# 417... Idyll Speculation

dodgerdudetteDecember 28, 2008

The new year is just a few days away - wonder what it might bring ? Hopeing it's a little better-and not any worse !

The Idylls will, of course, carry on...

Kathy in Napa

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Not much happening here. Just relaxing for a change and trying to get myself organized so I can leave next Saturday.

The pirate ship and Golden Gate ornaments are very cool. A lot of my ornaments were the ones that DD and DS got each year growing up. When I gave DD hers, the tree got a little bare. Last year I bought a corn ornament for DH feeling it was perfect for us.

Denise, it sounds so weird to hear about a pot "outside" the kitchen door. Unheard of here. Ive been making my birthday photos in Photobucket which has added the option to add text etc. It was fun to add the glitter text to MoniqueÂs card.

It looks like the greys got just what they like for Christmas.

V, I hope your visit goes well. If I recall there was tension with the SIL. Hugs to you.

Chelone, all is well here with the weather, 37 degrees and sunny. A crystal Triceratops sounds like a very interesting ornament to find on a tree and IÂm all into interesting. I donÂt really have good luck taking indoor pictures, but I find that I usually shut the flash off.

Kathy, how disappointing that you didnÂt get to see Mr. Baby for Christmas. At least IÂm disappointed for you.

IÂve been buring DVDÂs like crazy to get caught up with that project. I recently bought software and a device that allows you to upload video from VCR tapes to your computer where you can edit and then burn to DVDÂs which I hope to spend some time doing. IÂm burning an extra copy of my gardens 2008 to take along for Kenzie since she enjoys watching them so much. There are plenty of pictures of her on the farm and in her garden on it as well. I labeled it "GrammaÂs 2008 Garden starring McKenzie"
I also found some memory cards on line and printed them on card stock. It might be fun to play with her. DH picked up a wooden gingerbread house that they were giving away at Lowes that he plans on making with her. All the nail holes are predrilled and it came with stickers to decorate it.



    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 7:07PM
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Venturing outdoors today I observed that the carpet of sunflower seeds that had germinated under my bird feeder after the first rains had thankfully frozen. I brought 5 of my cymbidiums inside and moved the rest to a more protected location outside. They are supposedly hardy to about 28 degrees but I lost a couple last winter and Im afraid if they spike the buds will freeze. I did some token trimming on Lady Banks and strategized my rose pruning duties- I will start on New Years day if it is dry. It was nice to get outside after being pretty much housebound most of the time we were in Portland. My shoe wardrobe is not conducive to the treachery of icy-snowy streets.

Michelle, when I drive from the airport in Sacramento to Napa the interstate goes through some farmland area ; I though of you when I saw that someone had taken hay bales and stacked them in a field and painted them to look like a combine. I wished I had been able to stop and take a photo ! DS and I were disappointed that we did not get to see Mr B and DD and family. I think that this is the first Christmas she has been away from us in her 26 years. However, since I am the family optimist we moved forward and had a great time none the less. I did get to see them in Oct and will probably go up in
May for a visit.

Julie, what a busy time you had ! Christmas can be extra stressful for folks with issues the added pressure of being expected to be happy I guess. I hope your DS will move beyond it and be well in 09.

Another speculation Which weighs more, Chelones woodstove or Deannes banana tree ?

Must make dinner ..more veggies.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 7:56PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Everyone here is playing lazer tag with toy guns which blink and flash and make horrid noises and I can't think straight. DD is leading the pack and DH is confused. Obviously 10 year olds understand all the buttons and whistles better than he does.

I have skimmed the previous post and wish Monique a very happy birthday! My Mom's was on December 10th and so I know it can be a difficult time to celebrate your own special day.

There is lots of flooding back at home but we believe that the power is back on after about 6-8 hours of chill.

Our dinner of roast bison is about ready! DSIL is such a fine cook! He is enjoying his apron which says "Making a moose in the kitchen!"

DH was commenting on missing Phoebe....
Hello to one and all!!!


    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 8:17PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Good evening :-)

Long week followed by a long weekend! Very enjoyable break from routine. We spent the day at DD's apartment today. She had been waiting for a bed she purchased in November to be delivered and it finally came on Saturday. It was well worth the wait, we all like it very much. She asked for a comforter she was wanting as a Christmas gift and it is perfect on her bed. So the bed came Saturday and she has had a bureau from IKEA in a box waiting to be put together since November too and DS was going to help her with it. Crazy weather...it got up into the 60s today and although she planned to paint her bedroom eventually, instead, she jumped at the chance to get it done today while it was warm enough to open the windows. So DS helped her paint and DH did some food shopping and cooked up a pot of spaghetti sauce for all of us. We had a quiet productive day. They were about halfway done when we left and I love the color...it is between a coffee and a mocha and looks wonderful with the chocolate browns she is working with. She has been making do, living out of boxes with her mattress on the floor for two months, so I am sure this will really make her life less stressful.

Well...I am beat. I want to read and comment...but tomorrow morning I am sure I will be more lucid. [g]

Good night..

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 9:29PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

The visit with my brother's wife was interesting. I was concerned that it would be stressful and it was not. She had also invited my other cousins (5 adults total) so it was quite the houseful and very enjoyable to catch up with that side of the family. The big "but" was that, because of the large number of people, we did not get much of a chance to visit with my two nieces and nephews and really hear how they were doing, other than the standard "fine" response.

Michelle, you're right that I've always had a somewhat strained relationship with this SIL. I don't dislike her but I'm not sure she would say the same. We are very different, and I'm sure that the two of us would not be friends in other circumstances. With my brother gone, it is difficult to maintain the relationship but I don't want to lose touch with the kids. le sigh!

Four more days of vacation to enjoy here. Tomorrow I will take DD shopping for a winter coat (her Christmas present, but I'm letting her pick it out). We'll also check out the sale at Ikea. The crowds at the stores have been small, so there may be good bargains to be had.


    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 9:50PM
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Happy Birthday Monique

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 5:33AM
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Good morning

Today I am up at my usual Monday morning time but rather than having to get ready for work can contemplate another week of vacation. Christmas was lovely and we have all been enjoying quiet time together, visiting with friends, a little shopping (Annie and myself), and getting caught up on jobs around the house. Out weather has given us everything from more snow and ice, 60F and gale force winds. Today we are back to winter again. Woody - we had your same winds but fortunately no damage.

It was great to read about so many Christmas celebrations, joyful and bittersweet as many must have been.

GB - Lazer tag is wonderful fun for the young folk but I agree that the sound and noise can be almost unbearable. DSIL's food sounds amazing.

V - glad to hear your get together with SIL went smoothly. Do your nieces and nephews keept in touch with DD or DS? Sometimes Annie and David have a lot more insight into how their cousins are doing than me due to emails and Facebook.

Julie - a hug from me.

Eden - the knitted socks from your Mother must have been such a special gift to open. Bella looks adorable in her ensemble - the ladybug cardigan is a treasure.

Kathy - yes, I did have lime green envy when I saw those LOL!

Cynthia - loved seeing the greys in their winter attire with their special presents. Clousseau has never kept a stuffed toy long enough to bond with it - they are shredded way too quickly. He had a nice marrow bone instead and the turkey pan to lick out.

Michelle - you must be so excited about your trip. How neat to have the DVDs to take with you.

I'm missing commenting to many more but our heating is still at it's nightime low of 56F and I'm getting chilly. I'm thinking of grabbing a coffee and heading back to read in bed for an hour or so - my idea of bliss!!


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 6:02AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

[Oops!...I had to go back to read #416, so I posted it there and didn't mean to, so just ignore that one. :-)]

Back to my usual routine this morning. Freshly juiced veggies for breakfast. Yum. lol Feels good to break the routine and feels good to get back to it. I think I survived the holidays. [g] We still have to take the tree down. We usually do that on New Year's Day.

Julie...you certainly have your challenges to try to accommodate and such a busy schedule. Your family is lucky to have you. Sounds like you had a little bit of everything mixed in to your holiday. I hope the good moments outweighed the not so great ones. I usually do a lot of thinking and regrouping around the new year and make written goals for myself, so I will be over to post on your New Year's thread soon.

Chelone....who is certainly not shrinking from any of the challenges of finishing the Salon. 550 pounds of stove to move...well, it's a great thing that helpmeet has a jack at work. lol .... I just asked the same question about photos of ornaments. We also do not really have a topper for our tree. Our ceiling are pretty low so there never seems to be room. Instead we have a trio of large, soft, angel ornaments that normally are reserved for around the top branches of the tree. ... Yes, that foot massage is getting used. :-) It was from Brookstone and they do a pretty good job with that sort of thing.

Jerri....I find computer issues and especially viruses one of the most irritating and time consuming problems to deal with. You have my sympathies. :-) What virus protection program are you adding?

Woody...barely any snow here. Glad that photo is not of a tree down in your yard.

Kathy...do I detect a bit of resistance to bringing plants in the house over the colder months? [g] Are you lacking windows with enough light for them? Very sorry to hear DD and Aiden didn't make it to BIL's. I would not have thought snow would be that significant a problem there in the PNW. Well...maybe you can have a 'second' Christmas next time you all get together. ...LOVE your GGBridge ornament! Very cool!

Denise...you are right on the ball, getting your house back to normal. I'm still enjoying our decorations but the house has been cleaned. Another couple of days and I will be ready for them to be put away for another year. DD just received two cookbooks for Mexican food for Christmas. A favorite of hers. A friend of hers is originally from Texas and is a Mexican food lover. He gave her some kind of mortar and pestle to make her guacamole in and it does come out very good. Last year, she was asking me to grow cilantro. ....What is going on with Marty's back and leg? Injury? Arthritis? ... Photos of sweet peas and new container? Is it really gardening weather there still Denise?... Yes, family was properly impressed with my fledgling sewing skills. :-) Your ship ornament is a keeper! Very pretty! I wonder if you have multiple ship ornaments?

Saucy your Sarah is SO pretty!! And yes...Doe eyed, Denise and yes, expressive face...Chelone.

Michelle...your holiday sounded very peaceful and full of friends and family. I know you said something I was going to comment on but I can't find it now. I will though!

Martie...glad you found some bargains out there. This is the first year I can remember having no desire to shop the sales at all. Nice to hear you are 'gardening'. My head is so far away from gardening at the moment, I'm barely taking care of the houseplants. LOVE your showerhead! And a DH that can install it too? Wonderful.

Cynthia...why is it your grays play nicely with their stuffed animals and carry them around, when DS's dog chews everything to bits? He would have the stuffing out of that gorilla in 5 minutes flat. [g] They look quite happy and content and seem to enjoy their red sweaters.

Deanne...great Duck photo...is that the Loon? I thought they were a different color?

Wonder if we will hear from Brenda today?

V....thanks for the name of that Christmas tree. I will have to look for Red Pine next year. Not sure there is a lot of that around my neck of the woods, but at least I can ask.

Marian...very sorry to hear about the death of your friend. He was young. Imagine having celebrated a 50th wedding anniversary at such a young age...he was married young! Hope you are feeling better.

Eden....loved your Christmas photos! Bella is adorable in her sweater and double socks and maryjanes. How did she like Spike? That expression on Magglio's face is priceless...lol. This is Jenni's first child, right? She looks so excited and in such good shape. Has she have a nursery she is getting ready?

Happy Belated BD to Monique! Hope it was relaxing.

Well...that is as far back as I can go...not such a bad Monday, since it will be a short week. DD is off the rest of the week and today will be day two of painting at her house. Middle DS went home with our van and we are down to one car that is not so good in the snow until we find our new car. That is on our agenda this morning. He was thrilled to have it, btw, but a flat tire had to be changed before he got on the road and no sooner did he park in his driveway, then a pizza delivery person slid into the passenger door and left a good dent and scratch. *sigh*. That's all the news that's fit to print...enjoy your last Monday of 2008!

No time for proofreading...fingers crossed.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 6:32AM
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How nice to see 'bug drop in. Add my voice to the chorus that would find the electronic sounds of lasertag annoying. Peals and squeals of genuine laughter, not at all, but synthetic sound? forget it. I'll bet your kitties were in very tight curls in little cozy nests until the outtage was resolved.

Also a chuckle about the limitations of Kathy's footwear. I keep my muck shoes at the base of the stairs so I may toss them on for squishy trots to the Salon. At present I'm battling the migration of stonedust... into the Salon, up the stairs, everywhere. I'm pretty adept at stamping the loose stuff of the soles and then swapping out shoes for slippers, but the helpmeet is not nearly so assiduous. ;)

I like that Michelle has a corn ornament on her tree. I also love that you gave your DD all the ornaments she's acquired over the years, that's a lovely sentiment and one that will be treasured for many years to come.

That is an idea for a stencil in the background of the shot of Rex (after a beating, BTW), Michelle. I'm not convinced it's the one I'll use, but it will be something similar. I want to see one window trimmed out and a run of mopboard in place before making my final selection, as those elements will define the amount of wall area the stencils will occupy. I am bracing for another round of grousing from the helpmeet with respect to that aspect of the work, but feel myself on pretty solid ground since I've done the lion's share of the hearth/chimney work and have finished every scrap of trimwork he's thusfar supplied. Hehehe... negotiating from a position of strength is good.

Mary, I have another week off, too. I had to remind myself yesterday that it was Sunday... having completely lost track of the days. Today I have to get to the bank and that's about the extent of my official duties, aside from the wave of returnables threatening to overwhelm the pantry. Enjoy your week off, I sure am!

V., I admire your willingness to maintain a cordial relationship with your brother's widow. It's not always necessary to love all your relatives, but a level of civility does make life a good deal easier. Do you have other opportunities to visit with your nieces and nephews over the course of a year? I believe the helpmeet and I will go shopping for his requested "Mr. Rogers" cardigan some time this week. I'd like to combine it with a trip to newly restored Federal style home affiliated with an art museum or a visit to a sumptous Victorian brownstone full "dressed" for the Christmas holidays.

OK, dishes are finished, kitchen is clean, and it's time to get things organized so I may crack the more odious chores off the "to do" list and get about having more fun!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 7:47AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Good morning all,

Well Ive never seen the weather see-saw back and forth to the extremes it has in the last month. Yesterday was 60 degrees out and we went out without coats and Wednesday morning is supposed to be 5 degrees out. Good grief. The good part of this thaw is that the 20 inches of snow did melt off the roof so we arent worried about ice dams. That second floor roof is just too high to get at with a roof rake and it constantly builds up ice dams so it been an ongoing problem. We are thinking of removing that gutter entirely and that will hopefully fix the problem.

Its sad to see the trees around here now that all the snow and ice are gone though, what a mess! There is just incredible damage in some areas.

Yesterday we did a belated Holiday gathering with my side of the family and everyone survived the experience. LOL My brother asked for the get-together yesterday morning, my Mom called and asked if we could come and asked if I could bring some of the soup I had in my freezer. I thawed out the soup and brought it over and one of my sisters had a hissy fit because there were mushrooms in the soup like Id done it on purpose to fix it so she couldnt eat. Give me a break.

Woody, thats awful to see that tree down in your photo but glad you dont have any damage to your property. Sorry you are still being plagued by that tendonitis.

Michelle, great idea to bring Kenzie copies of your garden DVDs. Im really going to think about getting a video camera so I can do that. Even play appropriate music in the BG and what a show. LOL ~~ Ill bet you are really looking forward to your trip!


Kathy, the banana is a shadow of its former self. I hacked and whacked even more off it and then we cut the root ball by at least half. I have no idea if it will survive the experience but that was the only way it was going to get in the basement. Point is, Chelones woodstove now outweighs my banana but it would have been touch and go before it was pruned.

PM yes that is a loon in its winter plumage. Such pretty birds! ~~ Sounds like you had a great day yesterday.

V. sounds like you had a good visit even with not being able to spend enough time with your nieces and nephews. Ive got 30 something cousins and most are in the area but like my siblings we really dont spend much time together. I think too many issues makes people drift apart.

Bug, all you can do is endure. Laser tag will have to end eventually. Id probably have gone out for a walk until the ruckus was over LOL.

Mary, enjoy your vacation! Sounds like you are having a great time.

Martie, I seriously have got to get a photograph of that lavender soon. Its lovely.

OK Ive got to get motivated and get some chores done. Time to water the hundreds of coleus and give them a bit of a feed today. Then exercise and hopefully have some time with my birds while there is light outside.

Have a great day all

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 8:08AM
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I lost track of days last week too Chelone, and it felt darn good. Is this what retirement or unemployment is like? I don't mind it at all! The little projects I'm working through around the house are nothing compared to the Mary and Chelone type of undertakings, but still make me feel so accomplished :-) I'm sanding the walls in upstairs bath right now and it's messy work, but I interupt myself often to putter with other things. It will become more urgent when I start running out of time towards mid week. I'm not going to tell you how long ago I ripped off that wallpaper.

Jerri, There have been some important MS patches in the past few months and I know of others who have had troubles because of that. Anti-Virus and firewalls can only do so much. I know when I boot up my work PC after two weeks(sitting blessedly idle next to this one) it will take an hour to check that all patches are up todate and probably load some new ones.

Julie, your holiday sounds like quite a mix of fun and stress. Normal, eh? Hope your son is able to find his path this year. You are a good mom and grandma. I love the idea of your daughter teaching TCS to ski! Great gift.

I predict:

*Kathy in Napa will change her signature by year end '09.
*Michelle and I will pass each other in Florida and not recognize ourselves.
*Jerri will get another dog.
*Mary will either replace her gutters or the roof. I see her on a ladder learning new skills.

Ok, back to sanding and puttering. It's going to be warm here for the next few days. (Which means not below 40F during the day.)

Have a good day all!


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 8:44AM
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I remember when you took the wallpaper down, Cynthia....at least I think I do :)

I've got a bit of mail to get out the door, and then we're upgrading software, so it's sort of back to work for me, though the surroundings still look the same.

I've enjoyed everyone's pictures! PM, I really like your lime green pot....imagine how pretty annual blue lobelia (if I could ever keep it living) would be draped over the side.

I've got an amaryllis in bloom and it's quite pretty. I've got pictures loaded and ready so that I can show Kathy the cat's hangout after she requested it so long ago.

My BIL and SO are still in town, so there is dinner here tonight so that the kids can play with Uncle Jon one more time....

So much to do, but in a relaxed manner :)

Best to you all....


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 9:11AM
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Was that the wallpaper that came off in one sheet Cynthia?

Deanne - hope watering and feeding Coleus is theraputic after trials of your family get-togethers.

PM - good luck on your car hunt today.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 10:28AM
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If Deanne gets a video camera, she'll probably end up at Sundance Film Festival.

Mary & Saucy, the easily removed paper was the downstair's bathroom this summer. I had put the original paper up (soothing beige stripes) to eliminate the previous owner's canary yellow walls with passionate pink rose border. So it was done 'right' and yeah that paper just leaped off the walls. I must have bragged a LOT for you to remember. That one was done from stripping to repapering (soothing light green stripes) in a week-end. The one I'm finally getting back to was stripped a few January's ago an inch at a time and the walls seem to be made of cardboard. I couldn't paint or paper over the mess and didn't know where to start without replacing the walls. Most walls in my house are plaster, and these walls are like pressed cardboard. I don't even think it's drywall. I'm now done with 2 out of three walls and put up the first strip of liner to see if that would help. It does! Because the room is really dated - 60s tile and fixtures - I'm putting up blue polka dots on white to just make fun of the whole mess. I wish the dots were bigger than they are, but this will be one step up anywat from the pitted cardboard look. Then I can call a contractor to redo the whole room.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 11:18AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Laser tag has not yet begun this morning. Young friend spent the night here (sleepover being a good thing!) and the shrieks and whines and giggles have yet to start. The gang of small ones is so varied: One kid has NO rules from either parent and yet follows house rules here most of the time. He is jealous of all Skyler's other friends and there is lots of "he's my friend first, I've known him longer than you" etc.... Another sweetie is very bright and precise in every movement, yet is unable to read and has other major problems. A little girl who is 2 years younger is the sharpest of them all and can run the show and make the boys do whatever activity she chooses. It's fascinating, though at my age, wears me out!

Indy dog is NOT a fan of laser tag or of Air Blasters (foam bullets) and gets ultra excited. I'm with her! Other toys tend to be things quite foreign to me, Wii, ipods, etc..and the banter goes something like this: "I got a Wii" "I have one at my house" "No you don't, you have a *** and a Wii is better!" "Well mine is wireless..." Oy, I didn't know how lucky I was 30 years ago!

I think breakfast is on the horizon... ;)


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 12:10PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Just a quick pop in here - Deanne - your comment about ice dams brought back vivid memories of our first winter in this house. We had dreadful ice dam problems and the cause was the attic/roof space not being properly sealed so too much heat leaked from the living areas into the roof space - which means the snow melts, runs down the roof and freezes. The solution is identifying where the heat leaks are and sealing them properly. If you do that and end up with a well sealed house, you may need to do what we did - put in a heat recovery ventilator to ensure a good supply of fresh air - but you'll eliminate the ice dams, save on heating costs and have a warmer house. It's easy to tell who has a house with lots of heat leakage - a day or so after a snowfall, look around and see which roofs are starting to get bare. Sometimes you can see where the leaks are by noticing which part of the roof melts off first. The major part of the problem here was the tops of the pocket doors not being sealed properly and also the bulkheads over the cupboards in the pantry. Testing for air leaks starts with a 'blower door test' (see link). It's well worth doing if you're having any ice on the roof problems - or just want to look at where to target energy saving improvements. If I was building or renovating a house again. I'd specify that the house has to pass an air leakage test before I'd give the contractor his final payment.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 12:24PM
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Monday greetings from the office where I JUST realized that I've been making appointments based on my 2008 book and now must not only find a 2009 planner but hope like haities I didn't book anything on a Saturday. Funny thing is that none of the "bookees" noticed. Email confirmations are a good thing. LOL

Interesting reading about the delights, quandries, food, games, pets, weather and home improvement projects. Never a dull moment, and thinking about you all in whatever frame of mind you happen to be in.....

More later -- take that pic, Deanne!! ;-)


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 1:36PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Cynthia, I'll have to Google wallpaper liner. Both of our baths are way past due for an update. I wanted to remove the wallpaper and just paint but the paper is not coming off well at all. I may need some sort of liner.

I'm afraid I may be lazy. All of you are doing such beautiful upgrades to your homes and I never manage to get anything completed the last few years. I either need more motivation or a handyman.

Too those with laser tag, Spike the dino, or any similar toy, you have my sympathy ;)
It's so warm here it's hard to stay in this bed. It's 68 here. Unbelievable.


P.S. This was probably the most boring post in this thread. Sorry folks

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 2:02PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Another beautiful day here. Sunny, calm, and 56F at 1PM.

When I went out to bring in my day's wood it was so nice out, that I spent a while picking up some ot the twigs the winds had blown down.

When I read of some of the uncomfortable gatherings of some of your families, I am almost glad I live so far from mine. :-)

My only full sister, Evelyn, calls frequently, and we have long conversations, and lots of laughs. She can get into some of the strangest, and funniest, predicaments.
On the sad side....her DH is 78 and suffering very serious ailments. The latest is tumors in both lungs that are melanomas! They are debating how to handle them. It appears having radiation, or chemo, is the best route to take. His Dr. would like for him to go to either Calif. or Texas to clinics that specialize in the treatment of that, but neither are up to such a trip, and the long stay so far from home. They seem to be taking the prospects pretty well in stride, and may decide on treatments locally, in their own area. Our mother died of lung cancer. She chose to have nothing done except the removing of fluid the taking of pain meds.

Nolon seemed to have some sort of virus last week that caused his stomach to hurt. He was concerned about that, but agreed it was most likely a virus. I apparently got the same bug a few days later, but mine also causes a headache, and slight nausea. We both had flu shots, but they do not protect against all viruses.

I heard on the news awhile ago that our county seat town had 88 inches of rain for 2008! That is almost exactly twice the yearly average! I wonder what next year will bring?

After the deluge that we got Saturday, we went out to go to Sunday's AM service. The car's front window was frosted over. I sprayed it with the windsheid washer's defrosting fluid, and ran the wipers. It did not even faze the heavy frost...come to find out, it was on the inside! I can never ever remember having the inside of a car's windows frost over!

I am among those who could not tolerate the lazertag racket! Thank goodness my DGDs never had such things, at least not at our house. Marie, I hope you do not end up a nervous wreck!

Only 2 more days!!! Then goodbye to 2008. I will not be sorry to see it go. It was not one of my best. :-(


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 2:36PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

I finally had a nice long post this a.m. after suffering from lurkdom and sloth and then lost the post; been suffering some freeze-ups on the laptop here at home; annoying - i sympathize w/ you Jerri... after that had to run for the appts for annual "squish" and a bone density thrown in just for fun... tomorrow the dentist.

I definitely am in the sloth category, Jerri-- have numerous to-do lists and projects I swore I'd do while on vacation... it will likely end up w/ a last 3 day marathon of guilt and pressured jobs, LOL... the enegetic idyllers make me positively fatigued just listening...

Chloe insisted that I drop in to thank you all however -- thanks to the enlightened and au current pet idyllers here, she did not suffer the annual vaccination "sickness" today -- the vet pulled the blood titer instead after informed discussions, and she emerged relatively unscathed -- the vet even gave her the compliment that she acts like a 5 or 6 yr old, when in fact she is over 10 yrs old.... gee, I'd love to get a compliment of seeming 25 instead of 50 plus, LOL.... 'course that might have been trying to ease the pain of the total bill, LOL; seriously think she should have been a "child model" to pay her own bills.... in any case, dog and "Mom" are much relieved that we have no zombie acts presently going on... Interestingly, the vet discouraged the addition of glucosamine/chrondrontin in Chloe's case; he explained that small dogs w/ the patella issues (such as the Maltese breed has) do not need something that will add more cartilage to their knees as they already have too much which is what causes the original patella problems. I'll have to do more reading on it; but it made sense at the time.... so she'll just have to pretend to be 5 instead of 3 I guess...

I sure hope Eden is not amongst the Michigan group still without power -- but that she's just too pre-occupied w/ holiday and family events. I still think of the wonderful Bella ladybug sweater and socks -- what wonderful gifts and memories....

Signing off w/ visions of blue polka dots wandering in bathrooms....


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 5:37PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Hello, my Idyll friends!
We survived the wedding!! :) We had an ice storm, and the poor kids had no power the morning of the wedding. Fortunately, we're a "Plan B" kind of people, so showers were taken elsewhere, and the power came back on in plenty of time for final preps back at the house. My brother did the ceremony, and I cannot remember a time when I was so proud of my family. My sister played "Imagine" on the piano as Jim and Christina walked out. No one, not even DD and DSIL knew what the vows were going to be. There wasn't a dry eye in the house :)
Yesterday and today have been cleanup days. Tomorrow, I take DB to chemo, and then...I think.... I MAY have a day to myself. Time for things to settle down to whatever we're calling "normal" these days.
One more load of tables to return, and I think we'll call it a day.
I'll be back, and as soon as I have my hands on some pictures--you'll be sooorrry, lol!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 6:00PM
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Found white with big blue polka dots bathroom rug at Home Goods. (!!!)

And dark brown towels with blue dots.

And solid color face clothes in blue, brown, white, and blue-er blue.

Blue hand towels with brown dot ribbons on the edge.

One more wall to go, and of course it's the really hard one.

Gone dotty,


PS: Hi Brenda! And Cindy that's very interesting about no G/C for Maltese. I love information.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 6:36PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Brenda, you have good reason to be proud. The wedding sounds just beautiful. I can't wait to see the pictures.

Cynthia, you get the shopping award for this year! I can't believe you found the perfect accessories. I'll be waiting for blue polka dot photos too. ;)

Cindy, I thought about you and cute little Chloe this Christmas. Dh's niece and nephew recently got a 'Morkie' (Maltese/Yorkie). She is so tiny and cute. I didn't get to meet her in person yet but they have tons of photos.

I just had my therapy over the phone. That always seems odd to me but it's better than skipping it. It's safer to be in my head now. LOL I think I need a hankie though.



    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 7:34PM
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Nope Cindy, we didn't lose power but many around here have. I loved seeing Chloe. One of my cats is a Chloe and she's much bigger than your Chloe. Brad calls her Manwich because she's bigger than any of our male cats. Your Chloe is very petite and sweet!

Michelle, I was so glad to hear that you're going to visit Kenzie! I bet you can't wait to see her.

Cynthia, if you're looking for something for home decor I know Homegoods is the place to find it. I love that store. I think the polkadot bathroom will be really cute and I can't wait to see pictures. It was great seeing pictures of Monty, Danny and Hope too!

PM, yes this is Jenni's first baby. She's so excited and happy and both her and Randy can't wait until Kate gets here. For Christmas I got Kate a baby bathtub that looks like a little clawfoot tub complete with a whirlpool and shower attachment.

Chelone, you are really plugging along at getting the salon finished. I bet it's really starting to look like it's coming together now. I took down all of my Christmas decorations but will leave up the tree until Jan 6 in deference to you. And because I love sitting at night with just the tree lights on too.

Julie, you are a great mom and as I think I've said before an even greater grandma. I KNOW how tiring it is to have a small child around for many hours a day but you do it round the clock that says it all as to what a great person you are.

Brenda, can't wait to see the wedding pics. Hope your brother is doing well. My sister finished her chemo a week before Christmas and now is going through tests to see where things stand. Fingers crossed please!

Martie, I think you asked when Jen is due. The date is April 13. The same date I was due when I had David but he was a little early and arrived on the 9th.

Jerri, hope the foot is healing and you'll be up and around soon but it's been so nice to have you Idylling daily!

It was a tough year. Definitely in the running for the worst for me but then I think about all of my special moments with Bella and then Jen and Randy getting married and now Kate coming and I can't say that there weren't many good, even great moments too. It's all how we chose to look at things I think. For me the glass was definitely half full this year. I hope that's true for all of you too!

Lot's more in my mind that I'd like to comment on but today's Brad's and my 30th anniversary so I really need to go spend some time with him. We're old now so that translates into maybe watching a movie together, lol.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 8:58PM
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Salutations.. I made it through the first day back at the awfice-not bad considering, but it is usually pretty slow on this week between the two hols. I only had three voicemails and 54 e-mails , about a third of what I would normally expect being gone for 4 days.

I took my ornament pic with the flash, but on macro setting for the close up. I sure dislike flash photos but sometimes there is no getting around them, at least not with my camera.

PM, I do have limited space for plants inside, and I also am in kind of a marginal climate. Often I can move things against a south or west facing wall under the eaves and the tops will freeze but the plant survives. Thats where I have put all my really large begonias. My citrus usually does ok . Some of the succulents have to come in, mostly anything in the genus Kalachoe. Out coldest temps are usually not much below the mid-20s but we have gotten into the teens here on occasion.

Chelone , I have muck boots too, both the short and tall versions- If Id been thinking I would have packed them as the boots I took have no water resistance. Shouda-coulda-woulda.

Cynthia, I spent literally months taking the wallpaper off my upstairs bathroom last year. There are still little chunks of it in the corners that would not be vanquished no matter what I did. I should have rented a heat gun, (or a painter). I love polka dots.

Wow Woody, your info on the ice dams certainly displays for me the challenges of living in a cold-winter climate. We take a lot for granted out here in zone-9 land. My few days in snowy Portland being housebound and having to plan for bad driving conditions gave me a new appreciation for my friends in the Midwest and northeast. We do have earthquakes and fires though !

Hi Brenda !

Jerri, you mustnt worry about the content in your postsits fun to have you checking in often during the day, like having some sort of Idyll facilitator . We will get used to seeing you frequently and then you will recede back into the world of the working

Happy anniversary Eden !

Hi Marian, Martie, Saucy, Deanne , Marie, V ..the kitchen beckons.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 9:02PM
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We could use the six geese a-laying this morning as for some reason scrambled eggs sound wonderful.

So good to hear spirits starting to rise at the end of what has been a trying year for so many. For me, I've been counting the hours since about July. The half-full is that every cent of taxes we've put in, we'll get back!!

With that in mind, Rich has decided (with my loving encouragement) to close the business other than keeping his license and legal business status current. Everything other than that can be re-upped within 48 hours if need be as long as those things are in place. Other income possibilities are being considered and it'll be interesting to see where his thoughts and talents lead him.

So, two of the three (Dad being the third and at 83 he's "set") most important men in my life are officially at crossroads. I've put a note in my new 2009 planner that one year from today should be quite interesting. LOL

If all pets were so well loved and cared for as those who are lucky enough to live with Idylls......

Had my 4 minutes of fame during the weekend when I called in to our local AM radio with a question for "Garden Talk." The subject? What to do with a Virburnum carlesii that throws another bloom every time it goes over 50degF. Will there be any left for Spring? Consensus: Yes, but not as much after the conversation went to overwintering florist Azaleas and Camellias and other greenhouse type plants without a greenhouse. Fun and if they put the call in their archives I'll post a link.

Enough about me/us. With a very light work week I'll be checking in a bit more often and hopefully comment on everything I thought of while reading :-)


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 7:06AM
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I love wallpaper. Always have. Trouble is, I've never been able to afford the stuff that really catches my eye. I've helped hang it before (many, many moons ago) and know that you must do the proper prep. work to ensure that it can be removed with minimal aggravation (as Cynthia and Kathy will attest). Are the walls in the room Homasote, Cynthia? the older it gets the more fragile it becomes and if some ding-dong slapped paper over it without sizing it correctly I'll bet it was no fat lady's dream to get it off. I can't wait to see the finished product; you sound like a real shopping maven, and I'm certain we will not be disappointed with the final product since you strike me as one "pays attention to details". :)

I live in a perpetual construction/remodelling zone have for nearly 2 decades now. It used to bother me more than it does now but somemtimes I get really tired of looking at things that still lack the final finish and polish after so many years. I've learned to pick away at the endless list and allow myself to pick something off it that will bring a smile to my face rather than only working on "the next item". We didn't move the stove yesterday, though I did scrub the excess grout sealer off the tiles. The helpmeet was late getting home, was tired and still had the marketting to accomplish, so we bagged it and will attempt it this morning. It may be too soon to say so, but I may even be able to light the first of the "seasoning" fires today.

Julie, I like practical and resourceful people. Life's vicissitudes affect every single one of us and while we don't have "control" over anyone else we can always take control of our own lives as a way to minimize collateral damage. You can't control DS's issues with mood, substances, etc., but you can minimize the effect they may have on TCS and thereby you and the rest of your family. Familial solidarity can really help when the going gets tough. You are blessed with a good sense of humor and that's really important. Hang tough.

Eden, I like the way you've chosen to look at the year now nearly past. No matter how sad we are at any given point in our lives there is nearly always some nugget of truth and great value to be found amongst the rubble. Not that a good deal of time may be required to uncover it, though! I love looking at the lights on the tree, too. Esp. at night when their twinkle is reflected by the windows, something Mum pointed out and I'd always been to "busy" to notice. ;)

I felt bad for the helpmeet yesterday afternoon. He was going to the grocery store and pulled on his Christmas corduroys only to discover they were too small. I bought the size he requested, too. ;) He did a good deal of incredulous grumbling until I pointed out that perhaps there was a correlation between the pats of butter and sprinklings of cheese applied to his vegetables and other assorted meal items. And he tells me I'm a "picky eater" because I request my vegetables just steamed! Denise, the Gout Express seems to have been abandonned in the railyard of the Compound. Helpmeet was not particularly amused when I asked if he wanted slacks with the famed, Haggar "Sansabelt" feature, but I thought it was pretty funny.

I arrived at the recycling place only to discover they aren't open on Mondays. I get to go back today and may just keep on driving to one of the remaining fabric stores of note in the area "for to look at goods". I have blanched at the amount of fabric required to dress the windows of the Salon... umm... around 75 yds.. Mind you, that's for unpatterned fabric and the amount of lining will only be slightly less. Gulp.

The helpmeet has vacated the bathroom and it's time to get myself cleaned up and ready to face the day.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 7:48AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Morning all,

I dont have a lot of time as Ive got a dentist appointment but wanted to stop in and say good morning to all and post these pics for Martie. This is the Goodwin Creek Lavender she brought me a couple years ago and its a lovely mature, blooming specimen now. Cool! I didnt know one could get lavender to bloom under lights.

Kathy, I cannot believe begonias survive outside with any temps below freezing. That amazes me. I still have both the cuttings you brought me but they are really slow to get going for some reason.

Happy Anniversary to Eden and Brad! That was my parents wedding anniversary as well. I LOL over Were old now so that translates into maybe watching a movie" You are too funny but that is so true. Doug and I will be having our 37th in Jan and we have no plans and no plans to make any. LOL

Brenda, looking forward to seeing the wedding pics!

Cynthia, love the polka dotted bathroom idea. Cant wait to see the finished product.

Woody thanks for the information about ice dams. I emailed Doug that information and well have to see about having someone check that.

Mary, Thanks, the coleus watering and feeding is definitely therapeutic this time of the year especially because of the amount of light in the plant room! LOL

OK Ive really got to run, waving hello to one and all!

Have a great day

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 7:53AM
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I'm such an idiot sometimes! and want to thank Deanne for her reminder. (bet the Lavendar smells great).

I, too, wanted to pass my best wishes along to Eden and Brad on the 30 yr. success of their union.

And also, that it'll be fun to see pictures from Brenda as soon as things settle down a little bit for her.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 7:57AM
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Happy Anniversary to Eden & Brad!

Chelone, I looked up Homasote and I think you've got it, thank you! It's right for the period of that bathroom remodel. Made from recycled newspaper so it's 'green'. I still hate it. I quit with just one strip to go last night. That last strip is for the left side of mirror with an attached sconce, and I almost gave up doing the right side of that ziggy zaggy thing, so decided I'd just make a mess if I pushed on.

Kathy, I did have a slight memory of your earlier bathroom tribulations. My 'little' chunks are the pieces from an even earlier wallpaper. Dark blue and stuck mostly at edges. Sandpaper and wire brush there created more dust from the Homasote and left the pieces of paper intact. I now know the half life of wallpaper.

So my next challenge is the ceramic towel holder on one wall with a broken rod. I'm thinking round adjustable current rod in there. Is this sad or what? But if I use an IED to remove the ceramic rod end pieces from the tile, I'll never find replacements for it. "First do no harm." And that's a tough promise to keep in an 85 yo house.

Martie, change is hard. Change is good. Hope Rich finds something that puts his skills to good use. While he's figuring out what to do, could he advertise handyman services in your weekly paper? Those of us with no skills at all pay big bucks for this stuff. I paid $400 once to have a french window closed. Not kidding. It wasn't repaired, just closed. It took 30 minutes and a ladder plus travel time. Two shutters blew off in a storm and I can't find anyone to put them back up.

Eden, there were no Home Goods in Maryland when I moved here. We had them in NH and it was traumatic trying to fit up this house without that store. On the night of my 50th birthday I fell asleep on couch with the local weekly paper. When I woke up I lifted the paper and saw a full page Home Goods recruitment ad. A few months later the 1st Maryland store opened. I considered it the best birthday gift.

When I was checking CD rates this morning, I looked at home rates to see what was going on. Though my credit union was advertising as 'lowest rates since the 60s' the rate for the product I have now was exactly what I got when I re-fi'd in 03 - 4.85%. The lower rates involved paying points. I'll keep watching though!

Has anyone read 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle'? A big fat book. Good read. Woody, I think you might enjoy this one. It's about dogs and a boy who can't speak so he signs.

Monty is running in his sleep. Hope opened the curtains on french doors for him with her 'trancing' moves. She looks like a wood fairy wafting her body through the sheers until the crane rods shift back and the light comes in fat blocks. It's a pretty day and the miscanthus 'flowers' had that frosty sparkley look in the yard this morning. Makes me like winter. I did more cleanup out there yesterday. It's satisfying when the temps are cool but not frigid.

OK. I'm going to tackle that last sheet of wallpaper and then clear the room of work debris and start cleaning all the grout.

Cindy, I wish you were closer, we could have lunch during our mutual vacation!


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 10:17AM
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Cynthia, is Edward Sawtelle a good read for a 15 year old boy? Jake is hard to buy books for, but I looked at that one and then put it back....I'm finding that he likes books involving animals and people with odds stacked against them :)

Happy Anniversary Eden and Brad! Three decades, huh? That's pretty impressive. 37 isn't shabby, either, Deanne :) I think you two should plan a nice day excursion since I like to hear about them so much! I think you find the neatest things to do together....

Jerri, it'd be hard to be bed bound with the weather so nice....just for you, and Kathy, we'll give Marcy a little air time :)

That's the window that is next to my desk....with the dirty spot on the sill, Chelone :)

Glad Chloe didn't have to suffer the ill effects of the usual boosters. I do not wish I acted half my age, lol!

I wanted to say to Mary, but kept forgetting, that Jake and Sarah did not come across video games until later in their young lives, and they can take them or leave them. It's like a board game....we can take it out on a dreary day and lose ourselves in make believe. Hope it goes the same at your place.

Tennis anyone? I am considering tennis lessons now. I don't know how seriously I'm considering it, but I am....

I vote yes for the tension rod, Cynthia....who's gonna notice with the pretty new towels hanging on it?

That's a lot of fabric, Chelone.....

I'd better go!


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 10:53AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

If the economy officially is not rebounding, don't blame me - DD and I did our best to pump up retail sales yesterday. We hit IKEA first. I got a handful of small bargain items, more metal saucers for under my plants (more always seem to be needed?), and a small shelf unit for the downstairs bath. Then we hit Woodfield Mall. We found DD's new winter coat at Macy's. Yes, I'm one of those recalcitrant Chicagoans who have not patronized Macy's since they took over Marshall Field's, and after our visit yesterday, I won't be breaking down their doors anytime soon. The coat section was stuffed full of merchandise, coats were strewn everywhere, and some racks were so overloaded you could not remove the hangers. Depsite the glut of goods, the size DD needed was in the back.

But the thing that really pulled my chain was that every rack had a sign on it that said you would get another 15% off if you used your Macy's card. Since I had had a Field's card for years, they had sent me a Macy's card that I never used, but why turn down 15%? So I charged the coat on that card but got no discount. "Oh no, dear - that coat is already value priced and we can't discount it further." Value priced? is that Macy's term for bait and switch? Grr! I have my regular credit card set up to pay the full balance automatically, and now need to be sure that this bill does not get missed. Can you tell I won't be back in Macy's anytime soon?

So since I have "vented my spleen" here, I think I'm going to wander over to Macy's website and see if venting there gets me any where. I shall return with a more pleasant post later!


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 11:16AM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Hey, Deanne and I get to do something similar today -- off to my dentist in a few mins too..... I'll be thinking of ya - here's hoping neither of us needs anything more than the usual cleaning.

Happy happy to Eden and Brad -- I think even enjoying a movie together happily is nice.... and Im glad to hear you say you can remember those great and lovely moments of 2008 and that the bad ones didnt destroy them.... we will hope 2009 brings good things to all.

Martie, I wish your men the best at their crossroads -- sometimes those roads lead to amazing opportunities; Rich is lucky to have such a supporting spouse at his side too.

Chelone, re the fabric and yardage - you might start surfing the 'net -- which is where I eventually found my 80 yards I used in the family room this spring. You can get some terrific buys; I confess I usually ended up buying some single yards or the minimum of ones I really liked to see in person as samples (I think I invested about $100 in those but it was worth it) - like paint, it's definitely best to see in person, esp if you're going to live with the fabric a long time, which I do. I did learn a lot -- that these online places all name the stuff their personal names so it makes it harder to shop; but after many hours I ended up recognizing some same patterns and could price the stuff out for comparison. And mfrs apparently market the stuff just like cars (same pattern, different supposed maker - like Ford and mercury, etc.).... But the great bargains in my local stores had pretty much dried up and I was astonished at the prices of leftover fabric, which is how I have always tried to buy my stuff -- I ended up with fabric that was probably about 75% less than its price in a book I found it in. But there are some great closeout places in NE as I recall for fabrics too. Im seldom a "full price" shopper -- and love love Home Goods -- my DD has grown up as a Marshalls/Maxx consumer too.

Wishin we lived closer for that lunch too, Cynthia - I'd love to see your polka dots too, LOL.

Ok -- off to the dentist and more errands (anything to avoid doing the work at home)...


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 11:20AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Let's all hope that Sue never gets an iPhone.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 11:36AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

V, was wishing I had bought Skyler a "Sue machine" this year. I think he's at the perfect stage for it.

I'm not doing a thorough post here at all...but

*thinking about polka dots a bit: Got a book on Hutterites as a gift. The women wear black & white polka dotted kerchiefs.

*Eden, I took your words to heart. Although I often see my cup half empty, especially this year, I realize that one reason I miss Reed so terribly is because of our perfect August visit with him. That was a very spcial gift... And now Sarah is in her tired but "glowing" stage of pregnancy. She bought the MOST adorable sweaters in size zero in Peru, also an amazing snowsuit for baby for next Christmas. They are working so hard at being excited about the new little one, but of course with the joy come memories and immense sadness too.

* Anniversaries! No plans are our style too. DH even hates movies. But, I think 2009 should bring some happy thoughts and memories for us all. Very best wishes to Eden & Brad, Deanne & Doug!!!

*I'm hoping Rich's 2009 is rewarding, that his skills shine and bring him satisfaction.

Last evening we socialized with a group of DSIL's friends of years gone by...at The Next Act Bar where we enjoyed a good meal. The gang moved on to another spot where they could play pool etc...but DH, Sarah and I returned home. It is afternoon here and DSIL is gently snoring upstairs still....I wonder what time he returned to the homestead. ;)

OK, that's it for now...but I hope to stop by later!
Hi to everyone!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 12:55PM
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Hello Idylls

I am greeting the new year with a clean desk!! While my room and desk at work are impeccably neat, my 4 square feet of home office are a disgrace. But no more!! It took me 2/12 hours but everything is cleaned, sorted, categorized and filed. A years worth of misc. clippings, school reports, recipes, photos, letters etc are all where I can locate them once more or in the recycle bin. Mail I keep on top of to make sure bills are paid in a timely manner - it's the other stuff that builds up.

David was so taken with my clean desk he sat down and to draw a face on my recently unearthed Henry VIII doodle pad. He then proceeded to clip his nails onto the spotless desk surface (why are boys so gross?) He informed me I over-reacted when I told him in no uncertain terms how I felt about that activity.

It has been lovely just being able to putter about - I can't remember the last time we had this much time just to relax and unwind. This afternoon David's bass teacher is coming over with his wife who is a friend of mine and their 1 year old son. David will have a lesson while we drink tea and chat. That is about the height of today's activity.

Cynthia - polka dots sound smashing! Your bathroom project sounds like a test of patience as well as hard work.

Eden - congrats to you both on your annvirsary. You are obviously so well matched. Hope you and Brad can share some special time together. Your outlook on life with all it has handed you this year is both touching and brave. I tend to be a "glass half full" person too but it's hard to predict how we will respond when it comes to dealing with loss.

Martie - I hope Rich's new path leads him to something rewarding. It must have been a hard decision.

V - you reminded me of why I never bother with separate credit cards for different shops. VERY frustrating. I hope the coat was nice at least.

Hope all goes well at the dentist for Cindy and Deanne.

Kathy - how are YOUR teeth doing?

Lovely lavenda and kitty pics today. I thought I'ld add one of today's amaryllis. A little twisted willow and moss from the lawn always dress them up nicely.

a big wave to all I've missed

(who is just off to admire her desk again)

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 1:40PM
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A polka dot bathroom sounds like so much fun!

Last night I primed my DDs former bedroom. It had navy paint on the lower 1/3 with a border. Im going to paint a pretty neutral color as it needs to go with the quilt that my mom made for me a number of years ago. Its cream, green and burgundy so the room will have a cottagey feel.

Deanne, I have a lavender under lights, but I doubt whether it will bloom for me.

Eden & Brad, congratulation on the 30 year mark. My thoughts are with your sister during her time of waiting for the test results. Id love to see a picture someday of baby Kate in the miniature claw foot tub.

bug, Im sure the holidays this year were difficult for you and your family. Youve been on my mind a lot these days. ((((bug))))

We enjoyed my nephews Wii this weekend. I found the bowling to be quite fun.

V, Im afraid Im going to have a similar issue with Macys when I get my credit card statement. How old are your brothers kids? Ive been keeping up with my niece who is 18 by way of facebook.

Martie, I hope that 09 will be a better one for Rich in regards to his work.

Kathy, the hay bale combine sounds like a farmer was having fun.

For the most part this has been a good year for us, certainly a year of changes and some I wouldnt have necessary chosen.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 1:54PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Cynthia - the book suggestion sounds interesting... There are 133 holds on it at the local library so I assume it's got good 'press'... :-)

gb - Phoebe says 'Hi' back - although she's asleep on the floor at the moment, tired out after a car ride with Misty. We went shopping for a treadmill. I need a way to get exercise when it snows and my exercise bike is causing trouble with my right hip. Phoebe and Misty are funny in the car together - there's not much room in the backseat with my walker behind the passenger seat so there's a squirming mass of dogs back there with Misty burrowing under Phoebe when she wants to get to the window to see out....

Phoebe was a bit wired last night - another windy night here; she seems very nervous when it's windy out. She's more settled today - so far at least :- )

Happy anniversary Edan and Brad; Deanne and Doug!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 2:18PM
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Still scrubbing grout, but the last piece of wallpaper went up more easily than I expected. I have poor spatial abilities so I have to concentrate when I'm making cuts around things like medicine cabinets or I 'byte swap' and ruin what is already done :-( Fortunately my brain isn't being otherwise used this week so I was in good form (for me) and happy with the results.

I Phone for Sue :) Perfect V. I don't do Macy's either. They bought Jordan Marsh. I've bought there in a hurry (eg funeral attire) and annoyed by the extra discounts for card holders, but I don't do 'store' cards either. Now I'm thinking I probably didn't lose money after all, since I'm sure everything I've bought there was already 'value priced.'

I've been leaving Hope out of crate for short periods when I'm not at home, but not more than an hour. She seems pretty reliably house trained at this point (which means better than old man Monty) but she's such a 'Katie' in terms of investigating everything, that I do gate her in my office. So far, that's worked. Going to do another test while I run to 'Orange' (as Chelone calls it) and buy a new light switch and toilet seat ...and thank you Saucy for blessing the curtain rod approach. I tested the theory with a 1/2" brass rod and it actually looked decent. But need the sturdiness of 1".

Nice to see the 'working' idylls having as much fun with all this free time as I am! Mary, I cleaned my office a few months ago and it's already unbearable again. I think what I really need to do is emancipate a file drawer so that it's easier for me to do filing instead of 'piling'.

It's a beautiful day here!


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 2:26PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, I turn my back for a little while and the next thing you know there are a ton of posts to read...lol. Just a quick hello to say we finally bought a car!! That's a nice way to start the new year! We are picking it up on Friday. So relieved to have that over with. The one car we have now is very bad in the snow and they are forecasting snow tonight into tomorrow and more on Friday. It was stressing us out. So we may have to wait to pick it up if that's the case, but no matter, the job of deciding and finding it, is done, except for paying for it. :-(

I have to run and get the insurance details worked out. I want to take a look at what I should be putting on the new car and look into a different insurance company than what we usually go with, I can delay until tomorrow letting the dealer know the insurance details, does anyone have any good/bad experiences with different car insurance companies to offer? Or other car insurance advice? It's been 10 years since we had to do this, so I have to get up to speed again. I am wondering about the 'good neighbor' insurance company..State Farm? Not sure they do car insurance. Or Allstate maybe?

Wow, so much to comment on...especially want to congratulate the anniversary couples. Deanne...37 years, really? You don't look old enough! :-) Eden, we celebrated 30 years this year too, but not this month. You were a December bride, what were your wedding colors? Pass along the congratulations to Brad and Doug as well! Are you at least going to take out the wedding videos and look them over? :-)

Ok...running again.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 2:56PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Happy anniversary to Eden, Brad, Deanne, and Doug! Over 30 years is quite an accomplishment. Deanne, did you marry at 12??? LOL I can't believe you guys are celebrating 37!

I'm very worried about Ebony our pitt/bull mix. She tested positive for heartworms. We will be taking her in on Monday morning where they will do more tests and if she is healthy enough they will give her HW treatments. :(

PM, my personal favorite insurance is State Farm. I had them for over 20 years. Yes, they do car insurance. When I moved to OKC I changed to Allstate only because DH had been with them forever and loved his agent. They have been good too. I think you would be OK with either.
Happy belated anniversary to you and your DH too. :)


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 3:55PM
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So what kind of car did PM end up with? Saab? That's the best snow car :)

Check out GEICO. 24/7 access on the web, and if you call GEICO any time at all including the middle of the night you do get an english speaking and savvy customer service person who doesn't need a script. Pay on-line, change policy on-line, change cars on-line. And best rates last time I checked. My home owners is kinda sorta with them too. They outsourced that business to Travelers a few years ago, but no difference on the service and response end of things. My only experience with a homeowners claim was when all 7 gutters fell off the house when we had a non-typical snowstorm here. Every house in MD dropped it's gutters that year, but they were fast to respond! My dad's home insurance on a small house was insane amount through another insurer, since I'm paying his bills (he had no money) I got a quote from Geico and it was 40% less for same levels of coverage. Can't switch it 'til probate completes, but I've got the quote and it will be changed to GEICO/Travelers instantly when that's done. Anyway, get some competitive quotes and see what that tells you.

I have a big bottle of Limeaway and going to go burn up the 1960 toilet now.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 4:34PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Only Deanne could get lavender to bloom under lites! Im jealous - I cant even keep it alive in my borders outside, LOL....

Mary, that is such a pretty amaryllis w/ the extras - I love the pot too.... I almost succumbed to buying some pots on sale online today but managed to leave them in the cart... it seems if I dont buy a plant I wanna pot - serious shopperholic issues.

Thanks, Cynthia, for the explanation of Chelone going to Orange -- aka home cheapo.... I confess I was just thinking it was somewhere in Maine; another little town that lives in multiple states (e.g., Orange, NJ)A...

I am not going to get into discussion of insurance, homeowners or car.... ugh .....the memories are still too vivid; I was telling a friend about how the company I have would not pay for the 2nd coat of paint in the family room, because I had the nerve to want to change to walls from white to lite yellow -- I ended up paying for the 2nd coat myself; and sadly I think most insurance carriers are similar.... they're great as long as you never need to use them.

V-- I feel the same way re Macys; their exclusions on all their coupons are ridiculous and I find them almost useless; I got rid of all individual credit cards years ago and just use 2 and am quite happy that way; it's not worth the aggravation. Too funny re the i-phone flatulence ... I was just reading an article today about how many folks apparently are writing programs for the i-phone and literally making millions off these novelty applications that are then sold -- teenagers included... wanna bet this is one of those programs? so, interested programmmers, get busy and emulate teenage boy interests!

well, I broke the bank at Costco today (I never go there and there's a good reason why - that may be my 2009 trip gone early, LOL) -- so I best go cook some of it. I was looking for citrus in bulk and allergy meds I'd run out of; too many other things jumped in the cart as well, and I wasnt even hungry.

Cynthia -- did you notice that Home Goods already has their spring stock of garden planters in? One that I frequent had their stuff in last week; it usually doesnt arrive til mid-January; I confess I didnt see anything I couldnt live without. Im still hunting for a coffee table -- I may end up succumbing to one online I've been watching.

enuf trivia from me today -- congrats, PM, on the car purchase; makes one feel good to get a big thing that's consumed so much of one's time decided and bought.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 6:17PM
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I, for one, think having a cell phone that farts to let you know you have a call would be terrific (but what did you expect?). I know someone who has a pet pig and his phone grunts and snuffles to let him know he has a call. :)

I love polka dots. Somehow they always conjure images of pretty, crisp navy and white dresses and glistening Spectator pumps for me. Probably not quite what you envisioned for the newly refurbished john, huh Cynthia?

And PM now has new wheels! What did you buy?? We use Amica Insurance, no complaints or problems in nearly 20 yrs..

I avoid Macy's whenever possible, as well. In my case it's because they absorbed Jordan Marsh and Filene's, the two flagship stores for the Boston area. I have often wondered whatever happened to the sumptuous Christmas displays they used to have in the big windows at Downtown Crossing... . Taking the train into the city with either Mum or Dad was a holiday ritual, we'd enjoy the lights and the windows, do some shopping and then have dinner at Durgin Park or the Parker House. I even remember going to the yard goods dep't. in Jordan Marsh, so that ought to give you an idea of the era. :) It's really sad to see the lovely old department stores fall by the wayside... don't suppose there are many who remember Bonwit Teller or RH Stearns, either. V., I hope the value priced coat is a winner!

Mary, my desktop needs a careful cleaning, too. There is rather a lot of paper on top of it that's largely unimportant and there's A LOT of dust on it, too. No nail clippings, however. ;) What a lovely Amaryllis. Santa brought one for me, but I haven't bothered to pot it up yet. I am very much enjoying the time I've been granted, too. I often think we don't just relax and hang around nearly enough as a species.

Cindy, thanks for the tip to check some of the on-line fabric purveyors, too. I know Michelle was favorably impressed with her on-line purchase and I've done some snooping around but haven't really found a site that I've thought was terrific. I'll keep poking around though. I have to say, though, I was sort of disappointed in what was out there. I confess, I've never been particularly into the whole Marimekko scene and the retro 60s stuff a la Mary Qant doesn't really suit my aesthetic, either. I'll not be dismayed to see aqua and brown take its bow, either! I'm planning on a simple color scheme (no prints) and eliminating repeats will keep the fabric quantity to its minimum.

It was windy today and it's going to be cold tonight. We're supposed to get up to 6" of snow tomorrow. Good thing the stove is now not only on the hearth but hooked into the flue, as well! We lit a small fire in it this afternoon to get the ash bed established. There were no sparks shooting out of the chimney, nor were there any flames lapping the side of the bahn, so we must've done it properly. It's pretty and I'm excited about getting that project wrapped up. Time to think about the window trim and the floor now. ;)

Everything else I wanted to comment on has leaked out the other side of my head. Talkatcha later.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 7:16PM
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The Idylls are the picture of verbosity today- I do enjoy coming home to a dark, cold house , cranking up the stereo , turning on the heat and pouring a glass of wine to read of the days happenings at a leisurely pace.

Homegoods this, Homegoods that we dont have one here and I rarely go out of town to shop, but Ive decided that the Idyll testimonials have worn me down. There is one in Vacaville -which is basically an I-80 bedroom community with a prison and a whole bunch of sterile cookie cutter shopping malls. Sometimes I have to go that way for business reasons . I will make a pilgrimage one way or the other.

Cynthia, I swear that wallpaper I pulled down was backed with Tyvek. It was Waverly wallpaper (I recognized it, a classic 80s Waverly pattern) and it did bring the sheetrock texture down with it. The walls should have been retextured but since I was moving (ha-ha) I did a half-a**ed cosmetic only priming job.

Saucy, Marcy looks very dignified ! So what is her opinion of Popcorn?

Department stores: we have one here , it is a very small local chain called McCalous. I went there the week before Christmas looking for gloves. What a pleasant, yet endangered experience. Nice people behind attractive counters , I felt very happy to give them my 10 bucks. My last purchase at Macys was furniture. I actually opened up a Macys account because they gave me 120 day terms if put it on that card. I have never used it since- its been at least three years. I agree that there is rarely a point to store specific credit cards. When I was a child the two ultimate LA dept stores were Bullocks and Robinsons, both long gone.

Mary my teeth (such as they are ) are doing well thank you ! I still have a bruise on my face from my last procedure. I have 4 month healing period until I undergo the next phase. This is the last quadrant that needs construction. So 75 percent of my mouth is in primo condition, 25 percent features a gaping hole . I love your Amaryllis display. Ive got vases of sticks and twigs all over the place in my house.

Yay Chelone , on the installation of the stove. I LOLd at your comment about poor Helpmeet needing Haggar slacks. I suspect that their demographic is shrinking (much like that of the late lamented Lincoln Towncar) and I expect that our generation will be sporting flannel jammie pants in our dotage, and comfort waist jeans for more formal occasions .

Deanne. Youll be gratified to know that we often lose Godwins creek over winter here- I expect its not just the cold, but the waterlogged soil that signs the death warrant. Someday I hope I will have a greenhouse for winter protection- the begonias do come back, but barely and take forever to do so. I always take cuttings just in case. Happy anniversary to you and Doug !

PM, you have not divulged the make of your new rig ! We are in suspense.

OK Ive been sitting here for way too long. There is not much food in the house , but I need to try to scare up a meal. I think an avocado sandwich might be the thing for tonight.

Wave to all, profuse apologies for those unmentioned.

Portland , Christmas 2008.. no one will be sitting in this chair anytime soon !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 9:42PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I'm sorry...I didn't mean to leave you hanging. We went out to dinner with DD since her bedroom paint job was finished and our car search was finished and she won't be around for New Year's Eve. It was so pleasant. Well...we ended up getting a Honda again. We went back and forth quite a few times, but basically it was always between Toyotas or Honda. Our kids are shaking their heads at us, that we not only didn't get anything very exciting, but we picked out the same color that our second car already is. [g] So predictable, practical and boring I guess.

Off to bed and I will have some time in the morning to catch up with what's been going on around here.

Good night.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 10:14PM
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Woody, my late FIL would have loved you. Your explanation of ice dams, their cause, and their cure is dead on and something he always stressed to BIL and us. More heat loss occurs through rooves than doors and/or windows. We have a pull down staircase/ladder to access the limited attic area in our truss roof home (there's also one in the bahn). There is blown in insulation in the attic, a depth of 12-14". The only place there would be any appreciable melting on the roof was the area just over the stairway. There would be condensation on the stairway "door" until we added a solid panel of insulation that we pull over the opening when we descend the ladder and leave the attic area. Gone is the melted area on the roof and gone is the condensation. We also experience an interesting phenomenon with the woodstove during certain weather patterns. Our home is quite "tight" and can affect the draft on the woodstove adversely. When the atmosphere is dense and heavy (low pressure) the stove can be starved for oxygen and the best solution is to crack the slider or a window in the living area to increase air flow. Failure to do so can result in "back puffing", a small amount of woodsmoke sent back through the stove into the living room. This is virtually unknown in older, "leakier" homes but is increasingly common in newer construction. The topic of leaky homes and energy conservation is a big one in my state and news programs are full of little heat saving tips... insulating electrical outlets, weatherstripping, using spray insulation to fill cracks in and around foundations, etc.. We've never had an ice dam, but that doesn't mean we haven't had ice build up in the gutters, lol!

PM, when you find a product that you like it's always a good bet to stay with it. Nice move on the new wheels! Do you think the kids would have flipped out if you'd come home with a really hot sports car? Actually, that would be a pretty good practical joke, IF you and the husband could keep a straight face. :) DD must be feeling really good about her apartment now that it's painted and her room is more commodiously furnished. It's a good feeling to like the place you call home. How old is Noodles (looks young to me)? and how have the cats received their gift items? Our's have been romping around after their toys lately, it's part and parcel of winter exercise since they don't like to be outdoors when it's cold. Also, I've been mining the catbox several times/day wondering when they're going to tire of flinging the litter out onto the floor. It's like beach volleyball for felines in there!

'bug, I'm so glad you've gotten to spend time with your family. I can only imagine the conflicting emotions surrounding Reed and the new baby to come, but being descended from practical stock I'm certain your family will emerge secure and content with life in spite of your loss. Indeed, your perfect August visit with TWMPT will (and ought to!) prompt not only tears but great feelings of warmth in the years to come. Suprise Baby is destined for a life full of love, too. And that's how it should be for every citizen of the world. Wise words indeed from Eden. :) (are we ever going to see that smart new kitchen?).

We are to get snow today, prognosticators are hesitant in predicting amounts but it's COLD this morning and will be colder tomorrow. With that in mind, I'm thinking it may be a good time to purchase caulking for the floor and maybe a couple of quarts of the deck paint so I may play around with a few sample boards before undertaking the entire floor. Caulking is a miserably boring task but it will prove beneficial to the final product and it could be a profitable way to while away the hours of an inclement day!

Now, however, it's time to rustle up some grub so I'll be at the door when the store opens and home before the snow arrives!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 7:23AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well, what do you know, we made it to the last day of 2008! Looking forward to a very quiet New Year's Eve and Day. I wonder if the Mall is open on NYDay? I would like to return a few gifts and choose a calendar. It was quite windy here yesterday and getting colder again with snow forecast to be moving in late morning. Nine inches due and more on Friday. That is good, the garden will get a new blanket.

Michelle....We never did get a photo of the corn ornament. ...I am very interested in your DVD project. I have home movies on VCR tapes and I want to put them onto DVDs. We bought a DVD player/recorder that also plays VCR tapes and I am hoping I can do it on that, but haven't tried to figure it out yet. I'm not sure it is worth it for me to buy anything extra to do that job, because I only have a few VCR tapes to do. At least I will give our DVD player a try first. Garden DVDs, should be a big hit. McKenzie is so lucky to have Gramma and Grandpa! The wooden gingerbread house sounds like a fun project too. More and more I am all for activities for kids that actually help them learn a skill. How many more hours, Michelle? :-)

Kathy...are any of your orchids blooming? I would love to see photos. It's interesting you mention the lack of appropriate footwear for the snow. Just last night when we went out to dinner, I looked down at my feet and I had my garden shoes on. [g] I find them perfect for a little bit of snow or ice on the ground. I find I wear them all too often, but really most of the time, I am in locations where they are appropriate...Home Depot, the garden center...etc. It was a good thing it was a casual restaurant and dark last night. lol ....I was thinking of you and the sinking economy. Not very encouraging for getting your house sold in the spring. Have you ever considered renting your house and just moving into a rental near DD until things turn around? Your DD missing Christmas with all of you got me thinking about it.

G'bug...you have my sympathies about the lazer tag. Although listening to kids play and laugh together is a wonderful sound, I also much prefer the sound of games like building log cabins and erector sets and legos and books. :-)

Mary and Cynthia and Chelone....do you usually choose Christmas break as vacation? Mary, you work for a school system, any way, right?

Eden....I can't believe I forgot to mention what an amazing gift it was that your Mom had left her own knitted socks for Christmas gifts. Your poor Dad, how is he doing?

Chelone...I guess mine are 'muck shoes' too. I am also faithful about slipping out of them at the door into cozy slippers. Others in the house usually are wearing sneakers or shoes that are not so easily slipped out of, I think that is the difference here. ...I didn't realize that you have been renovating for so long. You won't know what to do with yourself when you have the Salon finished. :-)

Deanne...so sorry about your garden. Once spring comes, I know you will see the opportunities for some exciting changes!....talking about video cameras, my Canon Powershot has a video function. I used it all through the holidays for the first time. The video came out very good. I used up 4/2GB memory cards to do it though. I will probably delete most of it off the cards and reuse them. I will definitely be using the video function more often. Sound was great too. Of course, it is not 'Speilberg material' but suited my purposes just fine.

Cynthia...we are very 'renovation challenged' here. I keep hoping we will find opportunity to get started on some of the projects needing attention around here, but it's not easy. We had to take off wallpaper from our upstairs hall a few years ago, that had not been properly prepared and OMGosh what an ordeal that was. We had the same problem of some of the drywall coming with it. Polka Dots sound like fun. I saw those brown/baby blue polka dot towels at Home Goods just before Christmas. So cute! It's been fun that you've had more time to post lately. :-) Sundance Film Festival for Deanne and a video camera...maybe we'll all get invited. [g]

Saucy...great idea about the blue lobelia in the green pot! I have the same problem, keeping it growing. I have tried it about four times and have not figured out the key to success with that either. I will have to give it another try this year.

Woody...excellent information about ice dams/warm roofs. We need to increase our insulation too. I had forgotten about that 'blower' test.

Jerri...I am planning on using Angie's List to try to find someone to do some work around here. We haven't gotten to projects in a long time either. Therapy over the phone? I've never heard of that...lol.

Marian...What a shame about your DBIL! Very sorry to hear it. How far from you does your sister live? Do they have any children? .... Hope you and Nolan are feeling better.

Cindy...glad Chloe was spared the aftermath from her vet visit.

Brenda checked in! Sounds like you all had a wonderful family celebration and I won't be a bit sorry to see lots of photos.

Eden...you find some of the most interesting things, a clawfoot tub for a baby? I can't even picture it. Look forward to a photo of it at some point. .... Also one of my favorite holiday activities is sitting in the LR with the lights off looking at the tree. We added a few strings of white lights this year and it was too bright. I am going to leave them off next year....Hoping your sister's test results are excellent!...You're not old yet Eden! :-)

Already posting a novella and I'm only halfway down the thread...time to get working on the car insurance. Thank you all for the great insurance information! Enjoy the morning.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 7:27AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone...we already did that with the hot sports car, about 8 years ago...lol. When I first met DH, he was driving a corvette and at some point I talked him into changing to something more practical. I was still hearing about it every time we saw a collector's corvette. When it was time to trade in our last Corolla, I thought it was time to make it up to him, so we got a used sports car convertible. You never saw so many shocked faces when we drove it home. [g] We are considered by all who know us to be most practical and sensible, so it was pretty funny. Of course, now the joke is on us, because the darn car is too small and horrible in the snow and isn't even worth enough to trade it in, so we just keep driving it. :-)

Yes...DD is just tickled with her new bedroom and her room mate is now convinced she will have to paint her bedroom too. The chest of drawers from IKEA is really very attractive, but they said it had a lot of parts to put together. Noodles will be two years old in March. Even last year, when she was here for Christmas, she was a pretty calm dog. I am seeing too much separation anxiety for her though. I wish DS did not live so far away and we could help out more when he is at work. Another issue to try to address in the new year. ....The one thing DS forgot when he left for home, was the bag of cat toys! Mailing them to him, soon. I did get his permission to post photos of his cats, which I am sure I will find time to do soon.

OK...no more stalling on the insurance work. [g]

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 7:42AM
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Good morning Idylls.

V., if you check in here, can you confirm you're getting my email? Just checking to be sure....

Michelle, thank you so much for my seed packet! It landed on Nick's desk for some reason, and he just passed it to me yesterday. I was perusing the seed catalog for fun things to grow. I think I want some amaranth "magic fountains", too! I liked the amaranth I saw at Sue's. I want some celosia, too, but I haven't decided on a variety.

Let the garden plans begin!

I don't have much to say this morning. Yesterday a red tail hawk sat in my oak tree for a while, and the whole family got to see him before he flew off for a meal :) The camera didn't really do it justice.

Kathy, "dignified" cracked me right up....I'll tell her you said so :)

I see flakes....I'd better get my running around done. Where is that Marian? I haven't seen her check in for a while.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 8:31AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Good morning...

Saucy, I "checked in" Monday about 2 PM our time. I think Pm2 is the only one who saw my post..:-(

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 8:43AM
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Nay, nay! Maid Marian! 'twas not only PM who saw your last post, but 'twas indeed she who had the presence of mind to comment on the state of your BIL's health.

I don't have time to jibberjabber right now as the snow is beginning and I have to get some errands completed post haste.

You are not forgotten, at least not entirely! ;)

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 8:56AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

First of all, Happy Anniversary to all of you celebrating (or not) folks! I remember telling a firend of DD's that we have been married for 30 years and her response was an awed "You mean to the SAME guy?" *LOL* 2009 will be 36 years for us.

Saucy - I also routinely kill lobelia. I don't try it anymore. And I love the look of it too.

Cindy I also routinely kill lavender, but my neighbour's side garden, not 20 feet away from mine, abounds with it all summer. Go figure. I can at least count on having a few dried sprigs from her bounty every year.

PM2 - I went out yesterday and bought a calendar too as no one gave me one for Christmas. I also treated myself to a new valence for the kitchen window so things are looking pretty spiffy to start the new year. I like your philosophy of giving kids fun stuff to do that also develops skills. I am going to keep that in mind a bit more often with TCS. My orchids are thriving - I will try to remember to get a photo today - but my Amarylis are sitting looking like dead. I received a Lotus sanitizing system for Christmas, which is a small appliance that apparently puts an extra oxygen ion into ordinary water. The H2O2 is stable for only about 15 minutes. I am going to water my plants with it to see if the extra oxygen makes a difference.

Chelone: how wonderful to reach the woodstove milestone! That's a big one in the salon odyssy (what a weird word. Must keep it in mind for Scrabble). You know what "they" say: it's not the destination, it's the journey that's fun, or something to that effect. We renovated a century home for 25 years, a major project every year. It WAS fun. Now renovation means painting a different colour - or even repainting the same colour! I love stenciling. I will also try to take a phot of the stencils I did in TCS's room. I started some in the master bedroom, didn't quite look right, quit with it undone - might be a good project for 2009! Anxious to see your - stencils I mean not master bedroom, although that might be fun to see too....

Insurance companies. We had a major accident 7 years ago today (what an anniversary that is!) and the first thing the agent/adjuster said as she walked through the door was "Note this: You do not pay a dime for anything." The accident was serious, lots of damage and injuries, lots of charges against the other driver, lots of court appearances, physiotherapy etc. - but the company was wonderful. We had been their client for all of ten days and they had given us a special low premium for never making a claim in our 30 years with the previous company. Go figure. I must admit, though, that we have been trying since Dec. 20 to have somebody - anybody- look at the damage from our fender-bender on that day, Dec. 20 I mean, not 7 years ago.

I know I am missing lots of good stuff on this thread but my day beckons. I will be back later - on the Onward and Upward thread probably!



    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 9:49AM
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Saucy, I've been thinking about whether Edgar Sawtelle would be a good read for Jake, and have decided you should read it first. I don't know if it would be entertaining enough for a teenager. It's beautifully written and evocative of the 70s without being blatant about it; the word pictures have me rereading lines. Really lovely book, but would the action be entertaining enough for Jake. I don't know.

PM, And with no disrespect to Detroit, how can you go wrong with a Honda or Toyota? Good decision :) I've never had a car that wasn't silver or beige. We all have comfort colors.

75 yards of fabric Chelone, wow. How about naked windows in the salon? Just let the light and the woodwork shine. Ah, probably some insulation value in drapes? Cindy was your 80 yards for upholstery and drapes for the new family room decor? Did you post pictures of that renovation?

Mary, love what you did with the Amaryllis, willow and moss. Striking arrangement.

Kathy, I checked for you and there are a couple of Home Goods around Portland. You'll need easy access for your new house.

There are no 60s blue toilet seats to be found, so the toilet now has one big white dot as a lid. It's fine with me. I noticed I had the wrong size when I put it in the car and the word 'elongated' popped up from the label. Polka dots must be round. I had a tape measure with me to be sure I found one that would fit, and even though I checked the sku number when I picked a boxed one from the pile, I was one digit off. At least I noticed before I got home, and the returns clerk took pity on me and rang up the new sale with the return so I wouldn't have to go through the lines again. Want to guess how long I spun the screws on the old lid before I remembered there were nuts holding them in place? I am so NOT in the same league as the rest of you do-it-yerselfers.

I did get the curtain rod installed in the towel rack and the clear glue had set up nicely this morning. I added towels and haven't heard a crash (except for Hope tossing the bag of rod hardware at the walls - a new toy? for me?!) so I think it's a success!

I need to pick up my new glasses today before they call me again. I bought the same comfy frames I have now, plus new lenses for the current pair and new sunglasses. I can sleep in these glasses, they are that light and soft.

Another gentle day, but windy and I can hear the low toned chimes which I love.

Have a good one!


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 9:49AM
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All Together Now!!!!!: "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!"

8" predicted and the gardens are celebrating the new year with their layer of new best-in-the-world winter mulch. Great Boss told us all yesterday to stay put and work from home. No convincing needed, here!!

So much to catch up on ......

Hope Eden and Brad at least selected something "R" for the tingle factor.....

Deanne is now an official herbie!! I haven't seen a GC in New England that size for years and years and sent congrats for success! Even though you babied it, it looks wonderful. LOL

Wishing I could give Marian a hug in person but glad that you still enjoy sister-banter. Nothing like it in the world during "down" days.

Kathy's eaves and my garage act the same way. Only surely dead plant out there is a New Guinea Impatiens whose color I didn't like, anyway. Salvias, Camellia, Azalea, "Peace Lily", rosemary are all still living. Gotta love east-facing windows.

Thanks for remembering Rich, guys. There are no fewer than 100 people advertising themselves as handymen or contractors and very few of them were "in business" six months ago. I've talked here about the cleanup that is required after these folks work, and Rich has had it with being told how lowly his profession really is and the only reason people are willing to pay him to come fix their mistakes is because of the inconvenience those mistakes are causing -- he's still way overpriced in their opinion and why pay more when one doesn't have to?????? The citzenry at large just doesn't get it.

So, he's thinking he'll fall back on his psychology background and perhaps look into caretaking in-their-home clients or possibly working where my brother is. He's also thinking of opening a puzzle-making biz with a small biz grant for the cost of the machine. The possibilities are endless but as long as he's happy and legal I could care less how the money comes in.

For Jake, Saucy, I'd recommend Colin Powell's autobiography. Until the very end it moves fast and provides a lot of insight into the challenges of 60's/70's american military and being a relatively accomplished person of color in those surroundings. It involves history, personal anecdotes, some really good leadership philosophy, and what 15 year old doesn't love someone famous who actually gets in trouble during his youth once in a while?

Mary: Glad you're getting to experience RE-LAX. Still remembering Annie's so-wonderful gift to your student.... She's going to be one amazing woman.

gb - Have S&W determined gender of NB? I think it's just great that such a fun event raised such a significant amount of money for The Reed. The fair and general community is obviously supporting the endeavor and I'll bet that as word spreads, it will become more and more important to the area. For laser tag, I suggest earplugs and a quiet space in which to read. Perhaps a bathroom?? LOL

Woody -- Take it easy on those walkies!!! Perhaps a sleigh could be employed with all neighborhood dogs pretending to be reindeer??? Love the treadmill idea but be sure there are no 7yo TCS friends around.....Third set of rose seeds planted last evening, by the way. It is the gift that keeps on giving :-)

Stay in Bed, Jerri!!! You only think you feel better but remember that you heal from the outside in and the surgical area probably hasn't even connected itself, yet. I kick myself every time I get a twinge or twang in the abdomen because I Know I shouldn't have ______ (fill in the blank) when I thought I could too soon. Your head and mine are more alike than you think.....I can't see myself ever fostering a rotty mix, though :-(

I'm with you, V. Here, Macy's took over Filene's which took over local institution G. Fox & Co. Only time I'll shop there is when there is gifted $$ involved and then only during mega sales. Don't even bother with coupons anymore -- when I check out I say: "If anything I have has a coupon to go with it, could you ring it that way?" and have yet to be told "no."

And since we don't have any credit cards whatsoever (yes, we manage to live, anyway!!!!!) store cards are a long-ago memory.

Really interesting stuff about vacs and Chloe, Cindy. Wish everyone would do so much research for their human kids.

Thinking of Denise's Mitch and how very freezing he would be to be in NYC this year for New Year's. Warnings are out about frostbite...

There's more, I'm sure, but need to check work emails and rethink a few garden selections. Nothing like a stack of catalogs on a wind-whipped snow day!!


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 11:18AM
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Of course the one thing I was going to post, I didn't...

PM - I'm with Cynthia about Geico. Three claims in three years (none our fault) have been dealt with quickly and professionally. Only glitch was when Ky was hit by another Geico insured and there was some question about what group of people would look into the accident. Situation resolved in less than 2 days and check received 5 days later. Hokey advertising, I know, but great company in my experience.

AND I'll bet Michelle is already packed ;-)


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 11:21AM
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Hi everyone

Today I thought I'd beat the lines at the grocery store and was there before 7 AM. The foot of snow we had overnight had kept almost everyone away so I waltzed through very quickly. I returned to shovel the driveway - I'm having my snowblower serviced which of course ensured we got a giant dump of snow. Still, Annie and David are delighted as they are skiing tonight and the slopes should be great. And it sure looks pretty.

I'm meeting Mum from the airport at 2pm and need to make a nice portable meal to eat at the ski lodge. New Year's eve is a lot of fun with the ski patrol coming down the mountain with flaming torches followed by fireworks. However, last year we ate their luke warm chilli and greasy onion rings and I promised DH something more festive this year. I've planning on a big pot of bacon/potato/corn chowder made from the turkey stock, followed by shrimp salad and 7 layer dip with tortilla chips. I think the evening also calls for some bubbly for the non drivers and perhaps something chocolatey for dessert.

No time to comment as I still have the fridge to clean and the guest room to make up. Waving to all!


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 11:23AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Oyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Lost my post somehow! It was a good one for a change too. :(


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 1:25PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Ugh. I 'had to' get up a couple of times this morning and now I'm paying for it. I wanted to log on and say Hi.

I can't believe I forgot to comment on Marcy yesterday! I just love her! She looks none too happy to be having her picture taken. LOL

Later Gators


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 2:22PM
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In from the Salon to clean a brush, grab a Clementine/two/three, and see what's shakin' here.

No 60s blue toilet seats on e-bay, Cynthia? it is that bright, "baby blue"? Dad had all the sample books from American Standard and Kohler when I was a kid. Even little porcelain samples in all the available colors. Lol about the bolts, that's how we learn. ;)

Naked windows aren't part of the "master plan". It's a privacy thing for starters. All the lovely open windows that are so delightful by day turn the Salon into an aquarium by night. There would be a heat/energy benefit IF I closed them every night reliably. There is also the advertising benefit to them, a sample of my work. Making them up would also give the opportunity to do current time studies and refine the construction technique. And lastly, it's a way for me to play around creatively and still "get the job done".

Martie, please let Rich know that there are still some of us out there who don't object to paying for a quality job. "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is", I think that's often the case when people jump on the cheapest bid, too. And remind him that the carefully mastered skill don't really ever leave your head, when he needs them they'll be right there waiting for his call.

I would like to be at the lodge having dinner with Mary's family tonight. And I wouldn't want to be one of the drivers. Pretty funny about the snowblower, too.

I don't plan to have Christmas off, PM, it's just what we do every year. It's the slower part of the year, there's not a lot of pressure for things and so we take time off whenever the opportunity presents itself. This year the break is long because Christmas and New Year's Day fall in the middle of the week. I have thoroughly enjoyed this time off, too. I've gotten a lot done and I'm excited about keeping the progress going.

Time to get back out the Salon so we can put some stuff in the attic area. Screens for the windows and the foam pieces I have acquired over time, mostly.

I told you guys that Marcy was beautiful!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Mary, I love the way you dressed up your amaryllis. Id be hard pressed to find moss right now though. Im sure you are excited to see your mom again.

Deanne, as several have mentioned, you dont seem old enough to be married 37 years congrats.

Pm, wedding videos sound like something interesting to do again Im not sure weve ever done it in the 12 years weve been married.

Chelone, we need to see pictures of the stove in place.

No Homegoods anywhere around here maybe thats a good thing ;o)

Tragedy has struck Dh had a pigeon that showed up about 6 months ago and hung out with him in the machine shed. It had bands on his legs so probably belonged to someone. I teased him that he had a new friend. Apparently Jaden didnt appreciate the pigeon stealing attention that she was due and she took matter into her own jaws shall we say. I think DH felt bad about it.

More to comment on, but break time is over and theres much to do with tomorrow off and next week as well.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 4:27PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Well it is starting to get dark here. DH worked from home today and he is finished for the year, finally. Out with the old and in with the new! I can hear him running the electric snow shovel and I am once again thankful that our oldest son is so thoughtful to have given him that gift. No one else is home and he would be shoveling it all by hand by himself, otherwise.

Kathy....more snow here tonight but I will take it over your earthquakes and fire any day.

Martie....I add my good wishes that the men in your life find happy surprises in the New Year. :-) Mine too. [g]

Chelone...75 yds of fabric....what about some toppers [valances?] and some of those pleated fabric shades? Or you could make some Roman shades or similar? Still using the sewing skills but less fabric.

Deanne....you must have a ton of lights in your basement to get a lavender blooming in December. That's good to know you can winter it over.

Saucy...Marcy looks like good company and she has picked a great spot to look out from.

V....sounds like a fun shopping trip. Nothing like finding sales but it spoils the fun when the retailers try to pull a fast one on you.

Also a Home Goods fan here.

Mary...I love what you've done with your Amaryllis. They always look so stiff and gangly to me, but your pot and moss and artistic branches really add a lot.

Michelle...I love cottage feel decorating. I always associate that decor with happy visits to relatives in Maine and/or relaxing vacations.

Cindy...sorry for the reminder of 'insurance claims'. [g]

Chelone...I am not a Macy's fan and I find myself still calling it Jordan Marsh. I really miss Filene's. I used to take the train into Boston to do some Christmas shopping with friends when I was in my teens and I loved that...and yes, the Christmas displays in the windows were great. Indian Pudding at Durgin Park maybe? We haven't eaten there in years. I do remember Bonwit Teller. I don't remember shopping there though. I had a family member who braved the annual wedding gown sale at Filene's Basement for her wedding gown...lol. It's nice that you chose New Year's Eve to try out the woodstove.

Kathy....love that snow photo! Nice potted Bamboo!

Julie....I actually got a calendar from DH for Christmas but as I told him, don't you remember how I end up with four favorites at the calendar store every year and agonize over which one to take home.? [g] I look forward to choosing my own. :-)

We are home alone tonight. DD had plans with friends and DS is working. We feel like we had a special dinner last night with champagne but we are still adding a bottle to tonight's dinner for the two of us. I find myself thinking of my mother and how many New Year's Eves she spent by herself, when we all had plans. Never complained and always made a special time of it for herself with a 'champagne cocktail' and her favorite dinner...Italian! And she would never fail to watch Guy Lombardo and the ball drop every midnight.

Mary, now, your evening sounds spectacular! I would really love that. Dinner sounds wonderful and I just love ski lodges and the ski slopes. I never had the chance to ski when I was young but about 10 years ago, we did join a group of friends who went for a weekend up to NH for the weekend. We had a fabulous time. Nothing quite like being up on the side of a mountain with all that white and quiet. The air has a specialness to it and the sun sparkles off everything. It feels as great as standing on the shore breathing in an ocean breeze and looking out to where the ocean meets the sky. They had a 'bunny hill' where DH tried a ski lesson and did very well, then we spent a day tubing while our friends skied. Such an adventure. :-) All of our kids ski.

Marian...what will you be doing tonight? Will you see the New Year in? Are you and Nolan feeling well enough to enjoy any festivities tonight? I would enjoy hearing some of your fondest New Year's Eve memories? What did you and Nolan do when you were dating?

Say goodbye to Christmas for another year

It will be all gone by Saturday...

Again, no time for proofreading, so please excuse any problems...Ok...dinner is ready and I have a glass of champagne with my name on it calling me...so have a great evening...

Happy New Year Idyllettes!!


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 6:09PM
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Geeze, I can't believe I haven't been here for a week. It took me most of the day,except for a trip to town, to catch up with the goings on. I really want to do a long post, but don't have time right now.
It has been good reading of your holidays and vacation times. We had a good Christmas and then we have both been under the weather. DH still is. I am feeling much better and enjoyed a couple of nice walks in 50 and 60 degree weather. What a breath of fresh air. That will get me through a couple more months. I even opened the house to change the indoor air.
There have been some nice pictures too.
Eden I loved seeing Bella. How is she liking her school?
Will you be taking care of Jen's baby too?

Michelle I am excited for you to be visiting Kenzie and family. Have fun.

Kathy bummer you didn't get to see Mr Baby and DD.

Well like I said , no time right now. Be back soon.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! a little bit early, EVERYONE.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 6:40PM
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We closed up shop at work at 2pm today, and I found myself realizing that if I didnt go to the grocery I was going to be mighty hungry for the next few days. So, I was in the position of having to go to the market at 2pm on New Years Eve. Solution: go to the most expensive market in town , as it will be the least crowded. Worked like a charm . I havent stayed up on New Years since Y2K ! No plans to do so tonight either. I plan to watch the 1st installment of the Beatles Anthology , which have not seen since it first aired.

All is a go for rose pruning tomorrow, as temps are predicted to hit 60 degrees.

Thinking about the importance of Chelones fabric selection for the windows of the Salon. Will they be patterned? Solid? Stripes ? Or will this be strictly Ill know it when I see it". And of course one has to consider the pattern of the stencil too. It all seems quite daunting.

What an interesting concept Martie, making puzzles ! He can send the first draft off to Marian for a quality control test. Would they be made of wood ---and are we talking jigsaw puzzles ?

Not a bloom to be found on any of my orchids as of yet. If the Cymbidiums are going to bloom this year they should start spiking up pretty soon. I inspect them often. My Phals are in poor light right now so Im not expecting much there.

Cynthia, Im impressed with how quickly you pulled together that Bathroom project. You clearly did not shilly-shally once you got started. I hereby crown you and Mary Loo Empresses of the Idylls, 2008" (LEOTI?)

Time to head into the kitchen .

Hi to all!

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 7:46PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

It has been many years since we saw the New Year in together. I used to stay up until midnight, but no more. The only type of 'festivities' that we were ever involved in, after we were married, is the singing in the New Year with our brethren in Twin Falls, Idaho....and that was 32-33 years ago. We would have a fondue supper, play games, and sing. :-)

I do look forward to watching the Rose Parade tomorrow. One year our power was out, so we could not see it, but there is no bad weather in the forecast, so that should be no problem.

There isn't even anything on TV tonight, so unless I put on a video...just another blah evening.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 8:00PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Best wishes to all for a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2009!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 8:18PM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Happy New Years Eve! Dh finally got home and is cooking his special chili. I'm afraid. :-\
Tonight will be movies and I plan to watch the ball drop in NYC. Dark Knight is on PPV so that's a strong possibility. I wish I knew what channel the Beatles Anthology was on. Kathy? Is that on national or a local thing?
My foot is really hurting. I don't know if I hurt it or if it's just normal pain. I have been trying to cut down on meds today. That idea is soon to be tossed out the window. LOL


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 8:59PM
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Jerri, I ordered it on my Netflix. I have 2 here at home as well for tommorow night...

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 9:34PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Happy New Year's Eve, all! We're spending a quiet night at home this evening, just DH and I. A roaring fire, a special bottle of Silver Oak almost gone and a gifted bottle of Dom waiting in the wings...

Tomorrow will be another story. We decided a few days ago to invite a few friends over. It's now mushroomed to 16 for jambalaya and chili at noon tomorrow. The last-minute surge came when the four adult "kids" (son, fiance, and 2 nephews) decided they really wanted to be out here with us instead of in the city. Makes me happy to know they enjoy being with us!

I've been reading along and commenting in my head - have you heard any little voices in your heads? I'm almost afraid to start commenting as I know I will leave out a lot.

I have enjoyed Woody's tales of Phoebe and Misty. DH cooked marrow bones for Christmas Day, and the dogs now have quite a collection going. There are seven scattered around the rug right now. Mystic is the most possessive.

That's probably enough excitement for one New Year's Eve. You can add me to the list of folks who aren't sad to see 2008 come to an end. While there were no major tragedies here, there were small stresses and, in the last quarter of the year, the worry of all the economic stresses. I'm looking for a new equilibrium in 2009!


    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 10:18PM
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Happy New Year Idylls! From Yachats

The First Annual Idyll Awards Of Excellence
(The IDAs)


Best Performance by a Photographer
Honorable Mention... Marie

Best Performance Bathroom Remodel
Honorable Mention... Cynthia (even though we have yet to see a photo)

Best Performance Major Remodel
Honorable Mention... Eden (even though we have yet to see a photo)

Best New Garden
Michelle, The Secret Garden
Honorable Mention, Saucy the Godess Garden

Best Pet Sitter

Best B& B
Cindys Home for Wayward Women

Most Daring

Best Performance with a Straw
Honorable Mention... Jerri.

Most Arsty Craftsy

Best Performance Houseplants
Marian (by a landslide)

Best Invalid
Tie....Jerri, Martie
Honorable Mention... Sue

Best lurker
Monique and Les

Best Idea of the Year
Julie Jobs !

Most Exotic
**note: this is not meant to infer that Denise is performing the tango (or worse)at a disreputable nightclub.

Most Faithful Poster

Best Reporter on the Beat
VElection night.

With apologies to those who went awardless..remember, even Meryl Streep doesnt win every year!

Best Wishes to All

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 10:56PM
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Monique z6a CT(6a CT)

Happy New Year!!!

From lurker Monique

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:18AM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Happy Happy New Year all!!! from one who can't type at this particular time because she has had a lovely evneing wth friends anda bottle ow Glenlivet 18 year Scotch.... Yum....

May 2009 be healthy, happy and prosperous for all here and if we can't be all of the above may we all continue to find happiness in each moment and time we take to sit back and count our blessings.....


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:31AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Happy New Year my Idyll friends! TGI2009!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:52AM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

We have about 20 minutes to go before the magic moment. DH & DSIL are putting a second puzzle together in the basement, Indy is sleeping on her cushion, Skyler fell asleep while his Dad read him another chapter (The Wild Children) and DD fell asleep long ago. BUT, we'll wake everyone one for a couple of minutes of hugs and tears and then hit the sack. (We had home made blueberry wine earlier with our venison dinner.)

My very best wishes for an amazing 2009 to each friend and family, all pets included!

Photos will likely turn up next week. (Skyler has asked for another booklet of them already.)


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 1:47AM
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Happy Glistening New Year! The sun's out and I'll take that as a purely wonderful omen!!

Good roast pork with root veggies and crusty bread for dinner last night. A few hours of lolling around and early bed, figuring that if we were in Europe it would've already been midnight. LOL

Think it goes without saying that the new year is quite welcome at Cornfield Park. It has been a wild year .....

Kathy -- No, no village this year. Ky was busy with incidentals like final exams and it's really his gig. He did say that he missed it and so did we, but time and energy left those wonderful houses in the boxes this year. Love that PM got a few more for her collection!!

Rich's puzzle idea is a direct result of the Idylls, and I don't let him forget that :-) When everyone was talking about puzzles being made for their littles, I thought it would be a cool idea for the cul-de-sac kids as 12th Day gifts. Goggled around and found a link for the machine that most "out-of-home" puzzle businesses use, checked with the State Small Business folks, and found that purchase of the machine is eligible for grant funding. The machine makes cardboard puzzles using various dies for different numbers of pieces, but Rich has every form of jigsaw imaginable so wood is within the realm. I'm doing some local marketing research to find out if anyone else is working with schools, etc. for fundraisers. If not, he might very well apply for the grant (less than $3K!!!!) and see what happens.

Not being a skiier, but having a local facility as a client, I get to enjoy the lodge without worrying about breaking my back :-) Media day is coming up and I'm very, very glad that my boss is willing to split the ticket :-)

Loving that so many are seeing beloved folks during this time.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 7:37AM
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The Best of 2008 was a stroke of pure brilliance, Kathy, providing many morning chuckles here on the Compound. :)

I particularly like the suggestion to use Marian as "quality control" and product testing for Rich's puzzles. (and she actually thought we'd forgotten about her!).

I wanted to have dinner at the lodge with Mary&Co. last night. Today I'd like to be at V.'s. Will Saucy be cooking Black Eyed Peas today to ensure continued good luck and good fortune for the coming year?

I also wonder how long Idyll Revellers will loll luxuriously in their beds this morning, capitalizing on a mid-week holiday. Also I hope that no one suffers the after effects of too much "firewater" this morning. Me? I was nicely on my way to sleepyland by 8:30 last night, Spencer tucked cozily under my chin, purring away. Not sure what time the helpmeet arrived on the scene. Yessereee, I was a real ball of celebratory fire last night. Pass the Geritol, willya Marian?

It's cold out there this morning (about zero which is cold for us) and the wind is picking up nicely to make snow removal even more enjoyable for the helpmeet. He's already been to work to check on an elderly and increasingly cranky heating system. Rex bolted on him this morning, too (heard him tell the dog, "get in there!" and slam the door). But there was nice, hot coffee when he returned from his mission and there was nothing amiss with the heating system, either.

Time to toddle off to the kitchen to clean up last night's trail and get myself organized to meet the challenge of the New Year. ;)

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 7:45AM
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Yes, Chelone, Hoppin' John and greens for the new year. Good luck and wealth. I'll be making lemon chicken and mashed potatoes so that Sarah will have something to eat, too, lol! She's not particular about her luck or money....and she likes her food white and bland (with the exception of broccoli and carrots - we should introduce her to TCS!)

The snow is blown into beautiful drifts and sparkly from the sun. Yesterday my(I've claimed him) red tail hawk waited out the storm in the big branch on the old oak tree. They make a good pair, the tree and hawk.

Kathy, I like your year end awards ceremony. Hmmm....what would we wear to such a ceremony? And would their be a red carpet, or a mulched path?

I do not make resolutions, usually, but this year I resolve to "SEE" Marian's posts, lol! I don't know how I missed it, but I did....and I was concerned! You bet that I'll be looking for your name every time I check in, now!

Again, I don't have much to say. It's nice to see Monique - I was poking through IU pictures and found the picture of Les "sneaking" away with his allium art :) I have been looking for inspiration for the upcoming season, as well as 'tufa planters and leaf castings.

This weekend I claim a work bench in the garage as my own...and I have already claimed the one nearest the woodstove :)

Gotta go bissel. Zeus had a party of his own last night and it can't wait any longer....


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 9:03AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Couldn't agree more with Chelone... the Best of 2008 List. Quite delightful. I would have to add....

Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Dental Patient
No Runner Ups could touch her. [g]

Largest Overwintered Plant
Deanne's Banana Tree

Best Performance by a Musician
Mary on violin with injured finger

Best Musical Newcomer
Norma on guitar [Mandolin in 2009?]

Plant Voted most likely to swallow the Whole House
Kathy's Lady Banks Rose

Best Performance in a Documentary
'Twirlly Girl' Katie

Best Firewood Hauler
A Tie between Marian and Chelone

With that I will smile all the way to the Mall this morning to get my calendar. Off to the shower...


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 9:07AM
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Here you go, Michelle: (how many hours until ETD?)

(I didn't know soapstone would reflect the flash on the camera!)

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 9:08AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Sorry Chelone....no Geritol here. ;-)

I put on a new DVD, Planet Earth volume 1, around 7PM. Nolon watched a little before he plodded off to bed. I watched, alternating with the computer, until 9. Then I restocked the stove, and hit my sack....

I have been up since 6:45.

Jigsaw puzzle Quality Control nixes wooden puzles. I have only tried one, and the pieces are too hard for my clumsy hands to handle. Perhaps for the young puzzlers???
It has been months since I put together a puzzle. I finally put a small one on the dinningroom table with the hopes it would appeal to Nolon. He gets pretty 'down' during the winter....just sets, and eats, and drinks coffee, all day. Not good for either of us. :-(

Kathy, nice Awards. Do we each get a certificate or plaque for our accomplishments??? How about something like the statues that actors and sports people get??? LOL

Speaking of houseplants, the "Ei Slipper Orchid" has it's one bloom opening. I wish I could say there will be more, but one is better than none! :-)

I know I haven't commented on much that you all have posted lately, but you know how it is.... Most everyone else says things so much more elegantly than I do. :-)

I am still thinking of the loving generosity of Mary's Annie. That is so touching. Naturally, what you did, Mary, is worthy of praise also. I hope the dear girl had a wonderful time at your house. But for the grace of God, that could have been me needing the kindhearted support.

I have been thinking of Brenda ever since hearing of the tragic death of the sky diver in Missouri. I guess that was not the outfit that she was with??

I hope Marie is having a wonderful visit with Sarah and family.

Sorry to hear that Jerri's foot is causing so much pain.

Kathy, sorry that the sale of your house has had to be put on hold. Hopefully this recession will not be long-lived.

Also sorry for all who are having job woes because of it. I am so thankful we are well past that concern. Our house may be falling down around our head, and in serious need of repairs, but it still keeps us out of the weather. :-)
It would certainly win no awards for beauty, or cleanliness, but we rarely have anyone that comes, so it doesn't matter that much. We are fairly comfortable in it, and the cats couldn't care less! LOL


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 9:17AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Saucy, it definitely would be a mulched path instead of a red carpet. Footwear would be the garden shoes of your choice.

The chili is in the crock pot and all the ingredients for the jambalaya have been prepped. I'm off to whip up a batch of thumbprint cookies and then do the final clean up before everyone arrives.

Hope you all have a great start to 2009!

Your reporter, V.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 10:45AM
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jak1(4 Ontario Can)

Happy New Year to you all! I wonder what 2009 will bring us? Whatever, faith, hope, courage and love, in any order will likely see us through.

I loved the various awards. Thanks for the recogniton! I think I was going to award the Silicone Rolling Pin to someone for most JJobs done *grin*, but I forget now who it was!

Very very cold here this morning, -20C (about -5F), but sunny and beautiful-looking. There is a tradition here in Perth, Ontario to sponsor a variety of locals to jump into the Tay River on New Year's morning. I went to watch last year as the day was pretty nice, and we were thinking about going this year to watch too, but it was soooooocold. By the time we decided to go, we'd missed it so are staying home and warm.

We had a quiet evening - watching t.v. until one a.m., clinking our glasses at midnight, calling our kids to say HNY and only getting voicemail..but the house was clean and pleasant and worries were banished for the evening.

Today will also be quiet with DS still asleep, DD on her way for a ski trip, DH mixing up a new batch of wine, TCS watching a movie, and me...looking for the 5 Minutes A Day bread recipe, thinking about maybe turkey tettrazini, or French Onion Soup later...just puttering.

I must comment on the beautiful soapstone stove, the much delayed proposed dental appointment (that was me a few years ago. o.k. to go regularly now!),the puzzle proposal, the wonderful "Let it Be" philosophies, the sad state of house sales and jobs...Hey - look at my opening words!!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:03AM
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For anyone who wants the recipe.

Click on "home" to see more recipes/ideas.

This fits into Sarah's white themed food group :)


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:20AM
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Happy New Year! We stayed up until about 12:05. Well I did. Brad dozed in the chair until I woke him up for the Time Square ball dropping. Very few people I knew went out this year. Seemed everyone just wanted a quiet night at home. Even my kids all went straight home after work. David collected Bella from here about 9pm.

Like others here I bought my 09 calendar a couple of days ago (50% off at Borders). For the last few years I've gotten the Susan Branch calendars.

Chelone, your work around the stove is a thing of beauty. It turned out really well. Congratulations on a job very well done.

Kathy, loved the awards idea. And PMs contributions were great too! You're right, I need to get to those kitchen pictures soon!

Michelle, bet you're getting anxious to see your sweet little girl. Only a couple of days to go now.

Norma, glad you're over your bug and hope dh is soon to follow. Jenni is hoping to step down from managing her store and just work there 20 hrs. a week, mostly for the health insurance. It's much cheaper for them that way since Randy owns his business and would have to pay for insurance otherwise. That plan is hinging on how the economy goes though and how many people want new kitchen designs this year. They plan to juggle their time with the baby and then I'll pick up the slack. So yes I've volunteered to watch Kate but it won't be nearly as much as I have Bella. As for Bella, she loves school. She especially likes story time, doing "projects" as she calls them and a boy in her class named Nicholas. Before Christmas when we were decorating the little Christmas tree in her room she confided to me that she had a boyfriend. She then told me he asked her what her name was and she said "My name is Isabella and I love you." I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing.

PM, congrats on finally getting that new car. Bet you're relieved that purchase is over.

Thanks for all of the anniversary wishes and Happy 37th to Deanne and Doug.

Mary, your NYE plans sounded like such fun and what a yummy menu.

Saucy, nice to see Marcy. She looks a bit cranky. I find that the female felines are always more that way than the easy going males. She's a pretty girl!

Jerri, sorry your foot is causing you such pain. Hope it's feeling better today.

Martie, I love the puzzle making idea for Rich. Where will he get the images for them I'm wondering. Bella would love to have him around. Puzzles are one of her favorite things to do. She'll also sit at the computer doing puzzles on there as long as we let her.

Marian, boy you sure did attend alot of funerals this last year it seems. Hope you're staying safe, cozy and warm!

V, we had chili a couple of days ago. It was so good. I'm thinking lasagna for later and 5 min bread too.

Julie, sounds like a nice relaxing NYE and puttering is always good I think.

Cynthia, sounds like the polkadot bathroom in nearly finished. It's been great having you around more while you've been on vacation from work.

Hi lurker Monique! Maybe a little New Years post to let us know how you're doing?

I need to go do some vacuuming and laundry. It's cold here so I'll be staying in all day. Hope you all have good start to the new year today.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:40AM
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Jerri_OKC(z7 Ok)

Ah... it's 2009! Here's to new beginnings. Kathy, the Idyll awards are great. You are so creative. I have an awards speach all prepared. ;)
Have a wonderful day everyone.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:44AM
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I like the awards too. How funny! Nice addition Pm2

And of course we would wear garden clogs and a carpenters apron, with a cat in our arms and a dog on leash.
The award would be a plant that somebody couldn't decide where to plant. LOL

Isn't it funny how soon after the holidays we start thinking about growing things again?
The hearth and stove look great Chelone. Nice job.

I gave Wyatt a puzzle for Christmas of a bunch of Lab puppies. It was 750 pieces though and may be a bit much for him. I'm hoping the whole family will get involved.

Marian, I like your attitude. Our house is not big or fancy compared to most , but we are comfortable and thankful here too.

I stayed up until 11:15 and celebrated with a 7&7. But then I bid DH a Happy New Year and said it was 12:00 somewhere, and went to bed. He stayed up which is unusual for him. Oh I did play Auld Lang Syne on mandolin before retiring.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 11:52AM
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Happy New Year's! I've stolen Bab's Nurse Ratchett uniform and pretty much worn it 24/7 ministering to a bed-bound Marty after the back episode started last week. New Year's Eve spent at the doc's setting up series of appts. There's been gradually more time out of bed each day, and the pain this morning is less on the steroids prescribed and started last night.

Had to duck in and accept my award, though. Must have been all that Martin Denny music my dad played on his behemoth stereo.

The very best to all.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:09PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

More greetings to all for 2009 -- Kathy, I agree that your creative lists are marvelous; you are quite inspired -- to say nothing of funny. Hopefully my B&B for charity is closed for 2009; but always open to idyllers.

I've managed to get myself busy yesterday and now hoping for today as well doing some of the closet cleaning and getting the house in order so to actually clean in the next couple of days. I managed to stay up until 2 a.m. -- watching a set of DVD British Tv mystery series called "Blue Murder" -- obviously must have been entertaining enuf to keep me up that late, lol...

Sounds like there was sufficient merriment and glee among idyllers here to bring in the New Year and Im impressed with those who exerted the effort to down those minutes down!

I have some smashing new muck shoes in a pink pattern that I would certainly wear to the awards ceremony - altho I might need to purchase a hat to match... I could also wear them to camp as I know they'd be perfect for events planned....

No resolutions here -- I know myself well enuf to know they're likely to fail so wont set myself up that way, LOL.... I hope we all resolve however to post faithfully as can and photos, photos, photos...

Okay, gotta keep the promise of more declutter and re-organizing....


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:19PM
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Eden I guess we posted at the same time.

Of course Bella's favorite would be story time.
How funny that she told Nicholas she loved him right of the bat. Wyatt has a special friend Chole (sp?) who is a little younger than him, but both have been together since babies at daycare.
Our youngest Grandaughter that got married last year has a best friend boy that proposed to her in kindergarden and they were always in the same class. I have a picture of the two of them before the wedding and they almost look like the bride and groom. Fortunately her DH is a great sport and doesn't mind the connection they have.

I forgot to wish you and Brad Happy Anniversary! Deanne and Doug too. Ours will be up next month.

Happy Belated Birthday to Monique too. I hope you can post pictures again someday. Your gardens are gorgeous.

Hi T, did you ever get un- snowbound and have Christmas? I can imagine the action at your house with four little boys. LOL Any Moose pictures lately?

Hi Jerri, hope your foot is feeling better. I bet the weather will make it worse like arthritis for a long time.

Hey Brenda, so good to hear the wedding went well even with the short power outage. Hope you are getting some much deserved rest. How is DB doing?

OK I've got to get in the kitchen and do dishes. I don't know where they come from. I was tired of my own cooking and made DH take me to Pasta House for lunch yesterday when we went to town. We even brought enough leftovers home for supper. So the dishes must be from snacking and breakfast.

Have a good day all. Norma

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:29PM
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Denise, sorry Marty is in such dire straights. Bad backs are such a pain. Literally.

Our DD is having a round with it too. She was home alone and couldn't get off the couch the other day. Grandaughter had her cell turned down and couldn't respond right away. She is back at work but very sore. Knowing her she probably won't seek help for it. Norma

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:39PM
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Coffee and rose parade this cloudy New Years Day. I my youth it was always Bloody Marys or Mimosas, but French Roast is just what I want right now. After the parade the Christmas gear gets put away for the year and this weekend I will purchase flowers at TJs cheapo bouquet dept to brighten up the place.

Dont know what wild hair got into me , but seems like we are inundated with best-of" lists at year end that are mostly forgotten by about Jan 5th.
I had fun whipping this one up .Saucy could make hyper-tufa statue-ettes in various godess poses, though kitty statues would be nice too. Im sure we would all wear suitable garden tour clothing to the awards banquet, although , Deanne could wear her multi pocketed photo rig, Cindy would be color-coordinated and Mary would be in her white fur collared jacket with lime-green tights. Mulched path to be sure, strewn with rose petals and coleus leaves.

Chelone the stove looks beautiful on its platform of honor. In summertime when the stove is idle I can see a very large and dramatic vase of lilies displayed on top.

Well Eden, that Bella is quite the minx, picking out her potential suitor and assertively declaring herself ! Im sure young Nicolas was besotted.

PM, nice add-on awards. !

Hi Norma !

Off to get those boxes down for Christmas put-away

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 12:40PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Sensational soapstone installation Chelone! Just gorgeous.

Last night we tried valiantly to wake Sarah and Skyler to cheer in the new year...and failed. DH hit the sack around 12:30, then we yakked in the kitchen until about 3:30am. Makes the trip worthwhile to have good kitchen talk!

The awards are superb! This morning's award for hysterically funny was DSIL belting out "Delilah" in Tom Jones fashion in the shower.

There's talk in the kitchen about vapor barriers....so I guess I should go take part and have a bite of breakfast now that it is 11am! I think we are headed out this evening for a fine dinner somewhere, a goodbye gathering. :( Guess that means I have to pack....Likely it will be Saturday when we collect Ms Phoebes.

Deanne, lots of magpies here, something we never see in Ontario.

Skyler is hooked up to his ipod....sigh.
Happy Today!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 1:10PM
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Raising my glass to Kathy! Well done. At this hour it's orange juice in my glass (with a cranberry english muffin), but the appreciation for your creative efforts is sincere!

The stove and salon are looking impeccable Chelone. I see a hint of beige stripes. I could move right in with the greens and the beige and white going on.

An auspicious beginning to 2009 here with the First Night fireworks canceled due to the winds. I was out for errands mid day and noticed the highway signs were warning 'no empty semis on bridge.' Winds were in the 50-60mph range and I should have put off that raking a bit longer.

Hope started to take down the window lights this morning, so I'll finish that job today. New Years Day is always my drop dead date for removing any Xmas clutter. I'll miss the lights, but I always see this day as movement towards spring. In the past few years I haven't started seeds this early, but years ago, there were always a few tough germinators started at this time. I did get some melianthus major seeds so that I won't have to order plantlets this year. I think they'll need an early start to get to a major size in season. My 'ordered' MMs were just getting to good size when fall came early this year. I carry over a lot of tenders in the gh, but had these in humongous pots and didn't want to move them. Just not precious enough like the Agaves are!

Denise, sorry to hear about Marty's back. Hope your's holds up with the nursing duties.

To Bella: My name is Cynthia and I love you.

May everyone's 'new' year be just what they want it to be. I'm convinced that another year of this, good or bad, is still quite a gift.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 1:26PM
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Ornaments off the tree, mantle display demo-ed ,gold bow removed from my 'Martie' topiary (it will forever be the 'Martie' topiary), and next step is to drag out the tree.
Norma, I had to laugh at your comment about thinking about growing things right after the holiday. I was hanging around at Select Seeds website yesterday afternoon, thinking about my triangle garden in the front. I want some Amaranth viridis, and must have Celosia spicata.

Coffee break over.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 1:40PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Chelone....what a wonderful job you have done on the woodstove! The tile job sure looks professional from here. I love the choice of colors for the trim and tile, keeps it nice and light and airy in there. You're getting there! I'm still amazed at how self sufficient you two are. :-)

Eden...that Bella....SO sweet! lol

Marian...it would be great if Nolan could get out in the mornings when it is not too cold. The winter sun is not strong, but better than no sun. Keeps the body's chemicals on the happy side rather than the depressed side.

Denise, I am so glad that Marty was seen by a Doctor and is improving. Norma, feel bad for your DD who didn't find it possible to give her back enough rest and had to go back to work.

Long story about DH back, feel free to skip over....
DH has had back issues since we were first married. They can become so chronic. Over the years, we have had various experiences that I hope others can benefit from. We have been acquainted with people who have finally had to have back surgery and though sometimes unavoidable, it is not often, that actually brings recovery and more often can leave a person with more disability and chronic pain. So we learned from that, back surgery is not to be relied on as a 'fix' for a bad back. Visits to Primary Care Docs that didn't specialize in backs, has not offered us advice that brought long term relief or solutions. Easy to then not give the matter enough attention and then think that you are doing all you should be doing, but ending up back at the doctor's office six months later. Last year, DH had another episode of back pain worse than usual and we were fortunate enough to hear about an Orthopedic Surgeon not too far from us who had a great reputation not only for good surgical outcomes, but for his focus on trying to avoid surgery. We were very worried DH would need surgery. Having this DR view DH's films of his back, gave us a lot of information. Much better than other doctors who have viewed his films in the past. Four discs that are in one state of compromise or other. Despite this disheartening news, to our surprise, the surgeon felt confident that Physical Therapy had a good chance of relieving his symptoms, and sent us to a PT person with a Masters Degree in backs. Thankfully, over the course of four months it did bring relief. But what has really made an even bigger impact, is that together DH and I agreed that in order to avoid any future problems if at all possible, he would not attempt to keep himself on track at home, once the initial PT appts were finished, and he made the commitment to continue to use their facilities for a nominal fee to continue to do all the exercises the PT suggested. He goes three mornings a week every week, having to fit it in before 7am. The PT person he worked with, just checks his routine to see how he is doing. He is much more flexible, has finally learned to use very good body mechanics and is doing very well. We have seen him able to do certain things that in the past might have left him feeling tight and painful, and now don't bother him. Exercises, to strengthen the muscles that support the back, including the abs, a lot of stretching to keep everything flexible, losing some weight around the middle, correct body mechanics when working or lifting [he is restricted from more than 20-25lbs] and more walking were the basic recommendations that are keeping him out of the doctor's office and off the couch. Hoping that will continue into the new year and beyond. Painful backs and couch time are no fun at all.

Hello Monique. :-)

Great to hear you all are having such a happy visit G'bug!

We are back from the Mall. Returned two items and DH was happy when I thought I would exchange my calendar that he gave me and decided to keep it instead. We have been getting Lang calendars for awhile now. Last year, Bird Calendar, this year, Four Seasons. I thought of you at the Calendar store Eden, when I saw the new Ann Geddes calendar. Jenni would surely love it! Julie, what are you getting?

Everyone sounds like they are enjoying the holiday....enjoyed reading all your posts this morning..


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 2:03PM
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chloehoover(z6b VA)

Ok, lunch/break time -- tree is down and boxes away; gotta get the vaccum out big time and dig the pine needles outta my shoes from carrying it outside - this is the earliest (except for last year of no tree) I've put it away -- it does feel pretty good -- but Deanne is feeling lots better -- she's already ahead of the game - that feels good doesnt it, Deanne? Sounds like you were one of the fun revelers -- I confess to curiosity about that aged scotch, altho it's not on my to-do list... was it worth the burn going down?

So far I have not been struck by the garden plant order bug, which is extremely unusual - I usually spend this day and/or earlier ones already online placing a couple orders... Im sure that will change once everybody starts talking about it, since Im a monkee do.

Mary, I believe you also deserve the award for most cool New Year's Eve event - it sounded neat; like a tailgate party on snow; I bet your Mom had a blast with the rest of you.

Chelone, I didnt comment on how wonderful that stove is - truly has a deserving "throne" to show it off too. Your room and windows speak to me of great federal long curtains w/ swags and jabots valances or something like that to show off your skills and (yes, also talent!!!); I totally get it re wanting some better insulation and privacy - I've got windows on the main floor that only have swag/jabot to sill treatments and I do feel somewhat aquarium like; but dont spend the bulk of my time on that floor; but sure do feel the cold in winter -- I keep thinking about new windows; but then shiver more at that cost....think the economy needs to improve for me to feel secure coughing up big money for that.

Denise - Im sooo sorry to hear you had to place Nurse Racthett - hope Martie continues to improve; I know others were under the weather for the holiday -- and glad you're feeling better now too (Norma?)...

well, breakie over and I know I missed 3/4s of the rest of folks to chat to...but better sweep up the tree debris before Chloe decides to have a snack of it...


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 2:58PM
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flowerluvr(Z5 IN)

Just a quick "Happy New Year" post. We weren't awake to see in the new year, but it appears to have arrived just fine anyway ;)
I'm cleaning this filthy pit of a house. Not much has been done around here in the way of big cleaning since harvest started, and it looks it. DB is coming Sunday and will stay until Thursday, so it would be good if the dust bunnies didn't carry him off in his sleep.
Hi to all, and I hope the New Year is full of pleasant surprises for all my Idyll friends!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 4:14PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Post NYD bash check in here. The final tally was 21 for the party we decided on Monday to throw today. Plenty of food and lots of good friends and family on hand. Do we really have to go back to work and normal schedules?

Chelone, the progress on the salon is impressive. The wood stove is beautiful. Can't wait to see it in person! ;)

Denise, I hope Marty's back is doing better. Back pain is the worse - I say so from blessedly limited experience. When I was pregnant the first time, the baby moved onto my sciatic nerve one night; I got out of bed and couldn't walk. Since my morning commute involved a walk from the train station of almost 1 mile, I had to do cabs to and from the train station. On the train ride home, the baby was moving like crazy, and when I got up to exit the train, the pain was gone. It was all I could do to refrain from handstands! As I said, thankfully that has been the extent of my experience with severe back pain, but it was enough to allow me to sympathize with anyone who is experiencing it on an ongoing basis.

Today's interesting fact - Cook's Illustrated did a test of specialty butters about a month ago and said that Lurpak Danish butter was the best on the market. I happened to find it at a grocery store last week and grabbed a package. Today I made thumbprint cookies with it, and everyone raved about how good the cookies were. Life lesson - the best ingredients do pay off!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 7:32PM
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Very nice to see a quickie post from our very own daredevil, Brenda. You're going to feel much better once you've tamed the wilds of your home in preparation for a pleasant visit with your brother. Soak up all the moments!

I have to say that when this group is "on" the reading is really one laugh right after another for me. Here I am, all alone on the Compound, chortling away over the silliest little things. Being easily amused is a very good thing!

Saucy, have you considered making 'tufa big enough for Les to get inside? (we know he will). How much Hoppin' John did you get down Sarah's throat (if any)? lol about her lack of concern for luck and money. Very cool to hear about "your" hawk, too. How much snow did you guys get? we received between 4-5" and amounts dropped off very quickly just north of here.

Also very nice to hear from newly recovered Norma. Drag to be sick for the holidays, huh? it's a horrible time to have your energy sucked out by a cold. I like that you played Auld Lang Syne on the mandolin. So cool that you're picking it up and giving it go. It was fun to see the shots of your pets on Woody's thread.

I am sorry to learn of Marty's back woes, Denise. He must be terribly uncomfortable and I don't think there's much worse than watching someone you love endure discomfort. Donning the Nurse Ratchett uniform is part of the agreement when you gaze adoringly at each other and pledge your troth. I figured the Martin Denny crack was good for laughs and sure enough you "delivered the goods". What a tripped out scene those recording sessions must have been!

Since we've not seen anything from Deanne today I am wondering if our child bride did in fact overdo with the firewater... . I sure hope she hasn't succumbed out in the blind! We watched a Bluejay feeding in the snow the other day. He had a nice little depression in the snow and he was pecking away at the seeds that were on the ground under it. As soon as he flew off a bunch of Juncos moved right in and picked up feeding where the 'jay left off. It's absolutely amazing to me that they are so pefectly equipped to survive in such tough weather.

Thanks for the compliments on the stove, you guys. I'm glad it's finished, feels as though I've been working on it for ever.

Cindy, I KNEW you would get the whole feel I'm looking for with respect to window treatments! though I think the shades I have in mind would rightly be from the Georgian period, but maybe not (have to check that!). I'm going to do shades because there really isn't much wallspace in the Salon. The shades will "stack" vertically when I want the windows exposed and will neatly cover the glass when I want some privacy from the road. I'm opting for a nice, full treatment and want to try one of the more challenging headings well suited to stationary treatments (meaning you don't have to draw them along the rod like drapery panels). And I've got my eye on a lovely moire taffeta (a favorite) that isn't very much money, at least in the realm of drapery fabrics. And since it's a pretty commonly available fabric I'm hoping I'll be able to shave a shekel/two off the yard price by shopping on-line. I can buy the lining and fittings through a wholesale supplier I use.

The comforting beige stripe you saw, Cynthia, will not be long for this world once I recover from the drapery sticker shock, lol. It's on a loveseat that the helpmeet triumphantly brought home to me that I've decided is going to be a slipcover guinea pig, along with its equally uninspiring companion chair. The shapes of the pieces are quite similar and I think they could be recovered to fit nicely into the look of an English manor house sitting room of the 20s/30s. I presently envision them in a pretty pattern, floral or toile? Again, the object is to brush up on pattern matching skills and provide a risk-free opportunity to put a watch to the project and check my pricing. Again, another sample of my work to show to people.

Mary must be having a wonderful time with her Mum. I can't wait to hear how the portameal went. And I'm thinking of Sue (who was "robbed" at the awards, lol) and wondering about her new fireplace. Well, tomorrow's Friday (right?), so she'll poke her head in. If Wendy rolls through I've no doubt she'll have some laughs about the awards, too. I know I've missed people, but sometimes that's how it goes.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 8:01PM
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5pm and its still (sorta) light out. A good sign ! The promised sun never materialized, and I continued my reputation as something of a weather-weenie and spent way less time on rose pruning than planned. It was drippy and cold out.

Poor Marty Back things are just as discouraging as hell. Hope you are able to keep him from overdoing during his recuperation. The Martin Denny LP cover is just classic !

Chelone, I was wondering the same thing re:our single-malt scotch party-babe. There was an amazing amount of typos in that little post, lol, bringing to mind mine and Jerris as we popped our pain meds. and this reminds me, an award that should have been given :

Best Typo of The Year

Im sure I dont need to elaborate.

Gnite all

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 8:31PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I spent the entire forenoon freezing although it was plenty warm indoors. What a bummer! I guess it was a rerun of the virus. I am better this evening.

Speaking of calendars. I had 5 new ones that I bought at Wal Mart. Two of them are Lighthouse pics, one with scriptures on each page. Another is beautiful pics with Psalms, a fourth is more beautiful pics with Bible verses, and the fifth is farm pics...a John Deer calendar. Since I love having a calendar in every room, I dug out some reruns. I hung them all yesterday. ( I also have clocks and thermometers in every room.) :-)

Yesterday I got my first nursery catalog of the year. A Stark's Bros. I don't get many any more since I stopped sending for plants. I 'did' send an order to Vernon Barnes and Sons a couple of years ago, and still have not put those potted plants into the ground! Just thinking of digging holes for them wears me out. :-(

Pm2, your DH's back condition sounds a lot like Nolon's. He has had a bad back for many years, maybe ever since I married him. The bone dr. that he went to did not recommend surgery. Nolon did have therapy, but it did not help. His legs are numb, and have been for years. That is the main reason he gives for having difficulty carrying the wood up into the house. It causes him to wheeze awful bad too, but I think that disturbs me more than it does him.He hardly lifts up his feet when he walks.
I don't know how old your DH is, but I am sure he is lots younger than Nolon. I hope he can keep going as long as Nolon has.


    Bookmark   January 1, 2009 at 10:01PM
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Agapanthus - where to buy?
I want to grow Agapanthus - the white one. Anyone know...
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