Idyll # 414 Allow yourself some happiness....

prairiemoon2 z6 MADecember 13, 2008

It's Christmas Time Again


Bob Lazzar-Atwood

Put your problems on probation

Run your troubles off the track,

Throw your worries out the window

Get the monkeys off your back.

Silence all your inner critics

With your conscience make amends,

And allow yourself some happiness

It’s Christmas time again!

Call a truce with those who bother you

Let all the fighting cease,

Give your differences a breather

And declare a time of peace,

Don’t let angry feelings taint

The precious time you have to spend,

And allow yourself some happiness

It’s Christmas time again!

Like some cool refreshing water

Or a gentle summer breeze,

Like a fresh bouquet of flowers

Or the smell of autumn leaves,

It’s a banquet for the spirit

Filled with family, food and friends,

So allow yourself some happiness

It’s Christmas time again!

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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 6:30PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

A couple of amusing pics:
( Please excuse the quality)

Trubby in his new favorite spot on the front porch...I really need to replace that rug that is on the little table that he is under...LOL

The next is really not a good pic, due to the reflection of my camera and red sweatshirt, on the window that I was taking it through...but it is Nolon heading up to the mailbox, with Trubby and Tommy following.
They wait everyday for that trip....usually twice a day.

I got my shopping mission accomplished today, but did not get the B12 shot. My dr's office was closed!

The wind has been whistling around the house this eve, and is to continue tomorrow. The freezing precip is due starting Monday, and continuing off and on most of the week! We will just hunker dwon, and wait it out....hoping no big limb or tree falls on our house!

I sure hate what is happening to all of you in the northeast, the northwest, and the upper plains states!
Any one that has to be careful!


    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 7:45PM
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I have at last done a bit of seasonal participation. The mantle display is done not the usual extravaganza , but a scaled back version that will do just fine. Christmas tree is purchased, erected and decorated. I got the smallest one I could find and put it on a couple of wine boxes to give it some height. I only had to use one string of lights and about a 10th of my ornament hoarde.
The rain that was supposed to come today has yet to arrive, once again I had to water some containers this afternoon. We are expecting quite low daytime temps over the next few days ( west coast disclaimer on use of the word ÂlowÂ) in the 40Âs. IÂm reading of blizzard warnings in the Dakotas Âthe 40Âs look pretty tame.

Nice little gem of a poem PM ! Or is it a song ? Very appropriate..

Cynthia. I must admit to having a bit of a giggle over the tale of the Hope-less rabbit even though the poor thing crossed to Mr Macgregors garden in the sky. IÂm sure he/she was after one of your agaves--- In the very early morning the only thing the kitchen is good for anyway is to feed the cats and brew the coffee.

Deanne may need to make frequent visits to VÂs Cabo pics. Having never experienced an ice storm I can only speculate how very unpleasant that might be.

Martie, rant away Âwe can take it, and what Âbug said was very apt. ((Martie))..

Marian, pic quality notwithstanding, that is a classic shot of the felines taking their stroll to the mailbox. And I note that Trubby has his tail firmly curled about the paws- how they love to sit in the sun on cold days.

Not much else to offer this to all, please stay safe and warmÂ

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 7:54PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

I'm way behind again....

Julie - I loved the treadmill picture! I have requested a cheapo treadmill for Christmas - I'll have to throw Misty on it and see how she does :- )

((Martie and Ky))

Deanne - I'm glad the damage wasn't any worse than it was! Your posts are a good advertisement for a generator....

V - how's your tan? :-)

Cynthia - good for Hope! Misty is a rabbit killer too, although she has so far only dispatched baby ones. I have no doubt she'd do her best to eliminate an adult if she could catch one.

Sue - did I miss to next installment of the old boyfriend saga...? This past summer an old boy friend (as opposed to boyfriend) dropped by with his wife and two teenage boys. They were doing a cross-Canada drive, introducing the boys to old friends along the way and introducing them to the east coast where we grew up. I hadn't seen him since about 1977, although 5 of us (3 guys; 2 girls) that hung around together (and dated in various, shifting combinations :-) have kept in intermittant touch via e-mail over the years. Interestingly, the three guys are all fathers several times over but neither Jennifer or I had kids. I almost didn't recognize him but the older of the two boys looked very like his father when we were in high school.

The neighbour whose beautiful Malamute died earlier in the fall, has a new Mal as of this week. Dawn is a retired b*tch from the kennel he was planning to get a puppy from. We've seen her but not met her yet because she apparently needs a fair bit of training and isn't as well socialized as you would expect from a 6 year old dog who has had multiple litters.

Randy also dropped by our friends' to see how they and Blue were adjusting to the loss of Jasper. Apparently Blue is doing his best to insinuate himself into the marriage bed :-)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 8:10PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Hi all,

I'm wondering if Chelone is still without power as well???? The news tonight said that there are still 100,000 people in Maine without electricity. NH there are still 350,000, us among them. Yes, still no power. Thank goodness for the generator! My Mom has been staying with us since yesterday. My sister came over for a shower but decided to sleep at home again tonight. The next door neighbors brought over all their freezer and refrigerator stuff so we made room in the fridge for their food. They decided to turn off the water main and cry uncle and sleep at some of their friends' house for the duration. Thank goodness Mom didn't try to 'tough it out' which she has in the past. Tonight is supposed to get down to 15 degrees. Nashua alone still has 33 streets that are closed because of downed trees and power lines. What a mess!

Doug and I got a lot of the debris picked up and taken to the dump today but still have a couple more trailer loads to go. Hopefully it will warm up in a couple days so we can rake up the rest of the smaller branches.

Martie, so sorry for the troubles. Bug and all have given you good advice.

Marian, Oh my! I LOL over the photo of the kitties out for a walk with Nolon! Too cute!

Kathy, be very glad you've never had to deal with an ice storm. They are pretty bad and cause so much damage. It's pretty strange to have had three really bad ones in the last ten years. Before that I don't remember the last time we had significant ice damage. ~~ Good news that you got your decorations up. I'm still not in the mood!

Waving hello to all! Time to get myself to bed. Have a good evening all

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 9:10PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Eleven days until Christmas...good morning :-)

How is everyone this morning? Deanne...quite a weekend you have had, are you having fun yet? [g] I am sure the last thing you thought you would be doing yesterday, was carting off trailer loads of fallen branches. What a nightmare! I am impressed that you were so well prepared for a storm, with a generator. I bet your Mom and neighbor were very happy you had one.

Saucy...glad you had your power restored fairly quickly. We can usually manage a day of no power cheerfully, but some of the people on the news, being 2-3 days without any...doesn't look like fun.

Marian...I am always surprised to see cats actually follow people. I thought that was exclusive to dogs. I imagine cats to be so independent. That is so cute. I am glad Nolan has them to keep him company.

Julie...that photo of Ajax is a riot! I am wondering when you are going to add some video and headphones? [g] the poem seems to be an original by the author. I was curious if there was a song I didn't remember and went looking. There is a song title of that name, but the lyrics are entirely different. Also a Charlie Brown special by the same name.

So you finally decided to have your own tree, that's nice. A small one is more enjoyable when you have to take it down and put it away. Are you going to DD's this year? how was it seeing your old friend? Was it awkward, or was there still a connection there? Just curious. Nice to hear all the doggie news. How often did you usually see Jasper? Are you missing him? My DH has always thought Malamutes were beautiful and would have liked one. Shedding would be a big problem for us, since DH has some allergies, and I understand they are pretty independent minded and need a strong hand. Maybe you will have photos soon?

I'm wondering if Chelone is out of power as well?

We spent the day yesterday dealing with the leak in the bedroom ceiling, after having not been able to sleep in our bedroom the night before. DH had to pull down part of the ceiling and unexpectedly some of the insulation above it. Not having prepared the room properly for that, he ended up having to clean the whole room and all the bedding, vacuum and run the house fan repeatedly before we felt it was safe to get back into our bedroom. So, for the time being, the crisis is temporarily dealt with.

Today is our scheduled tree trimming get together and I am not only not in the mood, but feeling irritable to boot. The little poem is not helping. C'est la vie. Hope you are all having more luck with your Christmas spirit. [g]

Hellos all around...

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 7:22AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

This morning is our first Christmas event, a brunch for our organization. It is freezing out still but the temperature is expected to rise. Unfortunately, the roads are dangerous... I am still suffering from ailments that leave me in pain and am certain that sitting around chatting with folks is not what I need right now. Sitting itself is extremely miserable these days. To quote PM2, C'est la vie!

This will be a very busy week, for all of us I assume. But between the festivities I will have several doctor appointments and hope things come together in time for 4 hour plane flights on Christmas Eve and on January 2nd when we return.

The weather issues of those like Deanne and likely Chelone remind me that a new furnace is likely next on our agenda and that a generator is a really useful item in our neck of the woods. We've been saying that ever since the Quebec storm and that was a decade ago! There is always a reason to postpone these things, money not the least of them!

Preparing for travel is always a big deal here, perhaps because the burden seems to fall on me. Yesterday I managed to get a new travel bag as the airlines manages to destroy ours at an alarming rate. Gifts are next, packing clothes for the minus 15F temperatures there,(It was -22F there last night) then organizing care for the pets. But in the end, I am thrilled to be able to be with DD & DSIL at a time when we all need each other, and carry on with traditional puzzle making, and other joys.

The rain/snow is making nasty noises against the window, and I must get ready for our in GET DRESSED!

Later friends!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 8:09AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy Sunday!

Thanks for the comments about Ajax on the treadmill - it didn't take any time at all for him to learn to like it - a few dried liver treats and lots of "Good Dog! Good Boy! "s got him there. However, now we can't even start down the stairs to the family room without a blur of black and white heading straight for the treadmill - we go down to use the big t.v. or something and he is sitting right on it. If we ignore him he whines, like "Get with the program you guys! I'm waaaaiiiting!". He is such a great dog.

We did have a mini disaster with the boys. They all wanted a turn to walk on the treadmill. One by one I attached the safety clip, turned it on very very slowly and stood by while each had a short walk. When it was TCS's turn his little buuddy cried out "Warp Speed!" and grabbed the dial and turned it to the highest setting. TCS literally flew through the air and hit the wall, where he simply sat comepletely stunned. I was relieved when he started to cry and I am pleased with myself for my calm reaction. First thing grab the emergency clip so they can't start the thing up again. - go to TCS. Ask him gently what hurts. Ask him gently if I can help him up. Carefully assess the injuries - extremely bad bruised shoulder (read: immediate black goose egg). Ice pack at once. Dry tears, provide lollipop, sit him quietly on the couch with the Playstation. Then, the perpetrator: "XXX, you must never never by yourself touch anything that is run by power. This is a power tool. Your Dad has power tools in the garage. Your Mom has power tools in the kitchen like a blender or mixer. They are not toys. They can be extremely dangerous. This kind of thing is absolutely not funny. We have been lucky that TCS does not have a broken shoulder or worse. Don't ever forget this." To the older boy standing by: "XXXX, do you see what could have happened here? The same thing applies to you. Second thing to all three - "Never touch the treadmill again when you are here. Now let's all go watch a movie, have glass of milk and calm ourselves down." Which is what we did. The safety thing is put away out of kid's reach and all adults in this house have been instructed.

Why is nothing ever simple??? (Ky, Bug, PM 2, Deanne....and everybodu e;se has something going...besides Christmas....)

It sounds like we all need to allow ourselves some happiness this season as we vary in our moods so much. Hmmmm, how old are we all? Is it just me, or does this season also come with its own brand of "tired"?

Although yesterday I took TCS to see a children's musical group called "Splash and Boots', apparently Canada's answer to the Wiggles - only not nearly as annoying, believe me! After we walked home in a snowstorm I didn't want to fix dinner so we did something we never ever do - KFC! I must admit it was a hit!

Then we set up "Horton Hears a Who" for TCS, then after he went to bed we three sat around with shortbread, a bottle of wine, and "Hancock" with Will Smith. Sr. Phil and I enjoyed it, Iner. Phil not so much. Anyway, I found that I had a relaxing evening, and that is my prescription for us all!

p.s. I am absolutely certain that Sue's old boyfriend letter will be immensley more entertaining than my Christmas epislte!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 10:06AM
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Julie, if 'keep out of reach of children' isn't in the instruction booklet along with other advice like 'don't use this electrical device in water' you have grounds! The number of warnings to protect us from ourselves has reached comic proportions :) Here's a video for you. I'm sure this little episode will be a cherished Xmas story a few years from now. Is TCS your son or your grandson?

I don't think my sister lives too far from Saucy, so I checked on her yesterday morning. Her street is on a hill and she's at the bottom of it. Two houses beyond hers, the streets were filled with trees and power was lost. Her lot was unscathed and she has had power right through it. She did say the county is using snowplows to remove limbs and tree parts from the streets. Yowza. Sounds like my old town in NH got hit badly too. That's why I always think of Deanne in these storms - it's the New Hampshire thing! I was probably 30-40 minutes North of her when I lived there.

Chelone is probably painting the salon in her underwear with the woodstove stoked up. Since we haven't heard from her, she may be powerless (only in the electrical sense).

Happy to have the electricity to do housework this week-end and counting my blessings.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Snikering at the picture of Chelone painting the Salon in her underwear...
BILs called to say its snowing in Portland, we had very heavy frost here last night, and I am planning a day of indoor activites. Cooking, laundry, paying bills etc.
And scratching my head at the appearance of IDyll 232, circa 2005 bumped up by an ususpecting web-surfer..

back later
Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 12:15PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

I am back from some very fine eating at our brunch!

I for one enjoyed seeing my newly painted basement on Idyll 232 and wish it were newly painted once more. Of course seeing EP posting there was a bit of a surprise and sad, but also it brought back positive sentiments, appropriate to the season.

Glad Chelone has her wood stove!

Julie, you handled that FAR better than I would have. I might have decapitated TCS's playmate. STUPID! Perhaps you have taught him a life lesson though. I hope so.

Phoebe has been enjoying lessons this week on catching thrown objects. Bouviers are normally considered too smart for this activity, doing the activity once and then saying "So, I know that, now what?" But Phoebes seems to think it is wildly fun, at least indoors. Woody's right arm will likely get a good workout while we're away! ;)


    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 3:25PM
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I've read and laughed and posted some pictures for you on another thread. I'll be back later but have to deal with the laundry right now.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Hello everyone

I wondered why the old Idyll was pulled up until I read EP's warm words of wisdom in the last post.

"Wishing all peace and rest and freedom from stress. Sometimes everything just seems to go backwards but we can try to keep moving forward"



    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 5:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Some New Hampshire pics:

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 6:07PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

I missed the picture of Nolon and the kitty trail when I looked in earlier.... Very cute picture - they all look very purposeful!

PM2 - no awkwardness when with my old friend when he and his family visited. He knew about my disabilities and adapted quickly to the more difficult communications. Interestingly, I could speech-read him reasonably well so I guess I could stil remember how he talked 30+ years ago and he hadn't changed much! His wife is an elementary school teacher - and I said that experience must help a lot with understanding Mike! :-) Re Jasper - we usually saw him every couple of months at least - he and Blue would stay here for a week or two several times a year and we dropped by or they came here relatively frequently. Randy actually saw more of him because Randy does regular long walks for exercise and often passes by their place and stops in to visit with the dogs - and our friends. (They are former neighbours from where we lived before here. We lived in their 'granny flat' for 6 weeks during the construction of this place - we had sold our other house and this one was not finished by the time the sale closed and we had to move out...) I will probably most miss Jasper the next time Blue comes to stay and Jasper is not with him!

gb - Phoebe liked Kong-catch when she was here last so my arm had some practise then :-) I'm sure our niece and nephew will be happy to give her a work-out on Christmas Day!

We just got back from a pre-Christmas get-together at a neighbour's. They have a VERY rambunctious 2 year-old standard poodle. Most of the other neighbours there are dog owners too so there was lot of impromptu training going on - most of which she ignored completely :-) Misty gave me a good sniffing when we got back - she disapproves of us consorting with other dogs unless she's there too!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 6:34PM
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Rain has arrived , snow is predicted for the counties immediately to our north, though it will not be expected to stick. I may see a brief dusting on the top of our hills tomorrow.
I am making lasagna something soft that I will be able to eat late in the week after my dental procedure on Wednesday. Appelsauce and cottage cheese has been acquired as well. Ill make potato-leek soup after Im done with the lasagna

Its not just you Julie ! Gearing up for the Hols takes its toll. I will say that this year with our familys agreement to cut the gift-giving to a bare minimum, its been way less hectic and stressful. Feeling badly too for those of my former business colleagues who find themselves unemployed this winter. What a tale of the treadmill and TCS ! Such a close call. When I was about 8 or 9 I accidently hit my friend George in the head with a golf club-boy did I feel horrible ! He had to go to the ER, but got a butterfly bandage instead of stitches.

Thanks for posting the link to the ice storm pics over on Chelones thread Marian, so beautiful and so destructive ! Hopefully you will not have similar photos of your own property to share.

PM, my cats follow me all over the place. They also come when they are called (usually) and greet me when I come home from work (if they are awake that is !) Cats can be a bit standoffish with those not in their own family , though sometimes they will respond someone they sense is a cat person. I will be going to my BILs for Christmas , which is in Portland a bit less than two hours north of where DD lives. She will be driving up to Portland for Christmas. Hope you were able to lift your spirits for the tree trimming !

More laundry to fold. Good wishes to all..

Kathy in Napa

A Reminder of things to come !

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 6:35PM
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A bit feverish today, with the neighborhood cookie party tonight, just having begged off. My neighbor decorates her bungalow lavishly, and has the whole house done in arts and crafts furniture (mostly repro) so it's lovely to see over the holidays. Our huge hot drink urn/dispenser was dropped off yesterday for mulled cider and I'll probably run some cookies over later but won't cross the threshold with these germs. The boys and I did lots of shopping yesterday. Duncan found a Tintin activity book that he seriously coveted, and we all lamented not knowing a child who'd appreciate it. Ditto spaceship origami. And I kept saying I needed to buy a "stuffy" for my new niece, so now I use idyll terminology, perplexing everyone. We shopped at trendy H&M, where I get to test how my hipster factor is holding up. Test involves holding up random shirts, asking Do you guys like this? As seen yesterday, fashion is at an all-time low, if you ask me. On the holiday prep front, Marty and I baked this morning. I removed a pot on a low flame that was melting chocolate, and he absentmindedly tosses a dish towel on the still-lit burner. Flames, smoke. Oy. Kitchen definitely too small for two people working in high gear.

Since Chelone is probably lost to the internet temporarily, I can write that I saw THE most perfect present for her, a dressmaker form/wire topiary thingy, about 2 feet high, kicking myself now for passing it up.

Too spacy to write more than nonsense and note the Idylls are at half power with all the outages, but hopefully all are safe and warm. Julie, you've got the makings of a first-rate paramedic. Hope little TCS (Cynthia, that's Three Carrot Sticks) feels better today, and that PM locates her holiday spirit and plugs her roof in time for decorating the tree and the rain, respectively.
Glad you had a nice brunch, 'bug.
Made it to 40 degrees overnight, Kathy (outdoors, not in!) Still no rain, drat.
Woody, how exciting to have a new malamute in town.
Oh, there's Chelone, the frontierswoman! Glad the juice is back on!

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 7:12PM
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We had electricity about 1 PM today, though the telephone is not working yet. There were a lot of downed wires and branches dangling on them in and around town. The guys from the electric company told me the towns inland and north really took a hit. Like Deanne, they could be facing most of the week without power.

We were pretty comfortable all told. It would have to be a lot colder than it was for there to be any worry of freezing the pipes. We've talked in the past about replacing the water in the heating system with glycol, but have never bothered. Having to go "cold turkey" for more than a few hours does remind you to pick up after yourself and how much you can take for granted the luxury of on-demand hot water, light, and warmth. We had to scramble to put our hands on C batteries for the radio, and I didn't fill a few containers with drinking water beforehand, nor did we have any way to grind the coffee beans in the morning. But I had plenty of lamp oil (an extra wick and an extra mantle, too) and I knew exactly how to use the lamp properly. We had no trouble figuring out how to supply enough water for limited use, either. It was actually rather an interesting exercise and not without some laughs, too. We lost a failing Hydrangea paniculata standard (rotten at the bottom), but it's an area I'd really like to rethink, anyway, so I'm not broken hearted.

Martie, I can only imagine how your blood must boil when your see your son let down that way. Maybe it's good that he sees that, too. Vent away with us, safe in the knowledge that you may exercise your prerogative and give him a tongue lashing any time your little heart desires!

I have to knuckle down and get the decorating done tomorrow. I was unwilling to mix grout by hand and it was too cold in the Salon to do that anyway. So, we'll take care of the downed wood and perform other home maintenance tasks instead of installling the stove.

I loved the shot of the cats with Nolon, Marian. Reminds me of scenes around here and with my parents, too. Trubby is a good-lookin' rig. Very content with his lot in life, no doubt.

Julie, I have to confess I found your remark about 3 boys and a treadmill funny, and I laughed when I read about the knucklehead crankin' the speed on TCS. It's a good thing it was just bruise and it probably scared the daylights out of the other two kids. I'll bet there'll be more caution in the future. Maybe.

Brenda, you will probably be amazed at the "new you" after a fitting! It's my opinion that the bra is the female equivilent of a jockstrap and that chesticles look their best when nicely displayed in a proper foundation garment. :) I think it would be a wise idea to take full advantage of a home "decorated to the nines".

Go Hope, go! I don't feel to bad for the cwazy wabbit. Made a bad choice, could have run out in front of a car, too. I'll bet Hope was bummed that you took away her prize, Cynthia, but what a good cooperator to surrender it. I've watched Rex dig out a vole and eat him, so I'm not surprised at how quickly bunny entered the food chain.

It's time for me to hit the hay. N-night.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 7:38PM
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The shopping is done and most of the Christmas cards are written. We did a picture card this year, which we never do (who wants a picture of the 2 of us? LOL) As I was looking through some pictures I took this fall I noticed one that seemed to sum up our life here on the farm. Ill post the picture I used below.

I wrapped up the remaining gifts, made and froze nearly 100 appetizer-sized meatballs and generally got on top of things around the house today. The Christmas program at church was cancelled for this evening because of the weather.

Deanne, arent ice storms the pits. We had ice on Monday in the town I work, but I ran out of it just a few miles north. My car was encased in ice when I left work. No fun to drive on either.

I can attest to the guys that take an interest to you when they find out you are single again. I even had strangers call.

Kathy, unfortunately the Dakotas are only a mere hour from here. We are supposed to get snow today, but the killer will be Monday with a high of -5°! Id love to see the mantel pictures and the wine crate tree. I have rose envy over that picture you posted.

Martie, sorry to hear about the turmoil with the ex. He sounds like my exs "good" twin. My kids received no money from him other than the child support, which was frequently late. The worse part is his indifference. My DD was the most hurt by this and told me recently that she doesnt think he even knows she moved to FL and that she hasnt talked to him in over a year. Shes tired of carrying the relationship. Divorce is so tough. Its good that Ky has you and Rich and knows he can depend on you.

Cindy, fondue sounds fun but it would drive my DH crazy. Just not his idea of a meal. I loved it when our family did fondued meat for a meal as a kid. I think the pot was burnt orange. Definitely a 70s color.

bug, sorry to hear that health issues are plaguing you as well these days as if you arent dealing with enough. Hopefully, you will be feeling better by the time it comes to hop on the plane. Here I was thinking 5 was going to be bad this coming week ;o)

PM, I meant to address the comment you made about swimming. I really encourage you to go if you can. Thats the great thing about it, is that you can just sit in the water and do arm or leg circles or swim laps, whatever you are up to. Its supposed to be a great form of exercise for those with disabilities or health issues, which is why I started it.

So far the menu is shaping up to be: baked turkey breast, twice baked potatoes, cranberry/pear sauce and wild rice/mushroom dressing. Well see what else comes to mind. Im sure my mom will want to make dessert since she loves to bake. Since it will just be the 4 of us, Im thinking of fancying up the table. With 9 kids around for Christmas Eve the menu will need to include things they like. I picked up some Tequila Lime chicken wings and Im thinking meatballs and spinach artichoke dip. Im sure Ill come up a few more appetizer type dishes as well.

Julie, how funny that Ajax is loving the treadmill.

Marian, the NH pictures are really something. Thanks for sharing the link.

Denise, the towel incident sounds kind of scary, glad it didnt do any damage.

Since Ive worked on this post on and off all day, I see Chelone has made it back. DH nearly had to do the hiemlech on me as I was eating popcorn when I read the chesticles remark.

Im wondering how T and Babs are these days you are missed.

Somewhat like the snowy owl, Mary. Timely words of wisdom indeed.


I distorted the name as I don't want any phone calls about the Galloping Gourmet oven ;o)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:17PM
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Mary, I like the way your mind works, and that EP's wisdom is still here.

Martie, yep get it off your chest (this is a good place to do that) and then give yourself a break by trying to let it go.

Hey the pioneer woman is back! Chelone, I had no electric or phone for 7 days after a hurricane a few years back. For some reason I still had water and because I have gas heat I actually had HOT water. That NO water part must be worse than NO electricity. Did you make coffee in a press after you used your mortar and pestle on the beans? I keep my coffee press just for outages.

No idea who the dog in red sweater is. A volunteer was taking pics at the Santa photo shoot yesterday and caught Hope (in pink argyle) showing off. Gotta remember that greyhounds don't 'sit' naturally. So with other breeds training a sit is just putting the behavior on cue. With greyhounds you literally have to show them how to contort their bodies and THEN put it on cue. Big difference. Takes two solid months for most of them. But Hope is so food motivated I think I could teach her to stand on her head. Note that the butt does not hit the ground. It's not very comfie, they do it for us, and to get treats and privileges. (Yeah she was staring a cookie off camera.) Martie :) No, our dogs don't come trained, it's all DIY and it's not just important but *fun* to train them. It helps them to feel in control and gives them confidence - they learn how to get what they want by doing what we want them to do.

Hope GB and Denise are feeling better soon!

'gnight all


    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:35PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Evening all,

Well Mom is all tucked in for the night and Doug and I are having a nightcap. My sister got her power back tonight about 7:00PM and my friend in Pepperell, MA had hers restored at 4:00AM this morning. Now, if our turn would come that would be really nice. Maybe we'll have a nice surprise in the morning.

Marian! I don't know where you found those photographs but that is exactly what it looks like around here. They even had a shot of the guys with the snow plows pushing the debris out of the roads. Thanks for posting that.

The strangest thing about this storm is that the ground was still green and ice free but the trees were covered and the higher up in the tree the thicker the ice. Here are a few pics from here.

the corner with the hydrangea tree

The shade garden

The Japanese Maple near the pond, you can see the branch on the garage roof that made the hole.

And here is a pic of the terrace and sundial gardens. I think it looks so strange to have that much ice in the trees with a green lawn.

I'm attaching a link to a photo gallery of a few more of the photos I took on the 12th.

Kathy, What a beautiful photo and how fun to see the flowers right now. I was actually looking through my garden photo galleries last night. It brightened my mood a lot. ~~~ So is the coming week of dental work the last installment???? I surely hope so.

Chelone, so glad to hear that you've gotten back your power! I so agree that we really do take hot water, heat and light for granted. One doesn't realize just how dependent we are on it until you have to be without it.

Denise, so sorry about feeling bad and missing the cookie party. Sorry but I lol over the dish cloth catching fire. That is just the sort of thing Doug would do.

Woody, I laughed when I read about Misty disapproving of you consorting with other dogs when she isn't there to supervise.

Mary, seeing that thread from '05 with the post from EP really gave me a start and a tear.

PM "11 days until Christmas" Bite your tongue! Yikes, I am so NOT READY.

OK, I guess I'm going to get my jammies and tuck myself in for the night.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:41PM
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How fun to have all these posts this evening ! I usually only expect to see the night-owl IdyllsV, Michelle, sometimes Marian, and my time-zone buddy Denise posting after west coast dinner-time.

Cynthia, Hopes pink argyle sweater is tres chic ..

Michelle, lol the Galloping Gourmet ovenI dont think that guy is even alive anymore is he ? No wonder she cant find the instructions. I love the cool farm rigs in the pic.

My God Deanne , what a mess! And yet such exquisite shots in the gallery link you posted. The ultimate irony I guess. The dental action next week is actually phase one of phase two. If you follow ! I have one more quadrant that needs work and we are doing the damn extractions and bone graft on Wednesday. Had to go to the front burner because I have an abscess. It will be four to five months after that before the next procedure (another implant). Guess I will ask my BIL to puree the Prime Rib.

Ok Michelle, as per your request:

Helped the employer by pruning the Italian Cypress along the fence line . Took a big vase and a smaller vase . Filled the smaller vase with water
From Christmas 2008 From Christmas 2008

Put little vase into small vase and filled the space between with cranberries. It. Cypress went into inner vase. Branches cut off Christmas tree to facilitate its fitting into the stand were arrayed on the mantle. Leftovers are outside in a bucket of water will refresh the display if needed. From Christmas 2008 From Christmas 2008

Red tree-skirt is draped over the wine boxes. From Christmas 2008

Editorial note: I hate flash photos.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 10:58PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good evening :-)

What a day, oy! We made it through and I plan on pulling down the shades and not moving out of my bedroom tomorrow. We started the day off needing to clear the air about a few things that were getting under each other's skin and almost derailed the day entirely. Thankfully, DH's humor made a last minute save and we are all still talking to each other. :-) We have all pledged to plan better next year, after shopping was added to the day and it wasn't until after dinner that tree shopping was started. DD and DS went off on their own to get the tree and I swear were back, tree in hand, in 20 Or it seemed so. To me, the day seemed very disjointed and it was not relaxing the way I like it, squeezing too many things in, but in the end, we had a really delicious dinner. DD tried a new mexican recipe and it was a winner. We had a bottle of white wine with dinner and what a strange label on the bottle...'Mommy's Time Out'. I'm not kidding that was the name of the wine?! With a drawing of a Mom in a chair facing the corner?! The darn lights on the tree gave us trouble as they often do but finally everyone's mood changed, once we finally got to the ornaments. We all really enjoyed a Michael Buble Christmas album. I enjoyed a few tracks of Tijuana Brass before much snickering encouraged me to put something else on. So, the tree is up and decorated and I will have the rest of the week to place a few other items and straighten up around the house.

I'm off to bed and will try to catch up with all the goings on here tomorrow. I see lots of great photos and stories to read. I leave you with a funny line I heard today, from, of all places, Charlie Brown..."Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong?' Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.' Good Night. :-)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 11:03PM
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We have a dial tone! (not that I really care all that much, but it's nice to know I could dial 911 if I had to). I love the shots you linked on the Frontierland thread, Marian. That's exactly what it looked like here. It was strange to be home and without power with temperatures rising into the 40s and clear roads. Deanne, your yard looks so sad with all the toppled urns! your documentary is great.

I made some roping out of the newly pruned Eastern White pine that littered the west side of the Compound on Saturday. However, I regretted the activity when it was time to wash off the pitch! I had to think carelly about how to accomplish it using minimal water. I settled on Boraxo powdered handcleaner sprinkled over just wet hands and then a through and gentle massage followed by a spongeing and then a final rinse. It required about 3 cups of water. ;) Anyway, today is the day I have to assemble the pediments and in spite of not really "feeling like it" I know it will be fun once I commit myself to the task. I have the helpmeet's Christmas list in hand and will either take full advantage of on-line promotions later today or go to a few places on my way home over the next few days. The helpmeet can be pretty crabby about the holidaze, too, but I refuse to let it grind me down. I get a kick out of pretty decorations, the music, and the general buzz of excitement. Just because he wants to be a fart doesn't mean I have to hang around and breathe deeply! And usually the enthusiasm rubs off on him, too.

Sue, I'm way to much of a nosebag to let the exBF's letter slip away, too. Will you be sharing it with all the rest of us?? Having someone sprayin' around your door is always good for the ego. I'm surprised your backyard isn't a mob scene. :)

I'll be interested in hearing about your experience with the naturopath, too, 'bug. I think too many people get it all wrong with respect to health. Instead of trying to maintain a healthy body they run to a doctor to just fix it when it breaks down. Good health involves a good deal more participation from the body in question than too many wish to accept. Feeling good about your doctor is crucial, at least to me. Doctors that are too brusque or don't listen really, really piss me off and I don't tolerate it. Not for the amount of money a visit costs.

Wrecks has incrementally increased his status here by occasionally not listening to his Daddy's commands. Mummy, however, is the enforcer. I have been keeping him on a "tight leash" for some time now and have endured a couple of tantrums when someone has pulled into the dooryard. But we don't greet anyone until Mummy says we may! We were outdoors with him the other night and he wasn't responding to the helpmeet's call. He came right to me when I called him back. I think it has to do with my insistance that he obey commands immediately (my willingness to enforce?) and then lavish praise on him (sometimes treats, too). I think the helpmeet "gives in" too quickly and missses a lot of opportunities to train. With Rex, that is a mistake, IMO. It's not difficult to train a dog but it takes persistence and you really can't "blow it off" without setting yourself back in the process (which is why I hate dogs). And we have a "high maintenance" dog.

I've been thinking about Jerri lately. Whenever we get the local rags in the mail I always look at the animals in the shelters. I am blown away by the number of surrendered animals, esp. cats! The helpmeet can't imagine how anyone could "lose interest" in a pet, let alone leave one behind in a move. I don't know how you do it day in and day out, Jerri.

Well, time to do my chores and then propel myself to the Salon for decoration manufacture. I'm going to play Christmas carols to get me in the mood and I will not assemble them clad in my underwear, though I'd like to have a picture of it to send to a few of you, lol. ;)

(we borrowed ground coffee from BIL next door but I've asked Santa for hand crank coffee grinder this year!)

Audubon is inventorying birds in our yard right now.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:38AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oh my, what a difference a day makes! Here we have 45F temperatures this morning and much of the ice is melting. Not so the ice of our laneway of course, and DH must get to town for his course's final exam. Hmmm. Then the 60kph winds are expected this afternoon with freezing temperatures, so I imagine some falling branches in my future along with more ice...No generator here either. But we do have a high maintenance dog which DH loves to excite and wrestle with. Any wonder she is bad at greeting people no less careless with her teeth. Not with me Chelone...but I have not got the manual at hand to train DH.

Well PM2, you've had your day alrighty, but I'm glad things ended on a satisfactory note. I hope the tree is beginning to make things cheerier for all. I spent many years decorating ours solo and wondering why we bothered at all...

Yesterday when driving home from our Christmas brunch I noticed a slow bit of motion ahead on the road and when we passed, there was a poor old opossum scrambling around looking for a meal. They are a very strange looking beast. Below is a photo with a brief story about their tough lives. Possums are quite new in our area, and are expanding their range here.

Chelone, one ritual in my young life was to have Daddy hold my hand over the coffee grinder's handle as he spun it at top speed.

Michelle, terrific Christmas photo! So glad to hear you have a Florida trip planned!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 9:11AM
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I am enjoying all the photos! I really like your Christmas card, Michelle, the colors are so deep! I had fun at the ice capades thanks to Deanne, and Kathy's tree and decor are well as the roses and geranium which made me long for June.

Deanne, the weatherman kept emphasizing here that the air was colder at the tree's the same occurence that happened in '98 apparently.

We had dinner Saturday night with a couple still without power. Restarants are doing good business because of this, according to our frazzled waitstaff. I wonder how winter weather will play into our area's economy?

Mary, I think EP is with us, too. I think of her often. I liked how earlier in the thread she described her switchback paths on her property. I have been poking around old Idylls alot lately. I have some really old ones if anyone's interested. Just name the Idyll era, lol!

We frosted our cookies yesterday and I spent a good part of the day remembering my grandmother and how we used to decorate cakes when I was around Sarah's age. She was really excited about it, I remember, and pretty good at it, too. She had so much decorating "stuff"....hmmm....I wonder if they had cake decorating parties back then? I'll bet that is what happened to her!!!! LOL....the apple doesn't fall far....

The phone keeps ringing and interupting this post, so I'd better go. It's good the phone is ringing :) so I won't complain!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 9:27AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good Morning all! We escaped the freezing rain last night, but did get freezing sleet.It is mostly on level areas..not stuck on vegetaion or power lines. But....that is just the first round. It is to continue through today, tomorrow and into Wednesday. Although the % isn't high, we know not to put much faith into that!

Deanne, the link that I posted of both N.H. and Maine's ice are ones that I found posted on the City-Data forums that I post on. I admire your outlook on all the damage in your yard. I would be pretty sick at heart if that happened to me. I hope you do not find more damage that you already mentioned. It looks really really bad in your yard!
It is certainly good that your mom came to stay with you while the power is out.

Chelone, how interesting that Audubon is inventorying birds in your yard!

Pm2, I am loving your wintery scenes.

Woody, at least Misty doesn't attack you when she smells strange dog smells on you. My mother's neighbor had a Siamese cat that tried to attack me when it smelled my cat's scent on me! I outran it into my mother's house! It ended up on her screendoor in it's effort to get me! Rather scary!

Kathy, thanks for the beautiful and encouraging pic. We need that.:-) Your vase arrangement is pretty. It 'almost' tempts me to do something pretty...almost!

Denise, I am so glad the burning dish towel did no serious damage. I guess I am fortunate that Nolon never is involved in any kitchen activities other than fixing his constant snacks throughout the day. :-)

Julie, I would have been enraged if a friend of Tim's had pulled that treadmill trick on him! I certainly hope the perpetrater was sufficiently scared by what happened. I think the expression on my face would have been enough to instill fear into him!!

Cynthia, I enjoyed the link you gave on treadmill accidents. I wonder how many are hurt by missusing them.
Your doggie pic is cute. I like the captions. :-)

Michelle, yhat is a great pic that you chose for your cards. If I ever get brave enough to hook up my new 3 in 1 I can make all kinds of things. :-)
One of the things I want to do, is make scrapbooks for all three girls, with pics from through the years.
LOl on the Gourmet oven thing. :-)

It was very foggy on our way to and from A.M. services, yesterday, and we had considered not venturing out in the eve., but there was not a bit of fog than. It was still 57F out when we got home, and when I went to bed, but it dropped to 14F by daylight. It is still 14, and not much higher predicted. There is no wind, so the house is comfortable. I have not ventured out, so do not know what I will encounter on the way to the woodshed. I have the rugs ready, to put on the steps. If the ground is slick, I will use either ashes or kitty litter on my paths.

I hope our disfunctional mailman will deliver the mail. He uses any possible excuse not to. He does not go by the old mailman's 'code'. :-(

My computer is slower than normal this morning...I am thinking it has something to do with the weather.....


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 9:46AM
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Happiness is back again and no paternal family will be at Kyle's grad party. The hugs and support here helped so much. Wish the whole scenario happened as fast as it takes to report, but I'll take the end result.

Very quick wave by here, glad to know that houses are being readied, friends remembered and seen, and those without power are coming back into civilization (or maybe it was more civilized without power?????)

Anyway -- will check back later.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 10:43AM
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Love the catty greyhounds! And Kathy's mantle with the cranberried greens. And Michelle's majestic photo. (Amazing that the ex was indifferent to your DD and now missing out on Kenzie. What can be valuable to such a person? I've re-read but don't see a Florida trip in the offing, but 'bug is pushing for it. Great idea, 'bug!) And a new word too: "nosebag."

Blessed rain has arrived, so hopefully we'll make it to 15 inches this year. I was thinking of 'bug's "say no" lecture in the shower today, and how I'm always working on saying yes, e.g., I've said no to four christmas parties so far, and no bad-weather excuses here.

Deanne, the ice show was fabulous. We get all those gorgeous photos and you get the devastation. Not fair! Must be a nice feeling to tuck your mom in, knowing she's safe with you in such extreme weather.

My neighbor brought over a plate of cookies from the party around 10ish. Dune and I were eating rice krispie treats and watching Ocean's 11. Whatever elaborate holiday treats I make, it's the krispie treats that are the fave here. I hadn't made them in years. 1 pkg of butterscotch morsels melted with a cup of peanut butter, mix in 6 cups of cereal, spread in 13x9 pan. Frost with melted semi-sweet choc pieces, the whole bag. Chill. Select movie, etc. Seems doubtful I get around to the rigors of building gingerbread houses this year, lol. I would love to visit Saucy's kitchen and help frost cookies in the shapes of turtles, goddesses, and bees.

Marian, I highly approve of your sensible approach and falling precautions, good for you! My cats seemed determined to trip me up lately, so watch out on that count too.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 10:51AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

We have a flock of Grackles that arrived today for the feast that I put out for the resident birds:

This was just part of them. Nolon also saw a Purple Finch.
There are lots of robins mining our back yard, too.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 2:47PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Hey all! I'm so glad to see the holiday decorations. I can't get into the swing of things this year. I see Hope has settled right in Cynthia. Love the photos and her sweater. :) It's also good to see the Northeastern Idylls survived the storms. Ice storms are the worst.
I wanted to pop in and say I'll be MIA for a while.
I am having a mid-foot fusion tomorrow. I should be in a cast for 3 months and then a support boot after that. I'm really dreading this. At least this way I can be out of the cast by spring!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 3:10PM
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Good luck to you tomorrow, Jerri! Since you don't type with your feet (do you?) will we expect more frequent posts as you amuse yourself during your recuperation? You get two bonus points for the timing of the surgery... gotta think about the great outdoors in springtime, afterall. :)

I'm stapling boxwood on the frames now. Not sure if they'll go up tonight or tomorrow... probably the latter. I refuse to be freaked out by the date. Or the Christmas tree leaning against the bahn.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 4:00PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Ahhh... but can I type while medicated? LOL


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Hey, if I can type while drinking wine, you can type while medicated !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 4:18PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Very best wishes to you Jerri and hope to hear messages, medicinal or otherwise, SOON!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Hello everyone

Good luck Jerri! Hope youo'll have some more time to Idyll while your foot is recovering.

Deanne - the ice storm damage is heart breaking. We have had a couple of really bad ones here. I remember lying in bed during the last one hearing sounds like a breaking chandelier as limbs from the trees fell and shattered all through the night. There is an eerie beauty at first light of the next day but nothing I'd ever want to repeat. Hope you are staying warm.

Kathy - great decoration pics. I love peeking into each others homes during the holidays.

Cynthia - seeing your greys always makes me smile:0)

Chelone - hope we see the fruits of your decorating labors. I know you would have Clousseau wrapped around your little finger were you here to train him. (Either that or soundly beaten LOL!) Cynthia too, but without the beating part.

Marian - I wonder if there is a collective noun for a group of grackle? A gaggle of grackle?.... Neat photo.

Martie - another hug from me. So sorry to hear what you are going through but your spirit always seems to find a way to rise.

Saucy - I have been having fun frosting gingerbread violins and guitars. They are very time consuming as I'm using the tiniest piping nozzle but something I love to do.

Denise - I love the recipe for your rice crfispie treats. I've always made them with marshmallows but butterscotch is a big favourite here so I'll be trying yours. I enjoyed the Ocean movies.

Today our temperatures hit the 50's which enabled me to race around like a madwoman after work planting bulbs, picking up dog poop and bringing in the last of the pots. It's back to the 20's tonight so the window of opportunity was brief but productive. It sure feels good to have those bulbs in the ground and other chores accomplished as there is no guarentee of the next thaw.

I just finished rewarding myself with a cup of tea and a few minutes working on my miniature Christmas scene. Tonight Annie has a violin lesson and I need to get creative with something quick for supper. Heuvos Rancheros perhaps?

Have a good evening everyone


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 5:54PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

LOL, Mary, a flock of geese are gaggles. :-)

Jerry, I hope all goes well with your foot surgery. I sounds really painful. I'd never heard of a 'foot fusion'.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 6:21PM
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A giggle of grackles then!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 7:50PM
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'Mid foot fusion' sounds serious Jerri, I hope it goes well for you and you're on your feet again soon. (Ha!) Do visit us while your'e uh...heeling (sic).

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 7:54PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

omg!!!!!! WE just got our power back! Four days! even with a generator it is difficult. I'm going to spend tomorrow doing laundry and vacumming the floors! I'm in a state of high excitement to have back what I took totally for granted!


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 7:56PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thomas Kinkade Painting...

Waving... :-)

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:04PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Jerri, hugs to you! I knew you were going to have to have that surgery. I'll be thinking positive thoughts for you. I'm still dealing with the tape on my toes to keep me on my feet. Wishing you all the best.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:12PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

How about a gathering of grackles....:-)

WHOOPIE! Deanne has electricity!

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:41PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Looks like things are looking up...Chelone w a phone and Deanne w power again..excellent!

Jerri...hoping for everything to go as expected tomorrow and a speedy recovery!

Glad the party for Ky is shaping up Martie.

Cookie violins sound so cute, Mary and Saucy you are so lucky to have memories of your Grandmother baking with you. No baking going on here yet. your little tree and your vase inside a vase was a neat idea. Very pretty!

Gardenbug...I barely touch the tree any more, I watch and ooh and ahh and pass hooks for the ornaments. I sometimes have been known to rearrange ornaments later. [g]

I had my quiet day today and back to business tomorrow.

Good night..


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 8:44PM
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Greetings on the Ides of December,and for the record on Dec 15, 1791 Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights, thereby making it the law of the land. A little history du jour.

Not sure what to make of our weather forecast, with both rain and freezing temps predicted overnight. Interestingly, Chelone, Deanne, Saucy , all appeared to have warmer temps today than I did. I have a set up on my home page with selected temps of people I know in other climates; friends, family, business associates and of course the Idylls. Lookin like Michelle and V (and probably Brenda) drew the bad weather card today.

Jerri, not sure what exactly a foot-fusion is but it sounds difficult and unpleasant. I hope you sail through to procedure without complication. (((Jerri))) !

Mary, I feel certain that we will be treated to a photo of the Christmas miniature scene-right? Im sure it will be every bit as fabu as the French Boulangerie . I am just constantly in awe of your creativity. How about a miniature garden center for next spring ? We never made it to 50 here today in zone 9-imagine that !

Deanne happy times ! Character building right ? Did you get all the debris cleaned and the garage roof fixed ?

Marian, we dont have Grackles around here, they look to be big birds-Jay size perhaps ? We do however have crows and huge swarms of Starlings. The crows do not visit my yard much. Im getting lots of house finches and chestnut backed chickadees at my feeder right now, and saw a couple of goldfinches over the weekend. Ive seen no juncos yet-they are one of my favorites..

.and Chelone, how did the Audubon Society come to be checking out the compound ? Have you and helpmeet treated them to a gin and tonic after a day of birding ? Is Rex bemused ?

Time to rustle up some dinner---later all..

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 9:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Kathy, you guessed right on the bad weather card. We went from 46 yesterday evening (as late as 9:00 pm) to zero by daybreak, with wind-driven sleet during the night that woke me up. Fortunately, our roads were not too bad. DH made his 6:00 am flight at O'Hare and I got to the office without incident. It's bitterly cold tonight, with heavy snow predicted for tomorrow afternoon. It's not even winter on the calendar and we've already had a winter's worth of single-digit temps.

I'm still not shaking the last remnants of my cold. I'm certainly not sick enough to go to the doctor, but my energy just dwindles by the end of the day. I've started and deleted a couple of posts that were just too whiny. The upshot is that there are more things undone than done at this point in time...

'bug, I needed that essay about saying no about six months ago. I'm definitely over-committed at the moment. The problem with not saying no up front is that you then have to extract yourself later. I'm almost certain that I am going to take a break from teaching Sunday school after this semester ends in January. For many reasons, the current year's teaching situation has worn me down. Also, we did a lot of travel this fall and I know that hurt from a consistency standpoint. I've done this for twelve years and while I have not matched the record of the woman who taught for 60 years at our church, I think a break is okay at this point.

Deanne, you have some stunningly beautiful photos in that ice storm gallery! I especially love the close-ups of the evergreens encased in ice.

Jerri, I hope your foot surgery goes well. Go ahead and post while you're on pain pills; it should be fun!

pm, I think you just had a weekend like I did right after Thanksgiving!

We had dinner with friends Saturday evening. Everything except the salad was purchased prepared and reheated. Not bad food, but not great either. DH waited until we were all the way home (1 hour drive) before he said, "J's not much of a cook, is she?" We did have a very nice time, though.

Cynthia, I've always liked Frost and in particular that poem. I may take the book to bed with me tonight and read some more.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 10:09PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Kathy, the Common Grackle (in my pic) are the same length as the Blue Jays, but maybe a little bulkier. Here is the first pic I took of them, and there are two Common Crows in the middle of the Grackles, and one Blue Jay to the right of the group, in the sleet covered road. You have to look closely to see it. I think that is a Balloon Flower's seed pods next to it.

Both the crows and the jays are easily spooked, so they were gone when I got the closer pic. Right after I took several pics the Grackles all flew away. Probably just passing through, although they are year around in this area. Cracked corn is one of their favorite foods, and that is all the yellow you see in the pics.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 10:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cynthia, we always referred to "a giggle of girls".

Phoebe spoke to DD's dog, Indy, on the phone this evening. Whatever was exchanged was most exciting.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 11:04PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good morning :-)

'bug....I am not fond of preparing for a trip, just happy once I am finished and on my way. Especially finding pet care. You are very lucky to have Woody! So glad you will be going to DD & Co. and hope you take a lot of photos. I had a puzzle ready to do yesterday, but it is still in the box. [g]

Julie....I apologize in advance for saying this, but, your story about the treadmill accident brought a little smile to my face and worse yet, a giggle escaped my lips. I am sure if I had been there, nothing about what happened would have appeared funny. I blame it on having grown up watching the Three Stooges, I laugh at the TV when people fall down. I never laugh at inappropriate times in real life, but sometimes after the fact, some non-serious falls and accidents have a humorous side to them. It's just when you said that 'TCS literally flew through the air and hit the wall' I just had a 'cartoon' vision of it. Followed by a vision of Ajax flying through the air. Seeing him sitting there stunned followed by tears and considering how serious it could have been, certainly would have been a sober and frightening moment if I had actually been there...and I was very impressed with how well you handled it. We need people like you around in a crisis. :-) I'm very happy that he is okay! We do not have a treadmill, I didn't realize that could happen.

LOL....I just got to the link to treadmill accidents and evidently Cynthia and I have the same sense of You had me fooled Cynthia. I almost didn't click on it, thinking it was a serious article on being cautious with treadmills. I am going to have to pass that one around. Your Hope certainly does look uncomfortable in that sit. I didn't realize it was so difficult for grays. How did you insert the dialogue, that is so cute!

I saw Idyll #232 but have not had a chance to review it yet. I did scroll to the bottom to find out why it had surfaced....and I finally figured out why Michelle was referring to the Galloping Gourmet. [g]

Marian...nice Ice Storm pics...when it is not a damaging storm, ice on the landscape is very pretty.

Woody...I'm glad you had a chance to see your friend Mike. It sounds like it was a fun visit and quite a surprise I imagine. I am sorry about Jasper. Poor Blue. It is nice you have so many friends. You and Randy seem to make friends easily. Woody...I was considering making some home made dog treats to give to DS for his dog 'Noodles'. Where did you get your recipe for dog treats?

Kathy...that garden photo with all the blooming plants is so vibrant! So different than what I get to look at out the window right now. What month was that taken, May? I see you have Rhododendrons and roses blooming at the same time. I don't think that happens here? I forget what the name of that rose is over your gate? It is so 'full' of blooms!

More dental this the last of it, Kathy? I like the way you think...soft food...lasagna! One of my favorites. Your Christmas trip sounds like fun and BIL in Portland is in the pretty house with the pretty sloped front garden, right? I enjoy hearing how interactive your cats are. I sometimes wish we could have a cat, they seem easier than dogs.

Denise...we haven't been to a cookie party in years. We used to do a cookie swap with friends. Everyone brought their favorite recipe in generous amounts and we all went home with an assortment. It was a lot of fun. How is your new niece and her Mom doing?

Michelle...I do like your Christmas card photo. Is that your harvesting equipment? I remember fondue from the 70s too. The chocolate dip with fruit, especially strawberries and cubes of angel food cake was the only one I cared for. My DH would not consider it much of a meal either. [g] Thanks for the encouragement to get in the pool. I enjoy it when I get there, I just have to push myself to get ready and go. I don't have enough consistent energy for the whole rigamarole yet, but hoping by January or February, I might be able to try it. DD was looking for a gym in the fall and I noticed it has gotten a whole lot more expensive to join a gym with a pool since I was there last.

V...I'm sorry to hear your after Thanksgiving weekend was along the lines of our last weekend. Well, let's hope we have that out of our system. :-)

Mary...I am impressed you managed to still get your bulbs in the ground!

Deanne, some of your Ice Photos are so pretty! I especially like #2 in your album of your pond area. Looks like a large branch just missed your shed? Actually, as I went further along your album there were so many great photos, it would be hard to choose favorites.

All this talk of power outages and storms has me thinking of doing a little storm prep around here once the holidays are over.

Well...that is it from here this morning.
NINE more days until Christmas, Deanne! :-)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 5:20AM
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No is good. No should be practiced on children and dogs with regularity and enforced with beatings. I find it sort of amusing when I say, "No" to a request or to an invitation and get the stunned look. When the stunned look is followed by a, "Why?" I simply reply, "I don't wish to do that" or "I have other plans". No means no, don't question the finality or reasoning behind my reply, thank you. A very timely concept to share with us, 'bug!

Several years ago I noticed several people snooping around the edge of the Compound with binoculars and the resident mongrel horde was going nuts in the house. I went out to see what the ruckus was all about and it was the Audubon Society doing the December bird census. They noticed the feeder and were amazed at the visitors. I suggested they settle into the lawn chairs for their comfort and they've happily returned every year hence. Yesterday I heard the Huge One explode into barking and looked out to see him hightailin' it across the front yard toward the group sporting the full Mohawk. The census workers didn't flinch, didn't even take their binoculars off the feeder as Rex wiggled around them, sniffing, but NOT JUMPING. One by one the hands came down for a sniff and a pat. Satisfied, Rex trotted back to Daddy, grabbing his ball on the way.

It was beautiful yesterday, nearly 60 degrees! The helpmeet broke out the chainsaw and cut up the fallen branch while I assembled the pediments for the first floor windows and put those up. I played around with an arrangement for the big one that goes over the door and will get that one done this afternoon. I still haven't yanked the dead geraniums out of the windowboxes or the planter, that will be next (shoulda done it when it was warm, huh?). Tonight is the Christmas get-together that was postponed last Thursday.

I love the Fabulous Mantel Display, Kathy. Very inventive to use the cranberries as a decorative buffer to hide the stems of the greens! I'd like to be eating a gingerbread violin right now, too. So many fun things going on in other Idyll households, it's a joy to read about them all. And infectious, too.

V., let's hope the vestiges of your cold vanish before the BIG DAY. We are to get snow this week, too, but not in large quantity (2-4" on Wednesday, more on Friday, I think). I don't miss the really, really cold weather one bit. A solid high school memory was standing at the bus stop at about -25 degrees in the dark. Even bundled up, it was COLD, and if the wind was up it was more uncomfortable.

Jerri, I'm thinking of you! and please keep us apprised of what's afoot (ahem), OK.

Kathy, ditto for you with the upcoming dental procedure. I did laugh about the pureed prime rib. :)

Marian, our crows are just as wary. They're gone as soon as there is hint of danger. We love crows here on the Compound. They're not only intelligent, but they're beautiful, too.

Time to head off to work. May your day be a productive one, my friends.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 5:39AM
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Pureed prime rib just hits me the wrong way this early in the morning!

A single guitar was fashioned out of gingerbread for my "people" too, Mary. I am making a special something for someone....I have had fun with baking this year...something I thought I had moved past :)

Jerri, I hope you'll find some recoup time to spend here, I do like it when you check in :) Hope you're on the mend soon!

V., I think you've earned a little time off from Sunday school teaching! Twelve years is a very nice commitment!

I can hear the whir of appliances from Deanne's right now, LOL! Glad to hear you got the juice back :)

I have to admit that I don't like it when the grackles descend on my feeder :) They're noisy and they seem rude. I attach people-isms to birds for some reason....Jays are bullies, Cardinals are dummies, Chickadees are the hard workers, Wrens are the little type-A's, etc. I don't know when or why I started doing this....I wonder what the birds would think of my perception? if they weren't bird brained, of course :)

GB, I think I am going to put a puzzle under the tree. The kids and I usually do one over the school break, but we've exhausted our puzzle supply! I wonder what secrets the pups shared? Good news, no doubt :)

I hope everyone who is feeling under the weather can find some time to stay under the covers and feel better soon!



    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 7:21AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Just a quickie post to say I'm glad civilization has returned for Chelone and Deanne. And ((Jerri)) I hope the foot repairs go well! PM2 - I got the dog cookie recipe from a little book of dog cookie recipes that a friend had. In case you need the recipe, here it is:

Low Fat Dog Cookies

Pre-heat oven to 3500 F

2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup white flour
¼ cup stone ground cornmeal
¼ cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 ½ tsp. powdered chicken or beef soup base (or omit entirely and use chicken or beef broth instead of water below which is what I do!)

2 Tblsp. vegetable oil
2 egg whites
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup skim milk
1/3 - ½ cup cold water (or chicken or beef broth)

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a large measuring cup, whisk together liquid ingredients. Make a well in the dry ingredients and gradually stir in liquid ingredients until well combined. Divide dough into two balls to make it easier to work with. Knead each ball 2 minutes. (Ideally, do all this in a stand mixer with a dough hook!) Roll out into ¼" thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters or cut into rectangles (I find the easiest tool to use to cut the cookies is a pastry scraper thingy that has a wide, flat blade) Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with greased foil (cookies do not spread so can be placed close together.) Bake at 3500 F for 30 minutes. Then shut off oven and leave cookies in the cooling oven overnight to make them dry and crunchy. For softer cookies, remove from oven when the 30 minutes are up. Store cookies at room temperature in a container with a tight fitting lid.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 7:36AM
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Good morning

I too agree that being able to say no is important but would add that it is also important to consider the feelings of the person who is offering the ivitation. Not that it should change the outcome, but the way "No" is delivered can make a big difference. Saying "I would love to but have already made a commitment for xyz" is a lot easier to hear than an outright no. An example of this came up last weekend when David had invited three of his best friends to come to hear him play at his recital. He recieved a blunt "no" from two of the families. It's a busy time of year and I'm sure they had other committments but for David knowing they would have liked to come if they could would have saved his feelings.

Fondue brings up good memories for me - one of trips to France when I was in college and had a boyfriend in Grenoble. The other was in the 80's when I had an occasional job playing string quartets in a Fondue restaurant in Chicago. We could eat all we liked after playing, but my clothes would wreak of burnt cheese for days. I have a small fondue pot I use for chocolate fondue for dessert. It makes a great party dish with lots of cut-up fruit.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 7:36AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Woody, your recipe sounds like a very healthy snack for a dog. I have next weekend pretty open so far and hope I can do it then. Thanks very much for sharing! :-)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 8:27AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Is it another week already? Boy, time flies by here on the idylls! I finally got a bit of motivation re trees and cookies and such, but I am far far behind these other industrious idyllers - I was about to declare Michelle #1 for being ready for Santa, but I think then that Kathy has managed to make forge ahead perhaps to No. 1 spot...

Denise, I want you to know you and I must speed read the same way some how - I was confused over the 'bug comment re Michelle venturing to Fla, nosebag being added to my personal dictionary, and those chatty greys, they were all things that popped into my mind as things I mentally nodded or pondered, LOL.. I hope you're feeling better soonest. (V- too -- you sure you dont want to take the "whiny mantle" from me, please? I often think that's all I do too).

O, Jerri, we demand you visit us medicated or otherwise -- we can do silly or grouchy so easily. Good luck and rest up.

That is horrible, horrible damage, Deanne - but Im so glad no one was injured and you have big strong Doug to help clean up that stuff -- maybe this year, will be your low-key Xmas holiday -- just a couple decorations and enjoy the pleasure of others' company. Hmm, re the storm, Chelone in her undies (would they be lime green like Mary's?) chillin around her stove, the things we think of!

I did manage to support my local nursery vendor very well and purchased a tree that I should enshrine in gold to preserve at its price -- somehow the artificial door wreath I bought ended up w/Williamsburg apples and boxwood on it -- so PM2's subliminal suggestions managed to hit my pocketbook -- weird -- just like fried chicken commercials on TV. It's very nice if I do say so myself altho I would have liked some lites on it; yes, I could wrap a string on; but Im counting myself lucky to have hung a wreath up, LOL... maybe the lites will come next year.

Can't wait to see Mary's gingerbread violins and guitars -- wow!

I managed to get the tree up in its stand (which turned out to jammed and broken; but it's upright - it may be telling me it's time for the artificial leap after all), but no lits or decoration yet - it's very a la naturel - there's always this weekend to make progress. But if I could check in here more, I am sure I'd be inspired and pushed to finalize things.

Well, it took me a bit to read up on the last few days, so I best ring off and go do work.

Looking good, guys -- Im thinking Woody's "dog cookies" sound good enuf for appetizers for humans!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 9:55AM
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Chelone wears red long underwear with a hatch in the back - I'm sure of it!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 10:02AM
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More yes/no ruminations. See, V, your 12 years of Sunday school teaching is the kind of thing I'm trying to say yes to. I've been making room employment wise, cutting way back on hours, to see if I can shoehorn something into a work schedule that always runs on the volatile side and consumes the best portion of the day and most days of the week. I was way overextended for many years so have been in a backlash mode since then, and now saying no has become a habit I need to break. I'm still not quite sure what the "yes" will be to, but less income and a more spacious week is something I'm definitely getting comfortable with. It's the kind of thing that needs re-examining periodically and probably my version of a mid-life crisis. Beats hankering after a red corvette, I suppose. Congrats to you for 12 yrs of Sunday school teaching, something to be very proud of. I think Michelle is involved in something similar. And then there's the animal rescue crew (Jerri, best wishes on your speedy recovery!)

I found the Texas Toothpicks at a pet shop last night and a Kong toy, which will go to my BIL's manic choc lab Molly. What wonders Chelone could have wrought with that animal! They've spent a small fortune on dog trainers.

And Woody's dog cookie recipe was pounced on. Thanks!

Hey Cindy, my tree is still au natural too, and the mantle is accumulating an odd assortment that says something...not merry christmas exactly, but something.

Thinking of Eden this week with all the turmoil over the auto industry. Again, rotten timing before the holidays.

Very much enjoying the bird photos, thanks Marian.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 10:27AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I uploaded some photos from the camera and despite no sunshine, the photo of the wreath came out okay, although I had thought of adding more to it...

And a couple of ornaments on the tree...the gardening angel has been around awhile and only has half of his hat [g]...and an ornament representing a favorite memory of a cab ride on a trip to NY city...

Very few photos are pleasing me. I just didn't have the patience to take them and I couldn't remember how to get the glare of the lights to cooperate on the tree. I got lucky with the one NY ornament. I am thinking this is more or less like the garden...there's always next year. lol


    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 12:39PM
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Just a pop in here. I was over on the decorating forum and saw this Williamsburg thread that I thought I'd put a link to here for anyone interested.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 4:49PM
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Hi all

Pretty wreath PM!

How are your teeth Kathy?

Here are some of the things I've been making.

Musical gingerbread tree ornaments.

Knitted dishcloths - dragonflys remain a favorite motif.

I've been having a lot of fun with embroidering felt this year. These will have red ribbons added for hanging on a tree and are this year's gift for friends at work.

The miniature is still a work in progress and consuming far too much time when I should be doing other things. Photos will follow. Right now I need to drive David to karate class where he is testing for another stripe on his brown belt, and take Annie in the opposite direction for a violin ensemble. Both need to be picked up at the same time - yikes! I'm planning on throwing a chicken in to roast which hopefully will take care of itself till we are home to eat. How many days till vacation?


    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 5:09PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Well Ms. Saucy! Are you baking up with I think you're baking? Oh my, oh my, oh my!!! I am shocked. (well, really, I'm sort of guffawing out loud...)

I have come to a decision - I am not exhausted at the end of each day because of the lingering cold; I am exhausted from battling this #%&&^#%$(&ing weather. Sorry, I learned a few words from our governor. The hardest part is that it's not even officially winter on the calendar. It's going to be a really, really long winter here, and I just may be mud-wrestling Cindy for the title of the biggest whiner.

As long as I am whining, I'll share a quick story about my DH. He is infamous for never putting things away or cleaning up after himself. As one example, he will pull the phone book out of the desk drawer to look up a number, leave the drawer wide open, and then leave the open phone book somewhere in the kitchen. The drawer and the phone book could stay that way for days if I didn't either tell him about it or close/put them away myself. So last Saturday morning, I couldn't find my tube of toothpaste that I had been using for the last several weeks. I finally asked him if he had done something with it. Get this - he put it away because no one was using it!!! How is it that he can't put away something for days, but feels the need to put away the things I'm actually using? (He uses a different brand of toothpaste, by the way. Which he let stay in its place on the sink.)

And doesn't it make you crazy when you find the perfect spot for the shiny ornament to dangle from the light fixture, and then you find the "Made in China" sticker still on it?

The dogs are very feisty tonight. They've been wrestling over the bone, and I just caught Sunrise with her head in the pot of my variegated geranium. What's that all about?

Time to go pull together a late, light dinner. Stay warm. Did I mention we've got 3" of new snow? Am I smiling? or just gritting my teeth?


    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 9:13PM
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Feeling quasi simpatico here with fellow Idyllers- it never made it out of the 30s today till after I went to lunch. I called one of my vendor reps who lives in Santa Rosa (across the hills from us in Sonoma County) but he advised me that he was in reality in Chicago for a sales meeting. I was able to make very informed weather comments to him !
Have all my antibiotics, mouth rinses, pain med(if needed) and sedative lined up and ready to go. One of my fellow (smart a** ) employees said he was bringing peanut brittle to the office pot luck on Thur especially for me. They get a lot of mileage from my dental woes at the awfice! Thats ok, if it keeps their mind off the lousy business levels and the fact that their colleagues are dropping like flies as layoffs proceed , Im happy to be the butt of the jokes.

Saying no: Since I am a buyer by profession I have learned to say no with no regrets over the years..along with thats not good enough , sharpen your pencil and sorry, but were through. When I first started out it was hard ! I didnt have the confidence to respond to objections , or even to fully understand what the objections might be. Not the least bit shy about any of it anymore.

Denise, several years ago I joined Napa Countys master gardener program this is essentially a volunteer organization . Think I joined in 1999. This year I have not made my volunteer hour commitment because my work situation has just been too draining, but I was heavily involved to the point where I chaired committees and even served one term as president. The only thing I did this year was to teach a taxonomy class to the incoming interns in January. Point being that I found volunteer work very rewarding, especially teaching sustainable gardening practices to the public. The other aspect was the continuing education hours we were required to achieve each year. I think if I was at leisure I would be spending a lot of time at the local JC.

PM, I think your wreath is lovely ! I was going to do something quite like that but I ended up just hanging a bare grapevine wreath on the front door-I guess I went minimalist ! Yes, I think it was probably May when I took that photo, though probably earley in the month. The rose on the gate is Jeanne la Joie , a miniature (!!) climber. This winter will be one of her heavy pruning years and she gets way out of hand if I let her go for more than a couple of seasons. This dental work tommorow is the beginning of the end but not the end itself. The whole process will take about 8 months with all the waiting (healing periods. Yes, BILS have the steep front garden.

Cindy, the only reason Im moving ahead on Christmas prep is that I have scaled back and am essentially done with everything except packing my suitcase for my flight to Portland. I ordered the last Deanne-inspired photo book last night , and should have it by Monday. How did the cookie-fest go ?

Mary really, those little felt hearts are just so nifty-when the hell do you find time to do all this stuff ?? Did you put something on the GB guitars to preserve them ?

Michelle, I particularly liked the grapefruit wreath on the Williamsburg thread link you posted. I noticed the heavy use of Magnolia leaves on both that thread and some of the pics that PM has posted. I have neighbor behind me with one that drapes a bit over my fence and I have trimmed that tree more than once for Christmas arrangements.

LOL Saucy, Chelone in a red union suit ! What are the bees doing right now ? Do you even see them ?

and Chelone, thanks for the history on the Audubon folk setting up camp at the compound. You have a habitat ! Maybe Deanne needs to make a trip down and set up the blind for some photo ops. She could also schlep across the hiway for some sea bird action. Best of both worlds.

V. are you accusing our Saucy of baking Alice B. Toklas brownies???

Okay, Ive rambled on enough goodnight to all !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 9:52PM
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Two points of interest this morning, one belated.
1.) Yesterday was the 235th. anniversary of the Boston Tea Pahty.
2.) There is a copy of the Alice B. Toklas recipe from an old National Geographic that is not only framed but hanging in Mum's room in THTTF. Naughty biscotti for all courtesy for Alice B. Tokeless. ;) (talk about a really scary lookin' woman, yikes!).

I've overslept again, don't care. It's snowing very lightly and it's going to amount to little more than a confectionary dusting on top of a Washington Pie. Maybe they'll decide to call school again today? I finished the pediment for the front door last night and put it up. I have to view it from afar to decide how to further "gild the lily" and add some more accents to give it some more "finish". I have some more to do this afternoon, too. Wrecks will enjoy thrashing through the "habitat" while I selectively prune the evergreen vegetation. I love Magnolia leaves but have never used them. They're usually rather an expensive item for my area and I tend toward the "pahsimonious".

No "unionsuit" for me, I don't even think I own "longies" any more. If I have to be outdoors in really cold, biting wind I haul on my marine foul-weather gear... and look like a little kid in a snowsuit. Or just an idiot.

Mary, your gingerbread confections are marvelous... with a good hot cup of coffee... mmm. Probably not so great after a few days swinging in the balsam, though. Love the heart ornaments, too. If Idyll hands are the devil's workshop you're the shining light of redemption for alltherestaus. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

V., the helpmeet and I have been shrieking with laughter over the governor's woes. Hollywood couldn't have written it better. Sporting the black turtlneck and that hair (is it a rug?) we've decided he could have posed for the album cover of "Meet The Beatles" or maybe passed for Eric Burden. Too funny. I'd be worn out too, if I had to deal with the "weather hand" you Prairie People have been dealt. Hang in there. It should blow out by March.

Hi to everyone, and wanted to tell Cindy we have an interesting assortment of tortured plants in the shop. When I finally threw one out my boss noticed instantly and asked where it went. (give me a break)

Off to work now.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 6:01AM
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Wow Mary! I love them all! I think that the little felt heart ornaments are my favorite...if I was pressed to pick one :) That would be a good sewing project for Sarah! Your blanket stitch is excellent!

Chelone, you may not really wear a union suit, but you must admit that it paints a pretty picture when you imagine Chelone dancing in her undies around the woodstove while the cold wind howls outside the compound!

School's delayed by an hour this morning, which throws a kink in the schedule. The Christmas crunch has officially begun at my house! Oh well. I'll just delay by an hour, too :)

V., I'll have you know that my gingerbread creations are pefectly G Rated :)

Denise, I think your forecast is bright and sunny no matter what you choose to do. I admire a woman with a plan. I'm working on one :)

Oh, on that subject, I got asked to host my own booth next May at the plant sale. I can sell my hypertufa and leaf castings, or variations of, for myself! I'm really happy about it, and most happy that I have all winter to get ready. I am putting it on a back burner until January :)

I've gotta go get Jake up and out the door.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 7:07AM
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Weird weather day here but I'll take "going into the 40's" for this afternoon.

Jerri -- If you're out there and can read this with both eyes open ..... POST!! It's what kept me semi-sane during my summer recovery and the drugs only helped the hilarity of "how" things were said. Foot surgery is no joke, so do what they tell you and let DH wait on you hand and foot.

Am loving the stories and pics of holiday sweets and decorations --- sometimes hard to tell which is which! We've cut waaaaaaaaay back this year since "the day" is elsewhere, but we're enjoying what we have and when Advent is over and everything that's going to be out is out, will have some pics.

So glad Chelone and Deanne and Saucy are re-sparked ;-) A few of our folks came back to CT to restock repair materials and their stories were both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Why does it take disasters to bring communities together sometimes????? That's a question for the ages, methinks.

Laughing, but wishing we didn't have to, about the IL political scene of late. What law don't you understand, sir???

Bet the 24th can't come fast enough for 'bug.

Jumble of a day coming up so best recaffeinate and get going.

Waving to all (with mittens :-)


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 7:51AM
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vtskiers(z6a CentralCT)

Popped in for my morning lurk and had to LOL about Chelone's reference to the governor of IL's hair. Maybe he's trying to woo Paul McCartney to ante up for that senate I don't stay up late enough for the Letterman and Lenos but they must be having a field day over this guy.

Hope the weather gets better for you V. We have freezing rain here this morning but it's supposed to get into the upper 30s so no lingering issues. I went up to VT on Saturday, stayed overnight and skied on Sunday. Killington was still having some lingering problems related to the ice storm. Apparently they shut the whole mountain down on Friday and alot of the lifts on Saturday. It may not technically be winter but as of Sunday we started gaining daylight at night again.

OK, back to the mines. Hi to all!


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 7:54AM
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Good morning

If Saucy was baking those brownies I vote she bring them to Idyll camp this summer:0)

A bit more fun with felt before you get tired of me. I finished this pin cushion last night for Mum for Christmas. I love mushrooms (where IS Babs!!) and Mum knows a lot about Mycology. Sorry the pic is blurred.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 8:00AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Yes Martie, I'm on pins & needles (reference to Mary's adorable pin cushion!) for the 24th, but still so much to do! (I can't use a pin cushion here because of the cats, yes, even the dog.) Yesterday my doctor suggested yet another "procedure" having to do with hemorrhoids, ughhh. I'm visualizing a 4 hour plane ride with me sitting the whole way... Today, more interesting, will be my naturopath appointment, that is if we can get out the icy driveway.

Yesterday DH & I managed to collect some small gifties for the gang. We found "Polar Bear Poop" for Skyler, various cocoas for the others, a sweet onesie with a frog on it for NB (new baby), a book of optical illusions, various jars of edibles, etc. We did NOT buy the nightshirt saying "bearfoot & pregnant in the kitchen", featuring a fat bellied bear. The outing was fun...and DH paid!!!(unheard of...) We also managed to eat lunch in town, enjoying hot soup and bagels while watching huge chunks of ice move down the Grand River.

DH is having nonsense directed his way at work these days, so it ain't over 'til its over I guess. At 67, this stuff with power and arrogance continues on and on.

The new wood stove is keeping us most happy, but it will be even better when we get around to using GOOD wood rather than the old willow and junk we are presently getting rid of.

We've been seeing lots of ducks in the creeks as well as flying overhead.

Last night's ski lift drama made me think of Sue. See below.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 8:44AM
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Mary, it's all beautiful! Love the simplicity of the dragonfly design. Coincidentally, I ended up choosing felt ornaments for my nieces' presents.

Kathy, thanks for the master gardener tips. Worth looking into.

PM, love the wreath and the gardening angel.

Congrats, Saucy, on your booth. Excellent!

Chelone's sleeping late remark. One of the biggest challenges of the work I do is getting everybody -- the attorneys and the witness -- in the same room on time. Never happens. Someone invariably staggers in a half hour late, muttering, Wow, the traffic today! The on-time arrivals offer polite sympathy (and/or give him the hairy eyeball, ahem). Some of these expert witnesses charge $700 and up an hour, so time is literally money. So I can't IMAGINE how this works where there's snow, icy roads, etc.

V, pay no attention to the snickers. Your state has quite a history of "colorful" politics, but then we continually vote for actors as governors. Sounds like those southern trips have ruined you for the rest of the winter, lol.

Sounds like a fun shopping trip, 'bug. Hoping those doctors work their magic on you quick. Those airlines pillows are such junk, maybe you can bring something of your own?

Thanks for the link, Michelle. The fruited wreaths are a rarity out here, mostly just greens.

Recaffeinating here takes the better part of the morning, Martie. You're sounding chipper! My paperwhites in thrift shop vases have finally budded, just in time for presents next week.

Sue's got the right idea of what to do with snow. Wheeee....

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:03AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning Idylland,

This thread is zipping along nicely! Nice to hear from so many. The weather here is snow and sleet but Ill certainly take it over ice any day. Doug had to go to Exeter today to a clients and it took him an hour to get to Manchester. Yikes! Hes going to spend the whole day driving. He usually calls me to vent when he gets stuck in traffic. LOL

So last night I had yet another impromptu dinner party. My sister was supposed to bring me a free range turkey from the farm she works at for my Thanksgiving. The day before Turkey day around noon (yes this story is going somewhere that relates to last night) she called to say that my turkey was still walking around breathing. Hmmmm.. I said to her, "I think thats a problem". To which she said that I could drive to Pittsfield NH at 11:00PM (an hour plus or so) to pick up the bird the night before Thanksgiving. Anyway, I said that was a bad plan and she should just freeze the bird and bring it the next time she came down this way. So. She dropped it off (the thing cost me an arm and a leg BTW) on Thursday, yes that is the day I lost power. So anyway this very expensive turkey had been thawing out since Thursday so I had to cook it yesterday. Pretty funny to feed a 25 pound bird to six people but at least I rounded up a few extra mouths instead of having it for just Douglas and I. LOL Bottom line, that was the BEST tasting turkey I ever ate! Quite delicious but I surely wish Id had it for Thanksgiving. So now I have to de-bone that bird and freeze the meat and make soup. Ill be eating turkey until Easter. LOL

Sue, glad to hear you were able to go skiing!

V. Hmmm Im a bit confused why your DH left out his toothpaste and put yours away. Sounds like passive aggressive to me. Sorry about your weather. I feel your pain.

Chelone, looks like youve got everything going smoothly at the compound. Would love to see pics of your pediments when you get them installed.

Mary, I just LOVE all the lovely things youve been making. The gingerbread guitars are brilliant. You are so amazingly creative!

Saucy, do we get first dibs on buying your hypertufa and leaf castings????? Sounds fantastic.

Martie, I REALLY need to get a photo of the lavender for you. Its gorgeous and smells divine.

Jerri, thinking of you and hoping all is well. Check in and let us know how you are doing please?

Kathy, Ive been meaning to tell you how lovely your mantle display is! Really beautiful! Doug and I have opted to nix the holiday decorations this year. Too much to do with yard cleanup yet and I dont want to deal with the extra time it will take to put up and take down decorations. Ill be thinking of you with your dental work today. Hope all goes well.

PM your evergreen swag on the door is gorgeous!!!!!

Waving hello to Cindy, Michelle, Marian, Woody, Bug, Denise, Julie, Cynthia, (love Hope in her argyle) Brenda and everyone!!!!! Have a great day.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:08AM
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Wow, turkey sandwiches at Deanne's!

Forgot to offer support for Jerri & Kathy today.

Stay toasty...

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:53AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

o so much to comment on and I'll forget most Im sure --

Love your door swag, PM -- beautiful!!

Im excited too that for once I can see Mary's pics of her lovely handmade items (odd, maybe a filter is down here at the ofc or something) -but what a treat. Im not sure which I love most... the mushroom is wonderfully one of a kind; the ornaments - wow.

Laughing about the IL gov hair comments -- they actually had a gossipy tidbit in the Post yesterday about his penchant apparently for a particular type of hairbrush and that it was some sort of obssessive thingie with him, LOL -- only a Paul Mitchell $8 kind though it was identified as -- if anyone can only assume he loves that look of his younger years ....great photo ops!

V- I do feel for you re the weather -- I hope you get some respite from it (without having to resort to trips south monthly to do so) -- we managed to dodge the ice bullet here today, TG, but the commuting has been a real hassle for some reason daily -- and Im getting home later and later....which leaves me with little energy to do anything on the to-do list. O well, it will get done or not...

Deanne -- that's a funny, memorable turkey story -- you're going to be making a lot of leftovers quickly now, arent you?

Saucy - that's neat re your invite to sell stuff at the plant sale -- I hope to hear of all the wonderful 'tufa stuff you have planned.

'bug - it sounds like you got lots accomplished for the holiday trip and one cant help but get excited! my inquiring mind tells me I have to find out what the Polar Bear Poop is....

well, sneaking in here on "hours" so I best vamoose...


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 11:25AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Cindy, "Polar Bear Poop" is actually almonds coated with white chocolate. Bet you feel better now!

OK, for those who have asked, I'll try to condense the information on my new health program. It will take me a while to figure out too.

So first of all, my symptoms were many small things which I wanted to eliminate: High blood pressure, eczema/psoriasis, some arthritis, stress and mood, heartburn even drinking water, dementia prevention, etc...

The Koenisburg urinary test showed that I have extreme adrenal dysfunction. (No surprise to me considering what 2008 threw in my direction!) Other tests showed some calcium loss, low vitamin C levels in spite of large fruit intake, high oxidation, some glucose too. Odd results considering I had just completed a physical with various exams with my family doctor a few weeks before.

So I have a treatment plan. Basically, I start with several supplements, some expensive, but my goal is to wean myself off of them within a few months and use diet to maintain the new lifestyle. We'll see.

We'll consider a 5 meal a day plan, 2 of which will be "meal replacements" using UltraMaintain Plus target good cholesterol, fat loss and muscle gain, lower BP, and improve markers of cardiovascular disease (Dad died of this) and insulin resistance.

Next EPA720, an omega-3 fatty acid. This should reduce inflammation within my body, reducing pain...but also work on many other areas such as mood and brain, insulin, etc...

ReloraPlex. This is for short term use only, to help support normal mental function during times of stress, fatigue, tense muscles, poor sleep, concentration, etc.

Then a teaspoon of "Fiberrific" each day.

Eating plan involves protein for breakfast, eating edamame beans (soy beans) to help with osteoporosis, cognitive function, etc... Also more oatmeal, flax seed, Kashi cereal for breakfast, Allegro cheese, etc. But portion control will be a start I guess. I think my choice of foods is already quite good.

Add on some relaxation exercises starting with 5 minutes a day, aiming for 20 minutes.

Add to that, some reading, starting with a beginner book The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno. There's also a book for vegans which is not for me, but the recipes are excellent and I may pick it up too: The Thrive Diet by Brendan Brazier.

Of course exercise is a part of the plan and I'll need to figure that out in January, how to deal with ice and Phoebe, but maybe work with a resistance band and my treadmill until the weather shapes up.

Once I get organized, there should also be time to LIVE!
I bet this is the winner of the most boring post ever on the Idylls. :(


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 2:00PM
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V, can I join you in the whine? -21 last night and we also have a bunch of snow and there's another storm headed this way. Maybe its the weather but people are really touchy at the office and these days does really seem like an awffice.

Mary, I love the musical instruments! Do you have cookie cutters or free hand it? All the other gifts are so wonderful as well and the reciepants will love them.

A new computer at work yesterday has made things interesting this week. Excuse any spelling errors as I'm waiting on a new version of Word and so I don't have any right now.
I don't believe my grandparents would have ever given me "polar bear poop" What fun you guys are!

Cindy, my guess would be marshmellows for the polar bear poop.

I had an interesting experience with a possum a few years ago. I was in the barn and leaned down to get something that was on the floor by a barrel and came eyeball to eyeball with one. I don't know who was more scared, me or the possum. Jaden has been know to catch them.

PM, what a wonderful wreath and the ornaments are both very interesting, which is what I love on a tree.

Best wishes to Kathy and Jerri.

That's all the lunch hour will allow. Later!


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 2:04PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

thank you, 'bug for edifying me re the PBP... having just had to buy gifts for an 8 yr old girl who is into "gross and weird" I could only really wonder what's out there these days.... I am relieved to hear it's candy, LOL.... I tell ya, some of the stuff out there for sale, me o my...

The new health regimen sounds very interesting, really, 'bug - not boring -- but obviously high intenstity, but these things usually are. I hope you meet with much success on it.

Kathy, you're a good sport to take the brunt of the awfice humor re your dental woes - I think they should bring at least one pot luck each that could be eaten thru a straw for you - you know, nuthing like suckin up to the boss (no pun intended...) for job security...

I heard from my friend in Portland that she's stuck at home (with that 8 yr old who's into the gross and weird) with snow, ice, etc. -- she hasnt purchased chains for her car (apparently required there - interesting...) so she's truly stuck at present - and said she had yet to buy the Santa presents for her DD -- I think she better start checking out online shopping quickly! So in addition to Michelle's woes re her weather, Im feeling truly blessed! I do hope this winter does not shape up to be a terrible one for us all...

Denise -- Im not surprised re the tardiness of attys et al to the depositions -- they definitely operate in their own sphere of existence that seems to seldom interact efficiently with the rest of the human race's... I guess some CEO types have the same outlooks.

okay, now that I am in the know re PBP, I will return to actual work...


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 3:38PM
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I'm just getting caught up here. I can't believe I'm a whole Idyll thread behind. I'll join in with those thinking that the weather has been TOO wintry. We got around 4" of s*** last night too. Bah humbug!

Marie, I hope all your changes work and you are feeling great soon. The gifts sound perfect and I'm happy to hear you had a fun day shopping for them.

Mary, your crafts are wonderful! Thanks for showing us and I can't wait to see your new miniature creation.

We do snowman poop here, linked below. I've got to run and get Bella up from her nap.


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 4:06PM
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Wow. You guys crack me up and what a wondrous range of topics today, Alice B. Toklas to Polar Bear, Snowman, and Reindeer poop and mushrooms both felt and dancing. We've definitely got it all.

We've got nearly 4" of snow and there was freezing drizzle on the way home. It's COLD, low twenties and I've bagged the notion of going out to cut Eastern White pine this afternoon. Instead, I've started a fire in the stove and lit the oil lamps. I don't know if I'm gettin' weird (no comments on the "getting" part, OK?) but I've been using the oil lamps in the afternoon. I light them at about 3:30 and as they "warm up" I adjust them to provide a soft glow in the room. It's very pleasant, though a bit at odds with the computer, I'll grant you.

'bug, it's going to take a long time for you to come to terms with the shock of Reed's death and I'm not the least surprised the disquiet in your mind has triggered such a rash of physical symptoms. I think medicine too often fails to give adequate weight to the interconnectedness of mind and body. I don't think your proposed program is boring, at all! quite the opposite, I find it refreshing that you've "taken the bull by the horns". Good girl! As for the upcoming trip west... I don't suppose they'll serve doughnuts on the plane, eh? (sorry)

We have o'possums here, too. Occasionally I see one dead by the side of the road, but I've never encountered one as "up close and personal" as you, Michelle! I'll bet that got your attention in pretty short order. :) I have read that they've been extending their range to the more northern climes and that it's not uncommon to find them with frost-bitten ears and tails at the northern most part of their range. Poor things. (I think they have sort of cute faces, and I love the little ones clinging to their mother's back...). Bummer that it's tense at the office; I hate it when work is like that. Bad morale is tough on productivity and creative problem solving.

Let's add DOCTORS to the list of "professionals" that have little to no regard for other people's time. I was insistant that Mum's appointments (and mine) be the first one of the day. We were on time for one scheduled later in the day and had to wait well over an HOUR, no one bothered to say they were backed up and way behind when I called to see if they were running on schedule. I was incensed, having left work early to be there on time. I let the receptionist know how irritated I was, too. And then I told the nurse and the good doctor, as well. They were mortified and rightly so. Perpetual tardiness is a pet peeve, esp. when it's wrapped up in lame-ass excuses. It demonstrates a selfishness that is insulting to those who're on time, sending the clear message that "my time is more valuable than your's" OR, "I'm not sufficiently organized to keep my appointments in a timely manner". I am not altogether unforgiving and do understand that sometimes things happen, but being on time is not very hard generally speaking.

I've been thinking of Jerri and Kathy today, too. I'm certain both are enduring a level of discomfort today, one I hope will not preclude their participation. We need all the funnies we can get. So Jerri, do up some pain meds and get postin'!

Eden, I saw some electric workers from MI the other day! I thought of you immediately. That's a long way to come to help out with downed power lines. I heard this morning that there are some parts of NH that may not have power until next week. I also heard that this is the most expensive ice storm so far... lots of people with frozen pipes and all the attendant water damage. So sad. Keep readin', you catch up eventually. :)

Love the turkey story, Deanne.

Think Marian and Nolon are "off line" due to icing?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 5:04PM
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just popped paim meds as the sedatin meds a anesthetic are rapidly wearing off. Ds will drive me to the pharmacy for me 'swelling'meds.. Four teeth gone and bone graft. I;ve corrected 50 pak 2o minutes on and 10 off. great fun in winter !
So that serves as my whiny post.

kathy in napa

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 5:40PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

All is okay icing. The last storm missed us. Another possiblity of freezing precip is again in the forecast! We got above freezing today. Yey!
It is back to 32 now.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 6:27PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

glads to hare tdtaht Kathy is kkkkk.

Michelle, -21 my goodness! We're at a relatively toasty 3 or 4 right now. Tomorrow night we will either get an ice storm or a foot of snow. I would opt for the foot of snow if given my druthers. Woo-hoo! I just checked the updated forecast and we should get very little ice here.

The one thing I am grateful for is a great snow-plow guy. He came about 4:30 this morning and the driveway was a thing of beauty when I left for work.

Mary, I forgot to mention how much I liked your ornaments. I was thinking of doing something similar, but when I wandered into the black hole that is our storage room, I became very afraid and ran away. (only a slight exaggeration there, folks)

Deanne, a clarification on DH's toothpaste - it's Mentadent, which is a tall container that won't fit into our medicine cabinet so it must sit out on the sink all the time.

Chelone, unfortunately it's not a toupee. It says a lot about the man that he really thinks the hair and the all-black outfits look good. The people I know who have had any sort of contact with him have nothing good to say about him. And that's being very polite about it!

I do believe that the cold has crept into my brain, as I can think of nothing more to say!


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 10:35PM
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The helpmeet went out and cleaned off the driveway with the snowblower last night. I will deal with removing the snow from the deck today. There is no point in snow removal if the freezing drizzle is then going to settle on the newly cleaned surface! While he was following the snowblower Rex managed to slip away to the neighbor's yard where he discovered a MAJOR prize. The tail fin are of what was once a very large fish. I saw him gnawing on it while parked in the snow of the south lawn and Daddy arrived shortly thereafter to take it away. Hehehe. I saw the hand command for "sit" and then heard, "leave it!" clearly through the window. The fish is still out in the yard I believe so it will prove a hazard to canine navigation later this afternoon.

I wonder what V.'s gov. would look like with a shaven head? or a Mohawk? or a queue? one of those Monk-dos... the one where they left just a ring of hair (what was that called?).

And will Kathy remain in her home today? I hope you indulge yourself and turn the heat up. OR, you could perhaps roll up in a fart sack and press your face alternately to the cold kitchen or bathroom floor... 20 minutes/side oughta do it. The cats will be thrilled to have a cooperative hot water bottle in the house today.

Very exciting that Saucy will be building up her 'tufa and leaf casting inventory for her very own booth! What are you going to do for leaves in the winter? I like the concept of an hour delay for the Christmas crunch, too.

Thinking of Jerri this morning, too. And wishing her a speedy recovery... hoping for an update when you're feeling so inclined.

It's going to be a boring day at work. I'll probably be alone since my co-worker has been out with the flu (or is she gettin' a jump on our Christmas break?). I'll be able to listen to what I like, though. I'll be glad to get home this afternoon.

OK, time to watch the forecast (snow tomorrow and more on Sunday, I think) and think about makin' tracks for the shop. Yawn.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 5:17AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all

We got about four inches of snow yesterday and then as Chelone said, it then started freezing drizzle. Yukko. Also, as Chelone said we are supposed to be in for another foot of the white stuff tomorrow then another hit on Sunday. I guess that will qualify for a White Christmas. Im so not in the spirit of things this year. Doug and I have opted to go birding on Christmas Day and see if we cant find the Snowy Owls at the Parker River Natnl Wildlife Refuge. I really want to skip the whole huge FOOD thing. There is just too much food between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Chelone I believe its called a tonsure. ~~~ LOL about the fish. Your story begs the question as to how an enormous fish wound up in your neighbors yard.

V. Thats wicked cold! ~ Glad to hear that the snow plow guy is reliable. It looks like that will be a wonderful thing this winter. And just think it hasnt even started yet!

Michelle Thats unbelievably wicked cold!

Kathy, Thinking of you and wishing a speedy recovery.

Marie, sounds like a demanding regimen but it will hopefully help with your health issues.

Cindy, great to see you posting regularly!

Denise, should I send you a pot of turkey soup???? The bird will be boiled down today and the extra meat is in the freezer. ~~ If I had your job I might just have to hurt someone if they came in too late and I was in a bad mood. Must be so frustrating.

Marian, so glad to hear you didnt get the icing.

OK time to get some coffee in me and get my day started. Have a good one everybody and stay warm.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 7:21AM
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Good morning

I used a cutter for the gingerbread instruments and didn't put anything on them other than the Royal Icing. They seem to keep forever without any preservative (or at least through the holiday season) possibly because they have little fat and no eggs.

Today I'm using half a personal day as it is my Book Club's annual lunch at a posh Country Club. It is wonderfully festive and they put on a marvellous spread. We have a blast! I always plan on using the rest of the afternoon to finish shopping and get the house ready for the holidays. Instead I drink a couple of glasses of wine, talk too long and accomplish very little other than having an excellent time.

I'm waiting impatiently as my favorite winter jacket is in the dryer. It is totally impractical - quilted white with a fur collar that shows every speck of dirt. But I love wearing it and it makes me feel young and hip which isn't a bad feeling when you are 48 and becoming frumpy.

Is Julie busy with Julie Jobs?


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 7:49AM
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Good morning!

It's great to see you posting regularly, too, Deanne! I think you and Doug have a great Christmas Day shaping up! That sounds like loads of fun. I always look over the brochure for the Audobon society longingly, but I never seem to make it to the events. We have lots of areas in town where they go birding.

Chelone, I was thinking that I'd take a ride with my florist neighbor to the big flower shop in Boston one morning and find some goods for leaf casting. That is the only thing I can think of....Elephant ears are pretty impressive when they're cast, and they're easy to boot.

Yes, Deanne, you'd have first dibs :)

Mary, I love the little mushroom, and Denise's link was perfect!

PM, I loved your choice of greens on your front door, but the ribbon is what struck me as the perfect touch! I love that bow :)

GB, I have to agree with Chelone that I think your health resolution is anything but boring! I'll be excited to follow your progress.

Kathy, hope you're on the mend quick, too! Did they give you a bovine bone graft like they did for my husband? I found that quite humorous....he did not. The first time he had a graft they harvested bone from his hip and it was a major ordeal...the bovine graft was a better process, though still quite an ordeal, I'm sure.

I have had quite the morning. My husband woke me up at 4 to tell me he couldn't sleep....and then the moon (that makes my mind wander to Idyll) carried on from there....I fell asleep right when it was time to get up. Jake missed the bus, Zeus shimmied under the Christmas tree to make it to the couch (Nick has forbidden his nightly snooze on the sofa, lol!) and only knocked off one ornament....but it was the present he left by the door that was no fun to dispose of.....

I am glad to have a peaceful day sitting in this office chair :)

Have a great day everyone!


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 8:00AM
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saucydog(z5MA)'re anything but frumpy! I can totally see you in that coat!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 8:02AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)


And for tomorrow:
"Snow at times heavy ending in the evening then cloudy. Amount 10 to 15 cm. Local blowing snow in the morning. Wind east 40 km/h gusting to 60 becoming light in the evening. High minus 1."
Frankly, I am very tired of winter already...and it has not begun yet! We have an event to attend tomorrow and driving is so difficult with the layer of ice here. Then of course I am concerned about getting safely to Woody's with Ms Phoebe. Fingers crossed.

I too am visualizing Mary in her white fur trimmed jacket. :)

Today is a busy one. I'll poke back here later I hope!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 8:22AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

gb - we'll keep our fingers crossed that weather is going to clear up before you need to bring Phoebe. I think you need to be prepared to bring her whenever the roads are clear, even if it is a day or two earlier that you planned - don't leave it to the last minute when the weather is so uncertain this time of year. She's welcome to come any time it's good driving weather to bring her....

Mary - those gingerbread cookies look great! I haven't made any of those in a long time - if I wasn't so far behind on Christmas prep., I'd make some. I have a favorite old coat too - a 25+ year old leather jacket that is begining to disintegrate :- ) but I love it and am reluctant to finally declare it dead!

Kathy - I hope your mouth is feeling better....

And I hope Jerri is doing fine too.

I wonder if Julie is snowed in up there... Today I need to stock up on various supplies and make a beef stew - I'm assuming that I won't be able to get out for a few days if we get the storm that's in the forecast so I'm trying to prepare as much as I can.

Most of the materials for my course that starts in January arrived this week. They still have to send me the audio transcript of the video portion of the DVDs. That's supposed to be sent by today or tomorrow. It looks like the course should be fun, but a lot of work. I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew!

I, too, am thoroughly sick of winter alread - even though it hasn't really started!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 8:50AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ok, Im going to be happy there's nothing inclement in our weather predictions for the day; but it too seems to go up and down for the next week - I will be thankful come Sunday when I can say I am really on vacation and stay home when I next see the nasty white stuff or yucky freezing drizzle (the worst!) - actually vacation is supposed to start tomorrow at 5:30 pm EST, but the boss has once again twisted my arm to come in on Saturday to do last minute things - I can't remember how many Xmas/holidays I've had my holiday leave "re-arranged" - but he caught me in an off moment w/ no real excuse; now Im thinking of the still naked tree at my house.. and nasty white stuff coming on sunday... o well, guess that will be the day for decorating.

I dont know why it is but I simply have not been able to do a stinkin thing at nite when I get home - not even the "one thing a nite" routine... but it's only me creating my own stress - not like anyone else is pushing me - so quit it, right?

Deanne, that sounds like a marvelous way to spend Xmas day - another wonderful memory -- food really doesnt have to be a huge part of it. I am doing the small dinner for my DD and her spouse -- he re-converted back to carnivore so Im thinking a small prime rib instead of fondue (which they have planned for themselves Xmas eve); I like lamb too, but have done that a couple of times in years past and think I want to remember my mother's holiday meals w/ the huge standing ribs of beef in a small way.... so, there I am thinking of food again, LOL.

Good to see Kathy checking in w/ the meds - they appear to be working well! I hope they suitably mask the pain -- egads, what you've put up with...

well, gotta think about the awfice chores for the day.

Eden - I was suitably amused by your version of snowman & reindeer "droppings"...hehehe....


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:46AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

O.K. first: the weather whine: temperatures between 14 and 20 F, 4 inches of snow yesterday, beautiful fluffy white stuff falling so far today, forecast up to FIFTY cm. (that's I think about 20 inches) between now and Sunday. DH is going to drive into Ottawa (about an hour away) today to finish everything we need for Christmas because we aren't sure of the week-end. Also Ottawa's bus service is on strike so there is no public transportation in that city now (has been going on for 8 days so far) so that city is going to be in an even bigger than normal mess. The one saving grace for us is that InterPhil doesn't have much cash, so we traded his rent for December for snow clearing for us all winter - he sort of pretends it's a big chore, but in reality he seems to enjoy firing up the machine and clearing out the drive. One flake falls and he is right out there. He often just continues down the street and does a few other laneways that belong to people who are a little old to be clearing snow.

Next: Chelone. Donuts on the plane. That is REALLY bad!!! ROTFL!

Jerri and Kathy: my thoughts are with you guys in your medical interventions. I sure hope that pain passes quickly and that mending hurries.

I have never seen a real live possum, but I think they might be pretty cute with the babies holding on. Of course, I think raccoons are cute too, and they can be mighty fierce! So I would probably try to give a possum a wide berth.

'Bug: I think your health post is really interesting. And you are an inspiration to me as I tend to ignore healthy regimens. Eating 5 times a day? I am a grazer by nature so actually making the dinner is a big problems for me. I try to plan and make as much as I can before ten a.m. so that I don't end up making something quick and not healthy to feed the troops later in the day. Two meal replacements are good too - I bought some for TCS and of course he won't drink them, so I am having them. Not bad - keeps my energy level up much better than a bag of chips *LOL* As I (unfortunately) suffer from diverticulosis I must chug down Metamucil in a glass of warm water every day. I hate it, but it's just part of my routine now and I don't even think about it, I just do it. I rarely, almost never, suffer from diverticulitis as a result. DH and I have been talking a lot about cleaning up our lifestyle a bit - healthier food choices, smaller portions, more exercise, less wine....Gosh we sound old!!!

I have also simply stopped catering to TCS's ever more demanding eating style. I now give him a smaller lunch with a healthy mix of food and he either eats it or not. No more "I don't like this or that". My response to him is "You don't like anything, so it doesn't really matter does it?". I note that he has completely eaten his lunch every day for the last week and a half.

I love all of the decorations that I'm seeing - and the gingerbread guitars and violins are gorgeous. What creativity I see! If I am alone today I might try to take some photos to add to the mix.

Speaking of baking, I tried something new this week: Florentines. The recipe looked easy but it was a big mess, although the large and much too sweet results are fabulous! The recipe made three dozen 4 inch cookies, so I will be looking for a smaller version if and when I make these again. My family doesn't like fruitcake or Christmas pudding, so I am trying to find a different special tradition for them. Luckily TCS tasted one and his pronoucement was " Oh yuck, these are awful" so they're safe from him. I have to hide them from InterPhil though. And DH is diabetic so he won't even come into the kitchen in case smells the melting chocoate *LOL*

I'm off to get my day started. This IS the start to my day almost every day now - thanks, guys, this is fun!



    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:48AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Florentines! Mom used to make them and they ARE HEAVENLY! I could eat a dozen of the 4" ones! But I won't.

Julie, here is an article that I really think every parent should read. I'll post it below. Maybe you will glean some pointers from it in regards to TCS. It really helped Sarah when dealing with her SS. Here is what she says on another forum to a Mom with an obnoxious, developmentally delayed stepson:
My BS (Bonus son)is now 9. I first met him when he was 6yo. He was in the hospital for the first 5 months of his life, had many surgeries, has motor skill delays, is deaf in one ear, high frequency hearing loss in the other, which leads to speech issues.

When I met him, he was a spoiled brat. Because of his difficulties, neither dad nor mom seemed to have any boundaries for him. We spent the summer getting to know each other. I wasnt employed at the time so we would have fun during the summer weeks he was with DH (1wk/1wk). When they moved in with me, he couldnt dress himself. He wouldnt go to the bathroom by himself. He rarely slept by himself. He would eat scrambled eggs, kraft dinner, and pizza and have a fit if you tried to get him to eat anything else. He wouldnt listen to anyone.

Now, part of that is typical to a 5 year old that has never had to do anything for himself. 5yo from different families have different expectations. A 5yr old in a family of 9 children would probably be expected to dress himself, whereas an only child likely not. It depends on the family, and it depends on the child.

I am really lucky that my DH and I have great communication and we respect each others views and listen well to each other. We also have very similar ideas about parenting even though he didnt necessarily feel comfortable implementing rules and such. I did a bunch of consulting with other parents, my mom, and on the internet. DH was very supportive, especially when he found out that much of the behaviour BS was exhibiting was with his parents only, not with others (hed ask for spaghetti, lentils and rice from me if I was around, but he would have a fit if his dad was there).

What am I saying? I would suggest trying to enjoy your BS. Figure out what hes good at, make sure he knows, try to teach him new things (ride a bike, play war, skip rope, how to draw a tree, write his name). Help him be proud of things he CAN do. He sounds like a very frustrated kid.

Next, counseling (as others have mentioned) is definitely a big thing. Counseling would help BS, it will help DH deal with BS, and it will help you and DH figure out where each other stand with regard to BS. BS is probably getting help through his school for his developmental delays, but knowing what enjoyable activities at home help with those things would be huge.

Lastly, dont be too hard on DH. DH is still full of guilt about BS. He needs to deal with this, and realize that to some extent, coddling isnt helping BS. Affection, patterns, consistency, and lots and lots of love are.

We dealt with BS coming in our bed very slowly. We started by reading a story at night on his bed all of us (DH, BS, me, and the dog). It was crowded but that was part of the fun. BS would usually fall asleep then. DH and I would then have some time to ourselves, and go to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night, BS would crawl into bed with us, and stay until morning.

After 3-4 months of that (7.5yo), when he came to our bed in the middle of the night, we started telling him to go back to sleep in his own bed, and that he could come cuddle in the morning. That took a while for him to get used to, but a consistent pattern made it make sense, and then we were able to sleep most of the night straight, and actually enjoy cuddle time. That was a big change for everyone. But, he was about 8yo at that time, not 5. Slowly he has come to snuggle less. He is now 9.5, and he still comes to snuggle a couple times a week in the morning, and we have reading time in the evening.

Things have changed. He now reads to himself sometimes, and sometimes even puts himself to bed. On the other hand, he is comfortable

As for whining, I have an article on whining that I think every parent should read. Its found below.
DH didnt realize how terrible it was until he was left home alone with BS and our baby for a week. That completely changed his attitude, and made him realize how big a problem it was.

Back to the Christmas theme. Congratulations Deanne on putting real meaning into your Christmas this year. It sounds perfect!

And here's a little gift we both liked so much that it is going under the tree for Baby #2.

Time to get back to business here.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 10:37AM
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My snowplow guy is DH and he's very dependable. Our drive faces east and is relatively short compared to V's and because we have such a nice grove of spruces on the north and west side of our farm place we actually don't get that much snow on our yard.

It was actually 5 degrees when I got to work, which these days seems like a heat wave. We are supposed to get snow today and again on Saturday, but I believe we've dodged the freezing rain for today. There's some advantage to living in the northern part of the state. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to get out and work each day. I can stay home and use vacation time, but it seems so limited if we want to make a FL trip and then have time off if they come in the summer.

Last night I accomplished zippo other than swimming. I was just so tired. I hate that when there's things to be done. I'm thinking that growing old is going to annoy me.

My word Julie 20"??? Why am I whining? LOL Nice of InterPhil to clear snow for those who it's difficult. I remember how grateful I was as a single mom when my neighbor would use his tractor to clear my drive with out asking and refusing to take anything for it.
My theory on kids is that when they get hungry enough, they'll eat. I sound like I was a mean mom don't I? TCS seems to be getting your message.

We try to eat mostly healthy foods, lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains etc. I don't bake for us at all, only for company and we still eat enough of that kind of stuff.

My mom made a huge gingerbread house one year and stored it and displayed it for several years. The gingerbread didn't seem to deterorate at all.

'bug, the frog outfit is adorable. Every step child needs a step mom like your DD.

I'm sure Mary looks very hip in her white coat and as long as its washable no big deal.



    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Sneaking in...Boy, if one of you had posted that thing yesterday I probably would have thought you were tryin to be amusing ! Now I know why it's not a good idea to drive and or operate machinery while on meds! Yesetrday was no fun, but I'm at work today , and though swollen , have no pain to speak of. Brought my ice-pak with me. Thanks for all the kind wishes and I'll check in again tonight ...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 12:15PM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Hi 'Bug - thanks for the link. As I read, I was thinking how lucky we are with Adrian (TCS). He doesn't whine much, he dresses himself, he bathrooms and teethbrushes (is that a word?) and even washes his hands with soap, sometimes with a little prompting though. He doesn't tantrum eiother, and the school says he is excellent at problem solving and negotiating with his peers. He is generally a happy cheerful little guy, including at home.. Our only thing is his eating stuff, and we are working on that by simply saying, well, this is what there is buddy, so make your choice. He was resistant to most fruits although apples, strawberries and grapes are always a hit. I bought those nice Manadarin oranges for Christmas. His friends were over last week and they just about freaked - their Mom won't buy those because they're from China. So I asked their Mom if they could have one, she agreed, and they each went home with two for their dessert that evening. So guess who now likes Mandarin oranges. TCS has slept in his own bed every night for the last two years. He has come in to us the last couple of nights, but whoever gets up just takes him back to his room and tucks him into his own bed. Sometimes I don't even say a word, just take him back, tuck him in. In the morning he often doesn't even remember waking. I think it has to do with dreaming....Christmas is very exciting for a 7 year old...Anyway, enough!!

The little sleeper is adorable. I just love stuff like that!

DD went to the allergist because she gets a terrible batch of hives when her skin gets cold, and I do too. So...we're allergic to cold!!! We live in Canada!!!! What's with that???? He gave her prescription strength Reactine to take when she ski patrols. Good grief!!!

Anyway, I rearranged the family room today to make way for the Air Hockey that we are giving TCS for Christmas. I really like the new arrangement - and quite a few toys will be moving on to other children this Christmas. Did some baking, hid it from the hordes. That's my day. See ya tommorrow, in the SNOW!!!!

Cheers! Julie

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 3:26PM
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Mum was never one to "make food a battle", either. We had the option to eat or not. Later, when I was older she would simply say, "if the bill of fare is not to your liking make yourself a peanut butter sandwich" (no, you don't sound mean, Michelle). She was willing to let me eat my vegetables raw, though. ;) I love those little Clemetines! we go through a box of them a week here. They're quick, easy, delicious, and no seeds Julie, I haven't quite gleaned who's kid TCS is, would you recap your family for me?

I wouldn't want to wear that little suit you posted, 'bug, but it is pretty cute for a brand new baby. I like that the frog is realistic, not a cartoon character. And I like the colors. And it's fun to read your DD's thoughts and her approach with Skyler. Consistency. And a good sense of humor.

"Tonsure"! that's it. Thanks Deanne! My family believes you ought to do what pleases you on a holiday. If you want to party with your family that's great. If you want to spend the day alone doing something you love to do, that's great, too. I like the sound of your plan for the day. I'll give my brother the option of coming over if he wants to, and BIL may be over too. Again, his option. :)

I have to finish 3 more decorations. I'll put out the window candles when we put the tree up. Tonight? tomorrow? dunno. Not worth sweatin' about, at any rate.

I would like to thank Kathy for checking in and confirming the effectiveness of the meds. You're a trooper. How long before you will no longer have to puree your food?

Hey Woody, I reread the recipe for the dog cookies and cracked up at the notion of baking them for 30 minutes at 3500 degrees. No wonder they're supposed to cool off overnight in the oven Lol.

Hoping that Jerri is reading along (any others?) and managing a few laughs here and there.

Wondering about the collar on Mary's jacket and thinking that one she isn't is, "frumpy"!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 5:43PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada

Chelone - I think that was another instance of cut-and-paste not working... In the Word document the second 0 is a superscript one for degree... It didn't make the transition to here and I didn't notice when I read the preview :- )

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 8:23PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Just want to share an email exchange from today:

heres what i do for breakfast at my moms
this is what i could do at your house.
Put on frying pan and turn stove to 5
Start Hash browns or Paratha bread
Now you can go to bathroom.
Start preparing eggs
turn the hash browns or bread
turn on pan for eggs
Wait 1 minute - put in butter
When butter is melted
Cook eggs- let them cook a little before stirring
Then eat, you have 10 min
love skyler

So here's my reply:

Hey Skyler! You are welcome here any time, especially if you make us breakfast! :) Do you wash the dishes too?

See you real soon!

And then I received this a bit later and cracked up!:

i do not think i am ready for doing the dishes yet


Hi Skyler!

It's a good thing we have a dishwasher here...and LOTS of dishes too!
Your reply made me laugh.

I'll see you in a week! Have a Merry Christmas Day with your Mom.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Salutations friends, here I am in full possesion of my senses (such as they are) and enjoying a small glass if wine-wine qualifies as a cold, soft food dontcha know. Must follow Dr.s orders.

Cindy, I hear you when it comes to arriving home and just not having the get up and go to do a damn thing, especially now that its dark out and the garden is not the place to be ! Recently I have tried to create my own new rules; that I must do at least one chore before I can reward myself with a glass of wine and reading the Idylls or the newspaper. Tonight I came home, did some recycling, washed the dishes , and paid a couple of bills. Didnt take too long and at least I feel like I did something productive. These are not Julie jobs but just the day to day stuff. Even though I cant beat myself up too much if I consider the hours I put in at work, I feel much happier internally if I feel like I am keeping things at home on an even keel.

Julie, I really think it a noble effort that you and DH try to clean up your lifestyle, but less wine ??? Unthinkable. I have a neighbor that quietly does various little tasks for me sometimes I think its great that I-Phil is doing the snow plow thing for the older folks. How interesting that your Mandarins come from China? Obviously all manner of citrus are grown here in Calif, and most in our markets this time of year (normal harvest time for them ) are local from the citrus belt areas just to our east here. I have a Satsuma tree but only got one this year !

Chelone, I ate some eggs today(cold) and will have some cottage cheese and applesauce for dinner. Mouth wounds heal pretty fast , but I probably will be off granola and nuts for another couple of weeks. Im going to attempt my leftover lasagna this weekend. LOL your suggestion that I roll around on the floor applying my face to the tile for swelling control. I was pretty close to rolling on the floor state yesterday!

OK this is all I have for tonightapologies to those ungreeted

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:25PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Kathy, you'd be amazed at the citrus we can grow here in Northern Illinois. My little Meyer lemon, barely a foot tall, has gifted me with six lovely lemons. Two of them were used tonight to make the dough for lemon butter cookies, which I will bake tomorrow at the family cookie-thon.


Nothing like a major snowstorm with an embedded thunderstorm, eh? I stayed a little late at the office to be sure that all the payroll checks were readied and the bank transfers completed. If I'm unable to get to work, at least those employees who can get in can get paid. You hate to mess up the payroll right before Christmas.

But I WILL go to work, and then I will go to SIL's for the cookie-thon.

Chelone, I was awake enough to think "tonsure" early this am, but not quite awake enough to type it. That would have involved full sentences, grammar, punctuation, etc.

Well, I have a dancer dog who thinks she needs to go out, so I will post this and then read a bit.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 10:39PM
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I was unable to make myself go out to the Salon to put together any decorations last night. I did clip some greens and put them in water, but the Huge One was very interested in playing and it seemed that was more important. Nothing says "home from work" better than 100 lbs. of black brindle dy-no-mite. I hate dogs.

We're going to get snow today, too, though the amounts predicted are still very much up in the air. Evidently the weathermaker is going to skim us, but if it moves a wee bit north we could get rather a lot (6-10", or as we say in this house: 2-20"). The helpmeet is not amused, no fun cleaning snow off Christmas trees that are for sale, you know. I think I'll wear my boots today, just in case.

I admire your commitment to doing the right thing, V.. Payroll is important. My co-worker's check is spent before it's earned and she would walk over hot coals to get to work to claim it. A few days makes no difference to me. I think thunderstorms in the winter are the weirdest things!

I think there is tree decorating in our future tonight. The helpmeet is very surly these days and I've tried my best to dodge the sour attitude but he's really cruising for it with me lately. "Pow! right in the kisser!". :)

Kathy, good to know the discomfort is rather quick to heal and you won't be forced to spend much time on your kitchen floor. When do you depart for the north?

We try to eat a decent diet here, too, lots of vegetables and whole grains. The helpmeet is more into meat than I am, but that's OK. And lately, he's been junkin' out a lot, which usually indicates stress and dissatisfaction with work. Mind you, I can junk-out with the best of 'em, but I'd rather indulge with really good stuff, not convenience store garbage. ;)

I love the e-mails from Skyler. It must be satisfying to watch him mature and begin to shed the whiny/brat skin. We had a brat in the shop the other day, they're such a drag. I didn't know if I wanted to beat the kid or the parent more. :)

I've gotta skeedaddle. My Christmas break begins at quittin' time today. Later!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 5:51AM
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The town took a preemptive strike and let the kids out of school before the storm even hits. What is just a graze for Chelone, will be a foot for me :) Better than three, I say! I have all my errand running to do this morning, and then I'll settle in for computer time when the flakes start to fly.

I too prepared paychecks last night, V. I don't like to run them on Thursday because it requires intervention in the software from me, which leaves more room for human error....which is classic me: human error :)

Jake certainly is a young man. He chose and wrapped gifts for 6 people at school. When prompted, he admitted they were all girls. He got them all Ghiradelli chocolate bars in different flavors. I'd say he might do all right in this world :) We spent some time together coordinating paper and ribbon and he got a wrapping lesson (they had to be nicer than what he'd do for us, lol!).

Sarah had her Chorus recital last night and it was great! They looked sharp in their black and white ensembles, and the auditorium we were in had nice acoustics (unlike the cafeteria where she practices!). It put a little holiday spirit in my mood.

I guess I'd better get moving. I want to get my list checked off and get back home to my warm comfy house.....



PS....I just snuck over to look at the weather map....I live in the red area:

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 7:49AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Friday morning, and I had to sign in here. Wonder what that's about.

I'm tempted to shut all curtains and shades here. It is definitely nasty out there! Although there are exams going on at the University, we have been told that they will take place tomorrow instead of today. Similarly, our potluck Christmas dinner for French Club may change from tonight to tomorrow...but we will be told at 4PM. The long range weather forecast is yucky and we will need to plan several things carefully before our trip...such as a dinner with friends and also Doggie Daycare chez Woody.

I guess I should make DH some breakfast. He's going to walk the dog and is helpless in the kitchen. Even though I am running late I think I'll make oatmeal.

No birds out there... :(

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 8:46AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Well, I am ready to post but I don't know how to start a new thread. I will wait.



    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 9:38AM
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I wrote this last night around 11ish but didn't post it, so it belongs here:

Dear Skyler, one is never ready for doing the dishes. One just rolls the sleeves up and dives in. xoxoxxo
P.S., between hash browns and the bathroom, insert washing hands (or do the dishes!) But you probably know that.

The teasing over Blagojevich's hair is making me nervous cuz there's no use avoiding the fact that yesterday's haircut left me with a striking resemblance to Mr. Blag's coiffure. Copious amounts of hair gel required to remedy resemblance. The haircutter had a style I've always admired, first seen by me on Julie Christie in "Shampoo," which I told her about. She listened politely but was obviously bored by something so long ago. Haircutter informed me the haircut is called the A-line, long in front, framing the face, short in back. Old-fashioned name is probably just a "bob." In any case, no way would my hair comply.

I think the nation is taking this financial meltdown and string of rampant corporate crimes rather well...too well in fact. Just look at how the citizens of Athens register their disapproval, hanging banners from the Parthenon, not to mention Baghdad. Everyone, grab a shoe and let fly. Maybe dangle shoes from the power lines?

My wimpy weather report as follows: Rained all day yesterday. Sublime. The plain variety of rain (didn't know there was other kinds before idylls.) Today clear skies, temps in the 40s overnight last night. Tonight expected temps in high 30s. I potted on some rooted cuttings this morning, a Blackbird euphorbia and an anthemis Suzanne Mitchell. The euphorbs love the cool winter temps and look fine all winter.

Cindy, I'm so sorry you got snookered into working Saturday. What a Scrooge your boss is! Or possibly just oblivious.

One of the stranger things I've seen lately was Elvis Costello interviewing Bill Clinton about his musical influences. Elvis C. has a show on cable called Spectacle. Lou Reed was the previous week's guest. Lou's holding up...barely, but Clinton was a ball of fire as usual, discussing how jazz playing informed his speaking style, etc.

Kathy, splurge on really good fruit smoothies. Actually, raspberry margaritas would do, wouldn't they?

Sputtering to an abrupt end, waving to all.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 11:06AM
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