemade pasta. I had steak frites (steak with béarnaise sauce, pomme frites, green beans and a watercress salade). We couldnt resist dessert, so I only ate half of my meal-had chestnut crepes along with chestnut ice cream and hubby had warm apple tart. Instead of wine, I started off with a Pastis, an anisette drink popular in Provence that I had over in St. Tropez a couple years ago. Weve been meaning to go to this restaurant for a while but they are not open for lunch on the w/ends, which is our usual time. So, since we both had Friday off, we decided to finally go. Also, it was just voted (by CT magazine readers) Best overall restaurant and Best french restaurant in CT along with awards for New Haven County for most romantic and best service. It was worth it! Nice restroom also-always a perk. No hole in the floor like in France :o)

We finally hooked up our DVD player, so weve been watching movies like crazy, esp since only reruns have been on TV the last couple of weeks. Any recommendations-I like light hearted usually but will watch an occasional drama?

Where is Deanne?

Wendy and Cynthia, I usually try to organize this time of year also. I cleaned up all my papers downstairs-they usually go into 2 piles: dogs or gardening. The pantry really needs a good cleanout also. We did the bonus/storage room over the garage a few weeks ago on a warmer day since it isnt heated or cooled.

Honey, cute decorations! Great news about your good friend winning the lottery!

Babs, so sorry about the sub shop owner-hope she improves soon.

T-Im spending way too much time on that puzzle. It is only my 2nd one and its driving me crazy. Are there many tricks to solving these types of puzzles? I keep thinking there should be mathematical methods applied. I put the puzzle into excel and am working on it there. Ive listed all possible numbers in each cell and eliminated all numbers that would not work in them. Now it just seems like you have to just guess and go for it. Ive tried that twice and cant solve it yet. Guess it will just take some time but I seem to work on it late at night instead of sleeping. Do I have a problem :o)?

Our frat friends from college used to have a NY Eve party every year but stopped doing that about 4 years ago b/c other families had kids that didnt enjoy it. Hopefully, once the kids are older, we can reinstitute the party. Since then, we stay in for the night, but usually make a special meal. Tonight is Chicken cooked with Champagne, from the "French women dont get fat" book. The author is the CEO of the US office of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and the recipe calls for her champagne. We bought the somewhat expensive bottle for the chicken and the remaining volume will be for us to drink. Were having brown & wild rice, salad, and sautéed mushrooms alongside the chicken, then a poached pear recipe from her cookbook also. Hubbys making me a Pomegranite Martini in a little while. He wants me to at least brush my hair for the meal-esp since Xmas day I was in my sweats all day and didnt brush my hair or put my contacts in.

The Tournament of Roses parade is NOT on NYs Day this year-it is happening on Monday instead. Some rule about not having the parade on Sunday. Ill miss our tradition of getting up to watch the gorgeous floral displays (on HGTV, where they actually talk about all the flowers and seeds) the day after the festivities.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 3:28PM
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Just have time to drop in for a quick minute. First off, thanks so much for the anniversary wishes and cards. I loved them all. Ei the anniversary quotes were great!

Sounds like everyone has plans for a fun evening tonite. We're just spending a quiet night at home since Bella's here until around 11.

I have to brag on my dd Jennifer. She bought a new car a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday a delivery man came to her door with a package. When she opened it she found a $500 gift card to Target which was an purchase incentive she wasn't aware of. She called all excited to tell me about it and I said that would last her awhile on all the stuff she's always buying there. She said no that she was going to use it to buy Megan a video camera. Megan's been wanting one to take video of Bella but hasn't had the money to buy one. So Jen and Brad went out today and got Megan a camera. Megan's working right now but will be really surprised to get it later tonight. I thought that was a sweet thing for Jen to do for her sister.

Monique, I liked Sideways and we watched Christmas With The Kranks a few days ago. That one was funny.

OK gotta go tend to Bella. Happy New Year everyone and stay safe tonight.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 5:23PM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Monique, the restaurant was called Acqua located in Vernon. See the link below. Do you know I've never been to New Haven except to catch the train to NYC? Everybody I work with raves about the pizza places there and I wouldn't even know how to find them.

I was wondering where Deanne was also. And Marie too. Maybe they're celebrating the New Year together.

For my appetizer party I took the easy way out and made deviled eggs. It was the first time I've made them so I'm not sure how they'll be. If I don't care for them I'll have to get my mother's recipe but there was no time for that tonight.

Time for my shower. Happy New Year everyone!


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 5:46PM
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We started working on our upstairs bathroom today. We installed the new faucet, but in the process realized that the trap needed replacing. So we will need to get a new one of those. We also removed some decorative trim from the vanity for a cleaner look. It will be repainted white and new hardware added. Things slowed down when McKenzie arrived. She is napping right now, but I wonder if I should wake her, else she may party past midnight.
Some years we go out for NYE and some not. No invites this year, so well stay in.

Eden, that is so incredibly sweet of your dd to purchase a video camera for her sis.

Cynthia, I like the quote.

If I dont get back Happy New Year to all.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 6:26PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Honey , welcome to the club ! I opened a box of instant chicken stuffing and heated it up to go with our noon meal a couple of days ago . I told Nolon "This is the flattest tasting dressing I ever ate . " Then I decided to check the box that I had thrown in the trash . Lo and behold , there was the herb seasoning packet still in the box ! I dumped my dish full back in the bowl , added the flavorings , and reheated it ! Nolon went ahead and ate what was on his plate . He said it was okay .

I'm glad to hear that the Parades won't be until Monday . I would have missed a bunch of it otherwise , and I always look forward to seeing it (them ).

RE: "everyone " having plans for tonight .... not us . Nolon will go to bed at his usual 7PM , and I will stay up until 9 or 10 . Years ago , in Idaho , we gathered with friends to sing the New Year in . I think that may have been one of the times we had fondue . ( Does anyone have that anymore ? ) Drinks were coffee and soft drinks . I don't think I could stay awake that long anymore .

Eden , what a lovely thing for Jennifer to do . I wish you could get a pic of Megan when she sees the gift .

We spent a little time outside working today . First I did some cutting down of blackgum sprouts . Then Nolon cut the top out of the blackhaw that died , in the 'island'. I dragged off most of the debris . I got too tired , so some is waiting for another time . I had him leave all of it that is above the trellis that a clematis is growing on . I have the trellis tied to one of the small limbs .
The weather was ideal .

Wendy , congrats on the new computer ! What fun !

From all the neighborhood noises I think there are a lot of new guns , chain saws , and 3-4 wheelers !


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 6:38PM
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Hi everyone,

I have a sleeping little boy in my arms. He's very tired but I'm concerned he'll sleep too long and then he'll be energetic when I'm ready for bed. He's playing with my hair and ears as I type so he must not be asleep. Grandchildren are great.

Monique, I've not gotten any further on that hard Sudoku puzzle. Jim says it is the most difficult one he and his work partner have come across. I'm putting a link below for to a tutorial site for solving difficult Sudoku puzzles. Hopefully that will help you. I found some of the tutorials just as hard as this puzzle. ;o) I think the last tutorial talks about coming across some puzzles that you have to guess on.

I'd better see if I can entice this little guy to awaken. Perhaps with the idea of going out to feed the goats and horse. Yep! He's awake and raring to go out and feed the critters.

I wish the Idylls every happiness in the upcoming year.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 6:59PM
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Eden, that's the kind of kindness that warms a mother's heart. You must be so ...proud or awed. Don't know what applies there. Anyway it makes me teary. I'm glad you shared that.

Honey, I would have given up and bought ice cream! But the results look spectacular, I definitely would eat that. Yumm.
Eden, I like the looks of your french toast recipe too and making it ahead and refrigerating it makes it more likely that I'll actually try it some day. I wisely have copies of all of the recipes going to my email account.

Somewhere between RI and Pennsylvania, Miss Blue was outfitted for the cold. When she got to the Delaware bridge she looked like this:

There were complaints by her chauffeurs that she had, umm, an odor problem. So a volunteer from my group showed up for her driving shift with a bag of tricks and cleaned her ears (one is infected), clipped her curly toenails and brushed her teeth. She is now home in Virginia.

I know it's not world hunger, but I love the kindness that is shown to these animals. Imagine if you died and your dog or cat had to go to a kennel in their old age.

I hope the new year is one that overflows with kindness to strangers.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 8:03PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Marian, we still eat fondue, I am ½ Swiss after all! I have 2 or 3 fondue pots, most inherited from my mom. We buy the cheese mix b/c my mom recommended it. They usually use the same ingredients she would have used-Emmental and Gruyere cheeses, along with garlic and Kirsch. Yum. We only have it 1-2x per year though.

Eden, I forgot to wish you a happy belated anniversary. Thanks for the tip on the movie. We watched The Notebook tonight and I was a bawling mess and couldnt breathe thru my nose for a while. So much for looking good for dinner, instead my eyes are all puffy and my nose is red. I cry easily, that is why I usually rent light-hearted movies. When I was growing up, The way we were was perfect for a good long cry. BTW, that was such a nice thing that your daughter did for her sis-you must be proud you raised her so well.

Sue, oh my god-youve never been to New Haven. Well, we dont go too often but the pizza is good-Pepes and Sallys. However, they arent my favorites-altho I do enjoy the white clam pizza (no cheese, just clams, oil, and lotsa garlic). Sometimes the crust is so thin that the pizza tastes burnt-to me at least. The lines are usually very long, so you must go offpeak.

Anyway, back to my hubby who is working on dinner right now-hes a great guy! BTW, the pomegranite martini was smashing (I told him to make it weak for me b/c we still had to drink all that Champagne). I opened the bottle for the chicken a few minutes ago and I have to say that it is pretty good. Might have to buy a bottle again next year :O)

Happy New Year again!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 8:45PM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Happy New Year to all - good gardening in 2006!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 10:03PM
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New years was quiet here...just a spinach and artichoke pizza on whole wheat at a very cool trendy restaurant just opened a few blocks away..very messy but good. The pizza not the restaurant.
Monique..What's the secret of pomegranate martini's? I am very into pomegranates suddenly since I finally got the trick of getting the seeds out. They do stain your hands tho. I have many dried ones all around the house in decorations but never ate them till last year. I made a delicious salad for Xmas dinner w/ baby spinach, toasted walnuts,sliced Granny smiths, dried cranberries, snap peas, pomegranate seeds and juice, feta cheese, and more I can't remember. Very tasty.
DD took my over sized turtle and sweater back to TJ's and gave me another gift Xmas all over. She got me a pinkish coral turtle and a brown zippered top w/ tiny strips of leather on the sides of the zipper. Since we think alike , I like them and they fit. We all played Apples to Apples...a silly but fun game. I gave GS a lot of art things for Xmas and he was drawing. DD is an excellent artist..had a scholorship which she didn't use, so now we're thinking of art lessons for her kid. Bob, the bearded dragon, was very cosy on my sweater and suddenly jumped to my shoulder and then leaped to their 12 foot high Xmas frazier fir tree. Now how does a bearded dragon born in captivity know he likes trees? He never leaps on anything else. He was cute in the tree>>like an ornament. I passed down my love of animals to the GK's.

Marion..Nolon goes to bed at 7??. Tell him, we never have dinner before 7:30 or 8!!
The New Year usually brings on reorganization..hence all the containers for sale in the stores. Tomorrow Xmas goes and I am sick of it by now. Since I broke a few antique balls this year and can't blame the cats, I got some ball boxes..Salvation I come in a few weeks after I get done my closets..
Cynthia..Ms Blue looks a tad stressed, poor dear. Many times there are ads in our paper about free cat or dog..owner passed away. I'm thinking of setting up an account for my cats so they will be taken care of. My kids each have 2 cats and doubt if they would want more, and they work and cats aren't used to being left alone....Hope she gets a nice home for her remaining years...Happy New year to all...Sylvia

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 2:53AM
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yeonasky(z8b VancouverBC)

Happy 2006 everyone. I hope you all had fun heralding in the New Year in your own ways. The Commodore New Years dance and dinner was wonderful. People of all ages were dancing and enjoying themselves with no problems. I had a small sip of champagne and hope I don't pay for it. I'd forgotten that people sprayed champagne though, at the stroke of the New Year. I smelled like I'd drunk a gallon of the stuff. All in all I'd do this again sometime. Definitely not every year though. I'm such a homebody.

Love seeing Miss Blue. I hope she's truly happy in her new home, and so glad your group handles her transfer to a new home with such style. A pleasure to here about this.

What a wonderful sister to thoughtfully help Megan out. No wonder you're proud of Jennifer. Added bonus is more pics, for mom gmom and us, hint, hint.

Many people believe that 8, which 2006 adds up to when adding the 2 and the 6 is a very good number for business. I hope it is so, though we try very hard to strive for a balance in our lives here, between family, business and taking care of ourselves. It's not easy, but Richea and I remind each other of it often. May your New Year have just the right balance.

I've missed many of you, but know that I think of all of you often. Deanne, GB, EP, I hope you and others who haven't checked in lately are just busy. You are missed, and we enjoy your company so much. Please say hi, at least.

It's late, I'm tired, so good night sweet Idyllers, till it be tomorrow. Technically it'll be today but you know what I mean.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 5:00AM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

It was pretty much a green holiday season here - Dec 30:

but it snowed yesterday so DH is doing the dog walking by himself; I have to do just indoor exercises on days like this. The dogs like to supervise:

(We use patio furniture cushions as exercise mats! And Chelsea likes to use them as a bed so there are always a few lying around :-)

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 10:04AM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Dear Idylls

Happy New Year to everyone! May it be filled with health, happiness, kindness, family and friends.

Here is my little gardening corner.

I've been doing Soduku since the spring when they first became popular in England. Mum and I are addicted! They are perfect to do while waiting during music lessons or Karate classes. I also love Cheese Fondue though haven't had one in ages. I had a violin job years ago playing quartets in a Fondue restaurant. At the end of the evening we were treated to a big pot - very yummy.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 11:01AM
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Woody_Canada(~USz5 - Canada)

Mary - that book in your picture is under our tree too (along with a few other gardening books.... I highly recommend Second Nature as a good read.)

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 11:05AM
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Mary_NY6(z6 NY)

Woody - I LOVE Michael Pollan!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 11:14AM
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taryn(S Ontario Z6B)

Happy New Years Idylls!

Bum shot courtesty of Terry, neighbor's buddy who graced our home last night. We had much fun listening to guitar/mandolin jam, and singing along with both them and Kareoke machine. Too much food and vino, and toasted midnight with Bottego Spumonti. Today I'm still in my nighty, had Mimosas and cheese omelette earlier and am on my 3rd movie. The last day of excess...

Wishing all a healthy, happy, prosperous 2006!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 3:48PM
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Let the new year keep on slinging this fine weather in my direction! 46F here. I spent some time picking up sticks today and ended up getting my clippers out to do some cleanup that was left over from fall. The dogs were out and after an hour I thought I heard a cat crying. Sure enough, Saul had snuck out when I had invited the dogs to come into the yard. He was sitting in front of the kitchen door screaming at it to open. He is NOT a vocal cat so that was a quite a performance for him! Fortunately (?) he is too big to slide between the fence rails, so he was safe until I found him.

There are green leaves pumping out on some of the real hardy perennials and shrubs and the variegated Leucothoe under the magnolia are looking gorgeous! 5 of them that I put in two years ago. I should limb up the magnolia a little so that I can see them in other seasons. They'd still get plenty of shade in the corner they're in. I have the scent of bee balm and agastache on me. Funny how the scents stay even after the plants are dormant.

Cute crowd you have their Woody! The black boy looks very happy with his 'vacation pack.' I looked up the book that both you and Mary have, and it was described as 'too much like a text book' by one reviewer. Sounds great to me. I'd rather have the details than think of questions not answered. Mary your gardening corner is lovely! I really want to smell those lilies! Your whole house must smell of them :)

Taryn looks like a fun party! Monique, how did the chicken come out? Is it a recipe worth sharing?

I cleaned out under the south side kitchen sink today, and the pan closet too. Are pan closets ever big enough???? Put some hooks in for colander and anything else I could hang. Then started on the drawers in the downstairs bathroom, and underneath that sink. For someone who doesn't where make-up 90% of the time, I sure had a lot of lipsticks. Mostly bought when the color/brand that I use wasn't available, and once home found to be too dry or the wrong color. I took that wastebasket outside immediately before the dogs discovered them and painted the place.

I'm hungry!

Hi to all ~ Cynthia

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 4:52PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Happy new year to one and all!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 10:05PM
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Good Morning, It's a rainy, gray day here today, but better rain than snow. The temps are mild too, around 40F. Hope everyone had a good New Years Day. Brad ended up not having to work so we just hung out all day. I made breakfast and then we went to Borders for awhile. I got the Michael Pollan book Woody mentioned, Second Nature, and the first of the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency books. Picked up the latest Horticulture too. Then lunch at an Italian place, lasagna and a glass of wine for me, then a dvd last night, The Upside of Anger, with Kevin Cosner and Joan Allen. Not a bad movie. We were asleep by 10. It was a nice day to start out the new year with.

Megan loved her new video camera. I bet Bella thinks she's a movie star by now, lol. Jennifer is always doing thoughtful and generous things for others. Another nice thing she did when Bella was born was open a college investment account for her that she contributes to every month.

I wish I was able to work in the garden during warmer winter days like Cynthia, Sue and Marian. We have this heavy clay soil here that you don't want to work with when it's too wet.

Woody I loved the pics of the gang, both with you and with dh. Looks like you have alot of help exercising there!

Monique, I don't like anything scary, or too violent in a movie. My all time favorites: Love Story, The Way We Were, An Officer And A Gentleman, Notting Hill...I guess I like romantic movies best.

Taryn, your parties always look like everyone's having so much fun.

Mary, what a nice indoor flower garden. I looked up your book too and sounds like an interesting read. I have a Borders gift card for $100 I got for Christmas and a 30% off coupon that's good starting Thursday the 4th. Yesterday I found, for $125, Conifers: The Illustrated Encyclopedia (2 Volumes)which I've been wanting, but only one set so I hope it's still there Thursday when I go back. I couldn't see buying it yesterday when I can save $37 on Thursday.

Yeona, glad to hear you had fun at your New Years Eve bash. Also glad to know that 2006 will be a good year!

Cynthia, I love hearing about your rescue group and Sue's too. It makes me feel so good to know there are people out there who care about finding homes for these animals. I hope Miss Blue made it to her destination safely.

Marian, lol on the flat tasting dressing. I could see myself doing that easily too.

Michelle and T, how did you do ringing in the New Year with those grandbabies?

Well time to go get started on something around here, haven't figured out what yet. Have a good day.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 10:02AM
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honey_mi(Z5 MI)

Good Morning Idylls! Yeah, Im wireless (but still getting used to this laptop).

The party NYE was really fun. The food was outta this world and the dessert was a hit. It was everyones last splurge before the start of dieting. We decided not to spend the nite and I was the designated driver this yr so only had 2 glasses of wine. These are special friends and funny as heck. We were sad to hear theyre going to move to TN in the next yr or so but vow to continue to host a NYE party and were all invited.

Despite what I said, I think Im ready to put xmas decorations away. Inspired by Cynthia, Wendy, V, Monique and Michelle, yesterday, I spent 5 hrs. in the basement going thru old stuff, reorganizing and labeling Today Ill pick up a couple on-sale storage containers and pitch the limp old, cardboard boxes. I set the DVR so I wont miss any of the Rose Parade. Gosh, I love that DVR.

Monique, I have two huge piles of paperwork, too gardening and misc. Ill be weeding thru that in the next couple weeks.

Wendy, one of my winter projects is to organize photos, too my own and helping DD with hers. Seems to be no end of projects here to tackle.

OK, catch up. T, I like word puzzles. I just cant get my head into this craze.

Woody, I loved the pix of your DH and furry friends! Great to have a peak into your world.

Eden, Bella is a real cutie! And all that hair! My grandniece just had her first bday and is a peanut by comparison. Shes healthy, but very, very petite (fathers side of the family are all small). Shes seriously entertaining and knows she has everyones attention b/c shes so adorable. Your scrapbook project sounds real interesting. Please make sure you show us your contribution when youre finished. Oh, and how proud you must be of your DD. What a loving thing to do for her sister. You have great kids and theyre all so supportive of each other.

Taryn, I loved the pix you shared. You have such a lovely family and everyone looks so happy to be together. And a bum shot! You are so baaaaad, girl!

T, your grandson is sooooo cute. Its great you get to spend so much time with him.

Im sharing Marians concern about Jerri and the wildfires in her area. Hope she checks in soon.

Marian, I understand about the stuffing. Somehow, that day my mind wasnt in geat!

I heard from Jain and she said she lost a rose garden to a mudslide, but is grateful for the minor loss in view of the misery in the valley.

Cynthia, I can understand how you get caught up with the GH rescue. The pix you posted of Miss Blue do remind me of Monty. I hope shes adopted to a loving home soon.

Wendy, the story of your nephews and the desserts cracked me up! You guys must have been hysterical with laughter.

Martie, I loved that gift of dinner for a week! Thats so creative. I have such trouble getting my Mom something and usually supplement her gifts with gift certificates to her fav restaurants. She loves them. She and her BF and neighbor catch the lunch or senior specials every week.

Mary, good luck to your DS in her new home. How great of you to drive out with her and help with the move. Its been quite a harrowing year for your family and I hope the New Year is full of fun, happy times.

Babs, how awful the deer ravaged your gardens! I usually have to find and replant the rhizomes in the back of my garden. They take a taste and usually spit them out 100 yards away. Grrrrr.

Sue, EP and Marian, Im amazed and so jealous you can get out and garden this time of yr. Altho it has been unseasonably warm, its just too darned damp and chilly for me to indulge. After the xmas décor is put away, Im going to dive into plant catalogs. Cant wait!

Yeona, Barb, great to hear from you, too. Oh and a special thanks to EP for the recipes on the other thread. In fact, thanks to one and all. Im going to copy them to my recipe folder.

Sylvia, great idea to make provisions for our pets should something happen to us. Im sure my DD would take Bullet in, but its good to have a plan in place.

Marie, the creek is just beautiful! Our show has melted with all this mild (damp) weather. Were in for a cold snap soon. Hope we get some snow to insulate the plants.

Eden, my fav movie is "Somewhere in Time" with Jane Seymour and Chris Reeves filmed at our own Grand Hotel up north. I cry every time.

Well, where the heck is Deanne? Deanne, were missing you. Hope all is OK.

Well, the sales are calling. Have to shower and get this program rolling. Enjoy the extra day off, everyone!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 10:42AM
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Hi everyone. I have been MIA this week, and just saw the message about Mary's friend. I am so so sorry to hear about that. Very tragic. I am sorry for Annie too, and my heart goes out to you.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 11:01AM
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